Saturday, November 29, 2008

Texas Stadium Memorabilia Auction

You have until Dec. 6 to bid on items from Texas Stadium. Doesn't a bathroom sign from from Texas Stadium make the perfect stocking stuffer?!

Here's the link. Check it out, if you're in to collecting stadium memorabilia, there are some cool things here on the list. I've always thought ticket turnstiles would be awesome, but I need to place to put them first.

You can also bid on the "throne of champions." Guess what that is!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sports Locker College Football Bowl Pick Contest

Is it really a contest if you don't win anything?

Probably not. But if you want to pick the winners of the college bowl seasonm then join the SportsLocker group I created. It's free, it's through Yahoo. Click here to join.
Group ID: 9902

Group Password: sportslocker

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful for Sports Blogs and Blog Readers

Remember sitting around the school cafeteria Thanksgiving table or family Thanksgiving table and saying what you are "thankful" for?

Thank you to everyone who reads and/or responds to the SportsLocker Blog. I think of this blog as my therapy to escape the turbulent environment where we work, live, and try to play. If reading it, responding to it, or throwing your laptop because of my grammatical errors also helps you escape life for a moment, then I am very Thankful.

I don't have a hidden agenda of trying to get hired by "The Hardball Times." You won't see me counting hits, number of posts in a year, links, RSS subscriptions, or any of that on the blog. Sure, I check all of that, but I really don't think anyone reading a blog cares if it has 15 or 1,500 hits in a week. I also don't think anyone cares if I made the 10th or 100th blog entry. I'm just thankful that you stop by and read it once in a while or RSS the blog.

I write this and read other blogs because I enjoy the sports cards and memorabilia hobby. The social media allows us to grow with our passion. We don't need a once a year "National" to get our fix - we have it every day on the Internet. This is the case for any hobby or fan interest whether it's following Ann Coulter, Anne Taylor, or Taylor Dayne. Whoa - Did I just throw out an '80s Taylor Dayne reference?

I'm also thankful for some of the great blogs out there that follow, report, and give opinions on the sports card and memorabilia hobby. I may not agree with everything they write, but they are part of a healthy dialog that builds our community and improves our hobby. I don't have a SportsLocker Six (yes, I'm still bitter about not being in the Wax Heavenly Seven - j/k), but here are some I'm thankful for:

I'm not perfect - I know I may have missed some blogs. If you have one or read one and think I should include it, then post a comment. I'll add it to the blog roll as long as it isn't Taylor Dayne.

Again, thank you for your readership and comments - I really appreciate it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sports Collecting Holy Grail

We all have it, we all chase it, and we all look forward to the day when it's done - a Sports Collecting Holy Grail.

- What is your Sports collecting Holy Grail?
- How long have you coveted it?
- Did you ever get it?

My Sports Collecting Holy Grail was completed this week. I have been working on this autograph piece for years. The drive to accomplish this has been been fueled by my passion for a team and a distinct moment of my childhood. I'll post more information about it later this week.

Bill Buckner Autograph Baseball

This is one of my Bill Buckner autographs from the Chicago Sun Times Show. I wanted an autograph baseball with "1986 AL Champs" inscribed.

Bill didn't say much. He just signed the pieces and hardly looked at me. And no, I wasn't wearing my Mets jersey!

Later this week I'll photo the other Buckner autograph I picked up - I finally finished my Game 6 Moment autograph piece.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beckett Baseball Magazine Contest

Beckett's blog announced Monday they are having contest to win a Steve Carlton autographed 1980 Philadelphia Phillies pennant.

In 1,000 words or less you have to write who was the best rookie in Major League Baseball history.

I wish they held these contests separate from their magazine for blog readers only. This would really help to build the online community. But check out their blog if you are a Phillies Phan or autograph fan.

Is Jerome Walton your pick too?

Jennie Finch Signing Autographs

Here's the conversation my friend and I had at the Chicago Sun Times Show on Saturday:

My buddy, "Jennie Finch, she's kind of good looking."

Me, "Ah yes, and air is kind of important to breathing!"

Card and Memorabilia Show Weekend

I went to this weekend's Chicago Sun Times Show this weekend. I thought it was run pretty well, there were a lot of dealer tables with good cards, and the autograph pavilion area was nice. I spent most of my time looking at the cards and tables, but I did get a few autographs too.

Bernie Kosar made a rare signing appearance. For being one of the most popular Browns in the last 25 years, he hasn't appeared much on the autograph circuit. I got him to sign my 1990s Cowboys Helmet. Bernie played a minor role and was signed mid-way through the Dallas' Super Bowl XXVIII run. Of course he signed his name like he was the player on the team. Look at how big that signature is! On a helmet with Troy Aikman, Darryl Johnston, Michael Irvin and more... Bernie's signature is biggest! Ah geeze.

Bernie was very cool to everyone though. He talked to us for about minutes discussing Browns football. It's conversations like that which really add to the autograph experience.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chicago Sun-Times Show

Two memorabilia shows this month! I'm off to Chicago tomorrow for the Chicago Sun Times Show.

I'll post some Flickr photos of the event this weekend. I plan on getting autographs from Doc Gooden, Bernie Kosar, Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner.
I'm looking forward to the Mookie and Buckner signing. Chasing their autographs has been my personal River of Doubt with all of the twists and turns.
For those that I've already talked to, I'll see you there on Saturday. If anyone else plans on going, send me an email or post a message to the blog. Hopefully we can catch some good college football games after the show on Saturday.

Betting on the Detroit Lions' 0-16 Season

In Las Vegas, there is a money line on whether or not the Detroit Lions will get a win this season.

According to Thursday's Las Vegas Sun newspaper, you can get +180 that they will go 0-16, and -220 that they will win one of their last six games.
Where are you placing the smart money?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Donovan McNabb Rule Book Card

This should be the new Donovan McNabb card.

Instead of containing a jersey or signature, this card would actually have a piece of the NFL Rule Book on it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NY Mets 1986 Baseball Now with Ray Knight

My New York Mets 1986 World Series project is almost finished.

I added Ray Knight and few others at the MAB Mets show in November. From the 1986 playoff roster, the baseball is only missing:
- Danny Heep
- Mel Stottlemyre (coach)
- Rick Aquilera
- Sid Fernandez
- Vern Hoscheit (dec'd)
- Greg Pavlick (coach)

I'm only adding players that were on the 1986 world series roster on the ball. Obviously there were more than that who played for the Mets that season (Dave Magadan, George Foster, etc.).

Knight was very gracious and really enjoyed looking at the baseball. This was quite a change from my Roger McDowell exchange! Ray even added the 86 WS MVP inscription which I thought was very cool.

Ray was a true gamer when he was with the Mets. He didn't put up the huge stats, but he was a competitor with a fire. I wish someone on the current Mets roster were "carrying the fire" so to speak (credit Cormac McCarthy with that phrase).

NY Mets Last Game at Shea Stadium Ticket

I bought this off eBay last week. It's a ticket from the last game at Shea and the stadium In-Focus paper that highlights the greatest moments in Shea history.

I'm trying to figure out what to do with my Shea items. I have this newspaper, the ticket, a brick from Shea and dirt from Shea stadium. I have to make something out of these pieces, but I haven't figured it out yet.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

T206 Card Auction - Rare Joe Doyle

Here's a T206 Auction that's making news and it doesn't involve Honus Wagner. "Doyle, along with Wagner, Eddie Plank and the Sherry Magee misspelling are the most sought after cards in the T206 series."

Here are a couple of links to the auction information and the T206 Museum.

- thanks to Baseball Think Factory for posting the story -

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Too Can Sound Like an ESPN Fool

-credit to Awful Announcing Blog for this one-

It's the ESPN Sportscaster Microphone! I haven't read the back of the box, but I'm pretty sure it says something like this:

  • Learn to make sentences without a subject or predicate like Emmitt Smith.
  • Voice over your own "Coors Lite 6-Pack of Questions" and other corporate sponsor announcements.
  • Tell tired jokes like Chris Berman.
  • Pretend to know the game of football like Pam Ward.
  • This can all be your for $19.99!

OK, what did I miss?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Arguement with NY Mets Roger McDowell

This the only picture I took of Roger McDowell at the MAB Mets fest on Saturday because he bugged the crap out of me.

I was a big fan of Roger McDowell and I still say the Mets traded their heart away when they sent he and Lenny Dykstra to the Phightin' Phils for Juan Samuel!

On Saturday, I asked Roger for two autographs: 1) On a baseball sweetspot with "86 World Champs" inscribed, and 2) On my 1986 team signed World Series baseball.

Roger took this as opportunity to inspect the baseball and question why Davey Johnson's signature wasn't on the sweet spot. The exchange went like this:

Roger: "Did you tell Davey to sign his name there instead of on the sweet spot?"
James: "Yes, I asked him to sign it exactly where he wrote his name."
Roger: "Why didn't you get the manager to sign the sweet spot? He's the manager."
James: "Because I'm holding that spot for the World Series MVP, Ray Knight."
Roger: "But Ray doesn't hit the home run if Davey doesn't put him in the line-up."
James: "And you're not a World Champion if Knight doesn't hit the home run in Game 7."
Roger: Nodding his head in agreement, McDowell signs the baseball, hands it back and says, "protocol - that's all I'm saying."
James: "Thanks Roger."

Unreal . . . Roger McDowell questioning what I'm doing with my collection. Has this happened to anyone else?

Maybe I should have asked Roger:
"Hey Roger why did you give up that September, 9th inning home run to dead-center field at Shea to Terry Pendleton in 1987? If you hold the lead, get the save, and we win that game, the Mets are 1 game out of first place with Doc Gooden pitching the next day. Instead you gave the Cardinals a 3 game lead and pretty much handed them the 1987 NL East Division Title. Pendelton hit 12 home runs all season and you served him the biggest one."

Or perhaps I could have asked Roger:
"Hey Roger, how did you give up nearly as many earned runs in 1987 as you did in 1986, but pitched in 40 fewer innings? Maybe your protocol should brought you to the knee of Mel Stottlemyre for a little more pitching help that season. His expert tutelage could have served you well against Terry Pendelton in September."

Maybe I should have just asked:
"Hey Roger, are you worried that Terry Pendleton will eventually talk to his old friend Bobby Cox about your crap pitching technique. How does a sinker-ball pitcher give up a home run in one of the deepest centerfields in baseball to a hitter that only hit 11 previous home runs all season during the biggest series of the 1987 season? Maybe TP will tell Bobby to bring Leo Mazzone back to Atlanta and take your job since you seem to be giving it a crapbag effort down there?"

I could have referenced his pathetic, washed up routine on MTV Rock-n-Jock Softball games by asking:
"Hey Roger, why were you a better pitcher against the Baldwin brothers in MTV Rock-n-Jock Softball games than you were against Terry Pendleton in 1987?"

Instead, I made my point and said "thanks." But I do feel better after writing that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jerry Koosman Snot Ball Autograph

Jerry Koosman signed autographs at the MAB Mets Autograph session last weekend. I asked him to sign a baseball with "69 W.S. Champs" inscribed on the sweet spot.

Jerry was very nice and gave a great signature.

I had no idea that in the two seconds to follow, I would forever change my perception of Jerry Koosman, the autographed baseball, and the under-appreciation our society has for a good handkerchief.

I grabbed the baseball with my left hand and extended my right arm to shake his hand and say "thank you."

During the baseball exchange, Jerry, in slow motion, wiped his nose with his right hand and immediately afterwards shook my hand! It was a scene as dramatic, intense and slow as the "Ooooohhhhhhh Ffffffuuuuudge" exchange during the movie, "A Christmas Story."

UGH! I think I threw-up in my mouth again just typing this.

I tried to play it cool, and not disrespect him. I mean, this is Jerry Koosman! He played forever, was a world champion, and gave up Pete Rose's 4,000th career hit. I moved over to the side, put the baseball back in the box, snatched the Purell Hand Sanitizer from my backpack and proceeded to dump 1.5 of the 2 fluid ounce germ killer into my Koosman snot-riddled hands.

The stench of alcohol from my Purell soaked hands may have nearly been enough for all of the former Mets at the autograph tables to pass out. Think about that for a second, the smell of alcohol was nearly too strong for former baseball players to absorb. Nothing against baseball players, but they aren't exactly known to be the prohibition type (especially a group that includes the '86 Mets).

Like a doctor on his way to delivery a baby, I walked out of the autograph area with my hands held chest-high and palms facing me. I casually walked like this out of the exhibition area and into the restroom. Here, I spent the next 10 minutes rinsing, washing, rinsing, washing, and rinsing my hands of the Koosman snot, potential bacteria, and remnants of the Purell.

I've been home a few days, but I haven't removed the baseball from the box I dumped it in after witnessing Jerry Koosman's need for a cold remedy. I'll try to get the courage this week to move the baseball once doomed by Koosman's sinus situation.

Trevor Hoffman to the NY Mets?

Could Trevor Hoffman be the closer the Mets are looking for?

New York, in desperate need for a closer with Billy Wagner injured, may find the all-time saves leader waiting for Omar to throw him a towel in this year's free agent pool.

It appears the Padres have pulled their $4 million dollar offer from the table before Hoffman could get the cellophane wrapper off the autograph pen.

Wagner's contract is not insured, so the Mets are probably not going to pay all of Wagner's contract and another top free agent closer contract in the same season. (K-Rod are you listening?) Hoffman gives the Mets some stability in the 9th and some time to develop closer from the farm system (Eddie Kunz).

