Sunday, January 31, 2010

Herschel Walker Wins MMA Debut

Herschel Walker was one of my favorite players as I was growing up. He had the power to run over linebackers and the speed to out run defensive backs.

I'll finally get a chance to get his in-person autograph at next month's CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. I was planning on getting an autograph mini helmet, but maybe I should get some MMA gloves for him to sign?

The 47-year old Walker looked pretty impressive Saturday night for his MMA debut - Strikeforce Miami. Walker beat Greg Nagy in a 3rd round TKO.

Voting for the 2009 Freedom Card Board Awards

Vote your favorite product(s) and online retailer at the 2009 Freedom Card Board Collector's Choice Awards.

Register at FCB to vote.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mets Employee Steals from Shea - Only makes $840

A Mets employee stole bases, seats and other memorabilia from Shea Stadium and only made $840. I think that says more about the team than the one of your own employees stealing from the company.

According to the NY Daily News, a security guard plead guilty to stealing from the Mets during the Shea Stadium demolition.

His punishment - in addition to repaying the Mets, he's banned from $it Field for one year. How is banning someone from watching the Mets in person a punishment.

Real punishment would be making him watch every pathetic inning at $iti Field this season!.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Interview with Johnny Evers

Earlier this month I wrote about the Fred Merkle/Johnny Evers baseball going up for auction with Robert Edwards Auctions. This is a great piece of baseball history. Personally, I think it belongs in a museum for everyone to see and learn from.

I got in contact with John Evers in August, 2008 after writing an article for the Beckett web site. John Evers is the great, great nephew of Cubs Hall of Famer Johnny Evers.

We've exchanged a emails since then (he's actually a Red Sox fan now) and he allowed me to blog about our exchanges. I'm thankful for the conversations we've had and I hope to meet him in person and talk about his great, great uncle. He's done a lot of research on Johnny Evers. Here's a recap of our exchanges:

Q: How do you feel about Johnny Evers/Fred Merkle ball being auctioned?

A: I have mixed emotions about the ball being auctioned. It would never have made it to Christy's for auction to begin with if not for the bad times that feel on the Evers brothers back in the early 1990s. So much of Johnny's memorabilia was lost over the years.

Q: What is your background on the baseball? How did you get in contact with the baseball?

A: The ball itself was a company asset that we found in a box in a file cabinet in the late 1980s or early 1990s. My father and two uncles and I didn't quite know what to make of it. I did some research and connected the dots. It had written on it "Merkle, Sept 23, 1908" in handwriting. I assumed it was Johnny's handwriting. The ball itself was old and brown. Nothing else was written on it. We knew that Johnny kept some of his artifacts around but we didn't know what happened to them.

Q: What did you do with the baseball when you found it?

A: I had kept the ball for a while on my desk. When we found it may be worth something we put it in a safety deposit box.

Q: Why did the family originally sell it?

A: It was originally sold to keep the family business going: “Johnny Evers Sporting Goods Company.”

Q: Who worked for the Johnny Evers Sporting Goods Company in your family?

A: My father worked there from 1966 until 1992. Johnny Evers had a younger brother, Joe, who did a lot of the work. Johnny brought in the business by doing the speeches, school talks and such. Joe sold the equipment.

Q: Did you have any other family members play professional baseball?

A: My great-grandfather Joe Evers played only 1 game in the pros.

Q: What do you do today in upper New York?

A: I run the state food bank association in NY.

Thanks again Johnny. I really appreciate your time.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wally Backman and Mookie Wilson's First Game

September 2, 1980 is a memorable date for Mets fans - it's the first game Wally Backman and Mookie Wilson played in the majors.

I've never been a big ticket collector, but I couldn't resist the temptation from a recent Lenny Steren's "Master of Tickets" email. I met Lenny at the 2009 National in Cleveland - I bought the Wally Backman bat I have from him.

