Sunday, July 31, 2011

Last chance for my quick contest!

I'm giving away two Danny Tartabull signed cards. I sent him a TTM request and gave him some cards to keep, but he signed them all so I'm sharing the wealth. Go here and sign up - contest ends at 11:59 PM ET tonight. No pimping, no following, none of that. Just leave at comment on my original post here:


Friday, July 29, 2011

TTM Success: Jon Lieber

Back in February, I sent a TTM request to former Yankees pitcher Jon Lieber. At the time, I needed 2005 for my Topps Yankees Project, but since then I've gotten a few successes from '05, including Hideki Matsui and Tony Womack. However, I was still pleased to get this one back and will add it to my growing collection of Yankees autographs.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

RIP Hideki Irabu

Details are just starting to emerge, but former Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead today near his Los Angeles home. Suicide is suspected.

It's a sad ending to a sad story. He'll be famously remembered as the man that George Steinbrenner called a "fat toad." He was not awful for the Yanks, but he was nowhere near the "Japanese Nolan Ryan" comparisons that were bestowed upon him. I saw him pitch several times in person, most notably on Beanie Baby Day in 1999. RIP, Irabu.

Great cards from My Sports Obsession

A few weeks ago, I sent Jeff from My Sports Obsession a 2011 Heritage Green Refractor of Paul Konerko. Jeff then responded by sending me an awesome package of cards. I'm a little depleted of White Sox right now, but rest assured, Jeff, I'll be sending a package your way in the near future.

The highlights are started off my two relics: A Jason Giambi Fleer Ultra Game Used Base and a Mike Mussina away jersey relic from Bazooka. The Giambi is awesome. It's very Fleer Ultraish..a lot of colors and the moon. It's really nice looking. The "Moonshots" font reminds me of 2011 Opening Day Stadium Lights. I featured the back of the card too because it doesn't say it's a used base from a Yankees game. Do you think it's implied? Or could this just be a used base from any old game? The Moose is just a very nice, big jersey swatch.

Next, and Upper Deck Clear Path to Greatness Colter Bean clear cut auto. This card is AWESOME! I love clear cuts. Always have. Where you see white on the card, it's actually clear, but it wasn't scanning well so I placed a piece of paper behind it. Bean was never given much of a chance to perform in NY. This is such a beautiful card I can't get over it.

This is a nice 2011 Bowman Jeter Orange Parallel numbered to 250. It might actually be my lowest #'d Jeter card.

A 1978 Topps Thurman Munson? Yes please. I always get mad that I never got the chance to see Thurm play. Sure I've seen video and stuff, but it's hard for me to appreciate him like I know I should. I would have loved to see him.

Lots of 2011 Bowman goodness, including a few of my favorites - Manny Banuelos and Gary Sanchez.

Two Bowman's Best - Cano and ARod. I only had a blue Gary Sanchez and none of these red ones. I like them.

A 2011 Heritage Mickey Mantle/Prince Fielder. I don't really get the connection, but OK. I actually thought it was CC Sabathia in a Milwaukee uniform when I first saw the card.

Shiny Mantle and a dude named George.

And finally, nearly a full Gypsy Queen team set. Love it!

Jeff, thanks again! As I mentioned, I'll put something together to send your way.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One man's opinion: Ginter stinks

I'll probably lose the three readers I have with a title like this, but I'm beyond confused with the fuss over 2011 Allen & Ginter. I simply don't get it. I haven't been impressed with the cards I've seen everyone pulling in the Gint-a-Cuffs game going on. Perhaps I'm not a real collector for not being moved by framed relics of Mark Buerhle and Billy Butler.  All I know is that I can score them for a few bucks on eBay if I really want 'em without spending $100 on a box. Side note - I felt the same way about Gypsy Queen's relics/autos. Apologies to the Angel Pagan, Andrew Cashner and Gio Gonzalez fans.

I've grown fond over the A&G designs of the last few years, and while I commend Topps for trying to freshen it up a little, I'm not overly impressed. I find it to be "meh." I like simple, which is why 2008ish is my cup of tea. I'm living in the past I guess.

