Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 The Year That Was

With a little more then an hour left in 2009 and we can say that the hobby changed greatly this past year. The big changes:

-Panini coming to America to join in on the fun
-Panini buying Donruss
-Panini signing an exclusive NBA license

-Topps signing an exclusive contract with MLB
-Topps losing the NFLPA license

-Upper Deck losing out on the NBA and MLB license
-Upper Deck signing an agreement with MLBPA and NCAA

2010 will be a different landscape with certain licenses being exclusive, but just as Donruss produced baseball cards without a MLB license I think we will still see the 3 major brands pushing out releases in the major sports.

A few hopes for the New Year:

-Sticker autographs go the way of the dinosaur.

-Limited edition and SP cards actually marked as such so they cannot be reproduced ala Rookie Premier fakes and fake patches.

-Donruss hires card designers that don’t love lines and odd shaped die-cut windows.

-Chris Olds actually opens a box without a 1 of 1 or case pull.

-Beckett covers the real hobby, including the good and the bad, and not the fluff pieces that appear month after month .

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why Brett?

I hate to say it considering I have rooted for and respected the guy most of his career, but is Brett Favre blazing his legacy (in a bad way) as he continues to play the way he has over the past 3 seasons? Following the 2007 season Green Bay tanked in the NFC Championship Game at home and then Brett retired in to the sunset but then decided to un-retire and hold the Packers hostage. In New York he started off like a rocket again but then the team lost 4 of the last 5 games and missed the playoffs all together, again Brett scattered out of town on the first bus and left the Jets to rebuild. Now Minnesota has lost 3 of the last 4 games and they went from a Super Bowl lock to being tossed in to the jumble of hopefuls. You wonder if Brett Favre is slowly adding the letter “I” in to the word “Team”.

Favre is at odds with his coach, he is at odds with many of his teammates and he is isolating the fans. Where we once saw a true player sitting there contemplating retirement in Green Bay we now see an egotistical shell of the man wearing Purple for the season, you wonder what team he is going to implode next season.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Custom Mariners Logo Patch Card

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
A few years ago Upper Deck was having a contest where you could design your own cards, the theme was open and left for the designer to create. I decided to throw my hat in the ringer. Since then I have enjoyed creating custom cards and recently I wanted to try and work with relics.

I made this card for my son for Christmas using the logo from a Seattle Mariners baseball cap. This was a unique situation, for most custom cards I would print a front, back and center support card for a total of 3 layers. This time I had to create die-cut windows of varying size to support the card and relic. In total there are 8 layers in this card counting the front, back, relic layer and the die-cut window layers. I probably could have added an additional 4-6 layers because the logo is pretty thick and actually pops out from the card face. This was definitely a learning situation

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ho Ho Ho... Merry Christmas Relic Style

It is now a little past Midnight here, I wanted to take this time to post up a few of my favorite Santa Claus cards that I have picked up over the years. There have actually been quite a few “Santa Claus” inspired cards over the years, mainly in the early 90s when companies like Action Pack, Pro Set, Edge and Pacific included various Santa Claus cards through out their releases. In the 1998 Upper Deck took things a step further and released Santa relics.

I will begin with the first Santa Claus relic card, originally released by Upper Deck in 1998; this card is oversized at 3 ½ “ X 5”. This card was created for Upper Deck employees and special customers only. I bought this card 9 years ago for $20 and I thought I was being ripped off at the time but I wanted to have the card for my son’s first Christmas. The card has become very rare and when you can find them now, they are selling for well over $100. < LINK > If anyone knows how many were released please let me know.

The second card is my Ken Griffey Jr “Santa Hat” card. This card was part of a special holiday release by Upper Deck in 1999. The cards are also oversized, 3 ½” X 5”, and I believe there were 3 cards in the set, Griffey, Kobe and Garnett. This set is also rare but if you are interested in buying one I suggest waiting until after Christmas when the prices drop.

About 6-8 years ago I came across a Santa Claus autograph card created by one of the major manufacturers (I have forgotten which company though). The card has popped up for auction from time to time but I have always lost out in the end. While I still hunt for that elusive Santa autograph, Topps has made things a bit easier for me in the mean time when they released the 2007 Topps Santa set which included 18 cards total, including a 1952 Topps Santa Rookie, a Santa Claus autograph and Santa relic card. I picked the set up in Target after Christmas that year for like $5 on clearance.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Topps Scores Again

Topps just announced that they signed an exclusive deal with Stephen Strasburg, the #1 Pick of the 2009 MLB Draft. I wonder if UD was even in the running or if this was a slam-dunk for Topps.

The question now is how long will it be before we see Strasburg breaking in to the Nationals starting lineup. I have a feeling that he will either be the #2 starter in 2010 behind Jason Marquis or you will never see him pitching in a National uniform. He is said to have so much potential and there has been a list of pitching prospects that were rushed to the Majors who ended up not living up to expectations, most recently Rick Ankiel, Kerry Woods, Mark Prior and Andrew Miller come to mind and you hope that Strasburg does not get added to that list.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

JaMarcus Russell From Top Dog To Left Out

JaMarcus Russell may want to begin packing his bags, it looks as if his position as the starting QB has ultimately been sacked. Russell was benched when the Raiders brought in Bruce Gradkowski who led the Raiders to a pair of upset wins over the Bengals and Pittsburgh before tearing the MCL ligaments in both knees.

You would think that this would be an opportunity for Russell to step up and show that he is the true starter but the Raiders instead choose to use Charlie Frye, who has not played in a game in over a year, to be the starter. To add insult to injury they signed JP Losman, who was not even playing in the NFL, to be the Third string QB. You wonder how long it will be before Losman becomes the #2 guy and Russell is handing out water and towels during timeouts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Bengals Chris Henry Has Passed Away

Bengals Henry Football
Originally uploaded by Jumper48

Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Chris Henry, after a fall from the back of a pickup truck, is reported to be on life support and “Battling for Life” in a Charlotte, NC hospital. According to a police report Henry and his fiancĂ© were having a “domestic dispute” when she attempted to leave the residence in a pickup. Henry jumped in to the back of the pickup as she drove away and at some point he fell from the back of the truck.

