Posts Tagged ‘DAV’

2008 albuquerque isotopes dav team set review

December 13, 2008

2008 Albuquerque Isotopes DAV team set
Official Score – seeing eye DOUBLE
Manufacturer: Disabled American Veterans (undetermined printer)
Sponsor: Disabled American Veterans
Retail price: FREE SGA– not available for purchase

I’d like to promise that this will be my final post about the Isotopes this year, but you never know. I definitely wanted to get this review completed this calendar year since the Isotopes and Marlins have parted ways, in order to clear the path for many posts dealing with new (and old) Isotopes and Dodgers connections.

DAV night at Isotopes Park took place on July 25, 2008. Official attendance that evening was recorded as 13,390 fans. Only the first few thousand fans through the turnstiles received this special limited edition 10-card team set. Between the free baseball cards and an Isotopes loss to the Sacramento Rivercats, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Here’s the checklist.

1 – [195] John Baker (c)
2 – [196] Chris Barnwell (if)
3 – [197] Andrew Beattie (if)
4 – [198] Tagg Bozied (if)
5 – [199] John Gall (of)
6 – [200] Bobby Keppel (p)
7 – [201] Jai Miller (of)
8 – [202] Lorenzo Scott (of)
9 – [203] Taylor Tankersley (p)
10 – [204] Ross Wolf (p)

Most importantly, the 2008 Albuquerque Isotopes DAV team set included cards of three players that were not included in the regular 2008 Albuquerque Isotopes team set. They are as follows:

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Ross Wolf has made quite an impression on me over the last two seasons. Always a pleasure to talk to, and I can’t remember a conversation that I’ve had with him that didn’t end with him thanking ME for coming out to the ballpark.

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Taylor Tankersley pitched very well for during his stay(s) with the Isotopes in 2008. The Tank hurled 31 and two-thirds innings over 29 appearances, managing to keep his ERA at 1.71 in spite of a WHIP of 1.55. Taylor has one unique signature.

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Lorenzo Scott was one of two Isotopes players on the 2008 roster who shared my birthday. Again, that is a surefire method of having one’s cards highlighted on this blog. If I could run half as fast as Lorenzo, I would have been a track star.

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Tagg Bozied put together a great season for the Isotopes in 2008, hitting .306 with 36 dingers in 425 at bats. He was also one of the true characters on the team as is apparent in this video of Tagg Bozied announcing the starting lineups prior to one of the games.

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I’ve blogged about Chris Barnwell before, and it appears that the girls at Dinged Corners have a slight crush on him. I think I read that Chris is a free agent, but I’m not completely sure about that. Do you notice anything “missing” on Barnwell’s card? That’s right- a signature. Unfortunately Chris had to leave town for personal reasons right before the end of the 2008 season, so I didn’t get have the opportunity to tell him how much I enjoyed watching him hustle day in and day out. I’ll be sure to tell him the next time he passes through Albuquerque- then hit him up for an autograph.

Overall, the set includes a fair share of pitchers pitching, fielders fielding and hitters hitting. My only real complaint is that 80 percent of the cards depict players in black jerseys instead of spreading the love and representing the other uniforms worn throughout the season.

Card surfaces are a semi-gloss that required no treatment prior to autographing. I believe you can tell from the scans that the autographs add a great deal to the overall look of the cards. If you flip one or more of these cards over, you shouldn’t be surprised to find only the DAV ad mentioned in previous reviews of these limited edition team sets.

You cannot purchase these cards from the Isotopes team shop- online or in person. I did see one sell on eBay recently for just less than six bucks, so that could be an option. Probably if you put your thinking cap on, you would be able to think of one baseball card blogger who might just have an extra one of these sets (unautographed) available for trade…

– Kris

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2008 salt lake bees dav team set review

December 10, 2008

2008 Salt Lake Bees DAV team set
Official Score – TWO RUN TRIPLE
Manufacturer: Disabled American Veterans (undetermined printer)
Sponsor: Disabled American Veterans
Retail price: FREE SGA– not available for purchase

The Salt Lake Bees are the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. A long-time member of the Pacific Coast League, the Bees play their home games at picturesque Franklin Covey Field, in Salt Lake City, Utah. If, like me, you guessed that Franklin Covey might be the name of a tough old mountain man who dedicated his life to hunting beaver along the streams that drain the nearby gorgeous Wasatch Mountains long before Brigham Young relocated his flock to the valley, you are wrong. Feel free to chuckle at my expense if you want as you click here to discover who (or what) Franklin Covey actually is.

