Archive for Manny Ramirez

Celebrating One Year of Blogging

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

I woke up one year ago today, July 3, thinking it was time to start my blog.

For months, I’d contemplated writing something baseball card related. I’d already been blogging about fantasy baseball for more than a year, but if there was one thing I felt I was an “expert” at, it was baseball cards.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to proclaim I am the end-all when it comes to card knowledge. Hell, I’ve learned a lot in the last year, stuff I hadn’t even begun to think about.

But having been a collector for more than two decades, I felt that if I could write about one thing authoritatively, it was this hobby.

I had aspirations about writing a book, but who wants to read some bounded ramblings of some collector? I felt a blog would be the next best thing as it would be cathartic, and give me an opportunity to enhance my collection by figuring out why certain cards were in my collection.

What happened over the next year was totally unexpected.

For about two months, I provided daily content to whomever would read it — pretty much just me — about certain cards. Then in October, Mario at Wax Heaven found my blog interesting enough to add me to his “Heavenly Seven.” It still surprises me that I’d made it there; and it amazes me how many of you followed his link back to my blog — I’m approaching 50,000 page views, the overwhelming majority of which were directed from Wax Heaven.

It really wasn’t one of my goals to get recognized by Mario. Hell, when I got into card blogging, I barely knew what the hell Wax Heaven was. I just remembered seeing the banner in someone’s Beckett Message Board signature. I digress.

I’m still a bit shocked that Mario found my blog that interesting. I think it may have had to do with a post I wrote about this 1997 Bowman Chrome promotional piece; Mario seems to have an affinity to all cards created that year.

Anyhow, when he linked to this blog, everything changed. Suddenly I was not the only one reading my stuff, but hundreds of you guys were as well. This changed my mentality a bit; I strove to write something entertaining or informative as often as possible. And for months I continued down that path.

I’m almost positive that I was the first blogger to write about the 2008 Stadium Club Manny Ramirez ‘Dodger” card. I give major credit to Chris Olds at Beckett (you all can keep that booing to yourselves, I’ve got no beef with Chris.) for linking back to this site.

I helped spread the news of the hobby’s oldest baseball card being found in Fresno, Calif. I owe another hat tip to my boy Mike, the reporter at the Fresno Bee who wrote that original story, which later led to that woman making an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

And, oddly enough, a post I wrote in November has recently become one of the most read posts I’ve ever written — this Thrift Treasures entry in which I discovered a box of Michael Jackson cards.

But in January, things got even better. In this piece, I announced that my wife and I were pretty much on our way to the hospital to welcome into the world our first child, our daughter Alexa. Since then, this blog has not been the same. I’ve gone on several hiatuses, and although I am writing a bit more frequently these days, I make no guarantees as to when I’ll get around to posting. And that’s OK. I’ve come to learn that is healthier for me and my family.

Over the last year I’ve also witnessed great acts of generosity. Mario has clearly been a big giver in terms of cards, as has been one of his most notorious assistants, Submarine Shane. And I’ve also come to know some wonderful people who have turned out to be great trading partners, like Greg at Night Owl Cards — which has been my favorite blog for almost eight months, Cardboard Junkie is my second; Jeffrey at Card Junkie, who also has been very helpful in completing sets, and Dave at the retired blog Fielder’s Choice.

Anyhow, as I celebrate this one-year anniversary, I also thank you for taking time to stop by. I wish I were in such a position to offer a prize in some sort of contest, but I’m not. I haven’t really thought that far ahead.  Maybe something will pop up in the next couple days that I’ll deem worthy of giving away.

Ben / Newspaperman

My All-Star Ballot

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on June 7, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

ASBallotMy wife and I went to the mall the other day, and needless to say I had no real purpose in being there other than my obligation as a husband. She went shopping with a friend, so I wandered aimlessly through the mall for about 40 minutes, being reminded of why I hate shopping establishments such as these. I dislike teen fashion, get sick of seeing single dudes gawk at chicks they have no shot with, and very much hate that at age 29 I feel old walking into any store. I did happen to stop at a few sports clothing stores, you know, the kind where they sell jerseys, but that experience just left me more angry and bitter. What’s up with the new baseball jerseys? They’ve cut costs by reducing the actual stitching on the replica jerseys by using some garbage single-layer vinyl “patch” instead of the traditional stitched patches. Yes, even REPLICA jerseys used to have stitched patches. Anyone rocking a football or basketball jersey they purchased from Sports Authority or Foot Locker within the last two years knows what I’m talking about. Anyway, I did find one thing at the mall that made me happy — a 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Ballot. And it was FREE. Woo-hoo.

