Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween from Twizzlers

In the spirit of the day, I thought I'd show off a Bernie Williams that I got in a pack of Twizzlers back in 2000. I wish more candy/cereal/you name it companies included cards with their product. I loved getting them and it definitely made me buy their product. The front of the card was in the Fleer Tradition design, and the back looked the same too except that the numbers were different. There was also a Twizzlers logo.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My two favorite NFL Rookies (and their cards!)

Well, it's a Sunday Funday, and I'll be watching the Bengals vs Seahawks while I pack for a work trip (L.A. for a few days). Yes, I'm a Bengals fan. I was born into it. And yes, they always suck. However, this year they are 4-2 with a pretty favorable match-up vs Seattle. Can the newly exciting Bungals possibly move to 5-2?!

Anyhow, I love Andy Dalton and AJ Green, and I hope this is a formidable combo for many years to come. I decided to pick up their Topps Rookie Cards on SportLots. The whole transaction cost less than a $1, so I'd hardly call this a Doonboggle like the time I went out and stocked up on Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson cards.

I still have no intention of collecting football cards, but I just wanted to own these two.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

TTM Success: Scott Proctor (the Rays favorite pitcher)

When the Yanks signed Scott Proctor late in the season, I figured it was just another bullpen arm for late in the season. I didn't expect him to pitch too many meaningful innings, but I should have known better. Proctor wasn't too bad of a reliever before he was Joe Torre'd in New York and in LA. He was over-worked before he ever got to really cash on a multi-year deal. He had a great attitude about taking the ball whenever he was needed, even though deep down I'm sure he know he was hurting his chances of future success.

Coming back from surgery, Proctor didn't have much this year. He was still throwing in the low 90s (he used to throw upper 90s), but he wasn't fooling anyone. In the last week of the season, he gave up that big HR to Jacoby Ellsbury in extra innings that looked like it would help send the Red Sox to the playoffs. Haha, we know how that turned out, mostly because Proctor was the last pitcher in the Yanks 'pen vs Tampa on that incredible final day of the season. He ended up giving up Even Longoria's walk-off HR that clinched the Wild Card for the Rays.

I sent Proctor two cards in September, and he returned them both signed after the season. They were post-marked for Florida, so he must have taken his fan mail home, which I really appreciate. I was surprised at how well the signature stuck to the SP Prospects card.

Thanks, Mr. Proctor!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Contest winner for Heath Bell auto is....

...Hackenbush! (please email me your address)

There were 20 entrants, which is great. I then randomized it seven times in honor of tonight's Game 7. Hackenbush ended up coming out on top in the seventh randomization. Congrats and thanks for playing!

A cool Gary Sanchez from a cool blogger

I’ve made no secrets about the fact that Gary Sanchez is one of my favorite Yankee prospects. He’ll play high A ball in 2012 with a chance to move up to AA. Not bad for a kid who is still a teenager.

Ryan from This Card is Cool ripped some 2011 Obak and pulled this Gary Sanchez. I inquired and we worked out a trade. Definitely a nice addition to my Gary Sanchez collection, which now stands at a whopping six cards.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Contest - last chance for a Heath Bell auto

If you haven't entered, what are you waiting for? CLICK HERE and check out the original post. I'm holding a contest for a Heath Bell signed 2011 Topps card. Contest closes at Noon ET tomorrow (Friday).

Good luck!

More vintage trading with Simon

Simon of 7 Hours from Tampa Bay is one of my favorite trading partners. He always comes across cool Yankees relics and great vintage cards, and always keeps me in mind. He sent me an email with four vintage Yanks, three of which I didn't have. I offered a few dupes that I had from my 1968 Topps Game set quest, and a trade was born.

I love the Turley. Bullet Bob is a pretty great TTM signer, so I may send this to him. I just haven't decided yet, as I do already have a signed Turley card. We shall see.

This 1975 Thurman Munson is too cool. I'm actually trying to collect all of Munson's Topps base cards, so this was a welcome addition.

And you can never go wrong with a 1958 Topps. So cool. The pink is random, but I kind of like it.

