Monday, April 23, 2018

Blog Bat Around- All-Autograph Team

Time for another fun new installment of the Blog Bat Around.  This time it's the all-autograph team, as originated by ol' Zippy Zappy.  I wanted to do a full 25 man roster, but the lack of pitchers in my collection & available scans of a couple of the bench bats I do have means I'll have to cut it a little short.  With that said, here we go.

C- Kyle Schwarber
2015 Contenders..
This is a most unfortunate choice, but I don't have any other viable options here.  I think Robinson Chirinos might literally be the only catcher autograph I own, and while he is a good defender with underrated pop, he is still a career backup.  So, Schwarbs it is...

1B- Jose Abreu
2017 Donruss Blue /149..
I have at least a solid half-dozen (Rizzo, Delgado, Grace, Abreu, Thames, & Derrek Lee) good options at first, but Abreu gets the nod because he's the one that I could find a scan of.  This whole post might look very different if I was a more diligent scanner who hadn't lost multiple computers before I could take the important stuff off them.  Anyway, you'll be seeing the other guy who was scanned as my DH choice on down the post.

2B- Robinson Cano
Stadium Club Lone Star Signatures /10..
I picked up an autographed Ryne Sandberg photo for $10 (it was from some signing at a riverboat casino in the early aughts iirc, and the place had a whole stack of them) at our short-lived and awesomely-named (Heroes Never Die) card shop back during the six months it existed, but I don't appear to have a scan of it on-hand anymore, and honestly, Cano has surpassed him at this point, so Robbie gets the nod.

SS- Corey Seager
2016 Diamond Kings Sketches & Swatches auto/patch /10..
Another position I'm sorely lacking in, but fortunately I have this one epic, discount blaster-pulled monster of a young superstar to fall back on (at least until Gavin blows me away with an offer).  I think my only other option at short is Nick Gordon, who is still in the minors in the Twins organization.

3B- Aramis Ramirez
2013 Prizm..
This card is almost certainly fugliest Aramis Ramirez auto I own in a walk, but it was the one that was scanned.  He's easily my strongest option at 3B regardless, being a borderline Hall of Famer & all.  Yangervis Solarte, Josh Harrison, and Javy Baez would be my other options here, but I don't have Solarte or Baez scans handy, and they're all better suited as Utility infielder options anyway, which is where you will find Harrison if you keep reading.

LF- Yoenis Cespedes
2014 National Treasures /25..
I have no shortage of corner outfield depth, particularly in left field.  Billy Williams, Alfonso Soriano, and Yoenis Cespedes (and Albert Belle, who, to continue the theme, was scanned but said scan is no longer available) are all mashers, but I'm going with Cespedes, because he's the best defender of the bunch.

CF- Andruw Jones
2001 Fleer Platinum '97 Circa Rack Pack Buyback Autograph /200..
Andruw Jones was another easy choice, due to lack of depth (an Austin Jackson that isn't in my possession yet or playing George Springer or Jason Heyward out of position in center were my only other options here).  You can't go wrong with one of the greatest defensive centerfielders of all-time, and this new arrival is a fantastic centerpiece for his Single Page Sensation collection.

RF- George Springer
2015 High Tek Tidal Diffractor /99..
We're going with Springer in right field, which has been his primary position in the majors, which he defends brilliantly.  I would probably have gone with Frank Robinson here if I still had the scans, but I'm quite content with this pick.  I got this for under $7 juuuust before he started to blew up last year.

DH- Carlos Delgado
High Tek Gold Diffractor /50..
As mentioned above, my only other scanned powerhouse first baseman has to be my DH, and that man is Carlos Delgado.

UT1- Ben Zobrist
Tract... Card?!
The card itself is far weirder than the choice to put him on my team.  Having a super utility player is a fantastic luxury, and Zobrist is the best in the business.  As for the card, COMC called something to the effect of a "Personal Issue Tract God", and that's exactly what it is.  There's a huge wall of religious nonsense on the back, along with a JSA authentication sticker (it also came with a separate COA).  Weird but cool, I guess.  And more importantly, cheap.  I was never much of a fan of organized religion, and I don't know how anyone could be these days with the way conservatives have completely perverted Christianity into a religion of hatred and discrimination.  But I digress...

UT2- Josh Harrison
2015 Topps Supreme..
Josh Harrison is a solid, versatile all-around player. I'd still put Javy here and save either Josh or Yangervis (maybe both) for the end of my bench, but again, no scans... *le sigh*

SP 1- Fergie Jenkins
2013 Topps Supreme /50..
I doubt Fergie Jenkins being the ace of my staff will come as a surprise to anyone.  I have somehow managed to accumulate double digit autographs of him, and that completely blows my mind.

SP 2- Chris Sale
2014 Topps Supreme eBay 1/1..
It's always nice when you can field two legitimate aces.  Sales autos have finally gone up & out of my range in the past couple years, but I think I scored this collection centerpiece for a cool $7.

SP 3- Taijuan Walker
2013 Leaf Memories..
Taijaun seemed to finally be putting it all together in the desert, but he's probably out until the second half of 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May.  So as I rebuild my photo album & reinsert them into posts in late-August, I hunted up another inconsistent, injury-prone young starter with all-world potential to add to the post.

SP 4- Carlos Rodon
Unfortunately, while I can field a full staff and a competent swingman, I still have to cut it off here and jump straight to the end of the bullpen, because both Jerry Koosman and my swingman Matt Shoemaker are lacking a scan, RA Dickey isn't even in my possession yet, and I just don't really have anyone else to fill out my relief corps.

RP 1- Wade Davis
2017 Topps Fire /250..
Davis was only with the Cubs for one season, but he left a great enough impression on me to gleefully grab this foily Fire auto when it dropped to under $5.

RP 2- Bruce Sutter
Topps Retired..
The back end of my bullpen is on lock with Sutter, Davis, & if I had the scan handy, Lee Smith (shame, since it's a somewhat interesting card and I actually it pulled myself).  I'm not even naming a closer amongst those three.  I'm fully confident with any of them, and Sutter & Smith being from a bygone era, can both regularly go multiple innings if need be.  Maybe I don't even need any middle relief!

And that be that.  I think it's a pretty darn good squad, outside of my utterly atrocious catching situation (and literally not being able to field any middle relievers *cough*).  Anyway, thanks, as always, for stopping by!

Until our next...