Thursday, July 31, 2008

Looking for Tournament Players!

How would you like to participate in the "TribeCards Triple Play Action Baseball Scratch-off Tournament?" (Man, that's a mouthful!)

Simply reply to this post, and let me know that you want in the tournament! I will take up to 20(*) players! The first 20(*) that respond ON HERE will be in the tourney (email responses will not count, sorry). You *MUST* state that you wish to participate in the tournament (because of responses that may have nothing to do with participating). The deadline for signing up is Friday, August 8, 2008 at 5:00 pm CST! If there are not 32 players by the deadline, we play with the folks that signed up! Oh yes, there WILL be a tourney.

How will the tournament work? I have plenty of scratch-off cards in much better condition than my previous attempt at a scratch-off game.

Results of each at-bat will be posted here, sometimes with accompanying scans, sometimes just the results. Scans of ALL playing cards will be made available online for review upon completion of the tournament, however.

The Rules:
The Short List of Rules: Players will be sent a code via email, Players will be paired up, will be assigned a scratch-off card, and will choose 3 spaces at a time. At-bat is over when team gets three outs and the other player gets to bat. Game continues for three innings. Highest score wins. Everyone gets a prize - win or lose.

The long list of rules:

  • If your contact info is not easily obtained from your profile, please email me with your email address! I will email each player with a code. This code will be used in all communication away from this site (in email, in other words). The code will be used so that when the time comes to get mailing information for your prize(s), you can be sure that everything is legit and I can be sure I am sending the prize(s) to the right person,

  • Players will be seeded in the order in which they respond,

  • Players will be paired against each other in a single-elimination 32-player bracket (which I hope to be able to post),

  • Each pairing will be assigned to a Triple Play Action Baseball Scratch-off Card,

  • Each player will be assigned either the HOME team or the VISITING team, based on seeding,

  • Each scratch-off card has 32 spots (4 across, 8 down). When choosing a spot number, players simply state which numbers they want (Ex: 5, 17, 23). I will scratch off the spots and post results. For game purposes, spots are numbered left to right, top to bottom (Ex: 3rd column across, 5th row down is spot #19. See below for 'diagram'),

  • The Visiting team will choose THREE numbered spots from his/her assigned card. I will scratch off those spots and post the results online,

  • If the Visiting team does NOT have three outs, they will again choose THREE spots. Those spots will be scratched off UNLESS three outs have been reached,

  • As soon as THREE OUTS are reached, play switches over to the Home team. The Home team will then select THREE spots that have not already been selected on their assigned card,

  • As with the visitors, if the Home Team has NOT reached three outs, the home team will select three additional spots. The inning is over when the Home team reaches three outs,

  • Play will continue as such, with each player choosing THREE spots at each at-bat until three outs have been reached,

  • Base runners always advance on ANY base hit. Singles advance an on-base runner one base. Doubles advance an on-base runner two bases. Triples and home runs will advance on-base runners home. For example, Player 1 has a runner on first and hits a double. The runner on first advances two bases to third and the batter stops at second. There are no steals, no infield fly rules, and no rushes to the pitcher's mound. :-),

  • The game is over after three innings. The player (team) with the most runs wins,

  • If the game ends in a tie, the player with the most Indians cards in his/her collection advances to the next round... Okay, not really. If there is a tie, the game will play out just as in regular baseball into extra innings. That may mean that additional scratch-off cards could be used to finish a game,

  • EVERYONE gets an autographed or games-used card at the end of EACH round. If you lose, you get a card and are eliminated from the tournament. If you win, you get a card and advance to the next round!

  • Tournament is over when the last two players play the championship round, and a winner rises to the top!

  • *Each player will have 48 hours to respond once the results of THEIR choices are posted. If the inning ends, the opposing player has 48 hours from the posting of the third out to respond with his/her selections. If players do not respond within the allotted time, *I* will choose the player's spots. This is being done so that the game will move along, should there be some delay. Any player that misses two consecutive at-bats (that's four days' worth!) will be dropped from the tournament, forfeiting all his/her prizes (I don't think anyone will actually trigger this, but just in case...)

  • **Other rules and guidelines may be added or developed as the need arises. Any new or modified rules will NOT affect previously played spots or cards.