I was originally looking for some Howard Johnson ticket stubs, but I couldn't pass on the first game for Wally and Mookie. Two great Mets who helped define an era of Mets baseball.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rich Klein Begins The 2010 National Facebook Group Discussion

The National Facebook Group discussion has started. Rich Klein kicked off his admin duties with a post on Monday. Check it out here.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jim Lansford's 1952 Bowman Small Eludes Me

Jim Lansford: Why does your '52 Bowman Small cost so much?

I've been working on a Dallas Texans, 1952 Bowman Small team set for year or so now. I'm almost complete, except for Jim Lansford!

His '52 Bowman small is constantly listed at $65 on eBay, but it never sells. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks $65 is too much. The most I've spent for any card in this current set is about $20 - it isn't graded quality, but that's a not a big deal to me for this team set.

Perhaps I should contact the seller if it doesn't sell? Is that unethical?

Friday, January 22, 2010

2010 Super Bowl NFL Experience - Not This Year

NFL has CXL their EXP.

I've gone to two NFL Experiences and both have been great times. There are a ton of games, free autographs, cool interactive experiences with players, and Topps hosts a huge card show in the middle of it all.

Unfortunately, fans headed to south Florida won't be experiencing any of that this year. As previously announced last May, the NFL canceled the event for this year's Super Bowl. I believe it's the first time in 18 years they will not have it. There is usually still a ton of events around the host city, cook-offs, fireworks, parades and parties.

I think the cancellation is due to the economic impacts of the corporate sponsors (although the league has laid-off several people this year). It's a huge expense for Samsung, Direct TV and others.

Hopefully the league will add it back next year when the Super Bowl is in Jerry's World.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The 2010 National Facebook Group - A Legend and a Local

The National Facebook Group has two new administrators: Hobby Legend Rich Klein and local Baltimore (area) collector Shawn Miller.

Rich brings his valuable insight and years of The National experience to the group. He'll post discussion topics on this year's National and provide reflections on previous shows.

Shawn is an expert in the Baltimore area and local collecting scene. In addition to discussion topics, Shawn will help all of us with The National logistics: places to see after the show, events to attend while we're in town, and areas to avoid!

Thanks to Rich and Shawn for volunteering some time to make this a great facebook group to talk about The 2010 National Sports Collectors Convention.

If you're on Facebook, join the conversation and join the group today:;

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 30, 2010 is SABR Day

What are you doing for SABR day?

The Society for American Baseball Research is having their first annual SABR day on 1/30/10.

Click here for a link to the SABR calendar and find a chapter and event near you. I'm thinking of heading to MudHens chapter meeting - a bit of a drive for me though.

Howard Johnson Bunting? NEVER!

Say it ain't so!

This 1990 Score card looks like Howard Johnson getting ready to run down the first base line after dropping a sacrifice bunt. But it can't be... can it?

In 1989 HoJo hit .287 with 36 HRs and 101 RBIs. I refuse to believe it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Beckett Media Tour

Mixing work with cards? Not really, but I was in Dallas last week on a business trip and took the chance to swing by the Beckett Media corporate center.

I received some messages from people who expected the corporate office to be like L.Frank Baum's Emerald City and others questioned why even go there. For me, it was an opportunity to see the inner-workings of Beckett.

In my opinion, the Beckett corporate office is a lot like many corporate buildings we work in today. There are offices of people working harder and longer than ever, and offices filled with reminders of when times were better.

Beckett's Tracy Hackler met me at the security desk for the tour. The first stop was the main entrance area where a wall of current Beckett magazines are displayed. We then entered a two story room full of employee cubes, large tables, and smaller offices looking over the area. Most of the cubes below were empty and the tables were full of print proofs. The offices upstairs still had many people working after 5:00 to meet deadlines. Tracy's office had some cool Arena Football League memorabilia and Chris Olds' had the Beckett Alabama issue on his desk (he's a huge 'bama fan).

We then walked to another part of the building to find the Beckett theater! Their headquarters has a nice stadium seat theater for corporate events, movie nights or watching the college football BCS Championship. While most of us watched the Texas/Alabama game at home on the couch or in bed; to meet print deadlines and get a product to the street in a timely manner, Tracy, Chris and others were at the Beckett headquarters until 4am during the night of the national championship. The movie theater had the championship game on the big screen for employees to catch the score, see some highlights or view Colt McCoy's x-ray results.

