Archive for Michael Jackson

When your friend says he brought you two balls…

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

“Hey, I placed two balls in your mailbox.”

That’s an actual quote from a co-worker.  Fortunately the co-workers is a good friend, and the balls were in fact baseballs, not something else.

This friend is a guy whom I’ve written about before. He has an extensive game-used NFL jersey collection, and sometimes dabbles in game-used baseball items.  I assist him occasionally in photo matching items and he sometimes randomly surprises me with gifts.

Today was one of those days. The gifts included two baseballs, both of which he wanted me to guess the signature before he told me.

The first ball was inside a red Rawlings brand cardboard box. I opened the box and instantly recognized the poorly faded chicken scratch as that of Red Sox legend Jim Rice. What’s cool is the ball is inscribed with “MVP 78.”  The ball is authenticated by Celebz Direct, which is a company from which I have purchased before, they contract with players to do signing, and from time to time sell collections acquired from the player.

The second ball stumped me initially, but I was able to figure it out with the assistance of the Internet.  Not only is the ball signed, it apparently is the ball that Cleveland Indians closer Michael Jackson used to shut down the Detroit Tigers on July 25, 1998. It was Jackson’s 25th save of the season. The signature is again authenticated by the aforementioned Celebz Direct.

Neither of the balls would fetch big money on the open market, but neither of them are intended for the market – they’re heading into my show case to go with other signed and game-used baseballs I’ve acquired over the years.

Thanks for the baseballs, friend.  Can’t wait to see the new loot you picked up.

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

Michael Jackson dies; I almost gave in to greed

Posted in Newspaperman, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 25, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

109_0801In November I found this box of unopened Michael Jackson trading cards at a thrift store, and today with Michael’s passing, I almost gave into greed.

If you do a search on eBay right now for Michael Jackson items, you’ll see why I almost gave in. And truthfully, I did give in … for three whole minutes. Yes, I posted my box of cards for sale. But I quickly yanked the thing off eBay. Why? Because I felt like a fuckin’ asshole. It’s just not right to profit immediately on someone’s death like this.

I probably lost a good chunk of money by stopping my auction, but at least I feel better about myself. I’m not saying it’s wrong to sell items depicting someone whose died, but it’s defintely in poor taste to do so when his body is still warm.

Thrift Treasures Part IV: A “Thriller” of a box

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

109_0801(UPDATE: I almost sold this thing …)

I’ll say this right now, I am not a fan of non-sport cards. I understand why they exist, but I do not indulge in them. No nudie cards. No movie cards. No comic cards. No game cards. Just sports for me.

That being said, how in the world could I pass on this? Here we’ve got a nearly complete unopened box of 1984 Topps Michael Jackson cards. This may be the best purchase of Black Friday. Continue reading