Diagram of card layout:

01 02 03 04
05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28
29 30 21 32

Sample scan of unused game card:

*Update: On 08/04/2008, the number of players was reduced to twenty.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2008 USPS Premier Postage

While surfing around the USPS site, looking to scarf up some of the cool "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" items they have, I ran across these and knew I had to have them. Each one measures about 6" x 8" or so and features the player pictured on a 42-cent postage stamp. The remainder (majority) of the 'frame' is the team name, player name, a large photo of the player with player's number. In the lower right corner in a black 'swoosh' is the player's position and team logo. According to the back, there are 36 players in all.

I bought the two Indians I could find: Grady Sizemore and C.C. Sabathia. The picture of Sizemore sliding into base is very cool, while Sabathia looks down with his usual menacing pose. They very cool oddball items for my Tribe collection.

Stay Tuned for the Triple Play Action Baseball Tourney!

That's right! Every tournament player gets a game-used and/or autograph card in every round - win OR lose! Of course, the longer you stay in the tournament, the more cards you'll accumulate!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Triple Play Action Baseball Tournament Coming Soon!

Details to follow. Check back for tournament info, including the "No one goes home empty-handed" prize structure!

I just had to ask...

dayf made a post about looking into an online crystal ball. So, I had to ask (Will the Indians win the world series this year?):

Of course, I knew the answer, but I wanted to see if IT knew... It did. So, now the real test: (Will the indians win another world series ever?)

I'm not sure how to take that one...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

1990 Grenada Stamps

I have two "Series 1 baseball stamps" from Grenada: Julio Franco and Joe Carter. I'm sure I picked these from eBay at some point, though I do not recall exactly when or how I got them. Grenada comes up with some very cool oddball items that collectors can find with enough digging around - coins, stamps, paper currency. It would seem that Grenada is very open to putting just about anything on their money, as long it generates some green for the country.

Here we go again...

In another of its infamous moves, the Tribe has released Casey Blake and in return gets a couple no-name players. Yeah, they may be great someday, but why does the Indians organization insist on serving as the farm team to the MLB? Just when their players are getting good (or, hell, great!), they dump them like last week's mashed potatoes?

If someone from the Tribe organization happens to be passing by, could you please answer me that one question? Remember Thome? Sabathia (okay, not the greatest example right now, but still - hello CY YOUNG WINNER!)? Lofton? Vizquel? Any of these names ring a bell?

How long will it be before Lee gets booted to the Yankees? Next season? The one after that?

Yeah, I'm whining - it's 1:30am local time, so what. This year's Tribe looks a lot like the year-after-one-for-the-thumb Steelers right now, and I am pretty ticked off about it. So there.

Open Letter to the Masses

To whom it may or may not concern:

Recently, a fellow blogger posted a link on his site which led to a popular electronic payment site. The purpose of this link was to allow those who enjoy reading said blogger's site to contribute if they so chose to do so. Evidently, the author received so much hate mail regarding the link (and subsequent requests for donations), that the author removed the link and all references to the donations.

My dear reader, public-at-large, fellow card-collector, and whomever else happens to be reading this: If you are one of the people that led to the removal of the donation mechanism, please feel free to turn off your computer, put it in a box, and send it back to the manufacturer. You are not ready quite yet to simply IGNORE things you see and read online that you do not wish to participate in. Seriously. Click "Start" then "Shut Down." Please.

Intellectual property is no different if it is a computer program or a blog entry. As some of you may be aware, the concept of SHAREWARE was born many, many moons ago. In that guise, the author of a computer program would ask for donations if the user liked the program being used. An author of a blog site is no different, and should have the freedom (especially if that author lives in a small country known as the United States of America) to seek donation-based compensation for his/her intellectual property.

If you disagree with the request for donations, you have two general recourses (short of turning off the computer and sending it back):
  1. You can simply NOT DONATE. No one told you that you MUST donate anything. It was a request.
  2. You can take your eyes and direct them to other pages on the web. I know, there are only about a billion others that you have to choose from, but believe me, you can find other pages where the word 'donation' is not even mentioned. Ever. Try it.

I understand that composing this letter may generate a whole new batch of hate mail regarding the subject, but I felt compelled to write this to those who gave the other author a hard enough time that he sacrificed his own creativity because of it. Frankly, I hope he has a change of heart and places the donation link prominently on his site.

As for me, if I feel like donating, I will. And if not, I won't. That's the beauty of being an American with a free will. Maybe some of the folks reading this should try exercising that free will sometime. It's quite amazing, really.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Indians Uniform Number 11 (Part 1)

Welcome to today's installment of All-Time Tribers. Today, I present the first NINE of THIRTY-SIX Indians that have worn the number 11 on their backs.

Art Houtteman - 5 seasons (1953-57) - Houtteman pitched for the Indians after a multi-player trade brought him in from Detroit. In 1954, he managed to rack up a 4.50 ERA in the World Series. In his first three seasons as a Triber, he kept his ERA under 4.00, which sounds bad until you see that his last two seasons consisted of 6.50+ seasons. As an Indian, he wore the number 11 in each of his seasons, but in his first, he wore numbers 41 and 29 in addition to 11. Go figure. I'm not even going to get into his batting, other than to say he hit for an overall .149...

Ben Chapman - 2 seasons (1939-40) - Talk about playing with the numbers... Chapman wore #2 and #11 in '39 and #44 and #11 in 1940. Jiminy Cricket. Then again, if one looks over his entire major league career, one would See that he played all over the field and all over the country. As an Indian, he played Outfield, getting 315 hits in 1,093 at-bats with 71 doubles, 15 triples, and 10 home runs. Overall, he scored 183 runs, walked 165 times, struck out 75 times, and left the Indians with a .288 batting average.

Bill Melton - 1 season (1977) - Melton played his final major league career season in Cleveland. Hey, if you're going to go out, go out as a Triber! He batted in only 50 games, making 133 plate appearances. He scored 17 runs on 32 hits with 11 doubles, scoring 14 RBIs. He left the majors batting .241 in his final season.

Billy Moran - 4 seasons (1958-59, 1964-65) - Moran began and ended his time in the majors with the Indians franchise. Rather than spend all his time in Cleveland, he left for a few years to play for the Angels before returning. He only wore #11 for the final two playing seasons, so those are what we will look at today. In his last two years, he made just 175 trips to the plate (and only 25 of those in his final season). He scored 15 runs on 34 hits, 6 doubles, and one home run. He knocked in 10 RBIs and was walked 20 times while striking out 21 times. His final two seasons netted him a .165 average.

Damian Jackson - 2 seasons (1996-97) - To say he played two seasons is a bit of a stretch. He began his rookie year with the Indians and played in 5 games. The next season, he played in 8 games before he was sent to the "other" Ohio team. He managed a .300 average in his five rookie-season games, but only a .111 in his second season. He only wore the #11 during his brief appearance in that second season. Honestly, I had forgotten he even played for the Tribe until doing research for this...

Dave Duncan - 2 seasons (1973-74) - I am beginning to wonder if choosing all-timer #11 is going to be more difficult than the other numbers thus far. Not for the superiority, but rather for the lack thereof. Duncan batted .233 his first year and .200 in his second, for a .216 overall average as a Triber. Seriously, I'm hoping we find some worthy folks here soon...

Dick Brown - 3 seasons (1957-59) - Brown began his time in The Bigs as a rookie with the Indians. He came in and hit 30 times with 114 at-bats. He scored 10 runs, hit 4 homers and drove in 22 RBIs his rookie year for a .263 batting average. From there, he slipped to .237 and then to .222 in his final season in Cleveland. He was then traded in a multi-player deal with the White Sox.

Doug Jones - 7 seasons (1986-1991, 1998) - Jones wore the Number 11 for four of his seven seasons with the Tribe, and three of those four earned a spot on the AL all-star team. Around here (on this site), he is most notable remembered for the Score "Flaming Balls" card. Got 'em, flaunt 'em, I guess. While wearing #11, Jones went 19-27 with a 3.18 ERA. He gave up only 17 home runs and picked up 240 strike outs. Unfortunately, he gave up 119 runs (105 earned). He matched his runs-given-up with the number of saves he accrued during that same time period - 119 saves.

Earl Whitehill - 2 seasons (1937-38) - As you read these stats, please keep in mind, we are talking about TWO seasons here... Really, just two. And, really, we're talking less than 60 games. In 59 games, Whitehill went 17-16 with 10 complete games. He even managed a shutout in '37. Sounds okay so far, right? In those same 59 games (307.1 innings pitched), he gave up 376 hits, 220 runs (205 earned), gave up 27 home runs, walked 163 batters, and struck out 113 batters. All of this adds up to a two-year ERA of 6.025. The Indians released him after that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

1949 Bowman

I thought I would take today to post the cards I have in my collection from the 1949 Bowman Series. It's been a while since I did a posting in which I include a checklist of cards from the given year.

The two cards I have of this set are Sam Zoldak and Henry Edwards. I don't know why, but the Zoldak card features no player name on the front and the name on the back is typed out. The Edwards card has the player's name on the front in a white box, and his name on the back is in a cursive style. For 15 cents, and 3 wrappers, one could send off for the "Official Baseball Ring" which was "Made of durable metal. Adjustable - fits any size finger..." The baseball in the middle of the ring was white plastic and there was a crossed bat relief on either side of the ring. Unfortunately for us, the offer expired on December 31, 1949.

1949 Bowman Indians Checklist:
11 Lou Boudreau
27 Bob Feller
43 Dale Mitchell
57 Gene Bearden
78 Sam Zoldak
103 Joe Tipton
125 Ken Keltner
136 Henry Edwards
150 Alfred Clark
166 Mike Tresh
182 Hal Peck
198 Steve Gromek
210 Joe Gordon
224 Satchel Paige RC
233 Larry Doby RC
238 Bob Lemon RC

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Major Award! It's Italian! "Fra-Jeelee!"

My Major Award came today (Friday)! When I went to the mailbox, waiting inside was my 2008 Bowman Hobby Box from! To help share in the celebration, I opted to take a few pics and have my recently-turned-six year-old daughter help with the box break! I'm posting a few pics of her opening packs and then some of the cards from the box break as well (nothing that will bore you to tears, I hope). However, I will list out what each pack held, just for good measure.... (scans will not necessarily match the pack listings):

The very first pack we opened had the Autograph in it! Jason Heyward for the Atlanta Braves auto'd a Bowman Chrome for us (136/500). The rest of the pack featured Vladimir Guerro (Angels), Billy Butler (Royals), Bobby Crosby (A's), Derek Lowe (Dodgers), Hiroki Kuroda (Dodgers - rookie), Caleb Gindl (Brewers - 1st card), Matthew Klimas (Giants - 1st card), Joseph Mahoney (Orioles - 1st/chrome), Jeremy Bonderman (Tigers - gold).

Pack 2 - Jeremy Hermida (Marlins), Hideki Matsui (Yankees), Paul Konerko (White Sox), Tim Lincecum (Giants), Miguel Tijada (Astros), Aaron Mathews (Blue Jays - 1st card), Ronnie Ray (Giants - 1st card), Jose Duarte (Royals - 1st/chrome), Juis Munoz (Pirates - 1st/chrome), Ben Jukich (A's - 1st/gold)

Pack 3 - Matt Holliday (Rockies), Chuck James (Braves), Nick Blackburn (Twins), Rocco Baldelli (Rays), Nick Swisher (White Sox), Rusty Ryal (Diamondbacks - 1st card), Michael McCormick (Rays - 1st card), Mario Lisson (Royals - 1st/chrome), Eric Brown (Mets - 1st/chrome), Mario Lisson (Royals - 1st/gold), Checklist (BP21 - SC-BE)

Pack 4 - Yadier Molina (Cardinals), Chipper Jones (Braves), Brian Giles (Padres), Tom Glavine (Braves), James Guerrero (Marlins - 1st card), Chance Chapman (Phillies - 1st card), Brandon Waring (Reds - 1st card), Scott Van Slyke (Dodgers - 1st/chrome), Jamie Richmond (Braves - 1st/chrome), Gregorio Petit (A's - 1st/gold)

Pack 5 - Travis Buck (A's), Todd Helton (Rockies), Nick Johnson (Nationals), Dan Uggla (Marlins), Ross Detwiler (Nationals - rookie), David Welch (Brewers - 1st card), Michael Hernandez (Tigers - 1st card), Francisco Hernandez (White Sox - 1st/chrome), Brian Mathews (Dodgers - 1st/chrome), Ken Griffey Jr (Reds - gold)

Pack 6 - Jeremy Bonderman (Tigers), Tom Gorzelanny (Pirates), David Ortiz (Red Sox), Phil Hughes (Yankees), Josh Anderson (Braves - rookie), Zachary Phillips (Rangers - 1st card), Blake Johnson (Royals - 1st card), Wesley Wright (Dodgers - 1st/chrome), Jonah Nickerson (Tigers - 1st/chrome), Chris Carpenter (Cardinals - gold)

Pack 7 - Felix Hernandez (Mariners), Mark Buehrle (White Sox), Aaron Harang (Reds), Edgar Renteria (Tigers), Orlando Hernandez (Mets), Seth Bynum (Nationals - 1st card), Darren Ford (Brewers - 1st card), Austin Jackson (Yankees - 1st/chrome), Ryan Morris (Indians - 1st/chrome), Josh Beckett (Red Sox - gold), Checklist (1 - BP20)

Pack 8 - Freddy Sanchez (Pirates), Kelly Johnsons (Braves), Rich Hill (Cubs), Carl Crawford (Rays), Magglio Ordonez (Tigers), Kyle Mura (Cardinals - 1st card), Michael Wlodarczyk (Rays - 1st card), Matt Inouye (White Sox - 1st/chrome), Christopher Frey (Rockies - 1st/chrome), Carl Crawford (Rays - gold)

Pack 9 - Ronnie Belliard (Nationals), C.C. Sabathia (Indians), Richie Sexon (Mariners), Brian McCann (Braves), Carlos Beltran (Mets), Sean Henry (Reds - 1st card), Brian Finegan (Indians - 1st card), Ryan Strieby (Tigers - 1st/chrome), Matthew Buschmann (Padres - 1st/gold/chrome 02/25), Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians - gold)

Pack 10 - Roy Oswalt (Astros), Aramis Ramirez (Cubs), Austin Kearns (Nationals), Grady Sizemore (Indians), Jeff Kent (Dodgers), Michael Daniel (Nationals - 1st card), Jordan Czarniecki (Rockies - 1st card), Sean Danielson (Cardinals - 1st/chrome), Ken Holmberg (Brewers - 1st/chrome), Eric Brown (Mets (1st/gold)

Pack 11 - Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies), Chris Young (Diamondbacks), Garrett Atkins (Rockies), Ted Lilly (Cubs), Troy Glaus (Cardinals), Wesley Wright (Dodgers - 1st card), Jonah Nickerson (Tigers - 1st card), Jonathon Mota (Cubs - 1st/chrome), Kyle Reynolds (Cubs - 1st/chrome), Russ Martin (Dodgers - gold), Checklist (BP21 - SC-BE)

Pack 12 - Justin Morneau (Twins), Travis Hafner (Indians), Jered Weaver (Angels), Cole Hamels (Cardinals), Chone Figgins (Angels), Scott Van Slyke (Dodgers - 1st card), Jamie Richmond (Braves - 1st card), Engel Beltre (Rangers - 1st/chrome), Max Sapp (Astros - 1st/chrome), David Ortiz (Red Sox - gold)

Pack 13 - Pat Burrell (Phillies), Jimmy Rollins (Phillies), Rich Harden (A's), Russ Martin (Dodgers), Torii Hunter (Angels), Jake Renshaw (Orioles - 1st card), Aaron Bates (Red Sox - 1st card), Javier Castillo (White Sox - 1st/chrome), Daniel Cortes (Royals - 1st/chrome), Ryan Strieby (Tigers - 1st/gold), Checklist (1 - BP20)

Pack 14 - Stephen Drew (Diamondbacks), A.J. Burnett (Blue Jays), Ben Sheets (Brewers), Carlos Pena (Rays), Eric Chavez (A's), Brian Barton (Cardinals - 1st card), Ryan Ouellette (Orioles - 1st card), Gerardo Parra (Diamondbacks - 1st/chrome), Matthew Buschmann (Padres - 1st/chrome), Brian Mathews (Dodgers - 1st/gold)

Pack 15 - Jason Bay (Pirates), Jose Vidro (Mariners), Lance Berkman (Astros), Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians), David Ortiz (Red Sox - blue border 017/500), Glenn Gibson (Rays - 1st card), Anthony Martinez (Orioles - 1st card), Anthony Claggett (Yankees - 1st/chrome), Brad Harman (Phillies - 1st/chrome), Hiroki Kuroda (Dodgers - 1st/gold), Checklist (BP21 - SC-BE)

Pack 16 - Radhames Liz (Orioles - rookie), David Wright (Mets), Andre Either (Dodgers), Carlos Delgado (Mets), Josh Beckett (Red Sox), Logan Morrison (Marlins - 1st card), Luke Montz (Nationals - 1st card), Joseph Martinez (Giants - 1st/chrome), Iggy Suarez (Red Sox - 1st/chrome), Tom Gorzelanny (Pirates - gold)

Pack 17 - Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox), Jeff Francis (Rockies), Daisuke Matsuzaka (Red Sox), Lance Broadway (White Sox - rookie), Ivan Rodriguez (Tigers), Sal Sanchez (White Sox - 1st card), Steve Tolleson (Twins - 1st card), Stephen Chapman (Brewers - 1st/chrome), Ronald Ramirez (Astros - 1st/chrome), Greg Thomson (Diamondbacks - 1st/gold)

