Monday, August 31, 2009

I bought a new camera today. Some classy little black Fuji film piece. This blog will now have photos once more.

I was going to write another piece about my soccer club Tottenham Hotspur and how we should sign Niko Kranjcar from Portsmouth. A third Croatian on Spurs would be insane. He'd be able to fill in the gap left by an injured Luka, give time off to Palacios and Hudds and allow us for even more depth at midfield. Instead of that, I sit patiently awaiting the transfer news of him to Spurs. My buddy texted me around 1:30 pm telling me Niko was all but signed. There goes my Niko Pompey shirt I've had for 2 years now.

Also, for those of you who read Beardy's Blog you know he's done the Gint A Cuffs. I wish I had gotten into it as it's a great way to collect cards with people and try and fill in the gaps via other collectors. However, I don't really like A&G at all. So instead, I'd much rather find some people who'd like to bust a few boxes of Goodwin Champions when that hits in about 2 weeks. Anyone down? The few who probably don't read Beardy, I suggest you go check it out.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Spurs, 4 Games, 12 Points.

I've only been a fan of Spurs for about 4 years now. I have knowledge of the rich history at Spurs. The 60's era, the 80's, Ossie, Greaves, Hoddle, Villa, Bill Nicholson. All legends. One of the few clubs who've never been relegated since the Premier League was founded. Lilywhite and Blue. The only heartbreak I've felt since aligning myself with Spurs was at the end of 2005/2006, and to be honest, I didn't feel much as this was my first year following them.

With that said, starting a season out with all 3 victories and being the best start in club history since 1960-61 is something of magic, even a curse. I do often say I understand the troubles and woes all Tottenham fans share being that I've grown up in Cleveland and felt the pain and misery (albiet not as long as many others have felt).

Birmingham at home. Spurs off to the best start in nearly 50 years. Haven't lost at home since November of 2008. Something has to give, right?

Overall play was iffy, at best. No goals in the first half. Ledley King would leave with a groin injury and Hutton would come on. Our defense is already bare bones, but luckily for us Woodgate is going to start training and should be ready soon.

Then in a blink of an eye, Luka Modric, our creative force gets hurt. Reports are now that he is out 6-8 weeks, with Luka saying only 4-6. Either way, that's quite a bit of time to be out. The team will have to adapt without him, something that needs to be figured out in training, soon.

Although those two injuries are a black eye for all Spurs fans this week, there cannot be enough emphasis put on the positives from Saturday. Crouch scoring his first goal. And then, there's Lennon. The lightning fast Aaron with a much needed end product. A gift of a 95th minute and Aaron's end product came to fruition at the perfect time. This is why I love soccer/football. This is Tottenham.


Monday, August 24, 2009

West Ham, London Derby

The Cup Final. Where to Hammers fans this is the match us Spurs fans look forward too all year. To us, we play it off the same exact way. If the Hammers beat us twice in a year, it makes their season, regardless of their finish in the table.

During our fine 2005/2006 campaign, we needed to win our final game in order to qualify for the Champions League. Probably the biggest game in our most recent history. That day our whole team came down with flu-like symptoms due to some bad lasagna. This game was in West Ham. We lost and the rest is history.

However, Sunday we were again at Upton Park for (one of) our London Derbies. Highlights below.

3 Games. 9 Points. Best start since 1960/61, which was one of our legendary Spurs squads that ended up with the first ever double. Birmingham at the Lane on Saturday.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Player Collection: Sowers

I am a player collector for the most part. I did the whole MLB Showdown bit since 2000. The cards I need now don't even exist anymore (read: super rare promos). This left me with collecting Grady Sizemore cards, which I've done since 2004. I honestly haven't purchased any since probably the middle of last year. None of the new cards are even worth the time or the price. So I decided to re-start my Jeremy Sowers collection.

I started collecting his cards around mid 2005, I believe. My grand total for Jeremy is 6 cards.

2005 Carolina All Star Card with the Kinston Indians
2004 Bowman Sterling (which I paid $15 for in 2005 at a card show)
2005 Bowman DP&P Signs of the Future (lol) Auto
2005 Topps Personal Endorsements Auto /497
2005 Topps Turkey Red (Red Version) Auto /300
2005 Bowman Chrome X-Fractor (4x) /225 (177, 123, 062, 036)

All in all that's not really that impressive. Then again, neither is Sowers career to date, but he's my favorite player, so he gets a pass. Within the last two weeks, I've added quite a few nice cards to my collection.

The first being the card in the upper left hand corner. Yes it's a parallel. Usually I don't like parallels at all. However, I do think the Topps base design this year is quality. The red border I think also adds to the picture of the card, along with our "retro" themed jerseys. Here comes the homer part, it's serialed to 25 too.

This card has two different versions. This one is serialed to 299. The other is a die cut which is serialed to 61. I haven't seen the die cut on ebay in quite some time. I've always like the design of this card and the simplicity of it all. I'm not sure if it's an on card auto or not, but it doesn't matter, no ugly silver sticker, so that's a positive.

Last but not least is this one. I've always wanted to own an Exquisite card. They are the Ferrari of the sports card world. And when I saw that Sowers had an autograph in any Exquisite product I got excited because a) it's exquisite b) it's Sowers and c) it's going to be relatively cheap. The card ended up selling for a bit over $12. Ironic that it's with Andrew Miller, WaxHeaven's main man, who himself has been bounced around quite some time after being touted as the next big thing. The fact that there is only 10 of these cards is neat too. Add a big plus to the fact that both of these dudes are lefties, and I'm sold.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Defoe v Hull

Hull Away. Hightlights Here. Write-up below.

The swagger was there for Spurs and you could tell by the opening 10 minutes of play. Spurs controlled the ball, passing was great, and we were pushing up. The Hull backline (lead by Anthony Bambi Gardner himself) had their hands full the entire game. Jermain Defoe scored just 10 minutes in with a beautiful pass from superstar quarterback Tom Huddlestone.

After the first goal Hull tried a few efforts, mostly on the back of Stephen Hunt who did give Vedran Corluka trouble (which was a recurring theme all game). However shortly after that Wilson Palacios scored his first goal of the year. Just 13 minutes in, Spurs are up 2-0. Lovely way to ease that 1 goal pressure off. Unfortunately within a minute Hull would be on the attack and send a ball in the box that Gomes would punch out, but upon coming down to the ground would have to leave the game due to landing odd. To me it seemed that his ankle was rolled pretty hard. Cudicini the Italian Stallion would come in.

Hull would get a goal in the 25th off the dead ball kick by Stephen Hunt. I honestly though Geovanni (Super Sub) got his head to the ball but the goal was awarded to Hunt. 2-1 Spurs. Cuidcini was out of place, but the marking of Hull attackers was horrible. Corluka should have covered one of the runners, while T. Hudds was racing back to try and cover someone.

After Hull's first, I got that feeling in my stomach I always do when Spurs are up by a goal. I could sense that Hull might come back, and in usual Spurs fashion, we'd let them. Fans were alive again and Hull seemed rejuvenated. However Spurs pushed up and Hutton made a great run down the right side only to be stopped by what some thought was a handball in the box, but it wasn't intentional at all.

Much like Defoe, Lennon, Huddlestone, and even Keane were giving Hull nightmares early on, Geovanni and Folan were giving Corluka nightmares. The two paired up a few times and almost capitalized on a Corluka error but Hutton came from behind to make a fantastic tackle to save what could have been an equilizer. The kill sense wasn't there for Spurs nearing the end of the half as the passing tried to be forced instead of going with what was working early on. And then right when I thought we might be sluggish, Defoe puts one in for his second before half. 3-1 Spurs.

Second half went on and nothing really of note happened (at least to me) until the 77th when Robbie "dream move" Keane scored on a header. 4-1 Spurs. Honestly to hear the words Robbie Keane and goal in the same sentence gave me chills. Yes, he scored a few when he came back last year, but that didn't seem like the same Keane. Hopefully Keane is rejuvenated and we get the Robbie of know the one who scored 100 goals for us.

Shortly after Keane's goal, Crouch came on. Had a decent chance from a cross by Lennon but was right at the keeper. Modric was subbed off in the 84th for Bentley. Luka had a decent game. Gave Hull some problems but wasn't able to push into the middle as much. Not sure if Keane dropping deep had anything to do with it. Did have one decent shot from about 24 yards out, but really that's all I can remember from Modric. Actually I take that back, I remember a few of his runs where he was almost bossed off the ball but held onto it and held off defenders nearly twice his size.

Credit: Nick Potts/PA

The star of the show was Jermain Defoe for sure. Lead the team in our offensive charge all game and just gave hell to the Hull defenders, mostly Gardner. You could tell he wanted that third goal. His effort was relentless and his energy was fantastic through the whole match. And right as time was expiring, he did a nice little 1-2 layoff with Lennon and fired a rocket of a shot into the net for his third and final goal. 5-1 Spurs. MOTM.

Positives of the match:
Defoe. Hands down best player on the pitch that day.
Huddlestone. Read the game well and made some brilliant passes to set up goals.
Midfielders. Excellent passing and distribution. Set each other up well and the score showed.
Hutton. Saved Corluka quite a few times and even got up and made some nice runs. Glad to have him back.

Negatives of the match:
Gomes. I hope his injury isn't severe. Not saying Carlo Cudicini isn't a decent keeper, but he's not our number 1 and if he goes down, yikes.
Corluka. I don't know if he is just rusty or unsure of himself at CB, but he cannot play there. I hate to make that rash of a judgement, but if he errored this much against a team that had a bit more quality (sorry Hull), they'd have probably put us out of the game.
Bentley. No real negative here, but there isn't a place for the guy anymore. I hear some Red team up north is having problems with their midfield. Maybe Fergie will want the "next Beckham" in his squad.

2 games, 6 points. If we continue this pace Top 4 will surely be ours, no? No thanks, I'll settle for 6th this year. Not reaching too much and a nice building point for us.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More Philadelphia!

Pack 6
Marion Barber III
Ladianian Tomlinson
Brian Urlacher
Stars in Action Donovan McNabb
Matt Hasselbeck
Eli Manning
Donovan McNabb
Bobby Wade

I love the Stars in Action cards. Very sharp. Pack full of stars too.

Pack 7
Karlos Dansby
Patrick Willis
Jamal Lewis
Santonio Holmes
Jerod Mayo
Isaac Bruce
Anthony Gonzalez
Aaron Kampman

Second Brown! All that's left is probably Edwards and maybe Quinn/Anderson. The more I open these cards the more I love them. I love non-glossy basic cards.

Pack 8
Aaron Rodgers
Zach Miller
Terrell Suggs
Stars in Action Steven Jackson
Steve Breaston
Maurice Jones-Drew
Tom Brady
Lance Moore

Two #12's in this pack. Solid. I doubt I'm getting any SP's other than the Rockefeller, but I need to find a complete checklist for this set. I'd love to try and complete the set and then work on a master set. Last "master" set I came close to was 2000 NFL MVP. Crappy set but was so pumped when I finally got that last card to complete my main set. Went through about 3 boxes too.

Pack 9
Marcedes Lewis
Dallas Clark
John Abraham
Alex Karras Retro
Greg Camarillo
Antwaan Randle El
Devin Hester
Reggie Wayne

First Retro card. Other than that, I got nothing for this pack.

Pack 10
Brian Westbrook
Kevin Williams
Lamarr Woodley
Lockheed AC-130 Airplane
1965 Paul Flatley Buyback?
Percy Harvin (Rookie) Mini SP
Phillip Rivers
Hank Baskett

Cool History card. I'm big into those. The Percy Harvin Mini is solid too. But I honestly have no idea what this Paul Flatley is. It came in my pack in a penny sleeve, and at first I thought it was an auto. The card that came with it says "You have received a previously released collector's card!" The back says "Congratulations! You have received a trading card that was originally released in a previous product, re-purchased and is now being re-released for your collecting pleasure. Enjoy your card!" Uhhh, so is this a buyback? And I'd love to see how much UD paid to purchase this card to later put into this product. Pretty cool idea though. Hopefully there's a Jimmy Brown floating around out there somewhere.

2009 Philadelphia Football

I went to a local card shop today to buy boxes for all of the 1950's-1970's sports cards my dad has in our attic. I bought 3 boxes and then the itch to open packs hit me. I now have a box of Philadelphia Football cards. I honestly do not really like Football cards at all. Even though I go to every Browns home game, I really am not super into football. This is my first box of NFL cards since 2001. The last set I got was UD Vintage. I'm a sucker for vintage sets, what can I say.

I'll get one auto and two memorabilia cards per box (average). Plus my one jumbo.

Jumbo first:
Hines Ward

Pack 1:
Steven Jackson
Derrick Mason
Jamarcus Russell
Everette Brown (Rookie)
Philadelphia Fabrics
Julius Peppers
Drew Brees
Laveranues Coles
LenDale White
Randy Moss

First pack and I get one of two supposed jerseys. My second team is Carolina simply because I've always loved their color scheme and when the Browns left I supported them due to Kerry Collins. I was even Collins once for Halloween. Glad the little swatch is blue and not white. Makes the card look nicer.

Pack 2:
Oshiomogho Atogwe
Tony Scheffler
Dwight Freeney
Stars in Action Marshawn Lynch
Michael Turner
Chansi Stuckey
Chad Johnson
Kevin Walter
UD Ad for an Adrian Peterson Auto'd Jersey Mystery Discount

Lynch is a cool card. I refuse to ever acknowledge Chad Johnson as Ocho Cinco. It's stupid. Oshiomogho Atogwe. Just look at that name for a second. I gurantee I have like 10% off that jersey. It's probably $5,000 so I'd still be paying $4,500 for an elite back, although I couldn't really care. Just for fun I'm going to see my discount. Apparently UD's website is down.

Pack 3:
Cortland Finnegan
Julius Peppers
Arnaz Battle
Rey Maualuga (Rookie)
Nelson Rockefeller Mini SP
Brandon Marshall
Jared Allen
Kyle Orton
Mystery Discount Ad

I love having non sports cards in my sports cards. Unless it's some dumb bullshit like what Allen and Ginter did this year. No, I don't want some Yo Yo Champion string relic. It might sell for a decent price but it's stupid. The buyer of the card is even more stupid for buying it, unless he's the person on the card, then it's acceptable. Mystery Discount Ad's Coupon code is the same as the past one, so I'd assume that I'm getting 0% off.

Pack 4:
Eddie Royal
Jeff Garcia
Josh Reed
Barack Obama Story Card
Philadelphia Fabrics Willie Parker
Jon Beason
Donnie Avery
Willie Parker
Santana Moss

A Barack Obama card. I own a card with Barack Obama on it. Incredible. I also forgot Jeff Garcia still plays in the NFL. I'm not sure which of those two is more shocking. 2nd Fabrics of the box, unfortunately it's of a Steeler. Then I pull his base card shortly after. White swatch. I really think the design of the jersey cards are incredible. Big picture of the player and the patch location on the card is perfectly placed. Great design overall. Unlike some horrible abortions out of Triple Threads.

Pack 5:
Greg Jennings
Asante Samuel
Zach Thomas
Justin Fargas
D'Qwell Jackson
Matt Leinart
Jason Campbell
Ray Rice

First (and probably only) Brown! Matt Leinart is oddly enough playing in an NFL game. I for sure thought his photo would be of him on the bench. I got another Mystery Ad Coupon with the same code.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Round 1, Spurs v Liverpool

The Football started yesterday. Not the American one either. If you've read any of my past blogs I follow soccer pretty hard and cheer for the Cleveland equivalent in soccer, Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Spurs opened the campaign with a rare home game (first one in honestly 5 years) to none other than Liverpool (a Sky Sport Top 4 Club). Going into the match I wasn't sure exactly who would start where and more importantly, who would be our starting strike pair. Would Robbie Keane be up for it, facing off his "boyhood dream" club? Why wouldn't he be up for it? Start Roman next to him? Nah, bad idea. Defoe? He's on form (netting two in a World Cup Qualifier) but it's rumored him and Keane don't exactly see eye to eye. Granted they've played together in the past and had good results (remember 2005-2006....something about lasagna...yeah I remember it real well). Or would our new signing of Frankenstein be paired up with Keane? I wanted Defoe, and we got Defoe.

A lot of people had reservations about Sebastien Bassong. Former Toon player, rated highly, but could he handle the pressure? Could he handle possibly covering for Ledley if his knee started to act up? Can he handle Torres coming at him? Corluka doesn't worry me at all (strong bias there). He's a bit slow yeah, but he doesn't play outside of his skill set and that makes up for his lack of speed. I honestly thought we'd see Bale play at left back. Instead we are treated to Benny Assou-Ekotto. I always love when BAE plays. I get frustrated because I always remember his performances of old where everything he did was surrounded by question marks. To his credit, he solidified his spot late last season with some strong showings.

Credit: Getty Images

Taking in the first 20-25 minutes, I ignored that I was watching complete garbage footy. Both teams played like garbage, but I honestly was just happy to see Spurs playing. I liked the choppy Internet feed I had that made it almost seem that our home kit was all-white. Until the zoom in's where the yellow reared it's ugly head. But in all honesty, I think the yellow isn't bad and I might get used to it. Come next year though, I hope it's gone.

I was laying in my bed watching the game while my girlfriend had the TV on the Food Network, so when I saw Huddlestone's free kick get deflected and the goal, I was excited to go 1 up on 'pool. When I saw exactly who made that incredible shot, I almost cried laughing. Immediate texts. This goal I can almost gurantee is Benoit Assou-Ekotto's career goal. Just a minute before half, a great way to deflate a team. However, this just meant we could (and usually would) sit back and let Liverpool come at us for the whole second half.

Sure enough, 10 minutes into second half Glen Johnson earns a penalty and Mr. England Stevie Gerrard (overrated) ties it up. Not to discredit Spurs, but Liverpool didn't look up for the game at all and played the way until the final 10 or so minutes. However, Spurs looked solid. Modric seemed out of place and wasn't able to get into the game the way we are used to. However his one free kick a few minutes after Liverpool's tying goal would be the goal to win the match. Luka's kick found Sea Bass' head for his first Spurs goal in his first game with Spurs. More texts come pouring in at this point. Even though that would be the match winner, I had my doubts that we'd eventually let them equalize within the last 3 minutes. They pushed hard from the 85th or so until the final whistle but Spurs held strong.

