Monday, December 31, 2012

Autographed Baseball of a Legendary Flamethrower!

Hey guys, Drew back here! My Christmas recap was delayed a bit due to just pure busyness, however I am here to show off some of the sweet new additions in my collection! Before Christmas, I asked my mom if I could use some of the allotted Christmas money she would normally spend on me, and put it towards some nice autographed pieces for my collection. It was a little strange buying my own gifts, but with the reoccurring issue of authenticity, and since she wouldn't know where to start, it was probably for the best. 

So, William sent me a link to this website called, which was about to do a very large auction containing tons of incredible memorabilia! Since not many people know about the site, we were both able to add a few sweet pieces to our collections for more affordable prices than they would have been anywhere else! I bought a lot of 2 signed baseballs, along with a third baseball that in my eyes, isn't quite complete yet, but you'll see that another day. Without any further ado, here is the first of the 3 balls, one that I got in a lot with tomorrow's baseball, for $100 (plus buyer's premium charges)!

Ball #1 is signed by one of the most overpowering pitchers in baseball history, a guy by the name of Nolan Ryan! I've wanted a Ryan autograph for a long time now, and when I saw the opportunity to grab this along with the other ball you'll see tomorrow at the price they were at, I had to do it! Ryan's bold, yet small signature was signed here on an OAL Bobby Brown baseball, and the autograph looks really sharp!

The ball doesn't have a PSA sticker on it, however in the box, there was a certificate of authenticity, pre-certified from PSA/DNA! I got a little nervous when I opened the box on Christmas morning, because these papers were buried below all of the packaging peanuts, and I was starting to think the company lied about them being certified, but sure enough I did some more digging and was instantly relieved!

I'm pretty sure there isn't much to say about Ryan that hasn't already been said. 7 no hitters, 324 wins, 5,714 strikeouts; and one of the most dominating presences baseball has ever seen. While I don't believe he should be in the top 5 best ever, he certainly deserves a spot just outside of that elite group. Either way, I'm still extremely excited to add this to my fresh autographed baseball collection!

Thanks Mom & Dad for letting me do this for myself! See Ya!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Fat Man Fell Down My Chimney! Christmas Set Completion!

Hey everyone, Drew back here! Before I get to anything, I just want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday, because I certainly did! I got some really great pieces to show off over the next week or so for you guys, and I really hope you enjoy them half as much as I do! We'll start with this beauty, one that just so happened to complete a pretty darn nice set of mine...

The Great Bambino was able to climb down the chimney (surprisingly) and he just so happened to land in my stocking! Out of 2011 Topps Tier One, this Babe Ruth relic was the final piece I needed to complete the 50 card set! Unfortunately, two of the cards have been redeemed but still haven't made their way from Topps, even though 2012 Tier One has been out for months and preview images of 2013 Tier One were released yesterday. However, even if they don't ever make Rickey Henderson and Ryne Sandberg's cards, I will have the set complete.

I never dreamed to own a piece of Babe Ruth's anything. Whether it be a piece of his hat, a hair follicle, jersey, undershirt, belt, pants, jockstrap, glove, shoe, bat, or anything; I never thought that I'd be able to have any of Ruth's memorabilia. Even though the relic has lost a lot of its appeal to me, there is still a whole lot that is special about this card, and the whole set for that matter. Tier One offered collectors a fairly affordable opportunity to own pieces of the game's classic players such as Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Cobb, and Hornsby, which is awfully hard to find nowadays. I probably wound up spending a good $400 myself on the set, but William helped out with the Gehrig and Aaron, and my dad certainly helped out a ton as well. I couldn't have done it without you guys, and it means a lot that you wanted to help me with my goals!

This Ruth card has instantly became one of the all time favorites in my collection. One day, I'll have to post pictures of the entire set, but I'd like to hear back from Topps about the final two cards before I do so. It may be complete, but those white fillers just haven't sat well with me since I've gotten them. 

Anyway, once again, Merry Christmas everyone! And thank you Mom & Dad! See Ya!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

This Year's Incredible Christmas Gift, Courtesy of William!

Hey guys, Drew back here! The most wonderful time of the year is among us, and I'm eagerly awaiting my Christmas vacation after just 5 more school days! Aside from preparing for my first SAT test in a little over a month, it should be a fairly stress free break. As usual, my awesome friend William contributed to making my Christmas special. I always look forward to our annual gift swap, and this year wasn't any different.

Since I just about outlawed buying packs this year, I'm often a bit behind on the times in the card world. Fortunately, William gave me a small sample of the new Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects, as well as Panini Cooperstown! I'm not going to lie- I may seriously consider checking out more of the Cooperstown set. It appears as if the idea was finally executed really well, which isn't surprising from Panini. Imagine if they had a license...

William recently bought a great new camera, and he sent me a few pictures he took from Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. Rickwood Field is America's oldest professional baseball field, built originally for the Birmingham Barons in 1910. It is used today as a museum of sorts, and William got the chance to check it out a few months ago. I might consider using these beautiful shots in future TTM requests, so be on the lookout for that!

I normally don't discuss music on my blog, however I had to also mention that he threw in the new Muse CD, "The 2nd Law". I consider myself almost as big of a music geek as I am a baseball geek, and Muse is definitely one of my favorite bands in today's rock genre. William and I both share similar music interests (except I also enjoy hip-hop), so this was a nice gesture from him. I listened to most of the album yesterday while helping my Dad get Christmas lights on the roof, and I thought it was phenomenal. Thanks again for throwing this in!

Last year, the main gift was a Tier One Lou Gehrig relic card, and this year's main gift was just as awesome, if not better! There aren't many players who have been as generous as Virgil Trucks has been to our hobby, however he recently got sick, and I never got the opportunity to get him on a baseball. There have been rumors that he's signing again, but I kind've felt like it would be rude to request another autograph from him. 

No worries though, because William took care of me, once again! This beautiful signed baseball signed by "Fire" Trucks himself from the Bob Feller Museum certainly fills my need for one more autograph of his in my collection! Trucks inscribed "45 World Champ" as well as "2 X No Hitter", which were two of his more notable feats during his great career. Trucks had Hall of Fame talent without question, but unfortunately his career numbers weren't strong enough to put him in the Hall. Trucks does have something that some current HOF'ers don't have though; a Hall of Fame heart. 

Thank you so much William for the incredible gifts! Like I've said before, for us living hundreds of miles apart; you're as good a friend as I could ask for. All of this means so much to me.

See Ya!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Check Out My Cards on COMC!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Today has been a big day for me, as I've finally started to lose the "I want everything" mindset and instead only want things that really appeal to me. I listed 64 cards on Check Out My Collectibles (formerly Check Out My Cards), all of which being rookie cards, serial numbered cards, relics, and autographs! I'm trying to raise enough store credit to buy a few cards I'd personally prefer in my collection, and it really would mean the world to me if you guys took a minute to check out what I have to offer! I'm willing to work with prices, and oh by the way, shipping is free for any card purchased on the site during the holiday season!

Thanks everyone! See Ya!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Trifecta Alert: Call in the Doc...

Hey guys, Drew back here. Boy has it been a while, as I've been drowning in schoolwork the past few weeks. Fortunately, Christmas break is coming up, which means 1) more opportunities to post, and 2) more TO post! I haven't had a lot of things come in lately, but I did forget to show you guys this pickup. Take a look:

Out of 1999 SP Signature Edition, I added a sweet Roy Halladay rookie auto! This is one of Halladay's first certified autograph cards, which only adds to how awesome any autograph of his could be. I've always wanted to add "Doc" to my collection, since he was one of the dominant pitchers I've grown up watching. Randy Johnson was older when I began watching baseball, along with Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, and Greg Maddux, so Halladay was one of the best ones I've gotten the privilege to watch. With 199 wins to his credit, I decided to get one now before he reached number 200, most likely in the 2013 season.

This card also completed my Halladay trifecta, consisting of a 2009 Sweet Spot relic, a Bowman's Best rookie card, and now this sharp autograph!

Please, be sure to be on the lookout for more awesomeness within the next month. Christmas is going to be big for my collection from the way it sounds, and a card show will soon follow. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

See Ya!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Recent Mail from Around the Blogosphere!

Hey guys, Drew back here! I know I haven't been around in a while, but I hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving! I've been trying to savor my holiday break, but unfortunately tomorrow will be the start of the pre-Christmas school stretch. It won't be fun, but hopefully if I keep it up, I'll have more money to spend on the hobby! Around a month from now, I'll be beginning to sell pieces of my collection on Check Out My Cards, and I'll be sure to provide a link when my store goes live. I'm just trying to get rid of stuff that I don't personally have a connection with, so I can buy a few higher end cards for my collection. 

Anyhow, for now, check out the mail I've recently received from a few awesome members of our blogosphere:
William just never seems content with the amount of cards he's sent me over the years. A few weeks ago, he sent me a nice small box filled with mixed cards of the players and teams I like. Most of the cards were from the late 80's, and I probably have all of these laying around somewhere, but I'd prefer not to hunt through binder after binder for them. This is much easier, so thanks man.
As usual, he also caught me up a little bit with what I've been missing since I've basically given up buying products. The cards are awesome, however I prefer buying cards for my PC's over spending $20 on a blaster box or $10 on a rack pack. Money doesn't grow on trees for me, and I think I finally realized that. With that said, I love the All Star cards from 2012 Topps, which I finally got to see courtesy of my good friend. And nothing is cooler than getting my first Ichiro card in a Yankees uniform, although it's most likely photoshopped. He was a great asset to the team last year, and I would love to see him back this upcoming season.
Next, I received a small package from Larry of My 2008 Topps Set Blog, which I have to admit is one of my favorite blogs to read these days! He included his blog card in the package, which was really cool as well (I need to do that one of these days). 
A few weeks ago Larry posted this Topps Update SP card of CC Sabathia to his blog, asking if anyone was interested in it. He wasn't asking for a whole lot in return, so I decided to put an offer in, and we agreed to a nice small deal. CC sat out this year's All Star Game, as did Matt Kemp, so they had plenty of time to talk. 
Lastly, my buddy James (or Chunter as many of you know him by) of Chipp 'n' Dale felt it was necessary to hook me up with a nice addition to my collection, out of the kindness of his heart! He emailed me recently telling me he had a nice card to help me out with a trifecta collection, which completely shocked me considering I've been as close as dead on this website as possible the past few months. Sure enough, a small package came in, with these nice extras on top of the main event:
Out of 1977 Topps, a very nice Rick Cerone rookie card to add to my Yankees collection. Sorry, bad joke. The Dale Murphy rookie card has been a card I've pursued ever since I met him in person a couple of years ago! Finally, thanks to a Dale Murphy collector, I have my own copy of his rookie card to put towards my Murphy trifecta! I may need to go get a relic, because when I met him I had him sign a relic card, which looks fantastic by the way. A trifecta should consist of three cards, so I'll have to fulfill that, but for now, I want to thank James for doing this for me! It takes a lot for me to give up my Yankees cards for other people, so I know it couldn't have been all that easy for him. But, it means a lot, and it's in good hands.

A big thank you to William, Larry, and James for all of the awesome stuff! I'm glad to see that I'm still in the back of some collector's heads even though I'm knee deep in the most difficult year of my life.

Have a nice Sunday everybody! See Ya!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

TTM #102... or Juan02

Hey guys, Drew back here. While the season is over, perhaps one of my favorite times of baseball is just beginning. I've always been into sports business management type-jobs, so the idea of free agency is very interesting to me. I'm looking forward to seeing what the Yankees will do, even though I'd prefer for them to hold off a little bit. However, I recently got a TTM success from someone who will most likely be staying put in Philadelphia this winter. Take a look:

None other than MLB Memes legend Juan Pierre signed two cards for me! Pierre will go down as one of the best speed threats of this generation, swiping 591 bases in 13 years! He's bounced around quite a bit since his rookie season in 2000, but has contributed everywhere he's gone. He also has just over 2000 career hits and a career average just below .300! I'd easily consider him one of the most underrated players in my short lifetime, and I'm really happy he took some time out to sign for me. In addition, Pierre added the Bible Inscription Psalm 37, which basically explains to trust the Lord and not be envious of those who commit crimes and wrong-doings. 

Along with the autographs, Juan threw in this pretty sweet Bible card, entitled "Beast Mode, 24.7.365". While I'm not necessarily an overly religious person, I really enjoy receiving throw ins from players. It seems like Pierre is a very faithful Christian man, and I have nothing but respect for someone like that.

Thank you to Mr. Pierre! Juan post down, many more to go!

See Ya!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moneyball Sequel Star Pickup!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Snow is falling like there's no tomorrow, and it isn't even December 21st yet. So far here in New York, we've got about 4-5 inches of snowfall since this afternoon, which is just more of a hassle for those in the City. I'm outside of the city area by quite a ways, however the devastation in our big city really has been tough to experience seeing on the news every day. I wish the best to all who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, and I hope New York is restored to what it was as soon as possible!

Anyways, I received a little more eBay sweetness the other day, when this beauty came trickling into my mailbox:

Out of this year's Topps Finest, I picked up this beautiful green refractor rookie autograph of Oakland A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes! Cespedes was a controversial signing by Oakland prior to this season, however, his 4 year, $36 million deal turned out to be a nice steal! He's right in the middle of his prime, and for 9 million a year, they couldn't have gone wrong with his acquisition. In his first season in American baseball, Cespedes batted .292 with 23 bombs and 82 RBI, which earned him a nomination tonight for American League Rookie of the Year. While it's very doubtful that he'll top super rookie Mike Trout, it's safe to say he had a fantastic rookie campaign!

I'm really glad I bought this one, even if it was a tad bit out of my normal eBay price range. Hopefully my investment will pay off, but if not, at least it's a great looking card!

See Ya!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Back to Back MVP Candidate eBay Pickup!

