Friday, April 17, 2015

TTM Success: Yankees Prospect Jorge Mateo

Yesterday was just like any normal day. I returned home and checked the mail, and was surprised to see a SASE in there. I hadn't gotten a spring training TTM success in a while, and wasn't really expecting any given that the season had started.

To my delight, this fell out of the envelope when I opened it:
Boom! A signed card from Yankees shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo. After Luis Severino and Aaron Judge, Mateo is next in line in many prospect rankings. He's super young - just 20 - and already in A-ball. After seven games, he's swiped eight bags and is hitting a respectable .259. He projects to stay at short long-term.

I made this card using the Rookies App, and I'm thrilled to get it back! Thanks, Jorge!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Phil's pants

I haven’t been too inspired to buy too many cards lately. There aren’t a ton of current products I love. My PC guys aren’t showing up in too many new releases, so I’m a little bored. It does happen from time to time, but I usually snap out of it, and I suspect I will this time. Still, I have a few bucks in my PayPal account, and do still search eBay every day or two to see what pops up.

I splurged (in the $5-range) for a Phil Rizzuto jersey card. Then it arrived, and I realized that the little text next to the swatch actually said "game-worn pants." Ok, fair enough!

The card itself is very nice. I like the cream-colored motif, and it matches the pant swatch well. I always enjoy these old relics and seeing how different the fabric was then. They have hints of multiple colors, like gray or navy, even though the swatch is off white. I wonder if that’s how they created the illusion of road gray?

Either way, while not my first Rizzuto relic, it is certainly one of my nicest, and it fits into my collection perfectly.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Too much ice for April

It's cold out this morning in NYC. It sure doesn't feel like spring, with weather in the 30s. Then tomorrow it's going into the 70s, so expect a cold from me in about another day or two.

Speaking of cold, I recently got a Bowman Chrome Red Ice Refractor of Mason Williams. The Red Ice version is one of the nicest cards I've ever seen, and I really mean that. It's striking in person. I did not expect to be wowed like that when I bought the card, but it really did make me stop for a second when I opened the bubble mailer.
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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

For the first time in 2015...

...Happy #BIGMIKE Day! It's going to be cold and windy tonight. Hide that pine tar well, young man.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

TTM Success: Esmil Rogers

Yankees reliever Esmil Rogers returned my card signed, just in the nick of time before the season started! You might notice this looks quite like a 1988 Donruss card. It's actually an inverted template from the Rookies App. It's probably illegal, but who cares? Esmil didn't have a Yankees card, so I made one very easily.

I wish he didn't sign in black over the the black glove portion of the card, but that's life. I'm still grateful that he took the time to sign for me.
And in case you need a reminder on 1988 Donruss, here you go!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Opening Day!

Let's do this.

My thoughts (and solely mine) and a few predictions on the 2015 Yankees:
  • The team isn't great, but could be good enough to contend for a playoff spot. They need some bounce back years from a few players, although that may be a tall order. Still, if (and it's a BIG IF) they can stay relatively healthy, they can be there in September.
  • Jacob Lindgren will be in the Majors by May 1.
  • Masahiro Tanaka will undergo Tommy John surgery by June 1.
  • Andrew Bailey will be the Yankees closer by June 1, with Betances and Miller forming the best set-up duo since Nelson and Stanton.
  • Stephen Drew is going to open a lot of eyes and be one of the top 2B in the AL.
  • Big Mike will make the AL All-Star team.
  • Didi Gregorius' glove work will be all the rage, but his offense will leave a lot to be desired.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury will get 200 hits. On the dot.
  • Slade Heathcott will make his ML Debut, along with several other Yankees prospects.
 Here's your Opening Day lineup:

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter baskets and cards

Growing up, cards were always a fixture in my Easter basket.

In 1996, I remember getting a blaster box of Upper Deck Collector's choice basketball. I still remember how deceptive the box was, as it was the size of a normal box, but only had 10 packs and a big foam square that took up space.

In 1997, my Easter basket sat on top of four cans of Pinnacle Inside baseball cards. I think that was the equivalent of a blaster. There were four cans that were shrink-wrapped.

In 1998, Pacific Online was the blaster of choice for the Easter Bunny. You know, baseball cards with web addresses! For the internet!

The point is, my mom always made sure there were some cards in my Easter basket in addition to candy and other treats. I looked forward to the packs more than the candy, actually.

Keeping the tradition alive, I made sure that there was a pack of cards in Joey's basket this morning. I suppose I should have put some in my daughter's basket too. Oops. Maybe next year.

Let's see how Joey did: