I went to one of my local card shows today. As usual, I found some good deals -- some of which will be spread around the blogosphere, and others of which will be finding their way into my collection. Part of my reasoning for going to the show was to try to find cards to pay off on my contests from earlier this month.
One of the winners of the contest was old reliable blogger San Jose Fuji. I hope he likes what I got for him at the show today with the $10 I spent on him.
I call him "old reliable" because he seems to have more material to blog about -- including some great flea markets that I envy greatly -- than I do. Perhaps it's because I'm not as much of a collector. I mean, Fuji collects a lot of different things and, further, he also buys to sell sometimes.
Still, he also has accumulated a lot of great cards over the years. I recently received a bubble mailer from him unexpectedly with some great Brewers autographs, relics, and serial numbered cards. Let's get to them!
This Leaf 2013 "Memories Buyback" is serial numbered 1 of 5. Leaf does something right here that I wish Topps's buybacks did -- they tell us how many of this card there are available in buyback form. On the other hand, I find this buyback weird for a couple of reasons.
First, this card is from the height of the junk wax era -- 1991. Why are there only 5 of these? Second, what is so memorable about a card that is twenty-two years old? Not 50, or 40, or 30, or 25, or 10, or even 5 -- but 22? That's just kind of weird.
Maybe they just wanted to dump 5 sets they found in a storage bin in their offices.
Still, this is not to disparage the fact that I have one of the five gold-foiled Jim Gantner cards stamped in 2013. That fact is pretty awesome.
This card is great. No, actually, it's better than great -- it's Magnifico!
Enough with the puns, though. With the Brewers in full rebuild mode and having hired a GM who was born when I was in middle school and who was just starting kindergarten when I graduated from college, I am going to have to turn a little bit into Zippy Zappy and get excited about the Brewers farm system and prospects.
One of the guys who emerged some this year was Damien Magnifico. Magnifico was a 5th round draft pick in 2012 out of the University of Oklahoma. He was a starter through 2014 with varying levels of success. He transitioned to relief at Biloxi this past season and looked impressive -- 4-1, 20 saves, 1.17 ERA. He impressed enough as a bullpen arm throwing BBs to pitch in the Arizona Fall League this fall -- probably based on his 100 MPH fastball. And, he impressed enough to be added to the Brewers 40-man roster last week to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
From a guy who may never make it to a guy who's made it, missed a year, and was named the AL Comeback Player of the Year. I'm happy for Fielder that he's healthy again. Missing a year might be detrimental to his career numbers, but here's hoping he stays healthy for many years to come.
On to a guy who was great when healthy but whose health failed him. It would be nice for the Brewers to develop a pitcher out of the minor league system like Sheets or Yovani Gallardo -- if only to avoid mistakes like 4 years of Jeff Suppan or Matt Garza.
With recent trades and roster moves, it's pretty likely that Jean Segura will become an ex-Brewer sooner rather than later. It's possible, though, that Scooter Gennett will be jettisoned before Segura. At that point, Segura might switch to second base. Or, Segura may be on the way out with the addition last week of Jonathan Villar from the Astros.
In any case, we're just waiting for Orlando Arcia to be ready -- which is pretty likely to come at some point next year after his .307/.347/.453 slash at the age of 20 (he turned 21 on August 4) in the Double-A Southern League.
Robin Yount wants to know what is taking Arcia so long. Yount turned 21 in September of 1976 -- his third year in the majors.
Will Ryan Braun be traded this offseason? If the Brewers can find a taker and get a decent return, the answer is yes. That "return" part is the issue. I mean, Braun is older than his general manager and is rehabbing after back surgery. This is after Braun has had to undergo regular cryotherapy sessions on his right thumb to address a nerve problem. Also, another major issue is whether Milwaukee will pay some of his remaining contract. I'm okay if he stays, and I'm okay if he goes.
The last cards in the package from Fuji are a part of baseball card history. The 1996 Leaf Signature Series was the first set to offer an autographed card in every pack of the cards. I bet there were some unhappy collectors when their autograph was Ricky Bones rather than Jim Thome, Carlos Delgado, Alex Rodriguez, Greg Maddux, or Mariano Rivera.
Still, I'd love to find a box of this to open today...though at $400 for 48 cards (12 autographs), it's a bit pricy.
Fuji, thank you very much for this package. I hope you enjoy the rewards from the $10 I spent today at my card show...that package should go out tomorrow!