Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SPx and SPx Rookie Threads Basketball Reviews

Guest Review- Doug Cataldo


It’s the holiday season and it is many people’s favorite time of the year. For collectors, especially ones that favor basketball it is especially sweetened by the appearance of the SPx and SP Rookie Threads series from Upper Deck. In a time where people are being frugal and watching every penny, if you plan on making a purchase for a loved one or looking to spend gift money, these two products are usually money in the bank. They both are kind of pricey, but if you are looking to get value, these days you’ve got to pay for it. You can pick up a 10-pack box of SPx for about $150 and Rookie Threads is commanding $225-$240 because it is loaded with solid content.



Read More

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rest In Peace My Friend

If any of you have or have had dogs, you'll understand and those of you that haven't won't but that's ok.

I may not be posting for a couple days as my family, including my 3-year old daughter mourns the loss of one of our dogs. He collapsed shortly after I got home from work. We took him to the hospital where they told us he had a massive tumor on his heart. Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers as we are all pretty messed up.



In Loving Memory

Roscoe

January 26th, 2001 - December 29th, 2008









Monday, December 29, 2008

eBay's New Seller System . . .SUCKS!!


This is garbage!! Every so often, usually once a month, I check my Seller Dashboard. As you can see, my item listings have a LOWERED search prominence. Why? Because my 12-month average rating for Shipping and Handling is EQUAL to the average of all of eBay sellers for the same period, 4.59 out of a possible 5. Not LOWER but EQUAL to. Irregardless of the fact that my rating on the other 3 rating categories (Item Description, Communication, Delivery Speed) are HIGHER than the eBay average.


Since the rating is lot lower and I exceed the average on the other categories I should be given a mulligan and have the search status as Standard at a minimum.

Ain't Love Grand?!?!

Some of you will think this is cheesy but some of you will think this is cool. Regardless, kudos to UD for making this possible.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Prime Cuts- THE Review

Guest Review: Russ Cohen

Playoff Prime Cuts is a premium product that comes in a velvet lined box and a box topper with one box of cards with six beauties waiting to be seen. Base Cards are numbered to just 249 and the checklist includes “Material Quads” of Jackie Robinson and “Signature Combos” of Don Larsen and Yogi Berra, “Signature Trios” of Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and Willie Mays, rookie autos and “Souvenir Stadium Cuts” of some greats like Catfish Hunter and Satchel Paige! Collectors can expect four autographs or memorabilia cards per box and for $185 this product has to deliver.

READ MORE

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

May the joy
of the holidays
be with you
and your families
this Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Don't Give Up Your Voice- A Plea to Mario

Can you imagine a collecting world free of the influences of Book Value traders? Where collectors conducted trades not on what something was "worth" but on what two people were willing to part with, in exchange for something they each want.

Can you imagine a collecting world free of manufacturer collusion, sub-par editorial, and price guides?

Can you imagine a collecting world free of conflicts of interest like grading the very cards you price?

This collector utopia is what is at stake in the ongoing war of words between the blog-sphere and The Evil Empire.

While some may prefer the crass nature of Sports Cards Uncensored and/or others the above board professionalism of Wax Heaven, their voices along with mine and others serve as the TRUTH.

Wax Heaven and SCU balance each other out in how this TRUTH is delivered. From profanity laced, yet articulate tirades to carefully calculated oratories of criticism, each has a profound impact on the Hobby as a whole and what the Empire fears most, non-herdable collectors with the ability to think for themselves.

While I know it was never Mario's intent to take on the Empire, the tactics which they have employed in attempting to silence their competition is exactly why this fight must continue.

All of us "anti-Beckett-ites" are better served as collectors, when the voice of dissension is delivered equally across multiple platforms. If we individually delivered an anti-Empire mantra, day in, day out, post after post, we would quickly lose our reader base and relevance as an alternative (yet more viable) source of collectibles and industry news.

The TRUTH must be spoken in equal dosages by all, and that includes you Mario. All soldiers in an idealogical war of words grows weary from time to time, feeling as if they face insurmountable odds, especially when it becomes personal. Keep the faith Mario the hobby needs you.

