Sunday, October 30, 2016

Three Shiny Bulls and One Flying Squirrel

I have been on a roll the last few days picking up some odds and ends that I missed throughout the earlier portions of the 2016 baseball card calendar.  Cards that I saw a few months back that either cost too much at the time on Ebay, or I could not line up a trade... Somthing happened to make me skip these cards.  I was certainly interested.

Kind of a good feeling to cross these off the list.

The four cards are in this post were all picked up in a Facebook trade.  I was originally interested in two of the cards, which feature former Durham Bulls players, but managed to kind of back into two other cards which sealed the trade.  The two main cards in my half of the trade were.....



A 2016 Topps Chrome Richie Shaffer autograph.  He has actually been shuffled between Tampa and Durham this past year.  I am hoping that he sticks around with the Rays next year, but their infield is rather crowded at the moment.  Perhaps he's trade bait, but I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him play in Durham the past two years.


Two quick observations on the Shaffer card:


  • The card is one of those colored variations that pops up in the Chrome set every year.  I know there are collectors who try to chase down all of the different colors.  I feel like the longer I collect cards the less I care about all the variation stuff.  The important thing here is that I found a copy of Richie Shaffer's Topps Chrome autograph.  

  • Is that a PokeBall on the end of his bat?  

Next up is my favorite Durham Bulls player from the last two years, pitcher Blake Snell....


I like the card, I like the autograph, but why is there smoke behind his head?  This card sort of looks like it was taken while Snell was on the Durham Bulls and airbrushed into a Rays uni.  The little Ray on his back sleeve looks rather sloppy for a real Rays uni.  

Next.  


Not an autograph, but still a former Durham Bulls player.  Rickard spent part of last season with the Bulls before he was left unprotected by the Rays this offseason.  The Orioles picked him up in the Rule 5 Draft and he spent the year playing in the Bigs.  His stay in Durham only lasted a little over a month, but he batted .360/.437/.472 during the stint.  Not too shabby.  

Last one.  


Last summer I spent a little bit of time traveling around to a few different ballparks in my neck of the woods.  One the trips was up to Richmond, Virginia to check out a game at The Diamond.  I actually spent a few years as a kid living in Richmond and many of my first baseball games were watching the Braves Triple A team.  Now the team in Richmond is the Flying Squirrels and they are the Double A affiliate of the Giants.  I spent part of last season following the team's box scores and the what not, one of their better players was outfielder Mac Williamson.  

Mac Williamson also has a local connection to North Carolina.  He is from Wake Forest, a town just north of Raleigh, and played college baseball at Wake Forest, a college in Winston-Salem which is about an hour and half away from the town of Wake Forest.  The card was kind of a throw-in, but I am still really happy to have this card.  

Friday, October 28, 2016

C-Mart Squared

Is the World Series over yet?

I am watching this year's Fall Classic because it is baseball and I am a baseball fan.  As a Cardinals fan it's a little hard to watch and openly cheer for the Cubby Bears.  At the same time, the Indians have to be one of my least favorite professional teams.  Long back story.  Sure, some long-time baseball franchise is going to end a long-time championship drought, but the end of the series simply means that the off-season will begin.

The 2016 baseball season has been one of the longest in recent memory.  Not only did my Cardinals miss the playoffs for the first time since 2010, but my Durham Bulls also missed the playoffs for the second year in a row after making the playoffs seven times during an eight year stretch starting in 2007.  I have been spoiled.

While the Bulls have little control over their roster, being at the whim of the Tampa Rays, I am most excited about seeing what the Cardinals can do to re-make their roster.  Several veteran players are likely to play elsewhere in 2017 including Matt Holliday, Brandon Moss, and Jaime Garcia.  It also would not surprise me if the team also moved on from players like Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta.

It should be a busy offseason, or else I am going to be spending the 2017 baseball season in some sort of therapy group with a bunch of Brewers and Reds fans.

