Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ichiro Suzuki Autographed Baseball Scored by the Ultimate Baseball Collector

My buddy Chris, AKA the Ultimate Baseball Collector, landed an autographed Ichiro Suzuki baseball to his collection. He went to a Blue Jays game early when the Mariners were in town and Ichiro was nice enough to give him an auto.

This is a particularly nice piece for his collection given that Ichiro got his 3,000th hit last night which includes his playing in Japan. I think it would be great if Suzuki could get to 3,000 in MLB and top 4,000 overall – doubt he’d have any side issues from preventing him from getting into the Hall of Fame!

Be sure to check out his Baseball Collector blog and his website

Get autographed Ichiro Suzuki baseball cards on eBay!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Francisco Rodriguez Headed for Save Record According to Heater Fantasy Baseball Magazine

Francisco Rodriguez (pictured Topps 2007 Turkey Red baseball card) is the quickest baseball player to 40 saves in the history of baseball. This shatters John Smoltz record by 16 games and poises K-Rod to capture the all-time single season save record of 57 held by the White Sox Bobby Thigpen.

According to fantasy baseball magazine, Heater, K-Rod has a great shot. At his present pace Rodriguez needs to stay on pace for 46 saves for the remainder of the season. After analyzing some recent work by David Pinto, David Gassko of Heater believes the conditions are excellent for K-Rod to remain on pace.

2 key factors have Rodriguez sitting pretty. First, the Angles have a .600 winning percentage. Second, their 2.6 run margin of victory is the lowest in baseball. Both factors indicate that K-Rod has a better than 50/50 chance to become baseball’s all-time single season saves record – just in time for arbitration too! Look for K-Rod to get seriously paid in the off season.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chris Carpenter, Fantasy Baseball Comeback After Tommy John

After several Cy Young Award type seasons Chris Carpenter went under the knife last July for Tommy John surgery. The timetable for recovery is about a year just to pitch again and roughly another year to round back into form. It’s clear that Carpenter won’t be back to full pitching form this season but he did throw 63 pitches Sunday in a minor league rehab start and felt fine. He walked 4 batters which is not the type of control you want to see in your fantasy baseball rotation but he did touch 92 MPH on the radar gun.

I don’t think Chris Carpenter is the savior of my fantasy baseball season but with playoffs starting in one of my leagues in a few weeks I’m eyeing him for some spot starts in late August and September. He threw a bullpen sessions this past Tuesday and felt fine and will get a better test on Friday at AAA. If you can stash a player I think he’s worth a gamble and be sure to monitor Carpenter’s progress closely. Those one or two weeks down the stretch where he gets 2 starts or faces the Nationals, Giants or Padres could be key in helping you win your fantasy baseball league.

Buy Chris Carpenter autographed baseball cards on eBay!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

T206 Baseball Cards with Carolina Brights – Auction Results 7/18/08

There have only been a handful of scarce Carolina Brights for T206 collectors over the past month or so. These are among the rarest of the T206 baseball cards with even an SGC 20 going for over $100. Dygert is the cream of this crop topping out at nearly $600.

1910 T206 Tobacco Wilson CAROLINA BRIGHTS back
6/8/08 $182
T206 Lavender CAROLINA BRIGHTS back 1st graded! SGC 20 6/15/08 $116
T206 T-206 Delehanty Scarce Carolina Brights bk PSA 4 7/6/08 $450
1909 T206 CAROLINA BRIGHTS BK.- DYGERT - TOUGH SGC 50 7/13/08 $599

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Rich Harden Ptichf/x by Heater Fantasy Baseball Magazine

Rich Harden (pictured 2005 Artifacts baseball card) has bounced back from a month on the DL this year and 3 injury riddled season to dominate major league hitting. Harden’s recent trade to the contending Cubs helps to intensify the NL Central’s intrigue this season.

Fantasy baseball magazine Heater takes a look at Harden’s pitches with the help of the Pitchf/x chart. While Rich Harden’s fastball is somewhat pedestrian at only 92 MPH it has 3.5 inches of vertical movement and significant horizontal movement as shown in red. The blue shows his “change up” which is really a split finger/slider type thing. At 85 it also has substantial movement, as shown in blue.

Harden’s exceptional movement makes it very tough for big league ball players to get solid wood on the ball which helps to account for his 102 Ks in only 82+ innings. The icing on top is that he credits throwing his change up more with helping him to keep his arm healthy. The Cubs and Brewers are going to be fun to watch!

Order Graphical Player 2009 on Amazon, from the writers of Heater Fantasy Baseball Magazine

Find autographed Rich Harden baseball cards on eBay!

Safe at Home is Life – Baseball Display and Storage Info

Safe at Home finally has some information about baseball cards display and storage. I’ve got a long way to go with Safe at Home but have uploaded actual content to a few pages. I wrote a lot about UV rays and how best to protect baseball cards so it’s just a matter of getting that published.

At this point my goal is to get the rough draft of the content up by the end of this month, along with links to eBay if there’s an applicable item to purchase and add some images to spruce it up. From there it needs some serious editing but I’ll start promoting it more so hopefully some baseball card enthusiasts can chip in.

Buy baseball and baseball card displays on eBay!

Baseball Hall of Fame’s First Class Autographs

In between meetings in New York yesterday I popped into a sports collectables store and stumbled upon the greatest piece of baseball memorabilia that I have ever seen in person. It was a framed collage of autographs from the Baseball Hall of Fame’s inaugural class and second class. I counted a total of 11 autographs but can’t figure out who the others were.

The autographs are from Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matewson, and Walter Johnson from the inaugural class in 1936 and from the Baseball Hall of Fame’s second class in 1937 Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker and Cy Young.

I’m guessing the 3 others are from Hall of Fame players of that era, hopefully I can stop back in someday and get all of the names.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

T206 Baseball Cards with Broad Leaf Backs – Auction Results 7/17/08

Broad Leaf T206s are few and far between on eBay. This handful is from the last 5 weeks or so. Nothing out of the ordinary in this lot other than the fact that they're exceedingly rare. Even low graded SGC and PSA are going for several hundred.

T206 Roger Bresnahan With Bat Broad Leaf Back SGC 20 6/1/08 $383
1909-1911 T206 - Rebel Oakes - Broad Leaf 350 PSA 1 6/15/08 $154
T206 Harry Gasper - Broad Leaf 350 - Very RARE! PSA 1 7/13/08 $412
T206 Dode Paskert - Broad Leaf 350 - Very RARE! PSA 1 7/13/08 $270

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Fantasy Baseball Trade Wrap for My 10 Team League

The trade deadline passed in my 10 team fantasy baseball league and it’s time to star gearing up for the playoffs. I made 4 trades throughout the year with a consistent aim to ship pitching to upgrade my bats. This league also enforces a salary cap throughout the season which impacts trade values. Here’s the recap:

Hunter Pence $1 and Cole Hamels $12 for Russell Martin $6

Edinson Volquez $2 and Ryan Theriot $10 for Michael Young $17

Eric Gangne $1 and Johnny Cueto $1 for John Maine $1

and the blockbuster deal at the trade deadline!!!!

Tim Lincecum $14, Chris B Young $24 and Jeff Clement $5 for Ryan Howard $26

I think the last deal will really put my team over the top. I’ve basically clinched a playoff spot so I’ve got a few weeks to figure out life without my ace Tim Lincecum. Howard (pictured 2001 Upper Deck Prospects baseball card) adds a ton of pop and basically replaces Chris B Young in my lineup.

Click here to find Ryan Howard jerseys on eBay!

Josh Hamilton’s Breakout Season – What About Next Baseball Season?

The Josh Hamilton Story is a Hollywood movie waiting to happen (pictured Topps 1999 Traded rookie baseball card). The former #1 overall pick has come a long way back from heroin addiction. After being picked up off the scrap heap by the Reds last year Hamilton played great in the outfield and not only showed a lively bat but excellent plate discipline for a guy so far removed from baseball. An off season trade with the Texas Rangers for Edinson Volquez seems to have worked miracles for both teams – a potential Cy Young for MVP swap.

After a first half where he flirted with 100 RBIs and a showcase performance at the home run derby on Monday it seems he has little left to prove. If you picked him up in any fantasy baseball format there’s no doubt he’s the best value on your team. But what about next year???

My general take on Josh Hamilton is this – yes, he is this good. Not only was he a #1 overall pick but he was a great #1 overall pick. He’s also in his prime at 27. If we skip the drama and project out the big league performance of a #1 pick with his projectabilty about 10 years later then this is kind of what they thought Hamilton would be. I am concerned by the fact that he misses the end of last season with a hamstring injury and due to his being out of the public eye for so long it’s tough to gauge his durability. He also plays center field which can take its toll on the body – see Griffey Jr., Ken.

Bottom line from a fantasy baseball perspective is that I think he could be traded for the world this off season in keeper leagues and might be over priced heading into next year. Yes, he’s the real deal but for the right offer I think Josh Hamilton is a great sell high opportunity.

Get Josh Hamilton rookie cards on eBay!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

T206 Baseball Cards with American Beauty Backs – Auction Results 7/15/08

It's been a busy week for T206s, especially American Beauty's. Nothing terribly descript but there are a handful of PSA graded ones only going in the mid-teens. Personally I stay away from T206s in that shape but that's a steal for vintage baseball cards like these in virtually any condition.

