Friday, October 13, 2017


Recently the checklist for 2017 Topps Update Baseball came out (PDF). I checked it out and was ecstatic to see that US32 is none other than LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSS Torrens!

It's happened folks! After a three year hiatus, Torrens is back on cardboard! Woof!

According to Cardboard Connection there are parallels, I count about 15 of them. You bet that I'm going to go after them all. Part of me wonders if I should take this opportunity to go full on Tim Wallach Collector and declare that I'm going after every copy of the rookie card (base or otherwise) in existence. But based on what P-Town Tom has told me I'd probably lose my mind.

Anyway Update doesn't come out for another week or so so to kill time and ease the anticipation, I picked up some distractions.

Right off the bat we have my second ever On Fire Black autograph of Torrens from 2014 Leaf Valiant. I already had another copy thanks to Bob Walk The Plank from several years ago, but I recently found an offer that was WAY too good to pass up. How good? It was less than a rack pack.

Making this that much sweeter is that this puppy is numbered 4 of 5. Yup, I got a great deal on a numbered autograph limited to five copies!

I was already happy about that the black fire was part of a two card lot that also featured this orange On Fire diecut (numbered 25/50). This is like the fifth copy of this card I've owned. If I hadn't already given one copy to Torrens himself I might've been tempted to go after the complete 50 card print run.

In the meantime I guess I can consider completing this print run. The two you see there are the 3rd and 4th copies. Three more to go!

I also recently decided to make a quantity over quality purchase. I lucked out on getting five of these BoChro autographs for cheap (by Luis standards).

The rainbow for this will take the longest, but at long last I am starting to make progress on hoarding these.

Rounding out the rest of the purchases were cards for other people and two more non-Torrenses for me. Like this autograph of former top NYY prospect Nick Johnson. Looking back his numbers in triple-A were tremendous. If he had stayed healthy he could've been one of the best 1Bs ever.

And last but not least is a card I've been eyeing since it came out. I'm a sucker for the 1979 Topps design and if I ever have an opportunity to get a Harper autograph, you can bet that I'm going to seriously consider using this.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. If you pull any Torrens rookies, you know where to find me ;).

Take care.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ryosuke Nomura

So if Shigeru Sugishita is my favorite NPB HoFer, my favorite active* NPB player is Ryosuke Nomura here.

I put an asterisk there because he was recently DFA'd by the Chunichi Dragons.
A few days ago it was announced that Nomura and five others were being let go by the Dragons. They're now free agents and are free to go about their merry way.

Nomura was the Dragons' first rounder back in 2014 so I think a team will take a shot on him on a low-cost deal. Personally I'd love it if the Yankees signed him to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite but, well, I thought my hallucinations ended when I put down the bong for good.

Nomura's career to date has been marred by inconsistency, bad mechanics, and some of the best breaking pitches you'd ever seen when he's at his best. Armed with a fastball, slider, curveball, forkball and cutter, Nomura once projected to be an elite starter for the Dragons, maybe even an ace.

Fast forward to 2017 where Nomura's mechanics were reworked, then reworked again, all the while spending most of his time in the minors (nigun) with some shots at the big league ichigun club every once in a blue moon.

I still think Nomura has the pure stuff to be a good professional pitcher but his time is running out. Chances are he'll get maybe one or two more chances to prove himself before being cut off for good.

Best of luck to him going forward. And if nothing else, I'll still collect him on the low. At least he's dirt cheap lol.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Going And Doing It

Mistakes. I've made a lot of them over the years. Some of them were minor and forgotten in a day or so. Others, well they linger in the back of my mind until I'm alone at night and then they attack me.

Most of them aren't blog related. But every now and then I do feel guilty for certain things I've done.

The biggest is when I messed up Night Owl Cards' plan to complete the 1975 Topps mini set on his own. A lifelong mission he's had since his childhood that I had to go and ruin by bringing it to an anticlimactic finish sandwiched between Jeremy Rathjen and Zach Lee.

I left a comment when he blogged about completing the set, saying that I was going to become a hermit out of shame. Obviously that was sarcastic but I did feel guilty. Still do. Had I known that NO wanted to end matters with his own hands I would have let him. But I didn't know and well, disaster struck.

Night Owl has since reassured me that what I did was good but the psychology major in me sees that as just a way for him to hide his feelings of emptiness and contempt as his goal came to an end (and maybe so I don't feel so bad).

Before we go on let me just say that this is not meant to shame or embarrass NO. I know it's dumb to think that helping someone finish off a set is a bad thing. It's just that if it's a set which has as much significance. As much influence. As much importance as the 1975 mini set does to Night Owl, well I'd want to finish it with my own hands too. I can't help feeling like I really fumbled the ball there.

Well I learned my lesson immediately, no more helping people with completing sets. It just screws things up. Better to just chuck random singles their way in hopes that some of them click. That's the way I've rolled since.

I hadn't really picked up any 1975 minis since then either. But I figured that it was time to change that. A set that left that much of an impression on NO must be significant.

And my very first 1975 Topps mini card of Sweet Lou is here to show me what is/was that significance.

A lot of the charm can be attributed to the design itself, the same one used by the regular sized version. It's very colorful and pops out. It's really no wonder why the design has held up over the years.

Truth be told I'm not big on facsimile signatures and part of me thinks this design would've been better without them, but it doesn't ruin it either. At a time when certified autographs weren't a thing these must've been a great way for young fans to see their favorite players' signatures. Especially those who lived miles away from their favorite teams or an MLB team in general.

Somehow this mini is in better shape than my standard size version

As a collector in the 2010's the idea of a "mini" doesn't exactly knock my socks off but I can see why these were cool back in the day when minis were still a novelty. I assume it'd be like when I first came across mini cards. Something about a smaller variation makes you just pause for a second and say "wow, these are different but cool." Seeing the tinier versions in your hand. They're so small, so frail, so vulnerable. They're at your mercy and must do as you say or lest they suffer your unholy wra...

Anyway, according to NO, this is apparently Piniella's first card as a Yankee (in Yankees gear). One of these days I might as well collect all of his Yankees-era base cards and add him to the unofficial PC player list. Until then all eyes are focused on Piniella there, staring at something off in the distance. He's so awestruck that his mouth is open. My guess is that it's either Mickey Mantle getting head or an Aaron Judge dinger breaking a TV.

And there you have it. The very first 1975 Topps mini card in my collection. Apologies to Night Owl again for ruining what was supposed to be his shining achievement. Hopefully that Buehler really can go into triple digits like Kershaw did.

And as always thank you (the readers) for stopping by. Take care :).