Category Archives: baseball

Two Time Loser

Just this week, a package arrived from Madding at Cards on Cards with the booby prize for worst place in his most recent college bowl game pick ‘em contest. This is the second time I’ve come in last; should have had a third time last year but I was foiled saved on the last game of the bowl season. But this time the prize package had no junk cards thrown in! Pity, maybe?

I’d feel bad if I was intentionally attempting to lose, but really, I’m not. My strategy has pretty much been PICK: B1G conference teams, Mizzou, UCLA; PICK AGAINST: USC, Notre Dame, SEC conference — any other match-ups are picked on my whim. For the most part, B1G teams have made this acceptance speech possible.

couple AU, couple chrome, and some s/# cards

Very nice pile — thanks again, Madding!

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I don’t play favorites with my nephews, but that doesn’t keep Dima from trying!
Thanks, Dima — you’re definitely da man!

Twins Gameday Graphics for 2014 Season

Sixth year for my tradition of posting various graphics to be used in the WGOM Twins’ game logs this season. These are available on top of pertinent graphics from previous seasons.

This list is under construction thanks to the new ballplayers and memes as the season progresses. First are the strikeout thumbnails for the new pitchers:

Ricky Nolasco:
nolasco K nolasco backwards K

Kyle Gibson:
gibson K gibson backwards K

Phil Hughes:
hughes K hughes backwards K

And various miscellaneous…



NCIS: Carlsbad, CA [1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice]

Don your detective hats — it’s time to track down the play. Once again Chuck Knoblauch is at the heart of it:

1995 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice #490 Chuck Knoblauch

This game tends to favor the middle infielders, and Chuck is an acrobatic favorite of the card companies. So, we need to know if we can tell which play this was — what do we know from the photo?

1) Day game, so it’s not at the Metrodome
2) Chad Curtis sliding into second; looks to be Pat Meares in the background
3) it’s a 1995 card, so this play was most likely from the 1994 season

WGOM Citizens continue to tackle these puzzles with gusto:
- Curtis was an Angel in ’94, and the Twins played three games in the Big A, in the beginning of June. First two are night games, and neither are good prospects.
- The third of the three games was a getaway day game. Curtis reached second twice: once on a SB, and once on a inning ending force out. Okay, I guess on a 6-4 force play he didn’t technically reach second.
- based on the position of Meares (backing up second instead of backing up the third baseman fielding the ball) and Knoblauch’s positioning, it sure looks more like a high throw on a stealing attempt than a toss from the shortstop.

With one out and a one run lead already in the bottom of the first, Chad Curtis successfully steals second on a high throw from Matt Walbeck. The Twins would mount a futile rally in the 9th but come up short, 5-4, with Jim Deshaies taking the loss.

Case solved!

CSI: Duryea, PA [2009 Topps Update & Highlights]

More detective work! Topps in 2009 sets the scene for us:

2009 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH126 Matt Tolbert

Matt Tolbert’s card showed up as an afterthought in the Updates & Highlights set; can we identify exactly when this play took place?

Well, here are some clues:
1) Gabe Kapler is barrelling into second
2) appears to be an indoor ballgame, in 2008 or maybe early 2009 since this is from an update set
3) Matt’s probably the shortstop, and it looks like a DP attempt

The guys at WGOM took it and ran. They discovered:
- In 2008, Gabe Kapler was a Brewer and played in uniform #33, so this is definitely an early season 2009 game against the Rays at The Trop.
- Gabe Kapler played in three home games versus the Twins. On May 29, Kapler’s only AB is a walk followed by a caught stealing.
- May 31, Tolbert isn’t in the lineup. That leaves…
- …May 30th, when Tolbert comes in as a replacement at short in the 4th inning. Kapler immediately walks, then is forced out in a 4-5-3. Kapler doesn’t reach base the rest of the game.

The Twins lose 5-2, Francisco Liriano picks up his seventh loss against two wins, and Joe Mauer’s only hit is a double, lowering his BA to a miserable .414 — booooo!

A’s For Effort

Earlier this week I received an email from Ron at NYBBNUTT’s Baseball Card Trading Page. It’s always a treat to hear from traders I haven’t communicated with for quite a while. Like me, Ron’s also been active on The Bench, but I hadn’t traded with him for 2-½ years. He informed me that he had a package that was on its way to me, and wished me Happy New Year’s.

The package arrived in short order, and in it were a couple dozen Twins from my wantlist. There was a little of everything, so I could appreciate that he’d done some serious digging. They weren’t just base cards; several were parallels (Bowman Gold, Ultra Gold Medallion), and ones that were base cards weren’t the typical flagship sets. For example:

clockwise, from top left: 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks #BDP155 Justin Morneau; 2000 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallion #181G Brad Radke; 1996 Pinnacle Aficionado Artist Proof #184 Matt Lawton; 1998 Topps Stars #6 David Ortiz [4835/9799]; 2003 Bowman Gold #265 Jose Morales; 1987 Sportflics #81 Bert Blyleven; 2000 Topps Stars #148 B.J. Garbe; 1999 Upper Deck SPx Bronze #SPX31 Paul Molitor

Wait — let’s look a little closer…


The Aficionado card was an Artist Proof — very nice. Initially I wasn’t impressed with the Sportflics, but casually checked the copyright date on the back…! Sure enough, it was a factory set card and had a 1987 copyright, instead of the 1986 copyright that the typical 1987 Sportflics cards will sport. I don’t know that they’re worth any more, or even if people (other than me) are looking for them, but I’ve known about them for almost 25 years and this is the first I’ve seen.

So, what to send back in return? Well, I know he collects Topps, but he slyly seems to be leaving it up to me what the contents of the package might look like. To quote SNL, “Oh, I’ll play your game, you rogue!” That post title might be a hint.

Perk And Friends

Throughout this past year I’ve scoured trade bait posts, The Bench, my LCS, and eBay for reasonably priced Twins AU/GU, and Glen Perkins has extended his commanding card count lead to 46 unique autographed cards in my collection (would have been 47 if some sellers knew at least the basics of how to properly ship cards :( ) — here are the latest pickups:

clockwise, from top: 2005 Topps Traded & Rookies Signature Moves #SM-GP Glen Perkins [245/275] (auto); 2007 Topps Co-Signers Silver Red #117 Glen Perkins [102/175] (auto); 2009 Upper Deck Inkredible #INK-PE Glen Perkins (auto); 2007 Upper Deck Artifacts Autofacts #AU-GP Glen Perkins (auto); 2007 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Rookie Signatures #119 Glen Perkins [004/299] (auto); 2007 Topps Co-Signers Red #117 Glen Perkins [171/275] (auto); 2007 Topps Co-Signers Blue #117 Glen Perkins [160/225] (auto)

And here are some nice Twins GU plus a first-time Twins autograph for Luis Tiant:

auto-relic 53
clockwise, from top left: 2013 Topps Five Star #FSBA-PMO Paul Molitor [282/386] (auto); 2005 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Lasting Legends #LL-RC Rod Carew (jersey); 2005 Donruss Signature Series Silver #70 Kent Hrbek (auto); 2005 Upper Deck Artifacts AL Artifacts #AL-KH Kent Hrbek [175/325] (jersey); 2013 Topps Update All-Star Stitches #ASR-JMA Joe Mauer (jersey); 2005 Upper Deck Classics Classic Moments #CM-JM Jack Morris (jersey); 2007 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Masterful Material #MM-KP Kirby Puckett (jersey); 2005 Upper Deck Ultimate Signature Signature Decades #SD-LT Luis Tiant (auto)

Hope your 2014 collecting year is a great one!

The Diamond King Puts Away The Shotgun

I’m not a fan of shotgun trades, as I have quite a slew of Twins dupes piled around here gathering dust. When Kevin The Diamond King contacted me, though, he had two cards in mind to trade — a couple of this year’s Heritage Real Ones autograph cards. Thankfully he identified several cards from my trade bait page that I could send in return. I was surprised to find the other cards below also in the package (as well as several more); turns out Kevin is like me in that we believe cards don’t travel well in small numbers ;)

clockwise, from top left: 2013 Topps Heritage Real One #DOA-BD Bill Dailey (auto); 2013 Topps Heritage Real One #DOA-BF Bill Fisher (auto); 1993 Topps Stadium Club 1st Day Issue #10 Gary Wayne; 2003 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection #92 Michael Nakamura [361/625]; 2005 Upper Deck First Pitch #325 Johan Santana / Joe Mauer; 2006 Upper Deck Gold #695 Tony Bautista [218/299]; 2000 Pacific Omega Gold #82 Jacque Jones [116/120]

Thanks for creating this great trade, TDK!