Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Savvy Shopping: Backlogged Ball Cards

Last post I mentioned I was backlogged.  To be honest, since I didn't post a lot last year, I have almost a years worth of stuff to show, but I'm not sure if it will ever be shown since I didn't scan a lot of it and what I did might not have made the computer switchover.  Having said that, sometime in quarter 4 of 2017 I made a trip to Savvy Seconds and they had some baseball cards for sale.  It's happened more often in 2017, but most are from around 2010-2014 where I likely have most of them and don't find much oddballs to risk adding doubles to my collection.  Plus I don't want to go through a couple thousand unsorted 2010 cards that you know the best players already was taken out of.  So I check some out and if I find some I'll buy some.  I forgot what I paid on this day, but I think I came out pretty good.  I think it was maybe 4 bucks or so.  So let's take a look.

So yeah, let's start with the Royals.  More than likely I figured I had a lot of these cards, but it was worth the risk since I did get Cain and Gordon.  Though I was pretty sure I didn't have any Kila Ka'aihue cards, so that was the main reason I grabbed the rest of them.  Even if I needed two of them I felt I came out ahead.  Which I think I needed Kila, Tim, and Vin, so it was worth it.

More cards that I probably had.  I think in the end, I might have had all of these, but having a double of Cain, Gordon, and Salvy is handy if I ever decide to do TTM autographs.  I wish Cain the best being a Brewer again, while its sad to see him go, I'm glad he's getting paid to start somewhere.  Mitch Maier is also one of the Royals new coaches this year, but has been in the front office a year or two I believe, so overall not a bad lot of cards.

Those Attack and Toppstown cards are ugly, but I doubted I had them so I took the risk.  I still hate them though.  The Prizm of Shields I wasn't sure I had, but it is likely the only shiny card I'd get on the day, so why not.  The Damon card is one I had already, but was hoping around this time of year I'd call him a Hall of Famer, or at least someone who still had a chance.  Oh well, I always thought this card would be cool to get signed one day if I ever did do TTM.  I think a donation to his charity is needed for him to sign, but he's one of the few I would probably do that for.  The bottom row I figured I already had, but didn't want to get home to find out the only ones I passed on were ones I needed.  In the end, I'm pretty sure I needed the Buckner, so not all was lost.

The Moose card is another one that is perfect to get signed one day, I just hope when I do, he's still a Royals player.  At this point though I just hope he gets signed somewhere.  This free agency market is interesting to say the least.  The Tales of the Game card I got because while I don't expect or even want the largest Jeter collection, I still like to expand what I have, and I knew I didn't have this one.  Though he's not the main focus of the card I guess, but he's still on it and I saw his name and grabbed it.  I hear Topps is still making insert sets of Jeter, and I just wish they'd focus on current players in their flagship set.  Do retired players in the Archives and Heritage sets, and whatever 500 other sets they make each year.

The Ian Kinsler card I got since he went to Mizzou, and while I have a good amount of his cards, this one didn't look familiar to me.  I'm pretty sure I needed it, so it was a good addition.  The last card is one I remember having when I was a kid, and it brought back many memories seeing it again.  In addition to this card, I always liked the 1993 Topps set, and even recently looked on EBay for how much boxes was going for.  I didn't buy any, but I wouldn't be against it in the future.

I grabbed the History of the World Series cards because I don't think I ever had any of them.  The Gonzalez was more because I just liked it, but the Hornsby was because despite having a decent amount of Red Schoendist and Stan Musial modern cards, I don't have any really of Rogers Hornsby.  So I thought I would correct that.  Not a Cardinals collector per se, but in the end, I'll notice it is likely my second most collected team with the amount of Ozzie, Red, Stan, and Pujols cards I have.  The Toppstown cards I got because I obviously didn't have.  The Ryan Howard one is because he played at Missouri State and one day I will work on my collection of Missouri athletes or ones who played here (that didn't play at Mizzou) so I needed it.  Aside from that, I had quite a collection of his cards and wished he got one last shot to play.  The Ichiro I got because I don't actively seek out his cards for a collection, but still don't want to pass up his cards when I come across them.

Bottom row is a mix but I had reasons.  Gomes fits into my Once Royals collection, which I will sort though soon, but have other priorities first.  Blake DeWitt I think was born in Missouri, and wanted to make sure I had a card of his.  The Sinkbeil card I got because I was pretty sure he went to Missouri State.  The Dimitri Young card I grabbed because there weren't many cards that old to look through, and while it wasn't my favorite Score set, it was still considered my childhood, so it brought back memories.

