Monday, September 30, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day : Stan Kasten ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

A different variation of an autograph for my collection as I finally have a acquired one of an owner of the Dodgers. Years ago when Frank McCourt was the owner I had the opportunity to get his autograph but I passed on it as I did not think he was worthy enough to use a nice ROMLB on him. This past Saturday as I attended my last regular season game at Dodger stadium I saw current co-owner and President Stan Kasten being interviewed on the field.

Why so serious ?

Stan was the President of the Atlanta Braves during their glory years of the 1990's and early 2000's and with the Dodgers matching up with them this week in the playoffs I found it fitting that I could finally get Stan's autograph. I missed him at the Fan Fest back in January as he walked away after signing for a few fans and I wasn't close enough and then missed him also in Spring Training. This time though I and two other fans were the only ones close to him in the baseline section and after his interview I was able to call him over and he autographed a baseball for me. Said thank you and now have added an owner to my collection. This is the first person I have acquired on a baseball that has a connection to a sport but never played a sport. Great job this year Stan and let it continue to the end of October.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Attended Game Recap : September 28th vs Rockies : ROCKIES 1 Dodgers Zip Also Ball of the Day : Skip Schumaker ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

The regular season came to a close yesterday for me as we attended our final home game until the real season starts this upcoming Thursday. There was a sense in the air that the Dodgers are just waiting for the post season as they did not put p much of a fight as they were defeated 1-0. Hopefully they can "turn it on" when it matters. A dangerous game to play.

One last game meant one last opportunity to acquire some autographs. Arrived at the stadium around 3:15 and headed down to the baseline as always but no one was signing early on. Carlos Marmol did come by once but he said he couldn't sign due to him needing to work. Yeah, right. Anyways no big loss for me. Wasn't going to hound him for an autograph. Was hoping for Brian Wilson but he never came by.

Brian yapping with fellow players.

While waiting for autographs I did get J.P. Howell to toss me a batting practice ball. One of the more beat up ones I have received this year. Another addition to the bucket.

I did acquire 3 total autographs for the day but two of them were of non players. I will be showing those off in their own separate entries. During the pre game stretches there were a multitude of players in front of me. Kemp, Young, Hanley, etc. Kemp for the first time ever turned everyone down with a motion of his hand. I've never seen that before. I am going to chalk it up as him being frustrated with yet another injury. I was not in the right place at the right time as I missed Hanley yet again. Someday I will get an IP autograph of him. The one player I did get was Skip Schumaker. He is a player that I have missed all season long but I was finally able to add him to my collection. He signed for about 10 people prior to the game and I was lucky enough to be one of them. Said thank you and moved back to my seats.

Skip ball.

The game felt like a drag but the post season awaits us in a few short days and can't wait for the real season to begin.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Card of the Day - 2007 Bowman Chrome : Chris Withrow X-Fractor Refractor Autograph ( 112 / 225 )

Chris finally made his debut this year to the big league club and it was finally time for me to acquire some cards with his signature on it. I forgot how long he has been in our system and that I had to go back 6 years to find his rookie card. A great deal awaited me.

I have always been a fan of Bowman Chrome but never a fan of the X-Fractor versions of cards. But like the Jerry Sands and Dee Gordon project I have going I thought maybe I will do the same for other players as well. This card was the first that I was able to get my hands on of our new reliever.

Shipping for the card was just $2 and with the starting bid at just .99 cents it gave me a little wiggle room on what I was willing to spend. As the auction was nearing its end there was still no action on the card so I put in my bid and won it for just .99 cents. A nice little pickup. Will take any autograph card for a click under $3 delivered. Fan of the pitcher not of the card but welcome to the collection nonetheless.

Those damn sparkly squares again. 112 of 225.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Card of the Day - *** UPDATE *** - 2013 Bowman Inception : Yasiel Puig Silver Signing Autograph ( 25 / 25 )

The journey to acquire an on card, no sticker autograph of Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig has finally ended with the official arrival of this card.

It took over 3 months to get this card and in the end if only cost me $10 out of pocket to get it. WHAT??? Yes, $10.

I original bought a Bowman Top 100 insert die cut variant card back in June seen HERE when I had spare inventory to sell that ended up netting me $140 and with Yasiel's card costing me $150 there was the difference of the $10. I bought the card with every intention to have it graded by BGS and hope to get a Gem Mint grade which I thought it would. Turned it in and it did. Got the card back at about the same time the Bowman Inception set came out and thought what if I could flip it to get an autograph card instead of the die cut. So with the BGS card in hand as seen HERE I put it up on eBay thinking I could get at least $400 for it. Not a bad profit margin considering the initial $10 investment. I had my eye on a Silver Signings card of Yasiel. I am not a fan of the regular set of Inception but the limited number of Silver Signings with it's different picture from the regular set was the draw for me. Only 25 of the Silver Signings are in existence and I knew I had to get my hands on one. I ended up selling my Top 100 BGS card for $400 and then went and acquired the Silver Signings card seen HERE for a tad over $400. But with an additional card included it negated the difference in price between the two cards. Book value for the redemption card is/was $600 so it was a great deal all together.

