Friday, May 30, 2014

Cards From I Dunno

Did it again.
Got a package of cards, excitedly went through them, pulled a few to show, put them in a sheet, set them aside to scan, didn't scan till at least a month later, left no trace of who sent them, (heavy sign).

Here are a few of them for you look at and say "Hey I think I used to have that one...and THAT ONE."

And if the next few following cards don't seem familiar to you, the Tim Salmon at the bottom certainly will.

Just an all-around bitchen card.

Topps Director of Photography: "I have a great idea!  Let's do the photoshoot of the new draftees standing in front of the gates to the local zoo!"
(I know its a Spring Training facility, so just play along)
Assistant Photographer: "And so we know what team they're with they can hold a batting helmet!"
Topps Stylist: "And make sure they hold their head crooked like all best portraits are being done these days."
Topps Director of Photography: "Genius!!"

An even MORE awkward shot of Jorge Fabregas.
Is he playing Red Light Green Light?
Mother May I?

Captured on camera:
Howie Kendrick breaking the Morales Rule: No jumping on home plate.

I never understood the idea behind the peel off coating on Topps Finest.
If you don't peel the coating you can't fully appreciate the greatness of theTim Salmon card, or of the design itself for that matter.  The flash of the chrome is muted, the colors faded.  
If  you peel it off though is it now a used card?  Will you forever look at it and think there's something missing?
Why do you torment me with your gimmicks Topps?

And the jolt you needed to say "I sent them to you Tom!"

A Tim Salmon distorted image full bleed 90's card show free promo giveaway card.
Atomic refractor lettering before atomic refractoring was even a glint in it's parents eyes.
Ohhh, this is a thing of beauty to me.

Thank you, whoever you are.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Julio Franco Longshot Pays Off

I read recently in the local paper that Julio Franco was going to play for the nearby Fort Worth Cats.  He was scheduled to just play for the Cats first home stand, so I quickly picked out a couple cards and got them in the mail.  I figured it only take a day for the cards to get there since the Cats only play about 30 minutes away.  About a week later...ta-da!

Got him on his 1984 Topps rookie card and on a 1991 Upper Deck, both cards from autographed sets I'm working on.
Too bad the 91UD got a little smudged.

Gamble paid off.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Those Crazy Runnin' A's

I was looking at my 1994 Fleer team set the other day and noticed something about two of the cards; they both had similar photos on them of Oakland Athletics sliding into a base.  Look at these:

Torey Lovullo was the regular second baseman in 1993.  That means that Henderson is attempting to steal second.  The game is at Oakland given the yellow jersey on the outfield wall, and it's a day game.
The #27 jersey is that of Catfish Hunter who's number was retired by the A's in 1991.

Rod Correia wasn't called up until June of 1993 to fill in at SS when Gary DiSarcina went down with an injury.
That makes this another attempt at stealing second, this time by Rubin Sierra.  
There's Catfish' jersey in the background again.
The sliding player is in the same position in relation to the yellow jersey.
Good indication that the same photographer took both of these pictures at the same game.

A quick search on retrosheet looking for Angels at Oakland day games in 1993 led me to this:

SB: R. Henderson (26,2nd base off Springer/Myers); Sierra (11,2nd base off

Both Henderson and Sierra had a stolen base in the same game.

This game:

Oakland Athletics 5, California Angels 4
Game Played on Wednesday, June 30, 1993 (D) at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Nailed it!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

R.J. Alvarez TTM

R.J. is in his 3rd season in the Angels organization after being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft.  He's currently on the 7-day DL in AA ball with the Travs, but has 28 strikeouts in 19 innings and 0.00 ERA so far this season.  Nice.

Returned in14 days from the Arkansas Travelers.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Here's Another One Not On The Team Set Checklist

The problem with buying a team set is that they usually don't include those "extra" cards that are a part of the master set, but aren't of an individual player.
You know, like leaders cards and such.
Also, most websites that have team set checklists don't include multi-player cards.

This card that I found recently falls into that category.

1992 Upper Deck #28 "Winfield's 400th".

Pictures Winfield as a Padre, Yankee, and Angel.
So who's team set does this card get included with?
None I've found.

