Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dallas Cowboys Replace Stolen Memorabilia

Last week I blogged about a handicapped fan (Butch Franklin) who's memorabilia and autograph collection was stolen from his apartment. At the time, the Dallas Cowboys said they were working on something to replace his items and fortunately, they came through.

Franklin had several of his items replaced. He received a Texas Stadium seat-back with several autographs, a Tony Romo jersey and met a couple of current Cowboys - including linebacker Bradie James. I'm a huge Bradie James fan - he's the captain of that defense and in the mold of hard-nosed, former strong safety Darren Woodson. The entire Cowboys organization did a nice job with this one.

Here's more on the story in the Dallas Morning News.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

RIP Billy Mays

I'm totally bummed by the loss of Billy Mays today (Sunday). Here's the link to the story about his death and the statement from the Discovery Channel.

One of my best autographs is from Billy - I was a huge fan of his and the "Pitchmen" show.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Discovery Channel "Pitchmen" team.

If you're on twitter, you can send condolences message to @YoungBillyMays (his son) and Pitchmen teammates @ArwenAnaNg and @KingSully.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mets Gary Carter Responds to Ultimate Team Criticism

Gary Carter responded Friday to my criticism of his Ultimate Team!

On June 15, Gary's Long Island Ducks blog caught my attention because of the choices he had for his "Ultimate Baseball Team."

I thought it was odd that Carter would rather have Jeff Kent at 2B instead of Pete Rose. And I didn't agree with his Omar Vizquel selection at short stop over Cal Ripken Jr. or Derek Jeter.

He responded Friday by saying Pete was great at several positions and Cal Ripken Jr. was a different kind of short stop.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What Would You Pay for Muhammad Ali's Autograph?

This "Ali Signing" ad has been all over the Internet and twitter lately so I checked it out.
- 16x20 photo: $950.
- Boxing Gloves: $1,300

Ali.com has some samples. I'm passing on this one.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Skip a Mortgage Payment and Avoid the National Autograph Lines

For $700 or $400 you can avoid all lines at this year's National TriStar Autograph pavilion. Are you kidding me?

I know, the economy is rough, 1,000s of people lose their jobs each month, but who wants to stand in line? Skip your mortgage payment so you can jump to the front of the line!

This seems like a bit much to me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Win Free Cards - Howard Johnson Mets Trivia Contest

Win free baseball cards with some Howard Johnson trivia!

Answer three questions correctly and win Howard Johnson baseball cards! I have a ton of extra HoJo cards from my Mets collection. They are Topps, Pinnacle, Upper Deck and Fleer cards are from the '80s and '90s (no autograph or jersey cards).

Good luck!

1 - What team first hired HoJo as a coach in their minor league system?
2 - Is Howard Johnson 1st, 3rd, or 5th on the Mets all-time home run list?
3 - Where does Howard Johnson's son play his college baseball?

UPDATE: As of 1:30PM, June 24 the contest is over.
Congrats to the winners in the comments section. I'll talk to the winners to get addresses and send the cards your way this weekend. Thanks again.

Dallas Cowboys Memorabilia Taken from Handicapped

Hopefully Jerry Jones can find some room in the budget to help out one of their biggest fans.

Butch Franklin's apartment was robbed two weeks ago and among the items stolen were pieces of his Cowboys autograph collection. As collector's, we hate to see this happen to anyone and it's more troubling when this happens to a mentally handicapped person.

When notified of the burglary Monday, a representative of the Dallas Cowboys said Butch's story would have a happy ending. "We're certainly disappointed to hear this happened," said Brett Daniels, a spokesman for the team. "And we'd love to work with him to see what we can do to replace the items that were stolen."
Here's the rest of the article from the Dallas Morning News.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The next LeBron? Aaron Shutway makes a crazy basket!

Nothing but net!

Mets Phillies Richie Ashburn Card

"Whitey" was this year's Father's Day gift! I used a gift card from my local card store to pick up this 1962 Topps Richie Ashburn card. I'm working on a '62 Topps NYMets team set.

Ashburn finished his career playing with the expansion NYMets. In 1962 Ashburn played in 135 games with a .306 average, 119 hits, 7 home runs, 12 stolen bases and only struck out 39 times.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Harry Chiti 1962 Topps - Ultimate PTBNL

Harry Chiti is the answer to a sports triva question that we should all know. It's a great story and now I finally have the card to go with the story. Harry Chiti is the most famous Player To Be Named Later in all of sports. . . one of the most interesting anyway.

