Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just Another Post On 2012 Topps

Here is a look at some of the cards that I pulled from a couple rack packs of 2012 Topps. I am also having trouble syncing up the sound when I upload a video from my webcam to Youtube. Does anyone know how to fix this? Also, I tried recording live from my webcam to Youtube and the sound wasn't working at all. Is this a Youtube issue or am I messing up? Any help from the tech savvy bloggers would be nice. Thanks!

Monday, January 30, 2012

TTM Auto From A Belcher

I have been having a lull as far as TTM returns go. I also haven't been writing as many letters out over the past week or so.  I will probably send a couple out this week.  A solid return did show up in my mailbox the other day though.

Tim Belcher sent me a signed card back.  Belcher was a pretty solid pitcher for the Dodgers between 87-91.  He was also a proud member of the 1988 World Series winning Doyer team.  In 1988, Belcher pitched 179.2 innings and had a minuscule WHIP of 1.08.  1988 was also his first full season in the big leagues.  He was a main contributor for a championship team.

  Belcher was nice enough to inscribe his auto to me.  He also added the date that he signed the card.  I guess he held onto this card for a week before sending it out my way.  I am also glad that he used blue ink.  Blue sharpies always look good for Dodger autos.

Here is a fun trade fact that I found out while looking up Tim Belcher on Baseball Reference:
He was dealt along with John Wetteland for Eric Davis and Kip Gross in 1991.  Awfulness on the Dodgers part.  Belcher had his best years as a Dodger but, was still serviceable after he left LA.  Wetteland went on to become a beast closer for the Expos and Yanks.  Davis was a big bust in LA.  Kip Gross made Kevin Gross look ace-like.

This deal made me wonder something.  If Wetteland stayed on as a Dodger throughout the 90s and was our closer, would the Dodgers still have traded Paul Konerko for Jeff Shaw?  If that trade never happened, would Konerko still be a Dodger first baseman and I would have never seen James Loney try to slap singles and ground into double plays?

Just something for Dodger fans to think about.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Couple Packages From Colbey

The greatness that has been showing up in my mailbox has been amazing.  Colbey from the fine blog, Cardboard Collections, held one of his cheapo group breaks recently.  He always busts a wide variety of products which is usually boxes from the 90s. The prices are low and the cards are always cool looking.  Colbey usually picks boxes that not many collectors have a lot of cards from.  This makes his breaks new and fresh.

This is the freshness that I am talking about.  These are two cards from 1999 EX Century Skybox.  These cards are made of plastic and have the thickness of a credit card.  Skybox also added some holographic shine to the card.  This makes the cards even classier.

I was luck enough to get the Orioles as my second team for this break.  The Dodgers were my first team of course.  Colbey did a nice enough job pulling a lot of Cal Ripken cards for me and a healthy dose of Dodgers.  I also dig seeing Ripken listed as a third baseman.  I know that I watched him play third base but, I still think of him as a beast shortstop.

Colbey also opened up some packs of 1997 Stadium Club.  This was one of the better sets of the 90s.  The cards were super glossy and the photography was world class.  This is a Mike Piazza Stadium Slugger card.    This photo is perfectly framed and shows Piazza lacing a line drive down the left field line.

Here are a couple more 1997 Stadium Club cards that I got in the group break.  These are from the base set.  The photo of HOFer Roberto Alomar is top notch.  Alomar was such a smooth second baseman.  He truly was a joy to watch field his position.  The Rauuul Mondesi card shows him rounding the bases on a ball he crushed in the gap at Wrigley.

Please Topps, bring back the Stadium Club.  We, as collectors, need a set that focuses on photography more than we need another vintage set or a high end set that I will never purchase.

Pinnacle sets make me feel nostalgic for the 90s.  Pinnacle makes me feel like listening to Alice in Chains and wearing JNCO jeans. I wish that Pinnacle never went away.  There sets always looked unique and pushed Topps and Upper Deck to step there game up.

That is what needs to happen in today's collecting world.  Topps needs somebody to push them for something greater than simplicity.  Maybe Pannini can do that this year.  But, I am not really into logo less photos or autos of 18 year old draftees.

Keep up on the breaks, Colbey.  I love taking a trip down 90s lane.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Tom Niedenfuer was a relief pitcher for the Dodgers in the 80s.  He was a pretty god bullpen piece in his day.  Niedenfuer also has a name that sounds good when shouted.  Especially, if you shout his last name in a German accent.

Everybody try it now.  Ready?  1...2...3...Niedenfuer!!!!!!!!!!

I can't talk about Niedenfuer without mentioning his playoff troubles in 1985.  He gave up a game winning home run to Ozzie Smith and then he also gave up a crushing bomb to Jack Clark.  Playoff home runs are always magnified and so are the goats that give them up.  I characterize Niedenfuer as the Jonathan Broxton of the 80s.

I was too young in 1985 to feel the pain of Niedenfuer. But, older Dodger fans sure know the pain that his pitches had on there psyche.  When I mailed a couple cards to Niedenfuer for him to sign, my dad seemed a little angry about it.  He even made a quip to me about getting cards signed by this man.

