Monthly Archives: September 2010

Game-Used: Andres Galarraga

2002 Topps

Okay, seriously, why do the GU and Auto insert sets have such silly names? Regardless, though, I was thrilled as hell to pick this up. I think this came from Check Out My Cards and represents Andres’ last run with the Expos in 2002. I’m sure the bat wasn’t used that year, but I’m not going to freak about that. It’s nice to have one last souvenir to commemorate his time with the Expos.

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1990 Leaf Wantlist

Put my 1990 Leaf wantlist up on the right-hand side; this is the “1990 update” version of Leaf, key to the 1990 project I’m working on. Let’s deal, folks!

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The 1988 Project Phase 2 Day 12: Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals

Juan Agosto, Buddy Bell, John Fishel, Louie Meadows, Terry Puhl, and Rafael Ramirez. It seems the Astros actually made some deals/called up some rookies, but the only manufacturer to notice that year was Fleer. That Buddy Bell card is hilarious, though. The airbrush is just too damned much. Ramirez was the only regular, but Bell was the best hitter of the group.

So who do we have here? Floyd Bannister, Bill Buckner, Scotti Madison, Mike MacFarlane, Jeff Montgomery, Ted Power, Israel Sanchez, Pat Tabler, and Gary Thurman. The 88 Royals were 88-74, and some of these guys really helped out. Madison was an odd choice, as he only appeared in 16 games. The best hitter here was Pat Tabler, who had a 109 OPS+, followed closely by Mike MacFarlane, who had a 102 OPS+, amazing for a rookie. The best pitcher was Jeff Montgomery, with a 117 ERA+. Good pickups for the Royals.

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Morning Coffee and the Blog Roundup – 9/30

That’s the card that I got from a group break on Thorzul’s site recently…wasn’t sure where to post about it, so this made the most sense.

Blog-related first, I’m not sure if I’m going to be posting any entries tomorrow. I’m getting my car repaired and on top of that have a lot of work to do tonight to prepare for a trip out of town. It’s going to be iffy, but I’ll try to make it work. Life just conspires against you sometimes.

Have a few group breaks on my radar this month…got in on I Am Joe Collector’s Topps Chrome break (btw, congrats on the great interview), and I’m hoping to get in on Nachos Grande’s break, as that just looks like a lot of fun.

The cards of the 1989 Project are all compiled and set to go once I finish the 88 project. I’m rethinking the format, though, as the team posts have gotten…ponderous. I may stick only to the stars/relevant rookies/interesting players. By the time I get to 1990, I may have this thing figured out, which also reminds me, I decided that the 1990 Leaf set counts as an “update” set for the purposes of the project. This is going to get a lot murkier as time goes on with cards being issued in series. I’m still thinking about how to handle the situation, and once we get past 1994 the whole point of the thing becomes moot.

Looks like the Nationals are going after a front-line starter in the offseason. I support this, and going after Zach Grienke is what I’d like to see. I think we could offer the Royals a really attractive package, and Zach would get a chance to play for a contender (at least in the next few years, I think). But Matt Garza may also be available, so…there’s a lot to think about. It’s an exciting prospect.

Okay, let’s look at what happened yesterday in the intertubes…

All you people on the east coast, stay dry and safe.

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The 1988 Project Phase 2 Day 10: New York Yankees

So let’s see who we have today. John Candelaria, Jack Clark, Richard Dotson, Roberto Kelly, Rafael Santana, Steve Shields, and Don Slaught.

Might as well get the rookie out of the way first. Roberto Kelly was a pretty significant rookie that year, one of many highly-touted Yankees outfield prospects from the 80s and early 90s (Gerald Williams, anyone?). He didn’t exactly set the world on fire in 88, hitting .247/.272/.364, and would never reach the heights predicted for him, but he had a reasonably good career.

Steve Shields hadn’t really done much up until his time with the Yankees, and didn’t do much with them, either; his 1.5+ WHIP attests to that. He was gone to Minnesota by 1989.

Jack Clark was a pretty big “get” for the Yankees, though. He was fresh off of St. Louis’s world series appearance and a career year, but he didn’t do much for the Yankees, hitting just .242/.381/.433 before he was dealt to the Padres (we’ll see that in the 89 project).

Rafael Santana had been kicking around the majors for awhile, spending most of his career with the Mets. He was part of a pretty minor trade, and ended up hitting .240/.289/.294 in what would be his last full ML season.

John Candelaria would also be regarded as a big free agent signing, and he panned out for the Yankees that year, going 13-7 with a 3.38 ERA, 121 K, and a 1.102 WHIP.

Rich Dotson came to the Yankees from the White Sox and had an okay-ish 88, going 12-9 with a 1.462 WHIP.

Don Slaught came from the Rangers and spent two years with the Yanks. He hit .283/.334/.450 as a backup catcher in 88. Pretty damn impressive for a backup catcher, in fact!

Okay, officially halfway to the end. I’m ready.

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Trade with Cards on Cards

Awhile back I made a deal with Kerry from Cards on Cards to send some 2003 Topps needs that he had…and promptly forgot the deal. With my busy schedule, it happens. Well, imagine my surprise when a huge package of cards showed up last Friday! It’s taken me awhile to get these scanned, but I’m ready to show some of what he sent (most of which I actually needed)…

2009 Topps Heritage

Remember how I said I had gotten one of only two Stammen cards that I was aware of? Well, this is the other one, so I now have a “complete” Stammen set. Not to mention I didn’t realize how little 2009 Topps Heritage I had. He also included this nice Detwiler…

He also included a few players I didn’t have, including this Mike Thurman:

2002 MLB Showdown

But here is, by far, the COOLEST thing he included. Man, these are just awesome to behold:

That is not the 1978 Topps Gary Carter; it’s the 1978 O-Pee-Chee. In fact, he included a whole mess of 78 OPC that’s…well, it’s amazing. It’s so crazy to see an issue from the 70s with a higher-quality white card stock as opposed to the drab gray cardboard.

Of course, he included a lot of other awesome Expos and Nats cards, but we’ll save those for when it’s appropriate. He also included a whole mess of Reggie Jacksons (which I still need to put in binders).

So thanks a lot, Kerry!  These are some treasured cards.


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Morning Coffee and the Blog Roundup 9-29

Remember last Friday when I talked about Stan Kasten leaving and how I thought there was more afoot? Well, the rumor is that he left because ownership didn’t want to commit money to the team (sigh), and that it centered around re-signing Adam Dunn. The confusing thing is that it’s also been intimated that ownership are the only ones who want Dunn back. So which is it? Who knows, but either way it seems like a complete mess in the front office right now. I hope it’s all just a bunch of rumor-mongering, but it’s disconcerting.

The Nats paid the Phils back last night, thanks to, of course, Adam Dunn. I know the guy’s defense isn’t the greatest, but I don’t have the most faith in Chris Marerro making an impact at the major league level. I think a three-year deal would be worth it for Dunn.

Oh, Jason Marquis pitched a real gem last night, too: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 run, 7 K. It’s about time that the guy looked like that.

I’ve added two new pages at the top of the home page: Top 9 Most Wanted and Collecting Goals. Both are ways of getting more organized and smarter about how and what I collect, with the former inspired by Night Owl’s suggestion about starting a “most wanted” page.

Okay now for the round-up…

Stay safe out there, kids!


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The 1988 Project Phase 2 Day 10: San Francisco Giants

Not many Giants in the 88 Project, for whatever reason. My guess? They were gearing up for the big playoff run in 89 and didn’t really need to add too many pieces.

Anyway, so we have Randy Bockus, Kirt Manwaring, Donnell Nixon, Ernest Riles, and Roger Samuels. Quite the mixed bag.

Bockus actually made the majors in 86, but only got in a handful of games before getting into 20 games, all in relief, in 88. He had a 1-1 record with 18 Ks in 32 innings. Oh and a 1.5+ Whip. Yikes! Manwaring, of course, would go on to have a decent career. In 1988, he was a wee rookie, playing in only 40 games, wherein he hit .250/.279/.336. He never really hit much better than that, but he was a reliable backup. Donnell Nixon, Otis’s less flaky brother, was also a rookie in 88, coming over from Seattle as a player to be named later. He hit .346/.420/.385 in 59 games for the Giants that year, looking promising, but he never really managed to stick in the majors. Roger Samuels  barely had a major league career. 1988  was his rookie year, and he pitched in 15 games, all in relief. He had a 3.47 ERA and 22 Ks in 23 IP to go with a 1.029 WHIP. He barely pitched in the majors after that. What happened? Ernie Riles is the only veteran of this group, having joined the Giants from Milwaukee. He hit .294/.323/.401 with the Giants in 88 and became an important part of the team that went to the World Series in 89.

All in all, while not a large entry, it’s interesting to see some of these guys here, especially the ones with barely any career to speak of. Wonder if they treasure these cards?

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Morning Coffee and The Blog Roundup

Time to wipe the bleary eyes and get at it again. I still haven’t gotten around to scanning the cards that I received in the trades, unfortunately. My life is so hectic now between work, this blog, writing a novel, and selling part-time on Amazon that things tend to slip between the cracks. That’s why my posting schedule has been reduced somewhat and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. It’s especially rough as it’s a critical time at work and that takes most of attention, for obvious, good reasons. I still want this post to remain a steady force, however, if nothing else.

So the Rangers are definitely in the playoffs. Good for them. It’s hard not to wish them success, with the whole Senators link, but I can say the same for the Twins as well.

Apparently Bryce Harper is “not ready” for the Fall Instructional League. Word is he looked terrible against pitching out there, and now the Nats are not sure what to do with him. Doesn’t bode well…

I don’t trust Brandon Jacobs to start on one of my fantasy football teams. So why am I holding on to him? I don’t know, but I’m having a really difficult time letting him go. I do have my eye on a few bargains that I think will have good weeks, but I’m low in the pecking order in that league. I’m fairly happy with my team in Cardboard Collectors on the Gridiron, but I just made some dumb mistakes on who to start this week. Oh, well. Better luck next week.

And now to see what’s going on around the card-o-sphere:

And that’s it for today! Have a great one out there.


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Former National: Travis Hughes

2006 Upper Deck

Travis Hughes is another one of those oddball Nationals that had very few cards in the uniform, but that’s because he was a middle reliever who didn’t play very many games with the Nationals. He was a 19th round pick by the Rangers in the 97 draft, so he wasn’t exactly a ballyhooed pitching prospect to begin with. He pitched as a starter in the Rangers organization up until 2003, with a mediocre 46-47 record in those five years. He reacted well to the conversion to the bullpen after a rocky 2004 in which he finally made his major league debut at the age of 26. He got bombed in his appearance, and the Nationals scooped him up off of waivers the next April. He pitched in 14 games for the Nationals that year, putting up a 5.54 ERA and a -0.1 WAR. He spent the majority of ’06 in AAA, pitching 8 games at the major league level. After that, he was done with the majors. His ML career ERA stands at 6.31, a 69 ERA+, and a -0.3 WAR. So, not a very notable major leaguer. He spent 2007 at AAA Pawtucket for the Red Sox, then went to the Japanese League (NPL), where he wasn’t much better. He spent last year with York of the Atlantic League, and I think that was his last year, as I can’t find information on where he might be this year.

I’m fascinated with players like this…it’s fascinating to see these fringe careers and where they go, so I’m grateful to receive their cards.

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