“Pin-Up” of the Week: Alien vs. Predator Little League PA District Pin

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Its fascinating to see what characters will popup on Little League pins.  Especially when it comes to the individual districts.  They seem to be able to use anything they want.  I’ve seen them use some pretty violent characters like The Punisher, Deadpool, and the evil Mr. Peanut.

A few years ago a district from Pennsylvania made a batch of pins featuring the Predator strangling an Alien.  As crazy as these pins can get, they almost always have a baseball twist to them.  As you can see, the Alien has a baseball on the tip of it’s tail.  Demand for these pins are really all over the place.  They can sell for $8.00 all the way to $45.00.

The 2016 Little League World Series takes place in South Williamsport on 8/18 to 8/28.  We still don’t know what the official 2016 Little League World Series logo looks like.  I’m sure they’ll unveil it soon.

On a side note, I read earlier this week that Arnold Schwarzenegger could possibly be returning for the next Predator movie.  His character Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer hasn’t been seen since the original film.

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2015 Central PA Sports Card Show Review

Hey!  Look at this!  Its a card show!  These are becoming rare at least where I live.  Outside of the annual Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show and National Sports Collectors Convention, there really aren’t that many shows worth going to anymore.  Last month I heard about the Central PA Sports Card Show from a dealer I met in Ephrata – VSM Sports Card Outlet.  It was held at the Lancaster Host Resort.  Judging by the flyer, it looked like it might be a decent show.  So I decided to give it a try.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but there was a good supply of vendors.  A lot more than what I thought was going to be there.  Before making any purchases I like to make my way around the whole show.  There was a good mixture of vintage and modern cards.  Neither was too dominant.  All of the dealers were quite friendly and helpful too.  I’m a Harry Kalas collector, and that list of cards I need is small.  Not only is it small, but the cards are difficult to locate.  The only Harry Kalas item I saw all day was a duel bobblehead of Harry and Richie Ashburn, which I already own.  At one time I couldn’t find that bobblehead at all.  Now I see it all the time.

VSM Sports Card Outlet was where I spent most of my time and money.  In addition to high-end cards under glass cases, they had autographs and relics divided up in boxes.  I spent a chunk of time flipping through the Phillies section, but didn’t come up with anything I need.  But the fun of it is not knowing what you might find.  They also had the best supply of newer boxes.  I bought two boxes of 2015 Topps Five Star Baseball.

Throughout the day they had a steady run of autograph guests.  Guests included Sean Landeta, Lenny Moore, Lydell Mitchell, Brian Propp, and Bob “The Hound” Kelly.  The prices were very reasonable.  Sean Landeta was free with the $5.00 price of admission.  Lenny Moore was only $25.00 (20.00 for the autograph, and $5.00 for the photo op).  Both guys were really nice and happy to interact with their fans.  After signing my football, Sean Landeta gave me an autograph photo for free too.

The only negative part of the day really didn’t have to do with the show itself.  You had to walk down a few steps in order to get onto the show floor.  I don’t use steps because I’m in a wheelchair.  Luckily there was a ramp right next to the steps, but they had a table blocking it.  The table was there so people wouldn’t go down the ramp and skip out of paying the admission fee.  It was a little inconvenient having to move the table each time I went in and out of the show.

Another issue was the bathroom.  The Lancaster Host Resort really didn’t have a bathroom I could use.  The bathroom most people were using was nothing my wheelchair could even fit into.  According to the Lancaster Host Resort, I would’ve needed to hunt somebody down for a key and hop on a lift in order to get to the bathroom I had the best chance at using.  Even that one wasn’t the best.  Its an old hotel, and I guess that should be expected.

Overall it was a pretty nice show.  I would say that its about the same size as the Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show, maybe a little smaller or bigger.  The dealers were spread out a lot more here which can make it look bigger.  If they decide to have this show again next year, I’ll probably check it out as long as the autograph guests are different.

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Baltimore Colts halfback and 1975 Hall of Fame inductee Lenny Moore

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Retired punter Sean Landeta

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Sean Landeta had a very long career as a player (’83-’06).  This is one of the longest inscriptions I’ve ever received during an autograph signing.

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Landeta’s rings from Super Bowl XXI and XXV

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!

Brad Lidge Set To Sign Autographs For The 2014 Ephrata Rec Center Show

Update:

Brad Lidge will not be signing.  Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers will be attending instead.  All other details remain the same. 

For me, there are only two card shows worth going to each year.  One of them would be the National Sports Collectors Convention, and the other is the annual Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show.  The Ephrata Lions Club has been holding this show for the last 35 years.  Its been held at the Ephrata Rec Center for as long as I can remember, and they always have an autograph signer scheduled to appear.

