Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Redemptions. Love them or hate them?

Baseball card redemptions.  We've all gotten them one time or another.  Personally, I hate them.  If I can't get the card right then, I am disappointed.  Not to mention all the horror stories I've heard about it taking months to years and some people not getting them at all.  Most people just don't see the point, including me.  If a card company can't get a signature of a player in time for the product release date, just wait until next year.  This is my first redemption and I'm hoping to just trade it away.  If not, I will just redeem it and pray!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dec. 23, 1975: Seitz's decision creates free agency

The announcement forever changed the baseball landscape, though at the time it affected just two players.

But in less than a decade, Peter Seitz's decision 34 years ago this week -- Dec. 23, 1975 -- had resulted in millions of dollars for the players and a new buzzword in the sports world: free agent.
Seitz, an independent arbitrator working with baseball, ruled that Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally were free agents based on their decision to play the 1975 season without signing their contracts. Under baseball's reserve clause -- written into every player contract -- owners had the right renew a player's contract for one year following the expiration of the original contract. For almost 100 years, this language was read to mean that a team could renew a player's contract in perpetuity.

Messersmith and McNally, however, challenged that clause by playing the 1975 season without signing the contracts submitted by the Dodgers and the Expos, respectively. Seitz ruled that -- by playing one year without a signed contract -- the players were now free agents, eligible to sign with any team.

The baseball owners immediately challenged the decision in court, but the ruling was upheld in federal court. The players and owners then negotiated a new basic agreement before the 1976 season that gave the players the right to become free agents after six years of major league service.

Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Marvin Miller, who advised Messersmith and McNally to challenge the reserve clause through the arbitration system, negotiated the new basic agreement for the players. In the next seven years, the average salary in baseball increased from $50,000 in 1976 to more than $240,000 in 1982. Today, the average salary is about $3 million per season.

"It was less of an economic issue at the time than a fight for the right to have control over your own destiny," Messersmith said.

McNally retired following the 1975 season, but Messersmith -- who led the National League with 19 complete games, seven shutouts and 321.2 innings in 1975 -- quickly became the target of a baseball bidding war and signed a three-year, $1 million deal with the Atlanta Braves. He won just 18 big league games following the Seitz decision, but Messersmith's challenge to baseball's economic status became one of the seminal moments in baseball history.

Story by Craig Muder, who is the director of communications at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I've really been collecting a lot of Justin Verlander cards.  Got my first 2005 Sweet Spot Signatures Red Stitch Black Ink (140/350) and I am very disappointed in how these cards hold there auto's.  When I received this card the signature was really faded.  I thought I must have gotten a badly stored card so I did a search for others like it.  I found that this is just a defect, as I call it, of the card itself.  I guess the signatures on the baseball really don't hold up.  I won't be collecting anymore of these.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Two great cards in my collection

2000 Black Diamond Rookie Edition #145 Roy Oswalt Jersey & 2007 Upper Deck Elements Essential Elements Albert Pujols Dual Jersey.  Roy Oswalt just doesn't get the credit he deserves.  If the Astros could score some runs he could be a 20 game winner every year.  Albert Pujols has just been the best offensive player of this decade.  I just hope nothing ever comes out about him using steroids.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mike Lowell probably going to be a Ranger

The Red Sox and Rangers are both comfortable with the framework of a deal that would send Mike Lowell and cash to Texas for Minor League catcher Max Ramirez, but multiple sources indicated it could be another two to three days before the trade is finalized (Per  This could be a possible big blow to the Red Sox.  Personally, I'm not a big fan of his but he seems to be a good clubhouse guy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Curtis Granderson to the Yankees?

The New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers are on the verge of the first major trade of baseball's winter meetings, a deal that would send Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson to New York.  Granderson is a great player.  I would personally hate to see him goto that team but good for him.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My best pull to date was too long ago

I was in my first year of college when the 1993 SP baseball product came out.  I saw these at my local shop and really wanted some.  Didn't have much money but I did have a bunch of things I no longer needed.  I remember gathering together some things likes CD's (even a Vanilla Ice CD) and other misc stuff from the garage.  Took them all to the pawn shop and sold them.  Went to the card shop and got me a bunch of packs.  Opened them up and man was I excited.  I pulled a bunch of great cards including the Derek Jeter # 297 foil card.  I am not even a Yankee fan and hadn't really heard of Derek Jeter but I loved the card anyway.  Wasn't worth much then but I kept it since I didn't trade or sell my cards until a couple of years ago.  Today I am a huge Jeter fan so I am really glad I pulled his best rookie card.  Great guy and future Hall of Famer.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A couple of my Albert Pujols graded RC's & 2009 highlights

Albert Pujols is the best hitter in the game right now.  On May 21, he hit a memorable upper-deck HR off the "Big Mac Land" sign in left field, causing the 'I" in "Big" to be knocked out.

Pujols was the leading vote-getter for the 2009 MLB All-Star Game, receiving 5,397,374 All-Star votes, the highest number of votes in NL history.  For the All-Star Game, which took place at his home ballpark of Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Pujols participated in the Home Run Derby and caught President Barack Obama's ceremonial first pitch before the All-Star Game.

The 2009 season marked the ninth consecutive season since the start of his career that he has reached 100 or more RBI and 30 or more doubles, and the fifth time he has hit 40+ home runs and won his first home run title. In 2009 Pujols also played his 1,000th game at first base.

Pujols tied a club record with his 10th multi-home run game of the year, the 33rd time in his career in a 5-1 victory, Sept. 9, raising his league-leading slugging percentage to his highest ever (.698) at so late in a season.

On Sept. 20, he hit his 40th double of the season, making him the second player in major league history to hit 40 doubles and 40 home runs in three separate seasons (2003, 2004, 2009), joining Lou Gehrig.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My favorite baseball player of all time is...

My favorite baseball player of all time is Dale Murphy.  I was a Braves from very early in my life.  I lived in South Dakota in a very small town with my grandparents.  Only sports channel I could get was WTBS which carried all the Braves games.  Also got WGN so I did watch the Cubs too but they just didn't excite me like the Braves did.  Other Braves I liked were Bob Horner, Glenn Hubbard, Rafael Ramirez, Claudell Washington, Bruce Benedict, Bruce Sutter, Steve Bedrosian, etc.  I live in Houston, TX now so I am a Astros fan also but still collect and root heavily for the Braves.