Friday, October 31, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Chrome : Carl Crawford Base Black Refractor Parallel ( 24 / 100 )

Even though my focus is and always will be more on autographs for now on I still am in search of all black and blue parallels from the Topps and Bowman Chrome brands.

This is my first black non autograph parallel that I have been able to get my hands on from this year's Topps Chrome set. Like every other year they are numbered to 100. When its not a big name i.e. Crawford here it isn't that much of a hassle and not that costly to get my hands on it. Had to wait for the right auction to bid on as most of them had high shipping rates but finally this one came up and it was time to win it. Two bids is all it took and I won it for a few pennies over a buck. First of many black parallels needed but I have the whole off season to acquire them.

24 / 100

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome Mini : Corey Seager X-Fractor Parallel ( 28 / 100 )

Deja Vu.

I picked up the Ryu X-Fractor and was still on the look out for the other Dodgers within the set and found Seager's up for sale on the bay. Won this for half of what I paid for Ryu in which I already thought that was a bargain so that makes this even a better purchase.

The funny thing is that like the Ryu card Seager's here is also numbered 28 out of 100. I wasn't looking to match them up like that as it doesn't add anymore value to either card but I found it kind of neat. Now if I can find Puig's then that would be cool.

Another Dodger 28 of 100

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Allen and Ginter : Felicia Day Mini Frame Autograph

Stupid mobile game.

That is the only reason why I acquired this autograph because of the Family Guy: Quest for Free Stuff mobile game that I have been playing for the better of 7 months. As the game updates and gets new objectives to beat, new characters are introduced into the game. Well, they did a 40 day quest that revolved around Comic-Con and for you non geeks out there that is the event to end all events for all things comics, movies, tv etc that is held in San Diego every July. Well as they game neared day 25 give or take, Felicia was introduced into the game. I haven't really followed her career even though I know of her and remember her from the tv show, The Dollhouse (highly underrated in my opinion).

Well, dammit if not seeing her every day on my little phone screen didn't want me to acquire her autograph, but that is only because I knew she was in the Allen and Ginter release from this year. If she wasn't in it I wouldn't have pursued the autograph but since she was I wanted it.

Book value is set at $25 and even at 40-50% off that would be too much for me on this particular autograph and with closed sales over $15 I did not expect to complete a transaction anytime soon. Low and behold one day for some reason this particular card hadn't received much action and the high bid was hovering around $7 delivered. Few seconds left and I put my bid in and won my own Felicia Day autograph card.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Card(s) of the Day - 2012 Topps Museum Collection : Mark Trumbo Autograph ( 367 / 399 ) and 2013 Topps Tribute : Mark Trumbo Autograph Gold Parallel ( 2 / 15 )

Normally when I acquire multiple autograph cards in one auction I post them individually but since it is of the same player who is not a Dodger it seemed a little redundant to me. This auction had two Trumbo autographs cards from two premium brands in the form of Topps Museum and Topps Tribute.

367 / 399

I wasn't really planning to buy a Trumbo card let alone two but I saw an opportunity that I couldn't pass if it played out to my advantage. Trumbo is an offensive beast but is an issue on the defensive side. Now that he is on the Diamondbacks I think his batting totals will only increase as the desert can only enhance those stats.

The first card is from the 2012 Topps Museum set and books in at $15. Not overly pricey but a if had at a bargain all the better.

2 / 15

The second card on the other hand is a little more rare and valuable. There is no book value due to it having only 15 copies. The one parallel that has 25 copies books at $25 so safe to assume that this card probably would come in around $30ish give or take. 

Well the seller had both up for sale in the same auction and had a starting bid of a penny. Nothing unusual but with a minute left the high bid was a $4. Again, wasn't planning to buy a Trumbo card but what the hell why not if I can snag them at a low cost. I ended up the winner of both cards for less than $10. So for less than $5 a card I picked up two Trumbos. Not too shabby.

