Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Yes! The 1986 NY Daily News

Collecting newspapers of your team's accomplishment is a great way to capture the moment. You get the "YES!," the stories from the writers who followed them all year, and the emotion of the town.

In 1986, I was more concerned with the outfit my 7th grade teacher was wearing than collecting a NY Daily News after the Mets won the World Series - so I never thought about keeping the paper.

I finally found really nice conditioned NY Post and NY Daily News from the day after Game 7 of the 1986 World Series.

I usually see the folded, ripped, and stained versions on eBay, but a dealer at the MAB show in November had some great ones. I really only wanted the NY Daily News (I like the cover better), but he gave me a great deal if I bought both.

These go with the Dallas Morning News from the Cowboys' Super Bowl wins in the '90s, the Baltimore Sun from Cal Ripken's streak, and several Sept. 12, 2001 newspapers - including the SF Chronicle with "BASTARDS" in bold type face on the cover.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Don Zimmer - 1962 Topps Mets

He's wearing a Mets hat, but has Cincinnati Reds listed for his team. Don Zimmer was an original Met before he was an army helmet wearing Yankee coach.

This 1962 Topps card was a bit more difficult to find. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a dealer at a show with a few 1962 cards to sell. Zimmer was the first, third-baseman in NY Mets history. He hit .390 in spring training in 1962 and appeared ready to hold the hot corner at the Polo Grounds (where the Mets played prior to Shea), but he started the season with five hits in 52 ABs. The Mets quickly traded him to Cincinnati in May.

Zimmer was traded to the Dodgers (the LA version this time) in Jan. 1963 and six months later was sent to the Washington Senators where he ended his playing career two seasons later.

Zim is living baseball history. He played with Jackie Robinson in Brooklyn, made the move with the team to LA, played on Stengel's expansion team in NY, and played on a Washington Senators team managed by Gil Hodges (Zim's former teammate in Brooklyn).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Information Golden Era of Sports Collecting

Are we in an Information Golden Era of Sports Collecting?

When I started the SportsLocker blog in November, 2007 there wasn't a lot of opinion and information on the internet. If you wanted the latest news and opinion, then you needed to subscribe to the magazines, find a good hobby shop, or hope to find one of the few blogs dedicated to the hobby. There were very few to choose from.

Fast-forward a couple of years and the landscape has really changed. Today, you can read blogs that focus on specific types, certain teams, individual players and the "stats on the back." You can read Beckett's opinion and the anti-Beckett opinion.

If you're into social networking, there are several facebook groups and fan pages run by fellow collectors. Upper Deck and Steiner Sports also do a lot of work on facebook and offer fans special access, sales, and contests.

Personally, I think Twitter made the biggest splash to the collecting world in 2009. Bloggers, corporations, and card manufacturers did more than dip their toe in the pool - they dove in to the deep end. Not only do they tweet when they have a new blog post, but they tweet when they have an opinion. Following collectors and some of the companies on twitter can bring you alerts to sales from Blowout Cards to interesting topics at the Freedom Card Board. If you didn't like the latest box break from Beckett, you can send Tracy Hackler and Chris Olds a message on twitter with your opinion (within 140 characters).

We don't have a shortage of information today. We have more opinions and places to get the latest scoop than I ever could have imaged two years ago. The landscape has changed and continues to evolve. I'm really enjoying this new world of collecting: it's more transparent, has more opinions, and is fun to be a part of.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rich Gedman Added to My 1986 Mets Holy Grail Autograph Project

My 1986 World Series Game 6 project is my favorite piece of memorabilia. I've been getting autographs on it for a while and last weekend I added another (and maybe the last) big name to it.

Rich Gedman was the behind the plate for the Red Sox during that 1986 World Series Game 6 moment. On November 14, Gedman was signing at the MAB show where I asked him to sign his name on the photo (bottom right corner).

He laughed and took a few moments to look at the autographs on it and asked some questions on where I found Dale Ford (home plate umpire).

My 1986 World Series Game 6 project is probably complete. It's doubtful that I'll find the other two umpires in the photo. If I don't end up getting their signatures, I'm happy with the autographs I have on it from:
- Mookie Wilson
- Bill Buckner
- Bob Stanley
- Bill Robinson
- Dale Ford
- Rich Gedman

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pete Rose and Bob Boone Autograph Story Baseball

About six years ago, I decided to start an autograph project that did more than collect signatures. I wanted it to be different. I wanted it to tell a story.

