Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Panda Moves East

Pablo Sandoval has been a popular character in San Francisco, of course winning three World Series titles will do that. But now that he has moved east, along with Hanley Ramirez, to the Boston Red Sox will his popularity remain or possibly surge?
I think if he can come in and make an impact on the Red Sox, who ended the season in the AL East cellar, his popularity with skyrocket. Giants collectors are big time but I think the Red Sox just have those die-hard fans that are willing to drop money on any player. Consider how insanely popular the 2014 Allen & Ginter Daniel Neva Playoff Beard relic cards earlier this year.
If the team’s turnaround is immediately I would imagine Sandoval and Ramirez cards in Sox unis will be flying off the shelves at insane prices.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Nest Step For Autograph Collectors?

In my continued search to add young Mariners to my team collection I hunt down autographs of players like Chris Taylor, who after playing 47 games following his call-up late last season is expected to make a run as the team’s starting Shortstop in 2015.
I came across an odd autograph, it was Taylor’s 2014 Bowman Chrome but not his “Official" autograph that was packed out by Topps. It was a sorta-IP autograph. The dealer had Taylor sign stickers during a minor league game during the 2012 season and the then the dealer stuck the sticker on to the 2014 Bowman Chrome card to make it an autographed card.
I can understand the reasoning behind it, having a player sign multiple stickers at one time and affix the signed stickers to any item at a later time. It cuts down on the items an autograph hound has to carry or mail out and they can add the stickers to anything. Personally I don’t like it, the stickers are disconnected and noticeably different and in this case the sticker looks crappy on the card and the autograph is not very visible.

It got me wondering, is this a natural progression for IP/TTM autographs?

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Art Gallery: 2013 Chenduz Custom Stewie Sketch Card

This month’s Art Gallery display is a card that I have actually talked about on the blog before. In September I came across this card for auction when looking at Family Guy sketch cards, one of my favorite animated shows. The Stewie/GPK sketch card was originally posted for $39.99 and while cool I would never have considered it at that price, the most I had paid for a sketch card was around $11.00 and I have tried to keep my max for any sketch card at $15.00 shipped.
The card did not sell at $40 so the seller dropped it to $30 and still no interest so it was dropped to $19.99 BIN and free shipping. I went back and forth wondering if I should bite or wait for another week or two and hope that the seller would drop it below $15 and inside of my price range. Apparently the monster that is eBay heard my auction prayers and sent me a sign in the form of $5.21 in eBay Bucks. After the coupon discount the card ended up at $14.78 and under, just barely, my max of $15 for a sketch card.
The card is from Vincenzo D’Ippolio, also known as Chenduz., a sketch artist that has been working with Topps for years supplying sketch cards for GPK and Wacky Package releases. This card was a custom sketch card drawn in 2013 and the cool thing is that this is an actual Topps GPK Artist Card, which are authentic cards with the same design as what is inserted in to packs but usually with a blank back or a notation that it is an artist card. So the “Garbage Pail Kids” across the top and the yellow border below Stewie are pre-printed on the card and includes the Topps copyright. The card is done in ink and Prismacolor marker with purple paint splatters around the edges to give the card texture.
Even though most sketch cards are 1/1 this card is among the most unique sketch cards in my collection due to the combination of GPK and Stewie from Family Guy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Would You Collect A Manziel Baseball Card?

 In a continuing attempt at including Johnny Manziel in to as many products as possibly Topps has decided to include Manziel in the upcoming Bowman Draft Picks set being released in December.
Manziel was selected by the Padres in the 28th Round of the 2014 MLB Draft, number 837th overall. Manziel last played baseball as a Junior in high school in 2010, and while this wouldn’t be the first time that a NFL QB was drafted by MLB it would be the first time that a NFL QB had his own baseball card without even showing up for batting practice following being drafted.
Other NFL QBs that were drafted by baseball teams include Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Jake Locker, Brandon Weeden and Tom Brady. Wilson and Weeden are the only ones that have baseball cards but they both have played baseball in the minor league system so it is reasonable for them to be included in Bowman sets. Topps did include Wilson in this year’s Bowman release as a Texas Ranger but at least he showed up for the Rangers in Spring League and took batting practice and did drills with the team.
Johnny “Baseball” is depicted on the Bowman card wearing a Padres jersey with a Heisman logo on the sleeve, the picture was from a publicity shot when he threw out the first pitch at a game in May 2013. They didn’t even have a shot from after the draft. You think they could have tossed him in to a Padres jersey and took him to Petco Park to at least claim it was an “Official” MLB picture. 

This is an interesting situation because one of the most collected rookies in both NFL and MLB has seen limited time in only 2 NFL games and will never appear in an MLB game.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The NBA's Turn

After months of the NFL getting attention from the multiple domestic and child abuse cases the NBA has thrown their hat in to the ring. Today the NBA announced that Charlotte Hornets forward Jeff Taylor will be suspended for 24 games in response to his pleading guilty to domestic violence assault and now TMZ, verified by both Sports Illustrated and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that Houston’s Dwight Howard is being investigated by Georgia officials involving child abuse claims by the mother of his child.
Apparently the mother contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families in August when she found their 6-year old child with bruises and abrasions on his backside and legs. The child was examined by a doctor who concluded that the injuries are consistent with a medical diagnosis of physical abuse.
There is no question that Howard is a producer on the court but over the past few years he has left some collectors in the cold with his childish antics in Orlando that led to him leaving for LA. His one and done in LA didn’t do much for his image either but it now seems like he has settled in to his role in Houston and he is having another solid season. With the team built around him the Rockets are a playoff contender so if he ends up in hot water over these allegations the team will be sure to drop if he is suspended. Additionally, like Adrian Peterson, I would expect his card prices to drop drastically.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Honus Goes Big Time

Tomorrow the 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner card, known as The Chesapeake Wagner, a PSA 1(MK) is going up for auction through SCP Auctions with a starting bid of $50,000
This card is the Holy Grail of sports card collecting and besides seeing a picture most of us will never touch one let alone see one. In the past decade the cheapest one had a $109,638 price tag for a PSA 1 with the last two selling for $2.1 million (unknown grade) and $1.2 million (VG 3) so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one top $150k if not $200k.
This is one of the few cards that if I had the disposable cash I would actually bid.


The history of this card would make for an intriguing soap opera. When the American Tobacco Company decided to include cards in cigarette and tobacco packs in 1909 they required the authorization of each player to include them in the packs. Wagner refused to sign so in response the ATC sent a sports writer (John Gruber) to try and convince him to sign the paperwork but he wrote on the paper that he did not want his picture in a package of cigarettes.
This is where the most popular story about Wagner not wanting kids purchasing tobacco products to collect his card came from, this was later validated by his granddaughter. The problem to this “happy” story is that Wagner chewed tobacco almost religiously and on top of that he had cards included in tobacco products as far back as 1899 not to mention he had appeared in advertisements for cigars and cigarettes for a decade at this point.
The more believable story is based on him being a shrewd businessman at heart. He was known as a tough negotiator, even retiring after the 1909 season because the Pirate refused to offer the money he felt he deserved, they eventually gave in and he un-retired. It is more reasonable to believe that he refused to sign the contract because ATC refused to pay him a fair compensation.
So when he refused to authorize his use in the set the company cut him from the product but it is believed that as many as 200 copies were printed and already inserted in to cigarette packs. There are roughly 55 copies that have been graded between Beckett and PSA and another 8-10 raw copies floating around.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Back To The Farscape Project

Since I picked up the four Farscape cards from the closing comic book shop I have added a couple more cards to my collection.
The first is another card from my favorite character, a Zhaan costume card #CC13 from Rittenhouse Season Two release. So far I have three of the four Zhaan costume cards released, I am only missing #C10. This one is actually my least favorite of her costume cards because it depicts her while she was “budding”. The Delvians are vegetarians though when they are starving their bodies crave meat and they begin to grow buds on their bodies. The flowers release a pollen that causes other species to become paralyzed which allows the Delvians to feed on them.

The other pickups are a collection of 6 promo cards that were unintended releases, similar to the AU promo cards. The cards are numbered SF1-6 and are made up of the main characters John Crichton, Aeryn Sun, Ka D’Argo, Zotoh Zhaan, Bialar Crais and Chiana. What is cool is that Virginia Hey autographed the Zhaan card, her character.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Some Things Will Never Be Explained

Following Eli Manning’s 5-INT day against the 49ers stunned NFL scientists have committed more of an effort in determining how Eli is the Manning with more Super Bowl wins. At this rate he may be looking at taking over QB duties for New York’s other semi-pro football team (not so sly dig at the NY Jets).

Friday, November 14, 2014

Random Blaster: 2014 Topps Valor Football

I finally gave in and purchased a blaster of 2014 Valor football, it has been quite a few months since I even bought a pack of cards but I do like the Valor design and each box included a relic so I figured it wouldn’t be too bad to give in just once.
The Valor set, while only 2 years have been released (2012 & 2014), is one of my favorite sets. I just like the way that Topps designed the sets with an artistic flair but also focusing on the players. This year Topps went with a plaid design which reminds me of the Celtic Tartan patterns. I am of Irish decent so the Celtic (pronounced Keltic) pattern leaves me with a soft spot in my heart. If I still built sets this would be a release that I would complete.
The cards are on light weight cardboard, except the parallels, I am not sure if this is because this is a retail product. Does anyone know if the hobby packs contain thicker cards?
So let’s take a look at what I pulled.

Starting with the Seahawks, I pulled two current and one ex-Hawk. Marshawn Lynch, Paul Richardson and Percy Harvin.

Only one Cardinal base card, the rookie TE Troy Niklas

A couple of veterans/Hall of Famers led by Barry Sanders and Deon Sanders. I also pulled a Bo Jackson (College HOF), Troy Aikman and John Riggins.

I pulled two parallels, which are on a thicker cardboard than what was used with the base cards. A Courage John Riggins #/399 and a Strength Jordy Nelson #/499
The relic I pulled is of Cardinals rookie QB Logan Thomas, who has become the backup to starter Drew Stanton following Carson Palmer’s season-ending knee injury last week. I am happy the relic is of a player on a team I collect.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Who Shot First?

In 1977 a conspiracy theory was formed following the release of Star Wars: A New Hope when the question “Who shot first?” was being asked in regards to Han Solo and Greedo’s shoot out in the Cantina. For twenty years it was widely accepted that Han Solo shot first proving that he is a true cold blooded killer. In 1997 George Lucas went to town and destroyed so many fan’s expectations when he “updated” the movie for its 20th Anniversary re-release. In the update it was changed to Greedo shooting first and Han firing in self-defense.
Lucas’ revised scene actually led to a split in fandom with some supporting the new version while most fans still stuck with Han being the aggressor. Who would have thought that a 57-second scene would cause so much of an uproar?
In an open forum where Harrison Ford was asked questions by fans regarding his films he officially stated (in response to being asked who shot first) “I don’t know and I don’t care”. Now that is commitment to a character.
I picked up this cool 1996 Topps Star Wars Finest Greedo card signed by Paul Blake the actor who played Han’s target that fateful day on Tatooine. Blake has a couple of official Topps autographs, three I believe, but the prices are usually topping $20 or more. This beauty on the other hand, signed at a Star Wars convention, only cost $7.99 shipped.