Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Bday

My apologies for the lack of posts lately, just have had a lot of stuff going on. Yesterday was my birthday and I must say it was an awesome time. I just finished opening up my gifts from my girlfriend and I must say she outdid herself.

The card blogosphere may only be interested in one of the gifts off this list however I will list them here for you all now anyway!

1) An evening at Lambeau Field for the Packers Family Night last night. This was an awesome time, we had seats 18 rows from the field, I got to drink some Berghoff Rock River Red Ale, and also got to grill some brats, burgers, and dogs. I tear up every time I walk into Lambeau, there really is no more special place then that one!

2) A hobby box of Topps Series 2 to help me finish my set. I have been trying to put it together through retail only but I probably have spent at least 2 jumbo boxes worth already and still need 100 cards. Retail building of sets....bad way to go in my opinion. Can't wait to crack into this box!

3) Finally, the best gift of all...I got a Gibson Electric guitar that I have been wanting since well since I heard "Limelight" by Rush for the first time and knew I had to be able to play that song.

I'm so excited right now you all have no idea, a truly awesome birthday experience. Hopefully I will have pictures from last night up and ready and some scans from the box I'm going to go break with my girlfriend before the day is over! :)

Another thing...anybody else get the same birthday wish from friends and family. It was like they were all in sync with each other...same common theme "last year of your 20's...enjoy it" I must have received 10 text messages saying that exact phrase! :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stadium Club Series 2

Back again after a nice relaxing afternoon. After Corey Hart hit a 2 run homer to end the scoreless streak of innings somewhere in the 20s for the Brewers, I decided to take a nap. Of course I would wake up to find out the Crew was swept right out of Houston.

Anyway, I decided to show a few of the cards from:

If you remember correctly I bought some junk wax packs on the cheap at a card shop my girlfriend and I visited. Here are some of the results from this pack.

I received a member's choice John Smoltz. I have always respected a guy who went from being a dominant starter to a dominant closer, and then going back to a starter once again. I won't lie to you all though, it was extremely painful to watch him change uniforms after so many years in Atlanta. The toughest when he joined the St. Louis Cardinals. I will say I enjoyed listening to John Smoltz the few times I have heard him in the booth on TBS. A 20 win/50 save only 2nd guy to do it in the history of the game, not bad for a 25 cent pack.

The other card in the picture is "Primetime" himself, after finding some Deion and McGriff cards I once had as a kid, it kinda makes me feel as though I should start collecting them again.

During my baseball career I pitched and played first base. So I thought let me show you the only other 2 cards in the pack that caught my eye.

The first card, former Milwaukee Brewer Doug Henry. He made his major league debut in 1991 and finished 8th in AL Rookie of the Year voting. Could it be that Milwaukee had found their closer of the future? He finished 1991 with a 1.00ERA and 15 saves, he also had a 2-1 record on the year while being featured in 32 games. However what I remember Henry the most for was being traded to the Mets for a minor league player by the name of Fernando Vina. I still have a Vina faded ballpoint pen autograph on a ball somewhere at my parents house, when he took the time after a game to sign for fans on his way to his car. Pretty cool stuff.

The next card is of Dave Righetti. Why I chose to show you this card really deals with the fact that when I became a pitcher, I went out and begged my mother to buy me a Wilson Dave Righetti glove so I could be dominant on the mound. Funny thing about that glove, it's sitting over on my bookshelf as I type this. That thing is almost 20 years old now. Anyway, Righetti was the 1981 AL Rookie of the Year and 2 years later he threw a no hitter. Dave was a two time all star, though he played with a number of teams throughout his career. With over 1,000 strikeouts 250 saves, and a sub 4 ERA for his career, I think it's pretty safe to say the Giants have a damn good pitching coach!

Well that's all for 1993 Topps Stadium Club Series 2, but don't worry...yes that is right...I also bought a pack of Series 3 as well! Stay tuned for that sometime soon!

Oh yeah 1 more thing....FIRE MACHA AND MELVIN NOW! Ok I feel a little bit better! :)

August 1st!

Well it is August finally and I think it's the best month of the year usually. The State Fair is coming upon us which means some good beer, good music, and some Saz's sour cream and chive fries! Also we have Green Bay Packer Family Night and training camp coming. Preseason games are always fun during the summer to just sit back drink and grill, all the while watching some of the rookies who we hope can contribute to the team.

It also means that the baseball trade deadline is over, and the good teams made moves to make themselves better, the Brewers stayed put and did nothing. I'm happy we didn't make a trade for the sake of making a trade, however, if Melvin believes he is still in contention where was the pitching help? After last nights drubbing at the hands of the Houston, it should be apparent to Melvin that a few things need to change.

The biggest change that needs to happen:

This guy needs to go and go now! It's not his fault he was stuck with this shitty pitching staff again, however...he doesn't steal, hit and run, sacrifice. He just doesn't seem to know how to manage a game in the National League. There is no pressure on the defense, he again just falls into the wait for the big 3 run homer each inning. It's disgusting to see him in the dugout at this point. 4 loses in a row makes me sick, we better win today.

Next, I'm happy we didn't trade this guy:

While I think his defense needs to be polished up quite a bit more, there is no denying his offensive talents. He strikes out too much for a leadoff hitter, but if Fielder ever gets traded, I think Weeks could move down in the order and still provide that offensive output we need. Very glad he is still a Brewer, I know some people around here wanted Weeks traded along with Fielder and Hart.

Finally...on a different subject, with a new month I believe is going to bring a new focus to my collection. I think it is time to start putting focus to my Ryan Braun collection instead of Prince. Still kinda feel raw about his comments towards the club.

My first pickup that came yesterday but I'm calling it a new August month pickup:

It's funny, I have close to about 20 Braun auto's yet I didn't not have any of his Bowman Chrome cards. So I figured i'm going with a little pick up to start with considering my bday is coming in less then a week.

Even though we didn't do anything at the deadline, and we are still playing like crap it kinda feels like a new era for Milwaukee baseball...changes will be made with this club and my card collecting habits! a fresh new month!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pins and Needles...

So, this week has been filled with some highs and lows for the beloved Brew Crew. We swept through the Nationals like they were nothing, then met the Reds at Miller Park. We took game 1 in dramatic fashion, then proceeded to forget how to hit, pitch, and field in the remaining two games. Playoff hopes are fading and the inevitable is possibly going to happen.

I have been going back and forth with the trade deadline approaching, on one hand Prince Fielder is a premier power hitter that would be hard to replace on a top offense. On the other hand he could bring possibly some much needed pitching help as long as Doug Melvin doesn't screw it up. But before a game this week, Fielder gave an interview about the rumors of being traded. One comment that was said hurt the most.

“It’s part of the game, so I expect it. The only reason I’d be a little down is because I’m leaving the guys I came up with. Other than that, it’s a business. That’s the only thing I’d miss, is my teammates.”

Really Prince...the only thing you would miss is your teammates? Hmmm, not the 3 million fans that have come through the gates to see you. The people that embraced the fact you didn't want to be your father. The same people who bought your jersey and wear it proudly, the same guys who stick up for you when they call you Princess. That comment he made for some reason stung me personally, and while it is a business and it shouldn't have, there is something to be said for your favorite player on your favorite team basically not acknowledging he would also be leaving the great fans of Milwaukee behind.

I collected cards as a kid like a lot of us, however I stopped collecting for many years. Prince Fielder is the reason I came back to the hobby. I have autographed cards, an official game used autograph bat my brother gave me as a college graduation present, jerseys featuring his name. I went toe to toe with Boston fans inside Fenway Park that were relentless in calling him fat and useless as a first baseman. I never had more fun walking around the city of Boston wearing my retro Fielder jersey listening to the Red Sox fans giving me a ribbing for wearing it in their city back in 2008.

I had planned on collecting Prince even if he was/is traded during this trade deadline or before the end of 2011, however now I'm stuck. Maybe I take the comments out of context, but would a simple "I will miss the fans of Milwaukee" comment really been that hard to throw in there. He wouldn't even have to have meant it, we wouldn't know the difference.

I just know now that when I watch him play, I will look at him and my collection of him much differently. I just want the trade deadline to be over already. So I ask, anybody else have a hard time collecting their favorite player if they are no longer on their favorite team?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Down under...

Living in Oshkosh, every year we have the honor of hosting the EAA AirVenture Celebration. It is widely regarded as one of the largest aviation airshows in the world. The city is crazy busy with traffic, and as a retail communications associate (fancy way of saying I sell cellular phones), I get a great chance to meet people from all over the world that are hoping to pick up some phones that work for them for the week or so.

Because people from all over the world come here, I get the variety. Some are interesting and some are not, today I had an interesting one. This gentleman came to me like the others asking me to setup a cheap phone for him to use while he was in the United States. His accent made me think about one guy and one guy only for some reason:

Dave Nilsson!

The gentleman I was helping setup a phone for was from Australia, and since it takes a bit of time to setup a phone I thought I have to ask him if he knew anything about Dave Nilsson. I asked and his eyes just lit up with pride as he told me how Dave Nilsson was almost like a rock star in Australia during his playing days. He told me about how proud baseball fans in his country were when Dave decided not to come back to the States to play ball, instead he stayed to play for the national team in 2000 and 2004.

Imagine an All-Star in 1999, not coming back to cash in on that performance. This gentleman told me about everything Dave has tried to do to promote the game in Australia, how he is a great ambassador for the game for them. I sat and listened and inside I was just as proud because Nilsson was signed as an amateur free agent in 1987 by Milwaukee. He played in over 800 games and like I said earlier was an all star in 1999. He hit .309 that year and hit 21 bombs. When he was announced as an injury replacement for the team, he became the first Australian to become an All Star.

It was neat how two complete strangers from different countries bonded for a few minutes while activating a phone over a former Milwaukee Brewer prospect and an Australian legend!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

One swing...

With one swing of the bat tonight, Ryan Braun showed us once again why he is the face of the Milwaukee Brewers. After John Axford blew his first save, the Hammer comes through in the bottom of the 9th and drills a shot off the base of the left field wall. Scored as a RBI double, the Crew wins 4-3!!!!

I have to admit I have neglected my Braun collection as of late, mostly saving money for wax purchases and box breaks. I gotta get back on that horse and pick up more Braun auto's, relics, and numbered cards.

Anyway still in the process of scanning some 1993 Stadium Club series 2, just had to share my excitement from the game tonight!

Card Shop Stories...

So a few days ago we made a trip across the lake to check out another card shop we have never been to, needless to say it was so so. Not many singles but they did have a whole lot of wax. As I was reminded while in the store, don't go crazy because my birthday is coming up and you never know what might be waiting for me. So instead I picked up 5 packs of series 2 Topps, and went over to my favorite part of the store. The 25 cent up to 2 dollar junk wax bin. I couldn't resist and picked up 6 packs of different cards. Let's start with 1993 Topps Stadium Club Series 1:

Topps tells me to look for special 1st day production cards in this set and my cards cards are high definition premium photography! I would analyze these cards myself, however Topps did just a great job on the back themselves I will just share what they wrote.

299Members Choice Larry Walker "Walker is a complete player who may be on the verge of becoming a perennial All-Star. At 26, Walker is just approaching his prime."
200 Frank Thomas"Big Hurt could walk away with the 1993 MVP award"
47 Pete Incaviglia"Pete is excellent swinging at the first pitch"
205 Alejandro Pena"Pena is brutal on lefties"
239 Moises Alou"Moises is a great leadoff hitter"
172 Mark Lemke"Mark puts up great numbers in August"
104 Randy Tomlin"Randy has never lost in April"
233 Jose Rijo"Jose was very effective down the stretch"
88 1st Day Production Craig Wilson"Craig does well in the clutch"

232 Geno Petralli"Geno performs very well against groundball pitchers"
276 Mariano Duncan"Duncan loves to play during the day"
89 Melvin Nieves"Melvin hit best last season as a left fielder"
93 Jeff King"Jeff is an excellent third baseman"
260 Jeff Brantley"Jeff pitches very well as a starter"
114 Chico Walker"Chico mashes the first pitch"

Ah, good times back in 93'...stay tuned for 1993 Topps Stadium Club Series 2!