Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Collecting Goals For 2015

Before I begin, I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year. May you get you all get everything you want out of life and I hope all your additions are plentiful.

Now, because I still am having issues with my laptop, this will be another blog, sans photographs. I really need to get a new laptop.

Since 2014 was not the year of the Sexy Geek, I decided not to look back, but instead look forward. I want to look forward to what 2015 could bring to my collections. I have been keeping my eye on certain items I would add and hopefully 2015 will bring some much needed additions.

Since I do collect four teams and various players, I think I'm just going to concentrate on the one team I collect heavily, The Yankees.  Don't get me wrong, I love collecting the Jets, Knicks and Islanders, but since this is the largest part of my collection, I will be concentrating on them most in 2015.

Here's what I hope to accomplish with my Yankees collection in 2015:

1-Collect More Vintage

My Yankees team sets are filling up nicely, but there are a ton of holes, specifically in my 1950's and 1960's sets. Actually, there are no completed team sets in either decade in my collection. It's something I really want try to complete at least 2 sets sometime in 2015. That will be a difficult task, I know. Cards of Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford and Elston Howard do not come cheap. But if I want a real nice Yankees card collection, I know I have to add the nice vintage cards. I'm not ever thinking I will own a 1952 Topps Mantle, but if I can add some nice later vintage of the Mick, I'll be a happy man.

The cards aren't the only vintage items I would love to pick up. I have wanted to start a program collection for a long time. I have seen some great vintage programs that weren't too expensive that I'd love to grab. I also want to pick up a couple of vintage pennants and I have had my eye on a vintage Yankee Stadium game that I come across on eBay from time to time, but is priced out of my price range.

2-Organize, Organize, Organize 

This past year I finally got off my butt and started organizing my cards. I've moved some into binders and others into boxes. My ultimate goal is to one day have all my cards in binders, but because room is at a premium right now, So, for now, I will just have the main sets in binders (Topps, Allan & Ginter, Heritage, Upper Deck, etc) while I will have sets that 4 or less cards in toploaders, penny sleeves and in boxes.

I've also started to catalog my cards, starting with my Tino Martinez PC on Google Drive. It took a while to get the cards logged in, but now I know just what I have in that particular collection. I'm currently working on the Mark Teixiera PC. I will probably start the Yankees team sets once I have every card where it's supposed to be and I hope that happens sometime in 2015. I will probably start with the Topps team sets and work from there.

3-More Bobbleheads And Figurines  

In 2014, I wasn't able to really add to the bobblehead or figurine collection. I did get the Curtis Granderson Mets SGA bobblehead ( I will be getting it repainted to a Yankee ) and nothing else. I'm a member of a couple of bobblehead groups on Facebook and I drool over some of these collections I see. When I started collecting bobbleheads, I was strictly a McFarlane collector, but I felt the quality of the McFarlane figures were starting to lack. When my Jorge Posada figure started leaning down so far that his bat was keeping him from falling over, I stopped buying them and switched to bobbleheads. I wish I had done that years ago.

Some of the bobbleheads I really want to pick up are the Yankee Stadium SGA's from the past two seasons. I do have the Mark Teixiera and the Yogi Berra, but Yogi's throwing arm is broken and needs to be fixed. I would like to grab the Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Lou Gehrig and Hideki Matsui bobbleheads first, but those are the most expensive. I also want to get the Charlie Brown and Lucy bobblehead as well as the Hello Kitty that was given out this year and the Cubs gave out a "Called Shot" Babe Ruth bobble that needs to find it's way into my collection.

I have a few statues and figurines in my collection also. I have really wanted to start a Danbury Mint Yankee collection as well. Again, an expensive hobby, but some of those statues are pretty sweet. My favorite isn't even of a player. I love the vintage Yankee Stadium that was released a number of years back and have been wanting to add it to my Yankee Stadium collection for quite some time. I hope that happens this coming year.

4-Add More Yankee Oddball Stuff

One thing I love about collecting the Yankees is there are so many things you can pick up to add to your collection that doesn't have to be cards. I have seen people add lighters, pens, fans, keychains and other goodies to their collections. I do have a few things that may be considered oddball.

I have wanted to pick up the vintage Topps and Dell stamp collections. I used to collect the Topps sticker albums in the 80's, but these are more team oriented and that would fit in my collection perfectly. Another odd ball item I would love to add is the 75th Anniversary of Yankee Stadium record album as well as as add more pins to my Yankees pin collection.

5-Add More Autographs

One of my goals for 2014 was to get my Yankees signed baseball collection to 50 different players, but I fell short in my quest, finishing at 46. I was able to add players like Hideki Matsui, CC Sabathia, Johnny Damon, Ron Guidry and Willie Randolph to the Yankees Ball PC. This year, the goal is to get to 60 signed balls, Lowering my expectations a bit, I know. But I guess by giving myself an attainable number, I can push past it and exceed my expectations. I hope to get players like Tino Martinez, Mariano Rivera, Carlos Beltran and others to sign balls for me throughout the course of 2015.

6-Have Fun Again

2014 was a tough, tough year for me. I lost a lot, some people I care about, jobs and most of all, my smile. 2015 will be a year where I rediscover myself, regain my confidence and live life. I love collecting the Yankees. They have bought me great joy ever since I discovered them as a 5 year old. I plan to jump back into the collecting game head first and get back to what I enjoy the most out of life. Collecting cards, bobbleheads, autographs, jerseys, caps, anything that has something to do with the Yankees is what I am going to collect. I mean, if you can't have fun collecting your favorite team, then what will make you happy?

I am all about making yourself happy. Collect what you want. Buy that card if you want. Over spend for the autograph of the back up shortstop from the mid 80's who hit a buck ninety, only because he lives out of the country and you need his autograph for your collection. Do whatever you want that will make you happy because, no one is going to make you happy except yourself and family. So, Have a very Happy New Year and collect.

Friday, December 19, 2014

So, What Am I Collecting Now? Well...

As I have been organizing my card collection, I have been putting aside cards of players I have long admired and been a fan of. Some players I rooted for for years as I watched them play. Others I never seen play a down or hit a fastball, but I know of their exploits and became a fan by reading or watching video of them play.

With all the cards I've been putting aside, I soon realized that I need new binders, pronto!

So, what am I collecting these days?

Obviously, the main team I collect and will always collect are my beloved Yankees, I was a Yankee fan before the dynasty years, remained a fan when Donnie Baseball was the only reason to turn on WPIX to watch a game. If I collected nothing else,  would still collect the Yankees.

Then there are my Jets. They stink, They can't seem to get any traction going as a franchise. For every step forward they make, they then take 2 steps backwards. I love this team. They are right under the Yankees in terms of my affections. I think if the Jets ever win a Super Bowl, I would break down and cry like a baby.

Next would be the Knicks. I've watched this team since Michael Ray Richardson played at the Garden and Hubie Brown was coach. I have seen such prolific scorers as Bernard King, Patrick Ewing and now, Carmelo Anthony wear the orange and blue. I have stuck by this team when they were terrible in the 80's and when I used to go to games and hear Fire Isiah chants. I have complete faith that Phil Jackson will build a winner and soon too,

Finally, is my Islanders, who are having a terrific season. They currently sit second in the Metropolitan Division behind the likes of John Tavares, Brock Nelson, Kyle Okposo, Jaroslov Halak and Frans Nielsen. I remember watching the likes of Clark Gillies, Billy Smith, Butch Goring, Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy winnnig 4 consecutive Stanley Cups. I think this team is going to be good for a long time.

Now, for the players I collect. I warn you, it's a long list.

1-Tino Martinez

One of my all time favorite Yankees and the Yankee I followed during the dynasty years, Tino was the first player I started collecting. 427 cards later, I am still collecting Tino. I see new cards all the time and I now will be able to start adding new Tino stuff to my collection. And yes, I do collect his Mariner, Cardinals and Rays cards also.

2-Mark Teixeira

I have always like Teixeira from his days with the Rangers. I had wanted to collect his cards, but I held back because he wasn't a Yankee and he killed the Yankees with a home run one afternoon. But as soon as he signed to be a Yankee I was on eBay looking for his cards. Here's hoping he has a bounce back season in 2015. God knows we need him.

3- Derek Jeter

How can you not collect The Captain? This guy is our generations Joe Dimaggio. He always played the game the right way and won. My Jeter collection is also the largest player collection I have with over 550 different cards and counting. The Yankees are going to look so different next season without "El Capitan" at shortstop.

4-Mickey Mantle

I have always been a Mickey Mantle guy. I just never really started a Mantle PC because I pay bills. Mantle cards are among the most expensive so, as much as I liked Mickey, I passed on starting a PC. Funny thing, as I was organizing my massive Yankees collection, I found inserts, Home Run cards, reprints, chrome cards and other goodies in my collection already, so I put them aside and voila, instant Mantle PC. Unfortunately, there will be no adding vintage Mickey Mantle cards to my collection anytime soon and that is fine with me. I am quite content in adding his newer cards to my PC. Just like the next guy...

5-Roberto Clemente

My Clemente PC is the smallest one I have and that's only because I haven't actively searched out his cards, but that is going to change soon. Like Mantle, I cannot afford vintage Clemente, so I will make do with his newer cards. The one vintage I do want is his 1973 Topps card and that's only because I owned that card and had it stolen by a "friend". I will have it back one day.

6-Chad Pennington

Say what you want about Pennington. The fact remains he was a leader on the field and the guy won when he was healthy. Case in point, The Jets dump him in favor of Bret Farve and he goes on to win the AFC East as a member of the Miami Dolphins, which caused many a sleepless night. There was a time when all I did pick up was Pennington cards. I still do to this day.

7-Joe Namath

As a Jets fan, collecting Broadway Joe is a must. Aside from the '65 Topps card, most vintage Namath is pretty affordable. I have a 2 vintage Namath pieces in my collection, the 1971 Topps game card and the 1971 Topps Pin ups mini poster (Thanks Mark). I will be looking to add more, Boy, I want that Namath Mego figure.

8-Wayne Chrebet

I have always loved the story of Chrebet making the Jets as an undrafted walk on. The only thing that went right during the Ritchie Kotite era, Chrebet would be an integral part of the Jets offense for years until he had to retire due to multiple concussions. Meeting Chrebet and having a small conversation with him while he signed my football was one of the highlights of my year.

9-Curtis Martin

Arguably the greatest Jet ever. The man was, in my opinion, one of the top 5 running backs to ever play the game. When the Jets stole C-Mart from the Patriots, I danced and I don't dance. I just started the Martin collection when I realized I had a lot of Curtis Martin cards. He was a player I really liked during his playing career, I had the cards, boom. Curtis Martin Collection.

You guys had enough? Or are you thirsty for more?

10- Patrick Ewing

My all time favorite Knick. I remember watching him play in Georgetown. Those Georgetown/St.John's games were wars and I remember Ewing being right in the middle of those games. When Dave Debusschere ( Another Knick I contemplated on collecting) banged his fist on the podium when the Knicks won the right to draft Ewing, I was ecstatic. During his time in NY, Ewing was the man. He should have at least 1 ring, but John Starks forgot how to hit a basket in that fateful Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals.

11-Mike Bossy

The Boss is my all time favorite hockey player, As a kid, I watched him score 50 goals in 50 games and win 4 straight Stanley Cups, I always felt he was just as good as Gretzky and may have come close to Gretzky's final goal total had Bossy's back not given out on him. One of my favorite memories was playing pond hockey as a kid with my Mike Bossy stick. I wish I still had that stick.

12- Martin Brodeur

After Bossy retired, I kinda lost interest in hockey. Marty bought me right back in. Watching a sniper shoot a puck at Brodeur and then seeing the look of disappointment on his face when Marty made an impossible save was pure enjoyment for me. I watched Brodeur win Stanley Cups like I had watched Bossy previously. I went to games just to watch Brodeur in net and I was at the game in which Marty became the NHL's All Time Winning Goalie, which was a thrill. Seeing Brodeur in a Blues uni is just not right to me, but I will still collect his cards.

13- John Tavares

The newest Islander star and the best damn hockey player in the Tri State area. Yes, I would take Tavares over Lundqvist. Tavares is going to be a superstar in the NHL once it's all said and done. My Tavares collection is small, but I have no doubt it will grow and grow quickly.

So, as you all can see I have gone completely mad. How can I expect to collect all these players AND the teams I collect? Well, that's the fun part. Trying to figure it all out. I will probably at some point have to drop a player or three. But I won't anytime soon, so let the card hunt begin!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Where Have You been?

I realize it's been over 2 months since I last posted a blog post. A lot has been going on the past few months. I was out of work, but have since found a temp job that will be a couple months work, my laptop has been on the fritz as I haven't been able to save any photo's to it as the memory has been full and no matter what I dump it still is full. It's frustrating that I can't save pictures to use on my blog because I have memory issues. I think this laptop is mocking me.

With all of this going on, I really haven't felt like posting any blogs. Doesn't mean I have stopped collecting. Lord knows I will never do that. I can't give up my precious cardboard, my awesome autographs, my beautiful bobbleheads, my stuff.

I've added new cards to the Sports room and even started a couple of PC collections (As if I didn't have enough already.) and have been organizing my cards, which is no picnic. I have also created new binders for my Yankees Allan & Ginter and Stadium Club cards. I'm going to create one for my Yankees Gypsy Queen cards next.

Question: Do you guys put the Panini Donruss cards with your older Donruss or have you started a new binder for Panini products? I'm toying with the idea of starting a Panini only binder for the newer releases.

I do need to buy some more binders. I have a bunch of cards in 9 pocket sleeves without binders so I need to pick up couple. Plus, I am running out of room in my 5 shelf bookcase, so I need to pick up another soon.

Well, that's what I've been up to. I'm still here and as soon as I can figure out the memory issue I can start posting pictures. I plan for 2015 to be a big year for the Sports Room and I hope you all stick around.