Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Repack Haiku #222 (Danny Espinosa)

Dad was Mantle fan
Taught son switch hitting at 3
Mustache Hall of Fame
2015 Topps #331 Danny Espinosa
I think this may be the first time I based a haiku off trivia pulled directly from the card itself. As for the mustache comment, Espinosa grew an impressive one:

Monday, September 13, 2021

TCDB Trade Recap: Cards From Henderson, NV

When I propose trades on the TCDB, I'll try to do a 12-for-9 trade. I'll gladly unload a dozen of my base set dupes and try to pick out 9 for the trade partner to send back. It's a little extra incentive to accept, and I clear out more cards. Today's trade comes from Clark, who was nice enough to send these along.

Nomar, Sale, Godley, and Varitek were Red Sox needs. To fill out my nine, I picked up an extra copy of the Fenway Park card (I think it'll be good to have extras if I want to try a TTM auto request.) plus some Stadium Club. You can't go wrong with Stadium Club.
Favorite Card: I'm not a big fan of Allen & Ginter, but last year's Field Generals inserts were very cool, and the Jason Varitek has been in my crosshairs for awhile now.

Thanks for the cards, Clark!

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Top 5 Hall Of Fame: Derek Jeter

One would think that as a Red Sox fan who has witnessed Derek Jeter be a thorn in Boston's side time and again, that I would have a difficult time selecting 5 cards that I like featuring Captain Re2pect(*TM) November. But the truth is, I found this task quite easy. Despite the fact I never accepted him as my Lord and Savior, I found that there are many different qualities in his cards that I enjoy. Finishing off my Hall of Fame tributes, here are a chronological listing of the best Jetes in my collection:

1993 Select #360

I like Derek Jeter cards where the generic blue sky background makes it look more like he's squatting than jumping.

1995 Upper Deck Minors #1

I like Derek Jeter cards that don't show him in those obnoxious pinstripes.

2010 Topps #269

I like Derek Jeter cards that don't show his face.

2012 Panini Triple Play #57

I like Derek Jeter cards that make him look an old man in some obscure anime cartoon.

2015 Topps #1

I like Derek Jeter's sunset card because it reminds me I don't have to watch him play in the field anymore.

Congrats, Mr. Jeter. Nomar at his peak was better...

Still remembering after 20 years

Friday, September 10, 2021

Top 5 Hall Of Fame: Ted Simmons

I continue with my Hall of Fame celebration with Veteran's Committee selection Ted Simmons. I don't have a lot of his cards, but I have enough to do a proper Top 5 list. Here are my 5 favorite Ted Simmons cards in my collection:

1977 Topps #470

My earliest card is also probably my favorite.  It's all about the gear and uniform. On his shoulder, you get a good look at the National League Centennial patch worn throughout the league. You see a great great pillbox style hat nestled in his catching mask. That mask and chest plate wouldn't do much against today's 100mph pitches, would they?

1978 Topps #380

Remember when Tim Raines' Hall candidacy was gaining traction, and it was repeated that he suffered because he played in the same era as the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history? Raines had nothing on poor Ted Simmons. He played under the shadow of 3 of the greatest catchers ever - first Bench, then Fisk and Carter. No wonder he didn't get much love on the Hall ballot. Compared to these guys, he was often overlooked.

1981 Topps #705

I love cards where you can see all the action in the background.

1984 Topps #630 

I fully admit Ted Simmons was one of those players I didn't give much thought to when I was a kid collecting cards. By the mid-late 80's, he was on the down portion of his career. He was just another veteran who had a long career.

1988 Topps #791 

When he retired after the 1988 season, he was first among all catchers in hits (now surpassed only by Ivan Rodriguez) and second only to Yogi Berra in RBI. Not bad for a guy that got out-shined by the Bench/Fisk/Carter trio.