Credit: Getty Images

Lennon didn't really do much this game as neither did Modric. Luka did get some space and was able to pass but didn't have much room to work with. Central mid was completely bossed by Palacios and Huddlestone. All of you T. Hudd naysayers from the past few seasons are going to be proved wrong. I've always said Huddlestone is going to be quality for us. Our back 4 were incredible. Torres didn't do anything except stay on the ground as Huddlestone gave him a few words. If anyone can get me a .gif of that clip, I'll paypal you $10. No joke. I want that clip. Keane had 3 chances and honestly should have put one in. Defoe I really didn't pay attention to. The other two forwards didn't have any effect in the game. Gomes was solid except on his one challenge that lead to the penalty. But that's alright.

Also, when did Liverpool become so thuggish? That was a text my buddy sent me. And after watching a few challenges from Lucas, I wondered the same thing. Dirk Kuyt was an offender I believe late in the game on Assou Ekotto. Just seemed a bit dirty, which is odd for Liverpool.

After 1 game, we've got 3 points. That's more than we had after the first 8 last season. Triffic. Here's hoping to a solid performance Wednesday away at Hull. We need at least a draw, anything less there's no excuse. I don't mean to sound like a Top 4 or broke kinda fan, but no offense, it's Hull. Luckily, I have an off day from work, so I'll be watching the match for sure.

Lennon's gonna find his end product Wednesday and bag two. I feel it.

C'mon you Spurs!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Topps Series 2 Part 4 Extravaganza

Lucky 13:
Bill Simas ROOKIE
Steve Trachsel
Roy Halladay
Bobby Howry ROOKIE
Draft Picks Matt Belisle/Matt Roney
1998 All-Topps Pitchers Clemens/Maddux/Wood
1998 All-Topps Catchers Piazza/Pudge/Kendall
1998 All-Topps Outfielders Vlad/Greg Vaughn/Bernie Williams

Two stud rookies. A solid Draft Pick Card. And then stupid All-Topps crap. I always thought Bill Simas was like 35 when I got his MLB Showdown card in 2000. Apparently that was his second year, oops. Any time I pull a Clemens, I die a little inside.

Pack 14:
Bernie Williams
Shane Reynolds
Curt Schilling
Sandy Alomar
Mark McLemore
Reggie Jefferson
Preston Wilson
Carlos Guillen

If it wasn't for Sandy Alomar, Preston Wilson's smiling face, or Carlos Guillen's meth addict needing more drugs face, this pack would easily be ruined by Curt Schilling. Thanks a lot Curt.

Pack 15:
Ryan Klesko
Jeremi Gonzalez
Paul O'Neil
Tom Gordon
Rico Brogna
Joe Fontenot
Record Numbers Insert Curt Schilling
'99 Rookie Rush Marlon Byrd

RIP Jeremi. Rico Brogna is a legend. This box sucks. This makes me feel 100x worse than when I bought a pack of 2007 SPX and pulled Dennis Sarfate. Actually I had fun doing that. I don't want an insert of Schilling. Give me McGriff, Mark Grace, or Griffey. Not some asshole like Clemens or Schilling. The Marlon Byrd card is really shiny so it takes my attention away from the shitty Schilling card.

Pack 16:
Eric Chavez
Mike Hampton
Wilson Alvarez
Scott Elarton
Juan Guzman
Dennis Reyes
Ryan Minor
Charles Nagy

Wilson Alvarez is fat in his photo. Honestly there really isn't a whole lot to say about this pack. Although looking at the names I just pulled makes me miss 1999 so much. This was pre-Y2K, these baseball players were so young and naive and now it's assholes that take steroids that knock out the true heroes like Ryan Minor. Thanks a lot you steroid ridden dicks. Charles Nagy's card shows he has bleach blonde hair.

Topps Series 2 Round 3

Here is some more 1999 wholesome goodness.

Pack 9:
Omar Daal
Chili Davis
Jim Parque
Ramiro Mendoza
Draft Picks Matt Holliday/Jeff Winchester
Draft Picks Brad Lidge/Mike Nannini
Draft Picks Nate Bump/Nate Cornejo
Draft Picks Austin Kearns/Chris George

Pack sent straight from God himself. Chili Davis, Jim Parque, AND Omar Daal? And then the rest of my pack was draft picks!!! I honestly don't know which draft pick is worth more, but my favorite one by far is Nate Bump with Nate Cornejo. Gives the Jung Bong/Brandon Puffer 02 card a run for it's money.

Pack 10:
Jeff Conine
Jeff Abbott
Ricky Ledee
Mike Lansing
Strike Out Kings Kerry Wood
Strike Out Kings Roger Clemens
2 Checklists!

2 Jeffs. Former Indian. Kerry Wood ROOKIE INSERT. And then a douchebag who is on the level of douchebag-ness of Curt Schilling and two checklists to finish off my pack. Excuse me while I get the taste of crap out of my mouth. Honestly this box is already ruined due to the Curt Schillings and Roger Clemens.

Pack 11:
Jason Giambi
Tino Martinez
Alex Rodriguez
Henry Rodriguez
Rick Helling
Tony Womack
Dave Mlicki
Alex Gonzalez

Pack is full of steroids. Only wholesome thing in this was the Tony Womack card, and he's even in a Pirates uniform. Or Dave Mlicki, I can't decide.

Pack 12:
Mike Blowers
Matt Morris
Gregg Olson
Tony Saunders
Rafael Palmeiro
Brad Ausmus
Steve Finley
Dustin Hermanson

I had never heard of Mike Blowers. Apparently he had been playing in the league since '89. I also had no idea that Matt Morris had played in the league before 2001. I did know that Greg Olson played for the Indians (3 Games, 2.2 IP). And that Dustin Hermanson is an alumni of THE Kent State University.

I have to find some way of getting pictures up here soon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Topps Series 2 Part 2!

Welcome back again to the most exciting box break (without pictures!) this year. I decided that since I'm going to be playing in a wiffleball tournament today I might as well get in the mood. And honestly is there really any better way to get ready for a wiffleball tournament than by opening Topps Series 2 1999 Baseball cards? Nope.

Pack 5:
Scott Spiezio
Jeff Shaw (Tribe Legend)
Fernando Tatis
Randy Johnson
Mark Leiter
Draft Picks Pat Burrell/Eric Valent
Draft Picks Adam Everett/Chip Ambres
All Topps Mystery Finest Refractor Sosa/Griffey/Juan Gonzalez (1:200 packs!)

I really think my favorite card in the pack is the Mark Leiter. He just looks really confused in the photo. The Mystery Finest is easily the best card I'll pull out of this box. The only problem is that there is a solid black coating over the front of the card that I cannot seem to pull off. I just thought it was a error card until I looked on the back and saw it said "REFRACTOR". I can see through the film though and the player is Sosa. I guess that's what happens when you don't open cards for 10 years.

Pack 6:
Kerry Lightenberg Rookie ($$$$$$$$$$)
Adrian Beltre
Bernard Gilkey!!!
Brian Hunter
Randy Johnson Strikeout King
Curt Schilling Strikeout King
HR Parade Sammy Sosa
1979 Nolan Ryan Reprint

Kerry Lightenberg. Solid start to any pack. Brian Hunter's photo is amazing. He's holding two bases and has a black Batman-esque villian mask that just covers his eyes. Creativity at it's finest. Unfortunately I got another Curt Schilling card who I just despise. The Sosa card is cool though. On the back it has a picture of Roger Maris, which I don't really understand. The Ryan Reprint is just that, a reprint. I'm sure my dad and I have the actual card somewhere around here.

Pack 7
Cal Ripken
Tom Glavine
Tony Clark
Andy Ashby
Ugueth Urbina
John Burkett
Shane Monahan
Bill Mueller

Average pack. Pulling the Tony Clark reminds me of the times when I'd go to Tribe games and we'd play the Tigers and I was always afraid Clark would hit homers. Ugueth Urbina is always another great card to pull. Wait scratch that. Shane Monahan's only contribution to MLB is when Griffey raffled off his car during a game.

Pack 8
Matt Franco
Lance Johnson
John Jaha
Alex Gonzalez (Canadian version)
Luis Gonzalez
Jose Offerman
Edgar Renteria
Roger Clemens

Pack was fantastic with Lance Johnson and John Jaha. Then I got the douchebag Clemens and now I don't want to open any more packs ever again. Thanks a lot Roger.


Words cannot even begin to describe this auction.

If I had the money needed (I'd say at least 50K) I'd quit everything and move to Cali to run this shop. In all honesty, I don't care about the cut auto's and stuff like that, I'd just want to own my own card store.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Topps Series 2


Unopened box. Only difference is this is a Super Value Box. 20 star studded packs with a bonus 2 extra packs of pleasure. 8 cards per.

Clemens is on the cover in his Yankee/Steroid Ridden Shirt along with a small insert of Nolan Ryan. Apparently in this edition I can pull Nolan Ryan Inserts, Refractors, and Autographs!

The odds on pulling inserts are:
MVP Promo 1:694
Record Number Silver 1:11
Sequentially Numbered Cards
1:200,000 (approx)
Nolan Ryan Reprint 1:25
The rest of the inserts are pretty much 1:600+ packs

I'm going to pull an MVP Promo.

Cards I hope I pull:
Ben Grieve
Tony Womack
David Justice
Bubba Trammell
Enrique Wilson

I did not know they put Box Toppers in boxes back in 1999. Pleasantly surprised by a Barry Bonds Box Topper. Weird part about the card, he's running. Should not be doing this.

Pack 1:
Ron Coomer
Fernando Vina
Marquis Grissom!
Blog Sponsor Marty Cordova
Robin Ventura
Ken Caminiti
Devon White
Topps All 1B Men Big Mac/Bagwell/Galaragga

Pack 2:
Miguel Cairo (All Topps Rookie)
Brian Anderson
Chuck Finley
Mark Grudzielanek
All Topps 1B Olerud/Thome/Tino Martinez
All Topps SS A-Rod/Nomar/Jeter
All Topps 3B Castilla/Chipper/Rolen
Strikeout Kings Pedro Martinez

Pack 3:
Tim Salmon
Jeff Kent (Douchebag)
Kevin Young
Andy Benes in a hitting pose!
John Franco
Pete Harnisch (Legend)
Hideo Nomo
Todd Zeile

Pack 4:
Jarrod Washburn
Eli Marrero
John Thomson
Matt Stairs
PROSPECTS Carlos Lee/Mike Lowell/Kit Pellow
Rickey Henderson
Brian Jordan
Delino DeShields

I saw that prospects card at the National at least 10 times. No joke. I'm glad I finally have one to call my own.

More packs to come later.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

World Series Fever

1998. I'm about to open packs of Sports Illustrated (Presented by Fleer) WORLD SERIES FEVER. 4 Packs of this illustrious stuff.

Inserts are as follows (LOOK FOR THESE!):
10 MVP Collection 1:4
15 Reggie Jackson's Picks 1:12
10 Autumn Excellence 1:24
10 Autumn Excellence Gold 1:240

Oh man there's even EXCLUSIVE FIRST EDITION Parallels limited to only 1! 1/1 SICK NASTY BRO!

Pack 1:
El Dookie Orlando Hernandez
Curt Schilling*
Kerry Wood!
Jason Giambi
Autumn Excellence Gold!!!! Willie Mays
The New Mr. October Orel Hershiser
Edgardo Alfonzo

Well the Willie Mays just made all 4 packs. I've had a pretty solid record going where I open some packs of late 90's cards and pull something rare. At the National Jim bought a box of 1999 Fleer Ultra (I think) and I pulled a Ken Griffey Jr. that was 1:244 packs. Curt Schilling's card just reminds me of how much I hate the guy. Pretentious d-bag whose head is so large from all the steroids he's taken. I cannot wait until his name comes out for doing PED's. It'll be a holiday for me. Speaking of PED's, I got a Jason Giambi card. Creepy photo. He's all focused on something outside of the frame and it's very apparent that he was just injected.

Pack 2:
Gary Sheffield
Brian Hunter
Jim Thome
Juan Gonzalez
Rusty Greer

3 Rangers. A Triber. And Brian L. (Please don't forget the L) Hunter. Great Job!

Pack 3:
Albert Joey Belle
Jeff Bagwell
Jaret Wright!!!
Andy Pettitte
Manny Ramirez
Ricky Henderson SI Cover
Andres Galarraga

2 Indians one being Jaret Wright. Plus an Andres Galarraga which is basically a icing on the cake. And an Albert Belle where he is unfortunately on the White Sox, and ironically smiling in his photo. I'm gonna go off here for a bit and say that I honestly believe that Albert Belle never used PED's or Steroids. He had plenty of solid years and then got hurt and never was the same after. God that sounds like a steroid user. Nope, I'm going to still say he never used anything and is clean, I don't care if I'm biased. If you disagree here, you are wrong. Maybe.

Pack 4:
Derek Jeter
Paul Konerko
Pedro Martinez
Bobby Bonilla!!!!
MVP Collection Tom Glavine (1995)
World Series Preview SI Cover
Magnificent Moments Bucky Dent

And the high of these packs just crashed right after seeing the Tom Glavine card. Thank you Fleer for briging to light my cities inability to win any sports championship in 65 years. The blow is only softened up a bit by the Paul Konerko Dodgers card as well as the Bobby Bonilla card. Jeter card is awkward in that he looks sorta queer in his stare and the fact that he was just knocked down by a pitch. It's either that or his FILA arm band, I'm not entirely sure.

I'll try and have some sort of pictures up via camera or scanner later, if possible.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


My computer died, again. This time it seems that the motherboard crashed, after I dropped $350 to get a complete repair by the Geek Squad.

I wanted to blog about those Spectrum Autographs of the Kim Kardashian and other girl from Playboy. I think they fucking suck. They are the most prized possession out of the lot, but why? Because they've been seen naked or because they are good looking? Pretty fuckin lame if you ask me.

The Tribe traded Cliff Lee and a 4th OF'er today. We got 4 prospects. One of which is Knapp. Meh. I understand the reason the trade was made and to be honest, I fully agree with it. Although I think we could have gotten better players, not on a level of Kyle Drabek, but at least other areas of need.

Another tangent I don't understand is about the Tribe is why did we have Garko even try and play LF this year? He's a 1B by nature. Choo-Dellucci-Sizemore-Francisco is your OF. Throw in Derosa, Crowe, Carroll, and then Laporta. Dellucci is gone (thankfully). Derosa is gone, unfortunate but it was his last year and we weren't going to keep him around. Crowe is in AAA. Carroll might not even be able to play the OF, I have no idea. Garko is gone (thank god again). And Laporta is being groomed for 1B? What?

We aren't going to compete this year, and we aren't going to compete next year. 2010 is going to be exactly like 2002 where we evaluate talent and see who we have and what our strengths are. With all the potential talent being built up, I honestly feel that 2011 is going to be a solid year. And this feels weird since I'm the most pessimistic Cleveland fan.

Also, please dear god hire a real development staff for our pitchers because something isn't translating from AAA to the Majors. Reminds me of 2004 when Eddie Murray was our hitting coach. You remember that? Yeah, I tried to block it out too.


Last note, for those of you guys going to the National, I will be there bright and early on Sunday, the only day I do not work. Hope to meet some of you and possibly do a case break? Make some trades? Let me know if you are attending!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Would you buy more cards?

Nearly all credit card companies now have a Rewards Points System in place. Whether it's spend x amount of dollars and receive points to spend on vacations, merchandise, gas, or even money back. I'm personally very fond of this idea and if I had a credit card that gave me points towards rewards or cash back I'd put every purchase on it.

Now take this idea and apply it to the Sports Collectibles World.

What if Upper Deck, Topps, Donruss/Panini, or Razor did this?

First, you'd sign up online and probably pay a nominal fee to receive the card. The card comes in the mail a few weeks later, and when you go to your local hobby shop you buy a box of cards and scan the company issued card prior to your purchase. The amount of points you receive is a direct kick back of how much money is spent. Once you have acquired enough points you can go online and redeem the points for percent off a hobby box, receive free cards or memorabilia.

Or perhaps, to help ensure that your local card shop stays in business, the stores who are affiliated with the companies can work in partnership with the brands and allow for discounts or redemptions in-store so that they will generate more revenue (possibly).

The only problems that I have with it right now is that this points program would be geared towards the higher budgeted collectors rather than the average collectors.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Broke the duck

I did it. Finally caved in. I purchased my first pack of 2009. A Bowman Jumbo pack. 32 glorious cards.

My "hits" were Daniel Murphy of the Mets. It was a Blue Parallel /500. James (other blogger who never blogs) said he is similar to Ryan Garko. I don't really know how he gets these comparisons. After he said that I decided to read the back of the card, something I rarely do.

Here's what it said:

Resume: Member of 2008 Eastern League All-Star squad, swatting .308 for Binghampton..Called up to Mets in August and ripped 11 hits in 1st 21 AB's.

Skills: Looks like he'll be a .300 hitter for a long time...Great balance of patience and aggressiveness...Hits to situations...Shows an instinct for the RBI.

Evolution: Not even going to bother.

This is really the crap they put on cards now? His resume sounds nice. Although he had 11 hits in his first 21 AB's, he's currently hitting .241/.310/.353 in 77 games for the Mets.

And where exactly does the writers of these cards find the player's "skills"? I mean, I know most of it is made up, but still, are they on some Bill James abstract non-sense to figure out he'll hit .300 for a long time? And what exactly is a long time? 10 years or 3 weeks? Also, most guys who are coached are told to hit to situations, that's just a stupid sentence.

The kicker, "shows instinct for RBI". Incredible. What if nobody is on-base, how do you get your RBI? Hitting a homer? In 355 MLB AB's he has 7 homers. 7 more than I'll ever have, but still, 7 homers.

At least the card was enjoyable. Other than that I got crap like Aaron Rowand (who I don't like at all). Got a David Price Rookie, which is nice. Then a bunch of WBC guys whose name I cannot pronounce.

Pulled an Esmil Rogers /599 Refractor. Guy is touted as the #7 Prospect in the Rockies System. Currently posting an 8-2 record 2.48 ERA and 83K's to 19BB's in 94.1 IP. Not bad.

2001 Fleer Greats of the Game

I've got a new life collecting goal:

Complete the autograph checklist for the 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Baseball Set. 93 Cards. A daunting task by any means. I didn't expect there to be 93 cards in the auto set, at all.

