The Beckett Blog


Buster Posey: NL Rookie of the Year & BSCM cover star by Chris Olds

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America selected San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey as the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year on Monday.

On Wednesday, he’ll begin arriving in sports card shops around the country on the cover of the December issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

We’re just sayin’ …



***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (11-5) Contest No. 6 — A 2010 Topps Finest Madison Bumgarner autographed patch (only 25 exist) by Chris Olds

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday — our weekly ritual where we try and get some cool stuff into the hands of our readers just for answering some simple card-related trivia.

How can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — it’s one try per person per contest and we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win.

Get the question(s) after the jump …

Continue reading



***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (11-5) Contest No. 2 — A lot of four San Francisco Giants game-used memorabilia baseball cards by Chris Olds

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday — our weekly ritual where we try and get some cool stuff into the hands of our readers just for answering some simple card-related trivia.

How can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — it’s one try per person per contest and we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win.

Get the question(s) after the jump …

Continue reading



***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (11-5) Contest No. 1 — A 2010 Topps National Chicle Madison Bumgarner autograph by Chris Olds

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday — our weekly ritual where we try and get some cool stuff into the hands of our readers just for answering some simple card-related trivia.

How can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — it’s one try per person per contest and we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win.

Get the question(s) after the jump …

Continue reading



The Giants are World Series champs: Who’s tops on cards? by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

The San Francisco Giants have downed the Texas Rangers for the franchise’s first World Series title since 1954, when the team was in New York and center field was patrolled by one Willie Mays.

The pitching staff is one of baseball’s best, led by two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, but is one comprised of largely unappreciated players when it comes to their baseball cards. The team’s bats, at least on cardboard, are undoubtedly paced by rookie catcher Buster Posey.

We want to know, though … who do you think the big winner will be when it comes to San Francisco Giants baseball cards now that they are world champs?

Take our poll …

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.



Home-grown heroes seemingly always get more hobby love by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor | Commentary

I’ve always felt that there is a disconnect in the hobby with championship-winning players who aren’t home-grown.

In other words, when a player like Cliff Lee or Josh Hamilton lights things up for a team like the American League champion Rangers — but have Rookie Cards from several years ago picturing them with the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays — they just don’t carry the kind of maximized appeal when it comes championship time.

With Game 3 of the World Series under way as I write this, it’s a battle of largely home-grown Giants (at least among the players who should be of most interest with San Francisco collectors) vs. the Rangers, a more liberal mix of home-grown and acquired players among their hobby stars.

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (4-9) Contest No. 7 — A Juan Marichal 2007 Legendary Cuts autograph card (only 199 exist) by Chris Olds

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday our weekly ritual where we try and get some cool stuff into the hands of our readers just for answering some simple card-related trivia.

How can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. (Also note that you will see your comment on your screen after posting but that does not indicate its order of posting as it has not yet been approved. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

Get the question(s) after the jump …

Continue reading



***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (4-9) Contest No. 3 — A Matt Cain autographed memorabilia and letter patch card lot by Chris Olds

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday our weekly ritual where we try and get some cool stuff into the hands of our readers just for answering some simple card-related trivia.

How can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. (Also note that you will see your comment on your screen after posting but that does not indicate its order of posting as it has not yet been approved. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

Get the question(s) after the jump …

Continue reading



***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (4-2) Contest No. 10 — A Tim Lincecum 2007 Exquisite Rookie Signatures autograph card (only 15 exist) by Chris Olds

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday our weekly ritual where we try and get some cool stuff into the hands of our readers just for answering some simple card-related trivia.

How can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. (Also note that you will see your comment on your screen after posting but that does not indicate its order of posting as it has not yet been approved. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

Get the question(s) after the jump …

Continue reading



The Curse of Fred Merkle? **Guest Blogger** by ejahnke
September 1, 2008, 6:30 am
Filed under: Beckett Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Every baseball card we accumulate weaves a different story into the fabric of our collections. One of my favorites isn’t about a favorite player, or team, it’s about a swatch of baseball history. Fred Merkle’s 1911 T205 (gold border) tells a story unlike any other card.

