Thursday, March 31, 2011

What a Way To Start it Off!

Hey guys, Drew back here. I just got back from school and immediately turned on Yankees baseball for the first time in a long time! It was a great start to the season, mostly propelled by the great performance by Curtis Granderson, who hit a long home run into the 2nd deck to break the tie in the 7th inning. Granderson also made 2 incredible catches, one being a diving catch in the 1st inning and the other being a beautiful over the shoulder snag in the 9th inning. CC Sabathia started the game, giving up 3 runs in 6 innings with 7 strikeouts, a perfect quality start. As always, Rivera came in and shut the Tigers down in the 9th, after new Yankee Rafael Soriano dominated the 8th. Joba Chamberlain got the win after pitching the seventh inning.

As I've said I've never been more excited for baseball than this year, and what a fun way to start it off! Let's Go Yankees! Keep it up!

Happy Opening Day Everyone!

See Ya!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

White Plains Card Show Recap 3/27/11! Part 2!

Hey guys, Drew back here. Today we continue the mini series of White Plains card show pickups that I got last Sunday. This time I'm going to show you some of the newer cards I picked up as well as sharing the stories behind them!

2011 Topps Heritage Nick Swisher Green Refractor SP
This card cost me $5, which I thought at first was very steep for an insert card. However, I looked at some of the listings for this card, and it seems like the price I paid was somewhat fair. This was my only Swisher pickup at this show, but its a really nice card. Sometimes picking up a card without a bat or jersey relic or a scribble turns out nicer.

2007 Tristar Autothentics Blue Elvis Andrus Auto /250
I bought this card as well as the next card from the same seller. He seemed like a fairly nice guy, so I wanted to buy a little off of him. Andrus may not be Jeter, but he's turning out to be a great young shortstop. Plus, he has a really cool autograph! From counting, I think there's a good 17 or 18 loops in that entire autograph, and I feel bad for him because signing like that so many times has to hurt after a while! This is a nice card in person, but if it was on card I would like it more, since the sticker auto seems to be dirty on the corners and takes away from the appearance of the card.

2004 Upper Deck Legends Graig Nettles Autograph
Over the years, I've managed to pick up quite a few Yankees autographs, especially of players from the 1970's era. However, a few always eluded me, and this was one of them. Graig Nettles is one of those Yankees that should have been given more of an opportunity at the Hall of Fame. Had Brooks Robinson, possibly THE best 3rd baseman of all time, not scooped up all the Gold Gloves at the time, Nettles would've won a few Gold Gloves more than the 2 he owns today. He was an All Star, a Yankee captain, a strong power hitter, and a World Series champion, and I'm happy to finally add his auto to my collection, especially on a card that describes him so much.

1994 Classic Cream of the Crop Derek Jeter RC
The seller who sold me the previous 2 cards threw this in for free, and while it's not overly valuable and comparable to his top rookies, its a nice card of Derek Jeter before he began to make millions of bucks. The countdown to 3,000 hits begins Thursday, and I never could be more excited for the newest season!

2008 UD SPX Dan Uggla Autograph
Dan Uggla's been one of those players I've grown a lot of appreciation for over the past couple of seasons. I took him on both of my fantasy baseball teams this year, after he hit an incredible year last year for my team. He hits a lot of home runs and drives in a lot of runs, which is rare to find in a second baseman. He might not be as good as Robby Cano, but I think with one more good season Chase Utley will no longer be the 2nd best second baseman in the game.

2008 Topps Triple Threads Andre Ethier Triple Relic Auto /99
When this guy is healthy, he sure can hit! He was on my fantasy team last year, and when games counted, he always showed up. If he can limit injuries and stay consistent, he could have an excellent season this year! His autograph sure is atrocious but the card looks nice, and is only numbered to 99. It's been a while since I got a card from this set, so I felt like it was about time to get another.

2008 UD SPX Andy Pettitte Patch /99
Mike had a really fun time at the show, especially when it came to patches. He bought 2 patches himself and hopefully I can get a picture of them to show off on here. But, this one I had to claim dibs on, and I'm so happy I did. For a nice price of $8 from my favorite dealer at the entire show, a guy named Hunter, I got this 3 color patch of Andy along with a small jersey piece with a pinstripe! Talk about all in one! Even though he's not shown as a Yankee and the patch is clearly from an Astros uniform, it will safely rest in my Yankees collection!

