Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Props to the Mom N' Pops

At 22 years in business and counting, they must be doing something right.  I always like to spotlight the brick and mortar card shops, and I like when they get free pub even better, so if you're ever in the San Leandro, California area, stop by.......

Washington Manor Business Plays Its Cards Right

Sunday, December 12, 2010

There goes the college fund.........

This piece doesn't mention how much the kid, or his parents, paid for these, leading me to believe they were either really expensive or advertised as being huge bargains.  Regardless, you hate to hear this kind of stuff, especially when the hobby desperately needs more of the ones who brought 'em to this dance.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This Week In Unnecessary Card Releases

If I decided to take up a collection so we could buy up all these and burn them in a mass bonfire, how much could I put you down for? :-)  Maybe we should do a telethon for the cause.  At first I thought this was a joke, now I'm just going through all the Kubler-Ross "Stages of death". 

Justin Bieber Releases Trading Cards

 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I am serious.....he IS one of the Spectrum of Stars.....and don't call him Shirley

Leslie Nielsen might be one of the greatest comic actors of this generation.  If you ever want to keep me pacified for hours, sit me in front of the TV during a Leslie Nielsen comedy movie marathon.  Aside from laughing loudly and frequently, I won't get off the couch. 

As with many non-sports figures featured on the hundreds of products during the mass sports card overproduction of the past 15 years or so, Leslie Nielsen was on a baseball card.  Well, technically not a baseball card, but for lack of a better term.  Then again, he did pose as the home plate umpire in the first Naked Gun, so it's not like he never set foot on a Major League Baseball field. 

His moment on cardboard is remembered here......

Leslie Nielsen appeared on 2009 Upper Deck card

And now, a few of my favorite silver screen moments featuring comedy's "silver fox".....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"What If?" x 29

We all know how this movie will end, but in the meantime, Beckett Media's folks had a little "Fun With Photoshop" day and came up with "cards" for a certain free agent shortstop currently invoved in a contract soap opera with the team we all know he'll end up with when all is said and done.
Am I the only one who thinks the Photoshopping makes him appear to have a freakishly large head in most of these other unis?
TOTALLY FAKE BASEBALL CARDS: 29 Derek Jeters you won’t see in 2011 … and one you just might
XFRPVT4U3RE5
 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A game within a game, Part II

Alongside the Topps 60th Anniversary "Greatest Cards of All Time" promotion, Chad Finn of the Boston Globe has decided to come up with his own list.  The rules and regulations for his list are a little different, and I actually prefer his over Topps.  He is posting his list in 5 card increments.  Here is the latest..........

Top 60 Topps: Pack 2

 


Sunday, November 21, 2010

You're NOT the "Topps"

Among the cards Topps has put on the short list for their "60 Greatest Cards of All Time" (Voting ends November 30th, by the way), there are several unusual choices.  Here are a few things I can't quite wrap my mind around.......

  • 17 out of 100 cards are Mickey Mantle.  Granted, the guy is quite possibly the single biggest name in the history of the hobby, but really?  Approximately 1 out of every 6 cards are the same player? 
  • The card featuring Dwight Gooden is a relatively worthless insert and not his true rookie?
  • The 2007 addition to the list is a run-of-the-mill Jeter base card? 
  • Why is Barry Bonds there, but not A-Rod or Roger Clemens?

This article points out perhaps the biggest anomaly on the list of 100.  Granted, it has serious collectible value and qualifies as more of an error card than anything, but at the same time it represents who could be the biggest bust of the last decade (at least at the moment).  Then again, Josh Hamilton is proof that one can overcome even the longest odds and become a late bloomer as a superstar. 

Best baseball cards of all time include Bo Jackson ... and Alex Gordon?

 





Saturday, November 20, 2010

Card companies finally catch up to a man ahead of his time

As Roy Halladay was making history with a no-hitter in Game 1 of this year's Phillies/Reds NLDS, we mentioned that it took 5 years for Don Larsen's perfect game to be given its own card by Topps.  While most sports fans are at least casually familiar with this story thanks to the silver screen, it is interesting to note that it has taken 38 YEARS for a card of any kind to come to fruition, and it's good to see a man whose life ended rather abruptly get his due on cardboard.  Kudos to Panini for taking care of that..........

Football pioneer Ernie Davis has first card made

 


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Herschel Walker AUTO USFL Mini Helmet
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Friday, November 12, 2010

A virtual field trip

One man looks inside the Madison Square Garden of card shops.....quite possibly the single most praised AND criticized shop in the world among hobby message boards and forums.  His experience was considerably more pleasant than some have advertised.  Clearly, this ain't your average Main Street shop! 

An LCS trip to Burbank Sports Cards

Uncertainty in the present, optimism for the future

I enjoy taking a look inside the mom and pop, brick and mortar card shops that are still around.  Of particular interest to me are the ones who have weathered the current economic storm.  In some cases, several economic storms (recessions in '82 and '91, post-9/11, etc.).  It's also heartwarming to see that one-to-one connection between owner and customer to the point that the customers have dedicated themselves to keep the place alive in some form. It's even more heartwarming that they remain bullish on the future of the hobby. 

Baseball Card Shop Loses Fans, Edge

 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A game within a game

The current poll and buyback program Topps is conducting to commemorate their 60th Anniversary has inspired Chad Finn of The Boston Globe to come up with his own variation with a slightly different set of rules.  I actually prefer his.  Just wish there were a buyback involved with this one, too. 

Card games

 

Monday, November 8, 2010

I Left My Money In (A) San Francisco (Card Shop)

So, one week removed from their place in history, how hot are the cards featuring the latest round of World Series heroes around the Bay Area?  Fortunately, someone has done the work for me.......


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Card Therapy

Good to read stories like this.  What is a hobby for most of us literally helped heal a fellow hobbyist, both mentally and physically, and also helped him find true love.........

Healing Body and Spirit

and Part 1 of the series to set up the story..........

Tragedy to Triumph

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hail Honus!

Admittedly, this one wasn't in very good shape, but a T206 Honus Wagner is a T206 Honus Wagner, and it goes for a great cause.......

Sunday, October 31, 2010

7th Heaven starring The Mick

Haven't had a chance to read The Last Boy yet, but I definitely will once I get a chance to get a half day or so to sit down with a book.  Mickey Mantle's story has been told more than once, by both himself and others.  I have a question for those reading this who grew up with Mantle or any other of the dozens of athletes you may have idolized as a child.  Which era do you prefer........the era where athetes' (and anyone else semi-famous for that matter) personal lives were treated with reverence by the media or the post-Ball Four era where 24-hour news cycles and the explosion of media outlets have told us far more than we ever wanted to know about our heroes? 

