Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Recent Autograph Additions

I recently had the opportunity to add some new autographs to my Yankees, Knicks and Baseball Hall Of Fame collections and I jumped at the chance to do so. I have been cutting back on adding any new cards to my collection because I want to be able to clean up the mess of cards I have before I go out and add more to my collection. I have about 30 plus boxes filled with cards, so if I can make some room before adding more to my collection, it would be great.

But autographs are different. 

I don't think I could stop collecting autographs. Along with baseball cards, I have been collecting autographs since I was a kid. I remember waiting outside the players entrance at the old Yankee Stadium and getting players like Lou Pinella, Roy White, Bucky Dent to sign. I also had to deal with rejection when my favorite player at the time, Graig Nettles, turned me down flat. I was 12 years old, you mook. No, I harbor no ill will toward Nettles especially since I got him to sign a bunch of times later in life. 

I recently won 2 auctions on eBay and added 2 autographs to my Knicks collection. 

I've been wanting to add an autograph of Steve Novak for a while now. Surprisingly, I had seen some autographs cards of his finish in the 12.00 to 15.00 range and I really didn't want to pay that much for him. I waited until I could grab this one for less than 3.00, shipped. Novak was pretty dangerous from behind the arch and now Novacaine will be bringing his "Discount Double Check" to Toronto. I wish him the best, just not against the Knicks. 

I didn't really need a Dick McGuire autograph since I got him a few times through the mail before his passing. But anytime I can see a Hall Of Fame player's autograph for around the same price that I paid for the Novak, I'm jumping on it. He was a seven time All Star, played in 3 NBA Finals in the 50's and had his number 15 retired by the Knicks. I have been wanting to collect the autographs of some of the early Knicks stars and McGuire was certainly one of them.

I recently made a deal with my good friend and fellow blogger, Dodgerbobble for some autographed baseballs I needed for my Yankees and Baseball Hall Of Fame Collections. Thanks to Josh, I was able to add these two autographs to my collections:

Vernon Wells came over to the Yankees in a trade with the Angels to play left field when Curtis Granderson went down during spring training. Wells, even though he had a good spring, was thought to be nearing the end when the Yankees got him. He's currently platooning in left field with Alfonso Soriano and is hitting .246 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI's. Although his number is not 10 with the Yankees, I'm still glad I could add this autograph to my Yankees collection.

Here is an autograph I didn't think I would have in my collection. Josh was kind enough to trade me this Tommy Lasorda signed ball for my Hall Of Fame collection. It's got a Steiner hologram and Steiner certification to go along with it. Even if it didn't have it, I would have still pulled the trigger on the deal as I trust Josh. Thanks for the deal, buddy. 

This past Saturday, I went to the East Coast National, which was held at the Westchester County Center. Gaylord Perry was doing a free signing at the show, so I went early because I knew that there would be a long line to get a free autograph of a Hall Of Fame pitcher. 

And I was right. Lucky for me, I was closer to the front of the line then the back. And after about a 2 and a half hour wait, I scored Perry's signature on a baseball

He didn't put the HOF inscription on the ball because that wasn't free. I would have had to had paid 10.00 for it. Since it doesn't have the inscription, I am counting this toward the Yankees collection. This is number 35 in the Yankees signed baseball collection.

Being able to add 3 signed baseballs to my collection made me hungry for more. I will be keeping an eye out for player appearances and I may even try to wait outside Yankee Stadium and hope a player may actually come out and sign. I'm sure I have a better chance of Derek Jeter inviting me into the ballpark as his guest than that happening. But if it did, it would take me full circle to when I was a kid, clutching my bag full of baseball cards, hoping for a Yankee to come over and sign his name on my card. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Lord Knows I Love a Mail day.

So, after I show all the boxes upon boxes of cards that I haven't organized, I open my post office box to find that sweet yellow slip letting me know I had a package waiting for me to pick up. I kinda figured out what that package was already, although I do have some baseballs out there, waiting for signatures, so it could have been one of them. But once I saw that manila envelope waiting for me I knew exactly what was inside.

My team collectors group have box breaks every few months and we had one just a few weeks ago. The theme was 90's baseball. I know the 90's had some of the coolest inserts, and I love me some inserts. So when it we decided we would break some 90's cards, I was in.

What we broke was the following:

-1996 Leaf Preferred
-1996 SP
-1996 Zenith
-1997 Pinnacle
-1997 Topps Chrome
-1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated
-1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated Then & Now
-1998 Skybox Circa Thunder
-1998 Topps Chrome Series 1 & 2
-1998 Topps Stadium Club Odds & Even
-1998 Upper Deck Encore

So today, here's what was awaiting me at the post office

And some nice team bags inside

Now, what did I get exactly? Here are the highlights.

I was thrilled when the Yankees got Chuck Knoblauch. I wish things would have ended better for him here.

Lowell was a guy I wish the Yankees would have kept.

This is not a card, but a mini poster. Not sure what I will do with it just yet, but I'm glad to have it.

I like this card a lot. Pettitte's pick off was lethal. Runners still are pretty skeptical when taking a lead off first when he's pitching.

Another card I like a lot. I remember watching Yankee games growing up and Rizzuto was a part of the Yankee broadcasting booth. I loved him. He might not have been the best announcer, but he was sure entertaining. If you haven't seen his Hall Of Fame induction speech, find it. It's a classic.

