Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TTM Success: Paul Konerko

Paul Konerko is going to be an interesting HOF case in a few years. Quickly looking at his stats, to me, he's going to end up a little bit short. I hope to be wrong, as I always respected him and felt he was vastly underrated.

Regardless, that shouldn't take away from an amazing career, one that ended in 2014. Konerko has been a steady TTM signer as of late, and I wanted to take the chance to add his autograph to my collection. I sent Mr. Konerko three cards, and he returned two of them signed.
I'm a little bummed about the smudge on the Collector's Choice rookie card, but what can you do. Still a very cool success from one of the best sluggers of the 2000s.

Monday, April 24, 2017

TTM Success: Bob Cousy

I don't TTM basketball much, but with the chance to add a legend and one of the greatest PGs to ever play the game, I had to take a shot (no pun).

Hall of Famer Bob Cousy signed my card in 12 days. He personalized it, which is cool. There was no fee, so I don't mind when guys who historically charge personalize a free autograph. I think they do this so you can't sell it. Not that I ever would, anyways.
I didn't have any cards of his, so on my last COMC order, right before I requested shipment I went it and bought this Topps Turkey. It was cheap and I knew it would look great signed, as most Topps Turkey cards do.

I don't anticipate changing my style and going after too many basketball autographs, but you never know. I do have a bunch of hoops cards from the '90s.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Don't Judge Napkin Doon

With JBF's Big Fun Game kicking off, it's only fitting to post some cards Napkin Doon sent my way last week. Napkin Doon actually started the Big Fun Game back when he was a real, live blogger. I once selected a 1958 Topps Bob Clemente, only to have it stolen from my hands. It still hurts. That's the beauty and agony of the Big Fun Game.
The highlight of the package is this Topps Throwback Thursday Aaron Judge. This is one of those  sets that Topps prints on demand. There were 1,329 of this particular set printed, the most of any #TBT set so far. The subject matter was rookies, so not a surprise. Joining Judge in this set was Swanson, Bell, Moncada, Bregman, and Benitendi. I think most are expecting Benitendi to win AL ROY, but Judge is certainly making some noise in the season's first month.

I appreciate Nap breaking up his set and sending this to me, as it's a very cool card that I probably wouldn't have come across otherwise.
Doon also sent four team bags jam-packed with cards. There were about 75 Don Mattingly cards of all shapes and sizes. I asked Napkin where he got these, and he replied, "I liquidated my 401K in the late '80s to invest in Mattingly and become a millionaire." Actually, he got these in a junk wax lot he won at his LCS, Cleve's. That was probably the story of the dude whose cards these used to be. I hope Nap kept a few Mattinglys for himself, just in case that guy ended up being right.
It wasn't just all Mattinglys. There were some more Gypsy Queen, which I'm digging. The Green Batances is cool, and here's another one of those missing backplate cards.
I will say, I did always like GQ framed parallels. I don't think they have those any more, but keep me honest, people.
Some Tinos! Love the first Heritage one.
A badass Flair David Cone. I think the first trade Doon and I ever made was centered around some of these Flair cards.
Nap knows I like prospects, and was kind enough to send me a few Justus Sheffields as well, among others.
I'll finish off with a Masahiro Tanaka RC.
Nap, appreciate you thinking of me. As soon as Rance Mulliniks is given a Topps #TBT, I'll repay the favor.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

He has a Habit of sending me Yankees

One of my best trading buddies is Judson from My Cardboard Habit. He is extremely generous in thinking of me when he comes across Yankees.

He recently busted some Gypsy Queen, and found two Yanks he thought I would like. The first he tee'd on Twitter - a no backplate Masahiro Tanaka. These fall 1:9 in hobby and 1:12 in retail.
The second card was more of a surprise - a purple Aroldis Chapman #'d to 250. These fall 1:13 in hobby and 1:17 in retail.
This was my first in-person look at GQ, and I like it a lot, at least relative to the past few years. I'll definitely try to pick up some at some point.

Judson, thank you very much for thinking of me. I'll hit you back soon.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

TTM Success: Chance Adams

Woo, I'm glad I got this in to Trenton, because I think Chance Adams will be heading to Scranton any day now.

When sending to Scranton, Trenton, or Staten Island, I always try to line it up with a homestand. Mail from NJ gets there quickly, and with the volatility in the minors with promotions/demotions and whatnot, I feel like it gives me the best chance of success.
In this instance, Chance Adams signed and returned my card in just 9 days. I did get a success from him last year on a custom, but also really wanted this Bowman signed.

He was also kind enough to write "Do Not Bend" on the front and back of the envelope, which is awesome.
With James Kaprielian out with TJ Surgery, Adams is the best right-handed pitching prospect and closest to ML-ready that the Yankees have. If he repeats anything close to last year's performance, he'll be in the Bronx this year. I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Get Well Soon Card

Sometime between 1996-1999, I remember watching a Yankees telecast where David Cone joined the on-air broadcast team while he was injured. It was probably 1996, when he missed a large chunk of time due to an aneurysm in his right arm.

Anyhow, I remember Cone thanking the fans for all of the get well cards they sent him, saying that he read each one. Being a literal kid, I figured I'd send him one too. I didn't make it a TTM request. I didn't include a card or a SASE. I just sent a standard get well card.

Luckily, my envelope did have my return address, and some time later, received this small signed photo, which I'm assuming Cone sent out to many who wished him well.
I've never actually gotten a Cone TTM success, but this is still a pretty cool, unexpected autograph that I cherish.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

My favorite Tino card

This is a tough one.

With my collection being 800 cards deep, I didn't know which Tino to choose. Donruss Crusade? Certified autograph? Pacific In The Cage?

Instead, I'm going to go the sentimental route. In 2000 or 2001 (can't remember but I THINK 2001), Tino was banged up a little in September with a hand injury. I don't call him going on the DL, but I knew he was going to sit out a few games, it was announced. I had never had a TTM success with him in multiple tries, but I gave it a shot anyhow.

I put a little baseball sticker on the back of my SASE so I knew it would be his, if it came back. I also took a '98 Collector's Choice Stick-Ums of Tino and decorated the front of the envelope.

I returned home from school a few days later, on my birthday, in fact, and there was a PWE waiting for me on the stoop of the front stairs, where my mom put my mail. I turned around the PWE, and saw the baseball sticker.

I opened it, and this fell out.
I was shocked to receive a TTM success from my favorite player! I was thrilled with the card I had chosen too, as his 1997 HR Derby win was a highlight of childhood.

Since then, I have gotten Tino once more TTM (a few years ago), and have numerous certified autographs. However, this will always be the one that means the most to me.

Thanks for the contest, Peter of Baseball Every Night.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A piece of Justice

One of the greatest trades in Yankees history occurred on June 29, 2000. Instead of waiting for the trade deadline, Brian Cashman struck early. He sent Ricky Ledee, Zach Day, and Jake Westbrook to the Cleveland Indians for David Justice. I remember hearing about the trade on the Yankees pregame show because no Twitter, and hearing Ken Singleton say, "Wow, I didn't realize he already had 21 HRs on the season."

Justice would go on to hit 20 more HRs for the Yankees, finishing the season with a career-high 41. He was a true force in the lineup, and went on to win ALCS MVP for two massive HRs that he hit in the series, notably the 3-run shot he hit in Game 6 versus Seattle:

It didn't take long for Justice to become a part of Yankees lore, and for that, I've always enjoy picking up new Justice cards. One of the first game-used bat sets, and in my mind, one of the finest, was
2001 Upper Deck SP Game Bat Edition Piece of the Game. It was probably the first game-used Tino bat card I owned, and I'm pretty sure I paid about $25 for it at the time. Oof.

However, I recently discovered Justice was part of that set, so I figured I'd snag it on COMC for a few bucks. I'm glad I did!
The Yankees have a great checklist in this set - Tino, Justice, O'Neill, Bernie, and Canseco. I believe I only need the O'Neill from that group. I'm on it!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

TJ Surgery strikes again

Man, this stinks. The Tommy John Surgery bug has struck top Yankees pitching prospect James Kaprielian.

It’s sad. He’s got so much talent, and he’s basically going to lose a year and a half of development. Considering he lost all of last year as well, this is not good. It feels like Ty Hensley all over again.

Will Kaprielian make it back? Time will tell. I’d rather he arrive late than never, but who knows. His makeup is off the charts, so I know he’ll try his best. I’ll also tell ya, the Cubs strategy of focusing on position players in the draft versus pitchers sure sounds good.

In a recent COMC order, I did pick up a few Kaprielians. I expected his cards to shoot up this year, but I’m guessing they will be pretty easy to come by due to the injury.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Repack domination

Ok, domination might be a strong word. However, in my last two repacks from Walgreen's, I've had some solid success, as far as repacks go.

First off, they are usually $4.99. However, through April 28, they are marked down to $3.99. I'm not sure if that is the case at all Walgreen's, or just in my neck of the woods. I won't lie, that extra dollar off makes purchasing these a bit easier to stomach when you remember most of the cards are junk wax and a pack of Triple Play (also junk wax).

The odds of a hit, usually an autograph because it would be easy to spot a jersey card, are 1:4. I did a bit better than that.

Repack #1 was purchased about two weeks ago on a random errand to Walgreen's. I snagged this one, as this was the best card being displayed in the front window of the package. Of course, the corner was dinged, but still a cool card.
Here are a few fun cards from the pack:
And then boom, a HIT! Ok, ok. Brandom Moss. Current Big Leaguer and 2015 All-Star. That's really not a horrible pull, minus the fact that he was in the Boston organization at the time of this card.
I flipped through a few more cards that were separated by the Triple Play pack, and in those cards?
ANOTHER AUTOGRAPH! What are the odds of two in one pack?

Interestingly enough, another Red Sox prospect, Jon Egan, who played a couple of years in their organization.

This repack was also packed with 2015 Topps. Not unusual. Until I flipped them over:
18 team-issued versions. Technically, 17 because Billy Hamilton is from the NL set. But that's kind of cool, right?

So a very good repack. Probably the best I've ever gotten.

A few days later, I was back again. We have a lot of errands we run, and it's the most convenient place for milk or whatever it might be. I snagged another, this time with a Jackie Robinson tribute card on the front. Unfortunately, the portion of the card I couldn't see was mangled.

So I was flipping through, then WHAM! Another autograph.
This will end up with Tom over at Angels in Order at some point, I assume. But still, my third autograph in two repacks.

Here are the best of the rest. The Kohl Steward is kind of cool, as he's actually a good prospect.
And two HOFers for Joey's binder.
All in all, very fun repacks, and perhaps I'll test my hot hand again in the coming days.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

On The Cutting Edge

One of Napkin Doon's favorite sets of all-time is Topps HD. They were high-quality cards with a very premium-feeling, smooth card stock.

Recently, Chris from The (Pedestrian) Collector posted a few cards for trade, and when I saw this Derek Jeter Topps HD The Cutting Edge insert. When I saw it, I had to have it. I love finding Jeter inserts that don't pop up often, and this fit that category.
I expected the card to be a little brighter. It's kind of dark. But it does have that ultra smooth finish, and some very delicate, razor-sharp, diecut, Harry Potter-lightning bolt edges.

I sent Chris a few 2017 Heritage SPs in return for this awesome Jeter.

Chris was kind enough to send along nine HOF cards for my son's binder. Very much appreciated, Chris!