Saturday, February 23, 2013

Happy Spring Training! Yankees Prospect Mailday!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Today is one of the greatest days of the year: the first day of Spring Training baseball! In honor of this special day for so many young prospects that finally get the chance to show the pros what they've got; I have a few sweet prospect autographs of one of my favorite Yankee prospects to show off! I've been picking up a lot of 2012 Yankees 1st round pick Ty Hensley's cards on eBay lately; all for relatively cheap prices. I watched some footage of him pitching, and I was very impressed with his tools. However, I'd still say he's got about a 50/50 shot of being a solid major league starting pitcher. I decided to take the risk though, and I may add him to my list of PC's!
The first autograph of Hensley's I picked up was his regular Bowman Chrome auto, which was kind of an accidental pickup. When I saw this auction, the scan made the card look like a refractor, and I didn't read into the details enough to notice that it was just the regular autograph. Nonetheless, I think it's cool that Hensley makes an attempt to sign his full name on every card, even though the letters are a little sloppy. 
I ended up buying his Bowman Sterling refractor autograph a few days later, because the price of shipping cost more than the price of the card! For such a low price; I couldn't pass it up, and it sure is a beautiful card in person. 

I already have a few more sweet Hensley cards to show off, but I figured I'd start with a few autos to kick this new PC off with a bang! If anyone has any card of his for trade, please let me know! Thanks everyone, and Happy Spring Training to you all!

See Ya!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Trip to a New Collectible Shop!

Hey guys, Drew back here! This post has been long overdue; in fact, this happened before the most recent card show and the Knicks game and everything! After one of my SAT prep courses, my Dad took me to this local collectible store he had gotten his Christmas gifts for me at! It had all sorts of various odds and ends, and surprisingly had a solid selection in cards and memorabilia! After shopping around for a little while, I bought two really nice cards to add to my collection, along with a couple ball cubes!
I hadn't added to my Don Mattingly PC in a while, so this 2005 Playoff Prestige Mattingly/Dave Righetti dual relic looked appealing to me. Numbered out of 250; the card shows two of the Yankees best players during perhaps the team's worst decade. It's really a bummer that Mattingly struggled through back problems, because he certainly had the talent to make the Hall of Fame. 
Speaking of the Hall, the second card I added was this beautiful Whitey Ford autograph from 2002 Donruss, numbered 44 of 250! The price on this card was really affordable for a Ford auto, and the scan definitely doesn't do it any justice. It's definitely one of the nicer certified autographs I own, and it features the same picture of Ford that I have signed as an 8x10. 

Overall, I was really impressed with the selection this random shop had to offer! They also had a lot of boxes and packs, and their prices were competitive with other shops around here. I'll definitely consider going back there at some point! Thanks Dad for showing it to me!

See Ya!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

William Strikes Again- Signed Ball Exchange!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Although it isn't Friday yet, the week is already over for me, because due to the impending huge snow storm here in the Northeast, school's already been cancelled for tomorrow, and there's also a good chance we'll miss Monday! Talk about a great way to kick off the weekend!

A week or so ago, I received probably the largest package I've ever gotten from my closest hobby friend, William! I wasn't exactly surprised, since he's been so generous to me along with several other bloggers over the years. Plus, part of what was inside I knew would be there, as it was part of our recent autograph trade. However, although he mentioned a few small things here and there, I didn't see any of this stuff coming! Take a look:
First and foremost, recently William helped his family make some custom shirts for his dad Ken Regenthal, who's basically raced most of his life. William was kind enough to make a few spare shirts, and he sent one over for me, which I thought was really thoughtful! It may be a bit much to wear to school, however I'll certainly make great use of it, as I normally do with T-shirts.
Second, he also promised to save me one of the programs from the Pirates game he attended during last season (you can read about his experience here)! He forgot to send it for a little while, but I was really in no rush to receive it, since he was doing me a favor anyway. Boy, were the Pirates a great story in the beginning of the season. They've become my favorite National League team by a long shot, so I'll be rooting for a nice rebound season, and hopefully a little playoff baseball for once!

Next, he threw in a few Yankees extras, all being from products that I haven't gotten much (if any) opportunity to check out yet. Bowman Chrome is great for purchasing singles, but I mean come on, 3 cards a pack is a ripoff unless you pull a superfractor autograph of Mike Trout. However, the design is very sharp, and I really like the way the Banuelos insert looks. As for the Thurman Munson out of Panini Golden Age, it just seems like you could make many celebrity lookalikes using it. It's a great card though.

Also, he tossed in an opened pack of Topps Prime football, probably because he didn't really have any interest in any of the cards. I'll take them though! I've really slacked off collecting football cards lately, and to be quite honest I didn't even find the Super Bowl all that exciting to be honest. Baseball season is right on the way though!

All of the preceeding stuff was really awesome and appreciated, however this item here was the core of our most recent trade:
In exchange for the Harold Baines baseball I got signed during my recent card show, William sent me this Jim Palmer signed baseball, with the 'HOF 90' inscription and all! It was a sad day for the Orioles organization the day the ball was signed, as Palmer's former manager Earl Weaver passed away. I never got to write a tribute for Mr. Weaver (nor Stan Musial for that matter) because I was knee deep in midterm exams, however I offer my deepest condolences for their families and their organizations.

Even though it was a tough morning for Orioles fans, Fanfest proceeded, and Palmer signed the ball for William. You can read all about it here! I really appreciate William getting this ball signed for my new and growing signed baseball collection!

Thank you so much William for all of this, as well as all of the other great things you've done for me over the years! I hope you enjoy the Baines ball when you eventually get it!

See Ya!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Big Card Show Surprise from Dad!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Last night was a terribly unproductive night, as I suddenly became pretty sick to my stomach. I stayed home today due to that, but fortunately it might have just resulted from the absurd amount of food I'd been eating lately. However, since you all didn't really need to know that, I'm just going to jump into this one. Dad surprised me at the end of the show with a black box in a plastic bag. He told me to wait until we were in the car for me to open it, so I did, and I waited curiously, thinking of what it could be. I had a feeling it had something to do with a signed baseball, but I didn't know where to go from there. However, I had a pretty good idea of what it was once I took it out of the bag.
My initial reaction was: woah. I didn't see a Reggie Jackson signed ball coming at all, and I was so excited to see what it looked like! Reggie isn't easy to come across for autograph signings, so it's always nice to pick up his stuff. Plus, it saves me for thinking any less of him if he's a jerk in person, which I've heard on numerous occasions.
The ball must have came from Reggie's online autograph website, considering everywhere you look, "" is involved. The ball came in this sweet little.. sack(?), and ever since I got it I've questioned whether to keep it in there or put it in a cube. As much as I like the protection for it, I'd prefer to show it off. Here's a reason why:
Enough said. Ball cube it is. It isn't a fresh new signature, but the ball is in good shape, and the inscription is sweet! Even though it said "Mr. October" on the outside, I didn't expect the ball to have that inscription, which was just an added bonus! Also, Reggie's #44 is hidden inside the J, so I guess you can consider it dual inscribed! 
Also included inside the box was a full Certificate of Authenticity, in case the "" wasn't enough for you to believe it's legitimacy! Overall, I was really impressed with the way the box was put together, but as much as I like it, I'm going to have to show Reggie off with the other Hall of Famers I now have!

Thank you so much Dad for the awesome gift! It really means a lot that you're always willing to support my hobby, and that you always seem to go above and beyond!

See Ya!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Greatest Steal of All Time!

Hey guys, Drew back here! I hope everyone enjoyed Super Bowl Sunday, because I certainly did! Although it's a long shot that my Jets will get there anytime in the near future, I still look forward to watching the Super Bowl every year, and besides for the blackout, I wasn't disappointed. Anyway, I still have a few more sweet card show acquisitions to show off, this being the first of an additional two baseballs I added!

While I may be over exaggerating that this was the "greatest" steal of all time, so was this guy when he claimed to be the greatest ever. Despite his cockiness and large ego, Rickey Henderson has gone down as perhaps the best leadoff hitter, and best base stealer the game has ever seen! And now, after what I consider to be a definite steal, I now own a signed baseball of his in my collection!

I bought this ball off of a guy who works under the JP's Sports Company, who was selling many discounted signed baseball of Hall of Famers such as Jim Bunning, Orlando Cepeda, and a few others. All of his baseballs were $30 and under, and while most weren't certified, you could tell they were legitimate. The only problem was that most of the balls had blemishes, whether it be a noticeable mark or a bit of the signature beginning to bleed. I didn't really have interest in blemished Cepeda balls, so I checked around to see if anything else was around. And there was Rickey. The guy had 4 or 5 Henderson balls, and I asked to see all of them. Each one had a certain distinct issue, but I found one with a mark on the left side of the ball, which is the one I ended up buying for $30!

As you can kind of see, there's a dark blemish to the left of the 'R' in Rickey, but clearly, that wasn't enough of a concern for me to pass it up. In a ball cube next to other balls, you can't even see it, so I frankly could care less.

The ball isn't certified, but it does have one of Rickey Henderson's company stickers, which made it evident to me that there's no way it could be fake. The seller said he got it from Henderson's agent, and said if I took it to JSA and it didn't pass he would refund me the money. The hologram on the sticker shows Rickey holding up a base after breaking Lou Brock's stolen base record. I didn't expect in the slightest to come home with a Henderson autograph, so this was a pleasant surprise for me!

I got into talking with the seller after I made the purchase, and learned that he helps get some of the players to come do these shows. Apparently, Henderson is difficult to work with (not surprised), as well as Reggie Jackson, who's now cancelled on them twice. I asked if there's any chance that Yogi Berra will make a final appearance, and it didn't sound very probable. He said the best way to try and meet Yogi is to attend the book signings at his museum that he occasionally goes to, or try and see if Steiner has him signing sometime soon. Yogi is at the top of my list of players to meet, and it really sucks that I may not have the chance to let that wish come true, but I'm glad the guy told me the news so I can't get my hopes up too much.

Before I go, I've heard that some people are having difficulty commenting on the new blog display I set up. All you have to do is update your Java and you should be set! Thanks everyone for reading, and have a great day! See Ya!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

First MSG Experience: Knicks Dominate!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Yesterday, I went to my 1st basketball game since 2008, when I saw the Nets play at the Izod Center against Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets! The game was a special trip for my CYO team, and I had the opportunity to go on the court and shootaround! The Nets wound up winning by 44 points, and since I was a temporary fan of theirs, I was pumped! Fast forward a few years and a little 'Linsanity', and I decided to instead commit myself to the Knicks! Rather than going to see my dreadful Jets this year, I told my Dad I'd prefer to see the Knicks, since they had a shot to actually be competitive. We bought tickets to see them play the Sacramento Kings, because we didn't want to take the chance of  paying big money to see them get crushed by an elite team.

So last night, Dad & I got to NYC extra early for my first Garden experience. We relaxed at TGI Friday's for a few hours since it was freezing cold outside, but eventually we trekked through the heavy winds across the street to the most famous arena in the world! The only time I ever saw anything at MSG was a few years back, when my family and I saw a Cirque de Soileil show, so I was real pumped to be a part of one of the most intense fanbases in sports.

Carmelo Anthony & JR Smith Warming Up
We took a bit of a gamble with our tickets; not really knowing if we did well or not. Luckily for us, our seats were absolutely perfect, giving us a perfect angle of the court, despite being more on the left side of the court. In the first half, the Knicks played right directly in front of us, which was awesome! 

After a chilling National Anthem performed by the Sandy Hook Elementary School choir, the Knicks and Kings were underway. It was an emotional night at the Garden for sure, but it sure didn't look like it in the first few minutes of the game. Second year guard/forward Iman Shumpert missed a dunk, and Tyson Chandler wasn't able to execute on an early alley oop pass from Raymond Felton. But then, Amar'e Stoudemire, the Knicks most controversial player, came in off the bench and threw down a nasty dunk off an assist from Carmelo Anthony that got the ball rolling! They went on to take a 25-22 lead going into the second quarter.
Felton Setting the Play
Novak for 3!
Chandler covering promising young star DeMarcus Cousins
The Knicks rallied all throughout the second quarter, hitting three pointers left and right! Steve Novak made 4 consecutive three pointers, which gave NY a 47-25 lead, which became 56-33 minutes later at the end of the half! JR Smith led the team throughout the 3rd quarter, and went on to the finish the game with 25 points. The team was clicking on all cylinders, and they didn't even need to use their best player Anthony, who only finished with 9 points, snapping his streak of 31 consecutive 20 point games! Tyson Chandler finished with 20 rebounds in less than 3 quarters worth of action, and Stoudemire finished 10 for 10 shooting for 21 points.
The 4th quarter was basically just an exhibition, as NY had an astounding 97 to 52 lead going in! Rookie Chris Copeland was brought in by the fans, who chanted his name until he got the opportunity to play. Old Man Kurt Thomas scored 11 in the 4th, including a 3 pointer that cracked up Carmelo and Amar'e! The Knicks are filled with likeable, tough players, so it's very easy to become a fan of theirs.
Dad and I wound up having a great day witnessing this 120-81 massacre! The night was filled with laughter and excitement, and it was awesome to be a small part of it! New York is now 30-15 overall on the season, tied for 1st in the East with the Miami Heat! We know if we're going to make the finals, we need to first get past Miami, which will be a difficult obstacle to overcome. But, if the bench performs like it did tonight, I don't see how you could rule that out! The Knicks tape keeps on rolling!

Thanks Dad for the awesome night, it was something I definitely won't forget! See Ya!