Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Foam bricks and Tommy Lasorda

I always envied my friends who had a great relationship with their grandfathers. I remember one of my buddies, every Saturday his grandpa called him to talk about the Notre Dame football game. I was jealous of those conversations; not because of anything to do with Notre Dame, but because it seemed like a moment they both treasured.

You see, I am one of the unfortunate people to have not known their grandfathers. On my dad’s side, his father passed long before I was born. On my mother’s side, my grandfather passed away when I was an infant. It’s nice to know that he did know of me and held me at some point. I can’t remember the situation, but I do remember my aunt saying to my mom once about me, “Dad really would have liked him.” I thought that was an amazing compliment, although it also made me feel like I really missed out knowing him.

So while I didn’t officially know my mom’s father, I’ve always felt like I had a little bit of a connection to him. I own a few articles of his, including his Army tags, which I treasure.

I also have a few pieces of memorabilia. The first is a foam “TV brick”, which he used to throw at the TV when the Yankees won. While I’m told he wasn’t a Yankees fan, I’m not sure who he followed. However, my mom told me she thinks he was secretly a Yankees fan and it was all for show, as rarely did he miss a Yankees game on TV. Granted, in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s he didn’t have much of a choice of teams to watch, but still, I'd like to think he secretly rooted for them deep down, and this was just his schtick.
My grandmother also had a sister in Florida, and each winter her and my grandfather visited them. Once in a while, they’d go to a spring training site. Here is a photo my grandmother took. Of course you know who this guy is.
What’s most interesting is that the back of the photo is autographed andpersonalized by Tommy to my grandfather.
Lastly, while this just seems like a regular old 1970 Topps Jim Palmer, my mom once gave this to me and told me she found it tucked away in some of her dad’s old documents. I’ll never get rid of this card.
While it's true I never knew my grandfather, I think it's pretty cool that I at least have a piece of him in my collection.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Cleaning out the scanned folder

I found each of these cards in my scanned folder, and don't have a ton to say about any of them, so I figured I'd just throw them in a post instead of discarding them completely. Most are from some random eBay wins of the last few months.

These two are from the "minimum bid was $.01 with free shipping, so place a bid and see if I win" collection. Once in a while I'll search for Yankees by lowest price and free shipping. I don't do it much, but it can be fun. More often than not, I don't win, but in these two instances, I believe I got each of these cards for less than $.15 shipped. It's always interesting to see how some sellers send these cards. PWE is expected, but I've had some where a card is completely unprotected, and others where the card comes in a top loader.
Relics of guys I collect! These aren't dupes, I needed both of them. I have a few of the Tino ones like this, although this is the copper #'d to 99.
I liked this Pineda too because of the two Pinstripes on the jersey swatch. You're lucky if you get one, but two is a nice bonus.

Lastly, this Tino Martinez Stadium Club Triumvirates is a dupe, but it's a cool diecut and the card doesn't pop up often, so I snagged a second copy.
There you have it. Five cards without much of a story, but my scanned folder is a little lighter.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Two Raves down, two to go

I'd love to collect all of the Tino Martinez Circa/Skybox Thunder Raves. They are hard to find, yet over the past few months, I've added a couple to my collection. I purchased two 1997 Raves, as I found one for a price I couldn't pass up.

If you collect a player from the late '90s, even if not a superstar, you might be surprised by what Raves sell for.
My second Rave comes from 1998. In true Circa/Skybox Thunder fashion, the card is loud and a bit all over the place. I didn't expect the font with the player's last name to be so shiny, but it has an awesome effect with the foil.

I still need 1996 and 1999, so I'll stay on the lookout for those. Then, of course, there are Super Raves. I don't think I'm ready to chase those.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Redemption replacement success

Over the past few years, I've been waiting on two Ty Hensley redemption autographs. I'm unsure why the cards were never signed. He's always been pretty accessible. I'm guessing that since he isn't a big-time prospect, Topps hasn't been trying too hard. Bigger fish to fry.

After seeing some successful redemption replacement stories, I figured I'd request substitutes since it didn't seem like my autos were going to get filled. I could always buy them on eBay if they did start hitting the market, so I figured I'd go for it since both cards were fairly rare.

The two outstanding redemptions are a 2013 Bowman Sterling Dual Auto (with Mark Montgomery), and a 2014 Bowman Red Ice Auto.

So I made the decision in September to request replacement. So far, I've only received one, as the Red Ice Auto replacement is still outstanding.

