Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Short Joey Bart Interlude

He may not ever come back to the major leagues, but I'm still collectin' "hot San Francisco Giants prospect" Joey Bart, the heir apparent to Buster Posey as the Giants' catcher of the future. When he got tagged as their #1 top prospect a couple of years ago, the card manufacturing companies roared into action, as there's money to be made in prospect cards - as I'm sure you're aware.

Gullible guys like me are the reason why. We want to believe. We want to be there on the ground floor. Plus - you know - it's the thrill of the chase and all that. Bart is actually have a great season at AAA Sacramento this year, although he's still striking out too much, and the Giants' coaching staff are trying to bend his swing into something Major League-worthy. Here's hoping they do.

And here are 3 new cards of his that I just picked up!

Monday, June 28, 2021

A Trip To Valley Sports Cards

So this past week of mine was spent in Southern California, taking my son on the fabled "college tour". We pulled into Burbank, CA two Saturdays ago, and somehow after hitting the hotel, my wife & son decided the most important thing to do - I mean it was 93 degrees - was to go work out in the air-conditioned hotel gym. This, as it happened, left me me with a small window to go visit Valley Sports Cards in Tarzana, CA, a mere 3 miles from our hotel, right in the heart of the San Fernando Valley.

Unlike my local card shops, Valley Sports Cards had boxes out & ready for people like me to climb all over them and mow right through them. I spent a good 90 minutes there rifling through dollar boxes, quarter boxes and dime boxes - and had a hell of a great time doing so. The staff were extremely helpful and did not begrudge me my San Francisco Giants face mask nor the multiple Giants cards I brought to the counter. Like any good card shop, they rounded down on my purchases, so appx $13.50 worth of cards - I think I got 30 in all - came out to a big $12 at the counter. Great place! You should go there!

I could have easily walked out with a great many more cards but didn't want to alarm the family. My prize find was a $1 Hunter Pence 2007 rookie card, from his time in the Astros organization. Does that look like Hunter Pence to you? Hey, it was a long time ago.

Let's take a look at a few other things I found in the boxes there. First, a couple of older things:

I also cleaned up on a few cheap prospect cards from dudes who having terrific years in the majors right now, and who fit my definition of a "ballplayer worthy of collecting":

As with any dime box, you find yourself just pulling stuff out that you think you might want & reckon you'll count your change later:

I'm not going to show off the Giants fellas I got - you probably don't need to see my new Steven Duggar and Logan Webb cards, right? Anyway, I got some. Then I topped it off with a whole lotta Goldy - Mr. Paul Goldschmidt, a player whom I've decided to collect!

Oh wait - one more that I scanned up. I collect Vladimir Guerrero as well, and I didn't have this #405/799 one with a couple of other Angels. Great way to arrive in LA, let me tell ya.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

El Tiante!

Every now and again I get the idea to collect a certain player whom I hadn't considered before, and I proceed accordingly. One of you bloggers out there posted a Luis Tiant card recently and I got to thinking that he might be the guy I go with next. I'm old enough to remember Tiant as both a Red Sox ace and a Yankees starter; his days with Cleveland and Minnesota pre-date my baseball sentience. 

So I hopped on over to the usual sites and rustled up some Luis Tiant cards - the ones I'm posting for you here. I'm now 5-deep into a Tiant collection, and have a couple of questions. What was the deal with him in 1971, when he pitched for two different teams in the minors, before coming up to the Red Sox and going 1-7? (Mind you, this is after going 21-9 with a 1.50 ERA for Cleveland in 1968!). Probably just an injury and rehab, right? By 1972 he was certainly back on the horse - 15-6 with a 1.91 ERA. Phenomenal.

Then there's that mustache/beard combo he was rocking in 1976 - check out the '77 Hostess card below. I don't really have a question on this one. This is the Tiant I remember. I suppose my question is: weren't the 70s something? 

Any of you have any Tiant doubles sitting around gathering dust & want to make a swap of something, you just give Card Hemorrhage a holler now, you hear?

Friday, June 18, 2021

Everybody Loves Don Mossi

During my long, long hiatus from card collecting, I became aware of the baseball cards of one Don Mossi, a successful pitcher for a number of organizations in the 1950s and 60s. Mossi was, as is quite clear, blessed with a splendid set of ears, and he showed them off proudly on his many cards.

When I returned to the realm of the collector, I decided that it was important that I build a small collection of Don Mossi cards, and that I have done. There are several others I have yet to accumulate - but in time, in time. Mossi was a reliever-turned starter who pitched in the 1954 World Series; went 15-7 with a 2.96 ERA for Detroit in 1961; and who blessed the glorious Kansas City A's card you see below with one of the all-time great looks.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is my Don Mossi card collection - including several post-career cards made in the 70s, 80s and 90s. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Matt Carasiti, American in Japan

I've told you all the story of how I came to collect Matt Carasiti's baseball cards, right? Basically, this guy was a pitcher in San Francisco Giants spring training last year - just before the pandemic - and I heard him interviewed on KNBR's Giants broadcast & came to think that he might be one of the most inspirational nice guys in sports. That's it. That's why. He then proceeded to get hurt; was out for the year with Tommy John surgery; came back to the Red Sox organization this spring; didn't make the bigs; and is now on the Worchester Red Sox - but hurt again. He has not pitched in 2021. I do hope he pitches again.

One thing I liked about that interview is that he told some fantastic stories of trying to get his pitching career into gear by playing in Japan for a couple of years. He moved his wife out there, and they fell in love with the place. Japan'll do that to you. I've been there a few times myself. After that stint, the Giants brought him into camp, and then things went sideways. Anyway, I really only have 4 more cards of his that I need before I have everything with his picture on it. 

This first one's a 2018 card put out by Epoch Sports, with Carasiti pitching for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. The one you see below you is also from 2018, and is put out by Baseball Magazine, aka BBM. Here's to Carasiti - very much wishing him a path back to the majors, and/or eternal peace and happiness otherwise.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Real Vintage & Faux Vintage

I've got a couple of non-blogging trading friends who've of late been the guys most responsible for supplying me with my vintage baseball card needs. Ken in Missouri and Dave in California are both omnivorous baseball card accumulators themselves, while also being exceptionally generous with me and with (I'm sure) anyone else they're trading with as well.

This week each gentleman sent me some 1965 and 1967 Topps that had been on my want list, in addition to others that I thought I'd put on display here. Seriously, every time a 1960s card arrives in the mail, my eyes water a little. They're just so - you know - vintage. A large percentage of the men featured on them are no longer living. More simple times; a more simple game (for better or for worse); the Kansas City Athletics and Washington Senators existed; and - in the back half of the decade - the New York Yankees were actually bad!

Here's Mike McCormick's 1967 Topps card. Says he's about to start the season for the Senators - but au contraire! He came over to the San Francisco Giants that year, went 22-10 with a 2.85 ERA and won the NL Cy Young Award. How about that? Here are a few more of the vintage cards that Dave sent me:

Now - the "faux vintage" talked about in the headline are these gems, which I'm totally excited to add to the collection. They're from a 2003 Upper Deck series, designed to mimic 1965 Topps baseball:

Speaking of 1965 Topps baseball, Ken - who's sent me a good percentage of the '65 cards I actually own! - sent me these ringers, among other things:

Finally, Dave sent me something not at all in keeping with the tone and tenor of this post, but which I'm super psyched to have - an autographed Scott Garrelts '91 Score card...! Garrelts was a solid innings-eater (and sometime reliever) for the team, though 1991 ended up being the final year of his career. Thanks as always for trades, fellas - and hey, you all have a good summer weekend out there, ya hear?