Monday, August 25, 2014

Woodbury, MN

These cards were sent by Jim of the blog "Garvey, Cey, Russell, Lopes."  I had sent Jim and another Dodger blogger a stack of Joc Pederson cards earlier this summer.  Joc is a Dodger prospect currently with the Albuquerque Isotopes, at least until he gets called up to the Dodgers next week.

To celebrate Joc's last weekend in Albuquerque (and Dodgers last in Albuquerque too, which I'll have more to say about next week), Joc and the Isotopes are giving away his car this Friday.  Seriously.  I plan on being at the game, so if I win, I'm planning on cutting it up and issuing homemade "relic" cards of Joc's '94 Buick.

Thanks for the cards Jim.  If I win the car, I'll be sure to send you a piece of it.

Updated Totals:

1982 Donruss: 143
1983 Donruss: 66
1983 Fleer: 79
1983 Topps: 166
1985 Donruss: 70
1988 Donruss Baseball's Best: 16
1988 Revco: 34
1989 K-Mart: 18
1996 Collector's Choice Ser.2: 12

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jefferson City, TN

These two cards were sent by "The Toddfather," a Todd Helton blogger out of Tennessee.  By my count it's the 3rd time he has sent me Wallach's, 30 cards in all.  Thanks for the cards.

Updated Totals:

1988 Topps UK Mini: 25
1993 Leaf: 38

Monday, August 11, 2014

Norfolk, NE

These cards were sent from Norfolk, Nebraska, by Bradley.  It's the 3rd time he has sent cards.  Bradley runs a couple of blogs himself, one for the Red Sox, and one devoted to Sandy Alomar Jr..  I have a decent sized stack of Alomar's building up in my desk that I'll be sending his way once it grows a little larger.  I suggest you send him your extra Alomar's if you have any.

Thanks for the cards Bradley.

Updated Totals:

1993 Topps Traded: 17
1993 O-Pee-Chee Premier: 23
1995 Ultra: 29
1995 Colloctor's Choice: 12
1996 Collector's Choice: 11

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Portsmouth, NH

Bert from "Swing and a Pop Up" sent these cards recently.  It's the second time Bert has sent cards, bringing his career total up to 38 Wallach's in 2 packages.

Bert, I sent you a package back in April or May, did you receive it?  I sent out a bunch of packages at once and at some point in the process I lost track of what was sent and what wasn't, and I know I have stray stack of Red Sox cards in my desk.  So at least one Red Sox collector was shorted.

Also, Mark Hoyle, if you see this, I have the wrong address for you.  Let me know the correct one.

Updated totals for cards sent:

1983 Fleer x2: 78
1987 Donruss: 262
1988 Fleer: 173
1991 Ultra x2: 38
1992 Fleer: 60
1992 Triple Play: 48
1993 Fleer: 27
1995 Collector's Choice SE: 20
1995 Pinnacle x3: 22

Monday, August 4, 2014

260 Career Home Runs

Derek Jeter currently has 259 home runs in his MLB Career.  In all likelihood he will hit another one in the next week or two.  Home run number 260 will move him into a tie for  188th All-Time with Tim Wallach.

Wallach and Jeter's career's briefly overlapped in '95 and '96.  Wallach played one series in Yankee Stadium as a player.  It was during his brief stint with the Angels in 1996.  On May 17, 1996, the Yankees beat the Angels 8-5.  Wallach went 0 for 3 and Jim Abbot was the losing pitcher.  For the Yankees, Derek Jeter went 2 for 4 with a triple while Andy Pettite picked up the win and Mariano Rivera was credited with a save.  It's hard for me to wrap my head around that, as in my mind, Wallach and that Yankee dynasty were two very different era's.

The next day, May 18, 1996, the Yankees again beat the Angles, this time by a score of 7-3.  Wallach went 1 for 3 (I'd be curious to know if he kept the ball as his only hit in Yankee Stadium).  Jeter went 0 for 2 with a walk, and Mariano picked up another save.

Wallach didn't play in the third game of the series, but Jeter went 0 for 3 with a walk.  Also of note is that Tim Raines was the leadoff man for the Yankees in all three games.  Raines had a decent series picking up 3 hits, 3 runs, and stole a couple bases.

The Yankees would also visit the Angels for a three game series during Wallach's time in California.  In that series, Wallach again played in the first two games and sat out the third.  In the first game he homered off of Andy Pettitte.  Jeter went 0 for 5 in two games in that series, and didn't play in the second game, with Andy Fox playing short stop for the Yankees.

