Sunday, February 23, 2014

Much Delayed Pickups from COMC!

Hey guys, Drew back here! I haven't had a whole lot coming in over the past few weeks, but I did get this package in a while back that I haven't gotten around to showing off to you all just yet. I ordered some cards off of Check Out My Collectibles after selling a few cards I'd been wanting to move, all of which going towards my new Player Collections box I've been building while I've been away from the blogosphere. Take a look at what I was able to add this go-round:

When I first made my list of players I wanted to collect from this point on, I made sure to look young in some cases. Obviously I love a lot of the legends of the game, and a majority of my list consists of those players, but I was also sure to pick a few new favorites such as Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, and Bryce Harper. Cutch has been a favorite of mine for a few seasons now while I've been warming up to Trout and Harper along the way. The Home Run Derby I attended last summer definitely made me a bigger Harper fan, because I originally labeled him as cocky and arrogant (kind of like Puig). I love the intensity each of these 3 players bring to the table; they're always willing to go the extra mile and that has allowed them to be as successful as they have been. Also, while Robinson Cano left New York, I still decided to collect his cards because I've been a fan of his from the very beginning of his career and I can't let the business part in baseball get in the way of me rooting for one of my favorite players ever. I don't like seeing him in a Mariners uniform but he is still a favorite of mine, without a doubt!

The Knicks suck. I've been so incredibly disappointed with them this season, as I came into the 2013-14 season with high expectations coming off of a very good previous season. Now, I can't even bring myself to watch them, and I think a lot of smart business moves need to be made before I can really take interest in them again. However, I don't see James Dolan making any of those smart moves, so until he's out of the franchise, I don't know if I can get my expectations up again. Amar'e Stoudemire, despite all of his injuries, is still my current favorite Knick, although Carmelo is carrying most of the load. I feel bad for his poor health even though he's making a boatload of money because I see how much he cares about being a part of the team and wanting to contribute. I picked up this relic of his for a few dollars just for the heck of it. It's out of 2012-13 Timeless Treasures and is numbered 76 of 99. 

Tyson Chandler is another favorite of mine on the Knicks during this dark period. I love the way he carries the team on defense and he does a great job in his role. Unfortunately he doesn't have much help, as the defense is basically helpless outside of his performance, so with his frequent injuries it leads to many more problems. I picked up this gorgeous dual patch autograph of Chandler's from 2012-13 Panini National Treasures numbered only to 10 for a pretty fair (while expensive) price, but it's absolutely gorgeous and I'm glad to add it to my collection, despite how pathetic the Knicks have played this season.

Finally, going back to my Cano tangent, here's a really sweet 2011 Topps Triple Threads relic numbered only to 9 featuring Robby along with Hall of Famer's Joe Morgan and Roberto Alomar! The relics spell out Second Sackers, and while sort of cheesy, the card is still amazing to look at in person and it's really cool to see a personal favorite player of mine stacked up with the all time greats at his trade! I think Cano will ultimately go down as one of the best second basemen of all time (especially offensively, while he more than holds his own defensively as well), and quite possibly a Hall of Famer as well!

So that's all I have for now everyone, hopefully I'll be getting some stuff in soon leading up to perhaps the biggest event I've attended yet coming up next month! Be on the lookout for that, but until then, see ya!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recent Yankees TTM Successes!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Well, it is absolutely disgusting up here in New York right. We're averaging about an inch of snow an hour at this rate, and this is already on top of the foot or so we had going into this storm. Although we're getting off from school quite a bit, I'm really getting sick of all this shoveling and I just want to be back on the baseball field. This year I share something in common with my all time favorite player Derek Jeter: this could potentially both be our final official seasons of baseball.

Yesterday, just about everyone on planet Earth was made aware that Derek Jeter will be retiring following the 2014 season. It was a bittersweet day for Yankee fans and baseball fans around the world, and I came very close to tears. I can only imagine how much of a wreck I'll be throughout the season as he'll be constantly honored and remembered everywhere he goes. I loved the farewell tour baseball gave Mariano Rivera last year, and while I know Jeter doesn't like being the center of attention he definitely deserves it. He may not be the best player in baseball history, but he's always been a class act and he's compiled quite the resume over the course of his career. He's always defied expectations and proved his haters wrong, and he's a proven leader and winner. I've never seen a player so devoted to their craft and it's been an honor being able to grow up watching him play.

With that, I just wanted to show off a few quick TTM's I got back from some current and retired Yankees alumni! Check them out:

David Robertson: 1/1 in 244 Days

New Yankee closer and a personal bullpen favorite of mine, David Robertson signed a card out of 2012 Topps Heritage for my collection! I've really grown to like Robby, and I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago when he came to a local card show! Although I do believe the Yankees need more of a backup plan for the closer role in case Robertson struggles, I do have faith that he'll do well in his role this upcoming season! He's been one of the best relievers in the business over the past couple seasons, so getting this back TTM was a thrill!

