Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Repack Haiku #9 (Gary Sheffield)

Oh dear Lord, my eyes!
Upper Deck's Ionix set
What were you thinking?

2000 UD Ionix #22 Gary Sheffield

Wow. This...this is just painful.

Monday, July 24, 2017

SEC - Bracket Match Up #10

Read all about it! Ugly red border advances!

Dave Stewart lost mainly because voters didn't like the splatter paint red background of 1990 Donruss. I was fairly certain Ozzie would fall to the same fate, but since we have a tie, he moves on! This would probably qualify as the upset of the competition so far.

Next up are two young pitchers. (Well, at least Roger was young when the photo was taken!) It's an all time great vs. new blood:

2017 Topps #8a Jose Berrios
1985 Leaf/Donruss #99 Roger Clemens

The Case for Jose Berrios: Like I mentioned in the original post, the photography on this card is amazing. Berrios is an exciting young pitcher who hopefully has a long career ahead of him.

The Case for Roger Clemens: It can be argued that the Rocket is one of the greatest pitchers ever. How can you say no to that green leaf and black border with red striping?

I leave the decision to you small number of readers. (by the way, thanks so much for the handful of you who have voted so far! I'm glad to have a little bit of interaction on my posts!) As always, leave a comment with which card you want to see advance!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pirate Booty

A few months ago, Brian from Collecting Cutch held a contest challenging his fellow bloggers to post their Top 10 cards from a favorite player. As a new blogger, any potential new post is worthwhile, so I presented my 10 favorite cards of former Red Sox All-Star Ellis Burks. According to Blogger's stats, it is to date my most viewed blog post. It was a fun project and I'm glad it was well received.

I completely forgot there was a prize element involved...

Last week, I got an email stating my prize was on it's way. I was excited and wondered what random card I might get. I got a package. I was not expecting that!

He started off with a welcome note written on a plastic sleeve:

Collecting Cutch is a good blog - you should read it!

The card underneath all that wording is a Pittsburgh Police Department issued card featuring Mr. McCutchen himself. I must say the card itself is pretty sharp! Simple, with a nice action shot.

Before I share what other spoils I received, let me state that without a doubt, the best part of the package was Brian's sense of humor. A few of these cards were also packaged in sleeves he had written on, and the stuff he wrote put a big smile on my face.

If only Captain Kirk could play 3rd base...

I feel bad for Sandoval. (Not too bad mind you, he's still getting paid!) He was a good signing at the time. The Red Sox didn't need a superstar at 3rd base, just someone to hold down the position and contribute. He couldn't do that, and now you're looking at his last base set card in a Red Sox  uniform. Although I maintain I am not a Star Trek fan, this makes the second time in my blog's short life that I have included Mr. Shatner. I may need to throw some Star Wars references on here just to balance things out.

Collecting Cutch also included a lot of Red Sox goodies...

The Melancon card has kanji on back, making this my first card from over the ocean!

... including a trio of Hall of Famers,

Jacoby surrounded by greatness!

...my first Bunt cards,

Me like!

...and this relic card of 3x All-Star Dan Uggla

This guy won me a number of fantasy leagues back in the day!

The centerpiece prize, however, was this relic card of none other than Ellis himself.

Well played, CC! Well played, indeed!

So yeah, my collection got significantly more awesome thanks to the generosity of my fellow blogger. If you haven't checked out his blog, I highly recommend it! Thanks again Brian!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Repack Haiku #8 (Dave Hansen)

Loved the blue border
Hated the nineties striping
like Trapper Keepers

1991 Donruss #45 Dave Hansen (RR)

Since this is the second card from the repack from the 1991 Donruss set, let's talk about that border for a minute. As the haiku states, I thought that blue border was a great color. The name and position boxes meshed well. But those stripes...there was definitely a very 90s vibe going with it. It reminds me of the Trapper Keepers that were popular at school once.

I had this one. It was rad.

Monday, July 17, 2017

SEC - Bracket Matchup #9

Extra! Extra! Tie Breaker Decides Winner!

Another tie means the older card advances!

The main reason why I was able to get a bracket out of the 30 Day Challenge was because some of those posts featured multiple cards. Today's competition features two cards from two of those posts. Based on the comments on I got from the other 1990 Donruss in this championship, I'm fairly certain this will be another lop-sided vote:

1990 Donruss #15 Ozzie Guillen DK
2004 Topps World Champions Boston Red Sox #49 Team Celebration ALCS7

The Case For Ozzie Guillen: Um....Ozzie has a sweet 'stach? The fondness for Diamond Kings has no limit? Ozzie did lead the White Sox to their first title in 87 years - a longer World Series drought than the fabled Curse the Red Sox broke!

