Monday, August 27, 2012

Royals @ Red Sox, 8/25

Catching up on some blogging with my third post of the day.  I went for the Royals after work on Saturday and had a nice, relaxing day.  They're an easy team to graph because they don't draw out the big crowds, and are usually pretty accommodating when it comes to signing.

  • Alcides Escobar- 11 Topps
  • Tim Collins- 11 Topps RC (For Trade)
  • Louis Coleman- 11 Topps RC X2  (For Trade)
  • Luke Hochevar- 12 Topps
  • Aaron Crow- 12 Topps
  • Jeff Francoeur- 12 Gypsy Queen Glove Stories, 12 Allen & Ginter
  • Greg Holland- 12 Topps Heritage
  • Eric Hosmer- 12 Topps Gold Futures
  • Mike Moustakas- 12 Topps Gold Futures
  • Rex Hudler- Blank card

TTM Return: Ken Macha

  • Ken Macha 2/1- The former Brewers manager signed his 09 Topps card, as well as a protective index card from his home in Pennsylvania.  Sent 8/17 (10 days)

Angels @ Red Sox, 8/23

I thought I might get shut out for only the second time this season, but luckily I was able to get Torii Hunter at the last second before the game started.  I was only able to do pre-game inside the stadium, but Trout only signed 2 or 3 and Pujols only signed for people on the field.  Glad to get another card done for my set though, I still have quite a few I need to get done for the Angels.

On an unfortunate note, this also happened to be the last game in a Red Sox uniform for Adrian Gonzalez.  I also saw Youkilis in his final Red Sox appearance earlier this season.  I can't wait for this baseball season to end and hockey season to begin, it's going to be a rough winter if there's a lockout.

  • Torii Hunter- 09 Topps

Sunday, August 26, 2012

TTM Return: Luke Montz

  • Luke Montz 1/1- Minor league catcher Luke Montz signed his rookie card from the 09 Topps set.  He started out in the Nationals organization, but now plays for the Marlins at the AA level in his home state of Louisiana.  Sent 5/19 (94 days)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Angels @ Red Sox, 8/21

I stayed on the Red Sox side of the stadium today in hopes of getting some former Sox players or Bruins making appearances for the Jimmy Fund telethon.  I was also hoping to get a few Angels in the process, but I'll have another shot at them on Thursday when I go to the game.

  • Vernon Wells- 09 Topps
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 04 Bowman Heritage RC
  • Chris Iannetta- 10 T206
  • Ryan Sweeney- 11 Topps
  • Andrew Miller- 10 Upper Deck, 08 Topps (For Trade)
  • Pedro Ciriaco- 11 Topps RC (For Trade)
  • Bill Lee- Red Sox mini helmet
  • Shawn Thornton- Bruins backpack (forgot my pucks)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Futures at Fenway, 8/18

While my better half was back home for her bridal shower, I spent most of the day at Fenway taking in some minor league baseball.  I headed straight to the stadium after work, and made it right on time for the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox autograph signing.

They had the line split up between two tables, but fortunately you were able to pick which one you went down.  I opted for the Jose Iglesias- Daniel Bard line rather than the Ryan Kalish- Che Hsuan Lin line, mostly because I had more cards for Bard than anybody else.  The time frame for the auto session was only 45 minutes, but fortunately I was able to make it through towards the end before they cut off the line. For the guys I didn't have cards of, I had them sign the generic "I Met This Player at Fenway" 5X7 paper that they hand out to unprepared fools like me.

The doubleheader started with a game between the single-A affiliates of the Red Sox and Rays, the latter of which has former Sox pitcher Kyle Snyder as their pitching coach.  I was in a rush to get things together this morning, but I grabbed a DVD cover from the '07 World Series, the championship team that Snyder was a part of.  After the single-A game ended, I got Snyder to sign the cover over the dugout.  Then it was time for the AAA teams to take over.

I spent the rest of my time trying to get a few cards done for the Buffalo Bisons, the AAA affiliate of the Mets.  I didn't have a whole lot of cards for the team, but I got a few cards taken care of before sitting down to watch the game.  However, Chris Schwinden was nowhere to be found in uniform, even after the entire team was introduced on the field before the National Anthem.  Luckily, somebody else noticed him charting in the stands, so we waited until the game was over and got him.  We also noticed several scouts in the vicinity of Schwinden, so I was able to get J.P. Ricciardi on a blank as well.  It was a long day, but a good time.  And as a bonus, the entire event was Star Wars-themed, so my inner nerd was jumping for joy when Wally the Green Monster and Darth Vader had a lightsaber battle!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: 2012 Panini Triple Play

After Topps started releasing sticker sets for the MLB last season, it looks like Panini is trying to get in on the market for younger collectors, releasing Triple Play this year.  With 7 card packs going for just a dollar, there are definite pros and cons to this type of offering. 

