Thursday, April 30, 2009

Journalistic Integrity- SCD and the Hawaii Trade Conference

This was my comment to a post by Scott Fragle from SCD regarding the Hawaii Trade Conference

Enlightening to some degree I guess. It would be nice however, as a journalist, that you fully report what you found and how it might effect collectors. The only articles I have seen about the Trade Conference are really vanilla in their coverage.It's as if SCD is afraid to give details like its a meeting of some sort of secret society.

What did you specifically find to lead you to believe that Topps maybe in trouble?

Who was the specific manufacturer that paid lip service to a very important industry event that is supposed to shape the hobby's future?

What events were specifically cancelled? (We as collectors, have no idea what this conference entails or these "sponsored" events)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Roar is Back Baby!!

In Tuesday night's series clinching win against the Calagary Flames, the the Chicgao Blackhawks captured their first post-season victory since 1996.

In a year that saw the team set an all-time attendance record, recent TV ratings show, that contrary to the curmodgeoned opinion of former owner Bill Wirtz, there really are more that 18,000 hockey fans in the Chicago area. In fact, the TV viewing audience for the Greater Chicago Region, set records of their own.

Commit to the Indian and GO HAWKS!!!!!!

Don't Hate Me- I've Gone Commercial

You all know how I feel about Beckett (Sucks) and I have been sure to point out when Krause drops the ball as well. However, more often than not, I find that they do a better job at Hobby journalism. Yes, they still use an antiquated pricing system, but their contribution to the Hobby, in my humble opinion, far out-weighs that of Beckett (Sucks).

That being said, I have added a small display ad on the left navigation under the slide show. If you are in the market for anything they are peddling would you do ME a favor, and click on that banner ad.


New McFarlane License: NCAA Footbal!!

This morning, Sports Business Journal revealed the "first look" at Peyton Manning in his Tennessee college team uniform from McFarlane Toys' newest sports line, Sports Picks College Football figures. Now, we are bringing you photography of the entire first College Football series. McFarlane Toys has worked through The Collegiate Licensing Company, an IMG company, to license its 2009 College Football line, which will feature 6-inch scale figures of six pro football superstars in their school's home uniform, including:

TOM BRADY -- The University of Michigan Wolverines
RAY LEWIS -- University of Miami Hurricanes
PEYTON MANNING -- University of Tennessee Volunteers
ADRIAN PETERSON -- The University of Oklahoma Sooners
HINES WARD -- University of Georgia Bulldogs
JaMARCUS RUSSELL -- Louisiana State University Tigers


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

UD SP Authentic Hockey Has Autograph Appeal

Guest Review- Russ Cohen

Current SRP: $93.00

5 cards per pack, 24 packs per box, 12 boxes per case
Look for (3) Autographed cards per box on average!
Look for key rookies including Stamkos, Schenn, Wheeler, Filatov, Brunnstrom, Sutter, Oshie, Doughty, Boedker, Kulemin, Gillies, Mason

Collectors can expect to get at least three autographs in every box, one of them being a “Future Watch” rookie auto so it’s a set that’s perfect for autograph fans.

Monday, April 27, 2009

First Panini NFL Cards Hit Market

Cautious Optimism- The Hawaii Trade Show Conference (Another Reason Beckett Sucks)

Proving once again, that unless you have a lot of discretionary income, there are some things that will always be better reported by industry journalism than the blogsphere.

A report and take-aways from this year's annual conference as reported by Sports Collectors Digest.

PS- As of the time of this post The Hobby's "#1 Authority on Collectibles" (sic) has no coverage of this key event.

A Card Company's Last Desperate Act

In 1998 the writing was clearly on the wall for Pinnacle. One of the last products they ever released weren't even trading cards. Instead they bundled their photo shoot stock by team and packed them in traditional, pre-digital, photo envelopes. The pack out was (8) 4" x 6" photos per pack and 25 packs per team box. They can still be found today. Current eBay listings.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

TTM Autograph Success

Who: George Blanda
Why: Defined hard nosed, Chicago Bears football.

