Triple Mail Day

I stopped by the parents earlier this week to find that I’d had three packages waiting for me. In this post, I’ll cover Shane‘s plentiful #Twins, and Nick‘s returned decorated blank spacer. :D.

1979 Kellogg’s #27 Geoff Zahn.

Things to do: Check my Twins checklist, and send me something from it. The Kellogg’s card above, and the following card were both listed there, and now are added into a binder and removed. :).

1976 Hostess #73 Larry Hisle.

Check out that spring training swinging pose. He probably should’ve been miming a home run, not what looks like a grounder to second base. You do you, Larry.

1988 “Ballpark Cards” Cape League  #15 Chuck Knoblauch.

Ahh yes, minor league cards from the 80s/90s. I’ve never seen this one, but Chuck was still a sophomore at Texas A&M here. Chuck gets a lot of hate, especially in 2001, but he serves as a cameo in my favorite baseball joke:

So did you hear Chuck Knoblauch went to Cuba?



Yeah, the government sent him there to overthrow the government.

Not the only time he’d make questionable decisions…however, for a certain World Series title I’m forever grateful.

T206, Heritage Minors, Fleer Glossy, UK Minis.

Part of the reason for this delayed post, so many minis to scan! I’ve completed the Twins Score run, but I’ll always cherish Kirby Puckett dupes!

A few All Time Fan Favorites a predecessor to today’s Archives set pictured here. Dougie Baseball #/2001 – the first year Topps produced #/d parallels – love ’em or hate ’em. I said it then and I’ll say it now, that Kennys Vargas card is perhaps the best photo used in any card set that year. Most definitely in Heritage that year.

Another one of Topps’ oddities, 2007 Topps had red letter parallels(Joe Nathan/Matt Garza) in Series One, Series Two, and Updates/Highlights.

Bowman, Archives, 1970 Topps Bill Rigney.

Not quite Topps Fan Favorites, but a few Twins fan favs in this scan. Justin Morneau, and  Gary Gaetti especially.

Oof. Rough scan for those 2007 Topps/Updates. If you make your way to Target Field, I cannot recommend Tony O’s – get a cuban sandwich you’ll thank me later. :). Sure Kevin Slowey is sporting what looks like a spring training uni, but I wish they’d return to the road gray ‘Minnesota’ uniforms. Kasota Gold be damned!

Seriously, if the Wild’s green(2009-20162017) home sweaters didn’t exist the Twins old road ‘Minnesota’ would be my favorite style ever. I’m still not sure how the Wild had those gorgeous green sweaters, while trotting out the “Christmas” road jerseys – the best and worse in the league on one team… With hockey season in full swing(and last night’s lamp lighter against Carey Price(!!!) – I’m sure more hockey will seep into posts like this in the future. :).

A mix of new and old. Mauer, Arcia, and Dozier are the only three here that remain with the team. Scott Erickson of course, probably best known for this game

In this scan I tried to lump together some variation hunting. 1990 Fleer cards either have or don’t have a period after the A in U.S.A. at the bottom. As well, there’s also a ‘PRINTED IN CANADA’ version not pictured that I haven’t found any of yet. 1990 Topps Traded’s back card stock is different between the factory set and retail packs – one with a Topps Tiffany-ish bright back, and the pictured dull darker version. 1991 Upper Deck’s home plate shaped foil stamp has five different variations, but this one is the default 1991 UD. FINALLY, 1991 Donruss falls into the 1989-1992 Donruss “Leaf INC/INC.” parallel of which the Rich Garces is a ‘without period’ version.

That’s not the clearest scan, but in person the Lenny Webster card is clearly mis-printed. I talked with resident Twitter print specialist Nick and we speculated that the magenta plate was misaligned in the printing process. Willie Banks for reference. Woo! Another for the Twins error/misprint/oddities binder! Moreso these were both Topps Gold editions!

A tale of two different prospects. One a bust, another a rising star. Nearly missed the numbering on Miguel Sano’s Series One card as I only looked at the front and didn’t see the coloring difference. Numbered Rod Carew out of 50.

A good bunch of Fleer insert madness from the 1980s here. Byron Buxton’s Bunt and Harmon Killebrew’s Donruss will go to my set binders as I pulled the Twins for the team binders.

