Saturday, December 31, 2011

Some Christmas Packs of 2011 Topps Update

One of the Christmas presents my wife got me was a blaster box of 2011 Topps Update Series.  It was the Target exclusive version, so inside were two red variation packs (nothing really of note in them) as well as the Commemorative Logo Patch.

The logo patch I got was the above Carlton Fisk Red Sox patch.  It looks pretty cool, even thought I'm not a Red Sox fan.

I got a Roberto Alomar cognac diamond parallel, but I already had it, but the above Koji Uehara diamond parallel was pretty nice.  Rumor has it that Texas is willing to trade Koji back to the Orioles since he really wants to be back in Baltimore.  I'd love to have him back.

Finally, this mini Kimball Champions insert of Vlad Guerrero was also pretty cool.  I didn't think Vlad was a bad pickup for the O's this past season.  Even though, $8 million for a singles hitter is pretty high.  It would have been nice if Guerrero had hit for a bit more power.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Sandy Koufax

Sandy Koufax turned 76 today.  Amazing to think that he has been in the Hall of Fame since 1972, making him one of the longest tenured players in the hall at this time (Stan Musial, elected in 1969, is the longest tenured living player right now).

Koufax was an awesome pitcher in his day.  I, for one, want to wish him a very happy birthday and many more to come.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

TTM Success - Will Clark

We got back from visiting the family Tuesday night to find one of my awesome mailers in my mail box.  I received a TTM success from Former first baseman Will Clark.

Clark (b. 1964) played in the majors from 1986 to 2000 for the Giants, Rangers, Orioles and Cardinals.  He amassed career totals of 2,176 hits, 284 home runs and a .303 batting average.

Clark signed for free and is my 41st TTM success.  He was my older brother's favorite baseball player growing up, so I made sure to tell him to send to Clark also.  I hope he gives it a shot.

I mailed to Will Clark on December 8, 2011 and got my ball back on December 27, 2011; a TAT of 19 days.  Not bad.  I like the inscription that he added, plus, he has a really nice signature.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An After-Christmas Present From Mom

So, a while ago, I wrote a blog post about an autographed baseball that my mom had stored on a shelf for years.  It turned out that the mystery ball was of Ryan Klesko.  When we found that ball hidden amongst a bunch of old picture frames and knick knacks, there was another ball that she wasn't quite ready to part with, her Nolan Ryan signed baseball...
I had to go back to Mom's house yesterday because of a family issue and happened to ask her about the ball.  I asked if I could have it, since I still hadn't gotten Ryan yet, and he answer was "[heck] no".  After about a minute or two, she hands me the ball, smiling.  Again, Mom likes to make me sweat.  Above is what the ball holder looked like upon receipt.  I'm keeping the ball holder; I'm just going to store it in the closet and keep the ball itself in my china cabinet in a ball cube.

Here is a look at the actual ball.  It seems that the dust has created an effective barrier for UV rays, as the signature looks amazing.

If I had to guess, I would guess that the ball is from around 1992 or so.  Around this time, Mom bought me my first signed baseball (Cal Ripken) waaaay back when Sam's Club sold baseball cards and assorted memorabilia.  I remember going in there and checking out the signed baseballs thinking that I would never be lucky enough to own one until one day when Mom handed me Cal.

I'm sure she got the Ryan ball around the same time (knowing how she loves a deal, she probably pounced on it).  As I sit here and type this entry, I'm thinking to myself, chuckling, Sam's Club sold autographed baseballs....

Anyway, Mom knows that I will cherish the ball along with all of my other signed baseballs.  Ryan has become my 59th Hall of Famer.  I've still got a long ways to go if I ever want to try to own as many Hall of Famers as possible, but this year has made a nice dent in the list.

Thanks again Mom!

**I'm not sure if any of you have noticed, but my mom actually reads this blog.  Sometimes she comments.  it is always nice when a parent shows interest in what their child is interested in.  I hope that when Chris is my age that he is just as passionate about something as I am.  I know that I will always thank my mom for supporting my baseball fixation from an early age.

Oh yeah...  Sam's Club used to sell autographed baseballs....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Presents From Mom Part Two

Moving right along with the Christmas haul, my mom also got me two more Minor League jerseys.

 The first jersey is this LeHigh Valley IronPigs jersey.  The IronPigs are the AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies and play in Allentown, PA.  They used to be known as the Ottawa Lynx until the team moved to Allentown in 2008.

She also got me this Toledo Mud Hens jersey.  The Mud Hens are the AAA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and play in Toledo, OH.

So, I now have two Kinston Indian jerseys along with those of the IronPigs, Mud Hens, Lansing Lugnuts and Montgomery Biscuits.  Mom said she enjoys getting them for me because she likes seeing what the team names are and that there are so many to choose from.  She told me that she hopes I can try to make it to some of the ballparks where the teams are based.  So, I guess I collect minor league jerseys now...

Thanks again Mom for the awesome stuff!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Presents From Mom Part One

I hope everyone had a great and safe Christmas.

I'll start my Christmas posts off with some of the stuff I got from my mom.  I plan on breaking up what I got into several posts, so check back often to see what all was received.

First off, I got two more Ball of Fame boxes.  Mom was really hoping I would pull the Mickey Mantle, as she is a big Yankee fan.  I wasn't that lucky, but got two really good baseballs, one of which I already had, but it was still an upgrade over the one I already had.

The first box I opened was Bruce Sutter.  I picked Sutter up last year, but this one is graded, so I consider it an upgrade.  I'll probably sell the other Sutter that I have.  If anyone is interested, let me know.

My other pull was a Hall of Famer who i didn't already have, so I was really happy.  It was also another 'full name' variation, so that made it even better.  I got Dennis Eckersley!  I have been wanting an Eck ball for a while, but have kept putting it off, so it is good to finally have him as my 58th Hall of Famer.

My mom always gets me awesome stuff, and there is a bit more to show!  Thanks again Mom!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Presents From Drew

Many of you who read this blog know that over the past three or so years, Drew over at Drewscards and I have become pretty close friends.  He is a really great kid whose passion for baseball and the hobby isn't matched by anyone else that I know.  He is also a very reliable friend when a lot of friends can let you down.

Drew surprised me the other day with a nice package that he sent as a Christmas present.  I knew about one of the cards because he got it at a recent card show, but went ahead and included it with his gift.  He also put some cards in to help with my needs list, which I have neglected over the past year as I have been pursuing more and more Hall of Fame autographs...

 Drew got this Jim Palmer 2008 Upper Deck Premier Manufactured Patch/Auto of Jim Palmer as the main part of the Christmas present.  This card looks so awesome.  Upper Deck did a good job designing the patch, and the auto fits nicely onto the card and doesn't take away from the design at all.

 Drew got this 2010 Topps Tribute Eddie Murray relic card from a recent card show.  He had told me about it because I had picked him up something cool from one of my shows (I wish I could remember what it was).  I like this card a lot as well.  I think Topps does a good job on Tribute, I just wish it wasn't so darn expensive.
 Drew also attacked my 1971 Topps want list.  Some of the cards are a bit rough, but are going to be used as set fillers until they can be upgraded.  There were several that will stay in my set, though.  The above Joe Torre and the below Hoyt Wilhelm highlight the cards that will stay in the set for sure.
This time of year, and especially this year since we had a death in the family, I try to make sure I let the ones I care about know that I am thinking of them.  It is always nice when you, also, find out that someone is thinking of you.  For Drew to think of me when he is browsing at a card show, or sorting his collection, means the world to me.

If you haven't yet visited his blog, I encourage you to do so.  he is definitely a great guy and an even better friend.

Thank you, Drew.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Results of the Topps Tier One Group Break at Nachos Grande

I took part in my first ever group break over at Nachos Grande not too long ago, and thought I'd show off what I ended up with:

I bought in with the Orioles for $35 for a six-box half case break of 2011 Topps Tier One.  With my entry, I was also awarded the Colorado Rockies.

I only got two Tier One cards, one of which is pictured below.

The Palmer looks nice.  I also got Carlos Gonzalez, which isn't too bad.  I was disappointed that I didn't get any of the hits, but oh well, that is the fun of a group break.  I won't discourage me from participating in another.
I did like that he threw in an Orioles 'team set' from Topps Lineage.  I have said before that I really like this set, so getting all of his Orioles was definitely a bonus for me.  This is a box of cards that I may purchase sometime soon, just to see what I can pull.

I also like that the Browns were included in the set (and the break as well).  It would have been nice to get the Sisler relic from Tier One, but I think Cobb was the big name pulled this go-round.

As I said, I wouldn't be discouraged from other group breaks in the future, even though I didn't get any huge hits out of this.  The price was fair and my disappointment of no huge hits was offset by the generosity of including other cards (a box of 2011 Allen and Ginter was also included in the break).

I, myself, would like to do a group break.  I failed a couple years ago to generate enough interest in a 2006 Upper Deck Epic group break (which I think ticked off a few bloggers who wanted to sign up).  I may attempt something of that sort sometime soon.  I do know that I need to have some kind of contest or something to keep getting this blog noticed....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

TTM Success - Wally Moon

M-O-O-N that spells MOON (How many people get THAT reference??).  Haha.  I got a TTM success on Monday, but have been trying to catch up on card show posts, so this one is a little delayed.

I wrote to the 1954 NL Rookie of the Year Wally Moon on November 28 and got my ball back on December 19.  That was a 21-day TAT.

Moon charges $6.00 for an autograph and an extra $2.00 for an inscription, which I think isn't bad at all.

Wally Moon (b. 1930) played in the majors from 1954 to 1965 for the Cardinals and Dodgers.  He retired with 1,399 hits, 142 home runs and a .289 batting average.

Moon is my 40th TTM success.  They are coming few and far between now, I'm running out of TTM ideas.  Anyone got any?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Couple Pickups From The Card Show

I didn't buy a single card for myself at the card show.  I purchased a few cards for a friend of mine that I thought he would enjoy, however.  I figured I would post them because they aren't ones that would normally end up on this blog.

The first is a 1950 Royal Pudding cutout of Ray Scarborough.  I learned of Ray Scarborough through my friend not too long ago.  He was a pitcher for the Senators, Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers from 1942, 43 and 1946 to 1953.  He had a career record of 80-85 with an ERA of 4.13 and 564 strikeouts.

After his playing career was over, he retired to Mount Olive, NC (which is about an hour or so from where I now live) and opened an oil and supply company.  He also helped to establish the baseball program at Mount Olive College.

My friend knew Mr. Scarborough personally, so anytime I can find something of his, I try to pick it up.

Additionally, I just thought this card looked really cool, so, I think it will be a nice little something to send his way.

I'm also helping my friend work on the 1963 Fleer set and I was able to pick up the short printed Joe Adcock that he needed for his set.

The card is pretty sharp, even though I scanned it crooked.

I had never heard of Adcock, so a little checking on showed that he played in the majors from 1950 to 1966 for the Reds, Braves, Indians and Angels.  He was a pretty good power hitter, hitting 336 homers in his career with 1,832 hits and a .277 batting average.

Sometimes it is far more fun to find stuff for others than it is for yourself, and this trip to the card show definitely showed that.  I also got to see some cards that I probably wouldn't have looked twice at otherwise.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TTM Succes - Lou Whitaker

Ok, I realized the other day as I was reading a book about baseball from the 1930s and 1940s, I am really starting to like and appreciate the Detroit Tigers.  No, I am not switching my allegiance from the Orioles to the Tigers.  I just like to read about the great players in Tigers' history.  You know, Virgil Trucks, of course, Hal Newhouser, Hank Greenberg, Ty Cobb, etc.

That being said, I received a TTM success from a former Tiger great when I got home from the show on Saturday, Lou Whitaker.

I mailed to Lou Whitaker on December 8, 2011 and received the ball back on December 17, 2011.  A TAT of 9 days.  Not bad at all.  One reason why it turned around so fast was because Lou Whitaker lives in Greensboro, NC.  I thought that was pretty cool.  He didn't charge a fee and inscribed the ball 2B and AL ROY 78.  It looks really awesome in person.

Whitaker is my 39th TTM success and my first since way back in November when I got 'Mule' Miles.

Whitaker played in the majors from 1977 to 1995, all for Detroit.  He won the World Series in 1984 and retired with 2,369 hits, 244 home runs and a .276 batting average.

More From The Card Show - Tony Perez Signed Baseball

So, while I was purchasing my Luis Aparicio ball at the show, I saw that the vendor had a good many other Hall of Famers at really good prices, so I swung a trade for another Hall of Famer that I didn't already have, Tony Perez.

I traded a 2011 Topps Starlin Castro auto, a Sweet Spot Classic glove auto of Toby Harrah and a Shane Victorino Topps auto.  I had no problem with this trade, since I needed Perez (and he doesn't really sign TTM).

I have a few members of The Big Red Machine, now, with Perez, Pete Rose and Johnny Bench.

Perez (b. 1942) played in the majors from 1964 to 1986 for the Reds, Expos, Red Sox and Phillies.  He had 2,732 hits, 379 home runs and a .279 career batting average.  He won the World Series in 1975 and 1976 while with the Reds.

He is my 57th Hall of Famer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hall of Famer Number 56 - Luis Aparicio

This is the only baseball that I bought straight up from anyone at this show.  I picked up 'Little Louie' from the same guy that I traded my Albert Pujols Stadium Club triple relic auto for my Bill Mazeroski and Don Drysdale balls.

I was able to get Aparicio for $40.  He is someone I have been wanting to get for a while now, since he was a former Oriole.

Aparicio played in the majors from 1956 to 1973 for the White Sox, Orioles and Red Sox.  He won the 1956 AL rookie of the year and the World Series with the Orioles in 1966. 

He retired with 2,677 hits, 506 stolen bases and a .262 batting average.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Card Show Day 3 And Hall of Famer Number 55

I scored big time today.  I also would like to mention that I did my 'scoring' today with minimal cash investment, which makes it that much more fun.

First off, today was a trying day at the card show.  Christopher forgot his 'listening' ears and was pushing my buttons all day long.  For some reason, a six-year old thinks the bathroom is a fun place and wanted to take a pee break seemingly every 5 minutes...  I think it was his way of saying "I'm bored, I want to walk around..." 

Anyway, other than that, he did really well for a six-year old bored out of his freaking mind at the show.  Sundays are slow days, but I still was able to sell a couple things, and I was able to have a good talk with blog readers Robert and his dad.  Really nice folks who are from the area that I always enjoy talking with at the show(s).

Well, I didn't buy myself any cards at this show, but that was mainly due to not being able to spend more than a few minutes browsing around, however, including yesterday's Reggie Jackson, I am now 4 Hall of Fame baseballs richer....

I got the above Johnny Bench via a semi-trade with another dealer.  I saw the ball yesterday while I was walking around.  The guy wanted $50 for it (it is a really toned ball, but looks cool).  I waited around today to see if my TTM Doug Harvey ball would sell, but after a few people looked at me like I was crazy for saying "Yes, this UMPIRE is in the Hall...", I decided to see if the guy would trade for it.  I was told by the JSA guy in attendance (and I remembered from seeing a couple on Ebay) that a Harvey ball would sell for about $50.  The dealer said that he would do the trade if I threw in $20 extra in cash.  I figured that was fair enough, since Bench baseballs go from $65-80 online.  Plus, I really only paid about $30 for my Harvey ball when you factor in cost of the ball itself, postage for the TTM and the $20 authentication fee...

So, my 55th Hall of Fame signed baseball is that of Johnny Bench!  I could have gotten Bench TTM from his website, but swinging this trade was a lot more fun.  So, if you do the math correctly, I traded an umpire and cash considerations for a 14x All Star, 2x MVP catcher.

Bench played in the majors from 1967 to 1983 for the Reds.  He won the World Series in 1975 and 1976 and was MVP of the NL in 1970 and 1972.  He was also the 1968 NL Rookie of the Year.

Stay tuned to see which were the final two baseballs that I was able to get.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Card Show Haul - Day 2

It is really hard to sell at a card show by yourself.  Having a partner helps tremendously, especially if you need to take a bathroom break.  This is why you won't see a 'Card Show Haul - Day 1' post on here.  It doesn't exist.

At the show on Friday, I was by myself at my tables so I wasn't able to take a look around at what the other guys had (which, I have learned, is a very effective way to save money).

Today, however, I had some help.  Ryan from O No Not Another Orioles Blog came down from the Richmond area to check out the Raleigh show.  I met Ryan at a show maybe 6 months ago and he is a really cool guy.  Luckily, this time, when we met up, the power didn't go out.

Anyway, before Ryan even got there, my son Chris and I walked around.  I was kind of scoping the place out before the show started to see if there was anything that caught my eye.  Something did, that's for sure.

I saw a table with a few signed baseballs.  On the table was the above Reggie Jackson signed baseball.  Under it was an index card which read:  Reggie Jackson $25.  I thought to myself 'No WAY!!!!"

I had seen Reggie's autograph numerous times and it definitely looked legit.  The catch?  The ball wasn't authenticated.  I spoke with the seller and he pretty much said he didn't feel like getting it authenticated, so he was going to let it go at that ridiculously low price.  He also told me that if it failed authentication, he would refund my money.  So, I bought the ball and walked it over to the JSA booth, filled out my form, paid my $20 authentication fee and an hour later?  I now have a JSA authenticated Reggie Jackson signed baseball.

Jackson is my 54th Hall of Fame signed baseball.  I'm hoping I can land maybe one more ball as the show winds down tomorrow.  We'll see.  Today definitely showed me that sometimes, not often, but sometimes when something looks too good to be true... it works out in my favor.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Historic Autographs Ball of Fame Break #2

Here is the second of my two Ball of Fame breaks.

I already had Irvin as well; I got him TTM last year with a donation to a local college that he supports.  However, that ball may not be available, since I may be working out a trade with Dustin over at No Relics Pulled.  We'll see.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Box Break - Historic Autographs Ball of Fame National Edition #1

I saw that Blowout had lowered the price of the Historic Autographs Ball of Fame National Edition boxes from $119 to $85 last week, so I decided to pick up two of them.  The difference between the 'National Edition' and the regular edition I opened (and got Wade Boggs) is that the National Edition baseballs are graded no lower than 9.5.  I figured getting a high grade HOF auto on a ball for that price would be worth the gamble.  I videoed both breaks, so here is break number 1:

I had already gotten Harvey TTM, but this version is already PSA authenticated, on an official MLB ball and graded at a 10.  So, that being said, my Harvey ball I got TTM will be going with me to the card show or can be put up for trade.  I'd prefer another ball for it, but I'm not going to be too picky.

Yes, that is Drew on Skype watching the box break.  Hi Drew!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More 2011 Topps Lineage - Got Some Autos

When I went to the card shop this past weekend and got my pack of Topps Marquee, I also picked up two more packs of 2011 Lineage.

I busted both packs and was happy to see that I pulled two autographs from the packs.

 I knew about these 1952 Topps autos and I really really really wanted to pull the Virgil Trucks.  THat would be awesome.  I got this Joe Astroth, though, and was still happy with it.  He played in the majors from 1945-1946 and 1949-1956 for the Philadelphia and Kansas City A's.  He had career numbers of 401 hits, 13 home runs and a .254 batting average.  This auto was an on card auto.

I also pulled this sticker auto of Johnny Gomes.  I'm indifferent towards whether an auto is on card or sticker.  It doesn't matter to me, as long as the card looks good, and both of these cards are pretty sharp.

So, one trip to the card shop and I get a Hank Aaron relic and two autographs.  Not too bad.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thoughts on 2011 Topps Marquee

It is rare when I can afford one of the higher end packs of cards, so when I am able to, it is a good day for me.  The bad thing about spending so much on one pack of cards is that if I get some scrub, it is really hard for me to want to take that kind of plunge again.

So, that being said, I went to the local card shop today to load up on supplies for this weekend's card show (come out and see me, I will be the guy wearing a bright orange Orioles shirt) and decided to get some packs.  I got 2 packs of Lineage (will post those in a later post), a pack of 2011 Finest and a pack of 2011 Topps Marquee (for $50 a pack...).

I opened the box and got base cards of Adrian Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz and the Clayton Kershaw pictured at the bottom of this post.  I had looked up hits from marquee on Ebay before I busted the box; some of it was impressive and some of it was underwhelming.  When I saw what my pull was going to be, I was pleasantly surprised:

A Titanic Threads #6/99 Hank Aaron.  I'm not sure if I want to part with this card; I think I want to keep it in my personal collection.  That is unless someone were to blow me away in a trade or cash.  I'm so glad I pulled Hank, as opposed to pulling a Pedroia or something...

Here is the base Kershaw.  The base cards are really sharp.  They kind of remind me of the Stadium Club cards that Topps put out in 2008 or so.

What Now?

So, ESPN has broken the news that Ryan Braun tested positive for a PED during the playoffs.  Braun is appealing the positive result through arbitration.  For more, you can check out this article.

According to the article that I linked above, Braun's representatives say: "There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan's complete innocence and demonstrate that there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident that he will ultimately be exonerated."

Braun himself told USA Today "It's BS."

That may be true, Ryan, but as we all know in today's world of social media and reporters' wanting to all be first to report something, it seems that the days of "innocent until proven guilty" are long gone.  The reason that the positive result hadn't been made public was because of the appeal process.  I'm trying my best to not rush to judgement on him as well, but as far as I or anyone else knows, no one has ever successfully appealed a positive PED test result.

Also, saying that you didn't knowingly take steroids (Barry Bonds) or blaming former teammates for tainted B-12 injections (Rafael Palmeiro) or taking them because they taste like candy (Manny Ramirez) {ok, I made that last reason up} won't lessen the public outcry for your head.

Even if Braun wins his appeal, what will this do for the actual drug testing program for MLB?  As much as I would like to see Braun exonerated, if this in fact does happen (and that is a slim if), then the validity of the whole drug testing program comes under suspicion.  So, I sure hope there is a good and valid reason as to why he had a failed test.  If not, then he is just like Bonds, Giambi, Sheffield, Canseco, McGwire, etc... 

Matt Kemp must really know how Mike Greenwell feels now, huh?  It would be unprecedented if the BBWAA stripped Braun of his NL MVP award and awarded it to Kemp.  They haven't taken Bonds' 7 awards away. 

My older brother texted me last night all fired up about "MLB knew about the failed test, but went ahead and gave him the award anyway...  I hate baseball..."  This is coming from a huge NFL, College Football and UFC fan.  I love my brother and you have to realize that he gets really fired up, but with all those sports he is fond of...  pot, meet kettle.

I can imagine how Braun felt, apparently being notified of the failed test in October, but yet fielding questions about and eventually accepting the MVP award.  It reminds me of Rafael Palmeiro getting his 3,000th hit but knowing of his failed test weeks before.  Uncomfortable!

Anyway, I'd like to wait to see the resolution of his appeal before I cast Braun into the fold of the known abusers, but it doesn't look like it is an easy road ahead for him.  Again, to my knowledge, no one has won an appeal yet.  It just doesn't make sense for someone like Braun, who has been tested throughout his whole career.  He was tested in the minors and all through his MLB career.  He is very in tune with his 'brand', which is why he signed the contract he signed with the Brewers back in April.  Also, what are the 'unusual circumstances' that his representatives were speaking of?

Blehhh, what a mess you've stepped in, Ryan.  Good luck to you, but it's going to be an uphill climb.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hall of Fame Ebay Success - Carl Hubbell

I have been saving money lately so that I can knock some more baseballs off of my want list. However, I have been so indecisive about what I wanted to buy that I have been racking up the savings.  I thought to myself that I could take what I've saved and get a big name like Mantle or DiMaggio; keep saving and try for a Dizzy Dean or Jimmie Foxx or spread it out to several hall of famers that I normally wouldn't be able to buy.

That's when I went on Ebay and started looking at all that I could get with what I had saved.  After days of looking at prices, I jumped on a Hall of Famer who was kind of on the tier as far as average price of a Mantle or DiMaggio.  Ok, well, maybe on the lower end.

Anyway, I jumped all over this PSA authenticated Carl Hubbell.  After doing some research, I found that a signed ball of Hubbell went on average for around $300-$350, so when I saw the price this one was at, I had to grab it.  Let's just say, I got it for a decent bit less than the lower average price.

Hubbell is my 53rd Hall of Fame signed baseball and is definitely one of my more valuable ones (his and Ted Williams, I would rank as my top 2).  Charlie Gehringer is still my 'oldest', having a career that spanned from 1924 to 1942.  As far as actual player age, Gehringer beats Hubbell by a little over a month, having been born in May 1903 to Hubbell being born in June 1903.  Putting that into perspective, my great-grandparents were both born in 1901, only 2 years before Hubbell (and Gehringer) were born, and my Grandmother was born in 1927, only a year before Hubbell began playing in the Majors... 

Carl Hubbell (b. 1903 - d. 1988) played in the majors from 1928 to 1943, all for the New York Giants.  He was a 2-time MVP (1933 and 1936) and won the World Series in 1933.  He had a career record of 253-154, 1,677 strikeouts and a 2.98 ERA.  He won 20 games or more 5 years in a row (1933 to 1937).

In 1934, Hubbell set an All Star game record by striking out 5 batters in a row (the record was later broken in 1984 when Fernando Valenzuela and Doc Gooden combined to strike out 6 batters).  Funny thing is, though, is that the 5 batters Hubbell struck out all ended up becoming Hall of Famers.  He struck out, in succession, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Congratulations, Ron Santo

I was very happy today to learn that Ron Santo was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame via the Veterans Committee.