The Exciting Days of Summer are Here

Summer is upon and the world of sports is heating up. Major League Baseball is in the thick of completion and the NHL and NBA are closing out their own seasons, but each league has intriguing storylines that can compare to any summer blockbuster.

The NBA has reached their respective Conference Finals series with four teams vying for the coveted NBA Championship. The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, two powerhouse teams, are battling for supremacy in the East. Each team has their share of dominant players and it is just going to come down to who can win in crunch time. With Chris Bosh hurting, Dwyane Wade and league MVP LeBron James look to carry the load against Kevin Garnett and the Celtics. Over out West, the situation could not be any different. With veterans like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli, the San Antonio Spurs will look to stay neck and neck with a very young and hungry Oklahoma City Thunder team led by superstar Kevin Durant.

Hockey has reached its pinnacle as the New Jersey Devils square off against the Los Angeles Kings. It has been a long time coming for each time, the Devils have not won a Stanley Cup in over 10 years and the Kings have not been to a Stanley Cup Final in over 20 years and have never won, despite having Wayne Gretzky back in the day. Will veteran Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur add another Stanley Cup to his resume or will Jonathan Quick and the upstart Kings finally win their first cup?

We are in the thick of baseball season and everything seems a little topsy turvy. If I would have told you at the beginning of the season that the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals and Chicago White Sox were in first place and the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies were in last place, would you have believed me? Well, rest easy fans because that is fact and not fiction. Yes, there have been some surprises this season all around, but the dog days of summer are right around the corner and the long, hot stretch of the season will begin.

Get all your great sports memorabilia and collectibles at Pro Sports Memorabilia this summer!

The NBA Playoffs Continue

The dawn of April means one thing; Major League Baseball has returned! As every new season starts, every team’s season begins with a clean slate. No one is in last place, everyone is in first place with a chance to win. With a thrilling end to the 2011 season and a very active offseason, the 2012 season looks to be one for the record books.

Last year my friends and I had picked who we thought would win the World Series. Well let’s just say my prediction of the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies was just a tad bit off, not to mention I picked the Atlanta Braves to win the National League Wild Card, so my luck wasn’t very good last year. I have taken a step back this year and decided to be a bit more careful with all my picks. These picks will be on record, so if I crash and burn as I did last year there will be evidence to enforce that. But I feel these picks are quite concrete this year and will help me win bragging rights among my peers.

AL EAST

New York Yankees

Tampa Bay Rays (AL Wild Card)

Boston Red Sox

Toronto Blue Jays

Baltimore Orioles

 

AL CENTRAL

Detroit Tigers

Cleveland Indians

Kansas City Royals

Chicago White Sox

Minnesota Twins

 

AL WEST

Texas Rangers

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (AL Wild Card)

Oakland Athletics

Seattle Mariners

 

AL Wild-Card Game

Rays over Angels

 

AL DIVISION SERIES

Rangers over Yankees

Tigers over Rays

 

ALCS

Rangers over Tigers

 

NL EAST

Philadelphia Phillies

Miami Marlins (NL Wild Card)

Atlanta Braves

Washington Nationals

New York Mets

 

NL CENTRAL

Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers

St. Louis Cardinals

Chicago Cubs

Pittsburgh Pirates

Houston Astros

 

NL WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks

San Francisco Giants (NL Wild Card)

Los Angeles Dodgers

San Diego Padres

Colorado Rockies

 

NL WILD-CARD GAME

Giants over Marlins

 

NL DIVISION SERIES

Diamondbacks over Reds

Giants over Phillies

 

NLCS

Diamondbacks over Giants

 

WORLD SERIES

Rangers over Diamondbacks

 

Get all your MLB Autographed Memorabilia as well as Hall of Fame Collectibles right here at Pro Sports Memorabilia!

Predictions for 2012 MLB Award Winners

With over 1,280 active players in Major League Baseball, one would think choosing the award winners would be a daunting task. There are so many stand-out players in baseball that the choice of picking who is the best is not a tough choice.

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

With rankings in the top five for the last three years in AL MVP voting, you think it’s about time Miguel Cabrera finally wins an AL MVP award? Cabrera was edged out by his fellow Tigers teammate Justin Verlander last year, so this year has to be his year. Cabrera lead the league in average last year hitting .344 and clocking 30 home runs, so he’s no slouch. The Tigers added Prince Fielder to their lineup which should give Cabrera more opportunities for RBI’s. Although he moves to third base, Cabrera should be a hands down choice for MVP this year.

 

NL MVP: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

With both Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder leaving the NL Central, the Cincinnati Reds should have a prime opportunity to take the division crown this year. Votto, already an NL MVP in 2010, is an all around great hitter who should not fail to impress the masses this year. Last year’s winner, Ryan Braun, is facing the aftermath of his overturned suspension and that might be a distraction on his part. Votto has great protection in his lineup which should give him the edge, and with a brand new contract in hand, he really has nothing to lose.

 

AL CY YOUNG: Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Justin Verlander won not only the AL CY Young last year, but he was also named the AL MVP. So you might call me crazy not picking Verlander to repeat as winner; if I had to pick a second it would be him. While he is ridiculously good, so is Jered Weaver. Last year the Angels had the best pitching staff in terms of ERA in the AL and they were in the top 10 for fielding in the league. The Angels also added Albert Pujols to their lineup, so his bat and glove should give Weaver the protection he needs to finally win a Cy Young.

 

NL CY YOUNG: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies

What can you say about Roy Halladay that hasn’t already been said before? If you are looking for a steady hand in baseball, Doc Halladay is your guy. With the exception of Tim Lincecum in 2008 and 2009, the NL Cy Young has fluctuated between pitchers over the years. Look for Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and last year’s winner, Clayton Kershaw, to give Halladay a run for his money this year.

 

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

Alright, so Darvish has been pitching professionally in Japan since 2005, but the arrival of this foreign star should make waves in the league this year. When one pays a $50 million posting fee for a player, that player better step up his game! Darvish was an ace in Japan going 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA to boot. Now the transition from Japan to America has never been easy for many players, but Darvish truly looks to succeed over here.  Though of the Japanese players to come over recently have not lived up to their hype like Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kosuke Fukudome, but at 25 years old Darvish is the age of most rookies in Major League Baseball, and I believe he will in fact dominate the league quickly.

 

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

The Phenom, the Natural, the best amateur baseball player ever. Bryce Harper has brought upon his own cult status over the years as being one of the best drafted players of all time. Well when you are 19 and have your own Wikipedia page, you’re kind of a big deal. Harper was drafted number one overall in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft as a catcher, but most experts believe he will play a corner outfield position. The Nationals have sent Harper down to the minors before the season started, but look for him to get called up very soon and take a hold of the National League. Look out for Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo to make a splash later in the season, as well.

 

Shop Pro Sports Memorabilia for all your autographed baseball memorabilia & collectibles, plus check out our Sports Photo Store for officially licensed photos, updated daily!

2012 Baseball Predictions

The dawn of April means one thing; Major League Baseball has returned! As every new season starts, every team’s season begins with a clean slate. No one is in last place, everyone is in first place with a chance to win. With a thrilling end to the 2011 season and a very active offseason, the 2012 season looks to be one for the record books.

Last year my friends and I had picked who we thought would win the World Series. Well let’s just say my prediction of the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies was just a tad bit off, not to mention I picked the Atlanta Braves to win the National League Wild Card, so my luck wasn’t very good last year. I have taken a step back this year and decided to be a bit more careful with all my picks. These picks will be on record, so if I crash and burn as I did last year there will be evidence to enforce that. But I feel these picks are quite concrete this year and will help me win bragging rights among my peers.