One player that I can hang my hat on when looking back at 2016 was Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez.  C-Mart continues to improve as a starting pitcher and has quietly become one of the better starting pitchers in the National League.  He had a higher WAR and ERA+ than Jake Arrieta?  Get out of here.

The Cardinals card collector in me feels like Carlos is ready to become the next anchor of the franchise.  During my lifetime I have been lucky enough to see that torch get passed from players like Ozzie Smith, Mark McGwire, and Albert Pujols, all the way down to some of the more recent Cardinals squads which have had much more of a whole team feel.  What does this all mean?

It means that we are going to find some cool cards of Carlos Martinez this off-season and hope that the Cardinals find where their owner has hidden his wallet so that he can get something a little bit more long-term in terms of a contract.

In the meantime, here are my first two cool C-Mart cards post-2016 season, both autographs out of the newest version of Triple Threads...


First up is this ordinary, in terms of Triple Threads cards, jersey relic with an autograph.  It's serial numbered out of 50 too, which has to be one of the higher print runs I have seen on an autograph out of this product.  I feel like most of the time the high number is 36.  I'd go research it, but I am not that interested in finding out the exact answer.  Triple Threads uses a lot of sticker autographs, one of my biggest knocks against the cards, but Topps did a good job of blending the sticker in with the gold background.

I also like the coloration of the card with the gold trim, green edges, and dark background.  The color scheme could look like a Christmas card with the red from the Cardinals uni, but the green and red are nice on opposite sides of the card....


As much as I like the other card, this one is easily my favorite between the two.  What do you think about when you see a Triple Threads autograph?  Cards like this.  The concept hasn't changed much from past years, the design is similar too, but these cards just look really good.

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Venerable Old Card Part 31

I have a few big boxes of parallel cards that I have assembled over the years.  A few days back I worked on sorting out some of the cards from box.  Some of the cards belong in that rare column, but many of them are cards that have hundreds, if not thousands, of print run copies.  Rather than leave a bunch of $2 cards in their own box I am sorting them into the sets from which they came.  Kind of a cool thing to do and fun to see some cool cards from the 1990s and early 2000s, even if they don't have a ton of monetary value, they have been fun to look through.

One of the odder sets of cards that seem to be floating around my box are the expansion team versions of the Cardinals cards from 1993 and 1998.  I have odd players from both years, but have the Marlins, Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Devil Rays versions of the Ray Lankford card because it's Ray Lankford.  

Here the Lankford Devil Rays card which is my Venerable Old Card for the week.....




The Devil Rays and Diamondbacks cards were available in factory sets, but there are tons of these singles floating around on sites like Ebay and COMC.  Again, these are not expensive making them a cool find if you happen to collect a 1990s player.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

You Didn't Even Leave The Bench

I like the idea of the stickers on the Strata cards which make the jersey swatch on the cards have a specific game attached them.  The whole game used relic thing has gotten a bit stale in the past few years and there have also been some serious doubts raised along the way about how "game worn" some of these items that are swatched and put onto baseball cards truly are.  

Strata puts that all to rest with the stickers.  Here is my first Strata card of the year......



I saw this card on the cheap, and since Keuchel won the Cy Young Award last year, decided to go for it.  I know it does not really fit into my collection anyway or anyhow.  Still nice to pick up a cheap card of a player who has won a Major Award.  More specifically I was sort of hoping that perhaps that jersey swatch/patch would be tied to some cool game from last year.  20th win or a playoff game, something.  

Here's what I saw when I plugged in the sticker number......


I went ahead and went to the box score section on Baseball-Reference to check out what happened in the July 25th game between the Astros and Royals.  I can tell you that the game went 10 innings and was won by the Royals on an Alcides Escobar walk off single.  

Unfortunately, the game was start by Scott Feldman, not Dallas Keuchel.  Meaning that the jersey/patch piece on the front of this Strata card probably just hung out on the bench in Kaufmann Stadium for a few hours one night in July before it made its long journey onto the front of this baseball card.  

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Red Back Motter

I was happy to see Taylor Motter, one of my favorite Durham Bulls players, appear in Topps Heritage High Numbers.  Earlier in the week I made a post showing off the blank back version of this card that I picked up off of the Topps Vault store on Ebay.  I also managed to pick up another tough version of the Motter Heritage High Numbers card last week beyond the Blank Back card.  

The front looks very ordinary.......




but the back of the card has a red back which means that there are only 10 copies of this card.  There is no serial number or anything on the card, which would be pretty cool, but I am going to trust the experts on this one......


This is the type of card that I would land in a box and miss the first time around while I was opening up the box.  Cool card of Motter, now where are those printing plates.....


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Big Cat's Lost Year

I did not touch any packs of Topps Archives Signature this year, but I do have a few cards from the set that I have picked up over the past month or two since the product first hit the shelves of my local card shop.  There were some interesting selections in the set as far as Cardinals cards go since most of them are probably better known for wearing some other uniform.  Take it a step further, their Cardinals years were not very kind.

There are four of them, and I do not have them all yet, but I am getting close.  I am going to start off tonight with my favorite out of the bunch...

The Big Cat.



Galarraga only spent one season on the Cardinals and broke his hand on a hit by pitch in one of the first games of the season.  He never quite recovered and had one of the worst seasons of his career.  The Cardinals let him go, the Rockies signed him, and the rest is history.

Obviously the majority of Galarraga cards in the set are Expos and Rockies cards, but Topps always manages to squeeze into Archives Signatures those brief stops during a player's career that's fans my not always remember well.  I am not sure how many people remember Big Cat on the Cardinals, and even though it was not his best year, I have always liked Galarraga and am happy to own this card.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Things I Am Sorting Part 8

It's been about a month and a half since I posted my newest set project trying to complete the 1999 Skybox E-X Quisite set.  This was actually an insert set for the 1999 Skybox EX Century set, but I liked the cards, there were a limited number of cards in the set, and I thought it would be cool to possible put together a bunch of insert sets from one particular set.  Dare I say Master Set.  I said, not sure I will follow through.

In the meantime, I was short eight cards to finish the set when I last posted on the set.  I am happy to say that I have been able to track down all eight cards relatively quickly.


I picked up three of the cards in a trade with a fellow collector for some set needs that they were looking to fill and the other five cards were all less than a dollar on COMC.  I love COMC.  I have updated my completed set tab up at the top of the page to show this set as completed and will be posting a new set project or two in the next few days.....


The Completed Projects Tab at the top of the page has also been updated....

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Venerable Old Card Part 30

The Durham Bulls had a new coach on their staff this year to pair with returning manager Jared Sandberg and pitching coach Kyle Snyder.  Sandberg and Snyder both have connections to the Bulls, or the area: Sandberg played in Durham during the 2000 season running through 2004.  Snyder pitched down the road from the DBAP for UNC.  

The Bulls hitting coach this previous season was former Cubs outfielder Ozzie Timmons.  I say he was a Cub, because I am sure that most people don't remember his time on the Reds (6 games), Mariners (26 games), or Devil Rays (12 games).  He did squeeze in almost 350 at bats during two seasons with the Cubs in the mid 1990s.  More importantly, he also spent a summer playing for the Durham Bulls and he was really really good that year.  

Probably means that I would have found a reason to pick up this card of Ozzie whether he spent this year coaching for the Bulls or not.......



This is a sweet card.  

Ozzie Timmons was a Durham Bull during the summer of 2000 posting a .300/.393/.540 slash line with 29 home runs, 32 doubles, and 104 RBIs.  His season was good enough to get him up to Tampa for 12 games in September, 42 plate appearances, where he hit .341/.357/.707 with 4 home runs and 3 doubles.  Sounds good, but Timmons left MLB the next year to play for the Chunichi Dragons in the Japanese Central League.  

Timmons has spent a few years coaching in the Rays system and was even promoted this September to join the Rays for the last few weeks of the season.....


