Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Signed Ball of the Day - Don Newcombe ( ROMLB Sweet Spot w/Inscriptions )

My first reacquired autograph on a baseball since I decided to quit collecting signed baseballs a couple of months ago. So what makes this one different from all the rest? Simple, it's on a black baseball. As I stated earlier I would still collect signed balls but only on the black Rawlings version. I love how the gold pops on the ball. I also wanted to only collect "big" names. Don while Dodger royalty isn't the biggest name I could have gone with but considering the deal there was no way I could pass up acquiring the ball.

1956 MVP Inscription

I was surfing eBay one day for signed balls and came across this beauty of a ball from one of my favorite promoters. He was asking $100 for the ball but as always he had a best offer option for it. I contacted him and considering he holds signings all the time in the Los Angeles area I asked him about selling it off line to cut eBay costs. On top of that I would swing by his office to pick it up so that would also cut out the shipping charge. With that out of the way now I had to work on getting it at a price that I liked and that he would accept.

1956 Cy Young inscription

Thankfully since we have done business before and he has a big enough inventory of this and many other balls he was open to my offer. Scheduled a pick up day and a couple weeks later I had my first reacquired ball since the massive liquidation. 

1949 ROY inscription

I was going to acquire Don's autograph on a nice 8x10 that I found online but when this opportunity came up I just couldn't pass it up. A great looking ball with multiple inscriptions. When all is said and done if I was to buy this ball in person with Don and all of its inscriptions it would have cost me $150. I bought it for a fraction of that. A coup of a buy.

His uniform #36 inscription 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Upcoming Player Appearance / Signing : Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. @ Harry's Dugout On May 18th

With a little change of pace and going with a non baseball on the their next in store signing, Harry's Dugout is proud to have Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. in a meet and greet with fans on Saturday May 18th from 2:30 to 4:00 at their store in Whittier.

I am not the biggest boxing fan but I know Julio is a big name and has a following to match it. Prices are reflected in that but are still highly reasonable. So if you are into boxing this is not an event to miss. Call the store for any questions or to pre-order your tickets.

  • Flats up to 8x10 - $60
  • Flats up to 16x20, figurines and baseballs - $70
  • Flats larger than 16x20, gloves, trunks, equipment and robes - $90
  • Fight worn gear and artwork - $140

Attended Game Recap : Sharks 1 @ KINGS 4

What . . . a . . . game !

I haven't done a recap on a hockey game that I've attended in the past but yesterday's game was the perfect one to be the first.

As stated in yesterday's post it was a day spent with a heavy heart as our friend passed away over the weekend and yesterday would have been his 34th birthday. If he was alive we would have attended this game together. Nick loved hockey and with his last name being Sharkey he leaned towards the Sharks as his team but he loved the Kings as a close second.

So birthday, his two favorite teams, the wife and I's favorite team and an elimination game to boot. Yeah we for sure would have all gone together.

We debated on going do to what happened but we decided that attending the game would be a nice tribute to our lost friend and we knew he would be there in spirit.

The Kings scored first early in the 1st period which held up till the second when the Sharks evened up the score at 1. The refs kept calling penalties on the Kings which we obviously wrong. Sure there were some that needed to be called but overall the refs got it wrong. A big 5 on 3 penalty kill by the Kings due to bad calls seemed to drain some energy out of the team as shortly after is when the Sharks scored their lone goal.

With tension in the air as the 3rd period began with the knowledge that if the Kings lost their season woud be over they asserted themselves and scored 3 unanswered goals to take the game and force a winner take all game 7 tomorrow night in San Jose.

The energy was high and I have never heard the arena as loud as I did last night. Kings fans chanted well into the night. The Kings seek to become only the 4th team in hockey history to win a series when they were down 0-3. I believe the momentum will carry then to a date with the Ducks in the second round.

Our friend Nick would have loved this game. He was there though as various occurrences kept popping up to give us that nudge that he was around. We are glad we got the chance to celebrate his life on his would be birthday in a very fitting way. Again, you shall be missed but bring a little more of that heavenly luck to the Kings tomorrow when you get a chance up there.

Go Kings Go !!!


Everybody onto the ice to celebrate

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Museum : Clayton Kershaw Base Blue Parallel ( 72 / 99 )

One dominant lefty down one to go.

Acquired Koufax earlier and now needed to land Kershaw for the blue parallel set.

I found another reasonable asking price auction and hoped to be the high bidder at the end of the day. This is a small project and would love to knock it out pretty fast and just move on. Still have Trout and surprisingly Nolasco to complete it. Thankfully as with Koufax I was the only bidder and now have 3 of the 5 needed blue parallels. Hopefully those won't be too pricey or hard to get.

72 of 99

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Moment Of Silence and A Celebration Of A Life Gone Too Soon

Nicholas Sharkey.
The guy with a cool last name.
A man in his 30's with a great teenage son.
Someone who has a circle of friends that could rival anyone else's.
And now someone that has passed on way sooner than anyone should have.
He has been called back by God.
and today would have been his 34th birthday.

This past Friday April 25th as the wife and I were out of town celebrating a friend's graduation we were dropped with the bombshell of Nick's passing.

The wife and Nick go way back as they grew up together and have been best friends from when they were in elementary school to the day he died. They have been through their up and downs together and have seen each other grow and accomplish their individual goals. They were there for each other every step of the way and I am glad he was in her life and I am lucky to have known him since I entered her life in 2005.

Unlike many of Nick's friends I do not have endless stories of our get togethers but the ones I do always have me having a great time with Nick. The first time I met him was when I went to a concert in Long Beach that the wife wanted to go to and all I can remember from that time was "damn this guy's hair is high as hell and pointy as fuck". Many times that night he almost poked my eye out with that hair but from that night I could see why people liked to hang out with him. He always was out to have fun and if there wasn't any to be had he made it as he went along and took people with him on his ride until everyone was having a good time.

Lucky for me Nick was also a sports fan which meant I could get him to tag along to a baseball game which gave me an excuse to catch another game. One week as a birthday gift I bought him a ticket to Dodger/White Sox game and an Angel/White Sox as both games were being played within a few weeks of each other. Him being a White Sox fan gave him the opportunity to see his team against both mine and the wife's team. His team got slaughter in both. The ragging continued on for weeks. Good times for all involved.

There are many other times where we just hung out or played video game way into the night but my favorite memory of him and I was on my wedding day.

As any married man can tell you the wedding day can be very hectic and mine had it's fair share but real early in the morning on that special day around 8 he and I were alone. The calm before the storm so to speak as we were tasked with taking 50+ wooden chairs down 100+ stairs down to the sandy beach where I was to wed his childhood friend. Before we started the job we both went down to 7-11 and bought ourselves a couple of energy drinks and sat and listened to the waves crashing and the people walking along the boardwalk and had some minimal guy chit chat as we took in what was happening that day. A simple talk during a big day and it was the perfect way to start my blessed day. All I could say that day and today is thank you for being there and glad you could be a big part of my wife and I's wedding.

Obviously Nick touched many of lives as evident on Facebook from all the comments and remembrances that have popped up all weekend long. I didn't know Nick long but I considered him a good friend and hopefully he thought the same of me. I might not have been there physically on the day he passed but he has always been in my prayers and thoughts the past few years and I hope he realized that as I always wished the best for him. Through Nick he introduced me to many new friends such as his sister Tabatha and her husband Beau and their little ones. His mother Lyn accepted me as his friend and welcomed me into her home many times for parties. He made my friend circle bigger.

Nick will be missed by everyone whose life he touched and was involved in. I hurt for my wife as her best friend has been taken away from her way too soon. They were supposed to be in rocking chairs in their 80's talking about the good old days. Now that won't be happening. I will miss my friend and even though we didn't share as many adventures as a lot of other people I did enjoy ours. Movies, music and baseball games were always a little more entertaining when you were there and that is a hole that can't be filled with you gone.

Godspeed Nick as I and everyone else knows you are in a much better place and are pain free now and have found the peace that eluded you for far too long on this earth. You will be missed till the day we all join you in that happy place. Keep a seat warm for this guy as we will have much to catch up on. We love you.

Though we are sad for your passing we are happy that you were in our lives

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Five Star : Yoenis Cespedes Silver Signings Autograph Blue Parallel ( 19 / 25 )

One of the advantages of selling off my autograph ball collection is that I can go after autographs of players on their cards rather than try to hunt them down in person. Yoenis is one of those players.

He was on my hit list to acquire an in person autograph on a ball at some time in the future but that will never come to pass now as I have moved on from that part of the hobby. Well now I could pick and chose the card I wanted to purchase that looked the best to me. Once again I turned to the 2013 Five Star set and found this great looking blue parallel with his John Hancock in silver ink. A great combination. I lost out on one auction but was able to lock down this specific one in another. Card looks better in person than on the computer.

Silver ink pops nicely on a blue background

19 of only 25

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Card(s) of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Base Blue Parallels ( Multiple Players )

Another nice little haul in my never ending quest of the blue parallel set of 2013 Bowman Chrome. This though was a little sweeter than others. For the most part I've been picking up the common players and/or the low cost cards but I ran across this Jose Fernandez card that books at over $12. Didn't want nor going to pay what the seller wanted for it but upon a closer look I saw he also had another auction up that included more blue included a Ryu card ( already had one but I could use another for trade/contest purposes ).

I would be either in on both or in on neither. It would be a great bargain if I could get all but I had to be carefully not to be stuck with one auction without winning the other. Jose was first and I was able to win it at the seller's starting asking price and then I moved onto the other auction that ended just a minute later and even though I gave myself some cushion I ended up being the only one to bid on that auction as well.

Separately these auctions were not a great value but combined I was able to pick up a higher priced card and fill in holes with the other commons while also picking up another Ryu card which I know I can trade for something else. Overall a good eBay purchase.

Bargain priced Fernandez, a Ryu that is available for trade and overpriced Phillie Howard

A yank, a rook and a player formerly known as Mike

The dirtbag Evan ( for those that don't know that is not an insult )

Friday, April 25, 2014

Card of the Day - 2001 SP : Don Drysdale Legendary Cuts Bat Relic

I had Don's autograph on a ball but have never owned a card of his. I set out to correct that issue.

Back in the day Don was one hell of a pitcher but unlike most pitchers he was great with th bat as well. He was the Zack Grienke before Zack was around. Don still holds the record for most home runs in a single season by a pitcher.

I could get any old card of Don but I wanted something a tad more special. Found this relic card for a reasonable price and put my bid in and waited till the end of the auction to see if I would win it. With my bid being the only one I won this plain but great looking card. Nice to finally have a Don card in the collection.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Museum : Sandy Koufax Base Blue Parallel ( 28 / 99 )

With the case break behind me now it was time to work on the blue parallels of the Dodgers in the set. Thankfully there were only four that I needed to get my hands on. I thought I would go after the big fishes first and found Sandy on a traditional auction for a small enough amount that I felt comfortable with.

I was out of town so I put in my bid earlier than I normally would as I did not know if I would have reception or not. I guessed correctly as I lost my signal. No worries as once it was back on I found out that I won the card. Two down and three more to go to complete the Dodger set.

28 of 99

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Allen and Ginter : Mike Trout Mini Framed Autograph Red Ink Variant BGS Graded 9.5 ( 30 / 31 )

Uh... that isn't Trout up there. Why is Yasiel Puig's gem mint card up there then? Well this is how I came to acquire my newest Trout card. I had seen Trout's 2013 Allen Ginter card up on eBay on a BIN auction and saw that there were over 20+ best offers and each one was rejected with only one of them countered which in turn was rejected.

A little research and as you can see on the card it is numbered 30 of only 31 in the world and Beckett has this card valued at $500 and that is for the ungraded version. I found out that this is the only one that has been submitted for grading and it came back in this spiffy gem mint grade. At this time it is the only one in the world and with only 30 left out there it might be the only one ever. I wanted it but didn't have the funds for the card. Hmm... I do have that Yasiel card to play with. Decided to talk a few of my fellow bloggers on what they would do. Before that lets go over a few things.


Silver autograph of the Inception brand
One of only 4 9.5's in the world
Numbered out of 25
Puig is 23 and though highly talented he has not proven as of yet he can maintain his 2013 high production.
I have the more desirable 2013 Bowman Chrome blue parallel autograph in my collection already and it also is graded a 9.5.

Trout :

Red ink variant of the Allen and Ginter brand ( IMO better than the Inception brand )
Only 9.5 in existence
Numbered out of 31
Trout is 22 and has had already two MVP caliber years is only getting better.
Believe it or not but this would be my second most valuable Trout card. The other card has not seen its own blog post as of yet.

And finally I would sell the Puig card and use those funds to buy an agreed upon price between the seller and I on the Trout card and still have money left over.

Greg of plaschkethysweaterisargyle
Alex of chavezravining
Jesse of section117bib

Those were the three fellow card collectors that I asked their opinion on.
It was unanimous.
I was already leaning towards Trout but they all reconfirmed my reasoning on why I should go with Trout over Puig.
Sold my Puig, sent the money for Trout and pocketed a little extra coin., A few short days later I was the proud owner of the only gem mint mini framed red ink Trout card from the 2013 Allen and Ginter. Its better looking in person than on the computer.

Thank you again for the input guys.

Great numbers across the board

30 of 31

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hyun-Jin Ryu Bobblehead

I'm sure most of you have seen this upcoming bobble of our favorite Korean pitcher Ryu but I thought I would show it here just in case you haven't.

If I was still in the bobblehead game I would be acquiring it and tracking down Ryu for him to autograph it. With that said I won't be attending this game as I already sold the tickets for a nice profit.

The bobble is scheduled to be given out on Tuesday May 27th when the Dodgers host the Reds. Next year I want to see one of Ryu as a batter as he is quite good with the lumber.


Card of the Day - 2009 SP : Matt Kemp Legendary Cuts Autograph ( 89 / 125 )

Do I need another Matt Kemp Autograph? No
Do I want another Matt Kemp Autograph? Yes
Did I get a good deal on this one? Oh yeah

I have been watching this card for months on eBay but was never going to purchase it at the price the seller had it at. Book has its value at $40. Way too much in today's market. Seller went back and forth between buy it now auctions and traditional auctions and it never sold. Original asking price was over $50. Week in and week out he dropped the price $5 and yet no one bid on the card. It finally had an asking price of lower than $20. Thought to myself maybe I can get him to lower it even more to just move it. I messaged him and gave him an offer which he accepted shortly after. In the end it was over 75% off of book. A win in my eyes. Got to add yet another great looking Kemp autograph to the collection at a meager price.

Another great on card autograph

89 of 125

Trade with Fellow Blogger - DodgerBobble ( Second Trade ) : 2012 Topps Tribute : Matt Kemp Base Autograph Blue Parallel ( 7 / 50 )

Josh aka DodgerBobble and I have done a trade in the past and one day when I was talking to him about something else he sent me a text picture asking if I was interested in this card. Well hello beautiful.

It was ironic that I just lost two separate auctions on this same card the day before on eBay. I wanted this because it is an on card autograph of Kemp and it shows him in the Dodger's alternate Brooklyn uniform. It being the blue parallel is just icing on the cake. As most of you know I have for the most part stopped getting balls signed but that didn't mean I was just going to get rid of my inventory of blank balls. I knew I could use them for trades like these. Josh wanted 3 balls for this card and if you go by market value for this card and the price I paid for the balls it almost came out even.

Finally added this beauty to my collection. Thank you again to Josh for offering and holding onto the card till we could complete the trade.

Seven of Fifty

Monday, April 21, 2014

Card(s) of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Base Blue Parallels ( Multiple Players )

Another day on the bay.
Another small bulk purchase of needs for the 2013 BC Blue Parallel set.

Nothing special other than checking off 4 more off my list of needs for the set. All were had for less than 70 cents a copy and that was because the Votto was $2. The other 3 were only 25 cents each. Slowly but surely I intend to complete this set no matter how long it takes me.

Attended Game Recap - DIAMONDBACKS 4 @ Dodgers 2 on 4.18.2014 Also Photo of the Day : Hyun-Jin Ryu

Our first night game of the year and it did not go as planned game wise but apart from that I did get a first for me in my life but more on that later. The wife, father in law and I arrived at the stadium a little after 4 for our first batting practice of the year and it ended up being a complete bust for us as only a couple of balls made it our way and we didn't snag any of them.

Got a chance to see Clayton rapidly heal from his injury. He looked good and you could tell he was anxious to get back to the team. A lot of reports think he won't be back till late May or early June but it would not surprise me to see him back on the mound by mid May at the latest. He is just that determined.

Love how the Dodgers show what place the teams are in and seeing Arizona in last could only be beat with seeing the Giants in that place instead. All is right in the world seeing the Dodgers in first though. Sad to say today the dog had it's day.

While batting practice was a bust the autograph scene seemed to only be marginally better with a few here or there but not anyone I was really looking for but then I noticed that a pitcher was signing in the bullpen and I headed over and saw that our Korean phenom Hyun-Jin was signing for fans. He had almost finished but I was able to acquire a photo of him. I happened to be second to last of the lucky fans to get an autograph. Thank you again Mr. Ryu.

Perfect placement of the autograph in my opinion.

With my one signature in hand we were off to our seats. For the 1st time in years I sat right behind home plate on the Loge level. Tickets can be pricey but I scored a great deal a couple months prior to the season beginning. Probably the best view in the stadium.

View from the seats.

Side view from the seats. Lady does not look happy she is in the picture.
= )

While our starting pitcher Zack Greinke was on his game and only made one real mistake, a solo home run by Miguel Montero. In the end the Dodgers lost a long game that went 12 innings. The highlight for me came in the fourth inning though as I finally acquired something that I have been trying to do for the 32 years that I have attended baseball games.

I have tried and tried at multiple stadiums to catch a foul ball. I know a lot of people think that isn't a big deal but to me it is something I have always wanted to do. This was a main reason for seating here as well. To up the chance to get a foul ball. In the first 3 innings a few screamed near our seats but none in our section. That all changed in the fourth as Miguel Montero stepped up to the plate and hit a ball that went to the right of me and the wife and behind us and ended up hitting someone/seat and came back towards us on our left and I happened to catch it on the rebound. A little tricky but in the end I finally got the first foul ball of my life. After a few high fives from fellow fans I tucked it away and it now has a place in my collection. 

Game did not go as planned but getting Ryu's autograph and the foul ball made up for it. 

My 1st foul ball ever.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Card of the Day - 2012 Topps Tribute : Felix Hernandez Base Autograph Blue Parallel ( 48 / 50 )

Another reacquired autograph for my collection where the first one never saw a blog post due to the back log of the que.

I had a single signed ball of King Felix and was able to sell it and acquire this card and still had money left over to buy a few more things. The ball's signature was starting to fade a little so I unloaded that at the right time and now have this great looking, crisp, blue on card autograph of King Felix.

Could have picked up the non blue version but for $3 more why not have the blue one right?

48 of 50

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Clayton Kershaw League Leaders ( card #294 ) Base Blue Parallel

With just a few days left before the Dodgers opened their season abroad I was down to one last card from my want/need list for the 2014 Topps set.

I had all the inserts handled, the base cards were all acquired via box breaks and the red and blue parallels were all acquired, except for one. Clayton Kershaw's blue parallel of the league leaders subset. Now I had one of the two already which was easily obtained but the this one for some reason was hard to find. I have seen a few on eBay for awhile and most times it was on BIN auctions and they wanted north of $3. I just did not want to pay that amount even though it was the last card that I needed.

Finally one day a seller had it up for sale at $2. Probably still 50 cents or more than I "wanted" to pay for it but I wanted to be done and pulled the trigger. With the season now in full swing I can just sit back and wait for new set releases and don't have to try to catch up with a past set since it is now complete. Woo Hoo.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Chrome : Adrian Gonzalez Base Blue Refractor Parallel ( 25 / 199 )

The off season purchases continue and the bargain hunting for blue parallels of Dodgers players is still the main objective from all the higher end releases.

I've been trying to get my hands on all of these before the 2014 season starts so I have put more effort in it now to acquire them. The first one to make it to my house is Adrian AKA our Mickey Mouse first baseman. Book value for the card is sitting at $6 and I was able to negotiate with the eBay seller for a little less than half of book. A good buy indeed. One blue down many more to go.

25 of only 199

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Tribute : Vladimir Guerrero Base Autograph ( 98 / 99 )

Another member for the reacquired collection even though the original autograph post never saw the light of day due to being stuck in the que and since has been deleted.

I had a Vladimir signed ball that was slowly toning and was another of the multiple reasons why I stopped going after signed balls. I always enjoyed Vladimir as a player and wished he was a Dodger. Had to settle on watching him rake for the Angels down in Anaheim.

I wanted to acquire Vladimir's autograph with him in an Expo uniform and luckily the new 2014 Tribute set had this great looking on card autograph. There are a few parallels to this card but I only cared to have an autograph so it didn't matter what parallel I got my hands on. At the end of the day I ended up with the most common of the bunch but thankfully at a great price which was way under book which is $30.

98 of 99

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Card(s) of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Jeremy Moore Base Blue Parallel ( 141 / 250 ) and Cory Hall Base Blue Parallel ( 162 / 250 )

Went looking to fill in the blue holes of my Dodger collection from last year's Bowman Chrome blue parallel set and came across Jeremy's card. It was grouped together with Cory's card. I ended up winning them both a little over $3 delivered to me. Not a bad price. I will be trying to complete the Bowman Chrome set but only in the blue parallel way. The blue cards only have a print run of 250 which will make it a very long project to complete but I thought what better way to celebrate my reentry into the hobby in 2013 by doing a set of my favorite color in my favorite set. So I am now on the look out for all the blue I can get my hands on. With me having most of the Dodgers I have a decent yet small start but there are over 400 cards to collect so it will probably be a very long time till I see myself anywhere close to completing this project. Any fellow bloggers that have spares and would like to trade with me it would be greatly appreciated.

Jeremy and my first non Dodger purchase

141 of 250

162 of 250

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Contest Being Held Over @ Cubs Cardboard

Kalib over at Cubs Cardboard is holding his first ever contest.

Obviously he is a big Cubs fan but that shouldn't deter you from heading over and reading up on the great cards he has picked up. After you enter the contest make sure you take a look at the 2 box of 2014 Allen and Ginter box break he will be doing in a couple of months as well. He needs a total of 15 entries and needs 6 more to get to that total. I think it is a great idea and might do the same thing myself for this year's Bowman Chrome release.

Contest is found HERE
While the box break is found HERE