August 31, 2009

eBay's state of affairs

I thought I would send you over to the Upper Deck blog to check out my latest blog with them. I spoke to a bunch of vendors at the card show about eBay and wrote about it. Somewhat interesting, and perhaps you have been through a similar situation or have heard the same things. Sooz and I actually just closed our eBay store ourselves, hopefully it is a temporary thing but we'll see how things go.

Jerry Hairston Jr. just made an error to extend the inning and destroying the game. On that note I am done writing because I'm kinda fuming.

August 30, 2009

Why do I (not) hate the Yankees?

For those of you just getting in from your weekend away, or just getting online for the first time now we posted a new Sunday question earlier today. Here is the question: Why do you hate the Yankees?

Now there have been many responses that have been left, I have read them all throughout the day and I am going to post a few responses into the blog here and then give my opinion of things.

Section 36 responded, "Really, it's not the Yankees I hate, it's their "fans". :)

Whether the Yankees win or lose on a given day would mean very little if it didn't mean I'd be bombarded with idiocy the next day, or not. If the Yankees lose, I don't have to hear about how clutch Jeter is. I don't have to hear what great chemistry they have. I don't have to hear about the rings. I don't need to hear Fox Sports tell me every thirty seconds that even though they're losing...they can always come back.

That's why I'd rather see the Yankees lose than the Red Sox win. That way, I can go to the mall in peace."

Beardy was in the mood to make a little list,
"1. Jeffrey Freakin' Maier
2. Yankee Fans
3. New York/New Jersey accents
4. Mark Teixeira
5. All of those World Series rings"

Dan, from Grand Cards,"I'm not an out and out Yankee hater, in fact I find that I dislike the Red Sox more than I dislike the Yankees at this point. Here's the thing though (for both teams):

The national media is always, always talking about them. No matter what. For the rest of the country we have the Yankees crammed down our throats all season--it is exhausting and annoying, especially when our own teams barely get any love.

Of course, the other reason is that the Yankees have so much money to spend that that can just go out and get the best free agents every year. Such that even competitive teams that are one piece away don't have a chance if the Yankees want them. That is why many of us want them to lose--it feels like any championships they win will have been purely bought (and that's hard to argue with). The fact that they haven't won recently gives us all a sense of pleasure and makes us think that the universe understands the situation as well.

In all, it is just Yankee and Red Sox overexposure that makes the rest of us think "man, F*** that team" The reality is that none of us care, but we're treated as though we should care or that there is something wrong with us if we don't care. Red Sox-Yankees! Yankees do this, yankees do that! This is news! Jeter!! etc.

For the true Yankees fans out there, more power to you. I've actually found that I've come to respect the Yankees fans who can look at their team with a critical eye, but from the baseball fans in the room, there is more to the game than just the Yankees. Despite how they're presented, they are not the be all and end all of the game.

Hope that made sense and didn't sound too much like a rant."

Night Owl, "Wow, are you ready for some long-winded comments?

Where do I begin?

I wasn't around for the Brooklyn Dodgers days, but I was around for the days when the Yankees and Dodgers played each other in back-to-back World Series in 1977 and 1978.

Those were the first World Series I actually paid full attention to, and as a Dodger fan I was very excited to see my team there.

You can imagine my disappointment when the Dodgers lost both times. Each time a key call went the Yankees' way (Garvey not being called safe at home in extra innings of the '77 World Series; Reggie Jackson not being called for interference for sticking his hip out in the '78 World Series).

But that was only a small part of it. Those World Series were also my first encounter with the Yankees fans. It was the first time I had seen fans throw stuff on the field during a Series game, actually attempting to hit players. And that left an impression.

At my school, jerk-offs were Yankees fans. Not every Yankee fan was like that (my best friend was a Yankee fan). But if the kid was a jerk-off, he was probably a loud, obnoxious Yankee fan.

I don't enjoy how a lot of Yankees fans are in your face all the time. Their loud nature. That's not me. The constant reminders -- like Section 36 says -- of how successful they've been in the past, how many rings they have. How it has to be mentioned constantly on YES.

And, I grew up in the beginnings of free agency, too. I watched the Yankees throw what seemed at the time enormous amounts of money at players (everyone not a Yankee fan was outraged by how much money Winfield got at the time), trying to "buy" a World Series, instead of building your team through trades and farm system. At time it seemed like a rich man's solution -- throw money at the problem.

Now, many other teams are like the Yankees -- trying to buy a championship. But those other teams don't have George Steinbrenner, who really was an unlikeable guy for a long time.

The Yankees of my childhood were bickering, melodramatic jerks. Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin, Lou Piniella. I couldn't figure out why anyone would root for them.

Even though I never saw Brooklyn play, I've read enough about their history to sympathize with the team and really the Brooklyn history is why I am firmly a Dodger fan. The Brooklyn Dodgers were fun, they tried to win, but it wasn't the same as the Yankees where it seems to be:

WE MUST WIN ALL THE TIME. AND IF WE DON'T THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY.

I just can't get into that. (Jim Murray, a famous sportswriter said famously, "rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for U.S. Steel." -- that's how I feel).

Sure, try to win, but don't fire everyone if you don't and don't be so loud about it.

I've said before, I could start a blog on why I don't like the Yankees. I'm sure there are plenty of reasons that I haven't mentioned.

Sorry, this is long. And I feel weird talking about how much I hate the Yankees on a blog written by two Yankees fans. You folks, I hope you know, aren't like some of the Yankees fans I encounter."

