Archive for Roy Halladay

Baseball Hall of Fame `Class of 2019′ in rookie cards

Posted in Hall of Fame Rookie Cards with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

For the first time in several years I’ve been excited to see the announcement of the newest class of Cooperstown. I’m not going to dwell on the fact that my guy, Roger Clemens, still didn’t make it — although I appreciate that he is trending upward.

That said, Tuesday afternoon it was announced that Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was the first unanimous selection to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and joining him in the Class of 2019 are pitchers Mike Mussina and Roy Halladay, and designated hitter Edgar Martinez. Those four players were elected by the Baseball Writers of America and join the previously announced closer Lee Smith and Designated Hitter Harold Baines who were elected to the Hall in December by committee vote.

I’m a Red Sox fan and I cannot deny the greatness of Mariano. While I hated seeing him close out games against my team, I appreciated his pure dominance. And he was humble and emotional at the same time. One of my favorite scenes is watching him crumble on the mound after winning one of his first World Series titles. I’m proud to say I own a BGS Mint 9 copy of his 1992 Bowman rookie card. Also, one of my favorite inserts in my collection is his 1997 Bowman Best International Preview Atomic Refractor.

Mussina is one of the guys I pulled for in 1992, a year after his rookie cards actually hit the market I distinctly remember seeing his 1992 Ultra card — that set was super premium quality at the time — selling for $3 to $5 at my LCS, and remember the first time he was on the cover of Beckett Baseball. Moose was filthy, and it was a joy to watch his career. My favorite of his rookie cards is the 1991 Fleer Ultra Update, which I own in a BGS Mint 9. In terms of inserts, his 1996 Pacific Flame Throwers sticks out in my collection.

“Bad Ass.” That’s how I liked to think of Roy Halladay, both in real life and as a fantasy player. This guy was so fun to watch; and in our fantasy league was a source of controversy as there was at least one guy who thought he was overrated. Nope. Not one bit. One of my favorite memories of Halladay is that no-hitter he threw in Game One of the NLDS. This was four days after my son was born, and I remember sitting at home on the couch with him in my arms when the final pitch was thrown. I was genuinely sad when I learned Roy had died in 2017. I was at work driving around when word started to spread. The only graded rookie card I own of Roy is his 1997 Bowman, BGS Mint 9, which holds a special place in my heart because that 1997 set is the first Bowman set I actually built. I do own a few copies of his Bowman Chrome rookie in raw condition, however it is the International version of that Chrome rookie card that I like to think of when it comes to my favorite inserts or parallels in my collection.

I loved watching Edgar Martinez play, especially on those mid to late 1990s Seattle Mariner teams with when he had other hitters around him like Ken Griffey Jr, Alex Rodriguez and Jay Buhner. The DH position is often shunned in baseball circles, but this dude could hit. I really enjoyed his batting stance and watching him make solid contact with the ball. He has two rookie cards, and only one of them actually pictures him. I have several copies of his 1988 Fleer card, which I sadly do not own in a graded case. It’s shown here in a one touch solely for display purposes. I’ll have to add a Mint 9 or better BGS copy at some point — but I will not overpay for one right now. When it comes to inserts, Edgar’s Elite Series card is the one that catches my eye.

Whether or not you believe Lee Smith or Harold Baines belong in the Hall of Fame, fact remains they are in and were good players. I remember Smith being the closer for the Red Sox just as I was really getting into the sport — and he was dominant. Maybe not Dennis Eckersley dominant, but a stud nonetheless. When I think of Harold Baines I do think of a very good hitter. I LOVED his batting stance and often emulated it in Whiffle Ball games in the parking lot of my apartment complex — I got to watch him a lot in the early 1990s when he played in Oakland. I own a 1982 Topps Lee Smith in BGS Mint 9, and a 1981 Topps Harold Baines in a BGS 6 — which is comical, but was a must-buy when I found it for $2 at the LCS. I’ll probably update at some point.

The World Is Yours: The Life and Times of Lil B Weezy (Topps Big League Mini)

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on June 29, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

IMG_8631To say Lil B Weezy is a weird one would be an understatement. He didn’t act like the others and he certainly didn’t look like them either.

Whereas most of his Topps Big Leaguer buddies had clean-shaven faces and you could see their eyes, B Weezy liked to hide behind his beard and glasses. At times he seemed like the life of the party, but at other times, he was seriously conflicted. He has his issues, to say the least.

He had an addiction to garlic fries.


He had an unhealthy obsession with thrift shopping.


And of course he was deeply involved in baseball cards.


Hobbies aren’t supposed to make you depressed, but one day, he went to Walmart to pick up some personal hygiene products and some baseball cards. He opted for a blaster of the latest release “Topps Archives.” As fate would have it, one card within the blaster sent Lil B Weezy into a tailspin that made him virtually disappear from the face of the Earth for about a week.

IMG_7745As Lil B Weezy ripped pack after pack, he came across a single card that reminded him of who he used to be. Before the injuries had sucked some of the limelight away, he was The Man. For the last two years he had been working to regain his status, but for the most part he had kept a low profile, staying in contact with only his closest friends.

IMG_7950During his hay-day, he had caught the eye of a beautiful female. The two were nearly inseparable at times, and as recently as a two weeks ago, the two had discussed having a family.

IMG_7956And of course he had friends in high-places, most notably a man whom he referred to only as MDM.

Lil B Weezy and MDM had forged a bond in which Lil B Weezy had learned of the finer things in life, such as catching and releasing raccoons. Why? Simply because they could.hunting

But when Lil B Weezy laid sight on the 2013 Topps Archives card of his nemesis, his blood began to boil, his vision became blurry and B Weezy felt he needed to get away from it all.


For three days B Weezy was out of touch with his friends. He went for walks around lakes.


He stared longingly into reflections of himself.


“Who am I? Why do I exist? How long will this beard remain black without treatment?,” he muttered to himself.


Meanwhile, MDM had been trying to contact Lil B Weezy to no avail. And by the third day, MDM had become quite worried. That’s when he started making calls to some of his friends to see if he could get a search party together to look for Lil B Weezy.

The first to respond was Lil Roy. He was so distraught at the news that Lil B Weezy had disappeared that he reached out to his Canadian friend Lil JV. While those two talked about where Lil B Weezy had gone, MDM reached out to one of his closest friends, Lil Jeet.


Lil Roy, Lil JV and Lil Jeet set off into the woods to look for Lil B Weezy. They searched high and low, behind trees and bushes and even under rocks. They had no luck.

Meanwhile, MDM remained at home, waiting in case Lil B Weezy returned home or tried to call him.

Suddenly, the video phone rang.


“Hey, MDM, I know I haven’t called you in a few days, I just wanted to let you know that I’m OK and that I’ll be home tomorrow,” Lil B Weezy said.

Before MDM could respond, the video cut out. There was no answer when he tried to call the number back.

MDM was worried. He had seen something suspicious in the video that made him think that something terrible was happening to Lil B Weezy. MDM re-assembled his search party.


MDM was able to track the IP address used when Lil B Weezy had contacted him. And he tracked it to a town in California. He sent the three searchers to that area. They decided to split up.

Lil Roy looked north, Lil JV searched to the east and west, and Lil Jeet had the south.

By this time, Lil B Weezy had spent nearly a week soul-searching. He knew that when he contacted his friend and that the line had disconnected abruptly. But in his mind he needed some more time away. He decided not to call back.

IMG_8590He took in a baseball game, but even then he was reminded of the person who had taken his job, and made the fans forget who he was.


Slipping deeper into depression, Lil B Weezy went to an exotic ranch and rode the mechanical dinosaurs, hoping that the extremely dangerous activity would help get his mind off the man known only as Romo.IMG_7958

But in the midst of his solo trip on the mechanical dinosaur through the canyon, he fell off and landed at the bottom of a deep dried up well. He survived the fall, but he was without food and water for at least two days.

That is until he heard the sound of cleats in the dirt above. It was Lil Jeet.IMG_8489

The rescue itself was fairly uneventful. Lil Jeet had unwound the baseball he had with him and used that to pull Lil B Weezy to safety. The two then flew home in Lil Jeet’s personal helicopter.


When the two returned home, MDM was there to greet them.

“Where have you been?’’ MDM asked. ‘I’ve been worried sick about you. I thought something happened to you.”

IMG_8629“Yeah, something did,” Lil B Weezy replied. “I pulled one of those Romo Topps cards and it reminded me of the good ole days. And then I saw a poster of him at a baseball game the other day and it made me think about life even more.”

Lil B Weezy went on to explain the trip and how when he ended up at the bottom of the well, he had a vision — he still had a long life ahead of him; the world was his for the taking. He also told MDM that he was sorry that his lone video call to him was cut short.

“Yeah, what was that,” MDM asked.

“What was what?” Lil B Weezy replied.

“That … that thing,” he said, asking about the person he had seen in the background. “I thought something horrible had happened to you.”

“That was nothing,” Lil B Weezy said. “That was ‘The Machine.’ … he used to live next door. .. Trust me, you don’t want to know.”