I've been meaning to try this for a few years now. I've always been in love with the one autograph I do have. I pulled it back in 2001 at Easter. I received a few packs of cards in my basket (yeah, I still got a basket), and received a redemption. It was for the Killer, Harmon Killebrew. I had never heard of him, but my dad told me all about him and even pulled out his autographed ball of Harmon.

I don't think any card I have ever seen has come close to the solid design of the 2001 brand. Very basic yet fancy looking. Just having a few and displaying them would be really neat.

The only task I have right now is to try and find a checklist of the 93 guys. All I know right now is that I need 92 more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Real Life GM?

I decided I'd like to try my hand at prospecting. And by prospecting, I don't just mean that I'll be buying all the hot rookies or mid level rookies. I decided on about 7 players right now who I'd like to give a go at.

My parameters are that I'd research the player a bit. Then check his stats. After this, I'd see the level he is at followed by his age. Depending on these indicators, I go to Ebay to see how much the cards are going for. My only problem as compared to other collectors, is that I really don't have money due to where I'm at in life right now. So if I could give myself a club to align with, I'd say I'm much like the Pittsburgh Pirates. I just hope I have some decent amount of luck and don't go after all the "Creech-lings".

I don't really intend on making any money, this is more about picking guys who I think might be decent and then follow them. If they are scrubs, well then I've got quite a collection of the guy. It's not much of a problem since most of the auto's I've gotten in the last year haven't been anything special.

I also joined FreedomCardBoard's Forum under the name Hold Steady.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Looking for....

a good sports card message board.

Basically, I don't want to go to Beckett and have to sift through 10+ pages of nonsense just to find one decent post. I've somewhat glanced at a few and really didn't make up my mind as to which I'd like to join up at. What do you guys suggest?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Topps Sucks

Over at the Beckett Blog, they ran a story yeterday of the 5 Promotional cards being given away at the National. The cards look amazing. I'm a huge fan of any 1950's or 1960's design. Baseball back then seems so much purer than modern day baseball. It was more about the game than the players.

Photo Credit to Beckett Blog

The only glaring issue I have is that there isn't a regional player issued in this set. The dual Mantle cards, I understand. Mickey will always have a huge command in the collectibles business. Campanella and Maris are also good picks. But Jackie being issued in a Giants uniform? Why bother?

Back to the regional player issue. I've brought this up before, but where is the love for Larry Doby? While he wasn't the superstar that Jackie was, he did break the color barrier for the American League. I'd really love to know why he doesn't get a nod in more retro sets. Does his family own his rights and not want to give them out? Or did the Tri Star Marketing staff learn that Cleveland players aren't worth their time to print cards of on a national scale?

I remember in 2007 that Topps gave out Promotional cards with their Allen and Ginter release. I received both regular and mini version of Grady Sizemore.

It just seems to me that Doby is completely overlooked in releases that feature Hall of Famers. If there is anytime and place to test the market with Larry Doby it'd be with Promo cards at a National featured in Cleveland, Ohio.

Wedgie Watch™

12 of the last 14 have been losses.

The All Star Break couldn't come soon enough. And to be fair, it's only a break from this horrendous season, round 2 starts right after.

Why does Josh Barfield not get any playing time? Why is he still on the Indians 40 man? What purpose does he even serve as an Indian if he isn't being utilized? Can we please trade him for some prospects? Milwaukee, will you call Mark Shapiro and take Barfield off our hands, please.

Oh yeah, Eric, you've got a mutiny amongst your crew.

Photo Credit: Cleveland Blog.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Is it possible?

After being out of the loop for quite a few months due to school and work, I've come back to blogging. The hatred of Beckett seems to be dwindling (at least to me). However, the lingering fact that Beckett's Saving Grace, their "price guide" still is used by so many collectors.

After multiple conversations with my dad about my cards and how much they are worth (according to Beckett) I've realized he was one of the many who got caught up in the late 80's early 90's collecting craze. Granted for his sake, he had collected since he was a young child, and his collection will forever surpass mine, regardless of how many 1/1's or multiple relic auto's I pull. To see mint rookies of Kareem, Pete Rose, Joe Namath, it's humbling. He's got Yogi's, Mantles, basically name it.

A few nights ago, him and I were talking about Beckett and how it really isn't the true go to for pricing. I explained the whole Ebay versus Beckett and he understood and laughed at how him and I would save all rookies from anything. I'm sure my college education that I've been receiving will easily be paid off with those Tim Bogar rookie cards. And if Tim isn't a great money grabber, we still have plenty of mint Steve Finley's.

But the main point I want to ask all of you is this:

Is it possible to create our own Price Guide and update it via ending bids by Ebay? Sure you can remember all of the final auctions of a card you want, but I'm talking whole sets. For instance, when Allen and Ginter drops later this year, within a week or two, there could easily be an online Blogger made price guide and people would then be able to use that. Here's the kicker, they'd have a REAL expectation of what their card is worth. I'm currently testing this with my favorite cards, MLB Showdown. It's easy for me to test this on cards such as Showdown since the game and cards haven't been produced since 2005. The tricky part about this idea is that a set like Ginter would take quite a few dedicated people to help put together a price guide for fellow collectors/bloggers.

Do you think this would work or would it just be a waste of time?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Wedgie Watch™

(Thanks to Waiting For Next Year for the photo).

The clock is ticking here in Cleveland. The late honey-moon of last season is over after the wonderful playoff parade in 2007 happened. This was going to be year the Tribe were really the sleepers, again. Well sitting in last place with our heads in our faces doesn't seem very promising. Derosa trade done and dusted. White flag up and our doors are wide open for the 29 other GM's to come and speculate who is available to deal.

Let the rumors begin. And thanks to ESPN the ball is rolling. Start up the rumor of Victor to Boston, again. Cliff Lee, have fun pitching somewhere else. I don't think either of these will happen, but I'm sure ESPN will love to dream up these rumors.

What needs to happen:
Garko gone.
Francisco gone.

Wedge....probably gone.

7 years, 1 playoff appearance. Wedge has done plenty of good things for the club, mostly fostering young talent and helping in the community. But only one of those helps the on field progression of the club. Even in 2003 when he was appointed he had trouble managing his pitchers. I gave it about 2 years before he'd catch on. It's 2009, and he still makes baffling choices. Granted, this year more than ever he's not really had many great choices to choose from.

Could I manage our pitchers better than Eric? Probably not, no. But there has got to be a learning curve? As said before, there hasn't been much talent in the 'pen for Wedge to go to. Wood hasn't been what we envisioned. The majority of the rest of the staff has underperformed or just performed to their average, however you want to look at it.

Taking that into consideration, the Tribe's Pythagorean Wins and Loss Record is 36-41. 5 Games under .500. Good for about 7 games out of first place. A lofty, yet reachable goal; especially in this division. That's quite a bit of dumb luck to have not gone our way. If we continue to play the way we've played in the second half of the last two years, there is a slim chance the Tribe could make a push. It'd be awesome if it happens to get the fans excited about the team and getting more people at the empty park.

Now Shapiro believes that this is just a stutter in his Master Plan™. And to be honest to him and his resume with the Tribe so far, I believe it. His worst deal so far has been Brandon Phillips to Cincy. Lately he's dropped the ball with some of his Free Agent signings...Dellucci, Kobayashi, Wood (to an extent). And I don't think I've ever been excited about his high round draft picks. Except Sowers, but I'm biased on him. So I'll give Mark a pass, he's earned it.

Or has he? What about that contract that looms on our heads in the form of Travis Hafner? What is the deal with those injuries over the last few seasons? That huge power surge from 05-07 and then silence for awhile. Rumors swirled that it could have been attributed to steroids, I'm on the fence about it. He's always been a big dude, but that sharp decline, at least to me, sets off a red-flag. What do we do with a guy who is going to be owed nearly 10+ million a year until 2013! For the lack of his playing time lately and the fact that the guy is useless in the field, we are paying a shitload of cash for a DH. We are not New York(s), Boston, or LAA. We are a mid-level market team. While I wouldn't mind seeing Hafner being dealt, I don't know what we'd get. Also, even though he doesn't play often, the runs he'd produce would not be able to come from somewhere else in the lineup. At least not this year.

The only thing I know is that 2009 has not been kind to the Tribe. So with that said, what now for the Tribe? Does Eric Wedge really deserve to be fired?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Where are they now....

Over a year ago I was all about Topps Finest. The first box I pulled contained the coveted Jay Bruce Redemption. Over the course of time I pulled plenty of other nice stuff. A lot of the autographs were of minor league dudes. So since a year has passed, I'm going to see what they are doing.

Sam Fuld.

Drafted by the Cubbies.

Last year at this time: Playing in AAA hitting .222.310/.317/.627.
Currently: Still at AAA (Iowa) and hitting .286/.358/.399/.758 in 283 AB's. 16 XBH with 0 homers. For some reason I love guys who do not hit homers. He's walked 10 more times than he's K'd (32/22 split) and has 20 SB's only being caught 5 times.

He's currently on the Cubbies 40-Man, so a September call-up is most likely in the future. Although he'll really have to impress Lou come September due to him being 28. The rest of Iowa's OF is really awesome. Brad Snyder, So Taguchi, Jason Dubois, and a guy named John-Ford Griffin. Not really sure where Fuld ranks in terms of prospects for the Cubs, but I'd imagine that it's not very high and he'd end up being a bench guy.

