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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Project Durham Bulls #43 - Melvin Nieves



1991-1992 Durham Bulls


Background-
Going with the Carolina League version of the Durham Bulls for this post.  Nieves was signed out of Puerto Rico by the Braves in 1988.  The former Major League outfielder signed as a 17 year old, so it took him a few years to reach A-Ball with the Bulls.  Nieves first stint with the Bulls was decent, but as a 19 year old, the Braves left in with the Bulls for a second season.  It lasted all of 31 games.  During that short stint, Melvin Nieves hit .302/.395/.632 with 8 home runs, 9 doubles, and 32 RBIs.  The Braves shuffled him up to Double A, and eventually for a cup of coffee in the Majors at the end of the season.

Shortly afterwards the Braves took advantage of his great season trading him to the Padres in exchange for Fred McGriff.  It was not a 1 for 1 trade, but Melvin Nieves was the most significant player the Padres received.  He ended up as a Top 100 Prospect with Baseball America in both 1993 and 1994 and continued to hit in the Minors after the trade.  The Padres called Nieves up for good in 1995, but he only hit .205 and had almost 100 strikeouts in just 234 at bats.  San Diego eventually traded him to the Detroit where he had two 20 home run seasons.  His final Major League took place with the Reds in 1998.  Nieves eventually ended up in Japan for a few seasons before returning to MLB for a comeback attempt with the Nationals in 2005.  He never made it back to the Majors.  

Card- 
Look for an autograph of a 1990s baseball player, it seems like I always end up look at the checklist for the 1996 Leaf Signature set.  The last couple of posts in my Durham Bulls autograph series have been out of this set, looking ahead, there are several more players who I could pick out of this set.  Nieves is one of many instances where these large autograph sets, like Leaf Signature, are actually the only option for finding a certified autograph.  While Nieves has healthy number of cards for a player who did not stick around too long, this is his only appearance in as a signer as a professional baseball player.  The card is very common and very inexpensive, but I still like the looks of the card and am happy to add another autograph of a former Durham Bulls player to the collection.  

Monday, November 26, 2018

I Love The 1990s Cardinals Part 54 - John Mabry

Mabry worked as a hitting coach for the Cardinals in recent years under the unsuccessful and unpopular Mike Matheny.  He took a lot of flack, maybe rightfully so, about the lack of offense during his time with the club as a coach.  More specifically, the team seemed to lack much power.  Mabry was not exactly know for his power as a player, which likely added to fans criticism of him as a coach.




Cardinals fans rejoiced.  I am not sure if he has found another job as a coach.  

The Cardinals selected Mabry in the 6th Round of 1991 Major League Draft.  He made it through the Minors with little fanfare.  Mabry never put together a great season in the Cardinals system, he was just sort of a solid player who happened to reach the Major League level at a time when the roster was a little thin on talent.  It did not help that All-Star first baseman Gregg Jefferies left the Cardinals for the Phillies.  

Mabry showed up in a few different baseball card products while he was in the Minors, but there were better Cardinals prospects to go after beyond Mabry.  He appeared in an Upper Deck Minors set, also the 1994 Bowman set.  My favorite early Mabry card was his 1994 Score Rookie/Traded card.  Loved the red border on these cards.....



He was more or less a full time player on the 1995 Cardinals.  He frequently started at first base for the team, but also made some appearances in the outfield.  One of Mabry's best attributes as a player was his throwing arm.  The Cardinals had a crowded outfield though with Ray Lankford, Brian Jordan, and Bernard Gilkey taking up the majority of playing time.  

I think there are several 1995 cards that do a good job of summarizing Mabry's offense skills.  



A Collector's Choice card with a picture of Mabry throwing the bat.  He did hit over .300 in 1995, which is something positive.  Mabry also came in fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting.  




Look at that check swing.  Mabry also only hit 5 home runs, which seems borderline criminal for a corner infielder.  His slugging percentage was .405, which sadly ranked just behind the aforementioned starting outfielders.  He often occupied important places in the line-up, but probably would have been a seventh or eighth place hitter in many other lineups.  

