Tuesday, January 29, 2008

February Football Beckett Report

You call that a prize?

I just received my February Football Beckett and I'm wondering if Beckett is having financial difficulty. Usually they have cool prizes for their contests, but this one . . . not so much.

On page 21, their Collection Challenge "prize" is NCAA Football '08 for the PS2. What?

The "prize" is an 8 month old game... for a last gen console? Come on Beckett. Don't you think anyone who wanted to play that game has already bought or rented it? And if they didn't do it as soon as the game hit the shelves, they've probably played it some time during the actual NCAA football season!

What happened to the cool printing plates, box of cards, or MitchellNess jersey?

When Sports Memorabilia Goes Too Far

What is the worst piece of sports memorabilia you can image? Check out this eBay auction.

Yes, that's a game used, autographed jock-strap they are selling on eBay! I don't know if I'd more embarrased to sell it, bid on it, or mark it as "watched item" on My eBay. I read this on another blog last week and Beckett pointed it out yesterday.

I did a quick search on eBay and found these other items:
Top 10 Too Personal Items Sold on eBay
(other than Ryan Braun’s jock strap)

10. Richard Simmons’ shorts
9. Britney Spears’ STD Cream
8. Marv Alberts’ hair piece
7. Pete Rose’s betting slips
6. Mark McGwire’s ‘98 androstenedione bottle
5. Lorena Bobbit's scissors
4. Barry Bonds’ game used Clear
3. Monica’s blue dress
2. Tom Brady’s black book
1. Wilt Chamberlin’s. . . uh, nevermind

Tom Glavine Still Milking NY for Every Penny

What the hell is Glavine doing? Months after he decided to bolt the NY Mets so he could play soccer mom in Atlanta, Glavine is back in the NY area signing autographs.

Glavine was part of MAB's Yankees fest last weekend. I didn't make it to this show, so I don't know how well Glavine was received and how many people he had in line.

I'm guessing he had quite a few people in his autograph line considering his career accomplishments.
I'm not faulting MAB - he has plenty of career accomplishments that people would like to collect . . . my problem is with Tommy.

This guy's a joke. "No I don't want to play for your team, but for $100 I'll sign a baseball for you!"

Having Glavine back in the NY area for autograph show is just as bad as George Foster signing 1986 World Series memorabilia!

Monday, January 28, 2008

McFarlane to Sign @ Super Bowl Experience

Our friends at the Beckett Blog say Todd McFarlane may be signing at Saturday's Super Bowl Experience.

I saw Todd McFarlane at the Super Bowl 40 Experience and he was really cool. He talked to people in his booth at the Topps Trading Card Show and couldn't have been a nicer person to everyone. And he didn't just talk about this McFarlane Sports Figures (that I think have gone too retail), but he also talked sports. He talked about his fantasy team, the odds on the Super Bowl, and just about anything else you may have asked him.

If you like his McFarlane Sports Figures, Spawn, or any of his comic book art, then I'd definitely recommend stopping by his booth. I'm hoping the rumor is true and he does do some autographs on Saturday - I plan on being there.

So now the question is... What do I get him to sign?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It’s Not the ‘Roids, It’s Their Age

Are athletes named in the Mitchell Report going to lose endorsement dollars? Of course they are, but it’s because they are old!

A recent study by Paul Verna at eMarketer claims that baseball athletes named in the report will lose endorsement money. Sports Illustrated’s “Fortune 50” has three players named in the report: Roger Clemens (21), Barry Bonds (28), and Andy Pettit (41).

I disagree with Verna’s claim that these players will lose endorsement money because of the report. I believe they’ll lose endorsement money because 2/3 of them aren’t playing! Clemens isn’t coming back (again), Bonds is looking for a team while his federal trial looms, and Pettit has already said that this would be his last year – after nearly retiring this fall.

Unless your name is Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, or George Foreman – endorsement dollars drop when you are no longer playing your sport.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Rickey Doesn't Like Rickey Being Sued

MAB is sticking right back to Rickey Henderson. MAB-Celebrity is suing Rickey Henderson for breach of contract according to today's NY Post. Apparently Rickey didn't feel like fulfilling his autograph commitment so Rickey decided not to go to the show. : )

In an earlier entry I discussed how autograph companies need to stop treating these athletes like babies - apparently, MAB is starting to use that strategy. I've been to too many shows in the past year where athletes are cancelling or showing up late for no good reason.

While this is a decent risk for MAB - their lawsuit is only for $5,000, I hope it sets a precedent. Athletes are big boys and girls and need to be held accountable for their commitments and their actions. I hope other autograph companies take note of the honorable stand MAB is making and hold their athletes accountable too.

Congrats to MAB for taking a stand. I think they are doing the hobby a service by not taking this crap any more.

Autographs on Trading Cards Can Customize Your Collection

I'm starting to change my position on not being in favor of getting autographs on trading cards. I like the trading card art and design and always felt that take a sharpie marker to it degrades it a bit. However . . . I think an autograph collection on trading cards can really customize your collection and that is what makes your collection more valuable to you.

I have also seen some really cool collections at some recent shows. A couple of people have had team sets with autographs for each player and a Heisman Trophy card collection with autographs. A lot of people in the hobby also try to get autographs through the mail and typically have better luck when they send a card in with an SASE.

The Beckett and JSA grading merger can now authenticate these card signatures which may or may not affect the value of the card.

I don't think it's wise to pay $$$ for an autograph on a trading card, but it could be a great way to do a customized team set.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

PayPal Treating Customers Like Dirt

I hope this story has a happy ending, but this is just insane!

I got an email yesterday from PayPal saying that my account was frozen. It turns out, it was frozen because I tried to sell Super Bowl tickets. What? PayPal asked me to complete the following steps:

  • Confirm my identity
  • Confirm my location
  • Submit receipts
  • Confirm my soc. sec. #
  • Provide proof of shipping
  • Set my credit check address
Seven steps to prove I am who I say I am because . . . I didn't sell anything! That's right, I didn't sell anything.

My background: I've been on eBay for 9 years, have over 500 transactions, and have 100% positive feedback. I use eBay as my garage sale and have sold old trading cards I no longer want.

But because I tried to sell my Super Bowl tickets, PayPal decided to treat me as a criminal. I'm all for PayPal doing their due dilligence with someone who just opened an account, but after 9 years with eBay and over 5 years with PayPal? This is just stupid.

So now PayPal wants a copy of my tickets. As if the other 7 steps weren't enough... they want a scan of my tickets. Which as you know, is a security risk that eBay warns sellers not to do. I'm hoping Chris Nerat @ the Gavel Chat blog has some good advice.

This is easily the worst case of customer service I've ever experienced.

Update 1/23: I get an email from PayPal saying they need a copy of my driver's license (as if the credit check, bank account, and credit card information wasn't enough) and a copy of the tickets. I find it amazing that my account is frozen first... and then they ask questions. It's like Jiffy Lube saying they aren't going to service your car until you provide proof of ownership!

Update 1/24: The BBB has received my complaint and is working with PayPal. This is now registered as a complaint against them. I got an email from the eBay Strategies blog who said I should inform Bill Cobb @ eBay. I sent him an email this morning.

Update 1/27: My email to Bill Cobb @ eBay was forwarded to PayPal which isn't changing their stance. They demand a photo ID and a scan of the tickets to prove I'm not guilty of a scam, before they unfreeze my account. Sounds familiar to the Salem Witch Trials - if the bound and gagged person floats, then she's a witch. But if she sinks to the bottom, then she's innocent.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Free TV When You Buy an Autograph Football?

Is it a Free TV or a Free Autograph Football? Has memorabilia collecting gone so mainstream that autograph footballs are incentives to buy TVs? Circuity City believes that's the case.
On Sunday morning my bleary eyes picked up an interesting caption in the Circuity City newspaper advertisement - autograph footballs! If you buy a 40" or bigger Samsung TV, then you get a free autograph football from a Hall of Fame player of your choice.
What? Are you kidding me? The same company that gives you a Hanna Montana CDs for buying a new stereo is now giving autograph footballs?!
I'm all for growing interest in the hobby and opening the doors to everyone, but I think this is going to far. What's next? Walmart selling baseball cards? Ooops....

Friday, January 18, 2008

George H.W. Bush Autographs

A few weeks ago I received an email from someone trying to sell George H.W. Bush autographs. It sounds interesting, but the seller seemed to do everything he could NOT to sell his products.

Unless you are getting an in-person autograph (which is the best way to do it) you have to ask a seller these 3 key questions before buying a product from a private signing.
1. What is the Certificate of Authenticity? Any one can make a certificate, but what makes his COA special?
2. Do you receive a photo of the person signing the item. In today's digital camera age, that's not asking too much.
3. Get the specifics. Find out the exact date of the autograph session, when will you get your item, and what examples can the seller provide.

I was very interested in the products when I began asking the seller these questions. His items for sale included an autographed Yale baseball jersey, a baseball bat, and a 11x14 photo of Bush meeting Babe Ruth. It was very cool stuff.

Unfortunately, this seller didn't have any specific information. His website and order form only took personal checks (who doesn't have PayPal these days). His brochure was a 4 page Word Document in Times New Roman font, all capped, and in italics. He also would not provide a photo of Bush signing the items or previous photos of signed items. This seller’s website was also weak. He had pictures of Bush and talked about himself, but it still didn't have any proof.

I’m not expecting people to be design experts, but if you’re going to ask me for $$$$, then you can at least spend more than 5 minutes on your marketing plan. You need to sell us on you and your product - a $2 web site and brochure isn't going to do it.

This guy may be legitimate, may have sold plenty of items, and may have had a successful signing. But his "marketing" didn't prove anything to me.

