Friday, June 11, 2021

Bo Knocks A Needs List Into Single Digits

A nice quick post today. Bo (Baseball Cards Come To Life!) generously sent along a few cards from the 1992 O-Pee-Chee Premier set. I recently listed this set on my So Close page, and Bo basically cut the list in half:
 

 
In doing so, I now have 180 out of the 188 cards needed to finish this set! Only 8 cards to go! Thanks Bo!

Favorite Card: Lofton's card is giving off a strong Willie Mays Hayes vibe. I'm digging it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Repack Haiku #208 (Dennis Boyd)

"Oil" in his nickname
From cup he drank whiskey from
Not slang term for beer

1990 Score #137 Dennis Boyd
 
There is a common misconception that his nickname "Oil Can" refers a southern slang term for beer. Boyd has stated that this isn't true, and that he got the nickname as a kid for drinking homemade whiskey from an oil can.

Monday, June 7, 2021

OK Wal-Mart, Now You're Just Messing With Me

We begin this tale like many other tales...recent trip to Wal-Mart...checked the card isle...yada yada yada.

In this age of retail scarcity, I consider myself fortunate for the few packs here and there I have been able to acquire. So when I find cards, I'm grateful.

This time around, however, I didn't find any 2021 product. My local Wally World had about a dozen team sets from last year. Very odd. First of all, in the past few years, I've never seen team sets at Wal-Mart. (Usually I have to go to Target.) So it's unusual that these are at this particular store. Secondly, not once in my few travels last year did I see any team sets. It's not often a product makes its way to the shelves a year after its release.  It's all around a weird find. 

Of course I checked...only a few teams available: Cubs, a couple Brewers...ahh! There it is!
 
 
One more team set to add to the collection! A unusual find, but a happy one nonetheless! Thank goodness there are some products that the flippers won't touch!

Friday, June 4, 2021

Blog Bat-Around: Favorite Players A-Z

Sometimes I wonder why I make things more difficult than they have to be. On the heels of the A-Z Music Challenge, The Diamond King proposed an A-Z for favorite players. Coming up with some players should be easy, but then I thought to myself: chances are, most of the guys I pick are going to have ties to the Red Sox, so why not challenge myself to make the whole list just Red Sox guys? That thought was followed by: Well, what if I really challenged myself and made the list of guys that never played for the Red Sox? I also thought I'd be lazy and just hop on TCDB, look at my collection, and see which player for each letter is most represented in my collection. I couldn't decide, so I'm doing all three!


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Alfredo Aceves
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Hank Aaron
Player with the most cards in my collection - Roberto Alomar (70) 
 
Aceves was one of those memorable character types.  Aaron's legend speaks for itself.
 

B


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Ellis Burks
Favorite non-Red Sox player -  Harold Baines
Player with the most cards in my collection - Wade Boggs (214) 
 
Lot's of great Boston B's - Boggs, Betts, Bradley,  Beltre - in the end I went with one of my earliest childhood favorites. Whether you agree of disagree with his Hall of Fame status, few could deny the fact Baines was one heck of a hitter.


C


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Roger Clemens
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Roberto Clemente
Player with the most cards in my collection - Roger Clemens (278) 
 
Clemens was my first real "favorite player" growing up. Clemente's legacy speaks as loudly as Aaron's.
 

D


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Rafael Devers
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Dave Dravecky
Player with the most cards in my collection - Andre Dawson (99)
 
Raffy has been such a fun player to watch. Dravecky's cancer comeback was an inspiration.


E


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Dwight Evans
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Edwin Encarnacion
Player with the most cards in my collection - Dwight Evans (87)
 
Dewey should have never spent that one season as an Oriole. Encarnacion is another fun player and I enjoy his parrot wing when he hits home runs.
 

F


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Carlton Fisk
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Terry Francona
Player with the most cards in my collection - Carlton Fisk (89)
 
I will never tire of seeing Fisk wave that ball fair. Francona is a bit of a cheat - never played for the Red Sox, just led them to two World Series Championships.


