Friday, January 30, 2009

The National - Submit Your Guest Request

Who do you want to see in the TriStar Autograph pavilion at The National?

My list includes Roger Staubach, Gary Carter, Stan Musial (despite rumors of him not doing shows anymore, I've heard may still come around to a few), Gordie Howe, Joe Namath, Mike Piazza, Bob Boone, Willie Wilson, Bo Jackson and Jennie Finch. Here's the list that appeared last year.

I posted this on the Facebook group, but here's the the form to send your request to TriStar.

Gary Carter Autograph Collection - Hall of Fame

Gary Carter entered the baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. He was elected with Eddie Murray. To end my Gary Carter autograph baseball week, here's Gary's autograph with his HOF inscription.

Who's the best catcher ever? Here's my list:
1. Josh Gibson
2. Yogi Berra
3. Johnny Bench
4. Gary Carter
5. Carlton Fisk
6. Ivan Rodriguez
7. Mike Piazza
8. Jerry Grote
9. Todd Hundley
10. Mackey Sasser

OK, I'm joking of course with 8-10, but I like the top 7.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Florida Marlins Stadium Images

New images have been released for the proposed Florida Marlins baseball stadium.

Miami-Dade County Commissioners and Miami City commissioners vote February 13 on the new stadium (hopefully Friday the 13th doesn't jinx the vote for baseball fans).

It's hard to tell exactly how this could look once finished, but clearly is a move away from newer ball park designs in Baltimore, San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and a couple of others.

Thanks to the Biz of Baseball for posting images.

Gary Carter Autograph Collection - Shea Stadium

This is the only Gary Carter autograph I have without a special inscription. I couldn't think of a good one for this Shea Stadium specialty baseball.

Gary Carter signed this one for me at last year's MAB Metsfest. Again, I asked him to sign it directly under the Shea Stadium logo for display purposes.

Gary Carter signs a lot of autographs with Tri-Star so I'm hoping he'll be at The National this year (did I mention that crazy Facebook group for The National - yes, I'm sick of writing that already). I doubt Gary will be at this year's National considering his new manager job for the Long Island Ducks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gary Carter Autograph Collection - 1984 All Star MVP

Gary Carter Baseball Autograph Collection week continues!

Gary Carter earned his second All-Star game MVP in 1984. The game was held in San Francisco on July 10, 1984.

A go-ahead home run by Gary Carter earned him the MVP. This autograph is under the 1984 All-Star game logo with Carter's MVP inscription. He also signed this for me at the 2007 National.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gary Carter Autograph Collection - 1981 All Star MVP

What? An autograph not on the sweet spot?!

In my opinion, if you're getting a specialty ball signed, then get it right under the special logo. The reason is because of the display. You're going to want to display the baseball with the special logo and the autograph. Get it done this way, so both will show.

Originally, the 1981 All-Star game was going to be played on July 14, but had to be moved back due to the player's strike. As a result, the game was held in Cleveland on August 9. Gary Carter hit two home runs in the game to earn the 1981 All-Star game MVP award.

This autograph is on a 1981 All-Star game baseball and has Carter's MVP inscription. I obtained this one from the 2007 National in Cleveland. If you're on Facebook, be sure to join The National group!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mr. Cub Ernie Banks Autograph

A friend of mine sent this picture to me from last month's Toys for Tots drive in Naperville, IL. Ernie Banks signed a baseball, added the inscription "Mr. Cub," and paused for a great photo opportunity.

Wouldn't it be great if more athletes did this!? Banks isn't looking for a couple more dollars, he's raising funds for a charity.

How much better would local charities do if athletes charged toys, canned goods, meals, or donations in exchange for their autograph. Wouldn't we all feel better about the experience?

I know this is probably more common than I know about. I'm sure there are plenty of athletes that do this type of charity work. I only wish there were more like Mr. Cub.

Gary Carter Autograph Collection - Gold Glove

In addition to being one of the best hitting catchers in baseball history, Gary Carter won his share of gold gloves. Gary Carter is a 3-time gold glove winner (80, 81, 82).

This sweet spot autograph is on a Gold Glove baseball with the Gold Glove years inscribed.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gary Carter Autograph Collection - 1986 Champs

This week I'm posting my ultimate Gary Carter Autograph Baseball Collection. I have several Gary Carter autograph baseballs that I'll post this week.

The first (and most important to me) is the Gary Carter autograph with 1986 World Series Champion inscription.

In the 1986 World Series Gary Carter hit two huge home runs and banged out 9 RBIs for the Mets. Carter's biggest hit was a single in the last inning of Game 6. With two outs and no one on base, Carter started the rally that Mookie Wilson and Ray Knight finished.

Project '62 Blog - Good Karma

Good karma vibes going out to Project '62. Earlier this month the blog announced a Pete Rose project. I received the cards and they are AWESOME.

Thanks for cards and organizing everything. These are great!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Super Bowl 43 NFL Experience

The NFL Experience kicks off this Jan. 24 in Tampa for Super Bowl 43.

If you're in the area, check it out. There's a huge card show, events, autograph sessions. I've been to two of these - Super Bowl 40 in Detroit, MI and Super Bowl 42 in Glendale, AZ.

This year, I noticed they have a text message system to find out where players are appearing. Last year, it was tough to find out when Topps, Burger King, Samsung, etc had players. I picked up some great autographs and it only cost admission to the experience: Archie Manning, Roy Williams (def), Todd McFarlane and a few others.

To get the alerts, text "NFLX" to "Tampa" (82672).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Keith Hernandez is a Hall of Famer

Elaine, "Who does this guy think he is?"
Keith, "I'm Keith Hernandez."

To me, Keith Hernandez is a Hall of Fame player. I believe there is more to baseball than home runs and RBI totals. Keith Hernandez was a leader with the Mets and Cardinals and oh yeah, is the best fielding first baseman in the history of the game.

I've met Keith a few times at different events. Each time he's been great with the fans.

Keith has some great stats that stack up against other Hall of Famer players. Check out this great article and tell me what you think.

The MAB Store - A New Auction House

Fees, feedback and foolishness are driving eBay stores and customers into the arms of other companies like the MAB Store.

Registration is free, but like all auction sites, you have to register to bid for items. I think you can expect more memorabilia or autographs and less sports cards at the MAB store. I don't know what the seller fees and expectations are, but any alternative to eBay is great.

My first impression is the phone number list in the top right corner! I know, it may not seem like much, but if you've had to deal with eBay email customer service or chat, then you know what I'm talking about. To be able to talk to an actual person for help is so refreshing!
I've been to a few MAB shows and have liked every one. I think the people are great and genuinely care about customer service. When was the last time someone said that about eBay or PayPal?!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

30-Year Cardboard Mail Day

Thanks to the great blog, 30-Year old Cardboard for some great Mets cards!

This week I received 7 awesome Mets. My favorites: 1988 Score - Len Dykstra Score, 199 Fleer - Howard Johnson, 2008 UD - Pedro Martinez!

Good blog karma to 30-Year old Cardboard.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The National - On Facebook

The National, National Sports Collectors Convention, will be here sooner than we think! If you're on Facebook, I created a group to join.

You can share photos with the group of previous National conventions you've been to, discuss rumors of guest list for the autograph pavilion, or anything you want. To join, do a group search for "The National."

The only thing I request is that we keep in clean.

1965 Topps - Mets Rookies, Swoboda and McGraw

1965 Topps, #533.

This great rookie card has two Mets who played key roles in the 1969 Miracle Mets season.

Ron Swoboda's 9th inning diving catch off the bat of Frank Robinson helped Tom Seaver pitch a 10 inning complete game and gave the Mets a critical win in the 1969 World Series.

McGraw kept the team loose while saving 12 games in the 1969 season.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bill Belichick sore loser On Jeopardy

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mets Should Bring Back The Fonz - Edgardo Alfonzo

Bring Edgardo Alfonzo back to Flushing!

The Mets need to acquire some depth on their bench and add an insurance policy for the corner infield and the 80 yr. old knees of Luis Castillo. 2006 may have been the last year Alfonzo played in the majors, but he has stayed active in professional baseball, lost a lot weight, and is tearing up the Venezuelan Winter League.

Edgardo Alfonzo is hitting .322 with an on-base percentage of .383 and is slugging .483. He's cranked out 8 home runs and 42 RBIs in 60 games.

Alfonzo is at least worth an invite and a AAA deal. He would be a great fill-in for Carlos Delgado, Luis Castillo, David Wright, and he's a great leader to have in the club house. Alfonzo works hard and plays baseball the right way - qualities the Mets need.

I know Alex Cora just signed with the Mets, but hasn't spent any time at the corner infield positions.

Note to Omar: You can sign a player that never played for the Expos/Nationals. Its OK, give it a try!

Randy White - 1984 Topps

"The Manster" - One of the best nicknames in sports. This is a Randy White 1984 Topps. Randy White has #54 because Tom Landry planned to groom him as his next great linebacker - #54 was Chuck Howley's number.

White never really grabbed the LB position so he moved back to his DT role and earned himself a spot in Canton, OH.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ted Williams Photo - Create the Caption

This is another great photo from the flea market purchase. Here Ted Williams is shaking hands with Bob Knepper at Doubleday Field. The photo is from July 28, 1985 (I think date on the back is a bit blurry).

So a few other blogs to do this: I add the photo, you put the caption, and everyone laughs. I'll start:
- TW, "Bobby - I would have tore you up."
- BK, "So, you would actually have your head frozen?"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Top 50 Sports Announcers - List Needs Some Work

Thanks to Baseball Think Factory for the link.
The American Sports Announcers Association came out with their Top 50 Sports Announcers of all-time list. These all-time type of lists are always interesting and stir discussions.

To start, I totally disagree with Bob Costas being ranked #6 ahead of Jim McKay and Keith Jackson.

I also don't like #31 Joe Buck and #35 Chris Berman ranked higher than Phil Rizzuto. Why is Berman even on this list?!!

How did Bill Walton get ranked higher than Pat Summerall and Harry Kalas. Personally, I think Kalas should be ranked #2!

Where is Verne Lundquist, Bob Murphy and Bob Uecker? I say dump Nantz, Berman and Buck for those guys.

Thanks to Awful Announcing Blog and Blue Heaven for posting the list.

1. Vin Scully
2. Mel Allen
3. Red Barber
4. Curt Gowdy
5. Howard Cosell
6. Bob Costas
7. Jim McKay
8. Keith Jackson
9. Al Michaels
10. Dick Enberg
11. Jack Buck
12. Ted Husing
13. Jack Brickhouse
14. Don Dunphy
15. Graham McNamee
16. Ernie Harwell
17. Marv Albert
18. Harry Caray
19. Jon Miller
20. Bill Stern
21. Chick Hearn
22. Marty Glickman
23. Jack Whitaker
24. Jim Nantz
25. Chris Schenkel
26. Lindsey Nelson
27. Russ Hodges
28. Ray Scott
29. John Madden
30. Bob Prince
31. Joe Buck
32. Milo Hamilton
33. Bob Wolff
34. Chuck Thompson
35. Chris Berman
36. Phil Rizzuto
37. Marty Brennaman
38. Clem McCarthy
39. Bill Walton
40. Foster Hewitt
41. Harry Kalas
42. Johnny Most
43. Bob Elson
44. Brent Musberger
45. Pat Summerall
46. Merle Harmon
47. Dick Vitale
48. Dick Stockton
49. Tony Kubek
50. Bud Collins

Texas Stadium Last Game Ticket Stub

So the team laid an egg for this game.
So the team closed Texas Stadium by not being able to tackle.
So the team's offense choked until it was too late.

It's still a cool ticket stub!

This is a ticket stub from the last game at Texas Stadium - it is my latest purchase from eBay. I'm starting to really like ticket stubs from major events - I think they really help tell the story of the event.

I'm trying to get a few things from Texas Stadium before it's blown to Texas dust.

I exchanged email with the Cowboys Customer Service people yesterday about selling Texas Stadium turf. They still have tours scheduled through the end of this month, but they plan on cutting it and selling pieces of it in Feb. or March.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Emmitt Smith Rookie Card - Game Used Ball

1990 Topps Traded#27T

Game Ball from 10-27-02 game
All Time Rushing Leader

I'm not one for game used pieces in cards and such, but this one I had to get a few years ago.
After Emmitt Smith became the all-time rushing leader, Beckett introduced his 1990 Topps Traded, #27T rookie card with a 9.0 grade and a piece of one game ball from the October 28, 2002 game.

I like the card because it is one of his rookie cards, in great condition, and has some of the lettering from a game used football. It's not Emmitt's best rookie, but still a rookie.

One of my goals this year is to get Emmitt's autograph on my Cowboys Super Bowl Helmet.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Who Would Sit at Your Poker Table?

The weekend is here and a lot of us are bringing back the poker table after a holiday hiatus.

Typically someone shows up with a new card shuffler that doesn't work right, the cellophane is ripped off someone's new chips (but we eventually replaced them with the old ones we liked better), and someone wife's sends her last batch of friendship bread.

The post-holiday banter continues with views of kids getting too many presents, wrong sizes bought for wives and girlfriends and the Christmas tree should be replaced with a Festivus Pole.

But who is sitting at your poker table?
If you had to pick anyone (still breathing) - who would you pick?

Here is my fantasy sports table:

  • Dennis Rodman
  • Charlie Sheen
  • Jennie Finch
  • Todd McFarlane
  • Billy Mays

What Happened to the Gavel Chat Blog?

Does anyone know why the Gavel Chat blog hasn't been updated in about two months? The last post from Chris is from Nov. 3.

I liked reading his blog, he always found interesting sports card and memorabilia topics to talk about. Did Mr. Mint kick him off the blog?! :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Card Grading/Authentication Company Files for Chapter 11

GAI - Global Authentication Services filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection.

I found the story on the SCD site, the GAI site didn't mention anything and was still promoting their services.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Elvis Presley Birthday - 74 Years Old Thursday

The King is 74 and living the life Kalamazoo, MI (or so I believe). Celebrate Elvis' birthday by eating one of his favorite dishes: fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.

There are some cool Elvis Is autograph cards on eBay, but I've only seen the autographs of his movie co-stars like Nancy Sinatra and Barbara Eden. McFarlane toys has some cool Elvis figures too.

If you're in Las Vegas, check out Big Elvis at Bill's Gamblin' Hall and Saloon (formerly known as Barbury Coast). Five Hundy by Midnight rocks!

Long live the King!

Pete Rose 1984 Topps #300

Pete ended the 1983 season with the Phillies a little dissapointed.

The "Wheeze Kids" lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series 4 games to 1. Rose hit .375 in the NLCS against the Dodgers and .313 in the World Series despite getting benched in Game Three.

At the conclusion of that season, the Phils wanted to bring Rose back, but in a more limited role. Pete had a great post season, but during the year his average dipped to .245 (a career low).

In October, Rose (unwilling to take the limited role) was granted his release and signed a free agent contract with the Montreal Expos. Pete spent part of the 1984 season in Montreal before trading himself back to the Cincinnati Reds.

Sorry - This is a bad scan of the card I have, but those blue uniforms rock!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Baseball Hall of Fame Needs Help

When did the Baseball Hall of Fame become a CD Music Club?

On Monday, I received Inning #1 of the Ken Burns baseball documentary along with a postage paid return envelope. Basically, I can:
- Keep the DVD and pay the Hall of Fame to get more, or
- I can use the envelope provided and send it back.

Who is doing the marketing over there? Why are they following college CD club marketing tactics which only captured the guy who lived down the dorm hall from you because he actually believed he would received 100 CDs for a penny! In my dorm, that was the same guy who thought the Dorm RA was cool.

This is the worst marketing I've seen by the Baseball Hall of Fame. They are sitting on the greatest collection of sports history and memorabilia and they best they can do is send me one part of a 15 year old DVD! Are you kidding me? Hasn't every baseball fan on the planet seen this at least 100 times on PBS or already bought the DVD collection? I admit, I own it and I love it. I watch it every spring before the season begins.