Eddie Kunz NY Mets - Mail Call from Padographs

Thanks to Padographs for this Eddie Kunz Metsograph! (credit Padographs)

This is a signed 2008 Bowman Chrome card of future Mets closer Eddie Kunz! Well, I hope he can turn into their closer. Kunz (along with half of Queens) was given a brief chance last year to take the closer job but control problems sent him to back Binghampton.

Kunz has great stuff and seems like the ideal candidate to land a key bullpen role once he finds more command.

Thanks again!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mookie Wilson and Preston Wilson - 1983 Confirmed Photo

Mookie confirmed at the MAB show that this was a picture of him and Preston Wilson from 1983. Last month, I posted the story of this photo.

Mookie was pretty surprised to see the picture when I set it in front of him. He said it was "definitely Preston" and that "he's a little bigger now."

Does Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Want a Do Over?

Did Jerry Jones make a fatal mistake that could set the franchise back 5-10 years?

Last year the Cowboys Owner decided pay Jason Garrett top dollar and make him the next in line to get ... hired/fired. Should the Dallas owner/GM/President have kept Tony Sparano instead?

Garrett has yet to get an offense going that is full of all-pro players: Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Jason Whiten, Roy Williams, Marion Barber and the entire offensive line. Obviously injuries are part of it, but this offensive machine began to sputter near the end of last season too.

Tony Sparano inherited a Dolphins team that only won just a single game last year and has already won 5 games this season.

Should Jerry have allowed Jason Garrett to walk and keep Tony Sparano as the heir-to-Wade?

Ed Kranepool NY Mets Autograph and More

Day 2 of the Mets Autographfest with MAB was Sunday. There were a lot of great signers from the 1962 Mets and the 1969 Mets. Here's a picture of Ed Kranepool a member of both of those historic teams.

I added some pictures to this Flickr group.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mets Autograph Show - Day 1

I created a group and posted some photos of the Mets Autograph show by MAB on Flickr. Here's a picture of "The Franchise."

I'll write more about it later, I need to recover for Day 2!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Billy Mays Pitchmen Reality TV Series

There's another chapter to the Billy Mays story.

Last month I wrote about Billy Mays autographs through-the-mail success and had quite a few comments and emails... so I know I'm not the only Billy Mays fan out there!

Next year, Billy Mays is going to star in a Discovery Channel reality television series: Pitchmen from Gadgets to Glory.

Sports Memorabilia Show this Weekend

I'm off to the MAB show this weekend. I'll post some pictures to the blog this weekend.

As long as there aren't too many cancellations, I think this will be a good show. I hope there are plenty of dealer tables.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One Finch, Two Finch, Jennie Finch Autograph Demand

I knew Jennie Finch would sell autograph tickets, but I didn't know she would sell more than Cal Ripken Jr.

The fall CSA Show had plenty of Hall of Fame players, big name sports stars and Jennie Finch sold more autograph tickets than any of the guests at the show!
She sold more autograph tickets than:
- Franco Harris
- George Blanda
- Cal Ripken Jr.
- Howie Long
- Johnny Bench
- Pete Rose
- Tom Seaver
- Joe Theisman
- Jim Brown

I think selling more tickets than Cal Ripken Jr. within a 50 mile radius of Camden Yards is pretty amazing. Bill Dudley held the #1 autograph ticket spot, but he canceled just before the show again.

You could get any item autographed by Jennie Finch for $30. She is also signing autographs at the Chicago Sun Times show on Nov. 22.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Do Gas Prices Affect Your Card Show Attendance?

I've been reading a lot lately about gas prices affected attendance at card and memorabilia shows. If you're driving a few hours to a show, are you checking the prices at the pumps?

To me, the gas prices are not the determining factor on if I'm going to a card show, but maybe I'm the only one. If gas prices are $2.00 or $2.50 a gallon, does that really matter if you're driving to show were you're going to pay $5-$10 to get in, spend $10-$20 on food/drink, buy a box/pack, buy a few single cards, and pay $$ for autographs?

Is that extra 50 cents per gallon of gas keeping collectors away from the shows? Or are dealers using that as an excuse?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Doc Gooden's 'Lil Doc Autographs at Mets Show

Lil Doc is joining Papa Doc at the MAB Mets show Nov. 8th. The MAB site is listing autographs for Lil Doc (Gooden's spawn) on their site.

Both Gooden's will sign the CD if you buy it on site for $3. I could only find this MySpace page for Lil Doc after a quick Google Search. This isn't exactly my taste in music, but I'm tempted to get it signed just to have the picture!