Bad Hits

Cheap Game Used – Billy Wagner

Player’s Name: Billy Wagner

Player’s Position: P – Closer

Player’s Current Team: New York Mets

Price I Paid for the Card: I got this card off of eBay for 20 cents.

Set it’s from: 2007 Upper Deck Artifacts

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $10.00.

Why I like this card: I really don’t feel one way or the other for Billy. I just know that when he is healthy, he is a heck of a closer. I think the Mets took a real gamble on him when they signed him to a big contract. But for the most part, it has worked out pretty well for them. Overall he has 364 saves, which is 7th all time. Not too shabby for a guy that was given up on in 2005. People though he was cooked, but really, he’s been doing the same thing year in and year out for 14 years. He is 36 years old and probably only has 2 more good years left in him, he will finish with about 425 career saves and then he’ll have to sit back and wait to see if he has a shot at getting in the Hall.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: First off, 20 cents for anyone is a cheap hit. Wagner or not. Wagner has the added bonus of being one of the best that ever closed. Do you think he is a Hall of Famer? I’m not sure since it’s about as easy for closers to get in as designated hitters. I think if they treated the position as any other one he would be in, but truthfully, he never dominated any season. The best he ever did in Cy Young voting was 4th. I’m going to say he won’t get in, but that’s just my opinion.

Will if ever be worth more? No, I don’t think so. He just wan’t one of those sought after guys. I just don’t see his cards going up in value. Especially if he doesn’t make the Hall of Fame.

April 29, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cheap Game Used – Josh Beckett

Player’s Name: Josh Beckett

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: Boston Red Sox (Pictured with the Florida Marlins)

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $0.99 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2005 Fleer Skybox

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $15.00, but as you can see I got it much cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: I know, I know it’s another Red Sox guy. You know I hate them, but at least I respect them. Actually Beckett was along the Rich Harden line of player. He was one of those hard throwing guys, you just knew would do well in the pros. Unfortunately for Josh he started out on the Marlins. At least he got to play on some good teams (pre-fire sale). I still think he throws incorrectly, because he gets too many blisters and sore shoulders, I think he uses too much arm and not enough leg in his delivery. I think some day he might go down as an elite pitcher, and if last year’s stats are any indicator I think he has a nice road ahead of him, but he’s got to become smarter at his delivery.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: OK he was average with the Marlins and it wasn’t until he got on a winning team (the Red Sox) did he do anything with his talent. I don’t think he is Hall of Fame material, he may never hit 200 wins let alone 300. But he is going to be remembered for winning a couple of World Series and beating some great Yankee teams. If you can get all that in a jersey swatch for less than a dollar, I don’t see how you can go wrong.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More that a Minor Star?: No, and since he probably won’t be a Hall of Fame pitcher, he may never even make it to semi star status.

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , | Leave a comment

Cheap Game Used – Pedro Martinez

Player’s Name: Pedro Martinez

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: New York Mets (Pictured with the Boston Red Sox)

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $0.99 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2002 Fleer Platinum

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $15.00, but as you can see I got it much cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: First off, I hate Pedro Martinez, yep I said it.  I hate him because he is a Yankee killer plain and simple.  I don’t discredit the fact that for a 14 year stretch, he was one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball.  It’s just that he played for the Red Sox and was (for a while) public enemy number one for Yankee fans.  I like the card because it is of him as a Red Sox, and I think that’s where he became Hall of Fame worthy.  You might scoff at me for even thinking that he was HOF worthy, but the numbers are simple.  He has 209 wins, a career ERA of 2.81, a career WHIP of 1.03 and 3031 strikeouts which puts him 15th all time. Now couple that with his 3 Cy Youngs, 3rd all time in win – loss percentage, 3rd all time in WHIP, 5th all time in hits/9 innings, 3rd all time in strikeouts/9 innings, . . . starting to get the picture?