Saturday's Cleveland Plain Dealer covers both eras and how Mickey Mantle has been portrayed over the years.....

Mickey Mantle portrayals, from books to movies to baseball cards and more

 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

One of us

I think part of the reason the country is in the economic shape it's in at the moment has a lot to do with the CEOs who run most major corporations never spent a day consuming the product they're now in charge of.  Case in point.....the man named CEO of US Airways several years ago came from the same post at..........FREAKIN' BURGER KING!!  Guy probably never spent a day taking flying lessons OR flipping burgers, and once he landed the gig at both companies, he probably flew private jets.  Assuming he ever ate the food of the peasants like a hamburger, I'm sure it was prepared by a personal chef. 

Regardless of how you feel about the direction of the sports card hobby at the moment, you have to feel good about the fact that the guy calling the shots at Topps is a guy who knows the product he's selling and marketing.  That can only be a positive. 

He’s Back to Baseball Cards

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just for pocket money?

You have to hand it to Kirk Gibson.  He's nothing if not benevolent.  Following the Bill Gates/Warren Buffett model of what to do with one's fortune, he is auctioning his massive memorabilia collection to beef up funding for his charitable foundation.  We're talking EVERYTHING.....his 1988 World Series MVP plaque, the helmet he wore in that memorable Game 1, his jersey, and most importantly, the bat he used to hit that unforgettable hom..........wait, what?  He's keeping the money generated by the sale of the bat, expected to approach Babe Ruth-like proportions, FOR HIMSELF, you say?  A guy that made around $16 million during his playing career?  Hmmmmmm.........

Kirk Gibson 'at peace' parting with treasures

Monday, October 18, 2010

If you collect them, he will come.......

If Field of Dreams were set in Atlanta, revolved around the Braves (and more specifically, Bobby Cox), and didn't have the whole "daddy issues" subplot.......or a corn field.......it might sound a lot like this.  It also might have been written about my Dad and I, if you could suspend disbelief since my Dad always thought I was an idiot for collecting baseball cards :-)

Sandy Springs: Dad-son bond nurtured by Cox

Sunday, October 17, 2010

For the anti-Beckett crowd.......

For this blogger's money, the Babe Waxpak column is about as good as it gets for the casual collector or "layman" to find out just how collectible or "limited edition" their cards or other memorabilia pieces really are.  And since it is readily available online, and for free, there really isn't any of this blogger's money involved.  He also goes beyond baseball most weeks.  This week covers NASCAR and vintage football tickets.  And, alas, one collector's dream of sending his kids to college w/ a collection of Panini football stickers are dashed.......as at least one reader's dream normally is in every column..........

Babe Waxpak: Signed Earnhardt card valuable, Redskins stickers not so much

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Could this be the next '89 Fleer Bill Ripken........

 without the F-bomb?  Furthermore, if you're holding a card like this, what possible reason would you have to exchange it aside from being a huge fan of a prospect who may or may not pan out?  Understandable if Mario Mendoza's autograph were on it, but with one of the 5 best basketball players to ever set foot on a court's John Hancock, you're sitting on a potential goldmine!  The 2010 Elite Blue Extra Edition "Franchise Futures" /450 card is going for around $45.00 on eBay, and publicity around the cards could cause a value spike within the next few days.   

 

Error Leads to Legendary Laker’s Autograph Appearing On Jordan Swagerty Cards

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Prepare for the onslaught

Is anyone surprised that Topps hasn't put something out yet to commemorate Roy Halladay's no-hitter?  With the overproduction of the 90's, most even semi-monumental baseball events were celebrated almost instantly (and rather poorly in most cases).  Rest assured it won't take long, and since his no-no was such an ultra rarity, it's certainly worth a "compare and contrast" to Don Larsen's perfect game from the perspective of good ol' American baseball card company capitalism.  In some ways, it's apples and oranges, but it is certainly interesting to discover that it took FIVE YEARS for Topps to recognize the feat with its own subset card. 

Probably won't take 'em five weeks for Halladay :-)

ANGILLY: Halladay has a place in history, future card sets

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Cynic's Guide To The Lost and Found Box

Clearly, the D.C. police department isn't exactly chock full of sports card collectors.  The full force of law enforcement in our nation's capital is leaving no stone unturned in finding the rightful owner of.........a relatively worthless bunch of 80's era Topps cards found in East Potomac Park.  I'm not sure what's funnier about this story......the fact that a box of overproduced junk attracted international media attention or that the owner of the cards wasted perfectly good top loaders on DARRELL JOHNSON!!!!  AND JIM HOLY!!!

Fortunately, someone has arrived on the scene to mock this incident more eloquently than I could ever hope.  And by the way, if you haven't read his book yet (click on the widget below to find out more about it), I highly recommend it.


Baseball cards: Fool's gold discovered in East Potomac Park!



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Before And After........Roy Halladay

Now that the SIXTH no-hitter of the 2010 season has been racked up, including 2 by the same pitcher, can we officially declare the Steroid Era over?  To put in perspective how truly monumental Roy Halladay's performance was in Game 1 of the NLDS, let's take a quick gander at the history books.  It would be enough if it were simply the first postseason no-no since Don Larsen's perfect game in the '56 World Series (only 2 days shy of 54 years ago), but it's also the first time the same pitcher has thrown 2 no-hitters in a season since Nolan Ryan in 1973 (albeit Ryan's 2 were both regular season no-hitters).  What a way to get your first taste of October baseball!

So what did creating history do for Halladay's card values?  Let's examine the crown jewel for Halladay collectors.  As always, eBay is our barometer here. We'll check the selling price of one prior to tonight and another just after the finishing touch was put on the no-hitter. 

1997 Bowman Roy Halladay Auto Rookie

BEFORE - $259.99

AFTER (7:37 PM Eastern) - $299.00

Unlike other players and cards we've covered (Armando Galarraga, Matt Garza, Jahvid Best), we've only seen a 15% spike this time.  With the stakes far higher and the achievement far more impressive, that seems a little unusual, but let's stop a minute and think of the differences this time around.  First and foremost, Halladay has been one of the top 5 players at his position in baseball for an extended period of time.  He should be a dead solid lock for Cooperstown with three to five more seasons like he's put together throughout his career.  His RC values are already pretty far up there.  Second, and relatively speaking, the '97 Bowman being looked at is also pretty rare.  The 2 we compared and contrasted appear to be the only 2 put up on eBay over the past 30 days.  Demand is already there and supply is short.  Finally, the impulse buyer crowd might bite over the next 24 hours or so on the 2 that are currently listed here and here for $399.  Then it begins to look more like the immediate jump we've come to expect with a virtuoso one game performance. 

