Saturday, February 25, 2012

Diggin' In A Dollar Box

I spent a lot of time roaming LA on my day off.  I was doing two things that I love, eating and picking up some baseball cards.  My day started out eating a jumbo sized burrito.  The burrito that I had was the size of my plate.  It was a great lunch.

After gorging myself and nearly being put in a food coma, I made way to Valley Sports Cards in Tarzana, CA. I was in need of some cards to fill out trades and to pick up some vintage for myself.

I was sifting through the dollar box of cards.  The card shop usually has some 70s vintage of hall of fame guys.  The cards are also in pretty good shape.

It has been a while since I have added to my hall of fame collection.  George Brett was a beast.  He has led the league at least once in every major hitting category such OB%, SLUG% and triples.  I put triples in as a major hitting category because that is my favorite play in baseball.

This 1976 Topps card of Gaylord Perry is in near perfect shape.  Gaylord Perry is stuck with a name that doesn't scream athlete.  Let alone, hall of fame athlete.  That is a lot to overcome.

Perry compiled a career win total of 314 while also pitching 303 complete games.  That is a crazy stat that seems like a typo.  Maybe even baseball reference can make a mistake?

Perry also looks very old and broken down in this photo.  Playing several years in the big leagues could do that to a guy.  Perry also could have the real life inspiration for a drunk, angry father in the movie Hoosiers.

This is Billy Williams first card as an Oakland A.  He had spent the previous 16 seasons with the Chicago Cubs.  Williams looks happy in this photo and even has a mustache to fit in with all the other Oakland A's of the 70s.

Williams also must be eager to finally make it into the playoffs.  As an Athletic he got 7 at-bats in the postseason during the 1975 season.  It was the first time he got to sniff the playoffs and take some hacks.  Williams sadly didn't record a hit by going 0-7 with a walk.

You know what they say, "Once a Cub, Always a Cub."

Willie Stargell was a big time power hitter in his day.  He was also a man that wore a little batting helmet over the top of his cap.

The Pirates could have gotten uniforms that weren't so cheap looking.  These are the same quality of uniforms that beer league softball teams wear.  The Pirates still got a ton of production out of Stargell.

It was nice to add to my vintage hall of fame collection.  This is a side PC of mine that I think I will tend to more in the coming weeks.  I would like to see what I can compile through trade or purchase.  Please send me an email if you have any cards of hall of famers in the 60s or 70s.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ryan Braun Won't Be Pictured Here

The Ryan Braun saga has been big news among baseball fans for weeks now.  Braun, as many of you have heard, will not serve a 50 game suspension.  He won his appeal and won't miss a game due to his alleged PED use.

My Ryan Braun collection is on hold right now.  I will not be excepting anymore of his cards at this time.  A new player collection will be introduced this weekend at the Platter.

I just need sometime to relax and not think about Braun and drug testing for a while.

Let me focus on some cards that feature some good guy Dodgers.  I made a trade with Dennis and he writes the blog called Pictures of Men.  Dennis is a Blue Jay and set collector.  He is also a fellow that lives in Canada.

This marks the first time I have traded with a collector in another country.  This is another milestone reached at the Platter.

The 1975 Topps Ron Cey that he sent me is in great shape.  This card looks to be pack fresh.  Maybe Canada is just getting cases of '75 Topps shipped to them.  This set may be new and fresh in Canada.

Clayton Kershaw on a Donruss Elite card in a t-shirt tucked into baseball pants.  Fans have been clamoring for a Donruss to put out a card like this for years.

Well, not really.  But, it is nice to see new Kershaw on a card that isn't Topps.  Kershaw will be looking to win another Cy Young this year.  I wish him the best of luck, of course.

I am not a big fan of the MLB cards that Donruss Elite has to offer.  I like players captured in an action shot or with an interesting background.  Players in warm up gear and photographed in a studio comes across kind of tacky to me.

Here is a card that Donruss got right.  Jeff Weaver is in the process of striking out some chump.  Weaver is making hitters look foolish in this photo.

Players posing in studios is no good.  Players being photographed in there element on a baseball field is golden.

Thanks for the trade Dennis!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Dodger Gwynn

The blog world will probably get filled with a lot of Spring Training autograph returns very soon.  I hope so anyways.  Some bloggers are mailing out a lot of autograph requests through the mail.  I am included in that group.  I haven't sent out a bunch of TTM requests to Spring Training before.

I hope the blog world and I will succeed to getting a bunch of returns this spring.  I sent one out last week and already have gotten it back.  This envelope was mailed out on February 14th and was in my mailbox on February 18th.

