Friday, February 27, 2015

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends...And eBay.

I have been wanting to start an Islanders collection for a while now. I have a small, but growing collection of cards and autographs, but if you know anything about me, then you know that collecting just cards ain't my bag. I don't know if it's the hoarder in me, but I will also grab anything I can display.

I have been dying to start a bobblehead collection of my favorite hockey team. I had originally wanted to start that with picking up a bobblehead of my all time favorite Islander, Mike Bossy. Unfortunately, that is one expensive bobble. I do intend on picking it up as soon as it's a bit more affordable.

Thankfully my buddy, Kerry, helped out with that. He was a Rick DiPietro collector and was extremely generous to send me some cards for my Islanders PC as well as the DiPietro mini bobblehead that was given away by the Islanders a few years back.

The box it came in is a small box that has a nice sticker picture of Ricky D. I think that this sticker could have made a nice hockey card had the Islanders decided to produce a set of cards to give away that season.

The back of the box offers nothing more than a warning not to ingest any part of the bobblehead. I guess Rick doesn't taste very good.

Out of the box, Ricky is all wrapped up in bubble wrap. That's a good thing. Nobody likes a cracked goalie. No jokes, please.

Here's little Ricky. I'm not a huge fan of mini bobbleheads, but I like this one. It's pretty detailed for a bobblehead of this size. It has Rick sporting a faux hawk as he is dressed in the Islanders jersey from the 2007-2010 seasons as he appears to be making a kick save. There is a Geico plate on the front of the base, so I'm guessing that was the sponsor for this give away.

The back of the bobblehead gives you a better view of the base, which I really like. Too bad the Geico nameplate blocks the view on the front, but I guess you have to have the sponsor's name somewhere. I would have preferred the back though. The jersey nameplate and number looks pretty clean on the back.

Ricky looks rather content to be joining the Sports Room. Thanks so much Kerry for my very first Islanders bobblehead.

My second Islanders bobblehead came way of eBay. I was able to get a a great price on a bobblehead of one of my favorite Islanders, Clark Gillies. Gillies was a no nonsense type of player. The guy could score and had 319 goals and 378 assists in a 14 year career. But he wasn't the type of guy you would want to mess with as he also had 1023 penalty minutes. Was an integral member of the Islanders 4 Stanley Cup championship teams. He is a member of the Hockey Hall Of Fame and had his number 9 retired on December 7th, 1996.

This was another giveaway bobblehead by the Islanders. These are the Alexander Global bobbleheads that I love so much and wish they were given away still at ballparks and arenas. This one looks a lot like Gillies. That alone, I had to have this in my collection. Plus, he's wearing the Islanders jersey I grew up watching the team play in, Back in my day, these were the home jerseys. I wish they still were. No, I'm not turning into the angry old man. OK, maybe,

The sponsor nameplate on this bobblehead is a lot less gouache than the nameplate on the DiPietro bobblehead. Unlike the Ricky D bobblehead, this one sports a plain base and his name on the front. Not sure if you can see it, but there is a tiny crack on the base, which explains why I got this for so cheap. I knew about it and quite frankly, it's not really so bad.

On either side of the bobblehead is the familiar number 9 that Gillies wore during his Hall Of Fame career. One other thing I love about this bobblehead is the colors. The blue and orange just pops off the white jersey.

The back of the bobblehead looks as good as the front. I think I may have used overused the word bobblehead in this blog post.

Stop laughing at me!

Being made fun of by an inanimate object aside, I am very happy I can pick up these bobbleheads up and begin what I hope will be a sweet Islanders collection. I plan to also pick up other goodies like pucks, McFarlanes and other Islanders collectibles. With the season they are having and their move to Brooklyn next season, there is sure to be more Islanders merch for me to grab and add to my growing Islanders PC. Hopefully, I can add a pennant that will read "2014-15 Stanley Cup Champions"

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ever Meet You're Favorite Player And He Turns Out To Be A Jerk?

When your a kid,if you're lucky enough you start enjoying a sport and quickly latch on to a team that you will love the rest of my life. I was. I fell in love with the New York Yankees at the age of 5 and have had a love affair with the Bronx Bombers for almost 39 years. That makes me loyal and old!

