Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Restoring the Faith

The Dodgers have been sold to a group that includes Magic Johnson.  I am sure that a ton of people in the baseball world have heard about this.  The news break just hours ago and several posts have been up in the blog community already.  I have gotten messages from every form of social media to share the joy that a group with Magic and a bunch of rich dudes has bought the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Frank McCourt is gone and the smiling face of Magic Johnson will be greeting Dodger fans.  Magic brings instant trust among Dodger fans.  He is so beloved in this city that he actually brings optimism to Dodger fans.  I am a leader among cynical Dodger fans.  Even I am happy about this.  I can actually type the words, "I look forward to the Dodgers future."

I am not really sure if I have ever thought that before.  Magic is a champion.  He is an LA champion.  He can't let us down.

There are several other people in the group that includes Magic.  The group includes Mark Walter who is the CEO of Guggenheim Partners which controls billions of dollars worth of assets.  Peter Guber who is a film producer is part of things and so is Stan Kasten.  A couple executives from Guggenheim Partners are involved, they are name Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly.

These are a good mix of smart guys with cash and Stan Kasten is a great baseball mind.  Kasten ran the Atlanta Braves in the 90s when they were a model and beast franchise.

I trust this group.  Magic wouldn't get in a 2 billion dollar business deal with a bunch of crooks and scumbags.  Magic is the face of this group.  He will be front and center answering the tough questions from the media.  It is easier to smile for the cameras when the team you run is winning and being run smoothly.  I would at least presume so.

The new era of Dodger baseball begins this year.  Magic won't let us down.  McCourt will someday be a distant memory in the minds of Dodger fans.  The one man that can make us all happy and optimistic is now the face of the Dodgers.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Keep'em Coming

I usually get backed up on writing trade posts.  The blog world sends me such nice cards and the bubble mailer is always full of a wide variety.  The team bags full of Dodgers, Ichiros, and Kinslers take more time to sort and comb through.

Getting an autograph through the mail is a different process.  The cards arrive in a small plain white envelope that I self addressed.  I usually send 2-3 cards.  Sometimes a player may keep a card but that is not too often.  I usually get all my cards back nice and signed.

Juan Samuel played on the Dodgers between the years 1990-1992.  Earlier in his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, Samuel hit a ton of triples.  He twice led the league in triples while with the Phils.  The triple is one of my favorite plays in baseball.  Speed flying around the base paths while diving into third for a triple is fun to watch.

Samuel now coaches for the Phillies.  I sent this to there spring training site.  Samuel used a nice thin black sharpie for his signature.  The autograph looks really nice.

A thin sharpie is going to be my preferred choice for baseball card autographs.  I need to pick up a blue one for this coming baseball season.  The free Dodger signings around LA will be starting up soon.

 This 1992 Upper Deck card is my favorite of Juan Samuel.  His mustache is looking suave as he dives back into first base.  He is safe by a finger.  I hope the umpire got it right.  Either way, the Dodgers won this game by 11 runs.  They dominated the Giants that day.

Thanks to Juan Samuel!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meeting a Champion

During baseball season, I try to make it out to some of the free Dodger signings around Southern California.  Those signings should start back up again once the team leaves Arizona and comes back to LA for the regular season.  Today, I went to a different type of autograph signing.

I ventured out to Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, CA to meet Gold Medal figure skater and dancing star, Kristi Yamaguchi.  She just came out with a children's book called "It's a Big World, Little Pig."  Yamaguchi read the book and fielded questions in a short Q&A session.

The crowd was a decent size.  The bookstore had around 50 chairs set up for this event and most of them were filled with some people standing on the perimeter.  The event was super chill as compared to the crazy nature that some Dodger signings turn into to.

After, the Q&A session, the Vroman employees called everyone row by row to get i line to meet Yamaguchi and get your book signed.  This system went orderly.  The crowd was polite and everybody waited there turn.  No one cut in line. Not one person got pushed by another.  I had no idea that autograph sessions with famous athletes could be so peaceful.

I was in the last row so, I just waited patiently for my turn.  Yamaguchi was nice enough to sign this card for me, even though no outside items were allowed.  This is one of my favorite Ginter cards and it looks great signed by an American gold medalist.

