Thursday, December 12, 2013

Writers Wanted and A Call For Help

Hey everyone.  Since I have been doing this blog all by my lonesome for almost a year now, I thought I would extend the courtesy to allow people who like to write about the hobby to contribute.  There are a few things I would look for in a contributor...the ability to write a decent post, a sense of humor, love of the game of baseball and the hobby, and low expectations.  I don't have tons of readers...the ones I have I love dearly.  So, we would be building this thing together.  Also, I don't bring in ad revenue on this site and I probably never will.  Therefore, payment is out...but I always try to help a brother (or sister) out with some freebies and whatnot.  This would be a perfect opportunity for a young writer to build a portfolio of articles.  Plus, I write a mean letter of recommendation.

Nextly.  I was considering building a companion site to this blog dealing in only autographs.  Basically, I was looking to build an indexable site that would have at least one example of every stinkin' player that ever lived autograph.  Does that make sense?  So, if you need to see if a Willie Mays looks it up on the site and match.  This would not be an authentication site.  Never.  No way.  But, it would be a resource in which collectors could use to eyeball a signature and see if it's close.  Anything beyond that we will leave to the big boys.

So, this is a call for a writer or two.  And this is a call for people to donate photos of certified autographs of everyone they can think of.  Send 'em all to me.

I'll await your emails eagerly.  All the best...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

See Ya Roy

Yesterday, Roy Halladay announced his retirement after signing a one day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.  The sentiment of signing a player right before retirement is always one that makes me glad to be a baseball fan.  For a player of Halladay's stature to be able to go out with the team that brought him to the big leagues has got to be a sweet ending.

Roy, the man who threw a no hitter in the World Series, will undoubtedly go down as one of the dominant pitchers of his generation.  His numbers, and I won't get into them here, were off the charts.  Halladay had only three or four seasons of double digit losses in a sixteen year career.  Amazing.  His ERA always remained low and his strikeouts were predictably high.  The next stop for this outstanding pitcher will surely be at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

So, if you get an opportunity and do not have one yet, grab yourself a Halladay autograph.  For such a great player, deals are still out there to be had.

All the best, Roy.  Congrats on a great career.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Wacha Return

Thought I would share this.  Although I don't really tout many of my through the mail returns, I felt that it was worth noting on here a 2/2 signed card return from Cardinals pitching phenom Michael Wacha.  It's pretty cool when you get a return back.  But, when the return is from a budding star it makes it all the more sweeter.

Wacha had a fantastic playoff run and even the Cards couldn't beat those dastardly Red Sox the World Series loss was hardly his fault.  Wacha played great and was really fun to watch.

Unfortunately, both of the cards were a little smudged.  I'm pretty sure this was due to the fact that I can be kind of lazy and not prep my cards like I should.  So, they came back...just a little smudged up.  No biggie, though.  I don't TTM's to sell...they are strictly for me.

I'd post a pic but, man, I just don't feel like firing up the scanner on a Sunday night.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cano to Seattle

Normally, I don't get into player movement in the free agent market.  I do think it is worth noting the departure of second baseman Robinson Cano from the Big Apple out to the Pacific Northwest.  The Seattle Mariner have made quite a splash this off-season by signing the premier second-sacker in the league.  For a change, they actually stole someone from a big market team...usually, it's the other way around.

Cano, and his agents, were asking upwards of 300 million bucks to play ball.  With the state of baseball, I seriously doubted this would ever happen.  Not that 240 million bucks is much different (which is what he got).  But, he asked for the moon and the Yankees balked.  I don't blame them.  Cano is one of those great players that is seriously overrated in his contributions to the overall performance of his team.  Of course, that is just my opinion.

I'm not sure how this will affect Robinson's collectability.  I suspect that it won't have much effect.  For a superstar, Cano is surprisingly affordable...prices for Trout and Harper are miles higher than Cano.  So, I doubt that this move will cause much change.

Like I said, I don't normally note free-agent movements.   But, this one is kind of a biggie.

2013 Topps 5-Star

Ho-hum.  Yet, another high end product that I cannot afford.  Another product with super-nice cards that I will never lay eyes on.  Another out-of-my-league card set.  I wish Topps would stop this shit and actually put out more things I could afford.

Since I can't buy even one pack (do they even sell one pack?) to review here on Can't Hit The Curve, I'll just hang up a bunch of examples of killer cards that are out of reach for me.  Here you go, folks...

