Saturday, May 16, 2015

A look back - Topps Magazine

I was digging around my LCS and found some old Topps Magazines - I was tempted to pick at least a couple up since I remember picking up the first issue as a kid and liked the idea of an all-color magazine devoted to sports cards; there was a period of time where the only places I really got my collecting magazines was through supermarkets and I had to go into an actual card shop for a Beckett Baseball Card Montly magazine.

As a beginning collector with relatively little to spend, it was intimidating making my way inside a card shop every month a new Beckett would pop up, so the only magazine I was reading on a regular basis was Baseball Cards Magazine - I suppose Topps Magazine provided another alternative, which probably made spending time browsing the magazine rack at the supermarket that much easier while tagging along on shopping trips.

Like Baseball Cards Magazine, there were cards inserted into the magazine though I probably thought the cards were not 'real' because the card stock was a little different, even from the Baseball Card Magazine inserts - and it was impossible to remove the cards from the magazine [without the cards looking like garbage].

The cards in the Topps magazine were perforated, but the best I could do was try and tear the panels apart like they were monkey bread - the cards always were torn up.

This article in the particular magazine pictured was written by a then 15-year old named Tyler Kepner [who is a New York Times sportswriter now] - it's all the myriad of ways to go about finding ways to collect common cards that have the same theme, known to me as 'collecting topics cards' or better known to card bloggers as 'mini-collections.'

It was fun scanning through the story and realize this was probably something I read at some point - to serve as inspiration to collect in unique, if unconventional ways.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Salvaging a few Topps cards

1962 Topps Tony Kubek #311

At my LCS there are a few 'newer' shoe storage boxes on display featuring old school / vintage 'beaters' for a buck each - I go through them because the cards were probably part of someone's collection and maybe I can pick up some cards representing cardboard relics of the past.

The cards are kind of a cheap thrill to have in my hand since they were printed more than 40 years ago - even if the cards are merely worth what I paid for them.

1973 Topps Steve Carlton #300

1972 Topps Juan Marichal #568

1967 Topps Jim Palmer #152

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Kris Bryant

The most heralded prospect coming into the season, Bryant has played 14 games and had 50 at-bats in the Major Leagues so far, so noting the small sample size - it's interesting that he hasn't hit a Major League home run and despite his gaudy on-base percentage, his numbers so far have been fairly quiet.

On the other hand, I'll be waiting for the headlines when he really starts figuring things out - maybe because many top prospects are hyped up, it's almost surprising when they don't start off their MLB careers like Albert Pujols.

Friday, May 01, 2015

2014 Panini EEE Jeff Hoffman auto serial #'d 098/399

I got this card in the mail from Panini after about six weeks or so after I put the redemption code on their Web site - it's not a bad looking card with an on-card autograph, though it's not the most exciting thing to look at.

I actually have one more pending EEE autograph redemption left on Panini's Web site, though that was from a 2013 EEE blaster break and my redemption has been in the system since early in 2014 - at this point, I don't know if I'll ever get that card.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 Bowman value pack recap

Though the cards just don't pop, this year's Bowman cards do look a little different with the way the borders are used - the images sort of bleed out of the cards, as opposed to the images being framed by a solid black or white border.

Yellow parallel pack
#BP 56 Hunter Dozier
#BP 122 Hunter Renfroe
#BP 53 Corey Littrell

Pack one
#119 Andrelton Simmons
#107 David Price
#BCP 28 Austin Voth - Chrome
#BCP 1 Tyler Kolek - Chrome
#BP 69 Drew Ward
#BP 40 Ryan Merritt

#RRI-MA Moises Alou - Rookie Recollections insert
#BP 84 Nick Petree
#64 Edwin Encarnacion
#11 Ian Desmond

Pack two
#123 Rymer Liriano
#22 Christian Yelich
#BCP 5 Dixon Machado - Chrome
#BP 34 Rafael Devers
#BP 132 Jake Bauers

#BCP 150 Carlos Rodon - Chrome green refractor serial #'d 16/99
#BP 86 Frank Schwindel
#BCP 42 Rafael Bautista - Chrome
#68 Andre Ethier
#85 Kurt Suzuki

Pack three
#140 Trevor May
#74 Corey Dickerson
#BCP 40 Ryan Merritt - Chrome
#BP 10 Logan Moon
#BP 39 Jorge Lopez

#BP 98 Jhoan Urena - Silver Ice parallel
#BP 115 Taylor Williams

#BCP 128 Victor Alcantara - Chrome
#46 Ben Revere

#72 Kole Calhoun

Featured autograph - Josh Hamilton

The 25 guys on the Angels 2015 roster grinding it out are the ones who want to be there and the one who didn't is now a Texas Ranger - it's kind of just sad how Hamilton's Angels career imploded but I'm kind of just over it.

Hamilton has shown no contrition for his relapse and I'm glad as hell the Angels took a stand and got rid of the guy - even though the national media have killed the Angels and owner Arte Moreno for apparent lack of tact in handling this delicate flower.

Maybe if Hamilton was putting up numbers the Angels would have taken more care help the guy out, but I think the fact that he struggled was just one part of the equation - I get people like Hamilton's story, people are still going to bat for him and his supposed disease as if he was one of them, but does anyone really know what is going on with him at any given moment?

Just to play around sometimes, I still want to imagine being Hamilton, the guy with the bravado, the guy with ability to swing for the fences willy-nilly and actually do so - maybe he makes a comeback, maybe he gives the finger to the Angels and this idea of being accountable at points in one's life, but he is someone else's problem now.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ran into an old Angels player

I was at Angel Stadium taking in an afternoon game and afterwards took a couple of pictures of this former Angels player signing and interacting with fans - his people told the fans to back off and to make some sort of organized line.

I got a ball signed under the MLB logo [I was going to take a side panel, but this guy named Frank who had his own ball, asked the former Angels player to sign there under the logo] - when this retired player said, "no sweet, no sweet," meaning he wasn't willing to sign the middle part of the baseball that is typically where single signed baseballs are inked up.