Friday, February 24, 2017

Back Down South Pt. 1 of 2

I hate going out of town, but sometimes my job requires it. This past week I found myself back in Fort Lauderdale doing some work at the port, luckily I have family down there so I usually have something to do besides stare at the wall in my hotel room. Also there is a great card store close by, though he moved since the last time I was down there nearly 2 years ago Scott's Sports Cards is my favorite card shop/vendor I've stumbled across. Scott is a super nice guy with totally fair prices and isn't as greedy as most card vendors seem to be, if you ever find yourself in South Florida I highly recommend checking his store out though it's a small warehouse space now instead of his old storefront in a shopping plaza. Here's the address - 10128 N.W. 53rd Street. Sunrise, FL 33351.

Anyways I walked in looking for 2017 Topps because after buying over 200 cards via retail I got sick after only pulling 2 Braves... that's 1%... Grabbed these three Dansby rookies plus a full team set with multiples of most of them for other folks and a couple other inserts for about 5 bucks.

 2 more of the inserts I grabbed, big fan of both of these designs. Love the simplicity of the Father's Day one and being a big fan of Topps Fire I also dig the 5 Tool inserts.

Not big on cards of TV personalities but it's John Smoltz. Thick Museum Club inserts for a quarter? Huge fan especially of Maddux.

This guy has so many cards I found this super thick Bowman TV insert in between the boxes, I interviewed Touki during the offseason for Talking Chop and he's a super nice kid from South Florida  - Coral Springs where my family lives to be exact, was cool to talk to a super talented kid in my favorite team's farm system about eating at Cherry Smash ice cream. Wish him the best of luck this year in High A where i'll probably be able to catch some of his starts since the Braves moved their High A affiliate about an hour or so from my house.

There were boxes and boxes of autographs, relics, serial numbered cards etc. On this trip though I got there only an hour or so before closing time so I skimmed the top of the boxes for the thickest cards like this Inception auto of Travis Demeritte, which was less than half the price of online.

I've already got this Inception Auto of Max Fried but grabbed another copy because for these prices... why not? This kid is going to be a stud. Should start in AA and if he picks up where he left off in 2016 he won't be there long.

The other guy in the Alex Jackson trade that went down the day before Thanksgiving, further proof that Braves General Manager John Coppolella never sleeps. Pike is a lefty from nearby (to me) Polk County who has struggled by the numbers in the minors so far but has also been in mostly hitter friendly leagues. Excited to see what he can do with a change of scenery hopefully to the massive Trustmark Park in Mississippi of the Southern League (AA)

Thanks Yankees, the strikeout factory is going to miss the 2017 season but this kid has massive upside if he can return from TJS. Plus it's a 1st Bowman refractor for less than a cup of coffee, hard to pass up.

Closing it out with my guy Folty. 2017 will be his year, mark my words. Come back and tell me I'm wrong in October but I don't think I will be. Thanks for reading, I ended up going back the next day and grabbing more cards but I'll make that another post. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Spring Training 2017 - IT'S HERE!!!

Headed up to Disney Saturday to catch the Braves first full squad workout. There's not much scouting to do during batting practice, group stretching and infield/outfield drills at less than full speed but I'll recap what I saw while there.

Showed up early and caught some guys including top prospect Dansby Swanson taking hacks in  the batting cages just beyond right center field. You always hear all the "best shape of my life" quotes out of Spring Training but some guys were notably in better shape including Dansby who looks as though he put on a little more muscle over the offseason. That could be that I hadn't seen him up close since last Spring Training but Rio Ruiz was another guy who definitely was in tip top shape and appears ready to show the club that he's ready for the show full time as a potential platoon partner with Adonis Garcia at the hot corner.

Big River!

My wife brought her newer camera and took about 200 photos which was awesome. I posted a bunch more over on my twitter account if your interested @ProspectsBraves

Chase d'Arnaud is great with the fans, baseball needs more guys like him. My son loved it and even made it on the Braves Facebook page. Pretty cool

Dansby contemplating if he's going to sign my card or not 

He did, and my daughter's ball too. He skipped a ton of the professional autograph seeker types with pro-printed photos and bats and such and signed just for the kids. Even played a bit of peek-a-boo with my son.

New starting pitcher Jaime Garcia with his impeccable beard.

2016 Braves MILB Player of the year Dustin Peterson.

New 3rd base coach Ron Washington and prospect Travis Demeritte

The full squad

#2 Braves Prospect and consensus Top 15 Prospect in the game Ozzie Albies who wasn't throwing as he's still recovering from a broken elbow in the Southern League playoffs last year.

Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp don't just hit back to back in the lineup (they combined for 69 homeruns last season) they seem to be good friends as well.

My daughter got this ball signed by Braves President and former GM John Schuerholz, that makes back to back Spring Trainings with a ball signed by a Hall of Famer!


AJ Minter aka the Terminator

Max Fried

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2017 Topps - Thank God for baseball

Thank God for baseball is all I have to say about any other sport right now.

I'm a week late but I've bought about 9 packs of the newest release at various Targets so far. These were the best photos in my humble opinion. I'm not crazy about the design but I don't hate it either. My favorite aspect of it is the lack of chrome and the continued trend of no borders which I love.

In one of the first packs I pulled this card and notice that that's Logan Morrison not Corey Dickerson... Wow.

I'm cheap, I hate buying packs to be honest and this is why - I bought 8 packs before today and this was the first Braves card I pulled - in my 9th pack! It's not even a real card, it's some sort of advertisment for Topps Now, Bunt etc. 

Finally! This was the first Braves player I pulled $18 later and probably my least favorite player in the set but alas that's retail crack for you.

Here's all the inserts I pulled - I like the clean look of the Memorial Day cards - If your team is in this I'm making it a goal to send out trade packages to several of you, I haven't forgotten just been in the card room much less lately. I have a huge box full of stuff I've been acquiring for most of you who I trade regularly with.

Some decent rookies at least, no Dansby though guess I'll have to head over to Sportlots right... now!