Niedenfuer was a Dodger after all and I collect Dodger autographs.  That is why I wrote him a letter.  Like I said, I was really young in 1985 and didn't witness the pain that the homers by Ozzie and Clark had on Dodger fans at the time.

Since, I have compared Niedenfuer to Broxton, I might as well talk about my generation's Dodger goat.  Broxton gave up a crippling home run to Matt Stairs in the 2008 playoffs and he gave up a demoralizing walk off hit to Jimmy Rollins in 2009.  I witnessed the Stairs homer while sitting in the right field pavillion.  I witnessed the Rollins walk off while watching the game on television.  That pain stung.

I don't hold a grudge against the Phillies.  They came up big when they needed to.  I reserve all my angst and frustration towards Broxton.  He gave up those hits.  I will never write a letter to Broxton.  Broxton brought personal pain to my heart and I will never forgive him. Broxton is in Kansas City now and I wish him nothing but the worst.  It is nothing to do with the Royals, there fans have been suffering for a while.  I hope that if the Royals do well, it will be in spite of Broxton.

That anger is probably how my dad feels about Tom Niedenfuer.  I have that anger towards Jonathan Broxton.  I will never get over it.

I still thank Niedenfuer for sending me his autograph.  I wrote in my letter that I am a Dodger fan and he may feel that he owes me a solid.  Broxton autographs aren't welcome in my collection though.  It may sound weird but following an entire season and then seeing failure hurts a lot more rather than just reading about my favorite team's playoff short comings.

Also, one more time in a thick German accent.......Niedenfuer!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Know How To Use a Webcam!

I bought a new laptop a few months back and it came with a webcam. I never used the webcam yet because I am part Neanderthal. This is my first post using it so, I hope it came out well. Please leave me any feedback or suggestions. Thanks to these guys: Reader Steve, Napkin Doon, Cam from Cardboard Heaven

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Where is Ian Kinsler?

I love getting trade packages from the bloggers I regularly trade with.  Julie from Things are Funner Here has made several trades with me.  She always sets good cards aside for me.  There are many Dodger collectors in the blog world that I have to fight with to get good cards in a trade.  Julie has my back and piles up some Dodger cardboard for me.  She probably already has a stack going for me right now.

Julie also sends me a good mix of non-Dodgers that I collect.  I am trying to ease off of Ryan Braun cards but, I am still unsure on the ruling of his appeal.  If he loses his appeal then, Braun is dead to me.  I can live with Dodger players that turned out to be cheats but, I can't live with a cheat Brewer.  But, as of right now please keep the Braun cards coming.

One of the other non-Dodgers that I collect is Ian Kinsler.  He is one of the better second baseman in baseball but, get overshadowed on his own team by Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and even a team president named Nolan Ryan.

I'd like to build up my Kinsler collection.  This card above is commemorating Kinsler's 6 for 6 day in which he hit for the cycle in 2009.  This 2010 Upper Deck card also doesn't show Kinsler on the front or back.  This card shows a Baltimore Oriole wearing the #42 on Jackie Robinson day.  The choice of photo for this card may have been the key reason for Upper Deck to leave the baseball card business.

This is an awesome Russell Martin card.  Martin had some really cool action cards when he was a Dodger.  He may still have some cool cards as a Yankee but, I don't notice him anymore.

Martin appears to be tagging out a Rockie.  If I get doubles of this card, I will be sure to send one over to the Quarry.

Julie sent me this awesome Ian Kinlser card.  Topps is showing Upper Deck how to make a baseball card that has Kinsler's name on it.  I love getting Triple Threads cards because I have never opened a pack of these before.  This one is really nice with the thick stock and the red background for the Rangers.

I got a lot of serial numbered cards from Julie in this package.  This one is one of my favorites.  It is a Triple Threads card numbered out of 525 and features the real MVP, Matt Kemp.  As far as my Dodger collections go, Kemp cards will probably surpass Andre Ethier cards soon.  Ethier may be leaving after the 2012 season to some other city that will adore him but, Kemp is going to stay in LA and beast it up for the next 8 years.  I will probably have to dedicate an entire binder for Kemp.

The Matt Kemp solo binder will be here soon at the Platter.

Thanks for getting me closer to that goal, Julie!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winning by Association

There was an end of year contest that was held at JayBarkerfan's Junk that was won by the great Night Owl.  JayBarkerFan was giving out prizes for this contest.  I believe he gave out cards to the top 3 winners and the dude that first nominated the eventual winner.

The random dude that picked Night Owl first was me!  I didn't expect to get any cards but, some were sent over to me.  I am glad that many other people think Night Owl is the best blog because I got a healthy stack of Hideo Nomo cards for my collection.  I counted 37 Nomo cards plus one gold coin that was sent to me from Wes.

This package has to be a Platter record for most Nomos' in one bubble mailer.  I usually get sent a variety of Dodgers but, this was just a bundle of my boy, Hideo Nomo.  I picked out a handful of my faves from my winnings.

Of course, all the cards that I picked were from the 90s.  That was when Nomo was at his peak and the decade that I feel baseball card sets were at there peak.  The card sets were at there peak due to volume of sets, variety of look, and sheer creativity.  I didn't know that Topps Gallery was out in 1997.  This set looks high end so, at one point it was probably out of my price range.  I was still digging Fleer products and Collector's Choice in 1997.

