Wednesday, April 1, 2020

That guy played pro baseball!?

While I was born in the early '80s, I grew up in the '90s. Baseball players resembled comic book superheroes. Obviously many were aided by needles and pills and clear creams, but when I think of baseball players, I think of hulking dudes in their late 20s.

Even today, these guys - for the most part - are in tip top shape. Mike Trout looks like a machine. Judge and Stanton? Huge. Whether they use supplements or are more diligent about off-season training and weight-lifting, these guys continue to resemble the players I knew in the late '90s.

One of my favorite things to do when looking at cards from the '80s and earlier is to think, "that guy played professional baseball?! He doesn't even look like he could catch a fly ball." It's judgmental, as I'm very much judging a book...or a card...by it's cover. Case in point?
This guy! Maybe unfair since he was like 46 or 47...but even so, I don't know many mid 40s guys who look that old!

I always laughed at Gene Harris on Major League because he didn't look like a real major leaguer the way Pedro Cerrano did. But you know what? He wasn't that far off. Just look at Phil!

You go back even further in the 80s and 70s, and these guys looked so unathletic - just based on a picture of a piece of cardboard - that I find it funny.

Before you get bent out of shape, yes, I know many of them were great players and it was a different time. It's just funny that guys who looked like my nextdoor neighbor could be MLers.

Happy April Fool's, everyone. Stay safe.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

New blog on the block!

I came across a new blog on the block - Card Hemorrhage - and wanted to do a quick post to help get Jay a few more readers. Love the blog name! Jay is a Giants fan and has a few collections going at this time, as he has transitioned from set collecting to player collecting.

And speaking of new, here's a new Tino I just got from ClarkDubya on TCDB. I hadn't seen base cards from 1996 Leaf Signature Series before. You never know what's going to pop up!
Go give Jay a follow!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Quarantined Donruss?!

I've been on work from home orders since Monday, March 9. In that time, I've been to the doctor once on March 16 (not sickness related), went for a hike with my family on March 21, and to pickup some curbside food that same day from a local restaurant.

That's it! I've gone for plenty of walks and runs outside, but in terms of actual trips out into the public on a mission, that was it. Until Saturday. With my family's milk supply getting very low, and feeling a bit stir crazy during a rainy day, I decided to take a chance and venture to Walgreen's.

I was lucky to find the milk freshly restocked, so I grabbed a couple gallons for the family. The kids have also been really good throughout all of this, so I ventured to the toy aisle to get them a little something. I bought my son a pack of Pokemon cards, and my daughter some sand slime.

I also grabbed one of the 100-card repacks for myself for a few quick minutes of entertainment. I then wandered to the next aisle, which was labeled seasonal, and I was surprised by what I saw. Two lonely 50-card hangers of 2020 Donruss, just sitting on a shelf not near anything else! Literally.
I looked around for more, but that was all I found. So I grabbed them and put the re-pack back.

Now, I know Donruss isn't the preferred product of 99.9% of you, but I thought it'd be a bit more fun to crack open some 2020s versus the repack. The problem with Donruss is that when you open it, there are a bunch of different designs and variations and gimmicks and such, so it's hard to tell what is what. Plus these boxes had exclusive orange and diamond holos, adding to the variety.

Still, it was a fun a break!

My favorite card is easily this Aaron Judge stat line, numbered to 400. The card was facing backwards in the pack, and I honestly thought gasped because I thought it might be an autograph. Alas, it wasn't, but still a fun card to get.
I am a little confused on the numbering to 400. Usually stat lines are numbered to, you know, the stat. But right above his name it mentions he had a .921 OPS in 2019. His OBP was .381 and his Slugging Percentage was .540. So I dunno?

In this very Yankee-centric first pack, I also snagged a Gleyber Torres variation. It was in the middle of the pack with the inserts, so easy to tell.
Overall, lots of variety! As mentioned, it's really hard to tell what is what, but a few keepers as well as plenty of cards that have already been uploaded to TCDB. And there was no shortage of shine. I find Panini's shine patterns to be a bit nicer than Topps' shine patterns right now.
F that guy.

