Saturday, April 30, 2011

RBI (2) A few treasures from around the yard...

Well not really a yard, but the entrance to Angel Stadium at the Home Plate Gate Hats in Anaheim.  Today was the Angels' Yard Sale located under/between the famed New Era hats sized 649 1/2".

For sale was a selection of t-shirts, hats, banners, general merchandise, and select memorabilia items. As a season ticket holder my family and I would be allowed in before the general public with the other season ticket holder's meaning we only had to arrive at 6:30 AM to get a good spot for the sale's start at 9:00 AM. I was able to score a plethora of goodies such as this luckily obtained chair I'm blogging from (but in doors) at this moment. I had attended the sale with my parents and while I was in the memorabilia section looking for things my mother was able to land the final chair available! Talk about lucky...

This comfy little item is one of the folding chairs used during the 2010 All-Star Weekend festivities when it was hosted for the 3rd time by the Angels. While I didn't get one a local article in the newspaper revealed some of the chairs available for sale were actually signed by players. Previously hosted by the Angels in 1967 and 1989, the National League went on to win the game raising it's record to 2-1 when the ironically American League Angels host the Mid Summer Classic. 

While I was in the sectioned off memorabilia area I found one of Erick Aybar's Spring Training jerseys for sale. Needless to say I was quite pleased to snag the speedy shortstop's jersey just as the weather starts to warm up.

Aybar is the Angel's starting shortstop for the 3rd consecutive season after beginning to play with the club in 2006 after working his way up through the Angels organization.  His career year so far was 2009 when he batted .312 (8th in the AL) with 58 rbi, 5 home runs, 9 triples, and 14 steals. 2010 wasn't as good to Aybar as his average dropped to .253 but when on base he remained a menace to opposing pitchers ending the season with 22 steals. In limited playing time due to injury, 2011 has shown great promise for Aybar as he has stolen 4 bags while batting .353 over 13 games. 

Another great pickup I was able to make was a game used Steve Soliz baseball cap. Thankfully Steve doesn't wear a New Era quite as large as the Hats the register was under, and we both wear the same size  fitted hat (7 1/4" all you trivia hunters). Unfortunately Steve and I don't quite wear the same size jersey and I couldn't bring myself to buy the on sale uniform. Maybe oversized shirts are good for yard work, but they aren't the best purchase at a yard sale.

Steve is the bullpen coach for the Angels for the 2011 season after being the bullpen catcher from 2003-2010. So far he has done a great job working with the other coaches and players, helping the Angel's bullpen hold opposing teams to 22 earned runs over 76.2 innings for a 2.58 ERA in relief even with a rookie closer and several new additions to the pen. Keep up the great work Mr. Soliz, and thanks for numbering your cap so I can know it's yours, hopefully I'll be able to get him to sign it from the bullpen during the coming home stand. 

In the coming post I'll reveal the second half of my haul from the sale.

Friday, April 29, 2011

RBI (1) In honor of the events across the pond...

I'll have the post today be concerned with baseball's version of royalty today. Who could I possibly mean by that? Ruth? Mantle? Williams? Robinson?

No baseball fans. On the day of the wedding between Prince William Arthur Phillip Louis to the now Princess Catherine we will talk about one of our own royal heirs. This particular prince is heir to the throne of Tim 'King Fish' Salmon, Mr. Mike Trout.

The Angels reeled in another prize through the draft in the 2009 draft with the 25th pick overall selecting Michael N. Trout of New Jersey. After a successful 2010 season in the minors with Cedar Rapids, batting .362 with 6 home runs, 39 rbi, and 45 stolen bases in 82 games, Trout was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game hosted by the Angels in Anaheim. Having been in attendance of the game, I promise you Trout live was almost as exciting as his final line of 2 hits in 4 at-bats with a pair of runs scored. Angels prospect Hank Conger was named game MVP, but Trout was a gem to watch and overshadowed much hyped prospects Mike Moustakas and Desmond Jennings.

Promoted to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes for 50 games Trout batted .306 with 4 home runs, 19 rbi, and 11 steals. For all his efforts Trout was named 2010 J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year. Prior to the beginning of the 2011 season Trout was named the #1 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Network's Top 50 Prospects, and ESPN's Keith Law in his top 100 prospect list, and became the crown jewel of the Angel's farm system.

Currently Trout is with the AA Arkansas Travelers with a robust .302 average with 4 home runs and 3 steals after only 17 games.

I pulled this Mike Trout rookie Bowman Platinum Autograph from my very first pack of Bowman Platinum cards. Obviously I saw this as a sign from the Angels (pun intended) that collecting was meant to be. Only time will tell if Trout will become the new 'King Fish' but he looks like he will have a very bright future when he holds court at the Big A. Especially now that he's won the 2012 Rookie of the Year award and came second in the AL MVP voting to Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The First Post RBI (0) Welcome

Hello everyone,

Welcome to my blog RBI Collecting, where I'll be posting my collection of baseball cards as I build sets, cards I get autographed (in person/TTM), and other items of baseball awesomeness. At the end of every autograph post I'll be putting up how I obtained the signing, but be aware I won't be posting personal addresses. There will also be a Weekly Rundown mainly following the Angels and/or Red Sox with relevant fantasy comments just for my own personal pleasure.

I first was pulled into the hobby when I saw that Topps was going have it's diamond anniversary this year and began with a booster box of Topps Series 1 2011 cards, and a booster of 2010 Bowman Platinum Chromes. My first pack was a Bowman that forever got me addicted, but more on that later. For now I'm concentrating on getting an array of autographs TTM (through the mail) of current/past players as I work on completing the 2011 Topps set.

So without further ado, I'll go ahead and add a quick post that I won't count as RBI (1) seeing as it's on my personal jersey I wear to Angels games and is likely to be faded, weathered, and characterful fairly soon.

The first autograph would be none other than Angels Alumni pitcher Clyde Wright.

A 1970 All-Star who threw a no-hitter for the Angels on July 3, 1970, Clyde was nice enough to stop for a moment when I saw him observing a line of Angel fans waiting for another Angels alum's autograph (I'll explain that more in the next few posts). Feeling through my pockets for a spare blank card or non-wrinkled ticket, I felt a moment of panic when I realized I had nothing. I quickly realized that I had more than enough clean space on something meaningful when I looked down at myself and saw my jersey. Mr. Wright was nice enough to put down his Pepsi and sign his clear and legible autograph on my jersey. I'll have a longer post about Clyde at a later point when I post my autographed ball (spoiled I know), but cheers to Clyde for giving me my first signature on my jersey.