Wednesday, July 19, 2017

TTM Tradewinds

As you have likely heard, the Yankees and White Sox engaged in a fairly large trade last night. The Yankees made their bullpen stronger by acquiring former Yankees David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, as well as 1B/3B Todd Frazier.

In return, the Yankees sent highly rated prospects Blake Rutherford (a personal favorite), Ian Clarkin, Tito Polo, and reliever Tyler Clippard to the White Sox. Good riddance, you massive flyball pitcher, you.

While I'm bummed to lose Rutherford, the Yankees dealt from a position of strength within their organization. I also know that you need to give up something to get something. It irks me to no end when fans think their team's junk can just be shipped off to other teams for usable players. Ellsbury! Headley! Clippard! For Sonny Gray!

And it's not just a Yankees thing. All teams' (misinformed) fans do it.

Anyhow, what I found amusing about this trade was how many TTM tentacles it hit for me.

Clippard was the latest entry into my Topps Yankees Project.
David Robertson was my 2013 entry, although since replaced by Hiroki Kuroda due to the personalization.
Blake Rutherford signed this card for me not once, but twice last year.
Ian Clarkin was a fantastic TTM signer.
Tommy Kahnle was a success I posted about my first year of blogging in 2011.
In the past, Frazier had been a good TTM signer. I haven't seen many successes from him this year, but knowing how random Yankees enter into Series One (see Butler, Billy), I can't help but think this: Todd Frazier, 2018 Topps Yankees Project entry.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

TTM Success: Trevor Stephan

My first TTM success from the Yankees 2017 Draft class came in!

Trevor Stephan, a 3rd rounder from Arkansas, signed my two cards in about a week. Not having a card of him, I sent him these two generic Yankee cards, which he promptly signed.
He was also nice enough to send a short note.
Good luck in pro ball, Trevor!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Signed, unsealed, delivered

Several years ago, I started using self-adhesive envelopes in my TTM requests.

To me, I'm doing the player a favor. Who wants to lick an envelope? Plus, I figure most answer fan mail in batches, and would appreciate the simplicity of using an envelope with a peel-off adhesive.

However, what I have overlooked is that some players might not notice the adhesive. This was the case with my latest success from Yankees prospect Nelson Gomez.
Thankfully, the card arrive in the envelope, but the seal was not used. It was not even attempted, as the waxy label hadn't even been pulled off. I'm not sure if Gomez tried to lick it like a normal envelope, or simply overlooked it, but I'm lucky the card made it back. Props to the USPS for handling it. Thankfully I don't live far from Staten Island, so the envelope had minimal travel-time, but it's still a minor miracle that the card didn't slip out.
This same exact thing happened just three years ago - again from Staten Island, this time featuring Zippy Zappy favorite Luis Torrens. Again, the card made it back.

So in the last three years, this has happened twice, both from the same location. I think we need to tutor the Staten Island Yankees on self-adhesive envelopes.

Zippy, I'll send you some how-to pamphlets. Would you mind passing them along next time you're at the game?

In all seriousness, I'm really happy with the success, and I thank Nelson for signing my card.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Archives blastin'

I was finally fortunate enough to find a blaster of Archives when I had to make an unexpected Wal-Mart run last weekend. It would have been cool to stumble on a box of Bowman Platinum, but I didn’t see any.

As fate would have it, the Archives blaster was a complete dud, again reminding me why I shouldn’t spend $20 on retail. You’d have thought I’d learn by now that I just don’t have good luck busting packs.

I was glad to snag two Jeter Retrospectives, including his ’93 RC reprint.
I was hoping to get a Peach parallel, which I did. Of course, it was of a Blue Jay. Between them and the Astros, I feel like that’s all I pull these days. It also came in the first pack, and I had a feeling it would probably be the best card I pulled.
See what I mean? Blue Jays and Astros.
As for my coins, they couldn’t have been less exciting either.
Pretty boring box, overall. However, I like the product, and at least now won’t wonder “what if” like I was before I was able to bust a blaster of this stuff.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fa(s)t Albert

I felt like the Yankees sold a little short on Brian McCann last off-season, sending him to the Astros for two pitching prospects.

It’s not that I disliked the prospects, it’s just that they were in the low minors. I would have liked to see them try to get a guy back who was a bit closer to the Majors, that’s all.

However, it’s hard to argue that the Yankees didn’t know what they were doing, as the arms they were targeting have put on quite a show this year. One of those pitcher is Albert Abreu, who is a bit further along in his development than the other, Jorge Guzman.

At just 21, Abreu has already been promoted once this season, from low-A Charleston to high-A Tampa. On the year, he’s got a 3.82 ERA in 37.2 innings. He has also K’d 41. He’s currently battling a shoulder injury, but has been impressive when healthy. He’s currently ranked by as the Yankees 10th best prospect, which is saying a lot in a loaded system.
This is the only card of his I own, but hopefully will get a few more as he climbs the ladder. I hope his shoulder heals up and he continues to develop as the season goes on.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pirates fans are good to me!

The two Pirates fans I regularly swap cards with - Bob Walk The Plank and Collecting Cutch - are very good to me. In fact, my last two "just because" card packages have come from them.

Last weekend, I showed off a few cards from Matt at The Plank. That same day, a bubble mailer from Brian at Collecting Cutch arrived.
Easily, the highlight was this sweet Didi Gregorius autograph from Topps Tribute. What a great card. I don't mind that he's featured as a Diamondback, as the red actually looks awesome. It's also a reminder of how well the trade has worked out for the Yankees.
Smile! You've got French's. I have 100% never seen this oddball set. It's awesome! Great looking cards, and tempting to try and get it dual-signed via TTM. Hmmm...
SI! I didn't have this Jeter cover, but remember it well. Love having it as a card. The Pettitte is cool too. I like the simulated stats on the back. In 1998, Pettitte went 16-11 with a 4.24 ERA and 146 Ks...a step down from the previous few years and his projection, but not too bad. I still get SI each week, but honestly it just goes in the trash most week. Who has time to read it?
Tino! I'll always love Collector's Choice
While I'm not the biggest WBC fan, it's hard not to love adding an additional new Jeter to the collection! Not a bad looking card, either. Nice, clean design. It's always odd seeing Jeter in another uniform. I guess I should get used to seeing him in one of those ugly Marlin hats.
Lastly, I really like this Diamond Kings Gary Sanchez. I think this set looked great.

Brian, thanks, my friend! I'll keep my eye out from some sweet new McCutchens!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

TTM Success: Charlie Hayes

I was thrilled to get a TTM return from 1996 World Series hero Charlie Hayes.
Hayes is a now a coach for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He signed these in about 3 weeks.

The only big regret I have is that I couldn't find the card I really wanted signed:
Courtesy of The Trading Card Database
This would be so cool to have. I looked high and low for this card in my collection and just couldn't find it. I still feel like I have it someplace, but this is where my disorganization hurts me. However, I am happy to have the '93 Topps Gold signed, as I don't think I've ever sent a Topps Gold card to a player.