One of his highlights from 1995 was a fake bunt walk off hit against the Cubs.  






If you want to understand how bland and boring Mabry was a player, I think it is best exemplified by his Emotion card from 1995.  These cards had adjectives stamped on the side of the player's picture which was a description of their style of play.  Mabry's word.....




Adroit, meaning skillful, is a way of saying he shows up and he puts his jersey on the correct way.  I am not exactly sure in what way Mabry showed that he was adroit.  Really, it probably made people go grab a dictionary or thesaurus.  

Seriously, he looked nice on a card or two.  Like his Flair.....



That's a good look for Mabry.  He just hit a single.  

John Mabry's best season was probably 1996.  He just missed hitting .300, had 13 home runs, 30 doubles, and drove in 74 runs.  In the Postseason, he hit .300 against the Padres in the Divisional Series and .261 against the Braves in the National League Championship Series.  Mabry also had his best baseball card made, which appeared in the 1996 Leaf Signature product.  



Mabry has some oddball autographs from early in his career, but this is his best autographed card available.  Probably his best card overall too.  I am not a huge fan, if you could not tell, and if I did not need the other cards in the post to complete sets in my collection, this would likely be one of my only Mabry cards.  

There were a few cards of Mabry during the 1997 and 1998 seasons, but his role on the club was rightfully diminished after the team signed Ron Gant and traded for Mark McGwire.  The two moves made it hard for him to find playing time as an outfielder or on the infield.  The Cardinals played around with making him a third baseman, but that did not work out well.  




My favorite 1997 card of Mabry was his Stadium Club.  He's fielding in this picture, but I like the action shot in Wrigley against the Cubs.  That park always makes for a great baseball card backdrop.  Having the Cubs player being Ryne Sandberg also probably helps too.  Great photo, exactly what you would expect out of a Stadium Club card.  



Mabry was non-tendered by the Cardinals after the 1997 season and ended up playing for the Mariners in 1998.  He still had a few cards with the Cardinals in 1998 though.  My favorite is his Topps card, which shows him fielding a ground ball at first base.  

The rest of Mabry's career was spent on the bench bouncing around the league.  There is always space for an extra left handed bat.  Mabry would reappear for the 2001, 2004, and 2005 Cardinals teams.  In between he played for the Mariners, Padres, Marlins, Phillies, A's, Cubs, and Rockies.  There were not a ton of baseball cards to commemorate his second and third stints with the Cardinals.  Those that were made were rather.......



boring.  Sort of fitting.  

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A Little Better The Second Time

I had been looking for the right opportunity to add a Miles Mikolas autograph to my collection this year.  The Cardinals newest pitcher, who spent the last few years playing in Japan, has signed for a few different products this year.  None of the autographed cards were really in a price range that I was willing to pay until Topps put out a Topps Chrome autograph a few weeks back.  

Not a very costly card. 



Also a little disappointing that Topps took a pretty nice looking card and threw a sticker autograph into the middle of a nice picture.  I have kept my eyes open in case something a little nicer in appearance popped up at a reasonable price.  Mind you, it had to be something that was a nice upgrade over the Topps Chrome Update.  No more sticker autographs.

I found it.



I have really enjoyed collecting these 1983 style cards in the Topps set this year.  I put together the inserts out of the first series, should probably look into doing so for Series 2 and Update.  That's for a different post though.  The first year I collected cards was actually in 1983.  I was pretty little, but I still have an affinity for these cards.  I picked up a few other autographs from this set way back at the beginning of the year, nothing really since.  

Great looking card and certainly a nice upgrade over the Chrome Update card.  

Saturday, November 24, 2018

A Card To Celebrate

Blake Snell took home quite a few awards as a Minor Leaguer, but Major League success had been elusive for the pitcher prior to this season.  2018 was a great year for the former Durham Bulls, which culminated in Snell taking home the Cy Young Award recently.  He deserved it.




