Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day, A Day To Honor True Heroes


Today we honor all of the men and women who have given their lives in the service of our country. Since 1775 over 1.34 million U.S. soldiers have died during war and another 1.5 million were wounded. They have given all to ensure that the rest of us have our freedom, for this we thank you and your families

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Topps Now


I have been watching the various Topps Now cards and I am confounded as to which cards are seeing high activity on the secondary market. Oddly it seems like the market is based on print runs more than on the athlete or the event. It is Bizarro world where the less desirable a card is at print time the more expensive it will sell on the secondary market.

Case in point, Bartolo Colon’s card #57. This card has a print run of 8,826, topping the next highest print run by over 4,000 cards, and is regularly selling for $9-12 each. Flip to the other side with Chris Iannetta’s card #67 with a print run of 215 cards, the current lowest print run. On the day of release, before print run totals were announced, the card was selling in the $8-10 range but once the run numbers were announced the card has been actively selling in the $25-40 range.

The math just doesn’t work out for me. Colon is a potential Hall of Famer with 222 wins and 2279 Ks while Iannetta is a career backup catcher batting .231 lifetime. Yes there are only 215 Iannetta cards available but it just isn’t comparable to other limited cards. The cheapest 2016 Topps Now Chris Iannetta card currently available is $19.99 plus $2.49 or you could pick up an even more limited 2015 Topps Tribute Ken Griffey Jr relic card #/199 that just sold for $15.99.


Yes, I am slightly bitter because the Iannetta card is the only Mariners card that I don’t own yet and I really am not planning on paying $20 or more for this card. I currently have Dae-Ho Lee, card #16, Masahiro Tanaka/Hisashi Iwakuma, card #25, and Felix Hernandez, card #63, in my collection and I ordered the Leonys Martin, card #97, that was just released.
If anyone has the Chris Iannetta, card #67, on hand and is willing to work out a trade I would be interested.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Send In The New Guy


The Dodgers are going young with the call up of 19-year old pitcher Julio Urias who is scheduled to make his MLB debut tomorrow night. Urias will be the youngest Dodgers pitcher since Dick Calmus in 1963. After going 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA and 44Ks in 41 IP at Triple-A OKC the Dodgers feel that it is time to bring him up and give him his first start in the big leagues. It is expected that to control his inning count he will be moved to the bullpen after his start.

If you are looking to get in on the ground floor with Urias you are about three years too late, besides minor league sets his 2013 Bowman Sterling have been selling well and over the past few months have increased in price significantly. Along with his Topps cards both Panini and Leaf have jumped on the opportunity with the young prospect so there are some options.

I do not own this 2013 Bowman Sterling autograph; this image was pulled from eBay.

 

As a side note, the youngest MLB pitcher was Joe Nuxhall who appeared for the Cincinnati Reds on June 10, 1944 at the age of 15 years, 316 days old. Nuxhall played 16 years in the majors, mostly for the Reds, and retired with a 135-117 record with 19 saves, 3.90 ERA, 1372 Ks in 2302.2 IPs.  
 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Screen It Griffey Style


I finally was able to pick up the two Griffey cards from the 1997 Topps Screen Plays release. The set was made up of a 20-card base checklist, including all the big names of the era, along with a 6-card Premium Series insert which were inserted at a 1:21 packs odds.

On the base card checklist, he is card #7 and it shows him batting. I picked this card up along with the tin. As you rotate the card his name appears across a blue bar and the Screen Plays logo changes to the Mariners logo.

The Premium Series insert, card #1, shows him diving to make a catch. Like the base card as you rotate the card his name appears, this time along a gold name bar.

 

As a reminder, I will be using the McGwire Screen Plays tin/card along with the other 4 (surprise) players tin/cards as prizes in my blogiversary contest. Because of my upcoming move I am pushing my blogiversary back one month from June 6th to July 6th.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Vintage Card Of The Month: 2010 SportKings Series D And 1974 Towa Bruce Lee


 
This month’s VCoM is a double dose of the Master with the first card coming from a pseudo vintage set, the 2010 SportKings Series D. The Sports Kings name had been brought back in to existence by Dr. Brian Price in 2007 with the release of 2007 SportKings Series A and was produced through 2013 SportKings Series F and last year the brand was sold of Brian Grey of Leaf along with Dr. Prices other licenses.

Even though I was only a year old when Bruce Lee died I still felt like I was brought up watching him with my older brother. I grew up watching The Green Hornet reruns along with his movies. I looked up to him and like every other kid imitated his martial arts moves, eventually training in American Kenpo for years before I was disabled.

Lee does not have many collectibles even with his popularity the options are limited. Along with the 2010 SportKings release he is on the 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter’s checklist plus the 1966 Donruss The Green Hornet release. Additionally, he has a couple of foreign releases like the second half of the VCoM post, this 1974 Towa card from Japan. He does have a couple of relics and sketch cards but they are usually triple digits and up.

Monday, May 23, 2016

No That Doesn't Follow



That moment when you find a card up for auction that you really want but the cost of the card is outside of what you feel comfortable paying and you realize that Rocket Raccoon’s logic (Skip forward to 1:36) may not be so bad.

Friday, May 20, 2016

No Dirt Off Of My Shoe


I have had issues with my mail carrier before and I have had a card or two lost in the mail but this is the first time that I have received mail with a shoe print on it. I was lucky enough that the sender had put the card in to a rigid top loader so there was no damage to the card but who picked up the mailer off of the post office floor and put it where it was supposed to go without even wiping off the dirt mark?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Tale Of Little Plastic Men


In my on-going process of organizing and packing to get ready to move I have had to make some decisions regarding my collection. Most recently I am going through my figures and bobble heads to see what is packing worthy and what needs to be traded or sold. There have been some difficult calls on figures, some that I have had since 1993, but with each move I have cut down the collection and once again I am at that door.

One of the issues that I have come across, which all toy collectors must decide, is do the figures remain in packaging? Obviously this is the way to keep their value but that brings up the question of will I ever sell my Griffey figures? The answer is “Of course not” so today I decided to rip in to my Griffey SLU figures. I have had my Griffey MacFarlane figures displayed out of the packaging for years but the SLU figures remained encased in cardboard and plastic and packed away, rarely seen by human eyes and that ends today.

I bring to you the ripping of Griffey figures and pulling on the slowly yellowing plastic has never been more satisfying. Today we unleash his 1997 and 1998 figures plus a 1997 Classic Doubles with his father.

 

 
In addition to the newly freed figures I now also have three more SLU cards to add to my Griffey PC.  


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Happy Birthday Mr. October


Today is Reggie Jackson’s 70th birthday. The man was phenomenal in so many areas and with his personality you just had to love him and if you didn’t appreciate him as a ball player then you had to love him in as the would-be assassin in The Naked Gun.

His list of accomplishments run for a lifetime but his 3 homeruns on 3 pitches in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, and his Reggie Bar, will probably be the one that stands out amongst everything else and even though he played for ASU I still respect the guy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Griffey Cards From The Cutting Room Floor


Some days are tougher than others and when I am down it is time to turn to something that puts a smile on my face, Griffey oddball cards.

These aren’t really oddball cards because they are from an official release, 1994 Stadium Club Baseball, but actually tester cards from the printing stage. These specific cards are “uncut” meaning that they were never meant for pack out as they currently are. Two of the cards are uncut with one being slightly larger than the standard card, so this one may have just been a miscut and was pulled out before the packing stage, but the other one has a star-like indentions along one edge. I am not sure where this comes from, possibly a marking for the edge of the print sheet.


 
The third card is definitely from one edge of the print sheet and still contains the CMYK marking along the side and is one of those cards that isn’t expensive or rare in anyway but just different enough to make it special to the collector.

 
The cards are in rough condition, the reflective surface is well scuffed, and the edges are chipped but these aren’t the type of cards that you get graded but more of that unusual card in your collection that you just had to find a home for even though they are ugly.
 
 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Oh The Possibilities


I know that this card would never be made but it is fun to look at it as if it were.

It could be sold for Blue Jays fans by pointing out that Bautista took the punch (though his knees did buckle and his eyes went blank) and stayed on his feet but then change some text and make the exact same card but list for Odor for the Texas fans. Think of it, double up sales with minimal changes on the card KACHING$$$


Friday, May 13, 2016

Good Luck To Matt Bush


Former #1 pick Matt Bush is in the news again but this time not due to poor decisions or prison time. Bush was the 2004 #1 pick of the San Diego Padres, he was initially a shortstop but was transitioned to pitcher before injuring his elbow in 2007. He was later traded to the Blue Jays, who eventually released him and then signed with the Rays but got cut following another DUI arrest.

Since he was drafted Bush has been arrested for felony assault, trespassing, disorderly conduct and multiple DUIs. Following his third DUI, which resulted in an injury accident, Bush went to prison. He spent a little over three years in prison getting out in October last year and in December he signed with the Rangers as a relief pitcher.

