Saturday, November 30, 2013

Card of the Day - 2008 SP : Matt Kemp By The Letter " N " ( 23 / 99 ) Autograph

To finish out the purchase day I picked up the one letter where I only needed one and has one of the higher print runs.

The letter "N" has a print run of 99 but only one is needed to complete the phrase. For example though the letter "S" has a print run of only 25 but you need 3 to complete the phrase. Very frustrating for a completest to finish the project as there are only so many times you will be able to purchase any given letter. Again, thankfully I have all the "S's" I need but this project its only going to get harder as I pick up more of the letters.

Having acquired 3 letters earlier in the day I wanted to finish it off with this last one and figured out the amount would be the same and I wasn't disappointed as I did pick it up at that same price. With the addition of this one I have now acquired 7 letters for the phrase but with it containing 25 letters I am a long way to finishing it anytime soon. But you do have to start somewhere and I have a good head start. If anyone has spare letters that could help I would love to hear from you on a possible trade/purchase.

23 / 99

Friday, November 29, 2013

Card of the Day - 2008 SP : Matt Kemp By The Letter " O " ( 23 / 50 ) Autograph

Onto another purchase of Matt Kemp SP By the Letter on eBay.

Picked up my first "O" that is needed to complete the project. Thankfully I only need one more. Print run on this letter is 50 so hopefully I can pick up its twin sooner rather than later. With the other 2 purchases won and paid I now focused on this and the other last card of the day and I was confident I would win both as I figured out what the other bidder had set his/her cap at. Once again I won this card at the same price as the others. 3 down with one last one to go for the day.

23 of 50

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Card of the Day - 2008 SP : Matt Kemp By The Letter " L " ( 13 / 50 ) Autograph

Another day, another letter.

With the letter "S" in my rear view mirror now and not that I ever stopped, but I could focus on some other letters and once again it was a banner day on eBay for these Matt Kemp cards.

Assuming now that I knew what the other bidder had put as their limit I bid on the remaining letters at a lower price. It paid off as I won this card at the exact same price which meant I probably could lock in the other two at that same price but still had to play it safe. Until then I acquired my first "L" for the project. I still need one more but with a print run of 50 it makes it a little more manageable than the "S's".

13 / 50

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Card of the Day - 2008 SP : Matt Kemp By The Letter " S " ( 2 / 25 ) Autograph

Finally finished up a project within a project.

The letter "S" is the hardest part of this project as there are only 25 made of them but I had already acquired two of them so I needed that last one. I accomplished that by scooping this up on a day of 2008 SP purchases.

There were 4 different auctions going and with a day or so left they were all bid on by the same person. As I have experienced this before I wanted to bid a littler higher on the first one to get a feel on how high he or she put their ceiling. With this also being the last piece of my "S" puzzle I for sure would bid even a little more higher. In the end I picked it up for a very reasonable price which helped me figure out the other bidder's cap.

Even if I didn't win those other letters I did pick this one up and now am no longer are in search of "S's".

2 of 25 and I own 3 of them.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Card of the Day - 2008 SP : Matt Kemp By The Letter " S " ( 24 / 25 ) Autograph

Back to letter buying for the Matt Kemp SP project and I got one step closer to probably the most important part of it. The letter "S".

As stated in the previous "S" post there are only 25 of them in existence and needing 3 of them to complete the Matt Kemp phrase that means only 3 people in the world can have a complete set. Well I am almost one of those three as I have 2 of them in my possession while diligently looking for that last one.

The seller had this card up for sale with a starting bid of 99 cents and knew I was going to be in a dog fight for it and was determined to win it as I don't know how many more times I will see a "S" up on eBay for purchase. Only 6 bids in total but the amounts jumped in dollars not cents and with a minute left the high bid sat at $15 or so. Seconds left and I put my bid in and won it for a little over $19 delivered. About 30% less than book. That is now 2 "S's" down with 1 left to get. There are only 23 left in the world and I must have it and somehow I will obtain it without overspending. Until then I have the win "S's" to hold me over.

24 of 25. 2 down 1 to go.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Card(s) of the Day - 2008 SP : Matt Kemp By The Letter " S " ( 8 / 25 ) and " G " ( 9 / 50 ) Autographs

Give me a S.
Give me a G.
What's that spell?
Nothing much yet but the project moves forward with two new additions.

The two cards I was able to pick up were the letters S and G from the SP By the Letter insert set from 2008. As stated when you collect all the letters it will spell out :

Once again, this is going to be a long project. I picked up the P already awhile back and now I have picked up a S and the G. Thankfully I don't need anymore G's but on the S front I need a total of 3 to complete the set. A major hurdle to overcome as the print run of the S's are only 25 and I need 3 of them. I know I am not the only one in the world that wants to complete this set and with that said that means it is only possible for 3 people in the world to have the complete set. The ultimate Matt Kemp project in my collection that I hope it sees the light of day of completion.
A seller had these two and one other letter up for sale and I missed out on the first one but I was able to obtain these two. So with that I have 3 letters of the 25 needed to finish this. A long burn just got a tad shorter.

