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.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Induction Program 2014 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

This program cover may look familiar by now.  It's the same as the "mini-poster" and "poster."  The program is actually very well done.  Printed on nice paper stock, full color, and there is not much of what I would describe as throw away filler content inside.  I didn't scan the whole thing, but below are some of the highlights.

Above: Table of Contents If you see anything listed that I didn't scan in but are interested in, let me know, I'll be happy to scan it and email it to you, or add it to the bottom of this post.

Above: Letter from the Mayor of St. Mary's  Not sure if every Mayor in Canada wears one of those medals, but I like to think that they do.

Above (updated from original post): Congratulations Ad from the Angels  I over looked this the first few times I flipped through this program.  It wasn't until about a week later, while giving it a very thorough reading I noticed this ad from the Angels.  Given Wallach only played half a season with the Angels, it's cool that it was included.

Above: Tim Wallach's page I didn't scan in the pages for the other three inductee's, but I did scan the "Congratulations" page for each of them from their respective clubs.  That photo may look a little familiar, it's the same one used on the 1981 Dimanche-Derniere insert that I just posted on a few weeks ago.

Below: The Four "Congratulations" pages for each of the inductees I think the Wallach page is very well done and an extremely nice gesture and sentiment from the Dodgers.  I'm strongly considering blowing it up to poster size.

Below: A page on Larry Walker and list of all Inductees by year