Hopefully, you will find the names of Salt Lake players included in this team set more recognizable than the stadium’s namesake. I wonder why the set was split into two separate groups in the 2008 DAV minor league master set. It appears that the DAV could have utilized one or more of Franklin Covey’s planning tools in order to avoid the numbering gap.

Here’s the checklist for the entire 29-card set.

1 – [32] Nick Adenhart (p)
2 – [33] Giancarlo Alvarado (p)
3 – [34] Jose Arredondo (p)
4 – [35] Erik Bennett (pitching coach)
5 – [36] Henry Bonilla (p)
6 – [105] Dee Brown (of)
7 – [106] Matt Brown (if)
8 – [107] Ryan Budde (c)
9 – [108] Jason Bulger (p)
10 – [109] Brad Coon (of)
11 – [110] Jim Eppard (hitting coach)
12 – [111] Terry Evans (of)
13 – [112] Nick Green (p)
14 – [113] Jeff Kennard (p)
15 – [114] Shane Loux (p)
16 – [115] Bobby Mitchell (manager)
17 – [116] Kendry Morales (if)
18 – [117] Kasey Olenberger (p)
19 – [118] Gary Patchett (if)
20 – [119] Adam Pavkovich (if)
21 – [120] Sean Rodriguez (if)
22 – [121] Freddy Sandoval (if)
23 – [122] Alex Serrano (p)
24 – [123] Coby Smith (of)
25 – [124] Rich Thompson (p)
26 – [125] Matt Wilhite (p)
27 – [126] Reggie Willits (of)
28 – [127] Bobby Wilson (c)
29 – [128] Brandon Wood (if)

Let’s get to the cards…

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While choosing which cards to highlight in this review, I had to decide between Kendry Morales and Dee Brown. Ultimately I went with Brown based on his willingness to sign autographs for fans without acting as if they have just asked him to jump-start their car in the middle of a hailstorm. That’s a beauty of a grass stain on Dee’s left knee. Those pants would certainly make for an interesting batch of game-used relic cards.

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Brandon Wood is one of those unpredictable players that you never can tell how they are going to react to an autograph request. Normally he will sign one item per fan per day without having much to say. Catch him away from the crowd and you might see him chat up a storm while signing a handful of cards. My take Wood is that he’s a nice kid who is still learning to deal with the pressure of having been billed as the next Cal Ripken Jr. before he was old enough to buy a beer. At any rate, this card is going to autograph quite nicely, and I plan on being there when that happens to thank him for his time.

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Hey, Jason Bulger makes an appearance in consecutive posts. This is starting to get out of control. Bulger is one of a dozen pitchers included in this set. While a few of the faces are obscured by shadows, all but two of the photos are serviceable. All but two of the cards featuring non-pitching players depict the players in the act of hitting. That gets a little tedious because we all know that there is so much more to baseball than just swinging a bat. The lack of variation stands out as an area where the set could easily be improved upon.

08_salt_lake_dav_wilson_bobby_127

This is a very nice card of Bobby Wilson. An action photo in full catcher’s gear, yet a mask does not obscure his face. The focus is a bit soft, but I’m willing to forgive them given the overall appeal of the card. Wilson did appear in seven games with the parent Angels during the 2008 season.

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Reggie Willits is a super nice guy who will always give his team 120 percent. He’s the kind of player who will crash into the wall in foul territory to make the third out in the top an inning, then some up to bat second in the bottom of the inning and lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner from first into scoring position. Yet it appears that the jury is still out on whether or not that is going to be enough to land Reggie a full-time spot on a major league roster.

