Saturday, March 31, 2012

eBay Pickup: Novakane Style!

Hey guys, Drew back here. Although I am extremely excited for baseball to start, I still haven't lost much interest in basketball over the past few weeks. In fact, after this card I also have another Knicks autograph coming in, of one of the better guys to get! Anyways, besides for last night's loss 100-90 to the Hawks, the Knicks have come alive under their interim coach Mike Woodson, winning 9 out of their 11 games with him in charge. One of the Knicks best shooters, if not their best, is the guy I'm about to show you a card of. There was Linsanity, and then there was Novakane!

Out of 2006-07 Fleer eX, I managed to pick up this very nice Steve Novak rookie autograph. Sure, the nickname is pretty darn stupid, and sounds like a John Sterling thing, but boy can this guy shoot a three pointer. This season his three point percentage has been astounding, at 48.2%, while the next closest players have between 30 and 33% on the team. He only plays about 17 minutes a game, but when he comes in the opposing defense needs to keep him from taking the big shot. His story certainly is an interesting one, in which his rough rookie season brought him into the D-League, until he was traded to the Clippers, where he did fairly well. The next season he was signed by the Dallas Mavericks, only to go back to the D-League, and then the Spurs. He was signed by the Knicks on December 21st of this year and has had his biggest role yet. 

He's a very likely guy from what it seems, as are quite a few of the current Knicks players. I paid only a few bucks for this, so I couldn't really go wrong. It's actually a really neat card, as both sides of the card are clear, which you can see in the picture below. I'm glad I could add Novak to my basketball collection!

See Ya!

Trade with Andrew's Baseball Cards!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Now that the show review is over and done with, I should probably catch up on all of the other cool stuff I've gotten in lately! I met young blogger Andrew through William, and him and I were able to work out our first trade. Take a look at what I got out of the deal:

First were an awful lot of cards from last year that I didn't seem to have yet in my collection. I might've already gotten one or two of the Bowman cards in this scan, but outside of that, everything else was new to me! The Brett Gardner blue border is the 2011 Topps Opening Day parallel numbered out of 2011, and the Derek Jeter card is the retail diamond card (not the actual diamond anniversary set card). Also, the Robinson Cano card is one I would've never known existed had it not been for Andrew, and I'm still unaware of what set it's actually from.

However, the centerpiece of the trade was most certainly this 1993 Pinnacle rookie card of "The Captain", Derek Jeter! I have a lot of various Jeter rookies, but somehow this one had managed to escape me for a long, long time until now. It is probably one of my favorites thus far, until I manage to get a hold of the SP Rookie, which will probably continue to haunt me for quite a while.

So, thank you Andrew for the awesome stuff! I really appreciate you giving up this rookie to help my collection, and I hope you enjoy the Cardinals I sent!

Everyone please go give Andrew's blog a look! He's a good, reliable young kid!

See Ya!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 24th White Plains Card Show Recap! Meeting Two HOF'ers!

Hey guys, Drew back here to finally wrap up the White Plains Card Show Review. Many bloggers seem to be able to pound out a whole show review within a few posts, but I prefer to go into depth on my pickups because it's not like I leave with a whole lot of money in my pocket, if any at all. The other day I thought about what my collection would be like without discovering these shows that take less than an hour to get to from here, and I couldn't even begin to tell you how much weaker it would be. I'm fortunate that I heard about them a few years back though, as I've gotten chances to meet players such as Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield, Ernie Banks, and even the whole Jets defensive line known as "The Sack Exchange"! 

At this show, I was able to add two more legends to the list of people I've met, both of which have been enshrined into Cooperstown within the past ten years. I had an opportunity to meet recent inductee Roberto Alomar as well, but the price for an autograph wasn't very favorable to my show budget. Instead, I met a guy with over 3,000 hits on the back of his baseball card, and a guy who was one of the most feared power hitters of his era. 

After waiting 2 hours in line for the free guys, I heard an announcement, saying it was the last call to meet one of the Hall of Famers I bought a ticket to meet. Dad had to take a few photos of the people in front and behind us in line with our camera because he had offered, since they didn't have cameras, and so following getting my Shantz and White autographs, he stayed there for a few moments getting their emails to send the pictures too. In the meantime, I took a mad dash through the show to try and make it before my player left, and fortunately enough by the time I got in the room, both Hall of Famers had absolutely NO line! 

With Dad and the camera not being present at the time, it gave me a few extra moments to talk with third baseman Wade Boggs as he signed my photograph for me! Boggs wasn't just one of the best third basemen to ever live, but he was also the third baseman that helped bring my Yankees to the World Series in 1996- the year that I was born. "The Chicken Man" made 12 All Star teams, while nabbing a few gold gloves in his illustrious career, which resulted in 3,010 career hits and a .328 lifetime batting average! He was wearing his 1996 ring, which I complimented, and I also said thanks to him for helping bring New York Yankee baseball back on the map. He was grateful and kind, and signed my 16x20 photograph beautifully with one of the nicer inscriptions I own. 

I couldn't come across any Boggs photo any more iconic than the one I was able to get signed, of him riding a horse after winning the World Series in 96'! The autograph came out beautiful, and the inscription reads: "To Drew, Best Wishes, Wade Boggs, '96' WS Champs, HOF 05". I just asked him to write it out to Drew, and then include whatever else he wished to include, and this went far beyond expectations. What an awesome experience.

Dad ran into the side room where Boggs and I were a few minutes later, and was able to meet him and take this great picture of me with the 5 time batting title winner himself! After I met the next player, I went and got my picture certified for $6 from JSA, since they run discounts on the players signing at the shows. I can't wait to frame it up on the wall, especially because the picture was from my birth year!

The two of us then scurried through the Alomar line to meet another Hall of Famer with absolutely no line- Expos/Cubs great Andre Dawson! "The Hawk" charged the same price as Boggs, and while he was a little quieter, it was still well worth it. Dawson was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2010, in his 9th year of eligibility. With a career average of .279, with 2,774 hits and 438 home runs, this guy was by far one of the better all around players of his time. To add to his list of accolades, he also won the 1977 NL Rookie of the Year, as well as the 1987 NL MVP, to go along with 8 gold gloves and 8 All Star selections. So, to say he wasn't Cooperstown worthy is a tad bit ridiculous in my opinion.

I had him sign a Hall of Fame custom for my set, which came out nice as always. He has one of the best signatures around, even though I don't necessarily understand why his 'd' in Andre drops down so low. Nonetheless, it looks really cool! The neat part about it, however, was that he signed the card sideways, and still managed a beautiful looking autograph! I've never seen anyone sign like that before, so I thought it was pretty cool.

Dawson seemed like a very nice guy, and I was able to get this picture with him, which came out really good in my opinion. Dad is getting better at pictures every time, so I gotta give him props for that!

That will just about conclude my Card Show review post series. We didn't come home with any door prizes this time around, because we didn't necessarily see any need for the prizes, and we figured we would let someone else win this time! Dad and I had an awesome time without a doubt, and I just want to once again thank him for taking me and treating me with so many awesome cards to add to my sets! You're the best!

See Ya!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 24th White Plains Card Show Recap! Meeting Bobby Shantz and Roy White!

Hey everyone, Drew back here. For some odd reason baseball was cancelled today, perhaps because it got to be too nice out? Oh well, anyway, since I'm stuck here in my office room, I might as well continue on the card show review! We're now moving on to Part 4 of 6, dedicated to my experiences getting to meet two former players! Both of these players were free autograph signers for the day with paid admission into the show, and had by far the longest line I've ever seen at the County Center. I'm still stumped as to why, because both players weren't necessarily stars, but a free autograph is a free autograph without a doubt.

The first player I was able to meet was former All Star pitcher Bobby Shantz! Shantz is one of those old school players who is now in his upper 80's, but the coolest part about him was that he not only was a very good pitcher, but he had opportunities to face some players us fans idolize today, in Mantle, Mays, and Jackie Robinson. He was an 8 time Gold Glove winner, which really is a hard accomplishment to achieve in baseball for a pitcher. Also, adding to his remarkable list of accomplishments, he also won the 1952 American League MVP after winning 24 games! With a career record of 119-99, he was certainly one of the better pitchers of his era. I actually already got his autograph from a past TTM success, but with a chance to meet him for practically no cost was something I didn't want to pass up.

Unfortunately, I was stuck in line for an hour and a half, and that's just being nice. However, the wait was definitely worth it, as I was able to finally meet Shantz and have him sign a few things for me. I don't quite remember how it came up, but I was able to thank him for signing for me through the mail, and how appreciative I was of that. He seemed like a really nice man, without question.

