Sunday, April 30, 2023

2022 Prizm hanger pack

 We went to Target this afternoon and I was hoping to find either some 2023 Big League or 2023 Bowman packs. While neither of them were there, I did find a hanging pack of 2022 Prizm. It turns out that the Prizm pack would be a better choice for my collection. Let’s see what I got. 

I’ve really been liking these Donruss products because with all of the rookies and parallels, over 75% of the packs turn out to be cards that go in my special binders. Some of them have been closer to 95% if I get some Rays, Tigers, or favorite players. This one only had 4 cards out of 18 that are just regular cards going in team binders. The Franco parallel is a nice pull for me as a Rays fan. I’m hoping he wins an MVP during his career with Tampa as well as some World Series titles with them. The Nick Fortes card was a nice pull for me, but I didn’t know it at the time. The rest of the rookies are relatively common ones, but they still are fun to pull. Same with the parallels. I’m sure I can trade off the Rickey to a Hendu collector. 

Now the Fortes card made me wonder if he was good, so I googled him, and found out he was born in DeLand, FL, which is where I currently live. Turns out he went to DeLand High School. I had actually pulled a 2022 Topps and 2022 Heritage card of him without seeing that on the back. I’m pretty sure I’ll be collecting Fortes now. Kind of reminds me of when I pulled an autograph of Patrick Mazeika last year, a guy who went to college in DeLand at Stetson University (home of the Rangers newest injured pitcher). I actually need a deGrom autographed card, so hopefully the DeLand school autographed card luck will continue. 

I finished logging in Tigers through 1997 on TCDB the other night, so I’ll start with 1998s tomorrow after work. I just need to learn to slow down and look at the backs a little more carefully and perhaps I’ll find more DeLand guys to collect. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

Friday, April 28, 2023

Winnings from Johnny

 As most of you know, John from Johnny’s Trading Spot holds almost daily giveaways where all you have to do is follow and comment and you are entered. I won on Fridays post, and John like he always does sent a nice pwe filled with what he can find from his trade box that fits into my collection. 

My envelope arrived Thursday night and was filled with Rays, Tigers, and a certain guy I collect who shares my last name. 
I’ve been a huge fan of Brent Honeywell just because he throws a true screwball. I’m glad to see him doing well this year, but am sad that it is with the bat-flipping, showboating, drunk-spending Padre$. The Lowe Diamond King gives me his base and DK Optic cards. I may have the base and DK from the regular Donruss version as well. Next up are a trio of what I think are Atomic Refractors from 2019 Topps Chrome. Daz Cameron was a guy I hoped would do good for Detroit, especially given the fact that he is Mike Cameron's kid, and I figured the bloodlines would do him good, as the elder Cameron hit 4 HRs in a game and was a Gold Glover. Daz didn't do much with Detroit, and is now with Baltimore. The next card has the Atomic Refractor technology, but I believe it is from the Chrome Sapphire product (with the blue being the only difference I believe). Paul DeJong is a guy I collect because we share the same last name, and John usually hooks me up with his cards whenever he can find them. This time, it's his 2021 Topps Blue parallel, and his 2020 Topps Heritage Chrome Purple Refractor. Thanks for the great cards, John.

I haven't really been adding complete sets to my complete Topps project lately, but I have been inputting cards into my TCDB collection. I passed the 20,000 card mark, and all my Topps cards from NL teams are entered. I have also got them input from my favorite player, rookie card, sunset card, highlights, and special card binders. Currently, I am working on inputing all of my Detroit Tigers (even non-Topps) cards. I've finished the cards from 1951-1994, and will work on the 1995 sets once I post this.  I'll do the same thing with the Rays once the Tigers are finished, and after the Rays, I'll work on Topps sets from the AL teams, and then generate my Topps needs lists. Then input all my non-Topps cards from NL and AL teams, special binders, and then start to pull the trigger on some TCDB trades. Probably a year or so down the road, though. 

