Sunday, December 6, 2015

.10 Card Show Pickups

It's been almost half a year since I made a post, but a rare bounty at the card show this weekend has made me come out of hibernation. The deal was .25/card, or 10/$2. I looked through the first couple of boxes and found a couple of cards here or there, but nothing too exciting. I double checked the pricing and further down, it read 50/$5. Now you got my attention. I'm a sucker for numbered cards and odd inserts, so here is what I bought:

'15 Panini Diamond Kings Aficionado Yasiel Puig 2
'15 Panini Diamond Kings Aficionado Buster Posey 7
'15 Panini Diamond Kings DK Originals Rusney Castillo 14
'15 Panini Diamond Kings DK Originals Miguel Cabrera 16
'15 Panini Diamond Kings HOF Sluggers Cal Ripken 14
'15 Panini Diamond Kings Also Known As Nolan Ryan 1
'15 Panini Diamond Kings Also Known As Frank Thomas 2

'15 Panini Elite All-Star Salutes Robinson Cano 9
'15 Panini Elite All-Star Salutes Glenn Perkins 23
'15 Panini Elite Hype Byron Buxton 3
'15 Panini Elite Legends of the Fall 4 Tom Glavine
'15 Panini Elite Gold Stars Jose Canseco 23
'15 Panini Elite Joe Panik 118

'15 Topps Rainbow Foil Yonder Alonso 99
'15 Topps Rainbow Foil Anibal Sanchez 119
'15 Topps Rainbow Foil Greg Holland 216 (x2)
'15 Topps Rainbow Foil Brandon Belt 234
'15 Topps Rainbow Foil CJ Wilson 326
'15 Topps Rainbow Foil Tom Koehler 351
'15 Topps Rainbow Foil Aaron Hicks 457
'15 Topps 'Til It's Over Matt Cain TIO-12
'15 Topps Hot Streak David Cone HS-16
'15 Topps Highlight of the Year Nolan Ryan H-22
'15 Topps Highlight of the Year Cal Ripken H-27 (x2)
'15 Topps 1st Homerun Pablo Sandoval FHR-32

'15 Topps Spring Fever Manny Machado SF-9 (x3)
'15 Topps Gypsy Queen Gary Carter 320
'15 Topps Gypsy Queen Hoyt Wilhelm 315
'15 Topps Gypsy Queen Bronze Framed John Lackey 27 /499
'15 Topps Gypsy Queen Bronze Framed Nick Markakis 69 /499
'15 Topps Gypsy Queen Bronze Framed Yu Darvish 19 /499

'15 Topps Museum Collection Madison Bumgarner 29
'15 Topps Museum Collection Manny Machado 85
'15 Topps Museum Collection Copper Manny Machado 85
'15 Topps Museum Collection Brandon Belt 14
'15 Topps Museum Collection Jacob DeGrom 76
'14 Topps Archives 1968 Game Insert Buster Posey 8

'15 Stars & Stripes Kris Bryant 59
'15 Stars & Stripes Longevity Kris Bryant 59
'15 Stars & Stripes Longevity Alejandro Toral 5
'15 Stars & Stripes Diamond Kings Jesse Winker 16
'15 Stars & Stripes Diamond Kings JP Crawford 15
'15 Stars & Stripes Firewords Addison Russell 9

Odd to say the least that Kris Bryant cards were essentially in the dime box, but who am I to argue? The real question though is if anyone knows who is pictured on the JP Crawford card? I've watched JP since he was a freshman in High School and he bats left-handed and sports lots of tattoos. The batter in this card is a righty who is inkless. Any ideas?

'15 Donruss All-Time Diamond Kings Paul Molitor 30
'15 Donruss Studio Kennys Vargas 2
'15 Donruss Diamond Kings Nolan Arenado 9

'14 Topps Before They Were Great Joe DiMaggio BG-26
'14 Topps Before They Were Great Jimmie Foxx BG-23
'14 Topps Before They Were Great Jim Rice BG-17
'14 Topps Before They Were Great Mike Mussina BG-16

Universally regarded as some of the nicest inserts made by Topps in recent years. More cards like these please Topps.

'14 Topps Update Gold Chris Sale US277 /2014
'14 Topps Red Foil Jurickson Profar 18
'14 Topps Red Foil Miguel Cabrera 149
'14 Topps Gold Jon Niese 60 /2014
'14 Topps Mini Buster Posey TM-42
'14 Topps Mini Manny Machado TM-31

'14 Topps Opening Day Mascot Royals M-1
'14 Topps Opening Day Mascot Paws M-17


'14 Topps Opening Day Between Innings Hot Dog Cannon BI-5
'14 Topps Opening Day Between Innings Racing Presidents BI-1

I have a soft spot for mascot cards, and only knew of the Opening Day Mascot cards. When I saw mascots in another insert set, I had to get them.

'14 Topps Gypsy Queen Black Mini Kyle Lohse 119 /199
'14 Topps Gypsy Queen Mini Juan Marichal 43
'14 Stadium Club Matt Cain 66
'14 Panini Prizm Orange Die Cut Prizms Chris Johnson 121 /60
'14 Panini Prizm Orange Die Cut Prizms Chris Carter 130 /60
'14 Panini Prizm Red Prizms Colby Rasmus 110 /25
'14 Panini Prizm Red Prizms Ryan Zimmerman 16 /25
'14 Panini Prizm Purple Prizms Chris Carter 130 /99
'14 Panini Prizm Purple Prizms Victor Martinez 37 /99
'14 Panini Prizm 42 Prizms Carlos Santana 78 /42
'14 Panini Prizm Base Prizm Chris Sale 115
'14 Panini Prizm Base Prizm Bill Mazeroski 160
'14 Panini Classics Timeless Tributes Silver Nellie Fox 100 /149

'14 Donruss Xander Bogaerts 274
'14 Donruss Silver Press Proof Yonder Alonso 329 /199
'14 Donruss Silver Press Proof Yoenis Cespedes 155 /199
'14 Donruss Hall Worthy Todd Helton 8
'14 Bowman Platinum Toolsy Die-Cuts Jorge Alfaro TDC-JAL
'14 Bowman Draft Scouts Breakouts Chad Wallach BSB-CW

'13 Topps Update Gold Ross Ohlendorf US218 /2013
'13 Topps Update Gold Bryan Shaw US257 /2013

'13 Topps Archives Gold Ian Desmond 93 /199
'13 Topps Archives Gold Jon Jay 7 /199
'13 Topps Archives Mini Tall Boys Will Clark MT-WC

'13 Topps Archives Day Glow Orange Madison Bumgarner 129
'13 Topps Archives Day Glow Orange Angel Pagan 29
'13 Topps Archives Day Glow Orange Tom Seaver 82

Never had heard of these before, but after doing some research, these were apparently part of a one-week promotion that ran in Hobby Shops. If I had known this earlier, I would've snatched them all up.

'13 Topps Heritage Black Border RA Dickey 464
'13 Topps Heritage Black Border Jake Peavy 451
'13 Topps Heritage Black Border Fernando Rodney 183
'13 Topps Heritage Red Border Chase Headley 467
'13 Topps Heritage Aroldis Chapman 493
'13 Topps Heritage Chris Sale 455

'13 Topps Gypsy Queen White Framed Paper Mariano Rivera 86
'13 Topps Gypsy Queen Black Mini Miguel Gonzalez 312 /199

'13 Topps Blue Slate Gregor Blanco 651
'13 Topps Blue Slate Robinson Cano 612
'13 Topps Blue Slate Tim Hudson 448
'13 Topps Blue Slate Brett Wallace 538
'13 Topps Blue Slate Jason Castro 640
'13 Topps Blue Slate Madison Bumgarner 379
'13 Topps Blue Slate Matt Cain 587
'13 Topps Blue Slate Marco Scutaro 597

Another Topps Wrapper Redemption, these are nice looking cards in person. Would probably be nicer if I didn't drop them on the ground dinging the top left corner on most of them. Oh well, these things happen.

'13 Pinnacle Justin Morneau Artist's Proof 50
'13 Pinnacle Position Powers Giancarlo Stanton PP8

'13 Panini Cooperstown Blue Crystal Shard Al Kaline 75 /499
'13 Panini Cooperstown Red Crystal Shard Brooks Robinson 78 /399
'13 Bowman Blue Ben Revere 34 /500
'13 Allen Ginter Ozzie Smith 341
'13 Allen Ginter Adam Wainwright 342

'12 Topps Opening Day Blue Tim Hudson 93 /2012
'12 Topps Opening Day Blue James McDonald 34 /2012

'12 Topps Heritage Derek Jeter 20
'12 Topps Heritage Red Border David Price 277
'12 Topps Heritage Jonathan Sanchez 440
'12 Topps Heritage Jonny Venters 429
'12 Topps Heritage Carlos Zambrano 473
'12 Topps Heritage Jimmy Rollins 455
'12 Topps Heritage Ben Revere 470
'12 Topps Heritage Ichiro 491
'12 Topps Heritage Fautino De Los Santos 452
'12 Topps Gypsy Queen Glove Stories Jeff Francoeur GS-JF
'12 Topps Gold Sparkle Tim Hudson 58
'12 Topps Gold Sparkle Chris Sale 149

'12 Topps Allen Ginter Frank Robinson 325
'12 Topps Allen Ginter Baseball Highlight Sketches Ken Griffey JR BH-15
'12 Topps Allen Ginter Baseball Highlight Sketches Ozzie Smith BH-18
'12 Topps Factory Set Orange Koji Uehara 171 /190
'12 Topps Factory Set Orange Mike Minor 227 /190
'12 Topps Factory Set Orange Drew Stubb 375 /190

'12 Panini Cooperstown Crystal Collection Connie Mack 8 /299
'11 Topps Gold Neil Walker 245 /2011
'10 Topps Opening Day Mascot Blue Jays M24
'10 Bowman Chrome Topps 100 Prospects Carlos Santana TPC12 /999
'09 Upper Deck Gold Jeff Baker 113 /99

'08 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy Billy Martin 2560
'08 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy Tino Martinez 5852
'08 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy Gil McDougald 2866
'08 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy Wally Pipp 37
'08 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy Wally Pipp 41
'08 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy Herb Pennock 141
'08 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy Phil Rizzuto 1831
'08 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy Red Reffung 1329
'07 Topps Chrome Red Refractor Adrian Beltre 125 /99
'06 SP Authentic Chase Utley 168 /899
'05 Ultimate Collection Mark Buehrle 65 /475
'05 Ultimate Collection Mark Mulder 66 /475
'05 Sweet Spot Gold Kerry Wood 47 /599
'05 Studio Stars Jason Bay 30 /500
'04 Ultimate Collection Andy Pettitte 48 /675
'04 Ultimate Collection Johan Santana 85 /675

'03 Topps Gold Tim Hudson 558 /2003
'00 MLB Showdown Pennant Run 1st Edition Foil Shawn Green 73
'00 MLB Showdown Pennant Run 1st Edition Foil Tim Hudson 99

'99 Topps MVP Darryl Kile 192
'98 Upper Deck National Pride Ivan Rodriguez NP29

'98 Topps Minted in Cooperstown Orlando Cabrera 366
'98 Topps Minted in Cooperstown Chris Carpenter 44
'98 Topps Minted in Cooperstown Johnny Damon 362

'98 Donruss Preferred Title Waves Scott Rolen 2 /1997

This Rolen is probably my favorite card from the show. It's a 90's numbered insert, when something numbered to 1997 was considered low. But the card features everything that made the 90's maddening. A needless sub-brand (Donruss Preferred anyone?) die-cut for careful handling in your penny sleeve, with a ridiculous insert name (Title Waves?) that has a holo effect. What more could you want?  

'98 Best Diamond Best Adrian Beltre 2

'97 Ultra Platinum Medallion Felix Heredia P514
'97 Ultra Platinum Medallion Albert Belle P46

To me, these were the best finds of the day. These Ultra Platinum Medallion's were impossible to find back in the day. I always liked this set as the Gold parallels featured a different photo than the base card. Sometimes it's not that hard to think outside the box and still make a quality product.

'97 Ultra Gold Medallion Scott Rolen G255
'97 Ultra Gold Medallion Rico Brogna G382
'97 Ultra Gold Medallion Rex Hudler G344
'97 Ultra Gold Medallion Ricky Bottalico G353
'97 Ultra Gold Medallion Wendell Magee G252
'97 Ultra Gold Medallion Scott Ruffcorn G483
'97 Ultra Gold Medallion Mark Leiter G453
'97 Stadium Club Matrix John Smoltz 29
'96 Topps Power Boosters Barry Larkin 6
'96 Topps Finest Silver Refractor Billy Wagner 313

'96 Collector's Choice Gold Dustin Hermanson 702
'96 Collector's Choice Gold Ricky Bones 589
'96 Collector's Choice Gold Pedro Astacio 582
'96 Collector's Choice Gold Joe Randa 652
'96 Collector's Choice Gold Deion Sanders 306
'96 Collector's Choice Gold Michael Tucker 653
'96 Collector's Choice Gold Robby Thompson 308

Another parallel set from the 90's. I don't think they were ever worth that much, but tell that to a team collector trying to find these before there was the internet.