Pete Rose is one of my favorite players (add boo/hiss sounds here) and I wanted to do a project with him. "Sorry I bet on baseball" was not for me, but the idea is the same.

I decided to target the 1980 World Champion Phillies. With one out, in game 6, Frank White hit a pop-up down the first base line. Bob Boone chased after and tipped the ball just before Pete Rose could catch it from hitting the ground. Pete spiked the ball to the turf and ran back to first base.

Many credit Pete with making a great play, but Bob Boone remembers it a bit different.

While on vacation in Las Vegas a few years ago, I asked Pete Rose to autograph my 1980 World Series baseball with the inscription "I caught Boone's bobble in the 9th."

On Saturday, August 14, I asked Bob Boone to add to the story on the baseball. He read what Pete inscribed and I asked him to add something with his name. I was thinking, "Nice catch Pete" or "I should get the assist." Boone did even better.

Bob Boone added, "I'm the one that hustled on the play." Awesome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

HGTV for Collectors

It's not Kate Plus 8 Sans John, but from the makers of yuppie house flipping shows and Trading Spaces show extras want to clean your sports collectibles mess!

The National Sports Collectors Convention announced on their web site that HGTV is looking to do a sports collectible makeover. (I pray this is the last sentence I ever write with sports and makeover in it.)

HGTV is looking for families in NY, NJ, CT, PA, MD, MA and other Northeast locations. I guess the price of gas prevents them from going outside an I-95 outer loop.

The National is asking that you email them your piles of sports crap stories and they'll pass it on the people at HGTV. Send your information to: nicole.ford@leopardfilms.com. All e-mails must be received by 12/31/09 to be eligible.

The National Sports Collectors Convention story is here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

MAB Catcher's Show - Saturday Report

I only made it to one day of MAB's catcher-themed show. I was Secaucus, NJ for part of Saturday's autograph signing.

I thought this show was much more organized than the previous one they hosted in Long Island, NY. Why? Was it a return to familiar grounds at the Crowne Plaza? Were things easier because there were not as many tables and booths? Was it less chaotic because there weren't as many people attending the show?

I think those reasons played a factor. However, MAB was much better organized from the last show I went to. They had a clear entry/exit point with a table in the front and they did a better job preparing for their big name guest (Joe Torre).

An entire section of the room became the Torre area. In the past, people waiting for the big name guests were mixed in with all the other collectors. You wouldn't think it's a big deal, but when you consider Torre easily had 300 people waiting for his signature, it made a lot of sense to reserve a bigger section of the room for them.

I'd still like to see more MAB people helping patrol the entry/exit points. I thought there were still too many people jumping in when the MAB workers weren't looking.

I'd also like to give the players more of an official announcement when they are entering the autograph area and exiting. I believe they deserve it and as fans/collectors, we'd like to give them another round of applause. Why not provide a simple, "Fans, please welcome Carlton Fisk to the autograph area." When the players leave, it would be nice to hear, "Fans please join me in thanking Carlton Fisk for his autograph time today." I'm not asking for a wave, but I think it would be a polite gesture to clap for the players as they come and go.

I didn't get too many autographs, but I'm really pleased with the two autographs I picked up on Saturday. I'll post some pictures this week on the blog.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mr. Mint Episode II: Revenge of the Sith

You've seen the smile, the ads, and the videos of Mr. Mint (Alan Rosen) and he's back for more. This weekend Mr. Mint is back in New York after a 10 year hiatus.

According to the NY Daily News, Rose is doing the memorabilia show in Queens as revenge to a rival promoter who claims he reneged on a deal. "That's the main reason I'm doing this show, to rub a little salt," Rosen said of his feud with promoter Jim Ryan, who runs competing conventions in Nassau and Westchester counties.

MM left the NY scene because of what he perceived as "greed" in the industry. Hello Kettle?

To me, it seems a little ironic that someone promoting them selves as "Mr. Mint," while paying cash to buy collections and then flip them for a huge profit is using "greed" as an excuse to not attend a NY show.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two Million Dollars For Old Peter King Columns

OK, so it's a little more than old Peter King columns. For $2 Million you can own the most comprehensive autograph Sports Illustrated collection that exist outside of Peter King's garage.

