Three More Cards

Posted in Collecting, contest, mailday, Tim Lincecum with tags , , on March 5, 2009 by aybayz

I guess the last of the Road to 10,000 Hits Contest cards are coming in. I received one from Anthony yesterday, which was sent over the weekend. Pretty amazing that it could here in only three days, seeing as how there’s a huge snowstorm out East. Anthony, if you’re reading this, I forgot what you requested for the card so let me know and I’ll have it out for you. The other two cards came today from Dayf and includes an insert and a parallel? I’m not exactly sure what these all black cards are. I know they’re exclusive to Wal-Mart blasters and they look like a parallel of the base, except for the fact that even the background is blacked out. Error cards? Gimmicks? Who knows. I know they have a separate black parallel that is serial numbered to 58 and retains the background, which celebrates 58 years of collecting. If anyone could shed more light on what this black card is, that would be helpful. I know there’s been a few entries and articles on this, but I’ve been passing them by.  By the way, Dayf if you are reading, I also forgot what you wanted so guys, here’s the rest of what’s left from the hits contest; I remember someone wanted me to hold onto the Bonser so they could trade for it, but I forgot who:

- 2007 Sweet Spot Boof Bonser Blue Ink Ball #’d 238/299 (SS-BB)
- 2007 Sweet Spot Sweet Beginnings Signatures Travis Buck (139)
- 2007 Elements Elemental AuTographs Travis Buck (AU-TB)
- 2008 Masterpieces Johnny Bench Blue-bordered #’d 017/125 (98)
- 2008 Series 2 USA Baseball National Team Jersey Eric Surkamp (USA-ES)
- 2007 Sweet Spot Sweet Swatch Memorabilia Kendry Morales (SW-KM)

Here’s a look at my spoils:

Trust No One

Posted in blogosphere news, Collecting, eBay, Rant with tags , , , on March 4, 2009 by aybayz

That is the basic lesson that I learned from the reading Autograph Alert. Multiple blogs have cited their recent article on fake autographs. These autographs were written by an Autopen machine, which is something that I’ve never heard of. I guess back in the day, they had a machine rather than a rubber stamp? I’m not sure which is a worse type of autograph, one that is written by a machine, or one that is cut up so that it fits in a slab. I would guess the former would be worse. It is absolutely dispicable that these companies are hiding the fact that these autographs are fake. Especially Brian Gray and Razor. This completely re-enforces the idea that I will never purchase one of their products. How can they expect to compete with the Big Two if they can’t even bring change to the industry? They have not won over the trust of the consumers and I hope they burn for that fact. Maybe it’s a catch 22 because if Gray does come clean over the fact that those Oval Office signatures are fake, it is a huge hit to the company’s publicity. Even so, it never should have been authenticated as real in the first place. I don’t even understand how companies like JSA and PSA/DNA can even hire people like this Reznikoff character after what happened with those Kennedy signatures. What were they thinking?

I had this conversation with Gellman a few days ago over autographs and I really do agree that companies like PSA/DNA and JSA cannot be trusted to really authenticate items. I have shared my doubt before, especially with JSA just because of their checkered past. There was that one story that was in a newscast with JSA and how the reporter faked and autograph and it passed authentication at a card show. I was pretty ignorant to blindly trust PSA/DNA because I have not read any negative publicity about that company on a large scale. Maybe because they are also a local company. Gellman is absolutely correct that the only way we can really be sure an item is authenticated is if it is certified by the card companies. But even then, if the card companies are capable of blindly turning away in terms of these historical autographs, might they be evil enough to falsify certified autographs? They wouldn’t do that…would they? I sure hope not, otherwise, that would be the end (take that however you like). The only other way to ensure the autograph is authentic is to get an in person. I also tend to take a picture of the person signing when they are actualy signing the card. That’s as much proof as I need for myself and to show others, but I will never buy an in person autograph from someone else. There’s just too much trust that has to go into that transaction.

Autograph Alert is a great site and this story should be made into a larger collection of stories for a future book that parallels the problems and issues that plague the sports card and collecting industry. It angers me to know that they are getting away with it too. These fake cards are selling on eBay and eBay is even letting them get away with it. There has to be a way to bring consumer relations into this. How sweet would it be if they brought this into the public light by having local and national news crews to document what is going on? No where to hide now. Isn’t there also some way to sue the companies and authenticators over the fake autograph? I feel like there has to be if they’re authenticated by a trusted third party. But in the end, a lot of it is subjective. We always knew that there was a real danger in buying cards from eBay because they could be fake. eBay even goes as far to have a pop up message to warn you. Now that you can’t trust card companies to provide you with real autographs, who can you trust? No one.

Nothing funny about this trade

Posted in General baseball news with tags , , , , on March 4, 2009 by aybayz

Does anyone remember John Odom? He was the former Giants minor league pitcher who was traded for 10 bats sometime last year. I bet they had a ball making fun of that trade on the late night shows. An article came out in the San Francisco Chronicle today that reports about his death from a drug overdose. Something that was poked and proded as being something funny turned out to be tragic. An event like that really messes with your head after a while. A guy can only take so much. Apparently, the stunt wasn’t really done for publicity reasons. The team didn’t like to do cash trades because it would make the team appear financially unstable (if they wanted money back for a player), so instead, the team that traded him gave up 10 bats, which valued around $650. He actually has a link to Timmy too. Timmy bunked on his couch when they were teammates in Class A. Just goes to show that mental health is very important in how a baseball player turns out. I guess that’s why there are so many sports psychologists out there.

Lincecum’s MLB 2K9 Commercial

Posted in Off-topic, Tim Lincecum with tags , , on March 4, 2009 by aybayz

This is funnier than the previous one I posted. I also didn’t know he had a tattoo on the back of his neck, is that new? Weird…

Baseball cards on mainstream Yahoo!

Posted in blogosphere news, Collecting with tags , , , on March 3, 2009 by aybayz

I found this blog entry on Yahoo Sports today. I read Big League Stew from time to time, but this is the first time I’ve come across an entry on modern baseball cards. It’s nice to know there are other recovering addicts out there. Enjoy:

A recovering addict opens a pack of 2009 Topps baseball cards

Jamie Mottram is the blog editor here at Yahoo! Sports and can be found on the web at Mr. Irrelevant.

From 1986 to ’93, the most important thing in my life was collecting cards. Baseball, football and basketball mostly, but even a little hockey and Desert Storm. Honestly, I have the entire set of ’91 Topps Desert Storm cards, including the SCUD missile card, which is a keeper.

Since turning 16 and discovering the opposite sex, acquiring a driver’s license, etc., however, I’ve kicked the habit, only succumbing to it upon the annual release of a new series of Topps baseball cards.

This year, that exhilarating rush happened over the weekend when, upon searching Target for a humidifier for my daughter’s nursery (“a nice little Saturday”, indeed), I stumbled upon the “collectables” section.* Not really. I knew exactly where the “collectables” were. I walk by every time with hope that the 2009 cards have arrived.

Saturday was my lucky day. There they were, staring back at me. This year’s cover boy, A-Rod (above) may have been a bad choice, but I gladly purchased one 12-card pack for $1.99, the contents of which were as follows …

Enough about the packaging and price point. Let’s get to the product: How does this year’s Topps look? Well, like every other Topps set since the early ’90s, it’s generic, white, crisp, glitzy, hard to read and, ultimately, forgettable.

Seeing as how I’m also a “D.C. sports-addled” blogger, though, this is one sweet shot of L-Millz:

And, ah, yes, old reliable: the “Topps All-Star Rookie” team. Even if it’s the last all-star team Denard Span might ever be a part of:

Chris Lambert and the “Rookie Card” phenomenon makes me want to pour a little out for “Future Star(s)” of days gone by (@Gregg Jefferies, @Bo Jackson, etc.):

But at least Topps includes WHIP as a statistical category now. The arching “Six Degrees of Mantle” is a nice touch, though couldn’t they have found baseball’s Kevin Bacon-equivalent? And who exactly would that be? Rusty Staub? I’m going with Rusty Staub:

Another old reliable: “League Leaders”. Thank goodness Matt Holliday beat out Christian Guzman for third place, otherwise we would have had a case of “Which of these is not like the others?”:

As far as inserts go, “Legends of the Game” isn’t bad. Anything that teaches kids a little hardball history is to be encouraged. But someone should really tell Topps that George Sisler only played 20 of his 2,055 career games as a Washington Senator:

Rounding out the pack: Edwin Encarnacion, Tim Hudson, Kevin Maas (just kidding), Andy Marte, Kazuo Matsui, Daniel Murphy, Dan Uggla and Jerome Walton (again, JK), none of which are interesting enough to blog about.

* Yes, I realize “collectables” is an acceptable spelling and can be found in a dictionary, but I’ve never seen it that way and refuse to believe that Target uses British English when labeling its sections.

Error card or rare SP?

Posted in blogosphere news, Collecting, Tim Lincecum with tags , , , on February 27, 2009 by aybayz

Fellow reader Jay has come across this SP #166 1995 throwback design auto of Tim Lincecum from 2007 SP Rookie Edition. I cannot remember a point when I saw this card on eBay, but in my opinion, that is because this product doesn’t get much coverage at all. He thinks since the population sightings have been zero thus far (he said that it has come up once in three years), he has reason to believe that this is an “error” card. IMO, it’s just a regular SP with a sticker auto slapped on. I think a true error card would be 2007 Bowman’s best where Timmy’s weight is listed as 420 lbs. and his height is listed as 6’10″. So I leave it up to you, the readers to say if this is an error card or just a rare SP.

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We are also debating the value of this card. Based on past sales of similar cards (the regular base, albeit not an SP), I appraise this card at a maximum of $80-100. I really don’t think it’s worth any more than that based on the set it comes from and the sticker auto. That is my opinion, everyone else is entitled to their own. How much do you think this card is worth? How much would you pay for it? Leave your comments below.

Here is also an incentive for you guys. Jay is offering the first person to come up with evidence of a sale of this card a 2008 TCHC blue refractor #’d 34 of 200 Tim Lincecum.

More Xfractor Love!

Posted in Collecting, eBay, mailday, Tim Lincecum with tags , , , on February 27, 2009 by aybayz

YES! It’s finally here. I spent a pretty penny on this one, but it was worth it because now I have 3 out of the 7 parallels. Not that I’ll get all of them, but I love this product and I love the refractor parallels that go along with it. You don’t see these very often anymore on eBay either. I basically traded the value of my five Allen & Ginter silk cards for this one card. This takes over the refractor as my most centerpiece card of the collection now. I’m also up to 108 cards in the collection. The other base and refractor parallel are graded, but I think I’m going to keep this as is in a toploader. Here’s a look:

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