Waxaholic, "It's the fans. I don't dislike the Yankees personally. Not even Teixeira. I'm sure Derek Jeter is a likable guy. He's got an insanely hot girlfriend, and for a below average shortstop, has had some great years with the bat. But the fans make me want to tear my eyeballs out with a fork. You'd think that there are two teams in MLB. Then 28 teams in AAAA, etc....
I won't even go into Fox and Espn... that would be a book unto it's own.
For example, the Montreal Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups, far and away more than any other franchise. They even lef the Yankees until NY decided to buy a couple more.
Do hockey fans outside of Boston hate Montreal? Not really. Because the fans don't shove it everybody's faces every chance they get. There is a certain class about it. A mystique.
That does not exist in baseball.
As a fan of any ball player, we all think/talk about our fave as if they were better than they are. But with Yankee fans it's exponential. Posada is below average at his position. Damon is done. Jeter is not making errors only because he can't get to most grounders anymore. Don't even talk to me about Matsui. (why isn't Jetere with that bat, Dh'ing???) But if you listen to the fans, it's the second coming of Ruth / DiMaggio / etc... hardly...

Be a fan of your team. Stick up for them when other people tallk smack. Be happy when you win. but lose the attitude.


(btw, just in case, this was NOT directed at you 2 personally,I'm talking here as a whole group, please don't take offense)"

White Sox Cards, "I don't necessarily "hate" them, but I'm not a big fan of the team getting blown calls go their way. It seems to happen almost every time I watch a Yankees game, and I do watch their games more than just against the White Sox.

A perfect example is
http://whitesoxcards.blogspot.com/2009/08/safe-or-out.html

Even Stevie Wonder could have seen that, yet a trained umpire doesn't. That's my only beef with the Yankees.

I could care less about ESPN's nonstop coverage of all things Yankees. I know there's an east coast bias focusing on the Yankees and the Red Sox. I accept that and move on. That has nothing to do with the sanctity of the game itself.

I think the fans of each team should be passionate about their team. Unfortunately, a lot of fans are completely oblivious to what's going on with other teams, therefore their arguments are silly and uninformed when talking to fans of other teams.

That's one of the many reasons why I like our community. There's a lot of passion for teams, but there is an intelligent dialogue happening."

OK, I am tired of cutting and pasting, there were a few more but you get the idea.

Here is how I feel about people hating the Yankees, I totally get it. I can see how many of you dislike the Yankees as a franchise, however I don't see how you can dislike a player who was traded here just based on a uniform. While I hate the Red Sox solely for being the Yankees competition, I still like Victor Martinez. Despite Ellsbury stealing home on Pettitte and hating him for wearing that uniform I think he's a great player and going to be a catalyst on the team for years to come. Many of you expressed a hatred of the Yankees based on the fact that the media jams the Yankees, and or the Red Sox and the rivalry down your throat all the time. I get annoyed by that myself many times during the year. I absolutely HATE when the Yankees play on ESPN because you would think they had their pants down in the booth everytime Jeter came up to bat, or made a great play in the field. It drives me nuts and I love Jeter.

Someone also made mention of the fact that MLB catalogs only offered some items in Yankees and like 3 other teams and I have noticed that myself. There have been many times where I have seen things and would have liked them for a team other than the Yankees but they do not offer it. Yes, I am a Yankees fan but more over I am a fan of the game. I could sit and watch any two teams play and be happy as a clam. For fans of teams that don't get the same marketing and publicity I can definitely understand how terrible that must be to want to support your team by buying something, a t-shirt, jacket, whatever and not having the opportunity. However, that is not the Yankees fault that is a part of marketing and supply and demand. (Poor Sooz can't ever find anything Kouzmanoff-esque)

Now onto the Yankees fans... I will agree 100% that most Yankees fans are somewhat obnoxious and know nothing beyond this team. Some Yankees fans also think that the Yankees can do no wrong, that they are the best team in the universe even if we are playing terrible or like last year missed the play-offs. I was settled into the idea that we were not making the play-offs well before the end of the season and I was ok with that because most teams don't go every year, and we have been spoiled. Now that's great that I saw it that way, but there were plenty of people that were like, "big deal we missed this year, but we win every year and we won 26 championships". OK, well no. We don't win every year. We haven't won in many, many years now and two words- Arizona Diamondbacks. 'Nuff said. I definitely can see how people can hate some of the Yankees fans, but really that has nothing to do with the team itself.

I also will agree with some of you on the fact that I would like to see more players developed from our farm system which is why I was very against trading Hughes, Joba, Cano, or even Melky for other players. I know that with young pitchers with extemely high hopes or over-rated minor league pitchers they don't always pan out or even make it in the big leagues but we could at least try. At some point when Jeter, Mariano, Pettitte, and Posada retire it would be nice to see our farm system being passed the torch. I love Cervelli and Montero as potential replacements. Cervelli did well here, he played with confidence and he was fired up to win.

While I can see many of the reasons you have all mentioned, the Yankees are still my team and have been since I can remember watching baseball and listening to Bill White and Phil Rizzuto calling games when we had guys like Matt Nokes (who?) and Kevin Maas (overrated and a bust) amongst many others. I grew up with the Yankees and remember watching them either at home or at the stadium when there were maybe 20,000 people there if you were lucky in the 1990's.

Sorry if this was all out of whack and jumbled but I just wanted to get some of the points you guys mentioned out there and let you know what I think of what you all said (and that some of you aren't all that crazy) and that I do understand it. Now I am off to watch Sunday night baseball, with the tv on mute of course.

P.S. I don't think the O's had a chance at Teixeira regardless of money since the guy idolized Don Mattingly and was a Yankees fan as a kid sitting in Baltimore watching Donnie Baseball.

