Friday, April 13, 2018

Shohei Ohtani 2018 Topps Now pickups

Save for any autograph or limited parallels offered, I've picked up Ohtani's Topps Now cards from the past two weeks, including both versions [English and Japanese Kanji] of his first MLB hit card - as you read this I've probably put an order for likely another Topps Now card, noting his first MLB triple, which drove in 3 RBI.

It's pretty special to see Ohtani living up to the hype, rather than falling flat on his face and I'm just enjoying the ride as generally a fan of his MLB team - I think I tend to think about 'the next' [once in a generation talent to emerge] if the current best player in the planet has gotten too big time [like a music band that explodes through mainstream consciousness and is viewed as having sold out in a sense].

Over the last 15-20 years, maybe Albert Pujols was considered best player, then Bryce Harper was supposed to be the guy, then Mike Trout has been the guy for the last 6 years - point is someone like Ohtani is out there as someone with a chance to be a unique talent on their own to fawn over and speculate about as a new favorite.

Ohtani has gotten through his first couple of weeks in Major League Baseball with flying colors, but it's still two starts on the mound and a 26 at-bats as a batter - I want to still see how far he'll go and maybe there is a fear that he might be overused and gassed as the season wears on.

As far as collecting Ohtani cards, I don't know if I'm going to keep up with the Topps Now business past April - however as long as Ohtani is providing highlights, there is something about having an opportunity to grab new and unique MLB licensed Ohtani cards to feed the beast with chasing unopened products, looking for miscellaneous Ohtani cards.

There will probably be a number of pack pulled [likely non auto'd parallels] Ohtani cards I'd like to pick up in his rookie year - but without thinking too much about it, the Topps Now cards should continue to be no brainer purchases.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Beyond the glory addition - Don Wilson

I didn't know who Wilson was until I probably stumbled upon a YouTube video of him pitching in the 1971 MLB All-Star Game - as much as I think I soak up baseball history like a sponge, my focus when talking about old-school [pre 1980] and vintage [pre 1974] players are mostly devoted to the legends / icons.

Wilson may have starred for the Houston Astros, compiling a 104-92 won-loss record in 9 seasons with the team - but due to a fatal accident in his car, he never did build on the promise he had shown at various points of his career.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Beyond the glory addition - Bob Moose

Rummaging through the old-school / vintage quarter box at my card shop, I picked a 1974 Topps card [#382] featuring a player with seemingly funny looking hair - go figure, I don't have a mini-collection devoted to hair styles, so maybe I could add this to my facial hair collection.

After finding out more about Moose through this Card Corner feature on the Baseball Hall of Fame Website, I decided to add his card to my beyond the glory mini-collection - there is kind of a cross over with my infamous mini-collection but my beyond the glory mini-collection is more inspired by professional athletes who may have had a narrative attached to their playing careers besides just making some mistakes and getting in the news for it.

A card of notable professional athlete who prematurely loses their life is added into this collection - maybe someone who passes while still being an active player or someone who passes in a somewhat of an odd set of circumstances.

I learned Moose threw the wild pitch that led to the series ending run in the 1972 National League Championship Series - a successful MLB pitcher otherwise, he passed away at 29 due to a car accident.

Monday, April 09, 2018

1997 Score Blast Master Tim Salmon #18

I figure there just hasn't been much to talk about with the Angels the past week or so and I'd feature this random insert I picked up - I was watching a replay of a YouTube live broadcast featuring a collector showing off his player pick-ups and spotted a card from an insert set I've never heard of.

I liked how the card popped, so off to COMC I went, where I didn't want to pick up the same card the collector did - but for a dollar, I was able to add a card from the set, featuring a regional favorite.

Friday, April 06, 2018

2018 Donruss 60 card hanger box

On a whim, I bought one of these from a Target - I like the 1984 themed retro cards though it's just hard to appreciate baseball cards with no team logos.

I like the variations because they give me something extra to look for - though from my understanding, they aren't that much harder to pull than any other cards.

