Sunday, October 30, 2011

A New Duke Snider Auto In My Collection

Well, I missed the Los Angeles Sports Card & Memorabilia Show for the second year in a row. But I did have a good time at my local card shop this weekend. Valley Sports Cards hosted a big raffle event yesterday and the grand prize was an autographed Blake Griffin jersey. Some of the other prizes included different high end boxes of cards, a Kobe Bryant autograph and custom framing.

Raffle tickets were given to customers yesterday just for walking in, but the other way to get one was in a mystery pack, which was part of the Great Card Chase. They were sold for $15 each or two for $24. Each mystery pack includes 2 jersey and/or autograph cards, one rookie card, a raffle ticket and a chance to win one of three prizes in the chase. I picked up one mystery pack yesterday and I got a 1983 Fleer Tony Gwynn Rookie card, an Edgardo Alfonso jersey card #'d/150, a 1996 Upper Deck Amazing Greats Cal Ripken window card, and I won a third prize in the chase.

I had a couple of different items to chose from: an Andre Ethier autographed baseball, a Dodgers mini helmet signed by Steve Garvey, a Pete Rose autographed baseball, an Elmer Flick autograph, an Ian Kinsler autograph and a Duke Snider autograph. I went with the Duke Snider auto. Since he's passed away, it's nice to add another one of his auto's to my collection. This is a 2001 Upper Deck Ultimate Signatures #'d/150.

That's me and the store owner Alex with my Duke Snider  auto

The raffle was held later that day. I didn't win anything, but I had a great time nevertheless. Thanks to Valley Sports Cards & Memorabilia for the Duke Snider auto. I'm looking forward to the next big raffle event, when they'll be giving away a signed Michael Jordan jersey as the grand prize.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

2011 Topps Finest Dee Gordon Auto

Enough Cardinals.Time to get back to my Dodgers.

I picked up a few more autographs in the last couple week. One of them is this 2011 Topps Finest Dee Gordon refractor auto #'d/499. I'm really digging this set, which includes a Jerry Sands auto as well. There's multiple variations of this Gordon card, which I'm also trying to add to the collection. 

Dee quickly became one of my favorite Dodgers in 2011, showing off a sweet glove at shortstop, a nice lead-off bat and some sick speed on the base paths. I think he's going to have a huge 2012, and can't wait to see what he can do playing in a full season. I've already had the pleasure of meeting Dee in person and getting an autograph. Hopefully I can pick up a few more.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cards Win The World Series

Congrats to the Cardinals, 2011 World Series Champs!
It was a good series. I love it when it they go seven. Game six was an instant classic and one the best WS games ever. I've got to admit though, I'm a bit jealous of the St.Louis fans. It must be nice to win two of the last six World Series titles.

Picture via St.Louis Post-Dispatch

The Baseball Season Ends Tonight

What a game last night, huh? That was one of the best World Series games I've ever seen, exciting to the end. It was fun watching the Rangers and Cards slug it out. Every time you thought the Rangers would end it, those Cards kept coming back. 

Looking forward to game 7 tonight! So who's winning it all, St. Louis or Texas?

Pic via St.Louis Post Dispatch

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Justin Sellers Appearance Postponed

The Justin Seller's appearance at Valley Sports Cards scheduled for November 12th has been postponed. The Dodgers have asked Justin to play Winter Ball in the Dominican Republic. The new date hasn't been scheduled yet, but it will take place in December. Here's the message from MVP Trading Cards: 
MVP Trading Cards Company was just informed that the Los Angeles Dodgers asked Justin Sellers to play in the Dominican Republic Winter 2011 Baseball League. Due to the Dominican Republic's winter baseball schedule, I will be rescheduling Justin Sellers' first in store signing to a later date in December, 2011. We will have a new date scheduled within the next week or so for this autograph event. We apologize to all of you and we thank you for your understanding. We will keep you informed...
I'm a little disappointed, but at least it's getting rescheduled. I'll post the new date as soon as it's announced.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

25 Years Ago Today

Twenty-Five years ago today, Vin Scully made one of the most famous, or infamous calls in World Series history:

"So the winning run is at second base, with two outs, three and two to Mookie Wilson. A little roller up along first... behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!"
I can listen to Vinny anytime, it's like music to my ears. This call always gives me goosebumps though.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dodgers Lower Season Ticket Prices In 2012

picture via
The Dodgers announced today that they are lowering season ticket prices in 2012.  Last year, attendance at Chavez Ravine dipped below 3 million fans for the first time since 2000. Will this help get season ticket holders to renew their plans or even get potential new season ticket customers? I think fans are still very angry with Frank McCourt and everything going on in the front office. But people still love a good deal, especially in this economy, so this could bring the season ticket holders back and even bring in some new fans. Here are the reduced ticket prices:

The team announced some other benefits with the purchase of a season ticket plan. 