Still, if you happen to be holding one of the Halladay cards we covered here, you could do worse than picking up somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 for the 5 minutes or so it takes to list it on eBay. 

 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Diamonds are a CARD COLLECTOR'S best friend?!?!?!

If you happen to be a card collector who might also be planning to pop the question to your significant other, now you can kill 2 birds with one stone!  And for free! (sorta.....there is the whole tax situation you'd suddenly find yourself saddled with) WITHOUT going to Jared so you could be the subject of one of those corny TV commercials!.........

Topps to give away diamonds with trading cards

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When a hobby box becomes a lottery ticket.......

Just in case you hadn't been able to sleep at night wondering who found the '52 Mantle in the Topps "Cards Your Mother Threw Out" contest, no more calls please......we have a winner!!  It does appear, however, that it's taking an act of Congress to actually get it.......

Collector Wins Baseball Cards “Crown Jewel”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Topps 2011: Where Else You Gonna Get Baseball Cards, Year 2

As you're probably aware, Topps has released details on its 2011 base set.  I'm not getting any younger, so my tendency is to do the whole "you neighborhood kids get off my lawn" thing, but as someone who has just rediscovered the hobby over the past few years, am I the only one who wonders what the obsession in the industry is all things "retro"?  I'm not asking for a design and set that screams 2050, but I am asking for something a little less Prohibition era. 

A related story to keep your eye on here.......although he's denying it publicly, Michael Eisner is strongly rumored to be taking over the Tribune Co. (Chicago Tribune, WGN, etc.) when it emerges from bankruptcy.  You have to wonder what direction Topps would take if he takes on a lesser day-to-day role in the company. 

Here's the rundown of what we'll see for the first major baseball card release of 2011.........

ANGILLY: Topps’ 2011 set again honors company’s past

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bridging the gap between Strasburg Mania and Bryce Harper Mania

Before you click through to read the story, you should keep a few things in mind.  First and foremost, the source is the owner of a card shop in the player's home state, where he might as well be Governor.  Second, his alma mater, while still a Top 10 team, isn't playing quite up to par yet, so there's the nostalgia of times gone by probably driving the market in his back yard.  Only in college football can the "glory days" be a mere 9-ish months ago :-)  Third, he's not a starting QB yet, and who knows whether he'll ever be? 

Is it nice to see the sports card market thriving after the Tommy John Express claimed yet another phenom poised to carry it on his back?  Is it slightly hyperbolic for a brick and mortar store owner and "homer" to indicate that a guy who has picked up a total of 2 yards in his professional career will singlehandedly resuscitate the hobby?  Yes, and yes. 

Tim Tebow's Rookie Cards Top Industry

Friday, September 24, 2010

The kids are NOT alright!

As a rabid college football fan and alum of the University of Alabama......2009 BCS Champions and current consensus #1 team in the nation, by the way........I have been to college games in all four corners of the country and argued (and won) the attributes of the SEC vs. all other conferences and the intensity of all the major traditional rivalries (Ohio State/Michigan, Texas/Oklahoma, Army/Navy, etc.).  I have a truckload of facts and recent history to prove the superiority of the SEC, but that's another post for another day. 

No one outside the South truly understands how deeply religious this part of the country is about college football allegiances.  This clip pretty much sums it up.  Wherever your loyalties lie, they are deeply rooted and "indoctrination" occurs upon emergence from the womb :-)

 

Before And After........Jahvid Best

While we generally cover baseball cards here, I think it's safe to assume that many of us here are also football fans, and possibly football card collectors.  With football season in full swing, that will begin to get more ink here as baseball winds down.  Throughout the baseball season, we've proven time and again that monumental events, i.e. no hitters, perfect games, home runs in a first big league at-bat, cause the impulse buyers on eBay and elsewhere to show up and overspend in droves!  With baseball still driving the card hobby, does that same "rule" apply to football cards when a much-hyped rookie on and up and coming (albeit not quite there yet) team busts out and proves he might be well worthy of the hype?  Let's examine the case of Jahvid Best, the Detroit Lions running back who had his football equivalent of a debutante ball with 232 combined rushing and receiving yards and 3 TDs in Sunday's game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.  What difference did 24 hours make in his card values both prior to and just after his breakout game. 

Let's take a look at "before" and "after" eBay prices on 2 of Jahvid Best's 2010 auto rookie releases:

2010 Donruss Elite "Turn of the Century" Auto SER# /249

BEFORE - $35.99 on Sept. 15th

AFTER - $75.99 just a few hours after he ran circles around the Eagles on Sunday!!  

One game was responsible for a 111% increase in the card's value!! 

2010 Rookies &Stars Auto Patch SER# /299

BEFORE - $62.99 just before kickoff Sunday

AFTER - $124.50 shortly after the game

A immediate 98% spike here!!

For cooler heads and patient people, the novelty seems to have subsided during the week.......with the Elite AND the R&S card settling in at more affordable levels, which is where they should stay.........until the clock hits 00:00 on the next 200+ yard, 3 TD performance :-) 

 

 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another walk down memory lane......

Fox News would have a field day with the headline :-)  It would be nice if stories like these had happier endings and a true collector could be able to cash in on some of the mother lode he helped build as a kid, but clearly the memories trump the investment potential for the writer, making it truly relatable to hobbyists like us.......

Behold the former czar of baseball carddom

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Introducing Panini's latest card (or is it a "set"?)

Included in this year's Donruss Elite Extra Edition set is.......someone who has no association with baseball other than her apparent love for Pepperdine Waves baseball (or could it be the players on the Pepperdine Waves baseball team?). 

At press time, we cannot confirm that the card will be numbered 36 DD.  Thank you, I'm here all week.  Try the veal :-)

Pamela Anderson is on a trading card

Sunday, August 29, 2010

ESPN.....Masters of the Obvious

The Worldwide Leader tells us what we already knew......

Stephen Strasburg created buzz in trading cards

In spite of the "well, duh" headline, the figures quoted on the amount spent on Strasburg cards in 2010 are pretty staggering.  It is also indicative of the new era where there is a relatively limited amount of Strasburg product on the market.  Triple Threads will be a very interesting release to watch being the first post-injury release to hit the shelves.  Will the buzz still be there, and will it be anywhere near the Bowman Auto Superfractor frenzy? 

