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!