Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
It's very easy in the hustle and bustle of daily life to forget the things we are thankful for.
This nation, even in challenging times of war and economic uncertainty has been blessed like few countries ever have.
So raise a glass to freedom and thank the Man Above for the simple things we take for granted that millions around the world could only dream of.
Many of us spend more money on trading cards in a month than many people around the world make in a year.
Keep that in mind the next time you "just have to have it."
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Tommy Baxter becomes first to complete UD's Yankee Stadium Legacy set.
Gets the opportunity to meet Derek Jeter, among other prizes.
Tommy Baxter, a 36-year-old precast concrete specialist from Little Rock, Ark., has just accomplished something no one else in the world has been able to do: put together Upper Deck’s gigantic 6,600-plus card Yankee Stadium Legacy (YSL) collection. Baxter, an avid Cubs fan, seized the opportunity to become the first collector to piece together Upper Deck’s enormous insert set, which pays tribute to every single Yankees home game ever played at the historic venue since its doors opened on April 18, 1923. “I’ve put together plenty of Upper Deck sets in the past, so I figured this was just one more to complete,” said Baxter, whose 11-year-old daughter, Madeleine, helped him sort and collate the thousands of cards. “I really didn’t take it seriously at first, but once I got through that first series of inserts, I knew I had to finish it.” That first series of insert cards appeared in Upper Deck’s 2008 Series One Baseball set, which released on Feb. 5. That’s when Baxter got started. The cards fell at a ratio, on average, of one in every four packs. Within two weeks, he had collected 200 of the YSL cards; he only had 6,461 to go! Nine more Upper Deck baseball trading card products were released over the course of 2008 that have each contained various YSL cards from the overall set. Baxter’s feat, therefore, is a study in patience, persistence and stick-to-itiveness. It also proved to an expensive pursuit. “I would estimate I spent a little more than $15,000 putting this set together,” said Baxter, who mentioned he finished the set the night before Halloween. “I remember it was a Thursday, since those were the days we’d collate the cards. Madeleine would go through and sort the cards every week. That night we knew we had this thing licked.”It would have been sooner, but despite his best efforts with buying and trading the cards with collectors from as far away as Taiwan, there was one single card that eluded him: No. 4,272. “It had Ron Guidry on the front. I couldn’t find that card anywhere. Nobody had it,” said Baxter. He was recording each of the YSL cards online at a special website Upper Deck debuted earlier this year, www.ownthelegacy.com. He was watching his numbers climb almost every day, but No. 4,272 was nowhere to be found. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Inside of October’s final week, Baxter received the card from collectors in New Jersey and Florida. “I couldn’t find that card for seven months and then I got four of them within a week,” he said. Once he had the complete set in hand, he quickly packaged up his work and shipped it off to Upper Deck headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., for verification. Upper Deck staffers Chris Carlin, Terry Melia and Carrie Peterson certified the contents of Baxter’s shipment. “All the cards are in,” said Carlin, Upper Deck’s hobby marketing manager. “Tommy’s accomplishment is incredible. He’s the first person to complete the set, so we’re ecstatic and very happy for Tommy and Madeleine.” Baxter’s prize for completing the entire set of insert cards is multi-tiered. He and his daughter will receive an all-expense-paid trip to New York City in the spring at which time they will take in a Yankees game at the new venue and meet Yankees Team Captain Derek Jeter. In addition, since 2008 marked the final MLB season in the old stadium, Baxter will receive 81 additional YSL cards chronicling the Yankees’ last campaign which brings the grand total of games played (and cards produced) to 6,742. And, of course, he will get all of his cards back to display proudly at home. “You know, I was never really a big Yankees fan, but I did always admire Don Mattingly,” said Baxter. “I liked his work ethic and I guess I always had a penchant for guys who could hit over .300 every year.” Upper Deck still has four prize openings left for any other collectors who are able to piece together the entire Yankee Stadium Legacy Collection. The word is there are a few people who are just single digits away.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
When I re-entered the Hobby in the fall of 2000, after taking a typical hiatus in my teens and 20's to pursue girls, partying, college, and travel, I must say I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least. One day a friend of mine asked me, "Hey, when was the last time you were in a baseball card shop or have seen a baseball card?" The answer was obviously not in a very long time. I remember him showing me a Roger Clemens card with a piece of fabric embedded in the card. I asked him what it was and when he replied, "A piece of a jersey he wore in a game.", I was floored. He then proceeded to show me cards with autographs on them from Ryne Sandberg and Tony Gwynn and at that moment I was hooked.
From the cancelled World Series, due to the player's strike in 1994 (I was still bitter until the Sox when in '05 because they were unstoppable that year) until the Home Run Chase between Sosa and McGwire in 1998 I had boycotted baseball, disgusted that the greed of both the players and owners caused a World Series to actually be cancelled. With baseball having received my forgiveness, combined with being turned onto a whole new era of collecting and having disposable income as a YUPPIE DINK (Young Urban Professional, Dual Income No Kids) I dove head first back into the Hobby.
The first 3-4 years were a whirlwind, I wanted it all. I was dumping $300 or more a month on new product, tickled pink with every memorabilia, serial numbered card, die-cut, refractor, autograph, and complete base set I accumulated. It wasn't long after that before I began to question if that was all I was really doing, accumulating, versus actually collecting. I continued with my habits for another year. Then my first daughter was born. Diapers, formula, clothes, etc quickly ate into my Hobby budget. It was time to take a good hard look at my "collection" and determine, "What DO I collect?"
I started the process by asking myself in a somewhat morbid and hopefully not self-fulfilling prophecy kind of way, "If there was a flood or fire, what would I be most bummed to lose?" Well, when you come at it from that perspective, the answers come pretty quickly. It became obvious that my player collections focused around Cal Ripken Jr., Nolan Ryan and Shoeless Joe Jackson. My team collections were dominated by my hometown of Chicago obviously, across all sports. Being an all-sports fan, I realized I had been collecting cards of athletes I like in Indy Car, Golf, Olympians, Wrestling, etc. I also think chic athletes are cool, especially if they are hot, so I have a Sports Divas collection dominated by Danica Patrick, Amanda Beard, Jennie Finch, Trish Stratus, and Stacey Keibler. (and yes WWE is entertainment but it is athletic entertainment)
My second favorite sport is hockey. I love the speed of the game and the grace of the play making, the aggressiveness and the sportsmanship. Being from a town that hosts an Original Six franchise with the storied history that the Blackhawks do, it was easy to get hooked on hockey. Because I love the sport, I also collect key RC's of the league's best players.
While I am still a sucker for busting packs and boxes, discretionary income is nearly non-existent now with 2 kids, I have to stay focused. Being a player collector is tough today. There was a time when it was possible to collect every single card of a player ever produced. The 1-of-1 changed all that, but that's OK. Outside of set building I have never had that "completist" thing that a lot of collectors feel. So I enjoy my Ripken, Ryan, and Shoeless Joe collections for what they are.
One of the great things about collecting is that it is something my wife enjoys as well. When we first met in 1998, she was, and still is, a HUGE baseball fan. She helped me work through my grudge against the sport. She is from Ohio and a huge Indians fan. Her favorite player, has and always will be, despite being older and playing in San Francisco, Omar Vizquel. I turned her onto the Hobby and she has one of the most impressive Vizquel collections. Because he is not collected like Ripken and Ryan. she has multiple autographs and even game used bats, 2 in fact!! I will never in my life, be able to afford real game used memorabilia for my player collections.
So that's what I collect, why and how. Now, anybody up for a trade?
Oh . . and yes, I'm still a sucker for modern cards from that legendary Dodgers team of my youth.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I remember opening my first pack of Topps Stadium club baseball. I was thrilled with the pictures and the high-end feel of the cards and I didn’t mind forking over some extra dough in the process. I am happy that this set has returned to baseball and it has taken another quantum leap and that’s not easy to do since this product has been creating high hopes since it returned to some of the other sports.
McFarlane Toys will soon release NFL Wave 3 and if collector’s ride this one they will find it to be one of the most interesting and satisfying sets to date!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
My apologies to Topps.
I hereby resign from blogging . . . . . .
Beckett Still Sucks!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Am I hearing things? OMGLMAO!!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"A federal jury ordered the NFL Players Association to fork over $28.1 million for refusing to cut retired players in on their marketing deals. "
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Today I received this letter in the mail:
Basically stating, congratulations, thank you for your NPN entry, as a valued customer, yadda, yadda, yadda. This card was enclosed:
A brown border framed parallel of Justin Morneau from '08 Masterpieces.
So a trivia contest, and the winner gets the card. (Multiple correct answers will be drawn from a hat)
Who are the only two players in NBA history to start a season with 20 points and 10 assists in their first 5 consecutive games?
Friday, November 7, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Measuring approximately 17x20 and depicting legendary, Yankee's Shortstop, Phil Rizzuto. This piece presents beautifully and combines a black and white 8x10, manufactured commerative patch and UD Authentics on-card autograph, all housed in a glass fram and numbered to 350.
Good luck finding any of these on the secondary market, as once again player collectors snathced up their favorites in a hurry. Unopened boxes are rarely found and when they do expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $250.