Saturday, April 28, 2018

Can't help myself

Have you ever seen one of those couponing shows? The ones where people go to the grocery store and buy 25 tubes of Aquafresh because the deal was too good to pass up?

I feel like that with cards sometimes.

Do I really need three Tino Martinez 1998 Donruss Crusades?

No, I don't. But in this instance, I saw one with a low minimum bid and somehow scooped it up.

I wouldn't do this for any card, but I do think this is one of the greatest insert sets of all time, and these cards are pretty rare. Still, do I need three of them?

Probably not.

Remind me of this post when I'm showing off my 10th Tino Crusade in the year 2025.

Friday, April 27, 2018

TTM Success: Yankees 2017 First Round Pick

I've been seriously slacking with sending out TTM requests. I haven't sent one in over a month. Every time I have a few moments to myself, I haven't been motivated to spend the time to write a letter to a player. Usually I go in waves of being very motivated and not being motivated at all when it comes to TTMing. This is one of the times where I'm falling in the camp of the latter.

Still, with a lot of outstanding requests, it's always nice to come home to a surprise PWE with my hand-writing on it. In this instance, I was thrilled to open the envelope and find this:
A success from 2017 Yankees 1st Round Pick Clarke Schmidt! Cool!

Schmidt has yet to suit up for the Yankees organization as he recovers from Tommy John surgery that he had in college. Still, he projects very favorably, and the Yankees feel like they got a starter with a bulldog-type mentality for lower than that he would have gone had he been healthy at the time of the Draft. Hopefully the risk pays off!

I'm not sure if Schmidt will see time this season, but I look forward to him returning to the mound and moving quickly through the Yankees minor league system. I had a lot of hope that James Kaprielian would be that guy for the Yankees, but after he was traded, Schmidt is going to fill that void for me.

Thanks for the awesome signed cards, Mr. Schmidt!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Blog Bat Around: My All Autograph Team

Kudos to Zippy Zappy for a very fun and creative Blog Bat Around.

My all autograph team! Being a pretty big autograph collector, I felt like this was one I definitely wanted to think about pretty heavily.

ZZ gave a few guidelines, but I also imposed a restriction on myself: all autographs must have been obtained by me via TTM. I don't have a huge certified autograph collection, but that does remove a few players from consideration, like Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks. Sorry, guys.

Now that those parameters are in place, I decided to not only list out my starting line-up, but I blew it out a little more and created a full organization.
  • Full 25-man roster, including: Starting lineup, Bench, Starting pitching staff, Relievers
  • Major League Coaching Staff
  • Suspended/Inactive
  • 40-man roster: 15 Additional Players yet to make their MLB debut
  • Front Office
  • Play-by-play TV/radio teams
  • Celebrity Fan
  • Opposing Team
So this shouldn't be too hard, right? Remember, these were all obtained by me via TTM:

Catcher: Yogi Berra
Hard to argue with one of the greatest catchers ever behind the plate.

1B: Tino Martinez
I have better statistical 1B I could have chosen. Mattingly. McGwire. Konerko. But I have to give the nod to my favorite all-time player as my starting 1B.

2B: Joe Morgan
This was a tough decision for me. Originally I penciled in Bobby Richardson, but this really isn't as close as I tried to make it, despite how annoying Morgan was on Sunday Night Baseball. Did you know he played for the Big Red Machine and that they would have beaten the '98 Yankees?

3B: Adrian Beltre
Graig Nettles would have been a strong contender for this spot, but he was mean to me when I met him in person. No place in my organization for that. So I'll go with a future HOFer in Beltre.

SS: Phil Rizzuto

Another HOFer at short. I wish it was Jeter or ARod, but not a bad consolation prize here.

LF: Tony Gwynn
Ok, so he only played 51 career games in LF. Good enough for a spot in my OF.

CF: Mike Trout
Iconic RC (not a reprint) of the best player in the game. Was lucky enough to get this c/o the Arizona Fall League a while back.

RF: Aaron Judge
I may have autographs of more accomplished young hitters, but Judge is turning into a terrific all-around hitter and outfielder. I need some power and OBP in my lineup, so he gets the start in right.

DH: Hideki Matsui
I was at the 2009 World Series Game 6 when Matsui had 6 RBIs, leading the Yankees to the clinching victory in their last WS. He brings the clutch gene to my lineup.

Here's my bench, consisting of a backup 1B, backup 3B (and knuckleballer), RH pinch-hitter/outfielder, and backup catcher.

Bench: Don Mattingly
Bench: Jorge Posada
Bench: Juan Gonzalez
Juan Gone provides the power as a pinch hitter.

Bench:  Wade Boggs
SP1: Clayton Kershaw
While not the greatest signed card (still no idea how I got this one, as it wasn't the card I sent), it still counts. Kershaw gets the Opening Day nod, although maybe wouldn't start Game 1 of a playoff series. (bad joke, I know)

SP2: Ron Guidry
Lefties go back-to-back in this rotation.

SP3: Roger Clemens
You could slot any of these guys anywhere in the rotation. Clemens goes 3rd to split up lefties on each side.

SP4: Andy Pettitte
This was a tough call, but Pettitte is a warrior and shuts down opposing teams after any loss.

SP5: Whitey Ford
I guess this is W. Ford versus Whitey Ford. He is the fifth starter because of his cranky TTM response to me, and he's getting skipping in the rotation if we have any games postponed for rain. CHECK OUT THE CRANKY TTM RETURN HERE.

Spot Starter/Long-Man: CC Sabathia
Closer: Mariano Rivera
Reliever: Andrew Miller
Reliever: Dellin Betances
Reliever: David Robertson
Reliever: Rafael Soriano
Reliever: Lee Smith

SSPD/Inactive: Goose Gossage (suspended for season without pay for constant remarks detrimental to the organization)

Manager: Ralph Houk
Bench Coach: Joe Girardi
Pitching Coach: Larry Rothschild
Hitting Coach: Chris Chambliss
3B Coach: Phil Nevin
Did you know he's the current Yankees 3B coach?

1B Coach: Roy White

15 players yet to make their MLB debuts, or never made it to the show.
Front Office:

GM: Brian Cashman
Ass't GM: Bob Watson
Ass't GM: Al Rosen
Play-by-play TV: Harry Doyle
Color Commentator TV: Jerry Coleman
Play-by-play Radio : Michael Kay
Color Commentator Radio: Paul O'Neill
Celebrity Fan: Billy Crystal
There's my organization!

Instead of honorable mentions/just missed, I created an opposing team, because my squad needs someone to play, right?

Catcher: Sandy Alomar Jr.

1B: Mark McGwire
2B: Ryne Sandberg
3B: Eddie Mathews
SS: Gil McDougald
OF: Al Kaline
OF: Pete Rose
OF: Vladimir Guerrero
DH: Albert Belle
SP: Mike Mussina
Manager: Tony LaRussa
So here's how the lineups stack up.
Who you got?