Saturday, February 28, 2009

Finally- My Target Has Blasters! 2009 UDS1 Break

2009 Upper Deck Series 1
Blaster: 10 packs per box, 8 cards per pack*, 1 jersey card per box
*Pack with jersey card contains 6 cards
Price: $19.99

78 Total Cards
55 base cards with 0 doubles
12 inserts
1 jersey card

Stars of the Game
GG-AS Alfonso Soriano

Historic Firsts
HF-2 First Athlete to Win 8 Gold Medals

UD 20th Anniversary Set
#326 Duke wins first national title

OPC
#22 Greg Maddux
#36 Lance Berkman

Star Quest
Blue- Uncommon
SQ-5 Chase Utley
SQ-15 Jose Reyes
SQ-22 Prince Fielder
GOLD- RARE
SQ-23 Ryan Braun

Yankee Stadium Legacy
6729 A-Rod
6742- Andy Petite
6687 Jorge Posada

UD Game Jersey
GJ-AN Rick Ankiel

For card image highlights, see the slideshow.

Red Hot Rookie Redemption Fulfilled

8 months and 3 days.

Red Hot Rookie #3 from 2008 Topps Series 2

John Bowker 1B
San Francisco Giants
111 Games--326 AB's--31 Runs--83 Hits--10 HR's--43 RBI--.255 AVG


Friday, February 27, 2009

2009 UD Spectrum Musings

I always like to see what's happening on the secondary market (eBay) after the release of a product. With last year's Spectrum getting verbally assaulted with its overuse of autographs from defunt 80's hair bands, I wanted to see what this year's version is shaping up to look like and point out some of my findings.

Highest Price Card Sold To Date: Dustin Pedroia 2009 UD SPECTRUM MAGENTA PRESS PLATE 1/1 (Printing plate mojo boo-yah!!) . . . . $51.00 (SOLD)















Card that Dave would have wanted for his Evan Longoria Collection: 2009 UD SPECTRUM 4 COLOR LOGO PATCH LONGORIA #11/25 . . . . $30.87 (SOLD)















Current Price: $102.50












Did she die? She must have becasue THERE IS NO OTHER REASON TO HAVE A CUT SIGNATURE ON A TRADING CARD FROM SOMEONE WHO IS STILL ALIVE!!

The "Good Luck With That" Card: 2009 UD SPECTRUM AUTO JERSEY GOLD GRADY SIZEMORE 5/25 (super mojo!!)
Current Price: BIN OBO $99.99


A Sad Day in Chicago Basketball

When you are as dominant as the Michael Jordan era Bulls were, its natural that outside of Chicago you develop a lot of haters. Those that root for the underdog in anxious anticipation of David slaying Goliath. So not everyone will appreciate this post but the Chicago basketball community is deeply saddened today by the passing of two icons of the franchise.

The Bulls first ever coach and long-time announcer Johnny "Red" Kerr succumbed to cancer yesterday. Casual fans might remember him as the person that Michael Jordan "clapped" the chalk on for good luck before each and every Bulls game. Kerr was also a player and is depicted here in his 1957 Topps rookie card.

In addition to the anticipated and eventual passing of Red, Stormin' Norman, Norm Van Lier was found dead in his apartment yesterday at the age of 61. Heralded as one half of one of the best and most tenacious back courts in NBA history, Norm Van Lier teamed up with current Utah Jazz coach, Jerry Sloan, to provide one of the most smothering defensive tandems the league has ever produced. Interviews yesterday on Chicago sports radio featured Jerry West, Rick Barry and other players of that era and all to a man, repeated the same thing, they hated playing Chicago because of Van Lier and Sloan.

Norm Van Lier was a long-time studio analyst for the Bulls who can unabashedly be described as a "homer". However, he was the first to rip his team for playing without heart, passion, and energy when doing so was warranted.He is pictured here in his 1970-71 Topps RC card.

They were both loved and respected members of the Bulls family and will both be missed for their colorful insight into the game, their undying love of their team, their senses of humor and being all-around class acts.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

SPA Football- Guest Review

Guest Review- Russ Cohen

This is the release that can give you some very memorable rookies or some pulls for the future. I will examine all of these elements and this will help me close the door on the 2008 NFL season.

Hall of Fame Hats Quiz- Who'd they go in as?


MLB Fantasy Cancelled Due to Lack of Interest

I only had one person interested. Dave's league at Fielder's Choice filled up and I thought I might get some roll-over interest but to no avail. Cest La Vie.
If you are interested email me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

MLB, MLBPA, Card Manufacturers- Who blinks first?