G


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Mike Greenwell
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Ken Griffey Jr
Player with the most cards in my collection  - Mike Greenwell (105)
 
Along with Burks, Greenwell was part of a young core of players that came up together. Griffey was an easy choice for non-Red Sox player.
 

H


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Brock Holt
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Orel Hershiser
Player with the most cards in my collection - Rickey Henderson (100)
 
The "Brock Star" was a fan favorite and the only player to hit for the cycle in a postseason game. Hershiser was from Western New York (Buffalo) and that close proximity to me made it easy to cheer him on.


I


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Jose Iglesias
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Brandon Inge
Player with the most cards in my collection - Pete Incaviglia (38)
 
I remember when Iglesias first came up he was predicted to be a future Gold Glove winner. Brandon Inge played in the local collegiate summer league down here in Virginia.

J


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Fergie Jenkins
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Adam Jones
Player with the most cards in my collection - Wally Joyner (67)
 
Jenkins was probably the only real choice for Red Sox player. Jones was fun to watch, even when he was going against the Red Sox.
 

K


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Craig Kimbrel
Favorite non-Red Sox player - John Kruk
Player with the most cards in my collection - John Kruk (43)
 
Kimbrel was a dominating closer who looks like he may be back on that hall of Fame path. I'll never forget Kruk's at bat against Randy Johnson in the All-Star game.


L


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Mike Lowell
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Kenny Lofton
Player with the most cards in my collection - Barry Larkin (68)
 
Mike Lowell also played in the Shenandoah Valley Summer League, for my home town too (Waynesboro) . Kenny Lofton didn't get the Hall of Fame recognition he deserved.


M


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Pedro Martinez
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Fred McGriff
Player with the most cards in my collection - Don Mattingly (94)
 
Pedro's starts were must watch TV. I read recently that McGriff  admitted he never watched that Tom Emansky video.


N


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Daniel Nava
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Phil Niekro
Player with the most cards in my collection - Matt Nokes (41)
 
I love Nava's quest to the Major Leagues - it has all the makings of a Disney feel-good movie. Niekro was someone I grew to appreciate more over the past few years.


O


 
Favorite Red Sox player - David Ortiz
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Shohei Ohtani
Player with the most cards in my collection - David Ortiz (72)
 
Big Papi was the obvious choice here. Ohtani is having a phenomenal year.


P


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Dustin Pedroia
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Kirby Puckett
Player with the most cards in my collection - Kirby Puckett (97)
 
Pedey and Puckett - two guys small in stature but larger than life on the field.


Q


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Carlos Quintana
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Dan Quisenberry
Player with the most cards in my collection - Carlos Quintana (35)
 
Quintana was the regular Red Sox first baseman for a number of years who was never the same after a car accident. Quisenberry is the most recognizable name among the Q's.


R


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Manny Ramirez
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Cal Ripken Jr.
Player with the most cards in my collection - Nolan Ryan (286)
 
Manny was a half goofball/half malcontent hitting savant. Ripken was pretty much the opposite in personality/professionalism.


S


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Chris Sale
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Max Scherzer
Player with the most cards in my collection - Ryne Sandberg (110)
 
Sale and Scherzer are two of the most dominating pitchers in the game today. We may very well see both in the Hall of Fame.


T


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Luis Tiant
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Fernando Tatis Jr
Player with the most cards in my collection - Alan Trammel (74)
 
Tiant was the first Red Sox player I ever got an in-person autograph from. Tatis seems to be doing something highlight reel worthy every night.


U


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Koji Uehara
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Bob Uecker
Player with the most cards in my collection - Jose Uribe (35)
 
Still amazing that Uehara wasn't the closer on that magical 2013 team until mid-way through the year - his numbers were insane! Uecker is a fave more for his "Major League" and "Mr. Belvadere" acting credits.


V


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Mo Vaughn
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Joey Votto
Player with the most cards in my collection - Frank Viola (74)
 
I don't recall many big power hitters on the Red Sox teams of my youth, I think Vaughn was the first. Not a lot of V choices, so I went with Votto.
 

