Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Buying some packs in LA

I'm in Los Angeles for work right now. It's a quick trip - flew in yesterday morning, had meetings yesterday and a couple today, out tomorrow morning. I'm staying downtown, which I don't love (prefer Santa Monica), but it's where all of my meetings are, so it's convenient.

I have a pair of friends who had a baby three months ago and live nearby, so I arranged to drop by their house last night. My wife informed me that I couldn't show up empty handed, so I walked to the Target up the street to pick them up a gift card to use on diapers and whatnot.

Of course, since I was there, I had to check for cards. They had some, and while it was a small display, it was something. I snagged a jumbo back of Opening Day (24 cards for $2.99), and a jumbo pack of Donruss ($4.99). I was in a rush so I didn't look too hard, but I don't think there was any '17 Gypsy Queen.

I didn't pull anything special, but I did end up with 54 cards I didn't have.

In Opening Day, I was lucky enough to snag two of the more desirable Yankees. These two were placed back-to-back in the middle of the pack:
And here are my three guaranteed inserts. That Rangers card is pretty boring (no offense, Ranger fans).
The Donruss pack was fun. I like the design, overall. I do wish they had used the different colored backgrounds like they did in their football product, but still, the white looks nice with the team colors. Overall, a much better effort than the last few years base designs.
I didn't pull any fancy variations, but I got a few inserts, including a Jorge Mateo, which much be the first time I've pulled a card of his.
I also got a handful of these '83 variations. Not bad.
Overall, fun to snag a few packs on the road, and tempting to go back later today if I've got some time.

Friday, March 24, 2017

PWEs, I've missed you!

PWEs tend to come in bunches. Nothing for awhile, then Bam! Two in the span of two days. I love it.

First off, Oscar from All Trade Bait All The Time was kind enough to send one. I made a comment about a cool Brooks Robinson card he showed off, and Oscar, being the generous dude he is, sent me my own copy. Crazy! I never make comments like that thinking the card will end up with me, but nice people like Oscar go above and beyond.
And it is cool, right? There's just something about little Brooks with no one near him, committing robbery. Oscar filled the rest with some Yanks, including two personal favorites.
Next up, Chris from The Collector busted some serious Heritage, and set aside a few Yanks for me. I have to take inventory, but I must be close to the complete Yanks set, minus the SPs.
There was also a cool Jeter I didn't have.
Gentlemen, thanks for the PWEs. Much appreciated!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

When cardspeak sneaks into workspeak

Embarrassing moment yesterday at work.

I was in a meeting with a few colleagues having a discussion about a current project. Someone made an interesting point about a wild card scenario, so to speak.

And I said, "Yeah, that's the real x-factor here."

Except I didn't say "x-factor." Nope. I said "x-fractor."

I said, completely by accident, "Yeah, that's the real x-fractor here."

Now, I quickly corrected myself as having made a slip of the tongue. I did the whole "X-factor, that is. X-factor." I repeated the correct word a few times to over-correct the slip. And I'm sure no one else knew that an X-Fractor is actually a baseball card, which is why my mind even has that word in its vocabulary. Still, I was like, "did I really just say that?"
Speaking of X-Fractors, here's my newest Ty Hensley - a 2012 Bowman's Best Rookie Die Cut, but the X-Fractor version, which I didn't even know existed until I saw it. It's numbered 08/25, so fairly rare.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ty Hensley: new uniform, still the man.

I never wavered in collecting Ty Hensley cards when the Rays snagged him in the minor league Rule 5 Draft. Not just because of what I've invested time and money-wise (a lot), but I truly think he's a great person who deserves to make it to the Majors - in a Yankee uniform, or in a uniform of something called a Ray.

I've had a few interactions with Ty via twitter and TTMs, and have even interviewed his mom, Marci, on this blog.

And I've built up a pretty darn good collection of his cards, if I do say so myself.

As I do most springs, I sent Ty a TTM request with a few extra cards I had. I also threw in a stack for him to pass along to some of his new teammates and new fans.

Ty was kind enough to send back these four autographs, as well as a nice note.

Pretty awesome kid, and hard to not root for. Have a great season, Ty!

Monday, March 20, 2017

The caged bull

After nearly a year on the shelf with an injury, Yankees pitching prospect James Kaprielian has been described as a caged bull.

He's ready to get back out there and make up for lost time, but the Yankees are rightfully taking it slow. Without injury, he might have been in the Bronx last year. But now he's healthy, and needs to log innings. From all indications, the Yankees are going to limit his innings early to possibly turn him loose with the Big League club later in the season.

I just want to see the UCLA product healthy and show what he's capable of, and the rest will take care of itself.

On COMC Black Friday, I filled my shopping cart with a few cheap Kaprielians, as his prices were down following the injury. I'm pretty sure it won't be that way for long.

Friday, March 17, 2017

TTM Success: Nick Solak

My spring training TTMs are going horribly. I shouldn't be surprised. This is the trend over the last few years. I shoved that data aside and sent out a ton this year, and now somehow I'm acting surprised that they aren't showing up in my mailbox.

I did get one in yesterday from Yankees prospect Nick Solak. He's a great looking hitter and I hope to see him join the Yankees embarrassing stash of high-level middle infield prospects.

From those who care, make sure you treat 2016 Bowman Draft cards before you send them out for an autograph. The ink will bubble! I used a standard eraser before I sent this one, and the signature stuck fine. But WTF Topps? People like to get autographs on Bowman Draft. Give us a cardstock that can hold a signature without having to use baby powder or an eraser or something.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Blame it on the meds

I'm still battling the flu. Honestly, I don't remember being this knocked down by an illness in my entire life. I just keep waiting for that night where I make the turn, but it hasn't happened. It's really sapped my desire to blog, that's for sure.

Regardless, I did purchase a card early last week, and once it arrived, the only logical explanation is that I was hopped up on cold meds. Why else would I buy this?
That is one of those Topps Online exclusive 5x7s. It's numbered 9/10, so at least it's fairly rare. But honestly, it's ugly and 5x7s are hard to store. I'm really not sure why I bought it.

Topps has been pumping out these 5x7 sets, and it looks like most people buy them and then break them up on eBay and sell as individual cards. The winning bid on this was well under $2.

I need to set up a rule on eBay that removes all 5x7s from my search listings. That, or just avoid the site when I'm on meds. That's probably the best idea.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

In Rance We Laugh

It's been a tough week, and blogging has taken a back seat.

For starters, I've been under the weather. What I thought was a bad cold has since been diagnosed with Flu A, despite my flu shot in the fall. It's not fun, especially because I'm past the window of symptoms where Tamiflu will actually work. So I wait.

I hate letting five days go between blog posts, but I just had no desire to fire up the computer or scan a card.

But the flu will get better in time.

What's going to take a bit longer to heal is my heart, as I said goodbye to our family dog yesterday. I know many of you have shared losing a pet, and man, it's tough.

He was doing fine last week, but on Tuesday and Wednesday his breathing started picking up for no real reason. I figured he might have my cold. He started to lose his appetite. He wasn't touching his wet food, which for him, is odd. He usually gobbles it right away.

Friday morning, my wife took him to the vet. I figured he just had the dog version of cold, and would get some meds to clear it up. But about 20 minutes after arriving, my wife called me and said, "I think he's really sick." I could hear it in her voice.

I got out of bed and met her at the vet, where they showed us his x-ray. His lungs were cloudy, but the vet couldn't say if it was an infection...or if it was cancer. I think the doctor knew, but wanted a second upon with a radiologist, so she sent his results away and said we should hear back by the end of the day.

At around 4pm, she called back.


So we knew we had a tough decision to make, and he was having a tougher time by the hour. We knew we needed to put him to sleep. They offered us a time later that evening, but I selfishly said no, and that I wanted the dog to have one more night with us and the kids, and we'd take him in the morning.

In hindsight, it was selfish and I really regret it. He suffered a great deal on Friday night. I had hoped he'd be lethargic and would just lay around with us, but his breathing kept him up and he didn't sleep. Neither did we.

At about 7:45am, it started to happen. I'll leave out the details, but it was tough to watch. He passed away on our living room floor, 15 minutes before the vet opened, and about 3 hours before he was to be put to sleep.

I took a moment, then wrapped him in his blanket and we took him to the vet, where he'll be cremated and his remains will be returned to us.

He was my buddy, and I'm having a tough time looking at the spots where he liked to lay, or seeing his leash quietly hanging on its hook. I know it'll get better, but after 27 hours, it still hurts.

It's hard not hearing his nails on the wood floor, and it was weird locking up the house for the night early, knowing I didn't need to take him out one last time before bed.

Needing to get out for a minute yesterday afternoon, I ran to Walgreens to pick something up for my wife. I also got a 100-card repack to open to feel better. And you know what the second card behind the one in the window was?
Yep. Rance!

As some of you have seen, Napkin Doon and I used to send each other Rance Mulliniks cards as a joke. I forgot how it even started, but we took it pretty far, including sending graded copies back and forth. It's not a joke about Rance - he had a fine career - it's just that he's our own version of Bip Roberts.

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw that card, and man, I needed it.

It was a small distraction, but certainly welcome.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ty Hensley Auto #32

I added my 32nd Ty Hensley autograph last week:
It's getting harder and harder to find Henlsey cards I need, including autographs. They just don't pop up much, other than this one seller who has a bunch of Rize(?) autos listed for like $50 each. Not happening.

I'm excited to see Ty start his career in the Rays organization. I'd love for him to pop up on a few cards, as it's been since 2014 since there was a new Hensley.

It hasn't happened in a long time, but the seller threw in a few random cards:
Not sure why it was Max Scherzer, but that's ok, pretty cool of the seller anyways!

Monday, March 6, 2017

In Its Entirety: Topps Yankees Project 1951-2017

With the addition of my 2017 Topps Tyler Clippard autograph, here is my complete Topps Yankees Project, card by card. I believe I skipped this post last year, so here's a look at each card, 1951-2017.