Tag Archives: Topps Chrome

Card of the Day: 2010 Topps Chrome Purple Refractor Nick Johnson

Oh, Nick. I wish your career would have turned out better. If only you weren’t made out of glass.

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Card of the Day: 2010 Topps Chrome XFractor Stephen Strasburg

Hang in there, Stephen, and come back strong in 2012.

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Trade from The Sandlot

Remember that David Wright card I listed? Well I had a few people interested, and Joe from The Sandlot had some cards that intrigued me, so we pulled the trigger on the trade. His end arrived yesterday, and the Wright card should be in his hands either today or tomorrow. What did I manage to land? Let’s take a look…

2006 Flair Showcase Showcase Signatures /35

Nice one. I have a few Cordero autos in my collection, but I couldn’t turn down one that was numbered this low.

2000 Fleer Fresh Ink

Another Jose Vidro auto to add to my collection.

2007 Topps Co-Signers "Blue" #/250

Always happy to add another numbered Zimmerman card to my collection.

2007 Topps Chrome White Refractor

I’m a refractor junkie, and I really like the white chrome design from 2007. In addition, I think Hughes has a bright future, so even if he is a Yankee, I wanted.

The wear on this and the vidro are from the cases.

A sweet little gray swatch of a Hall of Famer. It has stitching, too! I like to pick up HOF stuff when it’s possible, so, again, this was a no-brainer.

So thanks, Joe! I hope you like your card.

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Morning Coffee and the Blog Roundup 11/1 – Can’t Wake Up Edition

Seriously. Had trouble going to sleep last night, then woke up at 5:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep. Oh the burdens I bear…

Halloween party went well Saturday night, even if I had to shift gears on my costume after some damage to my bald cap. I went from Tor Johnson to a corporate zombie. I went for a trial run on Friday at work, and ended up with this:

I mean, that’ s okay and all. But I saw what needed to be changed and was able to put this together Saturday night:

So, eh. Good weekend and all. Found some cards at a thrift store. Nothing incredibly major, but turned up some die-cuts from the late 90s and a huge stack of 2009 SPx cards. Guess someone busted a box and donated the base cards. It felt so wrong to see it there…I just had to give it a home, and I figured some folks might need them. No Nationals in that pack, but I did find a nice 93 Stadium Club rainbow/foil/whatever those things were of Dennis Martinez.

Giants are closing in on winning the World Series. I’m rooting for them, and even I’m shocked. Oh, and I’m sick of hearing the crap about how the ratings would be better with the Phillies and the Yankees. So what if it would? That doesn’t mean it would have been a better series.

Could this possibly be the most poorly photoshopped DVD cover ever?

The reason there’s not a whole lot of baseball card content here is because it was kind of a quiet weekend on that front for a variety of reasons; with the holidays approaching, money priorities have shifted. I did score the entire 2010 Topps Debut Nationals team set, which I’ll be posting in the near future (hopefully tomorrow), but most of my card-based activities have been related to getting my cards into albums. I’ve seen a few cards that I think I should cover here soon enough.

So, let’s take a look at what everyone else has been saying!

  • Bad Wax started his brag photo series with a PAINFUL cut. I’m going to love this series, I can already tell.
  • The Card Corner Club informed us that Upper Deck had postponed (more likely canceled) 2010 SP Prospects baseball.
  • Nachos Grande advocated contests as a method of increasing blog popularity. Hmmm. May have to go for that myself one day…
  • Wrigley Wax concluded the 1990 Topps TV series with the prospects that made it and the prospects who didn’t make it (some of these guys, not so much prospects really. Bob Bafia? Please.).
  • The Priceless Pursuit shows us just how stylish Paul Sorrento was. I was so blind!
  • Flywheels opened a pack of 2010 Obak at A Pack to Be Named Later. Hey, I opened one of those this weekend, too! Pulled crap, but they’re fun cards.
  • Grand Cards reflected on Brandon Inge making the Tigers’ Man of the Year.
  • Night Owl Cards contemplated color-coding refractors to holidays. Psst, I made some mock-ups of his suggestions:


Christmas edition



Valentine's edition

Easter edition


  • The Greatest 21 Days featured John Flaherty and Johnny Paredes.
  • Padrographs had an autograph from the reclusive Brad Pounders. Is he still a potato farmer?
  • My Cardboard Mistress “made” a “trade” with “the collective troll”.
  • Night Owl continued the card back countdown with 1966 Topps (that’s pink).
  • Orioles Card “O” the Day featured Tripper Johnson. Saw this guy play at Frederick in 2004 and he was a beast. I always wondered what happened to him. Football, eh?

