How Do You Replace a 1/1?

Funny story. During my separation from my daughter’s mother I ended up moving all my stuff into my minivan. I ended up living in my very cozy office for two weeks until I was able to save up enough money for an apartment because you know, the woman gets to keep everything. ANYWAY…

Once I finally got my place I moved what little I had into my house, including two HUGE boxes filled with my 30-year old Jose Canseco collection. My minivan was stuffed full of clothes, electronics, and personal items but somehow, I forgot to bring in my two, small boxes of Andrew Miller cards.

You see, unlike Canseco, who has a rabid and very deep-pocketed fan base, Andrew Miller was at the bottom of the scrap heap when I collected his cards from 2007 to 2010. I could pick up several 1/1s, autographs, and game-used cards at a time and still have money for lunch at Denny’s afterwards.

For a while, things go so bad for Andrew Miller in our hobby that companies flat out stopped adding him to their checklists. I’m not talking about high-end, $200 per box, 5 card products, either. I mean Topps, Upper Deck, you name it. The man fell off the face of the Earth.

My collection of Miller cards, which was in the low 100s was nothing but the best of the best cards out there, unlike my Canseco collection, which pales in comparison to many hardcore collectors out there. It seemed that Andrew Miller was “my guy” simply for budgetary restrictions. I just don’t ever see myself spending more than $50 on a card.

Well, my separation was final and I now had a bachelor pad while driving a minivan. This of course, did not work for me. I immediately bought a 2001 Camaro SS and turned in the minivan, with payments still left on it. I watched as it was repossessed with a smile on my face, not realizing that my entire Andrew Miller collection was still in it.

I guess Andrew had some nice seasons in 2015 and 2016, even finishing in the top 10 in Cy Young award voting back to back. That is a far cry from his frustrating days as a Florida Marlin so long ago. I am extremely happy for him and his ALCS MVP award win. I knew he had it in him all along, even though I gave up on him in 2013 without even knowing.

I upgraded my Camaro in 2015 to an even faster and sexier SS but still don’t have any of the Andrew Miller cards I lost. I am also now personally responsible for losing several, irreplaceable 1/1 cards, forever. So the questions is, what now? If Andrew, in his 13th season this year becomes a God-like pitcher, I am to blame for the lack of early year printing plates and high-end 1/1s vanishing from the market forever.

I’m so sorry, fellow collectors!

Picking Up Where I Left Off

Author: Mario Alejandro

It’s been a really long time since I’ve had any desire to collect. I’ve sat back waiting for the first Jose Canseco/Upper Deck card to show up, and every once in a while checked eBay for Andrew Miller cards to see what the 2010 issues were like but really felt nothing every time.

It wasn’t until this afternoon that I decided to start again, at least with my fallen Florida Marlin, Andrew Miller. Unfortunately, for the third year in a row, Andrew has found himself in the Minors. While I hate to use a word like “bust” for a guy who was nice enough to sign for me several times and even took the time to remember my name, it’s not looking good for Mr. Miller right now.

As for cards, it appears that he’s only been in a couple of releases thus far. The Heritage card below, a sweet-looking, no license Upper Deck release, and a Topps Team release which looks pretty nice as well. As for which of the three I think looks best? It’s easily the Heritage brand pictured below.

You can expect a full report and review on the cards once they start showing up. As for Wax Heaven, I am working on bringing one final exclusive to the site. Although I’m not looking to step on Beckett’s toes (Tracy and I are buds again), this one would be a very special exclusive that would mean a lot to me.

Stay tuned …

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers But …

I’m a little disappointed with the new Andrew Miller from T-206.

I mean, I’m thankful that Topps even included Andrew in the set but it’s a photo I am all too familiar with thanks to 2008 Allen & Ginter. It’s not like it’s a new photo (Andrew’s bulked up a bit).

I should be happy he’s even in the set because Andrew’s last card came months ago in 2009 Allen & Ginter and despite the non-stop releases this year, he’s been in well under 10 of them.

As for Miller’s career, it’s not been a success as of yet. Two lousy seasons with the Marlins with multiple demotions has pretty much killed his hobby presence and has made collectors forget about his potential.

I will be receiving a box of Topps T-206 in the next couple of days for review purposes and will hope to pull at the very least a base card. If anyone pulls any of the parallels, I will trade them straight up for an autograph or game-used relic so be on the look-out.

There is a 3-card lot on eBay for anyone who wants to get an early start. I am without an eBay account (probably for the better) so I can’t bid. If anyone reading wins that auction, you will receive an autograph & game-used relic for your trouble.

Can We Have Miggy Back? PLEASE?

They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. While Miguel Cabrera was part of the Florida Marlins, the team won a championship against the evil, overpaid New York Yankees in 2003. Meanwhile, “Miggy” became one of the most feared sluggers in the game all before the age of 25.

As a Marlins fan, I knew it was only a matter of time before the organization could no longer afford Cabrera. When the Marlins traded Cabrera in 2007 for a bunch of prospects including Andrew Miller, I was assured by many that the Fish had pulled off a huge steal.

The deal for Cabrera also included slumping fan favorite, Dontrelle Willis. In return, the Marlins acquired Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, Mike Rabelo, Burke Badenhop, and Dallas Trahern. From that deal alone, Rabelo has already been released and Trahern hasn’t touched the Majors in the two years with the organization.

Burke Badenhop has had minimal success when he’s not pitching erratically or in the Minors. Cameron Maybin put up a huge September in 2008 and stunk it up so bad in the beginning of this season that he was demoted and not seen again until the beginning of this September. He’s still not accomplished a damn thing.

That of course brings us to Andrew Miller, a model for inconsistency. Just when he begins to find his groove and show flashes of dominance, he loses the ability to pitch. He’s made two trips to the Minors through demotion along with two trips to the Disabled List in the two seasons with Florida.

The Marlins spent a ridiculously low $36.8 on payroll for this season, an average of $1.8 million per player. The Yankees spent over $200 million this year alone and despite this fact, we are still statistically in the playoff hunt coming into the last week of the season.

Imagine if both Miller and Maybin lived up to their potential in 2009; where would the Marlins be? Or what if the Marlins kept Cabrera around with the kind of players we had in the past two years? Clearly something needs to be done because this team has a lot of potential to compete.

Slugger Dan Uggla is expected to be traded this off-season.

Oh where oh where can my Miggy be?

A Player Collector’s Impossible Mission

It’s been a great couple of weeks with regards to my Andrew Miller collection. Reader “Chris W.” sent in a 2007 Topps Chrome Xfractor in a trade that should be nearing completion and The Wax Report’s Mr. Scott sent two ’09 Allen & Ginter parallels I needed, including the hand-numbered Mini I didn’t think I’d ever find.

On Saturday, my eBay purchase finally arrived. For under $1 dollar (minus shipping) I got a 2009 UDx game-used relic of Andrew Miller. Unfortunately, the card is pretty damaged in two spots around the relic which leads me to believe that this was how it came from the pack. The auction had no mention of any damage.

Considering the card is for my personal collection, I’ll proudly accept it as is and will likely leave a Neutral feedback. You won’t believe this but the card itself is not so bad. Not counting the fact that Andrew’s been a Marlin for two years and the picture depicts him with a Tigers uniform, I’d say this is one of Andrew’s best game-used relics I’ve seen.

As for my collection, I am now up to 170 different cards. With August almost down the drain it seems unlikely that I will reach 200 different cards considering that the card companies are snubbing Miller left and right in upcoming releases and because Andrew is stuck in the Minors and will likely have no more cards produced until he rejoins the Fish.

You can check out a detailed list of my collection HERE.