2005 Upper Deck Heroes Wade Boggs Auto /99
My final pickup of the day was a good one. It took me literally an hour of pacing around the show with about $30 on me, trying to decipher what I wanted most. This Wade Boggs autograph was the one I walked home with, and I couldn't be happier. Again, I bought the card from Hunter, my favorite seller of all of the ones I've dealt with, and I couldn't have found a better place to give my money to. Boggs was an outstanding player, maybe more notably for Boston, but he won a World Series with the Yankees in 1996, something the Red Sox could never deliver their All Star. He retired with over 3,000 hits, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005 along with Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg.

What do you think of my/dad's pickups? We've got a little more to come still, so stay tuned for that!

See Ya!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

White Plains Card Show Recap 3/27/11! Part 1!

Hey everyone, Drew back here! Today, as I mentioned in my previous post, I went to the White Plains card show. Mike, Joemama, and I made the trip to the Westchester County Center, to meet some players, spend some money, and have a great time. We did all 3. Well, the day had its ups and downs, but majority were certainly ups. Over the next week or so, I'm going to highlight to you some of the things I got at the show. I'll start small with pack breaks, and end big with the players I got the opportunity to meet! For now, between Dad and I's pickups, here are some of the packs we bought:

In the dollar bin, dad picked up 2 packs each of 2002 Upper Deck World Series Heroes, and 2002 Upper Deck Ballpark Idols. We'll start with Ballpark Idols.

The cards not shown in the scan are Kevin Appier and Brandon Duckworth. Overall I've never seen this set, pretty much since it was mixed in with the thousands of random releases Upper Deck made around this time. For $1 each you really can't go wrong but there really was nothing exciting in these.

Again, not shown are Jose Rijo and Matt Williams. Click on the scan if you're curious to see a closer up shot of the cards. Anyway, from the 2002 World Series set, here are 8 fantastic cards of some great players. I've always liked this set, but never got much of it. Rickey Henderson and David Wells' cards are my favorite of the ones I pulled though.

After those 4 packs, I also bought myself 3 packs of the all new 2011 Topps Heritage baseball series. I've seen too much of this stuff already and I'm really liking the way Topps went about the set this year. One thing I've noticed is that the disgusting gum you normally get in these packs are resting in peace for the year which is an improvement, especially when they added one more card per each pack as a replacement.

Pack 1 was a great pack in my opinion. The 1 card not shown was of David Aardsma, but none of you guys care about him so I figured you didn't have to see his bald head. While I like the CC Sabathia and Brian McCann cards, my favorites of the pack are the A-Rod New Age Performers card and the Halladay Perfect game highlight card. I really think Topps hit a home run with the way they did the inserts this year, because they look great.

Pack 2 didn't have the insert flair of Pack 1, but I'm still happy because I got 2 more Yankees for the collection, in Andy Pettitte and Mark Teixeira. I also like Chris Perez now since he spent some of his contract money to buy the cut autograph booklet card of the 1927 Yankees team recently found in 2010 Topps Tribute.

The final pack contained some more very nice cards. It was thicker because I ended up pulling a Jake McGee chrome rookie card numbered to 1962, which I liked a lot. Also got a Jeter insert as well as one of those cool Babe Ruth special cards. The card highlights his time spent with the Dodgers as a coach before his retirement. Ruth apparently always wanted to manage a team, but he never got the opportunity in his life.

The final part of this post, is about some mystery packs I bought from one seller. He was selling $3 packs, each containing one auto or game used card and some other cards alongside the hit. I bought 1, and dad bought 5 of them, for $10. Let me tell you, we could have done a lot better, and I'm not going to bother show anything but the 6 relics we ended up pulling.

First off was this Shin-Soo Choo jersey relic from 2009 Upper Deck Sweet Spot. In my opinion, he could be the most underrated player in baseball, since hardly anyone knows how good he actually is. Last year, he batted .300 with 22 home runs and 90 RBI. Shin-Soo WHO?

This guy pitched for China in the World Baseball Classic. And theres a piece of his jersey. Wooo.

Next was a Brian Stokes relic. He was a Met after his stint with the Rays, and then became a free agent. I hope that explains the jist of how good he is.

Now we have Carlos Beltran. He was good, but now he's old and the Mets really shouldn't be relying on him this year to play in their lineup. We'll see though. By the way, I love Allen & Ginter, in case you didn't know!

From 2010 Topps Pro Debut, here's a Trevor Reckling jersey card. This has to be the largest swatch I've ever gotten in my collection, and it's numbered to 139. He's a pitcher in the Angels organization, and I don't know much else about him. Still a cool card though.

The final card was my 1 hit in my bag, a Hunter Pence manufactured patch numbered to only 10! The guy is convinced that the thing is a real jersey, but anyone that knows anything about Upper Deck Premier knows that this thing is fake. It's a really nice card though, my first from the set.

