Saturday, January 30, 2016

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Way back in March of 2012 I made my first post on this space about a Brian Fuentes Triple Threads patch card from the 2009 All-Star game in St. Louis.  Over the last three plus years I have frequently sat down in front of my computer in my office and spent a little bit of my day typing about my baseball cards.  It's been a good source of stress relief at the end of my days and share the cards I enjoy with other people.  This is a great hobby and has been a part of my life since childhood and I will always value the time I spent working on this blog and the people I have met along the way.

During different points in making 1,257 blog posts I have taken an occasional break from writing, but nothing longer than a week or two.  Over the last half a year I felt a restlessness with my writing.  I have ventured out to explore writing opportunities beyond this blog, as well as exploring some different ways to do different things with this space.  After months of contemplation I have decided to "retire" this space.

I am not going to shut the door all the way on this space, but unlike the other breaks from my blog that were short term, this one will last much longer.  It could be several months, maybe a year, or maybe I am just going to let this space be the way I am leaving it after this post.....

While I am leaving this The Snorting Bull Blogger page, I am going to maintain both my Twitter and Instagram accounts to share out my cards.  Again, I have really valued my time and experiences here and look forward to still talking to many of you who have taken time during the past few years to read my ramblings on baseball cards.

One day I will be back, whether it is here, or in another space.  In the meantime, I will leave you with one last card.  I was looking for a good one to go out on and this card looks like a winner.....

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Penultimate: The Great Glasnow

One of the more impressive players I saw last year in Triple A was Pirates pitching prospect Tyler Glasnow.  Durham Bulls pitcher Blake Snell ended up winning the majority of the Pitcher of the Year honors by a bunch of different publications, but I would have to put Glasnow in that conversation.  He came into the year rated as a Top 20 prospect and did not disappoint in his three stops last year.

I always throw out the win-loss record in the Minors, he only won 7 of his 22 starts, but also managed to keep the ball in the park, struck out more than a batter per inning, and barely allowed more than a base runner per inning.  Overall, a great prospect, so I thought I should pick a copy of one of his autographs.

Surprisingly, for being a high profile prospect, Glasnow is not a really expensive autograph.  Big name prospects can be pricey at times, but not I guess people aren't doing much with Glasnow.  I found this card for slightly less than $10 shipped.  This is an on-card autograph and I really like the horizontal design of these autographs.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Wallet Card Year 2

My Wallet Card made it through one year.  Last year Breakdown Cards made a great post that attracted a lot of attention from other collectors and bloggers.  I really liked the idea and decided to be a part of the Wallet Card crowd.  The only rule for the Wallet Card was that your choice had to make you happy when you saw it.  This is my 1991 Topps Geronimo Pena card after one year.

Definitely worn, but it was fun to have Geronimo by my side during the last year.  I am going to put him in a top loader and file him away as a good collecting memory.  Which brings me to the new Wallet Card that I picked out for this year.

Last year, I went off the beaten path a little bit to pick out the Geronimo Pena card.  Just wanted something different and even though he did not have a really good career, I enjoyed watching him play.  Well, when he was actually healthy enough to get out on the field.  This year I am going to go with something a little bit more straight forward.

The new Wallet Card.....

My favorite player growing up and I went with the 1997 Topps card because it was one of Ray Lankford's better seasons.  It is going into the wallet tomorrow morning and will be there until next year.  I am going to have to do a better job of recording some of the Wallet Cards journeys this year.  I think I only recorded one trip for Geronimo.

A Venerable Old Card Part 8

There are people who should never leave certain teams.  Do any of you remember when the Mets brought up Gregg Jefferies?  The uber-prospect was supposedly going to be one of the great players in baseball throughout the 1990s.  He hit really well in the Minors, got up to the Majors with the Mets, and then completely failed to meet expectations.  The Mets kept him around for a few years before they traded him to the Royals, who then traded him to the Cardinals.

Does anybody really remember Gregg Jefferies after he left the Mets?  Doubtful.  He was pretty good with the Royals, but he actually lived up to the hype of being Gregg Jefferies during his two years with the Cardinals.  His slash line for the two years was .335/.401/.487 with 28 home runs, 51doubles, and 58 steals.  He made the All-Star team twice and posted an OPS+ of 132 in 1993 and 130 in 1994.  Outside of Ray Lankford he was my favorite Cardinals player in the mid 1990s.  Naturally, that meant I collected his baseball cards.

My favorite was his 1993 Flair.  Beautiful card.

After two successful season with the Cardinals many expected the team to resign Jefferies.  However, he bolted to the Phillies and his career seemed to take a turn downward.  Still pretty fond memories of Jefferies playing time with Cardinals.  He was temperamental and did things like threw his batting helmet at least twice a game, but I guess you can get away with those things when you are hitting .330.  Wonder what would have happened to Gregg Jefferies if he had stayed a Cardinal?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Nice Strata

I have only picked up a few of these Strata cards, but I have been really impressed.  Not impressed enough to go buy my own box of these or anything.  Seems like it is pretty hard to get your money back.  Still, I have had fun sorting through them on Ebay and buying a few.  My latest Strata is of Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber.

I like watching Kluber and am always surprised at how inexpensive his cards are to buy.  This card was less than $5, which seems to be the trend with almost all of his Strata autographs.  Even the patch card version of the Kluber sold cheaply.  More Strata to come.....

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jake from the Wil Myers Trade Part 2

I am always looking to get ahead a little bit on some of my collecting with the Durham Bulls.  Sometimes I just wait until the players get to Durham, but other times I go out and try to find their cards ahead of time if I can find them at a good price. One of the players I have started to work on a bit is first baseman Jake Bauers.

I am not quite sure what to make of him as a prospect, but he already has several cards out floating around including a few autographs.  Last year I picked up a nice looking Leaf autograph of him after he was traded to the Rays from the Padres in the Wil Myers trade.  He's also had a few certified autographs in a few licensed products I am going to look at picking up in the near future too.

Until then I found a really nice Bowman die cut of the first base prospect....

This is from the 2014 Bowman set, hence the Padres uniform.  Still a really nice looking die cut card. These Bowman Scout's Breakouts are not quite as nice as the Bowman's Best die cuts, but still a sharp looking insert.   I am guessing that he will start out this year in Double A, but hopefully will be in Durham before the end of the summer.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Happy Penguin Awareness Day!!!

Who invented Penguin Awareness day exactly?  I have no idea, but all I could think of while I was scouring Facebook and Twitter during my lunch break looking at five or six different goofy Penguin Awareness Day posts was the baseball player nicknamed "The Penguin".  I was an kid in the 1980s, so I was introduced to this penguin character towards the end of his career and remember him, as a player, more with the Cubs than the team he where he spent most of his career. 

I am talking about this guy........

It's actually kind of a shame that I only remember him as a Cubbie Bear.  As a St. Louisan, I do not have much love for the Cubs, but as a kid you have your summers off and the Cubs used to be on WGN almost every afternoon.  Cey was a short, squat third baseman who add some pop into the Cubs lineup.  Nice player, but I didn't really give him much attention.  

Sometime after I graduated college I decided to go back and find a bunch of the sets from the early 1980s and 1970s from before I started collecting in 1983.  There were plenty of big names in those sets that were great players when I collected.  I remember adding rookie cards of players like Cal Ripken, Tim Raines, Rickey Henderson, and Ozzie Smith.  I was proud and happy to add their early, and rookie, cards to my collection.  

The other thing that happened while I was adding those sets to my collection was I learned a lot about players I "missed out on" as a kid.  I had an older brother who collected, and my father liked baseball, so when I pulled a Reggie Jackson card as an early collector I knew it was good.  Other players slipped through the cracks.  

Gene Tenace was a back-up catcher for the Cardinals, Bobby Grich was an old guy on the Angels, and Ron Cey was the short squat Penguin guy on the Cubs.  I picked up those 1980s and 1970s sets and I learned about the players that were in them.  Gene Tenace was a really good catcher for the A's and Padres.  Bobby Grich was a really good player for the Orioles and Angels.  Last, but not least, Ron Cey was a really good player for the Dodgers.  

I am not going to sit and write a persuasive piece on getting Ron Cey into the Hall of Fame, but he was one of the better third baseman in the game during the 1970s.  He hit for power, got on base, did a good job fielding at third base, made All-Star Games, and also was a tremendous help to the Dodgers in the postseason.  During the 1981 World Series he took home the MVP Award.  

So, on this Penguin Awareness Day I am going to celebrate a talented Dodgers (and Cubs) third baseman and not the animal that lives in the Southern Hemipshere.  I am also going to encourage you to pick up a baseball card in your collection of a player you know little about and go see if you can learn something new about them.  You might just find you will appreciate them more in the long run.