Giving credit where it is do, I'd like to reference an excellent article written by TJ Schwartz in the March issue of Sports Collectors Monthly, formerly Tuff Stuff. Unlike Beckett (Sucks), it was refreshing to see a Hobby publication call out all the entities directly responsible for insuring that the new product segment of the Hobby remains viable.

If you haven't read the article, the next time you see one, read it. It doesn't deliver anything ground-breaking but the editorial content of the article seemed so contrary to the obvious collusion that occurs between the manufacturers and Beckett (Sucks).

Schwartz makes the point that this will be a turning point year for the Hobby as it will be up to, not only, the manufacturers, but MLB, the MLBPA and the players themselves to change the economic model currently in place.

First, MLB needs to realize that they will eventually stop seeing licensing revenue altogether if manufacturers are forced to cease trading card production or if further contraction takes place. The current licensing fee puts the manufacturers in the red before the first case of cards hits the market.

Second, the MLBPA and athletes need to be less greedy in their asking price for autograph signings. Being part of the MLBPA entitles you to revenue sharing from the sale of trading cards. Players shouldn't be allowed, to in essence, double charge the manufacturers for the use of their autographs. This should be a concession made by the MLBPA in the next collective bargaining agreement prohibiting players from cutting seperate deals for autographs provided to the manufacturers. Now, if an athlete wants to sign a deal with Mounted Memories, Steiner, or the like for memorabilia autographs, I don't have a problem with that.

Finally, manufacturers need to provide more value in EVERY product. To paraphrase Schwart, "Gone are the days where 2 relics and an autograph card per box are the acceptable return on a $100-$150 purchase."

Amen Brother!

So really, who will blink first? It would seem to me that in order for the MLBPA to follow suit, MLB needs to take a leadership role and lower their licensing fee or manufacturers might not ever have the chance to blink on their own.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I think I just threw up in my mouth



(Thanks for the heads-up Mike!)

Book Review: Moneyball

The Basics: Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (ISBN 0-393-05765-8) is a book by Michael M. Lewis, published in 2003, about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager, Billy Beane. Its focus is the team's modernized, analytical approach to assembling a competitive baseball team despite Oakland's disadvantaged revenue situation. Available on Amazon.com for between $1.00 and $6.25

Synopsis: The central premise of Moneyball is that the collected wisdom of baseball insiders (including players, managers, coaches, scouts and the front office) over the past century is subjective and often flawed. Statistics such as stolen bases, runs batted in, and batting average, typically used to gauge players, are relics of a 19th-century view of the game and the statistics that were available at the time. The book argues that the Oakland A's front office took advantage of more empirical gauges of player performance to field a team that could compete successfully against richer competitors in Major League Baseball. Read More on Wikipedia.

Thoughts: This book is obviously several years old, but this was the first time I have read it. The revolutionary thinking brought to the game, by Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta, back in the late 90's forever changed the way the game is played and players are scouted and evaluated. Quite simply Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta are a mix of mad scientist and front-office genius. The current parity in baseball is due to a couple of things. First, is the revenue sharing, negotiated in one of the last collective bargaining agreements that basically, subsidizes smaller market teams. The second, is in no small part due to the theory originally put into practice by Beane and the Oakland A's. You see it being played out still today with franchises like the Tampa Bay Devil Rays who accomplished the once unthinkable last year by ousting the Evil Empire and their Nemesis and riding a young and talented team all the way to the World Series.

This book is a fascinating read and a must for any baseball fun. I can't believe I just got around to reading it but hey, it only cost me $1.





Monday, February 23, 2009

Upper Deck Are You Listening?

I have the solution for what to do with your Documentary dilema. I'm sure on the drawing board this seemed like a great idea as it is a product that answers the seemingly constant chatter and complaining from those pesky set-builders (sic). However, if the rapid decline of the products' SRP on dealer websites is any indication, this product can only be classified as a flop.

However, all is not lost. I think the product can be successful if the pack-out configuration and distribution channel is overhauled. Documentary, in essence, should be targeted, geared for and distributed to the team collector. Much like Parkhurst Original 6 in hockey a few years ago, that featured hobby boxes by team, why not do the same thing with Documentary? I can't be alone in stating that I personally, would be much more inclined to buy this product if it were team specific. It would transcend the basic team set to a whole new level that would actually be unique and kind of fun to collect.

In addition, instead of waiting until the end of the season to release the product, thus putting it at a competitive disadvantage against the eagerly anticipated releases of the new season's product, why not split it into a Series 1 and Series 2. Reason being, that attempting to put together even a team oriented set of this size together so late in the year just isn't going to be realistic to most collectors.

