Friday, April 19, 2013

It Appears that Joemama Stole from a Pirates Ship!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Last week, my Dad was at it again, and came home with some awesome cards from a local corner store that recently restocked in cards! I didn't see any of it coming, so it made for a great surprise! Take a look at what he gave me:
First off; this card was thrown in along with the others. It's a 1999 Flair Showcase David Cone parallel of some sort numbered 97/99. I'd never seen any of these cards before, so I don't know how rare they are, but it sounds like this particular card was quite rare for the time period. It's definitely one of the neater 1990's inserts I've seen so far!
Props to Topps Finest. All these years, Topps has executed wonderfully on the Finest product line, with a few years of exceptions. This 2002 Finest Don Larsen on card autograph is gorgeous; easily one of my favorite autographs in my Yankee collection. I have many different autographs of his (ball, bat, 8x10, several cards), but this one may be one of my favorites. 
I've acquired a ton of Yankees relics and autographs over the past few years, so I find it amazing that Dad rarely ever gets a card I already had. I was pumped when he pulled this 2001 Upper Deck Yankees Dynasty dual relic of Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera; my two all time favorite Yankee pitchers! I just rewatched the video I took of Mariano Rivera entering the first game I saw him pitch in, and boy was I pumped. "Enter Sandman" still gives me chills all these years later!

I feel bad asking for what he paid on the cards, but I'm always curious. This time, well, let's just say Dad won the battle of negotiation (if there even was any to begin with)! 
Indeed, that is a 2006 Bowman Chrome X-Fractor rookie autograph of Mr. Jose Bautista; one of today's most feared sluggers. Want to guess how much he paid? Here, use these links to help you out. Okay, if you guessed $10, then you are correct! My dad paid approximately 10% price on a card that sells for $100+!

I would jump to sell this, but I'm not sure how well my heart will feel about it. I like the Pirates quite a bit, and Bautista is one of my favorite players in the game, but this could fetch a pretty penny if I played my cards right. I may consider getting it graded, because I don't see a single issue with the card! I've never gotten anything graded before so my eye may not be keen enough to make that sort of judgment, but I think it could at least receive a 8.5-9 on a bad day.

It's just another scenario where my Dad flat out dominated the store, something he's gotten pretty good at over the years. I mean, heck, he landed us in Beckett Sports Card Monthly! Thank you so much Dad for always trying to help my collection grow. You've been a huge factor in making my hobby a home run!

Do you guys recommend grading the card? How much does it normally cost anyway? Thanks!

See Ya!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Go NY, Go NY, Go!

Hey guys, Drew back here! It's been an awesome start to the NBA season for my hometown team, the New York Knicks! The season concluded last night, after they took down the Atlanta Hawks to further cement their second seed finish in the Eastern Conference. Carmelo Anthony locked down his first career scoring title, and was a major factor down the stretch in getting NY the 2nd seed, rather than the 3rd or 4th. They will take on the Boston Celtics in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs on Saturday, and there's no doubt in my mind that I'll be watching! I've never been the biggest of basketball fans, but the recent revival in New York, with the Brooklyn rivalry and now long gone fad "Linsanity" has sparked my interest more than ever. There are a lot of fun players to root for, and I'm excited to see how they will do. 
A few weeks ago I picked up this sweet acetate autographed card out of Panini Elite 2012-13 of Iman Shumpert! "Shump" hasn't done anything spectacular in his second season, as most of it has been recovering from his terrible torn ACL he suffered against the Heat in last year's playoffs. He isn't as much of an offensive factor, since NY has several other major scoring options, but his defense is superb when he's fully healthy. He's speedy and quick and can cover the top guards in the game. But best of all, this guy's sporting perhaps the best 'do in all of professional sports right now! 

I'd like to wish the Knickerbockers the best of luck this playoff stretch! Hopefully they'll be able to get back to the finals, but it's going to take a lot of hard work before that goal can be reached. I'll definitely be along for the ride though!

See Ya!