I need to make it to Yankee Stadium for Yogi Bobblehead Day.

I remember not thinking much of Bernie when he first came up. This is why I am NOT a scout.

Love this Strokes Of Genius insert.

We finish up with some awesome inserts of El Capitan. I love that Boss '98 Jeter insert.

I know what you guys are thinking. "Mike. You busted 90's cards. I know you have some Tino's to show us."

My readers are so smart.

Very nice Stadium Club insert.

Great action shot of Tino sliding to tag the bag for the out. It's mind boggling. Tino was one of the best defensive first basemen in baseball and he never won a Gold Glove. In the 90's, Mattingly won 4, J.T. Snow won 2, Palmeiro won 3 times. I certainly think Tino could have unseated Raffy for at least one of those.

My favorite Tino card in the package. This was not an insert, it was a base card. Skybox made some of the nicest cards back in the 90's.

Not sure why that was not cropped properly. I'm getting lazy in my old age.

Wow, I'm really slipping.

I like the simple design of this card. Very clean.

Great shot of Tino watching one of his ball go yard.

Not sure how many of these Tino's I actually already have, but I can tell you I do not recall the majority of them, so I think I added a lot to the Tino collection.

Not a bad haul, if I do say so myself. May not have netted an autograph or a game used card, but I added some complete Yankee sets to the collection and I am taking my girlfriend's advice and organizing this package to start the organization of my cards.

I better start soon or I will be buried under my cards. Meh, not a bad way to go.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Dilemma

Yeah, I see you. The guy who is a huge baseball card collector. Maybe your a player collector. Maybe your a team collector or even a set collector. The point I'm trying to make is you collect sports cards, just like I do.

Here is where we differ, and believe me, I wish it wasn't so. I see you on different card forums or posting on your blog pictures of how well kept your collection is. You either have them in binders by either year or brand; in boxes with rows. You obviously know what you have and what you need. You have a want list, a trade list and maybe even a holy grail list posted somewhere so someone, anyone, can read it and offer you what you need.

You have pictures of your man cave as well. Pictures of your signed baseballs, framed jersey, bobbleheads in cases, game used equipment and other goodies adorn your room. Your cave may be painted in the colors of your favorite team or there may be a bar somewhere in there with a large HDTV and a comfy sofa to sit in to watch your teams play.

Me? I look at those pictures and just drool all over my keyboard.

Where I currently live, I do not have the room to display all my stuff. I have 2 shelves up. My Yankee bobbleheads are on one shelf (and I've just about run out of room to display anymore) and my Yankees signed baseball PC is up on the shelf above it.

That's it.

Not that I mind. It is what it is for the moment. I have no doubt in my mind that one day I too will have a sanctuary where I can display my memorabilia, watch sports and drink beer. No, no. That's not what's bothering me.

Here is what is bothering me and has been for a long time.

That my friends is boxes upon boxes of sports cards...with a Dirt Devil thrown in between a couple of boxes. Btw, there are even more boxes that are not pictured above.

I didn't mean for this problem to arise. It just happened. I get cards from my team collectors or through trades and I will put the cards in boxes for safe keeping, until I have time to go through them and put them in the monster boxes I have waiting. Once I have them in their monster boxes, I plan to put the base cards into binders and keep the secondary releases in the monster boxes.

For example, I have monster boxes for Yankees Topps, Yankees Donruss, Yankees Upper Deck, Yankees Fleer, Yankees Panini and a box for just everything else. I also have monster boxes for my Jets, Knicks, Islanders and Devils cards. Once I have everything in the proper boxes, I would then take the main Topps release and put them in 9 pocket pages and stick them in binders. I would leave sets like Allan and Ginter, Turkey Red, etc in the boxes. I'm debating to have a Topps Heritage binder also.

Sounds like a good plan, right? Well, try and go through full box after full box and see just how far you go before you go mad.

See that? That's what I have to look forward to. Hours and hours of cardboard to sort through. This is something I never should have let get out of hand.

Now, it may seem like I'm complaining,,, OK, I am complaining a bit. But to be honest, I do love to spend a Sunday afternoon shifting through the boxes and organizing them. I may have a game on or music playing in the background as I do. Maybe have a drink while I work. I try to make it as relaxing a task as I possibly can.

I know I have a lot of work ahead of me. But, it needs to get organized. I too, would like to know just what I have, what I need and what I can trade. I am pretty sure that once I get everything organized, I will see that I have a pretty awesome collection, one that I can be proud to show off. I just need to figure out a game plan to get me to where I need to be.

Hey, I'm open to suggestions. Also, any quick and easy storage options you may have would be appreciated as well. If you have a blog post where you showed off your organized collection, I want to see that too.

I may also post a blog of any interesting cards I find in any box I work on. That way, I will be motivated to not only get my cards in order, but to continue to regularly post blogs here. I know I have been slacking and I apologize for that.

So, go ahead. Continue to post those pictures of your sweet collection. Show off how well organized your cards are. Let me know how many 1959 Topps cards you have. One day soon, I too will have my cards in tip top shape and will be able to tell you just how many of those 1959 Topps cards I need for my Yankees PC. That day will come and when it does, I will just add more cards to the collection because I will know exactly where to put them.