Jun 30, 2013

Card Spotlight: 1993 Donruss Elite Darren Daulton

This card is the first Donruss Elite card from the original era, when the numbers were continuous from year to year, that I've ever acquired.  Numbered to 10000, it represented the thrill of the chase for certain cards in the early '90s for Donruss pack opening collectors.

Darren Daulton was an elite baseball player in 1992-1993.  It wasn't just the RBI title in 1992 (with 109 RBI, doesn't that seem like it's from another era?), but his overall production including the flowing locks.  His patient approach personified the Phillies lineup of that short, memorable era.

Even in 1992 as a last-place team, they finished 4th in the league in walks and on-base % (OBP) (and 2nd in hitter Ks).  In 1993, they had an obscenely high .351 OBP and finished 1st in walks and 2nd in hitter Ks.

Len Dykstra was the catalyst, John Kruk was the smiling all-star, but "Dutch" Daulton was the linchpin, the power hitting center of the lineup that allowed the patient approach to manifest itself into two consecutive years of finishing in the top two in the NL in runs scored.

Daulton's best season was 1992.  He carried a 156 OPS+ on the strength of a line of .270/.385/.524 line with 27 HR, 109 RBI, and  surprising 11 stolen bases.  He came by his silver slugger easily that year, marking the first time a catcher led the league in RBIs since Gary Carter in 1984 (with Johnny Bench before that in 1974).  Side Note: Curiously, a catcher has never led the AL in RBIs.

With the news of his operation coming up this week, it is worth it to remember how elite he was during the prime of his career.  May he come out of it as his baseball career ended, on top of the world.

Jun 27, 2013

Those are the Breaks from The Daily Dimwit

There has been no interest in my proposed group break, but that's alright.  I'll put those aside for one with more boxes later in the year.  There are other people who do group breaks and do them right.  Sam from the Daily Dimwit used to do lot of breaks, and he ran them with aplomb.

I once participated in one many moons ago, even before the internet existed, and claimed four teams which I have no connection to.  The only explanation I could think of at the time is that I saw their wandering logos in a dream and wanted to claim them.    It was all the logos from the '80s, which is really the only explanation I can rationally have for claiming the Brewers in a group break.  The artistic integrity and majesty of the interlocking 'm' and 'b' in the baseball glove shape....I also always end up with the Athletics; it must be 2009 again.

<Fandom Digression>Speaking of 2009, I just saw the Phillies beat the Padres on some heady baserunning, taking advantage of events that break your way.  That would be the mark of a good team....if only that could happen every night. </Fandom Digression>

Anyway, there was a variety of cards to be had from the denizen daily dimwit delight.
2013 Topps Norichika Aoki: answer to the question of who had the 2nd highest WAR among NL position players rookies.
2005 Topps Chrome Update Black Refractor /100 Willy Mota: answer to the question of who was a baseball playing Mota not a progeny of Manny.
2011 Limited Prospect Auto Miles Head: answer to the question of who is the prospect most likely to join the all-body part team.
2005 Topps Chrome Update Ugueth Urbina: answer to the question of who was most likely to be the best pitcher in the Venezuelan Penal League.
2013 Topps Chasing History Auto Jarrod Parker: answer to the question of who is most likely to be carded at the Ruby Room.
2013 Topps Vance Worley: answer to the question of who does not like the Mall of America the most.
2013 Topps Cut to the Chase Ted Williams: answer to the question of who is the greatest on-base force in baseball history.
2013 Topps Calling Card Jonathan Papelbon: answer to the question of who on the Phillies needs a no-trade clause in July.
2013 Topps 1972 mini Josh Reddick: answer to the question of who had the most impressive baseball beard in April.

Thanks for hosting the breaks, Sam.  It's always fun.

Jun 4, 2013

Group Break 2013 Announcement: Two Boxes of 2012 Panini Prizm

Color me intrigued by Panini Prizm.  I know that it's unlicensed and was released in 2013, but it still has cards from the rookie year of Bryce Harper and Yu Darvish (with a creative RC logo, I might add).   And that's what matters in the long run.  Who cares that 1993 Stadium Club Murphy was released in 1992?  Does anyone remember the RC vs XRC controversy of 1996-97 Bowman's Best basketball (as recounted ad nauseum on the AOL sports cards message boards)?  The point is that in a few years, it will still say 2012 on the box and very few will remember that it was released in April 2013 with the previous year's label.

 There are sticker autographs (two per box), but for once, I think the draw is the inserts and parallels in this product.  The Prizms look pretty spectacular in person; they are like a more foily version of a chrome refractor...those should fall three per box.

I've decided to go simple....choose one team and one random team for $16, a second slot of two teams for $13.  (Paypal a gift to drauer at wustl dot edu).  You can either send me an email, leave a comment, or send me a DM on the Twitter.  As an upside, you get to see my hands on video....that may be overstating things...

And here's some basketball Prizm cards that I was lucky enough to stumble upon in Target a couple months ago.    Just like the basketball issue, the baseball issue will have a mixture of rookies, veterans, and stars of the past in the base set.  I was lucky to pull an Anthony Davis rookie and a green Prizm (retail only) in my packs. Who would be the equivalent of Dennis Rodman in baseball?


Jun 1, 2013

I Cleaned Out My Sock Drawer Today and Did This

I was in the middle of writing a post about the plight of the Phillies at the third way mark of the season, and it was completely deflating.   I had only one positive thing to say for every three negative things.  And then the way they lost today.....with that call at 2nd base followed by a double that would have tied it.....color me blue.

Instead, I've been slowly cleaning out my apartment of things....my cards are now 98% perfectly organized; there are no piles everywhere; I'm caught up on scans.....and now I feel like I can find things to start trading again.

So I was cleaning out my sock drawer (true story) and found all these old ticket stubs from games and concerts and other events I've been to dating back to 1990 or 1991 or so.  I decided to do the only logical thing; frame them.  It's amazing how little games used to cost to go to in the '90s....has inflation been that high?  I don't think so....

There's tickets here from all 4 major sports: 5 baseball stadiums, 2 football stadiums, 3 hockey venues, and a     basketball arena.

My favorite is at the center top; the junior ticket to the Baseball Hall of Fame cost $2.50 for 24 hour admission.

There's a lot of memories here, and it was a good way to forget about the horrors of 2013 Phillies baseball at the moment.  Why did they rip the tickets so strangely at the Vet (the corner)?  The world may never know.

I would have more ticket stubs, except I buy tickets online, and it just doesn't look the same.

Anyone else keep ticket stubs obsessively?

Happy weekend, everyone!