Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I may not be much of a blogger, but I haven't been slacking as a collector. I made some solid progress on the sorting front before X-Mas (I'm into the prolific Ms now), I've kept feeding the habit, and I've kept on mini-collecting. I scanned a few of the better Getting a Grip cards during sorting to throw into the collection, along with the recent excellent trade package hits from Nick of Dime Boxes and John of Johnny's Trading Spot. The mini-collections pages are up to date now. But I'll share some of the better Grip samples from my sorting progress here. Lots o' cool pictures, and (for me) relatively few words. Let's play...

2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Roy Halliday #460
2004 Topps Ted Lilly TOR #617
2007 Topps Andy Pettitte NYY #32

Here we have three great pitchers who are big-league pitchers no more. At least that's what they say. It's the second time that Pettitte's said so.

1983 Renata Galasso T206 Reprints Barney Pelty SLB
1998 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Christy Mathewson First Class NYG #503

Into the wayback machine we go. We all know about Matty, but how about a little love for "The Yiddish Curver," Barney Pelty?

2001 Upper Deck Legends of New York Hoyt Wilhelm NYG #35
1991 Topps Archives Hoyt Wilhelm NYG #312

Hoyt Wilhelm and his Hall-of-Fame knuckleball grip is the undisputed king of the collection at this point. I really love those Legends of New York cards. That fuzzy logo is fun to touch. I'd love to grab the set at some point (despite the Giants cards), but I'm sure it's expensive.

1993 Topps Charlie Hough FLA #520
1994 Topps Charlie Hough FLA #625

Here's another master of the flutterball, Rough Tough Charlie Hough, like any good knuckler still pitching at a time when he could probably finagle a senior citizens discount on his post-game dinner.

1990 Mother's Cookies Ryan 5000K Nolan Ryan TEX #1
1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Reid Ryan Future Foundation TEX #45

Keeping the Grip in the family. Unfortunately, Reid was no "future foundation." In fact, after going 0-10 with a 9.34 ERA and 2.29 WHIP (ouch!) in A-ball in '95, he would have no future at all as a pitcher. But his future (the present) did find him filling the role of Houston Astros president.

2008 Topps Stadium Club Nick Adenhart LAA #103

Nick Adenhart, of course, had his future taken away from him by a drunk driver. This is (oddly, and unfortunately) my only card of his, so far. But it's a beaut.

1994 Topps Bryan Harvey FLA #20
1979 Topps Tom House SEA #31
2009 Topps Update Sean O'Sullivan LAA #UH23
2001 Topps Mike Hampton COL #708
2002 Topps Todd Jones COL #552

And there's just a mess of great Topps Grips over the past several years. Did Hampton really throw a pitch with that grip? That's Randy Tomlin's "Vulcan change" grip, isn't it?

1998 Fleer Ultra Ramon Martinez LAD #382
2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Mini Chad Billingsley LAD #124

Of course, we've gotta get some Dodgers in here. Ramon Martinez offers us a different angle for a grip card, while Chad Billingsley obliges by rubbing up the baseball.

1990 Topps Jack Morris DET #555
1995 Topps Darryl Kile COL #228

Speaking of Grips variations, here's non-Hall-of-Famer Jack Morris with a warm-up Grip, and another ill-fated hurler, Darryl Kile, Rubbing one up.

2004 Topps Kevin Milwood PHI #11
2008 Upper Deck Jake Westbrook CLE #122

A couple of rosin bags make an appearance with Millwood and Westbrook (sounds like a country music duo...). This doubles the rosin bags in the collection. They're proving more elusive than I'd expected.

1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice J.R. Phillips SFG #714
1990 ProCards Tim Leiper London Tigers #1281

I've actually added a couple of new categories to Getting a Grip. This collection did not previously allow for non-pitchers to gain entry. But if you're going to pose with such an obvious pitcher's grip, there's just no keeping you out.

1985 Fleer Al Holland PHI #254
1992 Fleer Dennis Martinez Record Setters MON #683

Finally, we have a couple of great examples of what I'm calling Achievement Grips, pitchers proudly showing their balls (that could probably be worded better...) in recognition of some noteworthy performance.

There's new stuff in all four of the mini-collections, so check 'em out. Thanks for playing.


  1. Those are all pretty sweet "grips", but I really enjoyed the T206 reprint. That's got to be one of the oldest "grip" cards around.

  2. Ooooh, I've got to get that Ramon. That jumped right out at me as a card I don't have.

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