I decided to search for a cheap Topps complete set, and I figured 2007 might be cheap, and they were a little higher than what I expected on the first couple of Google pages (75-100 bucks), but a few pages down, I found a site that might be a nice one to search through every once in a while. Goodwill Finds seems like it is a centralized Goodwill selling site that ships from Colorado. I found a 2004 Topps set for 29.99, what looks like a complete 1991 Topps set for 16.00, and a binder that had pictures of 1993 Topps cards in numerical order for 26 bucks. I think it may contain the Jeter rookie, and even if not, I need many cards from that set to complete it, so it's a win in my book. There was a 2007 Topps set I might pull the trigger on in a few weeks when I get an inventory bonus, and what I really wanted to get my hands on was a lot of 3 binders that was 100 dollars. I think it's a tad high of a price, and didn't have everything I wanted, but for a guy looking to sell cards to fund other ones, it might be a good buy. It had what looked to be complete 2003 Topps and Upper Deck sets in binders, and what looked to be a complete 2001 Topps set in binders. The 2001 Topps set would've had an Ichiro Suzuki rookie as one of the final cards in the set, but the listing only showed a few pages of the binder. I could've used many cards from the 2001 and 2003 Topps sets, but I didn't need the 2003 UD stuff, and I just don't have 100 bucks to spend on cards on a whim. All of this and the fact I already had the Ichiro '01 Topps led me to pass on it. If you decide to jump on the lot and have cards from the '01 and '03 Topps sets that you don't need, please let me know and I'll try to trade something for them. 
I'll let you know how the shipping is and if the sets I purchased were indeed complete sets. You do have to wade through some junk, but I think I found some good stuff.

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Unexpected Incoming cards

 The last few days have brought in some incoming cards, with all of them being pretty unexpexted. I went to Target on Saturday after work with my wife and son, and got a hanging pack of Pinnacle Prizm. Not unexpected, but I was kind of expecting to see more baseball on the shelf but that was the only thing besides yucky stuff like basketball, football, and Allen & Ginter. The pack yielded some pretty good cards. 

The Franco and Arozarena are nice adds to my Rays binder. One day a few months down the road hopefully, I’ll put all my loose Rays cards in binders and it will look nice. The Rodriguez parallel is the 2nd Panini Rodriguez rookie parallel I’ve got in the past few months. Not saying much with the amount of products and parallels out nowdays, but I’ll take it. 2 others cards not pictured will be going out in trade packages. 

Speaking of trade packages, when I got home, I had a package from Dennis of Too Many Verlanders sitting in my mailbox. I sent him a few Michigan guys and a card of the namesake of the blog, and he quickly returned fire with a bunch of cool cards he had been saving for me. 
Dewon Brazton was a top draft pick for the Rays who never turned out. I probably saw him pitch for the Rays and got him to sign a 2002 Donruss Originals card during Rays fanfest during the early 2000s. Niemann put together a string of good seasons for the Rays before getting injured. He was friendly to the fans too, as I remember getting him to sign cards a few times. I had hopes Desmond Jennings and Carl Crawford would form a 1-2 punch with speed in the Rays lineup, but Crawford left for the Red Sox and Jennings only lasted a few years. The rest of this picture is fairly well known guys, with a nice Players Weekend patch of Longoria. 
Dennis helped me with the 2022 Heritage set with the main portion of this pic. If you know me, the last time I purchased a pack of Gypsy Queen was like 2012, so the only way I get any of the set is from shows, card shops, or trades like this. The last card is a sweet dual patch card of Jacob Nix, who shares a last name with my wife before she married me. Thanks for the great package of cards, Dennis! Hope you enjoy the ones I sent you. 

Sunday after church, we stopped a Big Lots, and found some packs of 2022 and 2023 Topps, as well as a blaster of 2021 Topps Big League. I chose the blaster because the regular Topps packs would’ve been 90% doubles. 

I pulled some great Rays cards, featuring the main moments of the 2020 postseason run (somehow Arozarena was missing from this set). The purple box card was Mike Trout, who I may already have got from the other blaster I got about a year ago. It’s either Harper or another Trout. I’ll have to check tomorrow, but if it is a double and anyone wants it, it’s up for trade. I like the highlights cards, but wish it would show a picture from the actual moment for some of them. 

Wish I wouldn’t have pulled that Dodgers highlight, but the Rays will always be the 2020 World Champions to me. Nothing really earth shattering with the parallels, but I figured I would post them in case anyone wants them. 

Today when I got home from work, I checked the mail and found an envelope from John of Johnny’s Trading Spot fame. 
John sent some very cool cards. I’ll start off first with Austin Meadows. He could rake with the Rays and I believe he still can and I wish him the best as he is recovering from anxiety and mental health issues. I have high hopes for Josh Lowe, and hope he can start hitting and getting more playing time with Tampa. I got a number of 2022 Ben Baller cards, and even though I don’t like high end products, I do think they are nice looking cards. The Yandy Diaz card looks like it could be a Gold Rainbow parallel, but I thought the back identified those cards, and this one doesn’t. I’ve been doing a bunch of logging cards in on TCDB and I tell you what, the pictures help a bunch. More on that later. The final card is a 2018 Topps Chrome Future Star of Paul DeJong, who I hope starts hitting again. MLB needs as many DeJongs as they can get, as Chase DeJong keeps getting cups of coffee but not many cards the past few years. Thanks for the cards, John!  I’ve got a stack for you that I’m starting. 

I am off tomorrow, and should spend most of it putting these new cards into my loose card boxes and entering favorite player cards into TCDB. Im going alphabetically, and am up to Quinton McCracken. Some of these current players are tough as every set has 500 parallels and it makes it a little difficult going through lists and finding the card you need to click on. We’ll see how many players I can get done tomorrow. David Ortiz is going to be a beast but I’ll keep plugging through. Once the favorite guys are done, I’ll probably get back to doing the Topps team cards, finishing off the AL. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

Saturday, April 1, 2023

2023 Rays Opening Day game

 Ever since going to a Rays game in 2018 and seeing how they celebrated the teams 20th anniversary (even inviting back players from the 1998 team), I have wanted to to go to a game in 2023. I have followed the Rays since they became a team in 1996, and went to about 3 games in 1998, and probably 50 or so games since then. 
I ended up getting tickets to Opening Day this year, and had high hopes that the entire 1998 Opening Day team would be back. 
The Rays raised their Wild Card banner, and that was cool to see. I’ve seen a number of places making fun of it, but why did nobody make fun of the Bankee$ for having a banner after losing the Wild Card Game to the Red Sox 2 years back?  People love to hate the Rays, but if they can stay healthy this year, they could pull a Phillies this year or a ‘19 Nationals and ride a hot streak to a title. 

On the way in Kyler saw Raymond and DJ Kitty. 
He got a picture with DJ Kitty, and got Raymond to sign the picture of the two of them from 2 seasons ago. You can kind of see Raymond signing it in the background. Later in the game, the pair were in the centerfield stands, and Kyler went over and got DJ Kitty to sign a '22 Topps custom I made and Raymond to sign his '21 Topps Opening Day jersey card. I still have like 15 cards of Raymond, and hopefully over the next few years I will knock them all off, maybe 1-2 per game. 
After getting into the ballpark, there was a guy on stilts, and Ky got his picture with him and got a fist bump. 

Me, Karen, and Kyler in our seats. 
Shane McClanahan warming up. While I applaud the Rays brass on having them wear the '98 unis, I was really disappointed that it was about the only lengths they went to that honored the original team during the game. While they had guys like Quinton McCracken and others come back during the 2018 season, they didn't have any show up at the Opening Day game, even when their closer from that team, Roberto Hernandez, lives just a few miles away. You can't celebrate a 25th anniversary without honoring the history of the original team. 

Kyler was playing on my phone in the car on the way up, and I forgot he had it, so I didn't get very many pictures at the game because Karen had it and still had to do some work stuff with it. We still got some nice picutres. I had wanted to take a picture of the first pitch, but Karen and Kyler had left to go get food by then. Former Ray James Shields threw the first pitch. He wasn't even drafted until 2002, but I guess since he won the first World Series game for the Rays it was a good call. 
As far as autographs, I got Raymond on the jersey card and a team issued card from 1997 or 1998 which I think is his rookie card. Next is the DJ Kitty custom, and 2 customs I made of Rays reliever Ryan Thompson. A few weeks before, MLB Trade Rumors had a chat with him. It worked out that I've taken lunch during a number of them, including ones with Thompson, former Cub/Met pitcher, and Cubs GM Ed Lynch, former Tigers/Yankee$ pitcher Humberto Sanchez, and Indians 2B Jason Kipnis. During Ryan's chat, somebody asked him if he knew if he was getting any baseball cards and why he wasn't on any. Ryan said he didn't know and wish he had some. I made all of the missing Topps cards (2020 Update, 2021, 2022, and 2023), a few days before the game and started printing them out. I had planned to make 1 of each for myself and give Ryan a few copies, but of course my printer ran low on color ink and made the gems you see above. I got basically 1 useable copy of each and 1 bad copy of the 2023 and 2022 cards. I put the good versions in a penny sleeve and wrote the card year and my blog URL on the backs, and put the other 2 copies of the cards for myself next to them and got them in my box to take to the game. With just a few minutes before the game to start, Ryan comes out to the bullpen and started to throw a few handfulls of gum to the crowd. I went up and he saw my cards, and motioned for me to come after he got done with the gum. It was pretty loud (and I am famous for mumbling), and I told him that I heard he needed some cards from the MLB Trade Rumors chat so I made him some and that the ones in the sleeve were for him. He took the 4 cards for him in the penny sleeve, took the top one (2023 Topps) out of the sleeve and signs it, and then took my version of the 2023 Topps card and signed it. I started to take the last card for me back, and he says 'you still have one more' like he wanted to sign it, and I said something like 'no, those are for you', and then I think he got what I was saying, and he said thanks and went back to the bullpen. I think he ended up with the 2020 Update, 2021 Topps, and 2022 Topps for him, as well as the dying ink version of the 2022 Topps that I was going to keep. I got both versions of the 2023 Topps custom after all was said and done. I hope he enjoys them. I'm not sure if the game had started or not when he signed, because when I got back to my seat, I looked, and at least 1 pitch had went by. 
The game was pretty good, but it was bad timing a few times. I took Kyler to meet Raymond, and Jose Siri hit a HR. I guess the jumbotron showed our seats when me and Kyler were gone, so Karen got on it at least. We left the game in the 7th, and were just out of the tunnel when Manuel Margot made an amazing catch in RF which we would've got a good view of. We did have some nice luck, though.
 Some people behind us found a ball under their seats (maybe one hit under there during BP), and they gave it to Kyler. Kyler was starting to get tired, so with Miguel Cabrera coming up in the 7th, I asked if we could leave after Miggy hit, and Karen and Kyler agreed. We stayed, and watched him hit a double, so we'll always be able to say we saw him play in person and hit a double. 

After we got home, I found the prize from Johnny's Trading Spot in the mailbox. Remember those Bowman Julio Rodriguez's he mentioned in my last post? Well, he sent me a few along with some cool Rays cards from the latest 2 Chronicles sets. I have always been a Brent Honeywell fan. He is one of the few pitchers nowdays with a true screwball, and I figured he would've been a mainstay in the Rays rotation by now. A few Shane Baz rookies, a Vidal Brujan rookie, and those Julio Rodriguez Bowman's. Thanks, John. Perhaps I'll make it my way to your place before June and have some more stuff for you. We'll see how our schedules are. 
It was a fun Opening Day. Only way that would've made it better was if the Yankee$ would've lost and the Tigers could've also won. 
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