Matthew from Number Five Type Collection had a spring training giveaway where he had people choose five favorite teams and then distributed cards based on those preferences. He had a Grab Bag category which included minor league cards so naturally that was my first pick. I got to split those cards with two others. The Reds were my second pick and I was fortunate enough to rank them highest so Matthew sent those cards as well. There were 58 Grab Bag and 43 Reds cards for a nice total of 101 cards.
I had wanted to do a "pack break" video but after creating (no joke) seventeen video attempts, it became obvious that there's just something wrong with my microphone and the video quality isn't much better. Alas.
So you won't get to see all the great cards Matthew provided. I thought I'd highlight five of my favorites from each group, though.
There were a bunch of A&G mini cards. My favorites were these two of Impressionist painter Claude Monet. Monet is one of my favorite artists and to get both a mini and the black bordered one as well is very cool.
There were also a handful of TriStar cards. I'd consider collecting these if the design was a bit better and if I had the Pocorabas to be collecting. This one is of Matt Wieters, likely future catching star of the Baltimore Orioles.
Has it really been three years since I was at the World Baseball Classic? Sheesh. Time flies. I did not get to see Chin-Lung Hu play nor will I likely get the chance. The Cleveland Indians had him in for spring training but released him a few days ago. I expect that he will play somewhere in Asia this season. Still, I like the WBC cards.
This last one is a fun card. Hey, wait a minute?!?! It's card #5 of this set. Should Matthew have been sending this to me? Searching his blog it looks like Stockstill was the fifth card in another set earlier in his career but this card has never been featured on Matthew's website. This card looks to be a promotional card made by TCMA in the early eighties and given away by Tulsa TV station KOTV-Channel 6.
Looking at the backs of the cards he sent, there's a whole bunch of number fives. That doesn't seem right to me for some reason.
Getting back to the card at hand, I like guys like Dave Stockstill which is why I'm featuring this card. Stockstill was a professional baseball player for 16 years. SIXTEEN! Never once saw a day in the majors. He started his professional career when I was in first grade and wrapped it up right after I graduated college. That's a long time.
You can get to see some of his minor league stats at baseball-reference but it's his Mexican League numbers that really stand out and which aren't included on BBR. Here's the slashlines from his career once he headed to Mexico:
Wow! Those are some fine hitting numbers.
After the 1993 season he joined the Baltimore Orioles organization, first as a coach and then moving up the ranks to his current position with them, Director of International Operations. That gives him something like 18 years working under Peter Angelos which may be even more amazing than his lengthy playing career.
Interestingly, Dave's younger brother John was drafted by the Chicago Cubs out of high school in the tenth round of the 1978 draft. Dave was not selected in the draft but the Cubs signed him, too, and they both were started with the Cubbies Gulf Coast League team. Dave hit right out of the gate and was bumped up to Pompano Beach while John struggled and was sent to the GCL for the 1979 season to repeat the level. John earned a promotion in 1980 but struggled with the bat and was let go.
John went into the baseball business with the Cubs after he was released and he worked his way up to General Manager before rejoining Dave on the Orioles. He started with them in 2005. Dave and John actually switched positions in the Orioles
organization not too long ago. John is currently the Director of Player
Personnel. I wonder if their parents are proud?
So that's the Grab Bag component of the cards I received. Thanks a lot, Matthew, and if you want the Stockstill card back, I understand.