The Case For The 2004 ALCS Game 7:  The card says it all - Greatest Comeback Ever! Yeah, I'm biased, but even if you're not a Red Sox fan, you have to admit this was an impressive feat!

Leave a comment and tell me who should advance and why!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Mookie Knows

I was reading some baseball blogs the other day and saw this:

2017 Topps Archives #210 Mookie Betts

By the looks of it, apparently Mookie can juggle. (One handed, even!) This is just the latest of impressive things the Red Sox All Star is talented at. Over the All Star break, we learned he's also got his pilots license.

Photo via MLB.com

He's also an accomplished bowler, having bowled in professional tournaments during the off season and even being credited with two 300 games!

Photo by Hollis Bennett/Rolling Stone

Oh, and he's pretty good at this baseball game too...

Mookie is starting to remind me of the old Bo Jackson Nike commercials, where the premise was that Bo Knows how to do pretty much anything. I think if Nike ever decides to revisit that concept, Mookie would be an excellent candidate. Mookie Knows Baseball!

*One of the great things about Google is their image search can lead you to some great content: That bowling photo came from a Rolling Stone article that came out last year. It's a good read: Bowling With Mookie Betts: Red Sox Star Is On A Roll.

*As of this publishing,  Bo Jackson and Amos Otis have an equal number of votes in my latest Bracket Challenge. Anyone want to be the tie-breaker?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Payday Pack - Raising Cain

While I was creating my last post, it dawned on me that the Daniel Murphy card was part of some Gypsy Queens I had purchased awhile back. I had started a Payday Pack post for them, but it never got finished.  Seems like motivation enough to finish the post for this week's Payday Pack!

So a couple weeks after its release, I decided to give the Gypsy Queen set a try. It looked like a nice enough set, and the blog reviews have been mostly positive. The only packs available were the Jumbo packs, with 3 6-card packs plus 5 of their green border parallels. Rather than pick my usual Top 3, I'll pick one from each pack and one from among the parallels.

Pack #1

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen - Missing Black Plate #40 Nomar Mazara
Also Got:
#195 Sonny Gray
#83 Tyler Austin (RC)
#96 Daniel Murphy
#146 Ricky Nolasco
#263 Colin Rea

I'm going to have to do some scanning soon. I had to borrow this picture. So, I'll be honest, I don't really get the appeal of the missing black plate.  It's really bland. None of the other cards really stood out though, so Nomar gets the nod.

Pack #2

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen #168 Aaron Judge (RC)
Also Got:
#172 Jon Gray
#60 Jameson Taillon
#219 Lorenzo Cain
#70 Leonys Martin
#204 Carlos Gonzalez

You can't go wrong with an Aaron Judge rookie card! Even us Red Sox fans have to admit he's likable and fun to watch. He deserved to win the Home Run Derby, and in my opinion once he got past Justin Bour in the first round, he made the rest of the derby seemed a little anticlimactic.

Pack #3

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen #225 Jose De Leon (RC)
Also Got:
#83 Tyler Austin (RC)*
#172 Jon Gray*
#219 Lorenzo Cain*
#70 Leonys Martin*
#175 Gregory Polanco

That De Leon card is a beaut! I love the cloudy sky backdrop. Nicely done artwork! The rest of this pack was a letdown. The asterisks next to the names here represent the doubles from this jumbo pack. I would have expected better collation here.

Green Parallels

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen - Green Border #219 Lorenzo Cain
Also Got:
#257 Addison Russell
#127 Yoenis Cespedes
#69 Randal Grichuk
#210 Adam Jones

Here we have the third card of Lorenzo Cain! 3 out of 23 total cards is a little odd, but at least it's a parallel. I like the green borders quite a bit. It emphasizes the border art very well.

Overall, I like the set. I may not buy another pack unless it hit clearance price, but a worthy add to the collection.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Valley League All-Stars

When you think about collegiate summer baseball leagues, most people think of the Cape Cod league, which is the gold standard and often showcases a lot of future MLB talent. When I moved down to Virginia 12 years ago, I was introduced to the Shenandoah Valley Baseball League. I don't get to watch as many games as I'd like, but I enjoy seeing the success many of them have as they move on to the Majors. As of this writing, there are 25 VBL alumni who have played a game this year. Three of them have recently been elected to play in tonight's MLB All-Star game.

I'm going to write about each of these players, and showcase what limited cards of theirs I have. First up is Oakland A's first baseman Yonder Alonso:

Yonder played for the Luray Wranglers in the summer of 2006. At the time, he was a coming off his freshman year at the University of Miami, and an appearance in the College World Series. Yonder made his MLB debut with the Cincinati Reds in 2010. He will be represent the Oakland Athletics as their sole representative. This is his first All-Star selection.

2016 Topps Update #US36 Yonder Alonso

Luray Wranglers
Chris Devenski played for the Woodstock River Bandits in 2011. Chris made his Major League debut last year, and has become an indispensable member of the Houston Astro's bullpen. He was selected to his first All-Star game this year as a replacement for a starter who pitched Sunday and could not participate.

2016 Topps Update #US270 (RC)

Woodstock River Bandits

As a 3 time All-Star, a Silver Slugger, and  the 2015 NLCS MVP, Daniel Murphy has had the most decorated career thus far among current Valley League Alums. Like Yonder Alonso, he also played for the Luray Wranglers. Daniel actually spent two summers playing down here, in 2004 and 2005. Daniel started his Major League career with the New York Mets in 2008. His career took off with his first All-Star selection in 2014, and his MVP performance in the 2015 NLCS made him one of the most sought after free agents from that off-season. He will be the starting second baseman for the NL squad this year, representing the Washington Nationals.

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen #96 Daniel Murphy

Luray Wranglers

Congrats to these 3 VBL Alums! I'll be rooting for each of you!

Monday, July 10, 2017

SEC - Bracket Match Up #8

No one likes ugly red border! Read all about it!

I'm not surprised no one voted for the ugly Donruss border. It doesn't bode well for another card that will be coming up later in the tournament.

I randomized how the cards were seeded within the bracket, so I'm amused when two cards with obvious similarities still end up pairing off. This match up is for all you Royals fans out there:

1987 Topps #170 Bo Jackson (RC, FS)
1972 Kellogg's #2 Amos Otis

The Case for Bo Jackson: The '87 Topps design is iconic, and this is the rookie cards of one of the era's iconic athletes. Bo knows you'll vote for him!

The Case for Amos Otis: This scan doesn't really do this card justice. It's a great 3D card, and one of the better oddball sets of the 70s. Amos Otis was no slouch of a ballplayer either!

This is an interesting one. I think an persuasive argument can be made for either one. Let's here your thoughts! Vote away!

Friday, July 7, 2017

SEC - Bracket Matchup #7

Extra! Extra! Rickey still the greatest!

The lone football card has been vanquished and baseball is all that remains, as it should be...

On to our next competitors!

1990 Donruss #6 Dave Stewart DK
1955 Bowman #9 Gil McDougald

The Case for Dave Stewart: It's a Diamond King! Everyone loves Diamond Kings! Stewart was a linchpin for that A's powerhouse back in the late eighties/early nineties. One of the best intimidating stares in the business.

The Case for Gil McDougald: The original wood-grained card, this is just classic - back in the day when Color TV was exciting enough to be notated!

I have a suspicion as to who might win this one, but it's not about what I think! Show me who you love, blog readers!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th!

Just a quick little post to wish everyone a Happy Independence Day!

Repack Haiku #7 (Rick Ferrell)

Hall of Fame Red Sox
Liked this set since I saw it
on Santa Lot blog

2005 Upper Deck Classics #82 Rick Ferrell

So far in my repack, I've written haiku about a Farrell and a Ferrell, both with Red Sox connections. I had never heard of this set until I started reading other baseball card blogs. Particularly, I see this set often on the blog CrazieJoe's Card Corner. It's a beautiful set, and if I had to pick one card from the set to own, it would probably be this one. This card alone made the repack a win for me!

Monday, July 3, 2017

SEC - Bracket Match Up #6

Smoky burns Bob! Read all about it!

I am not a Trekkie, but how could I resist?:

Bob Gibson must have had a similar reaction after being smoked by Smokey. "The Weiner The World Awaited" moves on!

If you have a need for speed, then you'll like this match-up!

2006 Bowman Sterling #BS-LE Lee Evans (MEM)
1980 Topps #482 Rickey Henderson (RC)

The Case for Lee Evans: If you like football more than baseball, this is the only non-baseball card in the tournament. It's a really good looking card, with a perfectly white swatch of fabric.

The Case for Rickey Henderson: The rookie card of the greatest leadoff hitter of all time. 'Nuff said.

Let the voting commence! Leave a comment and let me know your pick!