Willits is one of only three players in the team set not wearing a white jersey. From an autographing standpoint, if a team is going to feature the same style of uniform on the majority of the cards in the set, I would prefer that they follow Salt Lake’s lead and select the lightest color.

The Salt Lake Bees have one of the best looking logos and overall color schemes in the Pacific Coast League. The logo is most visible on the cards of manager Bobby Mitchell and pitching coach Erik Bennett.

As is the case with all cards from the 2008 DAV promotion, these puppies have a semi gloss surface that are ready for the Sharpie directly out of the pack. The card backs exhibit the standard DAV ad instead of stats. I am of the opinion that the Salt Lake Bees have one of the best looking team sets included in the 2008 DAV minor league master set. Weighing in at 26 players and 3 coaches, what you get here is basically a full team set. I haven’t seen the actual 2008 Salt Lake Bees team issued set, but I am guessing that the images used for that differ significantly from the ones utilized for the DAV set. While the Bees offer bracelets for sale thru their online team shop, they do not offer baseball cards. Go figure!

I did see one of the 2008 Salt Lake Bees DAV team sets sell on eBay for $7.50 plus shipping with five unique bidders showing interest. I would say that is about as low as you might expect to pick up one of these sets on the secondary market- assuming you are fortunate enough to find one for sale. After all, the Bees did finish 1st PCL Pacific North division.

– Kris

2008 louisville bats dav team set review

December 7, 2008

2008 Louisville Bats DAV team set
Official Score – base hit
Manufacturer: Disabled American Veterans (undetermined printer)
Sponsor: Disabled American Veterans
Retail price: FREE SGA– not available for purchase

The Louisville Bats are the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. After running away from the competition in the Western division of the International League in 2008, the Bats’ magical season ended when they flew into the wall that was the Durham Bulls in the first round of the playoffs.

When the home team takes to Louisville Slugger Field for opening day in 2009, they will be playing on a brand new surface of Kentucky Bluegrass thanks to sod recently imported from Indiana. The difficult part of writing that last sentence was deciding whether to end it with a period or a question mark! It is interesting that the Bats front office opted to replace the playing field the season after they hosted the 2008 Triple-A All Star game.

At any rate, a six-card team set hardly needs a checklist. I’m including one just the same because you never can tell who might be Googling for more information on Tom Shearn.

1 – [26] Bill Bray (p)
2 – [27] David Ross (c)
3 – [28] Homer Bailey (p)
4 – [29] Jay Bruce (of)
5 – [30] Jolbert Cabrera (if)
6 – [31] Tom Shearn (p)

I thought I’d start right off with a scan of the Jay Bruce card. So if you are only reading to see that particular card, you won’t need to continue reading this post. Before you leave, wouldn’t this baseball card look sweet with a sticker autograph haphazardly slapped across the front?

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Autograph collectors should note that surface treatment is a semi-gloss that requires no special preparation prior to obtaining a signature. That’s right; just add a player and you’ll be cooking with gas!

Graphers won’t get any help from David Ross’s card in the task of identifying the catcher in his street clothes, but this action photo of Ross in full gear will probably look so good signed that you won’t mind the extra effort that might be needed in the effort. I wouldn’t hesitate to assume that Ross is probably on enough cards where his face is visible that picking him out of the crowd outside a ballpark won’t be impossible.

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This limited edition minor league SGA team set includes two hitters, the aforementioned catcher and three hurlers. With the exception of the Tom Shearn card, all players are wearing the same style of uniforms. I haven’t the slightest idea why the Bats’ DAV team set contains only six players. As I understand it, teams were allowed to submit entire team rosters if they so desired. Apparently, the Bats did not so desire.

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Enter pitcher Homer Bailey… Homer started 19 games for the Bats in 2008, accumulating a record of 4-7 with a 4.77 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Bailey struck out 96 batters while handing out 46 free passes over 111.1 innings. He was also touched for 10 round-trippers in the process. Lackluster as those stats may be, he didn’t fare nearly as well during his eight starts for the Reds in 2008. Bailey displayed an enormous amount of determination while pitching for the parent club last season. Unfortunately, that determination manifested itself in Homer’s uncanny impression of Josh Fogg.

