Card of the Day: Mike Schmidt 1988 Chef Boyardee 1st Annual Collector’s Edition #14

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Williamsport Crosscutters 9th Annual Hot Stove Banquet

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Its been almost a decade since the Williamsport Crosscutters held their first Hot Stove Banquet.  On the night of January 19th, baseball fans were invited to sit back, relax, eat some good food, and here stories from the celebrity guests.  This year the guest list included Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg, Denny McLain, Crosscutters Manager and 1992 World Series MVP Pat Borders, and Pat Gillick.  Other members of the Phillies organization were also there in attendance.  Phillies pitcher Ken Giles was suppose to be there, but due to a scheduling conflict he couldn’t make it.

For a ticket price of $49.00, I believe you get one heck of a deal.  That includes a full chicken dinner, salad, and cake.  Plus at the conclusion of the event you can get autographs from the guests, given you get in line fast enough.  Some guests stick around longer than others.  Its best to prioritize which autographs you want first, second, and third so you can get in that particular line early.  You never quite know when they’ll cut the line off.  I was able to snag Ryne Sandberg on my bat.

The Chinese auction had a lot of signed baseballs, bobbleheads, and pins.  I threw some tickets into three different bags for bobbleheads, but didn’t win any this time.  They were also giving away a Dellin Betances game-worn Yankees jersey that came with a COA from Steiner.

Right before the autograph session began, they made an announcement that the Phillies had a special gift for everyone as they left.  All attendees were to receive a FREE Chase Utley bobblehead on the way out.  This was an added bonus that I didn’t see coming.  I collect bobbleheads and never had one of Chase Utley before.  This specific Utley bobblehead was a stadium giveaway the Phillies gave out last season.  They must have made some extra.

Overall, it was one of the best Hot Stove Banquets they ever had.  Denny McLain’s story about how he and Tug McGraw went over to Vietnam was very funny.  The bobblehead at the end really put it over the top for me.  Try getting a full meal, autographs, and a bobblehead for $49.00 some place else.  You won’t find it.  I forgot to mention that each seat had a Taney Baseball t-shirt too.

Next year is their 10th anniversary.  I would like to see some 10th anniversary commemorative pins made up to giveaway.  One at each place setting.  Great job everyone!!!

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(Left) Pat Gillick – former Phillies General Manager & 2011 Baseball HOF inductee (Right) Gabe Sinicropi – Crosscutters VP, Marketing & Public Relations

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Pat Borders – current Crosscutters Manager & 1992 World Series MVP

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Ryne Sandberg signature on my bat

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Utley bobblehead

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Taney Baseball t-shirt

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Phillie Phanatic!

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Boomer!

The 35th Annual Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show

The Ephrata Lions Club held their 35th Annual Sports Card Show on Saturday, March 29 at the Ephrata Recreation Center.  This is always one of my favorite shows to attend.  It usually has around 40+ dealers all packing Phillies stuff.  It may not be the biggest show in the world, although when I started attending 17 years ago it was for me, but for Phillies fans it has a lot.

This was actually the first card show I’ve been to since the Lions Club held their show last year.  Card shows around my area don’t pop-up like they use to.  The Ephrata Lions Club always has someone signing autographs for about two hours.  Its usually a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame or an older Phillie.  The Lions Club website originally had Brad Lidge scheduled to appear, but for some reason I guess he couldn’t make it.  He was quickly replaced with 1992 HOF inductee Rollie Fingers.

If you want a low ticket number for the autograph signing, you’ve got to get there right when they open or perhaps a little before.  I arrived about 30 minutes before they opened the doors to the public obtaining autograph ticket #22.  It cost $5.00 to get into the show and $20.00 for an autograph.  That’s not bad!  Especially when the inscriptions and photos are free.  If this were the National, you couldn’t pull that off.

Not only do you want to arrive early for a low ticket number, but it gives you the chance to look around.  I recently sold two bobbleheads from my collection on Sports Card Album and was looking to fill those empty spots.  I happily came across two that struck my fancy.  My goal was to find a Larry Andersen/Scott Franzke dual radio announcer bobblehead, but I didn’t see one.  Its funny.  This year I found five Harry Kalas/Richie Ashburn dual bobbleheads for sale that were a stadium giveaway in 2002.  One year I couldn’t find any and this time I found five.

Speaking of Harry Kalas, I’m always on the lookout for the few cards he has.  One of the new dealers I came across had one under glass that I needed for my collection.  Harry Kalas cards rarely show up for sale online, and finding one I don’t have at a one day card show is a long shot.  I now have all the 2004 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures cards of HK.

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1981 AL Cy Young Award Winner Rollie Fingers

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Harry Kalas 2004 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Black Ink #’ed/100

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Arnold Palmer 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates SGA bobblehead

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Crazy Hot Dog Vendor/Ryan Howard 2012 Reading Phillies SGA bobblehead

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Show was quite busy!

Crosscutters Host 8th Annual Hot Stove Banquet

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The Crosscutters held their 8th annual Hot Stove Banquet at the Genetti Hotel last evening.  It was a night filled with old friends, new friends, great food, stories, giveaways, and autographs.  Some of the guests included Philadelphia Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg, Phillies third baseman Cody Asche, and Phillies broadcaster Greg Murphy.  Returning for a second year in a row was Montoursville native and former major league third baseman Tom O’Malley.

Whoever made the decision to hold the Chinese Auction out in the lobby is a genius.  This allowed for more tables in the ballroom and a lot more room to eat at your seat.  In the past things have been a bit cramped.  The only drawback to the evening was that everyone wasn’t able to get autographs from all the guests.  After obtaining signatures from Cody Asche and Greg Murphy, I went to get in line to see Ryne Sandberg.  Unfortunately they cut the line off for Sandberg right in front of me.  That’s alright.  I had never attempted to get three autographs during this sold out event before.  On a positive note though, when I returned to the table I discovered I had won a prize pack from the Chinese Auction.

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Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg

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Phillies 3B Cody Asche

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Phillies broadcaster Greg Murphy

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The prize pack I won was donated by the State College Spikes.  It included a T-shirt, signed baseball, signed program, and a Stan Belinda mini bobblehead the Spikes gave away last year.

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Sports Card Info’s 2013 Annual Report Is In

Those dung flinging monkeys over at WordPress.com put together a nice annual report based on Sports Card Info’s activity for 2013.  I rarely look at the blog’s stats, but enjoy browsing through the annual report.  Plus I like sharing it with the public since you people are the ones that shape it.

It wasn’t a shock to me that the George Washington 2008 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Hair Cut Signatures card that I used for the Card of the Day post on 1/30/13 got the most visits.  That card showed up on an episode of Pawn Stars and whenever it aired Sports Card Info’s stats shot up.

Follow the link below to see the full report.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year.  Sports Card Info was viewed about 140,000 times in 2013.  If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The 2nd Annual LeSean McCoy Celebrity Softball Game

Over the weekend I attended the 2nd annual LeSean McCoy Celebrity Softball Game at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster.  This charity game was a fundraiser for McCoy’s foundation that supports people with ALS.  The gates opened at 5:00 p.m., there was a home run derby at 6:00 p.m., and then a seven inning softball game at 7:00 p.m.  Some of the celebrities included LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek, Jason Avant, B.J. Cunningham, Jamar Chaney, Torrey Smith, Dion Lewis, Devon Still, Josh Evens, and Kevin Ogletree.  Even Drew Rosenhaus, the owner of the Miami-based sports agency Rosenhaus Sports came to play.  The following players were schedule to participate, but didn’t show up: Ray Rice, Darrelle Revis, Plaxico Burress, Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, Mike Wallace, Marques Colston, Jared Odrick, DeSean Jackson, and Michael Vick.

It came down to LeSean McCoy and Torrey Smith in the home run derby, but McCoy walked away with the trophy.  The softball game was filled with a ton of fun errors, and I believe the two teams had over 60 combined hits.  In the end I’m sure a lot of money was raised for a good cause, but leave it up to Eagles fans to break into a fight during a charity softball game.

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Eagles running back LeSean McCoy

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Renowned sports agent Drew Rosenhaus (left) Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (right)

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Rosenhaus looks to be working on his next deal.  He’s probably checking to see is DeSean Jackson has paid his bill yet 🙂 Maybe that’s why Jackson wasn’t there.

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Torrey Smith has a few laughs with fans

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Smith signing some autographs

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Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin gets his turn at the plate

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McCoy swings!

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Pop-up!

Williamsport Crosscutters 7th Annual Hot Stove Banquet & Auction

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Last night I attended the 7th annual Williamsport Crosscutters Hot Stove Banquet & Auction.  For the past seven years, the Crosscutters have been bringing in all types of colorful guests to entertain fans while at the same time raising money for a good cause.  This year the guest lineup included Denny McLain, Tom O’Malley, Justin De Fratus, and other members of the baseball community.  Good food, great stories, cool memorabilia, all in the middle of a snow storm.

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View from my seat.  The Genetti Hotel Ballroom was packed.

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Denny McLain is the last pitcher to win 30 games in a single season.  In 1968, he went 31-6.  I highly doubt this will ever happen again.  Listening to his stories about Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams were very fun.  McLain even mentioned that he is in talks to do a potential reality T.V. show.  Given his interesting history, it would probably make for some fun T.V.  Perhaps he and Pete Rose could do a crossover episode.

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Phillies relief pitcher Justin De Fratus (on left)