Monday, August 14, 2017

Post #36 - A PWE With A New Trading Partner

Getting an early post in today before things get busy for me! Hundomatic over at the Trading Card Database recently sent a proposal my way.  He was looking to finish his 2015 Topps set and I had a couple cards he needed.  I threw in an extra 2016 insert that was also on his wantlist in exchange for these two cards:

I scanned them right next to each other, but they are separate cards, I promise.  The Jeter is a 2015 flagship, and is listed as card #1a, with card #1b being a SP variation showing him tipping his cap.  This photo is from his final game at Yankee Stadium following his walk-off single to right field.  Say what you want to about the Yankees and Derek Jeter, but that moment was absolutely magical.

Derek Jeter Card Count: 65/15,634 (0.4%)

The Posey and Belt card marks another two-player card in my Posey PC, and is from the 2016 Topps set. I know some people collect cards only depicting the one player, but for me, any card featuring a guy I collect earns a spot in my binder.

Buster Posey Card Count: 68/4591 (1.5%)

Thanks for the trade, Hundomatic; I expect your package to be arriving today, or tomorrow at the latest.  Everyone have a great Monday, and thanks for reading!


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Post #35 - Autographed Cards #10-12

Before we get started today, I'm going to throw out a bit of advertising.  Colbey over at Cardboard Collections is running a small group break here soon and is looking for people to get involved.  Looks to me as of right now there's only five teams gone, but Colbey is only taking 14 people.  If my math is right, I think there's about 10 spots left, so head on over for some fun stuff!

Now, it's a nice easy Sunday afternoon and I have a scanner (as I mentioned yesterday).  I haven't had any trades come in recently but I think I'm in the middle of working a few, so I should have some new PC stuff to post about soon.  Until then, I'll clutter your Sunday afternoon with a couple cards with scribbles on them, in addition to some hastily done research on their subjects.

Card: 2009 Topps #591

Player: Elvis Andrus (Baseball)

Team: Texas Rangers

Obtained: TTM

Notes: Elvis Andrus is the starting shortstop for the Texas Rangers, and although he is probably best known for affectionately messing with teammate Adrian Beltre's head, I'll always remember him as "The-Guy-Who-Has-A-Really-Loopy-Signature."  Admittedly, it did turn out beautifully.  I picked this one up through the mail a long time ago, as Andrus was just coming up through the Rangers organization.

Andrus hails from Venezuela, and may or may not be named after Elvis Presley.  It is not uncommon for Venezuelan parents to name their children after non-Venezuelan celebrities. Andrus' mother never told him, and his dad passed away when Elvis was 7, so even he is unsure.  After being signed by the Atlanta Braves at the age of 16, Andrus worked his way through their minor league system before heading over to Texas in 2007 with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and three minor league pitchers in exchange for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay. Andrus made the Opening Day roster in 2009 and at the age of 20 started at shortstop. Elvis made the American League All-Star team in 2010 and 2012, before signing an 8 year extension with Texas in 2013. While he is the Rangers franchise leader in stolen bases, he also holds the distinction of committing two of the team's three errors against the Blue Jays in game five of the 2015 ALDS, which was capped by Jose Bautista's dramatic bat-flipping home run.

Andrus is very Christian and has voiced many concerns for his two younger brothers still in Venezuela, citing the political unrest there as his biggest worry. Andrus' older brother, Erold, played independent ball in 2009 and 2010, and in 2011, despite being in minor league camp, was granted the opportunity to play in a major league spring training game with Elvis, marking the first time the brothers had played together in the United States.

Card: 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter #150

Player: Norichika Aoki (Baseball)

Team: Milwaukee Brewers

Obtained: TTM

Notes: I picked this TTM up during spring training last year, and man was I disappointed with how it turned out.  I'm guessing all Aoki had on himself was a pen, and it wasn't a great card to sign with the dark jersey, but normally I look forward to A&G autographs because they look great.  Not so much here, but a nice addition to the collection anyway.