Well, that'll just about do it for the first post in the series! Stay tuned for the second part, coming soon to drewscards!

See Ya!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tomorrow's Big Show! White Plains Anyone?

Hey everyone, Drew back here, but I won't be tomorrow! As some of you know, tomorrow there is a baseball card show down in White Plains, New York, which is a little ride from my house. I've been to about 4 of these shows in the past, and never left disappointed at all! I always save up a lot of money, and I'm able to not only add a bunch of nice cards to my collection, but also I get the opportunity to meet some former players. Tomorrow I will be meeting 5 different players, if the time works out on my side, and will have 5 signed customs to come home with! Mike is also coming along to the show, for his 3rd time, and as always Joemama! We can't wait any longer.

I have the wantlist ready to go, customs printed, as well as one more big item that I will be taking over to the show. I don't want to spoil anything, as always I have a tendency to want to surprise you guys more than just telling you what I'm going to do.

So stay tuned everyone! And PLEASE comment if you're going tomorrow! I would love to know!

See Ya!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Connor's Card Collection!

Hey everyone, Drew back here! I have a really special post for all of you now, and it may not contain the crazy ridiculous "mojo" that you collecting hounds search for, but it's exciting for me to share for sure! So I'm running a fantasy baseball league this year as always with my school friends, and this kid was the newest member of the league this season. He's got a grade on me, but he's a diehard Yankees fan just like myself! I got talking with him, and I told him about this blog! He checked it out, and was really impressed, and was even interested in starting one himself!

So, everyone, please go over to
and give him a nice welcoming to the hobby! Let's show him the love so that he won't have to wait for months for a first subscriber, like I unfortunately suffered through!

Thanks so much everyone, as always, you're the best!

See Ya!

Revealing the Mysterious Binder... A Little at a Time... Sandy Koufax & The LA Dodgers Edition

Hey guys, Drew back here. So, as I've been doing lately, I've been showing off a few cards at a time from my holy grail of collecting, the binder of brilliance! This time I'm paying tribute to Sandy Koufax and some of his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates! Let's see what the binder of brilliance has to share of this pitching legend:

First, we have two cards from the 1964 set, from the 1963 World Series Highlights subset! They show Koufax and his famous powerful windup, with the headline above proclaiming his 15 strikeouts in Game 1 of that series against the Yankees. This is an unfortunate card for Yankees fans, because following this game they managed to get swept by the Dodgers. Oh well, you can't win them all, and it's always nice to see different teams win outside of the Red Sox.

These final two cards of Sandy Koufax feature some of his great pitching teammates, Don Drysdale and Johnny Padres. The card to the left is a 1965 Topps NL ERA leaders, and I find the card to be really cool. Two teammates on the same leader card really shows the dominance of their pitching staff at the time. Koufax won the Cy Young award in 1965 after going 26-8 with a 2.04 ERA and 382 strikeouts. Nobody can even come close to those numbers nowadays, because they are completely unheard of! On the right card, Koufax and former pitching great Johnny Padres are displayed as "Dodger Southpaws". This card is really knicked up, but I still really like it, because anything with Sandy on it is a great one.

Sandy Koufax won only 165 games in his career, mainly due to the fact that he only played 12 seasons because of an arthritis condition that ended his career. His career ERA is 2.76, and he struck out 2396 batters. He made 7 All Star teams, won 3 Cy Youngs, 4 World Series championships, and 3 pitching Triple Crowns. Wow. Had he pitched longer, you can make more of a case that he is the greatest pitcher to ever take the mound.

These cards from this binder so far have been unreal. You could only imagine the look on my face when I uncovered this from the ruins of 1989 Topps and 1990 Donruss! Thanks so much again to the nice lady who gave me the cards! And for the rest of you, stay tuned for the next installment of the series!

"There are two times in my life the hair on my arms has stood up: The first time I saw the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the first time I saw Sandy Koufax throw a fastball."- Dodgers Scout Al Campanis

See Ya!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

TTM #59- Hall of Famer, What a Relief!

Hey guys, Drew back here. From this point forward, I don't think we'll have to deal with as much damage on customs over here at drewscards! I picked up a new kind of glue, a liquidy kind as opposed to the glue sticks I was using. Keep in mind, that glue sticks are the worst idea ever for gluing customs to the card stock. Don't do it. Anyway, after I received a damaged custom from this guy, I decided to try him once more, and hope for the best.

I got Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning to sign not only my custom, but also sign a 2005 Upper Deck Legendary Cuts card! First off, I got the bottom card as part of the 2005 Legendary Cuts set, way back when I went to Cooperstown a few years ago. Since I got the set it's basically been sitting around in my special Hall of Fame box, until I found it and decided to try it TTM. The autograph looks incredible on the bonus and I'm very happy to own another auto of Bunning's. As for the custom, while it's not in mint condition damage wise, it's not in bad shape at all, and I can definitely live with this one! I sent this out prior to getting the new glue, so I hoped and prayed it wouldn't come back damaged. It would've had it stayed attached to its card stock, but fortunately I opened the SASE to find the stock completely seperated from the card itself. This success came back about a week ago, and it took about 15 days to come back.

Bunning had a very successful career. While he's not a top tier Hall of Fame, he still deserves his plaque in the Hall of Fame. He mainly pitched for the Tigers and Phillies but also played 2 seasons with the Pirates and Dodgers. Winning 224 games with a ERA of 3.27, as well as 2,855 strikeouts (the second highest in MLB history at the time of his retirement, behind only Walter Johnson), he was one of the top pitchers of his time. Not to mention he also threw a perfect game on June 21st, 1964 against the Mets, one of only 20 pitchers to ever accomplish the difficult feat.

Along with his baseball career, he was the senator of Kentucky from 1999 to 2011, when he just recently announced his retirement. Since then, he's been a great through the mail signer. If you like your Hall of Famer autographs like I do, then I highly recommend you send a card or two out to him! You'll definitely be satisfied!

A big thanks goes out to Mr. Bunning for signing for me again after the last card came home wrecked! What do you think of the cards?

See Ya!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sweet Hall of Fame Pickup! Steal?

Hey guys, Drew back here. Recently, rumors floated around the sports card forums about Cal Ripken Jr.'s new book for pre-teens. I don't normally read a whole lot, but when I do, I love Mike Lupica books, and his books are very much like this book that the "Iron Man" himself wrote with the help of author Kevin Cowherd. Not only was it something I could get my mom to buy me, because she loves to see me holding a book in my hands, but there was something more special inside it. Check it out:

Here's the cover from the book. The story is about a very young, humble player for the Orioles, a Babe Ruth League team. But eventually, he becomes a "Hot Head", and for some reason could not control his temper. His friends began to avoid him and the bench was coming closer and closer to this boy's future. The boy is soon faced with a challenge to get his act together before things got more embarrassing, and only the book will reveal if and how he does fix his attitude.

Seems like a good read to me! It's only 135 pages long, and it's fairly small, so I'm sure I could crank it out in a few days if I rush it. But I take my time, sometimes too much time when I read books. We'll see.

However, there's more than just the story of a young Nyjer Morgan that got my attention. Take a look at the inside cover...

HOLY SMOKES?!?!? Is that a Cal Ripken Jr. autograph I see? Or is it autopen, ghost signed, stamped, or pre-printed? Let's have a closer look shall we?

First off, Ripken has a beautiful signature. But anyways, it's perfectly clean, but does bleed through the page. Cross off pre print on your score cards if you're keeping track at home!

There's your proof everyone. Plus, with comparisons with other collectors that picked one of these up, there is a slight difference in the signatures. This is a real Cal Ripken Jr. autograph, and I purchased it for a grand total of approx. $17!

Ripken has been one of those Hall of Famers that I really wanted to own an autograph of. Heck, I want them all, but he's one of those must haves for baseball fans. You have to give the man props for playing 2,632 games in a row! It's hard enough to play a season without missing a game! Also a 19 time All Star, 8 time Silver Slugger, 2 time Gold Glover, 2 Time AL MVP, the 1982 Rookie of the Year, and a World Series Champion in 1983. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2007 on his first year on the ballot, with an incredible 98.53% of the vote.

Sure, I would have preferred a card, bat, ball, photo, or something else signed, but an autograph is an autograph no matter how you put it. Unfortunately, just today or yesterday, Barnes and Nobles stopped selling the autographed versions of the book (regular hardcover is still for sale), so I'm really sorry to say that unless you scoop one off eBay, you might've been a hair too late on the offer, and I'm sorry about that. I've heard people say they want to cut up the auto and mat it, or make a cut autographed card, but I'm just gonna keep it in the book where it belongs. Maybe one day I can add another Ripken piece to the collection!

What do you think of the offer?

See Ya!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

TTM's #58! Former Yankee Ace!

