Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

From my family to all of yours, have a safe and happy New Year. Thank you for supporting NYC Cards during 2010 and hopefully 2011 will be a great one for all of us.
Please, do not drink and drive. As James Dean once said, The life you save might be mine.
Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Is Just Around The Corner...

With the calender just about to turn it's pages into a new year, this is the time to reflect on another year passed and anticipate the possibilites of a brand new year. A clean slate to start fresh and accomplish goals everyone sets for themselves at the start of the new year.

I have goals. Both personal and hobby related. For the sake of this blog (and not to bore any of you readers out there), I will just keepit to hobby related. I made a list of goals that are obtainable and realistic for me to accomplish. I mean, Icould be bold and say I want to add a Lou Gehrig cut auto to put next to the one of Babe Ruth that I already have, but it's not realistic. Therefore, here are the realistic goals I'm setting, hobbywise, for 2011:

1-Add to my growing bobblehead collection.
I started seriously collecting bobbleheads in the early stages of 2010 when I picked up three Forever bobbleheads up at the Westchester County Baseball Card Show. I snagged a Ford, Rizzuto and Jeter bobbles. It started me on a quest to add more nodders to the three I had already bought. Now, my collection stands at 50 and I want more. There are some elusive bobbles I have bid on and lost on ebay, like the AGP SGA bobbles the Yankees and Columbus Clippers have given away. I hope to add Ruth, Dimaggio, Maris, Stengel to my collection as well as Pettitte, Wells, Clemens, and Jeter. Then there is the 2009 World Series Champions bobbles. I only have Mark Teixeira right now. This is a set I really want to concentrate on finishing by the end of the year. Getting a better display case for them is also a priority. I've just about run out of room in the three shelf unit they are in now.
Adding more Jets, Devils and Knicks bobbles would be a plus as well.

2-More Yankee Vintage
In an earlier post, I showed off the oldest Yankee cards I have in my Yankees collection. A pair of 1956 Topps cards. As a team collector,I would love nothing more than toadd more vintage to my collection. I know adding cards from Mantle might not happen anytime soon,but I don't see why I can't add others. I always see Ford, Berra, Howard, among others at decent prices. Mybe a well loved Mantle will fall on my lap,who knows. Plus, I'd like to finish my 1971 Topps Yankees team set too.

3-More Yankee autos
Right now, my Yankees autograph collection stands at close to 150 diffrent Yankees on cards, balls, mini helmets, pictures, etc. I'm always looking for diffrent players I don't have in my Yankees collection. I really don't have a must have list,but I have an idea of who I need. I would also like to finish up this large black and white photo of the old Yankee Stadium from the upper deck,with the facade hanging overhead. I have been getting diffrent players to sign it and it looks pretty good. I might try for a few more and then get it matted and framed.
I also would like to start a signed Yankees baseball collection too.
During the course of the year, I will post blogs of the autos I have.

4-Finish Team Sets
I do have holes in my teams sets. I have team sets of Topps Yankees cards going back from the late 60's to the present. Would like to try and finish them.

5-Don't Forget The Others
Although I am concentrating on mainly my Yankees collection, I do have team collections of the Jets, Knicks, Devils and Islanders I don't want to ignore. Also, adding to my Mark Teixeira, Tino Martinez, Martin Brodeur, Mark Sanchez and David Lee PC's as well.

6-Organization Is Key
This is my main goal. I want everything in binders or Top loaders and penny sleeves as soon as possible. Waiting so long to do take care of this was the worst mistake. Now, I find myself digging through boxes, piling up cards and putting them in binders. It's a long process, but it must be done. I would like a final count of what I own soon.I also want to put create a spreadsheet as well. Right now, I have 22 binders of Yankee cards alone. I can honestly see that number grow to 30 by the time I'm done.

7-Improve The Blog
I'm always thinking of ways to improve this blog. One I would really like to do is change the picture on top. I would rather it show off the love I have for bobbles, cards, autos, and mcfarlanes. Also,I would like to find a way to throw Yankees, Jets, Knicks and Devils in it as well.

So, that's the list of New Years Resolutions I have for my hobby. They are goals that I think I can reach within this upcoming year. Will I do all of them, plus the personal ones I have set aside? Well, one of my best friends told me that if I can visualize it and if I have the drive, I can achieve my goals. My motor's running.

What are your goals?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kelly Stinnett Game Used Bat

One of the areas of my collection that I would love to try and grow in the upcoming year is my teeny tiny game used collection. Collecting game used equipment is not exactly a cheap hobby, but it is holding a piece of equipment that was used in an actual baseball game.

So today, submitted for your viewing pleasure, I give to you the only Yankees game used bat I own, my Kelly Stinnett game used bat. This was a gift from a secret santa in my team collectors group. Stinnett played 14 seasons in the majors as a backup catcher. He played only part of the 2006 season with the Yankees after signing a one year deal with them. He batted .228 with a homer and 9 RBI's in 34 games played with them. He did start 24 games behind the plate and threw out 20% of the runners who attempted to steal on him and had a fielding percentage of .989. He was designated for assignment on July 26th 2006 after the Yankees traded for Sal Fasano. He finshed that season with the New York Mets.

Lets take a look at the bat.

I'm not a bat expert, but as you can see, it's light colored bat.I believe the term used for the color is blonde.

His name is etched into the bat head as well as the team he was playing for, in this case the Yankees

You can also see, Stinnett did like to use the pine tar. The bat has lots of the stuff on it.

And probably the coolest part about the bat, the break in the handle. Love seeing use on equipment.
I'm not sure what game this was from. I really don't know how to look that up. It's still a cool piece to own in my Yankees collection. I would love to get more bats especially of Tino Martinez and Mark Teixeira as those are the Yankees I specifically collect. Like I said before, collecting game used equipment is not cheap. If you want to learn more about the hobby from other collectors, check out You can see other collections, learn and even buy pieces to start your collection.
If you have any game used in your collection, post what you own in the comments section.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What I Did During The Blizzard

As New York City got hit with a snowstorm the like we haven't seen here in quite sometime, and since my Jets got me PO'ed, I decided to do something to take my mind off it all. I worked on organizing my cards.