Sunday Question: Why do you hate the Yankees?

Not all of you hate the Yankees, and certainly we don't. However, there is a great amount of you -YES, YOU! - the card collecting world that hate our dear old 'Stripes.

So, today's question: Why do you hate the Yankees?

I know why Red Sox fans hate them. I am curious as to why a Dodgers fan who never saw his team play in Brooklyn or a San Diego fan who has no ties whatsoever to the Yankees hates this team. Or why a Cincinnati Reds fans can't get rid of the bad taste in their mouth when it comes to the 26-time World Champions?

Ok, sorry, I had to throw that last part in.

Seriously, though, Why?

August 29, 2009

etopps Cashing in....

I received this e-mail earlier and was kind of annoyed.

eTopps is proud to honor the late and great Ted Kennedy in a special Allen & Ginter tribute card.
This card will be available next Monday August 31st at 4EST along with UFC offerings.


Not sure if they are doing this as an actual tribute or trying to strike while the iron is hot so to speak. This is a crappy way to try and make a buck. Give this family and the people he served a chance to grieve, then come up with a "tribute".

August 28, 2009

Get your favorite ... torturers?



Just when you thought you have seen it all, apparently the best way to get a point across is with trading cards.

The Center for Constitutional Rights created trading cards for the Torture Team highlighted by George W. Bush. The site is worth going to just for the sound alone.

There are different categories of torturers from The Executives (those in the White House) to Spies and Free Agents. The CCR created a flash site and clearly spent a lot of time on it. You can order the set of twenty cards (for free, apparently), examine evidence and, even, create your own cards.

The idea of the trading cards is to get all those involved out of the open and not just the principal members.

This isn't a forum for politics. So, I won't get into the viewpoints of how I feel about the former or current administration. The post was just to highlight a new product of trading cards - torture.

Topps should maybe get on this and put these as inserts into their product next year. It's better than a Ferris Wheel, I guess.

So, yeah, I ordered my free 10-card booster pack. Shipping is free for the 10-pack of cards. They should arrive in 3-7 weeks.

Ridiculous Cut Sig on Beckett boards

I happen to come across this when my internet restarted and left me at the main page. I saw the title of the thread and had to see what was in it. Talk about the pull of the century. Holy moley. Read the messages here to hear about it. (For those of you too lazy or that don't care to stop there, he got the redemption card in Walmart...)

August 27, 2009

We're still here...

Sorry if we have been a bit boring around here lately. Sooz will be busy at work until oh, April or so and I have been running around transferring schools and things like that. I went and bought books for school yesterday, as well as a bag to hold my books and laptop which should weigh roughly 80 pounds so I'm super excited to lug that around, really.

I was twittering earlier that I was busy cleaning up trying to de-clutter and throw out crap that I don't need or haven't looked at in months (years). I had also mentioned that I could write a random blog about it, and there was a huge overwhelming response for me to do so. By huge overwhelming response, I mean a whole 3 people. I must give the people what they want even if it is only 3, and one of those 3 was Sooz.

I have discovered an assortment of stupid things that I like to save, and some of which I may still keep which defeats the purpose of this mission in the first place. The first was a re-discovery since the first time I had this idea a year ago I found this, but it makes me laugh and I just can't get rid of it. It's a bottle of Boones Summer Peach from when I used to work at the A&P circa 1997 as the receipt taped to it for proof of purchase states. Not sure how I purchased it at 17, however I am pretty sure one of my friends rang me up. I know good wine tastes better with age, but this should be like rubbing alcohol by now. I'd pay to see someone take a swig of this.

Some other things I have discovered are boarding passes from vacations, window stickers from old cars, brochures that I saved from old cars I had, magazines that were purchased simply for one article on the Camaro providing it was the picture on the front, Christmas ornaments still in the box, snowglobes given away on Black Friday at JC Penney, a pack of gum from some schmuck, matchbooks from places I don't remember being in, a book of hall passes stolen in high school, and the list goes on.

I'm sure most of you are laughing whether it is at me or with me is another story. I can bet someone out there has one or more of these items laying around somewhere but I am betting it's not the Boones.

I sent out a couple of surprise bubble mailers, and may send out some more. While I love baseball cards, I love when they are with someone who really appreciates them. There is a huge stack of (2nd place) Red Sox cards sitting on my desk that will end up getting mailed out or burned for warmth on this 68 degree night.

Anyone cleaning out there? If you find a Pujols '09 Ginter, de-clutter your collection and send it to me =)

August 25, 2009

Local card shop findings

The past few days I have been MIA from the blogosphere because I went down to stay at Suzy's house for a few days. We had a good time, played some Wii, golfed, his a card shop, and a Target. We can't possibly hang out together for days without going to a Target or a card shop, or both.

The local shop that we went to is more of a store that sells local team merchandise, autographs, and team knick knacks. They have a couple of hobby boxes behind the counter, a few game used cards and autos in a case, and some binders/boxes with cards. Nothing great in the case, so we flipped through a binder and we picked out some cards, well I picked out a bunch- even some for a couple of fellow bloggers in case they needed them. There were no Jeter cards, and very few Pujols in the mix. Not a single Cano either now that I think about it. Long story short, all the cards in the scan cost me $4.25. I think I did ok even if I don't need those M&M Pujols, I couldn't pass them up for 50 cents.


I got a whole ton of trades and things in the mail today. Not going to the post office for a few days definitely paid off for some boredom now that I have no one to play Wii with. (sad face here) I got a bunch of Pujols cards from one of our readers, McCann Can Triple. There was also a random package from Waxaholic which made me happy, as well as a box of OPC goodness from Stale Gum and a sweet package of posters from the National from Dan over at Saints of the Cheap Seats.

While I don't know how I got so lucky to find a great group to trade with and talk to on a somewhat daily basis, but it is awesome and I am grateful for it.

August 24, 2009

The player everyone loves to hate



I knew I would get the typical answers of Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter on the Sunday question. However, what struck me as funny as that another player popped up almost as frequently.

I'm with you guys because I listed him as one of the players I love to hate as well.

But what has David Eckstein ever done that has created such a disdain toward baseball fans?

According to his bio on Wikipedia, he's the X-Factor. In addition, he was voted "Most Helpful" by his high school class in 1993.



So what if the guy is listed at 5-foot-7, but is really 4-10. Is that reason enough to hate him?

So what if the was the 2006 World Series MVP in what was probably the most unwatchable World Series in history? It doesn't matter.

He's the X-Factor. He makes teams better. He wins World Series and gets to shop in the kid section!

August 23, 2009

Sunday question: What player do you love to hate?

No matter what a player does, you're just going to dislike them. You're going to root against them even when you know they are good. Yeah, I'm talking about the Jeter haters, which clearly showed up this week.

But we all have them. There are certain players that no matter what team they play on or what they do, you just root against them.

Who are they ?

Sooz: David Eckstein, Jonathan Papelbon and Dustin Pedroia. I'm sure there are more, but I'll start there.

August 21, 2009

This might be the last Upper Deck pack I buy

Last week when the news hit that Topps was granted an exclusive MLB license, I lamented over losing UD. It had its faults, but so does Topps.

While at Wal-Mart, I looked at the baseball card aisle and decided to splurge $20 on a 2008 Sweet Spot packs (blaster?). You really only get one pack with a guaranteed game-used jersey or autograph inside.

I figured if I was going to buy something of Upper Deck, I would go out with a bang.

This was my prize:





It's not this exact card. I borrowed this picture from eBay because I hate scanning cards, but I received a similar Clayton Kershaw autograph numbered to /50. It wasn't the Derek Jeter autograph I hoped for, but this was fun too.

Thanks Upper Deck.

August 19, 2009

Living in luxury

Even if it were just for a short while, I got to experience the life of celebrities over the weekend the Sox played the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Check out my latest article on Upper Deck's blog. There are some sweet pictures in there that were not seen on here before (at least I don't remember posting them, and I am too lazy to check).

Here is a short excerpt sure to annoy Boston fans everywhere:

Life as a Yankee fan doesn’t get much better than it has been lately. The Bronx Bombers are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now sitting at 30 games over .500, and have a seven game lead over the Red Sox in the A.L. East. Life was even better for me this past weekend as I got to see the Yankees bury the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium...

No trade deadlines around here

With the passing of the trade deadline recently I have been inspired to scan a bunch of game used cards with the hopes of trading them for some guys I like. The Brian Roberts one is actually pending a trade but I scanned it prior to that.

Here is what is up for grabs, and if you have something that I might want (Pujols, Cano, Lind, Martin, etc.), let me know.



I also have a TON of 2009 O-Pee-Chee doubles for trade, please see my want list (I need to update the cards that are incoming). I have about 25 black parallel doubles that I would be willing to trade for cards that I need out of that set (yes, I am going to see how far I can get on the black parallel set). I figured if I put together the black OPC set, then I would put those in a binder (maybe).

August 17, 2009

Derek Jeter is overrated ...

And, by overrated I mean he is one of the best short stops to ever play the game of baseball.

EVER.

Even though, I'm a day late on the news, Derek Jeter broke Luis Aparicio's mark of all-time hits by a short stop. Jeter is well on his way to being the Yankee with the most hits ever.




Currently, Jeter sits 60th on the all-time hit list and third among active players - only behind Omar Vizquel and Ken Griffey Jr.
Jeter has received plenty of criticism over the years and, I tend to believe people don't truly understand just how great he is.
When all is said and done, his numbers will put him at the top of the game.
He's not flashy. He's not a power hitter. He came up in a time where chicks dig the long ball, and Jeter isn't that type of player.
However, Yankees fans understand just how valuable he has been to the team and know they are never going to get cheated when Jeter plays.




I know he's getting older and he has less time in front of him than behind him. So, to all the haters: put down that Haterade and enjoy a good player. He's one of the few people are going to remember.
Congrats Jeter. Here's to 1,569 more hits!!! :)

August 16, 2009

Sunday Question: How do you feel license branding will work?

Baseball goes to Topps. Basketball has Panini. Upper Deck has the colleges, and so on.

The different card companies are buying exclusive licenses to the different sports.

While we won't know the effect of this for probably two to three years down the line, what's your initial reaction to the licenses being bought up by the card companies?

Sooz: Initially, I have a hard time feeling as though this is going to be good. However, the more I think about it, perhaps this is the type of thing that the card companies need to wake up. If the sports are willing to show that they don't like what the card companies are doing, tired and lazy designs could go away.

If MLB gave Topps the rights and doesn't like what it did, perhaps MLB will open it again to other companies, which could be said for NBA. NHL and the like.

Or it could blow up in everyone's face. It will be interesting to watch.

August 15, 2009

Loot from the card show

This weekend is the White Plains card show at the Westchester County Center, and I decided to go today in spite of itching all night last night wanting to go. I only wanted to go last night because I feel like if you get there when it first opens there are more cards to choose from. Yes, I know how dumb it sounds. At any rate I went this morning at about 11ish with a mission and my checklists.

This show is alot of local dealers from the NY/NJ area and is mostly the same people every time so I have my "people" that I like to deal with in there. When I first walked in I meandered over to the hobby boxes because I haven't seen one in months since there are no hobby stores here and the guy running the tables asked me how I like my new bleacher seats, and what do I think about the Yankees, etc. He was like see, I remember you. I suppose when it is usually just me and Sooz as the only females at these things it's probably fairly easy. I didn't buy anything there because I was budgeting to be able to get my O-Pee-Chee singles, some Pujols stuff, and my supplies. I left there and the first case I happened to peek in had a Pujols 2001 Fleer Tradition card that I have had my eye on for some time, but never could win it on eBay for a reasonable price. I asked the dude how much, and he went and grabbed Beckett... I told him to forget it if he was going to use that, and he replied don't worry it's just a guide. Really? I'm glad someone other than me knows that. It books for $50/$60 (don't remember, don't care), he offered it to me for $20. Now you want to know if I bought it right? Duh. If it was the only card I was going to leave with I would have been happy.



Now I found myself at a table run by a little old man selling his Pujols cards for a buck each. I gathered a couple that were not on my checklist, plus a surprise for Sooz (which she can put by her pillow) and continued on. Mind you I had browsed cases between purchases and did not see a single Cano autograph, nor did anyone I asked have an Adam Lind or want my Tulo auto's.




Next stop was Rookies & Stars table, who also sells on eBay and through his own site. Over the years I have purchased many, many things from this guy both on eBay and at this show so I picked up some 2009 Legendary Cuts base cards, a Joba Bowman '09 gold, Jeter Bowman '09, and a random Jeter because I needed one more card and there were no Pujols left that I needed from there. I spoke briefly with the owner about eBay and such, and he said he has been pretty slow on eBay recently and has really had it with their fees. Agreed on both accounts.


I decided to hit up this other vendor that I have bought stuff from in the past and he had a sweet Pujols card serial numbered 19/20. I was like thanks for teasing me but I'm looking for like dollar cards. He laughed, so I figured I would try one more time to get rid of my friggin Tulo auto's and jackpot. He borrowed a Beckett (works to my advantage here), and saw that one booked for $30, and the other for about the same I believe. The card I was trying to trade for was marked $100. I traded 2 useless Tulo auto's and a couple of bucks and left with the Pujols. Now, some of you may think that's alot for it but I paid I believe $6 bucks for the M&M Tulo auto, and the 2007 Chrome /199 auto came out of a blaster. I wish I had brought my SPx Tulo, but I forgot it at home. I'm more than pleased with that card for what I got it for, and I picked up a Russ Martin 2009 Topps Chrome blue refractor here as well.



More meandering around trying to see if anyone has a cool Cano auto, and I honestly only saw Stadium Club which I have. Plenty of '09 Topps Chrome auto's floating around the show. The next place I stopped to look at the guy was like, "hey, you collect Pujols right? I havea printing plate here." Whoa. Third person who knew who I collected without me even opening my mouth. Same guy was also asking me where my friend who collects Jeter is because he had a ton of them in a box. He was all ready to suck the cash from Sooz's wallet, only her and her wallet were home safe from his wrath. While walking around waiting for him to find his Pujols cards I got a Twitter message from Chris Harris of Stale Gum saying he would be there in a half hour or so, I read it about a half hour after he sent it since I never feel my phone vibrate. So I sent Chris a message back with my number so he could call me when he got there and picked up this while I waited (I like bargains):


I picked up one Pujols from that dude and then spoke to Chris. We touched base, and the next thing I know someone is standing next to me asking me if I want any WNBA cards. Chris and I traded some cards we had for each other, and then we had an incident with a vendor. This story will be saved for a later date because the reason we had a little tiff with the vendor was over the integrity of a card that will end up being my Christmas gift. Bottom line was that the vendor tried saying that Chris didn't know shit about cards because we were talking about how some Sweet Spot auto's fade, and the guy said no. Clearly he hasn't opened any in the last year or two, however the card in question was from 2005. Story for another day, like say December 26th.

Next stop was TNT cards from eBay. I figured he must have OPC singles since no one else did and he told me quite an interesting little story. Apparently he never got the remainder of his shipment, nor did many other dealers because of the law suit over the product. He broke 3 cases, and is selling his singles on eBay but did not bring them (read: Marie very annoyed). He was telling me that the OPC singles are hot sellers because no one else has them. Great, but if they are so hot why not bring them here and not pay the eBay fees? What do I know. I ended up grabbing some of the 2009 Ginter cards I had wanted, and got some for Sooz also. Ironically, I thought I had the Pujols base so I picked up everything but that. Anyone wanna send that my way? =)





I decided to hit up one last vendor before grabbing my supplies and hitting the diner, and he had a sweet Pujols card serial numbered 19/20. I was like thanks for teasing me but I'm looking for like dollar cards. He laughed, so I figured I would try one more time to get rid of my friggin Tulo auto's and jackpot. He borrowed a Beckett (works to my advantage here), and saw that one booked for $30, and the other for about the same I believe. The card I was trying to trade for was marked $100. I traded 2 useless Tulo auto's and a couple of bucks and left with the Pujols. Now, some of you may think that's alot for it but I paid I believe $6 bucks for the M&M Tulo auto, and the 2007 Chrome /199 auto came out of a blaster. I wish I had brought my SPx Tulo, but I forgot it at home. I'm more than pleased with that card for $25, and I picked up a Russ Martin 2009 Topps Chrome blue refractor here as well.

I was sidetracked on my way to get my binders when I saw a Pujols/Smith dual gu jersey card from '09 Legendary Cuts. Sidetracked long enough to hear $15 for the Pujols/Smith and discover a Cano/Nettles for $5.