Metal Universe was a set that my friends and I were stoked about in the mid-90s.  This set was made to appeal to kids. Old school collectors that worked in hobby shops probably hated it when little kids would come in and ask for this product.  Some older collectors that didn't work in a hobby shop probably despised this set when it came out.

I still think it is cool and unique.  I don't think Topps would take a risk like this and release it in 2012.  Too many traditionalists would be up in arms.  Leaf Metal tried to make a comeback at the end of last year but, the set looked like silver foil.  It wasn't inventive and just bland.

I love the 90s card sets.  There is so much non-sense going on here but, I still love it.  I am a collector that loves a ton of shine, colors and photos to be all on one card.  I also like cards that are simple like Allen and Ginter.  No middle ground for me!

This was super cool of Wes from JayBarkerFan's Junk to throw this coin in.  I have no info on this set.  I didn't want to rip this card from it's packaging to read the back of it.  I am also not sure how I am going to display or catalog this card.  Those are good worries to have because this is oddball and golden cool.

I got all of this plus other cards for somebody else being the best.  Awesome stuff, Wes!  Thanks!  Also, thanks to the greatness of Night Owl for getting some votes.  Thanks to all the people that voted for Night Owl because without your support, I would have never gotten a stack of Nomo cards.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Letter From Carl Erskine

One of my top goals for getting autographs through the mail was to get returns from some of the famed Brooklyn Dodgers.  I have gotten an autograph from Don Zimmer.  The other day, I got a return from Carl Erskine.

Erskine pitched his whole career as a Dodger.  He pitched from 1948-1959.  Erskine finished his career in Los Angeles in 1959 with a career win/loss record of 122-78.  His ERA+ was a 102 for his career.  Erskine was also a member of the famous 1955 championship Brooklyn Dodger team.  He endured a lot of heartbreak during his career prior to 1955.  The Dodgers lost four titles before breaking through and beating the Yanks in 1955.

Erskine was kind enough to sign a couple cards for me as well as answering some questions that I sent him.  This is only the second time that a player has actually answered my questions.  Him doing so made me very proud because I hold the Brooklyn teams in such high regard.

Here are the questions and answers from my letter:

Q:  What was the atmosphere like at a Brooklyn Dodger vs. New York Giants game at Ebbets Field?

A:  Tense. Lots of pressure in those games.  Also respect for each other.

Q:  What was the best game you ever pitched as a Dodger?

A:  1953 World Series Game 3.  A 3-2 victory over the Yankees.  Setting the World Series strike out record at 14.  Mickey Mantle struck out 4 times.

Q:  Who are your favorite players in today's game?

A:  Pujols of the Cardinals and Kershaw of the Dodgers.

Q:  What was your favorite ballpark to play in as a visitor?

A:  Sportsman Park in St.Louis.

This was a great return.  I love him mentioning that he struck out Mickey Mantle four times in a World Series game.  I looked up the box score just to make sure and it was correct.  Also, I got this letter a couple weeks ago so, obviously one of his favorite players is Pujols of Anaheim.

Thanks, Mr. Erskine!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Boy in the Argyle Sweater

I posted about trying to get some cards from one of my favorite baseball movies.  That movie is called Eight Men Out.  It is a movie about the 1919 Black Sox scandal.  The movie was very well done and had some solid actors in the film such as Charlie Ma-Sheen, John Cusak and D.B. Sweeney.

Eight Men Out is probably my fifth favorite baseball movie.  My Top 5 will probably stir a good debate.  A good baseball movie debate is always good for the blog world.  Every baseball fan has a different Top 5 baseball movie list.  No list is the exact same.  That is impossible with so many good options to choose from.  Here is my Top5:
#1 Bad News Bears
#2 Major League
#3 A League of Their Own
#4 The Sandlot
#5 Eight Men Out

What is on your list?

I can go into greater detail about my Top 5 list but, I may save that for another post.  Since, there is a lull in baseball news and I will let other bloggers discuss 2012 Topps later this month.  The other bloggers can break down 2012 Topps better than me anyways.

Let me show you some cards that Greg sent me.  Greg writes about cards at Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle.  He is a Dodger collector and a player collector and a Mighty Ducks collector, and a San Diego Chokers collector and a UCLA collector and a Long Beach State Collector and a set collector.  I think that covers all of the PCs he has going on.  If I forgot anything, then I am sorry, Greg.

Greg was nice enough to dig up a couple Eight Men Out cards for me.  These came out all the way back in 1988 and were released by Pacific.  I was about 5 years old then and I don't think Greg was born yet.  I am still looking for many more of these cards so, please let me know.

I didn't think James Loney was going to be a Dodger in 2012.  I kept saying all throughout 2011 that Loney would be non-tendered and then will become a starter in Seattle or Pittsburgh, where mediocre ballplayers go to die.  I was wrong and Loney has just signed a one year deal to stay in Los Angeles.  I will continue to say throughout 2012 that this season will be Loneys last in a Dodger uniform.  Be prepared, Greg, you will hear me complaining about Loney for one more season as we wait in an autograph line for several hours this coming season.