Aoki is Japanese and came to the United States following a storied career in Japan, which I could spend multiple paragraphs talking about.  Instead, I'll limit our talk to his American career.  After being posted to the MLB after the 2011 season, Aoki landed with the Brewers. He would play with the Brewers through 2013, eventually taking over the starting right field position and hitting leadoff.  His speed combined with outstanding contact abilities made him a natural threat, and his power increased as his career went along.  In the winter of 2013/2014, Aoki was traded to the Kansas City Royals. He would hit one home run for the Royals in 2014 (a grand slam) before signing with the San Francisco Giants in the off season.  Two separate pitches hit Aoki that season, causing him to miss significant time, and the first one likely derailed his chances for making the NL All-Star team.  In time for the 2016 season, Aoki signed with the Seattle Mariners and hit .288 before being claimed by Houston off of waivers in November.  His roller coaster ride through the majors continued as he was recently traded to the Toronto Blue Jays at the trade deadline this year for Francisco Liriano. Time will tell where he ends up next, but Aoki still has the tools to help a team when needed.

Card: 1994 Signature Rookies Gold Standard - Hall of Fame #HOF1

Player: Nate "Tiny" Archibald (Basketball)

Team: Boston Celtics

Obtained: TTM

Notes: Despite there being an autographed version of this set, I received this one TTM a few years back, and it was an absolute thrill getting that SASE in the mailbox. Archibald was an NBA legend that I only grew up hearing stories about, having never gotten to see him play personally.  Because of that, he took on almost a mythological role in my eyes.

After growing up playing hard-nosed basketball in the Bronx, Archibald was cut from his high school team midway through his sophomore year.  He was reinstated to the squad the next year, and although he didn't play much, he exploded his senior year.  Archibald would spend a year playing and studying at Arizona Western College before transferring to UTEP to play for coach Don Haskins (of Glory Road fame). Tiny was drafted by the Kansas City Kings (actually the Cincinnati Royals at the time) and would play for them from 1970-1976 before being traded to the Nets for two draft picks and two players. Due to injuries the Nets traded him to the Buffalo Braves, for whom he didn't play at all again thanks to injuries.  

After being traded to the Celtics, Archibald teamed up with a young Larry Bird to win his only NBA title in 1980-81. He would play with Boston until 1983, then finish his career in 1984 with the Bucks. Archibald scored over 16,000 points in his career and was a 7-time all-star, being elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991. Archibald finished his undergraduate degree at UTEP near the end of his career, and subsequently earned a master's degree from Fordham.  He is toying with the idea of continuing his long-distance doctorate program, but that remains to be seen. Archibald also spent a few years coaching some lower-level minor league basketball teams, but is currently not involved with basketball.

Phew, that can get wordy quick.  But hey, maybe we all learned something this fine Sunday! Who out there knew that Nate Archibald had a doctorate degree from Fordham? Regardless, thanks for reading as always, make sure you check out Colbey's box break at Cardboard Collections, and have a great evening!


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Post #34 - Why Does Opening Day Come Out in July?

Today's post serves a few purposes.  First, to show off new cards (yay!). Second, to get back on the posting train, because I'm very disappointed in my attention to it. And third, to show off the fact that I finally have access to a scanner! No more crappy Samsung photos with glares and blurry details!  So, without further ado...

Normally I stay away from Opening Day, minus my PC's.  The cards are essentially useless knockoffs of flagship that come out way later.  At least release Opening Day first, since, ya know, that's in the name.  But seeing as they're just $0.99 a pack at the Casey's right down the road where I do much of my shopping, I've been picking one up here and there.  My total is four right now, and they really aren't nearly as bad as I anticipated, although they're certainly nothing special.

Pack One

A pair of White Sox rookies and a "Ballpark Eats" insert from Miller Park highlight this pack. I also had an Andrew Benintendi rookie from the Red Sox but that has already been pulled for a future trade package.  Best one for me is the Finnegan card; it will either be useful in my Reds collection when I get that organized someday (boy, how many times have I said that on this blog?) or useful for when I start my run of the Opening Day sets (an idea I've been toying with lately which may or may not happen).

Pack Two

Rangers Opening Day insert in here is about the only notable card from this pack.  While I believe Opening Day and Flagship have always used the same photography, didn't Opening Day used to also have identical numbering to Flagship as well? Regardless, I'm glad to see the stupid "OD-###" numbering is gone this year.

Pack Three

Another Opening Day insert, this time of the Yankees and Tanaka. As people have noted before, instead of player social media links on the reverse of Opening Day cards, we see the generic Twitter and Instagram hashtag #TOPPSBASEBALL. What purpose does that serve on every single card?

Pack Four

A second Ballpark Eats insert, this time from Kansas City (and it does look pretty good).  Also a Starling Marte blue "Opening Day Edition" parallel which if I understand it correctly is a print run of 2017. Back in the day, the foil parallel sets of Opening Day and Flagship used to be numbered on the back to the year (20xx). At first they were a gold stamp number, then it became black ink, and now it isn't on there at all. Keep getting lazier, Topps (I say as I buy four packs of Opening Day). 

All in all, I wouldn't consider these a total waste for only $0.99 a pack.  They satisfy the itch to crack some wax and if nothing else they provide trade fodder.  Speaking of, if anyone needs or wants any of the cards pictured here, let me know and I'll toss you a PWE next week.  I have no use for them as of right now, so you won't be hurting my feelings by making them disappear.

I'm off to continue to get my hockey collection organized so I can start downsizing it. If nothing else, I've found myself adding a handful of scans to the TCDB, so that's something. Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your day!


Monday, August 7, 2017

Post #33 - A Sad Day For Baseball

I haven't read anyone else's blog posts today.  I apologize, but I've been traveling all day.  However, I woke up to the news that Darren Daulton had passed away.  Shortly afterwards, I got an ESPN alert that told me Don Baylor had passed away as well.  While I'm sure that this is not the only "In Memoriam" post today, it does come from my heart.

I never had the opportunity to see Daulton or Baylor play. Regardless, both had an impact on me, in collecting and in life.  Any day that someone passes on to the other side, whether a former ballplayer or just a neighbor down the street, is a sad day, and this is no exception.

Darren Daulton (or Dutch, as many called him) was a 25th round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980, and he made his debut in 1983.  Up through 1988, Dutch saw very little time behind the plate, due to the presence of other Philadelphia catchers Ozzie Virgil and Lance Parrish.  In 1989, Daulton would take over the starting job and hit .268 with 57 RBIs, earning himself a three-year contract extension.  This extension allowed him to catch Terry Mulholland's no-hitter in 1990.

Image courtesy of
1992 was a career year for Dutch, as he made his first All-Star game, finished 6th in the NL MVP voting, and won the Silver Slugger Award. He had another banner year in 1993, finishing 7th in the MVP voting as the Phillies won the National League pennant before falling in the World Series to Toronto.  1994 looked to be much of the same before knee injuries caught up to him, although he did manage to make the All-Star team again in 1995. Unfortunately, he only wound up playing in 98 games that season, and missed all but five games in 1996. Midway through the 1997 season, Philadelphia traded Daulton to the Florida Marlins.

Image courtesy of
Beginning in 1997 (just like yours truly) Daulton became an outfielder, unable to catch due to lingering knee problems.  He would play a limited role for the Marlins in 1997, seeing time in left field, first base, and as a pinch hitter.  While only hitting .263 during the regular season (still an impressive clip), Dutch shined in the 1997 World Series, going 7-18 as the Fish defeated Cleveland for the ring.  Following the season, Daulton announced his retirement from baseball. In 2010, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame.

Daulton encountered many off-field issues ranging from DUI's to battery of his wife.  These are issues that I do not care to get into on this blog. What I will say about them is this: Darren Daulton was one name that I frequently saw in a negative light, and that was something that I always assured myself that I would avoid as a ballplayer.  Everyone is guilty of mistakes, and Darren Daulton was no different.  In 2013, he underwent surgery to address two brain tumors that he had, and in 2015 he announced he was cancer free  This was not the case, as Darren "Dutch" Daulton passed away this morning at the age of 55. 

I collected Daulton quite a bit as a kid.  I was raised in a junk wax household; by that, I mean my dad gave me all of his old junk wax hand-me-downs, and it was quite apparent due to Daulton's frequent appearance in many sets that he was a successful ballplayer.  My collection never developed any further, but I still to this day can flip through a box of 1990s baseball cards and come across a stack of seven, eight, nine Darren Daulton cards in a row.  He certainly would have been an early PC of mine.  Rest In Peace, Dutch.

Image courtesy of Trading Card Database