Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Artelopes - Grand Junction Rockies & Tulsa Drillers

Its been awhile since the last time any artelopes made their way into the blog. With that in mind I recently got two returns from the batch I sent out the first of the month. Both requests were simple pocket schedules as both teams are affiliated with the Colorado Rockies. Since day one of the pocket schedule collection I have been collecting all the Rockies affiliates, and these two fit into that category.

I'm going to start with the simple artelope out of the two returns. Tulsa puts out a few different schedule covers each season, and multiple sponsors on atleast one of them. Being I was hoping to acquire one or more of the schedules missing for this season. I decided to just go simple, and do the team logo. While it wasn't fancy it paid off as I got a return better than I had hoped for.

I already had the driller cover, and the sponsor that was sent. The Josh Rutledge cover was the exact cover I was hoping for when I sent this letter out. The part that got me most excited was this is the first time I ever got two different covers in the same return. So while I already had one it was special in my book, and shows how good doing this is working.

I've been wanting to get a little bigger with the artwork on these, and this was one of those chances. Deciding to just go with an enlarged version of the team logo, and cover the entire front sounded cool to me. In the past I have thought about doing one of these for the Colorado Rockies, but never have. Doing it for their short season single A team seemed like a good idea since I haven't written the big club. The return I had hoped for was a few schedules as they are a short season A team, and only do the one schedule. Much like the Drillers return I got something better than I intended.

The white colored portion is a business card that has the home schedule on the back. I just wanted to show the backside of the card as one day it will show up in the business card posts. The purple with the team logo, and player picture. That is the schedule that this whole letter was looking to get in return. Another great return, and once again showing how well the artelopes are doing with some teams.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bigfoot Spotted In My Hobby Room

A month ago while cruising through the schedules for our local teams I noticed a fun give-away that stopped me in my tracks. Thinking this thing would look awesome in the hobby room I had to go, and get one. Being this give-away was on a Friday I had to see if there was time available on that particular Friday. Attempting that week to get my name on the calendar it was going to be up to fate. The calendar was full, and I was left on the back-up list hoping for a slow day at work. Fate was on my side, and I was able to get the time off for the game. Leaving two hours early from work I came home got ready. Talked the daughter into going before we left to pick up a friend who enjoys going to games with us any chance he gets. So what was this prize that I was looking for?

This is a Bigfoot bobblefoot. The big right foot bobbles, and goes with the new look the Emeralds have this season. Personally I thought it looked like a fun addition to the bobblehead collection. So I had to do whatever it took to add one.

Not only was I able to add the Bigfoot into the collection we got to try something that has fascinated me for awhile. Earlier this year the minor league website did a best foods at minor league contest. While I did vote I never did stick around to see who won each category. One of those forgetful things that were interesting at the time, but in the long run wasn't. Included in the list was one team from our area, and that was the Eugene Emeralds. The food showcased for the contest was a VooDoo doughnut bratwurst. VooDoo Doughnuts is a doughnut store with two in Portland, and one in Eugene as the college kids love them. They are open 24 hours, and have extreme doughnuts that while I have never tried I hear are awesome.
       One of their doughnuts which is featured in the bratwurst is a maple bar with bacon. For the VooDoo bratwurst they split one of those maple bars, then put a bratwurst, cover it with a strip of bacon, and then add a little maple flavored glaze to the top. While it sounds crazy, and really is when you think about it. This was something that I just had to try, and was glad I did. Deciding with the daughter to just get one, and share it before buying another. The price tag of $7.75 was the reason for this. I got the first bite before she claimed the rest for herself as it tasted that good. My friend Joe who went was lucky enough that she did share one bite with him before finishing it off. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of it as it was pretty messy, and got eaten pretty fast.

Once the game started we settled in, and just enjoyed ourselves until the fourth when the daughter wanted a frozen strawberry lemonade. After getting back she ate it then went over to get me one of those ice cream's in a helmet as the booth was pretty close to our seats. This is the third different helmet I have for the Emeralds with all three now sitting on a shelf in the room. Beforehand the daughter wanted to torture poor Dega, and here are the results.

With the game being mostly under control by the Vancouver Canadians we just sat back, and enjoyed everything. One of those things is the big lime green bear that is the Emeralds mascot. I'll have to admit for the first time since I have ever seen him he was in great form. He ran around playing, and was very entertaining. Doing enough fun things that I had to snap some pictures of him which is something I'm usually not even slightly interested in.

At one point he had three bags of popcorn, and was giving them away.

The problem was he would stand in the aisle, and throw the bag to the people. In typical mascot form he didn't just toss them nicely. His last throw half the bag scattered all over anyone near the person he threw the bag to. Overall I think he did a great job of entertaining the crowd, and turned me into a fan. I want mascots who actually entertain, and not just stand around taking pictures with kids. The bear did just that, andwas quite possibly better than the game we were all there to see.

In the end the Canadians won, but the score was closer than expected with them winning by one run. After the game the daughter wanted to stick around, and see if she could fins another Bigfoot or two. Looking a couple rows down, and over I noticed two boxes which said to me I have Bigfoot, but didn't react soon enough. Sure enough an usher was going row to row real fast, and both boxes had Bigfoot. She went someplace with them, and returned with nothing in her hands. My guess is she got them for someone she knew who came to late as she left when we did, and still had empty hands. I'm not sure I could have traded them anyways so it probably worked out for the best.
        I wish we could guarantee another couple games down there. Personally I love the Emeralds stadium as they play at PK Park which is home of the University of Oregon Ducks baseball team. Currently we plan on going to another game on August 24th as they are doing another sweet give-away that I need for the hobby room. This is one I'll be on the lookout, and more active in trying to get extra's as I know atleast one blogger would be interested in obtaining one of these goodies. Until then who knows if we will get down there before the 24th. I still do have 10 tickets for Corvallis so we will be trying to burn through those as they only have five home games remaining before the playoffs.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Biz Cards The Collection- Arizona D-Backs, Colorado Rockies, and L.A. Dodgers

I have been thinking about how to try, and do these posts. Do I go with an entire division starting with the west? The problem with this idea is some teams have up to five designs while others have only one. Some of these teams have put some work in their designs, and throwing them in a pile to me would end up being a shame. Not wanting to have that happen I decided to go with three teams at a time. This will give me the chance to discuss the cards a little more at times. There are two downsides to doing it this way, but I'll have to attempt writing my way through these. The first downside is that some posts will be fairly short as one card will lead to not much to say. The second, and biggest problem is by only doing these on weekends. It is going to take a very long time to get through the entire collection. The good news is this could be taken as I'm in this blogging thing for the long haul. I've planned on being part of this for a long time as it's been a blast, and enjoy reading all your stuff as well. Now lets get into the reason for this post shall we?

Arizona Diamondbacks

Despite only being in existence since 1998. Arizona has gone through a couple changes that shows up in their business cards. The teams original colors were teal, purple, and copper. Looking at the cards this was obvious as like most teams their cards showcase these colors. My first cards from the team are the top cards which has the teams missions statement on the back. Not many teams do things across the back, but when they do more times than not its a good look.

The lower card came second, and not only changing to the normal sideways business card style. Below the logo you will notice that they added a 2001 World Champions line. Just below is the N.L. West Champions line for flair too. I like the way they cleaned up the look of the card, but added style at the same time. Sadly they didn't add anything to the card back.

In 2006 the D-Backs changed their team colors to Sedona Red, Sonoran Sand and black. Coming with the new colors was what I believe to be one of the top five best card designs for an MLB team. Not only did they return with the design on the card back. The new back looks tons better than the original by showcasing the cap logo instead of some mission statement. Throw in the entire logo area just says snake with the fangs coming off the teams name.

Colorado Rockies

While I am a huge fan of the Rockies. I have to admit that their cards are a bit of disappointment. The card rates in the middle of the pack for design, and execution. While they do contain all the information you could want for contacting the team. To me the card just seems a little to cluttered. While I love the big logo across the top. You can't see in the scan the silver portion is a sweet looking shiny silver. The text is just to much, and something I'd love to see cleaned up just a little.

Los Angeles Dodgers

While not one of the flashiest, and a design used by a few teams. There is a reason teams go with this design. It works!! We aren't overwhelmed by information like the Rockies card. When you think of the logo choices that could have been used for this card. I think they did a great in picking the baseball instead of the LA. Sometimes little things like the logo choice can be what brings a card down, and the Dodgers didn't do that in my opinion.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Biz Cards The Collection- Senior Professional Baseball Association

I'm going to pair my entire collection of these cards as I only have four in the entire collection.  The following four cards are all from the short-lived Senior Professional Baseball Association.

The Pelicans, and Juice were both charter members of the league which started in 1989. Playing in the Northern Division of the eight team league. Orlando would finish the season in third place, and fold at seasons end. St. Petersburg became the lone team to claim a title for the league before it folded during the 1990 season.

In the leagues second season four teams were added to replace the four teams that had folded. One of those teams was the Daytona Beach Explorers who were relocated from Bradenton. Despite success on the field in their initial season the move had to be made as the team still took a loss in finances. Keeping the name with the move Daytona was 11-11 when the league folded.

Sun City was the leagues attempt to branch out into other markets. The lone team in Arizona at the time of the leagues folding. Sun City was 13-10, and in second place. The team had some serious pitching at the time in Rollie Fingers, and Fergie Jenkins.

These are more of the cards I purchased from the other collector. When you think about how short-lived the last two teams existed it's pretty cool to even have these cards. I'm glad to have them as a reminder to a baseball league I personally have very little knowledge about. While I was collecting baseball cards at the time. I was into collecting the latest, and greatest trying to make my fortune. Things like this league were not worth my time as there was no money in it. Now that I've grown to appreciate baseball cards, and other sports memorabilia for what it is. Looking back at the league through these cards is exactly why I enjoy all my collections.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bleedin' Excel & Classic Gold

After having a great day with bobblepalooza on Saturday I was left wondering if things could get any better. That is when I found out the answer was yes. Arriving home I went out to check the mail to find a lone bubble mailer sitting there waiting for me. Puzzled with what it could possibly be as I don't recall any trades being made. Not having a clue of what could be inside, but thinking maybe schedules from a team I forgot writing. Opening the mailer I found a note taped to a thick piece of cardboard from Duff at Bleedin' Brown and Gold. He apologized for getting these cards out so late. Inside that cardboard were cards that almost completed a couple sets on the wantlists.

First comes the reason for Excel portion of the post title. Three subset cards for the 1993 Fleer Excel minor league set or actually subsets. Wooten is card #9 for the first year phenoms subset, and drops it down to only needing card #3 to complete this subset. D.J. Boston, and James Mouton are from the all-stars subset from the same year. These two leave that subset only missing card #5 for completion.

Next is the Classic Gold portion. This is a biggie with a name we all know unless you've been hiding under a rock.

Three big hits that now leaves that set at only one card as well. Look at the lower level, and you will see a young Derek Jeter. Talk about bringing the heat in this mailer. While I haven't looked at the set for awhile I'll bet he is the biggest card in the entire set so getting him crossed of is huge.

Included were two more cards that hit the wants as well. Problem with them is they didn't blend in with the post title, and Duff's blog name. So while I appreciate them just as much as the other six cards. They don't get the top billing like the others because the set name they come from. Those are the breaks when the set you represent is the 1994 Upper Deck top prospects.

Thank you so much Duff for some big hits to three different sets. Glad to see the computer is up, and running as well. Getting these cards on Saturday was like a cherry on top of what was already a great day.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Garage Sale Bobblepalooza - part 2

After such a successful show, and it only being eleven in the morning. I thought to myself that it would be fun to hit up some of the Goodwill's I haven't made it to for a few months. The first stop on my agenda was a store I had seen only, but never been to that was a few miles down the road from the show. Thinking it might be fun to check out I started to make my way south. As I got close to making the exit I noticed that if I did make this stop it meant adding a bunch of miles to the trip home, and I wasn't willing to do this so I passed.

No big deal I thought to myself as there were four other ones along the way so why cry over one? Making the drive into Wilsonville wondering what if anything might be found at the first stop. This Goodwill is a hit or miss stop that has yielded a couple logo baseballs for the hobby room, but that's it. I have seen Portland Blazers bobbleheads before, but not being a huge basketball fan prevented me from buying any. Making my way through the sports section I started to wonder as it was filled to the rim with junk. Next up was the frames as I have been buying empty frames for my pictures in. Another nothing on the list of finds for this place. Thinking it would be a total bust I rounded the corner to the nick-nac row, and looked up to find this little beauty right here.

He does have a little character on him, but it's cool as overall he is still in great shape for a bobblehead that wasn't in the box. Sitting next to A.J. was a Newman bobblehead, but he was beyond character, and into the damaged stage. The few chips, and missing paint told me he needed to stay right where he was. Another four feet down the row on a lower shelf was a bobblehead of the Rockets mascot. Another nice piece that bobbled at the belly. While I love mascots something just told me to pass on this bad boy, and I would find out later why. Paying for my find it was due south to Salem, and a Goodwill I have decent success at.

Pulling in it was fairly slow which was a sort of surprise. This is probably the busiest Goodwill I have ever been to.The slow was nice as usually people are quite rude at this store. You have to maneuver around like a ninja as people will stand in the row, and block the other half with their cart. asking them nicely if you can pass is a waste except on a very rare occasion. This is the place where I started to realize I was a bobblehead magnet. Walking down the nick-nac aisle I came across a Washington Nationals Abe Lincoln mascot bobblehead. The excitement was short lived as sadly Abe must have borrowed money from the mob, or told a lie. His right hand was totally missing, and no place to be found. It was a sad fate for such a cool bobblehead. I picked up Abe to give him the sad look, and his head fell off. Shameful I thought as I decided to move on for another stop, and see if my luck was still running hot.

My nest stop was the south Salem Goodwill. As I pulled up I was just hoping for something decent as this store has never yielded anything in the baseball category. While I go here every chance I can it hasn't been that good to me. My purchases here were a picture frame, and bubble mailers for sending baseball cards, and pocket schedules out in. Nothing to even make it worth the stop, but for some reason I keep finding myself going in. Checking out the frames, and realizing I was wasting my time here again I went down the nick-nac row just for kicks. On a middle shelf half way down the aisle there it was. The moment I realized that I was on fire when it came to bobbleheads today.

This is the mascot for the old triple A Portland Beavers. The cool part is not only does the head bobble, but he has that huge beaver tail, and it bobbles as well. This I see was the reason I had passed on the Rockets mascot earlier. If I had bought that mascot this stop would never had been made. Despite being only 3 dollars I was busted now with only a couple dollars left over. I didn't care though as now I have five new additions into the collection.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Garage Sale Bobblepalooza - part 1

Back in April I had a post about the event they call 'The World's Largest Garage Sale' that was held in Portland. At the time I mentioned another of these were happening in July, but that I wasn't sure about going.  Earlier in the week I was still on the fence on what my decision would be. As the weekend started to take shape everything started to fall into place. On Thursday I started to feel that what the heck it'll be fun despite the drive. That same day the wife let me know she would be working all weekend as things have picked up at her work. Thursday night while at a birthday party for the wife's step-mother the final piece fell into place. The daughter got an offer to head over to the coast for the weekend leaving me forced to go or spend three days at home bored. I chose option A, and the garage sale slash swap meet to atleast fill Saturday.

Waking up bright, and early. Well not so bright, but early. I started to make the trek up north full of both excitement, and worry at the same time. The worry was that it might not live up to the hype I had placed for it in my head. As I closed in on the off ramp I looked to the left, and could see part of the area set up. This is when the worry disappeared, and the excitement grew to a crazy high. Waiting for the gates to open, we started chatting in line as some of the group were here for the first time.

Entering I went with the small group that went to the right. Starting my journey I did row after row looking for something to peak my interest. Finally on the last row of this section I came across a find that had me thrilled to death. Sitting on a table with two other bobbleheads was the 2009 Franklin Gutierrez. Thinking this was the final bobblehead for my 2009 Mariners I went nuts. Sitting in a chair close by was a boy who must have been the bobbleheads owner. With no price on any of the three I asked what he wanted for Guti. This where the price dance began, but didn't go as either of us had planned. Twenty dollars he quickly quoted, and was met with a ten dollars. Fifteen dollars is the best I'll do he came back with. I followed with ten dollars because he's in the minor leagues, and really isn't that special. I'm only offering ten because he finishes my 2009 set. Looking at Guti he once again came back with fifteen too which I put him down, and responded with a good luck with that. Slowly I began walking away hoping he would cave in, and say ten was good. In the end he never did, and I'll bet either lowered his price below ten or took all three home. Arriving at home that night it was all good anyways as I actually need a Felix to go along with Franklin.

Not willing to dwell on the loss for too long I started working my way down the row. As I started to walk towards one of the sellers I noticed a man pick up what looked like a Mariners bobblehead box. Curious as to who was in the box I slowly lingered around the area hoping to catch a glimpse. Luck was on my side as he asked to look inside which gave me a chance to see. Sitting inside was none other than a 2006 Richie Sexson. As he took it out the man noticed the bat wasn't attached. Wondering if it was broken, neither him or the seller knew that the bat had to be screwed in. We both talked about it for a couple minutes as he gave it a good look over. Finally he mentioned to the seller that he would think it over, and decide if he wanted it. Wanting to be fair I mentioned that if he walks away I was going to buy it as five bucks wasn't bad. Slowly he thought about it before sliding it across the table to me, and thanked me for being up front with him. Before moving on the guy was very cool, and mentioned another seller had a couple Ichiro bobbleheads that odds are might be gone by now.

After buying Richie I finished the row, and moved on to the middle area while heading for the left side of the fairgrounds. Hitting the last set-up I noticed four 2012 Ichiro bobbleheads sitting on a small shelf with a small sign that read Ichiro 5.00. Thinking to myself this must be the place the guy earlier had mentioned. I dove right in, and started to open the first box. Instantly I noticed him sitting freely in the box, and an arm laying with him loosely. Sadly I closed the box hoping the other three hadn't fallen the same fate. Sadness turned to excitement as the next box had Ichiro still in his protective plastic. Looking him over I was satisfied, and gave up the five dollars.

Starting to go far left I noticed the building, and the lucky group that were able to get the prime location. Whether it was still prime when the heat moved in might be another thing. While I was there it was cold, and the building was the warmest area. Deciding if I wanted to get out of the cold or stay the course something inside told me to stay the course. Listening to that voice I made the choice to walk past everything, and work my way back. Another great choice as the first stop had a 2010 Felix Hernandez bobblehead for three dollars. Without even hesitating I began to reach into the pocket for three dollars. While doing so the seller asked if I was going to open it up, and make sure everything was good. Oh Yeah! That might be a good idea I came back with as I opened the box. By his reaction it was obvious everything would be good. Who tells you to open the box other than someone who knows everything's in good shape?

Finishing up I went around before coming to what was simply called the dollar booth. He had all his items organized to make finding things so easy. Finding a box full of baseball related items which included cups that sadly had gotten so much sun they were faded. Inside were two small sets of cards, but neither interested me. Underneath the two boxes I found a stack of the 1993 subset Triple Play Action Baseball cards. It was a decent sized stack which I had hoped would finish the set for me, if not be a complete set. It was not to be as most of the cards were doubles of each other. In the end I was able to add seven cards to the set though so that is a win in my book.

Overall it was an awesome show for me when you figure I added three bobbleheads into the collection. Throw in the final touch of seven cards that was a very unexpected surprise. They handed out postcards for another show in Portland again, and I plan on going. This show is November so things could change by then. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Biz Cards The Collection- Women's Softball, and Baseball

While I show off the business cards that come in from the artelopes when they come in. There are so many more business cards that were in the collection before this blog was started. This is going to be my series to showcase all those cards. Currently the plan will be to show anywhere from one team to possibly teams from an entire league per post. What information is given about the team, and business card will be an ever evolving process like anything else we do blogging. To keep it simple for me they will be on Saturday, and Sunday this way I can establish a pattern for the posts.

Today we start with the two cards I currently have for women's fastpitch softball, and women's baseball. Both cards came from another collectors collection of cards as he was no longer into business cards. I purchased his collection where both of these cards were found. Without all his work in securing these cards I would have never added them as they are pre 2001 which is when this project started.

Tampa Bay Fire Stix

The Tampa Bay Fire Stix played in what was called the Women's Professional Softball League. The League founded in 1997 under the name of the WPF, and sporting six teams with the Fire Stix being one of those teams. After two seasons the league changed names to the WPSL in 1999 with two time league champion the Orland Wahoos moving to Akron to become the Racers. Other than the one change everything remained exactly as it had before. During that initial season the Fire Stix defeated the Racers to become WPSL Champions. Playing in the league until the WPSL decided to take time off, and consider expansion possibilities. When the league reformed in 2004 as the current NPF the Fire Stix were not one of the new leagues members.

Colorado Silver Bullets

Playing baseball against mens teams from 1994 until 1997. The name Silver Bullets originated due to their sponsorship from the Coor's Brewing Company. Starting their time the team played mostly against teams from the independent Northern League in 1994 where they went 6-38 for the season. Hoping to keep the excitement alive the team played the next three seasons against lower level teams mostly made up of all-stars from various leagues around the country. Managing to go 11-33, and improving again to 18-34 in year three. Finally the team managed a winning record in its fourth, and final season going 23-22. Sponsorship from Coors ended, and unable to find a new sponsor the team was forced to fold. It was a great run that I remember at the time myself. I remember seeing that the team was playing locally here in Oregon once, and missed the chance to watch them play.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Rookie Of The Year Joins The Collection

On Saturday one of the small towns close to our area held one of those entire town garage sale weekends. Not one to miss on a chance to get out of the house on that day, and look for bargains. I made the plan to head on out, and see if I could find anything for the hobby room. First was to convince the daughter it would be fun so it wouldn't be a lonely trip. Letting her know it would be cool so the dog could get out with us, she finally caved in. Ready to head out we loaded up the dog, and were on our way.

Arriving in town disappointment set in as things looked slower than usual. As we drove to the main part of town I had noticed some of the regulars didn't have anything out. All years prior to Saturday finding parking was a nearly impossible task. This year it wouldn't be a problem as only four sales were on the main road. Despite the smaller amount of sales we had success in our first stop. The daughter needed a DVD shelf for all the movies she's had scattered across her room. With a price of only five bucks we bought the shelf, and moved onward.

Seeing nothing interesting we hopped back in the car to decide our next stop. Looking at the map I noticed a sale that appeared to be two blocks away. Not wanting to leave with just the one shelf we agreed to make the small detour. As I drove down the road it became obvious that it was more than two blocks away. With no place to turn around I noticed a stop sign, and knew it meant a cross street. This would be our chance to turn around, and scrap this whole idea. As we got to the sign I noticed a few sales not marked on the map. It looked to be a huge block so we decided to go around, and hit the sales before leaving.While making our way around I noticed a man taking boxes out of a huge shed.

Thinking it looked like a man type sale, and me being a man we had to stop. Looking through the first box was loads, and loads of hot wheels. Having this feeling that something there was coming home with me I continued to look around, and found this goodie.

Thinking it looked just cool enough to join the collection I asked for a price. Thinking for a few seconds he spurted out a price of two dollars. SOLD!! As he continued putting out more bobbleheads that all ended up being Blazers. Not being a basketball fan I decided to pass, but saw something else that caught my eye.

Picking up the Lou Gehrig I had to have it despite not being a Yankees fan. How could I not add such a great player into my hobby room? As I asked for the price of Gehrig he mentioned having a Mattingly that was the same type of figure. Wondering again what he wanted for them he added you can just have both for free. Excited I paid, and we were on our way to the original sales that sparked this detour. Not even stopping as nothing caught our eye we were on the way home to enjoy my finds.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Nolan Ryan- All-star Games

Today's all-star tribute is to my favorite all time player Nolan Ryan. Selected for eight all-star games Ryan was only able to play in five of the games with his first two appearances being something we'd like to forget from a legend like Ryan.

 Selected to his first game in 1972 While with the California Angels. Nolan didn't get to pitch in his first all-star game. A tight game that ended in a 4-3 win by the N.L. Only five of the nine A.L. pitchers were used with Ryan being one of the unused.

 In 1973 while still playing for the California Angels Ryan got his first game experience. Ryan pitched two innings the 6th, and 7th. Sadly he walked the first hitter Ron Santo before striking out Stargell. Willie Davis stepped in next, and made Nolan pay with a home run to right field. Another walk followed, but Ryan got out of the inning with a 4-6-3 double play. The seventh started smoother with two groundouts by Russell, and Torre. Bonds doubled to put Nolan in trouble once again. Ryan did what he does best though, and caught Simmons looking to end the inning. With his spot to bat coming up third in the inning Nolan was done for the day. Unfortunately he ended the game giving up two hits, two run both which were earned, two walks, and a 9.00 ERA. On the bright side he did earn two strikeouts out of the six out recorded. In the end Nolan wasn't the only pitcher with problems as the N.L won the game 7-1.

Selected again in 1975 once more Nolan didn't get the opportunity to pitch in the game. With only seven pitchers on the roster both Rollie Fingers, and Ryan went unused in the 6-3 win by the N.L. In 1977 for the third time Ryan went unused in the game. One of four pitchers that didn't get any time on the mound. It would be the last time Ryan didn't play in the game after being selected.

Picked as the starter for the 1979 game. Nolan started strong by striking out the first two hitters Lopes, and Parker. From there the inning went downhill, and fast. A walk to Garvey followed by a triple for Schmidt then a Foster double to make the score 2-0. Winfield finally ended the inning with a line drive out to the right fielder. Still reeling from the bad first Ryan gave up a single to Boone then a flyout by Bowa. Two more singles by Brock, and Lopes came next before a sacrifice fly Parker to score another run. Mercifully the inning ended with a foul ball flyout by Garvey. Bob Stanley replaced Ryan to start the third but not before Ryan had given up 5 hits, 3 runs, all earned, and a 13.50 ERA. Once again Nolan ended the game with two more strikeouts. As with his first four games the N.L. went on to win 7-6.

Moving on from California to the Houston Astros, Ryan got his sixth all-star selection. Unlike his prior all-star games Ryan was on top of his game. Pitching the eighth inning Nolan wasted no time in getting Tony Armas to strikeout followed by a Buddy Bell flyout to center, and Eddie Murray groundout to 2nd. Finally on the winning end of an N.L. 5-4 victory. Ryan ended the game getting a hold as Vida Blue got the win, and Bruce Sutter the save.

Four more years would pass before Ryan would once again make another all-star game in 1985. Getting what would be his longest outing for an all-star game Ryan pitched three innings the 4th, 5th, and 6th. Starting fast once more by getting Brett, Murray, and Ripken with a groundout, a foul ball caught by the catcher, and another groundout. Ryan had a touch tougher fifth by giving a single to Winfield. A Rice strikeout, and Winfield stealing second was followed by Fisk flying out to left. Cooper walked before Henderson struckout to end the fifth. The sixth got interesting again as Garcia flew out to right, then Brett walked, before Murray lined out to left. A Ripken infield single was the start of a rally which ended just as fast as it started with Winfield grounding out to second. Ending the game it was all deuces for Nolan as he gave up 2 hits, got 2 strikeouts, and gave up 2 walks. As had been the trend in all Ryan's games the N.L. won again 6-1

Appearing in what would be his last all-star game in 1989 while playing for Texas. Nolan pitched both the 2nd, and 3rd innings. It would be fitting that it was his best game of the five appearances made during his career. A foul ball flyout by Sandberg, Santiago strikeout, and Smith flyout to 3rd ended a quick inning. The third started with a Gwynn single, and a steal before Ryan struck out Clark. Mitchell followed with another K looking, before Davis flew out to right. Facing only seven hitters, and striking out three of those. For the first time in a Nolan Ryan all-star game the A.L. won 5-3. Not only did the A.L. get the victory, but Ryan was tabbed with the win as well.

Nolan ended his all-star career with five appearances in eight games. Giving up a total of 10 hits with 1979 being the worst with 5 hits for the one game. Five runs were scored while he was on the mound with two coming from the lone home run he surrendered. The ten strikeouts were a disappointment from the all-time leader in K's with his average being one per inning pitched. Sadly his ERA started off high with his first two games being 9.00, and 13.50. Things got better as he never gave up another run to end with a 4.50 ERA for the five games. Personally I think he did a decent job career wise for a pitcher. You figure he faced the toughest lineup you can face, and in his last three games owned the competition.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mark Teixeira- All Star Games

With the MLB all-star game being played in New York on Tuesday I thought I'd take the next two days to give a tribute post to my two favorite players in the card collection. Today's winner is Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira. With Mark out for the season with wrist surgery, this will give me a chance to keep him on everyone's mind.

Unfortunately Mark has only played in two all-star games during his career. The first was while he was still with the Rangers in 2005.

Starting the festivities this season Mark was in the home run derby. He ended with a disappointing 2 home runs, and was eliminated in the first round. During the game Mark batted seventh, and hit a groundout to the first baseman Derek Lee who tossed to the pitcher John Smoltz for the out in the second inning. Coming up again in the fourth Mark hit a pop fly to the second baseman Luis Castillo. Getting another shot in the sixth Tex hit a home run off Dontrell Willis to right center that scored Soriano as well. After the inning ended Mark was replaced by Paul Konerko.

 Not a bad night going 1 for 3 with a home run, and two RBI. The game would end with the A.L winning by a score of 7-5 as well.

His second all-star game came in 2009 while with the Yankees.

Moving up to fourth in the batting order for this game. This game is one Tex would like to forget. Going a big "O" fer the game. Stepping up in the first Mark hit a groundball, but reached first on an error by Pujols at first. Coming to bat again in the third an unassisted groundout to the first baseman Albert Pujols ended the inning. Stepping in again he hit another grounder to first where Pujols tossed to the pitcher Chad Billingsley to end the fifth. Mark would play first for the bottom half of the fifth before being replaced by Victor Martinez in the sixth.

Despite the somewhat poor numbers hitting wise in his two games. Mark has been very solid in the field with no errors, and 1 assist in the 2009 game. He started at first for both games he played in as well. Hopefully he can get past this injury, and come back strong next season. I would love to see him put a couple more notches in his all-star game belt. It will be tough going as the A.L. is stacked with a ton of talent at the first base position.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

In A Funk

For the last couple weeks I have just been in this huge funk. All this has led me to either sad posts here on the blog or no post at all. My best attempt was the Derek Jeter prospect post which was a little fun to write, and something hopefully you all enjoyed. Since returning from vacation I have only been to Goodwill once, and that has been a bummer. I was able to add a really cool bobblehead that I should share in the near future. Other than that it has been no cards or anything else fun.

 I do need to make a Costco run this weekend so another Goodwill stop will make it into the route. I keep debating about a run up north with a stop into the card shop, but haven't quite pulled the trigger on that yet. Is that what I need to get out of this funk? A little card shop fun with a pack of two to get me out of this. Hopefully that does it, and I'm able to find out. Until then I leave you with three returns from the artelopes.

The Naturals are a double A team in the Texas League. They have been affiliated with the Royals since day one, and have been a team I've collected schedules from since then. No idea on why, but for some reason I think the logo is cool. I was lucky to get two schedules from the team which was what I had requested.

The Rays come from the rookie level Appalachian League. As you can guess they are affiliates of the Tampa Rays. This return was a huge disappointment as they are one of the two hold over teams I still need a business card from. What I got is one pocket schedule, and the desire to see what it's going to take to cross them off the needs list.

Rockford is an independent league team. This past season they changed names from the RiverHawks to the Aviators. This was another business card need as I'd love to update the collection. What I got was one pocket schedule, and another team I'll end up attempting again.

Now all that is left is getting out of this funk.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Yankees #1 Prospect

Over the years of collecting I have enjoyed building sets of prospects. While most of these guys never make an MLB roster they have been fun little sets to build. Recently though the world has been watching this guy playing for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Rail Riders. I'm going to go out on a limb, and say you should be looking for this guy in a Yankees uniform soon. Even though I'm not a Yankees fan even I've had to stand up, and pay attention to this guy.

He has only been in Scranton for a short period even the card company lists this man as a Yankees Top Prospects. Just for those looking to see what other cards are out there for this big prospect.

I may not have a great history at picking guys who will make huge impacts in the future. Right now he might not even have the best stats for his team. I will say though that I have a feeling that this prospect is worth taking notice of. One day he's going to be a hall-of-famer I just feel it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Artelopes- Lexington Legends 2013

With baseball season in full effect I have started to work a little harder on getting envelopes sent out while the weather, and season is hot. One of those was this simple artelope that was sent to the Lexington Legends.

While the envelope was one of our more simple ones we have sent out all season. What came in was fun to see, and just has to be shared.

Not a bad looking set of pocket schedules, and business card. This was the reason I contacted the Legends. Something about that old time baseball player logo has just been very cool in my eyes. Despite the changes to the logo in the last ten years since I started collecting. The baseball player has been the constant just with a new look each time. Adding into the new look to the logo was that Lexington changed affiliations to the Royals this off-season. What that means is the collection needed a little updating to reflect the new affiliation. Even with all this going on the coolest part of this entire return was the thing my daughter noticed. While I was excited about getting a great return she asked to see one of the three business cards included, and promptly.

Obviously someone in the area realized how hot the whole mustache thing is right now, and might even have a sense of humor. If that wasn't their intent then it is now.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

This Trade K'd Me

Wednesday when I checked the mail were some cards from a trade I don't even recall making. Those types of cards are sometimes the best. The ones you don't even know why they came. What I do recall is sending Tom who is a member of the online trading group TradingBases. some cards for a set. What I don't recall is whether we had agreed to a set or if he wanted to return the favor. Either way it made for a great group of cards.

With Topps doing the mini's in this years set why not start with an old school 1990 Topps League Leaders. I remember these were fun to build when I was younger. Building a much smaller set gave me a sense of accomplishment when it was finished. It never mattered that the set was only 88 cards when completed. I still felt like I had done something big.

Finishing off this group of cards were four more Ryan cards. In the end it gets you wondering. What could be better then an envelope full of the strikeout king?

Friday, July 5, 2013

1985 4th of July- Braves vs. Mets

While I know it's a day late as the Fourth of July was yesterday. At work on Thursday I noticed a story about five moments to remember from games played on the Fourth. One of those was a game that I remember as a 15 year old kid. A game that started with these two guys pitching.

Back then I lived in a small town with very limited television channels. My baseball choices were Braves games, and Cubs games. While I don't remember everything about this great game. What I do recall is wanting to watch the game as they promised to show the after game fireworks show on television.

Sitting there watching inning after inning just rooting for a team to win. As the hours rolled by I didn't even care who won all I wanted is the game to end so the fireworks will start. As I was about to give up the Mets racked up two runs in the 13th. Here I was with the payout for all my time about to pay off the excitement. The bottom half of the inning started with a single followed by two outs. The excitement was almost too much as fireworks were a mere one out away. Then it happened...

Harper hits a home run, and we are tied. NOOOOO!! I sat there stunned as the final out to the inning followed along with the 14th. Once again the Mets threatened before coming up empty. A quick bottom half was next before I finally gave in to the need for sleep. The next morning I woke to learn it was a 19 inning marathon that ended after 4 in the morning Atlanta time.While I didn't get to see the end I do have a memory of a lifetime.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No Fantastic Catches In This Trade Just Hits

A few months ago Clark who runs the blog Fantastic Catch contacted me about a trade. While it took longer than I had hoped for me to come up with cards Clark needed to complete a trade. It was well worth the wait in the end.

If it's anything I love it's a trade that starts out with mascot cards. Three mascots in one trade is always a big plus in my eyes.

Adding to all the fun was a batch of hits to both my 2013 Topps, and Opening Day sets. Then if all these goodies weren't enough Clark went after my 2009 PROjections set with six hits to finish up the trade.

Thank You for an awesome trade Clark. To everyone else go check out Clark's blog Fantastic Catch.