Finally, produce the product with no parallels and no game-used jersey and autographs in pack-out. Now before you say, "We can't to that, no one would buy it.", hear me out. Collectors who successfully complete the entire team set would be entitled to receive some team-themed insert type reward. For example, (1) game-used card, (1) dual game used card and (1) autograph card or some combination thereof that would be equal to what a typical hobby box would contain, plus a little something extra to entice collectors to purchase multiple boxes to complete the set. My thought is that 90% of the set should be attainable with a (2) box purchase per series. For the additional 10% of the set, embrace social networking and create and facilitate a micro-site where collectors could congregate make trades, upload their set progress, etc. The micro-site should require registration via the UPC codes of the boxes purchased to insure that only collectors of Documentary are allowed to use the site.

You could take this idea to the next level for the few people that would actually attempt and complete the entire Documentary set for the entire league and allow them to choose (1) custom, made to order multiple game used card AND (1) custom made to order multi-autograph card.

Product and brand managers, the ball is in your court. If you want Documentary to have a remote chance of succeeding, incoporate these changes into the product's '09 configuration. . . . or at lease some of them.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Shoeless Joe Hates Cancer and Heart Disease

Rats, Foiled Again . . .


Me: Honey, after the kids go down for their naps, I need to go get an oil-change in the car.


My Wife: OK. DON'T buy any cards when you're at Wal-Mart, got it?!?!


Me: Yes Dear.




USA Baseball Video Highlights

Saturday, February 21, 2009

UD Documentary- An Against the Grain Opinion

Guest Review- Jon Waldman

About a month ago, I was all set to put up a column declaring that my baseball collecting days were done; that after getting a Roger Maris game-used card after 7 years of searching and picking up everything imaginable from a Sweet Spot auto to a T206 card, that my diamondball collection was complete.

Well, about a week after the Maris was in my hot hands I went by my local hobby shop. Two new products caught my eye on the baseball shelf, one of which I’ll talk about now – Upper Deck Documentary.

The Collecting Treadmill

Stop this thing I wanna get off.


Do you ever feel this way about your collecting pursuits? The never ending chase, the one more card, the waiting for new product to feed your jones? Maybe it's because the new year is well underway and the card companies are once again spoon feeding us again like toddlers on a feeding schedule. First with their respective flagship products, then the "kid-friendly" low end sets like Opening Day, First Edition, Draft, Prestige, etc.


I think part of it is the repetitive nature of the product release schedule. We know what's coming and when and as a collector we either wait anxiously, or pay little attention, looking ahead to the product we are really waiting for. I still haven't finished last year's sets and now I'm already behind on this year's. That, in and of itself, is frustrating.

The Hobby needs a breath a fresh air, some landscape changing innovation that throws a monkey wrench into the whole gerbil wheel of the product release schedule.Whether that is a shake up in the schedule itself thus breaking the monotony of routine, some new brands, or the return of added value like high end box-toppers, it's time the manufacturers do something, anything truly different.

I have my own thoughts and ideas which I have expressed in the past as many of us have had in the blogsphere, but I'mcurious to know your take on the topic of The Collecting Treadmill.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

MBL Transactions

2/18/09
Arizona Diamondbacks Claimed RHP Bobby Korecky off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. Designated RHP Jailen Peguero for assignment.

Minnesota Twins Signed RHP Luis Ayala to a one-year contract.

Seattle Mariners Signed OF Ken Griffey Jr. to a one-year contract. Invited C Israel Nunez to Spring Training.

2/17/09
Milwaukee Brewers Re-signed RHP Eric Gagne to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

San Diego Padres Signed OF Emil Brown to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

2/16/09
Boston Red Sox Signed OF Brad Wilkerson to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Los Angeles Angels Invited RHP Eddie McKiernan to Spring Training.

Seattle Mariners Signed C Jason Phillips to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training. Signed 2008 Draft pick RHP Joshua Fields to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

2/15/09
Cleveland Indians Signed INF Tony Graffanino to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

Milwaukee Brewers RHP Luis Pena claimed off waivers by Seattle. C Vinny Rottino cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Nashville. RHP Ramiro Mendoza did not successfully complete his physical and departed camp.

Seattle Mariners Claimed RHP Luis Pena off waivers from the Brewers. Designated INF Tug Hulett for assignment.

2/14/09
New York Mets Signed RHP Livan Hernandez to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

2/13/09
Baltimore Orioles Sent 3B Scott Moore outright to Triple-A Norfolk and invited him to Spring Training.

New York Mets Re-signed INF Ramon Martinez to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

New York Yankees Signed RHP Brett Tomko to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Toronto Blue Jays Re-signed RHP Dirk Hayhurst to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

2/12/09
Chicago White Sox Signed 1B Ben Broussard to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Los Angeles Angels Signed OF Bobby Abreu to a one-year contract.