 

Friday, August 27, 2010

An injury of Strasburgian proportions......

The torn ligament heard 'round the world has now proven to be true.  The fallout, financial and otherwise, is already being discussed ad nauseum across the Web and as part of the 24 hour news and sports cycle.  With Topps centering most of their MLB releases around Strasburg.....what will this mean for the hobby, which has received more mainstream coverage and seems to be in healthier shape than it has in quite some time?  Does this just mean a lull until Bryce Harper Mania next summer?  Or will the sand castle wash away before it was ever really fully built? 

Regardless of the fallout, I have to feel bad for the kid.  And as far as Tommy John surgery has come and as many careers as it has prolonged over the years, I have to wonder when modern medicine and training staffs are going to finally wake up and emphasize preventive maintenance on a pitcher's arm over the ease of doing nothing & continuing a seemingly endless stream of pitchers having this surgery in their early 20's and gambling on them having any sort of post-surgery future?  I'm no expert, but I've had it explained well enough to me that I know how the human elbow isn't built to hold up to what a big league pitcher puts it through, but certainly there's GOT to be an answer to keep this from happening so often. 

I dare say this might be as much of a reason for steroids becoming as prevalent as they've been in baseball as the veterans who hit the wall and want to prolong their careers once it was established that some pitchers have used as heavily as power hitters and position players.  I would think the "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" philosophy would rarely be more applicable than in the case of a bonus baby's pitching arm.  I'm not privy to a big league clubhouse, so maybe I'm missing something or maybe someone can fill me in on IF some teams are doing preventive maintenance. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No 'minor' accomplishment

At some point during out stint as card collectors, we embark on a Holy Grail-like quest to complete a particular set.  We all have different reasons for chasing these sets, and in most cases there are usually one or two cards that prove to be particularly elusive in our attempt to put the set together.  It's hard enough to get some sets together when dealing with any of the "major" sports (MLB, NFL, NBA, etc.), but it must have been an exhaustive process to collect everything this guy has managed to put together.......

Ill. man keeps minor league baseball collection

There are two kinds of collectors in the world....

At least according to the author of this piece, and I tend to agree.  This column was very relatable to someone like me who is also re-entering the hobby after an extended absence.  There is also a strong parallel with my profession of radio broadcasting.  When the true broadcasters sold out to all the Prospectors in the mid-90's, the golden goose was eventually slaughtered.  ANY industry taken over by investors who value the dollar over the product will suffer the same fate.  I certainly hope the resurgence we're seeing brings the true Collector back to the hobby, 'cause when the bell cow is milked dry by the Prospectors, there won't be anything left. 

What happened to card collecting?

Monday, August 23, 2010

A peek into the crystal ball.......

As collectors of sports cards, where will our love for the hobby lead us?  Well, if you believe everything you read, the next stop is becoming degenerate gamblers :-)

Tampa poker prodigy ready for final table of World Series of Poker

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's 4:20 somewhere......

Other than my immediate thought upon reading this article that this could have been a subset Topps rejected for an Allen & Ginter set, I have nothing to say about this.  I'm not sure this is the right way to "bring back the kids" to the hobby :-)

California Cannabis Goes Pro - With Baseball Cards?

 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Will the sequel be better than the original?

Just moving across online sources as I get ready to turn in for the evening........

Nationals, Harper agree right before midnight

Compared to the Summer of Strasburg in the sports card hobby, will this be more Toy Story 3........or Speed 2? 

Discuss............

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And a child shall lead them

This article, like others I've posted here, points out something that I fear might keep the current sports card resurgence from being a long term phenomenon.

Baseball cards top draw at national collector's convention

The National seems to "get it" in terms of ways to get kids in the door, but once they hit a couple of dealers and realize that neither they nor their parents can afford 90% of the merchandise there, THEN what are you gonna do to lure 'em in, let alone keep 'em coming back? 

The hobby owes quite a bit to Stephen Strasburg, and a greatly reduced amount of product in the hands of a few companies should, theoretically, prevent saturation in the marketplace like we saw in the 90's.....at least in the short term.  Think back, however, to how old you were when you began collecting.  I dare say anyone reading this, including myself, became collectors as a kid.  I don't think we'll see a new halcyon period until the card companies figure out a way to bring the kids back, and to do that you're going to have to dramatically lower price points on certain products or create a "budget line" making sets easy, and affordable, to build. 

I have a 3 year old and 1 year old niece that are at my house the better part of the day five days a week.  As a result, I speak fluent Nick Jr., Disney Channel, Toon Disney, and PBS Sprout.  Obviously you wouldn't see this on PBS Sprout, but I have yet to see a Topps Attax ad on any of those channels.  Wouldn't you at least try to put a little bit of marketing muscle behind something that could ultimately lead to another boom cycle?  Was this discussed at all at the Topps panel at the National?  If anyone was there, let us know. 

I'm optimistic about the future of the hobby, but grown ups will only take this train to a certain point.  I could say something really corny and Whitney Houston-ish here like "I believe the children are our future", but I'll refrain :-) 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

As the old Dairy Queen slogan used to go.....

"We Treat You Right!"  I've mentioned how I still have a soft spot for the brick-and-mortar card shops.  By best estimates, there are only about 500 of them across the country.  There's a common thread in the articles I've posted beyond the fact that they are associated with the same product.  Notice that each one still practices what has become a lost art.........above and beyond, world class customer service.  They know every customer by name.  They know some well enough to have given them nicknames.  They probably remember most of their birthdays and other monumental life events, and above all, they know what and who they like to collect like the back of their hand.  They also know that when their computer dies or their car malfunctions or a leak is sprung in the bathroom, they normally see and experience the worst in customer service.  There's still room for the mom and pop shops in the card industry, and that's a refreshing reminder of everything that has ever been good in this country.......and can be again.  The ones that are still with us where many others aren't remind us that they were never really in it for the money.  They were in it for the cameraderie, the relationships, and the love of the game(s).  There are a million "marketing experts" in the world today, especially with the boom in social media, and if they needed textbook examples on teaching their students the value of customer service, they could use card shops as a very valuable and practical example.  In fact, one person has done the work for them........

Guess who?

Not that it comes as a shock, but one star shined way above and beyond the rest at The National over the weekend......