This is the 1962 Topps Harry Chiti card. You have the love that wood-panel background!

Jim Lewis' "Bitting Lip Dance Move" on the Mound

You know the guy who can't dance, but believes biting his lip and nodding his head actually counts as a move?

This 1992 Score Jim Lewis rookie card has JLewis performing his move on the mound and pitching at the same time! See if you can do that at the next sock-hop!?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

SCD, Coach's Corner, and Scooby Doo

What is the relationship with Sports Collector's Digest and Coach's Corner? According to the NY Daily News . . . it's over.

To summarize the story like the end of every Scooby Doo episode:
- Coach's Corner and SCD were receiving a lot of tough questions from collectors over the authenticity of their auction items.
- Collectors began questioning the authenticity of the items and the alleged improper relationship between a company built to be a voice of collector (SCD) and a company with a questionable reputation (CC).
- TS O'Connell was tired of fielding questions about the authenticity of the items and the stopped taking comments on his blog (now an online column).
- The conversation didn't stop, it moved somewhere else - blogs like Mike the Ring Guy.
- Two organizations who may have been leaning on each other for survival are standing alone.

Was SCD pressured to stop taking advertising dollars from Coach's Corner? Did the internet and bloggers have an affect? Or as the comments on the Mike the Ring Guy's blog suggest - is this the tip of the iceberg?
"And they would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids!"

Mets Howard Johnson - Player Collection

A puzzle can be easier to figure out when you take a step back and look it over from another angle. I recently did this while going through my baseball cards.

I have a TON of Howard Johnson baseball cards. By "ton" I mean, there's probably 100 of them. I know, it's not to the Andrew Miller, Evan Longoria, Tim Lincecum level talked about in the blogosphere (and thank goodness, I don't have that kind of budget), but after stepping back, I discovered
that I have a pretty decent Howard Johnson collection. The one pictured here is the 1989 Topps, #383.
I became a Howard Johnson fan when he joined the NY Mets. HoJo was one of the early 30/30 members (before it became the bar for judging true stardom in the '90s). I liked his tough play on the field and his ability to steal a base or hit a home run.

One of my collecting projects this summer is to go through all of the Howard Johnson cards.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

1952 Dallas Texans Mail Day

Monday was a good mail day! Last week I was the high bidder for two eBay auctions.

I'm working on a 1952 Bowman Small team set for the Dallas Texans. The card on the left is George Taliaferro and the card on the right is the rookie card for Gino Marchetti. Notice the Texans logo on the Marchetti card isn't included since he was a rookie. Marchetti was elected to the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972.

George Taliaferro played 7 years as a pro and finished his career with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 1952 Football Bowman cards are one of my favorite sets. I really like the design and art. Hopefully I can find some at the National next month.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mets Gary Carter's All-Time Baseball Team

Gary Carter's picked his ultimate baseball team and it doesn't include Cal Ripken, Honus Wagner, or Derek Jeter at shortstop and he does not have Rogers Hornsby or Pete Rose at second base.

Instead Carter is picking Jeff Kent and Omar Vizquel to be on his infield. What?

Here's the rest of Gary's Long Island Ducks Blog.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Collecting Vintage Football Cards - Mike Thomas Interview

The Collector's Weekly site has a nice interview with Mike Thomas about collecting older football cards. Mike's an encyclopedia of football card knowledge - I didn't know the roots of the football cards before reading this article.

My favorite Q&A of the interview:
CW: What is your advice for new football-card collectors? MT: Start slow and collect what you like. Some people get too concerned about value right away.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Mike's Vintage Football Card Gallery has some great photos. My personal favorites are the 1952 Bowman's. I'm working on a team set for them right now. I should receive a couple through the mail this week!

If you get into the older cards, check out The Collector's Weekly cards page.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Michael Jordan Autograph Jersey Taken from Tony Parker

Great idea... steal a the memorabilia and then try to sell it on Craigslist. Brilliant! Ah, the simple mind of a petty criminal.

A thief broke into Tony Parker's house and swiped a Michael Jordan autograph jersey (it wasn't even a Wizards jersey)! After filing a police report, investigators found someone trying to sell the stolen property on Craigslist. More info here.
However, all of Tony Parker's jerseys, shoes, basketballs, and NBA Championship Trophies were left untouched. How does a player feel when someone breaks into their house, but leaves all of your stuff and walks away with memorabilia from another player?

Name that Baseball Stadium Contest

Is it really a contest if you don't win anything? Do bragging rights count?

Can you name this MLB baseball stadium? The photo was taken in the summer of 1992. I've cropped the photo to make it more difficult.

Unlike other cool blogs who give out some nice stuff - this is just a fun Friday game.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Buy the Shea Stadium Wrecking Ball

For $35,000 you can own the wrecking ball that destroyed Shea Stadium - and the shipping is free! It could make the perfect graduation gift! Here's the eBay auction.

Thanks Home Run Derby.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Finding Pete Rose at the Local Card Store

I found this little treasure at the card store last weekend - a 1977 Topps Pete Rose card (#450) was waiting for me just beyond the glass case!

I didn't have this one so I couldn't leave the store without it.

In 1977 Pete played in every game for the 4th consecutive year and for the first time he played every game at 3B. He saw time at 3B, RF, and LF the previous two seasons. At the plate, Pete hit .311 with over 200 hits.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bill Buckner - The 5-Hole Baseball Card!

Is this the image Mookie Wilson was thinking while running to first base during Game 6?

This is Bill's 1990 Upper Deck card.

Thanks to Laloosh for the picture.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Baseball Batting Practice Autographs

I remember my first autograph attempt and my first success. I still don't like Moses Malone and I think Leon Wood was an underrated player in the NBA because of it! Bo Diaz was my first baseball player autograph and I still have some of his cards.

Paul, from Paul's Random Stuff and I recently discussed getting player autographs in the Gary Carter Autograph post. (BTW - you should follow Paul on Twitter - great stuff.)

We forget about the money players make when they sign a few autographs before a game. They become human again. Their super hero capes hang in lockers and they connect with the fans - the kids buying their t-shirts and baseball cards.

When you go to a game, the high pitched calls for "Mr. Rodriguez can you come here" echo in cadence with the crack of batting practice lumber. That's if they have batting practice anymore.

"Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon is quick to cancel batting practice if it means more rest for the Rays. I’m not saying Maddon will be a trend-setter here, but teams stopped taking infield and outfield practice a while ago because they realized it wasn’t necessary. Remember the ancient art of pepper? Banned at most ballparks. Will batting practice meet the same end as the bullpen cart? Say it ain’t so, Joe. The stadium is alive during batting practice."

Here's a great article about Fans missing out when teams' cancel BP.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

New Yankee Stadium Tough on Autograph Seekers

It seems hitting a home runs at the new Yankee Stadium is easier than getting a players to sign autographs. Are today's players too elite or too far removed? Does today's kid trying to get an autograph become tomorrow's season ticket holder?

"Inside the stadium on a recent Sunday, fans tried to get autographs during batting practice, young children and their parents lining up against the right-field wall and calling out to players as they warmed up. When Joba Chamberlain, a promising pitcher known for being somewhat generous with his signature, sauntered into right field, the crowd cried for his attention. After a short warm-up, he left without signing an autograph.

Among the disappointed were David Thoreen’s two sons, Sam, 9, and Henry, 13. Each year, the family has driven from their home in Worcester, Mass., to attend a Yankee game and meet players and get their autographs outside the player parking lot."

Here's the rest of the article in the NYTimes.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Autograph Cards Contest! Zack Greinke Autograph

The Autograph Cards blog has an awesome contest going on!

Predict Zack Greinke's ERA after his next two starts and win either the autographed Zack Greinke Sports Illustrated or a David Price card! Whomever finishes in 2nd place will win the other prize. Strikeout total from the two games are the tie-breaker.

My prediction: This will be his 2nd time facing the Blue Jays and I think the veteran hitting instructor now Manager (again) Cito Gaston will have some helpful hints for his sluggers. Adam Lind is also coming off a 5 hit game. The second start should come against Cleveland. That will be Greinke's third start vs. Cleveland. He's given up plenty of hits against them, but not as many runs. I predict his ERA after his next two starts: 1.51 and 14ks in the starts.

Check out the Autograph Cards blog to sign up before Zack's start tonight!

Are You Threatening Me?

Are you following the comments from Mike the Ring Guy's Sports Blog?

In May I blogged about TS O'Connell stopping comments on his blog because he was tired of getting Coach's Corner Sports Auction and SCD relationship questions. Since then, the The Sports Ring Sports Blog and others have decided to move the conversation from the SCD site to their own blogs and some aren't happy about it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Beckett Blog Contest

The Beckett Media Blog has a new contest.

Details haven't been listed on their site yet, but the winner will receive this (see pic) 1993 Upper Deck Derek Jeter Buyback autographed Rookie Card.

Why is this Pete Rose Card Graded?

