Stadium Fantasium

…Where Life's a Pitch

New Year’s Day

2019 Rose Bowl merchandise signage

Happy New Year!  It’s been a very busy week in Pasadena preparing for the 105th Rose Bowl game. Here’s a glimpse into some of the preparations…

Large Rose Bowl merchandise stand outside the stadium 12/30/18
Large Rose Bowl merchandise stand outside the stadium 12/30/18
Large Rose Bowl merchandise stand on the stadium concourse
Large Rose Bowl merchandise stand on the stadium concourse
In-N-Out Cookout Trailer prepares to feed both teams 12/30/18
In-N-Out Cookout Trailer prepares to feed both teams 12/30/18
Rose Bowl north endzone 12/31/18
Rose Bowl north endzone 12/31/18
2019 Rose Bowl south endzone 12/31/18
2019 Rose Bowl south endzone 12/31/18

As day turned into night here on New Year’s Eve, it got windier and windier.  At home, the lights even dimmed for a second and we almost lost power. Hopefully the wind didn’t affect the stadium and the various crews. Next post, I’ll share more of the happenings at the 2019 Rose Bowl. Stay tuned…

The Rose (Bowl Contest)

Rose Bowl Neon Sign at Dawn
Background

So who’s ready for The Granddaddy of Them All? It appears that the statue of Jackie Robinson (right) is so ready. (Yes, it’s that Jackie Robinson!) In case you didn’t know it, pre-UCLA Jackie was raised in Pasadena and played football at nearby Pasadena City College (known as Pasadena Junior College back then). And recently (November 29, 2017) this statue was unveiled in a ceremony hosted by Vin Scully. It’s really an awesome work. What’s that in his right hand? Is it an old game credential or maybe an old game ticket? And why am I featuring the Rose Bowl in my hobby blog? That’s because the game is being played practically in my backyard and I have more than a casual connection to the venue.

Jackie Robinson statue at the Rose Bowl
Jackie Robinson statue at the Rose Bowl
The Contest

So this will be the 105th Rose Bowl and features the Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies (10-3, 7-2 in conference) vs. the Big Ten champion Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1, 8-1 in conference). This is also Stadium Fantasium’s first-ever contest, so please bear with us.

There will be three winners (or more depending on ties).

Gold Contest: Leave a comment below with your prediction of which team will win the Rose Bowl and the margin of victory (without going over). Winner will receive four 2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir cups (two of each size, pictured at right), one 2019 Rose Bowl official game program, and choice of three items pictured below.

Silver Contest: Leave a comment below with your prediction of which team will be leading at halftime and by how much (without going over). Winner will receive two 2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir cups (one of each size, pictured at right), one 2019 Rose Bowl official game program, and choice of two items listed below after the Gold Contest winner has chosen.

Bronze Contest: Leave a comment below with your prediction of how many total points will be scored in this game (without going over). For example, if the final score is 50-49 then 99 total points were scored in this game. Winner will receive two 2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir cups (one of each size, pictured at right), one 2019 Rose Bowl official game program, and choice of one item listed below after the Gold Contest winner and Silver Contest winner has chosen.

Bonus winnings: For each contest above, if you mentioned this contest in your blog before 2:00 pm Pacific Time December 31, I will double your prize! Even if you don’t win one of the three contests, mention this contest in your blog before 2:00 pm Pacific Time December 31 and I’ll still send you one 2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir cup of your choice. (EDIT: These are the cups Rose Bowl customers get when they buy a soda or beer at the game.)

Feel free to enter all three contests. You can even copy other entrants’ predictions without hurting their chances of winning. In the event of a tie, each tied winner will both receive the prized specified. The earlier (tied) comment entry time stamp will get the earlier choice from prize list below.

Deadline to enter is 2:00 pm Pacific on January 1st.

Prize List
  1. One sealed 2-card pack of Solo: A Star Wars Story, (part of a Denny’s 12-card oddball set), 11 packs available
  2. One sealed 21-card pack of 1989 Pro Set Final Update football cards, 1 available
  3. One sealed 14-card pack of 1990 Pro Set NFL Series 2, 2 available
  4. One sealed 14-card pack of 1991 Pro Set NFL, Series 1, 1 available
  5. One sealed 15-card waxpack of 1988 Topps flagship baseball, 2 available
  6. One sealed 15-card cello pack of 1989 Topps flagship baseball, 2 available
  7. One sealed 15-card pack of 1991 Topps baseball, 1 available
  8. One sealed 3-card pack of 1983 Donruss Action All Stars double-size cards, 4 available
  9. One sealed 18-card set of 1992 Score Proctor & Gamble All-Stars (baseball)
  10. One 7-card stadium giveaway pack of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary (1965 Topps design including Sandy Koufax), 2 1 available (Won by The Chronicles of Fuji)
  11. One 7-card stadium giveaway pack of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary (1977 Topps design including Don Sutton), 8 available
  12. One 7-card stadium giveaway pack of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary (1985 Topps design including Tommy Lasorda), 1 available
  13. One 7-card stadium giveaway pack of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary (1994 Topps design including Mike Piazza), 1 available (Won by The Chronicles of Fuji)
  14. One 7-card stadium giveaway pack of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary (2001 Topps design including Clayton Kershaw), 2 available (One each won by The Chronicles of Fuji and Rekindling the Cardboard Flame)
  15. One 1969 Topps #456 Bud Harrelson (Mets) worn corners, 1 available
  16. One 1969 Topps #523 Bob Chance (Angels) worn corners, 1 available
  17. One 1969 Topps #505 Bobby Bolin (Giants) worn corner & crease, 1 available
  18. One 1969 Topps #606 Gene Mauch (Expos manager) worn corners & crease, 1 available
  19. One 1969 Topps #633 Harry Walker (Astros Manager) worn corners, 1 available
  20. One 1972 Topps #428 Tito Fuentes (In Action) worn corners, 1 available
  21. One 1979 Topps stamped buyback #633 Rob Wilfong (Twins), 1 available
  22. One 1984 Topps stamped buyback #316 Mark Bradley (Mets), 1 available
  23. One 1991 Upper Deck Denny’s Grand Slam #4 Eric Davis hologram, 1 available
  24. One 1983 Kellogg’s 3-D Super Stars #55 Gary Carter, 1 available
  25. One 1990 Post #25 Rickey Henderson, 1 available
  26. One 1989 Topps Cap’n Crunch #16 Mike Schmidt, 1 available
  27. One 1993 Hostess #22 Tom Glavine, 1 available
  28. One 1993 Hostess #28 Don Mattingly, 1 available
  29. One 2016 Topps Series 2 insert card Hallowed Highlights #HH-6 Mark McGwire, 1 available
  30. One 1995 Upper Deck Denny’s Holograms #11 Ken Griffey Jr., 1 available (won by Rekindling the Cardboard Flame)
  31. One 1995 Upper Deck Denny’s Holograms #12 Tony Gwynn, 1 available
  32. One 1996 Pinnacle Denny’s Holograms #10 Hideo Nomo, 1 available
  33. One 1996 Pinnacle Denny’s Holograms #18 Cecil Fielder, 1 available
  34. One 1997 Pinnacle Denny’s 3D Holographic #4 Frank Thomas, 1 available
  35. One 1997 Pinnacle Denny’s 3D Holographic #12 Juan Gonzalez, 1 available
  36. One sealed 9-card cello pack of 1993 Score Football cards (John Elway showing on the front, Brett Favre in back), 1 available (won by A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts)
  37. One sealed 9-card cello pack of 1993 Score Football cards (Troy Aikman showing on the front, Neil O’Donnell in back), 1 available
  38. One sealed 6-card pack of 1998 Collector’s Edge 1st Place FB, 1 available (won by A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts)
  39. One sealed 3-card cello pack of 1991 Jimmy Dean (Rickey Henderson showing on top), 1 available
  40. One sealed 7-card pack of Panini Triple Play
  41. One 2010 Bowman Prospects BP-1 Stephen Strasburg, 1 available (won by Rekindling the Cardboard Flame)
  42. One 2019 “76 Dodgers” pin, 2 available

And there you have it! Good luck to you!

2019 Souvenir Rose Bowl Cups (front)
2019 Souvenir Rose Bowl Cups (front)
2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir Cups (back)
2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir Cups (back)
Prize List Part 1
Prize List Part 1
Prize List Part 2
Prize List Part 2
Prize List Part 3
Prize List Part 4
Prize List Part 4
Prize List Part 5
Prize List Part 5
Prize List Part 6
Prize List Part 6
Prize List Part 7
Prize List Part 7
Prize List Part 8
Prize List Part 8
Mystery Solved

So what is Jackie’s statue holding in his right hand? Upon closer inspection we see that it is a 2017 Topps Update #US50 Jackie Robinson shortprint card! In fact, it is the actual card that Greg from Night Owl Cards sent to me for his blog’s 10th anniversary. With that, Greg gets a hearty Stadium Fantasium standing ovation! Thank you Greg!

Closeup of Jackie Robinson statue
Closeup of Jackie Robinson statue

Stay tuned…

Here Comes (Secret) Santa Claus

Before we begin, we’re giving a Stadium Fantasium standing ovation to Jon at A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts for heading up this year’s Secret Santa gift exchange with 30 participants! Well done, Jon!

My Secret Santa was none other than Jim (gcrl) at cards as i see them. Jim also gets a Stadium Fantasium standing ovation for sending these much appreciated 2018 Topps cards and a nice handwritten note…

2018 Topps Heritage Then & Now insert cards
2018 Topps Heritage Then & Now insert cards TN-5, TN-7, TN12, TN-13, TN-15
2018 Topps 1983 insert cards 83-38, 83-46, 83-74, 83-77 and 2018 Topps Archives 214
2018 Topps 1983 insert cards 83-38, 83-46, 83-74, 83-77 and 2018 Topps Archives 214

These cards will put a nice dent in my wantlist. I love the extra touch that Jim (a fellow Dodgers fan) did by adding a terrific Dodgers card of Kenley Jansen from 2018 Topps Archives. Thanks Jim!

Back In the Saddle

Yay! My work schedule finally eased up and now I have an opportunity (for the foreseeable future at least) to bring the blog up to date. With the extra time, I also hope to list more cards on the Trading Block and my Wantlist.

Back in late May, out of the goodness of his heart, P-town Tom of Waiting ’til Next Year… gave away a ton of cards (sorted by teams) to anyone who wanted them. I went ahead and took him up on his generous offer. Of course, I requested Dodger cards and P-town Tom came up big, sending over 400 assorted Dodgers cards! Thanks P-town Tom! I’ll be on the lookout for cards from your player/set wantlists. My apologies for expressing my gratitude to you here so late. You rock!

Oh and before I forget, generous P-town Tom is running a “Favorite Card of 2018” contest (deadline is January 7, 2009 to post a blog article featuring your favorite card of 2018) The prize is exactly the kind of hobby product I live for, so I expect to enter that contest soon.

So here is a somewhat chronological smattering of the cards that P-town Tom was kind enough to send my way (personally, I’m fascinated to see some former Dodgers who are normally associated with other teams):

A few assorted horizontal cards ranging from 1979 to 2001
A few assorted horizontal cards ranging from 1979 to 2001
Assorted 1982-1993 Topps cards
Assorted 1982-1993 Topps cards
Assorted 1998-2011 Topps cards
Assorted 1998-2011 Topps cards
Some 1988-92 Donruss and 1988-91 Score cards
Some 1988-92 Donruss and 1988-91 Score cards
Assorted Score, Fleer, Topps cards
Assorted Score, Fleer, Topps cards
Assorted Upper Deck, Bowman, Leaf and Studio cards
Assorted Upper Deck, Bowman, Leaf and Studio cards
Assorted Fleer Ultra, Pinnacle, Studio, Stadium Club and Metal Universe cards
Assorted Fleer Ultra, Pinnacle, Studio, Stadium Club and Metal Universe cards

A hearty Stadium Fantasium tip o’ the cap to P-town Tom for these cards and more (much appreciated)! Some of these cards may end being duplicates of cards I already have. Some also don’t really fit my collection as they are from sets I don’t collect. Those will eventually be listed on the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block.

On another note, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve added a Twitter widget on the right side of the blog. I created a Twitter account (@bbcardz) at the same time I created this blog mainly to promote the blog. My Twitter timeline is about 95% hobby-related. It’s nice to see that some fellow bloggers also are on Twitter. I don’t really tweet or even retweet a ton but I do “like” a bunch of people’s tweets and, surprisingly, I’m up to 144 followers at the time of this post. Hopefully the Twitter widget will be useful in alerting you to some Twitter giveaways, contests and other hobby happenings.

In the meantime, stay tuned…

At the Game: Dodgers vs. Brewers

Scoreboard

Oh my gosh, what a great time we had at this game (Thursday, August 2). First, we stopped for a pre-game meal at a landmark Los Angeles deli which is also a very popular long-time hangout for Dodgers fans. I’m talking about Philippe’s (open since 1908).

After dining on traditional French-dipped roast beef sandwiches, we headed over to the stadium and entered the gates in time to see the Dodgers taking batting practice. I was pleasantly surprised because normally, the Dodgers players are done with batting practice by the time the gates open for regular fans. I’m pretty sure we got to see the Dodgers batting practice because of the early 6:00 pm game time and the fact that the Brewers did not take BP after the Dodgers (is it possible the Brewers took BP before the Dodgers did?). Plenty of batting practice baseballs were hit into the left field pavilion but amazingly, none were hit into the seats near the left field foul pole where we were standing. C’est la vie

2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary Cards 2000's
Dodgers batting practice

The celebrity first pitch was rather notable with reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian and comedian Kevin Hart pitching to Matt Kemp and Kenley Jansen.

Celebrity First Pitch
Post first pitch picture
Visitors (Brewers) dugout

The game itself was also awesome as Clayton Kershaw was the Dodger’s starting pitcher and pitched a good game giving up two runs over six innings.

First inning

The Dodgers went on to hit seven home runs and win big, 21-5, setting a Dodger Stadium record for most runs scored. One of the big thrills of the game was seeing Cody Bellinger hit a grand slam of the right field foul pole. Even though most of the game’s drama was gone after the fifth inning with the Dodgers leading 10-2, I did stay the entire game (as is my custom). Things were so bad for the Brewers that they brought in IF-OF Hernan Perez to pitch the seventh inning and catcher Eric Kratz to pitch the eighth inning. btw, new Dodger acquisitions Manny Machado and Brian Dozier each had a pretty good day with the bat.

And now for the reason you probably tuned in here…the cards!

2010 Topps Dodgers 60th Anniversary Cards: 2000's
2018toppsdodgers60thanniversarylad35a

This set is the fifth installment of six sets of Dodgers stadium giveaway cards that celebrate the Dodgers 60 years in Los Angeles. And as was hinted at in the Dodgers promotional videos for these cards, Clayton Kershaw is the featured Dodgers legend. These cards look really great although the design here does differ markedly from the original 2001 Topps design below.

2001 Topps #447 Eric Gagne

The original 2001 Topps design had a thin gold foil border around the photo, the player’s name etched in gold foil and a gold foil “Topps 50 Years” logo. No gold foil appears on the stadium giveaway cards. Also note the slight difference in how the Dodgers logo is displayed in the front bottom left corner. The 2018 border is also a bit more green than the 2001 border. Despite these differences, I think Topps did a very nice job here. Again we give a Stadium Fantasium shout-out to the Dodgers, Topps and the sponsors of these great card giveaways.

The sixth set of Dodgers 60th Anniversary cards (the 2010’s) will be distributed on September 4th (Dodgers vs. Mets). Who will be the featured Dodgers legend in the sixth set? Vin Scully perhaps? Stay tuned…

At the Game: Dodgers vs. Rangers

Woo man! I’m so behind here on my blogging, my bad…I’ve been so busy with adjusting to my new work location (same employer, though). I’ve also been putting in some hours at my old work location (but with a new employer). So I’ve been working two jobs lately leaving little time for blogging or the hobby.

But the good new is I was still able to attend the June 12 Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers game at Dodger Stadium and pick up a few packs of the 90’s edition of the Dodger’s 60th Anniversary Collector Cards. These cards feature the 1994 Topps design (a curious choice since 1994 was a strike year for MLB).

So this time I wasn’t able to arrive extra early to watch batting practice near the field (due to working a bit of overtime) but I still got a few shots of the pregame activities including a shot of the cases of giveaway cards and the lineup exchange at home plate.

Cases of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary Collector Cards

Here’s a picture from up high behind the Rangers dugout. That’s former Dodger Adrian Beltre high-fiving a Rangers teammate…

Rangers dugout June 12 2018

…and the Dodgers take the field with some lucky kids who each get a baseball autographed right on the field.

Here’s some first-inning action in which Dodgers rookie pitcher Caleb Ferguson is pitching to Shin-Soo Choo. The Rangers’ starting pitcher this night was none other than Bartolo Colon.

Wow, it’s like having 3 1/2 outfielders…

Thanks to a 7-run fourth inning, the Dodgers went on to win the game 12-5.

Dodgers win

And here are the cards!

2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary cards 21 thru 27
2018toppsdodgers60thlad-28a

Once again as in the previous three 60th Anniversary sets, the same six Dodgers are featured in the first six cards. The seventh card features ’90’s Dodger legend Mike Piazza. Here’s a look at the original 1994 Topps Mike Piazza card. Again Topps did a very nice job of replicating the front and back of the 1994 Topps flagship design. By adding an action photo to the back of the cards, a la the 1994 design, these card backs look much more dynamic and eye-catching than the previous sets of Anniversary cards.

1994topps01a

Just for kicks, here’s a side-by-side comparison of a couple of 2018 Topps Chris Taylor cards. In case you didn’t know, the card on the right is a Series 2 Topps Salute insert card. These cards make me wonder if other images from the Anniversary cards are used in other Topps products.

 

2018toppsct3cards01a

So we give a sincere Stadium Fantasium tip o’ the cap to the Dodgers, Topps and the sponsors for these stadium giveaway cards. Any ideas on who the Dodgers will feature on the 2000’s edition of these 60th Anniversary cards? I think I already know, so stay tuned…

At the Game: Dodgers vs Diamondbacks

Dodger Stadium scoreboard

First off, my apologies for posting late. I should have posted this ten days earlier but my work schedule has really ramped up lately. On the other hand –Woohoo! I’m so glad my work schedule worked out so that I could attend my third Dodger game this season and it’s only May (my work schedule and budget don’t allow me to attend lots of  Dodger games). And being a sucker for baseball cards, I’m also happy that I got to pick up the third installment of the Dodgers 60th Anniversary cards, this time featuring the 1985 Topps design. We also arrived early enough to catch the end of Dodger’s batting practice and all of the Arizona Diamondbacks batting practice. Standing in the field level stands by the left field foul pole, I came really close to catching a batting practice ball. The ball went right over my head as I jumped to catch it but it was just inches out of my reach. Someone behind me ended up getting that ball. D’oh!!

