Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The matching game

Does it bug anyone when a jersey swatch doesn't match the photo on the card?

Usually it doesn't bother me too much. I get it. But for some reason, when this card came in the mail, I really felt like Tino should be featured in the road grays. Maybe the gray swatch is just so front and center, or too boring to be such a focal point, but it really contrasts against Tino in his home Printstripes.

I won't get too worked up. Like I said, it usually doesn't bother me, but this one did, for whatever reason. Still, it's a new Tino that I needed, so I'll take it.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tino #651

I didn't have a very creative post title, so I'll just use what # Tino card this is in my collection...#651 unique. I swear I have a bunch of uncounted Tinos somewhere, because this number feels low. I know it's a decent number, I just think I have more.


I found a really good deal on this 2005 Bowman Sterling Black Refractor bat relic. It's #'d 01/25. I think it's my first Tino that is #'d 1. It also came in this fancy case. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was a redemption or something? All of the others on eBay seem to be in the Topps sealed case as well, although this seal was peeled at some point. No big deal to me. I got this for $1.49 + $2.24 shipping. Pretty solid, indeed.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Listia Autos - Part 6

Hey, let's look at some more random Listia Autos from my favorite seller! In case you missed parts 1-5, here you go:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 
Part 5
Wow, how cool is this one? Ulysses Redd played two seasons for the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League, hitting .191 in 67 ABs. It was hard to find much info on him, but he also appeared for the Cincinnati Crescents and Chicago American Giants, and he spent some time in the Canadian Baseball Organization too. He also played for the Harlem Globetrotters barnstorming baseball team, which is awesome. His career, like many others, was put on hold in the early '40s for Military Service.
Here is a sweet Cracker Jack card of Chris Shelton. "Orange Crush" had a 5-year MLB career, playing for Detroit, Texas, and Seattle. The 2005 season was Shelton's best, as he hit .299 with 18 HRs and 59 RBIs. In 2006, Shelton hit 9 HRs in the first 13 games of the season. He was on fire! Sadly, his career went a bit downhill from there. Although he hit 16 HRs for the season, it was his final year in Detroit. He wouldn't be a Major Leaguer again until 2008 with Texas, and would only hit 2 more HRs in his career. For his lifetime, he batted .273 with 37 HRs in 930 ABs. Fun fact: he is the cousin of Chiefs QB Alex Smith.
Here's a 1953 Bowman Reprint of Clyde Vollmer, a popular OFer in the '40s and '50s. His best season came in 1951 with Boston, when he hit 22 HRs and drove in 85 runs. "Dutch the Clutch" played 10 seasons total, splitting time with Washington, Boston, and Cincy. Vollmer homered on the very first pitch he saw in the Majors at the age of 20. Pretty cool! Clyde passed away in 2006.
Here's another '53 Bowman Reprint, this time of NY Giant Al Corwin. He was born in Newburgh, NY, so it's very cool that he got to play for his "home team." He appeared in one World Series for the Giants in 1951, although they lost to the Yankees (woohoo!). He passed away in 2003.
Rocky Bridges! One of the best baseball names ever! I actually had a recent TTM success with Bridges, and his signature has remained largely unchanged. The 1958 All-Star played for 7 teams in his 11-year career as a utility infielder. His birth name is actually Everett Lamar Bridges. Yeah, Rocky is cooler!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sharing a bat

I'm still on a bit of an emotional high after watching Jeter deliver the game-winning hit last night. Like I said in my post yesterday, he's never been the best at any one thing, but the guy just knows how to dial it up for the occasion. It was a very cool ending to a storied career. I wish the Yanks were in the post-season, of course, but at least Jeter provided a few cool memories for otherwise meaningless games.

Switching gears, I picked up a new Tino recently - a dual bat relic with Scott Rolen on it from Tino's Lost Years. It reminds me a bit of the superstition some players have of using a teammate's bat after going hitless for a prolonged time. This card really has nothing to do with that, but I always enjoyed hearing "so and so used X player's bat to try and break out of his slump." So I'm going to pretend that when Tino slumped, he borrowed a bat from Rolen, and that this card actually has two game-used bat pieces from two different bats Tino used. It's my card, I can pretend if I want to.

Ball players can be very superstitious, and I know some players say things like "there are no hits left in that bat." Just another fun part of the great game.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I’m sorry. I know the Jeter retirement has been beat to death and you’re all sick of it.

I’m going to miss seeing Derek Jeter on the Yankees. He took over as the full-time SS for the Yanks when I was 12 years old. I just turned 31. So from the time I was nearly a teenager, through high school, college, early adulthood; through my wedding, the birth of my son, the birth of my daughter…through all these things, I’d turn on the Yankees every night, and Jeter would be in the lineup. On Sept 22, 1996, I went to my first Yankees game. Jeter, batting 9th, went 2 for 3 in the win, raising his season average to .320. He was just a rookie. In many ways, so was I.

It’s weird. Jeter on the Yankees is really all I’ve known. He’s been an incredible player. He wasn’t the best at any one thing, but he was very good at very many things. And there’s something to be said for that. I'm realistic. I know his range, especially the the latter half of his career, wasn't good. He struck out a lot. He grounded into a lot of double plays. But guess what? He was still damn good, and better than most. I'll take the average to above average defense if it meant 200 hits over the guy who plays spectacular D but hits like a pitcher. I guess it's the American League in me.

