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Random Awesomeness (part 2019.11)

Random Awesomeness


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I love antiquing, but these aren’t antiques

I visited one of our local antique malls Thursday night, and I went straight to the baseball card booth. I’ve shopped here on several occasions and have scored some very nice items, both for myself and for friends. Of course, my focus is Reds cards, but I don’t limit myself if I see something that I really like, even if it doesn’t quite fit into my collection.

Bruuuuuuuce

Generally speaking, I don’t collect minor league cards. More accurately, I don’t seek them out. But when an opportunity arises to grab an early Jay Bruce card at a low price, I’m on it. There were 11 cards in this pack of 2007 Choice Dayton Dragons cards; there were 33 total cards issued in 2007. I’m assuming these were a stadium giveaway in three waves, but I don’t know for sure.

Bruce back

The pack also included Drew Stubbs, Chris Heisey, and several other players I don’t remember at all. The Dragons’ mascot also had a card in the set, and I love mascots.

Heater

I’ve added these cards to my 2007 checklist, and wouldn’t hate it if I stumbled across the final 22 cards in the set for the right price. But I’m not holding my breath, and I’m not seeking them out.

Fun Cards: 2019 ex-Reds, 1987 Topps football style: Jay Bruce

Bruce

How about a little #TBT with Jay Bruce, former right fielder for your Cincinnati Reds? The Cincy fan favorite was traded to the Mets in 2016, then to Cleveland in 2017. He returned to the Mets in 2018, who then traded him again to Seattle. For some reason, I don’t think the Mets really want the guy. The Mariners have been using him quite a bit at first base so far this season, which is really cool to see. I remember when Joey Votto was hurt several years ago, Bruce volunteered to play first even though he hadn’t been there since high school. That’s called putting the team first.

If I made a baseball card set called “Opening Day”…

It would look a lot like the 1987 Donruss “Opening Day” set. Not design-wise, but concept-wise. It would feature only the starters from Opening Day, perhaps the manager or mascot as well. It would (if possible) feature photos from Opening Day. I would definitely avoid using the same photo as used in the flagship set. Thirty teams, ten cards per team…a nice 300-card set featuring the starting lineup for each team.

Ichiro

The Mariners and A’s played the first game of the 2019 season early Wednesday morning in Japan. Well, it wasn’t early in Japan, but it was early here in the States. 5:30 a.m. Eastern time. I was able to watch the first inning and a half before my shift at work ended.

The Mariners Blog posted a bunch of fantastic photos, and I converted several of them into “fun cards.” The only player omitted from that post was Jay Bruce, but I was able to find a photo for him from an exhibition game played earlier in Japan.

The Mariners starting lineup was Bruce (1B), Dee Gordon (2B), Ryon Healy (3B), Tim Beckham (SS), Ichiro Suzuki (RF), Mitch Haniger (CF), Domingo Santana (LF), Omar Narvaez (C), Marco Gonzalez (P), and Edwin Encarnacion (DH). Scott Servais is the manager.

Bruce 1B

Gordon 2B

Healy 3B

Beckham SS

Haniger CF

Santana LF

Narvaez C

Gonzalez SP

Edwin DH

Servais MGR

It was not as easy finding photos on the A’s side. I’m sure there is a good blog that posted nice photos, but I didn’t spend a lot of time searching. I did find enough from the game on Twitter and Google to make five players and the manager. The A’s starting lineup was Matt Olson (1B), Jurickson Profar (2B), Matt Chapman (3B), Marcus Semien (SS), Stephen Piscotty (RF), Ramon Laureano (CF), Chad Pinder (LF), Nick Hundley (C), Mike Fiers (P), and Khris Davis (DH). They are managed by Bob Melvin.

Chapman 3B

Piscotty RF

Hundley C

Fiers P

Davis DH

Melvin MGR

This design has a definite 2007 Fleer flavor to them. Not what I was going for, but I don’t hate it. It may be a little too similar to other designs I have made in the past though.

I plan to make a few of these for the Reds as I find good photos from Opening Day. If other teams post some good pics on Twitter, I may do a few non-Reds as well. Is there anyone you would like to see in this design (assuming, of course, they are in the starting lineup next Thursday)?

I’m trying to think of something nice to say about the Cleveland Indians

Sorry, I can’t come up with anything at all.

At least they have some fans that are willing to trade stacks of Reds for stacks of Indians. Last week I was introduced to @cjbosu2000 on Twitter, and we agreed to a blind trade. I shipped a padded envelope of Tribe up his way, and he sent some Reds south…

Reds cards

Most of the cards were very modern, but there were a handful of junk cards, including this needed Chris Hammond card…

Hammond

I was a big Hammond fan back in the day. I was certain he was the next big thing and “invested” in a stack of his Upper Deck rookie cards. Fortunately, my investment was small to begin with, so I didn’t lose that much. This Leaf card is one that I never got a hold of, though, so it’s nice to add it to my collection.

