Thursday, October 31, 2013

Card of the Day - 2002 Sweet Spot : Steve Garvey Autograph

Picked up my second autographed card of Steve Garvey this past week and this one is the better of the two I think. Again, I just love the Sweet Spot series and once I saw this up for sale I for sure wanted to at least try to get my hands on it and it so happens I did with minimal effort.

With book value being $25 for this card and the seller having the starting bid set at $15 it was going to be one and done on the bid front if I was to acquire the card. Haven't seen many of these for sale but at the same time I wasn't going to over spend for it even though I have seen a few closing between $12-15. I was willing to spend the $15 just to add it to my collection. Not surprisingly I was the only bidder and won the card for the original asking price. A slight overpay compared to other eBay auctions but worth it for me to have the card.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day : David Ross ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

David Ross was barely a Dodger and I didn't remember that fact until I was scouring through past Dodger players to see if I could acquire a signed ball of a former player. David came up to the Dodgers in 2002 but was gone by 2004 and has bounced around a few teams since then. He currently is a Red Sox player and this is his second go around with them as he was on the team back in 2008.

Seeing how until recently the Dodgers haven't had a good catcher let alone two decent ones it was typical Dodger mentality to ship out David and go all in with the "proven" veterans and over pay for their services. Brent Mayne or Koyle Hill anyone? Not saying that David would have been light years better than those two and other players but I would rather give a young player a chance than a veteran that you can tell is over the hill. Nonetheless, David has gone on to greener pastures but since he was a Dodger at one time I decided I needed to acquire a signed ball.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, then I'm the dumb ass. That is basically how I felt with this purchase. I bought a signed ball of Skip Schumaker awhile ago from a seller on eBay as it was a great deal but it came in so bad that I never even made a blog entry about it. Thankfully I was able to pick up Skip at the stadium prior to the end of the season. I ended up getting a refund but I tossed the ball in the trash. Well there are not many authenticated signed balls of David out there and once again that particular seller had one with a starting bid of 99 cents for a PSA certified sweet spot baseball. Told myself that I couldn't possible have another bad transaction with the same seller again could I? Yup I did. I ended up winning the ball for $12 shipped to me. A great bargain but I guess that is why it was a bargain. You might not be able to see it in the pic but the signature is already bleeding out when the ball arrived. Nowhere near as bad as the Skip ball but not what I like to see on my purchases. It is good enough for my collection just not up to par with the ones I normally acquire. Either way I learned my lesson to never buy from that seller again but I guess I got what I paid for. Reluctantly, welcome to the collection David.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Card(s) of the Day - 2013 Topps Heritage : Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier High Numbered Black Bordered SP

It's been awhile since I attempted to buy a card or two to complete my 2013 Topps Heritage set of the Dodgers but I potentially found a great deal on some of the SP's from the set if I could just secure them at a reasonable price.

I wanted to focus on the black bordered SP's and found these three being sold by a seller where the auction ended at 10:30 at night on a Tuesday. Not the optimal time in my opinion for a seller but from a buyer's prospective a potential edge if people are asleep. Seller had the shipping at $1.25 but free after the first purchase. The Kemp one ended first and there was already a bid and I could tell that the other bidder had the same idea as me as he was also on all three auctions. I put my bid in higher than I normally would so I could see where the other guy had set his ceiling. I won the card for $1.25 so I knew what his limit was and my assumption was right as I won the other two at the same price. So for a grand total of just $5 I won all three shipped to my house. Love these late night wins.

Kemp, Kershaw and Ethier Black Goodness.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps : Paco Rodriguez Chasing History Insert Autograph . . . Redemption Card

For someone that hates redemptions I seem to be really doing my best in acquiring more and more of them. This is my fourth one in the past few months but this was bought due to it being a deal in comparison to the other option.

I wanted another Paco autograph and saw that he had an entry in this year's series two from Topps. I have seem them pop up on eBay and selling for over $5 as I have lost on a few of those auctions. Didn't feel that this autograph warranted that much but always kept an eye out for a bargain. Well this card came up but it is a redemption of the same card that was inserted into packs. Guess Topps couldn't get all of them out in time for the release.

I guess people didn't want to wait for their card when they could get the actual card from other sellers at a faster pace. I am in no hurry to get the card and with the auction nearing it's end there was no action on it so I put my bid in and won the "card" for a total of just $3. Granted that is only $2 or so less than the other auctions that I lost out on but that is $2 I can use on another card. So that is now four redeemed cards I am waiting for. I am a patient man so it's all good.

Paco . . . Redeemed and waiting.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Card of the Day - 1999 Topps : Raul Mondesi Autograph

Reached back to the 90's to get an autograph of the player our current Yasiel Puig reminds people of a little. The five tool player known as Raul Mondesi was like a little bull in a china shop back in the day and was known for what Puig brings to the plate everyday in the present. They both have an air of cockiness around them and seem to have a chip on their shoulder and play at times with reckless abandon. Hopefully Puig's star doesn't deem as Raul's did in his time in the big leagues.

I always enjoyed watching Raul on the field and thought he could have been so much more but it wasn't meant to be. I am still looking to acquire a signed ball of him but until that time comes I have been on look out for an autographed card of his. Started my search and found that there was just not that much to chose from. This card came up for auction one day and luckily even though this was the first time I bid on a Raul card I won it as since the close I have yet to see another one eBay that deserved my attention. In the end there were actually two other bids prior to mine so I wasn't the only one that wanted to get my hands on it but I prevailed with my winning bid being a tad over $6. Seemed a bit pricey for Raul but considering I won't be looking for another one of Raul I am good with it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

State of the Dodgers : Brian Wilson. Resign ? Closer ?

Even though it was close to two months on the team the above picture still looks a little odd to me. Seeing Brian in Dodger blue after years of watching him wear punk ass orange just didn't seem right to me. Now with this season over and looking ahead to next year I want to see more of the bearded one in blue.

When the Dodgers took a flyer on Wilson I wasn't expecting much. Low expectations can yield the best results and he happened to do that. He rehabbed in the minors after signing with the team and was back in the majors at the end of August. All he did was pitch 13.2 innings with an ERA of .66 with a WHIP of .88 while giving up just one earned run. I know this is a small sample size but he did impress. To top that off he was lights out in the post season with him giving up only 4 hits in 6 innings. To me it looks like he is back to his dominant self and it would be great to have back on the Dodgers. But is there a place to be had on it?

Up until this year Brian has been a closer and he has earned that right to do so again in the future. Problem is that we have a closer in Kenley Jansen. To a point Kenley has been jerked around with his position on the pitching staff. He was given the closer job then taken away and then the Dodgers went and signed Brandon League to a bad contract and gave him the closer job until he proved he was incapable of closing and Kenley was given the job back. All he did was return to his dominant self and showed he deserves the role. Do we ask Kenley AGAIN to take a back seat so Brian can remain on the team to be a closer? They both deserve to close. We have ace one and one A in the form of Greinke and Kershaw but can that work at the back end of the bullpen?

Seeing the contract that Ned gave Brandon there is no way that Brian will give a discount to any team as he has proven in his short stay with the Dodgers that he has recovered from his Tommy John surgery and is ready to return to closing duties. The Dodgers will not give Brian a 3/30 contract which is what I think Brian will be seeking, or at least that is the minimum he will be looking for. If somehow the Dodgers can retain Brian and have him pitch the 8th and the occasional 9th on Kenley's days off it would make the game that much shorter for the other teams against the Dodgers. As the Dodgers are looking long term I think they need to go "all in" next year as well with certain players and I believe that Brian might be had for a 1 year special for a little over 10M and I think the Dodgers should and would pull that trigger. Now the flip side is that there are a lot of teams that are in need for a good closer and Brian fits that bill.

Brian enjoyed his time with the Dodgers and seems to fit in quite well with his quirks and all. If last year you asked me do I want him on our team I would have said hell no. Now I think he would be a very important puzzle piece for a championship caliber team and hope that he is on the Dodgers come Opening Day next year.

Just my two cents . . .

Friday, October 25, 2013

Card of the Day - 2012 Topps : Matt Kemp Golden Moments Insert Autograph

Another autographed Kemp card at another great price.

I've seen copies of this card for months now and though I have bid on a it here and there I wasn't overly pressed to acquire it as there are many other cards of Kemp that I have or wanted to get my hands on. But at the same time if a bargain price came along for this card I wasn't going to pass on it either.

The card books at $25 and considering the past year or so of his underperforming on the field I think that it is overpriced hence why I never won it as most of the auctions closed at over $20 for it. I still think next year will be a great rebound year for Mr. Kemp. It's been great picking up his cards for way under book until he rounds back into form. With that being said this card came up once again on auction and once again I put in my high bid but this time I actually won it. The end price came to a little under $13. I know this is a sticker autograph and that has become more and more annoying as I have expanded my collection but it is still an autograph of Matt so I didn't blink an eye at the sticker. Another card added to my ever growing Matt Kemp autograph collection.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Card of the Day - 2005-06 Upper Deck Trilogy : Luc Robitaille Autograph

This card will probably be the only duplicate of a player in my King's set. As stated in a previous post seen HERE I was not happy with the card that I previously won on eBay. It was entirely my fault as the card I received was exactly as described but just not the type of card I expected so off I went on another search for an autograph card of the great left winger Luc Robitaille.

I had to make sure that the card I received this time held up to my own personal standards but at the same time still find a deal which can be hard when it comes to Luc's cards. He is still very popular in the hobby and a lot of his cards can be pricey.

I found this little gem in my own backyard in Orange County, CA. Seller had it up for an opening asking price of just $10. This is one of those cards that is made entirely of hard plastic and clear. So I knew I would have no issue with this card if I could get my hands on it. It was a short auction with no action on it and I won it for the original asking price. Delivered within the week and now it sits next to my less desirable card of Luc. I am finally content on a card of Luc and can continue on my search for the other members on the team now.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Card of the Day - 2011 Bowman Chrome : Dee Gordon Base Autograph

How the "mighty" have fallen. I remember in late 2011 and early last year that this card was selling on eBay for well over $10 and this is the non refractor version. The refractor obviously went for much more. At the time I wasn't in the hobby so I just liked to keep an eye on prices just for kicks. Well now that I am back I wanted to acquire a copy of Dee's card and with his downward spiral in the organization his cards are now cheaper to acquire.

One day I went trolling on the bay to see what I could get real cheap and this card came up on an auction that ended the following day. The starting price was a mere $2. As expected no action on the auction up until the end and at that point I put my bid in and won the card for the seller's opening price. Never a bad thing when you spend only a couple dollars on an autographed card. Hopefully Dee can contribute somehow on the big league team in the future but I see him more as trade bait down the road.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

State of the Dodgers : Don Mattingly

The picture says it all. The off season has barely begun and the tension is thick and the Don situation will need to be addressed within the next few days or it can and will get real ugly in a hurry.

With the Dodgers winning the NLDS Don's option for next season vested. Simple right? Nope. Don has now stated he is not sure if he is coming back and with multiple managerial openings out there Don will not have a problem landing another job. Don says he loves it here but can not and will not be a "lame duck" manager and wants his contract extended and not to be on a year to year situation.

While under Don's leadership the past 3 years the team has a had a winning record every year. This was the first year of the 3 where the team reached the postseason. With all the injuries it was amazing they got as far as they did. But at the end of the day results are what you are judged by and does Don have it in him to get to and win the World Series with the Dodgers. At this moment I think they can win it in spite of him not because of him and I don't think that is a bad thing.

Don has a connection with the team that I don't think Mike Scioscia, Tony LaRussa or any of the other potential names that are being thrown out there as a replacement if Don would in fact leave. With that said the Dodgers need to handle this situation now. They can not drag this out as they need a manager in place going into the off season so current and potential free agents know who they can expect to see steering the ship. With the roster more than likely to stay intact with some adjustments here and there if someone new came along I think it would be in someway like starting from scratch. Would I give Don a 5+ year contract? No, but I would tear up the vesting year and give him a new 3 year contract with a club option for a fourth. In case the whole situation goes south the Dodgers would only have Don on the hook for 2 or so years and could cut ties easier if need be.

Can and should Don change some habits? Hell yeah. Bunting anyone? But I think there is a vision here that the players and Don shares and I think it would only be fair to all those involved to see it through in the next few years. When and if everyone is healthy next year then we would see what this team is really capable of accomplishing. This year's version was like a daily M.A.S.H. unit and never put out a fully healthy squad all year. Give Don and the team a chance to prove that they can get it done. Starting from scratch is a good thing sometimes but pertaining to the current one with Don I think it would be a mistake.

Just my two cents . . . 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day - Player Appearance Recap : Stan Williams @ El Tepeyac Cafe ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

Dodger season might be over but autograph hounding is year around hobby and former Dodger pitcher Stan Williams made an appearance yesterday at El Tepeyac Café.

Stan had a 14 year career where he played for 6 different teams but his best years where his first 5 in the league when he was on the Dodgers which included a championship run in 1959. The Dodgers first since moving west from Brooklyn. While he did well after being traded to the Yankees in 1962 and in subsequent years he statistically was best while on the Dodgers as he won 57 of his career 109 victories with them. He retired in 1972.

Prior to yesterday I haven't seen Stan do any public appearances around the L.A. area and that might be because I just didn't know about it. I love acquiring autographs from Dodger players during their glory years in Los Angeles which were 1959 through 1966 when they played in 4 World Series while winning 3 of them. Stan was scheduled to sign from 5p.m. to 7p.m. and the wife and I arrived early to have dinner as I didn't expect too much of a turn out. Once dinner was out of the way we made our way to the line that formed outside which was no more than 30 people which seemed about right. The line moved very slow and we were in it for almost a hour. A few people in front of us had loads of stuff getting signed ( cough dealers cough ) which caused the snail pace. Another reason was that Stan was talking to everyone which was nice to see. Chit chat is appreciated by this autograph collector. We got to the table where Stan was and proceeded to have him sign the ball I brought. A nice smooth signature. Asked if I could have a picture with him and he happily obliged. As a side note he asked if the young lady (wife) that was taking our picture was my daughter. Ha Ha. Told him no that was my wife and he said very beautiful and eventually told her as well. Love that even at 77 years old he has an eye for beauty. Thank you again for coming out Stan.

Stan and I

On the way out my wife noted a cardboard cutout of "The Most Interesting Man in the World" by the door of the restrauant. Since I was wearing my favorite anti Giants shirt she thought it would be funny to get a picture with the cutout. Dislike for the punk ass orange team from up north also never takes a break during the year.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Corey Seager Rising Thru The Ranks Mini Refractor Blue Variant ( 5 / 250 ) . . . AKA eBay Bucks Purchase Number 3.5

With the other purchase of the Seager cards I thought I was tapped out of eBay bucks but noticed I still had $5 left to use but couldn't really find something that was at that price. I was already going to purchase this card or at least attempt to and with the new found $5 to play with I had a little wiggle room.

With this being a numbered blue variant I knew this was going to go for more than $5 as every time I have gone after a Corey card that was not a base version I have had to enter a slight bidding war with someone. As expected there was a few bids on this card and as it was nearing the auction's end I put my bid in for a little higher than usual and won it for $8.07. A bit pricey for a newly released card but with the $5 certificate thrown in my total was a mere $3.07. Reasonable enough for me. So I guess this qualifies as a half eBay bucks purchase. Whatever I call it it's still a good purchase for me.

And that is the end of the eBay bucks for this quarter. Looking forward to January already as with Christmas shopping needs to be done that means more chances for me to earn more during the next quarter.

Blue Variant

5 / 250

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Card of the Day - 2009 Bowman Chrome : Josh Lindblom Refractor Autograph ( 341 / 500 )

Another day and another low amount spent on eBay for a former Dodger.

Josh is currently on the Rangers team as a starting pitcher but up until last year before being traded he was an above average reliever for the Dodgers. He was traded in one of the multiple bad mid summer trades that Ned Colletti likes to do every year and he didn't disappoint last year in shipping out Josh. We could have used him last year and this year but Ned once again was going for a quick fix per se. Always did like Josh and he was always personable when approached. He did a lot of good in the community and continues to do so now in Texas. He was even nice enough to sign for me in New York when I was there last year as I told him I was a Dodger fan from L.A. I think it helped that I was the only one in the stadium that yelled out his first name while he was playing for the Phillies.

Didn't have an on card signature of Josh so I went to my favorite auction site and found a few and this one had a starting bid of $3 with free shipping. I didn't expect to pay too much for it but I also didn't expect to be the only bidder which ended up happening. So for a measly $3 I received this numbered rookie card delivered to my home. Just love the flow of the signature.

341 out of 500.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Card(s) of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : (2) Corey Seager Rising Thru The Ranks Mini Refractors Insert . . . AKA eBay Bucks Purchase Number 3

And now on to the final acquisition using my quarterly eBay bucks certificate. I look to the Dodgers future with it and acquire a couple of cards of Corey Seager.

Still scouring for the new Bowman Chrome cards and I saw that Corey is featured on a few and wanted to get my hands on them. With a little left in my account I was seeing what auction I could get the most bang for my buck. Came across this one and the seller had not just one copy but two copies of Corey. I didn't need two but if I could get them at a low price I could use one for trade bait down the road. Zero action on the auction until the last day until someone put a bid on with about a hour left. I put mine with a few minutes left in the auction and won them both for a $2.50 delivered. Or nothing if you factor in the certificate funds.

Since the close of the auction I have already ear marked one for fellow blogger GREG . So with nothing out of pocket I was able to add one for my collection and trade the other for some other good card to be determined at a later date. Woo Hoo.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Card(s) of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Fit The Bill Die Cut X-Fractor Insert ( 4 / 24 ) and Base Blue Refractor Variant ( 102 / 250 ) . . . AKA eBay Bucks Purchase Number 2

Onto the second of three eBay bucks purchases. Let the "free" cards keep on coming. Unlike the last quarter I decided to get some non autograph cards this time as the new release of Bowman Chrome just hit the street. I wanted some Kershaw cards and these are the ones I focused on.

For those that read this blog constantly you know I just love me the blue variants from all sets as the Dodger players look great surrounded by a blue border. A seller had the blue bordered variant of Kershaw for his Bowman Chrome base card but the real draw was that the Fit The Bill Insert card which was included in the auction as well. These specific versions have a print run of only 24. While it's possible I could come across one down the road why not get it now if I could since it was coupled with another card I wanted. At the end of the auction I ended up getting these for $13. Of course with the bucks involved that would lower my price to . . . $0. Love that total. Great looking, limited Kershaws added to the collection.

Pretty blue and die cut cards

Die Cut 4 of 24 and Blue Variant 102 of 250

Happy Birthday To Me . . . A Year In The Making

Not my biological birthday (which is later this month) but this blog's 1st birthday is today. A lot has happened in that time from my first post. The Kings are no longer Champions (1st non introductory post pertained to the Stanley Cup), I started and stopped collecting bobble heads. Those were fun at the time I was pursuing them but in the end they didn't hold my interest for the long haul. Most I have sold off or are selling off as we speak. My two favorites where my gold glove variant of Matt Kemp which I got signed and this one, the Eric Gagne pewter variant.

My collection of autographed balls has grown at least two fold in the past year which thrills my wife I'm sure (love you) and I have taken up the pursuit and collecting of baseball cards again. This was a hobby that I was neck deep back in the 90's but got out of in early 2001 for various reasons. With me selling off the collection of bobbles and clearing out my paperback inventory I was flush with cash to acquire more autographs and what better way than to take a look back into trading cards. I was hooked once again.

Went to yet another Opening Day at Dodger Stadium and I was a witness to Kershaw's first home run of his career. It was the start of a historic year for him as he should win the 2nd Cy Young award next month. Should have been 3 in a row but he was hosed last year. Took in one new ballpark in the form of Oakland Stadium. Met a lot of players as I attended many public signings and more importantly I met a lot of new Dodgers fans that I can now consider friends.

The past year has had its many ups and downs but here I am a year later. I like to think I learned some new things and I am better for it and to a point I think I am. The Internet can be a very bad place but if used properly it can enlighten your life and make it more entertaining. I am glad I decided to try this blog thing once more. I can say it has brought me new connections in the world while finding new friends and enjoying collecting more autographs and just being a venue to speak my mind.

One year in with hopefully more years to come. To all that read this and the blog in general thank you for taking your time to read about my autograph entries, recaps or even just tolerating my rants. It is appreciated. To all, God Bless you and may your lives be blessed as mine has.


Countdown To World Series Champions : Six

The tightrope walk continues for the boys in blue. One loss and their season is over and yesterday was gut check time. They live for another day. Dodgers won a heart stopper of a game with the score of 6-4. Now it's back to St. Louis for games 6 AND 7 as they have lined up Kershaw and Ryu against a Cardinal team that has issues with left handers this year. We are now closer to the World Series than anytime in the past 25 years. This will not be easy but with Kershaw going in game 6 I like our chances to at least force a game 7. Go Blue !!!
Steve Garvey : 1981
Ron Fairly : 1963, 1965
Carl Furillo : 1955

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day : Mike Witt ( ROMLB Sweet Spot w/Perfect Game Inscription ) . . . AKA eBay Bucks Purchase Number 1

It's that time of the year once again. Every 3 months I get to use eBay bucks that I have accumulated over the previous 3 months from purchases for the family and myself. Usually I am able to get 3 different auctions/items with the bucks and this quarter is no different. The first item to make it to my doorstop, and the priciest of the 3, is a JSA authenticated signed baseball by former pitcher Mike Witt.

Normally I would never pursue an autograph of a player like this. He is a former Angel and had a very average career with a record of 117-116 and an ERA of 3.83. But his claim to fame is why I wanted this specific ball. On the last day of the season in 1984 he threw a perfect game. With me meeting Dennis Martinez, Don Larsen and acquiring other signed balls from perfect game pitchers I am on the lookout for all the other pitchers from this elite group. The one hitch is that I want the inscription of "perfect game" on the ball. That makes it more pricey to acquire though.

I lost out on a few auctions as I was unwilling to spend what the auctions closed for but this ball came up for bid right when the eBay quarter was ending and I knew I would have those funds sitting there for me to use. Most of the auctions for a Mike Witt ball closed at over $50 but I was able to snag this beauty for a tad under $46. A bargain if it came out of pocket but a steal since I was able to acquire it without putting any money out of pocket into the transaction. Added another signed ball by a perfect game thrower and happy on all levels. That's one eBay bucks transaction down, two more to go.

Mike Witt with his perfect game inscription

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Movie Review : Machete Kills

The inevitable sequel to Machete is upon us in the cleverly titled " Machete Kills . . . Again ".

Before the movie even starts there is a preview on the next Machete film in the form of "Machete Kills Again . . . In Space". After that the movie jumps right into the mayhem and doesn't stop until the end 100+ minutes later.