Hey everyone, Drew back here. Next week will finally wrap up the first quarter of this school year, and thus far, it has not been easy, as expected. The work load is pretty heavy, and with working out, learning to drive, and sleeping in my free time, I have had just about zero time to put towards my collection. However, once in a while when I get the chance to check eBay, I've treated myself to some nice stuff. This one was certainly one of them. Take a look:

Out of 2009 Allen & Ginter; here is a pretty sweet on card autograph of last year's National League MVP, Ryan Braun! I paid just under $30 for the card, and I feel like it was worth every penny, considering he had another MVP caliber season that could possible make him a back to back champion when the winner is announced. His 2011 MVP winning season was great, although he was questioned for performance enhancing drug use. This year, Braun proved that unless he's on some strange substance that slips through the testing systems, he's completely legit. He batted .319 with 41 home runs and 112 RBI for a worse Brewers team, so you could argue his 2012 campaign has been his best yet.

Anyway, it's a sharp card as are most all Ginter cards, and I'm glad I was able to add it, despite the controversy surrounding the legitimacy of his statistics. Until he's proven guilty, I like him.

See Ya!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Very McCutchen Mailweek!

Hey guys, Drew back here! As you can see from the title, I recently decided that I'm going to PC Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates have been my second favorite team for a few years now, and Andrew is certainly a good reason why. He's already an MVP contender at the age of 26, and is a great role model on and off the field. It was a no brainer to add him to my list of favorite players!

In order to conserve a little money, in exchange for McCutchen, I've decided to un-PC Nick Swisher. I still love the guy, but chances are he won't be a Yankee anymore, so I thought it'd be wise to close that collection while he's still in New York. I'll still take his cards off your hands, but I won't be buying up on him as big as I used to.

I already owned one McCutchen autograph prior to the beginning of this collection- out of 2010 Bowman Platinum, but I recently picked up a few more things to jumpstart the chase. Check out the first official McCutch Mailday!

We begin with a bang! Out of 2010 Topps Triple Threads, the Rising Stars triple relic autograph numbered to 99 is now mine! This one wasn't exactly dirt cheap, but I really wanted to get something sweet to base this whole collection around. It's a real clean, slick card, and it shines quite a bit as well.

Next, out of 2012 Topps Heritage, a Clubhouse Collection relic! I'm not too big on relics, although I still am one card shy of completing the Topps Tier One relic set. When you start a collection of a player, however, relics are almost a necessity, and this will also push me towards the almighty trifecta. 

Lastly, for now, is this beautiful framed relic out of 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen! McCutch has two relics in the Gypsy Queen set, one framed, and one not framed, and I believe this is the nicer of the two. I'm not too crazy about the color of the border, but it certainly wasn't bad enough for me to pass it up at only 2 bucks shipped.

So, that'll do it for now! If anyone has some McCutchen cards for trade, leave a comment below! Thanks, and See Ya!

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Take On My Team.

Hey guys, Drew back here. It's been a rough week for myself, along with the millions of other Yankee fans out there. But, I feel like a lot was learned.

First and foremost, I want to congratulate the Tigers on their bye week against New York, and wish them the best of luck in the World Series. I'm a big fan of Justin Verlander and Prince Fielder's, and I think they definitely deserve to get their shot at a ring at some point in their great careers. Miguel Cabrera had a truly remarkable season, and as much as I like Mike Trout more, you can't not give Cabrera the MVP. If Detroit can beat the Giants/Cardinals, he will easily go down with one of the best seasons of the modern era.

The fact of the matter is, the Yankees were not prepared for the postseason at all. How they managed to put enough together to beat the surging Orioles was beyond me, but I definitely noticed a difference in the regular season and postseason Bronx Bombers. The most obvious change was clearly in their hitting approach. Sure, they're known as a power team, but it appeared as if any other way they could've tried to score was thrown out come postseason. They relied on power far too much against superior pitching (Verlander, Fister, Scherzer), and they came up with just about nothing. On a positive note, the pitching was far better than it was during the regular season, although Sabathia was knocked around in the last game quite a bit.

Of course, unless you live under a rock, A-Rod was in the center of the collapse, and even though he definitely played mediocre at best, he was undeserving of ALL the hate. Two of my favorite players, Robinson Cano & Nick Swisher couldn't hit the broad side of a barn through the playoffs. I didn't expect Granderson to do too much, but I didn't expect him to do that little either. Mark Teixeira had a few fielding miscues in Game 4, and didn't fare that well at the plate either, although he performed better than any of the aforementioned players. And nothing could've possibly deflated the team more than the Jeter injury, which may not have happened if Swisher could've came up with the line drive in right center field the inning before.

As much pride as I have in my favorite baseball team, I felt totally embarrassed by their performance. They had a solid year, filled with highs and lows, but typically more highs. We got to witness Boston suffer all season, which certainly was entertaining, and Jeter had a year for the ages, but Rodriguez struggled all season, and the Mariano Rivera injury still makes me cringe to this day. It's hard to see your heroes go down, that's for sure. But, the Yankees franchise has one goal every year, to win the World Series, and well, that didn't happen this year. I personally understand that it's asking for quite a bit to do that, however many people don't realize how much it takes to win it all. They made it to the final four, and choked worse than any postseason team in baseball history. I'm sure many of you found it entertaining, as the Yanks are a love em or you hate them to death sort of team. However, having watched all of the games in the postseason with the exception of the final game, I think it'll take a little while for me to recover from this mess.

Let's face it, the Yankees are old. Jeter, Rivera, and Pettitte are only around because they're Jeter, Rivera, and Pettitte; they sell tickets and jerseys better than any other combination in history. They all may still have some left in the tank, but I don't think it's quite enough to win it all. Alex Rodriguez's better years are behind him, as he struggles to catch up to an 85 mph fastball at this point. Granderson is a strike out clinic, and Swisher has had 3 horrific postseasons in pinstripes. If it weren't for the emergence of Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez, they would have been royally screwed.

I think the team has a big offseason ahead of them, filled with ridiculous questions that will be asked so many times that Brian Cashman's brain will explode. Personally, I think the first priority is to shop Rodriguez, even if we'll have to eat a lot of the $114 million remaining on his contract. Although he seems like a motivated player and a good teammate, the media has formed him into this clubhouse cancer that really doesn't fit him as well as they think it does. The media has ripped him apart, and possibly impacted his career severely if this ends up being his last semi-hurrah. He wants to stay, and most likely will, but obviously he's not in a very good spot, and if somebody is interested, if I were him I'd highly consider getting out while he's still alive. Nick Swisher won't get the money he wants anywhere after his ineffective postseason play, and I think it'd be smart for Cashman to move on from him and look elsewhere. Josh Hamilton would be an incredible alternative option, although he won't be young by the time his Yankee contract would conclude either. It sounds ridiculous, but if there's any team that can make the move, it's them. Cano has to be resigned, but if the Yankees do pursue Hamilton, Granderson will be done as well. I'd love to bring Ichiro back for a year or two longer, but otherwise, I wouldn't recommend keeping Ibanez, Chavez, and Jones, no matter how big they performed at certain points of the season. This is how I'd like to see the 25 man roster next season, although it may be a bit far fetched:

1. Derek Jeter- 3B- Yes, I wouldn't mind my favorite player at the hot corner next year. Although he isn't experienced there, I believe with his injury he may need to give shortstop a rest and play somewhere that doesn't occupy too much range. Third is where Ripken went, so Jeter can too, right?
2. Ichiro Suzuki- LF- This guy earned himself a spot back after a phenomenal, unexpected postseason. I think he'll take a significant pay cut and head on back next year.
3. Josh Hamilton- RF- Again, big stretch, but after a rough ending to his Rangers days, the Yankees may be able to afford him and add him for 3-4 years. He hits for better contact than Granderson, and hits just as many home runs.
4. Mark Teixeira- 1B
5. Robinson Cano- 2B
6. Russell Martin- C
7. Alfonso Soriano- DH- Soriano has to be dirt cheap at this point, even though he's coming off one of the best seasons he's had in a while. I can see the Yankees alternating Ibanez (if he doesn't retire) and Soriano during the season. Maybe a little far fetched as well, but hey, this doesn't have to be right, does it?
8. Brett Gardner- CF
9. Eduardo Nunez- SS- Not a great fielder, but Teixeira has a good glove at first still and I think the more experience this guy gets, the better. He's already got a very solid bat.

Bench: Austin Romine (C), Raul Ibanez (Possibly), Jayson Nix

1. CC Sabathia
2. Hiroki Kuroda- The Yankees need to resign this guy, because clearly he can pitch in New York. Run support was a major issue for this guy, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't try to give him another year or two in the Bronx.
3. Andy Pettitte- All depends on what he decides, but I'd be happy to have #46 back next year.
4. Phil Hughes
5. Michael Pineda/Ivan Nova- Who knows what to expect from these two. I think (hope) Pineda bounces back, and he could be developed next season. One of these two will be in AAA until an injury occurs, unless Pettitte retires again.

David Phelps
Joba Chamberlain
Cody Eppley
Boone Logan
Clay Rapada
David Robertson
Mariano Rivera

Yes, no Rafael Soriano. I don't think he's going to pick up his third year player option, because Rivera claims to be coming back next season, and he won't want to be in the middle of a bullpen after the phenomenal year he had.

So, yeah, that's my take on my team, a day following their elimination. It was a good year, but it'll only get worse if they don't start to unload some of the big name stars like Rodriguez and Granderson, who appear to have their best days behind them.

See Ya!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

TTM's #97-101! Collection Milestone!

Hey guys, Drew back here! After about a month straight of full 5 day school weeks (yep, no Jewish holidays here), we finally reached Columbus Day, thus giving me a three day weekend! Despite the allegations against Columbus and how he may not have actually done anything significant, I'll take a free day any day. Anyways,  over the summer I sent out quite a few TTM's one week, and I believe I've gotten all but 3 back. These successes here helped me reach an awesome achievement- 100 Through the Mail successes! I'm really glad I've taken up the opportunity to send out letters, as it makes going to get the mail every day fun, and it allowed me a chance to get autographs from stars like Peyton Manning; Yogi Berra; and heck, even Lil Wayne! Take a look at who I got back from this time!

First off, White Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski signed a 2008 Allen & Ginter card for me! It appears that most every baseball fan (besides Sox fans) can't stand this guy. I've always liked him. He plays with a lot of heart, which is in my opinion the right way to play. He makes baseball interesting, and he's the definition of a catcher. Not to mention, he batted .278 this year with 27 homers and 77 RBI! I'd take him over Russell Martin any day!

#98 was Phillies up and coming pitching star "The Vanimal", Vance Worley! Worley has a lot of promise, but like basically all of the Phillies pitchers minus Hamels, he struggled in 2012, going 6-9 with an ERA of 4.20. Despite the difficult sophomore slump, I think he has quite a bit of potential, and after this awesome success, I'll definitely pull for him!

Next, Marlins closer Heath Bell signed a 2011 Topps in red sharpie for me! The red really speaks for who Bell is, a crazy, different player. Who can forget his epic sprint and slide combo in the 2011 All Star Game? Sure, this season was a bit of a laughing stock for all things Miami Marlins, but this guy has had a lot of great seasons, so who's to say he's done? Baseball needs more characters like this guy, or the one with the bigger beard in San Fran, but that post is for another day.

Perhaps the most relevant of these players to the current games going on is Jason Motte, the closer of the St. Louis Cardinals! Motte signed two cards for me, including a 2009 Topps rookie card, and he accounted for my 100th TTM success. He's been one of the best closers in baseball over the past few years, so I was really happy with this one. On another note, it'd be great to see St. Louis continue to play well, just to rub it in Albert Pujols' face. So much for a hometown hero. 

The final success, for now at least, was Rangers catcher Mike Napoli, who signed 1 of 3 cards, this 2006 Upper Deck rookie card. The other cards would've looked even nicer signed, but I kind of like the signed rookie card idea too. Napoli had a huge down year compared to last season, but who honestly thought he was going to put up those crazy numbers again? He's a solid hitter, but I don't think he'll ever top his 2011 campaign. 

Thank you to everyone who signed for me! Go Yankees! 

See Ya!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

TTM #96! Moneyball Style!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Well, a few weeks into junior year and I can already tell this is going to be a long school year for me. I'm taking four college courses, and they are back to back to back to back on my schedule, so it's going to be difficult to stay stress free, for sure. Anyway, about a month ago, I got back this really sweet TTM success from one of baseball's best general managers! Oh, and his movie isn't bad either!

Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane signed two cards for me, with a TAT of only 6 days! Beane obviously became one of baseball's biggest names in management after his great success in the early 2000's with his Moneyball strategy. But, he took off even more after the Oscar award winning movie "Moneyball" was released, starring Brad Pitt as himself. I loved the movie, so I decided it would be really cool to try out Mr. Beane TTM. Sure enough, he signed both cards I sent him, including the 2002 Topps card highlighting Oakland's 20 straight wins, which became an MLB record.

Also, Billy signed this Topps All Time Fan Favorites reprint of his 1987 rookie card. Beane was a bit of a bust when it came to his playing career, however his remarkable job as a GM made up for all of that in a hurry. Stay tuned for Moneyball 2, because Oakland is making another heck of a run towards this year's playoffs. Great job Mr. Beane! Oh, and thank you for the autographs!

See Ya!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Grandpa Roy's Chat Corner Debut!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Most of you know that this blog normally runs pretty slow throughout the winter and early Spring, due to my increasing amount of schoolwork. However, my Grandpa Roy and I discussed a simple, easy way to keep this blog up and running. We came to a solution, and with this solution, we decided to kiss the Trivia Corner a farewell and goodbye. It had been a while since I did much with that column lately anyway, but we both felt like we should give something new.

Introducing, the Grandpa Roy Chat Corner, bringing you the finest sports discussions since 2012! This new series is going to be a bit of a test project, and if it goes well we'll continue to run it through! There are many big topics roaming around the sports world, and we want to not only give you all our views, but we want to hear your views as well! The main goal of the project is to start off discussions, and get everyone involved. Don't be afraid to tell us how you really feel, this is the Internet after all, and I assure you that we are harmless sports enthusiasts. If you don't agree with someone, yes, be polite, but you have every single right to defend your belief. It makes for a very interesting read. I know some people have tried this out before, or something similar, but never has a sports card blogger that I know of made a debate column a regular part of the blogging experience. We hope you guys like the idea, and we thank you for checking out the site, as always! 

Now, our first topic we want to bring up is something that is right in the epicenter of baseball right now: The Wild Card Chase. This year, the MLB decided to change things up, by allowing 2 teams to win a wild card spot for the playoffs. These two teams will play one game, deciding who will be the ultimate wild card winner. Please, feel free to chime in and tell us simply what you think of the new rule! 

I'll start it off in the comments below, and you all can post following me. I would absolutely love to see a lot of awesome feedback! Let's keep Grandpa Roy in the blog forecast for the future, shall we?

Thanks again everyone. Now, let's heat it up!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

TTM #95- Trade Deadline Headliner

Hey guys, Drew back here! About a week or so ago, I received two TTM's back in my mailbox. However, since the players don't really have a whole lot in common, I decided to break it up into two short parts. Leading off, a pitcher who had one of the best first halves in all of baseball! Check it out:

Cubs Rangers pitcher Ryan Dempster signed one 2011 Topps 206 card for me, in a relatively quick 23 days! Everyone says good things about Dempster as a person on and off the field, and I can see why, as he's always been a fantastic signer and a pretty good pitcher as well! While his Rangers stint hasn't really been smooth sailing, on the season, he's 10-6 with a nice 2.87 ERA. I didn't want the Yankees to go after him at the deadline, but that doesn't mean I didn't like him. He didn't appear to be a great for New York, especially considering how long he's pitched for the Cubs. I didn't expect all that much at all with him moving to the American League, but he's proven me wrong as some of his Rangers starts have been well above average.

Thank you Mr. Dempster!

See Ya!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Next Great Closer?

Hey guys, Drew back here. It's very difficult to think of the Yankees without mentioning the Sandman, Mariano Rivera. Over the past 20 years or so, Mo has been a part of the Yankees system, debuting back in 1995. Unfortunately, he won't be on the mound much longer, as he's already 42 years old. But when he leaves, baseball fans are going to need to find a replacement for him as the new best closer in baseball. Nobody can replace him, but a few players may come close. Aroldis Chapman is one example, Joel Hanrahan being another. And after the year Fernando Rodney is having, I wouldn't count him out either. However, above all of those contenders, I believe this guy will be that "replacement" after the end of Rivera Era:

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel is definitely one of the more intimidating young pitchers in all of baseball, and he's been extremely successful thus far into his career. It was funny, because early in the 2011 MLB season, my friend traded Jonathan Papelbon for Craig Kimbrel. He didn't even know who Kimbrel was, but he sure did end up winning the trade, as he went on to win the Rookie of the Year. With the hype that is Aroldis Chapman, people seem to be forgetting just how dominant this guy has been.

Rather than waiting for people to notice him again, I went out to eBay and picked up this beautiful rookie autograph of his out of 2011 Topps Marquee! I now have two cards from the set, the other being the 2011 American League Rookie of the Year- Jeremy Hellickson. I find it cool that I now have both the Rookies of the Year out of such a beautiful product. Hellickson hasn't shown much this year, but I'm hoping it's just a case of the Sophomore slump. 

So I ask you guys- who do you think is the next "best closer in baseball"? 

See Ya!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Check Out My Cards via Check Out My Cards!

Hey guys, Drew back here! So, school is in session once again, which normally means something along the lines of a semi-hiatus on the blog. I hate doing it, but I have to do it, especially due to the difficulty of junior year. But, the homework load was light tonight, and I didn't feel like getting ahead of myself, so here are a few cards I got in from Check Out My Cards the other day!

First, out of the new Topps Tribute, I got the Robinson Cano base card. I figured with the extra bit of store credit I had, I'd knock this one out considering it's rare for a blogger to send out Tribute cards in trades. Who could blame us, they look incredible?

Please, don't judge. Over the years, you've seen me post stuff about Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Aerosmith, and a lot of other old bands. However, my music taste is very diverse, and it does indeed extend to rap. Jay-Z is obviously one of the biggest rappers to ever exist in the industry, and his older music definitely was influential to a lot of young rappers today. I'm not a Lil Wayne fan, and don't get me started on Nicki Minaj, but Jay-Z, along with 2Pac, Biggie, Eminem, and a few others I definitely am a fan of.  

Getting back to baseball, here's a 2002 Donruss Team Heroes autograph of current Yankees closer Rafael Soriano! It's been weird seeing somebody other than Mariano Rivera close out games, but for the most part, he's been just about untouchable. I guess Brian Cashman really did know what he was doing by signing this guy a couple of years back. I find it funny that I picked this card up for about $3 when he was first signed by the Yankees, and I didn't ship it until just now. Oh, the joys of store credit. 

Well, I had to get these for the Tier One set. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bought them. I do like David Wright, and I'm glad to see he's having a solid year again. I love the black Beltran relic though, despite not being a big fan of his. He's ok, I guess.

THIS guy was just a bit better than ok! I absolutely love the look of the Johnny Bench relic, and I'm glad I finally picked this one up. Now, the only card remaining in the set that I need is the Babe Ruth dual relic, which I plan to ask for this Christmas! If I get it then, it would be one year total since I started the set, which is a relatively quick time for a rather expensive set! 

The final two cards from my order happened to both be of the Jets variety, and it's only fitting that I show them after their beautiful butt-whipping of the Bills yesterday, 48-28! It was the most points they ever scored in an opening season game, and Mark Sanchez looked terrific! I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but it was certainly encouraging.

As for the card, this one was out of 2011 Topps Inception, a Bilal Powell rookie relic autograph numbered out of 75. Rex Ryan is a big fan of Powell for his quickness and agility, and I hope he has a fairly decent role on the team this season. Shonn Greene bores the light out of me, so maybe this guy could get a few more opportunities!

This guy, on the other hand, doesn't need any introduction! Out of 2011 National Treasures, this Darrelle Revis Pro Bowl relic certainly was a great way to cap off my purchase! Revis played a good game yesterday, having an interception early on. Unfortunately, his day ended after Bart Scott's cleat happened to fall towards his head, and he received a mild concussion. I hope for the best that Revis is ok, and that he'll be ready to go by next Sunday, especially since we're playing the Steelers. The card here is numbered only 30 of 99.

Like I said before, no promises on how often I'll be around in the coming months, but I'm going to make an effort to check in once in a while! Thanks everybody!

See Ya!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Conclusion to My Summer- An Ending Providing the Biggest Bang.

Hey guys, Drew back here! After a nice weekend up in the Adirondacks, I'm feeling quite nice, so I think it's about time I share with you all the biggest part of my collection, which was given to me towards the end of my sophomore year at school! I've never mentioned it on the blog, but most of the people who know me personally would know what I'm referring to. I was always waiting for the right time to show this off, and well, I figured it was about time something I cherish so much finally got a little love.
My Grandpa Walt is getting up there in age, and is battling the struggles almost every older person could face. He's done it all and more, including growing up playing baseball with a man you guys may have heard of- Joe Torre. He's been very successful throughout his working years, and he decided to share some of his success with each of his grandchildren. He wanted to give all of us something to remember him by, something that we would never lose or get rid of, and something we would be happy to own. My sister was given a new bedroom set, my cousin some new tools and a toolbox. However, of the 8 of us grandchildren, I feel like I was given the most fitting and incredible gift. Behold...
The holy grail of the "drewscards" Collection, a framed autographed photograph of two of the greatest Yankees to ever put on the pinstripes. "The Yankee Clipper", Joe DiMaggio; and "The Commerce Comet", Mickey Mantle! A while back, I was in New York City with the family, and we stopped at a place called "Brigandi Coins & Collectibles". It was stockpiled with incredible pieces, like this, this, and this for example! However, when I saw this picture, I was in heaven, especially for the solid price it was being sold for! Not only could I own one of the greatest autographs in Yankee history, but two! 

The collector in me didn't allow me to let go of my new dream, and when my Grandpa asked me what I'd be interested in, this was what I thought of first. Besides for my obsession with the photo, a main reason I wanted this was because he took me to several Yankees games over the past couple of seasons. He grew up with legends like DiMaggio, Berra, Ford, and Mantle putting on the pinstripes, so what better way to remember a lifelong baseball fan then to own two of his childhood idol's autographs! He liked the idea enough to oblige, and my dad set up the purchase with Brigandi. Apparently, the photo lasted a few weeks going unnoticed in my basement, as it was in a box and I never came across it. Finally, my Dad brought it upstairs and gave it to me, and it couldn't have made me any happier!
The photo was taken at an Old Timer's Game, although I'm not fully aware about the full details of the photo. I have heard numerous stories in the past about how DiMaggio seemed very arrogant about his career and lifestyle, and that he would refuse to go to the Old Timer's Festivities if he wasn't the last name called. Also, if Mantle or any other Yankee had already signed the sweet spot of a baseball somebody asked him to sign, rarely did he ever sign the ball in any other spot. He had to be in the center of attention at all times, and for the most part it seemed like Mickey was ok with that, even stating that DiMaggio was a role model and he wasn't. Mantle endured a lot of hardships during his career, and this touching interview by Bob Costas really tells the story better than I ever could.

Both autographs are absolutely perfect, and are much better than any autograph you'd find from an athlete today (with the exception of a select few). I think the pretty penmanship they had just added to the aura of their autographs, which makes it an even more special piece.
The picture came with a Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA Authentication, which is one of the more renowned services worldwide for sports memorabilia. There's no doubting whether it's authentic or not, and it looks fantastic on my wall, without question! The gift wasn't even necessary, but I appreciate it so much. Undoubtedly, this is now my highlight of my collection, and I'm so glad I finally got to share it with everybody.

Thank you SO much Grandpa, you don't know how much a piece this special means to me, and I promise this will never, ever leave my home, wherever I am one day. I'll never forget the great times at Yankee Stadium, and the stories, and everything you had to share. It means a lot.

What do you all think? See Ya!