Archive for Clayton Kershaw

Kershaw 2018 NLCS Game 5 First Pitch game-used ball added to collection

Posted in Collecting Kershaw, Game-Used Items, Misc. with tags , , , , , on April 19, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

When it comes to sports collectibles, baseball cards will always be my first love.

But in today’s collectibles climate, MLB authenticated game-used baseballs just might be the new hot girlfriend who may be a better partner than the first wife.

And this week, that new girlfriend arrived looking finer than any of the girls that came before.

This week the mailman came through with a massive mailday that contained a purchase I made last week. The contents? THE baseball that Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw used to start Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

Kershaw is my dude. My guy. My favorite active player. And last year I was lucky enough to witness in person an almost improbable collision of worlds when Kershaw faced off against my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, in Game 5 of the World Series.

True, the outcome was not what Kershaw would have wanted. But that did mean that the Sox did clinch a world title in Dodger Stadium while I was present.

But the road for the Dodgers to get there that night was something that I, as a Kershaw fan and collector, would not forget. And his start in Game 5 of the NLCS, during which the southpaw would strike out 9 Milwaukee Brewers over 7 innings en route to his 9th career post season victory (and the last to date), was something that Dodger fans absolutely needed to see from their ace.

The performance in the NLCS helped set LA up for a second straight World Series appearance, and was one that eventually would lead to the aforementioned dream scenario of me seeing my favorite player gave off against my favorite team with all the marbles in the line

I’m not going to kid myself. This newly acquired baseball isn’t the dream ball I’m still chasing. I absolutely NEED to acquire a Kershaw-thrown ball from Game 5 of the World Series. But this NLCS Ball is something I could not pass up when I noticed it up for sale recently.

There had been two other Kershaw-related NLCS balls posted on eBay for sale. One was actually the second ball used during Game 5 against the Brewers and the other was used during the at-bat in which Kershaw walked during a plate appearance against Brandon Wooddruff.

But the ball I bought trumped all of that as it is THE ball that Kershaw used to warm up, then thrown for the first pitch (a 90 mph fastball) and then a bouncing slider to Milwaukee lead-off hitter Lorenzo Cain.

2019 Topps Kershaw Printing Plate added to collection

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

The last few weeks have been so busy that I haven’t been documenting/sharing a ton of stuff here. I have this stack of Clayton Kershaw cards on my desk that I’ve been meaning to sort. Along the highlights is this 2019 Topps Series One Yellow Printing Plate.

I still enjoy printing plates from time to time, even if the majority of the hobby has moved away from them. But honesty, others going in a different direction just means I’m more likely to acquire them at a cheaper price.

The 2019 base Topps card is also amusing because it’s an image from Opening Day 2018 and Kershaw’s zippier is down, something I noted just says before the product was released.

I’m a CARD collector but this Topps ART is amazing

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , , on March 29, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

When Topps released the image of the Clayton Kershaw Topps Living Set artwork there were some mixed reactions.

Personally I loved the rendition by artist Mayumi Seto.

It’s a tight-crop of Kershaw’s face, his beard slightly hidden behind his right shoulder, which prominently displays the Dodger’s 60th anniversary patch. It’s a different view of the pitching legend and maybe that’s why I liked it. Being a Kershaw collector I’ve grown used to the full body shots showing his face contorted in some weird way as he’s about to release the ball.

I bought five of the Topps Living Set cards and figured I’d snag a print when it was produced. And the print was released just a few weeks ago so I ordered one.

The print arrived today and I was not disappointed when I removed it from the packaging. This 10×14 print comes on textured paper and are hand numbered, mine 73/87.

The prints are highly recommended for any player or team collector who enjoys the image used on the Living Set cafd. I almost wish I had ordered additional copies, or considered the 1/1.

31 of my favorite Clayton Kershaw cards for his 31st birthday

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , on March 19, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw turns 31 today. Here are 31 of my favorite cards from my collection to celebrate his birthday.

eTopps Kershaw Rookie Card is a thing of beauty

Posted in Collcting Clemens, Collecting Kershaw, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on March 19, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Way back before Topps started The Living Set, the 150 Years of Baseball set, or any of the other on-demand sets that have been for sale on the company’s site, the company had a thing called eTopps — essentially the precursor to on demand cards.

I’ll admit I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination when it comes to this, due in large part that I really didn’t like the business model for eTopps so I didn’t spend a lot of time learning or dealing with it.

The basic idea was the cards were available for sale on the site for a set price, and were available until sold out or for a limited time. And to my understanding you could keep the cards on the site and trade them like stocks, or you could choose to have them delivered later.

That was way too complicated for me when the company started eTopps in 2001 and by 2008, the year of Kershaw’s rookie cards, I still hadn’t grown to love the idea of paying for single cards directly from the company.

The eTopps model continued for several more years but looks to have stopped just a few years ago, but some of the business model has morphed into what we now know as the on demand market.

The reason this comes to mind today is a recent addition to my collection — the 2008 eTopps Clayton Kershaw Rookie Card, serial numbered to 999 copies and encased in a plastic holder with a holographic sticker to ensure the card has not been removed. The card arrived over the weekend and once in hand it’s easy to see why anyone could have fallen in love with these cards. The question now is whether I leave it in this holder, remove it and put it in something else — due in part to the fact that it looks like the card is upside down based on my preference — or send it to BGS so it can be displayed with my other Kershaw rookies.

As for eTopps cards, This is the third eTopps card that I own, one of which is a Roger Clemens Card designed to look like 1984 Topps — That Card was one of the New were autographed during a special signing session at Topps.

Rhys Hoskins should be the guy whom my son and I collect

Posted in Collecting Hoskins with tags , , , , , , , on March 14, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

How one goes about choosing their favorite player, or at least the ones they decide to collect, is completely arbitrary. Some choose a top draft pick and go to town on that guy for however long it seems sustainable. Others choose a player from their favorite team and remain loyal to them until there is reason not to be.

In some ways I have done both in my collecting career. I chose Roger Clemens as my guy in the late 1980s because he was the face of my favorite team. And I lucked my way into Clayton Kershaw after I fell in love with a YouTube video of his knee-buckling curve ball and then pulled his 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Refractors Autograph from a blaster at WalMart.

But it looks like there is a new player whom I should be courting in this hobby, and one whom my son and I should be together building a personal collection of — that player is Rhys Hoskins.

I’d been thinking for a while that he and I should be finding a guy whom we should collect together. He likes Steph Curry, but I didn’t own much basketball before my son really expressed an interest. And while I’ve been pounding the drum of how great Mike Trout is … we’re a tad late to that game. (Side note: I did sell his 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Auto BGS 9 about 18 months ago when I really needed money, but that’s topic for another post.)

As it turns out, I think we stumbled upon our player rather organically last year without us really noticing. Here’s the story:

In July 2018, Topps released “Big League.” I loved the product and the hype that came with it after I saw people buying and ripping. One day after it hit retail shelves my kids and I went to Walmart and they have two packs of Big League. I tossed them in the cart and later opened then in the car. To my surprise, the packs were great. I pulled a Jose Altuve auto from the first pack, and the second pack had something shiny in the middle. It was a silver holofoil parallel of Rhys Hoskins, serial numbered 076/100. I showed it to my kids and both smiled to appease me and went back to their video games.

About a month later when 2018 Topps Stadium Club hit shelves I told my kids how much I loved TSC because of the photos. They have come to know me as not only a card collector, but also an amateur photographer, especially as it pertains to sunsets and baseball. So it was rather normal for them to understand my attraction to TSC as it is largely built around great photography. I bought a hobby box of TSC and allowed by kids to partake in the break, knowing that they’d be looking at the photos but also looking forward to the two autographs per box. My daughter ripped her six packs and pulled a Garrett Cooper auto; I opened my six packs and didn’t get any ink; and then my son got about half way through his packs when he nailed a Rhys Hoskins auto.

I thought it was an excellent pull and great addition to my collection. But I also made a mental note that the Hoskins was a card I would not sell or trade because it was a good rookie auto pulled by my son. So even though I paid for the cards and at the time he was not actually collecting, I sort of saw this Hoskins TSC as HIS card.

A few more months pass and I am in a phase in which I am buying into random number group breaks of Panini America Immaculate cases through breaker MojoBreak.com, which is headquartered not too far from where I live. The idea with this style break is you pay a set amount and are given a random number 1-99 (because nothing in Immaculate is numbered to more than 99) and whatever card comes out of the boxes with your assigned serial number is yours. During one session I paid like $15 for a random spot and lucked into the coveted Number One spot. So anything numbered 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, etc. was mine. It also meant that any 1/1 was also mine. Welp, guess whose name popped up again? That’s right, Rhys Hoskins.

Conrad at MojoBreak did his whole “One of One of One” chant and revealed this Immaculate RPA featuring Player-Used (so from a photo shoot) striped jersey with a patch and an on-card auto. I was ecstatic, but also a bit perplexed as this was yet another Hoskins hit rearing its head.

I’ve managed to cull the rest of the 2018 products I had sitting around and as it turns out, I have some 50 Hoskins rookie-year cards, which is a lot considering I don’t buy a bunch of everything.

And then the other day while digging through some old prospect boxes, look what else popped up: a 2014 Bowman Draft Paper Blue Hoskins First Bowman serial numbered 212/399.

If you don’t call that a sign, I don’t know what to make of this. So while I will not chase Hoskins with the fervor that I do Clemens and Kershaw, it’s definitely the guy whom I shall pitch to my son as the player whom we watch and collect together going forward.

I made another Topps purchase … but what I really want are the old school folders

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , on March 13, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I woke early this morning to make the kids’ school lunches and it dawned on me that it’s Wednesday. This means three things: It’s early day at school; there is a new episode of my favorite card podcast tonight; and it’s a Topps Living Set day.

Clayton Kershaw got his Topps Living Set card a few months ago, but last week the limited edition 10×14 fine art print went up for sale and while making lunches I remembered today was the last day to make the purchase so I logged in, ordered one, and moved on about my morning.

But the more I thought about it, the more I wished there was something else I wanted. I searched Kershaw’s name and there were various On Demand cards and posters for sale, but it seemed like something was missing. Then the light bulb went on and a clear vision popped into my head.

When I was 9, my family used to shop at KMart. I will never be ashamed of that. One of the items that I recall buying a a kid was a notebook folder designed to look like the 1989 Topps Mark McGwire card. There was Big Mac on the cover in his familiar crouched batting stance as shown on the front of his actual 1989 card, and the back was also a copy of the card, full of stats. I did the same a year later with a Dave Stewart card-inspired folder, his eyes staring right at me every time I opened the folder for math class.

The vision I had was not only those brief seconds of my youth, but how I wished Topps had recreated those folders for the current lineupo of cards and sold them on the Web Site. Full card fronts and backs, just like we had some 30 years ago.

Imagine if those were for sale, even for the cost of $3.99 each. How many of us nostalgic folks would spring for a few of those for ourselves, and maybe even a few for our own kids, or nieces or nephews.

This hobby is all about nostalgia. Do us all a favor, Topps, and bring back the folders. You guys could even sell them as a team set or an all-star team set to make it worth your while. Collectors talk a lot about bringing the youth into our hobby and we know that the business model doesn’t currently play into that for any card company. But the folders would be a fun way to tap into the youth; a way to link the kids with their parents or older siblings.