The deGrominator!

I think this is just such a nice card. 2020 Donruss Baseball D-10 Jacob deGrom Dominators insert pink parallel. Not expensive or anything, just a sweet refractor for one of my favorite players. Same story but a different look every time. 🙂

My daughter asked me, “Why do they have these shiny cards? How do they make them?”

I said something to the effect of, “I dunno, I think they use different layers or something, but they look cool.” Lol.

She then looked at this deGrom card and said, “See you look at it this way and it’s just a regular card, but then you look at it this way and you see fireworks!” Yep. She gets it. 🙂

2021 Topps Allen & Ginter Blaster – Fun :)

I picked up a blaster of 2021 Allen and Ginter online from Target. I’m glad Target is selling more releases online and that collectors can actually buy one just for fun even after they’ve been out for a week. I was looking for some set help (both base and inserts). Each blaster has 8 packs, with each pack usually containing 6 cards (1 insert, 1 mini, 4 base) unless there is a special insert (like a memorabilia card). Let’s take a pack-by-pack look:


Pack 1:

Insert: Birds of a Feather – Blue & Gold Macaw (Go Bears! Lol)

Mini: Carrasco SP

Base: Wrangham, Simba!, Feller, Thomas


Pack 2:

Insert: Jeter Historical Hits

Mini: Freddie Freeman black border 🙂

Base: Biggio, Will Smith

Hit: Max Muncy relic! There aren’t any “guaranteed” hits in these blasters so this uni relic was a pleasant surprise. 🙂


Pack 3:

Insert: Great White Shark (working on this set, think I have about 5/15 so far)

Mini: McGwire (St. Louis)

Base: Walsh, Bauer’s, Woodruff SP, Larkin


Pack 4:

Insert: Jo Adell Murad

Mini: Zack Wheeler A&G back

Base: Molina, Canseco, Story, Abreu RC


Pack 5:

Insert: Beech Tree!

Mini: Schwarber

Base: LeMahieu, Trout, Castellanos, Flaherty


Pack 6:

Insert: Aaron Boone Historical Hits

Mini: Caldwell 93

Base: Gregorious, Rose Lavelle (ladies soccer player, feel like there are a lot fewer females in this year’s set for whatever reason), Lavin, Rendon


Pack 7:

Insert: Rallying Back: Brown Bear!

Mini: Brailyn Marquez MRD-8 (This “mini rookie design” variation looks like an A&G RC from earlier in the 21st Century.)

Base: Peterson RC, Tatis Jr., Corbin SP, Will Craig RC


Pack 8:

Insert: Juan Soto Murad

Mini: Good For You – Grapefruit (yuck!)

Base: Beuhrle, Martinez, MIke Lange (“Heeeeee shoots and scores!), Ernie Banks


This blaster was a fun break! Out of 47 cards (if I added correctly), I got 8 new base, 18 doubles, 4 SP doubles, a mini double, 7 new minis, 8 new inserts, and (surprise!) a uniform relic card. Didn’t get as much base set help as I wanted (8 new base, 18 dupes, plus 4 SP doubles) but the 8 minis and 8 inserts were cool. I especially like the Shark (“Deep Sea Shiver”) and Bird (“Birds of a Feather”) inserts. Those are really colorful even while staying with the muted Allen & Ginter palettes. The Muncy relic in the second pack was also a nice surprise. Like I’ve said elsewhere, this year’s set seems to have more baseball than in previous years, but it still has enough oddballs to be amusing. 🙂 Overall, I’d give this 2021 A&G blaster (and the release in general) 4 out 5 stars!

2021 Topps Allen and Ginter

Hello folks, well I’m going to try something new here, blogging as I open a couple of boxes.

2021 Topps Allen and Ginter, $124.95 at DJ’s Sportscards. 24 packs, 8 cards per pack. 3 hits and 24 minis. I got two boxes. Let’s go!

