Sunday, June 30, 2013

Serial insanity cards 856-860

Still trudging our way through the 1500 card set.  What's cool is people are still finding serial #'s to send to me.  Even though it may be 1 or 2 at a time now, the cards are still greatly appreciated.

Here's a look at the next 5..

Card # 856:  Santiago Casilla

Serial Number:  770
Team:  San Francisco Giants, card # 25 out of 50

How did San Francisco know?  6 years in Oakland, 5.11 ERA and 1.578 WHIP.  4 years so far in SF, 2.19 ERA and 1.183 WHIP.   Talk about a career turnaround...

Card # 857:  Mike Lowell

Serial Number:  878
Team:  Boston Red Sox, card #27 out of 50

Lowell was one of those players that was never "great", but he was a solid player for a long time, and he won.  2 World Series wins with Florida and Boston were probably a lot more rewarding than any personal honor that Mike could have won.

Card # 858:  Zach Duke

Serial Number:  698
Team:  Pittsburgh Pirates, card # 30 out of 50.

It's funny how posts like this help me get in touch with players.  I hadn't even heard that Duke was released earlier in June by the Nationals, and 4 days later was signed by the Cincinnati Reds.  Will be interesting to see if he can get his career turned around in the Queen city...

Card #859:  Troy Glaus

Serial Number: 1223
Team:  Toronto Blue Jays, card # 38/50

Picked 3rd overall in the 1997 draft, behind only Matt Anderson and J.D. Drew.  All 3 of those players are no longer in the big leagues.  The two players picked right behind Glaus are either having career years (Jason Grilli) or fighting to stay in the big leagues after several great seasons (Vernon Wells).  At 9th overall that year, there's a guy who's currently on the longest hitting streak so far this year in MLB (Michael Cuddyer)

Card # 860:  Josh Johnson

Serial Number:  776
Team:  Miami Marlins, card # 28 out of 50

OK, first I have to say this.  The orange used to work for me, now not so much.  I'm just praying that he can find the form of 2010 when he led the NL in ERA at 2.30.  The Jays could use this guy to step up and be the #1 pitcher that he can be when he's on. 

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Parallel mania continues

The third and final envelope from last week's Sportlots purchase finally came in on Thursday, and it contained a nice group of 1995-96 Collectors Choice Players Club parallels.

As you can plainly tell, my madness for parallel cards isn't just a recent thing, it's gone on for about 2 decades now.

I picked out 4 star cards to show off and write briefly about...

I could sit and debate all day about Eric Lindros.  The fact that he missed 2 seasons because of contract disputes still tells me that he was more concerned about being a businessman than he was about being a hockey player.  However, that was his choice to make, and when he was on the ice for the first few seasons of his career, he was a force to be reckoned with.  Concussions are more studied and taken seriously in professional sports today partly because of Eric.

Show me a man that get his feet into skates that were a couple of sizes too small, and I'll show you one of the fastest men ever to play the game of hockey.   When I heard that Paul Coffey wore skates that were too small for his feet, I thought he was crazy.  Here are some teams that you may or may not remember him playing for.   20 games in Hartford.  10 games in Chicago!  18 games in Boston to finish his career.

Is there a less heralded goal scorer in our lifetime than Peter Bondra?   I remembered that Bondra had scored 500 goals in his career, and I knew that he wasn't in the hall of fame, so I wondered if there were any other players that had scored 500 or more goals and weren't HOF members.  There's actually 10!!  Shanahan, Verbeek, Modano, Tkachuk to name 4.

The debate among Leafs Nation members will live on.  Is Mats Sundin the greatest Leaf to have ever worn the blue and white?  I personally would not rank him #1, but top 5 is certainly a worthy place for the big Swede.  Names like Mahovlich, Sittler, Horton and Kennedy are all names that Sundin would have to contend with for #1.

I really did enjoy watching Mats play though.  Even though he refused to waive his no trade clause for the Leafs a few years back, to be honest I'd still rather see that then somebody who was in a hurry to get out of Toronto.  Loyalty is a tough thing to find in today's sports, and Sundin was loyal to the organization right until the end of his last contract.

I still have a lot of these to pickup in order to complete the set, but the Players Club parallels are pretty cheap now, and I should be able to start knocking these off slowly but surely.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, June 28, 2013

A start for the series 2 Blue Jay collection

Just a brief post to give folks a little bit to read on their lunch hours today.  I received a great envelope from Marcus over at the all the way to the backstop blog, filled with cards that hit multiple want lists.  That seems to be the norm for incoming envelopes from the blogosphere, and it is greatly appreciated on this end!!

