Friday, August 16, 2019

Card Spotlight: 8-16-19

2013 Topps #20 - Kevin Youkilis (Out Of Bounds Variation)

Kevin Youkilis on the White Sox is a prime example of how the White Sox used to think. Get a popular player, who is on the wrong side of thirty, with just enough left in the tank for a few thrills, but not enough to match their previous greatness. Either that or sign a superstar that is well past their prime and have ticket sales coast on their name without adding much to the team. Kevin Youkilis was much closer to the former than the latter, but it should be noted that his career did end in June 2013, with his last team, the New York Yankees.

There were certainly great moments with Youkilis on the White Sox and I was very excited to have Kevin on the White Sox. I'm still glad that he was a part of the team. That doesn't necessarily mean that Youkilis was good. He was definitely in the end stages of his career, even at age thirty-three.

I tried collecting the rainbow, meaning all the parallels, but I think I am still a card or two short. I know I don't have the platinum parallel. I might be missing another parallel. I do have the out of bounds variation. Maybe one day I'll complete the rainbow.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Card Spotlight: 8-9-19

1954 Bowman #54 - Chico Carrasquel

This week's spotlight focuses on Chico Carrasquel. Chico was purchased from the Brooklyn Dodgers by the Chicago Whtie Sox before he reached the majors. Making his debut with the White Sox in 1950, Chico would spend six seasons with the Pale Hose and four All-Star selections, before he was traded to the Cleveland Indians.

Arguably, Carrasquel was one of the greatest players to wear number seventeen for the White Sox. I can certainly think of more accomplished players who wore seventeen, but the majority of their prime successes came with other teams.

Chico and the White Sox tried for a reunion in 1960, but it was never meant to be. Carrasquel signed in January and was released by April. That still does not squash the legacy that he left behind in Chicago, where he came in third for Rookie of the Year and was twice considered for MVP.

Carrasquel started a Chicago White Sox tradition of Venezuelan shortstops and became the first Latin American player to start an All-Star game. He had to fill the shoes of Luke Appling and did so admirably, with great defense. No wonder Chico is still mentioned with the White Sox greats. He embodied what most White Sox fans resonate with... great work ethic and a little spunk.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

2019 Allen & Ginter

It's that time of year again. Allen & Ginter time!!

It's one of the releases that I always get excited about. Everything from the feel of the cards to the look of the cards to the strange and interesting subject matter sprinkled in with the baseball players. It all adds up to be one of the best sets of the year, every year.

This year I decided to go in cold turkey. I actively avoided checklists, so I could be surprised when I opened my first packs. Boy, was I ever surprised with the results. Two of my absolute favorite White Sox players are in the set this year. Along with some of my favorite rookies and another Hall of Fame favorite, this team set shapes up to be one of my favorite of the year.

I will be a little unorthodox with my checklist this year. You'll know exactly where. You can choose to include the card if you want. If not, I completely understand.

The White Sox have ten cards in the set this year, including and optional card and two short prints.

118 - Frank Thomas

This Hall of Fame player is always welcome. I WILL believe the hype!

119 - Michael Kopech

I was so excited for Kopech day. I will be the same level of excited upon his return.

120 - Yoan Moncada

I am impressed with how big a leap Yoan has made this year.

121 - Jose Abreu

I'm hoping Abreu gets to stick around. I like him.

139 - Harold Baines

OMG!!! Total and welcome surprise!!!!

161 - Sister Mary Jo Soieck

This is the optional card. I'm including it because she did the first pitch with the White Sox and it's a great South Side story.

264 - Yonder Alonso

I was hopeful for Yonder when the Sox signed him. I wish him the best in Colorado.

272 - Carlton Fisk

Some Fisk MOJO!!! Both of my childhood idols in one team set? YES, PLEASE!

366 - Daniel Palka

What are you gonna do when Palkamania runs wild over you??? I hope he regains some momentum.

398 - Eloy Jimenez

Adventurous in the outfield, but he's learning and getting better. I'm glad he's getting MLB experience.

This is probably my favorite Allen & Ginter White Sox lineup so far!! Very solid effort.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Card Spotlight: 8-2-19

1996 Stadium Club Megaheroes #1 - Frank Thomas

I really did not collect much past 1994 in the nineties. I will still run across cards that I will actively wonder "what were they thinking" or "who greenlit that?" all the time.

