Mike Gallego Resurrects Wax Heaven!

Author: Mario Alejandro

You gotta love the World Wide Web. I spent the majority of two years writing non-stop about every sports cards and baseball related topic in my head without ever expecting anyone to read. Along the way, this little blog caught on and the rest is blog history.

One of my favorite activities was covering Florida Marlins games with my then lovely wife, Tatiana. We went to a seemingly endless number of games to support our team but every once in a while I’d be just a little more excited about the opposition coming into town.

One of those instances happened in 2008 when the Colorado Rockies came to Dolphin Stadium (or whatever it was being called at the time) with a coach from my all-time favorite club, the Bash-Brothers Oakland A’s era. Mike Gallego wasn’t a superstar but he was a big part of those teams and I was dying to get an autograph or photo with the guy, now a coach.

Unfortunately, after the game when calling his name Mike did not hear us and walked straight into his team bus. I was disappointed to say the least and when I got back home wrote a not so scathing story about my experience. It wasn’t anything as bad as the Madison Bumgarner saga but it was a bit rude.

You won’t believe my surprise when out of the blue just a couple of days ago I received an email from none other than Mr. Gallego himself, a 13-year veteran of the game I love. I expected a few harsh words so you can imagine my shock when this email was a simple apology from Mike!

Mike assured me that had he heard a fan calling out for his attention he would have loved to come over for a bit. He says that since his playing days have come and gone, there just isn’t as much fan fare as there once was and the last thing on his mind was that someone would want an autograph or photo.

First off, I’d like to publicly apologize to Mike. Sometimes fans expect more than they are entitled to when going to a game and I am very guilty of this myself. While I have never been rude or disrespectful and would never consider myself an “autograph hound”, I did attend every game from 2007-2009 expecting every player to pose for photos or sign.

Secondly, I’d like to ask every collector and fan of the game to pull out their Mike Gallego cards and take them to the stadium next time he’s in town (Wikipedia says he’s a coach with the A’s now). He’s a good example of what more players, current and retired, should be like. You can’t please everyone but clearly Mike is trying.

The (Re)Opening Act

Author: ToddUncommon

I’d like to think of this as a long-time invitation finally fulfilled.  Last spring, Mario asked if I would be willing to contribute to Wax Heaven.  I’ve been posting as ToddUncommon here and on some popular hobby blogs for over a year, so some of you may recall some comments I’ve made here and there.  I’ve always made time for comments (that’s easy), but thanks to Mario, I now have the benefit of a commitment.  I try to be funny.  Sometimes I even succeed.

In anticipation of Mario’s return to Wax Heaven, I’ll toss out some hobby commentary (like “high end” won’t save collecting; it’s just the lead car on the hobby lollercoaster), some wax crackin’, some wise crackin’, and general tomfoolery.  My occupational life history in 3D graphics software should help provide a unique perspective (though, thankfully, no Tron suits with moose knuckle). Except for that time. Just now.

My collecting tendencies are towards vintage and oddball stuff, mostly baseball and football.  I also can’t avoid my now almost primal need to open up new wax, score some hits, and put a few sets together. Add that to over 30 years of experience, and this should be fun.

Credentials, you ask?  I’ve been collecting since I was six.  My grandmother bought me the first cards I can remember. She got a a rack pack for me that contained a Reggie, a Bobby Bonds, Honus and Ted ATGs, and the only name I recognized, Hank Aaron:

I used to keep it in my dresser drawer when I was seven.  Other kids would make fat offers to trade it when I was in middle school. I got it hand-signed by The Man at a show in Portland, Oregon in 1984.  For my collection / accumulation / unintentional hoard, this card is my FILO: First In, Last Out.

Thanks for the invite, Mario, and looking forward to helping Wax Heaven keep on keepin’ on.

What Happened To Sammy’s Face?

Much like Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro after the steroids hearing prompted by Jose Canseco’s tell-all book, Sammy Sosa has kept a somewhat of a low profile after his retirement.

In May of this year, Sosa attended a People Magazine event and looked like he could still hit 50 home runs without even trying. This week, Sammy attended the Latin Academy Person of the Year event and something was definitely not right.

Does anyone have a theory on how someone’s appearance can change so much in just six months? Along with the whitening skin and fake eyes, it appears that he might have also lost some weight.

As you can see from these Yahoo! photos, Sammy is now using contacts to change the color of his eyes. It’s just as pathetic today as it was when this dummy began wearing them.

Is this a case of bad plastic surgery or something much worse?

(thumbnail leads to a full-size scan)

Say It Aint Sosa

Rodney King Ready For A New Beating

I wish I could tell you the trading card you see below, depicting an infamous and sad day in our history, was not real. It was produced in 2004 by Rittenhouse for their True Crime trading cards and features a drawing of the Los Angeles police officers who beat Rodney King within an inch of his life.

For that brutal and disgusting beating, King walked away with $3.8 million dollars, which he used to open a record company. The money must have run out because in 2008 Rodney took another beating, this time by normal criminals, while riding his bicycle.

Thank goodness for celebrity boxing. Two months ago, Rodney stepped into the ring for his first fight, against a police officer, and walked away the winner. Tomorrow, he will take part in his second celebrity boxing match in a hotel with another former big name on the under card.

Guess who …?

It’s safe to say that Jose Canseco’s career has been a colossal failure. Having suffered two knockouts and a loss to a much smaller Danny Bonaduce, it’s hard to imagine why he would continue to pursue this new “career”. Either way, he too will be fighting on Friday.

Jose’s opponent is Todd Poulton, a real boxing enthusiast who just missed out on turning pro. Believe me when I tell you that he takes celebrity boxing very seriously. More likely than not, you can expect photographs of Jose out on his ass yet again on Friday night.

Stay tuned to Wax Heaven for coverage of the fight.

True Crime

2009 MLB Awards – You Pick ‘Em!

With the championship likely already in the hands of the $200+ million dollar team, I figure I’d focus my attention to the major awards soon to be handed out.

This is one of the few times when collectors can make a killing on eBay if they list an award-winner’s most sought after cards after the announcement.

The Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Cy Young awards will be announced starting November 12th and will last up until November 20th.

Who are your picks?

Rookie of the Year

American League –

National League –

Most Valuable Player

American League –

National League –

Cy Young

American League –

National League –

2009 National League Rookie of the Year?