I think we should collectively refer to them from this point forward as The Evil Empire and refrain from using their name but to go silent and refrain from saying what must be said, NEVER.

Bowman Chrome Football- Guest Review

Jon Waldman

For a collector who grew up mainly picking up packs of hockey cards, the Chrome concept never really piqued my interest.Sure, the cards looked cool and certainly had an eye-popping quality to them, but as a set that I would invest bigger dollars in, it never really resonated with me.Well into its second decade across Topps’ sports and entertainment products though, Chrome has maintained an appeal to the general collecting community. Much like there are many collectors who will specifically go for the Topps base brand sets, so to are there traders looking exclusively for Chrome.

Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Baseball Video Highlights

2008 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Needs Some Fine Tuning

Whenever I bust a box of BDPP, I always feel like I need to orientate myself to get my bearings. Maybe I’m just slow but after years of reviewing this product, I think, I have figured it out. Having done so I am going to make some recommendations that I think would improve this product tremendously as I think the formula needs to be adjusted to maintain collector interest.

Year End Poll Results and New Poll

Despite minimal entries to the polls, Topps Letterman Football was voted as the Worst Product of 2008 and Most Over Rated/Hyped Product of 2008.

Now for what you did like. Two categories:

Best Valued Set


Favorite Brand

Blog of the Year

Congratulations to Adam Gellman of Sports Cards Uncensored for being named Blog of the Year according to Wax Heaven's Year End Hobby Awards When I first entered the blogsphere late summer of this year, I felt as if i had found a kindred spirit who shared my loathing, disdain and outright hatred of The Evil Empire. He along with Mario at Wax Heaven were two of my primary influences for starting my own blog.

Cheers to you Adam on a job well done.

Keep up the fight.

UD NHL Artifacts Has the Right Formula

Guest Review- Jon Waldman
It may seem childlike, but I was grinning ear-to-ear when I got my Canada Post alert card that a package had been delivered to my house, containing a box of 2008-09 Artifacts Hockey.You see, ever since the set debuted, I’ve always been intrigued by it. While some collectors are annoyed by the parallel-heavy nature of the set, I’m the type of collector who likes to have different levels of collectability in a set. To me, it’s a sense of accomplishment to, say, find all of the parallel versions of a Teemu Selanne card. Why have one card to look at, when three variations on the same theme look so much cooler lined up together?

Razor Signature Series Review- This Might Work

Razor Collectibles brings an all new entry to the baseball draft pick’s market with a business formula that Razor CEO, Brian Gray, thinks, positions the company well to take on long-time prospects heavyweight and collector favorite Bowman, and the loyal following that Donruss Elite has drawn in recent years. By signing top draft picks to near exclusive contracts, providing collectors hard signed, on-card autographs, and seeding them one per-pack, Razor Signature Edition may be on to something.

READ MORE

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Awesome Conversation at Bad Wax

I'd like to post my comment to an article at Bad Wax that asks what can hobby store owners do to stay in business. These were just some of my thoughts. As you can tell this is a subject I am passionate about and get so frustrated watching other people do it wrong. Believe me if I had the necessary start up capital, I think I could do it right.

While the number of hobby shops IS decreasing I think it is important to make note of the numerous shops that ARE still in business. Shop owners need to replicate each other’s best practices by looking at what the likes of Burbank Sportscards, Dr. Wax, Porkey’s and others are doing.

I think product line diversification is important. The collectibles business is huge not just for sports cards and while that may be your passion, it seems idiotic to me that numinists (coins), philatelic (stamps), comics, and sports cards dealers and story owners haven’t better leveraged themselves to join forces to reduce overhead combine marketing resources and diversify.

With that in mind the first thing I would do was scour the Businesses For Sale section of the local and regional newspapers and place ads in Looking To Buy sections advertising my intent to joint venture with other collectibles dealers.

I have known store owners who never leave their perch behind the counter till it is time to go home. You need to network and be seen. Set up at card shows, attend and display at the National and other major regional shows. The value of knowledge you gain in talking to successful dealers would pay for the show let alone what you seel and buy to resell at your own shop.

