Category Archives: baseball cards

Well, I Tried

I hadn’t had my telescope out in a loooooong time, so the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn was an outstanding opportunity to remedy that.  The night before and the night of the closest pass, I took out my Celestron C8 and set it up in the front yard, with the planets in view between houses across the street.  Additionally, I attempted several afocal photos (and video) using my cellphone.  Here were my best shots:

Great Conjunction, Dec. 20, 2020

Waxing Moon, Dec. 21, 2020

Several of the neighbors got a chance to get a great view as well.  Also, if someone ever wanted to gift me a Celestron NexYZ adapter, I would not turn it down.

And of course, the latest batch of Twins autograph and relic cards:


clockwise, from top left: 2013 Topps Heritage Real One Red Ink #ROA-BF Bill Fischer [46/64] (auto); 2013 Topps Heritage Real One Red Ink #ROA-DB Bill Dailey [08/64] (auto); 2019 Topps Five Star #FSA-JC Jake Cave (auto); 2020 Topps Five Star #FSA-MGZ Mitch Garver (auto); 2020 Topps Archives Signature (2013 Bowman Chrome mini #280) Kohl Stewart [1/1] (sealed auto); 2020 Topps Archives Signature (2007 Heritage #378) Jeff Cirillo [01/48] (sealed auto); 2019 Topps Five Star Green #FSA-KST Kohl Stewart [04/15] (auto); 2011 Topps Heritage Real One #ROA-HN Hal Naragon (auto)

The Rainbow Connection

Still in COVID-19 lifestyle, but work on the Brett Graves Project continues unabated. After months of monitoring Ebay for any cards missing from the collection, this guy appeared (and at an outstanding price):


2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Black Finite #8 [1/1]


The real beauty of this card is on the back. No, it’s not an “Ebay 1-of-1”, it’s a real 1-of-1 card. Aside from various printing plates, this is my first 1-of-1 in the bunch.
 
 
 

And just a couple weeks later, this one shows up for auction:


2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Gold #8 [09/10]

…which I also got at a good price. My first completed rainbow!

Plus a few more Twins added to the collection…
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Vets

Way too long between posts, but during down time it looks like an opportunity to post some new cards. In contrast with the “noobs” in the last post, these feature some “vets”.

1971 was when we first started collecting Topps in earnest as kids, so this year’s Heritage set paying homage to that year got me going to see about filling in some of the autographed Twins Heritage card gaps that I had. I didn’t do too badly.


clockwise, from top left: 2016 Topps Heritage Real One #ROA-DSI Dwight Siebler (auto); 2016 Topps Heritage Real One Red Ink #ROA-DSI Dwight Siebler [62/67] (auto); 2013 Topps Heritage Real One Red Ink #ROA-SD Scott Diamond [38/64] (auto); 2012 Topps Heritage Real One #ROA-FS Frank Sullivan (auto); 2014 Topps Heritage Real One Red Ink #ROA-KR Ken Retzer [33/65] (auto); 2020 Topps Heritage Real One #ROA-SC Sal Campisi (auto); 2020 Topps Heritage Real One #ROA-TT Tom Tischinski (auto); 2013 Topps Heritage Real One Red Ink #ROA-JG John Goryl [59/64] (auto)

I picked up some additional GU cards and a few first-autos and current team AU/GU cards as well. Everyone stay safe!


clockwise, from top left: 2020 Topps Heritage Real One Red Ink #ROA-SC Sal Campisi [48/71] (auto); 2006 Upper Deck SP Authentic By The Letter “N” #BL-JN Joe Nathan [148/200] (manu-patch/auto); 2018 Topps Fire Magenta #FR-ZG Zack Granite [14/25] (jersey); 2015 Topps Pro Debut Pennant Patches #PP-NG Nick Gordon (manu-patch); 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Sweet Threads Gold #ST-JS Johan Santana [66/75] (jersey); 2005 Upper Deck Trilogy Generations Past Materials #PA-HR Kent Hrbek [15/99] (jersey); 2018 Topps Update All-Star Stitches #AST-JE Jose Berrios (jersey); 2015 Topps Heritage Minors Clubhouse Collection Gold #CCR-BB Byron Buxton [24/50] (jersey)

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Rumbling Into The Post Season

The AL Central Champion Minnesota Twins wound up with 101 wins, the season record for team HRs, a tie for the season record for Total Bases, and their offense finished in the top three in several MLB stats. Rookie manager Rocco Baldelli has a lot to be proud of, and fans throughout Twins Territory have reason to be excited.

Looking at the playoffs, there are several players I wish were around to participate — Byron Buxton (IL, out for season), Michael Piñeda (suspended), Sam Dyson (IL, what the heck?!) — or aren’t at 100% — Max Kepler, Luis Arraez, Kyle Gibson, Ehrie Adrianza, CJ Cron, Marwin Gonzalez — but the season is long, and every team has to deal with intangibles. With some good play and a favorable bounce, things will work out.

Before the postseason starts, here are some of my latest pickups:


clockwise, from top left: 2019 Topps Major League Materials #MLM-BB Byron Buxton (jersey); 2019 Topps Major League Materials #MLM-MS Miguel Sano (jersey); 2018 Topps Major League Materials #MLM-JM Joe Mauer (jersey); 2018 Topps Major League Materials Black #MLM-JM Joe Mauer [26/99] (jersey); 2019 Topps ’84 Topps 150th Anniversary #84R-JM Joe Mauer [136/150] (jersey); 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen #GQR-TH Torii Hunter (jersey); 2019 Topps Retro Hat Logo #RHLP-JM Joe Mauer (manu-patch); 2018 Topps Major League Materials Black #MLM-MS Miguel Sano [36/99] (jersey)

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What’s With The Homers?