Received the redemption card and turned in the code to acquire the real card and after a very impatient month or so of waiting for the card it finally arrived yesterday and man does it look good. I ended up getting the "last" one sequence-wise with it being numbered 25 of 25. Tomorrow I am turning it in to BGS to get it graded as I think and hope it will grade high and I am knocking on wood as I type that.

So in the end this 3 month journey to acquire an on card Yasiel autograph only cost me $10 and a lot of patience and with it now in hand it sure has paid off. This probably won't be the highest priced or sought after autograph of Puig but at the moment it is the best looking in my opinion and one of the most limited.

My first year back in the hobby after years away has been a success with this being one of the best of bunch that I have acquired.

Better picture than base set version.

25 of 25. Last in the limited run.

Silver autograph on dark background. The best.

Why thank you Topps.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Card(s) of the Day - 2011 Finest : Jerry Sands Orange Refractor Autograph ( 7 and 79 / 99 )

And to finish off my three days of Mr. Sands and my second purchase of some particular day I received the best deal of the bunch.

Saw this auction for (2) orange refractors and even though I only need one there were no other auctions at the time for orange variety so I set my goal on winning these and trading one somewhere down the road. The seller had the starting price at .99 cents and with a set ceiling in my head on price I kept an eye on the auction. With about a minute left someone else bid on the cards and thought I would probably lose out on them. With a couple seconds left I put my bid in and won them both for a grand total of just $4 delivered to my house. $2 a card for an orange variety of just 99 numbered copies is a great deal. So I now have refractor, xfractor and orange. The next colors are going to be the hardest to acquire. Until then I have a spare orange one if anyone is interested.

Double Orange Sands. Anybody in need of one? ( 7, 79 / 99 )

2013 Playoff Tickets . . . Are Here

A week from today the 2013 Playoffs will begin and yesterday I finally received my packet of tickets from the Dodgers. Other than Opening Day this is the most exciting time of the year baseball-wise. If post season tickets are in the mail it means your team has done well enough to advance to the knock out stage which our Dodgers have done this year for the first time in 4 years. It feels like forever since they have been in the playoffs. Its been even longer since a World Series appearance which hopefully comes to an end in less than a month.

Anyways, this is my first year where my seats have been in the Loge level and what better way to celebrate the upgrade than to watch our boys in blue win 11 games in October. Time for the team to bear down and grind it out and get the job done. Go Blue !!!

This will be my view this year. Beautiful !

State of the Dodgers : Man Stabbed and Killed After Dodger/Giant Game Yesterday

Really people?
I hate the Giants with a passion and hate the colors they sport. I bleed blue through and through no matter how well or how bad they do. But I know this is a game and I go to them to be entertained and enjoy the company I am with and hopefully get some autographs. I do not go to them to get beat almost to death ala Brian Stow from a couple years ago or killed like last night when Jonathan Denver, a Dodger fan, was stabbed to death after the game.

It's baseball people and you may support and debate the qualities of your team and the limitations of the other to the end of time but when people's own safety is threatened then it's time to look in the mirror. There is nothing wrong with shit talking or harassing other team's fans but you have to know when enough is enough.

I was in San Francisco last week while the Dodgers were getting their asses handed to them by the Giants and I stopped into a local eatery for lunch and was surrounded by Giant fans. And guess what? I enjoyed my time as they talked the talk about what was happening on tv between our two teams and I shot back about how they were doing for the season in general. And it was all in good fun. Never got hostile and I left right after the Dodgers lost again. I didn't pull a knife or go all gangster and kick them until they needed medical attention. No, we were all civil and enjoyed it for what it was, A GAME !!!

There is probably no way that this stabbing gets the national attention that the Brian Stow beating has and is still getting and that is sad. Both incidents should never have happened. The person that stabbed Jonathan to death should go to jail for the rest of his life as he took someone else's and affected that person's whole family. The two idiots that beat up Brian Stow should be thrown in jail until Brian is fully recovered and if that is never than so be it. You die in jail. I should not have to think about death when I go to a ball game at anytime. Things are a lot more safer now and hopefully this is a one time occurrence but even with that the killer needs to be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.

We do not know what happened between Brian and his attackers and Jonathan and his killers though we can guess there was talking going on between all parties and not one person was fully innocent but when the line is crossed into physical harm then something needs to be done to stop this. God rest his soul for Jonathan and may Brian make a full recovery.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Card of the Day - 2011 Finest : Jerry Sands X-Fractor Refractor Autograph ( 229 / 299 )

With the refractor version in my collection I was still on the lookout for the other versions for me to acquire and on the same day I was able to purchase a couple more with this one being the first to arrive to me.

I have never been a X-Fractor fan as I don't like all the little sparkly squares but if I am to have a complete collection I need this one as well. Most of these versions have been closing at over $10 and I didn't feel that was a good deal for me. Refreshing through eBay this one popped up and the seller had it for sale for $6 delivered. At only $2 more than the refractor I didn't hesitate and picked it up. I now have two versions of the 2011 Finest set with my eyes set on some more color.

Sparkly squares 229 of 299.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Card of the Day - 2011 Finest : Jerry Sands Refractor Autograph ( 93 / 499 )

My fellow blogger Greg has his own projects that are just too massive for me to ever try to accomplish then there are those that seem a little easier to do and easier on the wallet and this happens to be one of them. He has what he likes to call the "rainbow" collection from the 2011 Finest set which includes Jerry Sands and Dee Gordon. I now have decided to do the same as him and collect these cards and this is the first of the Jerry's to hit my doorstep.

This is just the normal, non special refractor of Jerry. I had a lot of hope that he would succeed with the Dodgers but it just wasn't meant to be. He has a great back story with his better half and him being a substitute teacher while he waited for his big break. He was traded to the Pirates and now is stuck in their minor leagues. Hopefully he can come back up and have a successful career. With no spot on the big league team his cards are cheap to come by and I saw this card up for purchase on eBay. The seller and I went back and forth on offers and we finally settled on $4 delivered. Not a bad price for a numbered autographed card.

93 / 499

Monday, September 23, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day : Gaylord Perry ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

One of if not my first paid autograph of a non Dodger happens to be a former Giant. Not sure if it was my first but if not it was for sure one of the first 5 I've ever paid for a non Dodger. It was for a good cause though and it's of a hall of famer who happens to be a member of the 300 win club as well. Gaylord Perry is the that man.

It was early 2009 and my wife had a project to do in Arizona so we made the trip out there. Once there I looked around to see if there were any events or shows that I could go while she did her thing. I found out that Gaylord was doing a signing at a brand new museum that was opening in Mesa. It is a museum that is dedicated to the history of spring training aka The Cactus League in Arizona. All you had to do to acquire Gaylord's autograph was to make a small donation to the museum. Thought that would be great. A place to explore and enjoy history and get an autograph. So I headed down to Mesa and when I arrived Gaylord had not yet arrived so I took in the museum. To learn more about it click here. It was very interesting. Gaylord showed up about 15 minutes later and I hoped in line and was about the 20th person there. He was talking to the crowd and enjoying everyone's banter. Got up to the table and handed him a ball and he signed it and he then asked if I wanted a picture. Normally I would say sure or even ask myself but the only problem was that he was wearing a Giant's hat and as a Dodger fan I just couldn't do it. I said thanks but no thanks and moved on. It was a great time acquiring another autograph for the collection and knowing that the cost of it went to a good cause made it all the better.

Gaylord played for 9 different teams during his career but he is one of those rare pitchers to win at least 300 games. That is more due to the fact he had a long career more than a great career but he did it nonetheless. He was inducted in the baseball hall of fame in 1991.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Card of the Day - 2006 Topps : Don Zimmer Team Topps Insert Autograph

Finally added Popeye to my collection or as his birth certificate says Don Zimmer.

I love adding any Dodger cards that show the player depicted in Brooklyn uniforms and so far not too many have been added to my collection. I have searched for Don's autographs for a couple of months but every time I am in on an auction I lose out with seconds to go. I just can't justify in my mind to paying 75% if not higher for book for him. This card alone until now I have seen close as high as $15 with book coming in at $20. Didn't know he was that popular.

So yet again I tried my luck in another auction for Zimmer and knowing I was going to be out of signal range I put my bid in with a hour left and had beat the highest bidder by 7 measly cents. With that small amount the other bidder knew exactly what he needed to do to beat me and I wasn't going to put in another bid so I left it as is. Surprisingly I won the auction even though the other bidder only had to bid 35 cents more to acquire it for himself. So I finally added Don's autograph to my collection for just $7.70. With shipping it was still less than $10 so in total it was a tad less than 50% of book which I can live with. Great looking card of an old timer even though it is the sticker version of an autograph. Not going to complain.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Card of the Day - 2009 Topps T206 : Scott Elbert Autograph

I am still not a fan of these T206's and the only reason I had one prior to this one is because it was of Clayton Kershaw and I will never pass on any Kershaw or Kemp autograph no matter what kind of card it is. That being said I saw this item up on eBay one day and even though Scott will not pitch for the Dodgers this year he is still part of the team and I think will be a very important one next year. Like a few other bloggers out there I really do prefer the on card autograph rather than the sticker autograph. Like to know they touched the card.

Wasn't going to spend much on this card and saw many auctions on the same card where the price in the end would be at least $5. Normally wouldn't blink at that amount but I had too many other auctions I wanted to win so didn't really worry about this one. One day a seller had this starting at .99 with minimal shipping. Now I was interested. With the auction winding down no one had bid on the card which is not surprising so with less than a minute on it I put in my bid at the minimum and won it at the minimum. With shipping the total damage was a tad over $2. Love the bottom of the barrel finds and you just can't argue with a $2 autograph card even if its displayed on a series you are not too fond of.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Card of the Day - 2012 SP : Matt Kemp Autograph

Another entry.
Another Matt Kemp card.
Another Matt Kemp autograph card to boot.

No reason to acquire other than it's Matt freaking Kemp and it only put me back $8.
Nuff said.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Countdown To World Series Champions : Eleven

The Dodgers have finally clinched a playoff spot so we can officially start the countdown to how many wins they need to be crowned champions of the baseball world. Let it begin.
Mota : 1981
John Kennedy : 1965
Ken McMullen : 1963

Dick Gray : 1959


Attended Game Recap : September 16th vs A's - ANGELS 12 A's 1 ALSO Signed Ball of the Day : Mike Trout ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

Baseball season is rapidly coming to a close but the wife and I were heading up to San Francisco for a little R and R. While the Dodgers were in Los Angeles getting their asses whipped by the Giants, the Angels were in Oakland to face the A's. A perfect chance to cross off another ballpark off my list. This would be the 9th different park I have been to. With the Angels being the wife's favorite team it was a no brainer.

Headed to the stadium and the traffic to get there from San Francisco was horrendous but once at the stadium the parking was a breeze. For a first place team there was hardly any support. Maybe 13,000-14,000 in attendance and that is on the high side. Seemed more like 10K at best. Parked about 200 feet from the gate. Headed in and of the nine parks I've been to this is the worst visually. Old ballpark with non of the old time charm and non of the new amenities.

Tarped off 3rd deck.

Taken about 40 minutes prior to game time. No one here hardly.

Per the norm we arrived early so I could take in batting practice and go autograph hounding. Thank you again to the wife for coming early. Another side project for me is to get a ball from each stadium as well. Problem today was the Angels called off batting practice. What? Now I had to count on trying to get one during the game or after they did their stretches. Also without BP there were no Angels on the field to get autographs. Double whammy. Decided to go check the food out. Prior to that I headed to the bathroom and what awaited there were the dreaded troughs. I thought the Dodgers were the last stadium that had these and once they took them out there were no more. I was wrong. Glad we don't have them anymore.

No one in the park means no on in the bathroom.

Headed back to my seat and hoped for the best on getting a ball. The Angels headed out to do their stretches and the first player to pass by was Joe Blanton. Called him by his first name and he looked at me and just turned away and walked into the dugout. Prick. Just like when you were with the Dodgers. One of the last players to leave was Kole Calhoun. No one seemed to know who he was and I called him by his first name which probably surprised him as no one else did and he was kind enough to toss me a ball.

Thank you again Kole. Now I don't have to go back to Oakland to get a ball.

Well the game was about to begin and my seats were next to the Angels dugout but still no one really around. Thought not happy I was content on at least getting a baseball to continue my collection but wished BP would not have been cancelled so I could get some autographs. Sat down and was talking to the wife when in the corner of my eye I saw Mike Trout start to sign at the railing which was about 20 feet from me. I stood up and darted over to Mike and got there just in time. I asked him if he would mind if I  could get a signature and before I could even ask if he would mind the sweet spot he flipped it into that position and signed right where I wanted. The one autograph that I really wanted I just acquired at the last possible minute prior to the game. Mike has passed me over numerous times at Angel stadium but this time I was not to be denied. There were maybe 5 people there asking for signatures from Mike. There would never be that small of a crowd in Anaheim for him. I finally got my hands on an IP auto from Mike and it couldn't look better. Thank you again Mike.

Newly acquired autograph

Autograph in its new home on the shelf.

With field ball in hand and just acquiring an autograph from the best young player in baseball everything was good in world. I sat back and relaxed and enjoyed the Angels give an ass kicking to the A's to the tune of 12-1 which included a home run from Trout.

Went to the game wanting to check off another ballpark from the list and hopefully acquire a ball from the field to continue that project which will be years before it is completed. Got both of those wants which was topped off by the ultimate cherry being a Trout autograph. A great day at the ballpark with my lovely wife. Couldn't ask for more . . . until October and hopefully the Dodgers are in the World Series and winning it.
= )

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Card of the Day - Topps Archives : Frank Howard Autograph

My final pick up from my trip to Frank and Sons was Frank Howard. Known as Hondo by some and Big Punisher by others but a very good hitter by all.

I also met Frank at Frank and Sons awhile ago and got his signature on a ball like Bob Welch and now wanted to acquire him on a card and found this in the box with the other two that were shown the past couple of days. Frank even though seemed a tad aloof in person is a nice guy and he has a great looking signature. Very legible as you can actually read what his name is. Not like a lot of current players. Again, looking at you Ichiro. So as with the other 2 I could not pass on getting this past Dodger great at $8. For me that price for him was very reasonable.

