Saturday, January 31, 2015


I have wanted this card for a long, long time. I had the Kirby Puckett one growing up (I still do), and felt that the O'Neill would have been a great addition to my Yankees collection. In fact, I won one on eBay a few years ago, but it never arrived.

This one came courtesy of Listia. I didn't let it out of my sight, and was able to win it for a reasonable price, credit-wise.

It has a little bit of everything. It's clearcut, although not fully transparent because of the colors. The colors themselves are vibrant and refractor-like. This would definitely be a set that I'd love to see Topps bring back in a new Stadium Club issue.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Prospect excitement

Since I started this blog in 2011, I've collected cards of many Yankees prospects. Some were traded. Some were released. Some made their debuts. Some never panned out.

I love prospect cards, but I'm not a "prospector." I'm not acquiring cards of prospects, then hoping they make it big so I can flip them for cash. More than anything, I just like having a head start on collecting guys who could be the future of my favorite team.

I enjoy following prospects and learning more about them. This goes back to growing up in a city with minor league baseball (Binghamton Mets), and seeing those guys succeed and make the big leagues. Guys like the Mets' Generation K (ok, so not succeed like expected), Butch Husky, and Egardo Alfonzo are players I watched as a kid, and eventually saw them in the Majors.

Tyler Austin is a guy I've liked for a long time, and he's on the verge of his ML debut. He's so close! I'm sure he can feel it, and hopefully it's driving him, knowing how close within reach his dream is. I couldn't imagine being so close!

It's going to be very rewarding seeing him in the big leagues, and that's just from a goofy card collector. I can't imagine how Tyler and his family will feel when he steps up to a Major League plate for the first time.

Good luck in 2015, Tyler Austin.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Yellow brick road, emerald city, ruby slippers

Seriously, a lot of Wizard of Oz going on with these three colors. These three 2011 Bowman Platinums get me to 91 different Pinedas. Closing in on 100 and he's included in 2015 Topps Series One! So with parallels, I should probably end up with approximately 250 after next week.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Card bloggers, keeping the USPS in business

Ok, so I don't know if it's solely card bloggers keeping the USPS in business, but damn, we're helping, right?

I especially can't believe when other bloggers send me flat-rate boxes, but it happens. In this instance, John from Johnny's Trading Spot dropped a nice bomb on me, and it was chock full of cards that felt like they were straight from my '90s childhood. Four stacks worth!
It was an absolute blast to go through. I could have scanned like 100 cards, but here are some of my favorites.

There aren't many cooler sets than HolyGRFX. Man, it's easy to miss Upper Deck sometimes.
These cards are more trippy than they scan. I always liked the name Fleer "Brilliants." It felt appropriate for these cards.
The '90s had something for everyone. Everybody complains about too many sets, and I get it, but there was a set to satisfy everyone's tastes. Some people like cards. And comics. Is there any better mixture than this? It's like Coney was the Terminator.
There may never be a better card that captures El Dugue's unique windup.
I never noticed the Tino cameo in this Mike Stanley! Safe or out?
Mike Lowell signed this card for me TTM way back in the 1990s. I don't think I ever replaced it in non-signed form. Now I have one!
I don't just miss Upper Deck. I miss Pacific too. Seriously!
Here are a couple of more from some random sets that I enjoy.
I show the back of Nick Johnson's card to show what a beast he was. Being a Tino fan, I hated Nick Johnson lurking. But holy crap, his minor league numbers were INSANE. I can't imagine a prospect with this numbers right now. I just didn't understand at the time how good of a hitter Johnson was.
I could have gone on and on, but you get it. John, thank you so much!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kanye Weston

Worst post title of the year so far? Worst post title of the year so far.

Now that I got your attention the cheap way, you might as well keep reading and check out some cards from my buddy Weston at Fantastic Catch. I really enjoy trading with Weston, as he seems like a Bowman guy and always has Yanks prospects for me.

See? Like these sweet Bowman Ice goodies, which might be the nicest parallels out there.
Weston sent me two sweet autos. Phil Wetherell is from 2014 Topps Heritage Minors, a set in which I own zero cards, which is awful for a guy who likes to collect prospects. Phil pitched well in 2014 and made it to AA. It's not unreasonable to think he may make his debut in the Yanks' bullpen in 2015.
The other auto was of Ivan Nova (edit: As Zippy Zappy pointed out, this is Hector Noesi. Nice attention to detail by me)! He could be a big boost to the rotation when he returns from TJ surgery in May or June.
Here is a sweet Gary Sanchez Top Prospects card from this year's Bowman Platinum. hard to tell, but it's diecut.
Donruss Estrellas had some cool cards! They aren't very appreciated, but I've gotten many random cards from these sets that I like a lot.
Lastly, two Tinos! I really need to figure out if I'm going to include Yankee Stadium Legacy as different cards in my Tino PC. On one hand, many of them look the same, but on the other, they have different numbers. That could mean they are different cards, right? I'm just a bit torn.
Weston, thanks for the good stuff!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ice in the snow, fo sho.

It's not often I show cards the same day they arrive. I'm generally behind in blogging about any packages. Yet, I'm trying to catch up so that I can get to long overdue JBF and Zippy Zappy bombs, which will all require multiple posts.

As I'm sure you've heard, we're in the middle of a big snowstorm here in the NYC-area. From my experience, these are usually more hype than anything else, but even if we end up with 10 inches as opposed to 20, it's enough to mess things up for a day or so. I'm anticipating working from home tomorrow. I could definitely get to work, but I can do what I need from my laptop, and my kids will likely be off from daycare.

Anyhow, neither wind, nor rain, nor sleet, nor snow...could keep three new cards out of my mailbox today.

Speaking of ice, Gosuke Katoh! Bowman Ice parallels are some of the most striking cards out there today.
The second is a Ty Hensley Bowman Platinum X-Fractor I needed. It wasn't hard to find, just waited for one that didn't include the unecessary $3 shipping. I believe this came in under a buck overall.
The last is a 2004 Fleer Tino, which I didn't have. Jason from The Writer's Journey reached out asking if I needed any of the Tinos he listed. This was the only one I didn't have, although I also snagged a 1989 Bowman RC from him. Can't say no to that. I don't really remember this Fleer set, as I wasn't collecting then. It does show Tino in between teams, with a Cardinals uniform on but a Rays logo. Sigh. The lost years.
Jason, thanks for thinking of me!

Nothin' Tiny about these cards

For the second a time, Uncle Tiny dropped a nice trade package on me. I first met Tiny through JBF's blog, and we've completed a few swaps now, with plans for more. It's always nice to have someone looking out for cards for me. Both Wes and Tiny do a great job finding Bengals cards for me. I'm not a football collector, per se, but when they send awesome cards of my favorite NFL team, I really appreciate them. It's nice to have a binder of AJ Green, Tyler Eifert, and Gio Bernard.

I love this Jeremy Hill Topps Platinum X-Fractor RC. Hill had a big rookie year. I have no idea what the market for his cards are, but I assume he in relative demand. Maybe not since he's a Beng.
Odell Thurman. Sigh. This guy had all the talent in the world, but couldn't stay out of trouble. He was very representative of the Bengals from the mid-00s. I'm glad the days of guys constantly in trouble are over (knock on wood).
Here are two baseball cards I enjoyed from the package. I definitely did not have this Jeter. I need to catologue my Jeters soon, as I'm sure I have a few hundred through trades alone. Also, a pretty sweet Ichiro Bowman Heritage.
Thanks, Tiny! More Astros coming your way!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

RIP, Mr. Banks

As of now you've all heard that baseball lost a legend, Ernie Banks. I've heard and read nothing but good things about Mr. Banks, both before and after he passed. He certainly was one of the many gems that baseball has provided us with.

Sadly, he never got a taste of the World Series. I wonder if that would have been different had more teams made the playoffs back then, a la today. Alas, we'll never know.

A few years ago, I picked this Hillshire Farms Ernie Banks auto up. I had seen these cards around, and they could have been had pretty cheap. I don't think I paid much more than $5 for this, as the time. I'm certainly glad I did.

I'm a dirty bird

A few weeks ago, Cardinals fan Kerry from Cards on Cards hosted a free group break with a box of 2014 Topps Mini. Missing the Yanks by about 10 seconds, I did something I'm still not proud of...I claimed the Red Sox! Ahhhh, I can't even type that. I still feel DIRTY. But hear me out. I trade with so many Red Sox fans, that I have about zero Sox cards right now. Literally. I have like a 1989 Topps Clemens to my name. I saw it as an opportunity for a little tradebait. I just feel bad that Sox fans missed out on claiming their team.

So I did come away with a decent amount of Red Sox, which will go directly to new homes. I'll only show one, this pink Matt Thornton. He spent some time with the Yanks last year, so I don't feel as awful about showing him. The pinks are #'d to just 25.
Kerry, being the generous dude he is, sent a bunch of Yanks too, so I felt a bit better about myself, although still not great. Here is an assortment. I love that Tanaka Power Players insert from 2014 Topps. I definitely didn't have it. Also, an El Duque RC from 1998 Fleer Update! I only had his Bowman RC, so this is sweet. I have an irrational love of El Duque. 
Thanks, Kerry! I have some stuff headed your way.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

TTM Success: Greg Bird, the future

Greg Bird is the Yankees future at 1B. There, I said it. Somehow, this dude just rakes and rakes, yet is an afterthought because he doesn't ooze the potential of some younger prospects. currently has him as the Yanks #11 prospect, although Baseball America has him at #4, so no qualms there.

Make no mistake, this guy can hit, and will hit, in the middle of the Yankees lineup, and maybe even as soon as this season. He won the Arizona Fall League MVP this past November, and hit a mammoth HR in the All-Star Game. Here's a look at his sweet lefty swing:
He is a converted catcher, so his D is still a work in progress, but his bat will carry him. If he can be average to above average in the field, that will do.

Bird signed these three cards for me c/o the AFL. I don't remember sending three cards, I usually send no more than two, but maybe I got greedy. Or maybe he added one. Either way, I'm going to be flaunting these again when he hits his first Yankee Stadium HR in August, 2015.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Infield Fly! Batter's out.

When I first heard those words, "Infield Fly! Batter's out." I was very confused. I was in little league. I didn't understand that someone could hit a pop fly and automatically be out, regardless of whether or not the fielder caught it. I mean, it's little league. Kids drop pop flies. I still remember driving home from the ballpark that day with my dad trying to explain it to me.

Come to think of it, I remember him explaining offsides in soccer on the way home from a game as well. Funny, the things you remember.

Anyhow, I made my first card swap with Adam K over at Infield Fly Rule. He sent me a massive amount of Yanks, which was very generous since he doesn't mind the evil pinstriped guys. However, the Rockies are his #1.

Here's a photo of what he sent. He clearly was not joking around! That's a flat rate box.
The assortment of great cards was seemingly endless, but I particularly liked the 1990s cards. It felt like a trip down memory lane checking out these cards again and seeing things I have never noticed. For example, check out the faces on Boggs and Mattingly. Hilarious!
I also really like the backs of these cards because of the holofoil-type logos. I was 9 when this set came out, so to have something so shiny on the back of the card made it feel very special. But also, check out the background. Wow. A harrowing image of the Twin Towers. In fact, several of the Yankees had different backgrounds, such as the Statue of Liberty for Mattingly. I never realized that until examining these cards from Adam.
Speaking of Mattingly, I love this 1994 Topps Gold. I swear! In 1993 and '94, I actively collected Topps. My mom would always grab me a pack at the grocery store or at CVS. I remember keeping my stack, in numerical order, on the stairs in my house. That was the closest I ever came to set collecting. And you know what? It was a BIG DEAL when you pulled a Topps Gold (one per pack) of a star. I remember getting Frank Thomas in 1993 and immediately called my best friend to tell him. I know we shrug at parallels now, but for a 9 or 10 year old in the early '90s, Topps Gold was really special.
Prior to receiving this card, I had never seen it. Turns out, it was from 1997 Topps, and featured 22 players voted on by Topps employees. Imagine the outrage today if a set like this came out. Lifetime Topps Project did a nice post on these cards earlier this week: click here. Anyhow, it's a pretty card with the fireworks, and I love coming across new cards from so long ago.
This Upper Deck Jeter is nice. The set is fairly forgettable, but the photos are pretty good. The full out, head first slide is cool. I wish the logo wasn't blocking his hands, but it's just a neat shot and not seen much on cardboard.
Lastly, I'll show off this Robert Refsnyder card. Before Stephen Drew was brought back, Refsnyder had a chance to win the 2B job out of spring training. He should definitively see some MLB time this year, but still needs a little minor league seasoning. His bat is his best tool and is close to ready, but his D needs a little work. He's a converted OFer learning 2B. Still, I think he's going to be a very solid regular, and Drew's one year deal shouldn't hold him up if he's ready.
There was a TON more good stuff. Adam, thanks so much, my friend.