Friday, May 31, 2024

Remember that one Friday in 2021?

     October 29th, 2021 was a Friday. What happened in baseball that day? The Atlanta Braves defeated the Houston Astros 2-0 in game 3 of the World Series. Ian Anderson got the win for the champion Braves, going 5 scoreless and no-hit innings with three walks and four strikeouts. The Astros ended up getting only two hits all game, and game 3 put the Astros up in the series 2-1. 

    I remember the game well. I was rooting so hard for the Braves to win the series, and they won pretty convincingly to prove they're the real deal. They've been awesome ever since, winning 101 games in '22 and 104 in 2023, but can't beat the Phillies in the postseason (sigh). They are currently lined up to win only 95 games in 2024, due in part to injuries to their starting rotation and Ronald Acuna Jr. 

    Enough with that (although I could live in Braves land for the duration of a really long post) Now I must continue sifting through the 2021 binder and finish it. 

    Up to this time, I had forgotten to sprinkle trade bait into the mix. I'll make sure to do that sometime. Just like in fantasy baseball, I love trading.

    And this first card features a player from the team the Braves defeated in the 2021 Fall Classic:

    Not gonna lie; not a fan of the 1986 Topps design. In the 2021 World Series, Correa hit 6-for-23 (.261) with zero home runs and four RBI. This was pretty good considering the team slashed .224/.298/.299 as a whole and averaged just over three runs per game. 2021 was Correa's last season with the Astros; he has been playing with the Minnesota Twins ever since.

    Man, I loved Javy Baez, most especially when he was playing with the Cubs. He brought energy, defense and a strong bat to a Cubs team that looked really good, and won it all in 2016 (for some reason I was rooting for the Indians to win. What was I thinking?!). Unfortunately, Baez's last effective season was 2021, when he slashed .265/.319/.494 with 31 home runs, split between the Cubs and the Mets. He's been awful ever since for the Tigers.

    Corey Seager's awesome. You can't get past that fact. It was driving me insane when he was raking for the Dodgers. I didn't really like this card, because he wasn't in the field or anything, but standing next to a car. BOOOOOORING! What I neglected was the fact that Seager's holding one of his (two!) World Series MVP awards. Seager slashed .400/.556/.700 with 2 home runs, five RBI and seven runs in six Fall Classic games. I personally like it better when he's mashing for the Rangers in the World Series, but that's just me.

    And here's another guy raking for the Dodgers. In the 2020 World Series, Mookie slugged .577 and stole four bases. I wonder if he'll make the Hall of Fame, with the whole Red Sox scandal and everything. What do y'all think?

    I believe this is the third card featuring the 1965 Topps design that I've posted on, but this one is most probably my favorite out of all of them. I can't get over how young Acuna looks. He debuted and won the Rookie of the Year award at age 20! In 2021 he was playing his age 23 season. He's 26 this season, and has already been around for seven years, which is incredible to imagine. Unfortunately though, his '24 campaign has come to a close due to a torn ACL in his left knee. This makes a torn ACL in both of his legs now, which may affect the rest of his career. Yikes. I hope the recovery goes well, and good luck Braves. You may need it now with the losses of Strider and now Acuna for the rest of the season.

    I've got only one post left for the 2021 binder before I can move on to 2022. As always, thank you for reading, have a great weekend and Happy Collecting!

Monday, May 27, 2024

Monday's Featured Card(s)

      Today we actually have two cards living, or should I say squatting, in the 2021 binder. These particular cards are from the year 2020, and are the first two cards in the binder.

    I have to say, I have no recollection getting these cards, but here they are. Gosh, seeing superstars all dressed up is slightly weird.

    I must say, Pete Alonso cleans up better than Trout. That mohawk; bad decision. Meh, who cares? Doesn't look bad on him. Anyway, these 2020 Topps Big League Award Winners are the first thing you'd see if you were to look into my 2021 binder. Maybe a bad first-impression? 

    The thing that is driving me crazy is the slant that appears from when I took the picture. I need to start scanning cards.

    Back to the cards. Mike Trout is winning the 2019 MVP Award. In 2019, Trout most definitely impressed, slashing .291/.438/.645 (leading the league in OBP and SLG). He hit 45 homers, scored 110 runs, and played in only 134 games. Trout is currently injured (as always), and I just traded him away in one of my fantasy leagues in a giant 5 for 2 deal for Juan Soto.

    Pete Alonso won the 2019 Rookie of the Year award, setting the record for most home runs by a rookie with 53. This beat Aaron Judge's 2017 record of 52, which I'm sure he wasn't too pleased about. He also drove in 120 runs for the Mets.

    That'll do it for this Monday's post. I will not be featuring cards on Mondays for the next seven weeks because my drafts are starting to fill up on the blog. However, I will continue featuring my out-of-place cards once I've finished with the seven posts that need to be shipped out. For now I think I'll stick with Monday and Friday post dates until I'm through with my binders and features.

    As always, thank you for reading, Happy Collecting, and have an amazing week!

Friday, May 24, 2024

Friday Again?!

     It's that day of the week again. Last week I finished showing off all the pitchers (except for one), so we will be moving on to position players presently. First however, that last lingering pitcher...

    This Clayton Kershaw card is the redo of 1986 Topps. I don't particularly like the '86 set design, but I do like the Kershaw card. It shows the 2020 wins leaders on the back of the card, and since 2020 was that shortened season, Yu Darvish took the lead with 8 wins, good for about 22 in 162 games.

    There isn't really anything special about the Series 2 Realmuto card, but I really like it for some reason. For one, I love J.T. Realmuto (being a catcher, a lot of my favorite players are catchers), and I also like the photo on the card. He looks either deep in thought, or like he's giving Angel Hernandez the side-eye. Either one will do.

    1952 Topps may very well be my favorite of the 2021 Topps representations. Just coming off Freddie Freeman's MVP-worthy 2020 season, he didn't disappoint in '21, batting .300 with 31 home runs and leading the league in runs scored (120). This was also his last season with the Atlanta Braves. It is here that I must stop to shed a few tears.

    Now then, back to the post. 1979 Topps was the first Topps set to include the company logo on the front of the cards. However, I don't think they had a 70 year anniversary patch on them, since at the time they'd been around for only 29 years. I was really dismayed to hear that in 2022 Tatis was suspended for the use of steroids. I was very interested in the young shortstop who was hitting 42 homers, but I've almost completely lost interest in him after his suspension. He doesn't play short anymore either.

    Of all the cards in the 2021 binder, this one ranks among the top five. Reminiscent of the 1993 set, the back of the card explains how '93 Topps included 825 cards, making it the biggest Topps set assembled. Unfortunately, like many of the throwback cards of the 2021 set, you don't get Trevor Story's stats. 
    Since the card doesn't have his stats, I pulled them up on baseball reference:

    Where did it all go?

    Well, that'll do it for this post. Sorry for the abruptness. I completely forgot about the Friday post until about 11:00 this morning. Come back next Friday when we'll take out another chunk of the 2021 binder. Thanks for reading and Happy Collecting!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Blog Bat-Around - The Last Base Card

     I was reading one of the latest blogs I started following, and on it the author initiated a Blog Bat-Around for the last base card from your favorite player. I've never done a blog bat-around before, so I thought it would be fun to partake in it. Here goes nothing

    My all-time favorite is Buster Posey. In his twelve-year career, the catcher collected 1500 hits, an MVP award, a Gold Glove, and most likely a Hall-of-Fame plaque. My last memory of Posey's career was in that depressing Game 5 of the 2021 NLDS. In the sixth inning of a nailbiter, Posey went oppo on a 3-0 pitch for a home run to tie the game at one. Later in the game San Francisco would fall behind and then in the ninth one of the worst calls I've ever seen ended the series. Wilmer Flores didn't go.


    Posey retired after the 2021 season. He was getting older and had caught a bit of the injury bug. He had just adopted baby twins the year before and decided to spend more time with his family, which I commend him for. Although it is still weird to see a Giants lineup without good old Buster.

    Well this was fun. Thanks John's Big League Baseball Blog for starting this, and I'll be sure to pay attention to what other bloggers come up with.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Monday's Featured Card

     I was going to post with all the mismatched cards in my 2021 binder, but rather than taking 30 or so photos and adding them to the blog in one giant post, I figured it'd be more worthwhile to feature each card until I'm done with them. I may or may not be posting them on Mondays, but since it's a Monday post and I just had the idea, we'll go with it for now.

    Today's featured card was found in my 2021 binder, and is from the year 2019. I remember getting this card, though didn't notice something that makes it way cooler. Here it is: 

    I love 2019 Topps Bowman Holiday. I also realized that this Michael Chavis rookie card is numbered 9/150. I can't believe I didn't notice that when I first got the card! 

    Michael Chavis debuted in 2019, and was decent, slashing .254/.322/.444 with 18 home runs in 95 games. He fell off the shelf from there, hitting .231/.265/.382 in 262 games from 2020-2023. 

    Chavis is currently playing AAA ball for the Pacific Coast Tacoma Rainiers, where he's slashing .296/.377/.493 with 6 homers in 39 games.

Friday, May 17, 2024

It's Friday and You Know What That Means...

     I don't even know what that means. It just feels like a day for card-blogging, doesn't it? Well, why don't we take a look at some cards, 'cause that's kind of the line of work I'm currently in...

    I think I'll go through all my binders from 2021-2024, showing off my best/favorite cards from said binders every Friday until I either don't feel like doing it anymore or finish them, whichever comes first. I may also sprinkle some trade bait in these posts here and there. Well, let's get started. Nonsense is boring, cards are exciting.

    2021 was the 70th anniversary of Topps, so all of the cards say something about it; all of them. Unfortunately, I 'm not even close to owning the 2021 Topps complete set, but I'm not really a set collector. I just like to grab cards from the current season until it's done with. Then we move on to the next year. Here are the five of my 2021 Topps cards being featured this fine (and wet) morning:

    Most of these cards have been given to me as gifts for various occasions; whether a birthday or Christmas. This card jumped out at me as soon as it was revealed from a pack because Stephen Strasburg was one of my favorite and best-known players at the time, and the card is nice and suave. As I've noticed was the trend with the 70th anniversary of Topps, this card is reminiscent of a past year, 2005.

    I suppose this card is supposed to be reminiscent of the '52 Topps set, but because the oldest Topps card I own is from 1968 (I'm ashamed of this fact), I wouldn't have known that without the help of the internet. Casey Mize was the first overall pick in the 2018 draft with the Tigers and has been....decent throughout his career, which has been injury plagued. He's been healthy so far all of this season and has a 3.50 ERA. At only 27, hopefully he'll be good for a while.

    I didn't notice this until looking at the card for the post, but my gold German Marquez is numbered  287/2021. I guess it's no big deal, not like that 2019 Topps Holiday Green Luis Robert numbered to 99 that I traded for 2016 Topps Ben Zobrist (the regret hurts me to this day).

    This card is supposed to be reminiscent of 1965 Topps, which I actually did know. Jesus Luzardo has been an interesting pitcher across his career. Is fickle a good word to use? Today he'll be starting at home against the Mets, so good luck to him. Anyway, along with Luzardo I also have the Casey Mize from this set, but he's already been shown.

    When I first saw this card in my pack, I thought 'Tarik Skubal? Well that's a funny name.' I didn't realize that I had the rookie card of someone who was to become one of my favorite players. And, like quite a few 2021 Topps sets, this card is trying to look like 1981 Topps. Not really my favorite design, but whatever. It's one of my favorite cards anyway. I think I still probably pronounce Skubal's name wrong to this day.

    It's now that I realize that my binders are organized by position, so all five of these cards are of pitchers. Don't worry though, next Friday will see some position players; I think. Anyway, thank you for reading, have a nice Friday, and Happy Collecting! I'm gonna go finish my duties for the week. I'm out.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

A Rough Start to the Week

     It's already Wednesday, and right off the bat things are terrible in the world of baseball. For me, at least. I can't complain too much though, about anything except for the recent plight of the Rangers.

    Sunday started with the Rangers losing to the Rockies, marking a three game sweep. The game was close, at 3-1 in Colorado's favor. But with a team struggling so much like the Rockies, it's pretty sad to see the Rangers lose three times straight.

    On Monday I went to an indy ball game, and the home team lost 16-0. Yeah, almost every pitcher they threw (except for the first reliever and the first baseman) got annihilated. This broke their perfect seasonal record of 4-0. It was fun though, going out with some friends to hang out, penciling in some fake mustaches (I wanted a unibrow). 
    And, the Rangers lost again, this time to the Indians (or Guardians, whatever you may call them). This game wasn't close, with Cleveland outscoring the champs 7-0.

    Tuesday wasn't all that bad, although the Rangers lost again by a score of 7-4. That loss marks five straight for the Rangers and gives me cold memories of that nine game losing streak they had last season. Hopefully they'll turn it around, but with injuries to all these guys,

(Brock Burke, hard to see)

And a minor injury out of

    it may be tough for them for a while. It might help if Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia would be themselves. At least they both hit homers in yesterday's loss.

    Besides all of these happenings in my particular baseball world, both of my fantasy baseball teams are losing. But, I don't care too much about that right now.

    Well, there we go. Hopefully both the Rangers and the Railroaders can pick it up. Today is the finale with the Indians (Guardians) before the Rangers face off with the Angels in a three game series on May 17th. To be honest, they'd better sweep that one.

    Anyway, thanks for reading and Happy Collecting!

Saturday, May 11, 2024

We Have A Winner!

     Now that the five clues have been seen and all the guesses are in, it's time to announce that we have a winner. I'm really glad I didn't need to give out any extra clues on this. 

    After clue 4 it was pretty obvious who my selected player was. Nonetheless, I got a lot of positive feedback from the contest, which is great because I was unsure how good of an idea it was. I guess the guessing game added a nice and entertaining touch. I am most definitely going to have more contests in the future.

    Before I tell you who the winner is, let me first run off all the clues that you needed to figure out:

1: the particular player I'm thinking of was a 7-time All-Star.
2: This player played for only one team across his entire career.
3: The player I'm thinking of has been shown (on cards, of course) on this blog before
4: The selected player has won two Gold Glove Awards and has been a two-time Silver Slugger
5: This Player hit a home run in his first-ever All-Star Game at-bat.

    The three cards the winner will receive are the following:
                    -2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Evan Longoria (HTA-4) 
                    -2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Josh Hamilton (HTA-5) 
                    -2004 Donruss Team Heroes #166 Carl Pavano


    The person who correctly guessed the player completed a pretty impressive feat; he correctly named the player in only two clues! I have to say, I was quite surprised that he was able to guess my player so quickly, and I ran the rest of the contest with a winner, which made me feel kinda bad for the guessers who had no idea. Oh well.


        And the winner is.....

        Michael Dillard! 🏆

    It seems fitting that my first follower wins my first contest. It was his first guess too. The selected player (as you all know) was....

    David Wright! Wright is one of my all-time favorite players, and was on the Hall-of-Fame ballot for the first time last season, managing to stay on it, which made me very happy.

    Wright was an all-star in the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 seasons.
    He played for the Mets his entire (technically) 14 seasons in the Big Leagues
    David Wright was featured on the post My Temp's 104!
    Wright won Gold Gloves in 2007 and 2008
    And he took Kenny Rogers deep in his first at-bat of the 2006 all-game, tying it at one. The NL would go on to lose 3-2.

    Sorry to those who guessed Wright after our winner Michael. It was pretty impressive that he guessed the player correctly after only two clues, but he did. It was after about the third and fourth clues that it became obvious who the chosen player was. Maybe slightly too easy? 

    So Michael, please send me your address so I can get the cards out to you, and congratulations on winning my first-ever contest! And for promoting my blog, I will also send you the Larry Walker 2004 Fleer Platinum card. A big thanks to everybody who took part in my contest, and hopefully I'll have more for each birthday of the blog. Happy Collecting!

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Clue #5

    By now everybody's guessing the same player. Did I make the clues too easy? Perhaps I did, but there's nothing to do about it now. This clue is just a formality, since I said I was gonna give five. Dang, the original plan was to give four, and it was at the fourth that everybody started guessing him. Oh well. I'll take that into account next time.

    Anyway, here are the first four clues that were revealed followed by the fifth and final clue.

Clue #1: the particular player I'm thinking of was a 7-time All-Star.

Clue #2: This player played for only one team across his entire career.

Clue #3: The player I'm thinking of has been shown (on cards, of course) on this blog before

Clue #4: The selected player has won two Gold Glove Awards and has been a two-time Silver Slugger

    And the fifth clue:

5: This Player hit a home run in his first-ever All-Star Game at-bat.

    Well, there's the end of all my clues. I should have stuck with four, but like I said, nothing to do about it now. If anyone can come up with another player who fits all these categories (unlikely, but I don't know), then please tell me in the comments. And please check out the blog Saturday when the winner will be announced. Happy Collecting! I'm out.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Clue #4

    We have two clues left in my little contest. I've been pleasantly surprised with how it has been going, getting 24 comments from 10 different people. Anyway, it's time for the fourth and second-last clue of the contest to be revealed. But first, as always, the clues prior to this revealing one.

    Clue #1: the particular player I'm thinking of was a 7-time All-Star.

    Clue #2: This player played for only one team across his entire career.

    Clue #3: The player I'm thinking of has been shown (on cards, of course) on this blog before

    And clue four is...
        The selected player has won two Gold Glove Awards and has been a two-time Silver Slugger

    There you go. Hopefully this clue will put all the previous clues together. Good luck on your guessing, thanks for entering the contest, and Happy Collecting!

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Clue #3

    Alright, here we go with post three of the contest. We've already seen two clues, and today it's time for the third. Let's review:

Clue #1:  the particular player I'm thinking of was a 7-time All-Star. 

Clue #2: This player played for only one team across his entire career.

And now, clue 3:
    The player I'm thinking of has been shown (on cards, of course) on this blog before

Alright, hopefully it's all starting to come together. There'll be two more clues that y'all will get across the next few days. Thanks for partaking in my little event, and Happy Collecting!

Friday, May 3, 2024

Clue #2

    Here we go. I'm here to give out the second clue for this guessing game. I guess this was a good idea after all, since I got seven comments on the first post. I'll keep this brief. As a reminder, whoever is the first to correctly guess the player I selected will win three to four cards. What these cards were and the rules of the contest can be found in my first post for the contest, my last one on the blog.

    Now then, back down to business. The first clue was:
            the particular player I'm thinking of was a 7-time All-Star. 

    Here is the second clue for the game:
             This player played for only one team across his entire career.

    Well, there you go. Remember, there will be three more clues (posted two days apart), and if nobody can guess it, a sixth one.  

    Thank you for participating in my little guessing game, and good luck. Happy collecting!

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

A Little Contest

     Alright folks! We've got a contest on our hands! But first, a word from our broadcaster:

(Jared Sandler)

    Alright, what's in for the contest? In the beginning, before I ever started a card blog, I had the desire to have a giveaway, and was very close to doing one on my other blog. I'd love to give stuff away to my valued readers, and the way I'm structuring it, make it fun. Alas, you kind of need something to give away and a reason to have one. While working on this post, I was thinking it may be too early in my card-blogging career to have a contest, but was told by a reliable source that nobody would mind getting free stuff, so here we are. I just had to wait for a decent time to do so. This is coming off my first ever 1000-view month (1393 to be exact), which I'm sure is petty for some bloggers out there, but it's a big deal to me. Hopefully there'll be many more to come. Anyway, since I don't have a ton of flashy cards, I don't have a ton to give away. But, I figured it'd be fun anyway. After this introductory contest, I think I'll try to do a little giveaway contest on every birthday for Don Cardwell (the first will be January 22, 2025). Anyway, looking at my Trade Bait List I found a few good cards to get rid of...I mean, offer as a prize, of course.

    The winner of the competition will receive one of each of the following:
                -2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Evan Longoria (HTA-4) 
                -2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Josh Hamilton (HTA-5)   
               -2004 Donruss Team Heroes #166 Carl Pavano (This is the guy who gave up McGwire's 69th and 70th homers in the 1998 season)

    I got these cards in a box that contained over 600 cards. This box contained about eight of each of the 2011 Diamond Anniversary cards. I think I got three Carl Pavanos, but had been reading about him in a book at the time I got the cards; more accurately, reading his account of giving up McGwire's 70th homer. So, since I had so many dupes of the same cards, I figured it'd be more fun to see a contest first-hand than to have them sit on my trade bait list and maybe or maybe not ever get traded.
    Like I said, it's not a lot, but since I'm planning to have a contest every year (not sure how realistic that is, but I'll try), I'll see how it works out. I doubt it'll be that hard, at least the way I'm structuring it. The most difficult part will be finding better prizes to offer. Well, I'll work harder on that next time. I kind of just threw together the first three cards I found (that weren't 1980's Fleer or Topps).

    You'll need to do two things to win:
a) Correctly guess the player I'm giving clues for
b) If you win, send me your address, because chances are I won't have it (there's a comment form near the bottom of the blog page you can use)

    If nobody can guess my player, it means two things: I'm really bad at giving clues, and I'll add another one. This is a week and a half long guessing game with five initial clues, so whoever is the first to correctly guess my selected player wins. You can comment once for each post with a guess (I suppose you could comment otherwise if you wanted), starting with this one.

    I'm going to try a different approach, but it's not going to benefit you in any way. I would greatly appreciate promoting Don Cardwell on your blogs. I love anything, whether it's adding it to the blogroll or otherwise. It'll be much appreciated.
    What the heck, if you promote my blog on yours and win, I'll throw in another card, 2004 Fleer Platinum #33 Larry Walker. Just show me where you promoted it on your blog. If my blog has already been promoted, which I know is the case in many blogs, you've already completed the goal and can win the extra card.

    Alright now, down to business; clue #1; the particular player I'm thinking of was a 7-time All-Star. 

    Let the guessing commence! If you guess correctly and I don't acknowledge it, it's because I'm waiting for the whole process to end. Remember, the first to correctly guess is the winner. Happy collecting and good luck. Please tell me this was a good idea...