Pack 18 - Carlos Zambrano (Cubs), Eric Bynes (Diamondbacks), Joe Mauer (Twins), Matt Garza (Rays), Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals), Matthew Weston (Giants - 1st card), Tom Hagan (Pirates - 1st card), Matt Rizzotti (Phillies - 1st/chrome), Mike Brantley (Brewers - 1st/chrome), Yadier Molina (Cardinals - gold), Checklist (1-BP20)

Pack 19 - Nick Markakis (Orioles), David DeJesus (Royals), Kenji Johjima (Mariners), Joey Votto (Reds - rookie), Jason Varitek (Red Sox), Jason Stephens (Yankees - 1st card), Greg Burns (Marlins - 1st card), Angel Reyes (Yankees - 1st/chrome), Bobby Parnell (Mets - 1st/chrome), Felix Hernandez (Mariners - gold)

Pack 20- Johnny Damon (Yankees), Greg Maddux (Padres), Oliver Perez (Mets), Troy Patton (Orioles - rookie), Erik Bedard (Mariners), Michael McKenry (Rockies - 1st card), Alex Burnett (Twins - 1st card), Luke Hetherington (Blue Jays - 1st/chrome), P.J. Walters (Cardinals - 1st/chrome), Magglio Ordonez (Tigers - gold)

Pack 21 - Khalil Greene (Padres), Luke Hochevar (Royals - rookie), Cameron Maybin (Marlins), Alberto Gonzalez (Yankees - rookie), Scott Rolen (Blue Jays), Eli Intor (Twins - 1st card), Alex Cobb (Rays - 1st card), Greg Halman (Mariners - 1st/chrome), Jeffrey Stevens (Indians - 1st/chrome), Bengie Molina (Giants - gold)

Pack 22 - Alex Rios (Blue Jays), Derrek Lee (Cubs), Brandon Webb (Diamondbacks), Armando Galarraga (Tigers - rookie), Randy Johnson (Diamondbacks), Jonathon Venters (Braves - 1st card), Braedyn Pruitt (Yankees - 1st card), Gregorio Petit (A's - 1st/chrome), Greg Tomson (Diamondbacks - 1st/chrome), Carlos Delgado (Mets - gold)

Pack 23 - Ryan Garko (Indians), Jake Peavy (Padres), Victor Martinez (Indians), Dan Haren (Diamondbacks), Aubrey Huff (Orioles), Phillip Cuadrado (Rockies - 1st card), Tyler Kolodny (Orioles - 1st card), Chris Johnson (Astros - 1st/chrome), Aneury Rodriguez (Rockies - 1st/chrome), Carlos Pena (Rays - gold)

Pack 24 - Prince Fielder (Brewers), Gil Meche (Royals), Manny Ramirez (Red Sox), Justin Verlander (Tigers), J.J. Hardy (Brewers), Will Rhymes (Tigers - 1st card), Ryan Khoury (Red Sox - 1st card), Ben Jukich (A's - 1st/chrome), Jeff Kindel (Rockies - 1st/chrome), Francisco Hernandez (White Sox - 1st/gold)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cards from Wax Heaven

Even though I am the Technology Coordinator for the education service center where I work, I sometimes forget about the ways in which I, personally, can use the technology I have at my disposal. Such is the case with all the recent trades I received. It occurred to me today, however, that I could use a digital camera to take photos of the cards that Wax Heaven sent me (as opposed to selecting a few that I could scan). Call me slow on the uptake, I'm used to it...

Without further adieu, I present the cards that came to me from Cooper City, Florida:

The first group of cards out of the package are Grady cards! Sweet! Being the collector that I am, I enjoyed checking out each card, going through the stack one-by-one, and coming to the game-used jersey card! Very nice item for the collection! I also like the 2008 Topps Heritage Chrome Serially Numbered card! Okay, allow me to get dorky here - the fact is I loved rifling through ALL the cards!

The next grouping of cards had me calling out "Pronk!" for quite some time. So much so, that at one point, my wife thought I was choking on something akin to a goose... There are very cool Hafner cards in this trade, and I am looking forward to seeing which ones will be added to my 'need it' stacks!

