Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thank you, JBF

In case you haven’t heard, Wes of Jaybarkerfan’s Junk is hanging up his blogging keyboard (?) for a while. There is an inkling that it might not be permanent, and let’s hope that is the case.

I know a lot has been said over the past few weeks (and years), but I wanted to reiterate what a generous and overall great dude Wes is. I am sure he’s given away far, far more cards than he has ever received in return. For every PWE I’ve sent Wes over the past few years, I’ve basically gotten a flat rate box back.

Wes also paid attention. I probably mentioned once or twice that I am a Bengals fan (long story), and he took note. Nearly every package since has included a few Bengals cards. While I’m not a football collector, per se, I do enjoy receiving cards of my favorite team. I know have a pretty sweet Bengals collection.

Beyond Bengals there always seems to be a Tino or a Pineda tucked into packages Wes sends as well.

It’s guys like Wes that really keep me interested in the hobby.

Wes, I’ll miss seeing your blog posts. You always tried new things, like The World Cup of Trading, and you always made for a fun read. Hope to read more of your stuff soon!

I am about three boxes behind in showing off some stuff Wes sent, but those will be shown in due time. Here’s a few sweet cards from a (not so) recent bubble mailer JBF sent me awhile back.

Let's start with some shiny. That Ruben Rivera Atomic Refractor is just sweet. The Bernie Williams Refractors are actually two cards that look exactly the same but are serially numbered to different print runs.
Moose batting! This is the first time I saw this Gold Label set. Always felt like a classy product.
Closter and Cumberland vintage! Two solid last names.
And the aforementioned Bengals. I’m a big David Pollack fan. He was a great Bengals draft pick, but suffered a neck injury in his second year that ended his career. Now he’s solid on ESPN.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Royal contest winnings



With the World Series starting tonight, I figured I’d show off a contest prize I won from Josh over at Royals and Randoms from his Baseball Sheep contest waaaaay back in the spring. I’m sure when Josh had this contest, he didn’t think he’d be getting ready to watch the Royals in the World Series on October 21..or reading a post about the winnings five months later. Oops.

As for the World Series, I can honestly say I don’t care who wins. I’d love for it to be a good, competitive series. Go American League and DH, I guess? Pitchers batting is dumb.

Moving on, here’s some of the winnings Josh sent me. I finished second in the contest. Not bad, eh? It was a big ‘ol box of cards I received, so here are some highlights.

We’ll start with the hits since you all hate base cards (kidding, kidding). A very cool jeter All-Star manupatch from Upper Deck. I didn’t know manupatches were being made so long ago. I thought it was a recent Topps thing. 
Two more hits in the form of future Yankee first basemen Greg Bird (no, really), and a catcher they should have kept. 
 
I like this Jeter Stadium Club, mid-bubble with a guest appearance by Cal Ripkin. Pretty cool. 
I love it when unforgettable moments make it on cards. The ‘double stolen base’ by Johnny Damon in the 2009 World Series was so cool, and I’m glad it made it into this set.
There was NO SHORTAGE of vintage, which is always most appreciated. Let’s start off with Thurman Munson. I will never, ever say no to a vintage Munson card. How could you? Just look at that face! 
Here’s a couple more, including a near-complete 1976 Topps team set. Freaking great stuff! 
Thanks, Josh. Good luck in the World Series!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Purple and blue - my arm and my cards

Last week, I got a flu shot. No big deal. I've gotten them the past few years since I became a dad and my kid (now kids) are walking germs. I say that in a nice way, of course.

What was weird is that this year, my arm bruised like hell after the shot. I'm talking baseball-sized black, blue, and purple. It looks like I took a Randy Johnson fastball to bicep. It's now in that ugly green and yellow phase. I've never had that sort of reaction to a shot. It was odd, for sure.

Similarly, my newest Ty Hensley cards share these characteristics. Behold, #'s 39 and 40 in my Hensley PC. That Purple Ice is so, so pretty. #'d 9/10 too! The blue, while pretty in it's own right, is #'d to 99.



Thursday, October 16, 2014

TTM Success: Nathan Mikolas



Yankees prospect Nathan Mikolas recently returned a card I sent him signed. He played in Staten Island this past season. Minor leaguers are very cool and sometimes include notes, and Mikolas dropped this gem on me:

I thanked him via Twitter, and he was cool enough to respond and say it got lost in his locker. Even cooler in my book!
Nathan, thanks for the great success! Best of luck next year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TTM Success: Jack McDowell



A few weeks ago, I received a TTM success from 1993 AL Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell. I sent the cards to the Ogden Pioneers, where Black Jack was managing this past season. The 1995 Studio is perhaps one of my coolest success ever. Look how awesome this looks!
I usually send no more than two cards, but was a little greedy and sent three, which McDowell generously signed. 
As a Yankee fan, I should probably dislike McDowell a lot more than I do. He famously flipped off fans while being booed off the field, and he gave up the Game 5 ALDS game-winning hit to Edgar Martinez. As a 12-year-old, I was crushed. But still, I never really disliked McDowell. When he came to NY, I think it represented a sign, for me, that by acquiring him, the Yankees were really going for it.

Either way, these cards look great, and I appreciate the return.

Monday, October 13, 2014

My first box topper

I don't buy boxes other than blasters, so I don't get to pull fun stuff like box toppers. Luckily, other bloggers do it for me.

Tony L. from Off Hiatus Baseball Cards pulled a Jacoby Ellsbury A&G box topper and was nice enough to send it along to me. It's pretty cool...cooler than I expected, anyways. The size is just a bit weird, so not sure how to store. What do you guys do for storing box toppers?

I didn't say much about Ellsbury during this past baseball season. He had a decent first year in NY. Surprisingly, he stayed healthy, playing in 149 games. He was very streaky. He started off on fire, then had a massive slump, then caught fire again and so on. His season was full of peaks and valleys.

Overall, I did enjoy his first year in Pinstripes. He can win a game in many different ways, and he did a nice job taking advantage of the short porch. He played great D, although his arm is pretty suspect. He swiped 39 bases. I was expecting more, but that's not awful.

I'm worried about the next six years of him. He won't stay healthy. He ran less this year, and that's concerning to me for a player who relies on his legs. I'll take it year by year for now, and hope he builds upon his 2014 campaign. I'd be happy with the same numbers again, and let those other slackers rebound.

Tony, thanks for this cool card!


Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Arizona Fall League

I sent out a few TTMs to some Arizona Fall League players, as the season starts today. My successes c/o the AFL have been pretty hit or miss, but I want to remind everyone to swing big. You never know what you're going to get.

In 2011, I took a chance on Mike Trout in the AFL, and I'm glad I did:
See? You just never know...