I am in no need for two Trumbo cards so the Museum card is up for trade if any one is interested. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Chrome : Erisbel Arruebarruena Base Autograph Blue Refractor Parallel ( 149 / 199 )

Yeah...I so butcher this young man's name every time I try to pronounce it.

His 1st autographs came out in the Finest brand but I am not a fan of all the "radical" colors in that set. I did put in my token low bid just to see if I could score one at a real low price but that never happened. I was happy to know that he would also be featured in the more acceptable Topps Chrome brand that was coming out a month later. I just had to wait.

I was/am only looking for the refrator, black refractor and this blue refractor parallels to add to my collection. No need for the base one for me.

Right out the gate the blue version was topping $20+ which was too much for my taste so like usual I just had to sit and bide my time till the price came down to my liking. Few weeks passed and finally they were creeping downward towards my sweet spot and I was able to pick it up for what I found to be a highly reasonable price. My first Erisbel autograph of the planned 3 for my collection.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome Mini : Hyun-Jin Ryu X-Fractor Parallel ( 28 / 100 )

I like Ryu
I like chrome
I like minis
and finally I am starting to come around and "like" the x-fractor parallels.

I have never a big fan of these parallels but the more and more that I acquire them (set completest mentality) I am enjoying them in my collection a little. They will never be the priority as blue and black will always hold that title but if I can get these at a reasonable price then I will try to get my hands on them.

This happens to be another purchase that was done from the hip as at the time there was no price guide to go by but I knew I had to have it one way or another. Found a cheap BIN on eBay and scooped it up for a reasonable price.

28 of 100

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Bowman Platinum : Scott Schebler Base Autograph Blue Parallel ( 93 / 199 )

Sometimes I am a terrible Dodger fan.
I pride myself on knowing about all things Dodgers but sometimes players slip through the cracks and Scott here is the latest one when it comes to that.

Sad to say, prior to this year I have never heard of Scott. Now some fringe players that have no chance of advancing past single A ball can be forgiven if I or you don't know who they are but Scott here is a very decent player in double A ball that is doing well enough that he has been invited to the Arizona Fall League. Obviously since I didn't know who he was I didn't have an autograph of his. Don't need more than one of the young man but he does not have many Topps/Bowman issues of yet.

I found out that Bowman Platinum ( a set I am not collecting anymore ) has him featured in the prospects autograph subset. Not wanting more than one of him I was intent then to have a blue parallel of the card. Most auctions ended up closing at or near $10 and that was not within my budget. One day a seller had a copy though for more than 50% of that on a buy it now auction. Didn't waste another second and hit the purchase button and had this card at my doorstep within a few days.

93 / 199

Friday, October 24, 2014

Signed Ball of the Day - Adrian Beltre ( Black ROMLB Sweet Spot )

This is my first reacquired autograph ball since the baseball purge of 2014 and yet another black ball for my now small signed baseball collection.

I originally had Beltre's autograph on a plain white ball but I sold it as that happened to be one of balls that started to show some toning spots. Sold it for more than $50 so I was happy. With those funds I ended up picking up an on card autograph of Adrian from his Dodger days. A great looking card.

I thought I was done but I started up a trade with Alex over at Chavez Ravining and his eye was firmly on that card that I picked up. I really didn't want to give it up but I did as the trade was good for both of us and I knew somewhere down the road I could pick up another Adrian autograph. That search become more difficult than I thought. I couldn't land another on card autograph of his in a timely manner so he ended up on my long term list to reacquire once again.

One day I was looking at black balls ( not a search I do as often as cards ) and found this great looking piece. A great addition if I could land it. I think Adrian will be inducted into the Hall of Fame after his career is over and having a signed ball of his that won't tone ( knock on wood ) would be nice to have.

I expected a slight bidding war on the ball and I was correct and the last minute of the auction saw 5 different bids with mine coming in with exactly one second left and I won it for the exact amount I put in. It was close but I won it. Adrian is back and this time he won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Five Star : Wil Myers Silver Signings Autograph Blue Parallel ( 10 / 25 )

One of if not the worst autographs in baseball. It looks like he isn't even trying. Manny Machado is starting to fall into this neighborhood of poorly signed items but at times he still does his "full" signature which I have on a Bowman Chrome card. Wil here on the other hand has this "autograph" basically since he first came up.

