Thursday, June 30, 2011

Leaf MMA Wrapper Redemption #5

I was under the impression that the Leaf MMA Metal Alistair Overeem preview cards were to be the final MMA wrapper redemption but Leaf just announced on their Facebook page that they will make one final offer.

The fifth offering (Offer #5) is a 2010 Leaf MMA Charles Oliveira on-card autograph. Send in 24 wrappers for this redemption, there has not been an announced close date at this time. There are some pluses here, first the autograph is hard-signed which makes it stand out amongst the world of stickers and second Oliveira is a solid up and comer young fighter (He turns 22 later this year) and he already has a 14-1 record. His last two fights are a bit of a disappointment with a loss to Jim Miller last December and a No Contest against Nik Lentz last week (He struck Lentz with an illegal knee strike); hopefully he can right the ship and move on from these setbacks. Someone recently posted an auction for 24 wrappers under the heading for this Oliveira autograph with a BIN of $25 and free shipping.

The first offering (Offer #1) was a 2010 Leaf MMA Shogun Rua autograph #/85. This offer was valid through 1/31/11 or while supplies last and has since expired. There are currently none of these available for auction but the last one I did see sold for $180.

The second offering (Offer #2) was a 2010 Leaf MMA Alistair Overeem autograph #/185, this offer has since expired. There is only one of these up for auction with a BIN of $100, but the last one I saw sold for around $250. At this point it is nearly impossible to find any Overeem autographs.

The third offering (Offer #3) was a 2010 Leaf MMA Jon “Bones” Jones autograph #/99 and was available for 24 wrappers. This offer has since sold out but you can still purchase the same exact card from Blowout Cards for $25. You can also find a couple of these up for auction and usually sell for $35-40 each.

The fourth offering (Offer #4) was a 2011 Leaf MMA Metal Alistair Overeem preview card, this offer has since expired. There are none up for auction but I did see some late last month but I do not remember what the price range was at the time. Like most Overeem cards these are difficult to come by.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


WARNING: This post contains spoilers for WWE Friday Night Smackdown which will air Friday July 1, 2011

But, if you don't mind finding out how the matches go keep reading.

The night of wrestling started with some NXT matches and then some Superstar matches before getting to Smackdown. There was a women’s match followed by a 6-man match which showcased the Usos against the guys who used to be part of NXT.

The matches really started with a championship match between Randy Orton and Mark Henry with Randy Orton winning by count-out after Christen sabotaged the match by playing the Big Show’s entry music. I guess Mark Henry and The Big Show have an issue and it was enough to draw the World’s Strongest Man’s attention away from the ring long enough for the ref to hit a 10-count.

Then came Daniel Bryant and Ted DiBiase Jr with Bryant winning by submission when he placed DiBiase in a to a triangle choke hold.

 After some talking with General Manager Teddy Long in the back about having a title shot Christen is instead forced to fight Sin Cara and only if he won would he have a title shot. So Christen takes on Sin Cara and after a wonderful visual match with this amazingly athletic Mexican Luchador, Christen closes out the match with a pin.

 A little intermission followed by Kane vs Wade Barrett. I was hoping to catch Kane’s entrance where he makes the ring explode with fire and I was quick enough to get a good picture. Kane went on to win the match.

With Christen winning his match against Sin Cera and Randy Orton winning his match against the #1 Contender Mark Henry, Christen demanded that the agreement get signed giving him a title shot against Orton so out comes the table, lawyers, Teddy Long and the whole shebang to get both wrestlers to sign the agreement.
 Doesn't Christen's lawyer look the The Ragin' Cajun Jim Carville?

So the contract gets signed by both wrestlers when out comes Sheamus, my favorite current wrestler, and upends everything, tears up the contract and then lays a beating on both Randy Orton and Christen and then walks away leaving the ring in shambles.

So everything gets cleaned up and Teddy Long decides that Orton and Christen should just "Get it on" and makes them wrestle for the title belt right there in a "Street Fight" rules match.

 Christen grabs the belt and starts to run away with it, and I find it funny that people were calling out "Randy he is running away with the belt" like Orton would hear them and run after Christen. So Orton grabs Christen and brings him back to the ring.

The match goes back and forth with each wrestler using the belt to conk the other wrestler on the head before Orton lays out Christen for the win and retains the World Heavyweight Championship Belt.

Afterwards Randy Orton went around the ring talking to fans, which I thought was pretty nice of him to do. He spent a good 10 minutes talking to people and shaking hands.

Considering this will probably be my only visit to a corporate suite we took some pictures around the room.

It was a fun night and a nice going away present for our nephew who is going back to live with his dad after a year with us. I told my wife that if UFC, Strikeforce or WEC comes to Phoenix I will personally go to her office and beg the person who selects who gets the tickets for the corporate suite.

