Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Featured autographs: Daniel Robertson event

At a fan fest of sorts organized by Tampa Bay Rays player Daniel Robertson's family foundation - I got some random professional/MLB players to sign their cards, including a couple of Powell cards given to me by my friend.

Powell kind of checks off a couple of things in my book as a mini-collection guy, so I was glad I got a couple of actual cards - there is the 'Boog' nickname he shares with the longtime Baltimore Orioles first baseman of the 1960s through 1970s, so that sort of makes him unique [cult baseball player / cult feat], even if it's kind of random.

This current day Powell also is a local Orange County California guy - attending Mission Viejo High and then Orange Coast College before being drafted by the Oakland A's in the 20th round back in 2012.

2016 Topps Heritage Minors Daniel Robertson #77

2017 Topps Update Chrome Ryon Healy #US241

2017 Topps Heritage Minors Josh Staumont #161

2017 Topps Update Chase De Jong #US135

2015 Bowman Draft Bubba Derby #141

2013 Bowman Jeff Gelalich #BP15

2015 Panini Elite Extra Edition Cody Ponce #56

2015 Topps Heritage Minors Rio Ruiz #81

Monday, January 08, 2018

Trade with Baseball Cards Come to Life!

I got over 300 assorted cards from Bo at Baseball Cards Come to Life! as sort of a blind trade - on my end, the most important thing was getting a mini-collection 'boost' at the end of 2017 when I thought I'd accounted for all the cards I was going to get.

Besides all the mini-collection adds, including ones knocked off my wantlist and others I tacked on for 2017, I may have counted out 140 miscellaneous cards - regardless of the substance, I think it's fun to go through a jumble of cards like these once in a while, even though I probably needed to pace myself, so I didn't get burnt out being preoccupied by all the randomness.

I like trying to make sense out of the cards as I sorted them out - selected other cards were added as mini-collection ‘haves,’ where I might have had the card or a card for a player pictured, but felt I might as well list them as part of a particular mini-collection.

Other cards went into my various ‘loose card’ interests including:

School ties - I have a multi-sport collection of alumni players from a selected number of California colleges.

Cards of MLB/MiLB coaches - usually former players who maybe currently working or have worked for a MLB organization in 'recent' years.

Cards for team boxes - I have a collection on the side featuring assorted cards from all the 30 MLB teams.

A-Z archive filler - the least I will do is see if I could file these cards away 'as is.'

My favorite cards out of the box include the following:

1991 Topps Stadium Club Alex Cole #392 - pictures Otis Nixon; this made me do a double take when I saw the nameplate because I thought it was Nixon's card...Nixon has a more pronounced, weathered face [to put it kindly] while Cole always wore those goggles.

1992 Fleer Rookie Sensations Phil Plantier #19 of 20 - the butt shot captures his unique stance perfectly; Plantier was indeed a rookie sensation with the Boston Red Sox in 1991, hitting .331 with 11 home runs in 175 at-bats, but just wasn't destined to be a star.

Images courtesy of COMC.com

1992 O-Pee-Chee Premier Mike Bordick #5 - pictures Scott Brosius

1992 Donruss Triple Play Greg Vaughn #122 - I love how Vaughn’s cap is flying off as he checks if he has made the catch at the wall; a couple of teens along the railing above him check to see if they possibly have a beat on the ball as well.

1996 Pinnacle Denny’s Kevin Seitzer #26 of 28 - I bought this set years ago so I have this card somewhere, but to have it in-hand at the moment is nice; I don’t know if the holographic animation of the player shown was ever such a big deal, but I like shining the image up to the light and playing around with the card.

1996 Upper Deck Charlie Hayes #436 - I like how he is playing with a camera with a big lens.

1998 Fleer Tradition Ben McDonald #40 - this image sticks out as Fleer immortalized the longtime American League pitcher's only big league at-bat during the first year of Interleague play in 1997.

FWIW - the Milwaukee Brewers moved from the American League Central to the National League Central the year after.

2016 Donruss The Famous San Diego Chicken #151 - is this the most recognizable baseball mascot of all-time?

Sunday, January 07, 2018

1975 Topps Robin Yount RC #223

I added another old school rookie card to the personal collection and while this was more of an impulsive pick-up as opposed to a priority at the top of a wantlist - there is some lingering nostalgia over this card, especially when paired up with George Brett's rookie card [#228] from the same set.

While Brett's playing career was a bit more larger than life and his rookie card seems to be held in higher regard than Yount's - both players are one-team franchise legends who each got their 3,000th hit in 1992 and were part of the same Hall of Fame class in 1999.

While I was superficially aware of Yount as a HOF legend with all these accomplishments - I had to dig through his numbers to see how his playing career evolved since I somehow believed he was more of a compiler as opposed to being a dominant player at various points of his playing career.