He first signed this very nice 1988 Pacific Baseball Legends card, from the same set I recently got a Roy Sievers autograph from. I discovered that I had quite a few of these cards laying around in my basement, so I decided to try and get some of them autographed, because they always seem to come out great. This was certainly no exception to that. Shantz has by far one of the nicest all around signatures I've seen. 
For the other free ticket Dad and I had on us, I decided to do something pretty neat, at least from what I think. I bought a cheap 8x10 off of my favorite photo dealer at the show, and I paid the JP's Sports guys for an inscription. I asked Mr. Shantz if he could write a little something about the photo on it, and he went right ahead and did that for me, which was awesome. I thought it came out pretty darn good. 

Yes, the photograph is from the 1952 All Star Game, where Shantz showed off in his MVP season, striking out three batters in a row- Whitey Lockman, Jackie Robinson, and Stan 'The Man' Musial! It shows Jackie swinging at the pitch in the at bat he struck out in, which was really something neat. It's rare to get a chance to meet someone who pitched against one of the biggest American icons, so I always wanted to remember the opportunity I had to meet him. I asked Shantz how difficult Jackie was to face, and he said that he was a very tough hitter, but he was able to get him in that at bat. 

Without a doubt meeting Bobby was something I probably won't ever forget, and I'm glad I took advantage of the opportunity I was given. He was a class act, and I was able to take home some pretty darn awesome autographs! On a side note, he looks very good for 87 years old. God bless him. 

Immediately following my encounter with the 1952 AL MVP, I moved right along to the next free signer, former Yankee Roy White. This wasn't the first time I met White, or even the second. This was the third time I've met him! I've always thought he was a class act guy and a good autograph to have, so I've taken advantage of getting to meet him in the past. In fact, back in 2006, he became the first Major League athlete I ever met. So, with this time around, besides picking up a nice autograph for Connor to give as a gift, I decided to do something special. The night before I met him, I decided not to have him sign my Mantle autographed photo just yet, because I had another idea in mind. 

It came out a little smeared on the right side, but nobody has really noticed it too much until I point it out. The picture was absolutely fine until he signed it, so maybe his hands were greasy or something because there was a thumbprint on the side. Or I was just being stupid. Who knows. Anyways, I now own a signed photograph of my first encounter with a professional athlete, which was something I always thought about doing. He inscribed it out "To Drew, Best Wishes Again, Roy White #6". I have five or six of his autographs already, but this one shot right up to number one. 

White seemed a little out of it that day, but he was still nice enough to add a nice personalization and what not. He's a good guy, but I'm sure he was sick of signing by that point, especially with the line that still awaited AFTER I was done waiting over an hour for them. 

So, these two experiences already had made my day, but it only got better as I proceeded to meet 2 Hall of Famers! I'll post those signings tomorrow!

See Ya!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 24th White Plains Card Show Recap! Yankee Prospect Auto!

Hey guys, Drew back here! This is a bit of a quick post, especially since it's been so difficult to post on school nights, but I did want to share my final card I bought at the show, before I get into who I met and my experiences with them! I paid a decent amount of money for this card, but hopefully it will be well worth it in a few years. Take a look:

Out of 2011 Bowman Chrome, I picked up this beautiful Manny Banuelos chrome rookie autograph! I got a fairly solid deal on the card, and I've been meaning to add his autograph to my collection. Banuelos is the Yankees current top pitching prospect, and is the 13th best prospect in all of baseball according to the Scouting Book. He isn't a big guy by any means, but his fastball has consistently been at 93-94 mph while he has the ability to hit 97 as well. He may not be a household name for a few years, but with risk comes reward, and I was more than willing to take a chance on this guy for my Yankees collection.

What do you guys think of Banuelos? Good/Bad Buy as of Now? It won't offend me one bit if you disagree!

See Ya!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 24th White Plains Card Show Recap! 2011 Tier One Relics!

Hey guys, Drew back here! So not only did Dad and I go after quite a few 1961 Topps cards for our set, but we also went crazy with some 2011 Topps Tier One relic cards! Obviously, most of you know I suddenly received an urge back at the end of last year to try for the whole relic set, and you all thought I was crazy I'm sure. However, after this show, I feel confident that I could have the set complete by the end of the year if I really put a lot of effort in on it! One reason for this confidence is that one of my favorite vendors, Rich, was able to pick up the entire set for a discounted price, so he's been able to make us some great, great deals. Take a look at the cards he was able to help me add for a great price:

The first of many was of Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford. I used to like Carl a lot while he was a Ray, but now it's awfully hard to continue to like him as he gears up in Boston every day. Well, when he's not injured.

How can you not like Chipper Jones? I haven't gotten to watch a lot of Braves games over the years, but it's obvious to baseball fans throughout our country that he is one of the most respectable men to ever play the game. It was sad to hear that 2012 will be his final season, as he announced a few days ago. Without a doubt he'll be in Cooperstown one day. 

Speaking of the Braves, here is a pretty nice Brian McCann relic. McCann is one of the more underrated players in baseball today, and if I had to start a team today I would want him to be behind the plate. He's undoubtedly the best all around catcher in the big leagues, with Yadier Molina close on his tail. 

Am I the only person here that thinks Jered Weaver is going to have another Cy Young caliber season this year? I doubt it. He's been one of the best in the American League over the past few years, and with a revamped lineup containing Albert Pujols, I can see an awful lot of wins in his future.

Aramis Ramirez was one of many players to switch teams over the offseason, landing a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. I think he's bound for a nice year following his great 2011 season, due to the fact that he's in a very good lineup, even though he's no Prince Fielder. I like this card quite a bit because of the nice pinstripe from his Cubs jersey is almost going down the middle of the card. 

I really question the abilities of Ubaldo Jimenez. I feel like his 2010 season is going to be his best season, and that his move to the American League is only going to hurt him. He's a solid #3 pitcher in my book, but I think Cleveland surrendered too much for him last season. But what do I know. This card also has a pinstripe sneak into the corner, and although I'm not a big Jimenez fan, this is also one of my favorites in the bunch. 

There's B.J. Upton, Kevin Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbon, and Carlos Zambrano, among many others in the game today. But, above all, Dustin Pedroia is my least favorite player in all of baseball. It's nothing against his work ethic, ability, and talent, but it's the fact that he is an annoying batter to face on the most annoying team (in my opinion) in baseball. Sox fans, I wish I could trade this to you, but I can't since it's part of the set. Oh well. 

Ian Kinsler is one of those guys who I think benefits greatly from being in a very good lineup. He's a good all around player with the capability of being a 30-30 guy without question. In fact, he was one last year. Can he keep up this season? We'll have to wait a few months and see. 

The last of today's players is perhaps the best of the bunch, in Reds superstar first baseman Joey Votto! Votto is one of those some what underrated but very likable guys in baseball, that does his job at a high level every single day. He's a great fantasy baseball pick if you're a fan of consistency, and has a good chance at bringing the Reds towards the top of the NL Central this year (if the Ryan Madson injury doesn't affect them too much). 

Dad surprised me with two Yankees Tier One relics I needed to end the show, and this was one of them. Nothing like a jersey card of "The Warrior", Paul O'Neill. I'm not all that sure why he fits in with all of the Hall of Famers in the set, but it doesn't necessarily matter to me, because I like him a lot. He's certainly better than some of the players in this set though, so I don't think it's much of an issue having him included. 

I really like this card, perhaps the most of any of the cards Dad and I acquired. It's a red Twins relic of Paul Molitor! Sure, Molitor isn't well known for his days as a Twin compared to his Brewers days, but any opportunity you get for a red relic needs to be taken advantage of. It really pops out compared to the other cards in the set. 

Speaking of rare relic colors, here is a black relic of a White Sox player! I bet you don't hear that everyday! The card is of Carlton Fisk in one of those interesting White Sox jerseys from the 80's. Gotta love it. My favorite part about this is that he isn't pictured as a Red Sox player, even though you can argue he was more well known for that portion of his career. A great catcher without question. 

William, be jealous. Next is a bat relic of one of the best Orioles that ever lived, in Eddie Murray! Murray was often overlooked throughout his career compared to others from his time, but he wasn't overlooked when Cooperstown called his name. The only negative about this card is that his snazzy sideburns were gone by the time this picture was taken. Bummer.

Now we're really talking, as next is a relic of Hall of Fame shortstop Pee Wee Reese. Reese was part of the dynamic Dodgers middle infield, sharing it with the beloved Jackie Robinson. He was known for always trying to help and support Jackie even though he had it rough in the beginning of his major league career. He's certainly one of the cooler names in the set, along with the next guy below. 

