Friday, October 30, 2009

Twitter #FollowFriday Sports - 10/30

My sports information, card and memorabilia #FollowFriday edition:
#FollowFriday Sports Info, Cards & Memorabilia: @FCBsportscards, @CSASHOWS; @SteinerSports; @VOTC; @TracyHackler, @ACPressSusan_L;

If you are new to Twitter or the #FollowFriday idea, here's a recap.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reggie Jackson is a New Currency

The dollar is dead and the Redge is the new standard.

Reggie Jackson is a little busy these days with the NY Yankees in the World Series. He's so busy, that he needed to cancel a scheduled appearance at the CSA Show on October 31. CSA could have just offered refunds, but instead, they offered the Redge.

If you pre-ordered your autograph ticket for Reggie Jackson, you can get a full-refund or participate in the Redge exchange rate for other autograph tickets.

Here is the current market value of the Redge:
1 Reggie small flat/baseball or oversize flat/equipment Ticket = 10 Redges
1 Reggie premium Ticket = 20 Redges

Redges may be redeemed according to the following menu:

1 Redge @: Carlton Fisk Inscription, Jean Fugett, Frank Howard, Charley Taylor, Chris Warren.

2 Redges @: Fergie Jenkins, Jim Kaat, Charles Mann, Gaylord Perry.

5 Redges: Carlton Fisk small flat/baseball Ticket.

7 Redges: Carlton Fisk oversize flat Ticket.

9 Redges: Carlton Fisk premium Ticket, any Game Model Bat (still in stock: Carlton Fisk, Frank Howard, Fergie Jenkins, Jim Kaat, Gaylord Perry, Ozzie Smith).

10 Redges: John Riggins small flat Ticket.

13 Redges: John Riggins mini helmet/football Ticket.

15 Redges: John Riggins premium (jersey/full size helmet/Super Bowl poster) Ticket.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How Did I Miss Darth Maul?

I had a "Doh!" moment this week.

Ray Park, the actor who played Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was in town three weeks ago. I missed the chance to get his autograph.
Park was at the 2009 Mid-Ohio-Con event. Park is a martial arts expert and has done other work, but I'm a confessed Star Wars guy and missing him at this event is frustrating. I heard about the Comic-Con in NY and CA, but I didn't know there was one in my backyard. Argh.

Next year's Mid-Ohio-Con is Nov. 6&7 and yes, it's already on my calendar.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beckett Magazine Cheer! Review Results

The announcement of Beckett Media's newest magazine, Cheer!, created some strong reactions from readers of the blog post.

Tracy Hacker from Beckett Media responded to the reaction and offered everyone a free copy of the magazine. The following people accepted the free magazine: Rob at VOTC, CMW, Laloosh, Brian at Play at the Plate, and Daniel.

My role was to receive the magazines from Tracy, distribute them to who wanted them, and I decided to provide small survey.

So far I have received responses from 4 of the 5 people. Here are the questions in the survey and the results in their entirety:
After you receive the magazine and review it, answer the following questions using a 1-5 scale where:
1 = Strongly Disagree,
2 = Slightly Disagree,
3 = Neither Agree nor Disagree,
4 = Slightly Agree
5 = Strongly Agree

Survey Questions:
1. The articles were well written.
2. The photographs/images were well done.
3. You would like to see more cheer leading collectible information in the next issue.
4. You would buy the next issue.
5. Give me your take - additional comments.

Brian at Play at the Plate:
Q1. 3 Neither Agree nor Disagree
Q2. 4 Slightly Agree
Q3. 3 Neither Agree nor Disagree
Q4. 1 Strongly Disagree
Average score: 2.75

Q5. - The Pompoms and Circumstance article effectively covered the history of cheerleading, but the two interviews were just "so-so."
- The magazine was color throughout which was good. The magazine says it is a "photographic tribute to football's sideline sweethearts" and it is just that. It isn't really about collectibles.
- The magazine makes it fairly clear there isn't much collectible in this area.
- I don't have any interest in buying this product.

Rob at VOTC:
Q1. 4 Slightly Agree
Q2. 2 Slightly Disagree
Q3. 3 Neither Agree nor Disagree
Q4. 1 Strongly Disagree
Average Score: 2.5

Q5. The quality of writing by Beckett columnists is always, engaging and informative. However, to position this venture as anything but a "Chic Mag" for collectors is a serious stretch, and quite honestly an insult to my intelligence.

In addition, the photography was mediocre at best, most all of it was API footage and not near the quality of say Sports Illustrated's, week-by-week cheerleader galleries. (Oh. by the way, they are free.)

To make a claim that there is a collectibles market for NFL cheerleaders, at all is a stretch. This was clearly evidenced by the team by team coverage, where every noted "collectible" were autographed photos and/or calendars.. These are commodities not collectibles. The only way an autographed photo of an NFL cheerleader is going to become collectible is if one of the following happens:
1) The cheerleader goes into a career in politics and becomes successful.
2) The cheerleader becomes a movie, music, or TV star.
3) The cheerleader later does a photoshoot for Playboy then, maybe, that autograph photo becomes collectible.

The only meaningful collectibles from this genre I can see would be very limited and regional in scope and that would be original full squad signed photos or posters of the original Dallas Cowboys, as well as there uniform.

Would I spend $7.00 on this magazine of my own money? No chance in hell - that's 2 packs of cards.

Q1. 2 Slightly Disagree: First reactions was - "There were articles?" Any middle schooler could write those articles.
Q2. 4 Slightly Agree: Nothing wrong with photography.
Q3. 1 Strongly Disagree: Not enough people collect this stuff and they are most likely perverts.
Q4. 1 Strongly Disagree: Rather give my $7 away to charity.
Average Score: 2.0

Q5 Does anyone really collect cheerleading collectibles? It was done to make a quick buck from perverts who get get their free porn off the internet. Nuff said.

EDIT 10/29:
Q1. 4 Slightly Agree
Q2. 5 Strongly Agree
Q3. 4 Slightly Agree
Q4. 2 Slightly Disagree
Average Score: 3.75

Q5 The articles are fine and the photography is excellent. I’m just not sure about the concept and who Beckett is targeting as an audience here. I don’t think this magazine would fare well with the serious sports collector or the 30+ crowd. Not sure it fits with the younger crowd either. Maybe the teenage market would purchase this type of thing but that seriously limits the audience. I honestly feel that this would be something men would pick up in the store, look through the photos for a minute or two, and put it back on the shelf.

I'll post the other two responses once I receive them. I sent an email to CMW and Daniel last night.

Tracy - Thank you for the free magazines to distribute. Please let me know if you'd like me to add your comments to the article or you can post your reply in the comments section.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A New Approach to Sports Cards Magazines

The answer I can't stand hearing at work or anywhere is "because we've always done it that way." Doing it that way yesterday may have worked yesterday, but that doesn't mean it can work that way now.

Today sports cards magazines follow a similar style that was used years ago. Sure their layout has improved and the software to create the magazines is better, but the formula is the same: 1) Feature story on collectible; 2) new product reviews/news; 3) pictures from real people opening packs; 4) Price guides - the biggest section. Throw in a few ads and some hot lists at the beginning and you have the basic formula for a sports card magazine.

Does this still reflect today's collector? Do the majority of collectors rush to eBay to grab what's on the hot list?

When I look around the intranet I find more blogs about specific teams like the Chicago White Sox and the Florida Marlins and about specific players like Andre Dawson and Adrian Peterson than I do about the prices for new products.

I'd like to see the magazines list some popular player card lists and team check lists. Albert Pujols and ARod are two of the most popular players, would more collectors like to see a list of their cards (and others) instead of a price guide for a random card set? Would this be more valuable than seeing which prospect is higher on the hot list?

How about some team check lists? It could start with this year's World Series teams? A check list of the NY Yankees or Philadelphia Phillies cards for popular sets would be great to see if you're a Yankees or Phillies phan.

Some issues could add historical info like a list of all the Mickey Mantle cards old and new or a team list of the 1929 World Series teams.

This isn't a slam against the magazines, but an idea to discuss. Is the format of your product reflecting the habits of your buyer?

EDIT: A year or so ago, Beckett Baseball had an article "Dozen Roses" (or something similar) that highlighted Pete Rose's top baseball cards. I thought that was awesome and exactly what I was looking for as a collector.

1952 Bowman Small - James Phelan

My 1952 Bowman Small Texans team set is almost complete. I recently picked up Coach James Phelan's card.

Phelan's Texans won only one game in that 1952 season. They beat George Halas' Bears in a game at the Akron Rubber Bowl on Thanksgiving. Halas may have been guilty of a little overconfidence. He started the game with his 2nd string offense and defense. Meanwhile, Phelan started whomever he could keep in uniform.

I met Art Donovan a couple of years ago. Donovan talked about the game and how Coach Phelan made the Texans go in the stands to thank the 3,000 or so people for coming to the game.

Phelan's biggest compliment may have come from Knute Rockne. He described Phelan as "the smartest quarterback I ever coached. James Phelan was the captain of the 1917 Fighting Irish.

The last (I believe) 1952 Bowman Small Texan I need is #144, Jim Lansford.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The New FTC Guidelines Affect Sports Cards Blogs

The new endorsement guidelines presented by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) take effect on December 1, 2009. The guidelines are not new laws, but they help explain how bloggers can avoid being investigated by the FTC for deceptive advertising.

After reviewing the guidelines and reading some other sites, I think the biggest effect to these guidelines will be the free box breaks. This will mostly impact the free boxes that card bloggers receive from manufacturers to review their product. I'm not an attorney and I only picked out the ones I think could be issues with card bloggers. If you're concerned, speak to someone who's a compliance expert.

Personally, I'm against free boxes from the card companies. I've talked about this on the Wax Heaven and Beckett blogs and via twitter with Mario and Chris Olds. However, if you're going to do it, here are some keys to keep you out of FTC trouble.

Area #1 - Testimonial Results
The FTC guides say that testimonials that discuss specific results should provide the typical results a customer could expect. Some kind of "odds of getting a XXX in a box are 1 and XXX. While this mostly targets "adds," could an "add" be a free product sent to a blogger for review and to show on the blog? The box of cards has value, so I think it could fit in this category. So when bloggers pull the 1/1 and other rare relics, they need to disclose that it isn't typical and what the odds are of it happening to someone who buys the product off the shelf. Be clear and obvious on your results and and what customers can expect. Don't mess with "the man."

Area #2 - Disclosures
You need to disclose anything that may affect your credibility of endorsing a product. Meaning, if you take payment from a card manufacturer and you review one of their products, then you need to disclose this relationship. This may even affect online forum posts. If someone pays you for ad space, and you promote their product on another forum without disclosing your relationship, this can cause you problems with the FTC. How do you disclose this? Check with an attorney, but I think a link to a section where you disclose your paid advertisers might suffice as long as you link to that in any box break video or review.

Area #3 - Blogger Endorsement
According to the FTC guidelines, if you take payment to write about a product, then that's considered an "endorsement." Small, free items like a box of cards could be considered an endorsement according to the rules. The guidelines don't mention how much value is considered an endorsement. Is a box of cards that cost $100 considered part of this? Does the box have to cost $500 or more? I don't know. If you went out to a local card shop, bought of box cards and reviewed it, that would be considered an "unsolicited review." I don't think you'd have to disclose anything.

The guidelines also discuss coupons for free products. If a company sends you a coupon for a free product, any review of that product would not be considered an endorsement. That's assuming the coupon is also available to people who do not have blogs to check out new products. Hmm.... that sounds like the voucher system I've been talking about all the time.

To be safe, I would recommend saying, "I received this box free from XYZ Company, they also pay for advertising on this blog, and here's what I think of their latest product." I would say it at the beginning and end of any video or blog box break. You should also clearly list the odds of pulling relics, 1/1s, etc. for the box of cards you opening.

Again, I'm not a lawyer or work in compliance. I don't believe getting a free box of cards to review is in the best interest of the consumer. If you do, please keep these areas in mind so you avoid FTC issues after Dec. 1, 2009.