The Baseball Hall of Fame can gain membership in better ways than following the Columbia House or BMG marketing playbook. Here are some of my ideas.

  • How about a web cast with a Hall of Fame player. Have a host ask questions and then let participants over the internet ask questions via chat or audio.
  • This is the 20 year anniversary of the Giants/A's Earthquake World Series. Let me hear some audio commentary from Roger Craig, Dave Stewart, Jose Canseco and Will Clark. Bring them to Cooperstown to talk about the World Series and acts of bravery that followed the Bay Area 6.9 earthquake.
  • Let me participate in a baseball Hall of Fame blog.
  • Run a baseball Hall of Fame online trivia tournament. Set it up like Jeopardy has the prescreening and run it all year. The winner gets two tickets to the World Series or something.
  • YouTube some behind the scenes footage of the Hall of Fame. Imagine what is in the basement of that great place!?

I think every baseball fan would love to part of some of these activities.

Baseball Hall of Fame: You can do better than sending me part of a 15 year old documentary series and hoping I subscribe for more. I know someone at the Baseball Hall of Fame reads this blog - I love baseball, please take my suggestions and move the museum into the 21st century.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mets Jerry Koosman Day - Flea Market Photo

Its Jerry Koosman Day at Shea Stadium! Sept. 9, 1989.

In this photo (from my flea market collection) has Frank Cashen is at the microphone announcing to the Shea crowd that Jerry Koosman was entering the NY Mets Hall of Fame.

Jerry Koosman spent part of 12 seasons with the NY Mets before being traded to the Minnesota Twins (a trade that sent Jesse Orosco to the Mets). Koosman then moved to the Chicago White Sox, and the Philadelphia Phillies.

He won 140 games for the Mets including 17 during the Miracle '69 season and 21 in the 1976 season. Koosman is also the answer of great trivia question - he gave up Pete Rose's 4,000th career hit.

More importantly, I'd like to give Jerry Koosman a bottle of Purell!

New Yankee Stars Were Slow Starters in '08

It was all smiles in December when the contracts were signed, but what will the back of the NY Post look like this May?

The Yanks have opened up the checkbooks and bought Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and AJ Burnett for close to a half a billion dollars. As a Mets fan, I'm well aware that championships are won in September/October, but how will the media respond if the Yankees half billion dollar investment doesn't pay immediate dividends?

Based on last year's April and May statistics, the headline writer for the NY Post and NY Daily News could be busy.

Mark Teixiera
Through May, 2008 (54 games): Tex was hitting .271 with 7 home runs and 39 RBIs.

CC Sabathia
Through May, 2008 (12 starts): CC was 3-7 with a 4.73 ERA

AJ Burnett
Through May, 2008 (11 starts): AJ was 5-5 with a 4.56 ERA

Championships may be won in Sept/Oct, but the papers could get pretty interesting this spring. Seven home runs, and eight wins for three players worth half a billion dollars isn't what the Steinbrenner boys are expecting.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bill Buckner Needs a Bailout

Who is next in line for a Federal Government bailout? How about Bill Buckner?

An Idaho car dealership, Bill Buckner Dodge Chrysler Jeep, has closed according to Buckner’s attorney.

From the Idaho Statesman: The dealership sold Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles. Buckner lent his name to the dealership, had a minority ownership, but according to his attorney did not have operational control.

This photo is from the Chicago Sun Times Autograph and Memorabilia show in November, 2008.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Billy Cowan Halo 1972 Topps Card

Billy Cowan isn't the most well-known baseball player and didn't have a stellar professional career, but he left his legacy with his 1972 Angels "Halo" card.

Cowan and the photographer had some good fun with the giant Angels halo that marked the stadium. Thanks to the photographers' eye and Cowan's sense of humor, this card is one of the most popular TTM autograph cards.

Check out the entire article at the Bronx Banter blog. It's pretty interesting.

Thanks to the BronxBanter for writing this and the Baseball Think Factory for bringing it to my attention.