Former Cardinal, Giant, and Yankee Johnny Mize! When looking at Mize's career stat line: .312 lifetime batting average, 359 home runs, 10 time all star, I discovered that he was a complete player for his time. I drew a comparison to today's Joey Votto (if he keeps up for the rest of his young career), or maybe Todd Helton. But nobody knew how to win like Mize, who was a part of the Yankees pennant run in the late 40's and early 50's. This is really a beautiful card. 

Next is a member of the 500 Home Run club, Mr. Willie McCovey! He is one of the most underrated players in the Hall of Fame in my opinion, mainly because he was second to Willie Mays through most of his career over in San Francisco. However, his 521 home runs, 6 All Star selections, and numerous other accolades make him one of the best to ever play. 

The final card was more expensive than all of the others, but fittingly so. The relic is of former Yankees great Thurman Munson, who will always be a part of my heart. I didn't grow up in the 1970's, but through watching a lot of old film and games, I realized that if you want to describe a perfect ballplayer, this guy was your guy. No, he didn't smack home runs out of the park every time he hit, but the guy worked his butt off every day and hustled in everything he did. Since the day I knew of Thurman Munson for the first time, I modeled my career after his in a respect. I'm not a catcher, but I realized it's okay to get dirty, and to run as hard as you can. It shows how much you love the game. Thurman's plaque would be in the Hall of Fame today had it not been for the tragic day of August 2nd, 1979, when his plane crashed and killed him. After that day, Yankees fans realized that if anyone was indeed "the straw that stirred the drink", it was him. R.I.P. Thurman, forever and always.

On a lighter note, these 17 relics bring me all the way up to 30 in total that I now have, out of the 50 card set. I'm still looking for three more dual relics, in Aaron; Mantle; and Ruth; but I'm very content being 60% of the way done already. It's coming around to being a beautiful set!

If anyone owns any of the cards that I don't have pictured on this page and is interested in trading me one to help me out with my set, please feel free to send me an email to! Thanks so much to everyone who read this, and once again to Dad for the tremendous help! 

See Ya!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24th White Plains Card Show Recap! 1961 Topps!

Hey guys, Drew back here! It's been a heck of a day so far today, as Dad and I were at the White Plains Card Show for the 9th time! Normally I don't try to go to all of the shows, but the lineup was too good to pass up this time around, so Dad and I took the trip down! I was able to accumulate enough money since the January show to bring what I usually have on me, maybe a little less. Unfortunately, a lot of the money I spent went towards supplies and pictures for autographs and what not. Dad helped me out once again as always, proving yet again how awesome of a dad he is, so we were alright in the end! Before I get to the main highlights, let's warm up with some set pickups!

One thing at the show that Dad and I focused on were the two sets I've been collecting: 2011 Topps Tier One relics, and 1961 Topps. Both sets are very different, so it never gets boring to collect them both. We balanced both sets out pretty well, getting quite a few needs for each set. We'll start with the '61 set!


Dad really helped me attack the first 100 cards in the set in this show, which means a lot of random names came up. However, a few solid names such as Vada Pinson and the cards below certainly made it fun to pursue them all today! 

Not one, but two cards featuring Hank Bauer were needed for the set chase, until now. We got these three cards from our good friend Hunter, who, along with his friend Rich, are my favorite vendors from the shows. They're always there and they give us very nice deals. Tomorrow you'll see what Rich was able to do for me, which was really awesome. Anyway, we also knocked off the card of then-skinny Don Zimmer! Zimmer wasn't much to write home about as a player but I've always liked him during his coaching career with the Yanks during their pennant run in the 1990's. 

However, the best 1961 Topps pickup we made at this show was undoubtedly this Bob Gibson card, #211! Gibson was perhaps the greatest pitcher of the entire decade of the 1960's, and this card shows him before he gained a massive amount of confidence and dominated for years to come. It's in fair condition, especially for the price we ended up getting it for. He was one of the last big name base cards I needed for the set, so I'm glad we were finally able to knock him off the list. Carl Yastrzemski, Roberto Clemente, and Ernie Banks still await.

So, all in all we knocked off 34 cards in the set, with 3 doubles scattered in between! This pushes us up to 241 cards out of 587 in the set in total, a solid 41%! If any of you have any 61's laying around for trade, please take a look at my list of what I have at the top of my sidebar! Thanks everyone, and thanks to Dad as always for taking me to the show and helping out so much!

Part 2 coming tomorrow, See Ya!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Timsanity Heading to New York!

Hey guys, Drew back here. While the Giants continue to celebrate their Super Bowl title from last season, my Jets have started to make waves as well. First off, they signed safety LaRon Landry to a contract, which I think really helps them since Jim Leonhard filed for free agency. He's a proven player, with 2 Pro Bowl appearances under his belt. However, yesterday as most of you know, they were back at it, when news was first released of their trade for Tim Tebow, which only cost them a few draft picks and a little change in the long run! The move was halted as the day went on due to issues in his contract, but he wound up choosing New York over the Jacksonville Jaguars anyway. Besides the Broncos move in acquiring the aging Peyton Manning, this trade has created an awful lot of buzz around the NFL.

I like Tim Tebow a lot. At first, I wasn't a fan of his just because I thought he was overhyped and a future bust. He was a huge talent in Florida during his college career, but the way he plays as a quarterback is much different than anything we've seen in a long time. Nonetheless, he proved his haters wrong (including myself) last season when he led Denver to the AFC Divisional Round. His late game rallies and comeback wins made him perhaps the most beloved athlete in 2011 throughout the whole country! I think logical fans knew he wasn't going to end up being the next John Elway, but they thought it was awful cool to see a player of his caliber succeed at the highest level. Everyone jumped on his bandwagon and "Tebowed" it up last year, again, including myself. He really brought that personal affection for sports out in a lot of fans, and made us remember why we enjoy it so much.

The best part is that Tebow is one heck of a leader, on and off the field. He often is the center of jokes about his extreme religious persona, but honestly would you rather have a true leader or someone who is the center of controversy? I don't think that is a very difficult question to answer, at least in my opinion.

Unfortunately, the Jets have a bit of a conundrum in this situation, in that they already have a starting quarterback in Mark Sanchez. While many Jets fans have lost hope in Sanchez's ability to lead the team, they have to remember he was good enough to bring them to two consecutive AFC championship games. He received most of the blame in last season's collapse, but had his offensive line and running game been more effective, I'm sure he would've done better. People forget just how talented Sanchez is, and they jump to the Jets overall record of 8-8 to try to prove that he's a bust. I've always liked Mark Sanchez, and while admittedly I was very frustrated with him at certain moments last year, he is our quarterback afterall. The Jets signed him to a 3 year extension a week or so ago which was to guarantee he would be the starting quarterback for a few more years.

But, with the addition of Tebow as a backup quarterback, only more pressure mounts on the 25 year old to perform well. Sometimes competition works as an advantage for a team, but sometimes it doesn't. The thing with Tebow is that I can see him coping with being a backup quarterback well enough to let Sanchez have another opportunity to shine. He has a strong work ethic, and will make Mark compete for the job, but all in all, he won't end up with the starting job because of the Jets offensive system. Sanchez could either take the Tebow move in one of two ways: 1) He'll welcome Tebow in with open arms and will work harder to ensure that he keeps the job, or 2) He is upset about the signing and doesn't want anyone stepping onto his turf, so it affects his on field performance. We'll have to wait and see how it goes.

I like the move though, being that they only gave up a 4th and 6th rounder, and have to pay $5 million due to his no-trade clause. We also received a 7th round pick as well, which kind of balances out the 6th rounder we gave up. Going into the 2012 season, I would much rather use our 4th round pick on Tim Tebow than an unproven rookie who will most likely not end up panning out. Plus, with the hiring of former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano as an offensive coordinator, the Jets will use their Wildcat system more often than they did last year after losing Brad Smith to the Bills. Tebow will be a perfect fit in that case. It's a risky move, because of the pressure fans put on players in New York, but if anybody can succumb to that pressure, it's the former Heisman trophy winner.

From a hobby standpoint, the Tebow merchandise/card prices will rise even higher than they already have, which is typical for any player arriving in New York. I don't plan on buying any of his extremely expensive autographs any time soon, but I'm definitely in support of the deal, granted everything sits well with our GQ-model quarterback. The Jets certainly don't need more turmoil in their locker room.

What do you think of "Tim-Sanity" in New York? See Ya!

An Electrifying Autograph!

Hey guys, Drew back here! It's been a really nice week in New York weather wise, so I haven't really been around to post much, as we've had baseball practice every day. There is no better feeling than knowing that the MLB season is just days away, and I'm excited as ever to see how the Yankees put it together in the 2012 season. That being said, I've picked up a few cards recently to celebrate Spring Training soon coming to an end, and the first of a player who created an awful lot of buzz in the offseason. 

Out of 2003 Topps, here is a "Signature Moves" autograph of former Mets and now current Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes! For a while I really was never a fan of Reyes, because he seemed overrated due to his lack of games played. However, I realized that granted he stays healthy for at least 130 games in this upcoming year, in a lineup as dominant as his Marlins team is, he could really have a career year. He's still young, agile, and filled with the skills needed for a gold glove shortstop, so anything could happen. 

Recently, I've started to notice that the early-2000's Topps autographs are actually quite nice. Some of the cards don't have the flair that new products have, but they serve their purpose as a Certified Autograph Card and have a really clean look to them. Nothing better than a rookie autograph at a great price, that's an on card autograph and has a solid design. I'll take that without a doubt any day. 

See Ya!

Monday, March 19, 2012

TTM #83- The Best Inscription I've Seen! HOF'er!

Hey guys, Drew back here. About a week ago I was really excited to get a package in the mail. It had been a few days between packages, so I was ecstatic to see more in the mail. Unfortunately, I got a little too excited, and a bit of the result of the TTM success was ripped in the process of opening it up. However, I was able to tape it up enough that it won't look all that bad, and I was able to preserve greatness at it's finest. The player signed two items for me, so I guess I'll start with the card he signed for me:

The success was from none other than Hall of Fame linebacker Chuck Bednarik! Bednarik was without a doubt one of the best defensive football players of all time, and he played an awful long time ago, as shown in his inscription, "Eagles, 1949-62"! It's noticeable that Chuck signed the card originally in pen, but then went over it in sharpie. I find it unreal to see how close he was to duplicating the signature perfectly. I guess after being perhaps the most renowned football TTM signer to Peyton Manning, your signature becomes almost robotic. I think this custom just came out great signed, and it gave me hope on my future TTM's I have out there. 

Unfortunately, this photograph got a little ripped, but nonetheless it looks unreal. This 5x7 photo is one of the more recognizable photographs in NFL history, showing the celebration following "Concrete Charlie's" knockout of football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford. The hit he put on Gifford knocked him out of football for a year and a half, hence the "Sorry Frank" inscription laying right above Gifford's face. On the top of the photo, he inscribed it "This game is over", which is not only hilarious but just really awesome in general! The first time I saw those inscriptions on someone's TTM success from him made me desire the same piece in my own collection. It came out way too perfect.

Bednarik not only played as a linebacker but also as a center on offense as well. He played in 15 seasons for Philadelphia before his retirement, while making 8 Pro Bowl's in the process! He was a member of the NFL's 75th Anniversary All Time team, and clearly one of the better defensive players who have ever lived. I sent this back in May of 2011, so it took an awful long time to receive back, but it was well worth the wait. If I can recall correctly, he was quite ill a little after I sent the picture, so I basically wrote it off, but when he recovered he must have found some time to sign for me!

So, if you're a football fan and you want to add a cool piece to your collection, I would highly recommend getting a copy of the photo and sending it off to Mr. Bednarik. If he gets you back, he will hook you up without a doubt!

See Ya!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Trade with Michael from Six-4-Three DP!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Continuing on my occasional attempts of catching up, here is a little mail I got from my new trade buddy Michael, who writes the blog "Six-4-Three DP"! He runs a very nice blog, which hasn't quite been noticed by a whole lot of you guys yet. Without a doubt I suggest you give his site a look in the future, because I'm sure he'd appreciate more readers! Anyways, Michael and I were able to work out a nice little deal, and here is my share of it:

Michael was able to successfully attack all of my team/player collections with some new cards I didn't have yet! One big card he included was the black bordered card of Swisher from last year's Heritage. I haven't even seen that card before, so I'm glad somebody was able to notice it and send it my way. The A-Rod "Stadium Lights" card is awesome, but didn't somebody say they were glow in the dark? I don't remember, but I swore I heard somebody say that. Well, I tested it and no light showed. Still a sweet card. 

Never noticed this either. Both of these cards are out of the 2011 Heritage set, and have the same card number. However, the pictures are different. Can anybody inform me if they know what kind of variation this is?

