Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Christmas in October

I know, I know. Wrong month. I suppose this post would have worked better three months ago for "Christmas in July", but the 2018 version of Panini's National Treasures wasn't out yet. Two months from now and it's December, but . . . well, heck . . . I couldn't wait two more months to post such a display of Vogelbach goodness.

Behold!  A Material Signatures Treasures insert from this year's set of National Treasures with a serial number of 12 out of 25! It's a Christmas card as my buddy Gavin likes to call them.
I'm not a big fan of stick-o-graphs, but the penmanship (for Vogelbach) is pretty good here. Also, the patch. OH. MY. GOODNESS. That patch! My only wish is it was larger! I'm not 100% certain, but I think this is part of one of the silver letters from the teal jerseys the Mariners wear. 

 The previous auction of this card sold for a song on Ebay and I used the Best Offer option and mentioned that in the comments. I got this one for a very good price and I couldn't be happier.

Vogelbach hasn't had much cardboard this year to chase so I was ecstatic when I learned he was in National Treasures. Logos or no logos, if I had the coin to buy one high-end box I would certainly go this route.
Also, I love the write-up on the back. Panini gets it: "A big basher who obliterates baseballs for a living."
The only thing better would have been if they would have used VOGELMONSTER on the back instead of DAN VOGELBACH. Just sayin'.

I was having a pretty good day, but cardboard like this just takes it to an entirely different level.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Not What I Was Expecting

I arrived home late last night, after filming for my high school's football team, to find a package sitting atop my desk.
The view from atop the press box makes me nostalgic.
Upon seeing the package I thought, "Nice! My Sportlots box arrived just in time for a three day weekend!"
The box was a little bigger than expected, but I guess I did order quite a few cards. This morning I ripped into the box.
Some cards were for my own projects, but mostly I needed some cards to complete a few trade packages.
I thought I would try the new Sportlots Box option, but more on that next time I suppose.
Peonies? Ugh.

I guess my wife used my Paypal account to pay for her latest garden project.  Sigh.

The wait for cardboard continues.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Out And Back to San Diego

It was a whirlwind of a weekend. I took a personal day from work on Friday, left early for the airport, and landed in San Diego around 3:30pm California time. I tried out Uber for the first time, with success, and was settled into my wife's hotel room well before her conference let out. All the while, I was soaking in all the sights. This midwestern boy doesn't see the ocean or palm trees very often!

Alright, ready for a picture heavy post of a fun 40 hours in San Diego? Here we go!

For dinner, we went to Balboa Park for Food Truck Friday, which was so tasty. The park contains a couple of museums, a botanical garden and beautiful architecture.
 The picture above shows some of the architecture I mentioned. Also shown, on the left, is our Uber ride to the park . . . a Tesla.  So fancy!
 The longest line at any one of the ten food trucks belonged to the wood-fired pizza truck. Yes, it's a fire truck they converted to hold a legit pizza oven. These San Diegoans are serious about their food trucks!
 I don't have a memory for the names of buildings, but the second banner is a photo of a player I will always recognize. Ted Williams!  Yessir, Teddy Ballgame played two years in San Diego!
This is probably my best picture of the weekend.  Sometimes I'm in the right spot at just the right time.

Saturday was simply fantastic. I went for a 3-mile walk along the beach. I then followed that up with an hour of stand-up-paddleboarding around Mission Bay.
It's hard to take a picture of oneself while paddleboarding, so you a picture of a lady and her dog out on a paddleboard near De Anza Cove.

Below are the dragon boat races that I had to avoid while cruising the bay.
 The best thing about the bay was seeing such large fish and scaring up some resting manta rays!