What did I receive for the Bowman Sterling Auto?
Boom. Not bad! Not bad at all. This Bowman Sterling Kyle Schwarber auto sells on eBay in the $30-$50 range, although I haven't formally decided what to do with it yet. Perhaps I sell and use the funds toward my Jeter auto. Or maybe I hang onto it a little longer and hope Schwarber becomes a HR champ (for the Yankees).

Topps also sent a "sorry it took so long" gift, as they've done to others:
I'm curious to see what the Bowman Red Ice Auto fetches me, but am also prepared to be disappointed. Hopefully it will at least be a Yankee.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Inside the Park

I'm not very good at eBay.

I'm dumb and often bid multiple times on something I want, only to end up winning it multiple times. I should just be patient, bid one at a time, and see how it goes.

I had been wanting to pick up an autograph of Hoy Jun Park of the Yankees for some time. He was one of the better players they signed during their 2014-15 International spending spree, and has so far had decent success in the US. He's currently ranked the 21st best prospect in the Yankees system after spending the full season at Low A Charleston.

I originally missed out on a few of his Bowman autos, so settled on this from Panini Extra Edition.
It's fine. It looks better in person, but there isn't a whole lot going on with the card. So of course, the same day I won that card, I ended up as the winner of this:
That's more like it! I feel a bit better about owning this one. You'll also notice that each company spelled his name differently, as Bowman goes with "Hoy-Jun" while Panini goes with "Hoy Jun." I'm not 100% sure which is correct, as I've seen several different spellings from the time he was signed until now. MLB.com goes with "Hoy Jun Park," so I'll likely stick with that until I know for sure.

Either way, I'm glad to add not one, but two autos of this exciting prospect, and I look forward to seeing him continue to grow in 2017.

Monday, January 9, 2017

SuperTraders #25: San Jose Fuji

It's nearing the end as a "SuperTrader" for me. I have a few packages I need to send those I haven't yet, then I'll be stepping away. I don't buy enough cards to replenish inventory to regularly trade with a representative of all teams.

Unexpectedly, San Jose Fuji sent me a great package around the new year. It had a bunch of great relic-type cards.

I really gravitated toward the Jason Giambi base relic. I think game-used bases are some of the coolest out there. This one has some great dimples and dirt (that'd be a good name of an insert set...Dimple & Dirt). Far more interesting than a plain jersey swatch, right? I don't think we've seen a game-used base insert set in a long time - probably at least ten years, right?
Speaking of plain jersey swatches, these are two relics I didn't have. For a time I considered collecting the 2011 Topps 60 relic set of just Yankees, but I couldn't stay dedicated to it. The Cracker Jack of Soriano is cool too, as it's smaller than a standard card.
I always liked these rookie reprints too. I have the Mattingly, and am now happy to have the Cano.
I meant to buy this Jose Pirela autographed card during COMC Black Friday, but I forgot! Luckily, Fuji took care of that for me.
He also snuck in a pretty great vintage card of Bobby Murcer. I have a few Murcers, but this is new to my collection. Tony Oliva was pretty great too. I may be showing my age, but I have no idea who Merv Rettenmund is.
Last, but not least, Fuji was kind enough to send a pack of Sportflics for my son! I haven't given him the pack yet - he got too many 'time outs' at pre-school last week!
Fuji, it's always a pleasure. Thank you!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Nylon - great taste, less filling

I'm a big Billy Martin fan. I remember him well as a kid (as Yankees manager a few times), and unfortunately, he tragically passed away just a few minutes from my house on Christmas Day in 1989. My family still has their copy of the local newspaper from December 26.

I jumped at the chance to own this card, which has a piece of the nylon jacket Billy famously wore during his stint(s) as Yankees manager. It's a lot more exciting than a plan jersey swatch, and even has a few stitches. The design is awesome too. I won't lie - best looking card I've seen in a while.

I love that the card photo also shows Billy wearing a similar jacket. I hate it when relics don't match the photo. Now, it's of course upsetting that he doesn't have Yankee logos, but what can you do.

While I do love this card, I've vowed, at least temporarily, to stop purchasing cards like this. It's not that I don't want them, but I really want a Jeter autograph. By giving up purchasing $5-$6 cards like this - that add up - I'm hoping to save enough for a decent Jeter autograph. I'm sure this will last about a week, but I'm going to try! I could just be an adult and buy one, but think this is a good exercise in cutting down on these smaller purchases.