Here are some helpful links about the new guides. I also referred to a Marketing Sherpa article as some source information.
FTC: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

1952 Bowman Small - Buddy Young

My 1952 Bowman Small Texans team set is coming together. This weekend I also picked up this Buddy Young card.

Buddy was the shortest player in pro football! He was 5' 4.5" inches tall. Despite his size, Young was a track star at the University of Illinois. He won the National Collegiate Championships in the 100 and 220-yard dash and tied the world record for the 45 and 60-yard dashes. An amazing accomplishment considering his size.

As a Texan in 1952, Young had 3TDs rushing and 2TDs receiving. He retired from football in 1955 with the Baltimore Colts.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Collecting Cards with Your Kids

This year my kids started getting involved in the sports cards hobby. How we became engaged may not be right for everyone and I don't want to pretend that it's the best way, but it is a method that worked for us.

My goals were are to have them enjoy the hobby like I did as a kid (and still to do today) and not worry about the high dollar card value and limited inserts. My twin boys are five, so I wanted to start slow, make it fun, and create a learning environment.

First Step: Get the Materials
I bought them each a binder and sleeves to hold the cards. I also let them flip through one of my binders to see all the cards and how they go in there.

Second Step: Choose a Product
I limited our focus to one product to find player cards on our favorite team. I think multiple products and teams for each sport is too much for little kids. My theory is to keep it simple. For baseball, we limited our focus to the Topps 2009 Series 1 & 2. The design is nice and the cards can be bought almost anywhere without breaking the bank. For football, we're collecting 2009 Upper Deck: Icons - our football team is the Dallas Cowboys and the "America's Team" subset is a great way for the boys to always get some Cowboys cards. My local card store has some limited hours, so I needed something I can pick up at Target, Walmart, etc.

Third Step: Create a Checklist
Paul at Paul's Random Stuff listed all the 2009 Topps Mets cards (our family's favorite baseball team) on his blog to start the season. I entered this information into a spreadsheet and created some drop down lists. I'm doing the same thing right now with the UD Icons football cards.

Last Step: Rip 'em
Once I had the first three steps completed, we started picking up some packs. Sometimes we stopped at the card store (when it was open), but most of the time we hit the big box retailers.

So far my boys love it. I can see the excitement as they open each pack and when they find a player they recognize from watching the games on TV. We're still working on handling the cards with care (another reason to get the cheaper versions), but they add them to the binder each time. We're learning about the stats and about the players. Getting to use the computer is a ton of fun for them too. We're logging on to the PC, opening Excel, choosing their own spreadsheet, and clicking the arrows for their cards. This is teaching computer skills and reading while having fun with trading cards of your favorite team. Does it get better?!

Obviously, each child and circumstance is different. We all know that "one size does not fit all," but this approach worked with my kids. I narrowed the focus, found a product that fits our budget, and created a fun learning environment for them to get started. Watching my kids enjoy the hobby and learn about the players and team has been so much fun for me this year. This weekend I heard the words that can wet the eye of any card collecting parent, "Daddy, can we go get some cards today?" Sniff....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Searching for Dallas Texans' James Hammond

I had an eBay mail day last week. The first card in the mailing is this 1952 Bowman Small of James Hammond.

Hammond was drafted by the Texans from the University of Wisconsin in the 1951 draft and that's the only information I have on Hammond!

I've done wiki, google, football-reference, and everything I could think of to find more data. So far, I could only find this card and that he was drafted by the Texans. I can't find where he ran the ball or made a single tackle in the league for any team.

If anyone has more information on James Hammond, please post it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free Beckett Media Magazine

I have a few FREE Beckett Cheer! magazines to give-away. These are compliments of Beckett Media (disclosure for my FTC friends).

Last Wednesday I blogged about the newest Beckett Media magazine - Cheer! Tracy Hackler, from Beckett, responded to some of the comments and offered everyone a free copy. I accepted the offer and yesterday I received my box of Cheer!

Get Your Free Copy
If you want a free copy of Cheer!, just leave a comment and I'll send you an email to get your mailing address.