1909 T206 T-206 Roy Brashear American Beauty
7/11/08 $44
T-206 T206 McGraw NY HOF Rare American Beauty SGC 10 7/13/08 $89

Find T206 Baseball Cards with American Beauty Backs on eBay!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Adam Dunn Coming on Strong Headed Into the All-Star Break

I was a big fan of Adam Dunn (pictured 2008 Upper Deck Piece of History baseball card) from a fantasy baseball perspective headed into this season. Over the past 3 years Dunn has only had a .247 batting average but has hit exactly 40 home runs in each of those seasons – that consistency is great for fantasy baseball. In the post-steroid era that is elite production. Dunn has always drawn a lot of walks which enables him to consistently get 100 runs to go with his 100 RBIs each year.

In the latest scoring period Dunn has 4 home runs and 5 in the last 7 days. Putting him on pace for 44. He did loose some at bats earlier in the year (thanks to Dusty Bakers brilliant managing) so 20-25 home runs post all start break seems very doable. He’s only batting .229 this year with only 1 stolen base (he’s normally good for 6-10). I think this makes Adam Dunn a great buy low target in many fantasy baseball leagues.

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Strikeouts for Troops – Baseball Players Give Something Back

Strikeouts for Troops was founded several years ago by Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants and now has over 40 Major League baseball players participating. The funds from this organization go to help the treatment of wounded troops. This year Barry Zito has pledged $500 for each strikeout. Positional players like Arod pledge money based on hits, home runs and RBIs.

To help support this cause, click here to select your baseball player and sign up for a pledge.

Stars and Stripes Baseball Caps from MLB

During the baseball games last weekend during the 4th of July I noticed these new caps. They’re Authentic Stars & Stripes Performance 59FIFTY On-Field Caps. These patriotic hats are navy blue with stars and stripes (a la the American flag) in the team logo. A portion of all proceeds from these caps go to the Welcome Back Veterans Fund. Cool hats, great cause!

You can check them out at but be sure to know your correct size. The Mets cap pictured just shot to the top of my wish list.

Find authentic Stars and Stripes baseball caps on eBay!

T206 Baseball Cards with Hindu Backs – Auction Results 7/12/08

This week was a huge blow out of T206s with Hindu backs on eBay. It looks like someone was selling off a lot which included a bunch of Southern Leaguers. The Joe Tinker (shown) is a great find.

T206 Fred Merkle, N.Y. Nat'l, Hindu Very Rare 1909-1911
6/28/08 $255
1909-11 T206 Chick Gandil Red Hindu SGC 50 7/2/08 $3,888
T206 HINDU Al Shaw St. Louis RARE!!!! PSA 5 7/5/08 $585
1909-1911 T206 Mickey Doolan SGC RED HINDU BACK SGC 30 7/6/08 $1,225
1909 T206 Brown Hindu Ames Factory 649 NY PR- PL ST CR
7/10/08 $180
T206 Woodie Thornton MK Hindu Southern League PSA 3 7/11/08 $214
T206 George Paige MK Hindu Southern League PSA 3 7/11/08 $236
T206 J.F. Kiernan MK Hindu Southern League PSA 3 7/11/08 $334
T206 Perry Lipe MK Hindu Southern League PSA 2 7/11/08 $255
T206 Tom Guiheen - Brown Hindu Southern League PSA 2 7/11/08 $174
T206 Johnny Evers - Brown Hindu (Cubs on Shirt) PSA 2 7/11/08 $380
T206 Joe Tinker (Hands on Knees) - Brown Hindu PSA 3 7/11/08 $743
T206 Roy Ellam - Brown Hindu (Southern League) PSA 3 7/11/08 $271
T206 George Brown (Browne,Chicago) - Brown Hindu PSA 4 7/11/08 $621
T206 Whitey Alperman - Brown Hindu PSA 4.5 7/11/08 $474

Find T206 Baseball Cards with Hindu Backs on eBay!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

David Ortiz, Buy this Fantasy Baseball Masher for the 2nd Half in Head to Head Leagues

David Ortiz (pictured 2007 Upper Deck Spectrum baseball card) has had a rough year for the Red Sox. It started out with a horrid April and was followed up by a wrist injury. While swinging at a pitch, Ortiz tore the sheath on a tendon in his wrist – that just sounds nasty.

After a successful batting practice on Friday David Ortiz is poised to begin a minor league rehab assignment and should return shortly after the all star break. They think he’ll be fine down the stretch and with the Red Sox in the hunt for another World Series they’re likely to ride him fairly hard.

I do think it could take about 100 at bats for Ortiz to find his stroke again but if you’re in a head to head fantasy baseball league that shouldn’t be a problem – should find his groove just in time for the playoffs. In his final 200 at bats I could see David Ortiz hit better than .290 with 12-15 home runs, 35-40 runs and 40 or so RBIs. Now is the perfect time to ad Ortiz for the stretch run.

Buy David Ortiz autographed memorabilia on eBay!

