Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Mojo Beard Obak Giveaway

You should be reading the Mojo Beard blog anyway, but if you aren't you need to head over now to take join in on their Obak Giveaway Contest. They busted a box of 2010 TriStar Obak and are now giving away the entire box including all short prints and autos, all to one lucky winner.

If you are not familiar with the Obak product you can take a look at the box review- Part 1 & Part 2- that Beardy did, he pulled some nice cards. I am pretty fond of the Chick Gandil, damn Black Sox have been on my mind ever since I first saw Eight Men Out, and while I am not fond of frankencuts I like the Killebrew cut signature card.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Vs Upper Deck

Upper Deck finds them selves once again in a familiar dilemma; they are being sued due to the use of unauthorized materials with a recent release. According to multiple sources, including TMZ and the Atlanta Post, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is suing Upper Deck because they included him on 6 cards as a UCLA Bruin in the 2010 UD Greats of the Game basketball set, which was released earlier this year, after he specifically asked that they not include him in the set.

This has not been a very good couple of years for UD after they lost the MLB and NFL licenses and then there was the Topps lawsuit. This is turning in to a serious issue for the brand, considering they are holding on to only a few licenses I would think that they would be particularly careful with intellectual properties.

I would hate to see Upper Deck go away, they brought “high end” card collecting back in to style with the 1989 UD Baseball set and they were on the fore front of the relics craze with the awesome 1997 UD Game Jersey cards. I would love to see them earn back at least the NFL license but things like this do not help.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

2010 Topps Magic Football

Schedule Release Date: December 29, 2010
Box Configuration: 24 packs per box, 8 cards per pack (7 cards plus 1 mini)
SRP: $80/box

Box Break:
3 Autographs
12 Inserts per box

My Thoughts:
The first thing that you will notice about the 2010 Magic football release is that the players are pictured in their NFL uniforms, a change from the 2009 set.

I had some hopes that Topps would continue with the tradition of following the original vintage set but this actually looks like it is just another base Topps set which is disappointing. I like the change to the NFL uniforms but I wish that they had built off of last years design instead of the Topps base sets.

The base checklist is what you would expect but once you see the autograph and relic checklist you become a little confused as to why certain players were selected. You can be lucky and pull a Peyton Manning auto or have shitty luck and pull an auto of Bengals LB Keith Rivers.

Insert sets include “Rookie Stars”, 20 rookies from the 2010 NFL Draft, “Magical Moments”, top 20 personalities and events from 2010 season and “History’s Best”, the best NFL stars past and present.

3 autos per box

New stamp cards, similart to the National Chicle release

Relic cards limited to #/25 or less

Dropped vintage design

Dropped the classic (and very cool) All-American inserts

Unnecessary mini cards (again)

I can not give this more then 2 out of 5, the set went from being an original set based on the vintage 1951 Magic Football set and morphed it in to a Topps/Chrome look-a-like set. I like the addition of players in their NFL uniforms, but that is it. Topps for some reason felt that they needed another cookie cutter set with uninspired inserts. They even included Chrome Refractors, sounds familiar to a few other sets that Topps already produces.

This set seems like the Topps design department just said "mhm" and turned in designs from the base football set.

On a side note, I checked and there is a Buffalo Bill Cody Historical Stamp Of Approval card on the checklist.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stephen Strasburg Meet Tommy John...

It is time to see how the fair weather collectors will react to the latest news out of the Washington Nationals organization. Super star pitcher Stephen Strasburg has torn a ligament in his elbow and will most likely require Tommy John surgery. This means that Strasburg is gone for the season and quite possibly will miss next season too.

While pitchers have been known to return to top form following the surgery, including Tommy John and Chris Carpenter, this news will put a quick snuff on the band wagon collectors who jumped in to the hobby following the news of the high dollar Stras card bonanza. It is unfortunate that he got hurt but his cards were drawing in people who were only here to make a buck, many of them had little concern for the health of the hobby or the collectors who came before them. I honestly was concerned that as a true collector that I would eventually be priced right out of the hobby.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Albert Pujols Tops 400

While the taint of steroids still haunts Alex Rodriguez, who hit home run #600 earlier this year, another young hitter is working his way up the list and may just one day knock the * off the top of the all-time home run list. Albert Pujols hit home run #400 tonight, in an unfortunate night where the Cardinals not only lost to the last place Nationals but Pujols injured his ankle while trying to navigate over a rolled up tarp chasing a foul ball.