What: Signature Card
When: 4/6/2009

Where: Home Address Date

Received: 4/23/2009

Thank you Mr. Snider.
Again a special thank you to Chemgod at Badwax for the tip on this willing TTM signer.

I Wonder what Beckett (Sucks) would say the BV is for this?

I have no idea how some things end up in my "collection".

You're In The Army Now- When Hobbies Collide

I have always been a military and history buff, and swear that when the History Channel first started programming, that they had been spying on my reading habits.

The sizable library I have assembled and the knowledge contained therein, probably contributed to my deep seeded appreciation for the military and the people who serve for and protect or country.

Baseball and the military have also crossed paths on several occasions in our nation's history including robbing precious playing time from Hall of Famers, Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. Can you imagine their career numbers had they not lost out on those years? Duty, honor, county before baseball. Patriots and HOF'ers!

However, they were not the only Hall of Famers to serve in the military. 2001 Topps Heritage paid tribute to both Whitey Ford and Willie Ways (and others) military service during the Korean War. These Time Capsule inserts include worn Uniform Relics.

Well designed, themed inserts; from the insert title to pictures of them during military service, to the map of Korea complete with a line of demarcation with the 38th parallel.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yes, Bea Arthur Does Have a Cut Signature


Thankfully, unlike the vultures that are sure to follow, this card was on eBay BEFORE her death.

A Baseball Card Cross Promotion Opportunity

If there was ever a missed marketing opportunity by all parties involved in MLB licensing, this is it:

Big Leauge Chew has been a staple of little league baseball players since I was in T-ball in the mid to late Seventies. Sure enough, every spring, BLC makes it's return to store counters and end caps from Walgreens to 7-Eleven.

With all the lip service paid about bringing kids back into the hobby, I can't think of a better opportunity than for Upper Deck to partner with William Wrigley (BLC's manufacturer) and produce an exclusive 20 card set and have one card inserted per pack of gum. What a kick in the teeth it would be to Topps to have baseball cards associated with a gum that tastes good and kids actually like.

At one time this was a pretty cool card . . and then . .

Do you remember these cards? The Bat Around Quad Game Used Bat Cards were typically found as a redemption in Upper Deck's 2002 Diamond Connection.

What made the product unique at the time is that for the first time ever, a players game-used card was included and numbered as part of the base set.

Looking back, the production of this set might easily be considered the turning point in the modern collecting era, as rampant production of plain, single color jersey swatches have since watered down the concept of what was once a very cool innovation.
The design is pretty cool also, in that the bat pieces are inlaid as triangles allowing the long edge to be used as the border of the base paths on the pictured diamond.

This card features an interesting combination of players and and in retrospect a strange dichotomy. This is card BA SGPM and showcases Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr., Rafael Palmeiro, and Fred McGriff.

Collectively these guys hit well over 2,200 home runs.

Sosa and Griffey Jr. are only a handful of guys to hit over 600 HRs

Sosa and Palmeiro will forever have their legacies tainted by ties to steroids

Griffey at one point in his career, was heralded as the eventual All-Time HR King and the first player to have a legit shot at 800 HR's. That year he suffered a season ending injury after only 70 games and saw him with the lowest single season home run total of his career with 8. In the next 2 seasons he only suffered injury. In that 3 year stretch, from 2003-2004, Griffey appeared in just 206 games, subsequently killing any chance he had of capturing the All-Time HR crown OR reach 700

In a year that saw Fred McGriff hit 30 HR's, putting him only 22 away as a shoe-in for joining an exclusive club of players. Little did we know that in the next two season he would only 15, finishing his career just 7 shy at 493.

After 2002 it was all downhill in more ways than one, for the hobby, and for each of these guys.