And that does it for today. Have a good one.


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EBay Week: Day Three

Unfortunately, a lot of cards that I ordered has still not shown up, so this party may be cut short if they don’t show up tonight. I have a few more items to post, but I’m frustrated with this guy…anyway.

2008 Upper Deck Signature Stars

Alberto Gonzalez was another player that I hadn’t been able to find an auto for. I was stoked to find this one, and the sticker’s actually not so bad, except for that little bit that bleeds over onto the photo.

2010 Topps Chrome

Storen was on my must-have list for 2010 autos. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of these chrome cards are smudging, as this one definitely was unsmudged when I bought it. I blame on-card autos on a chrome for this, so there’s not much you can really do. I’m still glad to have something from Storen.

And, of course, my Leaf set goes into this pile. I haven’t scanned anything from it, but we’ll see cards from that set soon enough.


Filed under Autographs, Mail Call, Nationals Autographs

EBay Week: Day One

So last week I was able to pick up a few things from eBay before getting robbed, so I thought I’d show off some of my swag this week.


2008 Upper Deck Team USA


This is one of the promised cards from the 2010 Chrome replacement order. It’s even nicer in real life, and will definitely be a treasured part of my collection going forward, especially with Espinosa’s talent.


2006 Topps Chrome


My first Scott Olsen auto. Obviously I’d rather have had a signed Nationals card, but just having the auto is an important step.


2007 Sweet Spot


This is my second Matt Chico auto, but my first one of these mini-helmet cards. I was surprised at the heft and thickness of it, but I really love it.

All in all, a pretty good day, and I have a long way to go!

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2010 Topps Chrome Blaster Break

I was feeling a bit out of sorts last night. Not sure why, but I suspected that opening a blaster of cards might cheer me up a bit. And I knew I wanted to bust some Topps Chrome, especially after learning that the retail version was different than the hobby version (of which I am already in on a group break). So, after some cajoling of my dearly beloved, we went to Target, and I was able to score the next-to-last blaster of Chrome. And what a blaster it turned out to be.

The base cards, of course, are great as always. I’ve been a chrome junkie since I returned to the hobby in ’03, and these may be my favorites in that time. I didn’t care for the 10 base design, but something about it works in Chrome.


Of course I got a Zimmerman.


Of course, the big question for me was the refractors, as I collect them. Thankfully, the published odds on the box seem to be crap, because I got a refractor or some variation of it in every pack. Like this Adam Dunn refractor:

Out of the 8 packs, I got an equal amount of xfractors and refractors. That means xfractors are a lot easier to pull, which is a little disappointing, but it’s still nice to get them, and I dig the early 80s video game vibe to this year’s design:

So that leaves me with two other refractor-type pulls from the box. The first was this gorgeous purple Nick Johnson refractor. It’s numbered, but I can’t remember the numbering. Maybe 299?

The next one’s really cool. It’s a blue Topps 206 Dan Haren refractor. I think the odds on this one were like 1:420 packs. It’s numbered to 199.

But I saved my absolute favorite card of the blaster for last.

That’s right, the first Stephen Strasburg I’ve pulled and it’s an xfractor. SO happy with that one. Overall, I’m ecstatic with the blaster. I’m definitely hoping to pick up a hobby box or hell even a retail box, as they’re just as much fun.And to me, that’s what this is really all about.


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Expos and Nationals All-Bust Teams 4: The Showdown – Outfield and Catcher


Glenn Murray Vs. Justin Maxwell

Murray Mle numbers (best season): 19 hr, .195 BA, .226 OBP, .375 SLG

Maxwell Mle Numbers (best season): 17 hr, .213 BA, .264 OBP, .373 SLG

Murray has the slightest of edges in power, but Maxwell wins out on BA and OBP and has a higher OPS, especially weighted toward OBP.


Justin Maxwell


Chris Schwab Vs. Frank Diaz

Schwab Mle numbers (best season): 5 hr, .194 BA, .250 OBP, .312 SLG

Diaz Mle Numbers (best season): 10 hr, .230 BA, .246 OBP, .349 SLG

The OBP is close, but Diaz has a clear advantage in BA and SLG. I think this one’s obvious.


Frank Diaz


Josh McKinley Vs. Kory Casto

McKinley Mle numbers (best season): 11 hr, .203 BA, .261 OBP, .315 SLG

Casto Mle Numbers (best season): 14 hr, .217 BA, .289 OBP, .361 SLG

Clear-cut victor here. Casto’s numbers are better in every category.


Kory Casto


Nelson Santovenia Vs. Erick San Pedro

Santovenia Mle numbers (best season): 14 hr, .231 BA, .290 OBP, .369 SLG

San Pedro Mle Numbers (best season): 0 hr, .138 BA, .172 OBP, .181 SLG

When I said San Pedro was terrible, I meant it. Santovenia keeps the Nationals from sweeping this entry.


Nelson Santovenia

1989 Toys R Us Rookies

I was surprised that the Nationals overall won in the outfield, but when I think about it, most of the great Expos outfield prospects actually made an impact in the majors, so the chaff wasn’t that great. Here’s how things are shaping up now:

So, let’s look at how our combined team’s infield is shaping up:

  • 1B: Larry Broadway
  • 2B: Henry Mateo
  • SS: Hiram Bocachica
  • 3B: Boi Rodriguez
  • C: Nelson Santovenia
  • OF: Justin Maxwell
  • OF: Frank Diaz
  • OF: Kory Casto

So we’re all tied up with four representatives each.  Tomorrow we’ll finish things off with the pitchers and look at our franchise all-bust team.


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Expos and Nationals All-Bust Teams 2: All-Failure Nationals

Okay, so we’re back for da sequel! A reminder of the rules:

The guidelines for this battle:

  • Player must have either been a hyped player or selected in the first three rounds.
  • Not going for a full 25-man staff. Five starting pitchers, but max three relievers. They’re already kind of failed prospects in some respect as most are converted starters.
  • I don’t have to own the key cards (yet). In fact, some may not be available. But I will make an effort to obtain them.

On with the show…

  • 1B: Larry Broadway – How I did not want to call Larry a failed prospect. I tried and tried to avoid it, but in the end, I have to admit it. I blame the Nationals for his status, though. They frittered away a guy who consistently OPSed 800+ in the minors, never even giving him a shot. Makes me sad. Key Card –2002 Bowman Draft Gold

  • 2B: Seth Bynum – I covered Seth as a prospect last year, but I think we can officially say he’s a failed prospect. Sigh. Key Card – 2008 Bowman Chrome

  • SS: Esmailyn Gonzalez/Carlos Lugo – This guy is a can of worms and represents the worst of the Bowden era. His numbers would be great for a teenager in A-ball, but he’s much older than that. Key Card – 2008 Bowman Chrome Prospects

  • 3B: Jake Smolinski – I meant to cover this guy forever, but never got around to it. He’s now in the Florida system and has never developed power or even made it past A-ball as a 21-year old. He could theoretically still develop, but as a Nats prospect, he’s a goner. Key Card – 2008 Tristar Auto

  • C: Erick San Pedro – A 2004 second rounder, I’m not sure how much was ever expected of Erick, but he never lived up to being a second rounder, barely struggling to stay above the mendoza line in the minors and having absolutely zero power. He’s currently in the White Sox system. Key Card –2004 SP Prospects Link to the Future Dual Autographs

  • OF: Justin Maxwell – It looked for awhile like Justin might be a serviceable fourth outfielder, but I’m ready to call him a bust after this year. He looks sunk out there in the field, and he can’t hit water falling out of a boat. At 26, he’s just not going to get any better. Key Card – 2008 Upper Deck Premiere Gold Auto

  • OF: Frank Diaz – I lump Frank in with Larry Broadway, another player who was a victim of the organization. I know these sorts of injustices happen, but it’s frustrating. I covered him in May of 2009. Key Card – 2005 Bowman Draft Futures Game Used Relic

  • OF: Kory Casto – Poor Kory. He looked like he was going to be another organizational victim, but then he just looked completely inept once he got his shot. Overmatched in every sense of the word, he ended up posting a career 43 OPS+. He’s currently playing in the Arizona system. Key Card – 2004 Topps Chrome Auto

  • SP: Josh Smoker – Okay, this might be a little premature, as he’s only 21, but he hasn’t shown much in the minors. And I write this having ordered both his autographed card and Colton Willems’ autographed cards yesterday. I’ll just say that so far his career BB/9 is 4.4. Sure, his k/9 is 8.0, but given that he hasn’t even hit high-A yet, I’m not optimistic. Key Card – 2008 Bowman Chrome Prospects Auto (this is the one I ordered)

  • SP: Colton Willems – Willems has possibly been worse than Smoker. He was okay up until 2009, when his ERA and WHIP blew up. There had been some warning signs previous to that, with a high WHIP and H/9 despite his relatively low ERA. He does seem to have better control than Smoker, but I’m going to guess his velocity is much lower and he isn’t able to compensate with his other pitches. I’d be very surprised if he ever makes it to DC. Key Card – 2007 Bowman’s Best Prospects Gold Auto (also ordered this)

  • SP: Mike Hinckley – Mike got as high as #29 on the Baseball America Prospects list (2005), but he has only had a cup of coffee at the majors so far. Everything seemed to fall apart that year, as he went back to A ball from AA and faltered at Potomac. Since then, his bb/9 increased and SO/BB dropped dramatically. I don’t know what happened, but he’s bounced from the Washington system to the Texas system to Baltimore. Will he ever make it full-time in the majors? Who knows, but he’s 27 now, well past prospect status. Key Card – 2003 Bowman’s Best auto

  • SP: Glenn Gibson – Glenn and Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler were the 2008 version of Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen. Their careers have taken wildly divergent paths, but Glenn got dealt to the Rays in 2008 before returning to Washington this year. He’s only 22 still, but his SO/BB has been incredibly bad so far his career, and he’s looked nowhere near where people thought he would be; he hasn’t even made it out of A ball. Disappointing. Key Card – 2007 Bowman Heritage Signs of Greatness

  • SP: Yunior Novoa Yunior was a ballyhooed international signing by the Chicago White Sox who ended up in the Nationals system in 2006, showing some flashes of brilliance. I think he may eventually end up in the majors, but he really needs to get his WHIP down before he can make it. Key Card – 2008 Choice

  • RP: Zech Zinicola -I covered Zech as a prospect back in May 2009. At the time I was hopeful he would be a contributor as a Nationals reliever one day. Since then, he’s been mediocre to downright awful, and while he may eventually make it, I don’t think he’ll ever be a star reliever. Key Card – 2007 Justifiable Autograph

  • RP: Josh Wilkie – Josh was another highly-touted reliever who actually hasn’t done badly in the minors, but for whatever reason has not made the majors yet and missed his window. Key Card – 2009 Harrisburg Senators Team Card

    That’s our all-failure Nationals team. Let’s recap:

    1. 1B: Lance Broadway (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
    2. 2B: Seth Bynum – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
    3. SS: Esmailyn Gonzalez/Carlos Lugo – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
    4. 3B: Jake Smolinski – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
    5. C: Erick San Pedro – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
    6. OF: Justin Maxwell – (Made majors as a National) Career WAR: 0.2
    7. OF: Frank Diaz -(Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
    8. OF: Kory Casto – (Made majors as a National) Career WAR: -1.8
    9. SP: Josh Smoker – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
    10. SP: Colton Willems – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
    11. SP: Mike Hinckley – (Made majors as a National) Career WAR: 0.7
    12. SP: Glenn Gibson – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
    13. SP: Yunior Novoa – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
    14. RP: Zech Zinicola – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
    15. RP: Josh Wilkie – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0

    Wow, I did not expect Mike Hinckley to be the star of this team. Maybe the guy will live in the majors yet.

    Next we’ll compare these two teams head-to-head. Looking at career ML WAR isn’t really fair, since a lot of these guys are younger and haven’t had a chance to make it. I have a different plan.

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    2007 Topps Chrome

    Flores was a Rule 5 Pickup in 2007. He made good, producing a 78 OPS+ and solid defense.

    Flores was a Rule 5 Pickup in 2007. He made good, producing a 78 OPS+ and solid defense.

    Johnson sat out the 2007 season, unfortunately.

    Johnson sat out the 2007 season, unfortunately.

    Kearns had a 103 OPS+ in 2007. It was the last year he would look decent.

    Kearns had a 103 OPS+ in 2007. It was the last year he would look decent.

    Schneider had a 77 OPS+ in 2007. He was frustrating to watch.

    Schneider had a 77 OPS+ in 2007. He was frustrating to watch.

    Levale was another Rule 5 pickup in 2007. He pitched poorly and is now with the Marlins.

    Levale was another Rule 5 pickup in 2007. He pitched poorly and is now with the Marlins.

    Ryan had a 107 OPS+ in 2007.

    Ryan had a 107 OPS+ in 2007.

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