I guess as autograph hunters we should just be happy if we acquire an autograph but I think a little more effort would be nice. It is what it is. 

I wasn't planning on going after this card but as it being in silver ink and being a blue parallel it was always in the corner of my eye. Book value has this at $40 and I assume that is due to his rookie of the year award. Well a seller had this up one day for 60% off of book and I decided to haggle a little and ended up picking this up a great price.

Like most Five Star cards condition is a concern and even though the lower right hand corner has the smallest of rounding I am fine with it due to the price. 

10 of 25

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Bowman Platinum : Yimi Garcia Black Collection Autograph ( 24 / 25 )

Just like 2014 Inception I have no interest whatsoever in this year's Platinum Brand. This was another of the 2013 sets I collected which I eliminated from my pursue list this year. But just like Inception there are a couple of cards I do want out of Platinum. Two Dodgers are represented in it that I have no autographs of which are Schebler and Yimi Garcia.

Schebler will come to me when I find the right price and there are plenty to chose from so he is not a priority. Yimi on the other hand had two options to go after with this one being the most coveted. Yimi is represented in the base set with various parallels to chose from ( where Schebler's autograph will be coming from ) but Yimi also is in the continuing set that is inserted across all the Bowman products. The Bowman Black Autograph set is one of my favorites to collect and once I knew Yimi was part of it this would be the autograph I wanted to have of him in my collection.

With only 25 copies I knew there weren't going to be many chances to pick this up but with him not being that big of a name I didn't expect much of a bidding war when one would pop up on the bay. Well the first one that did show up and ended up selling for over $21. I wasn't in on that one but this one had no action on it compared to the first one and I ended up being the winner for it at a click over $8. Quite a difference between the two but I am not one to complain when it favors me.
= )

24 of 25

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Card of the Day - 2008 SP : Matt Kemp By The Letter Autograph " K " ( 88 / 99 )

K is for Kemp.

I have finally been able to get my hands on the "K" that is needed for the phrase of this never ending project. This letter has one of the larger print runs of 99 but for some reason this is the first time I saw it up on eBay for sale. I tend to think that a lot of people that have it plan to keep it as they probably have spelled out KEMP or MATT KEMP and have no intention to break it up. Bad for me.

All my attention zeroed in on this card when the auction neared its close and thankfully the price did not get out of hand and I was able to pick it up way below my ceiling. Price was cheaper than taking the wife and I out for a fast food meal for lunch.

I am getting close. I can feel it. Can I really finish this project? Knock on wood and wish me luck.

Double 8 of Double 9

Monday, October 20, 2014

18 Cards Submitted To Beckett Grading Submissions (BGS) At South Bay Sportscards On October 4, 2014

Baseball season is quickly coming to an end this month and it seemed to me the perfect time to submit my last group of cards for grading. I basically went through all my cards that I found worthy of grading (i.e. Kershaw, valuable, limited or colored parallels) and this is the lot I cam up with. I say this is my last one for awhile as I have exhausted my present collection of cards that fit into my definition of gradable. The other reason there won't be another submission till next year as there is only one more set (Topps Five Star) coming out from now till next April that would in my opinion "deserve" to be graded. Of course this does not account for any singles I might pick up. All my Kershaw autographs will now be graded and other limited autographs as well.

With that said I submitted a whopping 18 cards this time. Beats my last submission by 5. I think that out of that bunch at least 8 have a really good chance at gem mint with another 2 that could go either way. Of the remaining 8 I know 3 for sure will grade out as "just" mint with the remaining 5 up for debate which I will get into.

My last submission yielded me my first pristine graded card ever. I don't think any of these will get that grade as I can almost say there is no chance at that looking back at the full 18. If I was to get 10 gem mints back with 8 mints and no other hiccups I would be happy with it all.

