Monday, April 28, 2014

Taking the Plunge with Matt at Bob Walk the Plank

I had recently begun working on a new set, the  '13 Topps Gypsy Queen Minis, and much to my luck, a great new blogger named Matt at Bob Walk the Plank had recently opened up a box. I took the plunge and made contact with Matt asking if he might possibly have any of my wants. Matt graciously sent back 7 of my remaining set needs.

As I'm working on the set, any missing card is nice to get, but it's always great to add a new Mike Trout and Babe Ruth card to the collection, not to mention Mariano Rivera.

Matt was kind enough to also offer up a Garrett Richards Gypsy Queen autograph. Anyone who watched the Sunday night Angels game against the Yankees knows that Richards has some nasty stuff.

As a surprise, Matt also added this Flair autograph of Casey Kotchman. Kotchman was having his best season for the Angels in 2008 when he was traded to the Braves at the deadline for Mark Teixeira. When Tex signed with the Yankees that offseason, the Angels netted the Yankees first round pick as compensation which as most people know turned out to be... Mike Trout. Yeah, I think that turned out ok in the end for the Angels.

Thanks again to Matt for the set help and extra goodies.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

2000 Peoria Chiefs

As I have previously mentioned, I like to collect the local kids from Southern California. In the 1998 MLB Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals selected Tim Lemon in the second round out of La Mirada High. The previous fall, I had covered Lemon's exploits on the gridiron and that spring, I watched the toolsy Lemon on the baseball diamond. I figured he would be a cool player to track, follow, and collect. After a couple of years in Short Season ball, Lemon moved up to Low-A Peoria in 2000. (Lemon would play 7 years in the minors never getting out of High-A, and was even converted to a pitcher in 2004)

The Chiefs offered an internet broadcast of their games that season, and I remember listening to many a game in the afternoon. What I remember most about those games was a totally unknown hitter on the Chiefs by the name of Albert Pujols. I had never heard of him before which wasn't surprising since he didn't appear in the minors in 1999. Heck, in looking at the 2000 Baseball America Almanac, he is listed as Jose Pujols.

Pujols seemed to have an exceptional batting eye and had a knack for driving in runs, a sign of what was to come. He was promoted to High-A before the year was over and went on to win the Rookie of the Year with the Cardinals the following year. The rest, as they say, is history, or historic in Pujols' case. Congratulations Albert on hitting your 500th homerun tonight; I'll always remember those humble beginnings with the Peoria Chiefs.


Friday, April 18, 2014

1993 Upper Deck Mike Perez - Huh?

Over the weekend, I got my hands on a couple of 5,000 ct. boxes of 90's cards. Sure, these cards were mass produced, but they now make for great IP autograph opportunities. Plus, I never really appreciated the photography and the cards themselves back in the day.  

While sifting through the 1993 Upper Deck, one particular card struck me, #204 Mike Perez. On the surface, he is signing a baseball card, a common theme for Upper Deck that year. But if you look closer at the card, the image on the card is of the actual baseball card itself. WEIRD. And this was done in the early 90s, where the only photoshopping I thought existed was shabby ballcaps on players who changed teams. Anyways, the name Mike Perez had never meant much to me, and though the card is nothing more than a common in terms of value, in terms of uniqueness, it is definitely one of a kind.