Monday, April 29, 2013

Kids, This Is Why You Make Sure You're Pen Works

Last weekend, The New York Knicks hosted various rallies all over New York City. They are in the Playoffs, facing the Boston Celtics and they were appearing all over the Big Apple getting New Yorker's excited about the possibility of a long playoff run which hopefully will cumulative in an NBA Title, the first for the Knicks since the 1972-73 season.

Looking on the Knicks official website,, I was able to find out where, when and who was making apperances for the Knicks. The team was sending out former players to meet with fans, sign photos and hand out prizes. I found out that John Stark would be appearing at Traffic Sports Bar in Manhattan, while Larry Johnson, Anthony Bonner and the newest member of the Basketball Hall Of Fame, Bernard King, would be appearing at the Knicks Fan Fest, to be held the next day in front of Madison Square Garden before Game 1. I really wanted to get John Starks on a mini basketball then get King on a full sized ball and LJ on a mini.

I went to Traffic right after work. Starks would be appearing from 7:00 PM to 10 PM. There was a rap contest with bar patrons (some of the worst "rapping" I've ever heard), trivia contests and give a ways  That's was all good and well, but I was there to meet the man who once dunked over Michael Jordan and Horace Grant during Game 2 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals and won an NBA Sixth Man Of The Year Award, so I waited. And I waited. And, waited some more. Finally around 9:30, I asked one of the gentleman who worked for he Knicks if Starks had arrived and was told he wasn't showing up. Ticked off, I litteraly took my ball and went home. Not showing up for something you were scheduled to to appear at was so bad. I hope word got back to the Knicks that there was some upset fans who was looking forward to meeting him that night.

The next day, I got to MSG bright and early. I was not only hoping that Bonner, Johnson and King would show up, but I was hoping to get them to sign a couple of autographs.

The Knicks Party Van was parked right outside

You know this is your team when it's your mug that's plastered on the side of the Party Van.

The Garden was decked out in blue and orange on this day. Game One was taking place inside the Garden at 3 PM that day. While there, you could get a Playoff buzz cut with the Knicks logo shaved into your head or have your face painted in blue and orange. A lot of kids showed up with their parents to take part in the festivities. The Knicks did this one right.

You could also shoot baskets for a chance to win Playoff tickets. I tried. I sucked.

There was an appearance by the Knick City Dancers

And by the New York Sticks who usually drum in between periods of games in the Garden to entertain the crowd.

Or, you could try and dunk on this guy

Finally, Bernard King, Larry Johnson and Anthony Bonner made their way to the basketball court area to meet the fans. With all the fans that was there, This could have been a mob scene, but luckily, I was able to get to King first and ask him to sign my basketball.

Now, I had looked high and low for a Deco silver paint pen for this occassion. Of course, I would have a better chance of getting punched by Mike Tyson as he sings "In The Air Tonight" than to find this elusive paint pen in NYC. So, I finally gave up and bought a Sharpie Silver and a Sharpie Gold Paint Pens. I had spent much of the morning prepping the pen, making sure it was working and it was all morning. That is, until Mr. King was handed the pen. After signing the ball, he handed it back to me. This was the signature I got.

Curse you, Sharpie! I have been trying to get King to sign a basketball for years and when I finally get him, the pen craps out on me. Grrrrr. I have King sign my New York Knicks Official 50th Anniversery Book I am working on. He borrowed someone else's Sharpie. Surely, I would get a better signature in the book, right?

Nope. His pen crapped out on him as well. Close up of the autograph.


At least Anthony Bonner's signature came out nice.

He signed the first page of the book, right under the book plate I had another brand new Basketball Hall Of Famer, Richie Guerin, sign. Why did he sign his last name first?

Then I finall got to LJ. I mke small talk with him, asking if we were going to see a return of Grand Ma Ma. He laughed as he attempted to sign the mini ball in the same black pen as King signed the book with. When that failed, he grabbed my garbage paint pen and quickly signed my mini basketball with it.

