Thursday, April 17, 2014

2005 Topps Rookie Cup #45 Blue #/50

Card Review: 9.8  This card, for reasons I can't explain, has eluded me for a very long time.  It was somewhat satisfying to cross it off my most-wanted list (they all are at this point).  Granted, there were only 50 of them made, but I've picked up cards from this set #'d a lot lower than that.  In any event, I have one, and only need 49 more.

I find blue works well with the Expos uniform.  Like the rest of these color variations, the scan doesn't really begin to do this card justice.  It looks much better in person.

Number of this card in my collection: 1



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Recent Purchases


Beckett used to be a price guide.  I think they still publish a magazine, but can't be positive.  If they do, it's nothing like it used to be in the late 1980's when I would religiously carry around a beaten, marked-up and dogeared copy for months at a time until I could finally convince my parents to splurge for a new one.  Now Beckett is a website, and they sell cards.  Or at least, they allow others to sell cards.  I find it to be a slightly inferior version of Sportlots and COMC.  Which isn't to say I won't use it, as the cards above are evidence that I do from time to time.

I'm a sucker for those colorful 2005 Topps Rookie Cup cards (even if I can't figure out how to scan the orange ones to make them look like the neon orange they appear as in person).  I picked up the above for reasonable prices, and as I do, I relieved the sellers of their other oddball Wallach's as well.  I also finally picked up a "Blue" one (not pictured), which was near the top of my need list and will be getting it's own post shortly.

Updated Totals:

1983 Stuart x2: 8
1988 Topps Tiffany x4: 18
1988 Topps AS Tiffany x4: 14
1989 Topps Tiffany x3: 8
1991 Jumbo Seeds x2: 7
1993 LAPD DARE x2: 3
1993 Mother's Cookies: 2
2005 Rookie Cup Red x3: 12
2005 Rookie Cup Orange x5: 11
2005 Rookie Cup Yellow x2: 8
2005 Rookie Cup Green x2: 5

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Marlins Depth Chart


Chad Wallach is off to a good start with his new team the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the Class A Affiliate of the Miami Marlins.  His two run homer on April 9 was the game winner in a 2-1 win over the Lakewood Blueclaws.

Chad is the only one of the three Wallach kids to play so far this season.  The oldest Matt, has allegedly moved on to new endevors after spending a good chunk of last season with the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes.  Last I heard Brett was still recovering from Tommy John surgery, but may still pop up somewhere this season (not a lot news to found out there).

This blog will be pulling for Chad to move up the Marlins ranks and make it to the majors and into the Topps base set (I won't be collecting all of his cards).  Here's a look at the catchers in the Marlins Organization presently, and something I plan to update as changes occur this season.  I have no idea how aware minor leaguers are as to the stats of the guys just ahead of (or behind) them in the system, but if it were me, I would have daily results of both taped in my locker.







 






Miami Marlins              GP   Avg.       H    HR   CS%
Jarrod Saltalamacchia     13     .282     11     1       25%
Jeff Mathis                       3       .286      2      0       0%
AAA New Orleans Zephyers
Rob Brantly                     9      .314     11     1       18%
Kyle Skipworth               4       .077      1     0        40%
AA Jacksonville Suns
J.T. Realmuto                  9     .189       7      2       57%
Wilfredo  Gimenez          2      .500       3      0       N/A
Adv A Jupter Hammerheads
Austin Barnes                  9      .289      11     1       57%
Josh Adams                     2      .286       2     0         0%
A Greensboro Grasshoppers
Chad Wallach                  7       .364        8      1      13%
Sharif Othman                 5       .211        4     0       11%
Short Season A Batavia Muckdogs
Season yet to begin

Mail from Junior Junkie


Yesterday I incorrectly attributed cards sent by Anthony of "Wrigley Roster Jenga," to T.J. of "The Junior Junkie."  Thankfully the mistake was pointed out early after "publishing" and I was able to quickly fix the mistake.

"Publishing" strikes me as a dumb word for what people with blogs do when they put up a new post.  "Publishing" is something people in suits in Manhattan do and involves names like Salinger, Kipling, and Updike.  I'm a guy in his mid-30's hoarding baseball cards of an excellent, but rather obscure, ball player who hasn't played in almost two decades.

In any event, these were definitely sent by T.J. of the Junior Junkie.  You can tell by the Mariners logo on the return label.  I'd love to print up return labels, or baseball card style business cards, or stickers, or something to that effect to send to everyone who sends me cards, but I'm too cheap.  I also feel I don't need to push copyright laws any further than I already do.

Updated Totals:

1986 Topps: 145
1988 Donruss x2: 550
1988 Topps: 418
1989 Donruss: 187
1990 Donruss: 188
1990 Fleer x2: 179
1990 Upper Deck: 127
1991 Leaf: 49 



Monday, April 14, 2014

Midlothian, IL


These cards arrived from Anthony in Midlothian, IL.  Midlothian is now a new addition to the map. Anthony runs the blog "Wrigley Roster Jenga."

Thanks for the cards Anthony, and sorry for mislabeling this post originally.

Updated Totals:

1987 Fleer: 97
1988 Donruss x2: 548
1988 Topps: 417
1990 Panini: 2
1990 Topps Super Star: 5
1991 Stadium Club: 39
1994 Ultra: 28





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

1990 M.V.P. Collector Pin


I remember buying this at a Toys R Us as a kid.  I actually bought, or was bought by Mother, two of them.  Which at the time felt like a huge windfall, even at the clearance price of $0.90 apiece.  My father was a RNA and my mother taught art in public schools, so while I was far from poor and never in need growing up, I never had the most expensive bike on the block either.  So when my mother agreed to buy two, one to open and one to save, it made an impression that has stuck with me even 24 years later.

Wallach's mere inclusion in this set felt like a major victory for me at the time.  You may notice the backs have a striking similarity to the backs of Starting Lineup figures at the time.  But while Starting Lineup treated the Expos and Bluejays like 2nd class teams only producing one figure for each team, this set of MVP Pins went ahead and treated them like real teams.  For whatever reason I had a terrible time scanning and taking pictures of this thing, so if you have question about the checklist feel free to ask.



The pin from the package I opted to open has somehow survived on cork boards and in desk drawers through three moves as a kid, two college dorms, countless apartments, law school, and now sits in a drawer in my office.  I've never seen one of these open or sealed show up on ebay.   So it's nice to have it in hand, because this is the sort of thing that would really drive me nuts if I knew it was out there and I couldn't find one.  So if your a player collector, maybe you won't want to look too closely at the checklist on the back if you don't already have one.





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mail from "The Toddfather"


These cards arrived from Tim, who runs "The Toddfather Blog."  This isn't the first time he's sent cards, and I realize I've failed to mention in the past how much I like his "Godfather" themed layout.  It's one of the better card blog designs out there.

I'm about three months behind in sending out cards, but finally took the step of making a list of names/addresses/wants this weekend.  Now it's just a matter of pulling the cards.

Thank you very much for the cards Tim.

Updated Totals:

1988 Topps Big: 19
1989 Donruss: 186
1989 Fleer: 157
1995 Stadium Club: 14


Monday, April 7, 2014

Just Commons Purchase


"Just Commons" is the well that just won't go dry.  I discovered JustCommons.com about three years ago.  I promptly relieved it of all the Wallach cards in it's inventory.  Unlike most sites though, it restocks (somehow).  Over the last few years I've hit the site up about a half dozen times.  This most recent pillaging was particularly sweet, filled with 80's base cards, my personal favorites.

From the sites I've bought cards from, Just Commons has far and away the best prices and very reasonable shipping.  If your a set collector, this is a fantastic site.  If your looking for a serial numbered rainbow refractor 3D jersey/bat swabbed insert signed by all the original members of Soul Asylum (or something like that), it's probably not the site you want.  What you should probably do is take up instant lottery tickets, it's a cheaper more cost effective way of getting your fix than packs of baseball cards.

They don't pay me for these plugs, or even give me free cards (though they probably should), I just don't mind sharing when I think something is a great service.





Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cards from Upstate New York


These cards arrived from "The Night Owl."  He's turned into a fairly regular contributor.  He's also from a part of upstate New York (or least his envelopes are from there) that I'm pretty familiar with.  I have family from Rome, and I moved to Cooperstown (from Phoenix) when I was in 5th grade.  Both are known as Section III in the world of high school sports.

I'm sure it's been explained, but I have no idea why Night Owl is a Dodger fan.  I think it's random.  And given the nature of this blog, I'm not one to judge random acts fandom.  It's not entirely unusual in New York as there are still holdout Brooklyn (and NY Giant) fans that linger.  In my experience though it tends to be really old guys and coeds who know little about baseball other than grandpa likes the Dodgers/Giants so they do too.  I briefly identified as a Dodger fan myself after Wallach was traded there from Montreal.  I went out and bought a new fitted Dodger cap and wore it religiously during the glorious Jose Offerman/Delino Deshields/Brett Butler Era of Dodger Blue semi-dominance.  When Wallach went to the California Angels, I bought an Angels hat, and tried my best to be an Angels fan (with little success).  I was relieved to swap it out for the Dodger cap again midway through the season.  I've also been purchasing Dodger gear again the last few years in support of their excellent coaching staff, though I don't identify as a Dodger fan (I just want them to win).

Thanks for the cards Greg, I have some oddball Dodger stuff to send, but nothing to get excited about as I'm sure you already have it, but I'll get it out anyways just in case you don't.  

Updated Totals: 

1988 Topps AS: 353
1989 Bowman: 82
1989 K-Mart: 15
1990 Score: 122
1991 Score: 97
1991 Score Franchise: 73
1992 Triple Play: 45
1995 Bazooka: 20
1995 Collector's Choice: 9
1997 Collector's Choice: 15




Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bay City, MI



I'm pretty sure Eric Devendorff was from Bay City, Michigan.  Outside (and even inside) of Syracuse I wasn't the most popular player, but he was, is, and will always be one of my all-time favorite Orangemen.  I am not a trash talker, at least not a good one, and think I've always been drawn to trash talkers as a result.  A sort of curiosity.  Devo was a world class trash talker (and also #14 on the SU career scoring list).  I'm not sure Mike in Bay City, who sent these 19 cards, knows or cares who Eric Devendorff is, but that was my first thought when I saw the address.

My second thought was more card related, and that was "why did Fleer stop using the style of back that they went with from '83-85?"  I liked them at the time and think they have aged even better.  My only guess is that they heard all the complaining about the horrible, cereal box card worthy Donruss backs that they insisted on using for over a decade and didn't want the same ire directed at them.  Or maybe they were just too cheap to keep using two photos.

Thanks for cards Mike,  I very much appreciate it.  It's a very nice assortment.

Updated Totals:

1984 Fleer: 80
1985 Fleer: 47
1986 Donruss: 101
1990 Leaf: 27
1994 Score Select x2: 16
1994 Ultra: 26
1995 Collector's Choice: 8
1995 Donruss: 21
1995 Flair: 11
1995 Fleer: 15
1995 Leaf: 13
1995 Pinnacle: 17
1995 Score Gold Rush x2: 4
1995 Studio: 15
1995 Topps Cyber Stats: 11
1995 Topps Embossed: 7
1995 Upper Deck: 20

Monday, March 31, 2014

Washington, D.C.


These cards were sent by a former law school classmate.  It's D.C.'s first appearance on the map. Thanks for the cards Falvo, they're very much appreciated.  Maybe you can use your influence to land me some sort of governmental grant for this little cause of mine.

Updated Totals:

1987 Topps x2: 520
1988 Sportflics: 5
1989 Donruss: 185
1989 K-Mart: 14
1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier: 22
1991 Topps: 104


Friday, March 28, 2014

Ottawa, ON, Canada


I send cards in plain white envelopes all the time.  I've never had any issues.  I receive cards sent in plain white envelopes all the time.  I've never had any issues.

Above is my first "issue."  Someone in Ottawa tried to send this.  It didn't quite make it.  It's not obvious from the scan, but in person it's very obvious that what ever was inside the envelope did not make it.  I went ahead and added this to my map, even though no cards arrived.  The effort was made to send cards, and thats good enough to go up on the map.  

Thank you for the attempt Mr. Cook.  Our USPS wants you to know that they care and are very sorry.  Just don't expect a refund on your stamps.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Plano, Texas



Rich in Plano, Texas reached out a few weeks ago via email and said he thought he could pull some cards to send my way.  I said "thanks, go ahead," and really didn't think too much more about it.  Then this arrived in my mailbox.  I was a little confused because I hadn't made any large purchases and was kind of at a loss for where it came from.  I thought maybe it was some long delayed sportlots.com purchase I had forgotton about.  An unlikely scenario, but not impossible.  No, these were cards from Rich in Plano, Texas.  He wasn't kidding when he said he had few to send.

Thank you very much for the effort Rich.  This is really an awesome assortment of cards.  (64 total)



 Updated Totals for the cards sent (this took awhile):

1982 Donruss: 140
1982 Fleer: 58
1982 Topps x6: 386
1983 Donruss: 61
1983 Fleer: 70
1983 OPC Stickers: 4
1984 Donruss: 101
1984 Fleer: 78
1985 Fleer: 46
1986 Donruss: 98
1986 Fleer: 91
1986 Leaf x3: 14
1986 Topps: 140
1986 Topps AS x2: 297
1987 Donruss: 259
1987 Fleer: 93
1987 Topps x2: 514
1988 Donruss x2: 545 
1988 Fleer: 170
1988 Fleer Star Sticker: 43
1988 Score: 176
1988 Topps x2: 410
1988 Topps AS x2: 347
1989 Bowman: 79
1989 Donruss BB Best: 5
1989 Fleer: 155
1989 Score: 108
1989 Topps x3: 342
1990 Donruss: 179
1990 Fleer: 177
1990 Fleer Award Winners: 6
1990 Leaf: 25
1990 Topps: 213
1991 Bowman: 29
1991 Donruss: 101
1991 Donruss MVP: 87
1991 Score: 95
1991 Stadium Club: 38
1991 Studio: 33
1991 Topps: 102
1992 Bowman: 24
1992 Fleer: 51
1992 Leaf: 32
1992 Pinnacle: 24
1992 Stadium Club x2: 11
1993 Donruss: 49
1993 Score Select: 20
1994 Score: 41

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lebanon, IN



These are the first cards to arrive the State of Indiana.  Thanks for sending them Kin, and I like your choice in stamps as well.

Updated Totals:

1987 Topps: 512
1989 Topps: 339

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mail from Angels in Order


Tom from "Angels in Order" sent these.  I appreciate the note Tom.  If Wallach cards stick out like sore thumbs to people, I'm doing my job.  Even if they don't stick them in an envelope and mail them to me, just people giving them a second look the way they would a Ryne Sandberg or Ozzie Smith rather than dismissing the 2,000+ career hit 5x All-Star as another anonymous common, makes the world a better place.

Updated Totals:

1988 Topps AS x2: 345
1991 Donruss: 100
1992 Upper Deck: 145
1995 Bazooka: 18
1995 Collector's Choice: 7
1997 Collector's Choice: 14


Thursday, March 13, 2014

1996 Collector's Choice #486 Gold Signature

Card Review: 8.3 Of the three variations of this card, I like this one the best.  The red accents just look better with the gold border than they do with the silver or white borders.  The photo on the back of this card is interesting.  As far as I can remember, Tim Wallach never wore a batting helmet without an ear flap (just look at the front of the card).  However, the wikipedia page on batting helmets, list Wallach as one of the last players (along with Tim Raines, Gary Gaetti, and Ozzie Smith) to wear the flapless helmet.

In 1983, it was made mandatory for new players to use a helmet with at least one earflap. Players who were grandfathered in could choose to wear a helmet without ear flaps. Players can choose to wear double earflap helmets in the major leagues; however, this is not mandatory. Tim Raines was the last player to wear a helmet without earflaps, during the 2002 season. His flap-less Florida Marlins helmet is currently at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gary Gaetti, who retired in the year 2000, plus Ozzie Smith and Tim Wallach, who both retired in 1996, also wore flapless helmets until they retired from the game.

The 1995 Pinnacle card also shows Wallach wearing a flapless helmet.  If I had to guess, I'd guess it was just something he did in Spring Training or batting practice.  I'm not well versed enough with the rule to know what the helmet policy is during batting practice.  I feel like I've seen guys take b.p. in just regular hats, but can't be certain.  In any event, there's photographic evidence that shows Wallach wearing the helmet, but none of him actually batting in it.  And I've never seen a photo showing him in a flapless Expos helmet

Number of this card in my collection: 1




Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Recent Purchase


I don't normally buy individual cards from ebay sellers.  They tend to want $1.00 and up for individual cards and a lot more than that for shipping.  It's the least cost-effective way of buying cards online.  However, recently that card in the upper right corner of the above photo showed up on ebay.  I pulled the trigger and paid way too much.  But that card has been on my most-wanted list for awhile.  So I bit the bullet.  Burbank Sportscards, to their credit, are extremely reasonable with shipping costs.  $2.00, flat rate.  So I checked out what other Wallach's they had.  There wasn't much, and cheap shipping or not, I'm not paying $1 a pop for junk wax base cards.  They did have 10 of those '96 Mother's Cookies cards though, so I sprung (also some Lawrence Moten's I picked up, another player I hoard but to nowhere near the same extent).

In any event, I'm very pleased to cross another card off of my "need" list.  I'll follow up with an individual post for the card shortly.