Thursday, April 30, 2009

Billy Mays Pitchmen Season 1: Episode 2

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

After watching the second episode of "Pitchmen," I'm noticing a theme with the series: The chase for the American Dream,!

Two products were highlighted in episode 2:

  • Dual Saw by Frederick from France
  • Shuffles by Kristen of Tyler, TX
While watching the show I also started a Pitchmen Drinking Game!
  • 1 drink every time Billy Mays says his name.
  • 5 drinks every time Billy Mays wusses on an Anthony Sullivan idea.
Dual Saw Product Infomercial
The Dual Saw had (by far) the most drama. During Frederick's initial presentation to Billy and Sully, Billy described the product as "demonstrable." Both of the pitchmen liked the can and eggs demo from the French fire fighter so took the product to get tested by some American fire fighters.

While at the fire house, Billy and Sully dressed in fire fighter gear? Why? I have no idea. It didn't seem like they did anything in the outfits. It made no sense to me unless their next product is an Anthony Sullivan Barbie doll with different outfits to mix and match. Here is where Billy Mays proposed the idea of he and Sully doing the infomercial together. The show tried to bill it as a big deal, like Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart combining forces, but this was more like Dan Rather and Connie Chung joining the same desk.

At the producer meeting, Anthony Sullivan had the idea of Billy Mays cutting himself out of a diamond plate box. Great idea! Except, after stepping into the box and Sully warning, "this ain't no box of oxy-clean," Billy wanted no part of it. So our Frenchy Firefighter jumped in.

The crew then picked out a junk yard car to saw in half, but realized halfway through the production that no one drained the old car of fluids. Brilliant move guys. And why not wash and wax it before filming. Come on guys, this isn't amateur hour! In a great twist of irony, Jim, one of the producers had his foot run over by the car. Maybe he should have used the ImpactGel from last week's show!

Shuffles Product Infomercial
Kristen's product wasn't as great a TV hit. It was tested by the Sullivan Castle cleaning crew and received positive results. Dealing with Kristen seemed to have it's own share of stress, but I would act that way too if my life savings was dumped into a product.

I'm finding out that if Billy and Sully call you with results, it isn't good news. But, if Billy and Sully fly you across the Atlantic Ocean, that's probably a good sign. Kristen's Shuffles product wasn't a hit and they called to inform her she'd have to come up with funds if she wanted to continue. Fred the French Fireman flew across the ocean and was greeted with campaign.

I still like the show and I'll keep watching. It airs at 9:00, Wednesdays, on Discovery Channel.


Tom Seaver Autograph - 40 Years Since the 1969 Mets

My final piece of memorabilia of the 1969 Mets is an autograph baseball of Tom Terrific, The Franchise, Tom Seaver.

Seaver's 1969 Game 4 of the World Series is legendary. Seaver pitched 10 innings, giving up one run on 6 hits! Amazing. That was also the only game he won in the series.

During the 1969 season, Tom Seaver won 25 games, had a 2.21 ERA, and completed 18 of his starts.

Seaver picked up 198 of his 311 wins in a NY Mets uniform. I still remember him sitting in the Boston Red Sox dugout during the 1986 World Series and thinking what a strange site it was for me and how weird it must have felt for him.

Seaver was part of Shea's closing ceremonies last year and was part of Citi/Shea/TARP field's opening ceremonies this year.

Thankfully, the Mets announced yesterday that August 22 will be their 1969 Mets night. It's about time. I think the last '69 Mets celebration was in 1989 when they gave out the Armitron Watch sponsored '69 Mets yearbooks (I hope I'm wrong on that date though). The programs look almost identical to the original version except for the back page.

I think the Mets are terrible at these old-timer/reunion events. In my opinion, the '69 Mets should be honored every 5 years and there should be an old-timers day every year. I like seeing the players of yesterday get loud cheers from today's fans.

This is all of the 1969 Mets pieces I have. A recap of my 1969 Mets pieces:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mets to Celebrate 40 Year Anniversary of 1969 Mets

Perfect timing! I'm nearing the end of my 1969 Mets card/memorabilia celebration when the NY Post announced the Mets are doing the same thing.