I went to my supply friends who are awesome by the way and they will ship anywhere so I would be happy to pass along their info to anyone who would like to buy stuff. They charge only what it costs to ship and they have everything, and more importantly they are the nicest people. I grabbed my binders and 9 pocket sheets and hit the road.

I spent about 2 hours milling around looking and talking to people. My mom took a ride with me and helped me rummage through the boxes that Pujols was not already seperated. All in all it was a good day, and one that is good for one day a year. Too many of these shows and I will be washing the neighborhoods cars for cards. While the shows are fun to go to, they are best far and few in between right now. Plenty of good guys at these shows that are reasonable with their pricing, and then there is always one guy who thinks he needs to tell me how good Pujols is so he's charging $2 or $3 per base card. I really had no idea how great Pujols is, so it's nice to have people explain it to me.

For anyone interested in going to the show, the hours are posted a few posts back. And a heads up.... Nolan Ryan will be signing on Sunday in case anyone is interested.

August 14, 2009

I'll show you what a mistake is

I could not have asked for a better weekend to be away from home. I’m at my parent’s, but anything has to be better than being in the Philadelphia region right now.

Of course, all the talk is surrounding the fact that the Eagles have signed Michael Vick. I was one of those people who thought he deserved a second chance. I thought, he paid his time and he should be allowed to play.

I think it was easier to base my decision on this because I just assumed he would end up with a team with known criminals. That’s the persona of the NFL anyway, right?

I’m not an Eagles fan, but covering Philadelphia sports makes situations going on there close to me. I don’t cover the Eagles, but they still affect my life. Now, that Vick has been signed by Philadelphia, I can’t help but wonder if he really did deserve to come back.

Athletes have abilities that everyday people do not have. I will probably never be able to hit a 90-MPH fastball or take a hit from a middle linebacker. There are reasons these guys get paid millions of dollars for what they do (though I don’t fully understand that).

The argument that shouldn’t Vick be allowed to pursue a job in his chosen profession shouldn’t even be valid. He has abilities that others do not posses, but I feel like he gave up the opportunity to pursue his profession when he started killing dogs for sport.

You’ll hear people say he’s made a mistake.

A mistake isn’t something you do repeatedly. Mistakes, of course, happen. But they happen for two years?

You’ll hear people say he’s paid his debt to society.

Where? Serving time in jail didn’t pay me anything. In fact, my tax dollars went to paying for his imprisonment. So, right now, he owes me.

You’ll hear people say he deserves a second chance.

Why? Because he got caught? He should have stopped the situation on his own rather than feel sorry about it until he was caught.

So, I’ve jumped off the “Give Vick another try band wagon.” THAT was a mistake. Once you use sound reason and judgment, the mistakes usually show themselves.

August 13, 2009

New York area card show this weekend

Just in case anyone needs an excuse to leave work now, or call out sick tomorrow there is a card show going on at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY.

Hours are today 5pm-9pm, Friday 11am-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm.

I will probably go at some point tomorrow, all my checklists are printed out and ready to go. I'm hoping to pick up some supplies, the rest of the OPC set, and perhaps a few Pujols base cards for cheap to fill in some of the gaps in my collection.

Think anyone would be willing to trade Tulo's auto for a Cano? I'm thinking about bringing some of my Tulo's with me as trade material.

EDIT: I also got an e-mail from someone with news of a card show in the Delaware area if anyone is interested here is the info from the e-mail:

Aetna Sports Card &
Collectible Show

Sunday, August 16th

10 am - 3 pm
Aetna Fire Hall
400 Ogletown Road
(across from the Newark Post Office)
Newark ,DE
Located minutes from the Delaware Memorial Bridge

Doors open at 10AM!
Admission is $1.00 with this email ($2.00 without)
Children Under 12 FREE!

Looks like Upper Deck is fighting back

Upper Deck had its own announcement today that it won the exclusive agreement with Collegiate Licensing Company.

According to the Facebook note (that's where I read the news), these cards feature former student athletes in their college uniform. Initially, I think this will effect football cards more than baseball cards.

There aren't as many baseball players passing through college. So many of them get drafted out of high school. It seems as though football products such as Press Pass will be greatly effected. I don't college football cards and hope that someone out who does can chime in on this. I would like to hear more about what this is going to do.

Upper Deck says it go beyond just football and basketball and include other sports such as baseball, lacrosse, swimming and women's basketball. (It all sounds so thrilling), as well as feature mascots, stadiums and other institutions.

“Many of the best athletes in the world were leaders in college sports, and fans of those colleges passionately support their former players,” said Richard P. McWilliam, Upper Deck’s founder and CEO in a press release. “Upper Deck shares that commitment to the college market, and we plan to put the marketing resources in place to support both our trading card program and the college sports market overall.”

August 12, 2009

I need to make time for baseball cards

Sometimes life just gets in the way of the hobby. You have to work and deal with family. I’ve neglected many things recently concerning the hobby because of so many outside factors.

I need to make time for baseball cards. This doesn’t mean going out and buying cards or organizing (because that is NEVER fun).

However, I feel a bubble mailer withdrawal coming on. There is one sitting on my living room table from Marie. We hadn’t planned to see each other this week, so she sent me some cards. I’m not opening it for some time.

I need to hold on to it until I am about to crack.

I do spend a little money on cards recently. In light of the news Upper Deck didn’t get the MLB license, I went out and bought what could be my last pack of Upper Deck with the MLB license.

I came across a pack of 2008 Sweet Spot, and while not as fun as its 2007 counterpart, I splurged anyway. It was the blaster version of Sweet Spot- $20 for a pack with a guaranteed game-used card or auto.

