Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Stack-O-Mail: Easler, Neiger, Posada, Chambliss

Mike "The Hit Man" Easler played for the Angels in 1976, and used the thickest sharpie he could find to sign my All-Time Angels custom and his 1978 Topps rookie card.

Mike answered a question I asked about how his wife used to throw him BP:
"She threw me black beans."

Mike was nice enough to return my cards sent to the Buffalo Bisons after 11 days.

Al Neiger played for the Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers, a combined farm team for the Angels and Phillies in 1962. Interesting concept. I asked him how that worked out, could either team call him up, or was he [based on his rookie card] property of only the Phillies?
"I was property of the Phillies after Spring Training as I didn't make the Angels to start the season. It was a conditional purchase."

Nieger was a successful engineer after his short Major League career (he appeared in 6 games for the 1960 Phillies). I asked him if his baseball career had any influence on his engineering career.

He signed my cards from his home in Wilmington Delaware in only 8 days.

Leo Posada played in 155 games from 1960-1962 for the Kansas City Athletics, but just after that he appeared in 12 games for the Angels AAA affiliate Hawaii Islanders.

Leo signed my cards and returned them from his home in Florida after 7 days.

I needed Chris Chambliss for the 1992 Action Packed All-Star set I'm collecting. Chris signed this card in 73 days after I sent it to him via the Mariners Spring Training.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I have inside connections...

...to the Angels front office. Well, not really. At least I can't prove that I do. It's pure speculation.

See, every year I send an email to the Angels, "attention" someone in Public Relations. And every year I either get no response or a pocket schedule.

The body of the email addresses my situation: Lifetime Angels fan, born and raised within 10 miles of Anaheim Stadium, can't count how many games I've been to, now live in Texas and work a block from the Ballpark. I want to show these Ranger fans who's in charge by adorning my cube with Angels stuff. A promotional or group-sales poster would be ideal. I'll even take an old discarded one.
Not an unreasonable request.

Their response was the same as always, but I don't blame them. I know they're busy running a baseball team. So after I received my annual pocket schedules (which I had to send a SASE for), I decided to try another route.

I saw this story about John Rozak the guy who had the idea for the wrestling mask promotion. He's been the promotions guy since 2008. The story showed a picture of his cube all decked out with Angels stuff, but there on his walls, were promotional posters.

YES! That's what I'm talking about! We're of a kindred spirit, surely he understands me and will have sympathy on me and send me a couple used posters.

I sent him an email about my idea. Told him the mask idea was genius (which I really do believe).

I think a week went by, no response. I'm used to that.

Then this came in the mail.

It was from the Angels. It had an official Angels address label. But was it from John? There was no clue. Then I realized that it wasn't a poster tube, and it was puffy. Okay, so he folded the poster up and put it in bubble wrap, I thought. That was nice of him...or, nice of whoever sent this to me. Whatever it is.

Then I opened it up...

SCOOOORRRRRE!!!! SOLID GOLD, MAN!!! Even better than some worn out poster!

John if this was from you, thank you from the bottom of my Angels heart.

My kids didn't like me wearing it around the house, but I can't wait to wear this bad boy at work next week!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Two More X Cut

I love out-of-the-blue envelopes. All-Sets Collector Howard dropped a couple more 2008 Upper Deck X X-Cuts in the mail to me. Thats 2 less that I need to complete the set.

I'll be sending some cards off your want list in return.

Thanks Howard!

Angels in the Background for 1991 Upper Deck

I was looking through my box of 1991 Upper Deck cards looking for Angels in the background. I started seeing Angels on a lot more cards than I thought I would. Then it dawned on me: Upper Deck is based in Southern California, so it makes sense that they would send a photographer to every series at Anaheim, thus more Angels in the background.

I guess a good project to test my theory would be to see if the Padres are in a lot of backgrounds as well. Carlsbad, where the Upper Deck Company is headquartered is roughly between Anaheim and San Diego.

Lets see what Angels got caught in the background of other teams cards (from those that were in my commons box).