After you receive the magazine and review it, answer the following questions using a 1-5 scale where:
1 = Strongly Disagree,
2 = Slightly Disagree,
3 = Neither Agree nor Disagree,
4 = Slightly Agree
5 = Strongly Agree

- The articles were well written.
- The photographs/images were well done.
- You would like to see more cheer leading collectible information in the next issue.
- You would buy the next issue.
- Give me your take - additional comments.

I'll post your answers and your comments. If you have a blog of your own, I can link to those here too.

The 1-5 scale is how I've done short marketing surveys at work. I think the scale will give some consistency and the the additional comments will give you the freedom to rip or praise. I don't have any affiliation with Beckett Media. I did the blog post after reading the announcement on their site.

Taking part in the survey so far are: Rob from VOTC, Laloosh, and Brian from Play at the Plate. They commented on the original blog post and have already agreed to take a look at the magazine.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gary Carter Goes from Ducks to Sailfish

Gary Carter will not manage the NYMets or one of their minor league teams next season (sigh). Carter won't even be in the tri-state area to get a phone call. This explains why his Long Island Ducks Blog with Newsday has been out-of-order.

The Kid has resigned from managing the independent Long Island Ducks to be closer to home and manage the Division II Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish. Good thing Paul from Paul's Random Stuff picked up the Ducks autograph baseball for me this summer!

Carter may be criticized for jumping in front of any camera with a red light on the top, but he's wins everywhere he goes:

- Gulf Coast League and Florida State League Manager of the Year in 2005 and 2006.
- Port St. Lucie Mets 2006 League Champions
- Orange County (CA) Flyers 2008 Manager of the Year
- Orange County (CA) Flyers Golden Baseball League Champions
- Long Island Ducks playoffs in 2009.
Omar and Fred - are you hearing this?

Good luck to Gary Carter in south Florida. I hope an MLB team calls soon. He's good for the game and is widely regarded as an excellent manager.

Links announcing the Gary Carter Managing News:

Wally Backman Baseball Reference Page

So he's no longer employed by the Joliet Jackhammers - I'm still sponsoring the Wally Backman Baseball Reference page!

Last week the Backman sponsorship became open and this week I jumped on it!

I'm hoping the Mets decide to bring Wally Backman into the Wilpon Circle of Trust or at least bring him in to help develop some of the young talent. Reports last week indicated that Omar was close to hiring him in some capacity.

I know Backman has made his mistakes - we all witnessed his rise and fall with Arizona in a 72 hour reality TV show. I think the Mets should move past his off-field issues. Backman's minor league resume (sans Joliet) are impressive and his style of play and coaching is what the Mets need.
This is my second Baseball-Reference sponsorship. The Sports Locker blog also sponsors the Howard Johnson page.

Monday, October 12, 2009

1962 Mets Topps Project: Thomas and Mantilla

I'm still working on the 1962 Mets Topps team set. I'm a little over half-way on completing the team set. These are the last two that I've recently picked up.

Frank Thomas was the slugging outfielder for the expansion Mets. In 1962 he hit 34 home runs and drove in close to 100 RBIs. It was the last year Thomas would hit over 20 home runs in a season. Thomas can be found on the autograph circuit throughout the east coast.

Felix Mantilla was the shortstop for the Mets in 1962 and played in 141 games. 1962 was his only year with the Mets. He was traded to Boston in the off-season. He finished his career in 1966 with Houston.

Finishing my 1962 Mets team set is one of my collecting goals for 2010.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

1962 Project Topps Mets Project: Craig & Drake

I recently picked up two more cards for my 1962 Topps Mets team set project: Roger Craig and Sammy Drake.

Roger Craig was another Brooklyn Dodger to come back and play for the Mets in 1962. Craig lost 46 games in his two seasons with the Mets. He lost 24 during that fairly rough first year in 1962. In '63 he 22 games with an ERA under 4.00.

Sammy Drake's first year with the Mets was his last in baseball. In 1962, Sammy Drake hit .192 in 25 games for the Mets. He's listed as an infielder and outfielder on his card, but played his games at 2nd and 3rd for the Mets.

Awkward Baseball Cards

Todd Hundley is the winner of today's awkward baseball card.

I know some people really dig the Studio cards - but the feathered hair and catcher's mitt props don't do it for me. Although I was a big Todd Hundley fan.

Interesting stat on the back - he says that Anthony Young is his best friend.

I plan on getting Randy's autograph at an MAB show next month.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Twitter #FollowFriday Sports Cards 10/9

Another week and another #FollowFriday. If you're unfamiliar with #FollowFriday check out the blog post from a couple of weeks ago. Here is last week's version.

How to do it?
Log in to twitter and send a tweet like this one below - this is the one I sent on Friday, 10/9:
#FollowFriday Sports and Sports Cards @SportsCardInfo @CardBandits, @ACPressSusan_L, @SCFnews, @SportsCollector

Post a comment or send me an email if you'd like your twitter feed and link to your blog to be included next week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

1962 Mets Project: Cannizzaro & Chacon

I picked up two more cards for my 1962 Mets Topps team set.

Chris Cannizzaro was drafted by the Mets in the October '61 expansion draft. He hit .241 in 59 games for the Mets in 1962. Cannizzaro left the Mets after the 1965 season.

Elio Chacon was also picked up in the '61 expansion draft. Chacon was coming off a decent 1961 World Series runner-up finish with the Cincinnati Reds. Chacon's 1962 season with the Mets was his last in MLB. He hit .236 in 118 games.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Beckett Media Launches Cheer

"Cheer" is Beckett Media's newest magazine.

The magazine has information about some of the latest cheerleading cards and collectibles. Is this Beckett's version of the SI Swimsuit issue or the latest ESPN Magazine skin issue?

First issue is next week. Is this a monthly magazine?
EDIT 10/8: Tracy Hackler confirmed via Twitter that the magazine is a trial and does not have firm plans to become a monthly publication.

What do you think?

Is This the Best Donruss Could Do?

I liked Mark Carreon. I thought he was good outfielder for the Mets in the '90s. He was a great pinch hitter, fourth outfielder, and gamer to have on the team.

But can Donruss do any better on this card? His baseball card is him stepping back on first after a weak pick-off attempt? The card can't even capture the whole play. Where's the rest of the 1B?

Talk to Butch's Hand . . .

. . . Because he isn't listening.

In 1996 I thought Butch Huskey had a future with the Mets. At age 24, he finished his first full year with the Mets and hammered 15 home runs. After his second full year in 1997 he hit. 287 with 24 home runs. It seemed Butch was ready for a break-out year, but it never happened.

In 1998 Butch's average dropped 30 points and he was traded to Seattle in the off-season. He bounced around in the A.L. for a few seasons before leaving the game after the 2000 season.

This is Butch's 1997 (I think) Donruss card.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Johnson Covered in Teflon

I am relieved to see that Howard Johnson survived another dreadful Mets season and will be back in 2010. HoJo completed his second full season the Mets hitting coach.

I really thought HoJo was going to be on the hot seat, but unless he receives a full-time MLB managing gig this off-season, he will be returning to the Mets' hitting cage.

After reviewing the numbers, the Mets did surprisingly well offensively considering all of the injuries to three of their big hitters (Reyes, Beltran, Delgado).

In 2009, the Mets were 2nd in the National League in batting average with a .270 average (5th in MLB). The Mets OBP was 6th in the NL, but their OPS was 11th in the N.L.

In 2008, the Mets BA, OBP, and OPS were all 4th in the National League.

For the 2007 numbers, I only reviewed the stats after the all-star break since HoJo replaced Rick Down as hitting instructor in July. Since the break, the Mets finished 1st in the NL in batting average, 3rd in OBP, and 4th in OPS.

Forget the teflon - HoJo is a hitting coach genius!

One of my other favorite Mets, Wally Backman appears headed back to the organization (finally). A report in states that Backman will receive a minor league gig with the team! I know I'm being selfish here, but I hope it's with Buffalo - it would be great to see him come to Columbus when the Mets AAA team plays the Clippers.

Keeping HoJo and hiring Wally fulfills two off-season goals the Mets must have if they want to compete next year:
1 - Hire as many 1986 Mets as you can
2 - Get more 'staches on the Mets!

