Saturday, February 06, 2016

2016 Topps Series I 36-card jumbo pack



I picked up a retail jumbo and a 72-card hanger box of this year's flagship product - as seen on other card blogs and eBay, I like how Topps has incorporated many unique images in a card design that feels a bit different than in past years.

A minor quibble would be over the Perspectives inserts - I guess people like them for the strong image selections, though the 'Perspectives' banner is distracting to me and perhaps I would have liked a more 'traditional' way to label these inserts.

#350 Kris Bryant
#37 C.J. Cron
#84 Mookie Betts
#184 Travis Jankowski
#112 Matt Kemp
#209 Max Scherzer
#290 Zack Godley
#47 Gio Gonzalez
#127 Zach Lee
#237 Carlos Ruiz


#155 New York Yankees team card
#162 2015 AL RBI Leaders - feat. Donaldson, Davis and Bautista
#170 New Order - feat. Gomez, Correa and Altuve


#21 Mike Moustakas - World Series Highlight subset
#318 Washington Nationals team card
#66 Kyle Schwarber - Gold parallel serial #’d 1365/2016
#WRIG-5 Jake Arrieta - 100 Years at Wrigley Field insert


#P-24 Nolan Ryan - Perspectives insert
#MLBD-24 Satchel Paige - MLB Debut insert
#WOW-10 Jose Abreu - Walk Off Wins insert
#70 Kendrys Morales
#97 Ender Inciarte
#88 Ubaldo Jimenez
#45 Ryan Zimmerman
#150 Clayton Kershaw


#146 Stephen Piscotty
#141 Colin Rea
#52 Julio Teheran
#160 Chris Sale
#344 Jonathan Lucroy
#193 Trevor Bauer
#28 Brian McCann
#215 Adrian Gonzalez
#6 Jimmy Paredes
#107 Kevin Siegrist
#320 Jake Peavy

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sorting my cards - finding Elian Herrera

Spring training is around the corner and perhaps I'm looking into updating my stash of cards I'm trying to get autographs on otherwise - Herrera’s name came up as a guy who maybe in camp with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but in case I wanted to send him a TTM request or something, it became a joke I had no idea where to find his cards,

I wondered if the cards were buried in a rubble of loose cards somewhere never to be unearthed - the misplaced cards maybe about a dime each, but I don’t want to feel incomplete and distressed about my collections not being in order to the point where I can't find the most obscure cards.

I may have squirreled the cards away in one of my ‘silly’ loose card projects like perhaps my off-season transactions mini-collection - maybe in a random group cards I've pulled to list as part of one of my mini-collections.

The Herrera cards were just not in the obvious places, but I ended up flipping through random cards I stuffed in a 3200 count box of cards - when I actually spotted Herrera’s cards in a small, miscellaneous grouping of loose cards and found the following, one 2012 Topps Update Series #US38, the two 2012 Bowman Draft #51 cards I was originally whining about and a 2014 Topps Update #US-30.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Loose card projects - 500 home run club

'Loose card projects' is my catch-all term for the mini-collections I'm trying to put together [collecting topics, Angels frankenset, Topps year-to-year run, etc] from the assorted cards I've hoarded - these various projects is what I end up tending to as far as playing with cardboard is concerned.

One of these projects is a collection of 500 home run club members - I thought about collecting autographs of the exclusive statistical mark, but the idea of needing to secure Babe Ruth's autograph [714 home runs] is just not possible.

I've probably got assorted autographs of the non-vintage players - though nothing like signed baseballs for each guy.

I thought about picking up a 'premium card' for each player - though at this point I want to make this initial set of cards a starter set to upgrade and build on if I wanted.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Featured autograph - Manny Ramirez

The hype surrounding 'Manny Being Manny' and 'Mannywood' has been long over - though I still remember the flaky but ferocious slugger from his early years with the Cleveland Indians through his prime years with the Boston Red Sox.

In recent years, Ramirez has tried to hang on as a player, even spending time playing in Taiwan in 2013 - as is, he is a ‘has been’ whose Hall of Fame caliber hitting stats clash with PED allegations / suspensions.

The guy was moody about signing and the way he signed his autograph is all over the place - I was 'browsing around' for random subjects and picked up a certified autograph card with a scribble that is cleaner than the chicken scratch he has inked up.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey Jr. #41T

Basically Junior Griffey was probably at the top of the MLB world just behind Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa back in the late 1990s - the way I remember it, I was in my first year of figuring out this auction Web site called eBay and was looking to secure a copy of Junior's first Topps card in the 1989 Topps Traded set.

There was a 'bunch of them' listed in a dutch auction [?] and there were multiple bids on each one, though no picture - I figure I'd get in on the action, so I was going to bid on one to win it.

For about $15, I was going to get a Junior card and unlike in 2016, card prices were still a bit inflated just because Junior was in his prime and not everyone knew to get online to try to sell cards - I think the card was shipped in a plain white envelope, but the kick in the groin came when I saw the card shipped to me was a common card [#40T] of Ken Griffey Sr.

I was pissed off and disappointed at the fact I probably had no recourse - I did not even think it was possible that there would be a 'Sr.' in the 1989 Topps Traded set and my trigger finger got the best of me.

Friday, January 08, 2016

1994 UD Fun Pack Mike Piazza #231

I probably thought any Piazza cards I could find back in through the mid 1990s were cardboard gold - with his Hall of Fame election this week, I can't help but think this card is my favorite random Piazza card from the last 20 years.

When heat is applied to the card surface, it reveals a silly cartoon image - I probably didn't care about the obscured image, though I had fun marveling over the lowbrow 'interactivity.'

Just for old time's sake, I'll probably dig the card out though I don't know if the card is still in 'functioning' condition - because of the warm So. Cal weather, there are times where the card has looked like this without being touched.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza to the Hall

Knowing the Baseball Hall of Fame announcement was coming up, I picked up a nicer version of Griffey Jr.'s iconic rookie card - I was worried the card would get a little ‘artificial’ bump and wanted to upgrade the ‘raw’ copy I must have picked up 10-15 years ago.

My favorite Griffey Jr. rookie card would probably be my first, which is his 1989 Donruss, but the Upper Deck was the one to have - I've read random blurbs posted on card forums about UD running the presses to make this card to order, so I had reservations about putting a premium on the card as a legit pick-up for the personal collection I’m trying to build up.

Regardless of apparent overproduction however, the 1989 UD itself has had a legacy on its own among collectors and now that he's been elected with the highest vote percentage - it would probably make the card even much more of a hassle to pick up, just to have one that is a bit cleaner than the one I've had.

As far as Piazza goes, I've got to dig up the 1992 Fleer Update card I picked up at some point when either towards the end of his career or several years after he retired - unlike Griffey Jr., who had a graceful swing and was a great athlete, there was no subtleties in Piazza's game as he was a slugging beast who put up monster numbers as a catcher.

Regardless of the era Piazza played in and the innuendo [Murray Chass and bacne] and actual drugs [Vioxx, Andro, greenies among others] he took to be a dominant player or just to be able to play through a MLB season - I think his election to the Hall of Fame validates Piazza's accomplishments as a major leaguer.