Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Mookie is one of my all-time favorite Mets.

It's more than his stolen bases, triples, doubles, and solid outfield play. It's 1986 Game 6, it's wearing shades while batting and it's being cool.

How cool is Mookie?
His real name is William Hayward - his grandmother nicknamed him Mookie.
He was married at home plate before a minor league baseball game in Jackson, MS on June 22, 1978. How cool is it to be married on a baseball field before a minor league game!

Mookie's Mets records may slowly start falling to Jose Reyes, but Mook's energy, passion, and coolness keep him at the top.

I like Jose... but what if it was Jose Reyes that hit that ground ball to Buckner. Do you think Jose would have busted out of the box like Mookie did to try and beat him to the bag?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Pieces of Meadowlands Sans Hoffa

Steiner Sports is selling pieces of Giants Stadium.

Through their web site you can purchase seats, seat backs, pieces of the turf and concrete that encases for the former Teamsters boss. Or not.

For $500 you can get two red seats. I really don't think that's a bad price if you're a Giants or Jets fan considering the prices the Yankees, Mets, and Cowboys asked for their seat pairs.

True, Giants Stadium doesn't have the history of Yankee Stadium or maybe even Texas Stadium, but I'd say it's better than Shea. The Mets were selling their seat pairs for $869. One Shea Stadium seat back will still cost you $300.

I'm a big fan of stadium seats. I picked up a pair of Texas Stadium seats last year.

Free Lou Gehrig Patch Card for Blog Followers

Join the Sports Locker tribe and get a free 2009 Topps Lou Gehrig patch card.

To win the Gehrig patch card:
- Click the "follow" button in the top of the right column and choose your method to follow the blog postings.
- If you currently follow the Sports Locker, then you are already entered to win.
- Be on the "follow the blog" list by 12/31 at midnight.

Thanks and good luck.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Avatar Director James Cameron Curses Out Fan Asking for Autograph

Stay classy James. Stay classy.

I like how the fan gives it right back to him.

Tony Gwynn Has a Face Full of Dirt

The kids received some Topps 2009 cards and this one caught my eye.

It's a pretty good shot of Tony Gwynn sliding into home plate against the Astros. I don't see a tag by the catcher, so it looks like he's safe.

We've been a fan of the 2009 Topps set. I don't collect too many modern cards, but I liked the price and design of these cards. It made it easy for the kids to get into our team collecting.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Topps 3D Cards - The 2nd Best Augmented Reality Tool of 2009

According to the writers at Mashable, the social media guide, Topps' use of web cams was only out-done by BMW Z-4 campaign.

I blogged in March about the Topps 3D Cards. I think the technology could be cool and a great technique to teach kids about baseball (for the purposes of this example), but we're not there yet. Right now, I side on this being a gimmick.

I hope Topps continues to improve and add to this technology. As I mentioned in March, I'd like to see:
  • players playing the game?
  • get classic video and reenactments of the history of the game like Kirk Gibson in '88 and Mookie Wilson in '86.
I like reading Mashable, but I don't agree with Topps being #2 on this list.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Howard Johnson - The N.L. All-Time Switchhit HR King

At one time HoJo was the greatest single season home run hitter in National League history.

This 1987 Donruss card highlights HoJo's accomplishment on September 21, 1987. HoJo hit a two-out, 8th inning grand slam off Cubs reliever Ed Lynch. It was his 36th home run of the season.

The National League single season mark (35) was previously held by James "Rip" Collins of the St. Louis Cardinals who set the record in 1934.

Strasburg, Schmasburg . . . I keep thinking of Brien Taylor

Stephen Strasburg may sign an exclusive deal with Topps, but I keep thinking of Brien Taylor.

On the surface, it seems a bit like deja vu. A Scott Boras client demands top dollar before throwing a pitch in the majors, negotiations go long and in the end Boras gets his money.

Remember Brien Taylor? Boras was an "advisor" at the time (different rules back then) and had long contract negotiations with the Yankees before getting his price. What happened to Taylor? He tore his labrum in a bar fight while in the minors and never really recovered.

Taylor eventually (officially) retired in 2000. He now lives with his parents in the house his signing bonus paid for on a street named after him, working for his dad's brick company, and supporting his five children.

Hopefully Strasburg has better results, but please excuse my lack of enthusiasm for a pitcher who wasn't won anything yet. I've seen this script before.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Like Christmas in December

Thanks to everyone who left a comment to be in the 2009 TriStar Mini Obak Cards give-away.

Using, the winner is: Smirker!

I gave everyone a number, put it in and generated a number. Smirker was assigned to #9 and was selected.

Congrats to Smirker - Please send me an email with your mailing address and I'll get a bubble mailer sent out to you this week.

Thanks again to everyone and Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Win 2009 Obak Mini National Exclusive Cards - Contest

UPDATE: Contest Closed.
I picked up these 2009 Obak Minis at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, Ohio this summer and forgot I had them for give-away! Leave a comment a win!

This is part of the "exclusive to the National" set - some are serial numbered 84/100. Below is a list of the 13 cards.

Contest and Rules
This is a weekend contest only! To win, just leave a comment by midnight ET on Sunday, Dec. 20th and I'll use to choose a winner.

The cards are:
N1 - Ted Williams (84/100)
N2 - Satchel Paige (84/100)
N3 - Carlos Santana (84/100)
N4 - Bo Jackson (84/100)
N5 - John Heisman (84/100)
N6 - Kurt Angle (84/100)
N7 - Angelina Love - Velvet Sky (84/100)
N8 - Barack Obama (84/100)
N11 - Jesus Montero
N14 - Buster Posey
N16 - Logan Morrison
N21 - Randal Grichuk
N24 - Barack Obama

Good luck.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Whoa! Look out HoJo!

That baseball is going knock the 'stache right off our man Howard Johnson.

This is the back of a 1993 Upper Deck card of Howard Johnson. It's one of the more interesting back of the card pictures I've seen of HoJo.

In 1992 HoJo was hit by a pitch twice, and 1993 he wasn't hit at all.

Topps Super Star Stickers

It's a Super Star and it's two stickers. Of course, to get the stickers, you have the fold the card to peel them off.

Why does it have a picture Doc Gooden on the front, and smaller stickers of a Tiger and Cardinal on the back? If you want a reason to not fold the card and take the stickers, I guess that would be it. I never really got into the dual purpose cards. Just give me a solid card, I don't need the gum or the stickers or the 3D effects. Is that asking too much to just want a solid looking card?

I think it's Tommy Herr with the Cards, but I can't make out who the Tigers' pitcher is.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

SweetSpot Baseball Cards Via Twitter

It pays to be on Twitter some times.

Rob from Voice of The Collector did a "Twitters Only" box break. After getting people to respond, Rob then asked for bids from the card sellers for the best deal. Now that's using twitter to everyone's advantage.

Blowout came back with the best price and VOTC is collecting the scans and results. As you can see from the picture, we were sooo surprised with the results!

VOTC will have a complete recap and scans.
Rob - Thanks for putting this together - good times.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dallas Cowboys Autograph Show at CSA Shows?

A pretty strong Dallas Cowboys autograph is in the works at CSA Shows.

March 26-28, 2010 is three months away, but the show already has confirmed three former Dallas Cowboys: Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, and Herschel Walker.

I'm pretty much set with Roger Staubach after this summer and Tony D (when he wouldn't get off the phone to sign an autograph, but Herschel Walker is a great addition! I was a huge fan of Herschel back in the day.

Don't forget Emmitt Smith is due to get elected to the HOF this spring and CSA does an amazing job of getting the new HOF class to sign at their March shows.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, and D.J. Dozier?

D.J. Dozier was supposed to be the next in line for 2-sport stardom. It didn't quite happen that way.

Dozier was a great running with Penn State - he had the winning touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl game over the heavy favorite and dressed in camouflage fatigues Miami Hurricanes. He was later drafted #14 by the Minnesota Vikings.

His baseball career was also off to a hot start. In 1990 he hit .324 in 29 games with Jackson and moved up to hit 13 home runs with the St. Lucie Mets. In 1991 he was #44 on the Baseball American All-Time Top 100 prospect list.

But it didn't work out for D.J. In his only season in professional baseball, Dozier hit .191 in 25 games with the Mets.

I was a believer - I thought he'd turn it around and would be a big success in the pros.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

HoJo was Born with a 'stache

A lot of players make their MLB debut clean cut or with stubble thin enough they could shave with a credit card. Howard Johnson was not one of those players.

I don't think I've ever seen a card of Howard Johnson without some sort of facial hair. I'm beginning to think he was born with a 'stache.

This is a 1985 Fleer card of Howard Johnson in his Detroit Tigers uniform. I can't believe I didn't have this HoJo card until a few weeks ago!

I need to do a serious inventory of these Howard Johnson cards.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Did Saved by the Bell Inspire Upper Deck?

They look pretty similar to me!

Every time I see this 1993 Upper Deck card of Howard Johnson I unfortunately think of Slater and Screech. Sad I know. . . but don't deny that you never watched it.

It's the bright colors, sharp edges, and off-center pieces.

Now if I could just find some baseball cards that remind me of Elizabeth Berkley and Tiffani Thiessen.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Paging Doc Fernando Seaver

The Sportflics TriStars cards always annoyed me. Instead of getting one good image on a card, I was stuck with three bad ones.

You always had to hold the card just right way and in the right light to see the players. It reminds me of a Jerry Seinfeld sitcom girlfriend - remember the two-faced date? Depending on the lighting, she looked great - in a different lighting... not so much.

This card has Doc Gooden, Fernando Valenzuela and Tom Seaver - if you look at it in the right light.

The 20/20 Club Was a Big Deal

Q: When did the 20/20 club stop being a big deal?

A: When you're Howard Johnson and you had a 30/30 season the year before.

In 1987 HoJo burst into the Mets starting line-up hitting 36 home runs, 99RBIs, and 32 stolen bases. The Mets just missed the playoffs thanks to crappy sinkerball from Roger McDowell to Terry Pendelton! Well, at least that's who I blame it on.