Jonathan Meloan.

Last Year: Meloan was starting for the Dodgers AAA club. His numbers were 50 IP with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP (47K/27BB). He was later dealt to Cleveland in the Casey Blake deal.
Currently: I haven't even looked at his stats in Columbus until right now. I was going to write about how his numbers were much closer to his 2007 numbers (2.03 ERA, 91K's in 66.2 IP), but no. I wish he was putting up something to that stat line. Instead he has a bulky 5.65 ERA in 43 IP. In this time he's gotten 35 K's. Glad to know that the Tribe isn't the only team with bullpen woes. Our AAA club is bad too. Wonderful.

Meloan will probably make it up here sooner or later. I'd assume if things keep going the way they are going, Meloan will get a chance to shine at least by September, especially since the Indians are trying to do anything necessary to keep our heads above water. Who knows maybe Meloan will baffle hitters up here with the Tribe and we'll have a solid cog in the bullpen to round out the rest of this frustrating year.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The National. One month away. Unlike the past year's I cannot gurantee that I'll be able to go to it, which sucks. Looking over the list of autographs it's pretty solid, except for Eric Crouch. Why is he going to be here? What does he even do anymore? I guess Cleveland is the ideal market for Eric to come sign at, whatever.

Organizing more cards, I found my redemptions from 2008 Finest, which I think I still have a few days to redeem, I gotta get on that. I know Jay Bruce is one of the cards I'm owed, but I doubt I'll be able to get that card redeemed after the hype of Bruce. Although he is only hitting around the mid .200's.

I was in Chicago over the weekend to see the Tribe. Friday and Sunday games. This team is turning into the Browns in that they can cleverly find ways to blow games. Usually it ends up with the bullpen. Last night I watched Cliff Lee pitch for the second time in a week and if I were him I'd be so frustrated with the bullpen. I wonder how these guys don't rip each other's heads off after losses. Team is turning into the late 80's early 90's Indians, it's getting ugly. 14 games under. Yikes.

Monday, June 22, 2009

So over the last month my computer has slowly been going downhill. Last week it finally gave into a huge virus/trojan and is currently being looked at by the Geek Squad. So any posts I've been wanting to make haven't happened due to this.

So in the last week I've done this:

Opened a box of 2002 MLB Pennant Run that I've had in my posession for over 2 years. Got a bunch of nice cards I've already had that I'll throw on Ebay. Got a few others that I really needed to finish building the set.

Went to Chicago to see the Tribe play against the Cubbies. Love going to Wrigley. Don't like seeing the Indians being the worst team in baseball, literally. The Nationals are not this bad. Records may indicate otherwise, but I don't buy it.

Found two auto'd baseballs my dad has upstairs. One being Ron Guidry. The other is Hank Aaron. Unreal. He's got so much old stuff it's insane and I plan on going through and cataloging it eventually this year to help see if I can finish sets for him.

Otherwise, I'm still not buying any cards. I'd love to bust a box of stuff but with the spending on $300+ on my PC fix, I cannot do that. I do plan on hitting up the National this year and have a fun competition with my friend on who can find the best garbage relic/auto card.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

161 Million Euros

That's $232 Million Dollars. A hefty sum especially in the current economic climate. If you were given that amount, what would you do with it?

How about spend it in a matter of a few days on two soccer players? No, well then you wouldn't fit in at Real Madrid. This lot just dropped that cash on pure world class players Kaka (Brazilian formerly with AC Milan) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugese formerly with Manchester United). While these two are easily in the best Top 5 in the world right now, it's just absurd how much money was spent.

The best part, Madrid are still trying to get other players. Galacticos Round Two.

FIFA 2010 is going to be unplayable online this year, everyone will be Real while I'm still playing with Spurs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First post in nearly 3 months. What's good in the card world, if anything at all?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I pulled a cut sig today!

So I bought a pack of Celebrity Cuts. I pulled a presidential auto of Thomas Jefferson 1/3. Nah, just kidding, I still haven't bought any American Sports Cards this year. In fact, I might start making my own presidential cut signatures since ya know, the cut autos might not even be signed by the Presidents. This also has been reported on Wax Heaven, The Sports Card File, and Sports Card Uncensored.

The sports industry is not like any other business industry in the world. Not only do customers come into venues to watch the event or their favorite players, but they take in the atmosphere that comes with it. That hot dog you chomp on during a day game on July 4th, standing in the friendly confines of Wrigley during the 7th Inning Stretch, watching your favorite football team launch a 40 yard TD pass and high fiving the other frantic fans around you. This is your product you purchased. Those same people do not go to their job and high five when they get their budget reports sent on time, there is no wave at the Monday morning briefing. Hell failed "executives" and "managers" in sports aren't shunned from the industry when they fail, they are simply recycled from one team to another because they've already made it this far, so how bad could they be? In any other industry, they screw up, kiss goodbye ever trying to get a job in their respective field again. And that's why so many people take to sports. It's a place to take their minds away from reality, and why so many of us stay wrapped up in sports and write these blogs.

Sports cards are no different. We can all sit around and rip open packs and talk about the cards we pull in them. Pulling that autograph or memorabilia piece of your favorite player can leave you on a Cloud 9 high for days or even weeks. Slowly for a lot of us, the passion we have for this industry is fading away by crooks. The people running this industry are destroying it while they swindle plenty of ill-advised collectors of their hard earned cash.

Razor seems to be the worst of the bunch as of late. And that's unfortunate because they are a new company trying to get a foothold in the game. They picked up some good first round picks to exclusive deals. Throw in some presidential cut sigs and the brand now has some power in the industry. They can now play with Topps and Upper Deck. Unfortunately they are not playing against them, they are playing with them. People are dropping insane amounts of cash on cards that might not even be legit. That should never have ever happened from major companies. Gimmick cards that show players throwing no hitters in the future, superstars from one club being in jerseys of another, parallels that aren't parallels. This stuff has got to stop. The sad part is, it never will because it makes money off of sucker customers.

Unfortunately for those of us who know enough about this industry (bloggers for the most part), we are watching our childhood past-time die slowly every day.

Topps, Upper Deck, and Razor make nice products but I won't see myself buying any of their products this year if all of this gimmick crap keeps up. I already am welcoming Panini and it's line of basketball cards into America with open arms.

Monday, March 2, 2009

March Update

This is my first post since February 19. In that time span there have been quite a few releases of baseball cards from the big two. Having read about them and scouring Ebay, I honestly have no desire to collect any of those cards. Error cards and rare chase cards plus the whole "black" parallel set that is in Wal-Mart and Target, unreal. A Hanley Ramirez in a Sox uniform that says "2008". I literally refuse to spend money on this garbage anymore. It also doesn't help the fact that even if I wanted to buy cards, I can't. Over the last few months I barely have money to do anything, let alone buy cards. The economy has killed what little income I have not to mention the fact that bills are coming in at a resounding rate, but I guess this is what I have to look forward to in growing up.

Most likely, I'm going to end up selling a majority of my cards for whatever I can get, which will probably end up being around $5, if I'm lucky. I'd much rather trade what I have away for Grady Sizemore cards, so if you'd be interested in that, let me know. I do still have to mail out John's cards to England (sorry it's taken forever!). I appreciate your patience and you'll be rewarded for it all throughout this summer when I move back home.

Also, tickets for the National have gone on sale, so if you plan on attending you should get them soon before they increase the price. I should be in attendance one of the days.

Lastly this blog will still talk about sportscards but as of right now, posting on here will not be frequent. Hopefully I'll have time to write some decent articles this summer.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tottenham One and Done UEFA Cup

Well, the away leg is upon us. Redknapp is at least smart enough to realize that the UEFA Cup is something we don't need on our plates at the moment. We also don't need 6 games in 17 days, but what is a team to do, sometimes clustered fixtures happen.

Spurs are resting or not even bringing these players to Ukraine:

These players are injured:

Cup Tied Players:

Holy shit. Even if Harry wanted to bring guys with him, there isn't many to choose from. As of 1:30ish EST, I have no idea what our starting 11 will look like, other than slotting in Dawson, Chimbonda (haha), Gomes, Frazier and Bent. After the US vs Mexico game where Gio ran wild for 72 odd minutes, I wonder if he'll be traveling to Ukraine to get some time. I hope he does just so it shuts up all the Spurs fans who think Gio was a waste buy. Does he fit the Comolli signing guide, yes. Is he full of talent, of course. I just hope Spurs make a horrible mistake and sell Gio.

If Spurs can get a draw out of this match, I'll be happy because I think we could push past Shakhtar at the Lane.

Starting 11:



Bentley----Parrot(1st Start)--Jenas[C]--Zokora---Gio



EDIT: Starting 11 is very alright. Don't have word on all the subs as of right now. The pitch apparently is horrible and I don't have a Feed for the game yet, still have the Udinese game on, which is now at 2-2! Updates to follow.

EDIT 2: Half-time. 0-0 still. I actually went out to get some food during the first half, which shows how much emphasis I'm putting on this match. Looking foward to our league play more than anything now, which nearly all Spurs fans are the same. Dario Srna plays for Donetsk, forgot about that.

Fun trivia question during Half Time: Who is the most famous player to come through Donetsk?

A: Sergei Rebrov. Yikes.

I also cannot forget about our American Sports here. Only 8 more minutes until the NBA Trade Deadline is over. So far the Cavs have been linked with quite a few players, but most notably Shaq. Unreal stuff right there. I'm on the fence about if I want us to make a move. I think it's imperative, however I don't want the chemistry to be broken up, or lose Wally.

69': Bent comes on for Gio. Bentley moves to the left, Campbell moves over to the right side. Still running a 4-5-1. Hopefully we can get some magic out of Bent and score on a counter. Donetsk pushes up a lot and hopefully we can catch them off guard.

78': Goal for Donetsk. They brought on a sub and within 10 seconds the sub scores. All the fault is put on Gomes for sure. Completely out of place for the ball. Gomes came out and was in complete no-man's land and tried to punch the ball away, even though he was at least 2 yards away from ever touching it. Unreal. He's tried to give this away by throwing the ball to a defender who was 23 yards out. Now Gomes is down and about to be carted off by the stretcher. Unbelievable how fast this guy has fallen from grace after being with PSV.

88': Just as John Bostock is about to come on Donetsk scores their second. Bad defending by the back 4 as Jadsen (sp?) puts the ball across the body of Gomes. Bostock comes on for Parratt, who looked fantastic today. Hopefully he'll continue to impress. I was going to do a write up about how a 1-0 lead going back to WHL wouldn't be to bad, but having to score 3 is going to be nearly impossible, especially on our form all year. Well, nice to get this out of the way and focus strictly on league play.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

UEFA Cup Feb. 18 2009

Plenty of games going on today.

18:00 Dynamo Kyiv ? - ? Valencia
18:15 Zenit St. Petersburg ? - ? Stuttgart
18:30 Olympiakos Piraeus ? - ? Saint-Etienne
20:00 Aston Villa ? - ? CSKA Moscow
20:35 Werder Bremen ? - ? AC Milan
20:45 Bordeaux ? - ? Galatasaray
20:45 NEC Nijmegen ? - ? Hamburger SV
20:45 Paris S.G. ? - ? Wolfsburg
20:45 Sampdoria ? - ? Metalist Kharkiv
21:00 Aalborg BK ? - ? Deportivo La Coruna
21:45 Braga ? - ? Standard Liege

Predictions of winners are bolded.

This soccer/football tournament is comparable to the NIT Invitational for College Basketball. While the UEFA Champions League is the biggest clubs in the world (sorry AC Milan), the UEFA Cup still have some of the larger teams however these are more of the "second tier" of club teams in Europe. I'm hoping that Olympiakos beats St. Etienne, just because Comolli works for Eteinne. Villa-CSKA should be a really good game. And it'd be incredible to see Werder Bremen beat AC Milan. Hopefully Hugo Almeida can put 2 away and finish off Milan, but most likely not. Last but not least, Hamburger SV should have an easy time with NEC Nijmegen. Spurs played them last year without much troubles, and Hamburger should do the same. Not to mention Martin Jol is in charge over there in Germany with two quality fowards (Mladen Petric, Ivica Olic).

Spurs playing tomorrow against Shakhtar Donetsk. Game is away and Redknapp is talking about not having Luka travel with the club due to hurting his ankle. With Keane, Corluka, and nearly the rest of the club ineligible to play due to Cup ties, we can all but kiss UEFA Cup done. Having Darren Bent up top alone is bad, but factor in that there isn't anyone to command in midfield (except Lennon who doesn't have an end product) and there really isn't a need to watch this match if you don't have to. At least with the defense we should be okay, maybe. Ledley is out. But the way Dawson has played we shouldn't need Ledders. I'll for sure be watching just to see how the reserve squad plays, who knows maybe Zokora will go crazy and score a brace. Haha, just kidding.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dunk Contest Equals Lame

Rudy Fernandez was screwed. His first dunk was incredible. Behind the back pass off the backboard and slammed into the net. That received a 42. Dwight Howard bounces a basketball on the court and receives a 100 score. Sure Sprite and the NBA are going to cater towards the bigger NBA star in Howard, but the voters seriously cannot sit there and say Fernandez's dunk was worse than Howard's. Oh, wait, that won't happen because Dwight still has their heads around his waist.

Everyone's prop dunk used a teammate or another player of some sort. Smith tried an awesome from the stands pass that didn't work out. Rudy got Gasol to pass off the back of the backboard for Rudy to slam it in, which took 9 tries. During the first 8 the voters talked all kinds of shit on Rudy about how they could make that dunk. Yeah, go for it you fat asses. I'll give a pass to Larry Nance because he isn't that kind of person to gloat or talk down on a player, at least not on National TV. The 9th time he nailed the dunk, which should have scored at least a 46, regardless of attempts.

I completely understand the dunk contest was rigged and geared towards Dwight Howard. C'mon, a phone booth and 12 foot hoop? The retarded analyst who would sound like Carlos Mencia (who is the worst human on the planet)? Was all of this necessary David Stern?

And that brings me to another point. David Stern looked completely bored during Rudy's dunks. You should be excited that Rudy was voted in this contest, not by the American/Canadian Contingent, rather everyone that voted from Spain.

Earth to the NBA and Sprite, if you want to become huge in the global market, it'd probably help to push Rudy during this contest. Not to say they aren't already huge globally, but it still wouldn't hurt to try.

It was a really nice touch by Rudy to wear the Fernando Martin jersey during his dunk last night. Fernando was the first Spanish player to play in the NBA, with Portland. Martin was also killed in a car accident at age 28, eerily similar to one of my favorite NBA players, Drazen Petrovic. Drazen was also brought into the league by Portland and is credited as starting the influx of European players into the league. Sadly enough, Drazen was killed in a car accident at age 28.

Hopefully I'll be able to see Rudy play in March when the come to Cleveland.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


So I haven't updated in nearly a week. Between work and school, I barely have time to do anything...especially update a blog. I owe John from the UK a package, it's basically waiting to get shipped out, hopefully I'll have time do that within the coming week. Luckily, there isn't much to blog about in the card world right now, but I'll talk about a few topics:

1. Topps Mayo. Why would anyone buy a set of cards that is based off a condiment? Honestly, that alone makes me never want to touch the crap. Not to mention that it was completely false advertised. Great job!

2. A-Rod. hahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

Although, it scares me that since he is named, MLB is going to become nothing anymore in the public's eye. If A-Rod got caught, nobody is untouchable. I believe that's how the sport should be, but man, the black eye that sport will have for the next few decades could be a monumental disaster.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Last Minute Transfers

Today is officially the last day for Euro soccer to transfer players amongst teams.

I'll be live blogging as the events go down, mostly about Tottenham.

So far we're linked back with Robbie Keane. This is after the whole "tapping up" nonsense Rafa said we did. Spurs weren't the one tapping up Robbie, Rafa, you were a few months ago.

Also linked to Quaresma of Inter. Weird pairing. Mourinho would want Jenas if we were selling, which Jenas to Inter is about as odd as any transfer window could ever be.

Talk about selling Darren Bent. His goal scoring has been inconsistent, but when broken down over the season, the ratio of goals scored to games played is solid. Not many people are big on Bent, but he's in the wrong system at Spurs, not his fault. To me, this is reminiscent of fans not liking Defoe, even though he was decent for us behind Keane-Berbatov. Moment we sold Defoe and Keane and Berbs left, everyone was crying to get JD back at Spurs. So we did, and now look how that is turning out.

Also, Arshavin is still in the news. I'm getting really tired of the Russian.

EDIT: 2:30pm:

Robbie Keane is once again going to be wearing the Lilywhite and Blue. Unreal. Not even 6 months at the boyhood dream club and it's deemed a massive failure. Guranteed this will be an undisclosed transfer fee.

All we need now is to sign Mido from 'Boro and we'll have our lovely striking squad from 2005-2006. Man what I'd give for Edgar Davids back. Hopefully Palacios will be our new Davids, then our midfield might actually be able to perform. Although why Redknapp loves Zokora is beyond me. Wish he rated him highly when he was still at Pompey, could have sold him off for a nice few million.

Quaresma ends up at Chelsea. This will be a fun end run for Chelsea. A moody player is all they need, especially one who is very much off and on. I'd gladly bet this turns into a Sheva type outcome, but with attitude.

More to come!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Panini takes over America

Yesterday it was announced that Panini will produce basketball cards here in America. No more Topps or Upper Deck. Tons of bloggers have already posted about this and the way they feel. Many of them feel it's great that Topps and UD are getting challenged by other companies. This challenged should have been happening years ago, not just with basketball, but in all the sports.

A lot of bloggers also feel that Panini will destroy the basketball card industry. Just exactly how will they destroy it? By not having autographed cards or jersey cards? Please. I'll give the fact that Panini doesn't have a few of the worldwide superstars to use (Lebron with UD), but they might already be in talks about getting Lebron, or even be working with UD to be allowed to produce Lebron cards. Panini is a business, they'll get it together.

Face it, sports cards have been ruined for at least a decade now, if not longer. The people cards used to be catered to (read: kids), can barely afford packs just because the older generation are trying to cash in on triple event used relics of Kevin McHale's jockstrap from the 1983 Photo-shoot. Topps is no longer the company they once were. They make some nice Products, but for the most part, their stuff isn't great. The company lives off name brand only. Hell, for my 21st birthday last year I received a retail box of 2007-2008 NBA Series 1 Basketball. The cards were nice, but very cookie cutter and boring. And don't get on me for getting a retail box, it was a gift from my parents. Upper Deck (at least to me) makes better basketball cards, but nothing special either. My favorite set has been Hardcourt, and that's a mediocre set at best.

Panini is going to ruin the basketball industry because they are European company. What? They will produce basketball cards and get the NBA name-brand out overseas. It's already out there now. Shit, Greece team Olympiacos wants to sign Kobe or Lebron. You tell me people don't know the NBA? Panini will not ruin the basketball card industry, you bloggers and collectors will ruin the b-ball card industry by talking it down and not buying the product because you aren't sure what Panini is about. Look at it this way, Panini might even help America. People buying these cards might be more inclined to buy NBA merchandise and travel here to see the teams.

I'm all for Panini to make cards. Will they make stickers, sure they probably will. Do you have to buy them, no. There's another company that specializes in Football (Soccer) cards in Europe called Futera. I've blogged about them before. Their high end set (Futera Unique Football) caters to overseas collectors (read: American), by adding 1/1 auto's and memorabilia on the cards. If you think these companies don't know that not having these kinds of inserts in their sets will be good, you are crazy.

I'm very excited for Panini to start making basketball cards, because frankly this industry sucks and could use any sort of fresh air it can get. And if they do fail miserably (as in, nobody buys the cards) then it wasn't their fault, they tried, it'd all just come down to the collector being just as stubborn as the manufacturer's they love to hate.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Across the Pond Part Two:

I haven't had any time to post more of what I received from John in our Baseball Cards for Football cards deal. I also haven't had the time to send out any of the packages that I owe, so I'm going to try and add a bit extra to the few that I need to send out, sorry for the delay. School and work are killing me.

This entry is about two Football Cards I received. The first card, of Croatian superstar Luka Modric is a 2008-2009 Topps Match Attax card. These cards are wildly popular over in the UK. So much so, that Topps is bringing Match Attax over here to America, but for baseball.

Luka is by far my favorite player on Spurs. Ever since Davids left, I didn't really have a favorite player. Sure I liked Keane and I loved Berbatov, but they both left too. Luckily for me, Spurs snapped up Luka before Euro 2008 and he has looked great. Too bad Spurs are horrible so far this year, worse than usual.

The next card I received was in a few of the Match Attax packs I was sent.

Niko Kranjcar of Portsmouth. Niko was injured for quite some time, and is finally back to playing for Pompey. Another one of my favorites in the EPL by far. Even have his Pompey jersey from last year.

I really like the look and feel to these cards. Real sharp. I just wish the back had some stats or a short bio, but that's alright.

I'd love to try and get all the variations of Luka and Niko's card, as well as all the Vedran Corluka cards.

If you can't tell of the bias in this post towards Croatians, it's because I'm a Croat myself.

The next time I do a post about Match Attax it will be all about the other Tottenham guys I got, and there were plenty.

What happened to the "Coolest Game On Earth?"

The NHL All-Star Game was played last night, did you watch it? Did you even know it was on TV? Do you even have any idea the NHL still exists?

The All-Star Game was on at 6 pm last night, and I searched every station to watch it. No luck. In fact, I just found out the score and the MVP (12-11 East in a Shootout; MVP was Alexi Kovalev). I've been hockey-less since October, when Time Warner Cable got rid of Versus. I can catch a Blue Jacket's game here and there, but other than that, I don't see any NHL action at all.

Nearly 10 years ago, the NHL was coming down from it's peak. The Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry helped put hockey into the upper echelon of American Sports. ESPN2 would carry plenty of hockey games. ESPN and Barry Melrose would talk hockey and show highlights all the time. Now the NHL is lucky to get 1 clip on ESPN a day.

Ever since the lockout that wiped out a whole season, the NHL has become virtually invisible to Americans. I'd even guess that the MLS draws more viewers.

The new 2008-2009 SP Hockey (Upper Deck) comes out soon also. Since dinosaur teeth are already taken in another hockey set, this set's gimmick will be fight straps. Fight straps are the little straps on the lower back of the jersey to keep the player's shirt on him while in a fight (common sense, no?). I think this sounds pretty neat. Unfortunately, most of the fight straps are white, so the card's patch/strap won't be very appealing to many. Although this prevents any chance of having different colored relics on the card, making it nearly impossible to counterfeit. Unless of course Upper Deck adds some "blood" to some of the relics, but that's usually the kind of gimmicky crap Topps does.

Check out some of the cards here:


This card would have been much cooler about a week ago. Both these guys recently stopped their hatred for each other at this weekend's All-Star Game Festivities. While both are superstars in the NHL, the lack of rivalry doesn't make the card as interesting anymore.

This is what I'm talking about. Detriot versus Colorado. Legendary stuff right there. These teams hated each other and even the goalies would fight each other. Patrick Roy is on this card and so is Mike Ver....wait, Dominick Hasek. What? Upper Deck couldn't get a fight strap of Mike Vernon? Or Chris Osgood? Are you serious? Both goalies on this card are amazing and will be in the HOF eventually. But for a 1/1, this card NEEDS TO HAVE Vernon or Osgood. Way to drop the ball UD.

Hopefully Hockey can regain it's Coolest Game On Earth status someday, but until that day comes, I'll be searching for channels on TV to watch the NHL.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Collection

I've been collecting Grady Sizemore cards since early 2004. I've got some pretty good ones, although I don't have the 2000 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects Autograph or his 2001 Topps Update Autograph. I probably never will. They are just too far out of my price range.

After reading Dave from Fielder's Choice Blog about his Longoria Collection, I wanted to see how my Sizemore collection compared.

Currently, I have 118 Grady Sizemore baseball cards. I thought I had about 70, haha.

1 Printing Plate
4 Autographed (3 Serial Number Auto's)
11 Jersey cards (6 Serial Numbered)

My favorite card by far is this one below. I've written about it in a past blog.

I stopped collecting Grady cards in 2008. I didn't really have much time for card collecting and would like to try and acquire some before all the 2009 stuff comes out. If you have any to trade, get in contact with me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cleveland City Stars 2009 USL-1 Schedule

The Cleveland City Stars were founded in 2006. Our first season was played in 2007, where we finished 2nd, making to to the semifinals in the playoffs. Last season, the club finished in 3rd place. The City Stars won the USL-2 Championship at home. Our former head coach, Martin Reinne, moved to a USL-1 team. However, we decided to follow Martin and on December 5th, 2008, the City Stars moved up to USL-1. And today, the Cleveland City Stars announced their 2009 schedule.

Saturday April 18th 8:00pm @ Miami FC Blues

Saturday April 25th 8:30pm @ Austin Aztex

Friday May 1st 8:00pm vs. Rochester Rhinos Fox Soccer Channel

Saturday May 9th 7:00pm vs. Portland Timbers SportsTime Ohio

Saturday May 16th 8:05pm @ Minnesota Thunder

Friday May 22nd 8:00pm vs. Carolina Railhawks Fox Soccer Channel

Friday May 29th 8:00pm @ Carolina Railhawks Fox Soccer Channel

Saturday May 30th 7:30pm @ Charleston Battery

Thursday June 4th 7:00pm @ Puerto Rico Islanders

Saturday June 6th 6:00pm @ Puerto Rico Islanders

Saturday June 13th 7:00pm vs. Rochester Rhinos SportsTime Ohio

Thursday June 18th 7:00pm vs. Miami FC Blues SportsTime Ohio

Saturday June 20th 7:00pm vs. Miami FC Blues SportsTime Ohio

Tuesday June 23rd 7:00pm vs. Vancouver Whitecaps SportsTime Ohio

Saturday June 27th 7:00pm vs. Austin Aztex SportsTime Ohio

Friday July 3rd 8:00pm vs. Austin Aztex Fox Soccer Channel

Sunday July 12th 5:00pm vs. Puerto Rico Islanders SportsTime Ohio

Friday July 17th 7:00pm vs. Charleston Battery SportsTime Ohio

Wednesday July 22nd 7:45pm @ Montreal Impact

Saturday July 25th 7:35pm @ Rochester Rhinos

Saturday August 1st 7:00pm vs. Vancouver Whitecaps SportsTime Ohio

Saturday August 8th 7:00pm @ Carolina Railhawks

Tuesday August 11th 7:30pm @ Charleston Battery

Saturday August 22nd 7:00pm vs. Minnesota Thunder SportsTime Ohio

Thursday August 27th 8:05pm @ Minnesota Thunder

Saturday September 5th 7:00pm vs. Montreal Impact SportsTime Ohio

Friday September 11th 7:00pm vs. Montreal Impact SportsTime Ohio

Sunday September 13th 8:00pm @ Portland Timbers

Thursday September 17th 10:00pm @ Portland Timbers

Friday September 18th 11:00pm @ Vancouver Whitecaps Fox Soccer Channel

The club still has not come out with who our new head coach will be, or where the team will play at in 2009. Krenzler Field downtown was nice, however the glare from the setting sun made the first 15-20 minutes unbearable to watch. Plus the amount of fan's the team accumulated over the last two seasons is quickly outnumbering the seats Krenzler had available.