I sent out a TTM autograph request to Jason Grilli during 2014 Spring Training. I received this 2013 Topps card returned signed in blue Sharpie in 237 days. I got this card back a couple of months ago and forgot to post it. The card looks great. The Pirates gave Grilli to the Angels in exchange for walking disaster Ernesto Frieri before the trade deadline. Apparently, Grilli took his mail with him to the west coast. I'm very happy to get this card back.
I bought this 2014 Topps Heritage card of Yonder Alonso on Listia for just 22 credits. It’s a great design. I especially like the little team banner on the bottom left of the card. Alonso arrived with the Padres in the Mat Latos trade from the Reds. The Padres got the better of that trade in my opinion. Alonso hasn’t been great so far, but he’s still young.
Here’s a bunch of random 2014 Topps cards that I picked up on eBay for less than a buck. In all, there are 16 cards. That’s a better value than buying a pack. Sure, there’s no chance at a jersey card or an autograph, but I probably wouldn’t pull one out of those out of a pack anyway. Also, check out that cool Red Chris Young card. Anyway, here is the loot.
Here’s what 12 cents of Topps Heritage looks like courtesy of eBay. On the left is a 2011 card of Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens is best known for his work with the Braves before injuries derailed his career. On the right is the 2012 card of Chase Utley. For my money, I prefer the 2011 design. It’s a cleaner design, and reminds me of 1987 Topps. Although 1987 Topps was the height of the junk wax era, it still brings back a good childhood memory.
I picked up a lot of 4 Autograph cards on Listia. The entire haul set me back about 3600 credits. I wanted this lot for the David Hernandez and Jeff Francis cards. Hernandez is now with the Diamondbacks. He should be a good pitcher once he gets healthy. Francis made his name with the Rockies. In recent years, he has floated around with various teams on minor league contracts. In fact, he just signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays. The other cards feature Brandon Duckworth, who was a serviceable pitcher in the 2000s, and Andy Wilkins, who got his cup of coffee this year with the White Sox.
Here’s a nifty little card from 2013 Topps Update that I picked up on eBay for a few cents. It’s a dual card of Wil Myers and Evan Longoria. I usually don’t like dual cards because I sort my cards by team. Fortunately, the two are teammates. I bought the card mostly for Wil Myers. Myers is a highly touted prospect, and I have very few of his cards. Myers was the key player in the trade that sent James Shields to the Royals. It was probably a good trade for both teams. The Royals make the World Series and the Rays have a potential star for year to come.
Happy Halloween boys and ghouls … I mean girls, yeah that’s it. The baseball season is over, which means that we won’t see a game until March. That’s scary enough for any baseball fan. I was pulling for the underdog Royals in the World Series, but what can you do? I can’t wait for Spring Training to start. I would like to go again, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen this year. I’m already starting to get withdrawals. For those of you who are eager like me, here is the link to the MLB Spring Training site. Tickets are not available yet. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/tickets/spring_training.jsp
So there I was innocently bidding on baseball cards on Listia when I came across a Goudey base card of Ryan Braun. I figured I would place a lowball bid of 25 credits. Due to my fat fingers, that bid somehow became 258 credits. By the time I had realized my mistake, it was too late. But lemons quickly became lemonade. I won the card for 108 credits. In addition, the seller threw in some pretty cool cards as a bonus. So, now I own the card and I have a story to go with it.
It’s official. The 2014 regular season is over. The big story is the end of Derek Jeter’s career. It’s a bittersweet moment for us Yankee fans. I can’t remember watching too many Yankee games before Jeter was the shortstop. Also retiring at the end of the season were Paul Konerko and Bobby Abreu. It’s a shame that Konerko and Abreu didn’t receive more attention. They were certainly deserving of it. All three left the game with class and dignity, just as they played it.
Also with the end of the regular season, comes the end of the fantasy baseball season. About a month ago, I posted (bragged) about my sizable lead over the second place team in the league. Shortly thereafter, I lost that lead and held second place for about two weeks. During that time, I constantly searched the available free agents in search of an edge. Fortunately, I reclaimed the lead and won the league. There are no prizes – just the right to brag on this blog. But, there is a lesson to be learned here. Don’t count all of your chickens until Trevor Plouffe is your third baseman.
I recently opened up a pack of 2012 Topps Update. I
remember when this was called Topps Traded and it only included players
who were in their first years or traded to another team. Now there are
cards for participants in the Home Run Derby and All Star Game. That
seems unnecessary. Anyway, here is the haul. Ryan Ludwick Joe Mather Matt Lindstrom Travis Snider Jeremy Hafner Melky Cabrera (Gold) Yoenis Cespedes (Blockbusters) Weird Royals Card Michael Saunders Jose Bautista
Joey Devine Jeremy Hermida RA Dickey
The question on the blue Royals card is what happened before George Brett homered in the first at bat of his 4 for 4 game in the 1985 ALCS. Bueller? Bueller? The correct answer is that Willie Wilson was caught stealing. But, we all knew that.
So here is my 1988 Donruss haul. When you look at these cards, it’s amazing that any team had a winning record in 1988. Actually, I did pretty good with these packs. By the way, if anybody needs anything from this set, I probably have it. Here are the best cards from each pack. And yes, I got two Glavine rookie cards.
Don Mattingly Mike Schmidt Jack Morris Tom Glavine Tom Glavine Dave Parker
I recently acquired 6 packs of 1989 Bowman and 6 packs of 1988 Donruss. This post will focus on the 1989 Bowman. I will post about the 1988 Donruss on another day. There was no Griffey rookie card. However, there was plenty of junk wax goodness. Each pack was $1 and there are 12 cards to a pack. I find the unusual size of the cards to be quite annoying for storage purposes. If anybody has any needs for some strange reason, shoot me an email. Without further ado, I will present the best card from each pack. (There was one judge and it was me.)
121 George Brett 179 Dave Winfield Richie Ashburn Sweepstakes Card (Roberto Kelly was runner up) 237 Rafael Palmiero 316 Eric Davis 258 Sandy Alomar
I picked up a pair of silk cards from 2013 Topps Update on Listia for about 1,000 credits each. The cards feature the player’s rookie card rather than the base card from the 2013 set. On the left is Tim Lincecum. His rookie card is from 2007 Topps Update. I bought a little bit of this product in search of Joba Chamberlain’s rookie. I never got the Joba card and I never got a Lincecum card. The card on the right is former Yankee Robinson Cano. This was the card that I was really after. It still feels like Cano is on the Yankees. His presence would beat that of Martin Prado or Stephen Drew. I never really bought any 2003 Topps. It’s a decent design, but 2003 was a year that covered my collecting hiatus.
Here’s a quick pack break. This is a 2007 Upper Deck pack of just 5 cards. It came out of a repack at some point. I pulled Jeremy Accardo, Jason Frasor, Mike Jacobs, Johnny Estrada, and Delmon Young. Meh. I hate the dark Blue Jays uniform. At least a poisonous lizard didn’t emerge from the pack and attack me. That’s a positive.
I picked up this 2014 Bowman card of Jacob DeGrom on Listia for just 26 credits. DeGrom is a contender for NL Rookie of the Year. He is no Doc Gooden, a former Rookie of the Year with the Mets. But, DeGrom has put up some decent numbers. His biggest competition probably comes from Billy Hamilton of the Reds. Hamilton’s game is all about speed. If the season ended now, Hamilton is probably the winner. But DeGrom has a bright future in Flushing.
I’m not one to brag, but September is upon us and I am on top of my fantasy league. I seem to have cornered the market on every stat except for home runs. However, I have even made some progress in that category with free agent pickups like Chris Carter, Lucas Duda, and Mike Napoli. I currently have 56 more saves than the team second in that category. I tend to stock up on closers assuming that a few will be busts. The only bust was Ernesto Frieri. And boy, was he a bust. How did the Angels get Jason Grilli for this guy? I have had a few injuries lately. Joe Mauer was hurt for a while. Miguel Montero became the starter, while I picked up Kurt Suzuki as for backup. Yes, Mauer is still eligible at catcher. Paul Goldschmidt has been shelved for a while. But my power trio of Carter, Duda, and Napoli have been good replacements. I recently dumped Anibal Sanchez who has been on the DL. My thinking is that if he comes back, it will only be for 3 or 4 starts anyway. I acquired Chris Archer to replace him. Archer has had a heck of a season. He is a relatively unknown young player who should be around for many years to come. In sum, it’s looking good. But like I said, I’m not one to brag.
Here’s my latest Listia acquisition. It’s a 2014 Topps Heritage card of Ryan Howard. It only cost 22 credits. Of course, Howard is sort of on the downswing. He is currently underperforming his bloated contract. He is still with the Phillies as the team is unable to unload him. I love the Heritage design this year. The color is well done. Also, I like the photography. Heritage is usually a good product.
I picked up a pair of 2012 Bowman Chrome cards on eBay recently. I paid a total of 12 cents shipped for everything. The cards are Salvador Perez and Kevin Youkilis. I wanted the Perez card more than the Youkilis. I really didn’t have any Perez cards except for one that was dinged up. I don’t really buy much of the Bowman products, but these are some nice cards. I don’t actively seek out Youkilis cards, but whatever. And Youkilis was a Yankee for a brief moment.
I tore open a pack of 2012 Topps Series 1 recently. Not an exciting pack but it was good enough. There was 1 Yankee card in Phil Hughes. I also found 2 Twins cards in Carl Pavano (former Yankee) and Scott Baker. The Twins have become my second favorite team. Anyway, here are the spoils: 32 Detroit Tigers 265 Aroldis Chapman 257 Seth Smith 276 Scott Baker 254 Philip Humber TM20 Evan Longoria (Less is More, Right?) TT19 Musial/Berkman 42 Drew Pomeranz 313 Phil Hughes 164 Carl Pavano 157 Anibal Sanchez 86 Brett Cecil
Here’s a quick one card eBay purchase. It’s a 2013 Topps card of Matt Holliday. I paid just a few cents for the card. It features a nice landscape photo of Holliday sliding into home, possibly playing an away game against the Phillies judging by the catcher’s uniform. The catcher's glove is in an awkward spot, but that is a subject for another post.
Here’s a pack of 2012 Topps Series 2 Baseball that I opened recently. It was an OK pack. The best card is probably the Mike Trout 2nd Year card. I also found an expired code card for the Topps Golden Giveaway, which would have been exciting two years ago. The insert card was a Cliff Lee Golden Moments card. Meh. Otherwise, it was mostly relievers, rookies, and backup players.
I picked up a 2012 Gypsy Queen card of Phil Hughes on eBay recently for a mere 6 cents. Hughes is in Minnesota so the Yankee premium no longer exists. He is actually having a decent year. Why didn't he pitch like this when he was in New York? But, I digress. I rarely will pass up a Gypsy Queen card at this price. And the fact that this is a former Yankee in a Yankee uniform is icing on the cake.
Here is an unusual card that I picked up on Listia. It is a game-used memorabilia card of Suzy Hotrod. Who is Suzy Hotrod you ask? I actually didn’t bother looking up this fact until after I won the auction. Apparently, she is a roller derby athlete. I didn’t realize that was a thing. I also didn’t realize that roller derby was such a thing that it deserves a memorabilia card. But anyway, here it is.
I picked up a random bunch of 2014 Topps base cards on eBay for less than a buck. Nothing special. It’s basically the equivalent of a cheap pack. Although, I really like the photo on the Henderson Alvarez card from his no-hitter. It was a strange game because the Marlins scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
I opened a pack of 2011 Topps Series 2 recently. I have bunches of Series 1 but not much Series 2. Anyway, here are the spoils: 620 Luke Hochevar 411 Josh Bell 659 Clint Barmes 602 Ivan Dejesus 521 Joaquin Benoit 549 Jayson Nix 496 Gavin Floyd (Diamond Anniversary) TDG-13 Diamond Giveaway Nolan Ryan 448 Colby Rasmus 399 Adam Moore 599 Travis Ishikawa 585 Dan Johnson Topps Attax Promo If anyone is interested in anything here, let me know.
I picked up a 2014 Topps Opening Day card of Everth Cabrera on eBay recently. I already owned the blue parallel so I figured I might as well own the base card too. I think Opening Day has got to be the best value out of the various brands. It sure beats a pack of Bowman Chrome.
I ripped open a pack of 2009 Topps recently. I never bought a lot of this product, but I really like the design. This was a decent pack. The highlights of the pack include a Nolan Reimold rookie card (with corner ding), Ryan Langerhans Gold Card, and Mariano Rivera Toppstown card. It’s always a good pack when Mo makes an appearance.
I picked up a 2013 Topps Update card of Francisco Rodriguez in an Orioles uniform on eBay. He is now with the Brewers and more importantly my fantasy team. I actually picked him up as a free agent. Now he has 17 saves. I was actually offered David Price in trade for K-Rod. Because I’m a saves whore, I declined.
