Sunday, April 28, 2024

Found Some OPCs While Looking in a Box...

     Well, this'll be my last post of the month, because I'm doing something special for the start of May (either May 1st or 2nd). While looking through one of my boxes of cards to use for my next post, I found a 1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier card just lying around. Then I found another, and another, and eventually nine of them. It surprises me that I didn't notice these cards the first time I went through the box, but it doesn't matter now that I have knowledge of them.

    It was a nice little find for me, who was struggling to find post material. It was while I was thinking this to myself that it dawned on me that I have three binders full of my cards from 2021-2023 that I can come up with posts for. There'll be some posts on them shortly.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

My Newest Obsession

     Ugh, don't you hate that feeling when something comes to mind and is just stuck there seemingly indefinitely, whether it's a tune from a great song, a line from a movie, or the band Lifehouse? Whatever it is, when something comes into your head and you can't keep it away, it can be nice, like a 33-song playlist of your favorite band (guilty), or extremely annoying, like if you need to focus on some other task but are constantly distracted.

    Well, while working on my last post, I couldn't get a certain player out of my head. I'm not gonna lie, I don't think this has ever happened to me before, with the exception of Jackson Holliday. Like Holliday, this guy is a rookie, and (unfortunately) unlike Holliday, he's doing pretty well so far. Since he was in my head, I figured I'd post on him. It's like me to over-analyze a certain subject when I'm in the mood. Well, here we are. To be honest, I don't even know why players come into my head and stay there. Kind of odd.

    While I'm certainly not following Jung Hoo Lee, I did do my fair share of research on him while looking into free-agents for the 2024 season. He impressed in Korea, batting .340 in the KBO and .324 when he was 18 years old. He struck out 304 times in 884 games in Korea and currently has a strikeout rate of 9.1% in the MLB, which frankly, is really good. I know he's only played a couple games north of 20, but he's a contact machine.

    Enough being a stat-nerd. I don't really know where this sudden interest came from, but it's quite possible that it's because he's a prospect (kind of) on my former favorite team. The Giants have been playing second banana to the Rangers in terms of my favorite team for about a year now. But seeing as how I was born and raised a Giants fan, I'm still partial to them, so maybe. Otherwise I have no idea why this happened. At least I'm over it now.

    Well, that'll do it for this post. Thanks for reading my sudden whims, which seems to be the running trend with this blog. I can't complain about it though. The people in Hong Kong seem to love it. Enough with the jokes, happy collecting and happy blogging. I'm out.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Best Topps Sets of the 21st Century

    I don't know about you, but I really like to collect modern day Topps cards. I first got into collecting cards in 2019, so a lot of the cards I own are from the last several years. I am currently working on collections for each coming season, and though not really a set collector, I have a good two to three hundred cards for each season 2021-2023. I only have about 40 2024 cards, but as they trend to get cheaper part-way through the season, I'll pick up a few hundred more.

    Since I specialize in the cards from the 21st century, the point of this post will be to show what my five favorite Topps base sets from 2000-2024 are. I say five because I think y'all can guess what at least three of them are. So then, let's get started with number 5.

#5: 2015 Topps

    I really like the dual-colored border for the 2015 Topps cards, which seems to give them a bit of a futuristic touch. I also think the design at the bottom of the card is neat, though I can't quite make out what it's supposed to be. Do I own any of these cards? Unfortunately, no I don't. Gotta get some sometime.

#4: 2010 Topps

    I also really like the borders on the 2010 cards. Though it looks slightly sloppy with the colorful blotches on the side of the card, it gives them a definitive touch. I also really like the team logo on the front of the card, and appreciate that it isn't in a tiny little designated box over on the side. Do I own any of these cards? I don't think so, though I have a whole bunch of baseball card boxes in which I may have some that I didn't notice. I'll need to check that eventually.

#3: 2016 Topps

    2016 Topps really came out with a solid design. I'm partial to the bottom of each card, which has the team logo in a sort of slanted box with the player name and position next to it in a creative design. The stats on the back are also easy to read, which is good because they are often difficult to see. This specific card is awesome too; cards of players robbing home runs are spectacular, and I feel that Mike Trout has more of them than anybody else. Do I own any of these cards? Yes. I own quite a few of them, and have used them for posts before.

#2: 2007 Topps

    Anyone who reads my blog knows that I praise 2007 Topps. But why? I can't really say I have a great answer for that myself. They do look pretty sharp, and I like the green color scheme on the back of the cards. Fake autographs are nice too, I guess... '07 Topps is really unique in itself in that it caught my eye right away, and I haven't seen any other sets that look quite like this one. Ha, unlike 2016 Topps. The 2017 and 2018 sets looked very similar to 2016, which bores me greatly. And yes, I have a lot of 2007 cards, don't you worry.

#1: 2024 Topps

    Yes, Topps' youngest set is my favorite. I have a whole post dedicated to the 2024 set, so you know why I like it. But I'll give a quick recap anyway. The neon colors and team name look really sharp, and the cards have a metallic sheen to them, a nice addition that I didn't notice until I bought some. The dual-colored border looks plain awesome, and the team logo and player name look great where they are. I'm also just really excited about this set because it came out so recently. Like I said at the start of the post, I have about 40 2024 Topps cards, but there should be many more to come in the near future. This particular card is my favorite of the 40, hence the reason it's shown here.


Now, for one honorable mention:

2019 Topps

    I don't love this set, mostly because the last name is on the top and the first name on the bottom, which I think gives it a worse look, but otherwise the card looks pretty good. I've heard a lot of good things about the 2019 set, and the first pack of cards I bought was part of this set. I still remember many of the cards I got in that fateful pack off the top of my head (Rowdy Tellez, Luis Urias, Kyle Tucker, Paul Goldschmidt, Kenley Jansen, Edwin Diaz, Rhys Hoskins, Michael Lorenzen, Dylan Bundy and more). 

    The oldest set that made the list was the '07 set. I guess I'm more into the newer Topps cards, which isn't really a surprise. It's easier (for me, at least) to come across the newer cards, especially from the year immediately before the current one. However, when I can make it to the card store, which isn't very often anymore, I can get good deals on late 1990s and early 2000s Topps cards, and usually leave with a fat stack of them, or a 600-card box with a potpourri of cards.

    Well, there you have it, my five favorite Topps sets from the 2000s. Please tell me what your favorite sets are and how I did. Happy collecting!

Friday, April 19, 2024

Caterpillar Invasion!

     Well, this is a problem. My house has been infested with fuzzy caterpillars. In case you didn't know, fuzzy caterpillars often have poisonous stingers, and believe me, being stung by them hurts like heck. A road I hope not to go down again.

Well, if y'all wanna see a picture of one of these feisty little guys, I can show you one. Yes, the exterminator should be on his way over here tomorrow. Hopefully he can take care of this whole incident. 

    I did some research, and the species of caterpillar I'm dealing with is the pearl crescent caterpillar. Luckily, they do not have stingers, but they still want to take the place over. Here's what they usually look like:


    However, the ones in my house look a bit different. They look a bit furrier, but after inquiring, I found out that they are indeed the same species. What does this have to do with baseball cards? I'll get to that shortly.

    But first, since my caterpillars look different, let me show you what it looks like:

    Yup, this is what it has to do with baseball cards. Yeah, for this little prank I'll probably lose all nine of my followers and nobody will ever read the blog again. Just to be clear, there are no fuzzy caterpillars roaming my house (at least, not to my knowledge). 

    In his defense, I actually do really like his mustache (while true, I'm also just trying to justify this post). Unfortunately, Strider will be out 12-14 months due to an internal bracing surgery to repair his damaged UCL, which is a blow to the Braves and any of their fans (so sorry Johnny's Trading Spot, I feel you).

    Now then, since I was talking about fuzzy caterpillars, here are some more players who had some nice-looking mustaches. I can also add that all of these players had successful playing careers.

Bill Buckner

Dennis Eckersley

Rollie Fingers

    Alright, I need to say two things: The first thing is, yeesh these pictures are blurry! And the second is, now I gotta do a post completely on amazing player mustaches. That'll have to wait until a later date though.

    Well, this post was pretty dumb, but I came across the Strider card in my house and that was the first thing that came into my head. For any of my followers, please don't leave my blog because I'm both a liar and a nutcase. Man, I'm really starting to regret publishing this post... I think it goes to show that I'm at a loss right now.

    Oh well, thank you for reading, and happy collecting. I'm out. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

A Word on Austin Brice

      My blog has been receiving so many views from Hong Kong recently. In fact, in the last 30 days, 74% of my views have been from there. I don't know why this is happening. Maybe my blog is very popular overseas? Yeah, I doubt it. I'm sure this bloated number of views on the blog is superficial. I've heard other bloggers saying the same thing, though not always from the same place. I've also heard Germany and Singapore.

    Well, since I'm getting all those little views in Hong Kong, I got interested. Which players were born in Hong Kong? When I typed it up on my search engine, pitcher Austin Brice's Wikipedia page was the first thing that showed up.

    Brice was born June 19, 1992 in Hong Kong, but grew up in the US. This was because his father worked internationally, and I guess that's where his family was when he was born. Anyway, he was drafted in 2010 and made his MLB debut in 2016. During his first day on the job, Brice threw a perfect inning and struck out two. This was the beginning of a beautiful career, right? Not exactly. He pitched in the MLB up through 2022, posting a 4-4 record and 5.12 ERA. He pitched in Spring Training this year with the Phillies at age 32. He threw to a 9.45 ERA in 6 2/3 innings, and is currently pitching in AAA with Philadelphia and throwing to a 7.71 ERA to start. And unfortunately, this is not my card of Austin Brice. I'm sad to say that I don't have one.

    Well, that was the scoop on the first MLB player I saw who was born in Hong Kong. I still find it a bit suspicious that I'm getting so many views there, but I guess it doesn't really matter, so long as the readers are happy.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

First Hit


    Today (April 14th), Jackson Holliday got his first ever major league hit! The hit was a single to move a runner to third down 4-3 in the seventh inning. The run ended up scoring, and so did Holliday, his run giving the Orioles a 5-4 lead. Baltimore ended up winning 6-4 against the Brewers. The hit was given up by relief pitcher Abner Uribe. I think I've gotten myself into following Holliday now. Oh well.
    And let me take the time to admire this 2023 Donruss Marvels rookie card. Definitely an interesting design there, and I kinda like it. Let's face it, no real background, this card looks like the cover of a comic book. It even has a barcode! So, I think it looks pretty sharp, but no doubt an odd one. Please let me know if y'all have any mixed opinions about the card.
    Now, no better way to end the post than with a video of the hit. Congrats Jackson Holliday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Here he Comes; Celebrate the Holliday

    This guy's going to be making his MLB debut tonight at home against Boston's Red Sox. I'm really excited to see what Jackson Holliday (son of Matt Holliday) is going to do tonight. He'll be batting ninth and playing second base, facing Kutter Crawford in his big-league debut. He'll also be starting in the Utility spot for The Fighting Uruk-Hai tonight (just wanted to add that bit into the mix).
    The 20-year old had been in the minors for 3 seasons, and, to put it bluntly, raked there. From A+ through AAA, the #1 prospect had a slash line of .321/.451/.497, and played in Spring Training this year for the Orioles, where he batted .311 and slugged .600 (you can see I'm a stat-nerd). I was rather disappointed that he didn't make the Opening Day roster, but he's here less than two weeks after the start of the season.
    I hope he does well tonight and that this is the start of a lengthy and amazing career. Good luck Jackson Holliday!

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Keep it Going

     I have no idea at all what to title this post.
    The computer has yet to work, so posting with cards has been a big pain. I am happy to report that I've gotten more cards to post about, so as soon as I can get the PC to work (or the memory card rather), I can get back to posting with cards. I'm sorry I haven't been able to do so, and please know that I'm trying my best to get working again.

    I'll also be out of town for a few days and will be unable to post anyway, hence the reason I'm posting now.

    MLB news: The Rangers are still in the winning column, with a 3-1 record and a monster 9-3 victory against the Rays. Keep it going Rangers! Unfortunately though, Josh Jung was hit by a pitch (that he swung at), and has a fractured wrist that will probably lead to a lengthy IL stint. 
    30-year-old rookie Ronel Blanco of the Astros threw a no-hitter against the Blue Jays yesterday in a 10-0 Astros victory, their first of the season.
    Japanese starter Shota Imanaga made his MLB debut yesterday, collecting a win against the Rockies. He threw six scoreless innings, giving up two hits, walking none and striking out nine.

    That's all I've got today for the MLB world. 

    Second last thing on today's agenda: The Diamond King is hosting a contest in which you can win a fat stack of cards by guessing the combined serial numbers of his 140-card pile. Very fun, but pretty difficult for me. Go ahead and check out his blog. Contest or not, it's a very good read.

    Final thing for today:


    Bowman will be releasing their 2024 baseball cards on May 8th, just over a month from now. Here is the design:

    I don't collect a ton of Bowman cards, but like the way that they're done, with the Bowman Briefing on the back. Of course, because they have the briefing, you don't get stats from every season on the card, but I guess it's a decent trade-off. This design is....interesting. I don't particularly like the red background, because he's on the Brewers and they have nothing to do with the color red. Not all of the backgrounds are the same color, and the Yankees card is better. However, this was the sample card I could get my hands on. I like the border around the photo and the little boxes in which the player and team name are located. All in all, I think it looks pretty good, but I would prefer them change the color scheme in the background.

    That'll do it for this post. Again, I hope I can get my pictures uploaded soon, but I will not be able to publish for at least four or five days anyway because I'll be out of town. Thanks for reading and happy collecting!