Hal McCoy No Longer Covering the Reds

Hal McCoy is finished covering the Reds after his 37th season. I've enjoyed reading his columns in the Dayton Daily News for a while now. It's tough to see the good ones leave.

Here is a link to Hal's "good-bye Reds" article in the Dayton Daily News. There are a couple of really cool memorabilia pieces. Brandon Phillips signed a baseball bat to him with the "30/30" inscription - something he only does for his mom and dad,
“To Hal ‘HoF’ McCoy. Thank you for all the support! Sorry that you have to go, but I know it’s not the last!’ Brandon Phillips, #4, Your boy, 30/30.”

The kid who caught the Johnny Gomes home run during Hal McCoy night stopped by,
" . . . his name is Kevin O’Neill of Erlanger, Ky. On the night Gomes hit his home run, O’Neill was in the upper deck in left field and got the ball. On Sunday, he came to the game carrying the ball in a plastic cover and gave it to me - this treasure of a ball that he could have kept, a ball used in a major-league game that was hit for a home run."

Thanks Hal for covering the Cincinnati Reds all these years and I look forward to seeing your new projects.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Celebrating the End of the 2009 Mets Season

I celebrated the end of the 2009 Mets season by doing what many Mets fans felt like - jumping out of an airplane!

I was going to write about all the Mets problems, but instead I'll share the pictures from skydiving.

We went to Start Skydiving in Lebanon, OH. The weather was perfect on Sunday morning (10/4/09). I was in the first group to go up in the plane around 8:30am. We jumped out of the plane we were about 12,500 feet above the surface.

The free fall (pictured here) lasted about 40 seconds before we opened the parachute. With the parachute opened we floated down for another 2 minutes or so.

It was such an amazing experience. Here's a link to the video.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Girls Dig Sports Cards Tweets?

The last few days of Twitter have been interesting. A lot of the sports cards bloggers have been talking about box breaks, hobby ethics, dentists and scary movies (ask Gellman about that one).

It's been pretty fun participating in conversations with SCUnscensored, Wax_Heaven, VOTC, Tracy Hackler, FCBsportscards and Chris Olds.

I had a good time with it, but I didn't know this person liked it too! My 661st follower on twitter is the screen cap here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Twitter #FollowFriday Sports Card Blogs - 10/2

Have you been following the sports blogs on Twitter? It was definitely a fun read this week between a few. Last week I provided the first #FollowFriday Sports Blog list. If you're unfamiliar with the #FollowFriday trend, take a look at the post last week.

This is a great to way to alert your followers of other twitter users you enjoy following.

How to do it?
Log in to twitter and send a tweet like this one below - this is the one I sent on Friday:
#FollowFriday Sports Cards @IamJoeCollector, @CardInformant, @WhiteSoxCards, @baseballzoch, @pricelesscards, @TracyHackler, @ChrisOlds2009

Post a comment or send me an email if you'd like your twitter feed and link to your blog to be included next week.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Is This the Best the US Post Office Can Do?

You have got to be kidding me.

I sold a card on eBay, received payment and used the USPS machine to weigh and pay postage for the bubble mailer with the top-loader inside. I paid the amount through the machine and dropped in the mail box. I thought I was done - not so fast!

Three days later I receive the picture you see here. Yes, that's a post-it note on my bubble mailer saying I need to pay $.17.

It took them 3 days to determine their machine caused a 17 cent error and their way to correct the error is add more of a delay by putting the bubble mailer on their truck and returning it to me with a post-it note saying I owe them. Are you kidding me?

Why not correct the machine and move on instead of wasting time over 17 cents?

Free Game Worn Mets Jerseys

The Mets are giving the shirts off their backs this weekend.

Twenty-five fans, selected at random by the Mets, will be able to choose which player's jersey they want to go home with. The fan selected first will have first dibbs, and the fan selected last will get Luis Castillo's jersey or whomever is left.

I think it's great to give-away the jerseys, but who are you going to get on this roster? I'd think David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Frankie Rodriguez would be the top 3, but after that? I'd go for Omir Santos. He's had some big hits this season and will most likely be the #1 catcher on the team next year.

Too bad you can't get the coach's jerseys... HoJo!