Saturday, July 31, 2010

Go to the National or the National Pastime?

I haven't blogged as much about the National this year because I was on the fence about the whole thing.

While I think the National has added some features to the help justify the $17 ticket price (raffle for Cal Ripken autograph jersey for VIP, O's tickets for Wednesday purchasers, etc), it's still $17 to walk in the door.

Last year I paid the $17 (a few times) and the parking fees to walk around the Cleveland IX Center see some dealers leaving early on Saturday or not showing up on Wednesday.

To go this year, I'd have to drive 9+ hours, stay at least 2 nights in a hotel ($200+), pay for parking ($20 per day at least), probably 2 days at the show ($34) and that's before I even look at a table or pay for a TriStar autograph. When you add the food and gas money, it becomes a pricey trip for me to search for some vintage football or baseball cards. For me, I can't justify it. I've seen the TriStar autograph guests (too many times) and I'm not one to collect the newest released cards.

When trying to decide if I should do the 9+ hour drive to the National, I decided to see what else (for the entire family) was in the 9+ hour drive radius - I found Cooperstown, NY.

This year, instead of going to the National. We're going to do the family vacation to Cooperstown, NY and swing around to Niagara Falls. The Baseball HOF is cheaper than the National, the drive is about the same, and adding the Niagara Falls trip to it should keep the Momma happy. With any luck, the Blue Jays will be home when we're in Canada and we can catch a game up there.

I wish my fellow bloggers and tweeters good luck and safe travels to Baltimore. I'll follow the #NSCC tag on twitter to see the updates and twitpics. I'll also tweet some updates from Cooperstown, Niagara Falls and Blue Jays game:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Autograph Collecting Reaches a New Level

It's unique. It's different. It's a little gross too.

A Dallas Cowboys fan at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX had such an autograph request. At the end of the practice session, a fan asked David Beuhler to sign his prosthetic leg!

Beuhler is a kicker for the Cowboys. More.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Free Panini Football Hall of Fame Cards

The pro-football Hall of Fame is giving away their 2010 HOF Panini set for any online purchase.

I think these are some of the better looking HOF trading cards that have been offered. I'd like to have that Emmitt Smith card.

To get the free cards, place your online order and enter the code: FREECARD10.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dan Edwards Could Be the Old Spice Guy

This 1952 Bowman Large Dallas Texans card is my latest eBay purchase. I'm pretty happy with the condition for the price I paid.

At first, I thought Dan Edwards looked a lot like former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum.

Then I noticed the tilted head, the smile, the football in one hand and the other hand on his hip. There's something senior picture-like about this card.

But the best comparison is to the Old Spice Guy. Can't your hear Dan Edwards, "look at your man, now look at me, now look at your man, now look at me . . . . I play for the Dallas Texans." -Add whistle jingle.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pete Rose is Back in Cincinnati to Watch Stephen Strasburg Pitch

Pete Rose is back! Well, for one night anyway he was at the Reds/Nationals game to see Stephen Strasburg pitch.

I didn't think Pete was allowed anywhere near a baseball field. I wonder if he signed autographs for people saying, "I'm sorry I bet on baseball" at the Reds game.

Jimmy Johnson Survivor - And He Thought Valley Ranch Was Tough

Jimmy Johnson may have survived the Dallas Cowboys, but can he survive Nicaragua? Jimmy is on the CBS "reality" show Survivor: Nicaragua.

The show began taping in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua in June.

Jimmy joins former Cowboys quarterback Gary Hogeboom as the only other ex-Dallas player to appear on the Survivor series. At least Jimmy isn't going on Dancing with the Stars like Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.

I'd like to see the following people on the show with Jimmy Johnson:
- Jerry Jones
- Buddy Ryan
- Barry Switzer

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Win the Autograph Jersey from Cal Ripken Jr's Back at the National

The National Sports Collectors Convention has done a much better job offering incentives and promotions to get people to attend the show. Their latest efforts is from

"The Luckiest Kid in Town" contest is giving away a few moments with Cal Ripken Jr. and an autograph jersey of the Iron Man.  The winner will also receive 4 VIP passes and packages. Two runner-ups will receive autograph Cal Ripken Jr. bats.

More information here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Use Foursquare to Get Free Autographs

The Columbus Crew (MLS Soccer) is offering a free autograph poster.

The next foursquare "mayor" of Crew Stadium will receive a free autographed Columbus Crew schedule poster. To become the mayor, you need to have check-in to Crew Stadium more than anyone else in a 60 day span.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why Care About Foursquare?

I'm new to the foursquare adventure, but I'm really into it.

I've only been working with it a few weeks. If you're new to foursquare, it's a pretty cool application that gets loaded on to your smart phone. It allows you to tell your friends where you are (or you can choose not to) and awards badges, titles and points as you check-in to different locations via your phone. Your friends/followers can get notified of your doings via Twitter, facebook or friends on foursquare.

So far, it seems there are 3 basic types of foursquare users:
1 - Those that use it as a game. You get points for "checking in" to locations and receive different badges based on where you've checked in an how many times. Think of it as XBox 360 achievement points. A couple of great blogs dedicated to this are: the 4Square Badges Blog and the About Foursquare blog.

2 - Those that use it to see where friends are and hang out. When you check in to a location (which is simply launching the app from your phone when you get to the bookstore, bar, mall, etc, and select 'check in) you can choose to notify your friends on foursquare, twitter and/or facebook. The application will tweet or send a facebook wall posting saying where you are. If you're following me on twitter you'll see that I'm a huge Dunkin Donuts coffee fan!

3 - Marketing professionals should love this application. As a marketer, your biggest challenge isn't always getting new customers, but it's getting repeat customers and turning them from customers into evangelists. Recently, companies are offering discounts to people who have 5+ check-ins at the American Eagle store, or Ann Taylor in NY is offering 25% discounts to mayors (those who check-in the most in a 60-day span).

What does this mean for the sports card/collectible hobby? It means card store owners need to embrace this new mobile marketing faster than they started to embrace social media. Card stores are perfect for this... you can reward returning customers and allow them to tell their friends when they are at the store.

I blogged about how sports card stores can, and should embrace this a few months ago. They should launch incentives for % off packs and boxes. Becoming the "mayor" of a location is a huge badge and a sports card store could offer the mayor a framed photo in the store, 1/2 price for a box, special discounts, etc. Signing up on foursquare > businesses, they'll send you some free window clings like the image in this blog post.

I think the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore should use this for their next show. Here's a great article about using foursquare at a convention to bring people together and get everyone to check out the booths. 

There are some other mobile marketing 'check-in' applications like gowalla, but I haven't tried it yet. If you have a smart phone, give foursquare a try. If have a smart phone and you're on twitter, then dive right in. If you own a business or market for one, get listed and add foursquare to your next campaign.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gary Carter's All-Star FanFest Fiasco

I think the fan here is trying to set up Gary Carter on this one. Gary is one of the most personable people I've met when getting autographs. You can see in the beginning of the video that Gary is talking to a fan about the spacious stadiums he played in.

I went to the MLB FanFest in Pittsburgh a few years ago and they didn't have any restrictions on what you could signed. Apparently that policy has changed and the fan in the video doesn't like the new policy.

George Steinbrenner's Passing - New York Covers

The best way to get the local reaction to significant events is a glance at the local newspaper covers.

Here are the covers of today's NY Post and NY Daily News.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Something is Missing on my Cowboys Card

Where's the star! You can't have a Dallas Cowboys football card without the star can you? What's going on here?

This is a 1980 Topps football card of Butch Johnson. Is there a reason Topps didn't include the star?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Your 2010 National Sports Collectors Convention Travel Guide

Sports Collector's Daily has a great article for those traveling to Baltimore, MD for the 2010 National.

I'd also recommend the Babe Ruth Museum which is currently displaying the $500,000 Babe Ruth rookie card! If you're on Foursquare, there are some special History Channel badges to pick up in the Baltimore, MD area too.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Larry Csonka Headlines CSA Show This Weekend

The CSA Show this weekend in Chantilly, VA may be their biggest show ever - at least with the number of guests they are providing.

The Collector's Showcase America will have over 50 autograph guests running Friday through Sunday.

CSA doesn't just throw out random big names and keep introducing them at every show, they really gear the show for the collectors. This quarter's show has a 2nd Miami Dolphins reunion theme and several other NFL HOF players. I'm not going to this one, but I've been to several in the past. They are worth the trip.

The Top 10 ticket sales for their July show is:
1. Larry Csonka
2. Floyd Little
3. John Randle
4. Ray Lewis
5. Paul Warfield
6. Bill Stanfill
7. Nick Buoniconti
8. Marlin Briscoe
9. Larry Seiple
10. Dan Marino

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Free Autograph David Wright Jerseys at Citi Field

Ten fans will win free autographed David Wright jerseys at tomorrow night's Mets game.

On Saturday, 10 fans at Citi Field can win a Jose Reyes autographed drawstring bag.

On Sunday, 10 Mets fans can win an autographed Jason Bay Bobble Head.

On Monday, anyone can take Ollie Perez as far away from this team as possible.

Thanks to the Amazin' Stories blog for the scoop.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

If You Were the New Beckett Media President

Beckett Media has a new president and he's addressing their website performance issues and talking about future plans for the organization.

In an announcement on the company sites, Brian Gulledge, posted a message about the need to grow the site and his focus to improve their online presence. A new website will be launched in December, 2010. His message referenced that taking a long time, but considering the amount of data, that seems pretty aggressive to me.

In addition to the website, the new president will obviously tackle several other issues with the company.

The two biggest changes I'd like to see:
  1. New Website: Clear difference between what is blog vs. what is front page content.
  2. Mobile App for iPhone/iPad/Droid
If you were the new Beckett Media President, what would you do?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Twitter the 2010 National with #NSCC

The hashtag #NSCC is being used for tweets about The National Sports Collectors Convention or "the National."

If you're on Twitter and tweeting about "the National" use #NSCC in your tweet so others can join in the conversation. Sample tweet, "Topps just announced their promotion for the National. Check out the link to my latest blog post. #NSCC"

Hashtags allow both twitter users and non twitter users find conversations about different subjects.

Twitter and Non Twitter Users
To search for twitter conversations and information about the #NSCC:
  • Go to and type #NSCC.
  • This will bring a list of tweets using the #NSCC hashtag. Another search is
Use any of the searches above and add it to your RSS reader. The URL to save the #NSCC feed is

TweetDeck Users
What is Tweetdeck? Tweetdeck is a free and pretty cool application by Adobe AIR that you download for free to your desktop. There are other free Twitter applications for your PC, I personally like tweetdeck.
  • Click the search icon in tweetdeck and type #NSCC.
  • This open another column (if you have less than 10 columns) and continually refreshes as long as you keep it.
Twittering with a common hashtag, #NSCC, will also be helpful while you're at the The National. If you have mobile alerts. You can send and receive tweets about different booth contests or special autograph guests.

Here's another article I wrote about the benefits of using a hashtag at a card show.  Now if we can just get foursquare here!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Still Paying for Bobby Bonilla

Thanks Steve Phillips. Not only did you set the franchise back when you with the Mets, but you're still setting the Mets back years after you left.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a year from today, the Mets will begin paying Bobby Bonilla $1MM+ a year for the next 25 years! I've complained and mentioned my dislike for Bobby Bo here, here and here.

It's bad enough that Bonilla was terrible for the franchise 10+years ago, but now he'll be hurting the team for the next 25 years.

Thanks Steve.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Felix Jones Autograph Fail

Fans waited in line for an hour. They bought tickets for a minor league baseball game, Arkansas Travelers, and were promised a free autograph by Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones. But the fans went home without their autograph.

The Travelers promised fans a free, one hour, autograph signing by Felix Jones after he threw out the first pitch. According to the Dallas Morning News, Jones arrived, threw out the first pitch and then said he had an exclusive signing deal with a card manufacturer and couldn't sign autographs for fans.