It seems like Matt Bush realizes he has hit bottom and wants to leave his demons behind. His contract includes a zero tolerance policy and to ensure he is always doing the right thing he is living with his father.

In April he threw his first pitch in five years when he came in to earn a save for the Frisco RoughRiders. He has appeared in 12 games and he has a 2.65 ERA, 18Ks and 4 walks. It seems like his hard work since being released from prison has paid off and he was called up by the Rangers today and will be active in tonight's game against the Blue Jays.
 
As expected since his issues began early in his career he only has cards in 2004 releases with a couple of minor league cards in 2005 but nothing else.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

My Collection In One Image


Next month I am moving after living here for nearly 8 years and even though I had organized my collection last year it was still spread out pretty well and to get everything as minimal as possible I ended up putting most of my collection in to 5,000-ct boxes. After a couple of hours of semi-collating and packing I have roughly 95% of my collection in 4 ½ 5,000-ct-boxes, this includes most of my supplies too.

I realize that I really was not as organized as I initially thought I was. I had cards on display in three different locations, I had cards in 500-ct, 1,000-ct, 3,000-ct and 5,000-ct boxes, I had supplies in a drawer as well as a large storage bin and that isn’t counting bobble heads, SLU/McFarlane figures and various memorabilia. Ugh…

Now most of my collection is in a nice little stack with some empty boxes left over with memorabilia going in to their own packing box and my Griffey collection in a separate 1,000-ct box and I am another step closer to moving. Next will be unpacking everything after I move but that is more fun that packing my collection away.

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

One Card, Two Card...That Is All


A two card Mariners post today.


Topps recently released a baseball version on their Wacky Packages line where every sticker in the series is baseball connected either through a MLB or MiLB team or something associated with America’s pastime. Each MLB team has two different stickers in the set, some are funny and some just leave you scratching your heads. Along with parallels of the stickers there are also sketch cards, autographs and relics too.

The Mariners’ are Sea Salt and Cocktail sauce, I picked up the pair for a bit over one dollar. There are sketch card versions too, I have seen two different sketch cards for the Sea Salt version but the prices are pretty insane for a sketch card.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pack War: 2016 Donruss Baseball Versus 2016 Gypsy Queen Baseball


I have not done a good old-fashioned pack war in a couple of months so I grabbed a couple of blaster boxes to get rid of the pack ripping itch.

The blasters I picked up are 2016 Donruss baseball, 7 packs with 6 cards each and either a relic or autograph, and 2016 Gypsy Queen baseball, 8 packs with 6 cards each and one limited edition mini. I will keep it simple, best pack wins. No difficult scoring and no replay, I am not basing it on design, inserts or subsets. The pack with the better players wins the round.

Now let’s get ready to rumble!!!

 
Pack 1:
Donruss
#57 Bryce Harper
#113 Eddie Rosario
#185 Carl Yastrzemski

Top Prospects #TP6 Dansby Swanson
1982 Design #D82-24 Miguel Cabrera


Gypsy Queen
#89 Anthony Rizzo
#95 Aaron Nola
#146 Dallas Keuchel
#206 Delino DeShields Jr.
#238 Mark Canha

MVP Mini #MVP-WM Willie Mays


Pack 1 Winner- Donruss
Donruss started out bad missing a card, 5 instead of 6, but with Harper, Yaz, Cabrera ’82 and a solid Swanson prospect easily overpowers GQ’s underwhelming pack, even the Mays MVP mini can not overcome Keuchel’s implosion.


Pack 2:
Donruss
#66 Nolan Arenado
#74 Brandon Crawford
#81 Lorenzo Cain
#119 Kyle Seager

Rated Rookie #44 Henry Ownes
1982 #D82-29 Eric Hosmer 


Gypsy Queen
#81 Matt Duffy
#110 Yovani Gallardo
#173 Kenley Jansen
#248 Christian Colon

Glove Stories #GS-5 Kevin Pillar
Mini #247 Chi Chi Gonzalez
 

Pack 2 Winner- Gypsy Queen
This one was almost a wash with nobody really taking control but when you take in to consideration Kenley Jansen is leading the league in saves I had to go with GQ.

 
Pack 3:
Donruss
#87 Anthony Rizzo
#92 Kendrys Morales
#126 Carlos Carrasco
#134 Hirashi Iwakuma

Diamond Kings #5 Jake Arrieta
1982 #D82-34 AJ Pollock 


Gypsy Queen
#66 Zack Greinke
#72 Gary Sanchez
#166 Evan Longoria
#207 Eddie Rosario
#218 Ryan Howard

Mini #213 Koji Uehara purple parallel #/250 

 
Pack 3 Winner- Donruss
Another couple packs of “meh” but the Arrieta Diamond King is definitely the shining star even topping the Purple Uehara mini.

 
Pack 4:
Donruss
#96 Gerrit Cole
#99 Jacob DeGrom
#143 Troy Tulowitzki
#170 David Wright
#174 Justin Upton
#193 Checklist

1982 #D82-41 Cal Ripken Jr. 


Gypsy Queen
#55 Andrelton Simmons
#179 Jonathan Lucroy
#232 Didi Gregorius
#251 David Robertson
#342 Eddie Murray High Number SP

Mini i#169 Jay Bruce


Pack 4 Winner- Gypsy Queen
Now this was a proper Pack War.

 Donruss came on strong with one extra card in the pack plus teammates DeGrom and Wright and closing out with a 1982 Cal Ripken Jr. How do you beat that? Easy, the nearly unhittable closer David Robertson, Jonathan Lucroy’s .327 BA and a short printed High Number Eddie Murray, that’s how you beat that.

Heading in to the 5th Inning and the score is tied 2-2

 
Pack 5:
Donruss
#48 Robinson Cano
#129 Adrian Beltre
#138 CC Sabathia

Studio Cyan Test Proof #S4 Miguel Sano #/49
USA Collegiate National Team #USA-13 Corey Ray
1982 #D82-43 George Brett 


Gypsy Queen
#7 Corey Seager
#41 Garrett Richards
#124 Jon Lester
#201 Cody Anderson
#219 Shin-Soo Choo

Mini #285 Adam Eaton 


Pack 5 Winner- Donruss
Donruss came out angry after bringing it in Pack 4 and still losing. Donruss was not going to repeat and went big (At least as big as Donruss can go in a blaster box). Start with a Mariner and AL Player of the Week Cano, toss in former Mariner Beltre a Studio Cyan Test Proof and George Brett. GQ never had a chance


Pack 6:
Donruss
#53 Clayton Kershaw
#63 Prince Fielder
#178 Kirby Puckett

Diamond Kings #15 Joes Fernandez Season Stat Line parallel #/292
New Breed Autograph #NB-YR Yorman Rodriguez
1982 #D82-46 Pete Rose 


Gypsy Queen
#14 Marcus Stroman
#165 Yoenis Cespedes
#190 Devon Travis
#237 Kevin Gausman

Walk Off Winners #GWO-2 Manny Machado
Mini #29 Eric Hosmer 


 
Pack 6 Winner- Donruss
This win should have been beautiful for Donruss but ended up winning ugly. Starting with three top stars for base cards and a Pete Rose 1982 design, toss in a parallel and autograph and this should have been like Griffey playing slow pitch softball, a home run with each card.

While Jose Fernandez is a decent pitcher, does anyone actually collect Miami cards?

I will never poo-poo an autograph but come on Panini… Yorman Rodriguez a “New Breed”? A new breed of what, lifetime minor leaguers? He has been in the league for 7 seasons and has a grand total of 11 games in the big league. Toss in that he has been on the DL since March with a hamstring pull, this has got to be the worst hamstring pull ever to keep him out for two months. This is Panini filling an autograph checklist just to fill a checklist.

 
Pack 7:
Donruss
#72 Manny Machado
#181 Cal Ripken Jr
#186 Don Mattingly

#73 Kevin Kiermaier Career Stat Line #/432
1982 #D82-10 Yadier Molina Pink parallel
1982 #D82-50 Steve Carlton  


Gypsy Queen
#18 Robinson Cano
#38 Justin Upton
#178 James Shields
#220 Trayce Thompson
#225 Aaron Altherr

Mini #322 Goose Gossage Foil High Number SP 


Pack 7 Winner- Donruss
Pack 7 was good again for Donruss with three top notch base cards, toss in the pink Molina and the stat line Kiermaier and it was an easy win. Does anyone else feel like Topps just gave up beginning with Pack 5? The only redeeming value for GQ here is Cano and the high number short print foil Goose Gossage mini.



The Pack War Winner- Donruss with 5 packs to 2 packs.



Here is GQ’s 8th pack for those who are wondering what the final pack held
#33 Jose Fernandez
#154 Joey Votto
#162 Shelby Miller
#226 Alcides Escobar

Power Alley #PA-16 Lou Gehrig
Mini #275 J.T. Realmuto 


That’s right, more Marlins. Not a super pack but between the Lou Gehrig Power Alley and the Realmuto mini it probably would have beaten out Donruss on Pack 1 or Pack 3