Sunday, January 27, 2013

I Found Joe Torre

Hey everyone.  I found Joe Torre.  You know Joe.  He's the former manager of those most-hated Yankee teams that one like a zillion championships.  Yeah, that Joe.  I found him.

So, as I am sometimes found doing, I was a in a thrift shop (usually it's a used bookstore) digging through their stacks of books looking for gems.  You see, what I have found over the years is that people don't care to look before tossing books in the "to donate" pile.  I have found many books signed by authors, and some big names too!  I won't share many of these on "The Curve" because I may just dedicate a blog to the art of signed book collecting.

But, going through the stacks o' books, I see a Joe Torre book.  It's one of those business management type books where someone lowly like me gets tips from a big shot or champion.  This was one of those books.  The price was right, fifty cents, so I picked it up with the intention of buying and then actually reading the thing.  When I opened the cover, lo and behold, Joe had signed a bookplate that someone had affixed to the title page.  I'm not a big fan of bookplates but, hey, it's Joe Torre aaannnnnnddd it was only fitty cent.  Pretty sweet.

Needless to say, I was stoked.  Might just have to throw this one up on the EBay.

PS...The plate looks exactly like the one above.  Except that it's totally different.  It's not for The Yankee Years.  It's a bookplate for an investment company or something (T Rowe Price, maybe?).  It must've been done at a speaking engagement.  But, it is a legit Torre sig.  Matched it against the one I got in person in 1997...a perfect match.  HA!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Every Collector Has One

Yes, every single collector out there has a favorite card...or the ULTIMATE card.  For me, it is the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card.  It's not the best card out there.  Hell, it's not even close. But, Griffey was my favorite player during that time period and I searched and searched and tried to find a little foil pack with THAT card in it.  I failed.  I still don't have that card, even though I could easily afford it now that I have gainful employment.  I'm sure I will own one soon.  It's just a matter of finding a good one...

The Ultimate Card.

What is your ultimate card?  You could own it or your could have coveted it for many years...which one is it?  Send me an email or comment and I'll share your ultimate card.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Earl & Stan...RIP

What a sad day for baseball.  Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Earl Weaver both passed today.  Weaver died at age 82 and Musial died at age 92.

Both men were beloved by their respective organizations.

Musial was known as a lifelong Cardinal and an icon with the fans of St. Louis.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.  Over the course of his career, Musial collected 3,630 hits while slugging 475 home runs.  He is largely regarded as one of the best ballplayers to ever tug on a uniform.

Weaver, on the other hand, was never a great ballplayer.  He gained his fame and recognition by the fans of Baltimore by serving as their manager for seventeen seasons.  Weaver was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996 after winning 2,540 games with the Orioles, the only team he ever managed.  The Orioles won the World Series in 1970.

Rest in Peace, gentlemen.


Is Bowman Sterling Worth The Money?

That is a question that I have every time I shell out a few bucks for a pack of Sterling.  Is it worth the money?  Yes, you get four cards.  Yes, three of them are autographed.  And, as a bonus, a serial numbered "base" card is thrown in for good measure.  But, at fifty it worth it?

My answer is a steadfast...I don't know.

Like many other Bowman products, their true worth isn't known until many years down the line.  Bowman is well known for putting players on cards (1st Bowman card, etc...) that are YEARS from sniffing even the High Minors, let alone the Major Leagues.  So, the value of these cards is a big unknown.  Unless...

That is, unless you get a big hit, a case hit, something totally bitchin'.  Like this card of Bryce Harper...

Or you could get a sweet-ass card like this killer Yu Darvish 1/1...

However, you are most likely to get something in the neighborhood of this card...

I pulled this awesome (sarcasm) Luke Bard base auto in the last pack of 2012 Sterling that I bought.  Boy, was I thrilled!  That was weeks ago and I'm STILL friggin' pissed about pulling that piece of crap.  But, as with anything Bowman, this Luke Bard could (highly unlikely) pay itself off in a few years if old Luke could actually make it to the big leagues and do something like make an All-Star team.  Or, I could just throw it up on the 'Bay and sell it for a few rupees.  

So, is Bowman Sterling worth it?  Well, it sure is a pretty card.  Very nicely designed, etc.  But, if you aren't pulling a big hit then you will be waiting a long while to see if your investment has paid itself off.

Patience, with Bowman, is a virtue.

Patience, in real life, sucks ass.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Am I Missing Something Here?

Seriously.  I have to be missing something.  Ricky Wright.  Journeyman...didn't play long in the league, at all.  Twelve Hundred Bucks (as of today) for a signed 87 Topps card.  What is going on here?  Please someone tell me.  I'm baffled.

AND IT HAS 18 BIDS?  What the Hell!!!!

Cubs OF Tony Campana Signing 1/12/13

Apparently, Tony Campana lives here in town.  I thought he was a Cincy-guy (he is) but there are reasons why he wants to live in our little city.  Which is cool.  Dude lives less than a mile from me.

Anyway, Eddie, who is the owner of our LCS, set up a free (everyone likes FREE) signing with Tony this past Saturday.  Tony signed anything and everything set up in front of him and he was super great with the kids.  I was impressed.  Tony seems like a genuinely nice young guy and we are proud to have him living (at least six months of the year) in our humble, East Tennessee town.  Annndddd...the black Rawlings Big Stick bat he signed for me looks freakin' phenomenal.  Thanks, man!

Some things overheard at the signing:

"He's smaller than I expected".  -Tony Campana is not a big fella, true.

"If you ever need a bridge built, here's my card." -An engineer said this to Mr. Campana.  Awesome.

"That deaf guy needs to get that shit out of my face." -Just a douchebag customer in line.

"Could you make it out to The Greatest Guy You Ever Met?" -A fan with a jersey to be signed.

"My Spanish isn't so good.  Just ordering food, I did a lot of pointing and hand motions." -Tony Campana chatting w/ myself about playing in Venezuela this offseason.

It was a really good signing with a personable young athlete.  Many thanks to Eddie at Sports Treasures LLC for getting Tony to come into the shop for a few hours.  

2013 Bowman Inception

Well, it looks like Bowman is going to throw yet another product out into the already-crowded market starting this year.  The product is going to be called Inception.  Apparently, the cards will be only rookies and minor leaguers that fans can hope to "be there at the beginning", or inception, of their careers.  A few years ago I would have loved this product.  It looks pretty cool and back then I was a bit more into prospecting than I am now.  Inception looks to be a loaded set for those prospectors.

Each player will have many (at least 8) parallel autographs.  Here's what I understand...every prospect will sign a bunch of cards.  The breakdown kind of looks like this:

Gold Auto /99
Blue Auto /75
Orange Auto /50
Green Auto /25
Red Auto /10
Purple Auto /5
Inception and Framed Printing Plates 1/1's

There's also going to be some dual autographs, a bunch of relics (boo, relics are beat!), auto-relic cards, patch cards, and more.  To me, this seems like it's gonna be a pretty good box for the prospector.  Lots of hits will equal pretty expensive, though.  So, beware on that front and save your pennies.

This card is pretty bad ass, I admit.
I got lots of this information from the guys at Cardboard Connection, who do a great job with reporting on the hobby.  Show 'em some love and visit their site.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

No Joy In Mudville...Ummm Cooperstown

So, just gonna throw my two cents into the whole Hall of Fame election voting stuff.  For those of you that do not know, the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) voted no one into the hallowed halls of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown for 2013.  This is the first time there has been no class elected since 1996.

I see the side of the voters.  I really do.  There were players entering the fray this year that were playing right in the middle of one of the more controversial times in baseball history:  "The Steroid Era".  However, there were players on the ballot that truly deserved to be in the hall and have never been even whispered with the Bonds' and Palmeiro's of the Craig Biggio.  Biggio was a class act on the field and off the field.  You would be hard pressed to find a person to be able to condemn anything in his personal life or what he did on the field.  I understand the voter's hesitance on Biggio:  He's not really first ballot material, he was never the best hitter on his team (that would be Bagwell), and he never won a championship.

This voting class was tough.  If Bonds wasn't so prickly with the press and wasn't right in the mix with illicit substances, he'd have been a first ballot guy, for sure.  Same with Roger Clemens.  But, we are coming up to the time when we all though there might be some problems with who to elect into Cooperstown.  There will be some tough decisions to be made; I'm just glad I don't have to be the one to make them.

In the early '90's, I thought I would like to be present at a Hall of Fame induction if two things happened:  Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn (two of my all time favorites) got in together...they did, and I didn't go.  Aaaannnnnddd...I thought it would be awesome to see Bonds, Clemens, and McGwire get into the Hall together.  None will get least for a long time.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Everyone Likes Free - A Little Giveaway

How about a little giveaway?  I mean, everyone likes to get something for free, right?  Just comment or email and I will send you three (Yes, Three!!!) unopened, unsearched packs of 1987 Topps Baseball.  This was the set I first started collecting back in the day.  I loved the faux-wood grain.

Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Larkin, Will Clark, and Bo Jackson all had notable rookie years in 1987.  This set's got 'em all.

So...join us.  Follow us.  Get free stuff.

You can even have the twenty five year old gum.  Yum.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Interesting Interview

Jamieson's Book.  I stole the image from Amazon
Check out this link for an interview with Dave Jamieson, author of "Mint Condition".  That's a book I have not read but will put in on the "To-Read" list.

Anyway.  The interview is pretty good and deals with how the hobby had crashed (pretty much completely) in 1994 and the effects it had on the industry.  Not bad stuff.  Worth the few minutes to read, for sure.

Harper On Cover Of New Beckett

Harper On Beckett, Again.
Well, it looks like Nationals phenom Bryce Harper will grace the cover of Beckett Baseball monthly for  February 2013.  Apparently, the folks at Beckett are going to put Harper on the cover of every other price guide for the next year.  I don't have full authority to say that.  But, I will say it.  It's good to take care of one of the cash cow's of the industry, right?

On a side note:  Does anyone use Beckett anymore?  Seriously.  If you are going to sell a card don't you usually price your item competitively with Ebay?  I do.  Maybe I'm just strange, though.  But, I suppose Beckett can get you a ballpark figure.

Congrats, Bryce.


Welcome to Can't Hit The Curve - A Collector's Haven.

For years, I have been contemplating starting a small blog where collectors can gather information, guest post, find out what's new and what's hot in the world of sports memorabilia.  This is what I came up with.

What's in a name?  When I played baseball, I could never, EVER, hit a curveball.  Fastballs were fine...even an occasional knuckler.  But, the curve?  Nope, I could never hit one.  So, as my baseball career (if you can call it that) died down and I went off to college I was still a fan of sports.  Many a fan, ones that can never play the sports they love, often turn to the world of collecting memorabilia and cards of the teams and players they admire and respect.  This is what I did.  I became a collector.  An aficionado.  Well...a nerd.

So, here's the site.  Hope you like it.

Let's see what kind of damage we can do.