Next up was lunch. I was starving.  So I called for another Uber and look what was playing in the headrest of the driver's seat:
Yeah, that's the Cub game! I got to watch all of the ninth-inning before we arrived at my destination. We won't mention the outcome of the game.
AleSmith Brewery is one of the best bars I've ever stepped foot in. There weren't any brewery tours, but there was everything else including a food truck to purchase a jalapeno cheeseburger. Mmmmm... They must have known I was coming! I took my burger upstairs to watch the airshow going on at the Marine Corps Miramar Airport.
 In the foreground that's my lunch on the window sill. In the distance is the smoke from a recent show performer. I guess this is the base/airport they filmed the movie Top Gun at back in the day. Pretty cool!
 Above is a picture of an Osprey. You'll have to excuse the poor photography as I was taking pictures with a burger in one hand and my smartphone in the other.
I swiped this one from the interwebs.
Here's a better photo of the Osprey, which was the closest aircraft to reach me at my location. It flew right over the bar!

Here's a couple of photos of the bar and brewery.

San Diego is so very dog-friendly. I love it!
The best parts of the brewery/bar?
 The Tony Gwynn Museum and the .394 Pale Ale made in Gwynn's honor! Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in the museum, but I did see many of Gwynn's little league and high school trophies and most of his Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger awards. His key to the city of San Diego was there, as well as his autographed baseball collection of the 3,000 Hit Club, many of which were inscribed to him. How cool!

I spent a good 45 minutes in the museum and enjoyed every second of it. I knew a lot about Tony Gwynn going in, but the one thing that stuck with me was he drafted into the NBA and MLB on the same day. Wow!

Next up was Clairemont Sportscards! The three owners were there and they were the best of hosts. They offered me a bottle of water and were happy to look for cards that might fit into my collections.
 I'm still working on my Hall of Fame binder and I was able to pick up some nice Cubs cards at noninflated Illinois prices. yeah!
 Zimmer isn't in The Hall, obviously, but I couldn't pass up this 1961 card of his.
 There weren't any dime boxes, but plenty of other boxes and of it was super organized. I found three more Negro League players and a Buck O'Neil for a different collection of mine.
 My best get of the day was this Warren Spahn. 
I'm very happy to finally add a vintage card of his to the binder!

Next up, PETCO Park!
View from our seats.
I only need six more ballparks now. Woo-Hoo!

What impressed me the most about the ballpark was how much pride the Padres organization has in its history.
 There were items all around the park celebrating the Padre greats and their history.
 Inside their Hall of Fame room they had an All-Time Leaders board. Why don't more teams do something like this?
 Dave Winfield and Trevor Hoffman!  I somehow missed the Tony Gwynn statue, but I did accidentally find my way to the top of the Western Metal Supply building. It was the first time I ever got turned around in an MLB ballpark. 

I'm also impressed with how closely tied the organization is to our military.
 The wall, below, listed all the Major League Baseball Players to serve in the military.
Very, very awesome.

We sat in the upper deck and were given vouchers for hot dogs and sodas as part of a family section. I missed out on going to Baked Bear as Josh D. suggested in the comments of my previous post. That, alone, is probably my only regret about the whole trip.

As we walked into the ballpark I did score an awesome Ken Caminiti bobblehead for my collection though!
His head bobbles and his whole body sways to and fro! For every MLB ballpark I've been to I have a bobblehead to commemorate the trip. This one fits the bill quite nicely.

The Padres lost 5-4 to the Diamondbacks. Wil Myers didn't play and neither did Paul Goldschmidt. Oh well. We left after the 7th inning stretch to head back to the hotel so we could rest up for a busy Sunday of travel.

It was a fun time in San Diego overall and one I wouldn't mind duplicating again someday. Hopefully for a longer duration next time!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 24, 2018

What's to do in San Diego?

My wife has a work conference in San Diego at the tail end of the week and I'm flying out on Friday to join her. I've never been to San Diego, but I've heard nothing but great things about the city which Ron Burgandy implores to stay classy.
I've already made plans for Saturday night. Yep, baseball. I've haven't crossed a new MLB ballpark off my list in a couple of years and I'm truly looking forward to exploring a new stadium. PETCO, I'm on my way!

The Diamondbacks will be visiting the Padres on Saturday night and I'm sure I'll see plenty of bench guys in the lineups for both teams. It's never too early to get a look at what you might have in the fold for next season. Especially considering how the Dbacks have been playing as of late:
Hopefully, it'll still be an exciting game.