I also go the kid's book signed for my sister.  I guess I should give it to her since, she was nice enough to send me an email notifying me of this event.  My sister also knew that I would show up to meet Yamaguchi because I collect autographs of sports stars and Yamaguchi is pretty.

I was so nervous to meet her.  When I meet a Dodger, I am not too scared or starstruck.  I see the Dodgers play a ton of games each year.  I see Matt Kemp more often than I see my closest friends.  But, seeing Yamaguchi in person made me nervous.  She has the glow and beauty of a champion.  The glow threw me off.  Luckily, I could get out some words and she was kind enough to take a photo with me.

Thanks to Vroman's Bookstore and to Kristi Yamaguchi!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Everybody's Favorite New Blog

Since the debut of a blog called, Dime Boxes-The Low End Baseball Card Collector's Journey, the blog world has been showing tons of love for the blog creator, Nick.  Nick writes great post after great post.  He writes a couple posts a day.  He may even write three a day at times.  The kid is a machine.

Nick writes quality posts about his massive collection that he amasses by digging through glorious dime boxes.  He also has a wide range of collections.  I have a feeling that Nick would get some joy, if you sent him a bubble mailer full of cards that just look cool.  Some nice photography, maybe an oddball card or some random vintage.

Between writing a ton of posts, Nick actually has time to trade.  I told you he is a machine.  I received on nice lot from Nick.  The bubble mailer was full of Japanese player cards and some cards from my player collections.  A really nice variety.  Some of the cards probably resided in a dime box somewhere for weeks, maybe even months.  It wasn't until Nick saved these cards from an old, crusty card dealer that they could find a good home.  A home that will cherish Jeff Weaver cards with him wearing the grand Doyer uniform with the ugly "A" on the bottom of the card.  Thank you for rescuing these cards, brother.

I just had to give some back story for these cards.  It helps me appreciate them better.

This is a nice shiny Takashi Saito card from 2008 Spectrum.  Laser beams seem to be shooting out from behind Saito.  Upper Deck must have gotten this laser beam idea from a Michael Jackson music video during the "Off the Wall" era.

Good call, Upper Deck.

Nick sent me a slew of Ichiro cards.  These are a couple of my favorites.  An Ichiro card from 2001 always fits into my collection.  Especially one with some snazzy coloring and a circular photo.  I just dig the 2002 Leaf design on the next card.

Nick was kind enough to give me a lot of Ichiro cards.  He must have a lot of dupes in his collection.  Ichiro's baseball career is winding down.  I wonder what he is going to do in his post playing career.  I hope he stays in the MLB in some capacity.

From Ichiro Suzuki to Kurt Suzuki, here is some 2012 Topps Gold.  Everybody has seen these.  I still haven't gotten too many of them for my Dodger and player collections.  Has 2012 Topps been a flop? Has the blog world successfully boycotted this product?  The '87 minis haven't been showing up in my mailbox too often neither.

I am trying to not buy packs of these.  I may have to buy some to try and get the cards I need.  I would rather try to trade for the gold parallels.

I love the Cracker Jack sets.  If I was collecting in 2005, I would have been busting boxes of this product.  The retro look with the bright colors works well.  This set may have over saturated the retro set market at the time.  But, it stands the test of time.

With all the praise that Nick gets for his blog, he is probably brimming with confidence.  All the compliments hasn't stopped him from posting on a daily basis.  He hasn't hit the wall or gotten lazy yet.  Keep up the good work, Nick.  Thanks for the trade.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Upper Class Base Cards

Some sets are released by Topps that I never open.  Sets like Topps Tribute and Topps Marquee aren't in my buying price range.  Those cards are way too classy for me.

I am cool with that though.  The upper class base cards of these sets are always available for trade.  Some card collectors are daring enough to bust open boxes or packs of these products.  Those dudes are always willing to trade some glossy finished cards with me.

2011 Topps Marquee cards are a little thicker than the usual base card.  This Sandy Koufax also has a nice gloss and glistens under some artificial light in my bedroom.

Ryan from the blog called "O" No!! Another Orioles Blog sent me a couple 2011 Topps Marquee cards.  This Koufax is my favorite of the two.  The image of Koufax striking out a chump and the Dodger Stadium crowd loving every inning of greatness is splendid.

I don't remember Topps using this image of Jackie Robinson.  This card of a legend seems fresh and modern to me.  Topps must save some random, old school Jackie images for there upper class sets.

After seeing, these two cards, it makes me tempted to seek out some other base cards from this set.  Thank you for opening my eyes to this set, Ryan.

Ryan also sent me some cards of current Dodgers.  This is a nice shade of blue for a Dodger parallel.  Topps should use this color way more often.

Whenever I get a Bowman card, I have to turn over the card to check the year of the set.  I can't tell the sets apart year after year.  Change things up, Bowman. Make your cards unique.  Make them stand out from each other.  I still won't buy packs of Bowman.  It is too prospect heavy for my tastes.

I am just trying to lookout for Bowman collectors.

Also, this card is numbered out of 500.  This Matt Kemp is a great shade of blue and has a nice serial number.  Awesome!

Kevin Youkilis is a player I kind of collect.  I don't seek out his cards too often.  He has a lot of cards out there and I willingly except them in trades.

I just flipped the Matt Kemp Blue Parallel to check the year about a minute ago.  I just did the same thing to check this Youkilis Gold Parallel.  Freaking Bowman!

This card has a really weird color of gold to it.  It has a hint of mustard.  Not a very flattering look.  This card fits into my collection nonetheless and is serial numbered out of 50.

This is a 2006 Upper Deck Kaz Matsui #1062.  Wait.  What!?!?  Card #1062?

That is a big base set.  Surprisingly, I don't see too many cards from this set.  I may not even have all the Dodgers I want from this set.  This is one of my favorite cards that Ryan sent my way.  I love how the photo shows the ball on the way to Matsui's glove. Does he make the play?

That suspense in action makes this card great.

Also, what was the opinion of collectors to have a card set of over 1000 cards like 2006 Upper Deck did?  I imagine some set collectors may have been mad.  But, some team or player collectors may have dug it.  A card set of this size would have cards of players that you normally wouldn't see in your average base set.  I enjoy getting a Doyer card of a middle reliever semi-prospect.

Thank you for the trade!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hot Autos From The Hot Corner

When I have some spare funds in my account, I scour Ebay for some of cards that will fit into my collection.  I type in some of my favorite players names and see what goods I could purchase.  Sadly, this doesn't happen too often because I rarely have much disposable income.

I got my federal tax return a couple weeks ago.  This gave me a little extra cash to spend on my cardboard addiction.  I decided to search Ebay and find one card that is a little pricier than I usually spend on one card.

I have been looking at posts from Zakwin from the Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle blog.  Zakwin has been building up a nice Al Rosen collection. I was starting to get jealous and every time he would post an Al Rosen card, it made me search even harder for one of his cards.

Boom!  I found an auto featuring 1953 MVP Al Rosen and of ex-Doyer third baseman Adrian Beltre.  Oh yeah, and it is also serial numbered out of 99.

Zakwin also mentioned to me that he had bid on this same auction but, I beat him out!!  Sorry, Zakwin, your Al Rosen collection has already been started.  My Rosen collection is just beginning with a bang.

Beltre and Rosen are grouped together on this card because they are both third baseman and they are both power hitters.  Rosen hit 43 bombs in his MVP year of '53.  He also had a 10 year career with a career OPS+ of 136.

While, looking at this card, I am digging the wool jersey that Rosen is wearing.  I like the big patch of the Indians logo on his sleeve.  Do they make Al Rosen throwback jerseys?

I don't think I have seen one worn by a rapper in a music video.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Andy LaRoche Weekend

I went to the Frank and Sons Card Show on Saturday.  It is a show that occurs twice a week and a buddy and I try to make it down there once a month.  The show usually has some good cheap autos and game used cards.  Also, a dealer or two may have a nice deal on a box.

That is where I purchased my 2011 Topps Lineage box that was featured in my last post.  The deal was good on the box but, the selection of well priced singles weren't to be found.  One of the sellers that I go to, usually has hundreds of hits separated in $2, $5, and $10 boxes.  I tend to mix and match from these boxes to get a better deal on the per card price.  This time the seller had a very small selection.  Somebody must have cleaned him out.