Milwaukee Brewers Signed RHP Braden Looper to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2010. Designated C Vinny Rottino for assignment. Claimed RHP Nick Green off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Designated RHP Luis Pena for assignment.

New York Yankees Invited RHP J.B. Cox, RHP George Kontos and RHP Kanekoa Texeira to Spring Training.

Tampa Bay Rays Designated RHP Juan Salas for assignment. Invited C Craig Albernaz, C Nevin Ashley, SS Timothy Beckham, LHP Jason Cromer, RHP Neal Frontz, LHP Carlos Hernandez, RHP Calvin Medlock, 3B Chris Nowak and C Matt Spring.

2/11/09
Colorado Rockies Signed LHP Randy Flores to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Kansas City Royals Invited C Kiel Thibault to Spring Training.

New York Mets Re-signed 2B Jose Valentin to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Toronto Blue Jays Signed 1B Kevin Millar to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training. Sent INF Russ Adams outright to Triple-A Las Vegas and invited him to Spring Training.

Washington Nationals Signed 1B/OF Adam Dunn to a two-year contract.

2/10/09
Arizona Diamondbacks Invited RHP Hector Ambriz, RHP Tony Barnette, RHP Brooks Brown, C Ed Easley, OF Evan Frey, C John Hester, RHP Reid Mahon, OF Trent Oeltjen, OF Gerardo Parra, INF Rusty Ryal, LHP Daniel Schlereth to Spring Training. Signed OF Brandon Watson to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Baltimore Orioles Signed INF/OF Ty Wigginton to a two-year contract. Designated INF Scott Moore for assignment.

Cincinnati RedsInvited C Chris Denove to Spring Training.

Colorado Rockies Invited RHP Jhoulys Chacin, INF Christian Colonel, OF Chris Frey, RHP Brandon Hynick, C Michael McKenry and OF Matt Miller. Signed C Sal Fasano to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training. Invited C Wilin Rosario to Spring Training.

Kansas City Royals Signed RHP Jamey Wright to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Los Angeles Dodgers Invited SS Ivan DeJesus to Spring Training. Signed RHP Ronald Belisario, RHP Charlie Haeger, RHP Tanyon Sturtze and LHP Eric Milton to Minor League contracts and invited them to Spring Training.

San Francisco Giants Signed RHP Ramon Ortiz to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

St. Louis Cardinals Invited LHP Brad Furnish, RHP Shaun Garceau and LHP Kat Maekawa to Spring Training.

Tampa Bay Rays Signed LHP Brian Shouse to a one-year contract with a club option for 2010.

Toronto Blue Jays Acquired RHP Matt Bush, who had been designated for assignment on February 5, from the San Diego Padres for a PTBN or cash considerations. Released RHP Dirk Hayhurst.

2/9/09
Los Angeles Dodgers Signed RHP Jeff Weaver to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Oakland Athletics Signed RHP Edgar G. Gonzalez to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

San Diego Padres Invited 1B Kyle Blanks, RHP Greg Burke, RHP Matt Buschmann, C Mitch Canham, 3B Peter Ciofrone, RHP Gabe DeHoyos, OF Chad Huffman, OF Cedric Hunter, RHP Will Inman, RHP Mat Latos, LHP Arturo Lopez, RHP Edwin Moreno, C Colt Morton and LHP Nick Schmidt to Spring Training.

San Francisco Giants Signed INF Rich Aurilia to a Minor League deal and invited him to Spring Training.

St. Louis Cardinals Released 2B Adam Kennedy.

Tampa Bay Rays Signed 3B Morgan Ensberg to a Minor League contract.

Quiz Time: Sports Scandals

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2009 American Heritage Review- History 101


Topps brings a unique twist to the non-sport trading card genre with its debut of American Heritage. The product is reminiscent of one released a few years ago by Upper Deck and appropriately titled, US History. However, by capitalizing on their own history in the Hobby, Topps decided to utilize classic card designs of yesteryear in lieu of creating a whole new design. I had mixed reactions to this tactic at first feeling that a new brand calls for a new design but after seeing how they collated the design to match components of the base set, the idea and the cards themselves are growing on me.

2009 Topps Series 1 Review

Guest Review- Russ Cohen

2009 Topps Baseball Series 1 costs around $66 and for that collectors can get the next batch of solid rookies that came in late last season like Bobby Parnell, a young Mets flame thrower, or Phil Coke another young promising reliever from the Yankees and you can still get a David Price rookie (as I did), not bad, but there’s more…

The “Turkey Red” inserts are nice and I loved the one that I got of Jimmie Foxx, the forgotten member of the 500-homer club. His card shows him in an Athletics uniform and on the back it talks about his legendary power. However, when I saw Philadelphia I thought about the Phillies and the last season he spent there in 1945.

READ MORE

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Antiques Roadshow Apraisal Videos

I am a sucker for this show. When nothing of interest is on and I'm just going to read a book anyway, I'll ususally put this show on in the background. The stories of how things are acquired are interesting and obviously as a collector, whenever a piece of sports memorabilia is being appraised I put my book down.

The following link provides a couple dozen videos of recent appraisals. Some of the more notably are a Mickey Mantle RC year payroll check, 1919 Cincinnati Reds Championship Ball (Black Sox Scandal), and an opening day baseball program from 1885, and a 1969-'70 Game USed Jersey from Gayle Sayers, to name a few.

When Bad Christmas Gifts Go Good

First off, it is really the thought that counts, so if by some ridiculous coincidence my Aunt ends up reading this, . . . thank you and no offense.

However, as a collector, and knowing I am a Cal Ripken collector, would you rather have this:




or this:

Dumb question, I know. This is one of the "Signing Bonus" box toppers from 2003 Absolute Memorabilia. I have always loved these pieces and have wanted one for my Ripken collection for a long time. Yesterday my goal was realized as I took possession of this beauty.

I haven't been able to afford to buy one outright because when they do come up for sale on eBay they are typically over $100. Thank God for the "Email Me Updates to this Saved Search" feature. I go an email about this peice with a BIN of $50. It just so happened that I has sold Aunties Christmas gift (which I would never have used in a million years even if there wasn't a single deodarant stick on the planet) for $30. So you got it, my NET cost out of pocket $20.

Numered 99 of 200 with a gray road jersey swatch, this piece displays beautifully. In addition the jersey swatch shows heavy wear as there are snags and dirt in the fabric (like from sliding).

Needles to say I stoked!!

American Heritage Box Break Video Highlights

Sunday, February 15, 2009

SP Game Used Hockey Continues String

Guest Review: Jon Waldman


Since the NHL lockout ended, there hasn’t been a set that I’ve anticipated more, year in-and year-out, more than SP Game-Used. I’ve been fortunate, 3 of those 4 years to break a box, and this year’s might very well have been the most fun.

Weighing in at six packs, each with three cards (give or take a couple that have more than the stated insertion), SPGU isn’t for every foil ripper – it’s definitely a more elite set; but thanks to monster sales, the gamers show up on the secondary market in droves, letting every collector get a piece of the action.



READ MORE

2 Down 2,498 To Go!!

A special thank you to Nite Owl for the first contribution to my attempt at completing the UD 20th Anniversary Set. I so clearly remember that iconic Jordan moment.

2009 USA Baseball by Upper Deck- A Prospector Bonanza

The continued partnership between USA Baseball and Upper Deck continues to thrive as its annual release has become a favorite of prospectors. A popular niche in the collecting universe, prospecting, isn’t new. However, at no time in hobby history has there been such an array of choices for collectors to choose from. Upper Deck’s top-notch design capability is well utilized in this year’s set which is limited to only 2,665 total sets.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Upper Deck Loses NBA License Thanks to Greed

Wow!! Talking about opening your mouth and inserting your foot. In turns out that it was Upper Deck's idea to get the NBA to agree to an exclusive licensing deal, ala the NHL agreement, which would have resulted in UD losing there only competition in the market (Topps) in a second sport. Instead the whole plan backfired when the NBA saw how lucrative this could be and agreed. Then Panini comes in willing to spend what UD wouldn't and know UD is out.

This is a quote for UD Chirman Richard McWilliam from an email to UD's Diamond Club VIP list.

“As many of you are aware, the NBA trading card market has been in a state of steady decline for the last five years,” McWilliam wrote. “Significant revenue losses and eroding profit margins led to an unsustainable business model. Based on the success of our exclusive relationship with the NHL and NHL Players Association, we encouraged the NBA to consider an exclusive licensing relationship for their trading card business, and we aggressively lobbied for Upper Deck to be that exclusive partner.”After negotiating with the league, McWilliam said his company could not reach an agreement with the NBA on the “financial value of an exclusive license.”

This was first reported here by SCD.

Serves them right. That whole NHL deal still ticks me off. I thought a monoploy was illegal.

I Know You're Out There . . .


I'm sure I am not the only thirty-something kid out there who never grew, as clearly evidenced by the number of blogs on baseball cards. So if any of you have interests such as comic books, super heroes, graphic novels, and video games; be sure to check out a huge, comprehensive review of the NY Comic-Con Show at Card Corner Club . Also check out the monstrous image gallery from the show at Smug Mug.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Personal 500 Home Run Collection Conundrum

I need to find a forger. Why? To help complete my 500 Home Run Club autographed baseball collection. Many of you understand the notion of being a completist and this is the crux of my problem. I have long accepted the idea that I could be happy with my collection knowing, that in all likelihood, that I would never acquire signed baseballs of Mel Ott, Jimmie Fox, and Babe Ruth. I also am content knowing that Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams will probably have to wait until my girls are out of college.
What has had me frazzled for the last few years and has resurfaced with the whole A-Roid thing, is what to do about the steroid-era players. Those that are guilty, have been accused, implicated, alleged, or whatever.