This is a baseball card blog, so about cards of the two guys who I consider to be the faces of the San  Diego and Arizona franchises.
Tony Gwynn, for my money, is the best pure hitter during my lifetime, may he rest in peace. It would take an awful for someone to wrestle the title of "Mr. Padre" away from him. I debated on whether Randy Johnson or Paul Goldschmidt should get the nod here. I love me some Randy Johnson, but Paul Goldschmidt is quietly putting together a HOF-caliber career while only suiting up for the Diamondbacks.

Alright, time to poll the audience.

Here's what I need from you all:
1) An interesting restaurant to take my wife out for dinner on Friday night - It can't be too fancy, because I'm not packing anything but shorts and t-shirts. Also, no chain restaurants, please.
2) Something to do to fill the time on Saturday - my wife's conference is an all-day event and I'll be looking to see some sites. I've thought about Sea World, but I'd love to do something less commercial/pricey if possible.
3) A good place to consume 1000 calories in one sitting for lunch - Friday night's dinner should be more of a well-balanced meal and Saturday's lunch should leave me craving nothing more than a beer and dog at the game that evening. Hey, when the cat's away the mouse will eat whatever it wants.
4) Card shop - anyone know of a decent LCS I could kill an hour or two at?

I'll take any and all suggestions into consideration!  Thanks in advance!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Bowman's Top 5 Prospects from 5 Years Ago

I received a surprise package from Johnny's Trading Spot earlier in the week. It was a simple three card packaged, but boy did it ever pack some punch!
This one is a mini from the 2013 Bowman Cream of the Crop insert set. The blue shimmer parallel is probably my second favorite parallel affect out there right behind Open Day's sparkly blue parallels.

Here's the back of the card, which features a list of the Cubs five top prospects from five years ago.
All things considered, that's not a bad list. If I had to rate them on their career performances so far it would look like this:
1) Javier Baez - He has earned the nickname El Mago for his quick tags, deceptive slides and defensive highlights. His bat has turned him into an MVP candidate for 2018.
2) Albert Almora - will finish 2018 with 150+ games played and an average north of 0.280. He's a plus defender in the outfield and hits left-handers especially well.
3) Jeimer Candelario - Had a cup of coffee with the Cubs in 2016 and hit 0.330 in 106 plate appearances last season. This year he has battled a couple of injuries and to date has a 0.717 OPS in 137 games for the Tigers. Not a stellar year for Candelario, but he's being given every chance to become a fixture in Detroit's lineup.
4) Jorge Soler - Soler can't stay healthy.  He's played in 182 games the last three seasons and has never hit more than a dozen homers in a season. I'll still draft him in the last round of fantasy drafts next spring because if he can stay healthy I believe he'll have an OPS of 0.850+ while hitting in the middle of Kansas City's lineup. That's pretty good value!
5) Daniel Vogelbach - We all know how I feel about the Vogelmonster. Yet, if I'm truly being objective I can't place his 55 career games and Mendoza Line batting average anywhere else but #5 on this list. Bummer.

I wonder how many of the other 29 teams have had all five prospects make it to the big leagues?

John also included a couple of autographs in his package. 
 Above is the 2017 Five Star base auto. I don't have many cards from high-end products like Five Star in my collection. Chasing Vogelbach's cards as allowed me to experience how the other half of the collecting world lives!

Mmmmm, chromey goodness:
The 2017 Chrome parallels have been growing on me as of late. Purple parallels are numbered to 250.

I've actually been picking up some random Vogelbach cards from Ebay when I come across a good deal. I found a bunch of auto cards from the same seller which started at a dollar each. I put in a low bid on all of them and won five for $8.50 shipped. Pretty good deal if you ask me!
When Vogelbach starts doing this more often (see video above) I may try to flip them and buy some of his cards I don't have. I'm not missing much, but the vacancies I do have in my Vogelmonster collection are all listed for a pretty penny.

Thanks for the cards, John!  I'll see about sending you a return package before too long!