The manufacturers have done small albeit not enough things to help but even the things they have done like turn Back the Clock, Flashback Fridays, and National Trading Card Day have been misused or abused. I have seen dealers selling the free cards, giving them away without a purchase, giving them out early, selling them on ebay and worse. I even met and spoke with a MAJOR shop owner in the Chicago Area who had never heard of National Trading Card Day.
Gone are the days when you can flip boxes, bust product and sell the contents and sell your own collection as if it was inventory. YOU HAVE TO RUN A CARD SHOP LIKE A BUSINESS AND NOT AN EXCEPTION OF YOUR HOBBY!!


Just in my circle of the suburbs of Chicago I have seen 1 stamp/coin shop, 2 comic book stores, and 4 hobby shops go out of business in the last 3 years. Chances are they would still be in business today and thriving had they utilized a simple business theory called C.R.R- Consolidation of Resources through Research.

Gaming like Pokemon and Magic the Gathering, World of Warcraft and others, still retain a huge following. Any hobby shop should incorporate this widely popular product category in their mix.

Also, the Internet is not a fad. eBay is not going away, the Beckett(Sucks) Marketplace is not going away (although one can pray), Amazon also here to stay. eCommerce is a way of life. Companies can embrace it and utilize it to their advantage or crash and burn.

Some of the most successful hobby shops do an excellent job of utlizing online social media and networking to drive traffic to their store. Viral marekting is imperative to small business owner but unfortunately, all too many are antiquated in their business accumen and knowledge.

It’s not enough to “KNOW” trading cards and sports collectibles. You have to be a good business person with a knack for marketing, and if you aren’t, you need to find someone who is or find another livelihood.

The times they are a changing get with it or get run over into obsolescence.

Introducing . . .Card Corner Club TV


Video Highlights BOX BREAK 2008 Co-Signers Basketball

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bat Around- Centerpiece of My Collection

Bat Around-2nd Time Through the Order for Sports Cards Uncensored

This was really hard to choose which direction to go in. To pick 1 item and label it as a centerpiece proved to be much more difficult than I had anticipated. I hope Gellman won't be to ticked if I go in a slightly different direction.

Instead of centerpiece, I'm going to go with "anchors" or foundation pillars of my collection.

Any foundation has 4 corner stones, for my collection those would be the following;

#1 1975 Topps George Brett RC

This was the first card I fell in love with and the first star rookie card I ever owned. I acquired it in a lot purchased at a garage sale in 1978 when I was 8 years old. It was also the only card I had regretselling in 1993 to help fund a summer of traveling with the Grateful Dead. So when I re-entered the Hobby in late 2000 what do you think was one of the first cards I reacquired?

#2 1982 Topps Cal Ripken Jr. RC



When I began to formulate my collection I realized that Cal Ripken was by far my favorite active player at the time. It was only natural that a high grade copy of his first RC make it into my collection.

#3 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan RC



As a kid even before I started collecting, I loved Nolan Ryan. His intimidating fastball and a pitching style that caused even the most feared hitters in the game to think twice before digging in at the plate. Even if you were fortunate to hit him, you never looked at him because if you did, your next at bat would be high and tight at your ear. That was REAL baseball. As I developed my second player collection (Ripken being the first) I dreamed of owning this card. A few years ago, I said F@#& it and bought one to the chagrin of my wife. Hey, sometimes it's easier to apologize than ask permission.

#4 2001 UD Centennial Cal Ripken, Jr. Jersey



When I re-entered the hobby, this was the very first memorabilia card I pulled. It must have been fate because as a Ripken guy, I was back in hook, line and sinker as they say.
After writing this, if you held a gun to my head and made me choose, it would be the '75 Brett, for nothing more than sentimental value and the feelings I get when I see that card to this day.

Beckett Still Sucks- Update

The arrogance of their organization knows no bounds as evidenced in this recent statement by Shawn Schietroma, Sr. Manager of eCommerce at Beckett Media, “There’s no other card site out there that offers a system for users to find traders, search cards, access industry pricing, research user reviews and track transactions like Beckett.com does."

Here is a link to the original article on Sports Collectors Daily.

They reference cards being uploaded to 700,000 collections. With no disrespect to jv at Treasures Never Buried who I know uses this feature, I am amazed that despite all the resources available to collectors today, they still have that many "sheepeople". It's like some strang religious cult following that only strong willed individuals can break away from. The rest just follow the herd and repeat the Beckett mantra.

I think I'm gonna puke.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Topps Co-Signers Basketball - Boxing Autograph Free Zone

Well first and foremost, I am very happy to report that this product contains absolutely zero, nada, zilch, boxing autographs in the set checklist, unlike this year’s earlier baseball version. Instead, collectors will find that each box contains (1) Co-Signers Dual or Multi-Signed Autograph Card, (1) Rookie Autograph Card, (8) Changing Faces Cards, (4) Numbered Rookie Cards, and (6) Numbered Parallel Cards. With an SRP of $80.00 per box this product has a significant upside as the seeding of tri-signed cards is better than in years past, falling at a rate of one per case.


Topps NBA Tip-Off- Kid Friendly Hoops

This is one of those products designed strictly for kids, plain and simple. At 99-cents a pack and 36-pack boxes available for $30, your young NBA hoops fan can’t go wrong. For the annual set collector, steer towards the Topps NBA flagship brand. Each pack of Tip-Off contains at least (1) RC, and (1) parallel #’d to 2008. In addition kids should look for a total of (6) tattoo cards. Nothing like little Johnny with the Nets logo plastered to his arm.

READ MORE

Monday, December 15, 2008

2008 SP Rookie Edition Video Highlights

video

Resource: Checklists and Auction Pricing

At first glance, this site seemed better suited to vintage cards. However, upon closer look, it has one of the most extensive player checklists I have ever seen. For example it lists more than 6,600 cards for my guy, Cal Ripken Jr. The checklists are FREE to access it is the pricing information that costs. Check it out yourself at CardPricer.

More Manufacturer Interviews- Topps and ITG

Part 2 of the December 9th Show is Live.
Join Russ and Steve Feldman as they get the scoop from Dr. Brian Price of ITG.
Then, Clay Luraschi joins Russ to give some Topps
scoops and holiday shopping ideas.
Look for the Upper Deck segment with Chris Carlin tomorrow.
Click here you won't be sorry.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gambling vs. Collecting

When does a hobby become an addiction? What is the process that takes place mentally and intellectually that converts a collector into a gambler? Can a sports trading card gambler still be considered a collector?

The degree to which the synapses in Gellman’s brain fire, can only be described and/or compared to the Millennium Falcon making the jump to hyperspace. The past 2 days he as posted on a couple of topics of long-time interest to me. One in particular, we all know about (Beckett Sucks), the other is a little discussed trend in the Hobby that I refer to as “the gambler”.

The introductory questions posed above, will not likely be answered by one person’s opinion or without more sophisticated research and journalistic skills. Other questions that come to mind when thinking about this topic are;

What percentage of total revenue do products $300 and above represent to a card manufacturers bottom line?

How many collectors (purchasers of sports cards) spend over $1,000 per month?

How many collectors (purchasers of sports cards) spend over $1,000 per week?

What was the decision making process by Upper Deck to continue to produce $500 per pack products after indicating in 2003/04 that the release of NBA Exquisite was a “once in a life time product”?


The behavior of spending thousands of dollars on high-end product like National Treasures, Exquisite, Premier, Ultimate and the like, for some people, has become as compulsive of that of a sports bettor or casino gambler. Are the card companies enabling this behavior?

Do the card companies have an ethical or moral obligation to in some way limit this practice?

As an advocate and participant of capitalism and the free market I don’t necessarily think so. However, in recent years even gambling and sports betting companies advertising on TV or radio have been legislatively required to provide funding for “stop gambling programs”.

Should advertisement for high-end trading cards in print require some sort of disclaimer?

Let’s face it, most of us in some way shape or form are addicted to our hobby, and while I have never heard of a wife complaining that she couldn’t make the mortgage payment because of her husband’s purchase habits, why would I not be surprised if it has actually happened?

As I commented in Gellman’s
post, Topps seemed to exploit this segment of collector (and I use the term very loosely) with the release of Treasury Basketball which contains rip cards with actual currency in them. I was mistaken in that I thought there was a $10,000 bill inserted but the actual amount is $1,000. I can’t help but feel that this product was specifically produced to appeal the gambler.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Manufacturer Collusion

I'd like to piggy back off a recent post by Gellman at Sports Cards Uncensored. While many may have suspected that this practice was going on it now appears that the level of arrogance and disregard for the collecting community has hit a new low. No longer is Beckett simply content to practice collusion with the manufacturers but the blatant-nous with which this practice is now occurring should be illegal.

I have known for quite some time that Beckett had no one's best interest in mind beyond their own, let alone that of collectors. However ,it now appears as if this disregard has grown to the level of downright disdain. How else would you explain such unethical practices?

Beckett's involvement, to this degree of collusion, has moved them from one-time respected and objective 3rd party voice, to nothing more than a glorified extension of each individual card companies PR and marketing departments. The means by which this occurred used to be much more subtle. Now Beckett apparently feels confident enough in their arrogance to come out of the closet and be much more overt in this deception.

What will the new low be for Beckett in 2009? Stay tuned.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Resource: Auction Report Newsletter

I never like to make assumptions that everyone knows all the collectibles resources out there so from time to time I like to share with you guys some of the tools I use.

The Auction Report Newsletter focuses on how "the other half lives". I imagine most of the people who read this blog, like myself, will never be able to afford the high end items featured in these auctions but sometimes it sure is nice to window shop.

The weekly newletter provides a realtime listing of auction openenings and closings.
You can subscribe for free via their website at http://www.auctionreport.com/ .




Borrowing an Idea from Gellman: Group Box Break Donruss Sports Legends


I'd like to try my hand at facilitating a group box break. As a fan of multi-sport products, I am very intrigued by the new Donruss Sports Legends. With that in mind, there will be 9 spots at $9.50 a box that covers the box at $80 and S/H. A randomizer will be used like SCU for the following categories:

Collegiate (Basketball, Softball)
Olympian (Boxing, Swimming, Tennis, Gymnastics)
Baseball AL
Baseball NL
Basketball NBA
Hockey NHL
Football AFC
Football NFC
Auto Racing

PayPal money to bargainbinsports@att.net

As soon as all 9 slots are filled, I'll order the box and provide the tracking.

Comment you're in and I'll hold it. Payment will be due within 48 hours from HOLD comment or HOLD will be dropped.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Roar is Back: The long awaited return of one of hockey’s Original Six

Last night I had the opportunity to attend my first Chicago Blackhawks game in several years thanks to the generosity of a friend who hooked me up with rock star seats (center ice, 100 level, and 10th row). As a diehard fan who suffered through the tumultuous and depressing downfall of this once proud franchise, attending 12-15 games a year in the mid to late nineties, it was quite a treat to leave the rafters of my traditional seats in the 300 level and see the game up close.

The Hawks won a gritty game 2-0 on an empty-netter but that wasn’t why I left the fabled United Center with a perma-smile on my face.

The last game I had attended, prior to last night, was a pathetic playoff loss to the St. Louis Blues during the 2001/2002 season. The Hawks “backed into” the playoffs and were quickly eliminated in 5 games. I specifically remember leaving that game with quite the opposite feeling than I experienced last night. I was down right depressed. Despite what the front office would have you believe, the Hawks couldn’t even sell-out a playoff game back then. Last night, a weekday no less, the attendance was nearly sold out in excess of 21,000 fans. Blackhawk fans are passionate but you can only kick them in the teeth for so long before they simply rebel and that is exactly what had happened over the last several years under the helm of curmudgeon and Hawks patriarch, Bill Wirtz.

