Every night for fun, I like to spend time on the Baseball Reference website looking up undervalued players. It’s the rabbit hole that is my usual evening. Last night I started with Sandy Koufax’s stats and started looking up similar players. Koufax’s career was ridiculous and much like Chris Borland, he retired due to injury concerns regarding his arm in the absolute prime of his career. From Koufax I went to Ron Guidry who in my opinion is borderline Hall of Fame worthy. His career led me to Verlander.
Now we all know just how good Verlander is, but thanks to Max Sherzer, his name has fallen a little off the map. His numbers are astounding. In 10 seasons, he has won 15 or more games seven times! He has won the Rookie of the Year, a Cy Young award and a MVP award. He has 152 career wins and 1830 strikeouts, and he will turn 32 this year. If he were to retire today, his black ink score is 46, where ~40 should put you in the Hall of Fame. To give you reference, Tom Glavine’s was a 29 and he got in. The only pitcher that I found with stats as dominant as his over that long a stretch of time is Mike Mussina (who also deserves to be in the Hall of Fame), who has a 19 black ink score.
There was a time when Justin was younger that his cards were white hot, but that has changed over the years. With the emergence of so many young dominant pitchers, Verlander’s value in cards has stalled. You can find his autographed cards on eBay for a staggeringly lower value than they should have. I’ve seen some of his certified autographed cards go for as low as $9.99 and as high as $31. For a player of his merit, you would expect o pay much more. I feel his cards are way undervalued and should see a correction if he ever makes it to the Hall of Fame.
How do you see it? Is his career Hall of Fame worthy at this point? If he retired tomorrow would he be in?
This one came back about two weeks ago. As many of you know I am an University of Arizona alumni. I thought it would be great to post a pro – Wildcat TTM success. I was at U of A from 1989 – 1993, right in the thick of Desert Swarm. I met many members of this defense over the years while I was a part of KAMP student radio, serving as the Sports Director. Bruschi is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. He was great to do interviews with (of which I did quite a few) and was just so down to earth. I have a bunch of his autographs that I have gotten over the years, but I wanted one that was on my new design, so off it went on a three week journey.
His awards are as follows:
- 2× Consensus All-American (1994, 1995)
- 3× First-team All-Pac-10 (1993, 1994, 1995)
- Morris Trophy (1995)
- Pro Bowl (2004)
- 2× All-Pro (2003, 2004)
- 3× Super Bowl champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX)
- 5× AFC champion (1996, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007)
- 2× Ed Block Courage Award (2000, 2005)
- AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2005)
- PFWA NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2005)
- New England Patriots All-2000s Team
- New England Patriots 50th Anniversary Team
- College Football Hall of Fame inductee (2013)
Where I sent it:
935 Middle St.
Bristol, CT 06010
Turnaround time: 25 days
Number of cards signed in the set: 4
Finally, I hope that U of A gets the number one seed in the west later today. They deserve it, they won their conference and the conference tournament, unlike both Virginia and Duke.
Card – SK-ER
Player – Edd Roush
Getting this signature was bad-ass! No way did I ever think I was getting a Roush autograph for south of 10 bucks. I got this for $9.95 including shipping. Probably because it was a magic marker autograph with some slight bleeding, but I’m good with that. We are talking about a player who actually started in the 1919 Black Sox World Series. Not only that but he was 26 years old at that point in his career.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962 by the Vetren’s Committee. He was a two time NL Batting champ, and during an 18 year career, he had a career batting average of 0.323, good for 44th all time in baseball history. Here are the coolest facts about Roush:
- He never struck out more than 25 times in a season.
- He had 30 inside-the-park home runs.
- He was invited to throw out the first ball at the last game at Crosley Field on June 24, 1970.
- He used a massive 48-ounce Louisville Slugger (the heaviest bat used in baseball), claims that he never broke a bat in his big league career.
- He died at the age of 94, still insisting that even if the White Sox had played the 1919 World Series on the level, the Reds would have won.
- Edd Roush was the last surviving Federal League participant.
That’s some crazy stuff. Finally, during the making of this card, I was watching Walking Dead. Got completely caught up in it and ended up making a sticker out of his autograph. With some creative quick thinking, I took a penny sleeve, split it in half, and applied it to the autograph, so the card now has a protective seal over the autograph. Lesson learned: Never make cards while watching Walking Dead!
Original signature card:
Set: Sport Kings Cut Autographs
Card Number: SK-JB
This one is awesome. I set my spending limit on acquiring autographs to a total of $10 shipped. So that severely limits who I can afford. I’m not going to be able to snag a Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth. Also I can forget about contemporaries like Cal Ripken, Kirby Puckett or even Roberto Alomar. Which is why when a cut Johnny Bench came up on my low end I was shocked. I watched this one for six days. I knew it was not pristine, so I figured it would stay low. In the final 15 minutes it went from $3.50 to $7.50 and in the end I said screw it, set my bid to $15 and crossed my fingers. I actually won it for $8.25 but with $3.25 shipping (which is ridiculous by the way), pushed it to $11.50 a little above what I set at my limit, but i’m ok with it because it’s Johnny freaking Bench!
I have a stack of cards that need to be made into cut autographs but when this one arrived, I processed it through quickly! The cut itself is slightly creased, and quite old from the yellowing of the paper. Looks to be cut from a program is my guess. I could have gone with the Vintage Cuts design, which had a full boarder but I thought it would look so much better without the side boarders, so I opted for the Sport Kings look and I think it came out looking quite good. I am actually shocked at how cheap I got this one for. In reality it should have gone north of $12, as that’s just how rare his cut autograph (not as a card) is going for. When I originally showed this on Facebook, I got an offer for $40. I didn’t take it because I don’t think I could replace it much cheaper than that.
As for my total Baseball Hall of Fame totals:
I am now at 5 of 310, a very, very long way to go!
For reference, here is a picture of a certified Johnny Bench autograph:
Of course I have to put on his rookie card:
Card Number: SK-RR
Card Subject: Robin Roberts
Baseball Reference Link: BR Link
Player information: I got this one at the same time as the Sutter autograph. I am so happy to finally get one. This one was gotten for $5 shipped. Usually it’s much more for his autograph so I was happy to find it cheaper. Roberts was a 19 year vet, and spent the most of his career in Philadelphia. He had a career record of 286-245 which puts him at 28th for career wins. He was a seven time All Star and was a big part in that Phillies rotation for years. The interesting thing about his career was that it very closely mimics Jim Kaat’s and unpon close look, Kaat needs to be in the Hall. Maybe someday the veteran’s committee will right that wrong.
What the original signature looked like:
Image of a certified autograph:
Image of one of his cards:
I got this back mid week in the mail. It’s the second of the new through
the mail mini cards I recently sent out. It’s so awesome getting these back. Everytime I go out to the mail box, my mailman seems more excited than I am. Today when I got back to he said, you got some great ones back. I will post them later in the week. This is one that is my mini Heritage autographs. I saw that Charlie Trippi was signing and I had to have it. I do have a cut signature from him, but it’s pretty small, this one is just amazing looking.
He fits under my Hall of Fame or All Star Collection. He had a 9 year career the spanned 1947 – 1955. He was a two time Pro Bowler and one time All Pro. He was the first overall pick in the 1945 draft. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1968. He is 93 years old and is one of the oldest living members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
So how did this TTM break down?
Address sent to:
125 Riverhill Court
Athens, GA 30606
Turnaround time: 11 days
Set for: 2015 Bad Wax Heritage Mini Cut Autographs
Running Number of signed cards in set: 1
Remaining cards from the set still out for signature: 3
Picture of Trippi certified autograph:
With all the TTM success I have been having recently, I wanted to open it up to another sport, hockey. If you remember way way back when I used to write Bad Wax, I did a lot of hockey TTM. My wife is really into the NHL and it was a way for us to kind of bond around my hobby. For this template, I again wanted to stick with the mini cut autograph motif. I needed a vintage set to steal a design from so I went with the inaugural Topps 1954-55 Hockey.
Starting with the front I opted to go with a light blue ice colored boarder with the boxed in logo on the top right (to aid with no interference when the signer signs the card. Went with a dark blue on red bottom of the card, just like the original. I think it’s a fairly good representation of what a card from that set would have looked like if they did cut autographs back then.
For the back of the card, I wanted to do something that took the best elements of the original set’s back but stay consistent with the other two sport’s back. To the right you’ll see the original back. I stayed very close that that back. The blue and red band on top, the stick, running under the red band and above the blue band. I even threw in a cartoon, just like the original. Plus if you look very closely at the blade, I replaced Topps Hockey in the stick blade with Bad Wax Hockey. Was going to take the light brown vintage color back, but I just didn’t like the way it looked so I changed it to a ice blue color like the front border. Overall all though I think I did the back justice by sticking to the original as best I could.
As for the through the mail requests, I have Ted Lindsay, Larry Robinson, Chris Chelios, and Ron Hextall. All four are Hall of Fame members and all four are very good through the mail signers. I will update you as to how long it takes and where I sent it to as they come back.
Let me know what you think about the design . . .