That's Angels catcher Bill Schroeder on the Sox Dan Pasqua's card. Taken at Anaheim Stadium.

John Orton slides into second to break up the double play set up by the Royals Frank White. Big round logos on the green outfield fence is a dead giveaway for Anaheim Stadium.

Orton again this Paul Fairies card. Wait, this is before Interleague Play, so why are the Angels playing the Padres? The background indicates it's a Spring Training game.

Looks like that might be Luis Polonia breaking up another double play. Pretty sure this is Anaheim given the orange fence over green wall.

I'll call Jack Howell safe on Tony Fernandez's Blue Jays card. Anaheim Stadium.

Tough to say who this is. Right handed, black bat, two white batting gloves. Other 1991 cards of Angels that fit those characteristics are of Gary Gaetti, Brian Downing, Dick Schofield, and Junior Felix. Given the body size I'm going with Gaetti.

Looks like Devon White sliding head first into third before the ball gets to the Brewers Gary Sheffield. Orange fence over green wall again means Anaheim.

Maybe taken at the same game as the last card? Second baseman Johnny Ray makes an appearance on Paul Molitors Brewers card photographed at Anaheim Stadium.

Lance Parrish behind the plate on the card for Clevelands Mitch Webster.

Kent Hrbek's Twins cards features Mark McLemore diving back (safely?) to first under his tag. Anaheim Stadium.

On another Twins card, this of Junior Ortiz, we find John Orton again, this time behind the plate at Anaheim Stadium.

And in the Angels bullpen in Anaheim Stadium behind right fielder Sammy Sosa, sits Willie Fraser and (I think) Angels coach Joe Coleman.

I think that my idea of seeing more Angels in the background as opposed to other teams due to Upper Deck being located in the area, is a valid one. Therefore future Angels in the Background posts will not include Upper Deck. It's just too easy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Angels vs Braves Fan Packs



The Braves start with minus 1 since they required a dollar be sent to them for a fan pack. With the hoards of money Major League Baseball teams make, I think fan packs should be mandated as free to anyone who asks.

Whatever. This is what the Braves sent for a buck.

Team logo envelope. Nice.

Official letterhead, thank you fan letter.

1 pocket schedule, unfolded (I did the folding myself - get the fan involved).

1 strange photo. I'm assuming it's opening day, but who is the guy on the jumbotron?

1 large Braves sticker.

Much to my surprise a bag of Turner Field dirt. I used to collect stadium dirt a long time ago. Maybe I'll start up again. Hmmmm...

Braves beat the Angels.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Repost from My Boys Old Cards

This is from a short-lived blog I wrote in 2008 about a box I found of my son's old cards.

1996 McDonalds Happy Meal Beast Wars

When I was a kid, getting to go McDonald's was a rare treat. And when we did get to, since I come from a large family with 8 kids, we always had to split a hamburger two ways, split a fries three ways, and "you can just forget about getting a soda Mister!" So, when we had Tommy I vowed I would never ever make him share his burger and fries, and "Yes, Sonny, you can get all the Hi-C you want." Man, I still love that Hi-C at McDonald's. Anyhow, I decided to even step it up a notch and let him start getting Happy Meals. Especially the cool ones with Hot Wheels and Transformers.

I was very pleased when I discovered not one but a bunch of these former Happy Meals cards of Tommy's, all carefully punched out from their perforated little homes on the sides of the Happy Meal box. This is what they would have looked like before they were liberated:I found 10 different cards of Tommy's. From what I was able to research I found that 8 came on one Happy Meal box. So there should be at least 16 different cards. Take away the title card which I assume was on each version of the box, then you have 15 different cards. But with Tommy's 10 plus 4 I saw on eBay, I'm still lacking 1 or maybe 2 cards. And there's no number on the card backs.

Anyhow, lets get into the ones Tommy has:
Above are the two leaders of the Beast Wars, Optimus Primal the Maximal General, and Megatron the Predacon Commander. Bad dudes ready to kick your little heinie and not think twice about it.

Scorpionok - Check out those vice-grip claws, ouch.

Rhino - Three-D glasses would bring that first right into your face!

Beetle - ooh there's a scary and life-threatening name.

Razorbeast - See Pumba in the background? Smell Pumba in the background? And he's grinning like he just let loose too. Hakuna-matata, Dude!

Polar Claw - One of the better names, and those claws are pretty sharp and steely, but Mr Polar Bear on the left looks more like a Care Bear. And shouldn't the Transformer be white instead of red? Unless of course the red represents the blood and carnage our Care Bear friend is about to unleash. In which case, all bets are off.

Panther - Both the Transformer and the Beast look pretty angry. Might not want to mess with them.

Dinobot - Probably my favorite one. You just can't go wrong combining a dinosaur with a robot. Awesome!

I don't have pictures of the other ones I know about - Waspinator, Manta Ray, Terrosuar and Tarantular, but you get the idea now. Great series of cards. If you know where I can find a complete list, please leave a comment.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What in the world?

I came across this card and I did a double-take.

What's that strange uniform Gary DiSarcina is wearing? His name is vertical. Vertical? Is this a photo from an Angels player and family softball game? Is it a practice jersey? I was stumped. Whatever it is it's lame. I looked at sportslogos.net and couldn't find anything. I looked on ebay and couldn't find anything. I went to my binders.

Now I remember. Worst...uniform...ever!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Angels vs Dodgers Fan Packs

You remember what the Angels sent me, and in my own SASE.

Here's what the Dodgers sent me

Score tied at 2 apiece.

But they get an extra point for using Official Dodger Stationery.

Dodgers win 3-2.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Harmon Clayton Killebrew

Angel Killer. Great Man.

Killebrews career record against the Angels:
225(G) 741(AB) 102(R) 186(H) 24(2B) 1(3B) 45(HR) 122(RBI) 166(BB) 169(K) .251(BA)

- On May 2, 1964 he was the fourth straight Twin to homer in the eleventh inning against the Angels to tie a ML record.
- On June 3, 1967 against the Angels, Killebrew rifled a three-run shot six rows into Metropolitan Stadium's upper deck in left field, shattering two seats. The shot was estimated to have gone 530 feet. The splintered seats were painted orange and never sold again. The next day he hit another shot to almost the same spot, the ball pounding off the upper deck facing.

Career Acheivements (mind boggling):
11-time AL All-Star (1959, 1961 & 1963-1971)
AL MVP (1969)
AL On-Base Percentage Leader (1969)
AL Slugging Percentage Leader (1963)
6-time AL Home Runs Leader (1959, 1962-1964, 1967 & 1969)
3-time AL RBI Leader (1962, 1969 & 1971)
4-time AL Bases on Balls Leader (1966, 1967, 1969 & 1971)
20-Home Run Seasons: 13 (1959-1967 & 1969-1972)
30-Home Run Seasons: 10 (1959-1964, 1966, 1967, 1969 & 1970)
40-Home Run Seasons: 8 (1959, 1961-1964, 1967, 1969 & 1970)
100 RBI Seasons: 9 (1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1967 & 1969-1971)
100 Runs Scored Seasons: 2 (1967 & 1969)
Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1984

It was many moons ago...

...the last time I went to a card show. I'm pressed to think when that actually was. I'd have to go back at least 11 years to even get in the ballpark. In fact, I remember picking up an Anaheim Mighty Ducks team set, since it was their inaugural season. It had to have been 1994 - 17 years ago!

A couple months ago I saw that this show was coming up. It fell on my off-Friday from work, so I put it on the home calendar and made plans. Friday is also the day the dealers set up their tables so admission is free (there's no autographs that day).

It also worked out that the Angels were in town to play the Rangers, so I figured (and got the clearance from the Mrs) that I'd hit the card show, then head to the game.

My plan for the show was to go simple - stick to the quarter boxes, pick up some parallels and inserts, pick out some cheap '61-'69 teams set cards, try to stick with one dealer. I knew ahead of time that I didn't even want to look at relics and autographs, and that I didn't want any memorabilia.

I spend almost 3 hours with one dealer going through box after box, digging for Angels. I love doing that. For me digging is the most rewarding. Then I walked around a bit and found another dealer where I spent about an hour and dug for the vintage cards I was looking for. Then I had to head to the game.

Below is what I came away with.

Four more 1962 Topps. Only 8 more to complete this team set.

I only need 9 more cards to complete the 1963 team set after getting these two. Odd that Bob Turley is in his Yankees uniform and Jacke Davis never actually played a game with the team.

This 1963 Post George Thomas actually has the photo of Lee Thomas on it. This is an uncorrected variation.

Picked up 3 more 1964 Topps, but I still need 12 more to complete the team.

1967 Topps #213 Jay Johnstone. It's funny but I never picture Johnstone playing in the more serious '60s. I always picture him in that goofy beer umbrella hat in the '80s.

I already had one of these 1968 Fleer Team Logo cards, but I love team logo cards so I couldn't pass this up. At the time I found this it was my most favorite piece of the day.

Until I found this:

Issued in the same 1968 Fleer wax packs as the Team Logo Card above were these "Trio" Cloth Team Emblems. This is a card that I didn't already have.

I picked this 1961 Topps Leo Posada because I knew that I had another of his cards. I wanted to combine the two and send them to him for autographs. My other Leo Posada turned out to also be the 1961 Topps. Dang!

Joe Coleman was an Angels coach, so I picked this card up to send to him for an autograph.

These Jared Weaver refractors and Team USA card were all in a row in the same quarter box. They called out to me.

I like Starting Lineup cards. I especially like Nolan Ryan. I don't like Roger Clemens. But I like Starting Lineup cards.

I picked up this 1992 Bowman Garret Anderson rookie not sure if I already had one. Turns out I didn't already have one. I don't particularly care for cards of players in their street clothes though.

I suppose I need it for the team set.

Some of my favorite Angels rookie/prospect cards are from the 2003 Topps set. Having a gold parallel is just that much more awesome. Numbered 0342/2003.

Nice little Tim Salmon assortment:
1994 Score Gold Stars #44 of 60
2001 Donruss 20th Anniversary #130
1994 Pacific #9
2003 Upper Deck SP Superstar Flashback #SF1 numbered 0483/2003

2003 Donruss Troy Percival parallel numbered 249/295.

1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes Reggie Jackson promotional card.

I remember the card shows in the 80's almost always had a tray of promo cards that you could choose a couple from as you entered the show. Since I went on delaer set-up day there was no tray. Do they still do this?

Another type of card that I like are tributes or inserts with Nolan Ryan in an Angels uniform. That being said, I don't know why I picked up the 2010 Topps Vintage Legends card.

A trio of Torii Hunter:
2009 A Piece of History Blue numbered 274/299
2008 Baseball Heroes numbered 245/299
2008 Upper Deck X Xponential X-HU

I didn't know Don Baylor was nicknamed "Groove", and the back of the card doesn't tell me why. What's the point of the card then people?

Two Angels from the 1992 Pinnacle Team 2000 subset. Just lacking Gary DiSarcina for the team set.

I couldn't pass on this beat up wax pack of 1986 Topps Baseball Tattoos and the goodies that might await me inside. Are there any Angels in there? The answer will have to wait for a future post.

I grabbed this 2008 Upper Deck Timeline Clayton Kershaw because I think its just a cool looking rookie card. I grabbed the Danny Haren 2001 Upper Deck Star Rookie with the hopes of getting it signed someday. Yeah right, like that will ever happen.

And a nice random assortment of Angelsness:
Pacific Private Stock 2000 Troy Glaus numbered 81/99
2006 Upper Deck Epic Casey Kotchman numbered 135/450
1998 Team Best Midland Angels Troy Glaus
2001 Topps Reprint 51T Wally Joyner 1986 Topps Rookie