Friday, January 31, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Five Star : Yasiel Puig Jumbo Jersey Relic Card ( 35 / 35 )

Thought this would be an appropriate way to end the month as I met up with Yasiel back on Wednesday as seen HERE and will be attending Fan Fest tomorrow at Dodger Stadium where Yasiel will be signing autographs. One day closer to Spring Training for the Boys in blue.

The Five Star brand is a high end card set that basically just has superstars in the set. Yasiel is represented in various inserts but this is the card I just had to get my hands on.

As we all know the Dodger's colors are blue, white, gray and a touch of red. Once a year though on St. Patrick's Day they don green jerseys for that one day. Now like most relic cards, this one says on the back that this patch is from a non specific game but being green and it being Puig's first season we know when and where this relic was made from. A unique card I wanted to acquire.

This insert's parallel was the "easiest" to win as it has a whopping 35 copies. = ) Other color parallels were at 15, 10 etc. I set my eyes on this beauty and won it at the very last minute. The seller sent the card promptly and I had it in my grubby little hands within a couple of days. Probably won't be looking for many more green Dodger jerseys but I am glad that I was able to win this at a reasonable cost to me.

Puig in

35 of only 35
Truly limited.

Contest Winnings From The Dutch Card Guy # 1

My first package from somewhere other than the USA finally arrived yesterday and it was the one that I have been waiting for anxiously.

I was lucky enough to win the contest that was held by The Dutch Card Guy a few weeks ago. I came out the winner by being one of the four to take the time consuming project of leaving 400 comments on 400 blog entries and then the luckiest of the four in a randomizing pull. Original contest can be seen HERE with the results seen HERE . My hand hurt after all those comments but it was worth it as the winner I had first pick among cards that were available. Thank you again for running the contest and hope to see you in one of mine in the future.

Now onto the booty. Obviously the big prize is what I chose but he was kind enough to throw in some bonus cards into the package.

Hologram sticker from Upper Deck. I remember these back when I collected in the 90's

Postcard sized cards of past Dodgers Dave Stewart and Bob Welch. Have never seen these before.

Some old Fleer cards. Man I loved Pedro back in the day.

Victory cards that feel like playing cards. Again, another set I was unaware of.

A cool looking old Fleer Sticker card and the original wild horse, Raul Mondesi

Derek Lowe

And now the big prize and the card I assume everyone was gunning for in the contest.

2007 Bowman Sterling Autograph Relic Rookie Card of the best pitcher in baseball.
Clayton F'ing Kershaw
Looks better in person.

81 of only 199

A great package from across the pond. Once again, thanks go out to The Dutch Card Guy for hosting the contest and congrats to my fellow competitors in the competition as they also scored some nice cards as well. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Update : Yasiel Puig 1971 Mini Insert

It's been awhile since I dipped into the Puig pool as my focus has been on other cards. I knew this card existed and loved the look the first time I saw it but wanted the price to come down before I pursued it. Out of the gate I saw the card going for north of $10 and book final came out with the price set at $10. Still with other cards holding my attention I was not going to pay anywhere near that. One day I found this card on the bay for a quarter under $3. Didn't hesitate and picked up another great looking card of the wild horse of the Dodgers.

State of the Dodgers : 2014 Select A Seat Event

Yesterday was my yearly scheduled date for the Dodger's Select a Seat event that they hold for all Dodger season ticket holders. I luckily have been a STH for enough years that my date to upgrade is on the first scheduled day. In past years it has been a two day affair but this year it is now a three day event and I assume with confidence that it is because of all the new STH that joined the "family" last year. Again, thankfully I have some seniority that allows me to have some options when I walk through the gates. I assume the people that show up tomorrow (Friday) will have a lot less if any to chose from.

Last year I upgraded my seats by moving to the Loge level along the 3rd baseline. I also thought it was a sign as I was able to pick out two aisle seats in Row J ( last name starts with J ). I was stoked. All was fine till one day the wife and I attended a game and as I was away she had beer poured on her from the above Reserve level. I knew that day I had to make a change for the following year. So I had two goals for myself. One to see if I can move either one or preferably two sections closer to home plate on the same level while keeping the same costs for the seats and two, either two rows in front of row J or one row back of it so there would not be a repeat this year of beer pouring. The wife decided to join me this year so off we went to the Stadium for the second time in 5 days ( Kings game last Saturday ) with my fingers crossed that I could accomplish my set goals and with lady luck in the form of my beautiful wife I was confident.

We arrived a hour prior to my appointment time and the first thing I wanted to do is have my first Dodger Dog of the year. Headed over to the Stadium Club restaurant and noticed a little commotion over to the side and I went over to see what was going on. Low and behold it was a current Dodger. Here is the pic of him and as the flash did not go off I darkened it even more to give it a silhouette look.

Who is the mystery star? Why none other than....

Mr. Puig himself. Yasiel was doing an interview and taking pictures with fellow fans. I was able to get a picture with him but I really need to start caring a blank ball and pen for times like these as I could have gotten his signature. Sigh.... missed opportunity.

As I was eating my Dodger Dog I looked out to my seats over in section 161 of the loge level and noticed that there were none available to upgrade to. Ugh. I glanced down and noticed though that there were 2 seats in section 158 under the overhang and in the shade. Section 158 would put me two sections closer to home and the closest you can get without going to the next price level in section 156. We rushed down to the seats to tear off the paper from the seats that designate that they are up for grabs. With them in hand I could now relax knowing that we would have new seats in the shade (can attend more day games now), no longer under the drip line where drinks could be thrown down from above and also two sections closer to home. 

View from the new seats

Zoomed in view

A fun and successful day at the Stadium. New seats, met Puig again, free food and drinks and a day to relax in the middle of the week. Good times. Now back to the Stadium Saturday for Fan Fest. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Update : Matt Kemp 2006 Rookie Commemorative Patch Card

Yet another card of my favorite player Matt Kemp has been acquired for the collection. Again, taking advantage of his low performance the past 1 and half years I continue to look for good deals on his cards even those included in the recently released sets. This card is in the 2013 Topps update set and having already picked up Kershaw and Puig I knew I had to acquire the main man as well. Book has this card listed at $10 which is too much in my eyes. I don't even see it going for that much on eBay. Found this copy for a nice asking price of just a little under $4. That to me was an acceptable price. Never owned the original that this one is based on but having the commemorative version is good enough for me.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Contest # 5 Results - 3 Cards Of Our Singing Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu

Another contest has come and gone and this one received the most entries and the most people to date. Thank you all for joining and reading the blog as I enjoy all of yours (the ones that have one). The next contest will run sometime next week after the Dodger Fan Fest as I haven't decided on the autograph I am putting up. Paco or Cey card anyone? But that is for another time. Here are all the entries before I do the randomizing.

Kyle had the most the entries followed closely by Valarauko / Stalking PMS but you can never count out multi winner Jesse or the ever present Chavez Ravining. Glad to see Greg put in more than one entry this time.
= )
Onto the randomizing.

... and after clicking the button 99 times Kyle came out on top. Congrats. DM your address to me and I will get the cards in the mail in the next day or so. 

Once again thank you all for participating and look for the new contest next Monday or Tuesday. Have a great day everyone.

Signed Ball of the Day : Mark Ellis ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

Mark has had a decent if not great career. He has spent the last two seasons with the boys in blue. He has played for them, the A's and the Rockies with most of those years with Oakland. While not great at the plate as he has amassed a batting average of only .265 which includes over 1300 hits, his main contribution is his sure hands at second base. While not as flashy as other players in the game he constantly got the job done and was solid year in and year out. At the end of the 2013 season the Dodgers did not pick up his option for the 2014 season but with the new kid Guerrero coming in to take his spot at 2B I still held out hope that the Dodgers will bring back Mark at a lower price to mentor Guerrero and give the team a reliable back up on the field and maybe one of the last chances for Mark to pick up a ring.

Back in 2012 I acquired Mark's autograph on a team ball ( someday I'll do a post on that whole ball ) but coming into this year I turned my attention once again to doing single signed balls of the players. Went to enough games at Dodger Stadium and yet I was never able to get Mark to sign a ball for me. Through the year I always kept an eye on eBay for a pre authenticated ball of his and most had high buy it nows but I occasionally found some that were not. Finally a couple months ago I was able to win an auction for a PSA variety for just over $16. With the cost of the ball and authentication process combined costing over $25 you just can't beat that price when you factor in time and patience for the signature when here you don't have to as it's already on the ball. The ball collection keeps growing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Update : Don Sutton 1977 All Star Game Commemorative Patch Card

Acquired a different type of patch card the other day. While I have picked up patch cards of Dodger players depicted in their rookie cards this is the first one that I won with a specific game patch. I don't see many Dodgers in cards like these but when the Topps update set came out I saw that Don had a card in it with this patch and thought it would add a nice variety to my collection. Not too much demand for the card and even though the book has its value listed at $10 I was able to pick it up for a mere $3. Received the card a couple weeks later and it is a thick one. Love the look of it and its always nice to add a card of a past Dodger as my collection is lacking in that area.

Attended Game Recap : Ducks vs. Kings @ Dodger Stadium 1.25.2014 - DUCKS 3 Kings 0

Dodger Stadium was the site for the first ever outdoor NHL game in California with the participants being the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks. Two bitter teams with one team being the best in the NHL and the other being the Kings. The Kings have been in a lull for the past few weeks and hopefully this game would turn the team around.

But before the actual game there was things to see and participate in. The parking lot gates of Dodger Stadium opened up three hours prior to the game which was scheduled to begin at 6:30. The wife and I arrived around 4 to take in the festivities. We headed over to the spectator area and were greeted with a mass of people being funneled in by a very long line. We "merged" ahead of the crowd aka cut the line.
= ). Once in it was shoulder to shoulder with hockey fans.

The spectator plaza

Live music by some band covering White Stripe's Seven Army Nation.
Not a bad cover

Big hockey dude

Side of Dodger Stadium usually adorned with Dodger players.

