Friday, February 27, 2015

Airbrushed Fridays: 2008 Topps #433

Spring Training begins!

Who is he? Carlos Silva had a 9 year major league career, more than most of us, including 7 seasons as a starter. He finished with a .500 W-L record and fairly pedestrian numbers, his best season coming in 2005 with the Twins where he walked just 9 batters all season. Always susceptible to the gopher ball, he would led the league (on the wrong side) in home runs allowed the following season with 38.

How did he get here? Silva's 2007 was better, but that didn't stop the Twins from letting him walk. He signed as a free agent with the Mariners in 2008, where he would find himself with the worst ERA (6.46) of any full time starter. (His W-L record that year was 4-15 for what it's worth.)

Repeat offender? No

Other versions of this card: None

Airbrushed Score: 5

Comments: 2008 was probably the golden era of Topps Photoshop flubs, but this is nothing like the Miguel Tejada card found in Series 1 that year.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My 2015 Topps Progress

Here's what I've accomplished so far.

I've polished off the Cardinals base team set for Series One. This is probably the earliest that I've ever managed this, but I also have the fact that there were only something like 10 Cardinals cards (including multi-player cards) in the whole series. Still, I'm not complaining.

I have quite a few foil parallels to get my hands on, however. And there's always those pesky serial-numbered cards. Hot Corner Cards was kind enough to send me this Lance Lynn foil parallel via PWE, which means I just need the following foils:

  • 11, 60, 61, 80, 85, 220, 286, 311, 336
I'm not doing so hot with the inserts, however. I still need all three versions of the two First Home Run cards I care about (#9 and #16) plus several other inserts. Go here to see the complete list. If you're working on 2015 Topps Series One, I have plenty of extras, so just let me know what you need!


Some Blazers, a Wizard and a Duck walk into a blog...

At some point this week the power went out in my place and I have been too busy to figure out why my scanner and PC were no longer on speaking terms. A few cables were unplugged and then replugged and here we are with some more cards on the blog, this time thanks to Sportscards From The Dollar Store. Buckstorecards is one of the few blogs that I follow that truly goes for all four major North American sports which makes for an interesting read. It's not quite baseball season yet, though it's really close, so I feel comfortable if my usual baseball-to-non-baseball ratio is a bit off right now.

LaMarcus is truly Our Hero. This is a surprisingly nice looking serial numbered (to 299) card.

Say what you will about Panini, but they do make a nice Prizm card when they have their licenses all in order. I've been hearing chatter about fake patches and other unseemly things in their products lately, however. That's not cool.

It's former Duck Dion Jordan! This is one of those Panini cards that you can download an app for and view some additional content in lieu of printed stats on the back or something.

Finally, buckstorecards took me up to 555 Ozzies, thanks to a couple of 1983 O-Pee-Chee album stickers that I needed. They look just like the Topps stickers of the same year, but have different printing on the back to indicate their Canadian-ness. Of course, all of these stickers were actually printed in Italy by our good friends Panini. Viva Italia!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mercy Mercy

R.I.P. Jerome Kersey.

I was stunned to learn of the sudden passing of Jerome Kersey, leaving us with just three of the Bill Schonely-proclaimed "Best Starting Five in the NBA". Kersey was more likely to get a floorburn than knock down a clutch jumper, but he parlayed his draft selection out of a small college in Farmville, Virginia into a long and successful NBA career. He had been very active with the Blazers in recent days, both a consistent presence at their games and in TV work with the local cable network that covers the team.

Kersey was the starting small forward for the Blazers in the peak of their late '80s-to-early '90s run where they made two NBA Finals appearances, coming up just short against both the Bad Boys of Detroit and peak Michael Jordan in separate years. He was all hustle and tenacity on the floor. He competed in multiple slam dunk contests (runner-up to Jordan at one point) and took home an elusive championship ring as a member of the Spurs in 1999.

As the Schonz would say, Mercy Mercy, Jerome Kersey!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Someone Put Music in My Sportsball Cards

Collectibles are not always the baseball kind.

Jack White's insert card in the 2015 Topps set sparkled a fair amount of pop culture interest. Though it wasn't quite the mopey freeze frame of his visit to Wrigley Field that sparked a million memes, it did become an interesting conversation piece as the new Topps Series One was rolled out. It's funny how the mainstream media gets ahold of (or is fed) a story like this at the beginning of every season. No one is talking baseball cards on cable television by the time Series Two rolls around, or even by the time something like Bowman first hits the shelves.

If it was ten years ago, I might have really enjoyed this card. I liked The Big Lebowski well enough that I might have gotten a kick out of the Jeff Bridges card as well. This stuff just seems unnecessary to me now, but I'm not sure why. I own all of the White Stripes records, but I can't say I'm a big fan of Jack White the person in the screechy celebrity era. The story of his tour rider was amusing enough for a few minutes, but now that there's been multiple responses penned in return, I'm really tired of it already. The next time you see this guy on the screen, are you going to talk about his music, his baseball card or his touring crew's very specific guacamole recipe?

It's a cute idea, Topps, but I could have used another Adam Wainwright card instead. This one is up for grabs.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Airbrushed Fridays: 2013 Topps Stickers #55

One of the newest Cardinals had a little work done.

Who is he? Mark Reynolds is the hard-swinginest, home run-hittinest free swinging baseball man the game has seen in some time. Okay, fine, he just strikes out a ton and hits plenty of home runs. Throw in a few walks here and there and you have a Three True Outcomes guy. Except... well... striking out truly is favorite thing to do. He led the league in the category for four consecutive years and only now doesn't do it because he doesn't get enough playing time.

How did he get here? At one point, Reynolds had a primo job with the Diamondbacks and was considered a budding star, but he just couldn't keep the strikeouts down even as his power numbers plummeted. He also hit south of the Mendoza Line more than once. After Arizona traded him to Baltimore, the Orioles let him go and he's hopped from team to team via free agency ever since. While the Cardinals picked him up as a bench bat to boost their lack of "pop" on the roster, it remains to be seen if his time in St. Louis will outshine that of, say, Ty Wigginton.

Repeat offender? No

Other versions of this card: 2013 Topps Heritage #230 - same Photoshopped photo, plus zoom

Airbrushed Score: 7

Comments: It's entirely possible I won't hate Mark Reynolds at this time next year, but we'll see.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Spanish Silver Ink

It's officially the NBA All-Star Break!

Victor Claver may not be a Blazer by the time the league resumes play as the trading deadline is looming and his playing time has been rather scarce. That didn't prevent me from picking up a snappy certified autograph of the third year Spanish forward thanks to a Listia auction win. Like others on the Blazers bench, Claver found a lot more playing time a couple of seasons ago when Terry Stotts took over a struggling team with an inexperienced bench. After the team added a few pieces and stormed out of the gate last season, playing time for the less experienced players dried up. The process repeated itself this year. While some (Meyers Leonard?!) have stepped up their games given additional opportunities, others like Claver and Will Barton have sat for long stretches. I do like Claver's game, and it's hard to improve on what you have when you don't have a chance to show it.

All that being said, I'm interested in pretty much any Blazers card I don't already have, autographed or otherwise. Just so you know. Now, back to your regularly scheduled (baseball) programming.