Strasburg trading cards do great business at national convention

I still think the all the hype is a little too much, but let's face it......PLENTY of people are a lot more famous for accomplishing a whole lot less, or in some cases, nothing at all (see Hilton, Paris or Kardashian, Kim or Casted In A Reality TV Show, Anyone).  From a mainstream standpoint, the hobby is getting more attention than ever.  Granted, there are more media outlets than ever to cover it, but the coverage has been overwhelmingly positive after Upper Deck's problems started the year off on a bad note.  Whether or not Strasburg gets a plaque in Cooperstown, he's bringing people back to the hobby that the hobby needs to remain viable as a hobby (get all that?).  If someone at Topps or one of the other companies can stumble onto a way to bring the kids back from "Magic - The Gathering", what is currently a mini-Renaissance can turn into a full-blown boom again.  Let's just hope history doesn't repeat itself and overproduction takes over again. 

 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

In case Rick Sanchez is reading this.......

If anyone is a fan of "Rick's List" on CNN, you're probably familiar with his daily feature "The List You Don't Want To Be On".  They've now made one of those for baseball cards........

The 30 Worst Baseball Cards of All Time

In defense of the players featured on here, there are (by my count) 6 All-Stars, one of the Top 10 all-time home run hitters (albeit with the proverbial *), and several guys who wear World Series rings.  Then there's poor Oscar Gamble.  None of your memorabilia is featured in Cooperstown, but you make this Hall of Shame TWICE! :-)  I'd be horrified to see the groupies these guys attracted at the ol' ballpark (just in case your appetite wasn't already ruined).

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A lifetime of memories? Priceless.......

I think most of us who have ever enjoyed the sports card hobby have been buyers, sellers, traders and collectors simultaneously at certain points of our lives.  As Dave Jamieson reminds us in his excellent book, Mint Condition, however, most of the folks who have made tons of money in the hobby will be the first to tell you they never gave that part a second thought.  They never got into it for the money. 

For most of us, sports cards became something we collected first and saw as a possible way of sending the kids to college and/or passing down as an heirloom later.  With that in mind, I think we all have at least a handful of "untouchable" cards.....some valuable, some you could probably find at the bottom of the bargain bin.......that we would never, ever sell regardless of how far in the stratosphere "book value" may take them.

Which cards in your collection are those you would never get rid of for any reason?  Share those with us by Commenting here, and also the stories behind them. 

One man from the Baltimore area just discovered those cards in his collection.....just ahead of the National, where he might have made a mint :-) ................


Remembrances of baseball's past

Just a reminder.....

31 days until college football!!  Time to go back-to-back in Titletown.  Fans of other schools, there's really no sense in getting your hopes too high........the Tide will be #1 start to finish.  How many other coaches can claim to be the subject of a major motion picture? 

See y'all in Glendale on January 10th!!  ROLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE ROLL!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

How much is enough?

Just in case you were one of the 2 or 3 people who thought circa 1993 and beyond, "Gee.....there aren't nearly enough sports cards being produced these days", see if this doesn't FINALLY make you a believer........

Alex Rodriguez appears on nearly 18000 cards

Wonder how many of those he posed for clean? :-)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A point to ponder......

Are Halls of Fame becoming like sports cards in the 90's or awards shows on TV..........there's just too many of 'em?  One familiar name associated with one of the "go to" reference guides in our hobby thinks it's a good idea, and he even nominates a charter member.......

Cowboys great Emmitt Smith should be in collectible hall of fame, too


The idea brings up several interesting questions.  Where would be an ideal location for a "Sports Collectibles Hall of Fame"?  What would the criteria be for selection?  Would there be folks that might get shut out of Canton, Cooperstown, and Springfield who would be charter members and/or subsequent first balloters here?  I can think of several in baseball who either didn't have the numbers (Don Mattingly, Dwight Gooden, etc.), became allegedly chemically enhanced (Bonds, A-Rod, Clemens, Jose Canseco), or were found guilty of various other sins (Pete Rose) who have created massive buzz among collectors at certain points in their careers.  I wouldn't think that would count here. 
Furthermore......would you make a pilgrimage to a Sports Collectibles Hall of Fame?  Comment below!! 

Friday, July 30, 2010

This Week In Sports Cards

You know what they say about opinions......

.........they're like, well, you know :-)  Everybody's got one.  In spite of the rapid changes in media consumption these days, I still think it's a good thing whenever the card collecting hobby gets some ink in print.  My stance with this blog on these things is that you neither care for nor seek my opinion, and frankly I'd rather you form your own based on articles like this.  Is the shrinking amount of product across all sports......with one sport now being in the hands of only one or two companies.....a good or bad thing?  Here's one guy's take......

KEN KARRSON: And then there was one -- again

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sports Cards' Most Wanted - Pilot Episode

For the first time in years, I watched America's Most Wanted this past weekend. That probably speaks as much about my (lack of a) social life as anything else, but it reminded me of how intense John Walsh is on that show. In covering this story, I'm imagining he'd say something like......

"THANKS TO TIPS FROM BASEBALL CARD COLLECTORS JUST LIKE YOU, WE HELPED BRING THIS SLEAZEBAG TO JUSTICE!! AMERICA'S MOST WANTED HELPED DELIVER THIS SCUMBAG TO HIS SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL!" Because if's there's one thing I know about John Walsh, he always shouts his entire intro at the top of the show. If there are two things I know about John Walsh, he always shouts his entire intro and he loves calling criminals derogatory names :-)

Lubec man sentenced to 3 years in prison for baseball card scam - Bangor Daily News

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Better than the movie......

After reading this story, I can't help but think that this would have provided a far better plot than the dreck that ultimately became "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".  You've got nuns and eccentric old people.  Throw in an archaeologist, a few supporting characters, and a legion of Nazis also on a quest to acquire the rare baseball card, and you've got yourself a blockbuster! :-)  If anyone reading this blog knows Jerry Bruckheimer, tell him the treatment for the next "National Treasure" movie can be found right here.  And I'll settle for a six figure sum for the idea.  It's kind of refreshing to see that the proceeds from such a rarity will go to a charitable organization and not just end up being a toy for a multimillionaire. 

Secret stash hides a rare find: Suffolk man helps ID valuable baseball cards

Before And After.......Matt Garza

Monumental events in baseball tend to smile on fortunate (or in most cases, opportunistic) eBay sellers who happen to have cards of the player involved listed.  Immediate price spikes have occurred this season following Jason Heyward introducing himself to the big leagues w/ an Opening Day moon shot, the seemingly endless stream of no-hitters, and the now infamous perfect game that wasn't featuring Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers.  The high end cards (autos, rookies, game used, graded) tend to bring the most immediate dividends. 