The "plot" of the movie is just a reason to show violence and beautiful women running around with minimal clothes on. President Rathcock ( Charlie Sheen ) recruits Machete ( Danny Trejo ) to go down to Mexico to take out Mendez ( Demián Bichir Nájera ) who has a bomb aimed at America which will go off if his heart stops due to the trigger being surgically attached to it. On the way to Mexico, Machete meets up with his appointed handler Ms. San Antonio ( Amber Heard ) who takes him over the border and is dropped into the heart of enemy territory. He goes to the local whorehouse run by Madame Desdemona ( Sofia Vergara ) to meet up with an informant and is soon engaged by Desdemona and her girl posse. Once face to face with Mendez, Machete is able to capture him and proceed to take him back over the border to hopefully get the bomb defused but things get more complicated as there are now 10+ million dollar bounties on both him and Mendez which brings out all sorts of characters including "El Camaleon" who is played by various actors.

With a little help Machete makes it back to the US and meets up with the maker of the bomb, Luthor Voz ( Mel Gibson ) who happens to have his own plans which he lays out to Machete. The climatic battle includes clones, Star Wars and Trek weapons, Che ( Michelle Rodriguez ) who accompanies Machete after tracking him down to help him out. Some beheadings, a little fire, rockets blasting and all sorts of other forms of violence are showcased.

VERDICT : This type of movie isn't really reviewable per se. The purpose of the film is to cram as much visual violence that you can get away with and add some story with large dosages of pretty women. Danny, once again with his non smiling face, is fun to watch. You can tell that Sofia is just having a blast as she is the best among the supporting characters and I hope she returns for the sequel. Amber and Michelle are nice eye candy but don't add much to the film other than a girl fight late in the film. Having seen the downfall of both Charlie and Mel the past few years in real life there seems to be something in their eyes that just screams "unhinged". The characters they play on screen seem more real life than make believe and I am sure it wasn't a stretch for them to "act".

In the end while I enjoyed the flick for the most part but it felt longer than the first film and towards the end my interest was not being held by what I was watching. A slight THUMBS UP to watch but even though the special effects were impressive on the big screen I wouldn't have minded if I watched it all on the small screen. Hopefully the planned trilogy goes out with a bang and not a whimper when Machete is up in space in a couple of years.

Countdown To World Series Champions : Seven

Finally a W in the NLCS for the Dodgers. With their backs against the wall and season on the line their 2 main rookies put on a show. Ryu threw 7 strong scoreless innings and Puig broke out of a series long slump to club a bat flipping worthy triple. One win is great but they NEED to win tonight as well to even up the series or yesterday basically was for naught. 4 down with 7 to go. This whole season has been a tight rope so I expect no less in this series. Let's Go Blue !!!
Alfredo Griffin : 1988
Steve Yeager : 1981
Lee Walls : 1963

Monday, October 14, 2013

Card of the Day - 2003 Sweet Spot : Duke Snider Blue Ink Autograph

Man do I love these Sweet Spot cards and my collection of them is starting to pick up some steam. This card has a lot going for it as first it is a Sweet Spot card, second it showcases an old timer in the form of Duke Snider and thirdly it shows him in Brooklyn gear which I always love.

This is my first Duke signed card as I have lost many of auctions pertaining to him as he is still popular and I didn't want to overspend on the card. Saw this beauty come up on eBay one day and it was in the familiar 7 day auction mode so I added it to my watch list. The seller had a starting bid of just $10. With the card booking at $40 I expected it to close at least somewhere in the $20 range. I was wrong and couldn't be happier. Last day of the auction had arrived and not a single bid on it which I found very surprising. Minute left and still nothing going and with time winding down I put my bid in and expected to be sniped at the last minute but instead I won the card for the original asking price of $10. A great find and buy. Looks great and even came with an acrylic case to boot.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Card of the Day - 1997 Bowman : Todd Hollandsworth Autograph

Sitting at my desk at work and taking a break and I ran a list of Dodgers that I could think of at that time through my head and up popped Hollandsworth. Todd was a Rookie of the Year for the boys in blue back in the 1990's when they had a streak that consisted of Karros, Nomo, Mondesi, Piazza and Todd. Obviously of the 5 Todd was the weakest of the bunch. All those ROY's and no playoffs wins to show for it. Shameful.

I realized that I hadn't acquired a Todd autograph as of yet so I went on to eBay and didn't expect to find much and wasn't disappointed in my assumption. Did come across this card and a seller had it listed for $7 which there was no way I going to pay that but I sent him an offer for $3 and within 30 minutes he responded and took the offer. Thought that $3 is a small enough amount that I wouldn't feel bad that I spent it on Todd. With the age of the card I could tell there was some yellowing on the border and when it came in my suspicion was confirmed. Nonetheless it is a nice card to have and add to my collection as the autograph is crisp and blue.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Card of the Day - 2011 Bowman Chrome : Nathan Eovaldi Autograph

Another card of a former pitcher that we could have used this year but at least this pitcher yielded us a great player in one Hanley Ramirez. Still, I wanted to have an on card autograph of this former player. Nathan Eovaldi come on down.

Nathan had a decent little run with our team and since has started to pick up some steam with the Marlins which is saying something as they have a very crappy team other than Stanton. I was never able to get Nathan's autograph while he was here and have since bought a pre authenticated signed ball as seen here but wanted a card to compliment the ball. Set my eyes out on Bowman Chrome as that has always been my favorite set to through the years and came across his 2011 rookie card. In the end there were 5 different bids but I came out on top at the small amount of just $4 and some change. Bargain hunting at it's best.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Card of the Day - 2008 Topps : Hong-Chih Kuo Autograph

More and more I am becoming less and less of a fan of these sticker autographs and I am redirecting my efforts to acquiring on card autographs unless something comes up that I find unique or just want for some other reason.

Kuo and other Asian baseball players have always been a favorite of mine when it comes to autographs in their language. If I can get an English one to display next to their Asian one that is just a great bonus. Even though this is a sticker autograph I still love that it has Kuo's signature in characters and not in English letters.

I never see much action on Kuo auctions on the bay and this one was no different. Auction had one bid on it from the beginning and 7 days later it stood pat. I put my bid in and won the card for a little over $4 delivered. Nothing overly special about the card other than it being Kuo but I just wanted it and was able to accomplish that.

Upcoming Appearance / Signing : Robbie E

Baseball season is almost over but sports appearances don't stop at Harry's Dugout. Next Thursday the 17th TNA Wrestling Superstar Robbie E is making an appearance in Whittier. If you are a wrestling fan then come on down and even if you are not drop on by and experience the shop and look around and mingle with fans.
  • Photo and Autograph : $10
  • "You're Not On The List Bro!" Inscription : $5

Upcoming Appearance / Signing : Jose Canseco @ Harry's Dugout

Jose will be making another appearance at Harry's Dugout in Whittier on Saturday the 26th. I met him back in March as seen HERE . Hopefully at the time of signing the Dodgers will be playing that night in the World Series and we can all talk about it in the store with Mr. Canseco. Ah, 1988
= )
Either way, drop on by and acquire an autograph from the former Bash Brother and enjoy the atmosphere of fellow fans and the shop. Always a great time.
  • Baseball Cards : $20
  • Baseballs and Flats Up To 11x14 : $30
  • Larger Flats, Mini Bats, Mini Helmets, Caps, Figurines and Equipment : $35
  • Bats, Jerseys, Helmets and Artwork : $45
  • Inscriptions : $10
  • Autographs limited to just 300

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Card of the Day - 2008-09 Upper Deck Trilogy : Jonathan Bernier Autograph

Back to Canada I go to acquire another hockey card. That country has been the hotbed for me in getting my King cards for my set. Finally a very difficult one to get for me is my hands. Former back-up goalie Jonathan Bernier.

Jonathan has since been traded to the Maple Leafs but when he was with the Kings he was a very good back up to Quick. Both Jonathans have been difficult to acquire on eBay as I have lost many of auctions on both of them. I am still searching for Quick at a reasonable price.

Most of Bernier's auctions I have been losing out on have closed at above $15 and that was too rich for my blood. Yet again another copy of this card went up for bid and surprisingly there were no bids up to the last hour of the auction. With a few scant seconds left I put my bid in and won it for a little over $11 delivered to my house. Considering all the auctions I have lost on that is a great price in my eyes. One goalie checked off my list with one more to go.

Hard plastic case came with it. Bonus !

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Card of the Day - 2012 SP : Chad Billingsley / Ethan Martin Dual Signatures

In between other auctions that I have locked myself into I continue to scour the bottom of the eBay "barrel" to see if I can come up with a good deal here or there. I nabbed one a couple weeks ago with this card.

With Chad on the shelf for the year while recovering from Tommy John surgery and Ethan moved on from the Dodgers last year in a trade and is still in the minors this card has little to no interest to most people. Perfect opportunity for me to try to acquire it for pocket change and indeed that is what I did. Auction had a starting bid of a penny and with the seller having another card I wanted I thought I could group them together. I didn't get carried away with my bid on this card as I didn't want to get stuck with this one at a higher price in case I lost the other one (which I did) so I put in a minimal bid in and even with that I won which was still a little surprising. The damage to me for the card was a mere $1.51. Or 75 and half cents per autograph. Not too shabby. Won't ever turn my nose up at a low cost like that for a card especially with two autographs.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Movie Review : Gravity

Sandra Bullock plays a medical specialist named Ryan Stone who is up in space with fellow astronaut Matt Kowalski played by George Clooney. Dr. Stone's mission is to make some adjustments to the Hubble telescope while Matt is the commander who is on his final mission and is trying to break the all time record of spacewalking.

While making her final adjustments to the telescope, she and the rest of the crew are alerted by Houston control that a Russian satellite that was destroyed and fragmented now has its debris headed toward them at a high speed and will damage their shuttle if they do not get out of there at that precise moment. The message was too little too late as the debris takes out the ship and the whole crew other than Matt and Ryan who was still attached to the Hubble and is spun out so far from the crash site she is but a blip among the stars. Matt ends up rescuing Ryan but they now have to figure out how to get home with no shuttle. Option one is the International Space Station (ISS). Miles away they have to figure out how to get there with Matt's jet pack that is running out of fuel and Ryan's oxygen tank running low.

With option one not working out they have to figure out another way to get home and now have to concentrate on a Chinese station over 60 miles away from the ISS. Even if they make it that far the debris that destroyed their ship will be making another pass along its orbit once they would reach the Chinese station. Even if they make it that far they don't know if someone is there to help them or if not if anything is functional that could help get them home.

VERDICT : A hard movie to review without given away plot lines that would spoil the movie and its ending. The one word I would give it though is T E N S E. With the rest of the crew perishing at the beginning of the movie Sandra and George are the only ones left of the screen for the rest of the movie. And they make it work. Dr. Stone is also dealing with the loss of her daughter and her wanting or not wanting to live and must come to a decision on that matter. Matt or whatever role George pays is charming and gives the only "humor" that the film has to offer. Sandra and George work well together on the big screen and would love to see them together again on another collaboration. The special effects are top notch and like most movies I did not chose to watch it in 3D and for this one I think I made a mistake as I have heard that added another layer to the film.

This film definitely is not for everyone as people going in thinking they will see an action film in space will leave disappointed. This film is more about human spirit and the will to live or not live. Sandra gives a very good performance for the material she is given and George is fun as always. A for sure THUMBS UP to this movie with a slight leaning towards watching this on the big screen and not waiting for the small one if you are so inclined to watch it as well.

Countdown To World Series Champions : Eight

What a game. Last night the Dodgers wrapped up the NLDS with a thrilling 4-3 come from behind win in the 8th. The power and non ability to bunt of Uribe was the difference. In hindsight having Kershaw pitch on short rest was the right call even though I was not a fan of the decision in the beginning. He brought his A game even though the defense behind him let him down.
Maybe with the heroics of Uribe in the 8th will make Don see that bunting is not a good thing most of the time. We can only hope. We now wait for either the Pirates to come to town on Friday or if we have to head out to St. Louis to play the Cardinals. I'm confident we can beat either team but the Pirates probably would be the more desired opponent for the Dodgers. Either way, bring on the NLCS. Go Blue !!!
Reggie Smith : 1981
John Roseboro : 1959, 1963, 1965
George Shuba : 1955

Monday, October 7, 2013

Card of the Day - 2011 Panini : Alyssa Milano Fans of the Game Autograph

I've had this card for quite some time ( a few months if not closer to 4 ) but even though I associate Alyssa with the Dodgers more than the Kings I held if off until today. Home game number 1 for the Kings for the 2013-14 season. I have never seen her depicted in Dodger gear on any card but I have seen this card numerous times hence why I waited until today to post about it. As with her I am a Dodger fan first but Kings come in a close second.

I met Alyssa years ago at a book signing but was not able to have her sign any memorabilia at that time so I have always looked for a card or ball with her autograph on it. I finally was able to acquire one in the form of this card. From a visual point of view the card is very plain looking with her in a Kings sweater. Nonetheless I had to get this card.

The card number is 7 in the series which is my good luck and marriage number so that had to be a good sign. It has Alyssa's autograph with her representing my second favorite team the Kings. I would not be denied this card and I was not. Money out of pocket, zero. Enjoyment of acquiring card, a lot.

Forever blue and Go Kings Go!!!

Countdown To World Series Champions : Nine

 One more for the NLDS. The Dodgers clobbered the Braves last night and are now one win away from the NLCS for the first time since 2009. They can close it out tonight and hopefully they do as they and all us fans sure don't need the stress of a game 5 in Atlanta on Wednesday. Let's Go Blue !!!
Mickey Hatcher : 1988

Jerry Grote : 1981
Wally Moon : 1959, 1963, 1965