The card grading area was in a secure location of the building. Only employees with badge access could get in the area and obviously visitors were not allowed.

The tour ended at the filming studio/box break room and it was full of 1/1 cards! :) Seriously it was just a room with the lighting, camera and table. I just kept thinking - this is where conspiracies are born! :)

The Beckett tour lasted about 30 minutes or so. It was good to see and I'm grateful for the time he spent.

Friday, January 15, 2010

He Really Wanted an Autograph

The price fans pay for autograph or game used equipment.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010 National Sports Collectors Convention Autograph Guests

Tristar is expected to name the first autograph guests for the 2010 National Sports Collectors Convention on Friday, Jan. 15.

I'll add the guest list to the The National Facebook group page after they are announced.

Tristar sent a twitter update and posted the news on their web site that the announcement would be 1/15.

I'm predicting the first few guests will be the same Tristar names: Joe Montana, Bart Starr, Bo Jackson, Jim Palmer, and Cal Ripken. I hope they'll get some guests we haven't seen for a while at the show.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Touring Beckett Media HQ

I'm in Dallas, TX this week for business and I have the chance to check out Beckett Headquarters. I'll see Tracy this afternoon for the tour.

  • Any suggestions on what to ask?
  • What should I take pictures of?

A $21 Million Pete Rose Artwork

I was looking on eBay for some cool Pete Rose items to get signed when I came across this piece of . . . art. The item is listed as: "Tommervik Deco Pete Rose Portrait Baseball Painting Art."

Even if I had $21 Million to spend on art, I don't think I could spend it on a picture of Pete Rose.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pete Rose to Upper Deck - Dual Autograph Request

I'm looking forward to the Pete Rose cards with Upper Deck's 2010 Goudey card set. Last week UD announced the agreement with Pete Rose.

I was never a big fan of the Sportskings cards that recently came out with Rose cards and autographs. They were priced out of my budget and I'm not a huge fan of their look/appearance. Hopefully the UD Goudey cards will look sharp and fit in my card collecting budget.

I'd like to see a dual autograph card with Rose and Garvey. The picture with the two of them in it was taken right after Rose picked up hit #4,192.

I have an 8x10 of Rose and Garvey with both of their signatures that I'll post on here some day. Garvey signs pretty frequently at the Rose Las Vegas location in Caesar's Palace, but I think a card with both autographs would be awesome.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bloggers Helping Bloggers - Frank White Autograph

Special thanks to Zach from the Autographed Cards blog.

Zach is going to the Kansas City Royals Fanfest on January 15 and offered to help get autographs. I'm not necessarily a Royals fan, but I desperately need Frank White's autograph. Frank White's autograph will complete my 1980 World Series autograph story baseball.

With one out, in game 6, Frank White hit a pop-up down the first base line. Bob Boone chased after it 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.

Pete Rose signed the a 1980 World Series baseball for me saying, "I caught Boone's bobble in the 9th."Bob Boone last year added, "I'm the one that hustled on the play." What can Zach get Frank White to add?! I can't wait to find out.

Thank you Zach!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pete Rose's Creepy Hand Casting

For $500 you can own an official casting of Pete Rose's hand finished in bronze. The casting comes with an autographed Pete Rose baseball and a COA. There are only 303 made available.

I like Pete Rose memorabilia, but this is a bit extreme. Sort of reminds me of the The Marriage Ref Fake Leg episode.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Andre Dawson Autograph Signing - That Didn't Take Long

MAB officially added Andre Dawson to their January 30 autograph guest list.

The Hawk was originally added to the list with a "if he's elected to the HOF" disclosure. I thought that was pretty funny at the time they added it and it was quickly removed.
However, less than 24 hours after his election was announced by MLB, Andre Dawson's picture and pricing was added to the site.

The Jan. 30-31 show is promoted as a Yankees "27 Rings" themed production. In addition to Dawson, MAB also has Luis Aparicio, Dick Williams and Whitey Herzog on the agenda as special guests.

