Thursday, February 23, 2017

TTM Success: Brooks Robinson

Yesterday, during my post-work commute, I had the thought that I really wanted to return home to a TTM success. I have a lot of spring training requests out, and I've been hoping that a few early ones trickle in.

I did in fact get a success, but it wasn't from spring training. No, sir. Just a Hall of Famer and one of the best 3B to ever play the game:
Mr. Robinson was kind enough to sign my card. I included a $5 fee, which he kept. No issues at all with handing over a $5 bill for an auto like this.

It looks great. I'm thrilled to add another HOF autograph to my collection.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Unintentionally indifferent

I got a kick out of the Twitter frenzy last night when it became apparent that MLB was doing away with traditional four-pitch intentional walks. There aren’t many more amusing things than Twitter overreactions over anything and everything.

I am completely indifferent on this subject. Sure, we won’t have the blooper-reel staple of a pitcher airmailing a slow pitchout. I guess we’ll just have to live with the bat hitting Tommy Lasorda and the ball bouncing off of Jose Canseco’s head to get out laughs in between those long commercial breaks at the ballpark.

And sure, we’ll also miss the very rare instance when a player hits a pitch meant to be a deliberate ball. Gary Sanchez did this last year, nearly hitting a HR. He wound up with the deep sac fly, and was immortalized on a Topps NOW card. Unfortunately, Topps zoomed in on the photo to ungodly levels. A nice, wide shot from center field would have been a much cooler way to capture the feat than a waist up shot that looks like any old swing from this man child.
The above examples aside, I literally do not care and will not miss intentional walks for a second. We all know it’s coming anyways, and ~99.9% of the time, the guy takes his base uneventfully. I don’t live for the 0.1% chance that something wacky will happen. Take your base and let’s move on.

It has nothing to do with game flow or speeding up the game. I just don’t care. It’s not going to stop me from watching baseball. It’s not going to turn me away from the sport. It’s not going to keep me away from the ballpark. The high ticket prices already do that.

I’m sure we’ll see many more rule changes over the next few seasons…some as minor as this, others a bit more extreme. Regardless, it’s going to take a lot more than this to upset my fandom.

Like putting a runner on second base in extra innings.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Contest winner announced

I had nine entries in my contest for my spare Juan Gonzalez TTM auto:
I listed all nine in order of when they commented, and did one list randomization this morning:

And the winner is Johnny of Johnny's Trading Spot! Johnny, I'll be sending this card out to you this week.

Thanks to everyone who entered. It definitely wasn't a contest that appealed to many, but still happy to give away a spare auto I don't need.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mirror, mirror on the wall

There aren't too many Tino Martinez cards showing up at The Lost Collector Headquarters these days.

It's not that I'm not trying to add them. I'm just not coming across many I need. Plus, I'm still saving up for that Jeter auto, so I haven't been on the prowl like usual.

Still, I did pick up one recently - a 2004 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror White Bat Relic.

I prefer the Mirror parallels from the mid-90s, but this isn't the worst looking set. The bat relic is just sort of cut into the card, not really integrated. The just slapped it across Tino's legs. However, for a minimum bid, it was a good addition to the slooowly growing Tino collection.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Voice of Yankee Stadium

In 2017, it’s really easy to have a custom card made. Many times, I’ve gone on the Rookies App and printed off a pack of cards, and use those cards for TTM purposes. Here’s an example:
That took a whole 20 seconds to make. On my phone.

Growing up, it wasn’t this easy. When I wanted to send a TTM request and my subject didn’t have a card – or an easily attainable card – I had to improvise.

In one such instance, I wanted to send a card to longtime Yankees PA announcer Bob Sheppard, The Voice of Yankee Stadium. Hmm, but what to send? Luckily I had a bunch of Yankee pocket schedules, so I sent him one of those. He graciously signed and returned it:
I wish he had signed the cover, but alas, still a very cool success of a true baseball legend. His signature sure matches the precision in which he spoke.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Highly under-promising and completely over-delivering

It was all so innocent.

In an email exchange, Brian of Highly Subjective andCompletely Arbitrary mentioned he was looking to unload some of his extra cards, and asked if I wanted some of the Yankees. Sure, I said. I can always use them for TTMs and whatnot since I’m a disorganized collector who doesn’t have want lists. I gladly offered to pay for shipping, but Brian said I was doing him a favor.

Seriously, what kind of guy sends a flat rate full of Yankees, and says I’m doing him a favor? Brian, that’s who.

I was expecting a lot of cards I already had that would be great for TTMs, and to be fair, there is a ton of TTM fodder. But Brian also massively undersold a bunch of the cards he’d be sending my way. I was expecting a lot of dupes, but honestly, that was far from the case. The box had it all!

I’m not even sure where to start, so I guess I’ll show off some vintage first, which I wasn’t expecting in the least. The oldest card:
Yep, 1955 Bowman. Great set. The most surprising card?
Wow. A Munson 1976 Kellogg’s! Holy smokes. It’s in excellent condition too. I believe I only have one other Kellogg’s card in my collection, and definitely not Munson. This is a treasure.

Ok, fast forward from vintage to present:
Those 2016 Bowman’s Best cards are great. I didn’t even know these existed, but those are legit cards from 2016 that feature Sanchez and Judge in Big League uniforms talking about Big League accomplishments. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s getting harder to acquire Sanchez cards, so this is very appreciated.
Two Big Mikes I didn’t have! I was surprised to check my “haves” list and that the 2016 Gyspy Queen wasn’t on there. I guess I’ve been slacking on his newer stuff.

There were some great minor league cards too. Ruben Rivera and Mark Hutton were featured in a ton of products, by the way. 
Speaking of the minors, how about this managerial card??
I have fond memories of Tate Seefriend as a Binghamton Met. He was a great power hitter. I might try and locate an address for him to try and get a TTM autograph.
Refractors and shiny cards were aplenty as well! I really like the pink Dellin.
And a couple other personal favors, although I’m still not doing the package justice.
Brian, I know you said I did you a favor, but that just can’t be so. This was a classic case of under-promising and over-delivering. Thank you for all of these!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Feeling Chipper

When I was younger, I liked to enter contests. Contests back then took a little more effort, not like these ‘leave a comment on my blog’ or ‘retweet my post’ contests (by the way, don’t forget to enter my currentcontest – just leave a comment on yesterday’s post!). I never won anything big, but I always like to put in the effort.

Being semi-artistic, I always liked contests that involved sports artwork. I routinely entered those “your drawing could be on a sports card” type of contests. I cannot remember if it was Beckett or Tuff Stuff, but in 1996 or so, there was a contest for the best Chipper Jones drawing. Although he was a Brave, that was right up my alley.

I don’t have a photo of the artwork, but I do remember drawing a picture of Chipper, and he was pointing toward the sky. I also drew him on clouds instead of a baseball field. I don’t know, I was 12 or whatever. Not sure what my train of thought was. Kind of morbid, looking back.

My memory also fails me as to what the grand prize for winning was. I think it was a trip to meet Chipper.

Regardless, I finished my picture, using my finest colored pencils I might add, and sent it to wherever it needed to go. A few months went by, and I never heard anything, but then one day this showed up in my mailbox:
Again, details escape me, but I don’t think any letter or anything came with it, but I’ve always just assumed it was a consolation prize for my drawing. Regardless, it’s pretty cool to have a small signed photo of a future Hall of Famer.