I'll spare you from all the series 1 and Heritage cards he sent to me (those lists are quickly disappearing by the way...), and "treat" you to the Blue Jays that he sent my way. 

I know that we're only half a season in to the 2013 campaign, but for me, the phrase "patiently waiting" would express how I feel about Mark Buehrle.  I really did have high hopes for him being a solid top of the rotation pitcher for the Jays this year, and yes there's still time to accomplish that yet.  What I will say that he's still been his old reliable self as far as taking the ball every 5th day, his 16 starts is 2nd on the club behind R.A. Dickey. 

I'm also wondering about the choice of John Gibbons to put Bautista into the number 2 spot in the lineup.  I just don't think that a 40 HR hitter belongs there.  I would have him back in the clean up spot, put Cabrera 2nd and move Lind (or any of the DHs) down to 5th.  Bautista's next homer will be the 200th of his career, in case you were wondering.

The blue Wal-mart parallels always work well with the Jays cards, and this Anthony Gose card is no different..

I'm off on Monday, I'll have to get a Blue Jays want list up for Series 2 then.

I'll add one more card to the post, it'll serve to quench my moaning from earlier in the week that I hadn't seen any vintage come my way.   Here's a hit to my 1970 Topps want list that Marcus sent my way...

Hard to believe that I would get a Padres card from a Padres collector, but there's Pat Dobson looking sharp on card #421 from the '70 Topps set.

Marcus, thank you for the great package, the cards were very much appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Totally off the wall

I remember reading something on a blog a long time ago about writing about cards you already own, instead of waiting for new ones to come in before you post.  It's funny how things like that stick in my head.

I decided to do some digging today and came up with a few cards that I thought were:

A) somewhat thought provoking
B) Oddball
C) Something that makes you go hmm....

OK, maybe for me they will fit into one of those categories.  You might just read this post and wonder if I've totally gone off the deep end.   Ah screw it, let's have a little fun...

Let's start with Canada's "other" baseball team, the Montreal Expos.  I found a couple cards that fit into categories A & C.

Let's start with Damaso Garcia

A card from a long time Blue Jay that struck me as interesting, largely because I had forgotten he had spent the 1989 season playing in the Big O.  '89 would be Damaso's last season of professional baseball, after which he retired at the age of 32.

This next card is from a set that I hadn't ever seen before, 1990 Starline.  It features Tim Raines

Not much to say about the card in general, what struck me as appealing was the red border around the photo, which fits right in with the team colors.  I don't know much about the set, other than it consisted of 40 cards, and Raines' was the 23rd in the set.  It may interest someone out there who collects Raines as an oddball type of card.

This card of Craig Biggio caught my eye largely because I don't think I remember ever seeing a card of him in his catchers gear.

I wonder how long Craig's career would have actually been had he kept on wearing the tools of ignorance instead of switching to 2nd base.  I didn't even know that he caught a couple of innings in his final season with the Astros at the age of 41.  Kind of a cool send off, don't you think?

Next, someone needs to tell me why Ron Kittle didn't hit more home runs...check out the size of these glasses!!

I remember Kittle hitting the AL with a splash in '83, winning the ROY award with a 35HR, 100 RBI season.   Ron had an OK season in '84, and from there his career went slowly downhill until finishing up his career in 1991.

Speaking of power hitters, how about another guy that hit a lot of HR's and struck out quite a bit as well, Rob Deer.

I hear Rob's name on a lot of telecasts. Rob is compared with a lot of today's power hitters that strike out a lot while pounding a lot of HR's.  I had never taken a good look at his career stats, and boy could the man strike out. 

Here's one stat that really caught my eye.  In 1991, while playing for the Tigers, Rob had 539 plate appearances, and he had more walks (89), than hits (80).  Good eye?

OK, how about these 4 cards from the 2005 Topps Cracker Jack set...

Andruw Jones/Sean Casey.  Solid big leaguers.  Get both of their names on the front of the card.
Griffey Jr/Clemens.   Superstars of their time.  No first names.  Huh? 
Chances are the Clemens card is depicting 1 of his 18 sacrifice bunts that he had during his career.