With the passing of Bill Wirtz prior to the start of the 2007/2008 season a bold new era was entered when the helm of the Hawks future was handed over to, his visionary and realist of a, son Rocky Wirtz. The subsequent changes and moves that he initiated in the first 12 months of his tenure provided a clear indication that the Hawks were committed to winning and restoring this storied franchise to greatness. One of the most significant of these changes was to reach out to a disgruntled fan base and put an end to the antiquated practice of not broadcasting home games on TV.

In addition, the Hawks managed to lure Chicago Cubs marketing guru, John McDonough to the organization as President. To McDonough’s credit, one of his first moves was to reach out to two of the greatest players in franchise and NHL history, Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull, who had distanced themselves from the Blackhawks due to a long standing rift with former owner Bill Wirtz. Finally reunited with the Hawks family after decades, these two legends and Hall of Famer’s now serve as team ambassadors and are regularly seen at games and events throughout the Chicago-land area.

Team management has continued to display their commitment to revitalizing this franchise by acquiring, the talents of 9x Stanley Cup Champion, Scotty Bowman, to work closely with GM Dale Tallon, as Senior Advisor of Player Personnel. Despite the recent love fest created by McDonough and his marketing machine, the team has not sat idle in making tough decisions that are necessary for transforming this team from mediocrity to annual Cup contender. This was most evident in the firing of coach and fan favorite, during his playing days, Denis Savard. At the time, many questioned the timing of the move coming just 4 games into the season. Replacing Savard, was veteran coach Joel Quenneville, making him the 37th coach in franchise history. The hard nosed Quennville, in all honesty, was a necessary upgrade needed to groom and lead what is a very young team.

Anchored by consecutive first round picks in the 2006 and 2007 NHL’s Entry Draft respectively, Jonathan Toews, (pronounced Ta-ves) and Patrick Kane represent the future of the franchise and the NHL as a whole. Articulate, good looking, fan friendly, and highly skilled, these two young-guns are the poster children for the Hawks resurgence.
Combined with the veteran leadership of Marty Havlat, goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and the free agent acquisition of defenseman Brian Campbell, all the pieces are falling into place for the Hawks to make their first legitimate playoff run in 7 years.

“The Roar” is a reference to the deafening ovation that fans provide the Blackhawks prior to and during the singing of the National Anthem. The tradition dates back to the “Golden Days” of the franchise in the era of Hull, Makita, and Esposito, when the Chicago Stadium earned its nickname as the “Madhouse on Madison”. It has been said, “that if you have never heard the National Anthem sung at a Blackhawk’s game, then you’ve never really heard the Anthem.” To give you an idea of what “the roar” is all about, and why it’s coming back, checkout this video from the 1991 NHL All-Star game



and this one from a
Redwings vs. Hawks game earlier in 2008 .



Last night I felt the electricity of a fan base starving for a Championship, having last drank from The Cup in 1961. Their last Finals appearance came 17 years ago where they were quickly ousted by Super Mario (Lemieux) and the Pittsburgh Penguins. While no one is by any stretch, pre-maturely crowning them as champs, the necessary playoff experience and education needed to eventually become a champion should begin later this year. As a fan I can’t wait. Let the lesson begin!

For a comprehensive and easy to read history of the Chicago Blackhawks visit:
Sportsecyclopedia.

New Feature- Share It

If any of you are registered with Digg or other content sharing services please feel free to submit and share content.Thanks. For those of you not familiar with various services like Digg, Delicious, etc, these are social networking tools where content from around the web is aggregated and voted on by readers in the case of Digg or simply bookmarked and.or shared.

Thanks

Topps Heritage High Numbers Has Rookies and More…


Guest Review- Russ Cohen

2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers costs around $58. For that money collectors should buy a box so they will get either an autograph or relic card and two Chrome parallels (numbered to 1959). It sounds good but lets see what that translates into.

The Heritage cards look like the ’59 Topps cards. I got some great rookies that had that look, plus the “Topps News” variety and of the “High Number” variety as well that stem back to the base set that the company has been building on all season. Back to the ’59 cards. My best rookie from that set was of Cubs flamethrower Jeff Samardzija. This kid was dynamite down the stretch for the Cubs and he has a very bright future.