Box 1 – Well a little scare here, a couple actually. The plastic wrap on the first box had a little slit in it — but I trust my local and am not going to sweat it. Then I was having trouble even typing here into WordPress, but it’s working now so again I’m no going to sweat it.

Box loader — N43 Bregman. Cool. N43 sounds like something out of a football playcall but it’s more like a mini box topper, and we all know A&G has plenty of minis going on. (I think my English teachers used to say don’t end a sentence with a preposition, but anyway…)

Pack 1 – last card White Rhino insert; I like the look of these, almost a light purple mixed with gray background. Lavin, Trout, Cobb, Lawrence, Hoskins, Luzardo mini.

Pack 2 – last card a double of the Rhino insert???? C’mon man. Pardon the photography, they actually look identical in real life lol. Garcia RC, Andres, Acuna, Young RC, Guerrero (Sr.), Semien (now with the Blue Jays, that’s still weird to me), Carrasco mini

Pack 3 – last card is not a Rhino! Hammerhead Shark. Nice card. Marquez, Snider, Torres, Jeffers RC, Castillo, Cronenworth RC, Bubic black border mini.

BTW blogging this way, inserting photos as I go, etc. is very slow but it’s kind of cool. Dinner time. See you soon, my friends. 🙂


Back at it. Pack 4 – Last Card – Mookie Betts T51 Murad Reimagined. Not a big deal but still kind of cool. Story, Bauers, Cain, Ng, Kirilloff, Kruk, Mo Vaughn mini. (Not to be confused with former Cal great Greg Vaughn. :))

Pack 5 – Last card Casey Mize T51 Murad. Mini Alan Trammel black border.. Ortiz, Sanchez, Greg Vaughn RC (wow, nice set up Topps lol), McCovey, Randall Cunningham (cool!), Feller.

Hey guess what? Time to put the kids to bed. Might be the last pack for the night who knows.


Pack 6 – last card Junior T51 Murad – nice! Giolito, Rizzo, Carlton, Goldschmidt (Goldy!), Gimenez RC, Alvarez, Suarez mini A&G back.

Pack 7 – feels a little heavy lol – last card Alpine Larch (kind of a Northwest looking tree). Biggio (nice card, kind of “pops”), Simmons (SIMMMMMMBAAAAAA!!!), Jeter, Skubal RC, Singer RC, Buehrle, Bauer mini.

Pack 8 – Last card Holly insert; Jimenez, Grandal, Hays, Brett, Keirmaeir, Gonzalez, Snell mini.

Pack 9 – last card Spruce; Lester (weird in Nationals uni), Randy Johnson, Devers, Daz Cameron, Campanella, Gonzalez, mini Campusano RC (check out his stats!!!)

Pack 10 – last card Nelson Cruz Historical Hits (Nellie!!!!!); Caldwell 62 mini; Chapman, Mays, Moncada, Martinze, LeMahieu, Chapman

Pack 11 – gotta admit that blogging and ripping at the same time is a little tiring. Anyway, it’s kind of nice to put up the photos as we go along. Last card Babe Ruth Historical Hits (the one when he points to centerfield before hitting a homer :)); mini Greinke A&G back (love how he throws in the Eephus pitch every once in a while). Cole, Javier RC, Wong, Doby, Brubaker RC, Maeda.

Gotta admit I’m itching for a hit here. Pack 12 (no not “Pac”-12 silly, “Pack” 12!) – last card – Ben Zorbist Historical Hits (did he retire?); mini World’s Largest – Pacific Ocean; Varsho RC, Neidert RC, Price, Ichiro (Ichiro! Ichiro!), Moynihan, Corbin. How many times has Topps used that same freaking Ichiro picture? Anyway, he will always be the man.

Pack 13 – Silvertip Shark insert; wait there’s a framed card in here! behind the Kolten Wong mini… a framed mini — Evan White RC auto! I mean I must have at least three other Evan White autos and he’s out for the year but nobody can take that Gold Glove away from him. Beautiful card! Dalbec RC; Rojas, Judge, Uncle Larry (Andrew McCutchen’s alter ego).

