Friday, February 10, 2012

Mail Time! What Did the Postman Bring This Week?

The Super Bowl is over, Spring Training is still a week or two away, hockey is in its pre-trade deadline doldrums and basketball is  So lets brighten the day with some new cards!  Today we have an eBay purchase and the results of my first ever group break. 

First up is the eBay purchase.  I strayed a little from my 2011-12 mandate of only picking up single cards of players in my personal collection.  Honestly, I was a bit bored with what I was seeing out there so I expanded my search a little. 

With another 4th or 5th place finish projected for the O's again this year I've turned my eye to the future for the club. That got me to looking into their cards on eBay and while Manny Machado is a little out of my range, there is one prospect that is still rather cheap to pick up, and could be just as important to the future of the ball team. 

 2011 Bowman Chrome Johnathan Schoop.  Less than $4.00 with free shipping?  Sure I'll take it.  Of course, the temptation is now to get all the versions of this card.

If my usual luck with prospects holds, Schoop will suffer at least 3 career-ending injuries in the next month and a half; and then get hit by a bus.  When that happens this card will join its spiritual brothers Ryan Anderson and Rick Asadoorian in the "Failed Prospects I Collected" Wing in my Sports Cards Hall of Fame.

For now Schoop is projected as the heir apparent to Brian Roberts at second base. The native of Wedge errr Netherlands Antilles projects to have a big league bat with average defense. He'll probably spend the season in the minors with a possible late season callup, but if he pans out the Orioles could have a very strong nucleus up the middle with him, Machado at short, Adam Jones in center and Matt Wieters behind the plate.

Despite all the hoopla surrounding the newest base set released by Topps I'm sticking by my stance of not buying any packs of it this year.  The only way I planned on picking up cards from this set was through trades and with one group break buy in.  Flywheels over at Cardboard Collections was putting together one of his "Affordable Group Breaks" and I was lucky enough to catch it early enough to secure the O's.

Each participant was able to choose a team and then had another team randomly assigned to him.  My random team - the Chicago Cubs.  Hey that worked out pretty nice.  In addition to the jumbo box of Topps he also ripped up a 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom box as well.  Here are the results.

The highlights of the Orioles base cards and some thoughts.
Hopefully Nick Markakis recovers from his off -eason surgery and rediscovers his power.
Best of luck to Jeremy Guthrie in Colorado.  O's fans will miss you. 
I like to think that this was taken after Nolan Reimold broke the Red Sox Nation on the last day of the season.
Luke Scott played defense?
Josh Bell getting ready to throw one into the stands.

The O's hits.
Frank Robinson Gold Standard.  I know this isn't a popular view, but I like the layout of the Gold Standard cards.  Sure, it looks like a card designed for a signature, but still over all it looks nice.  Nice photo of the player, no clutter and a nice gold medallion in the middle.  That being said, if I get a chance to have Frank Robinson sign a card, he's signing this one, baby.

Adam Jones. Gooooooollllllllllld.  Jones and Markakis celebrating as the ghost of Josh Bell heads to the plate for another strikeout. From what I've seen of 2012 Topps so far they're big on celebration, multiplayer cards - and not just for shortprints, either.  I guess that's cool.

The Cubs base cards:
Kosuke Fukudome.  Wow, did Cubs fans not like Kosuke. I guess when you think you're getting another Ichiro and you end up with Turner Ward you tend to boo the guy a bit.

Milton Bradley.  Yeah, that didn't work out either.

Two Starlin base cards in series one.  His highlight/checklist card (the horizontal one) celebrates his "Youngest Hits Leader" accomplishment. I like Castro, hopefully his off-field issues don't distract from his one field issues.

Reed Johnson.  As much as Cubs fans dislike Kosuke, they love Reed Johnson. Don't know why, but they do. Heck I loved Joe Orsulak as a kid so I've got no room to complain.

The Hits

Yes the 1987 mini-parallels are fantastic.  Yes I want to collect them all despite my disdain for the mini phenomena (does the fact that the Duchess and I own a Mini Cooper make that ironic?)

Timeless Talents - Eh, throwaway insert for me.  Take an old guy and a new guy and stick them together based on some handpicked stat. Ryne Sandberg and Dan Uggla are paired together because they "bring rare power to their position".

Alphonso Soriano Seasoned Veterans - If Soriano made $7 million less a year he would be beloved by Cubs fans.  Instead they want him gone on the next train out of Union Station.

Carlos Zambrano deckle edge - I'm going to miss "Big Z" as are the beat writers for the Cubs.  Along with the first 80 degree day game at Wrigley, the Zambrano melts down and breaks things are time honored traditions in the Windy City.

No big hits, but still a nice haul for what I paid. 

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