Monday, June 28, 2010

Oakland A's Turn Back the Clock

When to my first A's game of the year on Saturday, which just happened to be Turn Back the Clock night, in honor of the A's championship teams from 1972-1974. As an early birthday present, my wife surprised me with really great tickets to the game, right behind the A's bullpen.

This first picture is for Brian, who asked me a few weeks ago if Rickey's numbered had been added to the tarps in the upper deck. The answer...yes, but his jersey is also still on the fence in left field, along with the logo commemorating Braden's perfect game.

In honor of Charlie finely, the A's brought back Charlie O the mule, their mascot in the late 60's and early 70's. (The real Charlie O died in the mid-70's, but it is the thought that counts).

Since we had good seats, I wanted to get there early and watch warm-ups. I don't think Cahill stretches with a mule watching him from centerfield every night, but I could be wrong!

As they attempted to dodge the classic cars driving around the warning track, Cahill and Suzuki warmed up in the bullpen, with pitching coach Curt Young looking on.

Due once again to the awesome seats, I got a thumbs up from Ray Fosse (center), and he joined Vida Blue (left) and Campy Campaneris (right) with the 1972, 1973, and 1974 World Series trophies.

As the players stood for the national anthem, there was definitely plenty of yellow to go around!

The A's went all out with the throwback theme, even displaying the players astrological signs along with their stats.

The view from our seats. Definitely a great place to watch a ballgame.

Due in large parts to Cahill's impressive start (7.2 innings, 2 hits, 10 K's), we didn't get to see too much action in the bullpen. But, I was surprised to learn, that contrary to other sidearm pitchers I've seen, Ziegler actually starts his warm-ups overhand, and then drops down later on.

This was the last pitch of the game, when Andrew Bailey got Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit to pop up to Kouzmanoff at 3rd.

We were sitting right behind the bullpen phone, and could even here it when it rang. After the game was over, I stuck my camera down into the bullpen, and got a pretty cool shot.

Since this is a Rickey blog, I was actually able to get this pin, which I missed out on during my last trip to the Coliseum for Rickey's jersey retirement ceremony. I'd only seen one on eBay since then, so I was surprised to see they still had them in stock.

Overall, it was a great night out with my wife, and a perfect 30th birthday present!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Game-Used Additions in Recent Months: Part I

Now that I have my new computer up and running (the old one blew up a few weeks ago), and have attached my new scanner as well, I'm ready to get caught up on the huge stack of cards that are sitting waiting to be displayed.

Although I've said this before, I'm going to attempt to use the new computer as a clean slate, to keep me caught up on my scans and posts. The computer is super fast, and the scanner is much easier and quicker than my old one.

To start, here's a few Rickey Henderson game-used cards that I've picked up recently, including a couple of pretty sweet Oakland A's patches, and an awesome dual patch card with Lou Brock. I started to add descriptions to the cards, but I think it took away from the images, so I've left them out. If anyone has a question about any particular card, don't hesitate to ask.

Stayed tuned for Part II of the game-used cards (In order to keep the look of the post as clean as possible, I've included all of the horizontally oriented cards in this post, with the vertical ones yet to come), as well as a post on inserts & parallels, as well as the couple of oddball cards I've recently added to the collection.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

1996 Circa -- Finally Complete!

It's been almost 15 years, but I've managed to acquire all 4 of Rickey's cards from the 1996 Fleer/Skybox Circa set, finally tracking down the elusive "Rave" parallel.

I don't remember buying any of these at the time, but I remember the big deal that everyone was making out of the serial-numbered (to 150 copies) Rave parallel set. Since I borrowed the picture above, I figured I should link to the source, where you can still purchase a box of 24 packs, for the fairly reasonable price of $24.95.

Here's Rickey's base card from the set, which features a fairly busy design, including his name vertically along the left side in silver foil, as well as a quote from Rickey in the upper corner.

The Boss inserts were a 50-card set seeded 1:6 packs, and all features a different design in the background. For some reason, Rickey's card includes a wicker basket, but a like the fact that it is em"boss"ed onto the card, giving it a nice texture.

The Access set featured 30 cards, and was inserted 1:12 packs, or 2 per box. Until I pulled out the card to scan it for this post, I had actually forgotten that it was a 3-panel foldout.

The top pictures shows the front and back of the panel when folded, with the front using a slightly modified version of his base card. The bottom picture is the inside of the panel, which included some basic statistical information and a few facts about Rickey. It also includes a trivia question, the answer of which can be found on Rickey's Boss card. I guess they were attempting to integrate the insert sets among each other, but I'm not sure how well it worked.

Finally, we come to the card that took me almost 15 years to track down (at a reasonable price that is)...the 1996 Circa Rave #/150. These cards were inserted 1:60 packs, or about one in every 2.5 boxes. The front is he same as his base card, except instead of your basic silver foil it has been replaced with a sparkly/shimmering effect.

The box in the lower right hand corner indicates that this is #115/150 in the Rave parallel set. Other than Rickey's 1991 and 1992 Donruss Elite inserts, which are serial numbered to 10,000 and 7,500 copies respectively, this is Rickey's first low-serial numbered card, and his first serial numbered parallel.

Now that I've been able to check this one off the list, I'm going to set my sights on a 1993 Finest Refractor, which although not serial numbered, has an announced print run of only 241 copies.