Monday, June 30, 2008

Wandy Rodriguez – Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher is Coming On

Wandy Rodriguez (left in this 2008 Topps Series 1 baseball card) was a nice sleeper in most fantasy baseball leagues heading into this season. While his mid-4 ERA and 1.3 WHIP in 2007 weren’t eye-popping, Wandy’s 7.5+ Ks per nine offered the promise of improvement. Astute fantasy baseball players were aware of his extreme home/road splits last year and had Rodriguez active whenever he pitched at home.

Wandy got off to a fine start in 2008 but an oblique injury derailed the pitcher for more than a month. He’s bounced back to post a stellar 2.58 ERA, 1.15 Whip and 51 Ks in 59 innings. He still has faired better at home with a sub-2 ERA compared with a 3.80 ERA on the road but Wandy’s splits are much less extreme than last year.

Wandy Rodriguez is a must start at home and worth a chance on the road in most fantasy baseball formats. This week Rodriguez has 2 starts, one at home and one on the road so I have him down as a must start in all formats for fantasy week 14.

Get Wandy Rodriguez baseball cards and other gear now on eBay!

T206 Baseball Cards with Tolstoi Backs – Auction Results 6/30/08

Nothing terribly extravagant in this recent batch of Tolstoi T206 baseball cards. Addie Joss looks like a nice find, the others just aren't in great shape - what can you expect after nearly 100 years?

1909-11 T206 Tolstoi Doc Crandall New York Nat'l SGC 30 6/8/08 $47.00
1910 T206 Tobacco Bergen TOLSTOI back 6/8/08 $35.10
1909 T206 Baseball Addie Joss Cleveland TOLSTOI PSA 4 6/12/08 $309.99
T206 1909-11 FRILL TOLSTOI BACK!! HIGH QUALITY!! EX++ 6/15/08 $56.00

Buy T206 Baseball Cards with Tolstoi Backs on eBay!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Jair Jurrjens Solid Fantasy Baseball Pitcher on the Rise

Little was know about the Atlanta Braves pitcher from Curacao, Jair Jurrjens (left in this Topps 2008 Gold paralel baseball card), heading into the 2008 season but he's quickly establishing himself as a solid fantasy baseball starting pitcher. I had Jurrjens on my short list of about 30 fantasy baseball sleepers headed into this year due to last year's performance. In 110+ innings in AA last year in the minor leagues Jurrjens posted a low 3 ERA and a mid-1.2 WHIP - not pacing for a Cy Young but competent, worse have been called up and got the job done in the major leagues.

What sold me on Jair Jurrjens was his 30 innings of work in the AL central last year with the Detroit Tigers. Even though it was only 30 innings, he only had 13 Ks and posted a high 4 ERA, the 1.16 WHIP turned my head. Yes, that one outlier combined with a competant minor league resume told me this could be an effective fantasy baseball pitcher as early as this year. Throw in the move to the Atlanta Braves pitcher friendly park and a starting gig in spring training you have the ingrediants for a nice end game fantasy baseball sleeper.

We scooped him up in the 24th round of the NFBC but despite his solid start I failed to make room for him in my 10 team beer league. I've been kicking myself ever since as Jurrjens has posted a 3 ERA, 1.3 WHIP and on pace for 16 wins and 140Ks.

Get Jair Jurrjens autographed and rookie baseball cards on eBay!

Three Nights in August - Inside a Three Game Set in One of Baseball's Biggest Rivalries

Three Nights in August by Buzz Bissinger provides a great inside look at one of the great minds in baseball. Although I'm not personally a fan I am speaking of St. Lois Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa. The book covers a 3 game baseball series between the Cubs and Cardinals during the dog days of summer.

Overall I really liked having an insider's view of how to manage a baseball team. Particularly compelling was when LaRussa had to wrestle with whether to order one of his pitchers to throw at another player. Like him or hate him it's impossible to deny Larussa's pedigree when it comes to baseball knowledge - so if you don't like him get over it anyway and learn some new things about baseball.

I found the back drop interesting due to the fact that the three Cubs pitchers were the young and still very healthy Kerry Wood, Mark Prior and Carols Zambrano. This series actually takes place about two months after I added the little known Zambrano to my fantasy baseball team for what would become a 3 and a half year marriage. Not know outside of the NL central LaRussa was quick to point out that Zambrano may have been the best of the three - he was right.

This is a must read book for any baseball fan and you can pick up your own copy of Three Nights in August on eBay by clicking here.

Moneyball - a Facinating Look at Where Dollars Meet "Real" Stats in Baseball

It's been over a year since I initially read Moneyball and going in was skeptical about how much I'd enjoy Michael Lewis' 2003 take on the finances behind Major League Baseball. Upon completion I'd have to say it's easily one of my 10 favorite books of all time and unquestionably my favorite sports book.

As a Met fan I was pleasantly surprised to find that roughly the first third of the book focused on the draft and development of the early 80s Mets including my all time favorite baseball player Darryl Strawberry, Len Dykstra and of course the star of Moneyball - Billy Beane. I was fascinated to find out that there was a lot of debate within the organization between drafting Strawberry or Beane with their firt pick - as it turns out they had 2 in the top 10 and grabbed them both. Many thought Beane the better prospect of the two and he even started at a higher level of A ball in the minor leagues than Strawberry.

It was through his failure as a player that Beane embraced Sabermetrics, in part, to explain his lackluster career as a professional baseball player. Beane's obsessive behavior combined with the new math, developed by among others Bill James, allowed him to propel the Oakland A's to perennial success on a shoestring budget.

The irony of Moneyball is just how resistant people are to change and embrace new ideas. Despite unquestionable success, black and white numbers, multi-million dollar contracts, and the high pressure competitiveness of running a Major League Baseball team most owners and GMs in baseball continue to pass on this new way of thinking.

Whether your an A's fan, Mets fan, baseball fan, or fantasy baseball geek like myself you will love this book.

Pick up your copy of Moneyball on eBay!

Rare T206 with Brown Lenox Back Sighted on eBay

Last week I spotted an incredible baseball card on eBay, a rare Brown Lenox back T206. The card was of Jordan and graded out as an SGC 10. A card of this rarity is an exceptional find on eBay and due to the high ticket went unsold with an asking opening bid $1,250. I've never seen one of these T206s on eBay before and would be surprised to see any more in the near future.

Click here to visit eBay to find rare T206 baseball cards!

Pitching Mechanics 101 – Essay Looks at Some of Baseball’s Top Pitchers

I found an interesting blog – The Pitching Mechanic, which includes an essay on Pitching Mechanics 101. I won’t go into great detail on how to pitch a baseball because I’m a novice and it’s covered so thoroughly in the essay, but here are some tips:

• The hips should lead and pull the pitchers shoulder through
• The angle of the shoulders determine a pitcher’s arm slot
• It’s OK to lead with the elbow, it allows pitchers to create more torque
• Keep the shoulders and hips closed as long as possible during the delivery

For more be sure to check out the Pitching Mechanic blog.

Find instructional DVDs on pitching mechanics on eBay!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kevin Slowey – Showing Flashes of a Developing Fantasy Baseball Ace

I first came across Kevin Slowey (left in this 2007 Topps Heritage rookie baseball card) via Heater Fantasy Baseball Magazine last year in their weekly prospects report. My NFBC team was desperate for pitching and we spent a small fortune with nearly a $500 FAAB bid to get him. Slowey’s first tour in the big leagues was rocky so when he got sent back down we cut him. Ultimately Slowey would come back to finish with a strong September.

Kevin Slowey is a command and control pitcher and succeeds by mixing his pitches and hitting the corners. In 133 innings last year in AAA he tallied 109 Ks (nice for guy that doesn’t strike people out) with a 1.89 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP – all in all exceptional minor league pitching totals. At the big league level he pitched 66 innings with 47 Ks, a 4.76 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP, but these numbers are brought down by a solid September showing which I believe has decreased his value. Also, note that Slowey threw 200 innings at both levels having entered the season at age 22.

His minor league stats and subsequent September success were just too tantalizing for me and I drafted in my NFBC and “beer” fantasy baseball leagues. He’s been up and down a lot this year which is common for youngsters but still posts a 3.96 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 46 Ks in 63 innings. Those are excellent numbers given his inconsistency and I look for steady improvement the rest of the way which could make him a valuable pitcher down the stretch. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kevin Slowey was a top 30 fantasy baseball pitcher from mid-August through the end of the year – get him now!

Buy Kevin Slowey baseball cards on eBay!

PayPerPost – New Revenue Opportunity for Baseball and Other Blogs

PayPerPost is an interesting blog monetization and emarketing platform that I came across a few weeks ago. As Bloop Single approaches its one year anniversary I’ve been looking for ways to grow my online presence by increasing my share of voice in the baseball related blogosphere. I’d like to increase quality baseball card and fantasy baseball related traffic and at the same time add more monetization opportunities where appropriate – after all, Bloop Single is part emarketing experiment.

PayPerPost is a site that connects bloggers to advertisers. Basically you submit your blog and if accepted you can scan a list of available blogging opportunities that relate to your blog’s content. If it makes sense you can write and submit a post – making you officially a “postie”. Bloggers can earn anywhere from $5 to over $100. Baseball specific topics are inherently very niche but I did just miss an opportunity to blog about Hall of Fame baseball player Dave Winfield.

On the advertising side there are great opportunities with PayPerPost as well. As my premium baseball card display case project moves forward I need economical and highly targeted was to promote and this is definitely something I want to try out. Advertisers simply write up their requirements, determine how much they’re willing to pay and how many posts they want and then submit for the “posties” to select from.

As an emarketing professional I think PayPerPost has a lot of potential for bloggers and advertisers alike, visit their site at

word of mouth ethics

blog marketing

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kev Hute Eyes Roy Halladay as 2 Start Fantasy Baseball Pitcher for Week of June 30th

Two Start Pitchers: One Dart to the Wire

As H2H Fantasy Baseball leagues continually become more popular on sites like, and, people are starting to grasp the complex strategy involved in managing a playoff push. Nabbing the key 2-start pitchers can be the difference between fantasy stardom, and a losing disaster. They have twice as many chances to accumulate points. In my opinion, you should want the most likely guys to score a 50-point week on your roster in the playoffs. Owning the key 2-start pitchers come playoff time remains many fantasy leaguers’ top strategy.

Many would agree that trading for Brandon Webb right now would be a good idea. Also, Jake Peavy, Johan Santana, Scott Kazmir, and John Lackey are all good buy-low candidates for those who take this approach.

Currently doesn’t post two-start pitcher information for the majority of their fantasy readers until late Monday night (at the very earliest,) however many fantasy veterans have a demand for this information sooner. For it’s these students of the game who give 170%- and those who give 170% deserve to know sooner than that.

I realize the average fantasy participant doesn’t manage their team every day. The majority of them probably kick back until at least Wednesday or Thursday before they even think about their weekly baseball line-ups. This is because people are busy, and your time is valuable, and I understand that. But knowing about 2-Start pitchers is very valuable too.

If I told you that Roy Halladay is pitching next Monday, June 30th at Seattle against R.A. Dickey, you would probably want to know this information by Sunday June 22nd, so you find out immediately which 2-start pitchers to pick up on Monday June 23rd when the line-ups lock. You are going to want this information in advance in order to prepare correctly.

Though there are many strategies to take note of in maintaining Head to Head League excellence. Picking up quality 2-start pitchers is essential to succeed. Solid, inning eating, and strike zone saavy pitchers, can post a 50- point week at any given time.

By: Kevin Hute

Get your Roy Halladay gear on eBay!

Museum Glass Test for Baseball Card Display Case – Update at 16 Hours of UV Exposure

The test of Tru Vue’s Museum Glass for my premium baseball card display case project is still only 16 hours deep but already I’m seeing some UV damage. I have portions of a comic book and retro baseball card partially covered with museum glass, exposed directly to the sun and covered completely.

It may be tough to tell in a lower res pic on the web but I’m starting to see definite discoloration on the comic books paper as shown through the blank/white text. The fully UV exposed lettering on the left are starting to turn yellow white the text on the right covered with museum glass appears unchanged. The sun is brightest this time of year but it’s still surprising to see the damaging effects of UV rays on collectible memorabilia after only 16 hours.

Get protective sleeves for your baseball card collection on eBay!

Heater Fantasy Baseball Magazine Says – Curt Schilling Headed to the Hall of Fame

This past weekend Curt Schilling (featured in this 1989 Donruss rookie baseball card) announced that he will be undergoing likely career ending shoulder surgery, thus bringing to an end one of the great modern day baseball careers and a fantasy baseball all-time great. Heater magazine decided to breakdown Schilling’s career and start the Hall of Fame discussion.

Let’s look at some of the obvious numbers – Curt Schilling was 2nd in Cy Young three times, topped 300 strikeouts in a season 3 times and posted 3 20+ win seasons, and 216 career wins – pretty dominant. The post season is where Schilling really separates himself with a 10-2 record over 19 starts and a 2.23 ERA. Additionally, all though 1999 wasn’t his best season in Philadelphia he did help me to win my first head to head fantasy baseball championship.

If this was the fantasy baseball hall of fame I think Schilling is a total no-brainer as one of the 5 best pitchers of the last 20 years. Also, let’s keep in mind that his gaudy numbers where achieved through the height of the “steroid era” in Major League Baseball. Heater magazine took it a step further and applied some funky math to determine the value of Schilling’s post season dominance and determined it to be equivalent in value to 50 extra wins in the regular season. In my book 200+ wins is a Hall of Fame career and by applying this math Curt Schilling breezes into the Hall of Fame with 266 wins!

Add Curt Schilling baseball cards from eBay to your collection!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Andy Sonnanstine Can Rebound in 2 Start Week

Andy Sonnanstine (left in this 2007 Topps 1952 rookie baseball card) has been a bit of a disappointment from a fantasy standpoint but I look for him to improve as we approach the second half of the fantasy baseball season. Despite his struggles he’s still only on pace for 34 walks and he is maintaining a nearly 4 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio which suggests some solid underlying baseball skills – not to mention 17 wins for the Rays.

Sonnanstine maintained a WHIP of almost 1.00 flat in over 250 AAA and AA innings the past 2 seasons so achieving a solid WHIP at the major league level is possible sooner rather than later. His strikeout rate is down a little bit this year and a lot from his minor league record which could be part of the problem. He’s not a lock but if you can get him on the cheap I think Andy Sonnanstine has some nice upside and a 2 start week this week is a nice place to start.

Buy Andy Sonnanstine rookie baseball cards and other memorabilia on eBay!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Zack Greinke, Emerging Fantasy Baseball Ace

Once an elite prospect Zack Greinke (left in 2003 Bowman Heritage baseball card) has started to deliver more than expected for fantasy baseball players. He came up in 2004 with a sub-4 ERA and sub-1.2 WHIP over 145 innings at the tender age of 20. That’s right, at 20 years old he pitched 2/3s of a season of quality baseball for a garbage organization. A sophomore slump and an emotional leave of absence later and he was forgotten about as an uber-prospect. He came back last year and after starting in the pen was very solid in the rotation down the stretch.

On a personal level I can’t be happier that Greinke has been able to manage his problems. Millions of people have emotional anxiety/depression related problems and it’s tough for everyone to deal with – let alone someone who has to pitch at the major league level – I’m thrilled for him!

This year I picked him up for $1 in the end game in my beer league. Greinke started out the season off the charts but got pounded for 6,3, 8 and 4 runs in consecutive starts. Apparently this was just a rough patch as Greinke has been good for only 1 earned run in his last 2 starts over 14 innings to go along with 12 Ks. Overall he’s on pace for a sub-3.5 ERA, a sub-1.25 WHIP, and roughly 170 strike outs – a great fantasy baseball guy to buy if someone’s looking to unload.

Buy Zack Greinke baseball cards on eBay!

T206 Baseball Cards with American Beauty Backs – Auction Results 6/21/08

Here are the latest auction results for T206 baseball cards with American Beauty backs. Interesting to note that decent American Beauty specimens with PSA 3-4 or equivalent condition are dialed in at $113 per card.

1909 T206 American Beauty Red Murray Giants PSA 4 6/6/08 $113.51
1910 T206 American Beauty Jesse Tannehill SGC 20 6/8/08 $41.04
1910 T206 Tobacco Hummel American Beauty 460 6/8/08 $27.50
1910 T206 Tobacco Downey American Beauty NO Creases 6/8/08 $87.00
T206 T 206 Willetts Tigers RARE American Beauty 350 bac 6/15/08 $113.86
1909 T206 American Beauty Geo. Moriarty Tigers PSA 3 6/20/08 $113.51

Buy T206 Baseball Cards with American Beauty Backs on eBay!

Elijah Dukes, Troubled Fantasy Baseball Star in the Making

Elijah Dukes (shown left in this 2007 Topps Heritage rookie baseball card) consistently showed 30/30 projectability throughout the minors and was one of the Devil Rays best prospects when he burst on the scene last year. His off the field problems are well documented and quickly started to derail the budding star’s season, and almost his baseball career. He finished last season batting only .190 and the desperate Washington Nationals were the only team willing to take a chance on him this year.

Despite having an excellent campaign in the Arizona Fall league after vowing to turn his life around, the 23 year old Dukes was an all but forgotten fantasy baseball sleeper heading into this season. Add in a hamstring injury in the first game of the season that put him out for a month and he wound up on the scrap heap in virtually every fantasy baseball league by mid-April.

Out of desperation in my NFBC league I watch Dukes closely once he got cut. We bought Elijah Dukes back for a paltry $13 the week before he came of the DL. A shoulder injury to Austin Kearns and a desperate Nationals team assured him off playing time. It was rough in May as Dukes basically got his spring training via forced duty, but June has been a different story. After a big night on Friday Elijah Dukes is up to a .270 BA and if you project his 122 ABs over a full season he’s showing 40 stolen base skills. He still has only 2 HRs but it looks like he’s heating up and I think the man-beast should start to produce at a 25 HR clip projected over a full season. Bottom line is this, Elijah Dukes seeks redemption and if your fantasy baseball team is in need of some I say buy now – we all need a little redemption.

Get Elijah Dukes baseball cards on eBay!

Friday, June 20, 2008

How Well Can Museum Glass Protect Baseball Cards? The Field Test

I’ve decided to conduct a field test to determine just how well Museum Glass with 99% UV protection really protects baseball cards and other collectable memorabilia. I wanted to see how fast UV rays from the sun could fade colors so I picked up a comic book knowing that they’re typically made with cheaper materials. I also used a Juan Rivera Heritage card from Topps. Many of the premium baseball cards today have a protective UV coating but I wanted to test something that more closely resembled vintage baseball cards in materials without damaging anything of value – sorry Juan. With the summer solstice at hand this is the perfect time of year to test the affects of UV rays as they’re at their most powerful right now.

I’ve affixed the comic book and card to a board. In the picture above I’ve used arrows to point out the three different areas for comparison.

1) direct exposure to UV rays
2) areas protected with Museum Glass
3) control area – I flipped over a Bill Hall baseball card to block out all light – don’t take it personally Bill, it’s in the name of science

I plan to log the days and amount of time that I leave the cards exposed to direct sunlight. This may not be the perfect scientific experiment but I’m really looking forward to seeing some first hand results of the sun’s damaging UV rays and how well Museum Glass helps to protect memorabilia. Check back for periodic updates.