This takes a lovely picture of Frank Thomas in the end stages of his picture perfect swing and puts some unholy concoction of the looming steroid epidemic, Queen's News of the World album and America's love of fast food (seriously is that guy super jacked or super fat?) and rolls it up into some animated background from a Paula Abdul video. What is this mess staring seductively at Frank Thomas?

I can see this animator's nightmare putting on some Sade and whispering sweet nothings into the Big Hurt's ear, like, "You're going to publish a grilling cookbook after you're Hall of Fame career" or "Jay Mariotti wears the skirt, not you", while he attempts to either give Frank some weightlifting advice or prepare to devour him whole, like a snake. A cold hearted snake. See? He really does belong in a Paula Abdul video. And is that an eight-pack that he's sporting or is he about to nurse a farrow of piglets? This card is going to give me nightmares all weekend. I fear for Frank's safety.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Card Spotlight: 7-26-19

2014 Allen & Ginter #334 - Erik Johnson

I had high hopes for Erik Johnson. It seemed like he had good stuff, but nothing clicked on a consistent basis. I was confident that he would become a reliable fourth or fifth starter, but alas, it never came to fruition.

Probably the most notable part of his playing career was being part of a trade with the San Diego Padres in 2016. Erik went to San Diego along with a highly touted prospect name Fernando Tatis Jr., for a veteran starter named James Shields. That trade worked out for both teams, in a way. Tatis Jr. is now a force on the Padres MLB roster. Shields became a mentor and a stable presence for a few seasons on the South Side. Erik Johnson made a few appearances with the Padres in 2016 and spnt the rest of his time, through 2018, in the Padres minor league system.

Erik was part of the rebuild process before it was officially called that. He was good enough to make a lasting impression on the Sox for a few seasons, but unfortunately, he was not memorable enough for most fans to easily recall him a few years later. The most common reaction would be, "Oh yeah, I remember him on the team."

That's a shame, because Johnson had great potential. It just never all gelled together the way we all would have liked. Still he was a part of some interesting teams and anyone who can rack up some wins instantly has great stories to tell.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Opening My First 2019 Allen And Ginter Blaster

This year I decided to approach Allen & Ginter a little bit differently. I made a conscious effort not to seek out any information. No checklist. No eBay browsing. Not one thing other than the fact I knew about the Sister Mary Jo Sobieck card.

I saw the release date come and go and there was no sign of the vendor at my store. So, I went searching for the familiar boxes that the trading cards get delivered in. I enlisted the help of a manager today, because I was sick of waiting for the vendor to come and put them out and I was not spotting them in the back.

After about ten minutes he comes out with a blaster box and I was ecstatic. I made my purchase and headed home to explore the wonders of Allen & Ginter.

The first White Sox card I encountered was Yoan Moncada. Nice picture. Solid card.

The next White Sox card knocked me off my feet because I was not expecting it.
BAINES MOJO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I was really not expecting Harold to be in this set. I LOVE this card!!! It's almost like the card is responding to my surprise reaction of it being in the set by saying, "evidently".

One White Sox Hall of Fame player was followed by another.
It's nice to know that Frank Thomas is a Gemini. My astrologer says I shouldn't believe in such nonsense, but still gladly takes my money. Such is the life of a Libra, which I would say if I believed in that... which I don't.

The next White Sox card is bittersweet. You see, Yonder Alonso is no longer with the White Sox. After a very poor performance, Yonder was designated for assignment and released. He's already played a few games for his new team, the Colorado Rockies. I hope he does better than he did in Chicago. Alonso is a very nice guy, but he had a horrible 2019 with the White Sox.

Out of forty-eight cards, four were White Sox cards. Not too bad. It was a pleasure to open Allen & Ginter, as always. Topps seems to always find a way to keep this set fresh without straying too far from the previous releases.

WSC All-Stars: Joe Haynes

Card #29 - Joe Haynes

Joe was selected to his first and only All-Star game in 1948, as a reserve pitcher. The game was played at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, Missouri.

