Friday, April 17, 2015

A New Cubs Era Begins

Today was the big day for Kris Bryant collectors, the young Cubs star made his first start in front of 30,000 fans at Wrigley Field. He brought his hat, his uniform and his glove but he seemed to have forgotten his bat when he went 0-4 becoming the first major leaguer in the past 100 years to strike out three times in their major league debut on the positive side he did have a solid defensive performance. Bryant did take it all in stride when during an interview after the game he said “I sure hope I can look back on this and laugh at it 15 years from now.”

But as collectors we all know that a single game does not make a career, outside of those guys who literally played just one game in the Major League, and if he shows any sort of flash like he did during Spring Training over the next 173 games his prices will continue to increase.
On the collector side, any of his cards that are serial numbered and autographed are all selling for insane prices with even his base 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Pick Autographs topping $500 for raw copies and $750 for graded copies.

Pretty much anything with his face will get plenty of attention, the lower the serial number the higher the cost. My favorite is his 2014 Bowman Inception autograph I like the simple design and the various colored parallels are really cool.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Can The End Of A Ban Change Your Mind?

As of Friday April 16th Adrian Peterson will be re-instated in to the NFL following his 7 month ban for child abuse. There is no question that he lost a majority of his fan support and collectors sold off their AP collections as quickly as possible.

Now that he will be back the question is will people come back to support him and will he do well on-field? He turned 30 last month, the “unofficial” retirement age for running backs, but take in to consideration that only 3 seasons ago he ran for over 2.000 yards and last year he only played in one game so he should be completely rested.

The next question is where will he suit up? The Vikings have said they look forward to Peterson returning to the team but there is talk that the Cowboys, Cardinals and Raiders are interested though he still has 3 years left on his contract and is due $12.75 million this year and increases to $14.75 million and $16.75 million over the next two season not counting bonuses.

 On the collector front he has plenty of his cards available and prices range greatly so collectors have options. Do you have any interest in collecting his cards?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Maybe Hold Up On The Auction

One of my goals last year was to cut down on the impulse card purchases, and I have done pretty well too, though occasionally a card catches my eye and I will pick it up. Last week I came across a cheap 2014 Topps Fire Ka’Deem Carey and I put in a bid and waited for the auction to end.

Normally I stick only with Carey’s University of Arizona cards but I think the Topps Fire cards are pretty cool and my bid was a whopping $0.25 so I figured it would be a decent addition to my collection if I won, which I did.

This auction got me thinking, at what point does it make no sense to even post up a card for auction? The auction started at $.05 and free shipping and after three bids ended at $.23 so in the end the seller lost money on the price of the stamp alone. It is difficult to comprehend why anyone would auction something knowing that they will be losing money.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

150 Years Later

It was 150 years ago today that President Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd, Major Henry Rathbone and Rathbone’s fiancĂ© Clara Harris attended the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater. The Civil War was in the final month after General Robert E Lee had surrendered the Army of the Potomac on April 9th and the President was beginning to feel better about the Union. He spent the morning in various meetings and then went for a carriage ride with his wife before attending the play.

Lincoln’s group sat in a box overlooking the stage not knowing that John Wilkes Booth was working his way through the theater before quietly entering the unguarded private box. At 10:15 pm he raises his single shot .44 caliber derringer inches from the back of the President’s head and fires mortally wounding him. As Lincoln fell forward Rathbone realized what had happened and charged Booth, who stabbed Rathbone in the arm and jumped up on the edge of the box over the stage. As Booth jumps down to the stage his boot catches causing him to break his leg when he landed. Witness claim Booth yelled “Sic semper tyrannis!” ("Thus always to tyrants" in Latin) before running off the stage.

Many people do not realize that there was actually a complete plan to “Cut off the head” of the government with assassination plans of Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward. David Herold and Lewis Powell were sent to kill Seward at 10:30 pm with Powell actually making it to Seward’s bedroom, where Seward had been bedridden following a carriage accident. Powell stabbed Seward in the neck and head leaving him for dead not realizing that Seward was wearing a metal harness around his neck which deflected many of the blows. George Atzerodt was sent to assassinate Vice President Johnson but lost his nerve and got drunk in the hotel bar.

To add fire to the conspiracy theories there is trustworthy evidence that Booth and VP Johnson knew each other being seen with each other a number of times in 1864 and on the night of the assassination Booth left a note for Johnson at his hotel saying “Don’t wish to disturb you, are you at home? J Wilkes Booth”

Abraham Lincoln fell in to a coma and never recovered. At 7:22 am on April 15, 1865 he passed away, he was 56 years old.

Booth and Herold was later cornered in a Virginia barn with Herold surrendering before the barn was set on fire. A Union soldier seeing Booth through the wooden boards fires once hitting Booth in the neck, he died 3 hours later.

In all, not counting Booth, there were 8 conspirators captured and tried. Four were sentenced to death and hung (Powell, Herold, Atzerodt and Mary Surratt). The other four were sentenced to punishments varying from six years to life.

In the past 150 years Abraham Lincoln has appeared on hundreds of cards from 1880s to the candy and cereal releases in the 1920s and 1930s through today’s Topps, Upper Deck and Panini releases.

Just in the past decade card companies have done their best to bring President Lincoln in to the hands of the collector. Not only can you get base cards, parallels and inserts but you can also find high-end cards like Lincoln sketch/paint cards, autographs, DNA cards and memorabilia cards (desk, floor and envelopes).

What bothers me is that card companies are in such a rush to get cut signatures in to cards that they do not stop to think if they should. The three Lincoln autographs cards above are nicely designed and they have beautiful cut signatures that look amazing framed and are worthy of being a center piece of any collector while the cards below are some of the uglier options, though for some unknown reason still sell for the same prices as the cards above. I guess this proves that people are willing to pay money for Lincoln's signature no matter what the card design or signature looks like.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Michael Crabtree May Have Found A Home

Michael Crabtree has anxiously been sitting and waiting for a phone call from an interested team. Part of the problem is that Crabtree is requesting #1 WR contract while at best he is a #3 WR and teams were not willing to drop that kind of change on a guy who is averaging only 7 receptions and 54 yards per game and his attitude doesn’t help.

Since the beginning of the Free Agency period a collection of solid wide receivers like Jeremy Maclin, Andre Johnson, Dwayne Bowe and even Percy Harvin all signed with teams leaving Crabtree as one of the top players in FA that was unsigned.

Rumor now is the Crabtree will be signing with the Oakland Raiders where he will line up with James Jones (666 yards) and Rod Streater (84 yards). The deal has not been announced and is contingent on him passing a physical. There is also talk that the Raiders, who have the #4 Draft Pick in this month’s NFL Draft, may look to draft a wide receiver in either Amari Cooper or Kevin White.

In the last decade Oakland seemed quite excited to sign young players who were washed up before their career started (JaMarcus Russell) or players who were at the end of their careers (Justin Tuck) so you wonder how this may affect his play.
Does the change from 49ers scarlet and gold to Raiders silver and black help or hurt Crabtree’s collectability?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Goodbye And Thank You Lauren Hill

A little more than 2 weeks ago I wrote about Lauren Hill, a 19-year old fighting a rare form of brain cancer. Sadly this morning she lost her battle with cancer and passed away.

Since she was diagnosed in 2013 she took the challenge head on knowing the outcome was stacked against her she wanted to do everything she could to raise awareness. During one of her interviews she said “I’m spreading awareness and also teaching people how to live in the moment because the next moment’s not promised.” Pretty profound coming from someone that still in their teens.

As things got worse for her she became sensitive to light, sound and movement. She tired quickly and would need a wheelchair and sleep was becoming more difficult. Even then she was still remaining committed to her The Cure Starts Now Foundation until the end, with her family taking on a bigger role as she weakened. So far the nonprofit foundation has raised over $1.5 million for cancer research.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Does A Moving Van Make A Difference To Collectors?

The other day I started thinking about teams that have moved and noticed that team collectors seem more apt to continue collecting baseball teams through their moves as compared to teams from basketball, football and hockey that have moved.

It got my gears working and I am wondering if it has to do with the storied history of baseball and the long connection with cards. Collectors seem more willing to pick up players from each incarnation of the team especially Dodgers and Giants collectors.

Consider baseball teams that have moved:
Philadelphia> Kansas City> Oakland A’s
Boston> Milwaukee> Atlanta Braves
Brooklyn> Los Angeles Dodgers
New York> San Francisco Giants

Now look at other sports teams with a long history that have moved and to me it seems like the original locations do not get much attention from collectors outside of maybe the Lakers and Raiders.

Milwaukee> St. Louis> Atlanta Hawks
Minneapolis> Los Angeles Lakers
Rochester Royals> Cincinnati Royals> Kansas City-Omaha Kings> Sacramento Kings

Cleveland> Los Angeles> St. Louis Rams
Chicago> St. Louis> Arizona Cardinals
Oakland> Los Angeles> Oakland Raiders
Kansas City Scouts> Colorado Rockies> New Jersey Devils
Quebec Nordiques> Colorado Avalanche

This may be just my observation but I would love some input from team collectors.
Do you collect any teams that have moved and if so do you collect from before/after the move?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lets Go Mojo...

I picked up this 2012 Leaf Metal Draft Mike Zunino autograph in February as the second piece of my Zunino trifecta, I still need to pick up a relic card, but I felt that now would be a good time to post up something about the Mariners catcher because he needs some major mojo going in to tonight’s game against the Angels. In the first two games he is currently 0-6 with a strike out, not a great start especially after last year’s mundane season where he had a .199 batting average and had more strike outs (158) than hits (87).

The card is the metal foil background that Leaf likes to use so it doesn’t scan very well, it actually reflects back everything during the scan and looks all scratched up but the card is beautiful in hand. I took a picture so you can see how it truly looks.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

R.I.P. James Best AKA Sheriff Rosco P. Coultrane

Last night James Best passed away at the age of 88 due to complications from pneumonia. To many people the name may not mean anything but if you grew up in the early 80s you may know him better as Sheriff Rosco P. Coultrane, the bane of the Duke boy’s existence. From 1979 through 1985 every boy sat in front of the television waiting to see what kind of hornet’s nest the Duke family was going to get in to that night.

Best was actually an accomplished actor long before the Dukes of Hazzard was even an idea on a TV execs desk with appearance dating back to the origination of television including some of the most famous shows to grace the black and white screen. His list includes The Lone Ranger, Wagon Train, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Twilight Zone, Rawhide, Death Valley Days, Bonanza and Gunsmoke. Following his Dukes of Hazzard success he made appearances in two Dukes of Hazard spinoffs “The Dukes” and “Enos” plus two Dukes of Hazzard TV movies and two video games.
For collectors the options are extremely limited. Donruss released Dukes of Hazzard sets in 1980, 1981 & 1983 and that is it. Best did appear on the autograph checklist for the 2000 Rittenhouse Twilight Zone Series 2 release. Additional options include 8x10 photos, action figures and you can never go wrong with his 1981 Ertl Hazzard County Police car die cast car (or any of the Johnny Lighting re-releases).

When I was a kid I had the Duke’s General Lee and Roscoe’s police car die cast cars and I think I recreated every single jump, spin out and crash that I saw on the show before completely destroying the cars from all the crashes in to curbs.
His "Kew-kew-kew" catch phrase will always put a smile on Hazzard fans.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Opening Day!

Today is the most anticipated day for baseball fans, Opening Day! Of course this is ignoring yesterday’s Cardinals-Cubs game. And after today’s 4-1 win over the Angels the Mariners are in sole ownership of the AL West, which is probably the last time I can say that this season.