Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Repack Haiku #27 (Curt Schilling)

A shiny Schilling
The Phillies saved his career
Made him a starter

1998 Pinnacle Plus #81 Curt Schilling

Monday, November 27, 2017

SEC - Quarterfinals Match Up #4

Read all about it! Schacht doesn't clown around!

We've reached our last Quarterfinal pairing! Both of these cards have their own reason for being great, but only one gets a shot in the semifinals!

1968 Topps #532 Luis Tiant
1972 Kellogg's #2 Amos Otis

Luis Tiant
Bracket Round: defeated Mariano Rivera (1-0)
Sweet 16 Round: defeated Randy Johnson (2-2 tiebreaker)
Name Anagram: A Lint Suit

Amos Otis
Bracket Round: defeated Bo Jackson (1-1 tiebreaker)
Sweet 16 Round: defeated Terry Francona (1-1 tiebreaker)
Name Anagram: A Miss Too

As always, leave a comment with your vote, or vote on this TCDB thread!

Friday, November 24, 2017

To The Victor Goes The Spoils

I like playing fantasy baseball. I've played the free version from Yahoo for 17 years, and I'll usually play 3 or 4 teams every year. This past year, I was in a league with other members of the Trading Card Database. We collectively agreed to send the leader at the All-Star break, as well as the overall season winner, a few cards as a prize. Although I was in the bottom half of a 15 team league at the All-Star break, I was lucky enough to pull close among the Top 4 for most of the 2nd half. As the season wound down to the final two weeks, I found myself in a dogfight for first with two other players. When the smoke cleared, I had won! It was easily one of the most fun leagues I had ever been in.

Anyway, I wasn't holding any other player to sending me cards. The competition was fun enough. Still, a few collectors reached out to me for my address. Recently, I received my first batch of cards from TCDB member Charlot.

First, a couple of 1993 Upper Deck Red Sox cards. I love the Clemens/Viola card. I remember when Boston acquired Viola. I thought it gave them an amazing rotation.

Charlot is primarily a hockey card collector, and he was nice enough to send me a couple of cards of my favorite hockey team, the Buffalo Sabres. First off is former #1 draft pick Pierre Turgeon.

Here's the highlight of the batch - a vintage Sabres card from their first year of existence! I had to look up the unfamiliar Don Marshall - although he was only a Sabre for one season, he had a very good career, winning 5 Stanley Cups while playing with Montreal.

Thanks for the cards, Charlot!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Repack Haiku #26 (Ray Searage)

Former carpenter
Searage must have approved of
These wood grained borders

1987 Topps #149 Ray Searage

From the back of the card: "Ray lists scuba diving and fishing among his favorite pastimes. He has worked as carpenter."

Monday, November 20, 2017

SEC - Quarterfinals Match Up #3

Henderson swipes another victory!

It's time to go old-school! We have a vintage card against a card using a vintage photo! Which old-timer will win?

1987 Conlon World Wide Sports Series 2 #9 Al Schacht
1955 Bowman #9 Gil McDougald

Al Schacht
Bracket Round: defeated William O'Leary (1-1 Tie Breaker)
Sweet 16 Round: defeated the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox (3-1)
Name Anagram: Cash Latch

Gil McDougald
Bracket Round: defeated Dave Stewart (3-0)
Sweet 16 Round: defeated Ken Griffey Jr (3-2)
Name Anagram: Dull Magic God

Vote now to help decide who gets to advance! Comment with you vote below or comment on this TCDB thread!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Payday Pack - A 50/50 shot

2017 Topps Update

Looking at the checklist,  there really wasn't much for me to get excited about here. I like the All-Star cards, and outside of the 3 Red Sox that made the team, there isn't much I would really shoot for. I probably won't buy any more of these unless they go on clearance next year. That being said, here are the cards that stood out to me:

Honorable Mention

2017 Topps Update - Mother's Day Pink #US73 Jason Grilli

Getting a serial numbered card is always cool. Getting a short number is cooler. Getting this one is pretty awesome only because of the back:

OK, not a great close-up, but trust me, it says 50/50!

A 50/50! I don't know if people collect these like they do Christmas cards, but I thought it was memorable!

3rd Place

2017 Topps Update #US132 Dallas Keuchel (ASG)

That hat alone earns him a place among my Top 3!

2nd Place

2017 Topps Update #US25 Christian Arroyo (RC)

Most of the cards I got featured the same boring shots - batters batting, pitchers pitching, and runners running. This is a great close up shot of an infielder tracking a ball by looking over the shoulder.

1st Place

2017 Topps Update #US90b - Derek Fisher (RC)

The rookie card of a former UVa Cavalier would have been enough to earn the top spot, but this is a short print and a great photo too! I love how it looks like a disembodied hand is about tap him on the elbow...

Also New To My Collection:

#US126 Austin Slater (RC)
#US182 Jaime Garcia
#US264 Boog Powell (RC)
#US12 Lisalverto Bonilla
#US289 Sam Travis (RC)
#US262 Fernando Salas
#US273 Dwight Smith (RC)
#US53 Barrett Astin (RC)
#US97 Alexi Amarista
#US70 Josh Reddick
#US61 Matt Szczur
#US4 Matt Chapman (RC)
#US43 Joey Votto (ASG)
#US47 Yadier Molina (ASG)
#U-5 Roy Halladay (Untouchables insert)
#PC-15 Kansas City Royals (Postseason Celebration insert)
#SWS-11 1995 Atlanta Braves (Storied World Series insert)
#US176 History Makers
#US251 Daniel Descalso
#US287 Mark Leiter Jr (RC)
#US19 Eric Skoglund (RC)
#US110 Corey Seager (ASG)
#US11 Gary Sanchez (HRD)
#US113 Franklin Barreto (RD)
#US227 Trey Mancini (RD)
#US215 Joe Jimenez (RC)
#US259 Tyler Austin (RD)
#US130 Zack Greinke (ASG)
#US158 Phillip Ervin (RC)
#US63 Andrew Cashner
#129 Brooks Pounders
#US92 Anthony Alford (RC)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Package from Scribbled Ink

Paul from Paul's TTM Blog recently hit his 100th post, and decided to commemorate the occasion by changing his blog name. After inviting many good suggestions, he rechristened his blog "Scribbled Ink". (If you haven't already, go check it out!)

Paul was nice enough to send a thank you package out to those who offered suggestions. Even though my suggestion didn't get used, he sent along some good stuff:

I wasn't expecting this from a Tigers fan!

Starting off with the non-card contents, Paul included some Brewers swag - a beaded necklace and a promotional DVD from the Brewers 2010 season. I actually looked up to see what kind of season this team had. For a 3rd place team, they had 3 guys reach 100 RBI! (Ryan Braun is the given, can you name the other two without looking it up? I'll reveal the answer at the end of this post.)

Intersting..Ichiro does better with the change-up than Ruth?

Paul also included some cards from the short-lived 2010 Topps Attax card game. The two Champions cards are promos. Not bad, even if they are Yankees! I never played the game personally. From reviews I have read, it was just an over-glorified version of the game War.

He also include an autographed card of former Phillies Prospect Jiwan James, and an unopened pack of 1990 Topps Big. I can make out the top card as former A's pitcher Rick Honeycutt, but I'll open the pack later to see who else I ended up with.

The highlight of the package was a mint graded 2005 Donruss David Wright Rated Rookie. This just happens to be my first graded card, which is pretty cool. Wright was on the fast track to Cooperstown before injuries derailed him. He seems like an easy guy to root for, so hopefully he can make it back someday.

Thanks again for the package Paul!

Everyone else, be sure to check out the new and improved Scribbled Ink at: (Notice the web address uses a "c" and not a "k"!)

Brewers Trivia Answer: Corey Hart and Casey McGehee

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Repack Haiku #25 (Vance Law)

Via Montreal
He arrived to Chicago
Vance lays down the Law

1988 Topps Traded #60T Vance Law

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bobby Doerr

3 Things I can tell you about Bobby Doerr, who passed away today at the age of 99:

1) He made a 14 hour drive to Florida fly by.

My father-in-law, our friend, and I have made the drive from Virginia to Florida numerous times to catch a few Spring Training games. On one of these occasions, I brought along the book "The Teammates" by David Halberstam. It tells the story of the lifelong friendship between Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio, and Doerr. Ironically, it itself is a road trip book - Pesky and DiMaggio traveling to see an ailing Williams one last time (Doerr was unable to make the journey). It was a great read, and I finished the book before we hit Florida.

 2) He made me tear up once.

One of the last times Doerr visited Fenway Park was when the Red Sox celebrated Fenway's 100th Anniversary. As they announced past Red Sox players, they saved two of the most revered  for the end. Bobby Doerr (along with his good friend Johnny Pesky) were in wheelchairs, escorted by Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek. It was one of those moment where you knew you may be seeing these guys for the last time. It was a goodbye of sorts, and I'll admit, it made me a little sad.

3) He's the one Ebay purchase I remember.

I've been away from the hobby for so long, I haven't bought any baseball cards off of Ebay in almost 20 years. So long ago that I can't remember anything I purchased, save one card. It was an impulse buy, one of those times where I saw a great card at a reasonable price and went for it. When I got it, I was amazed to have this autograph from a Red Sox legend:

Rest in Peace, Mr Doerr

Monday, November 13, 2017

SEC - Quarterfinals Match Up #2

Extra! Banks moves on to Semifinals!

I'm interested in seeing how this week's match-up plays out. On one hand, Rickey's rookie is an iconic card and definitely the more valuable. However, it terms of photography and card design, the McCutchen has the advantage. It is truly a great looking card.

2015 Topps Pittsburgh Pirates #PIP-1 Andrew McCutchen
1980 Topps #482 Rickey Henderson (RC)

Andrew McCutchen
Bracket Round: defeated Dustin Pedroia (3-1)
Sweet 16 round: defeated Roger Clemens (5-3)
Name Anagram: Mr Chanced New Cut (fitting given he cut off his famous dreads...)

Rickey Henderson
Bracket Round: defeated Lee Evans (1-0)
Sweet 16 Round: defeated Paul Molitor (3-2)
Name Anagram: Skinny Hero Creed

It's time to vote! Which is the better card? Comment below with your vote (or vote on the TCDB thread here! I'll count that too!)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Trade #1 - The First Of Many?

I've finally opened that door - I've completed my first real online trade. Awhile back, Robert from $30 A Week Habit posted about some 2017 Donruss Optic cards he had opened. Ironically, I too had recently bought a pack, and offered up a straight one-for-one trade of players from our respective favorite teams. In exchange for a shiny parallel of Josh Donaldson, I got to add this to my collection:

2017 Donruss Optic - Purple #4 Chris Sale (DK)

This is my first card of Sale in a Red Sox uniform (Well, OK, represented as being a member of the Red Sox is more like it...) I like the head shot here - I almost wish I knew what he was saying at that moment.

I've always had a fondness for Donruss Diamond Kings. However, I wish they would go back to using artistic drawings like from the Perez Steele heyday. This just looks like standard issue insert. It has no personality, nothing to truly set it apart from the rest of the set. Since Panini doesn't have an MLB license, they should try and recapture those glory days when possible.

So, there it is, my first trade. I'll just throw it out there - if you see anything on my blog that you want/need, then let me know. I don't have any real want lists or collecting goals (I should work on that), so I'm pretty flexible when it comes to return packages. Red Sox are always welcome!

If you're on the Trading Card Database, you can message me (User Name: Kep75) or contact me through my blog!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Top 3: Roy Halladay

Like most baseball fans, I am saddened by the news of the tragic accident that claimed the life of former pitcher Roy Halladay. With the majority of his career as a member of the Blue Jays, he was a constant thorn in the side of the Boston Red Sox. I hated when my team had to face him! He commanded respect, however, and you knew you were watching one of the greats of the game.

Here are the Top 3 Roy Halladay cards in my collection:

 2012 Panini Triple Play #62

My initial plan was to do a Top 5 of cards I own. Unfortunately, Halladay pitched when I was not actively collecting. My choices were not the best. According to the TCDB, I actually have 7 cards featuring Halladay, but 1 is a League leaders cards he shares with 3 other players, one is a 2012 Topps Golden Giveaway Code card, and 3 come from the dreaded 2012 Panini Triple Play set (2 of them being *gag* puzzle cards). That leaves 2 decent cards, plus this one. Not the best representation for a player tribute.

2017 Topps Update - Untouchables #U-5

Fortunately, I happened to pick up this card recently with a pack of 2017 Topps Update I bought. Twenty career shutouts, including two no-hitters - yeah, that's the definition of untouchable.

2014 Topps #565

2014 Topps #565 Roy Halladay (back)

The lone base card I have of "Doc". Fittingly, it's his sunset card. If Topps wants to know why incomplete career stats are a bad thing, all they have to do is look at the sunset card of an All-time great. Wow, what a career!

Hopefully by the time he is inducted into the Hall of Fame, I'll acquire some more cards and do a proper Top 5. (I keep hearing he'll be on the 2019 ballot, but don't they make exceptions when a player dies before his 5 year waiting period is up? I thought they did that with Kirby Puckett.)

R.I.P. Roy Halladay.

Repack Haiku #24 (Tommy John)

Famous surgery
Overshadowed the career
Of real good pitcher

1986 Fleer Update #U-57 Tommy John

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Blog Bataround: 6 Degrees

Collecting Cutch challenged his fellow bloggers to play the game "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon" connecting a favorite player to the well known actor.

I chose Mookie Betts, and I have to say it turned into a great chain! Lots of star power here!

Mookie Betts played with David Ortiz.

2015 Topps #389a Mookie Betts
2015 Topps #500 David Ortiz

David Ortiz played with Ellis Burks.

2004 Topps #623 David Ortiz

2004 Topps #541 Ellis Burks

Ellis Burks played with Roger Clemens.

1988 Topps #269 Ellis Burks
1988 Topps #70 Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens appeared in the movie "Cobb" starring Tommy Lee Jones.

Tommy Lee Jones starred in "JFK" with Kevin Bacon!

5 degrees of separation!

Monday, November 6, 2017

SEC - Quarterfinals Match Up #1

Read all about it! Amos advances!

Two rounds have come and gone! We've separated the wheat from the chaff, and now it's time to pit the heavyweights against each other. Let the Quarterfinals begin!

We start things off with 2 oddball sets depicting 2 Hall of Fame players. Both played in the Negro Leagues, although only one was given the chance to show their greatness as a Major Leaguer.

This week opening quarterfinal match-up:

1962 Auravision Records Ernie Banks
1989 Kahn's Cooperstown Collection "Cool Papa" Bell

Ernie Banks
Bracket Round: defeated Tim Wallach (4-1)
Sweet 16 Round: defeated Ozzie Guillen (3-0)
Name Anagram: Sneaker Bin

Cool Papa Bell
Bracket Round: defeated Roberto Alomar (2-0)
Sweet 16 Round: defeated Smoky Burgess (3-2)
Name Anagram: All Bloop Pace

Comment below and vote for your choice!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Payday Pack - Where There Is Smoke...

2017 Topps Fire

I read a few reviews on this set, and they've been mixed. Since I was in Target recently and their were only 2 packs left, I decided to grab one.

My personal opinion - They're OK. I find the designs a little too "busy" and most of the cards just look off, but there are some gems in here. As usual, I'll highlight my 3 favorites:

3rd place

2017 Topps Fire #121 Cody Bellinger (RC)

If you're only going to buy one pack of a product, getting a rookie card of one of the premiere rookies from this season is definitely a good pull. This is one of the examples of the color scheme really meshing well all around on a card. The use of grey for the player is excellently used here.

2nd Place

2017 Topps Fire - Golden Grabs Blue Chip #GG1 Anthony Rizzo

This is digitally created artwork. Amazing card.

1st Place

2017 Topps Fire - Orange #49 Bo Jackson

The base set "lightning cards" are not really that impressive. Throw some foil on there, however, and these cards transform! The lightning shimmers and practically crackles in your hand. I bet this is what the graphic designers had in mind when making these cards.

Also new to my collection:

#111 Tyler Glasnow RC
#162 Dansby Swanson RC
#122 Jose De Leon RC
#164 Braden Shipley RC
#WO-11 Mark Trumbo (Walk Off insert)
#99 Adrian Beltre (Blue Chip parallel)
#56 Nelson Cruz
#96 Ian Happ RC
#193 Jake Arrieta

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Congrats to the Astros!

Congratulations to the World Champion Houston Astros! You know you watched an epic Series when Game 7 turned out to be the least interesting game. It was an amazing battle between two very evenly matched teams, and you can only tip your hat to both teams and thank them for an amazing ride.

2017 Bowman #87 George Springer

Is it just me, or have the past few World Series been incredibly entertaining? Many (myself included) will regard this as one of the best Series ever. Funny thing is, many (myself included) said the same thing about last year's Series between the Cubs and Indians. Three of the past four World Series have gone to seven games. I don't know, it just seems like there is so much parity in the game right now that we end up with two teams that don't have any heavy advantages. That makes for great baseball!

I'm glad Houston won. Even though they easily dispatched my Red Sox in the ALDS, they are an easy team to root for. There are a lot of likeable players, and you have to be happy for most of them. Young guys like Carlos Correa and George Springer have what is hopefully the first of many rings, while 20 year vet Carlos Beltran finally gets one in what may be his final season.

2017 Stadium Club #143 Carlos Beltran

All you can ask as a fan is that the World Series entertains, and this one did a great job in that department. Live it up Astros fans - your team earned this one!

A few Astros signed this for me in 2015, including Springer and Correa.