I decided to see if I would like the cards more if I actually bought a pack, so I did. I've taken enough stats classes to know that one pack in not an appropriate sample size, but I wanted to see the cards in person. If I was able to find a blaster I would have gotten one, but it was either a pack or a box, so I chose pack. Between the pack that I opened and following many blogs with many A&G pack postings, I feel qualified to offer my opinion.

My sole pack:

217 S. Marcum
209 Guy Fieri - the freakin' TGIFridays loser with frosted tips (that could also be a Roger Clemens description)
186 Y. Escobar
HH24 Hometown Heroes R. Zimmerman
137 Ex-met Carlos Beltran 
330 CC Sabathia SP - AHHHHHH -1 for being a damn Yankee!!!!!!!! -1 for being chubby, -1 for eating Cap'n Crunch, -1 for picking on the lowly Mariners last night, -1 for probably opting out of his contract to get a new deal this off-season, -1 another one for being a Yankee. YANKEES SUCK!!!!!!
Mini Fausto Carmona (regular back I think but who cares)
16 Edwin Jackson

All that's missing from that pack is Peter Gammons and Frank McCourt. Sheesh. I'm happy to get the Sabathia, so it was nice to get a Yankee (-1) amongst the other crap. I figured I was destined to get a crappy relic in my one singular pack, but no such luck. I sort of wish I could redeem the Guy Fieri card at a TGIFridays for a free appetizer. I'd be a lot happier with potato skins than this card. Maybe next year.

My opinion after opening a pack remains the same. I'm just not impressed. However, I wish all of you good luck in your 2011 Ginter chase!

Quick contest for an autographed card

Anyone want to win a Danny Tartabull signed card? 

Last week, I sent a TTM request to Danny Tartabull. I have a lot of his cards, so I included a few more cards than I usually would in a standard TTM request (I usually include no more than two). I stuck a post-it note on the cards asking him to sign two and keep the rest of the cards for himself. Well, Mr. Tartabull ended up signing all of the cards – and now I have more signed cards of him than I really need.

I figured I’d share the love and give away two of them. Simply leave a comment if you’re interested now through July 31 at 11:59 PM ET and I’ll put all entries in a drawing. No extra points for following or pimping – just keeping things simple.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TTM Success: Yanks prospect Neil Medchill

Over the weekend, I was happy to see a TTM success return from Yankees prospect Neil Medchill. He has one of the more powerful bats in the Yankees system. Unfortunately he is already 24 and in A+ ball, so he'll really need to step it up in the next season or so and save some of his prospect status. Mr. Medchill signed this 2010 Bowman for me, and also answered my letter, which was very cool.

He is from Oxford, MS, so I asked him why he choose to attend Oklahoma State instead of Ole Miss. He said that he went to a junior college in Arizona first and then OK St was a better fit for him. He also answered my question about who his favorite teammate is. Usually a player says "I like them all" and keeps it pretty PC, so I appreciate his honesty here. He also apologized for the time it took to answer my letter, something that was appreciated but very necessary.

Congrats to Steve Garrison on his ML Debut

Congratulations to Steve Garrison on making his ML Debut for the Yankees last night. I’m not sure if it’s really considered an a Major League Debut if you make it against a minor league team (the Mariners), but good for Steve after spending the past seven years in the minors. The Yankees acquired him in the off-season and called him up to provide a little bullpen depth. He’ll probably be optioned back down in a day or two since Rafael Soriano is due back today.

Garrison pitched 2/3 of an inning and recorded two flyouts to end the game. From my very, very untrained eye, he didn’t seem very deceptive or have exceptional stuff. I had hopes that he could potentially be a LOOGY, but I fear he’ll end up being more of an organizational player. I did think his face/build looked a little like Ted Lilly when he was out there, but no so much his delivery. 

I don't own this card but it's pretty sweet.

Have to include Mr. Garrison.

TTM Success: Danny Tartabull

In the early '90s, there wasn't much to cheer about for Yankees fans. They always had good players, but never managed to do much with them. One player I was fond of was Danny Tartabull. He hit HRs, drove in runs, and wore cool wrap-around of the first to do so! Looking back at his stats, he was a pretty good player. Decent BA for a power hitter and a good OBP to boot. He struck out a bit too much though. Anyways, he really was a key member in turning the bad Yankee teams around from 1993-1995. Unfortunately he didn't get a chance to play playoff baseball with the Yanks. The strike took away a sure playoff berth in 1994 and then he was traded at the 1995 deadline for Ruben Sierra.

