Friday, September 29, 2017

A Nice Little Package

Yesterday I received a package in the mail I wasn't expecting. I looked at the package and it had the return address for First Row Collectibles. 

I know I hadn't ordered anything recently, so I was curious as I opened the package. 

There was a note inside:

Saw on Twitter that you weren't feeling well. Anxiety sucks! I've had my battles with it too. Hoping you're feeling better. If not, here's a little something to brighten your day!"

Inside was something I haven't seen in a while, and a couple things I haven't seen before. 

A Randy Johnson 1989 Donruss Rookie Card. It's odd to think that he started out in Montreal. 
Beside that is a pocket schedule for the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association. There were actually two copies of it in there. 
I see the odd Goldeyes game on Shaw satellite here in Peterborough, but the only way to really keep up with them is online. 

The Goldeye Goodness continues! 
A 2009 Goldeyes team set. 
I actually came across some difficulty with this on the Trading Card Database. There is a set listed on there, but it looks slightly different. The bottom line where the name is was straighter and had "Winnipeg Goldeyes" written in it. 

It was decided this was a separate set, sponsored by Rogers. So I ended up creating a checklist for it and scanning the cards in.. 

My next step is to scan in the 2010 set that was also included.. 

A rather... Interesting name for a starting pitcher, eh? His real name is Andrew. 

Bear Bay.. What sounds like it should be a town name is actually a nickname as well.. His real name is Ronald. 

Chris Homer.. Almost appropriate he's a pitcher, no? 
Though really you don't want to let up too many of them.. 

I wanted to show off the back just to give an idea what they look like.. 

It's quite a change from minor league cards in the 80s and 90s, no? 

Thanks again!
You can follow Curtis on Twitter at @autographblog

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Stack of Repacks Part 1

I recently bought 5 Dollarama repacks for $3 each So 80 cards * 5... 400 cards... 

Let's take a look at the first one.. 

As usual, the mix of 80s-2000s. 
I'll be figuring out what I need from these after I document them all here.. 

Frank White makes a couple appearances in this pack..

That Impact Kent Bottenfield is interesting.. 

 A couple rookie cards here. 
I think there's a few things telling me to start a 1989 Donruss set here.. lol 

Back to back Frank White cards... 
I'm the weirdo that likes the old Devil Rays colour gradient uniforms... 

I'm seriously thinking about keeping any minor league cards I get from these.. I mean, that Chiamparino doesn't fir my collections, but it's just cool to actually get something like that.. 
And if you look at it... Dante Bichette is impressed by it too.. lol 

I talk about liking the minor league cards above, then I get a Yankee minor leaguer and immediately want to get rid of it.. But that's more Because Yankees than anything else, really.. It still is a nice card. 

I have four more, plus a nice little surprise that came in the mail today.. I'll cover the surprise tomorrow, likely.. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Nice Little Care Package

As most of you know, I had a pretty rough first half of the month. I had one person on Twitter send me a message asking for my address because he wanted to send me some stuff to cheer me up. 
They came in yesterday and I just finished scanning today, between work and it being hotter than most of the summer the past few days, it took a while.. 

I scanned what was needed from the pile.. There were some 89s sent I already had, which happens.. The Ducey was the third copy I needed.. 
The Bowman Delgado threw me off for a moment.. It's a reprint from 1998 of his 1993 Bowman card. 

Flair.. If you're going to do it.. Do it with Flair.. (WOOOOO!) 

I like how the MVP actually list what variation it is right on the front.. The Wilton Guerrero is a "Silver Script" while the Halladay is the base card. 

I mentioned the thing about MVP because we have Bowman.. I could write a 50 page essay on how much I hate the current Bowman product and still have words left over.. 
That hatred stems from the usage of the same number for 30 parallels that look almost exactly alike. 

We have a couple Larry Walker cards I didn't have before as well. Jason Grilli also appears, holding the baseball so he doesn't give up another homer.. This season was a rough one for him. 