When your a kid, if you're lucky enough to find a player who captures your imagination in a way no other player can and he becomes your idol. The guy whom you shower all your admiration for. Buy his jersey. Pick up his bobblehead, Have posters of him on your wall. Trade cards with others to have a collection of cards of your favorite player. And if your really lucky, you will get to meet him and it will be a memorable experience, one that will positively be with you the rest of your life.

I got to meet my favorite player. There's a reason why I don't really have a PC of his.

When I first started watching the Yankees, I didn't have a favorite player right away. My mom, was a massive Reggie Jackson fan, so like a good little mama's boy, I started following him. But there was something about him that didn't appeal to me. Maybe it was I noticed his fielding wasn't that great or that he struck out a lot, but I wasn't down with Reggie as much as my mom was. Don't get me wrong. I didn't dislike Reggie, I was thrilled he was a Yankees, but he wasn't my guy.

During that 1977 season, I started to notice one particular player who was hitting home runs and driving in runs at a more rapid pace than Reggie was. Then, one afternoon, I can't remember who the Yankees were playing or when during that year it took place, but a screaming line drive was rocketed down the third base line, sure to be extra bases. Then, out of nowhere, a diving Yankee snared that ball, got up and threw the ball to Chris Chambliss at first base, nailing the runner by a couple of steps. I remember staring at the replay, mouth wide open, wondering what in the Brooks Robinson just happened. It was the greatest play my widdle eyes had seen at that point and I knew I had found my favorite Yankee. His name, as if you haven't guess by now, was Graig Nettles.

From that point on, I was a Nettles fanatic. I watched the Yankees and hoped to see a fantastic play by the man they called "Puff". I prayed I'd see Nettles hit one out of the park. I had a couple of t-shirts made up as I grew up with the Yankees interlocking NY on the front and Nettles name and number 9 on the back. When I played ball, I was always at 3rd, wore number 9 and was diving for every ball, even if it was a routine grounder. Pretty soon, all the kids called me Nettles and it made me proud. When I started collecting baseball cards in 1979, I always made sure I had his card in my collection and traded with other kids to get his other cards I didn't have. Heck, I was player collecting before it became the thing to do.

I started going to Yankee games with my buddies who lived across the street from me around 1982. We used to go to all the giveaway games, which is why I had a ton of Yankee goodies (God, I wish I still had all that stuff). We made sure to get to the Stadium early to watch batting practice in the bleachers (I was a Bleacher Creature before....ah, who cares.) and we would go and try to get autographs when the players would leave Yankee Stadium. I remember getting some good players to sign my program or baseball cards. Players like Lou Pinella, Bobby Murcer, even a young Don Mattingly. But never Graig Nettles.

Then one day, for some reason I was walking between the buses that would take the Yankee players and staff to the airport to catch their flights when out of the corner of my eye I saw him, Graig Nettles was coming at me. It was just me and my favorite player, mano y mano. I was sure he would want to hear how I idolized him and would be glad to sign my baseball card. Boy, how wrong I was. He brushed me off without even looking at me and avoided the crowd and got in the bus. My heart was broken, yet I rationalized that he had to get on the bus and make his flight, so all was forgiven. I would get him again.

The next chance I got was at a card show, 25 years later. I attended the Long Island card show, which is held at Hofstra University. There a few other players I wanted to meet, but to me, the main event was a meeting with Graig Nettles. Now, mind you, I was just getting restarted collecting autographs and didn't even think of having him sign a photograph or baseball. I plucked down my $30.00 to have him sign my baseball card.

When I finally got up to his table, I was more nervous then when I met Gene Simmons. I started telling him how I idolized him growing up. How I used to play third base and wore number 9 and dove for baseballs and how it was an honor to finally meet him. Nettles looked up at me and said, in the most obnoxious way, "Gee, that's great kid. You must have been really popular". I wasn't sure if he was being a jerk, so I didn't say anything but thanked him for making a die hard fan's day and left the table.

After walking around and looking at a few tables, I looked at my buddy and asked him if Nettles sounded sarcastic to him. My friend confirmed this and told me the look on my face reminded him of a child who was told the last showing of Star Wars was sold out. With my fears being confirmed I decided I wouldn't actively collect Graig Nettles like I was planning. In fact, I was planning on picking up his 1969 Topps rookie card that day.

I met Nettles a couple times after to get a ball signed or an 8x10 signed for a friend and each time I barely said anything to him and he never acknowledged my presence. He would just sign the item without a word to me. If I was lucky, I might get a hello from him after I exchanged the pleasantry to him. The "meeting" would take about 2 minutes, tops. Each time, I would get less disappointed and more angry because I would always look for something that would redeem himself to me. A nice remark or a warm smile that would get me to like him again so I can start that PC of his.

It's not like I don't already have a small PC of him already:

Here's the signed card from that first meeting. I wanted to rip up the card soon after, but remembered I paid $30.00 to have him sign it.

Some Nettles Game Used Cards

Some Nettles autographs

Obviously, my personal feelings about Nettles hasn't stopped me from getting stuff signed by him or adding his Yankee cards to my Yankees collection. I just never started a separate binder for him like I have for Tino Martinez, Mark Teixeira, Mickey Mantle and Derek Jeter or wanted to for Paul O'Neil. I have toyed with the idea of just letting bygones be bygones and starting a PC for Nettles, but I could never bring myself to do it. As I get older, the anger in me has subsided and I can see myself starting one in time. I just don't think that time is soon. I already have too many player PC's going and to start another may put my collection in even more chaos than it already is in. Maybe after I get my cards in order and I have some Nettles doubles, I will open up a binder for him.

I would really like to remember him for the plays at third base than my encounters with him. I would prefer to remember how he litterly stole Game 3 of the 1978 World Series from the Dodgers with the plays he made at the hot corner or how I used to argue that Nettles was just as good as Brooks Robinson and he should be in the Hall Of Fame (Naive of me. That .248 life time average will keep him out of the Hall Of Fame). Maybe one day I can fully forgive and forget my meeting with him and instead remember how he capture my imagination and helped a young boy fall in love with a game that after 39 years, the love still burns stronger than ever.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My First Sign Of Spring Is Here. 2015 Topps Yakees Cards!

For those of you poor, unfortunate souls who live in the northeast like I do, you are looking for any glimmer of warmth from the cold winter we have been experiencing. It seems like when the calendar switched to 2015, old man winter turned down the thermostat and proclaimed, "I'm back".

I have been looking for anyway to beat the cold. Staying indoors, drinking lots of coffee, layering, anything. But today, my first real sign that the cruel winter will soon be over arrived in the mail today. No, it wasn't the head of old man winter staring at me when I opened my package. It was my 2015 Topps Series One Yankees cards that I got in a team break my team collector group recently held.

I had been holding off picking any packs of this up because I knew my group would be breaking the product. But, like a drug addict jonsing for his fix, I would wander into Target, looking at the card section in hopes of grabbing a rack pack or two. Then I remember that I have the absolute worst Target in the free world when I see no 2015 Topps. No 99 cents packs, no rack packs, no blisters, no nothing. I guess it's a good thing I didn't pick any up because when my package arrived, I tore into it like I tear into a Big Mac.

Let's take a look at the goods...

First off, I really like the design of this year's set. It's not the same, boring designs Topps has used in the past. I like how the Yankee colors are blended in the border and of course, the photography is top notch. Not Stadium Club top notch, but good enough for this collector. Love that Jeter card. The picture was taken during his last game at Yankee Stadium, right after he hit a walk off single to win the game in his last at bat. That's an image I will carry with me the rest of my life.

I get my Teixeira card for the Tex binder as well as the Jeter short print card. My only beef is there isn't a Betances card or a Chase Headley or a C.C. Sabatha card in this set. I understand that there need to be some players for Series Two, but come on. We couldn't have included Bryan Mitchell or Shawn Kelley in Series Two so we could get the missing stars in this series?

Ah, the inserts. I maybe one of the few collectors who don't complain about Topps bringing out so many inserts. I love inserts and I think Topps did a great job with the inserts in this set. I love the look of the Free Agent 40 cards. The Gallery Of Greats is a pretty classy looking card and I got some of the classier players you can find in Jeter, Rivera and DiMaggio.

