Williamsport Crosscutters vs. Mahoning Valley Scrappers – Ed Ott Bobblehead Night

On the evening of Friday, June 17th I attended a Williamsport Crosscutters game. The Crosscutters took on the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and won 9-5. Historic Bowman Field is the same place they play the MLB Little League Classic. The Orioles and Red Sox are scheduled to play here in August.

No longer associated with the Phillies, the Crosscutters are a founding member of the MLB Draft League which was formed in 2021. The MLB Draft League is a summer collegiate baseball league that is for top draft-eligible prospects leading up to the MLB draft. Only six teams make up the league – Williamsport Crosscutters, State College Spikes, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Frederick Keys, Trenton Thunder, and the West Virginia Black Bears.

Former Pirates and Angels catcher Ed Ott was the guest of honor. He lives close by in Montgomery, PA. One of his career highlights was when he tripled on a misplayed ball in the outfield before scoring the winning run on a throwing error. In 1979 he won the World Series with the Pirates beating the Orioles. Card #594 in the 1976 Topps set is where you will find his rookie card.

Former Pirates and Angels catcher Ed Ott talking on the field before the game.
The first 1,000 fans attending the game received an Ed Ott bobblehead.

2021 Little League World Series Pin Pickups

Pins! Pins! Pins! Williamsport, PA is flooded with people from all over the country thanks to the Little League World Series. They, and many local businesses have lots of pins available to buy/trade.

So far for 2021 I’ve added (24) new pins to my collection. Stops made in Williamsport included Dunkin’ Donuts, Dairy Queen, Winner, Rise and Shine Nutrition, Genetti Hotel, Clothier, Lycoming County Visitors Bureau, Dolly’s Diner, Buffalo Wild Wings, Robert M. Sides, and Taco Bell. One of the major pin manufacturers, Infiniti Pins, is setup in a conference room at the local Holiday Inn. Tons going on in there. People making trades, and freebies.

Even though the official Little League Store & Museum is closed (despite the Little League World Series taking place) merchandise for this year’s games can be found at the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau, and online.

When it comes to Little League pins, I follow the Little League Pin Traders Club on Facebook. People are constantly showing off new pins they’ve found, and updating lists of places that have pins. Very good resource.

Honestly, I’m surprised we haven’t seen PSA, BGS, and SGC grading Little League pins yet. Vintage pins have been graded for years. It seems like an untapped market along with bobbleheads.

Although it wasn’t the plan at first, I began to purchase duplicate pins to flip. Except for a few, most Little League pins need to be obtained in person. Buying them directly from the source online isn’t really an option. If you’re a collector and not in the area, eBay and trading groups are you’re best places to go. The best pins to flip are newer ones which haven’t been listed for sale yet. Doing this while the Little League World Series is going on helps a lot too.

Photos: Ryan Zimmerman Life Size Bobblehead Night & Spencer Torkelson Might Be “The Fonz”

The Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals) took on the Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Tigers) on Saturday, August 7, 2021. The Senators lost 7-0.

Before the game began the Senators unveiled their newest addition to their Life Size Bobblehead Hall of Fame. Mr. National a.k.a. Ryan Zimmerman now has a life size bobblehead on display at FNB Field. The first 750 fans through the gate received a replica bobblehead.

While eating my dinner at the River City Grille I looked over the rosters for both teams. None of the names on the Senators roster rang any bells, but two names stuck out from the SeaWolves – Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson. Both are highly watched prospects. Riley Greene hit a lead off home run.

Spencer Torkelson doing his best impression of “The Fonz”.
Spencer Torkelson #7
Spencer Torkelson can fly!
Spencer Torkelson running towards 3rd base.

Harrisburg Senators vs. Portland Sea Dogs – 6/5/21

Bobblehead night in Harrisburg!!! On Saturday evening I attended my first minor league game since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. The Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals) took on the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox). The Senators won 3-0. (750) fans received a Trea Turner bobblehead. It was HOT! Grabbed myself a cheeseburger & fries, and a dish of Hershey’s chocolate ice cream. I also picked up a new pin, and a couple of t-shirts for my collection. Their bundle of two t-shirts for $25 is a great deal. I’ll be going back on August 7 when they unveil Ryan Zimmerman’s life-size bobblehead.

1st in line!

Rascal

Grrrounder

Trace McSorley Highlights 41st Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show

POSTPONED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS!

The Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show is known as one of the longest running one-day shows in the country.  Their 41st show will take place on Saturday, March 28, 2020 at the Ephrata Recreation Center in Ephrata, PA.  Its impressive that a show which started in the late 1970’s is still going strong.

