Monday, April 30, 2012

The Debut of Bryce Harper- Good Things to Come?

Hey guys, Drew back here. I got sidetracked the other night, so unfortunately I missed the debut of Bryce Harper. I got to see it all the next morning online though, and I have to say he looked very good in his first MLB game! For a kid who is less than 4 years older than me, he really raised a lot of eyes, going 1 for 3, doubling in his third at bat, as well as delivering a strike from left field to Wilson Ramos that would have been an out if the catcher held on to the ball. While he certainly could be one of the best all around players in baseball in a few years, I still personally believe Strasburg will wind up having a better all around career than the 1st pick of the 2010 draft. 

One thing I may always remember Harper for is that he will be one of the first players in the majors that I can closely associate myself to, due to the very slim age difference. As I get older, more and more athletes my age will be playing, but as of now, watching a 19 year old playing in the Major Leagues against players in their 20's, 30's, 40's (and even 50's, Jamie Moyer!) is something that doesn't come around often. Mike Trout also was called up the other night, and he was in the same scenario as Harper last season. 

What I'm trying to say here is that seeing the youth in the major leagues has made me realize that I'm not the little kid I once was. Knowing that if I worked my absolute tail off, that I could be in the shoes of Bryce Harper four years from now, is pretty scary. While I don't have a whole lot of ambition towards playing in the big leagues, this fact just emphasizes that I'm really growing up. If you go back to my original posts, the way I wrote was completely different, and as time went on I learned more and more about this hobby and matured a heck of a lot more. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but I'm more trying to emphasize how real this major league debut was to me. That these guys start off as ordinary kids with a lot of talent, and that their road to success didn't necessarily start in Yankee Stadium. 

So, I wish Bryce the best of luck on his road to success. One game doesn't land you a spot in the Hall of Fame, but with the talent he possesses, if he makes good use of it, he could find himself a plaque one day in Cooperstown. Or, he could be the next Rocco Baldelli? As much as I don't want to see that, it could happen. 

By the way, thank you Schuyler for trading me the Harper card above- which is the first card of his in my collection! It's the start of good things to come!

See Ya!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Museum Collection Pickups!

Hey guys, Drew back here. I haven't opened a pack or broken a box in ages, but thanks to eBay, I've been able to get a little taste of a lot of the new products. One of these products was the new Topps release, Museum Collection! It is yet another high end, clean, and top of the line release by Topps, and another I can dream of actually having the guts to buy a pack of. Nonetheless, for the singles collector that I am, this set is a major win for me. Take a look at the first two cards I've been able to add from this set:

First, I was able to win the auction for this quad "Primary Pieces" relic numbered only out of 25 of 4 of the better closers in baseball: Heath Bell; Brian Wilson; Craig Kimbrel; and Mariano Rivera! Granted, Bell has blown 3 save opportunities, and Wilson is unfortunately shelved for all of 2012, but over the past few years they have both been as dominant as can be! Kimbrel had an unreal rookie season, and he's off to a great start in 2012, and well, everyone knows Mariano and how much of a legend he is. It's a good looking card all around, and it'll go into my Yankees PC due to the Rivera jersey swatch being included on the card. 

Second, and finally, I added this "Archival Autographs" card numbered 24 of 100 of Diamondbacks stud Ian Kennedy! Kennedy started his career in the Yankees system, and I'm not going to lie, I was really glad they traded him off when they did, as a part of the Curtis Granderson deal two years ago. Fortunately for Kennedy's sake, getting out of the AL East was a blessing from the skies, as he went on to show why he was a top prospect last season, winning 21 games and only losing 4! He finished 4th in Cy Young voting and had most Yankee fans, including myself, completely stumped. This season he's gotten off to another solid start, winning 3 games in his first 5 starts, without a loss.

It's safe to say the Diamondbacks really lucked out with this guy. I've always wanted to see him succeed, and although he couldn't do it in New York (which not everyone can), I'm glad he was able to put it all together and show off his potential. I picked up this beauty for about $10, and I thought it was worth every penny.

What do you guys think of Museum Collection? See Ya!

