Wednesday, April 5, 2017

picking up local guys.. um, their cards, I mean

Nothing like collecting cards of guys who walked the same halls between classes as you. I personally like focusing on guys from my high school who went pro, but sometimes dabble with cards from guys who attended the same university and community college. Here's an update of some of my recent pickups.

After Tony Gwynn, no San Diego State alum had a more distinguished MLB career than Mark Grace (ok, maybe Graig Nettles). I've never really bothered to collect Grace before, but with so many Cubs fans in my trading circle these days, I keep an eye out for good Cubbie trading fodder, and that's how I came into these 2 hits. But now I'm thinking I'll hang onto them for representation in my SDSU minicollection (unless of course a Cubs fan wants to make me a crazy trade offer I'd be stupid to refuse [Looking at you, Twitch, and the Corey Seager /10 auto you recently pulled.. lol].) The Diamond King dual relic is /25 and the Tools of the Trade auto/relic is #'d 3/5. Like Gwynn, Grace is originally from the LA area, but came down to San Diego to get his learn on. Of course he'd go on to several standout seasons with the Cubs, collecting the most hits (1,754) of any player in the 1990s. He capped off his career with 3 years on the Diamondbacks, helping them win it all in 2001 over the Yankees.

These three autos are from my latest COMC order. Even if I don't go full-on player collector on these guys, I figured I'd at least score an auto from each of them.

Sean O'Sullivan went to Valhalla High School, which is the arch rival of my high school, so maybe it's no surprise I haven't started collecting his cards before this one. But hey, he did also go to Grossmont College just a few years after me, so I suppose that earns him a small place in my collection (Plus, this Just Minors auto was only $1.37). He's spent his career bouncing between AAA and the majors for several teams, including a stint with our hometown Padres in 2013, and most recently with the Red Sox last year. Looks like he'll pitch in Korea in 2017, signing a one-year deal with the Nexen Heroes of the KBO League.

Joe Kennedy is a guy I mentioned in a previous post when I got a Christmas Eve Card of him, and discovering he was a local guy is what helped jumpstart my Guys From Grossmont minicollection. He went to El Cajon Valley High School, which is where my best friend graduated from, so it's ok in my book. He was at Grossmont during the same time as me.. Hmm, wonder if I had any classes with him. He went on to pitch in 222 major league games between 2001 and 2007 before dying suddenly from heart disease.

Quintin Berry completes this auto trio. Like the previous two guys, he's never made a huge impact in the game, but was good enough to bounce around on a few major league rosters. He went to Morse High School, which also boasts Adam Jones (his classmate and friend), Sam Horn, and Mark McLemore as alumni. Berry played one season at Grossmont before transferring to SDSU where he got to play under Tony Gwynn. In 2012, he played 94 games for the Tigers as a rookie, but hasn't had anywhere near that much playing time since, though he did get a ring with Boston the next year. Looks like he'll begin the 2017 season with the Twins' AAA club.

Here's a page worth of Mike Jacobs cards from my latest Just Commons order. Mike graduated from Hilltop High School in Chula Vista and spent one year at Grossmont College before being drafted by the Mets in 1999. I shared a story on the blog before about how I'm pretty sure I had a class with him at Grossmont. He had some solid major league seasons in the late '00s, and played in Mexico these past couple years. He retired after the 2016 season and took a job managing in the Marlins organization, the team with which he hit the majority of his 100 career home runs. Anyways, I already had 2 or 3 autos of the guy, but wanted to round out the PC with a few more base cards, and these were just about a buck all total.

Ok, now we're getting closer to home for me. Casey Craig was drafted by the Mariners in 2003 out of good ol' Granite Hills High School. He put up solid numbers in A-ball, but sputtered out in AA and was done after 6 years in the minors. Bowman included him in 2006, though he had no autograph card produced, whether with Bowman or anybody else, as far as I can tell. So I had to settle for uncertified to add his signature to my collection. Well, actually it did come with a Letter of Authenticity...

..but I don't think this really adds any value or anything so I'll just throw it away rather than try to store it in my collection somewhere.

This is the Marcus Giles 2008 UD Spectrum "Retrospectrum Swatches" yellow printing plate. Normally, unless I'm rainbowing a card, I don't go after printing plates that much.. especially yellow, since they're typically faint and don't look great. But I couldn't resist adding another 1/1 of my former classmate for under $8 shipped. Plus it's my first plate of a relic, which is kinda weird and something you don't see often.

We close today with the grandfather of Guys From Granite, Mike Reinbach, the first grad from my high school to play in the majors thanks to a brief stint with Baltimore in 1974. The vast majority of his cards come from his time in Japan. The recent pickup here is the card on the right. When it popped up on eBay, it looked very familiar so I assumed I already had it. But before dismissing the auction as one I didn't need to bother with, I double-checked my PC, and sure enough, there was the familiar photo... but wait! White text on the bottom? Tighter crop? Yep, it's actually a different card. Different number on the back and everything. So I went after it and was able to score it at a decent price (the dinged corner probably helped keep the top bid down, but doesn't bother me much.)

So there's an update to my minicollection(s) of local dudes who went to at least one of the same schools as me. Thanks for reading!


  1. My high school hasn't produced much baseball talent. We have better luck with actors. Don Knotts!!!!

  2. Love those Gracies! You added some unique cards. cool beans!

  3. Dude... I think you're my long lost brother or something. I totally love collecting guys from my high school too. My high school is more known for their football players, but it did produce Dave Stieb. It's pretty awesome that you can say the great #19 and you went to the same college. I went to SJSU. The only notable guys who went there are Ken Caminiti and Mark Langston.

  4. Grossmont 1985 Larry Hume #6, all 3 outfield positions, 2nd base and pitcher! :)