March 25, 2009

Why Topps.....Why??

I was opening a Target "Throwback" box last week and I was getting a little annoyed. It seemed like every pack I opened, not all the cards in the pack were facing the same direction. What I'm saying is that I probably had to turn the cards around 3-4 times to get all 10 cards in order. However, I did come across 2 packs in the box where every card was in order. If Topps can do this for 2 of the 10 packs, why can't they do it for all the packs. This isn't something new...I remember back in the '70's they were doing the same thing. The only difference is that the cards seemed to be divided in two. The top half of the pack, the cards were all facing the same direction. Then the gum and the bottom half of the pack, the cards were upside down. At least back then I only had to turn the cards once to get them all facing the same direction.

Does anyone else find it annoying that all the cards are not facing the same direction or is it just me and why are they wasting a card in the pack with the Toppstown cards?!?!? Talk about accumulating doubles!

Well that's it for now....I'll have more later and sorry for not posting anything in the week.

March 17, 2009


Topps announces that the popular 2009 Topps Heritage Baseball features short printed base cards. The set’s high numbers, cards 426 – 500, can be found 1:3 packs.

The list is as follows:


Scott Rolen


Ben Francisco


Jermaine Dye


Dustin Pedroia/Ichiro


Kevin Slowey


Jason Bartlett


Glen Perkins


Carlos Gomez


Jon Garland


Joe Crede


Billy Butler


Zach Duke


Chris Coste


Daisuke Matsuzaka


Elijah Dukes


Fausto Carmona


Joe Mauer


Marcus Thames


Mike Fontenot


John Smoltz


Pedro Martinez


Adrian Beltre


Kevin Millar


Nick Swisher


Justin Morneau


Shane Victorino


Placido Polanco


Ryan Dempster


Frank Thomas


Baltimore Orioles Coaches


Boston Red Sox Coaches


Chicago Cubs Coaches


Chicago White Sox Coaches


Cincinnati Reds Coaches


Cleveland Indians Coaches


Detroit Tigers Coaches


Tampa Bay Rays Coaches


Los Angeles Dodgers Coaches


Atlanta Braves Coaches


New York Yankees Coaches


Philadelphia Phillies Coaches


Pittsburgh Pirates Coaches


St. Louis Cardinals Coaches


New York Mets Coaches


Washington Nationals Coaches


Brad Ausmus


Melvin Mora


Austin Kearns


Josh Willingham


Derek Lowe


Nick Punto


A.J. Pierzynski


Troy Tulowitzki


CC Sabathia


Jorge Posada


Kevin Youkilis


Lance Berkman


Dustin Pedroia


Chase Utley


Alex Rodriguez


Chipper Jones


Derek Jeter


Hanley Ramirez


Josh Hamilton


Ryan Braun


Manny Ramirez


Kosuke Fukudome




Matt Holliday


Joe Mauer


Geovany Soto


Roy Halladay


Ben Sheets


Cliff Lee


Billy Wagner

March 15, 2009

Topps Heritage.....FINALLY!!

Yesterday while out shopping with my wife, we stopped at the local Meijer to get some groceries. For those not familiar with what a Meijer store is, it's like a food store and Target type store combined. When we walked in the store, they had their annual Opening Day baseball display up with several shelves of old and new baseball cards along with supplies. Whenever I see anything baseball related, I seem to get pulled towards it. While checking everything out, I noticed a rack of 2009 Topps Heritage single packs hanging...YEA!!! Figuring they have been already searched, (which I ABSOLUTELY despise, they should be shot on-site) I grabbed the first 3 packs and put them in the cart. Now off to grocery shopping. Oh the agony I would endure the next 3 hours, yes I said THREE hours. We were bone dry in the cupboards so our cart was overflowing then to top it off, the register computer went dead with 3, I said THREE items left to scan. So we had to go to another register to rescan everything but fortunately we got to go to the front of the line. Finally we can go home and I can open my cards.