Joe did not not appear in the game. The American League won the game 5-2.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Card Spotlight: 7-19-19

1948-49 Leaf #59 - Luke Appling

I'll throw a quick card up today for the spotlight. It's my only day off and I'll be spending it putting together a new office space that will be less cramped.

The forties have been a fascinating time for baseball cards. Since there were rationing of various materials for the war effort, baseball cards were pretty low on the list of priorities. The New York teams and superstar players of the day always found a way to get on cardboard, even in the leanest of times. The White Sox had no household name superstars, like Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. The best player in those days was Luke Appling, a superstar in his own right, but really only a household name for Chicagoans and baseball fans.

I can envision a scenario where Luke is mentioned and it becomes similar to the introduction of Starlord in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Who?! Oh, that guy. He's pretty good, but he's on the wrong Sox.

Such is life.

Seeing a White Sox player on a 1940s baseball card is such a treat. It might actually be possible to collect every White Sox card from the forties at a reasonable price. From 1942 through 1946, I haven't been able to find evidence of any White Sox player on cardboard. There are a few releases in those years, but none I've found has White Sox players included.

The remaining years of the forties that do have White Sox cards in sets, they are in such minuscule numbers compared to the amount of players on east coast teams, that I think I have found a new collecting angle for myself.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

WSC All-Stars: Rudy York 1947

Card #28 - Rudy York

Rudy was selected to his seventh and final All-Star game in 1947, as a reserve first baseman. The game was played at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.

Although Rudy was selected, he did not appear in the game. York's last MLB game would be in September 1948, as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Card Spotlight: 7-12-19

1990 Topps #569 - Ivan Calderon

Somewhere after 1987, I didn't purchase baseball cards too much. I think that was the phase where comic books took over more and music became more of a priority in my life.

I still went to games. I still was a die hard White Sox fan, but I just didn't seek out cards, for whatever reason. One day, in 1990, I went into my local drugstore and decided to see what the new Topps cards looked like. I bought a pack and opened them in the parking lot, on my bike. Ivan Calderon was in that pack.

I thought the gradient and the dots were an exciting design choice. This one pack and this one card rekindled my passion for collecting cards. I don't know what would have happened if there wasn't a White Sox card in that pack. There was also a Nolan Ryan 5,000 card in there too that piqued my interest. The Nolan Ryan card was cool, but if there wasn't a White Sox card in there, it may not have held my interest long enough to consider purchasing another pack.

It just goes to show that any card can spark something that inspires you to collect. I was only in it to collect the White Sox team set, but got sucked into collecting everything again. I fizzled out around the strike and got back in again thirteen years later. You never can tell where inspiration is going to strike or what is going to create that initial spark.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

2019 Topps Total Wave 1

Topps Total made a comeback in 2019 as an online exclusive. Many remember Topps Total as a behemoth set that came out for a few years in the mid-2000s. It was a no-frills release with a lot of players. For a few fringe bench players, this would be their only card during their playing career.

Topps has resurrected Topps Total as an online exclusive on demand limited window print. There must be another catch too, right? Yes. It is only sold in packs of ten cards for $10. Each wave is one hundred cards. There are three parallels of each card, numbered to ten, five and one. Plus, there are scattered autographs that might pop up, but not of every player.

Response to purchasing directly from Topps has been lukewarm, at best. This only means that the value will be potentially more with a limited print run. That being said, with no upgrades to the basic set from the mid-2000s, I'm not sure collectors will pay top dollar for this set.

The White Sox have three cards in wave one.

58 - James McCann
75 - Alex Colome
86 - Adam Engel

I liked the idea of Topps Total in the mid-2000s. The reappearance of the brand sparked joy in my heart, but like most decent sets, when they are relaunched, the company tinkers with the integrity just enough to where it looks the same, but it feels quite different. Ten cards for $10 is pretty steep for this re-imagined brand. I understand that you have a chance at an autograph or a card that is numbered to ten or lower. You know what? You have that same chance with most packs today and those can be had for $3 or lower. When you factor in the lower print run, you can probably, at best, tack on another dollar or two to the price of a pack.

The idea is sound, but like most other card sets that are rebranded, the execution leaves something to be desired. The print run for wave one is 5,837. That isn't as limited as most numbered parallels. Time will tell if these hold their value, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Card Spotlight: 7-5-19

1965 Topps #208 - Tommy John

On January 20, 1965, Tommy John was traded from the Indians to the White Sox in a three team trade also involving the Kansas City Athletics. The trade came early enough for Topps to include Tommy as being on the White Sox, but late enough that Topps had to use a Cleveland Indians photo. Still, this would mark the first White Sox card for Tommy John.

Tommy would spend seven seasons with the White Sox before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Dick Allen. Tommy would pitch until the 1989 season, at age forty-six.

Post career, Tommy had a son who died by suicide in 2010. He has since become involved with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. My uncle committed suicide in 2007 and I have participated in the AFSP Out of the Darkness walks in the Chicagoland area. Tommy has been a special guest speaker for several years, usually giving a speech before the walk begins.

It's nice to see Tommy towards the beginning of his career here. He spent parts of two seasons with Cleveland before coming to the White Sox. Tommy is now mostly identified by the surgery that bears his name, being a pioneer patient for that specialty. It's sometimes easy to forget that Tommy had twenty-six year career in the majors. Sometimes we just need to be reminded.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Card Spotlight: 6-28-19

1988 Topps Big #105 - Greg Walker

I will readily admit that I did not like these cards when they first came out. I did not care for the size and they felt cheap, like cards I would pick up in tiny box sets at K-Mart. The cards would always get destroyed because I could not store them properly with my other standard sized cards. There's a reason why they called these cards big. It wasn't because they were mini. They weren't quite super sized though.

I have a much better appreciation for these cards now. Access to better archiving materials make adding these larger than standard size cards fairly easy.

That's a nice big profile picture of Greg Walker on the front. The background has a nice action shot in old Comiskey Park. I still miss that place, but I get to revisit it in pictures and baseball cards.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Card Spotlight: 6-21-19

2019 Topps Throwback Thursday #148 - Eloy Jimenez

I have a love/hate relationship with on demand cards. I like the aspect of having cards printed just for me and the limited time part of the equation. On demand cards have produced some cool cards. They also produce some duds, but the more of a dud the card is, the more collectible it will be because of an insanely low print run.

There are good and bad in this business model. I'm not a fan of the pricing, especially since I only collect certain players and one team. On the other hand the pricing isn't so bad because I focus on a very narrow collection.

The Throwback Thursdays are hit or miss, but usually very interesting. Each week a different set from the past is featured and a handful of players are selected for inclusion. It's not limited to just baseball sets. Anything is fair game, from other sports to movie card sets.

This week's set is based on 1989 Topps Football. I'll take their word for it. I don't really collect football cards, so my knowledge on design and corresponding year is very limited for that sport. The design is very simplistic and that suits the card well. It's not as intricate as the 1989 baseball design, but it works here.

I appreciate the Throwback Thursday cards. It's always a fun way to start a Thursday to see what design Topps will pull out and which players are included. The only thing I'm not crazy about is price. A usual set of six cards will cost $20. You can't get individual cards. It is only sold by the set. This is where the secondary market is your friend. Usually the White Sox end up on the lower end of that week's cards, so I can usually find most White Sox cards for a bargain.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

2019 Topps Series Two

Here we go again! It's the middle of June and that means Topps Series Two comes out. I have mostly positive things to say about Topps splitting their flagship into series again. It's not the way I grew up, but it helps give a nice boost in the middle of the season. Just when you're feeling fed up at finding those last few cards in packs (unless you purchase or trade singles), BAM... new cards, same design.

Here's the thing... I'm not sick of the design... yet. It's usually between the release of series two and the All-Star break that I'm finally fed up with seeing the design. It's hasn't happened... yet. It most certainly will. It always does. Not even winning a hobby box has lessened my appeal for the design.

Perhaps, it's because I'm not investing my usual amount of time into the hobby because of family and work obligations. It could be that I'm still in the middle of organizing my collection, so my attention is focused on many different sets. Maybe it's a solid design that doesn't overstay its welcome.

The White Sox have ten cards in the set.

