window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-12381093-3'); A Cardboard Problem: July 2009

July 31, 2009

I almost feel like I am at the National - almost

With modern technology, you could sit in your home and feel like you're any place in the world. Today, I almost feel like I am at the national card show because of Twitter and Facebook.

It sounds cheesy, but it's true. There are so many updates from those that have been able to make the trip that I have been able to stay informed throughout the day. If you Twitter, some of the best people to follow are @JamesRyanJ and @SportsCollector.

On Twitter, if you do a search for #NSCCShow, you will find dozens of tweets on people at the show and commenting about the show.

If not for them, I wouldn't have known Topps doesn't have a booth there. If not for them, I wouldn't be drooling over all the of tables that set up for the show.

Sigh, and if not for them, I wouldn't actually want to feel like I want to be in Cleveland.

So, while I cannot get to the show this weekend, this is a good alternative. I also look forward to reading everyone's blog posts on those who were able to make it out for this.

2010, here I come!

Could your favorite player be obnoxious?

I was thinking about this for a few days since Albert was in Philly. Sooz had told me a story she heard that Albert told a reporter when asked a question, "You're a writer, make it up." Now I wish this came as a shock to me, but it didn't. I had heard some other things from people asking for autographs, or people paying to go to MLB type dinners that he refuses to talk to people or sign autos. Does this bother me? Only a little bit because really, the odds of me meeting him are slim to none. I also think that part of the reason why he doesn't approach fans to sign autographs is because maybe he thinks they will just end up on eBay that night, and for what his signature goes for I can't say he would be wrong in thinking that.

This isn't the first player I have followed that I have heard bad things about. George Brett is one of my all time favorites. I know a few people who have met him at dinners and said he is a nasty drunk and wants money for an autograph. Great. Do I care? Not so much, but figured I would throw that out there. Any evidence to refute that would be welcomed since I always liked Brett.

While I can kind of understand why some of the old players like Mantle charged for autographs later in life as a result of not making much money while they were playing, I still don't think it's right. Older people, not children want to ask those guys for autographs because those are their childhood idols. Not that younger people don't want them but it's probably different for people that are in their 50's or 60's. I just don't think it's right for any player to charge for an autograph but when everything ends up on eBay, I see why they can get frustrated and maybe only sign for real little kids.

I haven't met many baseball players, but the one of the ones that I did meet was Bernie Williams. The nicest guy on Earth, great personality and very friendly. I met him when I was very young (and so was he), on cap day and he came over and signed all the kids caps behind homeplate back when you could stand there during batting practice and be a kid. I also met him a second time at a bar in Tarrytown, and I couldn't resist saying hello. I didn't ask for an autograph or anything I just went up to him and introduced myself and thanked him for all the things he did for the team over the years.

Anyone ever meet their favorite player only to be disappointed in their demeanor and personality? I'd love to hear about it, whether it's good or bad it would be fun to share stories.

July 30, 2009

Marie is expanding her work

In case you guys haven't checked out the Upper Deck Blog today, you missed out on Marie's post.

She wrote about being a female card collector and a Yankees fan. I think Upper Deck likes her as well with all the money she has spent on Yankee Stadium Legacy and O-Pee-Chee.

Here's an excerpt from the post.

"Hello, my name is Marie and I am a season ticket holder for the Yankees.

That statement has to be the one that gets the craziest looks from most people. One of the things I have learned over the last few years is that people, mainly men, are absolutely amazed that I have season tickets for the Yankees by myself. Women shouldn’t be sports fans, much less have season tickets right? Most people feel the need to go with someone, or they go with their boyfriends and husbands. Yet I have no problem going alone."
Click here to read the full article.

Great job.

July 27, 2009

Jeter and the Yankees

I came across this article in Beckett (get over it), and I am showing it off here because it is one of the most true price guide lines they have come out with in recent memory. From working in a sports memorabilia store, and being a Yankee fan in general I have become very familiar with the going rate for items like these. While I don't buy any of them, they value is quite accurate if you ask me, or probably any other Yankees fan.