S is 8 of 25 with G being 9 of 50

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Card of the Day - 2008 SP : Matt Kemp By The Letter " P " Autograph ( 36 / 99 )

It's Matt Kemp autograph time once again and this one I actually owned at one time prior to this year's reentry into the hobby.

A couple years ago I wanted to find some other project centered around  Kemp as I already had signed balls, signed bats, signed bobbleheads et al. I found out that these cards existed and went out to collect them. At the time I had acquired K, M and P and was still on the look out for E until I decided I just didn't want to finish it. Don't remember why that is but I ended up selling them on eBay back at the beginning of the 2011 season during his MVP caliber year. Well now that I am back in the hobby and autographs are the main focus in my collecting I am looking back at these and hope to acquire the full master set this time and this is the first letter to make it back home. Like Sesame Street, today's letter is P.

Even though there is a print run of over 1300 for these cards that is for the whole phrase " Matt Kemp Los Angeles Dodgers ". That is a lot of letters. Most of the cards have a print run of 99 which is small enough already but some are as low as 25. This is one project that will probably take a few years to complete. Most of the options on eBay are of the buy it now variety with high asking prices so I have steered away from those but this one came up on a traditional auction so I was all over it. As the auction was ending it was still hovering around $15 but I had a feeling that it would jump and I was right. With a few seconds left I put a higher bid than I normally would to give me some room and thankfully I did as my bid pushed it to $22 and change. And with that I won the card and welcomed back the letter " P " to my collection and am now on the long hunt for all the other cards. Any help from other collectors would be appreciated if you happen to have spares. Until then this is a good start.

P is for kemP or mvP for the 2011 season which he should have won.
36 of 99.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Card of the Day - 2007 Bowman Chrome : Chris Withrow Autograph Blue Refractor Variant ( 7 / 150 )

Chris became a very important part of the bullpen this year and I am still trying to lock up the four different versions ( base, refractor, xfractor and blue ) of autographs from the Bowman Chrome set. I already got my hands on the xfractor version and now I was able to secure the blue version at way below book but I think book is too high even with its perceived rarity.

Book has this great looking card at $30 which to me is high for a relief pitcher but with only 150 in existence there would only be so many chances I could get this card. Most of the sales have closed in the $10 range so that was basically my limit unless I could couple it with some other cards from the same seller. No go on that front as this seller only had this one card I was interested in and he had the starting bid at $5. No action on the auction up until the end when someone put a bid in with about 10 minutes left. Hoping his limit wasn't too high and when I put my bid in it only raised the total to $5.50 which I won it at. So for a little over $7 delivered I picked up another hit on my list for well under book. It is numbered 7 out of 150 and with 7 being one of my 2 lucky numbers maybe I was meant to own this card. Love the blue border.

7 of 150.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Hyun-Jin Ryu Base Blue Refractor Variant ( 128 / 250 )

Here is another one of those cards that I have bid on numerous times but have yet to win. I probably lost out on at least 15 auctions as each time the card went for at least $7 and sometimes over $10.

I wanted the card but even with the book value at $10 I was not going to pay close to that. This card, amongst other copies, came up for sale and I was back at it again trying to win it. With multiple ones ended on the same day it may have helped my chances as I finally won one for myself and it only cost me half of book. Finally got my hands on my favorite color in my favorite set. Still have more of the blue variants to chase for but this was a big one to acquire in my eyes.

Blu Ryu

128 of 250

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Movie Review : Bad Grandpa

This is less of a movie and more of just pranks and gags done to normal folks by Grandpa ( Johnny Knoxville ) and his grandson Billy ( Jackson Nicoll ). Fans of the Jackass show and films know exactly what they are going to see when buying a ticket to this film. And as such I knew what I was about to watch.
The plot if you can call it that has Grandpa thankfully losing his wife but before he can bury her their daughter comes to the funeral and leaves Billy to his care as she is being locked up. Grandpa is none to happy to have this happen as he was on a mission to chase tail as he was finally "free" from his wife. He figures he can dump Billy on his son in law who has not seen his kid in years but will take him thinking he can make money off of him. The road trip ensues going from Nebraska to North Carolina.
As the duo make their way to North Carolina they stop of in various places and end up pranking people while bonding. Most of the pranks and gags are dead on funny and have a lot of crass language. While there are few duds in the bunch the highlights for me were a dinner scene when they stop to get a bite to eat and a beauty pageant crashing which was highly advertised in the promos.
VERDICT : Since this is really not a "movie" in the traditional sense this review is not normal as well. Plain and simple, if you like vulgar language, endless insults, visual bodily functions or just a fan of the Jackass series you will no doubt love this film as I think it was probably the best of the bunch and that is in big part to the addition of young Billy and having a kid involved made it funnier. If you are not fun of any or all of this you will be repulsed by what you see and wonder what made you walk into the theater. With that said I am in the former group and not latter and loved this film. A great get away from day to day life for 90 minutes. A THUMBS UP from me.

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Platinum : Matt Magill Gold Variant Autograph ( 32 / 50 )

I have gone as far as I think I can go with Magill's autograph cards in this year's Platinum set as I have now acquired the gold variant of his autograph. There is one more that has a lower print run which would be the red variant but I have not seen one on eBay for sale as of yet and when it does show up it might be just too much for my taste to acquire. So for now I have completed my rainbow collection of Matt Magill in this year's set.

With a print run of just 50 there have not been many of these gold cards up for grabs on eBay and I missed out on a few of the auctions. After losing out on the latest auction this was at the time the last one up for sale on eBay but it was a buy it now auction. Though the seller had a best offer option as well. Having done business with him in the past might have helped me with my "low ball" offer but he accepted the bid of $6 and within the week the card arrived. So I now have the Base, Green, Blue and Gold versions of his card with the Red one left which I may or may not ever acquire. Now if Matt can contribute in the big leagues that would be great.

Gold and 35 of only 50.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day - Player Appearance Recap : Paul Goldschmidt ( ROMLB 2013 All Star w/All Star inscription )

The wife and I headed out this past weekend to Arizona for a little R and R and to visit some friends. I had known for months that Paul would be doing a signing on this particular weekend but I was not sure until a few weeks ago if we were for sure going so I didn't keep my hopes up on meeting Goldy. Once it was confirmed we were going I made a few transactions on eBay to help fund the purchase of the autograph of Paul. The promoter was charging $59 per autograph. A bit pricey in my eyes but made cheaper by some sales so it made it easier to swallow.

Headed out to Paradise Valley mall where the promoter ( ) was holding the show and even though it was off season there was a fair amount of fans in line. Would say around 150-200. Patrick Corbin was also appearing but the majority who I spoke to were there for Paul just like I was. There were a few Yankee fans along with some Cubs fans but all the rest were Diamondback fans except for the lone Dodger fan ( well at least the only one to wear a Dodger cap ), me. Got some flack from a few fans but for the most part all of it was in good fun.

Paul arrived on time and started signing promptly. The line moved real slow and once I was in the shop I realized why and that was because he interacted with each fan and took pictures with anyone that wanted one. I had heard he was a nice guy and this proved it and I was glad I was about to add him to my collection. Got up to the table and he glanced up and noticed the Dodger blue and had a slight smirk on his face. Told him thanks for killing my team this year and he said you guys had a good year as well. I handed him the 2013 All Star ball and had him sign under the logo and also had him add an All Star inscription. Another minute or so and I was on my way but before that I asked him if he would mind a picture with a Dodger fan and he said by all means. Paul was a class act and I wish him well expect when he plays the boys in blue. Thank you again Paul for the autograph.

Paul signing the ball

Paul and I. Nice fuzzy picture Mr. Photographer

Autograph with All Star inscription. Came out great.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Platinum : Matt Magill Autograph Base

Working my Magill rainbow set and finally got my hands on the base card that has been a tad elusive for me.

Already had the blue and green version with basically just the base and gold ones left to get. There is a red version but that is so limited it might be awhile if ever until I can acquire it but with Matt not on the big league club right now and when he was he wasn't doing that great so it might be easier to get than I think.

Seller had this card up with a starting bid of 99 cents and with the blue and green purchases at a low amount I was hoping to score this at no more than $4. Anything over that I wasn't going to be bidding on it. The card ended up having 4 different bids but I came out on top with a whopping $2.33 delivered. Not too shabby. Anything under $5 is pretty much acceptable on authentic on card autographs but under $3 is just like stealing candy from a baby. I now have the base, blue and green with the gold version in my cross hairs.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Platinum : Matt Magill Autograph Blue Variant ( 155 / 199 )

Back again to my rainbow collection of this year's Platinum edition of Matt Magill. I already acquired the green version as seen HERE for $2.25 and that has a print run of 399. I'm still on the lookout for the regular version when I came across this blue version. With a print run of 199 which makes it twice as "hard" to acquire I assumed I would have to pay a little more especially since every other one has closed for at least $5 with a high of $10.50. No way was I going to pay $10 plus but realized I would probably have to accept something in the $5 range.