377 - Yoan Moncada
403 - Ivan Nova
409 - Nate Jones
527 - Guaranteed Rate Field
577 - Nicky Delmonico
599 - Daniel Palka
613 - Welington Castillo
636 - Jace Fry
664 - Lucas Giolito
670 - Eloy Jimenez

There are no known variations for the White Sox. It's kind of a relief. I'm still trying to collect series one variations. There is a nice Carlton Fisk variation, but he's with the Red Sox.

Excitement bookends the checklist here. Yoan Moncada starts off the series two White Sox cards, while Lucas Giolito and Eloy Jimenez close it out. In between is filled with solid, but not electric players. One way or another, there have been hiccups in their careers. Nate Jones keeps getting injured. Nicky Delmonico and Daniel Palka both got off to great starts and then didn't adjust quickly enough when the league adjusted to them. Ivan Nova needs more consistency, but he accomplishes the role he's asked to do most times. Jace Fry is still young. And a baseball park rounds out the middle of the pack.

This should be a quick and easy base set to collect. Sometimes it's good to have an easy set.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Card Spotlight: 6-14-19

2013 Bowman Sterling Prospects Autographs #BSAP-CH - Courtney Hawkins

I wanted to believe in Courtney Hawkins. From the back flip that he did on draft day, I wanted to believe in him. The White Sox gave up on Courtney in 2018, releasing him. He has since gone on to play in the Independent Leagues and in the minors with the Cincinnati Reds and currently in the minors with the San Francisco Giants.

I still hope he gets to play in the majors one day. Most likely it will be a cup of coffee, but hopefully something more. Don't stop chasing your dream, Courtney!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

2019 Panini Prizm

You pretty much know by now what you're getting with Panini Prizm. You're getting another chromium product with shiny colored parallels. It's nothing spectacular anymore. It chips easily, but still, there's something alluring about chromium sets. Even if the design remind you a little of some Topps Finest designs. I guess there's only so many combinations of design before things start to look similar. I mean, eventually. Right? Maybe.

For those who like the chromium products, this will offer few surprises. The most eye catching aspect of this release is the over twenty parallels available. Isn't this one of the factors of how Donruss lost their license? I think it was. This is definitely a situation where team logos would help make this set a little more appealing.

The three hundred card set has few White Sox players in it. Half of the White Sox cards are in tier one.

The White Sox have six cards in the set.

46 - Michael Kopech
56 - Yoan Moncada
90 - Jose Abreu
155 - Carlos Rodon
166 - Tim Anderson
299 - Frank Thomas

This is not a bad set, but there is nothing other than the mind-blowing amount of parallels that set it apart. When you have to rely on parallels to make your product stand out, it's not a great product. It's an average one, which reeks of blandness. Sure, it's cool and shiny, but that does not equate awesomeness.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Card Spotlight: 6-7-19

1931 W517 #43 - Art Shires

Pre World War II cards are always interesting. Economic fluctuations and various material shortages account for spotty releases and other anomalies. There are some years that I cannot find a single solitary White Sox card release. During the United States involvement in WWII, materials were diverted for the war effort and the country had their obvious focus on other things.

Another reason for lack of years without a release would be that some releases were strung out over several years. Some would even put out the same set every few years with a few tweaks and updates. There are still debates in the forums on what card came out in what year and which version was which year. We can only sleuth and make educated guesses. Anyone involved with the processes of those cards are long deceased.

People like Jefferson Burdick helped catalog a great deal of these sets, but those lists were never perfect. Cards still are discovered today that never made those lists. Variations and other oddities still come to light. Time is a cruel mistress and the longer we travel past these releases, the harder it is to properly catalog. Although, some companies never release their full checklists today, which is even more annoying. These present day companies have no excuse not to release the full checklist.

Depression era cards are one of the most overlooked of the bunch, with the exception of Goudey. Most sets were strip cards that were cheaply produced and cheaply bought. They were meant to be hand cut, so the quality really varies in these cards.

The most exciting aspect for me is the sheer amount of players that never get cards anywhere but in these releases. Art Shires is a good example of this. Art played with three teams over a four year career. He only received three known card releases during his playing career. Two were with the White Sox and one was doctored to be on the Boston Braves, but used the same picture as on the W517 card, which he shared space with three other players.
Art has three postcards, one new card and one reprint card made well after his playing career was over. The postcards were made in 1966, the new card was in 1992 and the reprint was in 1997. Since then, nothing. That's why these cards fascinate me greatly. If you played anywhere from the Black Sox scandal until the end of the forties and you aren't a household name in the twenty-first century, you are largely forgotten.

These cards provide a window into that forgotten world. Someone had to play against Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig and Ted Williams.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Twittering A Buy-In

I don't check Twitter as often as I probably should. I get all of the notifications through my phone. Usually a Twitter notification and a text. I get tagged in a lot of stuff and it's usually someone hitting "reply all" and having a full blown conversation. Each reply gets the same treatment from my notifications. I'll usually give it a cursory glance before I swipe the notification away. If I'm at work, sometimes not even that much. I've been at work a lot lately, if you can tell by the lack of posts recently.

I don't usually purchase these on demand cards straight from Topps. They are usually too much money or I have to buy other cards that I don't want. I usually try to pick them up on the secondary market. So when J.T. of the fantastic Writer's Journey contacted me to see if I wanted in on a group break for Throwback Thursday, I said I was in. The caveat was that the entire lot had to be spoken for or the break wasn't happening. I said I was good for the White Sox card and if there was one card holding up the break, I would purchase that too. To my knowledge, every card was claimed because I only paid for the White Sox card.

And what a card it is! Tim Anderson is having a spectacular season. It has cooled some, but the numbers are still respectable. I am not a collector of football cards, so I was not familiar with this design, but I like it. It apparently is a 1970 Super Glossy Football design. Some are not enthralled with the design, but it reminds me of early nineties Fleer inserts, only better. I like the gradient background. I'm not sure I would like an entire set of this design, but for a handful of cards it's very nice.

Thank you, J.T.! I appreciate the opportunity to obtain a card for my collection without having a bunch of cards that I wouldn't really want. If the Reds and the White Sox have cards in the same offering again, I would like to do this arrangement again.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Card Spotlight: 5-31-19

1975 Twinkies #8 - Bill Melton

Essentially the exact same card as Hostess, except Twinkies cards have a black stripe on the back. Food issues were much more common than they are today, which is a shame. I can remember getting excited every time I saw baseball cards on a food product when I was growing up.

1975 marked the last season of Beltin' Bill in a White Sox uniform. His numbers were a little down from previous years, but not horrible. In December 1975, Melton would be traded to the California Angels. Bill would find post-career success as a pre and post game commentator for the White Sox.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Mailbox Joys: A Thigpen Auto

2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autographs Blue #FFABT - Bobby Thigpen

Bobby Thigpen is one of my player collections. I haven't updated my have list for him recently. Player collections are next after getting my want list completely updated.

When I run across something that I don't have for a retired player that's not in the Hall of Fame, I get excited. Typically, most of my player collections are of fringe players, or in the case of Thigpen, ones who were in the upper echelon for a few years and then came crashing back to Earth.

Looking back, I think it was the grace and poise and respect for the game that made me a huge fan of Bobby's. Years later, when Francisco Rodriguez would break Thigpen's single season save record of fifty-seven (eventually racking up sixty-two saves), Bobby sent him a congratulatory note, just as Dave Righetti did when Thigpen broke his mark. Just to show you how far relievers have come, Dave Righetti's high mark of forty-six saves in 1986, has him tied for forty-second place with nine other players. Meanwhile, Bobby's record of fifty-seven saves has him tied for second place.

I found this autographed card on eBay, up for auction. I was the only bidder and won it for 99 cents, plus $3.50 shipping. I wasn't to concerned about the shipping costs considering I had won the auction at such a low price. It was coming from a seller in the continental United States with a good rating.

I won the auction on April 28th. The shipping estimate was for May 8th. Long, but not unreasonable. It was marked shipped the next day. So the wait begins. I wait. I wait some more. The estimated arrival date came and went. I wait even longer.

On May 15th, I sent the seller a question, asking if I could have the tracking number, so I could try to deduce where the package had been delayed. No response.

On May 18th, a package arrived in my mailbox, with this card in it, and a postmark of May 15th. When I was a seller, I tried to achieve the gold standard on every order and leave the competition in the dust. None of my customers saw red, when they ordered from me. None of them experienced even a delay. Maybe it's just the way I was raised, but if I can't deliver something as promised, in a timely fashion, I communicate. I explain myself and let the other person know what's going on.

I'm happy that the card arrived as described in the listing. Of course it's not the end of the world that it arrived late or I inadvertently had to remind the seller to send it. In the grand scheme of things it's the size of a molecule in the expanse of the universe. It does not mean that it isn't annoying. It does not mean that lackadaisical service is to be tolerated.

In the end, I left positive feedback, when I felt I should have left neutral, because I did not want to get hit with negative feedback. So far, the seller has left no feedback. I'm not going to call out the seller, but I won't be ordering from them unless it is the only way I can get something. I will know in the future, to remind the seller of their obligations earlier than I did this time and have patience.

Mistakes happen and I have no idea what was going on in their life during that time. Unless it is deliberately malicious, you have to give the benefit of the doubt. I could be in a situation one day, where something I send out is delayed. It could be through no fault of my own or it could've gotten buried in a pile of other stuff and forgotten. Life happens. People shouldn't be penalized for that. I'm just happy that I have another Thigpen card to add to the collection. The only real debate is should it be part of the White Sox team collection or part of the Thigpen player collection?

Friday, May 24, 2019

Card Spotlight: 5-24-19

2018 Topps Chrome Future Stars #FS-6 - Lucas Giolito

There have been a lot of great highlights so far for the 2019 season. It has been still a largely uneven affair, as players have stepped up and were brought back down. Usually, there will be someone who steps up and has a fantastic stretch, while others falter around him.

This past week, the current ace of the pitching staff has been Lucas Giolito. He has had two complete games, one rain shortened, one nine inning outing. Regardless, it is an accomplishment that has not been achieved since Chris Sale was on the team.

Kudos to Giolito! When this team really gels... look out!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Draft Years: 1971

With the first pick overall in the 1971 draft, the Chicago White Sox selected catcher Danny Goodwin out of Peoria Central High School in Peoria, Illinois. And then Danny did not sign.

Goodwin opted to go to college instead. In an unusual anomaly, Danny was selected as the first overall pick in the 1975 draft by the California Angels. He did sign with the Angels and made his MLB debut on September 3, 1975 against the Texas Rangers. Goodwin had a mostly unremarkable career over seven seasons for the California Angels, the Minnesota Twins and the Oakland Athletics, ending in 1982.

It certainly did not live up to the lofty standards of being selected twice as the overall first pick in the draft. Seven years in the majors, even mostly under the radar, is a pretty remarkable feat.

The 1971 draft had some notable prospects, such as Frank Tanana, Jim Rice, Rick Rhoden, Craig Reynolds, Ron Guidry, Jerry Mumphrey and Keith Hernandez.

The White Sox had the first and twenty-fifth picks in the draft and there were two Hall of Fame superstars that were selected at picks twenty-nine and thirty. Theoretically, the White Sox could have selected both of these players. Both played third base primarily, but one was also considered a first baseman as well.

The White Sox selected outfielder Bill Sharp with the twenty-fifth pick. Bill did sign, but only lasted four seasons in the majors. I would've been comfortable with the White Sox selecting one of the available future Hall of Fame players at pick twenty-five.

With the first pick in the draft, the White Sox should have selected....

Mike Schmidt.
I selected Schmidt at pick number one because Mike had power numbers and a Gold Glove defense. While he didn't hit for consistent high average, he wasn't horrible. His glove and power balanced out a slightly above average batting average. Schmidt also bowed out gracefully when his numbers started to decline.

Since it's rare that two Hall of Fame superstars are still available after two picks by the White Sox, I'm going to say that the White Sox should have selected at pick number twenty-five...

George Brett.
George had a little pop in the bat and was no slouch in the defense department, but he consistently flirted with high averages, including a run at the elusive .400. Since Mike Schmidt would have been selected for third base, George would have shifted to first base much earlier in his career.

Can you imagine an infield for the White Sox with Mike Schmidt and George Brett at the infield corners? It could have happened!

Out of twenty-six prospects picked by the White Sox in the 1971 June amateur draft, only ten signed. Only six of those twenty-six picks ever made it to the majors.

The 70s and 80s certainly would have been different with Schmidt and Brett on the team!
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