Unfortunately, a great award winning season can be just the thing to make a young players cards spike in price.  As someone who has collected Blake Snell for the past few years, I was worried that the collecting would have to slow down a bit.  

His early cards have become more popular and more expensive, but his current cards generally have not.  There are many that are still under $10, with the overwhelming majority costing no more than $20.  So, to celebrate Blake Snell's Cy Young Award, I went ahead and picked up a nice card of his from a recent card release.  




This new card of Blake Snell is from Triple Threads, which does not even look like it's orignal concept anymore.  All of these different Topps brands have all blended together.  These sort of look like the relic cards from Tribute a few years back with a sticker autograph slapped on the front of the card.  No matter the brand, it is an attractive looking card.  Nice relic swatch and nice autograph.  While Triple Threads is a sticker autograph, never my preference, Topps really does a nice job of blending the stickers into the design on this product.  

Friday, November 23, 2018

Gibby and Straw

I put a lot of effort into collecting the current players on the Cardinals and Durham Bulls.  Sometimes it is nice to stray a little from the norm and find some cards of players who have retired.  Whether they are on vintage cards, or modern releases, I am happy with either.  I usually have two different types of players I look for when I go after these types of cards: former Cardinals players, occasionally some older Durham Bulls players, and players I watched in person growing up.

I managed to add a pair really nice cards recently, one from each of the aforementioned categories.  

Let's start off with the non-Cardinals player first.



I have really enjoyed finding some of the cards of players from the 1980s and 1990s that Topps has put into some of their products over the past few years.  The selection of players is obviously limited to some degree, but it's still nice to see the players who were important to the baseball card sets from the 1980s pop up in current sets.  Strawberry definitely fits that description.

Strawberry was also in the greatest softball related prime time television episode ever....


This Strawberry card actually was being sold with the other card in this post and I love combined shipping costs.  It also helps that this card, which is from a box/pack of cards that sells for more than $100, cost right around $5.  I love Five Star cards, as long as someone else is spending the money to open the box.  I know, it's not serial numbered and does not have some fancy coloring.  Great looking card of the former Mets, Dodgers, and Yankees star.

On to the really important card.





This card was not around $5.  However, it is the first Gibson card that I have picked up in awhile.  I have two dozen or so different Gibson autographs, and at times I really think about whether or not I should really have another one of his cards in my collection.  Inevitably, at some point point every year, I give in and add another autograph.  Gibby is now over 80 years old and his autograph has remained sharp over the years.

I try to make sure that whatever card I find is somehow unique, or possesses something that sets it apart from the other Gibson cards in my collection.  Not sure exactly how this fits in with the other Gibson cards already hanging out in my card room, but I am not sure I really care in the case of this card.  It simply looks great.

The picture on this card is pretty amazing too.  Topps can be repetitive on pictures, or they tend to stick with the same era, but I feel like there are a lot more 1970s Gibson photos than 1960s.  This is clearly a 1960s card.  Add in a nice design with a big empty space for the player's signature, great baseball card.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Vacation Day Mail

My work schedule used to have me work on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  As a person who is employed as an upper elementary school teacher, it was really hard to be productive on this day.  Many students would miss school, and those that showed up were rightfully distracted.  Admittedly, as the adult in the room it was hard to work that Wednesday.

Fortunately, things have changed and all the feelings of Wednesday have now been shifted to Tuesdays.  Although, I feel a little bit more focused.  Especially since I have given up going anywhere on Thanksgiving.  It's my own five day vacation in the middle of the quarter.

I started my vacation by attending a basketball game last night.



My Wolfpack ended up winning pretty handily.  Today, I am onto other things that do not involve work.  A little time spent playing with the kids, a little cleaning before the in-laws get into town, and now I have moved onto working on some cards.

Usually when I get cards in the mail they actually sit on my desk for a few days before I actually get a chance to scan them,  write something about the cards, and post them.  Just the way things are, many other things come before write blog posts about baseball cards.  For today though, I am setting all the grown-up things aside.

Bloggers do mail day posts all the time.  I have not made one of these posts in literally three years.  I will take a break from teaching my son about Oregon Trail on Dos Box.



Let's do it.   Three packages.  First one.




Picked up a Topps Gold Label Anthony Banda autograph.  He's been my Durham Bulls player that I have spent the year collecting.  Topps put him in a Rays uniform for this card, which has been an on going back and forth this year with cards featuring him as a Diamondback.  Banda was traded to the Rays last spring, not sure why he is not a Ray on every card.  I have another Banda card on the way, released after this one, he's a Diamondback.  Quality.

Second package.  




There have not been a ton of Joey Lucchesi cards this year, probably because he plays for the Padres.  The rookie pitcher went to Southeast Missouri State, which is where I happened to go to college for my undergraduate degree.  It's a small teachers college about halfway between St. Louis and Memphis.  Needless to say, there have not been many alumni to reach the Major Leagues.  I have been following him for awhile, fun to see him finally get a few cards.

I cannot keep track of all the variations in this Topps products these days, but this is one of the Chrome Pack cards from this year's Update set.  Nice looking card.

Third package.  Two cards.  Same player.




More Lucchesi.   The top card is a pink refractor which are very common in the Topps Chrome Update product.  The bottom card is a gold refractor, which is serial numbered out of 50.  A little tougher find, but neither is very expensive.

That's it for the mail, unless someone is willing to pay my toll road bill from the state of North Carolina.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

I Love The 1990s Cardinals Part 53 - Dmitri Young

This is a nice post about Dmitri Young.  He has had sort of a bad rap amongst Cardinals fans for awhile, but I really do not see what people have against the guy.  The man collects baseball cards and at one point Dmitri also had one of the most incredible baseball card collections out there before he cashed out 2.5 million dollars.


The Roberto Clemente rookie in his hand sold $400K alone, which is ridiculous, but if he got someone to pay that much good for Dmitri.

A little bit longer post today for my 1990s Cardinals post.  I like Dmitri even if Cardinals do not like always like him.  

Back to baseball.  The Cardinals have finished in last place once over the last 70 or 80 years.  It has not happened much, but I am not in the mood to go look it up at the moment.  The one time it has happened in modern baseball times was in 1990.  Whitey Herzog quit in the middle of the year, so did Terry Pendleton.  The team even traded long time fixture Willie McGee to the A's to bolster their playoff run.  Hot mess.

The Cardinals had the fourth overall pick and used it on 17 year old Oxnard, California high schooler Dmitri Young.  He was on USA Today's All-American High School baseball team and had received a scholarship to baseball at Miami.

Dmitri had some big numbers at several of his stops along through the Cardinals Minor League system.  In his first full season in the Minors he hit .310 with 14 home runs and 36 doubles in A-Ball with the Springfield Cardinals.  Later, when he reached Triple A Louisville, he hit .333 with 15 home runs, 31 doubles, and even managed to swipe 16 bases.  Won the batting title.

Young was not without his controversies before reaching St. Louis.  Namely, he went after a fan in the stands while he was playing for the Arkansas Travelers, who were the Cardinals Double A team at the time of the incident.

From the Los Angeles Times:



Young spoke about this incident a few times during his career, while he would have handled the situation differently, it definitely hurt his relationship with the Cardinals and some fans in St. Louis.  I still collected a few of his Minor League cards.  Probably one of my first times every dealing with a product outside of the usual Major League Baseball products in the early 1990s was tracking down a few Dmitri Young cards  

I have a few favorites.  



I think the 1994 Upper Deck Minor League card is my favorite.  The most professional looking of all his Minor League cards in my opinion and I love the action shot.  Dmitri Young actually spent the majority of his time in the Minors playing third base and left field.  The Cardinals dabbled with him at first base in the Minors, but did not play him extensively at that position until his second stint at Triple A in 1996.  




