Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Staten Island Yankees Bobblehead Promotion Dates

The Staten Island Yankees have 3 bobblehead give away dates coming up this upcoming season. The Staten Island Yankees are the short season Single A affiliate of the New York Yankees and will be showcasing 2 players who played with Staten Island before ultimately making it to the Bronx.

Here are the dates and players featured:

Thursday, June 27th Vs Hudson Valley Renegades-Fransisco Cervelli
Friday, July 19th vs Batavia Muckdogs-Brett Gardner
Friday August 16th vs Lowell Spinners-James Molinaro 

I'm up in the air about the selection of players they used. Brett Gardner, I do agree with. Fransisco Cervelli, while is a nice backup catcher, is not one of my favorite players. Hate his hot dogging. James Molinaro?? I didn't even know who he was until I looked him up and found out he is the Staten Island Borough President. Almost seems like a waste of a bobblehead to make one of him when only he and his family will care about it. Maybe I am being too harsh here, but when you have players like Robinson Cano, Chen Ming-Wang and David Phelps, who have played on your team before, it almost seems like they are players who should have had bobbleheads made before the Staten Island Borough President had one made up. I will get Cervelli and Gardner and take a wait and see on Molinaro. I wish I could show you pictures, but the SI Yankees haven't posted any as of today, which worries me.

I was a partial season ticket holder with the club for 5 seasons. Every year, when I was asked what promotions I would like to see, I always asked for bobbleheads and we never got them. I did get a mini Scooter The Holy Cow bobblehead as a gift from my ticket rep, but we never got any bobblehead promotions until now. I just wish the selection was better.


A picture of the Cervelli bobblehead has popped up on the Staten Island Yankees website:

It's a nice bobblehead. Doesn't really look like Cervelli, but I do plan to attend the game and pick up one for my bobblehead collection.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

It's Yankees Old Timers Day

Today is one of my favorite days on the Yankees schedule. Old Timers Day. It's a day when I get to see players I never seen play as well as my personal favorites I did get to see. watching this game always brings me back to when I was a kid and when I first started watching the Yankees.

My first year as a Yankee fan was 1976. As a 5 year old, I was more into Spider-Man, Batman and other superheroes. I don't recall why or how I was watching the Yankee/Royals on October 14th, 1976, but there I was, sitting on my living room floor in front of the TV, watching game 5 of the ALCS. It was a game that would change my life forever. I really don't remember much about the game, but I do remember Chris Chambliss taking Royals reliever Mark Littell deep and bringing the Yankees back to the World Series. I remember running around like a moron, screaming and jumping around when the ball cleared the fence. I had no idea why I was so happy, but I was and I watched the Yankees get swept by the Big Red Machine Reds in 4 straight. The Yankees might have lost that game, but I was hooked for life.

As I was growing up, the Yankees were my life. I would watch the Bronx Bombers win championships and I would choose the players of those 2 Yankees championship teams that would be my favorites. My mom and her friends loved Reggie Jackson. As much as I admired Reggie, he wasn't my favorite. I was a huge fan of Graig Nettles, Goose Gossage and Bucky Dent, especially after I saw him take Mike Torrez deep in Fenway Park during the one game playoff in 1978. I also loved Thurman Munson and was devastated when he was taken from us in 1979.

The Yankee Captain, Taken Way Too Soon

My very first Yankees game was Tuesday, August 17th when the Yankees played the Royals. It was Pennant Night, which featured a team picture of the 1981 American League Championship team. I don't remember anything about that game, other than waving at a WPIX camera that was pointing at me. I do know the Yankees lost that game 8-4. I still have the pennant, although the condition is terrible. But, I will keep it regardless as a memory of my very first game.

The 80's were not to kind to my Yankees. There wasn't a team that won the AL East other than the 1980 and '81 teams. We did win 91 games in 1983, but finished third, 97 in 1985, but finished 2nd, 90 games in 1986 finishing 2nd. The other teams were barley .500 or under. We went through more managers than Za Za Gabor went through husbands. But I had my favorites during the 80's as well. I loved watching Rickey Henderson and I copied his batting stance whenever I played ball. I still loved Ron Guidry and he was pitching well in the 80's, winning 22 games during the 1985 season. Dave Winfield was a favorite and of course, we had the best player in baseball, Don Mattingly. Watching Donnie Baseball was a joy and I really wished we could have seen a healthy Mattingly for a lot longer than we were able to get.

Not My Picture, But I Wish It Was

The 90's didn't start out too good. The Yankees had a last place finish in 1990. But things looked up for the Yankees as they won the first American League Wild Card in 1995 but fell to the Seattle Mariners in an epic 5 game ALDS. The Yankees got the last laugh the next season, winning the first of 3 championships in the 90's, becoming the REAL Team of the 90's. I had my favorites, rooting for David Cone, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams and of course Derek Jeter. I was telling my girlfriend the other day, I think I have seen just about 95% of Jeter's games. As much as I loved those guys, my favorite players were Paul O'Neill and Tino Martinez. I loved O'Neill's intensity. He always was thinking aout hitting, but he was a top notch right fielder, one who opposing players thought twice about running on. Fans from other teams thought O'Neill was a bit of a jerk for the theatrics when he struck out or made an out with runners on, but I would take 10 O'Neill's on my team any day. Tino was the guy who came after Mattingly retired and he did a great job taking over first. He played Gold Glove caliber first and swung a mean bat, hitting 44 home runs during the 1997 season, finishing second to Ken Griffey Jr for the AL MVP Award.

This Was A Common Image During The 1990's
 My favorite Yankee now is Mark Teixeira. I admired him when he played with the Texas Rangers and I was elated when he signed with the Yankees in 2009, helping them win title number 27 later that year. I root for him when he does well and I root for him when he doesn't, hoping he will break out of his slump

Today, my love for the New York Yankees is as strong at age 42 as it was when I was 6. It's been 37 years since I watched my very first Yankees game and I know if I live to be 95 I will still be wearing my pinstripes with pride. I will still buy their jerseys, pick up the bobble-heads and figurines, collect their baseball cards and chase after the autographs of former and current Yankees. I will always root for the Yankees, but that's what being a fan is all about. Not getting cynical when your team isn't doing well like some fans I have come across. Always rooting for them and giving the team your undying support. Yes, I love the Jets, Knicks and I root for the Islanders. But the team that has my heart and always will is the greatest franchise in professional sports, The New York Yankees. Watching Old Timers Day always reminds me just how much I love this team.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Start Of My Roberto Clemente PC

As a Puerto Rican American, I am fully aware of big baseball is in our culture. In Puerto Rico, Baseball is king. The first Puerto Rican born player in the Majors was Hiram Bithorn, who pitched his first game for the Chicago Cubs on April 15th, 1942. Since then, Puerto Ricans have played and flourished in the Majors. Players like Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Ivan Rodriguez, Roberto Alomar, Carlos Beltran, Orlando Cepeda, Edgar Martinez and the catching Molina Brothers. But to me, and most Puerto Rican baseball fans, the man is and will always be Roberto Clemente.

Clemente is widely considered to be the greatest Puerto Rican born baseball player who ever lived. Clemente is the first Hispanic born player to win a World Series as a starter, win a MVP award and a World Series MVP. He was a 15 time All Star, won 12 Gold Gloves and was a 4 time batting champion. He had a rocket for an arm and had 3,000 hits during his 18 year career, all with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

With all the accomplishments Clemente has on the baseball field, it's his charity work that I respect more. Clemente was very active in various charities and when he heard that supplies that were intended for the victims of a massive earthquake in Managua, which is the capital city of Nicaragua, never made it to them, he went on a charity mission to personally make sure the supplies would make it to the people who needed it most. Unfortunately, the plane, supplies or Roberto never made it to it's destination as the Douglas-DC7 that was carrying Roberto crashed into the ocean almost immediately after take off on New Years Eve 1972. Roberto's body was never recovered. He gave his life to help others and that is why Clemente deserves all the accolades he gets to this day and I feel his number 21 should be retired around the majors, but that's another discussion for another time.

I grew up idolizing Clemente, despite never seeing him play a baseball game, he died when I was just 1 year old. I read all the books that came I could get my hands on, I watched any documentary about him I saw on TV. At times, I would root for the Pirates when I watched Mets games, just because Roberto played for them. I even traded 10 baseball cards for a 1973 Topps Roberto Clemente card, which mysteriously found it's way into a former friend's baseball card collection, denying any wrong doing of course.

When I got back into collecting cards, one of the things I wanted to collect was Roberto Clemente. Of course, as I always do, I got side tracked building my Yankees, Jets, Knicks collections as well as my various player collections. Plus, prices for Clemente cards are pretty high. But I think I can build a really nice Clemente collection without spending a great deal of money. Here is what I have so far:

I bought this Clemente McFarlane figure when it was released. Unfortunately, the packaging was crushed under a heavy box. Stupid me. But this will be opened and displayed on a Clemente shelf I am planning on building.

Now, the cards. The cards I have are from recent releases, so I don't have anything mind blowing. But, they are very nice cards nonetheless:

I see Topps used the same picture twice. I'm sure that is not the only time they pulled this stunt.

What did I tell you?

This card is my prized possession in my Clemente Collection. I pulled this card myself from a pack of 2005 Donruss Greats. You couldn't get card off me at no price. It's not worth much, monetary. But it's priceless to me.

