Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm finally back & healthy

It's been a crazy couple of months for me dating all the way back to August when I was admitted to the hospital for viral meningitis then experiencing 9 days without power from Hurricane Irene. Fast forward a couple more health scares with both myself and my family and enter Snowtober.  The 6 inch snowstorm on Halloween knocked out power for my street for another 8 days.  Then the holidays came and went.  Well, I'm finally back and healthy and ready to complete ALL the trades I've promised over the past couple months.  For those of you that sent me packages, please send me your current address along with what the trade proposal was so I can finish up my end.  Thanks to all and God Bless you for your patience.

Since it's been awhile and I had many cards that needed to be added prior to my illness, I'll present a few cards on this post.

Up first is a 2011 Topps Marquee on card AUTO of Neil Walker.  This card is numbered 16/185 and features a nice standard pose of Neil holding the bat on his shoulder.  I absolutely loved the Topps Marquee line when it came out and picked up a slew of Jose Tabata & Andrew McCutchen relics/autos.  It was nice to see a Topps set contain autos & relics of current Pirates players.  No offense to Ralph Kiner, but I don't want to see him in any more sets for the forseeable future.  Neil finished the year with a vote for a golden glove, which is very surprising considering he had a -0.3 defensive WAR.  I'm not completely sold on sabremetrics though and evidently the voters aren't either because Neil performed above average in my opinion.  Offensively, Neil Walker began the season with a slam, a grand slam to be exact.  The last Pirate to hit a Grand Slam on Opening Day was Roberto Clemente. 

Neil will be a cornerstone in the Pirates future for years to come as the Pittsburgh Kid wants to bring a championship to the Steel City.

Up next is a manufactured bat barrel of Garrett Jones.  I'm not a huge fan of manufactured items, but this looks awesome.  The barrel is curved and the card is very thick.  This black bat of G.I. Jones is numbered 15/25.  My girl friend has one too and we are going to try and collect all 25.  Keep your eyes open for us, please.  Jones had a year of ups and downs.  It was announced during the off season that he would be used in a strict platoon with Matt Diaz in Right Field.  That didn't work out too well as neither Diaz or Jones could adjust to playing in a platoon role in Pittsburgh.  When Lyle Overbay completely tanked mid season and trade acquisition Derrek Lee got injured, Jones was the only suitable option at 1B.  He excelled beyond expectations in the month of August and had a Walk Off Home Run that landed in the Alleghany River.  There's no denying that Jones has a powerful left handed bat and is a presence to be feared when he's not swinging at balls in the dirt.

Here's 2 of Pittsburgh future hurlers, 2 Luis Heredia Autographs and a Stetson Allie State College Spikes jersey relic.  These 2 guys are fireballing teenagers.  Heredia was signed last year as a 16 year old with velocity up to 97MPH and great control.  Allie was a big bonus baby as he signed a multi million dollar signing bonus as a 2nd round draft pick.  Heredia, although younger, has better command of his pitches and will certainly be a front of the rotation starter in Pittsburgh in a couple years.  Allie, on the other hand, will need to work on his control in order to become a shutdown 9th inning closer.  Although Allie is still considered a starter, I suspect they will move him into the bullpen in the next year. 
Speaking of 9th inning closers, there wasn't many NL closers better than Joel Hanrahan this year as he was voted to NL All-Star game for the 1st time in his career.  Prior to the All-Star game he hadn't blown a save opportunity, had a WHIP of under 1, and an ERA around 2.00.  Ridiculous numbers!  As a matter of fact, his only blown saves for the entire year was when he was trying to pitch more than 3 outs.  Joel would like to remain in Pittsburgh, but he becomes a free agent in 2014.  It will be curious if the Pirates hold onto him in 2013 when they should be legitamely contending for the NL Central or trade him for top 10 prospects.  I hope the Hammer stays in the Burgh.

Well that's all for now. It feels good to be back.  Now I have 700+ emails to attend to.....
Until Next Time


  1. Welcome back! Glad you're healthy and back in the game. I'll shoot you an e-mail tonight.

  2. Hey, man, Glad to hear you're feeling better. Was hoping such a cool blog wasn't going to disappear. We had a trade going months ago. I'll send you an email soon.

  3. Wow, you did hit a rough patch. Glad to hear you bounced back.

    Nice acquisitions. I too liked the Marquee set. Some people complained about the player selection, but the way I look at it is I think it's cool that some of those players got the Marquee treatment.