Sunday, December 1, 2013

1989 - Oakland v. Minnesota

While looking for the previously mentioned 1989 Upper Deck ® or ™ cards, I noticed a lot of the Oakland and Minnesota cards shared background players of each other. Photo album below. None of them appear to be in Minnesota, leaving a four game set June 24th-26th, with a double-header on the 26th, and September 19th-21st. Interesting, that the double-header features two players that share Oakland and Minnesota players on the card. But first, one of my favorite back of a card photos. SeƱor Smoke, Portugal, and Jim Wynn #48(?).

Third base coach Rick Renick, an ex-Twin himself, just inside the frame of Randy Bush - with an Athletic in the background. 

Jose Canseco*?

Oakland's fence in the background? Not sure, need to do more research or consult Ben again.

Same here, HUGE distance markers on the outfield walls.

I think that's #18, Paul Sorrento, again some debate on Twitter...

Great shot of the Oakland bench.
*Attempts not to make in-the-gutter porn joke*

Cant tell if this is an umpire, or a player. Pants look umpire, shirt doesn't look like the ump blue...

Edit: Almost forgot this one. Yet another Oakland/Minnesota photo...

Here's two from the same set that disprove my theory that all the A's/Twins photos were taken on the same day. In particular the Uribe looks like spring training...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

1989 Upper Deck

So much has been said about the 1989 Upper Deck set, iconic set, great rookie cards of Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Gary Sheffield, Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel. One of the first sets to put an emphasis on photography, a staple of UD's line for years to come. The set was not without errors however, as cards #1-100(or 2-101 depending on source) can be found with either a ® or a ™. I thought you would need a microscope to see them originally, but the circle on the ® makes it stand out very visibly.

 This said, if you have #62, #81, or #85 ® version...just sayin'. I might needs them.

More 1990 Donruss

How's about this one for a quick funsies post? 1990 Donruss' team MVP sub-set.
In addition to the  et-wide error, the line where it says ALL-STAR GAME PERFORMANCE, for each, has a version that looks like this:
(Image credit:
Lol, whoops.

Also, I can confirm, for the ALL-STAR version at least that the set wide LEAF INC./INC error holds true. I have both, as pictured.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Saga of Al Newman and Willie Randolph. Twins Cameo Series 4

I barely caught this, but check out the shoulder patch on the fielder's arm. Definitely a Twin player. I did my usual baseball-reference detective work, and have this down to a single play again. Willie's career was winding down in 1990, and played for two teams - @ourtradingcards' A's whom are pictured, and started the year with @NightOwlCards' Dodgers. 1990 was also Willie's only year with the Athletics, playing in 93 games for the eventual World Series losers. Suck it Ben! :D. 

Eitherway, in the sixth with Paul Abbott pitching, Willie broke for second and beat out the throw by Junior Ortiz. There was some debate on twitter regarding whether that's Al Newman or Nelson Liriano -  but that's a wash as Newman was a late game replacement, and Willie never batted afterwards. Nelson Liriano's arm there folks. Game log.

Speaking of Al Newman though, this is definitely Al Newman. This was not the same game as above, but it was the day afterwards - Game log. Willie reached base in the third on a single, only to be thrown out in a 5-4-3 inning ending double-play. Newman started this game, and Randolph appears to be out on the play.

I think I may need a new hobby.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Scribbles and dirty laundry

Since being introduced in the mid-90s, relics autos and manufactured junk has re-vitalized a dead hobby. Like it or not, most people are supar-mojo hit chasers(it hurt to type that..). I'd like to think I have a huge Twins collection, and just wanted to share a few of my favorites here.
What's not to like? McGwire, Puckett, 89 Upper Deck!

I'm trying to collect different player "letter" type cards to spell out my name, this was one of my first additions. Love the huge patch style on this compared to others.

My current oldest card, an original T206 that I pulled from Teddy's favorite LCS.

Speaking of Nick's, I pulled this thinking I needed it for my Topps team set, only saw the faint pen auto when I was sorting it into my team box.

Speaking of Teddy, lol, he traded me this some time ago. Cecil Travis Beckett encased cut-card. Just wish it were BGS graded.

Harmon Killebrew pinstripe card? Yeah, sure. Sign me up. Looks like it's straight from the 60s.

I'd like to find the other variations with less/more relic cuts. Apparently there's versions with one relic, two, three(obviously..) and a fourth relic with the different #/serial levels.

These Killebrew, Oliva, Carew relics all look faded, a nice historical touch. Much better than bland white squares from recent players... #ThanksTopps

Just hope this "T-Shirt" was a jersey/pants, and moreso, not from the Angels.

My first in-person autograph. Brad stayed after a game in early 2002 to sign everyone's stuff, stayed and chatted with everyone. Overall cool dude.

Pulled this on my own from 2012 Topps. My third 1/1, and third printing plate. Wish it were black like my Morneau, but I've got three of the four printing colors(have Cyan, Yellow, Black). Great day.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dating a Twin, part three

Yet another Twin, this time judging by the helmet, Ben Revere(Come home Benny!). The outfield walls look like both Jacobs Field(because really..I'm not calling it whatever it is now.) and Target Field. But judging by this - Cleveland Indians Home/Away jersey info, this was in Cleveland. So, checking both Revere's and Cabrera's BRef pages, both being in the lineup, these happened 8 times in 2012. June 1-3rd, August 6-8, and September 18-19th.

