Sunday, July 24, 2016

TTM Success: Ruben Amaro Sr.

This was a lucky one.
At the time I received this incredible Ruben Amaro TTM success, I noticed that two other collectors received their cards on the same day. However, they received them back unsigned.

Then, Paul (@MetsFanPaul) asked if I included a fee for the autograph. Nope! This was a freebie.

I'm not sure why I lucked out. My letter wasn't overly special. I guess I just got lucky!

I'll take it. The card looks great, and I haven't added a vintage Yankees TTM success in a long time. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

SuperTraders #15: Night Owl Cards

My 15th #SuperTraders package arrived a month or so ago from Night Owl. Luckily I scanned the cards before I threw a bunch of unsorted bubble mailers in boxes while moving houses. I definitely want to thank Greg for sending some Yanks my way, as I know he likes keeping them in his collection.

NO included a note that 2016 Diamond Kings wasn't for him. I'm guessing it's because he pulled a bunch of Yanks. Seems like a fun break to me!
 
My favorite card is easily the Frank Crosetti. The Crow isn't included in many sets, so it's always special to get a new card of his. Fun fact: back in the late '90s I received a Crosetti TTM autograph. On my letter he wrote: "My memory doesn't allow me to remember much of my playing days, but I can say I was born to play baseball." Very cool. I cherish this photo very much.
Here is another 2015 Stadium Club I didn't have of Dan Mattingly. If this image is from what I think it is, then it's from the 1995 ALDS Game 2 when Mattingly went deep, providing us all with Gary Thorne's memorable "Hang onto the roof!" call. What a moment!
Love seeing Jeter on the top step celebrating, even though he wasn't officially on the roster.

Speaking of not on the roster...Robinson Cano. Man, he would look good as a Yankee. But you know what, they'd still be an average team.
This card is so freaking cool. Mr. Baseball himself, taking grounders as a Yankee. I love Frank Thomas there too. He looks good in Pinstripes! He's definitely marveling at Tom Selleck's mustache. Mr. Baseball isn't my favorite baseball movie, but I do like it. I'll probably see if I can get Magnum P.I. to sign this TTM.
What struck me about this card was "25 years of Topps Baseball Cards." Now we are at 65 years in 2016. How the heck did that happen? I'll say that I like this subset a lot more than Berger's Best! Don't overthink your odes to the past, Topps.
Lastly, this is one of the action photo variants from 2016 Heritage. Didi has turned himself into a very stellar shortstop. While he doesn't have the upside of guys like Seager and Xander and Lindor and Russell, somehow he's flirting with .300 and has 11 homers. I definitely didn't expect him to be quite this good.
Great package all around. Now I need to unpack my cards in the new house, a massive chore in its own right! Thanks for the cards, Greg.

Monday, July 18, 2016

TTM Success: Billy Crystal

This is one of the cooler TTM successes I've gotten in a while, and I was really pumped when it showed up! Yankee-for-a-day Billy Crystal signed my Rookies app custom card, and in gold pen, no less! I loved the photo of him and Jeter together. He looks very focused, while Jeter is giving a playful tap.

After I sent this card, I actually received a Tristar card of Crystal. I had no idea he was included in an actual set, but I like my custom a bit better.

This took about two months to come back, and I wasn't sure if it would come back or not, so it certainly made my day.

Friday, July 15, 2016

TTM Success: Spike Owen

1993 was the year I think I really started to pay attention to baseball. I was nine years old, and while I was always really good at naming players and who they played for, I'm sure my knowledge was limited by my age and watching the Yankees and Mets on local RSNs.

But in '93, I was old enough to start reading the daily sports section and checking out box scores. I had started little league too, so there was a lot of baseball talk, especially about the Yankees, who were just starting to get good again. Wade Boggs and Paul O'Neill had joined the team, Bernie Williams was getting good, Danny Tartabull was mashing homers, Mattingly was healthy, and Jimmy Key was an ace. There was a lot to talk about!

