Tuesday, July 16, 2019

While I wait for Ginter...

As I'm anxiously awaiting my first look at the 2019 Allen & Ginter Tino Martinez, that didn't stop me from bringing in a new Tino to my collection. Although it's 17 years old, indeed it's one I needed.

Fleer slash Skybox put out a few interesting sets, and one of those was the EX brand. I always sort of liked them, as they had an acetate-type feel for them, and often had all or a portion of the card as clear cut. I love clear cuts.

While I have several copies of the base card, this is an instance where I had no idea that a relic existed. Truth be told, it looks like Fleer had some leftover bat pieces laying around, and essentially just cut out a weird shape on the base card and found a place to stick a bat relic. It's not integrated into the card particularly well.
I had never seen it until it popped up on eBay, and with just 43 copies made, that's not surprising. While perhaps not low by today's standards, during this time it was low.

Now I'm ready for some 2019 Ginter.


Friday, July 12, 2019

Tino is in 2019 A&G!

Yesterday, I took a quick peek at the 2019 Allen & Ginter checklist that was released by Topps. A&G is by far my least favorite set each year, even more than Big League, but I did want to see what Yankees were in the set. I was glad to see that Adam Ottavino is included, for example. And equally happy to see that there was no Jacoby Ellsbury card. For some reason, Topps still seems to think Yankee fans want Ellsbury cards. I can assure you that, even for the season he was healthy, no one did.

But I was shocked, and I say SHOCKED, when I saw card #300 on the 2019 checklist: TINO MARTINEZ - NY YANKEES.

I don't know if this is certain, but my hunch is that Tino didn't have a Topps contract for awhile, but that has changed. For starters, he was left out of 2017 Topps Home Run Derby Champs insert set. How else can you leave out the undisputed 1997 Derby champ?!

I'm sure many non-Yankee fans will gripe. Why do we need to keep seeing El Duque and Paul O'Neill in our sets?! Because Topps makes money from old dudes buying cards, and including more Yankees = more sales. Simple really. Tino isn't a star, and is probably better reserved if another "Fan Favorites" set ever comes out. Regardless, I don't care what others will think, especially with some of the garbage that is usually included in the A&G checklist. If Tino takes the place of a base card of a hot dog eater or an entrepreneur, then I am for it. Many find those cards charming. I find them annoying.

Side note - I do enjoy the look of A&G. That's never my issue. And they look great signed! They serve as excellent TTM fodder. Like this:
Anyways, I'm wondering if this will start a run of Tino being included in various Topps sets. He was a redemption in 2019 Bowman for the 30th anniversary buyback autos, and now has a base card in A&G. It wouldn't surprise me to see him start popping up in Archives and the likes.

Will it make me buy more Ginter? Well, I'll probably buy a blaster because it'll be fun to pull a Tino from a pack in 2019. So, in short, yes. But I won't go overboard, as I'm sure a few copies will find their way to me even if I didn't buy a single pack.

But at least this did one thing: got me excited about a 2019 release, which is saying something.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Put me in, Coach Tom

Our resident hobby high school baseball coach, P-Town Tom, hit me up with a nice care package the other day. Tom is a very thoughtful guy, and tends to always check off multiple boxes when sending a package. This one was no different, as he hit three areas of my collection in one swoop:
  • Tino Martinez
  • Phil Rizzuto
  • HOFers for my son
Let's start with the Tinos. I needed this Flair! It's a pretty awesome card, even though this set was confusing with the Class/Row/Seat designation. Just a fancy way to say "parallel."
I also enjoyed this SPx Power Explosion card, even if it is a dupe for me.

Next up, the Rizzutos! This TCMA is awesome, and I love the classic top-step-of-the-dugout shot.
I also thought this Topps Gallery was very classy looking, and even thought the scripted font design element looked a bit like this:
While I've been bad about showcasing and keeping up with my son's HOF binder, I do still actively add to it, and will make sure these cards are added:
While certainly not known for his time with the Mets, the Ashburn is a great addition to the binder!