Andre Ethier also signed a one year deal to stay in LA today.  I really hope Ethier can bounce back and have a great 2012.  The Dodgers need him to produce so, they can try and win 82 games this year.  I also think that Ethier will play well then sign a 4 year deal with Boston or New York.  That is where solid layers go to win a championship.  I should also clarify that when I say New York, I mean the Yankees and not the Triple-A team that also plays in that city.

Thanks for all the cards, Greg, except that card of Eugenio Velez that you slipped into the bubble mailer.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Card Show Haul:Non-Dodgers Edition

I do collect players that aren't picture in Dodger uniforms.  I have a bunch of collections going on that I haven't listed on my blog. They are collections that I am not trying to focus on but, when I see a good deal, I pounce at the chance to add to it.  If I posted all of the players or categories that I collect, I would then receive too many cards from the blog world to keep track of.  I need to keep some order and have some time to organize everything.  Dodgers will always be the main focus but, here are some other cards that I bought that fit into my minor collecting goals.

I like autographs of criminal ballplayers.  I don't seek them out but, I found this one of Lenny Dykstra for a couple bucks.  How could I pass on a 2 dollar auto of a felon?

Dykstra was a solid baseball player that always played hard and was a champion on the 1986 Mets team.  He was also a beloved member of the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies team that lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series.

His post baseball career saw him become super rich, bankrupt and jailed.  He is only 48 and has committed crimes such as embezzlement, drug charges, grand theft auto, an accusation of exposing himself and using steroids.  Dykstra is a dude that knows how to party.

If you Google his name, you will find articles discussing his baseball career, his criminal behavior, and skipping a celebrity boxing match against Jose Canseco.  Dykstra deserves a TV movie.  That would be worth watching.

This card of Eddie Murray was also in the 2 dollar box.  I have a little Hall of Fame collection going on.  I am not completely against trading this for a game used card of a Dodger legend or a game used card featuring a piece of Eddie Murray's jersey from his Dodger days.

I think the Orioles began wearing black in there jersey in the mid-90s.  I may be wrong and an Oriole fan can correct me on that.  It must have been brutal wearing a black uniform in the humidity of Baltimore in the summer.

Shin-Soo Choo is a solid baseball player with great on-base skills, some pop and can steal some bases.  I only get to watch him play a few times a year on television and he impresses me. I keep his cards because i dig his skills.

The Topps 60 cards that came out this past year crack me up.  The cards often list a specific catagory and the picture a player that you would think, would have led the league in that stat.  On the particular card, the stat is 2010 AL SLG% Leaders with Runners in Scoring Position.  That category seems so specific that Choo must be the top dog of 2010 in that stat.  Well, Topps has deceived us again.  Choo was actually ranked 7th in that catagory in 2010.

Choo also has one of the better names in baseball.  I wish the Cleveland Indians would trade this guy to the Dodgers so, I can shout Chooooooooo from the bleachers in left field every time this dude makes a great play or comes to the plate or makes a routine catch on a fly ball or adjusts his cup.  Choooooooooooo!

Please Cleveland, trade him to LA for some beard shavings from Casey Blake that have been clogging the drains since last summer.  You guys kind of owe us, right?  Dodger fans know what I mean.

My buddy who I went to the card show with traded this Gaylord Perry autograph to me.  I have been tring to stockpile HOF autos and this will fit right in.  This signature is also from unknown origins.  It is probably a TTM auto but, he knows it is legit and came from a good source.  He traded this to me for some of the basketball game used cards that I am getting from the blog world.  This deal works because Perry is in Cooperstown and it is his signature on a card of him as an Indian.  If he was pictured in a dirty Giant uniform, I would have declined.

That wraps up the baseball portion of my card show pick-ups.  I may show some of the UCLA autos that I picked up.  I will probably go to a card show in a couple weeks or so.  We shall see....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Dodger Haul From A Card Show

My friend and I made a trip down to our local card show called Frank and Sons in the City of Industry,CA.  They hold a twice a week show there with a mix of sports cards, memorabilia, action figures and other collectibles.  I usually try to roll down to the show every other month.  I don't go as often as I like due to money constraints.

Most of the other times that I go, I pick up a hobby box plus some singles.  But, this is a new year and a new way of collecting for me.  I decided to get down on boxes, blasters and packs so, I can put all my collecting dollars more towards cards that fit my needs.  By, spending money more on singles as opposed to playing a game of chance with a pack of cards.  This should build my personal collection a lot more easily and cut down on having random clutter.

One guy at the show had a box of hits for 2 bucks apiece.  That price is right in my budget wheelhouse.  I was able to get some Dodgers as well as some trade bait.  Most of the trade bait that I bought today will be going out shortly to some traders of the blog world.

I love game specific relic cards.  I will keep on saying that every time that I find one to show off at the Platter.  This card contains a piece of jersey that Paul Lo Duca wore during the 2003 All-Star game.  Lo Duca was one of my favorite Dodgers a decade ago.  His name was tarnished by being mentioned in the Mitchell Report.  But, I don't care too much about that, he was still a Dodger and his cards will always fit into my collection.

See, I told you that I don't care about the Mitchell Report.  Lo Duca cards are welcomed into my home.  Oddly, this is my first certified Lo Duca autograph.  I guess that he didn't have too many back in his prime during the 2000s.  I splurged a little and picked this one out of the 5 dollar box.  Since, I was buying in bulk, this card came out to a little less than that.

I thought that my first Lo Duca auto card should be high end.  This card comes from 2004 Leaf Certified and is numbered out of 50.  This card is also super shiny which is a plus.

Back to the finds in the 2 dollar box, I found a game used Steve Garvey that I didn't have.  I dig the young looking photo that they used of Garvey.  He looks like the innocent, golden boy that everyone thought he was in the 70s.

This card is from a SP Authentic set called Cooperstown Calling.  I don't see Cooperstown ever calling Garvey.  He had a really good career but, probably will fall short in his bid to the Hall of Fame.  The only people that may be calling Garvey these days are the I.R.S, an ex-wife/girlfriend seeking child support payments or some middle aged women claiming he is the fathered her child back in '85.

I have a decent sized Andy LaRoche autograph collection going.  This card was probably a big hit to pull out of 2005 Bowman's Best back then.  I am still a fan of LaRoche and don't fully understand how he didn't pan out into something special.  He had great numbers in the minors and good genes because he has other family members that were also big league ball players.  LaRoche just never made the next step in the majors to become big time.  

I love collecting autos of failed Dodger prospects.  LaRoche is my favorite of them all.  I thought he was going to be the cornerstone at the hot corner for the Dodgers.  I followed his minor league and major league career.  I think that is why he is my favorite failed prospect to collect.  He also has many cards and autographs from the mid-2000s.  That gives me plenty of autos to chase.

The card show today was fun.  Spending my limited funds mostly on singles that I want seemed to work out great.  I was also able to pick up some cheap autos of some UCLA football players that I may show off at another time.  So, long to pack ripping for now because I want to see where this next step of collecting takes me.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Trade Me Some Basketball GUs, Please

I am currently looking for some basketball game used cards.  My buddy is putting together some NBA mystery packs and wanted my help.  He knows that I make several trades through my blog and may be able to score some cards for him.

I don't have many baseball game used to trade but, I am willing to pick some up to send in return.  I am also willing to trade a bulk amount of base, inserts, parallels or serial numbered cards of your favorite baseball team.  I am super flexible on trades and will always be willing to negotiate.

Please email me or leave if your interested in a baseball for basketball swap.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Short Term Dodger Signs For Me

Luis Gonzalez is the short term Dodger that signed some cards for me through the mail.  Gonzalez played for the Dodgers in 2007.  At the time, I criticized him for his poor play.  I sit in the Left Field Pavilion for most of the Dodger games that I attend.  So, I can see how well a left fielder plays defense and I can also hear what fans are saying to that player.  Gonzalez did play some porous defense but, his play at the plate wasn't as poor as I once thought.

Luckily, the internet has given us baseball reference.com.  This site is great for looking up a player's numbers.  Gonzalez had a decent season for the team.  I take back some of the mean things that I have said about him in 2007.  I looked him up on baseball reference and his numbers were solid for a 39 year old ballplayer.

  Gonzalez had a slash line of .278/.359/.433/.793 and for an older player those numbers are pretty good.  He was one of GM Ned Colletti's veteran signings.  The signing of Gonzalez wasn't as bad as some of the other old man signings that Colletti has made like Marcus Thames or Andruw Jones.

As I checked out the stats that Gonzalez put up throughout his career, I came away impressed.  I knew that he had a good career, I just never knew how well he truly was.  He is best known for hitting a walk off, World Series winning base hit to win the 2001 championship for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Here are some of his career stats that impressed me:
Doubles: 596
Home Runs: 354
OPS: .845
OPS+: 118

Those are solid numbers.  Also, his World Series game winner was against the Yankees and Mariano Rivera.  That counts for a lot more since all the non-Yankee supporters were ecstatic when his hit that blooper up the middle.

According to baseball reference the players that he compares most to is Dave Parker, Dwight Evans, and Billy Williams.  He compares to two very good players and one dude in the Hall of Fame.  Awesome!

Gonzalez now works for the Diamondbacks which is where I sent these cards to get signed.  So, if anyone else wants to try him send cards to Phoenix.

This is the first time that I sent a non-Dodger card to a former Dodger.  I knew that this Astro card would come in handy.  There is a lucky Astro blogger out there that is going to get this in the mail in a few days.  That person should be happy.

Thanks to Luis Gonzalez and sorry for some of the things that I shouted to you during the 2007 season.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Kindness of the Blogworld

I love all the people of the blog community.  The traders are very nice and generous.  Sometimes, I get an email from a fellow collector that tells me they have cards from my want lists.  They also state that I don't need to send anything in return or just send me whatever cards you feel necessary.  The kind bloggers just want to help out one of there own.

Of course, I will always send something in return.  I am also a nice blogger and if you scratch my back then, I send cards to you.  The expression goes something like that.

Tom, the nice blogger from The Angels, in Order sent me these two 1981 Topps cards.  Tom knew that I needed these for my 1981 Topps Chase.  He saw that they were on my want list and decided to send them my way.  Just like that, I got a couple cards that I can cross off my list.