I am guessing that Timmons should be back with the Bulls next season to help out as the hitting coach again.  It's nice to add another cool Durham Bulls card to the collection, coaches count too.  

Five Star Is My Friend

I have always really loved the Five Star product.  I am not really big on actually opening those expensive boxes myself, but I really enjoy picking off some of the singles from different trade groups and Ebay.  There are a bunch of different Cardinals players in this year's set, but with Aledmys Diaz being the highlight of the players available, I have decided to set my sights a little bit lower.  As much as I loved these cards, spending more than $50 on a rookie card is not always my style.  Especially when the price of his cards seems to be dropping slowly.

Maybe soon on an Aledmys autograph.

The selection of Durham Bulls players in this set is sparse, but I picked up the lone autograph of a former player.  This is a great looking card....



The scan does not do much to show off the card stock used on the card, but it is the typical thickness that Topps has used since they first started this brand a few years ago.  I really like the light colored frames around this year's cards, the darker backgrounds, but they also did a nice job of giving the players a clear light space at the bottom to sign the cards.

Snell's autograph is not the prettiest, but he has easily been the best prospect to pass through Durham the past two years making him an easy choice to track down in new card products.

I know the season is over, but if you have not seen Snell pitch a game yet, it should definitely be on your list of players to check out next year.




Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Trading Card Co-Op Part 3: Babes In Card Land

I was boxing up a few cards late last week, figured I would have some down time during Hurricane Matthew, so I ventured into the Trading Card Co-Op for a few 200 count boxes.  One does not simply walk into a card store however and just buy boxes, we still have to check out the cards.  Right?

I also brought along my newest assistant to help me look through the cards.


A child's first trip into a card store is a big deal right?  I am not sure what kinds of cards my daughter likes yet, what team she is going to cheer for, but it's a monumental occasion nonetheless. She slept on the trip into the card store and the first fifteen to twenty minutes that we were at the store.  Not much hep initially.

Since she doesn't really have any opinions on the baseball card front at the moment, I went ahead and picked out the cards that I thought she'd like best.  Let's take a look.


First up is an older Topps autograph.  I am pretty sure that I have a few Pat Burrell autographs in my collection already, but I was also pretty certain that I did not have this card.  I was right.  Pat was the first overall draft pick back in 1998.  He was sort of the hot rookie card guy back in the late 1990s.  I am not sure that people were crazy for Pat the Bat cards like current collectors fawn over Kris Bryant, but he was definitely popular.  Pat was briefly on the Rays towards the end of his career.   Little girl approves.  




There were two framed Ginter cards in the same box as the Pat Burrell card.  When I am watching baseball with my daughter she really enjoys looking at the black framed pictures in my baseball card room.  Babies like contrast.  I am pretty sure that she would have liked these cards if she had been awake to gander at them.  I like that the Braun card has a gold background on the mini and the Upton is a Buyback from last year's Ginter set.  I have a few of the Cardinals buybacks, keep meaning to post them...another day, another post.  Frames, that is what was important here.   Again, little girl approves of these cards.  

Last two.  



I picked out two cards that would fit my collection a little bit better than the three up top.  I still like those cards, but they do not exactly fit in with the whole Durham Bulls, Cardinals, and Rays thing.  So, the card above was a nice pick up that the store manager Jimmy had set aside for me along with the card below.  The Longo patch is from this year's Museum Collection....


The card above is an Alex Reyes autograph out of Bowman Inception.  This year's autographs are not his first, so they are a little bit more affordable than some of his previous Bowman graphs.  He's going to be a good one.  Since these two cards fit my collection, and are great looking cards, I am sure that the little assistant would be happy that I added these two cards to my collection.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

A Venerable Old Card Part 30

For the first time in five years the Cardinals missed the playoffs.  While the team has some nice young pieces on the roster, clearly the team needs a few adjustments if they are going to compete with the Cubs next year.  One of the likely changes is that the team will pursue a new centerfielder, move Randal Grichuk to left, and allow long time fixture Matt Holliday walk.

Holliday first arrived on the Cardinals in 2009 in a trade with the A's and has been a fixture in left field ever since.  For the last eight years he's been a pretty consistent performer: 20 home runs, close to 100 RBIs, a .300 batting average, a high on base percentage, and a little shaky outfield defense.  The Cardinals have also won a World Series and made the National League Championship Series three other times with Holliday in the lineup.

In his supposed last at-bat as a Cardinal, he ended up with another one two days later, he went yard against the Pirates.  A cool ending to some great years as a Cardinal...


I have watched most of Holliday's time with the Cardinals from away from St. Louis, but he actually spent a few years playing in North Carolina on his way to the Majors with the Rockies.  Holliday was drafted in 1998 and squeezed in about 30 games with AZL Rockies before the end of the summer.  His first full year was spent in the South Atlantic League with the Asheville Tourists.  

One of his first baseball cards featured him wearing a Tourists uni. 


If you do not remember the Just Minors cards they are still really easy to find and are really cheap.  They actually have some pretty cool autographs too.  I dabbled a bit with them back in the late 1990s, but I was not a huge Minor League collector at that point, so they did not hold my interest.  Pretty fun cards to look at now.  

Also note that Holliday is a third baseman on the card.  He actually played the infield until 2001.  In his first two and half years in the Minors Holliday made 79 errors at third.  While he was not a good defender in left either, that's a ton of errors.  

Holliday also later appeared for the Carolina Mudcats, but they were the Rockies Double A team at the time.  I am not sure if Holliday has a team issue Mudcats card, but if he does I will find it at some point.   He does have a 2002 Upper Deck Minors card with a Mudcats logo on the front of the card, but he is wearing an Asheville uniform on the card.  

The Mudcats did have a banner for him in the outfield, until they took it down.  



Saturday, October 8, 2016

Things I Am Sorting Part 7- 2016 Heritage Minors

My schedule has been completely off today.  I intended to write this post this morning when I woke up, then it was suddenly lunch time, and then I was stuck on the awesomeness of the NC State-Notre Dame game.  The game was in Raleigh in the rain and wind from Hurricane Matthew.


There are all sorts of funny pics, gifs, and videos floating around the internet if you want to see plays slipping and sliding around in a hurricane.  The important thing that the Wolfpack won the game....



On to baseball cards.

I spent a little bit of time earlier in the week hanging out at the Sports Card Co-Op in Raleigh.  I had done a short write up a few days back about a pair of single cards I picked up at the store, the hit cards I pulled out of Heritage High Numbers and Heritage Minors, but promised a little bit more in depth run down on both products.  I am going to start with Heritage Minors since it is always one of my favorites every year.

A quick review of my hits from the box.....


I landed two autographs in the box; promising Astros prospect Francis Martes and Royals pitcher Nolan Watson.  Martes is a solid prospect and is in the Top 100 Prospects of several major publications.  Watson is a fringe prospect at this point who has not missed many bats in the lower levels of the Minors.  


I also landed a Hunter Harvey relic card.  It's a relic card, not sure what else I can say here.  

Heritage Minors always has the same design as the Topps Heritage set which is a copy of the 1967 Topps set.  There are several products every year that have Minor League players, but the Heritage and Pro Debut are the only two with pictures of the players in their Minor League uniforms.  Here is a look at two of the base cards, I picked out Durham Bulls players....




There are also parallels for the base sets.  In previous years there have been all sorts of different colored parallel cards, but this year I have only seen the blue.  Out of my box of Heritage Minors I pulled an Austin Gomber parallel card.  Pretty good one to land.  The card is numbered out of 99.


My other two highlights out of the product are the League Leader cards.....





You don't see many Minor League sets with League Leader cards.  It's cool to see that Topps included players from across the different levels of the Minors and not just one league or one level.  While some of the short seasoned leagues aren't really well represented on the counting number stats, there are all sorts of players from all sorts of leagues on these cards.

and my final highlight is the remakes of the 1967 Topps Stickers which feature both players and mascots.  


There is a Wool E Bull card in this set which I did not manage to pull, so that will be high on my list of cards to find in the very near future.  I pulled five of these out of my box and am seriously considering working on this set this fall.  Should be fun.  

Overall, I love Heritage Minors.  Always a really cool product if you are a Minor League baseball fan and it's not exactly expensive either.  Collectors shell out all kinds of money on Bowman, these are the same players, but I think the set is a little bit more fun to assemble.  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Trading Card Co-Op Part 2: Cardinals and Heritage Cards

I have a little bit of time away from work for the next few weeks, so I decided to venture out a few days back to pay a follow up visit my local card shop here in Raleigh.  I ended up picking up a pair of single cards while I was there and also decided to dabble a little bit with two products; 2016 Topps Heritage Minor League and 2016 Topps Heritage High Numbers.

I will do a little bit more of an in depth breakdown on the two Heritage products in a separate post.  For now, I am just looking at the singles and hit cards I pulled.  I had originally had decided to come in for the Topps Heritage Minors cards, always one of my favorites as a Minor League baseball fan, but found two sweet Cardinals cards while I was perusing the boxes and displays.

First, we are going with a Cardinals player wearing their college uni.....


I haven't done a lot with last year's Panini College cards, mainly because the NC State cards have gotten pricy with both Russell Wilson and Tree Turner being featured on them, and a complete lack of Mizzou cards.  I had seen some Weaver cards in a few of the Cardinals trading groups on Facebook, but had not pulled the trigger on any of these yet.  All of my Weaver cards up to this point have either been Cardinals cards, or from his time on the USA Baseball College team.

This is a pretty sweet card with a nice swatch of jersey, clearly from a Florida State uni.  Nice card, now I need to find one of the Weaver autographs from this set.

Next.


I was really excited about this one.  Most of the time when Triple Threads comes out I sit around and ignore it for a month.  I love these cards, but they are so hard to win in auctions online when they first come out.  Sure, I could just buy a box, but I usually just want the Cardinals and Rays cards out of this set.  I just go for the singles.

This year's Triple Threads cards still generally have the jersey and patch pieces going horizontally across the bottom of the cards, but this year there are also quite a few cards with a vertical format.  These remind me a lot of the 2010 set.....


The Tsunami card is pretty sweet too.  I know that Martinez was in the last two year's Triple Threads sets too, but I do not think that Topps made any cards of Martinez outside of the plain Jane jersey card with an autograph.  Nice to see Topps throw out his nickname on a card which is tattooed on the inside of his forearm.  



On to things that are not single Cardinals cards.  I checked out two newer products when I went into the Trading Card Co-Op.  I was initially just going to with a box of Topps Heritage Minors, but decided to dabble a little with the Heritage High Numbers product too.  Last year I did well with the retail version of High Numbers, why not.  

Again, I will do a full write up on both sets at some point this weekend.  

Minors is up first and I am just focusing on the hits I pulled.  The box claims that you are guaranteed two hits; an autographed card and a relic card.  I did a little bit better than the stated odds.  My first hit card I pulled was my relic....


I pulled a Hunter Harvey jersey card.  The Orioles pitching prospect is a North Carolina native from Catawba and has been ranked in Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus Top 100 Prospects lists at different points over the last two years.  The former first round draft pick ended the year playing A Ball.  Aways from the Majors, so this is going to get filed away for a few years and we will revisit.  


My first autograph belonged to Royals prospect Nolan Watson.  He was a first round draft pick in 2015 and started out locally with the Burlington Royals, but was promoted up the Lexington Legends last year.  In two year's Watson has 35 starts and an ERA of almost 7.  This year he gave up almost 2 home runs per 9 innings.  Hopefully Mr. Watson can turn it around at some point.  

Next.  


I am really intrigued by this card.  There are prospects who are really good, they play well in the Minors, and the whole way up their cards are popular and have value.  There are prospects who are really bad, but they were really hyped in the draft, their cards are expensive....I just scratch my head.  Then there are players like Martes.  Who is he?  He was traded for Colin Moran.  Not excited?  He played in Double A last year for Houston's Corpus Christi Hooks, struck out more than a batter per inning, and now is appearing on Top 100 prospect lists at Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus.  This card sells for a whole lot of nothing, but seems like it is one to hang on to.

Last up.


Heritage High Numbers only has one hit, which for me, was a red autograph of Twins prospect Jose Berrios.  The Twins had a rough year, Berrios too, but he has been in Triple A the last two years and been very impressive.  Perhaps a little bit better supporting crew and he will be just fine.  Excited to land a red autograph though all things considered.


Monday, October 3, 2016

A New Longo To Celebrate the Longo of Old

We have reached the end of the regular season for baseball, and with it, the Rays have thankfully played their last game of the year.  There was potential for this team headed into the year, but 2016 was a complete disaster in Tampa.  While the Rays are not my primary rooting interest, they are the parent club of the Durham Bulls, so obviously there are many of my favorite former Minor Leaguers hanging out on their roster.  

Evan Longoria has long been a favorite, but over the last few years the All-Star third baseman has started to slide in terms of performance.  I still love watching Longo play and still will always enjoy collecting his cards no matter than state of his stat line.  

However, while most of the Rays were flopping all over the field this year, Longo looked like his former self from a few years back. The former Durham Bull set a career high in home runs and extra base hits.  Longo made it worth checking out the Rays games this year...


The enjoyment of watching Longo on the field has made me flip through his cards a few times this summer and keep my eyes open for some new cool cards.  I think my latest one is pretty nice....


Yes, another card from the $1,000 per box Topps Mint.  This is my second card from the product, but the Longo cost me a little bit more than my $9.99 Andres Galarraga autograph.  I seriously do not know who is opening boxes of these cards and finding cards that are between $10 and $20.  I'm sure that there is something high end in there....maybe.  

I love the looks of this card and the card stock that it is printed on.  The dark background is cool and the signature is clean and on-card.  Overall, a nice addition to my collection of Longoria autographs.  

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Venerable Old Card Part 29

I have a cool card this week that combines my love of the Durham Bulls with the Montreal Expos and a Topps oddball issue from the early 1970s.  Let's break that down into pieces.  Rusty Staub appeared for the Durham Bulls during the 1962 season and took home the Carolina League MVP that season.  In his first season playing professional baseball Le Grand Orange posted a .293/.429/.483 line with 23 home runs, 20 doubles, and 93 RBIs.  It was such a good season that Staub was brought up by the Colt 45s the very next season.  


Staub had a handful of good seasons in Houston, but his career took off after the team traded him to the expansion Expos in 1969.  He only played four seasons north of the border, but posted OPS+ of 166, 139, 148, and 137 during his time there.  Or think about it this way, Kris Bryant has played two seasons and has OPS+ of 135 and 149.  Staub was that good while with the Expos.  

His career seemed to trail off after his time with the Expos ended, he was still a solid player for awhile closing out his career with the Mets in the mid 1980s.  

As for the card itself, the 1970 Topps Super set is a pretty affordable considering the fact that Staub has some other oddball cards from that era that are quite pricy....


like his Topps Greatest Moments card which is ridiculously expensive.  I'd love to find one of these for my collection, but this is way too much for a Rusty Staub card.....

The Topps Super cards are much more affordable and can easily be had for less than $10.  There are a lot of these that are actually just a dollar or two, but I spent a little bit more to get a nicer copy.  The edges of the cards are rounded, but there are all kinds of crinkles, dings, and dents that show up on these cards.  

Overall, I am happy to have a cool card of an older Durham Bulls player on a cool old card.  The whole Expos thing isn't bad either.