March 21, 2015

Splinters from A Cracked Bat

I know the title is a bit of a reach. I've been a touch busy this past week and I guess my return post's creativity is lacking as a result. Hopefully I can shake off the rust and return to better form this coming week(assuming that I'm usually in better form that is).

A little while back, I contacted Julie from A Cracked Bat blog. I had a lot of Tigers that were just longing for a new home, so I sent them her way. She put together quite a generous box filled with Yankees of all sorts to send my way. Back when they were released, I really liked the designs of the Select brand. I ripped a few packs way back when, but I didn't really have much luck pulling Yankees and never really pursued them at shows or shops. Seeing these come out of that box, makes me wonder why I didn't. I'm particularly partial to the '94 Bernie(middle right). The Upper Deck Damon doesn't really fit in with the other five here, but I like the action shot nonetheless.

I definitely needed 5 of these 6(the Soriano RC is a welcomed dupe for me). Another new(to me) Bernie, a rookie cup Melk-man, and a second year Drew Henson(more on him later) were nice to see. The Pinnacle Inside cards of Pettitte and Martinez are the first of that release to find a home in my collection. For those who don't remember, this set was distributed in sealed cans that had different players printed on them. That was certainly a novel concept, but I never could bring myself to take a chance on a pack that required a can opener. The card design is quite nice though.

Rookies and first cards of (new to me) sets just kept on coming as I flipped through the the box. I had a few parallels of the JR Murphy Chrome, but Julie sent me my first base RC. It was the opposite story for the Betances. I had a few base RC's and a parallel or two(including a few different autos from the Chrome set), but I was excited to see the orange refractor staring back at me. I'm hoping he's set to have a huge season, closer's role or not. That Donnie Baseball from Triple Threads was the first of its kind that I've seen in person. I was really impressed and surprised by how thick the card stock was, and it's always nice to add a new card of a former Yankee Captain.

The variety continued with more former Yankees(all Greats in their own way). I really dig the Torre and the Miller Huggins. Godzilla makes a cameo. I'll always have a soft spot for him. I really enjoyed his stint with the Durham Bulls where I got to see him play in person 'in my own backyard' for a few weeks. That's my first Classics card as well. This trading thing is really expanding my collecting horizons!

Shortly before Julie and I made our exchange, she had posted a bunch of Kellogg's cards that were up for grabs. I was fortunate enough to claim a few which she sent with the rest of the trade package.

The more of these 3-D Super Stars that I add to my collection, the more I fall in love with these. These were great, but I've saved the best scan for last.

That is my first relic of Swisher as a Yankee. I enjoyed watching him play in Pinstripes, he was a goofball who had a knack for coming up with the big hit when the team needed it. 

I think my favorite card in the entire package was this Drew Henson auto. Henson was supposed to be the 'next Yankee Superstar'. He was even compared to the likes of Mike Schmidt. In the early 2000's, I remember scrambling to get a few of his inexpensive base cards(difficult with all the hype surrounding him back then) because he was spending time with the Columbus Clippers(then the Yankees' Triple A club) who were coming to Durham to play my hometown Bulls. I succeeded in finding a few non-RC's and was lucky to have gotten 2 or 3 of them signed by the end of that series. I was thrilled. I longed to add his 2001 Fleer Legacy autographed RC, but it was pretty limited and pricey. Then, Henson struggled in the minors and eventually decided to try his hand at an NFL career which also ended badly. He was a rare case of failing to capitalize on his boatload of talent that wasn't due to substance abuse. 
I hadn't thought of him in years until a few days before Julie's package arrived in my mailbox. I was at Barnes and Noble flipping through the new Baseball America and came upon a 'Where are They Now' type of article about him that detailed his MLB and NFL failures and went on to say that he was now scouting for the Yankees organization. The article reminded me of his place in Yankee history and rekindled my desire to add that Legacy auto. Funny how a few days later I was opening the trade package from ACB and flipped to this card. I had to do a double take. I already had the base insert of this one and certainly wasn't expecting an autograph to be hiding in this box, so it took me a second to realize it was, in fact, signed. When I realized it was, I was very excited.

This may not be the Legacy auto that I've been looking for on and off, but the irony of finding a certified auto in this trade package so shortly after being reminded of this former 'can't miss prospect' gives it the win against some very strong competition in this trade box.

Thanks Julie, I had a blast trading with you! I'm hoping we can work on another deal sometime soon.


  1. I remember the Drew Henson saga quite well. I remember him being mentioned in almost every Beckett magazine I'd by as a kid...back when I actually used to buy Becketts. It seems like so long ago.

    1. I had only been seeking in-person autographs for a short time when he was playing, but I remember thinking that I had just shook hands with and gotten the auto of the next big star. Man, was I wrong! It was still a fun time though.

  2. Tim, glad you found some cards new to your collection! I remember the hype with Drew. It's cool he was on your mind when the box arrived. I thought the design of that particular card was odd. I'm glad it found a good home!