You may not be able to see it. Nor can I, for that matter. But I assure you, it's there.

At least we finally got the correct pen for him to use in the book.

And that was that. I got my autographs and took off as it was getting more crowded. I couldn't even have taken a picture of the players if I tried. That's the hazard of free appearances. Everyone wants to meet the players, which is what they were there for.

Although I am very happy I met the players, I am quite disappointed at how the autographs came out. One you can barely make out and the other, not at all. So, now what do I do? Do I Goo Gone the autographs and try again, knowing that these players really don't make appearances all that often? Or do I just keep the autos, as is? I'm leaning toward keeping the King auto and cleaning off the mini and trying again for LJ with a better pen or someone different all together.

So, the morale of the story is, hunt down a Deco Paint Pen if you are going to get a basketball or football signed. Leave the Sharpies to photographs only. If you do not heed my warnings, you will end up like me, sitting on the floor of my apartment, wondering where it all went wrong. Shaprie no, Deco, yes!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Additions To My Patrick Ewing PC

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog showing off cards from my David Lee PC. David Lee is one of my favorite Knicks of all time...but not the ultimate favorite. That honor goes to number 33, Patrick Ewing. I first became aware of Ewing while he was playing with Georgetown. I was watching St. John's basketball at the time and saw the epic battles between Chris Mullin and the then Red Men and Ewing and the Hoyas. Those were some great games, which Georgetown got the last laugh, winning the Big East Title that year. Ewing would go #1 to the Knicks in the 1985 NBA Draft and he became, arguably, the greatest Knick ever.

In 16 seasons, Ewing averaged 21.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.4 blocks a game and shot better than 50% for his career. He was an 11 time All Star, an NBA Rookie Of The Year, an NCAA Champion, a charter member of the Dream Team which won Olympic Gold, was named to the NBA 50 Greatest list, had his number retired by the Knicks and was elected to the Basketball Hall Of Fame. All those accomplishments, but my fondest memory of Ewing was after the Knicks finally made it to the NBA Finals, Ewing jumped up on the broadcast table and celebrated with his arms outstretched.

I saw a T shirt of that image made and I want it.

I started a Ewing PC a year ago and have been able to add some nice cards. No autographs and just 2 game used cards because Ewing stuff is pretty pricey. Most of the nicer Ewing cards I own are inserts, which is fine because I am a fan of inserts and the 90's had a lot of them. I'll show some of my favorites in a later post.

A couple of friends of mine recently sent me cards and in them were some pretty sweet Ewing cards.

1997-98 Upper Deck Star Attractions Die Cut Insert

1998 UD Choice Starquest

1994-95 Flair Scoring Power Insert

1995-96 Fleer Double Double Insert

1994-95 Flair Big Numbers Insert

1995-96 Upper Deck Electric Court

1991-92 NBA Hoops Team Card

1996-97 Topps Chrome Championship Spirit Insert.

I got some really nice cards to add to the growing Ewing PC, so I'd like to thank my buddies for the new additions. I'm always looking on eBay and card shows for Ewing cards that I don't own. Would love to own a Ewing autograph one day, I'm always looking for deals on one. Ewing is not much of a signer, so his autograph is a good 2-300 dollars, which means my collection will not have one for quite sometime.

I got to see Ewing from the very beginning to the end of his career. Collecting Ewing is like reliving my youth when Ewing, Mark Jackson and Anthony Mason were running Madison Square Garden. No matter who comes along or if Carmelo Anthony wins an NBA Championship as a Knick, no one will replace Patrick Ewing as my favorite New York Knick.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vintage Knicks eBay Pick Ups

One of my goals for 2013 was to finally start building Knicks team sets. I have a bunch of Knicks cards, but I haven't had time to really put them into 9 pocket pages and binders as I have been concentrating on getting my Yankees and Jets collections into some sort of order. With the Knicks in the playoffs and playing well, I have been wanting to pick up some Knicks cards to add to my collection.

One of my other main goals is to pick up more vintage cards. I have been doing this with my Yankee team sets and my Jets, to some extent. Now that I working on building Knicks sets, I want to start adding vintage almost right off the bat. Luckily, I came across an eBay listing for 3 1972-73 Topps Knicks cards that could start me on my way toward my goals. After winning the auction for the extremely high price of $4.95, I got me some vintage.

The first card I got was a Bill Bradley. The future Senator was a starting forward on 2 World Championship winning Knicks teams. He was also an NBA All Star, Had his number 24 retired by the Knicks and was inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame. He was backed up by a future coach who would go on to win 11 Championships as a coach, Hall Of Famer, Phil Jackson.

Right off the bat, I love the way these cards look. they just scream 1970's with the lettering and choice of colors. Then there is the lack of background. No arena, no crowds, not even a gym. Just a yellow background and the player in a "basketball" pose. I like the simplicity in that. Nothing to distract you from the player whose card you are holding.

Probably one of the smartest players to have ever played for the Knicks. And I mean smart as in brainiac smart. As a player, he was a 7 time All Star, an NBA Rookie Of The Year, an NCAA Champion, won a Gold Medal in the 1960 Olympics and won a Championship as a member of the Knicks. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame in 1980 and named to the NBA 50 Greatest Players. After his retirement, he wrote 3 best selling books and works as a educator and memory expert.

What strikes me about this card is the jersey. There is no orange New York across Lucas's chest, but his last name and number stands out. It's like the photographer told Lucas to turn the jersey around and wear it backwards. I'm sure Topps didn't have the licence to show the NBA team logos and uniforms, but this is ridiculous. They couldn't just wipe out the lettering? Still, it's pretty unique to see.

The last card I bought in the lot was a player who I have read so much about and has become one of my favorite players without my ever seeing him play a quarter. Dave DeBusschere was known as the missing piece of the Knicks puzzle. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons out of the University of Detroit. He was traded to the Knicks for Walt Bellamy and Howard Komives. He won 2 World Championships with the Knicks, was an 8 time All Star and had his number 22 retired by the Knicks. He was also named to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players list.

My memory of DeBusschere was during the 1985 NBA Lottery, when the Knicks won the first pick of the upcoming draft, DeBusschere, who was the Knicks GM at that point, pretty much jumped out of his chair and banged his fist on the desk in front of him. The Knicks used that pick on a center from Georgetown named Patrick Ewing. I bet you didn't know that DeBusschere was also a baseball player, pitching 2 seasons for the Chicago White Sox. In those 2 seasons, DeBusschere went 2-3 with a 2.90 ERA.

DeBusschere's death from a heart attack in 2003 broke my heart, personally. It was around this time I was learning more about the 2 World Championship teams and how much DeBusschere meant to that team. I had hoped to have the chance to meet him one day, but unfortunately, I never got the chance to.

I am a huge fan of the 2 World Championship Knick teams. I love watching film about them and reading about them. I have always wanted to collect those 2 teams and now, with this awesome purchase, I have begun that collection.

The Knicks cards I am now needing from this set are:

#32-Phil Jackson
#52-Dick Barnett
#88-Dean Meminger
#165-Walt Frazier

Now, unless I am not looking at a complete checklist or there were no cards made of them, I see two big names missing, Willis Reed and Earl Monroe. Now, I'm not the most knowledgeable about basketball cards (just yet), so I am now wondering if there are cards of them in this set.

Not only do I need to hunt down the cards I am missing, but I need to find out the riddle of the missing Hall Of Famers. Riddle me this, Batman!

Oh, and the seller threw this in for free

Come on, who doesn't love Yogi?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What Would I Spend $1,600.00 On?

One thing I love to do is to search the internet and find new blogs to read. I came across a blog called Drop The Gloves. There is a bat around blog where you are asked one question: How Would You Spend $1,600 For Cards On eBay? Here is the link to the blog:

 Admittedly, I had a hard whittling down the list I came up with. I came up with so many cool cards. Cards I have always wanted to add to my PC's, but after playing around with the list a bit, I was able to come up with 3 cards I would kill to have in my collections. They cover teams and players I collect, both vintage and modern. Here are the three cards I chose

1-2010-11 Mike Bossy UD The Cup Base Patch Parallel # 1/10-Buy It Now-149.99

I have autographs and game used cards in my Bossy PC. But I do not have a patch card in my collection. The one I chose has a gorgeous three color patch from what was the home uniform. Back when I first started watching hockey many, many moons ago, the whites were the home and the colored were the road unis. I miss those days.

2-2008 UD Premier Bat Barrel Mark Texieira-Buy It Now $449.99

I know. For that price, I could probably own a whole Teixeira game used bat. But since we are just spending our theoretical $1,600.00 on cards, this would be one card I would absolutely love to own. I'm betting this was a piece of a bat used from his days as a Texas Ranger, but I do not care. I have always wanted to own a bat barrel card and the chance to own one from one of my favorite players would be too good to pass up.

3-1965 Topps Joe Namath Rookie PSA 4.5-Buy It Now $990.00 

The number one card I have to buy before any other would be a 1965 Topps Joe Namath rookie card, the card to own from the 1960's. Originally, I was looking for a raw card as I generally do not collect slabbed cards. But the ones I saw were not in great shape, not that a grade 4.5 is. But this one looks better than the others and at the Buy It Now price, I could still pick up the other 2 cards for my collection. This card would be the centerpiece of my New York Jets PC.

So, there you have it. the 3 cards I would pick up if I could spend $1,600.00 on cards on eBay. I'm sure I probably could have gotten more if I played around some more, but if we are talking quality, then I don't think I could have picked a better 3 cards to add to my collection. Maybe one day, I will be able to. But for now, I will drool over these pictures. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

New Bobblehead And Gnome Additions

This was a pretty busy weekend for me, running around attending various Knicks functions, watching the Knicks beat Boston in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs and attending a Mets game. I did find time to hit the post office and pick up some eBay bobble head wins.

I won these two Yankees Alexander Global Bobble Dobbles for a ridiculous price.

I initially bid on and won the Derek Jeter bobble and won it for about $7.00, shipped. The seller sent me an email asking if I was interested in a Jason Giambi Bobble Dobble for the low, low price of 4 bucks, shipped. So, less than a week later, these 2 beauties arrived at my postal box. Very pleased to be able to add them to the Yankees PC. Now, I might go after the set. I do love the Hideki Matsui and Reggie Jackson in this set.

Today, I went to Ron Darling Bobblehead day at Citi Field. Now, I am not a Mets fan, yet I do have a small collection of Mets bobbles. I picked up a couple of Mr. Mets and I have 3 of their SGA bobbles from last season. I'd like to say I wouldn't go out of my way for a Mets bobblehead, but going to Citi Field from my home in The Bronx, is kinda out of my way. 

I meet my buddy, Mark in front of the Apple outside Citi Field. This apple is the one that used to be inside Shea Stadium. I will admit, it's pretty cool that the Mets have it outside Citi Field for the fans to snap pictures in front of it. This has become what the Bat outside the old Yankee Stadium used to be: a place for fans to meet before the game. When I meet up with Mark, he hands me this as a belated birthday present.

A Knicks Forever Team Gnome. Very cool gift. One that I am looking forward to adding to my small Knicks collection. I have an Allan Houston SGA bobblehead and a Knicks Christmas figurine. I'm still kicking myself for not picking up the Jeremy Lin Forever bobble I saw at Lids for 10.00. 

But today's trip out to Mets-ville was all about getting the Ron Darling bobblehead the Mets were giving out. Darling was drafted by the Texas Rangers, but was traded to the Mets, along with Walt Terrell for Lee Mazilli. Darling was called up in 1984 and was one of their top pitchers until 1991. He was named to the National League All Star team in 1985, won a Gold Glove and was a member of the 1986 World Championship Mets. He is now considered one of the top color commentators in all baseball, working on the Mets telecasts as well as TBS nationally. Darling is rumored to be up for Tim McCarver's spot on Fox's Saturday Baseball telecasts, along side Joe Buck.

Let's check out the bobble:

Citibank sponsored this giveaway. Ron is shown here in what I believe is the 1985 Mets road uniform. I was never a fan of this uni, I always liked the road uniform with "New York" in that classic lettering the Mets had and are using to this day. Another peeve I had with the Mets in the 80's was the racing stripe running down the side of the uniform. I know some fans like it, I just never dug them. Call me old fashioned, but I always liked the classic uniform with Mets across the chest and blue pinstripes. Hated the black Mets tops and the all-white unis they still wear. I do like the blue tops they wore in the 80's and they bought a similar jersey back for this season.

Here is the back of the bobblehead. Darling's number 12 and last name is on the jersey and the base says 1985 All Star. Why wouldn't that be on the front of the base? I think it would have looked a lot better there. 

The bobblehead is nice. My only complaint is it really doesn't look too much like Darling. I do like that they used a uniform that is different from previous bobbleheads, even if I'm not a fan of it. I'm curious to see what the other bobbleheads that the Mets are giving out look like. The remaing bobblehead dates are:

Sat May 11th-Stitch and Pitch Bobblehead-1st 1,000 fans to purchase through a special offer 
Sat May 25th-John Franco
Sun June 30th-David Wright
Sun July 21st-Dwight Gooden
Sun Aug 25th-Tom Seaver

Looks like the Mets are doing an All Star Theme, giving out bobbleheads of players who have played in an All-Star Game. Would make sense as the Mets are hosting this years All Star Game.

Funny side note, on the day the Mets gave out this bobblehead, Ron Darling wasn't even in the ballpark. He was in Baltimore, working the Orioles/Dodgers game for TBS. They probably should have given this out the Saturday prior. Would have been nice if he had thrown out the first pitch. Instead, it was his brother.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My 5 Most Wanted Autographs

As an autograph collector, I think I have built up a pretty good autograph collection. I have been able to get some personal favorites added to my collection from in person appearances like Carmelo Anthony, Joe Namath, Chad Pennington, Roddy Piper and Martin Brodeur. Others I got either through the mail ( like Harry Gallatin, Charles Oakley) or certified on sports cards (Babe Ruth, Walt Frazier).

As a collector of Yankees, Knicks, Jets, Devils and Islanders, there are many players I am still looking to add to my collections. My goal is to collect as many players who have played for these teams. My only rule is the picture/card I get signed has to have the player in the uniform of the team I collect. I have had a few people ask me if I was interested in Travis Hafner or Kevin Youklis autographs in Red Sox or Indian uni's. I turn them down as they aren't in Yankee uni's. If there aren't any autos in those uni's, I might get them in college or minor league unis instead.

As most collectors, I do have a list of players I am really after. These are players I don't have in my collection on anything. They are also tough autographs to get either due to lack of appearances or price range. For this blog entry, I dwindled the list down to 5 players that I would really love to have. The 5 players are in no particular order.

1-Bill Bradley

Former Senator Bradley is not really in the public eye these days. He works for an investment firm and writes political books. He was a key piece on the 2 NBA Championship Knicks teams as well as a Rhodes Scholar. I collect autographs from those championship teams and not having a Bradley auto is a glaring hole in my collection. His certified card autos are pricey. I had a shot at getting him at an appearance at Barnes N Noble last year at a political discussion for his latest book. There was no mention regarding autographs so I didn't go and I regret that move. If there is another appearance  I will not blow it. I do have a TTM request out there, but so far it hasn't been returned. Would love to get him on a basketball or 8x10.

2-Bernie Williams

Here's the thing about Bernie, I got him TTM, or so I think. There is a huge rumor that the TTM autos are ghost signed by a member of his family. Based on that, I will assume that I do not have a Bernie autograph in my Yankees collection. He has made sporadic signings in this area, but the prices on them were too rich for my blood. His certified card autos usually finish over 100.00, so I am obviously bargain hunting when it comes to Bernie. A Bernie signed baseball would be most desirable, but I would take a certified card autograph for the Yankees PC.

3-Billy Smith

Billy Smith was the goalie on the championship teams during the 80's. Known for his temper and his wacking at opposing players who got too close to the net, Smith was also the first goalie credited with a goal. Smith is not a real expensive autograph like the first two players on my list. I just haven't been able to pick up one up. The few times I bid on cards on eBay, I always got outbid. Smith has appeared in one card show out on Long Island and I was not able to make it out there. Would love a puck, 8x10 or certified card auto.

4-Scott Stevens

The hard hitting former captain of the New Jersey Devils, who led the team to 3 Stanley Cups has been a hard autograph for me to get. Just like Smith, I always seem to get outbid on eBay for his autographs. A few years ago, he appeared at a Devils Draft Party and I was on his line, only for it to be cut off bout 10 people in front of me. He is an Assistant Coach with the Devils, but I haven't seen a success for him TTM. Would love to add his autograph to my 2002 Stanley Cup piece that I already have Brodeur on, but a signed jersey or puck would be awesome for the Sports Room.

5-Freeman McNeil

Probably the hardest player on this list to add to the collection as I don't remember seeing a certified card or Freeman appearing anywhere. A 3 time Pro Bowler and a member of the Jets Ring Of Honor, he is an autograph I really want to add to my Jets collection. I have been keeping my eyes peeled for anything. A mini helmet or 8x10 is what I would love to add .

The year is still young and I am determined to find these autographs either at signings, eBay or anywhere else. As the collection continues to grow, these autographs are pretty important to my team collections and I hope they can be added without breaking the bank.

Friday, April 12, 2013

First Picture Of Yankees SGA Derek Jeter Bobblehead

Recently, The Yankees announced that this season there will be 5 bobble-head give a way dates during the 2013 season at Yankee Stadium. 4 player and a second Snoopy bobble-head given away. Here are the dates:

Monday July 8th-Derek Jeter
Sunday July 28th-Hideki Matsui
Friday August 30th-Yogi Berra
Tuesday Sept 24th-Mariano Rivera
Wednesday Sept 25th-Snoopy

I am not too crazy about this list as the Yankees have given away Jeter, Matsui and Rivera before. I would have like to have seen a CC, Cano, Teixeira or maybe a Mantle, Ford or Gossage bobble-head  Anyway, I won't complain too much. I'm just thrilled that the Yankees are giving away bobble-heads. Now, I don't have to look at Giants or Dodger fans green with envy.

The Yankees released a picture of the Derek Jeter bobble-head recently. Here is the Jeter:

I have two thoughts. A-I hope this is not a mini bobble-head  B-I'm thinking this looks like the 3,000th hit. Maybe the Yankees are doing a great moments set, which might explain why we are getting a Matsui. Possibly, it could be one of him during the 2009 World Series or his Grand Slam during his first Yankee Stadium game. Rivera's could be him on the mound, tipping his cap after getting save # 602. Not sure what Yogi's could be. Yogi behind the plate? Been done already. I hope they come up with something good for Yogi.

I cannot wait until these bobble-heads are given away. I have been screaming and pounding the drum for the Yankees to give out bobble-heads again, especially since I missed out when they initially gave them out during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. I have been slowly picking those up off eBay. Now I am praying for sell outs so the Yankees will continue to give out bobble-heads each season. I'm still praying for a few players to add to my bobble-head collection, so I hope Yankee fans support these great give away and make it hard on the dealers who come out and hog up all the bobble-heads to sell.