It was a welcome distraction from the craziness. It also forced me to take a shower.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Delayed zapping

Back around the holidays, Zippy Zappy zapped the sh*t out of me. I've been meaning to post about it, but just haven't gotten around to it, but it has finally been scanned and organized a bit on my end.
He sent a massive flat-rate box, not only of Yankee cards, but other odds and ends, liked signed baseballs, a bobble head, game programs, a foam finger, and some Stranger Things cards. It truly was an awesome gesture, and the entertainment value of going through all of this was just as high in value as some of the cards and items that were sent.

In a way, the package was also a bit sad, as much of it represented to me what Zippy used to be all about, or signified the end of various Yankee eras. One of those eras was the end of Dellin Betances' time as a Yankee. Zippy collected him fairly hard for a while, although even before signing elsewhere, he had started to disperse of his Dellin collection, sending me a few autographs over the years. 
In this instance, ZZ provided me with a bobble head, signed ball, and what I assume is the last remaining bit of his card collection.
I don't have many signed balls, but this will certainly go amongst the ones I do have.

Also guys like Austin Romine and Frankie Cervelli showed up, catchers who have now moved on to (sometimes) greener pastures.
I mentioned Stranger Things. I'm a big fan of the show, although never purchased any of the cards. Well, I know have the set. I'm not sure what to do with it yet. I sort of think I want to mount it to big wooden board of some kind versus bindering it up.
I also appreciated all of the minor league sets that were sent. I don't get much access to these, so I really enjoy getting them.
Plus, how cool are these?
As usual, ZZ just doesn't send cards in team bags. That would be boring. He makes custom repacks!
These can include awesome hits, like these:
Vintage like these:
Or non-sports cards like these:
(Hockey joke, sorry). I feel like the Zuccarello was sent because I went to Zac's return game at MSG?

But mostly the packs are just full of fun cards like these.
ZZ, as always, thank you for being so generous all the time.

Friday, March 27, 2020

An old-fashioned 1 for 1 trade

Most of my trades on TCDB have been 1-2 cards for 5-6 cards. It's something I've been trying to do to cut back on extra cards. Essentially, trade 4-5 cards for 1 I'd rather have.

It doesn't always work this way. Recently I completed a good old-fashioned 1 for 1 swap with user NetScans. What was even more fun was that it wasn't from a 2020 set like a lot of trades have been. I traded a Reggie Jackson 2015 Topps insert for a 1998 Tino I needed:
It's a really nice looking card from 1998 UD3. I thought I had it, but like the late 90s tend to do, sometimes it's impossible to tell what part of the set the card hails from.

This is one of the Power Corps Rainbow cards. Instead of having the same same number, like parallels now, it has a later number LATER in the set. Oy.

Anyways, glad to have it! Despite being confusing, it's a nice looking card.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Getting the boot

John of Johnny's Trading Spot had been running some weekly white elephant Big Fun Games. I was set to participate in one two Fridays ago.

I wasn't paying attention on Friday night, and I lost my window to pick. I missed by 10 minutes. Harsh, but John needed to keep the game moving. And as keeper of the game, his rules need to be adhered to.

So while I missed out, John still sent me a PWE. I'm not sure if this was a participation trophy, or if this was an unclaimed prize.
A couple cards for HOF binder in Winfield, Piazza, and Bagwell. Not bad at all! I always liked Pacific Private Stock.

Thanks, John. Sorry I missed my turn!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Players returning mail while stuck inside

Twice last week, I received two TTM returns on very old requests. I'm guessing that with people spending more time home and being a bit bored during this time, so retired players are using the time to catch up on some old mail.

I will say, before I start, is that I'm not using this time to send any NEW requests. While I haven't sent any new TTM requests in months outside of four to spring training, my personal preference is to respect privacy at this time and not send mail from a stranger to someone's house.

That's actually something I've been sticking too regardless. Once I saw how Max Muncy felt about this being an invasion of privacy by sending to his home address, I've really been reluctant to send any more. Plus, my time feels more limited than ever these days (social distancing not withstanding), and writing letters to baseball players is no longer an appealing way for me to spend it.

Regardless, on Friday and Saturday I did receive some very old requests back both more than 2 years outstanding!

The first was from George Frazier who signed my two cards that I sent in November, 2017!
The second was from Adam Lind, who I sent to in spring training of 2018 while with the Yankees. He didn't make the team, unfortunately, and hasn't been in the Majors since 2017. Still, very cool of him to answer my request after all this time. Not sure why I sent the card I did, but I guess it was what I had at the time. It's a cool photo though!
It'll be interesting to see if a few more from well in the past trickle in.