Am I missing something? I've blogged about Rose many times, I have several of his cards and autographs, but I can't understand why this 1973 Topps card is even graded. Please help me if I'm missing the obvious.

The BGS 9.5 grade has pushed the current eBay bid price over $50. Previous auction sales of this card without a grade have sold between $8 and $22.

Personally, I don't like the picture in this card and it also looks like he just hit a pop-up on the infield.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

CSA Shows on Twitter

CSA Shows are on the Twitter bandwagon. You can find them at: http://twitter.com/csashows. I think this is a great move.

I hope CSA uses this to communicate: autograph guest announcements and show changes. I think this is a great move and will bring CSA Shows another step closer to their customer.

I suggested this idea to MAB a few months ago and they said they were looking into it. Hopefully seeing another autograph company dip their toe in the Twitter pool will push them in!

Darryl Strawberry #1 Draft Pick - 29 Years Ago

On June 3, 1980 the New York Mets drafted Darryl Strawberry with the #1 overall pick in the June amateur draft. Strawberry was drafted out of Crenshaw High School in the Los Angeles, CA area.

The #2 pick of the draft was Garry Harris by the Toronto Blue Jays. Harris' highest level was AA. Darryl's highest level . . . (insert your own hippie lettuce joke).

Since being selected #1 Darryl has won World Series rings, played for both New York teams, won the key of New York, had to give the key back, won a battle against cancer, spent time in jail, and is an author and spring training instructor for the NY Mets. Whew.

His 1983 Topps Traded Card has eluded me. I found this image on line.

Happy Anniversary Darryl.

Mets vs Pirates June 2 Game Report

Taking family to first Mets game: $100
Explaining the injuries the Mets are suffering: 9 innings
Having more Mets fans than Pirates fans at PNC Park in Pittsburgh: Priceless!

This was a last minute trip for us, but what's better for a kid than to have his dad pick him up early from school to catch a baseball game!? It's one of those moments you live for as a parent.

We watched one of the best pitchers of this era, Johan Santana, dominate for 5 innings but struggle through the 6th frame. It still registered a quality start, but it wasn't enough to stop the Pirates on this night. Once again, Johan didn't receive any run support and the Mets lost 3-1. DWright was 0-4, but Daniel Murphy had a pinch-hit single late in the game. Our other favorites, Jose Reyes was on the DL and Frankie Rodriguez didn't get to pitch.

My guess is, about 4,000 people were at the game... no joke. Pirates games are poorly attended anyway, but the Stanley Cup Finals in town didn't help their attendance figures. The "Lets go Mets" chants reminded me of the upper deck seats at Shea!

It was great meeting Steve Popper from the Amazing Stories blog and The Record. Steve came down from the press box and sat with us for a couple of innings. Thanks Steve - that was really nice of you spend time with us.

PNC Park is one of the best parks in baseball. I'd rank it right behind Wrigley, Fenway, Camden Yards and AT&T or whatever company is sponsoring the park in S.F. You have a great view from anywhere, the food is great, the fans (the ones who are at the game) are nice, and the backdrop of the Pittsburgh skyline and Roberto Clemente bridge is awesome!

I know, this is pretty weak game report - Paul does it right over at PaulsRandomStuff blog - I like reading his game reports. On this trip, managing the family food rotation and frequent "potty" trips , and was priority over keeping the book.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Going to Mets Game @ PNC Tonight

I'm taking in my first Mets game of the year tonight! We're loading the family truckster and going to PNC Park to see Johan Santana pitch.

Hopefully we'll also get a chance to meet Steve Popper from The Record or Bart Hubbuch from the NYPost.

PNC is one of the nicest baseball parks. I've been a few times and really enjoy it. Definitely go if you ever get the chance.

Providence Coach Keno Davis on Twitter and Following Me?

Why is the Providence Men's Basketball Coach, Keno Davis, following my updates on Twitter?

I received this email last night. I don't really follow basketball (I didn't know who Keno Davis was) and I don't twitter about sports that I often.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gary Carter's eBay Autograph Policy

Gary Carter is tired of signing his autograph for free and he's not going to take it any more! Carter, currently the manager for the Long Island Ducks, has a new policy for signing MLB licensed products likes balls, bats, jerseys, photos: He's not signing it unless you donate $25 to the Gary Carter Foundation.

According to the memo posted on the Long Island Ducks' site, The Foundation believes that "MLB-badged" items being sold for profit and they are sick of it!

However, Carter will still sign any Long Island Duck merchandise for free... as long as you pay to get in to the park.

Thanks http://www.cantstopthebleeding.com/