Friday, May 30, 2008

Autograph Collecting Dilema - Which Helmet? Dallas or TCU?

I'm preparing for the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA in July but can't decide what autograph to get? I collect mostly Dallas players and that includes both Dallas Texans franchises (the ones that moved to Baltimore and KC).

Len Dawson is signing at the show and he's a former Dallas Texan (see picture of helmet). But Bob Lilly is also signing at the CSA Show which leads to my dilema. I'm a Bob Lilly fan and thought it would look great to get a 1960 TCU helmet made by Helmet Hut.

Ugh! Which helmet do I get?!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

St. Paul Saints Bobblefoot

As I blogged on Friday - eBay is selling plenty of the Bobblefoot SGAs. Here's one that's over $100 so far. Most seem to be around this price range.

If you get one, be sure to get one that has a ticketstub included - that increases its value from a collectability standpoint.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sports Collector's Digest Contest - Topps Prizes

Topps opened the vault to Keith Olberman and Sports Collector's Digest.

Chris at the Gavel Chat blog has a link to a survey where you can win some of the Topps prizes - and they are pretty cool. All you have to do is complete part of a survey to be entered to win. Yea, "part" of a survey. You don't even have to complete the whole thing!

There's a video link on Gavel Chat with a description of the Topps prizes - the main prize is a Nolan Ryan Topps contract. Now that is awesome! There's also a link to the Olberman column with SCG.

My 2 Cents:
It's actually a pretty good survey. I like taking surveys like this because it gets you thinking. It easy to get so wrapped up in a hobby that you forget to take a step back and think about what you like, dislike, and look at hobby trends. This is one of those surveys that makes you think why you like the hobby and what you'd like the hobby to become.

Check it out and enter to win!

Best Baseball Stadium Giveaway? Bobble foot?

The St. Paul Saints will give the first 2,500 fans to a May 25 game a "bobble foot!"

It's interesting that the Saints' web site doesn't mention Minnesota Senator Larry Craig's bathroom bust, but the bobble foot design is a bathroom stall, with a foot that peaks out of the bottom and “taps” up and down.

The St. Paul Saints say this is for National Tap Dance Day. Yeah right! The web site says people tap their foot because they are impatient.

For those that don't remember, an undercover cop claimed that Craig "tapped his toes several times and moved his foot closer to my foot" while using an airport restroom. The officer claims this is code for seeking something other than "sparing a square."

How much will these sell for eBay next week?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is Pepper Hastings leaving Beckett?

Blogging is a community event. You actually feel like you get to know people who post on your blog and vice-versa. You can get idea of what their personality is like and learn their interest.

Since Pepper started doing the majority of Beckett commentary on the blog, the community has started to expect:

  • timely replies to Beckett bog entries,
  • answers to questions on other blogs, and
  • quick witted responses.
During an entry on Beckett's blog Thursday, Pepper announced that he only had a week and a half left. I'm not sure if that means he's leaving Beckett, leaving the blogging community, or heading to the campaign trail to be Ron Paul's running mate.

Either way - Pepper, thanks for all you did with the Beckett blog and for stopping by this one. Good luck in your next challenge.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

NFL Rookies at the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Stay on the look out for Canton, OH area shows, dealers, and Pro Football Hall of Fame Events.

All NFL rookies will visit the HOF in the next three months - this is due to their leaugue orientation program. This could be a great opportunity to get some rookie autographs. The HOF site has a list of all the rookie orientation visitation days.

MAB and John Lester Strike When the Iron's Hot

I received an email this week from MAB Celebrity Services about a Private Signing with John Lester.

Some will say this is aggressive and too slick. Some will say it is similar to the eBay freenzie that occurs whenever a sports figure or someone in pop culture makes the news. But I think it demonstrates MAB's service and speed to meet their customers' demands.

There are plenty of people who collect no hitter autographs on lithos, baseballs, or bats. MAB recognizes this and provides this service immediately to their audience. John Lester was already under contract with MAB.

I don't know how the prices compare to other no-hit pitchers or if Lester's prices have jumped because of this week's game. If you didn't get the email, check out the MAB site. I've gone to their shows in North Jersey, but I haven't done a private signing with them. I've heard from other collector's that their service and speed and is fantastic.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Howard Hop-a-Long Cassady OSU Autograph Signing

Some autographs add to the look of your collection and some enhance the look to your collection. This "Hop-a-Long" Cassady autograph enhances a collection.

I went with a friend to a Hop-a-Long signing Friday night by Cardboard Memories at the Buckeye Store in Polaris Mall. This picture shows why this is an autograph that enhances a collection. Cassady signed an official Ohio State University throw-back helmet (made by HelmetHut) from the 1954-55 season.

Of course, a signature of a 50's Heisman trophy winner would great on almost anything: football, current mini helmet, or a current OSU full-size helmet. But look at how much more authentic and unique this piece is because of the helmet.

Cardboard Memories did good job running the show. Except the line was a first-come-first-serve style. I think the numbering system (based on when you bought the autograph ticket) is better. Most of the line was outside the store and they allowed 5 people to enter at one time. Once inside they did a good job of keeping things moving, allowing anyone to have a picture taken with Cassady and giving you a free COA sticker.

Hop-a-long was nice to everyone, he didn't say too much to the guests, but he was very courteous with people posing for pictures. Especially with the guy in front of me who couldn't figure out how to turn his camera on!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cardnials' Isringhausen on the DL - deja vu?

So Cardnials closer Jason Isringhausen is on the DL after punching a TV and damaging his hand.
Hello Mets fans. . . does this sound familiar? 1995 Izzy broke his wrist trying to punch a trash can.

Will someone please teach Jason how to punch and introduce him to a punching bag so he doesn't kill himself?

Local Autograph Show Friday Night

I'm going with a buddy to a local autograph event Friday night. Hopefully I'll be able to put some pictures on the blog this weekend or Monday.

There shouldn't be too many people at the signing. This guy signs a lot and it's at a small store.

My friend is using a helmet that he bought from HelmetHut. I think it looks great and I can't wait to see the athelete's reaction to it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Do Cards Really Equal Investments?

The Beckett blog has a great post Wednesday about a guy with 101 ARod Rookie's graded BGS 9.0. Pepper - Thanks for posting the article.

But I don't get it. Maybe I'm old-school (or just old now), but I don't believe there is or should be a such thing as a "graded card investor." You can be an investor and you can be a card collector, but a graded card investor? No.

I like graded cards too (for other reasons that I've discussed on this blog), but your investments should be separate. Has anyone heard of someone retiring thanks to their graded card investments? Has anyone heard of someone buying a home or paying for college thanks to their graded card investments? Help me if I've missed this.

Please correct me where I'm wrong. It's very possible that I am incorrect and I'm just very ignorant about grading card investing - but I don't remember seeing indexes, returns, and other "investment" information in my Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How Would the Yankees Have Treated Joe Torre?

What if Joe Torre had accepted the Yankees one year managerial contract offer?

How would things have been different if Joe Torre, not Joe Girardi, was the manager of a team that is:

  • Playing .500 baseball
  • In fourth place in the AL East
  • Trails Tampa Bay in the standings
  • Four games out of first place in the division
Would Joe Torre still have a job? How would he have been treated by the NY Daily News and NY Post? I think reporters for the Daily News and Post would be making daily calls to the Steinbrenner/Cashman clan about the manager's job status.

What if Torre was the manager and Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes were struggling like this? The NY media and ESPN would be all over him and We'd hear all kinds of cries about Torre's inability to work with young pitchers.

I'm not a Yankees fan - I'm just making an observation and wondering if Joe Girardi's honeymoon in the Bronx is about to end?

Update May 14:
What do you know. . . Baby Boss Hank Steinbrenner is now ripping the Yanks. Here's a link to Wednesday's NY Post.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware - Coming to a Table Near You

Who has signed more autographs this off-season - Demarcus Ware or the entire NY Giants Super Bowl team.

I'm a Dallas fan, so I get the updates whenever a Cowboy is signing autographs. And right now it seems that a week doesn't go by that I don't get an update about Ware signing somewhere.

I typically get the usual Dallas suspects: Mel Renfro, Randy White, Bob Lilly - you know, players that are on the autograph circuit but have actually accomplished something!

I like Demarcus Ware a lot - he's an exciting player. But I'm getting concerned that he's spending too much time in NJ, VA, NY, OK, and TX signing his name instead of preparing for the upcoming season.

I guess it could be worse - he could be going to Mexico with Jessica Simpson.

Has anyone else seen one of their players push the autograph circuit a little too hard during the off-season?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Billy Ripken 1989 Fleer - Ooops?

Yesterday I mentioned how cool it would have been if Billy Ripken was also with Cal Ripken during his book tour. This (see picture) is the card and "inscription" I was talking about. It's a 1989 Fleer.

After some public outcry, a few other versions of this card came out. One had the words blocked out in black, one with white blocks, and I think a few were just old-school Adobe Photoshop scribbles with the "pencil" tool.

I believe this was one of the first big time "error" cards to hit the market. Now, companies make their error cards by putting politicians in the background - ooh, that's going out on a limb. At the time this card demanded a pretty hefty asking price - now you can get it for a $1 on eBay.

What are the chances that Billy even signs this card at shows or out in public?
WaxHeaven has a great article about the story of the card. There's also a site called

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cal Ripken Jr. Book Signing Tour Stop

Cal's book signing promotion tour (Get in the Game) made a stop in central Ohio on Tuesday.

The event was run smooth by Barnes & Noble employees, Cal's people were very nice to everyone and Cal was (as expected) great to meet. He's truly one of the games best ambassadors.

A little league team was his first guest. They had copies of his children's book to get signed. The remaining 200 people were put in groups of 10 based on the ticket numbers they received from Barnes & Noble.

He signed the inside cover page (see picture). It's a real clean signature. Cal did not sign any other items. I saw that some people had baseballs and jerseys, but the book store and his people were very upfront with everyone that he would only be signing his book.

Cal also posed for pictures if you wanted. After every three , he would stand up and his people would take a picture of you and Cal. This was great! Some guys (hello Willie Mays) won't even let you take a picture of him signing your item. But Cal gets out of his seat and walks over to each person for a photo.

I also got to meet some other members at the book store. It was great to share stories and hang out with them for a bit. It was also cool to hear how many people were getting signed books for birthday, graduation and even Christmas presents. It was such a nice change than the garbage you sometimes hear at memorabilia shows where people are talking about how much they can sell the item on eBay and what their item is worth. After all - it is supposed to be a hobby.

Cal's autograph ticket on a baseball or jersey goes for about $200 at an autograph show. At this event, you had to buy a $25 book and he stands up for a photo with you. Not a bad deal!

I was hoping Billy Ripken was around too. I wanted to see if Billy would sign the spine of the book with the same special (F Face) inscription he gave to that Fleer card in the '80s!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What Will This Kid Do if Brett Favre Comes out of Retirement?

I think everyone has had a lucky shirt he played ball in, a lucky hat, or a lucky pair of... whatever. This kid takes it to the extreme!

After 1,561 straight days - he's taking off his Brett Favre jersey. That's amazing. Think about it - he's worn that jersey every Christmas Day and Birthday since 2004.

I give the kid credit, he probably suffered countless wedgies and taunting for wearing the same shirt every day to school for four years. I know he would have suffered in my school.

I heard that when he finally took off his jersey and threw it across the room a NY Giants defensive caught it and ran with it to Phoenix.

Seriously - it would be cool if Brett Favre heard about this and sent the kid a real jersey that fits. Or an Aaron Rodgers jersey!

Ken Griffey Jr. - Why Do You Play Us Like This?

Just when I started to like Ken Griffey Jr., he reverts back to his "I'm better than the team" attitude.

I started to like him again because he seemed to stay healthy (for the most part) and was never implicated in the steroid report - his numbers are real. I don't think the same can be said with some of his homerun hitting contemporaries.

But USA Today (which I read about in the Baseball Think Factory Newstand Blog) has Griffey mentioning his desire to "finish where he began" his career. But of course, he's not strong-arming the Reds! Yeah, just like he didn't strong-arm the Mariners eight years ago!

Back then, Griffey wanted out of Seattle. So the Ms had a deal in place to send him to the NY Mets - Griff refused and went public with his desire to get traded to the Reds. As if Seattle didn't have any trade leverage to begin with, they lost it all with Griffey's public spewing.