Currently the Twins have the best record in baseball, and are on a record pace for HR in a season. How are they doing it? Beats me! Is it MLB’s first “millennial” manager, Rocco Baldelli, or their pitching coach Wes Johnson who came directly to the Twins from college ball? Is it the handful of offseason signings, including Jonathan Schoop, CJ Cron, Martín Pérez, Nelson Cruz, and Marwin Gonzalez? I’m sure it’s a combination of these and other things contributing to their success, and as Twins fans we’re hanging on for the ride.

Below are some GU and AU of Twins off the current roster (with Brad Radke as an added bonus) and some of their prospects, including first cards for me of Trevor Larnach and Brusdar Graterol.


clockwise, from top left: 2017 Topps Update 30th Anniversary #87A-ERS Eddie Rosario (auto); 2019 Topps Tier One Prime Performers #PPA-ERO Eddie Rosario [084/299] (auto); 2018 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection #CCR-MS Miguel Sano (jersey); 2018 Bowman Best #B18-FR Fernando Romero (auto); 2018 Bowman Chrome Prospects #CPA-ZL Zack Littell (auto); 2018 Topps Archives Fan Favorites #FFA-BR Brad Radke (auto); 2018 Topps Chrome #RA-FR Fernando Romero (auto); 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter #MFR-MS Miguel Sano (jersey)

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Holiday Goodies

When the holidays come around, it means Black Friday sale from COMC, trades generated from The Bench, hitting eBay for reasonable value, and all of this means more to display here.

Among several of the AU and GU collected, there is included:

  • new Twins AU to the list: Al Worthington, Bill Plies, LaMonte Wade, Ryan Jeffers, Blayne Enlow
  • the 71st and 72nd unique Glen Perkins AU card (the Twin with the highest total in my collection)
  • another Killebrew AU as well as a couple reprint AU of Twins players of long ago
  • a printing plate and another letter manu-patch

And there are still others in the pipeline.

goodies1
clockwise, from top left: 2017 Topps Heritage Real Ones #ROA-AW Al Worthington (auto); 2014 Topps Heritage Real One #ROA-BP Bill Plies (auto); 1999 Upper Deck Retro Inkredible #HK Harmon Killebrew (auto); 2014 Topps Opening Day #ODA-GP Glen Perkins (auto); 2007 Upper Deck Exquisite Rookie Signatures Common Numbers #CN-LC Alexi Casilla w/LaRoche [20/25] (dual auto); 2013 Bowman Platinum Prospects Ice #BP-NR Nate Roberts [05/10] (auto); 2007 Topps Co-Signers Hyper Silver Red #117 Glen Perkins [72/75] (auto); 2014 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects printing plate Magenta #CDP93 Michael Cederoth [1/1] (plate)

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CSI: Duryea, PA [2018 Topps series 1]

Topps has been a disappointment regarding quality in-game action photos of Twins players in which the exact play captured by the photo can actually be identified. We’ve had lots of great baseball card photos in the past to work with (we’ve been doing this for over seven years!), but not recently.

On a whim, I chose a card of Brian Dozier from 2018 Topps series 1; while it does I nice job of capturing a play in the field, I didn’t harbor hope that the gang at WGOM could uniquely identify it:

2018 Topps #130 Brian Dozier

Remarkably, they did it again.

First off, the visible clues:
1) It’s a day game.
2) With this being Series 1, the photo is most certainly from a 2017 game.
2) A play at third, quite possibly a triple given the arm covering and helmet.
3) Most likely Target Field, given the home white uniform and the location of the distance marker on the outfield wall.

A lot of the discussion centered around the visiting team’s uniform, particularly the dark top and the single stripe on the gray pants:
– there are several teams who have a uniform variant that at least somewhat resembles that of the baseball card: Indians, Mariners, Padres, Brewers, etc.
– Dozier runs the bases with helmet and arm protection, at least some of the time, so he isn’t necessarily advancing to third base on his own at bat.

Given the above and some digging through Baseball Reference website, it was determined that this play was the sixth pitch in the bottom of the first of this game against the Mariners on June 15th. Dozier opened the home half of the first inning with a double to right, and the play captured here was his advance to third on a wild pitch to Eduardo Escobar, Kyle Seager being the third baseman in the photo. Escobar subsequently homered, so he could have taken it easy on second base and avoided the faceplant (see photos below).

The Twins won the game 6-2 on a well-pitched outing from Jose Berrios, and Dozier went 1-for-3 with a BB and HBP, scoring once. Chris Gimenez homered twice in this game, which is much rarer than games in which he ended up pitching.

Well done, everyone! And two bonus screencaptures of the play:

A Note From Management

In my pursuit of certified Twins baseball card autographs, every now and then I find non-player cards (TC the mascot, scout Mark Wilson) and even less frequently, ones that are reasonably priced. Recently I found two, and along with a card of prospect Brent Rooker that now makes 224 different Twins players people.


clockwise, from top left: 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Autographs #FFA-TK Tom Kelly (auto); 2018 Bowman High Tek Prospects #PHT-BR Brent Rooker (auto); 2008 Upper Deck UD Premier Red #154 Joe Mauer [24/25] (auto); 2012 Topps Update General Managers #AGM-TR Terry Ryan (auto)

And, as always, a few other pick-ups:


clockwise, from top left: 2009 Upper Deck Ballpark Collection Six Swatch Memorabilia #305 Joe Mauer w/Posada,Rodriguez,Johnson,Santana,Woods [225/300] (jersey); 2018 Allen & Ginter #MA-FJ Felix Jorge (auto); 2018 Topps Chrome #FA-FJ Felix Jorge (auto); 2017 Topps Update Commemorative Medallion #MVPR-RCA Rod Carew