So here are the seven “80’s” Dodgers cards along with a couple of other cards for comparison:

As in the previous two Dodgers card giveaways (featured here and here), the same six current Dodgers are pictured but with a different Dodgers legend–Tommy Lasorda who brought two World Series Championships to Los Angeles in the 80’s. For comparison I also included images of Tommy’s original 1985 Topps card and his 2014 Allen & Ginter card which uses the same photo altered in that special A & G way.

Like the previous two stadium giveaway anniversary card sets, these cards are nicely done if not quite 100% faithful to the original Topps design. Note that most of the photos used for these cards appear to be in-game or in-action as opposed to the posed shots of the previous cards. Again the backs of the cards kind of resemble the backs of the corresponding vintage cards. Once again we’ve got to give props to the Dodgers, Topps and the sponsors for these cards.

So despite my increasingly hectic work schedule, it does look like I will be able to attend the Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers game on Tuesday, June 12. That night’s stadium giveaway is the 90’s set of Dodgers 60th anniversary cards. Anyone want to guess who will be the Dodger legend featured in the 90’s packs? Stay tuned…

At the Game: Dodgers vs. Marlins

Dodger Stadium Scoreboard promoting 60th Anniversary cards

Yes!! I’m so happy I got to go to my second Dodger game of the season and also obtain the 70’s set of Dodgers 60th Anniversary cards. I’m also happy that the Dodgers won the game 2-1 behind Walker Buehler’s strong performance in his first MLB start. That game was their seventh win in eight games and put the Dodgers over .500 for the first time this season. (Too bad that the Dodgers went and lost the next two games against the Marlins.)

Unfortunately we didn’t get to the stadium entrance as early as the last game so I wasn’t able to take any pictures near the field like last time. However, I did manage to get a couple of pictures of mass quantities of these packs of cards at one of the distribution points in the stadium.

Here are the seven “70’s” Dodgers cards:

Anybody notice that the six current Dodgers featured above are the same six current Dodgers featured in the “50’s & 60’s” set? Peculiar, to say the least. Was the player selection decided upon by Topps or the Dodgers or MLB or the player’s union or some combination of the above? Are we to expect the same six current Dodger players in the remaining four stadium giveaway sets? Maybe I should have gotten the hint when I saw that Justin Turner is featured in the image at the top of this post. Taking a look at the Dodgers promotional video of these cards, it does appear that only these players will appear on these cards, until at the 00:26 mark of the 31-second spot. There on the left, one can see a slightly blurry card of Clayton Kershaw on the 2001 Topps design. See the screenshot below:

Like the “50’s & 60’s” cards, these 70’s cards are nicely done. Even the backs of the cards kind of resemble the backs of the corresponding vintage cards. It would have been even better if these cards had been packed in a wrapper that was modeled after the original 1977 wrapper instead of clear cellophane. That’s probably asking too much, especially since most wrappers would end up in the trash. So although I’m grateful to the Dodgers, Topps and the sponsors for these cards, I do have to admit I’m a bit disappointed that other current Dodger players were not featured in these 70’s cards. However it is nice to see props paid to HOFer Don Sutton in this set.

So who will be the Dodger legend featured in the 80’s packs? Will it be another pitcher such as Fernando Valenzuela or Orel Hershiser or even perhaps a non-pitcher? Stay tuned…

My Fantasy Baseball Teams: Update 4/21/18

Okay, so after a rough two weeks of fantasy baseball (ending 4/15), all four of my teams are playing bad sub-.500 baseball. Obviously, I’ve got a lot of work to do if I want my teams to finish with a respectable win-loss record in the standings. Here’s a more detailed look at how my teams are doing:

So Cal All Stars H2H
socalallstarsstandingswk02

My Diamond Kings team (highlighted above) is down in last place in the All-Stars division after a 8-3 opening week loss to Noah Patterson and a 8-3 loss to Mark C’s Swag Team. Losing Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton to the disabled list does not help. I did drop RP Blake Parker and added SP Chad Bettis and 2B Cesar Hernandez. Hopefully they will help me improve against my next two opponents, ThE tHrOwBaCks and SlappinDDs.

Trading Card Database Rotisserie Baseball

As seen above, my one rotisserie baseball team (BBCARDZ) is tied for eight place. A week earlier, I was hovering around second place for a few days but dropped down since then. My strengths in this league (so far) are Runs, Stolen Bases and Saves. My weaknesses are Batting Avg., ERA and WHIP. We’ll see if I can make some improvement in these categories over the course of the season.

 Yahoo H2H Money League

Ugh! 11th place again…this is not good. I lost to SF Giants 6-3-1 in the first week and lost to BluffingtonCrapShoot 6-4 in the second week. Since the season started I’ve dropped RP Brad Ziegler and SS Elvis Andrus (on the DL for 6-8 weeks). I also lost SP Rich Hill and 3B Jake Lamb temporarily to the DL. But I’ve added SPs Reynaldo Lopez, Andrew Triggs, Chad Bettis and utility man Asdrubal Cabrera. My opponents for Weeks 3 and 4 are BARTOLO! and Crush City.

MLB REAL ROSTERS (Los Angeles Dodgers, of course!)

I had not mentioned this fourth fantasy baseball league that I’m in before this post, but it has a pretty fascinating (for me) concept. As you can probably tell from the league name above, each fantasy team consists only of players from a selected MLB team. This is my third year in this league and I’ve done fairly well in this 20-team H2H league. Last year I took third place, and second place the year before that. Of course it helps when your MLB team consistently posts a very good won-loss record.

Through the MLB Dodgers first 14 games, they have a 5-9 record. Through the same period, my fantasy Dodgers team has a 10-16-6 record. I lost 8-6 to the Chicago White Sox in the first week and then lost 9-4 to the St. Louis Cardinals in the second week. I think it’s fair to say, as the MLB Dodgers go, so go my fantasy Dodgers (as long as I keep up with lineup and roster changes). My next two opponents in this league are San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels.

Coming Soon…

Look for my next post featuring the next installment of Los Angeles Dodgers 60th Anniversary cards sporting the 1977 Topps design. Stay tuned…

At the Game: Dodgers vs. A’s

On Tuesday 4/10/18, I got to go to my first Dodger game of the 2018 season. I’ve attended anywhere between two and eight Dodgers games almost every year since I was a young kid but for some reason, I rarely get to attend Dodger games in April. But I really wanted to attend this game (the first of a two-game interleague series against the Oakland A’s) since I knew the Dodgers were having a rather special stadium giveaway: 60th anniversary Dodgers baseball cards manufactured by Topps and featuring the 1965 Topps design. The cards celebrate the Dodgers 60th anniversary in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers will have five similar card giveaways during the season, each featuring a different decade and different Topps design (check out the video here). I’m hoping to go to each of these games to collect all of the cards but work priorities might derail that plan.

The entire evening at the game was among the best I’ve ever experienced. We got to the stadium gates five minutes before they opened and then stood next to the left field foul pole to see the tail end of the Dodgers batting practice and the entire A’s batting practice.

20180410asbp01e

And I have to admit it was pretty cool seeing some of the A’s players up close. Catcher Bruce Maxwell, outfielder Matt Joyce and former Dodger Trayce Thompson each trotted over to by where we standing to retrieve stray balls and give them to kids. Matt Joyce even autographed a baseball for one of the kids and posed for a picture with him.

The game itself was pretty special too as Chris Taylor and Corey Seager launched back-to-back home runs to open the home half of the first inning. And Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched extremely well, not allowing a hit until there were two out in the fifth inning. It was almost déjà vu for us because the last time we saw Ryu pitch was Memorial Day 2014 when Ryu pitched seven perfect innings vs. Johnny Cueto and the Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers hung on to win that game 4-3, and in this game the Dodgers went on to win 4-0.

I was also happy that I was able to obtain a couple of extra packs of cards (not so happy when I got home to find that the cards in one pack had severely dinged bottom-right corners). Here are the seven cards that come in each “50’s & 60’s” pack:

2018toppsdodgers60thlad-123456a
2018toppsdodgers60thlad-07a

For stadium giveaway cards, these are great cards. The photos are very nice and may possibly be from the same photo sessions as 2018 Topps Heritage (except for the Sandy Koufax card which uses the same photo as that used in the super-short print 2017 Topps #597 variation.

So as we give the Dodgers and their sponsors a Stadium Fantasium tip o’ the cap and a big thank you, we remind ourselves that the next Dodgers 60th anniversary card giveaway is Monday April 23 vs. the Miami Marlins. There’s a pretty good chance I’ll be able to go to that game. And please share with us whether your team is doing a similar stadium card giveaway. Stay tuned…

Mailday: Yet Another Transaction at Trading Cards DB

Thanks to a Twitter account that I created to promote Stadium Fantasium (@bbcardz–follow me!), I got in touch with a fellow member of Trading Cards Database and made a deal to acquire a nice lot of 2018 Topps Heritage base short prints. As it turns out, this fellow TCDB member is also a fellow hobby blogger. He is J. Meeks of My Cardboard Habit and here are the cards he sent:

Some 2018 Topps Heritage Base Short Print Cards
2018toppsheritage484500

The 14 short print cards pictured above are cards I need to help complete the set. However, five other short prints were included in the deal that are duplicates. They are:

  • 415 Matt Wieters (Washington Nationals)
  • 423 Kyle Hendricks (Chicago Cubs)
  • 429 Mike Leake (Seattle Mariners)
  • 442 Josh Reddick (Houston Astros)
  • 497 David Freese (Pittsburgh Pirates)

These five duplicate cards are now listed in the 2018 Topps Heritage section of the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block (along with other available 2018 Heritage duplicates). Gotta give a huge thanks to J. Meeks (Twitter handle @cardboardhabit) for these great cards. Of the Heritage base short print cards, I now need only 60 along with 17 regular base cards. If things go right this year, I hope to complete this set by year-end or at least before 2019 Topps Heritage is released. Stay tuned…

Mailday: Unexpected Goodness from Crackin’ Wax

There are quite a few good people on the Internet who host case breaks but the one who really takes it to the next level is Christopher (and his lovely wife LQ) at Crackin’ Wax. What sets these great case breakers apart is that some of the case break proceeds go to charity (over $11,000 to date) and they also manage to host free box breaks for those who have bought spots in the previous month’s case breaks (see how it works).