Excuse me, I have to make room on my bobble-head shelf for the new arrivals.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Five From The Collection: Martin Brodeur

My hockey world was defined by two legends. As a child, Mike Bossy was my favorite hockey player. As an adult, it's been number 30 for the New Jersey Devils, Martin Brodeur. I have been watching Marty play with the Devils since his cup of coffee back in the 1991-92 season. I had started watching hockey again the year before and was looking for the next "Bossy". The next player to capture my imagination like Bossy had.

Brodeur did that for me during his rookie year of 93-94 when he finished 2nd in the NHL in Goals Against Average and 4th in Save Percentage, winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL Rookie Of The Year. He led New Jersey to the second best record and almost took them to the Stanley Cup Finals, but lost a heartbreaking (for me at least) Eastern Conference Finals to the New York Rangers (excuse me, I threw up in my mouth a little) 4 games to 3.

From there on, Broduer won 3 Stanley Cups and  4 Vezina Trophy's. He is a 10 time All Star and has won 2 Olympic Gold Medals. He has broken records and still continues to play at a high level even at the age of 40. He hasn't said if he is retiring at the end of this season or if he will play another year.

My favorite Martin Brodeur moment was watching him break Patrick Roy's all time wins record. I took the day, March 17th 2009, off from work and got to the Prudential Center (or The Rock) at 8 am for a 7 PM game. I had to wait on line for the 10 dollar seats. Lucky for me, I was able to score a pair and watch Marty beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. To watch him cut the net was a thrill for me, one that I will never forget.

So, as you can imagine, I do have a Brodeur collection. It's not as extensive as I would like it to be. Broduer is a very expensive player to collect. Even a lot of his game used cards are usually sold over 10.00 on eBay. I am pretty proud of the stuff I do have. Here are my 5 favorites

This Brodeur McFarlane was the first Sports Pick I owned. I loved this figure when I had it and had it prominently displayed at my desk at work. Unfortunately, someone either liked the figure and stole it or hated the figure and rubbed it out. Either way, it took me a couple of years to replace it. I found it at a comic book convention, of all places. Needless to say, I will not be taking this one to work.

Love this Topps rookie card of Brodeur. Here, his number is not 30, but 29. He's got on an almost all red goalie mask, but most important to me, he's rocking the old school Devils jersey with green in it. I prefer the "Christmas Tree" jersey, which is red and green as opposed to this jersey, which was the home jersey at the time. I would love to see the Devils wear this jersey one more time before Marty retires.

Sometimes, you will see a Brodeur game used jersey for under 10.00. When I do, I usually jump on it. I did with this card, winning it for 4 bucks. Love that its a 2 color swatch, probably taken from either the arm of the jersey or the bottom. Either way, this is a cool card and I'm glad I have it.

I don't own very many Brodeur signed items. Including the card above, I have 3 cards, a 5x7 photo from an apperance at the NHL Store in Manhattan and a huge group picture of the 2002 Stanley Cup team that bears only his signature. The above card was not cheap either. I was rocking my Brodeur home jersey at a card show when a dealer called me over to is table. He took out this card and told me he had just bought it and asked if I was interested in it. I didn't have a Brodeur autograph at that point, so I was extremely intrested until he told me he wanted 100.00 for it. I said no thanks and started to walk away. He called me back and asked me what I was willing to pay. I told him 50.00, still a hefty price for me. He counter offered with 75.00 to which I told him 60.00. He said he wanted the card to go to a Brodeur fan and sold it to me at 60.00.

Probably the coolest card in my Brodeur collection. I really dig this sick triple patch card of Brodeur, Parise and Elias. I traded Malkin autograph card to get this baby. A steep price to pay, but so worth it. It's a trade that made both parties happy as the kid who got the Malkin is a die hard Penguins fan, so I felt good trading it to him for this. What a filthy card. God I love it!

I would love to one day own a game used stick of his. That is the holy grail for my Brodeur collection. I would also love a signed puck and jersey as well. Like I said, he is an expensive player to collect, but I do hope I can be abe to add these items to my collection one day.

It's sad how little attention Brodeur get in this area. He is one of the greatest players to ever play the game and should be revered like Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Mark Messier and Lawrence Taylor is, but because he played in New Jersey his whole career, he goes largely unnoticed in NYC. It's too bad. When Brodeur retires there will never be another like him. I guess the best way I can pay tribute to him is to continue collecting and watch him play until he skates off the ice for the final time.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Five Favorite PC Cards: David Lee

I am a huge New York Knicks fan. I have been since the 1982-83 season. I have cheered for players like Ewing, King, Oakley, Richardson, Starks, Jackson, Houston, Marbury, Amar'e, and Anthony. I have cheered this team when they were great, I cheered this team when they were bad. I have always supported my Knicks.

Tonight, The Knicks won the Atlantic Division crown and the magic number for sewing up the number 2 seed in the playoffs is down to 2. As I celebrate this achievement, I find myself looking out west and keeping an eye on the Golden State Warriors, who right now are in for the 6th seed, yet haven't locked up a playoff spot. I am hoping they do soon. My current favorite player is on that team and I would like to see him get to the playoffs as well.

As you can guess, I am talking about David Lee. I have followed his career since his first year in the NBA. This guy was, and still is, good for a double-double every night. He hustled, fought for the ball, and was one of the better rebounders in the league. I remember in a double overtime against the Bobcats, he scored the game winning basket on a tip in with 0.1 seconds left on the game clock. He got better every year, but for some strange reason, when his contract was up, the Knicks signed Amar'e Stoudmire, he of bum knees and bad back and traded Lee to the Warriors. I consider that one of the dumbest moves the Knicks made in a while. Lee has averaged 18.6 points a game with 11.30 rebounds per game this season, while Amar'e has been injured much of the season. I know a lot of people like to say the Knicks don't get Carmelo Anthony if Lee is a Knick, which I disagree with. Anthony wanted to come here and would have even if Lee was here. My only fear is Lee would have been included in that deal.

I started collecting Lee cards during his time with the Knicks. I have kind of stopped because I focused on other things, but would still pick up the occasional card here and there. Lee is very affordable, so I know I can, and will, start picking up a lot of his cards in the very near future.

Here are my 5 favorite cards in my David Lee collection.

I'm a huge fan of patch cards. I love the Knick colors and I think they look great on card. Here's a pretty nice one. I picked this up off eBay pretty cheap. In fact, almost all of the David Lee prime cards (autographs and game used) I picked up were under 10.00, with the exception of 1, which I will show later.

This one is one of the more recent cards I picked up. Gorgeous 3 color patch. Love how the orange, white and road blue look on this card. Saw it and had to have it.

Love this Topps Front Row autograph. The silver card with the Knicks logo behind Lee in the background looks great...and shiny. I like shiny cards. Lee's autograph is a simple D-Lee, which is fine because that's his nickname. Of course, you want the full name, but I have seen worse autographs.

This Upper Deck Trilogy Signs Of Stardom is one of my very favorites because it was the very first David Lee autograph I picked up. Real cheap too.

This is my favorite David Lee Card. As you all know, Exquisite is one of the more expensive cards you can buy. I have seen this card on eBay recently for about 120.00. Remember when I said there was one card I paid over 10.00 for? This was the one and I paid the astonishing price of 12.00. How I got that deal, I will never know but I am happy it's in my collection.

I want to add more Lee to the collection. I do not have a card of him in a Golden State uni. My original intent was to collect his Knicks cards, but I am willing to grab some Golden State ones as well. I would love to add an autographed Knicks jersey, signed ball, 16x20 signed photo and maybe a game used shoe, signed.  Maybe one day I can. I have been hunting for a Lee jersey or T-shirt, Knicks, that I can wear and replace my Marbury jersey. Yes, I have a Marbury jersey.

Go Knicks!