The latest temporary beneficiary of the "monumental events" phenomenon on eBay are those who hold Matt Garza cards.  Ten days ago, when Garza was merely a pretty good pitcher on a very good Rays staff, a 2005 Bowman Chrome Refractor Auto Rookie w/ a PSA Grade 10 could be had for $38.87 plus shipping.  Last night, about an hour after he became the first Rays pitcher to pitch a no-hitter, it wasn't quite as cheap.  About a 157% increase to be exact. 

eBay proves time and again that despite of the drastic changes in many of our lifestyles as a result of a prolonged economic downturn, impulse buyers are still out there when history occurs.  They're also willing to pay a premium to satisfy those impulses.  With that in mind, collectors like us shouldn't hesitate to strike while the iron's hot!! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

What took you so long, Cooperstown?

As long as there is a Baseball Hall of Fame, there will be a debate among fans regarding who belongs and who should forever be on the outside looking in.  Cases can be made for, and against, Bert Blyleven, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Alan Trammell, and Roberto Alomar among several others.  For entirely different reasons, cases can be made for and against Roger Clemens, Pete Rose, A-Rod, and Barry Bonds.  Aside from all those, one guy was denied entry into the Hall far too long, and the recognition he received over the weekend rectified what I consider to be the longest snub in the history of Cooperstown. 

John Fogerty wrote the OTHER National Anthem for baseball fans, "Centerfield", as an 8 year old kid.  He recorded the song and released it in 1985.  His ode to the game of baseball and gift to the fans got him into the Hall......25 YEARS LATER!!!  If he had been a player, his enshrinement ship would have sailed 10 years ago with his only hope being the long shot of the Veterans' Committee.  He was also a "first ballot" Rock and Roll Hall of Famer in 1993.  Kudos to the baseball writers for eventually doing the right thing in finally recognizing one of the all-time greats who never swung a bat at the big league level, along with his guitar, Slugger..........about 10 years too late.
Fogerty is a MUST SEE if he comes near you on tour.  The guy is ageless, and he's playing the best shows of his life the past few years.  He has one of the best bandmates in the biz, and his song catalog stacks up with any rock & roll musician in history!!  I saw him w/ John Mellencamp in 2005 in Raleigh, North Carolina and again w/ Willie Nelson in Birmingham.  Phenomenal shows!!!  But don't take my word for it...........

Sign your name across my card

In an era of exclusive card company autograph deals and multimillion dollar athletes who have long since lost touch with the fans who brought 'em to this dance, it's good to know at least one is still grounded in the real world.  I actually had an encounter with one of the future Hall of Famers mentioned in this article, who was one of my favorites growing up.  I didn't even ask for an autograph, but I can tell you the experience was NOT pleasant, and probably would have been even less so if I had asked.  On the flip side, it's nice to see a guy so well connected to his fans make it to Cooperstown........

Moyer never mails it in but always mails it out

STRASBURG MANIA TRANSCENDS BASEBALL!!

Suddenly card collectors and investors don't seem like the crazy ones anymore :-)  Strasburg now has a website dedicated solely to his cards, and while the story below is probably just a PR stunt to get some "one red light, one McDonald's" town their 15 minutes of fame, the level of absurdity just hit a new apex if they're serious......

Virginia Town Wishes To Adopt Name Of Nationals' Potential Savior


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another new level of Strasburg Mania

I've been away from the sports card collecting hobby for about 15 years before returning about a year ago, so if I'm incorrect about this, you won't offend me in the least if you correct me on it.  After a Google search of most of the mainstays of the hobby, however ("mickey mantle baseball cards", "ken griffey, jr. baseball cards", "albert pujols baseball cards", etc.), I believe we have found a first.......the first website dedicated to the cards of a single player who is STILL not even 2 months into his big league career!! 

StrasburgRookieCards.com

I think I'm officially at the point where the whole thing is getting past ridiculous.  Am I alone? 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

As Johnny Carson used to say......

"You cannot make this stuff up". We briefly interrupt our normal musings on sports cards, pop culture, and other random topics to bring you semi-live coverage from Comic-Con. Please, kids, DO NOT pull any stunts like this @ the National in 2 weeks :-)

Comic-Con Interrupted By Pen Stabbing

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Want LeBron James's first Miami Heat Card?

Get ready to do some traveling! And stock up on Panini NFL or NBA product before you leave :-) Not to mention airfare, hotel accomodations, ground transportation, food, etc.

Anyone want to take a shot on the over/under on the ridiculous price someone will try to get on eBay for this one? :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Invest at your own risk......

At least one online financial publication warns us not to get sucked into Strasburg Mania......at least not for that 1/1 auto superfractor currently @ auction w/ an $11,000 price tag.

Why Stephen Strasburg's $40,000 Rookie Card Is a Bad Investment

I'm not familiar with this particular site, but I have to wonder if they were telling us to put the farm on Lehman Brothers or AIG circa Sept. 2008? :-)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Radio, Radio

For both new and regular readers of this blog, you know that I have two hobbies......hence the title of the blog. The one I spend the bulk of my time blogging about here I'm rediscovering after a long absence from it. The other is one I have been blessed to be paid to do for 17 years and am actively seeking to be paid to do it again as soon as possible (***RADIO PROGRAM DIRECTORS, CONSULTANTS, GENERAL MANAGERS, OPERATIONS MANAGERS, ETC.......ARE YOU LISTENING?***)

The Web has been a radio geek's dream! No longer do we have to have friends in big cities send us cassette airchecks in the mail or travel there to hear our favorite stations. We've got 'em all in one place. Here are a few I've been listening to & recommend for your listening pleasure......

  • Golden Hits Radio - Anyone who knows me well knows this one would be at the top of the heap :-) An Oldies station created by radio lifers for folks who grew up w/ great radio. ***FULL DISCLOSURE.....I'm also going to be on this station within the next few weeks. Not gettin' paid....just doin' it for the love of the game. Also listen for some of the best talent in the business.***
  • Rewind 100.3 - Chicago - Whether we Gen X'ers want to admit it or not, the songs we grew up with are now Oldies, and this station is the best of the bunch for "our" Oldies
  • WCBS-FM - New York - I love stations that are still a reflection of the market they serve.....this station is one of the best examples of that. Nice, deep music library too.
  • Boom 97.3 - Toronto - The Canadian version of CBS-FM.
  • WSIX-FM - Nashville - Country station, but it has always been one of the top stations in the country in ANY format in my humble opinion. Gerry House is an institution in that town, and he is a storyteller unmatched in the industry. I dare you to listen and not be totally sucked in to his morning show.
  • Radio Free Texas - I prefer my Country from west of the Mississippi; one of the best of the "Texas music"/"Americana" stations
  • Flashback Radio - Strictly 80's.....and unlike many internet only stations, it's not just a jukebox. Much like (another shameless plug in 3, 2, 1) Golden Hits Radio, there are a group of passionate radio pros involved with this one.
  • Great Big Radio - Yet another "next generation" Oldies station with a guaranteed "Oh, Wow!" song or moment about every 5 minutes. This one specializes in those 60's through 90's songs that woulda, coulda, shoulda been huge hits.
Hope you enjoy each and every one of these stations as much as I do, but especially (oh no, not again) Golden Hits Radio!!

