Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Anthony Daniele - 2012-13 Perth Heat

Local Perth born player Daniele made his ABL debut with the Perth Heat during the 2012-13, called up from the Swan Districts Baseball Club. Daniele only managed 5 games with the Heat with limited playing time - receiving only 6 At Bats through those games. The limited game time effected his batting, striking out in 5 of those 6 At Bats despite being Swan Districts RBI leader back in the state league.

2012-13 Perth Heat Anthony Daniele card front - © 2013 Adam East

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Michael Lysaught - 2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox

I didn't get to post my 2011-12 card design of Lysaught until after the 2012-13 ABL season had finished. Seeing as Lysaught's not playing overseas in the Aussie winter, not much more to say except that this is my 2012-13 ABL card design for Sydney Blue Sox player Michael Lysaught.

2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox Michael Lysaught card front - © 2013 Adam East

Monday, July 29, 2013

David Amberson - 2012-13 Perth Heat

Amberson is a non-affiliated American import who played with the Perth Heat during the 2012-13 ABL season. In 2012 he had played with the Western Oregon University after having previously spent two seasons at Everett Community College in Washington. In 2013, he is playing independent ball with the Wichita Wingnuts of the American Association.

2012-13 Perth Heat David Amberson card front - © 2013 Adam East

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hitting Moylan's Sweet Spot

I made a recent purchase from fellow collector Beckster - a 2006 Sweet Spot Update Rookie Signatures card of Australian MLB pitcher Peter Moylan. The card features Moylan's signature in Blue Ink on a Bat Barrel. It's a fairly rare card - serial numbered to 10, so it's  nice acquisition to my personal collection.  It's always good to get a hold of an extremely rare card of an Aussie player.

Peter Moylan 2006 Sweet Spot Update Rookie Signatures Bat Barrel Blue Ink 183 #d/10

Card back for the above Peter Moylan 2006 Sweet Spot card

On the downside, one of the corners is rather dinged, but with such a small production run, it's something I'll have to live with. The bat barrel is very thick too, meaning that the card is very thick in width - a quick comparison shows it to be about the same thickness as about 8-9 normal cards. How exactly do I display or store this card? Hmmm. Thinking cap will have to go on. Still, I don't want you to think I'm unhappy with this card. It's a nice card, and thanks to Beckster for the opportunity to acquire it :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

John Hussey - 2012-13 Melbourne Aces

Victorian born Hussey has had an interesting career with the San Diego Padres organisation. He commenced playing Rookie level ball for the Padres in 2005 at the age of 18, and bounced around Rookie and A level teams until 2010 (minus a year off for Tommy John surgery in 2008). By the end of 2010, no longer enjoying baseball, he opted to walk out on the Padres and to head to University full time. The Padres didn't actually release him from his contract, but, unknown to Hussey, they put him onto a "Restricted List", meaning that they were still going to hold on to his rights in case he ever changed his mind.

Hussey played with the Melbourne Aces, making his ABL debut during the 2012-13 ABL season, at which time he started enjoying playing semi-professional baseball again. After being told by scouts that the Padres still had him on their Restricted List, he contacted the Padres, and they accepted him back into the fold.. He started out 2013 playing for the Fort Wayne TinCaps in the A level Midwest league before being called up to play for the Lake Elsinore Storm in the high A level California League.

My photo of Hussey was a salvage job - I only had one poor photo of him from during the season, and this is the best I could do with it.

2012-13 Melbourne Aces John Hussey card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ryan Stovall - 2012-13 Canberra Cavalry

Stovall played with the Canberra Cavalry during the 2012-13 ABL season as an American import. During the ABL season his contract was purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks from the Fargo-Moorhead Redhwaks. . In 2012 he had played for the Redhawks in the independent American Association. Stovall had previously played in the Kansas City Royals' organisation between 2009 and 2011, reaching high A level ball during that time. . In 2013 he is playing for the Mobile Bay Bears of the AA level Southern League.

2012-13 Canberra Cavalry Ryan Stovall card front - © 2013 Adam East

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wayne Lundgren - 2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox

Sydney born Lundgren spent 6 seasons playing in the US minors between 2000 and 2006 between the Red Sox, Cardinals and Reds affiliates.He then spent three seasons (2008-2010) playing independent ball with the Brockton Rox of the Canadian American Association before returning to Australia to join the newly formed Sydney Blue Sox in the ABL. He has since played in all three ABL seasosn with the Blue Sox. This si my first card of Lundgren, having failed to get any photos of him in previous seasons.

2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox Wayne Lundgren card front - © 2013 Adam East

Monday, July 22, 2013

Josh McGee - 2012-13 Perth Heat

Perth born McGee had a good Rookie year with the Perth Heat over the 2012-13 ABL season, hitting .302 across 35 games. McGee had previously been playing college ball in the USA, having played for Northwest Florida State College (Niceville, Florida) in 2011 and Cumberland University (Lebanon, Tennessee) in 2012.

2012-13 Perth Heat Josh McGee card front - © 2013 Adam East

Friday, July 19, 2013

Trade with Klattsy - Refractors & Relics

I recently completed some trading and purchases from Klattsy over from the OzCardTrader website in return for some cards of Yankees players that I was able to add to his collection. The most exciting card for me and Card of the Trade™ is the low production Liam Hendriks 2009 Bowman Sterling WBC Relic Black Refractor. Thanks Klattsy!

Brad Harman - 2008 Bowman Chrome Refractor  196
Brad Harman - 2008 Bowman Prospects Blue BP99

Rich Thompson - - 2007 Bowman Chrome Draft Futures Game Prospects  X-Fractor  BDPP78

Liam Hendriks - 2009 Bowman Sterling WBC Relics Black Refractor LHH #d/25

Liam Hendriks - 2009 Bowman Sterling WBC Relics LHH

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Joshua Hendricks - 2012-13 Melbourne Aces

Victorian first baseman Hendricks played for the Elizabethton Twins in the Rookie level Appalachian league in 2012, his third in the Twins organisation. He then returned for his third season with the Melbourne Aces during the 2012-13 ABL season. It was a bitter-sweet return back to Australia for him, with the Twins releasing Hendricks during the ABL season.

2012-13 Melbourne Aces Joshua Hendricks card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Josh Matavesi - 2012-13 Canberra Cavalry

Canberran local Matavesi made his ABL debut with the Canberra Cavalry during the 2012-13 ABL season. Matavesi had previously played for the silver medal winning Australian team at the AAA (18U) World Championships in 2010 as well as attending the Australian Major League Baseball Academy.

Matavesi was one of those players that I had lots of photos of. Unfortunately lots of out of focus, partially obscured, unflattering or simply bad photos. This lineup shot was the best I could do.

2012-13 Canberra Cavalry Josh Matavesi card front - © Adam East 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ode to Grant Balfour, MLB All-Star

Aussie MLB player Grant Balfour has been announced as a replacement for Oakland team mate Bartolo Colon on the American League All-Star team. He becomes only the second Australian MLB All-Star, following Dave Nilsson's selection back in 1999. To celebrate I thought I would post up a couple of his cards that I own, even if they aren't my own designs. Unfortunately, Balfour has yet to play in the current incarnation of the ABL, so I don't have any of my own photos of him.

The first card I present, is to my knowledge, Balfour's very first appearance on a baseball card. It's from the 1998 set of cards released by Australian insurance company FAI, who were sponsoring the Australian Baseball League that year. (That's the original ABL that operated between 1989-2000, not the current incarnation.) Balfour had played 4 games for the Sydney Storm in 1997 (his Rookie year) and had just signed a Minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins as well, so no wonder he's smiling on the card.

1998 FAI Australian Baseball League card of Grant Balfour

The other cards I thought I'd show were two of Balfour's printing plates from 2004 Topps Total that I own. Gotta love those 1/1s :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Shayne Watson - 2012-13 Brisbane Bandits

Ipswich born Watson played for the Brisbane Bandits in the inaugural ABL season back in 2010-11, having previously played for Queensland in the Claxton Shield competition. That inaugural ABL season would be his last as a player, moving over to the Bandits coaching staff for the following two seasons. This card is of Watson during the 2012-13 ABL season.

2012-13 Brisbane Bandits Shayne Watson card front - © 2013 Adam East

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ebay Goodness - Aussie Serial Numbers Galore

A recent bulk purchase on eBay of serial numbered Australian MLB player's cards. Thought I would share the goodness. Most of them aren't particularly low production runs, but the serial numbers still command a premium when trying to purchase them. The award for Card of the Buy™ goes to the Liam Hendriks 2012 Finest Rookie Jumbo Relic Autograph Gold Refractor.

Brad Harman - 2009 Bowman Chrome WBC Prospects Refractors BCW60 #d/500

Grant Balfour - 2011 Topps Update Gold US135 #d/2011

Luke Hughes - 2011 Topps Update Gold US109 #d/2010

Liam Hendriks - 2012 Bowman Draft Blue 39 #d/500
Liam Hendriks - 2012 Bowman Draft Orange 39 #d/250
Liam Hendriks - 2012 Finest Rookie Jumbo Relic Autographs Gold Refractor LH #d/50

Liam Hendriks - 2012 Finest 77
Liam Hendriks - 2012 Finest Refractor 77

Peter Moylan - 2011 Topps Update Gold US45 #d/2011

Rich Thompson - 2011 Topps Update Gold US286 #d/20l1

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dae-Sung Koo - 2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox

Korean baseballing legend and former MLB player Koo continued his ABL career with his adopted retirement home of Sydney, playing for the Blue Sox for the 2012-13 ABL season, his third with the club.

Koo also made a surprise appearance for the Perth Heat, being added to their roster for the 2012 Asia Series in Busan, Korea.

I was unable to get a photo of Koo playing this season, so had to make do with this uninspiring shot of him wearing a Blue Sox hoodie over his uniform.

2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox Dae-Sung Koo card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Carter Bell - 2012-13 Perth Heat

A Canadian from the Arizona Diamondbacks organisation who played as an import with the Perth Heat during the 2012-13 ABL season. In 2013 Bell is playing with the South Bend Silver Hawks of the A level Midwest League. Bell doesn't look too happy in this shot - from memory I think he'd just struck out and was on his way back to the dug out.

2012-13 Perth Heat Carter Bell card front - © 2013 Adam East

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kyle Perkins - 2012-13 Canberra Cavalry

Perkins returned for his third ABL season with the Canberra Cavalry during 2012-13 as a relief pitcher. Was joined by younger brother Robbie on both the Cavalry roster as well as a member of Team Australian  in the pre-season warm up series against the Blue Sox..

2012-13 Canberra Cavalry Kyle Perkins card front - © 2013 Adam East

Monday, July 8, 2013

Interviewed by Nicholas RW Henning - Baseball Writer

I was recently contacted by Australian baseball writer Nicholas RW Henning with a request to be interviewed about this blog and my card designs. I was off of work sick at the time, so took the opportunity to write a copy of War and Peace for him. His interview with me has recently been posted up onto his Henning's Baseball Musings blog. If you're interested in finding out a little bit more about the background to my blog and my card designs, please check it out. Henning also has a number of Australian baseball books that may be of interest to readers.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Select's Poor Quality Control

Last year I bought a spare team set of the 2012 Canberra Cavalry cards that were released by Select that I was going to use for trading. They've been sitting unopened in my office until recently where I was going to scan several cards and put them up on the web to trade.

To my disappointment I discovered that all of the cards have been seriously miscut - the card corners weren't at 90º - the cards were more of a parallelogram than a rectangle.

Here is a comparison between the properly aligned card from my set (on the left), and the miscut card (on the right). I've used Photoshop to align the miscut card to its bottom edge. You can see how askew the writing on the back of the card is even though the bottom of the card is actually straight. That's rather poor quality control from Select in my opinion.

2012 Select ABL #27 - Correct cut
2012 Select ABL #27 - Mis-cut card

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Richard Olson - 2012-13 Adelaide Bite

Although born in Sydney, Olson is a bit of a baseball journeyman, with a globetrotting wealth of experience at a young age. He is listed as having played in 2007 for the Petach Tikva Pioneers of the Israeli Baseball League at age 18. This was followed by stints at the Clarendon Junior College in Texas, and the University of New Mexico Lobos through to 2011.

He made his ABL debut with the Sydney Blue Sox, pitching in 4 games during the 2011-12 season. In 2012 he joined the Stuttgart Reds of the German Baseball Bundesliga and was chosen to play in the Bundesliga All-Star game. He was also being linked to New Zealand's World Baseball Classic team via family heritage, however I don't believe he represented them in any games.Finally for the 2012-13 ABL season he played with the Adelaide Bite, getting greater game time than he had with the Blue Sox, gaining a 5-2 record in 18 appearances.

2012-13 Adelaide Bite Richard Olson card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Todd Grattan - 2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox

Grattan suited up for the Sydney Blue Sox for his third ABL season in 2012-13. Having said that though, it appears that he failed to pitch in a single game during the season - I'm unsure as to why. This is a gameday shot from during the season where he was throwing in the warm ups, so I don' t think his non-appearance throughout the year was injury related. Maybe the hands on head in this shot was a sense of frustration at his inability to get playing time during the season. :)

2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox Todd Grattan card front - © 2013 Adam East 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Adam Millson - 2012-13 Perth Heat

Millson managed to get wider game time during the 2012-13 ABL season, his third with the Perth Heat, however he was expensive, with an ERA of 7.29 from his 10 games during the season.

2012-13 Perth Heat Adam Millson card front - © 2013 Adam East

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lee Mills - 2011-12 Canberra Cavalry

As far as I can tell, I missed posting up the 2011-12 card design I created for Aussie Lee Mills of the Canberra Cavalry. I figure I better rectify that :) I have to admit, that I like photos of the catchers with their catching gear on - maybe it's the gladiatorial imagery it evokes.

2011-12 Canberra Cavalry Lee Mills card front - © 2012 Adam East