Under the "Drew is Collecting" piece of the sidebar, I stated some current MLB players I enjoy receiving cards of. One of them is without a doubt, the bearded man from San Fran, Brian Wilson. I don't have a whole lot of his cards, but I love getting a new one or two here and there. That's exactly what Michael did, so I really appreciate that!

I'm not gonna lie, I love the heck out of these 2011 Kimball Champions minis. I don't even remember which ones I had or not, but it doesn't even matter, I'll take all of them! One day it would be awesome to do this set. The only part I don't really care for is that the backs are really simplistic and boring. But who looks at the backs these days anyway?

Do you want to know just how convenient this trade was for me? I already had the regular Gardner rookie card, and Michael sent me the gold parallel. As for the Pineda, I already had the gold parallel and he sent me the regular. What a guy this Michael is! Also, I've done some research on Cito Culver, and I hope that he carries his potential into the majors one day. This Bowman Platinum really is a beautiful card.

Last but surely not least was this 2004 Upper Deck "Matinee Idols" relic of Mike Mussina! I mentioned in my previous post how my favorite pitcher of all time is the Sandman, Mariano Rivera, followed by Andy Pettitte. But without a doubt, a close third is Mr. Mussina himself. Not only was he one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball history, but he also had the honor of being the first baseball TTM success I've ever received! Since then, I've created his trifecta, and this just adds to it. Gotta love the Moose.

Thanks so much Michael for the trade, and sorry for the enormous delay of getting the cards out. I'm going to go work on getting that together now!

See Ya!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Welcome Back Home, Andy!

Hey guys, Drew back here! I'm a little late to the parade, but yesterday some big news came out of the Yankees spring training complex down in Florida! YES Network reporter Jack Curry was the first to report that Yankee great Andy Pettitte signed a one year, 2.5 million dollar minor league contract with the team! My dad texted me the news since he heard about it from a friend at work, and when I received the text, I was absolutely shocked. Pettitte is one of my all time favorite pitchers, perhaps even second to Mariano Rivera, so I was ecstatic when I heard the news. He is far out of his prime, at the age of 39 (40 in June), but the Yanks have had some recent success with these kinds of moves in Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, so I think it's a possibility that Pettitte could take a spot in the pitching rotation this season if he works hard at it.

I wrote a post a little over a year ago dedicated to the career of Andy Pettitte, following his retirement announcement on February 4th, 2011. Although many athletes can't quite seem to officially leave the game they love (Brett Favre, Randy Moss), I really did not expect Pettitte to ever take the mound again, besides for future Old Timers Day games. But sure enough, Pettitte is back for his third stint as a member of the Bronx Bombers!

I'm not expecting a Cy Young Award, 20 wins, or anything ridiculous, but I have to say, if anybody can build a nice comeback season at this age, it's Pettitte. He's always had a strong work ethic, and will certainly build himself back into shape in no time. Besides, his "final" season in 2010 was an All Star season for him, as he went 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 21 starts before going down with an injury at a game I was at against Tampa Bay in August. With 240 wins under his belt, there aren't many other pitchers with the experience, class, and legacy that this guy has. It will certainly be an honor to see him put on the pinstripes for one last time.

Welcome back Andy! See Ya!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

TTM #82- Former Rookie of the Year!

Hey guys, Drew back here! After three days of tryouts, it is official that I made my school's JV team for the second year in a row! I was able to shine during batting practice and infield enough to earn myself a spot on the team, which without a doubt made my day. Anywho, I received a TTM success about a week or two ago from one of the older living baseball players. Take a look:

Former first baseman Roy Sievers signed both a card and an index card for my collection! Mr. Sievers was certainly one of the more underrated players through the decade he played in, playing for the Browns, Senators, White Sox, and Phillies. He started his career on a tear, batting .306 with 16 home runs and 75 RBI, en route to winning the 1949 American League Rookie of the Year award. He made 4 All Star teams (was selected to both games in 1959) in his 17 year career. In total, Sievers amassed 1703 career hits, 318 home runs, and a lifetime batting average of .267. Without a doubt, he was an above average player in the era in which he played.

Sievers took about a week to get back, which was very awesome. Both autographs came out very nice, especially the auto on the 1988 Pacific card.

Thank you Mr. Sievers! See Ya!

P.S. I recently opened up a new page dedicated to all of the "Trifectas" I could find in my collection! Check it out and leave a comment here letting me know what you think if you get a spare minute! Thanks everyone!