In 1988, HoJo followed his '87 season with a 20/20 campaign hitting 24 home runs, 68 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dave Kingman's Eyes Could Kill a Man

Now that's the look of a home run hitter!

This is Dave Kingman's 1984 Fleer card. It's one of my favorites of the great home run hitter.

Kingman hit 442 home runs in his career - including a 48 hr season with the Cubs in 1979. Kingman put up some great power numbers in his career, but never finished in the top 10 of the MVP voting.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Remember the Can't Miss Mets Prospect: David West

Fill in the blank: The latest Mets Prospect to become a complete bust is: _________. One of the first Mets prospect busts that I remember is David West.

David West was the can't miss prospect in the mid to late '80s for the New York Mets. He started the International League all-star game for two straight years before the Mets traded him to the Twins in 1989.

In return for David West, Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond and Kevin Tapani, the Mets received Frank Viola. Viola was supposed to be the missing piece for the NY Mets. He had a 2 1/2 good seasons with the Mets before moving on, but couldn't bring the Mets to the playoffs.

In three full seasons with the Twins, West went 12-16 with a 5.16 ERA. He never became the ace of a staff as projected.

Ironically, West did win a World Series ring with the Twins in 1991. He was also part of the 1993 Phillies who lost to the Blue Jays. Frank Viola never made it back to the post-season after he left Minnesota

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Steiner Sports Next Step? Get an Autograph and a Conversation via Skype

I think we're getting closer to a really great autograph experience for collectors who can't make it to the in-person autograph events.

Steiner Sports recently announced their live web cam to see athletes signing jerseys and photos. This isn't a first for the hobby, but it is a step up from the Pete Rose autographcast hosted by FansEdge.

Next step? I'd like to see some skype video! It would be great to get autograph from your favorite players while having a quick video chat as they sign and personalize your item.

Howard Johnson is a 1989 Donruss Diamond King

Add another Howard Johnson card to my collection.

I picked up a 1989 Donruss Diamond King card of HoJo. I like the back of the card the best on the Diamond Kings. You don't get a fancy table of stats or odd quotes from other players... you get an old school block of text!

The back of this card starts with "Had it not been for Kevin Mitchell and Will Clark, Howard Johnson would have had an easy path to the Most Valuable Player Award." The block of text on the back of the card ends with, "A simply stellar year." Was this written by HoJo's agent?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tired of Obama Cards? How about Robert Livingston?

Who isn't tired of Barry Obama cards? More importantly, how do I have a 2009 Topps American Heritage Robert Livingston card?

Cardboard Junkie has a nice recap on the set, but why is Robert Livingston in my collection?

I like card sets that are full of historical people, but the sets that have a card with a picture of the president holding a bat drive me nuts.

If I want a historical/political set, I'll get a pack of '09 Topps American Heritage, otherwise, keep them out of baseball card packs!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

1987 Topps - How I Miss Thee

Is it the wood paneling or the great action shots? For whatever reason, I'm huge 1987 Topps fan.

I remember having a ton of these 1987 Topps Mets cards. They were kept in great condition: stuck with a push pin on a New York Mets pennant in my bedroom. Doh!

I had a ton of them, now the ones I kept have holes in the top.

I'm thinking this 1987 Topps Mets set is going to be my next team set.

Sports Locker Blog Ready to Write Again

It's a been a few weeks and I'm sorry for not blogging much. I've had problems computer problems and work reorganizations that have taken up too much time. Thankfully, it seems to be over and I can get back to some fun sports card and memorabilia writing.

Thank you for your patience.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Autograph My Wall - Please!

I don't understand the fascination athletes are having with graffiti these days.

First Doc Gooden was signing anything he could inside the Mets new $iti Field and now Eli Manning is running crazy with a sharpie in the new Cowboys Stadium.

It cracks me up how Bradie James (my favorite player on the Cowboys) is pissed off about it. Hey Bradie - if you didn't want him writing the score, maybe you guys should have won the game!

What will the Cowboys do with the area Eli signed? I'd like to see them cut it out the block (or whatever it is on) and put it in the middle of the Cowboys locker room as a reminder to what the Giants did.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Collecting For Your Kids

I started collecting World Series Programs for my kids when they were born. Years ago, I thought it would be a good idea for them to have a World Series Program of each year they were alive. I plan on doing it until they're old enough to continue the habit or when they give me the "Dad, that old crap is boring" line.

I decided the World Series programs because I think they provide an accurate reflection on the overall baseball season and snapshot of our popular culture. Ten or fifteen years from now, they'll be able to not only get a quick glance of the season (and Phillies/Yankees), but also get a snapshot of our society during that time.

For example, I have a few old Super Bowl programs that I like to look through. Learning about the players and teams are great, but I always find the advertisements extremely interesting. The "new Zenith color TV" advertisement is one of my favorites. I also like the "yoo-hoo sports drink." I like a cold yoo-hoo as much as the next guy, but I can't imagine drinking it to quench my thirst right after a game.

I decided not to do team sets of every year for them. I want the card collecting to be something fun we can do and learn together. As they get older, they'll also develop their own product preference.

Other ideas to consider:
- Super Bowl Programs
- Team Year Books
- Card Sets