Another nice looking insert set in this set is the Archetypes set. Love the way the gold and blue of the card blends in with the image of the player featured. I also got the only Yankee card in the Inspirations Duels set, which will also go into the Teixeira binder. I think Donnie Baseball will like it in there.

Finally, we come to these awesome insert cards, the Highlight Of The Year set. As you can probably gather, Topps takes a particular year and player and gives you a highlight of that year from the particular player chosen. I actually thought I had these cards in order by year when I took the picture. Embarrassing...

I also got a gold border parallel Derek Jeter short print and what I believe are Rainbow foils of Jeter, Ellsbury and Martin Prado.

My hit is this Career High Hiroki Kuroda autographed card. I have been trying to get a Kuroda autograph in my collection since he first joined the Yankees. I tried TTM to Steinbrenner Field during Spring Training and Yankee Stadium during the season. I tried in person at Yankee Stadum, but to no avail. No, I finally have a Kuroda autograph in my Yankees collection. I hope he does well in Japan for what may be his final year as a professional ball player.

I am really happy with this year's Topps release. I'm so glad I got in on the group break, I have just about every Yankee card in this series with the exception of Ellsbury Robbed card, the Babe Ruth Gallery Of Greats card. I didn't get any of the First Home Run cards or Babe Ruth Story cards, which I think are Target exclusives. The Coin And Stamp cards are case hits, so if I want any of those as well as the other autograph cards, I will have to go though eBay or trades with other collectors.

Regardless, I am quite pleased that I was able to add a near complete set of Yankees cards into my 2010 to 2019 Yankees Topps Flagship binder. Whenever I get new Yankee cards around the time Spring Training begins, I usually start to get my Yankee t shirts and jerseys ready because spring, and more importantly, Yankee baseball is just around the corner.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Julius Erving Signing At Harman NYC 2/14/2015

Ah, Valentine's Day. The day when many people stay with their loved ones, having a romantic day. Going out to dinner or a movie or just staying in the company with their one true love. Well, this Sexy Geek decided that while many were snuggled with their better half's, I would brave the 20 degree temperatures and snow and meet one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived. That would be Dr. J himself, Julius Erving.

Dr. Jay was making an apperance at Harman NYC as part of the NBA All Star Weekend. The All Star game is being held this year at Madison Square Garden as part of a joint venture of the Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Many NBA players have been making apperances all over New York City these few days and although I was tempted to meet a few of them, only Dr. J could get me out of my warm home and into the colder elements to grab an autograph. So, a I hastily printed out a 11x14 photo (The one above) and off I went.

Harman is located on Madison Ave and 54th street. It was pretty easy for me to get to as I used to work not too far from there. When I got there, I was shocked at how few people there was lined up outside. I made it a point to arrive at least 2 hours early to beat the crowds. When I got on line, the store staff was ushering the graphers inside the store. Once inside, we waited in a designated area while being served pastries and hot chocolate.

The group of graphers were the usual suspects I see at almost every event or outside any stadium or hotel I have gone to graph at. I made small talk with a few I knew and read my tablet while waiting for the festivities to begin. I'm currently reading "The Best In The World..At What I Have No Idea" written by one of my favorite wrestlers, Chris Jericho. His previous two books were smart, funny and highly entertaining and so far his third offering has not disappointed.

If one wishes, they could have watched NBA highlights while waiting in line. Of course, they were the same 5 minutes of highlights on a continuous loop that was replayed over and over. That get's pretty old pretty fast.

This speaker would be a sweet addition to the Sports Room here in the House Of Swag.

The signing was supposed to have been from 1-3 PM. Of course, 1 Pm rolls around and no Dr. J. The employees passed time by giving out speakers, headphones and Knicks tickets via a raffle. Finally, around 1:15, the man of the hour arrives and goes directly to a radio show that was emanating from the store. I understand that these players have to promote the All Star game and the festivities that take place before the game, but at least get there before your scheduled start time to take the interview. Most celebrities will want to leave at the appointed time, no matter what even if they were late starting the signing. OK, rant over.

After his radio spot, Erving came over to the table to start signing. Another problem arose when we were informed that he was only signing the 8x10's supplied by the store. I really wish the advertisements would state that when promoting the event. I wouldn't have had to run around to find a place that would print an 11x14 on such short notice and waste the money to have it printed up.

