Thursday, April 17, 2014

Don't Damage That Card!

I enjoy the show Modern Family and one of our local channels shows reruns 5 times a week. Last night’s episode included two of my favorite things, Christmas and sports cards. The episode, Express Christmas, included a variety of hijinks but it was Phil’s (Ty Burrell) attempt to impress his father-in-law Jay (Ed O’Neill) that made me chuckle.
Phil wanted to really make a good impression on Jay so he decided to purchase a mint condition Joe DiMaggio card that had been signed by Joltin Joe through a Craigslist seller. The deal did not go well, the seller wanted more money but settled for Phil’s frozen turkey, and Manny (Rico Rodriguez) ended up tazing Phil. So as Phil was holding the card he was doing the “tazer dance” and each time he twitches he crumpled the card more. I love his “Mint condition… near-mint condition…”
I think many of us can relate to damaging a card on accident, though not to Phil’s extent. I could only find one, blurry video with the part where he damages the card but it is still funny.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Last Friday I asked if there was still room for Chris Johnson in the NFL and the New York Jets answered that question by signing him to a 2-year deal worth up to $9 million. He is making half of what he was making in Tennessee and he will be working alongside Bilal Powell (697 rushing yards in 2013) and Chris Ivory (833 rushing yards in 2013) as part of a running back by committee tandem but he will probably be happier working with the Jets. Now with the young Geno Smith and veteran Vick at QB opportunities may open up for the running game, the addition of Eric Decker also gives the team a solid wide receiver to open up the box too.

Additional news out of Seattle, Sidney Rice has resigned with the Seahawks for a 1-year deal.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Leaf Betting On Johnny Manziel


 Building on the hype of “Johnny Football”, Leaf has announced the release of a special draft predictor set, 2014 Leaf Johnny Manziel Predictor Packs. The packs, which run $9.99 (plus $2.99 s&h) are only available through Leaf’s eBay store, only contain one card.
These cards feature Manziel (in Texas A&M uniform) pictured in front of a skyline related to each of the 32 NFL teams. There will only be 41 of each team’s card produced. When you purchase a pack you get one of the cards randomly and after the NFL Draft, anyone with the card of the team that drafts Manziel can redeem the card for an autographed version that is limited to #/41.
The entire set will be quite limited when you think about it, there will be 41 cards for each of the 32 teams which means only a total of 1,312 cards will be made. I am wondering what the plan is for the autographed versions, will they print an additional 41 to be signed and shipped or will the winners need to send in their card for the exchange.
So far a little over 300 have been sold and as the draft gets closer I would expect that number to increase quickly and with the first orders estimated to be delivered as early as Thursday I would expect to see the Texans, Jaguars and Browns cards demanding a premium on the secondary market (with Oakland, Minnesota and maybe Tennessee getting a nice bump too). I purchased one earlier today and I am personally hoping for the Seahawks card, even though I know he will not be drafted by Seattle. With my luck I will probably get a team that already has a franchise QB like Denver or Green Bay.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Frustration Of A Knuckleheaded Seller

About 3 weeks ago a seller put up a 2002 Upper Deck Authentics Ken Griffey Jr (#162) reverse negative parallel as an error card and they set a reserve price. I would love to add one of these to my collection, you do not see them show up to often, and with a day left in the auction and the price sitting around $5 I put in a bid of $15.79 hoping that the reserve was like $12-15. I was bid up as the time ticked away and the auction ended with me having the final bid of $12.51. Slight problem, obviously the reserve was not less than that and the auction ended with no winner.
I watched the seller for the next 2 weeks to see if they would put up the card again. I was hoping that he would see the final price and either set a BIN or a lower reserve. No luck, the card just wasn’t showing up and I stopped checking his auctions earlier last week (he sold mostly cheap electronics and home gadgets). Which turned out to be my bad decision. I found out he eventually put the card back up, no reserve on a 3-day auction. The damn thing sold for a little over $6 with free shipping.
I know that losing out on the card was ultimately my fault for not watching the listings closer but damn, he could have easily contacted me after the first auction and I would have paid $15 and still have been happy. Now someone got a better deal, he lost out on an additional $10 and I lost an awesome card for my collection. I am bummed about this.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Is There Still Room For CJ In The NFL?

One of the big surprises of the off-season is the lack of interest in ex-Titan’s running back Chris Johnson. At 28-years old, he has six straight seasons over 1,000 yards including his amazing 2009 season when he topped 2,000 yards, a feat only 7 running backs have accomplished. You would think that teams would be lining up to work a deal with him but there are a couple of rumors that are beginning to spread that could be causing teams to hold back on trying to sign with CJ.
According to a league source, reported by a number of outlets including CBS News and NBC News, Johnson is refusing to engage in any private try-outs for interested teams. Add this to his “Me First!” attitude, his previous ripping of his team and teammates and now the rumors that he hangs around gang bangers/bad elements (un-proven at this time that I know of) is a major concern for teams.
At the age of 28 Johnson is coming up on the almost required running back retirement age of 30 years old. His rushing yards are dropping, his average per rush is falling and his touchdowns numbers are dropping. Has Chris Johnson cashed his final NFL paycheck? I don't think so, but I do think they will not be as large as he is hoping to get.
In the hobby Chris Johnson has his collectors, but his personality has pushed many collectors away. Toss in his lack of a decent signature and there just does not seem to be a rush on his cards. His jersey cards can be found for a couple of dollars and his “CJ” autographs can be picked up for $20, if not less.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Art Gallery: 2012 Topps Wacky Package Old School 4 Sweating Bullets

This month’s Art Gallery display comes from the 2012 Topps Wacky Packages Old School 4 release. The artist is Mark Pingitore, a freelance animator who has worked with Topps on the Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages lines. He is also a fellow Art Institute alumni so I gotta support the guy there too.
Because Mark works almost exclusively with GPK and WP his illustrations has that goofy humor. This card is entitled “Sweating Bullets”, sadly even though the card is considered a one of a kind there are other Pingatore WP sketch cards that are almost exactly the same with slight differences, like one has the same image but sweating three bullets.
This was another opportunity purchase, I was looking for Wacky Package Autographs and came across this sketch card for just a few dollars, I believe $2.99, so I tossed in a bid and won. I picked up this card last year, and I like it but with my current goal of controlled discretionary spending I would not have picked it up.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Griffey Slideshow

Today is one of those days where writer’s block seems to be weighing heavily over me and nothing about sports cards is coming to me. So, I decided to revisit a post from February.
In mid-February I bought a 1995 Leaf Slideshow Ken Griffey Jr. 8A card that was graded. I had planned on removing the card from the slab, something the USPS helped me with, and all I needed was the slightly more rarer Griffey 8B card to make a complete Slideshow card. Well, 8A is now broken free from the slab and 8B has made it’s way in to my hands.


Here is the complete 1995 Leaf Slideshow Ken Griffey Jr,, isn’t it a beauty?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Vintage Card Of The Month: 1909-11 T206 Frank King

This month’s VCoM comes from the T206 series. Most cards from the T206 release can be difficult to date because the set was inserted in to tobacco packs between 1909 and 1911, the King card though came from the initial 1909 release. Frank King only played for the Danville Red Sox during the 1909 season.
King was an outfielder that played 7 seasons, all in the minor leagues for 4 different teams. Saying he was a professional baseball player was being polite, his best season was in 1905 with the Savannah Pathfinders where he played 88 games and had .270 BA and 86 hits. He ended his career with a .222 BA and 487 hits.
The good thing about the card is that it is in decent shape, the corners are rounded and the front surface is chipped but the color is still bright. Additionally, it is my only Old Mill back. The back is stained and cut off-center just as I like my Tobacco era cards.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Honoring The Loss Of A Musical Genius

Saturday April 5, 2014 marked the 20th Anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain, for Generation X-ers like me this was the day that music died (With apologies to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper).
What bothers me is that Cobain is essentially ignored by sports card manufacturers. While Justin Bieber and One Direction are immortalized with entire sets musicians like Kurt Cobain are left to languish in the background. Kurt has only one card, besides oddball cards, to his checklist; 2011 Topps American Pie. A card marking his 1994 suicide.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Some New University Of Arizona Cards For My PC

A couple of recent University of Arizona pickups arrived in my mailbox today.
First up is Solomon Hill. I love the 2013-14 Upper Deck Black Basketball release. The Lustrous rookie autograph cards are very cool, they are quite thick with on-card autographs. The player is placed over an acetate window, which highlights the player well.
Hill was the 23rd pick by the Pacers in the 2013 NBA Draft but he is having trouble transitioning to the pro game. Coming out of Arizona he was being compared to Ron Artest and was hitting 42% of his 3-point shots but things are not going well in Indiana. He started in the D-League but was recalled by the Pacers and has since been averaging 6.8 minutes per game, 1.5 PPG and 1.3 RPG. His anemic play allowed me to pick up this card for a whopping $1.99.
The other card is from the 2014 Leaf Metal Draft set, the State Pride Autograph cards highlight college players with the background displaying the state flag of where the players are from originally. I have been watching Ka’Deem Carey since his high school days, he attended the high school I went to when I lived in Tucson. He is rated as one of the best Running Backs in the 2014 NFL Draft so there is a good chance he will go in the Second Round. The huge downside to a neat card is his crappy signature, at least it is an on-card crappy signature. This card cost me a little over $6.00 shipped.