Simon, thanks as always for thinking of me!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Trade at the Plate

I just completed my second trade with Brian from Play at thePlate. He saw a Joe Mauer card he liked on my blog, and a trade was born. He had a bunch of 2011 Topps Chrome Yankees that I needed. He also had two Refractors – Jorge Posada and Lance Pendleton (aka Pants Lendleton). I swear I have more Posada Refractors than I do of anyone else.

Brian, thanks for the trade!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tino Tuesdays #11: 2002 E-X

With the World Series still going on, I'll showcase another Tino card from his Lost Years. Here we have a 2002 E-X. I always liked these sets and still do. Sure, the graphics are a little gaudy, but I like clearcuts, so this brand was always one I looked forward to. The gold areas above and below the red woosh are translucent. Not full-on clearcut, but I can still see my finger on the other side.

The stats on the back are sort of weird. I don't mind seeing team-by-team stats, but why not include all teams? I'm sure it's because of limited real estate, but it's still odd.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My first vintage Willie Mays card

I feel like a collector with no goals lately. I'm not really pursuing any new sets or any player collections with much vigor. I open a few packs here and there, and if I pull anything interesting I just look to trade it off for some Yankees. Since I'm mindlessly wandering as a collector, and with a son on the way that I hope to give my collection to one day, I've started looking into various vintage cards to add to my collection that I can bequeath one day. I'm not just looking at Yankees, either. I'm trying to acquire a few cards of some Hall of Famers and the best players of all-time.

The problem is, these guys are expensive, so I've started by looking for a few cards that are in poorer condition than a lot of collectors might prefer. The first purchase I made with this in mind is a 1970 Topps Willie Mays, pictured below. I got this for less than $3 (including shipping) on eBay. Obviously the condition is rough, but owning a card of a player like this makes the blemishes worth it.

I'm not going to go crazy doing this - looking for low grade cards, but I just like owning a card of the all-time greats, and Mays certainly is one of the best ever. One day I hope to upgrade to a nicer card of his in better condition, but for now, this will do just fine.

TTM Success: Heath Bell (and a contest!)

A while back, I shared a story about when I met Heath Bell while he was in Double A. HERE is the post if you're interested. Toward the end of season, I sent Bell the photo and a short letter about my memories of meeting him. I included a 2011 Topps card and kindly requested an autograph. I’ve heard Bell was a great TTM signer, and when a few weeks went by I figured that I had just sent it too late in the season and I probably wasn’t getting it back.

Last week, a SASE came back and it was pretty thick. I wasn’t sure what it was, so I opened it and out fell my card signed by Heath Bell – as well as four others that I didn’t send! He also included a second 2011 Topps, 2011 Heritage and A&G, and a 2008 Topps – all hand-signed! There was no response to my note, but I’d have to imagine he threw in the extras because of the picture. He continues to be one of the most fan-friendly players in baseball.
Contest time! I’m going to keep most of the autos, but since he included a second signed 2011 Topps, I think I should share the wealth. If you’re interested in being entered, just leave a comment to this post saying that you’d like in for a chance to win a 2011 Topps card signed by Heath Bell. No pimping or following required (although please have an email attached to your profile so I can contact you if you win). I’ll leave the contest open until Noon ET on Friday, Oct 28 and draw the win shortly after that.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jaybarkerfan's Junk isn't junk to me

Wes from Jaybarkerfan's Junk sent me a great assortment of Yankees recently. He was even nice enough to pull a few Tino cards for me, and the mini Tino was just featured in my Tino Tuesdays segments. I always really appreciate it when a blogger comes across a Tino and thinks to send it to me.

This 1965 Pedro Ramos is a fun card. It's miscut pretty badly, but I still like it. Any vintage Yankee is good in my book! I wonder who's card I have the bottom of?

There was also a nice assortment of Yanks from the '80s through today - a lot of Mattingly and Rickey Henderson, as well as a Bernie Williams 1990 Bowman Rookie. I had his Topps RC, but not Bowman, so this is a great addition. While I had a couple of these cards from the '80s, the new ones from Wes are in much better condition that the old ratty ones I had.