It's a goal I have for the New Year. Get all my Yankees cards organized by putting them into their binders. Right now, I have boxes of cards I recieved through trades, purchases or from my team collectors group that I open and put into boxes since I'm a lazy mutt. I have been doing this for months now and I looked at the boxes piling higher and higher and realized I needed to get them put away. And it's not just Yankee cards either. I have Jets, Knicks, Devils and Islanders cards I need to organize too. Since the Yankees cards take up about 75% of my card collection, I decided I would tackle it first.

I decided to go by brand and Topps would be the first one I start with. I had actually started the project about a week and a half ago. I first hit just the Topps base series. I have some cards that go back to the 50's and 60's. Not many, just a couple. Once I organized all of them and put them away, I tackled the Topps subsets. Allan & Ginter, Heritage, Stadium Club, TEK, Stars, 205, 206, etc. All those sets needed to be put away. I started right after the Jets lost their game to the Bears, yet backed up into the playoffs (thank you Washington Redskins), which was around 4:15 EST. I didn't call it a night untill 11:30pm and I still haven't finished. I threw all the doubles and triples into boxes to be sent to my tier 2 Yankees collector and for trades. And there was a lot too. Plus, with A&G and Heritage, I had to make sure I wasn't putting the paralls into the boxes as doubles. Anyone who collects A&G, how do you store your mini's? I just put them into 9 pocket pages along side the regular sized cards.

As much as it is as task to put away all the cards, it is also so much fun to me. I just sit and look over the cards and just soak in the designs, the feel of cardboard (or chrome) in my hands and it just takes me back to when I was a kid, organizing my cards and watching the Yankees game. I can still hear Frank Messer, Phil Rizzuto and Bill White call the game as I look over my cards. As much as I'm into other things like comics and Batman/Spiderman collecting and McFarlanes and bobbleheads, nothing brings me as much joy as when I complete a team set or get a Yankee autographed card I need for the collection. Things may come and go in life, but the one constant I have is my card collecting hobby. Always brings a smile to my face.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Very Merry Knicks-mas

The New York Knicks gave their fans a pretty nice Christmas gift this afternoon, beating the Chicago Bulls 103-95 behind dual 20 point games from A'mare Stoudmire and Raymond Felton. As well as the Knicks played offensively, it was their defense down the streach that gave the Knicks a hard fought victory before a national T.V. audience.

Wearing their Christmas greens, The Knicks played a complete game, getting clutch shots and holding Chicago when they had to in the fourth. Stoudmire came up with 2 key defensive plays in the fourth quarter, first blocking Luol Deng and then drew a charge on Carlos Boozer. Wilson Chandler scored 10 of the Knicks final 12 points to put the game away.

A packed Garden was rocking in the fourth quarter as the Knicks pulled away. The past month, The Garden has an energy that I haven't felt since the 90's Knicks team were running over opponents on a nightly basis. Watching the game on T.V, I was wishing I was there. But family time during the holidays is more important. I got more of a charge watching the game with my grandma, who flew in from Puerto Rico than I would have sitting next to a stranger at MSG. The memory of us clapping together when the Knicks won is a memory I will have with me for a long time and that was my real Christmas gift.

-Found this great article by Frank Isola of the Daily News. He writes a short article about some of the people we may have seen at the Garden, but really don't bring much thought to. Take a look:

Hope you all had a merry Christmas. I know I did.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry X-Mas to Everyone!

I just wanted to take this moment to wish everyone a very merry christmas. May all your christmas wishes come true. Have a safe and healthy christmas. Please, no drinking and driving either. Thank you for reading my blog this past year. Hopefully, you will keep reading it as I plan to keep writing it. I enjoy being a part of this blogging community and hope to make more friends here.
As John Lennon once sang, A very christmas and a happy new year. Let's hope it's a good one. Without any fears. War is Over, If you want it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don Mattingly Bobblehead

Today bought me a bobble I have been meaning to add to my collection. I was so excited about this one that I couldn't wait to get home and take pics of it, so I used the pic off ebay. Not too sure how ethical it is, but no matter. I present to you, the newest add to the bobblehead collection, former Yankees first baseman ad current manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Don Mattingly, or as he's know in these parts, Donnie Baseball.

To us Yankee fans, when you think of Yankee Baseball in the 1980's, you pretty much think of Don Mattingly. Mattingly came up with the Yankees during the 1982 season. At first, he played more outfield than at first base because Steve Balboni was playing first at that time, but Balboni was traded to the Kansas City Royals in 1984, paving the way for Mattingly to open the '84 season there. What a season it was. he hit .343, beating out Dave Winfield for the American League batting title on the last day of the season. He also had 207 hits and 44 doubles, which lead the league in both categories. He topped that season in 1985 by hitting .324 with 35 home runs, 145 RBI's and 48 doubles, the latter tow lead the American League. he was awarded the AL MVP for that year. he also won the first of 9 Gold Gloves for his defense at first.

Matting would have an outstanding season in 1986, batting .352 with 32 home runs and 113 RBI's. He finished 2nd in the MVP voting that season to Roger Clemens, dispite leading the league in hits (238), doubles (53) and total bases (388). In 1987, he hit .327, with 30 home runs (including hitting a record tying 8 game home run streak and also hit a record six grand slams) and 115 RBI's. Sadly, this would be Mattingly's final solid year, statistically. In June of 1987, Mattingly seriously hurt his back wrestling in the Yankee clubhouse with Bob Shirley. Mattingly would never fully recover from this injury and his home run total would never approach 30 home runs again.

