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My 10 Favorite Card Purchases of 2011: Number 9

December 31, 2011 Leave a comment


Card #9 on my list is a 2011 Bowman Chrome Matt Moore Prospect Autograph graded BGS 9.5. I’ve got a couple of these and would love to have more. I actually pulled one from a pack too, but it wasn’t in good enough shape to send off to BGS. This card has 9.5 subgrades across the board and a 10 for the autograph grade.

Moore was the #2 prospect in Baseball America’s Rays Top 10 prospects list in 2011. He holds the top spot in 2012. He burst onto the scene late last season when the Rays made him a September call-up. He only pitched 9.1 innings in the regular season, but had 15 strikeouts and a respectable 2.89 ERA. He went 10 innings in the playoffs with 8 strikeouts and an absurd 0.90 ERA.

Moore will certainly make the Rays out of spring training this year. I cannot think of many better investments in the baseball card market right now, certainly not from a pitching standpoint. Look for big things out of him in 2012.

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Bowman Chrome Wrapper Redemption 38 Pack Break

February 8, 2011 2 comments

Well, they finally arrived. I missed the UPS guy a couple days in a row and finally had it held it held at the UPS facility and picked it up on the third day. The first thing I’ll say about these is I’m really disappointed in how these were shipped by Topps. The 38 packs were all put into a large padded envelope loose to bounce around during shipment. This obviously caused damage to many of the corners on my base cards. I know some people that had a larger number of packs coming to them received theirs in a box.

The bonus on these is that Topps initially stated there would be 5 cards per pack, but there ended up being 10. There are 11 per pack when you hit an autograph. There are 11 different packs, all with the same collation. I ended up with three of each pack so I was able to build 3 110-card base sets. Of the other five packs, one was the Strasburg pack, so that was a nice bonus to get an extra of him.

Now for the good stuff. Autographs are coming out of these packs at an average of around 1:18. Did that hold true for me? Yes, I got two autographs in my packs. I was sort of expecting a better ratio than that but it’s pretty much the same as buying a hobby box at those odds. The picture below shows an example of the black bordered base cards and one of my autographs, a Matt Barnes Team USA Chrome Autograph numbered out of 99.

I paid $255 for 684 empty 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball wrappers on eBay back in December. I remember thinking “What have I done?” when I opened the priority mail box full of wrappers. I promptly went through them and repackaged them in an envelope to send off to Topps. I figured that this would be money well spent considering the amount of great low numbered autographs available in these packs. Little did I know it was going to pay off way more than I ever imagined. There is obviously one card everyone is hoping to pull from this product, the Bryce Harper Team USA Chrome Autographed numbered to 100. Well, as you can see below, I pulled it! This is far and away the most valuable card I’ve ever pulled from a pack. The $255 gamble back in December is going to pay off nicely once I decide to sell the card. I can tell you this much, it will not be until after Baseball America releases their 2011 Top 100 Prospect list.

Prospect Mail Day!

January 9, 2011 Leave a comment


Another day, another card from my 2011 priority purchase list. This one is from the list of prospects that I’m trying to load up on before the season starts. The card pictured is a 2008 Bowman Chrome Prospects Autographs Jarrod Parker graded BGS 9.5 gem mint.

This is my first gem mint copy of this card. I already owned a BGS 9, but have been looking for a 9.5 ever since I picked up the 9. I also have six ungraded copies of this card, one was purchased on eBay a couple days before I picked up the 9.5.

Parker was selected 9th over in the 2007 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was on the fast track from high school to the majors like fellow 2007 draftee Rick Porcello before injuring his elbow and getting shelved with Tommy John surgery. Parker is back, healthy and ready to resume his career at AA Mobile in 2011. The DBacks have stated that Parker can earn a spot on their roster coming out of spring training if he can demonstrate that he’s back to 100%. I don’t see that happening. The DBacks aren’t going anywhere this year and have no reason to rush Parker.

Baseball America has rated Parker as the DBacks #1 prospect since 2009. It says a lot about his talent that they kept him at #1 in 2010 despite his elbow injury. Their 2011 DBacks Top 10 isn’t releasing until January 17th. Parker will almost assuredly be #1 again.

Neftali Feliz TTM Success

Date sent: 3/6/09
Date returned: 5/8/09

I started sending TTM autograph requests about three months ago. About a month after I started, in March, I started sending requests to veterans and prospects at their Spring Training sites. I think I sent just over twenty requests and I only got one return. That was from Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles.

This return that came today really shocked me. It’s from Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers. I sent this request back in March to Surpise, AZ, the Spring Training site of the Rangers. The request that I received today came from Oklahoma City, OK, the home of Feliz’s current team, the Oklahoma City RedHawks. He must have taken his Spring Training requests with him when he left.

Feliz is ranked as the #10 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America. He’s off to a slow start in 2009 but remains a tremendous talent. Here is his player page on milb.com.

Grant Green TTM Success

April 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Date sent: 4/11/09
Date returned: 4/22/09

I’m really happy about this return from Grant Green of the USC Trojans. Green is listed as the #2 pick in Baseball America’s 2009 MLB mock draft, just behind Stephen Strasburg. I think I’m mostly surprised at how quick the card was returned from such a high profile prospect.

Grant Green is Junior third baseman with the Trojans. He’s batting .372 this season in his first 137 at-bats.

Here’s a story Baseball America wrote about Green over the summer when he was playing in the Cape Cod League: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/college/summer-scene/summer-stock/2008/266640.html

Austin Maddox TTM Success

April 19, 2009 1 comment

Date sent: 3/28/09
Date returned: 4/18/09

This is my second TTM return from a high schooler with a card in the 2008 Upper Deck USA set. I had previously posted about my Matt Davidson return.

This return is from Austin Maddox. He’s a senior at Eagle’s View Academy in Jacksonville, FL. Here is what Baseball America had to say about him in their draft preview: Tremendous arm behind the plate, but throws can be erratic. Rare amateur player allowed to call his own game.”

Maddox signed two cards for me. I sent two cards to each high schooler. I requested that they sign one and keep one for themselves.

Matt Davidson TTM Success

April 17, 2009 1 comment

Date sent: 3/28/09
Date returned: 4/16/09


I had a crazy idea a few weeks ago while looking at some 2009 mock MLB draft boards. I knew that a lot of the players listed had cards in the 2008 Upper Deck USA set. The problem is that many of these players are still in high school. Could I possibly send a TTM request to a high school player? Was this breaking some sort of TTM code of conduct? I really wasn’t sure so I decided to send a few off to see what would happen.

My request that I sent to Matt Davidson of Yucaipa High School in Yucaipa, CA arrived in my mail today. For each request I sent, I included two cards. I asked each player that they sign one card and keep one for themself. Matt Davidson did just that.

Here is what Baseball America says about him in their Top 50 Draft Prospects article today: Some of the best raw power in this year’s high school crop.”

In the end, I’m glad that I sent this and the other requests. Any doubts I had about whether it was right or wrong to send a request to a high school player were curbed when I saw that they have already been paid to sign cards for Upper Deck.

What do you think? Has anyone else out there sent a request to a high school player? If not, would you?