Tom threw in a few other Yanks for me, highlighted by this UC3 Mattingly. Great shot of Donnie hustling and playing the game hard, as he always did.
Thanks for thinking of me, Coach!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Blue Chips

No, I'm not talking about this when I say Blue Chips, although it was a great movie and a very awesome card set.
I'm talking about Topps Finest Blue Chips. I never had any of the originals back from 1997 - they were one of those fancy sets I saw images of in Beckett, but never would be able to add to my collection.

As part of 2019 Finest, Topps rolled Blue Chips back out, and I sprung for the Gleyber Torres:
Beautiful card.

Napkin Doon and I were just chatting the other day on how Gleyber Torres seems a bit underpriced right now. In the world of young players like Acuna and Vlad Jr and Wander Franco, Gleyber seems a little forgotten as an "older player." And by older, he's 22. 22! And hitting .295 and is on pace for 35-40 HRs as a middle infielder...who is 22!

I'm not quite sure what it is. He's still collectible and I wouldn't say his cards are cheap, but on his own team falls second to Judge, and perhaps the fact that he isn't as homegrown of a Yankee holds some back since he was acquired in a trade. Or the fact that his name is Gleyber, which is pretty unusual sounding? I don't know. All I know is he's a star, he's getting better, and he's twenty-freakin-two.

Regardless, his RCs are very affordable right now, as are sweet cards like this. And he deserves to be an elite player in this hobby, just as he is on the field.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The mysterious pancake stacker

I got home from vacation a couple days ago, and the only card-related mail I had was a single plain white envelope.

The envelope was mysterious. First off, there was no return address listed. Second, it was post-marked from Tennessee. Third, it wasn't addressed to my name, just "Lost Collector."

Hmmm. Not many clues there.

Inside, more mystery.

There wasn't a note saying who it was from. Just a business card that said that I've been stacked by the pancake king.
But who is the pancake king?!?
Oh yes, the card that was in the envelope was this Phil Linz Upper Deck Yankees Classic, #'d 88/99. Linz is famous for his harmonica incident on the Yankees bus, of course.

The card is much appreciated, as is the mystery surroundng the card. A few others on Twitter also mentioned they were stacked by the king of flapjacks. Some even speculated that it might be JBF, who isn't too far from Nashville. I'm not ready to concede there though. Not enough clues!

Thanks, Pancake King!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Walgreens yellow parallels

A month or so ago, there was rage around 2019 Topps Walgreens yellow parallels. Collectors were driving all over and visiting various Walgreens stores in hope of finding these mysterious $9.99 hanger boxes that made no mention of yellow parallels, yet contained six of them in each box.

I think the buzz around these has cooled down considerably, but it was an exciting chase for a while. Larry from Twitter was kind enough to offer up a few extras he has pulled, and sent a couple my way:
The Chance Adams is cool, and as a great TTM signer, I may need to send his way for an autograph. Plus, any card with Judge on it is awesome!

He was also kind enough to send along a few Yankees that came from these boxes.
Gleyber Torres is a phenomenal player. He really is. This 35th anniversary card of him looks great!
Speaking of "great", I missed these "Greatness Returns" inserts when Topps first game out. Overall, I think they are one of the better looking insert cards found in Topps flagship this year. Stanton has sort of been forgotten this year, but I think he'll play an important part for the Yanks over the summer.

Larry, thanks for your generosity! Make sure to give him a follow here if you haven't yet.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

1 PWE. 2 new Tinos.

A few weeks back, Paul of Scribbled Ink was kind enough to shoot me a 4-card PWE.

The highlights for me were two Tino Martinez cards that were new to my collection. Cards like this show me while I'll always have Tino cards to collect. There were just so many of them made from 1996-1999. It's easy for ones to slip past without even knowing.

I would have definitely thought I had this Score Dugout Collection, and I'm right, I do. However, this is an Artist's Proof, which I definitely didn't have.
The next is from Donruss Collections, which is like a glossy, embossed version of regular Donruss/Pinnacle cards. But I needed this one too!
There were also two Aroldis Chapman cards, including this Panini that is numbered to 99. The refractor-like shine and pattern make it look great!
Thanks for thinking of me, Paul!