I think by now everyone knows what the cards look like, but I did have to explain to my wife the difference between these cards and the Topps base set. Slowly she is getting interested into baseball cards. She always asks if I got a Carlos Guillen (her favorite player) whenever I open a pack. We have been able to obtain his autograph at some games, mostly away but I'll save those stories for another post. By the Guillen cards in my 3 packs. The first pack did have a Tiger, Armando Galarraga and a SP of the Phillies Coaches. You know the "floating head" card.

The next pack I received another SP, Fausto Carmona and a chrome refactor of Carlos Beltran #'d to 560. Not bad if I do say so myself.

When I grabbed the last pack to open it felt slightly different. Now mind you, when the wife and I went to the store, we were pretty focused on what we had to do, remember...3 hours of grocery shopping!! Anyway....I looked at my wife and said, "I think I may have something here". When I opened the pack, I saw a "white" card in the middle of the stack. I knew I had a hit. I arranged the cards so it would be the last card I see, which I usually do when I have a hit. Going through the pack slowly I get to the end, I see a Flashback Brooks Robinson Memorial Stadium seat card. NICE!! I had the opportunity to meet him on a cruise about 9-10 years ago. He is one of the nicest players I've ever met and I'll save that for another post.

All in all, I like the cards, but I probably won't try to build the set because I haven't been able to complete it the last 2 years. I'll just end up completing the Tigers team set and getting whatever other cards I see that I like.

March 13, 2009

Topps Black

Topps is probably my favorite brand mostly, because when I was a kid collecting cards, that was the only brand. I've been completing a set of Topps base since I returned to the hobby in 2005. Each year there seems to be something added to the set and this year is no different. Everyone in the blogosphere knows what Topps is doing with their blaster boxes this year. Not only do you get a Retired Legend Commemorative patch card (which I think are COOL!) certain boxes will have a variation of the base set. A couple of weeks ago we have seen the Topps Black cards at the store and now there is going to be a throwback version of the same set. These throwback cards will be made of a similar cardboard stock as the cards were made of years ago and they will carry the Topps throwback logo as well. I was fortunate enough to participate in a group break held by Dan at Grand Cards for the Topps Black. I received my package the other day and it was well worth it, especially since I pulled a patch card.

The cards are different than what I'm used to, but that's ok. They highlight the player's photo on a black background. This card of Reggie Abercrombe is my favorite photo of the set I've seen so far. I wonder if he was safe....Hmmm!?!?

Check out this card of Evan Longoria, which I got from the group break. It almost looks like he's flying!!

I have to include a's Justin Verlander's card.

All in all, I like these cards. Will I be able to complete a set, probably not, but to chase the few Tigers in Series 1 plus the commemorative patch, will have me wanting more of these. It's just one more way for Topps to get you to want and buy more of their product. Another thing about these cards.....they have a scent to them which I think is due to the abundance of black ink used to produce the cards.

I look forward to seeing the "throwback" version.

March 9, 2009

Mail Day!

Friday was a good, no scratch that, an excellent day to look in the mail box. It was stuffed with 3 bubble envelopes and best of all, a letter from the Detroit Tigers. I knew the bubble envelopes were from some ebay auctions I won but I wasn't sure what was in the envelope from the Tigers. I immediately opened the Tigers envelope and low and behold, it was a congratulations letter. I was just hired to work at Comerica Park during the 2009 Tigers baseball season!! Boy was I HAPPY!! I have been trying for several years to get a job there and I thought this year was going to be even harder with the way today's economy is, especially in Michigan.

As for the rest of the mail, more additions to my Detroit Tigers collection. I got a 2009 Turkey Red of Curtis Granderson and Miguel Cabrera, a 2009 Topps Legends of the Game Ty Cobb and a 2008 Ballpark Collection quad jersey of Granderson, Jeter, Furcal and Weeks. I wanted this card because how many cards are going to be made with a Granderson and Jeter game used jersey??

