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Monday, August 31, 2015
I know the circumstances around his ban rocked baseball, and the need to be able to trust that the players are on the up and up is very important. Jackson, if reinstated, would be something of a sure bet for the Hall of Fame.
My hope is that if Jackson is reinstated, that Buck Weaver will also be reinstated as well, especially since it is widely known that he never took any money for the 1919 World Series fix. Weaver just didn't rat on his teammates.
We will know for sure tomorrow, and I, for one, am really excited.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Wills (b. 1932) played in the majors from 1959 to 1972 for the Dodgers, Pirates and Expos. He had 2,134 hits, 20 home runs and a .281 career batting average. He led the league in stolen bases six seasons in a row. He was the 1962 NL MVP and won the World Series in 1959, 1963 and 1965.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
What sticks out most to me about Sanguillen, though, is a story that I read about the memorial service for his former teammate, Roberto Clemente. When Clemente passed away, the Pirates held a memorial service for him that was attended by all of his teammates, with the exception of one, Sanguillen. The reason he wasn't at the memorial was because he was busy diving off the coast of Puerto Rico in shark infested waters, looking for Clemente's body. That's true friendship, right there.
According to Sanguillen's SABR page, it says that Sanguillen was actually supposed to accompany Clemente on his ill-fated flight, but had misplaced his car keys and missed the flight.
Sanguillen was really quiet during the signing at The National, but he was friendly when I spoke to him. I thanked him for the autograph and moved along, since his line was so long.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
I pulled this 1982 Topps Cal Ripken RC out of a $5 mystery pack. Now my fourth '82 Topps Ripken, this was a really cool hit. Frankie ended up with an early 50s Bowman card, which carried some value, but none of the stuff the guys pulled equaled the excitement I got out of pulling this Cal.
Yeah, I know I have others, but it still was a lot of fun to get a PC item (a rookie, at that). Maybe I'll take the plunge sometime and get one of them graded. I don't know.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Max got this 1987 Topps signed for me, since we had extra vouchers for Cooper. I provided some cards and Max got the signatures. Since I had 1987 Topps cards coming out of my ears, I figured that getting a few signed would be nice. They do, in fact, look good signed.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Hinske had a pretty good career. He played for 12 years and amassed 947 hits, 137 home runs and a .249 batting average for the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rays, Pirates, Yankees, Braves and Diamondbacks. He won the World Series in 2007 with the Red Sox and in 2009 with the Yankees.
Hinske was pretty nice, but didn't go above and beyond like Tom Gordon did. Nothing against him or anything, but it was hard to pass Gordon. The 2002 AL Rookie of the Year inscription was free, which was nice. I do like a good inscription, so this worked out well.
Monday, August 24, 2015
The 1998 AL Rookie of the Year inscription was also free, which was nice. I did my best to get some special baseballs for some of the free signers, since I didn't necessarily have a need for them in the collection. I do like getting various rookies of the year, or MVPs, so it did work out with Grieve and a couple of the other signers.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
He was really nice to Max, Andrew and I, and talked to us for quite a while. He told us a story about who the toughest players he faced were, naming guys like Manny Ramirez, and others. He then decided after naming several names, that he would be better served telling us who he owned. He told a story about how he absolutely owned Roberto Kelly, so much so, that he struck him out so much, that Kelly threw his bat to the ground as hard as he could after on futile at bat.
I closed up our meeting with Gordon by telling him that he has been really fun watching his son, Dee, play ball, and that I had seen Dee play since his time with the Lookouts. Gordon thanked me, and said that his son was a good kid and would be signing autographs at The National like him some day. He's right.
I was really happy with how meeting Tom Gordon went. That session alone made my getting the VIP passes worthwhile. I was so happy to see how good he was wish everyone he signed for, and that he went out of his way to make us all feel like we were having a great time. He won some new fans that day, for sure.
My ball got the full name and nickname signature: "Tom Flash Gordon".
I was very excited to pull this purple refractor of Kris Bryant that is numbered 211/250. The card is amazing, no way around it. I would normally keep something like this, but I already have a buyer lined up, and I doubt I would let it go to anyone else.