When I finally got to the front, I told Dr. J how I remembered watching him play for the New York Nets and being impressed with his dunking ability. I also told him it was an honor to meet him. He seemed like he appreciated the comments and shook my hand while posing with me for the picture.

The photo is actually a lot nicer than I expected. It's still printed on that card stock that so many photos given out at these free events are printed on, but the store and corporate sponsor logo is a lot smaller than on other photo's I've received in the past. Still, you can't complain about getting a free autograph from an NBA legend like Julius Erving.

It was great to meet the good Doctor. I always try to make it to a signing to meet legendary players. You never know how long you have to meet them before they stop making appearances due to age or they just don't want to be bothered with signing autographs.  I honestly don't get out to as many appearances as I'd like to, but being able to ad Dr. J's autograph to my collection makes me want to go out and find more appearances.


Friday, February 13, 2015

New York Islanders Bobblehead Giveaways

The 2014-15 NHL season has been a very successful one so far for the New York Islanders. They are atop of the Metropolitan Division, a point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and third in the Eastern Conference. They are one of the best teams in the NHL this season and the shock value of how good this team is has worn off and teams like the Penguins, Rangers and Capitals will be looking to knock the Islanders off the top of their perch in the second half. Now, aside from the excitement the second half of the season will bring as we well as the countdown to the final game at Nassau Coliseum, what else could possibly bring in big crowds to the Coliseum?

Bobbleheads of course.

The Islanders announce not too long ago that there will be three bobbleheads given away in the upcoming weeks, with the first one tomorrow night. I bet these will be hot ticket items for every Islander fans as well as bobblehead collectors. I fall under both categories, so I want them all.

Kyle Okposo, February 14th 7 PM vs Columbus Blue Jackets

The first bobblehead being given out will be tomorrow night when the Islanders face the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets are near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, but usually pose a threat. Islanders did beat Columbus 5-2 during their first meeting back on January 10th. Okposo, who is second on the team in points, fourth in goals and first in assists, is currently out of action due to a detached retina.

Matt Martin, February 28th 5 PM vs Carolina Hurricanes

The next bobblehead will be given out in a couple of weeks when the Isles face the Carolina Hurricanes. This will be the fourth and final meeting between the two clubs. Currently, the Islanders are 2-0 against the Hurricanes this season, beating them on Opening Night, 5-3 in Raleigh and 4-3 at the Islanders home opener. Their next meeting will be in Raleigh on February 17th. On this night, the Islanders are giving away a bobblehead of their left winger, Matt Martin, one of my favorite Islanders, who holds the NHL record for most hits in a season with 374. He's also a practical joker snapping a selfie behind an unsuspecting fan wearing his jersey.

John Tavares, March 29th vs Detroit Red Wings 5 PM

The final bobblehead will be of the Islanders Captain, and my current favorite player, John Tavares. When the Islanders announced bobbleheads, you had to know that John Tavares would be one of the ones they will be giving away. How could you not? He is currently 9th in the NHL in goals, 4th in power play goals and 8th in game winning goals. I expect him to turn it up in the second half and put up MVP caliber numbers. He may have to because this game might be meaningful in the standings. Detroit is no walk in the park, currently 5th in the Eastern Conference and 3rd in the Atlantic. The two teams have spit the season series so far at a game a piece, so both team will be looking to get a leg up in the season series.

Just by looking at these pictures, I love these bobbleheads. They look fantastic. Of course, I can't tell how big they will be. Are they full size bobbles or the mini's that teams like the Yankees have been giving out? Either way, I want them.

Unfortunately, I will be missing the Okposo give away tomorrow. Because the Coliseum is a trip and a half for someone without a car, I have to plan the trip accordingly. Transportation alone could be up to $30.00 round trip. Plus, being out of work, I cannot justify using what money I do have to go to a hockey game.

That said, I do not plan to miss the other two bobblehead giveaways. The Matt Martin giveaway will be my first ever trip to Nassau Coliseum and I will be looking forward to it. Being that I have never been to an Islanders home game before and knowing that this is their final season in Nassau before the move to Brooklyn, I will be dammed if I am not going to see a game at the old barn in their final season.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Dream Projects

In the team collector's group I'm a part of, our Pirate collector, Mark, who writes the great blog, Battlin' Bucs (check it out right here, asked a great question. Is there a project that you have always wanted to start, but never have for whatever reason? As soon as he asked, I knew of a few right off the bat.

1- Start A Collection Of Mascot Bobbleheads

I love mascots. I have been a fan of them for as long as I can remember and whenever one is close by, I try to get a picture with them. When the Yankees hosted the All Star Game in 2008, the mascots were all over the place at the Fan Fest, which was held at the Jacob Javitz Center. I was like a kid at a candy store, getting pictures with Mariner Moose, Southpaw and Slider, to name a few. I was disappointed that Mr. Met wasn't there. I did catch up with him later at Citi Field.

The Mets have a spot in the Kiddie pavilion in the outfield where you can meet Mr. Met and have your picture taken with him before the game. So, I went up and he was very nice to me. Gave me a hug and was ready to put his arm around me for the picture. Then my friend, who loves to stir crap up, decided to yell out "he's a Yankees fan!' Mr. Met looked at me, put his hands up, covering his eyes and shook his head. I told him that despite my allegiance to the Yankees, I still was a fan of his. Apparently, what I said did not appease him.

Despite Mr. Mets opinion of yours truly, I still have a couple of his bobbleheads in my collection as well as one of Mariner Moose. I would love to get a couple others. The Phillie Phanatic. Orbit, and, even though he no longer is a working mascot, The San Diego Chicken come to mind immediately. I was going to collect those Funko POP Vinyl mascots that came out last year, but I couldn't find any. The one I did find, Mr. Met, was at Citi Field and was pretty expensive.

2- Start A Bobblehead Collection Of Baseball Hall Of Fame Players

I live in New York City. I have never been to the Baseball Hall Of Fame. I know, I hang my head in shame over that fact. I plan to go one day soon and I'm hoping it's this year. Regardless, I have always wanted to start a collection of bobbleheads of players who have been inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. This would give me an excuse to collect bobbleheads of some of the greatest players who ever played the game. Players like Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt, Johnny Bench, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax and Tony Gwynn would all be able to be bought by me and added to a Hall Of Fame shelf or display case.

I do realize that I will have to add players from the Boston Red Sox. Player like Cy Young, Jimmy Foxx, Ted Willams, Yaz and Pedro Martinez would all have to be added to my Hall Of Fame collection. To be honest, I don't have a problem with adding Red Sox players because I plan to have a non biased Hall Of Fame collection. I will admit that I will have a problem with adding Pedro though. I really don't like him, lol.

My only prerequisite would be the bobblehead would have to match the cap the player went into the Hall with. So, even though I would love to have a Yankee Dave Winfield bobblehead in the collection, I would have to pick up his San Diego Padres bobblehead. There are players like Greg Maddux and Catfish Hunter I could take liberties with since they went in with plain caps. I will probably add the managers as well. The announcers may have to wait, depending on room.

3- Customize McFarlane Sports Picks And Bobbleheads

I have long admired those who had the skills to take a figure or figures, rearrange parts, paint them up and create a fantastic figure for their collections. I've seen people do the same with bobbleheads. They will paint the figure into different uniforms, either print out the logo or use clay and have a totally different bobblehad.

My problem is I cannot paint to save my life. I have messed up walls. There is no way I can sit down with something a lot smaller and have something that looks like the awesome customs I've seen on forums like Spawn Boards and Jomo's Customs. I may make an attempt sometime soon. Depending on how good it comes out, it may never see the light of day.

4- Have My McFarlane Sports Picks Autographed

As an autograph collector, I am always looking for different ways to add unique autographs to my collection. A few years ago, I had the idea of paring autographs with McFarlane's Sports Picks figures I collected. I usually only collect Yankees, Jets, Knicks but I would pick up one if I got an autograph of a player who a had figure.

I was having trouble figuring out what to get signed to pair with the figure. I tried baseballs and that didn't work. I tried index cards and I couldn't figure out a nice way to display the two together. Certified cards didn't work for me either.

Then one day, I was at a card show and was looking at a few Salvino statues that I was interested in and it hit me.  I could get a "plaque" of some kind and have it attached to the front of the base of the figure and display it that way. Gosh, I thought I was a genius, strutting around the floor for the card show in a way that would make Ric Flair and Tully Blanchard proud. Then, I got on Jomo's Customs for the first time and saw that others had done it before. And actually figured out how to do it too. My ego deflated pretty darn quick.

Some customizers and collectors have the bases signed or they create special bases with a spot for signatures. For me, I like to have the autograph to be easily seen and if I have the figures on a shelf, you might not be able to see the autograph. The idea I like best is to use these:

These are the name plates (I think that's what they're called) from the old 12 inch McFarlane's. I have seen customizers print out their own stickers for these, with a spot for the player to sign. Usually, the customizer will also customize the figure, but until I have the guts to try one, I will stick with SP's that have already been made. My problems are I don't know the dimensions of the stickers and my photoshop skills aren't the best. I have made some custom cards before, but never a sticker. If I can find out the dimensions of the sticker, I will be in business.

Just that one question got this ole brain of mine thinking. I'm always looking for ways to kill time as the older I get, the more at home I am. I grew up with an arts and crafts bug building model kits, drawing pictures, among other things. I would love to figure out a way to bring that side out of me and start some pretty cool sports related projects. Then maybe I will be able to buy stuff at Michael's and not just wander the aisles, having the employees give me the "he's a shoplifter" eye.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Recent Mailday. Yankees, Yankees And A 1/1

Recently I participated in a group break of 2014 Topps Minis. It's not a product I normally pick up as mini cards are kind of difficult to protect. Recently, I have seen pages that can hold mini cards, so my Allen and Ginter mini's can now be displayed in my A&G binder. Knowing this, I decided to take grab the Yankees spot in the group break and I'm very glad I did.

When I opened the mailbox, I was excited to see another package with my group break scores. It was the Mark Teixeira card I recently picked up off eBay.

I grabbed this 2007 MLB Artifacts Awesome Artifacts Quad jersey card numbered to 50 for a steal. I have a Derek Jeter bat card from this same subset and I put in a bid when I saw this card. I was pretty shocked when I won as  put in a $2.00 bid on it. I am very pleased to be able to add this to the Teixeira PC. This is game used card number 66 for the PC. The march towards 100 continues.

Then I opened up the bag containing my Yankees cards. My buddy threw in a couple of extras for me to add to my various collections.

A  Roger Maris Manufactured Patch Card for 2012 Topps Series 1. Me likey.

2013 Bowman Blue Border Mark Teixeira numbered to 500 for the Teixeira PC

2014 Allan & Ginter Lou Gehrig mini that I needed

A couple of the 2013 Topps Cut To The Chase inserts. I love these cards. I have to make sure I don't already have these two.

A 2012 Topps Derek Jeter Short Print card, which I am stoked to have in my Jeter PC.

And a couple of cards of El Capitain that I needed for my Jeter PC.

Now, on to the main event. To be honest, I think the Topps minis are actually pretty nice. They are just the regular flagship cards, shrunk down. They are going to look pretty sweet in their pages next to the regular flagship cards once I get the complete set done.

I have some Jeter and Teixeira cards to pull out for their PC's, but other than that, I will be putting them in the Topps flagship binder soon enough.

I got a few nice gold border cards in the batch. This Tanaka was the best of the bunch. This is numbered to 63. Not sure why Topps picked that number though.

And this pink bordered CC Sabathia card numbered to 25. Not sure if I'll chase after the set of these. Probably depends on how much the cards go for.

I also got a huge pull from this break. I was shocked when it was pulled and it's going to become a permanent part of my collection until I leave this life.

A yellow printing plate of Derek Jeter

Yup. A 1 of 1 card. My first 1 of 1 Jeter card. I am very happy that I could add this to my Jeter collection and will cherish it for life.

I am very glad I decided to participate in this group break. I actually almost passed on it. I can only imagine how I would feel if I saw that Jeter slip through my fingers. I might have given up on collecting cards all together. OK, not true, but I would have made sure I was involved in every single break going forward.

Now, I look towards 2015 Topps Series 1. Can't wait to break some of that.