Fred Merkle was yesterday’s Bill Buckner long before John McNamara and Bob Stanley put on a pair of spikes. If not for Fred Merkle’s “boner play” (as it was referred to at the time) Chicago Cubs fans would be drinking to a 101 year World Series drought.

The Cubs and NY Giants were in a classic National League pennant race as the humid summer season started to cool to the fall classic. The Cubs (of Tinkers-Evers-Chance fame) had been to the last two World Series. The Giants were led by the brilliant and loud John McGraw and the calm and collected Christy Mathewson.

In a late September game at the Polo Grounds, the Giants and the visiting Cubs were tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the 9th inning. With two outs and a runner on first, rookie first basemen Fred Merkle slugged a base hit to advance the runner to 3rd base. The next batter, Al Bridwell, followed with another single that brought the winning run home and giving the NY Giants an important win late in the season.

The Polo Grounds drama that unfolded featured players racing to centerfield clubhouses, NY fans storming the baseball stage and Johnny Evers, the Cubs second basemen, standing alone at second base waiting for Fred Merkle to advance from first. However, Merkle never ran to second because the run had scored. Unfortunately for him, the baseball rules state that runners must advance to the next base when forced or any run that scores on the play does not count. It’s a rule that would be forever celebrated in Chicago and forever haunt a 19-year-old rookie from Toledo, Ohio.

It’s unclear how Evers collected a baseball in the sea of chaos that swirled around him. Some historians say Johnny Evers wrestled the ball from a fan, others say he grabbed a different baseball from the dugout, either way, he convinced umpire Hank O’Day that he was in possession of the baseball. O’Day, who would later manage the Cubs, ripped the hearts out of NY fans by calling Merkle out at second base and taking the game winning run off the scoreboard. While Fred Merkle and the Giants were celebrating in the Polo Grounds locker room, O’Day changed history, altered a career and ruled the game a tie.

The Cubs and Giants ended the regular season tied for first place. The Cubs won a one-game playoff and went on to defeat the Detroit Tigers in the 1908 World Series. They haven’t won since.

Is Fred Merkle the real curse of the Cubs and not the famous “Billy Goat Curse?” http://baseball.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_cubs_fred_merkle_curse

Was Merkle unfairly branded a scapegoat? Keith Olberman has been on a fight to restore his tarnished reputation. http://www.thecolumnists.com/isaacs/isaacs74.html

My favorite reference to this event is in Frank Deford’s “The Old Ball Game.” This is a must read for anyone who enjoys baseball history. Deford feeds you the emotions and pulls you into the minds of the players as this event unfolds.

http://www.amazon.com/Old-Ball-Game-Mathewson-Baseball/dp/0871138859

Collecting Fred Merkle cards is less about statistics and more about history. Merkle went on to have a solid baseball career playing with the Giants, Brooklyn Robins, Chicago Cubs and NY Yankees. Unfortunately he’s most known for this play and unfairly blamed by NY fans for not reaching the 1908 World Series.

You can collect these Fred Merkle cards for about the same price of some of the fancy, high-end, glossy card packs that are now on card store shelves.

· 1911 T205 (gold border)

· 1909 T206 Sweet Caporal

· 1911 T206

· 1911 T3 Turkey Red (throwing)

James Jeansonne runs SportsLocker, one of the great hobby blogs on the ‘net today….


Fantasy Sports– pitcher to watch by ejahnke
June 12, 2008, 1:15 pm
Filed under: MLB | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ah, Friday!  Time for the “easy” entry of the week.  The fantasy sports post, where reputations are built or, in my case for sure, slowly and very painfully demolished.

It’s not breaking news that there are team owners everywhere who are currently scrambling to replace Albert Pujols and Alfonso Soriano.  I have one team with Soriano, Zimmerman, and Tulowitzki (who was struggling anyway) all on the shelf.   Thankfully, in that league Josh Hamilton and Edinson Volquez, my 10th and 16th-round draft picks, respectively, are stepping up and making me look good.

Due to a crazy couple of weeks, and a magazine deadline today, this first entry is going to be short, one player, but this will expand in the future as we, OK….I, get a little more organized.