The part of the page that I found most interesting is that the price of some items is determined by the season it was used in. Honestly, how would a consumer know the difference anyway? Game used jersey cards could very well be jerseys that were pulled out of a Modells, but we take the companies word for it. It's like Tommy's father said in Tommy Boy, "a guarantee is only as good as the man who writes it," or something like that. The point is, if you trust the card companies and Steiner (rip off artists) then you're golden. Would I pay $2,000 for a smelly cleat? No. Even if it were worn by Jeter? Nope. I have my own worn shoes here, thanks.

While I do own one signed bat, I got it a long time ago as a gift before the prices on this stuff went through the roof. Has anyone ever paid an extreme amount of money for a Yankee collectible like this? I had the opportunity to buy my seats from the old Stadium but since I only sat in them once, I saw no point. I always sat in RF and my seats were technically in LF, so those seats really meant nothing to me for the price they were asking.

Considering what Albert supposedly charges Upper Deck per autograph it really makes me wonder what the value of his items are considered to be by Beckett, or retailers in the St. Louis area.
(Image borrowed from the August 2009 issue of Beckett Baseball)

July 26, 2009

Sunday Question: What product would you buy?

I thought it would be interesting to start a new post, which will come every Sunday. This way, we get to learn a little bit about each other in the process and have a little fun at the same time. I'm going to try and make all of the posts related to trading cards in some form, but occasionally, we may change it up a bit.

Here's the first question:

If you could purchase one product from 2009, what would it be?

You don't need to have one word answers. I'm curious if some people are waiting to see products live because I know Goodwin Champions will be high on every one's list.

So let me know, I think this good be fun.

July 25, 2009

This is how you know you have a problem.

Sadly (or as I see it, happily) I am like a big kid in many ways. When I go to a store I usually have to leave with something, call it spoiled or call it bad with money it's just how I'm programmed. Last night I stopped at Shoprite, which sounds innocent enough but there was the temptation right at the exit- the trading card vending machine. Now if only they had these in schools and workplaces people would have way more fun than they would if they bought Skittles.

I saw this pack on the top row with a cost of $0.75 and thought it looked mildly suspicious. My spidey senses were tingling when I saw the Yankee Stadium Legacy ad card in front, yet the side profile of the pack looked like Upper Deck base cards, with some Topps mixed in. I knew there were not going to be any YSL cards in there but was curious how UD and Topps ended up together. So out came the wallet, out came the dollar, and I said, "Here goes another waste of money," and in the machine it went.

For $0.75 it was a nice thick pack, with what seemed to be many cards. I put it between my phone and wallet and pushed the cart to the car and opened it up. It must have been a promo pack given to stores or at a show because it was a bunch of 2008 National Trading Card Day cards. I wasn't disappointed, but thought it was strangely cool. I have never seen the Topps ones from 2008 so that was a cool find. Here is what was in the pack:

Another day, another dollar.

July 24, 2009

I promise not to buy anymore...

blasters of 2009 O-Pee-Chee. (Do I have a secret stash?? You'll never know...) Though I love them so very much, I just can't continue doing it mostly because I ran out of coupons and don't want to spend $20. At $13 bucks it's really hard to resist, but $20 doesn't sound quite as tempting. I'm currently sitting at 472/600 and waiting on cards from gcrl, Sooz, and I think Stale Gum which leaves me in decent shape to finish the set at the show in August or by trades soon.

This last blaster had a little bit of everything that you get in a hobby box more or less, and only cost $13. I haven't had a chance to log the black parallels yet but I do believe I have over 100 (I'm telling you I have issues), and some doubles that I am hoping to trade for some black parallels that I don't already have. I'd like to complete the black set also, but not really on my high priority list of cards at this point.

Here are the highlights:

Of course they are Red Sox.
I really like this subset, just haven't encountered a Yankee yet.
I absolutely love him back in the Seattle uniform. Not sure why but I feel like he looks like himself, and it kind of adds to the retro feel of the card.
Holy moly!! Two pieces of gu jersey that have stripes? Must book for at least $50 (haha), however since I don't care for any of these guys I'm willing to trade it.