Yawn...just a Lou Gehrig bat barrel.

A Mike Trout Auto...great design.

John Kruk...I might be able to afford this one.

And yeah...yet another Topps Babe Ruth booklet.  Does Topps own the most Ruth cut autographs of anyone on the planet? They seem to chuck one in with every single high end release.  Maybe I'm just imagining this.

There's some Topps 5-Star examples.  Great design.  Great hits.  Something we can never enjoy.  

Waxing Philosophic on the Hobby

If I think really hard about the hobby, which I sometimes do, questions sometimes are raised in which I really don't have much of an answer.  This morning, it is early on a Saturday, I began thinking about why little pieces of cardboard with pictures printed upon them have any value, whatsoever.  The famous Honus Wagner card has sold for millions...for a piece of paper.  I have strongly considered paying many dollars for pieces of cardboard (and have).  So, what makes the collectors like us shell out hard-earned dollars for something, if you break it right down, just really isn't worth all that much.

I like to believe that collecting, autographs especially, has everything to do with connections.  If you collect cards of a player or team then you have a smidgen of a connection with that person or team.  Those connections are vital to human existence and collecting memorabilia taps right into that visceral need.  For example, sitting on my desk is a signed Ozzie Smith baseball.  The reason I love that thing, and it sits right in front of me every day, is that it is a very small connection between myself and the best defensive short stop who ever lived.  It sounds really stupid...and it kinda is.  But, that connection is important to me.

There is also the connection of collectors with their childhoods or points in their lives in which baseball was the most important thing within their universe.  For me, it was high school.  Before that, baseball was a passing thing...something that didn't really grab my interest.  Then I started to watch and quickly became enamored with players like Ozzie, Tony Gwynn, and Kirby Puckett (I've always had an affinity for hitters).  So, collecting really brings me to the periods of my life that were simpler.  I loved the simple times.

Collectors are also gamblers.  Even with the falsified notion that these cardboard rectangles are actually "valuable" or "scarce", collectors go out of their way to hunt down the next card that could be worth thousands or millions.  Granted, some collectors and dealers have made a fine living buying and selling pieces of paper.  It is a strange economic market...a little like the commodities market (which I don't really understand, at all).  The card companies have done a fine job in creating their own market in which buyers and sellers exchange cash for...paper.  Think about it for second.  It is kind of weird.

So, why do we collect valuable worthless items?  Because it is who we are.  It is something to do.  We may get rich and famous buying up tons of Taijuan Walker cards for pennies and turning around and selling them off when he becomes huge!  Gambling on who's going to be the next Greg Maddux or the next Mike Trout...these are some people's motives.  Mostly, I believe, it connects us with unreachable people and unreachable times in our lives.

Those connections, to me, are priceless.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Collectible Beards?

Apparently, David Ortiz has sold his beard for charity.  His beard.  His friggin' facial hair.  I'm afraid that this is where I draw the line when it comes to sports memorabilia.   An auto is fine.  A jersey or a bat is pretty cool.  But, buying someone's facial clippings is just plain disgusting.

All in the name of charity, Big Papi trimmed his beard and sold it all off for the grand sum of 11 grand. So, for the price of a small car I can get a Ziploc baggie full of stinky beard trimmings?  No thank you, sir.  I think I will just go ahead and pass on this one.

Shane Victorino got about 4 grand for his face fur.  Ugg.

I know there is a market for the DNA of important people.  A couple of years ago Allen and Ginter were throwing strands of hair from Abraham Lincoln into cards.  It just all seems so very weird to me.  But, if that's your thing then who am I to judge?

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Hey everyone.  As the baseball season has now entered the hibernation period, I have a few questions that I'd like to ask.  The first one is for the casebusters out there.  You know who you are.  You are the guy that will buy a thousand dollar case of a product, bust it all up, and then turn around and do something with it.  Therefore, my question today is for you.

-Where do you get the money to buy cases?  What do you do with the products once you bust up the case?

I know, this is two questions.  But, like my English teacher said in tenth grade, "Two part questions are fair.  As long as the subject matter is the same".  So, two part question.  It's all fair because this is my blog.  Ha.

Seriously though, if I had the money to spend on a case of Bowman Chrome or Topps Museum I surely don't think that I would spend it on a case.  There are just too many bills that have accumulated for me since I have become an adult.  It sucks.  Totally.  So, do casebusters not have bills?  Are they mad financial geniuses that don't have to worry about money because they have invested and diversified and whatnot?  I'm a little jealous.

The storage of case after case of cards has got to be a little troublesome.  However, casebusters likely just put that product on the eBay.  I would.

Just a question I had been pondering.  Take care.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Off-Season...Good Time To Purchase?

Now that the MLB hot-stove season is upon us, and the World Series is out of the way and settled, are the next few months a good time to buy memorabilia.

My opinion is:  A hearty YES!

This is the time of year when sports fans are focused on football and basketball (though I can't figure out why).  Once the Series is over, the focus of the general public shifts.  This, my friends, would be a good time to focus your energies on buying memorabilia from America's past-time.  The reason is simple:  Not a lot of buyers.

A new season gets people excited and a whole lot of purchasing happens right before and during spring training.  So, like with Christmas shopping, beat the rush.  Heck, you could even use some of those gift cards you are getting to scoop up a bargain.

Remember:  There are bargains to be had online.  You just have to hunt for them.  Bargains aren't going to be found at Steiner, for sure.  However, scour the eBay and other reputable sites and you could find a gem during the off-season. could wait until the beginning of next season and pay retail.  But, why would you do such a silly thing?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Babe Ruth 1/1

Found this as I was snooping about on the interwebs today.

Man, that is one nice card.  I cannot even imagine the value on that thing.  

Just thought you all might want to take a gander at this little beauty.

Anyone Want To Buy A David Ortiz Sweetspot?

Now, this isn't particularly a blog about the day-to-day goings on within the world of baseball.  However, I believe it is important to note, and tip our caps to, the Boston Red Sox...this year's World Series Champion.

The Sox beat the Cardinals four games to two in the best of seven.  St Louis just looked overmatched, to me.  It was nice to see some of the young guns of the Cards, though.  Wacha looked pretty good the entire postseason.  There is just a gaping hole at shortstop in St. Louis.  The management there will surely fill this need in the offseason.

So, another series down and another hot stove league warming up.

Oh yeah.  David Freakin' Ortiz hit over .700 during the series.  Can you believe that crap?  Amazing.  The guy was locked on the whole way.  Ortiz is the engine that drives that team in Boston.  How many more years does the big guy have left?

I'm just glad I picked up a Steiner David Ortiz SS a few years ago on a steal.  Yes, a steal from Steiner. You just have to be lucky and shrewd to find them.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sweet Deal Alert

The good folks at Mill Creek Sports have put up a great deal on their "Specials" page.

Stan Musial.  Sweet spot Rawlings Official Major League baseball.  Free shipping and certified by PSA/DNA.  

Mill Creek Sports is legit.  This might be too good of a deal to pass up.  Just thought I would let you know!

Monday, October 28, 2013

2013 Bowman Chrome

So, I let this release pass me by because I had been so low on cash.  But, I felt it was time to dig into the ol' pocketbook for some spare change and buy a few packs.  I bought four.

There are only four (fuckin' FOUR) cards in every pack.  What a ripoff.  Good thing this is an excellent product with high resale value on the cards.  Otherwise, you could feel real cheated.

I'm not going to go off into particulars on this product.  Look it up.  There are tons of great hits in the Bowman Chrome, for sure.

So, here's how I did.  I will list them all because I didn't get that many cards.  Four in a pack?  Come on Topps, don't do me like that.

Jimmy Nelson, Torii Hunter refractor, Luis Merejo, Mike Trout, R. Zimmerman, Tzu-Wei Lin, Carlos Tocci auto, Ian Kennedy, Gerrit Cole rc, Erik Johnson, Mauricio Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Rob Brantly, Jake Lamb, Tyler Heineman blue refractor, Saxon Butler.

So, out of sixteen cards I got a low-level auto and a blue.  I guess I shouldn't be too despondent over this buy.  But, I am.

Four per pack?  Fuck me.

2013 Panini Hometown Heroes

It's been awhile.  Sorry about that.

Anyway, I was in the LCS a week ago and was looking for something new to tell you all about.  I ran across this Panini product I had never heard of called Hometown Heroes.  So, I bought a jumbo pack to give you all the scoop.