As always I go from the least likely to grade high to my "guarantee" that it will come out gem mint. Any well wishes is always appreciated. Obviously there are plenty of Dodgers so lets start off with number 18 :

2013 Topps Five Star 

No way no how does Puig here replicate pristine status as he is guaranteed not to even achieve gem mint status. My hope is that he still holds on for plain old mint and doesn't get dropped to near mint category. Everything is fine for the most part on the card but one of the back corners is frayed. At best that will sub grade to a 9 (would be nice if coupled with 3 9.5's but I doubt it) but a good chance it will come back a 8.5 but what I expect to be at least 3 9's in the other sub grades I think it will still come out an overall mint 9. I debated on selling this card but due to its limited nature (75) I decided to keep it a little bit longer and see how Puig's career pans out.

2014 Bowman Black Collection

Next up and sad to say is this great autograph of Urias. I love these silver on black autographs but anytime you have these thick cards they are highly vulnerable to chipping, fraying etc. and Urias here could not escape that. While no bending of corners is present there is some slight fraying but everything else looks to be up to par. Still think it grades out to a mint 9 but I'm a tad weary but not as much as the 5 Star Puig. Another issue that might arise is you might notice that his signature slightly streaks which BGS sometimes has an issue with. Crossing my fingers.

2012 Topps Museum

Kershaw makes his first appearance in the group and even though this one is possibly in the best condition the others might be grade higher. More on that later. As stated in this POST this was part of a small 2 card project. I picked up it's twin on a great discount on eBay which was already graded a mint 9 and found this one also on discount at COMC. While I would and always would love gem mint grades I look at this card and it seems that everything looks good but the corners are somewhat rounded which makes me think it will grade out to a mint 9 which considering it's twin already is a mint 9 I would be OK with that. Won't turn down a gem mint though. = )

2010 Allen and Ginter

Lower expectations with better results is better than high expectations and lower results. Kershaw and/or Allen Ginters will forever fall into this category for me for now one hence the low placing of this autograph of Kershaw. I've thought some A&G's would grade to gem mint and didn't, others where I think they would be less but ended up being more and also if you note that in the beginning of Kershaw's signature you see it tale off a little on the bottom. Does this count as "outside" the margins and to the edge which BGS hates? I hope not. Otherwise I think this is a great looking card which at minimum should grade out to a mint 9 but in another world I can see it as a gem mint. 

2009 Allen and Ginter

2009 here is a basically a 2010 just in a different color. Same "issue" with the signature as the other is present here but everything else looks to be peachy. So once again. I expect no less than a mint 9 but I could see gem mint 9.5 as well. Low expectations, low

2012 Bowman Sterling

I came across another copy of this card as I already have one in my collection but it never hurts to have two for trade bait. The last copy came back a gem mint 9.5 and while I think this one has an outside chance of earning the same grade one of the corners worries me so a mint 9 would not be a surprise here. 

2014 Allen and Ginter

Only 7 cards in and we are at the last Kershaw already. My tempered expectations might be rewarded when the grades come back but I don't want to get my hopes up. Though I just want mint 9's on all my Kershaw autographs these Allen and Ginter's look like they can earn gem mint grades but each one the autographs scare me. This one tails off to the right and only under a loop can you see it barely misses the edge but with past history I just don't know what BGS will think. Everything else looks to be in fine condition with no issues that I can see. Wait and hope is what I shall do on this and the other Kershaw's. Be nice BGS, be nice.

2013 Bowman Chrome

We now come to the 3 cards that I feel are "guaranteed" mint status but could easily earn gem mint status. I am stocking up on Seager cards and hopefully more gem mint Seager cards. On the front this card looks flawless as I would describe it as gem mint but it's that back that gives me a little concern. I can tell its off centered but it doesn't look to be more than 70/30 which would drive the sub grade down below a 9. Hoping it doesn't hold this card back from gem mint but mint should be assumed here.

2013 Topps Five Star

The 2nd of the three cards that are on the mint/gem mint fence. Unlike the Puig 5 Star card this one is void of corner issues and other than a slight centering issues on the lower banner I don't see an issue but with Five Star and thick cards in general you just never know. Fully expect nothing less than mint status but would not be surprised if it earned gem mint. A great bargain of a purchase would be even better with a gem mint grade.

2013 Topps Five Star

And now the last of the 3 "destined" for mint status. This one is above Gibson's as I see no banner centering issue here and even the corners are crispier than Gibson's. I will go out on a limb and be disappointed if it doesn't at least garner 2 sub grades of 9.5. Hopefully that will be en route to an overall grade of gem mint,

2014 Topps Chrome

10 down with 8 left and I believe all 8 should earn a gem mint grade. 
I wasn't planning to submit this one but considering it is a limited rookie autograph card in a gorgeous black border I decided to throw into the pile for submission. Don't know if Guerrero will ever amount to much in American baseball but if he does this will be a great card to have in gem mint. The only issue I see with this card is that it is not perfectly centered on the back. 

2003 Topps Tribute

I knew I wanted this in a BGS case once I received it. Signature is in great condition, picture shows a classic moment not just in Dodger history but in baseball history. It shows the last great year in Dodger baseball up till today. On top of all that there is a bat relic from Gibson as well. Overall great card. Everything checks out to be gem mint with the only issue that might arise is the surface which may or may not grade out to mint 9 but I think everything else will be just fine.

2012 Bowman Sterling

This is the second Bowman Sterling of Seager in the batch but this one is the limited refractor parallel version. Everything including corners and autograph looks great and the only thing that gives me pause is surface as there seems to be a small flaw. Hopefully it won't knock the overall grade down but I believe it will still earn a gem mint grade on this card.

2013 Bowman Chrome Mini

The only reason I submitted this card was for the fact that since the submission pile was getting so big what harm is it to add one more to it? It has the lowest book value of the lot ($10) but I love these blue bordered minis and since it showcased our favorite Korean son why not? Also even thought I think it's gem mint it might have an outside chance at pristine but considering it is tricky to assume that I will go with gem mint for now. 

2014 Bowman Chrome

Remember this picture as you will see it again later on. Normally I wouldn't submit a blue parallel if I already have a black version of it. With the black one coming back to me in gem mint status as seen HERE I wasn't planning to do the blue one but considering it looks to be in the same condition as the black one I thought why not have a blue twin. I see no problem arising for this card and hope to add another great Urias card to the collection.

2013 Topps Chrome

The best purchase money wise that is not an autograph is finally going to get graded. I purchased this card for a mere 99 cents. As shown HERE the seller obviously made a mistake in the eBay listing but I still received the card in great condition and couldn't believe I received this $50 card for that amount. I sent in my Kershaw variation from the same set for grading as seen HERE and it came back as a gem mint beauty and what better way to show that one off again than to have this Kemp coupled with in it gem mint glory as well. As with that one I see no issues with this one and hope to add yet another 9.5 of Kemp to my collection.

2014 Topps Chrome

Only reason this is not the top card is because it is not a Dodger and I reserve that spot for Dodgers only unless another card is far and away superior to it. I always hoped that when I won this card it would make it to me from Topps in great condition and once it did I knew I was going to submit it to BGS for what I hope and believe is a gem mint grade. The only thing I can possible seem wrong is that there is a small dimple on the surface. Not sure how BGS will see that. 

2014 Bowman Chrome

And now for the final card. If and WHEN this grades out to gem mint status it will become my crown jewel of the Urias collection. I had hoped that the Black Collection autograph would be that card but I can not see it getting a gem mint status and I can just hope it holds a mint grade. I hope to acquire the blue and black parallels of this same card but I will wait till the off season when prices are lower but having this one now will hold me over till then. I can not see a problem with this card and it will look great next to my other gem mint Urias's.

So that's it. 18 cards in total and the last submission for awhile. In a perfect world I would get at least 10 gem mints back with the others coming back as mint but like I said I will keep my expectations low and hopefully be pleasantly surprised at the end of this month.

As always, thank you for reading and have yourself a great day.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

State of Economics - Someone Has To Pay . . .

Time for another Penguin rant. Fair warning
= )


Alrighty then.

As I am sure most of you know California has raised their minimum wage to all workers. At face value you might think this is a good thing. More money for people which you would think makes it easier to live or use for items/services that prior to it they could not afford. For the most part that is far from the truth.

Nothing is free in this world and if something goes up in cost it will cost someone somewhere down the road and that is what is happening now that the new wage hike has taken effect. Businesses are now forced to pay everyone and that includes teenagers that "probably" don't "deserve" it. I am all for giving people that work hard and excel at their job to receive the money they deserve. But for a new worker that has worked less than a year and is just "doing their job" they deserve a $1 raise this year and another one next year? If you are fine with everyone getting more money then you have to accept and not bitch about businesses raising their prices. This is where its getting funny. I have heard people complain for weeks now stating there should be a law that prevents businesses from raising their prices due to minimum wage going up. They state why is this burger that was $3 last week but now $3.75 this week? That's not fair. Well it's not fair that I have to pay for everyone else medical insurance when they don't do anything to earn it on their own but that is another rant for another day.

Businesses are following the law and are giving their employees the new wage. Well, that is coming out of their pocket and their profits so they have to recoup it somewhere. The cost to them of doing business is not going down due to wages, supplies, upkeep, etc all going up so someone has to pay. Guess what? That's going to be you and I hence why you see all the prices going up around town. The businesses could just lay off a couple of people to compensate for the wage hike but most businesses don't want to do that. If they did do that though then the remaining employees will have to do more work so I guess the remaining employees will earn their raise then huh? A little sarcasm.

At the end of the day I am just as irritated at the rising costs just as much as you are but I understand and hope everyone else can see that for every action there is a reaction. This can be applied to all facets of life but I don't think people can or want to see that. People get free health care, great, it has to come out of someone's pocket. Comes out of mine and I am sure yours as well. If it makes you feel better rationalize the new wage hike as a cost increase that all businesses get. Meat, bread, eggs etc all go up and they pass it on to you. So just put the wage hike it in that group and maybe you won't be as irritated when you go into your favorite bar, restaurant, etc and see how prices have jumped. Or you can always do what I am doing, finding cheaper alternatives and giving them my money. Of course if more people do that than certain businesses may fold as their sales plummet due to less customers as they protest the rising costs and if that happens then there will be more unemployment because of a wage hike that was supposed to give more people more money but instead took all the money from some people but that is a rant for another day.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Allen and Ginter : Bill Buckner Mini Framed Autograph

New set
New autograph
Why not?

Allen and Ginter is one of the sets that I collected last year but this year I will not be pursuing the base cards or their multiple parallels. But autographs are always an exception to the rule in my collection.

The design of this year's set is not overly appealing but it's not terrible. There are not that many autograph subjects within the this year's set that I would like to acquire and Bill was actually not on my need list but if the price was right I would consider it.

Prior to this year I didn't have any Buckner autographs in my collection and now I have a few. I love the picture on this card but when the set was released most auctions were going for over $10 and I had no intention of paying anywhere near that amount for a card that is not a set or pc need. I kept bidding on various auctions with a little less than $5 bid and every single one I was out bid on ( not surprisingly ) but I kept placing that same bid in case I ever won it for that amount and I would consider it a nice little win. Well one day I ended up winning an auction with that bid as for some reason there was no action on said auction.

Card came in and looks nice in person. Another Dodger autograph is welcomed into the collection.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Clayton Kershaw Jersey Project

The 2014 Dodger season is over so it is time to prep for the 2015. Yes, it's only October but it's never too early to get ready for the promise of a new season.

During the last week of the regular season the Dodgers were running the promotion of 20% off of everything at the stadium and that could be combined with my 20% discount for being a season ticket holder. I knew at some point I was going to purchase a Kershaw jersey and it would be the 2nd (Kemp) player jersey I would own. The name on the front is and always will be more important and that is why all my other jerseys have my name on it and the number seven (wedding day number) instead of having multiple player jerseys. Kershaw is going to be a Hall of Famer and probably and hopefully a lifetime Dodger. It was time to get his jersey.

The wife and I went to the stadium and I was planning to buy the new batting practice jersey and wanted her opinion. Thought a nice new blue jersey would be nice (and cheaper) so that was my plan.  She didn't like the look of the new blue jerseys. The white stripe on the color and sleeve didn't look good in her eyes. Thought I would go check the regular game versions to see what deal I could get on those. As you may or may not know all the jerseys now are made of the "cool base" material and they have a look that the wife does just not like. She said I should have one of the older (pre 2013) ones as they have a nicer look and feel better. Problem was is that they do not make those anymore. Ugh. I ended up passing on both jerseys and switched my hunt to an older jersey and with that I was back on eBay searching.

Not much to choose from as all the sellers had Kershaw jerseys on BIN's at over $190. Well I went to plan B which was to do what I do with my personalized jerseys. Buy a blank one and take it to a Pro Image store near my house that sews the names and numbers on. The good thing about them is that they use authentic numbers as well so it makes the jersey look authentic and not like some cheap knock off. Found this one from a reputable seller with a high bid of $20 with a little more than a day to go. Following day I was the winner at just a little over more than that. Love off season purchases. So much cheaper. Jersey in hand and now going to get it customized.

In the end this is a way better deal and the wife will like the look of this one better. Win win for me.

The Penguin Turns Two . . .

Time sure flies.

Today marks the second year that I have been doing this blog and from day one to today there have been ups and downs but I am still here.

From one year ago today I have gone from close to 200 signed balls to just a handful. From a handful of signed photos to more than 50. Literally just a few cards and now I have boxes filled with autographs, rookies and more. What does the next year hold for me?

. . . yeah, I've been watching How I Met Your Mother for the past 3 months so I thought this meme was appropriate. I don't believe it will be a terrible year and I look forward to it and seeing what the hobby and life in general has in store for me.

Thank you to everyone that has stopped in over the years and taken the time to look at some cards or listened to my rants or to just chit chat about whatever. I have done 11 contests over the past two years and other than me saying thank you personally for supporting my blog I do those to give back a little to a hobby and friends that have given me so much. With that said, look for contest number 12 in the next couple of weeks.

Two years down and hopefully many more to come.

May all of you have great heath and karma in your lives and may you continue to be blessed and lets continue to have fun with cards and whatever in the coming year(s).

Go Blue !!!
Go Kings Go !!!

- Penguin

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Contest Winnings From Team LA Store

The Front

I seem to keep racking up T-Shirts from RT contests on Twitter. This time patience was a virtue and I saved myself $30+ and received a free shirt.

I saw this shirt promoted on Twitter a few days before I went to go see the Stanley Cup a couple of weeks ago and thought it had a great design on the front and wanted to purchase it and wear it for the Cup picture. Went down to the LA Store at LA Live and searched for the shirt but they did not have my size and I could have bought one a size bigger but I didn't want to "waste" my money just to have the shirt. I instead bought a different shirt and moved on. 

A couple days later the LA Store Twitter account sent out a tweet promoting a RT contest and as per the norm I entered and the next day I was informed that I was one of the winners. Woo Hoo. Sent them my information and this time they had my size and within the week I had the shirt in hand. It's still a great looking shirt and it cost me nothing. 

Thank you again to the LA Store for having the contest and thank you for the shirt.
Go Kings Go !!!
Defend the Cup !!!

The Back

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

State of the Dodgers - Times, They Be A Changing

Yesterday the Dodgers "promoted" GM Ned Colletti and hired Andrew Friedman away from the Tampa Bay Rays to take over baseball operations. He also has the option to hire a GM which he may or may not do as he might do it himself. Ned's tenure as GM has been hanging on a thread for the past couple of seasons and when the opportunity of getting Andrew presented itself to the Dodgers it was time for Ned to be relived of his duties. He has been "fried" as a GM but "promoted" to special advisor to Stan Kasten.

Andrew has been approached many times by many teams over the years and not a single one could lure him away till now. This is a massive upgrade for the Dodgers on the GM front and I like most anxiously await to see what Andrew is going to do to this team. Be warned though he will make the hard decisions and I think more than a handful of popular players may be on their way out of Los Angeles sooner rather than later. With that thought, here is my list of players I think are already thought of as "expendable" :
  • Andre Ethier - Always seemed to be near the chopping block and with Andrew's hiring he just got a little closer
  • Carl Crawford - Overpriced vet blocking cheaper and younger minor leaguers. Just like Ethier just a little harder to move. Not impossible just harder.
  • Joc Pederson - Could be packaged to move bigger contracts but if retained a spot might be there in the outfield for the taking.
  • Hanley Ramirez - Be highly surprised if he gets anymore than a qualifying offer. Guaranteed draft pick is too important not to have and one year of Hanley is not the end of the world.
  • Dee Gordon / Alex Guerrero - One of them might be moved to plug other holes on the team while freeing the Dodgers of a contact. 
  • Brian Wilson - Even though his contract is guaranteed for next year it doesn't mean its a guarantee that its with the Dodgers. Could see the team cut bait and move on.
  • Brandon League - Wilson part two
  • Chris Perez - Wilson part three. See a trend yet ?
  • Dan Haren - Not in the same group as the three relievers but a "reliable" 4/5 guy might have some value on the trade market.
  • Don Mattingly - Put up of shut up year for the manager
Those are the players on the team that I think have the highest probability of being moved by Opening Day. Now for ones not on the team just yet.
  • Corey Seager - He has been lighting it up in Single A, Double A and AFL. At this rate we might/probably see him as a call up next September if not sooner if other things play out at SS (Hanley) 
  • Julio Urias - If he was 19 I would say there is a good chance he would be on the team at sometime in 2015. Unless he shuts down everybody again next year in the minors AND something major goes wrong on the big league team I pencil him in for 2016. 
  • Zach Lee - With Andrew here now I think he gets moved. The Dodgers have been disappointed in his progress and is no longer the prized draftee. Package deal to move a higher prized veteran is in his future I think.
I am sure there will be more players in flux on top of the ones I noted and some of those may still be a Dodger for many years to come. These are just my thoughts on how things have played out the last couple of years and now capped off with a new person at the helm which has a different view on how things are done.

Rest assured there will be changes and I guaranteed some will not be popular with the fans. My two favorite players are Kershaw and Kemp. Kershaw is not going anywhere this decade, Kemp on the other hand could be on the sell high market once again. I don't want to jinx it so that is why I didn't put him in the first group. What is more important? Popular players and a 1st round playoff exit or a well oiled machine minus your favorite player but a World Series victory? I'll take that victory please.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Tier One : C.J. Wilson Autograph Silver Variant ( 4 / 10 )

I was trolling one day on eBay ( lets be honest that's everyday ) and just seeing what cheap autographs could be had. Came across this one of current Angel pitcher C.J. Wilson in silver ink. I do love me some silver variant autographs.

There is no book value assigned to the card due to its scarcity. The base version, which is numbered to 99, is valued at $12. This silver one is limited to 10 copies so I would assume that if there had been a book value it would be somewhere in the $25 range at the very least. Well after all was said and done I won this on a traditional auction in the single digits. Not a lot of demand for this pitcher and that is fine by me. I know C.J. signs at the stadium and public events but if I can pick his autograph up for a minimal cost then I can just bypass the commotion of in person crowds. Great looking card.

Four of Ten

A side note
C.J.'s season ended with him laying a turd of a game but this is his wife so he has that going for him in the off season.
= )