John Olerud: 2/2 in 243 Days

John Olerud wasn't known for his one year spent in New York, but I preferred to have him sign some cards in pinstripes rather than any other uniform. He only played 49 games for the Yankees but he certainly had plenty of phenomenal seasons for the Mariners and Mets throughout the mid to late 90's and early 2000's! Sports Illustrated named the Mets infield he was a part of the "Greatest Infield Ever" and while that's certainly up for debate he definitely made a big impact on the field, offensively and defensively. He was well known for wearing a batting helmet in the field, which stemmed from a brain aneurysm he suffered back in the early stages of his career. These two cards came out great signed and I'm really glad I can now add his autograph to my collection!

That's all I've got for now everyone! Stay safe and warm if you're up in the northeast! 

See Ya!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Very Belated Christmas Gifts!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Posts like these really make me feel pathetic. It's taken me over two months to show off some of what I got for Christmas. Oh well, check them out:

My dad treated me to a bunch of the cards at the local corner store that has sold me a few very nice cards in the past. I had eyed one of the cards they had there for a while, and sure enough Dad remembered it! But first, here's a nice Hunter Pence Bowman Chrome refractor autograph numbered out of 500! It's a gorgeous card and from what I remember, it was at a bargain price too! Pence is a solid player, and I remember having him on my fantasy team a few years ago.

Next was a Jorge Posada rookie card out of 1994 Bowman's Best! I have one of these, but can never have enough; the other sits in my Core Four rookie card display I have set up in my mancave. This is probably my favorite Posada card, so I'm glad I got to add another one to my collection. 

Here's a 1961 Topps Ron Fairly card, the only '61 Topps card I believe they had for sale. I've currently completed 52.5% of the 1961 set (including high #'s). I haven't focused on it at all lately, but I've been thinking about scrapping off the high numbers for the time being and just finishing the regular set. It would help me concentrate on it more, because knowing that a bunch of random cards are worth $30-40 at least has intimidated me. I love the set, and look forward to adding more to it in the future. 

Sticking with the vintage theme, here's a very nice 1968 Topps Bob Gibson! I've always been a fan of players who aren't afraid to leave their mark on the game, and Gibson was nothing short of scary throughout his career with the Cardinals. I love collecting Gibson cards; he's easily my favorite pitcher of yesteryear and I'm glad I didn't have this one yet!

We close with a few rookie cards of my all time favorite player, Derek Jeter! I needed both of these cards for my Jeter collection, and I think with these I now own close to/if not all of his regular issued rookies! First, here's the 1993 Bowman card, which is certainly one of the more underrated rookie cards of his. I've always slept on it and I'm glad Dad was able to wake me up and get it for me!

Easily the hardest card to scan of all time, here is the card I've had my eyes on for a few years now, the famous 1993 Upper Deck SP Jeter rookie! This is Jeter's most saught after rookie card, and even though I know of a few Jeter cards I like much more visually, this one strikes as gold just because of what it is! And finally, it is in my possession!

Thanks so much Dad for the awesome gifts! Merry Christmas to all of you! ;)

See Ya!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Beautiful 8x10 TTM Successes!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Over the past few months I've been sparsely adding to my collection, although I haven't put much money into the hobby. Luckily, the best thing about the Through the Mail hobby is that you invest early and your results tend to trickle in as a nice surprise later down the road. I sent to these two players during last year's season and figured I'd have to be patient if I wanted to get a success. Sure enough, both players caught up on their mail during the offseason and I ended up receiving two gorgeous signed 8x10's! Check them out:

Josh Hamilton was kind enough to sign this picture of him participating in the 2008 Home Run Derby for me! I've been a big Hamilton fan since that night, and I'll always remember sitting on my living room couch with my Dad in utter awe of his performance. So far Josh hasn't really panned out in LA, but he still has time to make up for it and I believe he's still capable of being a productive player for one of baseball's better offenses. I sent this picture to him during last Spring Training and received it back in December, and it was well worth the wait!

A week ago today I also got back this signed Clayton Kershaw 8x10! I had gotten both Kershaw and Hamilton on cards last year, but I felt like having a signed photo of the best pitcher in baseball was well worth the cost of postage! Rather than dig into all the statistics, I figure those of you who know Kershaw know how great of a pitcher he is, and he really does speak for himself! Now a 2 time Cy Young Award winner, the Dodgers signed him to the biggest deal of all time for a pitcher this past offseason. If anybody in baseball currently deserves the money they've been given, it's Kershaw, who's certainly carried an often inconsistent Dodgers rotation and given them opportunities to win in the postseason! I'm excited to watch him more as the years go on and it's crazy to think that he's just entering the prime years of his career. I love the personalization he gave me on the photo and I'm looking forward to putting it on display while he's on the road to Cooperstown. 

Who else got Kershaw or Hamilton back? Did they make it worth your wait? Let me know in the comments below! 

See Ya!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Checking out the Super Bowl Boulevard! Great Success!

