Monday, November 28, 2011

Moneyball 2011 - Ron Washington

A few weeks back as part of Moneyball 2011 we profiled Tony LaRussa.  In the interest of equal time today we are going to look at Ron Washington.
I had forgotten that Ron Washington had a role in the book.  Washington is the man saddled with the task of moving Scott Hattieberg to first base  - Hattieberg is the broken down catcher w/ the bum arm, but he gets on base at nearly a 40 percent clip. 

The Ron Washington character in the film is minor, yet arguably has the funniest line in the movie.  The 2011 World Series is still fresh in our memories and we all know where Ron Washington has gone since Moneyball.  He was a strike away from being a World Serieis winning manager.  He has also piloted the Rangers to back to back AL Crowns.  I am not sure he is a great manager yet or a good manager with a really good team. 

The toughest season may be in front of the Rangers.  With free agency and player movement you only get so many chances at a title.  The Rangers have a lot of storylines I like - Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Neftali Perez, Nolan Ryan etc.  I would like to see them remain relavent on the national stage.
1984 Topps #623 Ron Washington (image stolen from the Baseball Card Database)

Apparently Washington's playing career goes back to 1977 when he got a callup for the dodgers.  I didn't see a Topps cards of him as a Dodger - sounds like a Cards that Never Were opportunty for someone.

Moneyball 2011

Links to  previous MB 2011 posts


Here is a link to a Moneyball and Collecting related article in Beckett that I first saw referenced by Chris Olds via Twitter.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Card Show Report 2011 11 11 - Dime Box

Before I start our regular posting, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving - I really enjoyed the many personal postings from card bloggers. It is wonderful to read about the joys of time spent with friends and family (and football and food!)  Team Phungo enjoyed the holiday which featured beautiful and balmy weather for this time of year for us folks in the US Northeast.      

Last week we went over some of the vintage cards that Team Phungo found at the Oaks Show, today I would like to go thru some Dime Box finds.  Although many of these cards were from a BARGAIN Dime Box - 12 cards for a dollar.

1974 Topps #95 Steve Carlton ($1)
1983 OPC Dave Winfield (dime)

Ok the Lefty Card isn't a dimer, but for a Dollar I couldn't pass it up.  I already had this card - and it was part of the Phungo legacy collection that survived the arduous path from my childhood to the present day.  But even off-center this 74 Topps Card is a significant upgrade over the heirloom I had in the binder previously.  Plus now I have one for the Carlton PC Page and one for the 74 Phils Binder.

I have seen a few 83 OPC cards out there recently and been picking them up when they are cheap.  I also added a few 83 OPC Mets to the collection at the show.

Various Minis (12/$)
I picked up three dozen+ minis in the 12 for a buck bin.  The bulk of these are HoFs from the 2011 Kimballs set.  There were also a couple of A&G including a few of the SP backs.

Various 2012 A&G Inserts (12/$1)
Hard to pass up Ginter inserts even if they are not minis.  Three of the evolution cards are in sequence.

2011 Topps Heritage Prospects Tim Beckham (6/$1)
Topps Heritage Then Now Jackie Robinson/A-Rod (6/$1)
Various Topps Heritage Inserts (12/$1)

The Beckham card is y first 2011 Heritage Prospect card - that one and the Jackie Robinson were worth digging out of the "Premium" 6/$1 bin.  The rest of the inserts came out of the huge haul of 12 for a buck cards I took home.

In the end I picked up a little over 200 cards out of the bargain bins, for roughly the price of a blaster.  Several of those cards went into my Phils Collection, Topps Star Cards, Topps Retro Collection, clearing out some spots on insert and subset checklists,  and a handful of vintage commons.

I have barely recovered from the Oaks Show and the Valley Forge Show is on the horizon, less than a week away. Haven't decided if I am hitting that one yet, but the show does promise a good selection of former Phillies signing autographs. If things go my way there should be a VF show posting later in the week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Card Show Report 2011 11 11 - Oaks PA - CSA Show

Sorry not enough time to commit to a thorough write-up so I am just going to post a few snapshots and pricing when I remember the $$ - These are some of the Vintage cards I picked up at the show. Later in the week I will feature the dime box specials.  