I hope to one day be able to add the following in the upcoming months:

- A Mitchell & Ness Clemente Jersey
-Some vintage Clemente cards, if I can find them at a good price
-Some of the Clemente SGA bobble-heads and statues. I have seen some nice figurines and bobble-heads that the Pirates have given away over the years that are affordable. I would love to add them to my collection.

That is just the beginning of what I hope to be a wonderful tribute to a man who gave us his all. It's been 41 years since he left us way too soon. Not a day goes by when I hear his name being mentioned by a sports announcer, a player or someone who is just talking sports. Clemente left behind a terrific legacy, both on and off the field. One that lives to this day through the Roberto Clemente Award, through the Hispanic born players who cite Clemente as an influence and through fans like me who knows a great man when they see one.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

That Other Card Purchase: 2012-13 Panini Past And Present Basketball

In the last blog post, I mentioned buying a rack pack of another product and would blog about it at a later date. Well, here is the post I promise. My quasi review/haul post of 2012-2013 Panini Past and Present Basketball. Now, I usually don't buy a lot of basketball cards. I usually spend my sports card money on baseball, football and hockey. But during this past season, during the NHL Players Strike, I started following basketball a lot more closely than I had in recent years and fell in love with my Knicks all over again. Plus, I have watched videos of box breaks of this product so when I saw the rack pack in Target, I grabbed it.

Like Topps Archive Football, Past & Present Basketball has the look and feel of an old school product. However, it doesn't use past card designs like Topps Archive does. Obviously, Panini doesn't have a history like Topps does, but it still has a retro look and feel to it. Like Archive, Past & Present doesn't have the slick gloss that most card products do these days. These cards would be great for autographing. And like Archive, Panini mixes todays players with those from the past.

This set doesn't have a ton of game used cards, which to me is a good thing. The Gamers set returns to this years product and that's pretty much it. I am pretty pleased by this as I would like card companies to concentrate more on giving us some awesome inserts and more autographs.

Speaking of autographs, each hobby box come with 3 autographs per box. For current players, look to pull Modern Marks. If your like me and want to pull some autographs of former players, Elusive Ink is the set you will want. This set focuses on players who don't have a lot of autographs out there, but people will want to chase. Just by looking at the Elusive Inks checklist, I see some autographs I am definitely going to want to chase after.

Now, on to the haul:

The base cards seem to have more than one design

I just realized, Panini does have the NBA Hoops sets. If they have the rights, they could have incorporated past Hoops designs into this product. Unless they do that with Hoops. I really don't know. I haven't picked up any Hoops as of yet.

The rookie cards have a nice design to them.

Yes, I did pull a couple of Knicks in my rack pack

So overall, I like this product a lot. It was a fun quick break. The rack pack had 32 cards inside, but no inserts, which stunk. I have seen some of the inserts like Rise And Shine and Raining 3's and would have love to pulled at least one. But, it's a rack pack. Can't complain too much. I pulled a few nice singles. I will probably get the Knicks team set and chase the inserts, autos and David Lee cards if the price is right. I will say, if I was to buy a box of basketball cards, this would be the product I would buy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Card Haul: 2013 Topps Archive Football. My Target Finally Does Something Right!

I have to say that the Target I shop at stinks. It's full of the rudest people you will ever meet and they usually don't have anything  I'm ever looking for. I can't tell you how many time I went in there looking for a blaster of cards or a toy for my non sports collection. Heck, sometimes they don't even have the dog food I am looking for.

So, when I went in for some household items recently, I didn't expect to find anything in the sports card section except a messed up Yugioh section and workman's cart blocking the sports cards. You can imagine my utter shock when not only was the Yugioh cards cleaned up and there was no large cart in the aisle, but there was actually new products for my greedy, selfish, misery self to grab at. And best of all, there was no one around, so the cards were mine, all mine! Mwhahahahahahaha!

After picking myself off the ground, wipping the tears from my eyes and pinching myself a dozen times to make sure I wasn't dreaming, I grabbed a blaster of 2013 Topps Archive Football and a rack pack of 2012-13 Panini Past And Present Basketball (which I will discuss in a later blog) as well as my Gillette body wash and razors and left with the goods.

Once I got home I tore open the blaster and as soon as I opened the first pack of cards, I knew I was going to love this product and have fun with this break. I love the way these cards look. They sport either the 1959, 1976, 1985 or 1986 Topps card design and without the gloss that the newer cards usually have on them. These cards will be great for autographing, either through the mail or in person. Topps mixed todays players with players from NFL's past which will look great once the set is completed. Unfortunately, Topps through in a bunch of short prints and variations, so if your a completest, you will have a lot of work ahead of you finishing this set.

So, what did I get? Take a look:

Right off the bat, I love that 1000 Yards insert. Somewhere, I have a Wesley Walker 1000 yard insert like this one in my Jets PC.

Another insert from my childhood, the Super Action card. I remember having a Terry Bradshaw Super Action from 1981 Topps that I tresured. Before I became a Jets fan in 1980, I followed my best friend at the time and was a Steelers fan and Bradshaw was my favorite. Seeing that insert bought back some memories.

Love that picture of Josh Freeman in the old school creamsicle Bucs uni. Fits with the theme of the set. Also dig the gold parallel card as well.

Love that Patrick Willis commercial for Visa rewards.

Another blast from my childhood when I saw this Bradshaw card. I don't collect Bradshaw, but if I did, this card would be a sweet addition. I also dig that Jim Brown 1968 Stand Up card. I initally thought it was a sticker, but after looking at the checklist, I found I was wrong.

Any Jets?

I was a bit shocked. I never get any Jets when I break open packs or blasters. When I saw I pulled 4 Jets cards for my PC, I went and played Lotto (I lost).

I had a lot of fun opening this product and I know I will be picking up more blasters. I will also chase after all the Jets cards. Stephen Hill has a couple of autographs. Al Toon, Wayne Chrebet, Wesley Walker and Vinny Testeverde are included in the Fan Favorites autograph checklist. Darrelle Revis and Stephen Hill have relics in the 1962 Relics set. I can definitely see myself going to eBay to try to get those cards.

I won't try to complete the set. I will either trade or use the cards i get for autographs. But, I will recommend this set for collectors my age and older. Collectors who grew up buying cards that had no gloss unless they were a part of a special set. Collectors, like me, who remember buying cards just to get your favorite teams and players, not for the questionable game used equipment cards or shiny inserts. Getting gum was the pull of the pack. Collectors like me will enjoy this product because it will most likely bring back a ton of memories of opening packs of cards similar to these and had fun doing so. That's what collecting should be all about and I'm glad there are products like this that helps remind me why I started collecting cards in the first place.

Friday, June 7, 2013

New Swag For The Sports Room

God, I love a packed Postal Box. Makes my day a heck of a lot brighter. This past week I have gotten some pretty sweet swag for the Sports Room. Some are things I bought, some are TTM autographs and 2 packages were from some very generous collectors.

Enough typing! Time to show off the goodies!

First up are these 2 pictures I got back signed by the recently retired Jason Kidd. I was very please when I got these back. Kidd was a great addition to this year's Knicks an played real hard during the regular season. Unfortunately, he slumped really bad during the playoffs and was benched when he went 10 games without a field goal. I had a feeling he was retiring at the end of the season, but I was happy I could see him play for the Knicks and still play well. These pictures were sent to him in care of The Knicks and took almost 4 months to come back.

Picked up this 1997 Topps Finest Wayne Chrebet Dominators insert card for my Chrebet PC off eBay for a buck shipped. Of course, it came in a plain white envelope and was not in a toploader, just a penny sleeve, but the seller did add 2 1989 Mets Topps cards of Dave Magadan and Lenny Dykstra. I should give the seller negitive feedback just for that alone.

I got an email from a football card collector over on Sports Card Forum, asking me for my address as he had some Jets cards he was unloading to downsize his collection. A week later I got a bunch of very nice cards.

For the Chrebet PC. #'ed 10/10.

I think these are steps that was inserted into the card. That's different.

And he included autographs, my favorite cards to collect.

Anyone who knows me or is a long time reader knows that the Jets are my favorite team, right after the Yankees. I am probably just as passionate about the Jets as I am the Yankees. So to be able to add these cards to my Jets collection was a real thrill for me and I hope I can repay the collector in some way in the near future.

Another collector on another forum offered these to me as well and I jumped at the chance.

This is my first Scott Stevens autograph and I am so glad I could finally add him to my collection. I have been trying to get a Stevens autograph forever.

Martin Brodeur is my favorite hockey player right along side Mike Bossy, so to get a free Brodeur signed 8x10 into the Brodeur PC was pretty sweet. Once I am able to, this will get framed and put up in the Sports Room.

Also added some cards to my Teixeira PC. Got this 2007 Upper Deck Ultimate Ultimate Team Marks for under 10.00, shipped.

 2011 Framed Topps Gypsy Queen, #'ed to 999. It came with the Jets cards. There were other Yankees included, but I will show those off in another blog at another time.

I haven't been able to pick up any new things for the Sports Room as of late, so to be able to get a nice full mail box was a nice feeling. My pick ups will be slowing down as I am trying to rebuild my bank account, but I should still be able to pick up some things here and there. As long as it's cheap, lol.