OK, now that you've lost the last 5 minutes of your life reading my drivel, you can go to bed tonight resting even easier knowing that you actually got to see a card of a 4-Inch belt sander.

Hey, it is the "Best in the Biz"!!!  You can thank me later...

thanks for reading, Robert

P.S.  I hope you're still reading

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Part of what I like about the '73 set

It's been a while since I posted anything about the vintage sets I'm in the process of building.  Likely because I haven't been able to hit any shows for a couple of months now, and the incoming flow of older cards has been nil.

So, I took a quick look at the stack of doubles I have on my desk of the '73 Topps set, and found a few cards that reminded me why this set is one of my favorites. 

For your amusement is a half dozen various action shots which I found interesting for many different reasons.  The photos on the cards are interesting to me because they are shot at various angles and depths to the play.  The first one I found quite funny, it is card #236 of Tito Fuentes.

Tell me that this doesn't look like a WWE wrestling match, where one wrestler has his leg over his opponents throat, and the guy on the bottom is kicking wildly trying to get him off.  I can see the referee counting now...3, 4, 5!!

Next up, when was the last time you saw what appeared to be a brush back pitch featured on a card.  Take a look at #35, Willie Davis.

Sure, it may not have been a brush back pitch, but how often do you see a shot like this on a baseball card?

This next card immediately made me think of GCRL and all the great double play cards he's featured.  This one is #42, Mike Andrews:

I wonder if Mike was able to turn 2....

Another card that made me chuckle when I took a closer look.  This is # 307, Boots Day of the Montreal Expos.   Take a close look at his left foot...

It kind of looks like he's wearing a boot, doesn't it??

Now I know what you're thinking, where's the vertical card love?  They can't be all horizontal cards, right?

Check out the potential pain coming up in this shot of Mark Belanger, card # 253.

How about that crease!!

Looks like a high knee to the solar plexus, another rasslin' move!!!

Finally, how many cards do you see in today's market that show you an error about to be committed?  Card #456, Dick Green, doesn't show us how to field a ball cleanly...

I love this set, and I'm looking forward to picking up more of it some time.  There's only 9 more weeks until Labor Day weekend, and the return of the monthly card show to the nearby mall. 

I better not wish for summer to end too fast, it just started...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, June 24, 2013

Electric Ice? It's so hot in Boston the ice is probably on fire....

I started writing this post just a few minutes before the start of tonight's Game 6, anticipating a great Stanley Cup Final match in what is going to be a hot box in Boston.

Let's just say, I don't envy the 40 players that are going to be going full tilt tonight.  Now I know that the ice isn't going to be on fire tonight (I do have some understanding of the laws of physics), but I bet that the atmosphere in the TD Garden is going to be electric.

Speaking of electric, part of my Sportlots purchase last week was 11 Electric Ice parallel cards from the 1994-95 UD hockey release.  These were the first parallel set I ever started to build, and almost 20 years later these 11 cards are probably the first cards that I've picked up since the set was new.

I will not show you all 11, but it worked out great that there's a card from each of the participants in tonight's game.  I can at least show you those....

First, the Hawks Patrick Poulin

Patrick was part of the 1991 draft class that featured Eric Lindros.  Poulin went 9th to the Whalers, and wound up playing 634 games while scoring just 101 goals in his career.  Just imagine if the Whalers had taken either Alex Kovalev (15th) or Markus Naslund (16th) with that pick instead.

The Bruin that I have to show you is a little more notable...

Adam Oates was probably one of the quietest starts in the NHL from the late 80's to the mid 90's.  Being overshadowed by goal scoring right wingers in St. Louis (Brett Hull) and Boston (Cam Neely), Oates quietly racked up the point totals over a 19 year career.  Oates' best season was 142 points in 92-93, and that still was only good for 3rd in league scoring behind Mario Lemieux and Pat LaFontaine.

I miss those days of run and gun hockey, give someone 142 points next year, and I guarantee that he'll lead the league in scoring by 30 points.

I still have a long way to go to complete this parallel set, and with a lot of star cards still to pickup, it's not going to be cheap either. 

Not unlike a lot of other things in one's life, you always remember your first.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Series 2?

How do I compare series 2 to series 1?   I'll use one of my favorite lines.

It's the same, only different.

I decided to end my pack ripping drought yesterday and bought a blaster and a hangar box of series 2 flagship.  Nothing flashy, nothing spectacular, just the same old stuff we've come to expect from a flagship release.

