Saturday, January 25, 2020


Recently, I realized Luke Voit was the subject in some 2019 autograph sets. Voit's a pretty awesome player and I didn't have an autograph of him, so I decided to browse to see what I could find.

One of the first cards that popped up, with a very reasonable BIN, was a 2019 Topps Gold Label framed autograph. While I wasn't sure if I wanted a framed card, I ended up pulling trigger, as I don't have any other framed cards like this in my collection. Plus, the autograph was on-card, which appealed to me.
When I finally had the card in hand, I was pleased. It looks really nice, although his signature isn't particularly good.

Still, I was happy!

As luck would have, just a few days later, I would have the chance to meet Mr. Luke Voit!

I was at the NHL All-Star Skills night in St. Louis last night, and by chance I bumped into the man himself. I wasn't expecting to see him, but then I remembered he was a St. Louis guy, so that made a little more sense.

I spoke to him for a moment, and he was as nice as could be. Introduced himself (which many athletes don't), and I told him I was a big Yankees fan, and to bring it back this year. He said he was ready to go and excited for the season. And then he said, "and hopefully we don't have to worry about cheating anymore."

Here we are! I look good.
Love it. What a pleasant dude, and enjoyed the quick chat. I'm even gladder I bought the autograph last week!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Congrats to two new HOFers

My son's HOF binder grew by two yesterday, as two terrific choices were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Derek Jeter was a slam dunk choice as one of the greatest shortstops to ever play. 3,465 hits and another 200 in the post-season? Yep. And certainly a generational player while I was growing up. He was a rookie when I was 12 years old, so he's really all I knew at SS for most of of conscious life. I grew up with him as my shortstop.
It's cool Larry Walker got in. Aided by Colorado or not, he seemed to be a good dude who played the game hard. I always enjoyed checking box scores to see which of the Colorado guys homered the previous night between Walker, Galarraga, Bichette, and Castilla. Fun crew. He always rocked a pretty sweet mullet too.
I'm looking forward to seeing both of these guys take the stage this summer.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The cheaper brand is sometimes the Best brand

I've never shied away from the "store" or "generic" brand. Sometimes, it works out. Things like bottled water, hydrogen peroxide, cornflakes. Usually you can get away with going a little cheaper without suffering much quality.

Other items, not so much. Batteries. Ketchup. Peanut Butter. Nope. Stick with the name brand!

When it comes to prospect autographs, the name brand, and really the only brand, is Bowman Chrome.

However, there is a cheaper alternative. The store-brand Rice Krispies, if you will. And while still "Bowman," these cards run significantly less. And sometimes, they even look better. That is what Bowman's Best is all about.

I went down an eBay rabbit hole a few weeks back and picked up three prospect autographs that would have cost me significantly more if I went with the name brand BoChro. Yet, I'm a discount shopper, and am happy to have these.

The one I'm most pumped about is top Yankees pitching prospect Deivi Garcia. His Bowman Chrome is a no-go for me. Just too much. But this one? For under $10. Sign me up. Maybe I'll regret not getting the real one, but I'm happy to have this one for sure.
Garcia, as long as he stays healthy, should find his was to the Bronx this year. He's MLB Pipeline's #1 Yankee prospect right now, although Jasson Dominguez is getting ready to de-throne him.

Another guy who should move fast is lefty TJ Sikkema. He was taken 38th overall by the Yanks last June, coming from Missouri University. He only appeared in 4 pro games after a heavy college workload. MLB Pipeline has him at #16.
Last but not least, Luis Gil, MLB Pipeline's #4 Yankees prospect. The Yankees got Gil from the Twins after Jake Cave was DFA'd. It's fun to see a prospect rise this high after trading someone to make roster space.
These are good-looking cards, and all the autos are on-card. Sometimes the cheaper brand isn't a bad alternative at all. In fact, it can be the (Bowman's) best option.

Monday, January 20, 2020

The Great Flood of 2019

Prior to 2019, Tino Martinez autographed cards weren't easy to find, nor were they cheap.

He was a part of some cultural autograph sets, like 1997 Donruss Signature Series and 1998 Stadium Club Co-Signers. These cards still hold a premium price.

The more affordable signatures came from Panini USA baseball, but even those ran towards $20. Simply put, he just didn't have a lot of autographs on the market.

Then came 2019, when Tino signed a new deal with Topps. Product after product came out, and autograph after autograph. On one side, it was cool to see. On the other, there were a lot of cards to chase.

I now have seven autographed Tino cards from 2019, but whats interesting now is that with the market flooded, they are more affordable than ever. Many of the base autographs will run under $10 shipped. Many sit unsold on eBay, as sellers still think Tino might command a more premium price.

Will I collect them all? No chance. Too many low parallels. But when both of these come to me for less than $10 shipped, it's pretty telling.
It'll be interesting to see what 2020 holds. Will Tino continue to be featured, or was 2019 just a one-time blip?

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Growing my Tino collection on the TCDB

While most of my TCDB trades have been for current Yankees, a few over the last few weeks have brought be a few new Tinos. There aren't a ton I need for trade on the site, but I do appreciate finding a few. Brick by brick!

The first was from member alh. I exchanged a few NL stars like Blackmon, Freeman, Bryant, and Baez from random assorted sets, and got a Tino 2003 Topps HTA stamped card. I also snagged a Gio Urshela RC in the deal!
The second Tino came in from a member named obxyankeefan. This was the only card in the deal, a 2005 Fleer Tino. I sent along three cards from the 2019 Topps Update set. Great 3 for 1 deal for me.
The next, from shaggy69 (hehe), was one I thought I had, but alas, it was not! This 2005 Upper Deck became mine for two cards from the 2016 Topps Wrigley set.
Some of the easier Tinos to find are from '08 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy. Tigerhead sent me this for a 2019 Heritage Shane Greene insert.
A two-Tino deal came from Torcato for five 2019 Update inserts/parallels. A Yankee Stadium Legacy, and a card from Tino's lost Cardinal years.
And last but not least! nwcardsupplies hit me with three new Tinos! These came for a 2017 Heritage SP Chris Sale, and a Sixto Sanchez Bowman card.
All such easy, efficient trades. And a great way to continuo my climb to 1,000 Tinos (currently at 930!).

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Habit Returns

Out of the blue, Judson from My Cardboard Habit shot me a note on Twitter asking if I wanted the following card:
Um, yes, Judson, I do.

This is a card of 2019 Yankees first rounder Anthony Volpe, and it's numbered to /25. That is pretty awesome, and despite the hard time he likes to give me on Twitter, shows what a good dude Judson is.

Volpe is still just 18, and got off to a so-so start in his pro debut. While his average wasn't great at .215, he did get on base at a .349 clip, showing the eye was there. Volpe comes in at number 10 on the Yankees MLB Pipeline Top 30 list. A local NJ kid, if he ever makes it, the fans will love cheering for the Jersey guy.

Judson, really appreciate this card, and your friendship. Thank you, sir!