Scott Smith has approximately 94% of the entire magazine's history with autograph covers and he's selling all of it.

I've never been a big autograph magazine collector or even autograph photo collector. I have a few photos, but you end up struggling to find a place to display them or show them. Autograph cards are easy to store in a binder and bring them out to show people. But how do you store thousands of magazines? I guess that's a question for new owner.

And Here:

Sports Locker Recovering

The PC is getting worked on and I'm borrowing someone's rig so I can make some posts and find the outside world.

I don't know about you guys, but I could live without a TV for a long time without any issues. Taking away my PC and Internet for a few days is about to drive me insane though.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SportsLocker on the DL

Sorry for the lack of posts last week and moving into this week.

I've had some PC problems for a few days. I'll try to get this resolved ASAP.
Note to self: Dude, don't get a dell, get a Mac!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New York Area Shows Compete for Yankees, Mets and Collectors

Competition may be good for the collector, but it doesn't help the stress-level next weekend.

November 14-15
MAB Celebrity Services has several NY Mets and Yankees in their catcher's themed show - including Joe Torre and Yogi Berra with throw back pricing.

Steiner Sports Store in Roosevelt Field Mall has Gary Carter signing autographs on Saturday, 11/14.

Alex Rodriguez has a rare public signing event at Last Licks on 11/14 at the Green Tree Club in the NY area.

The New York State National has Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau and other New York Mets signing autographs on 11/14.

There's no lack of options on where to spend your New York themed collection dollar next weekend. I plan on going to the MAB show for a couple of projects I'm working on.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Meeting Real Heroes - Members of Easy Company

Every now and then I need a reminder of who are heroes in this world and who are guys that play a game.

On Saturday, 10/31, I met eight members of Easy Company. A Barnes & Noble store not too far from where I live hosted a Marcus Brotherton book event. Brotherton recently came out with "We Who Are Alive And Remain: Untold Stories From the Band of Brothers." His book provides more background and stories on some of the Easy Company members who may not have been portrayed in the HBO Special: Band of Brothers.

The event started to thunderous applause - well, as much as possible in a book store. As members of Easy Company entered the store and into the event area everyone around them stood up, stopped what they were doing, and began to clap. Some even started to cry.

Marcus Brotherton spoke first by thanking everyone and read a small, chilling section from his book. He spoke about a hero who overcame injury, adversity, and 18 months of therapy from his battlefield wounds. He then introduced the person he was speaking about and handed the microphone to Veteran Herb Suerth Jr. who proceeded to introduce the other seven members with a great story about each one.

A quick Q&A session followed the introductions and then everyone in attendance signed the book.

I though the line to get my book signed would move slow because it may take the veterans a little longer with the pen. I couldn't have been more wrong. The line went slow because each one of them wanted to talk, thank you for coming out, and genuinely wanted to get to know you. It was the highlight of my Halloween and easily the best autograph I have ever received.

I brought my two boys with me so they could see who real heroes are. You can see the top of their heads in the picture. They didn't get a chance to meet my Grandfather - a proud WWII veteran. This event is probably the closest they will ever have.

Autograph Show Top 10 List

CSA Shows held their final event of 2009 last weekend. CSA Shows does a great job doing four events a year in Chantilly, VA.

The biggest change I noticed about this show was their use of twitter. CSA began sending autograph guest updates throughout the weekend via twitter. You can subscribe to their updates at www.twitter.com/csashows

I couldn't’t make it to this show. I was busy helping Obi Wan Kanobi and Clone Trooper Commander Cody collect candy door-to-door on Saturday. I’ve been critical of their all-Steelers all the time approach to previous shows, but this one was much more diverse and their top 10 ticket sellers had a bit of everything: baseball, football, and hockey!

Here are the Top 10 Pre-sale autograph ticket purchases:
1. Ryan Zimmerman
2. Deacon Jones
3. Frank Howard
4. Bert Jones
5. Carlton Fisk
6. Ozzie Newson
7. Fergie Jenkins
8. Sonny Jurgensen
9. Lee Roy Selmon
10. Alexander Ovechkin

CSA Show dates for 2010 (so far) are:
- March 26, 27, 28
- July 9, 10, 11