Thursday, November 30, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update value box pack 4

 Lets see what we get tonight:

Anthony Volpe hot pack.  Brutal box break so far.  Enjoy tonight's Christmas song selection:

Its short and sweet.  Ernest Saves Christmas is a top 3 Christmas movie in my book.  Rip Jim Varney, a true class act.

TTM Success: Gregg Olson

Another TTM came back from my magical December 17th, 2014 TTM blitz.  Gregg Olson can probably be considered among the best, if not THE BEST, reliever in Orioles history.  He was the last Orioles player to win the Rookie of the Year (1989) until Gunnar Henderson this year.  He still holds the Orioles record for saves with 160.  Zach Britton got close with 139 saves for the team.  "Otter" moved onto the Braves and became a Baseball Reference Immaculate Grid cheat code bouncing around to a bunch of other teams to round out his career.  He never had the same success he did as an Oriole.
1991 Donruss Diamond King

I enjoy getting Diamond Kings autographed as I enjoy Dick Perez's baseball artwork.  I'm currently working on completing his run of Diamond Kings from 1982 thru 1996.  I mostly need cards from 1992 thru 1996 when they became proper inserts.  I'd love to get more Diamond Kings signed but you can see that endeavor would get really expensive after a while.

I Sent the card out on December 17th, 2014 and I received it back on January 30th 2015 for a 44 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Olson!

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update Value box pack 3

Another night, another pack from the 2023 Topps Chrome Update box.  Its been a somewhat snorefest of a box so far.  Lets see if my luck changes tonight.

I sleep.

Pink refractors are 2 per box. I've never been a fan of "light red" refractors... Aren't there better colors to associate with baseball?

This box has got me blue... Enjoy tonight's oddball Christmas song:


TTM Success: Bob Saverine

Here's another recent TTM I received back.  Bob Saverine was a utility player for the Orioles in the early 60's and then moved on to play for the Senators to finish out his career.  He debuted in the major leagues at the age of 18 in 1959 and was the youngest player to play in an American League game that season.

1965 Topps
1965 Topps is one of my favorite Topps sets of all their designs.  I might get around to trying to work on the complete set at some point.  I know it won't be a high grade set but more of a "beater".  Just having the cards would be good enough for me.  Plus, I already have the "big one" (I need to show it off at some point) from that set so I already have a good jump on it.
1964 Topps
 I do have a lot more of the 1964 and 1963 Topps sets (also in "beater" condition).  I'd probably try to trade the 64's and 63's to try and complete the '65 set.

I send these cards out on Halloween, October 31st, 2023 and got them back on November 13th, 2023 for a 13 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Saverine!

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update Value box pack 2

 Back with pack number 2 of my 2023 Topps Chrome Update Value box.  

This is turning into a Dodger fest as the Heyward is a refractor.  Not much else to get excited about.
The special Sepia tone refractor of Ryu ( a former Dodger nonetheless) drops out of pack two as one of our promised two Sepia tones.  Enjoy the off-color Christmas song of the night:

TTM Success: Jamie Moyer

    These two cards came back signed by Jamie Moyer not long after the new year in 2015.  Its been very interesting looking back at these old returns and seeing how signing habits of some players have changed since then.  Around the time I sent these out, Jamie was a pretty reliable signer with about a 14 day turn around time.  Not long after I got these returned, the turn around times started getting longer and longer up to about a 2 year wait.  Then in 2017ish, it seemed like he just quit.  Now we signs for $25 a card on Past Pros.  Nothing against that, because I will pay for certain players, but I just thought it was interesting to point out.  I'm happy to have sent and saved money.  I probably would not have gotten both of these cards for fifty bucks.
1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice

1995 Score

I sent to him on December 17th, 2014 and got these back on January 17th 2015 for a 31 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Moyer!

Monday, November 27, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update Value box pack 1

 I like to dip my foot into nearly every product that Topps releases on the retail side.  It gives me some good trade bait and also you never know what you'll hit.  Anyways, here's pack 1 followed by my off-color Christmas song of the night.  Enjoy!

Nothing crazy in the first pack but a decent Yoshida '88 Topps and Gallen ASG insert. Now please enjoy this soon to be yuletide classic:

TTM Success: Davey Johnson

 Another recent TTM request came back to my mailbox in the form of this signed 1969 Topps Davey Johnson. 

