Monday, January 26, 2015

Nothin' Tiny about these cards

For the second a time, Uncle Tiny dropped a nice trade package on me. I first met Tiny through JBF's blog, and we've completed a few swaps now, with plans for more. It's always nice to have someone looking out for cards for me. Both Wes and Tiny do a great job finding Bengals cards for me. I'm not a football collector, per se, but when they send awesome cards of my favorite NFL team, I really appreciate them. It's nice to have a binder of AJ Green, Tyler Eifert, and Gio Bernard.

I love this Jeremy Hill Topps Platinum X-Fractor RC. Hill had a big rookie year. I have no idea what the market for his cards are, but I assume he in relative demand. Maybe not since he's a Beng.
Odell Thurman. Sigh. This guy had all the talent in the world, but couldn't stay out of trouble. He was very representative of the Bengals from the mid-00s. I'm glad the days of guys constantly in trouble are over (knock on wood).
Here are two baseball cards I enjoyed from the package. I definitely did not have this Jeter. I need to catologue my Jeters soon, as I'm sure I have a few hundred through trades alone. Also, a pretty sweet Ichiro Bowman Heritage.
Thanks, Tiny! More Astros coming your way!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

RIP, Mr. Banks

As of now you've all heard that baseball lost a legend, Ernie Banks. I've heard and read nothing but good things about Mr. Banks, both before and after he passed. He certainly was one of the many gems that baseball has provided us with.

Sadly, he never got a taste of the World Series. I wonder if that would have been different had more teams made the playoffs back then, a la today. Alas, we'll never know.

A few years ago, I picked this Hillshire Farms Ernie Banks auto up. I had seen these cards around, and they could have been had pretty cheap. I don't think I paid much more than $5 for this, as the time. I'm certainly glad I did.

I'm a dirty bird

A few weeks ago, Cardinals fan Kerry from Cards on Cards hosted a free group break with a box of 2014 Topps Mini. Missing the Yanks by about 10 seconds, I did something I'm still not proud of...I claimed the Red Sox! Ahhhh, I can't even type that. I still feel DIRTY. But hear me out. I trade with so many Red Sox fans, that I have about zero Sox cards right now. Literally. I have like a 1989 Topps Clemens to my name. I saw it as an opportunity for a little tradebait. I just feel bad that Sox fans missed out on claiming their team.

So I did come away with a decent amount of Red Sox, which will go directly to new homes. I'll only show one, this pink Matt Thornton. He spent some time with the Yanks last year, so I don't feel as awful about showing him. The pinks are #'d to just 25.
Kerry, being the generous dude he is, sent a bunch of Yanks too, so I felt a bit better about myself, although still not great. Here is an assortment. I love that Tanaka Power Players insert from 2014 Topps. I definitely didn't have it. Also, an El Duque RC from 1998 Fleer Update! I only had his Bowman RC, so this is sweet. I have an irrational love of El Duque. 
Thanks, Kerry! I have some stuff headed your way.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

TTM Success: Greg Bird, the future

Greg Bird is the Yankees future at 1B. There, I said it. Somehow, this dude just rakes and rakes, yet is an afterthought because he doesn't ooze the potential of some younger prospects. currently has him as the Yanks #11 prospect, although Baseball America has him at #4, so no qualms there.

Make no mistake, this guy can hit, and will hit, in the middle of the Yankees lineup, and maybe even as soon as this season. He won the Arizona Fall League MVP this past November, and hit a mammoth HR in the All-Star Game. Here's a look at his sweet lefty swing:
He is a converted catcher, so his D is still a work in progress, but his bat will carry him. If he can be average to above average in the field, that will do.

Bird signed these three cards for me c/o the AFL. I don't remember sending three cards, I usually send no more than two, but maybe I got greedy. Or maybe he added one. Either way, I'm going to be flaunting these again when he hits his first Yankee Stadium HR in August, 2015.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Infield Fly! Batter's out.

When I first heard those words, "Infield Fly! Batter's out." I was very confused. I was in little league. I didn't understand that someone could hit a pop fly and automatically be out, regardless of whether or not the fielder caught it. I mean, it's little league. Kids drop pop flies. I still remember driving home from the ballpark that day with my dad trying to explain it to me.