AL EAST

New York Yankees

Tampa Bay Rays (AL Wild Card)

Boston Red Sox

Toronto Blue Jays

Baltimore Orioles

 

AL CENTRAL

Detroit Tigers

Cleveland Indians

Kansas City Royals

Chicago White Sox

Minnesota Twins

 

AL WEST

Texas Rangers

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (AL Wild Card)

Oakland Athletics

Seattle Mariners

 

AL Wild-Card Game

Rays over Angels

 

AL DIVISION SERIES

Rangers over Yankees

Tigers over Rays

 

ALCS

Rangers over Tigers

 

 

 

NL EAST

Philadelphia Phillies

Miami Marlins (NL Wild Card)

Atlanta Braves

Washington Nationals

New York Mets

 

NL CENTRAL

Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers

St. Louis Cardinals

Chicago Cubs

Pittsburgh Pirates

Houston Astros

 

NL WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks

San Francisco Giants (NL Wild Card)

Los Angeles Dodgers

San Diego Padres

Colorado Rockies

 

NL WILD-CARD GAME

Giants over Marlins

 

NL DIVISION SERIES

Diamondbacks over Reds

Giants over Phillies

 

NLCS

Diamondbacks over Giants

 

 

 

 

WORLD SERIES

Rangers over Diamondbacks

 

Get all your MLB Autographed Memorabilia as well as Hall of Fame Collectibles right here at Pro Sports Memorabilia!

2012 MLB Preview

With all the Lin-sanity going on in the NBA people might forget that Spring Training has officially begun. Yes, the start of the 2012 MLB season is upon us and as the rest of the players make their way down to the sun-drenched skies of Florida and Arizona, it’s refreshing to know that each team is beginning their season anew. And, with the unforgettable pennant races and a 2011 World Series, it is going to be interesting to see if – and how – Major League Baseball tops itself this year.

With a very active offseason, it’s shaping up to be a very exciting year in baseball. Powerhouse free agents changed teams this year. Albert Pujols went to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Detroit Tigers signed Prince Fielder. Because of these offseason mega moves, the balance of power in Major League Baseball has appeared to shift to the American League and with three of the last four World Series winners coming from the NL, the impact of these signings are sure to be followed closely. It’s hard to determine how these offseason victories will translate to the diamond but on the surface, they sure do seem like game changers.

Countless other teams look to make their mark on the 2012 Major League Baseball season as well. The recently revamped Miami Marlins are setting up shop in a new stadium this year and they have an equally fresh roster to go with their new digs. New players to the team include shortstop Jose Reyes, left-handed starting pitcher Mark Buehrle and right-hander Carlos Zambrano. All eyes will undoubtedly be on them to see if they can help the Marlins to the playoffs or at the very least, help them from calling the NL East basement home again this season.

Look for the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves to try to rectify their epic September collapses with winning records and while the Pittsburgh Pirates have been at the bottom of baseball’s barrel for nearly two decades, this could be the year they finish above .500 for a change. With solid team players like All-Star Andrew McCutchen and Joel Hanrahan, it is entirely possible for the Bucs to shed their 19-year losing streak and perhaps even sell out a game or two at PNC Park.

Predicting the outcome of the 2012 baseball season is hard but one thing is certain, Spring Training is a clean start for all teams and in essence—a blank canvas. There is no first place or last, no embarrassing error stats, ERAs or batting averages to hide from. Instead, the start of Spring Training has a redemptive quality that all 30 teams can embrace. Now’s the time for ball clubs to use their clean slates to their advantage, write their own history and knock it out of the park this season because after all, the quest for October baseball begins now.

Be sure to check out Pro Sports Memorabilia for all your baseball memorabilia, and check out our Sports Photo Store for MLB photos updated daily throughout the season!

A Preview of the Big Game

It’s that magical time of year when beer, wings, pizza and football all come together for one of the biggest sporting events in the world–the Super Bowl, a time when fans can put rivalries aside and enjoy an event that caps off an exciting season. From the halftime show to the anticipation of the iconic and over the top commercials, there is no shortage of entertainment on Super Bowl Sunday but nothing overshadows the two teams ready to put their seasons on the line for the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy. This year’s contest has the New England Patriots vs. the New York Giants in an epic rematch that’s expected to be the most watched Super Bowl game ever.

If I had told you at the beginning of the NFL season that Victor Cruz would be one of the NFL’s leading receivers or that Mario Manningham would end up with less receiving yards than Darren Sproles, you would have called me crazy. But therein lies the beauty of the NFL; you never really know how the teams or players will fare. Sure, another Super Bowl with the Patriots playing is no surprise to anyone who follows football but nonetheless, the path they took was less than expected. It’s hard to imagine that anyone predicted the 2 New England tight ends putting up a combined 2,237 yards and 24 touchdowns in one season.

Patriots Breakdown:

For the past 10 years, the Patriots have been a poster child for dominance and there is one person at the heart of that, Tom Brady. The Patriots defense is suspect at best so most games rest on Brady’s shoulders and he has the ability to make anyone a star. Rob Gronkowski stepped up this year as well and his performance this season is unheard of for a tight end. There is no denying that the Pats have one of the most potent offenses in the league, which was evident in the first game of the season when Brady connected with Wes Welker for a record 99-yard touchdown. Unfortunately, it’s the defense that losses games for the Patriots; ranked dead last in yards allowed, this unit has struggled all year.

Giants Breakdown:

The Giants have been up and down all season. Some games they look like champions but others, like the 49-24 beating from New Orleans Saints in week 12, make them look weak. Beyond a doubt, the Giants’ MVP this season is Victor Cruz. After Mario Manningham went down with an injury, Cruz got a shot at playing time and he never looked back. Surpassing even the solid numbers of Hakeem Nicks who finished with 1,192 yards and 7 touchdowns, Cruz has made a name for himself as a top receiver in the NFL. Obviously, Eli Manning’s performance is a big factor in this game and although he had a great season (4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns) he at times looked lost. Cruz’s circus catches definitely helped Eli out of some jams but the Giants can’t rely on that to win games.

Prediction:

When all is said and done, I think the Patriots are the better team, but then again I thought the same thing four years ago. It’s going to come down to whether the Giants can stop the TE tandem on the Patriots and whether the Pats can put pressure on Eli so he doesn’t have time to find Cruz or Nicks. I don’t see Belichek losing another one to the Giants. After they ruined his perfect season, he has a bone to pick with New York and you had better believe he isn’t letting the Giants steal another one from him.

Final Score: Patriots 24 Giants 17

Again, the Crystal Ball Calls Alabama Home!

For the third year in a row, the state of Alabama has the pride of holding up the crystal football trophy given to the National Football Champion. This year, the Alabama Crimson Tide rolled over the LSU Tigers 21-0, a shocking score considering the 6-3 struggle that took place the first time these teams met in Tuscaloosa just two months prior.

Alabama Quarterback AJ McCarron continued the ‘Bama way by winning without throwing a touchdown, but will now be forever remembered with some of the Tide’s other all-time greats like Joe Namath, Ken Stabler & Bart Starr. Trent Richardson looked very similar to 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram rushing for nearly a hundred yards and the game’s lone touchdown. If he decided to stay for his senior year, he would likely be the favorite to follow in Ingram’s footsteps and bring home a Heisman, but after competing on such a large stage as this, I would be surprised if he didn’t take the money and make his way to the NFL.

The Alabama defensive unit looked as good as the San Francisco 49ers have been looking all year allowing only 92 total yards without a snap in their own territory until late in the game. I even wondered at times, “Could ‘Bama beat a struggling NFL offense like the Indianapolis Colts or St. Louis Rams?” I highly doubt it, but they proved that their defense can hold off any offense in the country better than anyone else even while playing in such a difficult conference as the SEC.

2011 marks the second time in 3 years the Tide have been National Champions; however, the trophy did not go far with rival Auburn led by Cam Newton winning it last year. With no professional sports team in the state, Alabama natives rely on the excitement of NCAA athletics, and recently there has been no disappointment. Even with the horrific tornadoes that destroyed Tuscaloosa and other nearby parts of the state, the Alabama Crimson Tide prevailed to bring home the 2011 BCS National Championship. Be sure to check out Pro Sports Memorabilia for Officially Licensed Crimson Tide Championship Collectibles.

Yes Virginia, there will be an NBA season after all

It’s looking like Christmas Day will mark the return of professional hoops as both sides in the ongoing NBA drama continue to hammer out a deal that would have your hardwood favorites holding court by year’s end. When the NBA’s 2011-2012 season is salvaged, fans can get ready for a hyped up free agent frenzy that will surely involve fast and furious league-wide movement as teams try to stack their rosters with a vengeance. Deals that once took once took months will now be done and signed in mere days. While you may not know whether your hometown hero is staying put or packing it up and moving on, one thing is for certain—the sheer avalanche of moves will give the NBA the electrifying jumpstart it needs to get fans to stand up and notice that the lockout has ended.

Celebrate the end of the 2011 NBA lockout with a new collectible from Pro Sports Memorabilia. From monumental franchise greats to fresh faces and up and coming talent, we have a variety of autographed memorabilia from yesterday’s fan favorites and today’s popular players. Score a great deal on authentic NBA collectibles, choose from rare items like game-used collectibles, autographed NBA jerseys and autographed NBA basketballs, and while you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up professional grade display cases to highlight your collection and protect your investment in style. As the NBA lockout comes to a close, celebrate and treat yourself to a great piece of NBA merchandise today and be sure to stay tuned for all the big moves coming your way!

Kick off your Holiday Shopping with PSM

Tis’ the Season to start your holiday shopping and there’s no better way to spoil the sports fan in your life than with authentic sports memorabilia and sports collectibles. Kick start your holiday shopping on ProSportsMemorabilia.com where you can find an array of autographed memorabilia and a cornucopia of must-have sports collectibles for that special someone in your life.

Whether you are looking for statement gifts like game used memorabilia and authentic  autographed jerseys or you want a few stocking stuffers that won’t break the bank, we have a variety of officially licensed sports merchandise, authentic autographed memorabilia and hard-to-find collectibles that are sure to put a smile on your  favorite sports enthusiast’s face. Check out our holiday gift list for some great ideas that will undoubtedly fill someone’s holiday with cheer!

Top 10 Holiday Gift Giving Ideas

  1. Autographed jerseys
  2. Autographed footballs
  3. Game used memorabilia
  4. Autographed basketballs
  5. NCAA memorabilia
  6. Display cases
  7. Photos
  8. Team signed memorabilia
  9. NFL helmets
  10. Autographed hockey pucks

At Pro Sports Memorabilia, we only carry authentic merchandise and all of our autographed memorabilia comes with a Certificate of Authenticity (CoA) so you can shop with confidence knowing that your item is 100% real. And, if you’re still undecided on the perfect gift score a sure-to-please emailable gift certificate instead or check out our Gift Center!

We Remember Smokin’ Joe

The sports world suffered a great lost this week when on Monday, November 7, 2011, “Smokin’” Joe Frazier passed away after a long battle with liver cancer. Frazier, one of the United States’ elite boxers of the 60s and 70s, won the Gold medal during the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo and was also a World Heavyweight Champion in the 70s.

Though he did hold the title of Champion, the majority of Fraziers’ fame comes from his matches with Muhammad Ali. In their first of three career fights, sometimes referred to as the Fight of the Century, a 27-year old Frazier was taking on an older Ali who had also been out of boxing for 3 years. Though Ali held his own at the beginning, endurance soon became an issue and Frazier was able to pull off a unanimous decision.

The next two meetings between the legendary boxers, Ali-Frazier II and Thrilla in Manilla, did not end up being as entertaining of fights as the first, but helped Ali improve his reputation by beating one of the best….twice.  Frazier also had a couple duals with George Foreman, but unfortunately was not able to beat him either match and ultimately retired after one of the beatings.

Throughout much of his later life, Frazier had the reputation of disliking his rival Muhammad Ali, though they did settle some of their differences and were on respectful speaking terms when he passed. Ali made a statement that Frazier was a great athlete and human, respected him and his career and wished his family and loved ones his best.

Though it is always unfortunate when someone passes away, the actions that take place afterwards always seem to show everyone what type of person they really were. Some people may look at boxers as big refrigerators of muscle that like to get punched in the head, but all the newscasters, referees, trainers and even opponents of Joe Frazier all say that he was one of the nicest people they would ever have the privilege of working with. Rivalries are a very important aspect of all sports, without them things would not be as exciting, but it is good to see that respect of the athlete as a person outweighs anything negative fans may feel about the athlete because of who he played for or what fan-favorite he may have beaten.

Remember the life of a boxing legend with great collectibles and autographs available at Pro Sports Memorabilia.