Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 Razor Sports Icons Auto

The first Rickey card produced by Razor (at least the first that I know of) surfaced on eBay, and sold for over $300!

The card is part of Razor 2009 Sports Icons Auto Update set, the complete checklist of which can be found here.

Razor is currently not the biggest player in the card market, but they are at least still making cards, which is more than can be said about a lot of other companies. All of Razor's releases feature cut signatures, and some are obviously better looking than others.

Tri-Star has also produced similar cut signature sets, with this "interesting" (sorry Ken) looking Rickey included in their 2008 Signa-Cuts Baseball Edition set.

I haven't seen them for sale yet, but Rickey also has cut signature cards in 2008 Tri-Star Signa-Cuts Baseball Edition series 2 and 2009 Tri-Star Signa-Cuts Bronx Edition.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, and Happy Birthday!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, with a special Happy Birthday to Rickey Henderson as well. Now that 2009 is finally over, it's been a long year, but one that I'll never forgot. As a Rickey fan, getting to see him inducted into the Hall of Fame, as well as seeing his number retired by the A's, we're both once in a lifetime opportunities, and I'm glad that I was able to take part.

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, since I'm still a member (I actually renewed my membership for next year as well), I randomly get things from them in the mail, which I'll share as time permits. I just received a Christmas card, which included a nice picture of Rickey and Jim Rice on the cover.

I think it's pretty cool that they chose to use this picture, since it's similar to one of my favorites from the trip, and the one I entered in the ESPN contest.

I know everyone has seen this picture way too many times, but one more won't hurt anyone. I do want to thank everyone that voted for me, as I think I managed to get into the top 20 of the people's choice, which I definitely can't complain about.

Back to the Christmas card, inside was a short poem that they had written, incorporating the events of the year. I've reproduced the text below:

"Tis the holiday season at the Baseball Hall of Fame,
With Families and friends sharing their love for the game.

Two thousand nine produced memories galore,
Two brand new exhibits, a Classic debut, thrilled Induction fans, and more.

January was kind to us not once but twice,
To join Joe Gordon, the newly elected Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice.

April arrived with the Hammer, a true testament to the game,
A permanent museum exhibit now bears Henry's name.

Next up was Viva Baseball! In English and Spanish, a muy bueno part two,
Cepeda, Marichal and Roberto Jr. saw it through.

The first Hall of Fame Classic graced our quaint town,
Bob Feller, at 90, still mowing them down.

Hall of Fame Weekend, replete with legends galore,
As thousands journeyed to see the heroes t hey adore.

October's essence - chasing pennants and chasing leaves,
Gave way to next year's election hopes and dreams.

The holidays are upon us, and we wish you the very best,
From Cooperstown, memories to treasure 'til your next baseball quest."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hall of Famer Red Carpet Arrivals

I was going through my list of posts, and realized that for some reason this one was still saved as a draft, and had never been posted. It's been a while since I've posted anything from my Cooperstown trip, so I figured now was as good a time as any.

On the night before the induction ceremony, all of the Hall of Famers in attendance arrived at the Hall of Fame via little red trolley to attend a private reception in the museum.

These are the trolleys that the players used for arrival, and are also used as shuttles to take guests to and from the different parking lots in the area, due to the limited amount of parking on Main Street. This picture was taking near the front of the Hall, looking up the street towards the nearby hills.

Fans lined up along Main Street hours before the Hall of Famers were set to arrive

As night approached, I took up my spot in the area reserved for photographers. We were allowed to stand right next to the entrance to the Hall, but because of the weird angle and lighting, it wasn't actually the best place to be taking pictures. We were lucky to get one or two shots of the Hall of Famers as they passed, and you really had no idea how they were going to turn out.

Here's Rickey arriving hand-in-hand with his wife.


Lou Brock and his wife

Dave Stewart and Dave Henderson

Say Hey - It's Willie Mays

Rollie Fingers

Bob Feller - For 90 years old, this guy looked great!