He missed time in the 90's because of his back and became a singles hitter rather than the doubles machine he was previously. His final great series was against the Mariners in the 1995 ALDS series where he batted .417 with a homer and 6 RBI. He hit a memorable home run in game two that had Yankee Stadium rocking. The saddest thing I have seen in all the years watching baseball was the sight of Mattingly, sitting in the dugout in the Kingdome, watching the Mariners celebrate. He took 1996 off and offically retired in 1997. When the Yankees won the series in 1996, he was the first person I thought of.

Mattingly came back to the Yankees as a hitting coach in 2004 and became Joe Torre's bench coach in 2006. When Mattingly did not get the Yankees manager position, he left the organization to become the Dodgers hitting coach and finally, manager. I can understand why I he didn't get the position, it's still funny to see Mattingly in any other uniform but a Yankee uniform. I wish him nothing but the best because if any one deserves it, it's Donald Arthur Mattingly.

This bobble was given away by the Trenton Thunder during the 2004 season and was sponsored by WaWa, which is a gas station/convience store in the east. Can't wait to get home and put him up on the shelf.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Recent TTM's

I recently recieved two returns on some custom cards I made not too long ago. Simple designs, but they look great when signed.

Harry Gallatin signed this card in under a week's time. He played for the New York Knicks from 1948-1957 befor playing a season and a half with the Detroit Pistons. At 6'6", he was an undersized center, but still made 7 All Star Teams, pulled down a Knicks record 33 rebounds in a game and made the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. Not a bad career for an undersized center. very pleased to be able to add "The Horse" to my Knicks autographed collection and he also gave me permission to send a mini basketball for him to sign.

Bubby Brister is probably more know for his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he played from 1986 to 1992. But he did spend a year with the Jets in 1995. It was not a good year for the Jets. They finished the year at 3-13 in Ritchie Kotite's first season as Jets head coach. Who knew the worst was yet to come. Brister backed up Boomer Esiason that year. He played in 9 games, was 93-170 for 726 yards, 4 Touchdowns and 8 Interceptions. Not great stats. After the '95 season, he moved on to Denver and won 2 Super Bowl rings as the back up to John Elway. Bubby signed this card in about a months time for my Jets autograph collection.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Meet New York Knicks Forward Danilo Gallinari 12/16/2010

All you Knicks fans can go meet Danilo Gallinari tomorrow from 6-7pm and nab a free autograph while helping the Daily News Readers Care to Feed the Hungry of New York Food Drive (quite a mouthful, eh?). Any fan who brings any non perishable food item to Modell's, located at 234 W 42nd st, will recieve a free autograph. If you have any questions, call 212-764-7030.

I do hope to attend. My company holiday party is tomorrow night, so if I go, I'll have to leave work an hour early and go then go the pah-tay.

I will be in attendence tonight as the Knicks play the Celtics at MSG. Hopefully, I can nab some autos and even more importantly, I hope for a hard fought game that results in a Knicks victory.

Me thinks I need to check the Garden store for bobbleheads....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Well, I didn't See This One Coming...


I'm still kinda stunned by this. When I received a tweet on twitter informing all that Cliff Lee had indeed spurned the Yankees, the years and mucho dinero to resign with the Phillies, I was wondering how this happened. I, like all of you, had heard there was a "mystery team" that was lurking. I had also heard that this (Dr. Evil hand gestures quotaions) "mystery team" was far behind the pack and that it would ultimately come down to New York and Texas for his services. I honestly felt that he would sign with the Yankees, even though the contract they were offering was crazy.

Little did I know that he would take his talents to the City of Brotherly Love.

Honestly, the longer this took, the less confident I felt Lee was coming to NY, especially after that whole spitting incident with his wife by a couple of drunken yahoos. Normally, if a player wants to be here, it's usually done at the winter meetings. But when Lee took his time in answering and then entertaining the Rangers for a third visit, I felt that's where he was staying.

Then again, who knew he had called the Phillies himself and asked what it would take to get back there. Who knew how long had this been going on and just been kept secret? Ultimaely, he took less money and less years to go back to Philly, where he helped lead them to the World Series in 2009. I will say this much, that's quite a starting four they are going to have in Philidelphia. Halladay, Lee, Hammels and Oswalt is as imposing as any rotaion in recent memory. Maybe as imposing as the one the Yankees had with Clemens, Pettitte, Mussina and Hernandez. Obviously, this makes the Phillies one of the favorites, if not THE favorite, to win the World Series. But then again, that's why they play the game, right?

What now for the Yankees? First off, I seriously doubt that Zack Grenke is coming to the Bronx as anything other than a visiting player. The Yankees are on his list of teams he wouldn't accept a trade to. Secondly, his well documented history with social anxiety disorder & depression would not help him in the demanding city that is New York City. what happens when he allows 5 runs in 3 and 1/3rd to Boston? The papers, and most fans, would be all over him. I don't really believe this is the place for him to thrive. And even if he does decide to come, what of Andy Pettitte? He still hasn't said if he is retiring and he is taking an awful long time (there is that time thing again!) to inform the Yankees if he will be at Spring Training or home in Deer Park, TX. The Yankees, as of now, have 2 spots to fill before Feburary. The signing of Russell Martin today pretty much tells me that Jesus Monetro is now trade bait for a pitcher. Martin will be a one year catcher until Austin Romine is ready. Now begs the question of who do the Yankees go after with Montero as the tasty morsel being dangled. Josh Johnson? Clay Kershaw? The Yankees are going to have to get creative and fast, otherwise those dreaded Crimson Sox of Boston will beat them as if they owed them money. With that lineup, it may not be pretty.

Here is where Brian Cashman earns his money. The two players he targeted, Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford, both signed elsewhere. Andy Pettitte may not be back. What do you do Brian, What do you do? If I get a tweet that the Yankees sign Carl Pavano to a three year deal, the sounds of pain you will hear from New York, will be from me, screaming and pulling my hair out. Please Brian, I don't want to be bald.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Is Carmelo on his way??

ESPN is reporting that Carmelo Anthony will not sign any extension with the Nuggets unless he is traded to the Knicks. Now, don't get me wrong. I'd love to see 'Melo sporting the orange and blue while calling the Garden his home, but a couple of things bother me.

First of all, it's going to take a lot to get him here. I have heard a couple of things regarding what it would take to make the trade. First of all, Denver wants a number one pick, which the Knicks do not have right now. It went to the Rockets in the Tracy McGrady deal, one that Knick President Donnie Walsh regrets making to this day. From what I read, the Knicks are trying to get that pick back from Houston and are willing to deal Anthony Randolph for it, which I honestly do not mind at all. Randolph has done nothing since he's been here and is just another body in the Mike D'Antoni dog house. Ask Nate Robinson what it would take to get out of it. I'm sure he would tell you leaving town is the only option. So, I would make this deal in a heartbeat, if Houston wants him.

If, and only if, the Knicks manage to pull off the trade, I'm sure they will be asking for either two of these three players; Danillo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, or Landry Fields. Maybe all three. Now, Yes, the Knicks have been just God awful for the past 10 years and yes, Carmello Anthony is one of the top 5 players in the NBA. So, why is it I have a hard time wanting to make this trade? It maybe that the Knicks are doing pretty well as is. Granted, they have played against the bottom teams of the NBA, but their win over Denver surely had to show even the harshest of critics something. Plus, all three players have shown growth so far, especially Chandler, and to give up even two of these pieces, would hurt the depth of this team.

Maybe trading for Mello would make the Knicks more appealing to Chris Paul when he becomes a free agent in 2012, but what would the Knicks look like then anyway? To me, I say, if Carmello Anthony wants to be a Knick that bad, he should just stick it out in Denver another year and become a Knick in 2011 when all it will cost them is money. But, then again, what do I know? I'm just a fan.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2007 Topps Johnny Damon 2006 Season Highlights Autograph

Well, Cliff Lee may not be under the Yankees Christmas tree yet and Carl Crawford will not be, I was able to add this card to my Yankees Autograph PC. Damon was an auto I had been trying to get for sometime. Either I would be outbid or the price would be too high. In any case, I now have him.

This card commemorates a ninth straight year of 100 runs scored and 30 doubles in a season. As much as I'm glad I can finally check off Damon in my Yankee auto want list, I'm just not to crazy about the sticker auto. Normally I dont care about sticker auto's, I'm usuallly just thrilled to have the auto. It's just that this particular one is such an eye sore. The placement of the silver sticker is just horrendous and kinda takes away from the photo. I have to check the checklist for 2007 Topps and make sure there isn't any other Yankee autos I need from that set.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Re-starting TTM's

When there is no baseball, I usually have a lot of free time on my hands. I sometimes watch MLB Network programming or pop in a Yankeeography dvd or bid on ebay. I do watch the Knicks, Jets and Devils as well. Or I'll pop in a movie, hit the gym or play xbox. When I have some down time after all that, plus work, I send out autograph requests.

Now, mind you, I don't send TTM's as much as I should. but when I do, I'll write up a quick letter, throw in a card or a ball and send it out with the hopes I get said item back quickly and safely. There have been times when I send a baseball or puck out and not gotten it back (Are you listening Mariano Rivera, Paul O'Neill and Jacques Lemaire?) I usually don't send anything of value out unless I know I'll get it back in return. What I usually send out are cards.

I will only collect the player in the uniform of my teams. Why? Because there are so many players who have played for my teams (Yankees alone have had 1,516 players don the pinstripes in their illustrious history). Aside from Hall of Famers, that's plenty to chase. Besides, I really dont care about getting a signature of a shortstop who played for the Angels in 1981 and batted .190 in 18 games, unless he played for the Yankees at one point.

So, what if there isn't a card I can find of the player in either a Yankee, Jet, Knick or Devil uni? Simple, I will make one up to send off to the athlete. I will start by googling or looking on Yahoo for a pic of the player. I'll save the pic and upload it to my Photoshop elements program. I have some ready made templates of the teams. The hard part for me is cutting out the player from the pic. My skills in photoshop are elementary, so I sometimes have to re-do the card untill I get it as right as it will get. Here some pics of some I have already made up:

Now, here are some signed examples:

The designs are pretty crude (especially my earlier Knicks customs) and easy to make. I'm not the greatest at Photoshop, heck, I can't even draw a curved line on it. But I am pretty happy how these came out and even more thrilled when they come back signed as they look pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.

I have a few Knicks customs already sent out. I'll update when I recieve them back. I'm also working on custom cut signature cards.

Tonight, there will be no autograph request letter writting, nor will I be watching Monday Night Raw. Nope, tonight I will have my butt parked in front of my TV, an ice cold Blue Moon in one hand and a Buffalo Wing in the other, rooting for my Jets on Monday Night Football. First place in the AFC East is on the line and this game could also have serious playoff seeds on the line as well. This is probably the most important regular season game in recent Jets history and I have been a die hard fan since 1979. Let's Go Jets!

Friday, November 26, 2010

11/26/2010-Anthony Mason In Store Apperance

Today former Knick Anthony Mason made a rare apperance at Last Licks in NYC. All autographs at this apperance was FREE! Since I need a Mason auto in the Knicks PC (and one of my mottos is if it's free, give me three) I ventured to Manhattan for the apperance.

When I got to the store, there was a small line formed and the session had already started. I wandered around, looking for something for him to sign. Originally, I want to get a mini basketball, but could not find any in NYC (Big Shock there) and I didn't know about the regular size balls, I settled for an 8x10. If anyone knows where I can get mini basketballs, please let me know. And not the generic kind either. I'd rather get the ones that look like the actual NBA ball and not the ones that have the Nike Swoosh.

