Friday, July 10, 2020

Baseball, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down

In my continued efforts to slip away from baseball of today, I finally cancelled my subscription. I was hesitant to do it because we signed up a few years back when my wife was in grad school, so we got a discounted "student rate" that never changed. But I just didn't watch many games last year.. and other than morbid curiosity, didn't have much desire to watch a game during the covid era we're living in. To their credit, canceling was painless and the refund for 2020 came the next day.

Then I watched the 1971 All-Star Game on YouTube and that was a lot of fun. That's the good stuff! I need to do more of that.

Our new puppy still has us running on fumes these days, but I'll try to crank out this post while the terror sleeps. Here are some random recent pickups of mine.

2019 Topps Transcendent VIP Party Mike Trout MT-90RB 16/83.

I went after a few similar Kris Bryant party cards back in 2017.. figured I'd add a Trout or two from last year's party. I'll never totally turn my back on current baseball because of guys like Trout who I've enjoyed following over the years and I'm curious how their careers will wind up.

Earlier this year I was excited to embark on somewhat of a "theme" year on the blog as I celebrated 30 years of being a card collector. But 2020 sucks so bad that I'm not really going that route anymore of focusing on my introduction to the hobby in 1990. But I can still slip in a little of that sentiment. Yes, I love 1990 Topps, reminding me of that year first ripping open packs. The Record Breaker cards make me first think of the Vince Coleman, but Rickey and Cal had RBs too.

The back doesn't mention any particular record Trout broke in 2018. Eh, he probably had one in there somewhere.

Next card, please.

Looks like I won't be watching any Padres baseball this year beyond occasional highlights. If they actually end up in contention, I might be kicking myself for cancelling, but that's a big "if" and an above-average "maybe". But yeah, their main play-by-play guy on the broadcast, Don Orsillo is pretty good. (And of course I love Mark Grant, their main color-commentator for the past many years.) Snagged this Orsillo auto from 2020 Opening Day for a few bucks. Didn't realize at the time I bid that it's got some weird printing flaw across his stomach. That white splattering is not part of the design. It isn't paper loss or other damage, just a weird printing issue. But I didn't bother trying to return it or anything since it wasn't that much and it's not like I bought it as an investment or anything. I'll just consider it the "spunk-splatter eBay 1/1".

I found out about the 1975 Mike Mandel Photographer set thanks to a post at Nick Vossbrink's blog (that linked to an older post he did at the SABR card blog) and had to snag myself a specimen. This one was among the cheapest I found available, and I figured even if I decided not to hang onto it, there are a few collectors out there with "tools of ignorance" minicollections (cards featuring catchers in their gear) that this would fit into. But this would be a bit of a cheat since Richard Link isn't really a catcher, rather a professional photographer playing along for this quirky oddball set.

Photographer vitals! Couldn't find much on Richard Link with a google search other than pages talking about this card, so that lack of "big name" recognition might have played a part in it being affordable. I don't know much about photography nor the field's history like Nick V. does, but I still think it's neat. Good thing Richard didn't go by "Dick Link" or that might give the wrong impression. It's pretty rare you catch me posting a Dick Link on my blog, after all. (A boob link, sure.) (The "spunk-splatter eBay 1/1" earlier does me no favors here.)

But how about this?...

I've never heard of Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, but I know Sarah Hyland as "Haley Dunphy" on Modern Family.

We watched the show for the first few seasons when it was airing, then took a hiatus for a while, but are now finishing up the last few seasons. Sarah and tv-sibling Ariel Winter sure turned into a pair of impressive young women. Inspired me to look for certified autos, and ended up with the Vampire Academy one. I should make a custom overlay for it someday with a more attractive photo.

Spurred by Zippy asking me about my Alexa Bliss dupes (PWE mailed out yesterday, btw, Kenny), I finally semi-organized my Girlie Card minicollection into sections the other day. The Sarah Hyland auto will go into the "Hollywood Ladies" section.

Robin Yount as a Diamondback? It happened!

They seem kinda tough to find, but I ended up with 3 of these 2002 Keebler cards from the same seller. Figured the pair of dupes would be solid trade fodder for Yount PC'ers or other fans of "short-term stops"-type cards of this nature. Let me know if you're interested in swapping me something for one. . .

But really though, I'm kinda putting trades on hold right now, just trying to finish up things already in the works and then I plan to chill on trading for a while. This puppy, man.. she's a demon! My wife and I are exhausted and just hoping some of the attempts at training start getting through eventually.

This photo is from the first night we brought Ruby home. She found a headrest on a couple boxes of MST3K cards. But turns out she's a chewing fiend, so the door to my "office" (card room) will remain closed until she shapes up. No losses yet, but I must remain vigilant.

Here's a nice photo of Ruby from the other day. She's a cutie when she not (play)biting you, or chewing on things she shouldn't, or eating things she shouldn't, or peeing in the house, or aggressively begging while you cook and eat. But we've got a new gameplan now with help from my cousin-- an accomplished dog trainer who's trained dogs for Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams among others-- so here's hoping this li'l pup's behavioral issues get in check soon.

Thanks for reading. I'll need to do a "trade roundup" post soon because I've got a lot of cool stuff in the past couple weeks. So look out for that and see ya then. Have a great weekend!


