Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ty Hensley Mojo. Will he soon be my new favorite?

Mark this down: January 30th, 2014.

By the time the 2014 baseball season is over, Ty Hensley is going to be my favorite pitcher in the Yankees farm system. My hope is that Michael Pineda throws about 150 slightly better than league average innings in his return from injury. I'd love to see Manny Banuelos stay healthy and make his big league debut. He's coming back from TJ surgery and was a consensus Top 25 prospect before he went down. He's still just 22. Don't write him off.

And Ty Hensley will be a future rotation anchor, his stock boosted by a promising 2014 season. Hensley appeared on his way to being an early to mid-first round selection in 2012, but ended up falling to the Yankees at the end of the first round. He quickly signed and logged a few innings in rookie ball. Unfortunately, he was sidelined with hip surgery for all of 2013, but appears healthy and ready to go this season.

With all of the "Top Farm System" rankings I've seen over the last few weeks, the Yanks seem to be at about 20 out of 30 teams, which is very fair. However, the upside in the system is huge. They essentially have four first rounders joining the ranks this year in Hensley and the three 2013 first rounders (Eric Jagielo, Aaron Judge, and Ian Clarkin). That's a quick way to replenish a bare cupboard and make some big leaps.

I've been fortunate to pick up some nice Hensley cards as of late, but this one might be my favorite. This is from 2012 Leaf Valiant. I love how the design is exactly the same as 1998 Donruss Crusade, one of the most beautiful insert sets of all-time. The colors are vibrant, and the autograph is on-card. What a great, great looking card.
It's my third Hensley autograph - all certified - and I'm looking forward to adding more. And why not? I firmly believe this guy is going to have a really nice year and put himself on the map.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Some eBay sellers rock

Sometimes, eBay sellers are awesome for no reason. Seriously. A few weeks ago, I picked up a few Bowman Yankee autographs. Each one was running about $2, and I noticed the seller had combined shipping. I always hear other bloggers talking about taking advantage of combined shipping, so I looked at what else he had ending around that time, and nabbed two more Yankee autos.
When the package came, I noticed a few additional cards in between the two of the Yankee autographed cards. The seller correctly assumed I was a Yankee fan, and threw in some truly sweet Yankees parallels! Check out what he sent: 
Truly awesome cards. Hensley is a PC guy, so love the sweet Bowman Ice of him as well.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I also don't have 2014 Topps

I usually get pretty excited for the newest Topps release (since 2011, anyways), but this year I'm not. I agree with most folks in feeling underwhelmed seeing the various photos popping up. I don't love the tab-like design. They remind me of my desk drawers at work. And all the color parallels? They remind me of those cheap ass pocket folders that go in bigger folders in my files in my desk drawers at work.

I'm sure I'll pick up a pack or two just to say I did, but I won't make a big investment. I really do want the Yanks team set, of course, with a few extras for TTMing so I can keep the Topps Yankees Project alive and well. For those new to the blog and don't know what my project entails, it's a signed Topps Yankees card from 1951-2013, all done TTM. No repeat players either. I need 2014, and hope to knock it out during spring training.

Besides that, I've been very busy with work, work travel, and doing some card-related things to actually try and organize my collection a bit better. If you take a look at my "Tino PC" tab, I've got about 90% of the Tinos I own accounted for. I think it's around 600 different, but I'll count for sure once I got through one more box.

I've got a few trades that I've been way too lazy in sending out, and I apologize for that. To those of you that I owe cards to, I'll get on it.

Also, I've got some cards that have come in through purchases, trades, and generous acts that I need to post about. I'll get on that as well.

And just to show a few cards, here is page from my son's binder that doesn't include any HOF cards. There are 5 TTM signatures I've gotten my son, as well as four relics that have been sent to him by other bloggers/collectors. I always say if you happen to send something for Joey, it's going in his collection, and I mean it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tino PC organization coming together

One thing that's really bugged me about my blog is that my Tino Martinez collections is so out of sorts and unaccounted for. I tried importing checklists from various sites, but it never seemed to work well.

I've now manually started adding every Tino card I own to the "Tino PC" page. Right now, I've added about 400 different ones. I probably have 200 or so to go, I think. I've added a complete binder, now I'm going through cards in top loaders and team bags. I expect it to take me a few more days, but it'll be nice to know exactly what I have and how many different ones I've accumulated.

It's a work in progress, but CLICK HERE to check it out.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A list of the top cards Night Owl sent me

Last week, Night Owl sent me a bubble mailer full of Yanks. It was most appreciated and unexpected, especially because I bashed the formation of lists on one of my posts around the New Year. Hey, countdown lists still aren't my personal preference, but if it results in free Yankees cards, I'll keep it to myself.

So to humor us both, here are the Top 9 cards Night Owl sent me, because Top 10 would be too cliche:

9. Brett Gardner 1987 Topps Mini
I'm pretty sure this is a night card. And a mini. Greg, are you slipping? Is this a dupe? Or do you hate the Yankees so much that you don't even care it's a night time mini card?

8. 2010 A&G Jorge Posada
This is one of my least favorite A&G sets. Sometime I should list my favorite to least favorite ones. Heh. Bad joke.

But truthfully, I didn't love the white border around these 2010 A&G's, and wish it was all one color. I like the red splash though. And the cool managerial pose.

7. 1981 Topps Ruppert Jones
Because Ruppert. And stirrups.

6. Andy Pettitte 2013 A&G
I didn't get too many Allen & Ginter's in 2013, but I don't mind these at all. I like them more in person than I thought I would. The border is a little overdone, but still feels pretty classy. The thin lines helps. I love the ecto-cooler green behind Pettitte. It's a great color.

5. Derek Jeter 2013 A&G Across the Years
This is a cool card. I like the shield, and love seeing Jeter spray a ball the other way. The back lists some cool fact for Jeter's birthday, like it was the first time the UPC code was scanned. No kidding.

Also born the same day: Abner Doubleday, Babe Herman, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Shannon Sharpe, Michael Vick, and Deron Williams. Cool. Seems like it would be a good concept for an Opening Day insert too.

4. Mike Wallace 1975 Topps Mini
I love 1975 minis. They are cool as hell. Greg is collecting the set, so I'm assuming this was a dupe. What is with Mike Wallace's hat? It looks like a cartoon hat, like the one the guy on the Big League Chew packet wears. Honestly, is it painted on a picture of Wallace?

Night Owl sent me Bobby Bonds from this set in the last package, so I'm hoping he'll eventually just send me the team set.

3. Jim Hunter 1979 Topps

What a great card. A few things stick out to me. I know 1979 wasn't THAT long ago, but the gloves look pretty similar to the way they do today. I would have expected them to look a little different. Not weird Phil Rizzuto giant Hamburger Helper hand gloves, but just a little less advanced.

Two, I realized this was probably taken at spring training, but I swear, that's an airport runway behind him. Spring Training complexes have come a lot farther than baseball mitts since 1979.

2. 1982 TCMA Yankees - Mantle, Berra, Ford, DiMaggio

I've really come to appreciate TCMA. I used to see them as "no man's land" cards...not quite vintage, but not new. But I like them more and more every time I receive them. The write-ups are always pretty good, and the designs are always simple yet elegant.

1. Thurman Munson 1977 Topps
Munson was a bad ass. Even when he smiles, he's still cooler than you. I actually didn't have this Munson, and now just need one or two more to complete my Topps set of him. Ever notice how similar this background color is to a 1952 Topps Mantle?

And that's the list. That wasn't so bad! Greg, thanks for the cards.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Listia, sometimes you are my friend

I'm still pretty active on Listia. I do tend to come and go, but I enjoy turning cards I don't want into things I do. I have a decent amount of credits, but am still pretty stingy on what I buy. Over the past month or so, here's how I've done:

The below lot was for 25 2013 Bowman Chrome Yankees. I needed these badly for TTM, plus this set has some of my favorite Yankees prospects. There were some dupes, but it was a great lot that I got at way too low of a credit price. Not sure what everyone was doing passing this one up.
I'm always looking to add to my PCs when I can, and I did just that with this cool 1980 Cramer card of Phil Rizzuto. It's a cool looking card. I also picked up another Michael Pineda card I didn't have.
I've seen a few sellers offer up lots of nine cards, and they just fold the binder page three ways. This is interesting. This was a nice nine-card lot I snagged, complete with a Gary Sanchez (another PC guy!) Bowman Platinum Purple Refractor. I love the Jeter Prizm. It's amazing how much nicer logos make cards look.
Right before he signed with the Twins, this Phil Hughes jersey card set me back 900 credits, which is nothing for a Yankees jersey card on Listia. The Pinstripe is impeccable.
Here's a nice Whitey Ford from a high-end Topps product (Tribute). I was the only bidder at 200 credits.
Lastly, while I don't collect football, Ryan Nassib was one of the best QBs to ever come through Syracuse, so I felt it appropriate to grab a card of him.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The (Vida) Blues

The other day, I bid on a card on Listia thinking I would add it to my son's HOF binder. I was excited to win it...only until I realized the card wasn't of a Hall of Famer. See, for some reason, I thought Vida Blue was a HOFer. Not sure why, but I certainly always lumped him in with HOF pitchers of the 1970s. And let's be honest, he was damn good.

So here I am, with a non-HOF Vida Blue 1972 Topps card, just one season after he went 24-8 and won the Cy Young AND MVP awards. The card is in pretty good shape. It has a small puncture on the left hand side of the card, but otherwise, not bad for a 1972.

I'm not sure what I'll do with it. I bought it for my son, so I guess I'll still put it in the non-HOF section of his binder. That is, unless someone wants to trade me this Vida for a HOFer I don't have in Joey's binder.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A pair of PWEs

I could stop doing formal trades and just send PWEs back and forth and be completely content. I've loved this trend over the past year or so.

The first PWE was courtest of Ptown Tom of Waiting Til Next Year. Tom sent me a few 2013 Bowman Chrome Yankees. These will come in handing for some spring training TTMs.
The next was from Chris over at View From The Skybox. He sent a very diverse six cards, three of which are below. He basically hit everything I collect in one PWE, which was really cool. I love the Piniella especially.
Thanks, guys!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My first Pineda relic

I finally snagged my first Michael Pineda relic, even though it's of him in a Mariners uniform. You know, I guess he actually needs to pitch in a game for him to get a true game-used Yankees jersey. He does have a few Yankee jersey issues, which is weird since he's never pitched for them. He had a few spring training appearances in 2012, so I suppose that's what those are from. Wooooo.

Anyways, this is a dual-relic card with Zach Britton of the Orioles. I remember Britton being a pretty big prospect for them. It seems like he's had a rough go of it in the Bigs so far. At the time, I'm going to say this would have been a pretty desirable card. Now, it's nothing special, but it is my first Pineda relic, so I suppose it's still special in that sense.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Vintage contest winnings from Johnny's Trading Spot

Back in late December, Johnny from Johnny's Trading Spot held a contest for a vintage Bowman card. He played a blaster wars between three blasters, and all you had to do was comment on which you thought was the best and why. I was lucky enough to won, and he's my prize:
Nice! A well-loved 1951 Johnny Wyrostek. Condition doesn't bother me. I love owning old cards. Wyrostek played on a few different teams over the course of his war-interrupted career. He was actually a 2-time all-star with the Reds in 1950 and '51.

Hilariously, John also included this note: "The Mantle is because of the condition of the Bowman card, and the Mattingly is because of ARod." I laughed.
Thanks for the contest, John. If you haven't checked out his blog yet, do so.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Servin' up cards from Cervin' Up Cards

First off, if you haven't visited Zippy Zappy's blog - Cervin' Up Cards - go do that before reading any farther.
I'm ashamed to say that it has taken me about two months to do this post. Kenny (Zippy Zappy) sent me such a big padded envelope of cards that it's been intimidating to blog about. Eventually, I got the courage to scan some of my favorite cards, but still have been a bit worried about the daunting task of showing off the cards. However, it's time. The cards deserve it.

First off, I'll start with the PC guys. The Ty Henley autograph is awesome. Numbered to 40, the card is as thick as a pack of cards.I think Ty's going to have a breakout year. He was a very promising prep pitcher who was projected to go in the middle of the first round, but fell to the end of the first round where the Yanks scooped him up. He missed last year with hip surgery, but should be ready to go this year.
I'll go with some inserts and shiny cards next. The Yogi GQ is very, very classy. I love the photo and the gold boarder is a really nice, dark gold. Not flashy at all. the Thurman Munson liquorfractor is cool as well. It should be called a beerfractor for him. The Jeter diecut is cool too. I love Jeter first pump cards. I may have a hundred fist pump cards of his. I may need to count them one day.
More autographs! I really appreciate Kenny sending me the Cervelli. I sent him a Goudey Cervelli auto once, so he went out of his way to make sure he replaced in my collection. The other autograph is from Yeicok Calderon. You wish your team has a guy name "Yeicok."
A Japanese card! Kenny sends the coolest Japanese cards between these and the Sega Gen cards.
And last but not least, vintage! The Bauer is a wreck...and I love it. Seriously, I'll take any Yankees from the 1950's. I don't care about condition. I want to own them. The Clarke is cool because I'm pretty sure I may put together the 1967 Yankees team set...I mean, I have Mantle and Ford. Why wouldn't I? And the McCovey is cool and I'll probably add it to Joey's binder. The current McCovey I have in there is him in a Padres jersey. With all due respect to Marcus, McCovey was not a Padre.
Kenny, as always, thank you so much!