READ MORE

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2008 SP Rookie Edition Football- I Got Your RC’s Right Here

Back in 1993, when the card companies collectively began to realize the error of their ways with the ramp anent and unchecked overproduction that defined the times, Upper Deck ushered in a new era in the Hobby with its groundbreaking release of SP Baseball. Fifteen years later the brand remains a staple of the UD lineup having since, been rolled out to all sports and in different variations, i.e. SP Authentic, SP Legendary Cuts, and SPx. In recent years, the SP brand name has been utilized in yet another variation, SP Rookie Edition.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Inteview with Brian Gray CEO of Razor on the Release of Draft Picks Signature Series

Letterman- An Opposing View Point

Guest Review: Russ Cohen

2008 Topps Letterman Football is an interesting set. Each box has three mini-boxes and I had a chance to sample one with some spectacular results. A full box costs $169 and a mini will run around $60. I suggest working one of them into your budget it’s well worth it.

READ MORE

The Winter Classic

Sportsology Exclusive- Russ Cohen



Last year's Winter Classic did something very special for the sport of hockey. It gave the game a worldwide audience on a day when most people are at home, looking for something to watch on the tube, and instead of watching the "Courier Bowl" (made up name) or some game between two bad teams the coolest sport on ice took center stage on NBC and they knocked it out of the park. It was a ratings success. READ MORE

Coming Soon- A Plethora of Breaks, Reviews and Videos

It is going to be a busy week. Stay tuned for reviews on Co-Signers Basketball, Tip-Off Basketball, SP Rookie Edition Football and Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects Baseball, Letterman Football (By a contrasting opinion of someone who liked the product), Topps NFL Box Set and more. Stay Tuned!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Vote Ron Santo


To A Class Act- Here's to You Professor

It is with some sadness that I write this post as I will truly miss Greg Maddux. As a Cubs fan, when Larry Himes let him leave Chicago, Cubs Nation nearly revolted. Everyone knows the storied career he went on to have with the Braves, but it serves fitting to recap some of his stats and career highlights.

4x Cy Young Award Winner

A Record 18 Gold Gloves

8x All-Star

1995 World Series Winner




A look at some his current items on eBay shows:


824 items
646 Cards

Most Expansive Card
1987 Donruss RC
BGS Pristine 10
$2,000 BINO/OBO










To a job well done Mad Dog, you will be missed.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

If You Don't Hate Letterman . . . You Will Now



Manufactured patch and letter cards may serve a purpose as one of several insert sets within a product, but when a company uses it to drive the product and relies on them as the sole focus of the product, that is just lazy, greedy, and unacceptable. Obviously, to produce a set composed entirely of game-used jersey letters and patches would most likely carry with it a four figure price tag. That's why it hasn't been done to date and instead, those valuable memorabilia treasures have been sparingly used as inserts.

However, proving that if we (collector's as a whole) will buy it and it can then be resold to a sucker on ebay (who would pay $599 for this card) the manufacturers will continue to churn out this garbage. I understand their is intense pressure to bring innovation to the hobby but myself and other bloggers have presented economically viable alternatives to producing cards worthy of being collected. As a player collector, would a R-I-P-K-E-N booklet card be cool, game-used or not? Sure, but not at the MSRP this product commands ($200) or the price I would have to fork over competing with fans with much deeper pockets on the secondary market.

A completed listings search show a handful of of these booklets going for big bucks including the aforementioned and those of fanatical player collectors like Favre, Emmitt Smith, and Montanta, but 18 of 45 of them don't come close to returning 1/2 the value compared to the MSRP and many of those could be had for under $50.

Maybe I'm crazy,I just don't get it.

New Poll Comments- Year In Review (The Bad)

Vote in the polls and post your thoughts here.

Most Over-Rated/Hyped Product

Worst Product

This is kind of like, "I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first?"

Everybody always says the bad first, right?