Be on the look out, Tom, a bubble mailer will be heading to your mailbox very soon.  I have some Angels that need a good home and my house of Dodger blue isn't suited for them.

Oddly, the last two cards that I need for my 1981 Topps Chase are Dodgers.  I still am looking for the Dodgers team card and a Bill Russell.  I thought that I had both of those but, I can't find them in my binders. I may have misplaced them but, according to my records, they are still needed at the Platter.

I received these two 70s Dodgers from Wrigley Wax.  The name of the dude that runs that blog is Paul.  This is the first time that Paul has sent me cards.  I discovered his blog through the contest held at the blog, Jaybarker's Junk.  Wrigley Wax finished a very respectable second in the Blog of the Year voting.

Paul checked out my Most Wanted List and saw that I was looking for some 70s Topps Dodgers.  He sent me an email saying that he had a Maury Wills and a Bobby Valentine to spare.  He also warned me about the condition.  Paul also stated that he wasn't looking for anything in return.  What a nice fellow!

These cards are great!  I don't care about condition of vintage cards.  They will fit nicely into my team set binder.  I will also try to find something to send him.  I will have to get him something special because he was  very kind in his emails.  Be patient, Paul, I will send you some goods.

Trey from Rants, Reviews, and Fandom emailed me about a trade.  He wasn't looking for much in return but, knew that he had some cards that I would enjoy.  Trey is an Astros collector and luckily I haven;t made a trade with an Astros collector in awhile.  Trey told me to send him whatever that I feel is suitable.  I love that trust among bloggers.  I will send him some cardboard awesomeness.

This is a red bordered 2011 Topps Update Matt Kemp.  This card is commemorating his 2 home runs that he hit at the home run derby.  Kempy will dominate the contest next year.  Move over Robinson Cano, Kemp will put on a show.

Trey also sent me a handful of minis that I need for my 2011 Allen and Ginter sets.  I totally dig the fire breathing card.  The Amityville House creeps me out.  The latest movie version starring Ryan Reynolds gave me chills.  It freaked me out and I will never watch the original movie because it must be scarier.

I thank you all for the kindness.  I am a little behind on return packages but, you will all get something nice.

Derek Lowe is my Homeboy

I didn't know too much about Derek Lowe before he signed with the Dodgers in 2005.  The few things that I did know was that he was a solid starter, closer and a champion while pitching for the Boston Red Sox.  Those seemed like good qualities to have.  I was happy that the Dodgers signed him.

Lowe had some really good success as a Dodger.  In the four years that he pitched in LA his ERA was never above 3.88.  His ERA+ was never lower than 114.  He also had time to cheat on his wife with a Fox Sports reporter.  His infidelity didn't affect his mound performance.  He is either a sociopath or he under performed due to his indiscretions.  No matter how you look at it, Derek Lowe was my kind of Doyer.

I will also never forget the game that he pitched in the 2008 NLDS against the Chicago Cubs.  Lowe pitched Game 1 of that series.  He pitched 6 innings, gave up 2 runs and struck out 6 to pick up the victory. This was also the game where James Loney hit a grand slam in the 5th inning to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.   That's right Loney was a hero for a day rather than a goat.  Things were different in 2008.

Also, I checked the box score for this game and Greg Maddux pitche the 9th inning to close out the victory. I forgot that little tidbit from the game.  I also remember angry Cubs fans leaving early because they lost faith in there team despite the final score being 7-2 in the Dodgers victory.

These are my first two autographs of Lowe.  I was happy to see that he signs through the mail.  When I saw that on the Sports Card Forum, I knew that I had to mail out to him quickly.  He was one of the first Dodgers that I sent cards to.

I wrote him a super nice letter.  I mentioned that I used to wear a Derek Lowe jersey shirt to Dodger Stadium when he was starting.  I felt that would give him extra luck.  I also may have been the only Dodger fan with Lowe's name on the back of my shirt.

Thanks for the memories, Derek Lowe.  Thanks for the autographs!  As long as you don't pitch for the Giants, you will still be my homeboy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Future of the Dodgers Rotation

I had a great day today.  I pretty much sat down in a comfortable chair with my laptop and watched sports.  I watched games all day long.  The NFL was on television, the NHL had games airing and the NBA had a couple games to watch also.  This was the type of Sunday that every man in America must have at least onc a month.  That should be a new federal law.  A Sunday just for sports.

I also have had time to catalog a ton of baseball cards that have been sitting in a 1000 count box for awhile.  This was one of my goals for my stretch of days off from work.  The sitting around and watching sports was just a bonus for having off days.

I also found the time to post at the Platter.  This is my second post of the day.  That is a rarity for my blog.  I am sure that all my readers will be very appreciative of two posts in one day.

I picked up this auto of Rubby De La Rosa off of ebay.  I have been trying to get one of his autos and they kept eluding my grasp.  Bowman Sterling cards are very nice.  They are a high quality baseball card.

Rubby pitched pretty well for a 22 year old in the big leagues last season before suffering an arm injury.  He will miss all or most of next season due to surgery.  I am sure that even if Rubby was completely healthy, GM Ned Colletti still would have blocked his path with some over the hill stiff.  Rubby struck out almost a batter per inning as a rookie.  He walked his fair amount of hitters but, that could be corrected with more experience.

Nathan Eovaldi was another rookie that pitched pretty decent for the Dodgers last year.  He showed some great potential and has a solid fastball.  Eovaldi was 21 years old last year which made his call up to the big leagues even more impressive.

Rubby and Eovaldi are the future of the Dodgers rotation.  There time to become stalwarts in the rotation probably won't be until 2014.  This is due to all the old guys on multi-year deals that Colletti has signed. But, one day these two will be pitching in big games as the Dodgers return to the playoffs.

The 2014 Dodgers Rotation:
Clayton Kershaw
Chad Billingsley
Nathan Eovaldi
Some Dude

I am looking forward to the contributions from the #5 spot in the rotation.  I have been reading tons of great things about Some Dude.

Don Zimmer Made My Day

Don Zimmer is one of the last Boys of Summer still alive and well.  I read somewhere that only 50 something Brooklyn Dodgers are still alive.  Sadly, I don't have a link to where I read that or if it's true.  That is just some laziness from your boy at the Platter.

After reading about the limited number of Brooklyn Dodgers still around, gave me a sense of urgency to obtain as many of there autos as possible.  The 1955 Champion Dodgers is my favorite World Series winner of all time.  The Dodgers were stacked with big time players.  They had Jackie, Pee Wee, The Duke and Gil Hodges     in the line up. They had Don Newcombe,Carl Erskine and Johnny Podres in the rotation.  That team was beast.

Also, they beat the rival Yankees to win in 1955.  Podres shut the Yanks down in Game 7.  The Game 7 in 1955 would be my dream game to attend if I had a hot tub time machine.  I would pick that game over 1988 World Series Game 1 and 1965 World Series Game 7.

Don Zimmer was a member of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers.  Zimmer was a back up infielder on the team.  He wasn't much of a hitter but, he could play 2nd, SS, and 3rd.  Utility players even had value back in the day.  Every team needs a Zimmer.

I saw on the Sports Card Forum that Zimmer signs autographs through the mail.  The SCF has been my source for all the TTMs that I have mailed out.

I quickly checked my Brooklyn binder to make sure that I had a good card to send Zimmer.  There was no way that I was going to send him a card with him as a manager of the Red Sox or Padres.  I had to have a Brooklyn card to mail him.  Luckily, I had one Don Zimmer Brooklyn Dodger card.  I sent him a 1979 TCMA for him to autograph.

Awesome!  Thank you, Don Zimmer!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Trading With The Blog Of The Year

Being able to trade with the Blog of the Year is a huge accomplishment for a little blogger like myself.  The winner of the Blog of the Year was Godfather Night Owl.  I am sure everybody has heard that already.  The Godfather has been super busy since being crowned the champion of the blog world.  I am shocked that he still has time to send cards to the Platter.

Godfather Night Owl sent me a big bundle of Dodgers my way.  Many of the cards are needs of mine.  He must have put together a package for me in between interviews with major news outlets like TMZ and CNN.  I am grateful that he took the time for me.  It must be because we both love Los Doyers.

This is one of a million Hideo Nomo cards that were released in 1995.  The baseball world had Nomo fever and so did the card world.  It will take me a very long time to ever collect all of his cards from 1995 alone.  I wonder if Topps or whoever is running the card industry in 20 years, will release more Nomo cards.  Nomo was highly collectible in the 90s and I wonder if he will show up in 90s retro sets.

This is an awesome looking 1975 Topps Joe Ferguson. It is mini and is of a cool action shot.  I am positive that Ferguson made the play at the plate and tagged this dude out.

I am still trying to build up my 70s Topps Dodgers collection.  I may need to get a separate section for the minis of this era.  I will try to compile the regular Dodgers team set from 1975 as well as the mini set.  Please keep'em coming blog world.

 I remember going to Kay Bee Toys as a kid.  I would get some GI Joe action figures there. They are probably gone but, they made a cool looking baseball card set.  That should have been stated on the tombstone of Kay Bee Toys.

I almost forgot that Vicente Padilla was a Dodger in 2011.  He hardly played and was injured.  I enjoyed his time on the team in 2009-2010.  I wish I remembered any accomplishment that he had in 2011.  I just loved having a psycho lunatic on the pitching staff.  When Padilla was on the mound, at any moment he could lose his mind and bean the batter, kick an umpire and shoot himself in the leg all in one sequence of delirium.

That would have been an awesome sequence!

2008 Topps Stadium is a beautiful set.  I am glad that Topps had time to take a photo of someone's kid brother.  They even gave him a uniform and everything.

I'm just teasing you, Chin Lung Huuuuu.  I miss you, kid.

This is off-topic, but do you guys use the site Groove Shark to listen to music?  This site has everything to listen to for free.  I am currently listening to Operation Ivy.  I used to this to them a ton back in Jr. High.  Listening to them right now will make me a better blogger and a better human being overall.

Godfather Night Owl helped me out with some cards for my 2011 Allen and Ginter insert set collection.  The World's Mysterious Figures set is eerie.  This set gives me chills when I read the back of them.  The Babushka Lady creeps me out.  She filmed the Kennedy assassination from a good point of view.  According to the FBI she has never come forward with her film footage from that fateful day.  Where did she go?  Who is she?  Did the FBI track her down and cover up her footage?  That is so strange.

Get back to being famous now, Night Owl.  Thanks for the cards!

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Got A Gross Autograph

My TTM endeavor has been going smoothly.  Writing letters to past Dodgers has been a lot of fun for me.  The words that I write them are genuine and I hope that they realize that.  I especially enjoy writing to Dodger players that played during my childhood.

When I watched baseball as a kid, I didn't study numbers like I do now.  I didn't go deep into advanced statistics or check baseball reference to look at someone's career.  As a kid, I just went by the eyeball test and how I felt about a player.  Sadly, Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti also doesn't look at statistics just like the child version of me.

 Kevin Gross was a guy that I knew wasn't that good even as a kid.  I had no numbers to back it up but, I knew that the Dodgers would lose games when he pitched.  He was middling at best.

Even as a child I was a cynical and angry Dodger fan.  This anger keeps on growing as I get older.  My childhood anger was usually directed at Kevin Gross, Jose Offerman, and Delino Deshields.

But, my opinion slightly changed towards Kevin Gross during a Photo Day at Dodger Stadium in the early 90s.  My mother had taken me that day to walk on the field in hopes of getting my photo taken with some of my beloved Dodgers.  Orel Hershiser blew me off.  My mother asked him to take a photo with me but, he refused.  I am still bitter about it.  Kevin Gross on the other hand was nice enough to take a photo with me.  It was a simple and kind gesture that I still remember to this day.  That changed my opinion about him as a person.  I still joked about his on field performance but, not his personality.  I told Gross this story in my letter to him.  A ball player can do something simple like take a photo with a child and that kid could remember for the rest of his life.  I thank him for that day.

Orel on the other hand, is still on my shit list.  I am currently rooting against him for his bid to buy the Dodgers.  If a ball player refuses to take a photo with a child, that child will always remember that day.

Kevin Gross is a nice man.  He took a photo with me and also was cool enough to sign my baseball cards through the mail.  Thank you, Kevin Gross!

Also, nice shades and mustache combo.  I also mentioned that in my letter.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Good Day At The Card Shop

I spent my day off today with a nice trip to the card shop and came away a very happy collector.  One of the employees from the Valley Sports Cards sent me an email mentioning that my redemption has arrived from Topps.  The shop was nice enough to take care of the whole redemption process for me.  Also, this gave me an excuse to go in even though, I wasn't planning on buying too much.

This is the redemption that I pulled from a pack of 2010 Topps 206 about a month ago.  I wasn't looking forward to receiving a Sammy Gervacio autograph.  The name sounds like someone that Joe Pesci whacked in Goodfellas.  Sadly, he is not a character from Goodfellas.  Gervacio is some dude in the Houston Astros organization.

Topps somehow ran out of Sammy Gervacio autographs so, they sent me a Chris Young autograph instead. I have heard of Chris Young!  He was an All-Star!  I watch him play against the Dodgers several times a year!

Awesome!  This was a sweet deal for me.  I am so happy that Topps hooked me up.  This Chris Young card is definitely something that I can trade and get something solid in return.  Please let me know if any of you are interested.  I also probably have some other Diamondbacks to trade because I seem to trade with a Diamondback fan about once every 9 months.

This was just the start of the good luck that I was getting at the shop today.

  The second part of the good luck was getting some of my bid board winnings.  I always walk into the shop and check out the wall of random cards that people are selling.  I usually bid on some that fit into my collection.  If you check out my set needs section, you will notice that I am trying to put together some 2011 Allen and Ginter insert sets.  I have been slowly chipping away. The Animals in Peril set is the biggest one that I am working on.  Being able to pick up a couple of these on the cheap is good news for me.

I have been seeing less and less 2011 Ginter packs at the shop and in retail stores lately.  My Wal-Mart seems to be getting rid of there card section.  The only baseball cards that they have left are the Topps Value packs and a few 2011 Topps Update Rack Packs.  Finishing the 2011 Allen and Ginter sets may take some luck and some work in the trade department.

The shop had some packs of Bowman Chrome, some high end Bowman something that I won't touch and some packs of Lineage.  I am a huge Lineage fan and love the parallels such as the '75 Minis and the Cloth Sticker cards.  The shop worker said that there were only five packs left and the hits have already been gone from the box.  He ended up selling me the five packs for ten bucks.  Sweet!

I was cool not expecting a hit because I dig the parallels and inserts so much.  In the 5th pack that I opened, out popped this super cool Bobby Shantz autograph.  I was psyched and mentioned to the shop worker that he was wrong.  I had to rub it in a little.  He gave me a good deal and I came away with an auto.

Shantz had a solid career.  He played for 16 seasons mostly with the Philadelphia/Kansas City Athletics.  Shantz won a MVP in 1952.  That season he won 24 games and had 27 complete games.  I love that stat line.  Shantz also won 8 consecutive Gold Gloves between 1957-1964.

I am totally happy with the autos that I came away with at the shop today.  I wasn't expecting either one.  The Shantz is a keeper but, the Young is available.