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!