But, yet again, that's what makes digging through junk boxes so much fun.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

1997 Interleague Showdown

Another recent find is this 1997 Donruss Press Proof Interleague Showdown #447.

The card features the Angels Tim Salmon and the Dodgers Raul Mondesi squaring off in Interleague Play on June 17, 1997.  I first assumed that the card was released prior to the matchup, but the back of the card says, "...when they visited Dodger Stadium June 17-18." meaning it was released afterwards, but the card back doesn't give the results of that matchup.

So let's look it up and see who did better, Salmon or Mondesi.

In the 2-game series:
Salmon 3/7 (HR, 2B) 3R, 1RBI, 2W, 4K
Mondesi 2/7 (HR, 2B) 2R, 2RBI, 1W, 1K

Wow, that's pretty much the identical results. 
And the Dodgers won both games.

Who won the showdown?
You make the call.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

One Of My Favorite Minor League Cards Ever

I love the 1992 Upper Deck Minor League set.
I love the design and the look, that's why I'm collecting it.
But once in a while you come across a card that is just so striking and captivating that you can't stop looking at it.  I call it the Warm Baseball Card Fuzzies.

Take a look at this 1992 Upper Deck Minor League card of Cardinals Top Prospect Skeets Thomas:

It might be an average boring card to you, but
I love this card for so many reasons.

1. No Clutter - plain blue background, no ump, no catcher, no crowd, no advertisements.
It's a breath of fresh Spring air.

2. Red, white and blue.
Best baseball uniform colors ever.

3. Centering - except for his left foot being partially covered by the logo, Skeets is fully framed.
No appendages hanging off the card edges leaving you wondering if the player actually has a left hand or not.

4. Home plate is barely visible, but you know that it's there.

5. The best part, his expression:

That's so much more than intensity.
Skeets is pissed.
I bet the scrub pitcher just threw a brushback that Skeets took exception to.
Either that or....

He's pissed he just broke his favorite bat.
And they ain't cheep.
And they don't pay him enough.
And that Damn Pitcher!

He's even mad on the back of the card, the place usually reserved for hi-jinx, or big bubblegum bubbles, or autographing, or pretending the bat is a guitar or a pool cue....
oh, um, except he just BROKE his bat.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Whats Wrong With You, John Olerud?

Thumbing through those 5000-count junk boxes at the LCS I came across the 1994 Fleer John Olerud.
I'm an Olerud collector so I stopped when I came to this card, and then something struck me as being off.

Can you spot the flaw?

Need some more help?
Here's a comparison of the correct card (top) and the flawed card (bottom).

See the how the circular gold printing is shifted left and up into the white border?
Pretty cool huh? 

In the same chunk of 1994 Fleer was this other card of John Olerud. 
What struck me about this card is that I'm pretty sure the photo was taken at Anaheim Stadium, the orange and tan seats taking me right back to the many games I've been to there growing up.
That would be right field or Wally World in the background.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Those Pesky Minor Leaguers

Came across a row of 1992 Upper Deck Minor League at the LCS recently while rummaging through 5000-count boxes of junk.

There were about 100ish cards in the row so I grabbed the whole row quickly without thumbing through them as if someone behind me was getting ready to grab them from me (this happens to me often when I find something I need in the junk).  Besides I didn't have my checklist and would have failed miserably if I went by memory.  

Of the 100ish cards, turns out I only needed about 35 of them.  But that's a nice chunk towards the set, of which I now need only about 62 more, plus the inserts, to complete.

Good day for me.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bagby Bag-O-Cards

Opening up a package, or going through a stack of randoms and coming across a Tim Salmon, is one of those things that makes me feel like I ripped a pack of cards and pulled the most valuable, most desirable insert card of the set.  I love finding Salmons, even if I have them already.  It's just one of those rare genuinely happy, warm fuzzy things for me.

Six warm fuzzies in this sandwich-bagged group of cards from Howard Bagby.

World Class Athlete indeed is Jim Abbott, which reminds me that I need to go get his book Imperfect.
I'd be interested to find out how Abbott overcame any teasing he endured as a kid, and about his reaction to throwing a no-hitter.