Still, though, this was a really awesome pull, and the box I bought it paid off and then some by just one card. I wish I could be this lucky all the time.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
I also found another 67 that I needed in one of my own boxes at the house, so, that's two cards down, a lot to go. I will work to get the needs list posted on here. Since I finished off 1959, I plan on knocking out 1967 and 1969 before I jump into more vintage sets. One set I really need to get done is 1972. I bought a lot of those in bulk, hoping I could make a dent in that set. I did ok, but I still need quite a few more.
Friday, August 21, 2015
The two best cards that I found in the dime boxes were, in fact, rookies. The above Josh Donaldson 2010 Bowman was a great find for a dime. He is a legitimate MVP candidate (although, I hope he falls short for my own selfish reasons) and is having a career year. I liked Donaldson quite a bit when he was with the A's, but now that he is with the Blue Jays, I can only respect the fact that he is a really good player on a team I am continuing to loathe more and more. Still, though, for a dime, this is a great card.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
I had seen this 2010 Topps Sterling Brooks Robinson 5-piece relic card at the Wednesday sneak peek, but the guy at the table gave a redonkulous price, and I balked at it.
Come Sunday, however, the prices were much more reasonable, and I grabbed this card as my last purchase.
This is the Sterling card that I had mentioned a couple times, if you haven't figured that out already. I really like the product, and being able to add this to the Brooks PC, well, that was a nice treat. This might be one of the best Brooks cards that I have in my collection. It is right up there with the Brooks RC, or the graded 1967 Topps that my mom got me.
My pile of cards from the National is beginning to dwindle down, then I have some IP autos to show. I'll continue to post some stuff from the National, of course, but in the next week or so, I am going to start getting back into maildays and such. I hope you all are enjoying seeing the stuff I picked up, though. Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Max is a huge Cubs fan, and living in Chicago, he goes to a bunch of games every year. Recently, he picked up this baseball for me during one of his trips. He had gotten the ball signed by none other than Cubs rookie, Kris Bryant. The best part, though, is that Max didn't ask for anything in return for the ball. Well, he did ask for a graded 10 Andre Dawson auto that was given to us when we entered the show, but I was going to give that to him anyway.
At Max's house, he and his family showed us great hospitality. They held a cookout for us, and later in the evening, I played Pack Wars with Max and Andrew. We had a lot of fun, and even got some trading done.
I was able to see Max's "Skype Studio" during my tour of his home, which was kind of weird. It was just different seeing what was on the other side of the webcam. He also showed me his collection, his card setup and "man cave." It is always interesting to see how others have their stuff set up, and Max had one of the best setups I have seen.
Max has become one of my closest friends, in the community, and outside of it as well. He has shown me his amazing generosity, to which I will always be grateful. I'm very happy that we met and have traded, and now have met in person.
Max is an incredible athlete. He has excelled in football and baseball. He advanced to the National finals in football last year in Florida. He has also won baseball tournaments in Cooperstown. I know he is really proud of his accomplishments, and the awards he has won mean a lot to him. That isn't lost on me at all.
Thanks so much for the ball, buddy, and the other stuff you have given me. I cherish it all.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
The above Feller auto from 2001 Topps Archives Reserves is a nice one that I hadn't seen before. The card is really sharp, and was one of the last purchases I made at the show. I bundled it with a higher end card that I still need to show (I referenced it when I was discussing Topps Sterling a few days ago).
It took me two tables/vendors to find a match, and when I offered the plate for this Feller, the vendor said "Sure, I'll do that trade." So, I was able to take a card I won in pack wars and flip it for a nice PC pickup. An autograph (on card) of one of the greatest pitchers ever. I was happy with that deal.
The card is a 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game and, again, the auto is on card. It looks really sharp scanned.
Monday, August 17, 2015
I ended up with quite a few Davis cards from the National. My good friend, Max, helped me find several that I needed for my PC. The above card was in a cheap relic/auto box, and Max handed it to me as we were sorting through. This is a 2014 Panini Classics Baseball relic numbered 98/99.
I'm slowly making my way through the cards that I got, but there are still a ton to go. I also stil have some signed baseballs to get to. In the meantime, some packages have come in, so I will have plenty to blog about for a good while. I'm happy about that.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Anyway, I wanted to show off two of the bargain bin cards that I picked up while I was at the National. I got these two Nolan Reimold cards from the same vendor; he had $2.00 (I think) relics and autos, so I made out like a champ with these cards. They were either $2.00 or $5.00. I don't remember.
I already had one of these 2009 Topps Triple Threads 7=pc relic/auto cards. This one, though, has a patch. Numbered 73/75, I was really happy to add it to the Reimold PC.
I learned that it is really tough if you are looking for singular cards while you are there. However, if you have a couple players in mind, you have a good chance of finding them in the bargain bins, as long as their name isn't Mantle, Ruth, etc. One of my friends is a big Jack Wilson fan, and another is a huge Nori Aoki fan, and I found quite a few cards of each of those guys while I was there. I'm sure if I had hit a few more of those bargain bins, I would have come away with more Reimolds.
Saturday, August 15, 2015
I found it early that day while I was walking around with Max and Andrew and looking for the Cal Ripken Donruss Elite auto. This makes a really cool addition to my Foxx PC. I love Topps Sterling, and was happy to add another card from that series to my collection. I actually liked it so much, I picked up another Sterling later on in the show. You'll have to stay tuned to see what that was.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
I challenged myself to get the best possible deal with the card, and the two cards I got far surpassed anything that I thought I would be able to find.
The above 2014 Topps Trajectory jumbo relic of Chris Davis would probably have found itself on next year's Top 10 Wishlist, since I really wanted one, but hadn't jumped on one yet. The card is numbered 11/99, and looks awesome. I really loved the Trajectory design, and now I have this and a Ripken auto.
The Davis jumbo has gome for $15-$20 regularly, so being able to get it, and the numbered to 45 Schoop auto was really a steal. I feel like I did a great job in my "challenge." I may do something similar at next year's show. Take a certain amount of money, and challenge myself to get the best possible deal, then blog about it. Seems too easy...
Thanks for the Christmas present, Mom!
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
|I was really pleased with how his urn turned out. I am so glad I chose to go this route, as opposed to burying him. He was an inside cat, and I am glad I kept it that way.|
Today, I picked up Jericho's remains from Carolina Pet Crematorium. They did a fantastic job for me, and the urn I picked out is pretty classy and very fitting. You can see it above. He will now rest atop my desk, overlooking his domain. Some folks say that they "own" a pet, but I am here to tell you that this cat "owned" me. I sure hope he knows just how much I miss him. I didn't want to run the issue into the ground, but I am having a harder time that I ever thought I would.
|Kitten Jericho playing peek-a-boo in a clothes basket.|
Back to Jericho. He really was special. He was among a litter of four kittens that a couple nursed after having found them when the cats' mother had been run over by a car. They nursed the kittens for as long as it took to get them to where they could eat on their own. When they were old enough, instead of taking them to the animal shelter, they decided to give them away for free in the HT parking lot. That was a pretty fateful day, because my then-roommate had recently discussed adopting a pet for our apartment. We each picked out our own cats, his a black one that he named "Hunter" and I picked Jericho because he resembled the family cat we had back home that was named Sam.
I always respected Sam because he was this huge outdoor cat with tons of notches in his ears from all of the tangles with wildlife that he had. Sam was a badass; ask any of my siblings and they will tell you. He was the reason that I picked Jericho that day. When Sam lost his final battle (with a raccoon) and died, I was upset. I even cried a little. He was 12 or maybe a little older, but I knew when he passed, that raccoon had gotten the biggest fight he ever bargained for. It got an even bigger fight when my brother put a bullet in him, but that's another story for another day, but good riddance, raccoon.
|Jericho was always complimented on his eyes. He was one beautiful cat.|
|Jericho is all business, with his paws crossed, waiting for some catnip.|
I would joke at work with my friend Rae, who would pet-sit for us. She would always tell me how good a dog Rocky was and how Ozzy would talk to her and demand attention. She would then tell me "I had to poke Jericho because he would never move, just to make sure he was alive." That was Jericho. He did what he wanted, and had an amazing life. I still think back to the other night when he passed, replaying it in my head. I wish I had been able to just hug him and tell him it was going to be ok. Jericho knew it wasn't, but I didn't. That last bite to my arm wasn't any attack on me, I know it. It was his final way of telling me, "Daddy, it's not ok. I'm really hurting." Well, buddy, I am glad that you were able to tell me that it was time and that you were able to go with Mal and I around. I'm glad it wasn't overnight, for me to find you in some corner after I woke up. I think that would have been far more traumatic. Also, I am glad that I didn't have to make the decision to put you down. I don't think I would have been able to function at all if that were the case.
|Check out the amazing job that the crematory did for me. They did a nose print, a paw print, this great poem, also a clay paw print and a wildflower that we can plant in his memory|
Today, when I pulled into the parking lot of the funeral home (the pet crematory is run by a local funeral home), my XM Radio was set to Pearl Jam Radio, even though I normally would have it set to MLB Network. I just happened to have it set to Pearl Jam, and "Love Reign O'er Me" came on as I was set to get out of the truck. That was a nice fit, but even better, when I had picked him up and was driving back to the office, Pearl Jam's "Come Back" came on. The lines of that song fit everything I was thinking at that very moment, and then when Eddie Vedder sang the part "It's ok... It's ok..." I felt like I was being spoken to. I cried.
So, the story of Jericho closes for now. I will do my best to revert this blog, my facebook page and my instagram page back to as normal as can be. I appreciate you all bearing with me. I'm happy that I have this tool, this blog, and all of my friends. Jericho's guestbook page (which you can check out here) had quite a few comments on it already, so much so, the funeral director made a point in mentioning it to me.
So, again, I will try to go to sleep tonight amidst memories of one of my closest friends that I have ever had. A fat, lazy, sweet, demanding, lovable, huggable cat named Jericho.
**I haven't been able to thank all of you personally, but to everyone who commented on my last couple blog posts; everyone on Facebook, and everyone on Instagram - thank you so much for your stories about your own pets, your own losses, your love and support. I never would have guessed how many of you really care, and it means a lot to me. Thank you so much.**
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
I'd like to say that he would want me to continue on posting as normal today, but I knew him well enough that he would not want me sitting here posting. He would rather I be in the recliner with him on my lap, grabbing my hand and forcing me to pet him for hours. I always told my wife that if he had opposable thumbs, he would have been dangerous.
So, that being said, I would like to continue on as normal as I can with my next post from the National card show. It is going to be so tough to show all of the cards I picked up, so I will probably condense them down into the best of the best. I did want to start out with a showing of the Jonathan Schoop cards that I got. The top card is the 2014 playoffs patch/auto of Schoop and was actually the first card that I picked up. I had just landed, and took the shuttle to the hotel to check in, then I took the shuttle to the convention center and met Max and Andrew. They immediately took me to a table that has the Schoop, and I bought it for $25. Those playoff relics were a "tough get" and would run pretty high, so landing the Schoop was real nice.
The price tag on the back of this 2014 Bowman Inception Schoop auto says $2.00, and I could have very well picked it up myself. I have a feeling that it was given to me by Max at that table, and I hope that he will remind me when he reads this post.
The auto is on-card, and looks amazing. Inception looked really awesome that year, and I wish there were more Orioles in the product.
Speaking of, I was blown away by the generosity of my friends while I was at the National. Between the four of us (Me, Max, Andrew and Frankie), there were cards being passed back and forth, and all kinds of trades being made. Care packages were handed off and lots of fun was had. I think spending the National among friends was the best way to do it. These are some of the best of the best collectors around, and I feel honored that they wanted to spend time with me.
Thanks again for reading, and again, thank you all for the support.
Oh, by the way, today is my good friend, Frankie's birthday. Head on over to his blog (here) and wish my buddy a happy birthday!
Monday, August 10, 2015
He had been acting funny the last couple of days, and tonight, we discovered that he had been sitting in his own waste all day. I took him and gave him a bath, but sometime during the bath, he rolled over and pretty much stopped breathing.
He was a quiet cat, never making a sound, unless he wanted food. Then, it would be one tiny, quiet whisper of a meow. That's all it took. His bowl would be filled. He had a good life, these last 13 years.
I love you so much. I wish you could see how much of a mess I am right now over you, you silly fat cat. You'd probably hop up onto my lap and grab my hand with your paw and demand that I pet you. It's what you did. God, I'll miss you so much.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
He was really nice, and I got a video of him signing for my friend, Andrew. I'm sure it will be posted on Andrew's blog sometime soon.
Brock (b. 1939) played in the majors from 1961 to 1979 for the Cubs and Cardinals. He had 3,023 hits, 149 home runs, and a .293 career batting average. His 938 career stolen bases at his retirement were a record until it was broken by Rickey Henderson. Brock was a 6-time All Star and finished as high as 2nd in the NL MVP voting (1974). He finished second to Steve Garvey that year. Brock won the World Series with the Cardinals in 1964 and 1967. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985 (his first ballot) when he received 79.7% of the vote.
Brock is my 118th Hall of Famer and was the 8th and final Hall of Famer that I picked up at the National.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Day (b. 1916 - d. 1995) played in the Negro Leagues from 1934 to 1943 and 1946 to 1950 for the Baltimore Black Sox, Brooklyn/Newark Eagles, Philadelphia Stars and Baltimore Elite Giants. He was a 7-time Negro League All Star and won the Negro League World Series in 1946 (with the Philadelphia Stars).
Day was elected to the Hall of Fame via the Veterans Committee in 1995, just six days after learning that he had been elected to the Hall.
Friday, August 7, 2015
Thursday, August 6, 2015
There was a nice Greenberg auto at the BBC Exchange booth, but they wanted $2,000 for it. I couldn't drop that much on a ball and live to tell about it, so I just admired it every time I walked by and looked for other baseballs to add. Finally, I was looking at some balls in a huge shelf and saw this Greenberg at a much lower price. I asked the guys at the booth what the lowest price for the ball would be, they responded with an even lower price after calling the owner on the phone. When I told them I would think about it, the owner of the ball must had heard, and then offered his final lowest price. The price was far too good to pass up, so I worked it out and purchased the ball. I had to do some self-financing, but this is why I went to the National. I went to find stuff that I normally couldn't find at home, and I bought this ball because it would have been much higher on Ebay.
Greenberg is a really tough ball to get, and aside from Jimmie Foxx, he might have been at the top of my HOF ball want list at the time. This ball supplants my Carl Hubbell or Mickey Mantle as the best HOF ball that I have at the moment.
Normally, when one spends a large amount on something like this, there is a good bit of buyer's remorse. I can tell you that I have felt none of that with this baseball. My birthday is in September, and I look at it as a birthday present to myself. I work anywhere between 45 - 50 hours a week, my bills are always paid on time, and my family never has to want for anything. I was able to take a little chunk of money and have a ball (pun intended) at the National.
Greenberg (b. 1911 - d. 1986) played in the majors from 1930, 1933 to 1941 and 1945 to 1947 for the Tigers and Pirates. He retired with 1,628 hits, 331 home runs and a .313 batting average over his 13 seasons. He won the World Series with the Tigers in 1935 and 1945. He was the AL MVP in 1935 and 1940. Greenberg led the league in home runs in 1935 (36), 1938 (58), 1940 (41) and 1946 (44). His final season in 1947 was instrumental in turning Ralph Kiner into the home run hitter that allowed him into the Hall of Fame. Greenberg was a 4-time All Star (1937 - 40).
Greenberg would later become the general manager of the Indians (and part owner with Bill Veeck) in 1949. He would remain as GM and part owner until 1957. He later joined Veeck at part owner of the White Sox for a few seasons.
Greenberg was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1956 when he was named on 85% of the ballot (his 9th).
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
My son, Chris, got to meet Brooks as well. When I was buying up autograph vouchers, I made sure to get Brooks, and I really wanted Chris to meet him. He was gracious as always when he met us, and chatted a bit with Chris. Chris was wearing his uniform shirt from this season. He played on the Orioles and his uniform number that was randomly assigned to him was 5. Brooks's number.
Brooks is probably the most approachable Hall of Famer that there is. The two times that I met him, he was amazing, and I have always heard stories about how awesome he is with fans. As you can see, Brooks has aged over the last 6 years. He has battled various health issues of late, but seems to be a lot better than he has been the last couple of years. I attended the Evening With Brooks in 2009, and then I was at the game where the Camden Yards sculpture of Brooks was unveiled and dedicated. He means the world to the Orioles franchise, and to Oriole fans everywhere. It was always said that "They named a candy bar after Reggie Jackson in New York, but in Baltimore, they named their kids after Brooks Robinson."
I am so very thankful that I got the opportunity to meet Brooks again. I'm also very glad that Chris got to meet him as well. To close, here is the video of Chris and Brooks. Thanks for reading!