First, the basics.  There are 300 cards in the set, overall.  With the last 60 being short prints.  So, very doable for the set collector guy (or gal).  There are a few, not overly many, insert sets in here as well.  Not too bad.  Panini didn't over do the inserts...which is nice.  And, they brought back the discs.  You know, the little round guys.  I like 'em.

There looks to be a good mix of autographs in the product.  Old timers and new, there is a little of both.  Myers, Profar, Bundy all line up with Clemens, Ryan, and Molitor in the auto department.  So, a good mix is good for the soul.

The cards themselves look vintage.  Which avid (or casual) readers of the blog know that I like.  They seem like they'd be good to have signed, whether you are an in-person or ttm collector.  So, props for that Panini.

No logos, of course.  This is a Panini product, after all.

Overall, I'd say go for the Hometown Heroes of baseball.  It's a nice little side-set to collect while you are waiting for your Topps or Bowman to come through.

My pack contained whole mess of commons (did I mention they only make the product in jumbos?), a Hyun Jin Ryu disc, a Victorino Nicknames  card, and a Pete Rose curtain call.  No biggies but there were stars in the commons.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Trending Up: Sonny Gray

Hey, it's a trending up that isn't a Tampa Bay Rays player!  But, seriously, A's pitcher Sonny Gray could be one of those guys that is really flying under the radar of collectors.  He's only been with the big club for a little over two months, has only made ten regular season starts, and he pitches out west.  These are a recipe for an under-the-radar collecting prospect.

Could Gray be great?  Likely not.  But, he will probably be a serviceable number two or three starter in the majors for many years to come.  Is his autograph going to be worth hundreds?  Likely not.  I'm thinking more in the ten to twenty five dollar range.  But, now is the time to buy...remember what I always say:

"Buy Low, Motherf**ker!"

Right now on the eBay I can find Gray signed items for:
  1. Fifty bucks for a sweetspot baseball.
  2. Eight to twelve bucks for a low level certified card.
  3. Upwards of a hundred  for a scarce signed rookie.
  4. Five bucks for in-person signed cards.

That card is probably still for sale on Check Out My Cards (  That site is awful.  It used to be great, had a great interface and was really easy to use.  Now...not so much.  Go back to the old format comc!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Drool List #3 - Evan Longoria

Here's a sweet...and I mean sweeeeeet...autographed patch card of Evan Longoria from Topps Museum Collection.

This is a beautiful card...Just thought I would share.

Happy Sunday, ya'll.

McCutchen For NL MVP

If you don't have an Andrew McCutchen autograph in your collection, I don't think it could hurt you to go get one soon.  The Pirates center-fielder is, at least in my opinion, the front-runner for National League Most Valuable Player.  His team is in the playoffs for the first time in twenty years.  He has slugged over 20 HRs (for a centerfielder, that ain't bad), 84 RBI's, 94 Runs scored, 27 stolen bases...and a .307 Batting average.  The dude can do it all.  If he doesn't win the award, then it's all rigged and a sham.

So, assuming the Cutch will win MVP this year, picking up some memorabilia or an auto of his might be a wise investment.  Granted, even at this early stage of his career an auto'd and certified sweetspot baseball can cost between 100-200 bucks.  That's a little pricey.  But, there are deals to be had within that forty to fifty dollar range.  Look for signed minor league cards, they are always cheaper than the others.  The deals are there, you just have to hunt for them.

Andrew McCutchen should be the first Pirate MVP since Barry Bonds.  The guy is an awesome player and seems like a pretty good guy, too.   Pick yourself up something "Cutch".  You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zack Hample - Insane Baseball-snagging Dude

So, I've been reading Zack Hample's blog over the past few days.  Don't know Zack?  Well, he's the fella that has snagged six or seven THOUSAND baseballs at major league stadiums.  Apparently, he's done this for twenty years or so.  His record as a ballhawk is certainly impressive.

I, for one, don't know what to think of Zack.  There are things that I admire about the guy.  Keep in mind, I do not know him nor have I ever met him.  But, the level of dedication he has given to ballhawking is certainly one to admire.  Twenty years of this?  Jeez.  If I could string together twenty years of anything, it would certainly be an event for me.

Zack obviously knows the game.  He knows hitter's tendencies.  He KNOWS the ballparks...where to catch a foul, a homer, snag a third out ball, etc.  The guy is knowledgable beyond belief.  I like that in a person.  Love of the game is first and foremost.

But, Twenty Years?  Man...

I also admire the fact that he has written three books on baseball.  I friggin' love that.  To turn what used to be a hobby for him into a little career (unknown if Zack has a full time job) is freakin' awesome.  Damn the man, Zack!

What I don't understand is his complete devotion to traveling to stadiums and spending so much time at the ball park.  I love the game and I am not sure I could do this.  But, the man is a machine.  I'm not hatin' on the guy;  just don't understand.

So, the more I read, the more I like Zack Hample.  He doesn't seem to get caught up in the media bullshit or the exposure or whatever.  Zack seems like a normal guy who loves the game.

For that, I must give mad respect.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Post-Season Winding Up/Regular Season Winding Down

Well, the time is upon us.  Playoff time.  It's really only a week or so away and I couldn't be more excited.  And more sad.

I'm excited for the post-season.  Of all major professional sports, I believe the MLB playoffs are the best to watch.  So many awesome moments.  The joy.  The heartbreak.  The post-season has it all.  I shall be watching as many games as work will allow!

I'm saddened by the end of the regular season.  This one has been memorable for many reasons.  Here are my top stories of this regular season.  Feel free to add or ridicule me at will.

1.  The Red Sox - Dang them boys can play.  I would not have predicted a worst to first scenario in Boston.  But, they've played great.  Muchos credit from a Rays fan.

2.  Young Pitching - From Fernandez to Harvey to Moore to Darvish.  This has been a fun time to watch young pitchers come out and play.  MLB has stocked the farm for the next dozen years.

3.  Manny Machado - Even though he got hurt last night, Manny has been incredible for a pretty decent Orioles squad.  The dude is a doubles machine.  Looks like Baltimore has third base locked up for many more years.

4.  Oakland A's - Who would've thunk the A's would be a legit team?  Probably only Billy Beane.

5.  Kansas City - Same.  KC legit?  Yup.

6.  The Angels - Holy crap.  This team is so loaded.  But, they suck.  How can this be?  It's not because of Trout.  It has more to do with a streaky Hamilton and a Gimpy Albert.  Other than Trout and Trumbo, the Angels haven't looked more flat.

7.  Mariano - We say goodbye to the best reliever of all time.  This sucks.  The end of an era, for sure.

8.  The Captain - I wouldn't think Derek Jeter would be much further behind Mo in retiring.  This has been an awful, injury riddled season for DJ.  I hate to see it because the guy is a class act.

9.  Miguel Cabrera - This generation's Ted Williams.  Can. Flat. Out. Hit.

Big stories this year, for sure.  I have enjoyed every moment and the playoffs haven't started yet.  Speaking of playoffs...let's see who is in (as of this writing).

NL - Braves, Cardinals, Reds, Pittsburgh!, and Dodgers.  Pittsburgh.  Unbelievable.
AL - Red Sox, A's, and the rest is up for grabs.  Looks like the Tigers will win the division with Tampa and Cleveland in the drivers seat for the wild cards.  Will Toronto be the Rays spoiler?  We shall see.

Fun season.  But, the good times don't stop rolling here at Can't Hit the Curve.  Throughout the off-season I will still be putting out the good stuff, so keep checking back.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Trending Up: Matt Moore

Even though he got shelled in his last start, Matt Moore of the Tampa Bay Rays should be trending up. Hell, I'm not sure if he's trending anywhere up or down.  But, I do know that the kid is a quality young pitcher and will win (I said it here first) a Cy Young Award before he ends up leaving the game.

Jose Fernandez and the guy from the Mets (Matt Harvey, yes, Matt Harvey) seem to get all the attention when it comes to young pitchers.  But, Matty Moore gets the shaft.  Well, screw that.  Matt is awesome and for much of these season looked like the ace that the great David Price was supposed to be.  

So, Matt Moore.  Pitcher for the Rays.  Think about picking up something of his right now.  Here's why.  Moore is one of the young pitchers that is actually trending up and no one seems to know that he is trending up.  15-4 so far this season (with a start or two left to go) and a low 3's ERA.  The kid's awesome.  So, if you can find yourself a Matt Moore piece of auto or something for pretty cheap I would urge you fine collectors out there to do so.

