Mail Day Catch-up: 4/17/13

Posted: April 17, 2013 by Crackin' Wax in Mail Day, Minnesota Twins
Tags: , , , , , , ,

After scoring a 2012 Bowman Sterling Luke Bard FC AU Refractor /199 for pennies, I got that ebay itch that can be so dangerous if not held in check. Thankfully, I’ve got a budget to which I’m sticking. Unfortunately, a couple of the cards that I’ve been hunting down may have to wait because of their current price–ya know, if I’m going to be serious about my budget, anyway.

Instead of drawing my ebay victories out day after day like I’m doing with my 2010 GameDay OldSchool custom cards, I’ll share with you what I have in my possession to this point. They’re all cards from my Want List, so I’m very glad to have them sitting in my super cool new transparent case binder.

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It’s a little tough to tell but, yes, this card does have a signature on it. These chrome cards just do not scan well with their embedded mirror-like surface. Chromes are also notorious for attracting dirt and smudges. It was all I could do to come up with a clean scan.

Liam, whose last name is actually spelled “Hendriks,” not with a “C” as the folks at the Bowman side of Topps printed, is a right-handed starting pitcher from Perth, Australia. The Minor League and International portion of his career has been exceptional. In his debut season within the Twins’ farm system, he was named a Top 50 Prospect. In 2011, he was given the distinction as Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year. His Major League career, however, is nearly a polar opposite. His career ERA from 2011-2013 is currently at 5.63 with an outright embarrassing W-L record of 1-11. Liam Hendriks was summarily optioned back to AAA to make room for returning starter Scott Diamond.

PRICE: $1.04
SHIPPING: $1.99
FINAL COST: $3.03

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I have to say, I really love this card. No, my scanner wasn’t disgustingly dirty when I scanned this card in. What appears to be globs of fiber and dust are actually fat drops of rain! From my research, Cole has so far only pitched in two rainy games for the Twins, and I believe the image used for this card was captured during the August 26 2012 rain-delayed game in Arlington, Texas–the same date and place this picture was taken. Off the top of my head, I can’t recall any other card featuring rain, especially none presented in the artistic fashion of cards like Gypsy Queen. If you know of any others, let me know. I may just have a new collection to get started a-la Nite Owl!

Cole is a Minnesota native. Born in St. Louis Park (where the Cohen Brothers romped in their formative years), he graduated High School in Eden Prairie (site of the movie “Mallrats”) and attended college at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Much like Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins, he’s been with Minnesota his entire life. De Vries has never possessed impressive stuff, but has done enough to get him some time in the Majors. He debuted with the Twins last year and has yet to make an appearance this year. His record currently stands at 5-5 backed by a 4.11 ERA. One thing that Cole has been able to do that recent Twins starting pitchers have not is strike batters out. In 2012, he posted 6 Ks per 9 Innings with a 3.22 Strikeouts/Walk ratio. I see him more as a set-up guy, someone who can toss a clean 8th Inning to get to the closer. Making him pitch more than 1 or 2 Innings in a game could be dicey.

PRICE: $1.82
SHIPPING: $2.49
FINAL COST: $4.31

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2013 is the first year featuring cards autographed by Scott Diamond and, while this isn’t his first autographed card (Turkey Red), this isn’t even his second signed card of the year. His 2013 Heritage short printed autographed card came after Turkey Red (and is his first on-card auto) and Gypsy Queen is his third (also on-card). I don’t normally collect beyond first card and rookie card autographs, but this card was fairly cheap and is quite nice to look at.

Scott, originally signed by the Atlanta Braves, made his MLB debut with the Twins in 2011. He was the sole highlight of the Twins’ pitching staff in 2012. He was the only pitcher on the staff with double-digit Wins. In fact, his win total of 12 is double that of the next best win total by a Twins pitcher–Sam Deduno, the only other starter with a winning season in 2012, posted 6 W’s. Diamond also proved to be much more durable than the other starters, a quality that Twins starting pitching has sorely missed since 2010. He tossed a team-leading 173 Innings in 27 games. The next best Innings eater was Brian Duensing with 109 Innings in 55 games. His 3.54 ERA was also best among starting pitchers and was the only pitcher on the staff to toss a no-hitter. Scott’s 2013 started a little later due to injury and his 1 appearance thus far was not a good one, but it’s still early and it is hoped that he will return to form and take the reigns as the staff ace.

PRICE: $3.75
SHIPPING: $2.07
FINAL COST: $5.82

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This card comes from the same set as the above pictured Liam Hendriks, so, while the card looks stunning in person, it scans for absolute crap. The signature isn’t very apparent, but it does bare a biblical inscription.

Gibson is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the Minors. In 2011, he was rated the #34 overall prospect by Baseball America. He underwent Tommy John surgery in late 2011 and returned to baseball nearly a year later. So far this year his numbers at AAA Rochester are so-so. In 3 starts, he is 0-2 with a 4.11 ERA and 15 strikeouts. The hope is that he will continue to strengthen his elbow and regain the command and velocity he was known for prior to his elbow injury. He is expected to debut with the Twins sometime this summer.

PRICE: $5.59
SHIPPING: $2.75
FINAL COST: $8.34

FINAL VERDICT
Not a bad way to spend a little over $20. For the price of a blaster, I got 4 cards from my Want List, all Twins FC/RC AUs. Is it a coincidence that they’re all pitchers, too? Yeah, probably. Considering the cards, I’d say I ended up with a few good bargains! The Diamond is going for less now than when I paid and the Gibson may end up pulling down bigger bucks down the road. The Hendriks may, unfortunately, never be worth more. Out of curiosity, if the De Vries ends up being the only rain card out there, I wonder if that fact is enough to increase its value? Even if it doesn’t, it’s still a damn cool card to have.

I still have a couple more cards on the way and I’m still diligently seeking out a 2010 Bowman Chrome Miguel Sano autograph. Both cards on the way are of rookies who made their MLB debuts this year, both were higher priced and I may have overpaid a little bit on one of them. That might be what keeps me from pulling the ebay trigger on Sano. Let’s hope I can snag one in a trade!

DO YOU HAS?
I am always looking for just about any Twins FC/RC AUs. If you have any that you’re willing to give up, PLEASE let me know! Thanks!

A clue! A clue!

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Comments
  1. Congrats! Just got my GQ DeVries & Diamond AU and Turkey Red Diamond AU; Diamond has proved to be a tough one, cost-wise

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