Joe Morgan

Bruce Sutter

Frank Robinson

Wade Boggs

Ozzie Smith

Dave Winfield

Phil Niekro

Dennis Eckersley

Billy Williams

Gary Carter

Bob Costas - One of the few non-Hall of Famers that I recognized

Monte Irvin

Earl Weaver

Eddie Murray

Whitey Ford

After the dinner was over, the Hall of Famers also took the trolleys back to their hotel. After much urging from the remaining crowd, Rickey does his best train whistle impersonation.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

An Update on the 2009 Topps U&H Legends "Cereal" Cards

Ever since I posted the checklist of Rickey cards included in 2009 Topps Update & Highlights, I've been religiously checking Target for the release of the "cereal" boxes. Rickey was to have a base Legends Chrome card in both the Target and Wal-Mart sets, as well a a Refractor and a Gold Refractor.

Since it's been about two months since the set was released, and not a single card from those sets had surfaced, I e-mailed Topps to inquire about the "cereal" boxes. Here's their response:

"Thank you for your letter regarding Topps and its products. Unfortunately, the Cereal Box Exclusive products for both WalMart and Target have been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience this product cancellation may have caused."

So, if anyone else has been looking for these cards, you can halt your search. As a result, the Rickey cards below do not exist:

2009 Topps Legends Chrome Target Cereal #LLG21
2009 Topps Legends Chrome Target Cereal Gold Refractors #LLG21
2009 Topps Legends Chrome Target Cereal Refractors #LLG21

2009 Topps Legends Chrome Wal Mart Cereal #PR26
2009 Topps Legends Chrome Wal Mart Cereal Gold Refractors #PR26
2009 Topps Legends Chrome Wal Mart Cereal Refractors #PR26

Although they are currently listed on the "official" Beckett checklist, they should eventually be removed (I've sent them an e-mail, but I've never received a response in the past, and I'm not really holding my breath now). Now if only I could confirm that only one version of the non-Chrome cards exist, and that a regular and gold card were never produced.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sacramento Holiday Inn Card Show

I've been to a couple of the large Tri-Star shows in San Francisco over the past couple of years, but I can't remember the last time I went to a smaller local card show. It was probably around 2002 or so, when the local mall used to hold a show every year. I've seen a couple of ads for the shows at the local Holiday Inn (I believe they occur twice a year), but I've never managed to make it out to one. They hold them on Sunday mornings, and for some reason, I never think about it at the time.

But, I am now on their mailing list, and was all set this past weekend to take my 17-month old son to his first every card show. Maybe he was my good luck charm, as the show was definitely a success, and I think I managed to come home with more Rickey's than I did in either of the Tri-Star shows combined, and at really great prices!

2005 Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade Swatch Single Jumbo Prime Red Mets Jkt/15 # 168

This was the first Rickey card that I saw at the show, and as is usually the case, it was not marked with a price. It's a pretty sweet jacket patch, and I was very interested to hear how much the dealer was looking to get for it. Imagine my surprise when he only wanted $20! For a large swatch on a card numbered to only 15 copies, I think I got a pretty sweet deal.

2005 Leaf Sportscasters 35 Yellow Fielding-Glove #39 #/35
2005 Leaf Sportscasters 65 White Batting-Ball #39 #/65

I also got these two Sportscasters, as well as a YSL that I already had, from the same dealer. It turns out that I actually have the White #/65, so it's up for trade if anyone is interested.

2003 Timeless Treasures Milestone Padres Jsy/100 #3

About two tables down from the dealer above (there were only about 20 dealers in total at the show), I found my second patch card of the trip. I was a little disappointed in that it's an A's picture and a Padres patch, but I liked the design, and at $10, couldn't pass it up!