Yes, sometimes it is so obvious I am a Rays fan.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

2013 Panini Cooperstown

Who doesn't love the National Baseball Hall of Fame?  I do.  It's friggin' beautiful.  It's kind of like a Mecca for baseball nerds.  The city where the Hall is located...Cooperstown...well, that's just somewhere I could live happily.

But, Panini Cooperstown?  This sucks.  Hard.

Let's take a look see.  A one hundred card set.  Each pack holds five cards and a little disc thing in it.  Therefore, a set collector one need to buy twenty packs (with zero duplicates) for four bucks a piece including tax to complete a set.  It can be done.  But...jeez.

The 2013 Panini Cooperstown has the lamest insert variations I have ever seen in a card set.  Let's start with the color variations.

  • Green Crystal Shard 1:4 packs
  • Blue Crystal Shard 1:8 packs
  • Red Crystal Shard 1:12 packs
  • Gold Crystal Shard 1 per box
  • Black Crystal Shard 1/1
  • Dark Crystal Shard 1:1 billion packs
Dark Crystal...NOT actually in this set.
That's pretty much it for SP's.  They aren't even that cool looking.  I expected something called a Green Crystal Shard to look really friggin' cool.  But, the Robin Young GCS I pulled was just humdrum.

This set is a dud.  Each box comes with one HOF autograph.  However, there are no cut autos or anything that I could find.  So, there will be no autos of Dimaggio, Williams, etc...  Nope.  Your chances of getting a Gaylord Perry are pretty high, though.  Not that there's anything wrong with Gaylord.  But, just understand the "hits" are limited.  Here's a checklist so you can see what you are getting into here.

I do, however, kind of like the chip disk cards.  Those are different...sort of.  I believe in the early 2000s, one Fleer set decided to revive the disc card and it only lasted for one set.  But, I liked it then and I kind of like it now.  So, there ya go.  There's your silver lining in this box of poop.

I did buy two packs because I needed to see it for myself.  There was nothing worth mentioning in the packs...except for the Yount Green Crystal Skull...err...shard.

Don't buy it.  Save the dough.  If you must buy something, make it A&G.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mill Creek Sports

I am not an internet marketer and I have no stake in any company.  I'm a free agent, a wildcard, a solo proprietor.  Basically, I haven't whored myself out...yet.  So, you can believe it when I give my thumbs up to a memorabilia company.  That's what I'd like to do here with Mill Creek Sports.

Mill Creek Sports is a company in Washington State that...well, as far as sports memorabilia goes...they kick some ass.  Mill Creek Sports has great prices on many, and I mean MANY, baseball memorabilia items.  They've got the typical baseballs and bats and jerseys and cards.  However, they do have some ephemera that I find a little bit interesting.

Joe D. Auto Program
Clemens FDC
Let's start with the First Day Covers.  I have never bought a First Day Cover.  An FDC is basically an envelope that was postmarked with the day of a memorable event.  This event could be a player's first hit, a national championship, a World Series win, basically whatever a fan would want to commemorate.  Then, the collector will get the important figure to sign said envelope.  I find the intriguing and will likely buy one at some point.  Here's one I found on the Mill Creek Sports site that I thought would be a perfect gift for me (hint, hint, people).

First Day Covers are generally a little cheaper than other items, for some reason.  Like this Roger Clemens.  It's a mere sixty bucks.  And it's certified and graded and whatnot.  See?  Pretty good deal.

Mill Creek also has some cool items like seat backs, pitching rubber, stadium signs, index cards, game tickets, etc...  They are like the smart-man's Steiner.  All their items are signed by the big names, come certified, and are reasonably priced.

Mill Creek Sports also has tons of cards that they've had signed and certified on the spot.  In fact, I cannot find anything in their inventory that is not certified.  They also have a money back guarantee.

One of the best things about Mill Creek Sports is most small items come with FREE SHIPPING!  You don't see this much in the interwebs world, any more.

Yaz Jersey
So, if you are smart and are steering clear of Steiner Sports, check out Mill Creek Sports out in Washington.  They are good people and will treat you right.

Like I said, I am not paid to promote Mill Creek Sports.  They are not a sponsor.  They do not kick me some freebies (I wish they would!).  And I am in no way affiliated with their company.  I'm just a fan of Mill Creek and if I had any money I would buy some stuff from them.  But, alas, your humble author is still broke!

*Edit:  The Mill Creek Sports guys were nice enough to shoot me a logo which is now an active icon on the right of this page.  Click to check them out!

Trending Down: CC Sabathia

There was a time in the not-too-distant past that CC Sabathia was one of the premier talents in Major League Baseball.  That was like...last year.  CC had proven that he was dependable and durable and consistent.  This year, it seems as if the wheels have fallen off for the 33-year old.

His performance this year, an inflated ERA and deflated win total, is the reason that the Yankee (former)Ace is trending down.  Way down, in fact.

I would venture to guess that Sabathia hardly registers on the collective radars of sports memorabilia collectors anymore.  In fact, on the interwebs right now I can buy this:

A Reasonable Buy

$25 will buy you this nice little 2002 Fleer cert.  Not too bad for what used to be the best pitcher in baseball.  Or, you can hit the Bay and find almost two dozen signed CC cards for under ten bucks.  

On one hand, his skills are declining and he ain't the spring chicken he used to be.  On the other hand, CC is someone who will get some attention when it comes time for the Hall of Fame (he likely won't get in, in my opinion).  So, what is a discerning collector to do?

Buy low, motherfucker!

Listen, CC plays for the Yankees.  That immediately makes him more collectable than, say, Eric Milton.  Eric who?  Exactly.  Anyway, CC has been an all-star, Cy Young caliber player for many years and, yes, he will be remembered as one of the best of his generation.  Therefore, collect the player.  Always buy low!!!  Now that his products are reasonable, go ahead and pick some up for your future generations.

One should note that Sabathia has one of those "exclusive" deal things with Steiner Sports.  So, please be careful not to get gouged by Scott Steiner and his cronies.  

A Steiner "Deal":  $249.99

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Coming Soon: 2013 Topps Heritage Minor League

We are about a week away from the newest release of Topps Heritage Minor League hitting the shelves. least to a good thing.

Topps Heritage Minor League has been a consistent favorite of mine for the past three or four years.  Not that the product is chock full of hits, mind you.  It's just that for those of us that dabble in the TTM world, this product gives us lots of cards to send away.  The minor league players are usually much better than the majors guys for sending something back to you in the mail.  So, Topps Heritage Minor League is a front runner for my favorite set of the year.

Sure, there can be some sure-fire "hot" cards in the release.  A couple of years ago I sold a Mike Trout relic for a ridiculous amount.  There's always hope that there will be a Trout-like stud in the bunch.  But, as with everything, that may not be the case.

Anyway, here's a look at what I could find around the interwebs about Topps Heritage Minor League:

Once again, not a bad looking card.  Vintage-style, you know?  Hey, it's Heritage.  What more do you expect?

The product is good for set collectors.  It's fairly reasonable in cost.  So, when it hits the shelves I will be sure to buy at least a few packs to give you all something to see.  

Release date on these bad-boys is 9/20/13.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

2013 Topps Tier 1

So, as far as higher-end baseball sets out there, here is one that I may be able to...hell, who am I kidding?  I can't afford anything more expensive than Pinnacle right now.  But, 2013 Topps Tier 1 came out a couple of weeks ago and I missed telling you all about it.

Turns out, Tier 1 is getting hammered by collectors out there in the interwebs world.  "Not worth it", "Redemptions for relic cards?", "Best hit was Jean Segura", etc, etc, etc...  Normally, I don't really get on the hate train when it comes to buying product.  But, since it turns out I won't be buying any of this stuff, I think I will actually listen to my brethren out there that have actually bought themselves some Tier 1.

Truthfully, I really like the look of these cards.  Here's one for you to see:

See there?  A nice lookin' card.  Clean, simple, a little space-agey but that's ok.  If I had the money I may actually buy a box.  But...but...the box buyers are the one's that are killing this product on the boards right now.  So, here's what I would do.

I would...get this...look for a card out of Tier 1 that I really this one...

Andddddd...I would just buy it.  Yep, this seems to be the feeling around the baseball collecting world. Wait for the singles, then scoop them up.  Because, well, they are sweet cards.

Longoria, Pele, Griffey Jr., Cal Jr., Gwynn, Musial, Bench, Pedroia, Kaline, pretty much all the heavy hitters have signed for this set.  But, I'm not sure at the rate in which each signed, how many, etc.  So, if you buy a box you may wind up with something akin to this:

Not that there's anything wrong with hitting on an Adam Lind.  Well, there probably is something wrong with hitting on Adam Lind.  But, for more than eighty bucks a box I want something more.  I want to hit on Hank Aaron or Stan Musial.  They are sexier, for reals.

So, do what you want with this years Topps Tier 1.  I might...might...see if I can scrape together a few shekels for a nice little collection piece.  Or I might just let this one fall by the wayside.  But, you, my dear collector friend, can do as you wish.

It's your money. 

Big props to cardboard connection for the info on Tier 1.

Found Me A Lasorda

Snooping around the used book pile at a nearby shop, I stumbled across this gem which was personalized and signed by none other than Dodger great Tommy Lasorda.  Turns out to be a good find because I had yet to include a Tommy in my smallish HOF'er collection.  Here's a pic of the autographed page.  I wrote about this particular book in a previous post...and I have no idea who Hugh is...

Now, there is no way that I can authenticate this autograph for certain.  I am definitely not going to send it into an authentication agency.  Screw that.  I paid next to nothing for the book and will have to go on blind faith that it is legit.  For comparison purposes I found a certified Lasorda on the interwebs and we shall compare it here.

They look pretty close to me.  Good enough and done deal.  I'm pleased with this find and if any more baseball-related autographed books come my way, I will certainly share with you all.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Show The Love - Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn.  Maybe the best contact hitter I have ever watched.  Of course, I wasn't alive for Joltin' Joe or Tyrus Cobb.  But, for my money, Tony Gwynn Sr. just may be my favorite hitter ever.

Gwynn didn't even look much like a baseball player.  His body shape was not unlike fellow Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett.  Round-ish.  Not pretty, at all.  But, what made Gwynn was not his body type, it was his keen batter's eye.  Really, the dude could just about hit anything.  You could probably pitch him some grapes and he'd smash 'em right back at ya.

Anyway, Tony doesn't really seem to get the love from collectors.  Much like the aforementioned Ozzie Smith, Gwynn's auto and memorabilia could be easily afforded.  For instance, I could hit up the eBay right now and score a certified Gwynn auto for about 25 bucks.  If I wanted a SS baseball...well, that would set me back 75-100 bucks.  These are great friggin' prices for memorabilia of one of the greatest hitters that ever lived.  Collector's just forget about players past and always jump on the hot young stars of the game.

Don't forget your history, my collector friends.  Gwynn, Smith, Kirby Puckett, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Mattingly, Sandberg, and Dawson should all be on your "to get" list.  Most, except maybe the deceased Puckett, could be had at a fairly reasonable cost.

So, anyway, Tony Gwynn was awesome.  He played for one team his entire career.  Three thousand hits.  Hall of fame.  Seemingly pretty humble and of good character.  What else do you want here, folks?

Tony Gwynn.  Amazing f-ing hitter.

That is all.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Show The Love - Ozzie Smith

I just have a lingering question:  Why, in the world of sports memorabilia, doesn't Cardinals Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith get more love?

While he was playing, "The Wizard" was easily the best defensive shortstop to play the game.  Heck, he may have been the best ever.  Some would say, "Defense isn't enough".  Have you never watched a YouTube video of the guy?  All over the place, acrobatic, made the routine plays as well as the tough plays...Ozzie was a defensive animal.

Offensively, Smith was no slouch, either.  He ended his career with over 2,400 hits and almost 600 stolen bases.  In an era where shortstops were not expected to hit, not even a little bit, Ozzie was a titan with the bat.  

The Hall of Fame voters knew Ozzie Smith was worthy when they voted him (on the first ballot, mind you) to their class of 2002.  The induction was memorable and well-deserved.  Smith was a class act on the field and off.

So, why don't collectors give him the love he deserves?  Right now, I could go on the bay and find a certified auto of Smith for roughly $25.  That's insane.  This was a man that defined his position in the era in which he played.  For those who collect signed baseballs...well, you can find a SS certified ball of Smith for between $75-100.  Crazy good prices.

My only thought is that his prices are low because Ozzie is a good signer.  Seems like he signs all the time for just about every company and you can find certified autos in multitudinous sets.  

I just think we need to show Ozzie some love.  Tony Gwynn, too.  But, Gwynn is another story for another time...


Check out if you get a chance.  He has a decent web-site.