I think I am going to be sick…

Source: The Associated Press

Hat tip: Deadspin

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – A Puerto Rican man has been granted his wish to remain standing – even in death.

A funeral home used a special embalming treatment to keep the corpse of 24-year-old Angel Pantoja Medina standing upright for his three-day wake.

Dressed in a Yankees baseball cap and sunglasses, Pantoja was mourned by relatives while propped upright in his mother’s living room.

His brother Carlos told the El Nuevo Dia newspaper the victim had long said he wanted to be upright for his own wake: “He wanted to be happy, standing.”

The owner of the Marin Funeral Home, Damaris Marin, told The Associated Press the mother asked him to fulfill her dead son’s last wish.

Pantoja was found dead Friday underneath a bridge in San Juan and buried Monday. Police are investigating.

It’s too bad Ugueth Urbina is insane

…cause he had the sickest autograph I have ever seen!

I remember watching U.U.U come in during games for the Montreal Expos and thinking that there just was something not right about the guy but that’s what made me follow his career. I always loved pulling his cards from packs or trading for them with other collectors who didn’t know who the guy was and just wanted Mark McGwire or Frank Thomas.

Ugueth’s career and freedom ended abruptly after the 2005 season. As many know, in October of ’05 U.U.U attempted to kill five workers on his farm with a machete and when that failed he doused them in gasoline. He is currently in prison serving a fourteen year stretch.

You can find many of his cards on eBay for cheap but his autographs are somewhat of a hot commodity (no pun intended). Check out this sweet-looking baseball. When you look back at his numbers it won’t matter that he once led the league in saves, had a pretty decent following, or made the All-Star team twice.

I think those numbers are long forgotten by many because of what happened one scary October day in Venezuela.

Heath Ledger lives on in the world of eBay

During the 90’s when Heath Ledger was making teen fluff like ‘Ten Things I Hate About you’ and ‘A Knight’s Tale’ I never imagined I’d watch any movie with his name in the credits. By the time he became a star thanks to his role in ‘Brokeback Mountain, I had officially gone well over a decade avoiding all things Heath Ledger.

When Heath was cast as the ‘Joker’ in the new Batman movie I was devastated. To me, Crispin Glover of ‘Back to the Future’ fame was born to play Batman’s nemesis but it was not meant to be and I would simply have to suck it up and wait for ‘The Dark Knight’ to make my final judgment. After seeing the theatrical trailer, it’s clear I belong nowhere near Hollywood.

Throughout the filming of the movie rumors began to swirl on “gossip sites” about Heath’s health and with less than a year before the film’s release, Heath Ledger was tragically found dead of an accidental overdose in his apartment. Many insiders who knew Heath believe that the role of the psychotic and evil ‘Joker’ is what did him in. Some went as far as suggesting that Heath tapped into the “darkside” to play the character.

With the movie’s release just around the corner some have reported about his doll’s immense popularity on eBay but far more valuable than a male Barbie to me would be Heath’s autograph. While there are more than a few of those on eBay, there is nothing greater in my opinion, than a Heath Ledger autograph on a promo shot from ‘The Dark Knight’.

Does that seem a bit too morbid for some? There are currently several Heath Ledger/The Dark Knight autographs on eBay selling for an average of $200. You can expect the price to double after the public gets a chance to watch Heath’s Oscar-buzz performance.

The Death of the Hobby Shop

I remember the last time I bought baseball cards before my 10 year break. I had just bought a box of some Upper Deck product and felt nothing—no excitement, no joy in the pulls, and certainly no thrill whatsoever. At 17 years of age I knew that it was time to move on. Back then there were considerably less products being released per year and THREE sports cards shops within 10 minutes of my house.

Today, getting back into collecting took a lot more effort. The nearest all-sports shop near my house is 37 miles away and the last 15 boxes I have bought have come from a comic book store that has a little section of the store to the side with about 5-7 baseball products at at a time. It seems that despite all these great products and amazing ball players of today, the business side of baseball cards has completely died. Even our beloved baseball pricing guide, Beckett, is no longer a monthly issue.

Shortly before creating Wax Heaven I began doing research on opening up a sports cards shop of my own. I began talking with current and former owners of shops and 100% of the time was told not to do it. It just wasn’t worth it and you will lose in the end was something I heard several times. It’s scary but by the year 2010 the sports card shop will probably look a little something like this;

The reason I even began thinking about this topic was because of ChemGod and his post titled ‘The State of the Industry‘ in which he makes a plea to the big companies to return to the good ol’ days of $15 per wax box and 300 cards per box.  Personally, I would give anything to bring back 1997 and the three sports cards stores in my area days but sadly, I think those days are gone for good.

Recovering…

It appears that sometime yesterday at around 10 P.M there was an assassination attempt made on my life. After going through the Taco Bell drive-through, someone, probably paid off by eTopps or Ben Henry added some kind of poison to my meal and since 2 A.M I have not been able to sleep, have vomited several times, and currently set-up shop in my bathroom until things get better.

That being said, there will be no new blogs today but hopefully I will be able to sweat this out tonight and return to posting on Sunday. Adam G. has already submitted another great article for approval and I got something working in my head right now. There is just no way I can sit in front of a computer the way I feel right now. In the meantime, check out our ‘Best of’ at Wax Heaven.

By the way, I quit drinking alcohol in 2003 after a bitter day with an ex-girlfriend. Something tells me I will never have Taco Bell again, either.

Thanks,

Mario Alejandro