Friday, April 27, 2012

R.I.P. Moose Skowron, 1930-2012

Hey guys, Drew back here. We lost a real good one today in baseball, in Yankee great Bill "Moose" Skowron. The Polish-American athlete; nicknamed "Moose" after a haircut that looked like Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini's, was one of the better players to put on the pinstripes during his tenure in New York between 1954 and 1962. He was a clutch hitter, and big games always brought the best out of his ability; as he batted .293 with 8 home runs in 39 World Series games, including 3 of those home runs in the 7th game of the series' he played in! He walked off the field as a winner, taking home 5 World Series rings, 4 with the Yankees, and 1 in 1963 with the LA Dodgers after he was traded from NY the season prior. He retired with 8 All Star appearances to his credit, and a lifetime batting average of .282 with 211 home runs. 

Today, Moose passed on at the age of 81 after a long battle with lung cancer. Of course, I wasn't alive at the time of his career, but I'll always remember him for being an integral part of that 1961 Yankees team, the team that wanted revenge after Bill Mazeroski beat them the season before. Maris and Mantle went off as you all know, but Skowron also hit 28 home runs, which added up to 143 home runs between the three of them ALONE that season! 

Not only was he a great baseball player in his 81 years, but he was also a great man. He always signed items for fans through the mail, and was a common guest at the Yankees Old Timer's Game festivities. Yogi Berra said of him: "There weren't many better guys than Moose, he was a dear friend and a great team man. A darn good ballplayer, too." He signed a card for me via a through the mail success a little over a year ago, and I appreciated every bit of it. He was a class act in every way, and I'm fortunate I got the opportunity to get his autograph. 

Moose, you will forever be remembered and missed. Rest In Peace.

One of the Most Underrated Pitchers in Baseball...

Hey guys, Drew back here. The reason for this mid-day post is due to the fact that I'm home sick from school, with an awful cold. I guess playing baseball in 40 degree weather really isn't all that smart now isn't it? Anyways, I have a bunch of cards to catch you all up on, with this being one of them. 

Out of 2010 Topps 206, this here is a framed autographed card of Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman! Zimmerman is off to a tremendous start for my fantasy team this season, going 1-1 in 4 starts with a spectacular 1.33 ERA! Somehow this guy, even though he hasn't allowed more than one earned run in any of his starts, flies completely under the radar as one of the top young pitchers in all of baseball. Perhaps it's because of the mega-star prospects the Nationals have in Harper and Strasburg? Or by their recent big additions in Jayson Werth and Gio Gonzalez within the past two seasons? All I can say is, this Nats rotation is going to be pretty darn solid with all the young talent they possess. If you can have a guy of this caliber as a number three starter, that's saying something. With a 14-5 record to sit them in 1st place of the NL East to start the season off, watch out Phillies and Braves fans. There is certainly more competition than you may have thought. 

I was able to add this card for only a few bucks, but it will go absolutely great with the Strasburg autograph Dad pulled out of our 2010 Topps 206 box break! Hopefully the tandem can be worth an awful lot one day. 

See Ya!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mail from my buddy Andrew!

Hey guys, Drew back here! It's been a very busy month for me, maybe not so much on this website but in all other aspects of my life, time is flying. Sophomore year is coming down the home stretch, and before I know it I'm going to be awaiting junior year while soaking up the sun on a cruise over summer vacation! All is going well here, and I'd like to once again thank each and every one of you readers for taking out the time to check what I've got to say. I just received surpassed 100,000 page views (not including my own), and it is something that really does mean a lot to me, not because of the number, but because I'm proud of how I've made somewhat of an impact towards other collectors. The goal all along was not only to show off what I've been able to add to my personal collection, but to share my love of the hobby in hopes to spread the love of the game of baseball.

One thing I've always enjoyed doing in this hobby is trading, and although I haven't been on top of my trades very well of late, my new good friend Andrew has certainly tried to bounce me back into my flow. We worked out our second trade a few weeks ago, and this was what I got in exchange for a Cardinals autograph:

Here are a few of my favorites of the Yankees cards he sent. I love the 2012 Dellin Betances Topps rookie, and I'm definitely going to have to pick up a few more to stockpile up on him. He's not doing very well in the minors from what I've heard, but he has a heck of a lot of potential. I didn't have the A-Rod starquest surprisingly enough, but I'm glad Andrew sent it my way. Also, that Eric Chavez gold parallel is pretty nice as well. 

Next are a few well known Yankee prospects, in Gary Sanchez and Ben Gamel! Sanchez has perhaps the most potential in their entire farm system right now, and because of that, they thought dealing Jesus Montero would be a smart move. I understand that thought process, but I really think we could've done better than Michael Pineda with what we have to offer. I'm very disappointed in Pineda thus far, but he's extremely young with a lot of potential so I'm just going to give him some time first before making final decisions. Gamel, on the other hand, has bounced around quite a bit in his few years in the Yankee system. He had a very good 2011 season in the Staten Island, so hopefully he can carry that into his 2012 campaign.

Finally, some Kimball Champions topped off the deal! I've made this very clear on here before, but I'll say it again: I LOVE these inserts. Why? I really don't know, they're just appealing to me. I probably have these same three minis somewhere in my basement, but I'll take every single one you guys have! Maybe one day I'll go after the whole set. For now, here are the Ruth, Berra, and Sabathia minis.

So, thank you so much for the trade Andrew, I really appreciate all the attention you've given towards my collection the past few weeks. Everyone please go out and give his site a look, because believe me, everyone loves a new blog to read, right?

See Ya!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Man Who Ruined Fenway's 100th Joins My PC!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Yesterday, my JV coach gave us all a break from practice, because we've played so much of late. While I absolutely love playing baseball, I was glad we got this break because not only was I extremely exhausted but also the Red Sox vs. Yankees game was an earlier one and I wanted to catch the game! It was certainly a special day in Fenway Park, as the Sox honored their past and present greats in celebration of their stadium's 100th anniversary. While being a Yankee fan, I thought it was really nice what they did for the fans, because no matter who you are, you have to respect the tradition and greatness of Fenway Park. I would love to go there sometime just to see what it's like, but all that is for another post. When gametime came, it was all about my Yankees ruining the party!

They most certainly did ruin the party, knocking Clay Buchholz around for 6 runs, 5 of which coming from home runs! Ivan Nova won his 15th straight decision, which is unreal for a guy as young as he is to accomplish, by a final of 6-2. The game would've been much closer if it wasn't for their backup 3rd baseman, experienced veteran Eric Chavez, who hit two solo home runs en route to the victory! I happened to just recently pick up an autograph of Chavez, so it was only fitting that he did so well the other night. Take a look:

This Chavez auto came out of 1999 SP Authentic's "Chirography" subset, which was made during his best years of his career. The 6 time Gold Glove winning 3rd baseman has hit 232 home runs in his very solid 15 year career. He won't be considered one of the best of the best when he's all said and done, but he has been a pretty solid all around player for a long time, which has to say something. Another thing I like about him is that he was one of the better players on that "Moneyball" team, which I have to say was one heck of a good movie. I was surprised that Brad Pitt would be able to pull off a baseball movie that well!

With this very cheap addition to my collection, I now own an autograph of about 17 of the current Yankees rosters' autographs. Rivera and A-Rod will be the most expensive, but I'm making it a goal to at least get one of the 2 this year at some point.

See Ya!

The 31st Addition to the Tier One Relic Set!

Hey guys, Drew back here. Lately, I've been very active in the hobby through eBay, although I may not be on the blog all that often. I love to take a new Tier One relic here and there, but I really like to wait until I find a solid price for each card. With the card I'm about to show, I got one of those very deals. For about $5 shipped, I was able to add a bat card of Dodger's legendary backstop Roy Campanella!

Campanella is one of the three Dodgers to have a card in the set, to go along with Pee Wee Reese and Sandy Koufax! I now have all three of these, and this card brings me up to 31 of 50, giving me a 62% completion percentage! This is my first decent card of Campanella in my collection, and I'm glad I was finally able to add one of Brooklyn's finest to my collection. 