One of those newer guys was Spike Owen. He only played for the Yanks in 1993, but I'm pretty sure we all thought his name was pretty awesome. And it was. Spike!
Mr. Owen was kind enough to sign three cards for me in care of the Texas Rangers, where he is currently coaching. Thanks, Spike!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

SuperTraders #14: Cards on Cards

Man, all I can say is that Kerry from Cards on Cards must bust a lot of wax! He always sends a bunch of a team bags packed with both Yankees and Knicks cards for me, and the fun part is they are from all years. While some is newer product, there is always a healthy assortment of 90s and 00s.

Here’s some of the newer product, including a bunch of Heritage high number or Update or whatever it might be called. I actually like this set quite a bit, as it’s cool to get Heritage cards of rookies and lesser known players. It’s a nice TTM alternative to Topps Update for some of the lesser-known guys.
I don’t usually buy A&G, so I appreciate receiving them in trade packages. I didn’t mind last year’s design. Does anyone else feel like we’re at the point with A&G where the designs are all meshing together a bit?
Topps Stickers! I didn’t know these were out for 2016, but here they are. I like the design – super simple, which is what you need in such a small layout.
There were a few packs of these 2016 Babe Ruth Collection cards by Leaf. Again, no idea these existed! The set itself is pretty neat with a few inserts and some great vintage shots. From what I read, it’s an 80-card base set with a few inserts, and there is also the opportunity for memorabilia cards (spoiler: I didn’t get one). One cool thing is that my 4-year-old son has been watching the animated movie Everyone’s Hero, where a boy named Yankee sets out on a quest to return Babe Ruth’s stolen bat to him. My son knows of Babe Ruth now and asked if he could have a card of him, so I gave him one of these. He was mad it wasn’t a “moving card” (aka SportFlics), but it’s still cool he knows the Babe…sadly from a movie and not from one of my bedtime stories.
As noted, it’s cool to see some photos of the Babe that are not the usual ones from Topps reprint sets.
Speaking of Yankee legends, there was a massive amount of various Mickey Mantle cards in the package.
That's a lot of Mantles!

Despite his two-week suspension, Jorge Mateo is still a big-time prospect. The team dismissed him for a few weeks for mouthing off to team execs, notably about not being promoted and about releasing a player blocking him from a roster spot in AA. Now there is a bit of back and forth and uncertainty about what actually did happen and if that’s why he was suspended. Hopefully he has learned his lesson and comes back better than ever. He’s young. People like to act outraged by these sorts of things, but he should be a junior in college based on his age. College kids are mostly morons, and that can apply to a pro baseball player too.
Here’s a couple cool cards from a few years back. I assume Bernie was tipping his cap after his 2,000 hit versus Colorado.
Now to the basketball portion! Kerry always sends me some great Knicks. When I saw a few Knicks fall out, I said “please let there be a Porzingis rookie, please let there be a Porzingis rookie.” Well, there wasn’t one. THERE WAS TWO!
I really enjoyed watching Kristaps and think he will be a star in the NBA for a long time.

Here a couple more Knicks cards I really liked.
Kerry, great stuff. Thank you, sir!

Monday, July 11, 2016

I've moved! New home address!

Just a bit of housekeeping - I've moved to a new house!

Now, this is not me asking you to send me cards. Trust me, all the cards you've all sent me added a lot of backache to my move. Cards are heavy!

However, if you are so inclined to send me an envelope or package down the road, please email me for my latest mailing address.

I know I've been through a lot of addresses the last few years, but hopefully this one is permanent for a long, long time!

TTM Success: John Flaherty


This is one I was hoping to get back! (and also a reason why Topps Total was awesome...when else would a backup catcher be in a set?)

John "Flash" Flaherty signed my card in 25 days c/o Yankees. He spent three seasons in the Bronx as the team's backup catcher, and even became Randy Johnson's personal catcher for a while in NY.

Flaherty is now currently a broadcaster on YES, and I find him to be very good. While he isn't necessarily funny or the most personable guy, his analysis tends to be very good and straightforward. He brings the catcher's perspective to the game, and always makes solid points.

For his career, he spent 14 season in the Majors, mostly with the expansion Devil Rays. He was primarily a backup, although had a few solid seasons as a starter for the Tigers, Padres, and D-Rays.