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: He was arguably one of the most dominant pitchers of the 90’s and early 00’s.  He is probably a first ballot Hall of Famer and I got this card for 99 cents.  I think when we look back on this period he is going to be one of the few pitchers we remember, Shilling, Clemens, Santana and Martinez.  When we start looking back we are going to see his card prices increase and this will look like a steal.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More that a Semi Star?: No, but I do think when he gets into the Hall of Fame his card prices will go up.  Just ask Goose Gossage.

April 22, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , | 1 Comment

Cheap Game Used – James Shields

Player’s Name: Jame Shields

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: Tampa Bay D…. Rays

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $0.45 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2007 Fleer Ultra

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for a very cheap $8.00, but as you can see I got it much cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: By now if you read my posts, you know I have a big time man crush on Jame Shields.  Much like Mario’s crush on Andrew Miller (except Shields isn’t quite so wild).  I think if Shields was on another team, you would see him in a different light.  It’s tough to like a guy that is on such a bad team, but give them another year and they will be battling the Yankees for second place in the east.  James though, what a gamer, he really came on last season when he went 12-8/3.85/1.107.  What those numbers don’t show is how electric his stuff can be.  He is definitively one of those pitchers that I could easily line up and pay to see pitch.  I only wish I knew about him, when he was still in Durham.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: I think over time, he is going to be one hell of a pitcher.  Not a Hall of Fame pitcher, but I think he is going to win a lot of games and at some point might even be regarded as one of the premier pitchers in the AL.  My only hope for him is that at some point in his career, he has the sense to jump ship and get on a real contender and I hope it’s before he losses his desire to win (from being on the Rays).  My real hope is that the Yankees line up and offer the Rays a ton to get him, I think he is that good.  In the end though, he’ll find his way over to the Mets, after all the Rays owe them,for stealing Scott Kazmir.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More that a Common?: Right now, I’d say no, but give him a few seasons and see where he is, he might just surprise you.

April 19, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , , | 2 Comments

Cheap Game Used – Brandon Webb

Player’s Name: Brandon Webb

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: Arizona Diamondbacks

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $1.53 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2007 Bowman Sterling

What it’s Worth: When I went to look it up, imagine how surprised I was to find out that Webb wasn’t even considered a minor star.  Beckett has it listed for $10.00 but as you can see it is quite a bit cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: It is a travesty that Webb is not even considered a minor star, I mean my god Harold Reynolds and Ozzie Guillen are minor stars.  Let’s see Webb has only won one Cy Young and three All Star appearances in six years. He is considered one of the best, if not the best pitchers in the National League and if that weren’t enough, he is 4-0/1.82/0.79 so far this year.  We are talking about one of the more dominant pitchers of this era and he isn’t even a minor star.  So sad! I am sure my buddy Jeff from Arizona is going to chime in on this one.  If he doesn’t I’d be surprised.  How is Webb considered a common?  I just don;t see how that’s possible.  In fact if you have any Webb cards, let’s work out a trade.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: To tell you the truth, I didn’t realize that it was listed as a common when I bought it.  I just liked the way the card looked and the fact that is was from the yellow alternate jersey.  Like I said before Brandon is one of the premier pitchers in baseball.  He has electric stuff and since 2005 his WHIP has never creped over 1.26 and his ERA has been below 3.60 and that is a major accomplishment considering the average of the league in this era is 4.55.  Almost a full run below the average.  It’s sad when a Bowman Sterling of Brandon Webb is considered a bad hit in that product.  Very sad indeed.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More than an unlisted star?: Maybe with my ranting and raving, we might see him moved to minor star status.  If he racks up some more Cy Young awards (which might be difficult with Santana around now) I would think he has a shot at the Hall of Fame, maybe then he would be bumped to semi star status?

April 17, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , , | 1 Comment

Cheap Game Used – Chipper Jones

Player’s Name: Chipper Jones

Player’s Position: 3B/OF

Player’s Current Team: Atlanta Braves

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $0.99 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2001 Topps Reserve

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $15.00 but as you can see it is quite a bit cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: Back in 1990 when the Braves were trying to decide between Chipper and Todd Van Popel, at the time it was a difficult choice.  Todd was the consensus number one overall pick, but he threatened to go to college if the Braves drafted him (since at that time the Braves were awful).  So the Braves not knowing if they could sign Van Popel, went with a relatively unknown Chipper Jones.  I bet they look back on that and smile.  He was definitely better between the two hands down.  I have since followed his career from the minors to the majors as he has become possibly the best hitter in Braves history.  He has one MVP award and is a career 0.308 hitter.  He is probably going to the Hall when it’s all said and done.  The photo on this card is great, it’s just after he popped up with 2 aboard and 2 outs, he is taking off his gloves and waiting for his mitt. Not the picture I would choose for this card that’s for sure.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: 99 cents for a guy who should be heading to Cooperstown?  That’s ridiculous don’t you think?  He will get over 500 home runs, maybe even get to the 3000 hit level.  The industry should be ashamed that I can get this card as cheap as I did.  I know that there are more game used material cards on the market today than ever but come on, he’s a Hall of Fame caliber player, how can I get his card for 99 cents.  Where as if I try and get a Joba card it would gost me 30 – 40 x more.  How is that possible?  How does that happen?  Just think Chamberlain could be the next Van Popel.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More than an unlisted star?:I don’t think so, simply because he has never been in that upper echelon group of players that command the biggest dollars when it come to cards.

April 14, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , , | 2 Comments

Cheap Game Used – Victor Martinez

Player’s Name: Victor Martinez

Player’s Position:C

Player’s Current Team: Cleveland Indians

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $2.99 for the pack it was in, purchased at Target.

Set it’s from: 2008 Upper Deck Series 1

What it’s Worth: It is not listed in Beckett as of yet but last year’s version of the card would make me believe that it would book at about $10.

Why I like this card: First off, doesn’t it look like he is doing the Hiesman stance?  Seriously though it is a nice action shop for such a small picture. Victor has become the defacto great catcher of the American League if not all of baseball at this point.  In the minors we all knew he would become a polished superstar, now we get to see just how good he is.  He is not going to be a Mike Piazza as far as his homer totals go, but he does have it in him to be a 4 tool player and I think CLeveland is happy about that.  Besides he has become the leader of that team and he is so young.  He shows maturity beyond his years and when he speaks in the clubhouse everyone listens.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: His average over the past 4 years is 0.301/21/104, that is some pretty heady numbers.  Not the kind that you can impress at Cooperstown, but you can definitely impress opposing hitters with those numbers, that’s for certain.  It’s cheap because, even If I went to buy this online right now, I could get it for  99 cents and that is ridiculous to me. We are talking about the best hitting catcher in baseball, and unlike Joe Mauer, he doesn’t get injured all the time.  Sure he is on Cleveland which is the worst known team in baseball (even worse than Tampa at this point).  But without him, they would not be as powerful as they are.  He is not only a great hitting catcher, but he is one of the best defensively as well.  Not to mention he calls a great game.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More than a common?: I don;t see it happening at this point.  With some more great seasons under his belt, it is definitely a possibility but right now I would have to say that these are what they are.  I doubt he is Cooperstown material, but definitely in the Hall of Very good.

April 13, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , | Leave a comment

Cheap Game Used – John Smoltz

Player’s Name: John Smoltz

Player’s Position: P – Starter and Closer

Player’s Current Team: Atlanta Braves

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $1.25 on eBay .

Set it’s from: 2005 Upper Deck Artifacts

What it’s Worth:Beckett has it listed as an unlisted semi star, it lists for $10.00. As you can see though, it can be had for less.