Oh what might have been.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Michael's Vick-tims Don't Get a Second Chance

If anyone saw E:60 last night, you know the range of conflicting opinions regarding the announcement that the NFL will do it's due dilligence into giving Michael a second chance based on the premise that he did the crime and the time and everyone deserves a second chance.
Unfortunately that was not the case for the numerous dogs found on his property that were euthanized as the result of mental scars and/or physical injury for which no amount of rehabilitation could cure.

If you have never see the results of dog fighting. . . I warn you in advance . . .

If you have a soul the images at this link will make you cry, throw-up or squirm . . .
Also, if you collect Michael Vick, you suck!!

Getting Organized- So how did I do?

Everything left on the desk is something I am working on. The real key was this little contraption:

Have you seen these? Basically an oversized shoe box with dividers? I am using this to temporarily house my miscellaneous type cards before they go in their respective archival storage device. My Sports Divas are in there, former Kane County Cougars (my local minor league team) players (Miguel Cabrera, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle, Willis), F1 and Indy Racing, Deron Williams, Former college players I like (Brady Quinn, 2004-05 Illini Basketball, etc.

Nothing like getting a little organization in your collection to take stock of what you have, what you need to move and why you collect in the first place.

Before pictures.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More eBay Changes- Where am I buying from?

I don't know about you but I just don't like purchasing items off eBay from overseas for several reasons. I thought I found a good deal once on the HBO series Band of Brothers boxed set only to have it arrive from China, and of course it was a pirated copy. Also when it comes to trading cards, I just don't like the extra wait time involved, let alone complications that arise from return issues.

So eBay is once again messing with the buyer experience by removing the Item Location from the listing page. After being burned a couple times I learned to quickly identify an item's location before clicking Buy It Now.

Well I'm sure that information will be somewhere but now you will have to go looking for it. You can read more about eBay's Spring 2009 Changes at Auction Bytes Coming Soon!

Well I took the plunge and registered my domain name. In a few days you will be access the site with either url's.

Thanks to all of you have inspired me to start, encouraged me to keep going, and given me a reason to continue.

Card Trivia-Do you know what these are?

First person to post a comment and correctly answer these questions . . .

Besides these cards, what was this company (Crane) known for?

What year were these cards issued?

Who is the future HOF'er in this set, with a must have RC for a player collector?

. . . gets this lot. They are great for TTM Auto's :)

Good luck!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hey Upper Deck, Could you please fix this . . .

Knowing that Upper Deck has a Community section I was thinking I might be able to find some help, in the form of trading partners who are also insane enought to attempt completing this set, and instead I found this:

Guess I'll try a real Community like Cardboard Connection.

UD 20th Anniversary Retrospective Progress Report

9.84%, just shy of 10% set completion. This is going to be a daunting task. I wish I was paying a little closer attention to how I acquired the cards. Some I found in packs, some were kindly donated to this monstrous effort by readers, other I acquired in lots on eBay. The reason I mention this is because, of the 246 cards all but 6 of the are in the 1-500 range and then skips all the way to 6 cards in the 900's. If I come to find out that some of these cards are short printed . . . well let's just say I will be majorly PO'ed. Thanks to those that have contributed so far and thanks to those people holding stashes for me.

The Indy Car Series 2009

Open wheel race fans have plenty to be happy about as some of the best drivers in the world reunite after a series split that saw CHAMP and IRL emerge as two seperate and fractionalized series over the last several years. Combining some of the world's best road courses, fastest ovals and great racing personalities true Indy Car racing is back!!

The official league site, provides a race fans dream with a very sophisticated yet user friendly in race interface that allows you to follow different drivers from an on board camera angle. Other features include aan awesome multi-media microsite and the ability to follow the series on Twitter which provides true behind the scenes details.

One of the most celebrated road courses in the world, aside from Monaco, is the Grand Prix of Long Beach which saw Dario Franchetti take the checkered flag last week. This week the circuit moves to Kansas and their partnership with Versus has added an additional media component including a virtual lap here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sportsology- Locker Room Coverage of Pens vs Flyers

For those of you who are hockey fans, be sure to check out my friend Russ's coverage of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup Playoffs match-up at Sportsology. Russ is fortunate enough to have media credentials allowing unlimited access to practice, press conferences, and even the locker room both pre and post game!! In fact, I just got off the phone with him as he was headed into the Flyers locker room following their 3-1 loss tonight. Look for his article tomorrow morning.

