Card of the Week: Dennis Eckersley 2015 Topps Five Star

The Card of the Week for January 10-16, 2016 is the 2015 Topps Five Star Autograph of Dennis Eckersley. Eckersley was one of my 2 favorite pitchers to watch as a kid. The other being Dave Stewart. I began watching baseball in the mid-1980s, this was after Eckersley came to the Oakland Athletics and converted into one of the most dominant closers in the game.

Dennis Eckersley 2015 Topps Five Star Autograph

Dennis Eckersley 2015 Topps Five Star Autograph

Eckersley was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004. He is one of two pitchers with 20-win (1978) and 50-save (1992) seasons. Eckersely was selected to the All-Star game 6 times, 2 as a starter and 4 as a closer. He was also named MVP of the 1988 American League Championship Series, saving all 4 of Oakland’s victories against the Boston Red Sox.

His best season came in 1992 when he posted a 7-1 record, struck out 93 batters in 80 innings and saved a major league leading 51 games. That year Eckersley won the American League MVP and Cy Young Awards.

Fun Fact: In his 24 year career, Eckersley only pitched in the National League for 5 years, 3 as a starter and 2 as a reliever. As a starter for the Chicago Cubs (1984-86), Eckersley hit 3 home runs. 1 in 1985 and 2 in 1986. Not bad for a guy with only 181 career at bats.

Eckersley was clearly one of the most dominant pitchers in the game during the 1980s and 1990s. He was instrumental in the success of the Oakland Athletics in the late-1980s and early-1990s. Eckersley will always be one of my favorite pitchers.

Card(s) of the Week: Kendall Graveman 2015 Panini Immaculate Jumbo Patch

The Card(s) of the Week for December 6-12th is the 2015 Panini Immaculate Jumbo Patch of Kendall Graveman. Panini’s Immaculate Baseball set is quickly becoming one of my favorite high-end sets. Will I ever purchase a box of these cards? No. The $200 price tag for 6 total cards makes it unrealistic for me to purchase. However, I will purchase the cards I want off eBay.

Kendall Graveman Panini Immaculate Jumbo Patch #24, 27 /49

Kendall Graveman Panini Immaculate Jumbo Patch #24, 27 /49

The jumbo patch is beautifully done, taking up over two-thirds of the card’s surface. Both of these cards are number out of 49.

Graveman1207b

2015 Panini Immaculate Jumbo Patch #24/49

Graveman1207c

2015 Panini Immaculate Jumbo Patch #27/49

In his first season with the Athletics, Graveman was 6-9 with a 4.05 ERA over 21 starts. He is a young pitcher that shows flashes of promise. During the month of June, Graveman went 3-2 with a 1.93 ERA in 6 starts.  With an improved bullpen in 2016 many of Oakland’s starters should see improved stats over 2015.

This is the second card featured in the Card of the Week from Panini Immaculate. The first was the Shadowbox Signature of Kendall Graveman. Click here to see that post.

Card of the Week: Bruce Maxwell 2014 Topps Pro Debut Magenta Printing Plate

Now that I just completed a stretch of working 16 days in a row, I can get back to some semblance of routine. This week’s Card of the Week is the 2014 Topps Pro Debut Printing Plate of Bruce Maxwell. Bruce is currently the Oakland Athletics No. 28 Prospect on MLB.com. This card features Bruce’s time on the Beloit Snappers. This is the 3rd printing plate I own. The great thing about printing plates is that they are a true 1/1.

Bruce Maxwell 2014 Topps Pro Debut Magenta Printing Plate 1/1 - Front

Bruce Maxwell 2014 Topps Pro Debut Magenta Printing Plate 1/1 – Front

Bruce was drafted in the 2nd round of the June 2012 Draft. This past year he was with the Midland RockHounds and helped them to their 2nd straight Texas League Championship. Bruce spent part of the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Stockton Ports where I got to see him play. He was also named to the 2014 California League All-Star team.

Bruce Maxwell 2014 Topps Pro Debut Magenta Printing Plate 1/1 - Back

Bruce Maxwell 2014 Topps Pro Debut Magenta Printing Plate 1/1 – Back

Click to see the previous Card of the Week entries.

Card of the Week: Tony LaRussa 1988 Topps Autographed

The Card of the Week for November 1st-7th is an autographed 1988 Topps Tony LaRussa. This is one of my best TTM successes I have received to date. Growing up as an Oakland Athletics fan, I witnessed first hand the dominant teams of the late-1980s, early-1990s.

Sure those teams and many others in that era are accused of cheating by using steroids or other performance enhancing drugs; however, that is all in hindsight. These accusations do not take away from the pure talent that those players had.

TTM Autograph from Tony LaRusaa - 01/08/2015

TTM Autograph from Tony LaRusaa – 01/08/2015

Tony LaRussa is one of my favorite managers of all time. Even after he left Oakland to manage the St. Louis Cardinals I never lost respect for the man and his abilities. The 1988 Topps set is one of my favorite sets. Not because it has a beautiful design, but rather for nostalgic reasons. This came out during a time where my brother and I really got into collecting baseball cards.

This card is the first of two I have received signed via TTM from Tony LaRussa. The other is a 1987 Topps card.

Card of the Week: Carlos Rodon Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor

This week’s featured card is the 2015 Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor Autograph of Carlos Rodon. This card is numbered 69/250. I pulled this card out of a hobby box of Bowman Jumbo that I picked up from my local card store.

Carlos Rodon Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor Auto #69/250 - Front

Carlos Rodon Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor Auto #69/250 – Front

Carlos was drafted by the Chicago White Sox as the 3rd overall pick in the June 2014 Draft. He shot up though the Minor Leagues and made his Major League Debut on April 21, 2015, just over 10 months after being drafted. In his first full season Carlos went 9-5 with a 3.75 in 26 games, 23 of which were starts. It looks like Carlos will be a mainstay in the White Sox rotation for years to come.

Carlos Rodon Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor Auto #69/250 - Back

Carlos Rodon Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor Auto #69/250 – Back

 

Card Serial Number

Card Serial Number

Card of the Week: Kendall Graveman 2015 Panini Immaculate Shadowbox

The card of the week for October 18, 2015 is the 2015 Panini Immaculate Kendall Graveman Shadowbox. This card is numbered 08/49. Kendall was one of the players the Oakland Athletics received in return, along with Brett Lawrie, Franklin Barreto and Sean Nolin, for Josh Donaldson. Kendall is shaping up to be a quality starter in the Athletics rotation.

Panini does a great job in offering interesting designs on their higher end autograph and relic cards. The autograph on this card looks like it is done on a clear acetate with the photo printed on it. The card is thick like a relic card with a white background to make a shadowbox effect.

Kendall Graveman 2015 Panini Immaculate Shadowbox #08/49 - Front

Kendall Graveman 2015 Panini Immaculate Shadowbox #08/49 – Front

The only thing missing from the card is the MLB license. However, with this type of quality and the way the photography is presented I personally don’t miss it too much.

Kendall Graveman 2015 Panini Immaculate Shadowbox #08/49 - Back

Kendall Graveman 2015 Panini Immaculate Shadowbox #08/49 – Back

Card Serial Number

Card Serial Number

 

Card of the Week: Giancarlo Stanton 2015 Topps Stadium Club Lone Star Signature

My card of the week for October 10-17, 2015 is the Giancarlo Stanton 2015 Topps Stadium Club Lone Star Signature. This card is numbered 18/25. This is likely the most valuable autograph card I own. I pulled a redemption for this card from the first box of 2015 Topps Stadium Club I purchased. I bought 2 in total. Giancarlo Stanton is currently on the Miami Marlins.

Redemption card for the Giancaro Stanton auto card.

Redemption card for the Giancaro Stanton auto card.

After pulling the redemption, my first thought was do I sell it or keep it. I decided to keep it. I watched the Topps Redemption Update report to see when Stanton signed and turned in his cards. About a month ago I saw that Stanton submitted his cards to Topps and so I entered the redemption code. Just over a later a week later I received the the package containing this beautiful card.

Giancarlo Stanton 2015 Topps Stadium Club Lone Star Signatures #18/25

Giancarlo Stanton 2015 Topps Stadium Club Lone Star Signatures #18/25

Of course now the question remains: Will I get this graded? At this time, I’m not sure. I don’t really have the money to invest in getting cards graded right now. Also I am undecided as to whether or not getting cards graded is worthwhile for me. However, if I do decide to invest in grading cards, this would be one towards the top of the list.

Card of the Week: Sonny Gray 2014 Stadium Club Rainbow Foil Auto

So I was inspired by Jesse over at the Dodger Dad Blog. He has a feature on his blog for a card of the week. This is something I’ve thought about doing for a while, but I wasn’t sure which card to feature as my first card of the week. A week ago I bought the perfect card. I happened to get this card on eBay for under $10 shipped. I received the card on Friday and so here we are…

My card of  the week for October 4-10, 2015 is the 2014 Topps Stadium Club Sonny Gray Rainbow Foil Autograph. This card is number 04/50. Until this summer, I did not own any Sonny Gray autographed cards. This card is now my 3rd Sonny Gray autographed card.

2014 Topps Stadium Club Sonny Gray Autograph Rainbow Foil #04/50

2014 Topps Stadium Club Sonny Gray Autograph Rainbow Foil #04/50

I have always loved Topps Stadium Club. It is one of a few sets where the photography takes center stage. This particular photo appears to have been taken during the 2013 ALDS. That year Sonny pitched in Games 2 & 5 of the series. Both of those games took place in Oakland.

Here is an up close picture of the gold foil stamped number.

2014 Topps Stadium Club Sonny Gray Autograph Rainbow Foil #04/50

2014 Topps Stadium Club Sonny Gray Autograph Rainbow Foil #04/50