Monday, June 30, 2014

Another Maris finds its way home

I don't know why, but I've been snagging some Roger Maris cards on the cheap lately. I'm not sure if there just isn't much demand, or the fact that he doesn't carry the same appeal that some of his Yankee teammates and vinatage stars of the '50s-60s. Regardless, adding his cards to my collection is important. Although he isn't in the HOF (bogus given his place in the game's history), in my eyes he still shares a place in the hobby next to guys like Mantle, Yogi, Whitey Ford, and Phil Rizzuto. In fact, Maris cards are a bit more expensive (in my observation), than Whitey Ford, a no doubt HOFer.

My most recent pick up cost me about $4 total, and it's in pretty damn good shape for a '64. The surface is a bit worn, but there are no creases. I consider that a victory.

I still have a few more Roger Maris cards to pick up, but I'm loving the fact that I've picked up so many over the past year or so.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two new Ty Hensley autos!

I am up to 37 different Ty Hensley cards. Amongst those 37, twelve are autographed. Pretty freakin' cool. One day, I hope to add something else to my collection that is signed by Ty...a jersey or a cap or something. You know, a little diversity never hurts.

After battling back from two surgeries, Ty is finally back on the mound in the Gulf Coach League. In his first outing of the year, he threw 2 2/3 innings, allowing one run and striking out five, while walking just one. Definitely a successful first appearance, and I hope he builds on this throughout the summer. Finish strong, then head to full-season ball next year. He's just 20, and still has a lot of time to develop into a star in the Yankees system.

It feels like forever since I've picked up new Hensleys, mostly because I have many of the ones that pop up on eBay, except for a few overpriced or low-numbered ones.

The first is an Elite Extra Edition I've been trying to pick up for ever, but I was just waiting until the price was right. I like this set.
I also picked up my first Hensley from the Leaf Rize brand. These cards are super thin, and not the best quality. Still, I needed it. He's got a bunch of cards and autos in the set, but everyone wants an arm and a leg for them. Unlike Bowman and Elite, these are sticker autos.
Ty, can't wait to see you back on the mound, and hopefully we'll see you in Staten Island in a few weeks!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Contest winner!

First off, thanks to everyone who entered my contest. I had 38 different entries, and some of the players were so random and awesome.

At the end of the day, there can only be one winner. Congrats to Tony L of Off Hiatus Baseball Cards! Tony will be receiving a Robin Yount sketch card!

Tony, email me your address. Thanks for playing, everyone!

JBF Epic Boxes: Packs 11-12

I need to do these posts faster. While I've been slow to do them, ANOTHER epic box from Jaybarkerfan found it's way to me! Sheesh. It'll take me 'til Christmas to get these up.

Let's look at team bags 11 & 12, shall we?

Pack 11

Let's start off with some truly attractive SP Authentic cards. Holy smokes these are nice. There is SO MUCH border, bit I gotta say, the white makes it look classy. I know a lot of people don't prefer a large border with a small photo, but these just look nice. They tried to give the photo a ragged look, which works ok. The photo has an interesting gloss. Think of the 1995 Topps Cyberstats parallels.
Primetime is too cool for Classic, and definitely too cool for pink borders. 
Could Fleer really not find a better third shot than Wade Boggs' butt?
And the card of the pack? This 1999 Stadium Club Mariano Rivera. Great shot. Great simple design. Love the muted team logo in the corner. Stadium Club was so solid in the late '90s.
Total cards in pack: 42 (appropriate)
Running total: 388

Pack 12

I'll start with a Tino, because any pack with a Tino is a good pack.
Yogi! While his quotes might be a bit overdone at this point, it's cool to have them immortalized on cards. This is the ever-popular "Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical" quote.
Jeter. Classic pose. Man, I'm curious what his last Topps regular base card will look like in 2015. I say "regular base card" because you know he'll be in 9,000 other sets for the rest of his life. I'm a fan of Rivera's last card, and hope Jeter gets a good one too.
The card of the pack? Let's go with a darkhorse! 1995 Topps Finest Mike Stantley. This set wasn't as iconic as '93 or '94, but I like the bright colors and design. Someone took the fun out of this for me and peeled the unnecessary clear coating off of it already. Jerks.
Total cards in pack: 40
Running total: 428

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tino says, "USA! USA!"

I’ll show my support for the red, white, and blue with another Tino Martinez autograph that I recently picked up. My Tino autograph collection is looking healthy these days as being pretty sparse for a long time. This particular one is from 2013 Panini USA Champions.

Tino was a member of the 1988 USA Olympic Gold Medal winning squad. Let’s hope the US Men’s soccer team gets another W tonight against Portugal. I know I'm really stretching to draw a connection between the two, but bear with me!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tino Day at Yankee Stadium

Today, the New York Yankees will honor Tino Martinez, my all-time favorite player, with a plaque in Monument Park. Unfortunately, I will not be in attendance. I would love to be, but it's hard to give up a whole Saturday with a 2-year-old and a 2-month-old. I choose family-time.

When I first heard Tino was getting honored, I was like "Huh? Why?" But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. He's not getting his numbered retired. He's not getting a big monument like Mickey Mantle. He's getting a plaque to honor his role as the starting 1B on four World Series championship teams. He hit two of the most dramatic HRs in Yankees World Series history, notably the Grand Slam in Game 1 of the 1998 World Series. That deserves a small mention in Monument Park, in my opinion.

Congrats, Tino! Enjoy your day today.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Last chance to enter my contest!

Last chance to enter my contest!!


SkyBoxes are great for tradin'

Recently, Chris from View From The SkyBox posted some tradebait. I saw a Paul O’Neill 2012 A&G jersey with a big old pinstripe that struck my fancy, and a deal was born.
I’m still surprised with how frequently O’Neill has been included in modern sets. He was always a favorite, and adding pieces of his jersey are always something I’m interested in. If you touch the jersey, you can still feel Paulie’s heart pumping. Ok, maybe not, but that’s what I’ll tell myself.

Of the additional cards, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the TANAKA RC the most. He’s so awesome. Beyond anything I would have imagined. I’m not only a huge fan of his pitching, but how professional he’s been in his approach and demeanor. It’s hard to believe he’s just 25. It feels like watching someone who is 33 or 34 and has been in MLB for years.
Here are the others. That Clemens Turkey Red is truly sweet. The background is amazing. And the Mo reprint! I've kind of come to terms with the fact that I may never own the real deal, so this is a nice consolation prize. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

That one time I had a good idea

Last year while watching the MLB Draft, the Yankees selected Ian Clarkin as one of their first rounders. As soon as the pick was announced, I went on eBay, found a cool Clarkin USA relic, and snagged it. I went back later, and a lot of the prices had shot up since he was now a Yankee. Opportunistic sellers, indeed.
I employed a similar strategy this year. The Yankees first pick, at number 55 overall, was Jacob Lindgren, a fast track college reliever. I did a quick eBay search, but alas no cards.

The next day, the Yankees grabbed high school righty Austin DeCarr in the third round. I took a chance, and found a cool low-numbered auto of his right after the pick was made. Again, I checked eBay later, and nearly every seller had raised his prices to ridiculous amounts. I got mine for only a couple bucks.
DeCarr decided to forgo his commitment to Clemson and sign with the Yanks for a cool million bucks, so another solid young arm has been added to the system, as well as another sweet autograph to my collection.

Enter my contest!

In case you haven't, feel free to join my contest! Original link is HERE.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

TTM Success: Eric Jagielo (again)

I try not to send a TTM request to a guy multiple times. I'd be lying if I said I never did it, but usually I try to do it upgrade a past signature, or obtain an autograph on a card I really like that I didn't have at the time. Here's an example of that.

Last June, after he was drafted by the Yankees, I sent a TTM request to first-rounder Eric Jagielo. He was too fresh to have any cards, so I sent this Yankee Stadium card, which he signed. I like these better than the blank signature card, and I'm not adept at making customs like a lot of you.
Since then, Jagielo has appeared in a few sets, notably 2014 Bowman. Wanting to upgrade the above, I sent his base card, and just received it back signed:
Definitely an upgrade, and something that looks a lot nicer in my collection!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Contest time!

I haven't done a contest in a really long time. A few years, to be exact.

I also haven't done a sketch card in awhile. By no means am I the best artist out there, but I do enjoy doing a sketch card from time to time, and have done some for a few bloggers out there. I have found that I'm a bit more motivated when doing one for someone else, so that's where you come in.

The contest prize? A sketchcard of the player of your choosing!

To enter, all you have to do is:
1. Follow my blog (most of you already do).
2. Comment on which player you'd choose if you win.

That's it. No additional entry opportunities. No pimping needed (although I won't say no if you want to share the contest on your blog or on Twitter). Just one simple follow and one simple comment, and you're in! Contest entries close at midnight PT on Friday 6/20.

Here are a few sketch cards I've done in the past to show what yours might look like:

TTM Success: Austin Aune

In mid-May, I shot a TTM request to Yankees prospect Austin Aune. This past weekend, my card was returned signed:
I actually sent this to the Yanks' minor league complex in Tampa. Had I waited a few weeks, I could have just sent to Staten Island, where Aune has been assigned.

Aune is one of those highly-recruited QBs who chose baseball instead of college football. He was committed to TCU, but turned pro after the Yanks drafted him in the second round in 2012. His pro career hasn't quite gone as expected, spending the last two seasons in the Gulf Coast League and developing a little slower than you'd like to see for a second-rounder. Still, there is a lot of hope for him.

This year he makes the jump to Staten Island, and hopefully he enjoys some success. He's got a lot of athletic ability, but just needs to put it all together. He needs to cut down on the Ks, and make consistent contact while taking a few more walks. In all the interviews I've seen, he seems like a great kid, so here's to wishing Austin the best of luck this season and beyond.