Former Phillies closer Brad Lidge will be signing autographs during next year’s show which takes place on Saturday, March 29, 2014.  Lidge threw the last pitch to win the 2008 World Series for the Phillies.  Below are the details on the autograph signing:

  • Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Brad Lidge will sign autographs between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
  • Autograph policies: $20.00 each for one autograph on a “flat” (e.g., a card, photo, or yearbook) or a baseball, or $25.00 each for all other items (e.g., equipment or apparel).
  • Only four hundred (400) autographs will be sold, and are only available on the day of the show.  Additional autographs beyond the initial 400 will be sold if time permits.
  • Autograph sales stop at 12:30 p.m., and you must be in the autograph line by 12:45.
  • No mail orders accepted.  No advanced sales.  No exceptions (so please don’t ask).
  • Brad Lidge appears courtesy of the Ephrata National Bank, B2B Baseball & Softball Academy, and the Ephrata Lions Club.

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When I began collecting, I use to think this was the biggest show in the world.  It usually has about 40 tables packed with Phillies stuff.  That’s why I enjoy it so much.  Maybe I’ll find some Harry Kalas stuff or bobbleheads I need.

Here are some of the past shows I’ve attended:

A Look Inside The Newly Renovated World Of Little League Museum

At the conclusion of the 2012 Little League Baseball World Series, Little League began a $4.3 million renovation to the Peter J. McGovern museum.  The World Of Little League Museum has drastically improved over what it use to look like from when it originally opened in 1982.  Walking in the front door you’re immediately inside their new and much larger gift shop packed with tons of Little League items.  Pins, shirts, baseballs, golf balls, books, hats, you name it they probably have a Little League logo on it.

After watching an eight minute video about Little League, you can take yourself on a tour of the newly renovated museum.  The museum is divided up into six “innings” with each section housing items that recount Little League’s past.  Not only have many physical aspects of the museum changed, but they now have about 3x the amount of artifacts.  Many generous individuals have donated and/or loaned pieces which will stay on display.  Many pieces come directly from the family of Little League’s founder Carl Stotz.  They’ve also included a bunch of interactive computer elements that will teach you about each exhibit.

When the world comes to Williamsport next month, this newly renovated museum will be one of the major highlights to visitors.  I picked up three new pins for 2013.  That includes the new Australia jersey pin.  This is the first year that Australia will be represented at the Little League World Series.  Their pins are going to be on fire.

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Babe Ruth wore this uniform in 1934 during a barnstorming tour of Japan.  The tour of well-known Major League players fanned an interest in baseball among the Japanese people that had been growing since the sport was introduced there decades earlier.  It is one of only a few existing known uniforms that Babe Ruth wore during his playing career.  After winning the World Series in 1923, Babe Ruth visited Williamsport, PA.  During batting practice on 10/31/23, he hit the ball you see on the stand next to the uniform 500 feet, and then autographed it.

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Edward Younken pitched the first no-hitter in Little League with this ball, on August 6, 1942.  It is signed by him and by manager John Lindemuth of the Lundy Lumber team.

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Presidential signed baseballs – Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, & George W. Bush

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Jimmy Carter autographed baseball

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That’s a lot of pins!

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Cy Young was a big fan of Little League and attended each World Series from 1951 until he passed away in 1955.  He wore that hat during his final visit to Williamsport.

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Nice collection of Cy Young T206 & T205 cards.

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Cy Young autographed baseball

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Hack Wilson model bat

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Little League’s first home plate was carved from rubber that it’s founder, Carl Stotz, found in his father’s basement.  The knife he used, won in a footrace at a railroad picnic when he was a boy, broke in the process.  The plate is 14 1/8″ wide, slightly smaller than the standard 17 inches.

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While turning the corner and entering the Hall Of Excellence I was a bit shocked to see this space suit.  The Hall of Excellence is dedicated to a lot of famous people that played in Little League.  One of those people is NASA astronaut Story Musgrave.  This is the suit Dr. Musgrave used to train for Skylab.  Other famous Little League players from the past include Mike Schmidt, Mike Mussina, Jim Palmer, Kyle Petty, and Tom Selleck.

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The view from the Viewing Plaza.

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Viewing Plaza

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!

New York Giants – Nicks & Hynoski – Amato’s Autograph Signing

New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks signed autographs for fans at the Amato’s Pizza in Selinsgrove this afternoon.  Amato’s had plenty of items to get autographed, plus a silent auction filled with many signed pieces of memorabilia.  Hynoski is a graduate of Southern Columbia Area High School which isn’t that far away from the Selinagrove area.  I believe this was the first time Amato’s held an autograph signing at their restaurant.  Tickets had to be purchased in advance, and the lines seemed to be steady.  In my opinion, everything ran smoothly.  There didn’t appear to be any major hang-ups.  Amato’s is about 3 seconds away from my house, and this has to have been one of the easiest autograph signings I’ve ever attended.  It was very well organized.  Amato’s has great food too.  Along with their pizza, I also enjoy their ravioli and cheesesteak in the garden.

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Henry Hynoski – Hynoski doesn’t have that many cards to collect.  His rookies can be found in ’11 Playoff Contenders, ’11 Plates & Patches, and ’11 National Treasures.

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Hakeem Nicks – Nicks was a rookie in 2009 and has tons of cards to collect.

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Nicks during his interview with ESPN 92.3 FM

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Hynoski’s signature (on top)

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Nicks’s signature (on bottom)