W


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Tim Wakefield
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Turk Wendell
Player with the most cards in my collection - Dave Winfield (91)
 
That's right - a Red Sox fan who picked the knuckleballer over Ted Williams. What can I say, it helps if I was alive and able to watch a guy play. The sport needs more characters likes the line-jumping, teeth brushing Wendall.


X


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Xander Bogaerts
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Xavier Hernandez
Player with the most cards in my collection - Xander Bogaerts (46)
 
According to Baseball Reference, not a single player in history has played in the majors with a last name starting with X. I'll take that as an excuse to highlight one of the best shortstops in the game today! Hernandez gets the other spot due to the fact I heard of him.


Y


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Carl Yastrzemski
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Christian Yelich
Player with the most cards in my collection  - Carl Yastrzemski (96)
 
I almost did it again, picking Kevin Youkalis over Yaz, but I have so many great cards of Yaz I had to pick him. Yelich signed a card  TTM for me years ago and I've followed his career more because of it.


Z


 
Favorite Red Sox player - Bob Zupcic
Favorite non-Red Sox player - Ryan Zimmerman
Player with the most cards in my collection - Todd Zeile (24)
 
This card is what most people remember Zupcic for. Zimmerman is a University of Virginia alum. Go Wahoos!

There you go! This was fun, if not slightly maddening. I hope you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Repack Haiku #207 (Jim Deshaies)

 
Still holds this record
Jacob deGrom would tie it 
During rookie year
 
1987 Topps #2 Jim Deshaies (RB)
 

Monday, May 31, 2021

TCDB Trade Recap: Cards From Essex, MD

Happy Memorial Day! Usually when I propose a trade on the TCDB, I'll include more cards than I'm asking for. This help me clear out doubles, offers an added enticement for the other guy to accept, and eases my anxiety about not offering a fair trade. I'm not use to being the one to get the larger quantity of cards, but when Eric proposed a 5-for-1 trade, I was happy to accept. One of the few Heritage doubles I've managed to acquire this year went to Maryland, in exchange for a quintet of cards from the first year of Topps Big League:
 
 
Favorite Card: I once dressed up as a Green Monster for Halloween, so yeah the iconic left field wall wins the day!

Thanks for the cards Eric!

Friday, May 28, 2021

Payday Pack - Clearer Skies Ahead

Today's Payday Pack isn't about showing off the best cards from a pack. Rather, it's a story of hope. The hobby is a little crazy right now, has been since the pandemic began. Card flippers are dominating so much that major retail chains are pulling product from their shelves. Some days it's hard to know what will become of the hobby we all love. I'm hear to tell you, through the magic of 2021 Topps Heritage, that no matter how bad things may seem, there will be better days ahead:
 

3rd Place

2021 Topps Heritage #112 Ryan Yarbrough
 
Dark clouds always seem to last longer than they should. Long enough to postpone things we had planned in life, things we genuinely enjoy. Sometimes all you can do is wait it out.
 

2nd Place

2021 Topps Heritage #161 Dexter Fowler
 
But those clouds are never permanent. Behind them, the blue sky always forces it way through. That is when hope first appears, and we can allow ourselves to relax a little and smile.
 

1st Place

2021 Topps Heritage #66 Asdrubal Cabrera
 
There will be brighter days soon. Be ready to play.
 
Other Contestants Not Appearing On Stage:
#297 Jose Ramirez
#116 Tommy Milone
#180 Joey Gallo (IA)
#301 Blue Jays Rookie Stars (Pearson/Hatch)
#149 Ryan Mountcastle (BP)
#360 American League Rookie Stars (Houck/Huff)
#148 Spencer Howard (BP)
#474 Josh Reddick (SP)
#390 Jake Cave
#156 Justin Turner
#259 Lane Thomas
#137 Fernando Tatis Jr
#214 Chris Bassitt
#243 Tim Anderson
#82 Rafael Montero
#86 2020 AL Batting Leaders (LeMahieu/Anderson/Fletcher)
#389 Jeimer Candelario
#112 Ryan Yarbrough