Friday, September 26, 2014

Derek Jeter...The Bobblehead Collection

Yesterday was a pretty emotional day in the sports room as I got to watch Derek Jeter's final game in Yankee Stadium. It was a game that had it's highs and lows and everything in between. At the end of the evening, it was the Captain who took matters into his own hands and drove home the winning run in the bottom of the 9th to win the game for the Yankees. Watching the team mob Jeter after and then watching him embrace members of the Core Four, Tino Martinez, Joe Torre and Gerald Williams then walk to shortstop one last time had this geek pretty choked up.

So today, I wanted to celebrate the career of one the greatest Yankees to ever don the pinstripes by doing something that just screams out Sexy Geek.

I'm going to show off some bobbleheads. And not just any bobbleheads.

I'm going to show off my Derek Jeter bobblehead collection.

Now, I know my collection is not as large as most Derek Jeter fans. I have been concentrating on adding other Yankees to the bobblehead collection. I will say this though, Jeter is the player I have the most bobbles of in my collection. A big fat 3 bobbles.

This was my first Jeter bobble I picked up, which was one one of my very first bobbleheads I bought. This is a Forver bobblehead and in an odd way looks more like Derek than any of the other bobbles I own.

I picked it up at one of the Westchester Sports Card Shows along with Whitey Ford and Phil Rizzuto Forever bobblehead figures, none of which look anything like either one of them. This one is a fairly decent likeness.

The back has Jeter wearing his # 2 in his glorious Yankee pinstriped on a base that has a baseball and what I guess is a ribbon, It's not one of my favorite Jeter bobblehead figures, but I am glad to own it. Being that it is one of my first ones it has special meaning to me.

This one was my first Jeter bobblehead that I bought off eBay. It's a 2001 Staten Island Yankees SGA. As much of a fan of the SI Yankees that I am now, I didn't get to a game until 2007, so I missed out on this giveaway. When I found out that the SI Yankees gave out a Jeter, I had to have one and hunted one down that was in my price range.

I have always preferred Alexander Global bobbleheads to Forever. Not because I think that their better bobbles. I just love the squatty bodies and almost there likeness that these bobbleheads possess. Unfortunately, their latest attempts at realistic bobbleheads are falling short of the mark. If you don't believe me, take a look at my review of the Mark Teixeira Yankees bobblehead giveaway from this season, Yeesh.

Probably my favorite Jeter bobblehead in my collection. This is a Bobble Dobble Jeter, which is also put out by Alexander Global. I really like the action pose that Derek is captured in. Maybe the face doesn't look too much like Jeter, but I don't really don't mind.

The back is one of the more streamlined figures you will find from Alexander Global. I also have a Jason Giambi Bobble Dobble. There are a couple other I want including the Hideki Matsui fielding, Reggie Jackson and Lou Gehrig Bobble Dobbles.

Although my Jeter collection may not be as large as other collections I am proud to own the ones I do have. I do plan to add some more Jeter bobbleheads soon like the Yankees Universe bobble, the Yankees SGA and a couple of the Jeter Last Season bobbles. I just also saw that there was a September Bobblehead Of The Month, which is a Jeter as well. So, I won't be without choices of quite a few different bobbleheads. With this many choices, I know the Jeter part of my bobblehead will grow and grow fast.

Monday, September 8, 2014

My First Derek Jeter Pick Up

When I first got back into collecting cards back in 2003, one of the players I wanted to collect was Derek Jeter. At that point, Jeter was already an all time great. He had won 4 World Championships, was a World Series and an All Star Game MVP. He was at the top of his popularity, Which was why collecting Jeter was, and still is quite difficult.

Want an autographed baseball? Prepare to shell out over $300.00. His autographed cardboard routinely goes for anywhere from $100.00 to $300.00. Even his game used cards are priced at a premium these days.

Back in 2003, I went to the Hofstra Sports Card show on Long Island. I was looking for anything Yankees, like I still do. I just went in without a game plan and dove into boxes and looked until I found something I wanted and bought it.

On this day, I found this card at a table that had a bunch of other patch cards. I was pretty uneducated about cards, especially patch cards and paid what the lady asked without negotiating. These days, I would have tried to haggle her down from the 30.00 I paid.

Still, regardless of what I paid, it's my very first Jeter pick up as well as my first patch card and it remains in my collection. It's one of my favorite cards in my Jeter collection and I don't see myself parting with it anytime soon. I have since added cards to my Jeter collection, but this one is my favorite.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Loss Of A Brother Is Never An Easy Thing...

Aarne, Mike and Thom at a Royals game. Wish I could have gone.

It took me a while to come up with what I wanted to say in this particular blog post. This one is a tough one for me to write up, so please bear with me if it's not up to par with any others I have written.

This weekend, my Yankees are playing the Kansas City Royals. It's always a rough series to watch. My non likeness (hatred is such a strong word that I usually reserve for any teams that come from Boston or the Dolphins) of this team goes back to the 70's when I would watch the Yankees tangle with the Royals during the regular season and usually in the American League Championship Series. It was always a battle between those clubs. Graig Nettles fighting George Brett or Brett taking Goose deep or Guidry mowing down the Royals or Frank White spraying the ball all over the field, Pine Tar antics, when you watched those clubs play, you were always in for a heck of a game. Unfortunately, my usual trash talking has been silenced.

I have been a member of a group of team collectors for about 8 years now. I really lucked out because we are more than friends. I have always thought of us a family. I know that if I ever needed one of my brothers, they would help out in anyway they could or be there for me to vent to or cry on their shoulders if need be. This week, they're was some tears shed as we lost one of our brothers.

Mike Trompter was the Royals collector in our group. He was one of the most caring individuals you could ever have the pleasure of meeting. He was funny, kind and very generous. His love for the Royals was huge, but his love for his family was even greater and you cannot help but like a guy who was a sports nut and a family man. If you ever seen his pictures on Facebook, you could see him with his nephew and the smile on his face spoke volumes.

On Wednesday morning, I woke up and got ready for work. I never check anything other than the weather during the morning hours, but I had a few extra minutes so I checked our group page and saw someone mention of Mike's passing. I didn't want to believe it, so I immediately checked his Facebook page and read his niece's words and my heart broke. It was shocking to hear of his passing. I really didn't know what to say or do. Later, I posted this on his Facebook page:

My heart is broken today. I wish we could have met up for a Royals game and talked music. Im a better person for knowing you. You were a huge part of the Team Collectors and your presence will never be replaced. I will miss you, but I know your in heaven watching your Royals with your son. May the Lord bless your spirit.

I actually though about rooting for the Royals to beat the Yankees, just for one night. But I knew in my heart that Mike would not want that. He would want me to keep rooting for my team so he could playfully rub it in my face if the Royals won and sure enough, the Royals beat the Yankees on Friday 1-0, If I close my eyes, I can almost hear Mike rubbing my nose in the lose. Just for once, it was the sweetest nose rub I ever got.

Rest in peace my brother. I know you are with the Lord, looking down on us and watching the Royals try to win the Central. For you, I hope they do.