Collectible Closeup: Nov. 6

Nov 06

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies.

And, growing up, Mike Schmidt was one of my favorites. What an amazing player. One of the best, without a doubt, to ever put on a Phillies uniform. So when I got back into collecting baseball cards, I knew I needed a Mike Schmidt autograph.

Turns out it wasn’t easy to get.

I lost auction after auction on eBay. The problem was, I just wasn’t willing to spend through the roof for a card.

And then it happened.

For less than $20 (I think I paid $15-17 for this one), I got the card I had been seeking. Even better? This was a 15/15, so even rarer. Loved it!

(Note, the scratches in the photo are the plastic case it’s in — those details came up a ton in the scan!)

This is, by far, one of the best cards in my collection and one I don’t see myself parting with.

Michael Jack Schmidt!

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Saying goodbye to the greatest closer of all-time

Sep 27

I only went to Yankee Stadium once and my chance to see Mariano Rivera was blown by a meaningless home run.

Let me start this by saying I’m not anywhere close to being a Yankees fan.

I never have been. I never will be.

Most Yankees, I can honestly say, I don’t like. I’m not a fan of Derek Jeter. Definitely not A-Rod. There are many who have come through (Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte etc.) who I didn’t like on the field, but away from the game I couldn’t care less about. It’s one of those things.

Then there’s Mo.

Without doubt, Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer of all-time. As a fan of baseball — and its history — it’s tough not to be a fan of Rivera, unless of course he’s entering the game against your team.

But it’s hard not to appreciate what he’s done and what he’s meant to the game.

His dominance is bar none. By all reports, he’s a class act in the clubhouse and off the field. Heck, look at how he handled his retirement year. He talked with people at each city he visited this year. Heck. every team did something special for him, too.

If that doesn’t tell you something about how classy he is, I’m not sure what would.

The stats will speak as they are. The Yankees have one more series — at Houston — to end the year.

Watching the final home game of Rivera’s career on Yes Network was quite wild. His final entrance into the game was incredible, especially with the Yankees having a recording of him being announced by Bob Sheppard.

Have a peek:

But it gets better. Again, as a non-fan of the Yankees, I have to tip my hat to this one. He was getting pulled with two outs in the ninth, which makes total sense as it gives him a chance for the full ovation and final tip of the lid. But what made it better was not Joe Girardi going out and getting him, rather sending Jeter and Pettitte out.

A class act.

Rivera broke down and understandably so.  Have a look:

At the end of the game, Rivera stayed in the dugout and as the crowd continued to chant his name, he slowly walked out to the mound. He kicked some dirt around, then bent down and scooped it up. He then walked off the field, waving as he did before being interviewed by Yes.

I’ve only ever seen the Yankees live once. It was 2008 and the fifth-to-last game at old Yankee Stadium and we had some awesome seats. In the eighth inning, the Yanks led Chicago, 4-1. With two outs (I believe), A-Rod hit a meaningless home run to make it 5-1.

Rivera, who was warming up, sat down. Insert Edwar Ramirez. I’ve never been so irritated at a baseball game. So, about the best I can say is I saw Mo warming up.

I would have liked to have seen him pitch, alas A-Rod decided it wasn’t to be (another reason to dislike him).

Anyway…

Who knows if Rivera will pitch this weekend. (Honestly, why? His career should end where it did on Thursday night — Yankee Stadium). No matter what, he ends his career as the best closer of all time.

And despite not being a fan of the Yankees, it’s hard to not appreciate all of this. It’s history and if you love the game, you had to love this.

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Collectible Closeup: Sept. 25

Sep 25

I’m a bit of a collector.

I have a few things I like to work on collecting, as funds go. Baseball cards is a big love of mine, as well as geocaching coins, pathtags, geocaching signature items and pins, which I get when I travel or go to different places. I also have some random autographs I like to collect. The one other thing I have, which might be hard to showcase here, is some art. It’s mainly street art and things like so that I grab when I travel.

I’m sure there might be a few other things, but those are the main ones.

In those collections, I have some cool things. At least in my eyes. So I’m going to try and do a weekly feature here where I showcase a different piece of my collection.

This is the first week of it.

Of course, to start things off, I need to go to the baseball card collection.

And it makes sense to go with Pete Rose.

Growing up, I was a massive Pete Rose fan. I’m a firm supporter of him being in the Hall of Fame. Rose was toward the end of his stellar career when I started watching him. I was a Phillies fan and he brought a whole heap of experience to that team, helping the Phils win the 1980 World Series.

Here’s the card:

Pete Rose autograph.