June 1st, Revere went 0-4 in a nasty lopsided affair, three ground ball outs, and a fly ball caught in center. August 8th, Revere went 0-5, with two ground outs, a strikeout, a fly ball caught in center(again...). September 19th, Revere was a defensive replacement late in the game(bottom 9th), and never batted in the Twins 6-4 victory.

Taking these out, there are five dates that this photo could have come from, June 2-3rd, August 6-7th, and September 18th. On June 2nd, all the starting Twins had a hit except Jamey Carroll. While Revere did reach 2nd in the 1st inning, it wasn't a close play as Joe Mauer hit a ground ball past the defense, and Justin Morneau would drive him in later in the inning. Following consecutive ground outs, Revere would reach base in the 9th on a wild pitch, and even get thrown out as part of a double play, but Cabrera started the play, and was not covering second. June 2nd - eliminated.

The next day, June 3rd, Revere only went 1-5, with one walk, several ground outs and a strikeout. In the 7th after consecutive ground outs to the pitcher, Revere hit a "bunt" on the first base/pitcher side and was called safe on the play. He wound up stealing second, and was doubled in by Josh Willingham'mer. In his last at-bat of the day, he ground out to second. June 3rd - eliminated.

After a strikeout looking on August 6th, Benny blooped a single to center, scoring Carroll and advancing Denard Span to third. Mauer drove him in, in the next at-bat. No dice here, but the Twins did light up Cleveland pitching for 10 runs in the inning! In the fourth, Revere hit a single, and was the duck on the pond for Morneau's 200th homer! In the sixth, he singled, and Mauer drove him in with a double, and in his last at-bat of the night he would end up at third after a single, Mauer's single, and advancing on Willingham's grounder out. August 6th - eliminated.

We're getting closer, on August 7th, Revere singled in the 1st, took second on Mauer's walk and would score on Morneau's deep center single. After a foul fly ball out, Revere was walked, and was part of a double play(!), one that went second, to the shortstop covering second(Cabrera!!), to first(!!!). 4-6-3, we may have a winner. He finished the game with three ground outs. August 7th - Likely/Possible!

Finally September 18th, Ben only hit 1-5, with both a walk and a strike out. In the first he had a bunt hit, advanced to 3rd on Mauer's single and scored on a Morneau fly out. Two grounders, a K looking, and another ground out, Revere was walked in the 11th. Except Mauer couldn't beat out a infield single and was thrown out at first to end the inning. In the 12th, the Twins would break the tie-game, and despite Glen Perkins allowing a homer to Carlos Santana, the game was finished. Twins win 6-5.

So, by all of this, this photo could only have occurred August 7th, 2012. Here's the MLB write-up for the game. Despite all the videos, even with two nice stops by Cabrera, this play isn't recorded - except by a nice Topps photo.

Update: fail. I probably should have compared any of the videos to the photo to triple verify the jersey. It was pointed out on twitter by @digitalHaas that they're wearing their home blue jerseys, and the video confirms that. Look for an update to the update when I check their 2011 seasons...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dating a Twin part two.

That looks like a Twins player to me. The 'M' is on the classic Twins road uniform that is one of my all-time favorites. Judging by the back of the player's uniform, the player's name ends in either an 'o' or a '0'. One of those is unlikely. I checked the 1991 Twins roster and found two players - Mike Pagliarulo, and Paul Sorrento. Sorrento only faced Baltimore once, in September, but didn't hit against Olson - in fact he homered in his one at-bat. Pags however faced Olson only twice, going 1-2 with an RBI. Got to love relief-pitchers, makes this so much easier to eliminate dates. Looking at his 1991 starts, Gregg Olson made four appearances against the Twins. I don't think that's the Metrodome, the base lines don't look right, and the color looks too much like an outdoor game. With his starts against Baltimore, in-Baltimore, Pags faced Olson on June 19th, 1991 and August 24th, 1991, and we can eliminate the August game because Pags was never on base, or at-bat while Olson was pitching. Just to make sure, I checked the game log for the June game, and Pags did indeed have a single up the 1B-2B side, with a throw to first likely coming in from the right fielder. Who's on first? Olson, or Baltimore's 1B that day, David Segui. On this particular play, June 19th, 1991, it appears Olson was on first.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Speaking of 1972s...

I'd like to think these were connected at some point. Part of a sheet?

Dating a Twin week.

Day one.

1972 Topps Gene Michael and John Ellis. Neither are Twins, however they both have Twins pictured, and along with finding error cards and variations, another hobby of mine is to try and put a date on when photos were taken. So it's a given that these occurred during the 1971 season or before since these are cards in the 1972 set. Most likely 1971. Going by this the Twins played the Yankees twelve times in 1971, six at home, six in New York. As someone who never attended any games at old Yankee Stadium, I'm relying on the Gene Michael card, which based on the box score is in New York. Based on said box score, this game could only have occurred July 21st, 1971. Based on this great resource, #36 is Jim Kaat(who will be featured later this week) sliding into second. Looking at the play-by-play from the day, in the 8th Kaat hit his only single of the day, then stole second(!) with Rod Carew at-bat. While there's no way to officially without a doubt guarantee the John Ellis card was the same day. However, John Ellis did have a single in the bottom of the 7th, just before this play, and Killebrew(pictured) stayed in the game all the way until the 9th when he was pinch-ran for, a pinch-runner(Rich Reese) who scored the game winner. I'd like to think these were from the same game. :D.

Monday, September 30, 2013

1990 Upper Deck

A quick Google can yield many results 1, 2, 3, 4 5 to discussions about different error cards, set variations, printing/inking differences... In my postings on errors, I like to include the more common errors, differences that affect a good chunk of a release if not the entire set. For this week's post I'll take a look at the common errors found in 1990 Upper Deck.

There are two very common errors that affect most in this set, the first being cards that have missing hologram/foil on the back side; the second is much more rare(update 10/1/13, maybe not so much more rare, found another stack that was supposed to go with this post...), with a missing copyright on the back. From the first link above we see the cards that are missing the "Copyright 1990 Upper Deck Co. Printed in USA" run from cards #101-199, which is consistent to the cards that I found missing copyrights. I went through ~15,000 1990 Upper Deck before making this post pulling all versions of these that I could find. This is in no way indicative of all hoards of 1990 Upper Deck, just of the stock my LCS had in their backroom(most likely since 1990, hah). Of the boxes I found, one of the 5,000 count boxes had cards sorted numerically(five #1s, three #2s, four #3s, etc...), one box was sorted into four or five sets(cards #1-800), and the other had no rhyme or reason - completely random sorting(not numerical, not set, not by team/position/player...).  Here's my findings:

No copyright: 104,106,108,111,2x114,2x115,116,117,2x123,128,3x157,164,166,2x167,2x168,169,170,171,173,177,181,191,193,199(Twin!)

Missing hologram/foil: 2x411,412,413,2x414,415,416,417(Twin!),418,419(Twin!),424,425,426,431,432,434,436(Twin),439,440(Twin!),452(Twin!),453,454(Twin!),455,457,458,2x-459,460,461,493(Twin!)

So you can see why I like this search, there were several Twins found missing stuffs. It's actually how I first found out about these, card #493 caught my attempt while sorting one day. Other than the missing section there is nothing that stands these numbers apart from any other in the set. The fronts look as they are supposed to, it doesn't look like someone took an eraser to the card, they hold up to viewing them in the light... Very odd. Also odd, all of the ones that are missing the hologram/foil were cards that are in the #400-499 range. Strange times these be. Have you found any of these? Lemme know in the comments below?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

2013 Topps Retail Issues

A friend from twitter (Thanks again!) picked these up for me on a recent trip to the Twin Cities to catch a Yankees game. I thought I'd compare and contrast the set vs. 2013 Topps. These team sets are relatively cheap, and can be found at your local Target/Walmart usually for 10$.

In addition to a different numbering scheme(MIN-1, MIN-2, etc.) some photos have been known to be different, or players that weren't in the base set are known to be in this team set, so I asked if he could pick me up a set. Interesting, I didn't notice any cropping or different photos used like NightOwl did for his 2008 Dodgers set. No, I don't have a Morneau from series 2, if anyone wants to ship me one? :D.

Let's look at the retail checklist and their 2013 Topps counter-part:
MIN-1 Joe Mauer - 107 Joe Mauer - Also has a photo variation short print.

Interesting that the backs have different "code". With the retail team set ending 3828, Base with 2820, and the short print ends in 3022.

MIN-2 Justin Morneau - 575 Justin Morneau
MIN-3 Josh Willingham - 216 Josh Willingham - Also has a photo variation short print.
MIN-4 Darin Mastroianni - 528 Darin Mastroianni
MIN-5 Chris Parmelee - 446 Chris Parmelee
MIN-6 Ryan Doumit - 460 Ryan Doumit
MIN-7 Jamey Carroll - 88 Jamey Carroll
MIN-8 Brian Dozier - 596 Brian Dozier
MIN-9 Scott Diamond - 656 Scott Diamond
MIN-10 Trevor Plouffe - 629 Trevor Plouffe
MIN-11 Glen Perkins - 547 Glen Perkins
MIN-12 Vance Worley

MIN-13 Liam Hendriks - 590 Liam Hendriks
MIN-14 Pedro Florimon - 451 Pedro Florimon
MIN-15 Kevin Correia

MIN-16 Mike Pelfrey

MIN-17 Minnesota Twins/Target Field

Which leaves these without counterparts:
102 Denard Span
335 Chris Herrmann
346 Aaron Hicks
467 Brian Duensing
636 Cole De Vries
MIN-12 Vance Worley
MIN-15 Kevin Correia
MIN-16 Mike Pelfrey
MIN-17 Minnesota Twins/Target Field

Photo stream:

Finally a group shot of cards from the team set without a Series 1, or Series 2 issue.