The show was kind of a bust for me.  But, my buddy had some cards to trade me.  I have been accumulating a bunch of NBA game used cards for him.  I built up a stack of a dozen to trade him.  Thank you blog world for sending me some nice basketball cards.

I brought my stack and he brought his.  It was time to trade.  He traded me this sweet 2007 Exquisite Andy LaRoche and Tony Abreu auto #ed/20!

I never would have found this card on my own.  Heck, I never even knew that this card was out in the world.  This card would have been searched for by me, if I knew it had existed.

This card fulfills my burgeoning Andy LaRoche collection and my failed Dodger prospects collection.  LaRoche and Abreu fit that bill.  Abreu is wearing shades in his photo to hide the shame of being a bust.  Don't worry Abreu, I may be one of the few people alive that actually would recognize you. 

The Andy LaRoche weekend didn't stop at the card show.  The LaRocheness continued when I arrived home.  As the only Andy LaRoche super collector, I had to write him a letter.  I told him that I am a big fan of his and have been waiting for him to break out in the big leagues.  I also wished him good luck and hope that he sticks with the Cleveland Indians.

I said a lot of complimentary things to him.  I also may be the only person that wrote a nice letter to LaRoche and meant those comments.  I really do wish him the best and I do wish he worked out for the Dodgers.

At one point in the baseball world, Andy LaRoche was a top notch prospect.  He was supposed to supplant Adrian Beltre as the Dodgers 3rd baseman.  Laroche was a part of a loaded Dodger minor league system at the time.  The early to mid 2000s had a lot of good Dodgers playing in the minors such as Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, Russell Martin, Hong Chih Kuo, Matt Kemp, James Loney, and Andy LaRoche.  All of the other guys have played well in the big leagues except LaRoche.

That makes me pull for him even harder.  He saw all of his peers that he came up with have nice success while he has floundered in LA, Oakland, Pittsburgh, and now fighting just for a roster spot with Cleveland.

He is an underdog that I am pulling for.  Good luck this year, LaRoche!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lineage Box Break

Picked up a box of 2011 Topps Lineage on the cheap. Check out my video! All the hits are for trade and so is the Vlad box topper. Most of the inserts are for trade so, please leave a comment if your interested.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nomos For Nothing

Wes is a very kind dude.  He runs the Jaybarkerfan's Junk blog.  Wes is also the dude that just sent me three Hideo Nomo jersey cards and even a game used pants card.  He did this just to be generous and helping out other bloggers build there collection.

I love this action that most bloggers take by just sending cards to someone in our community.  I haven't done this in awhile.  Since Wes was kind to me, now another blogger will get a surprise package.

I received this Hideo Nomo game used pants card just for being apart of the same club as Wes.  He sent me a Nomo game used pants card!

It is my duty to keep this generosity going.  It is actually our duty as a community to keep hooking each other up.  We can never lose that great duty of surprising somebody with awesome cards.

This card is a 2003 Ex Hideo Nomo game used jersey #ed/375.  This card is also die-cut which makes it stand out a little more.  This card looks to be pretty classy and probably came out of a high end box back in 2003.  I wouldn't know if 2003 Ex was a high end product.  My collecting hiatus took place in the early 2000s.

This card also says emerald on it.  Maybe that is the set name or a parallel color.  Emerald is a jewel so this card must be classy.

I kind of miss Skybox.  The Skybox brand is mostly known for basketball cards.  They made really cool looking cards in a flashy computer generated sort of way in the early 90s.  I wonder what type of base set Skybox may have come up with if it had a 2012 licence.

I miss some new creativity with an MLB licence for logos.

Anyways, please be on the lookout blog world, some random cards may be showing up for you from the Platter.  The generosity shall commence!

Thanks to Wes!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Loving The 70s

It seems that I have missed out on the grand decade of baseball card collecting in the 70s.  The 70s is my second favorite collecting decade after the 90s.  The reasons for me to like the 90s and the 70s differs.

My love for the cards of the 70s is that the Topps base set was king.  Every card collector of the 70s was ripping packs of the same product.  Each set of that decade was different.  Topps changed it up in a good way by mixing great photography and random color schemes.  The mustaches, afros and other 70s hairstyles worn by the players also makes the sets stand out.

