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.