Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads

Recently, I took the readers of this blog on an Excellent adventure back to 1997 with Tuff Stuff. Now I hate to abandon Bill and Ted's phone booth for time travel, but the way I see it, if you're going to go even further back in time, why not do it with some style? So that's why we're abandoning this
For this
That's right kids, the power circuits to the flux capacator are on, Mr. Fusion has been fed and we're going to get her up to 88 MPH so that way we can travel back all the way to 1970. I'll try not to create any alternate timelines while we're away. And why are we going back to 1970? For this!
No, not really. What good would this do us now? Not only are the statistics outdated, but going back to 1970 for it wouldn't make any sense. Unless Biff stole it and then went back to 1970...hmmm....no this is what we're really after.

The 1970 edition of Who's Who in Baseball. I found this gem when my Grandmother was cleaning out her basement and I asked her if I could have it and she said I could. I've decided to share it with the blogging world. There's a lot of really interesting things inside this book. But for this post, you're just getting the front and back cover. There's no color photos in this, but there are a ton of black and white photos. As for the cover, you have Tom Seaver NL Cy Young Award winner for '69, Denny McClain and Mike Cuellar who were Co-Winners of the AL Cy Young award and Harmon Killebrew and Willie McCovey who were the MVPs for the AL and NL respectively. On the back cover
The 1969 World Champion Mets. Yogi's on the front row, a young Nolan Ryan on the back row, Tom Seaver on row 3 and Tug McGraw on the 2nd. Just a very interesting picture compared to what some of today's team pictures look like. I'll be posting some more from this guide as long as I feel like it. If there's any players that anyone wants to see specifically from this guide, leave me a comment and I'll try and accomodate all requests.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Running Diary Review of Topps Heritage High Numbers Gum

12:33 - Opened Gum Wrapper
12:33 - Put Gum in mouth, began chewing
12:34 - mmm...a little sweetness with a strange hint of citrus
12:36 - Flavor gone
12:37 - It's starting to get a little bitter
12:39 - ok really bitter
12:41 - spitting it out due to the taste

Overall, this gum is lacking.  Not only does it lose its flavor, it starts tasting really really bad.   And then leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  Come on Topps, you can do better than this.  

Grade: D+

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Really Quick Plug For Those Doing TTM

I've been doing Through The Mail (TTM) autographs since the early 90's and have seen lots of things change.  One of the great things are the resources that are now available for those who do autos TTM.  The best place I've found is SportsCollectors.net.  I've had the link on my page since the blog started, but never gave a plug I don't think.  Even if you don't join and pay the fee, there's still great resources for addresses, who signs, who doesn't and if they require a fee.  Being able to catalogue your successes and failures and how long it takes them to come back is one of the greatest features of the site and that feature is free.  So check them out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is Fatty Coming Home?

After signing Guillermo Mota, the Dodgers are looking to cut Andruw Jones or trade him to some team.  And he was seen at the Duke - Georgia Tech game last night wearing a Braves cap.  Is he sending subliminal messages to Frank Wren?

Mail Day!!

I haven't bought any cards in awhile and with some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket, I surfed over to Dave and Adam's Card World. I purchased one of their combos which was a box of 2007 SP Authentic, a box of 2007 SP Rookie Edition and a tin of 2007 Sweet Spot Classic. I also bought a box of 2008 Heritage High Numbers in order to start that set as I'm trying to do the whole 2008 Heritage set and am well on my way. I also got 2 packs of 2007 UD Elements as a free gift from D&A. Elements might be the most useless product I have ever opened a pack of. And that includes Topps Lazer. We'll start off with the 2007 SP Rookie Edition. There's good "rookies" in this set with Josh Hamilton, Tim Lincecum, Dice K and a few others. The rookie cards are done in various designs of Upper Deck SP of the past, much like Timeline, which I enjoy them using old designs. The box also had 2 rookie signatures per box. This is what I pulled:Kory Casto? Hmm...ok. Last year in 2008, Kory played in 66 games for the Nationals hitting .215 with 2 home runs and 16 RBI. He's not exactly lighting up the place. He's listed as OF on the card, yet the MLB site lists him as a 3B. So this means he's a pinch hitting utility player. Ok, so not a great card, but at least he's someone who's in MLB still. Next we have....Joe Smith, a pitcher from the Mets. Joe is now with the Cleveland Indians, but played last year with the Mets. He appeared in 82 games last year with a 6-3 records, 3.55 ERA and a .220 BAA. Joe appears to be a very good relief pitcher and should have a good career ahead of him. The only problem with this card is the ding at the top middle of it. It's hard to see on the scan, but it's there and it's really noticeable in person. Oh well. Let's move on to 2007 SP Authentic. The big thing with Authentic was the 2 By The Letter autographed patches that came in the box. Some people like them and some people hate them and I have never seen one really up close, so I thought this would be a good chance to get a few. Colation in this box is great as I'm only missing 4 cards out of the base set of 100 and I'll put these up on my need list ASAP. Now on to my hits
A rookie signature of Brad Salmon 20/75. Brad, a pitcher, for some reason is holding a bat on the card. Salmon now plays for the White Sox and didn't play in MLB in 2008. In 2007, he played in 26 games for the Reds with an 0-1 record and a 4.13 ERA. I got one more of these and it's much better than this one.Alex Gordon 23/25. Alex had a decent year last year with KC hitting .260 in 493 ABs with 16 HRs and 59 RBIs. Alex turns 25 next month so this should be the year that he starts his upswing of talent as he's been a highly regarded prospect for a long time. Now having some of these By The Letter cards, I really like them. I think they are well done. The Alex Gordon with the gold signature looks very classy and I like the shadow work on the "O" in Salmon's card. I know there are a few who are not fond of these, but I have no problem whatsoever with them. Now the manufactured letters with stickers on them or no auto, I'm not a fan of those, but these are just fine.

I'm not going to post anything about the Hertiage High Series as I got that just for the base cards. My hit of the box was an Aramis Ramirez plain grey game-worn jersey swatch. Nothing to get excited over. I didn't get a buy back and my refractors and chrome arn't anything to write home about. However, I'm saving the best for last. This tin of Sweet Spot is the first one pack product that I've bought. The tin was a Babe Ruth tin, so I was hoping for something big. I got 2 base cards #/575 of Jose Canseco and Judy Johnson. My hits were as follows.
An unnumbered swatch of Donnie Baseball. For some reason, I find Mattingly as one Yankee that I don't hate. I don't know why. Next:
A Sweet Spot Classic Sig of Dave Winfield 43/75. Hey a Hall of Famer! I could have done a lot worse. I also would have liked to have a sig that wasn't faded all to hell. I knew when I saw Mario's post that these things do fade, but man, seeing it in person is a different thing. It's really worse that the scan shows. I think it was a black ink sig and there's all kids of bleeding of the pen. And I know exactly why. The "balls" that the players are signing are basically plastic. This is the first time I've been able to feel one of the cheaper materials and the only cow this ball came from is one that's made by Mattel. UD needs to use better quality materials in order to make these sigs last. This is just ridiculous. I bet you're all wondering why I showed the Sweet Spot before the other swatch card. This is why:
Harold Baines patch 24/55. It's a really great 2 color patch. If I was Captain Ebay, it'd be a 3 color patch because there's literally 2 threads of white in the bottom left corner, but it's a 2 color. I really like this patch. Great stiching and great Sox colors. Overall, I think I did pretty well with these boxes and I really had fun busting them. If I knew that all the Sweet Spots I got wouldn't be faded, I might buy some more Sweet Spot Classic, but the fading might keep me away. But all in all, money well spent.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Updated Needs List

I've updated my needs list (which you can check out by the link to the right of this post) to include 2008 Goudey and the Baseball Icons insert set for 2008 A&G.  If you'd like to set up a trade, let me know with an e-mail (which can also be done to the right).  I've got a lot of random stuff, especially from 2006-2008.  I'm not going to be as busy as I was last semester, so I will respond to e-mails quicker and have set up an e-mail account specifically for the website so I'll have all my trades and blog filtered into one mailbox.  So if you e-mailed me about a trade sometime last year between, oh, September and December and it didn't patch out or I didn't respond, I'm sorry and please e-mail me back.  Thanks.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Turning Japanese, I'm Turning Japanese, I Really Think So

The Braves FINALLY made a move today.  Well other than that Vazquez trade and signing a backup catcher.  The AJC is reporting they've come to terms with Kenshin Kawakami and will be announced on Monday or Tuesday.  I've tried to find if he had any US cards from maybe the Olympics or WBC, but nothing has shown up. The only one that's close is this US produced 2000 Upper Deck Japanese Ovation.  But I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty of his cards this year.  Let's hope he pans out.

Tuff Stuff's Excellent Adventure Pt. 5

What exactly where to new products in July 1997? Well take a look and see the prices. I think my favorite prices are those of the Pacific cards. Would any of those cards come close to those prices today? Even in the book? What are y'alls favorite listings on these two pages?

Extreme Measures are Being Taken

Since the location is Augusta, Georgia, I know it's not dayf.  And plus I think his heart and soul, as well as mine, would sell for more than $78.77.  Or at least I'd hope so.  Check it out here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tuff Stuff's Excellent Adventure Pt. 4

Finally, something useful in a price guide! A card grading guide so you can tell what condition your card is in. Good use of 1971 Topps too as the black borders make for hard mint cards. I think some people on e-Bay might need to read this.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuff Stuff's Excellent Adventure Pt. 3

Oh to have a day when both Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones are extremely hot in the hobby....oh wait, that day was in 1997. Also making an appearance in the top 10 hot players, Grant Hill and No-MAH. Oh how times have changed. And check out the Card of the Month. To be back in 1997, when die cuts were all the rage.

Tuff Stuff's Excellent Adventure Pt. 2

Here I have an ad. A quite notorious ad. This is for Stan's Sports Memorabilia which is more than likely known to most people as one of the people/businesses who was caught up in the autograph forging business and part of a huge ring that was stopped by the FBI in Operation Bullpen. And if you haven't read the book about Operation Bullpen, you need to track down a copy an read it for yourself. It's quite astounding what these guys did. So take a look at this two page ad and click on the pictures to make them bigger and look at some of the prices. It's astounding what your money could have got you back in 1997, even if it was fake.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Tuff Stuff's Excellent Adventure Pt. 1

First thing I'm going to show you is an ad from 1997."OH MY GOSH WHAT COULD THAT MEAN??!?!?!! THIS AD IS BUILDING MY ANTICIPATION LIKE NONE OTHER!""1997 BOWMAN!!!"

My favorite thing about this ad is the stated odds and them basically telling you that you have no chance of getting that Jeter auto, in any of its forms. I also like that they're pushing Andruw Jones as one of the star autographs in this. Of course, this would have been right after his coming out party in the 1996 World Series and everyone was big on him. Now Andruw is just big.

Home Again, Home Again

Well I'm back from the 'Rents house and in Florida again. However I managed to sneak a few things out of the house that I'm going to get a lot of posts out of. I'll show you the first now.

Aww Snap! A July 1997 issue of Tuff Stuff. Thank goodness I'm a pack rat. I think I have the complete run of Tuff Stuff from '96 to '98 and if it's not complete, it's really really close. Jordan is just schooling Antwan "Baby Fat" Walker in this picture. I'm going to be scanning in some articles, ads and other stuff just to see exactly what was hot and new in the late 90's. I've got a few pages marked and I'll tell you right now, it's really interesting. Things have changed a lot in 12 or so years.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Da na da na da na da na na...BATMAN!!!!!

There are 3 autographed bats in my collection.  I've already shown you one of them in this post and now I'm going to show you the other 2.  
This is an interesting bat as it's signed by Mark Lemke.  The Lemmer wasn't known for his hitting prowess as much as he was known for his defense so it would make more sense to have an autographed glove from him, but I'm not going to complain about having this bat.  Next up:
Here's a bat signed by Mr. Halle Berry, David Justice.  Unlike Lemke, Justice was known for his hitting, having a .500 career slugging percentage,  especially his home run in 1995 to give the Braves the World Series title.  Justice waned in his abilities after he left the Braves, but he would win the World Series again with the Yankees in 2000.  Fun Fact: He collected 23 of 24 1st place votes to win the 1990 NL Rookie of the Year.  The other 1st place vote went to Delino DeShields.