Monday, July 3, 2017

An eBay Seller Comes Through

A couple of weeks ago, I had a problem on eBay. I won a small auction for a Brewers lot containing a couple of decent autographs and a low serial numbered card, but I kept getting errors every time I tried to pay for the lot. Because I got the lot for literally the minimum bid, I was concerned that this problem resulted from an unsavory seller.

Thankfully, that concern was misplaced. After a couple of messages with the seller -- who also could not figure out what was going on -- I contacted eBay customer service. We got it all worked out without a problem.

So, a nice little story, right? Well, this seller did one better and gave me some extra stuff as well in the envelope to thank me for my patience with the issues. Fast forward a month and I'm finally getting around to posting these cards.

I just got back from a planning retreat in Park City, Utah for the American Bar Association group for which I am in leadership. On our last night there, a few of us met randomly together and just blew it out. I'm usually a pretty buttoned-down person to anyone who is observing from the outside and does not know me that well. The reality is that I draw lines like most people and tend not to show a lot of my crazier side to people with whom I interact in a business setting.

What did I do? I showed my attention-hog side and started showing off my lyrical knowledge of random songs...while all of us were in our hotel robes drinking wine on this large patio. Yup. So, it was everything from "U and Dat" by E-40 to "Pompeii" by Bastille and "Funky Cold Medina" by Tone Lōc. It inspired me to hit some old rap songs from my college days to accompany this post.

We didn't sing or even listen to "Pop Goes The Weasel," but we should have. In preparing for finding songs for this post, I looked at some old Billboard rap charts and saw this song had topped the Rap chart in 1991. 

If you have never heard the song, take a listen and watch the video as well. It features Henry Rollins dressed as Vanilla Ice (seriously) and 3rd Bass basically was ripping Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer (among others) for being weasels who "go pop." The base sample track should be familiar to many of you as well, as the band built the song on the horns and bass line from "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel.

My purchase on eBay started with these three cards. Yeah, K-Rod is uninspiring to many including myself. But I am a sucker, after all, and when a Brewers cards serial numbered 2 of 25 is packaged with two autographs for $0.99 plus $3 shipping, I'm probably going to buy it. 

Jason Rogers, of course, was a part of the Great Pirate Robbery of December 2015. The Brewers received minor league pitcher Trey Supak and current starting centerfielder Keon Broxton for Rogers in a trade that probably seemed like a good idea at the time to the Pirates -- turning some outfield depth into a potentially useful first baseman. The problem was that Rogers was neither given a chance by Pittsburgh in the majors and, then, struggled when he did get 33 plate appearances (.080/.303/.160). The Pirates released Rogers on Friday from his minor league contract, and the report out of Pittsburgh was that Rogers will sign with the Hanshin Tigers in the Japanese Central League.

Monte Harrison has moved steadily down the list of top Brewers prospects as the Brewers have acquired more organizational depth and players closer to the majors in trades and the draft. Harrison was promoted to the High-A Carolina Mudcats the day after the Midwest League All-Star game. He was the star of that All-Star Game: he hit two homers in the game the night after finishing second in the home run derby(oops, no he didn't). He did all kinds of weird things in that game, including hitting a home run while batting out of order and swapping jerseys with his first-base coach during his home run trot. It's good to see him having fun and fulfilling some of his massive potential. Before his promotion, he was hitting .265/.359/.475 with 11 HR and 11 SB in 261 plate appearances (though he is still striking out too much).

What's that you say? You haven't heard of the song "U And Dat"? Let's rectify that. I only wish this was the uncensored version.

Before I met my wife, I lived in Midtown Atlanta. No suburbs for me. My next door neighbor was an African-American guy named Bob who is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. Bob and I bonded over college football and sports generally, but we also talked a lot about music too. He introduced this song to me, and I really liked it. I used to crack him up by knowing all the words to it and being able to sing along with it.

I would imagine it would be humorous to see a blond, white, 35-year-old guy singing this song. 

As I mentioned, the eBay seller threw in some extra autographs for me. Man, did he come through. First up is that Wei-Chung Wang Panini card. I absolutely love the fact that he signed his autograph using the Chinese characters of his native Taiwan. I'm not sure why he wouldn't sign like that, but I like it nonetheless -- it looks sharp.

Wang, of course, was a Rule 5 pick after the 2013 season. The Brewers plucked him from Pittsburgh's rookie league roster, stashed him for a year in 2014 while using him sparingly, and then were able to sneak him through waivers. Wang has had great success this year in Colorado Springs working out of the bullpen, and I would not be surprised to see him up later this year in the Brewers pen. Also, I think that is probably where his future major league career will take him. He is only 25, so he has a little time.

Michael Reed, on the other hand, is struggling a bit this year. He has fallen behind the hot prospects in Colorado (Brett Phillips, Lewis Brinson, and Ryan Cordell) as well as the guys in Milwaukee already (Domingo Santana & Keon Broxton). To make matters worse for him, he's not making good contact in Double-A Biloxi -- .215/.352/.367 in 193 plate appearances. He's showing more power this year, but he probably needs a change in scenery soon. Maybe a minor deadline deal to shore up the bullpen?

Finally, there is the card about which I was more excited than any of the other cards I got in this deal -- the Ben Sheets autograph serial numbered 46 of 49. Too bad it is a Panini product and that Sheets apparently pitched before color photography was invented. In all seriousness, that Hometown Heroes product was (in my opinion) Panini's best product. It was ruined by the lack of licensing and discoloration issues resulting from that, but including the players they included in the set made it a winner.

Thanks for reading!


  1. So you wound up with five autos and a low numbered parallel for the price of a cheap lunch? Wow, terrific gesture by the seller!

    1. Yeah, I was completely blown away. Just getting the initial lot would have been plenty!

  2. Really sweet. I love it when eBay sellers have conscience about this kind of stuff. Awesome post.

  3. Glad eBay and the seller came through for you. I've been dealing with an issue on eBay recently... and their customer service has been stellar for me as well. The dealer? Not so much. Anyways... glad things worked out for you.

    Side note... there was a Frank's Red Hot sauce commercial at the start of the 3rd Bass video that was awesome. Definitely worth the watch.

  4. That's a heck of a deal and amazing generosity! FYI regarding Harrison, I don't believe he participated in the MWL HR Derby but was the AS game's MVP. May be confusing him with Gatewood who took 2nd in the Carolina League HR Derby :) Ether way its great to see him making progress after some injuries that likely slowed development

    1. You're right about that. Baseball America made a reference to the MWL HR Derby in their article, and I misread it to be about Harrison. Thanks.