When I got on line, there was only two people ahead of me, so I was able to get to Mase pretty quickly. He was very nice and asked if I wanted to make the signature out to anyone. I gave him my name and I now have a nice signed 8x10 of Anthony Mason in my Knicks PC, personalized. (Note: if you meet Anthony Mason at anytime and shake his hand. Be warned, he has a grip on him)

I was very happy to meet one of my favorite Knicks and it got me thinking, why do we not see any former or current Knicks doing any signings in NY? As a die hard Knicks fan, I would love a chance to meet the guys who donned the orange and blue and build my autographed Knicks collection in the process. I know Walt "Clyde" Frazier does apprances, but what about players like Willis Reed or Bill Bradley? What about Earl Monroe or Jerry Lucas? Or John Starks or Allan Houston? Im sure the Knicks fans would line up for a chance to meet these great players.

I'm not one to wait outside an arena or at a hotel for players and coaches to sign. My only chance to meet some of my favorite Knicks would be at an apperance. Gallinari is doing a signing in a week or two, then that's all. I hope the former Knicks will be doing more apperances. It was pretty cool to meet Mason and I hope I have the opportunity to meet more players in the near future.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Yankees Wishlist

The Holidays are quickly coming upon us. Kids are starting to write their lists to Santa and dreaming of opening gifts on Christmas day. While most are dreaming of Playstation 3's, iphones or money, my wishlist shows something diffrent. And this list is not for my personal enjoyment either. No, I'm not greedy. I would be more than willing to share, provided the Yankees can put these players under my navy blue and white themed christmas tree:

1-Cliff Lee-Seriously, did you expect me to say anyone else? The man is one of the top 4 pitchers in baseball and would look great in pinstripes. The Yankees almost had him in the summer, but Texas jumped in last minute and gave up Justin Smoak for him (I wonder if the Mariners are rethinking on passing Jesus Montero), which worked out great for Texas as he pitched them to their first world series appearance. Dispite being on the shelf, he went 12-9 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and averaged 7 k's per nine innings. A top three of CC, Lee and Hughes looks pretty nice.

2-Resign our own- Not that I expect them to leave the South Bronx, but resigning Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are musts. Dispite being 40 years old, Mariano Rivera still posted great numbers going 3-3 with a 1.80 ERA, 33 saves and a 0.83 WHIP. Players know what's coming and still can't hit the cutter. That being said, I would be fine if the Yankees go year to year with him, like they do with Andy Pettitte. A 2 year offer is probably more likey though.
The Captain did show signs of age last year, posting his lowest batting average in years, hitting .270, but did hit 10 home runs in the lead off spot with 67 RBI's and 18 stolen bases while winning another gold glove. His value is immersurable to the Yankees and only the Yankees. I honestly think they will over pay to keep him, but quite frankly, he's earned it. He has one 5 world titles as a Yankee and will become the very first Yankee to collect his 3,000nd hit around June. When most people think of the Yankees, Derek Jeter is the player that pops into their heads.

3-Fix The Bullpen-For starters, the bridge to Mariano has been filled with holes and was very rickity. Kerry Wood, of all people, came in and provided a stable bridge when Joba Chamberlin could not. Mind you, Joba is coming into his third full year into the majors and now knows his place is in the pen. While I am hoping beyond hope that he finds what made him a cult hero before bugs took away his aura in Cleveland, I wouldn't be opposed to trading him either. His value is low, so for now, I'd keep him. Damaso Marte looks like he is out for the year. The Yankees pen will have a returning Alfredo Aceves, Boone Logan, David Robertson, Joba and not much else. For a while, Robertson looked like he was going to be the 8th inning guy, but that didn't happen. Maybe this will be the year he grabs a hold of it. Until then, I wouldn't mind the Yankees sniffing around Brian Fuentes, who was the Angels closer until a mid season trade to Minnesota and didn't allow a run during his time up there or Iron Man Pedro Feliciano. I also think another lefty is needed, so how about Scott Downs? He only held lefties to a .152 batting average. Grant Belfour is another 8th inning option.

4-And Finally, Coming Off The Bench-With Marcus Thames looking more and more like he is going to be playing in Japan next year, the Yankees will have a spot open on the bench. The possibilty of using Juan Miranda in this role is appealing, but highly unlikely. Instead, I would like to see the Yankees sign Bill Hall. He can play almost every position, batting .247 with 18 hr's in 344 at bats. I'd take that from a part time player, although the sentimental side wouldn't mind seeing Melky Cabrera come back either. Maybe coming back and playing along side his best buddy, Robinson Cano, will re-energize the Mellk Man and he can regain the playing form he exhibited as a Yankee.

So, here's to hoping Santa Cashman checking my list and going over it twice, cause another season of Javier Vasquez ould certainly not be nice.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Per Request....

I got a comment from Dodgerbobble yesterday. If you don't know who he is, he writes a great Dodgers blog, I highly recommend it. Like me, he is a collector of bobble heads and asked if I picked up any new ones since I last posted.

Have I got any new bobble heads?

Well, feast your eyes on these beauties.
I realized when I downloaded the pics that it really has been a while since I posted pics of my adds. I added 9 bobble heads since I last showed any off. I will start with this Yogi Berra Bobble I won off eBay.

It was a SGA from the Columbus Clippers when they were still the Yankees Triple A team. This was given away back in 2003 and is a real beauty. I love AGP bobble dobbles.

Next I have a Tino Martinez 2002 SGA given away by the Yankees (Hal, if your reading this, please start giving away bobble heads at Yankees games again.) at the old Yankee Stadium. The give away was sponsored by Hormel as they had that summer with other bobble head give aways with the Yankees. Tino is one of my all time favorite Yankees and I had been trying to add a Tino to my bobblehead collection for quite some time. Very pleased to have it.

I also picked up a 2009 Mark Sanchez bobble head which was given away by PC Richards at a New York Jets game. Well, actually from what I have heard they gave away a certificate to go and pick the knucklehead bobble up at a PC Richards store. So, most fans would jump into their cars and race all around New Jersey/New York looking for a store that had them. Seems a funny way to have a SGA, but I'm not too familiar with NFL give aways. I have only been to one and they gave away Shrek ears cause at one point, as former head coach Herm Edwards said, they won Shrek ugly. And yes, I did wear my Shrek ears at the game, thank you very much. A Jets win over Cincinnati.

I also picked up a Ken Daneyko SGA bobble head which was given out by the Devils on Ken Daneyko Night, when they retired his number. The giveaway was at the Continental Airlines Arena, which is now called the Izod Center, which before that was the Brendan Byrne Arena. Whew! Anyways, this one was done by AGP as well, although it looks different then the others I have. I almost mistakenly took this for a Forever bobble head.

I finally was able to add the NJ Devil bobble head to my Devils collection. He was a SGA at Continental Airlines Arena back in 2003. This bobble has been wily and elusive, evading my grimy hands on more than one occasion. Usually, this is a 50-75.00 bobble head. I managed to get it for a lot lower than that. Jeez, look at my desk. I'm shocked my boss hasn't hired a maid to clean it up.

And finally, I grabbed these guys, just cause I love Marvel superheroes

Although they are plastic, I think Funko did a great job with these. I found these at a Big Lots in update NY for 5 bucks each. I couldn't resist snagging them. No Spidey though and he's my favorite superhero. Him and Batman. I did put Wolverine back. Oh well, next time Logan. Avengers, Assemble!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughts During My Lunch Break

First, before I go on, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of our vets a Happy Veteran's Day. This country is a free country thanks to the efforts of all you great men and women. I'd also like to say a special prayer to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this land.

I was doing doing a bit of thinking today. Has any of you ever felt like your collections were getting out of hand? Like you were spreading yourselves out a bit too thin? I have as of late. I have tried to add hockey, basketball and football to my collection as well as bobbleheads and figurines as well. Unfortunatley, my Yankees collection has been ignored, almost to the point where I really haven't added anything to it in quite sometime. I was looking at ebay this morning and I realized I am missing so much from this year's Topps. I'm pretty sure I do have most of the base cards, but I have none of the game used and autos. I'm really digging the manucatured bat barrell cards as well. So I have decided to go concentrate on my Yankees collection only for the time being. Unless I can make a trade, I will put all efforts into adding more goodies to the Yankees collection. I may actually post pics of what I own already so everyone can see the collection, which I think is pretty darn impressive.

I'll let you know what I add in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 10th, 2010

I'm going to change this blog up a bit. I have been wanting to for a long time now. I didn't want to just write a blog about new stuff I was adding to my collection. I wanted to make this blog a bit more personal than that. I just didn't know exactly what to do because I wanted to keep this a sports collecting blog and not really change that. Then, it came to me...

Why not write about myself a bit more? Maybe make it a bit more personal. Let you guys get to know me just a little bit. Granted, there is always the fear that you guys might find me boring and not read my blog anymore. But the more I think about it,the more it makes sense to me. See, there are days when I don't have any mail or really don't want to go off on a tirade on my teams and give my "opinons" on what they are doing wrong. Some days I just want to write how my day went and maybe vent a bit or share a special moment with you guys. I mean, I'm still going to talk sports and show off my goodies, but I want this blog to be more than that. I would like it to be a not so private diary about who I am.

So, let me tell you a little bit about who I am. I'm a 39 year old New Yorker. I currently reside in the Bronx, home of the world famous Bronx Zoo and New York Yankees. Where I live, well,to call it a dump would be an insult to actual dumps. It's a rough area. Anything and everything goes down around here and it's usually not good. As long as you mind your p's and q's, go about your business, your fine. Plus, my family has been in this building since 1974, so the natives know us and we are not bothered. Heck, the young holligans actually hold the door to my building open when I come in. As long as you say thank you and show respect, they'll do it all the time. Currently, I'm sharing the apt with my youngest sister as she is in college. I'm the bread winner. I pay everything here, which doesn't leave much for anything else. My sister's ok although I feel she takes advantage at times. I have had to pay far too many $200.00 electric bills than I'd care to remember.

I work in Manhattan as an accounts payable clerk for a background check company. I pretty much do all the grunt work for the finance dept. I spend my days faxing, scanning, filing, entering expense reports, cutting checks, taking phone calls and emailing the messages to our out sourcing spot in Mumbi and fixing/creating accounts. You know,the exciting stuff. The pay stinks, I only make in the low 40's, haven't had a raise in 2 years dispite my company buying up other company's and I'm pretty much treated like the bus boy of the office. I one time handed the CFO a check for his signature and he kinda threw it back at me after signing without looking up. At least I have people I kid around with and talk sports with. If I didn't, I might have walked around like a zombie the entire time.

I know times are tough. I should be thankful I have a roof over my head and a job that barely pays all the bills and I really dont want to turn this into a woe is me blog. I just feel that there is something better out there for me. I don't want to hate my job, my living situation or my life. I feel I can get more out of life the question is how? I feel stuck. Stuck in this apt and stuck in my boring 8:30 to 5:30 job, with no way out. Another question is, what can I do? My experience is limited to menial office duties although I have worked in call centers (ever talk with a guy who actually asks "who be this?" Not so fun).