Andre Dawson's pricing is:
- Flats up to 8x10: $59
- O/S Flats, Caps, Equipment: $69
- Bats/Jerseys/Jersey #s: $79
- Inscriptions (like HOF '10): $20
Of course if Andre's your BFF, you could skip the event and just get pictures of the two of you like our friends at the 30-Year Old Cardboard. Check out those pictures!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fred Merkle - Johnny Evers Baseball Auction

Thanks to the Blue Heaven Blog and Sports Collector's Daily for bringing this amazing auction to my attention. The baseball from the historic "Merkle Boner Play" is going up for auction.

This is a great piece of baseball history. In August, 2008 I wrote a guest column for Beckett about the 100 year anniversary of the play that kept the Cubs out of the World Series. Since then, I've exchanged a few emails with the great, great nephew of Johnny Evers (John Evers) and have tried to get an interview with him.

I sent John an email Wednesday morning to get his take on the baseball going up for sale. His family originally sold the baseball to keep the "Johnny Evers Sporting Goods Company" in business - eventually it closed it's doors in 1994.

Keep your fingers crossed on this one! It would be great to get John's take on this auction.

Is the Triumph Football Spectacular Out of Business?

"They are real. And they are spectacular."

Is the Triumph Sports "Football Spectacular" done? The 2009 spring show was canceled and it doesn't seem like a 2010 show is happening either.

The huge football autograph/memorabilia show was held each year in Edison, NJ had a big name guests like Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Dan Marino, Emmitt Smith, and John Elway.

I've emailed them a few times asking about the 2010 show, but have not received an answer. All the links to on their web site seem to be out of business too.

Is this another casualty of the economy?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

An Autograph Cowboys Chemo Celebration

The Jones Journey Blog will move you, inspire you, push you to hug your kids a little longer before going to work and motivate you to appreciate each moment you have.

I read this blog entry about Brayden having a special Dallas Cowboys themed Christmas. The highlight (for him) was receiving two autographed photos of Cowboys' running back Felix Jones. His nurse contacted the Cowboys, shared his story, and asked for the photos. The highlight for everyone else was seeing his smile and reaction.

Take a moment and read the blog entry about Brayden's Cowboy Christmas. While there is an element of collecting and loving your favorite team, this story is more about the good work that is done every day in hospitals and treatment centers around the country.

Hopefully Brayden's treatment continues to go well.

1994 - A Mets Trifecta of Suck

A lot of things sucked for Mets fans in 1994.

First there was the Bobby Bonilla factor. I never liked Bobby Bo and in '94 he was coming off his second straight disappointing season in New York. After hitting .301 in 1991 and signing a fat contract with the Mets, Bonilla posted a .249 batting average in '92 and a .265 average in 1993. How many cards did Bonilla have with him wearing the shades?

Second, the baseball strike ruined the season for all fans.

The third reason 1994 was a trifecta of suck for Mets fans were the horrible uniforms! I never liked this loud and obnoxiously large Mets script across the entire front of the jersey.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Vote for the Gummies

The Stale Gum blog is hosting the 2009 Gummie Awards. Please take a moment to make your selection on the best products, hobby enthusiasts and blogs.

Voting ends on Jan. 7, at 11:59pm.

Does Anyone Buy This Crap?

I don't get it. Why pay $20 for a division title t-shirt or hat? I'm all for celebrating the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, Bowl Game victory or whatever, but a division title?

I'm a Dallas fan and Sunday's game was a great win, but to get the division title, they had to play better than 3 other teams (Giants, Eagles, and Redskins).
There's no way I'm paying $20 for a t-shirt that says my favorite team is better than three other teams.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Real People Win Lou Gehrig Patch Cards

Congratulations to Zman40 of Autographed Cards. Using, Zman was the winner of the Lou Gehrig card for signing up to follow the Sports Locker blog.

Thanks to all who signed up.

I should have another give-away in the next week or so. From time-to-time I get these cards after my boys open their packs. We only collect Mets players, so if we get a nice find, I like to give them away on here.