When I first saw that Carter I was surprised.. Then I realized it was the 60 Years of Topps reprint and was still happy. 
Some minis were sent my way as well 

Finally, some Donruss from 2016 to finish. For the most part, I don't mind these cards. I understand the want for logos and licensing though.. 

Thank you Kin for the cards! They are greatly appreciated

Monday, September 25, 2017

Jays Uniform Project: 0

I mentioned how uniform numbers interest me, specifically how players compare to one another when wearing a certain number.. 

The first one will actually be a two-fer.. 

Today I'm featuring 0 and 00

0 has been worn twice in Jays history.. 

First in 1985 by Al Oliver. 

Oliver was traded to the Jays by the Dodgers in 1985. He played 61 games in a Jays uniform and is a player to have worn both Jays and Expos colours. 
He also got some action in the Post Season against the Royals. 

In 1995, Candy Maldonado wore 0 for the Jays.
According to Baseball Reference, he also wore his previous number with the Jays, 23. 

Maldonado signed as a Free Agent with the Jays in 1995 after going to Cleveland and Chicago in 1993 and 1994. 
He played 61 games for the Jays in that tenure, though how many as number 0 are unclear. 
He was traded to the Rangers partway through the season. 

Now, 00.

Again, there are two players who have worn 00.. 

First, Cliff Johnson

Johnson played for the Jays from 1985-1986.
He previously played fro the Jays in 1983-1984, wearing 44.. 
He came over from the Rangers in August of 1985 and played 24 games. In 1986, he played 127 games for the Jays.

The other player?

He wore three uniforms numbers in his one season with the Jays in 1998. 
33, 44, and 00,
Ed Sprague wore 33 when Canseco was first with the team, so he wore 44.. When Sprague was traded, he took 33.. I'm unsure why he had 00 though.

So this was the first look at this number project.. Hope you enjoy

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Final Jays Home Game of 2017

Today was the final home game for the Jays in 2017.. 

Recently, the talk has been about how this may be the last games of Jose Bautista in a Jays uniform. There were a lot of fans at the game today cheer Bautista every time he showed up at bat or came near the ball. He also got a standing ovation from the fans when he was pulled in the 9th inning. 

If today was the final home game for Bautista, I wanted to show some of his cards I have in my collection.. 

The first couple are from the dark period known as the Angry Bird logo and uniform.. 
At the same time, those years held Bautista's biggest years, hitting 54 and 43 home runs in 2010-2011.

One from the update series where it's from the Home Run derby at the All Star Game.. 

The more familiar look, full beard and better uniform. 

Some others I like.. 

And of course, we have this one:

So, if today was the final game for Bautista in Toronto, it was a fun 10 years. 

Even better: The Jays beat the Yankees.. 

I've been thinking about a couple things I'd like to do on here, but I'm not sure.. One thing that interests me, for whatever reason, is uniform numbers.. Players wearing a certain number and who did better wearing that number.. 

I may start a series like that, most likely focusing on the Jays.. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Passage of Time

Recently legendary WWE manager/commentator Bobby Heenan passed away.. He had been battling health issues for years..

Tonight, while looking on the Trading Card Database, I noticed another name, while not as known, still caught my eye.. 

Dave Hilton passed away on September 17th. 

Hilton was a member of the Padres, actually a first round pick by them in 1971. In fact, he was a first overall pick in the January draft.. 

I have three cards of him.. The 1977 OPC card above, a 1977 Topps (and a Buyback), and a card from when he was in the Senior Professional League. 

What's interesting is he never appeared in the Major Leagues for Toronto.. 

According to this article on SABR's Biography Project, he was told he made the team, but had to sign a contract first.. At the time, the Jays were using "split" contracts.. If you made the team, you got MLB pay... If not, you got MiLB pay. Hilton wanted a MLB only contract, but the team declined.. So he ended up in Toledo, a Cleveland farm team, while still contracted to the Jays (1977 the Jays didn't have a Triple-A team) 

He went to Chicago in the Minor League Free Agent draft, but was approached to play in Japan.. He went to Japan for a few years since the money and playing time was better. 

He retired after the 1982 season, but played in the Senior Professional League for the St Lucie Legends. 

After his playing career finished, he went into coaching, managing three seasons in the Minor Leagues and coaching youth baseball. 

It's an odd thing to write about, I know. I just thought it was interesting to see his name and find out he passed away.. 

Rest in Peace, Dave Hilton. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I'm Still Around.. Sort of... Maybe...

Well, as anyone who reads this knows, I'm a school bus driver. 
It's fun going to different places with groups on charters and I find doing the school run enjoyable.

But this year, there's been a lot of stress.

Since I started, I've had one run.. I've been working there for over a year. I started April 29, 2015. So calendar years, I've been there for a year and a half.. School wise, a year and two months. 

This year, because of issues with a car seat not fitting in the style of bus I can drive, I had to give up my run. I built a rapport with the kids on my run. I didn't want to give it up, especially for something like that.. But, I'm on another run at the same school. If something happens that allows either the car seat to work in my bus, or the car seat gets eliminated by whatever means, I can have my run back.

So there's that..

Then there's a lack of money that the off-season brings for a bus driver. Most collect Employment Insurance, basically a program where the employee and employer pay into that the employee can collect from during layoff/lack of work. I, however, am on Welfare. As a result, I cannot collect EI.. 

Now, on Welfare, I report my earnings to the Social Services office here in Peterborough. They deduct what I make using a formula and I get a statement at the end of the month. Well, August... I got $6.75 I scrambled for rent.. I scrambled for food... The Dispatcher I liked left and a new one came in.. I owed for a charter.... 

September came... I got enough from OW for half my rent.. Then I got told they were deducting money from my pay to cover the charter I owed for, and it was happening over two pays... 
My last pay was $98..

Scrambled for half the rent.. Trying to get money for my bus pass.. Trying to get money for food.. Trying to get money to mail off the trade parcels I owe people...

I can't remember if it was last week or this week when I posted on Twitter that I wasn't in the mindset to write.. I want to explain that...

Because of everything right now, I'm feeling like a horrible failure of a person. I hate making people wait for their packages and I just feel that people remember these things and will decide to never trade with me again. I berate myself for things like that. 

I even had a trade partner offer to send me money for postage if it'd help.. It took me 20 minutes to write out that I would only feel comfortable accepting if I paid them back when I had money. 

I know there are a couple other bloggers out there in our circle that deal with anxiety and depression.. I don't know if they go through the same internal struggle that I've just put down.. I just feel like I needed to explain what's going on right now.. 

I get paid on the 22nd.. I'll be sending out trade parcels then.. I feel horrible for making everyone wait that long. It's one of those things where I don't even care if I get negative feedback for it. If anything that would reaffirm what I've been telling myself these past two weeks.. 

And now, Tim Johnson... Just because.. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Back to School... Back to Work... Back to Baseball

So today was the first day back to work for me, being a bus driver. The route is different this year, but a lot of the same kids. It wasn't too bad.. 

Speaking of September, Peter, Fan of Strawberry and Kruk, Hater of all things 1995 Fleer, and generally good guy to trade with, had a post where he had a stuff up for grabs.. He was getting ready to send the remainder off to charity, so he put a Last Call out.. 

I found a few I needed... 

I got them today.. 

Because I'm using my scanner as a table right now for stacks of cards, I just grabbed the card images from the TCDB... 

First is a Mike Thurman Four Sport card.
Thurman was an Expos draft pick, so he made his way to my collection..

1991 Fleer.. The Blinding Sun set... 
How appropriate that one of the cards is an Astros player?

1990 Fleer! One step closer...

Back when Triple Play was useful.. Though I think I like the 1993 set better, I had more access to the 1992 set... So that's what I collect. 

1992 Score.. It's a set I'm kinda sorta unofficially collecting. I like the set, but it's not one that I see myself completing.. 
Then again, I rarely see myself completing sets.. lol 

Finally, 1993 Fleer.. I love the 1992 and 1993 sets.. 

Thanks again, Peter!! The cards shall find a loving place in my collections.