Monday, September 18, 2017

Bam Bam

There are some guys that are nearly automatic TTM signers, yet for whatever reason, I have had trouble getting a response from them. Two of those guys are currently with the San Francisco Giants - Hensley Meulens and Dave Righetti. I have sent both multiple requests, without success.

I can finally check off Sir Hensley Meulens, as he returned my three cards signed over the weekend. I sent these in July, so about two months time.
Meulens was a big prospect for the Yankees, although never really transferred his minor league success to the Majors. He played for the Yankees from 1988-1993, then with the Expos in '97 and the D-backs in '98. Can't say I recalled him playing for the latter two teams. He played in Japan from 1994-96.

Since 2010, Bam Bam has served as the hitting coach for the Giants.

I'm happy to have these back, and hope I can add Righetti soon too!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Eye of the beHolder

I don't have a ton of outstanding TTM requests not, so it's always kind of fun when an envelope with an older stamp makes it's way back to me. For the second time in a week, I had a spring training request returned to me.
I sent this to Kyle Holder back on March 6, so this took a little over six months to come back signed. I definitely appreciate getting it back, even with the long wait.

Holder, a 2015 First Rounder, spent the entire season at High A Tampa, hitting .271. He doesn't have much power at all, but he's already MLB-ready in the field at shortstop. He also logged 26 games at third and 14 at second, showing that he can move around the infield.

With his glove, if he can keep hitting .270ish, he'll find a role as a utility man in the Majors at some point. I'd assume he'll move on up to Trenton to start next season.

Thanks for the autograph. Mr. Holder!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cards from Twitter

It's always surprising when someone reaches out via email or Twitter and wants to send me (or my son) some cards. This happened recently on Twitter, when Jonathan from @ABucnCaniac sent me a DM offering to send a few HOFers for Joey.

It was very generous and appreciated. Here are the cards I've added to Joey's HOF binder. I still have to ingrain it in my brain that Biggio is a HOFer.
Jonathan also included a few Yankees for me, including this Jeter insert. I better snag it for myself before I have to add a bunch of Jeters to the HOF binder in a few years.
Thanks so much, Jonathan. Go give him a follow at @ABucnCaniac.

Monday, September 11, 2017

I'm not a weekly poster, I promise

A TTM success! And a blog post!

I don’t plan on being a once-a-week blog poster. Truth is, after we got my daughter home from her 7-day hospital stay, that very night I woke up with a 103+ fever. Allow me to be a baby, but fevers as adults completely suck. This just floored me until overnight Friday, when my fever finally broke, and still spent most of the weekend recovering. Boo hoo me, I know. Not looking for sympathy, just saying that I had zero desire to pound out a blog post, even one as simple as this.

Regardless, one of the days shuttling between home and the hospital, a SASE returned to me. I was surprised to find this:
A Chris Dickerson autograph! Although it got a little mangled during transit.

I didn’t remember sending it out, and upon checking my records, I sent the request to Orioles spring training in mid-February. Nice to get one of those ones back!

Dickerson spent the season in Norfolk, the Orioles AAA franchise. Already 35 years old, hopefully he gets another shot in the Majors one day.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Not the best end of summer

This post comes to you from the pediatric ward of our local hospital, where my three-year-old daughter has been since Wednesday. She has pneumonia. I feel so bad for her little body going through all of this, and feel terrible that summer is ending this way for her. I feel for my son too, as he's been dragged back and forth to the hospital and hasn't gotten much attention.

She'll be ok and we'll survive! There are a lot of people going through their own challenges right now, especially my blogging friends down in the Houston area. I wish them all the best.

I will say that I've been trying to keep up with everyone's blogs, as there is a lot of downtime just sitting here, so thank you all for your posts.

In between some of my trips home for clean clothes and to walk the dog, yesterday's mail contained just a single card:
This was a pretty neat feat, actually. All three players hit their 40th career homers in the same game. While 40 isn't an elusive number or anything, what are the chances three guys on the same team would accomplish the feat in one night?

That's baseball, Suzyn.

Hopefully I'll be back with normal posts soon. Until then, I hope everyone can enjoy their holiday weekend!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Signed Beckett from 17 years ago

Going through a few boxes of my old stuff that I recently rescued from my parents attic, there were a few items I was hoping I’d across.
This is definitely one of them.

While I rarely send anything beyond cards in my TTM requests, here’s a Rick Ankiel Beckett I sent when he was the hottest prospect in baseball in 2000.

Ankiel was kind enough to sign and return this for me. I’m not sure if I sent it to spring training or the Cardinals – it was over 17 years ago after all. However, I remember being thrilled to get it back, and I definitely hung it in my room proudly.

Here’s a closer look at the signature.
Before he famously developed the yips, Ankiel was a huge pitching prospect. He delivered in his first full year in the Majors in 2000, going 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA and 194 Ks in 175 innings. And he was only 20! Unfortunately, that postseason is where it all fell apart for him and deprived us of a promising young lefty for years to come.

To his credit, Ankiel returned as an outfielder and even belted 25 HRs in 2008. He could have easily let the yips define his career, but he overcame them and spent seven years in the Majors as a position player. To me, that’s a success, and a true measure of character.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

How(ard)'ve you been, vintage?

I go through waves when it comes to acquiring vintage cards.

It's been a while since I snagged a "new" one. So I turned to my trusty eBay saved search for "poor" Yankees cards, and came across this:
Nothing about that looks poor, does it? It's in great condition.

The poor actually comes from paper loss on the back, which looks like it was probably tape of some sort. Maybe some kid hung this up in his bedroom.
I've certainly spent $1.75 on cards far poorer than this. Since this will go in my vintage binder, I'm not worried about the paper loss on the back at all.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Basebrawls don't = Blogbrawls

So there were some fireworks in the Yankees/Tigers game yesterday. If your team was involved, it's also hard to have a rational conversation about it. Fans defend their own teams, and no matter what, the other team was at fault. Did I lose respect for Miguel Cabrera and Brad Ausmus? You bet. Did Tigers fans lose respect for Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez? Yep. But who cares? My life will go on.

Luckily, these on-the-field differences don't interfere with card blogger agendas, which is to acquire more cards. I've traded with fans of nearly every team, and I'd like to think I've maintained good relationships with most of them. Some of my best trading pals are Red Sox fans, after all.

A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to win a contest over at Paul's TTM Blog. Paul is, you guessed it, a Tigers fan. I owe Paul a return package, and I guess I have a bit more incentive now to empty my house of those "classless" Tigers (sarcasm font).

I'll start with the non-cards - a Jeter yo-yo and a mini jersey. Interested to see where these might have come from. I actually gave the yo-yo to my son and the jersey to my daughter to play with. They've both enjoyed them!
Ok, cards.
I don't own many graded cards, but this was an unexpectedly cool one to receive - a Jeter 1999 Finest Blue PSA Mint 9. Very cool!
There were a bunch of Jeters, and these were three that jumped out at me.
Paul dominated my PC guys as well, including a Tino I didn't have, a couple of Gary Sanchez cards that Paul would likely be shredding in half if he hadn't sent them, and some Dellin Betances cards.
I already showed this pretty Chrome Chapman, but here it is again.
I LOVED the Stadium Club Playing with Passion inserts. The Tino is one of my favorite cards, and now I have the Bernie.
And a couple of other fun cards. There were plenty more, but a man can only scan so much.

Paul, thanks for the cards, and for being a cool dude despite following a CLASSLESS (again, sarcasm font) team.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

It was Orange all along!

A few weeks ago, Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown was showing off a few cards he snagged on eBay. Gavin is one of those smart shoppers who explores a seller's other items to use combined shipping. I wish I did this more, but I either never think to do it, or I'm too lazy.

Scrolling down through the post, I saw this card:
Gavin mentioned I probably had it, and he snagged it just in case Ty makes it to the Big Leagues one day.

The thing is, I didn't have it!

I have the 2012 Bowman Chrome Refactor, Blue Refractor, and Gold Refractor. But not orange!

Curious as to how I might have missed it on eBay, I went back into the completed listings for Hensley cards, and noticed the scan was a little dark. In my saved search, I'm guessing I scrolled past it, thinking it was the Gold one I already had.
Luckily, Gavin bailed me out. And luckily the card was #d 25/25 as opposed to 12/25. Otherwise, it might have been much tougher to convince Gavin to part with it. Fortunately for me, he's a great dude and willingly sent it my way.

He also sent a bunch of others, with creative packaging as usual:
I actually didn't have this Phil Rizzuto card, although the filter makes Rizzuto's face look pretty scary.
There were a few other Rizzutos, as well as a Tino and Big Mike. There was some great, great Tino inserts in 1998, and I consider this Studio Hit Parade one of them. It was super rare too, numbered to a mere 5,000 copies. Oh, 1998.
Gavin, a return package will be headed your way. Thank you again for parting with the Hensley - my 95th unique one!