Picture of one of the Dodger bobbles watching the sun set.

A hour prior to the game from our seats on the reserve level. A little busy.

Street hockey rink which later two teams of kids played a game

Stage where the band KISS will play twice later in the night.

Pre-game skate

Pre-game performance by KISS

Teams coming out through the center field entrance with the USC band playing.

Jordin Sparks singing the National Anthem. 

Wife and I prior to the game. 
Happy and ready to support our Kings
Go Kings Go !!!

Game on. Let there be outdoor hockey in Los Angeles

Penalty shot that could have changed the game but Duck goalie stops it. UGH

... and then the rest of the game happened. If the game was determined by minutes 11 to 60 then the two teams were pretty much even with me giving the edge to the Kings slightly. Problem is that they played minutes 1 to 10 where the Ducks game out with the more energy while the Kings seem to be going through the motions and found themselves in a 2-0 hole that they could never climb out of. In the final minutes the Ducks added an empty net goal to make the final score 3-0. 

We enjoyed the game and the atmosphere with our fellow hockey fans. We can always look back and say we were at the first outdoor game in California and we had fun except for the score at the end of the game. If you didn't get to experience this first hand it is a great thing to add to your bucket list. 

Now bring on Dodger baseball season which really kicks into high gear this week with us going to Select-a-seat on Wednesday and me attending Fan Fest on Saturday for some autographs.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Update : Yasiel Puig 2013 Rookie Commemorative Patch Card

It's kind of funny that there is a Puig commemorative card in his first year. I picked up Clayton's patch card which is understandable considering what he has done on the field and that the card shows off his 2008 card which was 5 years ago. On the other hand Puig's card that this patch is based on came out no more than a month or so prior to this card's release. Lets see some more years of production before we do a commemorative card eh Topps? But I understand their point of view, strike when the iron is hot and Puig is still hot.

With that all being said here I am Mr. Collector wanting to pick it up and add it to my collection. At the time of me winning the auction there was no book value assigned to it as it was still too new. I won it for just a little under $10. I thought it was a good bargain at the time as I had seen other copies close with a winning price of over $15. Since then the book value came out and has been valued at $25. While I don't see anything selling anywhere near that price it is nice to know that I paid less than half of book.

Contest Winnings From Chavez Ravining # 2

... and after waiting a long time to win a contest run by Alex over at Chavez Ravining I go and win back to back ones. You just never know your luck in these things. Yesterday I showed off my first bundle of goodies won and today is the second of the contest winnings. Again, the extras that Alex threw in were cherished more than the actual prize from the contest.

The contest was centered on a Joc Pederson card from the 2013 Bowman set and a card that I already owned. It was the fact that Alex was going to throw in some Dodger cards if you happen to win the contest.

First off the Joc card :

Next an Ethier card from the 2013 Bowman Platinum set :

Next up is a Hanley Ramirez card from Prizm :

I am not a fan of the non MLBPA licensed cards but it will fit in nicely in my HanRam collection

The first 2 of 3 of our newly signed ace, Clayton :

Another one of those non MLBPA cards in the form of Playoff
A 3-D card from Topps

And now the two prizes of the bunch, or what I consider the best :

I already have the refractor and xrfactor of the Finest Kemp but didn't have the base.
Alex read my mind list and helped me out there. Kemp Komplete
And I am just a fan of the minis and I did not own this one yet.
Another great Kemp addition.

And the final and best card :

A retro insert of Kid K. I love chrome and I love retro and that combination looks great on yet another Kershaw card that was needed for my personal collection.

Thank you once again to Alex for the contest and all the cards he included in the package. Much appreciated as always. Make sure to read his blog for more contests and all things Dodgers. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Hanley Ramirez Base Refractor Parallel

Another 99 cent purchase
Another Bowman Chrome card
Another Refractor parallel
Another Dodger card added to the collection

Simple purchases are the best and give you a sense of happiness. Back to the bay for "dumpster" diving purchases and this seller had the refractor parallel of Hanley's card from this year's Bowman Chrome set for a mere 99 cents. Again, won't pass on any card that I need for my collection when the price is that low. Purchased, paid for and delivered within 4 days and now slotted into a box at home. Another simple and fast transaction.

Contest Winnings From Chavez Ravining # 1

It finally happened for me over at Chavez Ravining as the creator spun the button enough times that Dodger Penguin finally won one of his contests. Got tired of always seeing Greg win. Lol.

The booty just arrived and while the main prizes were good the bonus cards that Alex threw in were the real prize to me.

First off the actual cards from the contest :

3 prospects from the cream of the crop insert set from 2013 Bowman

A Kemp card from a 2012 Topps product :

Bison during better days.

A much needed gold parallel from the 2013 Bowman set :

And top off the package a X-Fractor parallel from the 2013 Topps Chrome set :

The gold and xfractor cards to me were the best of the bunch as they filled some holes in my set needs but all are loved and appreciated. Thanks again go out to Alex for putting on the contest. Here's to more wins in the future.