Off Topic- Hobbies Collide

I try not to go off topic too often but when two of my non-trading card hobbies cross path I just gotta share my giddiness.

A lot of you know that I also collect comics books. Mostly Punisher, The Dark Knight, and Elektra. The Dark Knight movie, in my opinion was G-R-E-A-T and I saw it 3x in the theater including twice on an IMax screen.

I just saw the trailer for the new Batman: Arkham Asylum game for Xbox 360 coming this summer and it looks awesome. Check it out:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Getting Organized

Sometimes you just have to put a stick in the wheel and stop the spinning of your hobby time (blogging, product research, reviews, breaks, pack busting, trading, ebay listing, ebay shopping, tweeting) and get organized. Below are a couple of pictures of my work space.

As you can see, not as bad as it could be, but I am running out of space none-the-less and need to move stacks out of my way when I need to sort and collate. So over the next week I vowed to myself to get organized. I'll update you all with the after pictures when I'm done.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blogsphere to the Rescue

Anyone out there collecting the 2009 Upper Deck Series 1 Baseball Base Set?

If so, I have a small want list and a major stash of doubles.

Interested in a trade? Please email me at

Numbers needed: 473, 460, 426, 414, 413, 412, 384, 383, 367, 338, 332, 321, 318, 304, 290, 254, 253, 249, 240, 227, 222, 219, 205, 191, 175, 173, 166, 161, 159, 145, 135, 133, 128, 126, 114, 110, 103, 98, 71, 63, 57, 43, 36, 8

Thanks in advance!!

4 for 4 Major Drama in Chicago Sports

I know this is going be be kind of a "homer" post, but I can't remember a time when 4 of Chicago's sports team played on the same day and they all won!!

It was a whirlwind day for a Chicago sports fan that started at 11:30am CST with an overtime win by the Bulls on the road against the current Champions, the Boston Celtics. 105-103

By the time that game was over the Cubs-Cardinals game had started in a classic dual between these division rivals that didn't end until a 2-run walk-off home run by Aramis Ramirez in the bottom of the 11th. 7-5

Next came an excellent pitching match-up in the Sox-Rays game, featuring head to head competition by staff aces Mark Buerhle and Scott Kazmir. The Sox won in dominating fashion 8-3.

Then came the feautured event, like the main match in boxing. Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs of the Flames-Blackhawks series. After another sluggish start, the Hawks rebounded in the second period with 3 unanswered goals in an exhibition of "a goalie standing on his head" by Nikolai Khabibulin. 3-2

What a sports day!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

TTM Autograph Success!- Duke Snider and Charlie Joiner

Who: Duke Snider
Why: He's a legendary HOF'er Duh!

What: Signature Card

When: 4/6/2009
Where: Home Address
Date Received: 4/16/2009
Thank you Mr. Snider.
Who: Charlie Joiner
Why: A member of one of the greatest offenses of all-time. QB- Dan Fouts, WR- Charlie Joiner and Wes Chandler, TE- Kellen Winslow, RB Chuck Muncie. They would score 50 pts a game and lose by 3 because their defense was sooo bad.
What: Signature Card
When: 4/7/2009
Where: Home Address
Date Received: 4/16/2009
Thanks Charlie!!

A special thank you to Chemgod at Badwax for the tip on these two willing TTM signers.

Guest Blog- russ's rants -- hockey playoffs, citi field stories and other random sports thoughts

The NHL playoffs are beginning and I wanted to make my Stanley Cup predictions. I think the Boston Bruins will come out of the East. I have said all season that the addition of Blake Wheeler, to an already strong defensive team, made them better and Mark Recchi has added even more. Tim Thomas is the most athletic goalie in the league so I think they are Cup bound.

