2015 All-Star Stitches #22: Adrian Gonzlalez

31 10 2016

I got 5 of these from COMC back in the Summer, so here’s the next one.  As a reminder, I went to the All-Star game and Home Run Derby in Cincinnati.  So I’m collecting this All-Star Stitches set!  These cards that have swatches from the Monday practice festivities.

Gonzalez is my 3rd card from the COMC summer purchase, and my 22nd card toward this set.

2015-topps-update-all-star-stitch-adrian-gonzalez

Card number:  STIT-AGN

Player:  Adrian Gonzalez

How I got the card:  COMC in August

Position:  First Base

How he made the roster:  A-Gone was selected by manager Bruce Bochy as the third first baseman.

This was his 5th All-Star selection.  Surprised that’s all for him, but 1B is a tough slot.

First half stat line:  .283/18/55

All-Star game:  Gonzalez came in as a defensive replacement for starter Paul Goldschmidt in the top of the 7th.  He struck out in the 8th with Justin Upton on 2nd base.

*********************

STIT-AB A.J. Burnett – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-AC Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
STIT-AE Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royals
STIT-AGN Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-AJ Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-AM Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-APO A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
STIT-APU Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels
STIT-AR Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
STIT-BB Brad Boxberger – Tampa Bay Rays
STIT-BC Brandon Crawford – San Francisco Giants
STIT-BD Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
STIT-BG Brett Gardner – New York Yankees
STIT-BHA Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
STIT-BHO Brock Holt – Boston Red Sox
STIT-BP Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
STIT-CA Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays
STIT-CK Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-CM Carlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-CS Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
STIT-DB Dellin Betances – New York Yankees
STIT-DK Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
STIT-DL DJ LeMahieu – Colorado Rockies
STIT-DO Darren O’Day – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-DP David Price – Detroit Tigers
STIT-FH Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
STIT-GC Gerrit Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-GP Glen Perkins – Minnesota Twins
STIT-JA Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
STIT-JDE Jacob deGrom – New York Mets
STIT-JDO Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
STIT-JK Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
STIT-JM J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
STIT-JPA Joe Panik – San Francisco Giants
STIT-JPD Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-JPE Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-JU Justin Upton – San Diego Padres
STIT-KB Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
STIT-KH Kelvin Herrera – Kansas City Royals
STIT-LC Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
STIT-MB Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants
STIT-MMA Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-MME Mark Melancon – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-MTE Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees
STIT-MTR Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
STIT-NA Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
STIT-NC Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
STIT-PF Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
STIT-PG Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
STIT-RM Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays
STIT-SM Shelby Miller – Atlanta Braves
STIT-SP Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
STIT-SV Stephen Vogt – Oakland Athletics
STIT-TF Todd Frazier – Cincinnati Reds
STIT-TT Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
STIT-WD Wade Davis – Kansas City Royals
STIT-YG Yasmani Grandal – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-YM Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-ZB Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-ZG Zack Greinke – Los Angeles Dodgers




2015 All-Star Stitches #21: Chris Sale

29 10 2016

I got 5 of these from COMC back in the Summer, so here’s the next one.  As a reminder, I went to the All-Star game and Home Run Derby in Cincinnati.  So I’m collecting this All-Star Stitches set!  These cards that have swatches from the Monday practice festivities.

Sale is my 21st card toward this set.  Past the one-third mark!

2015-topps-update-all-star-stitch-chris-sale

Card number:  STIT-CS

Player:  Chris Sale

How I got the card:  COMC in August

Position:  Pitcher

How he made the roster:  Sale was voted in by the players ballot.

This was his 4th All-Star selection.

First half stat line:  8-4/2.72/157

All-Star game:  Sale didn’t get into the game.  He’d started 3 days earlier so I believe he was available, but was one of the pitchers held back in case the game went extras.

*********************

STIT-AB A.J. Burnett – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-AC Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
STIT-AE Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royals
STIT-AGN Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-AJ Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-AM Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-APO A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
STIT-APU Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels
STIT-AR Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
STIT-BB Brad Boxberger – Tampa Bay Rays
STIT-BC Brandon Crawford – San Francisco Giants
STIT-BD Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
STIT-BG Brett Gardner – New York Yankees
STIT-BHA Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
STIT-BHO Brock Holt – Boston Red Sox
STIT-BP Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
STIT-CA Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays
STIT-CK Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-CM Carlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-CS Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
STIT-DB Dellin Betances – New York Yankees
STIT-DK Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
STIT-DL DJ LeMahieu – Colorado Rockies
STIT-DO Darren O’Day – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-DP David Price – Detroit Tigers
STIT-FH Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
STIT-GC Gerrit Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-GP Glen Perkins – Minnesota Twins
STIT-JA Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
STIT-JDE Jacob deGrom – New York Mets
STIT-JDO Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
STIT-JK Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
STIT-JM J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
STIT-JPA Joe Panik – San Francisco Giants
STIT-JPD Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-JPE Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-JU Justin Upton – San Diego Padres
STIT-KB Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
STIT-KH Kelvin Herrera – Kansas City Royals
STIT-LC Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
STIT-MB Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants
STIT-MMA Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-MME Mark Melancon – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-MTE Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees
STIT-MTR Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
STIT-NA Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
STIT-NC Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
STIT-PF Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
STIT-PG Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
STIT-RM Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays
STIT-SM Shelby Miller – Atlanta Braves
STIT-SP Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
STIT-SV Stephen Vogt – Oakland Athletics
STIT-TF Todd Frazier – Cincinnati Reds
STIT-TT Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
STIT-WD Wade Davis – Kansas City Royals
STIT-YG Yasmani Grandal – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-YM Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-ZB Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-ZG Zack Greinke – Los Angeles Dodgers




2015 All-Star Stitches #20: Zack Greinke

27 10 2016

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts, but I got 5 of these cards on COMC back in July/August.  My general rule is this: if I find them for $2 or less, I pick it up immediately.  $2.50?  $3?  I ask for a better price and then accept it if they come down a bit.  Eventually, I’ll need to pay more or trade a bit for the top guys.  But this is a top guy from some level.  He’s the guy who got 2nd in the Cy Young the year of the AS game – and in my opinion should have won it.

As a reminder, I went to the All-Star game and Home Run Derby in Cincinnati.  So I’m collecting this All-Star Stitches set!  These cards that have swatches from the Monday practice festivities.

Greinke is my 20th card toward this set.  At the one-third mark!

2015-topps-update-all-star-stitch-zack-greinke

Card number:  STIT-ZG

Player:  Zack Greinke

How I got the card:  COMC in July/August

Position:  Pitcher

How he made the roster:  Greinke was voted in by the players, and then selected as the NL starter by manager Bruce Bochy.

This was (to me shockingly only) his 3rd All-Star selection.

First half stat line:  12-6/1.39/106

All-Star game:  Greinke was selected as the starter of the game.  That’s a distinctive honor – but I’d think it gets extra merit when the manager of a division rival (Bruce Bochy of the Giants) picks you over hi guy.  Greinke had an amazing year in 2015, and it was only Jake Arrieta’s equally historic season that cost him a 2nd Cy Young award (and one from each league.

Unfortunately for his performance in the game – he gave up one of the only leadoff homers in All-Star game history.  But Greinke struck out 4 of the next 6 batters – and ended up having a pretty good stat line.

*********************

STIT-AB A.J. Burnett – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-AC Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
STIT-AE Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royals
STIT-AGN Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-AJ Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-AM Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-APO A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
STIT-APU Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels
STIT-AR Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
STIT-BB Brad Boxberger – Tampa Bay Rays
STIT-BC Brandon Crawford – San Francisco Giants
STIT-BD Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
STIT-BG Brett Gardner – New York Yankees
STIT-BHA Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
STIT-BHO Brock Holt – Boston Red Sox
STIT-BP Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
STIT-CA Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays
STIT-CK Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-CM Carlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-CS Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
STIT-DB Dellin Betances – New York Yankees
STIT-DK Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
STIT-DL DJ LeMahieu – Colorado Rockies
STIT-DO Darren O’Day – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-DP David Price – Detroit Tigers
STIT-FH Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
STIT-GC Gerrit Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-GP Glen Perkins – Minnesota Twins
STIT-JA Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
STIT-JDE Jacob deGrom – New York Mets
STIT-JDO Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
STIT-JK Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
STIT-JM J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
STIT-JPA Joe Panik – San Francisco Giants
STIT-JPD Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-JPE Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-JU Justin Upton – San Diego Padres
STIT-KB Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
STIT-KH Kelvin Herrera – Kansas City Royals
STIT-LC Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
STIT-MB Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants
STIT-MMA Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-MME Mark Melancon – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-MTE Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees
STIT-MTR Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
STIT-NA Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
STIT-NC Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
STIT-PF Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
STIT-PG Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
STIT-RM Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays
STIT-SM Shelby Miller – Atlanta Braves
STIT-SP Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
STIT-SV Stephen Vogt – Oakland Athletics
STIT-TF Todd Frazier – Cincinnati Reds
STIT-TT Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
STIT-WD Wade Davis – Kansas City Royals
STIT-YG Yasmani Grandal – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-YM Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-ZB Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-ZG Zack Greinke – Los Angeles Dodgers




Tuesday Tunes: Diamond Ditty #12 – “A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request” by Steve Goodman

25 10 2016

I’m a Reds fan but I’ve always had a soft spot for the Cubs.  My mom is from Chicago and I live there now.  My Grandfather lived there for most of his 90+ years, and growing up I always associated the Cubs with “Grumpa”.  He passed away last winter and I’m hoping they win the title because I know it would make him smile.  With the World Series starting tonight, I thought this would be appropriate.

steve-goodman-affordable-art

Artist/Title/Album: “A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request” by Steve Goodman (Affordable Art, 1984)

Also Included on No Big Surprise (1994), a posthumous collection of Goodman’s songs

Steve Goodman No Big Surprise

Description:  The song was written in the early 1980’s by folk singer Steve Goodman, a lifelong Chicagoan and Cubs fan.  Goodman originally wrote the song in early 1983, debuting it on Roy Leonard’s WGN Radio Show.  The song laments about the Cubs historic failures; naturally, it wasn’t played at Wrigley Field.  Goodman is talking (as opposed to singing) for most of the song.

This song eventually led to a more upbeat song in 1984, when WGN asked Goodman to pen a song they could use on their broadcasts.  Thus “Go Cubs Go” was born.  WGN played that song on their Opening Day broadcast that year, and it caught on as the Cubs made the playoffs for the first time in almost 4 decades.

Goodman was a Grammy-winning folk singer born in Chicago who got his break when he opened at a Chicago show for Kris Kristofferson.  This led to a string of events in which his song, “City of New Orleans” was covered by Arlo Guthrie.  The Guthrie cover got to #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, and enabled Goodman to work full-time as a musician.  A number of other famous musicians covered it, including Willie Nelson whose recording reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Country list.  That recording earned Goodman a Grammy for Best Country Song in 1985.  Goodman won a 2nd posthumous Grammy for his album “Unfinished Business” in 1988.

How it’s related to baseball:  The song describes an old Cubs fan on his deathbed.  It’s tongue in cheek – the man laments the anguish from being a Cubs fan and asks to have his funeral at Wrigley.  Everyone can have a frosty malt 2 peanut bags, and his ashes will get blown out onto Waveland Avenue.

Sadly, the song is kind of about Goodman himself.  Though he was a successful musician, he battled Leukemia for most of his adult life and died a year or so after this song was written. He succumbed to a 15-year battle with Leukemia a few days before the end of the 1984 season.  Jimmy Buffett sang the National Anthem in his friend’s stead at the first playoff game at Wrigley that year.

Steve Goodman Cubs singles

Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around
When the snow melts away,
Do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy-covered burial ground





Completed insert set – 1998 Topps Focal Point

23 10 2016

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, grabbing one of my Elusive Eight cards finished off a 1998 insert set for me.

Info about the set:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Set description:  These cards show current stars with a colorful raised foil background that reminds me of something Upper Deck would put in its SP product.  The right side contains close-up cutouts of portions of that picture.  The back has a write-up of the player.

Set composition:  15 cards, 1:36 odds (1998 Topps series 2)

Hall of Famers:  5.  Cal Ripken, Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza, Greg Maddux.

Vlad Guerrero could join them next year.

How I put the set together:

  • 1 card from a trade
  • 11 cards from COMC
  • 1 card from Beckett’s marketplace
  • 2 cards from Sportlots

I didn’t get any from the 1998 s2 box I opened – I don’t remember being too frustrated at the time but from the odds I should have pulled one.  I pulled 2 Mystery Finest from that box – which are also supposed to be 1 per box – so can’t complain.

Thoughts on the set:  This and the Flashback set are up there as my favorite inserts from 1998 Topps.  In general, I liked the stuff they were doing from the late 90’s much better than today.  The background effects are cool – kind of like the rookie subset in 1995 Upper Deck SP rookie cards and/or Pinnacle’s Dufex effect.  15 cards is a good amount, as well.  Not too many, but not too easy either.

Card that completed my set:  #FP11 – Chuck Knoblauch

1998-topps-focal-point-complete-3

Any other tidbits:  I find the break down of the photos is interesting in a set like this:

  • 7 batters in mid-swing
  • 3 batters starting down the first base line
  • 2 pitchers mid-stride
  • 1 fielder throwing
  • 1 fielder in ready position
  • 1 catcher cocking back to throw out a base stealer




Saturdays Suds: Baseball & Beer #71 Prohibition Pig You’re Killing Me Smalls

22 10 2016

I’ve been trying to catch up on Cooperstown Brewing Company beers from my trip to the Hall of Fame back in July.  I had or picked up four baseball-themed beers on that trip that weren’t from CBC.  The first was the .394 Ale from AleSmith (Tony Gwynn’s concoction), the 2nd was Grand Slam Homerun Beer from the Vermont Pub & Brewery.

This is the 3rd one.

pro-pig

Brewery:  Prohibition Pig, Waterbury VT

pro-pig-your-killing-me-smallsBeer:  Prohibition Pig You’re Killing Me Smalls

Description:  “A porter aged on cocoa nibs, graham cracker crumbs, and roasted marshmallows.”  I’ve seen it called a brown ale and a porter in a couple of different places, and can’t remember exactly what the restaurant brewery had on their menu (it’s no longer available).  To me it seemed like a porter.

Medium:  Draft is the only way to get this beer.  I got it in a mini howler on draft at the Prohibition Pig, which is a brewery & restaurant in Waterbury.  After Cooperstown, I drove through Vermont, heading to Stowe, VT to check out the new Alchemist Brewery.

How it’s related to baseball:  It’s named after one of the great quotes in baseball movie history, from the Sandlot.  It’s appropriate, for 2 reasons.  Pro Pig is known as much for the combination of great brews and great BBQ – and Ham Porter utters the quote.  Second, they brewed it with graham crackers, cocoa nibs & marshmallow.

Ham Porter:  Hey, Smalls, you wanna s’more?
Smalls:  Some more of what?
Ham Porter: No, do you wanna s’more?
Smalls: I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?
Ham Porter:  You’re killing me Smalls!  These are s’mores stuff! Ok, pay attention. First you take the graham, you stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the ‘mallow. When the ‘mallows flaming… you stick it on the chocolate. Then cover with the other end. Then you scarf. Kind of messy, but good! Try some!

youre-killing-me-smalls-sandlot-thumbnail





Updating the Elusive Eight for a 6th & 7th time

20 10 2016

This is the sixth time I’ve had the chance to cross off something on this elusive card list.  And this time, I got two cards through a purchase, which isn’t quite as exciting as a trade, but I’ve been stalking COMC, Beckett and eBay for this card and it finally popped up:

2012 Topps Archives Combos – #58-CK – Cabrera/Kaline

2012-archives-combos-cabrera-kaline

I still have one more card in this set, which has definitely proved to be “elusive”.

1998 Topps Focal Points #11 – Chuck Knoblauch

1998-topps-focal-point-knoblauch

Same thing with this card – I’ve been looking for it for quite a while.  It’s not as expensive or rare as the card above, but it’s just been so long that I’ve been trying to get it – I’m glad it’s off the list.  Also, this one completes the set.

*********

Here’s the updated Elusive Eight, just in case anyone has these cards available!  Remember – the pictures are the photos I have of other cards in the set.  Since I don’t have them, I don’t have actual photos yet!

1995 Topps Pre-Production Spectralite #PP5 – Travis Fryman

1995 Topps Pre-Production Spectralite Sandy Alomar

This was one of 4 cards on the original Elusive Eight that has stayed on the whole time and I’m still yet to obtain, and to me is the one that might prove the toughest.  I’m guessing that whenever I turn over the full original list – it will be this card that gets me there.

1996 Topps Masters of the Game #15 – Kirby Puckett

96 Masters of Game

Another EE original – I am surprised I haven’t found this guy yet.  The hunt continues…

2012 Topps Archives In Action #82IA-JE – Jacoby Ellsbury

Trade Night Owl June 2012 Archives

This is another original list card that I just can’t seem to find.  As a retail-only set, these aren’t common by any means, but I’ve seen the other cards in this set so much more frequently.

2013 Gypsy Queen #218 – Adam Wainwright

2013 Gypsy Queen Gwynn

This was on the original list, but unlike the others this is a card I could go out and buy now if I wanted to.  I just haven’t had the burning need to complete the Gypsy Queen set from 2013.  It’s not something I need to pounce on, but hopefully I get this by end of 2016.

2012 Topps Archives Combos – #58-YE – Yaz/Ellsbury

2012 Archives Combos Bench Votto

So this card was on the 2nd list, and has been on there ever since.  I had 2 needs for this set, so couldn’t fit it into the original, so once I got one of the originals, this card and its counterpart replaced…

2012 Allen & Ginter Giants of the Deep #14 – Bottlenose Whale

2012 Ginter mini Giants Deep Bottlenose Whale

So technically this was on the original list, but not continuously on.  I think I’ve bumped it off two times.

1998 Hall Bound #1 – Paul Molitor

1998 Topps s1 box HallBound Bonds

I had been at 2 cards in this set for quite a while – and I found one of the cards on COMC, so I’m down to just the Molitor to complete this set.

2002 Topps Traded #5 – Tyler Houston

2002 Topps Traded Tim Raines

This is the card I’m adding to replace the Cabrera/Kaline card above.  I’m going to do this going forward – keep 1 of these 2002 Topps Traded cards on my list.  See, it’s going to be the hardest base set of this Lifetime Topps Project for me to complete.  Topps short printed the first 110 cards and they now go for $3-$5 a pop.  I’m hoping this helps me focus on these.

 

Here are some other cards that would be knocking on the door to make the list.

1998 Clemente Finest Reprints #13

1998 Milestones  cards #3 (Dennis Eckersley) & #4 (Juan Gonzalez)

2001 Topps MVP redemption set – a very expensive set, I have about 10 of the 25 cards

2003 Topps Nolan Ryan Record Breaker – 5 very difficult cards to go

2003 Topps Traded – 5 cards to go

2004 Topps – 5 cards to go

2012 Topps – the Bryce Harper 661 card