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 . . .





. . . 

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.

 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 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.

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Card of Metal from JBF

Jaybarkerfan's Junk dropped a nice little surprise on me before my trip to Texas last weekend, but I thought I would use it as the carrot in front of my nose to help me get through the twelve hour car drive back to P-town.  This was the right move. Wes' packages not only contain great cardboard mojo, but they can be very motivational, too!
Thanks, Bro!

As usual, there was a great array of cards in the package from Wes.  First we have some shiny chrome.  I thought the gold chrome would have a serial number on it, but I guess I was wrong. Can you believe LaTroy Hawkins is pitching in his twenty-first season?  And pitching fairly well I might add.
The Hawkins filled a gap in the FrankenSet!

A fine looking DLee and a framed Diamond King Nomar for the binder!
The Nomar is a new addition to the FrankenSet!

 Starting Lineup cards of Mark Grace.  Where does Wes find these types of cards?

Walton seemed like a one year wonder to me.  I'm hoping Logan Watkins can rehab his Achilles injury and become at least that in the future for the Cubs, if not more. 
The Walton is a new addition to the FrankenSet!

Here comes the mojo!  A dual bat relic of The Hawk from Topps Tribute numbered to 75. Nice!

 Javy is starting his rehab assignment soon. Maybe next week?  His cards are always welcome in my collection, especially cards from high end product of which I never purchase.
 I bought a metric ton of 2013 Bowman, but I never found the blue paper parallel of Baez. Awesome score!

Did I read somewhere that Topps is ditching the Bowman Platinum line?  Honestly, I think I'm okay with that decision.  They were nice to look at, but in my eye the market is flooded with sets. 

Here's the other die-cut card (Moises Alou) in the team bag and the lowest numbered card as well (ARam 24/25).

I'm guessing there are over 300 different "career win" cards in the set of Greg Maddux?  I hope I'm wrong on that guess, otherwise what a nightmare for a player collector!

More serial numbered goodness: Prior, Sosa, Angel Guzman (x2), Ronny Cedeno and Jason Smith.

 Shiny and sparkly!  Two of my favorite things! M-I-C . . . K-E-Y . . . M-O-U-S-E!
New addition to the FrankenSet!

 Gioskar Amaya has been toiling away in the low minors for the last few years, but not without good reason.  He recently switched positions from second base to catcher.  He could wind up being a nice right-handed complement to Kyle Schwarber one day.

 Kerry Wood! The Freshman Orientation card is a duplicate, but the other two are new to me . . . sort of.
 I say sort of, because I now have three different variations of card 12B from 1999 Topps Tek.  The card on the right features patter number nineteen.  NINETEEN!

 Topps Stars 'N Steel?  I've never heard of this set before, but I think I'm in love.  The card is actually made of metal AND it's shiny!  Holy Cow!
 I bet a box of these would weigh ten pounds!  I may have to do a little shopping to see if I can find a pack of these to open.

There you go, folks!  That's one team bag chocked full of Cubs goodness right there.  I compared the cards to my Cubs FrankenSet and four made the cut, with the LaTroy Hawkins card filling a gap.  Also, he gave me my 397th, 398th, and 399th different Kerry Wood cards!  In total, Wes has supplied me with 65 different cards of Mr. Wood over the years. How cool is that?

Thanks for the package, Wes!  I'm already working on a return package, but I've hit a speed bump trying to track down a P-town Chiefs card of @BringerOfRain20 for you.  I will find it! Wish me luck!