Available for Trade (3/14/2010) Cards I Need (12.10.2010)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Twins sign Phil Hughes to 3 year deal

The news hit Rotoworld and all over twitter saying the Twins will indeed sign Phil Hughes, but not to the 2 year deal it was rumored. Instead, he will be with the Twinkies for 3 years (barring any trades).  I'm excited for Phil.  His last season in the Bronx was brutal to watch.  I always rooted for him, things did indeed get rough but I stuck by him.  Things just didn't go our way and I begrudgingly knew his time in the Bronx was up.

At least Hughes walked away with a ring in 2009 being the setup guy to the greatest closer to ever play the game.  How many pitchers can say, "I was the guy that got it to Mo in the season where we won the World Series."

It's tough to see him go.  I always wondered where he would end up and I feared the worst: Mets, Angels, or even *GASP* the Red Sox.  But I do like the Twins organization, they have an amazing history and have put together some pretty good teams over the past few years.  They've had their troubles but it seems like they're trying to get a team together that could give them a shot.  They will be tied with the Dodgers as #2 on my list of favorite teams.  I'm still waiting for Mattingly to get his ring as a manager.  But I can still hope Hughes catches fire and helps his team to a WS of their own.

And who will I be rooting for when the Yanks play the Twins with Hughes on the mound?  Well, I'll be rooting for an 8 inning no hitter for Hughes...but Yanks win off Perkins in the 9th.

Good luck Phil.

Friday, November 1, 2013


It's amazing the memories baseball cards can bring back.

I got this card on eBay at a bit of a premium but it's fairly hard to find for a decent price and it's an on-card auto.

And it led me to watch this again.  I can watch this video over and over again...and I have.

Donnie comes up at the 40 second mark.

Here is the youtube link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9woGxDYPLs

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The inevitability of a player collector

We hear it more often than not.  "Baseball is a business."  Unfortunately for us, players sticking with teams is an anomaly rather than the norm.  Even at the twilight of a career players leave the team they've been with all their career.  Look at Ichiro or Lance Berkman.

So it is another off-season and I live day to day in fear for Phil Hughes.  He has a ton of talent and I don't believe he has reached his potential.  His best years are ahead of him which makes him a huge commodity on the market.  2013 may be his last season with the Yankees if he isn't traded beforehand.  I have a sneaky suspicion he will be traded and it could be as soon as this winter.  He'll be 27 next year and will be one of the youngest starting pitchers to hit the market.  He may not command a mega-deal but I do believe he could get a significant long term deal with a team.

If he does get traded, I have no idea what to do going forward.  I could continue to collect him whichever team he lands on.  There are plenty of cards of him with the Yankees to chase so I could stick with that.  I guess my fear is he will land with a team I despise like the Red Sox.  Then what?

Not sure where this path will go.  I'd like to think I would follow Hughes wherever he went rooting for him to succeed even though I hope the team he's on goes down in flames.  But I also have to come to terms with the fact that I may not look at him the same way again.  What would it look like if he ended up back in the AL East but with Toronto or Baltimore, or worse the Red Sox.  I would think Hughes would prefer to play on the West coast which may mean the Angels, ugh.

Either way, I feel like time is running out.  I've held my breath each off-season in the hopes the Yankees will keep rolling the dice with him.  But again, "it's a business" so both sides have to want each other.  So far the ball is in the Yankee's court on what they want to do.  Come next November that may not be the case.  For now I will continue to collect my favorite Yankee and root for him every 5th day.  And hope by some miracle he continues a long career as a Yankee.

Friday, September 21, 2012


This is a scan of my very own Aqueous Test Don Mattingly.  One of the guys that bought the unopened packs pulled this card.  I won it on eBay for HALF of what it had been going for.  I'm beyond elated that this card is in my collection.  I've been looking for this card for years!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Almost got 'em

One of my favorite episodes of Batman the animated series was an episode called "Almost Got 'Em" (or something to that effect).  The episode consists of most of Batman's villains sitting around the table telling their tale about how they "almost got" Batman.  Well, I'd like to add my "almost got 'em" story to the mix.

I set up an eBay filter looking for the 1990 Donruss Aqueous Test Don Mattingly card.  For those of you who are unaware of what this card is I will try to piece together some of the information I found of the cards.  Pre-Google search, my knowledge of these cards consisted of Donruss made these cards as a test and they somehow left the factory and they shouldn't have.

Aqueous is actually a specific printing process, I found this definition on a blog (I think it's also on Wikipedia):

An aqueous coating is a fast-drying, water-based, protective coating which is applied in-line on press to attain a selection of finishes more economical price than varnish.
This clear coating provides a high gloss surface which protects the surface from dirt, smudges, fingerprints and scratch. Aqueous coating improves postcards durability as they go through mail or inserted in pockets. It is also applied on brochures, catalog covers, flyers and other visual ads.
So that's the scientific definition.  The story of the cards is that Donruss apparently made these cards as a test and I believe the majority of them were obtained when Donruss/Leaf went out of business by employees.  I found a story here of a guy who interacted with a former Donruss employee and bought a lot of boxes he had taken (legally I presume) when the company closed.  The guy opened the boxes and he had a box of cello packed Donruss cards with the AQUEOUS TEST statement printed across the back.  So these cards were packed but not released.  His collection also included even rarer Blue and White Donruss cards which are another story in and of themselves.  Apparently a very short subset of the 1990 Donruss set were printed with the AQUEOUS TEST text on the back.  Something like 264 cards from the set, I believe.  All continuous and included some Diamond King cards.

