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From Scott Fragale’s 7th Inning Stretch Blog:

MLB Predictions: So You’re Saying There’s A Chance
It was a slow sports day back in March that I penned a blog predicting the outcome of the MLB season and now that we’ve reached the slowest of all sports days (no, the ESPYs don’t count) on the calendar, I decided I should revisit my picks to see how silly they now look.

I picked everything from the division winners and runners-up to thMLB Predictions e MVPs, Cy Young winners and ROYs. And upon further review … it’s about as hit-and-miss as one might expect.

I absolutely nailed the AL East saying back on March 30: "With the addition of Curtis Granderson to the lineup and Javier Vazquez to the rotation, the defending champs might be better than last year. I’m reluctantly going with the Yankees to win the division but I like the Rays to edge the BoSox for the runner-up spot because I believe Tampa’s lineup can score outscore almost anybody."

Sure it wasn’t much of a stretch to pick the defending WS champs and Granderson has been hurt and Vazquez has only recently been helping the cause, but I thought taking the Rays over Red Sox took some stones so I’m feeling pretty good, for now.

More Predictions

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Mr Memorabilia





Collect.com Auctions’ Sports & Americana Auction No. 5 Live July 26
Collect.com Auctions’ Sports & Americana Auction No. 5 is almost here. The catalog is off to the printer and bidding will commence July 26. Bidding ends Aug. 12. If you haven’t registered already, visit www.collect.com/auctions or call (888) 463-3063.
Collect.com Auctions
The auction is highlighted by Mark McGwire’s 500 Home Run Ball, fully certified by PSA/DNA, and the largest find of 1934 Al Demaree Die-Cuts (R304) ever to come to auction, all graded by PSA. Many of the cards are the only graded example in PSA’s population report or the highest graded example to date.

Other highlights include:

  • 1910 Hermes Ice Cream Bobby Byrne Pin Psa 7
  • 1955 Bowman Baseball Complete Set
  • 1960 Armour Coins Bud Daley WHITE PSA 9 – 1 of 1
  • Babe Ruth Signed Baseball from 1947 with 11 Cincinnati Reds
  • Roger Maris, Ronald Reagan & 4 Others Signed Baseball
  • 1959 New York Yankees Team-Signed Photo (29 Signatures) withMantle,  Berra, Ford
  • 1988 Pacific Legends Near-Complete Signed Set (90 Signatures) with Mantle, Williams, Aaron, Mays, Banks
  • 1961 Topps Football Unopened Wax Pack GAI 8
  • 1972-73 Topps Basketball Unopened Wax Box (24 packs)
  • 1979-80 Topps Hockey Unopened Wax Box from Sealed Case (36 packs)





MLB Unveils 75-pound, $3,000 Historical Book
In the short history of sports megabooks, there has been a 75-pounder about Muhammad Ali, a celebration of Pelé that was a shapely 35 pounds, and a history of the Super Bowl that tipped the publishing scales at 85 pounds.

To coincide with the July 13 All-Star Game, Major League Baseball on recently entered the market with a 75-pound, $3,000 tome that traces the game’s hisMLB's 75-pound Book tory through 110,000 words and more than 1,000 photographs and illustrations.

Like those before it, the leather-bound book, "The Official Major League Baseball Opus," will come out in a limited edition (1,000 copies), packaged in a silk-covered clamshell case. The huge volume is aimed at teams, corporations, wealthy fans, museums and collectors. An abridged 26-pound version is available for $295.

More MLB Book




Strasburg Auto Fuels Next Huggins & Scott Sale
Headlined by the Stephen Strasburg Autographed Red Parallel 1/1 Bowman rookie card Graded a Mint 9 by Beckett Grading Service and an uncut sheet of 1954 Topps Baseball cards with the Hank Aaron rookie card, Huggins and Scott has completed preparations for their upcoming worldwide sports memorabilia catalog auction that will begin Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at Noon eastern time. Bids will be accepted until the auction closes on July 28-29, 2010.Strasburg Rookie Huggins & Scott
 
The auction will offer over 800 consigned lots of vintage and modern sports cards and memorabilia in a two-day auction with bidding conducted by phone and Internet via the company’s website (www.hugginsandscott.com).
 
An exemplary list of unique, rare and vintage baseball memorabilia highlights the auction with a fine selection of 1954 Esskay Meats baseball cards, an original Leroy Neiman watercolor from the 1978 World Series and a 1931 New York Daily News 14-karat gold boxing medal.

More Huggins & Scott




Sneak Peek: Exclusive Interview With Hall of Famer Cal Ripken
Featured in Septemeber Issue of Tuff Stuff

By Scott Fragale

With this year’s National Convention being held in Baltimore, the one person atop every autograph seeker’s wish list was undoubtedly MLB and Orioles legend, Cal Cal Ripken InterviewRipken Jr.

But because of a busy post-baseball career that includes duties as an entreprenuer, television broadcaster and full-time father, getting Ripken to sit down to sign autographs these days is about as difficult as getting him out of the lineup was during his playing days.

Fortunately for fans heading to Baltimore, persistence paid off for this year’s National organizers and for those of us here at Tuff Stuff, as Ripken is scheduled to be among the Oriole-heavy autograph lineup at this year’s show and was also kind enough to take some time for the following exclusive interview.
 
Tuff Stuff: What are some of the business duties you have with Ripken Baseball (and other ventures) that are keeping you busy these days?
Cal Ripken: We have a lot going on at Ripken Baseball between our two youth baseball facilities in Aberdeen and Myrtle Beach and the three minor league teams that we own and operate.

I am still making the rounds on the speaking circuit and representing some great companies like State Farm, Cheerios, Comcast and more.

On the personal side I have been spending time with my family. Rachel (my daughter) is in college and doing great and Ryan (my son) is playing baseball and basketball.  I helped coach his baseball team and they ended up winning the championship.

For the rest of the exclusive interview, check out the September issue of Tuff Stuff’s Sports Collectors Monthly.





Sneak Peek Of "What’s It Worth?" Part II Featured In Next Tuff Stuff  
1975 Fleer Immortal Football Set
I have the 1975 Fleer Immortal Football Set. This set has a total of 84 cards with the possibilty of getting 60 of the cards signed. I have all 60 cards signed, authenicated by[description] JSA and slabbed by Beckett. I’m in the process of getting the entire 84-card set graded as well, but that really isn’t as important as the signatures. The toughest signatures in the set are Johnny "Blood" McNally, Ernie Nevers, and Sid Luckman mainly because his wife signed most of his items. Other notables include Jack Christiansen, Joe Stydaher, Bob Waterfield, Art Rooney, George Halas, etc. 

Even though you can buy the complete set of unautographed cards for about $50, I’m interested in the price of the set signed. The only reason why I’m getting the whole set graded is just so I have everything in nice holders. I doubt if the grading is really going to effect the pricing that much.  I’m thinking the autographed set is probably worth $5000-plus. What’s It Worth?

David Catlin

Evaluation: The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, was the first place this set was sold. This was also the first full set of Pro Football Hall of Famers. It was Pro Football’s version of MLB’s  yellow Hall of Fame plaque card set sold at Cooperstown. When the set was sold in 1975, it was possible to get 60 of the cards autographed, since 24 were deceased at the time. You will find a wide variety of pricing on the single cards signed. With Ernie Nevers signed cards selling in the $400-$550 range, John "Blood" McNally selling in the $500-$800 range. I like the ideal of having the complete set graded I do think it would help the value of the set. I would put an estimate value on the set of $3500-$5,000

Troy Aikman Signed Litho
This is a 27 x 37 framed and matted print of Troy Aikman titled "Troy." It is done by famed sports artist Vernon Wells Jr. This print was made in 1991 and is a limited edition of only 750 pieces. This piece is #409/750, and is signed in pencil by Troy [description]Aikman and V. Wells, it is hand numbered and comes with a certificate of "Affidavit of Limited Edition." The certificate is hand numbered in silver pa pint pen and signed by Joe Macnack of International Sports Decor, who manufactured and distributed the prints. What’s It Worth?

Mike Freeman

Evaluation: Troy Aikman has remained very popular with fans through his playing years and now as a commentator for Fox Sports and is a popular autograph. This particular print for some reason does not retail for as much as one might think. This print measures 18×25 unframed and I believe had an issue price of around $500. I would put an estimated value of $150-$250 range unframed.

Learn more about "What’s It Worth?"





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