According to the NY Post, before the August 22 game vs. the Phillies, the Mets will celebrate the 1969 Mets. Several members of the 69 Mets will be there for the on-field ceremony.

On the heels of the Doc Gooden autograph/graffiti incident, this is a great idea. Instead of honoring Brooklyn Dodgers in Citi/Shea/TARP field we get to actually honor a Mets team!

Oh, and the first 25,000 fans will get an SGA from Citi (if it doesn't collapse by then).

My 40 Years Since the '69 Mets are here, here, here, here, here, here, and the last one tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2009 Upper Deck Generations - Dumb Auto Card

Beckett blog recently announced the images of the 2009 Upper Deck Legendary Cuts Generations - Dual Autographs (last week, but who's counting).

One of the cards they highlighted is this dual autograph card of Derrek Lee and Lou Brock. Why is this card made? I commented on their blog at the time and still think this is stupid.

Why should Lou Brock and Derrek Lee have their signatures on the same card? Other than both playing for the Cubs (briefly for Brock), what reason is there for these guys to be on the card? Does Upper Deck believe Brock's brief tenure on the Cubs captures Chicago fans?

Lou Brock played in Chicago for 3 1/2 seasons didn't hit above .263. He excelled in St. Louis, went on to be a Cardinal HOFer and should be on cards with great Cardinal players. How about a Brock and Pujols autograph card?

Derrek Lee should be on a card with Leon Durham or Mark Grace (as suggested by one of the comments on the Beckett blog). . . not Lou Brock.

I'd like to see this set make a little more sense before asking customers to spend big bucks on this product.

Greg Oden Rookie Card Hype - A Reflection

Remember Greg Oden's much anticipated rookie year? And then after his injury, the anticipation for his first year on the NBA court? I do.

Oden was top overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft. After missing his rookie year due to injury, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to capture some of his rookie cards. I even had an article on the Cardboard Connection about it. D'Oh!

The sponsor of Oden's basketball-reference page asks if he is the next Sam Bowie? Seems like a good question today.

Oden's stats in the 2008/2009 season:
39 starts, 8.9 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game, and .5 assists per game.

Kevin Durant was the #2 pick in 2007 NBA draft. His 2008/2009 season stats:
74 starts, 25.3 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, and 2.8 assists per game. Durant also averages more than 1 steal per game.

But that was Durant's second full season and Oden's first. How does Durant's rookie year compare to Oden's (stats above) first year?

Durant stats in the 2007/2008 season:
80 starts, 20.3 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game, and 2.4 assists per game. He also averaged 1 steal per game.

My other brilliant card collection ideas:
  • Ryan Leaf rookie cards
  • Brien Taylor rookie cards
  • Lastings Millege rookie cards

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ron Swoboda Autograph - 40 Years Since the 1969 Mets

Ron Swoboda is one of the heroes from the 1969 World Series. His diving catch in Game 4 stopped an Orioles rally and helped the Mets win the pivotal game.

Swoboda was clutch in the field and at the plate during the '69 series. He collected 6 hits in four games and hit .400 in the series. During the season, Ron Swoboda only hit .235 and drove in 52 runs.

For his Mets career, Ron Swoboda pounded it out 536 hits, 69 home runs, a .242 batting average and the best defensive play in NY Mets World Series history!

This autograph is from a Columbus Clippers game 2 years ago. Swoboda and other baseball legends were signing autographs before one of the games. I'm not crazy about the "WSC" inscription. I mean, you're a world champion - spell it out!

A ticket to a game and an autograph from a 1969 NY Met - there aren't too many better ways to spend an afternoon.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Collector's Stimulus from FansEdge

Instead of complaining about the economy and increasing show prices to cover for lack of attendance, Schwartz Sports and Mounted Memories are making a fresh, bold move.

The FansEdge show on July 17 will have a rollback autograph pricing special. Autograph prices have been slashed up to 50%! The best deal - Gordie Howe autograph. It was $129, but on Friday, July 17 it will be $69 with a free "Mr. Hockey" inscription.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Branch Rickey Baseball Book Review

Lee Lowenfish nailed the title perfectly. "Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman" is the perfect name for Branch Rickey.

I finished reading this book after the Lee Lowenfish author event at my local book story. I really enjoyed the event and the book. The Branch Rickey story weaves through the three pillars of Rickey's life: Religion, Family, and baseball. You have to know all three in order to understand Rickey.

The book begins with Rickey learning Latin in order to gain entrance into Ohio Wesleyan University. During his OWU days he witnessed an event that fueled his passion to bring Jackie Robinson to the majors. As passionate as Rickey was about baseball, it always took a backseat to religion. Rickey, to the dismay sometimes of his superiors, never worked on Sundays. This included his time as a St. Louis Browns manager, Cardinals team president, Dodgers GM, and Pirates executive.

Rickey's baseball achievements are legendary. Obviously he brought Jackie Robinson to the majors but he also developed the modern day farm system, and laid the foundation for some of baseball's most legendary teams: Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates.

In an odd "6 degrees of separation" game, Rickey employed Fred Wilpon's wife as his secretary when he was working on the Continental League. It is the threat of this league, and the working with William Shea that helped bring the NY Mets in 1962.

Out of 600 pages, my only complaint with the book is the ending. Rickey's life ends while speaking at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and so does the book and so does the book. I wanted to know more about Rickey's legacy. I would have like to have read about the success of farm systems, Jackie Robinson foundations, the Branch Rickey sports facilities at OWU, where he's buried, and how the press and his teams reacted to his passing.

Otherwise I recommend it. It's a great book and a fascinating read for any baseball history fan. Be sure to set aside time!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Buddy Harrelson Autograph - 40 Years Since the 1969 Mets

Buddy Harrelson is the only the player and coach to have two World Series rings with the Mets. Harrelson was the starting shortstop of the 1969 Mets team and was the third base coach of the 1986 Mets.

Most fans remember Buddy for his fight at 2B with Pete Rose and floating down the 3rd baseline with Ray Knight in Game 6 of the '86 World Series.

Buddy finished his playing career with in NY with over 1,000 hits in his 13 seasons with the Mets. Harrelson had a rough World Series at the plate finishing with a .176 batting average and only 3 hits, but his defense anchored the infield.

This autograph is from an MAB Show last year. Buddy added the 69 & 86 W.S. Champs inscription. He also signed my Mets World Series baseball and Game 6 picture.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Michael Jordan's Locker Sells for $23,000

To have the #23 in the final sale amount of Jordan's locker seems too poetic.

Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls locker was sold by Bulls and Hunt Auctions for charity. The winning bidder paid $23,000 for the same locker that Jordan sat next to when hugging the NBA Finals trophy with his Dad and the same locker he hung up his shorts for the last time in Chicago (2x).
MJ also autographed the wood-panelled locker. Other items at auction included a red Bulls uniform and autographed jerseys.

Source: Boston Herald

Doc Gooden Autographs Citi Field

Mets fans have been unhappy with the lack of team history in their new ball park, but getting Doc Gooden's graffiti on random walls doesn't exactly solve the problem.

Gooden attended one of the first games at the new stadium and took the time to sign autographs, get his picture taken with fans, and sign his name on a blank wall inside the stadium like it was the inside of a high school bathroom stall. Seriously, who says "hmm, there isn't anything written on this wall, I think I'll sign my name here." Now some Mets fans are unhappy that team officials plan to clean and erase the wall when the Mets leave for their next road trip.

Seriously Mets fans (and I'm one too), after living through Shea, we should just be happy that the team actually wants to keep this stadium clean.

I agree that the Mets need to do more to acknowledge their history inside the park. Perhaps one of the 1,000s of LCDs in the stadium could run a loop of Mets highlights, add some wall murals, etc. However, the way to add team history to the park isn't to give Doc Gooden a sharpie marker and ask him to run wild in the halls.

Doc has been on the autograph circuit quite a bit lately. I saw him at MAB and Chicago Sun Times shows last year and he's already scheduled for other MAB shows this year. Get him to sign a baseball there instead of a wall in $iti field. Gooden is great person to meet at a show. Every time I've seen him he's been great with the fans.

UPDATE: The Wilpons have agreed to preserve Doc's sharpie skills by moving the signature to a new location. The Mets of the past deserve better than an autograph brick.... come skill sets, do something to acknowledge Mets greats instead of letting them run wild with a fresh sharpie!

Source: NY Post

Eddie Kranepool Autograph - 40 Years since 1969 Mets

Eddie Kranepool went from baseball's deepest valley to it's highest mountain. Kranepool is an original 1962 NY Mets and a member of the 1969 World Championship team. He and Al Jackson are the only two players to have that accomplishment. Of course, Gil Hodges was a player in '62 and was the Manager in '69.

Kranepool signed this baseball for me at the MAB Amazin' MetsFest last year.

Eddie Kranepool began playing with the Mets before he could legally vote! At age 17, Kranepool made his debut with the '62 Mets. He stayed with the team for 18 seasons. Kranepool hit 1,418 hits and retired with a .261 career average.

In the 1969 World Series, Kranepool capped the scoring in the Mets 5-0 Game 3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. In his only 1969 World Series game, Kranepool went 1 for 4 with a solo home run in the 8th inning off O's pitcher Dave Leonhard.

Thirty years since his last season, Eddie Kranepool is still considered one of the most popular Mets of all time.

I'll have more 1969 Mets autographs to post this week. It's hard to believe it's been 40 years since the Amazins won the World Series in 1969..

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Billy Mays Pitchmen Season 1, Episode 1 Review

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

My first observation from the intro - Billy has something other than a blue button down shirt! This was the first show of the first season for "Pitchmen" starring Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan.

The 20 minutes of "Pitchmen" focused on choosing which two products would be featured in the show. Billy and Sully went to TeleBrands in N.J. to hear 2 minute demonstrations from:
- A Bottle holder for 5-8 month olds
- Wake-up from sleeping while driving glasses
- GPS Pal

Earlier, Billy and Sully reviewed and began negotiating with ImpactGel. Jim, from GPS Pal, is a cancer survivor with Forrest Gumpisms like "Life is like a flower." You can't help but cheer for the guy, but Billy was skeptical right away with the "wow" factor of GPS Pal which looked like a thermal coffe mug with a top.

The idea is your GPS unit rests on it while sitting in your cup holder. To test the GPS unit, Sully took the product to the streets. He sat with people in their car to test the unit. But no one took their car out of park! How the heck can you test the effectiveness of a car device without putting the car in drive?!

Twenty minutes later after shooting the video and testing price points, Sully concedes - this doesn't have a "wow" factor." Hey Sully - listen to BMays... he could have saved you a lot of time. But I was hoping it would work for Jim, the GPS Pal inventor.

Matt's ImpactGel had it's share of drama. Originally Matt thought the Miami Heat and a 5 or 30 minute infomercial would sell more products. This time Sully to the ImpactGel to a local Lube Center where mechanics jumped around oil changes.

Finally, after Billy referred to Matt and his manager as "yahoos," they agreed to allow them to shoot the infomercial Billy and Sully's way and we had our first Wow Factor on the show!

A key moment of the ImpactGel is the product protecting a hand as a car drives on top of it. This could have a classic Billy Mays moment, but BMays disappointed us. At the last second, Billy backed out and Sully jumped in to serve as a hand model.

Grabbing a blue shirt, Sully added a punch to his man-card and BMays unfortunately wussed out.

The Results of each product's pilot:

  • GPS Pal: No longer being offered t looking good. potential w/different price point
  • ImpactGel: "Got a winner." It is expected to soon gross $3MM.
I think it's a fun show and I'm looking forward to the next episode.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jerry Koosman Autograph - 40 Yrs Since 1969 Mets

On any other team, Jerry Koosman would have been that team's ace pitcher in 1969. Cool Hand Kooz finished 17-9 with a 2.28 ERA and 16 complete games! Koosman and Seaver may be the two biggest reasons the Amazin' Mets made it to the 1969 World Series.