Come to think of it, I remember him explaining offsides in soccer on the way home from a game as well. Funny, the things you remember.

Anyhow, I made my first card swap with Adam K over at Infield Fly Rule. He sent me a massive amount of Yanks, which was very generous since he doesn't mind the evil pinstriped guys. However, the Rockies are his #1.

Here's a photo of what he sent. He clearly was not joking around! That's a flat rate box.
The assortment of great cards was seemingly endless, but I particularly liked the 1990s cards. It felt like a trip down memory lane checking out these cards again and seeing things I have never noticed. For example, check out the faces on Boggs and Mattingly. Hilarious!
I also really like the backs of these cards because of the holofoil-type logos. I was 9 when this set came out, so to have something so shiny on the back of the card made it feel very special. But also, check out the background. Wow. A harrowing image of the Twin Towers. In fact, several of the Yankees had different backgrounds, such as the Statue of Liberty for Mattingly. I never realized that until examining these cards from Adam.
Speaking of Mattingly, I love this 1994 Topps Gold. I swear! In 1993 and '94, I actively collected Topps. My mom would always grab me a pack at the grocery store or at CVS. I remember keeping my stack, in numerical order, on the stairs in my house. That was the closest I ever came to set collecting. And you know what? It was a BIG DEAL when you pulled a Topps Gold (one per pack) of a star. I remember getting Frank Thomas in 1993 and immediately called my best friend to tell him. I know we shrug at parallels now, but for a 9 or 10 year old in the early '90s, Topps Gold was really special.
Prior to receiving this card, I had never seen it. Turns out, it was from 1997 Topps, and featured 22 players voted on by Topps employees. Imagine the outrage today if a set like this came out. Lifetime Topps Project did a nice post on these cards earlier this week: click here. Anyhow, it's a pretty card with the fireworks, and I love coming across new cards from so long ago.
This Upper Deck Jeter is nice. The set is fairly forgettable, but the photos are pretty good. The full out, head first slide is cool. I wish the logo wasn't blocking his hands, but it's just a neat shot and not seen much on cardboard.
Lastly, I'll show off this Robert Refsnyder card. Before Stephen Drew was brought back, Refsnyder had a chance to win the 2B job out of spring training. He should definitively see some MLB time this year, but still needs a little minor league seasoning. His bat is his best tool and is close to ready, but his D needs a little work. He's a converted OFer learning 2B. Still, I think he's going to be a very solid regular, and Drew's one year deal shouldn't hold him up if he's ready.
There was a TON more good stuff. Adam, thanks so much, my friend.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Glass, George Glass

I hope all you Brady Bunch fans got my "George Glass" reference.
This post has nothing to do with George, buy everything to do with Glass. Leaf Trinity has once again put out their Pure Glass cards in 2014 Trinity. I know very little about the set, but what I do know is that these cards are sweet.

I don't believe they are real glass, but rather a thick, acetate card that gives the illusion of glass. Does anyone know for sure? What was cool is that the card was FREEZING cold from being in mailbox, so it felt a lot like glass when I pulled it out of the envelope. I assume real glass would be too risky for Leaf. What if a card shattered in the pack, and then cut the collector as he opened it? That wouldn't go well.

Featured on this Pure card is an auto of Yankees prospect Jacob Lindgren. He'll have a chance to win a spot in the Yankees pen out of spring training, although with Andrew Miller, Justin Wilson, and Chasen Shreve, he might have to wait to get his turn. However, he should be in the show at some point in 2015. The Yankees didn't take a reliever with their first pick in 2014 to let him sit in the minors. If they were in it last year, he probably would have been called up.

That's my second Lindgren auto. I'm still waiting for a Bowman, which I'll grab sometime soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Oops, I didn't do again

I thought I did it again.
This card arrived, and I groaned. Oh man, I bought another Tino relic on eBay that I already had! Just to make sure, I flipped the card over.

Boom. This was #’d to 50. I was sure my other one wasn’t.

Indeed I was right. This was a “red hot” parallel, somehow rarer than a card it looks exactly like. It was lucky, but a parallel is a parallel, and one I didn’t have. Add that one to the Tino ‘have’ list.