Monday, September 26, 2016

2 16's

This was one of those "I remember where I was when I first heard about it" moments. I was standing in line at a baseball card show at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield, Mass., preparing to get the autograph of one of my childhood icons, Dwight Gooden, Pitcher, Number 16 for the New York Mets. World Series winner; Cy Young winner, Rookie of the Year winner; and a thrower of a no-hitter later on in the twilight of his career. Of course, I was standing in line, tweeting about how excited I was for this. After I tweeted it, I scrolled down a few tweets to see if there was anything to catch up on and saw the news terrible about José Fernández, Pitcher, Number 16 for the Miami Marlins. Rookie of the Year winner. There is some strange kind of synchronicity with this.

I was privileged to see José Fernández pitch on March 22, 2016 at Spring Training. Five innings of no-hit ball. Just one walk and 5 K's against the Red Sox. The following day, against the Cardinals, I saw a very relaxed José Fernández in Marlins orange shades laughing, watching the game, blowing bubbles. From my seat I was in awe. Rest in Peace, Mr. Fernández.

March 23, 2016, Roger Dean Stadium, Florida
Now for the card show...

I entered the card show and was immediately given the choice of two free packs of cards. I picked 1991 Score Series One and 1991 Fleer Ultra. And before I go one too long, any of these cards are up for the taking just email me if you are interested.

I opened the Fleer first and this was by all means a better pack. The 14 cards, plus a sticker, listed in order of the pull, are:

Luis Rivera, Boston Red Sox, Card #42
David Valle, Seattle Mariners, Card #344
Shawon Dunston, Chicago Cubs, Card #59 (this is a fantastic card)
Norm Charlton, Cincinnati Reds, Card #90
Kevin McReynolds, New York Mets, Card #224
Nolan Ryan, Texas Rangers, Card #355
Gerald Williams, New York Yankees, Card #388 (Ultra Prospects 1991)
Tom Bolton, Boston Red Sox, Card #28
Andy Benes, San Diego Padres, Card #301
Barry Bonds, Pittsburgh Pirates, Card #391 (Great Performances 1991)
Matt Williams, San Francisco Giants, Card #331
Dan Plesac, Milwaukee Brewers, Card #179
Hensley Meullens, New York Yankees, Card #240
David Wells, Toronto Blue Jays, Card #370
Chicago White Sox logo sticker

Then I opened the Score and yawned throughout the entire process of browsing the "16 Player Cards & 1 Magic Motion Trivia Card". The 16 cards, plus "magic motion" trivia card, listed in order of the pull, are:

Bill Sampen, Montreal Expos, Card #68
Jim Layritz, New York Yankees, Card #65
Josh Burkett, San Francisco Giants, Card #70
Scott Radinsky, Chicago White Sox, Card #62
1990 Highlight, Bobby Thigpen Save Record Set, Card #418
Jimmy Key, Toronto Blue Jays, Card #422
Junior Ortiz, Minnesota Twins, Card #438
Thomas Howard, San Diego Padres, Card #335
Nelson Liriano, Minnesota Twins, Card #288
Steve Jeltz, Kansas City Royals, Card #272
Kevin Appier, Kansas City Royals, Card #268
Mike Hartley, Los Angeless Dodgers, Card #252
World Series Trivia, 1914, Card #46
Mike Heath, Detroit Tigers, Card #112
Garry Templeton, San Diego Padres, Card #117
Jack Morris, Detroit Tigers, Card #114
Juan Berenguer, Minnesota Twins, Card # 111

Gooden was supposed to sign from 11-12:30. But when I got there around 10:30 he was already signing and I thought this was great. I got to thank him for coming, got a photograph with him, and shook his hand. When I was growing up he was such a force on the mound. Dominant in my formative years from 1984-1989 in the heart of my collecting years and my own playing of baseball. I was really good in the drive way hitting balls pitched to me by my brother and pitching to him, too.I wasn't very good when it came to game. I got his in the left knee by the hardest throwing kid in one game and after that, well, I was afraid when in the batters box.

When I bought my ticket for the signature I got to take a free Gooden card, so I took his 1991 Upper Deck card as I liked the picture and was pretty sure it wasn't part of my collection already. But I got him to sign the 1985 Topps Rookie card.

After this, I walked around the show. There was only one dealer present who had some cards in a box by name or anything remotely resembling alphabetical order. For someone like me who is organized and does respect both the alphabet and the time it takes to organize cards by the player name, and as one who dislikes the chaos of clutter, this is crucial. I bought the 1989 Classic Darryl Strawberry/Will Clark card from him for a quarter.

From another dealer I bought three cards for a dollar. But I realized when I got home that I foolishly left one lying on top of the box. Oh well. The three cards are/were 1986 Fleer Update John Kruk (Card #U-61), another Kruk card that is the one I left behind; and a 1992 Fleer Team Leaders Darryl Strawberry (Card #16).

As I was leaving to meet my wife who was picking me up, I found a dime box and looked through one of the many rows in one of the many boxes of haphazard cards and pulled two more Strawberry's. The first one, 2005 Donruss Stars of Summer, Card #BOS-5, SN 279/1000, is a dupe though I already have SN121. The second card was new to my collection: 2005 Donruss Leather & Lumber - Big Bang, Card #BB-7, SN 311/2000.

