Wednesday, April 30, 2014

1989 Prince William Cannons

Last week I did a post about part of the Craigslist lot I picked up and went through a couple of factory sets. I have compiled my Want List for those three sets as a Tab above (Junk Wax Wants). Even if I was lucky enough to find a dime box, buying singles for these would probably cost more than buying a brand new sealed set outright so any help would be appreciated!

I also hinted at something I thought was pretty cool when I went through the box that had 1990 Bowman.

My local minor league team, the Potomac Nationals, is the Single A affiliate of the Washington Nationals and have been since the Nats came to DC in 2005. Prior to that, they were affiliates for the Cincinnati Reds (2003-04), the St. Louis Cardinals (1997-2002), the Chicago White Sox (1994-1996), the New York Yankees (1987-1993), the Pittsburgh Pirates (1981-1986) and the Seattle Mariners (1979).

Notable alumni include Bobby Bonilla and Barry Bonds during the Pirates era, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada with the Yankees, Magglio Ordonoez with the White Sox, Albert Pujols with the Cardinals and Joey Votto with the Reds. And of course, many of today’s Nationals came through Potomac as well.

My find has to do with the team when they were known as the Prince William Cannons and were affiliates of the New York Yankees. In case the title of this post didn’t give it away, tucked in the Bowman box was a Star team set of the 1989 Prince William Cannons. Well most of one anyway. There were 24 cards from the 29 card set. After a quick eBay search I found a team set and discovered the missing five cards were two players, two coaches and the manager. I also found that the set could be had for $6.00 shipped or a different seller was offering singles for $12.99 plus shipping for singles. What?! I guess I’m okay with a partial set…

But what makes this set even cooler, in my opinion, is that many of them were autographed! In theory. I guess I can’t be 100% positive but why would you fake autographs for a Single A baseball team back when the Yankees weren’t even that good?

Enough talking, here are some scans with a little commentary after doing some research.

Jason Bridges, Dennis Brow, Andy Cook
Neither Jason Bridges or Dennis Brow made it past Single A. Andy Cook would keep advancing through the ranks and pitch 5 1/3 innings over 4 appearances for the 1993 New York Yankees.

Bob DeJardin, Pedro DeLeon, Mike Draper
Bobby DeJardin would get as high as Triple A with bothe the Yankees and the Orioles but never punched through to the bigs. Pedro DeLeon spent 1989 between Single and Double A but was out of baseball after that season. Mike Draper was taken in the 1992 Rule V draft by the Mets and made 29 appearances in 1993 for them.

Rob Ehrhard, Ken Greer, Jeff Johnson
Rob Ehrhard advanced one more level but was done after the 1990 season. Kenny Greer was traded to the Mets for Frank Tanana and was 1-0 after a perfect relief inning that included two strikeouts in a late September game. He was granted free agency and signed with the Giants where he went 0-2 in 8 appearances. Jeff Johnson spent parts of three season with the Yankees from 1991-1993 compiling an 8-16 record and 6.52 ERA.

Pat Kelly, Jeff Livesey, Mark Harris
Pat Kelly is the first one I’ve actually heard of and remember him being a top prospect for the Yankees back in the day. I thought he ended up a bust but he got 9 Major League seasons under his belt, mostly with the Yankees. Neither Jeff Livesey or Mark “Moose” Marris made it to the show.

Bill Masse, Gerald Nielsen, Mark Ohlms
Bill Masse made it to Triple A Columbus Clippers but had a decent career as manager for most of early 2000s. Gerald “Jerry” Nielsen was drafted 6 different times between 1986 and 1988 and compiled a 1-0 record in 30 appearances with the Yankees and Angels. Mark Ohlms made it as far as Triple A with Toronto.

Vince Phillips, Bruce Prybylinski, Frank Seminara
Vince Phillips and Bruce Prybylinski advanced to Double AA. Frank Seminara had a 12-9 record with the San Diego Padres and New York Mets from 1992-1994.

