Monday, April 23, 2012

Very Random Bat Relic

The pile of bubble mailers that I have to go through is slowly dwindling.  I still have a decent amount of bubble mailers filled with cardboard gems from my fellow bloggers to write about.  The Platter won't have a content drought for some time.  People love sending me cards and I love sending them some cardboard.

I have made some trades with Matt from Cardboard Conundrum in the past.  He collects mostly Cubbies and has some other player collections building.

When I go to a card show or check out the bid board at my local card shop, I am always on the prowl for cheap trade bait.  Cards of Cubs players are cheaper in LA than Dodger cards in LA.  Sometimes I pick up some cards of star players on big market teams and am able to flip them for something that fits into my collection.

This is how the trade started with Matt.  I saw a Sammy Sosa bat relic for a good price at a card show.  I know that I can trade a Cubs card quick.  They are a big city team with a lot of fans.

That Sosa turned into a trade that netted me this Andre Ethier Heritage Chrome #ed/1963.  This card may have cost me the same price as the Sosa bat relic in LA and this card is made mostly of foil, bat relic not included.

Matt also added this Heritage Chrome Ian Kinsler in the trade.  Kinsler is a fun player to watch because of his power/speed combo.  The guy is a 30/30 player and still seems underrated.  He kind of gets overshadowed by Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and even Ron Washington.  Now, Kinsler has to compete with Yu Darvish for camera time.

Kinsler is also on my fantasy team this year.  I like watching him play but, now I have a stronger rooting interest in him.  If he plays well, this will probably also lead to my Ian Kinsler collection growing.

No, I did not mix up the Royals uniform to the Dodgers uniform when I skimmed through the trade bait page on Cardboard Conundrum.  I actually picked an Angel Berroa bat relic as the key to the trade.  Matt probably thought this would sit around in his house for years.  He had no idea that somebody out in the blog world is an Angel Berroa fan.

This is my second Berroa GU that I have in my collection.  That may surprise people.  I am also not sure what is more surprising, that two Angel Berroa relics actually exist or the I own two of them?

Berroa played briefly as a Dodger.  He played the role of veteran, scrub utility guy.  He didn't play great.  I actually wasn't sure why he was on the team, when some dude in the Pavillion at Dodger Stadium could out hit Berroa.

He looked like a goofball with a giant smile.  He knew he sucked at baseball but, somehow had a pro baseball job with a six figure salary.  He knew he was lucky and enjoyed his time as a big leaguer.  Some players that are great players look joyless but, a scrub is the happiest man on the team.  That made me root for the guy.

Thanks for the trade Matt!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Smart Guy Signs For Me

I haven't written about a through the mail autograph in awhile.  I have a stack of them on my desk and I plan on giving each player a post eventually.  I am in a blogging mood today so, it is time to pick a player from the stack to share with my readers.

I decided to pick a player that had sent these cards back to me recently.  He was a favorite of mine when he was a Dodger.

Brad Ausmus played in the big leagues for 18 years before he retired as a Dodger in 2010.  He spent time with the Padres, Tigers, Astros and Dodgers.  Ausmus was known for being a good defender, a jokester, and a smart guy.

Ausmus attended Dartmouth College and graduated in 1991.  He was drafted by the Yankees in 1987 but, still chose to go to college.  He attended classes and played in the minor leagues during his off time.  Going to Dartmouth and playing minor league baseball at the same time is impressive.

Ausmus finished his career with over 1500 hits, 270 doubles and a surprising 102 steals.  That is pretty good for a catcher even though those 102 steals was spread out over 18 seasons.  Ausmus played well for the Dodgers in 2009.  That season he hit .295 in 95 at bats and chipped in one steal.

I like this 2009 Topps card that he signed for me in blue sharpie.  This photo was taken during spring training before the 2009 season and has Juan Pierre lurking in the background.  I have actually studied the fans in the seats of this photo.  I have checked to see if I see myself.  I am sad to report that I am not lurking in the background like Juan Pierre.

Before, I wrote to Ausmus, who now works in the San Diego Padre front office, I searched for cards of him.  I thought that since he played in the big leagues more than half my life, that he had a bunch of cards.  I searched my randoms box in the Astros and Tigers section but came up empty.

Luckily, the card shop that I go to has an awesome dime box.  Valley Sports Cards came through for me big time.  This card shows Ausmus breaking up a double play against the Chicago White Sox.  This is a nice looking card.

Thanks to Brad Ausmus for playing hard while in LA and signing these cards for me.

Glendale Card Show Review

I just made it back home from Glendale,CA.  A card show was being held at the Glendale Civic Auditorium.  They have held a few shows there over the past year.  I went to one before and was not too impressed.  The last time I was at this card show, they charged an admission for a tiny 30 table show.  I wasn't too impressed the first time.  I actually went to a sports card show with a cynical attitude.

I only went to this show because there was no admission fee but, parking was six bucks this time.  So, it kind of evened out.

The first time I attended this show, the auditorium was mostly filled with vintage and memorabilia dealers.  Nobody there was selling boxes, packs and new school cards were hard to come by.  I was curious to see if the same dealers were there.

The show this time around had pretty much the same dealers.  Tons of vintage, memorabilia, and a couple high end guys.  No hobby boxes or even dime boxes to dig through.  The promoter needs to get a better mix of dealers to attract bigger crowds.  The crowd at the show was really sparse.  There was nothing there to attract kids that want new products.

Luckily, I am okay with boosting my hall of fame vintage collection.  Since, patrons were scarce and it was the final day of the weekend show, I knew I could get some bargains.  A vintage dealer that I bought from last time was selling some cards from the 50s-70s.  Perfect!

He had a couple boxes of random graded cards.  The graded card selection included a Manny Ramirez Classic card graded to 10 and the box also had the glorious 1969 Topps Hoyt Wilhelm graded to 7.  I have been looking for some cards of Wilhelm because the dude looks like a creep.

Wilhelm probably racked up some strikeouts because hitters were too frightened to stare at him for too long.  This card needs to be put away fast because I am getting scared staring at his face.

I was also able to snag some 1972 Topps.  The color scheme is so genius in this set.  I need to try and collect all the hall of fame dudes in this set.  I do have a handful already but, some will take more than a few bucks to purchase.

Of course I was able to purchase some Dodgers.  I didn't go to this show with a list or even a solid game plan.  I know what I want.  I know what I collect.  I don't need no damn checklist.

I collect Dodger cards and picking up a cool Charlie Hough rookie in really good condition is what I do.  This will fit nicely into my 70s Dodger binder.  I am in the process of dividing all my Dodger binder by decades.  That will keep things in a little more order.

This was my favorite purchase of the day.  This card is showing the beast game that Charlie Neal had in the 1959 World Series.  The Dodgers beat the White Sox that year to bring the first title to Los Angeles.  Neal hit two homers in Game #2 in 1959.

If a Dodger second baseman did that in the World Series this year, I would make a statue of that individual out of a giant redwood tree.  That statue will be worshiped by all Dodger fans.  So, here's to the Dodgers making the World Series this year, Mark Ellis hitting two bombs in the World Series and me making a Mark Ellis statue out of redwood.  I wonder which one of these events is more far fetched.

One dealer at this show had a free table.  Yes, a table full of random cards that cost zero dollars.  Just a mound of scattered cards that could be had for free.  I have never seen anything like that at any other card show.

I was able to get this 1979 Topps Rich Gossage card for absolutely nothing.  I already have this card but, I don't mind getting a Yankee hall of famer for some trade bait.

A free Joey Belle rookie card!  This card probably used to get people a dollar in the 90s.  Now in 2012 it is free.  I actually have been building a Albert Belle collection recently.  Belle was a beast in the 90s.  The child version of me loved watching an angry body builder mash home runs.

One of these days I will write a post about my Belle collection.  Just so the blog world can then flood my mailbox with Albert Belle cards.

This card was also on the free table.  I am surprised that nobody else picked this up.  It is a flashy Leaf Limited card featuring hall of famer Cal Ripken Jr.  This card probably got some decent scratch back in the day.  The back of this card features some dude named Kevin Orie.  That name sounds vaguely familiar.

Either way, Kevin Orie will never be featured at the Platter.  I promise you that.

The card show was kind of weak once again.  Not much variety being sold.  This will probably be the last time I go to the Glendale Card Show.  It is kind of depressing due to the small turnout and dealers packing up hours before the end of the show.

I like the fact that a show does get put on.  The promoter just needs to get different dealers and realize what young collectors want.  I have doubts that this show will ever get better if it does come back.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Getting Back in the Groove

I took a little time off from blogging around the time baseball season was about to begin.  I needed to refresh myself and focus on watching some baseball.  Back to checking stats, fixing my fantasy team, and attending as many Dodger games as possible.

My blogging hiatus started when I left for Arizona to watched the Dodgers play in some Spring Training games.  I was there at the end of March.  The weather was great and so was the dining.  It was great to see the Dodgers playing some games again.

I was then lucky enough to make the trip from LA to San Diego for Opening Day.  The Dodgers beat the Padres that day.  I was with a great group of dudes and it was fun bringing home a victory.

I was also able to attend the Dodgers home opener with my dad.  That was a great game and a great Dodgers win over the Pirates.  It is so cool to have baseball back in full swing.

The Dodgers have been off to a hot start by going 9-1 while dominating the Padres and Pirates.  I haven't been focusing on my baseball card collecting.  I am slowly catching up on organizing my collection.  I am totally backed up on trade posts.  Which is actually kind of okay.  I haven't been blogging in awhile so, this will give me a lot of cards to blog about.

My first day back from my hiatus and I will show you guys no cards with ball players.  I am going to show off some cards of animals to start.  These cards came from Chris who runs the blog Nachos Grande.  He helped me out on some 2011 Ginter insert sets that I am working on.

Like I typed, my comeback to the Platter won't feature cards of baseball players.  Now I am showing you a haunted prison and a couple of old dead guys.

Alcatraz is definitely haunted.  I have watched the HBO series OZ.  Bad things happen in prison all the time. People are getting beaten, stabbed and rape.  Tons of convicts have been killed in Alcatraz.  The ghosts that stick around and haunt a prison must be the really evil ghosts.  Only, a criminal bad ass kind of ghost would choose to roam a prison full of murderers and thugs.

That felt good.  I should start writing some more about cards.  Maybe next time, I will feature some cards of Dodgers.  That sounds like a good idea.

Thanks for the cards, Chris.