I'm just throwing up this Classic Best card because the scan was handy, but Dmitri has a ton of these odd-ballish cards from 1991 and 1992.  He was in the lower Minors and on many of the cards it shows.  The Cardinals must have gone through some phase in the late 1990s where their Minor League teams all wore surplus polyester uniforms or repurposed shirseies from the team store.  

Didn't Pedro Guerrero retire sometime around 1991 or 1992?  




Would not shock me.  There are a few where Dmitri Young is just wearing a slugger bird logo shirt.  



The Cardinals ditched this logo in 1992, but it's all over their Minor League cards from that era.  Old man Busch was saving himself some money, also not putting anything on the team store on clearance.

Dmitri ended up getting called up by the Cardinals at the end of the 1996 season, just in time for the team's Postseason run.  They were not supposed to make the playoffs the first season that LaRussa managed the team, let alone get within a game of the World Series.  Dmitri did not contribute much during the final weeks of the season, nor during the first part of the National League playoffs.  However, he had a huge hit in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead in the Series against the defending World Series Champions.  




It was one of the few good moments from a frustrating National League Championship Series.  Card companies seemed to magically remember that Dmitri Young was around and was going to get playing time the following season.  Really the only season where he had a full slate of Cardinals cards turned out to be 1997.  

Best card.....



is from Collector's Choice because they gave him a highlights card for hitting that triple in the National League Championship Series.  The front picture is from the actual hit. The back of the card.....



very well done by Upper Deck.  

A few more.  Bowman gave him an autograph card.  He also had one in the Donruss Signature set, but the Bowman is a little bit nicer looking in my opinion....




It is also a little harder to find and will cost you $3 instead of $2.  That's without shipping.  A few more recognizable brands.  Donruss gave him a Rookie Diamond Kings.  Not the same as just a regular Diamond Kings card, but they were not making the Rated Rookie cards at this point.  




Almost all of the rest of the Dmitri Young cards from 1997 came from the Pinnacle brands.  I am pretty sure that had a photographer show up for infield/batting practice one day, and they came up with photos for every Dmitri Young card for the rest of that season.  

Pinnacle Inside......



Blue road practice jersey with a red turtleneck in Candlestick Park.  




Candlestick Park, Blue jersey, red turtleneck.  Look, Dmitri wears Nikes.  

New Pinnacle, was like New Coke in many ways, and apparently used recycled pictures that were just cropped a little differently the photos used for other card products.  




Cannot quite see his batting gloves in this picture.  

Finally a Fleer Ultra to close out 1997.  



Good picture of Dmitri playing first base, which is what he did most of the time during the 1997 until the end of July.  His first full season in the Majors was a disappointment.  He never did show any of the pop, nor drive in his swing that made him one of the better players in the Minor Leagues.  

The Cardinals needed offense and they ended up trading for A's first baseman Mark McGwire.  He was a free agent to be, but had spent the majority of his career playing for Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa and the front office was convinced they could sign him if they got him to play a few months in St. Louis.  




McGwire hit and ended up signing a contract with the Cardinals.  Dmitri Young was traded to the Reds for washed up reliever Jeff Brantley.  He still appeared on a few early 1998 releases as a member of the Cardinals.....




Dmitri seemed like a guy who needed a change of scenery early on with the Cardinals.  Not usually the way things go in St. Louis.  Add in the fact that the Cardinals got hosed on the trade by an in division rival, and I think that has added to some of the negativity around the legacy of Dmitri Young according to Cardinals fans.  

In a curious twist to the Cardinals trading him to the Reds during the 1997 off-season, he was actually selected by the Devil Rays during the expansion draft and traded back to the Reds.  He did not have many cards in 1998.  However, his first season in Cincinnati was a huge success that made him a regular in sets for most of his playing career.  