I won’t tell you what I got, but I didn’t wait to get to open it.

Sooz will post more. I promise.

Maybe someone wants to call her boss and try to get her some time off. ;)

August 11, 2009

Yankee Stadium painted in a new light







Over this past weekend I had the opportunity to see Yankee stadium and some games from a perspective I never thought possible, the Luxury seats. When they say luxury, they are not kidding. Sunday for dinner we were offered amongst other things, lobster, bison steak, and lamp chops (with a hint o' mint). To keep you "hungry" for more you will have to read more about that experience later in the week. Last night my dad was offered tickets in a luxury suite upstairs at the stadium so he called me and my brother to go with him. My brother having been there 3 days straight, and on Friday for 15 innings was baseball-ed out told me to call Kouzmanoff a.k.a. Sooz and give her his ticket.

Coincidentally Sooz was kind of on her way here if she kept driving an extra hour from Rutgers, so she was more than willing to take the ticket. We made it down to the stadium in no time really, I parked in the first possible lot so that I didn't get all psychotic in the car sitting in traffic and we met my dad inside. My dad came down with a nice guy from WCBS, I believe his name was Danny, who handed us-I kid you not, gold lettered tickets. I will scan those by the end of me writing this so you can see the difference in even the paper money buys there.

We hop on the air-conditioned elevator and were whisked away to the H&R Block suite level. As we are walking to the suite we pass by a small bar area where fans were waiting to get someone's autograph. I looked in and didn't recognize who it was and honestly didn't care all that much, thenmy dad tapped me and said, "that's Mickey Rivers, wanna go get his autograph." My reply, "Great, I'm not buying a ball for that." I know it sounds terrible, but neither of us really cared that much and kept going.

So we walk in and the first thing I noticed was there was a private marble bathroom, bonus. There was a kitchen area with flat screen tv, food everywhere, water, soda and beer in the fridge. Small tv area with a couch and two chairs (everything leather), and a flat screen tv. There was a really cool phone in there with a screen all it's own, however it didn't call the dugout or the bullpen so I didn't touch it. Chairs along the window looking out onto the field were awesome because you could watch the whole game sans 100% humidity. There were also two rows out seats outside the box which were cushioned like the $1300 seats downstairs. Marble ledges lined the inside and outside seating areas so you could eat, drink, or keep score. Programs were provided free in the suite as were the scorecards the press gets which is what we used to keep score. We joined forces to complete the scorecard (all but when the free ice cream got there was completed), and with minimal information missing.

When Mickey Rivers showed up the guys in the suite, excluding my dad and his friends were practically on his lap like Babe Ruth himself was ressurected and brought to us. I wish that were an exaggeration but Sooz can vouch for that. Neither of us got up at that point to go back inside because of all the hulabaloo, so we watched the first few innings outside before the heat wilted our spirits. Besides, I had my own tickets for that game and wasn't going to go because Mitre was pitching, but I figured if I could watch him suck from an air conditioned room, then way the hell not. So we migrated inside, and got to listen to Rivers for a good long time.

If anyone has seen King of the Hill and knows who Boomhauer is, that is how Rivers talks. Not one of us understood a word out of his mouth for a good hour until we learned how to translate. I wish I were making it up, but it's true. All the guys that were from another company were sitting around talking baseball with the guy, and he just ate it up and went with it. Me and Sooz only understood/paid attention to one story he told and happened to be as he was walking out. One of the guys said, "Hey Mickey, as a kid I don't remember you walking alot. Did you have alot of walks in your career?" Mickey's response was, "I used to walk alot when I first started playing, then I asked some people how do I make more money playing and they said to stop walking. So I hit the ball and didn't walk anymore." (I am quoting to the best of my memory, but it was pretty much the same.) You can imagine that made us laugh, and pretty good too.

We had free food, free ice cream, free suite, free tickets and a good time. It's nice to see how the other half lives for a little while. Though I did enjoy the seats and the experience, I prefer to sit outside in the bleachers or somewhere in the actual crowd.

Did you ever wonder...

why I collect Albert Pujols? If you wanna find out a little bit more, check out my latest article up on the Upper Deck blog. Leave some comments, it will make me look popular and feel important.

Check back later on for the interesting points of the weekend, one being the former Yankee Sooz and I were entertained by in our luxury suite experience tonight.

August 9, 2009

Sunday Question: What company would you choose?

I light of the recent news, there are definitely many questions to be asked. But I'll stick to just one.

If you could have company create baseball cards next year, who would it be?

This could be any company from the tobacco companies way back in the day to Topps, which has the right next season from the MLB.

I'm going with Fleer for fun. For the most part, I've enjoyed Fleer when it was around. I never had too many complaints about the company.

Yankee Game







OK, the game was freakin' awesome! I bought a scorecard/program because I was hopeful of ending my streak of them losing when I keep score. Don't know why I decided to tempt fate today, but I did. Sooz would say that I don't have that much power, and she's probably right but just the same it's a coincidence that they lose everytime I had kept score in the past. During the 4th inning I was totalling up and noticed Boston didn't have a hit yet and was like oh that's interesting. Then in the 5th I heard someone a few rows back go, "Oh hey, C.C. has a no hitter so far," and then the whole section grumbled and most called him an asshole for opening his mouth. Whatever, it's not like anyone on tv or the radio hadn't said it.

Now, at the point where he was into the 6th and the hit hadn't happened yet I was thinking what a cool scorecard to have done if it does happen. Then it "unhappened" and they got a hit. C.C. got a much deserved standing ovation from the crowd and kept going. He threw 123 pitches total and was still throwing 94 mph when he left the game to another standing ovation. C.C. tipped his cap to the crowd, and Hughes finished the inning.

My seats were absolutely incredible, the view was awesome and the players were so close it was insane. Then again after sitting in right field all the time I guess anything would be closer. The crowd in this area however, not so much fun. This was a $375 per seat section, and most people were not rowdy and cheering like I'm used to. The fans made the atmosphere a snoozefest, and you would be surprised how many people don't even get up when the Yankees score. I loved the seats, for once I had a back to my seat and if that weren't enough of a luxury the seat was more padded than the chair I sit in at my computer typing this.

As great as the seats were, I wouldn't trade my bleacher seat for one of these. I like sitting where I know everyone and where the people around me give a you know what about the game, and know the teams- not just the Yankees or Jeter. I took some pics, one of which includes a fairly terrible one of me. Tomorrow we have seats even closer than today inside the "moat". I'm hoping to get there early enough to attempt to snag an autograph though I'm sure that plenty of other people will have the same intentions. They are calling for rain on and off tomorrow so if there is any rain there probably won't be any outdoor B.P. so I'll end up out of luck.

I may bring my actual camera tomorrow because I noticed the crackberry camera comes across kind of grainy when the pictures are bigger. I really don't want to carry my camera so the odds are kind of slim that I follow through on that one.

P.S. I kept a complete score card that had no mystery outs... and they won. I'm rather proud.

P.P.S. The second to last picture was an accidental picture of Jeter's butt. I was going to delete it but well, someone around here might like it... (He bent over as I was snapping a pic of just his back towards me.)

August 8, 2009

Some UD X fun














The past few days UD X has been popping up in the local Targets and of course I had to get my grubby hands on them. Well they weren't grubby 'til yesterday when they became covered in brake dust from running the Hot Wheels car wash outside, but that's a whole other story.

I like UD X for a few reasons: the XPonential cards, die cut cards, ease of set completion for those that choose that route. I know it will take me forever opening packs to pull 6 XPonential Pujols cards (yes, this year there are 6). The one thing I don't like about the XP cards is that one of them is horizontal, and if you're going to make a subset can we do it uniformly so that my binder page is nice? Just an idea. I am weird about stuff like that, I would prefer all cards of a subset to be uniform rather than half one way and half the other.

Anyway, here are some of the highlights without listing the many, many base cards. And clearly you all know I am missing all 6 Pujols XP, and the Pujols die-cut. Of course though I ended up with the Jeter XP6.










I am off to the Yankees v. Red Sox game this afternoon so there will probably be some tweeting and perhaps some twitpics as well since we're supposed to be sitting kind of behind homeplate.

What my blog was going to be about...

I had planned on writing about some cards I picked up in the last two days, however I ended up watching the Yankees v. Red Sox game which lasted 15 innings ending with the Yankees winning 2-0 on an "A-Bomb from A-Rod". Yes, I watched all 15. Sooz actually went to the game tonight, and yes she stayed all 15 innings. So needless to say you clearly won't be getting a baseball card blog out of me tonight, or Sooz for that matter.

The game was crazy, great pitching match-up with Burnett and Beckett though a scoreless game would generally mean around 2 hours for 9 innings but this is the Yankees and Red Sox and nothing is ever average or normal for that matter. This was a great game, and more importantly the Yankees depleted their bullpen which is already on the short side. Hopefully Papelbon isn't available later today for the game if they needed him. Luckily for us Hughes only pitched to one batter, and Aceves ate up 3 innings by himself. So we should have Hughes if need be.

This was a huge win for the Yankees creating a bigger gap in the standings and giving them a nice boost and the momentum going into tomorrows (later todays) game. I'm glad A-Rod has ended an 0 for 70+ AB's without a homerun and hopefully that gets him going again for the rest of this series.

I will be at the game tomorrow (later today) in field level seats which is cool, and I'll also be at Sundays game sitting in the moat. I plan on taking some pictures from both seats because I probably won't bother venturing outside the bleachers after this.

August 7, 2009

Marie's Gint-A-Pology

OK, so I caved.

There I said it, phew. I swore up and down, left and right that I would not buy a single pack of 2009 Allen & Ginter as a result of the previous years sucking royally (in my opinion). Part of what I never liked about these cards was the design was so bland and color-less, in addition to getting cards of Ferris Wheels.



Then the other day in Target I saw a random rack pack of 09 A&G, it was slightly opened for some reason and it was the only one. I figured if I were going to give in, going for a $5 trial pack wasn't terrible. I opened the pack while walking to the car, something else I never do. I was rather surprised at the cards design once I had them in my hands. I won't lie, I haven't really paid much attention to the scans on other blogs when reading them just from my own prior disgust with the design. So my apologies for cracking jokes and busting chops for the addiction, it isn't as terrible as years past. I won't throw anymore stones, promise.

Well, I got one card I will be keeping the rest are for trade if anyone needs them. The only card I will be keeping is the Tulo card for reasons I have not yet figured out. Here is the pack breakdown:

307 Hunter Pence
237 Trap Shooting Champion (stupid waste of a card)
247 Jeff Clement
197 Jhonny (dumb spelling) Peralta
10 Chone (what) Figgins
79 Subatomic Particle (another stupid card)
55 Alex Rios
115 Ryan Doumit
170 Lance Berkman
48 Troy Tulowitzki


National Pride Ryan Dempster

Mini Regular 322 Chris Volstad

Will I end up buying more of these? Perhaps, but with the card show coming up in a week or so I will probably just get what is left out of this set that I need that weekend.