Friday, 26 August 2011

2008 TriStar Projections

I will be very honest and say I know very little about Minor League baseball, except to say it appears very organised structure with teams affiliated to a Major League outfit. So when I purchased these packs from e-bay (quite a while ago now) I need to conduct some research, as every good author should before proceeding with my review. I have four packs to analyse to see whether, in the three years since these cards came out, if any of these players made the show and secondly, as the name of the blog suggests, whether any of the minor league players are part of the Red Sox affiliation.  
My first observation is that there are some brilliant Minor League club names. I know people have chuckled at English Football team names and nicknames, they are nothing in comparison to Minor League monikers. My favourite from this pack being the High Desert Mavericks. Top Gun and Shane connotations aside, these guys are not just any old mavericks. Not low desert but high desert mavericks. I would love to collect a particular club on the merits of the name alone.
#2 Kelvin DeLeon  DSL Yankees 
At this point in his career he was palying for the Dominican Summer League and given a $1.1 million signing bonus. He must be some player. Currently he is playing for the A team (A league?, A divison?) Charleston River Dogs, in the Yankees organisation. The RiverDogs are advertising a Festival of Beer. You have go to love these Minor League clubs. 

# 190 Max Sapp Lexington Legends Houston Astros A
Unfortunately Max contracted meningitis in 2008. He has not played since then and was released by the Astros just this year.

 #181 Chris Tillman High Desert Mavericks Seattle Mariners Adv.A
Chris was traded to the Orioles in 2008 and made his MLB debut  for the Orioles on the 29th July 2009 vs Kansas City Royals.

 #24 Tommy Hanson Rome Braves Atlanta Braves A
Finally a name I recognise. Made his MLB debut for the Braves on the 7th June 2009 vs Milwaukee Brewers.

 #162 Justin Jackson GCL Blue Jays Rookie Blue Jays
Justin is currently playing for Dunedin Blue Jays A+.

#142 Hector Correa Jameston Jammers Florida Marlins SS 
Acquired by San Francisco Giants from Florida in exchange for Ronny Paulino on March 27, 2009. Currently playing for the AA Richmond Flying Squirrels. I wonder if Bullwinkle is a mascot? 
# 109 Danny Rams GCL Twins Rookie Minnesota Twins
Still with the Twins affiliation and currently playing with A+ Fort Myers Miracle
#189 John Mayberry Jr. Frisco Roughriders AA Texas Rangers.
Another fantastic club name 'roughriders'. John Jr.was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in Nov 2008 for Greg Goulson and made his MLB debut on the 23rd May 2009 vs Yankees. His father John Mayberry Snr. was a first basebman for the Astros, Royals, Blue Jays and Yankees between 1968 and 1982.

So out of a pack of 8 prospects, 3 have advanced to a MLB debut, 4 are still playing Minor league ball and 1 has left baseball altogether because of ill health. That sounds like a pretty good ratio, however I don't know the percentage of Minor League players that advance further than AAA.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

2011 Topps Baseball Series 1

Three more packs of 2011 Topps Series One from Play at the Plate.
I only need 1 Red Sox from Series One:
#218 Victor Martinez.
Plus there is a stupid idea of collecting all the Kimball Champion inserts as well.

Pack 1:
#15 David Wright Mets
#64 Yorvit Torrealba Padres
#90 Yadier Molina Cardinals
#103 Cliff Lee Rangers
#171 Garrett Jones Pirates
#234 Miguel Montero D-backs
#273 Derrek Lee Braves
#296 John Buck Blue Jays
#328 David Price Bay Rays
#60YOTLC-5 Stan Musial Cardinals
#KC12 Torii Hunter Angels
#TT-9 Adam Jones Orioles
 Pack 2:
#30 Gio Gonzalez Athletics
#31 Erick Aybar Angels
#51 David Eckstein Padres
#68 Cleveland Indians  diamond sparkle ballroom dancing
#97 Carlos Gomez Brewers
#132 Brian Buensing Twins
#228 Scott Rolen Reds
#244 Mike Aviles Royals
#302 Adrian Beltre Red Sox
#330 Derek Jeter Yankees
#CMGR-6 Christy Mathewson 1911 T205
TT-34 Felix Hernandez Mariners

Pack 3:
#31 Erick Aybar Angels
#58 Edgar Renteria Giants
#66 R.A.Dickey Mets
#88 Brian Bogusevic Astros
#106 Felix Pie Orioles
#109 League Leaders
#256 Tyler Colvin Cubs
#302 Adrian Beltre Red Sox
#330 Derek Jeter Yankees
#T60-6 Robinson Cano Yankees
#TDG-10 Tim Lincecum Giants
#TT-39 Adrian Gonzalez Padres
So two Red Sox but the same card Adrian Beltre (two Jeter's and two Aybar's). But at least another Kimball.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces

Here is another solitary pack. This time from Waxaholic. It doesn't seem like 4 years since this original 2007 Masterpieces hit the shelves. I loved the 2007 set so much that I decided to collect the entire base set. Its design was classy, the autographs were right there on the actual card and there was the quirkiness of cards like Curt's bloody sock, Ty Cobbs karate kick and Ozzie Smith's backflip. I had resigned myself to collecting 2008 as well, but by the time it arrived the magic had left. It was too similar. Yes I understand that may be too picky, what else could it be? Masterpieces was meant to look like it was painted on canvas hence the name. Even Jonathan Papelbon's victory roar couldn't save it. Maybe it was the inclusion of Yankee Stadium Legacy cards that tainted this and other Upper Deck sets.
The pack:
#24 Adam Dunn Reds
#38 Lance Berkman Astros
#48 Ryan Braun Brewers
 #69 Chase Utley Phillies
#YSL1288 Joe DiMaggio
See tainted. No Red Sox and a YSL. 
Just imagine if there wasn't 4 Masterpieces card but 3 and the 4th card was a YSL. Luckily it is included as an extra.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

1989 Topps baseball

This pack was included amongst some cards that I purchased from e-bay recently. I have a sneaking suspicion that you rarely find these wax packs unopened.
The 1989 Topps set was full of rookies, the one notable being Randy Johnson, but in a time where the market was flooded with cards most collectors have either: collected all the 1989 Topps they wish to own or have no interest in collecting all the 1989 Topps.
There are also some error cards which draw some attention but besides that it is not one of Topps stellar sets.
I need no more of the 33 Red Sox from this set, although still need the 5 Topps traded Red Sox.

T26 John Dopson,
T29 Nick Esasky,
T64 Randy Kutcher,
T86 Rob Murphy,
T105 Ed Romero

The pack:
#12 Dale Sveum Brewers
#124 Jim Traber Orioles
#256 Benny Santiago Padres
#310 Rafael Palmeiro Cubs
#315 Greg Swindell Indians
#388 NL Leaders RBI
#393 NL Leaders game winning RBI
#400 AL Leaders batting avg
#412 Barry Lyons Mets
#414 Jim Fregosi White Sox
#428 Craig Reynolds Astros
#588 Luis Alicea Cardinals
#606 Rick Dempsey Dodgers
#704 Carlos Quintana Red Sox
#760 Lee Smith Red Sox
Would you believe it, two Red Sox!

2011 Topps Attax Baseball

The big child in me likes Topps Attax. I have never attempted to play the game in any of the multiple variations available -Football, Star Wars, Ice Hockey, Soccer, Heroes, Wrestling. However the baseball variation looks the most complicated. Is it that complicated? The soccer version has only attack and defence numbers, there appears to many different possibilties on the baseball version. There are 258 cards in the base set which includes 25 mascots and 27 stadiums( which begs the question which mascot is missing?)
Anyway. I was sent a lonely pack of the 2011 Baseball version recently. It was purchased from 'The Dollar Store'. Without a shadow of a doubt, I am sure the Dollar Store would become my favourite place. Ever.
No Red Sox so far from this set, so any would be nice...please.

The pack
#41 Carlos Pena Cubs
#84 Francisco Liriano Twins
#124 Josh Hamilton Rangers
#139 Logan Morrion Marlins
#197 Troy Tulowitzki Rockies
#236 Citi Field
 Did you know- Citi Field is the only MLB ballpark with foul poles that
are not yellow...instead they are painted orange.

It appears that the cards have a diamond rating with stars. Meaning common, rare, ultra rare? I am guessing, so you may need the starter set to work this one out.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

2011 Topps Opening Day

The final selection of packs from the Alley family are these not so popular 'Opening Day'. Six packs to 'Share and Enjoy'.There is still but one Red Sox card that alludes me-

#29 Jonathan Papelbon
No fear, my luck with these packs is sure to change.

Pack 1:
#42 Gege Halman Mariners
#52 Placido Polanco Phillies
#115 Starlin Castro Cubs
#160 Carlos Lee Astros
#173 Joakim Soria Royals
#181 Josh Beckett Red Sox
#SC-23 Ryan Braun Brewers

Pack 2:
#9 Michael Cuddyer Twins
#64 Miguel Tejada Giants
#82 Brennan Boesch Tigers
#87 Brandon Morrow Blue Jays
#121 John Banks White Sox
#131 Chris Carpenter Cardinals
#TTOD-1 Clayton Kershaw

Pack 3:
#15 David Price Bay Rays
#32 James McDonald Pirates
#37 Tim Hudson Braves
#77 Koji Uehara Orioles
#86 Stephen Strasburg Nationals
#197 Kelly Johnson D-backs
#2/10 Spot the Error Jason Heyward

Pack 4:
#79 Heath Bell Padres
#81 Jay Bruce Reds
#104 Victor Martinez Tigers
#127 Nick Swisher Yankees
#135 David Ortiz Red Sox
#203 Neftali Feliz Rangers
#M-7 Slider ?????

Pack 5:
#28 Edinson Volquez Reds
#47 Phil Hughes Yankees
#80 Jeremy Hellickson Bay Rays
#94 Jimmy Rollins Phillies
#189 B.J.Upton Bay Rays
#208 Matt Kemp Dodgers
#SC-2 Buster Posey Giants

Pack 6:
#14 Ben Zorbist Bay Rays
#17 Ryan Dempster Cubs
#24 Andrew Cashner Cubs
#36 Daniel Descalso Cardinals
#93 Aaron Hill Blue Jays
#100 Miguel Cabrerea Tigers
#4/10 Spot the Error Chase Utley
Can you spot it?

Two Red Sox from six packs-considering the past pack breaks, this is a fair outing.

Monday, 1 August 2011

2011 Topps Baseball Series Two

Another five packs from the Alley Family, this time the Series 2 variation. I need only two Red Sox from the Series 2. Looking for a better showing than the seven packs of Topps Series 1, which produced 'zero' Red Sox cards. The two cards I need are:
#480 Dustin Pedroia
#610 Josh Beckett

Pack 1:
#342 Jorge De La Rosa Rockies
#359 Checklist 2/5
#370 Matt Garza Cubs
#424 New York Yankees
#430 Trevor Crowe Indians
#502 Jeff Baker Cubs
#508 Homer Bailey Reds
#537 Jake Peavy White Sox
#553 Kyle Lohse Cardinals gold border 1662/2011
#584 Jason Bartlett Padres
#BTT3 American Tobacco T201
#T60-92 Alfonso Soriano Cubs

Pack 2:
#342 Jorge De La Rosa Rockies
359 Checklist 2/5
#424 New York Yankees
#430 Trevor Crowe Indians
#432 Matt Harrison Rangers
#474 Jeff Mathis Angels
#475 Phil Hughes Yankees
#537 Jake Peavy White Sox
#561 Luke Gregerson Padres
#578 Willy Aybar Bay Rays
#60YOT-114 Hanley Ramirez Marlins
#RDT23 Adam Dunn White Sox

Pack 3:
#334 St. Louis Cardinals
#374 Washington Nationals
#377 Esmil Rogers Rockies
#505 Tommy Hanson Braves
#541 John Jaso Bay Rays DP
#594 Jose Valverde Tigers
#605 Brandon Belt Giants
#633 Aaron Crow Royals
#634 Mitch Moreland Rangers
#649 Joba Chamberlain Yankees
#KG57 Tom Seaver Mets
#TT2-3 Cliff Lee Phillies

Pack 4:
#336 Chris Heisey Reds
#389 Carlos Quentin White Sox
#451 Livan Hernandez Nationals
#459 Frank Francisco Blue Jays
#465 Yovani Gallardo Brewers
#471 Tim Collins Royals
#506 Aneury Rodriguez Astros
#514 Kelly Shoppach Bay Rays
#538 Jason Motte Cardinals
#625 Ruben Tejada Mets
#60YOT-61 Warren Spahn Braves
#T60-79 Rickey Henderson Athletics
Pack 5:
#369 Wilson Betemit Royals
#375 Matt Kemp Dodgers
#443 Brian Roberts Orioles
#455 Logan Morrison Marlins
#464 Daniel Bard Red Sox
#478 Mike Minor Braves
#543 Texas Rangers
#547 Checklist 2/5
#567 Dallas Braden Athletics
#615 Shaun Marcum Brewers
#DD-27 Johnson/Verlander Marlins/Braves
#TT2-10 Justin Upton D-backs
Five packs 1 Red Sox- Seriously?