Friday, April 28, 2017

TTM Success: Donny Sands

This card looks awesome signed!

Yankees minor league catcher Donny Sands signed my card c/o the Charleston Riverdogs. It was the only card of Sands I had, so I shipped off this Bowman Chrome Gold & Black Refractor, and the signature stuck perfectly. I did run an eraser over the card prior to sending to try and remove a little gloss.

According to, Sands is the Yankees #26 overall prospect. He was converted to catcher from 3B, and is by and large still learning the position. Still, the hit tool is there. He's off to a bit of a slow start at Charleston, so hopefully he heats up soon. It can't be easy learning to catch, while still staying sharp offensively.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Collecting Cutch is Clutch

I got one of those emails we all love to get:

“Just sent you a package. Should be there on Monday.”

Great! I did nothing to deserve an unprompted cardboard dropping, yet here was Brian of Collecting Cutch telling me something was headed my way. Last time he did that, I ended up with my first (and only) Tino 1/1 card.

I forgot about it, but then got home on Monday to a padded envelope from Brian. Better than the cards on the package was a note written on a toploader. Brian, I hope you don’t mind me sharing, but it meant a lot:
Such a kind gesture. The cards were pretty damn good too. Brian include an oddball Cutch, and while I certainly don’t collect him, this is a cool card. I think I’ll add it to my son’s HOF binder. Maybe it’ll even fit in in about 15 years. Plunder the lox!
The rest was an assortmemt of Yankees, and I’d be lying if I said this card wasn’t a highlight. I’ve wanted this card for a while.
Look at that beauty from Panini Prime Cuts. Tino’s new cards are few and far between, and most of the time, they are autographed. This is officially the newest Tino in my collection – literally.
I didn’t know these existed, but Brian also included a Michael Pineda blue-stamped Rediscover Topps buyback. From what I was told on Twitter, the blue versions are the second most difficult color to find. Since it’s a PC guy, I’m pleased.

Here are a few others, including a very unique Chris Carter – my first of him in a Yankee uniform!
Brian, thanks for the note, and for being a great friend. Keep up your great work as the world’s #1 Andrew McCutchen collector.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The repack domination is over

The repack domination streak has come to an end. If you remember, I recently shared two pretty solid 100-card repacks from Walgreen's. While they both contained autographs, it's not solely a hit that determines the success of a repack, but the level of enjoyment and the fun cards they often contain.

I'll also say that I long for the day when Triple Play packs will no longer be included. Sheesh, I'm sick of those. I don't even open them most of the time, or just hand them to my kids to play with.

With the Walgreen's $3.99 sale set to expire on April 29, I wanted to grab one more. The cards in the windows weren't very appealing, and settled on this for no other reason than it was shiny. Bad start.
I'll come right out and say that there was no hit in this repack. I expected my luck to run out in that department, and I was right.

Like the last re-pack, there were still a few 2015 Topps team issue cards, which I don't mind. There was also a Bryce Harper from the All-Star set of that year. That was the best card I found, in my opinion.
I only counted two Hall of Famers, but this particular one didn't have the "5 Hall of Famers" sticker on the front. The Boggs mini is ok. I'm surprised Topps hasn't re-used this design yet for Archives minis. Maybe we'll see them in Heritage in 25 years.
This is a cool oddball that will go to Bob Walk The Plank.
Steve Garvey on an old Diamond King is cool. He signs TTM for $5, so maybe I'll send this off to him.
The junk wax was more plentiful than ever in this, with a major lack of mid-90s cards. The oldest card was a Derrell Thomas from 1982 Topps, while the best of the '90s was a Paul Konerko Donruss rookie.
There really isn't much else notable. I still enjoyed opening, but it was definitely a clunker compared to some other recent repacks. The sale ends in three I test my luck one final time?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TTM Success: Paul Konerko

Paul Konerko is going to be an interesting HOF case in a few years. Quickly looking at his stats, to me, he's going to end up a little bit short. I hope to be wrong, as I always respected him and felt he was vastly underrated.

