Archive for May, 2014

James Jones – Sleeper Collectible Candidate

Posted on May 26th, 2014 by Matt | Posted in Baseball Cards

When thinking about ways to enhance your baseball memorabilia collection, you often have to think outside the box. Sure, you could pick up rookie cards of guys like Tanaka and Abreu this year, but won’t everyone else be doing the same thing? After all, those guys both had plenty of attention as they came into the league and no one will be surprised if and when they become stars.

In order to set your collection apart, you need to be more creative than other collectors and find players who aren’t so highly regarded just yet, but have the potential to reach great heights at some point. James Jones of jamesjonesthe Seattle Mariners is one player who fits this mold perfectly. You won’t find his name high on any prospect lists, but he has plenty of tools and the opportunity to make an impact in the Major Leagues this season. He has moved into the role of the starting center fielder for the M’s, and has at least one hit in every game which he has started (breaking a team record held by Edgar Martinez along the way).

A Lot to Like

Baseball is a game about tools, and Jones has plenty of them. The first one that you will notice when watching him play is the speed – incredible speed. Jones looks like he would be just as comfortable running track as he is on the baseball field, and that speed has already paid off in the form of infield hits and covering great ground in center. Beyond his wheels, Jones appears to possess a good eye at the plate, decent power to the gaps, and a rocket for an arm in center. As an indication of his arm strength, many teams were more interested in Jones as a pitcher than a position player when he was drafted out of Long Island University.

So with all of those tools, Jones sounds like a sure thing, right? Not so fast. His minor league numbers have been good, nothing that would seem to predict future stardom. At this point, he has played just 19 major league games, so it is too soon to get overly excited about his .316 batting average. A good start? Yes – but that is all it is, at this point.

Which is why James Jones deserves your attention as a collector. Outside of the Seattle area, he is pretty much an unknown at this point. There is a chance that he will never rise above the level of borderline Major Leaguer – but the potential for more is there considering his skills and natural athletic ability. Considering how easy it would be to obtain a couple pieces of memorabilia at this point, Jones is a player you should consider adding to you collection. If he does go on to reach great heights in the game, you will have some pieces that may escalate in value and will be fun to look back on.

Derek Jeter Farewell Tour

Posted on May 7th, 2014 by Matt | Posted in Players

Last year, the Yankees said goodbye to one of the best pitchers of all-time, and a surefire Hall-of-Famer in Mariano Rivera. This year, they do it again. This time around, Derek Jeter is the one who will be receiving golf clubs, rocking chairs, and other retirement related gifts. There is no question about Jeter’s place in history as one of the best shortstops ever, even if he is a shadow of his former self during his final season.

There is a good chance that Derek Jeter will be one of the worst players in the league this year. That isn’t a knock on Jeter – it is just the reality of aging players. With two decades in the league under his belt, Jeter has jeterlost a step or two on defense and doesn’t have the same bat that he used to. Like everyone else, his physical tools have declined with age.

However, that doesn’t do anything to diminish what he has accomplished throughout his legendary career. He has won the World Series five times, and played his entire career with the most famous franchise in all of sports. All the while, Jeter managed to avoid controversy during the steroid era and remain one of the most-liked players all across the country. Even for fans who love to hate the Yankees, it is hard not to respect Jeter and the career that he has had.

For Derek Jeter moving forward, life looks good. He has more money than anyone could ever need, and will have his choice of just about anything that he wishes to do post-baseball. For the Yankees, the outlook is not so rosy. There is no replacement ready when Jeter departs, and the entire team looks old and broken down for the 2014 season. Even with their considerable financial resources, it would appear that the Yankees could be in line for a period of extended decline – in fact, that period may have already begun.

Get Your Collectibles Now

Derek Jeter has been a superstar for a long time, so his cards and other collectibles have long-since been desirable items within the collecting world. That said, they are likely to only increase in value as he walks away from the game. Rookie cards, obviously, are some of the most valuable, along with items that depict him with other Yankee stars (Rivera, Posada, Williams, etc.), or items that relate to any of the five World Series titles.

Even if you are not a Yankee fan, the story of Derek Jeter and his run with the Yankees is one of the major story lines in recent baseball history. No baseball collection is complete without representation of one of the best to ever play shortstop, and one of the greatest Yankees of all.

What will the 2014 season have in store for Jeter? Only time will tell – but it doesn’t seem that a final World Series ring is in the cards. However, with good health, the Yankees could hang on to playoff contention, bringing some final dramatic moments to one of the best players in baseball history.