Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Training TTM: Chris Heisey

  • Chris Heisey 1/1- Out of all the players on this card, Chris was the only one whose team I won't have a chance at seeing in person at Fenway this year. Hopefully I'll have the card finished by the end of the season, but that might be wishful thinking. Sent 3/10 (20 days)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

3 Spring Training Returns: Brad Lidge, Jason Michaels, & Travis Ishikawa

  • Brad Lidge 2/2- The new Nationals closer signed his base card from the 09 Topps set, as well as an additional card from the set highlighting the Phillies' World Series victory in 2008. Sent 2/18 (40 days)
  • Jason Michaels 2/2- Another new acquisition for the Nationals, Jason signed cards from the 09 Topps and 09 Topps U&H sets. Sent 2/21 (37 days) Update: Jason was just released from the Nationals today. Looks like I had some lucky timing with those cards.
  • Travis Ishikawa 1/1- Travis signed his 09 Topps card from Brewers camp. Sent 3/14 (15 days)

Monday, March 26, 2012

2 Spring Training Returns: Kendrys Morales & Pedro Ciriaco

  • Kendrys Morales 1/2- The Angels infielder kept my 08 Allen & Ginter, but returned a signed 09 Topps card. At the time this card was printed, he was still going by Kendry, but it was discovered last year that his actual first name is spelled with an "s" on the end. Kendrys is looking to make a comeback after an ankle injury that's hampered him for the past two seasons. Sent 2/21 (34 days)
  • Pedro Ciriaco 2/2- One of the new Red Sox minor league acquisitions signed rookie cards from the 11 Topps set, both the base card and sparkly diamond parallel. Sent 3/10 (16 days)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

3 Spring Training Returns: Dustin McGowan, Jack Hannahan, & Omar Quintanilla

  • Dustin McGowan 2/2- The Blue Jays pitcher signed his 08 Allen & Ginter and 10 Topps cards. Dustin is looking to pitch a full season for the first time in three years. Sent 2/21 (32 days)
  • Omar Quintanilla 1/1- Omar signed his 09 Topps U&H card in blue sharpie from Mets camp. Sent 3/14 (10 days)
  • Jack Hannahan 0/2, 1/0- One of the few positive surprises of Cleveland's roster last year, Jack kept both of my 09 Topps cards and replaced them with his rookie card from the 06 Upper Deck set. Sent 2/21 (32 days)

Friday, March 23, 2012

2 Spring Training Returns: John Danks & Brett Hayes

  • John Danks 1/1- John signed his 09 Topps in blue sharpie. Even though the White Sox appear to be in rebuild mode for the next few years, they locked up John with a five-year deal over the offseason. Sent 3/6 (17 days)
  • Brett Hayes 1/1- A third generation ballplayer, Brett signed his 09 Topps U&H rookie card from Marlins camp. Sent 2/13 (39 days)

Spring Training TTM: Dustin Ackley

  • Dustin Ackley 2/2- The Mariners' rookie second baseman personalized cards from the 11 and 12 Topps sets. The team arrived in Japan today, where they will play the Athletics for Opening Day next Wednesday. Sent 2/11 (40 days)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Up for Auction: 2012 Timeless Talents Ripken/Jeter Game-Used Card

For those of you that are interested, I've put my Ripken/Jeter game-used card up for auction on ebay:

I'm getting married in the fall, so every penny counts right now!

Monday, March 19, 2012

3 Spring Training Returns: Ryan Sweeney, Armando Galarraga, & Kyle Seager

Today was a good day at the mailbox. In addition to the return from Jeremy Bonderman, I received three spring training returns as well:

  • Kyle Seager 2/2- The rookie third baseman for the Mariners signed and personalized cards from the 11 Topps and 11 Bowman Platinum sets. I was worried that the Platinum might bubble, but the signature looks really sharp with the refractor background. Sent 3/9 (10 days)
  • Ryan Sweeney 1/1- The new right fielder for the Red Sox signed his 09 Topps card. Sent 3/9 (10 days)
  • Armando Galarraga 2/2- Mr. Almost Perfect signed cards from the 09 Topps and 11 Topps Heritage sets from Orioles camp. Sent 2/15 (33 days)

TTM Return: Jeremy Bonderman

  • Jeremy Bonderman 2/2- The former Tigers pitcher signed his 09 Topps and 08 Allen & Ginter from home. He sat out last season, and it doesn't look like he's playing this season either, but I don't think he's officially retired yet. Sent 3/5 (14 days)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

2 Spring Training Returns: Clint Hurdle & Jayson Nix

  • Clint Hurdle 2/1- The Pirates skipper signed his 09 Topps, as well as one of the protective index cards I sent. During the season he signs for a donation to a charity for his daughter, who has a rare disease called Prader-Willi Syndrome. Several other Pirates players sign for charitable donations in the regular season, but during spring training they'll sign without the suggested donation. Sent 3/10 (7 days)
  • Jayson Nix 1/1- I'm not sure what made his parents add a "Y" to the middle of his name, but they did the same for his brother Laynce as well. Jayson signed his 09 Topps U&H from Yankees camp. Sent 3/9 (8 days)

Friday, March 16, 2012

2012 Topps Heritage Pack Break

I picked up my first few packs of this year's Heritage today. I didn't pull anything too exciting, but I like the look of the cards. The set is based on the '63 Topps this year, which is much more colorful than last year's ('62 Topps) offering. I like the action photo bubble at the bottom of each card, especially since it seems like most modern day sets lack multiple photos on each card.

I usually don't care for non-baseball cards in these sets, but I was pleased to find an insert card of Alcatraz. If you haven't checked out the TV show of the same name, do it. Sam Neil plays a similar role to his character in Jurassic Park, except instead of dinosaurs, he's dealing with the Rock's most notorious criminals coming back from the dead (sorta).

I bought five packs of Heritage ($3.50 per pack), and these were the notable cards I pulled:
  • Frank Francisco- Short print base card
  • Alcatraz- '63 News Flashbacks
  • Dustin Pedroia- Chrome Parallel #1744/1963
  • Ryan Howard- Chrome Refractor Parallel #140/563

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2 Spring Training Red Sox Returns: Ryan Lavarnway & Ross Ohlendorf

  • Ryan Lavarnway 1/1- The young catching prospect for the Sox signed his 12 Topps Gold Futures insert card. Sent 3/6 (9 days)
  • Ross Ohlendorf 2/2- The third Red Sox return of the week, Ross signed his 08 Allen & Ginter and 08 Topps cards. Sent 2/21 (23 days)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Training TTM: Mark Melancon

  • Mark Melancon 1/1- One of Boston's new bullpen acquisitions, Mark signed his 09 Topps U&H rookie card, and personalized it to me with best wishes. Sent 3/1 (12 days)

TTM Return: Edwin Jackson

  • Edwin Jackson 2/2- I searched my 2012 Spring Training send-out list up and down several times, but couldn't find Jackson's name on it. I pulled out my list from last year and realized I sent these cards towards the end of the season, so it was a nice surprise to get them back. Edwin always seems to be solid for a few through the mail, even if his signature is pretty abbreviated. Sent 8/27 (199 days)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Training TTM: Orlando Hudson

  • Orlando Hudson 1/2- By far one of the most consistent TTM signers in baseball, Orlando signed a red-bordered parallel of his 11 Topps card, and returned a 09 Topps U&H unsigned. I guess he still has some bad blood for the Dodgers and refuses to sign cards of them. Sent 2/25 (16 days)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring Training TTM: Nyjer Morgan

  • Nyjer Morgan 3/3- I met this guy during interleague play last season when the Brewers visited Fenway, and he was a riot every time I saw him. "Tony Plush" is generous when it comes to TTM autographs; he signed his 08 Allen & Ginter, plus two different cards from the 12 Topps set. Sent 3/1 (9 days)
The NLCS highlights card is one of my favorite from the set. It reminds me of the days when Sports Illustrated for Kids would put a picture of a silly baseball card in the back of the magazine and ask for submissions for a funny caption. Somebody should revive that concept for their blog! Sent

Spring Training TTM: Ross Detwiler

  • Ross Detwiler 1/1- Ross signed his 09 Topps U&H card, in which he appears to be doing his best impression of Popeye the Sailor Man. Sent 2/21 (18 days)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring Training TTM: Mike Leake

  • Mike Leake 1/1- The talented young shoplifter for the Reds personalized a 2012 Topps card for me. Sent 3/1 (8 days)

2 Spring Training Returns: Tom Gorzelanny & Shane Robinson

  • Tom Gorzelanny 1/2- Tom kept my 08 Allen & Ginter, but signed his 09 Topps card. I already had his 09 Topps U&H card signed from a previous sendout, but now I have the base card as well. Sent 2/17 (20 days)
  • Shane Robinson 2/2- The Cardinals outfield signed his rookie cards from 09 Topps and 09 Topps Heritage in blue sharpie. Sent 2/27 (10 days)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

2012 Topps Wrapper Redemption: Gold Rush

Topps had a very short-term promotion for the release of the 2012 series this year. If you were able to collect 50 hobby pack wrappers and send them in to the company, they would send you a special 5-card pack of Gold Rush insert cards. I was surprised at how quickly I received my pack, as I just sent it out last week and Topps is notoriously slow with these redemptions sometimes.

The cards are a little bit thicker than your normal Topps, and the gold foil on the front looks nice, but I think I pulled one of the worst packs possible. No chance of getting any of these signed anytime soon, be it TTM or in person.

  • Jeff Weaver
  • Frank Thomas
  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Jhonny Peralta
  • Dan Uggla

That's what $100 worth of Topps packs will get you.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring Training TTM: Michael Stutes

  • Michael Stutes 1/2- I took a gamble sending out Stutes' black border rookie card numbered out of 60, and I failed miserably. Based on the returns I've seen from him, he'll typically sign two cards and not keep anything, but I guess that one caught his eye and now it'll be in his personal collection. I have another black border card of Mike Cameron that I plan on sending out, hopefully I'll be more successful with that one. Sent 2/24 (10 days)

2 Spring Training Returns: Paul Goldschmidt & Mat Gamel

  • Mat Gamel 1/1- I sent three cards to Mat last spring training, and he signed 2 of the 3. The only one he didn't sign was his 09 Topps rookie card, which I re-sent this year and received back on Friday. Sent 2/21 (10 days)
  • Paul Goldschmidt 1/1- Paul signed his card from the 12 Topps Gold Futures insert set. I ordered the full set on ebay last week and received it today, so I'm hoping to get a few more of these sent out before the end of spring training. Sent 2/21 (10 days)