Hey guys, Drew back here. So, I've been very busy lately with practice and getting equipment for the JV team as well as town league, but I didn't forget you guys! In fact, I have a lot of things I want to show you as always! In fact, about a week from right now I'll be coming home with a bag full of cards that I bought earlier that day at the March White Plains Card Show! I'm so excited! I'll have more information about the show as the week goes on, so keep posted. Anyway, got a TTM that I got last week that I waited to show, so is the success:

Former Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang signed not 1, not 2, but 3 cards for my Yankees collection! The first one, a custom, came out a little damaged as always, so I'm a little disappointed, but I'm gonna keep it regardless. The second was a 2007 Turkey Red card, which looks amazing on the front, but the damage from the custom absolutely destroyed the back of the card. Lastly, the final card he signed was from 2009 Allen & Ginter. This card has very little back damage, so it's my favorite of the bunch.

Wang has an awful signature, but he was very hard to get when he was virtually unhittable with the Yankees. He went 38-13 between 2006 and 2007, and was extremely fun to watch. Unfortunately, injuries occurred, and the best way to sum it up now, is that he's struggling to win a pitching spot on the Nationals. Some turnaround huh?

Anyway, he signed the cards in 34 days, and I wanna thank him for doing so! Someone had the guts from Spring Training to sign Drew's Cards! Let's see some more courageous players do the same!

See Ya!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Revealing the Mysterious Binder... A Little at a Time... Yogi Edition!

Hey guys, Drew back here. As I promised, you guys will get an occasional glance into the binder of brilliance, which is by far now the greatest piece of my entire collection! It may take months, years, or even millenniums to get this binder done and showed off, but I want to tribute all of the fantastic players that took part in building the holy grail of my collection. First, we showed Stan the Man, and now, it's on to one of my all time favorite players, Yogi Berra!

The binder contained 2 cards of Yogi from his playing days, becoming the 1st 2 vintage cards I ever owned of his. The first card is from 1961 Topps, an SP for that matter, that dedicates his MVP awards in 1951, 1954, and 1955, and on the back it mentions that he held the record for most home runs by a catcher. He since has been surpassed by Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, and Mike Piazza in that category. It also states that he is a great clutch hitter. In his 14 World Series he's played in, he hit 12 home runs, including 3 in the 1956 Fall Classic.

The second card is card number 340 in the 1963 Topps set, a set that I don't a whole lot of. 1963 was Yogi's final season as a Yankee. He was 38 years old that year, and only played in 64 games, but I think the card does a great job in honoring one of arguably the greatest catcher to ever step behind the plate. It also says that he was a coach that year, and he took over as Yankees manager the next season. In 1964, he led the Yankees all the way to the 7th game of the World Series until the Cardinals beat them in the final game, which led to Yogi's firing.

Yogi is by far the most revered Yankee alive to this day, and god bless him. Eighty five years old, falling on his butt, but still managing to get by.

"It ain't over til' it's over" - Yogi Berra

See Ya!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

R.I.P. Marty Marion

I recently got the news that former Cardinals shortstop Marty Marion passed away last night due to a heart attack. Marion was a great player for many years and won the 1944 NL MVP. The 8 time All Star was 93 years old, and lived a long and great life. He was an outstanding through the mail signer, and earlier this month I was fortunate enough to get his autograph through the mail on a custom and index card. He was a friend of the hobby and a gentleman to the game of baseball.

R.I.P. Mr. Marion, we'll miss you!

TTM's #56 and 57! Big Prospect Success!

Hey guys, Drew back here. Before I get into this post, I just wanted to once again thank all of the great guys out there who congratulated me based on my last post, and if you haven't read that yet, please do. Also, for all of you I'm currently trading with, sorry about the delays, I'm going to try to get everything ready and out as soon as I can. Tryouts did get in the way for a while, so hopefully it's ok that I'm taking a little long with this. Anyway, I've gotten a few more successes recently, but I'm going to spread them out a little. Here are the next two successes, numbers 52 and 53 for me!

First, Rays rookie pitcher Jeremy Hellickson signed 2 customs for me! I have sent to this guy twice now, the first being these two cards back in last August, and then again in Spring Training this year. The customs were made for me by Mike over at Bad Wax, who offered me a small trade for me to use the cards for. Thanks again Mike for letting me use them! The cards use the design of the framed autographs from 2009 Topps 206, and he made many big name prospects.

Hellickson is one of those guys that I plan on following throughout his entire career. I very well may have seen him pitch in 2006 when he was on the single A Hudson Valley Renegades team, my local favorite minor league team. I wouldn't know because I never wrote down when I went, because I was a young kid at the time. However, when I got into some of the prospects, this guys name came up, and I recognized it. I looked him up and saw that in 2006 he pitched in 15 games for the Renegades, with a record of 4-3 and an ERA of 2.43! When he made his Major League debut on August 2nd of last year, I was a fan! Until the end of the season, while being called up and down often, Hellickson pitched in 4 games, and won 4 games. He was dominant, and many people think this will carry over into this year, when he has a chance to win Rookie of the Year as a starting pitcher for the Rays.

Hellickson took 196 days to return this one, and I had to say I was very surprised and pleased that it came back! Also, it ended my streak of damaged customs, which was very good to take a break from. If any of you are looking to trade anything you have of him I'd be really happy to take them off your hands!

Well, it could've been a lot better, but Mark Buehrle signed a custom for me in 29 days c/o Spring Training! The card was one of the most damaged customs I've gotten back yet, so I'm really disappointed with this return. I'm crossing my fingers that more of the customs don't come back this damaged, because the glue I used is just completely destroying the cards. I'm going to try a new glue soon, so hopefully the situation will be solved soon. One idea I've had with this is that I could attempt to cut the auto out and make a cut autograph, but I'm not sure if that would be a good idea or not. He's very hard to get to sign cards, because he tends to sign more of the larger items with TTM's. I also sent to him back in July last year and I'm still waiting on that.

Buehrle has had an impressive career, and I'm not sure how many people have noticed it. Going into his 12th year in the big leagues, he's sported a 148-110 Win-Loss record with a 3.85 ERA. He's made 4 All Star Teams, won 2 Gold Gloves, and won the World Series in 2005! He also pitched a no-hitter in 2007 and a perfect game in 2009. Plus, he owns the MLB record for most consecutive batters retired, with 45. He's been one of the most consistent and underrated pitchers in baseball in the last decade, so I'm glad to own his auto, even if it's destroyed.

Does anybody know a good way to get rid of all the damage on the cards? See Ya!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We Now Interrupt Your Regular Hobby Card Talk... With a Story

Today, billions of people flick on the TV, and sit in front of a "Fox 5" or "CBS 2" News show. The typical suspects seen on the screen nowadays are fire, the tragic earthquake/tsunami in Japan, an attempt at changing our world, and Charlie Sheen. It's a rarity when you actually find something, you know, not depressing on today's news. But it's the sad truth. Millions of people are unemployed, disease takes away thousands of lives regularly, natural disasters often occur, and people hurt other people just because they think they're superior to them.

Well, I want to tell you and share to you that there's always a dream to chase, no matter how poor, destroyed, or corrupted our world is. Maybe this situation doesn't compare to the severity of the examples I previously mentioned, but it's much nicer to read about then a man charged with murder or the future possibilities of nuclear bombings.

About a year ago now, I came home from school in tears. I tell myself that I'm a tough guy, and I feel weird when I do cry, but this was so natural to me. Ever since I was about 8 years old, I started to follow and play baseball. It became my life. Just take a look at my room, and if you find something that isn't furniture that is not sports related, it would be a major surprise. After I began my baseball career in 3rd grade, after I moved to a new school, I was caught on for life. I played in that same town league for 3 years, until it folded when more and more kids decided leaving America's Pastime for Lacrosse was a great idea. I joined another league and learned more about the game then I ever had. I wasn't the best player, but I was up there at least.

When I was in 7th grade, I decided to try out for my school modified baseball team in the spring. The coach was a young guy who taught at another school and apparently had quite a bit of knowledge of baseball. I played my heart out as I always try to do, but it wasn't enough. I didn't get past 1st cuts. I joined the same town league I was in the past year, and had a very good season. My team even finished in 2nd and I made a lot of new friends! But with school, I quickly developed a bit of a grudge on the coach. I felt like I didn't deserve to get cut, and while I don't try to be cocky, I always am confident in my ability.

So, as I was saying, about a year ago I came home more upset than I may have ever been in my life. I called mom and dad earlier that day, so when I got home, mom was right there for me, as well as dad when he got home from work. I had just been cut, by the same coach, for the 2nd year in a row. You may remember my angry rant post that had been removed shortly after I posted it, but I followed up with a more mellow post concerning the fact that I had been cut again. It was a complete shock to me and my friends that I was cut, and my dad emailed the coach asking what I did wrong. He said I wasn't hitting and fielding well enough and provided one or two suggestions to improve the next year. A huge grudge began to form on the coach, and I did not want to even look at the players on the team that year. It was a complete let down, and killed my confidence.

As I did the past 2 years, I joined my town league again and improved even more. I read through all of your comments and suggestions as to how to improve and worked extremely hard that season. Our team did really well again and I had a fun year even without making the school team.

Going into 2011, I decided that it was right for me to give it another shot. This year however, I added a new weapon to my arsenal, and decided to pitch. I had last pitched in 6th grade, so I'm pretty unexperienced to say the least, but I threw hard and when I focused I had great control. I figured it would give me more of a chance to make the team, and I was going to do anything I could to make it. However, the JV coach had left for another school, so the coaching slot was open. Four coaches were interviewed in late February, and the job went to, of course, the same coach who had cut me in the past 2 years. My confidence started to completely shatter, but I kept my composure and tried to be as positive as I could be about the team. I attended all of the pitcher/catcher open gym events the school had, and tryouts suddenly appeared right in front of my eyes.