In the 1969 World Series, Koosman came within 1 out of having a complete game victory in Game 2. Koosman went 8 2/3 and only gave up 2 hits. Koosman also won the Game 5 series clinching game at Shea Stadium. In Game 5, Koosman went the distance giving up 3 earned runs in 9 innings to close out the series. His pitching performance in the 1969 World Series may be the most underrated in the history of the series: 17 2/3 innings, 4 earned runs, 1 CG, and only 7 hits allowed!

Jerry Koosman won 140 games and averaged 9 complete games a season with the Mets from 1967-1978. He bounced around with Minn., the White Sox, and Phillies after his tenure in Queens.

Koosman trivia: Jerry Koosman gave up Pete Rose's 4,000th career hit.

My meeting with Jerry Koosman last year was . . . a little gross. I blogged about it last year.

My 40 Yrs Since the 1969 Mets celebration continues this week.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Grub Wow - Brooklyn Cyclones Do Their Own Infomercial

He even adds the "you following me camera guy?"

Jerry Grote Autograph - 40 Yrs Since the 1969 Mets

On a day where Mike Piazza is going to catch the first pitch at Citi Field, it's important to remember the first catcher who helped the Mets actually win a World Series - Jerry Grote.

I have nothing against Mike Piazza - he was my favorite Met for a time. But Piazza couldn't bring home the trophy, and I think it would fit better if Grote were catching Tom Seaver's first pitch today at Citi Field.

As part of my 40 years since the 1969 Mets celebration, here is an autograph baseball of Jerry Grote. Grote was a captain of the infield and caught one of the greatest pitching staffs in Mets history: Seaver, Koosman, Ryan, Gentry, McGraw and more.

Jerry Grote only hit .211 in the series, but had a huge double in Game 4 to help the Mets win it. Grote played with the Mets from 1966 to part of the 1977 season and was a two-time all-star with the Mets. Grote signed this baseball for me a couple of years ago at a CSA show.

My other 40 year Mets celebration pieces are here, here, and here!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Billy Mays PitchMen Teaser - Blogging after the Show!

I'll be blogging about the Billy Mays show "Pitchmen" this week!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sports Locker Sponsoring a Baseball Reference Page

I'm sponsoring my first page on the Baseball-Reference site: Howard Johnson's page!

HoJo was and still is one of my favorite players. From 1987-1990 HoJo nearly averaged a 30/30 season (29 hrs/32 sbs)! So when I found his page without a sponsor I jumped on the opportunity.
Click here to see the Howard Johnson page.

And yes, HoJo is still the best 3B in Mets history. Until David Wright adds a ring and grows a 'stache... it's all HoJo.

1969 Mets World Series Program

I really like the cover of this World Series program. Remember Me?

This (obviously) is one of my favorite programs. I like how the '69 World Series program reflects on the yearbook cover of the '62 Mets. It conveys the distance the franchise has traveled in just 7 short years.

When you have a minute, flip through the pages of some of your old programs. It doesn't have to be from 40 years ago. It may take you back to the first game you ever went to, your first playoff game, or remember jumping on the family room couch as Ray Knight rounds third base!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I take Nolan Ryan's Hand in Flushing

What is Nolan doing with his bare hand when the baseball is in glove? Is the camera person taking his hand in marriage?

This is the 1969 Nolan Ryan Topps card which seems to have photographed from the Shea Stadium on-deck circle. It looks like fans are starting find their seats in the top left corner of the card.

Nolan Ryan appeared in 25 games for the Mets in 1969 and finished the season with a 6-3 record. In the World Series Ryan recorded a save in game 3 at Shea Stadium.

Two years later the Mets made one of the worst trades in franchise history by sending Nolan Ryan, Frank Estrada, Don Rose and Leroy Stanton to the California Angles for Jim Fergosi. Fergosi hit .232 for the Mets in '72 and .234 for them in '73 before being traded for Texas. Nolan... tossed a few no hitters, struck out a lot of guys, won 295 games after the trade and finished with a pretty decent career. Brilliant move!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tom Seaver - 40 Years Since the 1969 Mets

Still amazing 40 years later! This season is the 40-year anniversary of the 1969 Amazing Mets. The 1969 Mets were a team that won with great pitching, timely hitting, and strong leadership in the clubhouse and on the dugout steps.