In the West I think the Calgary Flames have the right stuff since they picked up Olli Jokinen. Miikka Kiprusoff has been there before and so has head coach Mike Keenan. This team does all the little things and their power play is deadly. Dion Phaneuf is a force and he can cover any team’s superstar. I think Calgary will win it all.


Pro football draftology 2009

Sportsology and and friends have joined up to produce Pro Football Draftology 2009. This guide has been months in the making so enjoy.

Download it here!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Upper Deck Scores Legal Victory Against Topps Sports Card Company Firmly Denies Topps’ Allegations of Any Wrong-Doing

North Las Vegas, NV (April 15, 2009) – The Upper Deck Company won a legal victory today when a New York judge denied a Temporary Restraining Order sought by Topps to prevent the release of 2009 Upper Deck Series Two and 2009 O-Pee-Chee baseball card products.

Read the rest of the press release.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Do you know what a buyer's premium is?

A recent post and dialogue by Gellman at SCU got me to thinking about how spoiled eBay buyers have become. (Myself included, admittedly.)

Auction houses like Robert Edwards, Legends, Hunt, etc. routinely charge buyer's of sports memorabilia an often exorbitant buyer's premium. This goes to cover grading, marketing and promotion, authentication, shipping and handling, money transaction fee's and more.

A retail owner of a sports card shop has overhead costs such as rent, utilities, marketing, etc built into their product prices.

So can somebody tell me why eBay buyers, and it seems collectors in general, FREAK OUT when a seller's shipping AND handling charge is enough to cover their overhead?

What overhead you ask?

Listing Fee
Final Value Fee
PayPal Transaction Fee
Card Storage Materials
Shipping Materials

On a $10 card that equates to over $6.00. Don't believe me? See for yourself.

Listing Fee- $.35c, Buy It Now, Good Til Cancelled
Final Value Fee- $3.00
PayPal Transaction Fee -about $.65c
Card Storage Materials- (One penny sleeve, top-loader and team bag) $.25c
Shipping Materials- (Bubble mailer, packing peanut to meet thickness requirement, label, printer ink) $.50c
Postage- $1.52

Do most sellers charge the their full overhead cost? Not even close. So why bitch about $3-$4 shipping and handling.

If a retailer is trying to make a specific % NET profit AFTER overhead costs why shouldn't an eBay seller not be allowed to do the same thing without suffering the wrath of the blogsphere and message boards.

As a collector, all we are doing when we gripe about an eBay seller's S/H charge is prohibit the listing of commons for set completion, low-end game used cards for player collectors, and hard to find inserts from years gone by.

I know both sides of the argument but I think it's time we realize that an eBay seller's fees are NO different than a buyer's premium or retail mark-up.

So what's all the fuss about . . . . ?

eBay Seller Changes

In an email sent to sellers, eBay announced the following:

In the spirit of partnership with our sellers, eBay is consolidating most changes into two releases in 2009, and giving you the lead time you need to adjust and take full advantage of the updates. Here's an overview of the first release, scheduled to go live the week of June 15.

All of these updates are designed to drive more buyers to eBay and more sales for you--while making it easier and more profitable for you to sell.

See all the specifics

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Surviving the Recession

I work for a large B2B media company. Today I survived another round off layoffs. The second such 7% staff reduction in 3 months. Several of my close colleagues and a couple of very good friends lost their jobs today, both with kids. Haven't really been in the mood to blog. Back on the horse soon and thankful I still have a job.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mark "The Bird" Fidrych Dead

August 14th, 1954 - April 13th 2009

The man who once had 24 complete games in 31 starts has been found dead according to reports by ESPN radio.

In 1976 "The Bird" as a rookie, went 19-9 posting a 2.34 ERA. Heralded as the new dominant pitcher of the era, his stardom was fleeting. Fidrych played only 4 more years appearing in only 27 games.

Condolences to Mark's family.

I'm sure the eBay vultures will be out in full force.

Arghh F@#$in' eTopps

In mid-January eTopps released Superbowl Champions on an Allen & Ginter design. I posted here about the Walter Payton card I purchased. I was frustrated that I would not be able to take delivery until early April. Last week I logged in to confirm the availablity date which was April 9th. I was a couple days early. I had planned to check back on the ninth, take delivery and use my stupid reward point for S&H. I forgot until today, so I logged in and waht did I find.

New Availablity Date- 5/11/2009


VOTC's First Contest!!

OK, I think it's high time that VOTC has it's first contest. In the process we are going to create something very cool.

We are going to create a slide show titled, The Blogsphere's Best Pulls.

To be eligible for the assortment of cards you see below all you have to do is:

1) Post a comment with your name.

2) Email me a scan of your best trading card pull from any sport to

The contest will be open for 2 weeks.

Winner will be chosen via

I will then post the assembled slide show where anyone will be free to use it as they wish.

(3) 2008 Ultimate Collection base cards (Ryan Ludwick, Ryan Doumit, Brandon Phillips)

2008 SP Legendary Cuts GU Jersey Howie Kendrick

2009 SPx Mark Teixeira Dual GU Jersey

2008 SPx Austin Kearns GU Jersey #3/75

2007 Ultimate Collection Torii Hunter GU Jersey

2007/08 UD ICE Kris Russell Jersey

2004/05 SP Authentic Ladislav Nagy Auto

2004/05 SP Authentic Jay Bouwmeester Auto

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Sports Card File- The Card Company of the Future Post

Steve Judd has posted a very interesting and thought provoking post on what the card company of the future might look like. I would like to encourage everyone to read and participate in the conversation. Read it for yourself here.

The comment I left was really in the form of 2 questions in response to Steve's post.

Licensing will be the KEY issue as you mention. Let's say Upper Deck and Topps were to downsize their operations and produce and market only those lines that reflect their respective strengths. For UD that would be high-end products and for Topps, would be entry level, and set collector oriented brands.

Now let's say a smaller company wants to compete in the high-end market against Upper Deck.

Two questions;
1) Would the "stick to your strengths" model be a viable and profitable option?
2) Would a pro league and its PA grant a price point/product type SPECIFIC license?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Product Sell Sheet Resource

Looking for product sell sheets on Google is sometimes hit and miss and the information isn't readily provided to the public prior to being available to a manufacturer's dealer and distributor networks. Well I think I found a site that aggregates product sell sheets in a central location for public consumption.

Visit the Magazine Exchange

Why Does the Industry Side of the Hobby Insist on Beating a Dead Horse?

Coming May 4th will be yet another product that includes manufactured letter cards. This time Bowman is getting in on the gimmick with Draft Picks and Prospects Football. These letter patch cards are a hobby element whose time has come and gone. It's still really cool when they are game used but completely useless when they are not.

It really is amazing how the talking heads in suits sitting at a round-table product development planning session, simply recycle the same old crap with each new product. No wonder there is a glaring lack of innovation and creativity eminating from the manufacturers. It must be very frustrating for those employees to have their original ideas squashed for the sake of the bottomline.

Please . . .stop making these stupid inserts.

SPx Baseball Review

SPx is a collector favorite that has produced some great cards in years past. The product’s formula has been tinkered with over the last few years, most recently as a $20, hit per pack, 10 packs per box model. This year sees a return to a more traditional product configuration, packing out with 18 packs per box and each pack containing 4-cards. The current SRP is around $115 and Hobby boxes deliver 4 memorabilia and one autographed card.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

eBay vs the Becket Marketplace

With the ever increasing fees and restrictions on eBay, I am on the lookout for new venues to sell cards. I know Sports Buy is an option but the user interface bugs me. Card Board Connection doesn't have enough users (yet).

Out of sheer principal I can't believe I would even consider this, but the Becket Marketplace has users (who pay book, LOL), no listing fees and a flat rate of 3.5%, no matter what you sell. I sold a $14.95 card on eBay this weekend thru a BIN transaction and paid almost 12% in final value fees alone.

