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My Favorite Collecting Sites
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 0

A lot of people ask what sites I like (other than SportsCollectors.Net), so I figured I'd share with everyone. The list below represents the ones I visit most often (but that doesn't necessarily mean they are the best).

eBay eBay

The undisputed king for finding anything... especially for sports related stuff. Now you do have to do your homework to make sure the item and seller are trustworthy.

Mark's Signing Bonus Mark's Signing Bonus

When it comes to an individual running a site dedicated to autograph collecting by mail, this is the best. For the past 6+ years this has been a staple for collectors as my friend Mark is passionate about the hobby and diligently keeps the site updated. His site was a huge inspiration for what SCN has become.  
Auction Capture AuctionCapture.com

Although this site hasn't officially launched, it is quite helpful. Along with some nice tools, it tells the market value of auction items based on keywords - so you have a barometer on how high to bid...
Signings Hotline Signings Hotline

Now this is a really cool idea - this site lists just about every in person athlete appearance. It's a great compliment to the resources found here.
Zabasearch Zabasearch

Even though there is a LOT of outdated information (bad addresses that won't work), I sometimes use this site when I can't find an address in Harvey Meiselman's list (which isn't too often).



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It's a sad day as basketball just lost it's greatest
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 0

I will start by saying that I am a huge Celtics fan and I am completely biased, so please bear with me. But today is a tough day as Red Auerbach passed away at 89.

Bill Simmons said it pretty well:

As a GM, he helped the C's win 7 more. He traded for Russell, Parish, Archibald and Walton. Drafted Havlicek, McHale, Cowens, Maxwell, Sanders, Ainge, Heinsohn, White, Sharman, Lewis and the Jones boys. Drafted Bird in '79 with the sixth pick in the entire draft, even though Bird wasn't eligible to play for another season. Coached nine championship teams and built the foundations for seven others. You could argue, successfully, that Arnold "Red" Auerbach is the greatest winner in the history of sports.

Just go to the Fleet Center and look up at all the banners and retired numbers, more than any of team. That's an easy indicator of just how great he was. You could make a strong argument for the Yankees and Canadiens, but I'd say Red's run would beat them all - and he was single mastermind behind all of it (unlike those other teams).

As a coach, he won 9 titles in 10 seasons - only the great Bob Pettit catching fire and scoring 50 in Game 6 of the 1958 Finals stopped him from making the clean sweep. When he stepped down, Bill Russell took over as a player/coach won 2 more in 3 years with the team Red built.

As great as Phil Jackson is (also with 9 titles in many more years), he had GM's like Jerry Krause and Jerry West to build his teams. Free agency let Phil get players like Shaq and Dennis Rodman. Red not only coached the dynasty, but was the mastemind behind building it.

Trading two future HOFers for the rights to Russell was a gutsy move - that turned out to be as good as any trade in sports history (11 titles in the next 13 years). A close runner up must be the rights to #1 pick (Purdue's Joe Barry Carroll) for Robert Parish and the rights to Kevin McHale - which resulted in 3 more championships and 2 more HOF careers. A year later he steals Dennis Johnson from Phoenix for Rick Robey.

Even though I am too young to remember the 50's and 60's teams, I have Red to thank for my Celtics teams of the 80's. How has it been 20 years since the last title - wow does time fly. If only Len Bias hadn't OD'd, Bird and McHale wouldn't have fallen apart from playing so many minutes and we'd have won a few more.

Even though his health had been fading the past few years, Red was signing often for his fans c/o his Washington DC home. I was lucky to obtain his autograph in this time.

ESPN's Ken Shouler wrote a nice article this morning about Red's style and  impact.



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RIP Joe Niekro
Friday, October 27, 2006
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 0

I have always loved watching knuckleballers pitch and seeing hitters get so frustrated. Whether it was Tom Candiotti, the Niekro brothers, Steve Sparks, or Tim Wakefield - every pitch is a totally different experience.

Yesterday's news that Joe Niekro has died on a brain aneurysm is awful. I remember Joe working his magic in big games for the Astros. One of the best things about having a good knuckleballer is that not only does he win games and eat up innings, but he throw off a hitter's timing for a few days. Imagine seeing him one day, Nolan Ryan, and then Joaquin Andujar the next - talk about constrast in styles.

I was pretty surprised when Joe was traded to the Yanks, but it was very interesting to see how Yogi and Billy Martin decided to use both Niekro brothers in their rotation.

In addition to being a really great player and competitor, Joe was great toward his fans. I have heard many stories from fans who have met him in person and how cordial he was to chat with. As a signer of autographs by mail, he was absolutely great - and was one of the first successes I got.



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