Thursday, December 31, 2015

Huge COMC Order

Oh wow.  I did it again.  I picked up a lot of cards off of COMC recently.  Mostly, my intention was to fill in some holes for autos and relics, but I ended up doing a lot more than that.
I like the Greenwell because of the head-warmer.  The Koji Uehara is one of my favorite cards of this entire purchase.  Koji autos are not real easy to come by and I love the fact that he adds his uniform number to the autograph.  Andre Dawson and Rickey Henderson both appear a lot in this order.  As does Mookie Betts.  This is my first Daniel Nava autograph.  Even though he is no longer with Boston, he will always be a favorite because of his inspiring rise to the Major Leagues.
Here we have a Mookie Betts jersey, my first Yoenis Cespedes relic, a Hanley Ramirez jersey, and a Mookie Betts dual relic.  We also have a neat die cut Victorino, a Scott Cooper insert that eluded me for a long time, one of the Babe Ruth Story cards, my first Red Sox one, and some more stuff.
Here we have the first autographs in my collection of Joe Kelly and Junichi Tazawa, though not my last for either player.  Tazawa is one of those players that simply does not get enough cards.  He has been a huge part of the Red Sox bullpen for years now.  The Babe Ruth card came from a boxed set of collectibles that I used to see a lot as a kid, but for some reason never picked up.
Another Junichi Tazawa here.  Eduardo Rodriguez is poised to break out next season.  And a couple more Rickey Henderson cards make their appearance.

Here we have a jersey card of Shane Victorino, an autograph of Bill Buckner, and my first Rick Porcello autograph.  I really like these throwback uniform photo variations like this Hanley Ramirez.  A number of these sneak into this purchase.
My first autograph card of Eduardo Rodriguez was very affordable.  Three new Babe Ruth cards make an appearance, as well as a Dustin Pedroia jersey card and a nice shot of Hanley Ramirez at the Green Monster.
Here we have more autographs of Ellis Burks, Joe Kelly, and Dustin Pedroia as well as more Rickey Hendersons and another Babe Ruth.  The Greenwell is very interesting because the black background is heat-activated, and it shows a variety of colors as well as the Green Monster.
And finally we have the 2014 Archives Fan Favorite autograph of Mike Greenwell, the second year in a row he was in that set.  I love the Mo Vaughn Hall or Nother due to the acetate stock.  And we have more Andre Dawsons and Rickey Hendersons.

So that is one big purchase.  A ton of nice, new cards were added to the collection.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Some Random Ebay Purchases

I had some Ebay Bucks to spend, so I went a bit wild picking up random single cards that I really liked.
Roger Clemens had a lot of nice-looking cards released this year, including these two die-cuts.  He has also publicly stated that if he were to get into the Hall of Fame, he would want a Red Sox cap on his plaque which is different than some previous statements when he preferred to wear a Yankees cap.  Pedro Martinez is showing up a bit more often now that he is a Hall of Famer.  I went a little Brock Holt crazy recently.
Here is another relic of Bogaerts, two more inserts of Clemens, and a Brock Holt.  There is going to be an avalanche of Eduardo Rodriguez cards coming next year.  He is a very good, young pitcher.  Ryan Hanigan makes his first appearance in my collection and he apparently owns the 2014 Westminster dog show winner, which impressed my wife immensely.  I love this last Clemens insert, a big heavy, metal card.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

R.I.P. Frank Malzone

It has been a rough week.  First Dave Henderson dies, now Frank Malzone.  I did a post some time ago about Malzone being a somewhat forgotten star.  He was one of the better players on the Red Sox teams of the 1950's.  He won three Gold Glove Awards in the first three years the award was given.  He was also a six-time All Star.  He should have won the Rookie of the Year in 1957 as his numbers were significantly better than Tom Tresh's, and he played in more games.  He likely would have had even better career numbers had he started his career at a younger age.  Malzone will be missed.

Triple Threads Lot

I found a reasonably inexpensive Triple Threads lot on Ebay that included a number of relics and autographs, so I had to pick it up.
There are a couple of base/parallels that are not as exciting of David Ortiz and Ted Williams, but I would not expect to add high-end cards of them and keep it cheap.  The real exciting cards are the bat/auto of Christian Vazquez, my first high-end card of him, and the auto/jersey of Rusney Castillo, my first autograph of him.  Rounding things out are relics of Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, and Pablo Sandoval, 75% of the starting infield.  I don't have many relics of Bogaerts or Sandoval yet.  I do expect the number of Bogaerts relics to rise after the great season he had.

Monday, December 28, 2015

R.I.P. Hendu

Dave Henderson passed away yesterday just weeks after receiving a kidney transplant.  I remember him mostly for his time with the Oakland Athletics as I was too young to remember his brief time in Boston, but he made a big impact.  He was acquired in a midseason trade with the Mariners in 1986 along with Spike Owen for a collection of players including Rey Quinones, none of whom did much for Seattle.  Henderson hit poorly during the regular season but he came up big in the postseason.  IN Game 5 of the ALCS with the Red Sox down 5-4 in the 9th, he came off the bench to pinch-hit for the aging Tony Armas and delivered a two-run home run.  He eventually drove in the winning run in the 11th inning with a sacrifice fly.  Boston went on to the World Series and Henderson hit two more home runs there.  In 1987 with an emerging Ellis Burks and Mike Greenwell, Henderson was expendable and was traded to the Giants for Randy Kutcher.  He then went on to his greatest career success with the Athletics.

More Autos and Relics

Here are a few more random autograph and relic cards that I had to add:
The two Blake Swihart cards came together and were shockingly cheap given that Swihart is a highly-regarded young player on a popular team.  But no complaints, I now have my first Swihart auto.  I can not believe I never had this Jason Varitek jersey card.  Sure it came out at a time when my focus on him was waning, but still.  I was definitely aware of it, I just never went to get it.  Finally, we have an All Star relic of Brock Holt.  I expect this to be his only All Star appearance.  It is not too often a utility player gets to go to the All Star game.  So I am picking up as much stuff as I can find of him.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

More Pack Breaks

Okay, I had to do it again.  I wanted to try out some more Update and then also realized that I was missing a bunch of Topps Series 2.  So I got some more stuff.
The Update blaster was a pretty big success.  It gave me a nice Ted Williams insert and the photo variation of Mookie Betts.  Betts is becoming a common player for me to pull in packs.  It also got me Jean Machi and Carlos Peguero, two players I do not expect to see again in sets.  Peguero in particular only played in about four games.  I have no idea why he merited inclusion in this set, but no complaints.  I love seeing random players like that.  Machi was being groomed to be a future closer after Koji Uehara went down with an injury, but he was not very consistent and was non-tendered after the season.  The Series 2 blaster gave me another Mookie, another Williams insert, and Joe Kelly.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Some Random Autos and Refractors, With My First Mookie Auto

I have not been buying a ton of relics and autographs lately, but decided to go on a bit of a binge.  I generally like to have one auto or relic of each player available.  I had a couple of Mookie Betts relics but I had yet to add an autograph.  Mookie is probably one of my current favorite players so I had to change this.  I also found a cheap lot of 2015 Chrome cards which had a couple of autographs as well.
Mookie is definitely the highlight here.  I am concerned that his autos are going to become too expensive to be able to pick up occasionally, since he is a very good young player and very popular.  I love the Swihart card, which is numbered to just 99.  Barnes has a chance to get a full-time job in the bullpen.  Finally, we have autographs of Bryce Brentz and Edwin Escobar, neither of whom is likely to make much of an impact at the Major League level.  Brentz has some power and could be a fourth outfielder.  Escobar was acquired from the Giants for Jake Peavy and could be bullpen depth.  Neither will be stars, but I have autographs of them both now.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Update and High Numbers Pack Breaks

I have not been buying a ton of packs these days.  It's kind of expensive and I rarely get what I really want that way.  Nevertheless, occasionally I get the urge to break some wax. 

I bought two blasters of the Heritage and flagship update sets.  I am always excited about Update sets because they tend to include some completely random players, and I love getting cards of lesser-known players.
Heritage did not have a ton of Red Sox in the set and I am confused by Victorino's inclusion since he was traded to the Angels for Josh Rutledge before the trading deadline.  I do like this Triad card which is actually an insert, though a very low-end one.  Blake Swihart is one of my favorite young players and I am looking forward to seeing him develop.  I also love the Update sets for the All Star cards.  Brock Holt was Boston's only All Star and he had a nice moment when he stole a base in the game.  Alexi Ogando is one of those lesser-known players that I was most excited to see in Update.  And then we have another trio card of the same three sluggers.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Some COMC Buys

Every once in awhile, a Sandy Alomar Jr. card pops up on COMC that I need.  Since it is kind of pointless to pay $3.00 to ship one card, I like to throw in a few Red Sox.  I don't remember which Alomar card I bought when I went a little Rusney/Mookie crazy, but here are the cards:
I really like that Rated Rookie card because it is a die-cut.  I am thrilled that Diamond Kings made a comeback, but I wish Panini would get an MLB license again.  Obviously Rusney Castillo was a pretty big target with this buy.  He has not really fulfilled his promise yet, but he should get regular playing time in 2016.
Three more Mookies show up here, including a nice Gypsy Queen insert showcasing his impressive defensive work.  There are also a couple of cards of The Panda, who was pretty disappointing in 2015.  Hopefully he will be back to hitting well in 2016.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

That Mark Hoyle is Very Generous

The most recent stack of vintage cards came from Mark several months ago but it was right around the time I took a bit of a hiatus.  I am sorry, I should have posted about it sooner.  Here it is:
These are Milton Bradley cards and they were released from 1969-1972.  Unfortunately there is no copyright date on any of them so Harry sent me all the ones from players that played for the Red Sox during that time period.  All of the logos are air-brushed away so you cannot tell which teams these guys were with at the time of these pictures.  Some of them are pretty obviously not Red Sox caps, such as the one on Tommy Harper.  But with no team designations, no copyright dates, and no logos, they could represent any team.  So here they are.

There are some interesting players here.  Harper had the Red Sox record for stolen bases in a season when he stole 54 in 1973.  He kept that record until Jacoby Ellsbury stole 70 in 2009.  Danny Cater was acquired in a trade with the Yankees for Sparky Lyle.  That one came back to bite Boston.  Ray Culp was the best pitcher Boston had for a few years.  Luis Aparicio is a Hall of Famer, though not for his time with Boston.  And Rico Petrocelli held the AL record for home runs as a shortstop for a few decades when he hit 40 in 1970.

Thanks Mark!  Sorry about the delay in the post.