Friday, July 31, 2015

Airbrushed Fridays: 2015 Topps #626

The trade deadline is upon us.

Who is he? Hanley Ramirez was once upon a time a top prospect in the Boston Red Sox system. Very early in his career, he was dealt to the Marlins where he'd become a three-time All-Star shortstop. A few trade deadlines ago, he found himself on the Dodgers where he would reignite his flagging career.

How did he get here? Coming full circle, Boston signed the guy who took his first two MLB at-bats in a Red Sox uniform and moved him to the outfield as he'd never been a strong defender in the infield. It hasn't exactly gone swimmingly for Ramirez in Beantown, but then again, not much has at Fenway this season.

Repeat offender? No

Other versions of this card: None, but here's the original:

Airbrushed Score: 4

Comments: This is a pretty competent Photoshop job, but they were able to obscure a lot of the logos.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Getting Spring Cleaning In Order

A trade post on a late Mon... wait, Tulo got traded?!

Angels fan Tom from "The Angels, In Order" is among the latest to send over some stuff in exchange for his participation in my Spring Cleaning event. We actually completed this swap a couple of months ago, but such is life when you're in perpetual catch-up mode.

This is a Pinnacle Inside card, which means this card was in a can. The card was in a can, man! That's wild.

As a youth, I remember the Boardwalk and Baseball set that Topps put out being something of a luxury item for whatever reason. I'm fairly sure that these go for pocket change in today's market, like most oddball '80s stuff. Maybe I had the name confused with the prized Monopoly property?

Tom hit up some of my Bowman Heritage wants, which is always appreciated. I'm still working on a solution for getting my want lists linked up in the mobile view of this blog. If only I knew someone who worked with computers all day and was smart about these things. (Time to punch myself in the face now...)

I have no idea who Richie Robnett is, but he apparently topped out at the AAA level in the 2009 season. I just appreciate a baseball card framed in a TV set design.

Oh yeah, and Tulo got traded. Wow.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Oddball Listia Find

This is the Eighties-ist.

I know that many have given up on Listia, but I still find it to be an occasional source of interesting finds. Even better (at least for me), I've been able to get rid of thousands of doubles and some junk wax era stars while making the folks at Big Postage Stamp very happy. I can always use more oddball stuff like this.

This is my first Squirt card as far as I know. It's very thin and just slightly more a rectangle than a square. The back is a no frills copy of the 1982 Topps template, squeezed down to fit on the reduced amount of space.

If you're in the mood to check out my '80s-ish want list, feel free to do so at your leisure. It's a bit lacking in the oddball department, though I've got all the main sets and O-Pee-Chee needs identified through 1988 at least.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Airbrushed Fridays: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH258

Arthur Lee.

Who is he? Arthur Rhodes was a consummate professional southpaw reliever. After spending nearly a decade with the Baltimore Orioles, Rhodes bounced around from team to team, throwing from the other arm that people don't always throw with, hoping to retire batters. Though his numbers were rarely eye-popping, he made the All-Star team for the first time in his 20th season at the age of 40.

How did he get here? Rhodes was a fixture in the Seattle bullpen in the early '00s, truly the last time Seattle was a force to be reckoned with. After stints with a few other teams, Rhodes found himself back with the Mariners in 2008 when he was shipped to the Marlins at the non-waiver trade deadline for a minor leaguer. Little did we know that the best years of Arthur Rhodes were still to come, as his All-Star appearance would be in 2010 in Cincinnati. The next year, Rhodes would make a cameo with the Cardinals and pick up a World Series ring before calling it a career.

Repeat offender? No

Other versions of this card: None

Airbrushed Score: 2

Comments: Well, yes, I'm really doubting myself here. This is either a really good Photoshop job or a really poor job by me in selecting a card. Feel free to weigh in with your comments!

Back to Baseball

At last, the horrible All-Star break is over. It's baseball time.

I'm technically on vacation until the 27th, so words and cards posted here may be even more sporadic.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Moyer Has Landed

A major shake-up in the 10 Most Wanted list.

I started this blog more than 7 years ago, and my second post led off with an image of the 1991 Bowman Jamie Moyer card. It was a tiny, grainy image I swiped from the internet, back when finding images of a particular baseball card could actually be rather difficult. Thanks to @ChrisWNation on Twitter, I finally managed to get ahold of the card after all these years. This more or less completes the readily attainable portion of my Jamie Moyer collection (i.e. non-Tiffany edition.) There's probably one or two minor league releases I need to get from his brief time in the Cardinals organization, but that's about it.

Chris also sent me a garden variety 1993 Fleer common of Gerald Perry, the last base card I needed of this particular set and also a (former) Top 10 need. The bench bat Perry filled in quite a few times during the disastrous year where Andres Galarraga sent an imposter to wear a Cardinals uniform with his name on the back, sucking the life out of the middle of the batting order. (He would hit .370 the following season and get MVP votes, because of course.)

I would never have guessed that I needed this curvy Matt Holliday Bowman Chrome card, but I definitely did. This is Holliday #255 in my collection. He trails only Ozzie Smith and Jimmy Edmonds for most unique cards in my player collections. (No, I haven't counted my Pujols cards. Shh.)

Finally, Chris was also kind enough to send over some cards from Erin's PCs, including this Larry Walker Sports Illustrated card from the prime of his career. Nice!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Airbrushed Fridays: 2015 Topps #537

Is it just me, or is this year's Series Two the biggest Photoshopped set ever?

Who is he? Steven Souza is a speedy outfielder who was a 3rd round pick of the Nationals back when they were still getting used to not being in Canada. He's speedy and rangy, but not quite a master of both, leaving him in a category shared by many big league outfielders who are relatively green. Of recent note, he turned a bunt into a Little League style home run a few weeks back.

How did he get here? During the Great Padres Dealings of Late 2014, Souza was included as part of a 3-team swap that involved something like a dozen players, finding himself on the Rays roster for the current season.

Repeat offender? No

Other versions of this card: None, but here's the source image...

Airbrushed Score: 5

Comments: It could be worse. This is on the low end of the atrocity spectrum for 2015 Topps Series Two. There are some real doozies in this set.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Give Me All Your Hamms

Not to be confused with Hamm's, the beer refreshing.

I need more than one of this card, obviously. Dare I say that I need all of them? Send me all the Hamm you can muster, and at the end of the year you will be rewarded.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Dollar Store Finds

Cards on a blog, words on a screen.

I rarely send out-of-the-country packages these days due to outrageous shipping costs, but I'll always make an exception for Sportscards From The Dollar Store. Did you know that the ubiquitous Dollar Tree just acquired another dollar store franchise, Family Dollar? You didn't? It's a dollar store-eat-dollar store world out there, my friends.

Another "10 Most Wanted" card has fallen now, and it's the famed Vince Coleman rookie card from 1985 Fleer Update. This card was practically untouchable when I was a kid, which basically means the greedy neighborhood coin dealer/opportunist had it rotating in his display case for something like $5, and five bucks was pretty much my week's allowance.

Do card shops still have rotating display cases?

My 2010-11 Donruss NBA binder finally found a few more friends. Panini used an early version of their cracked ice design on these retail-only versions of their Production Line inserts. I like 'em. It would be nice to finish off the base set soon, but I also plan on continuing to collect all sorts of inserts from this set, really the only NBA set I've found to be worthwhile.

It's Lil' Nate. They had to crop this photo pretty closely to make Robinson even slightly resemble a normal looking basketball player.

Finally, here's a very... I don't know... heavenly looking J-Stew rookie card? The former Duck great is still going strong after 7 years in the NFL.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

All Numbered

These sports cards from Thorzul all have one thing in common.

This spring, Thorzul held a group break that consisted of the contents of a big all-serial-numbered multi-sports lot he purchased. Being both a sucker for grab bags, random chance and things that are serial numbered, I opted in and claimed my favorite teams. I even came away with two additions to my player collections.

Ozzie didn't spend his entire career with the Cardinals, of course, but he did retire a Cardinal and spent more than a decade and a half with the team. I guess that counts as Forever? I have really liked a lot of the Fleer Greats cards I've seen over the years, which makes me wish it was something that could be revived at some point.

Albert Pujols is back to doing Pujols things these days, which mainly involves crushing a lot of home runs. His power numbers are on par with some of the seasons he put up in St. Louis right now as we're more or less at the midway point in the season.

It's a rough time to be a Blazers fan right now, so here I can look back to brighter days with a couple of cards from former Blazer greats. With the team now in rebuild mode, there's a decent chance that the upcoming season will see Portland with their worst record since B-Roy's rookie season.

I've always been a huge Sheed fan. This card is very shiny, but the giant serial number detracts from the look far more than it adds anything.

There were a lot of Eagles cards to be had as well, but it was tough to find one to scan of a player I genuinely enjoyed watching. Brian Westbrook shared carries with Correll Buckhalter and Duce Staley over the years. I paid a lot more attention in the McNabb/Andy Reid era than I do now, but having Chip Kelly in charge does keep things more interesting than with most NFL teams these days.