So with that I completed my first non eBay transaction since I have reentered the hobby and I don't feel that I got taken advantage of and that is always a plus. Look forward to heading back there for more cards and more bargains.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Card of the Day - Topps All-Time Fan Favorites : Joe Pignatano Autograph

Second card I picked up at Frank and Sons is one Joe Pignatano.

When I saw the card I said who? Not going to lie and give some story about him and his playing days. Didn't recognize the name but I recognized the jersey. It said Dodgers and I had to acquire it. I had to look him up and I found out he played for the Dodgers during parts of 4 years in the late 1950's and 1960 before retiring in 1962 with the Mets. He does have a World Series ring to his name as he was part of the 1959 winning Dodgers, so there is that. This is someone I would never have looked for but since it was in the box that I was searching I decided to pick it up at $8 like I did Bob Welch. Either way its another signature added to the collection and that is a good thing.

One happy dude. Life is good as a Dodger.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Card of the Day - Topps All-Time Fan Favorites : Bob Welch Autograph

For the first time in years I went to Frank and Sons in the City of Industry to acquire some cards instead of just doing an autograph signing or paperback hunting. Couple weeks ago I decided to swing by and see what they might have for me to acquire. I came away with three cards from one seller after all the looking around. The first is Bob Welch.

All the cards that I bought were $8 a pop. A tad more than the usual $5 that I like to pay for non current players but I was in the buying mood and didn't want to pass on getting some Dodger autographs. I met Bob at Frank and Sons last year and had him sign a ball for me so now I have a nice complement in the form of this autographed card that comes the Topps Fan Favorites Autograph series. I compared this autograph with the one that I got on the ball and they differ a tad as this one is more illegible to read his name. No matter as I am happy to add this card for a mere $8. I do love these old Topps designs with certified signatures on them.

Just me or does that glove look extra big?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Inception : Hyun-Jin Ryu Blue Variant Autograph ( ?? / 75 ) . . . Techinically AKA Inception Deja Vu Part Deux

I don't really like waiting an extended amount of time for autographs in the mail but now I have gone and purposely put myself in that situation yet again. As with the Seager and the base Ryu autographs this one is also a redemption card. It's Ryu time again.

As I love any blue variant / parallel cards of the Dodgers I knew in my mind I would want to get my hands on this one of the rookie Ryu. As I showed a few days ago I picked up the base card of Ryu for a little over $23 and admittedly thought that it was a slight overpay but I wanted to get my hands on an on card autograph of Ryu. I then really set my eyes on the blue variant of the same card. The gold variant is one of 99 with the blue coming next in "rarity" with one out of 75. They have been selling for north of $30ish with one hitting over $80. I had no problem with acquiring one at $30ish but no way was I going to overpay for this one as I already "overpaid" for the base. Lost out on a few auctions one day and on the last auction of the day ( 4 total ) I won this "autograph" for one penny over $30.

While I think I overpaid for the base I think I got a great deal on this blue variant. As with the other two lovely redemption cards I now wait on this one to be delivered to my door. Until then like with the others I have this spiffy used souvenir as a place holder.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps : A.J. Elilis Spring Fever Insert Autograph ( 66 / 155 )

Scouring eBay and figuring out that I didn't have any A.J. cards in my collection. I had to fix that. Looking around I found out that there just isn't many certified autograph cards of his out there. That is to be expected as outside of Los Angeles he just isn't that big of a deal but fans of the Dodgers know that he is integral to the team's success due to him handling the pitching staff on a daily basis while supplying a decent bat.

It came down to two cards that I saw that would be acceptable to acquire with this one being my first choice. I just happened to want this one more as it is from this year and it is predominately blue in nature (though it is a "refractor" of sorts so turning makes it change colors as seen below) which we all know I love in cards. With this being limited to only 155 copies there weren't many up for grab on eBay so when this one popped up I kept my fingers crossed that I could get it at a reasonable price. I ended up winning it at probably a little more than I should have paid for it but for a lucky $7.07 I didn't think too much of it and welcomed A.J. into my autograph collection.

Numbered A.J. 66 of 155

Friday, September 13, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Inception : Hyun-Jin Ryu Base Autograph . . . Techinically AKA Inception Deja Vu

Deja Vu here as I have gone and picked up another "autograph" from this year's Bowman Inception set. A couple of posts ago I discussed the acquisition of Corey Seager's redemption card and have now gone and purchased another.

I have multiple Ryu cards from this year's Bowman set but I wasn't going to pay for the autograph redemption card as it constantly has been selling for over $150 on the bay. But somewhere down the line I knew I had to get my hands on an on card autograph of our "rookie" pitcher that is having a very good year for the team in blue. I kept my eye on that first redemption card but knew it probably would never go down enough in price for me to make the plunge but the Inception set was announced and Ryu had an autograph card contained in it. The good thing about the set is that there are parallel versions of the autograph cards and I didn't really care or need one of the more rarer ones other than the blue one if I can get my hands on it for a reasonable price. I concentrated on the just the normal base card and knew I could get it but just had to wait for the right auction to pull the trigger.

I bid on quite a few auctions but kept losing out as I had my ceiling set in my mind on how much I was willing to pay as I am also going to hold out for the blue variant. Finally one day at the end of an auction I ended up the high bidder at a nice low total of just $23.50. I think that is a steal for a Ryu on card autograph. Even if the value of it goes down I won't regret the price that I paid for it. I received the redemption card and went online to redeem it and now just like the Seager card I wait patiently for Ryu to arrive. But until then I have this great looking used card to show off . . .

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Card of the Day - 2009 Topps : Clayton Kershaw Ticket to Stardom Autograph Relic ( 148 / 489 )

Kershaw . . . Kemp . . . Kershaw . . . Kemp . . .
It seems like I alternate between these two great players when I search out autograph cards of either of them. Well it must be Kershaw's turn as I picked up another great looking card of his to add to my ever growing collection of Kid K.

I don't discriminate much on any Kershaw card except for non blue signatures and high prices. Came across this one on one of my many searches on eBay and with the "higher" print run per se I thought I might be able to pick it up at a decent price. Book value has this card sitting at $30. Not too bad so I didn't think this auction would get too out of control. In the end I welcomed this card to my collection at a nice smallish sum of just a little over $13. More than 50% south of book is always a win in my book and it being a card of Clayton is just more of a good thing. Can't wait to find another of his.

148 of 489 of Kid K and his John Hancock.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering 9/11

Another year has come and gone and we are at the anniversary once again of 9.11.2001. It has been 12 years since that tragic day occurred and at times it really seems like it was 12 years ago but other days it feels like it happened yesterday.
We as Americans constantly fight amongst each other with left this, right that, we seem to forget that we are all in this together. Those that read this blog and/of follow me on twitter know that I lean right when it comes to financial issues within our country but lean center-right when it comes to social topics. No matter what I believe in or if you do or don't agree with my beliefs it is my right and your right to feel that way and that is what make this country great. I think as people with myself included tend to forget that sometimes as we get all wrapped up in whatever the hot topic is going on some particular day. Whether its Obamacare, Middle East tensions to the naming of Kim and Kanye's baby. Yes we should be involved and concerned with decisions that our government makes that effects our daily lives but we have to remember that at the end of the day we are in this together and should work more together to solve problems and not fight to destroy each other.
When those planes hit there was no black, no white, no conservative, no liberal difference between any of the people that died. Just that they were like you and I, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives that lost their lives to an undeserved death. We as Americans need to never forget what happened that day but at the same time not to make the same mistakes that might cause it to happen again. Today we remember how we felt 12 years ago but when the sun rises on the 12th day of September will you or I feel less affected by it because it is no longer the 11th? Do we need a day to remember what happened? We shouldn't and I am not without fault as I get caught up in all the political nonsense that happens everyday and get worked up about it. This happens because I care about our country and feel that our leadership from the far left to the far right are leading us into a dark whole in this world. I don't want to have multiple days that I need to remember when something tragic has happened due to a strike on our country which becomes increasingly more and more likely with the current climate in the world.
I can go on and on about how I feel things are going or have went since that day but I have to remember and hopefully you do too that what happened was terrible and we must remember all those that lost their lives and the families that were affected that day and continually are affected by it. Take a moment to thank whoever you pray to that you are alive and well and can read this and realize how lucky you are to be alive in this great country and you have the right to think what you think. Remember that day today and everyday and not just when 9/11 rolls around every year and never forget those that sacrificed their lives so we might live ours. God Bless them and everyone that loved them and those that they loved and God Bless you and your loved ones this and everyday.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day : Roy Halladay ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

Back to a current player for my signed baseball collection and one that has been injured for the most part of the year which has driven his price down dramatically in the hobby. The Doc, Roy Halladay has finally found a home in my collection.

Roy prior to this year had been a dominant player and has thrown two no hitters with one being a perfect game back in May of 2010 and to top it off the other in the playoffs of that same year. Joining Don Larsen as the only two pitchers to throw no hitters in the post season. Roy was a player I had hoped would have been traded to the Dodgers back in 2009 but this was during the height of the McCourt era and with him being a cheap ass that was never going to happen and it didn't. No, he went on to our hated rivals of that post season era the Phillies. Rumor had it he would never had stayed here or blocked the trade as he wanted to stay on the east side of the country. It is what it is but he is currently on the disabled list and this was the perfect time to try to get a signed ball of his.

At the height of his dominance I routinely saw signed balls by Roy going as high as $100+ and I was never going to pay that price. Even so I still wanted my own copy as he is a 200+ game winner and a durable and great competitor with no foreseeable bad traits other than being on the Phillies. Other than his 200th win this year he has pitched forgettable games and when he hit he DL it was time for me to try again in acquiring a signed ball.

Obviously it had to be a pre authenticated version. I saw a few going for $40-$50 and though I bid on them I was still low balling my bid as I was getting a feel of the land. One day a seller had one that I bid on and lost out to another buyer at $39. I was getting closer. The following day this JSA authenticated ball went up on a buy it now for $40 with a best offer option. Seeing how that was only a dollar more than the previous day loss I was tempted to purchase at that price but why not offer a lower amount which I did. Sent in an offer of $34 and it was accepted. Just scored an authenticated baseball of a possible future hall of famer for a low price. Ball arrived a week after payment and now sits on a bookcase looking good. Great buy.

Doc Halladay

Upcoming Appearance / Signing : Stephen Fife @ Harry's Dugout

The second player making an appearance this Saturday is Stephen Fife. Same limitations as Tim apply with Stephen. He also be will be signing for just a hour and limited to a total of 100 autographs.

    • Baseball Cards : $15
    • Baseballs and Flats Up To 11x14 : $20
    • Larger Flats, Mini Bats, Mini Helmets, Caps, Figurines and Equipment : $25
    • Bats, Jerseys, Helmets and Artwork $35
    • Inscriptions : $10

Upcoming Appearance / Signing : Tim Federowicz @ Harry's Dugout

Harry's is holding one last big Dodger signing day this upcoming Saturday the 14th. Tim Federowicz is one of the two players appearing and the autographs are limited to just 100. Get there early to secure your autograph as he will only be there a hour.
  • Baseball Cards : $15
  • Baseballs and Flats Up To 11x14 : $20
  • Larger Flats, Mini Bats, Mini Helmets, Caps, Figurines and Equipment : $25
  • Bats, Jerseys, Helmets and Artwork $35
  • Inscriptions : $10

Monday, September 9, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Inception : Joc Pederson Relic Autograph

Yesterday was the cherry on top as the Seager "card" was my bonus to acquiring this card of Joc from the same set of this year's Bowman Inception series.

I got my hands on my first autograph Joc card awhile ago but wanted one or two more for the collection and thought I would look to this year's sets instead of rummaging through previous years. Came across this card and unlike Seager I didn't have to wait to get my autograph as this was released in packs autographed and ready to be sought after and purchased.

Though the price was a little higher than I would have liked I wanted to get my hands on some autograph cards from this year's set and what better way than to acquire cards of two young budding stars in our minor league system. Pulled the trigger on this auction and bought it for a tad over $10 and though that might be a slight overpay I can't complain as I think it is a great looking card.

Young Joc and his Relic.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Inception : Corey Seager Base Autograph . . . Technically

So when is an autograph card not an autograph card? When it is a redemption card for said autograph card. This is the first time I went and bought a redemption card for a card that hasn't been produced yet. Saw a buyer that had a card I wanted ( tomorrow's post ) and when looking through his eBay store came across this Seager redemption. I have not been able to get my hands on a Corey autograph card as of yet as they have been closing at a price I did not want to pay but since I won the other auction this one became cheaper to acquire due to the cost of shipping being zero.

At the close of the auction I acquired this spiffy, flimsy card that promises me my first Corey autograph card sometime in the near future for what I consider a nice low cost of $11. I have scratched off the back of the card to reveal my code and have sent it to Topps and now I patiently wait for the real McCoy to arrive at my doorstop. Until then I have this great looking "receipt".


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Card of the Day - 2009 Upper Deck Sweet Spot : Matt Kemp Autograph ( 34 / 199 )

Another "sweet" card arrived at my doorstep recently and once again it is a Matt Kemp autograph card.

The Sweet Spot series has been around for awhile and even when I was out of the hobby I always did enjoy looking at these cards as the sweet spot it is where you ideally want all your signatures on balls. Now these made it so you could have them in card form.

Now that I am back in the hobby and collecting again I wanted to get my hands on a Sweet Spot card of my favorite player Matt Kemp. Timing was never right as I saw them on eBay but something else that I wanted more or was more limited came up so this one had to take a back seat at the time. Well this gem came up on a day that I had nothing else going on and I zeroed in on it. Auction was ending during the day which meant I could keep an eye on it and with about 5 minutes left the card was at $12. Per the norm with a few seconds left I put my bid in at little less than half of book which is currently $50 and won it for just $18.49 with nothing coming out of pocket as I sold some bobbles prior to cover this and other cards. Not a bad pick up and I have now added yet another Kemp autograph to my collection which is growing at a fast rate.

More Kempness for my collection. 34 out of 199

Friday, September 6, 2013

Card of the Day - 1997 Donruss : Paul Konerko Autograph

Before there was Puig 66 there was Konerko 66. You don't see many players sporting that number and I know Konerko didn't at the big league level but this card has him in that uniform number which I assume was during spring training.

Paul barely played for the Dodgers as acting GM Tommy Lasorda shipped him out in 1998 in an ill conceived trade. Paul like Adrian Beltre is another what could have been for the Dodgers. Not saying they would have produced as they have after they left the Dodgers but Paul might hit 500 home runs with 2500 hits and that will probably earn him a place in the hall. Until we acquired Adrian Gonzalez last year the Dodgers have basically been floundering at first base and could have used Paul during the 2000 decade. It is what it is.

Wanted to get Paul's autograph on card but there are not many cards showing Paul in Dodger blue. Finally found one that didn't have a high by it now and actually was a traditional auction. After all was said and done I won the card for a little less than $7. Nice pickup of a former Dodger and probable hall of famer.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Museum : Jackie Robinson Blue Bordered Variant ( 39 / 99 )

I can finally close the door on this variant set that I have been trying to complete for the past few months. The last card to acquire was the immortal Jackie Robinson.

Book value for his card is at $8 but I have seen sold auctions that I bid on close at over $10. Wanted the card but wasn't going to pay book or over for it. This copy came up one morning and the seller had it at a buy it now at $10 or best offer. Tempting to just buy it at his asking price but didn't so I sent in an offer of $7 and thankfully he accepted it. Just a dollar below book but with the great Ryu buy from across the ocean seen HERE and the ability to complete the set and move onto another project it was satisfying to do the transaction. Card came in just a few days later in pristine condition and has now been added to the collection. This also is my first Jackie card ever so not a bad one to acquire for that distinction.

39 / 99 Forever Blue Jackie

State of Economics : CA Fast Food Workers Demand $15 Minimum Wage

This past week the big economic news in California has been the fast food employees asking/demanding the minimum wage to be raised to $15. Really? What these people and the ones that support them need to do is :
Yes . . Turn on the light bulb in your brain and think of what you are asking for and the repercussions if the CEO's relent to their demands.
I fully understand that it is pricey to live here in California as I have lived here my whole life so I know how it is. I started at minimum wage back in 1993 and was getting a little over $4. Back then it was easier to live but I had no car and took 2 buses everyday back and forth from work and had a $400 a month rent. Not easy but I made it. I agree it is different if you have a family and that minimum wage would not work in that situation. But asking the minimum wage to be raised 90% will cause CA to crash. Let's say it does get raised, this is what will happen sooner rather than later.
A Big Mac costs the consumer give or take $4 and lets say the raise goes into a effect. The company will have to make up their money elsewhere and ultimately everything gets past onto the customer. So lets say it raises the sandwich to almost 40% to the cost of $5.50. Now some people will buy it no matter what but I am talking more of the casual or semi regular customer. In the beginning the employees will be happy as they are now getting paid what they asked for but with the burger costing more the company will probably start to see less and less customers coming into the store as they find cheaper alternatives to eat. That means less money is coming in. The company will look at its bottom line and say since there is less money coming in then they have to cut costs somewhere. The easiest place to do that is the work force. So they layoff a few employees and the company can recoup some of their costs back. So if you are one of the lucky few that don't lose your job you got your raise and stability but those that do lose their jobs will now be on welfare or some type of government aid and jobs will be hard to come by since the new minimum wage that they strived for has handcuffed employers from hiring new employees. Of course people will blame the employers for holding out and not helping the little man but they don't realize that they are the ones that pushed for the minimum wage increase and that there are other costs to be.
If you try to blame the companies about costs lets look at that. Costs have been skyrocketing for years which makes it more costly to make a burger or any other item. Lettuce, onions, meat, etc. All more. Guess what? Most ( not all ) can be attributed to government mandates that drive the costs of EVERYTHING that it takes to make your burger. I am talking about non perishables here now. Machinery has to be built a certain way. Gas must be filtered a certain way. The list goes on and on. All of this mandated by the government. Take a look at gas tax next time you fill up at the station. And then remember that if you visit Arizona or Nevada and look at the first gas station just a mile from the border and see that their gas is routinely 75 cents cheaper than ours and they get the a lot of their gas imported from us. Why? Government? Why do I mention gas? Because if that stays high then truckers have to spend more which means that costs gets sent to someone else which is us the consumers. There is no free lunch in this world.
So all costs have to be passed on to someone. Comes from the top and trickles to the bottom. So when you think that everyone should get a raise remember it has to come out of some one's pocket and in the end it will come out of yours one way or another.

All this is my opinion and you may or may not agree but I'm sticking to it but I do love debates.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Card of the Day - 2009 Topps T206 : Clayton Kershaw Mini Framed Autograph

Another score for my Kershaw collection.

I've seen these T206 designed cards for years even when I wasn't in the hobby and they never held my interest. I like the modern sized cards with nice bold pictures and vibrant colors popping off. With that said I wasn't going to pass on another Kershaw autograph. I won this on a second chance offer and was more than pleased to add this to my collection. I lost the original auction with my price of $13.75 being bested by someone that was willing to pay over $16 for it. Didn't faze me but a day later the seller contacted me and stated that if I wanted to buy one at my high bid of $13.75 he was more than willing to sell me another copy he had at that price. I accepted the offer and within days had this nice Kershaw autograph in my hands. Can't get enough of Kershaw and Kemp autographs.