Aside from these, I found some cards that were outside the realm of normal baseball cards.  the first was technically baseball cards, but a spin on it.  The second were cards that came from a baseball card set, and ones I didn't have.

This is a set that I first found out about once I started blogging and bidding on Listia, but have since kept an eye out for so I could build a set.  I think at this point I could just buy a box and finish it quick, but I don't really need a box of mostly doubles so I'll slow roll it.  As for these, this will be the closest I'll get to a Billy Ripken card for a while, and I was impressed at how sharp the corners were on these cards.  I've heard pack fresh before, but these seem like they were opened in the store.  I know they weren't though.  These were all they had from the set and it inches me closer to about halfway I think.  Again, for now its not a priority as I have other sets I'd like to work on first, but we'll see how the year goes.

Not getting political on here, but this has been a set I've quietly been piecing together since I first saw them.  I had McCain and Fred already, but I really liked Fred (more as an actor but still).  I thought I had Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, but wasn't sure.  The real pickups for me here were the Kucinich and Richardson cards.  My collection really leans Republican, so adding some Democrats really balanced things out.  Of course I don't have the Obama or Hillary cards, though I do have a couple other Obama cards from other sets.  As for Hillary, I'm still not sure if I really want a card of her.  While I'm never going to say I'm a history buff, I do one day want to build a set of cards of all the Presidents, and could piece a good Frankenset together now if I tried.  Though if a couple auctions go my way on Ebay, I might not need to.  Though I wish a base card of Trump would go cheap so I could add it.  Again, not being political, I just want to build a set.

The last two cards were from another insert set I don't really remember having, but knew of.  The Taft card was going to be a stopgap for the aforementioned Frankenset, but I think a future post will show I don't really need it now.  The Ripken card I wanted because I really liked it and it will go nice next to his rookie card I have of him.

So overall under 5 bucks for all these cards, I can't really complain.  In fact the last two scans almost made up for all the rest and now that I think about it, I might even remember that they typed in the wrong price on these when I got them.  I know a couple times I was overcharged and was mad about it, so once they only charged me 50 cents instead of the real price and didn't say anything.  I know the money goes to a lot of good services they provide, but at the same time, if you put a quarter on something, I don't expect to pay two bucks for it.

Before I wrap this up, I'll show a couple more scans.  I guess the same day I bought some wrestling cards at Walmart, because they were in the same folder, so let's look.

The only sets I'll consider from WWE anymore is the Heritage sets.  They are simpler and seem to have less inserts, and also have more names I know.  I follow WWE and while I know them all even down to NXT, I'm much rather pull a Rosa Mendes than a Dash Wilder card.  Though while I don't expect to buy packs of other WWE sets anytime soon, I might scour NXT cards on COMC since I know a lot of them from ROH and TNA.  As for these cards, I was happy to pull the Rick Rude and Terry Funk cards.  The signature/finisher moves was kind of cool but I'm not sure it translates too well on card form.

So while Funk and Perfect were the two that stand out most to me since I try to grab them all, I was most excited to pull the Dean Malenko card.  I will always be a fan of the Man of 1000 Holds, and I even strategically placed him above Chris Jericho, because despite his claim, I don't think all his 1,001 holds he claimed he knew were legit.  If you have WWE Network and never saw the WCW feud between Jericho and Malenko, you really need to.  Overall this was a discount pack, and I was happy with what I got.  While I don't plan to add a lot more wrestling cards to my collection, unless they are 80's and 90s cards not named Classic, I will keep an eye out on modern sets to see what they look like and grab a few.  Especially guys I've seen in person.  I really need to find an Eric Young card. 

So that wraps it up today, and my backlog is starting to thin out some, but I still have plenty I've failed to show in the last year.  Now if I can just find all the scans for them.  Well, thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Savvy Shopping: Mixed Media Day

While I'm backlogged on posting other items and scanning stuff for the blog and Trading Card Database, I decided to take a trip to my local second hand store, Savvy Seconds, and also to Dollar Tree.  I've struck out on cards at both places as of late, but there was always hope.  First was Savvy Seconds, and it seemed pretty busy which means I usually don't look much.  Finding about the only spot that I could that was deserted, I found the CD section.  50 cent CD's are hard to pass up, even though lately I've just ripped them and gave them to a friend.  Still if I find 1 song I like its cheaper then getting it on iTunes.  So let's take a gander at what I got.

By the time this Britney Spears album was released, I was over her.  Then I started to like her again a few years later, but this album wasn't that good.  It has Womanizer on it, but I hated that song.  It also has what some of her fans call an underrated classic (I don't but heard some say it) If You Seek Amy (sound it out).  I should have read the track listing before getting it, but no regrets.  I doubt I listen to it, but not ashamed I own it now.  Anyways, the other CD's made up for this one.

I like some Breaking Benjamin, but won't ever claim to be their biggest fan.  While I knew this didn't have "The Diary of Jane" on it, I was hoping it had something I remember, and it did.  So Cold is the first track, so I came out ahead on this one.  I'll listen to the rest of it later.

Yellowcard only really had one good album, and this was the one.  My friend or maybe it was me noticed one day that some record company released a greatest hits of their best stuff, which seemed odd.  Anyways, this has Ocean Avenue and Way Away, which makes this a good purchase.  I haven't heard Way Away in close to 10 years and besides being sad, that means this album is 15 years old.  Which makes me feel old, but oh well.

The next two albums were from local bands, which is always fun to find.

I really don't know much about Decadent Nation, but I do know the name and that they are from Columbia, MO.  After looking them up online, I found an old Myspace account which had tracks from this album on it.  Its not bad, but I got it mainly because they are local.  I doubt I play it much.

In addition to these, and the last one I'll show, I also got my mom a Christmas CD.  It was Brenda Lee singing classics including her famous "Rocking Around The Christmas Tree".  My mom listens to a lot of Christmas music and tires out of the same old stuff, so this was something different for her.

Okay, last CD, and it was one that made me the most excited.

The Follow is a local band based out of Columbia and Moberly, MO, and ones I've met enough times to consider my friends.  My best friend introduced me to them I'm not sure what year, but well over a decade ago, and I've been a fan ever since.  This was one of their albums I didn't actually have, and its full of remixes of a lot of their best songs.  Remix albums I'm usually critical of, but this is one that I will pick up every time I see it.  The band is some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and I spend the day listening to their music.  There aren't many bands I'll just straight listen to their music nonstop (even bands I really like), but The Follow is one of them.  Another one I listen to often is Gram Parsons.

So spending 3 bucks on 6 CD's was good enough, but I also browsed the books.  My mom and I usually end up with 10 books for a quarter, but this time it was tough to find 10.  She usually gets the bulk of them, but I came out pretty good this time.

Not much to say, we needed 10 books or else they were a quarter each.  Not being mean when I say this, but a quarter a piece or 10 for the price of a quarter, I'll find 10 books each time.  I'm curious to find out what the Record Breaker's book is, and how old it is.

BOOM!  I turned left, then I turned right, then I turned around even though Ace of Base says Don't Turn Around, and BOOM, I'm right back where I was staring at this John Madden book.

Also, who's going to pass up a book with 2/3rds of the ProStars on the cover?

I think I buy this book every time I see it, but I still love it.  I think I mentioned it before, but it was the basis of a half-hearted attempt of a book report I passed.  I did read the book, but 2 years earlier and forgot how it ended.  I winged it and passed.  I forgot a lot of it, even the author whose name I wrote as "Diane Something"  So I think I might reread it to see how it ends.  I forgot everything about the book but the title.

There was one additional book my mom found for a dime that she got me.  I was going to pass, but she talked me into it.

This book predates the XFL.  It predates the USFL.  When I got home and opened it, I noticed it was from around 1974.  Its mostly a picture book, and has some pretty cool photos.  On another day, I might scan some and do a post on it.  We'll see.

So overall, the final tally on all these items and a few more was less than 5 bucks.  I won't complain about that at all.  I even passed over some comic books.  While I know nothing about comics, each was 2 bucks and while some might have had value, it didn't look like they did.  Most were 90's or newer, but some were older.  I might try to remember the titles and look them up, but besides Conan (not O'Brien) not seemed familiar.

Next we headed to Dollar Tree because we had to pick up a couple items.  Our town is opening a Dollar General this week (supposedly today, but I'll check it out tomorrow and figure the official grand opening is next weekend), so driving 15 miles to Walmart and Dollar Tree won't be as often I'd imagine.

Before I got in the door, I saw and ad on their window that showed DVD's for a buck.  I'm not sure why Dollar Tree has fliers or why they list prices since EVERYTHING is a buck or under, but still $1 DVD's are enticing since they are all new and sealed.

We made our way in and they were right in the front of the store.  Half of them were Jillian Michaels fitness and exercising DVD's which didn't appeal to me, but they had many other options.  They even had some Blu-Ray's!  Blu-Rays for a buck is unheard of, so I was hoping for something good.