The seller had the auction start at 99 cents so I put it on my watch list and waited until the final day and when it arrived there was not a single bid yet on the card. Minutes ticked down and with 10 seconds left still no action. Put my bid in for a tad over $4 to see if I could snag it at a low ball price. Mission accomplished as I was the only bidder and I won the card for the scant price of 99 cents and with shipping it was just a little under $3 delivered to me. I know he isn't the best pitcher in the system but I didn't think I would score a card from a new product with that low of a print run for pennies. I picked the right card on the right day to purchase. Blue and green checked off the list and now to find the others.

Just love blue variants. This one is 155 of 199.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Card of the Day - 2012-13 Panini Anthology : Jonathan Quick Elite Inscriptions Autograph

Went back to our neighbor up north and finally picked up the heart and soul of the 2011-12 Stanley Cup Champions, one Jonathan Quick.

No matter what country the cards have been originating from I have had the worst luck on acquiring an autograph card of our goaltender. I literally have been outbid on at least 20 auctions as even though I knew he would be the priciest I was determined not to go over a certain threshold I had set for myself. There were a few lower priced cards but they were adorned mostly in gold which I did not like the look of.

Saw yet another one of these Panini cards and it was revealed that there was a print of at least 26 but no more than 99. Though not numbered individually that still made them hard to find and acquire. The seller had this card with a starting bid of $10 and I hoped that it wouldn't go into the 30 dollar range like others have. Decent amount of action on the auction as it ended with 15 bids. My ceiling for the card was in the mid 20's and I put my bid in with less than a minute left and hoped for the best as I couldn't watch it at that moment. The auction ended and later in the evening even though there was a bid at the last minute my high bid held and I won the card for a tad under $23 delivered. Finally obtained the hard to get Quick and it is a great looking card. Couldn't be happier and cant wait for the team to return to the finals in 2014. Go Kings Go!!!

Less than 99 in the world.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Card of the Day - 2011 Finest : Jerry Sands Green Variant Autograph ( 5 / 199 )

After a few hits on the Dee list for the "rainbow" set I was able to obtain another card for the Jerry Sands "rainbow" set in the form of this green variant.

As with the other lower serial numbered cards in the set this green one and its print run of only 199 was hard to track down even though it only holds a $12 book value. Haven't seen many up for grabs online and then one day a seller had this one for sale at $5 with shipping at $2. $7 seemed fair to me but I had to wait it out as this was of the traditional auction variety. As the auction winded down there were still no bids on the card and with a few seconds left I put in my bid and won it at the original asking price. Card was delivered to my doorstep in great condition at just $7. Money-wise it wasn't a great value but the true value is that I was able to acquire another card on my hit list and for that I am happy with this transaction.

5 of only 199

Friday, November 15, 2013

Card of the Day - 2011 Finest : Dee Gordon Gold Variant Autograph ( 46 / 75 )

Even though I won this card prior to the die cut one from yesterday this one arrived second.

This card books at $25 and there hasn't been that many on the bay to chose from until this one popped up at a buy it now for $8. I don't know why I waited but I did for a good whole week to finally pull the trigger on buying the card. I think I was holding out for a lower price but when it is already 66% percent less than book I should have just bought it that first day I saw it. Came back to it one day and noticed that were two other watchers so if I didn't want to lose out on this I had to buy it then and there which I did. Not a bad looking card and now I am over half way done with Dee's "rainbow" collection from this set.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Card of the Day - 2011 Finest : Dee Gordon Autograph Mosiac Die Cut Refractor ( 10 / 10 )

Back to my "rainbow" set of the 2011 Finest Dee Gordon and I got my hands on one of the hardest ones to obtain.

Green, Orange, Gold etc are relatively easy to acquire due to Dee not doing well in the big leagues and there are multiple copies of the card to chase after so the market is full enough of them to pick and chose from. But this card is a very hard on to get your hands on due to only 10 numbered copies of them in existence.

The one main thing I like about this variant is that the card is different than the others in the "rainbow" as they are just color differences while this one is die cut. With only 10 in the world I personally have seen only one other on eBay for sale the past 7 months and Beckett doesn't have a price on it due to its scarcity. Even though Dee is not as popular as other Dodgers I knew people would still be trying to acquire this card to complete their own sets. I assumed it would be a dog fight to acquire this one and I wasn't wrong. Though prices didn't jump too much on the auction in the end it still ended up with 16 bids and thankfully the last one I put in won me the card. Card came in and looks flawless.

