Saturday, October 3, 2015

Getting High on 2015 Topps Heritage

I bought a hobby box of 2015 Topps Heritage mostly just to get a few key rookie cards.  Let's see how did:

Couple of the Mets future
The only full time switch pitcher.  Topps failed here in my eyes. If they ever going to do a photo variation. Shouldn't Topps do one of him pitching from each side?

a trio of short print rookies.
And the big one I wanted.
As for being a Tiger fan, Nothing really collectable for me in this set: I did manage to pull this one and add it to my collection.  By the way, a friend of mine was at this game:
The biggest want I didn't get out of the box was the Ichiro short print as a Marlin. I like the bazooka inserts but I didn't get one of those either. My auto was a real one redemption of Carlos Rodon. Ugh! redemption .

I am willing to trade many cards from this set including short prints for you all set builders and team collectors (excluding the above of course). Here is the short prints available: #707 Evan Gattis (X2)#709 Jesse Hahn (x2)#715 Dexter Fowler#716 Devon Travis #722 Craig Kimbrel #723 Yovanni Gallardo

plus #715 Fowler chrome #47/999 and #702. J. Upton #693/999

anybody have an extra Ichiro? or something from my wantlist

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame

The newly formed Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame officially enshrined their first ten inductees last week.   The ceremony was held at Cooley Law School Stadium -home of the Lansing Lugnuts.  This is where the hall of fame is permanently located also. 

Here are the inductees (excluding two local high school coaching legends) and a card from my collection of each of them:

Al Kaline ..1973 Topps:

Jim Abbott... 1989 Upper Deck

Bill Freehan.. 1977 Topps

Hal Newhouser.. 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter

Ernie Harwell... 1989 Pacific Legends

Alan Trammell.. 1979 Topps

John Smoltz... 1989 Donruss

Charlie Gehringer ... 1999 Upper Deck Century Legends

I personally missed the game when they honored due to work.  Darn responsibilities   Anyways, I am looking forward to see who will be enshrined next year.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sweet as Veach

I went and continued my vintage Tiger buying spree.  After purchasing a T205 George Mullin, I snagged a Bobby Veach caramel card.

Veach played for the Tigers from 1912-1923.  He was overshadowed by his fellow Hall of Fame outfielders- Ty Cobb, Sam Crawford and Harry Heilmann- but was quite the ball player himself.  Veach often batted clean up and led the AL in RBIs three times and for the 1919 season he finished atop of the league in hits, doubles and triples.

For the 1915 season, historian Bill James considers Tigers outfield of Veach, Cobb and Crawford as the greatest of all time.  The threesome finished #1, #2 and #3 in the AL in total bases and batting average.
Veach finished his career with 64 HRs and 1169 RBIs with a slash line of .310/.370/.442

As for the card itself it is the 1922 E120 American Caramel series of 240. It is decent shape. but has some paper loss on the back. Still readable. It is cool that you see the Tigers of 1922 listed on back including player/manager Ty Cobb.

Welcome to Motown Daniel Norris

Well, the Tigers' front office officially gave up on the 2015 season.  Probably for the best.  Tigers were going nowhere fast and with numerous impeding free agents, it was time to rebuild or "reboot" as GM Dave Dombrowski stated.

One of the prize pieces coming back(part of the David Price) is starting pitcher Daniel Norris.  He has been highly regarded in the Blue Jays system.  I already had a card of Norris as a part of my Lansing Lugnuts collection.  2014 Topps Pro Debut:

The Lugnuts ball club is my local minor league team.  They are currently the low A level affiliate of the Blue Jays.  Lugnuts has been around since 1995 and once a part of the Royals and Cubs'  franchises prior to hooking up with the Blue Jays.

Norris's Tigers debut was Sunday.  He pitched 7 1/3 innings of one run, four hit and five strikeouts in a 6-1 Tigers win.  So far so good on the trade.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

From Hometown to Hall of Fame

As we all know, the baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony was last Sunday.  One of the new inductees is a personal favorite of mine- John Smoltz.  Why? Mostly because he is a local kid who made it good.  I currently live walking distance from his old high school in Lansing, Michigan.

Smoltz was committed to play baseball(and likely walk on in basketball) at my alma mater-Michigan State University before the Detroit Tigers signed him away.  Here is his first professional card for the 1986 Lakeland Tigers. One of the few minor league cards that I own.

Of course Smoltz was a part of one of the most infamous trades in Tiger history.  Trading the pitching prospect for a veteran starter during the pennant race of 1987.  Doyle Alexander did well going 9-0 for the eventual division champs but giving up a future Hall of Famer for a veteran pitcher is hard to swallow for Tiger fans.  I realize if he stayed with Detroit , he may not have end up in Cooperstown.  The Braves had the coaching and team that helped him succeed. Here is first "rookie card". His only card from 1988.
1988 Fleer Update

Soon after debuting from Atlanta, Smoltz came back home and did a fund raising autograph show at his old junior high.  I got him to sign his 1989 fleer rookie card.

My last Smoltz card I will feature today is from my final year collection.  I collect cards from players when they retire.  The cards must be issued when their careers just ended and show their entire career stats on back.  Here is John Smoltz as a ..ugh...Cardinal.
2010 Topps 

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Vintage of the Vintages

I have been a baseball fan and baseball card collector for many years.  I have always enjoyed learning about the Hall of Famers and other players who made their mark on the national pastime.  As a collector, I take the same approach.  I try to get one card of every Hall of Famer (preferably one from their playing days-when feasible) and other stars.   I also try to get cards from various popular sets that are a part of the baseball card history.  It could be your mainstream modern stuff, oldies but goodies, food issues or regional releases.

I always wanted a card from the old tobacco or Cracker Jack sets.  But trying to get a decent one has always seemed impossible.  Hall of Famers are out of my price range.  I never really wanted to get a player where even the die hard fans would say "who is he?".
As a Tiger fan and with their all star cast of starting pitchers of recent years.  A name that I didn't really know kept getting mentioned when a milestone or record was broken or about be- George Mullin.

Mullin pitched for the Tigers from 1902 to 1913.  He was basically the ace of the staff from Detroit's first World Series teams(1907-09).  He had a big league record of 228-196 with an ERA of 2.82.  Mullin led the league with wins in 1909 with 29 and authored the first ever no hitter in Tiger history in 1912.  Mullin was even good hitter, so much so that he once pitch hit for Ty Cobb.
Obviously I found my guy to get and now I found my card on EBay.

1911 T205 Gold Border.  I received it in the mail this week.   It isn't in the best of shape, but still is pleasing to the eye.  Was looking for one with no major creases or paper loss. No writing on or pin holes.  Overall I think it is nice card to say I own from the dead ball era.

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.