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  1. Francona's book shows manager's true grit

    Ending the Curse of the Bambino and winning two World Series titles in eight seasons of managing the Boston Red Sox have been the highlights of Terry Francona's career in the dugout. And yet, Francona never really had the chance to absorb and relish the glory he deserved.

    ďI spent a lot of my time in Boston putting out fires,Ē Francona tells veteran Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy in ďFrancona: The Red Sox YearsĒ (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; $28, hardback, 360 pages). This ...
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  2. The Sports Bookie -- Opening a tin of 2012-13 Timeless Treasures basketball

    If I seem a little glassy-eyed after opening a tin of Panini Americaís 2012-13 Timeless Treasures basketball, try to understand.

    After all, three of the cards I pulled from the tin were Glass Rookie autograph cards. All three were on-card signatures in a design that makes it look as if the player signed on a pane of glass. The black background of the card makes it stand out even more. Hold this card up to the light and youíll see what I mean; no need for Windex on these cards. ...
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  3. The Sports Bookie -- Opening a box of Panini Limited football

    Yes, I've been a hobby box-opening fool this weekend. Received three boxes from Panini America to review, which I've already done on my blog at This is a recap of what I received.

    At approximately $100 per hobby box, Panini Americaís 2012 Limited Football offers one pack with seven cards. The good news is that Panini promises at least three autograph or memorabilia cards in this high-end product, with at least one autograph per box.

    The bad news, in the box ...
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  4. The Sports Bookie -- Opening a box of 2012 Crown Royale

    Itís always nice to get an added bonus when opening a box of cards. Whether itís an extra autograph or relic card, or something as small as an extra base card, itís part of the thrill of opening new boxes of cards.

    Thatís what I encountered when opening a hobby box of 2012 Crown Royale football by Panini America. A hobby box sells in the neighborhood of $90, and Panini advertises four packs per box, with five cards to a pack.
    My bonus? The box I opened had six cards to a pack. ...
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  5. The Sports Bookie -- RIP Stan Musial

    I never got to see Stan Musial play during his major-league career. I was only 6 when "The Man" retired after the 1963 season. But I did have the chance to see him at the annual Governor's Baseball dinner in Florida at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg in 1981.

    Musial and the St. Louis Cardinals had a presence in the Tampa Bay area for many years, as the team conducted spring training in St. Petersburg. And, Musial owned a condo in the Tierra Verde area at the southern ...
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