So after buying spots in CW’s 2018 Topps Series 1 case break and in the 2018 Topps Heritage case break (my blog post here), I had two entries in CW’s March Free Box Break. Six winning entries would be randomly awarded a divisional spot. Winners and the product would be revealed the day of the box break on YouTube. As luck would have it, one of my entries was chosen and I was assigned the American League Central Division. And the product was a box on 2017 Topps High Tek Baseball. Each box contains 40 cards and includes two on-card autographs in addition to variations and parallels. Here are the cards I was lucky enough to receive:

2017toppshightekx3
2017toppshightekx2

Being a low-budget set collector, I had not paid any attention to this high-end product. Now that I have these in hand, I can see that they are not your traditional baseball cards. Featuring current and retired stars, these cards are actually see-through plastic (acetate) and are much more attractive than the scans indicate. I was also lucky enough to get one of the two on-card autos in the box–woohoo! And in case you hadn’t noticed, one of the cards shown above is former Angels outfielder Jim Edmonds. It looks like I was sent this card by mistake since the Angels don’t play in the Central division of the American League. I’ll be getting in touch with Christopher to see what to do about that.

In any case, I gotta give a big thanks and a tip of the Stadium Fantasium cap to Crackin’ Wax for these unexpected goodies. If you haven’t already, head over to Crackin’ Wax and take part in one of his case breaks. You’ll be helping out a charity organization and acquire cards for your collection at the same time. You could also get free bonus cards via a free box break.

To my genuine surprise, there always seems to be a pretty good abundance of good things happening here at Stadium Fantasium. Stay tuned…

My $50 Fantasy Baseball Team: Stadium Fantasium

Wednesday (March 27) was the last of my three drafts for the 2018 fantasy baseball season. This league is a Yahoo 12-team head-to-head public money league. My team in this league is Stadium Fantasium. The entry fee for this league was $50 and the top three teams will win $300, $180 or $70. In this draft, I had the sixth pick.

Stadium Fantasium Draft
1. (6) Mookie Betts (Bos – OF)
2. (19) Anthony Rizzo (ChC – 1B,2B)
3. (30) Cody Bellinger (LAD – 1B,OF)
4. (43) Kenley Jansen (LAD – RP)
5. (54) Buster Posey (SF – C,1B)
6. (67) Edwin Encarnacion (Cle – 1B)
7. (78) Elvis Andrus (Tex – SS)
8. (91) Miguel Sanó (Min – 1B,3B)
9. (102) DJ LeMahieu (Col – 2B)
10. (115) Joey Gallo (Tex – 1B,3B,OF)
11. (126) Rich Hill (LAD – SP)

12. (139) Trevor Bauer (Cle – SP)
13. (150) Ian Desmond (Col – 1B,OF)
14. (163) Eduardo Núñez (Bos – 2B,3B,SS,OF)
15. (174) Jake Lamb (Ari – 3B)
16. (187) Evan Gattis (Hou – C)
17. (198) Dylan Bundy (Bal – SP)
18. (211) Kevin Gausman (Bal – SP)
19. (222) Jake Faria (TB – SP)
20. (235) Félix Hernández (Sea – SP)
21. (246) Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD – SP)
22. (259) Michael Wacha (StL – SP)
23. (270) Brad Ziegler (Mia – RP)

This league has the usual five pitching categories (Wins, Saves Strikeouts, ERA and WHIP). We also have the usual five hitting categories (Runs, Home Runs, RBIs, Stolen Bases and Batting Average).

I hope I did alright in this draft. I may have drafted a reliever (Kenley Jansen) too early (fourth round) but he was the best player available at the time. It also looks like my starting pitchers may be weak compared to other teams because I didn’t start drafting SPs until the 11th round. Perhaps I can trade one or two of my seven(!) players who can play 1B for another SP. Like every other fantasy team manager, I have a lot of optimism and high hopes for my team. Stay tuned…

My Trading Card DB Fantasy Baseball Team: BBCARDZ

On Monday (March 26) I drafted players for my team (BBCARDZ) in the Trading Card Database‘s “TCDB2_Roto” rotisserie baseball league. It’s a 10-team league made up of TCDB members. I expect this league to be very challenging seeing as I have not participated in a rotisserie league for maybe 10 years or more. This is not a money league so there are no cash prizes. Hopefully the players I drafted below will have good seasons and I can finish among the top teams.

