Monday, March 31, 2014

State of the Dodgers : Social Rewards Update . . . 600K and Climbing

When I crossed the 450K threshold I was only 7,400 ahead of Scott
Then when I passed the 500K point and the lead had grown to 9,300
Now with 600K I am now 12,700 ahead of the second place Scott

And what do I have to show for it?
A first place standing with no prizes to talk about.

Once again I am not complaining about not winning anything but I would think somewhere down the line I would have had luck on my side but till this day it has not happened. I finally did cash in some tokens and bought myself a brand new alternate Dodgers road jersey with the discount that the tokens brought me. So there is that.

The contest the Dodgers are running now is a meet and greet with the broadcast team. Uh, yes please. I would love to meet Vin Scully. A picture and an IP auto would be the cherry on top. Maybe it will happen for me this go around.

But at least I can still say I am number one in the world of something. It's not much and it's really just a place with no real meaning but it is mine.

As always, everyone have a great week and Go Blue !!!!

Trade with Dr. Liu Part 15 also Photo of the Day - Kenley Jansen Signed 8 x 10

Kenley has been with the team for some years now and not once have I been able to get my hands on his autograph in person. The signed ball that I did have was a PSA pre authenticated variety. Even though once again I have his autograph in my collection it is was not acquired in person. Someday I would like to fix that nagging issue with Kenley but till then I have this action pose of our closer.

Attended Game Recap : Dodgers 1 @ PADRES 3 on March, 30 2014

View of the ballpark prior to entry

Opening Day/Night at Petco

Well at least I enjoyed my trip to San Diego other than the game. The North America part of the Dodgers season started with a turd of a game. The only two real bright spots of the game were starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu with a stellar performance once he got out of jams in the first 2 innings. He ended up going a strong 7 and even though I thought he could do 8 I understand why he was taken out due to his toe injury after his last start. Dee playing at second was also good and had a great leaping catch to take away a hit.

Other than that from Don, who once again over managed, to all the hitters, who didn't show up, it was a blah game and if not for Ryu they would have lost by more. I am going to chalk up Wilson's performance as just one of those days. They will happen and its better it happens now rather than later. What bothered me the most was the fact that the bats didn't show up for the game. During BP Puig and Hanley were alternating rockets off their respective bats. Even Kemp's hits sounded better than they did last year. Once the game started though everything went quiet.

At least the view from my seat was good. But once again I struck out on acquiring a ball from Petco. This stadium just doesn't want to let one go to me. I have been here on average of once a year for 9 years and I have not been able to get my hands on one. The Dodgers were giving the balls to Padre fans around me but not to me, a Dodger fan. Probably why they lost.
= )

View to home.

Dodgers starting line-up

Armed forces getting a well deserved recognition from the crowd

Puig from my seats

Kid runs onto the field and gets tackled.

Dumbass taken away. Enjoy your night in Petco Jail.
FYI, it's federal offense to run on the field. Its trespassing. 

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Tribute : Clayton Kershaw Titans Patch Card Insert ( 64 / 99 )

For the most part I have had my fill of patch/jersey cards of Clayton and only really look for his cards in the base sets and their parallels and obviously autograph cards. Yet another exception to the rule with this one.

It was the color of the patch that once again caught my eye. I was green with envy. A green jersey/patch card for each Dodger.This is going to be another little project that will never have any urgency but one that will exist and look forward to adding new cards to.

We will always have our blue, white, gray and sometimes the occasional red card but green is a very unique "non" Dodger color. It is only used once a year. I already picked a Puig one last year and now have this Kershaw one. It doesn't matter what brand it will come from so that will keep costs low. This one only put me back a little more than a nickel so it was had for a very reasonable price.

Keep the green cards coming.

64 of 99 greenies

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Card of the Day - 2011 Allen and Ginter : Joe Mauer Autograph

The card that went around the United States has finally made it into my hands after a long month on the road.

Of the many signed balls I was/am selling off one was of Joe Mauer. The long time Minnesota Twins catcher and now first baseman. Like a few others that ball never saw a blog entry as it was stuck in the que but just like the others before Joe's I still wanted to have his autograph in my collection. The ball was a gem mint 9.5 and I unloaded it outside of eBay so I had more funds than normal since I didn't have the selling fees attached to it. Off I went looking and there are just not that many non stickers ones of Joe. One day I came across this one from Allen and Ginter. A card that books for $200.

The seller had it on a buy it now without a best offer but it was highly reasonable and for an even swap of ball to card I once again had Mr. Mauer's autograph. It's adventure was just beginning.

Card originated out of Arizona, just one state east of me. I watched it via its tracking number and somehow it made it to Baltimore, Maryland. You know, real close to my home. Nice job USPS. After some calls from the seller to USPS and much patience from me, a month after the purchase the card made it to me and surprisingly in great condition. So much that it is a candidate for BGS grading the next time they are in town.

Great player.
Great card.
Great price.

Trade with Dr. Liu Part 14 also Photo of the Day - Hiroki Kuroda Signed 8 x 10

One of the pieces from the trade that I'm really glad I got my hands on. Hiroki was a joy to watch when he was on the Dodgers and I have always wish him well with the Yankees.

I was only able to meet Kuroda one time during his tenure with the Dodgers so I only had a signed ball in my possession so I really wanted a photo of him in my collection considering the ball is no longer around. This is a great photo of Hiroki about to deliver a pitch to the plate and I love how there is dirt on his uniform. Hiroki was always a gamer and this photo shows just that. Thank you to the doctor for including this photo in the trade.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Pedro Martinez Before They Were Great Insert

Blast from the past and another reminder of what could have been for the Dodgers.

I have gone back and forth between Pedro or Piazza as being the worst trade since I have been a Dodger fan and more and more I lean towards Pedro. Piazza was great and I loved him more as a player than Pedro but what we received in return for Pedro pales in comparison with what we received for Piazza. Plus I think Piazza was in the right place at the right time after 9/11. He was what New York needed at that time and that exceeds baseball by a long shot.

Saw this card on the checklist when it was released and with my attention on other inserts I had almost forgotten to acquire this card. Needed to fix that mistake and went searching one day and the cost was only $1 on numerous auctions. I picked from one of the sellers that had the highest feedback and within a few days had this nice card reminding me about what could have been.


Trade with Dr. Liu Part 13 also Photo of the Day - Andre Ethier Signed 8 x 10

The one signed photo from the trade that I didn't "need" as I actually already have a signed photo of Andre and I but I am not going to turn down one if I can get my hands on another just because I own one.

Andre other than Matt Kemp has been the easiest autograph to obtain for me over the years. I have acquired Andre on numerous items through the years but this is my first autographed photo of just him. A nice follow through pose and by the look of the catcher Andre put good wood on it.

The interesting thing for me with this photo is I can compare it to all the other Andre autographs I have acquired before this one and see how his signature has changed over the years. Another fine addition.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Trade with Dr. Liu Part 12 also Photo of the Day - Chad Billingsley Signed 8 x 10

I have met Chad numerous times and have had him sign balls and bats and whatso but never a photo. Go figure. Well the balls have been sold off so I needed a photo of Chad and thankfully the doctor had one to toss into the pile for the trade.

I really hope that Chad makes a full recovery and plays for the team for the remainder of his career even if it is just as a 5th starter. Genuinely a good guy who has a little bad luck and timing. He is scheduled to rejoin the team sometime in May and I look forward to that day.

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Matt Magill Base Blue Refractor Parallel ( 130 / 250 )

It's chrome
It's blue
It's a rookie card
and it's a Dodger

Great combination and wasn't going to pass up on adding to my collection that this card fills on many levels.

Matt didn't do so well with the big league club last year and the price of this card reflected that as a seller had this up on eBay for a starting price of just $1.25. No action whatsoever on it and towards the end of the auction I put my bid in and won it for the original asking price. Always nice picking up a numbered blue card for such a low price.

130 of 250

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Another Contest Being Held Over At Chavez Ravining

Alex of Chavez Ravining is back to hosting another one of his contests. A little different than past ones as there will be 3 winners so all hope is not lost if you don't end up being number one on the 1st go around through the randomization.

The prizes this time around are 3 different USA cards with one being an autograph.

Good stuff as always. Good luck to all.

Card of the Day - 2013 Allen and Ginter : Josh Hamilton Mini Framed Autograph Red Ink Variant ( 9 / 10 )

Time again to reacquire another autograph of a player that I once had an autograph ball of. I was on the lookout for a Josh card and finally locked into this rare beauty.

I love these red ink variants that Allen and Ginter comes out with but with the rarity they are hard to get your hands on unless your budget is limitless. Of course with that said this is now my second one in my collection as I picked up the Ryan Braun a couple weeks ago. Just like Ryan I am buying low here with Josh. Both players at one time were on top of the hobby world but both have fallen for the time being. Perfect chance to pounce on this rare card at a lower than normal price.

There is no book on these so I went with my gut feeling on it and set myself a limit. The auction came no where near that limit and the card only cost $10 more than what I sold his autographed ball for. Another nice swap in my eyes and for my collection.

I rather have had an autograph card of Josh in his Texas days but the red ink really goes well with his Angels uniform here. A great looking card for the collection.

Trade with Dr. Liu Part 11 also Photo of the Day - Jonathan Broxton Signed 8 x 10

Big Jon.

Unlike some Dodger fans. I really liked Jon while he was on the team. Yes the positive results tailed off towards the end of his time with the team but I was at the stadium on the unforgettable day when the Dodgers played the Yankees and Joe Torre left Jon on the mound for almost 50 pitches in a game that got out of control. That was the turning point in Jon's time with the Dodgers and he was never the same after that.

The doctor included this nice end of game celebration photo and the only one that I might add to if I can ever meet up with Russell Martin and have him sign his side of the photo. Even without Russell it is good as is.

Upcoming Player Appearance / Signing : Bret Saberhagen @ Harry's Dugout on May 25, 2014

You know it's baseball season as in store appearances are becoming more commonplace around town. Harry's has added another player to their growing calendar of autograph signings. So far Bill Madlock and Pedro Guerrero were confirmed and now we have, among other accomplishments, former World Series Champion Bret Saberhagen coming to town.

Unlike the other two signings Bret will only be signing for one hour and autographs are limited to 100. Prices as always are very reasonable so don't miss out. Any questions or if you want to pre-order feel free to call Harry's.

  • Baseball Cards - $15
  • Flats up to 11x14 - $25
  • Larger Flats, Baseballs, Hats, Mini's and Figurines - $30
  • Jerseys, Equipment and Artwork - $40
  • Inscriptions - $10

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Contest # 9 Results - Ken Landreaux Signed 8x10

Contest #9 comes to a close. Only 6 different people entered but 4 of the 6 pretty much had equal entries in the contest. Aus who earned 5 bonus entries basically sat on the sidelines and had everyone catch up to him. Jesse had the most but as he and everyone knows that does not guarantee a win. 

Anyways, thank you for everyone that entered. Thank you to all that continue to read the blog and give input from time to time as well. With that said here are the results of the contest :

Big L is the big winner this go around. Five entries was good enough for the win. Once again,Greg with his minimal entries ( 2 this time ) was on top of the heap 4 separate times. He hasn't won yet but he constantly seems to be in the running. 

Congrats to Big L. DM your address again and I will get the photo in the mail before Saturday. 

Trade with Dr. Liu Part 10 also Photo of the Day - Orlando Hudson and Rafael Furcal Signed 8 x 10

Onto double digits days of the massive trade with Dr. Liu so today I will show the only dual autograph of the group.

Orlando and Rafael while not my favorite players were Dodgers I still loved to watch. Rafael when healthy was a beast and played 100% while Orlando I believe got the shaft from Torre towards the end of his time with the team.

