Tuesday, March 4, 2014
For a nice block of ten years, all the big Japanese prospects were going to other teams and absolutely thriving there. Daisuke Matsuzaka landed in Boston first, and he brought the house down for a while over there. And then Kosuke Fukudome got to Chicago and was good for two seasons. After that Yu Darvish, Hisashi Iwakuma, Hyun-jin Ryu, Kyuji Fujikawa and Norichika Aoki all got to the States and became generally big deals for other teams. Darvish is still really good.
All the Yankees ever really got from Japan was Kei Igawa, who lasted a season of disappointing baseball. Having someone as lackluster as Kei Igawa the same time as Boston was making Daisuke into a star was pretty embarrassing. It was the equivalent of Jose Rijo flaming out during Doc Gooden's reign in New York. I don't really count Hiroki Kuroda, because he was in Los Angeles for a few years before he became a crowd favorite in New York.
And then, this year, we finally got someone good in Masahiro Tanaka. I am so glad that he's pitching well in Tampa, because I had a sinking feeling for a while. I thought he'd go the way of Kei Igawa. He still could, and I really, really, really do not want him to.
Then again, we're not gonna know for sure until after the season, or a few seasons down the line. But I hope we picked a good one. A really, really good one.
Coming Tomorrow- Hopefully somebody at my photo-sharing site will upload some more spring training photos so I can make more.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Another odd choice for the first week of customs, but it's all I'm getting.
Morneau will be playing first base in Colorado this year. This is rare for people who are not named Todd Helton. But, as people grow old, I guess it makes sense to replace them with washed-up, injury-addled former MVPs.
Morneau could have a better season, but he's way out from his mid-2000's era of being the awesome All Star 1st baseman every year. Y'now, unless he pulls a Beltran and becomes amazing this year. If this happens, expect me to make fun of this later in the year when it's wrong.
Still, for replacing Todd Helton, Morneau isn't the best choice, but he's better than someone that's entirely new to the game. In other words, it's a better choice than David Robertson.
Coming Tomorrow- Just some kid my team picked up from Japan.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
I really, really, really like this shot. I had to monkey with it a little as it was a wider, longer shot than just Posey, but it came out pretty nice.
By the way, if I see any more photos of Posey that are more awesome than this one, I'll just add a variation to this design. If Topps can do it, then I'll do it. Last year I couldn't do too many of these great photos by August because I'd already made everybody. This year there's more control.
Also, my photo source missed a few really important events yesterday. Brian McCann hit a homer. Today Tanaka's making his debut, and they'll probably photograph the shit out of that, but nobody who's been THAT newsworthy to me has gotten photos.
Case in point- tomorrow's is Colorado's replacement for their eventual-Hall-of-Fame first baseman.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Given the mood, and the amount of photos that my photo source has been giving me (next to nothing), I'm confined to doing a shot of Mark Trumbo that seemed to me like it'd be found in any classic Stadium Club set.
Specifically the one I've ripped three boxes of.
I know Trumbo's an odd choice for a 2nd custom of the year, but it's a nice shot, and I got it while it was hot. I'm actually kinda impressed with how this turned out, too.
By the way, something I forgot to mention with the Cano custom- this year, unlike any other year, I am actually presenting my custom cards as a year-long set. Series One began with Card #1, Robinson Cano, and will go up until the All Star Break. Series Two will go from there until the end of the season. Series Three will be in December, with anyone left.
I will be numbering the cards, because I put more effort into this crap than Topps does.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Cards I needed: 14/14
Hall of Famers: 1/14
People who will likely be criminally overlooked: 2/14
(I had a picture showcasing Edgar Martinez's card, because they're awesome, but it wasn't taken, because argh)
Cards I needed: 2/14
Number of those cards remotely interesting: 0/2.
Cards I needed: 13/14
Hall of Famers: 3/14. THREE!
Hall of Fame Ballot Mainstays: 1/14
Rookie Cards/Zero Year Cards of current managers: 1/14 (Mr. Ausmus)
Cards I needed: 2/14
Hall of Famers: 1/14
Cards I needed: 9/15 (!!!)
Extra Cards: 1/15
Expos who look like a young Christopher Walken: 1/15 (The ICE...is gonna BREAK!)
Glenn Davis looks poignantly upon his final season.
Andy Van Slyke slides to remain relevant, doesn't quite.
Cards I need: 1/14
Cards that are my exact expression upon seeing this pack: 1/14 (Grace)
Cards I need: 10/14
Hall of Famers: 1/14
Really Awkward Posed Shots: 1/14
Todd Stottlemeyer signs autographs, which is pretty cool.
That Lenny Dykstra is a pretty awesome one, regardless of anything.
Cards I needed: 2/14
Cards I actually wanted to photograph at that point: 0/2
So, that's the box. Wantlists will be up tomorrow.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
That card doesn't have a watermark on it..
THAT CARD DOESN'T HAVE A WATERMARK! So that could mean either one of two things: Either I got it from another source, or...
One that's been sitting on my printer since the inception of the blog, and one that I've been afraid to use for some reason?
...IT EXISTS! I can actually scan things for the blog, and USE them! FOR REAL ACTUALLY!
No more watermarks! No more discrepancies! No more DESCRIBING THINGS! BETTER CUSTOMS! YES! THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!
Okay, okay...where was I?
Oh, yes, the card show.
Hope came today, in Deptford, on the upper level, around the main area of the mall. And it came in the form of ten-cent bins.
I came home from Deptford with a bag full of nicely selected cards, ranging from $1 to 10 cents each, from the 90's to today, baseball and football. And thanks to my scanner, I can SHOW you what I got.
Now, I know what you're thinking, and yes, I do realize how absolutely insane it is to like Upper Deck Timeline, and actually want to collect it. Well, I don't really want to collect it, however I do like seeing cards I don't have from it, especially from these designs.
2012 Archives is a set I'm a bit more serious on collecting, so getting these nine cards helped matters especially. I also got a few more cards that I thought I needed, but I didn't. Oh, well.
These five are at least a start, especially considering the fact that they all come from sets I haven't broken a box of. The Smoltz one is cool, because where else are you gonna find a pitcher diving for an outfield catch?
The majority of the Stadium Club at one dealer's box was from 1999, which was another nice set from the last few years of the product. The Greg Maddux one is a hell of a shot, and the Damon one is a great 'pulled back shot' card. Also, rookies for Adrian Beltre and Eric Chavez.
Gypsy Queen, sad to say, is only good for the inserts. I mean, the base cards are okay, but the inserts have been the only consistently-awesome part of the three-year-long descent in quality. These two are proof, from last year's release- excellent photography combined with impressive filtering. Can't decide which one I like better.
These are both inserts from 2006 Topps Football, as part of their Turn Back the Clock promotion. Of the inserts the guy had, these two were the only notable ones. After last season, they might be a lot less notable.
All inserts of powerful players I kinda adore. Thome especially. Any cards of him on any team, I will collect whole-heartedly. Edgar Martinez is one of my Mariners-loving uncle's favorite players, and this is one of those 'let's make up what would have happened had there been no strike last season' inserts. These two Johnny Damon cards are also awesome, even the one that depicts his year-long stint on the A's.
Three cards of versatile journeyman QBs. I picked up the Hasselbeck because I so badly needed a card of him on the Packers, as a completist and Packer fan. The Brees is another nice addition to my ever-growing 'Brees as a Charger' mini-collection. The other Hasselbeck is here because I like any and all Topps cards of cool players.
I got a bit more than depicted, but these are the highlights. The $1 Torii Hunter gold was the priciest card I bought. The others are here for star power, team-bias, and awesome photography, in the case of Upton, Marky and Werth, who much be pointing at how awful the guy who took his place is doing.
The czar of ten-cent bins specialized in rookies of fringe players. This card isn't Beltre's rookie, but it's marginally close. It's a rookie-ish card from 1999 Upper Deck. But there's more.
These two Topps-centric cards are legit rookies of two fringe-stars, Young and Kendrick. You can argue that Kendrick is still a big star for the Angels, but not as big as he was in 2008.
These three are of people that would only excite a quirky collector like me.
Lillibridge's is important to me because he helped me out a while back, and made one of my customs his Twitter profile picture, which I will never not be bragging about. McCallister is equally sentimental to me, as I was there to see his Major League Debut, five years after this 2006 Bowman card was produced. Morse is also kinda sentimental, because I was in Washington when he returned from a minor injury, during his peak season in 2011. These three may not be stars, but they are to me.
Justin Masterson had an excellent season in 2013, finally breaking out for the Indians. I'm happy this happened, because it took the sting out of his previous claim to fame, the one that said he was the catalyst behind the trade that sent Victor Martinez to Boston. Now, they can say he was the guy who brought the Indians back to legitimacy. So for that, his 2006 rookie card's a pretty big deal.
However, I think it can be trumped...
Unless I'm mistaken, I believe this is Carlos Gonzalez' rookie card, three teams away from where he'd make a few All Star games in Colorado. This is a pretty nice one, especially considering I got it for ten cents.
So, being that the show was a success, I imagine that I'll be going back the next time they have it, and I'll hope to see some of the same people, and more ten cent bins.
...and maybe a little more Stadium Club.