Year-round benefits include:
  • Up to 64% off advance ticket prices
  • Discounted General Admission and Preferred Parking
  • Personal MY DODGERS Account
  • Invitation to Select-A-Seat
  • Ticket offers for non-Dodger events at Dodger Stadium
  • Premium seating discounts
  • Text alerts for special offers and breaking Dodger news
  • Dedicated page featuring exclusive content
  • Up to 20% off merchandise at the Team Stores
  • Special group ticket offers
  • Quarterly online newsletter offering editorial and video content relevant to Season Ticket Holders
  • Personalized recognition and thank you on Dodger Stadium scoreboard

NEW for 2012:

  • Early entry to parking and stadium with exclusive access to watch Dodger batting practice
  • Play catch on the field after select games throughout the season
  • Complimentary Stadium Club membership included with Field Level VIP & MVP season tickets
  • Improved access throughout the stadium
  • All-Star Game viewing party on the field
  • 50% off home exhibition games to commemorate Dodger Stadium's 50th Anniversary
Season ticket holders will be included automatically in drawings* held throughout the season for a chance to win once in a lifetime Dodger experiences and memorabilia including:
  • Throw out the first pitch
  • Announce "It's time for Dodger baseball"
  • Kids Take the Field (Children 4-14)
  • Autographed and game-used items
  • Watch batting practice from the field and much more!
I've got to admit, these are some great prices with some nice perks. It's pretty tempting, and I might consider one of these plans.

Here's some video I shot last year at Don Mattingly bobblehead night. I had never seen the place this empty for a bobblehead giveaway.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Player Appearance: Steve Garvey

Former Dodger Firstbaseman Steve Garvey made an appearance today at Sports Authority in Ontario. He was scheduled to meet fans and sign autographs from 1:00-2:30pm.

The Sports Authority at Ontario Mills held it's grand opening today. To celebrate, they gave away mystery gift cards to the first 250 people in line, a $500 shopping spree and had Garvey in for autographs. When we arrived at the store, about 200 people were in line. Once the Sports Authority staff started letting people in, the mystery gift cards were handed out at the door. They were scratchers, with a chance to win $5-$500. The card had to be used at that store that day and no purchase was necessary to use the card. I got a $10 card, so I just picked up a couple of baseball cubes and some snacks, then got in line for Garvey. This line was considerably shorter than the line for the gift cards.

Mr. Garvey arrived right at 1:00 and started signing about 15 minutes later. The staff took us in groups of thirty and told us one autograph per person and no pictures were allowed. Once I got to the front, I had him sign a baseball and I asked him for a pic, which he was happy to do.

After we got our autos, we jumped back in line for another. Time really was flying at this point. It was about 2:15 when we got to the front of the line, and we weren't sure if we'd get back in for the second signature. Luckily, we just made it. Garv was signing a little bit longer because of his late start, so I had him sign a baseball card.

That's me closing my eyes. I'm such a dork.

Today's event went very smoothly. The Sports Authority staff was very friendly and organized and Mr. Garvey was great as usual. Thanks to Gustavo of Authentic Signings for the tip on today's event and thanks to Alex of Lawler's Law and Andy for all your help. It was great seeing everyone else today too!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Matt Kemp On The Ellen Degeneres Show

Matt Kemp made an appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show today. He was there to show his support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Ellen had one of Matt's fans sit on a dunk tank, as he threw pitches trying to knock her in the water. If he did dunk her, $10,000 would be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, plus Matt would match that $10,000 as well. Watch the video below to see if Matt throws a strike or not.
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The World's Largest Collection Of Autographed Baseballs

Check out this guy's collection of autographed baseballs. He's got over 4,000 signed balls and is in the Guinness Book of World Records. You don't want to steal from him though. His collection, which includes nine signed Babe Ruth balls and a ball signed by Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, is in a bomb proof vault. Oh yeah, him and his wife are strapped too. She carries a .45 automatic!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Some Recent Dodger Auto Pick Ups

I've picked up a couple Dodger autos in recent weeks. Like I said in a previous post, I'm trying to concentrate on some of the kids in the organization.

One of the young pitchers whose auto I'd been hunting for a while was Zach Lee. Lee was the Dodgers first-round draft pick in 2010. It took a $5.25 million signing bonus to keep him from playing Quarterback at Louisiana State. This was the highest signing bonus awarded to a Dodger draft pick since the $2.3 mil given to Clayton Kershaw in 2006. There are some high expectations for this kid, who went 9-6 with a 3.47 ERA at single-A Great Lakes. Here's his 2010 Bowman Sterling auto:

Here's another 2010 Bowman Sterling auto. This one is Dodger pitching prospect Aaron Miller, who was the Dodgers first-round draft pick in 2009. Miller's got the goods, but has battled injury. I'm hoping this kid can move up in the organization and put up some big numbers.

Here's another Dodger first-round pick who's had his ups and downs as a professional, Scott Elbert. It looks like the lefty finally found his place in the organization, as a reliever. He went 0-1 with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 33.1 innings pitched out of the bullpen for the Dodgers in 2011. This is his 2005 Topps Turkey Red auto #d out of 300.

The last auto for today is Justin Sellers. Sellers was one of the more exciting players to watch at the end of the 2011 season. He showed off his skills with the glove at 2B, SS and 3B and could be the utility guy in 2012 in place of Aaron Miles or Jamey Carroll. This is his 2007 Just Minors Auto.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Player Appearance: Jeff Suppan and Mark Gubicza

Former Major league pitchers Jeff Suppan and Mark Gubicza made an appearance at Soup's Grill in Woodland Hills last night. Soup's Grill is owned by Jeff Suppan, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley and attended Crespi High School in Encino.

Last week I was driving by Pierce College in Woodland Hills when I noticed a picture of Jeff Suppan and Jon Garland on the giant video billboard outside of the school. The ad invited fans to join the two pitchers, both of whom are San Fernando Valley natives, and the Brahma Athletic Club for some playoff baseball at Soup's Grill on Thursday, October 13. The restaurant is just a few minutes from my home, so I was pretty excited about going.

When I got to the restaurant, I found out Jon Garland had cancelled and was replaced with former major leaguer and current Angels broadcaster Mark Gubicza. Gubby and Sup watched the St. Louis Cardinals/Milwaukee Brewers LCS game with the fans and held a Q&A session. They were asked some great questions and gave a lot of inside information on the great game. Afterwards, the two took pictures and signed autographs.

I had a wonderful time at Soup's Grill last night. It was a great environment for a sports fan and collector like myself. The place is like a mini sports museum. There's signed jerseys, pictures and memorabilia hanging up all over the place. Mike and Teresa both joined me and we all agreed that the food was amazing too. I had the Tommy Pastrami sandwich, which I highly recommend.

Before I left, I asked Mr. Suppan if he would hold another event like this again, and he said he would since this one was pretty successful.  I'm looking forward to the next one.

 I had Suppan sign the bobblehead
Gubicza on ball

Here's some video from the Q&A:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bobblehead Of The Day: Ken Griffey Sr.

Thirty-five years ago this week, the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series, sweeping the New York Yankees. The "Big Red Machine" won their second consecutive Fall Classic, and one of the biggest bats on that team was Ken Griffey Sr. who batted .336 that season.

Today the senior Griffey is manager of the Bakersfield Blaze, single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. On Friday, August 19, the team honored their manager with a bobblehead. The first 500 fans in attendance received the nodder as the Blaze took on the Lake Elsinore Storm that night and won, 6-4.

So, let's take a look at the bobble:

The smooth black helmet is perfect for an auto.

It's simple, but nice.

The great thing about living in Southern California is that there are a lot of baseball options out here. Besides the Dodgers and Angels, there's a handful of minor league teams that play in the California League, which always means more bobblehead giveaways. Thanks to the Bakersfield Blaze and Dan Besbris for the getting this bobblehead to me, I really appreciate it! I can't wait to make it out to a Blaze game next year.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jerry Sands Is A Star

The end of the baseball season means it's time for rookie hazings. Dodger outfielder Jerry Sands got a little taste of that during the last few days of the 2011 season. Here he is donning the Carl's Jr star costume:

Or you may recognize him in his other hazing get-up:

Jerry Sands in a tunic
Picture via

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Upcoming Player Appearance: Justin Sellers

Dodger infielder Justin Sellers will be making an appearance at Valley Sports Cards in Tarzana on Saturday, November 12 from Noon to 1:00. Autographs will be $20 for any item. Tickets will be available the day of the signing.

Valley Sports Cards is located at:
19640 Ventura Boulevard
Tarzana, CA 91356(818) 705-2255

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Player Appearance: Don Newcombe

Dodger great Don Newcombe made an appearance today at Frank & Sons Collectibles. He was scheduled to sign autographs from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.

I arrived at F&S at around 10:00 and purchased my ticket. When I got there I expected to see a large crowd because there were a few Dodgers signing besides Newk, including Manny Mota, Wes Parker, Tim Leary, Steve Lyons and Javy Guerra. It was pretty dead there though.

Psycho signing

Tim Leary


Newcombe ran a little late, arriving at around noon, but once he arrived, he began signing right away. I had him sign a ball, but I had a difficult time deciding on that. I was going back and forth between his bobblehead or the ball, and in the end I chose the ball because my recent bobbleahead autos have turned out crappy. Back in February, I tried to get Newk to sign the bobblehead for me and was unsuccessful. I really should've gotten both signed today, and now I'm regretting it. Oh well, I'll get another opportunity at the bobblehead in the future.

Mr. Newcombe was very friendly as usual, shaking hands with everyone and even chatting a little with the fans. Thanks to Frank and Sons for holding another great Dodger event and thanks to Don Newcombe for the autograph. Quick shoutout to David, winner of the Duke Snider bobblehead contest, it was nice meeting you today. And of course, it was great seeing everyone else.