There are no statistics on the backs of these cards. Instead you’ll find the same standard ad for the Disabled American Veterans as on all of their cards distributed in 2008. One of the things that I find most appealing about these DAV minor league baseball cards is the fact that only a few thousand sets were created in the first place. That, combined with the high probability that few sets will survive given that the average person who attends minor league baseball games probably doesn’t make any effort to retain baseball cards, should result in a collectible item that will prove extremely difficult to obtain even before a number of these players retire.

I’d like to think that I do a pretty decent job of monitoring the secondary market for these DAV team sets in order to have a little information to pass along about their value. That typed, I have yet to see one of the 2008 Louisville Bats DAV team sets up for auction on eBay. Given the limited supply of these cards, I would expect that this six-card set might fetch between four and five bucks in auction, and the winning bidder could expect to add an additional three to eighteen dollars (depending on the fine print) to have the cards shipped to their home or office.

– Kris

2008 dav minor league master set team checklist

December 2, 2008

Another slight departure from my normal reviews of minor league baseball team sets in that this entry isn’t intended as a “review.” Rather, my goal here is to simply let readers know what minor league teams participated in the absolutely wonderful Disabled American Veterans (DAV) baseball program during the summer of 2008. I’m not sure how long the 2008 information will remain available on the DAV website as they are probably already working hard on the schedule for 2009. After all, there may be a team you are interested in, and it is quite possible that you will be able to pick up their DAV team set on the secondary market long before I get around to reviewing it.

You will have to wait for the individual DAV team set reviews for an official Aardvark Trading Company-sponsored player checklist. (Okay, if you want to know if a particular player is included in a team set, either shoot me an email or leave a comment here and I will let you know. Please just don’t ask for an entire team checklist. (Try bribery if you want me to review one team before any others….).)

Also, I will be adding links to this master list as I review individual team sets. So if you happen upon this posting via a Google search or whatever, you will not be forced to scan the entire Cards in the Attic archive to find out more about the team set you are interested in.

The 2008 DAV minor league baseball master set contains 277 cards from 1 independent league team and 17 minor league teams. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why more organizations didn’t take advantage of this excellent promotion. Slackers, I presume, until evidence to the contrary is presented.

1 – 10: Iowa Cubs
11 – 15: New Hamshire Fisher Cats
16 – 25: Oklahoma Redhawks
26 – 31: Louisville Bats
32 – 36: Salt Lake Bees (part I)
37 – 70: Hickory Crawdads
71 – 74: Pawtucket Red Sox
75 – 104: Potomac Nationals
105 – 128: Salt Lake Bees (part II)
129 – 140: Wilmington Blue Rocks
141 – 152: Tulsa Drillers
153 – 157: Omaha Royals
158 – 165: New Britain RockCats
166 – 191: Sioux Falls Canaries
192 – 194: Peoria Chiefs
195 – 204: Albuquerque Isotopes
205 – 227: Joliet Jack Hammers
228 – 261: Cedar Rapids Kernals
262 – 277: Camden Riversharks

Considered “Limited Editions,” these team sets were available only as FREE SGA promotions, and as such, were not and will not be made available for sale either at minor league stadiums or through online team shops. In other words, if you didn’t make it out to the ballpark for the game when the DAV was there, you need to hustle to find someone who did, then talk him or her out of their cards.

– Kris

2008 new britain rock cats dav team set review

November 3, 2008

2008 New Britain Rock Cats DAV team set
Official Score – walk
Manufacturer: Disabled American Veterans (undetermined printer)
Sponsor: Disabled American Veterans
Retail price: FREE SGA– not available for purchase

Behold, here is another limited edition subset of the even more limited 2008 DAV minor league baseball master set. I’ve chosen to review the New Britain Rock Cats cards as a special thank you to Cards in the Attic reader and South Dakota geography expert Mike who recently helped me figure out the difference between Sioux Falls and Sioux City- about 50 miles! Mike is a Twins fan and baseball card collector, but I don’t believe he has a blog.

The New Britain Rock Cats have been the Double-A (Eastern League) affiliate of the Minnesota Twins since 1995. Some 365,758 fans attended Rock Cats games in New Britain Stadium at Willow Brook Park in 2008, setting an all-time high water mark that I am predicting will be surpassed in 2009. Obviously if you find yourself in New Britain, Connecticut, this ballpark is a must see destination.

Rock Cats fans attending the game on Monday, July 7, 2008 received these baseball cards absolutely free of charge. Unfortunately, the Rock Cats dropped that game to the Connecticut Defenders by a final of 5 to 3.

The 2008 New Britain Rock Cats DAV team set contains only eight cards, three of which are mascots. Crazy! I know, enough with the preliminaries, and on with the checklist (an exclusive feature sponsored by the hard working folks at the Aardvark Trading Company)!

1 – [159] Francisco Liriano (p)
2 – [160] Justin Morneau (inf)
3 – [161] David Ortiz (inf)
4 – [162] Glen Perkins (p)
5 – [163] Scott Baker (p)
6 – [164] Blooper (mascot)
7 – [165] Rocky the Rock Cat (“star” mascot)
8 – [166] Toner the Copy Cat (mascot)

I guess I really only have two complaints about this “minor league” team set. First, a whopping 37 percent of the set is dedicated to mascots. Definitely overkill, but at least the mascots are still part of the current Rock Cats family.

My second complaint is that this is really more of a minor league alumni set. I honestly don’t understand the concept here. Why not take advantage of this generous DAV promotion to highlight several current players? Or if you are going to issue an abbreviated alumni baseball card set, how on earth could you not include Pat Neshek in the checklist?

Seriously, does anyone really need another David Ortiz card, or another card of Justin Morneau? (Of course I’m not talking about THIS GUY (who needs to set up his RSS feed before worrying about getting more Morneau cards).)

Similarly, the rest of the players included in this set need no introduction, so here they are in random order.

The photography employed for these cards is like looking at some Ansel Adams shots after my recent review of the Sioux Falls Canaries abomination. Of course it isn’t truly THAT good. It may just take my optical nerves a few more days to adjust.

You cannot purchase this limited edition New Britain Rock Cats DAV team set at the ballpark or via their interweb store. In fact, I haven’t even seen one of these things show up on eBay. That said, I would imagine that the set could easily fetch five bucks or more if you are lucky enough to find one on the secondary market.

In spite of the fact that the New Britain Rock Cats have not submitted any of their team issued sets to Cards in the Attic for review, I will take the high road and mention that you can pick up team sets from 2006-2008 for just under seven dollars each by following this link to the Rock Cats online Third Base Shop. I notice they also have a deck of team logo playing cards for sale. I’m of the belief that getting something like that autographed would result in a highly valuable collectible simply because not many people are going to think of doing something like that. Besides, it would look really neat.

– Kris

2008 sioux falls canaries dav team set review

October 31, 2008

2008 Sioux Falls Canaries DAV team set
Official Score – RAIN OUT – no make up date scheduled
Manufacturer: Disabled American Veterans (undetermined printing source)
Sponsor: Disabled American Veterans
Retail price: FREE SGA– not available for purchase

Who doesn’t love FREE baseball cards? It would be impossible to not like FREE baseball cards, right?

…. er, not so fast ….

The 26-card Sioux Falls Canaries limited edition subset of the 2008 DAV minor league baseball set is a complete tragedy. The cards themselves are well made- and certainly well intentioned, but the photography is atrocious. I toyed with the notion for a while that they might be so bad that they are actually kinda “good,” but no, they are worse than that. They are so frighteningly bad that I think Halloween is the most appropriate day of the year I can choose to blog about them.

I won’t pretend to be all knowing about the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, but I will make the assumption that the majority of the players, coaches and staff involved in the league work very hard to put a quality product out on the field for their fans. Therefore, I believe the players and coaches of the 2008 American Association Champion Sioux Falls Canaries deserve to have had their photographs taken by someone who has a better understanding of the workings of a camera than my grandmother. Sure, grandma may have somehow always managed to get her thumb into each and every shot, while sometimes accidentally cropping off the top of the head of the tallest person in the photo, but at least her shots were in focus.

Catcher Andrew Barbaro stands at the plate thinking, “Is it just me, or does the ball seem sort of fuzzy coming off the mound?”

No Andrew, it isn’t just you. Your entire team is out of focus.

Unless the photographer was also responsible for selecting and editing the images, then submitting them to the DAV representative who coordinated the free card promotion, I would say that more than one person should share in the diSTINKtion of having created one of the worst team sets in the modern era. Even the printer should have called the DAV rep and asked if they were positive that they wanted to go forward with this project.

I’m trying to think of something positive to say about this card of Canaries pitcher Angelo Morales. Beyond the fact that it is rectangular, I’m drawing a blank.

Perhaps it comes down to being a toss-up between inexperience (ie., never having seen a real baseball card before) or taste. It may be worth adding that Ballpark Digest recently named the Sioux Falls Canaries as having the “Best New Food Item of the Year” (2008). How intriguing! What on earth could it be? Try “Fowl Balls” on for size. That’s right; deep-fried turkey testicles. Honest.

I’m not sure if it is worse for the player who may only find himself on a single baseball card in his entire life- and that card is part of this set, or of it is worse for those players with minor and/or major league experience who may have become accustomed to being depicted somewhat realistically on their other cards.

I feel very sorry for each and every Pat Mahomes supercollector who is going to have to scramble to get one of his cards from this train wreck of a set. After accumulating more than 450 strikeouts in the major leagues while pitching for the Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, Cubs and Pirates, I guarantee you that Pat never saw a batter miss by a margin equal to the substandard execution of this set.

Mahomes isn’t the only player with major league experience included in this compost. Manager Steve Shirley pitched in some eleven games for the 1982 Los Angeles Dodgers. Don’t be shocked if you recognize more names when you scan through the checklist that I have gone to the trouble of typing up. Ex-big leaguers and determined young dreamers such as Kris Regas coming together to play baseball in places like “the Birdcage” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota should be celebrated instead of having their season tarnished by a product such as this. Even for FREE, these cards are overpriced.

If you really want one of these sets, you should expect three coach cards, four outfielders, five infielders, eleven pitchers, two catchers and one mascot- whom I suspects steers as clear of the “Fowl Balls” concession stand as possible.

1 – [166] Andrew Barbaro (c)
2 – [167] Alex Bardeguez (inf)
3 – [168] Lenny Bays (p)
4 – [169] Kennard Bibbs (out)
5 – [170] Kelly Casares (p)
6 – [171] Benny Castillo (hitting coach)
7 – [172] Ryan Ford (p)
8 – [173] Ryan Grant (p)
9 – [174] Tim Hutting (inf)
10 – [175] Travis Kane (p)
11 – [176] Josh Kite (p)
12 – [177] Pat Mahomes (p)
13 – [178] Mike Meyer (pitching coach)
14 – [179] Ben Moore (p)
15 – [180] Angelo Morales (p)
16 – [181] Josh Patton (inf)
17 – [182] Kris Regas (p)
18 – [183] Patrick Reilly (inf)
19 – [184] Grant Richardson (inf)
20 – [185] Mark Roberts (p)
21 – [186] Steve Shirley (manager)
22 – [187] Will Smith (out)
23 – [188] Paul Smyth (c)
24 – [189] Beau Torbert (out)
25 – [190] Ben Van Iderstine (out)
26 – [191] Cagey (mascot)

As is the case with all DAV baseball card releases, cardstock is thin, yet the cards are reasonably sturdy. There are no stats on the backs of the cards- standard for DAV sets. Surface treatment is a semi gloss that doesn’t require preparation prior to autographing.