Wes, as always, thanks for the great assortment!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A little bit of Topps Update

I was able to locate and purchase a couple packs of Topps Update. I didn't get anything to write home about, but it was nice to open a few packs. I like this product and seeing players in their new uniforms. I actually didn't pull any Yankees in my pack, which I was bummed about. I want a big ol Bart Colon in a Yankee uniform card.

I pulled the of the Liquorfractors. I don't really understand them, but I don't hate them either. The Dee Gordon is already gone, but the Kohn and Barney are available. I clearly didn't do the Gordon card justice by turning it on its side and scanning it with these other cards. It's easily one of the best cards of 2011 right up there with the Casey Blake from Series One.

A few more inserts. That's an Al Kaline Diamond Anniversary card, a Big Puma Topps 60, a Kimball Champs Andre Dawson, and a Gold Cliff Lee All Star #'d to 2011. Does anyone have a Yankee legend Diamond Anniversary shiny to trade for the Kaline?

There are some great photos in Update. As aforementioned, the Dee Gordon is super cool. These three cards stuck out to me as well, although the Blanco was hard to tell who was who at first. He is obviously the catcher, but it's a little odd when the subject of the card isn't 100% of the focus. It's either a force out or a horrendous job of blocking the plate.

I also grabbed a Diamond Giveaway code and unlocked a 1955 Chuck White. I should have kept it instead of making dumb trades. I traded it for a Corey Hart Diamond Die Cut, and then traded that for an Aramis Ramirez which then turned into a Torii Hunter. I'm still trying to turn that into a Yankee. Maybe I should have been more patient with a 1955 card? Sigh.

Friday, October 21, 2011

One lucky diamond

Today as I was logging onto the Topps Diamond Giveaway site, I looked on the right hand side of the "recently unlocked" cards. Now, I have no idea how truthful this portion of the site is. It could be a looping list of 200 cards for all I know. I don't really believe in "runs" either - if you see a few old cards on that list that you'll get one too.

Regardless, I do usually look whenever I go to sign in, just for the fun of it. Today something caught my eye:

Upon closer view:
Now, I know next to nothing about this player. Michael Crotta. No idea. But still, how cool would it be to unlock this card or one like it? I can't even imagine the money some of these will fetch. All I know is that someone just got very lucky, and that someone was not me.

TTM Success: First from the Arizona Fall League

I only sent out two requests to Arizona Fall League participants this season: Gerrit Cole and Chase Whitley. Cole was chosen #1 overall by the Pirates this past June, so I figured he was worth a shot. The second player was someone I wanted to send to all season, I just never prioritized it for whatever reason. Well, after just 10 days, I received this from Yankees prospect Chase Whitley.

Whitley is a reliever in the Yanks' farm system. He was selected by them in 2010 (15th Round) out of Troy University and reached AA this season. He ended the year with a 2.47 ERA and 77Ks in 91 innings. He’s definitely someone who could factor into the Yankees bullpen plans in a year or two. Unfortunately the signature didn’t stick to the card very well, but still a nice success.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Twice as nice Banuelos Refractor

It’s no secret I’m a fan of Manny Banuelos, the little lefty who I’m hoping has a Matt Moore-like impact for the Yankees in 2012. I’ve started to grab his cards when I spot a good deal, and I recently found this Bowman Platinum Refractor on eBay for $1.54 shipped. The best part? It was a lot of two of the same card, so I now I have a dupe. I’m not going to hoard or stock up on his cards by any means, but I would have been happy enough with just one of these guys for the price.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

1968 Topps Game - The Joys of a Completed Set

I did it! I completed the 1968 Topps Game 33-card insert set. What a fun little set jam-packed with HOFers. Overall, I made a few trades for some cards, and I probably spent about $40 total putting this set together, usually buying a few card lots off of eBay. I wish I kept better records of what I spent. I suppose I could look it up, but I’ll say $40-$45, and I have a bunch of dupes to boot. I'll post some trade bait later on if you're interested in any of my extras.

My favorite card is easily the Mantle, followed by the Clemente. I’m still looking for a “real” Mantle Topps card, but in the meantime, this is pretty damn awesome to own. This set is not one of the top pieces in my collection. Enjoy!