From the 21st to the end of the year, the polls will be:

Best Value Product

Most Fun Product

Another Quiz Brought To You by MentalFloss.com


This one is tough!! I only got 38% . . . Honest . . . LOL

Army vs Navy: Debuting the BEST NCAAF Uniform Ever

If you guys missed the game, you missed the debut of the most AWESOME football uniform of all time. The new Nike Enforcer with Army's featuring a digital camo pattern on their helmet, pants and jersey lettering.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Vote Now: Best Post Fight Picture

Here are 2 of the greatest sports photos of all time. Which is your favorite?



Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Microsoft/Ebay Cashback Rebates Legit

To any of you who have heard about a cashback rebate deal with eBay and Microsoft and wondering if it is legit, I can attest to the fact that this is NOTa scam.

A wonderfully detailed explanation of how the program works and what you need to do can be found on Cardboard Connection.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Would Be A Nice Card If . . .


. . . the sticker autograph was affixed to the card straight!!
Still not a bad deal for under $25 on eBay and it is a great photo.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Press Pass- Wheels American Thunder 2008 Packs an Election Year Punch

Guest Review- Valerie Wood

An election-themed NASCAR racing card set was the innovate offering by Wheels American Thunder for the end of the 2008 racing campaign. The designers of the set took advantage of the timing to create an attractive, unusual set of collectible cards. The red, white and blue, stars and stripes backgrounds provide a pleasing framework for this set. Photography is handsome, as usual, and from a design standpoint this set is extremely well done.

READ MORE

Yankee Stadium Legacy 1st Complete Set

A Double Shot of Upper Deck Basketball- MVP and Fleer Hot Prospects


16 games into the NBA season and things look remarkably similar to last season. The Celtics, Lakers, Cavs and Magic are making waves this year as are the Rockets, but it is early yet. It's a great time for collecting trading cards though. Many factors including a poor economy, a solid rookie class and some really good products have sparked my interest. I've got two from Upper Deck on the docket and while the sets feature the same variety of players, the cards and sets are vastly different.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

UD Timelines Offers An Affordable Way To Get Some Fabulous Rookie Cards

Guest Review- Russ Cohen

This set features great designs from the past including 1993 SP, 2004 Legends, and 1995 SP Top Prospects. Keeping all of that in mind rookie cards are plentiful and a box is a very affordable $55.
There are definite hot packs considering the average pack should yield six short prints and on a few of them I beat the odds. There are eight cards in every pack and some of them had some interesting results especially the one that had four different Kosuke Fukodome rookies.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day

To all my readers a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

It's very easy in the hustle and bustle of daily life to forget the things we are thankful for.

This nation, even in challenging times of war and economic uncertainty has been blessed like few countries ever have.

So raise a glass to freedom and thank the Man Above for the simple things we take for granted that millions around the world could only dream of.

Many of us spend more money on trading cards in a month than many people around the world make in a year.

Keep that in mind the next time you "just have to have it."

Centari

Retread After Thought

Topps Heritage doesn't count against them because they aren't utilizing card designs from the last 20 years. They are using classic designs some from 50 years ago. It truly honor their "heritage" in the hobby as opposed to simply retreading an old design. Maybe it's a double standard but it's just my opinion.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Weighing in on Card Design Retreads

Products the likes of Upper Deck Timelines and SP Rookie Edition have to go. Utilizing current players on past designs isn't cool it's just incompentent.

This is nothing more than sheer laziness on the part of the production and brand managers at Upper Deck. Kudos to Topps, who have thus far, resisted the urge to utilize this tactic to cut costs and save money.

It's one thing to capitalize on your storied history in the hobby by releasing retro sets like Topps Archive and Topps Fan Favorites featuring retired greats of yesteryear, it's entirely another, to after a whopping 19 years in business, to march out over-produced card designs from the early and mid-90's and slap photos of current players on them.
Shame on you UD!












Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Card Corner Radio Show- The Hockey Hour

November 24th, 2008 - Check out this edition of Hockey Hour. We discuss, third jersey's, head shots with some great clips of Simon Gagne talking about just that, and who are the better teams in the East and the West. Click here you won't be sorry.