Davey Johnson was the solid second baseman for the Orioles during their golden years.  Not quite a power hitter (at least not while with the Orioles) he was a 3 time All Star for the Orioles.  He added another All Star appearance with the Braves in his career season in 1973 when he hit 43 homers.  Davey Johnson also played in Japan for the Yomiuri Giants in 1976 and 1977.  He later became the manager of the Mets leading them to the World Series trophy in 1986 and then had stints in Cincinnati, Baltimore, LA, and Washington.  He famously resigned from the Orioles managerial job a mere two hours before he won the AL Manager of the Year in 1997.  He resigned before Peter Angelos could fire him because Johnson directed Roberton Alomar to pay a fine to a charity in which Dave's wife worked. Angelos took exception to how Johnson handled the situation and was likely to fire him.  Seems petty to me but that's how the Angelos ownership group handles business.

I sent to Dave Johnson on November 2nd 2023 and got this return on November 13th 2023 for an 11 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Johnson!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

TTM Success: Gary Roenicke

Today, this post is 100%  brought to you by people that have at birthday on December 5.  Gary Roenicke is has the same birthday as me (different years '54 vs '83).  Other baseball players who share our birthday include Cliff Floyd, Justin Smoak, Christian Yelich, and Hayden Wesneski.  

Gary had his best years as an Oriole where he was the platoon partner for John Lowenstein.  He won the World Series in 1983 and is enshrined in the Orioles Hall of Fame.  
Both of these cards turned out great.  I sent to him on December 17th, 2014 and got the cards back on January 3rd, 2015 for a 17 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Roenicke!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

TTM Success: John O'Donoghue, Sr.

Another TTM success came back the other day.  This one is from John O'Donoghue, Sr.  He was a relief pitcher for the 1968 Orioles and was awarded by his teammates in the Kangaroo Court "the John O'Donoghue Memorial Long Ball Award".  He won the award by giving up the longest home run at Memorial Stadium that season.  His trophy: a tattered, ragged-out baseball.

John came over from Cleveland in trade after the 1967 season and had previously been with the KC Athletics to start his career.  He made the All-Star team in 1965.  

His son also pitched for the Orioles in the mid 90's....

I sent to John on November 4th, 2023 and received it back on November 13th, 2023 for a 9 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. O'Donoghue!

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Trade with Tom of The Angels, in Order

We're mixing it up a little bit today with a trade package from Tom of The Angels, in Order blog.  Tom has been a great blogger for a long time and has always been a good trade partner of mine.  I was happy to have him reach out on one of my recent posts saying that he had some cards for me.  A trade was agreed upon and here are the highlights of my end of the bargain: 

The lone Orioles card of the package was this 2023 Topps Update of James McCann.  I think Mike Elias is a bit of genius because he was able to get the Mets to basically pay McCann to play for the Orioles this and next year.  He's a very good backup catcher that was sometimes miscast as a DH early in the season.  He'll likely move on after his contract is up next fall and give way to Maverick Handley, Silas Ardoin, or Samuel Basallo.
I can't imagine why Tom had these Nolan Ryan cards laying around. I love this Coke set for a variety of reasons.  Nolan is one of my favorite all time players.  The gold border does wonders to help with the divisive 1992 Donruss Design. Probably most of all, I remember when I was a little boy getting some of these out of packs of Coke with my Grandma and Grandpa.  My Grandma passed away last fall after a battle with dementia.  My Grandpa is still alive and well and just turned 90 on October 25th.  I love that he hangs out at the Walmart near his house on Friday mornings and helps the old folks shop for groceries.  You just can't hold an old farmer down.  He just gave up farming about 4 years ago to help care for my Grandma.  He still gets on the old John Deere and mows the ditches around the family farm.
Here's some of the highlights of the highlights of Nolan's career set from Pacific. I know there is a hub bub about Randy Johnson's 1989 Fleer having a Marlboro sign in the background.  I've never seen anything about this card.  I've also never felt more of an urge to smoke than I do now that I've seen this card.  

Its that time of year again.... Time to bring out the menorahs.... Is that OJ Simpson? Hall of Famer Rod Carew?  All Three Stooges?

Thanks Tom for your generosity and I look forward to our next trade!

Monday, November 20, 2023

TTM Success: Ben McDonald

Here's yet another success that I had in my draft folder since 2014.  I think with Ben I happened to send at the right time.  To me, it looks like 2014 and 2015 were the best years to send to him and then he tailed off and there has been very spotty success since 2018.  I'm very happy to have these 2 cards signed.
1994 Pinnacle

1994 Fleer Ultra

Ben McDonald was the 1st overall pick in the 1989 Draft out of LSU.  Shortly after the draft a column was written in The Sporting News about Big Ben and how he and his buddies liked to go out in the swamps of Louisiana hunting alligators after dark. Supposedly, you sneak up on them and jump out of the boat right on top of them, Crocodile Hunter style.  Seems crazy to me but to each his own.

I sent these out on December 17th, 2014 and got this return on Boxing Day, December 26th, 2014 for a 9 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. McDonald!

Sunday, November 19, 2023

TTM Success: Whitey Herzog

Another one of my recent TTM returns is this 1962 Topps Whitey Herzog.  He is mostly not known as an Oriole but here is photographic proof that he did play for the team in 1961 and 1962.  He'd go onto finish his career in Detroit during the 1963 season and then get into scouting then player development.  He'd work his way up to be manager of the A's in 1973, the Angels in 1974, the Royals from 75 to 79 and then the most famous stretch with the Cardinals from 1980 thru 1990.

I sent to him on October 28th, 2023 and it returned November 13th 2023 for a 16 day TAT. I paid the $5 fee he charges per card.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

TTM Success: Stu Miller

Personally, this one is a bit tough to post.  I'm really happy to have this card in my collection.  Not only is it an Orioles autograph, it very well might be the last autograph that he signed.  I sent to him on December 17th, 2014 and got it back on December 26th, 2014.  Stu passed away on January 4th, 2015.

I really appreciate him taking time out during the holiday season to return my card signed.

Stu was another one of the relief aces that the Orioles had during their heyday in the mid '60s.  He pitched in 297 games for the O's and had a sparkling 2.37 ERA to show for it.  

Thanks You and RIP Stu 

Friday, November 17, 2023

TTM Success: Jim Marshall

This is one of my newest successes that I was thrilled to get back.  I've been bitten (really hard) by the TTM bug again.  Thanks to William for releasing the bug at my house when we went up to the Chantilly show.

Jim Marshall was short time Oriole.  He was a rookie 1st baseman for the Orioles in 1958 and played in 85 games.  By August of that year, he had been claimed by the Cubs on the waiver wire.  Interestingly enough, he was traded with Larry Doby (among others from the White Sox in December 1957) who never played for the Orioles as he was traded before the '58 season began.

Once in the Minor Leagues, Jim hit a homerun and won. 1000 bucks because he hit a sign for the laundromat across the street from the ballpark in which he was playing.

Jim also played in Japan for a couple years for the Chunichi Dragons with other former Orioles Bob Nieman, and Billy Klaus.

Back stateside, he was the manager for the Cubs and then the A's.

Quite and interesting baseball career to say the least!

I sent to Mr. Marshall on October 27th, 2023 and got it back on November 13th, 2023 for a 17 day TAT.  Thanks Mr. Marshall!

TTM Success: Ed Watt

Another TTM that was languishing in my draft folder for nearly 9 years.  I sent this extra '74 Topps card of him and he signed it in thin blue Sharpie.

Ed Watt was a relief ace for the Orioles during their golden years from '66 thru '73.  He never started a game in the majors after his rookie year in '66 and his Orioles ERA was a tidy 2.74 over 363 appearances. He also wasn't a terrible batter (for a pitcher) when he got the chance.  Nearly half of is at-bats were in the aforementioned '66 season.  He carried a .190 batting average for his career.  

Its notable that he has shown up at many of the Orioles on-field special celebrations over the years. 

I sent to Mr. Watt on December 17th, 2014 and got it back on December 28th, 2014 for an 11 day TAT.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

2023 Bowman Platinum Value box break

I've been doing quite a bit of retail therapy lately.  I bought this blaster box from Wal-Mart when I picked my nephew up for the Chantilly show a few weeks back.  I've always liked Bowman Platinum as an under the radar, value product.  Topps doesn't seem to make as much of it as they do flagship, Chrome or regular Bowman.  The design is a little dark this year so not my favorite of all of the run but its something different at least.

A modern day Orioles fan dream pack.  Both of these came out of the first pack.  
These 2 came out of the last pack.  I'm not sure what the odds of pulling an autograph is because they aren't printed on the wrappers anymore and I'm not bothering to look it up on the Topps webpage.
These are the sparkly ice paralell.  I was pretty happy to get the Beavers.  I got his autograph this summer at a Flying Squirrels game.
These are two of the inserts that popped out. I think the Precious Elements cards are nice looking and I really love a gimmick insert set.  I.e.  All Aces, Dealing Aces.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

TTM Success: Ken Singleton

Another TTM Success from 2014.  Ken Singleton was a great player for the Orioles in the late 70's and early 80's.  He makes his off season home in Maryland and was at an Orioles FanFest a few years back and signed an 8x10 photo for me.  I sent these out and they came back beautifully signed. 

I sent these out on December 17th 2014 and got them back December 26th 2014 for a 9 day T-A-T

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

2023 Topps Update Hanger box breaks

I busted some 2023 Topps Update Series and I wanted to show off the highlights of each pack with a couple of thoughts and comments.

 Pack 1

I always seem to have good luck pulling Mike Trout insert cards.  I like Trout and will pick up cards when they're available.  Here's to hoping he can stay healthy all next season.
I was happy to get this Rainbow foil parallel of Dillon Tate as well as an advanced stats #d/300 of Patrick Corbin.  I tend to run into shortprints of the Nationals quite frequently.

Pack 2

A couple of parallels in the next pack.  Ragans is a promising rookie that was traded to KC in the Aroldis Chapman deal and Heyward had a bounceback season in LA.  I also seem to run into good Dodgers cards from time to time. 

Pack 3

Not a great pack but the Chrome Contreras Stars of MLB was a nice pull.

Pack 4

More Dodgers gold and another Chrome Stars of the game.  

Here's all the Stars of the Game inserts from the box.  I took 2 of Seager out and game them to the neighbor kids since they're Rangers fans in that house. I'm kinda sick of seeing these stars of the game inserts at this point.  I don't think they need to come 1 per regular pack and 4 per hanger box.  They just don't seem special at all when they are so common.


Monday, November 13, 2023

Virginia Beach November 2023 Card Show

This past Saturday, I made the ~2 hour road trip to Virginia Beach to a card show.  I learned about the show during the Chantilly show a few weeks back and what peaked my interest was that 2 former Orioles were going to be signing autographs.  Mickey Tettleton has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid and I was able to learn more about Rudy May in my preparation to going. My good friend William made the trip up from NC with his Wood Ducks graphing buddy, Josh.

I have a soft spot for 1991 Topps and I remember getting packs of them after t-ball games that my dad handed out to the kids on the team.  I also have a memory of my cousins and I riding in the back of my grandfather's truck down to the corner store where he let us each pick a pack.  Our choice was '91 Topps or '91 Fleer.  Which would you pick?  I don't hate '91 Fleer like most people do.  I actually got the factory set later that year as a birthday gift (I turned 8!), that I purged from my collection a long time ago.  I've always loved this card of Tettleton and instead of getting the regular version signed, I decided on the Desert Shield copy instead.  I'm slowly working on the Orioles Team Set so even though my decision sets me back one from the goal, I decided it was worth it.  The card is just a "Baseball Card baseball card".  Mickey looks like he's sharing a light moment during a spring training game with a boyish grin on his face.  Mickey was very personable when William and I met him and we talked a few minutes about the current Orioles and their season.

I don't have the same memories of '78 Topps because I hadn't been born yet.  I do like the '78 design better than most of the '70s and early '82 offerings so my choice for this part of the signing was easy for me.  I also tend to enjoy getting cards signed that have an action photos shot rather than posed or portrait shots. As I say that, I do enjoy getting the '91 Crown Orioles cards signed (more to come on these in the future) event though most of the shots are posed headshots.  I also got one of those done (not pictured) by Rudy.  He was nice enough when he signed for me but I decided to not get a picture with him.

So, out on the show floor I was looking for deals.  Long time readers of the blog know I tend to stick to the dime and quarter boxes and rarely go showcase shopping.  I ran across a seller with a 5000 count box that was labeled "Refractors $.25".  Obviously, I did not find any red, gold, or any low numbered refractors but I was able to grab about 4 dollars worth of shiny goodness for myself, and a couple of friends.  The 4 pictured above is just a sample of what I snagged on discount.

I only grabbed one Cal Ripken this show and its one from this year's Pro Debut.  

A quarter box yielded a handful of this year's Topps Chrome Cosmic.  I think most of the stars might have been pulled out already but that's ok.  As a fan of the discontinued Fire brand, I think the Chrome Cosmic is an interesting product from a design standpoint.
Some more dimebox speculation/never too early/wishful thinking.  I've also stocked up on Corbin Burnes the last few years.  Just sayin'
My big splurge of the show was this Prism Refractor if Gunnar Henderson.  He's as good as advertised as I saw him play in Spring of '22 when he was with the AA Bowie Baysox when they came through town. This card wasn't a huge splurge in respect to some of the money I see change hands at card shows but I wanted to make a little investment in Gunnar since he's the odds on favorite for AL Rookie of the year.  I think I've accomplished that task over the last week or so.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Quick Pack Rip

Just proof it only takes one pack sometimes.  I stopped into Walmart on the way home to pick up a couple groceries and in a effort to scratch the pack ripping itch, of course went to the card aisle. Among all of the disarray were a couple of series 1 packs so I grabbed one...  I picked the right one.  Don't get too excited, this is the retail exclusive blue border even though the phone pic makes it look like a black border.  Trust me, I did a double and triple take when I flipped to it.

Here's the rest of the pack spoils.  I'd say the Harris RC will hold the title of second best card in the pack. 

This was the second impulse purchase of the trip.

If you know, you know.  If you haven't then you definitely should.  You just won't find any more at my local Wal-Mart....