Monday, July 11, 2011

The Bryce is Right, plus even more PC rookies

I was putting together today's post, which took quite a while to finish thanks to all the scanning/optimizing/sorting/writing, and at some point during the process my mail came.  That produced a package I've been waiting on for about a week--a lot of 2011 Bowman Bryce Harpers that I bought on Blowout for under $20 (three base and a Chrome):
I picked this up mainly because I needed one base for my Prospects set (last one!) but a nice consequence is that I now have two extras each of the base and Chrome versions.  How does that benefit you?  Now that they're no longer in some seller's grubby little hands, they're in my possession, and I'm a well-respected only slightly corrupt blogger/trader.  That means that instead of selling them, I'm more than happy to trade them to those of you working on these sets so you don't have to shell out the big bucks for them.  I'm not saying I'm willing to trade one for 20 2010 Topps Update cards I need, but I won't ask for the moon either, so please have a look at my various wantlists above this post and make me an offer if you're so inclined.

Hokay, now on to the actual, intended subject of this post:
More rookies!  You readers made this my 7th most popular post of all time previously, so I finally got around to adding more.  As a reminder, these are RCs that I have lying around, either because they're dupes or parts of sets I'm not collecting.  When I have more time I'll add scans of my best rookies that ARE part of sets I own/am working on.  As another reminder, you can always view the full Picasa Album hyah.  Now, on with more baseball RCs so I can get a bunch more views!

Jeff Bagwell 1991 Bowman:  Bagwell sans goofy beard/goatee thing actually looks funnier.  The "MVP" obviously doesn't refer to his '94 NL MVP award but instead a minor league crown.  He did, however, garner the '91 NL Rookie of the Year Award (edging Orlando Merced with 23 of the 24 first place votes).

Adrian Beltre 1997 Bowman Chrome:  This isn't a contract year for Beltre, so he was able to show up here.  A decent RC from the first Bowman Chrome set that started the mania.

Adrian Beltre 1997 Bowman's Best:  I just about always liked the look of the Bowman's Best sets and finally finished putting this one together not long ago after buying a box years and years ago.

Lance Berkman 1997 Bowman:  It's safe to say he was a whole lot more popular back when this card came out, but Fat Elvis has had a pretty nice career all the same, along with his fellow Killer B Astros you'll see in this post.

Craig Biggio 1989 Upper Deck:  Another set that started a feeding frenzy, 1989 Upper Deck was HUGE, and one of the most athletic, HBP-prone C/2B/OF to ever play the game was among the rookies in that set not named Ken Griffey Jr.  Biggio got to 3000 hits the hard way--he only picked up 200+ in a season once and his career BA was .281--and was the very definition of a gamer.

Barry Bonds 1987 Topps:  Yeah, I don't like him either, but this is still a decently important card, even if it's from a prime junk wax set.

Roger Clemens 1985 Topps:  See:  Barry Bonds 1987 Topps

Adam Dunn 1999 Bowman:  A solid RC of probably the most consistent active slugger in the game right now, though this season's been very rocky for him.

Jermaine Dye 1994 Bowman:  Dye won't be going to the Hall of Fame, but he put up some very good numbers for many years.  I'll always remember him (along with Andruw Jones) playing as a rookie in the '96 World Series, which the Braves lost, but Dye did get his ring with the '05 White Sox (and had himself a pretty nice Series).

Roy Halladay 1997 Bowman:  I never have completed this set because boxes and singles got so expensive when the key RCs really took off.  I am lucky to have this one, though, from the couple of years when he scuffled with Toronto before becoming one of the game's top five current starters.

Matt Holliday 1999 Topps Chrome:  Here's one I probably pulled from a pack and then set aside for a long, long time.  I did manage to dig it up when his star took off a couple years ago and now it's worth quite a bit more.  I was happy to see that he proved me wrong by continuing to put up good numbers outside of Coors.

Pedro Martinez 1991 Upper Deck Final Edition RC:  I picked this up pretty cheaply at a show a few years ago and I'd still rather have it than anything of Delino DeShields, wouldn't you?  In 18 seasons, Pedro won 219 games, three Cy Youngs (including one of the NL variety with the EXPOS), and won a ring with the 2004 Sawx.  His Hall-of-Fame numbers look to be there, and it helps that he compares to teammate Curt Schilling, Whitey Ford, Juan Marichal and even Sandy Koufax.  Plus he threw Don Zimmer's stupid fat ass down--give this man a plaque!

Joe Mauer 2002 Bowman:  A #1 overall pick that worked out well; I for one am happy he didn't go play football down south, although he happens to play the position that's probably most injury-prone on the diamond.  Here's hoping he stays healthy and puts up some HOF-worthy numbers, which he certainly looks capable of.  I actually have a couple of these because I grabbed a jumbo box and the collation was terrible!

Brian McCann 2003 Topps Traded:  Here's another good catcher who IS healthy and putting up some great numbers.  In some ways, (a healthy) Buster Posey gives him a run for his money, but McCann's great in his own right and seems to love to come up big in the clutch, which you just don't think of when you're talking catchers.

Justin Morneau 2001 Bowman:  Speaking of catchers--just kidding, everybody knows he doesn't play behind the dish anymore and that the "C" on this card stands for "Canadian."  Morneau is an unfortunate example of what a concussion can do to a good player's career, but at least he'll always have the 2006 MVP.

Justin Morneau 2001 Topps Chrome Traded:  You sure as hell won't find packs of this stuff for cheap anymore thanks to all the great cards in it--especially Pujols and Ichiro, who pretty much automatically inflate the price of anything with "2001" in front of it.  I had a pretty nice run with it when it came out, though, and do have the non-Chrome base set, plus a nice collection of Chromes, inserts and other stuff.  The fact that Morneau is one of the LEAST impressive says something.

Mike Mussina 1991 Bowman:  You'll see plenty from this set in my RC collection because it was a pretty good set for rookies, even if it is a bit junk wax-y.  I picked up a box or two of these at a K-Mart by me way, way, way back (probably in the mid-90s) and went to town on the set.  Not a bad Moose, either.

Mike Mussina 1991 Ultra:  Moose was one of my favorite Orioles, so I was sad to see Baltimore's consistently cheapskate/asshole owner run him out of town on a rail when he became a free agent and--gasp!--wanted more money.  Moose was the picture of consistency in his 18 seasons and he finally nabbed a 20-win season in 2008, which, oddly enough, was his final season.  His 270 wins are a nice stat, but he never won any major awards and fell short in both World Series appearances with the Yankees, which makes me think he won't make the Hall.

Hanley Ramirez 2003 Topps Traded:  You might think the Sawx would love to have this guy back, but I still see him more as a fantasy baseball darling than a guy that would cause them to undo the deal that netted them World Series heroes Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell.  Still, Hanley puts up some killer stats at a premium position, so in a way the Marlins' typical cheap-skatedness worked out for them here.

Jose Reyes 2001 Topps Stars:  Reyes has put up some nice numbers in the past, but I wonder if he's got Adrian Beltre syndrome now that he's due a big payday.  I'm not a Mets fan but it would be weird if he and David Wright weren't patrolling the left side of the Mets infield next year.

Mike Scioscia-Fernando Valenzuela 1981 Topps:  Some mike like this card because of fond memories of Fernandomania.  I say screw that noise, that was a couple years before I was even BORN.  No, the key player on this card for me is Scioscia, a catcher I could be proud of as a fan, and a guy that turned into a brilliant, successful manager, without having to resort to breathing through his eyelids.  Also, he was on the Simpsons.

Ichiro 2001 UD MVP:  This is not my best Ichiro RC by far, but the rest are in sets and will have to come later.  I really don't care for the MVP sets now that I've collected some of them, but I really like the shot of Ichiro about to lace another single into center with his trademark swing.

Frank Thomas 1990 Topps:  No, this isn't Frank's best RC either, nor is it the famous error version, but it's easy to come by and not a bad card at all.  It's cool seeing the Big Hurt in his Auburn uni (he really doesn't look all that different from his playing days there), but I can't decide which looks more ridiculous--the runner's uniform or the border of the card.

Jim Thome 1991 Bowman:  Thome is a player who's extremely easy to root for; he consistently puts up great numbers, he's not a jackass and there's really no reason to think he got caught up in the steroid crap.  Some have made comparisons between Harmon Killebrew and Thome and I like how neatly that works out, so I tend to run with that.  Unlike other sluggers who don't really offer anything else, I don't have any problem seeing Thome into the Hall of Fame regardless of his (almost) 600 HR.

Omar Vizquel 1989 Upper Deck:  Omar's 1993 trade to Cleveland became a key moment in the Indians' big run in the mid-to-late 90s.  Unfortunately they ran into the '95 Braves steamroller and the '97 Marlins farewell tour.  He was a very good player for years and the gold standard at the position after Ozzie Smith retired.  Also, this is from '89 Upper Deck, so that has to be worth something.

Joey Votto 2002 Bowman Draft:  Votto's one of the younger players on this list, but I think his MVP season warrants it.  I never did build this set but was apparently lucky enough to pull this guy and not trade/dump it in the years that I owned it.

Barry Zito-Ben Sheets 2000 Topps Chrome:  We'll finish off with a pretty good multiplayer RC.  Neither guy is as bright a star as he was when this card was made but both have put up nice numbers at times.  Plus it's Chrome!

Keep an eye out for more PC RCs in the future--I promise I'll get them up there for you to enjoy.  For now, please shoot me some comments about these--whether you have them or don't, if you like them or hate them, if you'd like to see others, that sort of thing.  Until then, I'll be enjoying tonight's Home Run Derby along with the season premiere of one of my TV favorites, Eureka!


  1. Can you set one aside for me? We'll figure something out for it later.

  2. Nice stuff! I agree on the Dye/Jones comment too - regardless of what came after, they were 1996 youngsters to me (especially since I loved the Braves at the time thanks to the Crime Dog).

  3. Did you just say "screw that noise" to Fernando?


  4. Shoot I just saw the Mauer too. I'll take one of you dupes off your hands for our next trade too.