28 March 2010

1987 ProCards Phoenix Firebirds #79 Matt Williams

"What? Yeah, sure, I'm Matt Williams. Just take the picture!"

Such was the scene shortly before the REAL Matthew Derrick Williams came storming onto the field to dive, catch the impostor bare-handed by the neck and fire him clear across the infield into the visitors dugout.

Perhaps a somewhat ignominious starting point for my Matt Williams collection, but the only one which demands that I ask, "Who is this knucklehead posing as he who would be come the best hot corner specialist in the National League for all of the 1990s?"

Said chowderhead does not appear on any other cards in the 1987 Firebirds set, nor do I see his mug in the 1988 CMC Firebirds set. So who is he? The bat boy? Anyone? Bueller?


The player in the photo Phil Ouellette, who oddly did not actually have a card of his own in 1987.

17 March 2010

1991 or 1992 New York Yankees postcard set

Thanks to a new eBay auction, it has come to my attention that there was a set of New York Yankees postcards issued in either 1991 or 1992 that has a Meulens in the set! I don't know if I want to pay $12 for the signed copy up for auction, but now that I know it exists, I can go hunting down the set.

Down in the bottom corner, it looks like it says SportsPrint Atlanta. A little Googling shows that SportsPrint Atlanta issued a minor league set for the Greenville Braves in 1994. More research is in order!

I knew the Yankees had postcards issued by TCMA in 1985 & 1986 (had to track those down for my Winfield collection), but I had no idea they'd done any in the early 1990s.

I've also recently learned that the Cubs issued black & white sets of photo cards each year for a long time, and sometime around 1994-1995, there was a Tuffy Rhodes issued with an Old Style beer logo on it. Alas, I didn't think to snag a picture of it while it was still up for sale. It seems these types of postcard/photo card issues are difficult to find unsigned (since that was their main function, to be signed at games).


Well, I offered $5 for it and got it, so I'll post a better scan of the reverse when it arrives.

09 March 2010

1992 Mexican League set identification help?

On occasion I tend to browse auction sites aimed at other countries, looking for interesting stuff. Probably a hold over from my previous life as an über Star Wars geek. I was searching through the listings at Mercadolibre.com.mx (eBay Mexico) on my occasional hunt for that set of La Liga Mexicana de Béisbol tarjetas that was issued back in either 2004 or 2005 (no idea what manufacturer) that I saw mentioned in an article in some Mexican newspaper site while I was hunting for box scores involving Hensley Meulens from the tail end of his career. Today, I saw these:

I have no idea what set these are from, but as one of them is #147, at least I know there are at least 147 in the set (well, that may be an assumption on my part, and we all know what that does to me and umption), and were all labeled in the auction listings as being from 1992. The only names that stand out to me are Terry Blocker, who played for Atlanta at one point, and Ramon Sambo, because I just saw his face about a half dozen times in the last box of Lime Rock Winter Baseball I opened (0 for SIX!!! No BERNIES!!!)

I figured I'd post these beauties here in the hopes that some random aficionado of rare Mexican baseball cards might wander by and be able to identify them. I'd buy them, but as yet, I've not been able to figure out how to order from Mexico. Japan, yes. Mexico, not yet.

05 March 2010

Oh Bernie, Where Art Thou?


1993 Lime Rock Dominican Winter Baseball

In 1993, Lime Rock, a company known mostly for it's non-sports and cheerleader cards, issued this set of 165 cards featuring 20-something cards per team for the 1993-94 Dominican Winter League season. As with any set of the winter leagues, it was littered with local Dominican talent, up-and-coming minor leaguers as well as a smattering of major leaguers who either just couldn't sit still over the winter or needed to refine something in preparation for the upcoming season (does that ever actually work?). In any case, the set happened to contain cards of two players I collect, Hensley Meulens and Bernardo Brito (seen here with the Licey Tigres), so naturally, I had to go dig them up!

In addition to the regular set, inserted one per pack was one Diamond Star insert which was exactly the same as the base set cards, but with a gold foil "Lime Rock" logo stamped on the back. In my first box, I managed to pick up couple of Brito, a couple Meulens and a Diamond star insert of Meulens. That left me looking for the Brito Diamond Star. So I hunted around and picked up a second box. More Meulens, more Sosa and Polonias and all the Wilfredo Tejadas you could hope for, but no Brito Diamond Star.

So I did what any completely irrational player collector would do....I picked up a third box. One box later and STILL no Brito Diamond Star! In the meantime, I'd gotten in contact with minor league baseball card guru, Dave Weber, and learned that he dealt in the occasional oddball set, and just happened to have a stock of this set. But as it turns out, he had pretty much every single card EXCEPT the Brito Diamond Star! Flash forward 18 months later, and after making around $45 in Sportlots sales (which seemed to be mostly from selling Red Foleys, Panini stickers and random, no-name minor league singles....sorry Dave!) and one of the sellers I'd picked up two of my earlier boxes from has re-appeared on eBay with another 10 boxes! Keep in mind, I'm still only looking for a single insert card. 36 packs in a box, so 36 chances. I just dropped the PayPal for three more boxes. For one card. Of Bernardo Brito!

And what's really weird about this set is, though I'd seen him called Bernie in magazine and newspaper articles, this little oddball set targeted at the Latino market is the ONLY one where he is listed as Bernie Brito on card. Yet in the same set, they list Sammy Sosa as Samuel, and Sil Campusano as Silvestre and one of the Mota boys (it looks like Jose) as Manolo. Weird.

You can view most of the set over at The Trading Card Database. I'll probably be able to finish filling out the scans once my new boxes show up.

At the moment, the want list for my Bernardo Brito collection is comprised of exactly two cards:

1987 Team Issue Cleveland Indians b&w photo card (3-1/2"x5-1/2")
1993 Lime Rock Dominican Winter Baseball Diamond Star #79

Continue the adventure in Bernie Hunt Part 2: Oh Bernie, Where Art Thou?

02 March 2010

All the way from Fukuoka....

Gentlemen, behold!  Here are the newest additions to La Galerie de Tuffy Rhodes:

2001 Upper Deck Homerun Explosion #HR12

2002 BBM Touch The Game #104

2007 BBM 2nd Version (Buffaloes Team Checklist)
(Made ya look!)

2008 BBM 2nd Version Title Wars #727
(I have no idea what title Tuffy is supposed to be warring over, the back doesn't really give any hints)

2008 BBM Touch The Game #053
(One of the greatest players ever owned?  Even BBM's premium offering suffers from liberal use of Engrish.)

2009 BBM 1st Version #064

2009 BBM 1st Version 2008 Leaders #441

2009 BBM 1st Version Game Masters #504

2009 BBM 2nd Version #583 

2009 BBM Touch The Game #016 

2009 BBM Orix Buffaloes #Bs60 
(I'm not sure of the whole set is metallic like this, or "kira" as they seem to call it in Japan, or just the copies I got.)

          I'd won two lots of 18 Tuffy Rhodes cards on Yahoo! Auction Japan (via KuboTEN), and out of 36 total cards, got lots of dupes and 11 cards I needed. This also means I have several available for trade. I'd love to work out some deals with any other Tuffy collectors out there!

          They guy has several more lots of Tuffy cards, but I guess I did a particularly bad job of choosing to get that many dupes.  In any case, the arrival of this bunch cleared my "incoming" list and paved the way for making my first order with Mitchael-Trading.com (who, BTW, are selling a copy of the 1992 Score 100 Superstars set for the low, low price of ONLY ¥63,000!  Be careful, now, don't push!).

2000 Future Bee Power League UL box break (pack 5)


This week, Binky wants you to match the players to their names!

George Arias - Takanori Suzuki - Takahiro Saeki - Makoto Kaneko - Tsutomu Iwamoto - Akio Shimizu