Welcome to the Hall of Fame, Mr. Simmons!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Top 5 Hall Of Fame: Larry Walker

I'm not going to lie, the Hall of Fame induction ceremony snuck up on me. I guess that can be expected when the 2020 ceremonies get postponed due to Covid-19, then no new inductees get elected this year, and the 2020 inductees finally get their time to shine not in July but September. Here's hoping next year returns to normal. In the past, I've honored each new Hall of Famer with a Top 5 list of favorite cards in my collection. We'll kick things off with only the second Canadian to be elected. I present to you my 5 favorite cards of Larry Walker (in chronological order):

1990 Bowman #117

In a rare collecting occurrence, I can boast having 5 different Larry Walker rookie cards in my collection (Bowman, Donruss, Fleer, Score, and Topps). The Bowman is my favorite of the bunch, mainly due to his 80's-style "Don't-confuse-me-for-Glenn-Davis" whisper of a mustache.

1993 SP #107 

Moises Alou is one of many outfielders who had to learn that if a 7-time Gold Glove winner says "I got it!", then you let him get it!

1994 Collector's Choice #286

I don't care if it's staged, it's still a fun shot and a great angle.

1995 Topps #422 

Hmmm...I wonder if this card was the inspiration for another well known card featuring a Montreal hall of Famer?

1997 Collector's Choice #98 

It's always fun to have cards of baseball players using non-baseball equipment. I wonder how his picture came out, especially since it looks like he's facing the sun...

Welcome to the Hall of Fame, Mr. Walker!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Repack Haiku #221 (Marvin Miller)

Should have entered Hall
Years ago when he still lived
Changed game forever
1994 Upper Deck Baseball:
The American Epic #74 Marvin Miller

I don't own any cards of Marvin Miller, so in honor of today's Hall of Fame induction ceremony, I present a special edition of Repack Haiku. Congrats on this long overdue honor, Mr. Miller.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Greatest Red Sox Cards By Year: Bunt/Big League*

I had so much fun listing the best Stadium Club Red Sox cards, I decided to do it again with another set. Well, two sets actually. Topps Big League has had some great cards, but it's only been around since 2018. Prior to that, Topps filled the void of "cards geared to kids" with a two year run of Bunt, which is still used as the name of their online app. Even though this year's Big League set hasn't come out yet (I think the release date is set for the 25th), I'm just going to go ahead list the best Red Sox card for each year of Topps Bunt/Big League sets!


Topps Bunt had a strong opening act with this simple design featuring a huge team logo. Ted Williams in black and white provides a great color contrast.
Honorable Mention: David Ortiz


Bunt got a lot more colorful the next year, and I personally like the use of red on the Boston cards. I gave the nod to Hanley because it's got action and I swear on first glance I thought his dreads were braided like a little school girl's hair...
Honorable Mention: Andrew Benintendi


So long Bunt, hello Big League! This set came out to near overwhelming acclaim, I beleive because Topps had denied us borders for so long that we got excited to see them again. This set had a lot of fun subsets, including these delightful Ballpark Landmarks. The Green Monster gets its due!
Honorable Mention: Mookie Betts


When I did my list of Greatest Red Sox Cards of 2019, Holt took the Bronze. In that post I wrote the following: "The quality of the photos has improved so much that you can see the details in each droplet. The Brock-Star's smile, along with that tensed up pose of someone who has just been exposed to something wet and cold, really brings this card to life!"
Honorable Mention: JD Martinez/Hank Aaron


Of the top of my head, I can't recall many "close play at first" action shots on cards. This photo was taken at a beautiful moment when both players are racing to the bag, and you really can't tell what the call was.

Honorable Mention:  Michael Chavis

Once I get a chance to peruse this year's set, maybe I'll amend this post and add a card. Hopefully, there will be a few gems!
* Did you get a sense of deja vu when reading this? If you did, I thank you, because you were one of  only 18 views this post got when I originally posted it 2 weeks ago! Two weeks ago was when the big news regarding Fanatics outbidding Topps for the MLB license first hit. This post here was the intended scheduled post for the day, but I wanted to write a post about the "big news" while it was still big news. (As opposed to my usual "talk about the latest set three weeks after it released and everyone else has posted about it and moved on" tendencies). So I whipped up a quick little article and posted it a mere 4 hours after this one went live. Turns out that doing so was a death knell for this article - 18 views, no comments. By contrast the other article had well above average views and comments. I decided to a little experiment and repost this one again, just to see if it would get the normal amount of views. I'm also curious to see if the original post suddenly gets a boost in views, or if just turns out my post wasn't worth the views to begin with. I hope you don't mind..