I gave the tryouts a different approach this year, by basically removing the coach from my head and just playing the game I know and love. I threw well on the mound and in the infield, batted well enough, and ran like my pants were on fire. That's where running on the track team came into play! The coach came up to me during one of the open gyms, patted me on the back, and told me he was glad I returned to try again. After that day of tryouts, he came up to me again and said I did exactly what he said I needed to improve on, and he was really impressed with my play. My confidence rose to new heights, and I went through the next days having a great time playing baseball!

But today, was the big day. Yesterday, coach explained that cuts may not appear, but a good 4 or 5 players would have to be on a practice squad. Before he said that, I was confident because only a complete jerk would praise you like that and then cut you after, and I wanted to think that he wasn't a jerk. No matter what I thought, all of those thoughts didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was the slip of paper in front of the athletic director's office that told me how my future would play out.

My entire morning was in slow motion today, and it was awful hard to pay attention in class. Of course I ended up with a test just minutes before the slip was revealed, so that was extremely hard to focus on, but I got through it. I went to my next class, and right after that, on my way to the list before I got to lunch, my friend Mike ran up behind me and said to me and my friend Schuyler, "Guess who's not on the practice squad? All 3 of us!" He brought me over to prove it, and I was shocked. Finally, after years of waiting, it was my time to show that coach that all along I deserved to be on those teams, and to bring my school as far as I can personally bring it! It was a sigh of relief and a time to celebrate in my mind, except for the fact that I still had more classes after lunch. I went to practice tonight, and officially became a member of the team!

My message to all of you, young or old, athletic or not, whoever you could be, is to never, ever, give up! In middle/high school, it's so difficult to keep going with something after you fail to meet the expectations. You overhear people saying you suck at things, and you become the center of all jokes. But if you love what you're doing the way I love baseball, you can't let any of that affect you. Anyone has a chance at anything at any given time, but you need to work towards it to get to your goal! You just need to fight on, and if you do that I guarantee to you that a moment like this will happen to you. And if you don't think it's worth it, trust me, it is. I've never been happier in my life! Proof?

Excuse me for my pajama shirt, it's pretty late, and I need to get some good sleep so I can be all ready to go at practice tomorrow night!

Before I end this post, I want to thank all of my friends and family for helping me through the struggles I faced in the past with baseball. I could not have had the confidence to continue my dreams without you! That goes for all of you bloggers too out there! You aren't just friends, your like a second family to me, and with all the advice you've given me, I can't leave without even touching on how much of an impact you've all made on my life. Thank you so much everyone!

And to everyone that has trouble making a team or event, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!

See Ya!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Revealing the Mysterious Binder... A Little at a Time... Stan the Man Edition

Hey guys, Drew back here! Remember that binder? Yeah, a few posts ago I showed off some of the highlights of an enormous tub full of cards given to me by a very nice lady whose father recently passed away. Well, there was 1 binder in the tub that stood above it all. It was so impressive that we actually have to start a new series to show off all of the good stuff and give them the respect they deserve! Let's kick off this series with these 2 cards:

Today we dedicate the 1st post of the series to Cardinals legend Stan Musial, as well as an appearance by Giants great Willie Mays! On the left is an actual 1961 Topps Stan Musial card, and on the right is a 1963 Topps "Pride of N.L." Willie Mays and Stan Musial card. Without actually explaining the book value of these cards, let's just let stats do the talking as always.

Stan Musial, as I recently explained when I was able to pick up an autographed baseball of his a week or so ago, was a heck of a player. The guy was voted into 24 All Star Games! You might not think of him along the lines of Ruth, Gehrig, Mays, and Aaron, but honestly, you should. With his amount of All Star appearances, he is tied with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron for the most All Star appearances EVER. Granted, for about a four year stretch in the late 1950's-early 1960's, 2 All Star games were played a year, and all 3 of them did get some bonus appearances due to that. But that is a very special number in my mind.

He also not only won 1, not even 2, but 3 National League MVP's! To top it off, he even missed a year in the service. It truly shows how legendary of a player he was when you see him with another American Icon Willie Mays on the same card. Those two men hit 1,135 home runs between them. Oh yeah, these cards are THAT good. And the condition you ask? A little wear but they look amazing!

Trust me, there's more of what that came from! Stay tuned for the next installment, so you can see what other treats we found in this binder!

See Ya!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mail from Around The Blogosphere!

Hey guys, Drew back here. This week's edition of my most recent maildays feature Coot Veal and the Vealtones, a future commodity in Canton, and a guy that could absolutely crush the ball! Let's get started!

First off, I got a package from my new trading buddy Dustin over at the new "Coot Veal and the Vealtones". The blog recently started, and so far, so good! Everyone please do me a favor and go check it out and give him a new subscriber, because he'd really appreciate new readers! Dustin asked if I was interested in a card and it picked up into a solid trade. He sent me a bunch of cards of my "PC" players, so check them out:

Nick Swisher
Four cards of Swisher arrived in the package, and 3 of them I needed! I really like the rookie card from Playoff Prestige, and I'm glad it was added to my collection.

Derek Jeter
I'm almost positive that I needed at least half of these cards, including the Victory Stat Leaders card with Bernie Williams. For some reason I really like that card.

Curtis Granderson
I recently decided to collect Curtis after I received stacks of his cards from Grand Cards. Now, I'm going to try to pick up a ton of his cards, because he's fairly affordable. I think I needed most of these ones here.

Reggie Jackson
You gotta love Reggie as a Yankees fan especially. Sure, he's cocky, but he enjoyed the game, and was just a real cool guy. Some nice additions to that collection for sure.

Don Mattingly
I got about 21 Mattingly cards in this package. I'm sure I have some of them, but it's weird to me since I have so many cards of him from his playing days yet new cards I didn't own previously are still being sent to me of his! Always nice to add some cards of a Yankee captain and one of my favorites to my collection.

Some mixed Yankees were also included, including a lot of nice cards I didn't have. I've never seen the Giambi ticket like card, it opens up and shows Giambi on the ticket, which is pretty cool. The two Phil Hughes cards in the second scan are sweet too, both very needed for the small Hughes collection.

Also he sent 9 cards I needed for the 2010 Topps Updates and Highlights set. I'm still trugging along with that set, thanks a lot Topps for providing me with a nice 200 doubles in my box. I'll remember that one.

The final card to show off for now from Dustin was this 2004 Fleer Platinum Jason Giambi relic card. I don't own an awful lot of Giambi cards, and I was always a fan of his in a way. I didn't like that he used steroids but I'm happy he admitted it and moved forward. He was pretty fun to watch back in his day though.

Thanks so much Dustin for all the nice cards! Next up is a package I got for absolutely nothing from a nice guy on the Blowout Cards Forum. I haven't done a whole lot on there lately, so I surfed around one day and found a card I was interested in. I PM'ed the guy, PackAttack419, and he told me that I could have it for $5. After he forgot to ship it out, he told me I could have it for free! Here is the card:

It's a 2010 Panini Certified Curtis Martin Mirror Red Immortals relic numbered to only 100! Curtis is one of my favorite Jets players of all time, and he does not have a whole lot in cards to chase. Whenever they put him in a new product, it's a great thing. The more and more I've seen from this product, the more I like it. One day I want to open a box of the stuff!

He also threw in this Jerricho Cotchery flag patch base card from 2009 Upper Deck Black, of Jerricho Cotchery. I haven't gotten a single card from this high end product yet, due to the price you pay for a grand total of 4 cards. I don't see the point in opening those products, but sometimes you can hit big I guess. This card is numbered to 250, of one of the more underrated wide receivers in my opinion right now.

Thanks so much to Mr. PackAttack419 if you're reading this, I really appreciated the kind gesture and it means a lot to me! Finally, the last card I have to show for the week was from eBay. I've been wanting an autograph of this guy for a while now, and finally I was able to pull the trigger on one, and I got a great price in the process!

For a little less than $10, I was able to buy this 2010 Topps Tribute Adam Dunn jersey autograph numbered to only 50! If you've been reading this blog long enough, you'd know I have a knack for picking up a lot of cards from this product, because I really like the design. For the pack price, no thank you, but when you can get a card like this for under $10, it's a great deal.

I think that Dunn is one of the most underrated players in baseball right now. Probably the reason for this is that he hasn't played for any contenders yet and hasn't gotten a chance to prove himself in October. He's only made 1 All Star team way back in 2002, but that's mainly because he only has 1 of the five tools, and that is power. And boy does he have that! He's only 31 years old right now, and he has hit 354 home runs! I bet he'll hit 500 at some point in his career, if he continues the consistent 40 home runs seasons. When I think of Adam Dunn, I think of Jim Thome. They seem to go hand in hand to me. Now he's on the White Sox, so we'll see how heading to the American League will do for him.

Thanks again to everyone that made this post possible, and See Ya!