Sunday, November 23, 2014

Carlos Perez printing plate

I picked up this printing plate for just about $10 the day I found out Perez was one of the players the Angels got back in the Hank Conger trade - I saw another collector getting a printing plate signed in the Arizona Fall League and I wanted one for myself.

It's kind of an ugly card anyway, but the worst part is when the card arrived in the mail - the top right corner was bent out of shape like someone grabbed it and twisted it just a bit.

I don't know if it was damaged before it was shipped or if it was damaged during shipping - I suspected that it was because no decoys / dummy cards were used to sandwich the card and the bubble mailer used to ship the card to me was a little thin.

If it was a regular card, the damage would be more pronounced and too obvious to ignore, but the card is imperfect as is - to make the upper right part of the card a little bit more straight, I tried to flatten the card with a dumbbell.

I did contact the seller for an explanation and was offered a partial refund [minus s/h] - even though I was the one left with a damaged card, I just let things be because I'm looking to get the card signed and put it away.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured autograph - Raul A. Mondesi

The 19-year old Raul Adalberto Mondesi is the more prominent of the two sons of the original Raul Mondesi to play professional baseball - the other son [Raul Ramon Mondesi Jr.] might have already flamed out and his playing status is unclear at this point.

A Kansas City prospect, Raul A. Mondesi hit only .211 in the minors this past season [with 24 walks and a 122 strike outs] - but with youth and potential on his side, he was still tagged by Baseball America as the Royals' number one prospect for 2015.

Arizona Fall League game ball

I was looking to bring home a fall league souvenir besides the assorted things I may get signed and I was able to get this game ball - I was hanging down the right field line during a day game in Mesa and after a foul ball was hit [probably down the line, where it ricochets back onto the field], one of the outfielders has to grab it to toss it out of play.

I call for the player [Dwight Smith Jr. of the Mesa Solar Sox] for the ball and he throws it towards my direction - there was no one around me and I ended up with the ball; it's not quite a big deal because I'd like to think I'm all grown up, but I didn't have to worry about impulsively buying a program, a media guide or maybe a t-shirt.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured autograph - Dalton Pompey

A relative unknown coming into the 2014 season, the native Canadian is going to be the next big thing in the outfield [at least for the Toronto Blue Jays] - Melky Cabrera doesn't look to be re-signed, Colby Rasmus' status is up in the air and Anthony Gose [who might have been in Pompey's shoes just a few years ago] was shipped off to Detroit.

Pompey has made a steady, unspectacular climb through the minors, but while he might not be a finished product, he is going to be 22 next year - he has speed to burn and if his other hitting attributes come together, he might be a top of the lineup threat for years to come.

Featured autograph - Jesse Winker

Winker led the Arizona Fall League in hitting and was ranked No. 6 among the Top 25 AFL prospects according to Jim Callis at MLB.com - Winker's emergence may make Jay Bruce trade bait if the Cincinnati Reds are offered the right players in return.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured autograph - Greg Bird and Tyler Austin

Greg Bird was named the 2014 Arizona Fall League Most Valuable Player - I got him to sign a few times and his limits would generally vary from signing one to three cards at a time.

Tyler Austin is a great autograph signer - though he was a repeat from last year's fall league, he continued to be accommodating when he signed, patiently signing cards for those who approached him without any hesitation [within reason of course, but if you had the cards, Austin would sign pretty much all of them].

Featured autograph - Aaron Judge

This was a card given to me by my buddy when I didn't have anything for Judge to get signed after a game in Scottsdale during the Arizona Fall League - my quick impression of Judge is he's a gentle giant, maybe just a humble sort who is fairly down to earth [for a prospect].

However, there is no mistaking the fact that Judge is one large human being and sort of similar in stature the Miami Marlins' $325 million man Giancarlo Stanton - as is, looking the part is one thing, but Judge isn't quite projected to be the slugger Stanton has been.

If things fall into place, Judge maybe more of a very good MLB player [or even trade bait if it comes to that point for him as a New York Yankees' prospect] - rather than a player who can be a franchise player the Yankees can build around for years to come.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Featured autograph - Matt Reynolds

In the Arizona Fall League this past fall, I got the sense a lot more players were 'one per' and/or basically didn't want to stop and sign all the time - Reynolds was one of those players who picked his spots and I only got him to sign [on a couple of cards in two separate times] in my last AFL trip.

I like how his autograph 'pops' on the Team USA memorabilia card - the soon to be 24-year old New York Mets minor leaguer had a breakout season this past year and maybe ready to contribute at the MLB level in 2015.

Featured autograph - Brad Ausmus

Ausmus was an 'extra guy' I got during a game at Camelback Ranch in my last Arizona Fall League trip - I actually picked up the 2006 Topps Turkey Red from the card shop near the ballpark [during my first trip to the AFL], but didn't get the card signed until my second AFL trip.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Featured autographs Raisel Iglesias and Nick Howard

Neither guy had any actual cards out yet, so I got them on the same dual blank card from the The Autograph Card - both Cincinnati Reds pitching prospects, Iglesias was a Cuban free agent signed to a MLB contract this past summer and Howard was the 19th overall pick in the 2014 First Player Draft.

Featured autograph - C.J. Edwards

I was able to make a couple of trips to the Arizona Fall League this year and after getting my cards signed by the Chicago Cubs pitching prospect my first trip - I ended up printed up two images for him in my last go-around to the AFL.

I think he was down to 'one per,' but was able to get my prints signed on successive nights [not without a glare from Edwards the second time] - I mumbled that the second was the last print I had for him in case he did remember getting me the night before.

Monday, November 17, 2014

2014 Topps Update four pack break

I was really looking for loose packs of 2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Picks since the product just came out - but I didn't immediately see them, yet I was itching to bust some packs.

I really should have just saved the $8 I spent on the packs, but I needed to justify the 20 minutes I spent at the card shop - in addition to trying to find something random in the quarter bins.

Pack one

#US-131 Chris Denorfia
#US-280 Cole Gillespie
#US-135 Jake Odorizzi
#US-242 Javier Lopez
#PPA-CGM Carlos Gomez - Power Players insert
#FN-GP 2 Gregory Polanco - The Future is Now insert
#US-324 Alexi Amarista
#US-258 Matt Carpenter
#US-30 Elian Herrera
#US-224 Jared Burton

Pack two
#US-67 Scott Van Slyke
#US-257 Eduardo Escobar
#US-75 Nick Punto
#US-124 Nick Tepesch
#US-109 David Lough
#US-148 Kyle Parker - Gold parallel serial #'d 1550/2014
#FF-OV Omar Vizquel - Fond Farewell insert
#US-136 Dioner Navarro
#US-154 Yu Darvish
#US-18 Aramis Ramirez

Pack three
#US-36 Vance Worley
#US-40 Stephen Vogt
#US-42 J.D. Martinez
#US-327 Jonny Gomes
#US-261 Rene Rivera

#US-195 Gerald Laird - Sabermetric variation; this doesn't save the break or anything, but after already putting most of the cards away, I was bored and jotted down the possible variations / short prints from the cards I pulled.

I was 0-for-5 until I dug the Laird out of my loose stash of A-Z cards - looked at the back and saw all the fancy, non-traditional baseball stats.

I still have #135 Jake Odorizzi to check [for another Sabermetric variation] - but I think the Laird was my pull.

#US-72 Chris Young
#US-17 Yangervis Solarte
#US-330 Daniel Webb
#US-52 Chase Anderson

Pack four
#US-211 Jordan Schafer
#US-29 Tyler Skaggs
#US-60 David Ross
#US-89 Stephen Drew
#US-279 Kevin Frandsen - Gold parallel serial #'d 1835/2014
#US-TM-JE Jacoby Ellsbury - 1989 Topps Die-Cut minis insert
#US-12 Brian McCann
#US-174 Jace Peterson
#US-267 Jonathan Diaz
#US-237 Jorge Polanco