Category Archives: baseball

NCIS: Carlsbad, CA [2003 Upper Deck]

It’s been a while for one of these mystery plays; here’s one from a while back in honor of David Ortiz’s retirement:

csi-ortiz
2003 Upper Deck #114 David Ortiz

Is he out? Safe?? Well, hopefully we can find out by nailing down exactly when this play occurred — what can we tell from the photo?

1) Day game with away uniform — it’s not the Metrodome
2) they’re wearing their long sleeves, so cool weather
3) being it’s a 2003 card, it should be a 2002 ballgame

I originally put this together for the good Citizens at WGOM for pledge week, and (like always) they were very up to the task:
– there was some debate about the visiting team uniform. Initial thoughts were Milwaukee and then Seattle, but with the very short (non-existent?) sleeves, it was suggested it was Cleveland’s pixie vests
– the backdrop (what little is showing, out of focus) is not a bad match for Jacob’s Field
– The first inning of the April 8th game ended with Ortiz trying (and failing) to score from second on a line drive to center of the bat of Dustan Mohr. Einar Diaz applied the tag.

Despite the Twins scoring two in the first, the Indians respond with three in the bottom of the inning, and went on to win 9-5 putting the Twins a game back in the AL Central race. The game was played in front of a full stadium in less than three hours, which was good as the 55° temperature at game time was no doubt falling.

The best part? We even found an image of the play from a different angle. You can see part of Cristian Guzman in the background, who scored just ahead of Ortiz.

Case solved!

(Above) Average Joe

Whenever I see your smiling face
I have to smile myself
Because I love you

Your Smiling Face” – James Taylor

joe
2002 Bowman Heritage #BHA-JM Joe Mauer (auto)

I luckily managed to find one of Joe’s rookie year autograph cards on The Bay at a price well below the normal going price there. Even though it was poorly categorized and hidden among all the other cards listed on eBay, when I stumbled upon it I recognized it for the card that it is. Welcome home, Rookie Joe!

Some more acquisitions below the break…
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“Supercollector” Revisited

In the past roughly year or so, I’ve added several more hard-to-find cards (including another printing plate) to the Brett Graves Project, but before I talk about that…congratulations on your wedding day, Brett!

Brett just finished his season with Oakland’s high-A Stockton Ports. To the best of my knowledge, I have all of Brett’s cards aside from one #/10 card, three #/5 cards, and several uniques. There is currently a #/5 red chrome refractor on eBay that has been listed (way overpriced) for many months; sorry, not going to go there.

Bretts
a rainbow page of 2015 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs #BCAP-BG

Some additional Twins pickups — a few new, and a few old…
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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:

cal
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:

Scan
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.

Joe
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:

program
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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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)

Supercollector? Well, Maybe…

I haven’t mentioned it here before, but I’ve been slowly working on my Brett Graves Project, in which I’ve been attempting to “supercollect” the cards of Oakland A’s prospect Brett Graves. Why Brett? Because he’s a local boy whose family I know; among other things I sing once a month with his mother and a few other friends at a local nursing home. Brett’s been making nice progress in the A’s minor league system, pitching in the Midwest League All-Star Game this past summer.

brett
a page of 2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft #8

Although I pursue all Twins player cards, I don’t supercollect any of those players because:

  • I only collect players while they were on the Twins
  • I don’t (actively) collect minor league cards
  • I don’t (actively) collect unlicensed products (post-2010 Upper Deck, post-2005 Donruss, Panini, etc)

So far the experiment is going well — even staying within reasonable costs, I’ve snagged a large percentage of Brett’s cards, including four printing plates. There are a handful I still need out on eBay, but until they have realistic prices, I’ll stand my ground. My checklist is based on research I’ve done, and there are at least a few cards I’m questioning their existence.

Also, some additional pickups…
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