Phillies Great Richie Ashburn
1955 Bowman #130 Richie Ashburn $2

Home Run King Hank Aaron

1975 Topps Mini #1 Hank Aaron '74 Highlights $2.00
1974 Topps #2 Hank Aaron Special (1958-61) $1.00

More HoFs
1960 Topps #450 Orlando Cepeda ($1)
1962 Topps Warren Spahn All-Star ($1)
1953 Topps Dick Williams ($2.00)
1959 Topps #147 Cubs Clubbers ($1 - w/ Ernie Banks)

The weekend of the Oaks Show was a busy one for me an dI dint' get to spend as much time there as I would have liked, but I did well for the brief time I was there.   The Bowman Ashburn was a steal at the  price of $2.  I already had the Cubs Clubber card, but this one was a definite upgrade.

$2 for the Hank Aaron mini was a pretty good deal as well - One of the projects that is dancing in the back of my head is building a set of the HoF 75 Minis.  There are quite a few of them in that set and they are basically the biggest names from my childhood.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Is this more appalling than a Death bump

As collectors we are familiar with the death bump phenomenon where a card or piece of memorabilia experince a bump in price (typically temporary) follwoing the death of the person on the card/magazine cover/bobblehead etc.

2011 Second Mile Joe Paterno (Image swiped from the - bay)

Apparently the charity, Second Mile, founded/associated wtih disgraced former PSU coach Jerry Sandusky,  issued sets of Penn State Football trading cards.  The Cards were distributed at many Pennsylvania schools.  Related Patriot News Story here.

As of Phungo Press time the search "Second Mile Cards" on a certain auction site returns 90 Items!  At least 4 of the items have bids - one item has a dozen bids. 

Is this worse then a death bump, or is it just fans wanting to hold on to a piece of something that is really pretty much gone?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

CSA Card Show in Philadelphia -Burbs this Weekend - FREE Admission Friday AND Sunday!

The Collectors' Showcase of America (CSA) Card show returns to the Expo Center at Oaks this weekend. 

The Show will have FREE Admission on Friday AND Sunday.
I think there only has been one prior CSA show here and it was pretty well done.  I thought it was better then the Hunt Auction Philly show that is held a short hop down the road in Valley Forge.

Top of the Autograph List is Jimmy Rollins - other notables are NFL HoFs Gino Marchetti, Tommy McDonald, and Lenny Moore as well as former Heavyweight Champ Michael Spinks.

2008 Topps Heritage #350 Jimmy Rollins

For the autograph guests CSA has yet to post pricing or a scheduling information on their site - other than to mention Jimmy Rollins will be there on Saturday - C'MON GUYS HOW HARD IS IT TO GET UP A LIST OF SIGNERS FOR YOUR OWN SHOW!!!

Team Phungo plans on being there on Friday afternoon/early Evening.  If you can make it out let me know (email in my profile), it is always cool to meet fellow collectors and bloggers.  There is a possibility I will try and trek out there on Sunday but that isn't real likely as of press time.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nachos Grande Survey - Autographs

Recently Nachos Grande posted a survey related to Autograph collecting.  I collect Autographed cards of all types of players. Most of the players are noteworthy to me for some reason, usually something insignificant, as I generally try and find the $5 an under cards - a lot of those I use for Spot the Sig! fodder.  Others are favorite players and Hall of Famers. 
The Phungo Auto collection likely stands at a few hundred cards and I think I can provide some interesting insights into autograph collecting. 
1.  What is the best autograph you own?
    Today, Joe Frazier - More on that Later
    otherwise Mike Schmidt on a book.  My best card Auto is probably Steve Carlton Leather Cuts.  
2.  What is the best autograph that you've ever pulled from a pack of cards?
    Paul Molitor (Goudey Graphs 2008), Brooks Robinson 09 OBAK. 

