Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A trip through foreign lands

Even though I don't kill my own dinner, drive a pickup with the tailpipe cut off to wake up every last person, or punctuate each sentence with "what-not," I'm your basic red-blooded American male. I like meat. I like girls. I like baseball.

Most of my tastes are fairly basic and mainstream, especially when it comes to baseball. I follow the major leagues. And I'll go to a minor league game. Everything else, well, it just muddies the situation. I don't have time for it.

I collect the same way -- in other words, baseball players I've heard of, please.

But there are those who try to take me out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I go along for the ride, sometimes I hide under the covers until they go away.

Recently, the operator of Torren' Up Cards, dropped another Zippy Zapping on me. As you know, ZZ likes cards that fly off my radar. Some I am aware of but generally ignore. Others I've heard of, but only because there are blogs like Torren' Up Cards. I decided to go along for a ride with this one because ZZ makes the unfamiliar interesting, even to a red-blooded owl like me.

He mixed in a few familiar items just so I wouldn't get scared away. The Kershaw is the foil parallel (P.S. Topps: don't do this again). As for the Turner, my guess is ZZ has very few Heritage cards in his collection.

But it wasn't too long before the package started venturing into unfamiliar territory: Bowman. It's ZZ's wheelhouse and my weakness -- and not the good kind of weakness, as in I can't stop buying the stuff. The weakness in that I don't know who the people in the pictures are.

But Zippy Zappy mixed it up here with a Kershaw and a Turner. And, wonder of wonders, I had heard of the other two guys -- Alex Verdugo and Jose DeLeon -- before! I even knew who DeLeon was before ZZ started writing odes to him on his blog!

This was my first look at 2015 Bowman in the flesh, and I even like the design!

There is hope for me yet.

Going back in time now to last year's Bowman Draft and Bowman something-or-other-please-don't-make-me-look-it-up.

I ignore Bowman so often that I don't even have my Dodger wants for last year included in my very thorough want lists. But it looks like I need to get going because of these cards and because I know who all of these people are! Yes! Weird hair and hat styles and mustaches and everything! I am wandering through a strange land and I actually know stuff.

Here are Chrome versions from last year (and maybe the year before, Bowman you so crazy). I know everybody here, too!

Here are the Dodgers' top two prospects with black borders (although they scan brownish). I know! I know!

It's Grant again. Mini'd and iced. And lots and lots of hair. I'm wise to it.

Obviously I know the current Milwaukee Brewer. I think ZZ threw this one in the build my confidence up, but I'm doing OK, really!

Here's No. 1 pick Grant Holmes again. These cards make me uncomfortable because every time baseball tries to be more like the NFL, a little part of me dies. I can see the point of making the MLB draft a spectacle like the other sports. But it's not the same as the other sports and I don't have to like it.

OK, this is where it gets shaky. I know my Dodgers prospects, but that's about as far as the prospecting goes. There's meat to eat! I don't know Angels prospects, nor have any idea why he's included on this card. The card doesn't tell you why either. On the front or the back.

More pairing up of teams that don't like each other. I've heard of Hunter Renfroe. My brain refuses to go beyond that point.

My confidence was starting to wane, which wasn't good because ZZ then expanded the trip into Japan.

Pretty cool, even if I have no idea what it says beyond Eric Gagne, or what the card is either.

OK, we're playing a game here, even a red-blooded American can figure that out. That's a likeness of Dodger Stadium in the picture. Not a clue about the rest.

These came from Japan, too. Enough of you have received Zippy Zappings to know that these are Sega CardGen cards, which apparently aren't produced anymore. I like these cards a lot because they show pictures that you don't see on regular U.S. card products.

And just to help out the MLB fan who usually stays in his comfort zone, ZZ sent translations for the back of each card. I have all of his translations now neatly stored in a one-pocket page.

That ZZ thought of everything to help me through these foreign lands.

I mean everything. Red-blooded man appreciates.

And the guy can still produce the vintage that makes the traditional night owl swoon.

The last card I'm showing is the most awesome. This autographed card of Yimi Garcia arrived when Garcia was the untouchable closer for the Dodgers. I was even prouder of Yimi than of Joc Pederson.

Since this card has been in my hands, Garcia has encountered some rough times (the jinx lives!). But it's still very cool, and perhaps my prize for navigating so well in foreign territory.

But I tell you, I'm learning.

OK, I had to look that one up.

All of it.


  1. I'm glad you liked the cards I sent. I still need to make up for ruining your '75 MINIS quest for you so I thought I'd help you with the Bowmans so you don't have to chase them down years later and wonder why you're wasting your time and money on a double-A flame out.

    1. Also, I needed to thank you for taking the time to change the title of my blog from Cervin' to Torren' in your sidebar. Don't think I didn't notice ;).

  2. That one Gagne video game card is from MLB Power Pros. I had no idea they made cards for the set but that is unmistakably the Power Pros game pictured. Awesome.

  3. For a second there, I thought your intro was going all Denis Leary on us. Then I realized that you don't necessarily like football.

  4. Great stuff Zippy. Love the ladies!