Being Rose is banned from baseball, I’m pretty sure that means he can’t have any cards in sets that are connected to the MLB or the MLB Players Association.

So a couple of years ago, Leaf put out a set all about Pete Rose. As you can see, there are no team logos in the image. Anyway, if you purchased a box of these cards, you got several packs (the cards were decent) and a guaranteed autograph. I already have a couple of Rose autographs — one I got in person and it’s signed on a ball, and the other is a large photo given to me as a college graduation present from a friend — but having one on a card was too much to pass up.

I purchased the box and this is the autograph I got.

It’s a sharp signature and a pretty decent card. I don’t know if I’d buy the box again as it was a little more expensive than the card is likely worth (Rose signs a lot), but it was fun to open this box. My only disappointment was the card was in a top-loader holder (which is OK), but just in the box. I didn’t get the thrill of opening it in a pack to see what I got.

Still, it’s a great addition to my personal collection. I’ll share more from all my collections in coming weeks!

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Northeast Bloggers May Photo Challenge: Summer

Jun 28

I’m a day late on this one as I thought, originally, it was to be posted Friday.

Better late than never?

I sure hope so.

Anyway, this month’s photo challenge for the North East Bloggers challenge was summer. And what better way to cover that topic than with some baseball-related things?

Exactly.

This image was taken with my iPhone at a recent baseball game I attended. It was the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders taking on the Norfolk Tides.

Baseball, a cold beer and my scorebook … yep, pretty much a perfect summer night.

What a summer night!

Look for the photo challenge I run to run Sunday, too.

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Notes from my noodle: May 20

May 20

A couple of years ago, I did a blog post about Zander Hollander.

Earlier this year, I got a comment on the post from his nephew, who also gave me the e-mail address of his wife Phyllis. I had planned to e-mail, but didn’t really know how to approach it as Zander’s nephew had noted his uncles wasn’t in great health.

Autographed book.

Recently, a freelance writer happened upon my blog, hoping to find some info about Zander. He is working on a piece about Zander, so he’s looking for all he can get.

That made me remember the e-mail to Phyllis.

I wrote to Phyllis to see if I should forward her e-mail address and such to the writer. I also mentioned meeting them when they came to my town as part of the local book fair. She remembered, which was quite cool.

I’m going to be, in the next week or so, calling Phyllis. I’ll write a little more on the blog after that, to update my post from 2011.

With all of this, however, I went digging for some books by Zander in hopes of finding a signed one. Turns out, I have two signed books. These are very cool to have.

I love signed books and they are ones I really like to keep. So having these two is a bit of a thrill.

Check out the post linked above for the full story.

****

As much as I hate to say it, I guess I have to start working.

I’ve pointed this out on the blog before, but I’m a dreamer. So I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream big when I purchased my Powerball ticket for the $600 million jackpot.

No winner for me.

Though there was a slight disappointment when I heard the ticket was sold in Florida, it’s also reality. Think about how many tickets were sold for that lotto. Imagine the odds of winning. I only buy one ticket, so my odds are even greater.

It still would have been cool though.

Have you ever read the stories about people who win a massive lotto and are broke in a couple of years? I can assure you that wouldn’t have been me. Many of those stories repeat themselves — the person gives away money, is silly with his spending etc.

No chance for me.

I’m not going to lie — if I won $600 million, I would have tried to spend a million in a week or so. House/land, cars, some other things. All frivolous  Why? Because I could.

After that? Back to being smart with it. Invest it. Pay off bills for myself, family and close friends. Set up some college funds for certain youngsters. Set up a charitable foundation.

Then, have it set up so I get paid weekly. A certain amount. That way, I don’t just go spending money for the sake of spending it.

Alas, that won’t happen.

So when this new summer job of mine starts in a few weeks, I’ll be heading there. And I’m OK with that.

Though $600 million would have been sweet.

****

For the past week or so, I’ve been out finding spots to place geocaches in my area. I am hosting an event this upcoming Sunday and I wanted to have some new caches available.

You can find some interesting things while doing this.

Old ball caught in a bush.

Whether it’s piles of trash, makeshift memorials, the beauty of nature, or whatever else, you never know what you’ll find.

When inspecting at a local field, an old baseball was found.

This isn’t rare. I’ve come across old baseballs many times. And they often make for good photos.

But this one was different. It wasn’t just a ball in the middle of an old field or something. It was stuck. In a bush. We didn’t remove it as we thought it seemed cool an had its place.

It also looked like it had been there for a while.

Just another interesting find while out and about with geocaching.

****

That will do it for this edition of Notes from my noodle. I’ll be back with another edition of this shortly has I have a few more things to randomly share!

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