Another Night of Wrestling

My wife called me this afternoon (well Tuesday afternoon now that it is Wednesday morning) and told me that she had a surprise and to get our nephew ready to go out. She gets home carrying a bag with a pint-sized WWE t-shirt for our nephew and tells me that she was given 3 tickets to the WWE Smackdown tonight in Phoenix (They tape 2 Smackdown shows on Tuesday and Wednesday and then edit them together and show them on Friday nights). Remember, she is in a position where she deals with many travelers who come in to town for training and she will set up for outings and events and as a perk she will be given tickets to local events on occasion.

 So we hop the metro rail and head downtown, get in to US Airways Arena and are escorted to a private escalator heading up to the corporate suites. We were totally surprised when the lady at the door asked us to come with her (we snuck in water bottles and thought we got caught) but apparently this is just a service they offer to people in suites. So we ended up in the corporate suite overlooking the ring with amazing views; a private waiter, private bathroom, big screen plasma tv, leather seats... it was a trip of a lifetime. I honestly never expected to ever be able to sit in one of these suites so it was a treat for us all.

 I will post up pictures of the matches including two matches for both Randy Orton and Christen, a surprise visit from Sheamus (my favorite wrestler) and a sweet picture of Kane and the exploding cornern ring posts.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Vintage Card of the Month: Wood & Beecham

In honor of the 2011 Women’s World Cup, which began today, I am going back to 1927 with this month’s vintage card(s). I do not have any cards from women’s soccer so I am posting 2 cards from the 1927 Football Caricatures by MAC set. This set is a tobacco era card set and cards were included in packs of John Player & Sons cigarettes. The players were from various English leagues but there were also players from Scotland, Wales and Ireland included in the set. The cards are in decent condition with the backs showing a bit more wear then the fronts. Arthur Wood's card is yellowed on the back and Beecham's card has some stains.

 Arthur Wood was a goalkeeper for the Clapton Orient, the team is now known as Leyton Orient F.C., and was very effective during the 1920s making 373 appearances for the team. He retired following the 1931 but made the occasional appearance for 2 club teams on the Isle of Wight. 

 Ernie Beecham was also a goalkeeper, he played for Fulham from 1925 through 1932, and to say he was just mediocre would do him justice. He played 187 total games over those 7 years and was an average player. Most of the cards in the set can be found for a dollar or two with the entire 50-card set selling around $60-65.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The O.G. Baby!

I went out to dinner with my family tonight and came across this guy. I didn’t realize it but he lives here in Chandler and is seen around town often. My wife, who really has some brass cojones, just walked up to him and started talking to him and he was surprisingly nice. What was cool is that he was just walking around in shorts and a soccer jersey not trying to stand out or draw attention, though his sweet hooked up convertible Mercedes and trophy wife did counter that.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wildcat Love

Bear Down Arizona

Derrick Williams #2 Pick- Minnesota Timberwolves

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today I decided to just go with some recent pulls and purchases. Admittedly I got sucked in to the Bryce Harper hype and grabbed up some packs of Bowman hoping to pull a Harper card or two (Plus a very cool Ichiro Bowman Best).

I posted up the Alex Rodriguez card before; I am still considering whether I should put it up for auction to see what I can get for it. I have disliked him since he left the Mariners with his “I am not leaving for the money but for the opportunity to win”. How did that work out? The Mariners won 116 games in 2001 and won 93 games in 2002 & 2003 while the Rangers went to 3 straight losing seasons averaging 90 losses a season, good plan… But I guess it worked out in the end when the Rangers sent him packing with his $25 million/per year to one of the only teams that could afford him and he eventually won a title in New York.

I am just not feeling the whole football thing right now, this time of year ESPN should be ripe with mini camps and primadona player holdouts but no, instead we are reading stories about how teams and player reps are meeting in secret with no updates. To pass the time I have picked up 2 packs of 2011 Prestige Football and was fortunate enough to pull a decent Mike Williams event-worn relic. I do not like that companies are using event-worn jerseys, but that is a conversation for another day.

In my pursuit to complete the Topps UFC Title Shot set I have picked up a number of rack packs, still 13 cards from completion, and pulled this sweet Brian Stann auto relic card. Stann, a retired USMC Captain (a true American hero who won the Silver Star after his platoon survived a 6-day insurgent attack with no casualties), began fighting in the WEC in 2006 winning the Light Heavyweight belt in 2008. He has a very solid 11-3 record and is ranked #6 in the UFC Middleweight category. I also pulled a Forrest Griffin Belt card, I am a bit disappointed with these compared to the preview images, and a Rich Franklin Mat UFC 56 relic card.

Adding to my MMA collection:

I picked up a Randy Couture Ring King relic. I am not really a fan of the foil board used on these cards but I like the Ring Kings insert otherwise.

I had to pick up this Tank Abbott autograph card from the 2010 Topps Knockout set. He was never an MMA star but I like him because he is a throwback to the early days of UFC when fights were done in a tournament style with most fighters having more than one match per night and to add to the pain there was only 1 round which lasted until one fighter beat the other, this was a time when UFC was actually banned in most states. Tank had a more successful career during his first tenure in MMA going 8-7 before heading to wrestling; he is 10-14 overall including a loss to Kimbo Slice.

I like Leaf’s MMA set and I am looking forward to their MMA Metal release, which has been delayed. One of the things I like about Leaf’s release is that they include fighters from all over the globe including female fighters, something that Topps has not picked up on yet. Carina Damm may not be as well known as Cris Cyborg, Sarah Kaufman or Miesha Tate she has a decent 16-6 record and can prove to be a contender some day.

Speaking of Sarah Kaufman I came across this MMA Champions auto for under $2 and decided to grab it up. I like the MMA Champions set, the leaf laurel around the fighters along with a stone like design is pretty cool.

And why not end it with a Harper sketch card.

Friday, June 17, 2011

2011 Topps Gridiron Legends Football

Topps just released some preview images of the upcoming 2011 Topps Gridiron Legends Football set which is scheduled for release in October. Each box is supposed to contain 18 packs, 8 cards per pack and include 4 hits and should be selling around $75/box. And in what has become typical Topps style there will be 8 parallels:

  • Black (1/1)
  • Purple (numbered to 10)
  • Orange (numbered to 50)
  • Red (numbered to 75)
  • Gold (numbered to 99)
  • Green (numbered to 150)
  • Bronze (numbered to 299)
  • Blue (one per pack)

For the “vintage” collector there will be a 1956 Topps reprint autograph set which features players who appeared in the original 1956 set and will play nicely on the “Legends” title. The thing that I do not like is that with a set titled Legends you would not expect to see rookies, I wish that Topps left them out but I do understand the reasoning behind adding them so the set now appeals to old school legends collectors and to modern and prospecting collectors alike.


Rookie Auto

YA Tittle 1956 Topps Auto

49ers Dual Relic

Terry Bradshaw Auto Patch

Julio Jones Auto Relic 

Michael Vick Relic

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Who Is Affected More?

The question for today:
Whose play in the Finals negatively affects their card prices more Roberto Luongo or LeBron James?

Luongo gave up 20 goals in the Stanley Cup finals including 15 in the 3 games in Boston and 3 goals in Game 7 in Vancouver. LeBron disappeared for a few games and failed to take over like many expected him to. Which player sees a drop in their card prices? Neither? Both? How do you vote?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

EA Sports Madden NFL 12 And Marshall Faulk

Marshall Faulk On-card Auto Version 1

Inserting cards in to video game packaging is not new, in the 90s we saw Ken Griffey Jr. cards inserted in to boxes of SNES Ken Griffey Presents and SNES Ken Griffey Jr. Winning Run, but it is an interesting cross over because many collectors are still young at heart and we are often drawn to video games so it is a logical decision.

Marshall Faulk On-card Auto Version 2

Recently digital cards have taken the place of actual cards but this year EA Sports and Panini have collaborated to insert one of four different on-card autographed Marshall Faulk cards in to every box of Madden NFL 12 Hall of Fame Edition. Plus two redemptions (1 in an Xbox 360 version and 1 in a PS3 version) will be inserted for an 18k gold version of a Marshall Faulk card in the continuation of Panini’s Golden Ticket series. There will also be digital cards included containing 13 NFL Hall of Famers and former Madden Football cover players including Barry Sanders, Shaun Alexander and Larry Fitzgerald.

Marshall Faulk On-card Auto Version 3

The  Madden NFL 12 Hall of Fame version is limited to 125,000 copies (not sure if that includes both Xbox 360 and PS3 or if that is each system) and costs a whopping $89.99. I was thinking that with each video game including an autograph Faulk card that must have taken some serious time for Faulk to sign all 125,000 copies. That would mean that there are a little over 31,000 of each of the 4 versions autographed (31,250 to be exact based on the 125,000 total copies). Currently Faulk autographs are running in the $10-20 range I wonder with 125,000 new Faulk autographs hitting the market if those prices will fall even lower.

Marshall Faulk On-card Auto Version 4
I am not really a fan of the fourth one, it just looks like a golden version of the third image. I for some reason like the first one, the Score style just shouts EA Sports. The second and third versions do have some appeal to them too.

Shaun Alexander Digital Card

Larry Fitzgerald Digital Card

Barry Sanders Digital Card

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Random Question

Personal collections are as diverse as collectors, what one person may want for their collection another collector may see as frivolous or something of no value or interest. For example, in my Griffey collection I have a baseball that was given away in Seattle area BP stations, a mini-bobble head that were included in a cereal box, cards from the Griffey SNES games and even a couple of custom cards.

 My question today is

Do you include everything that represents your personal collection or do you stick only with authorized/licensed products?

Friday, June 10, 2011

2011 Topps Chrome Football Preview Images

Topps has been busy today posting up preview images of 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball, due out in October, and 2011 Topps Chrome Football, also due out in October.

Here are the 2011 Topps Chrome football preview images, courtesy of Topps Facebook:

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Preview Images

Topps has been busy today posting up preview images of 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball, due out in October, and 2011 Topps Chrome Football, also due out in October.

Here are the 2011 Bowman Chrome baseball preview images, courtesy of Topps Facebook: