Cubs Win, Cubs Win!! 2016 World Series Champions

In some of my previous posts I’ve mentioned that my family are pretty big baseball fans.  Now I will admit we are not actually Chicago Cubs fans, but when they made it into the World Services we couldn’t help but jump on the band wagon.

For those of you that may not know the Cubs had last been to the World Series in 1945, and the last time they won was in 1908.  That’s a 108 year drought and they finally broke it, but it was a long season and there were some bumps along the way.

To commemorate their journey the folks over at pennycollector.com put out a special limited number set of pressed pennies for each of the playoff series.  When I got the email about this set being made available I quickly headed over to order my set.

2016-cubs-series-penny-set

This set includes 3 pennies and I think just make a really cool collectible set for any Cubs fan, baseball fan or just pressed penny fan.

2016-cubs-nlds-penny

The first playoff series for the Cubs was the NLDS – National League Division Series where they played the San Francisco Giants in a best of 5 series.  They bested the Giants in 4 games (3-1).

2016-cubs-nlcs-penny

The next series was the NLCS – National League Championship Series again the Los Angles Dodgers.  The Cubs won this series in 6 games (4-2).

2016-cubs-world-series-penny

Finally they had made it to the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians.  This was a really fantastic series.  The Indians went up 3 games to 1 and it looks like the Cubs drought would continue.  But they wouldn’t go away quietly and eventually came back and forced a game 7 which is the holy grail of sports events, and to top it all off the game went into extra innings.  The Cubs eventually won in the 10th inning with a final score of 8 to 7.  What a season they had and were able to win the ultimate goal.

Congratulations Cubs fans you’ve waited long enough, enjoy it.

2016-cubs-win

 

2016 Subway Series – New York, NY

As a baseball fan with a family split down the middle of Yankee and Mets supporters every year there is an event that allows us to temporarily settle the dispute of who is better.  The New York Subway Series.

NY Subway Series

I’ve posted in the past that my parents are big Mets fans, and my sister’s family and my wife and I are Yankees fans.  We all go into this series with a lot of big talk and put downs, but at the end only one group of fans can be left standing.

The four game series started on August 1st at CitiField the home of the Mets.   Game 1 went to the Yankees (yay). Game 2 to the Mets (boo).  Games 3 and 4 were now a nice Subway ride away in the Bronx at Yankees Stadium.  Game 3 went to the Yankees, and finally game 4 went to the Mets.  A 2-2 series tie was a little disappointing my family was left without bragging rights over the other.  What a rip off!

Thankfully the great people over at pennycollector.com put together a special limited edition pressed penny set commemorating the 2016 Subway series.

2016 Subway Series Blog

The first penny has an image of both Yankees Stadium and CitiField with the team logos.  The second coin has an iconic New York City Subway train and says Subway Series with the team logos.

Now sort of semi-related to these coins is another special design that was included with this set.  To celebrate Famed New York Mets Catcher Mike Piazza being inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame a coin was created with his image.

2016 Mike Piazza HOF

All these coins were really cool and a great addition to my Baseball coin collection.  As far as I know these coins were not available at either New York team stadium and can only be purchased through the pennycollector.com online store.  These were listed as having a very limited number available so get yours before they are all gone.

2016 MLB All-Star Game – San Diego, CA

For those baseball fans out there we are fully into the second half of the season and getting ready for the mad dash to the playoffs that will be here before we know it.  But before all that we got to enjoy the 2016 MLB All-Star Game.  This year the events were held in San Diego California at the Padre’s home field Petco Park.

2016 MLB All-Star Logo

The last few years the fantastic people over at pennycollector.com have issued a special pressed coin.  Usually the machine is only available at the All-Star weekend events and a very limited number are available for purchase from their online store which is how I was able to acquire this years version.

2016 MLB All-Star Game Blog

The pressed penny has a nice design of the 2016 All-Star Game Logo.  In the past there have been additional designs for the Fan Fest but I was unable to find out whether they were also available this year or not.

It’s been awhile since the game played so this should hopefully not be a spoiler for anyone.  The home run derby winner was Giancarlo Stanton who plays for the Miami Marlins.  The actual All-Star Game was won by the American League with a final score of 4-2.

Also included in this purchase was the new 2016 Baseball Booklet.

Baseball 2016 Booklet

The booklet includes a special pressed penny as part of the cover and I have a close up view of it below.  I don’t actually store my penny collection in these booklets but have just continued to collect the booklets regardless.  I always enjoy the great cover art work.

Baseball 2016 Booklet Coin

These made a great addition to my baseball coin collection and always enjoy getting these special All-Star coins each year.  Make sure you pick yours up as they are in very limited supply.  Good luck collecting!!

NJ Minor League Baseball Stadiums

For baseball fans this is a great time of year with the World Series in full gear (game 4 is later tonight).  After what always seems like a very long season it’s down to just two teams, the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals.

2015 MLB WS

For the Royals this year is a return to the World Series who unfortunately lost last year to the San Francisco Giants.  The only World Series Championship the Royals have, was in 1985 when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals.

KC Royals 1985 Ring

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my parents are huge Mets fans and have been waiting for this moment for quite a while.  The last time they were in the World Series was in 2000 when they played a Subway Series again their cross town rivals the New York Yankees but the Yankees won the series.  Then in 2006 they were one win away from going back to the World Series but came up short.  Their last World Series win was back in 1986 when they beat the Boston Red Sox.  Needless to say my parents are anxiously awaiting to see if they can finally bring home the championship once again.

NY Mets 1986 Ring

With baseball on my mind I thought back to a couple of years ago when my family decided to check out a handful of local Minor League baseball teams.  This ended up being a great experience, we saw some excellent baseball, tickets are dirt cheap, and if memory serves me every stadium had a penny machine.  So I dug through my collection and decided to post about these stadiums and the coins that were and in some instances are still available.

Our first team to visit are the Camden Riversharks who play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.  They are not associates with any MLB team and would be considered a Single-A level team.  Their home is Campbell’s Field which is located along the Delaware river by the Camden waterfront.  Behind the outfield fence the stadium gives a beautiful view of the Ben Franklin Bridge and on nice days the Philadelphia Skyline.

Camden Riversharks Stadium

The last time I visited the stadium they had two penny machines available right on the main concourse.  Some of the stadiums keep their machines in the gift shops which can be very hectic during games.  But the benefit of having them in the gift shops is that they are usually available on days when games are not being played.

Camden Riversharks Machine 01

The first machine had three designs.  I always like these sets of coins as they are unique for each team and rarely do I see generic baseball designs at multiple machines.  The first set of designs were: the RiverSharks “C” logo, My Lucky Penny Camden NJ, and the RiverSharks Main Logo.

Camden Riversharks Pennies 02

A short walk along the concourse and I found the second machine which couldn’t have been more than 100 feet away from the first with an additional three designs.

Camden Riversharks Machine 02

The images available on these coins were: Campbell’s Field, I Love Baseball, and RiverSharks with the Ben Franklin Bridge in the background.

Camden Riversharks Pennies 01

This really was a nice stadium to visit and most times I schedule to see a game after spending the day at the nearby Adventure Aquarium or USS New Jersey Battleship which are located right nearby.  Unfortunately as I was researching this post I read that the RiverSharks would be relocating to New Britain, CT for the 2016 season.

Next we traveled over to see the Lakewood BlueClaws who play in the South Atlantic League and are associated with the Philadelphia Phillies.  They are also considered a Single-A level team and have had some famous MLB players come through their doors: Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, and Shane Victorino to name just a few.  Their home field is called FirstEnergy Park which was built in 2001.

Lakewood Blueclaws Stadium

This is another really nice stadium to take in a game.  I have seen quite a few games here as the stadium isn’t too far away from our home.  They have great in-between inning events to keep the crowd entertained.  One of our favorites is the Pork Roll, Egg and Cheese race that takes place at the end of the 4th inning each game.  For those of you that don’t know what Pork Roll is, well it’s a Jersey thing and is kind of like Canadian Bacon but not.  If you really want to know more you can click here to get some more information.  Anyways, the premise of the race is simple there are people dressed up in costumes that look like a Pork Roll slice, a fried Egg, and a wedge of Cheese.  They start their race just behind first base and have to run around the field with the winner crossing the finish line near home plate.

Pork Egg Cheese

As with all other Stadiums their gift shop is stocked full of souvenirs, jerseys, hats, t-shirts and anything you can image that would fit the team logo.  At this stadium their Pressed Penny machine is also located there.  This can cause some difficulty trying to use the machine as these gift shops tend to be very busy but the die-hard penny collector can always make do.

Lakewood Blueclaws Machine

This penny pincher machine has rolled the designs short in the past, but I was able to get a nice set the last time I was there.

Lakewood Blueclaws Pennies

Each design had some nice detail and were inspired by the team.  The designs included: A Blueclaw Crab holding a baseball bat, another BlueClaw Crab throwing a baseball, Buster the team mascot, and a special 10th Season design.  As you can see from the picture the teams 10th season actually took place in 2010 but they still had this design available until the machine was removed late in 2014.  I visited this park earlier this year (2015) and the machine had not been returned but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s just taking a little longer to create some new great designs.

 Located in Somerset which is near Bridgewater Township are the Somerset Patriots which is a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.  They are also a team not affiliated with a major league team and is a Single-A level team.  The team plays at the TD Bank ballpark which first opened 1999.  The Patriots are the winningest franchise in the Atlantic League with 6 championships (2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2015).

Somerset Patriots Stadium

I have gone to about 3 or 4 games and the Patriots really are a consistently great team. Each game I have gone to they dominated their opponents.  This is another really nice stadium with some great concessions and they also have made a pledge to offer health food to those looking for an alternative to the usually ballpark fare of hot dogs.  The Patriots Team store is located right near the main gate.  The penny machine located here has moved a few times.

Somerset Patriots Machine

Sometimes it’s inside the gift shop and other times it’s outside, so if you don’t immediately see it just keep looking.  The last time I made it to a game was in 2013 and it was located outside as pictures above.

Somerset Patriots Pennies

This penny pincher machine has always pressed nice full designs every time I had used it, but unfortunately the designs have not changed since my very first visit.  The four designs are: Somerset Patriots Logo, Slider one of their mascots, Sparkee their other mascot, and their stadium the TD Bank ballpark.  I sent an email to the stadium asking about this machine and was informed that it is still available but with their season over the machine won’t be available until next season.

Our last stop on this trip around New Jersey is right in my backyard.  Well not exactly but the Trenton Thunder are only about 10 minutes away so this is a team we go and see a few times a year.  The Thunder are a Double-A level team, are a member of the Atlantic League, and happen to be associated with the New York Yankees.  Their stadium used to be called Waterfront Park as it was located right along the Delaware river, but was renamed in 2012 as Arm & Hammer Park.

Trenton Thunder Stadium

The Trenton Thunder have had quite few Yankee alumni come through as they rehab from injuries and always attract a huge crowd when they come to town.  These alum include Roger Clemens, Robinson Cano, and Derek Jeter but there are many that have graced this field.

Jeter Trenton

Whenever you manage to pull yourself away from the action on the field as with the other stadiums you can visit the team gift shop.  The first few times I visited the field their penny machine was located here, but the last time I was able to find their machine it was located near the press box near seating section H.

As you can see from the above picture the machine was located at the top of the steps for some of the more popular seating sections located right behind home plate and was also beside some vendor tables.  This made the location a little busy and the ushers don’t let you go to your seat during play so if you try to use the machine during an inning the crowd around the machine can make accessing it almost impossible.

Trenton Thunder Pennies

As you can see from all the designs listed in this post they were for the most part unique for each team which makes them fun to collect.  These pennies for the Trenton team included their multiple mascots: Boomer, Strike, Trenton Thunder logo, and Chase & Derby their bat dogs.  Let me explain that one a little bit  Instead of having bat boys that run out to collect the home teams bats after each at bat, they have dogs that run out and get the bats instead.  It’s kind of cute and helps them bring awareness to adopting animals from local shelters.

Chase Thunder Bat Dog

Chase as seen above was the original bat dog and made his first appearance in the 2002 season.  One of his puppies Home Run Derby (Derby for short) was also trained and help with the duties during games.  Chase retired due to health reasons on July 5th, 2013 with a part and video tribute hosted by the Trenton Thunder team.  He died only a few days later on July 8th, 2013 from lymphoma that he had been diagnosed from earlier in the year, Chase was 13 years old.  The tradition has continued on as Chase’s granddog (Derby’s puppy) named Rookie made his first appearance in the Thunder’s 2015 season.  Below is a picture of Derby and his pup Rookie.

Rookie and Derby

Well that was a fun little way to end this post.  I always find it fun to just peruse my collection and see where I have been and what I have collected.  As our lives get busier and stress levels maxing out some days it’s nice to take some time and just partake in something you really enjoy and have a passion for.  This post did just that for me as I love my pressed pennies, and now it’s just about time to get ready for someone to be crowned World Series Champions.

MLB Hall of Fame – Cooperstown, NY

The first weekend in August every year for the last 37 years has been reserved for my mother’s side of the family to get together rain or shine for a family picnic.  My immediate family moved away from Canada about 19 years ago down to New Jersey and this makes for a great excuse to go back and visit.  The drive from New Jersey to Ottawa is about 8 hours give or take depending on how many pit stops need to be made along the way.  The last couple years we have tried to break up the trip back to Jersey by stopping someplace for the night and of course I take the opportunity to find a penny machine I may not get to visit again.  Last year we stopped by the Finger Lakes region in New York state and I posted a visit to a Bass Pro Shop in Auburn, NY which you can read about here.  As I have also posted in the past my family are pretty big baseball fans and this year we decided to make a little detour before heading home to visit the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Cooperstown

This truly is a baseball fans paradise.  The hall of fame sits right on Main Street and is surrounded by amazing little stores that contain anything baseball related you could think of.  Our first stop of course was the Hall of Fame itself.

HOF Front

The weekend before we arrived had the induction ceremony for the new 2015 class that included four great players.  Craig Biggio, Randy “Big Unit” Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz.  The Hall of Fame has three floors with some really great memorabilia, history, interactive exhibits and even a loop of the classic Laurel and Hardy sketch “Who’s on First”.  We spend a good two hours checking everything out but to be honest we could have been there all day there was just so much interesting history to see.

HOF Yankees

The day before we visited the Hall of Fame we had actually arrived in Cooperstown in the late afternoon.  After checking into our hotel and a quick rest in the room to recharge, we headed down to Main Street to check out all the stores and attractions that filled the town.  Were there any penny machines?  Oh you bet.  I had done my usual research before our trip but found that there were a couple of machines that had seemed to move around from store to store over the years.  Most of the machine notes hadn’t been updated in over a year or two so I didn’t know if they would still be there or not.  Luckily they were still in their most recent locations and weren’t too hard to find.

Yastrzemski Store

First was the Yastrzemski Store.  This wasn’t a big place but did have some nice little souvenirs.  The penny machine was located inside the front door to the left.

NY - Yastrzemski Sports Machine

The machine worked very nicely.  It cranked smoothly and made almost no noise which I wasn’t used.  The designs came out very nicely and of course were baseball related.

Yastrzemski Sports

The 4 designs included: I caught this in Cooperstown NY, Peace Love Baseball, No plate like Home Plate, and Abner Doubleday the Father of Baseball.  We continued walking along Main Street checking out other stores when they peaked out interested, then crossed the street and started to head back.  Eventually I came to the next potential penny machine location in the Pioneer Sports Cards store.

Pioneer Sports Store

The machine was located towards the front of the store but was in among a lot of other things handing all around it.  For some reason I didn’t see it when I first walked in and ended up wandering around the entire store until my father thankfully pointed it out.

NY - Pioneer Sports Cards Machine 01

Now this machine is a 4 die model.  However as you can see from the Marquee in the picture above one of the designs is covered up, and there is also a note right above the handle stating that one of the designs doesn’t work.  I had read about this online and initially was going to try pressing it anyways, but once I was there I didn’t want to run the risk of damaging the machine.  So I only pressed the 3 known working designs.

Pioneer Sports Cards

The designs were: Doubleday Field, Play Ball and Sand Lot Kid.  Each penny also included Cooperstown, NY in the designs.  I was a little disappointed at not being able to acquire the full set but I’ll be on the look out for it online or maybe at a penny trading session with my fellow TEC members at a future get together.  I was able to find a picture of the fourth design through a quick google search.

Pioneer Fan Penny

It’s a pretty nice design and would have made a nice additional to my collection but sometimes it’s just not meant to be.  I’ll keep my eyes open and I’m sure at some time I’ll be able to find it.  I may even send a letter to the store in a few months to see if the machine is fixed and hopefully they will help press it for me.  It never hurts to ask.

After a nice long weekend trip of visiting family and indulging in some baseball history it was nice to get home.  I’ve already catalogue these new coins and have some other adventures scheduled for the next few weekends.  The end of summer is quickly approaching and I still have so many places to visit.

New York Mets 2015 – Flushing, NY

I’ve posted in the past that my parents are big New York Mets fans.  They visit Citifield a few times a year to watch their beloved Mets and this current season was no different.  The Mets were recently playing their west coast rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers on a beautiful Saturday afternoon game.  No nicer way to take in a baseball game.

Mets Dodgers 2015

Before each game my parents always go into the team gift shop and check out the penny machine located there.  I will say that Major League Baseball Stadiums do a great job of having the penny designs updated each year.  I guess with most of the designs having the players faces and likeness on them, if the player is traded the design must be updated.  But whatever the reason when my parents visited this time they noticed the machine has a big “New Design” sticker on it so they took the little bag of change I give them in preparation for a new machine.

NY Mets 2015 01

Unfortunately when they went to use the machine it was jammed with someone else’s coins.  They walked over to a staff member to let them know and to their surprise they immediately called someone up to look at the machine.  Within about 10 minutes the machine was fixed and the nice man who worked on the machine gave my parents all 3 designs for free because of the inconvenience.  My parents thanked him and headed to their seats to enjoy the game.

NY Mets 2015 Pennies

Two of the designs are the same as last year (2014) which are the Mr. Met 50, and #5 Captain David Wright.  The New Design sticker on the cabinet of the machine referred to the third available design which is of the National League 2014 Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom.

With the playoffs coming soon to the baseball season it means the end of the line for a lot of the teams.  Be sure to visit your local ball park and see if there are any designs.  In my experience these change quite often and really make for a nice set of coins and are fun to compare throughout the years.

MLB All-Star Fan Fest 2015 – Cincinnati, OH

As a baseball fan few it’s always entertaining to watch the Midsummer Classic also known as the All-Star Game.  It probably goes back to when I was a kid and would make up my own All-Star Rosters featuring my favorite players at the time and even squeezing myself into the lineup hoping it may just one day come true.  Well here I am all grown up and unfortunately never made it on the field or even in the crowd to see an All-Star game but that doesn’t stop me from watching everything from the Home Run Derby to the actual game I can’t get enough of it.

This year the game was being hosted by the city of Cincinnati, Ohio at the Great American Ball Park which is the home to the Cincinnati Reds.

MLB_AllStar_Logo_2015

I’m sure by now all the fans have been the final outcome but just in case I’m not going to review the game or the final score.  But I did want to show off some special pressed pennies that were made available by the great team over at pennycollector.com.  The the last few years they have made special machines available just for the All-Star game and the Fan Fest that takes place leading up to the game.  I have tried to collect them all and have a pretty complete set but am missing a few years.  This year they actually offered on their website some additional designs that were not available in Cincinnati.  As soon as I saw this I had to place and order.

MLB All-Star 2015 Pennies

There are 3 designs available: All-Star Game July 14 2015, Fan Fest July 10-14 2015, and Great American Ball Park Cincinnati Ohio.  The designs were all pressed on copper pennies which is always a plus when you can get them.  The special offer included in additional to the pennies their new 2015 Baseball Booklet.

Baseball 2015 Booklet

I don’t personally use these booklets to store my pressed coins but I still like collecting the booklets separately and always enjoy seeing the new ones each year.  If you haven’t checked out pennycollector.com please do so.  They have a lot of great tips, a huge catalog of all available penny machines around the world, and an online store with a lot of unique coins and even some retired designs no longer available.

For anyone that loves baseball this is really a nice little set.  With new designs available each year (and hopefully many more years to come) there is always something to look forward to in addition to watching the worlds best ball players all together in one place.  If only they had pressed pennies in the Cracker Jack boxes I’d be all set.