We’re still a month away from the game, but here are my selections for the ASG. This is based upon who DESERVES to be starting. Continue reading

Card of the Day: 2008 Topps Gold Border Red Sox Classic Combos (Manny & Youkilis)

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

2008toppsgoldredsoxclassiccombosLast week I wrote a post about discount blasters at Target. Early last week I picked up a Series 1 2008 Topps Blaster (5 packs) for $5. On Friday, I decided to see if they had any more, and surely they had one left. I bought it and in the first pack I pulled this dandy of a card, 2008 Topps Gold Border, serial numbered /2008.

I knew I needed the card for my Sox collection, but it made me stop and think about the 2008 season, particularly about Manny and Youk. As you can see here, they are pictured slapping high fives, probably after a Manny bomb. But the only slapping these two were involved in on June 5, 2008, was during their fight debate in the dugout. (MLB.com article, note the term “debate” in the headline.) Continue reading

Manny is a Dodger … I think

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on March 4, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

2006toppsopeningdaysi4kindsmannyramirezIt’s about time this saga is over … for now. According to multiple reports this morning, Manny Ramirez has finally accepted an offer to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers for a measly $45 million over two years. As a friend of mine said last night, “I’d play Major League Baseball for $45.” Yes, that’s Forty-Five with no zeroes attached.

I think that in this time of economic crisis, this negotion hurt baseball and sports in general. Hundreds of thousands of people are losing their jobs across the country, and yet all we heard the last few days was that Manny and the Dodgers were bickering over some $1.5 million … which is chump change in sports.

I understand that the economics of sports is not the same as the rest of the country, this is big business unlike any other. But this whole thing was just in bad taste. This is like two rich guys arguing in the parking lot about whose Maserati cost more while a mother of four sits nearby in a busted mini van waiting for a tow truck.

On a some-what related note, I think the San Francisco Giants really screwed this up. They seemingly had a chance to steal Manny away from their rivals but chose to sit on the sidelines with their thumbs in their asses. They also botched the Tim Lincecum deal as they pretty much refused to lock up their ace, whose quickly becoming one of the best– if not the best — pitcher in the game.

Big shouts to Wax Heaven and Night Owl Cards

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

2008agbaseballiconscampanellaMy mail man came extra early today and he might as well could have been Santa Claus. In the mail were two packages from fellow bloggers Mario from Wax Heaven and  Greg at Night Owl Cards … AND my three boxes of Topps Gallery, which I wrote about here.

Because I’m a fan of making things right, I’m going to show off the cards that were sent to me by these fellow bloggers before even discussing the Topps Gallery hobby boxes, which are still sitting here in their factory wrappers.

First, let’s look at the amazing stuff Mario sent me.

Continue reading

Blaster Break: 2008 Topps Stadium Club baseball (Box 2)

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

bruceDon’t ask why. I just did, OK. And now I’m not happy about it.

Earlier this week, I successfully fought the urge to buy another blaster of Stadium Club. But on Wednesday I gave in. Here are the results … a whole two days later. Continue reading

ManRam autograph update

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on November 22, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

I just got a message from the eBay seller from whom I purchased the Manny lot (previous post) from, and he said the cards were signed at Fenway Park four years ago. I have no reason to believe he is lying, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. But does this back story change anyone’s mind about the authenticity of these autographs? So far none of the three people who have taken the authenticity poll in that last post can rule them as being fake. One person said they were certain they are real, two are undecided. This is interesting to me because I figured lots of people would automatically discount them as fakes right away. The signatures share similarities with the early Manny autos, but look nothing like those signed in recent years. Hmmm …