Sunday, July 29, 2012

Two Playoff Heroes in my Tier One Set!

Hey guys, Drew back here! I realized I've been really on an eBay kick lately, and some of this stuff is really starting to pile up. I showed you all the beautiful Hank Aaron dual relic that William got me the other day, and said I now own 45 of the relics. However, I completely forgot to show two others that were part of those 45, so I might as well get to them now. Take a look:

I'll do this one first, because I know if this guy was reading this he'd prefer to be first. Yes, this is indeed the Reggie Jackson relic. Sure, Reggie has been making some controversial comments lately, but what he did back in October of 1977 sealed the legend of Mr. October. I like Reggie, but his recent comments definitely were a bit overboard. I don't think he has the entitlement to determine who should or shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame, especially when he owns the All Time record for strikeouts. Nonetheless, cool card, and I'm glad "the straw that stirs the drink" is welcomed in the Tier One set. 

This guy on the other hand, plays entirely with his arm, not his mouth. Roy Halladay is a class act in every definition of the word, and although he's having a terrible year cluttered with injuries and mediocre performances, you can't bet against the guy coming back strong. He's had a heck of a career, but I'll always remember him for the postseason shows he's put on. Even though he couldn't top Chris Carpenter in the 1-0 shootout in the NLCS last year, that was easily the best pitchers dual I've witnessed. Maybe not quite Smoltz/Morris, but for me, it's #1. And who can forget his no hitter in the postseason? Only Don Larsen has done better. Unreal. Again, he is very deserving of being included in this set, and I'm glad I was able to knock him off as well.

Two great cards, adding to an incredible set. I made a big purchase tonight for one of the two big boys I needed, so, I'd say within the next few months, this set will be history (minus the two redemptions I'm waiting for Topps to ship out)! It's been a long, but fun ride. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

See Ya!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Say Hey" to my Birthday Gift To Myself!

Hey guys, Drew back here! In the past few years I've treated myself to a birthday gift for myself, typically using the money I got from my family. I mean, technically I treat myself to gifts almost weekly with eBay, but come on, who wouldn't want a gift every week all year long? Anyway, this year was no different, as I ran to the recent JP's Sports mail order special to get myself a present. Today, it came in, and I immediately started ripping open the envelope it came in. The envelope revealed this beauty:
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the "Say Hey Kid" himself, Willie Mays! Mays, in my opinion, is the greatest all around player in all of baseball history, with Hank Aaron and Ted Williams trailing by a slight bit. And now, one of his millions of autographs he's signed in his lifetime is about to go up on a wall in my house! Coming with a JSA Certificate of Authenticity as well as the "Say Hey" Memorabilia hologram, this photo was an absolute steal for the price I got it for. I'm also kind of glad I just ordered the photo because I've heard he's been quite grouchy the past few years, and I don't want to ruin the legendary image I have of him because he didn't seem too friendly. I mean, sure, if someone asked me to go with them to meet Willie Mays I'd be all for it, but I don't think I'd miss out on too much if I never got that opportunity.

All in all, this is easily one of my favorite pieces in my collection these days. However, there is one I haven't gotten to share with you that, value wise, is 10 times better. Trust me, you'll want to see that! 

So, uh, Happy Birthday to Me! See Ya!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Birthday Gift from William!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Well, my crazy friend William over at foul bunt still insists to treat me to birthday gifts, which is unnecessary, yet so nice of him at the same time. This year, he decided to really help me out with the set I'm putting together! Take a look:

First off, he caught me up a few products I barely opened, Archives & Heritage! I have hardly opened any products this year at all, mainly because of the high prices, so I definitely appreciate when he goes out of his way to keep me in the loop with all of you other guys out there. With that said, I can tell Archives seems to be a pretty fun product. I love the Mattingly card as well as the Rivera, which uses the 1971 Topps design. 

If I opened anything this year, it was Bowman, and that's only because I bought two rack packs in Yankee Stadium. Outside of that, I haven't even opened the flagship product. Although I did have some Bowman already, I didn't have any of these 4 cards, which was awesome! The Custodio blue refractor looks great, and although I don't really know who he is, I love the Yankees blue refractors. Dante Bichette Jr. has been sitting towards the top of my wantlist for a little while now and I'm glad I finally got my first cards of last year's first round pick!

William also picked up these two nice numbered cards of Thurman Munson and Bucky Dent at a LCS for me! I didn't have either of them and they both have very nice all around designs. I'm definitely a big Munson fan, and since he doesn't seem to have too much out there, this was welcomed nicely into my home!

But, the highlight of the package was without a doubt this Tier One dual relic of the true home run king, Hank Aaron! Aaron's relic was one that I did not expect to land for a long time because it certainly isn't pocket change for a guy like me, so this gesture was just way too kind by one of my best friends. Thank you so much William for the really awesome gift! 

With this card, I now have 45 of the 50 relics in the set! I'm planning on knocking off 3 of them really soon, which will then leave two more big names to complete the set: Mantle & Ruth. Wish me luck, and once again, thank you so much William, you don't know how much I appreciate all the great things you've done for me. 

See Ya!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 14th MHCC Card Show Recap Part 5!

Hey guys, Drew back here after a long night of some crazy good rock and roll! If you didn't catch the end of my last post, last night I went with my friend Matt to see Aerosmith at the Izod Center in New Jersey. I had been to the Izod Center once before for a Nets game, but never for a concert, and I have to say it was a very good venue for a show. In the past three years I've now gotten the chance to see Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and now Aerosmith in concert. It didn't quite top Paul in Yankee Stadium but it did outrock Ringo, at least in my opinion. Steven Tyler's voice sounded much better than I expected, and the set list kept shooting out hit after hit after hit. I didn't like Cheap Trick as the opening act, but Aerosmith more than made up for it by featuring a guest appearance by Darryl of Run-DMC to do the rap verse in "Walk this Way"! It's a very rare guest appearance, and coming from a hip hop and rock connoisseur, I loved it! It was easily the best birthday I've ever had, and I'm glad I got to share the opportunity with my friend.

But anyways, let me get back to the main purpose of this post. There was one final piece to last card show's puzzle, and that was a gift from my Dad for my big 16th birthday. He gave me an option and told me he'd pay for either one, and they were both marked at the same price. The one I passed up on was an autographed picture of Derek Jeter. That right there just goes to show how big this gift was for me, so without having you wait any longer, check out one of my favorite pieces in my entire collection:

Yes, I did pass on a Jeter auto to get a Rivera auto. Some may call me crazy, but others may call me smart. First and foremost I'd like to quickly pay my dues on just how sweet this picture is. One, the photograph really does justice for just how much of a champion Mariano Rivera is. Beside the middle photo are two memorable shots after the Yankees won the World Series in 1998 and 2000, and between his legs is his beautiful signature signed in silver sharpie! As you can see, it came with Steiner certification, so it's clearly real, and clearly worth every penny. 

So, why did I pass on Jeter? It is true that I like Jeter a tad bit more than Rivera, as I tend to like hitters more than pitchers. Both guys are true class acts and play the game the right way. But one) I liked the Rivera photo more than the Jeter photo, and two) I didn't have Mariano's autograph yet, and with this piece, I now own each member of the Core 4's autograph! As soon as I got home we hung the picture up and it won't be going down for a long time. 

Thank you so much Dad, again, I have no idea why you always spoil me this much. You're crazy, but I love you anyways, and you know how much I appreciate this. Happy Birthday to me I guess!

See Ya!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

TriStar OBAK Football Contest Winners!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Today is my birthday, however as I have promised for a few weeks, I'm going to give some of you a gift! For those that took the opportunity to enter my contest, I thank you so much. It was a heck of a lot of fun reading all of your stories you wrote about for your entries, and I really appreciate you all taking the time out to get in on the fun of celebrating this blog's 1000th post! We didn't get quite enough entries for me to consider giving the big prize away, but all of the other cards from the break will be leaving my home in a few days! 

So, all of you who entered know how this went down with the 5 separate groups. Of course, if you didn't enter each one, you were only eligible for the groups you entered into. And, for those of you who shared the link and plugged up my blog, you received an additional entry into each group you entered. Basically, it gave you guys two shots at winning each group. Without any further ado, I'll now reveal to you guys the winners of each group of cards from the box break. Each name was entered in the appropriate amount of times, and was randomed on 10 times to give me a winner. Here goes!

GROUP A: The African American Innovator Collection
Winner: Connor

GROUP B: Pioneers of the Game
Winner: BA Benny

GROUP C: Award Winners 
Winner: Greg Zakwin

GROUP D: Legends of the Hall
Winner: High-Five Man

GROUP E: American Heroes/Best of the Rest
Winner: Josh D.

If you won one of the groups please shoot me an email to so I can ship your packages (besides Connor), and if they go unclaimed within the next week I'll re-randomize the list and pick a new winner! Thanks once again to everyone who helped make fun things like these possible, and again, for everyone who entered! And also, thanks to Tristar one last time for sending me this box to review! Now to go celebrate my 16th B-Day, I'm off to the Izod Center to see Aerosmith in concert!

See Ya!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Contest Reminder! Ends TONIGHT!

Hey guys, Drew back here. I just wanted to make one last friendly reminder to all of you who have not entered my 1000th post contest! At the rate we're at, I don't really know if I'll be giving the Hank Stram 1/1 cut autograph away, but, the more people to enter, the more I will consider it! There are plenty of awesome cards to be had, for any sports fan, football or not, so I really suggest you all check it out if you haven't already! I do want to thank every one of you for entering the contest, I've had a lot of fun reading all of your interesting stories about all of your lives, and I really appreciate you all sharing them with me. It means a lot.

Anyways, here is a link to the contest. Please give it a look, because I want to do my best to say a proper thank you to all of you for the last few years I've gotten the opportunity to have in this community. It's meant the world to me, and I love having all of you still holding strong and keeping up with my blog through thick and thin! Thank you all! See Ya!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 14th MHCC Card Show Recap Part 4!

Hey guys, Drew back here! I have two more things to share with you guys in order to properly wrap up my card show review, and well, they both deserve their own individual post! I decided to save the best of them all, in my opinion, for last, but this one ain't too shabby either. Take a look:

Why if it isn't an autographed baseball of Tino Martinez! As a lot of you may know, Dad and I have lucked out to the max with the door prize giveaways at the JP's Sports shows. Our strategy works quite often, and we've been able to win autographed items of many great athletes such as Don Larsen, Robinson Cano, Tom Seaver, and that huge signed photo with over 30 Yankees signatures! The luck kept going at this show, as I was the second name drawn for this prize, after the first name wasn't there to claim it. 

Tino is one of a few Yankees greats that I really don't have a whole lot of in my collection. This is my first autograph of his, and I'm glad I got it for free because normally his ink sells for quite a bit, just because he doesn't sign that often. He's easily one of the biggest class act players of the late 90's Yankees dynasty, and his career wasn't too bad either. Over 300 Home Runs, 2 All Star Selections, and a plethora of clutch hits during one of the best time frames in Yankee history has earned him one of the biggest hands year after year at the Old Timers Games. While Cooperstown may not be in his future, baseball fans won't forget some of the moments he made during his career. And it's awesome to now be able to have his autograph. 

See Ya!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 14th MHCC Card Show Recap Part 3!

Hey guys, Drew back here! So, jumping right back into my review of the Mid Hudson Civic Center baseball card show; I went for one main reason. A Yankees legend, joined by two other former greats was going to attend the show. And that legend just so happened to be the Chairman of the Board, Whitey Ford! The Yankees all time best starting pitcher just so happened to take a stroll through our area and made a rare autograph signing for all of us in the upstate area! Joining him in this signing were former Yankee outfielder Shane Spencer and utility man Joe Pepitone! I never met any of them before, so I was reluctant and extremely excited to get my opportunity so closeby to home!

Unfortunately, in order to get my chance, I had to wait in a long line with my friends Schuyler & Connor. Connor had to go to work and rush out within the next half hour we were in line, so he never got a chance to meet Pepitone, however, we got him some autographs anyway. He did get to meet Whitey and Shane though, so it certainly wasn't a total loss for my good friend! 

Ford seemed to be a really nice guy. It appeared as if he enjoyed coming out and signing autographs, however the guy handling the line and tickets was a real jerk. He hardly allowed us to get a word in with Whitey, and we were lucky we even got a picture with him. However, we still get a few seconds with one of the greatest pitchers to take the mound, so I was still more than content with the result. It was just annoying, because the line was done within an hour, and only a few occasional people took the short line opportunity that remained for the next two hours. I don't think he was in much of a rush, but I guess the ticket dude must've really wanted a hot dog or something. Oh well. 
Next in line was legendary postseason performer Shane Spencer! Shane only charged $10 an autograph, which was pretty good for a guy who did so many great things for one of the best teams in sports history, the 1998 Yankees! He seemed like a nice guy as well, and after he signed my Mantle photo, he tapped on The Mick on the photo as if he was blessing him or something. You don't see athletes doing things like that often, so that was kind of neat. 
As much as I love meeting legends like Ernie Banks, Ralph Kiner, and Whitey Ford, the new guys always feel more relevant for me, especially since I grew up with them. I wish the Yankees dynasty could've waited for me to get a little older than ya know, 2, 3 years old, but I guess I shouldn't complain. 

Last but certainly not least was the guy you can't miss at a party, Joe Pepitone! The colorful character certainly made people notice he was there, being the true Italian he is. You have to love guys like that, especially when they're signing autographs for free. The 3 time Gold Glove winner was a very nice guy, and gladly signed my picture for me. 
Apparently he was wearing the same hat as I was, the "retro" Yankees hat that he wore at the Old Timers Day game one year. I've been to 2 Old Timers games in my life, and I'll always remember him crushing the ball. He's still got it for a 71 year old, which is pretty awesome.

As I aforementioned, I got all three of the signers on my photo I previously won from JP's Sports of Mickey Mantle, which was already signed by 29 former Yankees. I decided since Cecil Fielder's autograph was already on the picture, I'll allow any Yankee who started their career before the turn of the century to sign the picture. Whitey is easily the biggest name on it now, but I'm certainly hoping that can change in the future!
I had Ford sign around the lower middle area, so his signature will stand out when the project is eventually completed. Pepitone's signature is right below Mantle's right knee, and Spencer is right above Rafael Santana's! All three autographs came out great in my opinion!
With these 3 signatures, I now have 32 on the photo. The certification will not cover the whole photo, but I don't care considering all the autographs will be real. I hope to one day fill the 16x20 up with as many signatures as I can, and hang it up on the wall next to a picture that I have not yet revealed to you guys yet. It's epic, is all I can say for now. 

Before I let you all go, I wanted to inform you guys that Dad and I made the larger local newspaper in an article about the show! Here is a link, check it out to see our appearance! 

Okay, I'm done now. See Ya!

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 14th MHCC Card Show Recap Part 2!

Hey guys, Drew back here! With another day comes another card show review post, and boy do I have some great stuff to show off here! Here are all the other cards Dad and I purchased throughout the awesome day at our local civic center:

First off is this sweet 2001 Upper Deck Yankees Dynasty dual relic of Wade Boggs and Joe Torre! This card certainly is a neat concept, in having a Torre relic on the card. It's not often that you'll find relics of managers in baseball card products nowadays, so this was definitely a unique pickup. 

Speaking of Joe Torre, Dad found this sweet buyback autograph of his and was able to get it for me for a pretty good price! Torre was one of my more wanted autographs in my collection, so I really appreciate him helping me knock that one off the list. I grew up with Torre managing so there will always be that special connection with me and him that I don't necessarily have as much with Joe Girardi. I'll always be stubborn that Mattingly didn't get the job, I guess. Oh, and also, this buyback is numbered 61 of 70, making it a pretty rare card all around!