I was at Opening Day for Orlando's cycle and loved how his last appearance with the team had him hit a pinch hit home run with authority in the playoffs. Rafael sadly was traded after multiple injuries but thankfully for him he earned a World Series ring with the Cardinals.

Had both of them on individual balls and now have them together on this celebrator photo. Another nice addition to the collection.

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Five Star : Paul Goldschmidt Silver Signings Blue Parallel ( 9 / 25 )

Continuing my pursuit of reacquiring autographs from all the playerss that I had a signed ball from. Next one to check off that list is Arizona's 1st baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

Even though Paul plays for the now hated Diamondbacks you can't deny his ability and production. I even met the man last year in Arizona for a signing and he couldn't haven't been nicer, even to this Dodger fan. 

Not an over abundance of non sticker choices for me to chose from but this one by far was the best looking one to acquire. Once again I was back for more Five Star goodness and hoped I could lock this in for a decent amount. And once again lady luck was on my side as this was had for a blaster box price. Card arrived a week later and like most Five Star cards one of the corners is a tad rounded. Like the few other ones I wanted graded I was not planning to have this be one of them. So no water of my back. 

Welcome back to the collection Paul. 

9 of 25

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Trade with Fellow Blogger : The Lost Collector ( Trade Number 1 )

One simple card and yet this was a great trade for me.

The Lost Collector runs his own blog which features a lot of Yankee memorabilia which is probably why he had this card in his collection.

A few months ago he sent out a tweet asking for assistance in one of his projects and I happen to have 2 of the cards and I sent them his way. Nothing in return at the time and I just waited till the right time to ask for something. One day he mentioned he had an autograph card for trade and I inquired about it but we ended up talking about this Kuroda card instead as he noticed I was still trying to finish the set in blue form.

We agreed that the value of this card was a little more than the two base cards I sent him his way before but he was kind enough to send this my way now and we would square up somewhere down the road.

Thank you again for the great card and I look forward to doing another trade with you.

Card(s) of the Day - 2014 Topps : Hanley Ramirez, Onelki Garcia and Adrian Gonzalez Red Foil Parallels

Three for three.

With one 2014 Topps project done ( photo variations ) I can focus more on the blue and red foil parallels. I've picked up a few red foils here and there but this is the first time I was able to get 3 in one transaction at a low cost. 

Found a seller on the bay selling tons of red foil cards and within them were 3 Dodgers that I needed. All for only a buck on buy it now auctions so I snapped them up and put a small dent in my parallel project. Mostly just scrubs left with Ryu being the biggest name on the table. Would love to complete this before the season started but we shall see. 

Trade with Dr. Liu Part 9 also Photo of the Day - Manny Mota Signed 8 x 10

Time to go a little old school within the Dr. Liu trade.

Manny Mota is still with the Dodgers and you can see him every year in Arizona on his famous tricycle during Spring Training. He was one of the premier pinch hitters of all-time and overall decent player. I met Manny a couple years ago and acquired his autograph on a baseball ( which BTW is still available for trade or purchase ) but now I needed to reacquire it on a photo. Luckily for me the doctor had one to trade and included it in this ever growing trade.

Nice old school action pose of Mota.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Trade with Dr. Liu Part 8 also Photo of the Day - Steve Sax Signed 8 x 10

Sax and his silver signature.

The day after I met up with Steve was the day I decided to stop collecting signed balls. If I made the decision the day before I could have just saved a few bucks and just had Steve sign this for me. It's all about timing. Well Dr. Liu was kind enough to add this to the trade package and now I have this photo in place of the signed ball that I received from Steve. Speaking of that ball it is still available for trade or purchase.

Upcoming Player Appearance / Signing : Pedro Guerrero @ Harry's Dugout On May 3, 2014

Former Dodger and World Series winner Pedro Guerrero is returning to Harry's Dugout on Saturday May 3rd.

I personally missed out the last time Pedro was in house at Harry's but this time I will make sure I attend. Pedro will be there an extended amount of time in comparison to other signings ( 2 and half hours ) so no excuse for me not to be there. As always, Harry's promotes a great show with no problems and a great atmosphere. Prices are below and if you have any questions feel free to call the shop.

  • Baseball cards - $15
  • Flats up to and including 11 x 14 - $25
  • Baseballs, Minis, Figurines, Hats and Flats up to 16 x 20 - $30
  • Bats, Jerseys and Equipment - $40
  • Inscriptions - $5 

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Yasiel Puig Base Photo Variation

That feeling of finally finishing a project is refreshing and nice. With this Puig card finally in hand I can check off the Dodger photo variations off my list.

Puig it seems is always the first or last one acquired in any project I am trying to complete. This time he happened to be the last.

Another irritating book price of $20 was attached to this card and once again there was no way I going to approach that figure. Hopefully he can validate these high prices this year with a great sophomore performance. Till then these prices are what I believe out of whack. The sit and wait game was on once again.

After watching auction after auction exceeding my ceiling I was able to finally lock down this particular card for single digits. A reasonable price considering all the other sales I witnessed. One project down and so many more to go.

Upcoming Player Appearance / Signing : Bill Madlock @ Harry's Dugout on April 13, 2014

Former Dodger and batting champ Bill Madlock will be making an appearance at Harry's in a couple of weeks.

I for one am really looking forward to this appearance as I have never seen him in California for a signing and need him in my collection.

For fellow collectors remember El Tepeyac Cafe is having a Jerry Reuss signing from 1-3 on the same day so it's the perfect opportunity to make it a Dodger Sunday with the addition of Bill just down the road from the Jerry signing. That is what I will be doing. Any questions feel free to call Harry's.

  • Baseball cards - $12
  • Flats up to and including 11 x 14 - $20
  • Baseballs, Minis, Figurines, Hats and Flats up to 16 x 20 - $25
  • Bats, Jerseys and Equipment - $35
  • Inscriptions - $5

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Trade with Dr. Liu Part 7 also Photo of the Day - James Loney Signed 8 x 10

The first silver ink autograph makes an appearance in the Dr. Liu trade.

Former Dodger first baseman James Loney is presented in this great action pose with him at the plate. I assume he got a hit.
= )

I am still looking for an on card autograph of James but till then I now have this nice photo of him in happier times with the Dodgers. Autograph is in crisp silver ink and really pops.

Card of the Day - 2008 SP : Matt Kemp By The Letter " R " ( 28 / 99 ) Autograph

The never ending project adds another piece to the puzzle.

There is only one "R" needed for the phrase and with the higher print run of 99 this would be one of the easier ones to acquire compared to others that have a smaller print run and/or needed more than one copy of a certain letter.

Since I started this project I have yet to see the letter "R" up for bid on eBay and haven't seen it in any stores that I have come across so when I finally saw this one I thought it might be a long time until I see another one so I crossed my fingers and set out to win this auction. Thankfully after a week I was the proud owner of the letter. 12 down 13 more to go.

Only needed one "R" but it had been elusive

28 / 99

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Trade with Dr. Liu Part 6 also Photo of the Day - Ronald Belisario Signed 8 x 10

Former Dodger Ronald.

Only once did I acquire Ronnie's signature during his tenure on the Dodgers and it was on a team ball in which one of the players smeared a couple signatures. One of these days I might blog about that ball but till then I now how a nice 8x10 of Ronnie. He gave us a couple of decent years but I like most fans felt he had outlived his stay on the team and the front office thought the same and cut bait this past year. He now plays for the Chicago White Sox.

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Hyun-Jin Ryu Base Photo Variation

Quickly approaching the end of the small project of acquiring all the photo variations of the Dodgers in the 2014 Topps set and I am now down to the last two needed to completing it. They are the two stellar rookies of 2013, Ryu and Puig. Ryu makes it into my hands first.

Book value is only $12 for the card so I assumed it would be easier than it had been to acquire the card. I lost out on auctions due to the fact that sellers ( btw smartly ) advertised it as Ryu w/Puig. With Puig being the bigger draw there was more more traffic to the auctions which in turn meant more bids. So I had to wait it out till the price was in my ballpark and I knew that would happen sooner or later.

Finally I latched onto the right auction as I won the card for a more reasonable amount than the other closing auctions of over $7-8. So with Ryu now in house I only need one more to finish off the set and wait for the inevitable variations of Dodgers in series 2 of Topps that comes out later this year.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Contest Being Held By New Blogger Big L Collectibles

We have a new blogger on the scene and he is running a contest right off the bat.

I "met" Luis last month at the Dodger Fan Fest. I say "met" as I was taking a picture of Dodger Paco Rodriguez and I posted it my blog and Luis came across my blog and noted that he was the person standing in front of Paco when I took the pic. Small world.

Anyways, lets welcome him to the blogger family and get the word out about his blog. He's just starting out and we have all been there so let's support him. Also, Luis and I have done a trade already as seen HERE so be assured he is a good card trader as well.

Now onto his contest. He is giving away a couple of cards and you can earn entries a couple of ways. Here is the link to the CONTEST and his blog in general. Good luck to all.

Contest goods.

Trade with Dr. Liu Part 5 also Photo of the Day - Matt Guerrier Signed 8 x 10

Day 5, Pic 5
After four days of black ink we get to the goodness of blue ink.
I love any autograph but blue and silver are my two preferences in ink color if it is an option. Sometimes the player(s) run with a certain color and you get what you get.

Ah, Matt Guerrier. The failed experiment of Ned. I had the opportunity to pick up his autograph one Saturday last year but instead tried to get Adrian Gonzalez's ( failed ) and Puig's ( success ). A day later Matt was released from the team. Guess I missed my chance. = )

Dr. Liu included this in the trade package and even though Matt wasn't good on our team it is always nice to have the player's signature for the collection.

Card of the Day - 2013 Leaf Memories - Orel Hershiser 1990 Leaf Buyback Autograph ( 7 / 55 )

Picked up one Leaf buyback of a former Dodger why not another? This time its current Dodger broadcaster and former Cy Young winner Orel. Unlike a few of my reacquired autographs Orel has been showcased on the blog with an IP signature. As it was on a ball it was time for that to be sold/traded and for me to get an on card autograph.

Not much to chose from on the bay as most of what I saw were of the sticker kind. Not going to happen. A few days later this one popped up. Having already acquired an Eddie Leaf buyback I thought having a Orel Leaf buyback would compliment it nicely. Plus it is card numbered 7. Good luck as far as I am concerned.

Unlike the the Murray auction there were more bids on Orel's auction but like Eddie's I won this one for way under book. I loved the look of this card back in day and it still holds a visual appeal in my eyes. A great addition at a reasonable price.

May one of the two heroes of 1988 announce the Dodgers the World Series Champions in 2014.
My lips to God's ears.

7 of 55

2014 Allen and Ginter Box Break Over At Cubs Cardboard

Kalib over at Cubs Cardboard is doing a 2 box break on the upcoming 2014 release of Allen and Ginter. $15 will net you two teams. You get to pick the team you want up to 15 entrants and then he will randomize the other 15 teams that are left over. I was late to the party as I lost out on the Dodgers. Thanks Alex. = )

I chose to pick the Angels for Trout reasons and hopefully I get a decent second team in the break. Lots of great Cub stuff over on Kalib's blog. Maybe I can work out a deal for some Dodger cards in the future. Thank you for doing the break and good luck everyone.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Trade with Dr. Liu Part 4 also Photo of the Day - Bill Mueller Signed 8 x 10

New day.
New photo.

This time I was able to add an autograph of a player that I have yet to acquire on my own. Bill only played on the Dodgers for 32 games in what became his last year as a major league ballplayer. I wasn't in the hobby back in 2006 so obviously I didn't get his autograph back then. I've looked for it recently but it was never that high on my list but I had the chance to add it to the collection with this trade. A nice follow through photo of Bill.