2009 Obak #A48 Brooks Robinson (#59/200)

3.  What is the worst autograph you've ever pulled from a pack of cards?
    07 Sweet Spot Chirs Capuano - The box was only $45 and I still felt stiffed - althought the RC Auto was of Hunter Pence.  
    Brad somebody from the Astros in Donruss 08 Product.  See the card at shows for $2 all the time.
4.  Do you try to get autographs through the mail?  If so, what sort of success (or failure) stories do you have?    No - this facet of the hobby has not capture my attention yet.  
5.  Who was the subject of your first ever autograph?
    It was either Scott Fitzkee (TE w/ the Eagles) or Greg Manning(Collegiate Hoop star w/ the Maryland Terrapins - I think he may now be a radio broadcaster w/ the team)
    As an  adult, I think Jay Bell may be the first auto I got at the ballpark - it is all faded now.       
6.  Do you actively collect any autographs (certain players, teams, brands, etc)?
    I have an affection for certain brands but no aspirations for a set.  Among my favs are Sweet Spot, A&G, UD Goodwin Champs, SI Greats of the Games, 1996 Leaf, UD Goudey
7.  Which is better:  Autographs or Relics?
    Autographs - I for the most part dismiss relics
8.  What do you think of cut autos?
    I don't have any yet - would like to add one to my Type collection but that is about it right now.       
9.  What is your favorite autograph design (say in the last 5 years)?
    In general Sweet Spot.  A&G, and I like the Goodwin Champs design in general. 
10.  If you could get the autograph of any five people (dead or alive) who would you want a signature from (and why)?
    Couple names off the top of my head without much thought - Richie Ashburn, Martin Scorcese, Jim Morrison, Fran Tarkenton, Dali - Ashburn would probably be on that list any day the rest of those folks would likely change depending on my mood.
I dashed this off the top of my head, so some of the set/yr names may be a lil off, but I am in the general area.  It is a solid survey that asks some interesting questions.  I sort of fell into Autograph collecting and it is one of the areas of the hobby I really don't have much of a checklist - perhaps that helps keep it enjoyable.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Noteworthy: Yoennis Cespedes

Cuban ballplayer Yoennis Cespedes is in the news
2009 Topps WBC Redemption #8 Yoennis Cespedes
I figure this was a good time to reference the Phungo post on the 2009 Topps WBC Redemption of Cespedes.  To read the origianl post on Cespedes click here

2009 Topps Series 2 I think had redemptions for 10 or so WBC players, this is the one I received.  I knew nothing about him at the time, but will cross my fingers that his career takes off - and this card skyrockets in value as well and I can retire :)


Friday, November 4, 2011

Tomahawk Chopping running an interesting Group Break

Tomahawk Chopping is putting together a group break where everyone gets to draft cards from a pool of 300+ cards - Everybody is guaranteed an auto and a relic I think. 

deadline for entry is today Friday 11/4 for more info click here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Moneyball 2011 - the Movie

I am a little susprised that the film "Moneyball" received prededominently good reviews.  While I enjoyed the movie, I thought at moments it dragged a bit and I would think that a person that is not a baseball fan would find the film somewhat long.  Slow pacing is a pet peeve of mine - like when I am watching the Cardinals continually rotate in pitchers with a 5 run lead, I suppose that may happen less in the future...
Other than that I found Moneyball to be an enjoyable experience.  Brad Pitt played Billy Beane as a thoughtful and challenging leader.  Comedy stalwart, Jonah Hill, plays a straight roll as the stats guy well - The always enjoyable Phillip Seymour Hoffman has an excellent turn as the old school Manager Art Howe,   Bennet Miller is able to balance a little baseball into the story and conveys a bunch of ideas on film that might otherwise be dry - One Base Percentage, Major League Scouting, Bill James, Giving away outs via Sacrifices and small ball, Working Pitchers, etc.  There is a background story regarding the Beane family that is built into the narrative that I don't recall from the book.  The film also all but neglects Jeremy Brown and the draft that the book details which covers at least 2 chapters of the Michael Lewis story. 
We all know what happened because this is relatively recent history - but I must mention a minor spoiler alert here - don't read rest of paragraph if you fear this will ruin your experience.  During the epilogue of the Movie it is mentioned that the Bosox won the 04 World Series using Moneyball methods.  It does not mention that they also outspent the rest of the league other than the Yankees.  And I could go on further and mention that a key play for the Red Sox was Dave Roberts critical Steal of second base in the ALCS vs the Yankees. 
Moneyball works for a few reasons - Both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill give likable performances in the lead roles of two guys trying to challenge the status-quo.  There is enough baseball in the film to provide a fan with a few chuckles - several players and people with Phillies connections are mentioned during the film.  Finally as a non-baseball movie about baseball "Moneyball" does successfully bring the romance of the game to the fore (even if they have to tell you they are doing so)
Moneyball 2011
Links to  previous MB 2011 posts
Here is a link to a Moneyball and Collecting related article in Beckett that I first saw referenced by Chris Olds via Twitter. 

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions