Friday, January 29, 2010

The game used 'nightmare' begins to take shape

This post was taken from a thread on by BigGuy219.

With the recent admission by Topps that it erred in judgment when labeling their relic cards as 'memorabilia' in 2009 Tribute and other products, I fear we're about to get a glimpse at the man behind the curtain. We now have an admission from the leading sports card manufacturer that they denoted no difference between seat and bat in one of their most prominent (and expensive) products of the year.

But, let's delve a little deeper. Numerous board members began to question the authenticity of several of the relics in the set, most glaringly Babe Ruth. None of the customers received a straight answer when contacting Topps for further information.

Are we expected to believe that Topps spends thousands of dollars on material attributed to arguably the game's most iconic figure and maintains no readily available documentation or database that tracks such material? It is either deceitful or incompetent on their part when replying to those inquiries.

A similar situation happened to me in 2007 with a Mantle relic out of Triple Threads. The 'jersey' swatch looked a little too white and I contacted Topps for additional information. They told me they had no idea what it was and that they couldn't help me. Again ... the player who has defined Topps since the company's inception ... and they are not tracking what they buy and where the material is placed? Ludicrous.

If these are in fact authentic game used items of players like Mantle, Ruth, etc. then the company has to be internally tracking it because of the amount of the company's capital it represents. The fact that the Topps representatives do not know, nor offer up anyone else to consult who does, has me very, very nervous.

When you purchase a game used item ... even from the 'vintage' era ... the vast majority of the time the piece is presented with provenance, dated information, factory records, etc. Yet none of this information has yet made it onto the back of a trading card or into a searchable online database of records for its customers.

Hillerich & Bradsby, the company that manufactures the famed Louisville Slugger, have records going back pretty much to the days when the Pittsburgh Pirates were the Louisville Colonels, and numbering and labeling on the bat can pretty much narrow down who it was made for and when. Yet none of this makes it onto the card. When dealing with pre-war players the situation becomes even more murky. Numerous companies manufactured bats in the era (Zinn-Beck comes to mind) who are no longer in existence the records were conveniently lost in a ubiquitous fire. Bats of this kind, without documentation only expert opinion and provenance, result in prices of about $1,000-$2,500 for serious Hall of Famers like Jimmie Foxx and Rogers Hornsby. Bats of those same players can sell for upwards of ten times that if it is a Louisville Slugger with accompanying factory records. I can only assume that the bulk of the pre-war bat relic cards are comprised of the lesser, as it comes down to simple economics.

I am very uneasy about my considerable HOF relic card collection these days.

I will say this. At least Donruss had the decency to take a picture of the item and throw it on the back of the card with the COA some years back!

Monday, January 25, 2010

2006 Flair Showcase Stitches Andy Pettitte Jersey

Here is my newest Andy Pettitte jersey baseball card.  Got it in a trade on  I like that he's in a Houston Astros uniform too.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

24th Tristar Houston Sports Collector's Show this weekend

I will be an exhibitor at the 24th Annual Tristar Houston Sports Collector's Show.  Show dates are January 22nd-24th at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.  I haven't missed this show as a customer in 10 years but this is my first time as a vendor.  I will be selling sports team dog collars (NBA, NCAA, NFL, MLB).  Check them out on my website ( come to the show (  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jan. 20, 1966: Ted Williams elected to Hall of Fame

Ted Williams lived up to his nickname at the plate. But during his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility, the votes were anything but splintered. Williams, often referred to as the “Splendid Splinter” for his hitting ability and his slender build, was the only player elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in the election held 44 years ago this week: Jan. 20, 1966. He received 93.4 percent of the vote, good for the 18th-best percentage all-time. But despite the fact that only one player was elected that year, that 1966 BBWAA ballot turned out to be one of the deepest ever. Of the 47 players on the ballot who were not elected that year, 18 of them have been elected since.

Nolan Ryan cards just recieved

Just got these Nolan Ryan Topps baseball cards in from year 1974, 1975, 1977, & 1979.  I love older cards much better than most of the newer stuff they come out with today.  Nothing better than going to a card show and searching for some old cards you want and trying to find them in the condition you want.  You can't go wrong with this guy.  Definitely in my top 5 players I collect.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hoping Tim Lincecum has another great year

How can you not like this guy?  It very exciting to watch him pitch.  His pitching style looks funky but its effective.  Lincecum throws a fastball in the mid-90s that can sometimes reach 98-99 MPH.  This pitch has little lateral movement, due to his overhand delivery and the speed at which the pitch is thrown.  He also has a big breaking curveball that is thrown at about 80 MPH.  Lincecum uses a changeup that he grips similar to a splitter to offset his top two pitches and keep batters off-balance.  His changeup appears similar to his fastball for the first 30 feet, but then breaks down and in toward a right-handed batter as it approaches the plate, with a good 10+ MPH velocity difference from his fastball.  He has recently added a cut fastball which breaks down and in against left-handers.  With his power fastball and plus secondary pitches, he has quickly established himself as one of the top pitchers in the game.  Can't wait for the baseball season to start.  Visit Tim's website to learn more about him.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Greg Maddux card just in

Just got this card in a few days ago in a trade off  Greg Maddux 2002 Leaf Certified Fabric of the Game #135BA serial numbered 35/100.  It's just a plain jersey thats ok with me.  Maddux is a future Hall of Famer and has a lot of great stuff to collect.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to keep track of all your baseball cards

An organized baseball card collection is a more fun and more valuable collection.  You should do your absolute best to come up with some type of system that works for you in helping you keep your collection organized.  There are more and more fancy tools to help you do this, but the key is to just do it.

I like the software that Beckett uses on their web site called “My Collection”.  The “My Collection” tool is a great way to keep track of the cards that you have and it also displays the current book values of each card and of your entire collection.  Using the “My Collection” software you’ll be able to see all of the cards that your favorite player has, all of the cards of a particular set you are working on, online checklist, etc!

There is other baseball card collecting software available or if you’re good with excel you can create your own.  I personally used to keep all mine in a Microsoft Access database.  It got too hard to type in all the individual cards when I bought a set of 700 cards so then I switched to using  Just point and click then its added.  There are also some software packages you can buy as well like The Card Collector or Sports Card Tracker.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mark McGwire finally tells the truth about steroids!

Mark McGwire finally came clean today, admitting he used steroids when he broke baseball's home run record in 1998, but he also said he didn't need performance-enhancing drugs to hit the long ball.  McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade.  Later Monday, however, he disputed that the drugs gave him more power to hit homers.

This is great to finally hear him apologize for using steriods after all these years.  Mark has always been one of my favorite players to collect but I was disappointed with him denials.  Good for him.  Who's next???

For more details visit

Won these in a contest on Beckett

Just got these 2009 Bowman Chrome Prospects baseball cards in today from a contest I won on  A user with the username of PYWEED holds a contest each year after he buys 10 cases of this product.  Wish I had that much money to burn.  Anyway, I won and got to pickout a few of his doubles that are autographs.  What a great person to do that.  Join Beckett and maybe next year you can win.

Friday, January 8, 2010

2004 Greats of the Game Reggie Jackson Jersey

Just got this beauty in today from a trade on  A 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Yankees Clippings Reggie Jackson game used jersey baseball card.  I don't have much game used cards of Reggie so I just had to have this.  Even better it's shaped in the Yankees logo.  A great addition to my collection.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This is a classic Hank Aaron baseball card

Probably one of the first high dollar vintage cards I bought.  1964 Topps Hank Aaron #300 baseball card.  It will always be hard for me to acknowledge anyone else as the homerun king.  I plan on getting it graded at some point.  Not going to be a high grade but that really doesn't matter.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Andre Dawson joins the Baseball Hall of Fame today

Andre Dawson, an all-round outfielder who provided speed, power and superb defense, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.  Dawson, who won the National League Most Valuable Player award in 1987 with the Chicago Cubs, received 420 votes or 77.9 percent of ballots cast to win election in his ninth year on the ballot. Seventy-five percent was required for election.

I can't tell you how happy I am to hear this.  Andre is not only a great baseball player, but also a great guy.  I admired him when I was growing up and I still do.  I have several of his baseball cards including game used and autographs like the one above.  As a bonus for me, since he was elected he will make an appearance at the Tristar Baseball Card Show in Houston, Texas at the George R. Brown Convention Center on January 23rd.  Can't wait to see him.  Welcome to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  You deserve it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I love Topps Triple Thread cards!

I received my first Topps Triple Threads baseball cards and I couldn't be happier with the way these cards look.  I have been looking at these for a while now but they are pretty pricey so I was reluctant to buy some.  Finally got on eBay and snagged a few.  Cards are very sturdy and eye appealing.  Making the game used materials into lettering and numbers give it meaning instead of just a patch of clothing.  Go to your local card shop and pick some up.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Signed Andy Pettitte poster

I went to Deer Park High School the same time as Andy Pettitte so I really followed and collected his cards.  My step dad worked for a construction company that helped build a additional part of the church Andy goes too.  It was around Christmas time in 2002 so my step dad asked him if he would sign a couple of cards and a poster so he did.  They gave them to me on Christmas morning and I was really surprised.  Great additions to my personal collection.  You can say what you want about him now but I still consider him a great character guy and a very chariable person.