Thrift Treasures XLV: 2012 San Francisco Tri-Star Show Haul 2/3

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

In case you missed it, late last night I posted the first part of this mini series unveiling the loot I obtained at this year’s Tri-Star show in San Francisco. You can see it here.

Now that’s you’re all caught up, are you ready for some more?!

Let’s do this.

This is Part Two of Three:

Transaction #1

2011 Topps Debut Bryce Harper

Has Bryce Harper really fallen this far?

I mean there was a time that anything with his name or face would sell for $5, $10 or $15.

This 2011 Topps Debut card … cost me $1.  A buck?!  What the ……

You get the point.

Actually, the seller who had this card was a classic rip-for-hits only kind of guy — his showcase was full of gaudy card bling with high price tags.  And off to the right was a box full of sloppy seconds.

Um, thanks guy.


Transaction #2

So in my first post, I showcased like 70 cards all from one dealer.  It was awesome.  He had a friend there with him who also had 5,000 count monster boxes packed to the gills with stuff.  Only he was selling 5 cards for a dollar … and his stuff sucked. I spent a buck on 5 random refractors. Meh …


Transaction #3

Every year when I hit this show, there is one guy who always has a crap load of bargain kind of stuff.  He has jerseys, patches, autographs all priced $2-$10, good deal i you’re into that kind of thing.  This time he had that stuff … and boxes full of “junk.”  These were a quarter each.

2011 Bowman Chrome Best Refractor Josh Sale / 99

2011 Finest Refractor Starlin Castro /549

2009 Bowman Chrome World Baseball Classic Refractor Brad Harman /500

2011 Topps Tier One Justin Verlander ... check out the serial number 799/799. Awesome.

2009 Bowman Chrome World Baseball Classic Refractors Norichika Aoki /500

2011 Bowman Chrome Throwbacks 2001 Bowman Chrome English/Japanese Ichiro rookie reprints

5 2011 Bowman Chrome Throwbacks Albert Pujols 2001 Bowman Chrome rookie reprints


Transaction #4

I smell weed.

Seriously … I think the guy from whom I purchased these next cards was smoking dope before I completed this transaction. He wasn’t there when I started digging through his stash, then he popped out of no where and said “The more you buy, the more you save.”  As he walked past, I smelled weed. Glad he was high … because his prices were low.

1999 Topps Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa HR Record subsets.

I stockpiled on these last year, and this year was no different.  No-brainer at 50 cents each.

From two tainted sluggers to another …

1987 Classic Update Yellow Front / Green Back Barry Bonds.

And a woulda-been, coulda-been slugger whose more legend than anything …

1987 Classic Update Yellow Front / Green Back Bo Jackson

These two might be way off center, but I love the Classic card game sets.  Especially these rarer versions.  These are supposedly limited to 50,000 sets according to Beckett. Fitty cent each, son!

Who likes rookie refractors?


2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Refractors Mike Trout

The seller looked at me and asked what I like.  I told him baseball.  He said he had a stack of refractors that I could go through before anyone else.  He said he usually throws them out on the table for a buck each … but for me — two quarters each would suffice.


And now his more “pricey” cards.  These were $1 each.

2011 Topps Johnny Bench SP

1994 Donruss Elite Series John Kruk /10,000

Funny side note, when I went to pay the guy he could only count $6 in cards, yet I gave him $7.  He was confused.  Then I explained to him that one of the penny sleeves had multiple cards inside.

He was pleasantly surprised by my honesty.

That’s how I roll son.

Don’t steal from card dealers.



Transaction #5

Just as the show was closing for the night, I made a stop at a table that had some crazy auto refractors, all graded BGS 9.5  Off to the side of the case, the seller had a box labeled “50 % off marked price.” I dug through it and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this …

2011 Topps Heritage Black Refractor Roy Halladay #'d/ 62


I’m pretty sure this dealer thought this was a black border basic 2011 Topps Heritage Roy Halladay card.  But it wasn’t.  It’s a Topps Heritage Chrome Black Refractor Roy Halladay serial numbered #’d/62.

And he had it priced at $5

And it was 50 %off.

And when I handed the guy a $5 bill, he went scrambling for change.  He had none.  So he gave the card to me for $2.

That’s a perfect transaction.

Told ya … Karma


Transaction #6

We’ll close the second part of this mini Thrift Treasures series with a familiar name and some ink.

These were all $3 each … I swear.

2 2011 Bowman Chrome Bryce Harper BCP1

The amusing thing about the Harper Chromes is that they were sitting in plain view on the table.  I even double checked with the guy how much.  At EVERY other table in the place, these Harpers were priced between $12 and $20.  Um, win!

2001 Topps Archives Rookie Reprint auto Bill Freehan

I get that some people don’t know who Bill Freehan is. But seriously!  Even before I saw this eBay post, I knew I had it good.

And finally …

Oh, look, it’s another common from a useless Topps reproduction product.

Um, no!

That’s another 2001 Topps Archives rookie reprint autograph, and this guy is not even alive anymore.

No disrespect to the dead, but when sports stars die, their autographs skyrocket and then plateau.  In most cases, they wind up being worth more after death than they were before.

Bobby Murcer passed away in 2008.

In 2008, before he died, THIS card held a Book Value of $60.

Now go look for one on eBay.  I only found ONE.

Gem Mint or not, this card shouldn’t be sitting in a junk auto/relic pile!

Total cost of these Treasures: $27

OK, had enough?

Didn’t think so.

Stay Tuned for the conclusion of this special three-part series documenting my hauls from the 2012 San Francisco Tri-Star card show.

Part One // Part Two // Part Three

Don’t let this happen to you

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , on February 13, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

Way back in 1995, Roy Halladay was an 18-year-old pitching stud that only a few people knew about.  He was not featured on his first Major League card until 1997 (Bowman, Bowman Chrome, and Bowman’s Best).  But when he was just a teen, he had a few cards featuring him in his minor league uniform.  One of them just so happened to have his signature.

It was found in a product called Signature Rookies Tetrad 95.  The product was an “off” brand, but offered the first signatures of top athletes in four different sports — baseball, basketball, football and hockey.  Kind of like the old Classic Four Sport sets.

The product was one that was not cheap in 1995, and even if you can find it these days, it still costs some decent coin.

But before you go running to eBay to buy some … I have some words for you to heed:


I’m a dumbass sometimes.  Not a lot, but on occasion.  I did exactly what I told you not to.  I went to eBay.  And I bought some.  Four boxes actually.  I wanted Halladay’s first autograph, too!  I sunk $40 into this 15-year-old product.

I believed that I was getting one autograph per pack.  That’s the way I remembered the product when it was new, and that’s what I was reading when I looked at the boxes in the picture.

What I had forgotten — and what didn’t register in my brain — was that you got a redemption per pack, which can be exchanged for an autograph. The whole hook behind this product was that “You Make The Call” — you choose who will be featured on your signed card.

Needless to say the moment I opened the first pack and found the redemption card in the middle, my heart sank and I got an empty feeling in my stomach. I knew at that moment that my $40 had essentially gone to waste.

The one bright side though is that I did pull a Halladay base card in each of my four boxes.  So I guess not all was wasted.  This was issued two full years before his Bowman, Bowman Chrome and Bowman’s Best rookies.

Big Unit’s 300th win could be our last

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

2001randyWhat Randy Johnson achieved on Thursday with his victory over the Washington Nationals may be something we won’t see again for a long time, if ever.

Unlike the seemingly ever-growing 500 Home Run Club, Class 300 — the name I’ve decided is appropriate for the group of pitchers to win 300 games — welcomed just it’s 24th member this week, Johnson. And baring some unforeseen change in the game, he could be the last person to achieve the accolade for decades.

It took Randy 21 years to get the 300-win plateau; he might have gotten there faster if it were not for a few injury riddled seasons. And as he moves into the group of immortals, the logical question is: Who is next?

Jaimie Moyer has 250 wins; he’s not even going to sniff Club 300 by the time he hangs up the spikes.

Andy Pettitte (220), Kenny Rogers (219), Pedro Martinez (214) and John Smoltz (210) are next on the list, but none of them are going to win another 90 or so games in their advanced ages. And after that group, we start reaching for names like Tim Wakefield (183) and Bartolo Colon (153), who will be lucky to win another 10 games in his career.

To get to 300 takes luck, health and a tremendous amount of skill. It also takes a different brand of baseball. Because of the way the game is played these days — with bullpen roles more defined, and club using pitch counts — it’s unlikely we’ll see another member of the 300 club any time in the near future.

Think about this: It took Johnson two decades to win that many games  and he is one of the most dominating pitchers the game has every seen. Not to mention he’s played on some pretty good teams with lineups that offer plenty of run support.

It was just a few years ago that we were looking at guys like Tim Hudson, who had 80 wins in his first five seasons; Justin Verlander, 35 in his first two full seasons; and Chien Ming-Wang, who had back to back 19-win seasons early in his career, and thinking they might have a shot. But all three of those guys has shown us it’s not as easy as projecting the stats.

Toronto horse Roy Halladay might be the game’s best pitcher right now, and is probably in the right mold to shoot for 300 wins — he goes deep into games and seemingly controls his own destiny — but even he is less than half way there. He’s got 140 wins as of June 5, 2009, and he’s already 32 years old.