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.

Look what 99¢ got me!

My first (and last) UDx card!

This is the first card I’ve bought in months and it was a must-have for my collection. This leaves me with every single Andrew Miller release of 2009 with the exception of the autograph/relic from SPx, which I have bid on a few times but lost out on.

On a side note, since mentioning that I am now focusing on Ozzie instead of Jose Canseco, his cards have caught fire. Don’t believe me? Check out the insane ending price on this worthless ’93 Pacific Ozzie Canseco card. I blogged about that atrocious card just a few months back when it was on Sportsbuy and no one would touch it.

I’ve also met two great Ozzie collectors, which is awesome. The power of the Internet really is amazing. I’ve done this before with success so I will try again. I have lots of “hits” laying in boxes that I have no use for so I will offer up a trade to someone who might need/want them.

I have 9 certified basketball autographs (including Vince Carter) and five certified football autographs (plus two relics) to offer to anyone who can find one of the lots below. As always, if you need more information you can email me anytime.

Lot 1 – 2009 SPx Andrew Miller & 5 Ozzie Canseco cards I don’t have

Lot 2 – Unopened wax box of 1997 SPx and/or Totally Certified

Lot 3 – A date with Megan Fox


Andrew Miller’s downward spiral

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Wax Heaven favorite, Andrew Miller. Although he had finally begun showing signs of dominance a couple of months back, two rough starts in a row sent him packing out of Dolphin Stadium and to New Orleans, the home of the Triple-A Zephyrs.

Sadly, this is Andrew’s second time he’s been demoted due to poor performance. It happened in 2008 and he barely survived Spring Training this year to land as the fifth starter on the Florida Marlins. Since coming to the team last year, Andrew has won just 9 games in 34 starts.

Making matters even worse, the Marlins did everything they could to trade Andrew to the San Diego Padres right before the deadline. It was a shocking and sad day for this former “Super Prospect” whose 2007 rookie cards demanded premium prices among collectors and prospectors not too long ago.

As expected, Andrew’s Hobby presence is all but gone. His first year cards, including low-numbered parallels and certified autographs are selling for next to nothing. If you are a collector, do you give up on the kid who just turned 24 or hope and pray that he works out his stuff and becomes the dominant pitcher everyone expected him to be?

I think everyone reading Wax Heaven knows my decision.

Best. Mailday. Ever.

Today is the best day of collecting I have experienced since my return in 2007. It’s been well over a year since I began collecting Andrew Miller and I will be the first to admit that it hasn’t been the easiest thing to do. For starters, once a top level prospect, Andrew is in his third below average season in the Majors.

Second, with Andrew’s spotlight dimming, companies have been including him less and less in new products. Finally, with my finances is dire straights, I have been to just one game this season, causing my interest in my own collection to die down (until Allen & Ginter came around).

Today, fellow blogger and Wax Heaven friend, Kory, sent in these cards as a part of a trade. It is the only three cards I obsess about on a daily basis. In the lot, you will find a Black & Gold Refractor, along with an extremely rare Xfractor #’d to just 25 from 2007 Topps Finest.

After breaking through the BGS holders and nearly losing a finger, I have the best Andrew Miller cards anywhere. In fact, without bragging, I can finally say without a shadow of a doubt that I am THE Andrew Miller Super Collector. My collection is now over 150 cards deep, with over 50 of those being certified autographs.

As a bonus, Kory sent over two bonus autographs and reader “M.Ryan” was kind enough to send me two more 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter cards I needed. This has to be the very best day of 2009, without a doubt. I would like to thank every single reader who has helped my collection grow, this is truly an awesome day to be a collector.

In return, Kory will receive a 2009 Bowman Red Refractor Greg Halman.

Nice cards but they feel trapped.

No thanks, Beckett Media...

Click on the image to see a full-size scan!

Bonus Andrew Miller cards!