With this card, I now still need the following 19 cards for the set:
#TSR-1: Ichiro Suzuki
#TSR-7: Rogers Hornsby
#TSR-8: Ryan Braun
#TSR-10: Roy Halladay
#TSR-14: George Sisler
#TSR-16: Babe Ruth (prefer the dual relic)
#TSR-19: Johnny Bench
#TSR-20: Reggie Jackson
#TSR-21: Carlos Beltran
#TSR-24: Jose Reyes
#TSR-26: Rickey Henderson (Redemption)
#TSR-31: David Wright
#TSR-32: Jacoby Ellsbury
#TSR-36: Mickey Mantle (prefer the dual relic)
#TSR-44: Hank Aaron (prefer the dual relic)
#TSR-46: Ryne Sandberg (Redemption)
#TSR-48: Willie Mays
#TSR-50: Cal Ripken Jr.

It ain't gonna be easy, to put it in a nice way. But it's going to be a fun journey, and I hope you all stick around for the ride! If anyone has any of the cards I need and is willing to trade them, please send me an email to! Thanks everyone!

See Ya!

Friday, April 20, 2012

TTM #84- Perfection at It's Finest!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Finally, after a long week of baseball, baseball, and more baseball, I got an opportunity to rest my legs for the night, and get back to you all on here! A few weeks ago, I came home to receive this incredible TTM success I sent out about 2 weeks prior. I bought the photograph at a recent card show, knowing that it would be a sweet addition to the collection. I already have gotten a few of his autographs but this one is probably the nicest of the bunch so far. Take a look:

This photograph was signed by the World Series' lone perfect pitcher, in Don Larsen! Larsen signed this picture of his final pitch of Game 5 of the 1956 World Series! What adds to the photograph in general is how the scoreboard can be viewed in the background, behind Larsen and Billy Martin, which shows 8 straight zeros, followed by three more where runs, hits, and errors are normally found. He inscribed the picture "WS PG 10-8-56", which obviously stands for World Series perfect game, and it just looks incredible in person. 

I sent Don $5 to sign the picture, but unfortunately it wasn't quite enough for his liking, as you can see on the note he left me on his price list. I haven't gotten around to getting the money out yet but I will most certainly do so in his request. It is completely worth the price I paid, especially being a huge fan of Yankees past and present history. Certainly something I'll enjoy owning in my collection!

Thank you so much Mr. Larsen for signing my picture, and to the rest of you, See Ya!

"When it was over, I was so happy, I felt like crying. I wanted to win this one for Casey Stengel. After what I did in Brooklyn, he could have forgotten about me and who would blame him? But he gave me another chance and I'm grateful." - Don Larsen

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Great Unexpected Surprise From Dad!

Hey guys, Drew back here. Wow, has it been a while or what. I haven't even posted once yet this month until now, due to an enormously packed schedule, you know, my same old excuses. Anyway, I can't really promise to stick around a whole lot over the next three months, due to school ending and baseball heating up. My JV team is now 2-0, and we mercied our opponent 15-0 yesterday, so it's looking like it's going to be a great season for us! I'm having a great time with it, and hopefully we can keep up the run we're on.

Anyways, I don't think a whole lot happened around here while I was away, but I've still been able to add quite a few nice cards to my collection during my absence. Some of which were long overdue on here, like all of this for example. Before the card show, Dad came home one day from work with a bit of a gift for me. Why? I have no idea, I guess just because he's awesome. While I continue thinking about why he did all this for me, you guys can take a look at what he came home with this time around:

We start with a few solid cards from the 1970's and 80's, most featuring at least one Yankee on it. He told me he got all of this from a local store with collectibles that we haven't been to before. Speaking for the Active Career RBI Leaders card; I find it pretty darn hard to see Reggie in an Angels uniform. A's? Yes. But besides that, it just looks weird. PS, there's more of Reggie coming. 

Next is out of 2008 UD SPx, from the Ken Griffey American Hero numbered insert set, which was probably one of the weaker insert sets from the past decade. I mean, Griffey was awesome, but I don't think any of these large insert sets of the same player ever seem to do well (see: Mantle Home Run History; DiMaggio Home Run History; A-Rod Home Run History; all of those 2007 Topps inserts). This card is about his 450th career home run against the Giants, which is pretty cool. 

Following up is this 1993 Fleer Ultra rookie card of Mike Piazza. Piazza was a little out of my time frame, but he definitely showed that catchers sure did know how to smack a baseball into the stands. He certainly went down as one of the top catchers of history, although I'm not necessarily a big fan by any means. Still a good card to have.

