Monday, August 3, 2015

The Legend of Danny Goodwin (aka: I skipped the National)

I know, I know.  I said on this very blog that I would make the 2.5 hour trek north to Rosemont to attend my first National Sports Collectors Convention.  In short: it did not happen. That's fine.  The show of all shows will be in Atlantic City in 2016, but I'm sure it'll be back in the Chicago area in the future.  Right?

Instead I saved a few bucks by staying at home and making another purchase on Sportlots.com.  I found the last SPs for my 2012 Archives set, finished off my 2015 Stars and Stripes parallel FrankenSet, bought the remaining eight cards for the 2001 Topps Through The Years reprint set, and put the finishing touches on my Hometown Heroes set from 2013.  My proudest moment was completing the master set of 2002 Topps Total.   That's a big set!

Also, I am now only two cards away from the 2012 Panini Triple Play master set.  All in due time.

To maximize shipping I bought numerous other cards for my blogosphere brethren. A result, three packages were handed to the nice lady behind the counter at my local USPS this afternoon

There were also some non-set fun cards for me as well in the order.  The Schwarber at the top was a steal for fifty cents and the red, white and blue parallel of Matt Szczur, which looks much better in hand, was only a buck. Great additions for my player collections!

My favorite cards from the order were from a recent Tri-Star Obak release:
 Many of you have heard the story of Fred Merkle and how his TOOTBLAN cost the New York Giants a chance to win the NL pennant in 1908.  A similar situation even happened in a minor league game a couple of seasons ago. I've been searching for a Merkle card for some time now. 

 Old Hoss. Before the days of the World Wide Web, I would flip through my Baseball Encyclopedia when I had trouble going to sleep.  Nothing like memorizing baseball stats to wear out the mind of junior high schooler!  One night I came across Charles Radbourn and his numbers and couldn't believe what I was seeing.  Needless to say, I didn't know anything about the "dead ball" era at the time.  The man went 59 and 12, with 73 complete games, and a 1.38 ERA in one season. Astronomical numbers.  I've been a fan of his ever since.

Oh, and Old Hoss is a funny follow on Twitter if you don't mind crass humor:

The next card was inspired by a book I read last year: One Handed Catch.
 Pete Gray played one season for the St. Louis Browns in 1945 and hit 0.218 while seeing time in the outfield. Gray and Jim Abbott are the only two players I'm aware of who threw left-handed, batted left-handed, AND fielded left-handed.

The last card is probably my favorite. Only three players from my high school have played Major League Baseball, and one of them has a pretty cool story.
Danny Goodwin was drafted #1 overall in the 1971 amateur draft by the White Sox, but he didn't sign and went on to major in zoology and play baseball for Southern University in Louisiana.  In 1975 he was drafted #1 overall, again, but this time by the Angels.  He is the only player ever to be drafted #1 overall twice.  But, he never quite lived up to the hype:
swiped from hardballtimes.com

Years later I played on the same high school field as Danny Goodwin and I gave up a few homers that landed halfway up the hill mentioned. In four years I never saw one land on the driveway at the top of the hill, let alone hit the swimming pool's second deck!  Wow!

So, that's My National.  Nothing quite like the real thing, but much easier on the wallet and I didn't have to deal with Chicago traffic.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sitting on 399 Almost Caused Me to Have a Breakdown

Well, that's not entirely true, but I wasn't sure how else to work in the name of Gavin's blog, Baseball Card Breakdown.  Recently I posted my 399th unique Kerry Wood card in my collection and Gavin, a loyal reader and Bro, commented:

Fast forward a couple of days and a PWE arrived in my mailbox. 

Now, that's what I'm talkin' about!  Let's get to #400!

First, there were a couple of Ryno cards. Unfortunately, I already had both, but I know of someone who might like them.

Then there were a couple of entries into the FrankenSet, but both came up a little short.  ARam is pretty well represented and Tony Schrager isn't a name I'm familiar with.  Both cards are new to my collection and will make their way to my Cubs monster box. 

Now, on to the three Kerry Wood cards in the envelope.

I do, too!
 The first card was a nice attempt, but I've actually got a couple of these Skybox Metal cards.  I've always thought it was a little odd for the card to appear it was made out of metal and the word wood is in the background. Kind of ironic, no?

And here it is!  Card number 400!  The milestone . . . and, uh . . . its full of holes!

 It mentions the 20th National in Atlanta on the back and it's from the 1999 Skybox Metal Supernatural Fusion set.  I tried to position the card in the second photo so a little light could be seen behind the card.  A Kerry Wood close up done in pointillism?  Either way, it's pretty cool!

And to top it off, here we have card #401!  A paper framed Diamond King from the 2002 Donruss set.  I already had the regular base card, and I was pleased to learn there were framed parallels.  Learn something new everyday!  
 Gavin, you are a true Bro!  My LCS had an Upper Deck Marquis Grissom from the '90 set, but I'll have to scavenge a bit more to properly thank you for helping me reach the 400 milestone!  Thanks, man!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Let's Play a Game of "Guess Which Card!"

I sent Josh, from Royals and Randoms, a few cards and he returned the favor with a nice little PWE the other day, and this was written on the back of the envelope:
Hmmm...  just one?  But there were five cards in the plain white envelope.   Let's try to figure out which one was the intended addition to my Cubs FrankenSet.

Here are the candidates from the PWE.  Make your selections as I'll break them down in a second . . .

 


 keep


on


scrolling


. . . 




Make your selection(s)?  Good!  Here we go!


Card #1: Matt Bruback from 2003 Bowman's Best set.
 I really like the design of the set and it is not represented in my FrankenSet, but there's one HUGE problem.  This card doesn't have a legitimate number!  BB-MB?  Yeah, that doesn't help.  I need numbers 1 through 671!

Card #2: 1984 Topps card of Thad Bosley, #657.
 Any card numbered in the five or six hundreds has a fairly good chance at earning a spot in the FrankenSet, but not this time, Thad.

Because I was too young to know Thad during his playing days he loses out to gold parallel of Aaron Heilman and his one mediocre season as a Cub reliever.

Yes, the selection process is very cut throat.  I hope Josh was not intending on Thad making the checklist.

Card #3: A great baserunning card of Corey Patterson from 2003 Upper Deck, #410.
 It's a nice looking card and a fairly high number, but Corey already has six cards in my set.  Including this one would up his total to SEVEN and eliminate the only card of have of Sandy Martinez.  I can't do it, folks.

 You may wonder who Sandy Martinez is and I suppose I don't blame you.  I'm a humungous Kerry Wood fan and Sandy Martinez will always be remembered as the catcher who called Wood's twenty strikeout performance, which happened in only his fifth big league start. Perhaps I give Martinez too much credit, because the way Wood's pitches were moving I don't know that Sandy had to do too much thinking back there. Wood made most of the Astros look pretty helpless on that day.

With two cards left I still haven't found the "one".

Card #4: 1994 Topps Stadium Club card of a ferocious Willie Wilson, #311.

 This is an easy decision.
Sanderson has four cards in the set, Wilson has one.  1988 Topps is probably over represented in the FrankenSet, while mid 90s Stadium Club cards are pretty scarce.  And to top it off, Willie is screaming on the base paths.

Like I said, easy choice.  Willie, you're in!

Here's the last card in the PWE. A second entry into the FrankenSet isn't out of the realm of possibility, is it?

Card #5: Moises Alou's high school year book pose from 2002 Upper Deck, #654.
 Woo-Hoo!  This must be the card Josh intended to make the set!  Why?  Well, because there was a vacant slot where card #654 is supposed to reside.  Nice!  Now I only have thirty missing cards in my Cubs FrankenSet

Well done, Josh!  If you, the reader, picked the Willie Wilson and Moises Alou cards, then give yourself a pat on the back.

Thanks for playing along, folks!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I have a Secret Admirer?

A yellow padded mailer arrived in my mailbox recently without a return address.  Mail bomb?  Nope.  It was . . .

 Huh.  I recently passed over 100,000 page views and now I've collected my first admirer from afar.  Nice!
Who would have thought my drivel would amount to as much?

Let's see what my secret admirer sent me!
We have some more recent edition of Topps plus a Bobby Hill from 2003, a Topps Total card from the same year, a '91 Upper Deck card of Shawon Duntson, and two card from the 1992 Topps set.

But, that's not all!  Jake Arrieta now has a lumberjack beard and Welly is doing his thing for the Diamondbacks, but they are still two of my favorites.

Speaking of favorites: Reed Johnson is cutting his way through a flock of venomous sea gulls to rob an opponent of extra bases.  It's my blog and I can say sea gulls have a lethal bite if I choose to.  I didn't get 100,000 page views for nothing!

Lastly, my two favorite cards from the envelope . . . 
 Glenallen Hill was one bad dude, but in a good mashing of baseball kind of way.  If I were a baseball I would be deathly afraid of him and his bat. Mark Bellhorn was a jack-of-all-trades type who provided some nice bursts of power from time to time.

I went through all the cards and cross checked them against my Cubs FrankenSet and I found that the following cards pictured below all had parallels in the set, except the Marlon Byrd, which is just the base. 

So, my secret admirer was turned away in those attempts.  I do love me some parallels!

But, two did make the cut: 
 The 2003 Topps card of Bellhorn kicked out the 1995 Topps card of Kevin Foster.  Foster had two cards in my set and Bellhorn was yet to be represented, but now they are all squared away.

And...
 Glenallen Hill gets his second card in the set while Sean Marshall sees his total go from five to four.   I can live with that exchange. Plus, 1994 Fleer cards are pretty scarce in my FrankenSet.

I'm not sure who my unidentified admirer is, but I'd like to thank you for reading my blog and donating some cards to my collection!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

One Pack of Donruss Elite (with a Hit!)

So I stopped by LCS last week to pick up a screw down case for my glorious Kris Bryant Topps Archives autograph and the case seemed a little lonely when the owner was ringing up my purchase.  So, why not a pack of Panini's Donruss Elite?

 Five cards for five bucks seems a little steep, but I needed a pack of cards to open!

Card #1: George Springer
I feel like I've mentioned ad nauseum how much I enjoy the Astros orange jersey tops.  Please. Thank you.  More, please!  Springer is a nice pull, but I unfortunately liken him to Javier Baez: to be serviceable major league players they are going to have to learn to cut down on the strikeouts. Springer seems to be having a little more success with that task this year.  Hopefully Baez can manage to make more contact as well.

 Card #2: Starlin Castro
This one is a automatic win, because he plays for my team of choice. Although because of the lack of logos one could argue that he plays for the Pajama People.  In red, under the name, is the city and position for each player.
This pack is off to a good start.

 Card #3: Miguel Sano Future Threads Jersey
Sano was recently called up by the Twins so this is a nice pull. The dude is LARGE and he possesses some SERIOUS power. I heard he is 6'6", but baseballreference.com only has him listed at 6'4". #growthspurts

 Card #4: Daniel Norris
 I like Norris quite a bit.  He put up some absurd strikeout rates in the minors and I think that will translate over to the major leagues eventually.

Card #5: Jose Altuve
Ahhhh, a nice card of a very good player wearing another beautiful orange uniform top. Altuve has already set a career high in homers this year, but I think the power surge is coming at the expense of his batting average, which is down nearly 50 points from last year's AL league leading mark.

Overall, this was a pretty good pack in my opinion. The cards are nice and sturdy, and outside of the missing logos my only complaint would be the backgrounds behind each player, which are kind of vacant and dull.