Friday, July 30, 2010

Beckett Sucks: The Never Ending Story UPDATE

  1. Manufacturer collusion is a serious breach of business practice and free trade.
  2. Non disclosure of said possible collusion is a serious ethical breach of media integrity.

These are the issues I have with the shennanigans at Beckett HQ regarding the Topps Tribute fiasco. Last night on Twitter, Steven Judd (former trading card brand manager) made the following statements:

"So Beckett got a loaded box, big deal. I "packed" quite a few of them over the years. Get over it. It's part of the business. Geez..... When the Beckett boards were more dominant. I would make a special "case" (I'd give the packout vendor a specific list of auto/mem hits to put in each box), have it sent to a buddy of mine a week prior to the release date, have him break the scan and scan all of the auto/mem cards and then post a box-by-box break on the Beckett boards around midnight on the night before the release date in order to get people excited about the product.
I like to call it guerilla marketing. Just to be clear, Beckett or the folks who work there have nothing to do with the "loaded" boxes they receive. It's the PDT/marketing people at the card companies that plot and scheme to jerrymander the box/boxes.

I think everybody takes some of this a bit too seriously. That's just me. Maybe I'm the jackass here, but it's just a box of cards. Again, I'm pretty sure Beckett Media, or any of its employees, is not responsible for all of the ills of this industry...good gracious can't you all at least think of something different to bitch about? Same song, same verse, different day."

Whoa. WTF is that!?!!

Ok, so we now know from an industry insider the facts, thus validating all of the "paranoid conspiracy theories" (as my arguements have been called by Beckett employees).

1. Manufacturers are capable of knowing what goes into a particular box and case.

2. Beckett Media is aware of these practices.

3. Loaded marketing boxes sent to Beckett do in fact exist.

The big problem here then is the lack of complete disclosure on the part of Beckett Media. However it goes beyond that. The desperate attempt to down play this practice with posts regarding the prevalence of 1 of 1's in the marketplace as reasoning for the box hits (see Chris Olds' blog post yesterday) only adds fuel to the fire and screams desperation.

Apparently I am not alone with these concerns as evidence by this thread on the Blowout forums, and this conversation regarding the potential legal ramifications with major case breaker and attorney I Am Joe Collector and fellow blogger, Box Busters, here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beckett Sucks: The Never Ending Story

Regardless of which side of the debate you find yourself on, concerning the questionable boxes provided to Beckett for their Box Busters video segments, I don't hold them solely responsible.

Having first hand experience with being provided so-called "Hot" boxes during my tenure with Card Corner Club, no single entity is to blame. The now defunct Fleer company, was notorious for providing us with "Hot" boxes and we made it a point during our reviews to explain to collectors that the results of said box were not typical for the product as a whole and to not judge the entire product based on this single box.

Yesterday, Beckett HQ shot a Box Busters segment showcasing the new 2010 Topps Tribute Baseball and the results were drastically different then any box break of the same product to date. Search YouTube, or the message boards at Blowout or Freedom Cardboard and you will find hundreds of box breaks that don't even come close to the results yielded by their (2) boxes.

Do I think that Beckett and the manufacturers have a wink and a handshake agreement to be provided loaded boxes? I doubt it but at the same time, I certainly wouldn't put it past them. What I do have a problem with is knowing the products' configuration, being aware of what the majority of other boxes have contained and NOT putting a simple disclaimer either written as a comment on the screen, or verbally during the box break dialogue. To make matters worse when you go on a Twitter and message board diatribe, post break, trumpeting the increased prevalence of 1-of-1 cards it screams of desperation.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

When Your Wife Collects Too . . .

My wife heralds from a small town near Canton, OH. Growing up as a lifelong Indians fan and HUGE fan of Omar Vizquel, it was a double edged sword when her guy signed with the hated division rival Chicago White Sox this past off season. Vizquel, a no-doubt Hall of Famer with 11 Gold Gloves, 2,700+ hits, 1400+ runs scored, and a lifetime OBP of .338, his insertion into the everyday line-up for Ozzie Guillen's club had an immediate impact catapulting them into first place in the AL Central at the All-Star break. His time tested defense has been contagious and corrected the clubs obvious deficiencies from April and May. No better example is available then the way Alexi Rameriz has stepped up his game in the field, flashing the leather in a manner GM Kenny Williams had envisioned when calling him up to the Bigs a couple of years ago.

After the 1994 strike shortened season that resulted in the World Series being cancelled, I walked away from the sport for several years. Meeting my wife and here enthusiastic love for the game, coupled with the steroid tainted home run record chase of '98, re-engaged me in the sport. A couple of short years later I re-entered The Hobby head first and shared the new products with my wife, who too a much smaller degree, enjoyed the thrill of opening new product. She, along with my help, started to develop a very nice Vizquel player collection that consists of multiple patch and autograph cards, graded rookies, unique collectibles and her centerpiece a game-used, signed bat.

Vizquels journey man travels of the last handful of years have seen a serious reduction in his cards and collectibles as evidenced by eBay search results yielding just a handful of 2010 cards, which include no memorabilia or autographs of him in a White Sox uniform.
See for yourself.
Obviously the opportunity to add new card to my team collection of a future Hall of Famer has me chomping at the bit to kill two birds with one stone by adding to my wife's collection. But here we are SEVERAL months into the 2010 collectibles season and their is little to be had. Hopefully that changes with the recent releases of Allen & Ginter and Tribute.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 7/17 - 7/23

Great content from around the web- The Hobby, sports, music, FREE stuff, TV, movies, video games, comic books, news, hotties, tech & gadgets, video, photography and more.

This week's highlights:

San Diego Comic-Con in full swing

Sports Diva's News from Jennie Finch, Danica Patrick and more

National Sports Collectors Convention news and previews

and more!!

NRANews RT @SSUSA_Magazine: Watch NRA Bianchi video with August issue:

Comic_Con 2010 Eisner Award Winners!

myhouseofcards A truly unique card set, insuring your collection & more! This Week In Sports Cards is now at

GoDaddy Tip: Embed your Quick Blogcast videos. Get embedded links to use anywhere HTML is accepted & get yourself seen! Steps:

GettyImagesEdit See all our coverage of Comic-Con 2010!

PlanetXbox360 The Top 10 Reasons Why Kinect is Worth $149.99 - we cut the BS and get right to the point:

SportsCardRadio Happy Friday Everyone! Take a look at our Twitter List:

GettyImagesEdit 70 Years Since The Home Guard Was Established In The UK - Take a look back-

bbgeeks Some new details about the Curve 9300 and OS 6 came out last night - BBGeeks got the scoop

SCDmagazine Blog: Nothing common about these pristine 1960 Topps ...

LIFE Maria Verchenova: athletic, Russian, hot

LIFE Comic-Con 2010: Best Pics

SI_24Seven Coffee Break Photo Gallery: Lou Piniella Through the Years -

danicaracing "IndyCar's Patrick gauging NASCAR possibilities"

GawkerTV Wedding Speech Halted By Projectile-Vomiting Woman

FrankandSons COMIC-CON 2010 Gallery is up!

BrkingSports Women's Wrestling: WWE and TNA's Lack Of Focus via

DIVACANDICEM RT @Candiwrappercom: I'm proud to say that Candiwrapper is one of 2 fansites supporting @DIVACANDICEM,regularly (cont)

PlanetXbox360 A Mafia II Demo is Headed to the Xbox 360 on August 10th

sportscards Update: : Top 10 eBay Sales: Danica Patrick Memorabilia

ESPNChiHawks Blackhawks blog: Back-up plans in case Hawks lose Niemi

GeekTyrant New Incredible TRON Legacy Trailer # 3

TNADixie Just had lunch w/Billy Corgan. Great to see him. Seems they have a new hit song, FREAK. Go to & download 4 free

offgridnews Government To Decide What Pets You Can Own - New Off The Grid Radio Episode Available

IGN We've got the Saw 3D trailer! It's eye-popping. #getit?! #SDCCIGN

NPFBandits Bandits staff to take part in Social Media and Sports Panel

sk88z RT @NHL_SLAPSHOT Nice preview of NHL SLAPSHOT on IGN

IGN Want to see what we saw during preview night of Comic-Con? #SDCCIGN

GeekTyrant Batman 3 Promitional Marketing Scoop... It has begun

GettyImagesEdit See Comic Book And Animation Fans Flock To Comic-Con -

SI_24Seven Coffee Break Photo Gallery: The 24 Best SI Cheerleaders of The Week -

foxchicago New #Transformers 3 street closures and great viewer video of an #explosion

bbgeeks RT @kizzle48: @bbgeeks @BlackBerry_News @BlackBerry The "Screen Muncher" app is excellent. Instant screen captures for BlackBerry.

darrenrovell1 SICK: NBA2K11 game by @2KSports will allow you to play with 10 different versions of Jordan

BrkingSports NBA Rumors: 10 Things the Lakers Must Do to Hang With the Heat via

IGN The 5 must have Comic-Con survival iPhone apps. #SDCCIGN

Marvel SDCC 2010: Visit Marvel's Booth at Comic-Con Get the lowdown on Marvel's Comic-Con Booth now!

BreakingNews Rangers rescue Grand Teton climbers after violent storm

SportsCollector Baseball card show/porn convention? Awkward moments in Chicago last week. Any stories?

TradingCardLove Friend us on Facebook ....!/pages/TradingCardAuctionscom-Fan-Page/106610746038744

TradingCardLove Weekly Time Card - Chickens Play Soccer!

TradingCardLove Trading Card Creators, Sellers, Collector's, Artists, Dealers..Free Listings...Free Stores.. Happy Collecting!

Marvel Marvel iPad/iPod App: Latest Titles 07/21/10 Check out the 33 newest digicomics available in Marvel Comics iPad App!

xbox_news EA extends Medal of Honor beta on Xbox 360 UPDATE -

SportsCardRadio Jobs In Sports Trading Card Industry - - Panini - Upper Deck - Topps - Beckett - Steiner + More #Jobs To be Added

toppscards The National exclusive Stephen Strasburg Hertitage card. Details:

sportscards Update: : Five Underrated Baseball Players, Five Underrated Baseball Cards

blowoutcards The Fortune 50-The 50 highest-earning American athletes

NRANews Illinoisans need to stand up for gun owners' rights: As a longtime proponent of gun rights and protecting the Seco...

PressPass Here are all the details of our promotions at the National in Baltimore in two weeks.

blowoutcards Mutual fund invests in sports autograph company

Auctionreport New blog post: Going To The National? Just Collect Offers Free $50 Incentive To Buyers - Booth #412

GeekTyrant I recently was a guest on the Podcast Battleship Pretension, we talked about all things Comic-Con Listen to it!

Breakcom 25 Hot Female Badasses Anyone missing?

BrkingSports Chicago Bulls: 10 Things That Must Happen to Win a Championship via

EASPORTS Announce: EA SPORTS Active NFL Training Camp in development for Wii. More info on the football-based training program

GeekTyrant GeekTyrant Conic-Con 2010 Survival Guild

IGN First look at the Captain America and Thor concept art posters! #sdccign

chrisolds2009 Panini releases more info on Elite Extra Editon baseball set:

boxbusters Backed up ur blog? BurstNET removes 70,00 blogs after FBI asks them “to provide information regarding ownership”

CBR Archaia Announces San Diego Comic-Con Signing and Appearance Schedule

BrkingSports Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James: Opinions, Decisions, and Comparisons via

Todd_McFarlane VIDEO GAME: Here's link to the USA TODAY article for upcoming Video game

WorthPoint Fortress Maximus Original G1 Transformer Action Figure like that shown on @Pawn_stars- - sold for $995, eBay '09.

SBJSBD Just 7 weeks into MLB career, Strasburg already league's most marketable player under 25, and 4th on overall list.

SCDmagazine Blog: Dick Perez has created a stunning opus of his own ...

bbgeeks Are you missing Memo, Password Keeper or Tasks after an update? Here is how to get them back!

blowoutcards @FCBsportscards Feel free to send over your promotions and we'll add it. That goes for anyone who has a promotion at the show

blowoutcards The 2010 NATIONAL CONVENTION INFORMATION THREAD..All the promotions in 1 spot

wwecomics WWE heads to 2010 San Diego Comic-Con. Read the article on -

chrisolds2009 First of three weekend stories you may have missed... 1st look 2010 Topps Sterling:

foxnews FIREFIGHT: Marines' vicious battle with Taliban caught on tape by Fox News crew

Auctionreport New blog post: Mile High Card Company Launches New Online Store Featuring Graded Baseball & Footbal...

GawkerTV ESPN Remembers "The Boss" with a Montage of Iconic Quotes

chrisolds2009 Collegiate Licensing Company official clarifies contract details after Elite baseball announcement:

blowoutcards One of the Best reads ever on LEBRON and what really happened

FCBsportscards FCB Member Reveals the Ginter Code Solution.

TRISTAR1 Meet TNA Wrestling Stars at the 31st National in Baltimore! Go to

myhouseofcards Valuable info for those attending the National from Babe Waxpak......details @

chrisolds2009 RT @KeithOlbermann: New blog: "A Hairstyle Is Temporary; A Baseball Card Is Forever"

BrkingSports My Top Five Entrance Songs in the WWE Today (from 2008 - Present) via

eBayCollectors The most-watched item on #eBay right now is an actual hair from Beethoven's head!

BrkingSports Bleacher Report MMA: 2010 First Half Awards (Part 1 Of 3) via

FollowAndretti How do we transform the #11 car from blue livery back to green? Watch here!

VersusIndyCar More IICS Blogs Will Power Continues Domination Of Street Courses

CBR IDW Announces Exclusives and Events for Comic-Con

GettyImagesEdit Rihanna In Concert At Mandalay Bay In Las Vegas!

trishstratuscom Audio of Trish's US & Canada radio tour from July 8th has been added. Listen now:

MLB Open sesame: Jhonny Peralta hits an inside-the-park homer for the #Indians - watch:

BrkingSports College Football: 10 Key Games to Watch This Season via

GawkerTV If the Sharktopus Trailer Doesn't Blow Your Mind, You Have No Soul

GeekTyrant Photos From Inside Apple's Super Secret iPhone Testing Facility

Todd_McFarlane COMIC CON SCHEDULE: Here is my schedule for the convention next week.

SportsCollector Wanna see a 1933 All Star Game program?

SportsCollector #scdaily: Lifelong Hockey Iowa?

tcrowntom The Chicago Blackhawks have to keep goalie Antti Niemi...don't they? Ebay auction for his SPX rookie autograph...

myhouseofcards The latest edition of This Week in Sports Cards just posted @

Friday, July 23, 2010

Between a Rock and a Hard Place- Topps Efforts Noble But Ultimately In Vain?

Yesterday via their Twitter account,, they asked bloggers and National attendees if we would be willing to participate in a panel discussion or town hall meeting. Here was my response which was echoed almost verbatim be a well known hobby insider.

Hello Mike,

No offense to you or Topps but I have come to the unfortunate
realization that card companies, as a whole, have only one focus and
that is the bottom line. Which is understandable.

However, what would really be accomplished? What would be Topps
motivation? It certainly wouldn't be to get a better understanding of
what collectors really want. That message can be garnered from any
number of blogs, Hobby websites and message boards.

I have been reviewing products sent to us from the card companies,
including Topps for 7 years for Card Corner Club.
Nothing ever changes despite the myriad of suggestions for
improvement, new product ideas etc.

The companies know collectors, as a majority, will purchase whatever
is produced regardless of how poorly designed, configured and under
valued they might be and the truth is why change if a vocal minority
believes something can be done better.

I hate to sound cynical but I unfortunately believe this would be just
another attempt by the card companies to give off the appearance that
they actually care what collectors think.




I get what it is that you are saying and in a lot of ways your cynicism
is justified. It is a business, and like every other business making
money is the primary reason for our existence. That's the reality.
However, I think everyone here understands to a certain (perhaps
varying) extent that making the customers happy is an important part of
maintaining the bottom line.

Topps hired me not long ago in part to engage and take the pulse of our
consumer base. I listen to the concerns and frustrations of collectors
on a daily basis and do my best to take them to the people in charge of
changing things. What I am finding is that the hobby in general (us
included) has a very old-school mentality where they may not feel the
need to listen to criticism or be accountable if the bottom line is
good. Even internally I deal with a situation where most people I work
with have no idea what my job is or why I'm here. Of course, the fact
that I was hired and remain employed means that there are people who see
what I do in engaging with our consumers as valuable. I feel like my
job is to create a culture of openness and engagement with our
customers, but sometimes where a cultural shift is required change
happens slowly.

