Friday, December 21, 2012

Random Thoughts and Musings

Beckett announced their new appraisal service. For $15, per appraisal, they will provide a pricing guestimate on cards that, for years, in the price guide have been listed as, "No Pricing Due to Scarcity". One question, what's changed, that again for a fee, they can now provide you that pricing. Let's call this added revenue stream what it is, a your guess is as good as mine, cash grab.

Panini's Golden Age of Baseball is live and has me intrigued. I know a lot of collectors don't like non-baseball subjects in their baseball products, but in all honesty, I like the variety and change of pace. I get burnt out on products featuring the same couple of hundred player in every  . . . . single . . . . . release . . . . . .year . . . .after . . . .year . . . . . . after . . . . . . .year. I like the look of the cards and the mash-up feel of Americana meets Cooperstown.

I don't understand some of the complaining over the release of Leaf Memories. Delivering hard signed autos on this classic design, in my opinion, makes this version of 1990 Leaf infinitely better than the first one and who didn't LOVE the first one.

I gave away (5) 5,000 count boxes of junk wax. It was very liberating and I do not miss them at all. 

My girls (7 and 4) LOVE, My Little Pony, baseball, not so much. In my continuing effort to share my hobbies with them, I am so excited to give them their collector tin of cards and comic book.

Sosa, Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame with an asterisk. Dale Murphy deserves in, no asterisk required ;)

I believe this has been the year of the micro-manufacturer. Leaf, Benchwarmer and Creative Cardboard Concepts, the umbrella company for ITG, SportKings, and Famous Fabrics, have done a tremendous job at finding the right formula for their products in terms of value proposition and pack-out configuration.

The early look of Panini's National Treasure's Baseball is proof positive that the Topps monopoly must end.

The scam that occurred over on the Blowout Cards' forum was epic in terms of its development and complexity. I feel bad for the people that got scammed but I'd like to believe that I would never send someone thousands of dollars without knowing what I was getting and had recourse to prosecute for non-delivery. Buyer beware. Just because you talk to people on a forum "all the time" doesn't make them your friend. They are an anonymous, online acquaintance and you should act accordingly.

For me and my family, Christmas is still a very special time of the year as we celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, without whom, I wouldn't be here today. Merry Christmas to you and your families if I don't post before then.

Artistic License

Are you aware of a relatively new site called Baseball Card Vandals? It's childish, crude and therefore in someways humorous. Whenever sports cards makes headlines on With Leather (no it's not a bondage site your perv) it's a good thing in my book. Click the links above for images like those below.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Review: ‘Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs: A Reference Guide'

In his new book, “Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs: A Reference Guide,” author Ron Keurajian, himself a collector and self-taught authenticator, provides a detailed look at the hobby of collecting autographs from baseball’s greatest players. His cautionary tale serves as the backdrop for one of the most accurately detailed reference pieces the sports collectibles market has ever seen. His ability to clearly communicate the complexities of handwriting analysis makes this an ideal tool for collectors.

Read the rest.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Unique Multimedia "Card" Features NFL Legends

When is a trading card not a card? I think there are several answers to that question and while this new twist from KEEPR certainly looks cool, I wish the price point was more like $29.95 instead of it's on sale price of $59.95 (Regularly $64.95). If it were, I'd be a buyer. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

On Card Autograph or Officially Licensed?

What's more important to you as a collector? I posted this as a poll on Twitter yesterday and was a bit surprised at the results. Take the simple poll yourself and see for yourself. What's your reaction to the results. How did you vote and why? Take the poll now.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Panini Cooperstown Fills a Gap in the Collecting Landscape

If my memory serves correct, Panini Cooperstown Baseball is the first product since 2007 SP Legendary Cuts to be built entirely on retired players. This includes not only the base set, but autograph and memorabilia checklists, inserts and parallels as well. With new rules established for the percentage of retired players that can be in an officially licensed MLB product, Panini has had the luxury of not having to adhere to those rules as their entry into the baseball card market continues its successful run.

Readers of this blog now that I am a freak for retired only player products. Reason being is that when I re-entered the hobby some twelve years ago now, trading card companies had free reign to build any type of product they wanted to and quickly realized one of the ways to re-engage former collectors was to include players from their youth in the checklists if not building entire brands around them.

This era gave us products like Century Legends, Fan Favorites, Archives, Greats of the Game, Legendary Cuts, Hall of Fame, Legends Baseball and many more. These products promised and delivered true heroes of the game and didn't need to rely on rookies, prospects the same (100) veterans in a checklist, etc. 

So imagine my elation when Panini announced and ultimately delivered Cooperstown Baseball. I am so happy to report that it didn't disappoint. The first thing you notice when opening the product is the classic black/white photography. The second thing you should notice is that despite not being able to include team logos in their current baseball products, the design team did an excellent job of finding photographs that could be used in a manner that doesn't draw undo attention to that fact. Yes some creative cropping is utilized and necessary but in my opinion doesn't detract from the overall aesthetics of the set. Case in point:

The base set is comprised of (170) cards and is a whose who of baseball greatest players from multiple eras. Some of the noticeable exceptions however, is the exclusion of Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. The last (20) cards are short-prints and include many of the players licensed by CMG Worldwide including Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, and Honus Wagner to name a few. These are differentiated by their player images being color tinted. In opening a hobby and blaster box, I have yet to pull one.

A wide variety of inserts, included at a rate of one per pack, makes for a very fun break and serves to further document some of the games greatest players, moments and memorabilia. Yes, memorabilia, but not in the way you are probably accustomed too in the context of trading cards. Insert sets Famous Moments and Museum Collection brings some of the game's prized artifacts to collectors unable to make the trek to the hallowed halls of Cooperstown itself.


Other inserts include Ballparks, Induction, High Praise, Credentials, Induction Year and Bronze history:

There are several other inserts that further adds to the enjoyment of the pack busting experience including; Field Generals, The Village, With Honors, Voices of Summer and Hall History.

The ongoing variety really made this a fun break and I will be buying more not only to complete the set but I am seriously considering building a near master set, minus the extensive autograph checklist. Oh yeah I got two of those as well.

These pulls are really cool. Everyone knows the guy on the left. Don Larsen, pitcher of the only perfect game in World Series history. The guy on the right however, you may not know but should. Bob Wolff has called some of the greatest events in sports and ironically enough, called Larsen's perfect game! How cool is that!!