Saturday, November 22, 2014

I make it so easy to laugh at myself

You've read it over and over here on my blog.  My inability to keep organized is legendary in my own mind.  Today's little story that I'm about to recount is another example of disorganization at its best. 

If you look here, you'll see how this post starts.  My initial foray into the world was a success, helping me finish two hockey sets. 

The 2008/09 OPC hockey set was one of the sets that was completed.   And, as I am wont to do, I go through the entire set one more time, making sure that I have all the cards present and accounted for.

I always start from the end of the set, and about 50 cards in, I am missing two numbers (back to back no less).   Panic mode sets in, and I hit the trading card database website to see the names that I'm missing.   I see them and I know for a fact that I've picked up the cards not too long ago.

I start looking through the piles on my desk, and find the 2 cards, plus 4 others that weren't put into the box previously.   Now, all 600 cards are present and accounted for. 

Here's the best part....while searching through that particular pile on my desk, I find a top loader containing two cards.  The first is this...

A great autographed card of David Broll to add to my Maple Leafs collection.  The 2nd card in the envelope, however, was a little more significant as far as the baseball end of this blog is concerned.

Serial numbered 366, and still on the want list.  (shaking my head right now)  LoMo is the 42nd Marlin towards the set.  Sadly, I have no idea who sent this to me (aside from the fact that they are a generous person). 

At least I know where this next card came from:

Paul Maholm came from a pack of '14 Topps Update I opened last week.  Serial number 540 has now been removed from the list, and the Dodgers have hit the 40 card mark.  The total number of cards towards the set now stands at 1265, just 235 to go. 

I'm hoping that the person who was kind enough to send me the Broll auto/LoMo SNI card will let me know that they did, so I can give them proper credit on the spreadsheet.  Please!

I'm such an idiot...

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, November 17, 2014

What's a good word for how I feel about today's events?




A big trade and a big free agent signing made headlines today, and while I normally don't discuss things such as these on the blog, the two names that switched uniforms today are definitely worth a look.

Help me out here Braves fans.  I've watched Jason Heyward play a few times over the past couple of seasons, and I can see it.   There's a presence, maybe even an aura when he's on the field.  He's only 24, and has 5 seasons under his belt.

Did the Braves run out of patience?  I know the adage that there's no such thing as having too much pitching, but acquire it at the expense of trading Heyward?  My gut on this one is that the Braves are going to regret this trade in a couple of years.

I really like Russell Martin.  He made the Pirates staff much better than any of the other catchers that have taken the field over the past couple of seasons for the Buccos.  But there are a lot of numbers against the Blue Jays giving him the kind of money/term that they did today.

First.   Martin missed 50 games this year.  Hamstring problems cost him a month.  He's not, nor will he be a player that appears in 140+ games for the Jays.  The artificial turf in Toronto will not be forgiving on his legs.  The best all around catcher that I've seen over the past 20 years, Ivan Rodriguez, saw his numbers decline as he passed the age of 35.  Martin turns 32 during spring training this year, and my gut tells me that his contract is going to be an albatross for the Jays after the 2017 season.   (I hope that I'm wrong, believe me...)

Second, his average over his two seasons as Yankee was .224.   His best seasons have come while playing in the National League, and 2014's numbers were definitely a career season for him.  The AL and NL are two different worlds, and some players can't handle one league like they can the other.  Please don't say that Martin couldn't handle the pressure of being in New York, because I'm sure that Los Angeles is just as intense, and he did fine there.

Best of all, the AAV of Martin's contract is more than the Jays are paying Jose Bautista.  Let's see how long that lasts.

Yes, these are my opinions, and I know what everyone says about opinions. 

In a couple of years down the road, everyone can look back and laugh at me and say how wrong I was.   I'm used to it.....

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, November 16, 2014

'59 Topps set build #7/572 Danny's All-Stars

As I mentioned the other day, I am really starting to enjoy seeing a lot of the multi-player cards from the 50's and 60's.  I haven't looked to see exactly how many of these are in the '59 set, but I do own 6 of them already, and I will say that they are an interesting diversion from the normal every day player card.  

Card #17:  Danny's All-Stars

How unfortunate was the timing of this card.   I'm sure that plans are made the summer before to identify and get cards ready for production the following year, but Thomas was part of the big trade with Cincinnati that I mentioned on the Bill Hall post last Monday.  By the start of 1959 Thomas was in a Reds uniform. 

What's even more interesting is that Ted Kluszewski never made it to an All-Star game in a Pirates uniform, as a matter of fact he hadn't been to an All-Star game since 1956 when he was with the Reds.  Ted's time in Pittsburgh didn't go all that well, and he was traded for two players in August of '59 who appeared in a total of 9 games for the Pirates. 

There were certainly other star players on the '58 Pirates club.  Names such as Dick Groat, Bill Mazeroski, Bob Skinner and Roberto Clemente all could have been used instead of Kluszewski on this card.   I'm sure that Topps went with the two names that "packed a punch" with their bats.  Hindsight is always 20/20, right?

Interesting to look at the back of the card, especially the last three lines that discuss Thomas' switch to third base.  It probably could have said that it was a switch back to third base, where he had played regularly during the 1956 season.   The Pirates moved him to 1st base in 1957, but with 15 errors in just 71 games at first, it probably made sense for Murtaugh to move him back to third, especially after acquiring Kluszewski, a natural first baseman.

It really would have been interesting to see what kind of lineup the Pirates would have had had they acquired Kluszewski during his big offensive years in the mid 50's.  Unfortunately he only hit 6 HRs during his days at Forbes Field, and wound up giving up the 1st base job to Dick Stuart, who was a part of the 1960 World Series team.

Originally I wondered about giving so much of the back of the card to Murtaugh, but after thinking about it for a short time, I guess you could say it made sense.  

The card is named Danny's All-Stars after all.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, November 15, 2014

By the page: Raul Mondesi

I worked a bit today to try and get some more pages together, because I have about 150 cards on my desk that need to fit into the Jays box very soon.  The box is becoming packed very quickly, and I have to act soon to find more room.  I found it interesting that even though Raul Mondesi only spent a couple of years with the Jays that I was able to put together not just one, but two pages worth of cards for him. 

Top row:  Bat on shoulder

Although a lot of Jays fans weren't happy with the team messing with the original logo, I rather liked this version.  Both the updated Blue Jay in the leaf, along with the 'T' logo were a solid update to the classic logo.  I don't have a whole lot of the original 2001 Heritage release, but the Mondesi card makes me wish I did.

Middle row:  Thumbs up to MVP

When I saw the 2000 Bowman card of Mondesi holding his thumb up for the camera, I knew right away that this card had to be the centerpiece for this page.  While I've been a fan of the MVP releases over the years, I have to say that the 2002 version on the left is a little loud for my taste.

Bottom row:  The swing

That long follow through, it's what I remember most about Mondesi.  What makes me sad about the limited time that he had in Toronto is that he was traded to the Yankees for a pitcher that appeared just 3 times in the majors.  That was in 2002, and surprisingly Mondesi became a part time player after that, rounding out his career just 3 years later.

There are going to be plenty of pages for guys such as Delgado, Halladay and Clemens.  But what interests me just as much is finding enough cards to complete pages for players such as Mondesi, Reed Johnson and Frank Catalanotto.  The players who weren't household names for a long time in Toronto still have a soft spot for this Jays fan, as do the superstars that will eventually be the bigger focus for the "by the page" series.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cross a couple more serial numbers off the want list

Part of the box of cards that Kyle from the Nolan's Dugout blog included in the box that he sent me last week were a couple more cards to remove from the SNI want list.

I decided to combine these cards with a group of 4 completed pages that I've had sitting in the drafts folder for a while.

Chance Ruffin only pitched in two games for the Tigers during the 2011 season, but that was enough to earn him a card in the Update series that year.  Chance was traded in August of '11 to the Mariners, and has been in their system ever since.

This card is serial numbered 1176, and brings the Tigers up to 34 out of 50.

I don't have very many team cards as part of the SNI set.  This Rockies card is serial numbered 1026, and is the 46th card out of 50 that is required.   Not bad for a team that sat at the bottom as far as cards needed for the longest time.

Page number 87 features one of the 90 cards contributed by retired blogger Ted who wrote the Crinkly Wrappers blog.  The 90 still stands as the most that came from another other source outside my own home...

Page 92 features 6 cards that come from the blogosphere, including the Ramon Ramirez card in the lower right corner from great reader and trader Steve D., who has contributed 12 cards towards the 1500.

The 9 cards on page 83 include the Cameron Maybin in the upper right corner, courtesy of another generous blogger, Pat from Hot Corner Cards.  Pat has contributed 34 cards towards the set, via numerous PWEs that have arrived in my mailbox.

Finally, page #91 includes a Topps Gold Label card of Eric Munson which was sent to me by another great contributor, Max from the Starting Nine blog.   Max is the #2 contributor to this set, with 73 spots having his name on them.

A bit of a rush has started up again the past couple of weeks, knocking the want list down to 237 cards.  I doubt that I'll get down to the 200 mark by years end, but it would be nice to knock off one of the teams that is close (Jays, A's, Rays, Cards and Nationals all need 3 cards or less to hit 50).

thanks for reading, Robert