Hometown Heroes may be my favorite set in 2013. It gets a lot of the hate that 1991 Fleer gets for it’s bright yellow front/back – some deserved – I just loved the concept and athletes represented.

Could they not find a different pose for David Ortiz? I forgot how similar the 2001 and 2002 cards were…. More 1990 Topps darkened backs pictured as well, this should finish off what I need for Traded dark backs. I hope…. Roy Smalley may have been forced out to the evil empire, but what’s not to love about an early Donruss ‘Star Stickers’?

Speaking of, check out that John Castino! Frank Viola, Tom Brunansky, Bert Blyleven recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the 1987 World Series title. In some ways, I’d have loved to be old enough to enjoy those two titles(1 month, 4 years old) – but I’ve read enough stories and have watched the games on DVD. One of these years they’ll make it back there… if we can ever beat the Damn Yankees. :(.

…and finally Shane added these two Twins hits and battery mates Nick Blackburn #/799 from SP Authentic, and Joe Mauer in Allen & Ginter’s framed mini.

I’m gathering this is a project Nick worked on in ‘Jersey? Either way, this’ll be the first ‘relic’ added to the #Collect binder. Stay tuned for part two with the other package. :).


2017 Topps Stadium Club Twins Checklist

10 Danny Santana
11 Harmon Killebrew
28 Joe Mauer
61 Rod Carew
100 Brian Dozier
146 Byron Buxton
220 Jose Berrios
222 Miguel Sano
237 Ervin Santana
282 Max Kepler
300 Eddie Rosario

Base Chrome Variation
SCC-55 Miguel Sano

Base Chrome Variation Auto
Miguel Sano


For the full checklist with other teams, check here.

#2017-topps-stadium-club, #checklist, #twins

Reduce, Re-use, recycle.

When we were growing up in the early 90s, there was a huge push in our generation to clean up litter, trash, pollution, and to reduce, re-use, and recycle what we could when we could. While we don’t help those efforts as much as we should, this is one such instance that both helps keep the landfills empty, and keeps our card collection in order.

Around this time a year or two ago, we found an excellent re-purposed wine box that perfectly fit magnetic touched/snap down cards. Unfortunately it was just a bit too small to fit top-loaded cards, and it quickly filled up with Twins relics(we keep the autos/IP autos in separate binders). Well, we just struck gold again, this time with a tequila brand decorated box! The best part is that this didn’t break the bank either three whole George Washingtons! 

It did need some work however, as a few of the back screws weren’t attached anymore – something I fixed with a few extra computer screws I had laying around. Once those were installed, the box shut and opened properly. :).

Once a home to a tequila bottle, now it holds all of my Twins relics, a few printing plates, and all of ticket stubs. I think Captain Planet would be proud. Anyone else use re-purposed items with their collection?

#storage, #twins

Trade considerations…

Would you trade for a player worth 5.3 WAR over three seasons if it meant you got rid of a career .167/.239/.262 hitter who to that point had 5 hits in 31 at-bats with your team? With 12 strikeouts? Even if they hit a home run and drove in two? I don’t know about you, but I’d make that trade every day. Mind you hind sight is everything, but I’d willingly take this trade every time – sometimes a change of place is all that’s needed.

In trading former 1969 1st round draft pick(7th) Paul Powell at the end of the 1971 season to the Dodgers for Bobby Darwin, the Twins traded nearly equal players. However, Darwin turned his career around after the trade while Powell remained stagnant. Darwin had made a few poor appearances in the major leagues, but had turned it around in the 1970/1971 minor league seasons.

Prior to the trade, both players were about even in the minor league ranks as you can see with a slight edge to the older Bobby Darwin(28 to 23). Darwin’s 17 games with the Dodgers in 1969/1971, and Powell’s 20 games with the Twins in 1971 not withstanding. However after the trade? As you’ll see, Darwin stuck around the major leagues, while Powell hung up his cleats in 1975 appearing in only 10 games for the Dodgers. Darwin was traded in the middle of 1975(the Twins receiving John Briggs), and retired with the Cubs in 1977. I’m not a OOTP or Baseball Mogul player, but I’d make this trade every day. :).

#1971, #apba, #baseball-mogul, #bobby-darwin, #dodgers, #ootp, #paul-powell, #twins

Catching up…

Last year I drove across the mid-west getting married, on our honeymoon, and driving to the National and back in our personal car. This year, I helped drive my best man and brother from another mother(cousin) move from Ohio to Minnesota. Next year I’m not driving anywhere! However, while I was out and about, I stopped in a few different cities to check out the card stores/retail chains. I’ve posted most of these on twitter, but as Paul Harvey was fond of saying, here’s the rest of the story…

I left Texas sometime around the early morning of the 17th of May with the intention of being in Dayton around midnight. I’ll never forget the day, as prior to leaving we found out about the death of a music legend, Chris Cornell. His music(whether in Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, as a solo artist, or with Audioslave) has been always been an influential part of my life, and it’s a shame that he’s passed.* As far as making it to Ohio that night, our tires had other plans. As around Nashville both right side tires would not stay inflated. I tried stopping to fill them up a few times, and I could limp for an hour without needing to refill, however they wouldn’t stay inflated. My wife’s a magnet when it comes to attracting nails in tires, and these had been plugged a few times. Thus I decided it was probably for the best to crash for the night, get them changed in the morning, then drive the remaining 5-6 hours. That morning while waiting for my tires to be changed, I grabbed a few retail packs of 2017 Donruss. While I can’t be certain which individual packs they were, I posted on Twitter my entire trip’s worth of Donruss/retail pack breaking here. With the right side tires replaced, rotated, and filled I set out for Dayton.

When I made it there, my cousins(best man, and his younger sister – my god daughter) and I stayed up super late and played different games on my Nintendo Switch. That next morning I figured it was probably best if I stopped by and said hello to the in-laws(same town), and helped the father in law move his truck onto a trailer so he could sell it later that week. Beats mowing his lawn, eh? Lol. For this, his wife(mother in law) rewarded me with the Nintendo line-up of toys that McDonalds(where she works on the side) had at the time.

Later that day, we stopped in at the local card/comic/gaming shop – Mavericks where they had a discount bin of 3 relics/autos for 2$. I was pleasantly surprised to find several Hall of Fame, and future Hall of Fame members from the “relic boom” era of the early 2000s. I may have even started a binder sorted by induction year because of this discounted box. Also, they had junk 4,000 count boxes for 4$ each, of which the one that I purchased, I’ve yet to fully dig through – but most of it is from the junk wax era, naturally.

A day or two later, we set out for Minnesota with cookies and monster handy for the equally long 18 hour drive. We stopped for breakfast in the Twin Cities, and made a stop into ‘topher‘s favorite LCS 3 Stars. Here I picked up a Heritage team set(minus SP/inserts), and a bargain box.  The latter of which, I broke down in the replies below the bargain box link.

When we finally made it to northern Minnesota, we both crashed hard at our grandma’s house. There’s absolutely nothing around, and if you leave our hometown in any direction there’s no cell phone signal for hours. It’s a dark hole of technology. Everything moves slower up there, they get major life changing gadgets years after they’ve released – the sports bar finally got wifi! Last year! I suppose waste not, want not is most important for the mostly rural farmers.

We did drive down to the nearest bigger town to stop in at Wal-Mart for groceries for the final leg of our trip. Naturally I checked their sports and toys aisles, nothing intriguing sports wise, but I did get a rare World of Nintendo Ganon 2.5″ figure. Woot. From there, we drove down to Fargo where after lunch with his father and grandmother, I left my cousin behind and rejoined my grandma and uncle three hours north. But before leaving Fargo to return to my hometown, I wanted to check out Fargo’s visitor’s center to see the wood-chipper from the movie(Fargo, duh…). I was saddened to hear the Roger Maris museum was temporarily closed after a major theft last year that the FBI is/was investigating.

There’s something about grandma’s place that feels safer than any other. She lives 17 miles from our hometown, in a town of ~300, mostly middle aged and elderly folks. The town’s got two gas stations, a grain depot, a bar, two churches, and co-op schools serving K-12. There’s absolutely nothing around for miles, and it’s just perfect. I need to go up there every so often just to completely refresh the brain batteries. :).

The wife found cheap flights and flew in the Friday before Memorial Day and flew into Minneapolis, so I drove down the 6 hours and after picking her up, returned up north. She had arranged for us to catch the Twins game that Sunday – but only booked the hotel for Sunday into Monday. While driving home, AGAIN the tires went out – this time the other two. So we slept in the car in the parking lot of a Walmart outside of Alexandria, Minnesota. While there, we grabbed a few packs of 2017 Donruss, and a discounted Bowman from 2016. In the morning while getting the other two replaced, they informed us that the tire shop in Nashville didn’t rotate them, and that both new tires were placed on the right side – passenger and rear. The tire shop in Minnesota swapped them around however and replaced the remaining two older tires.

With the tires taken care of(and a 2 ton jack purchased….), we made the trip up to my home town and had a dinner party at my uncle’s place. Before driving the 17 miles to grandma’s for bed, we stopped in at the ‘barely staying alive’ K-Mart. Inside we grabbed these Angry Birds Twins stuffed animals for a buck each. In the morning, grandma made her specialty pierogies for breakfast before helping us pack for the return trip to Minneapolis.

We arrived in Minneapolis just in time for the team to open the gates – two hours early. We’d been hoping to catch a few of the local sights after the game but… little did we know, the Twins were about to play the longest game in Target Field history – six and a half hours! 15 innings! During the game, which the Twins lost, we met up with the team’s mascot T.C. and got his signature on our ticket, saw a deranged drug addict run on the field, and enjoyed our favorite stadium food – a Cuban sandwich from Tony O’s(Tony Oliva’s restaurant if that weren’t obvious…) stand near the gate we entered.

After the game we were wiped, so we decided on checking into our swanky, spendy, 5 star hotel in downtown. Really. It was right across the street from First Avenue, the Target Center, and the Mayo Clinic. The first of which, we checked out the attached restaurant and had two Purple Rains, and a Grave Dancer. Pretty good drinks, obviously named in honor of Prince, and Soul Asylum.

Before leaving for Texas the next morning we checked out a few of those local sights, including the Spoonbridge and Cherry, Minnehaha Falls – no Little Hiawatha to be found, and Mickey’s Diner – yes the same one from Mighty Ducks and a few other movies/TV shows. In a semi-funny twist of fate, the return trip to Texas, was about the same amount of time it took me to get to the Twin Cities, pick up the wife, and the entirety of the Twins game.

So with all of that, you might understand the blog absence. The wife spoiled me with a few hobby boxes of Diamond Kings after we made it back, and tomorrow I’ll share some of the pictures and background story for those of you who missed it on twitter. :).

  • May was Mental Health Awareness Month, and with the tragic suicide of a music legend, I feel the need to share a few of my favorites. If you or someone you know is struggling, reach out for help from friends or a licensed physician. 
  1. Hunger Strike, in tribute to their fallen friend, and fellow musician Andrew Wood, Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder showcase a perfect harmony. 
  2. Nothing Compares 2 U, a cover of a Prince penned work. Truly, nobody’s compares to Cornell ‘ very distinctive voice. 
  3. Billie Jean, with no offense to Michael Jackson – Chris absolutely rocked this tune.
  4. Black Hole Sun, probably Sound garden’s most memorable music video and song. 
  5. Unplugged in Sweden, I cannot recommend this acoustic performance enough. 
  6. Wide Awake, much more could have been done to prevent the Hurricane Katrina disaster that affected others and my own family. This one’s dedicated to those affected with property damage, and the unfortunate who lost their lives. 

#3-stars, #angry-birds, #bowman, #chris-cornell, #donruss, #fargo, #mavericks, #mickeys-diner, #minnehaha-falls, #minnesota, #nintendo, #prince, #roger-maris, #soul-asylum, #spoonbridge-and-cherry, #t-c, #tony-oliva, #twins, #update, #world-of-nintendo

20 years in #TheHobby.

While 1987 Topps is commonly used in reprint sets like Archives(Of which, check this and this out) and as inserts in Topps flagship, this year marks its 30th anniversary – as such they’re dedicating a S1/S2 insert run on the design. 1987 Topps didn’t have the glitz and glamour of parallel and autographed versions that today’s versions have – 30 years is an anniversary worth celebrating – IF they wouldn’t have over-saturated the design in other sets. The Twins did a thing that year(yet only have one 1987 insert through Series One, Series Two), and I was born in late September – so naturally I feel compelled to collect the insert set.

I’m drawn to it sure, but I’ll wait for a year end set on feebay to show up. I just can’t justify breaking that many cases to get a quarter of the set. I get the hobby hate for the wood grain, super cropped, semi-blurry set but it along with factory sets of 1991 Topps, 1991 Fleer and 1990 Score were my first hobby introductions. Reviewing the Series 2 checklist got my thinking about other anniversaries. No, not our first wedding anniversary(July 9th!), but of my first packs that I can remember opening….

My parents wanted to get me involved in collecting of some kind for a healthy hobby around the time I was eight or nine. While I had originally chosen post cards(as my father was in the Marines at the time, and we uprooted frequently), I quickly moved into older coins – wheat pennies especially. Around this time we’d enjoy family time playing old board games, Super Nintendo(of which Madden and Super Bases Loaded got plenty of play time), and watching Twins/Vikings games on TV.

Pops isn’t much of a regular season baseball person, and the North Stars had vacated Minnesota a few years prior but we cherished those times watching/playing MLB/NFL games together. As I entered middle school, I was given the choice to play football or baseball, and as the Vikings had only disappointed me, the history of baseball drew me in. Plus the stats helped with my math, and learning about different players from different eras helped me put into context different eras for my history classes. Sports probably engaged my learning than some of my teachers, and I sought out to learn and read as much as I could. There are worse hobbies, but my card collection doesn’t harm anyone, isn’t doing damage to myself(drugs, alcohol, etc.) or others so my parents saw no harm in encouraging #TheHobby. By doing household chores(mostly keeping my room clean), I earned 2/3$ a week that I could spend on anything I wanted. Naturally I would save these until I had around 18-20$ and go to Wal-Mart/Target and purchase different packs. Reflecting on the 1987 insert set that Topps is producing this year reminded me that it was around 1997 that I opened my first packs with my own allowance. I had a few dark years(I mean, we did live on Okinawa for ~3 years), but I had bought a few packs each year since 1997 until I began collecting hardcore in 2009 or so.

So while I celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Twins winning their first title with Kirby, Gary, Greg, Kent, Frank, and all of those early heroes, and my 30th birthday, this year I’ll also toast to 20 wonderful years in #TheHobby.  Hopefully, there’s many more decades of hobby collecting, championships(serious though…), and birthdays to celebrate. :).

#1991-fleer, #1991-topps, #archives, #family, #flagship, #the-hobby, #twins

2017 Topps Series 2 Twins checklist

379 Phil Hughes
404 Joe Mauer
405 Max Kepler
407 Eduardo Escobar
453 Danny Santana
491 Ryan Vogelsong
543 Brian Dozier
554 Jason Castro
568 Ryan Pressly
590 Triplet of Twins®
606 Glen Perkins
609 Adalberto Mejia
678 Ervin Santana
684 Jorge Polanco


Topps Salute
S-122 Byron Buxton
S-142 Harmon Killebrew
S-143 Brian Dozier

All-Time All-Stars
ATAS-13 Rod Carew
ATAS-15 Harmon Killebrew

Home Run Derby Champs
HRD-13 Justin Morneau

Independence Day
ID-13 Miguel Sano
ID-28 Joe Mauer

Clear Base Variation
404 Joe Mauer
543 Brian Dozier


Topps Salute Auto
TSA-BB Byron Buxton

All-Time All-Star Auto

Independence Day Auto
IDA-JM Joe Mauer

Major League Material Relic
MLM-MS Miguel Sano

MLB All-Star Logo Patch
ASL-HK Harmon Killebrew
ASL-RCA Rod Carew

Independence Day Team Logo Patch
IDTL-JM Joe Mauer
IDML-BB Byron Buxton
IDML-JM Joe Mauer
IDML-MSA Miguel Sano

#2017-topps, #checklist, #twins