Marlins 5, Mariners 0 (Safeco Field, Seattle, 041817)

Pregame

Mariners

Got two new baseball during BP!  One from Fleming Baez (thanks) and one randomly found in the stands. (Don’t know which one is which.)I got a couple more autos on a team ball.


Mitch Haniger #17 near camera well (below Dave Valle auto)


Taylor Motter #21 at dugout (above Julio Cruz auto)

Marlins

No autos, was waiting in one spot for Ichiro, missed Ozuna who signed a few at dugout and Gordon who signed quite a few in the first section by the camera well.

The Game

The Marlins took a 2-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.  They tagged M’s starter Yovani Gallardo for 4 runs in 5 innings.  The Mariners were doing very little offensively.  Around the sixth inning, I went to get some food and beverage and realized Miami’s Wei-Yin Chen had a no hitter going through 7 innings.  Here’s what happened after that:




Overall

So a disappointing night in terms of Marlins autos, an almost combined no-hitter, and the M’s play, but great in terms of two M’s autos, two baseballs, oh and nice seats!  Glad I went. 🙂

 

2016 Topps Archives Snapshots — Very Nice!

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During Black Friday 2016, I picked up two boxes of the 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots.  Each box contained 12 cards, including one guaranteed auto.  They were available exclusively online from Topps.  Archives is consistently one of my favorite sets.  I was attracted by the autos and also by the player list for this special edition, which seemed to offer a wider distribution of stars from the past 50 years, rather than just the usual current players and rookies.

The cards look like Polaroid snapshots and are “classy” in my opinion.  The image dominates the card, with a small white border and annotation in small black script at the bottom.  Very nice.  Most of the photos look like they are from Spring Training, and have been used in other Topps releases, while some I do not recognize from other sets. (They’re from the recesses of the “Topps Photography Vault”, I assume.)

The first card was Ken Griffey Jr.  That was a good start. 🙂  I think Mike Trout was second.  (You don’t here that very often!)

scannable-document-11-on-dec-10-2016-7_30_04-pmThere were more rookies than I expected, and the first signature was a Carl Edwards Jr. RC # 201 /350.  He’s legit, and it was a nice on-card signature with hand numbering on the back.  However, I was worried that the second box would have an uninspiring auto like you sometimes gets in other boxes with guaranteed autos. Fortunately, my worry was unnecessary.

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The second auto was a jaw dropper!!! Francisco Lindor, color negative auto, # 3 /5!!!  One of my favorite players!  Pulling this card reminded me of the many amazing autographs and relics that I’ve gotten in various boxes recently.  Thank you Universe. 🙂 Interesting that both autos were from the 2016 World Series teams.  I also believe the base card for each player was in the “other” box from the one containing the autograph.

Each box also included a black and white parallel, in this case Chipper Jones and a Luis Severino RC.  Overall, very cool, I liked these packs! 🙂

  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-FL Francisco Lindor Cleveland Indians color negative auto # 3 /5
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-CEJ Carl Edwards Jr. Chicago Cubs RC auto # 201 /350
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-CEJ Carl Edwards Jr. Chicago Cubs RC
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-MC Michael Conforto New York Mets RC
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-RR Rob Refsynder New York Yankees RC
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-CY Carl Yastrzemmski Boston Red Sox base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-KGJ Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle Mariners base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-KS Kyle Schwarber Chicago Cubs RC
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-FL Francisco Lindor Cleveland Indians base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-MT Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-CRJ Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-OG Oscar Gamble Cleveland Indians base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-CB Craig Biggio Houston Astros base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-KM Kenta Maeda Los Angeles Dodgers base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-CJ Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-CJ Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves black and white parallel
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-OV Omar Vizquel Cleveland Indians base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-AM Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-JG Juan Gonzalez Texas Rangers base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-AP A.J. Pollock Arizona Diamondbacks base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-LS Luis Severino New York Yankees RC black and white parallel
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-HO Henry Owens Boston Red Sox RC
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-PO Paul O’Neill New York Yankees base
  • 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots AS-RM Raul Mondesi Kansas City Royals RC

Baseball’s Greatest Streaks!

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“The Greatest Streaks” is a pretty cool insert set in Topps 2016 Series 1.  I thought filling a page with the first nine cards would be enough.  Got the last three I needed though some nice trades on SCF (Sports Card Forum, which I highly recommend by the way). Of course, once I did that, I checked and learned that there was only one more card, GS-10 commemorating Lou Gehrig’s 13 Consecutive Seasons with 100 or more RBI’s, so yeah I had to get that one too on eBay.  There’s always something. 🙂

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Anyhow, you can learn a lot of neat facts (some important and some trivial) from most insert sets.  How many of the following incredible achievements did you know about?

  1. Cal Ripken played 2,632 consecutive games.
  2. Ken Griffey hit a home run in 8 consecutive games.
  3. Zack Greinke pitched 45 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings.
  4. Ichiro Suzuki had 10 seasons with over 200 hits.
  5. Babe Ruth had 7 seasons with 40 home runs.
  6. Chris Sale had 8 consecutive games with 10 strikeouts.
  7. Tom Seaver pitched 10 consecutive strike outs in one game.
  8. Nolan Ryan pitched 26 seasons in a row.
  9. Ted Williams reached base in 84 consecutive games.
  10. Lou Gehrig had 13 consecutive seasons with 100 RBIs.

Although it is referenced on the back of the Ted Williams card, an obvious omission is Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak .

What other players and streaks do you think should have been included in this set?

A few random baseball cards

Here are some notes on a few random cards I cataloged and filed recently:

2016 Topps Bunt 119 Nelson Cruz Seattle Mariners topaz parallel # 31 /50.
Had the base version already from a free pack I got at the local card shop.  This parallel looks very similar to the base card.  The main difference is in the “topaz” a background instead of the regular one.  I may try trading for another version /199 (silver parallel I believe).  I still don’t quite get the whole digital/physical thing with Topps Bunt.  The physical cards are thin but are cooler than I had expected.

2016 Topps Opening Day AR-4 Matt Harvey New York Mets Alternate Reality insert.
I got this in a trade without looking it up.  It’s a nice card and would probably be a fun insert set to collect.  Alternate refers to the alternate uniform and the card describes it.

2012 Panini Triple Play 29 David Wright New York Mets base sticker.
I have a bunch of these stickers from 2013 that I got from my local card shop.  I like the caricatures they use instead of the pictures.  This card from 2012 is the same kind of deal in term of the portraits, just a different layout.  I don’t think this picture looks that much like David Wright, yet it’s close enough to make it interesting.

2013 Topps Series One 34 Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners green sapphire parallel.
As Felix’s velocity has decreased in the past couple of years, it’s tough to say whether Felix is going to fade away, or if he will evolve into another form of an effective pitcher.  We’ll see.  Regardless, he is one of my all-time favorite Mariners.  The 2013 Topps have a couple of my favorite parallels. I think this one was called Green Sapphire and there was another one called Ruby Red, and both were pretty cool.  Actually also have this style of green parallel for the Felix All Star Game card from the Update Series.

2016 Topps Update Series – Update

In a previous post, I wrote about my joy in breaking a hobby box of 2016 Topps Update Series.  This box was unusual in the sense that it had all 300 base cards, so I paid a little more attention to the inserts than usual.  After a trade attempt got me interested in the Kenta Maeda Fire insert (so what if I thought the dude’s name was Kadea Meada), I of course was even more interested when the trade fell through.  I was looking for that card. 🙂

It’s always nice to find a card that you want in a random pack!  I like to use those 50 cents off Topps coupons on single packs.  I was looking for a couple of packs of Allen & Ginter but could no longer find them.  After a couple of weeks of checking various Target stores (that’s where I usually go for my low-end packs), I surrendered and decided to just buy a couple of the US packs (even though I had the base already).  Lo and behold, the first pack had that Maeda insert!  I was psyched!  The second pack had a retro Trea Turner auto, which turned out to be an insert for the Target retail packs.  Also got plenty more doubles for trading.  Pretty cool for a couple of $1.99 12-card packs (minus $0.50, minus 5%, plus sales tax, something like that — not quite sure where the 5% Target discount comes into play).  Glad I finally used those coupons. 🙂

 

2016 Topps Archives Father-Son Inserts

Just completed a small seven card insert set, the 2016 Topps Archives Father-Son Inserts.  I’m old enough to know players from most of the generations represented.  Even though the phenomenon of professional athletes having children who also become professional athletes is well known, I still find it interesting in individual cases.  As a Mariners fan, of course my favorite case is with Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr., who were both stars, both played for the M’s and Red, and played together.   There’s also the 1992 Upper Deck “Bloodlines” card featuring Ken Sr., Junior, and his brother Craig (a minor leaguer in the M’s system who played at various levels, including Triple-A Tacoma).  Sometimes it really is in the blood, huh?

 

Meeting Edgar!

I recently had those distinct pleasure of meeting Seattle Mariners legend Edgar Martinez during a “meet and greet” event.  (Thanks to my man DW in AZ and Crave the Auto for the heads up.). Actually, I signed up for a pregame meet and greet with him last year, but it was cancelled because, well, he was the M’s new hitting coach.  The Mariners gave a signed baseball as a consolation prize, which was a nice gesture.  While it’s awesome to receive signed memorabilia through a purchase or as a gift, you know and I know that it’s way more meaningful and fun to meet folks in person while they sign.  I’ve seen Edgar plenty of times during BP at Safeco, but he usually scurries into the dugout rather than signing autographs.  Anyway, it was great to finally meet him!  Sometimes these events turn into assembly lines and you have just enough time to say thank you.  However, Edgar was really chill and cordial.   After he signed my mini batting helmet, I thanked him and also complimented the efforts by he and his wife Holli, through their Martinez Foundation, to improve public education in WA state by supporting the recruitment, training, and retention of teachers of color.   It turned out, as Edgar told me,  that the Martinez Foundation merged into the TAF (Technology Access Fund) which partners with school districts to help students across the state.  It was nice to hear that their support of education is still going strong.  I enjoyed our brief conversation, and the signed mini helmet is awesome!  Fun day 🙂

 

Gypsy Queen Framed Parallels

I am generally a fan of parallel versions of cards.  Of course, some manufacturers get carried away, but to me many parallels have a look and feel that is significantly distinct from, and better than, the base version.  For examples, here are 3 cards that I came across today that I really like, 2015 Gypsy Queen white framed parallels.  These were in the retail value packs.


These pictures don’t really do the cards justice.  In person, I like how the base of the card is recessed and the white frame is placed on top and makes it “pop”, especially against a black background.  Looks better than brown border on the regular base cards in my opinion.  The 2016 has blue borders (and sometimes green, and probably red, purple, and several other colors) in the retail packs.  They look nice too, but I think the white ones look even better.  I only have three of these and am willing to trade them.  If you are interested please contact me. 🙂

Cards pictured:

2015 Gypsy Queen White Frame Parallels:

  • 41 Ivan Rodriguez – Texas Rangers
  • 201 Marcell Ozuna – Miami Marlins
  • 232 Matt Garza – Milwaukee Brewers