'96 Collector's Choice Sliver Sergio Valdez 716
'96 Collector's Choice Sliver Paul Quantrill 248
'96 Collector's Choice Silver Mickey Morandini 256
'95 Collector's Choice SE Gold Bill Swift 110
'95 Collector's Choice SE Gold Bill Pulsipher 4
'95 Collector's Choice SE Gold Darren Dreifort 6
'95 Collector's Choice SE Gold Dustin Hermanson 3
'95 Collector's Choice SE Gold Doug Drabek 37
'95 Collector's Choice SE Gold Brian McRae 216

'95 Upper Deck Electric Diamond Ricky Bottalico 376
'95 Upper Deck Electric Diamond Dave Hollins 377
'95 Upper Deck Electric Diamond Gold Fred McGriff 108
'95 Upper Deck Special Edition Gold Chuck Knoblauch 218
'95 SP Championship Die Cut Gregg Jefferies 75
'95 SP Championship Die Cut Darren Daulton 74

'94 Stadium Club Team 1st Day Issue Kevin Rogers 23
'94 Stadium Club Team 1st Day Issue Milt Thompson 219
'94 Stadium Club Team 1st Day Issue David Segui 285
'94 Stadium Club Team 1st Day Issue Sam Horn 187

The dealer also had football and basketball cards, and I did pick up a few of those as well. When it was all said and done, I had 224 new cards for an Andrew Jackson. Not too bad if I do say so myself.

Monday, June 8, 2015

In Person Autograph - Dansby Swanson

With the first selection in today's MLB Draft, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson. Swanson was one of three Commodores selected in the first round, joining teammates Carson Fulmer and Walker Buehler. I was able to get Swanson's signature when Vanderbilt made a March trip to UCLA.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

In Person Autograph - James Kaprielian

UCLA's Friday night starter the past two seasons, James Kaprielian combined with David Berg on what is to believed to be UCLA's first recorded no-hitter last Friday night, a 1-0, 10-inning win against Arizona. I had planned to attend the game in person, but a late start time combined with the rare threat of rain in the Southland kept me at home in front of the television. To my chagrin, I missed out on Bruin history. Below is his 2015 UCLA team card, signed after Saturday's game.

In keeping up with the Team USA theme, I had James sign his Team USA cards at the UCLA Alumni Game in January.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

In Person Autograph - Dillon Tate

A relative unknown at the start of the college baseball season, Dillon Tate has rocketed up the draft boards and is now generally regarded as a surefire Top 5 selection in the upcoming June draft. Tate is currently a junior at UC Santa Barbara, and being in the Big West Conference, was sure to make an appearance at Long Beach State or Cal State Fullerton this year. I had long ago marked this weekend down as the date when I could hopefully get him to sign my 2 USA cards. I made the trek postgame after the Fullerton/UCSB contest last night and after what was probably a 40 minute wait, Tate happily signed for everyone who asked.

Since the release of the 2014 USA box set, Panini has also come out with a USA Stars & Stripes set. I was able to pick up the Tate base card from that set as well, which I also got signed.

Monday, March 30, 2015

In Person Autograph - Blake Rutherford

Currently a junior at Chaminade, Blake Rutherford has long been regarded as one of the top prep prospects in the Class of 2016. The outfielder committed to UCLA when he was a freshman and is a frequent visitor to UCLA baseball games. A veteran of several USA teams, I happened to get Blake's card signed earlier this month when Vanderbilt was in town. I recognized Blake before the game, but he was in a hurry to get seated with his family and promised he would sign later. Typically, this means you are out of luck as the odds of a person remembering you are slim to none. To my total surprise, as he was leaving the game, Blake came over to where I was seated and knocked out both the base card and the U18 Team card. Thank you for being a true stand up guy.


Blake's signature has changed since his freshman year, when he used to give a full signature. A mutual acquaintance noted that with the shortened signature, the autograph reads a little like Babe Ruth. One can only hope that his baseball career is a fraction as successful as that of the Sultan of Swat.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

In Person Autograph - Brian Schales

The Major League Baseball draft doesn't hold the same appeal as that of their NFL or NBA counterparts, mainly due to lack of name recognition and the immediacy of impact. Even the top draft picks typically don't make the big leagues until years down the road. Even so, I devour draft news and like to have a handle on who the top players are in the country. It was thus a total shock to me last year when the Marlins drafted Brian Schales in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. A shortstop at Edison High with a scholarship to Long Beach State, Schales was never mentioned as a top prospect in any publication or news site that I had visited. I recall that neither or Baseball America even had a scouting report on him that day, which is uncommon for a top 5 round draft selection.