Griffey was traded to the Reds and signed a $118 million dollar contract (but he says its not about the money). Meanwhile, Seattle continued to win, make the playoffs, and even set the single-season win record. Griffey got injured again and again, and couldn't help the Reds get over the .500 mark more than once.

Now Griffey says that he'd like to finish his career where it began and play for Championship team.

How many homecomings does Griffey want? I thought it was a homecoming when he came back to Cincinnati? Now he wants one to come back to Seattle? At this pace, he'll have more home states than Hilliary Clinton (Arkansas, Illinois, New York) and George H.W. Bush (TX, ME).

How many championship teams are looking for .229 hitters who keep getting injured and are at the end of their career? The reason these teams are considered "championship" is because they don't have .229 hitters who constantly get injured, make a ton of money, and are at the end of their careers.

Hey Griff, it didn't have to be like this. You didn't have to publicly demand a trade to the Reds in your last year with Seattle. You didn't have to bankrupt the Reds by taking over $100 million from a revenue crunched team. And you didn’t have to end your Reds career by mouthing off about playing for a championship team and returning to a new home. You could have been a leader by hitting for an average higher than your weight, enjoy your “home” with the Reds and celebrate 600 career home runs.

Move on Junior, and don’t let the door hit you …

Monday, May 5, 2008

Get in the Game - Cal Ripken Autograph

It's not every day you get a chance to meet one of the greatest baseball players to ever lace them up!

On Tuesday, Cal Ripken is doing a book signing for his latest work "Get in the Game." I've bought my two copies and have a line for getting them signed. He won't sign baseballs, jerseys and that sort of thing - but the autographs on his book will only cost you... the price of the book.

If all goes as planned, I'll post pictures from the signing on Wednesday.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Down Goes Joe Frazier with the FansEdge Webcast Autographs

Who is doing the email marketing campaign with FansEdge?

I'm on the FansEdge email list, I've bought from them and StarsLive 365 in the past, and I did the Pete Rose event earlier this year. So why am I getting an email for the Joe Frazier autographcast with barely 24 hours to react? The Frasier signing is Friday, May 2, at 4:00pm ET.

Does anyone over there have a marketing background? FansEdge should send the email to their subscriber list and any other list rentals two or three weeks before the event and a follow-up email to people who registered a few days before. I shouldn't be getting my first notification about this the day before.

FansEdge should also give fans the opportunity to watch the autographcast without making a purchase. Then while watching Frazier sign, if they decide to make a purchase, then speak to a customer service associate.

Heck, lets take this a step further. When Frazier is signing autographs for the dealers and private signings, make it a web chat. Let someone sit and type next to Joe and ask him questions that people can submit.

This has a lot of potential - but based on the e-marketing campaign for the Frazier event, I'm not convinced FansEdge and StarsLive 365 can raise it to the level the web event should be.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Roger Clemens - Like Sands Through the Hour Glass . . .

Is Roger Clemens the gift that keeps on giving? Watching his life unfold on the internet and through the NY tabloids is like watching a train wreck - you can't help looking, staring, and being thankful that it's not you in the rear-view mirror.

The amazing thing is . . . All he had to do was speak to George Mitchell when he was originally asked and tell the truth!

During his first press conference about the Mitchell Report, Clemens said that he didn't know what Mitchell wanted to talk to him about. Um, Roger... it's a steroid investigation, what do you think they want to talk to you about?

Since his "I'm not talking to anybody" stance, his career and reputation has been stuck swirling around this performance enhancing drug toilet bowl. And now his lawsuit against Brian McNamee is plunging everything from the bowels of Clemens' past.

First there was the country music star - oh and she was 15 when they met!

Then the NY Daily News linked Roger to a few other pinstripe huggers in Manhattan.

And today there is John Daly's ex wife! The Daily News and have stories about Roger and Mrs. ex-John Daly traveling the country and dancing with boa constrictors! What's next? Roger dancing with just a boa?!

We need to find Dan Duquette and get his reaction!

The only thing missing from this bad day-time soap opera is Paris Hilton, Rupaul, and a bowl of salsa. Lets see what happens next week on Clemens' very own Wisteria Lane!