I started out getting autographs through the mail a couple months back.  I did so, in part to make use of my Dodger dupes and unwanted cards.  My adventure in autograph hunting certainly made use of all the random junk wax, I have lying around.

Like this random 1992 Score Chris Gwynn, it was in my Dodger dupes and unwanted box, just being ignored and stored away.  Now, after Gwynn was kind enough to sign it for me, is going to reach top loader status.

Gwynn's signature looks a little different on this 1988 Score card.  On the Score '92 card, his signature looks shorter and this orange creamsicle card looks to be his full name.

I have never noticed an athlete doing this before.  Is this common for a ballplayer to sign his name differently from card to card?

Some of the more experienced autograph hounds in the blog world should know the answer to that question.

This is my favorite Chris Gwynn card.  He is sweating bullets after dominating the Giants.  Gwynn was legging out triples and stealing bases like a madman.  The man needs a towel and some gatorade.

Gwynn is now a scout in the Seattle Mariners organization.  I sent him a letter to the Mariners Spring Training complex in Arizona.  Just a heads up to anyone that is sending out letters this season.

Thank you, Chris Gwynn!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

26 Cent Fuji

The name 26 Cent Fuji would work great for a rapper.  The rapper would be a Japanese dude of below average height and speed rap skills like Busta Rhymes.  26 Cent Fuji would also get critical acclaim from music writers for his debut album.  The rapper would also be mildly popular for the summer season.

But, this post isn't about fictional rappers.  This is a trade post to give thanks to some great bloggers.

My first trade with 26 Cent Summer was a great success.  Matt is the dude that runs the blog and posts about the Kansas City Royals.  I sent him an Aaron Crow Auto/GU and he sent me this Maury Wills GU.  The piece of jersey looks to be a grey wool.  The card also states 100% Authentic several times on the front of the card.  Upper Deck just wanted to let there customers know that this is legit.

Matt also sent along this 2011 Topps Ichiro.  This card looks to be the Topps flagship base set from 2025.  This card has a sleek, futuristic look.

I also can't stop thinking about random life plots for the fictional speed rapper, 26 Cent Fuji.  26 Cent Fuji grew up listening to 90s rap.  He did so by having the only portable Sony Mini Disc player ever purchased.  26 Cent Fuji was able to find mini discs on the cheap of such 90s stars as Dr. Dre, Coolio and Skee-Lo.

I have a minor collection of Albert Belle going on.  He was a bad ass slugger in the 90s.  I watched a lot of games featuring some of the good Cleveland Indians teams of the 90s.  Belle could hit a line drive through an outfield wall.  The dude was ripped and always looked pissed off.

Fuji was kind enough to send this one my way.  He is currently looking for some old school A's from the 70s and prior.  He is also looking for some random Giants such as Tim Lincecum and Buster Posey.

Here is a flashy card of Tomo Ohka.  This flashy piece of cardboard fits in nicely to my Japanese ballplayer collection.

26 Cent Fuji would also have a thin mustache like the one that Ohka has on his baseball card.  26 Cent Fuji would get the idea of growing a mustache after seeing Kurt Russell's mustache in "Tombstone".  Sadly, the mustache doesn't make 26 Cent Fuji look tough like Wyatt Earp.

Another Ichiro to add to my collection.  Ichiro may have the most cards of mine that are waiting to be cataloged.  Nomo was ahead of him but, I cataloged and put a bunch of those away.  This week's goal is to get some Ichiro cards sorted out.

Thank you to both of you for the cards.  Also, thanks to both of you for inspiring a fictional rap star.

Nice Signature, Greg Brock

When I send out a TTM request to a ballplayer, I am always nervous about what I will get in return.  That is if I even get a return.  I am nervous about the quality of the signature.  Will the signature look faded?  Will the ink smudge on the back of the other card?

These are the things that I think about once a TTM envelope leaves my house.  I even hope for the right color ink.  The right color is blue for Dodger signatures.  Every autograph collector, hopes the player signs in there team's colors.  The Phillies fans hope for red, Cubs fans hope for blue, and the Marlins fans hope for turquoise.  Or whatever the Marlins colors are now.

Greg Brock has a great looking signature and he used the right color ink.  The ink on the "K" is slightly off but, autographs look good on 1985 Topps cards.

Brock was a beast in the minors.  He seemed destined to be a star in the big leagues.  Dodger fans in the early 80s were probably thinking that this guy could step in and take the place of Steve Garvey.

In four consecutive minor league seasons, between 1979-1982, Brock's home run totals rose every year.  His home run numbers were impressive in the minors.

1979: 16
1980: 29
1981: 32
1982: 44

The 1982 season took place in Albuquerque, which I hear is an extreme hitters park.  44 home runs is still impressive.  Brock never went on to hit more than 21 long balls in a major league season.  He still went on to play 10 seasons in the big leagues, spending time with the Dodgers and Brewers.

The 1984 Donruss set is very nice looking.  I will need to find more Dodgers for this set.  1984 Donruss also looks swell with a signature on it.

Thanks to Greg Brock!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Great Baseball Name

Some baseball player's names just flow smoothly off your tongue.  Some of there names make them sound more athletic.  The name Bobby Bonilla fits into both of those statements.  Bonilla has a great name, it is a name I remember saying as a kid.  As a child I thought Bonilla was a great player just because his name made him sound like a super athlete.

Bonilla actually was a really good player between the late 80s up through the mid 90s.  But, as a child, I didn't have the internet to look up stats or was I an avid fantasy baseball participant back then.  The name of a dude named Bobby Bonilla just had to be a good ball player.  It was Bonilla's duty to hit a lot of home runs.

I know that Bonilla spent a partial, miserable season in Dodger blue.  So, that means it was my duty to write him a letter and try to get his autograph.  This was the only card I had of Bonilla in a Dodger uniform.  Even though this card mentions he was traded to the Mets.  This card counts as a Dodger card to me.

Bonilla is too cool to write out his full name.  He just added "BO".  Which I guess, goes towards my theory about his name.  Another thing I will add to having a cool athlete name is that that athlete should never sign his full name.  Bonilla has too many fun filled activities to write out his full name.  He is a smooth dude, remember?

This was the second card I sent him.  This auto came out looking good on a 1989 Topps card.  A very nice Pirates blogger will be getting this in the mail soon.

Bonilla became a Dodger in the crummy trade of Mike Piazza in 1998. Bonilla took some heat from his brief time in LA because he was old, slow, and unproductive.  Some Dodger fans still make Bobby Bonilla jokes.  Nobody is LA is still laughing at Jim Eisenreich anymore.  Eisenreich was a bum at that point also.  But, it is Bonilla that still has to be a punchline for some reason.

Bonilla may not be loved as a Dodger but, I'm sure some Pirates and Mets fans are still fond of him.  He was last with the Pirates when they used to finish above .500 and even spent some time playing in the postseason.

Bonilla's career numbers were pretty good too.  He had a long career and ended up with some solid career stats.

Home Runs-287

Those are just some of the good stats that I noticed on Baseball Reference. He also was a nice enough guy to sign a couple cards for me.  Thank you to Bobby Bonilla!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Own The Circus

Woooo!  I had a nice break from the blog community.  I just needed to take a little time off from the Platter to regroup and gather some thoughts.  Luckily, for you guys, I'm back and ready to blog.  I have some new found energy to write some more great posts at the Platter.

There is no better way back from a blogger break than posting a trade post.  Everyone loves a trade post.  This is also a trade post that will let you share my joy because I completed an Allen and Ginter insert set.  This is the first time that I completed any sort of card set.  This is a huge accomplishment at the Platter.  Please share  my joy!

I know that Allen and Ginter gets some flak for having so many cards of non-baseball subject.  But, I am not one of those people.  I love the variety of the insert sets.  These are more interesting and unique to me rather than getting another Mickey Mantle insert in a 2012 Topps pack.

The Step Right Up insert set was one of my favorite Ginter offerings.  The cards were filled with circus acts like fire eaters and people walking a tightrope.  This set brings out the child out of me.

Matt from Card Anathema was the cool dude that sent me this card.  It was the first time that I traded with him and he deserves a round of applause for helping finish up this set.

He also sent me some other cards for my 2011 Ginter insert sets.  The Uninvited Guests insert set in my absolute favorite from Ginter last year.  It is a creepy set featuring haunted places.  Ghosts scare me and so does this set.

I only need one more to finish this set.  Anyone that may have my last need, please shoot me over an email.

I am a long way from finishing off the Animals in Peril set.  This set was sort hard to pull from packs and I haven't seen much Ginter packs in stores anymore.  It will probably take me a while to complete the Animals set.

Matt brought me a little closer with this card of a Markhor.  The Markhor looks kind of like a deer with bunny ears?  That would be my best guess.  This animal actually sounds like a Topps creation.

Thanks for the trade from Card Anathema.    

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Card Shop Pickups:Video Style

Do you guys prefer video posts as compared to a written post? I think that I am going to try and mix it up so, things stay fresh for me. I am just curious to see what the blog world thinks.