At 30 years old (30 years and 222 days) he stands behind only A-Rod and Griffey as the youngest to reach the 400 home run milestone. Having never missed more then 20 games a season over the past 10 years Pujols has been able to stay healthy and if he can keep this up for another 10 years he should easily be looking at topping 700 home runs.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

UD Releases Special Edition Thierry Henry Card

After the World Cup finished in July a number of international stars made their way to the US shores and signed on with MLS teams, but none were bigger then Frenchmen (and former Arsenal star) Thierry Henry signing with the New York Red Bulls.

Since Upper Deck released the 2010 MLS set in May the newest acquisitions are not in the set, not wanting to wait until the 2011 release Upper Deck has created a special edition card of Henry that collectors can get free when they order 2 blaster boxes from Upper Decks store. So for $40 you get two 20-pack blasters and the Thierry Henry card, so not a bad deal for MLS collectors looking to add a special edition card to their collection.

The offer is new so there are no cards up for auction yet, but if you are looking to add to Henry to your collection now you can find some pretty sweet Futera cards including jersey cards going for under $50 each.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Young Fireballer Phenom

As the 2010 Little League World Series gets up to full steam and teams from around the world via for those final spots to make an appearance in Williamsport, Pennsylvania the biggest news to come from the sport actually makes it’s way from Florida.

13-year old Chelsea Baker, a pitching student of the late Joe Niekro, has been blowing through batters for the last 4 seasons. She actually has a perfect record over those four years and the latest news? Two perfect games and for this she is being recognized by the Baseball hall of Fame, where one of her “perfect game” jerseys will be on display.

She is already hitting the mid-60s on her fastball and has a wicked knuckler; she has hopes of continuing baseball for as long as she can.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good Bye Sweet Lou

After 41 years around Major League Baseball, Lou Piniella has decided to call it a career. In 18 years as a player he hit .291 with 102 HR for 4 different teams (though he was actually a member of 2 additional teams- Washington Senators and Seattle Pilots), he has an overall record of 1,835-1,713 as manager for 5 different teams including 10 years with my Seattle Mariners.

He may not have the best win-loss record but he made the game enjoyable, he was so animated that it was fun to watch just to see what he would do next. Who can ever forget the base-throwing episode in 2002?

I was fortunate enough to see him manage the Mariners including the magical 1995 season. Some days I miss the old Kingdome, the parking was horrible, the stadium was crumbling and the field was made of Astroturf but I had perfect seats in Center Field right between Griffey and Buhner.

So long Sweet Lou, you brought us many years of entertainment.

Another Injury For Stras

With the most recent news that Stephen Strasburg has a strained tendon in his right forearm you have to wonder how much longer the Nationals will continue to push their prized rookie. The team is 20 games out of first in the division and not even close to putting up a fight for the Wild Card spot with only 38 games left in the season. It looks like it might be best to protect the future of the team and close him down after a rather successful first season where he went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 93 SO in 68 innings for the big league club.

After the inflammation in his pitching shoulder and now the strained tendon in the same arm, should we be concerned about his future? Are his arm ailments an early sign of what is to come or just a sign of being over-worked? How much longer will we see his cards topping $10,000? Right now the top card on eBay is his 2010 Bowman Red 1/1 currently selling for a little over $4,000 with almost 3 days left. Will the card top $10k or will the current news cause these cards to plateau out?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Topps Gridiron Giveaway

Topps just announced the Topps Gridiron Giveaway, a similar program like the Million Card Giveaway, but with NFL cards. The program begins with the release of the 2010 Topps Football, which is being released on August 25th. The giveaway cards are seeded at 1:6 packs and not only will vintage cards be awarded but also autographed footballs and helmets.

The website, which is not live yet, will be

Friday, August 20, 2010

What Has Become Of The Rocket?

Roger Clemens has been indicted on 6 counts of obstructing a congressional inquiry based on statements he made to the House Committee in 2008 during the investigation of steroids in professional baseball. Does this change how you view him? Does this change how you collect?

Has this recent indictment affected his collectibility? The man has 354 wins (#9 all time), 4,672 strikeouts (#3) and a 3.125 ERA (#97). He has 7 Cy Young Awards, 1 AL MVP and an All-Star MVP Award, this man should be on top of everyone’s collecting list but his prices are depressed. You can find autos for $50 and relics for under that. Sure there are plenty of his cards priced well over $100 and some even hitting in the thousands but do they sell?

What has caused this dominant pitcher’s prices to drop out of the stratosphere since his final retirement? His stats are Hall Of Fame numbers but will he ever be inducted?

Has his connection to steroids caused the drop? How does this account for all of the A-Rod collectors still paying top dollar for his cards?

Has his gypsy like career caused a loss of fans? Would this not have affected players like Nolan Ryan and Reggie Jackson who also played for 4 teams each and still have legions of fans.

Does his a-hole standoffish attitude chase away collectors? This stands true for players like Barry Bonds, who also has dropped off of the collector’s radar, but what about players like Jay Buhner, while not an ass-hole is very standoffish, who still draws fans with the Buhner buzz cut?

Growing up I was Yankee fan, a product of being born in New York, so I was not a Red Sox fan. I have never liked Clemens, even when he was with the Yankees, but how does he go from being a top billing to a footnote with an asterisk?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Random Question

Have you ever walked in to your favorite shop with the full intention of picking up a couple of packs and ended up leaving because you just did not have a good feeling about buying anything?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Value Box Time

While out running some errands I stopped by wallyland and my son wanted to see if they had any packs of the new Topps WWE cards, they did, but what caught my attention was a re-pack box from Topps. It was a Topps 2010 Baseball Value Box, it contained 6 packs of Topps Series 2 baseball, a hobby pack of A&G, a million card giveaway code card and 1 of 3 “exclusive” chrome refractors (Ruth, Ripken or Strasburg) for $14.98 which I figured was not a bad price.

I can not say I got anything good out of the packs except for a couple of million card giveaway code cards but I am excited because I pulled the Ruth exclusive card and this will make a nice addition to my Ruth collection. Honestly I am not sold on Strasburg being as dominant as everyone makes him out to be and I would have just tossed the card in with a trade eventually anyway.

Monday, August 16, 2010

In The Game Heroes & Prospects Baseball

In The Game Trading Cards, a company that has been known solely for hockey since they came in to the market in 1998, has recently announced their plans for a baseball release expected to be shipping in November. ITG, who will be working without a MLB license, will be releasing a set of retired/HOF players and prospects.

Each box will contain 4 cards with each an average of 3.5 autographs per box (their words not mine) and every other box will contain a Heroes Cut Signature or Heroes Memorabilia card.

For an unlicensed set the autograph cards look pretty decent but I am not a fan of mixing HOF players with prospects. Pulling a cut signature of Joe DiMaggio or Ted Williams along with a sticker autograph of Tim Beckham really puts a damper on the whole experience for me. It does not help that team logos can be seen plus they are using the UD Sweet Spot Signature design, calling it “Between The Seams”, you wonder what ITG was thinking.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Clay Luraschi, I am Still Waiting

It has now been 2 weeks since I sent an email to Mr Luraschi asking about loaded boxes, as Chris Olds suggested we do, and I still wait...

Even a cookie cutter response would have been nice but I guess I expected to much.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Come On!

Really? This is the best Topps could do? This is completely just another attempt by Topps to add another Strasburg autograph in to an over-saturated Stras market already. How close are we to seeing floating head cards again?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition

Panini will be releasing the 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball set soon and if you are big on college baseball this is the set to have. It is loaded with some of the most recent years top draft picks including 2009 overall #2 Seattle Mariners pick Dustin Ackley. The 200-card set, 100 commons and 100 autographed rookies, should include some greats as well as some future stars. The checklist itself will not be announced until after the August 16th professional contract signing date.

Schedule Release Date: September 29, 2010
Box Configuration: 5 cards per pack, 20 packs per box
SRP: $100/box

Box Break:
6 Autograph Cards
1 Elite Series Card
1 School Colors

My Thoughts:
Not being a college collector, outside of my University of Arizona players, I am not big on this set. It is not a bad set honestly I am just not really in to collecting college cards of any players in any sport. Panini did a nice job making a match up of young players and retired stars including Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan and one of my favorites Reggie Jackson.

I like that Panini is continuing the collegiate patches, I know they are manufactured patches but I really like them.

Over 100 rookies and prospects autographs
Retired greats like Pete Rose, George Brett, Mike Schmidt and Wade Boggs.

30 on card autographs

Elite legacy Buyback autographs

4 Hot Box per case- Includes 10 autographs

To many lick-em stick-em autographs

Lots of projects and unknowns will be included on the final checklist

This is tough, I am torn because the set is decent but because I do not collect college cards/players I want to give it a lower grade. Also not knowing the final checklist leaves me wondering who will be included.

I think I am going to have to leave this as an “Undecided” rating because not enough is known yet.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

New Gimick Cards?

After a bit of hazing by the Broncos veterans the team’s rookies are all sporting new haircuts and this includes rookie QB Tim Tebow, who can now be seen rocking a stylish “Monk Ring” haircut. I wonder if this new look will make it on to a card?

We have seen cards where images were photoshopped on to backgrounds and we have seen cards with players taking a pie to the face, will bad hair cuts be the next gimmick card? While funny I seriously hope this does not make it on to a card.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Leaf Is Back

I actually just found out about Leaf coming back as a brand. I realize that it is just Razor going through a re-branding, but I love Leaf. In the 90s I was a fanatic about the Studio releases and I would love to see Studio or Studio Heritage hit the shelves again.

1990 Leaf #245 - Ken Griffey Jr. - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Some of my favorite Griffey cards came from early 90s Leaf releases. At a time when everyone was hunting down a 1990 Leaf Frank Thomas card I was searching for a 1990 Leaf Griffey card #245. I have to say one of my all-time favorite Griffey card is my 1993 Studio card #96. The Studio card is the epitome of Griffey, the big smile, the backwards cap. This was a time when the moniker “The Kid” fit him perfectly.

1993 Studio #96 - Ken Griffey Jr. - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

How excited am I about Leaf coming back? It is almost 3:30 AM and because my scanner wacked out after a thunderstorm I am still up canvassing the Internet to find images of my favorite Leaf Griffey cards. Thankfully there are plenty of copies for me to grab on checkoutmycards.com.

Random Question

Has the novelty of Allen & Ginters finally worn off? Have the Strasburg buyers moved on to the next set?

Four weeks ago boxes were selling at well over $100 dollars and I even saw some boxes hitting the $125 range. As soon as they were delivered dealers were selling them directly out of the case, boxes were never even making it on to the shelves.

Just two weeks ago I walked in to a hole in the wall shop, the kind that sells antiques, cards, action figures, etc. The guy sold me his last A&G box for $65 because he was tired of it sitting on the shelf, now given this was probably the same guy who only weeks prior was trying to sell the same box for $125-150 and didn’t want to see his shame any longer. But my point is that I picked up a hobby box for less then what retail boxes were selling for not long ago.

I find it funny that some collectors seemed to think that there was a future in holding A&G boxes and are now sitting on a collection that is selling for less then they probably paid for the boxes originally.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why Brett???

Last August and then again in December I stated that I expected Brett Favre to “Retire” once again and if the reports are correct that is exactly what the Vikings will be hearing soon enough. Strangely enough most reports that I have seen are saying that Favre has notified the Vikings that he will not be returning for a second season in purple, but we all know what that means… another team, another year, another implosion and then once again his favorite saying of “I retire”. As with the Packers, Jets and now the Vikings there seems to be a repetition to his actions.

I will admit that he had an amazing season. I am not putting him down for his play, I am displeased with him because of what he does to the teams he has held hostage each year. This is unfair and while the Packers and Jets seem to have come out of it in a decent position the Vikings may not fair so well on the QB front with only mediocre Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels fighting for the starting role and 6th round draft pick Joe Webb holding the clip board. It is apparent that the Vikings were either expecting Favre to return or where completely in denial that he would once again retire otherwise they would have tried to make a trade for McNabb or drafted a QB higher then the 6th round.

Should we expect to see Favre in a new uniform come September?

Topps, I Am Still Waiting... And Waiting... And Waiting...

I continue to await Mr Luraschi’s response. I was going to hold up posting until I actually got a response but like Beardy said, I shouldn’t hold my breath.