Following that were these two 1961 Topps cards going towards my set! I believe I didn't own the Harvey Kuenn card yet, but I know I had the leaders card, because I already knocked all of those off the list! Still I can put my doubles to good use, either by trading them or maybe even use them as fillers if they're nicer than my original. 

This 2009 UD Piece of History Derrek Lee starts off an awesome slew of relic cards to add to the collection. Lee certainly had a few monster seasons in his career, and I always thought he was a pretty solid player. This card is for trade, if anybody is interested in the card. 

However, this 2009 Upper Deck Dan Haren triple relic numbered to 99 is not for trade! Instead, this sweet relic happened to finish off my Haren trifecta, which can be seen on my trifecta collection page! I've always liked him a lot, although not many people ever give him the credit he deserves. That Angels pitching staff sure is scary this season. 

Speaking of scary teams, how about those Tigers? A lot of analysts are jumping all over Detroit's hot start to the season, some even taking them to win the Pennant. If their pitching holds up besides Verlander, and their big hitters stay healthy, they'll be a scary team to face in October, for sure. Here is a 2008 Upper Deck Miguel Cabrera relic! Cabrera has been perhaps the most consistent player in baseball for a few years, and now with Prince Fielder batting behind him; watch Miggy take home the MVP trophy this season. Coming from a Yankee fan. 

How about a relic of perhaps the classiest person in baseball these days, Chipper Jones. It's out of 2007 UD Masterpieces, which as I've said is one of my favorite sets from the past decade. I hardly get to watch Chipper play, but all I know is he's a certified Hall of Famer one day, and I doubt many hits I'll pull in the future will top the one I hit of his a few years back. 

Getting back to Piazza, here's a nice relic of his, out of 2005 UD Reflections! Like I stated before, I really don't own much of Piazza's cards, and I'm not a diehard fan, but it's a neat card to own, for sure. I don't see any catcher in baseball today who hit with the power this guy hit with. Certainly a once in a blue moon kind of player. 

How about a bat card of one of the best pitchers to ever step on the field, Steve Carlton? Certainly a different idea by Upper Deck, although I've seen it before. National League pitchers do bat, remember. Sure, they're almost always an automatic out, but their bats still play a part in the result of the game. Most collectors I know would prefer a nice jersey with a Phillies pinstripe, but I like it. To go along with it, the it's very colorful and all around a good looking relic card.

Iw. It's a Red Sox (sock?). But, fortunately, it's one of a player I actually like a lot, Wade Boggs! If you follow this blog well enough, I recently got the pleasure to meet Wade at a card show, which was really special for me. The photo he signed for me will soon be hung up on my wall in my room, and it will always be one of my favorites in my collection. This card here is out of 2005 SP Legendary Cuts, and numbered out of 75. Even though he's in that ugly Red Sox uniform, I guess I can deal with having it in the collection!

Finally, Dad was also able to pick up two awesome Yankees autographs. The first of the two was this slick looking Ken Griffey Sr. auto out of the Upper Deck Yankees Classics series! This isn't the first Griffey auto I've gotten before, but I definitely don't mind adding another! He certainly has great penmanship, which adds even more to how truly great this autographed set looks. 

As great as that card, as well as the rest of these are, not only can top this one. I told you there was more to come from Mr. October right? Hmmm....

2008 Upper Deck Premier triple relic autograph, numbered 15 out of 25, of Reggie Jackson. THE Reggie Jackson, as in one of the best sluggers the game has ever seen! Dad must not have been completely content after getting me my first Jackson auto for Christmas, so he thought I could use this one as well! I feel so spoiled, but boy is this a heck of a card. It looks sweet in person, as do most of the cards from the Premier set. Besides Thurman Munson, Reggie is my second favorite player from the 1970's Yankees teams, with Goose Gossage and Sparky Lyle in a close tie for third and fourth. I doubt I'll be able to add a Munson autograph anytime soon, if ever, so getting more of Reggie is always cool.

So, for the billionth time since I began collecting, Dad spoiled me with awesomeness once again. I can't begin to describe how speechless I was when I opened this, and as I said before, I don't even know what I did to deserve all this. Thank you Dad, so much.

See Ya!