#139 Orlando Arcia
#70 Jean Segura
#99 Michael Brantley
#220 Leaders in L.A. - feat. Kershaw / Seager
#127 Yu Darvish

#67 Xander Bogaerts
#95 Odubel Herrera
#121 Ryon Healy
#201 Rookie Stars - feat. Judge / Frazier
#56 Freddie Freeman
#102 Nelson Cruz
#129 Alex Wood
#72 Brian Dozier
#113 Madison Bumgarner
#205 K.C. Masterpiece - feat. Hosmer / Cain
#53 Zack Greinke
#81 Logan Morrison
#107 Jonathan Gray
#133 Dee Gordon
#75 Jake Arrieta
#21 Odubel Herrera - Stat Line serial #’d 238/344

#172 Nolan Arenado - Holo Green parallel
#263 Matt Carpenter - Holo Green parallel
#154 Clayton Kershaw - Holo Green parallel
#242 Mike Trout - Holo Green parallel
#181 Chris Archer - Holo Green parallel

#123 Rod Carew - variation, black and white photo
#254 Mickey Mantle - variation, wearing cap
#3 Evan Longoria

#163 Kris Bryant - variation, Sepia ‘KB’

#153 Corey Kluber - variation, Klubot
#17 Brian Dozier
#39 Ryan McMahon
#69 Jackie Bradley Jr. - variation, ‘JB’
#166 Jose Altuve - variation, ‘Tuve’
#15 Justin Bour
#37 Amed Rosario
#134 Marcell Ozuna
#197 Ryan Zimmerman
#179 Evan Longoria
#240 George Springer - 1984
#152 Jordan Montgomery
#261 Robinson Cano - 1984
#170 Kyle Seager

#231 Joey Votto - 1984
#141 Anthony Rizzo
#183 Kris Bryant
#245 Corey Seager - 1984
#158 Corey Seager
#191 Mookie Betts

#226 Mookie Betts - 1984
#164 Dallas Keuchel
#247 Ryan Braun - 1984

#244 Clayton Kershaw - 1984
#156 Miguel Cabrera
#265 Evan Longoria - 1984
#174 Felix Hernandez
#234 Francisco Lindor - 1984
#150 Gary Sanchez

#259 Madison Bumgarner - 1984

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

TTM autographs received: Carl Erskine

The 91-year old signed my trading cards in blue Sharpie and responded to my letter in about three months - there is something peculiar about sending an autograph request to someone who is closer to 100 years old than 25, because I wonder how someone so old can actually go get all the mail sent to them and manage to respond back to each of the senders.

I would assume, depending on how able they still are function - someone notable to still write to already their 70s, 80s or 90s, do have some help in answering mail.

After sending out to Erskine on January with a donation he generally requires - I was expecting about to see a response back in two or three weeks, but was worried when there was no response.

Erskine became a 'scratch the itch' guy for me because he has had a reputation for being a great TTM signer - I wanted to see if I could get ink on some loose cards I had of his.

However word got out through Facebook and the SCN message boards, that Erskine apparently had lost the ability to use his hands - which obviously prevented him from answering requests sent to him in the meantime.

According to the note that was posted, Erskine would wait a bit until things got better or he would mark the mail sent to him as return to senders - I was wondering if Erskine would be able to sign again and was relieved I saw a couple of successes within the past week or so.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Old school adds for my nations collections

I was flipping through a stash of cards at my LCS and I found at least four guys who I assumed where born in different places other than the United States - I don't particularly know who they are, but I saw their cards as finds to help me work towards towards my goal of 100 old-school / vintage adds to my 25-30 mini-collections.

I want as many subjects represented from nations that have spawned professional baseball players - though I wonder if really care to have every player, past, present and future [do I have the resources to have and/or grab their cards]?

I'm probably never going to get everyone's card and it's not like I have a link to one particular nation - maybe it feels weird to be hunting for cards of guys whose language I do not speak, whose culture and life experiences differ from mine and at times seem really worlds apart besides me seeing them as professional baseball players.

As a baseball fan, I do realize players born in different nations continue to make a significant impact in pro baseball - in my own little way, I want to chronicle the contributions of players from all over the world, particularly players who have reached the big leagues to have a card made of them.

1970 Topps Hector Torres #272 - Mexico

1974 Topps Pedro Garcia #142 - Puerto Rico

1975 Topps Ramon Hernandez #224 - Puerto Rico

1975 Topps Eduardo Rodriguez #582 - Puerto Rico