Friday, December 31, 2010

Fixing the Football Card Market- UPDATED

It should be obvious by now that reducing the number of NFL licensees wasn't the answer. Over saturation in the current football trading card market has caused ever decreasing value for cards on the secondary market.

While the argument can be made that the total number of products should be further reduced, I don't believe that is a long-term or viable fix. I'd much rather see the same number of products divided amongst 3 licensees. Bringing back Upper Deck in the football fold would; 1) increase competition, 2) return innovation and design to the forefront of the niche and 3) give collectors more choices.

However, this in and of itself isn't the solution. What is the solution, would be to change the rules that designate a player's rookie status and consequently his eligibility for a rookie card. The simple answer for me would be to designate a rookie as any player who makes the 53 man roster out of training camp. In addition, each licensee would be allowed up to 3 exemptions for isolated incidents like that which occurred with Brock Lesnar a few years ago with the Minnesota Vikings.

I imagine I am not alone as a collector who experiences the utter let down of a box break when confronted with the cold hard reality of one of my hits being someone who isn't even on the practice squad but was eligible for a card because they were drafted. That practice is total garbage and MUST stop. I understand the business argument behind it with the product configuration process being dependant on inserting 'x' number of scrubs to 'x' number of high profile RC's.

Would you be willing to spend a little more money for higher odds of pulling a legit RC and giving up one bogus hit? I know I would be, gladly too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Now THIS Is a Card Worth Pulling and Hope for The Hobby

In all honesty, with little competition and diversity in the baseball collectibles market, I personally, have had very little to get excited about. In fact, after the initial chase for the Bowman Strasburg cards, I can tell you that I purchased exactly 1 rack pack of Topps Chrome and that was for the sole purpose of getting a better look at the utterly horrible print job Topps' new printing company did with those. In fact I'm pretty sure if you left them out long enough, they would curl up into a full cylinder.
My main point is that I spent squat on baseball card packs this year because I get a much better bang for my back just buying the singles I want on the secondary market. If I want to gamble on "hits", I'd have better odds with Lottery scratch offs and be able to buy exactly the cards I want.

The prices on eBay for base singles, numbered parallels, inserts, autos and game used relics is in the toilet. The plethora of material has driven values to the lowest I have ever seen them. However, with the recent announcement by Topps that they have signed both Sandy Koufax and Hank Aaron to autograph deals, there is reason for optimism for 2011.

Neither of these Hall of Fame players, particularly, Koufax, signs cards with much regularity. In addition, it appears that the cards are hard signed, on-card. Imagine pulling this beauty from a pack of 2011 Heritage.
I vehemently believe that a return to sets focused entirely on retired players, with no more that 3 produced per year, would bring a much need vigor and renewed vitality to what has become a stale market place.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stalegum's Robot Theatre Is Utter Genius

Chris' dry humor and wit never ceases to make me laugh. I'm just jealous I didn't do this first. Epic blogsphere stuff. See it for yourself here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

By Far the Best Bob Feller Auto . . .

. . . and of course it's made by Upper Deck. 1999 Century Legends is one of my favorite products of all time and this on card auto is my favorite Feller. A true patriot having served his country in war time, a legendary Hall of Famer, and an autograph circuit staple, baseball lost one of its greats yesterday

There was a running joke in auction circles as a result of his penmanship proclivity and longevity. "Hey I have this baseball and it's NOT signed by Bob Feller, how much is it worth?"

A tip of the cap to you Mr. Feller RIP

Monday, December 13, 2010

2010 Topps Triple Threads . . . Is What It Is

Never before in all my years of covering the sports collectibles market, have I come across a product so polarizing as Topps Triple Threads. The product seemingly has an equal amount of detractors and advocates with little room in the middle for neutrality. In all honesty, this is the first box of the product I have ever opened and all my preconceived notions have been based solely on seeing the product’s content second hand through sell sheets, reviews, eBay listings, and box breaks.

Read the rest.

Video Highlights: 2010 Panini Limited Football

Friday, December 10, 2010

Baseball Winter Meetings: When Worlds Collide

In all honesty I just haven’t had much to blog about lately. My parents taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Obviously, as reflected in the very title and original inspiration for this blog, I have pretty much ignored that but I do believe that beating a dead horse and repeating the same tired mantra of the perils and pitfalls that ail The Hobby can only go so far.

I think it is important to voice collector concerns and opinions but you get my point. The Hobby, as I see it right now, is stale and boring, plain and simple. That said, I had the opportunity to recently attend the Baseball Winter Meetings, as part of my job. Obviously I was in my element as any of you follow me on Twitter ( ) know. The number of baseball personality sightings was great as was seeing the LIVE broadcasts of the Hot Stove League on the MLB Network.

Hob-knobbing over drinks with MLB and MiLB marketing people, major and minor league team GM’s and personnel, eating at great restaurants, yeah I could get used to this. I couldn’t be too stalker-like so some of the photos I took are less than stellar but I thought you might like them anyway.

A list of the people I met and saw, yeah I’m name dropping;

Jerry Reinsdorf (Sox/Bulls owner)
Tommy Lasorda
Jerry Robinson (1979 NFL 1st Rnd Pick by the Eagles)
Johnny Damon
Steve Phillips
Harold Reynolds
Kevin Millar
Andre Dawson
Peter Gammons
Frank Viola
Jim Leyland
Bruch Bochy (who was sauced, BIG time)
Frank Robinson
Buck Showalter
Kenny Williams

And no, I didn’t get a single autograph. To do so in this environment would be bush league. Taking pictures like the paparazzi was bad enough but completely more acceptable .

Some interesting “Worlds Collide” collectibles and hobby moments did occur however. I had the opportunity to talk with the editor of Baseball Youth magazine that includes Topps Baseball Cards in every pack (picture in gallery below). Also, the ring company Jostens, did every Chicago sports teams championship from my lifetime (1985 Bears, 1991-1993 & 1996-1998 Bulls, 2005 White Sox( and I got to try on the White Sox Ring (picture in gallery below)

I also met a company who owns 4,000 original negatives of never before seen images of some of baseball’s greats that we will actually be having on the radio show in a few weeks. (More on Shoebox Collection to come.) No baseball show would be complete without trading cards and I did get my hand on team sets, which I'll show off later, of the Bristol Sox and Daytona Cubs.

As for the future of Voice of the Collector? Who knows, you’ll still see the random thoughts and opinionated commentary on occasion. I continue to generate a TON of content for Card Corner Club and you can always hear me every Friday on our weekly radio show.