Monday, December 28, 2015

Everyone's Favorite Tiger (?)

In the past two years of collecting baseball cards and mostly Detroit Tigers cards at that I have finally added a Brandon Inge autograph. It comes from the 2001 Fleer Showcase set. Inge spent part of 12 of his 13 seasons with the Detroit Tigers before him and the Tigers cut ties with each other. Playing mostly third base for the Tigers Inge showed signs early on in his career as a fan favorite with his flashy leather and occasional pop at the plate. Towards the end of his stay in Detroit, many fans would feel frustrated with him at the plate where his average would slowly slip below the Mendoza line.

At the end of his career with the Tigers Inge would post a slash line of .234/.304/.387 with 140 home runs. In 2006 and 2009 he would have his career best of 27 home runs and even made the 2009 All Star game. He would also be selected for the Home Run Derby that year, but failed to hit one out of the park. Love him or hate him he will always be remembered by fans who grew up watching the Tigers during his stay in Detroit.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Off-season additions

The Detroit Tigers had a few holes to fill on their team this off-season. With Dave Dombrowski out of the picture as the GM and Al Avila stepping in he had some work to do. The Tigers do have the pleasure of having one of the greatest owners in all of sports in Mike Ilitch who isn't afraid to spend money.

The biggest need this off-season was fixing the horrific bullpen and Avila wasted no time on doing that. On November 18th the Tigers sent a pair of minor league prospects to the Brewers for Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod is best known for setting the single season save record back in 2008 with 62 saves for the Los Angeles Angels. Over his career he has posted a career ERA+ of 156 with 386 saves.

The other need for the Tigers was to bolster their starting rotation. This off-season there were many good pitchers to pick from guys like David Price to low risk high reward guys like Doug Fister. I personally thought that the Tigers might go somewhere more in the middle with signing two guys, but instead they signed one of the top free agent pitchers, Jordan Zimmermann. He should slide into the number two spot right behind Justin Verlander in the rotation. He is a guy who can give you 200 innings year with an ERA+ of 118.

These were the two bigger moves of Avila this off-season. As it looks right now the Tigers should be pretty set with the other moves they have made and I personally think Avila had a good first off-season as the GM of the Detroit Tigers.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

2015 Topps Update

A few weeks back Topps released their 2015 Update series. As always I buy my boxes from Big D's in North Carolina. I told Jimmy to hold onto my box until I came down to visit for Thanksgiving. I have finally got around to post my hits.

First up the buybacks from the series. I pulled 7 buybacks in my box. By far the coolest one I pulled was the Carl Yastrzemski In Action card. The bad news about that card is is was in the worse shape out of the 7. Nothing major but does have a few creases on it.

Next up are the Ice Paralles (or that's what I think they're called). I pulled four of them out of the box.

The other parallels that I pulled from the box were mostly gold parallels #/2015. The Lorenzo Cain, Brock Holt, and Zach Britton are the coolest ones from the gold parallels. I did pull a few other ones also. The Brett Lawrie is a camo parallel #/99.

My relic card that I pulled features Chicago White Sox ace pitcher Chris Sale. It is a uniform piece from his All-Star uniform this season.

Lastly, I pulled one short print which features free agent outfielder Justin Upton boxing up his bats. My favorite card that I pulled is Detroit Tigers shortstop, Jose Iglesias during the All-Star game. The card is a black parallel out of 64.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Card Collecting over Thanksgiving

This year for Thanksgiving I was lucky enough to spend a few days in the warm weather in North Carolina visiting family. I cannot think of the last time my whole family was together for Thanksgiving. Along with the warm 70 degree with and the awesome dinner my sister made I was also able to talk baseball and card collecting with my brother-in-law The Snorting Bull. He was going through some cards and put some aside for me that he knew I would enjoy. Besides receiving some cool cards I also got some really good tips on collecting from him.

The first card that he had for me was from 1989 Bowman set that he was putting together. Being a huge Ken Griffey Jr. fan he had this awesome rookie for me. The thing that is cool about the card is the fact that it is slightly bigger then your typical baseball card.

The next three cards come from the 1998 E-X 2001 set. This is one of the coolest base set cards I have seen. I would have been 9 years old when this set came out and it was long before I serious collected. I could have a few of these in my collection as a kid, but with them being sold there is no way to tell. The cards feature Tony Clark (one of my favorite Tigers as a kid), Ivan, Pudge, Rodriguez (before he was a Tiger) and Justin Thompson.

