Monday, March 30, 2015


I'm just like everyone else and loves to get a good autograph or relic card. I know when I look on EBay or wherever to buy cards I tend to look for one of those. I know that is only one end of the perspective in collecting. For #mycardmonday I thought I would show off my favorite non autograph or relic card.

A 2014 Topps Acetate of the Tampa Bay Rays Desmond Jennings. I am a fan of Jennings who plays a good centerfield for one of my more favorite teams. I know the acetate cards have been around for awhile, but this is the first one that I have picked up. It is a low numbered card with there only being /10.

Here is what the back of the card looks like. Just a reversed image of the front. Even the back of the card is pretty cool. All in all a cool card to have in my growing collection.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Expectations are high

Over the past few of years the Detroit Tigers have pretty much traded their farm system away to get proven MLB talent. It has worked out pretty well for the Tigers. Doug Fister came over from Mariners and was everything and more then what the Tigers have wanted. The biggest trade was the Miguel Cabrera trade. We all know how great of a deal that was for the Tigers and how much of a flop it was for the Marlins. With this common scenario the Tigers' farm system was ranked near the bottom every year.

Nick Castellanos was Detroit's one prospect that was pretty much untouchable. Nick was drafted in 2010 out of High School by the Tigers. He was given a hefty signing bonus to keep him with the Tigers and not go to college. Every stop in the minors he proved he could hit. The big question was his defense at third. Once the Tigers would sign Prince Fielder and move Miggy over to third, the Tigers would try Nick out in left field. Once Prince would be traded away Nick found himself right back at third. Last year he would win the everyday job at third for the Tigers. Offensively he had a decent year hitting .259/.305/.390 with 11 home runs and 66 RBIs. Defensively he was one of the worst third basemen in the game if not the worst.

Coming into spring training Nick has a lot of work to do to continue to build Tigers fan's trust. The way I look at Nick is he will only get better. Offensively he proved he can hit at every level in the minors and I think it is a big jump from AAA Toledo to the majors. He is also only going to be 23 years old this season. He is still pretty young. Defensively will still be the biggest hurdle for him, but with the help of Omar Vizquel and Alan Trammell, two great gold glove winning shortstops working with him and Iglesias coming back to play along side him at short should help out.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Roberto Clemente was one of the best baseball players on and off the fields of all time. Unfortunately his life was taken way to earlier due to a plane crash. He was trying to bring aid packages to Nicarague in 1972  after an earthquake struck the city. He was always looking to help out his home country of Puerto Rico.

As a baseball player, Clemente was one of the most feared right fielders the game has ever seen. He finished his career with exactly 3,000 hits while hitting .317/.359/.475 with 240 home runs. His career OPS+ was 130. In the outfield he would win 12 gold gloves in 12 straight years. Add in a MVP, 2 World Series rings, and one World Series MVP you have a 1973 Hall of Fame election.

Clemente did just as much off the field as he did on the field. He life was ended while trying to help people out. He was elected to the Hall of Fame early due to his untimely death.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Topps Heritage Part 1

Last night I received my favorite baseball card series, Topps Heritage. I really like the retro design to their cards. I purchased two hobby boxes due to the reasonable cost and the fact that each box you are guaranteed either a relic or an autograph.

My first box started pretty slow for me. It wasn't until the last pack i ripped open that I pulled this Zack Greinke game used relic. I was pretty impressed with the card. Greinke is a good pitcher coming into his contract year with the Dodgers. I remember watching him come up with the Royals and show his dominating stuff against the Tigers. He is a little bit of a head case, but still a pretty cool card to add.

My second box I pulled another game used relic of Atlanta Braves first basemen, Freddie Freeman. This is probably my favorite of the two cards just because of having the red jersey piece compared to the usual white or gray. Freeman is good young first basemen who has a great glove and I like a guy who can flash the leather.

By the time I had a chance to rip into these boxes it was a little later in the evening. I did pull a few cool parallels that I will post in part 2 and I have to go through and look to see what short prints I pulled and if I did get any bubble gum stained cards.

Monday, March 16, 2015


Quick post for #mycardmonday. Since Victor Martinez signed in the off-season for the 2011 season he quickly became one of my favorite players in the game. He had a big season in his first year wearing the Old English D, but the following season he missed due to a knee injury. After the injury I said that even if he doesn't play one more game for the Tigers he would go down as one of my favorites. Besides carrying a big bat he showed he was a leader in the clubhouse. Last year I believe he would have been the MVP if he wasn't a primary DH player. If he could have played first everyday and put up the same numbers that he did he would have been the clear choice for MVP. Again this year he is already dealing with another knee injury and I wish him a quick recovery!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Favorite Baseball Autograph

About a year and a half ago Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays was doing a signing at the USA Baseball Academy in North Carolina. With my connections to North Carolina, my brother-in-law let me know that he would bring my sister along with him to get me an autograph.

I had my choice between a baseball or a baseball card. I figured it would be easier to add a Chris Archer autograph card in the future then an autograph baseball. I believe it must of been one autograph per person so that is why my sister had to tag along. She did point out to Chris that I am a huge Detroit Tigers fan.

Chris was nice enough to personalize the baseball for me, even though he go it wrong. As you can see in the picture he said "Matt thanks for the support Rays > Tigers!" I do like the Rays, but I would say Tigers > Rays. All in all I am pretty happy with the autograph. Thank you Chris Archer!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Diamond in the rough

Last season as a Detroit Tigers fan one of the biggest highlights for the team was the addition of JD Martinez. A 20th round pick in the 2009 draft by the Houston Astros, Martinez would slug his way through the minors and making his major league debut on July 30th, 2011. In his first half season with the Astros he would hit .274/.319/.423, but the following two years he would see a decline in his numbers.

On March 22nd, 2014 the Astros would decide to part ways with JD. It would only take two days for another team to pick him up on a minor league contract. That team would be the Detroit Tigers. Once again JD would find himself smashing the ball in the minors while playing for the Toledo Mud Hens. With having 10 home runs in the first 17 games of the season, the Tigers decided to move JD to the majors. Now this time around he would continue to swing a hot bat in the majors. He would finish the season hitting .315/.358/.553 with 23 home runs and 76 RBIs.

It seems like some writers think JD will be just a one hit wonder. It will be hard to see him produce another season with an OPS+ of 149. I predict a .285/.350/.460 season from him this year. The reason I believe in JD is everything I hear about his work ethic. If you follow him on Instragram you will he has became pretty close with baseball best hitter and his teammate, Miguel Cabrera. On top of that CJ Nitkowski wrote a nice article about how he watches proven hitters to see what they do to make them successful. On top of that he also keeps a journal of every at bat he takes and writes what is and what isn't working with his swing. This way he can go back and see what he needs to change. I truly believe the Tigers found a diamond in the rough with JD Martinez last season.

Monday, March 9, 2015


Being a Detroit Tigers fan, I will make the arguement that Ty Cobb was the greatest hitter to ever play the great game of baseball. For #mycardmonday I picked my favorite Ty Cobb Card and it features the guy Cobb said would have been a better hitter then him.

Ty Cobb retired from baseball known for two things. First being the most hated man in baseball for how hard he played and how he would slide hard into bags and try to injure players. Secondly he retired from baseball holding 90 records. His best record was the 4,191 hits and his still current record having a career batting average of .367. As a hitter he could do it all. Hit for average, lay down a bunt and also hit home runs in a dead ball era. Once on base he could steal any base he wanted, including home plate, which he did 50 times.

"Shoeless" Joe Jackson career playing baseball came to unfortunate end after the 1919 World Series that the Chicago White Sox supposedly threw. He never admitted to throwing the World Series and actually had a a good series where he hit .375. In his shorten career he had over 1,700 hits and a career average of .356.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ken Griffey Jr.: My Childhood Hero

Yesterday while checking some of the usually baseball sites that I read, I stumbled upon this article about Ken Griffey Jr. and his trade from Seattle to Cincinnati. Growing up in the 90's what kid wasn't a fan of Griffey. I remember playing little league and trying mimic his swing at the plate, but what stood out the most for me with him was his defense. Watching highlights of him taking away home runs was just awesome to me.

This was one of my first Griffey cards that I added to my collection. What is cool about this card it has part of his batting glove in it. I haven't seen really any other relic card that has something other then a part of a jersey or a bat. Pretty cool relic to have.

Going back to the article written about Griffey the other thing that made me really like him growing up was how close he was with his dad and his family. He always put family first. I am lucky enough to have a close relationship with my family and especially with my dad. Just like Griffey, I am able to work with my dad (I am salesperson at a Chevy dealership and my dad is the parts manager).

Can't have an article about my favorite baseball player of all time without having a highlight film.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Position Battle: Catchers

One of the biggest concerns most Tigers' fan have is can Alex Avila staying healthy and can he hit. He is under contract for another season. He is a very good defensive catcher, but at the plate he struggles outside of his walks. Last season we saw Bryan Holaday as Avila's backup catcher. Going into this spring training, Holaday isn't the clear favorite for that spot. He will have competition with rookie prospect James McCann.

Bryan Holaday was drafted in the 6th round of the 2010 amateur player draft by the Detroit Tigers. The early scouting reports on Holaday is that he is best known for his glove. Strong arm and great game calling skills lead him to his major league debut in 2012. Offensively Holaday does not hit for power or average. He is a career .241/.280/.303 with a career OPS+ of 62. He will best serve as a backup catcher throughout his career.

James McCann was originally drafted in 2008 in the 31st round by the Chicago White Sox, but ultimately decided to go to the University of Arkansas. He would end up being drafted by the Tigers in 2011 in the 2nd round. Again like Holaday, McCann's calling card is his defense. He is said to be a good on field captain. Offensively he hasn't flashed as much power as the Tigers would like to see from a catcher, but he is a gap hitter that can eventually average 12-15 home runs a year. One scouting report said that McCann does not have one standout skill, but does everything somewhat well.

My final prediction, like most people, Alex Avila will be the Detroit Tigers starting catcher with James McCann as the backup catcher. Bryan Holaday will start the season in Triple A Toledo. If McCann can hit somewhere close to his slash line of .295/.343/.427 from last season in Triple A Toledo, he might be able to take over the starting job from Avila. I would like to see a .270/.325/.400 line from McCann this year and take over the starting catching job from Avila.

Monday, March 2, 2015


My brother-in-law, The Snorting Bull, has started a #mycardmonday where you show one of your favorite cards every Monday. He has been doing this for awhile now and has challenged people to start doing it as well. I figured why not starting doing this with a card that is connected to him.

A little background before we get to the card. Growing up as a kid I would buy a pack of cards here and there, but wasn't really much of a collector. I had a maybe 100-150 cards and when I went off to college for one year I was going through somethings trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I had no money and that Christmas of 2010 Eric (my bro-in-law) helped me sell my cards. Now fast forward to March of 2012 I decided to get into collecting. That March I was in North Carolina visiting family and told Eric I was interested in starting a collection.

I showed Eric a few cards that I had but they were nothing special. Well about a month later Eric tweeted me a picture of this Cabrera Triple Threads card. He told me he actually had a couple copies (if I remember correctly) of this card. Then he dropped some of the best news as a collector. He  said he would give me one of them. Being a Detroit Tigers fan or just a baseball fan in general you know how special of a player Miguel Cabrera is and as a baseball card collector his cards usually aren't very cheap.

Thank you Eric a.k.a The Snorting Bull for helping me out with my journey of collecting baseball cards and reintroducing me back into this great hobby!