Monday, October 22, 2012

Collecting Sports Memorabilia Isn’t Just For Fans Anymore

Here’s a common question that many sports memorabilia collectors often ask: “Do the players themselves collect memorabilia too?"

Although most players are not full-fledged collectors, most players do enjoy taking home a few mementos to add to there personal collection. Things such as a player’s first hit or an award of sorts are things that most players typically hold onto long after there playing days are over. Because of the value of many of these items, some players will eventually sell off their rare pieces of memorabilia for financial reasons later in there life. Recently Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith decided it was time to sell several of his gold glove awards and World Series rings and will auction the items next month.

Baseball cards are another segment of the sports memorabilia market that a few players collect too. Recently, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brad Ziegler did a story with with Fox Sports Arizona about his collecting:

A few other player collectors are Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez and former Tigers 1st baseman Dmitri Young. Young’s card collection was known as one the most impressive rookie card collection ever put together. Young recently sold his collection in order to raise money for his foundation.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tired of Scribbles, Retired Players Preach the Importance of Legible Autographs

Andre Dawson is one former player
with a beautiful signature
Are signatures from today’s athletes getting too tough to read? Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt tends to think so, as he explains in this article for the associated press. For Schmidt, a player’s autograph should be well written as a way to show respect and better connect with the fans. He explains that because his signature is readable, it continues to hold its value way after his playing days. Schimdt isn’t the first Hall of Famer to speak out about this either. For several years Twins legend Harmon Killebrew had been an advocate of legible autographs. In this article from Fox Sports, writer Tyler Mason describes how Killebrew would make it a point to explain to young Twins players each year the importance of having a readable autograph. Twins players such as Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer have all embraced this and as a result have pretty decent signatures.

On the other end of things, Toronto Blue Jays bench coach Don Wakamatsu takes the idea of neat handwriting to another level. Before each game, Wakamatsu writes the lineup card for his manager John Farrell using a type of visual art known as calligraphy. Although it may seem a little over-the-top, Farrell likes that the line-up cards are legible for when he needs to make in-game changes.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Manny Machado: The Next Big Rookie of 2012?

In a surprise move last week, the Baltimore Orioles decided to call up top-prospect Manny Machado as they battle for their first playoff berth in 14 years. Although many fans seemed hesitant about rushing the 2010 first-round pick too fast, Machado has made a huge splash during his brief introduction to the majors; going 6 for 16 with 3 Home runs and 7 RBIs. Our own Cal Ripken Jr. recently sat down with Machado to discuss his transition from high-school to professional baseball.

During a baseball season that features the likes of rookie sensations 2012 Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, could Machado enter the superstar rookie conversation? I bet Orioles fan Adam Corder hopes so!

Corder was the lucky fan that happened to catch Machado’s first AND second home run balls on Friday. He was gracious enough to give Machado his first home run ball in return for several signed items that included a few Orioles signed hats, bats and baseballs!

Here is Corder showing off some of his new Machado memorabilia while he explains to WMAR-TV his lucky night:


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Barry Larkin Joins the One-Team Hall of Fame Club

On Sunday Barry Larkin was immortalized as one of the best shortstops to ever play the game when he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. With 9 Silver Sluggers, 12 All-Star team selections, and an MVP award, Larkin proved to be a no-brainer to voters entering the Hall in only his second year on the ballot. Although the numbers are impressive, perhaps the most astounding thing about Larkin joining the Hall of Fame is that he is inducted having played for only one team in his career.
Ernie Banks is one of the few
to have played their entire career
with one team

Of the 297 players in the baseball Hall of Fame, only 48 of them managed to play their entire career with only one team. Larkin managed to do so despite playing during an era of free agency and salary arbitration that cause more team roster turnover than ever before. This week career Mariner and future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the Yankees!

Who could be the next players to be inducted into the Hall of Fame after playing for only one team? It’s a short list that includes Craig Biggio, Chipper Jones, and Derek Jeter. Although with Jones and Jeter still active, you can never really be sure!

Here is a list of Hall of Famers who have played for only one team in their career:

Earle Combs Ernie Banks Jackie Robinson Bid McPhee
Bill Dickey Mike Schmidt Carl Hubbell Charlie Gehringer
Joe DiMaggio Tony Gwynn Travis Jackson Al Kaline
Whitey Ford Walter Johnson Mel Ott Bob Gibson
Lou Gehrig Kirby Puckett Bill Terry Stan Musial
Mickey Mantle Robin Yount Ross Youngs George Brett
Phil Rizzuto Barry Larkin Bobby Doerr Willie Stargell
Roy Campanella Jim Palmer Jim Rice Pie Traynor
Don Drysdale Cal Ripken Ted Williams Bob Feller
Sandy Koufax Brooks Robinson Carl Yastrzemski Addie Joss
Pee Wee Reese Johnny Bench Roberto Clemente Bob Lemon
Ted Lyons Red Faber Bill Mazeroski Luke Appling

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ironclad Spotlight - Rickey Henderson Autographed 8x10 w/ "1406 SB" Insc.

Save 19% This Week Only!
This week's Ironclad Spotlight Item is an 8x10 photograph signed and inscribed "1406 SB" by Hall of Famer and stolen base king Rickey Henderson. Nicknamed "The Man of Steal", Henderson is widely regarded as the best leadoff hitter and baserunner to ever play the game.

During a career that spanned over 24 seasons, Henderson was able to set several major league records, most notable his career stolen base title. Henderson's record 1,406 stolen bases are 468 more than Hall of Famer Lou Brock, who is second on the all-time list with 938. Other records Henderson holds are include runs scored, unintentional walks, and lead off home runs.

Currently Cinnicinati Red's Prospect Billy Hamilton has over 100 steals half-way through the minor league season. Could he be a second coming of Rickey Henderson?

Here is Hamilton hitting an inside the park home-run. He made it around the bases in under 14 seconds!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Black Swamp Find

One of the greatest baseball card finds ever happened recently when a man from Defiance, Ohio was cleaning out his grandfathers attic. The cards, which have been named The Black Swamp Find, are early 1900's cards and are said to be worth around $3 million dollars! Of the 700 cards found, several are from the extremely rare E98 series which feature a number of Hall of Fame players such as Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, and Cy Young. The cards are going to be auctioned off by Heritage Auctions at this years National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore August 1st-5th. 

This ABC affiliate in Toledo, Ohio has the story: Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Although Ironclad Authentics will not be submitting a bid for these cards, we will definitely be stopping by to check them out! I wonder how many other grandparents' attics will be "cleaned" after reading a story like this!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ironclad Spotlight – Joe Mauer Autographed Baseball with “Well Played Mauer” Inscription

Save 30% This Week Only!
This week’s Ironclad Spotlight is a baseball signed by Twins 2012 All-Star catcher Joe Mauer with the inscription “Well Played Mauer”. Not familiar with the inscription? It’s from a series of commercials video game developer Sony created as a promotion for the video game, MLB: The Show.  The commercials feature hilarious situations in which Mauer squares off against a fictional VP of the PS3 Softball Team, Kevin Butler.

Soon after its release, the commercials went viral leading the catch phrase, “Well Played, Mauer” to become a well used phrase among Twins fans. Even announcers have been known to say it after Mauer makes a spectacular play behind the plate or drives in a few runs at the plate. For some behind the scenes details about the commercials, check out this interview Game Informer did with Mauer in 2010.