Friday, July 11, 2008

National Fantasy Sports Championships – Win $1,000,000

Earlier this year the F+W Publications, founders of the NFBC (National Fantasy Baseball Championship) and NFFC (National Fantasy Football Championship) announced a partnership with NBC Sports. I thought all along that NBC Sports can do a lot to promote these events and make them even more popular with more money. This week they upped the ante by announcing a $1,000,000 bonus prize as part of the NFFC which drafts on August 30th. Click here to read more from the NFFC and find out how to cash in.

Can't wait to see what they have for fantasy baseball next year!

Buy your 2008 Fantasy Football Guide on eBay!

T206 Baseball Cards with American Beauty Backs – Auction Results 7/11/08

This recent batch of T206s with American Beauty backs features an exceptional Tom Downey PSA 7! Downey's T206 fetched $676 on eBay earlier this week.

1909 T206 American Beauty Art Fletcher Giants PSA 3.5 6/27/08 $134
1909 T206 American Beauty Cy Seymour NY Giants PSA 5 7/8/08 $193
1909 T206 American Beauty Ed Willetts Tigers PSA 6 7/8/08 $256
1909 T206 American Beauty Tom Downey Reds PSA 7 7/8/08 $676

Buy T206 Baseball Cards with American Beauty Backs on eBay!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Worst of the 1st 100 Posts About Baseball Nonsense by Bloop Single

Like most people in most endeavors we have good days and bad days. Sometimes I rush to the laptop just to get a post out, sometimes I have a really good idea and it tanks. Here are the 5 (some would argue about 90 short) worst baseball related posts out of Bloop Single’s 1st 100.

1) Q&A on Bond's home run ball
I got this off of Yahoo! Answers and just repurposed it, Lay-Z! It’s about Bonds and I didn’t even take the time to use all caps in the title. I think that qualifies as 3 strikes.

2) Topps Sterling 2007 – Ultra Premium Baseball Cards
This is a really cool set but after researching it for a half hour I realized I was a little out of my league due to the complexity of this set of baseball cards. I threw up what I had and moved on – it shows.

3) Daisuke Matsuzaka Allen and Ginter Rookie Card from Topps
This is one of Bloop Single’s first posts, I was just scrounging for stuff to write about. Love the Allen and Ginter set but I clearly didn’t have “my voice” yet (still might not).

4) Carl Crawford Autographed Fleer Patchworks Cards – I Want Them!
I kind of dogged this one even though I’m really passionate about these autographed baseball cards of Crawford. Carl Crawford deserves better representation than this in the blogosphere.

5) Braves Rookie Pitcher Charlie Morton has Plenty of Fantasy Baseball Upside
With all due respect to Charlie Morton, he stinks. His minor league numbers were awesome this year and I was hoping for lightning in a bottle. Now that I’ve dumped him in both of my fantasy baseball leagues he’s a lock to turn it around.

Check out the Best of Bloop Single’s 1st 100

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Best of the 1st 100 Posts About Baseball Nonsense by Bloop Single

Here’s a list of my top 5 favorite baseball related posts out of Bloop Single’s first 100. Some of these have sentimental value, some took a lot of effort and some just get a ton of traffic.

1) Head to Head v Roto Fantasy Baseball
Short, sweat, I love the point if I do say so myself, even though I’m not a Giants fan it was a nice tie in to their Super Bowl upset – nice piece of blogging

2) Fantasy Baseball Tune Up – First NFBC Style Mock Draft
This is a lot of fantasy baseball analysis and on January 12th no less – yes more than 2 months before the NFBC draft. You won’t find earlier fantasy baseball coverage anywhere from someone outside of the industry.

3) Ryan Braun Autographed Baseball
I'm borderline stalker when it comes to Ryan Braun, won my fantasy baseball league last year, hit 2 HRs when I saw him in DC, signed my baseball - great guy.

4) Custom Fantasy Baseball Auction Dollar Values from
This post didn’t say much but it’s a great fantasy baseball resource and has gotten by far the most page views of any post on the blog

5) Johnny Cueto – Fantasy Baseball Minor League Sleepers, Part 1 of 5
the second most page views and all though he’s struggled at times I think Cueto will rule if Dusty Baker doesn’t burn out his arm

Check out the Worst of Bloop Single’s 1st 100

Get autographed 2008 baseball cards now on eBay!

Bloop Single Celebrates 100th Post About “Baseball Card and Fantasy Baseball Nonsense”

In self-congratulatory fashion I’ve decided to celebrate Bloop Single’s 100th post about baseball nonsense with a series of special posts. I know 100 isn’t the biggest number on earth but given the way blogs come and go this likely puts Bloop Single in the upper 1%.

Part of my original goal was part emarketing experiment which includes studying how people network and build relationships through social media. In that vein I’ve decided to highlight and thank 4 people that I’ve connected with through social media. I’m not sure if any of us have much in common other than the passion we share for baseball.

The Stat Head
John Burnson of the weekly fantasy baseball magazine Heather and Graphical Player. I’m a big believer in the publications that John and team are growing and blog about their fantasy baseball insights regularly. Read for yourself at

The Collector
Chris The Extreme Baseball Collector is a rising star in his young career as he approaches his 200th baseball. He reminds me of a version of me, circa 1980s. Be sure to checkout his blog at

The Gambler
Out of the blue Kev Hute started sending me baseball related emails, by the 4th or 5th one I started reading them, a few more later and I started syndicating them on my blog. If you want baseball insights for short term investments be sure to checkout Odds Unraveled,

The Treasure Hunter
Ed reached out to me for assistance with his quest, to recreate a set of T206 baseball cards collected by Howe McCormick in Gainesville nearly 100 years ago. Be sure to look for Howe McCormick’s stamp on the back of your T206s and let us know if you have any. Check out Ed’s quest for T206 baseball cards at Bloop Single.

Check back as the 100th Bloop Single post celebration rolls on with “Best of the 1st 100” and “Worst of the 1st 100”.

100th Plug – Buy vintage baseball cards on eBay!

Heater Fantasy Baseball Magazine Say Sabathia Boost Brewers Playoff Chances by 50%

Heater Fantasy Baseball Magazine broke down the trade between the Indians and Brewers of C.C. Sabathia for 3 prospects including the elite Matt LaPorta. They turned to two different sources for their analysis. Baseball Prospectus says Sabathia’s incremental wins bump the Brewers from a 50% chance of making the playoffs to a 75% chance for this year an increase of 50%. However after consulting PECOTA projects you shouldn’t declare the Brewers to be the big winner. With some extra math Heater determined that the Indian’s acquisitions will add .4 playoff appearances over the next several years. Bottom line, this looks like a win/win with one team playing for now and one team planning for the future.

Get autographed C.C. Sabathia memorabilia on eBay!

Order Graphical Player 2009 on Amazon, from the writers of Heater Fantasy Baseball Magazine

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cubs v Reds – Baseball Breakdown by Kev Hute

Cubs Transition into Tuesday-Thursday

The day after an inspiring 9th inning comeback, St. Louis Cardinals fans were eager for the rubber match of the weekend series on Sunday afternoon. By the time the 8th inning was over, you could hear a pin drop in Busch Stadium as the Cubs took a 5-1 lead on Geovany Soto’s home run, and stretched Russ Springer's 8th inning into 30-plus pitches.

After Sunday afternoon’s 7-1 victory, Cubs manager Lou Piniella was asked about the blown save by Kerry Wood during Saturday’s thriller, and how it affected the team in game 3. "Those things happen," he said. "They happen a few times a year and the problem is you don't like 'em when they happen. We bounced back, and now we can enjoy our day off a little more."

They were about to enjoy their off day until Monday morning when the Cubs personnel turned on their TVs. They realized their shot at a World Series title became a little tougher over night. The division rival Milwaukee Brewers traded for Carston Charles Sabathia and are clearly taking a “win now” approach. Sabathia and Sheets were catching up on old times as they sat together at the top of the dugout, laughing and chatting through much of the game against the Rockies. That is of course after Carston Charles found some pants that fit from Prince Fielder. I wonder if management had it planned like that. Either way it’s a done deal and the N.L. is no steal because of it.

The nervous buzz that started to loom around the north side prompted the Cubs to immediately inquire about Rich Harden. Why would the A’s want to part with Harden right now? They have been waiting for this overflow of production out of Harden since 2006. They always knew he had the potential, but he could just never stay healthy much like Ben Sheets.

The Cubs are 31-10 in the friendly confines this season, and will look to begin another home winning streak before the all star break when they invite the Reds in on Tuesday night. The Cubs are 3-3 against the Reds this year, and were 8-6 against them last year.

Chicago should win, if not sweep, this series because they thrive on playing at home and are mentally tough enough to use the Sabathia trade as motivation. Lou Piniella makes this happen. Tuesday Ryan Dempster makes his 11th start at home, and the Cubs are 10-0 in his previous starts at home this season. This is coming from the guy who predicted a championship. That’s called backing it up. Though he has backed it up so far, really all that matters is the finish.

Cincinnati has scored 5.85 runs/9 in their last 10 against RHP.Harang has faced the Cubs twice this year and has surrendered an average of 4 ER in his last three starts against them (all losses.) He is 8-5 with a 4.57 in career match-ups, and is 1-6 on the road this year with a 5.20 ERA. Dempster and Harang both have an uncharacteristic era of over 6.00 in their last 3 starts.

By: Kevin Hute

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Masahide Kobayashi Set to Close the for the Rest of the Fantasy Baseball Season

Masahide Kobayashi (pictured Topps Chrome 2008 autographed rookie baseball card) was a stud closer in Japan for the better part of a decade and with Joe Borowski’s career winding down he was a nice fantasy baseball sleeper headed into 2008. Kobayashi has pitched well out of the bullpen establishing a 3.29 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 41 innings. The only knock is a low K rate of only 5.7 per Ks per 9.

Recently Borowski was relieved of his closer duties (pun intended) and Masahide Kobayashi should get most, if not all of the save opportunities. I think Japanese leagues play at a level equivalent of AAA which is healthy competition. With Kobayashi’s track record in Japan and newly found opportunity I think he’ll be a solid closer for the duration and stretch run of the fantasy baseball season.

Get Masahide Kobayashi rookie baseball cards on eBay!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Billy Butler – Pure Hitter Will Help in Fantasy Baseball Right Now

Billy Butler (picture 2006 Bowman rookie baseball card) DH for the Kansas City Royals recently got recalled from triple A after being sent down earlier in the year. Butler is a big time hitting prospect who hit .291 as 21 year old rookie and belted 8 HRs in little more than a half season of plate appearance. After a slow start and subsequent demotion this year some of the luster has worn off of this elite prospect.

Now is a nice buy low opportunity. Butler is a pure hitter and entered this season as a starter for the Royals at age 21. Basically he’s still an elite hitter but has clearly been rushed. Butler appears to have straightened himself out and should continue to improve. Right now I think he could hit better than .300 the rest of the way with something like a dozen home runs. Long term I think Billy Butler will mature into a perennial .320+ 30 HR fantasy baseball stud.

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Use the White Glove Treatment When Handling Vintage Baseball Cards

While I continued my research for Safe at Home, my wiki dedicated to the display and preservation of baseball cards, I came across some handling tips. One stated that when handling paper based artifacts, including vintage baseball cards, to wear white cotton gloves. They help to reduce the oils and dirt from your hand getting on the cards which can have damaging effects. I also found an article that said white cotton gloves can impede your dexterity so be very careful when handling your vintage memorabilia. I wouldn’t be afraid to through out your gloves after they get a little worn – they’re cheap enough to replace. When washing use light detergent and let air dry – never use bleach or fabric softeners.

Buy White Gloves on eBay to protect your baseball cards when handling!

Troy Percival – Buy this Closer Now for Fantasy Baseball Stretch Run

Troy Percival (pictured Topps 2008 Gold Parallel baseball card) is one of the feel good stories of the baseball season. After being forced from baseball, presumably for good, in 2005, Troy Percival came back last season to pitch great as a setup reliever for the Cardinals. This year Percival was picked up by the Tampa Bay Rays and assumed a full time closer role for the first time since 2004.

On the season Troy Percival has 19 save a 3.54 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP. He also boasts a K rate of better than 9 per 9 with 30 strikeouts in 28 innings. Everything was in place for a Percival’s comeback including the Rays maintaining first place in the AL East ahead of the Red Sox and Yankees before hamstring injuries started to derail his season.

His hamstring was first tweaked several weeks ago and he was pulled from a game last week when it flared up again. I actually think this is good news for fantasy baseball teams in head to head leagues. I would assume that the greater the workload the greater the chance that Troy Percival’s bum shoulders starts to act up – it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see him breaking down late in the season. However, the hamstring injury is limiting his workload greatly in the first half and he has proved that he can dominate as a closer once again. Percival was probably picked up cheap at the beginning of the year in your fantasy baseball league and his owner might feel like he got his nickel’s worth and be ready to unload him due to the injuries. I say buy, Troy Percival could be poised for a solid stretch run in August and September.

Buy Troy Percival baseball cards and autographed memorabilia on eBay!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Nick Blackburn Rising Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher to Consider

Nick Blackburn (pictured 2008 Topps Chrome rookie baseball card) starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins was a deep, but legitimate, sleeper headed into the 2008 fantasy baseball season. Blackburn is a command and control guy who doesn’t strikeout a lot of batters so I had him at the very end of my sleeper list for fantasy baseball pitchers. When an opening in the rotation opened up with Liriano being sent down, we picked him up in the NFBC for $1.

In 110 innings in AAA in 2007 Nick Blackburn posted a stellar 2.12 ERA and .98 WHIP – any WHIP below 1.00 over any reasonable amount of innings (say 30+) is worth a double take. Blackburn only struck out 57 which raised serious concerns in my book as to how well his minor league numbers would translate to the bigs. So far he’s been a nice pitcher in deeper formats and AL only leagues posting a 3.78 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 104 innings. He only has 58 Ks but could push 15 wins over the course of the season. He rarely walks a batter and could still improve greatly if he can bump his K rate. I like Nick Blackburn in deeper formats now and think he could be a solid fantasy baseball starter for years to come.

Get Nick Blackburn baseball cards on eBay!

Topps Sterling 2007 – Ultra Premium Baseball Cards

I came across Topps Sterling cards last year and was blown away at these ultra premium baseball cards. Some cards are finished in white suede and even cherry wood. Even the solid cherry boxes feature individual players and are collectable in their own right.

Rickey Henderson, Ted Williams, Josh Gibson and Cal Ripken Jr. are just some of the hall of fame players represented in the set. Pictured is a white suede parallel of Ted Williams number to 50. Topps Sterling 2007 cards are also loaded with autographs and game used memorabilia.

Boxes of 10 go for as much as $300 each so save your pennies for these ultra rare cards. Due to all of the parallels the Topps 2007 Sterling baseball cards make for an exceedingly complex set. If you have a favorite player you might want to hit eBay and buy a single but I think it would also be a blast to buy a box of these cards to see what treasures you can find.

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T206 Baseball Card Collection – McCormick, Gainesville Stamp Wanted!

I received the following email request yesterday from an avid T206 collector. He’s searching for ALL T206 baseball cards with a Howe McCormick stamp on the back of each. His quest is to reunite this long separated collection of vintage T206 baseball cards. The stamp is pictured left. Please email me at bloopsingle @ if you come across any and I’ll put you in contact with Ed. Here's his plea:

I just ran across your blog while doing a Google search of t206s. I've collected t206s for the past 20 years, and last summer, sold nearly 200 of them to concentrate only on the cards that had a rubber stamping on the back from Howe McCormick, 500 W. Main St., Gainesville, Fla. I had two in my collection at that time, and have been able to locate approx. 72 others since then, although not all have been for sale. Apparently, he was about 14 when the cards came out, and had quite a collection. Went on to fight in WWI, got married, and died, all in Gainesville. I'm just trying to locate, and when I can, buy all the card he may have had as a kid, sort of re-assembling his collection almost 100 years later. All the cards I've located so far have been either Piedmont, Old Mill or Hindu. If you have any in your collection, I would be interested in hearing from you, and most interested if you would be willing to sell.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Akinori Iwamura Declared “Useful” by Heater Fantasy Baseball Magazine

I think that’s a great label for Akinori Iwamura (pictured left in this 2007 Upper Deck Masterpiece baseball card) from a fantasy baseball perspective. Going into the season I thought he’d be a nice fantasy baseball second baseman, despite the fact that he was light as a third baseman last year. My analysis had Iwamura pegged at 285-300 batting average with a dozen or so home runs and steals. He was slated to lead off for the Rays so 100+ runs seemed like a lock. Not the kind of numbers you could ride to a championship but a solid producer at a thin position that was readily available in the end game of virtually every fantasy baseball draft. We picked him up in round 16 of the NFBC and I grabbed him for $1 in my beer league.

Iwamura had a brutal April but Heather Magazine points out that since May 1st he’s hitting .307 with 32 runs. He’s only on pace for 9 runs and 9 steals but I still think he’ll crack a dozen in both categories and could push 15 for the first place Tampa Bay Rays. I say buy low if your fantasy baseball team needs help at 2nd base.

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Museum Glass Test for Baseball Card Display Case Update – 27 Hours

The field test of Tru Vue’s Museum Glass is now 27 hours deep and I can visually see significant discoloration of the yellow ink on the comic book. The reds and blues are also starting to fade including the baseball card but they aren’t as obvious as the yellow. In the picture the left is unprotected and the right side is covered with Tru Vue’s glare and UV reducing Museum Glass.

I’ve been doing research for my new wiki, Safe at Home, that will hopefully cover a lot of ground as far as the safest ways to protect and display baseball cards. I’m up to my ears in information and data on UV rays, luxes, lums, yada, yada, yada and their impact on the discoloration and fading of ink and paper. I should be able to tie back in some rough data from that research into this field test. I hope to be able to say that over the x number of hours of exposure, the comic book and baseball card in the test were exposed to y number of luxes, which is equivalent to z number of hours of indirect sunlight in a home display.

Launch of the Museum Glass Field Test

First Update of the Museum Glass Field Test – Paper Discoloration

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

John Danks, Must Start Fantasy Baseball Pitcher on the Rise

John Danks (left in this 2007 Upper Deck rookie baseball card) was a highly touted prospect coming up through the Texas Rangers system as part of the heralded DVD trio comprised of Danks, Volquez, Diamond. While Edinson Volquez is putting together a Cy Young campaign in the National League, Danks is coming into his own as part of the White Sox rotation.

After a lackluster 2007 rookie campaign with a mid-5 ERA and 1.5+ WHIP, Danks has started to deliver on his potential. I own John Danks in both of my fantasy baseball leagues and drafted him in the 28th round of the NFBC this year. While Danks’ won/loss record is nothing to stare at he’s on pace for 200 innings and 150+ Ks but the best part is his 2.50 ERA and 1.18 WHIP through 17 starts. Add in the fact that he’s allow 1 run or fewer in 4 straight starts and 2 or fewer in 8 of his 11 starts this season and he becomes a must start in all fantasy baseball formats. That consistency from a pitcher is solid gold.