Still, I was very familiar with Schales since he was a freshman, as a friend at work had a nephew the same grade and on the same high school team. He sounded like a solid ball player, but I had no idea he had pro potential coming out of high school. Being a pretty high draft, I was thinking that there could be a chance that he could have a Bowman Draft and/or Donruss Elite card. When the checklists for both products came out, it was to my glee (and horror) that Schales was included in both products. While on the one hand, it would be cool to get his card, the horror would be in knowing there would be who knows how many parallel versions of the same card (turns out, waaaaay too many).

I've been able to pick up a bunch of the Bowman Draft and Donruss Elite base cards and I was able to get Brian to sign some at his high school alumni game. I asked, and it sounded like I was the first person to ever have him sign his baseball card. In fact, he had never seen his Donruss Elite card before and I gladly offered one up to him.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

In Person Autograph - Dominic Smith

Serra High and Orange Lutheran are roughly 35 miles away from each other so it was an absolute shock when Dominic Smith made an appearance at the Orange Lutheran alumni game over the weekend. The 2013 Mets first rounder had been staying with former OLu alum Jason Martin and decided to tag along for the game. The surprise appearance required me to make the trek back home to dig out some cards to get signed. Smith was extremely polite and humble and had no issues with signing everything I had, which was a lot. It was great to get an autograph of a local player who plays on an East Coast team that I would otherwise not have had the chance to acquire.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In Person Autograph - Kolby Allard and Lucas Herbert

With all the high schools across the country, the odds of having any one ball player making a Team USA roster are remote at best. What does that say about San Clemente High which happens to have TWO players from last year's 18Usquad? With my newly acquired Team USA base set from the previous post, I headed out to a fall ball game this evening in the hopes of snagging my first two autographs from the set, battery mates Kolby Allard and Lucas Herbert.

Allard is generally considered the top prep pitcher in the Class of 2015. If all goes well for him this season, he will never set foot on the UCLA campus. If that is the case, he will join a long list of UCLA signees who went straight to the pros. The autograph didn't turn out the greatest as it was signed in the dark.

Herbert is another UCLA commit, and the Bruins are expected to have a hole at catcher next season so there is a chance he winds up in school. An interesting tidbit from tonight's contest is that Lucas called his own game behind the plate. It's rare to see a college catcher allowed to call his own game, much less a high school catcher. I thought this signature turned out really well.

The base set also includes a team photo of the 15U, 18U, and Collegiate teams. It's basically a checklist that lists the roster on the back. In recent years, I've tried to get as many of the players to sign on their respective team card. The first two signatures took up a lot of space so I'm not sure how many more will be able to fit.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Box Break - 2014 Panini USA Baseball

The yearly Team USA products are generally one of my favorites. The autos and jerseys aren't that big a deal to me, as I am after the base cards to get IP autographs. For whatever the reason (perhaps the $90!! box price), I haven't seen as many of the base cards offered through the various online sources, and with the autograph season right around the corner, I've been getting a bit nervous.

The base set of 81 cards has been going online for ~$30 which seems a bit much to me. I've had a $100 Amazon Gift card from work just lying around, so I decided to bite the bullet and pick up a box for roughly $100 after tax and shipping. Sigh (I am rationalizing this as a free purchase). Trust me, boxes are definitely NOT my thing. Why spend money on a crapshoot when I can spend the same amount of money and knowingly purchase what I want? Anyways, the box arrived in the mail today, and here are the results:

Personally, I don't think the base cards have as nice of a design as last year's product, but beggars can't be choosers. Turang, Cameron, and Funkhouser look to be the top prospects from the 15U, 18U, and Collegiate teams, respectively. Turang is the son of former big leaguer Brian Turang, and Cameron is the son of long time major leaguer Mike Cameron.

Each box promises 9 "hits", 7 being autographs and 2 memorabilia cards. Of the 4 base autos I received, I was most pleased with the Garza and Molnar, two local products who I have seen pitch in the past. I have the ticket stub from Garza's first collegiate win for Cal State Fullerton, and I saw Molnar pitch a no-hitter last year. I happened to be scoring the game, and he signed the scorecard for me afterwards.
The three additional autos are of players I have not heard of before. I do like the look of the Gold AU, even if it is a sticker auto.
Last but not least are the 2 memorabilia pieces. I am not familiar with L.T. Tolbert (apparently he is committed to South Carolina), but the Jumbo Jersey Patch numbered out of 20 is probably my favorite card from the box. Just a beautiful looking card. 

It appears that around 20 of the 65 unique player cards are of guys that may be in my area this year. As such, I will try to keep a running track of any IP successes during the year.