Monday, September 26, 2016

Glad I don't have a Marlins trading partner...

...because if I did, I probably wouldn't have the few Jose Fernandez cards that I do have in my collection. I would have sent them off in a trade package, but now I'll probably hold on to them. I don't know for what, but having a couple of these off the side to remind me of what could have been seems like the right thing to do.

I was just going about my business yesterday, packing our car up for a return trip home after a quick weekend at my parents' house, when I took a looked at my phone and saw the push notification alert about Fernandez. Whoa. It was definitely one of those moments where you just stop in your tracks trying to process it.

I can't say I saw him very much other than through highlights. I know he was a phenomenal talent and had a big personality. And I know that he's gone way, way too soon.

RIP Jose Fernandez.

Friday, September 23, 2016



Today I turn 33 years old. Here are a few of my favorite Yankees to wear #33 since I’ve been born.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

TTM Success: Ryne Sandberg

Those of you who know me know I usually stick to Yankees with my TTM adventures. However, there are times when I feel the need to step out of that focus, and this was one of them. Hall of Famers tend to do that.

Ryne Sandberg signs TTM for a $5 donation, so I decided to spend $5 on this instead of a Walgreen’s $4.99 repack a few days ago. For me, this is money better spent.

But the autograph is not for me. While it would be nice to have a Ryno autograph in my collection, no doubt, I decided to get this with the intention of putting it in my son’s HOF binder. I think it’ll look nicer in there than in my own TTM binder, among many of the HOFers that you have all sent to me for my son. I’ve sent a few TTM requests out for Joey, from Bobby Shantz to Virgil Trucks to Ty Hensley, but never to a HOFer. I’m happy to change that.

So while I’ll list this as one of my own TTM requests, it’s in fact, for my son. I just did the legwork, and hopefully he enjoys it one day.

Monday, September 19, 2016

TTM Success: Blake Rutherford (again)


I normally don't double up on TTM requests, but I sent two to 2016 Yankees First Round Pick Blake Rutherford because I figured my first one was lost. You see, Blake was promoted about a day after I sent this one to the GCL Yankees, so I took the dupe that P-Town Tom sent me and sent it to Pulaski. I got that one back last week.

I was surprised to see this one come back. It was post-marked from CA, so Blake has been answering some mail from home after his season ended. But, alas, he signed my card!
Also included was a nice note from Julie, Blake's mom. Very cool!
Here are the two signatures. The first one definitely came out a bit sharper in blue. Either way, I thank Blake for his dedication to answering his fan mail.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

SuperTraders #19: San Jose Fuji

San Jose Fuji sends awesome cards. I am sure a lot of them come from those sweet flea markets he frequents. I always want to go to one after reading about his adventures and the treasures he finds.
Without a doubt, my favorite card Fuji sent was this 1998 Pacific Invincible Photoengravings Tino Martinez. These are hard to find! I must admit, I already had it, but this one is actually in much better condition than the one in my collection, so this will take its place. It’s a cool card with a canvas-type feel, although not as canvas-y as some of those later Topps Gallery and Diamond Kings sets. It’s like a thinner 2016 Diamond Kings cardstock. Does that make sense whatsoever? Or should I stop doing a bad job describing the card?

The hits are next!

This Chien-Ming Wang 2009 Goodwin Champions relic is really neat. I guess the “M” stands for “Memorabilia Series”. I like the card design though. It’s tasteful, and it’s a cool image of Wang checking a runner.
These tend to pop up in trade packages, and they are definitely cool looking. I’m a sucker for clearcut cards, so I’ve always liked the design. I definitely have several of the Sean Henn cards from this set, but Wil Nieves was new. I didn’t realize he played 35 games for the Yankees.
This is a sweet rookie card by Fleer Sports Illustrated. How cool would one of these be with Sanchez/Judge/Austin? Very cool. These guys were top Yankee prospects, although only Lowell panned out, and sadly it wasn’t for NY.
Speaking of Sanchez, I was surprised I didn’t have this early Bowman Sterling card of his. I’m not sure how I missed it, but I’m very thankful for it, as his cards are not so easy to come by anymore. I have a feeling my days of getting Sanchez cards thrown into trade packages are dwindling. Or maybe they will be better since he’ll have 400 cards in 2017 Topps.
This is just a great shot of Darryl. Such a sweet swing. How underrated in 1998 Donruss, by the way? It’s a really nice looking set that holds up over time.
I don’t remember this set. I don’t think I’ve ever seen. Surely I know Upper Deck Sweet Spot, but not this particular issue, which has embossed baseball stitches on the cards. I do like the simple design, although the stitches kind of put a wrinkle in that.
Does anyone remember Andy Morales? He was a big-time Cuban defector who was supposed to be the real deal. He turned out to be not so good. I do remember reading an article in the local paper about him when the Yankees signed him, but then he never quite made it.

And I’ll top it off with a few more cards of my PC guys.
Fuji, thanks man. Love these cards! I hope you school year is off to a great start!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

TTM Success: Ben Heller

Woohoo, an actual success from sending a request to Yankee Stadium. That's my first this season!

Ben Heller signed my card in just nine days. I timed it well with the Yankees' recent homestand, knowing the team was going to be in town for a while when I sent it.

Heller came to the Yankees from the Indians in the Andrew Miller trade. He rode the Scranton Shuttle once before making his ML debut on August 26. Five days later, he picked up his first Major League win in an extra-inning game versus the Royals.

In all, he's made seven appearances on the season and is part of the Yankees 47-man bullpen right now. He'll be a prime candidate be part of the revolving door of relievers again next year, but hopefully will pitch well enough to stick in the Bigs and become a vital piece of the Yankees bullpen for the next few years.

Friday, September 16, 2016

TTM Success: Nick Solak

Hopefully now that the minor league season is mostly over, a few TTMs from the season come in.

I sent this request to Yankees prospect Nick Solak toward the end of the season. Since I'm geographically close to Staten Island, I felt the gamble wasn't too high that it'd get to him before his season ended. Luckily, it came back really quickly signed perfectly.
Shout out to the Rookies App for the custom card.

Solak was picked by the Yankees in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He played his college ball in Louisville, and carried his college success straight into the minors. He spent all year at Staten Island, hitting .321/.412/.421 in 240 ABs. That'll do. As a 21-year-old from a big-time program, he'll be ticketed for full-season ball next year.

From what I can tell by his Tweets, Zippy Zappy enjoyed watching him play this season. I didn't get the chance to see him in person, but I look forward to Solak climbing the ranks over the next couple of years.

Thanks for the autograph, Mr. Solak.