Fast forward to about 7 days ago and guess what shows up on eBay?  Yep you guessed it.  For the first time in my 5 years scouring eBay I found one.  So I watched the auction like a hawk.  I was so excited I bought a one-month subscription to Beckett to get the price information on it.  $100 hi value for that card.  You gotta be joking.  Talk about being out of touch with the market.  See, to me this would be the end-all card to own.  I contemplated ending my collecting career on this card because I couldn't do any better.  I thought about the significance of the Aqueous Test cards in our generation of collecting.  Right in the middle of the Junk Wax era there is a set that has a Honus Wagner type story.  Those player collectors that know about these cards feverishly chase after them on eBay.  Considering a George Brett card sold for $3500 (yes three THOUSAND five hundred dollars), should be evidence enough that these cards are a big deal to those who are collecting.

Anyhow, getting down to the last few minutes the card was a little over $200.  I thought I may get lucky and on a Saturday morning people may have completely missed this rare card.  At the final seconds I put in a bid a little over $1000.  Yes, I was willing to fork over A GRAND for this card.  Alas, it was not meant to be.  One of the many Don Mattingly collectors swooped in and out bid me and spent a total of $1,026.25 for the card.

I was really depressed and partially relieved.  I didn't have to shell over $1000 of my hard earned money for one single card. But then again, this amazing hard to find card was not mine.  I had dreams of getting this holy grail slabbed and putting it in a safety deposit box.  Holding onto it for years.  Perhaps when I passed on my hypothetical children could put it up for auction and it would have the same type of excitement that old cards from the 1900's found in attics have now-a-days.

But it's not meant to be.  I'll keep looking out for one on eBay.  But I'm fairly certain I will never own that card.  I sit here and think about the 1/1's, the autograph cards, prime relic cards I own and they all pale in comparison to this one Junk Wax era unintentional anomaly.  

But I can still hope and daydream about the day when this would be mine....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bucket List 3000 hits: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

My next autograph is a player that is a bit more familiar to me. He spent a few years as a Yankee and helped them win their first World Series title since 1978. I have to say that Boggs may be one of the most interesting 3000 hitters. Boggs got his 3000th hit as a Devil Ray and at the time, he was the only hitter to get to 3000 hits with a home run. That is until this year when Derek Jeter changed that. But the spot where the HR ball hit is marked with a yellow seat in Tropicana Field.

So one of the most interesting stories with Boggs is his superstitious regiment. He would always eat chicken before a game. That's something I already knew but I later found out he took exactly 150 ground balls in practice, took batting pratice at 5:17 and ran sprints at 7:17. Before each at bat he would write the Hebrew word "Chai," which means life, in the dirt in the batter box. He is #1 on the list of most superstitious athelets on CBS Sport's web site.

There's also that 60-70 beer story that Jeff Nelson told about Boggs. I found a transcript of an interview Jeff Nelson did with ESPN radio here: 710 ESPN Steve Mason's Blog. Not only do they talk to Jeff Nelson about it but they call Paul Sorrento and he confirms the story. Essentially, on a cross country trip like New York to LA or Seattle to Boston, Boggs begins drinking beer at the start of the day and drinks all way til the end of the day. This is a man that has a .328 career batting average, multiple gold gloves and silver slugger awards and is a Hall of Fame member.

I was able to get a Wade Boggs auto for just under $20 which is a steal. His autos can go as high as $35 so he has a fairly affordable autograph. I'd say he's a must have for any personal collection. He is certainly one of the more interesting 3000 hit club members.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bucket List 3000..er..4000 hit version (I'm Sorry)

The all time hit leader with 4,256 hits, Mr. Pete Rose. One of the most infamous figures in baseball history. He's both famous and infamous for his deeds as a player and manager. Even now Pete Rose can stir up emotions in fans of the game. Does he belong in the Hall of Fame or is his ban from baseball justified?

Personally I think it'll take his passing and many many years before he gets elected. His 4000+ hits are an amazing feat and I'm not sure if it will ever be broken. Yes, I understand Jeter is supposed to break his record but I'm not sure if Jete has that many years left in him to pull off another 1100 hits. That's almost a good 6 years of 200 hits. So this is an amazing record in and of itself which gets next to no respect because of the man who holds it. Kinda like the Home Run record. I would definitely put Rose in the Hall before I ever consider Barry Bonds.

When Donruss dropped in 2008 this card would've easily commanded $400-500. But now that Donruss has essentially flooded the market with Rose autos and relics this card might get around $100. Pete Rose autos can be had for anywhere between $40 and $100 depending on the Donruss flavor and numbering.

I pulled this 5/10 prime relic auto from a box of 2008 Donruss the first year I got back into the hobby. It was an amazing pull and I think I might have a video of it posted on this blog. So it cost like $80 or whatever a box cost back then. That was a very lucky pull for me. Not sure if I've pulled anything as good as that since.

"I'm sorry I bet on baseball", it still makes me chuckle.