Pack 14 – Whale Shark insert; Bagwell mini… wait an auto??? No, a relic from comedian Roy Wood Jr. I had to look him up before I realized I’ve seen him on The Daily Show and stuff like that. Interesting, looks like a piece of a Cubs jersey actually, or maybe part of his Cubs robe! (Note, I later DM’d him on Twitter, and he said that even though they talked about doing the robe, it was a custom jersey.) Bagwell, Anderson, Soffler, Rocky Bleier.

Pack 15 — another hit??? Let’s see. Northern Elephant Seal insert, Buster Posey mini, and a relic from…. some kind of a “Star”… oh Hunter Dozier of the Royals. For a white relic, it’s a nice card. I think one time I took a similar Nelson Cruz relic and photoshopped some game action into there. That would probably look pretty cool on this card. Anyhow, also Gray, Harper, Rendon, and Ohtani (all wearing red caps btw).

Ok hits are done…. why do I always think I’m going to hit a Mike Trout or Junior auto relic??? 🙂 Pack 16 – Mays T51 insert, “Mascots in Real Life” Bear (cool!) Bubic RC, Chisholm RC, Swanson, Rivera, Smith RC, Delgado. This is also the point when I realize I need to stock up on mini sleeves and toploaders. 🙂

Pack 17 – Altuve Murad, Clemente mini, Gibson, Alonso, Greinke, Garciaparra, Bianca Smith, Castellanos.

Pack 18 – Buxton Murad (Byron Buxton seems like a cool dude. I think he signed a card for me a few years ago and is super fast, among other things.) Chipper Jones mini. Sarah Spain, Flaherty, Abreu RC, Pudge Rodriguez, Stroman, Josh Gibson SP.

Pack 19 – Birds of a Feather Macaw insert (thought there was going to be an actual feather for a second lol), Kevin Negandhi mini (“the first Indian-American to anchor a television show for a naional sports network”), Jeff Carlson (one of the Hanson Brothers from Slapshot, the bio on the back is for another Jeff Carlson), Bohm RC, McKenzie RC, Albies (with a mean game face on), Trammell, Garcia RC. Fun pack. 🙂

Pack 20 – Birds of a Feather Macaw insert (another double insert in consecutive packs? C’mon now Topps lol). Caldwell 60/61 mini (the other was 62, thankfully). Meadows, Bart, Betts, Soler, Mountcastle RC, Junior.

Pack 21 – Cherry tree insert, Roger Clemens mini A&G, Eddie Murray, Leo Kelly (going to have to look him up now), Larkin, Will Smith, Buzz Bissinger, Campusano RC (we talked about his stats earlier).

Pack 22 – Stan Musial Historical Hits, Tyler Glasnow A&G back mini, holy crap Mike Lange, the Pittsburgh Penguins announcer!! Heeeeeeeeeeeee shoots and scores! One of my favorites, if not an idol. Will be searching eBay for his auto, even if i already have it on a hockey puck. 🙂 Tatis Jr., Heyward, Altuve, Kirk RC, Alou.

Pack 23 – David Ortiz Historical Hits, Spencer Howard RC mini, Vida Blue, Shane (not Justin) Bieber, Willi Castro, Jackie Robinson, Sandberg, Woodruff SP

Pack 24 – Ozzie Smith historical hits; Caldwell 32 mini, ARod (Mariners), Frank Thomas, Tavarez RC, Galarraga,Kaprielian RC, Lasorda.

Overall, I’d have to say a fun break. A&G is of course less visually flashy than other releases. The base cards I got were not as off-beat as I’ve seen in recent years. Also did not seem to be as many women. Mostly baseball players. What’s up with that? Lol. The Evan White RC framed mini-auto and Roy Wood Jr. comedian relic were cool hits, and the nature inserts are great (even if I doubled up on the White Rhino and Macaw lol). Overall, I’d give this box 3.75 out of 5.00 stars. 🙂



Up next: Box 2! Stay tuned 🙂



Ok Box 2…. packaging totally intact this time lol

Box Topper – Judge – nice!

Pack 1 – looks like a hit in the first pack, a framed something… first card Zebra Shark insert; Giolito mini; cool Starling Marte framed mini auto. Nicely written autograph. I remember one night the Pirates visiting the Mariners. This woman was so excited to get her ball signed by Marte. Actually arrived a little dinged or with an ink mark or something but I’m not going to sweat it. Not super exciting but I do like it.:) Also Hayes RC, Reggie Jackson, Schmidt RC, Heuer, Yan.

Pack 2.. I wonder if there are going to be three hits in a row, like the last box. Let’s see: Nope. The Giant Panda “Rallying Back”. Gotta love panda cards. 🙂 Looks like “Rallying Back” and “Deep Sea Shivers” are going to be the most interesting inserts for me, along with the “World’s Largest” minis. Wiidruff mini SP, Bryant, (Aaron) Nola, Wheeler, Yount, Mathews, Verlander.

Whoa looks like Pack 3 also has a framed something. Let’s see: Caribbean River Shark insert, Joe Morgan mini, and cool, Pudge Rodriguez relic! Just a really nice card. 🙂 Also Hosmer, Ryan, Marquez RC, Kim.

Pack 4 – George Brett Murad; Elephant Mascots (ok probably want to collect these too, especially if they have the Mariners’ Moose). Steelo Brim, Bench, Quintana, Basabe RC, Yaz, Gaylord Perry (with Cleveland).

Pack 5 – Feels very ordinary lol Let’s see: Murad Snell; Roy Wood Jr. black border mini! My new favorite comedian. 🙂 Probably going to start watching The Daily Show just to see more of that guy. Ted Williams, Arihara RC, Snell, Seager, Kershaw, Dick Allen. Not extraordinary but still a fun pack. 🙂

Pack 6 – Ernie Banks Murad; George Springer A&G back mini; Wagner, Carlson (one of the Hanson Brothers), Howard RC, Schwarber, Mattingly (have seen that picture before :), and Berra.

Pack 7 – “Birds of a Feather” Sun Conure. A new bird for me. Looks like Ginter is heavy on the animals this year. I like this insert set too. Moncada mini. Seaver, Moniak RC, Puckett, Calhoun, Negandhi (my homeboy), Moustakas.

Pack 8 – Pine tree; Xander Bogaerts; Mize RC, Sutton (minus fro), Glasnow, Pache RC, Ripken, Buehler.

Pack 9 – Yes it’s my friend the Sun Conure again, Caldwell 4 mini; Parades RC, Machado w/ sideburns, Pardo, Andre Dawson (smiling instead of scowling lol), Anderson RC, Pedro Martinez.

That’s all for now, people. Will pick it up next time with Pack 10!


Alright, Pack 10: Joe Carter Historical Hits (walk-off homer to win the World Series… that’s pretty cool lol :), Heuer RC A&G back mini; Lazardo, Dave Hanson (from Slapshot… did I get all three yet?), Ruth, Sanchez RC, Strasburg, Berrios.

More to come, Pack 11 is next!


Pack 11: Zimmerman Historical Hits; Jazz Chisholm RC A&G back mini; Walker, Crochet, Kim RC, Hendricks, Tim Anderson, Zito (who I believe dated Alyssa Milano at some point).

Pack 12 (right, not Pac-12): Kirby Puckett Historical HIts; another Cody Heuer RC mini (regular back); Tom Bunk (a cartoonist for Wacky Packages, among other things), Koch, McGwire (Cardinals), Brooks Robinson, Bellinger, Donaldson.

You guessed it… Pack 13 is next!


Pack 13 – Giant Panda insert; Cronenworth RC mini (heard he’s good at baseball); Freeman, Sano, Mauers, Clemens, Bregman, Spahn.

