Thursday, March 5, 2015

Contest loot from Bob Walk The Plank

A few weeks back, I was fortunate enough to be one of the winners in a contest held by Matt over at Bob Walk The Plank. The prizes were fantastic! Matt took the time to tailor each prize package to the four winners, which he really didn't need to do.

However, his attention to detail and really shopping for cards that each person would like shows what kind of guy Matt is. I was thrilled with my winnings, and I really appreciate each of them.

Matt sent me five cards, all of of which I needed and more importantly, all of which I love.
The first is a Ty Hensley auto. Hensley cards don't grow on trees, so I'm going to guess that Matt went out of his way to find this one. It's an auto #'d to just 10, and is a really stunning card.
Next, my first Jeter home uniform relic. I did a post a few weeks ago about having three Jeter relics - one away gray swatch, and two of bases. I didn't have a home jersey/pinstripe, so this instantly becomes my favorite.
1/1 of mojo!!! And not just a nobody, but Mr. Brett Gardner. I love this because it shows how Gardner would look as a righty. The fun of printing plates!
This John Wetteland auto is a beauty! I didn't have a Wetteland auto in my collection. In  fact, I was telling Matt that just a few days before this came, I was checking to see if Wetteland was coaching anywhere so I could shoot him a TTM request. I love this set too!
Finally, a Tino that is new to my collection and needed!

Matt, this package rocked. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Owls aren't scary, bud.

For some reason, my three-year-old son is going through a phase of being scared of owls. I’m not sure why. I can’t trace it back to a book or a cartoon he might have seen. Perhaps there is a book at daycare that his teacher reads that’s in his head.

When the lights are off in a room in our place, he always says, “It’s dark, now the owl gonna get me?” I always reassure him that there’s no owl in there, and he doesn’t hold his line too tough. He’s not afraid to go to sleep in his room with his light off or anything. He’s not terrified. But he does make the “owl gonna get me?” comment about five times per week.

So I’ll continue to tell him that owls aren’t so bad. In fact, there are some out there that send me baseball cards! Now, I don’t think I’ll read him any Night Owl blog posts before bed or anything (especially about Heritage SPs), but see bud, owls not only aren’t scary, but they send some nice things.

Like this:
A 2014 Topps Heritage Target Red Jeter. I didn’t see any of these colored-parallels from retail last year, but I have to say, I do like the red ones. They stand out nicely. It’s a nice card of Jeter in his last (I’d imagine) Heritage set. Even though 1965 isn’t one of my favorite designs, I really enjoy this card. 
One of the best developments I’ve heard all spring is that CC came to camp fatter than the last couple of years. I don’t think there is any question that the lighter Sabathia partly struggled because he lost weight. I applaud the guy for wanting to be healthier, but pitchers are so in synch with their bodies, and when one loses (or gains) a bunch of weight, it shifts around differently. Some guys can be big and pitch. David Wells is a great example. I’m hoping that CC is more comfortable this year and finds some better form. He won’t be 2009 Sabathia, but I still think he’s got something left in the tank. 
Here’s are a few more from the spooky Owl. Thanks again, Greg. Now stop scaring my kid.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Uncle Tiny strikes twice!

Uncle Tiny recently (or not so recently) sent me two great packages. He really takes to heart that I’m a Bengals fan, and finds some cool (and often shiny!) Bengals to send my way. While I don’t buy football, between JBF and Tiny, I have a really nice binder of Bengals cards, especially newer stuff.

But first! Perhaps the crown jewel of two packages, at least for me, was this signed Mason Williams 8x10! It came with a COA. I’m not sure where Tiny picked this up, but I’m super happy to have it. I don’t have many signed 8x10s in my collection – maybe four or five - but one day I hope to have more and have a nice display. 
I still think Mason Williams will be an MLB player. He is already an elite defender and could play MLB CF right now. However, he needs to pick it up with bat. He was close a few years ago, as he hit .298 and jumped up to #32 in Baseball America’s prospect rankings. He’s had two straight down years since then, but spent all of 2014 in AA. If he can hit in the .250-.260 range, plus shows a bit more maturity (which has been a knock), I think he can find a way to NY as a reserve outfielder later this year or next. 

Tiny also sent me a Ty Hensley for my PC, and a cool Zach McAllister auto.
Aside from there, here’s an assortment of Bengals. My favorite is definitely the Gio Bernard relic, although the Blue Wave AJ McCarron is very cool too. I hope McCarron pushes Dalton next season. Someone needs to! 
Tiny, thanks again. You should be getting a package from me in the next day or two.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Topps Yankees Project - 2015 Edition

My first official 2015 spring training TTM success was a big one:
Shane Greene, now with the Tigers, signed my 2015 Topps card in 10 days. Why is it significant? Because it completes my Topps Yankees project for 2015 and keeps it current.

For those who don't know, I have a signed Topps Yankees card from 1951-2015, all obtained through the mail. I have no repeat players, something I'm very proud of. In the coming days, I'll show each of the cards.

For now, I'm glad to have it out of the way so quickly! I have a few more requests out to guys who could have been the 2015 entry, but I'm happy with Greene, even though he's no longer a Yankee. He's featured as a Yankee on the card, so it counts.

The first thing I do when the flagship checklist is received is start planning on who I'll send to for my project. I'm happy that I don't have to worry about it again until 2015.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

TTM Success: Phil Hughes

I was excited to see my first spring training TTM success come in, although it's not quite what I expected.
I believe I sent this last year during spring training, but Phil Hughes returned my card signed. Pretty nice success from Hughes. I was always a big fan of him in NY, and while I wish he fared a little better for the Yanks, he wasn't awful. He was an All Star, won 18 games, and helped the team win the 2009 World Series. I'll take it.

As much as I dislike A&G (and this design in particular), there's nothing better for autographs than Ginter. His signature looks great on this card.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The requests are out. Now we wait.

This morning, the last batch of my spring training TTM requests went out. I don't intend on sending any more, unless there are one or two stragglers I didn't think of the first time around.

I have a nice mixture of guys I sent to this year, hoping that I end up with more success than I have the past couple of years. I've seen the numbers dwindling. I'm not sure if players are signing less, or just getting more mail, or a combination of both. However, it's not as easy as it was in the '90s and 2000s. So I'm just trying to be a little smarter about it.

I sent about 20 customs (created through the Rookies App) to guys who didn't have a Yankees card, or who haven't been featured in a team set yet. They may have just been a short-time Yank or a new acquisition. I sent to a few coaches across the league as well.

Lastly, I have a few requests out to complete 2015 in my Topps Yankees Project.

All in all, 46 requests when out, which is about 20 more than I was planning on sending, but I got in a groove while my wife was watching some HGTV crap.

While we wait for some returns, here are some nice TTM successes from past years. I've had many successes, and this is just a random sampling. Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2015

I like my Genes worn

A lot of us have a favorite pair of worn out (or worn in) blue jeans. I have this pair I refuse to get rid of, even though my wife has been bugging me for years. I have plenty of pairs of newer jeans, but I can't bring myself to toss them. We've been through a lot together.

I don't wear them to church or out to eat or anything, but I do wear them when I'm bumming around the house or around town. I love pairing them with this old, sweat-stained Yankees hat. I was once in a Lids cap store, and the manager offered to give me a new Yankees hat if I threw mine away right in front of him. I didn't take him up on the offer.

I also like a different kind of jeans worn in. Or genes, I should say. I'm not talking about hereditary traits, but rather baseball cards in the form of Gene Woodling, the former Yankees outfielder. I picked up my second Woodling this past week for under a buck, well, because it looks a lot like my jeans:
Yep, a 1951 Bowman. Serious surface wear. My first Woodling? Well, this:
Much nicer, but what would you expect? It's a year newer. I won't give up on older Gene, just because he's a little worn. I see him as comfortable.My blue jeans agree.