2003 Upper Deck MVP Celebration MM/1989 #66
2005 Donruss Team Heroes Showdown Blue #326

These are two of the five cards that I got from the final dealer of the day. Rickey has three different cards in the MVP Celebration set, and now I finally have them all. I also didn't realize that there were parallels to the Donruss Team Heroes set, but now I know what to be on the lookout for. It turns out that the Showdown set features red, blue, bronze, silver and gold colored parallels.

2002 Fleer Maximum To the Max/325 #192

Even with the patch cards above, I think this was my favorite card of the show. Any parallel from the early 2000's is pretty hard to come by, and this is one that I hadn't yet been able to track down. Plus, it was in the $1.00 box along with the other Rickey's!

1981 A's Granny Goose #35

Although I have one of these, I couldn't pass up another one. Back in the late 1980's, other than Rickey's rookie, this was THE card to have. You'd see one or two of them at the big card shows, and they'd want upwards of $100 for them. Even now, they sell really well on eBay, and are consistently in the $50-$100 range.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Updated 2010 Topps Checklist

I wrote a post a few months ago when the initial checklists for 2010 Topps were released. I recently checked into the set again, and found that a few more details had been released. Along with the odds of actually pulling the cards, here's what else I was able to find out. Unofortunately, there haven't been any pictures of the Rickey cards released, so this will be a fairly text heavy post.

--There will be a parallel to the "Cards Your Mother Threw Out" set, called an "original back parallel" which I'm assuming means the back of the card (instead of describing the card that was "thrown out") will look just like the back of the original version of the card featured on the front. This is a 58 card set, with one card representing every year of Topps, and I can only assume that Rickey's 1980 rookie card will be used. These parallels are inserted at approximately one per box.

-- Missing from the first checklist I saw was a Past & Present insert featuring Rickey and Carl Crawford. There will be a Past & Present Relic parallel as well, but unfortunately, only 15 cards from the 30 card set will be included, and Rickey's is not one of them.

-- There will also be Hall of Fame Buybacks randomly inserted, but the checklist has not been determined. The info sheet lists that it will contain 500 "subjects," but since there are less than 300 Baseball Hall of Famers, some players must be represented more than once, and being the newest Hall of Famer, Rickey will probably be included.

-- The Peak Performance relics commemorate the "career landmarks" of over 80 players. Rickey's all-time stolen base record will probably be chosen, but they could surprise everyone, and commemorate him setting the all-time walks or runs records as well. Rickey is included in the 82 card Peak Performance relic set, but is not included in the 50 card Peak Performance base insert set.

-- The "Hat Logo" cards will be manufactured, complete hat logo patches, each number to 99 copies. Rickey actually has four cards in the set, but it's not yet known which four teams they have chosen for him to represent. If I had to guess, I'd say the A's, Yankees, Padres, and Blue Jays.

Here's the updated checklist of all that I know to date:

The Cards Your Mother Threw Out
MTO29 Rickey Henderson (1:3 packs; 1 per jumbo pack)
MTO29 Rickey Henderson "Original Back Parallel" (1 per box/jumbo box)

Past & Present
PP30 Rickey Henderson / Carl Crawford (1:4 packs; 1 per jumbo pack)

Peak Performance Relic
PPR-RHE Rickey Henderson (1 auto/relic per box; 1 auto and 2 relics per jumbo box)

Hat Logo Relic (1 auto/relic per box; 1 relic per jumbo box)
MHR-110 Rickey Henderson (#/99)
MHR-111 Rickey Henderson (#/99)
MHR-112 Rickey Henderson (#/99)
MHR-113 Rickey Henderson (#/99)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2009 Topps U&H Target & Wal-Mart Legends of the Game

I finally was able to acquire a couple of the Legends of the Game parallels that are available only in Target and Wal-Mart retail packs.

I believe this is the "base" version of the Target card, but I'm really not sure. There's also a "gold" version, and although this card does have a gold border (as compared to the greenish border on the Legends found in the regular packs), it may or may not be the gold parallel.

