Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to all for a happy, safe and prosperous 2005! May all your collections be filled with gems.

As of 12:00:01 am tomorrow morning, I will be officially unemployed for the first time since I delivered newspapers over 20 years ago. It's a weird feeling, but I am looking forward to the new experiences and people I will meet once I land a new job.

Be safe out there!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Jerry Orbach: 1935-2004

I was really saddened to hear of the death of Jerry Orbach. He was a favorite for many years. Several years ago I was fortunate enough to get a signed photo and a handwritten note from him. Rest in peace, Lenny...

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Flat On My Back

I've been flat on my back with what I think must be the Flu for the past 2 days. I'm the kinda guy that almost never gets sick... maybe I get a slight sniffle or cough once a year and it never lasts more than a day or two.

But this is something else. I can't recall ever being this sick. I'm a bit better now, but Monday and Tuesday I had no energy to do anything, which is especially bad when you are supposed to be networking and job prospecting.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Eagle Has Wings

My friend Bob McLeod has a superb website that highlights his world class astronaut and cosmonaut autograph collection. The site also has excellent information on some common forgery types.

For a primer on space exploration history through autographs, check out Bob's site.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Forbes Magazine Takes On Heritage

Forbes Magazine has an interesting article on Heritage's Jim Halperin. Does anyone else see the parallels between what HAS happened in the graded coin hobby and what appears to be happening to the graded comic book hobby? What's the old saying about those not learning from the past?

STL Comics Forum

STL has started a new comic book forum, and so far, it seems fairly lively and intelligent.

Check it out here.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Collection of Distinction

My good friend Al Hallonquist has created an online gallery of his aviation autograph collection. While this is only a small portion of Al's entire collection, it is truly a collection of distinction. I am in awe.

The beauty of his collection is that he has put together these signed gems through his own efforts by meeting or writing to the aviation pioneers... very few pieces were purchased.

Al's love of the subject matter shows and has created a collection that contains some real museum pieces. This is what "collecting" should be all about.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Uh, No It's Not

The more I see of CGC, the more the cracks become apparent. I just received a standard submission back (which was submitted in the beginning of August.) I am not happy.

First, the Boston Pedigree book came back without the pedigree designation on the label -- even though I submitted it with all the proper documentation. My previous submission also had a quality control problem as the microchamber paper was sticking 1/2 inch out of the bottom of the book and was sealed into the well. I had to send it back twice to get it properly fixed. Quality control is lacking.

Second, their grading is all over the map and getting less and less consistent. I don't want to sound like sour grapes, but I know grading and have seen enough slabs to know this book IS NOT a 9.0!

It's a 9.2 at least with a shot at 9.4. I've seen Bronze Age 9.4s with bent corners, small creases and other various visible defects. The only problem with Batman 222 is a very small, non-colorbreaking bend near the top staple. That's it... otherwise it's almost perfect. I am really pissed this book got a 9.0, especially when I see weak 9.4s everyday on eBay and the CGC Boards.

Babe Ruth Bat Sells For Over $1 Million

So what do you do with a $1.265 million bat? Buy a $15 wall display case, get the cordless drill, put in a few wall anchors and let her rip?

From eSCD...

The newest member of the sports collectibles hobby's rare $1 million club attracted national attention last week. The bat Babe Ruth used to sock the first home run at Yankee Stadium in 1923 sold for $1.265 million Dec 2 at the Sotheby's/ SportsCards Plus auction in New York City, precisely matching the price paid for the famed T206 Honus Wagner card (also $1.1 million, plus the 15 percent buyer's premium) in a MastroNet auction in 2000 and establishing a record for the most money ever paid for a game-used bat. It is only the third piece of sports memorabilia to sell for more than $1 million.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Mercury Astronauts Signed Limited Edition Print

Twenty years ago, America's original Mercury astronauts reunited to encourage the next generation of space explorers. Their efforts led to establishing the Mercury 7 Foundation, which later was renamed the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) to include their fellow Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle peers. To date, the Foundation has awarded nearly $2 million to exceptional college students pursuing degrees in science and engineering.

To celebrate their 20th anniversary and to continue to raise scholarships, the ASF has introduced a special, limited edition print signed by four of its founders: John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Walter "Wally" Schirra and the late Gordon "Gordo" Cooper. (This project was the last ASF activity that Cooper participated in prior to his passing earlier this year. His family approved of the prints' sale as planned, as it continues the efforts that Cooper worked to achieve.)

Available for $195 each, the 20th Anniversary Astronaut Scholarship Foundation signed and numbered print is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity certified by ASF Executive Director Linn LeBlanc. Limited to only 300, supplies are limited. Prints can be ordered here.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Who Doesn't Love Super-Gorillas?

With great fondness, I recall having a beat-up copy of Super-Heroes vs. Super-Gorillas as a kid. I probably bought this comic off the stand. Since I couldn't find my original copy, I obtained a replacement copy recently. A very nice 9.2.

It contains 3 stories reprinted from the 50s and 60s -- one Superman, one Batman and one Flash. Still a highly entertaining read. The only downpoint is that they -- like most older reprints -- did not indicate from what original issues the stories first appeared.