Why I like this card: I am not in any way, shape or form an Atlanta Braves fan.  In fact I derive no greater pleasure than to see them lose.  But I have a soft spot in my heart for John Smoltz, since I got to see him pitch as a rookie and followed his career ever since.  I don’t like the way the Braves have handled his career (Starter/Closer/Starter), since I think it stopped him from getting to 300 wins.  He missed 4 seasons (well 3.5 really) where he could have racked up some serious numbers.  He is so good, that he hasn’t had a WHIP of over 1.2 since 1995.  His ERA has not gone over 4 since 1994.  He is the model of consistency and his name is on the Cy Young ballot every year.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: Now look I’m not going to have to twist arms to make you realize he is a first ballot Hall of Famer (and this is coming from a Yankee fan).  He just is, and just accept it.  Now knowing that in 2016 (his first year of eligibility, since I think he will retire at age 44) he will be enshrined in Cooperstown, don’t you think his card should be worth more than $1.25 on eBay?  Isn’t that just a slap in the face?  It’s crazy how low I got this card.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More than an unlisted semi star?: Sadly, I don’t think he will.  He may be remembered as one of the greatest pitchers ever to pitch the game, but his cards won’t be worth jack because he came into the league during some down years for baseball cards.

April 12, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , | 1 Comment

Cheap Game Used – Howie Kendrick

Player’s Name: Howie Kendrick

Player’s Position: Infielder

Player’s Current Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $0.10 on eBay .

Set it’s from: 2006 SPx Winning Materials

What it’s Worth:Beckett has it listed as an unlisted minor star, it lists for $8.00. As you can see though, it can be had for less.

Why I like this card:This was kind of a speculation for me. In 2006, I saw that he was playing for the Angels, not exactly tearing it up, but hit the ball real well and got on base a lot. His minor league numbers pegged him as a 15-15 guy that could hit in the 0.280s. I thought that over time, he might be able to make the leap to the next level. He was only 22 at the time and even this year, he is till quite young at the age of 24. At some point I do believe that he has the talent to make the leap, it might be over the next 2 years, but I do believe that if given time and proper instruction, this guy could be a 20-20 guy hitting 0.300. He is still a work in progress and I hope he makes it.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: I figured at 10 cents and shipping, it was worth taking a flyer on a 22 year old. I am not upset at myself for doing it, like I said, I do believe he has potential. I think any game used card that can be had for 10 cents is worth it. I can’t think of any player (including Ryan Leaf) that it wouldn’t be worth it. Well, maybe a middle releiver who only pitched in 2 major league games, of maybe a manager’s jersey. Those are the two that come to mind.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More than an unlisted minor star?: Personally, I think it will. He is so young, and is doing so well, I can’t see he not doing well once he enters his peak years of 26-32. At least I have my fingers crossed.

April 11, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , | Comments Off on Cheap Game Used – Howie Kendrick

Cheap Game Used – David Wells

Player’s Name: David Wells

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: None (Pictured with the San Diego Padres)

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $0.50 on eBay .

Set it’s from: 2006 SPx Winning Materials

What it’s Worth:Beckett has it listed as an unlisted minor star, it lists for $8.00. As you can see though, it can be had for less.

Why I like this card:How can you not like David Wells? I mean even the mention of his name yields a laugh or two. The best thing about Boomer that I like was the fact that by the middle of the second inning, he’d have half his jersey unbuttoned. In fact a couple of my friends and I used to bet how many batters it would take to get the first button undone, second, ect… In fact, if you look closely at the picture, his first button is undone, so it must be pretty early in the game. I think Boomer finally retired last year at the age of 44. Known as one of the most unfit athletes of his era, he will be known for one thing. Pitching big when he needed to.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: Again, to see this card of a guy of his caliber in the bargain bin, almost makes me mad. Either mad or glad. I am still not sure. Mad that I saw it for cheap but glad that I got it for cheap. After all, how many of you out there have a piece of Boomer? I just wish it was a button. What is interesting is that 4 of the 10 closest in stats is in the Hall of Fame. I don’t think Boomer will get in, but he does have a great winning percentage 0.604 and did win 239 games. So who knows, do you believe in miracles?

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More than an unlisted minor star?: If he gets into the Hal . . . . wow I can’t even type it, I’m laughing too hard. No it’s a bargin bin forever kind of card and that’s all right by me.

April 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment