Thursday, October 6, 2016

Waiting--for what seems like decades

I was home before noon today, had to make sure that I was out of work and off the roads by 3PM as the county I live in ordered everyone off the streets by that time.

Since then, I've been inside the house, waiting for things to happen.  The first heavy band of rain hit shortly after 3, and the Mrs. and I closed the storm shutters on the back patio and hunkered down, waiting for something to happen.

So far, we've been lucky.  So I decided to take the time this evening to write a post while we still had power (I'm waiting for the winds to pick up and knock it out...). 

With no incoming cards on the horizon, and the prospects of the monthly card show this weekend looking rather bleak, the only thing on my plate right now is getting the Blue Jays collection sorted and cataloged.  First step, taking the 5 row monster box of cards and sorting them into decades.  Going through the box has been an interesting process; I've found cards that I'd forgotten I had, which of course slows down the process because I have to stop and look at them, like any good collector would.

Thankfully, there's only 5 piles of cards, 70's through 10's.  So to generate a post I decided to grab one card from each and babble about it a little.

1979 Topps Dave McKay #608.  Yes it has the buyback stamp on it from 2015, but I still consider it a '79 card no matter when it was purchased and branded.  Dave has had quite the career as a base coach in the majors, spending over 3 decades as a first base coach for the A's, Cardinals, Cubs and Diamondbacks.  Jays fans will remember that Dave was in the starting lineup for the team's first ever game against the White Sox.  Dave would go 2 for 4 with a RBI in that memorable 9-5 win.

I'd almost forgotten the powder blue track suits that the Jays wore in the 80's.  It looked really funny in combination with expression on Doyle Alexander's face in this 1984 Fleer card #146.  Doyle was a free agent pickup for the Jays in '83 after being released by the Yankees, and helped the young Jays pitchers during the pennant chase that year.  Doyle would go on to win 17 games in each of the next 2 seasons for the Jays before being traded in '86 for eventual closer Duane Ward.

Dig the fan mail that Devon White is checking out on his 1994 Topps #511 card.  Devon would join the Jays in 1990 in an off season trade from the Angels.   "Devo" would be the center-fielder in Toronto for the next 5 years, and be an important piece of the squad during their 2 World Series titles.  Interesting note on the back of the card; during Devon's 1000th career game he tied a record by recording two outfield assists in the same inning. 

Being the numbers geek that I am, I was instantly attracted to this Carlos Delgado card from 2003 Upper Deck.  UD compared the 33HR/108RBI stats with his previous two seasons, and the other seasons were more noteworthy.  The 2000 season was especially dominant, with 41 homers and 137 RBI's.  Carlos also hit .344 that year and played in all 162 games, yet only finished 4th in MVP voting.  I guess I shouldn't complain, Pedro Martinez went 18-6  with a 1.74 ERA and finished one spot behind Carlos.  Jason Giambi won the MVP that year btw.

With all the colorful parallels and shiny cards that the '10s has brought us, I decided on showing this 2015 Stadium Club Contact Sheet insert of Jose Bautista.  I liked the font of the "Jose Bautista #19" on the top of the card, the multiple shots in the background remind me of movie frames and the leg kick that has propelled Jose into stardom in Toronto.  Oh, and the 3 run homer he hit today didn't hurt either.  Somebody will give him the $$ he wants in free agency.  It probably won't be Toronto.

Hey look at that, power's still on!  Here's hoping that the first hurricane I experience will be my last for a while.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A rant even though the Jays won

I don't make it a habit of commenting on current sporting events when writing this blog.  I like to keep it about the cards as much as possible.  But while sorting through my Blue Jays box this evening I came across this card from '16 Opening Day.

In one of the most thrilling games I've watched in the new millennium, the Jays pulled off a 5-2 win over the Orioles last night in the AL Wild Card game.   Seeing Edwin Encarnacion run around the bases with his imaginary parrot along for the ride brought a smile to my face that I hadn't felt since last year's playoffs.

However, I do want to address one thing that happened last night, and that was the beer that was thrown onto the field late in the game by a fan at Orioles left fielder Hyun Soo Kim.

Was it a shameful and deplorable act?  You better believe it.  I still can't believe that stadiums sell cans of beer that can easily become instant projectiles.

Should the guy be charged?  You better believe it.  It's assault.

Should Toronto fans be lumped together with the one last night, along with the crazies that did similar shit last year?  No.  Because 99.9 % of sports fans in Toronto are caring, decent people that wouldn't think of trying stupid crap like what transpired last night.

Yes, I'm biased.  I'm from Toronto.  I've been to the SkyDome during the AL Playoffs, and the fans can blow the roof off the place given the chance.  The atmosphere is beyond belief.  The passion is incredible.

But I think it's high time that teams, especially the Blue Jays, step up security during the playoffs.  The frenzy that surrounds these games is so intense, it causes certain people to snap.  This has been magnified the last couple of years in Toronto, because the city is starved for another major championship, something that hasn't happened since '93.   I know this because I'm starving along with everyone else in Toronto, even though I'm about as far south as you can get in the contiguous 48 states.

So the next time you go to trash a country because of the actions of a few, remember that the majority of fans that cheer the blue and white teams from T.O. are people like me.  Crazy fanatics that enjoy seeing their team win.  Without launching projectiles.  Remember, this could happen at any stadium, at any time.   

Because nowadays, you just never know.

Bring on the Rangers!

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, October 3, 2016

A day off

Yesterday, I did something that I haven't done in quite a long time.  I actually stayed away from my computer.  Didn't read anything, didn't blog, didn't follow the path of Matthew.

It felt kind of weird. 

I did do something card related though.  I sat down with a monster box of Blue Jays and started the long task of sorting them.   I never did this as the cards came in, and I'm regretting it now.   Big time.

I did receive a Sportlots order on Friday (a day ahead of schedule, way to go USPS!) filled with Blue Jays.  I managed to knock off half a dozen team sets from the Jays want list, and grabbed a few other singles for the cause.

Here's the first 3 sets that are gone.  2006 Updates and Highlights was just missing Casey Janssen.  2006 SP Authentic was waiting on B.J. Ryan for completion.  1994 Triple Play now has Ed Sprague and can say it is complete. 

The goal is to knock off a lot of these 1 and 2 card want lists over the next little while.  Try and make the want list a little less daunting (for lack of a better word).

3 more 90's style sets were removed.  How I never finished the '95 Collectors Choice team set, I'll never know.  Heaven knows I bought enough of the cards to probably finish a bunch of sets.  I only needed 2 of the '92 Donruss Studio cards, and I liked the Kelly Gruber card more than I liked Dave Winfield balancing a baseball on the tips of his fingers.  '92 Stadium Club is another set that was a long time coming, only needing part timer Derek Bell and bullpen lefty Bob MacDonald to finish it up.

Moving on to some sets that I didn't finish, but managed to put a dent into.  1994 Leaf Limited was one, I still need 3 to finish it up.  I like the look of the cards together like this on the scan, it looks as if one card flows into the next one. 

Now 1994 Finest is another story.  There's still 7 more cards out there that I need to finish the set.  I just noticed that Devon White is sliding his hand up the bat to bunt, I missed that before.  For a guy that only played in parts of the '93 and '94 seasons, Rob Butler has a lot of cards.  I guess that's how companies rolled back then, load up on prospects even if they weren't going to make a dent...

Fast forward a decade and 3 years to 2007 and the A&G set.  Great looking cards, sadly I made the mistake of not getting all 4 that I needed.  I am now looking for card #349, the SP of Jesse Litsch.  Ugh.

Lastly, 3 more sets that I chipped away at.  They all just happened to have Juan Guzman on the want list.  The Topps card on the left is actually the Cyberstats version, of which there are 8 more needed.  '95 Finest is a nice looking set, I also need 8 of those.  I'm sensing a pattern here.  I'll break up that alleged pattern by saying that the '96 Collectors Choice Blue Jays team set is down to 2 cards. 

Sitting down and looking at all the Jays I bought this past week (40), I realize that I'm going to need more than a day off to get everything in order, Jays collection and otherwise.  It's going to take a few days here and there away from the distraction of the computer to get things accomplished. 

That's going to be tough. 

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, October 1, 2016

A little nightcap

I couldn't tell you the last time I posted twice in the same day (I'm sure years are involved), but I wanted to get a few more cards off of my desk and put away.  I had bought these at the monthly card show a few weeks back, but for some reason had them buried under other piles of cards on my desk.

You won't see this very often either, a scan of 5 serial numbered cards in which all the serial #'s are on the front.  I didn't even notice that until I had the scan on this post.  The Gaborik is only the 2nd card serial #'d above 1000 that I own thus far, and the Straka next to it is the lowest numbered card at 14. 

The Artifacts parallels are quickly becoming a favorite of mine, hopefully I won't fall into the trap of becoming obsessed with it.  One of my goals was to bring more sets into play in this version, so I'll have to beware.

Don't count on 2 posts a day by the way, I'm not a machine....

thanks for reading, Robert

Serial Saturday #2: Hitting the 10% mark

For some crazy reason, I was up at 615 on a Saturday morning.  Not sure why, it's not like I had anything important or pressing to do today.  I figured while waiting for Hurricane Matthew to hit south Florida, I'd get a post or two done to pass the time.

Still a ton of cards to show off for the SNI set, so let's get another couple of pages shown and see what's happening.

Page 16:

Card 136:  Neftali Feliz, 2011 Topps gold #136/2011.  Courtesy of Jeff from 2x3 heroes.  Texas card #3
Card 137:  Howie Kendrick, 2010 Topps Chrome purple refractor #137/699.  Courtesy of Henchmeisters Junk Blog.  Los Angeles Angels card #6
Card 138:  Bill Hall, 2007 Topps Co-Signers #138/275,  Bought at the 2012 NSCC.  Milwaukee card #2

Card 139:  Victor Martinez, 2010 Topps Triple Threads #139/240.  Courtesy of Adam at the Thoughts and Sox blog.  Boston card #4
Card 140:  Ryan Spilborghs, 2011 Topps gold #140/2011.  Courtesy of Johnny from Cards from the Quarry.  Colorado card #8
Card 141:  Gary Sheffield, 2000 Topps Stadium Club #141/150.  Courtesy of Max from the Starting Nine blog.  Los Angeles Dodgers card #5

Card 142:  Eric Hosmer, 2012 Bowman blue #142/500.  Bought at the 2014 NSCC.  Kansas City card #5
Card 143:  Roosevelt Brown, 1999 Bowmans Best #143/400.  Courtesy of Max from the Starting Nine blog.  Chicago Cubs card #4
Card 144:  Carl Pavano, 2009 Topps Heritage Chrome #144/1960.  Courtesy of Mark from the This way to the Clubhouse blog.  Minnesota card #4

A couple of more cards from Max @ the Starting Nine blog bring his personal total to 14 cards submitted, almost 10% of what I've displayed.  The 1999 Bowmans Best is the first pre-2000 card to be shown, I'll be curious to see how many cards are in the set that were made before the turn of the century.

Page 17:

Card 145:  Albert Pujols, 2007 Topps Moments and Milestones #145/150.  Picked up at a card draft from Cardboard Heaven.  St. Louis card #10
Card 146:  Matt Tolbert, 2006 Bowman blue #146/500.  Courtesy of Dennis from the Too Many Verlanders blog.  Minnesota card #5
Card 147:  David Genao, 2009 Bowman Chrome refractor #147/299.  Courtesy of Henchmeisters Junk blog.  Tampa Bay card #5

Card 148:  Ray Lankford, 2002 Topps Gold Label #148/500.  Courtesy of Marcus from the All the Way to the Backstop blog.  San Diego card #7
Card 149:  Curt Schilling, 2006 Topps Finest #149/250.  Purchased at the 2012 NSCC.  Boston card #5
Card 150:  Manny Ramirez, 2008 Topps Moments and Milestones #150/150.  Courtesy of Brian from the Play at the Plate blog.  Boston card #6

Card 151:  Lars Anderson, 2011 Bowman blue #151/500.  Courtesy of Jeroen from the Dutch Card Guy blog.  Boston card #7
Card 152:  Manny Ramirez, 2008 Topps Heritage Chrome #152/400.  Courtesy of Brian from the Play at the Plate blog.  Cleveland card #6
Card 153:  Nick Swisher, 2007 Topps Finest #153/399.  Bought at the 2012 NSCC.  Oakland card #7

I don't think you'll see this again in the set; Boston actually has 3 consecutive cards on a page (#149-151).  Once in a while you will see the same player on a page twice, which happens here with Manny Ramirez.  At least the Ramirez cards are from different sets and teams. 

St. Louis also becomes the first team to hit double digits, with the Pujols '07 Moments and Milestones card becoming the 10th card for them.  There's still a long way to go to hit 1500, but at least there will be a lot of cards to see...

thanks for reading, Robert