I've read a lot of Angels books, and although I have Tim Salmons Always An Angel it's another that I just haven't had the time to read yet.  C'mon Winter!

Who out there amoungst you actually went to Denny's to get these Grand Slam cards?
Not me.
I did however have many trips to Whataburger to get those Nolan Ryan Sportsflix-looking cards.
And I bought a lot of Mothers cookies to get cards that way.
But I never sat down for a breakfast at Dennys in order to get a single Grand Slam card.
Tough 28-card set to complete that way I would imagine.
And not cheap either, but if you got a good breakfast out of it....maybe worth it.

Howard must have read that I love collecting sweepstakes and mail-in cards, especially the old Topps inserts like these Spring Fever Baseball cards.
Included with these were a handful of others, I picked these two because they're the prettiest.

Rex Hudler.
Always liked Rex Hudler, both as a player and as an announcer.
He's was always a good one to come over to the rail and sign cards and shoot the shit for a few minutes, take a selfie (before they were called selfies) and just be cool.
Look at him all confident and cool and Rex Hudlerish having made the perfect play at second base, looking all slick in his nicely pressed uniform.
Rex Hudler Silver Signature.

Howard is feeding me 1991 Topps Archives 1953 Topps cards a few at a time.
In the past several packages he sent me there have been a few of those that I still need.  He's inching me closer and closer to finishing the set but doesn't want me to do it all at once.
But probably what really is happening is he knows I'm collecting these and when he finds any he runs them across my checklist to see if I need them.
I've never me him but I have a feeling Howard is pretty thoughtful that way.

Another question for you guys.
Has anyone actually played this PowerUp! game?
MLB Fatheads on a card.
Kinda catchy though.  I'll admit I thought these as junk when I first say them; sat on a short stack I wouldn't even use for trade filler.  Eventually got rid of them all in a giveaway box to the local second hand store. Now I kinda like them.
Funny how that happens huh?

Some many colors, so many versions, but I would like to make a drive at knocking out the Angels teamsets for all the Upper Deck Starquests sometime.
Several pages of these would be pretty sweet to look at and a nice collecting accomplishment.

Josh Hamilton SP.
SP standing for Stupid Playslidingintofirstbaseheadfirst.

Good stuff as always Howard.
And as always, thank you.

Big Contest At Play At The Plate

Play at the Plate is giving away a box, yes a box, of 2014 Bowman Baseball which Topps DONATED for the contest.  Too cool.  Go HERE to enter.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Zippy Has Me Seeing Double

Zippy sent me his doubles, literally.

I wonder if any of these guys did only two of anything.

Grant Green
Green has exactly 2 career stolen bases and 2 career home runs.
He also plays 2nd base.
Looks like he's turning a double play.

Kaleb Cowart was born on June 2.
Twice he was hit by a pitch in A-Ball.

C.J. Cron has 2 C's in his initials.
He went to the University of Utah - 2 U's.
He's committed 2 errors at first so far this year.
He's also been hit twice.

And then there was this single beaut.
Tony Thompson plays for the Burlington Bees which may have been confused with the Salt Lake Bees, the Angels affiliate.  Burlington is in the A's organization.
He's now in Miami's however.
But Tony's initials are TT, same as mine, so that makes him, and this card, cool.
Dude has some power too: 18 HRs and 92 RBI last season.

Lemme know if this one was an accident and you'd like to have it back Zippy.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Completed Angels Team Set - 1990 Publication International Hottest Players & Hottest Rookies Stickers

First up, the 1990 Publications International Hottest Players Angels Team Set.

Two stickers in the team set.

These blank back, oversized, no-numbered stickers (4-1/8" x 5-7/16") were sold 4 per sheet (I assume you had to cut them out - hence the bad crop on the Joyner) and were sold with a 36-page sticker album.  The design is very similar to typical early 1990's designs...full bleed, bordered, colored bands.
I like.

Another set issued was the Hottest Rookie Stars.

Two stickers again for the Angels.

These were sold four per sheet in complete sets which included the album.
It wasn't worded as such but I think the Hottest Players came as a complete set as well.

Here's the size comparison to a standard sized baseball card.

Nice little oddball 90's offering.