BBCARDZ Draft
1. (6) Mookie Betts (Bos – OF)
2. (15) Giancarlo Stanton (NYY – OF)
3. (26) Cody Bellinger (LAD – 1B,OF)
4. (35) Josh Donaldson (Tor – 3B)
5. (46) Dee Gordon (Sea – 2B)
6. (55) Edwin Encarnacion (Cle – 1B)
7. (66) Chris Archer (TB – SP)
8. (75) Dallas Keuchel (Hou – SP)
9. (86) Roberto Osuna (Tor – RP)
10. (95) Trevor Story (Col – SS)
11. (106) Edwin Díaz (Sea – RP)

12. (115) Rich Hill (LAD – SP)
13. (126) Matt Carpenter (StL – 1B,2B,3B)
14. (135) Rougned Odor (Tex – 2B)
15. (146) Justin Smoak (Tor – 1B)
16. (155) Ender Inciarte (Atl – OF)
17. (166) Ian Desmond (Col – 1B,OF)
18. (175) Danny Duffy (KC – SP)
19. (186) Trey Mancini (Bal – 1B,OF)
20. (195) Taijuan Walker (Ari – SP)
21. (206) Jake Faria (TB – SP)
22. (215) Mike Clevinger (Cle – SP,RP)
23. (226) Austin Barnes (LAD – C,2B)

This league has the usual five pitching categories (Wins, Saves Strikeouts, ERA and WHIP) and the usual five hitting categories (Runs, Home Runs, RBIs, Stolen Bases and Batting Average).

For this draft I had the sixth pick and did not have to draft while at work. Again I think I did ok. I did draft a couple of closers this time but did not draft a catcher until the last round. Catcher is such a thin position so I might not take a big hit at that position. My hitter-heavy roster should make up for any catcher shortcomings. Like every other baseball fan, I can’t wait for Opening Day. Stay tuned…

My $100 Fantasy Baseball Team: Diamond Kings

Sunday (March 25) was my first of three drafts of the 2018 fantasy baseball season. This year I am in four Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues (one of which each team’s roster is that of an actual MLB team–thus no draft is held). Yesterday’s draft was for a 12-team head-to-head private money league called So Cal All Stars and my team is the Diamond Kings.

This is my third year in this league. In 2016, I finished in 9th place but last year I finished in 4th place, narrowly missing out on the 3rd place cash prize. Hopefully this year I’ll finish in the money. Of course, that will depend a lot on whether I had a good draft and my players have a good season. Here are my draft results:

Diamond Kings Draft
1. (5) Mookie Betts (Bos – OF)
2. (20) Joey Votto (Cin – 1B)
3. (29) Josh Donaldson (Tor – 3B)
4. (44) Carlos Carrasco (Cle – SP)
5. (53) Byron Buxton (Min – OF)
6. (68) Chris Archer (TB – SP)
7. (77) Miguel Sanó (Min – 1B,3B)
8. (92) DJ LeMahieu (Col – 2B)
9. (101) Trevor Story (Col – SS)
10. (116) Whit Merrifield (KC – 2B,OF)

11. (125) Nicholas Castellanos (Det – 3B,OF)
12. (140) Ian Desmond (Col – 1B,OF)
13. (149) Eduardo Núñez (Bos – 2B,3B,SS,OF)
14. (164) Eddie Rosario (Min – OF)
15. (173) Russell Martin (Tor – C,3B)
16. (188) Dylan Bundy (Bal – SP)
17. (197) Kevin Gausman (Bal – SP)
18. (212) Chase Anderson (Mil – SP)
19. (221) Jake Faria (TB – SP)
20. (236) Alex Cobb (Bal – SP)
21. (245) Tanner Roark (Was – SP)

Our league has the usual five pitching categories (Wins, Saves Strikeouts, ERA and WHIP) and a not-so-common category–Losses. We also have the usual five hitting categories (Runs, Home Runs, RBIs, Stolen Bases and Batting Average) along with On-base Percentage.

Having the fifth pick in the draft, I think I did ok, considering I had to use my mobile phone to draft players while I was at work. I’m glad I pre-ranked the players but my draft probably would have been better had I picked up a couple of closers for the Saves category. Hoping to salvage that category, I dropped my 12th and 14th round picks (Ian Desmond 1B-OF and Eddie Rosario OF) and picked up two undrafted closers (who may or may not have a lot of save opportunities). They are Joakim Soria of the Chicago White Sox and Blake Parker of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I really did not want to drop Desmond and Rosario but I figured they would spend most days in a BN (bench) spot not accumulating much in the way of stats.

Depending on how full my plate is at work, I will try to post weekly recaps/standings of each of the four leagues I’m am in. Of the four leagues I was in last year, my best finish was third place but it was not a money league. Hopefully this year will be better than last. Stay tuned…

About Me

bbcardz logo

Long time set collector with a particular passion for Topps flagship baseball cards along with some cards from other sets/sports (almost no Upper Deck, Panini, high-end or hockey to see here).

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