First of all, don't plan on getting just cards in these packs.  There are also stickers and temporary tattoos interspersed amongst the regular baseball cards.

Second, don't plan on getting cards with any true likeness to the players.  In addition to not having official MLB licensing, all of the players are featured as caricatures and cartoons, some of which look like they were drawn from Disney drop-outs.  I've been waiting for this style of cards for a while, but it can be really hit-or-miss depending on the animation style used to design the players.

In addition to the stickers and tattoos, there are also a few insert sets. "Focus" features cards that are zoomed in on just the eyes of a player, making them look like a serial killer. "When I Was a Kid" has quotes from veterans talking about playing baseball when they were younger, and the artwork for these are by far the worst that Triple Play has to offer.  There is also a Hall of Fame set, which to my knowledge are the only cards in Triple Play that have realistic looking pictures of the players.  Additionally, there are 9-card puzzle pieces that feature the full picture on the front and 1/9 of the big picture on the back.  I'm pretty sure Donruss did something similar back in the 80's. 

My favorite part of these cards is the variety of background wallpapers for each team.  Of the cards that I pulled, I liked these the best:

Mariners- Anchors
Diamondbacks- Snake skin
Giants- Golden Gate Bridges
Rangers- State of Texas
Blue Jays- Maple leaves
Marlins- Palm trees

The Good.....

...The Bad, and the Ugly

TTM Return: Drew Pomeranz

After a three month break, I started getting back into TTM letter writing last week.  My first return since the hiatus came from Rockies pitcher Drew Pomeranz, who signed his rookie cards from the 2012 Topps and Gypsy Queen sets.  These cards highlight the laziness of Topps, using recycled photography from the base set and slapping it on the nicer Gypsy Queen set as well.  You would think that somebody in the photography department would have taken more than one picture of this guy at some point during the season.  Sent 8/8 (8 days)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2012 Allen & Ginter Make-Up Hit

Last month, I bought a box of 2012 Allen & Ginter, and was pretty disappointed when I discovered that I hadn't pulled an autograph in the box at all.  I contacted Topps and jumped through the required hoops necessary to get the missing hit replaced.  I received a package from the company a few weeks ago with a framed mini-card signed by Allen Craig.  Taking a look at the checklist of potential autographs in this set, I could have done much worse.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rangers @ Red Sox, 8/7

The graph squad was out in full force at Fenway today, as there were around 30 people out there for the Rangers this afternoon.  I didn't get any of the big guys, but I still got a few cards done.

  • Mike Adams- 12 Gypsy Queen
  • Matt Harrison- 12 Topps Heritage, 12 Topps
  • Mike Aviles- 11 Topps Heritage
  • Mitch Moreland- 11 Topps Heritage
  • Roy Oswalt- 09 Topps
  • Robbie Ross- 10 Topps Pro Debut
  • Craig Gentry- 12 Topps

Monday, August 6, 2012

Twins @ Red Sox, 8/4

I hurried down to Fenway after work on Saturday, but Morneau and Mauer had already arrived by the time I got there.  Fortunately, I didn't miss much, as neither of them signed.  By the time I arrived, there were only a few graphers around.  The heat made it pretty rough to wait around, so I only stayed down there for an hour.

  • Denard Span- 10 Allen & Ginter
  • Alex Burnett- 08 Bowman
  • Ben Revere- 12 Topps
  • Cody Ross- 09 Topps

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tigers @ Red Sox, 7/31 & 8/1

After a month-long hiatus, I did two days outside the stadium for the Tigers. No Prince, but it still felt good to be graphing again.


  • Rick Porcello- 09 Allen & Ginter RC
  • Brennan Boesch- 11 Topps
  • Quintin Berry- Tigers logo card
  • Omar Infante- 07 Topps
  • Delmon Young- 09 Topps
  • Max Scherzer- 10 Topps
  • Matt Albers- 09 OPeechee, first time I got him with the Red Sox. Five minutes later, I found out he was traded to the Dbacks.

Today (Spent most of my time on the Sox side):

  • Quintin Berry- Tiger Stadium card
  • Omar Infante- 12 Topps
  • Andrew Miller- 6/6 cards
  • Felix Doubront- 10 Topps RC
  • Adrian Gonzalez- 09 Topps

Rain started to come down right before Prince arrived, so he only signed the back of a kid's shirt and then walked in.
Next up: Twins on Saturday