During the next few days I'll share some of my 1969 Mets collection. I have some cards, autographs and programs. I hope the Mets plan on having some ceremony at their new ball park to mark the anniversary, but if not, I'm sure a SportsLocker tribute is enough! :)

1969 Topps Tom Seaver
Tom Terrific or "the franchise" pitched one of the most memorable World Series games in recent history during the 1969 World Series. Game 4 of the 1969 World Series (in my opinion) is one of the best games ever. The game has the drama of Earl Weaver getting tossed from the game in the early innings, the plot line of the Tom Seaver bouncing back to pitch a 10 inning complete game, and the action of Don Clendenon's home run and Ron Swoboda's diving catch in the 9th inning. Seaver finished the game going 10 innings with 6Ks and 1 earned run to get the win.

Today, Tom Seaver spends a lot of his time in California working on his winery. Seaver partners with MAB to distribute and sell some of it on the MAB site. Tom Seaver frequently makes appearances on the autograph circuit. He does plenty of MAB shows and I would not be surprised if he appeared at the National in Cleveland this summer.

Monday, April 6, 2009's National Surprise?

Bill from left an interesting wall post on The National Facebook group.

According to Bill, will have an exciting announcement this week about The National Sports Collector's Convention. Any guesses on what it is?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

MEET THE METS (1962) NY Mets Official Song

Friday, April 3, 2009

Beckett's Hobby Hook Up?! What is Beckett Media Doing?

Need relationship advice - see Beckett Media!

What? Yes, Beckett Media is bringing Leah Shafer on board to offer relationship advice for the card collector. In Beckett's best effort validate a stereotype of card collectors living in their mother's basement, they are hiring a local columnist to bring love life lines to collectors.

I'm not disputing Leah Shafer's professional resume - a quick google search will find her on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and her Girl Talk and TrixieSkips. I'm sure she's a very nice person and is obviously a very talented writer. But I feel pretty certain collectors don't want to read her Girl Talk column in Beckett Magazine!

Here is my first letter to Beckett's Leah:
Dear Leah,

I paid $24.99 for a magazine that I thought would discuss cards and memorabilia. Now they are writing columns about relationship advice. Help me Leah!

Stuck reading a magazine that jumped the shark

Basketball Hall of Fame Moves to Las Vegas

Parts of the Hall of Fame are moving to Sin City!

Planet Hollywood has opened the HHX-The Hoop Hall Experience on the Las Vegas Strip. This is the first time some of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is moving outside of Springfield, MA.

Major League Baseball did this a few years ago with their Baseball America tour and they also have a big showing at the All-Star game fan fests each year. Not everyone can make it to New England (especially in these economic times) so this is a great way to take the Hall of Fame to the people.

Insert your own Wilt Chamberlin memorabilia Las Vegas joke here.

I'll stop by and get some pictures when I'm in Las Vegas at the end of the month.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Billy Mays pitches Obama's stimulus plan

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Billy Mays Discovery Channel "Pitchmen" Starts April 15

Discovery Channel Announced Wednesday, April 1, their new reality TV Show featuring Billy Mays begins April 15.

"Pitchmen" will "go behind the curtain and peek into the world of the clever inventors and the equally clever men who sell their products.." (source)

As you read from my TTM autograph success story, I'm a huge Billy Mays fan! I received the picture here for a co-worker and an autograph baseball for myself. I will blog recaps of every show right here! I know, not sports cards and memorabilia, but it's Billy Mays! Exceptions can be made for BMays!

Great timing on the part of Discovery Channel with the timing of Vince's ShamWow SlapShot with a hooker in south Florida! Pow!

Billy and Sully were on Neil Cavuto's show today. Here's a link:

Discount Tickets to the National


I sent an email to the folks at the National Sports Collectors Convention asking them to join us on the National facebook page and offer discounts tickets for people in the facebook group (becoming a standard practice by companies on facebook).

I'm hoping they join or provide some information for the group - 15% off an entrance ticket would be nice too!