I wonder if there are any graphers living in Sioux Falls. If so, I would love to find out if the baseball cards given away on August 12, 2008 are different than these, or these are the only cards fans have to commemorate the Canaries championship season. Normally, the DAV lists dates that they appear at ballparks, but for some reason Sioux Falls was omitted from the 2008 list. Possibly that is because the Canaries are not associated with major league baseball, or someone got a look at these things at the DAV after they were printed, but not early enough to cancel the giveaway, and removed that line from the website.

At any rate, you can’t buy these cards from the Canaries. Possibly you can find them on eBay or from some other secondary source, but I’m not going to even waste my time to look. Neither should you.

– Kris

2008 hickory crawdads dav team set review

June 28, 2008

2008 Hickory Crawdads DAV team set
Official Score – GROUND RULE DOUBLE
Manufacturer: Disabled American Veterans*
Sponsor: Disabled American Veterans
Retail price: FREE SGA– not available for purchase

This particular team set is a limited edition subset of the 2008 DAV minor league baseball set, organized almost entirely alphabetically and numbered 37-70. These cards were handed out to fans attending the Hickory Crawdads’ May 26, 2008 game vs. the Rome Braves at L.P Franz Stadium. (Note that the home team won the game by a score of six to five.) Who is L.P. Franz anyway?

* I don’t know who prints all the cards that the DAV distributes for free, but I really appreciate the effort.

According to the handy Crawdads pocket schedule, they have a second team set to give away to fans on Sunday, July 20th when they take on the Delmarva Shorebirds. If you happen to find yourself in the Hickory, North Carolina area, you won’t want to miss that evening as the fierce rivalry between two Northern Division teams heats up over bragging rights in the South Atlantic League. I presume this will be a set produced by the likes of MultiAd or Grandstand. If I can get my hands on the July set, I will gladly post a review of it as well.

Checklist: 34 cards (no printed checklist)

1 – [37] Victor Alvarez (inf)
2 – [38] Carlos Amaro (p)
3 – [39] Harrison Bishop (p)
4 – [40] Tom Boleska (p)
5 – [41] Danny Bomback (inf)
6 – [42] Bill Burgos (strength/conditioning)
7 – [43] Matt Cavagnaro (p)
8 – [44] Marcus Davis (of)
9 – [45] Jose De los Santos (inf)
10 – [46] Rafael De los Santos (p)
11 – [47] Jared Destro (trainer)
12 – [48] Miles Durham (inf)
13 – [49] Michael Felix (p)
14 – [50] Gary Green (manager)
15 – [51] Emilis Guerrero (p)
16 – [52] Tom Hagan (inf)
17 – [53] Eric Huber (of)
18 – [54] Jeff Johnson (pitching coach)
19 – [55] Chris Jones (c)
20 – [56] Austin McClune (of)
21 – [57] Matt McSwain (p)
22 – [58] Dustin Molleken (p)
23 – [59] Ronald Pena (c)
24 – [60] Rudy Pena (coach)
25 – [61] Silvio Pena (inf)
26 – [62] Moises Robles (p)
27 – [63] Diones Rodriguez (p)
28 – [64] Adam Simon (p)
29 – [65] Keanon Simon (of)
30 – [66] Bobby Spain (inf)
31 – [67] Ronald Uviedo (p)
32 – [68] Andrew Walker (c)
33 – [69] Duke Welker (p)
34 – [70] Bradley Ingels (veteran’s advocate – appears to work for “Armstrong Ford”)

Card thinness is present, yet the cards are reasonably firm. Surface treatment is a semi gloss that doesn’t require preparation prior to autographing. This is a slick product!

I rarely include scans of the backs of cards, but feel that these are unique enough that you may not be familiar with the format. Absent is any mention of anything from the front of the card- other than an explanation of the DAV logo. Just know if you are looking to purchase or make trades for cards like these in the future, you aren’t going to get any Hickory Crawdads player stats or bios.

This Emilis Guerrero card is the only one featuring a pitcher that I am going to show out of 13. Matt McSwain is the only card of the dozen remaining pitchers that has a different pose- that being a tight portrait. Don’t worry; if your stomach begins to become upset due to the fact that many of the hitters’ cards share common poses, the cards have a very soothing Pepto-Bismol glow about them. What follows then are a few representative cards from the set to give you an idea of the team uniforms and a few faces.

Miles Durham… seriously? A photo of a guy named “Miles” in the act of running? How could I pass on that?

Chris Jones… okay, THIS is how you shoot a photo of catcher wearing all his gear. Furthermore, if you are currently editing a team set, this is an outstanding lesson in how you select photos that have been taken of catchers wearing all of their gear.

Silvio Pena… this set has a few cards that suffer from hat shadowing, but this is probably worst case.

Bobby Spain… I wonder if he is related to Madrid. The look on his face suggests that this photo was taken while he was warming up in the on-deck circle before the bottom of the seventh inning when he overheard some fan butchering “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Marcus Davis has a sort of puzzled look of surprise on his face as if questioning whether or not he actually just heard the umpire call that last pitch a strike, or has just made a mistake in his pre-at bat superstition routine.

Danny Bomback provides an interesting variation to the “approach to batting” theme, bringing the self-assured look to the plate.

The Hickory Crawdads are currently the Low A affiliates of the Pittsburgh Pirates. So there.

This is a fun, value-packed team set. If you follow the Pirates organization, or collect South Atlantic League cards, it would be worth your effort to attempt to track down this set for yourself. I would place a value of a complete set as at least $9.00 (the price of a box ticket), and would not be at all surprised to see them move on the secondary market for $15.00 or more.

Don’t forget to check the 2008 DAV baseball schedule and make a point of attending a ballgame specifically when they are in your area this summer!

– Kris

superstition

May 20, 2008

Well, I’d have to be completely off my rocker to not follow up yesterday’s post about Dallas McPherson with an update after he absolutely feasted off the Round Rock Express (Houston Astros) pitching staff Monday evening- smashing three homers and raising his season batting average 13 points to .297. McPherson ended up driving in a third of the Albuquerque Isotopes dozen runs on the evening as they doubled up on the Express by a score of 12 to 6, and remained a single game behind the Pacific Coast League American South leading Oklahoma Redhawks.

Although witnessing that power display was exciting enough, Dallas sweetened the pot after the game by autographing an additional THREE cards from my collection.

Everyone knows that many baseball players and even more baseball fans are a superstitious lot, so it may not come as a surprise to learn that even baseball card bloggers are often afflicted by the same bug. With that in mind, I have decided to highlight another Isotopes player in the hope that he will respond with a career game.

In order to prevent the other managers from my fantasy baseball leagues from posting comments to the point that I’m not the greatest predictor of baseball player performances, I am selecting today’s player, second baseman Andrew Beattie, on the basis of his walk-up song… Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.”

I am of the opinion that this is one of the better walk-up songs in use by the players on the current Isotopes roster. The tune begins with a fantastic synthesizer riff that alerts even the most casual fan that something interesting may be afoot. Even though the song is never played in its entirety, one cannot dismiss the lyrics that they do not hear.

“When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way”

Not that Andrew Beattie’s performances on the field aren’t deserving of attention. The second baseman is maintaining a .306 batting average over 157 at bats, and his 26 runs scored are second only to McPherson’s 31. The fact that Beattie only has two dingers on the season shouldn’t lead you to believe that he only scratches out seeing-eye singles however, as he leads the Isotopes with 16 doubles. Andrew has struck out 31 times and has been charged with 4 fielding miscues. While caught stealing once, Beattie shares the team lead in stolen bases with five successful attempts.

The baseball card featured is from a 2007 Disabled American Veterans limited edition set that was distributed to fans as small (usually two to five cards) team sets at various minor and major league ballparks as a promotion to educate the public about the services provided by the DAV. I’m already looking forward to July 25th when the DAV will return to Isotopes Park. Be sure to check the 2008 DAV schedule to see when they will be appearing at a ballpark near you, and make your plans to attend.

– Kris