Topps issued a card of Greenberg in their 2013 set.
On Friday, the Baltimore Orioles released Adam Greenberg. Many of you may remember Greenberg for being hit by a pitch in his first at-bat in the major leagues in 2005. He was not credited with an at-bat. Greenberg had medical issues over the next few years and bounced around the independant league circuit.

Last season, after a petition to get him "One-At-Bat," he was given a second chance by the Florida Marlins, which gained national attention. On October 2, 2012 he faced R.A. Dickey in a major league game and struck out on three pitches.

In December, the Orioles signed him to a minor league contract, but was released on Friday. 

The Long Island Ducks have signed infielder Bryant Nelson, and outfielder Adam Bailey for the 2013 season.

Bryant Nelson has been a member of two consecutive Atlantic League Championship teams, including last season with the Ducks (2011 with the York Revolution). Nelson was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the 44th round (1230) of the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft. He played in the Astros, Cubs, and Red Sox organizations before making his major league debut in 2002 with the Boston. That season he hit .265 in 25 games for the Red Sox.

Nelson has been well traveled throughout the Atlantic League having played for Long Island, Bridgeport, Camden, Lancaster, and York in his career. He has a .280 batting average, with 70 home runs, and 365 RBI during his time in the independent leagues. This will be his fourth season on Long Island (he played parts of the 2007 and 2008 season with the Ducks).

Adam Bailey joins the Ducks, after having spent the  last two season  in the Houston Astros organization. Bailey was drafted by the Astros in the 23rd round (693rd overall) of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. He has a .271 batting average with 38 home runs, and 173 RBI in 296 minor league games.
Great signings by the Ducks who are building a solid foundation for the 2013 season. Nelson is a solid veteran who gives everything he has every game. He's versatile, and can play almost anywhere on the field. He's also clutch in playoffs. While Bailey has shown raw power throughout his minor league career, and he has the potential to be a tremendous player.
Here's a trivia questions for all the Vermont fans out there, Who was the first University of Vermont hockey player in the NHL? Dave Reece.

Reece is also known for another trivia question. He was the goalie in net when Daryl Sittler set the NHL record for most points recorded in a game with 10 (6 goalies, 4 assists) in 1976.

Here's a great link about Reece's career, and at the bottom of the post you can read some great comments by fans. 

Dave Reece seems to be the only autograph that may elude my UVM autograph collection. I previously sent a couple custom cards to his home address in hopes of getting them signed, but didn't get a response. I also sent him an email, but received no response.  I'm hoping that eventually I can add his autograph to mine and Jake's collection.

"Broken Bat with Corey Mansfield" has just went over 25,000 page views. This is extremely monumental for myself, and the blog. I just wanted to thank everyone who reads my posts and supports my blogging, not only on this blog but my other ones as well.

Special thanks to:
  • Drew Pelto (@drewpelto)
  • Andrew Martin (@historianandrew)
  • Howard Kaplan (@accad1217)
  • Tom Stryjewski (@tstry208)
  • Howie Mansfield
  • Paul Buxton (@paulbux)
  • Ray Navarrate (@raydigmi)
  • Paul Hadsall (@PaulsRandomStuf)
  • Bob Bennett  
And all the rest of the people who have help me with information, and input into my blogs!
I've been selling items on eBay since 2001, when I visited a friends house and saw it easy it was for his parents to sell custom horse saddles on eBay. I scrambled around looking for items to put on eBay. In 2001, things were easier to sell because the internet was diluted with the same items, and other merchants like Amazon didn't exist.

Trying to decide what to put on eBay can be difficult, some items don't sell, so it's not even worth it to put on eBay. In some cases it's easier to list on craigslist where local buyers can save on shipping and pick it up.

Recently I did a spring cleaning with some of the common hockey cards I had laying around my house. A few months ago I did the mistake of listing some other common cards on eBay for $0.99. Needless to say there wasn't any interest and someone bought the auction at the last minute for $0.99. I look back now and wish I would have just broke the cards up and sold them in player lots.

I still have some common cards left, so a week ago I decided to list player lots. After going through my cards and pulling out all the cards I wanted to keep. I decided which players may have market value to collectors on eBay. Some people don't want lots of a bunch of players, and are detailed collectors on specific teams, items, and players. So most cards do have a market.

One of the first auctions I listed was of former NHL player, Ron Wilson. I had eight total cards, six of which were different. According to Beckett Price Guide, the book value of the Wilson cards were worth about $0.10 each, so the whole lot was worth $0.80. I decided to start the auction at $0.99 and a "Buy It Now" price of $1.99. "Buy It Now" is a feature where you can buy an item without it going to auction if no one has bid on it yet. Also, I included a $2.95 shipping fee on my auction. Normally, it costs $1.50 to ship an item like this, and I usually get tracking for $0.90, plus the cost of bubble mailer it comes out to about $2.95.

Normally, I'd write specific details about the items I list but this item wasn't going to generate much money, so it wasn't worth my time. Instead, I wrote a brief description and took a picture.

Ebay always tries to push things on you with other features you can purchase, and why you should purchase them. Many of them have no bearing on your auctions, and in some cases you can lose money.

At the end of the auction listing you'll have the option of returns on items. I don't allow returns on my items, because in many cases the items I have taken back have been damaged or something was missing.

Also, eBay has pretty much eliminated purchasing or receiving payments with anything other than Paypal (which they own). Previously, you could pay with a cashiers checks and money orders (in some cases cash and personal checks). However, there was many disputes about payments being received, and it turned into a headache with eBay having to deal with the disputes. This also gave eBay another venue to charge fees on your items.

Here's how my auction looked:

After you list your item it's waiting game until the auction either ends or someone uses "Buy It Now" to purchase it.  I was lucky enough to have this auction end with a "Buy It Now" for $1.99. After the person bought it, I sent them an invoice (eBay gives you a feature to send an invoice). The customer paid right away which went right to may to Paypal account.

Prior to going to the Post Office to ship the lot, I need to package it up. I normally put the card in a team poly bag (which can be purchased at a card store), but you don't need to. Then I sandwich the the cards in between two pieces of card board (some people use plastic card top loaders, but card board works just as good and is cheaper) and tape the sides together. I put the package in a bubble mailer (normally $3.98 for a 6 pack at Target), and write the shipping and return address on it (if you are doing many items I suggest printing off shipping labels).

Some sellers on eBay have scales or know the exact weight of each package and can print exact postage from their computer/printer via eBay's website. Usually this will provide a free tracking number. However, you need to figure in the cost of ink, and labels if you are printing multiple labels for items.

As I've stated before, it's important to get tracking number for $0.90. I've had numerous buyers claim they never received an item and I ended up losing money. Ebay will almost always side with the buyer, if an item isn't received and you didn't get tracking, and a dispute is filed. Many dishonest people see you didn't get tracking and take your item, and still file a dispute. If you sell an item for $100.00, is it worth it to lose out on $100.00 by not getting tracking for $0.90?

Once the item is in the mail I normally go on ebay, and send the buyer with a tracking number, and then give them positive feedback. In many cases feedback is just as an important as money.

After your auction has been completed, you'll get a monthly statement of all the eBay fees from your auctions. Did you think eBay was free?

Here's where eBay gets the reputation for being called "fee"bay. It's free to list up to 50 items a month. You are only charged a "Final Value Fee" when your item sells. Normally this is 9% of what the auction sells for. On top to that eBay also takes a 9% fee out for shipping. In the past eBay didn't do this but changed their policy when people were listing items for $1.00 and then charging $50.00 shipping. People would get item at a great deal for $51.00, and the seller would still get their money, however eBay would lost out on commission because they would only be getting paid on the $1.00, bot the $51.00. 

You'll also notice that Paypal takes out a 9% fee when you get paid. Ebay owns Paypal, so they are actually getting more money.

Overall here's the breakdown of the cost involved in selling my auction.

Ron Wilson Cards (no cost because I want to get rid of them) - $0
Sale Price (Buy It Now) $1.99 + $2.95 shipping - $4.94
Shipping costs (shipping, tracking, bubble mailer) - $3.06
Subtotal before eBay fees - $1.88 
eBay Final Value Fee - $0.18
eBay Shipping FVF - $0.27
Paypal Fee - $0.44
Total Profit -  $0.99 

It does seem like a lot of work for only $0.99, but if you get a system down for listing lots like this you can make a significant profit. Ebay does allow you to save a template for multiple auctions, so you don't have to retype all your auctions. 

For me it's worth it to list these auctions, not only because of the money but also to increase my seller rating which can make an impact on bigger items I may sell down the road. Also, it's a way of helping other collectors build their collections as opposed to just throwing them in the trash. 


Ken Rosenthal tweeted thet Vladimir Guerrro's agent has been in contact with the Ducks.

There isn't much I can say about this. Not only would his pack the pond, but it would give the Ducks a legitimate power hitting DH. Guerrero has 449 home runs, and 1496 RBI with a .318 batting average in his major league career. For years he was one of the best players in baseball.

Vlad is one of my favorite players of all-time. Growing up in Vermont we made frequent trips to Montreal to watch him play. I once saw him touch the right field wall, and throw a strike to the third base man. In my mind he should be in the Hall of Fame. It would be nice to see him sign with the Ducks, but even nicer to see him get back to MLB. He's 51 home runs short of 500, which would most likely be his ticket to the hall.
The Ducks have signed Major League veteran Ian Snell for the 2013 season.

Snell pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2004-2009, and the Seattle Mariners in 2010. Once considered a top prospect in the Pirates organization, he was 14-11 with a 4.74 ERA in his second season in the big leagues. He has a 38-53 record with 4.81 ERA in 803 innings pitched during his Major League career. In 2011, he briefly retired, but came back later that year and pitched for the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate Albuquerque, where he posted a 1-2 record.

Ian Snell career stats

Ian Snell Wikipedia Page

Snell was flat out nasty early in his career, and was a solid player on some pathetic Pirates teams. He isn't too far removed from the major leagues, so he can be a huge asset to the Ducks in their run to repeat. Hopefully, Snell can regain his dominance for early in his career.
While I was surfing the internet and came across this awesome collection of UVM game worn jerseys. When I was in college I worked part time at the University's Property Control Warehouse, which recycled materials that university no longer wanted. One time we picked up a dozen boxes or so of game used warm-up jerseys. One of the boxes had a few of the authentic game worn jerseys. A few of them this guy no has. At the time we were instructed to remove certain numbers, obviously Perrin, St. Louis, Thomas, and a few others. The rest were sold at the warehouse to the general public. I got one for $50, but ultimately sold it a few years later for $300.00. I wish I would have kept it. This is still a pretty cool collection. He also has professional jerseys of UVM Alumni.

J.C. Ruid Jersey from 1994-95 season

Former Los Angeles Kings goalie, and Hobey Baker Award Winner Robb Stauber took some time to answer some of my questions.

CM: What was it like to the Hobey Baker Award?
RS: I never expected it! It means more today.

CM: Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you were drafted?
RS: Duluth, Minnesota, I was sitting at home watching T.V., it was totally unexpected.

CM: What was your favorite moment in your hockey career?
RS: Making it to the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament

CM: What was your favorite moment in the NHL?
RS: L.A. Kings, and our run to the 1993 Stanley Cup

CM: How did you get involved in playing Bandy?
RS: The U.S. Team needed a goalie and they tracked me down and ask if I would play, and I said yes!

CM: What have you been doing since you retired from hockey?
RS: I own and operate a training center for goalies in Minnesota.,

You can read about Robb's career by visiting his Wikipedia page!

According to his Twitter account, Matt Way has signed with the Ducks for the 2013 season.

While Way only pitched eight innings in the regular season for the Ducks last year, he was electric in the playoffs including a 8 inning, 1 run, 4 hit, 10 strikeout masterpiece against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in game two of the Liberty Division championship series.

Way was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 5th round (167th overall) of the 2009 MLB Draft out of Washington State University. He pitched in the Phillies organization for two seasons, posting a 13-9 record with a 3.21 ERA.

Last season he started with the Laredo Lemurs of the American Association, where he had a 10-7 record with a 3.99 ERA, before joining to the Ducks.

Glad to see Matt return to the Ducks for 2013. He was solid for the most part in the playoffs. It will be interesting to see what he can do in a full season with the Ducks.

I usually make a trip to the card shop once a week to look for some deals to increase my collection. I'm not a huge collector of high priced cards, and don't normally buy packs. So when I go to card shops I'm looking for specific cards to add to my collection, because the limited space I have. 