After making the comment about how cool the E-X 2001 cards were, the Snorting Bull was talking to me about older card sets that had the same idea. He found a 1998 Topps Tek card of St. Louis Cardinals, Mark McGwire and he added it to my pile. He must have had a few of these to give up a Cardinals card.

The one current Tigers card that he had for me was of Miguel Cabrera from the 2015 Gypsy Queen set. It features a piece of his uniform and is #/25. Always great to add a Cabrera card to my collection.

The last card is a dual autograph card of early nineties Detroit Tigers, Frank Tanana (left) and Mickey Tettleton (right). During the nineties the Tigers didn't have any great teams. Tettleton had his best part of his career during his four years as a Tiger with a career OPS+ of 135 in Detroit. Tanana spent eight years in Detroit and had a career ERA+ 99 with the Tigers.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Buy Low, Sell High

It has been awhile since I have wrote about baseball and baseball cards on my blog. In the past week I have added a few more cards to my collection. I will start with my Victor Martinez lot that I bought off ebay for under $10. After getting the cards and going through what all I received I thought it was a pretty good purchase. It is a perfect example of collecting a player after he has had a down year. V-Mart battled injuries all season and had one of his worse season to date. I believe a healthy Martinez next year will be back to the .300 hitter with 15 home runs and 80 RBIs. Let's take a look at the cards that I received.

These two cards were the only ones that I knew where part of the deal. It was V-Mart lot and had both cards listed and said with extra V-Mart cards. The first card is from the 2011 Topps 60 relic set part of series 1 for that year. It is of V-Mart with the Boston Red Sox honoring his 2010 season when he lead the league with a .400 batting average against left handed pitching. The second card is from the 2015 Topps Stadium Club set. The member only stamp means it is a short print card and is one of 7 cards. Two really cool cards and I would have been happy to with both of them for $10, but there was more.

The lot also included a gold and purple parallel cards, a card /50 and a insert card honoring his first home run on September 29th, 2002. I also had some base cards to go with these 6 cards. All in all I was pretty impressed with all of the cards I received for a good buy.

A buy like this makes me think that collecting cards is somewhat like the stock market, you try to buy while the players value is low and sell them when their value high. I will probably not be looking to move these cards, because V-Mart is one of my favorite players, but I will continue to look for good buys.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Pleasant Surprise

My first year of collecting baseball cards was two years ago in 2013. I started out with the Topps Series 1 buying a couple blaster packs from K-Mart (yes K-Mart I live in a small town and it is close to my house) before buying my first jumbo box. My next boxes that I bought were the 2013 Panini Team USA series. I pulled a Joey Gallo autograph was one of my two autos and then I pulled a couple relics. I did trade one of the relics to The Snorting Bull, but I do not remember that card. Being Team USA I wasn't sure who they were and more or less stored them away in my relic box and somewhat forgotten.

Well last night putting my Curtis Granderson card away I happened to flip past this Michael Conforto card that I pulled. A little background on Conforto he was a 10th overall pick in 2014 First Year Player Draft to the New York Mets. He made his debut this summer on July 24th. I remember hearing his name when he was called up. He put together a good half season for the Mets. In 56 games he hit .270/.335/.506 with 9 home runs and 26 RBIs. Needless to say I was pretty happy to see that I had pulled this card two years ago and it is still in my collection.

Monday, October 19, 2015

#MyCardMonday: Curtis Granderson

Sticking with the same game plan as last week I will pick a player who has been playing well during the playoffs for #MyCardMonday. This week I figured I would showcase one of my favorite former Detroit Tigers, Curtis Granderson. Drafted in 2002 by the Tigers, Granderson made his debut in 2004 and played for them until the off season following the 2009 season. During his time in Detroit Grandy would post a career OPS+ of 114 with a slash line of .272/.344/.484. He was involved in the trade with the Yankees and Diamondback that brought the Tigers Austin Jackson and Max Scherzer. During his 4 seasons as Yankee he would show off his power with 115 home runs. Last season he signed with the New York Mets and has been a huge contributor to them in their World Series push this season.

Grandy has done it all this post season. So far he is 9 for 24 with 3 runs and 7 RBIs. He has also stolen 3 bases for the Mets. Last night he flashed the leather with robbing Chris Coghlan of a home run.