Yep, that counts as good.  While I have this on DVD, I'll take an upgrade for a buck.  I also hoped it might have extra features on it too.  Even if it doesn't this will build up my BR collection which is fairly small right now mostly consisting of Disney movies.

Another movie I own of DVD, but another one I'd happily upgrade for a buck.  However, that wasn't why I bought it.  Lately I've been looking to buy movies with digital included and come on, for a buck I get a BR, DVD, AND A DIGITAL COPY????  Heck yeah.  So what I might only watch it once a year.  Having a digital copy means I don't have to look for the disc or scratch it.  When I got home and opened it though, the code expired last year.  It happens with older movies, but for kicks I tried to enter the code.  No luck on the site they sent me to, so I figured I'd try again on my VUDU account, and luckily it took, and I now have 32 digital movies (should be 33 but Planes, Trains, & Automobiles didn't transfer like it was supposed to).

This movie I DIDN'T own.  My nephew loves dogs and has seen about every Air Bud movie.  When this movie came out I really wanted to get it for him, but knew it wasn't worth the $20 price tag.  He's older now and its a toss-up if he'd even want to watch it now, but for a buck, I got another movie for Blu-Ray, and a DVD I could probably give him, and if the code works, a digital copy.  Turns out, this one was still active, and it worked like a charm, so I added another digital movie to my account.  Overall not a bad day.  I passed on a few others including Rio 2, and a couple other Thrillers I never heard of, but I might go back Monday, and see if they are still there.  At a buck a piece its like renting them so if they suck, I'm not out much.

Overall, it was a fun day finding books, CD's and movies.  I guess that wraps it up for today, I still have a lot of scanning to do, and have about $5 Ebay bucks to use by next week so I'll be busy searching for something good.  Thanks for reading and have a great week.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

My 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot- Top Ten

Last time I made a list of all the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame candidates, and I also listed my honorable mentions and ones I wouldn't include.  If you kept track, you probably figured out who I would have voted for if I had a ballot.  I'll be clear, I admit I'm biased with my picks so while I feel all would be solid choices to make the Hall, if they were members of the Royals at any point (which one was), they get more of a consideration.  None of these choices are as out there as my first ballot I did which included Tom Gordon though, so I think I'm good.  So let's begin.  While these aren't in any random order, I'll save my top picks which I would put on 99 out of 100 ballots towards the bottom as I'll have more to say about them.

Edgar Martinez is usually an honorable mention on my list as I find it tough to consider someone who was mostly a full time DH a Hall of Famer.  Though his offensive stats were really impressive and even if he was an everyday first basemen or something, I doubt his offensive stats would have fallen much at all.

Vladimir Guerrero is a guy I don't think has had any negative talk about him not being a Hall of Famer.  I was more on the fence than most people were, but it was more do to the fact that the ballot was stacked and I had to decide if a pretty sure bet would be on my list, or allow someone else to take his spot.  I decided to keep him on the list for a couple reasons.  I think he will get into the Hall of Fame eventually, possibly this year.  I voted for him because I hope he does get in so the bottleneck of potential names makes it easier for others to get votes.  If Vlad goes in this year, guys like Edgar could get more votes next year.  The next few years could go either way with an abundant amount of inductees or very few.  If we knock a few out this year, then next year could get some others in.

Roger Clemens is someone I don't like.  Something about him since around 1994 I haven't liked about him.  It wasn't the steroids or even the fact he played for the Yankees, but something I just didn't care for.  Having said that, I think he was one of the better pitchers of the generation and even if steroids did help him the last few years I still think his earlier years more than make up for it.

Barry Bonds on the reverse of Clemens was someone I really liked.  I think I liked him more because he was the anti-McGwire when it came to the press.  He was a pompous jerk to the press, but the press wasn't innocent either.  He seemed forgotten until he started taking steroids and blasting home runs then they wanted to talk to him, and he basically said bug off.  Before he was blasting 70 homers though, he had a very solid career and one that was no doubt a Hall of Fame career.  I enjoyed his time with the Pirates much more than the Giants, but I still enjoyed watching him play.  If either him or Clemens don't make it in at some point, it will be a shame.  Then again, the Hall isn't a Hall of Fame until Pete Rose is inducted anyways, so that needs to be corrected first.

Mike Mussina had a solid career and until I saw other bloggers and folks on the TCDB discuss his body of work, I never really considered him.  Maybe it is the peer pressure, but I was finally convinced he's Hall worthy, and another guy that would benefit if multiple players are inducted the next year or two.

Curt Schilling gets a lot of crap these days, and he deserves it all.  The question is whethere it negates his Hall worthy career.  In my eyes, it doesn't.  He may be a sad miserable person who it seems loves to create controversy today, but much like Clemens, when he pitched, you made sure you was able to see him play.  If I only had 4 picks, he would be one of them, along with Bonds.

Manny Ramirez is like a controlled mess.  You didn't know which Manny you'd get on gameday and that usually made you want to watch him more.  It's where "that's just Manny being Manny" came from.  He sat down and rolled around on top of a ball once in what could be described as an adult hide and seek from a problem child.  That was also his drawback though.  As fun as it was to see him play or not play, you knew that he could always play better if he tried.  You also knew if he let a lot of things go, he would have been one of the best of his era.  Instead some think of him as a joke, and its not wrong for them to think that.  Personally, I would put him in the Hall, but I understand if some or most don't want him anywhere near.

Jim Thome is another guy much like Vladimir Guerrero, as I was on the fence on.  Again, a very solid player but I had others I wanted on the ballot.  Though again, much like Vlad, I think he'll get in, and the sooner the better.  I tended to forget about him after his Indians days, but he still played very solid and you never heard much negative about him.

Chipper Jones was no doubt going to be on my list.  Since I saw Maddux play as much as possible, I also saw a lot of Chipper playing and was never disappointed.  He is a lock getting in and while I could have left him off and he'd still be fine, I didn't.  Chipper sometimes makes some ill-advised tweets, but unlike Curt Schilling, he knows when to cool it and that will also help in his bid.

So one more left, and its the Royals player I mentioned earlier.  While that is the majority of the reason I included him, I think a lot look past his stats.

Johnny Damon had a solid career, playing for many teams and contributing to most of those teams.  While I followed him throughout his career, I was locked in specifically on the years he played for Kansas City and Boston.  For a long time the Red Sox was my #2 team, and so I wasn't disappointed when he signed with Boston.  When they made the World Series in 2004, I had a boss who was from Boston and we were the only two Red Sox fans in a sea of Cardinal red.  When the curse was reversed, we were working that night and we gloated.  Not only was I happy the Red Sox finally won, but happy for a long haired Damon winning a World Series ring.  I felt bad for a lot of Royals players especially when it was obvious many wouldn't ever win a ring in KC, so I always wanted them to go to teams that gave them a chance to win a ring.  At one point, KC had an outfield of Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye, and Carlos Beltran.  After Beltran's 2017 World Series win with the Astros, all three would get rings.  Its a shame Kansas City couldn't keep them and had a run ourselves.  Luckily our fanbase got a World Series win in 2015, so all is good (except for Mike Sweeney, who deserved a ring at some point too).

So why does Damon deserve to go in the Hall?  It can't just be because he was a Royal and won a World Series, right?  Well, actually those are all the reasons I need, but how about some more reasons.

He was a 2 time All-Star, which may not seem like much, but he did record a stolen base in the 2002 game which as you remember was the tie game.  In 2005, he was the starting center fielder and first in the lineup for the victorious AL team.

His long career has allowed him to rank in the top 40 in both at bats and plate appearances.  While that may not seem impressive, consider how often players are removed from the games today and also injuries and days off, and I think both of those are very impressive.

He is 32nd all time in Runs Scored and spent 8 seasons in the top 10.  Again I think that's very impressive especially since the bulk of his career he usually didn't bat 3rd or 4th, but usually in the top or middle of the order.

While he didn't reach 3,000 hits, he is currently ranked 54th all time with 2,769.  His last year or two didn't give him many plate appearances, and I truly believe he could have played until he got to 3000 if he wanted.

He is 48th in career doubles.  Not only did he score runs, but he didn't just hit singles.  Another impressive achievement.

He is 67th in career stolen bases, finishing first in the AL in 2000, and had 8 seasons where he ranked in the top ten.  Depending on the team you play on, base stealing seems like a lost art form these days, so being in the top 100 is quite impressive.

There are many other categories where he ranks in the top 100 all time in which I won't mention here.  While individually these may not seem impressive, Add them together and I think it is very impressive. 

Now do I think he'll make the Hall of Fame?  Honestly, no, but I think it would be horrible if people don't at least consider him much more than they have.  He played for 18 years and while I don't care much for the stat, his WAR over his career was a 56.0 and only twice was it below 1.0 for a season those being his first full season, and his last season.  He made it to 8 Divisional Series, 3 Championship Series, and 2 World Series.  Again, while its a team effort, some guys never get the chance to make it near the playoffs.  He played in over 140 games a year for 16 of his 18 years, with only his first and last being less.  To some that may equate to the Hall of Very Good, but at least those people are considering him.  At this point I wouldn't be shocked if he didn't get the 5% to stay on the ballot, but he deserves much more consideration than I hear anyone giving him.

So that is my ballot, and I understand if some or most disagree, but that's why its fun to do these.  What are your thoughts, am I spot on, or way off base?  We'll find out soon.  Next year will be another loaded ballot, so let's hope at least 3 of these guys get voted in.  If I had to guess I'd say Chipper is a lock, Vlad will get in, and a couple could hit 60%.  Thanks for reading, and have a great night.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

My 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot- Part One

The talk on the Trading Card Database is the upcoming Baseball Hall of Fame announcement.  It has created quite a forum and some interesting points on not just those on the ballot, but about if Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson should be allowed on the ballot.  I've refrained from posting on there because one of my favorite posts of the year is my picks if I had a ballot.  Last year it was a bit rushed, but this year I'd like to spend more time on it.  So before I begin with my picks including my honorable mentions, I think a refresher needs to be in order to show who is actually on the ballot.

Trevor Hoffman
Vladimir Guerrero
Edgar Martinez
Roger Clemens
Barry Bonds
Mike Mussina
Curt Schilling
Manny Ramirez
Larry Walker
Fred McGriff
Jeff Kent
Gary Sheffield
Billy Wagner
Sammy Sosa

Chipper Jones
Jim Thome
Scott Rolen
Andruw Jones
Johan Santana
Johnny Damon
Carlos Zambrano
Jamie Moyer
Omar Vizquel
Chris Carpenter
Livan Hernandez
Orlando Hudson
Kevin Millwood
Kerry Wood
Carlos Lee
Aubrey Huff
Hideki Matsui
Jason Isringhausen
Brad Lidge

The top names are the holdovers from last year in order by percentage of votes they got.  The second list is new candidates for this year.  Now in previous years I would pare the list down knocking off a bunch of them.  I like that format so lets do it again. 

Jeff Kent- I just can't do it
Billy Wagner- heard a lot of arguments in favor, maybe next year he'll be honorable mention if still around
Sammy Sosa- three great years doesn't equal HOF
Andruw Jones- very solid player, and a shame I couldn't include him
Carlos Zambrano- didn't know he retired and didn't have a long career in my eyes
Omar Vizquel- baffled he has so much support
Chris Carpenter- a packed ballot for me, just no room, hopefully next year
Livan Hernandez- I liked him, but nope
Orlando Hudson- nope
Kevin Millwood- nope
Kerry Wood- Wish his career didn't fizzle, love to add him
Carlos Lee- pretty much the same as Kerry Wood
Aubrey Huff- something I liked about him, but never HOFer to me
Hideki Matsui- I think he might get some looks, but not from me.
Jason Isringhausen-  Izzy will get overlooked, he was better than a lot realized, but it won't be enough.
Brad Lidge- nope

So that just about cuts the field in half.  My problem is I tend to favor guys I like over ones who may have had better careers.  It makes sense because I follow my favorites more, but that list has quite a few I would have no problem if they appeared on ballots or even made a threat at being inducted.  I might have said this before, but much like baseball has evolved, so does the Hall of Fame.  Many people on this list were very good players and some of the best of their time.  Was Andruw Jones better than Mickey Mantle?  HELL NO!  But he was one of the best players during his days.  The problem with electing members today is people compare them to legends, and you can't do that.  There will never be another Nolan Ryan, Roberto Clemente, or Ted Williams.  Comparing any of these to them would be a shame.  But many do and it makes adding new members seem harder.  Others only want to compare stats to induct them.  I understand that in theory, but one statistic I hear is WAR.  They didn't have WAR back in the Babe Ruth days, so if you evolve voting by using those stats, you need to evolve your voting to only comparing amongst who these guys played against.  Also, I believe you need to factor in this isn't just a game anymore.  I've said many times sports has become entertainment, and this needs to be reflected upon.  As the years go on, memories of guys I grew up on like George Brett and Greg Maddux will fade, and a younger generation will only have video to see how good they were.  But they will have their own Brett's and Maddux's they can say they saw play.  People are split on if guys like Tim Raines or Jack Morris deserve to go in, the same will be done for guys like Billy Wagner and Omar Vizquel.  All these factors play into it and you must realize the Hall of Fame needs guys to go into the Hall that will attract all ages.  If you want to see guys like Paul Molitor and Hank Aaron in the Hall, you won't skip it if a guy like Jeff Kent gets inducted.  At worst you'll complain and maybe skip him when you are going around the Hall.  Likewise, the younger generation will likely skip the older guys like Robin Yount or Tom Seaver and want to see all about Kerry Wood because they were at the game he struck out 20.  I'm not saying we should elect inferior guys just to attract a crowd, but it needs to be understood generations will come and go and we need to please all of them the best we can.  That's why for me this ballot was tough.  I knocked out about 8 of those guys pretty easy and was a bit conflicted on the rest.  Wagner, Jones, Carpenter, and Izzy would have been at least honorable mentions if the ballot didn't seem so full.  Cutting the number of years you can be on the ballot down to 10 was a move in the right step, but its still going to be cluttered.  Having said that, I don't know if limiting the years a guy can appear is the right solution either.  Each year people get passed over and some deserve second looks.  In a few years, Mark McGwire should be heavily considered, but his only chance now is the veterans committee and that's really hit or miss.  But anyways, this seems more like a rant, so let's get on with it.

I usually split this into two posts featuring the list and honorable mentions first then the next post gives in depth reasons why I chose my ballot.  I still like this plan, so let's keep it up.  Here is the list of guys who just missed out on my ballot.

Every year the Crime Dog makes this list.  One year his luck will run out.  That year will be next year, so maybe many names go in this year clearing the way for him to make it in next year.  Last year he had 20% so its not looking good.

Much like McGriff, Sheffield seems to be a longshot at this point, but it would be wrong not to make him at least an honorable mention.  He only got 13% last year, but he still has a few years left to try to make a convincing argument, that is if he doesn't fall off first.

In his first year on the ballot, I'm a bit torn on this decision.  On one hand I love Jamie Moyer and would love to see him go into the hall.  On the other hand, my main reason I want him to go in is because of his longevity.  He does have more wins than guys like Catfish Hunter and Bob Gibson, is 16th in games started, and more career inning pitched than guys like Jack Morris and Bob Feller.  Though most of that is only because he played so long.  I might have an easier decision if my votes did count, but since they don't its easier to include him in the talks of a potential candidate.

Without looking at his stats, I included him as honorable mention because I remember him being so good against the Royals for so many years.  Some may say that was easy since the Royals had a lot of lousy teams, but still he was a very solid pitcher.  His placement among other pitchers aren't as impressive in terms of career but his stats are really good, and actually better than Moyer's so I could see him be a surprise this year.

On the surface, comparing him only to those he played against, Rolen is no doubt a Hall of Famer.  Though comparing him against the best ever, it gets muddled.  I still think he deserves to go in, and I think he'll easily stay above 5% and hopefully gain momentum until he gets in.  His only problem is what seems to be a crowded ballot at the moment.  Just hang on and he could get in.

In year 8, its getting tougher for me to not at least give Larry an honorable mention.  At only 22% his chances look slim, but many make an argument that his stats would be just as good if he didn't play most of his games in Denver.  I'm starting to believe them, and maybe some people with real ballots will too.

Two things- first, Trevor will likely make it into the Hall this year or next.  Second, having said that, I'm still not convinced I think he needs to go in.  Its mostly not his fault, he was a very good pitcher, but so were so many other closers that were never really considered.  This isn't a protest to keep him out as much as to acknowledge that many before him didn't get serious consideration.  He came in an era where closers went one inning, rarely two, whereas in previous years they went 3-4 if needed and their stats may not look as great in comparison.  Having said all that, I only put him on my honorable mentions list because, again, the ballot is stacked and beyond including my bias fan favorites and some I really think should go in, there was no room for him, and he wouldn't need my vote.  If in year 8 he is still for some reason hanging around and needs my vote to get in, he'll get it.

So with than, you can pretty much guess my ballot.  I will do that next time with my reasons and stories and stats to explain.  I want to thank the Trading Card Database for the cards featured on this post, if I wasn't going through my collection again, I might have had time to find cards for most of these guys.  Next year will be a game changer for the Hall of Fame though because in addition to the stacked ballot this year, next years name include quite a few that are no doubt honorable mentions before even looking at their stats.  Guys like: Jake Westbrook, Ted Lilly, and Placido Polanco.  Some others with no chance going in include: Lance Berkman, Mariano Rivera, and Todd Helton.  Maybe I got those two lists mixed up.  Oh well.

That wraps it up for today, now its time for me to get back to updating my collection.  I've finished the Royals, and a few of my PC guys like Maddux, Damon, and Kirk Gibson, so now I'm going to work on my Mizzou collection.  It's the one that I've neglected the most the last couple years so it should be fun to see what I have.  Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.  If I don't have part two up tomorrow, I promise it will be done before the real announcement is made.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Christmas Visit

A few days before Christmas, my best friend stopped by and brought some gifts.  From how afar, I'm not sure, but it didn't matter to me.  I felt bad I didn't have but a few cards to give him, but he said don't worry about it.  I gave him about 2-3,000 cards about a month earlier, but still.

Anyways, he is a great gift giver, and this year was no different.  He kind of knows what I like.

I figured at some point I would get some cards.  He was fishing for ideas this year and I didn't really give him anything.  He'd ask "any cards you looking for" or "something you looking to collect" and each time I'd say "not really".  I did it because I don't care if gets me anything, but I do appreciate it greatly.  So these cards came in the bottom of a package he got me.  A couple Jeff Montgomery cards at the top, so I assumed they were all Royals cards.  I was mostly right as they were almost all Royals, only a couple were of the Cincinnati Reds.  All the cards were Jeff Montgomery cards though, so they all fit in the collection nicely.  I was a big fan of his while growing up, and enjoy he is still working with the Royals on the TV broadcasting side of things.  There were a lot of doubles, but that's fine because the ones that weren't I needed quite a few of, including a couple gold variations of cards.

So what was in the top part of the package?

It was the baseball on the left.  A Jeff Montgomery autographed baseball.  As I opened the package, I didn't see the name on the base, so I did my best to guess the name.  I was semi close, but I had no idea who Jeff Nutmeg was, so I was stumped.  Since then though, Jeff Nutmeg has kind of stuck as that's what I call him now.  I like the ball and the base and it fits nicely inside the top part of my roll top desk.

The same goes for the ball on the right, which was another gift he got me.  He said the guy claimed it was game used, but most likely it isn't.  The guy wasn't sure, and the only way I'd think it was is if it was from Spring Training.  Three J-names on the ball and this one is just as cool as the Jeff Nutmeg ball.  I don't really actively seek autographed baseballs, but oddly enough I was looking on Ebay a month earlier for a Johnny Damon ball just because.  It was also a reason I said I didn't have any ideas when he was fishing for ideas, I didn't want to get something he might later give or vice-versa.  This is the second time though he has gotten me a Johnny Damon autograph, the last was on a baseball card.  I love both.  The other names on this ball aren't too shabby either.  I remember both Jon Nunally and Joe Vitiello and have neither of their autographs, so this was really cool.

He also got me one other gift, and I've already got good use out of it.

One of my favorite things I have is a St. Louis Cardinals blanket.  It is handmade and really heavy duty, but I'm not a Cardinals fan.  I bought it many years ago at Savvy Seconds, before their original building burnt down, for only 3 bucks, and wouldn't trade it for the world.  Since then though, I've wanted to get a Royals blanket and even considered making one.  So with this gift, I don't have to now.  This one is really nice, and has already kept me warm especially this last week when temperatures overnight reached negative numbers.  I hadn't seen this design before but I like it.  One of the reasons I pass on Royals blankets is because I don't like many of the designs, and usually look for one similar to the Cardinals one I have.  It has been shown in the background on many previous posts, and one day I still might make a Royals one.

So overall, I think I made out pretty good.  I can't complain one bit and I'm glad I have the balls on display and can use the blanket as I work on many projects.

Speaking of projects, I mentioned attaining some 5,000 count boxes and in transition of re adding my collection to the Trading Card Database.  The last week or so I've focused my time on my Royals cards and updating my want lists.  I am proud to say that....

A little after 2 AM on New Years Day, I finished adding all the cards back into the collection and updated all my Royals wantlists.  Yes I spent New Years Eve adding sorting cards, but hey, I'd take that over going out with a bunch of drunks when it was -10 and the wind chill was -30.  I got to stay home where it was warm and got to see music on TV and sort cards.  I was happy.  I'm also happy that I have plenty of space to add to my Royals collection this year or whenever.  I started a new project and added cards to a new collection on TCDB, but might talk about that later.  My next goal is updating my Greg Maddux and the rest of my Johnny Damon collection.  Then I'll start adding the other stuff I have.  I hope in a couple months all will be done and I can focus on adding stuff I might start trading soon.  Its been fun going through cards every day to be honest.

So I guess that wraps it up for today, I got a little sidetracked reading a tweet about a Facebook post and lost track of time, so I better get back to sorting.  Thanks for reading and have a great day.  Also want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and unlike last year, I do on plan on blogging more this year.  No idea of how many posts as I like to be free to post whenever instead of setting deadlines.  So have fun reading, and if its cold or snowing where you are, stay safe.