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?