Here’s a pack of 2012 Topps Chrome. The pack only contains 4 cards. The score of the pack was the Ricky Romero Refractor. The base cards were pretty decent too. I got Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Cain, and a Tsuyoshi Wada rookie. I am still left with a feeling that I got ripped off. I get that feeling whenever I open a pack containing 3 or 4 cards.
Here’s a quick eBay purchase. The loot was a pair of 2013 Topps Series 2 cards featuring Emilio Bonifacio and Tommy Hanson. The cost was 12 cents. Oddly enough, neither player is still with their 2013 team. Hanson is now a Ranger, while Bonifacio is with the Cubs.
I had the urge to open up a leftover pack of 2013 Topps. This is the Series 2 product, which I don’t have much of. The highlight of the pack is the Henderson Alvarez Emerald Parallel. I also picked up the Joe Mauer WBC insert. Here is the entire haul. 571 Melky Cabrera 502 Patrick Corbin 579 Adam LaRoche 650 Nelson Cruz 520 Peter Bourjos 395 Alexei Ramirez WBC13 Joe Mauer 358 Henderson Alvarez 474 Brian Omogrosso 378 Joe Kelly 554 RA Dickey 577 Matt Harvey
I picked up this nifty dual game-used jersey card on eBay for less than a buck. The card features Chad Billingsley and Bronson Arroyo. I’m not sure why these two were chosen to share the same card, but they were. The card is from 2009 UD Ballpark Collection. It is numbered 333/400. Finding a card with these two subjects was probably a bigger deal back in 2009. Arroyo pitches in Arizona these days, while Billingsley is trying to recover from Tommy John surgery.
This is the card I received signed from Ricky Nolasco. I sent it to him at Twins Spring Training in Fort Myers. It came back signed in blue Sharpie in just 21 days. The card is a 2010 Topps. I think the Twins will live to regret the Nolasco signing. And the Hughes signing. Just saying.
I picked up an old vintage card on Listia recently. I don’t really collect older stuff, but it was kind of an impulse purchase. The card is a 1968 Topps base card of Jackie Hernandez. Hernandez was mostly a utility player. He played for several teams over 9 seasons. The card is in decent shape. It has no creases, some soft corners, and is slightly off-center. It only cost me a little over 500 credits though which is not too bad.
I opened up a pack of 2012 Topps Update that was laying around from a repack. I did pretty good. I received three inserts and parallels. I was also happy to see the Dozier and Hefner cards. Here are the proceeds.
Scott Elbert Chris Iannetta Troy Patton Jeremy Hefner Christian Friedrich Elian Herrera (Blue) Brian Wilson (Gold) #1331/2012 Edgar Martinez (Golden Moments) Brian Dozier Tim Byrdak Joe Wieland Gio Gonzalez
I purchased a 2013 Topps Tier One Autograph Card of Kirk Nieuwenhuis of the Mets on Listia. I paid about 1,200 credits, but it was well worth it. The card is numbered 283/399. The autograph is in blue Sharpie with the number 9 at the end. Nieuwenhuis started the season at AAA Las Vegas. He will likely be in New York at some point this year.
So I finally opened the three packs of 2014 Topps Opening Day that I
picked up at last week’s card show. Without further ado, here are the
The first pack is a good one. There is a Jeter base
card, a blue Jordan Zimmermann card, and a Giancarlo Stanton insert that
reminds me of the old Sportflics cards from the 1980s.
The second pack was even better. That is an Opening Day Autograph of
Andrew Lambo. The odds run at 1 in 278 packs. Not bad for a buck.
That’s the first time I have ever pulled an autograph out of a loose
pack. If you are anything like me, you have no idea who this guy is.
Lambo got a cup of coffee last year, but he will start this season at
Triple A. He hit .095 in spring training, so he is not Albert Pujols.
The final pack was also decent with a base Puig card and a blue Everth Cabrera card. I also got a card of the Rangers Mascot which is some kind of moose apparently. That's a pretty good haul for three bucks though.
I have been a New York Yankees fan for my entire life. I have collected baseball cards for over 20 years. I did take a brief hiatus from 1996 to 2004. Nine years is brief, right? I prefer cards made after 2004. I also prefer cards that measure 2.5 in. by 3.5 in. I also have a thing against baseball cards that don't feature a baseball player. I collect all teams and players, even the Red Sox.