Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mario's Wax to the Heavenly Examiner

Congratulations to Wax Heaven's Mario for earning a new gig with the Miami Examiner. Mario will be covering the Florida Marlins.

It's great to see hard work pay off for people in the blogosphere.

Yes, I'm still hoping to achieve the Wax Heavenly Seven status.

Congrats to the Wax Heaven family.

Billy Mays Autograph Update

Update: RIP Billy Mays. Sad to see you go.

What's the scoop? In October I shared my Billy Mays autographs (baseball and photo) and received some great responses.

Since then, Billy Mays has been producing ESPN 360 commercials and was seen at the Champs Sports Bowl on the Florida State sidelines. Quite a few people said they would be sending Billy requests for similar items.

So . . . lets have an update. Did you send Billy your letter? What was your process? Do you have any results? Can you send some images of your items?

I'm hoping 2009 has a certified autograph card for Billy Mays. Heck, double the offer and add a swatch of Mighty Mendit or something on the card too!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Fred Dryer Should be the Next James Bond

Fred Dryer rocks! You can't deny watching those Hunter TV shows in the '80s.

Did you know that Fred Dryer was recruited by San Diego State's defensive coordinator, John Madden? I didn't either until I read Helmet Hut's story on recreating the Fred Dryer Helmet Collection!

Fred's a college football HOFer, had a good pro career, and was "Hunter" for seven seasons. It's time for Badge #089 to be the next 007!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Billy Mays ESPN Commercials - BEST EVER!

Billy Mays Here!
Billy Mays is now selling ESPN 360. OK, I've mentioned my passion for Billy Mays commercials, but these are the BEST EVER!

Best Sports Card Christmas Gift

I always had two items on my Christmas list: box of baseball cards and more Star Wars Storm Troopers.

I never got either of them. The excuses I'd hear were "we don't know which box to get" and "you already have that guy." What? Don't you get it? There's an entire army of Storm Troopers.. it's not just one guy and it didn't matter what box or pack, I just wanted something in my stocking other than tube socks. I wasn't as asking for a Red Ryder BB Gun, just a few cards and a Star Wars figure.

Anyway, before I ruin more therapy . . .
What is the best card/memorabilia item you received as a gift?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Beckett Blog Wars

Come on guys. We get it, you don't like each other, now lets move on.

Beckett - Remove the "hobby rocks" image immediately. This is not how you answer critics. If you want to respond to critics, then do so by sending them email, setting up a call, or posting a message on their blog.

Dave at Fielder's Choice- If Beckett removes their image, can you take yours down? I think it's distracting from thought out critique.

Friday, December 19, 2008

1973 Topps Willie Mays

Willie Mays in a Mets uniform! For Mets fans, this was a dream come true. Willie's best days were behind him when he made his way back to New York, but he finished his career where it began - in New York.

This is one of my favorites because it has Mays in a Mets uniform and the back of the card list his stats from 1951 to 1972. I'd like to get his 1974 Topps card where he's batting in the World Series vs. the Oakland A's.

I was at a SF Giants game in 2001 when Willie Mays came on the field before the game to be part of a Barry Bonds home run celebration. It was great just to be in the same stadium as him.

Imagine how many home runs Willie would have had if he didn't spend time in the US Army. Mays missed approximately 266 games because he was drafted.

My favorite Willie Mays stat is: Mays is the only player in MLB history to have hit a home run in every inning from the 1st to the 16th.

Willie was back in New York this fall as part of the closing ceremonies for Shea Stadium.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Name the Baseball Hall of Famer

Who is this Major League Baseball Hall of Fame player?

This photo was taken in Cooperstown, New York in the mid 1980's.

Clue: Think "Mad Dash Home."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bad Wax Blog Posting - Card Store Closings

Bad Wax has a great article about hobby stores closing. Why are these stores closing? Are the flushing money down the drain?

Disclaimer: It's easy for a lot of us to sit here and type reasons why the stores are closing and not staying in business since most of don't own a hobby store (myself included).
I've never had a great connection with a hobby store. As kid, the stores seemed to be always run by grumpy old men who were bothered if you asked them any questions. I'm envious of the people who had and still have great relationships with hobby stores. Even today, I had an exchange with my local hobby store. After mentioning a fact I read on a card blog his reply was, "I don't read the blogs - they can't tell me anything." I know, hilarious isn't it.
Anyway, I commented on the Bad Wax blog on what I think hobby stores need to do stay in business. I think it's all about making connections with your client's passion and I think it can be done in these four ways:
  1. Host box break parties: Order pizza, sell the boxes at a discount, and get a group of people to sit around and open their boxes together. Make it a "community event." Then post the video online.
  2. Have a huge Internet presence. Have a blog, link to others, and participate in discussions. Don't have a blog to get sales, have a blog to get leads and bring people into the store.
  3. Have autograph sessions. Combine resources with local stores to host old and new school player signings. Get people in your store.
  4. Educate. Be an expert, keep learning, and teach others.
This is just my two cents. I know there's the whole business model review and people who run businesses probably have different ideas. But I'm a marketing person with card/memorabilia hobby... not a business owner. And if I were advising a store owner from a marketing point of view, that's where I'd start.
Check out the Bad Wax story.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Name this Baseball Hall of Famer

Can you name this Baseball Hall of Famer?

This flea market photo was taken July 21, 1991 in Cooperstown, NY.

Thanks again to Phungo for the trivia idea - his Spot the Sig contests are awesome.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gil Hodges 1962 Topps

I'm not a huge fan of the design, but any Gil Hodges card is a good card as far as I'm concerned. This is one of my favorites of his - 1962 Topps # 85.

Gil returned to NY to be a part of the expansion NY Mets. In 1969 Hodges was the manager for a Mets team that shocked baseball by beating the Orioles in the World Series.

I was disappointed to see that Gil Hodges wasn't selected to the Hall of Fame this year.

Name the Baseball Hall of Famer

Can you name this Baseball Hall of Famer?

This flea market photo was taken July 22, 1991 in Cooperstown, NY.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Deion Sanders - 1989 Pro Set

Deion Sanders will make the Hall of Fame some day. He was the definition of a shut-down corner back. I think Deion only has three years left until he's eligible. Unless of course, he comes out of retirement again to play nickel back for the Baltimore Ravens again.

Does Deion go into the Hall of Fame as primarily a Falcon, a 49er, a Cowboy, a Redskin, or a Raven?

Yes, I shamefully admit that I'm showing more cards on my blog in order to have a chance to reach the Wax Heavenly Seven! :)

Brooks Robinson - The 2nd Best 3B Ever

Who was a better 3B - Brooks Robinson (pictured here) or Mike Schmidt?

This photos is from that same collection of pictures at the flea market. The photo was taken July 22, 1991.

I know Brooks has the gold gloves, no one was better there, but I'll take Michael Jack Schmidt over Brooks as #1 on the hot corner.

Your thoughts?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pete Rose - First Card in Phillies Uniform

I grew up in south Jersey, so my first impressions and visions of Pete Rose are different than most Pete Rose fans. I saw him first as a Philadelphia Phillies player.

My first impressions were him spiking the ball on the Veterans Stadium turf and taking a talented Phillies team over the hump in 1980.

I picked up this 1979 Topps card this year. If I remember reading the Beckett article correctly, this is the first card that had Pete in a Phillies uniform.

Friday, December 12, 2008

College Football Bowl Party

I have a Yahoo Group with the College Football Bowls. It's free to join and if you win I'll give you double your entry fee.

Click here to join.

Group ID
: 9902

Group Password: sportslocker

Name the Stadium

Can you name this baseball stadium?

It's from September 4, 1983. Nice looking cars driving by!

Yes, I am borrowing this concept from Phungo's "Spot the Sig" contest only this one is less organized and more chaotic.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Your Best Card of 2008

What is your favorite card or piece of memorabilia that you picked up in 2008?

I was looking at my spreadsheet this week and thinking about what my favorite pick-up was for the year. It's a tough call, but it's fun to look back and see how the collection grew this year.

Davey Johnson to Manage USA World Classic

Davey Johnson is going to manage MLB's USA World Baseball Classic team. Here's the press release from MLB.

I think Davey's a great choice. He wins everywhere he goes. Dave obviously was the manager of the 1986 Mets, and he also took the Reds and Orioles to the playoffs.

I got this baseball autographed at MAB's Amazing Mets Fest in November 2008. Davey signed this baseball for me plus the 1986 team ball that I have. Of course Roger McDowell argued with me about that, but don't get me started!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mel Allen Photo - This Week in Baseball

Seeing Mel Allen reminds me of "This Week of Baseball!" I can hear him now doing the voice-overs of great plays and bloopers with his "How about that?" signature.

This photo is one of the 100s of bargain bin baseball photos that turned up at a flea market a few months ago. Most of the photos were taken in the 1980s, but this Mel Allen Photo was taken at the Hall of Fame July 21, 1991.

I'll keep going through the photos and post some of the nicer ones. I really like them because they are candid photos of the players in a more simple time.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Yankees and Mets ask NY for More Money

How far will the Yankees and Mets dig into the pockets of NY residents?

In a time when large corporations are walking to congress with their hands extended, ESPN and the AP are reporting that the Mets and Yankees are asking for more than the $1.5 Billion the city has already granted them. The teams want $450 million more in public bonds to help finance their new stadiums.

This is amazing. Nearly half a million people lost their jobs in November, the "Big 3" automakers are considering Chapter 11, our 401(k)s have been beaten into the ground, and the Yanks/Mets think now is a good time to ask the city for more public money!

I think New York tax payers have paid enough - $1.5 Billion seems more than reasonable.

And the "thank you" New Yorkers get from these new ball parks are: $500 seats, 2x the PSL cost, expensive ball park food, and two teams that can't spend their way into playoffs.

It's time for Mayor Bloomberg to remove himself from the Plaxico Burress situation and tell the Steinbrenners and Wilpons that they've received enough public funds.

Pete Rose Rookie Card - Pete in the Hall?

1963 Pete Rose Rookie Card - Topps #537.

All of the Hall of Fame talk brought me to dig out my Pete Rose rookie. My personal favorite is his 1964 card because it only has Pete on it, but this one is pretty close.

It's tough to find a good '63 rookie. The white borders make it difficult on the centering.

Think about it - until ARod breaks every record, it's very likely that baseball will have a Hall of Fame without the all-time hits leader, the all-time home run leader, and the single season home run king.

Does Pete Rose deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?

As with the previous Bob Hayes posting: Yes, I shamefully admit that I'm trying to post more card entries (to go with my autograph passion) as part of my quest to reach the Wax Heaven - Heavenly Seven summit.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bob Hayes Rookie Card - The Bullet Belongs in Canton

This is my Bullet Bob Hayes rookie card - 1966 Philadelphia #58.

I made a quest a few years ago to collect the rookie cards of Ring of Honor Cowboys - one of my favorites is the original #22 for the Dallas Cowboys.

Bullet Bob won two Gold Medals in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and tied the 100m world record of 10.0 seconds. The time is even more remarkable because he did it wearing someone else's shoes! His were left in the hotel room.

Hayes was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 7th round of the '64 draft and immediately paid dividends helping Dallas to their first Super Bowl victory.

Based on stats, Hayes doesn't have the numbers compared to modern day or even wide receivers in the '90s. But his biggest contribution is the ripple effect his speed created across the NFL landscape. No one on defense could keep up with Hayes, so they invented a new defense - the zone.

Hayes' numbers are good - he was a 3x all-pro and led the league in touchdowns before "the zone" was invented. In my opinion, if NFL Hall of Fame criteria is based on a player's impact on the field, then Bullet Bob Hayes belongs in Canton.

On August 27, 2008 he was named as one of two senior candidates for the 2009 Hall of Fame election. Hayes passed away in 2002.

Yes - this card and profile on Bob Hayes is part of my quest to reach the Wax Heaven - Heavenly Seven summit.

Friday, December 5, 2008

OJ Simpson to Serve Time for Memorabilia Heist?

I really like sports memorabilia, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't rob and kidnap to take a signed jersey, football, and suit that no longer fits.

But I'm not OJ and today he'll learn his sentencing following the guilty verdicts he received in October for robbery and kidnapping.

Karma? I don't know.

I pretty sure the following things will happen today though:

  • Johnnie Cochrane will rise from the dead and defend OJ.
  • Robert Kardashian will rise and die again after watching an episode of his family's reality TV Show.
  • William Vannatter will leave his farm and join the Las Vegas PD.
  • Judge Sam Alito will take the appeal trial.
  • Marcia Clark will come back with another hairstyle from the '80s.
  • Mark Fuhrman will solve the Natalie Holloway case.
  • Robert Shapiro will stop selling LegalZoom.
  • The Goldman family will all grow 'staches like Fred Goldman.
  • Gil Garcetti will now run the Las Vegas Police Department.
  • Al Cowlings will crash a white Ford Bronco into the courthouse.
  • John Starks will keep throwing up three-point bricks for the NY Knicks against the Houston Rockets in a rematch of the NBA Finals.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Remembering Your First . . . eBay Card Purchase

Doesn't everyone remember their first? The first card they purchased on eBay!

I was going through some of my cards Thursday night for several reasons. Most importantly because Mario @ Wax Heaven said I needed to have more card posts if I wanted a snowball's chance in Hell of cracking the "Heavenly Seven!"

OK, I'm exaggerating a bit, but the "Heavenly Seven" is my not-so-secret blogger achievement goal!

Seriously now, this 1992 Babe Ruth Collection Card was the first one I purchased eBay ten years ago. I know, many will laugh, but I'll admit it. I liked it. And still do really. I didn't care who made it, how (in)valuable it was, or how it had no significance to the card hobby. I think I paid a dollar for it and that was probably overpaying. But I still like it because:

  • Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Tris Speaker on one card was (and still is) pretty cool to me.
  • The photo is taken after their playing days (obviously).
  • The card highlights their Total Bases with a list of the top 20 (at the time) list on the back.
  • Cobb, Ruth, and Speaker had 16,760 combined bases!
What was your first eBay card purchase?

PSA Applauds Brooklyn Bat Boy Forgeries

I read this article on the PSA site and originally thought it would be about the great autographs the Brooklyn Bat Boy was able to collect.

Instead, I read an article about that applauds great forgeries and the technique used by the Brooklyn Dodgers' Bat Boy. I thought PSA was there to authenticate legitimate autographs and not celebrate the success of someone who learned to write Duke Snider's name with a strong "D" and "S."

The PSA Writer adds,
"One must keep in mind that these balls were signed to accommodate mostly fans, not collectors. Autograph collecting was not as popular or sophisticated and rarely was monetary value attributed to them prior to the 1970s. The recipient of one of these balls never questioned the legitimacy."

I couldn't disagree more. Isn't a fan who gets an autograph baseball a collector too? Does the popularity of an item determine if it's OK to use a fraudulent signature?

The recipient didn't question the authenticity of the baseball because they trusted the team and the players. The fans didn't think it was a tedious task for a player to write their name 10 times a day.

Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm in a cranky mood, but I'd prefer the sports memorabilia authenticators to celebrate legitimate autographs, and not trivialize and applaud fakes regardless on if they are from the 1950s, 1850s, or 2000s. I'm fine with PSA doing an article on the Brooklyn Bat Boy, but lets not blow it off because the fans/collectors didn't know any better at the time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sports Card Hall of Fame - Great Idea from Sports Card Info

Edit 12/3 @ 1:14pm ET.
Sports Card Info had great post on Tuesday about a National Sports Card Hall of Fame & Museum. I think something like this would be great! Sports cards are a reflection on our history - a museum to showcase this would be outstanding. Thank you Sports Card Info.

Beckett did a virtual baseball card hall of fame a couple of years ago, but I don't know if it still exists. I remember the 1989 Upper Deck #1 going in. Maybe Eric can give us an update?

As a stepping stone to the real thing, I'd like to see the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown have a baseball card wing. I think the roots of the hobby are in baseball and seems to me it would be a logical place to start.

I'm going to see if I can get a reaction to someone at the Baseball HOF about this. Last year, they were very quick to respond about questions I had about the Mitchell Report's place in the HOF.

Edit: I received an email from Craig Muder, the Baseball HOF Comm. Director, saying the Hall of Fame does have an exhibit dedicated to baseball cards including the Honus Wagner Card. Thanks to Craig for the speedy reply.

A Baseball Card Museum may seem odd to some, but I found a few museums that definitely more obscure than a baseball card museum would be:

  • Lunchbox Museum, Salem, AL
  • Frog Fantasies Museum, Eureka Springs, AK
  • Barbie Hall of Fame, Palo Alto, CA
  • Banana Museum, Altadena, CA
  • Phosphate Museum, Mulberry, FL
  • Mushroom Museum, Kennett Square, PA
  • McDonald's Museum, Des Plaines, IL
  • Museum of Bad Art, Dedham, MA
  • Carhenge, Alliance, NE
  • International Checker Hall of Fame, Petal, MI
  • Cockroach Hall of Fame, Plano,TX

Days of the NHL - Like Sands through the Hour Glass

OK, maybe on a Page 6 rampage, but this story about Sean Avery is really funny.

Avery was suspended on Tuesday for saying, "I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about. Enjoy the game tonight."

The Dallas Star was commenting about his former girlfriend, (actress) Elisha Cuthbert, dating Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Avery apparently also dated model Rachel Hunter who is now marrying the Kings' Jarrett Stoll.

Remember when Hockey players were suspended for fighting and other on-ice infractions?
Personally, I'm not sure what the big deal is for the league to step in here. Let the game police itself and see how Avery does when he gets on the ice vs. Calgary. I'd think the Flames would step up for one of their teammates and make Avery pay their own punishment for his comments. Although there is a fine line between comments like this and the soap opera of the WWE.

Gary Bettman should also be happy with Avery because at least he did something Bettman couldn't . . . put the NHL back in the news.

Thanks NY Daily News for this story.

NY Mets Art Shamsky in Page 6 of the Post

Art Shamsky was signing autographs last month at MAB's Amazing Mets Fest. He was great with the fans and pushing his book, "The Magnificent Seasons."

Today Art Shamsky is in the middle of Page 6 in the NY Post and being sued by his ex-wife for $11 Million dollars in damages for spreading more than the pages of his book. According to Page 6 of the Post, the ex-Mrs. Shamsky is claiming he passed an STD to her after he engaged in unsafe squeeze plays with men and women while the two were still married.

Shamsky was a member of the 1969 Miracle Mets and hit over .300 that season. He also played for the Reds, Cubs, and A's.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Michael Phelps - Card of the Year?

Michael Phelps was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. Does that make this card the sports trading card of the year?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Baseball Hall of Fame - If I Could Vote

Baseball released the ballot for this year's Hall of Fame. Voters submit their ballots next week.

The 23 players on this year's Hall of Fame Ballot include:

• Harold Baines - I know it's wrong, but I can't vote for a full-time DH.
• Jay Bell - Just be happy you're in this group.
• Bert Blyleven - Yes, His complete game numbers are amazing.
• David Cone - Great post season success, but I don't think the career numbers are enough. Tough decision though.

• Andre Dawson - Yes, he dominated an era before PEDs
• Ron Gant - No one stepped in the 'bucket' more often.
• Mark Grace - He was the '90s Hit King, but I don't think that's enough.
• Rickey Henderson - Rickey loves Rickey in the HOF.
• Tommy John - Yes, because of his contribution/recovery with his surgery. He was the guinea pig that extended several HOF careers.
• Don Mattingly - Another tough call, I go with the same arguement as Trammell.
• Mark McGwire - Come clean or go home.
• Jack Morris - Tough call, but I'd like to see it given his post-season success.
• Dale Murphy - Not until Dawson and Rice are in.
• Jesse Orosco - Yes - he saved Game 7! Seriously though, I don't expect Jesse to get a vote!
• Dave Parker - Part of championship teams, but I don't think so.
• Dan Plesac - See Jay Bell.
• Tim Raines - 2nd best lead-off man for a generation (behind Rickey)
• Jim Rice - Yes, same argument as Andre Dawson.
• Lee Smith - Yes, I think closers should get more credit.
• Alan Trammell - Yes, he was the face of a franchise for a generation.
• Greg Vaughn - See Jay Bell.
• Mo Vaughn - Was on path for Cooperstown, then got addicted to Twinkies and slipped on the Angels dugout steps.
• Matt Williams - Biggest casualty of the 1994 strike.

Your thoughts?

1986 Mets Game Six Project - My Holy Grail

Finished! Well, at least good enough for me.

This 1986 World Series Game 6 Moment is my Holy Grail. Sure, there are greater moments in sports history, but for me, this is it. I talked about chasing your sports card/memorabilia Holy Grail last week and had some great responses.

The autographs on my 1986 Game Six Moment include:
- Mookie Wilson
- Bill Buckner
- Bob Stanley - Relief Pitcher
- Bill Robinson - First Base Coach
- Dale Ford - Home plate Umpire

It's my Holy Grail because of the chase to get some of those autographs and because of the moment it captures - it was a big part of my childhood. Living in southern New Jersey at the time, I became a Mets fan in 1984 - I hold Doc Gooden and several friends from Logan Elementary School responsible! By the time the '86 season came, I knew the starting rotation, starters, subs, relief pitchers, coaches, checked the box scores daily, and I had my favorite WWOR TV announcers. Even at that age I didn't like Tim McCarver!

I can still remember waking up everyone in our townhouse that magical Game 6 night by jumping on the couch and screaming as Mookie Wilson ran to first and Ray Knight floated down the third base line. It's hard to describe, but if you've had one of those defining moments, then you know what I'm talking about.

The first autograph on my Game Six Moment photo was Bill Robinson. I was lucky to get his autograph just two months before he passed away. The next autograph was Dale Ford. Earlier this year I talked about my TTM success with Dale. Bob Stanley was next. He was very nice and laughed when I asked him to sign. He hadn't seen many of these pictures with Dale Ford's autograph.

Finally, this November I got Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner to sign this 16x20 photo of the moment of the 1986 World Series. Mookie was great. He looked at the other autographs and said, "Yeah, this is how you do it." Bill Buckner didn't say much. He also signed a baseball for me, but he really didn't say anything about signing my Game 6 Moment photograph. (More on Buckner later this week, but I think he deserves more credit than he's given.)

Sure I could get Rich Gedman's autograph if I wanted to head up to New England, but that's a long trip from central Ohio for a Rich Gedman signature.

So now what? Do I start another project? I have a few helmets where I'm trying to get certain teams to sign, but I'm pretty sure those will never be finished. I think I have to start some kind of new project - isn't that why we're collectors? Or does that make us addicts?