When Jeter hits his next home run, for perhaps the first time since Wallach retired, I'll be happy to see someone tie (and ultimately pass) him on the All-Time Home Run list.  Of course, given prior history, announcers on the YES network and Baseball Tonight, will no doubt celebrate Jeter's next home run by talking about how he is now tied with Javy Lopez and Eric Chavez, while omitting Wallach's name altogether.  Nevermind than neither of them are within 600 hits of Wallach's career hit total, and they combined for fewer All-Star games than Wallach appeared in.  I hope I'm wrong, but I won't be surprised.

Oddly enough, the last player Derek Jeter passed on the All-Time Home Run List, was Larry Parrish.  Parrish hit 256 home runs during his career.  He was also the Expos third baseman prior to the arrival of Tim Wallach.

Friday, August 1, 2014

1991 Baseball Info

Card Review: Incomplete  I'm not sure how to catalog this "card."  I recently purchased it on ebay.  There wasn't much of a description, other than it's a card that accompanies some sort of game. I know there were a lot of those types of games from that era.  I had one in which the box turned into a stadium, complete with panoramic animated outfield strips for every stadium in baseball at the time.  The field liner had grass on one side and astroturf on the other.  The box was far and away my favorite part of the game.  The game itself was much too confusing and took forever to play.  The cards were pink and blue and had copious amounts of info.  My brother and I ended up just making up our own game with the dice and box and never actually played the "real" game after the first day.

This card appears to be from a much simpler game.  I have no idea how it was played, if there was a board, dice, or anything like that.  But I like the card.  I think I'm going to include it in my card binder as a "card."  I've found that some cards seem cooler when you're holding a stack of 100 of them.  There is something very satisfying about 100 of the same 1988 Topps card in your hand that makes them seem nicer, or more important than just one.  On the other hand, a large stack has the opposite effect with other cards.  This is especially true for the off-brand issues such as the recent Canadian Hall of Fame Card and the like.  One of them is very cool, and seems special.  The stack of 100 plus just makes them feel a little illegitimate.  I imagine that would be true with this card as well.

Number of this card in my collection: 1 
(Not being counted towards total or unique cards)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Brett Wallach 2010 Daytona Cubs #23

Card Review: A  As far team issued minor league sets go, this card is very nice.  It's an unapologetic '62/'87 Topps ripoff, but ripping off classic Topps designs is something I wholeheartedly encourage minor league teams to do with their team sets.  On top of the nice design, it's fantastic photo, for any set.  I've always been a huge fan of cards with photos of a ball in flight.  This is really a great way to do cards for pitchers, and seems so obvious that I'm surprised it's not used enough to be cliche.  Yet I can't recall seeing many (if any) shots like this in Topps sets over the years.

The Dodgers traded Brett Wallach to the Cubs in 2010 for Ted Lilly.  The Dodgers included another minor leaguer in the deal, Kyle Smit, but Wallach was the headliner for the Cubs.  It's a pretty good demonstration of just how highly Brett was thought of as a prospect before his arm injury.  Hopefully his best pitching days are still ahead of him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Brett Wallach 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Refractor #BDPP74

Card Review: B- This is another one of the countless variations of 2009 Brett Wallach cards.  I think there's clearly an issue when a card described as "2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Refractor #BDPP74" is one of the simpler card descriptions.  But what do I know.

Brett Wallach missed all of last season following Tommy John Surgery.  He's currently attempting a comeback with the Grand Prairie Air Hogs.  They play in an independent league known as The American Association.  Their websites are terrible, so I've been relying solely on Brett's Baseball-Reference page for updates.  In 17 innings (no starts) he's struck out 14, walked 8, and amassed a 3-0 record.  Hopefully the former 3rd pick of the Dodgers continues to regain his old form, and draws the attention of an MLB organization.

If anyone happens to have seen an Air Hogs game and saw Brett pitch, I'd like hear what you thought.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chad Wallach July Update

 Marlins Catchers

Chad Wallach was promoted to the Jupiter Hammerheads this week.  The Hammerheads are the "High A" or "A+" affiliate of the Miami Marlins.  Given the way Chad has been knocking the cover off the ball all summer, it's not that surprising to see the promotion.  In fact, I'm surprised it took this long and it wasn't a bigger one.  But congratulations to Chad, and best of luck to the first place Grasshoppers he leaves behind.

Josh Adams is the first casualty from this watch, as the Marlins released the former 13th Rd pick from Florida over the weekend.

Barnes and Realmuto are now playing together in AA Jacksonville.  I can't imagine this scenario will last long as both are allegedly thought very highly off as prospects, unless the Marlins intend to get Barnes more playing time at second base.  The production of Wallach could very well have made this more of a viable option.

Active Catchers within the Marlins Organization

Italics = currently at a different level
# Italics = No longer with the oragnization

Miami Marlins                      GP        Avg.        H       HR       RBI      CS%
Jarrod Saltalamacchia           67        .226         51       9            28         18%
Jeff Mathis                            40         .206         21       2             6          31%
J.T. Realmuto (40-man)        7          .200          4         0            5          20%
New Orleans Zephyrs "AAA"
Rob Brantly                          68         .260         65          2           25       33%
Kyle Skipworth                     49         .214         33         10           26       21%
Jacksonville Suns  "AA"
J.T. Realmuto  (40-man)       66        .298          75       6           42         43%
Austin Barnes                        37         .281          38      3           21         35%
Wilfredo Gimenez                  37        .264          34       1           20         35%
Jupiter Hammerheads "A+"
Sharif Othman                       20         .145          9         2            4          24%
Chad Wallach                         2           .429           3         0            0           0%
Austin Barnes                        44         .317          57       1            14        41%
Jarrod Saltalamacchia            2           .286          2        0             0         50%
# Josh Adams                       30           .148        16        1             10        38%
Greensboro Grasshoppers "A"
Joel Jimenez                          7            .200         12          0           6        31%
Brad Haynal                           1            .250          1           0           0       50%
Jose Ceballos                         0              NA          0          0           0        NA
Chad Wallach                        69          .342          82         7          41       29%
Sharif Othman                       20          .219           16        2            9       35%
Batavia Muckdogs  "Low A"
Luis Sanz                              15            .208          10          0          3        53%
Rodrigo Vigil                         14             .296          10          0          3        41%
Christopher Hoo                     1             .000           0          0           0         0%
Brad Haynal                          15            .254          15          1          10       43%
Gulf Coast League Marlins "Rookie"
Blake Anderson                     9            .074          2         0           1        33%
Roy Morales                          7            .176          3          0           2        17%
Angel Reyes                          9            .143          4          1           5        18%
Felix Castillo                          2            .143          1          0           0        20%
Christopher Hoo                    6            .188           3          0           1      54%

Monday, July 21, 2014

Brett Wallach 2009 Bowman Chrome X-Fractor #BDPP74 #/199

Card Review: C+  This is my first time seeing an "X-Fractor."  Having now held one in my hand and I can confirm, they are every bit as stupid and unnecessary as they sound.  I cannot begin to wrap my head around the shear number of variations of 2009 Brett Wallach cards there are between the Topps and Bowman sets.  And they all use the same photo!  It's obnoxious.  I am extremely thankful that Topps still had a little integrity in the 1980's, because I'd go nuts trying to keep track of this many Tim Wallach card variations, let alone trying to collect them all.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gilbert, AZ

This large envelope was sent by Bill Virdon super collector, Adam, from Gilbert, Arizona.  Arizona is now represented on my map.  Bill Virdon was manager of the Expos in 1983 and '84, so Adam picks up some Wallach stuff from time to time.  I know how that goes.  I keep a box of random Expos stuff that is either sent to me, or I'm forced to purchase as part of a set in order to get the Wallach related item.  That's a 1983 Dimanch-Derniere poster/card/page thing in the photo.  A year ago I didn't have any, now I have two, and did it without being priced gauged.  I really appreciate it Adam, thank you very much.  Also included were six 1987 Leaf Wallach's.

Updated Totals:

1987 Leaf x6: 21

If you have any oddball Bill Virdon items or cards, I'm sure Adam would love to take them off your hands.  Contact me, or leave a comment, and I'll make sure it gets to Adam.

Friday, July 18, 2014 & updates

Some of you may have already seen me bragging about this on twitter in one of my twits yesterday.  Or tweets, or as I call them, an aol instant message to the world.  This blog is now the proud sponsor of Tim Wallach's baseball reference page.  I inquired about getting an image in the box (I wanted to use the banner atop this blog) and they responded by sending me a link to Tanaka's page, which has an image.  I figured great, I just need to use html or something, but before I could try, they followed up and said; "No, images.  Tanaka's was a special arrangement with the Yankees."  Well how about a special arrangement with this blog?  I can't offer any money beyond the regular sponsorship cost, but I promise to link to your site?  I'll be over here, not holding my breath.

I also finally spent my $10 (minimum amount to add to your account) on "Check Out My Cards" and had some cards shipped.  That '03 Topps Fan Favorite has sat in my inventory for nearly a year.  Also in the COMC package were a couple more of the countless variations of 2010 Brett Wallach cards.  I'll post them individually in the near future.

Updated Totals:

2003 Topps All-Tim Fan Favorites Refractor: 3
2005 Topps Rookie Cup Red: 13

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Royal Oak, MD

Mail Review: A+  This package was sent by Elizabeth in Royal Oak, Maryland.  Elizabeth is setting all kinds of prescidents on this blog.  A few weeks ago she became the first girl to send cards, and with this package, she became the first person to send me their own card.  That's it above.  

Included with the cards were also a couple of All-Star Game Ballots. I posted the 1985 one a couple of days ago.  1994 was the other year.  Matt Williams put up career numbers in '94 and was deservedly the fan's choice to start at 3rd for the NL.  Wallach was snubbed by Phillies manager Jim Fregosi who for some reason went with Ken Caminiti.  I don't know what the numbers were at the break, but Wallach ended up with more runs, hits, home runs and RBI's than Caminiti, and he did it without cheating.  

If you notice in the upper right of the above photo, that's an uncut strip of '83 Topps Stickers.  Pretty cool.  Thanks for the cards Elizabeth.  I'll find a couple vintage Orioles to send your way.

Updated totals for cards sent:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kodak Color Slides

Awhile back I was sent a large package of Wallach cards and miscellaneous other items from fellow Wallach fan, Nick in Texas.  Included among the miscellaneous items were five color slides he said he had picked up somewhere along the way.

I've seen slides pop up on ebay with some regularity, but have never purchased any.  Often they tend to be extremely expensive, sometimes $30+.  And even when they show up for a more reasonable $0.99 or just a few bucks, I've always held off for a couple of reasons.  For one, I wasn't sure what I would do with them.  For another, a lot of the photos tend not to be that exciting.  And primarily, every dollar I spend on a Wallach slide is a dollar I'm not spending on Wallach cards.

None the less, I was quite pleased to see these slides included in the package that Nick sent.  But two my three problems listed above still existed.  Far be it for me to look a gift horse in the mouth (I'm very grateful for the slides), but I wasn't sure what to do with them, and most of the photos weren't very exciting.

What I ended up doing was taking the slides to a local photo studio.  For $3 per slide, they scanned them, then put them all on a disc for another $5.  I don't know if that's a good price or not, but I went ahead and had it done.  Unfortunately they developed a couple of them backwards (some of my photos of the slides are as well, but that was done intentionally).  I imagine this is a relatively easy fix if I ever decide to have prints done, but I'm not photoshop savvy enough to know for sure.

The slide at the top is my favorite of the bunch by a wide margin.  My tentative plan is to have an 8x10 print made of it, and frame it with the five color slides below it.  If I ever get around to it, you'll certainly hear about it.

Below are the rest of the slides and photos, I assume Bryan Yablonsky was the photographer, the slides came with not very official looking "release" from him as well:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

1985 MLB All-Star Game Ballot

Above is a 1985 All-Star Game ballot sent by a reader.  I haven't posted on the package she sent yet, but due to the game being tonight, I wanted to post this today.  In hand, the ballot itself is actually cooler than I thought it would be.  I probably need to make a point to track down ballots for the other games Wallach was in, if not everyone he appears on.

1985 was the All-Star game in which Lou Whitaker forgot his jersey (hard to believe it was his responsibility), and had to buy a souvenier jersey and write his number with a sharpie.  He wore borrowed pants, and Twins socks. (The bottom video explains all of this)

Tim Wallach didn't win the fan vote in 1985.  That honor went to Graig Nettles.  Wallach was however named to the team for the 2nd time in his career.  He also hit more homeruns, had more hits, more RBI's and fewer errors than Nettles.  That's probably why he won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in 1985.  But the fans wanted Nettles.

Much like the season as a whole, Wallach out played Nettles in the game as well.  Nettles went 0 for 2. Wallach scored a run, and smoked a ground rule double.  The fact it was a ground rule double, prevented Darryl Strawberry from scoring on the hit.  It likely cost Wallach a chance at the games MVP award.  Wallach also drew a walk for good measure.

I've yet to find a photo of Wallach from the '85 All-Star Game.  If anyone knows of a good source to find photos from All-Star games, I'd love to hear about it.  I've tried every place I can think of and have come up more or less empty.  I did however find a video of Goose Gossage recording the final out, and it features a good amount of Wallach.

1985 was the 2nd year in a row that Gossage recorded the final out in the All-Star Game with Wallach on the field and Tony Pena catching.  The photo below is from the 1984 All-Star Game.  I thought it was the same game until I realized everyone was in home white's.

At the end of the video below is Lou Whitaker batting in his home-made jersey:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Appleton, Wisconsin

This package arrived from Nikki in Appleton, Wisconsin.  Thanks for the cards Nikki.  Her note makes reference to cards sent by Elizabeth that I posted a couple of weeks ago.  In that post, I mentioned that it was the first time a girl (at least to my knowledge) had sent cards.  I also mentioned in that post, that I've never made any assertions, claims, or suggestions, that girls don't or shouldn't collect cards.

I have daughter who just turned four.  I am actively trying to push baseball cards on her.  So far the only ones she likes are Dee Gordon cards.  Last season at an Isotopes game we were sitting first row third base line, and Dee (playing short) unsuccessfully tried to chase down a high foul ball that landed in front of us.  He proceeded to pick it up and hand it to my daughter who now insists that they're "friends."

My point being, I think it's great that girls collect cards, and even better when they send me their Wallach cards.  The last thing this blog wants to be is discriminatory, or to perpetuate stereo-types.  Unless your a Georgetown fan.

Updated Totals:

1988 Topps AS: 371
1989 Donruss: 196
1989 Topps: 362
1990 Topps x5: 234
1991 Fleer x2: 76
1991 Score: 98
1991 Topps x2: 108
1991 Upper Deck CL x2: 93
1992 Donruss x2: 100

Thursday, July 10, 2014

2014 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Induction Card

Card Review: 7.5  The photo quality on this card is pretty terrible.  But who cares, this is far and away the crown jewel of all the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame swag.  I almost didn't get any.  When it became painfully apparent I wasn't going to be able to make the trip for induction weekend, I got on the phone and called the Museum.  I let them know I was looking to purchase "any and everything" that had Wallach's name on it, and would like any oddball things they may have.  They took my email address and sent me a list of prices and items.  This card wasn't on it.

Sunday after induction Saturday, someone put an autographed copy of this card, as well as autographed cards for the other three inductees on ebay for hefty price.  My initial thought process was in three steps, (i) I hope they're not all autographed, (ii) I need to email the Museum gift shop back, and (iii) What a jerk the seller is.  The ink was barely dry on these cards and some profiteer was already on ebay trying to make a cheap buck.  Somehow I doubt he mentioned to Murray Cook his eagerness to sell the card when he asked for the autograph.

Thankfully, the cards didn't come signed.  After inquiring about a bulk rate (no luck), I was able to purchase a few with the other items I picked up from the gift shop.  Take that ebay profiteers.

One final thought on this card, it list being a 1981 Topps Rookie Cup winner on the back, which I find kind of funny.  Someone recently edited the Tim Wallach wiki page (not me, I've never edited anything on wiki) to include that accomplishment, perhaps Topps did it.  Since then, it's been popping up more and more in articles about Wallach when they run down his accomplishments.  If it was Topps, it was pretty savvy move by them.

Number of this card in my collection: 107

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Induction T-Shirt 2014 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

I picked up a few of the official induction t-shirt from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.  I'm sure my family members will wear them proudly.  "Yes, my 34 year old son/brother still blogs about his baseball card collection, and bought me this t-shirt."  I really like the shirt, it's destined to be in regular rotation for the gym and yard work.  The back gives it a sort of concert t-shirt feel.

 I was actually able to see a photo of this shirt before buying it.  A picture of Wallach wearing one (the photo is at the bottom of this post) showed up on twitter.  So in my email exchange with the gift shop I attached the photo and asked if the shirt was for sale.  Below is a screen grab of the exchange (it's a little small, sorry):

Thanks Scott.  I don't know if he was being funny (I hope so), or if he literally thought I was asking for the shirt of Wallach's back.  I really hope I don't come across as that weird, but then again, I have enough self-awarness as to the nature of this blog and how it may perceived to know that I might.  But, in any event, I was not asking for actual shirt in the picture, just if they sold identical ones.  They did, I ordered a few, and more pictures are below.