March 8, 2009

1975 Topps

I'm taking a break from watching the WBC to add this tonight. Venezuala and USA are playing right now. My wife and I are having a hard time deciding which team to root for. Venezuala has 4 Tigers playing tonight and USA....well it's USA, plus Curtis Granderson is on the team. I just watched my beloved Tigers go hitless in their first at-bats. Cabrera struckout in the 1st inning, Ordonez flied out to Granderson, Guillen grounded out to 2nd in the 2nd inning and Granderson grounded out to 3rd to start the 3rd inning. So far the only bright spot for the Tigers today is Galarraga, he has struck out 3 batters in the first two innings, Pedroia(swinging), Chipper(looking) and Dunn(looking). Awesome, especially after how the Tigers pitching did in today's spring training game against the Yankees.

In 1975, Topps decided to try something different....they came out with a "mini" baseball card set. The cards look exactly like the regular sized set just smaller. I heard one time years ago that Topps was testing these cards in certain markets and Detroit happened to be one of them. Unbeknowst to me and my friends, or anyone else for that matter, the cards would be smaller in 1975. You have to remember...the information highway was a lot slower in 1975 than it is today. I'd been collecting baseball cards for about 3 years by then and every spring I couldn't wait for the cards to show up on the counter at the corner store. I would stop at the store on the way home from school to check the counter. When they finally arrived, I was so excited!!
I couldn't wait to see what the cards looked like each year. I bought a couple of packs and opened them, but something just wasn't right. Even at the age of 10, I knew something was up. The design was colorful and even though each player on a team had a different color border, something else seemed different. I went home and sorted them by team then put them away with my others cards and that's when the mystery was solved....they were smaller. I still bought them that summer but not as much as I would have if they were the normal size.

I am working on completing a Tigers team set of both sizes and I would be willing to make some trades to complete my set. Let me know if you have any and are willing to trade.

March 5, 2009

The Original A-Rod!

My two favorite players growing up were Willie Horton and (my all-time favorite) Aurelio Rodriguez…..the original A-Rod! Me, being of Mexican descent, you can say he was my idol. The plays he made at 3rd base were UNBELIEVABLE and he had an arm like a rocket.

I remember going to a game at Tiger Stadium with my parents and he was signing autographs and by the time my mother and I got to where he was by the dugout, he left to go warm up. My mother spoke to him in Spanish he replied back that he had to get ready for the game, so no autograph for me. We had excellent seats for the game between the dugout and homeplate. When he came up to bat, my mother shouted for him to hit a homerun in Spanish and sure enough, he did it. I still remember the game like it was yesterday.

It wasn’t until 1988 that I would get another chance to meet him and get his autograph…FINALLY!! In fact, I was able to get every card and picture I had of him autographed. I lived in Colorado Springs for a short time and it so happened to be the same year the Sky Sox (Indians AAA team at the time) moved back there. He was one of coaches and I got a job at the ballpark selling Pepsi and peanuts in the stands. Game 2 was my chance, opening day was a zoo, I got to the park early with my stuff and waited for the team to come onto the field. When I saw him, I introduced myself to him and told him I was from Detroit and he was happy to be remembered. From that day on we would talk everyday and I would get an occasional game ball or broken bat. I remember him trying to teach Terry Francona how to play 3rd, but I’ll save that for another post.

Unfortunately his life was shortened while he was in Detroit to attend a card show in 2000. While walking to his car after lunch, he was struck by a car whose driver suffered a stroke and jumped the curb. He died later that day in the hospital.

Rodriguez spent 9 yrs with the Tigers and even though he wasn’t a power hitter like today’s A-Rod, he was one of the best defensive 3rd basemen in the game. He even won a Gold Glove in 1976 breaking Brooks Robinson’s streak of 16 straight Gold Gloves. He played with 7 teams in his 17 yr career playing in 4 American League Championships Series and 1 World Series with the Yankees which they won, where he hit .417.

The original A-Rod lives on in this fans heart!


Hello! I have decided to do something I've wanted to do for a long time...start a blog about baseball and baseball cards. Yes, there are a ton of sites already dedicated to this but it never hurts to get a new perspective on things. I hope as time goes by you will enjoy what you read and share this with other fans of the sport and hobby. I will start my first few posts sharing some of my favorite cards, players and baseball experiences. You may not agree with some of the players I think are great or not so great and that's ok, this is America. So as my wife says, "Sit back, enjoy and have a Fresca!"