Monday, April 15, 2013

TTM #108 - Biters Beware! TV Return!

Hey guys, Drew back here! This year, along with my love for the hobby, I've gained additional love for a few TV shows, The Walking Dead in particular! I started watching TWD during the late fall, and have absolutely loved the show. It goes so far beyond the basic zombie gist many people make it out to be, and I guarantee if you're into any suspense or drama shows, you would love this one too. I recently mailed off an 8x10 of a show promo overseas to the leading actor Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes. Late last week, Lincoln returned the picture signed! Check out the results:
"Dear Drew, Thank you for your kind words.. Best wishes from the Zombie Apocalypse. Andrew Lincoln"! I hadn't been as excited for a TTM in a long time to the extent I was for this one. Sure, I can get all of the sports stars out there, but something about my autographs of Lil Wayne (whose music I really can't stand anymore), Betty White, Jack Black, etc; carry much more personal value. These are ones I can share around school and get a lot of "Wow Drew, that's awesome", compared to an athlete most haven't really heard of. And this one sure did draw a lot of positive feedback and reaction, especially to my fellow Dead Head friends!
When I took it out of the envelope, this sticky note was placed on the right corner of the photo. It took me forever to figure out what it was, although I still don't know exactly what it says. I sent the photo to Lincoln's agent, so I figure this note was for Andrew to use to sign the photo. Of course, this sort of takes away from the experience; but it's completely understandable that he doesn't get to read all his fan mail. The fact that he still took some time out to sign is appreciated enough.

I originally planned to have a large amount of the cast sign this picture of Rick, however the amount of inscriptions Lincoln added wound up wrecking that plan, in a good way of course. I ordered a bunch of 8x10's to send out to the cast during the filming of Season 4, which will start in less than a month.

This is easily one of my favorite successes now, and I'd like to thank Andrew Lincoln for making my day! Wish me luck in May with the rest of the cast. Praying to get Daryl!

See Ya!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Mixed Bag of MLB Veteran Auto Pickups!

Hey guys, Drew back here! I just did the calculations- 66 days left until my summer vacation begins! Junior year hasn't been a piece of cake; in result I've had to work a lot harder than usual. However; the results have still been quality for me, and I'm proud to say I've done all that and also still made a lot of time for this hobby! Take a look at some of my recent pickups, most of which in exchange for my sales on Check Out My Collectibles:
First of all, my friend Mike and I made a 1 for 1 trade, which landed me his Exquisite autograph numbered to 50 of current Tigers DH Victor Martinez! I gave him my National Chicle Hakeem Nicks autograph straight up for the card, so the value was about even. Martinez is up there as one of the more underrated hitters in baseball, and I'm hoping he could have a solid bounce back campaign to make up for his injury plagued 2012 season. 
Joel Hanrahan was one of my favorite relievers in the game up until he packed his bags to become a member of the Red Sox. However, I still thought it'd be nice to pick up one of his autographs in his Bucs uni, and I took the one out of 2013 Topps. It's a decent looking card, and I'll probably hang on to it despite his dreadful start to the season. 
Next, I added this beautiful Masterpieces autograph of Indians speedy center fielder Michael Bourn! Bourn has really made his rounds in the big leagues throughout his 8 years, from Philadelphia to Houston to Atlanta, and now this season, to Cleveland. He's a valuable asset to any team, but I guess those sorts of players get overlooked because of the risk for injury. On another note, Upper Deck, come back, these are way too nice looking. 
Limited to only 2025 copies was my next pickup, this 2002 Best of Donruss Fan Club Alfonso Soriano autograph, pictured back during his pinstripe days! Soriano had a very underrated 2012 season, although he never really has hit for much of a batting average. It's crazy to imagine if the Yankees never traded him for A-Rod. I've always liked Sori though, and I think he's had a pretty nice career.
Lastly, how about this incredible 2011 Topps Tribute Giancarlo "Don't Call Me Mike" Stanton autographed relic? I've wanted an autograph of Mr. Stanton for a while now, as he's become one of my favorite players in the league! I wish the Marlins would get rid of him though, because it'd be for the best for both sides. As long as he doesn't go to Boston, I'd be happy. I used $40 of COMC store credit for this one, and I'm hoping my investment will pay off!