Getting to the big leagues as an 18-year old really helped boost Yount's counting numbers - maybe if he'd come up at 23 or 24 like a more typical big leaguer, his playing career would be more like J.J. Hardy's than Derek Jeter's.

But what changed my perspective about about Yount's 20-year career is when he became an impact offensive player in his prime - for a 4-year period through the mid 1980s, Yount established himself as one of the best players in all of baseball, checking off all the boxes as far as a guy who could hit for average, hit for power, steal bases and be a good defender at shortstop.

If somehow I'd be aware of baseball when Yount was really putting up the numbers, he would have been a fun player to follow, reminiscent of offense minded shortstops who would come of age in the late 1990s - guys like Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

2017 Topps Gallery blaster box recap 2 of 2

Artist proof parallel pack
#28 Sean Newcomb
#146 Gerrit Cole
#8 Steven Matz
#19 Carson Fulmer

 Pack one
#32 Gregory Polanco
#25 Bryce Harper

#HOF-19 Jim Palmer - Hall of Fame Gallery insert
#62 Yasmani Grandal

 Pack two
#140 Anthony Rizzo
#67 Kyle Seager
#113 Andrew Toles
#13 Carlos Correa

 Pack three
#15 Yoan Moncada
#12 Max Kepler

#156 Nelson Cruz - Artisans SP
#141 Yoan Moncada

 Pack four
#38 Tyler Glasnow
#139 Jake Lamb

#MP-21 Nolan Ryan - Masterpiece insert
#98 Salvador Perez

 Pack five
#17 George Springer
#97 Ketel Marte

#HOF-12 Joe Morgan - Hall of Fame Gallery insert
#147 Brandon Finnegan

 Pack six
#101 Cole Hamels

#100 Clayton Kershaw
#45 Matt Kemp
#128 Greg Bird

 Pack seven
#80 Freddie Freeman
#54 Jose De Leon
#42 Alex Bregman

Dan Bergren - Featured Artist info card
#106 Robert Gsellman

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

2017 Topps Gallery blaster box recap 1 of 2

Go figure I was able to pick up a couple of blaster boxes online as opposed to fruitless in-person searches through some random Walmarts - I feel the one or two Walmarts I may be able to go are spotty as far as having specific brand of trading cards at any one time.

The last incarnation of Topps Gallery came out in 2005 and while it was a product I'm not sure I even bought a single pack of in my collecting life - in general, I liked the artsy-fartsy trading cards because they came off as a little bit more classier than just something designed to be regular old baseball cards.

Artist proof parallel pack
#120 Corey Seager
#5 Carlos Rodon
#13 Carlos Correa
#141 Julio Urias

Pack one
#131 Matt Harvey
#32 Gregory Polanco

#HOF-1 Ken Griffey Jr. - Hall of Fame Gallery insert
#138 Luke Weaver

Pack two
#28 Bryce Harper
#140 Anthony Rizzo

#30 Trevor Story - Gallery Heritage insert
#119 Buster Posey

Pack three
#67 Kyle Seager
#113 Andrew Toles
#12 Max Kepler

Mayumi Seto - Featured Artist info card; maybe it's just odd, but I found her card [and the other Topps Gallery artist's card, Dan Bergren] more interesting than any of the base cards.
#123 Carlos Gonzalez

Pack four
#15 Yoan Moncada
#38 Tyler Glasnow

#HOF-22 Reggie Jackson - Hall of Fame Gallery insert
#8 Steven Matz

Pack five
#139 Jake Lamb

#17 George Springer
#97 Ketel Marte
#19 Carson Fulmer

Pack six
#101 Cole Hamels
#100 Clayton Kershaw

#174 Chris Archer - Apprentices SP
#84 Trey Mancini

Pack seven
#45 Matt Kemp
#80 Freddie Freeman

#MP-23 Mark McGwire - Masterpiece insert; YMMV, but I found the base cards to be a bit of a snooze and would prefer something centered around these inserts.
#115 Justin Verlander

Monday, January 01, 2018

A one post 2017 recap - my regional PCs

I have a yearly set of collecting goals I've kept offline since I think it gets too long winded to fully go through on a blog - one of the goals I wanted to focus on was this reboot of my Angels collection.

A.) Put together a list of Top 31-50 PC cards of my Angels collection in my Top 50 common PC - I wanted to see if things could come together as far as having a group of PC cards that I could add to in various ways.

#32 Group Mike Trout 
#33 Group Tim Salmon 
#34 Group Garret Anderson 
#35 Group Torii Hunter
#36 Group Vladimir Guerrero

#37 Group Angels PSA sampler run [1961-1980] 
#40 Group Troy Glaus group
#41 Group Jered Weaver 
#42 Group Garrett Richards 
#43 Group Kole Calhoun 
#48 Group graded rookie cards 

FYI, a group collection is basically a way to put together cards [of one player and/or one card type] as one ranking in my personal collection - I was able to put together a bunch of PC cards together, now I can kind of build on what I’ve listed, tweak rankings, etc.

B.) Build up an A-Z singles collection for the majority of my cards - listed in a database, sleeved and stored in a box.

  • My main A-Z singles collection will consist of miscellaneous team related cards I end up with - while a separate A-Z singles collection will be for selected players and notable cards.
  • In a given year, I'd like to pick up 10-15 first-year Angel certified autographs, corresponding parallels or other parallel cards to put in my A-Z singles collection - I need to look at upcoming product checklists and consider players that are listed as Angels.
This is a work in progress, where no tangible set-up is put together as I try to figure out what exactly goes into my A-Z singles collections - the distinction between having an A-Z collection that is more of an archive, a catch all for irrelevant and cumbersome slabbed cards of one-time Angels prospects and an A-Z collection that is more refined for selected notable players and notable cards.

Building up the A-Z singles collection with first-year certified autographs, corresponding parallels or others parallel cards - is something I've 'dabbled in' at best and always a work in progress.

C.) Account for loose Angels cards - my goal is to have binders of random Angels cards as 'jukeboxes' of sorts; cards that go into this collection should be listed in a database [except for my binder stars cards].

  • Maintain a collection of ‘binder stars,’ featuring selected players like - Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Nolan Ryan, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Vladimir Guerrero, Tim Salmon, Torii Hunter, Garret Anderson, Jered Weaver, Jim Edmonds, Garrett Richards, Kole Calhoun, etc. 
  • Continue to work on my frankenset, maybe a frankenset update [finding cards #'d 500 and up], an Opening Day lineup set - any displays in binders will have to wait depending on whether I’m close or have completed a particular project.
  • Timeline - 2015 - Frankenset, 2016 - Frankenset update [500+; pull cards aside, officially start when finished with original Frankenset], Angels Opening Day lineups and 'shoebox collection,' which should be the odds and ends left over, 2017 - PC, A-Z collection ‘revamp,’ binder stars and inserts. 

What does my goal to have binders of random Angels cards as 'jukeboxes' of sorts mean [?] - I think it means my frankenset / Opening Day lineup as opposed to just loose cards from my team boxes.

Binder stars are a work in progress - I don’t know how to account for guys who’ve been bigger stars for other teams - maybe leave them as is as binder stars or perhaps only have their Angels cards displayed; guys who were primarily [home grown] Angels who starred for a significant number of years for the team maybe whose cards I’d include.

It's kind of sad, but after starting it several years ago, my frankenset seems pretty much in mothballs [the cards are still intact, sleeved and boxes, but I haven't added to it] - a frankenset update is still floating out there [though more as an unofficial thing] and an Opening Day lineup collection is a work in progress.

D.) All-time Angels autograph collection - see if I can count out about 200 different autographs and list them in a Google Sheets file. 

  • Scrounge around for random autographs I might have - account for non-card autographs.
  • Use a wantlist to list any names I need - not the collection of random cards for guys who played for the team at one point; the ‘physical collection’ is just a snapshot of players I still need.
  • Add new ones as I can [certified, maybe uncertified and occasional in-person] - trading cards are the easiest to store in any sort of quantity so for most of the ‘rank and file’ names, that what the autographs are on.
  • I’m not going to get them all so maybe settle on a number goal [200] - focus on picking up team Hall of Famers, actual Hall of Famers, stat leaders, award winners, postseason teams, starting lineups, etc.
I think I’ve been able to count out about 200 different autographs - but the work listing out those 200 different is something I haven’t fully committed at different times of the year.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

1975 Topps Gary Carter RC #620

I want to be greedy in adding traditional rookie cards of legends / icons from old school/vintage years when possible - there maybe tiers as far as rookie card wants go; a rule of thumb is cards have to be at least be 20 years old to make the list.

As a last minute purchase for 2017, I had to get this rookie card of a Hall of Fame catcher since it cost as much as a discounted blaster - I don’t think it’s too weird anymore but it maybe a little peculiar to commit to buy a baseball card, when I’m out in BFE somewhere in a daze, tagging along with my parents on a casino trip late at night.

Multiplayer rookie cards are ugly, especially if it becomes the RC of a Hall of Fame legend who has to share it with one or more marginal players - but it’s part of the quirkiness of old-school/vintage cards to squeeze multiple unproven players on a card.

Carter was a prime time star with the Montreal Expos from the mid 1970s through the early 1980s - however, I was only aware of Carter's playing days through the junk wax era cards he showed up on during the late 1980s and early 1990s.