I guess my ideal life would be going to a job I love, doing something that I love doing. Living in a nice place in Westchester (I am dying to get out of the city. I want to be a suburb man.) and having a nice car. Maybe even having a girlfriend. It's been a while for me,but I stay alone because until I clear up my issues, I'll never make anyone happy. I've been in too many crummy relationships. Time to have a great romance for once. And being able to bust boxes of cards whenever my geeky heart desires :D

Well, I guess that's all for today. It's 11:30 pm here. I want to watch Family Guy before I pass out and start another day in this wonderful life.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yankee Announcing

A great come from behind win by the Yankees put me to bed with a smile on my face. My favorite player, Mark Teixeira crushing a pitch over the Right Field fence which gave the Yankees back the lead and ultimately the game had me giddy like you wouldn't believe. However, something about that home run made me queasy. In fact, the whole game kinda bored me and it had nothing to do with the actual game it's self.

TNT had the brilliant idea to put Ernie Johnson, it's in studio basketball host, to be the main play by play announcer during it's coverage of the playoffs and, lucky me, he gets to work the Yankees-Twins series with John Smoltz and Ron Darling. Now, on paper, it's an upgrade from last seasons announce team of Chip Carey and Ron Darling. Darling was not the issue. He's quickly surpassing Tim McCarver as the best color guy in the game. I enjoy listening to him and will on occasion, watch the Mets so I can listen to him, even if I have to deal with the ramblings of Keith Hernandez. Chip Carey, on the other hand, was nauseating. I intentionally went to bars to watch the games, just so I couldn't hear him speak. when I heard that TNT fired him, I was beyond pleased. Then I heard Ernie Johnson speak. Now I'm wishing I was deaf. The home run call of Teixeira sounded like he was either not paying attention or just didnt care. I'm not asking for John Sterling over the top home run calls, but jeeze, it came at an important part of the game, at least make it seem like it. I wanted to reserve judgement on Johnson for another game, but it got me thinking about the Yankee Broadcasters.

If you watch, or listen to a Yankees game on either YES Network or the Yankees Radio Network, you will probably know that Yankee broadcasters are not really considered top notch. I miss the days of Bill White, Phil Rizzuto and Frank Messer when Yankee games were enjoyable to listen to. Bobby Murcer was a good one too, God rest his soul. The some of the announcers the Yankees have arent easy to listen to. If I owned the Yankees, heres who I would have doing the games:

TV Broadcasters

You can't go wrong with having Bob Costas as the lead announcer. He doing basball games for MLB Network now and is doing a great job. I always enoyed his announcing from when he was calling NBC Games of the Week. He's a Yankees fan since his childhood and it makes perfect sense for him to call the Yankees. He's the only one I would give a blank check to and work around his schedule, even if it means him calling only Yankee home games

If Costas turns me down then Kenny Albert would be my next choice, followed by Gary Thorne.
Yes, I will admit, it took me a while to warm up to Ken Singleton, he of monotone voice. But once I got past that, I realized he's a terrific color man and knows the game very well. He's also good for a fill in as play by play guy when needed.

Another who is one of the games better color men, Al Leiter is one I always enjoy listening to. I enjoy how he explains the game from a pitcher's view and often shows the views how a pitch is thrown. He is the perfect third man for my TV Booth


Michael Kay is currently the Yankees main TV guy. My problem is I feel he's a radio man, trying to be a TV announcer and it just doesn't work for me. I liked Kay when he was calling the Yankee Games on the Radio and that's where I'd stick him, but as the main guy, not John Sterling's sidekick.

Paul O'Neill is getting better as an analyist as each season goes on. I like his knowledge, humor and the chemistry that he and Kay have together. That's why I would stick O'Neill in the booth and hope that he continues to grow as a broadcaster.

I would keep the studio with Bob Lorenz (just keep him away from calling a game. Those of you who watched him fill in on games in Toronto and Seattle this past season know what I'm talking about) and Kim Jones/Jack Curry as roving reporter. I would love to hire Rachel Nichols to replace Nancy Newman as Lorenz's fill in and move John Flathery as in studio anylist.

I would let go of John Sterling and Susan Waldman. Frankly, I have had enough of the cheesey home run calls and missed calls. Waldman would be a hard decision, only because she has been with the team for so long and is a NYC staple, being she was on WFAN and worked Knicks games on MSG. Maybe I can give her an interview sgement for pre and post games on the radio. If not, then I would let her go as well. Originally, I also had Flathery going out the door as well, but watching him as in studio analyist, I think that would be the way to go with him.

I think this lineup works. It's not perfect, but I think it's a serious upgrade over what we currently are subjected to every year. And if it doesn't work, I'll be in cemetary's looking to bring Mel Allen back from the dead.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A New Blog Name and Random Thoughts

I finally came up with a new name for this blog. It's one I had originally thought of for it, but went with the previous one instead. Makes sense though. I collect cards and live in New York City. Why not just go with it. I admit, it doesn't have the comedic zing that Mike's Box of Junk has, but I think it fits pretty good.

Well, now that the Yankees made the playoffs, my only question is, how often will we see this sight? I'm not feeling too confident in this team right now. Seems that they have made too many mental errors on the field, the timely hitting hasn't been there and the pitching after CC and Hughes in the rotation has not left me with much confidence.

So, what am I hoping for during this first round?

1-This team is going to need the Alex Rodriguez from last years post season. It seems that since Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrerra left this team, we haven't had that come from behind magic like last season. Granted, Marcus Thames and Nick Swisher has come through with some big hits when we have needed them, but I just don't feel confident that if the Yanks are down by 2 in the late innings that they will pull it out, like last year. A-Rod showed last season that he's capable of carrying this club when it mattered and he going to some how need to find that player and just demolish the Twins pitching.

2-We need Mr.November. Derek Jeter has never had as bad a season as he had this one. Batting just .270 durimg the regular season, he's going to have to step it up a notch and show that it's just an abberation and not a sign of serious decline. He's in his walk year and if he is going to be able to get the contract he wants as he matches toward 3,000 hits, he has to show he's still the man when the spotlight is at it's brightest.

3-AJ Burnett shouldn't be making a start until the ALCS. Seriously, does anyone have confidence in him right now? I sure as heck don't. He gave up we over a hit per inning, seems like his head is not in the game once he's hit and gets frustrated way too easily. Unless Pettitte's back is not good enough to go, Burnett needs to be in the pen. I have even less faith in Javier Vasquez, so he needs to be left the post season roster all together.

4-Joe Griardi needs to show some guts. I don't care what anyone says. He did not want to play Texas in the first round and managed for the wild card. How else do you explain Dustin Mosley pitching in yesterdays season finale with the AL East title on the line. If he really wanted that title, Phil Hughes would have been on the hill instead.

That said, I still think the Yankees will beat Minnesota. Won't be the dominating sweep like last years ALDS, but they will move on to the ALCS. My prediction, Yankees in 5 games.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Changes are a comming!

I took some time off to step back and look over the blog. I want to write a blog that is intresting, informative and fun. I would like to grow my readership and so far, that's not happening. So, I will be making some changes to the blog.

First, I will be concentrating on coming up with a new name for the blog. Mike's Box of Junk doesnt seem like a good name. It was the best I could come up with and, quite frankly, still is. I also think I need a better banner. I'm not so great at Photoshop and that was the best of my efforts. So, I will be thinking heavily about what I call the blog or what banner I'd like to use. If anyone has any ideas, I welcome them.

Secondly, I decided to concentrate my collecting efforts to two teams; the Yankees and New Jersey Devils. I will still add Jets and Knicks stuff to the collection, but with time and, most importantly, money, at an all time low, I feel I just can't do all four sports. My love for the Yankees has been with me since I was 5 years old and watched Chris Chambliss hit them into the World Series. Dropping them was never a thought. I have been watching the Jets since 1980, the Knicks since 1982 and the Devils since 1991-92. For some reason, The Devils has grown on me and hockey is rapidly becoming a favorite sport. I will admit that my hockey knowledge is not as high as baseball. There is still alot I want to learn about the rules and history of the sport. I feel an excitement watching the game that I only feel when watching baseball. Maybe it's the hitting, the prepetual movement of the game or the feeling I get seeing Marty Brodeur stop a shot or Zach Parise score a goal. That's why I added the Devils to my collecting concentrations next to the Yankees.

Last, but not least, I need to address the lack of posts on my part. Lately I have been working longer hours. Add that to my workouts and my participating on the company softball team, it doesn't as much time as I'd like to post. Plus, when I don't have anything new to show, I kind of get brain cramps about what to write. What I'm going to do, even if it's a short paragraph about the Yankees or Devils, is I'm going to have up at least 3 posts a week. That is my goal.

I want to thank my followers for reading the blog and occasionally commenting. I want to make this the best possible blog for you guys to read and appreciate all feedback given. Keep on reading, I promise it will get better.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Martin Brodeur =$$$$$$$$$$

Anyone who knows me, knows my favorite sports star is Martin Brodeur. I have been a huge fan since his rookie year and the man crush only grew after the '95 season, which saw the Devils capture the first of their 3 Stanley Cup championships. Baseball is my favorite sport, but my favorite athlete is a hockey player. When I returned to card collecting, I decided I was going to start a player collection of Brodeur. As of today,I have 273 diffrent and unique Brodeur cards. I have magazines, pucks, posters (one of which was given to me as an xmas presentof the 2003 Championship team...signed by Brodeur), figures, bobbleheads,Tshirts, a jersey, his book and even had the chance to meet Broduer at the NHL Store here in NYC where he signed a 5x7 for me. Heck, I was even at the game he broke Roy's record for wins all time by a goalie. I called out sick from work, stood in line for hours and was able to get a pair of tickets to the game. Watching Brodeur take the record that St.Patty's Day ranks as my favorite game I've attended. I will be matting the ticket, the autographed 5x7 and the poster given out by the Devils later that season commerating the win in a frame first chance I get.

Collecting Broduer is a tough task. As I mentioned before, I have 273 of Broduer's thousands of cards. Most of them came from participating in box breaks,trades, card show pick ups or gifts from friends and other collectors. About 90% of my collection are base and inserts. I have maybe 10 game used cards and just 3 autographed cards. Maybe it's the fact that he holds every record a goaltender can own or his 3 cups or the fact that he may go down as the best goalie ever (Roy fans will beg to differ, I'm sure). Whatever it is, Brodeur is an expensive player to collect. A search on ebay showed me that while his base cards are still pretty reasonable, his game used cards are creeping up in price. I have seen a lot start at $9.99, 29.99 and even 49.99 for sticks from Between The Pipe. If there is a patch, that's extra. Autographed cards are even more. Most signed Brodeur cards start at 50.00, going up past 100.00. For someone who's on a budget, that's a bit much to spend on cardboard.

I made a decison a while ago that if I was going to have a nice collection, I would forgo the autos and game used stuff unless I was either getting it through a trade or find a steal on one. I have been able to get some gu cards for under 10 bucks dlvd. I also supplement the lack of premium cards by going after the non-card Brodeur collectables, which I plan to display once I have the room. My collection may not be the largest, but I'm pretty proud of it. Here are some of my favorite pieces:

06-07 Hot Prospects Hotagraphs. This is one the few autographs I have of his.

Brodeur's first McFarlane. I had this figure when it was first released, but I managed to lose it. Had to pay 40.00 at a comic con for it. I just need the Team Canada figures, The box sets and the variant to complete the collection.

This is a SGA from 2003. I love the classic pose bobbles and AGP did a great job on this one. Plus, the cage on the mask lifts up.

I love that my collection is a hodgepodge of diffrent things. As much as I drool over the 500.00 patch auto, picking up really cool pieces makes me feel better about thelack of autos in my collection. Who knows? Maybe one day I will be able to afford the stick or jersey he wore in a game. Until then, I'll just admire the awesome collection I have now.