First Place Rockies On A Roll

May 24, 2013

- See all 763 of my articles

No Comments

Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday was my birthday (er, 27, yeah, 27) and my Colorado Rockies climbed back into a first place tie as a present for me. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has been healthy this year and is off to a great start, hitting .338 with 9 homers so far on the year. Manager Walt Weiss has been giving Tulo occasional rest during the year, something that I think is incredibly smart. Getting 145 healthy games from Tulo is better than trying to get 162 from him and having him get hurt.

The Rockies have been getting good production out of most of the starters, with the exception of 1B (Todd Helton) and 2B (Josh Rutledge, who was recently optioned to AAA). Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, and catcher Wilin Rosario appear to be forming the core of a very good heart of the lineup for years to come.

On the mound, three full-time Rockies starters have ERAs under 4.50 (De la Rosa 3.40, Chacin 4.10, Nicasio 4.47) and Tyler Chatwood has a 2.55 ERA in limited action – very impressive considering he environment. Chacin, Nicasio, and Chatwood are all young guys who should still have room for improvement.

By far the most disappointing team in the NL West has been the LA Dodgers, who have a $220 million payroll, but a record of just 19-26.

The Yankees have been able to win 28 of 46 games so far with a patched up lineup of misfits while their stars are on the DL. I tip my hat to Joe Girardi. This team could have easily just collapsed.

The Angels also sport a hefty payroll but have struggled early. They finally climbed into third place in their division, with a 20-27 record, but they have a long way to climb. Sophomore Mike Trout has been raking this month. After hitting .261 with 2 homers in April, Trout is hitting .359 with 8 homers in May.

Wizards v/s Thunder 03/14/11

Kevin Durant, Humanitarian

The Tigers are in second play despite the efforts of Tigre Numero Uno Miguel Cabrera, who is hitting .391 with 14 homers and 55 RBI – including .536 with 6 homers and 13 RBI in the last 5 games. The 30 year old Cabrera should reach 350 homers later this year. Cabrera does carry around a lot of weight, and I do wonder if that will prevent him from reaching .400 this year, and he’s going to get thrown out at first base more often than an average runner would.

The baseball draft is just around the corner. The Astros and Cubs pick 1-2, and Stanford Mark Appel and Vanderbilt pitcher Sonny Gray are expected to go in the top two picks.

I’ll draft away from baseball for a moment to give a shoutout to Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder for donating $1 million to tornado relief.  Sure, Durant is a rich athlete who “can afford it”, but not everyone in that situation steps forward and writes a check.  Durant manned up and did it.  A million dollars can make a real different in this situation.  Thanks for restoring my faith in humanity (for another week), Kevin,

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Muhammad Ali’s Rumble In Jungle Shoes

May 17, 2013

- See all 177 of my articles

No Comments

Today I pick out another boxing item, although this is not a sportscard. These are the shoes that were worn by Muhammad Ali in his historic “Rumble in the Jungle” fight against George Foreman in Zaire in 1974.

It’s gotta be the shoes

Apologies to Marz Blackman – but hey….how could you prove these are actually the shoes that the “Greatest” wore during this fight?

Well it really is that easy.

First off, they have been photo-matched and video-matched by world-renowned boxing expert Craig Hamilton. This is essentially comparing the footage of the fight and markings on the footwear in questions and seeing if all of those stars align. More importantly however, these set of tires have the provenance of originating directly from Drew “Bundini” Brown. Brown was Ali’s longtime assistant trainer and friend. If Drew says they are good, well then ….obviously they are good.

These high toppers are no Chuck Taylors

Written in blue ink along the top interior portion of the right shoe, in what we believe to be the hand of Bundini Brown, is the notation “Ali-George Foreman – Oct 29, 1974.” (The fight took place in Zaire on October 29, 1974, but because of the time difference, it was viewed live in the United States on October 30, 1974.) A similar blue-ink notation, again in what we believe to be the hand of Bundini Brown, appears along the top interior portion of the left shoe and reads “Ali-Foreman – Oct 29, 1974.” Each shoe has been signed by Muhammad Ali in black marker on the outside of the shoe- As expected the shoes displays heavy wear, including numerous scuff marks, which could be from the fight itself, or being thrown around in luggage on the Pan-Am flight back from Africa . It would have been normal for the trainer or manager to get some of the items after the fight because let’s face it, Heavyweight Champion of the World, new fight, all new gear. So the old stuff would be packed away for safe keeping as a memento of a big win.

Goodman’s Epiphany

I guess this item is cool on a different level as I remember watching Ali and Howard Cosell on ABC as a youngster always sharing their friendly banter. I also remember a few of the “prime time” fights for Ali against various opponents in my youth. My would at time when they had Ali on the television repeat the chants of the fight crowd that night which was “Ali Bomaye!” in a very rhythmic fashion.

It is only after reading the REA catalog that I actually now know that that phrase means – Ali Kill Him!

This item started with a $10,000 opening price…pretty hefty actually, and currently has been bid up to $40,000. It is obviously one of the most important and documented items from Ali’s career and one of his most important, historic and popular fights.

Stay tuned for the last installment.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Robert Edward Auctions: 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth

May 14, 2013

- See all 177 of my articles

No Comments

English: 1933 Goudey baseball card of Babe Rut...

Example of 1933 Goudey #144 – Babe Ruth. The REA card is signed by Ruth.

This card is a BABE!As promised a beautiful card of a great hitter (wink wink)

This would be none other than Babe Ruth.

BUT….

This is not just ANY George Herman Ruth card….

This is an item that I have never seen the likes of…or at least don’t remember seeing. I am sure there are others out there, but this is a 1933 Goudey Gum card of Babe Ruth, bearing a signature of the Bambino himself. It is boldly signed across the front of card #144 in the set, which is also considered one of Ruth’s most iconic cards from any issue.

There is more than one Babe Ruth in this set (there are actually 4 different Ruth cards) but this one is considered one of his most popular, regardless of year of manufacture or issuing company. The card does have some minor wear on the corners and some light creasing. If it was PSA graded on condition alone, it would likely grade a PSA 2-3. It is the signature however that makes this one what it is….valuable.

Here is an excerpt from the REA catalog on this item:

This is one of only a small number of Babe Ruth signed 1933 Goudey cards we have ever seen (robably fewer than 10) and the first we have handled since 1999. Ruth has inscribed the card in black fountain pen across his image. “Sincerely Babe Ruth” with both the salutation and the signature grading a 7/8. The combination of Ruth’s signature and this particular card makes it not only one of the most elusive Ruth-signed items in the hobby, but one of the most prized and ideal-for-display as well

This one started at $2500 with the opening bid, and now stands at $13,000 with about a week to go on the auction. Will this one hit the $20K mark?

Stay tuned for this and other exciting items from the REA auction!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Robert Edward Auctions – 1948 Leaf Rocky Graziano

May 9, 2013

- See all 177 of my articles

1 Comment

REA Auction Spotlight – Day #2 – Lot 1563- Rocky Graziano Leaf Boxing Card.  #50 in the set – Highest Graded.

It may not grab the headlines of say a Mickey Mantle Rookie, or an elusive and million dollar Honus Wagner (which coincidentally a PSA 1 Example is also being offered in the current REA Auction)  – But this card is considered THE CARD for boxing card collecting enthusiasts.

Just a handful of 1948 Leaf Rocky Graziano cards have survived – no one is exactly sure why this is such a rare card.  Was it pulled early from production at Leaf?  Did Graziano have some sort of contract dispute for the use of his likeness on a sportscard?  Was it simply some sort of “sample” used by gum and candy sales reps to give away to local confectionery and sundries owners to show what they product from Leaf would look like?  No one knows…but what it known, is that it is the rarest and one of the most valuable if not THE most valuable boxing card in existence.

The number of Rocky Graziano Leaf cards in existence is up for debate.  Some put the number as low as 10.  Other think more like 20.  One thing is for sure, they are not easy to locate and they rarely come up for auction.

This is graded by SGC who is one of the leading grading companies, particularly of pre-WWII cards.  This is the highest graded example that SGC has ever graded.  PSA has graded one Graziano a graded of PSA 5 ( which would be deemed to be a bit better) and that card sold in the REA 2011 auction for a whopping $41,125.

The bidding started on this one at $5000 and is up to  $19,000 with just a few days of bidding remaining.  This is an interesting card to put a value on.  Boxing collecting is obviously not as wide-spread as collecting baseball cards – or the other “big” sports of basketball, football and even hockey.

When one gets into pricing in this stratosphere, you only get the serious bidders taking place.  I am sure a few of these are already locked up in high end collections that will not come up for sale any time soon, which makes keeping an eye on this one all the more interesting.

Remember to check out the REA auction site and get your free catalog – you can even do this after the end of the auction – if you want to learn more about this and other fantastic sports collectibles.

Stay tuned tomorrow for another article highlighting another fabulous item which is sure to be a beautiful big hitter!

Robert Edward Auctions: 1912 Boston Garter Cards

May 8, 2013

- See all 177 of my articles

1 Comment

As promised I will cover 5 items from the Robert Edward Auctions 2013 auction. With the number of unique, rare, expensive and highly collectible items, picking just 5 is near impossible. I am sure if anyone went through the catalog, they would have their own favorites, but here are mine.

Lot #5 – Panel of 4 1912 Boston Garter Cards.

I collected baseball cards when I was a kid, and drifted into golf cards more in my college days. I had never seen nor heard of these sort of cards, as someone growing up in the Midwest, these would have Never been available for sale in Nebraska back in the early 1900’s.

Even a single sample card from the 1912 Boston Garter set would be an extraordinary centerpiece in even advanced collections. These do occasionally hit the large auction houses from time to time, and sell for crazy money.

According to REA auction “. In all our years, we have had the good fortune to offer exactly three examples at auction (Mathewson in 2004, an example of Bescher in 2007, and an Eddie Collins in 2012). Presented is one of the greatest prizes in all of card collecting: the only uncut panel of four H813 1912 Boston Garter cards known to exist, featuring the following four cards: Frank Chance (HOF), Fred Clarke (HOF), Hal Chase, and Bob Bescher.”

The 1912 Boston Garters are quite unique in that each features a player in the dugout, without pants, in the midst of getting dressed, proudly displaying his Boston-brand garters – through an open window you can see scenes of the ballpark in the background. Lastly in case you are not sure who your half- dressed player is, their name is displayed on their suitcase next to them getting dressed. Classic.

These are very colorful oversized cabinet like cards (which are basically 4” by 8” each so the panel would be 16” by 8”) and the lithograph artwork screams turn of the century. This items is ultra-rare in that only 20-30 examples of singles cards are basically known, and never before has an “uncut” panel featuring multiple players shown up in any collecting circles.

Apparently this item was dug out of the attic in a find by iconic dealer of vintage baseball cards – The Mr. Mint, Alan Rosen. Rosen has been the self -proclaimed face of the hobby for many years appearing on numerous television shows, morning news broadcasts, and even has written a book or two. Rosen has had some incredible “finds” in his career, and this would surely rate as one of the most unbelievable in terms of rarity and uniqueness.

According to REA – cards are in an uncut “accordion style” strip (that naturally folds along the lines provided) actually raises some interesting questions. Some of the very few known 1912 Boston Garters cards appear to have very rough edges, as if they were torn apart as opposed to cut. Perhaps those cards were long ago (in 1912) torn along the fold lines from uncut strips exactly like this one?”

The back of each card has an advertisement for Boston Garters but otherwise there are no numbers to the cards, which is common on an issue such as this that is just trade cards.

One of the more unique items I have seen in this or any other catalog…and also very valuable.

The reserve on this lot in the auction was set at $50,000. Currently the bidding has hit $150,000 and we still have 10 days of bidding to go.

Makes you want to head home and start looking through your grandparents boxes of unmentionables and socks…..

Stay tuned tomorrow for one of the rarest boxing cards to hit auction.

Robert Edward Auctions – 2013

May 6, 2013

- See all 177 of my articles

No Comments

The biggest and in my opinion the best sports memorabilia auction is just around the corner. Robert Edward Auctions does one auction a year and it’s the premiere auction in the business in this bloggers opinion. Both Kosmo and I have written about this auction in past years and I will do so again this week, but with a slightly different twist.

Even though I have recently moved into a new house, I was excited to get not one, but TWO REA catalogs sent to my new residence. They had my old address in their system, and that one got forwarded to my new address. Fearing that they did not have my new address, I called REA and their customer service is great. They sent me out another one.

Both the one the USPS forwarded and the new one got there on the same day. Each weighing in at 6 lbs. a piece. One of my co-workers gladly accepted my “extra” to take home to show his kids and dream that their 97 Donruss cards would be worth the likes of Babe Ruth and Joe Jackson someday.

You can view the auction on-line, which might save a tree…but the catalog is really the best…AND you can get one free. Just follow this link and then hit “request a catalog” button.

You have to remember – this is an auction house so the write ups on the items will be flowery as they are trying to maximizing bids, but it is a full color catalog with lots and lots of photos. I have collected each and every one of these, and they take up a prominent space on my bookshelf.

I have made the massive effort of reading the entire thing word for word, and page by page…Honestly I have skipped over a few of the autographed baseballs and World Series Press pins…..but I am currently on about page 600…and still have a long ways to go.

REA takes a 18.5% cut of the action….so this is partially why they have such a great catalog. This is well in line with other large auction houses and frankly no one does it better in terms of presentation, or the build-up hype. They do one auction a year, and they do it well, and many collectors can’t wait for that catalog to hit their porch.

I am not a paid advocate of Robert Edward Auctions, no do I receive any benefit of typing this blog supporting what I see to be their fine efforts in putting together a first class auction. If you want to see some really cool in depth analysis, check back on this blog for the next few days.

This week I will write an article about 5 different items from the catalog that are of interest to me and I will begin this on Tuesday, with a total of 5 items being represented and talked about.

I am a big golf fan but don’t expect it to be all golf cards….and I am sure I will hit on a couple of things that most people have never seen nor heard of in the collecting world….that is because REA seems to always have it all.

But don’t just look for these write ups, be sure to check out the entire auction and catalog.

Until Tomorrow….go and order a catalog!

 

Enhanced by Zemanta