Chris Henry has had a spotty off-field record and was one of the on-going embarrassments for the Bengals over the years with his numerous arrests and suspensions from the team. He was actually released by the team in 2008 but returned before the beginning of the next season. This season he was used sparingly and had only 12 receptions for 236 yards before breaking his arm in October.

He may not have a HOF career but he has been productive for the team when he has focused and this would be a terrible end for young life. Unfortunately the vultures have already begun showing up on eBay, listing cards for $50 and up for what could have been purchased for a few cents just yesterday.

My hopes and thoughts go out to the Henry family.

UPDATE 12/17

Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Chris Henry passed away this morning due to the injuries he sustained after falling out of the back of a pickup truck yesterday afternoon.

Like everyone else in the sports community I would like to send my condolences to the Henry family, his fiancé and their 3 children.

Patch Works- Kolb

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
Player: Kevin Kolb
Team: Philadelphia Eagles
Set: 2007 Leaf Rookies & Stars - Longevity
Card # : 221
Serial # : 1/2
Description: The letter “L” and part of “B” cut from the jersey Kolb wore at the 2007 Rookie Premier

This was a nice card, I was a bit disappointed by the letter placement considering they could have easily made this a 4 card set instead of a 2 card set. So instead of getting just the "L", I get a cut off "L" and a seriously cut off "B".

Saturday, December 12, 2009

More Playoff National Treasure Rookie Signature Preview

Panini posted a few more images from the 2009 Playoff National Treasure Rookie Colossal Prime Jersey Number Signature inserts and I think this is one of the most bad-ass patch cards that I have ever seen. If I was offered this card or an NFL Shield patch version I think I would actually take this one.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2009 Playoff National Treasure- Rookie Signature Preview

The 2009 Playoff Nation Treasure football set is scheduled to be released on January 27, 2010 and Panini recently released some photos of the actual Rookie Colossal Prime Jersey Number Signature inserts. These cards are numbered to /50 or less and contain on-card signatures.

You will find the top rookies of 2009 in the set including Matt Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, Beanie Wells and Mark Sanchez. This looks to be a nice set and Panini finally learned to keep the design simple and forget the sticker autographs.

I will review the entire product at a later date, I just wanted to get out some of the images of the Rookie Signature inserts. Hopefully this will be a trend for Panini.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jackie Deserves Better

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
Jeff at New Card Smell recently wrote up a story about cut autographs and gave his take on the subject. I got inquisitive and took a look at cut autos up for auction on eBay and was surprised to come across an abomination of a card <link>.

I am utterly surprised to see that someone at Upper Deck thought it would be a great idea to take a machete to this beautiful Jackie Robinson autograph and then stick it in to a card, number it to /7 and call it a day.

I guess there are collectors out there that have similar feelings about this card because it could not even garner the .99-cent opening bid. It truly is a sad day when a Jackie Robinson autograph can’t even sell of under a buck. To make things worse, or hilarious depending on how you see it, the seller turns around and takes this horrific card that could not even sell for $1 and puts it up for a Buy It Now of $1,599 with free shipping

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Umaga RIP

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
It has been reported that former WWE wrestler Umaga, real name Edward Fatu, has passed away earlier Friday evening following his second heart attack. Over the last 3 years Fatu had been connected with growth hormones and this past Summer was released from WWE after failing his second drug test and refusing to go to rehab. It is pretty sad to look through a list of wrestlers who have died over the last 10 years, too many of them are dying of either drug related or heart problems and most are under the age of 50. Obviously there is a connection here.

While I will not say that there has been a mass influx of Umaga cards showing up for auction, there has been a significant amount posted in the last 12 hours with his autographs leading the way. Currently a 2006 Heritage II autograph card <link> is closing in on $40 with 2 days left.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The End Of Wax Heaven?

Mario Alejandro of Wax Heaven made a most unexpected post today <link>. Apparently he will be shutting down Wax Heaven by the end of the year. Details will follow shortly as to why and what this means for him and the website, but if this is a permanent shut down this will be a sad day for the sports collecting blogsphere.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Patch Works- Newton & Chandler

Originally uploaded by Jumper48

Player: Joe Newton and Scott Chandler
Team: Oregon State and Iowa
Set: 2007 Topps Draft Picks and Prospects- Senior Standouts
Card # : SSCR- NC
Serial # : 40/49
Description: Patches from the jerseys of Joe Newton and Scott Chandler that were worn at the 2007 Senior Bowl.

Some pretty decent patches as far as patches go considering who the players are.

Joe Newton went undrafted in the 2007 NFL Draft and signed with the Seattle Seahawks, he currently sits on the Seahawks practice squad and has never played a professional down in the NFL.

Scott Chandler has done a little better, drafted in the 4th Round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He played in 1 game for the Chargers and was waived after the 2008 season. He is currently on the Dallas Cowboy's practice squad.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Who Dat?

The New Orleans Saints are 11-0 this season, Drew Brees is on track to throw for over 4,500 yards and has a 3-1 TD to INT ratio and Marques Colston should top 1,000 yards received for the season. The Saints even topped the New England Patriots Monday night to show that they are a team to consider for the long run.

You have to wonder then, why are the Saints player’s cards selling for pennies compared to some of the other top players in the league? You can get a Drew Brees 2009 Limited Auto/Jersey card for under $2 with 4 days left. His rookie cards are selling for literally cents. A Marques Colston 2008 Limited Jersey/Auto #/25 is going for .99 cents with no bids. Even Reggie Bush, once the darling of the 2006 NFL Draft, has autos and jersey cards under $10 each. These same cards were selling for hundreds of dollars a few years ago but are now being used as kindling.

I understand that Bush has been producing less and less each year but the rest of the team has been putting up significant numbers. There is so much production from this team, WRs Colston, Devrey Henderson and Robert Meachem are all there willing to take a pass from Brees and don’t forget TE Jeremy Shockey. Running the ball are RBs Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas, who are sharing the load equally. This team should be a collector’s dream but there does not seem to be much love outside of Louisiana.

I have been a Saints fan for quite a few years; Bobby Hebert and Sam Mills were two of my favorites. Mario Bates, who played with the Saints from ‘94-97, was a personal friend of mine (even though he ended up choosing ASU over U of A)and I have always been a huge fan of the underdog Drew Brees and Univ. of Arizona product Mike Bell. I am a Saints collector but I seem to be alone in this endeavor.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Sad Day in Lakewood, Washington

I wanted to take today to post about something very personal to me. I have many family members and friends who are police officers and I lived in the Seattle area for 15 years so I felt the need to speak my mind on this situation.

If you
have not read, 4 police officers were ambushed and murdered in a coffee house in Lakewood, Washington. The officers were in uniform and meeting before their shift started, a single gunman entered the shop, fired at the officers without any provocation then simply walked out of the shop. Currently there are no suspects and minimal leads for the authorities to follow.

I am greatly saddened by this event; I want to send my condolences and respects to the families of the victims and the officers of the Lakewood Police Department. I can only hope that the suspect is captured quickly and justice is swift.

2009-10 Panini NBA Limited- Glass Cleaners

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
Today’s post is just a random thought about an upcoming release, more specifically an upcoming insert that will be part of the 2009-10 Panini Limited NBA set scheduled to be released January 6, 2010. I will do some research on the set and write up a preview at a later date but I just wanted to say how much I really like the “Glass Cleaners” insert.

At first look they appear to be similar in appearance to UD’s SPx Shadow Box inserts and to add to the positive list is that the cards contain on-card signatures of the NBA’s top rebounders both past and present. I am really looking forward to the NBA Limited release.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Blowout Cards Black Friday

Blowout Cards will be offering some great deals for Black Friday beginning 11/27 at 6:00 AM EST running through 4:00 PM EST. For a look at the teaser you can check out their forums to see some of the deals they will be offering.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The First NFL Thanksgiving Day Game

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
Most will recognize the name Jim Thorpe, he was an early-20th Century sports figure who made a name playing professional football and baseball and lets not forget his 2 Gold medals in the 1912 Olympics. He made great strides for the Native American movement in professional sports spending most of his time playing for the Canton Bulldogs in the NFL and the for the New York Giants in the MLB and he even played also among the first inductees in to the NFL Hall of Fame when it opened in 1963.

Most people probably will not recognize the name Fritz Pollard though. Fredrick “Fritz” Pollard, along with Bobby Marshall, became the first African-American player in the NFL. He later went on to become the first African-American coach in the NFL. He was also part of the success of the 1920 Akron Pros who went undefeated and won the NFL Championship. He was eventually enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame in 2005.

I decided to create a card containing both Jim Thorpe and Fritz Pollard because of their connection together. One was among the first African-American players in the NFL and the other was among the first Native American players in the NFL. Both players were dominant during their playing days and they met to play in the first NFL Thanksgiving Day game. It was November 25th, 1920, 91 years ago today, and the game ended in a 7-0 win for Pollard and the Akron Pros on their home field League Park.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Originally uploaded by Jumper48
Recently Card Corner Club started up a social network and as part of the “festivities”, they were giving away cards and held a drawing for one of five prizes. The prizes included some nice giveaways including a 2007 Bowman Football Chrome hobby box, a McFarlane 2 pack, UD RC Premier Basketball and Football box sets and a Matt Stafford relic/auto card. And as luck would have it, I was one of the winners; I was selected to win the UD RC Premier Basketball box set. I am more a football collector but I was happy to just have been selected a winner.

The set itself consists of the first round picks of the 2007 NBA Draft and anyone who has read my blog knows that I am a Kevin Durant fan, but I only collect cards from his Seattle days because I refuse to support Clay Bennett and his OKC Pirates. So this box was a wonderful selection for me because Durant is plastered across the front of the box.

The cards are actually designed pretty well, consisting of the rookie in an action pose from the 2007 Rookie Photo Shoot. The background is a de-saturated photo of the arena in one of the team’s colors and there is an “energy” burst beneath the player. The front banner lists the player, the team name and logo and some silver foil.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hand of God II

Being of Irish decent I support the Emerald Isle when it comes to sports. In yesterday’s World Cup qualifier between France and Ireland an injustice prevailed and directly affected the outcome the game when France’s Thierry Henry palmed the before it could go out then controlled the ball before passing it to William Gallas who headed the ball in for the winning goal.

Now I do have to say that Henry has class because he has since come out and admitted the handball, but unfortunately this is considered a done deal. There most likely will not be a re-play of the game and the score will go down in the record books as a 2-1 win for France. This is a situation where we need to accept it as it is and commend Henry for being honest about the situation. I think this will go down in infamy along with Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup against England.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 Elite Basketball

Panini has posted a slideshow giving a look at the upcoming 2009 Elite Basketball set scheduled for release next week, Nov 25th. It looks to be a typical Panini release with lots of great pictures, lots of inserts, interestingly designed backgrounds, sticker autos and ill placed relics.

I admit it, I am a Donruss fan! I loved the Diamond King puzzles from the 80s and some of my favorite sets in the 90s were the Diamond King and Studio Heritage releases. seems as if Panini has limited designs that are reused over and over. I seriously hope that this is a temporary thing while Panini and Donruss work out details and eventually new and creative designs are released. I will continue to support the company in hopes that things change and refreshing ideas begin to flow from their designers. Hopefully Panini is watching the forums, message boards and blogsphere and keeps an open mind on the future.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Is It The End For AI?

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
My favorite a-hole, Allen Iverson, has been waived by the Memphis Grizzlies. I never thought that Memphis was a good fit for AI especially considering he would be sitting behind O.J. Mayo and Iverson is not someone who thinks he should ever be a backup.

At this point there does not seem to be much of an option for him, not this early in the season anyway. As the season grinds on and players get injured or later when teams begin clamoring for playoff position there may be a few buyers but AI may need to wait for the phone to ring. Hopefully when the time comes he ends up going somewhere that he can be used to his strengths… scoring points.

I never collected Allen Iverson cards while he was with Philadelphia, I thought he was an ass who could score but when he traded to Denver I started pulling AI cards out of almost every product. I figured it was time to give him a chance. Now I will grab up the occasional AI card when I see something interesting.

Friday, November 13, 2009


In 1997 Major League Baseball retired #42 to honor Jackie Robinson, new players are no longer able to wear that number. Last night following the Cavaliers/Heat game LeBron announced that he will be switching from #23 to #6 after this season ends and is asking the to NBA retire #23 league wide.

He explains his reasoning as his way of showing respect to Michael Jordan, which seems pretty humbling: As LeBron put it “There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade if there wasn't Michael Jordan first.” On the surface this seems as a respectful offering from one of today’s top players, he sees how the history of the game has set the standard for today’s stars. LeBron wore #6 during international play and it has been rumored that he wears #6 in practice on occasion.

According to NBA rules LeBron has until March to formally request the jersey number change if he remains with Cleveland. If he signs with a new team he will be able to select any jersey number at that time. There are only about a dozen players in the NBA that wear #23 and so far one of them, the Suns Jason Richardson, has come out in full support of LeBron’s suggestion.

Would this be a wise decision for the NBA? History says, “Yes”. When Jordan came back wearing the #45, jersey sales increased, the same thing happened when Bryant switched from #24 to #8. This could turn out to be a positive for the card companies too. Collectors will be racing to pick up the new releases to get LeBron in his new jersey number. Upper Deck having the exclusive with LeBron could profit as well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Our Veterans

Today’s post is not about sports, but instead it is about Veterans Day. Today is the day that we recognize our veterans, both past and present. Almost everyone has a connection to a veteran, be it you, a parent, sibling, aunts or uncles, cousins or other. My family is no different both past and current. My brother is currently in the Army and has done 3 tours in Iraq; his wife did 2 tours in Iraq before retiring earlier this year.

No matter what your political beliefs are we need to always support our soldiers. The soldiers that have been to Iraq or Afghanistan need to know that we appreciate what they have done for us. Please take a moment to tell them.

Veterans Day is directly connected to WW1; the Armistice that ended the war was signed on November 11th, 1918 at 11am (11/11 at 11am). There is only 1 living American veteran from that war, Frank Buckles, he is our last thread to that era.

Support the troops, let them know we care and have not forgotten what they have done for us. To support the troops currently serving overseas you can send a care package directly or anonymously. Talk to soldier’s commanding officer, spouses or families to send a package directly or you can make donations through non-profit organizations like Red Cross or USO.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Larry Johnson Released

Looks like there will be some happy fans in Kansas City today, the Chiefs released troubled running back Larry Johnson. I was expecting him to be deactivated for the remainder of the season or even traded but I guess an out-right release makes a point too. I am happy to see that teams and owners are willing to make a stand on their beliefs.

Sadly there is rumor that my Seahawks may look to work a deal with him. I do not understand Seattle’s recent running game decisions. In 2007 they release fan favorite 30-year old Shaun Alexander and sign Julius Jones, which in hindsight now seems to have been a bad choice. This year to shore up the running the game they sign 30-year old Edgerrin James, again the plan backfires and this past week they release James. Do they really need to plug in another 30-year old back with a poor attitude?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Matt Leinart... Does He Have A Future?

Pulling a Matt Leinart 2006 Bowman Chrome RC was nice but when I realized that it was actually an autographed refractor numbered to 75 I thought I had pulled a winner that would definitely appreciate in value. Within a few weeks I was offered as much as $275 but I decided to sit on the card and wait for Leinart to show his talents.

Three years later we see Leinart sitting while the 38-year old Kurt Warner continues to carry the Cardinals to another winning season. This is not how the 26-year old Matt Leinart pictured his career. He was suppose to be the future of the franchise, the face that gets used to advertise season tickets offers and plastered on billboards around the Valley. You have to wonder if he will ever overcome his frat boy image, the guy from USC that likes to party, shirks his parental duties and hangs out with college girls.

It does not help that he only plays in mop up duty, coming in to games when the score is so lopsided that it does not matter how he plays. Today he came in with the Cards up by 20 over the Bears and immediately throws an interception. Leinart is still young but he needs to take control of his destiny.

Friday, November 6, 2009

UD Begins Shipping Favre Letterman Card

Upper Deck has announced that they have finally completed manufacturing the letter patches for the Brett Favre NFL Icons redemption and they are ready to begin shipping. As a bonus, collectors who have been waiting patiently for these Favre Letterman cards will receive 1 of 6 special edition cards featuring Favre in a Vikings uniform.

OK, now that is out of the way, you have to wonder what has taken UD so long to release the cards? The patches are manufactured; there is no reason that collectors should have waited this long to receive the card. Adding to the humor of the entire fiasco is that the Letterman cards feature Favre as a Jet. This really turned out to be an ugly situation for the company. If they delayed the cards this long they should have just redesigned the entire card it to show Favre as a Viking and manufactured the letters accordingly.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Larry Johnson's Timeout

Many Kansas City Chiefs’ fans have taken serious offence to Larry Johnson and his attitude and few have decided to begin an online petition to ask the Chiefs organization and specifically GM Scott Pioli to deactivate Larry Johnson.

Larry Johnson is currently 74 yards from tying Priest Holmes as the All-time Chiefs leading rusher, something that many fans see as blasphemy, and this petition specifically states that as fans they do not wish to see Johnson’s name atop the Ring of Honor with some KC greats like Okoye, Holmes and Derrick Thomas.

There are currently 5810 signatures on the petition and it seems to be gaining steam and with Johnson’s most recent actions, which got him suspended from the team until Nov 8th, I could see this petition gaining a lot of attention. Sad to say though, sports teams are businesses and run on a “for profit” credo. A petition, online or other, will receive little response from the team.

If you are interested in reading up on the petition or to sign it, you can find it here: Deactivate Larry Johnson

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Patch Works- Utley & Kinsler

Player: Chase Utley and Ian Kinsler
Team: Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers
Set: 2006 Ultimate Collection Baseball - Ultimate Tandem
Card # : UT-UK
Serial # : 16/35
Description: Contains patches from the team name from each player’s jersey

I felt this was an appropriate post considering Utley's play last night. I recently sold the card, maybe I should have waited another month before putting it up for auction.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The World Series Moment?

Top of the 9th, two outs and Johnny Damon comes to bat. Lidge ends up sitting at 3-2 and Damon tips one that Catcher Carlos Ruiz drops which should have been the final out for the Yankees. Is this the fateful situation that changes the fates for the Yankees? Will these events go down in history like Steve Bartman, the bloody sock and Bill Buckner?

To make things worse, Damon ends up stealing Second and Third on the same pitch… note to Phillies pitching staff, cover Third Base when a shift is on.

Burnett steps up to the mound tonight to try and clinch the series for the Yankees but I think that Game 4 will probably be the topic of discussion for years to come.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Torture Set

A couple of weeks ago one of the sports card blogs that I read had a story about the Center for Constitutional Rights creating a card set called The Torture Team. The card set was created for the purpose to bring attention to the people that the center feels need to be investigated for torturing detainees. You can read up on the set more at the Center for Constitutional Rights website. I requested a 10-card pack to get a better look at the set and the pack arrived today.

Depending on your personal political views you may find the set appropriate or just spiteful. Political beliefs aside, personally I don’t see this set achieving the goals that the designers were hoping for originally. I cannot remember a previous situation where a political or civil rights belief was promoted in such a manor.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Would You Do?

I understand that when your team is in the champion game you some times feel like you would be willing to do anything to get tickets for the game. Apparently there are some people who just ignore all moral judgments and just go straight for the gutter in attempts to earn those tickets. Is the World Series worth a threesome?

Susan Finkelstein of Philadelphia was arrested Tuesday after taking out a Craiglist ad offering sex in exchange for tickets. Her lawyer, in typical fashion, pointed out that while she might have “dropped double entendres in her ad, she never explicitly offered sex”. You have to love lawyers the way they can make the most offensive situation seem less lewd.

What is more obscene, the ad being posted in the first place or that the poster is a 43-year old Univ. of Penn Graduate student who wanted to take her husband to a game?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tito Ortiz Auto In Next UFC Release

Topps has just confirmed that a Tito Ortiz autograph card will be included on the checklist of their next UFC release scheduled for early 2010. As you can see, the downside is that the autographs are stickers and not hard signed cards.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Buffalo Bill Cody Redemption Card

Upper Deck announced that the Wild Bill Cody Memorabilia redemption cards are now ready to begin shipping out. There are only 5 copies of the Bill Cody card available.

There are not a lot of Old West memorabilia cards out there so the opportunity to pull a card like this seemed to be a once in a lifetime chance. Who wouldn’t get excited over receiving a piece of Buffalo Bill’s hat or jacket or even better a piece from a gun holster. But instead of using a relic connected to his amazing storied life as a soldier, frontiersmen or even connected to his Wild West Show Upper Deck uses material from a chair in the Cody home.

Friday, October 23, 2009

2009 Razor Memory Lane

You have to wonder how the meeting went at Razor when someone suggested buying up old yearbooks and releasing them in the 2009 Razor Memory Lane Yearbook Edition. Was it a hit when first suggested or was it one of those ideas that got kicked around until nobody had another idea and people are grasping at straws?

I know that there is a market out there for collectibles like this within the right element, apparently people are paying big dollars for yearbooks that include photos of athletes, stars and musicians but this is not a product you would expect from a “sports card” company like Razor. Given that Razor is on the fringe of the collectible world and they have released some interesting and amazing products lately, most specifically the Cut Signature lines.

I know the product will probably sell well and considering that there are only 501 total boxes (1 book per box) available it will most likely sell out too. With people like Mickey Mantle and Joe Montana included on the checklist, it may do well in the sports market but most likely not with card collector specifically.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Legend of Hal Chase

Hal Chase is probably one of the best defensive First Baseman ever to play professional baseball but yet he is not in the Hall of Fame. He played from 1905-1919 and spent most of that time with the NY Highlanders/Yankees (1905-13).

Chase played 15 seasons in the AL, NL and FL (Federal League) and put up some decent numbers for the Dead Ball Era. His career numbers include; .291 BA, 2158 Hits, 57 Homeruns and 941 RBIs, which compare with HOFers Lou Boudreau (.295 BA, 1779 Hits, 68 HR & 789 RBI) and Ozzie Smith (.262 BA, 2460 Hits, 28 HR & 793 RBI) who were both voted in mainly on their defensive skills.

When compared with the Top 5 First Baseman (all in the HOF) you will see my point. All the numbers I use are based on when they played at First Base only:

Hal Chase 1,815 Games 18,185 PO 1,049 Assists .980 Fielding %

#1 Lou Gehrig- 2,137 Games 19,510 PO 1,087 Assists .991 Fielding %
#2 Jimmie Foxx- 1,919 Games 18,584 PO 1,222 Assists .992 Fielding %
#3 Hank Greenberg- 1,138 Games 10,564 PO 724 Assists .991 Fielding %
#4 Eddie Murray- 2,413 Games 21,225 PO 1,865 Assists .993 Fielding %
#5 Dan Brouthers- 1,633 Games 16,365 PO 654 Assists .971 Fielding %

His largest fault on the field was his ability to control the ball; he made a horrifying 402 Errors at First Base.

Now that his playing ability has been dissected you can see that based on those numbers, both offensively and defensively, he has a good argument for being in the Hall of Fame. What is the hold up you ask? He was banned from baseball for life in 1920 for allegedly bribing players and officials to blow games. He was a well-known gambler and it is believed that he may have been a go-between during the Black Sox Scandal.

After a solid career though with HOF numbers the collectors should appreciate him, maybe not for his off-field exploitations but for his playing career. His cards are unfortunately sitting on the bottom of the heap waiting their turn to be used as kindling. You can find a number of Hal Chase cards from 1908 through 1915, but his most common card(s) is the T206 cards, which there are 4 versions.

Sadly you can find graded versions selling well below $150 and raw copies below $10. I was actually surprised to find a PSA 1 selling at $3.25 and a PSA 5 at $35.99

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Patch Works- Urlacher

Player: Brian Urlacher
Team: Chicago Bears
Set: 2005 Leaf Certified Materials - Gold Team
Card #: GT-5
Serial # : 01/25
This patch appears to be either a part of a letter or number because of the black jersey pieces on each side of the patch and the stitching.

I am not a fan of foil and all but this card doeas appeal to me, it was one of the few cards I kept when I recently sold off 90% of my collection.


Have you ever had a card that you were determined to pull? No matter how many times you saw one up for auction you were dead set against bidding because you just knew you would eventually pull one on your own.

That is how I have felt about the 2009 Goodwin Champions Ken Griffey Jr card. I wanted to pull one so bad but I was having no luck and actually considered just bidding so I could end my quest. Well, my journey finally ended tonight when my wife told me to grab a couple of packs while we were out. I know it is not a $500 card, it does not have an autograph or relic but being a Griffey fan, this is easily my favorite card of 2009.

Now I just need to pull the Griffey mini and a relic and then I can begin hunting down his Moonlight parallel.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Captain Lou Albano RIP

Famed wrestler Captain Lou Albano passed away this afternoon in Carmel, New York, he was 76 years old. The cause of death is listed as “Natural Causes”

Having grown up in the 70s and 80s I remember him as a badass wrestler & manager who helped usher in the world of wrestling and help make it what it is today. His connection with Cyndi Lauper created a union between the WWF and the music world in what was later billed the “Rock N Wrestling” era, which included the introduction of Wrestlemania. Albano began his wrestling career in the early 50s and he eventually switched over to manager where he helped guide numerous wrestlers to a slew of titles.

Because Captain Lou left wrestling in 1986 before the current collecting age began, he does not appear in many releases, most notably the 1985 Topps WWF set and the 1991 Image Wrestling Legends set. The ‘85 Topps set contains 2 Albano cards and 3 stickers and the ‘91 Wrestling Legends set contains an on-card Captain Lou autograph. You can actually pick up every card & sticker of Captain Lou including the hard-signed auto and still receive change back from a $10 bill. It does not seem fitting for such a legend.

Now if we could just forget about his acting career:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Early 2009 Donruss Releases

As the NFL season began and early releases started to hit the shelf I decided to grab up packs of various product to review. I chose to stick with one company’s releases with my reviews and Panini-Donruss is that lucky brand that I selected.

The 4 sets that I am using for a review are 2009 Donruss Classics, 2009 Donruss Elite, 2009 Donruss Threads and 2009 Rookie & Stars. The first thing that you will notice is that the card designs have a number of similarities between the sets, an action photo of a player, all backgrounds have been removed and clearly Panini designers love lines and patterns.

Beginning with the Classics set. The good includes nice action shots and players on their new teams (i.e.- Houshmandzadeh with the Seahawks). The bad, a background design that belongs on a doily and a card back that includes little more then 1 season of stats and a few player bio lines. The Classics release just does not seem to draw the interest that it once did. The inserts may be the biggest draw from this set, but lick & stick autographs appeal to almost nobody now. When a Jim Brown auto #/15 is selling for the same price as a Michael Crabtree auto #/250 you have to realize that there is little appeal for the autographs.

Donruss Elite is an old favorite, I don’t know if it is sentimental or what but I have always liked the Elite releases. Could be the Signature Series of the early 90s or the Throwback Threads relics, but I love the set so I had big expectations for this release. All I am going to say is “Disappointed”. For some reason lines, borders and patterns seem to be used on every release with no regard for aesthetics. The inserts are mundane and overly designed, jerseys and autographs are often inserted obscuring the player and ruining the insert completely. I really have nothing else to say about the release.

The Threads release surprised me the most. The cards themselves follow the rest of the pack; action photos surrounded by overly designed cards with lots of lines and obscured player images. Many of the inserts are similar, but the thing that left me feeling positive about the release are a couple of the inserts. My favorite being the Gridiron Kings Auto set. A simple painted design with the player in their college uniform with a sticker autograph. Besides the sticker auto, Donruss really got this one right and it made an impression on me. The relic/patch version of the Gridiron Kings should have been scraped though. You have to love any release that includes an autographed version of rookie Lettermen patches.

The Rookie & Stars release is a simple, down-to-Earth release. A low priced set for the every day set collector. There is nothing beautiful about the base set, nothing special about the rookie cards and nothing encouraging about many of the inserts. The only point of interest in this set for me is the rookie patch autographs. I just love the logo and autograph mixture; it is a nice pull for most collectors.

The only saving grace out of my experiment was pulling an Adrian Peterson purple jersey relic out of one of the Rookie & Stars packs.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chris Chelios The Next Legend?

It is rumored that Chris Chelios had skated around with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves during practice earlier today and may possibly sign with the team some time this week. After playing 25 seasons in the NHL, AHL, IHL and Swiss League it looks like Chelios is not done playing the game that he loves so much. Recently he even said that he would like to return to the NHL, so this may be the first step for him to return. The Chicago Wolves are the Atlanta Thrashers’s top minor league team so there is a possibility of call-up from the NHL team.