Fantasy player to watch –

 

Josh Banks, San Diego Padres – The 25-year-old righthander is very quietly having a superb start to his 2008 season.  Drafted in the second round of the 2003 first-year player draft by Toronto, he was claimed off waivers in late April by the Padres and called up from AAA Portland on May 22.

My Yahoo fantasy team, Sabermetrics, claimed him on June 4th, just in time for a nice start he had against the Mets.

Known for his excellent control and ability to throw 5 pitches, he has an eye-popping 1.04 WHIP through 23 IP this season.  He’s got a 2-0 record, one CG, and a 0.39 ERA. 

Time will tell with him, he’s a fly-ball pitcher in a ballpark that was seemingly made for him, and almost all of his IP so far this season have been at PETCO.  The exceptions to that are the 9 IP against the Giants on May 31, where he got his CG, striking out five with no walks, and giving up only one (unearned) run.  (As a matter of fact, his lone earned run given up this season was driven in by David Wright, and he’s kind of known for things like that.)

Yes, the Giants are not exactly an offensive juggernaught, but anytime a pitcher gets a CG win on the road against a division rival, fantasy owners need to, at the very least, take a look.

Banks gets his third start tonight in Cleveland against the injury-plagued Indians,  who are missing…well, it seems like just about everyone.   Catcher Victor Martinez, 2B Josh Barfield, DH Travis Hafner, P Jake Westbrook, and P Fausto Carmona are all currently on the DL for the Tribe. 

One of my favorite-people-who-doesn’t-know-they-are, is a big Indians fan, so, I’m sorry, Adam (if you ever happen to read this), but I am rooting for the Padres tonight. 

 

 

 



Classic Photo, Revisited by Pepper Hastings
February 4, 2008, 11:41 am
Filed under: NFL | Tags: , , , , , ,

img00070.jpgThis photo, from this post, definitely deserves a second look after that outstanding game last night.

BTW, why did Bill Belichick wear a red hoodie last night? You don’t change it up. You don’t tempt fate.



NFL Playoffs Chat by Matthew P. Brumley
January 7, 2008, 10:42 am
Filed under: NFL | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

After a fairly predictable Week One of the NFL playoffs, the winners from this past weekend will soon get their chances at the elite teams that earned first round byes.  There are some very intriguing matchups this upcoming weekend:

Seahawks at Packers

As I think about this matchup, only one thing really comes to mind — the humorous memory of the 2004 playoff matchup between these two teams in which Matt Hasselbeck emphatically proclaimed [after Seattle won the coin toss to begin overtime], “We want the ball and we’re going to score!” [before promptly throwing an interception that Green Bay returned for a touchdown to win the game].  I’ll take the Packers again, in another close one.  Brumley’s Pick: Packers, 27-21.

Jaguars at Patriots

The undefeated Patriots have all of the pressure on them in the playoffs this year.  A perfect regular season would be greatly diminished with a postseason loss.  The Jaguars will get their chance to knock out heavily favored New England as they take jabs with their two-headed RB monster (Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew) against what, to me, is a beatable Patriots defense.  If the Jacksonville defense can put together a few stops against the Pats’ [arguably] unstoppable offense, I see this as a huge upset waiting to happen.  Brumley’s Pick: Jaguars, 34-28.

Chargers at Colts

With a sprained toe that knocked him out of yesterday’s game against the Titans, Antonio Gates is questionable for the upcoming matchup with the Colts.  It would be a huge blow to San Diego’s attack if he’s not able to play.  Also, is it just me, or does Philip Rivers look like he’s closer to mentally imploding each week?  I think this will be the one easily decided game of the week as the champs march on.  Brumley’s Pick: Colts, 34-13. 

Giants at Cowboys

Fans here in Dallas better hope Jessica Simpson doesn’t show up for this one.  The Cowboys won both of their meetings against the NFC East rival Giants in the regular season.  It’s pretty tough to beat a good team 3 times in one season, and it gets even more difficult without knowing if your most explosive playmaker will be able to play at 100%, or even at all.  I think the banged up Cowboys can still hold off the Giants.  Brumley’s Pick: Cowboys, 31-24.

Who do you pick for these exciting games?