10 of 10

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Card of the Day - 2010 Topps Tribute : Manny Ramirez Triple Relic Autograph ( 69 / 75 )

It looks like Manny Ramirez has reached the end of the road of his long career as he was released by the Rangers this year and couldn't handle the Asia league and I can't think of another team that needs him as he is basically just a DH at this point in his life. Oh but back in 2008 he brought electricity to Los Angeles when he was traded here in late July.

Since Manny was only on our team a couple years there are just not that many autograph cards that show him in Dodger blue and the ones that do are usually at a very high price. I didn't know if I would ever get my hands on one of Manny as I was not going to overspend just to have a card of him depicted in blue.

Refreshing eBay one day and this card came up and was only live on eBay for a total of 4 minutes so it looked like I was the first viewer. The seller had it strictly at a buy it now for a little under one Jackson. Back in the day that would have been a major bargain but with the card only booking at a little over $30 I debated if I should buy it just to have it or wait it out and see if something else came up. It is also has a sticker autograph which has become more undesirable in my collection but in the end I decided to pull the trigger and pick it up at the seller's price. Not a great bargain but I finally have an autographed card of Manny in Dodger blue and that is all I wanted and needed.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Tribute : Adrian Gonzalez Autograph ( 56 / 99 )


That is a great number in any language when you can acquire an on card autograph of a star player in a current year's set and that's just what I did with this card. I only have one autographed card of Adrian seen HERE and that has a sticker autograph so I have been on the constant lookout for an on card version of Adrian and after countless lost auctions I finally was able to get my paws on one.

This card books for $25 and have seen it close for as high as $20 and even have seen it at Frank and Sons for close to that but I didn't want to spend that much. Yet again I saw another copy of this card up for bid and surprisingly there was minimal action on it up until the final day and still there were only 2 bids on it to bring the total up to $3. Don't know why that is but I held out hope to win it and with my bid at the last minute I won it for a measly eight dollars. That is a great buy. People missed the boat on it and I was lucky enough to pick it up. I was worried that it would come in damaged or something else would be wrong with it but it is in great condition and I couldn't be happier. A great addition to my collection.

56 of 99

Movie Review : Thor

Thor ( Chris Hemsworth ) is back in the second entry of the franchise. Thor has been away from Midgard ( Earth ) since the New York Alien invasion ( Avengers film ) fighting on various worlds to have peace on all of the realms under Asgard's rule. Jane ( Natalie Portman ) is on Earth still pining away after Thor and is London researching some odder than normal energy readings. Loki ( Tom Hiddleston ) is locked in Asgard jail for the remainder of his existence for his actions during the Alien invasion.

Jane finds the source of the energy and while investigating it she is infected by it. Thor comes back to Earth to find her as she has fallen off the Asgard gird so to speak. They are reunited and find out that the energy known as Aether was trapped away from a long ago thought dead race known as the Dark Elves. Odin's ( Anthony Hopkins ) father had fought them and defeated them many eons ago. With Aether back in the picture the leader of the Elves, Malekith ( Christopher Eccleston ) is awaken from a deep sleep and is back in pursuit of the energy. Once every 5000 years when all 9 realms are aligned the Aether can cast all into a state of darkness. Asgard is attacked and with it's back against the wall Thor reluctantly releases Loki to assist him and his group against the Dark Elves. While the plan is to relieve Jane of the energy and destroy it the brothers are only able to do the former not the latter. Malekith steps in and takes control of the Aether.

The battle is fought on different worlds till it makes itself to Earth, London to be exact as that is the spot where Malekith intends to unleash the darkness since the alignment is centered there. Thor with the help and scientific knowledge of Jane and her colleagues are able to defeat Malekith.

VERDICT : The first half of the film drags in a lot of spots. While I understand that there needed to be setup there just doesn't seem to be that charm that other Marvel movies have shown. In the second half with Loki on the screen the movie gets a boost in fun. Chris does better as Thor in this film but unlike Iron Man, Thor doesn't seem to be able to hold a franchise by himself. I liked Thor in the Avengers film more. Thor for me falls into the Hulk category. Great character but better as a supporting one rather than a featured one. If not for the second half and this film being part of the  bigger Marvel vision I would say you could pass on it. If you are a Thor fan and if you are a Marvel fan you probably should and will see this but if not I think you will be bored. For me its a take it or leave it verdict. Not a thumbs up or down. Do though stay post movie for 2 bonus scenes with the first being important for the Marvel film universe. Other than Loki, I found the bonus scene more entertaining than most of the feature film. Never a good sign.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day : Pedro Guerrero ( ROMLB Techinically Sweet Spot )

My favorite player back in the 1990's was this man, Pedro, and now that I am older I have been able to look behind the curtain of this man. Pedro had/has some issues. While on the field for the most part was an above average player that had glimpses of super stardom but his ego and work ethic stopped him from reaching higher goals. He helped the Dodgers win the World Series in 1981 but in the midst of their magical 1988 run to the crown he was traded as enough was enough in the eyes of the team. He went on to play for the Cardinals for a few more years and retired in 1993 as no team offered him a contract.