  1. Good stuff as usual. Sorry to hear you are having trouble with current baseball. But not all that surprising either. I kind of hate that the Trout RB card does not state a record. Seems pretty lazy! But I do like the Link and Yount cards.

  2. I'm really starting to worry that the lack of sports will be something that I get used to and that I just won't miss it enough, either. I told my wife she can cancel the cable package with MLB/NHL/NFL network if we need to save money, because the kids don't watch a lot of TV either.

    I enjoyed listening to Don Orsillo call Red Sox games on NESN. Don't know why they ever let him go, but Boston's loss is certainly San Diego's gain.

  3. Sweet Trout card and I like the tabs separating the type of cards in your box.

  4. Baseball cards, puppy updates, puppy pics, and LCD Soundsystem in the same post? You are the man. Good luck with the training!

  5. Great blog post as usual. I would be interested in one of the Yount Diamondbacks cards please.

  6. Put me down for one of those Yount Dbacks cards.

  7. And thanks for mentioning the 71 all star game on youtube, I just went and watched. It was awesome! My favorite line was 'Yazstremski, on first, is a base stealing threat'. Haha, in my day, Yaz waz one of the slowest players in the league! Time gets us all I guess.

  8. Oddly it seems like the more a card costs, the less effort Topps puts into it. That Trout is a sterling example.

  9. Good luck with the pup! Not easy.

    I had no idea Yount was on the DBacks staff.

  10. Cute pup! My son and daughter-in-law are going through the same pain with their new canine addition. My wife and I are looking into greyhound adoption. The Houston track is closed now and they have some dogs looking to adopt grown-ups.

    And I dropped my MLB-TV subscription at the end of last season. I think I watched two games on it all year.

    We've watched Modern Family from time to time. When the show doesn't feature Cam and Mitchell I tend to zone out. Those two are terrific.

    Lastly, I see those photographers cards pop up here and there. Just wonderful oddballs!

  11. I cancelled my subscription the day Manfred sent out one of his hostage letters- I know if there’s actually a season I’ll be back this year, but everything is just such a drag right now. I’m hoping baseball will provide some sort of escape during what I fear will be a long, long rest of the year. I also feel guilty for players being in harms way for my benefit. I’m still not convinced they’re going to play- I just hope everyone stays healthy. On another note, I’m getting some serious Father Guido Sarducci vibes from Dick.

  12. Hahaha if I create a run on those Photographer cards I'll truly be an influencer. Can't help you with him as an artist thought, I'm not aware of his work.

    Also Grant is a great TTM guy so if you slap a custom together to pair with the play by play guy you'll be in business.

  13. Whoa. Last time I watched Modern Family was a long time ago and both of those girls were high school. Time sure flies. Have fun with the dog training. Ruby sure is a cute dog. I love puppies when they like to play bite.

  14. I'm also a huge 1990 Topps fan as you probably know, first cards I ripped as a kid as well. In fact, I think I eyed that exact Trout that you led off with. Awesome pick-up, very jealous of that one. Congrats! Good luck with the dog too, hopefully it's just adaptation to a new environment and things will calm down soon!

  15. DK and Nick - yeah, a better back would have been nice. But to give Topps credit, for this party promo, they made Trout cards in ALL their old designs plus some bonus ones (like the 1990 RB card is in addition to a base 1990 design card too, I'm pretty sure).. so that's a lot of cards to crank out.

    Chris - I wouldn't mind catching some actual baseball highlights online soon, but other than deep into the playoffs, watching full games just doesn't do it for me these days and isn't worth the considerable time commitment. Last time I did that with any regularity was Vin Scully's last year, trying to soak in as much of the legend as I could before he signed off.

    Laurens - Thanks! Yeah, I've been happy with this sorting method lately. I cut the tabs from old file folders that I got when my previous job moved.

    Tom - Thank you, sir! I try to keep my posts entertaining!

    Tim/Johnny - Ok cool, I can set them aside for you. But remember this isn't a Free Card Friday post-- I'm looking for something comparably cool in return.

    DK again - Glad you gave it a watch! Yeah, vintage games are fun.

    AJ - Thanks! Ruby seems to be slowing improving, at least.

    Bob - Yeah, Cam and Mitchell are definitely a highlight of the show.

    Used Cardboard - Ha, yes! Good call on the Father Guido Sarducci vibes!

    Nick Vossbrink - It wasn't the first time you've inspired me to hunt down cards I didn't know about. You always got some good stuff on your radar!

    Fuji - The play biting is cute at first but eventually it's like you've got a land-piranha on your hands and a bunch of micro abrasions on your skin.

    SD - I'm glad to have a 1990 Topps ally in you!

    1. lol. i'm coming from the perspective of the buddy who comes over to play with the puppy for about 30 minutes and bounces. no poo patrol or accountability. that's why play biting is cool with me ;D

  16. I am not sure what today’s baseball will turn out to be but it doesn’t peak my interest. However I don’t plan to lose my satellite yet. I have been watching reruns of 90s shows I enjoyed like home improvement

    1. There better be an NFL season though. It’s the one thing I look forward to