So, for my first card show not a bad experience & not a bad hall. The next time I'll be more organized with keeping aware of what I have versus what I need. As you might expect this show was heavy on Boston Red Sox and New England sports in general. Next time I'll be a little more aware of how they work and what to expect. However, if I go to another card show and someone else dies I may stick to eBay and trades.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Trade with Nachos Grande

You're likely going to be surprised that this is not a post about Darryl Strawberry...

I recently completed a trade with Chris of Nachos Grande. I sent him a few cards and in return I got this gem of masculinity: John Kruk from his beauteous slothful days as a member of the Filthadelphia Phillies. He's working the mullet, the scruffy beard, and the gut is well on it's way.

This 1993 Leaf card features really good photographs of Kruk. The front shows him in his batting stance (probably not against Randy Johnson since he looks comfortable) and the back shows him in a fielding stance anticipating a hamburger & fries I mean a ground ball superimposed over Independence Hall one the background.

Kruk is kind of a new collecting interest. I did like him when I was younger and in my own heyday of collecting baseball cards and riding the benches of my local little league teams. I'm not sure if I'll go into Kruk as much as I have Strawberry: for the moment I need to concentrate on one player because if I think about going after two...well, I'm liable to pull a muscle or something. It's like try to cook a meal and get five things ready all at the same time. Messy!

By 1993 I had all but stopped collecting baseball cards, but that year I did go to visit a girl in Pennsylvania and we ended up going to see a Philadelphia Phillies game at ye olde Veterans Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 1993. My boy Kruk went 0-1 before being replaced by Ricky Jordan who did three times worse, 0-3. To my surprise Curt Shilling was on the mound but he took a no decision. Lots of other notable players in that game. For the Phillies among others Lenny Dykstra, Pete Incaviglia, and Mitch Williams. And for the Cardinals Ozzie Smith, Todd Zeile, and Brian Jordan. Would love to know why Kruk came out of the game. Probably was late getting back from the concession stand in-between innings.

It was a memorable enough experience and I saved the ticket stub ($4!!!!) in a scrapbook, along with a Pinnacle baseball card wrapper featuring Kruk.

Thank you for the trade, Chris.

And, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Darryl Strawberry 1988 Star (Purple)

Another eBay purchase! Here are the cards in yet another Star baseball card product from 1988. This time using the color purple, undoubtedly inspired by the Alice Walker novel, in an eleven card set. As with the other Star products we get the usual information on the card backs, but with different photographs used on the fronts. They show our man Darryl Strawberry:

Casual, enjoying a lighter moment

Running to first:

Playing outfield in a post crotch-grab stance:

Wondering what's for dinner?:

Throwing the ball with a goofy look on his face:

Taking a healthy lead off second:

Turned the wrong way around:

Popping out to shallow left?:

Showing off his track skills:

Asking for some Rolaids because dinner didn't agree with him:

Watching another pop out:

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Darryl Strawberry: 1988-1989 Star (Gold Edition)

Previous posts on the Blue and Platinum editions of Darryl Strawberry cards printed by the Star Company have appeared on this blog. I guess I am the sucker for buying the Gold Edition, too. Like Gold Member, though, I love gooooooooooold.

Like the previous series, these cards print fascinating information. One card is just labeled "New York". Really brought their A-game there! These cards make me feel old, though, because of how skinny and young Strawberry himself looks. Which reminds me that I was about 14 or 15 when these came out and still had hair.

A bad cropping job up in the top left. This is a representative example of my early days in buying and scanning. I think I got these back in May or June and it's been festering as a Draft post since then.

But I've got the bug, the fever.  I don't think I can be satisfied with the 1988 Blue, Platinum and Gold editions, especially knowing there is the Purple edition and the Platinum glossy editions out there somewhere.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Darryl Strawberry: 1988 Star (Platinum)

The Star Company had so many photographs of Darryl Strawberry, they just had to add on to the Blue set which I blogged about recently with "Platinum" series as well. These cards all seem to feature similar information such as a "Checklist", "Minor League Stats", "Major League Stats", "Playoff Stats", "All Star Stats", "Career Info", "1982 Texas League Stats", "1993 NL Top Rookie", "1988 NL MVP", and "Personal Data". I am wondering where the "Bowel Movement Regularity" card is? (Hell, I feel like this is more important a metric than WAR.)

My, these cards weren't squared up squarely at all. 

I have likely said this too many times, but part of my motivation to acquire these sets was their absence of images from the Trading Card Database. So I'm getting cards for my collection and growing that site as well. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Darryl Strawberry: 1988 Star (Blue)

In the seeming height of card production (although they must produce more cards now?), the Star Company seems to have been busy printing cards of players with different colored borders. I had one of the 1988 Darryl Strawberry Star card in my collection from back in the day with a blue border. It was number 3 of 11. So, I did what we do and looked around for sets. I decided to just buy a complete set of the Star Blue's off of eBay as it was $2.50. Some sellers were offering then for $2.00 each. So, this was a good deal.

The Star Co, not being satisfied with just blue, printed several other card sets: Purple, Platinum, Platinum Glossy, and Gold. Look forward, I know you will, to posts highlighting some of these acquisitions throughout the month.

Thanks for stopping by.