My question, has anyone ever used the Beckett Marketplace to sell cards and what was your experience?

I am leaning towards just sticking with eBay, like I said , out of sheer principle, because it makes me sick to my stomach at the thought of giving my money to the Evil Empire. However, I have also been getting sick to my stomach with eBay lately.

Is the answer, which makes me sick the least . . . ???

Confused, conflicted, sick.


First Look- Topps Goes Back to It's College Football Roots

Rooted deep in the history of The Topps Company are some of its very first sports products, which focused on the college football game.

In 1951, four years before the famed 1955 Topps College All-American Set was to be released, the company issued a 75-card set featuring the top collegiate football players in the land…TOPPS MAGIC. And 58 years later, a beautiful creation of one of Topps’ first ever releases returns.

Upper Deck Now Owns Jordan's Bulls Court

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fox Business New- The Baseball Card Wars

TTM Resource- Autograph Magazine

When I first got into pursuing autographs through the mail (TTM) one of the resources I found helpful and entertaining was a publication simply titled Autograph. In addition to a monthly listing of athlete and celebrity addresses, I found the editorial content truly entertaining and even educational.

One of the writers, whose concentration and contributions are geared towards sports, is a collector/journalist named Tom Talbot. Recently, while browsing the Autograph magazine website, I found an archived listing of his articles which you can access here. There are 16 articles and each is a great read.

A second link on the site here, contains sports related autograph articles from contributing writers.
To view a digital sample copy of the publication click here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

2008-09 Champs Hockey is a Paleontologists Dream

But what if you are a die-hard hockey collector? This set is all about the dinosaur bones and teeth and I give UD props for doing something different but to place those cards as the best chase cards in a hockey set is a bit weird. I think it would have been better suited for a multi-sport set.


Hammerin' Hank Gets His Due (Hold the Asterisk)

As originally reported by SCD:

"The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum plans to dedicate a new, permanent exhibit, “Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream.” The exhibit will be dedicated on April 25 and will explore Aaron’s early days in Mobile, Ala., his climb to the majors, his chase to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list and his current work with the Chasing the Dream Foundation. The Hall of Fame also plans to open a second exhibit called “Hank Aaron: Gallery of Records,” which will open in 2011. The exhibit will feature artifacts from Aaron’s career including the bat and ball used to hit home run No. 714, the bats and balls from his 3,000th hit, 500th and 600th home runs and the balls hit to record his 755th homer and 2,210 RBI. Aaron’s uniform shirt, pants, cap and helmet worn while he hit the record-breaking 715th homer will be in the new exhibit alongside his locker, 1957 World Series Ring, MVP award and many other artifacts."

Eventually the HOF will have to decide how it is going to handle the eventual inclusion of steroid tained athletes. However, until then, it's nice to see that the REAL Home Run King will be given a much deserved honor and additional exposure.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

PayPal and eBay- How to work around it

There has been much made in the past regarding the apparent conflict of interest with eBay owning PayPal. Changes in eBay selling and buying policies require that sellers accept PayPal and that sellers pay only via PayPal. That way eBay can double dip the seller by not only collecting fees for the listing and sale of an item but again on the collected payment itself.

So what's a seller or buyer to do? Well the seller simply has to have a PayPal account and have it attached to his auctions or BIN items. However, what is to stop a buyer upon the end of a transaction to simply send payment via check or money order? The little known or little publicized truth is . . . nothing.

The transaction and checkout pages have been modified to make it appear that the seller MUST follow eBay's policy and procedures. Sellers need to make it public via blogs, message boards and other viral marketing that lets eBay buyers know the truth.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Patience is a Virtue For TTM Autograph Requests

Who: Jennifer Capriati
Why: For my Sports Divas Collection
What: 4x6 Color Photo
When: 5/3/2007
Where: Home Address
Date Received: 3/9/2009

This is a personal record for the longest succesful return.

Thanks Jennifer :)

Too Many Prospect Sets

Here is a listing of prospect themed products released in the last 12 months:

Tri-Star Projections
Just Minors Mystery Jersey
2008 Team USA
Just Minors Just Autographs
Just Minors Mystery Bat
Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects
Donruss Elite Extra Edition
TriStar Prospects
Just Minors Mystery Mini-Bat
Razor Signature Series
Bowman Sterling
Just Minors Mystery Ball
Just Minors Justifiable
Playoff Contenders
2009 Team USA
Tri-Star PRO-jections
Razor Letterman

This seems awfully excessive in light of the fact that;

1) Less than 10% of the players included in the checklists will make a major league roster for anything more than a cup of coffee.

2) Less than 5% will make a big league's club starting line-up.

3) Less than 1% will turn into All-Star caliber players worth collecting long-term.

The above list contains 17 products, more than one per month. Even if you were to subtract Just Minor's memorabilia oriented products that still leaves 1 prospect themed product per month.

Does The Hobby really need these products? I'd like to see a limit put on the number of minor league issues decreased to 6 per year with only 2 companies producing prospect exclusive content. I'd also like to see Bowman lose it's grandfathered right to produce prospect cards.

I think the above criteria would accomplish two things;

1) Allow Bowman to once again return to prominence as "The Home of the Rookie Card", by insuring that they only include "true RC's" in their product.

2) Add legitimacy to the 2 remaining prospect themed manufacturers by creating increased competition and forcing them to insure that they are focused on only the Top 100 prospects and create innovative designs.

What do you think?

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Tobacco Baseball Card Set in Cigarettes

Ok, I know I need to quit smoking. I'm almost 39, have 2 lovely young girls (3-years and 10 months) that I would like to be alive for the day they get married and have kids. I'd also like to see those days without being hooked up to an oxygen mask.

With recent federal tax increases boosting cigarette prices to over $6.00 PER PACK, this is something I really need to get a handle on. The crazy part is that I quit for 4-years once.

Anyways, I imagine I am not the only one that will begin to mentally tackle this issue as a result of the cost increases. That got me to thinking about the likelihood of ever, ever seeing baseball cards inserted into packs of cigarettes again.

If they ever did, I might never quit. Hello, my name is Rob and I am an addict.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

OMG Bears News

ESPN has confirmed that they have conclude a trade for Jay Cutler for the Broncos in exchange for Kyle Orten, 1st and 3rd round picks in 09 and a 1st round pick in '10.

This is the best talent at QB the Bears have had in my life time!!!

The Vikings are no longer the NFC North favorites.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

TNA Knockouts: Lips, Leather and Lace

Is this cool? I haven't decided yet. I am a sucker for the Divas and Knockouts though.

Odd New Relics in Topps Debut Release . .

. . . of RECORDS baseball.

New relic items include the bloody sock from Curt Schilling's World Series performance, bottle pieces from Mark McGwire's Andro, and one lucky collector will pull a Barry Bonds steroid used needle. Topps has had that card encapsulated by Beckett to insure no one hurts themselves.

Blasts from the past include Jim Palmer's commercial worn jockey's, George Brett's pine-tarred bat and more

Atlanta Braves fans will be actively looking for Chipper Jone's spit juice cards while NY Yankee fans will be clamoring to get pieces of A-Rod's, Madonna lip-sticked stained shirt collar.

Suffice it to say we are entering a whole other level of collectibles.

Between the Pipes Could be the Hockey Set of the Year

Guest Review: Jon Waldman

It’s not rare, today, to find a set that gets more hype and buildup for its insert set than base; and while Between the Pipes 2008-09 never was going to be an exception to this seemingly new rule in sports card collecting, the emphasis on chase cards certainly has grown since the product was first announced.

You see, shortly before the product was slated to hit shelves during the last full week in March, Brian Price announced that the product’s production was being trimmed and that boxes would have more value. What he didn’t say, however, was how much more value.