He knew how to carry himself on and off the field, and knew how to turn it up when the calendar flipped from September to October (and November). I never worried about him in October. I worried about everyone else.

He's never embarrassed himself or my favorite team. That's important. In a day and age when stars find it harder and harder to stay out of trouble...DUIs, domestic violence, substance abuse, tax fraud, sexting...the guys who have stayed at the top of their game while avoiding these types of issues is getting smaller and smaller. As a father, I cringe at the day that I have to explain something to my son that one of his heroes was arrested the night before, or that he has just received a 50-game suspension for steroids. No fathers had to explain that to their sons about Jeter.

It's funny how TV talking heads and Twitter no ones and critical fans have slammed Jeter the past few days. He has earned endless respect from peers across the league. Countless shortstops wear #2 today because they looked up to him. Justin Verlander just Tweeted "Re2pect." Yet, people with no baseball backgrounds other than "I played growing up" and "I watch it every night" have used it as a forum to be a hater. That's fine; have your opinion. I'll side with the guys between the lines. Just my opinion, like you have yours.

Honestly, it's been hard watching him the last two years. In 2012, he led the AL in hits at age 38. That's hard to sustain. He's hung on a little too long now, and that's part of the problem. Our stars aren't allowed to get old and go our gracefully. They get attacked for being selfish or hurting the team.

I don’t expect another Derek Jeter, but I do hope another Yankee hero comes along eventually. And soon. Every generation has had (at least) one such hero. I want my kids to have their own Derek Jeter, whoever that might be.

Poor shipping blues

I try not to gripe on here too much, but I've gotten a few annoying eBay packages over the past few days that have left me a bit annoyed.

First off, I paid $5.50 + $2.99 shipping for this:
It's a bit more than I like to pay for an individual card, but it's an auto and has a patch, so I splurged a little. Anyways, with $2.99 shipping, you'd expect a bubble mailer, right? RIGHT? Wrong. This came in a top loader in a PWE. WTF?

When a seller charges over $2 shipping, that has to mean some sort of padded envelope. I one-starred his ass for shipping. I didn't contact him, although I wanted to.

Next up, and admittedly this is petty, but this card came unprotected in a PWE:
Ok, I only paid $.11 shipped for this card. But it's not my fault that some idiots list penny auctions with free shipping and the cards don't sell for much. Have some pride and put the card in a toploader.

Friday, September 19, 2014

I love Junkies!

In the cardboard world, junkies are ok. This one, in particular, is a Junior Junkie, and he sent me some awesome Yankee cards.

I have Phil Rizzuto listed as PC guy, but I'm not as aggressive picking up his reprints as I am picking up new stuff of Ty Hensley and Michael Pineda. However, I still love getting new Rizzuto cards in trade packages. This package contained a cool one from the 2002 Fleer Box Series:
Along with a few of Phil's pals:
All of these were #'d 0367/2950.

There was also a Yankees 2003 Fleer Box Set. It's a great looking set that I hadn't seen before. The checklist is pretty funny too, seeing some random guys (like Juan Acevedo and Erick Almonte) from the 2003 team along with Yankee legends.
I'm also nearly certain these are just the second 2014 Topps Archives cards I've been sent. I LOVE the John Ryan Murphy card. He looks like a little legauer!
And lastly, a Topps Chipz of CC!
Thanks, Junkie! Great stuff, as always.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Zippy Zapped all the way back to the future

My apologies to a great friend of the blog, Zippy Zappy. I was cleaning out my “drafts” folder, and found this post, which I swore had gone live but apparently it never had. Perhaps the Blogger scheduling function ate it? We’ll go with that as an excuse. Anyhow, I re-worked the post just a tad, and wanted to make sure I still shared a bunch of these treasures.

A few weeks ago (now…more like a few months ago!), Kenny from Cervin’ Up Cards sent me an incredible package. I was Zippy Zapped! And you know what? It felt great!

Kenny knows what I collect as well as anyone, and his packages always contain a bunch of stuff that hits all facets of my collections.

The package started off with this certified auto of Francisco Cervelli, a PC guy for Zippy Zappy. A long time ago I sent Kenny a Cervelli auto I had, and he’s now paid me back for it twice – first with either an in-person or TTM auto (not sure which it was), and now with a certified auto.
There was also an auto of former Yanks farm-hand Ryan Pope from one of my favorite sets ever, 2008 Tristar Projection.
On to the PC guys! This is probably the 3rd or 4th Ty Hensley auto Kenny has sent me. This is a great-looking blue die-cut auto from Elite Extra Edition. 
Additionally, Kenny added two new Pinedas to my collection. That purple Chrome Refractor is just a beautiful card. 
There was also a literal brick of cards in the form of a Sega-Gen card case. The case is great. I have no idea how to use it, but what a cool keepsake. I can see collectors piling their Sega-Gen cards into these and actually going to arcades to play the game. Maybe I'll give it to Joey once he is a little older and can semi take care of cards.
Here’s a good sampling of what else was in the brick: 
Lastly, as he’s done before, he included some HOFers for Joey’s binder! That Hank Aaron is one of my favorite cards in Joey’s collection. 
Kenny, sorry this post got lost in outer space. This was an epic package, and I thank you.