And, then to top things off, the fine folks at Wax Heaven sent me a varied selection of C.C. cards! It's unfortunate that the Tribe took their familiar path and got rid of the Cy Young winner the year after he won the award, but (as they say in the south) - I do enjoy me some C.C. (Well, maybe they don't say the C.C. part around here.... LOL)

My deepest gratitude to Alejandro and the Infamous Tatiana for the great selection of cards they put together and sent my way!! Awesome!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lee, Sizemore Rockin the All-Stars

"Cliff Lee Announced as Staring AL Pitcher - P Cliff Lee was named the AL Starter for the 2008 All-Star Game this morning by AL manager Terry Francona of the Boston Red Sox. Lee will be squaring off against Ben Sheets of the NL at the Midsummer Classic starting Tuesday night at 8 PM ET on FOX. Lee has had a stellar year finishing up at the All-Star break with a 12-2 record (T2nd for most wins in the Majors), a 2.31 ERA (3rd in the Majors), 124.2 IP and 106 K. This will be his first appearance at the All-Star Game as well as his first time starting. This year's game will be played at Yankee Stadium in New York."

"CF Grady Sizemore will have a chance to show his stuff tonight in Yankee Stadium at the 2008 State Farm Home Run Derby. Sizemore, 25, will be making his first Home Run Derby appearance and his 3rd consecutive All-Star game appearance tomorrow. He is currently batting .273 (99-362) with 60 runs scored, 19 doubles, 4 triples, 23 home runs, 54 RBI and 22 stolen bases in 91 games. His 23 home runs lead the American League and are T4th most in the Majors, trailing only Philadelphia’s RYAN HOWARD (28), Cincinnati's ADAM DUNN (24) and Philadelphia's CHASE UTLEY (25). The last Indian to lead the league in home runs was Albert Belle (50) in 1995. Sizemore is the only AL player to date with 20 or more home runs and is the only player in MLB with 20 or more home runs and 20 or more stolen bases. Grady will be the first Indians player to compete in the All-Star Home Run Derby since Jim Thome finished 2nd to Ken Griffey Jr. in the 1998 Home Run Derby held in Coors Field. He is also just the 4th Indians Player ever (Belle-1993, ’94, ’95, Ramirez-1995 & Thome 1997, ’98) to compete since the All-Star Home Run Derby’s inception in 1985."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I won!! Holy Smokes, I won!

A little while ago, I posted a message on here about an essay contest regarding a new segment potential for Baseball Tonight. Well, my essay won!! It turns out, the folks at SportsCardFun couldn't decide between two essays, so I am sharing the win with another writer, which is perfectly fine by me!!

For my prize, I get a HOBBY box of 2008 Bowman baseball cards! Now, that is sssssmokin!!

Here are my thoughts, and my winning essay:

Here's my plan for the new baseball card segment on ESPN's Baseball Tonight

Initially, the program would air once or twice per week, repeating. That is, the same episode would show a couple times a week to give viewers the opportunity to catch it if they missed it.

The bird's eye view of the program: MLB players, card execs, club managers, and/or prominent bloggers on the subject would appear in a 90-120 second segment (may be produced, but would probably work better "live") in which they discuss the hobby as they see it. Initially, guests would be selected based on their positive experiences, thoughts, and love for collecting. Players and managers could discuss their favorite cards, or even their own cards! Bring in Hall-of-Famers to talk about collecting as kids (and as adults, if they still do).

The segment could be sponsored by card manufacturers, but they would have no input on the content (unless they happen to be the featured guest of the day). In fact, ideally, specific manufacturers wouldn't be discussed so much as the state of the hobby and broad ideas regarding the types and styles of cards (for example, discussion on throwbacks, game-used, autographs, etc).

If the current hosts of Baseball Tonight collect, then they can serve as the moderator/interviewer. If they don't, however, then an 'expert' card collector/hobbyist should be brought in as the host of the segment.

Card collecting basically has two schools of thought - nostalgia and profitering, and they are not always mutually exclusive. The first three or four episodes should focus on nostaglia. In fact, if you could get the owner of "THE" Honus Wagner to come on, or the owner of some other rare card to be the pilot offering, that would set the tone of the program.

The program should get personal. WHY do they collect? HOW LONG have they been collecting? WHO/WHAT are some of the guests favorite players/items to collect? The audience will enjoy hearing that their favorite player(s) collect the same player(s) or items. WHAT do the guests think about the current state of card collecting? WHY SHOULD KIDS (or anyone) COLLECT? The program should SHOW CARDS.

Keep the basic format the same until the program grows. Ask the same questions (or types of questions) to each guest, so the viewers know what to expect. Tease the viewers with upcoming guests and as the program matures, with new program features.

Episode 1 should feature Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr, a HOFer, or Ben Henry (blogger). Seriously. Ben Henry has been following baseball cards pretty in-depth and has one of (if not THE) most successful card blogs out there. Ask the guest the questions posed above. Have the guest either bring a few cards from his/her collection or have your folks find images they can use.

Episode 2 should feature another prominent person (a HOFer) or feature a collector that has a unique spin on the hobby (someone who collects only a certain team, certain player, etc). A great example would be the winner of your most recent essay contest. Patricia and her daughters are amazing people who collect cards based on smiles, mid-air antics caught on cards, players using old technology, etc. That shows viewers that not everyone is out there for the money in it, and not everyone uses the same approach to collecting.

Episode 3 can use either ideas/people not used in the previous two episodes, or bring in a current player that Baseball Tonight is already going to be interviewing. This will save on costs to the network, anyway.

In fact, that might not be a bad tie-in as the majority of the segments. Start each program off with the person being interviewed talking about card collecting for 90-120 seconds, do the rest of the show as usual, then when the time comes, bring the player/guest in for their program segment.

Future segments could feature certain cards, certain players, etc. As the segment grows in popularity (and possibly length, though no more than 4-5 minutes), it could actually be divided into a "Waxing Nostalgia" (play on words!) and a "Hottest Cards" sub-segment, covering both the feeling most collectors get from collecting and the profiting aspect many sellers wish for.

The program possibilities are limitless once the program gets rolling and becomes an established part of the Baseball Tonight family.

How do we make it a reality?

First, take all the entries and compile a list of everything GOOD you see. Everyone will have different ideas and no one will cover everything, so make an "everything" list.

Second, take all the ideas that are marginal or would flat-out not work. Compile those as well. Those can be used to keep the program on track and help you see what might be pitfalls in the future.

Third, write a letter to the programming execs at ESPN. Don't mess around here. Give them enough information to whet their whistle, and then request an in-person meeting to further discuss the program.

Fourth, get the MLB involved, if only for the legal matters (whatever they might be). Find out who at the MLB would need to be in on the program discussions (not on-air, I mean production, legal, etc).

I would also contact card companies about sponsorship, with details to be hammered out (making sure they have NO say-so in content).

Remember, the final question is ALWAYS, "What's in it for us?" ESPN benefits because they are adding programming that will reach a specific audience. They will also possibly bring in peripheral demographics because word will get out (more on that in a second) and collectors who do not watch Baseball Tonight will tune in to see the latest Baseball Cards Tonight segment.

Sponsors will benefit because they will have very little cost in making a 15-second commercial for their product. This will reach the folks that do not browse the aisles at Wal-Mart, or hit the card shows, or may have long forgotten there was a card shop in town.

Getting the word out - Do it all. TV spots on ESPN, Twitter, Bloggers, Online ads with MLB,, Podcasting, etc.

This is a VERY exciting prospect, and given the right people in charge with the right motivation, this CAN be a reality!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A long, long time ago...

It feels like forever and a day ago, I sat down and wrote out a post for Tribecards! In reality, it has been nearly two weeks! My vacation to Disney World was absolutely amazing! But, the real reason we gather to this meeting place is to talk some Tribe, so let's get back into the swing of it! There is a LOT to catch up on!

As I mentioned before, I had packages waiting for me after I got back from San Antonio. One of them was from FleerFan, and it was a very COOL stack of stickers and a 1964 Topps Indians Team card! There were so many, I couldn't even get all of them on my scanner for ya! :-) Thanks a TON, FleerFan! I'm still huntin' down stickers you need, too.

There was also an envelope from Kevin. When I opened it up, I discovered a 2002 Topps Archives Herb Score with a part of the "old" Municipal Stadium (seat) in the card! Awesome pull, and I don't know if it was intentional or not, but this card also falls into the Tipton category, with a full-length crease across the card just above the seat fragment! As I am sure you know by now, I enjoy cards that have been allowed to 'breathe' which sometimes also means they have been allowed to 'flex' their muscles, too! :-) Excellent card!! Thanks a bunch, Kevin!

If that weren't enough, after I got back from Disney World, I had two MORE packages waiting for me! This was like Christmas after winning the lottery!

The first package was from dayf. It contained two stacks of cards. There are all kinds of stickers, inserts, vintage included! Like I said, like Christmas!

Then, there was ANOTHER package to open! This one was from Wax Heaven. I'll post more about that package next time! :-)

In the meantime, enjoy a few pics (of the hundreds) from Disney World: