Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Even More Mail From Drew - LaMarr Hoyt Signed Baseball

Another player Drew was able to have sign for me was former Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt.

Hoyt pitched from 1979 to 1986 for the White Sox and Padres. He had a career record of 98-68 with a 3.99 ERA and 681 strikeouts. He won the Cy Young Award in 1983 when he went 24-10 with an ERA of 3.66 and 148 strikeouts. I didn't know until I looked him up that he was from Columbia, SC.
Hoyt's once promising career was derailed by numerous off the field problems that revolved around drug use. He was arrested 4 times on various drug possession charges and was banned at one time by then commissioner Peter Uberroth. The ban was lifted by an arbitrator, but Hoyt would never make it back onto a Major League field. Today, he is drug free and serves as a roving instructor in the White Sox system. He is definitely one of those 'could have been' players who you wonder just how good he could have been if he had been able to successfully battle his demons before they ruined his career.

Monday, May 30, 2011

More Mail From Drew - Luis Tiant Signed Baseball

Drew is so lucky. He knows it, too. He is able to meet a ton of former players at the White Plains (NY) card shows, while I have yet to see any big names at the Raleigh (NC) shows... He has met countless former players (several Hall of Famers, too!!) at past shows. Another good thing about Drew, though, is that since he is a really good friend, he will agree to get a signature or two for me if I ask nicely enough. The last show he went to was no different, where he got 2 signatures for me. Here is the first:

Former pitcher, Luis Tiant. Tiant pitched in the majors from 1964 to 1982 amassing a record of 229-172 with 2,416 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.30. He played for the Indians, Twins, Red Sox, Yankees, Pirates and Angels.

Tiant was a good pitcher, winning 20+ games four times in his career, but he also lost 20 games in one season as well. He never won a World Series, or the Cy Young Award. He managed to stay on the Hall of Fame ballot every year he was eligible (1988 to 2002) but never got close to the 75% approval needed to gain election.

Once again, Drew helped me out and I am very grateful. I think the ball looks great!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lots of Mail From my Good Buddy Drew

I can always count on my good buddy Drew to send me cool stuff periodically, and this latest batch of mail from him was no different. He was kind enough to share some of his spoils from the great and wonderful mystery binder.First up is this awesome 1968 Topps 'Bird Belters' card showing Brooks and Frank Robinson (no relation). I love the 1968 set, and this card is an awesome part of it.

He also included some Topps Jumbos (I think these are from 1967). First is former Oriole shortstop Luis Aparicio. I just missed landing an Aparicio auto off of ebay the other day, but I was outbid at the last second. He is definitely someone I plan on knocking off of my list very soon.

I also got this awesome Warren Spahn jumbo. You can never go wrong with the winningest lefty of all time. Spahn was amazing, and I'm glad Drew included this card!

Drew had a couple extra 1991 Upper Deck Mike Mussina RCs, so he threw one in for me. I'm sure I have this card somewhere in my collection, but I can't find it, so when I saw Drew had thrown it in, I was really happy. Mussina was a great pitcher who is vastly underrated, in my opinion. He should be enshrined in Cooperstown in the not too distant future.

Speaking of Oriole hurlers, Drew included a Topps Diamond parallel Brian Matusz. Matusz has yet to throw a pitch this season but is scheduled to make his 2011 debut on Tuesday against the Mariners. He can't get into the rotation too soon. The O's definitely need another starter who isn't a guaranteed loss.

Finally, Drew included his damaged custom that he had signed by Bobby Shantz. Drew was having some issues with the type of glue that he was using, so when this came back damaged, he sent off another one, to much greater success. I just think it is a cool card and was glad that he thought of me to give it to.

So, if you haven't checked his blog already, please head over to http://drewsbbcards.blogspot.com and give him a read. He is a great blogger, and an even better friend. Thanks buddy!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

TTM Success - Tommy Lasorda

I got a nice surprise in the mail today, a ball I sent off way back in October to the one and only Tommy Lasorda. I sent this ball off the same time I sent off to Virgil Trucks. Looks like Lasorda finally got to my box. I'm really happy that this one came; I was afraid that it wouldn't. Lasorda makes my 32nd ball of a Hall of Famer. It was even forwarded from my old address, which is good. I have maybe 4 more balls that had mailers addressed to my old apartment. So, that being said, I now have 2 iconic managers in Lasorda and Earl Weaver, both being had by TTM. I bet Lasorda gets TONS of mail, so I definitely am lucky he was able to get to my baseball and send it back. I also love that he personalized it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Card Shop Pickup - Replacing the Hank Aaron Baseball

I have a lot of stuff to post still, lots of mail, and some more leftovers from the card show, but I really wanted to get my latest Hall of Fame baseball posted... Hank Aaron!

That's right, I replaced my fake Aaron ball with an authentic ball signed by the true home run king.

I spent this past weekend in Columbia, SC visiting my younger brother. He always takes me to this awesome antique store/card shop, and as it turns out, a good friend of mine used to be in the card business with the proprietor of the shop, so I know he is definitely on the up and up. I saw his signed Aaron ball immediately as I entered the shop. I asked him how much he wanted for it, and was satisfied with the price, so I purchased it, along with 25 high numbers to fill in my 1970 Topps set.

I am really happy that I was able to replace my Aaron ball cheaply, and I know it is authentic this time, as opposed to being suspicious. The shop owner had several other HOF signed baseballs, so I may have to pick another up next time I visit my brother.

If you look at this ball vs the fake ball, the differences jump out right away. They jump out more so in person than via photo, which is what I tried to do with the fake ball. I had compared it to PSA authenticated balls on Ebay and it seemed to match up. Now, though, I can definitely see a difference. Oh well, I have learned from my mistake. I now have 31 baseballs signed by Hall of Famers. I'm curious to see who will be next to be added to the list...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Card Show Pickup - 1948 Bowman Ralph Kiner RC

I picked up another huge need for my 1948 Bowman set at the card show. I got this Ralph Kiner rookie card from a dealer who I buy from on a regular basis. He always does me well with prices, so I was happy to take it off of his hands. I now have 20 cards from the 1948 set (42%). I still need the Johnny Mize and Yogi Berra RCs, which should take me a while.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hall of Fame Baseball Ebay Success - Charlie Gehringer

I got really lucky on an OLD Hall of Famer recently when I was able to get this Charlie Gehringer signed ball on Saturday. It was an auction that I won that ended up costing me $120. I had some tax return money left that my wife allowed me to use on anything I wanted, so I wanted to get an auto of an older Hall of Famer.

Gehringer was a solid player in his career that spanned from 1924 to 1942, playing the entire time for the Detroit Tigers. Gehringer was a very good hitter, hitting above .300 in 13 full seasons and .330 or above in 6 seasons. He was also the 1937 AL MVP.

Gehringer was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1949 via a runoff (his 5th year on the ballot). He is now the Hall of Famer elected the longest ago that I have in my collection. He is also the longest-ago MVP that I have as well.

The ball is PSA/DNA authenticated and I verified the code before I made the purchase. I am really happy with this baseball and it looks awesome in my china cabinet. I also was happy to get Gehringer because he was a coach for Virgil Trucks, so I can play six degrees of Kevin Bacon with those two, haha.

Gehringer is my 30th Hall of Fame autograph on a baseball.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hall of Fame Baseball Ebay Success - Tony Gwynn

I got this sweet baseball signed by Tony Gwynn off of Ebay and it arrived at my doorstep yesterday afternoon. I had been checking on prices to Gwynn baseballs ever since I learned that he had battled mouth cancer after years of smokeless tobacco use. I have always been a big fan of Gwynn. I was real ashamed when I heard from my good friend P.A. that Gwynn was less than personable at a recent signing last summer in Durham. I'm hoping it can be chalked up to maybe it being because Gwynn had learned of his diagnosis with the cancer instead of it being because he was a jerk. From everything else I have heard, he is one of the nicest guys in baseball. I take P.A.'s word on it though, because you seriously can't find a nicer guy than him.

Anyway, Gwynn had an amazing career. He played his entire career with the Padres from 1982 to 2001. He hit over .300 in each season he played with the exception of his 1982 campaign (he played in 54 games that season). Although he won eight batting crowns, he never finished higher than 3rd in the NL MVP voting (1984). His 3,141 hits rank 18th all-time and his career .338 batting average ranks 19th all-time. His .394 batting average in 1994 is the closest any player has come to batting above .400 since Ted Williams did it in 1941.

Gwynn is my 29th Hall of Famer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

TTM Success - Fergie Jenkins

I got home on Tuesday to another TTM success - Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins. He charges a $25.00 fee, so I sent a check along with this ball in hopes that I could get his signature. Jenkins didn't disappoint; the auto looks great! I mailed to him on May 7, 2011 and got the ball back on May 17 - making him a 10-day TAT. Not too bad! Mostly known as a Cub, Jenkins began his career as a member of the Phillies in 1965. He was then traded to the Cubs in 1966 and played there until moving on to Texas and Boston followed by returning to the Cubs before calling it a career. Jenkins went 24-13 for the Cubs in 1971, earning the 1971 NL Cy Young Award. He went 25-12 for Texas in 1974 and finished second in the Cy Young voting that year to Oakland's Catfish Hunter. Jenkins was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991 on 75.4% (his 3rd time on the ballot). With Gaylord Perry, I have 2 of the 3 inductees from that year; needing Rod Carew to complete the 1991 Ballot. Jenkins is my 28th Hall of Famer and my 16th TTM success.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Card Show Pickup - 1922 E-120 American Caramel Joe Sewell

I am a huge fan of odd vintage cards and when I saw that a dealer at the show had a bunch of tobacco and other early 20th century cards, I had to stop and check out his wares. I happened upon several binder sheets of cards that look like the one pictured below:This is a 1922 E-120 American Caramel Series of 120 Cards Joe Sewell. (This is the description that the vendor read off to me).
I wrote a Hall of Fame Spotlight on Sewell that you can find here, if you haven't read it already. I am still amazed that he only had 114 career strikeouts and completed the 1932 season with only 3 strikeouts (the fewest ever for a full season by any major leaguer in history).

I really enjoy the design of these cards. I like the almost sepia look to them. Apparently the American Leaguers were featured on cards of this color and National Leaguers were featured on cards with a bluish hue to them. I suppose I will try to find a blue one at some point so I can write about it here as well. I hope you all enjoyed this because I really like this card.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Harmon Killebrew: June 29, 1936 - May 17, 2011

We all, unfortunately, knew this day was coming sooner than later, but I really didn't think it would be this soon. I was real sad on Friday when I got the text message from Pete saying that Harmon Killebrew elected to cease treatment for his esophageal cancer and enter into Hospice care. A mere four days later, Killebrew passed away, leaving a gaping hole in the world of Minnesota sports and baseball in general. Killebrew was a larger than life legend in Minnesota and the greater northwest. He is the person responsible for the success of baseball in Minnesota and one of the most popular players in Twins history. It has been a rough six months for the Hall of Fame, losing Bob Feller, Duke Snider and now Killebrew.

I'm real sad to hear the news of Killebrew's passing and I know the whole baseball world will miss him.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hall of Fame Baseball Ebay Success - Eddie Murray

Getting back on the horse... I picked up another Hall of Fame autographed baseball the other day; this time making sure the ball was authenticated by a reputable company.I have been wanting an Eddie Murray ball for a long time, seeing as Murray is an Oriole Hall of Famer. He is also one of 4 players who had 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. I now need Frank Robinson, Roberto Alomar and Luis Aparicio to complete my Oriole Hall of Famers. I have George Kell, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Robin Roberts and Cal Ripken.
So, Murray is my 27th Hall of Famer. I wish he did TTM, but I have not seen anywhere that he has, so I went the supposed next best route in picking the ball up on Ebay. Let's hope that the ball is real this time. I verified the JSA authentication, so it is definitely authentic. Maybe I can get past my recent Ebay fail and move on and add a bunch more AUTHENTIC baseballs. THat's not too much to ask is it?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Card Show Success Part 2 - Completing the Trade

So, I posted yesterday about making a trade at the card show - My 2008 Stadium Club Pujols triple relic/auto plus a Felix Hernandez auto, Pedroia Relic Auto and another auto that escapes my memory right now for the awesomely old (authenticated) Mazeroski autoed ball and the beauty above... Don Drysdale JSA authenticated autoed baseball!

So, by my unofficial count, this Drysdale is HOF ball number 26. It feels like I have already said I had 26 baseballs before this one but I will get to that in a later post.

Anyway, I was really pleased with the haul I got in return for those autoed cards. I knew the guy I traded the Pujols for would be able to turn it around (along with the other cards) for a profit, but I had been looking at baseballs of several different Hall of Famers and Drysdale is always very expensive. I figured, why not go ahead and go for it while I have the chance and some trade bait instead of dropping cash on one on Ebay and getting some bad news about it later on (more on that later.....)

I hope you guys enjoy the baseballs as much as I do. I still have a LOT more to talk about concerning the card show, so please stay tuned!

Friday, May 13, 2011

May 13-15 Raleigh, NC Card Show - First of Many Awesome Pickups

So, I had been sitting on my 2008 Topps Stadium Club Triumverate (triple relic/auto) Albert Pujols for a good while now. It had gotten a lot of looks in my display case, but no one wanted to jump on the price. I didn't want to sell it at a yard sale price, so I have been sitting on it... until today. I guy came by my booth and was eyeing the Pujols; we talked for a bit, then he went off to some other tables. I was pretty bored, so I got up and checked a table out that had some autographed baseballs and lo and behold, it was the guy who was looking at my Pujols. He had a couple baseballs that I liked, so we ended up working out a trade...... I traded the Pujols and a couple other autos for the above Mazeroski ball and another ball that will be posted later...

I really liked this Mazeroski ball (my 26th Hall of Famer) because it is seriously OLD. It is a Charles Feeney NL ball with very faded stitching. I think it is really cool. It's actually a Spalding ball, which, if anyone has been paying attention, Rawlings has been making the official baseballs for a while now. I looked up Charles (Chub) Feeney, and he was the president of the NL from 1969-1986, so the ball is from at least prior to 1986. Not bad. I like how some of the old baseballs look. This and the other ball I got were JSA authenticated, so I looked them up when I got home and they were legit. So, I'm really excited for sure. I hope you all like this one as well. When you see the other ball I got with this, you'll know I and the other guy pulled off a good trade.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

TTM Success - Gaylord Perry

I mailed a ball and a check for $25.00 to Gaylord Perry on April 25, 2011 and got the signed ball back today. I thought that since Perry lived in NC, it wouldn't take as long for the ball to get here, but it took him almost 2 weeks to claim his box. I'm sure he was busy. Thankfully, he claimed the box and signed my ball. He inscribed the ball with his HOF induction year (1991) and his career win total (314). Not bad for $25.00 plus shipping costs. I'm really happy with the ball, of course. Even cooler is that the bus driver that I had in high school grew up with Gaylord and Jim Perry. On the way to school, he would tell us stories about playing sandlot ball with the Perry brothers. That definitely made the ride to school so much more bearable.

Perry is now my 25th HOF auto on a ball. I still have a long way to go, but I think I have made a good dent so far.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hall of Fame Baseball Ebay Success - Robin Roberts

I got this sweet PSA authenticated Robin Roberts signed baseball in the mail today. I got the ball for $37.00 with free shipping. Roberts is my 24th baseball signed by a Hall of Famer. Not too bad. I have a long ways to go, but I'm pretty happy with who I have so far. I'm still baffled at how cheaply I obtained this ball. Roberts is by far the cheapest Hall of Fame baseball I have ever seen, so I had to jump all over this ball when I saw it. I wish it was inscribed with his HOF year, but for what I paid, and that it is authenticated, I really have no room to complain.

I was listening to the Orioles game last week when they were in a rain delay in Kansas City. During the delay the Kansas City announcers interviewed Orioles Hall of Famer Jim Palmer. I never knew this, but Palmer was paired with Roberts during his (Palmer's) rookie season. Roberts became Palmer's mentor (and roommate) that season and was one of the people responsible for molding Palmer into the Hall of Famer that he became. I thought this was really cool to hear. Roberts was an awesome pitcher, for sure, so I'm very glad to have his autograph. I also just remembered that when I did my interview with Virgil Trucks, he remarked on how Roberts was one of the best pitchers he had ever seen pitch.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thoughts on 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen

The scans kind of suck, because the cards kept sliding on the glass, but here we go with 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen. I picked up 2 packs from ym local card shop at $7.50 a pack (!!!!!!). I got some decent pulls, as far as players go. The above Frank Robinson was my lone Oriole. A pretty cool shot of him, nonetheless.

This Babe Ruth was pretty sweet. Especially since it depicts him in a Red Sox jersey.

I was also happy to see Jimmie Foxx in my pack. I don't have very many Foxx cards, so it is always cool to see him pop up.

I know a couple Yankee fans who would be happy to have this Reggie Jackson. I have already promised it to my good buddy Drew. The card looks pretty good, though, so I'm sure he will be happy with it.

Finally, I pulled this George Sisler mini numbered 9/10. I don't know if it is a parallel based on other minis, but seeing that it was a 9/10 was pretty cool. Since the Browns were the team that became the Orioles, and Sisler is probably the greatest Browns player there was, it is kind of cool to have the card.

Overall, I'm a little underwhelmed with Gypsy Queen, especially since the pack price was so high. It would have been cool to get a relic or auto, but knowing my luck, I'd pull Mark Prior. Blehh. Overall, the design is ok. I feel like the market is flooded with vintage sets. I think it is about time to put the re-issue concept to bed for a while.

Monday, May 2, 2011

TTM Success - Brooks Robinson

I received a TTM today from one of my favorite players of all time, Brooks Robinson! I already had a ball signed by Brooks that my awesome mom got me for Christmas a few years back. However, I saw that he was doing TTMs for a brief period through his webpage, so I thought it would be worth my $42.00. I got a scare, though, when I heard that Brooks was in the hospital at the end of March.

Luckily, Brooks came through fine and I got my ball signed after a bit of a delay. It looks great! I'm really happy to be able to say that I got a TTM from Brooks, since I didn't take any baseballs with me to my meeting with him in October 2009. I was the only one, apparently, who honored the whole "do not bring items for autographs" thing posted on my ticket.

I'm happy Brooks is ok now, and I'm happy to add this to my collection. I now have 2 balls signed by Brooks and 2 balls signed by Cal. Not bad, I think.