Here's the cards that Beckett says are available:
2009 Topps Target Legends #LLG21
2009 Topps Target Legends Gold #LLG21
2009 Topps Target Legends Platinum #LLG21

All of the auctions that I've seen list this as the "gold" card, and I have not seen any that look any different. I believe one of the problems arises from the numbering on the back. The Target only parallels are considered the "gold" parallels, hence the "G" in the card numbered. So, in essence, there is a gold parallel of a gold card, if that makes any sense.

Here's the Wal-Mart card, and the identification doesn't get much easier.

These are the cards that are supposedly available:
2009 Topps Wal Mart Legends #LLP22
2009 Topps Wal Mart Legends Gold #LLP22
2009 Topps Wal Mart Legends Platinum #LLP22

Just like Target has the gold set, Wal-Mart has the platinum set. I believe the card that's actually listed as a Platinum is a #1/1, so I know it's not that one. That leaves me to believe that this is actually the base card, although I'm still left wondering what the gold parallel might be.

I actually contacted Topps to help me out, and their response was pretty useless, as it seems that even they are confused about what's going on.

"Thank you for taking the time to write with your question, and please accept our apologies for any confusion.

It appears the Gold versions are serial numbered #/99 on the front top right of the card. The Platinum versions are serial numbered #/25. There are base versions of similarly colored Gold and Platinum parallels, however the more common versions are not serial numbered on the card."

The fact that the gold's #/99 and the platinum's are #/25 is true of the Legends that are found in the regular hobby packs, but I know this is not the case with the Target and Wal-Mart cards. If anyone has different versions of the same player (base, gold, platinum) from either the Target or Wal-Mart Legends set, I would love to see a side-by-side scan. Hopefully then I'll be able to finally put this mystery to bed.

Now I just need to wait for the U&H cereal box chrome, chrome refractors, and gold refractors to be released, and hope that those are a bit easier to decipher.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Incredible Lou Brock Memorabilia Auction

As a Rickey Henderson fan, you can't help but be a fan of Lou Brock as well. I actually got to interact with him a little bit during the Hall of Fame Golf Tournament this past summer, and he was a lot of fun!

That being said, I was a little sad when I read last week that there was going to be an entire auction filled with his memorabilia. I hope that he's selling these off in the hopes that others will be able to get some enjoyment out of them, and not because he actually needs the money. Considering what athletes get paid these days, it's amazing to think that these guys used to work as car salesman and insurance agents in the off-season!

The Legendary Auctions catalog includes some really amazing stuff, and I've included some of my favorite items below. You can view the entire catalog here.

Lou Brock's 893rd stolen base, which he stole to pass Ty Cobb on the all-time list.

Brock wore this jersey in 1974 when he stole his 105th base, breaking the all-time single season record. He ended the season with 118 steals, which stood until Rickey broke the record in 1982.

Brock's 1967 St. Louis Cardinals World Series ring.

A neat little stool that Brock had made featuring his 74th stolen base in 1966, in which he lead the NL for the first time.

A game-used ball from the game in which Brock stole his 900th base, one of only 3 players to do so. There are actually quite a few game-used balls included in the auction.

A pair of Brock's game-used cleats from the 1960's. These definitely don't compare to the cleats they wear today, but I still wouldn't want to get in the way of that front spike!

Brock received this award in the 1950's in high school for "outstanding achievement."

As a member of the 1967 All-Star team, Brock received this decorative silver bowl.

I've always been a fan of Leroy Neiman's paintings, and this one of Brock is one of my new favorites.

Arguably Brock's best season was in 1974, where he came in 2nd in the MVP voting. But, he was awarded the National League Player of the Year Award at the Kansas City Baseball Awards Dinner. It's not the MVP award, but it still is a pretty cool trophy.

If you enjoyed these items, be sure to check out everything else that is listed at the link above. I won't be bidding on anything myself, but if anyone does actually bid and win an item, be sure to let me know!