The two notable exceptions, until indespitudedly proved otherwise, are Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas. My reasons for this can be found in the comments of a previous post here. No the real problem is with the likes of Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, Jim Thome (who because of some personal interaction, highly highly doubt . . .but), Manny Rameriz, and Gary Sheffield (assuming he doesn't have some tragic accident preventing him from playing) and of course Alex Rodriguez.

So back to my need for a forger. I'm thinking two balls. One with signatures of the "for sures" (Sosa, Bonds, McGwire, A-Rod, Sheffield and Palmeiro) and one with the "played in the era" (Rameriz, Thome). Or I could just put all of them on one, or I could just say, "Screw it, the numbers don't lie, regardless", and pony up the money for authentic signatures.

What's a completist to do? Cheat like the cheaters or spend my hard earned cash on them?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2008 Bowman Sterling Review

Guest Review- Russ Cohen
A box of 2008 Bowman Sterling Baseball contained seven autographs, one relic, one relic refractor, one rookie and two rookie refractors. A box will set collector’s back $240 so lets see what we got.
This is an end of the year set and some real gems came out like Clayton Kershaw refractor numbered to 199 (Dodgers), Andrew Brackman refractor numbered to just 25, Jay Bruce (Reds), and Michael Aubrey (Indians). Kershaw and Bruce are absolute studs and Brackman (Yankees first rounder in 2007) is 6-10, 270 pounds and he has a lot of potential for sure and Aubrey could be a late-bloomer but at 29 his time is running out.

Steroid Video Montage

video

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hot Stove Info

2/8/09
Boston Red Sox Invited 1B Lars Anderson, RHP Daniel Bard, OF Zach Daeges, LHP Kris Johnson, OF Josh Reddick, LHP Dustin Richardson and RHP Charlie Zink to Spring Training.

Philadelphia Phillies Signed 1B Ryan Howard to a three-year contract extension.

2/7/09
Texas Rangers Signed RHP Brendan Donnelly to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Toronto Blue Jays Signed RHP Shawn Camp to a one-year deal.

2/6/09
Arizona Diamondbacks Signed RHP Tom Gordon, who had been with the Phillies, to a one-year contract.

Boston Red Sox Re-signed C Jason Varitek to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2010. Sent OF/1B Jeff Bailey outright to Triple-A Pawtucket and invited him to Spring Training.

Los Angeles Dodgers Signed LHP Randy Wolf to a one-year contract.

Tampa Bay Rays Signed RHP Winston Abreu to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Texas Rangers Re-signed RHP Jason Jennings to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Toronto Blue Jays Signed Japanese LHP Ken Takahashi to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training. Sent C Curtis Thigpen outright to Triple-A Las Vegas.

2/5/09
Cincinnati Reds Signed OF Jacque Jones and 1B/OF Daryle Ward to Minor League contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training.

Minnesota Twins Agreed to one-year contract with RHP Matt Guerrier, avoiding arbitration.

New York Mets Signed RHP Elmer Dessens to Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

San Diego Padres Signed OF Cliff Floyd to a one-year contract. Designated RHP Matt Bush for assignment.

Seattle Mariners Signed LHP Tyler Johnson to Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Toronto Blue Jays Signed LHP Brian Tallet to a one-year contract. Claimed RHP T.J. Beam off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Designated INF/OF Russ Adams for assignment.

Washington Nationals Signed LHP Odalis Perez to a one-year contract and invited him to Spring Training.

2/4/09
Baltimore Orioles Signed LHP John Parrish, who had been with the Blue Jays, to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Colorado Rockies Acquired OF Matt Murton from the Oakland Athletics for INF Corey Wimberly.

Detroit Tigers Outrighted the contract of RHP Eddie Bonine to Triple-A Toledo.

Kansas City Royals Avoided arbitration with RHP Brian Bannister, agreeing to a one-year deal.

Milwaukee Brewers Acquired LHP Chase Wright from the New York Yankees for OF/C Eric Fryer. Signed RHP Ramiro Mendoza to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

New York Yankees Acquired OF/C Eric Fryer from the Milwaukee Brewers for LHP Chase Wright.

Oakland AthleticsTraded OF Matt Murton to the Colorado Rockies for INF Corey Wimberly,

Toronto Blue Jays Claimed LHP Brian Burres off waivers from the Orioles. Designated catcher Curtis Thigpen for assignment.

Quiz Time: The 500 HR Club


Regardless of it's future place in history (and the means by which it was accomplished) in the history of baseball there have only been a couple dozen players to reach the 500 Home Run Club. Can you name all 24? This should be easy for you guys. Special thanks to Mental Floss.com


Saturday, February 7, 2009

A-Rod Part of the Steriod Club


With the recent allegations by Sports Illustrated that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for anabolic steroids (citing four different authoratative sources)in his MVP year of 2003, it is clear to me who are the greatest home run hitters of our era and the only legit members of the 500 Home Rub Club. . . .






NOPE


NOPE




NOPE





PLEASE



That's right, The Big Hurt!!


and the Kid!!

Card Corner Radio: Steven Judd Interview!!

Tune into a great show featuring an interview with
Steven Judd of the Sports Card File.
We ask him some very pointed questions about the industry
and Steven tells it like it is.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Finally!! Someone Takes on Beckett and eBay

In one fell swoop, a hobby entity has emerged with the capital and know how to take on Beckett Media and eBay. Mike Smeth, Owner and President, of The Cardboard Connection has rolled out a new 2.0 version of their site that incoporates Social Networking and a Market Place, featuring both fixed price and auction-style selling formats.
With eBay's ever increasing gouging of sellers and Beckett's ridiculous fees to be a market place member, The Cardboard Connection provides a cost-effective alternative who popularity will grow expotentially through viral marketing.

You can access any of the portals from The Cardboard Connection homepage or use the links below for even easier navigation.

As collectors we have ranted about Beckett and as sellers we have ranted about eBay. Here is an opportunity to put collecting and hobby related resources back into the hands of collectors. So I encourage you to take advantage of some of the resources the site provides and spread the word.

Mike is making himself available for interviews, questions, site feedback and more and you can reach him on his email at editor@cardboardconnection.com


Happy Anniversary Honus

Between now and 2011 marks the 100th year anniversary of one of the most famous, rare, and valuable trading cards in history.
The Honus Wagner T-206

It's hard to believe that 7 years have already passed since Topps paid tribute to this cardboard classic with the release of an updated version of the set in 2002.

With many collectors a little burned out on Allen & Ginter, I think it would be a no brainer for Topps to produce a T-206 set this year.

The mainstream press is going to pick up on the Honus Wager 100 year story at some point this year and if Topps were to include original buyback cards in the product including an original T-206 Honus Wagner, imagine the the free PR and buzz that they would benefit from. This product would easily sell out on pre-order and retailers would see strong demand and a solid price point for boxes. Secondary market value would be strong as well because of new entrants into the market from casual fans, newer entrants to the market, and T-206 aficionados.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Photo Galleries- Super Bowl and NHL AS Game

The crack staff at Sportsology
were at it again covering two major events.
See the uploaded photo galleries here.

Blogging and the National

If you are going to the National in Cleveland this year, July 29-August 2, please leave a comment.

Some of the bloggers are working on an idea.

Stay tuned!!!

Topps Hardwood Basketball Review

Guest Review- Russ Cohen

This product offers one autograph and two relics in every box. I did get that combination and when you hear who I got I think you will say I got a decent but not great box.


I managed to get 22 rookie cards (all serial-numbered), which breaks down to more than 1 per pack (18 in a box) four of them were low numbers and the rest were numbered to 2009. The best of the bunch was the potential rookie of the year and last year’s top draft pick - - Chicago’s Derrick Rose. The card is numbered to just 299 and this kid is averaging 16.7 PPG and 6.3 assists! Kevin Love (T-Wolves), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City numbered to just 175!) and Donte Green (Kings) are all solid cards. The rigid feel of the cards fits with the set.



READ MORE

Panini Looking To Buy Donruss?

While FW Publication's, Sports Card Monthly ,is still operating as an antiquated price guide, their investigative journalism I still find a very useful contribution to the hobby. With that said check out this potential scoop.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Panini Might Release Only 12 NBA Products Next Year

Sports Collector's Digest has excerpts from an interesting interview with, Sal LaRocca, the NBA’s executive VP of global merchandising an CNBC.

READ MORE

Another Quiz: Super Bowl QB's


Another quiz courtesy of MentalFloss.com


I got 8 of 9 . . . honest :)

I'm probably an idiot, but . . .


. . . I'm going to make a go of it. I have decided to attempt to complete the 2,500 card set commemorating Upper Deck's 20th Anniversary.

A request to all my readers and fellow bloggers:

As you open product this year I would be most appreciative if you would send me your unwanted UD 2oth Anniversay cards. I will reimburse shipping if you'd like. I know the majority of these cards are going to go in your common bin anyway and I promise I will put them to good use.

I'm asking for some blog love here guys.

Would you help me?

The Hot Stove League Heats Up

With only a few weeks before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, I thought it might be helpful to keep a post about MLB transactions seeing as there are numerous high profile names still without a team.

2/3/09
Cleveland Indians Signed RHP Vinnie Chulk to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Milwaukee Brewers Avoided arbitration with 2B Rickie Weeks, agreeing to a one-year contract.

New York Mets Re-signed LHP Oliver Perez to a three-year contract.

Texas Rangers Re-signed LHP Eddie Guardado to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Washington Nationals Signed C Javier Valentin and IF Alex Cintron to Minor League deals.


2/2/09
Atlanta Braves Agreed to terms with 1B Casey Kotchman on a one-year deal, avoiding salary arbitration.

Baltimore Orioles Acquired LHP Rich Hill from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for a player to be named. Designated LHP Brian Burres for assignment.

Chicago Cubs Traded LHP Rich Hill to the Baltimore Orioles for a player to be named. Traded RHP Michael Wuertz to Oakland Athletics for Minor League OF Richie Robnett and IF Justin Sellers.

Cincinnati Reds Signed C Humberto Cota to a Minor League contract, with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Announced the retirement of Minor League C Ryan Jorgensen.

Colorado Rockies Signed RHP Josh Fogg to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Oakland Athletics Acquired RHP Michael Wuertz from the Chicago Cubs for OF Richie Robnett and INF Justin Sellers.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Podcast from the National

Now that I have added a radio player to the site I wanted to remind you, if you haven't listened to the Card Corner Radio Show before that I have just uploaded the show we did from the National in Chicago. This is an entertaining 3 hour marathon. Broadcasting right across from the Beckett booth, we acknowledge their existence with subtle and not so subtle slams.

More importantly we have great interviews with Dr. Brian Price (including live break of Sport Kings Series B), Scott Prusha from Donruss, Brian Marren VP of Acquisitions for MastroNet and the gang at Sports Card Forum.

(The mp3 player is on the vertical nav bar on the left or at the bottom of the page)

2009 Fantasy Baseball- Ok who's in?

I thought it might be fun to start a private league on MLB for bloggers and their readers. It's FREE to play! For more details visit the MLB's Fantasy Baseball webpage . The league name is Blogolicious.

League is open to the first 11 people and then we can configure rules and set the draft type and day. Once we fill one league we can start another if need be.

Leave a comment if you join.

Upper Deck's 20th Anniversary Set- Good, Bad, Indifferent?

With another gigantic (2,500 cards) cross brand set released by Upper Deck this year, commemorating their 20th Anniversary, what do you guys think? Do you like it, hate it, indifferent?

The set chronicles sports, history, politics , and pop culture over the last 20 years.

Unlike last year's Yankee Stadium Legacy set, I think this will have a broader appeal to the collecting public and casual fan. If later in the year they release blaster boxes, like they did with YSL, I actually might pick up a couple. Readers of this blog know I am a sucker for multi-sport and Americana-type sets.

Monday, February 2, 2009

2009 UD Series 1 Gallery and USA

Super Bowl XLIII Ads

Just in case you missed them,
want to watch them again
or whatever
here is a link to Ad Age,
where you can watch
all the ads from last night's game.
While this year's crop seemed subpar
I did chcukle at a few.
Which ones did you like?

How Do Trading Card Manufacturers Deal With this?

Chemgod at BadWax had a very interesting post noting the number of high-profile fee agents still not under contract. This is an impressive list of talent and with opening day about 2 months aways it sure will be interesting to see where these guys end up and when. Also, since many of the names on this list are key components to the manufacturers infamous 100-card base sets, how does this impact production schedules if at all?

Jason Varitek
Rich Aurilla
Orlando Hudson
Orlando Cabrera
Joe Crede
Manny Ramirez
Bobby Abreau
Jim Edmonds
Adam Dunn
Ivan Rodriguez
Ty Wigginton
Miguel Cairo
Nomar Garciaparra
Ken Griffey Jr
Garret Anderson
Frank Thomas
Oliver Perez
Randy Wolf
Branden Looper
Ben Sheets
Tom Glavine

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Recap

What a great game!! If it's not your team, all you can ask for is a competitive game, and this one didn't disappoint.

Both Santonio Holmes and Larry Fitzgerald really lived up to their hype. Here is a look at one of their key RC's, Upper Deck SPX. If the Cardinals defense holds the Steelers to a field goal on that last drive, chances are it would be Fitzgerald as MVP. As a long-term investment, who would you want?
Both are currently available for around $200 on eBay

2006 Holmes and 2004 Fitzgerald