Archive for Ramon Laureano

Boooooo! Give it to the kid!

Posted in Commentary, Misc. with tags , , , , , on June 18, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

He sits in his seat, left hand in his fielding glove, eyes transfixed on the field before him.

Like many other kids his age, his dream is to catch a ball. Game-used, player-thrown or -hit, whatever … it doesn’t matter. A ball is a ball, and it was the object of his desire.

This was me as a youth. Hell, it was you, and your friend. It was your dad, your brother, your cousin, your nephew.

It is my son.

My boy in recent months has taken a liking to the game, more so than I ever images he would at his age. I mean, like many baseball-loving dads, I hoped my son would be the kid who would be crushing Whiffle balls with a pacifier in his mouth, or throwing darts from right field to third base before the third grade. But that hasn’t always been the case. Even though he had been exposed to the game since birth, my son until recently hadn’t shown love for the sport.

But then it happened. He wanted to know about cards; about the game; about the rules.

And recently, when attending games, he started bringing his glove. And just a week and a half ago — on June 7, 2019 — while at the Dodgers-Giants game he asked if he (and his sister and cousin) could go to the front two of the bleachers during batting practice to see if he could snag a ball.

They didn’t get close to catching one, but watching their faces being among the crowd of folks with the same childhood dream — was priceless.

At one point a ball had gotten tossed into the stands and a scrum ensued and my nephew managed to get a finger tip on it, before a group of guys crashed into each other and a young girl walked away with it in her hands. No one was upset; hell, I was proud of my nephew for the effort. And found great comedy in watching a group of boys (and men) picking themselves up as the pre-teen girl held it up and flashed a giant smile.

Fast forward to Monday, June 17, a day after Father’s Day. My kids were with me for a few days and I sought out cheap entertainment. Of course my mind instantly went to baseball. I managed to find some bleacher seats for the Orioles at Athletics game and asked the kids if they wanted to go. Without hesitation, both my son and daughter agreed. And as we headed out the door, my son grabbed his glove.

By the time we got to the stadium, the first row on the left-field bleachers was full — which is to be expected in Oakland. They have some die-hard fans in left and right field bleachers, the type that bang on drums and cow bells, wave flags and have hand coordinated gestures.

But, we got there early enough to pick the seats we wanted. And sure enough, as we say down my son had his left hand in his glove, seemingly ready for anything that came his way.

For the first two innings, my son jumped out of his seat for anything that got hit toward left field. He wasn’t the only one. But his instincts were making me proud. Then in the third inning — after the A’s scored two runs — outfielder Ramon Laureano hit a flyball to left field for the third out.

Orioles left field Anthony Santander gloves it and began running toward the infield, and he threw it to Second baseball Hanser Alberto (who at this point was standing between second base and left field) and Alberto threw it into the left field bleachers. The ball clanked off a seat in section 136 and rolled down to section 135, row 29 — right behind my son. My son reached back and hand two fingers on it when an older kid — maybe late teens early 20s — comes flying over from 136 and aggressively grabs the ball, then turns around with his treasure.

Almost immediately, the crowd laid him.

“Booooooo! Give it to the kid!”

I asked my son if he was OK, and he said he was. He explained he had two fingers on it when it got snatched away by the other person in a blue shirt. I put my hand on his head and told him it was OK. I can’t say I was upset because I didn’t see how much control my son actually had of the ball. Also … I don’t know that older guy’s story. Hell, it’s not like the guy appeared to be in his 30s or anything.

Nonetheless, after a few moments, the guy in the blue shirt comes over and hands the ball to my son, apologizes and walks away halfway through my head nod to acknowledge his actions.

It was a great gesture, one I wish I could have thanked him more for at the time — but I froze. I was concerned about my son being embarrassed — also I wanted to make sure he actually held the ball and didn’t let it roll away.

To the guy in the blue shirt, thank you. I wish I could have shaken your hand before you disappeared. It’s not something you had to do, even if the others around you put pressure on you to give it up.

Having said that, what IS the protocol for older kids, young adults or older folks chasing a ball when clearly it’s in the grasp of a kid? Is this something I should have been upset about? Is this a scenario for which I should even be thanking the guy in the blue shirt?

As for the ball … I went aback and watched the replay of the final moments of the third inning. It appears this ball was initially used in a Khris Davis groundout to Hanser Alberto, who threw it to third base on a fielder’s choice — that’s where they tagged out a Matt Olson for the second out. Then on the next pitch Laureano pops out to left and eventually the ball ends up in the stands.

It was of apropos that Laureano was the guy who last hit it. He has been a golden thread weaved through my baseball story over the last year or so. My kids and I were there for his first career homer; I was there in April when he gunned down Xander Bogaerts at home, and again in May when he threw out another player from deep centerfield. And of course now this flyout which my son now owns.

2019 Topps Hobby Box and more purchased; the results.

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , on January 31, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Welp, the streak is over. My month-long hiatus from buying or opening packs is done, and let me say that it has been a tough month.

I’ve checked the card aisle at Target looking for something, but have staved off the real urge to buy anything.

I’ve checked Dollar Tree for some cheap thrills … I’ve even grabbed a few of the Hoops packs they have there and headed to the check stand before thinking better of the situation.

I even had two unopened 1990 Fleer baseball packs sitting in my trunk that I had forgotten about until a brief discussion with CardJunk from (Twitter). I grabbed those with the idea of opening them before remembering that their value to me as an unopened pack is greater than another stack of cards.

But as most of you know, Jan 30, 2019, was the release date for Topps Baseball Series One, and it effectively marked the beginning of a new card year. Earlier this week I wrote about the anticipation, and wrote some words of encouragement (mainly for myself) to help guide me in the right direction.

I was absolutely going to open some of the new product — there was no contention about that. But the point I wanted to make to myself was that it’d be best if I purchased a hobby box from my Local Card Shop and made it an event; that’s to say open the box with my son.

And so we did. I got the heads up from my LCS that the cards arrived at noon — an hour after the store opened — and then we went as a family to the shop after the kids got off of school. My daughter and nephew — whom I bought cards for Christmas but has yet to open them (WTF!) — decided they were too cool for the shop and stayed in the car while my son and I went inside.

We met with Tom at South Bay Sports Cards who gave us the quick rundown on the change in box/pack configuration, which then made me think I needed to buy just more than a single hobby box to be close to a complete Topps Series One set.

After 10 minutes, my son and I walked out with a Hobby Box (and the one 1984 Chrome pack), a single Jumbo pack, and five loose packs from the box on the counter. The idea was that with any luck we’d have fun ripping these, and then be somewhere around 20 cards short of a set when factoring inserts, duplicates, etc. 

OUR FIRST CARDS OF 2019

I grabbed one of the loose packs and opened it in the car. The first card on the back of the pack was Mike Zunino of Seattle Mariners. When I flipped the stack over, the first card facing up was Atlanta Braves pitcher Kolby Allard. I chuckled when I realized cards in my first pack were stacked A-Z.

On a side, note, what do YOU consider to be the first card in the pack? The one you see on the back when you open the pack, or the first card that is facing upward? It’s a fun discussion that carried on Twitter, and was even continued on the About The Cards podcast.

As for my son, he managed to mix up some of his cards before I could get a chance to see who was on the back and front of his pack. But he assures me that Clayton Richard was the first card front he laid eyes on. Good enough for me.

WHAT WE PULLED

I’ll give you the quick version:

-Jumbo pack: This contained my first Clayton Kershaw card of 2019, and as noted earlier this week — he does in fact have his zipper down. The pack also contained one of the thickest cards in recent memory: a 150th Medallion card of Reggie Jackson.

-Five loose packs: I opened two of these and let my son open three. My son proceeded to pull three serial numbered parallels, which was insane considering the odds. The Gold is easily attainable at 1:5 packs (serial numbered /2019); but he also pulled a Black seeded at 1:122 packs ( /67) and Advanced Stat back inserted at a rate of 1:75 packs (/150) made those packs amazing. Hell, any ONE of those inserted into a hobby box would have made it a win in some people’s eyes. Oh, and he pulled a Home Run Challenge Freddie Freeman (1:24 packs or 1/box). I pulled 1984 Designs of Vladimir Guerrero and David Ortiz, as well as a Topps Now Review featuring Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Shoei Ohtaini.

-Hobby exclusive Chrome pack: The four guys we got were Ramon Laureano, Manny Machado, Noah Syndergaard and Kyle Schwarber. Laureano made me smile because aside from a 2017 Topps Heritage Minors and a Topps Now card from 2018, I do not think the Athletics outfielder has any other cards. This one was special to me because my kids and I saw Laureano hit his first major league homer.

Hobby Box: This was above average IMO: Relic (1 per box) was Miguel Cabrera Home Run Challenge (1 per box) was Rhys Hoskins, Short Print (1:15 packs) was Justin Turner; Golds (5 – 1:5 packs) were: Kevin Gausman, Andrew Heaney, Jon Gray, Brandon Lowe, and Clayton Richard; Rainbow Foil (2 – 1:10 packs) were Adam Jones and Trea Turner; 150th Anniversary Stamp ( 5 – 1:6 packs) Oakland A’s Team Card, Houston Astros Team Card, Alex Gordon, Sean Reid-Foley, and Josh Harrison; 1984 Design inserts (6 – 1:4 packs) were Eddie Rosario, Mark McGwire, Trey Mancini, Whit Merrifield, Bo Jackson and Jeff McNeil; Iconic Cards Reprint (1 – 1:21 packs) Roberto Clemente; Iconic Cards Reprint 150th Anniversary stamp (1 – 1:144 packs serial numbered /150) Jackie Robinson; Evolution Of (1- 1:42 packs) Memorial Stadium/Camden Yards; Revolution of the Game (1- 1:104 packs) Joe Torre; Greatness Returns (1-1:42 packs) Ty Cobb/Bryce Harper; 150 Years of Professional Baseball (4 1:7 packs) Mike Piazza, Albert Pujols, Juan Marichal and Harmon Killebrew; and Topps Now Review (2 – 1:18 packs) Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuna. Jr.

We need 22 cards for the set … and any Clayton Kershaws you’ve got

I sorted all of the base cards from the packs and paged them up and determined that as of this initial writing we needed 19 cards to complete the 350-card Series One set. See the photo below and let me know if you have any of these. We have about 40 duplicates available.

Also, at this point I need all Kershaw inserts and parallels; and probably will take any base Kershaws you have.

Got something I neeed? Hit me on TWITTER (link), or via email at cardboardicons AT yahoo.com