Monday, May 30, 2011

Grandpa Roy Column

Hey guys, Drew back here. First off, I want to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day, and a thank you to everyone who has served our country. I'm so proud to live in America, and I'm glad that so many people have the guts to go out there and support our country in the military. God Bless America!

Anyway, Grandpa Roy and I talked on the phone yesterday about many possible future questions to be used for the Column, so we should have some good stuff for you guys over the next couple weeks. Here is today's question for you:

Which Major League player hit the most home runs in their career without appearing in the World Series? How many home runs did he hit?

Answer: Ken Griffey Jr. , 630 Home Runs

Guessed by: The Diamond King

Alright, with this question, just leave the comment with your answer. Please use your very brilliant minds rather than online references, which kill the purpose of this game. Have fun everyone! And Good Luck!

See Ya!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Get Well Soon Gary!

Hey everyone, Drew back here. 2011 has been an absolutely horrible year for the Hall of Fame, even though we're only 5 months in. Over the past couple of years, we've lost many legendary players such as Sparky Anderson, Robin Roberts, George Kell, Bob Feller, Duke Snider, and recently Harmon Killebrew, due to various illnesses and diseases. Immediately following the sad news about Killebrew's death from esophageal cancer, news came out about Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter.

Carter was found to have 4 tumors on his brain, after complaining about having frequent headaches. Yesterday, after running a biopsy on him, doctors discovered that the tumors are malignant, and he's going to have a surgery at Duke University soon. He is only 57 years old, and he's going to go to chemotherapy and radiation soon, in an attempt to remove the tumors.

Sure, he wasn't a Yankees player, and he's not as big of a name as Killebrew, but anytime I hear the news of someone with a nasty disease like this, it's horrible news to me. He was the catcher for the famous 1986 Mets World Series team, and was an 11 time All Star in his 19 year career. He's considered a hero in New York, and Mets fans absolutely love him. In fact, the Mets are soon planning on honoring Carter by retiring his number 8 at Citi Field.

So, I send all my thoughts and prayers to the Carter family, best of luck with this horrible situation.

See Ya.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Great Addition to the Yankees Collection!

Hey guys, Drew back here. It's been a good day for me, why you may ask? Because, I'm prepared to take on a wonderful 3 day weekend! Not only that, but I also don't have anything to do this weekend, other than preparing for finals and hanging out with some friends. Sounds so great to me that I just had to put it in words to relieve all the horrible stress I've had lately! 

So, a week or so ago, I was surfing eBay for something new while talking to my good friend and fellow blogger William, and I found something I liked extremely fast. Usually when I use eBay I go to the Sports Memorabilia/Fan Shop section and update it by "Ending Soonest". This card literally had only 10 seconds left, and the current bid price it had just left me shocked. There was no way I was gonna pass up that deal! I quickly clicked on the auction, bid on it and snatched it up in a heartbeat. At this point, I'm so addicted to eBay that this purchase was very half-hearted and I didn't even question if I should bid on it or not, until, obviously, after I bid on it. But I won, and there was nothing I could do except erase some money from my allowance (the allowance pretty much is considered eBay credit at this point), and own a sweet new autograph...

From 2002 Topps Team Legends, I picked up this sweet Don Larsen on card autograph, for about $4 in total! The card is a reprint of Larsen's 1956 card, obviously, the year he threw his famous World Series perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Unfortunately, it took me a minute to realize that there obviously had to be something wrong with this auction, because the end price was far too cheap for a perfect auction and perfect card. I then realized that the left side of the card is damaged, almost looking like someone put 2 pieces of tape over the top left and bottom left corners and peeled it off. However, by reading in the description box, the seller said the card was pulled out of the pack in this condition. I don't know if that is true or not, however, I don't care, because it still looks awesome, and an autograph that cheap can't possibly be complained about.

All in all, the card still looks incredible, and it is now my second Larsen autograph in my collection. My plan is to send him a photo and custom for a TTM in the future, which would be really cool.

If you were in my spot, would you have bought this card knowing of the damage taking away from overall quality of the card?

See Ya!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

TTM #67- Tigers Legend!

Hey guys, Drew back here. Today was a nice mailday for me, receiving 2 new TTM successes! For time's sake, I'll post them one at a time. Starting off with the first one I opened, here is the newest addition to my Hall of Fame series!

None other than Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline signed a card for me in about 9 days! It took me a while to actually get this custom out in the mail for some reason, as it was sitting on my desk for months. But a little over a week ago I realized that it was about time I try and get his autograph! I included $10 in the envelope and sent it off, hoping and I praying that it would come back. Sure enough, it did, and it looks great! For Kaline, it may have been a little sloppy, but every letter is still readable and I think it looks awesome.

To say that Kaline was worth the $10 is a definite understatement. The former 18 time All Star outfielder, known as "Mr. Tiger" to the fans in Detroit, was one of the best all around hitters in baseball history. He collected 3,007 total hits in his 22 year career, along with 399 home runs, and a lifetime batting average of .297! In the field, he was incredible, winning 10 Gold Gloves in his career patrolling Right Field in Tiger Stadium. In fact, Cooperstown decided he was so great that he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980 after his first appearance on the ballot.  

I surely am glad I was able to add this awesome piece to the Hall of Fame set today, but it hopefully won't be the last. So far in my set I have autographs of the following: Bobby Doerr, Bob Feller, Monte Irvin, Duke Snider, Lee MacPhail, Joe Morgan, Jim Bunning, Brooks Robinson, Ralph Kiner, and now the aforementioned Al Kaline. If anyone has any suggestions of guys to go after next please comment and let me know! Thanks guys!

See Ya!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Possible 2011 NL MVP eBay Pickup!

Hey guys, Drew back here. First off before I show off the newest addition to my PC, I just wanted to thank everyone for participating in the last Grandpa Roy post. You were able to nail all 4 pitchers that threw at least 2 no hitters in the same season (Virgil Trucks, Nolan Ryan, Allie Reynolds, Johnny Vander Meer), which was great! Of course, Roy Halladay could have been considered for this group since he threw 2 last year as well, but the question concerned the regular season pitchers, not including postseason play.

So, whenever a player gets hot, I always look on eBay to see how well their cards are selling, in fear that if I don't capture an autograph right then, I might be screwed when their prices go up. I picked up a few cards last week, and I got the first one in today, of one of the league's best all around 5 tool players!

This one, from 2010 Topps Tribute, is an autographed relic card numbered to 75 of Dodgers All Star Outfielder Matt Kemp! Kemp has been absolutely on a tear this season, currently batting .316 with 10  home runs, (oh wait, he hit another one today!) 32 RBI, and 12 Steals. He is almost a perfect baseball player, being able to hit for contact, power, steals bases, and is a great fielder, which are all of the most necessary tools. Even though he had an off year last year, I still feel like he will be one of the top players in the league for many years.

Anyway, the card is absolutely awesome looking, even though it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the cards in the set (minus Nick Markakis), because the rest feature the silver Topps stickers for the autographs rather than the clear ones. Regardless, the blue parallel always looks great on Dodgers cards, and all around, I'm pretty pumped with this new addition to the collection!

One by one I'm knocking the All Stars down, which is great! What do you think of Kemp?

See Ya!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Grandpa Roy Column!! The Return!

Hey guys, Drew back here. It sure has been a while, but it is finally time for some more Grandpa Roy Trivia! So without any further motion, here is your question of the day...

Two weeks ago today, Justin Verlander threw his 2nd no hitter of his career, becoming the 228th pitcher in the modern era to do so. However, while over 40 players have thrown multiple no hitters, only 4 have thrown 2 in the same regular season. Who were these 4 players, and what teams did they throw their no hitters for?

1: Johnny Vander Meer, Cincinatti Reds (guessed by Joe)
2: Virgil Trucks, Detroit Tigers (guessed by Baseball Nut)
3: Nolan Ryan, California Angels (guessed by Ryan G.)
4: Allie Reynolds, New York Yankees (guessed by Baseball Nut)

Remember the rules, please guess only one person for every 24 hours, and have fun!

See Ya!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ruth and Gehrig Autographed Photo... What did JSA Say About My Prized Piece?

Hey guys, Drew back here. For good reason, I almost completely forgot about posting about this. Back in March when I went to the White Plains card show, I took a huge piece with me. At the shows they hold there, many authentication companies are always present, to be exact: James Spence Authentication (JSA), Global Authentics, and Autograph Certification Experts (ACE), as well as a few grading services such as Beckett. It's safe to say that they certainly are on top of things in terms of authentication.

So, back a couple of months ago, my Pop Popps bought me an awesome gift of two frames featuring all sorts of autographs, of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Honus Wagner, as well as tickets from all throughout the early 20th century. He got them for less than $500, and we thought it is a steal of a lifetime. Here are a few pics to refresh your memory:

From the very start I had suspicions of whether the autographs were real. Two of the autographs were on vintage Goudey cards, and while they looked authentic, from my prior card knowledge, I knew that the Goudey cards were much bigger than the actual original size. Reprints weren't around back then, so there's no way that Ruth and Gehrig could have signed them.

But the pictures above show one particular picture, of Ruth and Gehrig posing together during their barnstorming league. On the back of the photo, it states that the photo is a copy of the autographs, but Ruth and Gehrig supposedly signed the copy to make the photo more authentic. Judging by the 2 autographs of each player on the photo, that could have possibly made some sense.

Anyway, I took the large framed photo with me to the last show, and at about noon, I brought it to the "kind" folks at JSA for them to take a look. I got an immediate response... and it wasn't so pretty. His response was "Here's my free advice, rather than you having to pay me $200 for me to tell you it's fake, its fake." Some kind of guy, gee, thanks for not having me pay $200. I tried asking him why it's not real, and showed him the back of the frame, but he wouldn't budge. Another guy was in line, so he shooed me away and pretty much ruined my day.

So, apparently, it's fake, and I'll take that, because of my prior suspicions of other parts of the frames. But the way he went about telling it really killed me. I came up exclaiming about how I love this great piece that my grandpa gave me, blah, blah, blah, and he responded with a pretty much "Get lost kid, it's not real."

But I still have my questions about it. First, what would you do with it if you were in my shoes? I personally might still hang both of the photos up in my room, even though I assume all of the items were reprints, because it looks pretty sweet nonetheless. Also, do you guys have any idea as to why this item is a fake? I have my reasons, but still, I doubt the item would be forged because the owner seemed to be a very good man.

Alright everyone, See Ya.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Harmon Killebrew, RIP, 1936-2011

Hey guys, Drew back here. For the past week or so, most baseball fans heard about Harmon Killebrew going into hospice care after battling an incurable esophageal cancer since last December. Just today, Mr. Killebrew has passed away, at the age of 74. Harmon Killebrew was a heck of a hitter back in his days as a member of the Minnesota Twins. "The Killer" killed 573 baseballs in his career for home runs, which now ranks 11th of all time. 

Beginning his career in 1954 for the then-Washington Senators, Killebrew struggled out of the get-go, and even had to be called down to the minors for a little while longer. Since he was still very young, he didn't let the tough start in the majors affect him, until 1958 when he was called up to become the Senators starting 3rd baseman. His first full season in the majors was 1959, where he again struggled early, but heated up extremely well by the All Star break, with 28 home runs at that point to his credit. At this time there were 2 All Star games in a season, and Killebrew started in the 1st and was a reserve on the 2nd team. By the end of the year, his 42 home runs were tied for the American League lead, and the single season record for home runs as a Senator. After battling a nose injury for much of 1960, he still managed to hit 31 home runs in 124 total games. After that year, the Senators were moved to Minnesota, becoming the Twins.

Soon after the move to Minnesota, he was named the team captain, and proved worthy of it by hitting over 40 home runs for 4 straight years, including 48 in 1962 and 49 in 1964! An injury set back Killebrew in 1965, however, they did go on to win the AL Pennant that season. Two more strong seasons followed in 1966 and 1967, but again followed by a serious hamstring injury that hurt him in 1968. Once again, he came back and dominated in 1968, hitting 49 home runs and driving in 140 runs! He won the American League MVP award that year, probably the best season he ever had.

His career began to take a downward spiral after his incredible 1969 season, with the home run totals slowly going down along with hits, RBI, and a batting average that in 1974 was a career low .222. After that season, he was released by Minnesota, and was signed by the Kansas City Royals to a 1 year deal. Playing in 106 games, he hit 14 home runs and drove in 44 runs. After that 1975 season, Killebrew decided to retire.

On Killebrew's accomplishment list is 13 All Star game appearances, an MVP award, over 500 home runs, and an induction into the Hall of Fame in 1984. Not only was he perhaps one of the best sluggers the game has ever seen, but he was also a great man. He broadcasted for several teams including the Twins following his retirement, until some health problems arose. Throughout the late 1980's and early 1990's, he almost passed away due to several surgeries. Many say he was an incredible and quiet gentleman, including former umpire Ron Luciano, who said of "The Killer":

"The Killer was one of the most feared sluggers in baseball history, but he was also one of the nicest people ever to play the game. He was one of the few players who would go out of his way to compliment umpires on a good job, even if their calls went against him. I'd call a tough strike on him and he would turn around and say approvingly, "Good call." And he was the same way in the field. And he never did this to get help on close plays, as some players do. The man hit 573 major league home runs and no umpire ever swung a bat for him."

So, rest in peace Mr. Killebrew, you will always be remembered and missed by the baseball world. 

See Ya.

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

Hey everyone, Drew back here with the next post in the series of revealing my mysterious binder. Just to tell you all know first, I have a heck of a lot to show you guys in the future, stuff I've been waiting to show for months now, and I just managed to send a good 8 TTM requests out in the mail. So, hopefully, once finals and regents get overwith, I can be back at it all the way! Anyways, this edition as you see already belongs to the one and only TRUE single season home run king, Mr. Roger Maris! I never thought I would be able to add so many more cool cards of him, but in every collector's lifetime they will receive a lucky opportunity to reach some goals, and I certainly did! Take a look:

First off are two big cards in the 1961 Topps set of Maris'. When most baseball fans think of the 1961 season, hands down 99% of them will think of the show that Roger put on for them that season. Not to mention he also had won the MVP the prior season, after hitting 39 home runs and driving in 112 RBI! But, one of the greatest baseball moments occurred back on October 1st, 1961, when Maris hit his record breaking 61st home run of the season, a record only being beaten by 3 performance enhancing drug users: Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998, and Barry Bonds in 2001. In my mind, I still call Maris the single season home run leader, but after the start by Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, I'm a little scared of Maris hanging onto the throne this season. 

The cards aren't in mint condition by any means, but they are certainly presentable enough that I won't need to buy a better looking card for the set. The card on the left is the only short printed card I currently own from the set, his Sporting News All Star card. All of the Sporting News cards are short prints in the set, and feature some great hitters, which means a heavy price tag. Glad to get Maris out of the way. As for the right card, also from 1961, it's his MVP card for the 1960 season. In 1961, Topps went back and gave MVP cards to players that won throughout the 50's. Maris has 4 cards in the 1961 set, and to own half of them is a pretty good start for not having to even pay! 

Next, were 2 Postseason highlight cards. The first on the left, is a card that Dad already had gotten for me before, a 1963 Topps "Maris Sparks Yankees Rally" card from Game 3 of the 1962 World Series. This is probably his cheapest vintage card, as many can be found for $5 or less. The second card is from 1962 Topps, highlighting a walk off home run hit by Maris in Game 3, giving the Yankees a 2-1 series lead. After Maris' record breaking year, he steadily declined, batting .259 after that season. He played through many injuries through this time, missing most of 1963 and 1965. 

Speaking of 1965, the Topps card from that season is the first of the final 3 Maris cards I found in the mysterious binder! The 1965 Topps set may be my favorite Topps set of all time, and once I finish 1961, I'm hopefully going to try and do 1965 as well. This may be my favorite Maris card I've ever seen, because for some reason the pink just seemed to work for the Yankees in that year. Following that is his 1966 Topps card, which has a good size crease going across his face. Sure, it takes away from the overall appearance of the card, but it's still a pretty nice card nonetheless. Maris ended up leaving the Yankees after a brutal 1966 season, heading to the Cardinals for the final two seasons of his career. It was a last resort for Maris, and he struggled both years with St. Louis. The final card is from 1968, showing an older version of Roger, which is kind of sad and disappointing. However, Maris will always be regarded as one of the greatest Yankees of all time, even though he somehow does not have a plaque in Cooperstown.

"Roger Maris was as a good of a man and as good of a ballplayer as there ever was" - Mickey Mantle

Overall I'm extremely happy with this binder, and the awesome new additions to my Yankees collection! 

See Ya!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

TTM #66- J-E-T-S Unexpected Success!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Yesterday, I received my 66th ever TTM success, just following Friday the 13th. It had to figure that considering those 2 evil numbers were involved, that the success was a bit unexpected! Right? Take a look:

None other than New York Jets linebacker David Harris signed 2 cards for me! I sent these cards back in August 2010, and had basically written them off from ever returning to me again, but that is the fun part of doing TTM requests, because you never know what you'll get and when you'll get it. Harris is a favorite of my dad and I's on the current Jets team, because while he's often outspoken and isn't as popular as Revis or Bart Scott, he always seems to come through in the clutch. He's a heck of a tackler, ranking often in the Top 50 most tackles per year. Last postseason, he led all NFL players in tackles with 30 in 3 games. 

I never really saw this coming, but, it's better late than never! He signed a 2007 Bowman rookie card as well as a 2008 Score card. I regret not making him a custom card to sign but these look very nice so it's ok. The Bowman rookie card got smudged a little bit, but it still looks sweet! 
I hope to get some more letters out there and circulating so I can add to my autograph collection, and fast! Thanks Mr. Harris, and See Ya

Friday, May 13, 2011

Two Pitcher Perfect eBay Pickups!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Finals are creeping closer and closer, which is a positive, and a negative. The positive is that I'll soon have 2 free months of posting after they're over, and the negative, well of course, is that finals are coming closer and closer. Of late, my interest in the hobby has gone down quite a bit, due to school and sports and all sorts of other things. When I see cards around nowadays, I try to pass on them, but my temptation isn't really there anyways so it's easy to quickly walk by a card aisle. There is almost no variety in our hobby now so it's easy to get sidetracked and bored now. Anyways, I did manage to pick up 2 cards a little while ago on eBay, take a look:

The first was a 2009 Upper Deck Icons Ricky Romero sticker autograph numbered to 600. I drafted Romero this year in one of my fantasy baseball drafts, after seeing that he could be in for a big year. He's a good young pitcher and started very hot to open the season. Since then he has cooled down a bit, but I wanted to pick up one of his certified autographs before he gets out of my price range. I'm not sure if he ever will, but it never hurts to pick one up since it only ran me a few bucks.

Protecting the second card I bought, were these 2 football rookie cards, one of Legedu Naanee of the Chargers, and the other of Joe McKnight of THE New York Jets! The only reason I showed these off was because I thought it was pretty cool that his "filler" card would fit into my Jets collection, even if McKnight doesn't know how to handle a football without fumbling.

My final pickup was so worth it in my opinion. From 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces, I got an on card autograph of now Angels pitcher Dan Haren! While many baseball fans may recognize the other Angels ace after his tremendous start this year, many people have overlooked Haren, who has been outstanding thus far into the year. He is 4-2 with a 1.87 ERA, which is a higher ERA than Jered Weaver's, and is second in the American League. Haren has always been a favorite of mine, so for under 10 bucks I couldn't hold back on clicking the bid button, and I'm happy to add it to the collection!

One thing I just noticed after researching the product, is that in the lower left hand corner, for every on card autograph in the product, they spelled Masterpieces with the 'E' before the 'I'. I don't know if anyone ever noticed this, so let me know if you have any information about why it's spelled differently on the cards than on the boxes.

All in all, for a cheap price, I added 2 more great pitchers autographs to my personal collection! Hopefully I can continue to get more in the near future, and get my interest started up again in the hobby! 

See Ya!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Heck of a Package from a Heck of a Guy!

Hey everyone, Drew back here. After a long day walking the floors of the Museum of Natural History, I'm about ready for either sleep or something super entertaining to make up for the tiny amount of fun I had today. Fortunately, maybe a week ago now, my awesome friend and fellow blogger William sent me an enormous box of all sorts of goodies! He recently moved from an apartment and unloaded a bunch of unwanted Yankees stuff for Connor and I to share! Take a look!

My dad came walking into my room that Saturday, saying, "Drew, you have a package", while holding by far the largest package I've ever gotten in my life.  

In the box was a good 15-20 old Beckett Baseball magazines, spanning from the late 1990's to basically now. Going through the articles was certainly fun, especially the one after the Yankees won the World Series in 2009, as well as the Tuff Stuff magazine published just following the passing of Mickey Mantle. That magazine featured a really interesting interview that they had with Mickey just before he passed.

Some of my favorite magazines were these old Becketts from the mid 1990's. Both of them featured a young Alex Rodriguez, before the steroids! In the first, he's shown reading a Superboy comic book, and the second also featured Derek Jeter with A-Rod! I didn't get an opportunity to read them yet but I'm sure it will be fun to read, especially when I can look at their current statistics today. 

Finally, there were also a few smaller magazines and articles in there, including the 2009 Season Preview book. Jeez, I wonder how those 3 Yankees on the cover turned out for them!

Also in there was this cool poster advertising the release of 2007 Topps Moments and Milestones. I'm assuming he got this at his old card shop where he used to work, so it's neat to own something that most likely hung up in a card shop. Moments and Milestones certainly was not one of the best products ever made, in fact, I can clearly state it was one of the worst, but its still very neat to own.

Next was a large photo of many of the famous game worn memorabilia from the Don Larsen World Series perfect game! It came with some sort of certificate of authenticity, and also came a little bent up by the mail, but I think it would be pretty cool to get signed by Larsen TTM! We'll see if I get some time and materials to get it out, which should be interesting, but hopefully I'll get it done.

Scattered around the box were a good 5 or 6 loose packs of 1989 Topps Big baseball. I'm not sure what to make of these, because they don't fit in just about anything I can put them in, but I'm happy I pulled a few Mattingly cards at least.

Perhaps my favorite part of the package came in a Sweet Spot Classic tin, a load of 2011 Topps Heritage cards! While I assume there's still plenty more Yankees to find in the set, these knocked a ton off the team set list. I'm a big fan of the new Heritage design, and while most of the cards are basic close up shots, it really represents what the set was getting at back in the early 60's.

There were also a few subset cards and inserts from the Heritage set. The subsets included the CC Sabathia action shots, along with the Mark Teixeira/A-Rod "Hot Corner Guardians", and the inserts include the Marichal/Sabathia Then and Now, and the Cano New Age Performers, which I needed for my Cano collection!

The final card in the package was a chrome card out of 2011 Heritage, numbered to 1962, of my man, Nick Swisher! I could always use a new card of Swish for my collection, and now I have the chrome and green chrome refractors of his from Heritage. I'm not sure if there are any more variations of his for this year but if there is and you have one up for trade, please let me know. 

So, all in all, William, you're the best trader I've ever worked with, and one of the nicest guys not only in the community but all around, that I know! Thanks so much for everything you've done to help me out and I look forward to trading with you in the future! If you haven't seen his blog yet, please please PLEASE go read foul bunt! He would definitely appreciate any and all new readers!

Thanks again dude! See Ya!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Awesome JV Season!

Hey everyone, Drew back here. So, I haven't gotten around to sharing much lately, and I have a lot to share. But I figured I'd hold off on some of that for just a little longer to just talk about one some of the awesome things that have happened since I made the JV baseball team. My team started off hot, winning our first two games and showing glimpses of our past great years, but then, we dropped 3 games in a row, including a loss to one of the most arrogant and obnoxious teams I've ever played in my life. However, we managed to win in a scrimmage and in a way turned it around a bit.

After that scrimmage, there was a cool young guy there to talk to us. He gathered us around and told us about an opportunity to write in the town paper! For a while, after getting accustomed to blogging and beginning to love to write, I've looked forward to an opportunity like that, and I couldn't let it go to waste. Sure enough, I contacted this guy, and got underway in writing for the local paper! I mainly have had to cover how the JV team is doing so far, but I have also told him I have interest in covering other sports. I got my first piece done, it was edited, and on April 20th, I ran over to the town market to see my name published in the paper, and it was a thrill! Here is a scan of my article (I crossed off the names just for privacy's sake):

Feel free to click on the picture to see it closer up! The following week I shared an article with my friend Mike, and our names both made the paper. This week, I'm giving up my opportunity for a friend of mine to step in and try it since he was interested.

Anyway, today was the day of our school baseball tournament! Four local teams traveled to one place to play a quick double elimination tournament, consisting of 4 total games, 2 played by each team. In our first game, we got our butts kicked, a solid 12-0, but I received a great opportunity. Due to the lack of hustle by one of our players, I came in to play 3rd base towards the end of the game! So far in the season, I had only had 2 at bats, consisting of a single and a hit by pitch. I got one at bat at the end of the game, and I crushed one our only hits of the game for a late game single. I also made a nice play at 3rd, but it didn't matter to the team, as we ended up losing.

Due to many player's lack of confidence and a good attitude, most of our bench players got a chance to play in Game 2! One of them being myself, as I got my first start ever in JV baseball! In a high scoring slugfest, I ended up helping to lead the team to victory, along with the help of our starting pitcher, who went the distance even though a bunt deflection hit him in the eye while he was batting. Personally, I was 2 for 2 with 2 line drive singles into right field, as well as 2 walks, 3 runs scored, and 2 RBI. The game had to go in my Top 5 best games of my life, and it was an incredible day for me! It got better though, when Coach gave me this:

Yep, I got the game ball! I wrote all over it at this point just for a momento, including my awesome signature, and it'll look awesome sitting in my room! I didn't really do this post to show off, I just feel really proud of myself, and I figured I'd spill it all out here. So far in 7 at bats for school, I have reached base in some way all 7 times! While it's a streak that will be extremely hard to continue, it really goes to show once again, that persevering pays off!

Do you remember any Little League/High School games where you couldn't do any wrong? I've had a few games like this in town ball, but for school, I couldn't be any happier right now.

See Ya! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vintage Cards From Pop Popps

Hey guys, Drew back here. It's been a while, but we have another edition of the "Vintage Cards from Pop Popps" series. As you all know, my Pop Popps has been a great helper to me in building up a well rounded vintage collection, and has gotten me cards from all sorts of former greats, including some Hall of Fame rookie cards! The last time I did post a stack of cards from him I wrote that it may have been the final stack I'd ever receive from him, yet I was surprised to receive one more stack just a few days ago. Take a look and see what was in it:

There wasn't one card that could lead the pack, but a few solid Hall of Famers can certainly make me a happy camper! With 1972 Topps cards of Steve Carlton and Catfish Hunter, along with "Boyhood Photos of the Stars" cards of Lou Piniella and Brooks Robinson, this group of cards was fun to flip through. The best card in my opinion was the 1975 Topps Victory Leaders featuring Hunter, Ferguson Jenkins, Andy Messersmith, and Phil Niekro. If Messersmith is the worst pitcher on the card then it sure can be worse! Most of the cards ranged from 1971 to 1975, as they do in most other stacks he's given me, which is really cool. I'm sure if I counted up the amount of 1973 and 1975 Topps cards I have I could attempt to build those sets.

Thanks so much Pop Popps! See Ya!

Monday, May 2, 2011

God Bless America! He's Finally Gone!

Hey guys, Drew back here. I wanted to pause from the regular card conversation to just mention my thoughts on the big news from last night. Unless you are hiding under a rock the size of Texas, you would know that the nation's most feared criminal has been killed, Al Qaeda's leader Osama bin Laden! Our US troops, after searching for about 10 years, finally discovered bin Laden in Pakistan, and after a firefight, he was shot and killed. President Obama came on National TV last night and addressed the people about what took place and the precautions we must still take as a country to avoid further Al Qaeda attacks. As smart of a man as Bin Laden seemed to be, he must have had a successor in line, especially when forces from around the world could have found him any day. 

No matter how you look at it, while this is certainly not the end of Al Qaeda and terrorist operations, this was a major success for our country. Osama has been one of the most evil and feared men in our country for the past decade, and he is finally gone. What this man did to us on September 11th, 2001, was the most terrible thing a person could have done to a country. While in the end it brought our entire country together, it tore us apart as well. Many innocent Americans lost their lives that day, which allows me to without a doubt be ok with our military ending his life just a little while ago. 

I normally don't care a whole lot about politics, nor do I pay attention at all, but this is a major win in our country, and I wanted to have the honor of sharing and remembering the shocking news from last night. 

God Bless America.