Monday, June 22, 2015

2004 Upper Deck Legends Timeless Teams: Auto Collection

I ripped a pack from one of my favorite sets, 2004 Upper Deck Legends Timeless Teams over at A Pack To Be Named Later. One of my favorite things about this set is how friendly the design is for autographs.

Here is my collection of autographs from this set... both pack-pulled certified autos, and autos I have gotten through the mail.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

2015 Bowman Baseball

Today I'm going to do a quick review of 2015 Bowman Baseball. I broke a retail rack pack.

Bowman's brand lays their claim as "Home of the Rookie Card" although I think "Home of a bunch of guys you will never see in an MLB game" might be more accurate. Famous for the big prospect rushes... Harper, Strasburg, etc. etc.

Here are the highlights from my pack:

 The "First Bowman Card" is a big part of these sets. Carlos Asuaje is in Portland playing for the Sea Dogs.
 Somehow this is Scott Schebler's first Bowman Card despite being in the Dodgers org. since 2010.
Jose Valdez makes his first Bowman appearance at age 32 after being in pro baseball since 2000, originally in the Yankees organization.
 Josh Bell is working his way through the Pirates organization.
 This serial numbered parallel of Greg Bird (/250) highlights the #4 Yankee prospect.

 Here are a couple of our base veteran cards.

Despite being the "Home of the Rookie Card" this was my only Rookie Card in the pack of 22 cards. So far a career .220 big league hitter.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Majestic MLB Alumni Association Jerseys - Charlie Hough

Ever try to use the custom jersey maker on MLBShop or Majestic to put a classic player on a jersey, and get your design rejected?

It used to be that you would have a few old-school players you could buy on jerseys on each team. If you wanted anyone else, you would have to buy from a third party who bought lettering kits and put them on blank-backed jerseys.

Well now, you can buy jerseys from Majestic with ANYONE* in the MLB Players Alumni Association.

The asterisk is because the list does not appear to include HOFers, and of course you have to buy a jersey for the team the player played on. You cannot put Fred Lynn on a Yankees jersey.

I wanted Charlie Hough, and I wanted him on a White Sox jersey, as that was the team he notched his 200th win with on August 5, 1992.

Awesome! The MLB Replica Jerseys from Majestic have come a long way in the past 10 years or so... the numbers and letters used to be pretty generic unless you bought Authentic (for $220 or so).
These jerseys run about $110 and I think it is well worth it.

You can pick these up direct from Majestic here. If you don't feel like shelling out $110 you can also get player tees. Hopefully someday they will add more throwback styles to this line.

Go get the Rudy Seanez Braves Jersey you've always dreamed of!

Disclaimer- I DO NOT work for Majestic or have any dog in this fight. I just like old school baseball :D.

2015 Leaf Heroes on A Pack to Be Named Later

I did a review of 2015 Leaf Heroes over at A Pack To Be Named Later. Check it out!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

2015 Topps Archives Baseball Box Break

Topps Archives has been one of my favorite sets in the past few years.

Stars of today and yesterday printed on classic designs. Each box is ripe with nostalgic and modern players. Rookie cards are plentiful. And each year there are usually a few cool insert sets.

The main draw for me, with Archives, is the on-card autographs. Unlike most modern card products that feature high loads of prospect and rookie autographs, Archives features players from the past. I've pulled everyone from Howard Johnson to Gary Carter in Archives from years past.

So, let's break the product:

Our base cards come in a number of varieties. In the top row, you see Jon Lester in the 1976 Topps design, Brooks Robinson in the 1983 design, and Henderson Alvarez in the 1957 design.

For inserts, we have the Topps 1968 game card variety (Mike Trout shown here), the 1990 Topps variety highlighting famous draft picks and rookies, and Presidential Chronicles, showing here Jimmy Carter and Herbert Hoover. I have to admit the Presidential Chronicals seem a little out of place in this set.

Next, we have our "hits". Here are our parallels:

The first two silver bordered cards are serial numbered to 199, and the gold bordered Luis Gonzalez is serial numbered 50 of 50.

