Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Eyes Have It

The hazel eyes of Lonestarr, that is. The proprietor of Behind These Hazel Eyes contacted me about the Cubs trade bait post from a while back, and for a couple relic cards and some other Cubs paraphernalia, I became the recipient of a Twins team dump. Well, and some other nice cards I needed, too — among them my first Twin from the Pack Wars set, first Sweet Spot Update card, first Fleer Legacy card, a couple autos (“The Real Deal” Durbin!!1!), and several TriStar cards (including a Ben Revere parallel #’d to 50). I don’t actively collect Twins minor league cards, but I also don’t turn them down.

clockwise, from top left: 2004 Fleer Legacy #52 Joe Mauer; 2007 Upper Deck Future Stars Clear Path to Greatness #150 Garrett Jones; 2008 TriStar Projections Green #110 Ben Revere [40/50]; 2004 Donruss Studio Private Signings #110 J.D. Durbin [134/250], “The Real Deal”

One of these cards is not like the other…

clockwise, from top left: 2009 Upper Deck Generation Now #GN28 Joe Mauer; 2008 Upper Deck SP Authentic #MM-45 Joe Mauer (w/Sabathia); 2006 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Update #54 Torii Hunter; 2005 Topps Pack Wars #24 Joe Mauer

Thanks for the trade, Lonestarr! Keep your (hazel) eyes open for any other Twins cards in the future.


CSI: McLean (VA)

McLean, Virginia that is, headquarters of USA Today, the publishers of the former Baseball Weekly, where this week’s Detective Work photo was found. I loved this one when I saw it the first time, and clipped it for posterity.

photo credit: Baseball Weekly

What can we find out about this particular photo? These are some things I can tell you up front:
1) it’s Chuck Knoblauch making the acrobatic play (duh)
2) Twins are wearing their road pinstripes
3) from the stats on the back of the photo’s page: Knoblauch had played in 93 games (with an OPS of .846) by that point in the season

Well, the gang from WGOM again took to the challenge (once more led by a bored Andrew) and ran with this one, and here’s what they decided:
– based on the outfield scoreboard, pitcher #37 of Montreal was taking on pitcher #29 of Atlanta; the Expos have 0 runs in the 3rd inning
– John Smoltz wore #29 for the Braves; #37 is Pedro Martinez. This game is in 1994.
– on July 25th, the two faced each other in Atlanta (this game) while the Twins played in Texas
– of the two ground balls to Knoblauch that game, the best candidate is an Ivan Rodriguez offering to Knobby’s right in the 3rd inning. Both games started at the same time, so the matching innings are a good fit.
– 2nd base ump is Terry Craft, while Pedro Munoz watches on from left field.

There you go — Knoblauch is making great throw to Jeff Reboulet (?!) to nip Pudge at first in a Twins’ loss at Texas on 7/25/1994. And a ‘roided up Canseco hit his 27th homer in the game.

The Ol’ Quick One-Two

The other two trade packages to arrive (both from Braves collectors) while I was away were both of the 1-or-2 card variety. One package was from Derek at Tomahawk Chopping – Cardboard & More, and contained a Santana Ultimate Collection card he had on a trade bait post that I swapped for some Chippers — bonus points for being the first Twin from that set for me. The second package was from Colbey at Cardboard Collections, and had an O-Pee-Chee box bottom and a Diamond Anniversary Platinum card he exchanged for some 2011 shiny — bonus points for him for knocking out an early 1990’s card and for first of the 2011 sparklies.

clockwise, from top: 1992 O-Pee-Chee box bottom 1991 World Series Celebration; 2006 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection #53 Johan Santana [757/799]; 2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Platinum #293 Justin Morneau

Thanks for the trade, first-timer Derek and long-timer Colbey!

A Heavenly Trade

Got a lot of trades in the works lately, and packages seem to arrive en masse when I’m on my Omaha business trips. I joke with Mo that she needs to take a shipping dolly out to the mailbox with her to schlep them all back to the house. Well, this past trip was no different (except that it didn’t blizzard in Omaha while I was there!) — here is the first package that came in:

The LCS had a Rickie Weeks relic card, and I noticed that Cameron at Cardboard Heaven had Weeks in his PC list, so I contacted him about a trade. Cameron responded favorably, and had several nice Twins cards to trade, so I expanded my offering to include some Gwynn cards and others. On his end, he sent several Bowman cards from my wantlists, a nice Mauer and Carew card (I grew up idolizing Carew), and some SP Rookie Edition cards:

clockwise, from top left: 2007 SP Rookie Edition Autograph #134 Alexi Casilla; 2007 SP Rookie Edition #176 Alexi Casilla; 2007 SP Rookie Edition #105 Kevin Slowey; 2007 SP Rookie Edition #134 Alexi Casilla

BTW, am I the only one confused by Bowman? Not only do I have problems telling one year from the next, but what’s up with Bowman Prospects, Bowman Draft Picks, Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects, Bowman IDK WTF?

clockwise, from top left: 2002 Topps Gallery #186 Joe Mauer; 2009 SP Legendary Cuts #106 Rod Carew [345/550]; 2006 Topps Chrome Xfractor #113 Torii Hunter; 2010 Topps Bowman Gold #34 Michael Cuddyer

Thanks again, Cameron!

Shiny Happy Runner

The Don, Wicked Ortega, took me up on the Mets trade bait post a while back and traded for some vintage cards. His return package had a slew of colorful shiny in it from my wantlists (Topps, Heritage, & Bowman chrome, Topps Archives Reserve, etc), but in an about face, I’m going to feature the non-shiny cards that he sent:

clockwise, from top left: 2006 Upper Deck Diamond Collection Gold #DC-SS Shannon Stewart [454/699]; 2004 Donruss Playoff Prime Cuts #39 Shannon Stewart [376/699]; 2009 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection #33 Francisco Liriano [563/599]; 2001 Topps American Pie Decade Leaders #DL2 Harmon Killebrew

Thanks, Wicked!

(Note: Wicked’s old blog has moved — it’s now here.)

Something From Dad, And A Cautionary Tale

[my cautionary tale follows the break at the bottom]

Baseball Dad (from All Tribe Baseball) and I have been toying with a trade for many months now, only to be thwarted by computer troubles, family events, natural disasters, riots, a National League World Series winner…you name it. Well, BD got fed up and finally just sent me some cards (your cards are on their way, btw!). It was a great mix of this-and-that — here are a few of them:

clockwise, from top left: 1997 Score Hobby Reserve #394 Matt Lawton; 2001 Topps Noteworthy #TN46 Harmon Killebrew; 2001 Topps American Pie #45 Jim Kaat; 2010 Bowman Platinum Prospects Purple Refractor #PP20 Kyle Gibson

Hopefully as we further sort through our cards, we can continue to swap cards with each other; we AL Central types have to stick together, you know.

clockwise, from top left: 2005 Donruss Champions #362 Tony Oliva; 2004 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallion #277 Lew Ford; 2010 EnterPlay Fan Pak fanTats #T15 Twins logo; 2004 Topps Archives All-Star Fan Favorites #116 Roy Smalley

Continue reading

“Fusion Friday Random 10 for $200, Alex”

Hats off to IBM’s Watson computer for kicking some royal Jeopardy! butt this week.  This weeks’ 10 random tracks are from Live365 using “fusion” as the genre search:

  1. “Leeward Winds” – Billy Cobham, Magic
  2. “(It’s Just) Talk” – Pat Metheny Group, Still Life (Talking)
  3. “Mirage” – Jean Luc Ponty, The Very Best of Jean Luc Ponty
  4. 68” – Lee Ritenour, 6 String Theory
  5. “Five G” – Bill Bruford, One of a Kind
  6. Tell Me” – Chad Wackerman, Forty Reasons
  7. “Swarming Goblets” – Brett Garsed, Uncle Moe’s Space Ranch
  8. “The Thinking Stone” – Planet X, Quantum
  9. “Silly Putty” – Stanley Clarke, Journey to Love
  10. “Gazelle” – Lenny White, Anomaly

NCIS: Duryea, PA [2011 Topps]

This has got to be one of the best card photos from 2011 Topps series 1:

2011 Topps #181 Magglio Ordonez

I pulled this from the four rack packs I picked up last weekend. What can we find out about this particular photo?

Well, a three things immediately jumped out at me:
1) it’s at Target Field in Minneapolis
2) it’s a day game
3) it is not Joe Mauer behind the plate
The lack of “knee blocks” behind the catcher’s knees was the giveaway to me that this was a backup catcher. Gardy likes to use a backup on day games following night games, so this is consistent, too.

Well, the gang at WGOM has taken the investigation further. To summarize:
– the Twins played the Tigers in only two day games at Target Field, May 5th and June 30th
– it’s not Jose Morales catching; he uses a hockey-type mask
– it’s not Wilson Ramos catching; he uses an UnderArmor chest protector; here he is on May 5th
– the mystery catcher is Drew Butera! “Butters” caught the June 30th game; here he is that day
– umpire is #52, Bill Welke
– the Twins won by a 5-1 score; Slowey gets his 8th win, and Morneau his 16th HR

Andrew and everyone, you’re dogs with a bone on this one — way to go. And judging from the photo, it looks like Magglio got under it and pulled it to left, which (assuming it’s not a foul ball) means it was his single in the 4th inning. Here’s another photo of that AB (from ESPN):

PS: if you really want to see Mauer on a 2011 Topps card (he’s scheduled for series 2) I suggest this one.