Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Manny Banuelos Die Cuts

I like prospects. I like die cuts. I like Refractors. So, naturally, I'm really digging the 2011 Bowman Chrome Futures cards. Although they seem like sort of a random insert set, with three Yankees I collect in the checklist and a few variations of each card, I've been having a good time trying to pick these up.

On eBay, I got a good deal on these two Manny Banuelos cards as part of a lot. I think it costs less than $2 shipped, and it has the regular version and the Refractor. It bugs me that the 2011 Refractors don't say "Refractor." I know it's usually obvious, but I still liked it. Both of these cards are going straight in the Manny Banuelos collection.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tino Tuesdays #16: 2004 Upper Deck #159

This is a card from a time when I was not collecting. In fact, it may be my only 2004 Upper Deck card of any kind, as I didn't recognize the set when this card was sent to me from Tony from A Common (Card) Man. I'm not as crazy about the design as I have been about some other UD cards, but I don't dislike it. I like how unobstructed the photo is. The design at the bottom of the card is something I can live without.

The photo itself is neat. Who doesn't want to be pictured after presumably hitting a HR? Unfortunately it's not something he did a whole lot in St. Louis, at least compared to their previous first baseman.

I like the backs of the card. The full career stats plus a short write up give the best of both worlds. There is a bit of dead space under the stats that should have been used for something. I like that Upper Deck chose a head shot for the back of the card as opposed to the photo from the front.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My newest painting: Mariano Rivera

After I finished my Derek Jeter painting, I felt like Mariano Rivera was the natural progression. He has such an iconic throwing motion with a silky smooth delivery, plus he is the greatest ever at what he does. Why not capture this?

I found a photo I liked and printed it off. Per usual, I measured grid boxes on the photo and then drew them on the canvas. My Jeter painting was done on an 11x14 canvas board. This Rivera was done on 16x20 stretched canvas. I had never used stretched canvas, and I actually liked it a bit better than the board, mostly because the boards tend to curl up like a 2010 Topps Chrome card.

The whole painting itself didn’t take too long in terms of hours - probably between six and eight total - but it took about two months to complete because it was hard to find the time to do it. I also am a little impatient, which is why I took a stab at sketch cards in the middle of this project – I could usually finish one in one sitting. Paintings drag on too long and I lose interest.

Here are a few images I captured during the process, along with the finished work. I think my favorite part of the painting is his front foot. I feel like it came out fairly well. I still am not confident enough to do faces. Rivera’s face here is really just shading – it looks good from far away, but close up he looks like a ghost.

Let me know what you think! Thanks for checking it out.

Rizzuto Vintage - 1954 Topps

I recently picked up my third Phil Rizzuto card and this one is my oldest to date. Prior to this, I had two from 1955 - a Bowman and a Topps. I came across a 1954 Topps on eBay in very poor condition for only a few bucks, and I ended up being the only bidder. I always try to jump at vintage Yanks, even if the condition is crappy. How else would I be able to afford this card, as one in good condition goes from anywhere from $50-$100.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Signed baseball #2: Don Larsen

My second signed baseball is one of the coolest pieces of Yankees memorabilia that I own. Back in 2006, I had the fortunate chance of attending a charity event honoring the 50th anniversary of Don Larsen's perfect game. There were a ton of past Yankees there I got to meet - Yogi Berra, David Cone, Graig Nettles (who was a jerk), Goose Gossage, Joe Girardi and Jim Leyritz to name a few. It was awesome.

I didn't get to meet Larsen, but the goody bag from the event contained the following signed ball, amongst other things. It's really a great keepsake and one that I'll always treasure.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Signed baseball #1: Rollie Fingers

I only own two signed baseballs. For as large as my TTM autographed card collection is, my signed baseball collection is equally small. However, both are pretty cool, so I'll show them off today and tomorrow.

Ball #1 is Rollie Fingers. I actually got it at work for helping someone out with something. It was one of my first weeks on the job, so it was pretty cool. The ball isn't an official MLB ball, and it's signed in sharpie. Ball point pens work best on baseball, so I anticipate this fading or bleeding at some point down the road. It's about six years old as of now, and so far still looks pretty good. I'm glad it's signed on the sweet spot as well!

Friday, November 25, 2011

TTM Success: Walt "No Neck" Williams

Happy Black Friday. Hope everyone work up at 3am to go wait in line for a $100 32-inch flatscreen.

A few weeks back, Julie from Things Are Funner Here sent me this card in a trade. I was thrilled to learn that Walt "No Neck Williams" was a pretty reliable TTM signer, so I sent the card off to him. In 17 days, this came back signed:

Pretty neat signature, as he uses one W for both "Walt" and "Williams." Walt was also nice enough to answer my letter, although my questions didn't invoke many interesting answers. Still, it sort of feels like I was interviewing Bill Bellicheck.

1. What is your best baseball memory? Just being in the big leagues.
2. What pitcher did you love to face? None. (really? no favorites that he had success off of?)
3. What pitcher was the toughest to face? Dean Chance (I can't make out the words after Dean Chance)
4. What current player reminds you of yourself? Don't really watch baseball. Well ok, then.

I'm happy to add this signed card to my collection. Thanks, No Neck!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has a terrific Thanksgiving with their loved ones. It's the first one I'll be spending away from my family, but with the little lady 35.5 weeks pregnant, traveling is just not in the cards this year. No matter, we'll make the best of it and enjoy the day. Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Uncommon (Card) contest winnings

A few weeks back, Tony from A Common (Card) Man held a contest. He pulled a black leather nameplate from a pack of 2011 Topps Update. All we had to do was guess who it was from the checklist. Well, no one guessed correctly, so then Tony’d it off and somehow I came out on top. I never win these things, but I won two in one week. Weird! Anyways, I was pumped to win such an awesome card #’d to 99.

When the card arrived, I was surprised at how nice it was. The leather feels and smells real, and the black looks sharp. I have the Cano brown leather nameplate, and this will look great alongside it.

Tony and I had been working on a trade for this card, but he decided to include it in the prize as well. A Phil Rizzuto Liquorfractor. Scooter is one of my favorite Yanks of all, so this is a welcome treat.

That wasn’t the only Liquorfractor! This Cano is just amazing. He face is priceless. I now have this one and the regular Diamond shiny.

Oh, and Tony went above and beyond to find me a bunch of Tino’s I didn’t have! Always a welcome surprise! My favorite is the 1999 UD Choice Reserve that looks like an X-Fractor and is #'d 12/100. Of the eight Tino’s he sent, I didn’t have six! It’s amazing how many Tinos I still need, but this certainly helps.

Tony, thanks again for the great contest!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Topps Yankees Project: The Complete Set

I've taken you through all the decades, but let's take a look at the completed project together on one page. This has been a blast, and I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have.

Once again, one signed Yankees Topps card from every year, 1951-2011. No players repeat. No autos were paid for other than the cost of the original card and a postage stamp. Enjoy!