***RADIO PEOPLE*** If you'd like to bring a pro with a stellar 17-year track record of ratings and revenue growth who is a team player who can bring PERSONALITY and INTERACTION on the air, can lend a hand in the production room, and can whip Selector and/or MusicMaster into submission, visit me on Facebook or take a look at my LinkedIn profile, which includes audio samples!! Then contact me to make me a part of your winning team!

Babe Waxpak 7/18/2010

Some card collectors are probably familiar w/ Babe Waxpak's weekly column syndicated in the Scripps-Howard newspapers. If not, it has some pretty useful info for those who might want to get values on cards, card sets, autographed memorabilia, and other collectibles that Beckett and some of the other major publications don't cover. I know very little about the true identity of Babe Waxpak other than the relatively safe assumption that won't be the name you'd find on his birth certificate :-)

If you're headed to The National in Baltimore, check out this week's column......

Babe Waxpak: Catch Oriole, Colt greats at National Collectors gala

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Crime (involving baseball cards) doesn't pay.....

We are bombarded with bad news thanks to the 21st century we live in and 24 hour news cycles to which we're exposed. Oil spills, bad economy, Mel Gibson, etc. Today brings a feel good story for card collectors, although I'm sure it might make some of us feel better had this collection belonged to us :-) For those wondering why a relatively worthless '87 Topps "Record Breaker" Ruben Sierra card that seems to be pretty mangled is doing amongst all the vintage cards in the photo.......I got nothin'.

Boston Globe: Stolen baseball cards recovered

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No Break for Future All-Stars

The saga of the Stephen Strasburg 2010 Bowman Auto 1/1 Superfractor continues, and by extension, so does Strasburg Mania.

AP: Rare Strasburg baseball card up for online auction


After 2 losses in a row in the past few weeks, I'm wondering if the seller wishes he'd hung around on eBay to see if at least one of those bids in the $1 million range was legitimate :-)

The Boss

I can't begin to imagine how Yankee fans are feeling as I write this. First Bob Sheppard, and now George Steinbrenner......on the day of the All-Star Game no less. As a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan, I certainly know what it's like to lose someone you grew up with w/ the passing of Skip Caray. Still not even close to being the same listening to a radio call of the game or a TV broadcast.

I've never been a Yankee fan (thanks in no small part to the 1996 and 1999 World Series), but my heart goes out to each and every one that is today. No matter how you felt about The Boss or his way of doing business, you couldn't help but respect him wanting to win and doing whatever it took financially to do so. Very few figures in sports, or any business, are irreplaceable, but we lost one today. Steinbrenner was one of the first owners to become as big or bigger than the team he owned, and THE first to gain that status via hands-on ownership. Those who have followed (Mark Cuban, Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder, etc.) are all just lame impostors, and two of those three have produced nowhere near the results on the field.

Here's an excellent tribute from Bill Nack from ESPN.com........Rest In Peace, Boss.


Monday, July 12, 2010

More Mainstream Love for Allen & Ginter

Perhaps the "Strasburg Effect" is as responsible for this as anything else, but baseball cards seem to be getting an awful lot of mainstream media attention these days. First, there was this piece on A&G from ESPN.com. Now this.........

The Bristol Press: Allen & Ginter offers variety in baseball set

As the only card company Major League Baseball brought to the dance these days, Topps has to be loving the current Renaissance........and hoping it lasts.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Voices of Baseball......Slowly Being Silenced

This time I write as a baseball fan first and card collector second. Over the past several years, baseball has lost several of the legends who drew people to the game with their eloquence as broadcasters and play-by-play men. Growing up in the South, I was probably predestined to become an Atlanta Braves fan, but Skip Caray certainly had a hand in making the whole experience palatable throughout the 80's when they were often the worst Major League Baseball had to offer. His death in 2008 was like losing a family member.......specifically the drunken uncle who kept everyone in stitches at the family reunion :-) There has also been the passing of Ernie Harwell and Harry Kalas, who were superstars in their respective cities.

Today brings the passing of a baseball voice of a different sort. Bob Sheppard was the PA announcer @ Yankee Stadium for 57 years. He was as much a part of Yankee history as Mantle, DiMaggio, Gehrig, Jeter, or Mattingly. He even parlayed his gig into a show biz career, with a total of 15 TV and film credits, and always playing one of two parts......"Himself" or "Yankee Stadium Announcer".

I'm not a Yankee fan, but I'm fascinated by the figures that have come and gone throughout Yankee history. In every TV piece I've ever seen on Bob Sheppard, he struck me as being the guy whose picture you'd see above the word "erudite" in the dictionary. A very well-read and first class gentleman, and the true definition of minimalism in a job where many of his colleagues prefer over the top. He knew he wasn't the show, so all he did was give you what a PA announcer is supposed to......the names of the folks who were part of the show.

Rest in peace, Bob. When I enter the pearly gates, I hope you announce my arrival.

ESPN.com: Yankees announcer Sheppard dies

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The (Un)usual Suspects

One of my favorite card sets over the past few years has been Allen & Ginter. Topps has done a nice job going retro, and the 2010 set is no exception. What I've always liked most about the A&G set is that it's part sports, part (rather expensive) history lesson, and part pop culture. I enjoy the thrill of the non-sports pulls from a box as much as the baseball related "hits".

Here are some of the highlights from this year's cast of non-sports characters......

ESPN.com: Jordin Sparks, Stuart Scott in card set

"The Decision" = All Smiles For Upper Deck

In a year of nothing but relatively bad news for Upper Deck, Thursday provided a silver lining......

Upper Deck Blog: LeBron James to Stay with the Team

Who knows what shape Upper Deck will take in the future, or if this alone will be enough to pull them back from the edge of the cliff? I'm thinking they might get out of the card business, but be able to fight on in the high end autograph business. Regardless, the sound you heard @ Upper Deck headquarters following "The Decision" could be that of a corner being turned.