So my motivation in holding a town hall or panel discussion or whatever
it ends up becoming at the National is to begin to create a culture of
engagement. I can either choose to be put off by the (justified)
cynicism of many collectors or I can do my best to change it. I may
ultimately be tilting at windmills here, but I'm doing my best. If we
do end up doing something like this in Baltimore I hope you will
participate. There will be beer. Feel free to introduce yourself and
we can discuss this further. Thanks for taking the time to share your
concerns. Contact me any time.



Thank you for your reply. You have always done a good job of engaging Topps' fans and critics and I honestly don't envy your position of balancing the company line and engaging your customer base with the empathy you employ.

In all honesty, I have been at this alot longer than yourself,( providing feedback to the mfg's on product likes/dislikes) and while it's admirable of Topps to have employed someone in your position, I can easily hear the suits in the board room agreeing to "throw collectors a bone by hiring somebody to listen and pretend to care." While you have been a straight shooter from the get go and a valuable source of information, I really don't expect much to change. Topps has everything going for it right now with the licensing trifecta of MLB, MiLB and USA and has no one to compete with. Yet what has Topps done with this opportunity? They've rolled out the same product line as any other year.

If their was ever a time for experimentation, innovation and providing real value to the collector to establish brand loyalty for the day when the market returns to multiple licensees, now would seem to be that time. And yet the Topps design department seems to consist of people programmed like robots to replace images and copy and dump them into the same old stale designs.

Most of the collecting world has grown to realize that most memorabilia cards aren't worth the material they are printed on, and yet Topps idea of a high end product is to jam as many relic pieces onto a card as they can, photography, autograph placement and overall card design be damned.

The bottom line is they don't have to care what we think and more sadly, clearly have no desire to but again, I appreciate your efforts. I wouldn't be saying anything at the town hall that my colleagues and I at Card Corner Club have relayed to Clay Luraschi and his team for the umpteenth time.

However, I do believe this dialogue would be valuable to the blogsphere and provide further commentary. Do you have any issue with me posting our correspondence on my blog?

To be clear that I am not alone in these concerns and opinions. Please reference long time industry insider, former Beckett employee, brand manager at every trading card manufacturer, Steven Judd’s response, this morning, to Topps inquiry. (Remember the commentary is in chronological order, so it's best to read in reverse order from the bottom up)

toppscards - .....then people might start to believe it. Until that happens, all of this hubbub is a waste of everyone's time.
@toppscards - initiative is much to do about nothing. Don't tell us, show us. Once you do that with a couple of products....
@toppscards - ...products each year. Until your company gets past the "We're Topps and that is how its going to be" attitude, all of this..
toppscards - ...understood why Topps would blatantly ignore the words/wishes of people that spend tens of millions of dollars on their....
@toppscards - ....the topic of Topps products come up in our conversations. While ignoring the rants of one guy is feasible, I've never...
toppscards - While it is easy to dismiss my words since I'm just one person, your master distributors say the same thing ever time....
@toppscards - From my personal vantage point, your company would have more credibility if you had hobby people working there.
@toppscards - You can't kick us in the teeth for years and except us to flock back just because you are willing to actually sit down with us
@toppscards - Again, I'm try to say this as tactfully as possible in a constructive manner. I hope that you understand where this comes from
@toppscards - The perception amongst the hobby is that your people have not listened for years, so why would they start to now.
@toppscards - correct the mistakes. Things that are being done at retail is great, but that does not help the hobby side of things.
toppscards - .....helps@nwhit, but it fails to address topics such as weak hobby brands such as Unique, Platinum and what is being done...
toppscards - discuss how the retail shelves are easier to read for new/novice collectors? That is great for the hobby and it.....
@toppscards - less cluttered and they've made great strides with Topps Attax reaching out to younger sports fans? Are they going...
toppscards - What are your people going to tell me that I don't already know? Is Warren and Mark going to talk about how the landscape...
toppscards - ....know how to make a hobby-focused product that does not insult our intelligence. Talk is just that talk. Worth nothing.
toppscards - .....meetings will be seen as nothing more than lip service. Don't talk to us about it. Do something about it. Act like you...
toppscards - ....a lot more involved than that. The issues go far deeper and until they are addressed properly by Topps, these type of...
toppscards - You can't just start interacting with folks on Twitter and think they will make the company appear hobby's......
toppscards - ....the relationship, or lack their of, they have had with the hobby. Topps has never been seen as a hobby-friendly company.
toppscards - Not trying to be a jerk about this, but there is a lot of history you are not aware of when it comes to Topps and the ......
@toppscards - .....would actually result from this type of meeting, except for more "head in the sand" behavior from your co-workers.
toppscards - The PDT and executives from Topps have snubbed their noses at the hobby for such a long time, no one believes anything...
@toppscards - Speaking to a hobby group without having any hobby cred/knowledge would make for an unpleasent afternoon.
toppscards - While your efforts are appreciated, the fact is that your executives would get torn apart piece by piece, rightfully so.

Topps Response

@StevenLJudd The change might happen slowly, but I think there is more of an effort being made here than in years past. @StevenLJudd we need to be more open and accountable to the hobby community. Events like this give you the opportunity to voice concerns.
@StevenLJudd Obviously I can't address you concerns here one by one. I can say though that we are at a place as a company where we realize...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recouping Your Costs From The National and Other Randomness

At what point is Topps beating a dead horse and devaluing the existing Strasburg cards produced to date. Today via their Twitter account, Topps provided word that there would be yet another Stephen Strasburg produced for the company's wrapper redemption program. Limited to 999 copies in the current year's Heritage style, it will be interesting to see how these cards will fare on the secondary market. Is it just me or have you had enough of Stephen Strasburg? For starters, he isn't even an everyday position player AND he plays a position with the highest propensity for career ending injury on the entire roster. He hasn't accomplished really anything, so why do collectors seem to drool at the very thought of him in every card set?

Recouping Your Costs From The National

This year, there are two promotions at The National that will come close to, if not exceeding their cost. First is the VIP experience. Every year manufactures contribute limited edition cards for the VIP package which also includes a handful of free autographs. Other items included this year are Joe Orlando's book Collecting Sports Legends. A coffee table size, hard cover book that I reviewed here in January of last year is a great book and has decent resale value on eBay, or Amazon. Between the cards from Upper Deck, Press Pass, Panini, Freedom Cardboard and Topps, the hardcover book and 12 autographs, you could easily flip them on eBay and recoup your money.

Here is an itemized listing of everything you get as a VIP and
more information:

Free Autographs from 13 selected VIP autograph guests.

- VIP autograph guests to include: Charley Taylor, Rick Dempsey, Scott McGregor, Paul Blair, Ken Singleton, Al Bumbry, Ron Hansen, Andy Etchebarren, Jim Gentile, Benny Ayala, Jim Lonborg, Ron Blomberg, Mike Rozier, Roger Carr, Bruce Laird, Mark Mosely Mike Curtis, Mel Renfro & Calvin Murphy

VIP Gift Package of promotional cards.

- Topps will provide a 4-card pack in the style of the 1960 Topps set continuing the National tradition. Cards in the Topps VIP Set include Mickey Mantle (2 different), Yogi Berra, Nolan Ryan and a special 60 Topps Cal Ripken, Jr Card commemorating his birthday 8/24/60

- Upper Deck has a 6 card VIP set with Alex Ovechkin, Joe Flacco, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Wayne Gretzky & Sidney Crosby.

- Panini will give VIPs a 6-card die-cut Crown Royale set which includes NBA Superstar Kobe Bryant, Rookies Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson and All Stars Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings

- (FCB) will provide an exclusive Matt Wieters card from their 2010 National Set

- Press Pass will provide VIPs with a National Exclusive 6-card set including Danica Patrick, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick & Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (images below)

"Collecting Sports Legends" - a hard-cover book displaying most of the top collectibles in the sports memorabilia hobby. Written by PSA President, Joe Orlando, this book is a $34.95 value.

- Free copy of PSA's graded card price guide Sportscard Market Report with Stephen Strasburg cover

The second promotion is by Press Pass and surrounds the release of their latest TNA Wrestling product, Icons. Limited to 400 serial numbered boxes, each person who purchases a box at the Tristar booth for $129 (Guaranteed to include one limited edition TNA guest autographed card or Hulk Hogan autographed card) will receive the following:

TWO autographs AND photo op. from/with each of these TNA guests:
- Mick Foley
- Kurt Angle
- Rob Van Damn
- Velvet Sky
- Madison Rayne
- Lacey Von Erich

Other limited edition cards included. See the full details here. I have to admit I am VERY tempted to purchase the TNA box as an experiment and just might do so. Maybe.

The Cup
I think I am going to be reviewing my first box of Upper Deck's The Cup for Card Corner Club upon it's release. I have always wanted to open this product and I am really excited. So stay tuned for video highlights from that.

I really want a card company to incorporate embedded audio into an autograph set. How cool would it be to hear a player re-tell, in their words, a memorable or record breaking play. The card technology exists and has been utilized in non-sport cards and is called an audiograph. Hey Upper Deck! The kings of innovation, now would be a great time, maybe in your planned College Legends product, to include a handful of players in a groundbreaking insert set. Please?!?!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Geocaching and Baseball Cards

Some of you probably know what geocaching is, but for those that don't, it is simply the process of using a GPS to find a hidden "cache" of trinkets. Chances are if you were to look in your area at , you would find dozens, if not hundreds of hidden caches. I went geocaching with my nephews, sister, and daughter today and it got me thinking of a cool promo for The National. Once we are in Baltimore, somewhere near the convention center, I am going to "hide" a baseball card. On the Card Corner Club Facebook Page, the GPS coordinates, and the description of the exact location of the card will be posted as well as the picture of the card.

Here is how it will work, the first person that finds the card will take a picture of themselves with the card. They will then take the card home and hide it and post the new GPS coordinates and/or exact location on the original Facebook post. Every person that finds the card and post a picture of themselves with it and the cards' no location will receive a a FREE game used or autograph card.

It's that simple. This will only work if everyone "plays" by the rules so have fun and happy hunting. The location of the card will be revealed no later than 12pm EST on Friday August 6th.

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 7/10 - 7/17

Great content from around the web: The Hobby, sports, TV, music photography, video, movies, video games, comic books, technology, hotties, news, and more.

This Week's Highlight's
  • The MLB All-Star Game
  • The Espy's
  • Yankees in Mourning
  • The Transformers Invade Chicago
  • San Diego Comic-Con
  • More!
myhouseofcards The latest edition of This Week in Sports Cards just posted @

GettyImagesEdit See the Transformers 3 movie set that taking over Chicago's Michigan Avenue!

IGN The Top 25 Comic Book Movies of All Time.

AP I Write Like, the site that compares your writing with to famous authors, comes to interesting conclusions:

GawkerTV Is This the Most WTF-Worthy Video Ever?

FCBsportscards Hotsheet The first hot sheet since the debut of Strasburg that he hasn't been on it. Harper isn't on it either.

sportscards Update: : 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball Prospects Set Checklist

sportscards Update: : 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball Base Set Checklist

IDWPublishing IDW's 2010 San Diego Comic Con Exclusives! - Get your "want" lists ready! This year at San Diego Comic-Con, IDW is o...

sportscards Update: : 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball Topps 100 Prospects Set Checklist

SI_24Seven A fan of the movie Zoolander, Chantel of #UCLA is SI's Cheerleader of the Week-

PlanetXbox360 Rock Band Goes Punk with Bad Religion and Stooges DLC

IGN The Call of Duty: Black Ops cover art has been revealed! @Treyarch

FRINGEonFOX Walter is one of the "Top Ten Characters of the Decade" according to TV Overmind. Check it out!

TracyHackler First Look: 2010 Topps Triple Threads Football

CBR Aspen Announces SDCC Schedule, Exclusives

TRISTAR1 TNA Stars Mick Foley, Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne & Lacey Von Erich Appearing 8/7 at the 31st National! Details-TBA.
PlanetXbox360 Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Going to Russia in a Comic Book

SportsCollector This is why you go to 100 garage sales when the first 99 produced nothing worthwhile:

LIFESportsNews The 2010 ESPY Awards

toppscards Yonder Alonzo, Tim Beckham, and Brett Wallace will not appear in 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball due to unexpected contractual issues.

PlanetXbox360 Activision Announces Apache: Air Assault for Fall 2010 Release

Marvel San Diego Comic-Con 2010: @HasbroNews' Con-Exclusive Marvel Toys:

DarkHorseComics This is what 1925 thought 1950 would look like:

RipkenBaseball Whoa! Want to shag fly balls at Wrigley Field during the 2010 UA All-America Home Run Derby? Now you can!

ScottFragale Exclusive Interview with Cal Ripken. The Ironman's thoughts on MLB stars, signing autographs n more

LIFE What's hotter: Carla Bruni with clothes on ( ) or Giorgio de Chirico with clothes off ( )?

toppscards Red Hot Rookie No. 4 is Mike Stanton.

Comic_Con For Members Only - Comic-Con 2010 Films Schedule

hockeymedia Open a virtual pack of 1978-79 O-Pee-Chee hockey @hockeymedia 1978-79 O-Pee-Chee «

GeekTyrant Giant Life Sized Optimus Prime Built in China

GawkerTV How the @OldSpice Videos Are Being Made

FrankandSons KICK-ASS 2 Details From Creator Mark Millar

FrankandSons PIRANHA 3D too controversial for San Diego Comic-Con?

trishstratuscom PHOTOS: Trish poses at her yoga studio

Marvel Our official Marvel panel & liveblog schedule for San Diego @Comic_Con is now up on

GettyImagesEdit See the 18th Annual ESPY Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals

SBJLizMullen See video of Don Fehr talking 2 press after @NHLPA meeting at (Scroll down, 2nd video on bottom right.)

Comic_Con Want to attend Comic-Con but don't have a badge? Continue to check for badges as they become available. #SDCC

MariaLKanellis Come see me at Comic Con on Friday from 5-close and Saturday from 2-5 at Golden State Sports Booth # 835!!

xbox_news Leaked Xbox 360 Dashboard Update? - DeviceMAG - PC WorldLeaked Xbox 360 Dashboard Update?DeviceMAGThis potential Xbo...

xbox_news Meet Microsoft Xbox's Bizarre 'Virtual Human' - TIME - Meet Microsoft Xbox's Bizarre 'Virtual Human'TIME...

GettyImagesEdit George Steinbrenner Memorial At Yankee Stadium-

eBayCollectors Currently listening to eBay Radio. Listen in to get answers about the Seller Updates:

DanicaPatrick On my way to the espys!

thebellatwins So cool! :) Besos! RT @WWEAshleyXRandy: @thebellatwins is in the list of top 25 bikini bodies in sports! They (cont)

thebellatwins So excited! #BESOS! B&N RT @RedHotDivas1: WWE Divas to Invade Comic-Con

toppscards Brennan Boesch, Red Hot Rookie No. 3

AuctionBytes eBay Hit with $3.8 Billion Lawsuit over Patent Claim #AuctionBytesNews

DarkHorseComics Dark Horse Comics announces #SDCC signing schedule:

BrkingSports We Seriously Underestimated How Mad At Gary Carter This Autograph Hound Is [Autographs] via

BrkingSports MLB Trade Rumors: Predicting Where 15 Hot Names Will Land via

BrkingSports MLB Midseason Awards: The Ones That Matter via

sportscards Update: : 10 Things The Hobby Could Learn From Hockey Cards

VersusIndyCar More IICS Blogs IndyCar Announces Dallara As New Chassis For 2012

SportsCenter Don't Give Up...Don't Ever Give Up...A Look Back At Jim Valvano's Legendary 1993 ESPYS Speech

BrkingSports On the Slowest Sports Day of the Year … Yes, Photos From the Celebrity All-Star Game via

LIFE Famous Defectors

SportsCollector Scout who discovered Nolan Ryan dies at 89. "Red" Gaskill recommended Ryan to Mets:

sportscardhaven ok... BASEBALL, FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL and our FIRST HOCKEY group breaks are now posted... it is gonna be great fun...

IDWPublishing IDW Announces Signings for San Diego Comic-Con! - This year, the IDW booth will be packed with a ton of creator sign...

cheaperthandirt History Channel Seeking Marksmen For Season 2 Of Top Shot! If you are skilled with a pistol,...

blowoutcards 2010 Famous Fabrics Series 2 Presell posted with Pricing on the website

GeekWeekOnline Peter Jackson Meets With HOBBIT Actors

RipkenBaseball RT @victorandmatt New podcast w Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr-

FCBsportscards Topps Red Hot Rookie Redemption #3 is Brennan Boesch

xbox_news Walmart announces Kinect for Xbox 360 pricing - ZDNet (blog)

blowoutcards 2010 Historic Autographs "In Memory Of" Ed Baseball Presell posted with pricing on the website

blowoutcards 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 2 Baseball Presell posted with Pricing on the website

EveMarieTorres I finally created a Facebook page! More to come, but let's be friends...

BrkingSports Start Your Debate Engines: The 25 Most Overrated Athletes Today via

Auctionreport New blog post: International Sports Authentication (ISA) Grading Update

GettyImagesEdit Tennis Star Venus Williams Signs Copies Of Her New Book "Come To Win -

30YOC Halfway Through – Milestones To Look Forward To During The 2010 Major League Baseball Season:

RipkenBaseball Check out some Behind the Scenes videos from Cal & Bill's visit to the All Star Game!

TracyHackler First Look: 2009-10 Panini NBA Season Update

mental_floss Ghost Writers: The Surprising Names Behind 10 Famous Works -->

SBJSBD Home Run Derby marks ESPN's first full 3D telecast.

blowoutcards 2010 Razor Rookie Retro is up for Presell...get all the info !

AuctionBytes Reading AuctionBytes Blog: eBay Announcing More Changes for Sellers Today

GeekTyrant Great Collection of Set Photos and Video from the Chicago Set of TRANSFORMERS 3

sportscards Update: : Panini Releases Fresh Gallery Of Auto's From 2009-10 National Treasures

CBR EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: "Punisher MAX: Happy Ending"

blowoutcards New Product Information Page Posted for 2010 Historic Autographs "In Memory Of" Edition Baseball

FCBsportscards Win a free box of 2010 Topps Allen and Ginter

GettyImagesEdit Bob Sheppard, Long-Time Yankees Announcer Dies At 99 -

youtube RT @citizentube YouTube videos capture rare, total eclipse of the sun. See the view from South America at:

blowoutcards BA's Mid-Season Top 25 Prospects List

LIFE Carrie Underwood at Her Hottest

eBayCollectors Read the insights from the 30+ collectibles sellers we talked with at #eBayOL Chicago

amazonmp3 Download an acoustic version of "Comedown" by Bush free for a limited time:

seibertroncom Optimus Prime's Trailer and Other Cars Seen in Chicago

GettyImagesEdit 70 Years Since The Battle Of Britain Began - Take a look back -

AuctionBytes Saturday morning: Let's Talk Yard Sales! (AuctionBytes Blog)

NRANews Lawsuit challenges Chicago ban on gun stores -

SportsCollector 45-year accumulation of baseball cards and memorabilia:

JamesRyanJ Your Travel Guide to the 2010 National Sports Collectors Convention. Great article from Sports Collectors Daily.

FrankandSons 2010 San Diego Comic-Con Exclusives announced!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Giddy About The National and Bringing It To You

The 31st Annual National Sports Collector's Convention is just around the corner, 3 weeks to be specific and I am very excited. The full team from Card Corner Club will be in attendance and we have some exciting things planned to commemorate our 10 year anniversary. Some of the details are still coming together and I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag just yet, but suffice it to say we will be doing a few things that no other media outlet ever has.

In addition to my radio partner, Doug Cataldo, we will be joined by our other partner, Russ Cohen who runs our sister site Sportsology, as well as professional photographer Steve Feldman. We will be broadcasting several live radio segments, some of which will be streamed live via our show on Blog Talk Radio.

The finishing details are coming together on another multi-media component and we are hopeful to have special guest Nicko Riesgo, former Expo and replacement player during the MLB player’s strike of 1994, whose story is chronicled in Russ’ book "Strike Three!" - A Player's Journey through the Infamous Baseball Strike of 1994. If all goes according to plan we will be giving away a few autographed copies of the book and Nicko will be available for a signing session for collectors.

We will be hauling a lot of giveaway material to the show as well, including the final 2 giveaways from Doug’s “Ten Days of Giveaways” he has been doing on Facebook. I will also be providing a Twittercast as I walk the show when we are off-air complete with photos. An edited gallery will be posted after the show as well. Basically, I know that I am privileged to be able to attend The National on a fairly regular basis and I want to do everything I can to bring the experience home to collector’s unable to attend.

One of the things I am most excited about is to connect with several bloggers who plan to attend, most notably, Marie and Sooze from A Cardboard Problem. Also, as a player collector of Cal Ripken Jr, I am stoked to be going to an Orioles game at Camden Yards. The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum will also be a nice side trip.

So if you are going to the show, find us, get some free stuff, and get ready for some fun. See you in Baltimore!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Conversation With- I Am Joe Collector, Tracy Hackler and The VOTC

In case you missed it this weekend, a blog post by I am Joe Collector provided the forum for a respectful, yet passionate, 3-way conversation with regards to The Hobby. While I would have liked Tracy to answer some of my more direct questions, it still made for interesting dialogue. Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree I guess. Check it out for yourself, it's worth the read.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Garage Sale Finds

In 1997 I was working my first "real" job, you know, one that requires a shirt and tie. Working full-time days and taking 3 classes a semester at night, this was towards the end of my decade and a half hiatus from The Hobby. As a result, I missed some highly innovative products and design concepts including the advent of the memorabilia and autograph card craze. Subsequently, I also missed out on what, today, is one of my favorite football products of all-time. 1997 Leaf Signature Edition Football.

The product's checklist included some of the biggest names of the era including; Steve Young, Warren Moon, John Elway, Jim Kelly, Eddie George and Jerome Bettis. In addition to the current players, Signature Edition contained 11 retired players with exceptionally notable names as Sammy Baugh, Dan Fouts, Y.A. Tittle, and Kenny Stabler.

My mom, who I have mentioned before here on the blog, is an avid garage saler and unlike some people's mothers who threw their collections away, mine keeps an eye out for items of interest for me and is savvy enough at this point to shy away from anything between 1985-1995. My Mom scored this at a garage sale for a buck. So what did I pull . . . .

. . one of my favorite Bears receivers of all time, Bobby Engram. Score!!

She also found this sweet color 8"x10" photograph of Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan at their, near annual, championship rally in Grant Park Chicago. This is from the Bulls' 6th and final championship of the Jordan era. I was at the rally that year and fans were already beginning to feel like this would be their last hurrah. The photo is framed and matted and while not autographed is still a great photo. Another $1 score. Thanks Mom!!

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 7/3 - 7/9

Great content from around the web- The Hobby, sports, TV, music, movies, video, radio, video games, comic books, technology, hotties, and more.

This week's highlights:

Independence Day

Can you make money on case breaks?

Lebron, and Free Agency

EA Sports and 2K Ready 2011 Games

Panini readies hockey release

EASPORTS RT @EASPORTSNHL NEW VIDEO: Check out the latest NHL 11 Gameplay Physics video here:

GoDaddy Weekly tip: Want to share files with people on Twitter? Create public links to your content with Online File Folder:

sportscards Update: : Winner and Best Submissions From "Who Would You Like To See In 2011 Allen & Ginter" Contest

blowoutcards 2010 Famous Fabrics 2nd series Checklist updated

AuctionBytes Video Peeks Inside Amazon's Fulfillment Warehouse (AuctionBytes Blog)

chrisolds2009 A look at some of the stuff that will be up for grabs at The National this year:

blowoutcards Topps will release Strasburg redemption card at All-Star Fanfest

GeekTyrant This Week in Comics 07/07/2010

GoogleMobile Video for the small screen just got big improvements. New @youtube mobile site!

jonwaldman Major news breaker on #Beckett: #McDonald's Canada Parts Ways with Upper Deck, #Hockey Promos

toppscards RT @KidsPress: Two kids went head-to-head @Citi_Field_NY in the @toppscards Attax Nat. Champ. Finals! Our KR was there!

blowoutcards New Beckett President Addresses Website Performance Issues, Future Plans

cheaperthandirt Back in Stock 9mm JHP Personal Defense, 50 Rounds $19.59 The Hi-Shok line of ammunition has...

dacardworld Free Contest on Facebook - Win a @DWadeofficial rookie card! Check out

petermurphyinfo Collectors - We are holding a special auction w rare Bauhaus & Peter Murphy CD's. Go to & type "Bauhaus Clearance" in search field.

ezcollectibles Updated my blog with profit/loss statement. Bowman has just been excellent for me this year.

ezcollectibles My 5 Box break of 2009-10 SP Authentic Hockey. Project 10-11% loss.

DC_NATION RT @CBR: PREVIEW: "Batman: Odyssey" #1

AuctionBytes Twitter Tweets for Cash with Launch of Daily-Deals Style Ad Program #AuctionBytesNews

NRANews RT @NSSFComm: Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers Launches Lawsuit Against Chicago -

SI_24Seven Coffee Break Photo Gallery: Female Fans of the #WorldCup -

darrenrovell1 NBA2K11 reveals Michael Jordan cover

DC_NATION DCU: The Source - Get a first look at BATMAN: ODYSSEY :

SportsCollector #scdaily: Decision Made on Future of Museum's Babe Ruth Rookie Card

JamesRyanJ Pretty cool contest at the Cardboard Connection.

chrisolds2009 Commentary on the Strasburg SuperFractor madness:

chrisolds2009 Harassment, negativity prompted sale of Strasburg SuperFractor:

chrisolds2009 Second sale of Strasburg SuperFractor takes a twist. (Item 1):

BaseballAmerica USA Baseball Announces Final 18U Roster: USA Baseball announced the final roster for its 18U team over the weekend...

GettyImagesEdit USA - Sports Pictures of the Week! -- Take a look!

LIFE Eva Mendes at Her Hottest

blowoutcards Check out all the Most Recent 2010 Allen & Ginter Hits on our Blowoutcards Tracker !

blowoutcards Carwin/Lesner UFC 116 follow up and also a message from Shane Carwin...

nhlpa 31 players elect for salary arbitration. Release now live on

GettyImagesEdit Get an Inside Look at The F1 Party! -

GeekTyrant Must Watch Action-Packed Video - CARDBOARD WARFARE

scfnews July issue of SCF's Collectors Corner Magazine is available for download!

SportsCollector #scdaily: Search for Thomson's Home Run Ball Becomes Film

darrenrovell1 For those that loved "The Blind Side," now you can own the props

SportsCardRadio Bike Spokes And Shoe Boxes Baseball Digest:

GeekTyrant More Set Photos from TRANSFORMERS 3 and Video of a Giant Moving Platform Set

GeekTyrant 10 All-American Movies that we can be Proud of on The 4th of July

SportsCollector #scdaily: Slugger Museum Packed with Baseball Memorabilia

mslayel Happy 4th to All!! Have a wonderful day ... Finally feeling 100% Happy happy Random pic

MLB Watch as Jim Thome bumps #twins legend Harmon Killebrew out of all-time top 10 home run list

DanicaPatrick Tell me which watch I should wear at the ESPYS in a couple of weeks and win a Tissot! Vote @ I will post the 2 choices!