Pack 14 – Mako shark insert; Larkin mini; Mondesi, Musial, Billy Williams, Keuchel, Kyle Hendricks, Peterson RC (LGM)

Pack 15 – Arabian Oryx “Rallying Back”; Marc Anthony mini (cool!); oh a hit! Trevor Story relic – bat piece. Nice! I’m telling you the “basic” relic cards look nice this year. Robert, Patino RC, India RC, Scherzer. Nice hits in this box. Nothing super spectacular but cool nonetheless.

Pack 16 – Acuna Jr. Murad; Elvis Andrus mini; Taylor Trammel RC (M’s), Ramirez, Sanchez RC (did I get one already?), Clemente, Springer, Matsui.

Pack 17 – Posey Murad; Bob Feller SP mini (cool!). I need to clip my finger nails. Wood Jr. (my new favorite comedian!), Posey, Houck RC, Baez RC, Lewis, Strawberry (Da-Ryllllll, Da-Rylllll).

Yes, pack 18 will be next.


Welcome back, Pack 18:

Silver maple insert

Andre Dawson A&G back mini

Naylor, Piazza, Tucker, Brock, Merrified, Akers.

Pack 19 : Red Maple insert

Teoscar Hernandez mini

Happ, Hiura, Gehrig, Garcia, Stargell, Hornsby

Pack 20:

Miguel Carbrera Murad (he’s almost up to 500 HR’s!)

David Ortiz mini

Carew, Maris, BBuchette, Laureano, Marte, Baines SP.

Pack 21: Tulip Tree insert

McCovey mini

Ruiz RC, Waddle, Tiana, Huff RC, Killebrew, Cepeda

Coming up next: Yes, Pack 22!


Pack 22: Roger Maris Historical Hits (his 61st Home Run in 1961)

Caldwell 42 Mini

Turner, Keller, Miggy Cabrera, Candelario, Gurriel Jr., JBJ (Brewers)

Pack 23: Clemente Historical Hits

“Good for You” Green Beans mini (did I have green beans or asparagus at dinner tonight?)

Soroka, Maddux, Stanton, Morgan, Teoscar hernandez, Fried

We’ve made it – Pack 24!

Edgar Martinez Historical Hits: “The Double” (Yay!)

Brady Singer RC black border mini

Pearson RC, Biggs, Kaline, Justus Sheffield (Go M’s), Conforto (LGM), A.J. Puk

There you have it! Fun break! More later, thanks for joining me on this “live” break!

2021 Panini Score Football Blasters – Fun :)

Ever since Target switched to online only sales for cards, I search their app periodically for new retail releases. I was pleasantly surprised to see Score blasters available, so I ordered three. My goals include completing the base vet and RC sets, and having cards for each of the players on my fantasy team.

To me, Score is just a fun break. The pictures are from game action. It has more players than most of the other products, and includes some of the defense and special team players in addition to the usual offensive heroes. Guys like Michael Dickson, punter for your Seattle Seahawks!

In addition to the standard stats and Panini blurbs, there are the Fun Facts on the back of each base card. I mean maybe everyone already knew that Michael Dickson enjoys cooking sweet potato fries, but did you know any of these things about Bobby Wagner, Alvin Kamara, or Brandin Cooks?

BOBBY’S FAVORITE COLOR IS RED.

ALVIN IS A BIG FAN OF DISNEY MOVIES.

BRANDIN TOOK THEATER CLASSES IN COLLEGE.

“Fun Facts” from 2021 Panini Score Football

Seriously, I almost bought Score this year just for the Fun Facts. 🙂

After opening my first box, I was disappointed that there was no relic or auto as in years past. Then I looked at the box and realized there was no mention of either being “guaranteed” in a blaster. Whoops. 🙂

However, I believe there was a lava parallel guaranteed in each blaster. The lava parallels look sick! This Chris Godwin card is sweet. #/575 but who cares. This picture doesn’t do it justice. The lavas look cool in person.

The gold parallels are also fun (even if they can be hard to notice at first glance). I will probably trade most of those. Already traded Aldon Smith and Zeke to a Cowboys fan.

I was pleasantly surprised to “score” ha ha a nice relic in the third box. Don’t really know Joshua Kelley but I like the light blue Jersey. I’m assuming it’s from the Chargers and not UCLA. Anyway, it’s a keeper. 🙂

I didn’t find the other inserts particularly captivating, unless they had a favorite player or team on there. Think I like the “Next Level Stats” the most. From what I’ve seen, the hobby boxes had cooler inserts, a wider variety of parallels, the guaranteed sticker autos, etc. Except for the lavas!!! lol 🙂

Regarding the goal of having cards for each of the players on my fantasy team – well I don’t know who’s on my team yet. I will say that plenty of the guys from last year are there with last year’s uniform. In three blasters, I got 166/300 vets and 85/100 rookies.

The most fun thing about Score is it’s “tradeability”. It is a relatively low cost release with all of the big names and some of the lesser known players, which is especially relevant in today’s inflated market. You can build a base set (inserts too if you want) at reasonable cost while actually trading with your fellow collectors. As of this post, I’m up to 275/300 vets and 94/100 rookies, after like four trades and two purchases over about a week. At least that’s what my inventory says. 🙂

Overall, I give the 2021 Score Football blasters 4 out of 5 stars!

Fun with “Photoshop”

Well I actually use Corel PaintShop Pro X8 instead of Photoshop, but you get the idea.  I played around with replacing Yukei Kikuchi’s blue sharpie signature with a bright yellow.  The version on the right is after a couple of minutes of using magic wand and flood tools to replace most of the blue with the yellow, and an hour or two of erasing stuff around the edges, painting in the remaining blue pixels with yellow, etc.  I left in a blue edge around most of the yellow filling, which I think gives it a little more pop, although now that I think about it, adding a yellow edge to the blue might actually be the way to go.  Not sure how much more I will mess with it but I like it and will probably print it up just for kicks. 🙂

09/28/19 – A’s at M’s

Autos, etc.

What a great finish to the season!

It was an extra-early early gate opening for Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Night (my scratch off ticket was good for free Caninta Nachos lol), and there was an Ichiro Funko POP! giveaway (which will go very nicely with my Edgar and Junior Funkos).   Sweet!

On the M’s side, Logan Gilbert signed my team ball, and then waited for me to retrieve a card for him to sign.  I appreciate his patience.  Yusei Kikuchi signed my Atari-style insert from 2019 Archives.  It’s a little hard to see at points but is a nice clean auto.  (Kind of nice after getting a non-ideal auto earlier in the year.)

I crossed over to the Oakland side where A.J. Puk signed (apparently no one calls him Andrew Jacob even thought that’s what it says on his Heritage Minor Leagues card lol) as did Dallas Braden (who signed on the sweet spot, did not inscribe his perfect game, and joked around with me about graying hair and stuff like that :)).

Back on the M’s side, Ichiro signed a photo for me!!!!  Totally awesome.  He went to take fielding practice in right field, so we thought he might stop by near the camera well, and he did!  You can see what the mob was like, and how stoked I was (am) to receive an auto in the photos.

Soon thereafter I saw another mob on the Oakland side and yes, it was Matt Chapman.  He patiently signed a whole bunch, including my sepia Stadium Club parallel.  Always nice to see that from the superstars.

Thank you Logan, Yusei, A.J., Dallas, Ichiro, and Matt for signing, and to all the other folks who signed throughout the year!  I totally appreciate it!


The Game

September was very mild, except for this game, which had windy and cold weather.  Like really windy.  Anyhow, the A’s needed this game for home field advantage in the upcoming wild card game, and they won it.  I didn’t pay that much attention.  Most of the pitchers did well.  There were some threats here and there, but in the end it was a Roman Laureano homer early in the game that won it.  Final score A’s 1, M’s 0.