Like most weeks I went to Finnigan's Sports Cards in Albany, NY where deals can be found.

There was a box with more current loose hockey cards. I've picked through this box a few times before but I usually go back because people are constantly opening packs and sticking the cards they don't want in there. I pulled some

Here's what I got:

2012-13 NHTD Cards, including Tim Thomas, Jonathan Quick, and Henrik Lunqvist, and others (I was on vacation when shops were giving them away for free so I was happy to pay a small price to get these).

2011-12 Upper Deck Andrew MacDonald, 2011-12 Black Diamond Michael Grabner, and 2012-13 Upper Deck Matt Moulson for my New York Islanders collection.

2011-12 Black Diamond Corey Crawford for my goalie collection.

In total I picked up 40 hockey cards for $2.00, as the cards in the bin were 20 for $1.00.

I also picked up a few cards for my Lou Gehrig collection including 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game, 2009 Red Turkey, and 2013 Topps Mini.

While these weren't a huge purchase it definitely added to my collection.
Former Atlanta Braves prospect, and Long Island Duck Matt Esquivel has retired.

Esquivel, once considered a top prospect in the Braves organization played three seasons with the Ducks, and had a .294 batting average with 36 home runs, and 175 RBI. His best season with the Ducks came in 2011 when he hit .328 with 15 home runs, and 69 RBI. That season he also won the Atlantic League Home Run Derby in York. He will also be remembered for scoring the winning run in the 2012 Atlantic Championship series.

Matt was a great player, and a fan favorite. He always took time to talk to people and sign autographs. He will be missed.

This past week the Ducks signed pitchers Josh Lansford, Bill Murphy, Leo Rosales, and outfielder Rian Kiniry for the 2013 season.

Josh Lansford returns for his second season with the Ducks. Last season, he was an major part of the Ducks bullpen posting a 4.84 ERA in 38 innings during their championship run. Prior to joining the Ducks in 2012, Lansford pitched in the Cubs, and A's organizations, posting a 5-9 record with a 3.42 ERA in 142 innings pitched. Lansford was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 6th round (179th overall) of the 2006 MLB Draft.

Bill Murphy will make his independent league debut this season for the Ducks. Murphy played in the major leagues in parts of the 2007, and 2009 seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Toronto Blue Jays. He has a career 4.24 ERA in 17 innings pitched during his major league career. Last season, he posted a 8-5 record with a 4.38 ERA for Toronto's Triple-A affiliate Las Vegas. Murphy was originally drafted by the Oakland A's in the 3rd round (98th overall) of the 2002 MLB Draft.

Leo Rosales returns to the Atlantic League for his season season. Last season Rosales played with the Camden Riversharks, and appeared in one game for he Ducks. Originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 20th round (581st overall) 2003 MLB Draft, Rosales appeared in 76 games in the major leagues for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2008-2010. He has a 5-2 record with a 5.04 ERA in his major league career.

Rian Kiniry was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 39th round (1182nd overall) of the 2006 MLB Draft. In six seasons in the Angels organization he had a .237 batting average, with 9 home runs, and 134 RBI. After being released by the Angels organization last season he played for York and Somerset.

The Long Island Ducks announced their 2013 promotional schedule today. The promo schedule is filled with many giveaways, including the traditional Bud Harrelson bobblehead on August 22nd. The Ducks will also be giving away a commemorative 7 pin collector set, through out the season.
In addition to the giveaways there will be many fireworks games, and theme nights including Italian Heritage, and Irish night.
Overall, the promo schedule is solid, but I'd like to see more "relevant theme" nights. Many teams are now doing a Star Wars themed night which always  sells out at other venues. Also there is no team card set giveaway (there wasn't one last year), which was a result of inability to find a sponsor.
One thing that isn't mentioned on the promo schedule is that every Sunday there is a pre-game autograph session where fans can get autographs of players and coaches.

Update: 2:00pm.
Just noticed that Ducks GM Mike Pfaff tweeted that only 49 of the 70 promo dates were announced today. So there is more stuff to come, stay tuned.
The Long Island Ducks announced last week they are giving $100 to season ticket holders who refer a new person to buy season tickets. There is no limit, and it's $100 per season ticket sold. I think it's a great promotion for season ticket holders.

You can see that the Ducks are trying to jump start more ticket sales which have declined over the last couple years.

As I've stated in previous blog posts I think the business model needs to change for the Ducks. The Ducks don't market their players or coaches to the general public to bring in fans, and many people are confused on the level of play it is, and who the Ducks are.

I've talked to numerous sports fans who still think they are a minor league hockey team, while others think it's a low level affiliated team. With that being the case, why are people going to purchase tickets when they don't know what they are buying? When I buy something I want to know what I'm getting for my dollar.

The competition only gets harder for the Ducks with the New York Mets now offering more games with their $23 Power Pack.  For $23 you get a ticket, and food vouchers for a soda, hot dog/hamburger, and fries. Also, depending on the game you go to you get a promotional item like a bobblehead. The Ducks do offer free parking which the Mets don't (parking for the Mets is about $20).

In terms of season tickets it's difficult as a parent to commit to buying season tickets with the changing schedules of my kids. So I normally buy single game tickets a couple weeks in advance when I know their schedules.

Many businesses are also weary about committing to buying season tickets. We are caught in the middle of recession and many business would rather cut out a perk like season tickets, than laying off employees.

I don't have a degree in marketing, but I've been in sales in various fields for over a decade. In order to bring in ticket sales the Ducks will need to inform people about what they are, who they are, who plays for them, and what they offer.
Picture via, @uvmphoto
A season filled with so much celebration ended in heart break for the University of Vermont (UVM) hockey and it's fans in 1996. A roster loaded with talent was one win away from making it to the NCAA final. However deteriorating ice conditions, and a hand thrown puck into the net during double overtime against Colorado College ended their journey.

Here's what wikipedia said about that final (phantom) goal,

"The game-winning goal scored by Colorado College during their semi-final match against Vermont was thrown in by hand but was still ruled as a goal. The Colorado College player's momentum carrying him forward, he open-palmed the puck, which was directed in to the goal."
Picture via

For many of those players that would be the highlight of their careers while others like Martin St. Louis and Tim Thomas it would only be the beginning. Both had aspiratons of playing in the NHL but concerns lingered about their futures. Scouts said that St. Louis was too small at 5'8," While Tim Thomas would most likely be stuck behind newly acquired Patrick Roy in the Avalanche organization. It took time but both St. Louis and Thomas would go on to win the Stanley Cup. They would also pick up other hardware along the way including the Hart Trophy for St. Louis in 2003-04, and two Vezina Trophies for Thomas in 2008-09, and 2010-2011.

Here's the 1995-96 roster, so you can reminisce.

An interesting fact about that season was that UVM didn't win the ECAC tournament but received an automatic bid to NCAA tournament by winning the conference regular season title. That season they were upset by Harvard in the ECAC semi-finals 4-3.

Picture via UVM athletics
Martin St. Louis and Eric Perrin had identical stats in goals (29), assists (56) and penalty minutes (38), though St. Louis played in three fewer games that season than Perrin. J.C. Ruid tied both St. Louis and Perrin with 29 goals. While Tim Thomas logged 2,254 minutes in goal (he also had 8 penalty minutes for a goalie).

The 1995-96 UVM Hockey team left a lasting impression on UVM fans and Vermonters. Many of those fans waited overnight outside  "The Gut" to get single game tickets. The price they paid was well worth it.

The Long Island Ducks announced today they have signed former major league infielder Josh Barfield.

Barfield was considered one of the San Diego Padres top prospect from 2003-2005, before breaking into the major leagues in 2006. That season he hit .280 with 13 home runs and 58 RBI.

The son of former major league player Jesse Barfield, he hit .264 with 16 home runs and 112 RBI in his Major League career with the Padres and Cleveland Indians.

Last season he split time between Bowie(AA) and Norfolk(AAA) in the Baltimore Orioles organization.

Barfield was once considered one of the top prospects in baseball, and made a major splash in his rookie season in 2006. After that his bat went silent, and he bounced around a few different organizations. Overall it's a solid signing for the Ducks. Barfield is solid defensive player who can play multiple positions. He also has the ability to steal bases.
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