As collectors we need to be more informed, ask these tough questions and demand more from the private signing autograph companies. We need to do a better job at protecting our investments and the hobby.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Emmitt Smith's '08 Highlight on MNF

What the heck is Emmitt saying? I've heard from A LOT of people in Dallas that Emmitt isn't the nicest person to deal with.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cowboys Sopranos Finale

Repost - I deleted the other some home! Sorry.

Super Bowl Tickets Anyone?

I'm starting to pick myself up off the ground following Dallas' horrible performance on Sunday vs. the Giants. Now I need to decide what I should do with my Super Bowl tickets. They should arrive on Thursday - I got the email from the NFL this week saying they were being sent via FedEx.

As I sort through eBay looking at the auctions, Chris at the Gavel Chat has a great article on Super Bowl ticket scams.

OK... I've decided to see what I can get for my tickets on eBay. It has a high reserve, so it may not sell, but we'll see. It's the dilema of do I finally go and see a Super Bowl or do I sell them and take the whole family on a vacation later?

Ugh... this would have been easy if Jason Garrett could get a receiver open vs. a JV Giants secondary!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cowboys Sopranos Finale

ESPN's Countdown show has been going downhill... but Kenny Mayne saves it.

This Sopranos/Cowboys finale is helping me get over Sunday's loss!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Voices of the Game Autograph Show

Many of us first started listening to games on the radio and your connection to a team is via the voice describing the plays. I think the best part of XM Radio is getting to listen to the home team's radio annoncers.
Why not have a Voices of the Game autograph show! Get a baseball signed, 8x10 photos, bobbleheads, or some kind of 'old school' microphone stand!?
Imagine getting autographs for:
  • Vin Scully

  • Bob Shepard

  • Harry Callas

  • Bob Eucker

  • Ernie Harwell

  • Brad Sham

  • Verne Lunquist

  • Pat Summerall
And those are just the names I could think of off the top of my head.

There aren't too many of these legends around any more and it would be a great tribute and show if a promoter could do one. I think MAB would do a great job with this one.

I also posted the topic on the SigningsHotline Bulletin Board if you have a membership there. If you think this would be pretty cool - go on the bulletin board and post a message. Or send MAB an email.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

SportsCenter Jumps the Shark Again

The 6:00 pm ET SportsCenter last night started with Joe Gibbs retiring, Goose Gossage going in the HOF, and Tony Romo's vacation during an off-week. What?!?

Yes, the third story in SportsCenter was about Tony Romo going to Mexico for a few days with Jessica Simpson, her family, Jason Whitten and his wife. What the hell is SportsCenter doing! This isn't Entertainment Tonight!

In ESPN's eyes, this Romo story trumps the Football National Championship played just the night before, Roger Clemens steriod saga, and Andy Pettit saying he won't testify before Congress.

What are they doing at SportsCenter these days!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Goose is In, But Rice Is Not

Goose Gossage will FINALLY get into the baseball HOF. What took so long? Once again, the baseball writers get it right, but at their own slow pace.

Gossage was the only one elected by the writers. Jim Rice fell just short again.

Rice deserves to be in HOF - especially after all of this steroid, PED, Mitchell Report talk. Rice's numbers aren't inflated: he didn't have smaller parks, expansion depleted pitching, and PEDs. His numbers are legit and he deserves to be in.

Expect the Goose to be on the autograph circuit a bit more and his cards to surface on eBay. I saw Goose at an MAB show last year. He was the nicest person to everyone and was even shaking hands to anyone who offered as he walked through the hotel lobby.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Cart . . . Horse . . .

Cart . . . Horse . . . Before. . .

Should Ohio State really start selling this stuff 4+ hours before kick-off after what happened last year?

More Spin Than a Primary Pollster

The Roger Clemens Spin Machine went into high gear Sunday night. Clemens answered softball questions from Clemens fan (err, Yankee fan) Mike Wallace on 60 minutes.

This interview was about as credible as watching Hugo Chavez interview Fidel Castro about the pitfalls of communism. Does Wallace think we don't know he goes to Yanks games?

The Sports Kolache has a great take on Clemens' interview. I think he's right-on with his grade of the Clemens' spin machine.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Keep Your Mug to Yourself

I don't really care what other bloggers look like. To be honest, I prefer not to see other bloggers.

Yet some bloggers feel required to add their photo to the banner of their blogs and this is starting to bother me. If anyone reading your blog cared enough to know what you look like, then we'd check out your my space page. I don't know if these "photogenic" bloggers are:

  • Simulating their dreams of having a newspaper column,
  • Trying to make their local sports TV anchor jealous, or
  • Proving that all this time living in their mother's basement is actually improving their skin complexion.

Whatever the reason, please, please, please stop putting your face in the blog banner!

Having your photo on the blog doesn't prove to me that you are a real person, that your mom believes you look Brad Pitt, or that you grew out of your awkward stage. It tells me that you have a web cam and a low self-esteem.