I will be posting a list of my doubles from this set so we can trade for the cards we all need to complete this for those of you out there that are doing the same. I have also (for the most part) updated my want list of OPC and others.

July 23, 2009

I finally got it

It took many months of patience and bidding attempts on eBay but I finally got my 2009 Topps Heritage Albert Pujols C10 Chrome Refractor. Amen. Thanks to Amy for trading that and a bunch of YSL cards for the 1954 Bowman Burgess card.

Now for another card that I can cross off the want list that I never even put on there because I'm lazy. Dan over atSaints of the Cheap Seats was kind enough to send along a Career Best game used (so they say) bat card of Robbie Cano, which may complete the game used portion of Cano cards from 2009 Topps for me, I will have to check. I hope I can find something he might like, though I do think I have a little something to e-mail him about shortly.

My last piece of mail was from eBay, and was quite the bargain. eBay sponsors an "eBay bucks" program that is offered to select members, it may be open to everyone now I'm not sure and I accumulated $3.82 or something like that. I found the 2009 Allen & Ginter N43 Albert Pujols for $4.95 free shipping as a buy-it-now and pounced on it. The card cost me $1.13 total, and I couldn't be happier because the rest can be used to be some other thing I don't need on eBay.

Now onto big business... Does anyone have any Pujols from 2009 Allen & Ginter that they would want to trade me? I already have the mini, and mini black border as well as the N43. Let me know.

Imagine if ...

What would happen if one of your favorite players was traded to the team you hated? I never really had to think about this because the Yankees and Red Sox don't trade with each other.

Sure, in the days of free agency, this type of thing happens often, but not to me. The only player with the Red Sox that I liked was Gabe Kapler. But he's more eye candy than anything else.

While reading last-minute emails and messages before bed, I came across a post on a blog that mentioned Kevin Kouzmanoff and the Red Sox in the same sentence. It didn't say Kouz should get traded to the Sox, but it made me wonder.

What happened if the hat Kouz wore turned to this:

Mike Lowell isn't have a good year, and Kouz could certainly do better. The old 'change of scenery' trade might just shatter my Kouz card collection.

I like being prepared for the worst. So for those out there who have had to deal with their favorite player changing allegiances, what have you done with your collection?

(If I was good at photoshop, I might have actually tried to see what Kouz would look like in a Red Sox uniform, but then I would be afraid my eyes would bleed.)

July 22, 2009

Latest article on Cardboard Connection: Jesus Montero

I recently interviews Yankees prospect Jesus Montero for an article I did on the Cardboard Connection.

Nice kid. He's only 19 and has a world of talent.

Here's the article I did on him.

Me getting his auto and the interview were two seperate occasions. The interview came first.

July 21, 2009

More O-Pee-Chee madness

Most of the blogosphere seems to be obsessed with the 2009 Allen & Ginter and while that has totally passed me (us) by here we are all about the OPC set. I just can't get enough of it in every sense of the word. I have bought more of this product than I will even admit to myself much less all of you for fear of being punched for sheer stupidity. However, I have had a blast working on this set and I am inching closer by the day and still have 3 Target coupons left, 1 blaster, incoming trades, and a 1 way ticket to the looney bin will surely follow.

I won't say that I am very, very tempted to finish the set in black parallels as well. I think it will look cool because I plan on putting this set into a binder, which I will pick up at the show in August. I think we should orchestrate a blog meeting there, I am planning on going Friday when they first open because I am silly. I do have quite a few black doubles if anyone would be willing to trade with me for ones I need.

Anyway, some of you expressed interest in seeing my blaster break so here it is (I am writing this while holding a pile of Biology notes I should be studying). It only took me roughly 9870 packs to finally get #200 Derek Jeter. Now if I could come across one for my Jeter binder that would be sweet. Here are the highlights, though I didn't scan all the black parallels. I ended up getting 26 base cards that I needed bringing my total to 447/600, not including cards Sooz has for me and some that Stale Gum has for me.

