Saturday, July 29, 2017

NOW You're Just Being Ridiculous

 I've been tough on Topps NOW - for the price, for the selections made, etc. But I still find cards within the set that I really like. Even though this is totally stupid, I still thought the funeral the Astros held for the glove of Carlos Beltran was hilarious.

I couldn't resist taking home a souvenir of this event. the little signs say things like 3 X Gold Glove, 9 time All Star, AL ROY and so on. Of course, Beltran ended needing to use the glove a few days later, but the team is obvously having a ton of fun. I honestly think this is a good use of Topps Now, especially if they don't reference this in flagship later on.

I really wanted a card to be made for Adrian Beltre's ejection the other night, but I guess Topps would have found it in poor taste? I also think the Rangers should have a "Beltre On Deck Circle" giveaway, and give coasters to the first 10,000 fans or something. My brother suggested it would make for an entertaining bobble head as well.

Keeping up with Twins Topps NOW as well, this one is from June 1st, hoping they can make a few more NOW moments before the year is up.

I added this one to the collection as well - something about father's day uni plus a very rare event (A Walk off hit that completes the cycle) just appealed to me.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

gift chrome really liked

Jim of cards as i see them let me know in a comment that he had a Byron Buxton Stadium Club card for me, and the envelope arrive along with a few more great cards!

A trio of Chrome from last season, with Buxton leading off

I feel for Byung-ho, he's a free swinger that wasn't making solid contact in the big leagues, he's still got another year on his contract, but signs haven't been promising that he'll get too many more chances to prove he can hit in the show.

Berrios is still young, I'm curious to see how well he manages the work load down the stretch in his first full season for the Twins. With most rookies, I would be concerned about conditioning, but he might be the best conditioned player on the entire roster.

Here's the great Stadium Club base card that eluded me in the hobby box I bought. Jim set things right!

last but not least, Torii in a weird 2005 Donruss Studio parallel set. I probably have 4 different versions of this card, but this was still a new one to me!

In hindsight, it was easy to see how this card would have been hard to spot in the wild before now.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Christmas in July?!?

John from Johnny's Trading Spot is notorious for generous card bombs, and this one was a sneak attack. A simple, signed note that said nothing more than "Christmas in July!" accompanied this bountiful harvest of cardboard goodness.

Included was a stack of mini-collection cards like Hal Morris at the bat rack. 1995 Score I feel has been forgotten a bit - while it didn't change the game like Upper Deck or Topps Stadium Club, it is an underrated gem of a set.

John hit hard with Twins, like a 1977 "Disco" Dan Ford Cloth Sticker, to a near complete 1987 Opening Day Twins set, to current Twins like the pink refractor of Brian Dozier from Donruss Optic.

Lots of deep cuts from the 90s and early 2000s, hitting some of the sets I haven't spent much time (or money) to build to date.

There was also a small stack of these oversized cards from the late 70s, featuring 1960s Twins like manager Sam Mele, Cesar Tovar,  Don Mincher, and Al Worthington -- to name a few.

Great stuff as always John, I will have to get you back soon!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sorting Sunday

I have been spending the day sifting through and sorting all my Minnesota Twins "M" players - they are the biggest stack by far, not just because of Joe Mauer.
For example, here's a table full of unique Justin Morneau cards sorted by year. Mauer and Morneau have a ton of cards, but there are tons of Twins like David McCarty, Pat Mahomes, Pat Meares, Joe Mays, Doug Mientkiewicz, Shane Mack - none of them super stars, but so. many. cards.

I am making steady progress, and my goal is still to finish the sorting and cataloging by the end of summer!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

If At First You Don't Succeed . . .

. . . buy it online. So I dragged myself to two Walmarts this week, hoping to score some Bowman Platinum. Both places were sold out, but I had a back up plan already in place. My good friend, the Internet! I have been buying small lots of Twins from a seller on Facebook, and he let me know that he had a bunch of Bowman looking for a home.

Here's what the back of base cards look like, for those curious, nothing groundbreaking here. Similar to Finest.

Twins! Everybody wants the hits, but the base cards are all I was really looking to get.

Fernando! He's going to be called up soon to get his shot, I can feel it!

In addition to Bowman Platinum, there were some Twins-centric goods available. Max Kepler isn't a superstar, but he's speedy. He's a plus defender and has a sweet line drive swing that is still developing.

Miguel has continued to hit the ball hard after finishing second in the Home Run Derby, smashing two homers against the Yankees in the three game series at Target Field.

A Starter turned reliever, Tyler Duffey has been solid, eating up lots of needed innings for the Twins when their regular starters falter (which has been often this season).

And one more Romero for the road! This last one was found on eBay, it's serial numbered to 99 on the back.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sometimes You Need a Giant to Slay a Giant

The last time the Twins beat the Yankees in a season series was waaaay back in 2002. In an effort to bolster the back end of their rotation and eat some innings, the Twins signed Bartolo Colon. His first start was last night. Here are a few photos I took during his outing: 

Big Bart looms large in the bullpen before his Twins debut

Colon and his entourage (catcher Jason Castro and pitching coach Neil Allen)

The crowd cheers as Bartolo is announced as the starting pitcher

Colon deals the first pitch of the game, ball one. He'd finish the inning by striking out Aaron Judge.

Still dealing in the 4th inning, but Colon would run out of magic and was hit hard with a pair of doubles in the 5th. His final line was 4+ innings, 4 runs allowed.

Here ya go Yankees fans - here's Aaron Judge

Target Field from the concourse, looking towards Right Field

A cameo appearance from former Twin Justin Morneau (far right) on the Twins Telecast 

Brian Dozier takes a ball. He would Triple later in the at bat. 

The Yankees have their big inning, Twins Reliever Ryan Pressly gave up 3 hits and allowed 2 runs (not including the runners that he inherited from Colon) 5 runs scored in the inning. 

Colon got the loss in the game, and will make at least one more start for the Twins - Monday night in LA against the scorching hot Dodgers. Colon was reportedly mulling retirement following last night's start, I'm hoping he can turn things around and give the Twins some much needed support in the second half.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Going Clubbing

Aw. Yeah.

Stadium Club is back in 2017, and the base cards do not disappoint.

The inserts are a little bit on the boring side - do we need these . . .

When we could have 1-2 dozen more of these?

Lots of parallels - Gold, Chrome, etc. Beam Team is not a terrible insert. I didn't pull anything die-cut or clear/acetate this time, maybe they are more rare, or maybe there aren't any?

Gotta show the Twins! I am pretending the Danny Santana card is actually a Jorge Polanco card (Polanco is on the left.) I dig the card either way. Buds at the bat rack!

Pulled a Joe Mauer as well, but still short of the full base team set...

What about hits, you ask? I mean, the base cards are where Stadium Club shines. Even though it's nice to pull a Pujols /50, I'm more interested in base cards.

I'm conflicted - this is a SSP photo variation, so I should have been pumped to get this card from my favorite National League team. But Hamilton's regular base card is really cool! I didn't get one in the box, so hopefully I can find one in the wild.

Each box contains two signatures - Ryan Schimpf was pretty much what I was expecting to pull - either a Padre, a Marlin, a Ray... Schimpf is probably on the high end of my predicted autograph.

Kevin, check it out! So, I bought two boxes of Stadium Club- box number 2 is remaining sealed until it's my turn for the Transatlantic Triple Break, but I already pulled a great card for the break! This signature is a Refractor, numbered to just 10!

Overall, this box was exactly what I was hoping for - fantastic base cards, a few surprises, a few Twins. I still think they could reduce the inserts to just Beam Team and parallels, and I would have liked the box to have a higher number of base cards, but otherwise this is just what the doctor ordered.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

What A Difference A Week Makes

Photo from Rochester Red Wings' Facebook Page
Soooo.... As I was saying, Bartolo Colon drew interest from several teams, and the Minnesota Twins were able to swoop in and sign him to a minor league deal. Speculation is that he could be in a Twins uniform as early as Tuesday against the New York Yankees.

I took a trip over to my local card shop today. Since Three Star Sportscards expanded to a second location, the amount of items out of storage and on the shelves has gone up. There was a nearly full box of these 1990 Topps DoubleHeaders, a strange creation that combined an image of the player's rookie card on one side, and their 1990 Topps issue on the other.

There were 30 packs left, each with one DoubleHeader inside. oddly, there were only "Checklist A" and "Checklist C" packs in the box. 

The pictures are thin and glossy like magazine pages, and snapped into place in a plastic stand.

There was a little inconsistency about which card Topps considered to be a player's rookie. Sometimes, they used a Topps Traded version (like Barry Bonds above) or they would use their first flagship card instead. 

I splurged on this sealed box of 1993 Topps Series Two. It's probably all Derek Jeter rookies.

There was a nice collection of oddball sets on a table - Found a fun group of Tombstone Pizza cards for 2 bucks.

I also picked up a Joe Mauer pre-rookie card from his days with the Elizabethton Twins in the Single A Appalachian League.

The Saint Paul Saints release a team set every year- in 2008 the set commemorated 150 years of baseball in the state of Minnesota.

The Saints carried on a tradition from the Veeck family. The son of former White Sox owner Bill Veeck was the principal owner of the team and had no shortage of events and unique promotions to bring in the fans.

There's a familiar face! Strawberry threw out the first pitch in the 2008 All-Star Game. He played for the Saints briefly before making a Major League comeback with the New York Yankees.

My favorite card in the set - my first Bill Murray card! Murray is a minority investor / co-owner of the Saints, along with a couple other minor league teams in the independent leagues.

oh and I also bought a couple hobby boxes of Stadium Club, which I will talk about later....