Tuesday, June 17, 2014

RIP Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn passed away this week due to cancer at the age of 54.  I consider myself lucky growing up in era where I can I say I watched Tony Gwynn.
Simply, he was one of the greatest hitters ever.  Gwynn won batting titles eight times in his 20 year career.  He flirted with the .400 mark in the strike shortened season of 1994.  He finished with a .394 average.

Beyond the numbers, he was a class guy.  He always had a smile on his face.  Always took time for everyone including fans and children.  A pure class guy in all aspects.
Here is my Tony Gwynn rookie cards:
I have his 1983 Topps rookie from my complete set of:

And I also have his donruss roookie:

and fleer:

And I will always cherish them as a part of my collection.
He will be missed for being an ambassador of the game and a teacher of hitting to the next generation of ball players.  I am guessing about right now, Gwynn and Ted Williams are having a long and detailed conversation on the art of hitting.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Latest Acquired Autograph: ARod

I purchased an autograph from Ebay recently. I have been eyeing an auto card of ARod for awhile and finally I pulled the trigger.  Oh by the way, not THAT ARod, but of former Detroit Tiger thirdsacker Aurelio Rodriguez.

Aurelio Rodriguez was the Tigers 3B throughout the 70s and was best known for his good glove and greater arm and not his hitting.  His Gold Glove award in 1976 was 1st by someone not named Brooks Robinson since 1959. 
I personally never saw him play, but I am guessing he had to be real good defensively.  He did spend around 15 years in the majors with a career avg. of .237.
Sadly, he was hit by a car as a pedestrian in 2000 and passed away.  So picking up his autograph can be a bit pricey.  I have been patienly waiting for an signed card of him on EBay and found one with a decent price. Of course, I want one with him as a Tiger and picking one that comes over as legit.  I ended up with a 1972 Topps version:

He did not sign but the back.  Beggars can't be choosers I guess.  I suppose by signing the back it adds proof to the legitimacy of the autograph.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Striving For Perfection

I have decided on a new theme or section for my baseball card collection.  I will try as much as I can to get rookie cards of all the pitchers who pitched complete game perfect games.  My accountant says that Sandy Koufax or Jim Bunning rcs are out of my budget so I will not pursue those.  I do have Koufax's 1966 Topps and Jim Bunning's 1958 Topps cards as a part of my hall of fame collection.
So here are the perfectos I have now:
2004 Bowman

Felix Hernandez (August 15, 2012 vs Tampa Bay)
2005 Bowman Heritage

Philip Humber (April 12, 2012 vs Seattle)
2007 Topps Update
Dallas Braden (May 9, 2010 vs Tampa Bay)
1989 Upper Deck

Randy Johnson (May 18,2004 vs Atlanta)
1987 Donruss
David Cone (July 18, 1999 vs Montreal)
1988 Donruss

David Wells(May 17, 1998 vs Minnesota)
1989 Topps Traded

Kenny Rogers (July 28, 1994 vs California)
And a honorary member is Armando Galarraga.  He would have be on the list if not for the bad call by umpire Jim Joyce or it if instant replay was used then. So on June 2, 2010 vs Cleveland, Galarraga had the 28 out "perfect game" or the "imperfect game".  And I do have his 2008 Bowman rookie card.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

3 More Dime box pick ups.

Just a minor update today.  Along with a nice stack of cards I added to MSU collection, I picked up these three cards from the dime boxes from the LCS:
Curt Schilling's final year card from 2008 Upper Deck:
Wade Boggs New York Yankees card from the 1993 Select Rookie/Traded set. Singles in the set seem a bit harder to find than other sets of the early 90s.
and my Roberto Alomar Cleveland Indian card. 2000 Fleer Showcase:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

More LCS buys

Here is a few recent purchases from my local card shop.  Found them in either the dime and quarter boxes or Tiger binders.
Rookie cards of a current Tiger:
1994 Pinnacle
I have always liked this Torii Hunter rookie because he is fielding and looks like is about to rob a home run or an extra base hit from the batter, which is famously known for.
A rookie card of a recently departed Tiger:
2013 Bowman
Safe to say, Avisail Garcia is my favorite current White Sox player. Likely, the only one I am a fan of.
And another rookie card of a former Tiger:
2008 Bowman

Armando Galarraga was the author of the "imperfect" perfect game or the 28 out "perfect" game. Which ever way you want to call it.  Galarraga showed great sportsmanship after being robbed of an actual perfect game.
Plus I got a couple Hall of Famers.  I now have 132 Hall of Fame players in my collection.
2006 Topps Allen & Ginter
Napolean Lajoie of the Cleveland Naps(now Indians) was Ty Cobb's biggest rival in the batting title race every year.  And yes, the Cleveland team named after Lajoie before choosing the Indians.
1985 Woolworth's
Ed Walsh of the Chicago White Sox is the MLB's all time leader in career ERA - 1.82. He pitched from 1904-1917.  I think his record is pretty safe.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Upon Further Review....

To my fellow collectors, have any of you ever found a card in your common/tradeable/undesirable boxes that you never realized you owned.  Well, today it happened to me.
Several months ago I bought one of the repack of packs at Target.  One of those packages of various older packs of cards for like $10-12 dollars.   I  remember this one in particular had a 2009 OPC, 2011 Topps Lineage and 2008 Upper Deck Piece of History along with others. 
I was going through one of my common boxes and found this gem:

Evidently I pulled a Joe Mauer jersey card out of the UD Piece of History.  In my defense,  the jersey is kinda small and hidden compared to the box score on the card.
This has happened to me before. Years ago, I bought a box of 2001 Upper Deck Legends of NY at discount at one of those big box retail stores.  The box promised good odds for a jersey or autograph card.  I thought I purchased a dud of box, but months (maybe even a year or so) later I discovered I had a Carl Erskine jersey card.  Now I consider I own a little piece of Dem Bums of Brooklyn with my Erskine jersey card:

I guess I should pay more attention what I have when I open packs.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Trading on the Web

I got some cards back from http://swingandapopupboston.blogspot.com/.  Here is some of the baseball card portion of the cards I received. A couple vintage rookies of minor stars of the past:

Various cards for my last year collection:

plus one more of a recent retiree:

Thanks for the trade. Hope to do again.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

4 More Hall of Famers Down

I recently acquired cards of four Hall of Famers.  4 less to go in trying to attain at least one card of every player. I have a total of 130 different Hall of Fame players. My new ones are:

Grover Cleveland Alexander.  2001 Topps Before There Was Topps insert

Ted Williams.  1994 Upper Deck All Time Heroes

Tris Speaker.  2009 Topps Turkey Red insert
John Henry "Pop" Lloyd.  2001 Topps What Could Have Been insert.  And Lloyd is also one more Negro League player added to my collection.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Now Batting....#2 Derek Jeter.

Here is my obligatory Derek Jeter post retirement announcement post.   I have two of his rookie cards:

1993 Upper Deck

and 1993 Topps

Sunday, February 23, 2014

One Card Closer

I am one step closer to finishing the 1996 Denny's set thanks to http://thelostcollector.blogspot.com/ . I now have the Kevin Seitzer.  Probably the most excited I have been over a Seitzer card.

I now need two for the complete set. #1 Greg Maddux and #28 Jay Bell.  Well, I actually have the Bell already, but is terribly creased in one corner. So I am looking to replace it.  Any of my fellow bloggers have either of these to spare?  If so, let's work out a deal.
Well, it is time for me to go through some boxes and find a couple Yankees to reciprocate the Kevin Seitzer.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Black History Month

It is February, which means it is also Black History Month.  I have always been a fan of the players from the Negro Leagues.  The players who didn't get a chance to play in the Majors only because of the color of their skin.
I am working on a collection of players from the Negro Leagues. Here is the ones I have (outside of a few I have as a part of a complete set elsewhere):
2005 Upper Deck Classics of Ray Dandridge
 2005 Helmar's of Turkey Stearnes
1999 UD Century Legends Josh Gibson
1994 Ted Willams Co. of Willard Brown
2013 Panini Cooperstown of Satchel Paige

By the way all the above players are members of the Hall of Fame.  I am missing some of other Hall of Famers and other promiment players.  I am also working on the 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches in Time insert set.  My wantlist is on the right hand column.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

More Dime Box Treasures

Got back from the local card shop today found some total treasures in the dime boxes.  I am not sure if the owner really pays attention what he has in these boxes.  I never thought I would pick the following cards up for a dime apiece:
Yep, I picked up each for 10 cents each. Including 2 of the Reyes and Posada Bowman's Best rookies each.  The dupes will become either trade bait or Ebay fodder. 
I also picked up junk wax rookies of Juan Gonzalez (Bowman), Kenny Lofton (1991 UD Final Edition), Jeff Kent (92 Pinnacle) and Tony Fernandez (Fleer). Which is more than I would expect to be in the dime boxes.
Also picked up 1986 Donruss Highlights card of Steve Carlton (one of a very few Giants card of him) and 1994 Upper Deck All Time Heroes of Yogi Berra for my Hall of Fame collection.  The Berra comes from a set I have always liked. Love the black border vintage look of it.  The card well also be a filler until I get a Berra card from his playing days.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hall of Famer Hideo Nomo

1991 BBM #379

Yes, you are correct in thinking that Nomo did not get elected into baseball's hall of fame along with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas.  But he his a hall of famer.  He was elected into the 2014 class of Japan's hall of fame even though he only played five years in Nippon Professional Baseball.
If you combine his stats between MLB and NPB, he passed both the 200 win and 3,000 strikeout marks.  I know the two leagues aren't really equal, but it is still quite an accomplishment.
The above card is my only Japanese card.  It is his base card from the 1991 BBM set and is widely considered to be his Japanese rookie card.  I have always been a fan of Nomo and found this card relatively cheap on Ebay, so I snagged it.  I am glad he was honored in Japan for their hall. 
Congratulations Nomo san.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014 Topps

Bought my first few packs of 2014 Topps.  I always looked forward to the new Topps sets each year.  As it is a sign that spring is near and overall I do like the base Topps set.  Good player selection. Stats on the back and some nice photos on occasion as well.  They have gone overboard on the colored parallels though.

Speaking of stats, Topps included the WAR stat on the back of the cards.  I have written my distaste about this stat before on my baseball blog.
I have included two cards from 2014 Topps packs so far to my collection.  A couple last year cards, one of a future Hall of Famer and a borderline Hall of Famer.
The greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees.  Pictured coming  in the ninth for an attempt of another one of his record breaking saves.  I have Metallica's "Enter Sandman" playing in my head as I look at this card.
The other is Colorado Rockies' veteran Todd Helton.
One side note on the Rivera and Helton cards is the card numbers.  The Helton card is #17 and Rivera, #42.  Each player's uniform number.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

From Common Boxes to Collection

As a part of my baseball card collection, I collect a player's final card.  But I have a couple caveats though. The card must show his entire career stats on the back.  From his 1st season to his last.  I like having the convenience in it when I go through my collection.   Who do I want?  He doesn't have to be a Hall of Famer, he could be an All Star or just someone who I was just a fan of.
I went through my common boxes and found three to add:
1989 Topps #11

Hall of Fame closer Bruce Sutter.  His heyday was mostly with St. Louis Cardinals and ended his career with an injury marred stint in Atlanta.    I think Sutter should have used ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down" for his entrance music, then again maybe it's not good idea.
1989 Score #277

Former All Star 3B Graig Nettles played for the Expos? Guess so.. I was never a fan of  him, mostly because he played for the hated New York Yankees.  I included him because my brother was named after him.
1982 Fleer #532
Former closer and Cy Young winner Mike Marshall is the last one this time. 2 relievers added?! ugh! Will not try to that again. I added him because during his Cy Young season, he pitched 206 innings pitched in 106 games, all in relief. I don't think that record will be broken.  Then again, pitching has become so specialized nowadays, a lefty specialist could come in a pitch to one batter 107 times in a season.
Another note on Marshall, I almost added him to MSU collection.  He is alum but was only a student. He never played or was on the Spartan roster, so I excluded him from my MSU collection.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Happy Birthday Hank Aaron

Today is Hammerin' Hank Aaron's 80th birthday.  One can argue he is the greatest living baseball player right now.
Here is my two Aaron cards from his playing days. One from the Braves and one from the Brewers: