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Sunday Best–August 23rd, 2009

August 23, 2009

The highest paid players in each league (source).

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National League
Manny Ramirez, LAD     23,854,494
Carlos Beltran, NYM      19,243,683
Carlos Lee, Hou             19,000,000
Johan Santana, NYM       18,876,139
Carlos Zambrano, Cubs     18,750,000
Barry Zito, SF                  18,500,000
Alfonso Soriano, Cubs     17,000,000
Aramis Ramirez, Cubs     16,900,000
Todd Helton, Col           16,600,000
American League
Alex Rodriguez, NYY     $33,000,000
Derek Jeter, NYY         21,600,000
Mark Teixeira, NYY      20,625,000
Magglio Ordonez, Det     18,971,596
Torii Hunter, LAA        18,000,000
Ichiro Suzuki, Sea       18,000,000
A.J. Burnett, NYY          16,500,000
CC Sabathia, NYY          15,285,714
Vladimir Guerrero, LAA     15,000,000

The Week’s Best

The best baseball and baseball card blog articles of the week (as voted on by a panel of one):

Night Owl    All-Dog Nickname Team
mmosely    Confesses His Love for Chipper (And Other Transgressions)
Trader Crack    Wonders Why the Hobby Likes Pretty Girls
Bill Baer    Analysis of Smoltz’s current effectiveness
dayf    A Great Idea for Upper Deck in ’10
Mario    Recaps old-school Pinnacle

National League
Manny Ramirez, LAD     23,854,494
Carlos Beltran, NYM      19,243,683
Carlos Lee, Hou             19,000,000
Johan Santana, NYM       18,876,139
Carlos Zambrano, Cubs     18,750,000
Barry Zito, SF                  18,500,000
Alfonso Soriano, Cubs     17,000,000
Aramis Ramirez, Cubs     16,900,000
Todd Helton, Col           16,600,000
American League
Alex Rodriguez, NYY     $33,000,000
Derek Jeter, NYY         21,600,000
Mark Teixeira, NYY      20,625,000
Magglio Ordonez, Det     18,971,596
Torii Hunter, LAA        18,000,000
Ichiro Suzuki, Sea       18,000,000
A.J. Burnett, NYY          16,500,000
CC Sabathia, NYY          15,285,714
Vladimir Guerrero, LAA     15,000,000
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To The Winner Go These Spoils

August 22, 2009

Zach over at Autographed Cards was the winner of the Cali V World contest I ran on APAD. Here is the prize package I put together for him. His favorite team is the Royals and, as you know from his blog, he has a strong hankering for on-card autos. I only have one on-card in my collection (non-DBacks division), so he gets that, and a mess of Royals.

A Barmes on-card Auto and a Bo bat bit.

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Some olden Royals.

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Some golden Royals.

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Some random Royals and a mini.

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Zach, I hope you enjoy the cards. If I manage to get more than one auto of Guillermo Quiroz during the Southern league playoffs, I’ll send you one as well.

Thanks everyone for playing. I’ll be running another contest on APAD pretty soon. I hope you have as much fun with them as I do.

First Card of 2009: Topps Guillermo Quiroz

August 18, 2009
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I know it’s only about seven months late for this, but here it is for posterity.

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I had no idea who the guy was, but he was my First Card of the Year(tm), so I did some research. Turns out he’s a former big-time prospect from Venezuela who was derailed by injuries and didn’t quite develop a MLB-caliber bat. Okay. Good for him that he made it to a baseball card in the big leagues. He’s the kind of guy fans don’t remember, but card collectors might just fixate on. He’s my first card of the year, so he goes in my wallet for good luck.

Then Dinged Corners opens their first 2009 Topps pack, and they get a GOLD Quiroz. Sweet ladies that they are, they send it to me just for the asking.

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A month later I open a Target Throwback blaster, and I get the retro version of the Quiroz. Sweet. Now if I ever see the guy in person I have a non-glossy card that I can get signed. Fat chance of that happening.

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I find out a bit later that Q was actually playing for West Tennessee in the Southern League early this season. By the time I found out, I had already missed the Diamond Jaxx series in Birmingham. In late May he was called up to the Mariners for a spell. He played in 4 games and got 4 hits in 15 AB. He’s back down in AA now, where he’s hit .248/.303/.411 with 4 HR in 41 games. If I get lucky, West Tennessee will win the North Division race in the second half and have a playoff series against my Barons. If that happens, I may be the only fan all year long that begs Quiroz for an auto or three and actually knows who he is.

Also, if anyone has the blackout version or the black-bordered version or the silk version or the banana peel version or whatever other versions Topps put out this year, hit me up for a trade.

Sunday Best–August 16th, 2009

August 16, 2009

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The best players in both leagues, by Power-Speed number.

Kinsler (TEX) 23.5
Granderson (DET) 21.4
Cruz (TEX) 20.2
Crawford (TBR) 19.6
Jeter (NYY) 17.1
Zobrist (TBR) 16.1
Rios (TOT) 16.1
Choo (CLE) 15.4
Bay (BOS) 15.3
Reynolds (ARI) 26.8
Kemp (LAD) 20.2
Ramirez (FLA) 19.2
Tulowitzki (COL) 18.2
Rollins (PHI) 18.2
Upton (ARI) 17.8
Phillips (CIN) 17.5
Pujols (STL) 17.1
Utley (PHI) 16.9
Werth (PHI) 16.9

A Nelson Cruz will be ordered from Sportlots. Last week’s order has not arrived yet, mostly because I did not place the order until Wednesday. Cruz will be featured again in an upcoming Sunday Best.

The Next Storm Davis?

August 11, 2009

There is a 50/50 chance that there will be another Storm Davis  today. I’m sitting in the hospital room with the Missus, who was due last week. The doctor gave a deadline of today, and we are currently doing the labor induction process and making progress. We don’t know if the baby is a boy or a girl, so we have names picked out for both. If a boy, he will be Storm Davis Rooks.

We came up with the middle name first. Davis is a family name on my wife’s side, and we liked the idea of using that for the middle name. We did a lot of brainstorming for the first name, and most of the time I would say the first name, middle name, and last name out loud as I thought of possible first names. “Zarathustra Davis Rooks” got shot down by the Missus. So did “Mercury Davis Rooks” and “Lightning Davis Rooks.” I’m not sure why, but when she suggested Storm, I didn’t do the out loud bit. I said I liked it and we put it on the list of possibilities. Not until later did I make the connection to the former pitcher.

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1987 was the first year I got head over heels into baseball cards. I spent so much time organizing my 1987 Topps cards that for years afterwards I could identify the player on a card if you just showed me a little sliver of one corner of the picture. I don’t have them anymore, so I had to find this pic online. Funny, I don’t recognize it. I’m sure 20 years ago the image was still burned into my memory, but it has faded entirely since.

When I finally realized the name connection, I told the Missus that we couldn’t use the name. I figured too many people would think that we named our kid after a ballplayer. I had it in my head that the original Storm Davis was a pitcher of some repute, and that even casual fans from the era would recognize the name. When I finally got around to looking up his stats, I realized he’s probably not as well-known as I imagined. No All-Star selections. No Cy Young votes. So I reconsidered and put the name back on the list. It eventually became the boy name we liked the most, so as it stands right now, there’s a 50/50 chance that another Storm Davis will be born today.

Update: It’s a girl! No new Storms tonight. If anyone can find a card of a baseball player named Willow Ann, I’ll be impressed.

Sunday Best–August 9th, 2009

August 9, 2009

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The best hitters in each league, by Adjusted OPS+.

NL:

1.    Pujols (STL)    194
2.    Willingham (WSN)    163
3.    Fielder (MIL)    162
4.    Dunn (WSN)    155
5.    Gonzalez (SDP)    155
6.    Ibanez (PHI)    153
7.    Ramirez (FLA)    152
8.    Braun (MIL)    150
9.    Votto (CIN)    149

AL:

1.    Mauer (MIN)    181
2.    Morneau (MIN)    156
3.    Youkilis (BOS)    150
4.    Kubel (MIN)    147
5.    Zobrist (TBR)    146
6.    Teixeira (NYY)    143
7.    Cabrera (DET)    143
8.    Hunter (LAA)    140
9.    Young (TEX)    139

I need a Kubel and a Michael Young. I’ll be on Sportlots soon. Starting to become a big fan of that place.

EDIT: Kubel and Young have been added to the scan.

A&G, Not For Me

August 5, 2009
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I picked up a retail pack of A&G at Tarzhay. Here are the spoils:

John Lackey

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The Card Stacking Champion of the World

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Josh Whitesell – If it was any other team, I’d say “who?”, but it’s my dbacks, so I say “sweet!” Whitesell is adequate big-league filler and not much more.

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Manny Ramirez Highlights funky border card – The highlight: Manny’s 500th Career HR. That is a reasonably noteworthy achievement to commemorate with a card, but it occurred in May ’08. This set came out more than twelve months later. It’s not like it was a surprise that Manny reached #500 last summer. If I’m managing a major product with a mid-season release date, it is my job to know of these upcoming milestones, and to get them into my set if they occur one day before my final date to submit the product for printing. This card should have been in last year’s set, and if it barely missed the print deadline for last year, they should have just left it out in ’09. (Sidenote: I like the photo, and I really like the funky border.)

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Mini card of a flying car thingy – I got all excited when I realized my pack had a mini. And then it was this.

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Ryan Howard – National Pride. The text on the back of this card will be the subject of a forthcoming post.

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I’m not a cheapskate, but I don’t spend a lot of money buying packs. When I do, I hate paying $3 for a pack of six baseball cards and receiving four cards of baseball players, a card of a world champion nobody, and a card of a piece of hypothetical technology. I know a lot of y’all dig the quirkiness. I dig the cards when they have baseball subjects. But packs of A&G are not for me.