Is Chelios this generations Gordie Howe? Not counting Howe’s one shift with the Detroit Vipers of the IHL in 1997 he played a total of 2,421 games over 32 seasons of professional hockey. If Chelios, who has played 1,673 total professional games, does sign with the Wolves this will be his 26th season so it is not inconceivable that he may play another 6 years.

Besides Graded copies of his 84-85 OPC rookie and a couple of upper-end autographs his cards are actually quite affordable. You can find raw copies of his 84-85 OPC rookie for less $30 if you don’t mind an un-graded version.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Whats Next?

We have seen insects, fossils and hair strands imbedded on to cards in various releases, what are next… human bones? It just seems that this may be the way that card companies are going to draw collectors in on the next big thing. If you cannot get collectors to buy cards with jerseys and sticker autographs let us move down the shock value scale.

The Japanese seem to be leading the pack in this category. Over the years sets like Racing Queen, Japan Model and Juicy Honey have pushed the envelope and you wonder if Topps, UD and Donruss/Panini are considering similar avenues. Not long ago Mario at Wax Heaven wrote about the Juicy Honey set, which beginning with the 11th series included some interesting, and perverse, hits such as lingerie swatches, nipple stamp cards and pubic hair DNA cards. I don’t see American companies releasing sets of this extreme nature due to a small portion of the American population feeling the need to censor the rest of the country but I do think that some companies are considering the next level.

We have seen Kiss cards throughout various wrestling releases, so this is nothing really new, we have also seen various clothing relics in almost every set based on a movie or television show. The thing is that many collectors tire of the dime sized bland white jersey swatch and bit-player autographs that have become commonplace in every release. Something has to be done to keep collectors buying your product. Many people have even pointed out that unless the hobby changes collectors may end up moving away from collecting because the sets have become cookie cutter sets. The inserts are even worse, often time the insert is the same cookie cutter base card with a jersey or sticker auto forced in to the design ruining anything aesthetically pleasing that remained.

Friday, October 9, 2009

UFC Dual Auto Redemption

It looks like Topps is having some more issues with the UFC Round 1 redemption cards. The other day they announced that they will be replacing the Roger Huerta autograph with a special Rich Franklin auto and today they announce that all Dual Auto Relic redemption cards will be replaced with a special Lyoto Machida/Diego Sanchez dual auto relic card.

Now this is not a bad substitution but originally the checklist called for 4 different cards in the Dual Auto Relic set: MacDonald vs. Herman, Silva vs. Leban, Nogueria vs. Herring & Edgar vs. Griffin.

Lyoto Machinda is 15-0 and recently won the Light Heavyweight Championship this past May and will be fighting again at the end of this month in his first defense since winning the title.

Diego Sanchez is 21-2 with both losses coming on decisions after 5 rounds, so equally impressive. He will be fighting in December at UFC 107 against BJ Penn for the Lightweight Championship.

Is Tony Worth The Hype?

We are now ¼ of the way through the NFL season and I believe we may finally be seeing Tony Romo’s true colors. I have always felt that he is more hype then talent, someone more interested in who he is doing compared to how he is doing. He falls apart in the big games and is hyped based on a few good games. He is even currently ranked behind “superstars” like Matt Schaub, Jason Campbell and Kyle Orton.

This season Dallas is 2-2 no thanks to Romo and could have easily been 1-3. Game 1 has been his big game of the year and it was all because Tampa’s Defense faulted horribly. Against Tampa he threw for 353 yards and 3 TDs for a 140.6 QB Rating, but dissect the game and you will see what I am talking about. The 3 TD passes were all long plays going for 188 total yards, a 42-yd catch to Austin a 66-yd catch to Williams and an 80-yd catch to Crayton. What is not shown in the box score is that all 3 passes were short passes and Tampa’s Defense had broken coverage. The yards were all after catch.

So, for arguments sake lets say Tampa’s Defense actually shut down the plays after a 22-yard gain each, which were Dallas’ avg yds per pass for the game. This changes Romo’s numbers to 16 of 27, 231 yards and 0 TD and a QB Rating of 87.1 and without those 3 TDs the game would have actually ended up as a loss for the team (13-21).

Now lets take a look at his season using these more realistic numbers:
Romo: 76-131 58.0% Completion 868-yds 1 TD 4 INT and a 67.9 QB Rating

Who knows, he may turn it around this season. He may even end up following in the footsteps of QBs like Elway who didn’t win the big one until the end of his career. But until that point when he can prove that he has the talent can anyone please explain to me why his cards are in demand and commanding the prices that
they are?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Crabtree Signs On The Dotted Line

Now that Michael Crabtree has finally signed with the 49ers you can say that one battle is over and a new one about to begin. After finally ending his 72-day holdout, which Crabtree hinted that the entire ordeal was in his agent’s hands from the get-go, he now has to earn the trust of his teammates. Sure he got an additional 1-year and $12 million over the initial offer but was it really worth it in the end?

Crabtree may be a talented player but he now looks like a greedy and selfish diva who put his wallet in front of his professional career and his new team. He has missed out on so much between the mini camps, the pre-season and the first 4 games of the year, games that many will point out as being well played even without the “go to” player. He obviously will not be playing Sunday and the 49ers have a bye week the following week, which puts him in line with finally seeing playing time in Week 7 against the Houston Texans.

Ann Killion of SI brought up a good point in her covering story when she asked if the Jets picking up Braylon Edwards in a trade with the Browns had anything to do with Crabtree finally signing... Inquiring minds want to know?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Roger Huerta Redemption Card

Topps announced today that for unspecified reasons the Roger Huerta autograph redemption card from the UFC Round 1 set was going to be replaced with a special Rich Franklin autograph card.

Roger Huerta has an impressive 20-3-1 MMA record over the past 6 years but this past January announced an indefinite leave from fighting so he could work on his acting career. He did fight last month to complete his UFC contract but as of now is not slated to fight again any time soon. He can be seen in the upcoming live-action Tekken movie that will be released later this year.

Rich “Ace” Franklin has an equally impressive 26-5-1 MMA record over the past 10 years and is a former UFC Middleweight Champion as well as being a coach on Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter. Franklin seems to be on the downslide of his career and is 3-3 over his last 6 fights dating back to 2007.

I found only 1 Roger Huerta auto redemption card on eBay sitting at a whopping $1.25 with 1 day left though there are plenty of other UFC autograph cards to be found up for auction ranging from a penny all the way up to a couple of hundred dollars.

Panini or panini? Part 2

Last week I wrote about a panini sandwich that had been put up for auction on eBay. The sandwich had been autographed by Blake Griffin while he was doing an autograph session for Upper Deck at their Huntington Beach Store.

The auction has since ended, and after an unbelievable 22 bids, the final price was set at $190.50. Oddly enough the price is not the only surprise of the auction; more interestingly is who the winning bidder was. According to Upper Deck’s Facebook page, Panini is the winner of this most unorthodox auction.

Upper Deck Congratulations to Panini on winning the Upper Deck Authenticated Blake Griffin panini sandwich. They paid over $190 for the item on eBay this week. As the sandwich makes its way to Arlington, TX this week, what do you think Panini will do with it?

What could be on the mind of the Panini staff?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Michael Crabtree Negotiations

The countdown has begun on the Crabtree negotiations. October 20th, just two weeks away, is the trade deadline in the NFL and all teams must have their Draft Picks signed by November 19th or the player can return to the draft pool.

In the last two weeks there have been accusations of the Jets tampering with the negotiations as well as rumors of Crabtree caving in and ready to accept the 49ers offer and of course based on Crabtree’s agent, Eugene Parker, there is the claim that Crabtree will sit out the year and enter the 2010 NFL Draft. The Jets tampering is being looked in to and there has been no proof provided as of yet on that accusation.

Today sources said that Crabtree was returning to San Francisco to renew contract negotiations, which could be a positive thing for both parties. Right now, as it stands, the 49ers have offered Crabtree 5-years and $20 million with $16 million guaranteed. This actually seems like a fair offer based on the draft position, but I also understand Crabtree’s side where he feels he is worthy of a better payday. He was an excellent college WR but has yet to prove that in the NFL, do you pay him on his college experience or how you feel he will do in the pros?

If Crabtree does return to the draft it is quite possible that he may fall even further then the 10th Pick next year. There are some decent Receivers next year and Crabtree will have shown that he can be difficult in negotiations not to mention that he will have been out of football for well over a year by the time the 2010 Season starts. You could potentially see Dez Bryant, Arrelious Benn and Brandon LaFell all go before Crabtree in the draft. One mock draft I saw had Crabtree being drafted 10th by the Cowboys next year, probably a stretch too.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The 2016 Olympics and Upper Decks Predictor Card

On Friday October 2nd, the IOC will announce which city will host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The announcement may end up being some big news for the country, for the State of Illinois and for the city of Chicago, one of the final four cities up for nomination. It would be a tremendous windfall for the city, thousands of jobs over the next 5 years not to mention the billions of dollars that would be dumped in to the economy from international tourists.

But a Chicago selection would also be some good news for collectors thanks to Upper Decks Predictor cards. The company inserted “Predictor” cards in 2009 Upper Deck Series 1 baseball packs and one of the predictors was that Chicago is named the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics. UD has said that if Chicago is selected then they will do “something big” for the occasion. Yesterday Upper Deck announced that the special promotion for Chicago winning would be a free pack of baseball cards to fans across the nation while supplies last. I guess we will find out where things go tomorrow after the announcement.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bad Wax's Half Million Hits

Bad Wax is closing in on half a million hits and Chemgod is holding a contest to see who can get closest to the actual time and date of the 500,000 hit. Stop by the site and leave your guess for your chance to win.

Also, if you are interested in creating your own custom cards or just enjoy seeing what other people create take a look at Chemgod's
Custom Card Blog. There are some very original designs that could easily compete with some of the big boys in card design.

Banner courtesy of

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Panini's Coup

While it has not been announced officially, Panini is broadcasting loud and clear that Kobe Bryant has signed with the company. This is a huge coup for a company that less then a year ago had almost no market shares within the United States.

Since Panini purchased Donruss in March they have signed exclusive deals with the NBA, the NFL Draft, a number of NBA Lottery picks, the NBA Hall Of Fame and most recently stole Kobe Bryant away from Upper Deck. Apparently Panini has come to America with no intent on sitting in third place behind Topps and UD.

Signing Kobe Bryant was no small feat and you wonder what else may be up their sleeves in the near future, only time will tell. How will this affect the upcoming Panini basketball sets?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Panini or panini?

My newest addition to the “WTF?” file, I present to you a Blake Griffin autographed panini. When I say panini I am describing a grilled flatbread sandwich not the company Panini-Donruss. To add to the complete oddity of the entire situation is that the sandwich was signed by Blake Griffin at the Upper Deck Store in Huntington Beach and was officially certified authentic by Upper Deck to only be voided shortly afterwards.

The collector has since eaten half the sandwich but is currently offering up the second half of the sandwich for auction. The current bid is a little over $120 with 6 days left in the auction. For your winning bid you will receive the half of sandwich along with a COA that has been voided and is missing the actual certifying hologram sticker.

You have to wonder who thought it was a good idea to certify an autographed sandwich? I do understand that the autograph itself was authentic therefore logically could be certified but this is definitely an interesting dilemma.

I do have to say, it does take a wild imagination to even think about having someone autograph a sandwich and that Blake Griffin has a sense of humor for actually signing it.