Mini (1 in the box)

Anyone that has some for trade, please check my want list and let me know which ones you have available. I have plenty of doubles for trade as well. Back to the books I go (somewhat reluctantly).

2009 Allen & Ginter mailday

I went to the post office to finally mail out all the trades I owe people, some I still owe more cards I think, and found bubble mailers in my mailbox. My favorite kind of day-eBay deliveries. I picked up the first and so far only 2009 Allen & Ginter cards I own on eBay the other night and they arrived very quickly. It was a 2 card lot that I won for a somewhat pricey $6.23, however I figure if I try and buy these at the show in August it will cost me more. I also will not say that when I was in Target last night the 6 blasters of 2009 Allen & Ginter on the shelf tempted me. I was even holding one despite my stance on banning opening this product for fear of ferris wheels and beavers. I ended up with my usual and moved on, which you'll hear about later.

Then the next envelope was another eBay gem. It was from the 2009 Lgendary Cuts, another set that I own zero cards from so far. I would like to open some packs of this, but it's just too much money and I can get the cards I want at the show instead. I got this one for $4.50 and thought it is a white jersey swatch, I really like the design on the card. It does resemble a stamp, but something about it just strikes me the right way.

The final piece in my mailbox is a card that I have been waiting for since I first saw it. Dan from Grand Cards sent himself on a mission to find me this card and he came through. Me and Dan are best trading buddies lately. This card made my day, not that the others didn't but I have been waiting for a while to get my mitts on it. A 2009 Goodwin Preview Albert Pujols.

If anyone has any 2009 Icons of my guys, or Legendary Cuts please let me know.

July 20, 2009

etopps 7/20 release

This week etopps is offering:

Joe Mauer

Brett Anderson

Prince Fielder

Barack Obama

(Image borrowed from etopps)

I won't say I tried to order a couple of Obama for quick cash on eBay.

I took one for the blog

Actually Visa took one for the blog, but that isn't what matters here. What matters is that Target was absolutely exploding with products when I went Friday night (yes, I spent my Friday night looking for baseball cards like a nerd). This Target had roughly 3 boxes of many, many products opened and ready for rummaging (might I add, there had been no searched boxes all were neat and appeared to be just put out), and blasters as far as the eye can see which is roughly 4 or 5 deep on the shelves.

I was so excited I could have done a cartwheel if I knew how. I really wasn't crazy about any of the packs because I am over UD Series 1&2 because I have the cards I want out of there with the exception of YSL, and Stadium Club retail=boring, Heritage ehhh been there done that. But the blasters were where it was at for me. 2009 UD Icons was an instant impulse grab, then upon further inspection on the 3rd shelf (yes, 3 completey full shelves of all kinds of blasters), in the second row I saw the 2009 O-Pee-Chee that I just can not stop buying. I need to stop because it seems like the only cards I end up with that I need out of these are the black cards, and like 6 base cards which isn't that great. I did pull a GU Jersey out of my last OPC blaster so that was cool. I also had a couple of coupons which I was able to use yet again making the Icons purchase a little easier to do.

I know what you're thinking, but you knew what you were getting by the title, "A Cardboard Problem". It wouldn't be a problem if I had self control.

There were 10 packs, 5 cards per pack in each blaster with "one jersey card per box" promised. Here are some of the highlights, as well as a bit of an annoyance.

In the first 3 packs I ended up with 5 Yankees, which made me super happy. Jeter and A-Rod were in one pack, Joba and Mo in another, and Wang by himself.

There was a Vlad silverboard parallel.

A Kevin Jepsen Rookies RC serial numbered 199/999

2 UD 20th Anniversary cards that I could have done without and traded for a Pujols.

A Carl Crawford Icons GU Jersey card.

Now, here is the annoying part of this purchase. Several of the cards have silver where they aren't supposed to. It's not silver from the wrapper, but looks like silver from the card itself like it was smeared or hit the machine a second time. It is kind of annoying for the money, and since you only get 5 cards per pack it's a little hard to shrug off this many plus 3 others that weren't as noticeable. I know it wasn't from the wrapper because not all of the cards were on top, nor is it shiny silver but flat silver.

So there you have it, folks. Will I buy another one of these? Absolutely not. Why did I buy it you may ask yourself, well because it was to have a little fun and show everyone what they look like and what could come out of a blaster. I did enjoy opening it, but the damage on the cards is annoying me, and I'm not sure if I like the design. I am very impressed with getting 5 Yankees in the box though no Pujols... Go figure. I wonder if I sent UD all my damaged cards and asked for just a Pujols in return if that would happen.

If you all aren't overly sick of OPC I will post that break later. I have been hiding some of the breaks for fear of everyone running far away.

July 19, 2009

It's good to be a fan

The reasons we wanted to be a sports reporter sometimes gets lost in the daily grind. We deal with daily deadlines that must be met. It doesn’t matter if your computer crashes or your phone doesn’t work. You find a way to get the story in. Some athletes are tough to deal with. They find sports reporters to be intrusive (and we can be) and try not to deal with us even though we still have a job to do.

It’s not always fresh roses as the fantasy paints it.

However, that’s not saying you’re not allowed to have fun.

One of the reasons I collect baseball cards is because it allows me to remain a fan even when stuck at an extra-inning game that already had a 97-minute rain delay. Collecting baseball cards allows me to enjoy the parts of the game I loved as a kid and made me want to pursue this vocation.

Once you stop being a fan, you become those crotchety old men who only know how to complain and forget that you write about a game for a living.

This past week I was on vacation and told myself I was just going to be a fan. I went to the Eastern League All-Star Game on Wednesday night. I got there around 3:15 p.m., for the autograph session and came away with just one signature.

It was Yankees prospect Jesus Montero, who is playing extremely well in double-A. (He hit a grand slam on Saturday.) It was the only thing I wanted.

I almost didn’t get the autograph because there were literally two minutes left until the session was over - after standing on line for 40 minutes – and about seven or eight people in front of me. I looked at Montero, waved the ball to him, he reached out, grabbed the ball and signed it.

I felt a little strange doing this considering just two weeks ago I interviewed Montero for a little piece I did for The Cardboard Connection. I hoped he didn’t recognize me, but I wore my glasses that day. That disguise always worked for Superman.

On Thursday, I went to Lakewood to watch the Phillies single-A club. It was Cole Hamels bobblehead night and I got nice bobbing head doll of Hamels holding the World Series MVP trophy. Bowling Green won 14-11, but was up 9-1 at one point.

I saw a little bit of everything in that game, including an inside-the-park home run.
It was good to be a fan this week. Now, I get back to vacation feeling refreshed.

July 18, 2009

Kouz's Big Stick

As Marie delightfully pointed out last Saturday, it was my birthday. Despite coming from a large family, I got an underwhelming amount of gifts for my - ugh - 29th birthday. We had a little party at my brother's house that including red velvet cake Marie bought for me and plenty of food.

Mind you, I asked for the party at my brother's house in New York, which is two hours away from where I live.

My boyfriend bought me gifts, which I could never complain about. My parents gave me money. However, I am going to show off the gifts Marie got me because, well, they're awesome.

First in the gift bag was this Kouzmanoff t-shirt. I've wanted for a while, but I figured since my family and friends know me so well, someone would eventually buy it for me for a birthday or Christmas.

Marie got it.

This was the biggie present. I knew what the object was when I saw the box. You kind of don't have a choice, but I didn't know exactly what it was.

My first guess was that it was a Louisville Slugger with my own name on it. That's a pretty cool gift and do those kind of things.

However, I was much happier with what was actually in the box.

It's a Kevin Kouzmanoff signed game-used bat. Marie got me Kouz's Big Stick for my birthday. I couldn't be happier.

I think my boyfriend is getting sick of Marie's presents.

July 16, 2009

Request of Fellow Bloggers

I have decided I am on a mission for a 2001 Fleer Platinum Albert Pujols RC (amongst others). I just really like this card and anyone will to trade it to me will be greatly rewarded, either in cards or cookies.

This blog is sponsored by the number 5 and the letter P.

From Old School to New School

The other day (more like 4 days ago maybe), I got a bubble mailer from John at Old School Breaks. I was quite surprised by it since I don't remember speaking to him about anything, and we all know how much I love surprises. He sent me a whole heap of Yankee Stadium Legacy cards, along with a 2006 Bowman Heritage Cano GU Bat card and 2007 Pujols Co-Signers that I didn't have. Super awesome and very much appreciated.

I will see what I can put together for John in the upcoming week. As far as other mail goes, I haven't been to my mailbox in days as usual. I will be sending out cards I owe people tomorrow and Friday, I promise.

I just can't wait until August 6th when I am done with these classes and can catch a break. I already warned Sooz that when I'm done I'll be on her doorstep.

My desk is an absolute nightmare of piles of unlogged cards, outgoing cards, doubles, and whatever else. Just looking at it right now is making my headache worse. I hope to accomplish some card related things this weekend, as well as lining up some blogs, and perhaps a contest of some sort to keep you all interested and entertained. I also discovered an unopened blaster of Goudey I forgot about, can't believe it myself really but now there is fun for later and it feels like it was free since I have no idea where it came from.

Now go check out Old School Breaks A&G Gint-A-Cuffs blogs.

July 14, 2009

2009 Homerun Derby

Congratulations to Prince Fielder for demolishing Prince Albert. Pujols looked so stressed last night trying to have a good time, it was almost painful to watch the guy. I'm almost kind of glad that he was eliminated somewhat early because that just didn't look fun to him. He also didn't use his normal swing while doing it so I'm not really sure what to think about that.

The reason for the blog is because I am wondering if anyone was as bored as Sooz and I were last night? We watched the Derby together and neither of us were all that into it. For me personally, it had nothing to do with Albert. I was pretty bored last year before Josh Hamilton, the God of last years Derby stepped up. Hamilton gave last years a heck of a thing to compare to, but that was really the only excitement we saw then as well.

Maybe it's becuase they changed the rules over the years, or maybe it's because we have seen the homerun record broken*, or seen guys hit over 70 homeruns in a season that this just isn't fun anymore. I remember watching this as a kid and was always excited for the Derby more so than the game because I loved watching Griffey Jr. smash 'em. The rules now I find ridiculous. Hamilton last year hits 28 in ONE round, and loses?! Come on. The guy hit more homeruns in one round than some players hit in a season, and he goes home with a pat on the back.

I don't want to sound cynical about the whole thing, but it's just odd to me to not really enjoy something that much when in years past I looked forward to this event and sat glued to my tv. I found out 5 minutes ago who won last night, that tells yous something.

July 12, 2009

2009 All-Star Game

I know many of us will not be going to the All-Star game this week, but if you talk a peek over at MLB's website, you can get a program from the game with pretty much whichever player that was selected to the team on the cover. Very tempting for me to pick up one of these, but I only get programs for games I have actually attended. I do really want this one, and I am pretty sure at the end of the week it will be on sale for 50% off or something crazy, if they have any Pujols left.

Just thought I would share the info with everyone since most of us collect specific players.

We should make bets on the Derby tomorrow. I'll take Pujols. Not sure what the bet is, but whatever. I'm open to suggestions.

July 11, 2009

2009 Allen & Ginter

It seems as though most of the blogosphere was eagerly awaiting their pre-ordered boxes of 2009 Allen & Ginter. I can't really understand it anymore, and that says alot because I am a big fan of vintage reprint sets like Heritage, Goudey, and in case you didn't see O-Pee-Chee (which I have a post to write later about a blaster of that).