One of the fun elements of this year's Archives set is the inclusion of 10 Will Ferrell cards highlighting the 10 MLB teams he played on in this year's Spring Training. There are also serial numbered autographed Will Ferrell cards.

I have to admit, I would have been a little sad if I hadn't run into at least one Will Ferrell card in this box. I got the Padres version. Not an autograph but better than no Will Ferrell!

Another interesting hit series in Archives this year is the buyback Topps Original cards. I got this one:

This is a vintage 1973 card, with an added Topps stamp. Mike Kilkenny's only noteworthy accomplishments are giving up Frank Robinson's 500th home run, and playing on four teams in the same season. Cool to see true vintage in a modern box, though.

Finally, my two fan-favorites autograph hits:

Joe Oliver (shown here in the 1989 Topps design) was a solid, reliable backstop in the 90's, with 100 career home runs. He got a ring with the Reds in 1990.

Kent Tekulve (shown here in the 1980 Topps design) is something of a Pirates legend, pitching in their 1979 World Series victory and making the 1980 All-Star Game. He had 184 saves and a dandy 2.85 ERA.

Pretty cool break! I'd open another.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Knuckleball Collection

One of my favorite collections is my Knuckleballer collection.

There is something I have always liked about the Knuckleball. It started with Tim Wakefield. Being a local Red Sox guy, I grew up being mesmerized by the Knuckleball movement.

I started following and collecting current and former knuckleball pitchers afterward. Here are the gems of my collection.

Starting things off is the legendary "Knucksie", Phil Niekro. One of the great ambassadors of the knuckleball... and probably the greatest Knuckleball pitcher of all time. This card is from Playoff Absolute's Absolutely Ink series, serial numbered to 25.
Phil's brother Joe was not quite as successful but still a fantastic Knuckleballer in his own right, winning 221 games. He tragically passed away in 2006. This is from the Upper Deck Yankees Classic Scripts series, and is an on-card auto.
Charlie Hough is probably my number 2 favorite Knuckleballer, after Wakefield. Charlie had so much character and threw such devastating pitches, while being a genuinely nice guy.  The first card is a Topps reprint autograph numbered to 70, the second is a TTM success of mine. 

Tom Candiotti, seen here wearing the famous Knuckleball #49, was a bit of a Journeyman in the 80's and 90s. He managed to compile 1,735 strikeouts despite a career losing record. This card is from 1996 Leaf Signature.

Steven Wright is one of two (I believe?) current major league Knuckleballers. He currently pitches for the Red Sox and wears #35, like Phil Niekro. This is a Bowman Sterling issue from his tenure with Cleveland.
The author of Ball Four, formerly shunned pitcher Jim Bouton has come back into favor with the Yankees organization, participating in old-timers events. He was a fixture at Wahconah Park in Pittsfield after his retirement. This autograph is from Tristar OBAK.
Tim Wakefield is my favorite Red Sox player of all time. His dazzling Knuckleball, the way he carried himself on the field, and his importance in the Red Sox success in the 2000s earned him a place in many fans' hearts. This card is the most I have ever paid for a loose single card. Tim's certified autos are very uncommon, particularly with low serial numbers and relics. This one is from Upper Deck Spectrum.
Topps Fan Favorites autographs brings us this Wilbur Wood auto'd reprint. Wilbur was a 3-time all-star for the White Sox in the 70's, making him one of only three Knuckleball pitchers to have multiple ASG appearances but not be in the Hall of Fame, the others being Bob Purkey and Dutch Leonard.

R.A. Dickey is the most well-known current Knuckleballer, and the only Knuckleballer ever to win the Cy Young award. This awesome auto/relic comes from Topps Triple Threads (I can't believe I pulled it in a pack!?!?!?)

Finishing things up is the late Hoyt Wilhelm, HOFer and one of the first pitchers to be known as a star relief pitcher, something that was uncommon in his time. Hoyt notched 143 wins and 227 saves.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Welcome to the Flapless Helmet

This is my new baseball card blog. I used to write Wax Pack Geek and have moved my blogging over here. Check out the about for more info. More to come soon.