Dmitri played four years for the Reds and never hit less than .300 and had an on-base percentage of .353 during that four year span.  

He also spent five years with the Tigers and managed to still hit even though he was frequently the only quality bat in their lineup.  In 2003, he made the American League All-Star team, almost hit 30 home runs, and had a .909 OPS.  The Tigers lost 119 games.  It was statistically his best season as a professional player.  




He ended his career by playing the Nationals during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.  Dmitri was only 34 years old when he retired from baseball.  During his last two seasons with the Nationals he hit .310/.382/.469 and even made the National League All-Star team in 2007.  He became a fan favorite of sorts with the Nationals, who were in their early days in Washington.  Dmitri Young had talked about trying to make a comeback at one point, but he stayed retired.  

Very nice career overall.  I have always been convinced that if he stayed in St. Louis, he would have never had the career that he had playing for the Reds and Tigers.  While Cardinals fans can grade Dmitri Young rather harshly at times, but there are much worse things that can happen with high draft picks than having a 13 year career with a few All-Star Game appearances.  

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Set Update. Shall We?

Roughly a month ago, I posted a project that I was going to work on into the beginning of 2019 that was actually several different small sets, rather than one larger set.  The cards all come from the Topps Glossy Send Ins from the 1980s.  Although, the 1990 set is also included.  Most of the sets are more than 50% done.  Two are over 90%, which will be easy to finish.  However, they are not the first sets to get crossed off my list.

All forty cards from the 1983 set are sitting here on my desk.  I had to find 9 cards to finish this part of the project.  Shall we look at some cards?  Some are a little crooked, but I am tired after spending the day out with the little guy.  A little something about my favorite card in each of the groups of cards....



You'd think I would go with the Cardinals player, but I am going to go with Mookie Wilson.  He was one of the players missing when I started last month, I was honestly surprised that he was in set.  Mookie was always a good supporting player on the 1980s Mets teams, but never the star.  He was never an All-Star, little really stands out from the early years of his career outside of the fact that he stole 50 bases in both 1982 and 1983.

Plus, there really is a Cardinals connection here.


One of these people won a World Series with the Cardinals.  Mookie never played for the Cardinals.  



I like the Terry Kennedy card strictly based on the fact that there is a yellow and brown Padres uniform.  The other three players in this grouping are pretty big stars from this era.  The Schmidt card feels distorted to me.   Winfield and Young, do not have a ton of interest in my world.  Let's talk about Terry Kennedy.

Terry Kennedy was on the Cardinals for a very short time at the beginning of his career and was traded the Padres in exchange for Rollie Fingers and Gene Tenace.  Rollie Fingers never played a game for the Cardinals though.  Kennedy had a pretty solid career.



Love the card with Fernando Valenzuela wearing the batting helmet.  He seems like the kind of pitcher who would have a batting average under .100.  He had that screwball that gave people fits, but I would not classify him as an athletic type.   However, I learned something in making this post.  Fernando could actually hit.  During his career he won two Silver Slugger Awards and had a total of 10 career home runs.  Surprised, but good for Fernando.


Uh.  Pete Rose.  Not his best day.  This is supposed to be a Phillies card, but so much about this card looks like those Leaf cards that came out about five or six years ago where all of the logos were all blanked out.  He had been a Phillies a few years at this point, you would think that Topps could do better than a generic looking baseball equipment windbreaker.  



The end of Pete Rose's career was not really all that pretty.  Bad commercials.  He had a .286 slugging percentage in 1983, so there is that too.  Ivan DeJesus was the next lowest slugging percentage on the 1983 Phillies, but it was 50 points higher than Pete.  



I miss having Expos cards.  The Nationals are not quite the same.  Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of the players in this group, so that is about all I am typing for these four players.  I guess Carlton Fisk was alright as a White Sox.  

My most memorable Ray Knight moments all came while he was on the Mets.  He was somehow one of the "good guys" on those teams, which developed a bad reputation around players like Keith Hernandez, Dwight Gooden, and Strawberry.  

Ray Knight was a punk.  




None of those "bad" Mets players ever tried the garbage that Ray Knight pulled in the above video.

  

I like the Richie Zisk card in the group.  Not a Hall of Famer, but he had some great years for the Pirates, Rangers, and Mariners.  His last season as a Major Leaguer was in 1983.  He was only 34 at the time, but it was one of the few really below average years he had as a Major Leaguer.  Not sure what happened to him at the end of his career.  Maybe he was hurt, or maybe he just ran out of gas.  I like the Mariners uniform in this picture.  Good still shot of him at Yankee Stadium.  




Love the Dave Stieb card with the powder blue jersey.  Serious thought, now that the Hall of Fame bar has been drastically lowered by letting Jack Morris into the Hall of Fame, how long will it be until we get Dave Stieb into Cooperstown?  His numbers are better than Jack Morris, except he did not pitch in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.  Dave Stieb also did not sexually harass a reporter.  

Bill Madlock won 4 batting titles by the way.  That's half the number of times that Nolan Ryan led the league in walks.  



Jack Clark.  Quite a look there.  The hat has sort of a wave going across the front of the brim and he has obviously never asked his barber to touch up his eyebrows.  He was on the Cardinals for a few years in the mid 1980s and had some great years.  




Love the Rickey Henderson picture in this group of cards.  He was always a great base stealer, but this was a period during his career where he was putting up huge numbers.  In 1982 he had set the single season record with 130 steals, and followed that up with 108 in 1983.  Highest two year stolen base total in the history of the game.  He still had a few more stolen base titles left in his legs at this point, but 1983 was the last season he cross 100 in his career.  


This is the last group of cards in this set and is a fabulous cross section of early 1980s coolness.  Rupert Jones with the yellow, brown and orange Padres jersey.  Eddie Murray is wearing a jacket underneath his uniform.  Bruce Sutter is wearing a powder blue road uniform with a rather unkempt looking beard.  Reggie Jackson is wearing metal rim sunglasses, not some fancy Oakley plastic types. 

This look would eventually land Reggie a memorable movie role next to Leslie Nielson and Ricardo Montalban.  




We have reached the end of this glossy set, but hopefully I can knock a few more of these Topps Glossy Send In sets out before the end of the year.  I will even try to make the scans a lot straighter.  




Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sticker Monstrosity

I have been looking into finding a Miles Mikolas autograph since the middle of the summer.  The Cardinals signed him this past off season after the former Padres and Rangers hurler spent a few years playing overseas in Japan.




Not sure everyone was sold on Mikolas helping the Cardinals out too much, but he turned out to be a really good free agent signing.  He ended up winning 18 games with an ERA+ of 137. during his first year back in the States.  Mikolas was arguably the best pitcher on the team last year.  

Mikolas had his first autograph in Allen & Ginter, but that was selling for a decent amount of money throughout the summer.  There have been a few other cards that Mikolas has signed more recently that seem to have watered down the price of his autographs a bit.  

I ended up with one of those cards.  It's not pretty, but it was dirt cheap.  This card is out of the Topps Chrome Update set.  It's a retail product.  




That sticker is pretty bad.  I am seriously thinking about taking a ruler to the card to see if the sticker is even straight.  Fairly certain that it is a little crooked.  I understand that we cannot get all of the autographs to be on card signatures, but we could at least do a little bit better job of blending the sticker into the photograph.  Maybe?  

The picture on the card is actually nice.  I picked up a base card too.   



Maybe it is just me, but the sticker really takes away from the picture on the card.  I like the action shot of Mikolas, but you can see the outfielder in the background and a hint of the catcher and umpire in the foreground.  

It's my first Mikolas autograph and I am happy to add it to my collection, but I am hoping that I will be able to add something nicer at some point soon.   Always happy to have a new autograph of a new player in my collection, but this card is a bit of a sticker monstrosity.