Sunday, February 28, 2010

Autograph Collectors are Terrorists!

According to Curt Schilling, "This is a poor analogy, but it's like terrorism. If autograph dealers want to get in, they will," Schilling said. "That's a tough thing to say because I also see these kids, too. There are so many people who have no interest in me and want me to just sign some things so they can sell them."

Curt Schilling made the comments while attending the ESPN Walt Disney World event this week.

1) Too many times athletes make the stereotype that everyone who collects an autograph, runs to eBay to sell it. I have a ton of autographs and I've never got one in person to turn around and sell it on eBay.

2) Sure, some people do this sort of thing. They get the autograph at spring training and then list on eBay that night. But, is doing that any different than the person finding a deal on Sierra Trading Post and then selling that item on eBay to make money?

3) Am I the only who can see this irony? Schilling is pissed that someone is making a dollar on his autograph while he promotes events Walt Disney World where hamburgers cost $25!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tim Tebow Autograph Price is $160! Really?

What would you pay for a potential 3rd round draft pick? $160?

I know, that's not fair - he's a Hall of Fame college quarterback and it's hard not to like the guy.

Tim Tebow has his first public autograph show appearance, March 6, at the Palm Beach Autographs at the Avenues Mall. Part of the proceeds benefit the Tim Tebow Foundation. The foundation's site says they "exists to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Profiting from 9/11 - Is this OK?

Is an autographed photo of Rudy Giuliani, standing by the smoldering ashes of the World Trade Center a bit too much?

I like Rudy and admired his leadership during the 9/11 tragedy, but autographing pictures of himself standing near the rubble while rescue workers search for victims isn't appropriate. It's Already Signed 4 U is selling the photo for $178.95.

Thousands of Americans lost their lives at that location. I was at Ground Zero six months after the tragedy. There was (and might still be) and eerie quiet near the area. I remember the photos people placed, the flowers setting along the fence line, but I mostly remember the quiet and the hum of construction equipment in the ground below.

Tourists weren't walking around to pose for photos or look for souvenirs. They (myself included) mostly arrived to pay respect for the lives lost on that tragic September morning. I never imagined I would see someone trying to sell an autograph picture of such a horrific event.

It just seems insensitive to me that Rudy would sign photos like this and a company would be selling them. It doesn't say anywhere on the site that proceeds benefit any of the 9/11 charities and foundations.

An autograph of Rudy would be great piece for collectors, but not with Ground Zero in the background.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pete Rose 1969 Topps Deckle

I added a new Pete Rose card to my collection this weekend. My local card store had a 1969 Topps Deckle edge card.

The "deckle" is the rough edge part that isn't easy to see on this scanned image. The autograph is printed on there by Topps - this isn't an on-card Pete Rose autograph.

I've wanted to get a Rose deckle for some time, but my card store actually had a cheap one. From what I understand, the 1974 Deckle edge is pretty expensive. I'm happy with this 1969 version.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Andre Dawson Is Better Than Lee Majors

Three Andre Dawsons on One Card? What could be better for an Andre Dawson collector?!

Whenever I look at this '93 Upper Deck card of Andre Dawson I hear the theme song of the $6 Million Dollar Man.

Can't you hear theme song and see Andre Dawson diving near the Wrigley Field bullpens to catch this foul ball and stop the Cardinal rally in the 9th inning off of Lee Smith?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jay Buhner Likes His Gum

Who's the man behind the giant bazooka bubble? Ah, it's Jay Buhner.

This is a 1993 Upper Deck card.

In 1992, the "Pacific Sock Exchange" combined to hit 62 home runs and 249 RBIs.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Topps Million Card Giveaway Updates

I'm hooked. I think it's cool to see old cards that I never had and my kids think it's cool to see players they've never heard of.

They are the "code cards" as they call it. Recently, we've picked up a few more after a trip to the card store.

I doubt we'll win any of the contests, but I give Topps credit for the gimmick.

The contest is what you make out of it. If you use it as a lottery system for the Mantle rookie, then you're going to be disappointed. If you use it for a chance to see older cards that never owned, then it can be kind of cool.

This weekend we picked up the ones pictured here: Tommy John, Felix Milan, and Ed Keegan.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pete Rose is Too Busy for Me

I'm in Las Vegas next week and I was trying to arrange a quick interview with Pete Rose. I think it would be great to hear Pete's take on sports cards, memorabilia, and his new deal with Upper Deck.

After several emails and calls, I didn't get a response. Maybe next time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

More Topps Million Card Giveaway - Livan?

My second Topps Million Card giveaway is Livan Hernandez. Are these cards you wish your mom threw away or glad she did?

To be honest, this marketing gimmick is working on me. I want to go buy more for another chance. . . for the kids of course!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is GTSM Moving in to Triumph's Territory?

GTSM (GT Sports Marketing) is planning a New Jersey show in 2011. Are they capitalizing on the exit of the Triumph Football Spectacular?

A comment on the Football Spectacular Out-of-Business post gave me the tip on this.

GTSM has been doing on the West Coast: San Jose, Bay Area, for a while now. As far as I can tell, this is their first entry to the eastern market.

I haven't been to a GTSM show - the CA shows are a bit too far for me to travel. I sent a message to GTSM for more information. I'll report back if I hear more.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Topps Colts .45s Work Every Time

After several delays and attempts, I finally was able to enter my Topps million card giveaway code today. My result: '62 Topps Joe Amalfitano.

I like the '62 set and anything Colts .45s, so I was pretty happy with this one.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Great Moments in Mets History - Really?

We settled on the Topps 2010 product to collect our Mets team set. Valentine's Day gifts for the boys were packs of cards - is there a better gift for the new collectors in the family?

The Target rack-pack had some Mets including this "Franchise History" moment. I put "franchise history" in quotes because it's the name of the card and I'm questioning if this is the best Topps could do for Mets history? The scanned card is Tom Seaver throwing out the last pitch of Shea Stadium.

Is the last unofficial pitch in the stadium part of Mets history? It's not even a great looking card. The background looks terrible and Seaver has this look as if the ball won't make it near the catcher. The Mets have had their share of horrible team history, but there were plenty of moments to use:
- 1969 World Series: Swoboda's catch
- 1986 World Series: Bill Buckner/Mookie Wilson play
- 1996 Todd Hundley breaking the catcher single-season home run record
- 2001 Mike Piazza's home run on 9/21... first baseball game in NY after 9/11

And if Topps wanted this to be a moment in Mets history, couldn't they have used a picture that included Mike Piazza catching this unofficial pitch from Tom Seaver?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Interview with Dick Perez - Diamond Kings Artist

The Hall of Very Good sent me an email the other day about interview he had with Dick Perez. I'm usually a little skeptical of the random, "hey look at my blog" emails, but this one was worth the read.

It's a really good interview with some insight into how Perez got started with Diamond Kings. I've liked the Diamond Kings collection so this was a fun read for me. Thanks for the emtail HOVG.

Friday, February 12, 2010

CSA Show in March - Can't Wait

It's been a while since I've been to a card and autograph show. I'm itching to go, add some pieces to my collection, look for some hidden gems and see what cool collections other people have.

Next month I'm going to the CSA Shows March event in Chantilly, VA. It's a great line-up this time. Personally, I'm going for the Dallas Cowboys who are signing such Herschel Walker, Lee Roy Jordan and . . . Mike Ditka! Yes, Iron Mike was a Cowboys tight end during their Super Bowl VI championship season.

You can follow the autograph guest list by being a member of Signings Hotline or checking out the CSA Show site and their twitter page.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Edgardo Alfonzo - We Need Another Fonz

Edgardo Alfonzo was a top prospect, a gamer, and the most under-rated player of the famed "best infield ever" Sports Illustrated cover.

The Fonz was originally a great shortstop prospect with the Mets. Was he the next Buddy Harrleson? Rafael Santana? Kevin Elster?

The glove of Rey Ordonez moved Alfonzo to the 3rd. Then, the glove of Robin Ventura moved the Fonz to 2B. Each step of the way quietly stepped aside and produced.

Alfonzo is still #3 on the Mets all-time hit leaders.

Egardo Alfonzo hasn't played in the majors since 2006. In December he was released by Yomiuri's Giants after one season in Japan.

I think Alfonzo would make a great minor league and eventually professional instructor. I hope the Mets bring him in this year.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Howard Johnson Had the Cute Kid Photo First

Boomer Esiason may have wanted to give Drew Brees the Super Bowl MVP trophy based on this picture, but let's not forget Howard Johnson's 1992 Upper Deck card.

HoJo's card doesn't identify who the child is, but I think it's Glen Johnson. GlenJo was drafted by the NY Mets in the 2007 draft by the Mets, but decided to attend Jacksonville University.

Glen Johnson is an infielder for the Dolphins and hit .210 for the university last year. He also wears #20.

Maybe GlenJo will be on the same shuttle that took Daniel Murphy from Jacksonville to Queens? Daniel Murphy is also a former J.U. Dolphin.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Request for Neater Autographs

Jeff Figler, from the St. Louis Today site (special to the Post-Dispatch) is calling on all atheletes to use their best hand writing when signing baseballs.

I'm not a fan of horrible signatures either, but as long as it's unique and I'm able to read it, then I'm really not concerned if the player dotted his i's and crossed his t's.

From Figler's article on St. Louis Today:
"It is a sad state of events when a father brings home a baseball to his daughter or son of their favorite player and they have to ask who the signature is of."

More of Jeff Figler's article here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Topps Million Card Giveaway - waiting... waiting...

I bought a few packs of Topps 2010 yesterday as we try to decide which set to collect our Mets in this year. On Friday I blogged about our inability to make a decision.

In one of our packs we received a redemption code for the Topps Million Card Giveaway. Great news . . . until I went to the Topps web site to enter the code. They aren't accepting codes yet.


Why release a product, include codes and a URL to accept them, but not accept them for another week or two? What sense does that make?

This is a failure of the Topps Marketing Department. It's simple - you need your infrastructure and support to be ready by the time you launch a product. It's hard enough to launch a new product that your customers will want - there is so much research and development cost that goes into that. The easy part should be making sure your back-office is prepared for the product.

I (and others who are buying Topps 2010) have a redemption code card that I can't do anything with for more than a week. It's bad enough that customers have to wait 4-6 week after they enter the code to see what they will receive, but now we have to wait another week before entering the code?

Come on Topps - do better. Fail.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Help Needed: Topps 2010 or UD Goudey

I need help decided which product to use for doing our 2010 Mets team set. Suggestions?

Last year my boys dipped their little 5-year old toes into the baseball card collecting pool. It was a lot of fun to see them get started and get excited to find our favorite teams in packs. I blogged about our fun with the 2009 Topps set.

I picked Topps because the design was nice, it didn't empty our wallets and I could find them at Target and Walmart.

Should I go with 2010 Topps this year? Paul's Random Stuff has already provided a great checklist for the Mets. I'm also interested in the Upper Deck Goudey collection since Pete Rose is in there.

What's your take?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Emmitt Smith Breaks Collector's Banks

We're in a recession, 10% unemployment, soaring deficits and Emmitt Smith wants all of your money for his signature.

Prices are out for the 40th Annual Chicago Sun Times Show and it's not pretty for Emmitt collectors. I knew he would be expensive, but this is insane. Emmitt's prices are:
Flats, up to 16x20: $249
Mini Helmets, balls, flats greater than 16x20: $299
Reg. Size Helmets, Jerseys, & Gator items: $349
HOF '10 inscription: $189

I have the autograph of every living Cowboys Hall of Famer on a full size helmet. For me to keep that, I'd have to pay: $538! I just can't do that.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Trying to Get a Pete Rose Interview

I go to Las Vegas about once a year and each time I try to get a Pete Rose autograph at his location in the Caesar's Palace Forum Shops. I've done the baseballs, jersey and bat autographs, but this year I'm trying something new.

I'm trying to get an interview with the Hit King!

I'll be in Las Vegas next month and I'm trying to arrange a 10 minute interview with Pete about sports cards and memorabilia. Following his recent deal with Upper Deck, I thought this would be a good time to see if Pete can't tell us about his baseball card stories, who he collected and what was his reaction they made the deal with Upper Deck.

We'll see if it happens, but I'm making the attempt. I'll report back if I get a phone call or email back from the Rose camp.

Jeffcoat Family Traditions - Sacking QBs

Jim Jeffcoat was a solid defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys in the late '80s and early '90s.

His 1989 was the team's worst season, but Jeffcoat's best. He started 16 games at defensive end with 11.5 sacks, 100 tackles, 3 fumble recoveries and 1 touchdown.

His son, Jackson Jeffcoat, took the spotlight on Friday committing to playing football at the University of Texas. Jeffcoat was the #1 defense end prospect in Texas. He chose Texas over Oklahoma where his twin sister is going to play basketball.