Most people in the blogosphere don’t care about those ancient junk wax cards, though. You monsters just want to see the shiny stuff. So take a look at these goodies from 2016, all of which I think will be new to my binders…

Platinum Votto

2016 Bowman Platinum Joey Votto

DK Frazier

2016 Panini Diamond Kings Todd Frazier

Archives Bruce

2016 Topps Archives Jay Bruce

Heritage Iglesias

2016 Topps Heritage Raisel Iglesias

Then, moving into 2017…

DK Votto

2017 Panini Diamond Kings Votto

Optic Votto DK

2017 Panini/Donruss Optic Diamond Kings Votto (purple parallel)

2017 A&G Larkin

2017 Topps Allen & Ginter Barry Larkin

2017 Fire Duvall

2017 Topps Fire Adam Duvall

2017 Gallery Finnegan

2017 Topps Gallery Brandon Finnegan (Maybe canvas parallel? Need clarifcation on these.)

2017 Heritage Storen

2017 Topps Heritage Drew Storen

2017 Opening Day Finnegan

2017 Topps Opening Day Finnegan

There were so many great cards in this package. Chuck has definitely earned a spot on my permanent “send his favorite team’s stuff to him when I get it” list. Thanks for the Reds goodies, Chuck!

All the way from Stockton, California…

reds cards

Twitter is such a phenomenal tool for baseball card collectors. There is no chance Brian Bice and I would have ever connected without Twitter, but because of Twitter I was able to make my card collection a little less green and he made his a little less red. The package Brian sent was filled with Bowman from the past few years, which is awesome because I almost never buy Bowman for myself.

One of my favorite Reds players right now is Amir Garrett. I’ve been a fan ever since he was drafted, and I expect huge things from him this year on the mound. He had a rough rookie season, but the dude is an superb athlete and I have little doubt he will turn it around. All-Star appearance in 2018? We’ll see!

Garrett Platinum

There are some things I don’t really like about Bowman cards, though. The first is the whole “RC” mess. If a guy is in a major league uniform, to me, that’s a rookie card. Garrett had cards in 2015 and 2016 Bowman, but his rookie cards are in 2017 products, like this Topps Heritage card:

Heritage Garrett

Another thing I don’t like about Bowman is the sameness of the design. The two cards below come from two separate sets, if I understand correctly.

Prospects Garrett

Draft Garrett

I’m not exactly sure which is which without looking at the card number, because the design isn’t just similar, it’s exactly the same. Photo variations within the same set are annoying, but when two sets use the same design but different photos…that drives me nuts.

Now if you wait 25 or 50 years to recreate a design, to pay homage to it, I’m fine with that. I love Heritage. I also love Topps Archives, and Brian threw a 2015 Archives card in the trade package that I didn’t even have on my wantlists yet:

Bruuuuuuuuuuce

I miss Jay Bruce. I have probably already said that I hope he does fantastic in New York, but it’s worth repeating. I hope he does fantastic in New York. I want Bruce to go to the All-Star Game, and eventually the Hall of Fame. Longshot? Yeah. Stranger things have happened, haven’t they?

The package included a lot of other goodies, from Heritage to Bowman to Stadium Club and more. And of course, what’s a trade package without some junk wax?

junk reds

I have most of these cards already, but doubles are great for TTM requests.

Thanks for the great trade Brian!

I Remember You…or do I?

Does anyone remember the old “Memory” game? We love to reminisce about days gone by, recalling the good old days while looking at childhood photos…what year was that taken? Memory plays a big part in music as well. Metallica, “The Memory Remains.” The Ramones, “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?” Aerosmith, “Remember (Walking in the Sand).” And one of my all-time favorites: Skid Row, “I Remember You.”

When it comes to wantlists, how reliable is a 42-year old brain? I was in Pigeon Forge last week and stopped by The Dugout. Lots of graded cards (of no interest to me), overpriced wax boxes ($20 for 1988 Donruss? No thanks!), and new product in packs (didn’t even look at the prices because I really don’t care). I asked if he had any dime or quarter boxes…nope. He offered a few Reds boxes to look through, $1 and up a card or 6 for $5. I looked, and hesitantly picked out six cards. Did I need them? Let’s find out!

We’ll start with the newest first, because that is freshest in my mind.

2017 Stadium Club Billy Hamilton

Hamilton

Awesome photo, action shot, but do I need it? This card was all over the blogs and Twitter last year, so I know I’ve seen it before. But have I ever seen it in person? Is it already in one of my binders? Survey says: NEEDED IT! 1-for-1 so far…

2016 Topps Update Jay Bruce All-Star

Bruuuuuuuuuuce

I miss Jay Bruce. He was fun to watch and willing to do whatever the team needed to win games. A three-time All-Star for the Reds, and hopefully he will make a few more Midsummer Classics as a Mets outfielder. I like the guy. But do I need this card? YUP. 2-for-2. Awesome.

2013 Topps Allen & Ginter Johnny Cueto Across the Years

Cueto

Another former Reds player, another guy I hope has grand success in San Francisco (just not against the Reds). One of five Cincinnati hurlers to finish second in Cy Young Award voting. We’re getting into fuzzy memory territory here, but I don’t remember these “Across the Years” cards at all. Checking the wantlist…and I don’t have any of the six “Across the Years” cards featuring Reds players. So we’re now 3/3.

1989 Swell Joe Adcock

Adcock

I debated putting this card back, or informing the shop owner that I didn’t think he was wearing a Reds uniform. You see, the Cleveland Indians also utilized the wishbone “C” in their logo for a few years. More than a few years, actually. According to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Indians page, that wishbone was a part of the Indians’ identity from 1933-1941, and again from 1954-1972. Adcock played for the Tribe in 1963, and that small bit of the jersey logo looks to me like the tip of Chief Wahoo’s feather. But he played for the Reds from 1950-1952, and Cincinnati used blue in their color scheme during those years. I’m leaning toward Indians here, as this card isn’t even on my wantlists in the first place.

I don’t care. I’m counting it. 4/4. Not bad, but there are two more cards to go…

1966 Topps Dom Zanni

Zammi

I love this guy’s name, and I know I have a card or two of his. But do I have this one? Checking the wantlist…already had it. 4/5.

1965 Topps Jimmie Coker

Coker

The last of the six cards from the card shop, and I’m pretty sure I had this card, but I wasn’t positive, so I went for it. Checking my wantlist, and I’m so glad I didn’t trust my memory on this one…NEEDED IT. This is only my third 1965 Reds card, joining Jim O’Toole and Steve Boros. So the trip to The Dugout was a success, picking up five needs and only one double. Sweet!

Happy Reds birthday, Jay Bruce!

Bruce

April 3, 1987

A first-round pick in 2005, Jay Bruce has hit at least 20 home runs in each of his big league seasons, except 2014. The right fielder’s 241 career home runs rank him 20th among active players. The Reds dumped his contract in August last year, trading the two-time Silver Slugging All-Star to the Mets for Dilson Herrera and minor leaguer Max Wotell.

There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?

Don’t you just love it when old friends come home?

On July 31, 2015, Jim (better known as GCRL to many in the baseball card blogging community) made his final post on the Garvey Cey Russell Lopes blog. He had been an active blogger since September, 2008, and was a great trading partner. He continued trading after his blog went silent, but his wit has certainly been missed.

But not for much longer…

FrankenDodger

Mr. GCRL is returning in May with a brand new blog called FrankenDodger. I’m no Dodger fan, but I am a GCRL fan, so I will be following the new blog, and I can’t wait for the first official post.

To hold me over, Jim sent some Reds cards my way. A brand new card of the dearly departed Todd Frazier

Fraz

Some sticky non-cards of a former Red (Aroldis Chapman) and a maybe-soon-to-be-former Red (Jay Bruce)…

Topps stickers

A 19-year old card of Jeff Brantley, one of the Reds’ current announcers that I can’t stand to hear…

Brantley

Now, some of you young whipper snappers may not think getting a 19-year old card is all that special. But consider this: I started collecting in 1985. To get a 19-year old card then—a 1966 card—would have been something pretty spectacular. To get a 27-year old card would have been nearly unthinkable. I mean, 1958? That’s what dreams were made of…

Jim helped make my dreams come true, many years later. That’s not just a 27-year old card, man. That’s a 58-year old card, man! This Johnny Temple All-Star is my very first 1958 Topps Reds card. It’s not the oldest card in my collection, but it’s older than me!

I’m very happy to have these cards (and stickers) in my collection. I still haven’t had time to update the wantlists, but I will soon. Thanks Jim!

All smiles on Opening Day

Smiles

A stack of random Reds arrived in my mailbox today from the Night Owl…a perfect way to start the season. Well, a win plus baseball cards would be the perfect way. Night Owl and the Reds just worked together and made my day today.

Opening Day is a holiday in Cincinnati. I didn’t have to work today, but didn’t feel like going down to the park for the game. I’ve been watching a few innings here and there of some out-of-market games, and have listened to some of the Reds-Phillies broadcast, and I’m enjoying it all in my comfortable recliner.

I also enjoyed going through some of the cards that Greg sent. In addition to the Brandon Phillips, Mariano Duncan, Ted Power, and Chris Sabo cards above, Greg delivered Joey Votto, Zack Cozart, Jay Bruce, Rob Dibble, and more.

Votto

Cozart

Cozart

Bruce

Dibble

Reds

Thank you for the cards Greg! And now, if I could just find some time to update my wantlists

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