Plenty of Wal Mart blues to go around...the Michael Bourn in the lower right is a helluva shot (along with some great advertising for Pepsi and Gatorade).

A happy accident that Harper wound up in the center.  He's no Paul Lynde
A trio of greens also made their way in to my packs/boxes:

3 of the '72 minis also found their way here....pretty solid names this time!!

These will make their way to player/team collectors very shortly...
Sadly, I only pulled one Blue Jay, but I guess that's just how it Gose (ya, I know it's bad but I'll get a lot of mileage off his name...)

You're wondering about the manupatch?  '73 Topps Roberto Clemente was an interesting choice to include in the set...

It's been quite interesting to see on the blogs and twitter to see the opinions/feelings/comments of others who have ripped series 2 already.

For me, it's like this.  You get what you pay for.  Still under $2 a pack retail, we really should not be expecting a great deal.  In Canada, $2 for the past 20 years has been reduced to a coin.  What I'm saying is, $2 is really nothing to be spending on a pack of cards in 2013....

I will put the set together, with the help of my friends in blog land, and leave the criticism of the Topps monopoly to those who feel truly slighted.

I have bigger fish to fry, like finding a cheap '64 Mantle....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Living in the past

You won't see this very often on this blog.  I went almost 4 weeks without making a card purchase.

Yes, you read that right.  Total cold turkey from cards for 26 days.  Amazingly, I didn't get the shakes, start compulsively itching or even start wandering the streets looking for cards in the gutter.

This past Wednesday morning, that changed.  I had the late shift on that day,  so I woke up in the AM and hit Sportlots, looking to purchase something.  It had been quite a while since I visited Sportlots, and I was surprised to see that they had made quite a change to the homepage.

For some reason, what interested me most was working on some older hockey sets, ones that have been on my radar for many years. 

First up, some 2001-02 UD Vintage cards, I snagged 11 of the 18 I needed to complete the set...

Not a surprise that a few of the remaining cards feature stars such as Modano, Lecavalier and Bourque.  I've always love the four box team checklist cards as well, I really wish that card makers would use these every year.

Another set that I'm slowly inching my way towards completing is the 1999-00 MVP silver signature parallel set.  Similar to the UD Vintage set, the final few cards are of star players.   I picked up 2 more, leaving me with 6 cards to go.   These 2 cards were a little more pricey than those above...

Foppa and Marty.  Forsberg was another great player whose career was derailed by injuries.  When looking at his stats, it shocked me to see that he barely played 700 games in the NHL.  I would have thought that number would have been closer to 1000.

Marty Brodeur will always be the face of New Jersey goaltending for me.  For a generation, he's been in between the pipes, and who knows how much longer he might play.  Jacques Plante played until he was 46, if Martin does that, he'll have 6 more seasons in which to reach that milestone.  Imagine, 6 more full seasons extending all those records that he has?  I would hate to be the #1 goalie in New Jersey once Brodeur retires.  That's a tall order for sure...

I have some other cards that came in from that purchase, but I'll save those for another post.

thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, June 20, 2013

These cards may have been from the dollar store

But they sure cost a helluva lot more than that to ship!!

OK, maybe not that much more, but the cost of postage to the Great White North is absolutely ridiculous.  I have 3 envelopes that I want to send up to some trade partners, but if I did that, it would cost me almost $20 to do so. 

I think I'm just going to drive them up there and mail them from the other side of the border.  Probably cheaper that way...

But enough of that little rant, I have a few cards to show off that were sent to me courtesy of Doug from the Sportscards from the Dollar Store blog. 

Doug sent a few cards from a variety of my want lists.  A couple of insanity cards that were needed (they get their own post later), a couple of 97-98 Upper Deck Hockey cards from that want list (I had totally forgotten about that set), and 4 cards from the 2012-13 OPC hockey set.

The OPC hockey sets are something that I wish I had kept collecting over the past few years.   I pretty much took a break between the 08-09 set and this years.  I like the size (600 cards), the designs are always easy on the eyes, and while the short prints are plentiful (100 cards), their impact on the wallet isn't as bad as Heritage baseball (for example).

Doug really hit home with the 4 Joe Sakic cards he sent me.  I'll show 2 of them off...

I remember collecting the Black Diamond sets in the mid to late 90's, and really loving the cards.  There was a year or two where the design wasn't overly appealing to me, but all in all Black Diamond has been a winning brand for UD, and it's another set that I wish that I had kept up with over the years. 

This next card I had seen in many an eBay auction, and was going to pull the trigger on it a few times, but I really didn't know much about it.

A little research showed that this is from the 2012-13 In the Game Heroes and Prospects set, card #15.  While it may not be a perfect artistic rendering of Sakic, I do like the fact that they used a picture of him in the Swift Current Broncos sweater, where he played his junior hockey.  Even better is the 4 leaf clover on Joe's right shoulder, commemorating the 4 players that died in a bus accident in Saskatchewan back in 1986.  That little detail made the card even greater in my eyes. 

Doug, thank you for the cards, I really do appreciate them!!  Receiving the Sakic ITG card was as if you were reading my mind.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Serial insanity cards 851-855

With the number of cards acquired hitting the 855 mark, that means that the set is now 57% complete.  Here's the next 5 cards for your viewing pleasure.

Card # 851:  David Wells

Serial Number:  1039
Team:  San Diego Padres, card #32 out of 50

To be honest, I never thought of David Wells as a great pitcher.  Dave was good, he was a lefty, he had a long career.  But when looking at Wells' stats, he really wasn't that bad a pitcher either. The one stat that jumped out at me was that his SO/BB ratio was over 5.0 five different seasons.   Not too shabby....

Card # 852:  Mark Trumbo

Serial Number:  1245
Team:  Los Angeles Angels, card # 40 out of 50.

Trumbo's card means that the Angels are the first team to 40 cards.  Definitely not where I thought they'd be now.  LA finding ways to keep Trumbo's bat in the line up this year.  39 games at first, 23 in the outfield, 13 at DH.  Reminds me of Pujols early in his career...

Card # 853:  Derek Jeter

Serial Number:  1118
Team:  New York Yankees, card # 40 out of 50

Right on the heels of Trumbo, Jeter gets the Yanks to the 40 card mark.  Where do I start with Jeter?  How about 12 seasons above .300, another 4 between .290 and .299.  The fly in the ointment was 2010, when he only hit .270.  See you in the Hall Derek....

Card # 854:  Bob Brenly

Serial Number:  1483
Team:  Arizona Diamondbacks, card # 28 out of 50

Raise your hand if you remembered the Brenly played for the Blue Jays in 1989.   Yea, neither did I.  I'm sure he'd like to forget his time there as well, .170 average in 88 ABs I'm sure was a very forgettable time north of the border for the 2001 World Series champion manager.

Card # 855:  Chris Iannetta

Serial Number:  940
Team:  Colorado Rockies, card # 22 out of 50

Geez, I gotta get out more.  Iannetta is in his eighth season?  By the way, the pitchers need to help him out more in Anaheim, 48 stolen bases against at this point of the season is not good....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Almost counts when you're building team sets

Or having them sent your way out of the blue.  I got in front of the computer this evening, and the first thing I did was dive into the box of goodies sent my way by Pat from the Hot Corner Cards blog.

Not only did Pat take a land mine to my Series 1 and '13 Heritage want lists, he sent me all but one of the Blue Jays from the 2013 Opening Day set.  Even the mascot made its way here...

Not sure how I got the black line on the scan, but the cards are cool, even if they are copies of the Series 1 base set.  The only card missing from the team set is #61 Drew Hutchison. 

While I won't take any of your time by showing you the other 73 cards he sent from my over sized 2013 want lists, I will show you a shiny refractor that came my way...

EE becomes another portion of the serial insanity set, as his #451 was needed.

Now the old saying goes that almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.  I would say that this package, while almost completing various sets, definitely counted in my book.

Thank you Pat!!  As always a great package.....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, June 17, 2013

Spikes, Bowman and other thoughts

It's been a long week to say the least.   But I'm back, and ready to go.  A few things on my mind, nothing serious, but some stuff that I thought I'd share none the less.

Spikes:  I thought about this while going through a week's worth of posts from the Night Owl today.   There likely will be a lot of you that will see a spike in their page views as I work my way through catching up on all the blogs that I read.  So if you see me with about 10 page views in a short period of time on your blog, I'm not drunk, just behind.

Bowman:  I got home yesterday late in the afternoon, and while relaxing watching some Game of Thrones reruns, I decided to sort the 2 blasters and 2 rack packs of Bowman that I purchased several weeks back.  I've never really ever collected Bowman in the past, maybe a handful of packs each season are what I've purchased. 

I realized that there are actually 3 base sets, along with several parallels of each.  I also realized while thumbing through the 43 doubles that I pulled that the collation is no different from any other Topps product. 

Disappointing?  You betcha.  Surprising?  Hardly.  Looks like I'll be moving some of the parallels to some team collectors here this will be nice to get back in the swing of sending envelopes, something I've done very little of the past several weeks.

I've got a couple of the ice blues to move

Other thoughts: 

To those who expressed their condolences last weekend, just a quick thank you.   Those words meant a lot.

My thanks also go out to Doug (Sportscards from the Dollar Store) and Pat (Hot Corner Cards) who were great enough to send me cards while I was away last week.   Posts to come...

Seeing the Penguins go down in hot, burning flames to the Bruins in 4 made me feel so much better about the performance the Leafs gave in round 1...

What happens to Andre Ethier once Matt Kemp returns?  Puig mania seems to be gripping southern California, and what I saw this past weekend against the Pirates made me a believer.

Blackhawks in 7.  Is that what I'm predicting?  No, it's what I want....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Only the good die young

This post isn't about cards today.  If that upsets you, please move on.

I can't sleep.  Sunday, June 9th, 2013 hasn't been a good day for me.

A very good friend of mine passed away today.  My buddy was only 50 years old.

As of now, I haven't shed a tear, screamed out loud or punched anything in anger.  Likely meaning his passing hasn't set in yet.  I'm sure that when I'm carrying his coffin, it will hit home.

Yes, the man was ill.   Diabetes, kidney disease, the man had physical ailments.   Still, 50 is way too young.  My wife and I were at his 50th birthday party two months ago.

Even though he was sick, Don always thought of me when he would come to visit.  "Can I stop at the border and get you anything?", he would ask me.  Don always asked about my family. 

It's going to be a tough week for me, so if you don't see a whole lot of posts (or any for that matter), I'm sure you'll understand why.

The one card rule still applies, I did happen to find a jersey card of an NHL player with the same last name (even if the pronunciation is different)...

Weeber, Weber, tomato tomahto.
We always kidded him about the pronunciation of his last name....

Here's a little music from my favorite band for you my friend...

Donald Weber, I'm going to miss you buddy.   See you on the other side.....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Serial insanity cards 846-850

5 more cards for you to look at as we trudge on towards the goal of 1500.  Today we have a good mix of retired and current stars.

Card 846:  Joey Votto

Serial Number:   292
Team:  Cincinnati Reds, card # 27 out of 50

Dare I say the most dangerous hitter in the senior circuit, or the hitter with the best eye.  In 2011, led the NL in walks with 110.  In 2012, led the NL in walks with 94 while missing 51 games.  In 2013, leads the NL in walks with 47 (on pace for 125). 

Card 847:  Dave Winfield

Serial Number:  127
Team:  San Diego Padres, card # 31 out of 50

Ranks 11th all time in career games played with 2973.  Missing the 1989 season hurt that total; even if he had only played 120 games that season, his place on the games played ladder climbs from 11th to 4th.  Speaking of 4th, that's when he was drafted in the first round of the 1973 draft, behind some guy named Robin Yount.

Card # 848:  Orlando Hudson

Serial Number:  841
Team:  Toronto Blue Jays, card # 37 out of 50

Reached the end of the road last year after 12 big league seasons, but for a 43rd round pick in the 1997 draft, I'd say he certainly exceeded expectations.  1300+ hits, 4 Gold Gloves and 2 all star games tells me that he fared quite well during his time in the bigs.

Card #849:  Travis Hafner

Serial Number:  483
Team:  Texas Rangers, card # 32 out of 50

Hafner is a true "what could have been" story.  His 2006 season was incredible, .308, 42 HR, 117 RBI and 100 walks in 129 games.  Travis slid a little in 2007, but still posted decent numbers, but then the next 5 seasons had big chunks removed because of injuries.  He's showing a bit of the old power so far in the Bronx this year, 10 HR in 48 games played isn't too shabby...

Card # 850:  Brooks Robinson


Serial Number:  607
Team:  Baltimore Orioles, card # 18 out of 50

Maybe the best nickname in the history of baseball, the "human vacuum cleaner" has 16 gold gloves to his name (in 16 consecutive seasons).  What makes that more incredible for me is that he missed only 97 games during those 16 seasons, meaning he averaged 156 games a season. 

Thanks for reading, Robert