Déjà Vu!

David K holds an awesome monthly giveaway on The Bench for cool AU or GU cards, and since a significant time had passed since my last win, I was eligible to play again. This past May I won once more!. Here was the prize:

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2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Light Blue Material Signature #16 Cal Ripken Jr. [18/35]

Excellent!!

I decided that my goal would be to sell it and use the proceeds to acquire one or more autograph cards of the Twins players I didn’t currently have yet. My LCS owner posted on eBay for several weeks, but only with so-so inquiries. Eventually he sold it to someone in-store, and with the cash from the deal, I purchased these beauties plus a few others I picked up on my own:

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clockwise, from top left: 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP205 Miguel Sano (auto); 2005 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Signature Red #54 Paul Molitor [44/49] (auto); 2016 Topps Stadium Club #SCA-MS Miguel Sano (auto); 2005 Fleer eX ConneXions #CDA-CK/JM Joe Mauer w/Casey Kotchman [22/50] (dual auto); 2011 Topps Triple Threads Unity Relics Gold #TTUSR-234 Justin Morneau [3/9] (jersey); 2015 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection Gold #CCR-JMA Joe Mauer [36/99] (jersey); 2005 Upper Deck SP Authentic #53 Joe Mauer [101/350] (auto); 2012 Topps Finest Refractor X-Fractor #AR-BD Brian Dozier [151/299] (auto)

I particularly wanted to procure the Sano RC AU, and the difficult Finest Dozier AU — his only certified one. Some other recent pickups below the break…

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Ft. Myers Spring Training IV

This post is way late due to photos lost from my phone, but I had a few that survived, so here goes…

On our yearly trip to Florida, Mo and I stayed again in Ft. Myers at the same Cornerstone Resort condo we were at last year. Thanks to construction along the main drag, Ft. Myers Beach traffic was even more traffic-er than before. Still…no snow, though. And this year, we were joined for a couple days by my (retired) co-worker Ted and his wife Dixie.

Apparently attending a spring training game had been on Ted’s bucket list, so I was looking forward to treating him to the March 8th Cardinals vs. Twins game. Unfortunately, it was a Twins split squad game, plus the first day of their minor league camp, so the practice fields normally bustling with the veterans and promising prospects were empty. Still, it was a beautiful day for a game, and we both had our teams on the field.

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Joe scores in the fourth

We had seats in the same location I’ve sat in the past trips to Hammond Stadium, which provided a great view of the field. The Cards went on to eventually win 5-3. We saw a little of everything, but we didn’t see Sano and Park homer, like in the other split squad game against Toronto in Dunedin.

One other disappointment with split squad games is the limited autograph opportunities. I did manage to catch one:

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backup catcher Juan Centeno’s autograph

When it all comes down to it, though, you can’t beat the beach.

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the view from our lanai

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The High School Jigsaw Puzzle Solution

Added a fourth Buffalo Games “talking jigsaw puzzle” lately (previous: The Office Building, The Fitness Center, The Beach). In summary, these puzzles require you to complete each of the 4×4 squares before you can then find their correct location based on the clues given in the various conversations and scenes on each one.

This new puzzle was The High School, which I smartly assembled on top of a glass table top allowing me to verify the results using the “congratulations” pattern on the back. The left side pieces were frustrating in that there were some which were virtually interchangeable (but not), but I enjoyed the challenge of the clever interior classroom pieces. Here is the final result, for posterity:

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solution — click to embiggen

At this point, I believe that the only two other Talking Jigsaw Puzzles are The Hospital and The City Hall.

The Beach Talking Jigsaw Puzzle Solution

Snagged a third Buffalo Games “talking jigsaw puzzle” the other day, to go with The Office Building and The Fitness Center puzzles that I already had. To recap, with these puzzles you need to complete each of the 4×4 squares before you can find their correct location based on the clues given by the various conversations and scenes on each one.

The newly acquired puzzle was The Beach, and again I assembled it on top of a glass table top so that I could verify the results using the “congratulations” pattern on the back. Along with the hot tub from The Fitness Center puzzle, there were a couple more sections here (volleyball net, lifeguard stand) which were larger than the standard 4×4 grouping. I found a two or three areas to be a bit misleading and a bit less than obvious, but otherwise this was as entertaining as the previous puzzles were to put together. Here is the final result, for posterity:

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solution — click to embiggen

New Twins HOF

Congrats to new Twins HOF inductees announcer John “Gordo” Gordon and outfielder Torii Hunter. Here are are few recent pickups of Twins HOF’ers (yes, I know, not yet Joe):

HOF1
clockwise, from top left: 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated Autograph Collection Harmon Killebrew (auto); 2014 Topps Five Star #FSA-RCA Rod Carew [108/149] (auto); 2004 Upper Deck Etchings Etched in Time Silver #ET-MA Joe Mauer [200/375] (auto); 2007 Upper Deck Spectrum Swatches Gold #SSW-TH Torii Hunter [64/75] (jersey); 2004 Upper Deck Awesome Honors #AH-HU Torii Hunter (jersey); 2004 Topps All-Star Stitches #ASG-EG Eddie Guardado (jersey); 2004 Fleer Hot Prospects MLB Hot Materials #HM/TH Torii Hunter [192/325] (jersey); 2002 Donruss Playoff Piece of the Game #POG-74 Rod Carew (bat)

…and some possible future Twins HOF players:

HOF2
clockwise, from top left: 2006 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Game Materials #UGM-JN Joe Nathan [06/50] (jersey); 2006 Upper Deck Artifacts AL/NL #AL-JN Joe Nathan [246/250] (jersey); 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Captured on Canvas #CC-MO Justin Morneau (jersey); 2005 Fleer Patchworks By the Numbers Die Cut #BTN-JS Johan Santana [087/199] (jersey); 2005 Donruss Leaf Certified Materials #71 Johan Santana [166/250] (jersey); 2005 Upper Deck Artifacts MLB Apparel Rainbow #MLB-JJ Jacques Jones [67/99] (jersey); 2005 Upper Deck MVP Jersey #GU-JS Johan Santana (jersey); 2009 Upper Deck SPx Winning Materials #WM-JM Justin Morneau (jersey)

The Fitness Center Talking Jigsaw Puzzle Solution

After the entertainment we got from putting together The Office Building by Buffalo Games, I decided to see if I could pick up one of the other “talking jigsaw puzzles”, and managed to find a reasonably priced Fitness Center (paired with another of The Office Building, which I gifted to my AZ nieces and nephew). Again, not only do you need to assemble each of the 4×4 fitness center workout spaces correctly, but you then must place each one in the correct spot based on clues given by the conversations on the puzzle.

This time around, I did assemble it on a glass table to easily determine if I had the correct results — I found this puzzle was a little ambiguous in a couple locations, unlike the last one. I didn’t check if the answer was posted anywhere on the web — here it is anyway:

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solution — click to embiggen

I was surprised that these are such collectors items. They came out in the early ’90s, from the looks of it. I’ll keep monitoring for any of the others to be offered at anything resembling affordable. Stay tuned!

The Office Building Talking Jigsaw Puzzle Solution

One of the items I laid out for the Snow Day Party we hosted was a fun puzzle that we’d enjoyed working on one time in the past, The Office Building “Talking Puzzle” by Buffalo Games. Not only do you need to assemble each of the office rooms/windows correctly, but you then must place each window in the correct spot based on clues given by the conversations on the puzzle. It’s a fun challenge.

Unfortunately, unless assembled on a glass table or checked frequently on the underside pattern on the pieces, it is difficult to determine if the correct results were obtained. I was surprised that no solution could be found on the web, so I’m resolving that shortcoming here:

puzzle
solution — click to embiggen