Buy baseball card storage supplies on eBay!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Johan Santana Topps Co-Signers Baseball Card

So I got sucked in to buying a pack of baseball cards when I was at the mall for lunch. I decided to pony up for a pack of Topps Co-Signers because I’m a total sucker for the shot to score an autograph and they claim 3 autos per box.

Although I didn’t get an auto, I did get a Johan Santana Mets card which, outside of rookie cards, would have to be my first choice this year. Overall it’s a nice enough set of baseball cards and I do like the feel of the mat finish on the back. I think the key is to save my money and just buy an autographed card off eBay – when will I learn.

Be smart and buy your Johan Santana autographed baseball card on eBay!

Tru Vue Museum Glass Looks Good for Vintage Baseball Card Display Case

I reached out to Tru Vue for some samples of their museum glass for use in the development of my vintage baseball card display case prototype. They responded with a sample pack that included three different types of UV protective glass.

• Conservation Reflection Control – really diffuses light and eliminates reflection, it will tend to blur fine details
• Conservation Clear – has a crystal clear appearance
• Museum Glass – similar to Conservation Clear but also has a glare reduction coating

According to Tru Vue’s website here are the top 5 reasons to use Museum Glass
• Enhances the true color of your art
• Truly looks invisible
• See every detail of your art, no matter how fine
• Helps protect your artwork from fading for generations
• Blocks 99% of harmful indoor and outdoor UV rays

All 3 of the types of glass provide 99% UV protection so it really a matter of which displays best for a particular piece of art work – or in this case baseball cards. I think the museum glass offers the best overall clarity which is important with vintage baseball cards. Due to the age of my T206s I think it’s important to maximize clarity due to the imperfections and existing wear and tear on the cards – lots of details to ogle over.

Get Toploaders to protect your baseball cards on eBay!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kev Hute Breaks Down Detroit at San Fran Game 3

Kev Hute has a breakdown of tonight’s baseball showdown between the Giants and Tigers

I said Detroit would bounce back from that game 1 coaching blunder when Jim Leyland pulled Justin Verlander after just 96 pitches and 6 innings. The timing in that decision was terrible since Verlander clearly wanted to go out for the 7th, and he felt as though he was just getting settled in. Leyland put in Freddy Dolsi for a perfect 7th, and let him start the 8th where Dolsi gave up two leadoff hits. Then Leyland brings in Fernando Rodney, for his big return to the set-up role, once two guys are already on base. It doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a firm believer in not messing with the bull pen’s psyche, as they are the only guys who affect the game a great deal over a tight span of 1 or 2 innings. 1/3 inning to them is a lot different than 1/3 inning to a starting pitcher. Though it is uncharacteristic for me to say this, you can give Jim Leyland the blame for that one.

As a result, Detroit won game 2 when K-ROG looked like his old self for the 5th time in a row. He’s allowed only 4 earned runs in his last 5 starts. I’m interested to see what kind of pace the Tigers can maintain with all that beef in their line-up.

Today the game’s key stats are as follows:

- The value is with Detroit (-1.5/-120) as Gallaraga is hot, and Barry Zito is Barry Zito.
- SF is 4-9 in game 3’s after a loss
- Armando Galarraga is 3-0, 1.96, 1.04 in day starts this year, and Zito is 1-4, 7.88, 2.08
- Road team has won 10 of 16 games that Jerry Crawford has called, including 5 of the last 6
- Crawford also favors the UNDER frequently
- The Tigers record is 8-2 when Armando Galarraga pitches.
- Clear and calm weather conditions

I really like Detroit SU at -154 in this game even more so than the run line.

By: Kevin Hute

Get a Detroit Tigers baseball cap on eBay!

Bartolo Colon Could be for Real, says Heater Fantasy Baseball Magazine

I have to admit I had no interest in Bartolo Colon from a fantasy baseball perspective. A weakness of mine is that I tend to favor younger guys with upside (e.g. Jair Jurrjens, Andy Sonnanstine, John Danks, etc.), unfortunately this tendency tends to bite me in the butt at least a couple of times per season and Bartolo Colon’s performance is taking a nice chomp.

According to online fantasy baseball magazine, Heater, Bartolo Colon might be “for real”. I use the quotes to emphases that their in depth piece on Colon doesn’t call for a return to his Cy Young days of 2005 but there is hope that he can eat some innings and consistently pick up some wins for a contender like the Red Sox. Here’s why:
• Colon’s four-seam fast ball is averaging 93.7, and two-seamer 91.5
• 22 Ks against 7 walks in 29 innings – better than 3 to 1 ration
• check out the chart above, all four of his pitches have great movement

At this point if you have Bartolo Colon on your fantasy baseball roster congrats, if you don’t I wouldn’t break the bank to get him. If you need pitching help you might be able to find someone in your league that’s will to trade high on Colon and if it doesn’t cost anything too meaningful it looks like a smart move.

Get Bartolo Colon memorabilia and baseball cards from eBay!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vintage Baseball Card Display Tip – Rotate Your Cards

I was doing some research this weekend for Safe at Home, the new wiki that I created about baseball card display and preservation, and came across something pretty darn effective – rotate your cards! It sounds so simple but makes all of the sense in the world. I found an article which suggested rotating display materials every 3 months or so. It might even make sense to display your best baseball cards at times when you know you’ll be having company over. For example, the holidays get pretty busy for me a few months from mid-November on so it might makes sense to break out my Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson and Cy Young T206 cards for those 2 months and keep them stored away the rest of the year. I could rotate any number of T206 common players a couple of time during the rest of the year. The long term reduction of UV exposure will go a long way to preserving your vintage baseball card collection.

Get baseball card storage materials from eBay!

Baseball Analyst Kev Hute on the Giants Tigers series and Tim Lincecum

Kev Hute has been writing about baseball for 9 years and we recently ran into each other via the blogosphere. He’s currently working on a new site for his fantasy baseball and gaming analysis and since I like his work we’ve agreed to syndicate some of his predictions on Bloop Single. Although I received this post a tad past my bedtime, Kev Hute did provide an interesting breakdown of Lincecum vs Verlander in last night’s Giants Tigers game. He missed the mark by a bit but unlike me he didn’t have the box scores in front of him – check out the flavor of his writing.

Lince-Comin to an End

The Giants are 3-13 in their last 16 home games. The UNDER is 8-1 in Detroit’s last 9 inter-league games. They just finished getting swept by Oakland. The O/U is 7 (-110) for both teams, -1.5 San Fran (+170,) the money line sits at (-110) for each team as well. Where does the value lie?

I would say since the Tigers have won 8 straight, the value lies with them until proven otherwise. If you traded for Justin Verlander (3-9, 4.65 ERA, 1.30 WHIP,) who remains a great buy-low candidate in fantasy leagues across the board, you know that he was rock solid in his last start against the rival White Sox. He went the distance on June 11th, with 0 BB, 1ER to get the 5-1 win over Vasquez.

Giants’ righty Tim Lincecum (8-1, 1.99, 1.22) has been impressive, and remains a candidate for the N.L. Cy Young. I can’t imagine how painful this is to watch for Matt Cain, who pitched out of his mind last year yet couldn’t get a lick of run support. He’s bashing his head against the wall this year when he can’t get run support. Cain’s main problem this year is the big inning late.

That being said, not only will Lincecum be 8-2 after tonight, the bonds-less Giants really should get swept again. My guess is that Detroit extends it to 11 straight. That would shut some people up.

By:Kevin Hute

Buy Tim Lincecum baseball cards and other gear on eBay!

Monday, June 16, 2008

T206 Baseball Cards with Hindu Backs – Auction Results 6/16/08

These are some pretty impressive prices for baseball cards even for Hindu T206s. Check out the Red Hindu Hummel for almost $2,000 - wouldn't you love to find a few of those baseball cards in an old shoe box!

Jimmy Sheckard 1909-11 T206 (Hindu Back) SGC 30 6/7/08 $109.50
1909-11 T206 Hindu Al Bridwell Portrait, No Cap SGC 20 SGC 20 6/8/08 $118.37
1910 T206 Tobacco Ganley Brown HINDU Washington 6/8/08 $200.00
T206 CHARLIE FRITZ + BROWN HINDU RARE! SGC 70 6/12/08 $1,338.13
T206 JOHN HUMMEL RARE RED HINDU BACK SGC 50 6/12/08 $1,725.00
T206 T-206 Alperman Tough Hindu Back PSA 4.5 6/15/08 $566.00

Buy T206 Baseball Cards with Hindu Backs on eBay!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Braves Rookie Pitcher Charlie Morton has Plenty of Fantasy Baseball Upside

Charlie Morton (left in 2002 Upper Deck rookie baseball card) was once a solid pitching prospect but a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery ended his 2006 baseball season early. Last year he struggled as he returned to the hill and tried to build back lost arm strength.

Charlie Morton flat out dominated AAA amassing 72 Ks in 79 innings with a filthy 2.05 ERA and .99 WHIP. He did walk 27 batters which is a bit of a concern but with Smoltz done and Glavin on the DL the door looks wide open for Charlie Morton. He was solid in his big league debut last night lasting 6 innings while yielding 5 hits, surrendering 1 walk and striking out 4. Morton did give up 3 runs but on the whole it was a nice start.

I’m not sure I’d trust Charlie Morton long due term to the past injury history. I do like him a lot as a spot starter for the rest of the season and I think he could develop into an every day fantasy baseball player. Morton’s minor league numbers indicate that he has figured something out and his solid debut indicate that “it” translates at the big league level.

Shop for rookie baseball cards and other Charlie Morton gear on eBay!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

T206 Baseball Cards with Cycle Backs – Auction Results 6/14/08

As part of a regular update I decide to start keeping track of eBay auction results for T206 baseball cards with rare backs. There are quite a few examples of T206 baseball cards with Cycle backs so this will be the first update.

1910 T206 Cycle Lee Quillen Minneapolis SGC 40 6/8/08 $72.11
1910 T206 Tobacco Bresnahan CYCLE back HOF 6/8/08 $112.50
1910 T206 Tobacco Camnitz Pittsburg CYCLE 460 6/8/08 $113.86
T206 1910 Cycle Cigarettes Bill Chappelle SGC 60 6/11/08 $158.05
T206 1910 Cycle Cigarettes Josh Clark SGC 60 6/11/08 $118.48
T206 White Borders-George McBride, Cycle Back PSA 5.5 6/12/08 $153.70

Buy T206 Baseball Cards with Cycle Backs on eBay!

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Wiki Dedicated to the Preservation and Display of Vintage Baseball Cards

As part of my baseball card display case project I was looking to rewrite and greatly expand the Display and Storage tips section of In order to position the display cases optimally I think it’s important to establish a great deal of credibility and thought leadership around the best technique to store vintage baseball cards like T206s and how best to display them while protecting the cards at the same time.

Rather than try to learn everything there is to know about display and preservation I’ve decided that a wiki could be the best solution – hence Safe at Home, is born. At this point I’ve done nothing other than register that clever pun of a name and develop a description of the site – “Preservation and display techniques for your vintage baseball cards and other valuable collectibles.”

My goal is to create a structure and starter content over the next month or two and then reach out directly to some experts to see if they’d like to contribute. I’d really like this to become the authoritative wiki and forum on the best ways to safely display and store valuable baseball cards. If you’re like me you’d rather show off your baseball cards than keep them in a shoe box.

Protect your vintage baseball cards with storage products on eBay!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bad News Bears – All Time Great Baseball Movie

This is a post I’ve been saving for a while. The Bad News Bears is one of the best baseball, if not sports, movies of all time. In fact in my list this baseball classic ranks only behind Rocky as the greatest sports movie of all time.

Not only is it a funny story but there’s ample drama as the characters try to cope with very real problems. At the heart of the movie Walter Matthau turns in a brilliant performance as Buttermaker, an alcoholic self described broken down ballplayer. He plays opposite Tatum O’Neal in the biggest earning children’s role of the time. As Buttermaker’s estranged girl friend’s daughter, O’Neal delivers a spirited performance in her own right as the two try to reconcile their relationship and win a championship.

If you’ve gone nearly 30 years without watching the Bad News Bears go buy a copy or rent one today – it’s even better than I remembered it. My oldest daughter and I love to watch it together. She’s too young to get some of the off color material but enjoys watching the kids running around playing baseball.

Buy a copy of Bad News Bears today on eBay!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mets Baseball Cap for the Baby with Glow in the Dark Dragon Flies

Check out this super cool Mets baseball hat with glow in the dark dragon flies that I picked up at Shea Stadium last week for the baby. Two years ago I found a similar lady bug Mets baseball cap for my oldest daughter. I searched everywhere online for another one for a friend of mine but couldn’t find any. My guess is that this is a Shea Stadium exclusive Mets baseball hat. Very cool cap and should be a collectable worth saving – or at least saving what’s left of the baseball hat once the girls are through with it.

Get you Mets hat on eBay – click here!

Mets New Baseball Stadium, Citi Field Coming Along

Here’s a pic of the Mets new baseball stadium, Citi Field. I can’t wait for it to open with the 2009 baseball season but it will be sad to say goodbye to Shea Stadium. It’s pretty impressive how much progress they’ve made on Citi Field and this view from the third base side is really impressive. The Met’s new home is just what the fans need to look forward to given how this season has gone so far.

Shop for your Shea Stadium memorabilia on eBay now!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Jeff Clement – Elite Mariner Rookie to Have Big Time Fantasy Impact

Rookie catching prospect Jeff Clement (pictured left in this Upper Deck rookie baseball card) got a grand total of 48 ABs to the tune of a .167 batting average with the Mariners earlier this year before being sent back down. Heater Fantasy Baseball Magazine last week showed minor league batters for batting average, home runs and walk rate and Clement ranked in the top 3 in each category – not even Jay Bruce could do that. Jeff Clement boasts an off the chart OPS of 1.238, and in his last 10 games he’s cooled off to a .333 BA with 4 HRs.

I look for Clement to have big time potential down the stretch. He’ll eventually come back up and should be a serviceable utility right away. He may need a month or two to steal enough PT to fully qualified at catcher but a month and a half of Jeff Clement a catcher could be huge. At a minimum he’s probably good for 280-290 and should hit 25-30 HR pace which would put Jeff Clement at top 5, maybe top 3 for the position.

Find Jeff Clement baseball cards and other gear on eBay - Shop Now!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Is Brandon Webb the Best Pitcher in Baseball?

Brandon Webb (shown here in a Bowman Heritage 2003 rookie baseball card) won his 11th game of the season last night and as an owner of his in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship I couldn’t be more excited that he’s now on pace for 29 wins. Tie in a mid-2 ERA and WHIP of 1.00 and pace for almost 200 Ks and I’m wondering if he’s the best pitcher in baseball.

Webb burst onto the scene with a big rookie season but posted a miserable 7-16 record in his sophomore campaign due in large part to nearly 120 walks. He since has straightened out his control and for the past 2 and third seasons Brandon Webb has had pure Cy Young stuff.

For his career the 29 year old Webb has posted 75 wins a 3.19 ERA and 7.3 Ks per 9. I think he’s a perennial stud in fantasy baseball and in a few years I think the conversation surrounding Brandon Webb will start to focus on Hall of Fame possibilities. I recommend stocking up on Brandon Webb rookie baseball cards and memorabilia now!

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Jack Cust – Fantasy Baseball Masher on the Cheap

I actually drafted Jack Cust (pictured in the baseball card at left, 2008 Upper Deck Gold Parallel) in the 18th round in the NFBC but also added him in my beer league. He cost $1 and since we enforce a cap throughout the year and I needed a masher to fill in for Matt Holiday it’s a perfect fit.

My friends at Heater fantasy baseball magazine tend to agree as he was profiled in this week’s edition. They say now is a nice buy opportunity as his K rate has decreased slightly to go along with a high hit rate. His HR to fly ball rate has dropped from 32% last year to 25% but that’s still a ton of power.

I view Jack Cust as a poor man’s Adam Dunn. After a horrific April he has 8 HR in 105 ABs (roughly 45 HR pace) and is hitting .295 with 17 RBI and 19 runs. Those are Dunn numbers with BA to spare. He still looses ABs to lefties but should crack 450 ABs which should be enough for 25-30 HRs.

Find Jack Cust baseball cards on eBay - Shop Now!

Farewell to Shea Stadium – Commemorative Baseball, #2 of 6

I picked up one of these baseballs at the Mets game I was at last week for my buddy at The Extreme Baseball Collector. This baseball is #2 of 6 that will be sold at Shea Stadium throughout the Mets final season at Shea. The ball features Mr. Met, the “You Gotta Believe” slogan, the Shea Stadium 1964-2008 commemorative logo and a list of Shea Stadium firsts:

1st Batter – Dick Schonfield, Pirates
1st Mets Batter – Tim Harkness
1st Hit – April 17th, 1964, Willie Stargell
1st Strikeout – April 17th, 1964 Roberto Clemente
1st Mets Victory – April 19th, 1964 Mets 6 Pirates 0

I should probably get with it and start collecting all 6 of these baseballs for myself – one more reason to get out to Shea Stadium and see the Mets this year!

Get your Shea Stadium commemorative gear on eBay!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Shea Stadium Final Season Commemorative Baseball

I was at my first Mets game at Shea Stadium this year and my friend actually pounced on a foul ball. I didn't realize they had issued a special baseball for this season until I examined his. These are official Rawlings MLB baseballs issued with a special commemorative logo for Shea Stadium's final season. I'm still waiting to catch my first foul ball so now I have some added incentive to see some more Mets games this year.

Get your Shea Stadium commemorative gear on eBay!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

History Shots - Poster Showcases Four Generations of Major League Baseball Ballparks

Knowing that I am a major baseball geek a friend of mine sent me a link to Major League Ballparks Four Generations at History Shots. The poster covers the 4 primary areas of ballpark development:

  • Pre-Classic 1870-1900s
  • Classic 1900s-1950s - Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park
  • Modern 1950s-1990s - Shea Stadium and Veteran's Stadium
  • Retro 1990s-Present - Camden Yards and the new Mets Stadium, Citi Field
What's particularly cool is the bar chart at the top that shows the name and type of stadium associated with each city. It's tough to see in this image but the site has a zoom feature which really brings out the detail.

As a baseball fanatic this is definitely on my wish list. It's suitable for framing and be sure to use conservation quality museum glass for maximum preservation.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Woodworking Help with Baseball Card Display Case Project

Earlier this year my baseball card display case project hit a big snag. After reaching out to several dozen woodworkers with my plans for the display case I hit nothing but dead ends. I think there were two problems. First, I need someone to really hold my hand with the design for the display case – it needs to be a high-end piece of furniture and have a marketable classy looking design. Second, there needs to be some thought put into the production costs for multiple quantities – I need to be able to purchase in bulk and make profit on the markup.

I ran into an antique dealer at my mother-in-laws while we were there for a visit (solutions to life’s problems can come from the darndest places). I explained what I was trying to do with launching my baseball card display case business and she directed me to This is the home of the VWMA, Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association. Apparently this is the hot bed for woodworking and design services on the east coast. After spending a lot of time digging through the site I think I’ve found a potential partner – more updates to come!