Every year I end up buying Ginter, and every year I end up bored and disappointed. I have more than enough Ferris Wheel and Groundhog cards to last me a lifetime. The only cards I am interested in, in the set I won't get in a pack, blaster, or box so there is no reason to bother. Past years I have been suckered into it, and this year I just can't see buying a set that has looked the exact same since it has hit the stores. We all see that I will generally buy one of everything, usually more than one, but this doesn't do it for me.

I will still take the burden of Pujols cards off your hands (and Cano, Lind, Martin, etc.) but I just won't have any from this set to trade. I will end up trading for the guys I want or picking them up at the show in White Plains in August.

I can hear you all gasping from here, sorry...

Happy Birthday Sooz

Happy birthday to the best friend anyone could ask for. Who else will go Target hopping with me or mapquesting 30 card shops across state lines all day?

July 10, 2009

Extras from work: Interview tidbits with Andrew Bailey

Here's an article I wrote about Andrew Bailey for work.

This is the blog post I wrote at work about him. I like the part about baseball cards. I also confessed to him that I collect baseball cards and he didn't laugh over the fun. So, it was fun.


New Jersey native Andrew Bailey made it to the MLB All-Star Game. He's 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA and nine saves. Bailey was born in Voorhees and grew up in Medford. He has family scattered throughout southern New Jersey, including grandparents in Brigantine.

You can't get everything into a story, so here are a few highlights from the interview that won't make it into Friday's story on the Paul VI High School graduate:

Premise: Oakland just played the Boston Red Sox, where Nomar Garciaparra made a name for himself. Garciaparra spent parts of nine seasons with the Red Sox and made his return to Boston on Monday. Garciaparra received an amazing ovation from the crowd, showing their appreciation. He never won a World Series with Boston, but was on the team for the start of 2004.

What was this weekend like in Boston with Nomar Garciaparra? "That's something I will never forget. Nomar was huge to the Red Sox and for them to embrace him the way they did was amazing. He had a couple of tears in his eyes at the plate. I don't know how he kept his focus. It was something I was proud to be a part of."

Premise: Bailey grew up a Phillies fan, went to many games, and watched them on television as much as possible.

When do you stop being a fan and realize that it becomes work? "Last year when the Phillies won the World Series, I was jumping up and down celebrating. I was in the Arizona Fall League watching it on TV. At heart, I'm still a Phillies fan, but if we ever play against the Phillies, I'm going to do my job. I would consider myself a Phillies fan, but I pitch for the A's. You do lose a little fan in you."

Premise: Like many children, Bailey collected baseball cards of his favorite players and team. Children are doing the same with him.

How does it feel seeing yourself on a baseball card? "It was crazy the first time I saw myself on a baseball card. A kid asked for an auto and gave me a card. I asked him where did he get it and he gave me one. That was my first card of myself. I try to get at least one card of me that comes out. I think it would make for a cool collection."

Premise: Bailey's family has been with him through the whole experience and they travel as often as they can to watch him.

How differently do you feel when your parents are in the stands? "I remember when they came out to Anaheim. I was excited for them. They had this dream for me as well to play. When you're sitting in the bullpen, you look out in the stands and you see them. The first game they saw my pitch, I looked at them and I saw they had tears in their eyes. It gets easier down the road as you get more and more confidence."

Is it difficult playing on the West Coast away from your family? "No, I've been playing on the West Coast for a while. It's good for my family and friends now because they can just watch the games. They don't have to listen to it on the computer. MLB Extra Innings must love it though because they got a boost in sales."

Besides your parents, sister and girlfriend are there any others going to the All-Star Game for you? "I think seven friends from college are flying out. I told them I don't know if I have time to see them. They understand and said to do what I have to do and enjoy it. They just want to be there to hear my name called in the All-Star Game. I still can't believe they are going to call my name."

July 9, 2009

This coulda been Marie

I've added two new players to my collection

I already collect three guys (one more than the others), but I've decided to throw two more names into my collection hat.

I only collect guys when I feel something resonate with them. With Derek Jeter, he was part of my youth. I watched help being the Yankees their first World Series championship in 18 years. It was the first of my lifetime. There isn't a single Yankees fan out there who can say they don't like guy. In fact, there are many Yankees fans who like the team solely because of him.

I started collecting Kevin Kouzmanoff based on his heritage. He's comes from Macedonian descent and there aren't many people from that background playing in Major League Baseball.

Gabe Kapler is just hot.

The two guys to my life are Jesus Montero and Francisco Cervelli. They are both catchers in the Yankees system and I adore them both.

I was fortunate enough to interview Montero last week. He won me over despite me thinking he said "Minnesota" and not "Venezuela" when I asked where he was from. Montero told me the greatest day he ever had was getting to play at Yankee Stadium last year with his family in attendance. He always told his dad growing up (the kid is just 19) he would see him playing on TV one day. He got one better and saw him live in one of the most historic sports complexes.

So he wins a place in my collection.

When it comes to Cervelli, I just enjoy the way he plays. He was sent to triple-A on Wednesday to make room for Jose Molina, who came off the DL after a two months. Cervelli did well replacing Molina and Posada, for a time. I truly enjoy his game

We all know where this goes. If anyone has any Montero or Cervelli cards and are looking for a trade. Hit me up at yanxchick at gmail.

Yours truly,

P.S. I also love catchers.

July 8, 2009

2009 Homerun Derby

The first four participants in this years Homerun Derby have been announced. They are Albert Pujols (31HR), Ryan Howard (20HR), Adrian Gonzalez (24HR), and Prince Fielder (22HR). These four guys are enough to make the American League shake in their cleats.

The one thing that worries me is Albert leads MLB with 31 homeruns and I just hope that this doesn't mess his timing up for the remainder of the season. That would be awful especially considering in the first half he hit more homeruns than most guys will all season.

I would love to see Pujols and A-Rod square off in one of these someday, or even Hamilton after watching the moonshots he was hitting off the wall behind me in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium last year. Homerun Derby is definitely a ton of fun if you can make it to one.

1954 Bowman Update

I talked to my uncle about what to do with these cards and he told me to sell them or flip them, whatever I want he will go along with. So, I'm open to offers.

The cards I have from that set are here, and I have one other that is not in good shape at all.

July 7, 2009

2009 O-Pee-Chee Hobby Box Break

Over the weekend I broke my hobby box of 2009 O-Pee-Chee baseball, and I had a ton fo fun doing this one. For one there was 36 packs of "fun-ness" to open, and second I love these cards. This was my first hobby box this year, which defies all of my normal spend, spend, spend logic of years past. It was incredibly fun, and will probably lead to disaster on future purchases.

I decided to give a breakdown in an easy way for those of you keeping score at home.

36 packs per hobby box, 6 cards per pack

Zero doubles in the box

6 20th Anniversary cards

1 New York, NY card of Hideki Matsui (of course)

1 black mini

1 Triple Game used card

1 Blank back

1 blue Old Time looking card

91 base cards were needed

68 were doubles that I already had from the million other packs I opened.

336/600 is where I currently stand on completing this set.

Here are the rest of the inserts:

Here are some of the more fun cards, for me anyway.

Overall, I was very pleased with the contents of this box despite the fact that there was not a Jeter base card. I was equally mad that I didn't get Lind or Cano, however Baseball Dad (Tribe Cards) sent me a Cano, but still mad that after all the packs I have opened he has excaped my clutches. The best part of this box was that there were no base card doubles which happens very rarely, if ever, so props to the distribution.

I want to finish this set, and part of me wants to finish the black version of the set as well. Then the smarter part of me takes over and says, "Hey, remember you were supposed to be focusing on Yankee Stadium Legacy." Then I hear the gong, make the sad face, and stop thinking about it. Between Sooz, and Waxaholic I am going to trades some doubles and hopefully some of you guys have some doubles to trade as well.

I haven't put together a want list just yet, but if you have a couple you want to send just let me know the numbers because it may be a while before I post a want list since the other class I am taking started yesterday.