Andre Nolan “The Hawk” “Awesome” Dawson is finally a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame…

January 7, 2010 at 9:16 am | Posted in 1 | 5 Comments

…and deservedly so. Doubters can doubt and haters can hate, but he is in, period.

To those who grew up watching him play, this is the ultimate testament to his amazing career, and I am absolutely ecstatic that he has finally gotten the respect that he deserves.

I have spent a rather large amount of time over the last few days watching video, reading articles, and going over his career stats and their place all-time in the history of baseball.

Now that he is a member of the Hall of Fame, lets see how he stacks up against his contemporaries, shall we?

Here is how Dawson’s stats compare to the other members of the HOF

Avg – 118th
OBP – 147th – tied
Walks – 115th

These three are not his strongest suits obviously, but no one has ever confused Dawson for a lead-off hitter.

In virtually every other hitting category, not only is “The Hawk” in the Top 100 in baseball, he is in the Top 100 among Hall of Famers.

Hits – 40th
Runs – 61st
Doubles – 32nd
Triples – 71st – tied
HRs – 21st
RBIs – 25th
Steals – 46th
SLG % – 48th – tied
OPS – 95th – tied

Then a few stats that people may not pay as much attention to.

Ks – 14th (with many big names ahead of him, including Reggie Jackson and Mike Schmidt)
Sac Flies – 6th (meaning even when he made an out, he was ridiculously productive)
Xtra base hits – 18th (ahead of Schmidt, Banks, Mantle, Matthews)
Total Bases – 22nd (ahead of Banks, Mantle, Schmidt, Clemente)

Whether you agree or not, Dawson is in, and in my opinion is better statistically and intangibly than a large percentage of the current Hall of Fame membership.

I could not be happier that he is finally enshrined!


Cubs cards out the Wazoo!

February 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Posted in My Collection | 6 Comments

     I think pretty much everyone in the blogging community knows Eric by now, and knows how ridiculously generous he is with his trades.  He’s started his own blog, so if you haven’t had the chance yet, go check out The Pettitte Pursuit.

     I sent Eric a box last year with a few Andy Pettitte’s and various other Yankee’s cards, and I got a box back from him yesterday that my mailman was none too happy about 🙂  In his typically over-generous fashion, Eric sent over EIGHT HUNDRED Cubs cards!  There had to be at least one card from almost every set produced in the last 25 years.  Here are some of the highlights.








You gotta love shininess and serial #’ing









Love the Hill die-cut even though he’s gone 😦









Now that I’ve seen these Stadium Club base cards in person, I kinda like ’em









Little bit of new old-school Cub-ness.  The Masterpieces are so nice.


     Eric also set a new record by sending me 51 Andre Dawson cards!  Many of which I had never seen, nor heard of before.















The original Stadium Club releases are still my favorite.


     I also got another in a long line of packages from Mario at Wax Heaven.  If you have a blog, and you haven’t gotten cards from Mario, just wait.  You will at some point.  Mario is probably one of the most generous people I’ve met in my 30 years, and a few weeks ago he sent me another amazing card for my collection.

     It’s from 2002 Topps Finest, from the Finest Moments subset.  These cards are absolutely stunning in person.  They are all Chrome Refractors, all on-card autos, and most of the checklist consists of HOFers and superstars throughout the history of Baseball.  This one card has actually inspired me to try and collect this whole set.  It shouldn’t be too daunting.  The set consists of 15 cards, and the most expensive card routinely sells for around $40.   I should be able to put together the whole set for less than $400.  Of course it’ll take some time, but good things do.


     So once again, a huge thanks to Eric and Mario for their continued generosity!  If anyone else is interested in trading some Cubs, Andre Dawson, or Billy Williams, just check out the Trade Bucket link on the right hand side of the page.

Huge Addition!!

February 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Posted in My opinions | 6 Comments

     First of all, let me warn you this has nothing to with cardboard 🙂  I know most of us usually try to keep our blogs as impersonal as possible, but I just felt the need to share this with everyone who keeps up with my blog on a regular basis as this is a very important step in my life.

     My wife and I just had our first appointment today and confirmed that we are going to be parents!!!  We couldn’t possibly be more excited.  This is the first child for both of us, and in the future there will probably be updates on here from time to time as I hope my son or daughter can enjoy this hobby with me as I know they do with many of you.

     I just want to take the time to again say thank you to all of the friends and aqauntences I’ve made through this blog, and because of this hobby that we all share.  You guys have all made the last year much more enjoyable for me, and I hope we can all keep this going for a long time to come.

     Here’s our first glimpse!!

It’s official, Rich Hill is an Oriole………

February 2, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Posted in My Collection, My opinions | 7 Comments

……….and the Cubs can blow me.  You can read about it here.

     I’ve been a die-hard life long idiot Cubs fan since I was old enough to know what baseball was.  I don’t know why.  I guess I like torture and misery.  I’m probably taking this a bit personally, since besides my retired player collections of Andre Dawson and Billy Williams, Hill was the only current roster Cubs player that I collected.  Now these are all but worthless to me.


     I think what really pisses me off about this whole situation is the fact that this is just another in the long line of epic failures on the part of the Cubs to develop players from within their own system.  Dontrelle Willis, Mark Prior, Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, and now Rich Hill.  That’s probably part of the reason why I sold this when I did.



     At this point, I’m just waiting for them to screw him up, or give him away for nothing.  Has anybody really taken a long, hard look at the Cubs off-season so far?  They got rid of one of the best 2nd basemen in the league last year in Mark DeRosa (he could also play every position in the game, except for pitcher).  His replacement is the so-so Aaron Miles.  They let Henry Blanco go to free agency and then sign Paul f’ing Bako for the EXACT same money that Blanco wanted.  They let Kerry Wood go to free agency.  They send Marquis to the Rockies for Luis “I forgot how to pitch” Vizcaino.  They sign a decent hitting clubhouse cancer in the person of Milton Bradley.  And then they basically trade Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno, and Scott Olsen for Aaron Heilman.  An aging pitcher with an ERA upwards of 6 last season, who will be lucky to make the club out of spring training.

     And now, after Rothchild screwed with his delivery, and Pinella destroyed his confidence, they ship Rich Hill of to the O’s.  What did they get in return?  A player to be named later, who will most likely end up being a double or single A minor leaguer.

     Go Cubs Go!  Yeah right, I’m bitter.   Good luck Rich.  There’s one Cubs fan that’ll be watching a few Orioles games this year and cheering for you.

The best trade I have ever made!

January 30, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Posted in My Collection | 5 Comments

     Let me start by saying that I FULLY appreciate every single person who has traded with me in the past.  Especially Mario, whose generosity toward other collectors/bloggers knows no bounds.  That’s been one of the best things about having this blog.  Connecting in some small way with other collectors all over the country has been great.

     That being said, the time and effort that went into this trade is unparalleled.  I was reading Marie & Sooz’s “Carboard Problem” a few weeks ago when I came across a post about a trade they had just made, and was blow away.  My mind instantly started to race with the possibilities of how I could get cards like these for my collection.  So, I contacted Topher through his blog Crackin Wax, exchanged a few emails, and what I got in the mail yesterday absolutely blew me away!



     Two of the most amazing cards that I now own, made just for me!  Topher was equally excited with what I sent him, but to me there’s no comparison.  I don’t know if I can ever thank him enough for the effort that he put into these.

     The even better part is that Dawson & Williams should both be signing in the Chicago area at least a couple times this year.  These cards are amazing to begin with.  Once I get them signed they will be prominently and proudly displayed alongside the best of my collection, and I will be sure to share the finished product with everyone later this year.

     Once again, a HUGE thanks to Topher.  When you have time, be sure to go check out Crackin Wax!

A gift of Hawks from the Man of Steal

January 26, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Posted in My Collection | 3 Comments

     First of all, this is WAY overdue, but life has gotten in the way of blogging lately.  I’ll be able to explain more about that in a couple weeks.

     Anyway, congratulations are in order for Brad at Rickey Henderson Collectibles as his “guy” was the head of the HOF class this year.  Unfortunately, Dawson did not get voted in this year, but should be a lock for 2010.

     As a consolation prize of sorts, Brad sent me a HUGE box of Cubs cards, including a heretofore unprecedented 39 Andre Dawson cards.  Far and away the most I have gotten from anyone since starting this blog.  Here are some of the nicer ones.
















     Brad also sent along a generous helping of Cubs shininess as well.











     You gotta love some Dufex Technology & 93 Finest.  Once again, a big thanks to Brad, and look for some more posts coming soon to a PC (or Mac) near you.

2009 Hall of Fame Voting – Wtf?

January 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Posted in My opinions | 9 Comments

     Another year, another vote, another disappointment for fans of “The Hawk”.

     Seriously, what do you have to do to get in?

Be one of the most dominant and feared players of your era – Check

400+ home runs – Check

1500+ rbi’s – Check

300+ stolen bases – Check

Rookie of the year – Check

MVP – Check (for a last place team to boot) – Double Check

8 gold gloves – Check

8 time all-star – Check

4 silver sluggers – Check

20+ MLB seasons – Check

     Call me a homer if you want to, but the HOF voting is skewed, and I’m pissed.  Seriously, if he never got in before, how suddenly is Jim Rice a better player in his 15th year of elegibility?  This is one of the biggest things that irks me about the BBWAA.  It’s the same guys voting every year.  This year Dawson improved in the vote total by 1.1%, which means there were 3-4 writers who decided Andre is a better player this year than he was last year.  I didn’t see him take any at-bats last season, did you?  Either a player is a HOFer or he isn’t.  Players don’t get better after they retire. 

     Now the case can be made that guys get worse as years go on when you consider McGuire, Palmeiro, et al.  That, however, is a different post entirely.  As far as I know, Dawson has done nothing in the last 8 years to damage his credentials.

     I suppose the only bright side to this is a selfish one.  As a player collector, I haven’t picked up much lately because all of the HOF talk has given a boon to secondary market prices for “my guy”.  Hopefully now, some of this will die down and give me another year to add to my collection on the cheap.

     All in all, I’d rather see The Hawk in the Hall where he deserves to be.  If I was never able to afford another card because of it, so be it.  It’d be worth it to see one of the most deserving players of our life-time ensrined as he should be.

     Just my .02 – what do you think?

My Centerpiece

December 17, 2008 at 6:10 pm | Posted in My Collection | 9 Comments

     When I returned to collecting in earnest earlier this year, I was immediately ennamored and entranced by game used cards, certified pack-pulled autographs, patches, serial numbered refractors, and all the other hobby goodness that I had missed out on from 1992 till now.  I had never even heard of any of these things before.  Now I have almost 100, and all of my favorite player of all time.  I have more on the way, and I’m sure I’ll find more in the future.

     When I first saw that this was the topic for the second bat-around, I was exited, as I’m sure a lot of people were, to showcase part of my collection to a wider audience.  Then I kinda panicked a little bit.  How do you pick one thing?  I’ve got Triple Threads, patches, autos numbered to 5.  To finally decide what to choose, I had to ask myself this: If there was a fire in my house, and I could only save one item from my collection, what would it be?  It only took me a couple of minutes to decide on this…..










     It is a Cooperstown Collection fitted hat in my size.  It is autographed in blue Sharpie by my bseball hero and all-time favorite player, Andre Dawson.  One of the reasons why it is the centerpiece of my collection is that it is the only autograph I have ever obtained in person, and I proudly display this right next to the hat.












     I actually had the chance earlier this year to meet Mr. Dawson, and oddly, I was as nervous as a 12 year getting a chance to go backstage at a Miley Cyrus concert.  He was as cool as a cucumber though.  Dressed in all black (which is how I frequently see him pictured) he was very engaging and polite, and immediately put me at ease. 

     The coolest part about the entire experience, and the biggest reason why this is my centerpiece is the fact that not only had he never signed one of these hats before, he had never even SEEN one.  While we took the picture, and after he had signed it, we had a several minute conversation about how cool he thought the hat was, where I got mine, and if I could tell him how to get one.  So I actually had to explain to Andre Dawson how to go on eBay and search for the seller that I had purchased the hat from.  Aside from my wedding day, this was the single coolest experience of my entire life.

     So there it is.  This is the best my collection has to offer.  If you’re ever in Illinois and you see a house on fire, and a guy running out with a baseball cap in his hand, you’ll know why.

Hawk to the Hall presents – Highlights & Updates

December 11, 2008 at 4:46 pm | Posted in My Collection, My opinions | 4 Comments

     There are a ton of things I need to catch up on, so I couldn’t think of a more appropriate name for this post.  Trades, new aquisitions, new pages, new collections.  It’s all here.

     First off, I’ve added a lot of new Dawson cards to my player collection.  If you’ve never seen my PC before, or you’d like to see it again, you can check it out here .  I also have to say that I love the new Organize feature on Photobucket.  It’s so nice.

      I’ve gotten a few new Rich Hill cards as well.  You can see those here.  I really hope he can get his head out of his ass this year, and stay with the Cubs at the Major League level.  He is one of my favorite current players.

     In the last month or so, I’ve also decided to start a Billy Williams collection.  Not only because he is a Cub & a Hall of Famer, but because I love his autograph.  I don’t know why, but a player that I like having a nice, neat, consistent signature is very important to me in collecting.  I only have a few Billy’s so far, and you can view those here.  This is my favorite one so far.  I love me some Sweet Spot Signatures.

     I completed 2 very nice trades recently.  This has quickly become one of my favorite things about the blogging community.  The first trade was with Will at Box Busters, whom I sent a bunch of Pujols and other Cardinals.  In return, he sent me a gaggle of Cubs, including these 2 beautys.

I opened 2 boxes of 08 threads and got some great cards, but I didn’t get a single one of these bordered cards.  I think these were very nicely done, licensed or not.

He also sent me the hardest base card to find from 2008 A&G, which is awesome because I’m trying to complete this set.


And a whole bunch of Cubs shininess, including a Rich Hill Refractor.















     The second trade was with Paul from Paul’s Random Stuff.  I had a TON of Mets cards.  So, I sent them to Paul, and he filled the box up with Cubs and sent it back.








He sent me 2 great game used cards that I’d never seen before, and….














A great lot of Dawson cards, 3 of which I didn’t have yet.  Thanks again to both of you!


     Finally, because of the success of these 2 trades, I’ve decided to add a Trade page to my blog.  You can see the new tab up at the top which includes my Want List and my e-mail address, and the link to my Trade Bucket on the right-hand side where you can see what I have to offer.  So, if you have something, or you see something you want, feel free to let me know.

     As promised, there will be more regular posts coming soon, including my at-bat in the second Blog Bat Around.  See you then!

2007 Sweet Spot – My best tin yet!

December 5, 2008 at 10:56 am | Posted in Box Breaks | 6 Comments

     Hi kids!  Now that the brouhaha of my recent nuptuals is over and FINALLY paid off, I decided to celebrate my return to collecting and blogging by busting another tin of my absolute favorite product to open.  I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and for several reasons, 2007 Sweet Spot Signatures is in my opinion one of the best products to bust of the last several years.  The price of a tin is now down to $52.95 delivered to your door.  For less than the price of most boxes out there, you get 2 serial #’d base cards, 2 jersey cards(some with patches), and 2 guaranteed on-card autos.  All bang, no fluff.  Just the way I like it.  If someone just getting back into the hobby after a long break, or someone newly discovering it asked me what to bust, this would be my reccomendation.

     If you’ve read this blog before, you know I haven’t had the best of luck so far with the 2 tins I’ve busted.  My autographs thus far have been a bunch of nobodys.  I think my luck may have turned with this tin though, so without further ado, the pulls.

This is the first swatch card I’ve gotten of someone I consider to be a star player.  They aren’t worth much, but it’s always nice to pull a Jeter relic.

Here’s my rookie auto.  I love the design and idea of these cards.  UD has done away with them for 2008 in favor of a base card auto, and I think it’s a big mistake.  Their aren’t a lot of big name rookies in this checklist, but I think the on-card auto with the helmet design is fantastic.  Plus, I’m pretty sure I can find this one a good home .

This is far and away the best Sweet Spot auto I’ve pulled out of my 3 tins.  Not only a tough to pull bat barrel, but the 2008 NLCS & World Series MVP, and a cool sig to boot.  I don’t know what it is, but I love it when a player has a nice autograph.

I also managed to pull one of these stupid Buysner cards about 8 months after they were last worth something.  That may be my only beef about this tin.  It’s a funny card, but unfortunately it takes the place of a serial #’d base.

     So that’s it for now.  I think I did pretty well with this one, and I’m glad to be back to collecting and blogging.  I’m going to start making time to post more regularly again.  And I think one of my collecting goals for 2009 is going to be to bust an entire 20 tin case of Sweet Spot.  Should be fun!

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