Orioles vs. Reds – 6/25/11

Last night the Orioles and Reds put on a show.  A combined 9 home runs were hit, the second most in Camden Yards history.  The Orioles lost 10-5.  I have never seen such a display of power between two teams before.  It was fun to see Scott Rolen again in-person.  I met Rolen many years ago at the first card show I attended.  At the time, he was just a prospect making his way up to the Phillies.  In the 7th, he belted a two-run homer.

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Scott Rolen and Matt Wieters

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The first 20,000 fans received a Buck Showalter bobblehead

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That is a lot of bobbleheads

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Back From Baltimore!

Yesterday I took a trip down to Baltimore to scope things out for this year’s National.  While I was there I visited the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards and the Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum too.

The Baltimore Convention Center takes up three city blocks and looks really nice.  I think there was a pet industry trade show going on yesterday because they had banners all over the place.  But overall I think it will be a nice place to have The National in August.  I didn’t have trouble at all finding a parking space.  In August we plan to park the car at the hotel and walk to the Convention Center each day.  I’m staying at the Hampton Inn at Camden Yards, which is right across from the stadium.

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The Sports Legends Museum sits right next to Camden Yards.  It was once an old train station and was the site of an assassination plot against Abraham Lincoln.  Inside you can sit on the exact bench Lincoln sat on while he was on his way to Washington D.C.  There are three floors of historical artifacts that were really great to learn about.  After the museum, I made my way over to Babe Ruth’s birthplace.  Check out some of the photos.  Click on each to enlarge.

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1895 Baltimore Championship Banner

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1983 World Series Trophy

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Babe Ruth has been traded!  On the bottom right-hand side is the transfer order.

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Championship pins and buttons – extremely old

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1895 Wilbert Robinson Mayo’s Cut Plug #33

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The biggest ’87 Donruss card I’ve ever seen!

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Kimono presented to Babe Ruth while over in Japan and a Jimmie Foxx All-American jersey.

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Frank “Home Run” Baker Yankees sweater

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Samari helmet presented to the Orioles while playing in Japan

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Colts General Manager Don Kellet made his famous $0.85 phone call and was able to obtain Johnny Unitas from the Steelers using this phone.  For $0.85 he got two Championships.

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Unitas’s many awards

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Johnny Unitas’s uniform

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Babe Ruth statue outside of Camden Yards

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Cal Ripken, Jr’s retired number

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Outside the Sports Legends Museum you’ll find these baseballs painted on the sidewalk.  If you follow them you should end up at Ruth’s birthplace.

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Look!  I made it!  The birthplace of the greatest baseball player of all time – Babe Ruth.  Unfortunately, I was unable to go inside because its not wheelchair accessible.  Being a historic building, I guess it doesn’t have to be.  I wonder how Ruth would feel about that?  The sign out front said “See Ruth’s Rookie Card”.

31st NSCC Tickets Now Available!

Tickets for the 31st National Sports Collectors Convention are now available online.  This year’s National will take place on Aug. 4-8 at the Baltimore Convention Center.  Just like past National’s, collectors can purchase VIP and Super VIP packages packed with a bunch of exclusive stuff made for the show.  Be on the lookout for what promos and redemption programs manufacturers plan on having at this year’s National!

I usually purchase the regular VIP package which comes with a bunch of promos and autograph tickets.  I also purchase a few additional autograph tickets depending on who is signing the days I plan on attending.  This year I plan on being there Wed. thru Sat.  I know a lot of collectors think some of the autographs can get expensive, but I really enjoy the experience of meeting the athletes and its something you can’t pull from a box of cards.

I had a really great time at last year’s convention.  With Schulte Sports doing the marketing for The National this year I’m interested to see how it goes!  Lets see what kind of insider access I can get this year 🙂  Bring on The National!!!!!

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Serial Number Scammers & More

Last night SCU reported about a Brady Quinn 2007 LCM Freshman Fabric rookie jersey/autograph that had been up for sale on eBay.  The problem with this card is that Donruss never made any autographs like this.  Scammers are now creating counterfeit sticker autographs.  One of SCU readers suggested a way that someone might go about removing a crappy autograph from a sticker to replace it with a forged one of a better player, and then over at VOTC they created a video giving it a try.  After watching that video it really makes you think twice about buying another sticker autograph online.  This just makes on-card autographs look even better.  Congrats to SCU and VOTC for doing such great detective work.

Digging a little deeper I found this auction run by the same person who sold the Quinn.  This Yogi Berra ’08 Sports Legends auto #’ed 1/1 doesn’t look to have the “shiny” border like the other autographs #’ed 1/1 from this product.  At first I thought it might be the scan, but then another red flag popped-up when I looked at the back.  The serial number is hand written with a marker, not stamped like the other 1/1 autographs.  The final nail in the coffin would be the fact that the person with the high bid on the Berra has their I.D. kept private just like the Quinn auction.  The only other hand-numbered 1/1 autograph from Sports Legends that I could find was this Jerry West.  At first glance it looks to be from a different seller, but you can see they recently changed their I.D. and are located in Baltimore, MD.  The Berra auto is located in Elkridge, MD which is not that far from Baltimore.  I’ll report the Berra to eBay and hope they take it down.

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This is what an authentic 2008 Sports Legends autograph #’ed 1/1 should look like.