Thursday, February 27, 2014

TTM Success: David Phelps

I admit, this was a glutenous request. A few years ago, I got David Phelps to sign a Topps Pro Debut card for me. I wanted his auto on a card of him in an actual Yankees uniform though, so I sent him this 2013 Topps Update, and he returned it signed in 10 days. I love how he scrawls his 'graph all across the card. I think it looks cool.

I could be wrong, but I think this is Phelps first Topps card, which is cool. I'm curious to see what his role on the Yanks will be. He's a capable fifth starter, but may be relegated to a long reliever/spot starter.

Here's my Phelps auto from a few years ago:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

TTM Success: Shawn Kelley

The TTM successes are trickling in! Yankees reliever Shawn Kelley signed this 2013 Topps Update in about 10 days from Yanks spring training.

Kelley had a very nice season for NY, and will have an even more important role in the 'pen with David Robertson moving to closer. He could very well end up being the primary set-up man.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TTM Success: Gosuke Katoh

In the second round of last June's draft, the Yankees drafted 2B Gosuke Katoh. While many were surprised with the pick, many draft experts noted that his stock was really climbing as the draft approached. Many thought he'd go a bit later, but the Yanks clearly liked him and snatched him up, signing him away from his commitment to UCLA. I wish they could've done the same with Gerrit Cole. Sigh.

Post-draft analysis said that he was a speedy slap-hitter, but he ended up hitting six HRs in rookie ball. Not bad for a kid fresh out of school who isn't considered to be a power threat. He tore up the GCL as a whole, hitting .310 in just over 200 PAs, and also leading the league in OPS. It's also a bit rare to see a high schooler drafted as a 2B (most play SS in HS and then transition to 2B as they climb pro ball). In case you haven't noticed, no one will be blocking 2B for the next 7-10 years in the Bronx, so hopefully we'll see Gosuke in pinstripes manning 2B in the next four years or so.

I sent Gosuke this Yankee Stadium card to sign, and he obliged in about two weeks. I wish I had sent a Bowman card of him, but I do like the Yankee Stadium shot more than I like index cards or signature cards, which I have a personal distaste for. Perhaps I'll try him again down the line when I get a card of his.
And if that wasn't awesome enough, Katoh also included a short, personalized note. Very cool. Gosuke, I thank you for the autograph, and I look forward to following your career from afar.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Other worldly cards

I've been working to catch up on a few bubble mailers of cards that have come in recently. I'm glad to say that I'm jusssst about caught up.

I recently snagged a lot of cards that Dan of Dan's Other World offered up. There was a great assortment of about 50 Yanks, and here are my favorites below. The package contained a bunch of A&G cards from the years when A&G was attractive looking, plus some old school Flair. Those cards still feel special, let me tell you.
Dan, these were some awesome cards. Thank you, sir.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pond-ering some cards from Marcus

The other day I got home from work, and there was a bubble mailer waiting for me from Marcus over at All The Way To The Backstop. We didn't have a deal in the works, so Marcus just decided to drop a few Yanks on me. it actually works out well because I have a growing stack of Padres to send him.

Regardless, there were some sweet cards in there. My favorite is easily this 1993 Upper Deck Derek Jeter rookie, which I did not have. I believe I know have the Topps, Pinnacle, and now this Upper Deck in terms of Jeter rookies. Oh, and my two-year-old has his SP Foil rookie. I'm not jealous or anything. But I only have three Jeter rooks? That's not very impressive of me.
I have an irrational love for Orange Refractors. Must be the Syracuse in me. I didn't have this one either. I keep saying that I must have 500 unique Jeters. I'm going to count one of these days because I have to know.
This might be my favorite Thurman Munson card. I'm pretty positive that whoever he is glaring at peed their pants out of fear. I know I did.
Am I the only one who likes these Pinnacle cards? Maybe, but I don't care.
This is as close as I'll ever get to a 1953 Mantle, so it'll have to do. It's still sweet.
And let's round it out with a bunch of lefties. Two of the winningest Yankees lefty starters of the last few years, and an all-time fan favorite lefty first baseman. The All-Star Fan Fest card is awesome.
Marcus, thank you sir. You'll have a return stack of Pads in the next few days.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rolling the dice on a player 5-case break

A few weeks ago, while doing my normal round of eBay searches for guys I collect, I stumbled upon an interesting offer. Someone was doing a 5-case break (60 boxes total) of 2013 Bowman Draft. He was selling slots by player, not team. I had never seen this.

I found Ty Hensley, a guy I actively collect, for a fairly low price and put in a bid. If I won, I would receive all the Hensley non-base cards from the break, including Chrome, Refractors, colored parallels, Ice, Waves, printing plates, etc. Not a bad deal with over 1,400 packs being opened, right? Also, did you know people call parallels "colored paper" versions? I didn't, but that's what was listed.

I would NOT receive base cards, or other inserts/autos. Now, the guys who have autos in the sets were going for big $50-$100 per slots...first round guys from 2013. Hensley doesn't have an auto in the set anyways, so it wasn't a very attractive slot to the major mojo-seeking guys. However, I figured out of over 1,400 packs, I would probably score a nice combo of refractors, variations, parallels, etc.

The seller offered combined shipping for just $.50 more per slot, so I nabbed Gary Sanchez too.

So how did I do? Just ok. I didn't score anything major, but did manage two blue parallels of Ty Hensley #'d to 500, plus about 12 Chrome cards. For Gary Sanchez, I scored three regular refractors, and 12 Chrome as well. A little disappointing that I didn't land something a little better, such as a colored refractor or low numbered parallel. I don't love to hoard cards of a guy. I never have been one to want a bunch of the same card, so I have to figure out how to move a few of the Chrome Hensley and Sanchez cards.
Would I do it again? Yes. In fact, I did a week later, and hit a major Ty Hensley jackpot. More to come...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

eBay Dollar Value Menu

Living in NYC for seven years, and now just across the Hudson in Hoboken for the past year, "value menus" infuriate me. For whatever reason, NYC fast food establishments do not need to honor the national promotion. I never understood it. What makes this area of the world so special that deals don't apply to them? Even in the commercial promos, the fine text would read "Offer not valid in Manhattan." Look, I'm not a fast food junkie, but when Big Macs are on sale for $1 each, I might want one. Except here, they aren't. Even the McDonald's Dollar Menu is basically the $1.49 menu.

Just last two week, two instances of this reared it's ugly head. First off, my mom was in town visiting, and she had seen the McDonald's commercial running that offers any sized iced coffee for $1. She went into my McDonald's here in NJ, ordered a large iced coffee, and it rang up $2.17. She said, "isn't it a dollar? I just saw a commercial this morning." The employee answered, "Oh, not here." Not here? Because we're so damn rich here? Because of the massive tariffs to import McDonald's to the tri-state area?

Then, we were bringing Dunkin' Donuts to my kid's daycare for their Valentine's Day party. We stopped in DD's to grab his teachers a half dozen and take advantage of the six donuts for $3.99 deal. We pick out our six, and guess what? Not $3.99. Come on.

One reason I love eBay is because they can't discriminate against where I live. Deals are deals. A seller can't jack up the price just because of my geographic location. I'm sure some would if they could.

Anyhow, for $1.02 total from the same seller (including shipping), I got the following cards.

The first set me back exactly $.30, and it's a Michael Pineda I needed. A numbered parallel of a guy I collect for $.30? That just doesn't happen.
The second, I didn't really need, but I put in a low bid and won it. For $.72 shipped, I got this 2013 Topps Pink Austin Romine #'d/50. I had never even seen this color variation, and winning a Yankee #'d/50 for just $.72, regardless of the player, is a nice win.
Next time you're at a McD's and chowing a double cheeseburger from the dollar menu, think of me, and how that exact meal would probably cost me double just because of where I live. Savor it. Every bite.

Friends don't let friends quit blogging

Guys, I need some help here. Napkin Doon, one of my favorite "card bloggers" out there, is hanging it up. I knew this day wasn't far off, but it still feels like a bit of a punch to gut. Or maybe it was the questionable cream cheese I had on my bagel this morning.

Seriously though, his blog is one of the most witty, enjoyable, and, in my opinion, underrated blogs out there. I always enjoy reading about his adventures at his local card shop, or who in town has the best hot dog.

There was a time when my blog was inactive for six months or so, and he'd still check in and do some posts looking for me.

Regardless of what his decision is, go show the blog known as Napkin Doon (what the hell does it mean?) some love today and over the next few weeks, before he gets his Mariano Rivera-like sendoff.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Pro Debut from Scott Crawford

Scott Crawford and I worked on this trade for quite a while. It was my fault, really. I just didn't have my act together. Even when Scott sent me the card, it took me about three more weeks to return the package. That's not how it should go.

Regardless, I ended up with a batch of 2013 Topps Pro Debut cards I needed. I still think the product name is stupid and inaccurate.

Happy Presidents Day!

Sorry. Had to.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Judge

I've mentioned it a few times, but the Yankees had a fantastic 2013 draft. For all the knocks the Yankees system took this past year and off-season, they added three quality first rounders via the draft. Chances are, not all three will pan out. That's how it works. However, that's not going to stop me from hoping.

The first pick, Eric Jagielo, is a polished college 3B who should move quick. I'd be shocked if he doesn't make it to AA Trenton at some point. The 33rd pick was Ian Clarkin, a HS left with three plus pitches. He will move slower and more naturally.

In between those two at #32 was Aaron Judge. This is one massive dude to say the least. He's 6'7" and weighs 255, and put on many powerful batting displays at Fresno State. He's a good OFer and is a pure masher. Who knows if he'll make it, but he could be a potential 40 HR guy if he develops the way the Yanks expect. He'll K a lot, but he should hit for a lot of power too.

Judge made his 2013 card debut in Bowman Draft, and I recently picked up a very affordable lot of his base cards and refractors. That is one bad ass looking dude. If he does make it, teams will have to think twice about throwing at Yankees and starting a brawl...because with The Judge in the other duggout, I'd stay far, far away.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Contest winnings from Fuji

San Jose Fuji stole (well, he paid a little money) for some sweet 1996 Pinnacle Denny's sets from a dealer at his local flea market. He was nice enough to hold a contest for one of these sets, and somehow my name came up first. It usually comes up last in contest drawings, so I was definitely happy to win this one.

I had a lot of these cards growing up, as we had an old lady family friend who went to Denny's quite often. She's bring these cards over for me. They were always a blast to open, but I never collected a full set.

The 28-card set is full of big names. The hologram actually is a small video-type clip too. You can see a players complete swing, slide into a base, or in Ozzie Smith's case, complete back flip. It's a little different than their holograms of year's past.
I tried to scan so that you could see a snippet of the photo. Regardless, a truly awesome set from a truly awesome blogger. Thanks, Fuji!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thank you for the help

Last week, I posted that I needed the following three cards:
Within minutes, bloggers came though offering to send them my way. I'd like to thank Swing and a Pop Up, 2x3 Heroes, and Dodger Penguin for their help.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Jeter Relics

I have a lot of Derek Jeter cards. I haven't taken an official tally, but I'd say I have around 500 different ones, which isn't too bad since he's not a guy I actively collect. That doesn't mean I don't love any and all Jeters I'm sent - I do! I just have never declared myself a Jeter collector. His cards are a bit too pricey to go all in, and I figured I'm better off focusing on smaller named guys and prospects.

While I have a lot of base cards, parallels, and inserts, I really don't have many high-end or premium cards. I do have a few rookies, some nice refractors too. I have two relics, but no autographs. It bugs me. I don't feel like a true Yankees collector because of this. I should just save up my money and instead of spending $5 here and $5 there, put it towards a certified Jeter auto. One day, I'll land one.

In the meantime, here are my two relics. The first is actually a game used World Series base from 2000 Upper Deck HoloGRFX. I collected this entire set, which is actually pretty awesome.
The second is a jersey card. Yeah, I wish it was a home pinstripe, but I'll live. It's a Derek Jeter game worn jersey from Topps Tribute. Very classy card.
And while not a relic, my son does own the infamous 1993 Upper Deck SP Jeter RC. This was sent by the generous Zippy Zappy of Cervin' Up Cards.

Two more certified Yankee autos

I'm on a serious certified Yankees auto binge. I don't know what it is, but I keep on picking them up. I still love and prefer TTM, but it's so much simpler and convenient to just pick up an auto for $3. No risk, all reward.

Although, to be fair, I didn't pay for this one at all. This was a Listia win. Rarely do Yankee prospect autos surface, but I won this for a very reasonable price. It's a  2013 Bowman Platinum on-card auto of Peter O'Brien. He hit 22 HRs between two levels of A ball last year, and I'd expect him to start 2014 in Double A Trenton. As for the card, I have no idea if it's a Refractor, or if that's how all of the autographs are.
Next up, a PC guy! I snagged this 2011 Leaf Metal Draft Manny Baneulos auto for a few bucks on on eBay. Yes, unlicensed sucks, but Leaf really brings it with some sweet on card autos.
Two solid pickups of guys I expect to both play in the Bronx one day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Jeter painting

I shared this early on in my first year of blogging, but thought I'd take a moment to share my Derek Jeter painting with some of those who may be new readers of my blog. In light of today's announcement, it seems appropriate. I painted this in 2011. It's acrylic on a canvas board.


Credit: Me. The only custom card I've ever made.
I'm surprised. I always figured Jeter would be one to step away after a season, and not bring attention during the season. I suppose he wanted to do it this way to both avoid questions all season about whether this is the last go 'round, and so that the Yankees can plan accordingly moving forward.

Regardless, he's been the Yankees shortstop since I was a sixth grader. I am now 30. That's a long time. Most teams and fans don't get the opportunity to grow up with a HOF player. I consider myself very lucky to have witnessed his career.

Hopefully the Yanks go get Jeets one more ring and send him out properly.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy 3 years + 1 day to me!

Yesterday, Jordan over at Mint Condition posted about his blog anniversary. I thought to myself, hey, you know what, mine is around now too.

I looked up my first post, and sure enough, it was yesterday, Feb 10. VThe first post had very few views, no comments, and it didn't really make sense either. Perfect. So today marks the 3 year +1 day anniversary of my blog. Pretty cool. While I did have a few moments where the posts were very infrequent, having this blog has kept me connected to the hobby since 2011, and for that, I am grateful.

Will I make it another three years? Who knows. But for now, I’m going fairly strong, and really enjoying collecting.