What do you guys think? Have a good week everyone! See Ya!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Highlight of my Robinson Cano Collection!

Hey guys, Drew back here! I've been meaning to show this one off for a while now, as it's now been in my possession for a few weeks. I used a good chunk of the money I made off of COMC to buy quite possibly the best Cano autograph around, and while it wasn't cheap; I think it was definitely worth it! Take a look:
Indeed, I added his 2003 Bowman Heritage rookie autograph to my collection! Technically; I owned this card before the most recent one I picked up at a card show, so this was my 10th different Cano autograph! There's something so simple, yet so elegant about this card. Cano looks like the prototypical rookie, excited and anxious to begin his career. However, he soon showed that he was no average player, and since his rookie campaign in 2005, he's been all but "average". His lifetime batting average is .308, and with 4 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Sluggers, and about halfway to 3,000 hits; he's well on pace to having a plaque in Cooperstown!

Cano was the first star I got to really watch develop as a player, considering I started watching in 2005. I didn't exactly take it in the way I have today with guys like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, but I'm proud to say I've grown up during the Cano era, and even prouder to say I have a lot of nice memorabilia to go along with it! 

I'm really glad I decided to save for this, rather than buy a ton of cheaper cards. I sold my 2007 Topps Chrome Adrian Peterson blue refractor for $80, which made this purchase a little cheaper. It's a simple card, but it really speaks for the type of player Robby Cano is. Hopefully he'll be flashing his trademark smile while signing a huge extension following the season, with Jay-Z by his side! 

See Ya!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

TTM #107- HOF Running Back!

Hey guys, Drew back here! I've had an extremely successful week in the hobby, and I was able to cap it off on a really high note this morning. Before I get to one of my recent through the mail successes; I'd like to share what happened this morning. 

Yesterday, my dad ran into a group of women and a 6 year old boy from England who happened to be staying in the area. Although he was only 6, this kid walked around with a binder filled with cards, and my Dad told him about my collection. Later, he told me about the boy, and I gathered a huge box filled with cards to give to him the next day. I've been meaning to clear up some space in my basement, so moving the box would be a win-win in this case. After I left my friend's house this morning, Dad and I met up with them in our town, and I gave the boy the box. It's safe to say I made his weekend; judging by the excitement in his voice and the look on his face. This, my friends, is what the hobby is all about. It felt really good to do this, and I highly recommend to all of you reading that instead of trying to make a profit on everything, to save a little bit in case of a situation like this. Like I said, it really is a win-win.
Anyway, the other day I received my 107th TTM success, that being of former Chicago Bears Pro Bowl running back Gale Sayers! Sayers, known as "The Kansas Comet", had a relatively short career, however his dominance while he was there earned him a bust in Canton when all was said and done. Skill wise; he was one of the best backs to ever take the field. He was known for cutting past defenders while never slowing down. His rookie season went down as one of the best in history; as he scored a record 22 touchdowns with over 2,000 all purpose yards. Unfortunately, just a few seasons later he became injury prone, and they forced him to end his career at the age of 28. However; his legacy earned him #22 on the Sporting News' list of the 100 greatest players!

Sayers signed my 8x10 photo beautifully in black; adding his "HOF 77" inscription! I threw in a $10 donation for the autograph, and I'm beyond happy with the result! Thanks Mr. Sayers!

See Ya!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Get Well Soon Ty! Recent PC Pickups

Hey guys, Drew back here! As many of you know, I recently started a new player collection; 2012 Yankees 1st round draft pick Ty Hensley! Unfortunately, the well touted prospect just recently underwent successful hip surgery, and will be out for a good chunk of the 2013 season. In order to wish him a proper get well, take a look at some of the cards I recently added of his:
I made a Check Out My Collectibles purchase about a month ago, taking home a bunch of great new cards for my collection (you'll see most of those another day). With the few bits and pieces of store credit I had left, I added a few Hensley cards to deepen my collection of his. Of course, I added the 2012 Bowman Chrome base and refractor, two pretty essential cards towards any prospect collection.
I also added these two parallels from the regular Bowman set; the orange and blue ones in particular. The orange is numbered 208 of 250; the blue numbered 390 of 500. I'm not the kind of collector who would chase multiples of the same card; I've always liked just having one of a card. I'm not against it though, so if you guys have any of these cards for trade I'd love to take them off your hands.
I bought this one off of eBay for less than $10 delivered, the Bowman red ice parallel numbered 1/25! It's a beautiful card; easily one of my favorites in the small but ever growing collection. I was surprised it didn't go for more than it did, because of the scarcity and the whole "eBay 1/1" spiel, but I'm definitely glad it didn't.
I've been selling quite a bit on COMC (although I've hit a dry spell of late), and I was able to fund enough $ to buy this sweet Hensley magenta printing plate! It's been a while since I've been able to add a 1/1 card to my collection, but after selling my Torii Hunter SP Legendary Cuts 1/1; I felt like I should replace it with something I liked more. 
But wait! There's more! I also happened to stumble upon the Cyan plate on eBay, and I got it for $10 less than I paid for the magenta. It was a great price, and my opinion, the better of the two!

Despite the injury, I'm still confident that Ty will be able to rebound and get to the majors one day! I'll definitely be rooting for him when he does! Get well soon!

See Ya!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

TTM #106 - Psychopath Closer!

Hey guys, Drew back here! I recently sent out a few TTM's, and one of them rolled in during my Spring Break! Take a look:
Former closer Al Hrabosky signed two cards for me along with an index card! Known as "The Mad Hungarian" (one of the best nicknames in baseball history in my opinion), Al had a knack for putting on a show for the fans. He would step off the mound between pitches, turn away from the batter, pound the ball into his glove, and then whipped back around and stared down the hitter with his nasty facial hair until they were scared to death. Call him crazy; but he still managed to win the 1975 Fireman of the Year award, and after it was all said and done he retired with 97 career saves. 

Currently, he is the color commentator for the St. Louis Cardinals, the team he played most of his career for. I love the index card personalization "Psyche Up! Al Hrabosky, The Mad Hungarian". He certainly isn't the best success I've ever gotten but it'll rank up there as one of the cooler ones.

Thanks Mr. Hrabosky! See Ya!

Monday, April 1, 2013

National Treasures Mail! Happy Opening Day!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Happy Opening Day! I missed school today coincidentally, because I wasn't feeling well this morning, but it turned out to be a nice day to take off. I rarely get to see the Yankees Opening Day game, so I was really excited to be able to today. Well, a few innings into the game and I was wishing I was in school. The Yankees had quite the lineup today, I must say. It's going to be a tough first month but I'm sure they'll be able to pull through. Anyway, here are a few cards I recently picked up from the new 2012 Panini National Treasures product in honor of the inaugural day of the 2013 season:
First off, I picked up this beautiful Reggie Jackson "Greatness" relic with a pinstripe right down the middle for about $10! I can never have enough Reggie cards, and this one I just couldn't pass up. National Treasures is such a nice product; its unfortunate that it's as expensive as it is.
I also added my first ever booklet card, this being of Mark Teixeira! It isn't anything spectacular, just a plain old road jersey, but it's a really cool looking card. I've had too much fun the past few days opening and closing the book, but I'm sure I'll get bored of it eventually. I may pick up a few more of these from this set, but they really are a pain to store, and I don't think a Mark Teixeira relic is worthy of buying a booklet screwdown holder for.

That's all for now from Panini National Treasures, but certainly not for good. I won't be buying any boxes in the near or distant future but I'm more than open to a single at a good price. Maybe I'll get some of the Cano and McCutchen cards. We'll have to wait and see.

But for now, See Ya!