Monday, December 4, 2017

The Fine Art of Baseball

Reader and Tweeter of fine memorabilia Mark sent a trio of 8X10 Masterpieces.  Nicholas Volpe was well known as a portrait artist of Hollywood film stars, annually immortalizing the Best Actor and Best Actress Oscar winners. 

He made portraits of Frank Sinatra, including one featured as the cover of Sinatras' 1958 album Only The Lonely. Volpe won a Grammy for best Album Cover for his efforts.

The Los Angeles Dodgers commissioned Volpe to produce a dozen player portraits, and other teams like the Twins followed suit.

Western Oil and Fuel was founded in Minneapolis in the 1920s, and in the 1960s they commissioned Volpe to do two dozen Twins portraits, which were distributed at local Mileage and DS gas stations.

Thanks for this wonderful works of art, Mark! 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Julie's Extra Bases Hit!

Julie of A Cracked Bat was greatly missed during her blogging hiatus and it was a very welcome sight to see her posting again. One of the great things about Julie is her boundless generosity as a trading partner, and this most recent trade was no exception!

The 90's were something else, folks. Fleer made these bookmark sized TALL cards called Extra Bases for just one season, releasing them in 1994. Several Twins remained on the roster from their 1991 World Series victory.

Here's a couple more, and the back of that Puckett insert. Both Pucketts are new to me, as I missed out on Extra Bases the first time around, and haven't had the opportunity to pick any up in the wild.

As if that was not enough on its own, Julie included stacks and stacks of Twins from all over the years. I was pretty excited about the Topps Fire cards as I had finally exhibited a little willpower and resisted buying packs of the stuff at Target.

Joe! I think Twins fans are not going to fully appreciate Mauer until he's gone, which is a shame. He gets so much criticism for his contract, though I can't think of what Twins Fans would have done had he left Minnesota to play for someone else.

Rookies more your style? Julie has you covered there as well!

Parallels? You betcha! (That's Minnesotan for "Yes")

A Pair of Plouffe/Pinto Pint-sized Parallels! Perfect!

Framed Mini Relics? Oh Yeah.

Stadium Club signature? Sure.

Why not make it two? Park has decided to return his former team in Korea, rather than take another shot at the MLB roster in Minnesota in 2018. He was a two time league MVP and averaged 40 plus homers in Korea, but a combination of injury and adjusting to big league velocity and movement were tough to overcome. Park gave the Twins some mammoth homers, I wish him the best in 2018.

Julie, thanks so much for the trade, I was taken aback by all that you included, I look forward to returning the favor again!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Quick Update

I went into Target this morning after VOTING (if you live in the United States, there's probably an election in your area today, so think about VOTING), and as is my way, I was drawn to the card aisle.

One Blaster of Topps Chrome Update was casually strewn atop the now dusty boxes of Topps Series 1 and 2 and the other sports like Racing, Football, and Basketball.

I was not a big fan of Topps Update this year, but who doesn't love Chrome! And I am a sucker for Topps Rookie All-Star inserts. Hey look, Yoan Moncada as a Red Sox infielder.

Both Rookie of the Year winners are represented, along with plenty more rookies from 2016 and 2017.

Ngeope had the best photo on the cards I pulled, and there was a decent percentage of cards I will actually keep.

Finally, this card means I will not buy another pack in 2017, because my luck has already hit its peak-

Neat! I will hold onto this one for a while.

Monday, October 30, 2017

NOW That I've Had Time To Process This Season

The Minnesota Twins made the postseason for the first time in seven years, so why am I showing a White Sox card? Nicky Delmonico's 10th inning homer to walk off the Angels also allowed the Twins to clinch the 2nd Wild Card berth.

How many of these Twins can you name? Kyle Gibson and Buddy Boshers is giving each other a high five, Brian Dozier is asking Joe Mauer where the  foul line is in left field at Yankee Stadium, Kennys Vargas is being taller than everyone else.

The game itself couldn't have started better for the Twins - Dozier homered in his first postseason at bat, and the Twins scored 3 runs in that first inning.

A key point in the game came in the second inning, Byron Buxton leapt and crashed into the center field wall, taking away extra bases from Todd Frazier.

This moment was pretty much the end of the Twins' season. Buxton initially stayed in the game, even reaching base and stealing second in the third inning, but he did not return after that half inning. He was pulled from the game, replaced with rookie Zack Granite.

Topps decided to commemorate the Twins' playoff run with a 15 card set.

First Topps cards of rookies Zack Granite, Trevor Hildenberger, and Alan Busenitz.

All of the backs had the same two sentence blurb. It was a disappointing trip to New York, but the Twins have plenty to hang their hats on. It was a great season, and my hope is that they will be back next season better than ever.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Transatlantic Triple Break Double Play!

Another Transatlantic Triple Break is in the books. Matt of Bob Walk the Plank dug deep to find something we haven't seen very often, a set from 2009 called Upper Deck Signature Stars.

I mean, these guys are all stars (and All-Stars) - at least one of those guys above will stroll into the Hall of Fame. It's a somewhat limited design with all the empty space. There's a nice mix of young up and coming players and established veterans.  

Inserts are fun! My portion of break included the AL East and the NL West, which meant a healthy does of Yankees, Rays, and Giants.

I was the lucky one on this break, getting all three of the box hits! In addition to "current" 2009 major leaguers, Team USA baseball was also a big part of the set.

Manny Machado as a prospect was a pretty nice card to pull in the box.

Even younger was Robbie Ray, who was still a year away from being drafted when this card was made. He was in the trade that sent Doug Fister from Detroit to the Washington Nats, and then in the 3 team deal that netted the Yankees Didi Gregorius from Arizona. Ray had a breakout performance in 2017, making his first All-Star roster.

Matt always includes an extra trade - this time he really outdid himself. This Justin Morneau / Jason Bay dual auto is numbered to 74 - maybe they lost one of the stickers and couldn't make 75?

Another pair of Twins, Jose Berrios is going to be a big part of the Twins' plans in 2018, and Denard Span was a rising star in a great tradition of Twins Center Fielders when he was traded to the Nats for pitching.

A sweet Kevin Garnett rookie. This card is graded a PSA 8 and is still chilling in his protective case... for now.

Last but anything but least, Matt sent me a SHARP Harmon Killebrew rookie card! I did have a literal jaw drop moment when I saw this. I did have a copy of this card from Twinsfest a couple years ago, but this one is a big big upgrade.

Wait - why is this a "Triple Break Double Play?"

Kevin of The Card Papoy also had a card to send me via Matt -

This is what the kids call a "siiiiick patch." Thanks Kevin, and thanks Matt! Another successful Triple Break!

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Card Show Connection (GCRL IRL)

Jim from cards as i see them e-mailed me ahead of the show and asked if I was going (he had heard that the vintage guy was in town as well). We exchanged some small talk about the playoffs, and some small stacks of cardboard! This Miguel Sano card looks even better in hand - I think I like it even more than the autograph I bought at the show from Gold Label!

Jim found this set and picked it up for the Garvey inside, I was the lucky recipient of Bert and the Killer.

Some all-time great PC guys!

Horizontal heroes as well!

Sal Butera's son Drew also played for the Twins - Drew is still chugging along, backing up Salvador Perez in KC. Nice gig if you can get it!

A pretty sweet Joe Mauer from Topps Tribute! As always, great stuff from Jim. Thanks again, and great to see you at the show!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Saturday Was Card Show Day (The Power of One)

I came to the card show this weekend because the vintage guy that moved away a couple years ago was in town. He still has family in the area, so he makes at least one trip a year to Minnesota, which is great for collectors that like a big variety of affordable vintage. This time he brought over some fantastic things.

How could I pass up this Stormy Weatherly from 1941? It was practically a steal at eight bucks.

Brace yourself . . .

No need to adjust your screen - this card really is that washed out. Major sun damage (?) faded the card down to almost nothing. But that made Mickey a mighty bargain at just $12 bucks.

the Vintage Guy also had two boxes of dollar cards, and I snapped up a nice stack of cards.

I mean, a really nice stack.

Really, very, nice and good.

This fantastic Ernie Banks was a little bit over a buck, but not by much.

Last but certainly not least, I found the penultimate card needed for my 1956 Topps Set, Yankees hurler Whitey Ford.

The only card left to go is Don Larsen, part of the same Yankees rotation as Mr. Ford. I had a bit of a Goldilocks situation on my hands. The vintage guy had a copy of the card, but it was in terrible condition. I decided that I only want to buy that card once, so I had to pass. Another vendor had a Near Mint copy of the card, but his asking price of $50 was too much for me. I will have to finish the set another day, but I was happy to get my wantlist down to one!