Hey guys, Drew back here. I've been in the midst of a break from the hobby, with most of my time dedicated towards cleaning my desks up, sorting cards, and devoting time towards my girlfriend. However, once in a while I still like to do a thing or two involved with my favorite hobby, and I was shocked the other day when my Dad told me we were going to check out the Super Bowl Boulevard! We headed down to Manhattan on Friday for the day after I wrapped up all of my midterms, and we didn't realize that we were in for quite the treat!

In case you didn't know, the Super Bowl Boulevard was held throughout the past week between 34th Street and 47th Street, taking up Broadway and much more. While it was a huge event, most of the features were all crammed together, leaving a few other parts of the experience far away. It was a great day for the NFL to host such a large event, supplying fans with great opportunities for all ages, but it certainly had its glitches along the way. The spacing was the biggest problem, with so many people crammed together, some in line to get to see the Lombardi Trophy up close; some to slide on the large toboggan float; and others to get autographs from the players announced on the lineup. On Friday, we expected to see Redskins WR Pierre Garcon, Panthers LB Luke Kuechly, Colts WR Reggie Wayne, Eagles QB Nick Foles, and legendary Rams RB Marshall Faulk. All five of these stars were scheduled to sign outside at the Autograph stage at different times throughout the day, so originally we planned to keep going through the same line all day long.

However, there were rumors that it would be smart to see what was going on at some of the other local stores, many of which hosted players as well that may have went under the radar. Unfortunately in the Big Apple, nothing goes under the radar, but we did end up finding out about a signing at 3:00 at Macy's! When we got to Macy's, which is on 34th street and was considered at one of the ends of the Boulevard, we were pleased to see FOX Sports reporter Erin Andrews posing with fans. The cost to meet Andrews was $50 spent at the NFL Shop which was occupying the entire 4th floor of the building. It wasn't worth $50 to me to meet Andrews, but it was easily worth $50 to meet the 3:00 guest!

In order to meet the 3:00 guest, we had to hang around Macy's, because he was only to sign for the first 100 people in line and a crowd was already gathering. It was noon when we got there. So yes, we had to wait 3 hours to meet this player, but even for the very short amount of time with him, it was still easily worth the time and money! We bought a special edition mini helmet for this year's Super Bowl in hopes to get it signed at some point during the day, along with a rack pack of Panini Rookies & Stars and a commemorative Super Bowl card set. We were 9th in line to meet this legend, and we took our 3 hours in line to get to know the people around us who were also patiently waiting for the event to begin. Eventually he arrived, and I swear it felt like the President of the United States had just entered Macy's. Fans gathered around the sides hoping for a free autograph (which they didn't get much to my approval), and he was chock full of security surrounding him during the whole event.

Dad and I approached the man and shook his hand and told him how much of a pleasure it was to meet him, and he signed an 8x10 for us that contained the NFL Shop and Macy's logos. I wasn't crazy about the picture at first because of that reason but then I remembered I didn't want to meet him to make a profit, and the logos will remind me of the time I spent 3 hours at Macy's on a cold winter day with my Dad. I think if you add up all the time I've spent in my life in Macy's, it still wouldn't equal three hours! It wasn't an easy wait, but to come home knowing I met Emmitt Smith and got his autograph was enough to make my year!

Emmitt Smith has been regarded by many people as the greatest running back of all time, or at least in the conversation with Walter Payton and Barry Sanders! He owns the NFL record for most career rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, and was part of the Dallas Cowboys dynasty throughout the 1990's! I barely missed the boat on Emmitt's career, as he was just wrapping his career up with the Arizona Cardinals. I went back and watched a lot of highlights of his career after I met him and began to understand why he left such a large mark on the game.

Nothing about this photo really stands out other than it being of Emmitt Smith and featuring his autograph. The picture isn't incredible and the logos certainly get in the way, but it's still a Smith autograph and it comes with a story I think I'm going to love telling in the future! When it comes down to it, this is a hobby of mine after all, and although it can get expensive, moments like these will always be in my possession and I could never try to sell something that carries a personal value like this.

After we ordered our 8x10 print of our photo taken with Emmitt, we rushed out of Macy's to see if we could catch Marshall Faulk in time for his signing. We arrived on time for the signing, but the line was already way down the block and Faulk wasn't even there yet. We later found out he was 35 minutes late to the signing and only could stay until the signing was scheduled to be over, so he only signed for about 25 minutes. We knew a lot of stars were out in the city that we could've hunted down, but we were exhausted and starving from our wait at Macy's so we took one last look through the crowds and then headed over to TGI Friday's for dinner. We went home after a great meal, and although I didn't come home with a mountain of autographs, I got one great one that I didn't previously have and am now so proud to own!

While last night's game wasn't the best Super Bowl by any means, it was really cool to have my home state partially host the big game! Tickets for the game were far too expensive for me, but getting to see and hear some of the Super Bowl atmosphere throughout the city all day was an experience I'll never forget! 

Thank you so much Dad for taking me and spoiling me to death as always! I can't thank you enough for everything you've given and done for me! 

See Ya!