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09/25/19 – Astros at Mariners

Autos, etc.

Struck out today.  Ichiro did sign a few but I didn’t get any autos from him or any of the other Mariners.  While waiting for Ichiro, I missed Justin Verlander, but not really because he was signing for kids only.

On the other side, I had my Astros gear and my awesome Jose Altuve shersey contraption thing.  This time instead of his face, I put a picture of my beautiful 15 month old daughter on one side, and pictures of Altuve and my daughter on the other side.  Suitable for signing of course. 🙂  I daydreamed that he would sign the picture (maybe with some help from one of the Astros TV people if necessary).  My daughter’s growth rate is in a low percentile, we’ve not found a medical explanation or solution, and we don’t know how tall she’ll end up.  I thought if he signed the pic it would be inspirational for my daughter (when she was old enough to understand).  Well, he didn’t sign it or even acknowledge it for that matter.   3rd or 4th time this year.  What a prick lol.

It would be helpful to remember that even if he didn’t sign for me or most of the other adults, he did sign for his Venezuelan homies and kids.  So not a complete jerk, just exclusive lol.  I suppose he can still be an inspirational figure for shorter people everywhere.  It helps to remember that I can appreciate his athletic excellence and even be a fan while still thinking he’s a prick.  Kind of like Reggie Jackson lol.

While focusing on Altuve I missed Kyle Tucker signing items for five or six people.  I saw Springer, Bregman, and Altuve sign a few for the people on the field.  Pregame, nobody signed except Altuve, again seemingly only for kids and his countrymen.  Same spot as yesterday, down the line.  Of course I was down in the corner by the camera well this time.  Ugh. 🙂

It’s really too bad.  Before winning the 2017 World Series, the Astros were the most fan friendly team visiting Seattle.  Nowadays, not so much.  Certainly a rough night in terms of autos but hey at least I still have this sweet shirt and sign! 🙂

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The Game

Zack Grienke was awesome! He had a perfect game through six? innings, foiled by a walk to Dee Gordon.  Both his pitching and fielding were fantastic. To finish the 7th, he threw this crazy 64 mph Euphus curve and made Kyle Seager look silly as he swung wayyyyyy ahead. So much anticipation! Zack had a no hitter going into the 9th, but lost it on a one out single to Aaron Nola.  Bummer!  All the fans (and apparently some of the ushers too) were definitely rooting for Grienke.  The Mariners got the tying run to the plate, but Will Harris saved it.  Final score Astros 3, Mariners 0.

09/24/19 – Astros at Mariners

Autos, etc.

Well, not a whole lot of luck this time around.  It was an early gate opening and for the Mariners I was looking for Ichiro, Kyle Lewis, Omar Narvaez, and Shed Long.  Lewis and Long did not stop to sign by the dugout and Ichiro went in before signing, even for folks on the field.

On the Astros side, Chris Devenski signed, that was cool.  He took a long look at the card (he hadn’t seen it before) and was looking at what was on the back — lots of stats. 🙂  I offered him the card but said someone would probably send one in the mail.  He signed it and was just cool about it, as usual.  Thank you Devo!

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After that, I waited and waited for Jose Altuve by the middle of the dugout, waving my awesome life-sized Jose Altuve shersey contraption.  He was going to hook up so folks down on the field so I thought he would stop by for me and sign the shirt.  He did not.

Before the game, I waited down the left field line with my cardboard Altuve thing, next to my buddy Sam and his siblings with their huge bright orange cowboy hats.  Sam and I got Carlos Correa over one time, it was awesome. 🙂  Correa signed the star on my old school Astros shirt and everything!  I thought Altuve might come by for the kids and just for the hell of it also sign my shirt.  Well, Bregman went to the corner by the camera well,  and Springer went a little over from him.  Altuve indeed came towards us, but then he veered away and went to some kids a little further down.  It looked like all three of them were signing for mainly for kids (if not exclusively) and it didn’t work out.  So Devo was the saving grace tonight.  Thanks bro. 🙂

I’ll try again tomorrow.  I might go over to the M’s side during Astros BP and who knows, maybe I’ll catch Altuve there.  Wish me luck!


The Game

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It was a nice night for baseball, a little cold but then again it was the last week of September.  Officially fall already.  Anyhow, Gerrit Cole was amazing as usual.  All the dude did was throw strikes 96 mph plus for seven innings, keeping the M’s scoreless while striking out 14.

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Justin Dunn fared much better in his second MLB start, pitching two scoreless innings, and that was definitely nice to see.  Alex Bergman snuck a homer just barely fair and over the left field wall at some point.  The Mariners threatened at points in the 8th and 9th innings, but ultimately the Astros won 3-0.

 

09/11/19 – Reds at Mariners

Autos, etc.

In terms autos, just Reds tonight.  Tucker Barnhardt, Derek Dietrich, Amir Garrett, Kevin Gausman, Brian O’Grady, Alex Blandino, Nick Senzel all signed.  Thanks guys!

Sometimes you actually get to chat with the guys.  Even a sentence here or there can be meaningful,  Derek Dietrich asked me how I was doing, and I said, “Great, I get to be here!”  He smiled and replied with something to the effect of, “Me too.”  For whatever reason I really enjoyed that exchange. I also joked around with Amir Garrett in a less meaningful exchange about his fresh gold sneakers, which are apparently not available in stores. 🙂

I didn’t recognize a lot of the Reds players, so there was some rushing to the assorted MLB’ers ball, roster checking, and auto matching going on.   In the case of Tucker Branhart, I didn’t recognize him for sure so I just gave him my assorted MLB’ers ball to sign.  Felt like I should have given him a card after confirming his identity.  For most players, I prefer the card over the ball.  I give the assorted MLB’ers ball to the ones I don’t recognize or don’t have cards for.  For superstars, I usually try to get an auto on a ball first, then a card, shirt, or maybe even a jersey.  Anyway, thanks again for signing guys, I appreciate it! 🙂

As the game was starting, I felt depressed.  It was 9/11 and that of course was/is such a tragedy.  I was depressed that Joey Votto didn’t sign for me today.  Instead he looked at me and the guy next to me and said, “I’ve gotta go,” as he ran into the dugout.  At least he signed for a little kid, and granted this was a couple of minutes before the game, but still… lol.

Anyhow while writing this and considering 9/11, I was reminded of so many wonderful things in my life — my wonderful family, good health, a nice house, nice cars, plenty of resources, getting to attend and watch games, collecting cards and autos, this iPhone, the Internet… of course I could go on and on.  I really am grateful to have a wonderful life.  Thank you Universe!


The Game

It was another beautiful night for baseball.

The Reds scored a couple of early runs against Marco Gonzales, who did not look sharp at the start but improved as he went along.  Sonny Gray walked a couple and in the 5th inning I suddenly realized he had a no hitter going!  I don’t know why, developing no hitters see, to sneak up on me.

In the top of the 6th (or 7th, I don’t remember), Gray seemed to be tiring.  He walked somebody and hit somebody, something like that.  I do remember that Kyle Lewis broke up the no-no with a 3 run blast to right!  My buddy said this place would go crazy if he hit a homer here.  He was right!  The 4,000 or so M’s fans at the game went bananas!  He also put the M’s up 3-2.  Nice job Kyle, two homers in two MLB games!  Great start dude. 🙂

Despite a 5-2 lead, the M’s flirted with disaster in the top of the 9th.  The Reds loaded the bases.  A lady in the section over got hit in the shoulder with a foul ball rocket.  Hopefully she was ok.  While I was looking over there, something weird happened, the Reds scored and Scott Servais argued and got ejected.  Anyhow Anthony Bass got Joey Votto to ground out and end the game!  The good guys won lol.  Final score Mariners 5, Reds 3.