Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cubs loot from JABO's Archives break

I joined JABO's Archives Group break recently. I took the Cubs since the Yanks were taken. Figured I'd have a decent shot for an auto. Nope. I ended up with 8 cards - 2 inserts, and doubles of the three cards in the scan below. Let me know if anyone needs 'em.

The Fergie is a reprint, and the Starlin is a cloth sticker. The rest are base cards.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TTM Success: Virgil Trucks

My TTM successes as of late have been few and far between. Part of it is a lack of time to write letters and pull cards to send to players, both past and present. However, I’ve still sent out a small number, maybe one per week, over the last few months.

The latest success comes from Mr. Virgil Trucks. It’s not a surprise success, as I think he has a 100% success rate and is known as probably the most generous signers out there. I bought a poorly conditioned 1953 Topps that I hoped to have signed. I also sent him a nice letter, letting him know where I’m from and ask if he knew about the baseball history from my hometown. I told him about my son and my collecting goals.

Mr. Trucks was nice enough to sign my ’53 Topps, and he also included a signed and personalized card for my son. Additionally, he sent me a kind letter and mentioned that he knew all about baseball in my hometown, that he has been there, and knew of many great players who have played there. For someone in his mid-90s, the guy is sharp.

I thank Mr. Trucks for being such an asset to the hobby.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tino Tuesday #42: 1999 Upper Deck Retro #57

I have to admit, Upper Deck Retro was pretty weird. A lot of the issues mimicked old Topps designs. This particular set in 1999 didn’t really have much of a retro/vintage feel other than the card stock. The design itself didn’t bring back memories of past sets. Perhaps the oddest part was that Upper Deck was only ten years old when this set was released. They were still fairly new, at least compared to Topps and Fleer and Donruss, yet still released a set called “Retro.” For a brand that at the time always seemed very forward-thinking and a leading innovator, they really followed the crowd with these Retro releases.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the Indy 500 in person for work several years ago. I went in 2008, when Scott Dixon won. It was an extremely cool experience. I’ve always been a big racing fan, and seeing these cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is something I’ll never forget. TV does not do the speed at which the cars travel justice.

I’ll be sure to catch some of the race today, especially the finish. Personally, I’d like to see another Andretti in victory lane, although good guy Tony Kanaan is due. Mostly, let’s just hope for a safe race for all.

Here is a small piece of the track that I own.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Robinson Cano signed baseball!

My co-worker did some work with Robinson Cano recently, and was nice enough to get a signed ball for me. It now resides on my desk here at work. This is now my third signed baseball...I have a Rollie Fingers, a Don Larsen, and now this Cano.

It's on an official MLB ball which is sweet. I wish the signature was in ballpoint pen as opposed to Sharpie, but it's perfectly on the sweet spot of the ball which makes up for it. It's a cool keepsake and I'm pretty excited to have it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A little more Tyler Austin love

A little more Tyler Austin love. With his inclusion in 2012 Bowman, I’ve been trying to grab a few of his card. Here is the regular Bowman, the Chrome, and a blue-bordered parallel numbered to 500. He’s getting a lot of prospect love lately, so I’m glad I’ve picked up a few before he starts gaining more traction (and prices go up).

I‘m still really excited that I own a 1/1 of him. It was basically a throw in from a Gary Sanchez 1/1 I bought.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gary Sanchez - SAL Top Prospect card

$.77 delivered brought me this Minor League card of Gary Sanchez. Gary, just 19, is hitting over .300 for Low A Charleston. It’s his second season there, and I anticipate a promotion to Tampa in the near future. Last year, he hit 17 HRs for them. While he has only two so far this year, he does have 14 doubles, two shy of last year. Something tells me the HRs are going to come.

This card marks my 14th different Gary Sanchez card.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Taking a chance on an odd Rizzuto auto

On eBay I came across this odd Phil Rizzuto signed card. The card appears to be a business card for Mac's Cards in Vernon, CT. Upon calling the number listed a doing a quick Google search, it appears that the store is no longer open. The item was also shipped from Ventura, CA.

I won this card for $2.25 plus $1.95 shipping. The item description said "all autographs are guaranteed to be original and authentic." Pretty standard stuff. There was no other COA or anything. However, the signature looks extremely real based on pretty much any Rizzuto auto out there, including one that I own. It's definitely in ink and not a pre-print.

Anyhow, I'm going to assume it's real. Being in CT, perhaps they had a card show where he signed or something. I'll never know for sure, but it's definitely a unique collectible.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tino Tuesday #41: 1996 Upper Deck Authenticated World Series Champions

I remember how excited I was during Christmas in 1996 when I pulled this card from an envelope in my stocking. I believe my mom saw an advertisement for it and purchased it. Being13 years old at the time, I had just started collecting Tino after his first year with the Yankees. This was easily the coolest card I owed at the time.

It's larger than a normal card. I believe it's 4x6. It's die cut, and bordered in an attractive gold foil. The Yankees logo is a little too large and just sort of stuck on there. I'd have made it a lot smaller and put it in the lower left corner. I'll always have a sweet spot for the the 1996 World Series logo, so I'm glad that is featured prominently. I'd have to say, I'm surprised Tino was featured on this card as opposed to Jeter, Boggs, O'Neill, Bernie, or even Wetteland. To my knowledge, no other versions of this card exist.

The back is individually numbered to 5000.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Autograph of Ernie Banks

I’ve always been a fan of Ernie Banks. Not sure why. I’m not a Cubs fan, although I don’t necessarily dislike them anyways. Growing up, I had a friend who had two signed baseballs that his grandmother bought him on QVC – one was Willie Mays, one was Banks. I was always envious of those baseballs, and I think why I subconsciously have always wanted an auto of each.

I’ve tried Banks a few times TTM, but with no success. I’ve bid on a few certified autos too, but I’m not ready to pay a hefty fee for something I can live without. I recently put in a bid on eBay for a 1999 Hillshire Farms card signed by Banks. My bid was $5.99. I lost. But then something happened. I received a second chance email…and I could buy the card for my highest bid - $5.99 – plus $2 shipping. $7.99?! I pulled the trigger and got this:

It also came with a certificate of authenticity. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tyler Austin making some noise

The Yankees' Tyler Austin is making some noise in the minor leagues. The converted catcher turned outfielder has some of the best power in the system – something the Yanks don’t have much of. Last year, Austin hit .354 in rookie ball with 6 HRs. He picked right up where he left off last year, already hitting 11 HRs in 34 games while hitting .287 (at the time I write this) in Low A Charleston.

Austin is several years away from the bigs and certainly may not develop into the hitter he shows flashes of, but it’s been exciting to follow him so far this year. Right-handed, corner outfield power is hard to come by. Austin could be the solution a few years down the road. Keep an eye on him.

On a side note, I'm traveling this weekend and probably won't be updating the blog with my usual filler.