Another autograph that has always haunted me has been Jimmy Key's, and I was also able to knock this one off the list this time around. It's not that he has a rare autograph, I mean he even signs TTM pretty consistently, but I just never got around to sending the 4 time All Star and 2 time World Series champion a request. However, this old Upper Deck hand numbered auto to 1993 finally fulfills my lazyness, and I like the card a lot. I'm not sure how rare it is, considering they printed way too many cards back then, but it's definitely a cool addition without a doubt.

Next, the first of two cards from this set, is this Mickey Rivers 2001 Upper Deck Legends of New York bat autograph! Yesterday I watched a lot of "The Bronx is Burning", the old ESPN special about the late 70's Yankees scene, and Rivers stands out more than most, always opening his mouth and messing around. A modern player that kind of resembles Rivers to me is the Brewers' Nyjer Morgan, because they both have larger than life personas. I'm definitely glad I got to add this one as well, even though I did already have an autograph of his. 

The other card from that set we picked up was this Phil Niekro jersey autograph, which is apparently short printed out of 195! Niekro is another autograph who has eluded me over the years, but I was finally able to knock him off the list as well. He only played 2 seasons in New York, but the legendary knuckleballer certainly donned the pinstripes very well in those years. I've always loved watching knuckleball pitchers, especially RA Dickey recently, so it's definitely a cool card to have. 

It seems that the theme of our pickups here at this show are mostly of guys I have barely anything of, so it's fitting that Bucky Dent made an appearance as well. I literally had absolutely nothing worthy of mention of the man who hit one of the most clutch home runs in Yankees history, which is really pathetic. So, finally I got to change that, thanks to my awesome dad. 

Unfortunately, the run of newbies in my collection came to a close, as I got my 11th autograph of Nick Swisher on the day as well. I have this same buyback already, but it's encapsulated unlike this copy, which was probably once in a case. I'm starting to try to enjoy the last few months with him as a Yankee potentially, if he decides to sign elsewhere next year. He's just what the team needs though, so it would be disappointing to let him go. 

One autograph that Dad got me that also took me by surprise was definitely this Career Best autograph from  2009 Topps of Robinson Cano! Cano's card prices have skyrocketed, especially in New York, so this really was awesome. He is easily my favorite player in baseball, and I truly believe the reason he did horrible in the Home Run Derby was because he was saving his bombs for when it will count in the next few months! 

Unlike Cano, this Melky Cabrera guy absolutely raked in the All Star Game this year, taking home the MVP. I've always been a fan of his, especially back in his Yankee days, and that love came back this year as he has been an MVP candidate for my fantasy baseball team (what a draft pick!). I got this 2005 Topps Finest rookie auto of his for a solid price, which was unexpected because of how well he's doing. Gotta love it.

Finally, Dad decided to pick up this mini 5 card set of Yogi Berra, which was extremely cool because the first card in the set was signed! I've never seen this Front Row set before, but I'm really glad Dad introduced me to it by getting me it. It's only my second Yogi autograph, so I'm thrilled with this one over all of the other stuff.

But, there is still a lot more to come, besides just cards. Be sure to check out this site within the next few days if you want to be amazed! Ok, maybe not amazed, but if you want to see something cool, this is a good place to be! Thank you again Dad for all of the incredible stuff! I still don't get why I deserve all this!

See Ya! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 14th MHCC Card Show Recap Part 1!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Yesterday was an incredible day in the life of a young collector from New York, as he managed to meet a Hall of Famer from his favorite team and get spoiled to no end all day long! Fortunately enough, that young collector happened to be me yesterday, as Dad, Schuyler, Connor, and I all made it out to a local card show run by the good guys at JP's Sports! This was the first time their company made the trip closeby to my house, and the turnout was ok for the most part. It wasn't a terrible showing, but it could've been a lot better. However, that didn't affect the 4 of us, as we still had 100 tables to look at and 3 autograph guests to meet! And, well, we still went crazy.

Dad and I's goal for the show was to knock off cards from the two big sets I've been working on. I didn't come with as much money as usual, because I was planning on saving up for next months even bigger show. But, we still made out really well, perhaps even better than all of the other shows! Take a look at the 1961 Topps and 2011 Topps Tier One cards we were able to take home this go round:

While most of the 61's Dad picked up didn't have a whole lot of flair, he figured we'd have to knock them off eventually, so he was able to pick up a grand total of 49 new cards for the set, putting us now at 49.2% of the way there! I didn't expect this many commons from Dad, so it made for an awesome surprise. Fortunately, for lucky spoiled Drew, we were just getting started. 

Three of the bigger 1961 pickups came from another vendor, the first two being of former Yankees Bobby Shantz and Tony Kubek! I swore I already had the Kubek but the wantlist said differently, so I'm glad he got it for me. Also, I absolutely love adding new cards of players I've met, so this Shantz pickup was pretty darn awesome!

Easily the best card we picked up on the day was card #482, aka the MVP subset card of "The Say Hey Kid", Willie Mays! I'm pretty sure this set stretched from 1952 forward, to commemorate the first 10 years of Topps cards, but I don't remember offhand. It's not in tip top shape, but it's more than good enough to fit my set!
So, as I said, we are now .8% away from being halfway done with one of the most iconic sets in baseball card history! There's reason to be excited! Now, moving on to the more modern, yet still very nostalgic set, the Tier One relics. I bought 6 of these, but Dad ended up knocking off the 3 most expensive out of the group of cards below. He really is crazy, I'm telling you. 

First I was able to add the "cheater", Ryan Braun. Who knows if he really cheated the game or not. I believe he did, because the reasoning for his innocence seemed a bit questionable to me. I still like the guy enough though, and he sure is fun to watch. 

Speaking of exciting, how about perhaps the best hitter of this era, Ichiro Suzuki! Ichiro may not reach the 3,000 hit plateau in America, but his number of professional hits in total is incredible. He may not rake the way he used to, but that isn't diminishing the enormous legacy he's left on Major League Baseball. 

It seems difficult to not think of this guy when thinking of Ichiro, so it was fitting I was able to add this George Sisler relic as well. Sisler previously owned the record for single season hits, until Ichiro came along and shattered that record. However, he'll still be renowned as one of the best the game's seen. 

When it came to putting together a video game season, Rogers Hornsby could do what hardly anyone else could dream of accomplishing. Who can deny a guy with a .358 lifetime batting average? I find this one as one of the best of the lot, without question. 

I'm pretty sure this guy Cal Ripken knew a thing or two about hitting the baseball too! With well over 3,000 hits, the Iron Man will easily be one of the most loved players ever. You have to love a guy that actually doesn't mind signing autographs for the fans. I would kill for some current players to be as classy as Mr. Ripken. 

We also knocked off both of the redemptions from the set, Rickey Henderson and Ryne Sandberg! I've seen a few of the Sandberg cards on eBay before, but nothing of Rickey yet. I can't wait to see what these two look like when they're done and shipped out!

However, nothing will top these last two, at least in my eyes. It was a Willie Mays kind of day for us, as Dad picked up his relic from the set, which is easily one of my favorites in the set. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Mays was the best all around player in baseball history. From what I've read on him, it sounded like he could have had more than 5 tools if it were possible.  

But I had to put this guy last, because as I recently read, he didn't like not getting the limelight. Mr. Joe DiMaggio, everyone! Boy do I love this card. DiMaggio is the second of the four huge Yankees on this checklist I've acquired, as I haven't gotten Ruth and Mantle yet. But, this will definitely have to do for now!

With these 9 new additions to the relic set, I am now 88% of the way there, just missing Bench, Wright, Beltran, Ruth, Mantle, and Aaron! I never expected this set to fly by so quickly, which is why I need to give my Dad more than just a thank you. You're the best dad, and I'm glad you realize how much I appreciate all you do for me. Also, thank you to my favorite vendors Rich & Hunter for being such a big help in selling so many of these to us!

We're just getting started everyone, so please stay tuned for even more new material within the next few days! See Ya