Saturday, September 23, 2017

More from Beckett

My last two orders arrived in the mail today.  One was from Rookie Card Empire and the other from Burbank Sportscards, the world's largest card shop.  Here's what was in them.

2008-09 Bowman Chrome Refractors Pau Gasol.  For many years I collected Lakers Finest Refractors cards.  When they were discontinued, I tried to find other refractors sets to take their place.  Bowman Chrome Refractors fit the bill for a year or two.  In recent years it's been Panini Prizm Prizms.

2008-09 Bowman Chrome Refractors Shaquille O'Neal.  It's strange to see Shaq in a Suns uniform.  I believe this is Shaq's last refractor card from his playing years.  The trading card database is sketchy around these years, so it's hard to know for sure.

2005-06 Finest Refractors Shaquille O'Neal.  This photo is a classic Shaq turnaround and bank off the glass.

1954 Bowman Hoot Evers.  My collection of Red Sox team sets of the main brands has up until now been 1981 and forward.  But I'm taking that concept backwards now, meaning 1952-1955 Bowmans are in play.

1997 Fleer Roger Clemens.  I almost have the whole Red Sox team now.  I just need Nomar Garciaparra.  Anybody have it and want to trade?

1998 Upper Deck Nomar Garciaparra.  This was the last one.  The team set is now complete.

2006 Upper Deck Jonathan Papelbon.  These orders knocked three more of this team want list.  I still need four more.

2017 Bowman Prospects Rafael Devers.  I heard his last name starts with "deh" not "dee".  I'm really excited about his future with the Red Sox.  This team set is now complete.

2015 Score William Gay.  I love this photo!  This was the only football card in the bunch, but it wraps up 2015 from a Steelers standpoint.

Friday, September 22, 2017

In the Mail from Beckett

Two packages arrived today in the mail from a order I did earlier in the week.  The first was from Diamonds in the Rough.  It had two cards in it.

2007-08 Finest Refractors Shaquille O'Neal.  Shaq became my favorite player when he joined the Lakers and remained so even after leaving for the Miami Heat.  He and A.C. Green are the only two Lakers I continued to collect after they left the team.

1998 Red Sox Score of Aaron Sele.  My largest PC is of Sele, a childhood friend.  I'm working on updating my have vs want list and putting it on a new page on this blog.  While doing that, I found a couple I was missing, including this one.

The other package contained 16 cards from DJ's Sportcards of Renton.  DJ always throws in a fake million dollar bill with your orders.

2000 MLB Showdown Pennant Run Unlimited Foil Aaron Sele.  There were four variations of Sele's MLB Showdown cards that year, and this one I didn't have yet.

1997 Fleer Jose Canseco.  I only have two left in this team set now!  Jose appears to be admiring a towering foul ball here.

2004 Fleer Tradition David Ortiz.  The swing didn't change much over the years, did it?  Boom!  This team set is now complete!

2006 Upper Deck Jon Lester.  There were four cards from the Red Sox 2006 Upper Deck set in the order.  Seven more to go!

2007 Upper Deck Manny Ramirez and Hideki Okajima.  These and three others in the order bring my want list down to just five.  This is a big set!  I like the photo of Hideki.  He looks like he just saw a quarter on the ground mid delivery.  And the shadow looks like a Texas Longhorn.

A couple days ago I got the 2017 Pittsburgh Steelers Donruss team set in the mail.  But unfortunately it was missing four cards.  I've contacted the seller who says he'll send them right away.  We'll see.  Every now and then I run into a seller who does something like this.  It's been about 50-50 that they make it right.  When they arrive, I'll share some pictures.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

LCS Pickup

Tuesday evening I made a purchase on that involved a handful of sellers.  One order was from Triple Play Sports Cards, a local card shop, which meant I could go pick it up the next day.  I knocked 30 cards off my want lists with this one.

I think this is the first time I've included a football card in a blog post!  This 2013 Panini Prizm Prizms of Antonio Brown completes that team set for me.  I also picked up three 2017 Score Steelers cards.

There was one basketball card in the bunch.  This is the 2014-15 Panini Prizm Prizms of Jeremy Lin.  I still need two more.

This 2002 Leaf of Manny Ramirez along with another leaves me just looking for one more card from that set.

I picked up nine Red Sox from the 2006 Upper Deck set, including Keith Foulke here.  Eleven more to go!

Two cards from the 2007 Upper Deck set, including Trot Nixon, leave ten more to go in that set.  Manny Delcarmen and three other 2008 Upper Deck pickups complete that team set!

I now have the complete 2015 Donruss Red Sox set with Rusney Castillo.  Also, this is Roniel Raudes and his 2017 Bowman Prospects.  Still two to go there.

Whenever I have an order going, I look for cheap Yaz cards to add to his PC.  This is the 2014 Panini Classics.

The two about which I'm most excited are these two cards from 1955 Bowman!  Billy Klaus and Jimmy Piersall aren't in the Topps set from that year, so this is how you have to get them.  I anxiously await the arrival of the other packages.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

NBA Finals Game Worn Jersey Card

After the 2000 NBA Finals, Topps got ahold of the jerseys that the two participants wore and made finals jersey cards out of them.  The teams were my beloved Los Angeles Lakers and the Indiana Pacers.  Topps made three variations of the jersey cards; Topps Total, Topps Gold Label, and Topps Final Piece.  Total and Gold Label had both home and away versions while Final Piece only had away jerseys.  When these came out I was brand new to ebay and along with Aaron Sele cards they were my main targets at the time.  So here we are sixteen years later and there were still three that I need.  Last week on ebay I picked up one of those three.

It's the 2000-01 Topps Gold Label Finals Jersey (away jersey) of Ron Harper.  It's been a couple of years since I've seen any available anywhere.  Those who have them must be holding onto them.  Here's the back of the card.

I have two left, both of A.C. Green.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

In the Mail from eBay

A couple of packages arrived in the mail this week.  They were both ebay purchases.

The first was this 2006 Fleer card of Jonathan Papelbon.  It's the last one I needed from that team set.  But I still need a bunch of 2006 Upper Deck.

The other one was a 1986 Fleer team set of the Bosox.  I had a couple of the cards from this set already, but it was far cheaper to pick up this team set than to buy the remaining cards individually.  I now have doubles of Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens.  Let me know if you want them.

Here's an update on my Red Sox team set project.  Starting in 1981 when multiple brands became available, my goal is to acquire every Red Sox team set from the main flagship sets.  I'm now complete from 1981 up to 1992.  The oldest one I'm still piecing together is the 1993 Pacific.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bonus Cards from Amazon

A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to cleaning out old email, something I don't do often enough.  I came across a coupon for which I had received for filling out some online survey eleven months ago.  It was for $10.  I went to their site and found out that it was still good!  I've never bought cards off amazon before, but I know they're there.  I figured what a better way to spend this unexpected bonus than to knock some cards off my want list!  Here's what I picked up for only $1.43 after shipping and coupon.

2016 Bowman Prospects Andrew Benintendi

2014 Bowman Prospects Mookie Betts

2016 Bowman Prospects Yoan Moncada

2017 Donruss Rated Rookie Yoan Moncada.  This was my #8 most wanted baseball card!

2006-07 Finest Refractors Shaquille O'Neal

It pays to clean up your email now and then.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Minor League Cards - Pawtucket Red Sox

The 2017 Pawtucket Red Sox set is a really sharp looking set.  Choice was the manufacturer, and they used the same basic design as they did with the Salem Red Sox set.  There are more players in this set that played for the Red Sox than I care to scan, so here are the ones that got the most playing time.

Blaine Boyer had a 2.93 ERA in eleven relief appearances for Pawtucket.  He also made 27 relief appearances for Boston.  He's been up and down between AAA and the majors this year, but was called up this past week for the home stretch.  At age 36, he's made 23 different minor and major leagues stops over 17 seasons.

Brian Johnson got moved up to a starting spot in the Boston rotation, making 5 starts and going 2-0 early in the year.  Then he went back down to AAA Pawtucket where he spent most of the year with OK results.

Deven Marrero was Boston's first round draft pick in 2012.  Despite average numbers at best, he benefited from Boston's infield woes this season and appeared in 61 games.  He played first, second, and third base, and shortstop.  He's on their roster again for the home stretch.

Robbie Ross was having a good season before going down with an elbow injury.  He had a 1.50 ERA for Pawtucket and had made eight relief appearances for Boston.

Ben Taylor had a 2.70 ERA at Pawtucket and made 14 relief appearances for Boston.

Sam Travis is supposed to be Boston's future first baseman in waiting.  He was average at AAA this year, and made it into 21 games for Boston.  He's currently on the big league roster for the stretch drive.

Hector Velazquez is someone to watch in the future.  He was 8-4 with a 2.21 ERA at Pawtucket this year.  And with Boston he's 3-1 in five games and two solid starts.  He's on the big league roster for the duration, and there's talk of him being in the starting rotation should there be playoff games.

Brandon Workman was with Boston for so much of the season that I don't think of him as a minor leaguer any more.  A terrific relief pitcher, he was 4-1 with a 1.55 ERA for Pawtucket.  Since being called up to Boston, he's posted a 2.18 ERA in 25 appearances.

Bryce Brentz pounded 31 home runs for Pawtucket this year.  He also led the team with 85 runs batted in.  He never saw big league action though.  He is extremely unfortunate to be so talented yet play outfield behind the triumvirate of Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Andrew Benintendi. Brentz is older than all three of those guys too.  I'm not sure what the future holds for him.  I'm sure he doesn't want to play AAA forever.

Rusney Castillo led Pawtucket in batting average and stolen bases this year.  He too plays outfield and is in the same boat as Bryce Brentz.  What's worse for Castillo is that he's even older than Brentz and has a huge salary that will be difficult to move to another team.

Pawtucket finished fourth in the International Leagues's Northern Division with a 67-75 record.  With over half the roster seeing big league action, it goes to show the importance of a good farm system to a major league team's success.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Minor League Cards - Portland Sea Dogs

The 2017 team set of Boston's AA minor league team, the Portland Sea Dogs, was produced by Grandstand.  Three players from the set moved all the way up and played with the Boston Red Sox this season.

Rafael Devers has been the biggest impact player from the group of three.  He put up good numbers for AA Portland before moving up to AAA Pawtucket in early July.  Sixteen days, nine games and a .400 batting average later he was called up to the bigs.  He hasn't looked back.  You probably know all about the big splash he's been making for Boston.

Tzu-Wei Lin took a slightly different path this year.  He started in AA Portland and got off to a terrific start.  At the end of June he got called up directly to Boston as they were in a pinch in the infield.  Less than a month later he went back to AAA Pawtucket and has struggled.

Austin Maddox is a relief pitcher who's been a yoyo this season.  He's been up and down between AA Portland, AAA Pawtucket, and Boston all season.  He's spent the most time at Pawtucket.  For Boston, he's pitched 7.2 innings with an ERA of 0.00.  Yep, that's zero.  Does that mean he doesn't have an ERA?

Although they haven't played in the majors yet this year, the following Portland players have bright futures.
Jeremy Barfield wields a big stick.  He led Portland in runs, home runs, runs batted in, slugging and OPS.  He moved up to Pawtucket on September 1 and batted .455.  He has 55 home runs over the past two seasons.  His dad is Jesse Barfield of Toronto Blue Jays fame.
Danny Mars spent the whole season in Portland.  He led the team in runs, hits, triples, stolen bases, and batting average.
Trey Ball was Boston's 2013 #1 draft pick.  He's been on a lot of Red Sox prospects cards since then.  He led the team in wins, but his win-loss percentage and ERA were not stellar.

The Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs were 65-74 this year.  They were 4th in the Eastern League's Eastern Division.  Now that's east!  Looking at their roster, it appears they were a revolving door of players moving up and down the minors during the season.