Friday, August 29, 2008

1999 Just Minors Juan Melo

Who is this? Giants second baseman Juan Melo.

What is this? An autograph card from 1999 Just Minors.

Where'd I get it? Atlanta Sports Cards.

How much did it cost? A buck.

Why is this so special? Juan only played 11 games in the majors, getting one hit as a second baseman for the Giants. He played 12 years in the minors before apparently retiring in 2008. It's a great looking card though, Melo is making a play at second for the Mobile Baybears. Nice signature too. That's really all I have to say about him though, so in lieu of snarky commentary here's some Donovan in honor of Melo.

One other thing... I strongly recommend opening a pack of 1991 Fleer instead of what the hippies in the video are doing. Do cards, not drugs, kiddos!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

2008 Goudey Kelly Johnson

Who is this? Braves second baseman Kelly Johnson.

What is this? An autograph card from 2008 Goudey, card number GG-KJ.

Where'd I get it? EBay.

How much did it cost? $2.84 from larryvan.

Why is this so special? I'm not going to lie about it, Kelly isn't having that great a year for the Bravos this season. He's definitely regressed a bit from last year, especially in on base percentage. It's gotten so bad that trade rumors are flying, which is ridiculous considering his age and the fact that no one really wants him right now. I think it's just a situation where everybody stinks right now, with the possible exceptions of players not named Chipper. The idea behind the trade rumors might be due to the fact that the Braves have a truckload of infield prospects right now. I'd still rather see Kelly at second instead of Lillibridge or Prado, or at least move him back to the outfield which is a real weakness right now.

Trade or no trade, Kelly has had a signature card in both the '07 and '08 versions of Goudey. I really like the way they look so I've been looking for the Braves relics and autos from Goudey since last year and have been fairly successful so far. The '08 team set for Braves relics and autos is a lot tougher than last year though, Chipper and Glavine are in the autographed set and there appears to be a short printed Spahn jersey card. I can make a good run at it though and this great lookign sig from Kelly is a good start.

Monday, August 25, 2008

1999 Hillshire Farms Harmon Killebrew

Who is this? Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.

What is this? An autograph card available as a promotion from from Hillshire Farms.

Where'd I get it? EBay seller larryvan.

How much did it cost? $2.99.

Why is this so special? A Killer autograph for three bucks? WTF? Yep, just three bucks for this card. This was originally a promotion from Hillshire Farms where you send in four bucks and some proofs of purchase and you can get an autographed Hall of Famer card. The four choices were Killer, Ernie Banks, Frank Robinson and Willie Stargell. How did I miss all these card promotions in the '90s?? I would have bought some smoked sausage for an autograph of Pops. These cards don't seem to be real popular now though. There were several companies who did similar promos and the cards can usually be found for well under 20 bucks. Try finding a Killebrew autograph out of Sweet Spot or Goudey for that price, I'll never happen. I'ts a good looking card too, there's a gold foil border and name around the picture that doesn't show up too well and there's full career stats and a short bio on the back. Yeah, the Twins logo is airbrushed out. Suck it up. It's an autograph of Killer! He hit 573 home runs, and you can find an autograph from him online right now for the price of a pack of Bowman Chrome. And it's a Hall of Fame signature too, just look at that beauty. The card isn't even wilkerized, not that there's anything wrong with that. I don't understand this hobby sometimes. People snap up Bowman SuperMegaCrazyFractors of Double-A pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery, and leave oddball food cards from Hall of Famers in the bargain bin to gather dust. I'll take Harmon any day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

2005 Donruss Mariano Gomez

Who is this? Indians pitcher Mariano Gomez.

What is this? An autograph card from 2005 Donruss, card number 32.

Where'd I get it? I have no earthly idea.

How much did it cost? Couldn't have been too much.

Why is this so special? Mariano is now pitching for the Twins' organization in Triple-A Rochester. He's a lefty reliever with decent stats this year, so there's always a chance he could make his debut soon. Until then, I don't have a whole lot to say about him. With the sorry state of pitching in the league you have to think that an effective lefty would get a chance to pitch in someone's bullpen sooner or later. It's a decent looking card, I like the shiny holo stickers for autographs. At least you can see the sig unlike with that Marlon Byrd card. The signature starts off strong and then devolves into weirdness for some reason. One day I need to buy a pack of Avery labels and sign every dang one of them so I can feel the pain of these poor prospects that are leaned on so heavily for autograph inserts nowadays.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

2005 Upper Deck USA Baseball Mark Romanczuk

Who is this? Team USA pitcher Mark Romanczuk.

What is this? An autograph card from 2005 Upper Deck USA Baseball I think. I'm pretty sure this is from the Team USA box set, but UD sprinkles Team USA cards all over their products so I'm not sure. Card numer J-34, serial numbered 028/275.

Where'd I get it? Atlanta Sports Cards.

How much did it cost? Three buckaroonis.

Why is this so special? It's Olympics time, so I felt compelled to post a Team USA autograph. Unfortunately I traded away my only one a few months ago. Oops. I had a meeting for work yesterday though, which means I had an excuse to hit my favorite cross-town card shop and pick up some goodies without feeling guilty for burning all the gas it takes to get there. So who is he? Mark is a lefty hurler who played college ball for Stanford (apparently when he was 4 years old according to the Baseball Cube). He was drafted by the Diamondbacks, missed the 2006 season with an injury to his ulnar nerve, and now is pitching for the St. Paul Saints. Mark's signature is scraggly but bold, very appropriate for a lefty. I'm wondering how this card was manufactured now that I look at it. It looks like the card was originally two cards, one die cut for the auto and jersey and the other with a blank side. UD must have had Mark sign the blank side, then glued the jersey swatch above it and finally glued the two halves together. The devious part of my brain wants to pull out the X-acto knife and reverse engineer this card, but so far I have been able to restrain myself.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

2008 Goudey Marlon Byrd

Who is this? Rangers outfielder Marlon Byrd.

What is this? An autograph card from 2008 Goudey, cards number GG-MB.

Where'd I get it? Pulled from a pack bought from flea market dude.

How much did it cost? $4.75 for the pack.

Why is this so special? Ok, so I haven't posted in a while. I got stuff to do. You'll get nothing and like it! Anyway, the flea market guy was here today and I had a pocket full of cash. My main hauls: about ten Chipper Jones cards I didn't have already, a pile of Heritage Chrome and short prints and I wiped out a box of Topps cards from the late 70's that was selling for a nickel a pop. I had some money left over so I got a bunch of packs. I snagged a nice healthy stack from the quarter bin, three packs of Allen & Ginter and two of Goudey. The Junk wax was just that - junk. I ripped a few and saved the rest to send to trade partners. Allen & Ginter was a nice hit, I beat the odds and got two Baseball Legend minis of Honus Wagner and Jackie Robinson. I ripped the Goudey and found two run of the mill mini cards (Raul Ibanez and someone I forgot already) and no short prints. I repremanded myself for buying them when a blaster is far more cost effective than Hobby packs. I got home, sorted them to put in my Goudey binder and noticed the back.

I did one of those motorboat doubletake noises and eyeballed the front looking for the autograph. It ain't easy to see, that's for sure. Not a spectacular signature either, it looks to me like "Nyl" in script. It's an autograph though... I bought the hobby packs solely to try to get lucky and pull that 'graph and I done it. Now I can quit buying hobby packs of this stuff because I've already got my hit. I'm not sure what to think about pulling Marlon Byrd though. I'm still convinced he's going to make a breakthrough with the Phillies any day now. He's hitting pretty well for the Rangers as a fourth ourfielder though so I can't complain.