Over (70) dealer tables will be setup.  Buy!  Sell!  Trade!  Lots of Phillies, Pirates, Orioles, Eagles, Steelers, and Ravens stuff!  I’ve been attending this show since 1997, and it certainly never disappoints.  A good mix of both modern and vintage cards.

Former Penn State and current Ravens quarterback Trace McSorley will sign autographs from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  You can read more about the show here.

See Sports Card Info’s coverage of their 2019 show.

Harrisburg Senators vs. Trenton Thunder – Star Wars Day

The Harrisburg Senators, Double-A of the Washington Nationals, is a regular stop for me when it comes to obtaining stadium giveaway bobbleheads.  My first bobblehead giveaway of the year took place on May 4, 2019 – Star Wars Day!  This has become a big deal all over the country for both major and minor league teams.  Combing Star Wars with baseball is a fantastic idea.

Juan “Solo” Soto bobbleheads were a huge draw.  This was the busiest Senators game I’d ever attended.  A limit of 1,500 bobbleheads were given out.  Arriving an hour before the gates opened was a good idea.  Moments after getting in line, the crowd ended up going down the steps and wrapping around the side of the stadium.  Unless they paid extra for a special ticket guaranteeing them a bobblehead, not everyone was able to get one.

Cheeseburger, fries, and Hershey’s chocolate ice-cream made for a good dinner.  Lots of Star Wars characters were in attendance.  All were encouraged to take pictures with the fans.

None of the names on the Senators starting lineup stood out to me.  But one did for the Trenton Thunder, Double-A of the New York Yankees – Clint Frazier.  Clint Frazier is one of the many injured players the Yankees have had this season.  He’s down there right now doing some rehab, and is expected to make it back to the Yankees shortly.

Harrisburg won 6-5.  The bobblehead turned out very well.  Juan Soto is in that famous Han Solo pose.  Instead of a blaster, he’s got a glove.  Even the box got a lot of attention.  It has graphics on each side.  Way better than the standard white cardboard.

My next bobblehead giveaway game is on July 20, 2019.  Back in Harrisburg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

How was your Star Wars Day?  I FINALLY got caught, and a couple of Stormtroopers sent me to the trash compactor.

The odds of me surviving this are 3,720 to 1.

Life-size bobbleheads received a new paint job.

Clint Frazier at bat.

Clint Frazier

Clint Frazier

Grand Opening – Sports Zone Toys & Comics

Sports Zone Toys & Comics is a card shop that’s been around for over ten years.  The shop recently moved into a new location – 359 Market St., Sunbury, PA.

I attended it’s grand opening this weekend.  Let me tell you something.  This is how every single brick-and-mortar store should look.  Its easy to get into, lots of space to move around, and very well organized.  Every collector should have this type of shop in their backyard.

Glass cases full of singles, sealed boxes, packs, OYO minifigures, bobbleheads, and new/used wrestling figures just cover some of the items you’ll find.  There are even some tables you can sit down at and rip open a box.  I highly suggest stopping in if you’re around the area.

To commemorate the grand opening, special OYO minifigures were made with the Sports Zone Toys & Comics name on them.  Along with the minifigure came a coupon.  These coupons ranged from $10 off of a $100 purchase, free bobblehead, free Fathead, etc…  Very cool!

I left with a new Nick Foles Super Bowl LII MVP bobblehead, and a Phillies TeenyMates Big Sip water bottle.  Next month I’ll be heading back as that’s when the Gritty bobbleheads are due out.

2018 Little League World Series Pin Pickups

All eyes are on Williamsport, PA for the next week as the Little League World Series takes place.  Baseball fans from all over the world have made their way to Williamsport.  Hotels are booked.  Restaurants are packed.  Parking lots are full.  And pins have become the next best thing to currency.  Pins are all over the place.  They’ve got commemorative pins made for everything.

While the Little League World Series is going on, I usually pick a day to go up and look around their campus.  There is always a lot happening.  I’m a big pin collector.  I’ve got lanyards full of them.  Over the last few years I’ve found it a bit more difficult to score free pins from the corporate sponsors.  This is mainly due to you having to register with an electronic bracelet, and use all types of cell phone apps.  Perhaps that stuff is all great for the kids, but for an older pin collector like myself I find it to be an inconvenience.  Luckily, I take a handful of my Sports Card Info pins with me and use them to barter with these sponsors in order to get around all of that.  In some cases it works, and others not.

Dunkin’ Donuts was my first stop.  Little League came next.  Following that was 4th Street downtown, Penn College, The Thomas T. Taber Museum, and then some more businesses on Williamsport’s Golden Strip.  Pins just popup everywhere.  I was able to get a lot more pins from the corporate sponsors setup at Little League than originally thought.  My Sports Card Info pins really helped out.

Pin collecting at Little League is like opening a pack of cards.  You don’t know what might happen.  A man walked over and randomly handed me a pin.  I didn’t catch his name, but I believe it was Troy Lare.  He had what looked like a Little League World Series ring on.  Judging by the pin, he is an umpire from Maine.  Very cool find, and not something you can just pickup anywhere.  I have very few umpire pins.

At the end of the day, I ended up with (24) new pins that filled up (3) lanyards.

The Phillies lost to the Mets 8-2 in this year’s MLB Little League Classic.  Next year’s MLB Little League Classic takes place on 8/18/19 between the Pirates and Cubs.

I’d really like to see Topps have a corporate booth at Little League.  It seems like a perfect fit.  Hopefully someday they can work something out.  Topps could have pins, special cards, make your own baseball card, and perhaps bring in a big league player to sign autographs.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Chick-fil-A

Spikes vs. Black Bears – Ki-Jana Carter Bobblehead Night & Autograph Signing

Last Sunday, the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention came to an end.  But I’m still going.  This show must go on!!!

On Friday night I attended my fourth and final minor league game of the summer.  The game took place in State College, PA between the Spikes and the West Virginia Black Bears.  The Spikes went on to lose 3-2.  A local Shikellamy High School graduate, Nick Dunn, was recently drafted by the Cardinals and plays for the Spikes right now.  I got to see him score.  I suspect he’ll get his first cards in Bowman Draft later this year.

There were two reasons why I wanted to attend this game.  The main objective was to be one of the first 1,000 fans through the gate so I could obtain my Ki-Jana Carter bobblehead.  The former Penn State running back and 1994 All-American was also in attendance.  Before the game started he was down on the field giving interviews, throwing out the first pitch, and handing out additional bobbleheads to fans.  Shortly after the game began, the Spikes had a table setup for him down the first base line.  Once he started signing, the line moved fairly quickly.  I got him to autograph my Rawlings black/gold Penn State football.  Everyone was allowed (1) autograph and (1) photo.  This was the first time I had ever participated in an autograph signing during a baseball game.  It went very smoothly.

Ki-Jana Carter was the Round #1 Pick #1 in the 1995 NFL Draft.  He went on to play for the Bengals, Redskins, Packers, and Saints.  For the price of a ticket, I got a bobblehead, autograph, and photo.  Not too bad.

Penn State running back and 1994 All-American Ki-Jana Carter

Nookie Monster!

State College Spikes second baseman Nick Dunn

Harrisburg Senators vs. Altoona Curve – 5/26/18 – Strasburg Life Size Bobblehead Unveiling

Twenty-one years ago I attended my first professional baseball game on City Island to watch the Harrisburg Senators take on the New Haven Ravens.  Its a game I’ll never forget because one of the Ravens players gave me a free bat while walking by my section.  I still have that bat hanging on my wall.  I have no clue as to who the player was, but I like to imagine it was Todd Helton.

This summer I’m set to attend one minor league game per month.  All bobblehead giveaways.  My first game this summer took me back to City Island where it all began.  The Harrisburg Senators (AA of the Nationals) were taking on the Altoona Curve (AA of the Pirates).  Two Washington Nationals players, Brian Goodwin and Daniel Murphy, were down with the Senators doing some rehab work.  On Saturday night the Senators inducted Stephen Strasburg into their Life Size Bobblehead Hall of Fame.  The first 1,500 fans through the gates received a replica bobblehead.  Altoona went on to beat the Senators 10-6.

For awhile, the ballpark food at FNB Field seemed fairly normal.  Last year however, I discovered the River City Grille which is located around the backside of the stadium.  Their burgers and fries are superb.  Its become a “must-have” now when I go.  The Hershey’s ice cream next door is good too.

The Harrisburg Senators will have a card featured in 2018 Topps Pro Debut.  It will be part of the Fragments of the Farm set featuring a piece of base from FNB Field.

New video screen above the main gates

Vladimir Guerrero, Cliff Floyd, Bryce Harper, Matt Stairs, Brandon Phillips, Stephen Strasburg

Will Craig of the Altoona Curve

Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy