Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I won't lie, I've been a bad blogger lately. I haven't posted much, although I still have every intention of keeping up the blog.

May-June are my busiest months at work. Plus, I was on vacation last week. All the while, I was interviewing for another job with a different company, which I recently accepted. Yesterday, as I mentioned on Twitter, I gave my two weeks' notice. However, viewing my new job as a competitor, I was asked to leave yesterday by my previous employer.

I was there for nine years, and for it to come down to one day was very tough.

So I'm home today. I enjoyed my breakfast by the water with a view of NYC. I did the laundry and the dishes. I also spent a while on the phone with the HR/Benefits department figuring out what I need to do between now and the start of my new job.

Lastly, to add to it, we are moving next month. We'll be heading out about 15 miles further into the New Jersey suburbs, while still commuting into NYC.

So there you have it. It's all great things, just a bit much and a bit overwhelming right now. It's all for the best, I just feel unsettled.

I apologize for the lack of packages I've sent out, or properly posting about or thanking you all for everything you've sent me the last few weeks. I'll get to it!

And I have to show a card, right?

Here is a TTM I got back recently from Yankees pitcher Bryan Mitchell. He's got a great arm and has been pretty good out of then 'pen in a limited role with the Yanks.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

An hour too early

This past week, I was on vacation with my family in New Hampshire:
See? Calm and relaxing.

Two years ago, we made this same trip, and I found a great LCS in Laconia, NH. I was really excited to take a few minutes of out my trip and visit the store again. Here's my post from the first time I visited: click here.

We got there last Sunday, and the days were spent by the lake and doing other activities in the area. Finally, I decided to carve out some time on Friday, the day before we left, to go to the card shop.

I climbed in the car around 9:45am, and by 10:05 am, I was there. I got out of the car, looked up at the shop windows, and my heart sank. Store hours on Friday: 11-6. Oh no! Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to stick around and wait, so I left. Man, was I disappointed. I blew it by waiting unil the last day.

We returned home on Saturday, without cards of course. I was redeemed a bit by a couple of bubble mailers in my mailbox. Then, this evening, my wife said she needed something from Target. Knowing how badly I wanted some Stadium Club, I offered to go. I'm still technically on vacation until Monday morning, so I thought it would have been a great way to end it by busting a blaster of Stadium Club.

I got to Target, and nothing. No Stadium Club to be found anywhere. I almost bought an Archives blaster, but put it back knowing it probably wouldn't have been worth it.

Sigh. I guess cards and my vacation were just not meant to be this time around.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Snagging some draft picks

One of my favorite activities during the MLB Draft is waiting to see who the Yanks pick early on, then checking eBay to see if that player has a card. Usually I can still snag it cheap before prices go up the next day. It’s a good way to stay interested in the MLB Draft, which is crazy boring compared to NFL and NBA because pretty much no one has seen these guys play, much less heard of them.

Sure, there is a risk the Yanks don’t sign these guys, but it’s still fun.

The Yanks first pick was James Kaprielian from UCLA. He was one of the most polished arms in the draft, and while not the sexiest pick in terms of upside, it was a solid and safe pick. He should be a mid-rotation big league pitcher. That’s valuable. He’ll move pretty quickly after playing at a huge program in UCLA. This Crusade card of Kappy (future Girardi nickname?) ran me less than a buck. I also have a Kaprielian Team USA jersey card on its way.
The Yanks then had a really nice pick in Drew Finley in the 3rd round at 92nd overall. If he signs, he’ll definitely be someone to keep an eye on. He has a commitment to USC, but hopefully the Yanks can pay him enough to change that decision. He is the son of David Finley, who is the VP of Amateur and International Scouting for the Dodgers. He’s got some good bloodlines there. I snagged this auto for a couple of bucks, and it’s numbered 5/5. Would be sweet to see him become a bonafide prospect and then have a really good card on my hands. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Congrats, Mason Williams!

I am a few days late here, but I really haven't had much time to blog. Still, I wanted to congratulate one of my favorite prospects, Mason Williams, on his promotion to the big leagues, not to mention his first hit being a HR at Camden Yards.

In an April 9, 2015 post, I wrote the following:

Mason Williams, an OFer, is a MLB-caliber defender right now. Watching him the past two spring trainings, he just looks the part. Sadly, his bat has been lagging behind and he has been questioned for his maturity. Now 23 and leapfrogged by several OF prospects in the system, it's a big year for Mason. I still think if he shows improvement with the bat, he can be an eventual Major Leaguer. He's starting this year in AA Trenton, and I'm really pulling for him to have a big year.

While I did believe what I wrote, I didn't think it would happen in just two months. However, Mason Williams did it. I'm proud of the kid. He really turned it around, and I hope he can stick. Yes, some guys got injured to open up the opportunity, but he really put himself in position by his hard work and results this year.

So between Slade Heathcott, Ramon Flores, and now Williams, the Yanks have had three promising OFers make their MLB debuts this season. I hope these guys contribute all season long and beyond.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The JBF Mystery Box

This past spring, Jaybarker fan held a Big Fun Game in honor of Napkin Doon of the dormant The Adventures of Napkin Doon blog. Napkin actually participated, but then didn't keep his word about blogging about then game. Figures.

As part of the Big Fun Game, I swiped a Mystery Box of cards. What could be in there? 1987 Topps? Some sexy Bench Warmers? Dick Tracy cards? Packing peanuts?

I anxiously awaited, and here's what I found:
Ohh yeah! In typical JBF fashion, of course he would tailor the cards to whoever won the mystery box. Below the Cano is also an unopened pack of top loaders (always helpful!), and the cards were flanked by some 1988 Donruss was packs. I opened one pack, and saved two for my kids to open one day in the future. Here are the highlights from my pack. Two HOFers...not bad!
You can already see the Cano, but here's a scan. I loved these blue foil Opening Day cards, as this one is from 2013. They were super nice. Behind that was an emerald foil Jeter, so these two looked awesome falling out one after another.
More foil! Although this one is from Panini. This is a pretty sweet Ichiro!
I was thrilled to see this one fall out! I do have a copy of this card, but I was never expecting to have another one. It was sandwiched in the loose cards section over on the right. It's one of my favorite cards of all time!
A nice assortment of other Yanks to give you an idea of what else was in there:
And finally! Wes also included a bunch of sweet Bengals hits! I love the Jeremy Hill jersey. He's a stud and can't wait to see him in year two. And the Devon Still auto is great. He's obviously been pretty front and center this season as his daughter, Leah, has undergone cancer treatment.
Wes aka JBF, this was awesome. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

TTM Success: Mark Payton

I haven't been the best at sending out TTMs this season. It's not that much of a time commitment, but I'm working long hours, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is write a letter to a 20-year-old due that I don't know.

A few weeks back I found a few minutes and sent out five requests to Yankees prospects.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Mark Payton return my card signed.  Payton is a solid OFer in the Yankees system. He was a 7th rounder out of University of Texas last year, and predictably hit well at the lower levels of the minors, as he was probably facing better competition in school playing for a major program. He's a contact guy without a ton of power, and was recently promoted to AA Trenton.

Thanks, Mark!