Buy a John Danks rookie baseball card on eBay!

2008 Toronto Blue Jays Year Book from The Extreme Baseball Collector

My buddy Chris, aka The Extreme Baseball Collector, sent me a cool 2008 Toronto Blue Jays Year Book, Fan Guide and 2008 All-Star Ballots. Very thoughtful of this fanatic baseball collector. Check out The Extreme Baseball Collector’s blog for an update on his count of 156 baseballs.

I just heard on Fox Sports Radio that Tampa Bay being in first place of the American League East is the first time that the Yankees or Red Sox have not been in first on July 4th since the Toronto Blue Jays back in 2000. The Blue Jays have a nice group of starting pitchers so hopefully they can get on the right track again one of these

Click here to buy a Toronto Blue Jays jersey on eBay!

Silica Gel Packs for Baseball Card Storage

I’ve been doing a lot of research for the Wiki that I’m working on, Safe at Home, about baseball card display and storage. I came across Art Preservation Services which is a consulting firm that specializes in museum displays. They have some silica gel products so I continued to do some research to find something for baseball cards. They help to regulate the humidity in storage and display areas by absorbing moisture and in dry conditions releasing some. This helps to reduce mold and mildew.

I found a ton of options on eBay and settled on the one shown in the picture. It’s 4”x2”x1/2” so it will fit in storage boxes although I’m not sure there will be room in the baseball card display case when I’m done with that. I purchased two of these for the airtight storage boxes where I keep my baseball card collection.

Get silica gel packs on eBay to help protect your baseball card collection!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008, Great Baseball Costumes for Halloween

I came across through PayPerPost and they’re already promoting their costumes for Halloween. It looks like a really convenient service if you need something for Halloween or a costume party. The selection is huge and they offer same day shipping.

I found a number of baseball related costumes – click on the links below to check them out.

Old Tyme Baseball Player – think real life T206 baseball card
Baseball Fantasy – different “style” of fantasy baseball
Game Face Baseball – not sure if it’s cute or should be in the next Scream movie
Homerun Hitter Dress – pictured, no steroids here
Star Player – I count at least 5 tools
Home Run Bunting - Here’s a link to the rest of their kids costumes.

Be sure to visit their website to check out’s entire selection of Halloween costumes.

word of mouth ethics


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Texas Ranger’s Chris Davis Offers Massive Power Potential in Fantasy Baseball Leagues

Chris Davis (left in 2007 Bowman Chrome baseball card) offers massive power potential as we start the second half lf the fantasy baseball season. After crushing 27 home runs in two minor league levels the elite prospect finally got called up last week. He promptly hit 2 home runs in his first 8 major league at bats.

Between A and AA last year he hit 36 HRs in less than 500 at bats. Davis continued the torrent pace this year in the minors and has always maintained near or above a 300 batting average.

When I look to pick up players for my fantasy baseball team I look for real difference making potential. I recommend picking up Chris Davis in all fantasy baseball formats. With the possible exception of Jay Bruce I think Chris Davis has the best shot of 20 home runs in the second half. Those are lofty Ryan Braun type numbers and I’m not about to warranty Davis’ performance but if anyone on your league’s waiver wire is going to do it I think he has the best shot.

Find Chris Davis rookie baseball cards on eBay!

Kev Hute on Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres Three Game Baseball Set

Rockies vs. Padres Preview

Five of the last six meetings between the Rockies and Padres this year have played UNDER, and the UNDER is 7-3 in SD L 10. The pitching match-up, however, screams OVER with Greg Maddux and Jorge De La Rosa pitching at Coors Field on Monday night.

Colorado (-128, -1.5 at +160) has lost their last 7 games, and it’s safe to assume both they and the Padres are happy to finish up interleague play. The Padres are even in a worse slump having lost 9 of their last 10 games. The difference is San Diego’s recent skid came at home. Now they will head out of town for a week, come home for a week and then gear up for a stretch in July which holds no mercy.

After July 13th they won’t play again at Petco Park until July 28th. I’m talking about11 straight road games to kick off the second portion of the season. Players may already be down about having to leave their families until October. This will provide us with an interesting opportunity coming up as the attitude may be a bit negative San Diego.

The Rockies, on the flip side, are coming home and Troy Tulowitski recently hit his first home run since coming off the DL. Getting that first one out of the way has to feel good for all you Tulowitski aficionados. The fact that De La Rosa has pitched well in his last 3 (2-1, 2.87, 0.96) has to be a good sign for the Rockies as well.

By: Kevn Hute

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