Regardless, that shouldn't take away from an amazing career, one that ended in 2014. Konerko has been a steady TTM signer as of late, and I wanted to take the chance to add his autograph to my collection. I sent Mr. Konerko three cards, and he returned two of them signed.
I'm a little bummed about the smudge on the Collector's Choice rookie card, but what can you do. Still a very cool success from one of the best sluggers of the 2000s.

Monday, April 24, 2017

TTM Success: Bob Cousy

I don't TTM basketball much, but with the chance to add a legend and one of the greatest PGs to ever play the game, I had to take a shot (no pun).

Hall of Famer Bob Cousy signed my card in 12 days. He personalized it, which is cool. There was no fee, so I don't mind when guys who historically charge personalize a free autograph. I think they do this so you can't sell it. Not that I ever would, anyways.
I didn't have any cards of his, so on my last COMC order, right before I requested shipment I went it and bought this Topps Turkey. It was cheap and I knew it would look great signed, as most Topps Turkey cards do.

I don't anticipate changing my style and going after too many basketball autographs, but you never know. I do have a bunch of hoops cards from the '90s.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Don't Judge Napkin Doon

With JBF's Big Fun Game kicking off, it's only fitting to post some cards Napkin Doon sent my way last week. Napkin Doon actually started the Big Fun Game back when he was a real, live blogger. I once selected a 1958 Topps Bob Clemente, only to have it stolen from my hands. It still hurts. That's the beauty and agony of the Big Fun Game.
The highlight of the package is this Topps Throwback Thursday Aaron Judge. This is one of those  sets that Topps prints on demand. There were 1,329 of this particular set printed, the most of any #TBT set so far. The subject matter was rookies, so not a surprise. Joining Judge in this set was Swanson, Bell, Moncada, Bregman, and Benitendi. I think most are expecting Benitendi to win AL ROY, but Judge is certainly making some noise in the season's first month.

I appreciate Nap breaking up his set and sending this to me, as it's a very cool card that I probably wouldn't have come across otherwise.
Doon also sent four team bags jam-packed with cards. There were about 75 Don Mattingly cards of all shapes and sizes. I asked Napkin where he got these, and he replied, "I liquidated my 401K in the late '80s to invest in Mattingly and become a millionaire." Actually, he got these in a junk wax lot he won at his LCS, Cleve's. That was probably the story of the dude whose cards these used to be. I hope Nap kept a few Mattinglys for himself, just in case that guy ended up being right.
It wasn't just all Mattinglys. There were some more Gypsy Queen, which I'm digging. The Green Batances is cool, and here's another one of those missing backplate cards.
I will say, I did always like GQ framed parallels. I don't think they have those any more, but keep me honest, people.
Some Tinos! Love the first Heritage one.
A badass Flair David Cone. I think the first trade Doon and I ever made was centered around some of these Flair cards.
Nap knows I like prospects, and was kind enough to send me a few Justus Sheffields as well, among others.
I'll finish off with a Masahiro Tanaka RC.
Nap, appreciate you thinking of me. As soon as Rance Mulliniks is given a Topps #TBT, I'll repay the favor.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

He has a Habit of sending me Yankees

One of my best trading buddies is Judson from My Cardboard Habit. He is extremely generous in thinking of me when he comes across Yankees.

He recently busted some Gypsy Queen, and found two Yanks he thought I would like. The first he tee'd on Twitter - a no backplate Masahiro Tanaka. These fall 1:9 in hobby and 1:12 in retail.
The second card was more of a surprise - a purple Aroldis Chapman #'d to 250. These fall 1:13 in hobby and 1:17 in retail.
This was my first in-person look at GQ, and I like it a lot, at least relative to the past few years. I'll definitely try to pick up some at some point.

Judson, thank you very much for thinking of me. I'll hit you back soon.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

TTM Success: Chance Adams

Woo, I'm glad I got this in to Trenton, because I think Chance Adams will be heading to Scranton any day now.

When sending to Scranton, Trenton, or Staten Island, I always try to line it up with a homestand. Mail from NJ gets there quickly, and with the volatility in the minors with promotions/demotions and whatnot, I feel like it gives me the best chance of success.
In this instance, Chance Adams signed and returned my card in just 9 days. I did get a success from him last year on a custom, but also really wanted this Bowman signed.

He was also kind enough to write "Do Not Bend" on the front and back of the envelope, which is awesome.
With James Kaprielian out with TJ Surgery, Adams is the best right-handed pitching prospect and closest to ML-ready that the Yankees have. If he repeats anything close to last year's performance, he'll be in the Bronx this year. I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Get Well Soon Card

Sometime between 1996-1999, I remember watching a Yankees telecast where David Cone joined the on-air broadcast team while he was injured. It was probably 1996, when he missed a large chunk of time due to an aneurysm in his right arm.

Anyhow, I remember Cone thanking the fans for all of the get well cards they sent him, saying that he read each one. Being a literal kid, I figured I'd send him one too. I didn't make it a TTM request. I didn't include a card or a SASE. I just sent a standard get well card.

Luckily, my envelope did have my return address, and some time later, received this small signed photo, which I'm assuming Cone sent out to many who wished him well.
I've never actually gotten a Cone TTM success, but this is still a pretty cool, unexpected autograph that I cherish.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

My favorite Tino card

This is a tough one.

With my collection being 800 cards deep, I didn't know which Tino to choose. Donruss Crusade? Certified autograph? Pacific In The Cage?

Instead, I'm going to go the sentimental route. In 2000 or 2001 (can't remember but I THINK 2001), Tino was banged up a little in September with a hand injury. I don't call him going on the DL, but I knew he was going to sit out a few games, it was announced. I had never had a TTM success with him in multiple tries, but I gave it a shot anyhow.

I put a little baseball sticker on the back of my SASE so I knew it would be his, if it came back. I also took a '98 Collector's Choice Stick-Ums of Tino and decorated the front of the envelope.

I returned home from school a few days later, on my birthday, in fact, and there was a PWE waiting for me on the stoop of the front stairs, where my mom put my mail. I turned around the PWE, and saw the baseball sticker.

I opened it, and this fell out.
I was shocked to receive a TTM success from my favorite player! I was thrilled with the card I had chosen too, as his 1997 HR Derby win was a highlight of childhood.

Since then, I have gotten Tino once more TTM (a few years ago), and have numerous certified autographs. However, this will always be the one that means the most to me.

Thanks for the contest, Peter of Baseball Every Night.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A piece of Justice

One of the greatest trades in Yankees history occurred on June 29, 2000. Instead of waiting for the trade deadline, Brian Cashman struck early. He sent Ricky Ledee, Zach Day, and Jake Westbrook to the Cleveland Indians for David Justice. I remember hearing about the trade on the Yankees pregame show because no Twitter, and hearing Ken Singleton say, "Wow, I didn't realize he already had 21 HRs on the season."

Justice would go on to hit 20 more HRs for the Yankees, finishing the season with a career-high 41. He was a true force in the lineup, and went on to win ALCS MVP for two massive HRs that he hit in the series, notably the 3-run shot he hit in Game 6 versus Seattle:

It didn't take long for Justice to become a part of Yankees lore, and for that, I've always enjoy picking up new Justice cards. One of the first game-used bat sets, and in my mind, one of the finest, was
2001 Upper Deck SP Game Bat Edition Piece of the Game. It was probably the first game-used Tino bat card I owned, and I'm pretty sure I paid about $25 for it at the time. Oof.

However, I recently discovered Justice was part of that set, so I figured I'd snag it on COMC for a few bucks. I'm glad I did!
The Yankees have a great checklist in this set - Tino, Justice, O'Neill, Bernie, and Canseco. I believe I only need the O'Neill from that group. I'm on it!