31 August 2014

2013 SEGA Card-Gen Extravaganza 9: Minnesota Twins

It has been well over a month since my last post in this series, simply because of the amount of work it takes to churn one of these out. I've been busy getting my butt handed to me by Accounting classes this summer, and haven't had a lot of time for long-form posts. I somehow got through some of the harder classes in the sequence, and can hopefully get through to graduation without a lot of anxiety. At the moment I am doing tax returns for fictional people. It's a lot of fun, believe me.

Anyway, on with the cards. The 9th team in the set is the Minnesota Twins. They get 12 cards in their team set, which is slightly under the overall average of 13 per team afforded by the checklist. The Twins also get their Star Power out of the way pretty fast, with Joe Mauer leading off in the Catcher slot. He gets a decent photo, showing him in his catching gear. 

Justin Morneau gets in at the first base spot, with a 7-star rating. His numbers are pretty even all across, matching his description as a 'dependable run producer.' He was traded to the Pirates partway through 2013, released by them, and has had a resurgent year with Colorado in 2014.

I know you weren't expecting this from the Twins, but things get pretty sparse in the team set from here on out. Carroll was around long enough that he actually spent some time on the defunct Expos. I haven't done any research on it, but I would imagine there weren't a whole lot of former Expos featured on 2013 baseball cards. Carroll spent the last part of 2013 with Kansas City and hasn't played in 2014, although the Nationals signed and released him prior to Opening Day.

Trevor Plouffe has had a decent year for the Twins, even co-winning the most recent AL Player of the Week Award, sharing the honor with teammate Danny Santana.

So far 2014 has been a pretty god year for Brian Dozier. Baseball-Reference.com tells me he is currently leading the AL in runs scored with 94 so far. It looks like he's got some hair going on in the back there, but I don't think he is fully committed to the mullet.

This card came along at a good time for Josh Willingham, as his previous year (2012) was probably his career peak, with 35 home runs and 110 RBI. The Twins traded him to the Kansas City Royals a couple of weeks ago for some minor league dude.

Rounding out the batters in the Twins team set is Ryan Doumit, the Catcher/Outfield utility guy. It seems more common these days, but it seems like a few years ago it was cool to pick up Doumit in fantasy baseball because you could plug him in at catcher and get outfielder production out of him. It never really seemed to work out all that well, though. The theory of it is pretty exciting. He got traded to Atlanta for a minor-leaguer in the off-season.

Scott Diamond had a pretty good 2012, a not-good 2013, and was released by the Twins this year after not doing so well in the minors. He is currently pitching poorly for a Cincinnati Reds minor league affiliate. Actually, right now he is probably asleep. But he is a member of the team, and when he pitches it appears that hitters are doing a good job of hitting the ball. 

Worley was bought from the Twins by the Pirates this year. I am trying not to do a whole butt-load of research on this stuff, but it appears that he was probably injured for the first part of the season. I guess he could have been in the minors. He started out pretty well, winning quite a few games. He has lost his last three starts, though, and has a 5-4 record so far on the year. He's got a low 3.14 ERA and seems to be pitching into the 7th inning or so with regularity, so he's probably not getting a lot of run support.

Alex Burnett didn't actually play for the Twins in 2013. He spent the pre-season and early part of the season being waived and picked up by various teams, and then the Cubs released him for good. He managed to get 2.1 innings of work for the 2013 season, though, racking up an 11.57 ERA.

Roenicke had a passable 2013 with the Twins, but they released him after the season. He was picked up by the Nationals before the 2014 season, pitched poorly in their minor league system, dropped in early August, and picked up by the Rockies on a minor league deal. He has struggled there as well.

Perkins has been pretty solid as the Twins' closer the last couple of years, making the All-Star game in 2013 and 2014. I have him on quite a few fantasy baseball rosters this year. He strikes out a good number of guys, has nice ratios, and racks up saves. You can't complain about any of that.

And that's it for the Twins. I am not sure when I will get around to posting the next team, as this was the last team I had all the scans done for.

30 August 2014

2014 Topps Finest 1-10

When I saw how bright and colorful this year's Topps Finest offering is I knew I had to get the set, but I didn't want to try building it through busting packs. I couldn't see the value in that, especially when I was able to get the full base set of 100 cards on eBay for about $17. A box of Finest is going to have a few inserts and autographs, but more likely than not won't pay for itself. And it's going to take at least two $100+ boxes to build a full base set.

I scanned the whole set so I could upload the photos to Zistle and figured that if I am going to go to all the work of scanning and cropping these images, I might as well post them up here and get a few free blog posts out of it.

The thing I noticed right off the bat is how dang many Rangers there are in this set, probably because there are three of them within the first 10 cards. I should probably do a count and see how many cards each team gets in the set. I might not do that, though, because it sounds kind of like work. The problem is that I have already raised the question, so my mind will not just let me set the question down and walk away. After extensive research, I have found that the Rangers have 8 cards on the checklist.

I believe that is the most cards of any team in the league, with even teams like the Yankees and Dodgers getting 5 and 6 cards listed, respectively. The Athletics and Astros each get 1 card in the set, and the Giants have 2 cards on the checklist.

The bulk of each card-back is taken up with the player's 'Finest Performance.' Most of these are a great moment from their 2013 Major or Minor League season, but Guerrero came from Cuba and gets a special category listing highlights from his time playing there.

The yellow-to-green fade of this particular color scheme reminds me of a Fruit Roll-Up. This Spongebob Roll-Up isn't the exact one I was looking for, but it's close enough.

I am rapidly running out of things to talk about here. I know this guy isn't Gordon Beckham, but that's the first guy I think of when I see this card. I guess there's only room for one Beckham in my life. Sorry Tim, David, and Victoria, but Gordon is my Beckham because he has occasionally contributed to the downfall of my fantasy teams by being the least reprehensible 2B on the waiver wire when my #1 guy was injured.

Jay Bruce may have pooped his pants just as this photo was taken. And with the move to potty jokes the devolution of this post is complete.

Kemp is the 2nd Dodger in the first 10 cards in the set, but it didn't elicit the same response as the 3 Rangers players did. Probably because the Dodgers have a few cards between them and all the Rangers are clumped together right smack in the middle.

Who? I guess Jimmy Nelson took some time out from chasing Superman around and learned how to throw a baseball. I know, Superman's sometime sidekick is named Jimmy Olsen, but it's pretty close. How would you like for your Rookie Card to call you out as 'jumbo?' Apparently this dude did pretty well in the minors, but has struggled a bit with the Brewers this year.

Well, that's the first ten cards in the set. I will probably post more of them at some point unless I get bored with this project.

29 August 2014

What eBay Hath Wrought 106: 2014 Allen & Ginter Felicia Day Autograph

I was really hoping that the 2014 Allen & Ginter Felicia Day autograph card would fall to me in the PackaDaily giveaway draft over at Tribecards, but the randomizer didn't fall my way and I was left to seek one out on my own. I had a price in mind that I didn't want to go over, and the auctions for the card pretty consistently went over that price by 40-50%. I was able to hold my ground, though, and eventually one fell to me at an agreeable price.

I think that means the only auto/relic card left from 2014 Allen & Ginter that I really really need is an autograph from The Iron Sheik. There are still plenty of mini inserts on my want list, but I have a full base set and all the full-size inserts, as well as both a relic and an autograph for Felicia Day and a relic for The Iron Sheik. The Sheik's autographs haven't come down in price far enough for me just yet, so it may be a little while before I add that one to my collection.

28 August 2014

Breaking it Down 14: Some Football Product, or Maybe Basketball

Somewhat emboldened by the winning of the Jadeveon Clowney autographed jersey in a previous group break, I signed up for another one. I think it was for a football product of some kind. It may have been basketball, though. It was something. Either way, I didn't get anything in the break. Part of the advertisement for the break was that everyone would be getting one card from the stack of stuff the breaker picked up from the Panini folks at The National. I got a decent card, I suppose. It's a Dirk Nowitzki Crusade card numbered # 5 / 5. Most of the other copies of this card have spent some time on eBay already. Again, this was part of the scans that are blurry because my scanner settings weren't matched to my new computer. Soon the poor-quality scans will be gone, but not today.

Because I didn't get a hit in whatever the break was, I also got an unopened foil pack from of Panini cards, presumably from some National-exclusive set or something. I don't really know. But I don't have to do a lot of research to find out what set these are affiliated with, because the thing that Panini does right is list the year and name of the set on the back of their cards. These scans are super-blurry, but the back of the Bridgewater card says 2014 Panini The National.

I don't know how I feel about the results of this break. I could probably make back 1/2 - 2/3 of my money back selling the Nowitzki card if I ever get around to it. I kind of like Nowitzki, so I'll probably wind up just keeping it. The other cards will probably just kick around in my box of extras until my family liquidates my collection in a few decades.