The reason that I think the 90s is the best collecting decade is almost the complete opposite reason why I love the 70s.  The 90s had great variety.  The several card companies that came up with the sets churned out tons of  product.  Every kid had a choice of several sets to find there collecting niche.

The one thing that peaks my interest to both decades is the random colors that pop up on cards.  I picked up this 1975 Topps Rich Gossage card at my local card shop.  The colors chosen by Topps for this card is two shades of green, orange lettering on the team name and picturing Gossage in a red hat.  These colors thrown into one card works somehow.

The 90s was similar. Just look at some of the cards released by Fleer or Skybox.  Fleer just though a bunch of colors and graphic onto cardboard and called it an insert.  I dug that.

I also like the lazy Topps approach to player photography.  I can relate to lazy.  Topps captured many great action shots in its cards of the 70s.  The little league style photography of capturing of hall of fame dude like Luis Aparicio is cool to see.  It is a simple pose that everyone who played little league can relate to.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bounce Back Year

The Dodgers always have at least one player for me to never trust.  A player that can't perform at a high level on a consistent basis.  I usually get most frustrated at the type of player that has great talent and shows it on occasion, only to falter during his next game.

Chad Billingsley is that type of player.  He has had some really good seasons in the past.  Billingsley had an ERA+ of 135 in 147 innings during the 2007 season.  He was only 22 at the time.  In 2008, Billingsley was able to strike out a batter per inning over his first and only 200 inning season.

Billingsley even had a really solid year in 2010.  He posted the lowest WHIP of his career at 1.27.  The he faltered in 2011.  A lot of Billingsley's numbers turned bad.  His ERA was 4.21, his WHIP was an ugly 1.45 and his K/9 was a middling 7.3

He can't put up his 2011 numbers again this season.  The Dodgers would have no chance at the postseason.

I have officially stopped making fun of Billingsley.  I have berated him for much of his career due to his playoff failures, his inconsistencies, and the "one bad inning" that he seems to have every game.

All Dodger fans know about the "one bad inning" he puts up in his starts.  Billingsley may be cruising through 5 innings of work then will start walking guys in the 6th and giving up hits to weak hitting shortstops.

This is the year where Billingsley bounces back and reclaims the form he had in 2008 or 2010.  The 2011 Billingsley will not return.  He is going to pitch well and I hope my new found encouragement for him will help.

I am currently stocking up on his baseball cards right now. Especially focusing on his autos and game used cards.  The price is low on Chad Billingsley because even some Dodger fans think he's a stiff and not worth collecting. His prices will begin to go up when he starts blowing away hitters this season.

Billingsley is a stiff no more.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Dude With Glasses

The autographs through the mail just keep on pouring in.  The guys that I send to are from all different spectrum's of Doyerness.  I have gotten returns from old school Brooklyn guys Don Zimmer and Carl Erskine. I have also sent out to and got a return from Dodger goats like Tom Niedenfuer.  Also, from a dude that is considered a hero like Ron Cey.

My latest return is from an ex-Doyer that is more known for his eye wear than his ability to get base hits.  That is an entirely new category.  Their aren't too many players that are known more for their glasses than there baseball skills.

Jason Phillips was a Dodger briefly for one season in 2005.  That season was just awful for the Dodgers as they won only 71 games.  Phillips raked to a .650 OPS.  Only Dioner Navarro is impressed by that stat.

I did enjoy watching Phillips play that season though.  The season was pathetic so, any good baseball loyalist  still suffers and watches his team lose, only to crack smart ass jokes about his floundering team.  This team had a lot of punchlines.

While watching this team, I had the joy of laughing at Jose Valentin's mustache, Yhency Brazban's waistline and Jason Grabowski just for being Jason Grabowski.  Laughing at this group of misfits that were banded together in 2005 was the only way that I could make it through a dismal season without lighting myself on fire.

Phillips was fun to watch because everything seemed awkward for him on a baseball field.  Nothing came easy and natural for him but, he still had a 7 year career.  That is impressive.

I also loved hearing jokes about his glasses.  The most common one that I heard several times from various people:

"Phillips is wearing glasses but, hits like a blind man"

Thank you, Jason Phillips for the 2005 season and for these two autographs.