Don Sparks, Don Stanford, Wade Taylor
Both Don Sparks and Don Stanford had long minor league careers (9 & 7 seasons respectively) but never got their break. Wade Taylor, the only other one I’ve heard of, went 7-12 in 23 games for the 1991 Yankees. I can actually picture his 1991 Topps card.

Dave Turgeon, Hector Vargas, Tom Weeks
And in anticlimactic fashion, neither of these final three, Dave Turgeon, Hector Vargas, or Tom Weeks went on to live the big league dream.

There was one more notable among the missing five, Gerald Williams. He would go on to have the most success, playing for 14 season in the Major League among six teams.

I found these rather interesting but they don’t hold any special meaning to me. So if any Yankees, minor league or autograph fans are interested, I’d probably offer them up for trade.

I hope you enjoyed that trip down memory lane and we should be back to your regularly scheduled Cubs post tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cubs Lot #2, Part 4: Everything Else and the Breakdown

Last week's first Cubs lot was a pretty manageable 217 cards. So much so, I was able to fit the scans and breakdown into one post. My second lot was nearly six times that size at about 1300 cards. But don't worry I'm only going to split it into four posts. Relics. Autographs. Serial Numbered. Everything else and the breakdown.

So you’ve seen the Relics. And you’ve seen the Autographs. And the Serial Numbered cards.

Just because these next cards don't share any of those characteristics, that doesn't make them any less a part of my Cubs collection. There are a few base cards but also quite a few inserts and a decent mixture of rookies and stars.

Let's start with one of the staples of my repack box breakdowns, the oldest card in the box.

1979 Topps Cubs Prospects (Dave Geisel, Karl Pagel, Scot Thompson)
Dave Geisel had a perfect 3-0 record with a 2.15 ERA in his 36-game Cubs tenure.

On the other hand, Karl Pagel went a career 0-3 at the plate with three strikeouts in his time with the Cubs. The cap logo belongs to the Midland Cubs, the team's Double A affiliate at the time.

Scot Thompson spent the most time with the Cubs, playing with them through the 1983 season.

You probably can't tell from the scan but the photo on this Kevin Tapani card is extremely blurry. With the pinstripes and the blue and red color scheme of the Cubs uniform, It almost looks like an attempt to make a 3D card, glasses not included. I already have the regular card, but I'm going to keep this too, just for fun.

The other day at the card show I picked up a Mike Fontenot Classic Combo card that I didn't know existed from the 2007 Topps set because it wasn't included in my team set checklist. Low and behold, I came across an Alfonso Soriano in this lot, paired up with JJ Hardy.

Maybe I'm missing something obvious about these Chrome cards but can somebody explain why the Blake Lalli had a white border but on the Jeff Antigua, the chrome goes to the edge?

Topps reusing photos isn't limited to just the old retired players. I have a really good memory when it comes to player photos so this makes me afraid of all the Cubs cards I've put back from dime boxes over the years because I recognized the photo as something I already had. And these were just two of the examples, there were probably a half dozen more, easily.

This card marks JR Mathes' debut into my collection. Can anyone explain to me how you get J.R. from Alfred George? Speaking of debuts...

A good chunk of Topps Total was able to add a couple more first timers to my collection, represented here by Francis Beltran and Donnie Hood.

I guess Fleer didn't get the memo from Topps that it was ok to Photoshop. Here, Alfonso Soriano appears on Cubs cards while wearing Washington Nationals uniforms.

The player who added the most unique cards to my collection from this lot was Corey Patterson with 18 new-to-me cards. I already showed some of the numbered cards, but here's a trio of "regular" inserts from the lot.

There was only one new Ryne Sandberg card in the lot. This card from Metal Universe didn't scan very well but it appears that Sandberg has some kind of funnel/vortex/vaccuum thing on his glove hand. Ok.

Of course, there were tons of cards of Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Geovany Soto, Carlos Zambrano but it was a pretty mixed bag on new-to-me and dupes. 

Let's get to the breakdown.

Advertised Quantity: 1391
Actual Quantity: 1372
Damaged Cards: 5
Non-Cubs: 1
Different Cards: 1067
Price Per Cubs Card: $42.05/1371 = $.031
Price Per Different Card: $8.98/197 = $.039
New Cards (or upgrades): 567
Price Per New Card:  $42.05/567 = $.074
Number of Different Players: 371 + 29 team cards/multiple players

Considering all of the "hits" and still being able to come in at well under a dime per new card, I was very happy with this lot. The rest of the lots going forward will be of the much smaller variety, more like the first one. Before I get to those though, I will probably dip into my Craigslist lot a little more.

As for the one non-Cubs card that showed up, I'll probably keep it anyway:

How fun to say is Rancho Cucamonga?

Monday, April 28, 2014

2009 TriStar #29 Tony Campana

Despite getting into 29 games last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks and 20 already this season, the card companies just aren't paying attention to Tony Campana. I had to go back to 2009 to find a new Campana card to add to the collection. 

While I've known about the 2009 TriStar Projections card for several years now, they only show up every so often on eBay and I had never seen one in person. They were usually selling for a buck or two plus another two or three for shipping. I just never could find one from a seller where I could find enough stuff to make it worth the cost.

You probably don't hear "super collectors" talk like that about their favorite player, but this was just a base card. Had it been one of the numbered parallels, I probably would have jumped all over it.

Luckily, a few showed up in Burbank Sports Cards ebay store a little bit ago for just $1 and I put them on my watch list. While I was looking for a few other things to get combined shipping, they ran a sale for free shipping with the purchase of two items. So I picked up this card and another that will get its own post eventually for $2 shipped.

Anyway, this marks my 33rd different Tony Campana card.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cubs Lot #2, Part 3: The Serial Numbereds

Last week's first Cubs lot was a pretty manageable 217 cards. So much so, I was able to fit the scans and breakdown into one post. My second lot was nearly six times that size at about 1300 cards. But don't worry I'm only going to split it into four posts. Relics. Autographs. Serial Numbered. Everything else and the breakdown.

So you’ve seen the Relics. And you’ve seen the Autographs. Now on to the serial numbered cards.

I’ve got twenty-something cards today although that’s only about half of the serial numbered cards that came in the package. The other half are the now almost standard gold bordered Topps flagship parallels numbered to two thousand and whatever year it was. In their heyday, like the relics and autographs, serial numbered cards were given to up and coming to prospects and stars at the time. Nowadays, even middle relievers or backups get serial numbered cards if they make it into Topps flagship. Since most of these cards were late 1990’s – early 2000’s, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and see how many of these guys we remember.

I did say the other half were gold parallels, but I did try to stick with just one per player (unless I couldn’t pick a favorite) so a few others may have been left out. The seller must have been a prospector because the numbered cards seemed to favor the rookies instead of the stars, although there were a few big names.

In no particular order, and again with minimal comments, here the scans.

The seller must have been one of those prospector collectors because the numbered cards tended to lean more towards the rookies than the stars, although several big names were included. There were three copies of this 2003 Fleer Avant Hee-Seop Choi, all limited to 699.

The only other duplicates in the lot were these Juan Cruz cards numbered out of 800.

You don't see too many numbered cards over 1000 anymore aside from the gold parallels but these prospects below fit the bill.

I've said it before, usually around the time a new flagship set comes out and we see how many different parallels there are, I'll sort of semi-seriously go after unnumbered parallels or any where there are more than 100 copies. Anything fewer than that and prices start going crazy, even for a team as bad as the Cubs. I'll take them in trade, but I won't necessarily seek them out. These next cards should have been picked up somewhere along the way and weren't. Until now.

And now a pair of low numbers that wouldn't have shown up in my collection if it weren't for this lot (or I stumbled across them in a dime box somewhere.

Finally, for today, I was out of the hobby when Moments & Milestones was released. This is my first Derrek Lee although I do have some of the Greg Maddux cards. But somebody thought this set was a good idea? Does anybody who was in the hobby then know if this went over well?

While I never have gone gaga over serial numbered cards, I'm pretty happy with these pickups. They weren't even mentioned in the auction listing for the lot that I recall. The focus was more on the overall quantity of cards and the autographs and relics. 

Tomorrow, I'll have the best of the rest (base and unnumbered inserts).