Friday, July 9, 2010

This Week In Sports Cards

Welcome to a new feature at Airwaves, Baseball Cards, and Me.....This Week In Sports Cards, where we scour the Web so you don't have to for the latest in sports card and collectibles news!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Before & After (& Back To Before)......Armando Galarraga

Ebay often provides the ultimate roller coaster ride of memorabilia value for players who suddenly find themselves in the spotlight for all the right or wrong reasons.

Our spotlight today is on Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga, artist of Major League Baseball's greatest "perfect game that wasn't actually a perfect game" on June 2nd. A look at his 2008 Bowman Sterling Autographed rookie card is a perfect example of how fleeting some moments can be in the ebb and flow of card values. Hours before the blown call heard around the world, the card could be had for just over $3.oo (a little over $6.0o w/ shipping). Several hours later, impulse buyers caused a 483% spike in the value of that same card!! Not quite 2 weeks removed from the moment, and following a far more pedestrian outing in his next start, we're pretty much back where we started.

Moral here? If you happen to be in front of the TV on any given night and hear that sports history is in the making, scour through that card collection, put everything you've got with the face of the player involved on eBay (1 day auction would be recommended in this case), and don't worry about your indirect involvement in someone else's buyer's remorse a week later :-)

The madness continues.....

With 2 pretty dominant major league starts behind him now, Stephen Strasburg continues to bring the sports card collecting hobby attention unseen since the arrival of the recently retired Ken Griffey, Jr. 21 years ago.

The first major cash-in on the rarities of all things Strasburg came on May 29 with the $16,000+ haul on a 2010 Bowman Strasburg "superfractor".....a true 1/1
. Now the other major Strasburg treasure, the 2010 Bowman Red 1/1 autographed card, has been found and can be yours on eBay......for a small fee that can be negotiated.

My best advice for anyone holding anything Strasburg and looking to make money is SELL NOW!!! As anyone who discovered the hobby in the 80's and 90's can tell you......holding onto rookie cards has its ebbs and flows as value goes, and most collectors don't make their living on Wall Street for a reason :-)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

From the Fringe to the Mainstream,,,,,,For Now

For possibly the first time since the arrival of Upper Deck and the ensuing boom of the early 1990's, sports card collecting is getting the attention of the mainstream media, and not for a bad reason. TV had "The $25,000 Pyramid", and now the hobby has "The $16,103 Baseball Card". And all the hoopla is for a guy who has yet to spend a day in The Show.

Stephen Strasburg could be the next Nolan Ryan or the next Brien Taylor. But for the moment, he's providing a much needed boost for the hobby and bringing it attention in places where it rarely commands it. When is the last time you read about or saw coverage on the hobby in......

USA Today?
Fox News?
Bloomberg?

The term "phenomenon" definitely applies here, and while a Strasburg chase card won't be affordable on the average kid's weekly allowance, it definitely seems to be signaling a possible renaissance for baseball card collecting. That can only be a good thing. But for a full-fledged return to the halcyon days, card companies need to find a way to bring back the one group that brought them to the dance........the kids. Topps Attax seems to be a pretty good start toward accomplishing that end. Hopefully it provides a building block.

The Strasburg SuperFractor card isn't the only current "holy grail" among collectors. The 2010 Bowman red-bordered autographed Strasburg card is still out there. Best of luck to all who search for it!!

Here's hoping better days are ahead for card shops, collectors, and online dealers! Strasburg Mania is a step in that direction

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In fairness to the "Airwaves" section.....

It's been a while since I've had any news on my OTHER passion in life and reason for starting this blog........radio. Remember the scene in "Office Space" where Peter talks about what he would do if he had a million dollars and didn't have to work? His was "nothing"......mine is radio. Fortunately, I've been blessed to indulge in that passion and make a living doing it........until about 18 months ago.

Since then, I've been looking for a way to get back in the game, and the opportunity has finally arrived!! Within the next few weeks, I can be heard on Golden Hits Radio! It's a brand new online station launched by one of the truly great radio guys I've ever had the privilege of working with and learning from......Bob Burton, of the legendary morning team of Burt & Kurt. It's a labor of love for all of us at the moment, but how refreshing to be involved in a venture free from all the soul sucking corporate culture. Just great fun, great music, and hopefully at least one or two folks listening at any given time.

I understand this won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I appreciate you giving it a shot. And if you're in the radio biz, like the sound of the station, and are in a position to give ME a shot to help grow your station's ratings and revenue, I'd love to talk with you!! First, check out goldenhitsradio.com, then head over to check out my history of winning ratings and radio experience. This opportunity proves I'm more willing to do this for nothing, but there's something to be said for a regular paycheck.

Thanks for stopping by! My goal is for you to have more fun listening than I'm having doing it, but I'm not sure that will be possible.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thank You!

We have officially broken the 200 Fan barrier on Facebook!! To everyone who cares enough to "Like" us there......THANK YOU SO MUCH!! To paraphrase the pilot on any random commercial flight, we know you have plenty of choices when Liking Facebook pages, and we appreciate you choosing House of Cards. And if you haven't already, check us out. Or Follow us on Twitter.

As a special Thank You, click here Saturday and Sunday for a special 200 Fan Facebook sale @ our eBay Store, The House of Cards. All game used baseball cards are 25% Off this weekend only!

Thanks again for being a Fan! Our 5 Star customer service across the board means you can buy with confidence!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The house of (sports) cards (and memorabilia) begins to fall.....

And sadly, it comes as no surprise. The first step in what will most likely be the end for Upper Deck began today. As someone who has been on the short end of the economic stick, the human toll is what saddens me as much as the collapse of the Rolls-Royce of sports card companies since 1989. Shedding 1/4 to 1/3 of your staff not only disrupts lives, it cheapens the product you continue to put out. Not sure how many more companies will have to die before corporate boardrooms finally figure that out.

As much as I enjoy the hobby, I value a man or woman's livelihood even more. These folks will all land on their feet, but it's painful to watch as both a hobbyist and man with compassion for those who work hard and still get dealt a blow like this.

If it makes the now ex-Upper Deck employees feel any better, theirs isn't the only industry whose cheese has been moved over the past few years.

To those who lost their jobs in this latest senseless act by a brain dead CEO, THANK YOU for putting out a superb product across multiple sports for the past 20 years. We'll always have the Griffey rookie and the memories. And our thoughts and prayers are with you as you begin the next career chapter.