Wednesday, May 29, 2013

1988 MSA Fantastic Sams Baseball Disc-Don Mattingly

I love oddball cards. Be it food premiums, vintage Post cereal cards or Duracell cards from the 80's, these cards can make a collection look pretty unique. My major problem is that I don't really have all that many of them. So anytime I get on either by trade or purchase I'm happier than a pig in...well, you know.

One of the guys in my team collectors group sent me this beauty. First off, I have to apologize as I didn't log in who sent this to me, so if you are reading this, let me know in the monthly thread and I will give you the credit you so rightfully deserve. But I was thrilled to see this 1988 MSA Fantastic Sam's Don Mattingly card, which is in disc form.

Now, I will admit, I knew absolutely nothing about this card. So, off to Google I went to find out what the heck Fantastic Sam's was. After doing some research, I found out that Fantastic Sam's are a chain of hair salons in the US and Canada that opened up in the mid 70's and are still in business to this day.

So, I am guessing that Fantastic Sam was running some sort of contest where you could win prizes like autographed baseballs, a day with a baseball player and the grand prize of 4 tickets to a championship game that season. Not sure if it was the AL/NLCS or the World Series they were referring to.

On the bottom of the right side of the card, there is a scratch off portion, which I'm guessing you scratched off and matched with a code at a participating Fantastic Sam location. Not sure if a purchase was necessary to get a card or not.

The back of the card had the player stats right behind the picture and what looks to be a second chance entry form if you didn't win at the store. from the pictures I have found, most, if not all did not have the entry form attached. I'm sure that means diddly squat in terms of the value of the card.

I found out that there were 20 cards in this set. There were future Hall Of Famers such as George Brett, Andre Dawson, Kirby Puckett, Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Ozzy Smith and Paul Molitor. Other players in this set included Wally Joyner, Eric Davis, Dale Murphy, Darryl Strawberry, George Bell, Julio Franco and Alan Trammell. Mattingly was the only Yankee in the set. I guess MSA did not have a MLB licence as there is no interlocking NY on the cap, although I see the MLB Players Association logo plain as day on the bottom of both sides of the card.

It matters not that there is no mention of the Yankees or any use of the logo. For me, it has a permanent home in my Yankees PC. I'm sure a Don Mattingly collector would be thrilled to be able to add this to his/her collection. Oddball cards are cool and kooky cards to make a collection more intresting and this card certainly fits the bill. I just wonder with his fascination with short hair, do you think George Steinbrenner had something to do with this partnership?


Sunday, May 26, 2013

New Additions To The Sports Room

Man, do I love a good mail day. It's seems like it's been forever since my post office box was filled with anything. It sucks opening up the mail box and not seeing that familiar yellow bubble envelope filled with card goodness. Yesterday, I got 3 of those beautiful envelopes in my box and I tore through them as soon as I got back home.

The first envelope was from my buddy, Chris. Chris is the A's collector in the team collectors group I am a part of and he sent me a sweet 2 bag envelope with both Yankees and Knicks cards. Chris knows what I collect and he made sure there was stuff I needed for my collection.

First, Chris added a couple of cards for my Mark Teixeira PC

2013 Bowman base

2009 O-Pee-Chee. What I like about this card is it's a preview card. Don't believe me?

Told you so.

And he added a nice 2007 Upper Deck Ultimate Star game used jersey card.

He also threw in these nice Yankee cards

Sometimes I think Topps has gone parallel crazy with these diamond and cognac cards.

Love these Topps 60 inserts

And he threw in this 2009 Sweet Spot Sweet Swatch Memorabilia Dave Winfield game used jersey card

And if you thought Chris was done, you'd be wrong because he also added some nice Knicks cards for my PC.

Some nice Ewing cards:

And some more Knicks cards:

A Channing Frye Topps Star Rookie #'ed to 549. He's currently with the Phoenix Suns, but has been sidelined with an enlarged heart and didn't play all season. Hope he is able to make a comeback next season.

Stephon Marbury Topps Star gold parallel #'ed to 325

Stephon Marbury Topps Star black & white parallel '#ed to 225

And just for giggles, here is the base version. I hear he is still playing in China and won a CBA title in 2012. It's too bad he became the face of all that was wrong with the Knicks while he was here. I still think he could have helped, but he feuded with Larry Brown, chased Keith Van Horne out of NY like he did in New Jersey and refused to play when Mike D'Antoni wanted to get him some minutes. I wonder if he regrets that now. He might have still been in the league had he shown some humility when D'Antoni offered to play him or when the Celtics offered him a contract. Hope he's happier in China.

Thanks Chris for the awesome cards for my collection. I have a package for you as well. I just have to get it to the post office.

Next up is a trade I made on a sports card forum I am a part of. I was offered a David Lee game used/autographed card for next to nothing, so I pulled the trigger and it arrived yesterday.

Didn't scan that well thanks to the screwdown case it's in. I couldn't find a phillips screwdriver to take it out for the scan, so I just scanned the card as is. I assure you, it's a sweet looking card.

Finally, I got this insert in from eBay for the Ewing collection.

1997-98 Flair Showcase Grace. Snagged this card for 1.00 shipped. Too good a deal to pass up.

It's days like yesterday that make me happy. I filled some holes in my various collections and can move on and try to fill some others. Now, maybe I can find some time this weekend to do some much needed organizing.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mail day Of Two Players Who No Longer Play In NY

Ah, the mail day. Nothing makes me happier than opening my mail box and finding a package other than bills. As of late, I haven't been able to add anything new to my various card collections, but a few days ago, over on Sports Cards Forum, I was offered a deal that I just could not say no to. The price was right and the cards have found a home in two of my card collections.

First up is a 2010-11 Panini Donruss David Lee Production Line Game Used card. As of late, I have been trying to stay away from picking up game used cards as the rumors have it that some of these cards aren't exactly game used. Uniform collectors are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief over this, but that means I may possibly have a ton of cards that may or may not be utter garbage. I tend to think that they are actual game used jerseys unless otherwise noted. Maybe that makes me gullible, but I don't care. Ignorance can be bliss. This card is numbered to 399.

Finally, I was able to add a Darrelle Revis autograph to my Jets collection. I felt like I was Revis Island as getting a Revis autograph proved to be very elusive. I had one one on ebay a few months back only to be stiffed by the seller. Other attempts to add a Revis autograph to my collection proved to be futile. I was able to get the Revis card from the same guy who sold me the Lee card. Originally, he asked me to look through his Photobucket to look at Knicks cards and I had settled on the Lee and a Patrick Ewing game used card. I found the Revis while looking through his football bucket. At the time, it was going to be sold to someone else, but that person dropped out, leaving Darrelle all to this die hard Jets fan. Unfortunately, the Ewing could not be found, but that's OK, I can finally leave Revis Island like Revis left the Jets. Too bad I have to finally get Revis after he is traded. I still think that's a bad move by the Jets. By the way, this card is numbered to 10.

 It's been a while since I was able to add some really cool cards and I am very happy I was able to add these to my Jets and David Lee collections. Money has been tight and may be even tighter this summer, so my card additions might be slim for the season. But between trades and the members of my baseball card group, I still should be able to add some cool cards to my various collections. I also have the Yankees bobble-head give-a-ways to attend this summer, so there should be some new goodies added to the Sports Room and I cannot wait.

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Los Angeles Sports Odyssey Part 2-Dodger Stadium

On Friday, May 10th, I finally got to live out a dream. I was going to watch a game at historical Dodger Stadium. It's a ball park I have wanted to visit ever since I watched the 1977 World Series as a kid. My strongest memories of that series (Reggie Jackson bombs aside) was how sunny and warm it looked on the screen. I can remember seeing a palm tree or two as well. I am all about the warmth and baseball, so I was there already in my 6 year old mind.

Well, it took me 36 years, but I finally made it. Gina and I were hitting Dodgertown. I commemorated the occasion by wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers Matt Kemp T-shirt. Gina had bought me a Jackie Robinson Dodgers player T, but  went with the Brooklyn throwback as I wanted to bring a bit of their history with me and hey, I am from NY.

I wanted to get to the stadium early as we were going to meet up with Josh from the DodgerBobble blog and try to graph a bit. Before going, Gina and I enjoyed some delicious french dipped sandwiches at Philippe's and wandered around Olvera Street looking at the Lucha Masks (for more on my non sports activities, look at the Sexy Geek's House Of Swag sometime this weekend.) before heading over to Dodger Stadium.

When we got there, the gates were still closed and there was a few cars already lined up to get in. I was not aware that there would be any gates, but we waited until the gates to open at 5pm.

Seems like we weren't the only ones lined up to get in. Hey, you guys ever wonder if you ever wound up in any tourist pictures? Well these people not only wound up in my picture, but they wound up in my blog. Congratulations, you accomplished something.

A little after 5, the gates finally opened and we were able to park. We decided to park close to the exit so we can get out quicker after the game. Once I got out of the car, I could see the stadium just up a head of me.

It was more gorgeous than I imagined. I found myself walking a bit quicker than I realized, so I slowed down to a more normal trot. We tried getting inside the stadium through the right field lower level, but was told by security that we would have to enter through the loge level as that's where we were sitting. I thought this to be odd as every other ball park I have been to allowed you to enter in whatever gate you wanted. But, I was in a different place than I was used to, so we went up the stairs to the loge level.

But not before taking a quick picture of this awesome pig.

Once we got upstairs, we saw an LA logo and I had to take a picture with that.

After, we got on line and waited...and waited... and waited some more. I was really confused as I thought the gates were opening at 5pm. I texted Josh, who was already down in the field level seats what was going on. Finally, at 5:45pm, the gates opened and we were allowed to walk inside.

The first thing we did was look for the stairs to the field level. Once we found them, we started heading down to meet Josh who was waiting for us...not so fast. Security asked us where we were off to, I mentioned I was meeting a friend and was told we needed lower level tickets to go downstairs. I was astonished. The only other stadium that was like that was old Shea during it's final seasons. There was always an older usher who used to take pride in bouncing the scum of the upper deck from the box seats during batting practice. I texted Josh what happened and he said he would be up as soon as he could.

Oh well, I decided to take some pictures instead.

Josh finally made his way upstairs with a friend of his. Josh chatted with Gina and I and we went downstairs to the field level. Gina decided to stay upstairs to rest a bit while we went and did some "right before the game started" graphing by the bullpen (chronicled a couple of posts ago). I got to snap a couple of pictures from the left field seats before the players signed.

After, we went up to the club level where I took some more pictures. We bumped into Steve Lyons, but I didn't have anything for him to sign, not even an index card. I probably should have asked to take a picture with him. I'm kicking myself for not doing so, even after Josh offered to snap the picture.

There's Josh checking out some baseballs.

This old bullpen car was the coolest thing I seen.

After, I went back to Gina. I stopped off for Dodger Dogs, pop for Gina and a Blue Moon for me and sat to watch the game and snap another picture or 2

The view from our seats.

I tried to get a picture of Donnie Baseball from my seats.

And the most beautiful thing at Dodger Stadium. No, not me. My Gina.

After the 7th inning stretch, Josh returned to take me upstairs and show me the life sized bobbleheads that was installed upstairs in the top deck.

Josh thought it would be appropriate for 2 bobblehead collectors to take a picture next to this sweet vintage looking Dodgers bobble and I couldn't agree more.

After, we said our goodbye and promised to keep in touch (wasn't the last time I ran into Josh that night, but you read that blog post, so you know what happened, right?). I went back to Gina and we watched the Marlins put the finishing touches on a 5-4 win over the Dodgers. After, we headed back to the car while the Friday Night Fireworks went off in the black of night. A perfect way to end a perfect day.

Here's the Dodger swag I took home from Dodger Stadium.

Again, I kept it simple. I picked up a Dodger program, a pin and shot glass. I wanted a shot glass that said Dodger Stadium, but they didn't have any. I also grabbed a couple of pocket schedules and got a free mini program when we parked.

I want to thank Josh for taking the time out to show me around this awesome ballpark. Just being there was enough, but Josh went above and beyond showing me things I wouldn't have been able to see without him. Thanks so much Josh.

And I want to thank Gina for taking me to Dodger Stadium and living out the dream with me. I also want to thank her for not judging me when I geeked out just because I was at historic Dodger Stadium. Your one in a million, baby.

I have to say I loved Southern California. I loved the weather, the food, the atmosphere, the people were pretty awesome and the sports scene. I will definitely be going back very soon. I would like to do the tour of Dodger Stadium next time and take in a ballgame at Angels Stadium. The trip was fantastic and I can't wait to return.

Going back to Cali, Cali...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Los Angeles Sports Odyssey-Part 1. Los Angels Coliseum, Staples Center and Angel Stadium

Los Angeles. The City Of Angels. The second most populated city in all of America. Always seemed out of reach to this life long New Yorker. I have always wanted to visit the city that the Red Hot Chili Peppers sang about in "Under The Bridge", but something called money always got in the way. As in I never really had it. It started to look like I would never make my way down to Cali.

Then, this wonderful thing called Twitter came into my life. I found myself tweeting all the time and in time, I started making friends through twitter. It was great. I was tweeting stuff that no one else, save me, cared about. I met like minded individuals on Twitter. I started making Yankees friends, Jets friends, Knicks friends, Islanders and Devils friends, fellow card collectors would tweet with me. It was fantastic.

The one day, she tweeted her way into my life.

This wonderful, gorgeous Yankees fan became a friend and in time, we started sending personal messages to each other talking about the Yankees, Avengers, each others lives and other stuff. Messages led to texting, then to phone calls. We spent so much time talking on the phone. One day, I knew I had too meet her.

Plans were made and I soon found myself on a plane toward Los Angeles. Since I was going to out in L.A., I knew I had to check out the sports arenas and stadiums. This was a dream come true for me. I would finally see all the stadiums and areas I had only seen on T.V. This sports geek was beside himself with excitement.

The first day I was there, I got to see 2 major house of sports for Los Angeles.

First up was the Staples Center. Home to the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks. The arena opened in 1999 and still has the look of a brand new arena. Oh look, there is a L.A. Kings banner greeting me. And here I am, still sore about last years Stanley Cup. Great way to greet a visitor.

I think the statues are of Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Magic Johnson. I'm sure we will see a Kobe statue out there soon. How about statues of Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain? I also think Marcel Dionne and Wayne Gretzky should get one also.

Next up is a personal house of horrors for this Jets fan. The Los Angeles Coliseum. Teams like the Dodgers, Chargers, Rams and Raiders have called this home at one time or another. I have watched the Jets play the Raiders at the Coliseum on T.V. many a time and it usually wasn't pretty. This National Landmark has hosted Super Bowls, World Series and the Summer Olympics. It's currently the home of the USC Trojans.

The next day we took a drive over to Anaheim so I could check out Angels Stadium of Anaheim. Growing up watching the Yankees play the California Angels (and yes, I still call them the California Angels), it's a place I have always wanted to visit and now I was going to.

As We got closer, we could see the famous A that used to be on top of the scoreboard. It now sits in the parking lot entrance, greeting fans.

And we arrived.

There was no game. The Angels were in Chicago that day, I think. But we took the opportunity to look a round a bit.

I used to think those giant caps were kind of corny, but after seeing them in person, I kind of like them now.

Yes, I know, the chicken legs need a tan.

After taking pictures, we went inside the gift shop for some swag to take home to commemorate my firt visit to The Big A. All I have to say is, a whole lot of red. And I'm a Devils fan.

And here is what I wound up taking home

Just 2 pins and a couple of pocket schedules for the collection. I actually wanted to pick up a bobblehead of Mike Trout, but I was afraid of it breaking on the way back to NY, so I went light.

Come to think of it, why didn't I go into the Staples Center's team shop and get some swag from there? I guess I didn't think of it.

That is part one of my trip and tour of various LA Sports meccas. Tomorrow, I will be part 2, Dodger Stadium.