Post baseball career brought more problems for Pedro as he was arrested for trying to buy cocaine. He continuously tried to get back into baseball on some level. Instructor, coach etc. but there were no takers. He was recently a manager in a league but was relieved of the job due to new ownership. Maybe someday a major league team will take a flyer on Pedro and he can get back and get on the straight and narrow.

2011 Frank and Sons held a World Series reunion of the 1981 team and though I had most of the team or no interest in the ones I didn't, Pedro was scheduled to appear and up to that time I have never seen him out here in California to do a signing. I jumped at the opportunity to finally get an IP autograph of my favorite player during my childhood. Arrived at Frank and Sons early as I did want a couple of other autographs and with Pedro's scheduled time later in the day I thought that would help me get in front of the line. Pedro ended up being almost 45 minutes late ( the only player that was more than 5 minutes late ) and once he sat down he looked aloof. People were excited to see Pedro but it seemed, to me at least, that the feeling wasn't overly mutual. Got up to the table and said hello with no response back. Asked him for the sweet spot and he sort of sweet spot/side paneled his signature. Said thank you to be polite but still no response. Maybe it was a bad day for him but the more and more I read about his baseball history I think it is his personality. It is what it is. I am happy that I was able to add his autograph but wish there was better placement on the ball.

Nice "sweet spot" huh?

Eyes a little bloodshot there buddy...

Remembering Our Veterans

Memorial Day 2013
As our country as been divided for years now please take a moment to remember our veterans today.
Whether you are a liberal or a conservative, left or right, pro choice or pro life, the members of our armed forces have put their lives on the line day in and day out for years and continue to do so to this day. They fight for our freedom to allow us the right to debate all the little and big things in our lives. Without them our world would be a totally different place today.
To the past, current and future soldiers of our great country I say thank you for your service and appreciate what you have and continue to do for me and everyone in our great country. God Bless you and all of your love ones and may God guide and look over you while you do your hard job.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Platinum : Matt Kemp Cutting Edge Relic Insert ( 1 / 50 )

Back to the sparkly platinum set and I found myself another great Matt Kemp card.

A few of the Dodgers are including in this years insert set but only one has a relic card and that is Matt Kemp. I haven't seen many copies of this card on eBay and don't expect too many of them to pop up as there are only 50 numbered of each card. A seller had one of those copies on eBay for sale with a starting bid of $10. I wanted the card but was not get into a bidding war on this one. Towards the end of the auction there was one bid in so I knew it would cost me at least $10.50 to win this card and that is exactly what I had to pay as I put my bid in with a few seconds left and that raised the winning price to $10.50. It may or may not be worth that much but I am happy that I was able to add this to my collection. Great looking die cut design.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Card of the Day - 2012 Topps Five Star : Andre Ethier Autograph ( 9 / 25 )

An autograph card that I was not looking for nor needed but it looks so damn pretty on its thick cardboard self I just had to get it if I could.

This card only has a print run of 25 so with that low of a number there is no official book value assigned to the card. With that said I just had to go with what I was willing to pay for and the seller had this with a starting asking price of $15. Other Ethier cards from this set with a print run of 50 are priced at $25. So if I could have this card for $15 then I would try to acquire it but if it went for a penny more I was not going to get into a bidding war for it. No action on the auction with a minute left and thought I might actually win this limited edition card and with 10 seconds left I put my bid in for exactly $15 and won it for that amount. Again, no book value for this card but I think that the beauty and scarcity of this card is worth the $15 I dished out for it. Another autographed card of Captain Clutch has been added to my collection.

9 of only 25 in the world.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Card of the Day - *** FINAL UPDATE *** 2013 Bowman Inception : Yasiel Puig Silver Signings Autograph ( 25 / 25 ) BGS 9.5

The journey is finally over. A great and satisfying one at that.

Step one seen HERE
Step two seen HERE
Step three seen HERE
Step four seen HERE
Step five seen HERE

1 of freaking 1 in the world.

All of that leads to this. My initial "$10" purchase has turned into this BGS graded 9.5 gem mint encased silver signings card of Yasiel Puig. As of today this is the ONLY graded card of the silver signings version of Yasiel. So at least for one day I can say I have a one of one in the world. With a print run of only 25 that means there is only so many chances to be had to have a gem mint grade for this card. That's if all the redemptions are found and turned in and then possibly grading out at gem mint. I have only seen two other redeemed silver signings Puig card on eBay so I know they do exist.

Finally encased.

Great photo coupled with a nice silver signature.

Again, other than the Bowman Chrome blue variant I think this is the best looking autograph card of Puig out there. Love the silver ink with the different photo from the base set. The card speaks for itself but I am happy that I still have a decent eye to see that the first card would probably grade out well for me to start this journey and happy that I was lucky enough to get this card in the mail undamaged so it could grade out as well to gem mint.

Mmm . . . Minty

10 out of 10.
= )

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Movie Review : About Time

Rachel McAdams seems to be the de facto leader in time travelling, tear jerking, love stories. She is back at it again here as she plays wife Mary to husband Tim ( Domhnall Gleeson ) who after his 21st birthday is informed from his father ( Bill Nighly ) that the males in their family can travel back in time. Obviously Tim figures his dad for a loon until he tries to prove him wrong and travels back and relives an awkward moment from the previous New Year's Eve party.  

Tim moves to London to pursue his career as a lawyer and meets Mary one night at a restaurant. They make plans to further the courtship but Tim tries to help out his playwright flat mate Harry ( Tom Hollander ) and travels back in time to do so but by doing that he wipes out his meeting with Mary. One problem fixed but another one created. Tim figures a way to meet up with her again but with this now being a different "timeline" he has to win her over again. With his foot in the door again he relives certain times until he feels that he gets it right with Mary.

They end up married and living happily until a tragedy hits and while trying to figure a way around it Tim is informed from his father that there are certain things that can and can not be done with the time travelling ability they both have. While Tim helps his sister Kit Kat ( Lydia Wilson ) with her own  issues Tim learns he must make a decision on what to do with the past, present and future with him only being able to do one of the three. His heart is torn and drawn in separate directions and knowing that whatever decision he makes it will close a door forever. The final lesson Tim learns from his father is that all the time travelling in the world can't change certain outcomes and you should live each day to the fullest with no regrets.

VERDICT : Rachel with her pretty smile can still light up a room. Domhnall plays the perfect "geek" that makes good and gets the pretty girl. The real glue to the story though in my opinion is the one between Tim and his father. Bill plays it with a twinkle in his eye and is fun to watch just as he does  in all of the director's other films that Bill has appeared in most notably Love Actually. The love story is genuine and sweet between Mary and Tim. The supporting cast does their job with Harry being the standout as the grumpy old playwright. The crass humor out of him is great. While the love story is played out well by Rachel and Domhnall it doesn't break new ground. Not an all time great movie but an enjoyable one that you won't get bored watching either. A THUMBS UP from me.

Card of the Day - 2005 Bowman Heritage : Scott Elbert Autograph

I think I am becoming the master of the $3 purchase of autographed cards on eBay. Yet another pick up at that price this past week on the bay in the form of Scott Elbert.

Being a reliever and on the 60 DL will drive any high cost on your cards down. Scott won't be playing ball with the big league Dodgers anytime soon but I hope he does make it back someday. Thought he was becoming an important part of the bullpen prior to getting injured. This card books at $8 which even during his good days seems to be a lot for him but at the $3 that I paid for the card I am more than happy to add him to my collection once more. I wanted this card as it is an on card variety instead of the sticker autographs that have become more commonplace in recent years. A minor addition to my collection but a nice one at that.

Upcoming Appearance / Signing : Xavier Henry @ Harry's Dugout

Baseball season is over ( boo hoo ) but Harry's is still doing in store autograph events with new Laker Xavier Henry making an appearance on Saturday November 16th from 3 to 4:30 in the afternoon.
  • Basketball Card : $20
  • Flats up to 11x14 : $25
  • Basketballs, Large Flats and Figurines : $30
  • Jerseys, Artwork and Equipment : $40
  • Inscriptions : $5
Harry's as always strives to keep prices at a minimum and this event is no different. Get there early as autographs will be limited to only 120.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Card of the Day - 2008 Sweet Spot : Matt Kemp Silver Ink Glove Autograph ( 200 / 245 )

This card has instantly became one of my favorite autographed cards of Matt when I won the auction.

First it is from the Sweet Spot brand which I have always loved, second it is the black glove variety which is rarer and thirdly accompanied with the black glove is the great offset of a silver autograph. Silver autographs are unique and great by themselves but coupled with it being on a black background just makes them pop and look better. I have won rarer cards of Kemp that went for more on eBay but most of those are of the "sticker" autographs while this one is an on "card" one.

I expected to be in a slight bidding war on this one and I was ready for it. Book value has these at $80 which is pricey and even though I wasn't going to spend anywhere near that price I was giving myself a little more leeway as I sold a few items to compensate for the expected price of the card. I watched this card for a week and saw the bids escalating the price until it was my turn to enter the fray and with 5 seconds left I put my bid in and with just 1 second left someone else bidded on it as well but thankfully I put my bid high enough as I didn't lose out.

With 245 in the world surprisingly there haven't been many on eBay to purchase from. At the present moment there are none for sale and this one was the only one that closed in the last month or so. In the end I won the card for a nice small amount of just $26. That is after 15 bids too. So for just a tad over 25% of book I won this great looking card of Kemp and couldn't be happier.

200 of 245.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Card(s) of the Day - 2013 Bowman : Silver Ice, State and Hometown Haul

It was time to head back to the 2013 Bowman set and fill out some holes in my silver ice and state and hometown parallel set that I still needed to complete. Found my seller that I have been buying a lot of this year's cards from and he once again had a lot that I could chose from so I busted out my list and just picked what I still needed. They were all buy it now's with a best offer option and since I have bought from him before he always seems to accept my offers so I ended up with these 8 cards that I needed for a little over a dollar a card delivered to the door. Still have work to finish the set but getting these at this price is just a great deal consider the Silver Ice Ryu alone books for $9. A good day on eBay indeed.

State and Hometown of Hanley Ramirez, Josh Beckett, Paco Rodriguez, Zach Bird and Jeremy Moore
Silver Ice of Paco Rodriguez, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier and Hyun-Jin Ryu

Monday, November 4, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day : Wes Parker ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

Wes was never the most prominent player on the Dodgers nor did he put up the biggest statistics as at the end of his career he amassed a good if not an eye popping total of a little over 1000 hits. His value to the club was his gold glove as he won that award 6 out of the 9 years he was on the team. What he didn't bring to the plate he doubled down with on the field and he was highly successful at it. He played his entire MLB career with the Dodgers and was lucky enough to play in 2 World Series with them winning one of them in 1965.

Wes made an appearance at Frank in Sons back in 2011 and as I had missed him a few times prior I made sure I didn't this time. Back in 2011 the Dodgers were in disarray and the public demand for their time and autographs was at a low point. So I assumed for a past non superstar player there would be minimal people for the signing and I was right. Didn't pre purchase a ticket and when I arrived I knew I didn't have to as there was hardly anybody there for Wes. Bought my ticket and jumped in line behind a few people and soon I was in front of Wes. Asked him to sign on the sweet spot which he gladly did. Not too talkative but he was pleasant with me and fellow attendees. Said my thanks and left. Glad to finally add this autograph to my collection.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Card of the Day - 2000 SPx : Eric Gagne Autograph ( 1327 / 1500 )

Another card I owned back in the day has made is back into my hands. Unlike now as I am solely looking for Dodger cards back then I wanted all the limited or hard to get cards and I remember the SPx cards were one of my favorites to rip packs of in the hunt for these type of autograph cads of young stars. I had Gagne then and sold it but like other past stars I was back in the market to reacquire this card and after losing a few auctions I finally was able to get my hands on one.

With 1500 in world I thought it would somewhat easy to get my hands on a copy but it was harder than I thought. Book value is set at $25 and that to me is just too damn high for this card in today's market. Every time I bid on an auction it sold for over $10 which was my breaking point. So for weeks I saw card after card sell at over that price until this one came up and I won it for a little under $10 as no else bid on it. Finally reacquired the electric Dodger closer from the mid 2000's.

As a foot note the day after I won the card another auction ended that I had on my watch list closed at just over $4. Damn, that would have been a steal but you can't always get the great bargain.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Card of the Day - 2005 Upper Deck : Brad Penny Artifacts Autograph ( 455 / 599 )

A new day and I was back on eBay looking for some deals. I had a few bucks and decided to trade them for a penny, a Brad Penny to be exact.

Brad is another ex-Dodger that I didn't have an on card autograph in my collection and browsing through eBay found out that for the most part it left me wanting. There just wasn't many Penny autographs out there let alone of him in Dodger blue. I did find this one that was adequate enough. Not a fan of the gold borders/accents but it was the only decent looking one of Brad and the seller only wanted $3 for the card so I couldn't pass on a deal and went ahead and purchased it. Not a bad swap of a few dollars for a Penny.

Nice crisp signature. 455 of 599

Friday, November 1, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Zach Bird Purple Refractor ( 145 / 199 )

To be quite honest I didn't and still don't much about this Dodger prospect that goes by the name Zach Bird. The one thing I knew was that he is sporting Dodger blue and is in this year's Bowman set so that meant I had to acquire him and this nice and shiny purple refractor he was portrayed on. I did not expect any other bids and I wasn't disappointed as I won this card for just $1.50. He may never make it to the Dodgers but I am more than happy to add this short printed card at a nice low price.

It's a purple Bird. 145 / 199