Tartabull signed a few more cards than this for me. I actually asked him to keep a bunch for himself and he signed them all.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Needed: 2003 Topps Yankees base cards

With 2011 Topps Series Two a few months old and 2011 A&G in full swing, this probably seems like a very odd request. And it is. However, you see, I am only one card away from completing my Topps Yankees Project - a signed Yankees Topps card from every year since 1951, without using the same player twice. I have 60 out of 61 years completed, all done via TTM requests. It's driving me nuts. 2003 is the one measly year that is eluding me.

I'll probably buy another batch of 2003 Topps Yanks cards on SportsLots, but wanted to see if any of you had any spare Yanks laying around from 2003. They can be base cards or Topps Traded. Jaybarkerfan and Ted have actually sent me a few Yanks from these years without knowing how badly I need them. Thanks, guys.

Once I get a few cards, I'll be sending out TTM requests again in hopes of putting the final piece in the puzzle...until 2012 Topps hits the shelves.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Congrats to Brandon Laird on his MLB debut

Congratulations to Brandon Laird on making his Major League Debut. I would love a 2011 Topps card commemorating this, but they don't do awesome Debut sets like this anymore. Brandon is a power hitting corner infielder and is the brother of Cardinals catcher Gerald Laird.

In his first plate appearance, Laird walked. The very first pitch he saw was actually behind him. He came up again an inning later and recorded an RBI single up the middle for his first big league hit. Congrats, Brandon!

Frustrating Tino relic

In the past few weeks, I picked up this 2004 Topps Clubhouse Tino Martinez jersey relc. I've seen the card on eBay for a few years but never had a ton of desire to bid on it. However, when this one showed up for a low, low price with a prime Pinstripe, I scooped it up. Despite having a Devil Rays uniform on, I was excited to add a new Tino relic to my collection.

The card is really nice, but the jersey swatch is so tiny. It's also a bit random, just floating on the side and is not really part of the design of the card. Here is the weird part for me...I'm nearly certain that the jersey swatch is from a Yankees uniform. Keep me honest, but I don't think the Cardinals or Devil Rays have any uniform variations with pinstripes. Tino was on the Cards from 2002-03 and the D-Rays in 2004, so I'm guessing that this jersey swatch is from 2001 or prior. That's really show him in a D-Rays uniform from 2004, and have the swatch be from two teams prior to what he is pictured in.

I flipped the card over, but the back has no information at all. It actually doesn't even say that it's a game-used or authentic piece. Hmmm.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Big Fun Game over at Napkin Doon's

This isn't a contest, it's actually a game...a conniving game of stealing and backstabbing and complete disregard for the feelings of others. There are always great prizes up for grabs. Go check it out and get on the list for Napkin Doon's 3rd Big Fun Game. You won't regret it...except when I steal your card from you.


A while back, I sent a TTM request to one of my all-time favorite Yanks - 2009 World Series MVP Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui. I figured he probably gets a lot of mail, especially from Japanese fans, but now that he's with the A's there might be less of it. Well, after two months, yesterday I received this beauty in the mail:

No way! This has got to be one of my best all-time successes. I just hope it's real. I compared it to some other Matsui autos on line and it looks pretty legit. His signature is sort of inconsistent to begin with. Anyhow, I'm thrilled to get this back and thank Godzilla for being one of the classiest players of the last 10 years.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Tino Topps 206 relic

I had seen this card all over eBay, but never had the chance to pick it up. I finally won it with a low ball bit. it's a nice card with a framed relic. The scan shows the card as white, but it's more of a cream color. The back is interesting as well, as it has a hologram on it. I don't think Topps does this anymore with their relics.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm a fan of Jaybarkerfan

Wes over at Jaybarkerfan's Junk sent me more Yankees goodness. There were so many cards to sort through, and this box was sent completely out of the blue. My Yankee collection has really grown thanks to Wes' kindness.

I love all the cards, but I picked out a few that stood out to me. Let's start with a Tino I didn't have!

And how about nine new Mattinglys, including two KMart versions! I also didn't know he made it into the Fleer GOG sest. The Triple Play card is cool...looks like it was ripped out of somewhere. The only one I had of these was the Donruss. Everything else is brand spankin' new for me, which is awesome because I love Donnie Baseball.

More cards of some dude who just passed Al Kaline in number of career hits. I love the 1994 Prospects card - I didn't have this! The Road to the Show is one of my all-time favorite Jeter cards. He is so young and scrawny.

Steve "Bye Bye" Balboni RC. Enough said. Also, is this the first card of three players with mustaches on it?? Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Not a bad fivesome here!

I'm thinking of starting a Rizzuto PC. These reprints will certainly help! I love the gold-bordered Gene Woodling as well!

Wes, you are the man. Thanks again!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A pack of 1989 Topps from my mom

Over the weekend, I put the blog on autopilot with a few pre-written posts and headed to a family wedding. While at brunch the morning of the wedding, my brother handed me something and said, "these are a joke from mom." And what a joke it was! A fresh pack of 1989 Topps! I was sitting with my other brother and my brother-in-law, so we all laughed and I opened the cards.

First off, the pack and cards still smell exactly the same. You get a whiff of the gum as soon as you open it. It's amazing the things you remember. The 22 year old gum was broken into a few pieces, but I put it back together like a puzzle. No one was daring enough to try it, although I wish someone at the wedding asked if I had any gum. It's a bad scan...the gum is still pink.

Here are a couple of cards in the pack. My brother in law, a Mets fan, immediately grabbed the Keith Hernandez off the top of the stack. The pack also included Mike Schmidt and Dale Murphy. It was probably a pretty decent pack at the time to get these two guys, no?

It was fun to open up an old pack and it really did bring back memories from the smell and the feel of the cards.

TTM Success: A former Yankees catcher

I haven't had a TTM success in a while, so it was nice to see one come back yesterday. Rick Cerone signed this sweet looking Goodwin Champions card for me. I already had a prior success with Cerone a few years ago, but I thought this card was too cool not to send. Luckily Mr. Cerone returned it in about two weeks time.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sabathia Diamond Die Cut arrives!

Last week, I mentioned that I had my CC Sabathia Diamond Die Cut shipped. I was tired of getting offers like a 1987 Tim Stoddard for it. It got tiring logging in every day and seeing the same offers from the same people, over and over. Maybe I should have been more patient, but I got annoyed and had the card shipped.

As most of have already said, the cards are really nice in hand. Thick cardstock, nice shine, and a cool effect on the diamond. The die cut looks great and it's one of the more attractive cards I've seen in awhile.

It is definitely a thick card. I tried to compare it to a regular 2011 Series One card.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

TTM Blast from the Past: John Olerud

In 2004, John Olerud was picked up by the Yanks after being released by the Mariners. He played well for the Yanks down the stretch, and once he went down in the ALCS with a foot injury, the tides started to turn. Most Red Sox fans will say it was Dave Roberts stolen base or one of Ortiz's hits, but I think the downfall started with Olerud going down. No joke.

Anyways, two or three years ago Olerud signed this card for me TTM c/o his home. He has a very nice looking signature. He also included a signed card of his own and on my return envelope, wrote "Thanks for the kind letter."

Friday, July 15, 2011


The movie is officially out! I fully admit it, I'm a Harry Potter freak. Love it. I've read all the books and seen multiple midnight showings for the movie releases. Unfortunately, I won't be seeing Deathly Hallows Part 2 until Saturday night due to a family wedding. However, I've already got my IMAX 3D tickets in hand. Who here is planning on seeing it this weekend?

I can't say that I own this card.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Contest Winnings from Jaybarkerfan!

Wes of the always enjoyable Jaybarkerfan's Junk sent me my winnings (and then some!) from his recent contest. My prize was the BGS 10 of NY Giant Brandon Jacobs. I don't have any graded cards, so this is definitely cool to receive.

Wes also sent me a bunch of Yankee cards, including an ARod Topps 60 relic! This is my first ARod relic and it looks awesome!

I was thrilled to find this Thurman Munson 2011 Topps SP as well! It's my first Yankees SP this year. Oh, and he also sent me 15 cards of some guy just got his 3,000th hit. Thanks a lot, Wes!