Tuesday, November 24, 2009

High season is here. Goodbye for now.

High season is about to kick in here at my job so I won't have enough time to keep posting. I won't cancelled the blog just to keep my hope alive of coming back again in a couple of months. Hopefully.

I'll keep visiting hobby blogs and forums.

Enjoy the holiday season and keep on blogging.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Joe playing Keanu

I'm not a Matrix or Keanu fan but I was quite impressed when the first movie of the trilogy came out. Since then I've seen it many times but never been patient enough to sit down and watch #2 or 3 in full.

Today I have the morning off and took some time to browse through my collection and found the only Joe Torre card in my PC:

Gotta give it to Joe because you gotta have some moves and patience if your coaching Manny...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Luis Aparicio: An affordable HOF'er

Luis Aparicio is the living proof that you can still purchase great HOF'ers, even graded, for less than $15 on ebay any given sunday.

During his 18 seasons MLb career, he achieved many distinctions:
  • 1956 Al ROY
  • 10 time All Star
  • 1966 World Series champ with the O's
  • 9 Gold Golves at SS (five of them in a row)
  • He lead the AL in stolen bases 9 straight seasons and went back home with 506 in his career (34th all time leader)
Finally in 1984 he was elected to the HOF receiving the highest % of votes among his class that also included Harmon Killebrew, Don Drysdale, Pee Wee Reese and Rick Ferrell. He's also a proud member of the Venezuelan Baseball HOF in which he was inducted back in 2003.

The only Aparicio card I own so far is this 1963 Topps but in the next couple of weeks I'll be making a run after a graded copy (even if it's a PSA 1) of his 1956 RC. In the meantime, enjoy:

Friday, November 13, 2009

That guy could run... without getting caught often: Dave Lopez

You can steal many bases but..
How many times were you caught?
It's like baseketball stars (no offense): keep shooting and eventually you'll average more than 20pts a game. Some guys really suck so there's no rule of thumb.

The caught stealing "CS" data has been collected since the 1914 season. Many of the all time leaders played before that era so therefore we will never be able to quantify how effective they really were. Some of those guys are: Honus Wagner, Bobby Hamilton, Ty Cobb, Max Carey and many other greats.

Among the top 30 all time leaders, the best stolen bases / caught stealing ratios belong to:
  1. Tim Raines 5.53 (#5 overall leader)
  2. Willie Wilson 4.98 (#11 overall leader)
  3. Dave Lopez 4.88 (#23 overall leader)
  4. Rickey Henderson 4.28 (#1 overall leader)
  5. Joe Jorgan 4.25 (#10 overall)
  6. Vince Coleman 4.24 (#6 overall leader and the only one right were he belongs)
  7. Ozzie Smith 3.91 (#20 overall)
  8. Kenny Lofton 3.88 (#13 overall)
  9. Barry Bonds 3.64 (#29 overall)
  10. Otis Nixon 3.33 (#14 overall)
  11. Bert Campaneris 3.26 (#12 overall. Sorry Bert)
  12. Lou Brock 3.05 (#2 overall, wow that's not right)
  13. Maury Wills 2.81 (#18 overall)
  14. Bret Butler 2.17 (#22 overall)
Going vintage and showing off a card will take me to this Dave Lopes 1976 Topps card commemorating his 38 consecutive stolen bases record. It took 53 years for someone to break Max Carey old record of 32 stolen bags. If you think that's amazing, just try to imagine Mr. Vince Coleman, current record holder, stealing 50 in a row between the 1988 and '89 season. That's something else.

Monday, November 9, 2009

That guy could run: Bert Campaneris

The all time latino stolen base leader, Bert Campaneris is one of those guys who amazingly does not get much attention from the hobby. If you ebay his name you'll come up with less than 70 results and surprisingly none of them is a triple threads, sterling, etc, etc, used/symbolic piece.

When you look at his stats you'll see he ran away with 649 bases and lasted 19 seasons.

Great stealer and not from Pittsburgh, he's guilty of batting more than 279 only twice and having a whooping 259 all time batting average. Imagine Bert with at least a 280 average and therefore more opportunities to fly around the bases.

I'm proud to own...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Catfish vs Termites

Even though in this crazy weather and high humidity environment we live in, I've never had problems with termites or any type of bug messing with my baseball cards.

At a flea market a couple of months ago I spotted this Catfish Crawford card:

It caught my attention (yes you're right, I was bore as Moses in the Grand Canyon) and $.30 later I was playing the taxidermists with it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Maybe Sammy will also resurrect

Now that McGwire is back in a MLB uniform, I'll take a moment to blog about none other than Mark's nemesis and who helped him put baseball back on the map with their steriod-Hr race: Slammin Sammy.

In the late 90's Sammy was by far the most recognizable face the Dominican Republic had in MLB. His popularity was so outstanding that he couldn't walk around in public without 3 or more bodyguards breathing on his neck. The first and only time I've seen him in person happened at a gas station where your royal highness Sammy was just showing off his brand new Dodge Viper, the first ever that came down here. Right behind, 3 Ryan Howard type of guys were escorting him on a Mercedes S500. Saying he was cocky and arrogant would have been a compliment.

He bought several fancy properties in Santo Domingo, Casa de Campo and forgot the exact address of his hometown "San Pedro de Macoris".

Long back were the days where he played during our winter baseball season.

He's one of the worst cases I've seen of money changing totally who you are (or who WE think you are). In my opinion, he's not a bad guy but he fouled the ball hanging around with the wrong people. That was the problem.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Your weather forecast for the 80's

Prospecting has never been easy. It used to be a tough job only for scouts trying to make a living as pythoness and oracles but now they're not alone; diehard collectors/prospectors spend long hours attending minor league games, reading Baseball America reports and hunting young kids for autographs before and after ball games. It's a we'll known established business and it's here to stay.

Back in 1976-77 amateur drafts the Cubs were shopping around in the late rounds trying to make the most out of their rights but !damn! they got it wrong. Actually most teams got it wrong if you check Topps 1980 cards 661-686 but I'm not teasing the Cubs fans, is just that I like to write about cards that I proudly own.

When these are your Future Stars:

I just can say it's going to be a cloudy and stormy decade...

Monday, October 26, 2009

1991 Panini stickers

1991 was a great year. I was just starting high school and officially began collecting. The first baseball trading cards I got my hands on were the now cheap and famous 1991 Panini stickers. I don't know how much money we paid for the album and single packs back then, but I do remember I saved and used for this purpose every single penny I was supposed to spend on lunch and whatever extra cash I received from one of my crazy uncles.

Every morning, we would get to school early enough to buy and share our pulls. If you got there late and missed the seller and didn't fell like waiting until tomorrow, at 10:15am you had 45 minutes (lunch break) to sneak out and run 3 blocks down the street to a nearby private school where the seller was at that time.

Did I ever complete the 1991 album? No. Later that year we were introduced to "regular" baseball cards and never looked back.

For my surprise and delight, a couple of moths ago I found these stickers in a local flea market and I knew they were coming home with me right away.

Now that Panini is in the baseball business once again, maybe they'll resurrect this project and bring back the album glory days for our kids.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shave & Behave

I'm not a Yankee fan so that puts me in a good position to bash or praise the pin$tripe$. One of the things I've always found ridiculous about them is the "Shave & Behave" policy every team member must obey. Do you remember how Giambi used to look like Emile Hirsch on "Into the Wild"? Suddenly he gets hired by the Yanks and the worst thing he could get away with was a pornstache.

Remember Johnny Damon's look? Now he's Hideki Matsui twin brother. And the list goes on an on.

What would I like to see back again in every single clubhouse: attitude.

Like Reggie wearing gold Ray-Ban Aviators:

Overall, I think restrictions on how a player should dress and look are ridiculous. Every sports player must behave, note that I said behave, as a role model. That means charity related work and not free Gillette advertising. Another active, overrated, fancy looking Yank thicks your clock? I'll give you a clue: He used to be Mariah Carey DJ...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fleer 1983. Only 640 cards short to complete this set...

Fleer 1983 is one of the 80's sets I like and recently realized I own a couple of singles I bought separately. With plenty of stadium background shots, I think you can't go wrong. Even tough a lot of players are featured posing for the cameras, the "playball" felling is there not like some studio shots we saw too often in 90's. Yes, I wish there were more "action" photos but at least there's a healthy mix of both worlds.

Going back to my PC, so far I own:

Frank Viola RC looking and smiling like Fonzie

Ryan taken into custody after striking out 245 batters that season

Carl after a serious night out with the boys and just 22 MLB seasons

Gaylord Perry winning his 300 hundred game at 43 but looking like he's 64

Brett playing Brett

Gwynn RC flexing the muscles showing off his Pascual Perez hair style

...and finally, Fisk hugging Richard Gere or is it Gary Carter?

Friday, October 16, 2009

DGW Draft gone wild. Paul Coleman. 1989

June 1989, Draft day:
With the 6th pick of the first round... the St. Louis Cardinals select.... Paul Coleman...

Doesn't this guy looks like Bo Jackson stunt double? Don't you dare lie to me!! He even has the blue Kansas uniform.

But look on the back of the card and it gets even more suspicious, Topps compared him to Bo!!
Truth be told, I was 100% sure I had found a great Bo Jackson non-existent 1990 RC when I landed this "gem" out of a box full of 90's wannabes. Some props to Paul because who else can say he struck out 21 batters in a game and hit even one 500 ft. HR in his life?

I'm guessing some scout or top Cardinals Exec. lost his job a couple of months after they chose Coleman. Just guessing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

L. Victor Pinella

"Sweet Lou" Ahhhhhh

Who would have guessed this lovely Tampa kid would one day be #4 in the managers ejections category for arguing basically anything.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

SP LC. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

Recently I've been sharing my opinion with other collectors in some blogs and websites about my thoughts on "cuts signatures" and most important of all: "SP Legendary Cuts".

Why is this brand so important for me:
SP LC'07 was the first HOF/Greats players themed hobby box I ever bought. After I graduated from college in 2003, I jumped back to my collecting habits once again after more than a 5 year hiatus.

With Beckett Baseball as my bible, my mouth watered every time I saw those amazing SP LC, and Absolute Memorabilia pulls in the "Precious Pulls" & "Market Watch" section.

So when in 2007 I found myself with some extra cash to spend, I was ready to order online my first SP LC'07 box. Besides the great hit pictured below that I managed to pull (yes, I was excited), what got me the most was the amazing check list. Add the good looking black design of the base cards with the now reduced price of less than $60/box and you have a best seller.

But then disaster stroke. SP LC'08 came along the way and suddenly your hits were a Jerred Weaver "Destination Stardom" jersey and a Curt Schilling "Destination History" jersey. And don't get me started on the base cards check list: Dan Haren, Rich Hill, etc, etc, etc...

My point is, if UD will keep making this product and they INSIST on including active MLB player, PLEASE get rid of anyone who is not a PROVEN HOF'er candidate just waiting for retirement and the 5 year WL.

I'm kind of a vintage guy nowadays but I'll be tempted everytime I see a well done HOF'er themed product.