Monday, August 28, 2017

Finishing Touches

It's now nearly the end of August. If you can believe it, we're almost three fourths of the way through 2017. Baseball season is winding down and nowhere is that sad fact more apparent than down in the minor leagues.

The Yankees and Brooklyn Cyclones (SSA-Mets) don't really meet up unless it's either the very first series of the season, or it's near the end of the regular season. In other words, the matchup is either a sign of fun times to come or a sign that cold weather is coming to take the ball away. Before that happens though, I need to get some cards inked.

First up is this Jorge Guzman. Whenever I go to games this year Guzman is pitching. That's the rule now apparently. No complaints from me though, he's a total beast. Just the other day the New York Yankees' official YouTube page put out this awesome video on what's really been working for him this year.

Good stuff!

At this point a lot of the team set needs I have for the 2017 SI set is either in Charleston, gone home or on the DL. Chase Hodson recently returned to Staten Island after a brief stint in Charleston. Hodson was signed by the New York Yankees as a non-drafted amateur free agent last year. Armed with a fastball and curveball, Hodson has put up some nice numbers for the Yankees teams he's been on. He's 25 and on the older side but he could carve out a nice long career filling up relief spots on various rosters.

Next up is outfielder Andy Diaz.
Diaz was signed by the New York Yankees as a non-drafted international free agent back in 2014. Diaz started the season in Pulaski before being promoted to Staten Island around early August. He's shown some pop this year in the rookie/short season leagues, the other day he even went 2-3 with a dinger against the Aberdeen IronBirds (SSA-Orioles).

Diaz had cards in both last year and this year's Pulaski Yankees team sets. I just love how simple that signature is.

Next up is Yankees righty Kaleb Ort.
Ort was originally signed by the Joliet Slammers (indy ball, Frontier League) as a non-drafted free agent back in 2016. Ort was later picked up by the Arizona Diamondbacks who gave him a home until March 2017. Ort went back to pitching for the Joliet Slammers for a while before the Yankees picked him up around mid-May. Ort is armed with a fastball in the high-90's and a slider.

Danienger Perez wasn't in the SIY team set this year but he was in the Pulaski one. Perez is a utility infielder who the Yankees signed as a non-drafted international free agent in 2014. Perez is a versatile defender but offensively is a slap hitter with good speed and contact. Perez hasn't shown a lot of power so far but then again he hasn't been given a ton of chances either (too much infield depth at these lower positions). Wish him the best though.

And last but certainly not least is an autograph of Jio Orozco.
Jio Orozco was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 14th round of the 2015 MLB Player Draft. He came over to the Yankees as part of the Ben Gamel trade and so far he's worked out pretty great for the Yankees. Excited to see what happens next year.

The New York Yankees made a video for him too.

Jorge Guzman had an interesting start. The good part is that his fastball peaked at 101 mph and he struck out seven (still holds the lead in K's in the entire NYPL). The bad part is that he gave up six runs in four innings.

Despite the best efforts of Ryan Krill and Keith Skinner (along with singles from Wilkerman Garcia and Welfrin Mateo) the offense was never able to show up and the Yankees lost 0-6 to the Cyclones (BOX SCORE).

On a brighter note, a friend of mine who I get autographs with in Staten Island went to a promotional card set giveaway day the other day. I didn't go because I was down with a cold but they went and gave me the card set from that day. Thanks again bud!

Now we both initially thought that the giveaway set was going to be either a regular team set or maybe a parallel version of the team set with different border colors (definitely possible since the SIY set this year has a 2013 Topps motif), or maybe even an update set with new players. It was none of them. Instead fans got something might actually be a lot funner.

The set itself was a small 20 card set called "Made In America" that was made by Choice and sponsored by the Staten Island University Hospital.

The 20 cards are focused on fun scenes from the Staten Island Yankees season. And in some cases a few standout players.

You have your standard minor league baseball activities like tug of war to entertain kids between innings.

You have fireworks.

You have what matters the most at these games, the kids.

You have player rituals.

You have victory celebrations.

You have one of the team's top writers/photographers being photographed.
This Ryan Pimpsner card is my favorite of the bunch BTW. Back when I still made custom cards Pimpsner's photographs were heavily used (with permission) and while I don't make customs anymore (at least not unless I'm using my own photographs) I still appreciate Pimpsner for all of the work he puts in to covering the Yankees. Afterall, he is one of the key guys behind Pinstriped Prospects, a really good site if you're a huge minor league Yankees fan like me, they have a hub of writers covering the system all the way down in the GCL to up in triple-A Scranton. Check it out if you're a huge Yankees prospect nerd like me.

One more interesting tidbit about this set is that one of the cards is likely an error.

These are cards six and eight respectively. The photos are alike.

But the card descriptions on the back are different. Card number six properly names Dom Thompson-Williams, Kendall Coleman and Timmy Robinson (the three players on the card), but card number eight talks about Dalton Blaser. I have to assume that there was a different photo for eight but someone at Choice or someone at SI in charge of getting the photos to Choice messed up.

Not like any of this matters unless you're some maniac like I am though :P.

Anyway that was my latest SIY game. I think I'm done with autographs for the year unless some last minute addition pops up like Luis Medina or someone else from Pulaski. I will probably attend a playoff game though :).

As always thanks for stopping by and take care.

2017 IP Auto Count: 62


  1. Very jealous of that Guzman! Thanks for the rundown...always enjoyable!

  2. Fantastic photo of Guzman! You kept all of his limbs intact. Topps should hire you.

    1. Anybody can take photos with limbs intact, the key is trying to keep them on after cropping ;).

    2. Exactly. It drives me nuts that they can't figure that out. Oh well. It makes me appreciate the well cropped cards more.

    3. As a guy who's made custom cards before, all I can say is that horizontal cards are your best friend if you want the full body in there.

  3. I like that "Made in America" giveaway set. The card of the kids is the best!

  4. Are you gonna get some of those Made In America cards signed? Gotta get ink on that Pimpsner!

    1. You know me Gavin, I always see if I can get a card signed first ;).