Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to John Jaso!!! Tradin' With the Mojo Hand

Today has been an awesome day at the Casa De Troll. Saturday is the only day of the week that the wife and I are both off work. We had a romantic lunch, a movie date and then we romantically checked the post office box together, it was packed full of goodness. After receiving an awesome and unexpected package from Madding of Cards on Cards fame on Friday (post to come) along with 2 TTMs, there were three more packages today. One of them came courtesy of the Mojo Hand. Mojo chases the same products as the Troll and chases one of the same players-the super awesome Cat Osterman, but we were somehow able to pull off a trade anyway. There were 4 very awesome cards in that package, but 3 are going to be trade bait with one card going straight to the Rays display case. The trade bait cards are of Rickie Weeks, Fausto Carmona and this 2003 Upper Deck Team USA jersey card of Conor Jackson. Jackson had a breakout year in 2008 for the D-Backs, batting .300 with 12 homers and 75 runs batted in. He has been on the disabled list since May of this year suffering from Valley Fever which gives him a combination of symptoms similar to pneumonia, chronic fatigue syndrome and the flu. He will participate in the D-Backs fall instructional league program starting on Monday to ready for the 2010 season. The gem of the trade is a 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Pick Rookie Autograph Refractor (wow that’s a long title) card of Durham Bulls catcher John Jaso. The card is #BCP264 and is both a certified autographed card (serial #270/500) and an uber-shiny refractor. John has spent 7 seasons in the Rays system since they picked him in the 12th round of the 2003 draft. During that time Jaso has a minor league career average of .290 with 57 homeruns and 329 RBIs. He is rated as the Rays number 1 organizational catching prospect. It is really awesome that the card arrived today because today (September 18th) is Jaso’s 26th birthday. Happy Birthday John!!! That isn’t all John Jaso has been celebrating this week either. On Thursday night his team, the Durham Bulls defeated the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 3-2 in twelve innings to win the Governors Cup and International League (AAA) Championship. The game-winning hit (in the top of the 12th) was a double off of Jaso’s bat, which scored Elliot Johnson to give the Bulls the lead. With that win, they won their league’s crown, but they have one more series to determine the best AAA team in baseball. Beginning on Tuesday night, the Durham Bulls will travel to Oklahoma City to meet the Memphis Red Birds (PCL Champs) to compete for the AAA National Championship. The game will be televised on ESPN2 (the Deuce!) and will begin at 6 PM (Eastern). I will be watching to see Jaso, Desmond Jennings, Elliot Johnson, Matt Joyce, Justin Ruggiano and the rest of the Bulls kick some Redbird booty! The feathers will be flying, no doubt! Thanks to the Mojo Hand for the very awesome cards! If anyone out there should pull any Cat Osterman cards, contact Mojo first. If he already has the cards, send ‘em my way! On a different note, I didn’t make it out to the Trop tonight as I had hoped. My empty bank account got in the way again, but it didn’t stop the Rays! They won their 3rd game in a row (longest streak in a month) as Matt Garza (on Matt Garza figurine night) outdueled Ricky Romero (now 12-9) beating the Blue Jays 4-0. Garza lasted over 7 innings, striking out 10 and allowing just 3 hits, all singles. In fact, there wasn’t a single extra base hit in the game and after the Rays 4-run first inning; both pitchers put up zeros the rest of the game. Garza improved his record to 8-10 with a 3.80 ERA and 177 strikeouts. Since joining the Rays, Garza is 6-2/0.81 ERA versus the Jays. Three of his 8 wins this year have been against Toronto. The Jays and Rays conclude their series tomorrow (Sunday) with Roy Halladay facing David Price at the Trop. The Rays welcome the Mariners to Florida for a two-game series beginning on Tuesday. The Rays will be heading to Texas for a three-game series beginning on Friday. Switching gears back to cards and what was in my mailbox this weekend… There were a (Troll record) 17 autographed cards in the mailbox this weekend. The other two trade packages came from Wicked Ortega of South Florida and Jeff (another Rays fan!) of Largo, Florida. These were two of the best packages I think I have ever got (gets better every day!) and I will post them on Monday and Tuesday. There was also a pair of TTM autos, including the 5th card for my Ginter autograph quest, this one from Legendary player and Coach Frank Evans. I also stopped at my parents storage (Mom found an old box of my stuff) and I picked up a bunch of goodies that I thought for gone forever including a box of letters (correspondence from former White Sox players) from my 1999 book. Some notes from my interview with Johnny Sain and an autographed poster that he gave me, a ’87 Topps Traded set and a very OLD box of Necco Wafers. Treasures. Till next time, Happy Birthday John Jaso! Thanks for trading with the Troll! Go Bulls! Go Rays! Troll out.

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