Sunday, April 22, 2018

Oh Happy Gley!

Today, top prospect Gleyber Torres will make his Yankees debut. Second base has seen a lack of production, with Neil Walker hitting .179 and Tyler Wade hitting .086.

Wade bums me out, as he's always been very good in the minors, struggled briefly in the Majors last year, had a great spring training, but has been putrid in the Majors once again. It's a small sample size, 101 PAs across 43 games, but he had a big opportunity to take the job and run with it this April, and he hasn't done it. Hopefully it'll click for him at the Big League Level soon.

With the lack of production, Gleyber Torres finally gets the call. It would have happened last year except he required TJ Surgery after an awkward slide.
He had a rough spring, but then went out and hit .347 in AAA to start off the year. I except him to be slotted right into 2B, as Miguel Andujar has taken a hold of 3B with a very strong last week, going 9 for 20 with 5 doubles, a triple, and a homer. Pretty good for a rook!

I hope Gleyber can come up and take the job and run with it, but there will be some growing pains I'm sure. Still, it's exciting and hopefully he can help spark the Yankees to find some consistency.

I just hope the fans don't boo him if he goes 0 for 4 today.
Welcome to the show, Gleyber! Make yourself comfortable.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sometimes red ink is ok

I remember being a student and getting a paper or test returned. A lack of red ink usually meant I did pretty well. The more red ink, the worse it was going to be. I remember a biology test once where it looked like my teacher cleaned up a murder scene with my paper.

But there are times when red ink can be ok. In fact, it can signify an A+. In this instance, this is my first red ink autograph of anytime, and it comes to me courtesy of Collecting Cutch:
Look at that beaut! That is a card I've wanted for a long time. The red ink as part of a Team USA card makes it even cooler in my opinion.

Equally as cool for me is a card I never thought I'd find, let alone own. This is when relics were still pretty new, and having three star members of the Yankees on one? Good luck. It's still a hard card to locate, and I'm not sure how Mr. Cutch tracked one down and sent it my way.
Part of me thinks Brian (the mastermind behind Collecting Cutch) looks out for me because I'm a fellow player collector, but I know he's helped my collection far more than I've helped his.

He also sent me a few cool Yankee cards. This card stuck out to me. Is Clemens about to throw the bat at Piazza here, only to be blocked out by the Upper Deck Vintage logo???
Also, the back tells me Tino had three hits! Cool. I don't remember that.
A Stanton base card! This are still new and rare and exciting to me. It's my second after Heritage.
A few more from 2018, including a rookie of Miguel Andujar. He has 9 hits this year, and 6 have gone for extra bases. Once he settles in, he's going to be a good one.
Oh, and this guy is really good too. Just gets better by the game, it seems.

Brian, this was a beyond generous card package, with two big old whales I never thought I'd get. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Queen for a day

On Friday night, after a particularly stressful end of the week of work, I skipped out to Target after the kids went to bed. Saturday was the first day of tee ball, and I hadn’t bought my little guy an aluminum bat.

I went straight to sporting goods, which is basically an aisle near, but not in, the toy section and found a bat. No sense going to Dick’s and spending at least $30 for tee ball. Nope, a Rawlings at $14.99 will do. He had a few good rips during batting practice the next day and kept talking about how powerful his bat is. Pretty cool.

As one might expect, after I found the bat I just happened to take the long way to cash register and just happened to pass the card aisle. Quite a coincidence.

There really wasn’t much there except loose packs of Opening Day and two blasters of Gypsy Queen. I figured there wouldn’t be any Heritage, and I was right. Still, I hadn’t bought any retail since flagship, so snagged one of the blasters of GQ.

For someone with next to no luck within retail, I think I did ok! The first pack I opened was the back of parallels, which I guess are purplish? I’m not really sure. The best of the group was this Goldy.
In pack #2, these two cards were back to back.
I was really happy to get an Ohtani, of course. I’ll probably hang onto it, although it probably would have paid for the blaster.

As for the Devers, of course I get a Red Sox. But as many have noted, these cards are very awesome. Does anyone want to swap this for a Yankees tarot? If not, I’m sure this will end up with one of my Red Sox friends.

The next pack had this (odds 1:68), which is cool because I NEVER pull autographs. This is going to Zippy Zappy. The card was backwards in the pack, and I really hoped for Ohtani when I turned it around. Still cool to get some ink though.
In the next pack was my lone Yankees, Mr. Sanchez.
Lastly, I didn’t notice either of these until I was scanning the cards above. The codes are the same so they didn’t stick out when I did a code-check. Not bad pulls with the no nameplate Giolito and the logo swap Kimbrel. 
Overall, I gotta say it was a decent blaster, and a pretty fun rip. These cards are really nice, and I definitely think are one of the best products I’ve seen in a while between the base card design and attractive inserts.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Opening Day seems like forever ago

Maybe it's because the season started in March, but Opening Day feels like it was more than 2.5 weeks ago.

Since starting out of the gate with two homers, Giancarlo Stanton has only gone deep one time. Coming off of 59 homers, it would be easy to expect the number to be twice that so far. But he endured a pretty brutal slump and has only recently started to turn it around.

I'm not particularly worried. It's a 14 game stretch, and he was definitely pressing to impress the home fans for the first time. It feels a lot like Alex Rodriguez in 2004.  In his first April in NY, he only hit .253 with 4 HRs and 8 RBI. Even for the year, he hit 36 Hrs and drove in 106. While respectable, that was coming off of three straight huge years in Texas, and then in 2005 followed by an MVP-season with 54 homers. There's no doubt there's an adjustment period.

As long as he stays healthy, Stanton will put up solid numbers and be an asset to the team. He won't replicate 59 homers I assume, but what if he hits 42? Hardly something to sneeze at.

Regardless, I loved his Opening Day performance, and it was an easy decision for me to pick up the Topps NOW card commemorating the day.
Topps also added a holographic technology to the back of the card, which is new this year. I didn't know Topps NOW counterfeiting was an issue, but I assume this will help combat that.
Pretty cool card, and I expect to add a few more of these this season.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday the Zapteenth

A week or so ago, I got a nice bubble mailer – or a mini zapping – as he referred to it, from Zippy Zappy himself. While I don’t think it’s fair to classify it as a “mini” anything, I have been on the receiving end of his major zaps before, so I understand what he’s saying.

Still, it was a fun, generous package.
The highlight for me was this IP Domingo German autograph. I believe Zipster said he got this from an acquaintance who knows German, and he had two cards signed. He immediately said one was for me, which was so cool.

German has a lot of talent. He came to the Yankees from the Marlins in the Martin Prado/David Phelps for Nathan Eovaldi trade in 2014. After undergoing TJ Surgery in 2015, he made his big league debut last year and was called up to the Majors again last week. He had a nice outing in mop up duty of Sonny Gray last night, firing three innings of one-hit ball while striking out three.
Keeping it to autographs, we’ve got two: Mark Melancon and Nathan Mikolas. The Melcancon tricked me. It looks like a sticker but it’s not…it just has the outline there, I guess for the other stickers or so they all look the same, I don’t know. But the outline definitely make me believe it was a sticker autograph until I took the card out to scan it.

I just came across this great article that Mikolas is now acoach in the Marlins system. I hadn’t heard of him since the Yankees released him after the 2016 season, so cool to see he’s now on the other side helping to prepare young players.
Sweet relic of Chien-Ming Wang. I will never forget how running the bases ruined his career.
TTM fodder! I am definitely going to send these three cards out for a signature. I love the Bristro card from 2017 Choice. Also, Otto and Bristro have some very pun-able names, so I hope we get to see them with the Yankees one day.
And two cards of the Baby Bombers! While the Topps NOW inserts were a bit of an odd inclusion in 2018 Topps, it’s still a new Judge card. And Topps Fire was straight <fire emoji>, so that’s a great RC of the Yankees new villain Tyler Austin.

So sure, maybe it was “mini” compared to some previous zappings, but it still packed a big punch. Thanks, ZZ!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cards from a Sox fan ahead of Yankees/Red Sox

With the Yankees and Red Sox facing one another tonight, it’s a good chance to show off some cards from one of the nicest Red Sox fans out there – Mr. Mark Hoyle. I’m not thrilled with the Yankees going into Fenway right now playing as poorly as they are, but they need to turn it around sometime. I don’t love the “it’s early” excuse. I think every game matters. When a team is fighting for a Playoff spot in September and is a game out, you better believe I’m looking back at losing two extra inning games at home to the Orioles in April.

Anyhow, maybe a road trip is what the doctor ordered to right the ship a little.

Back to the cards. Mark sent me a surprise package recently, and the highlight for me was definitely an unopened pack of Upper Deck cards from the 2006 National Convention. While tempting to leave them in the shrink wrap, that’s not how I roll, so I opened them:
Nice, three Yankees! I like the Jeter a lot. Scott Podsednik was an interesting inclusion. I figured each Chicago team had a card in the set because the National was in Chicago…but Google tells me it was in Anaheim. So I’m not really sure, other than those cards will go to those team collectors I trade with.
This was a cool item! A Mickey Mantle HOF postcard. I know I had this at one point of my life, but have no idea what happened to it. Glad to have it back!
Speaking of Mantle, a really nice Topps Chrome of “the next Mantle”, Ruben Rivera. Of course things didn’t pan out, but he really was featured on some nice cards as a prospect. I like the “new arrivals” logo on this card.
Mark also included these Clint Frazier promo cards. These totally count as a unique card in my small Frazier collection. Mark your calendars for June 13 when Series 2 comes out!

Mark, thanks for the kind package. Take it easy on the Yanks this week.