Archive for the ‘Baseball Card Related’ Category

2010 Topps Chicle Is Live!

April 28, 2010

I don’t know if I was actually the first one to put some of this product on the bay, but I was one of the very first. Still in the process of getting through the cases. I will be chiming in with perspectives over the next couple of days.
So far, as I expected, I really like this product! On card autographs just rule! They look better, and you know the player actually held the card and signed it. The only downside so far about the autographs is that alot of the auto checklist is the same rookie roster that we’ve seen in Series 1, Heritage and Finest. There are some pleasant surprises however. I was glad to see Pablo Sandoval on the auto checklist. I know Ryan Howard is on the checklist as well as Carl Yasztremski, Colby Rasmus, Dustin Pedroia, Evan Longoria, Gordon Beckham, Stan Musial, Tommy Hanson, and a few other notables. Another plus on the autographs is that they all have parrallels. There are the “National Chicle” backs #d /199, the “Bazooka” backs #d /99 and the “topps” backs #d /99.
I know people have complained about game used relics…however this time Topps stepped it up a bit. Same theory as with the autos, there are different levels of parrallels, but this time Topps also went out and got some quality vintage player relics. Whitey Ford, Thurman Munson, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith, Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizutto and Eddie Murray just to name a few.
Another thing I like about this set is that the box toppers aren’t that bad. If you are one of those out there that like to resell your top loaders un-opened, be warned. There are artist proof box loaders included. I pulled two of them in my first case…something to think about if you are looking to throw them aside!
As I mentioned, artist proofs are included in this set not only in the box loader inserts but also for every card. Every base card has 10 copies of the original artists proof inserted. Another big pull if are lucky enough to get one!
Below are some scans of the first 6 boxes I cracked…many more still to come!
Play Ball America!

Box Toppers , notice the Tris Speaker below is an artist proof with the artist’s signature on the card!
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket



Autographs, including three artist proofs (Mike Schmidt, Joe Saunders and Bob Gibson cards)
Photobucket

Photobucket
Photobucket

Game Used Jersey Cards and two printing plates – Justin Verlander and Neftali Feliz Autographed :
Photobucket
Photobucket

Advertisements

New Product Info – 2010 Topps T206

April 22, 2010

Recently Topps announced that their T206 product will be having another go round with a release date of 8/30/10. I personally passed at the product last year but once I saw alot of the singles on ebay I wished I didn’t pass. This year’s product has some nice stuff in it and they are including some original T206 buybacks. Check out some of the sample card pics that they released below. This product looks good yet again!

Some comments on the product release here:
“The showcase for multi-branded mini cards will include 1/1 Red Chrome Carolina Brights cards, while there will be stamp cards, Gold Chrome Piedmont cards (limited to 50) and 1/1 T206 Cut Signature mini-book Relics to be found as well.
The base set will consist of 300 cards with veterans, legends and rookies in the mix — 50 of those cards being short-prints. The Mini parallels will include the Carolina Brights, Cycle, American Caramel, Piedmont, Old Mill and Polar Bear as well as 50 cards that will be found as silks.
Among its insert offerings are a 20-card Historical Events set that includes such firsts and notables as subway cars with side doors, the Army’s first military plane, the first Lincoln penny minted, the first U.S. junior high school, the first radio contest, and the “world’s first female cop.” For those more interested in baseball cards in their baseball sets, there’s an 80-card stamp set (well, they’re close to baseball cards) as well as Bronze parallels and the MLB Logoman Continuity program that will continue here. (Get it… continuity?)
The autograph lineups will include American Caramel (a new addition), which will be 35 cards, as well as T206 Cut Signatures (1/1s) along with the previously mentioned cards. ”

Play Ball America!
Cesar
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Curtis Granderson Keeps A Blog

April 21, 2010

I stumbled upon a blog that I found pretty entertaining and I think I will become a follower only because I might want to help this guy out. Curtis Granderson submits occasional blog posts via Yahoo’s Big League Stew. You can check out his latest entry here.
I found this latest entry to be quite interesting. Of all the places to go shopping in NYC, Curtis goes to Target in the Bronx? Like I said, I will be reading this to help the guy out if he accepts comments!
Play Ball America!
Cesar

Curtis Granderson At Target In NYC:
Photobucket

Topps Finest Rookie Redemption 2 Is…

April 21, 2010

Last night Topps announced rookie redemption #2 in their Topps Finest rookie redemption program. For those of you holding number 2…the rookie is none other than my favorite Ike Davis of the NY Mets! I might have to go out an scoop up a couple of these now!
Photobucket
Here is the rookie redemption list so far:
1 – Jason Heyward (some autographed)
2- Ike Davis (base card)
3 thru 10 – To Be Determined!

State Of The Hobby Roundtable

April 20, 2010

Topps recently asked for input from various hobby enthusiats and bloggers. We were lucky enough to be one of the 15 bloggers ot participate in Topps first “State of The Hobby” roundtable.
Essentially this was an opportunity for Topps to throw out a series of questions and hear what we had to say about those questions and topics.
The questions that they asked us and our complete answers are below. You can find the complete roundtable discussion here on Topps Blog where you will also be able to find the answers of the other bloggers that participated.
Warning..answers are long so be prepared for some long reads!
Play Ball America!
Cesar

1. How long have you been collecting? What are your favorite players, teams, sets, etc. to collect? Which card in your collection means the most to you and why?
I’ve been collecting since 2004. I collect any and all Mets cards but I have centered my main attention around David Wright and Jose Reyes. I also like to collect one set each every year of all 3 topps flagship products as well as one each of Finest, Topps Chrome and Allen Ginter. Currently the one card that I would not sell is the BGS 9.5 2007 Topps Derek Jeter error card with Bush/Mantle. That was the card that really fueled my love for the hobby and since then I have gone from a casual collector to a more serious collector.

2. In the time that you have been collecting, what is your favorite story, memory, experience, etc?
Every case rip that I go through has its own memory or experience. There are so many pulls and stories I’ve shared with other hobby enthusiasts. One memory stands out the most for me and it didn’t have to do with a high end pull or anything in my personal collection. My memory was when the late Corey Lidle’s wife purchased all of his singles from my store. She said she wanted keep sakes for her kids. That struck me and I obtained more singles for her. To me, it just showed how life can even be remembered and preserved through baseball cards!

3. What are the effects on the hobby of major card companies moving toward exclusivity deals with sports leagues? Given that this could be the direction that the industry is headed, what should card companies do to continue to provide a quality product to collectors?
I will focus on baseball since that really is my only interest. Since Topps now is realistically the only company liscenced to print baseball cards many hobbyists think that Topps will try to monopolize the hobby and put out products that won’t really interest or dazzle collectors. Its a tough position to be in I must admit because since there is no competition, Topps must be very careful of not doing just this. If collectors start to get this impression they will more than likely simply stop collectors cards and the hobby may very well fall into a serious decline. Now more than ever Topps will need to step it up in terms of innovations and fresh new ideas. A couple of unadvertised surprises could only help the situation as well. Now more than ever Topps truly holds the fate of the hobby in their hands!

4. Pick a timeframe- 5, 10, or 20 years. In that timeframe, what has been the single best and worst development in the hobby?
In the last 5 years the inclusion of cut autos has been the best thing that I have seen. Autographs are cool but cut autos just make a collector feel all the more special about pulling one. Typically they are from a historic document so the fact that not only do you have an autograph but some piece of nostalgia makes it all the more enticing. Also in the last 5 years, two things stand out, the over saturation of game used jersey swatches in cards and the devaluation of bowman prospect cards. Topps should really step back and see how many jerseys they should be inserting and how they select prospects into a product. True a class may be weak but maybe instead of cluttering a product with no names, just limit the checklist and production for that year? No one want to pay good money to open up a box of older prospects who will never break in.

5. What are your thoughts on prospecting? Do you do it personally? Why? Has the clamoring to find the next big rookie affected the quality of products, either positively or negatively?
I personally do not prospect as I tend to be an impatient person on waiting for prospects to blossom. But I don’t think prospecting effects the quality of a product. I go back to my point on an earlier question that its the quality of the checklist that will make or break a prospecting product such as Bowman Chrome or Bowman Draft. If you worry about future value of cards and you purchase boxes and cases you should do so knowing whether or not your paying a fair price for the boxes based on the checklist that the product has. To me at the end of the day prospecting is like playing the stock market. I remember Alex Gordon’s Bowman Chrome Auto in 2006…its was red hot! People were paying well over $100 for his autographed chroem card. Alex has yet to make an impact after being called up in 2007. Today you can pick up his card for about $50. I sold about 5 Jason Heyward 2007 Bowman Draft cards back in 2008 and probably got about $3 for each of them. Today…i could’ve sold them for $20 and maybe even more. Prospecting is a gamble and at the end I think that the hobby needs both sides…the flipper and the collector to keep prospecting alive. Once one of those start to disappear then prospecting will die all together.

6. We are collecting tangible products in an increasingly intangible world. As our lives move more and more online, what will the effects on the industry be? Will the next generation of kids be as excited about collecting cards as we are? How should the major card companies respond?
No matter how much we utilize the interent I personally will never be able to replace the feeling of ripping open wax with anything on the web. When you redeem codes on ToppsTown.com, its pretty boring for me. You can’t flip through the cards, see the stats, etc. Ripping wax I feel will be kept very much alive by the folks who are into the hobby. As far as the next generation, I don’t know that kids will be as into it as yesterday’s kids were. I think topps should already recognize that a majority of its sales are from adult collectors. Somewhere along the line topps should really get a true feel of how much of its sales is from kids and from adults. Doing so may help shift its marketing focus and help produce more meaningful products.

7. How has new media changed the way you collect? How should the major card companies utilize new media to connect with their consumer base? How can new media change and/or revitalize the hobby?
Twitter and Facebook have helped in big ways. The fact that I am talking to someone from Topps is truly amazing and should be applauded by those in the hobby! Twitter, Facebook and blogs have helped me interact more with my customers and thus generate more interest and sales in cards that I offer. But just as Twitter and Facebook were new, tomorrow there will be a new media outlet. Its important for Topps to stay cutting edge.

8. How has the recent rise in counterfeits and scams affected the way you collect? What advice would you give the major card companies to help combat this? Hasn’t really…you make note of the counterfeits and avoid them. Pretty much a non issure for me.

9. The poor economy has affected all of us in recent years. In what ways would you like to see card companies respond to provide interesting, affordable products for collectors?
In my opinion Topps would be better off if they stopped producing high end products for now (ie Triple Threads, Sterling, etc.). This would solve two issues. A) The main draws of these products are HOFers relics which as a result of multiple releases are starting to lose their high value since they aren’t as rare anymore. You can find Gehrig and Ruth relics in so many products! By elimintating higher end products for a couple of years, their value and appeal might increase in a few years. B)the second way this would help is by not excluding a large population of the hobby. Lets face it, very few peopl can afford to put down $200 plus on a box of cards. I’ve spoken to many people that say they feel alienated when Topps puts out one of these products…even worse now in this economy!

10. We’ve done autographs. We’ve done just about every kind of relic/game used product you can think of. What’s next? Where do we go from here?
I think the recent Hat Logos were great ideas…but those that were in 2010 Topps Series 1 weren’t actual game worn hats. Game worn hats logos would help and be a big hit. Inserting more vintage cards as hits would help as well in my opinion! Maybe even an autograph redemption program where you can meet a certain player at a stadium via a Topps table would attract interest. I’ve always thought inserting manager’s scorecards in product would be cool. Also, Topps has done booklets of cards, It would be interesting to see Topps do a booklet with a mini mp3 player built inside the card that plays the players walk up music when you open up the booklet. Similar to the way some greeting cards do today. Imagine opening up a Derek Jeter booklet card and hearing Jay-Zs Empire State of Mind! Awesome!!

11. If you could say one thing-anything- to Topps and know that the CEO will read it, what would you say?

Don’t forget what you’re known for- baseball cards. Don’t forget who has always loved baseball cards – kids. Be careful not to lose that market!

OFFICIAL IKE DAVIS WATCH!

April 20, 2010

So aside from being an avid card collector, many of you might know that I am alos a die hard Mets fan. Of course, as optimistic as I might want to be, the truth is there probably won’t be much to cheer about this year in Citi Field. But I hope to be surprised and be wrong!
In the meantime, I will enjoy the fact that the Mets finally produced another farm product not named Wright or Reyes! From time to time I will be updating Ike Davis’ call up in 2010. Last night of course was his first game and he was rewarded with some pie in his face! Keep the hits and the pie coming fellas!

Ike Davis Watch:
Last Night:
2 for 4, 1 RBI

2010 Stats
AB R HR RBI BB KO SB BA
4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0.5000

Photobucket

The Rookie Call Up!

April 20, 2010

We are in week three of the baseball season and already we’ve seen the prices of two rookie cards take off. Most notably is by all means Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward.
Photobucket
His base Bowman Chrome card from the 2007 Bowman Draft set is still pulling in at the very least $15 or more if you’re lucky! When was the last time you saw a base non auto card pull in $15? Its been a while folks!
His first autograph from the 2008 Bowman Chrome Set…its fetching no less than $150! A huge sigh of release to many out there who were probably hoarding his cards for a while!

Now yesterday we saw another prospect’s cards start to shoot up. The Mets called up their 1B prospect Ike Davis in hopes that we will add some offense to a somewhat anemic line up!
Photobucket

At the beginning of April you could have gotten Ike’s autographed rookie card for $20. Last night…that same card was going to run you $50. Of course going 2 for 4 in your MLB debut and knocking in a run will help. Will Ike’s cards follow up Heyward’s spike in price?
Who will the next big prospect be? That’s the joy of prospecting!
Play Ball America!
Cesar

The Vintage Dream You’ve Waited For…

March 30, 2010

We have all heard the talk about the “cards your mom threw out”. Many of us were probably drawn into Topps ongoing ‘”Million Card Giveaway” that gives you an opportunity to obtain some of these cards via a redemption program. But after redeeming 200 redemption cards those 1950s cards still alluded you huh??
No worries…here is your cure. Memory Lane Inc just opened an auction for a complete set of 1956 Topps Baseball Cards…but wait, its just not any 1956 Topps set, its a complete set where each card is graded a PSA grade of 8!
Photobucket
Photobucket
Imagine how difficult it must be to put together a 1956 set let alone build one where each of the cards earn a grade of 8!! I won’t let you know what the current bid is on the auction, you can view that right here…better yet, put your bid in!
Play Ball America!
Cesar

4 Cases Reviewed – 2010 Topps Finest!

March 29, 2010

The very reasons why I like Topps Finest every year are the very reasons why I like it yet again this year:
A) great way to pick up tons of potential rookie autos via the letter patches
B) pulling multi-color refractors is always fun!
C) Base set is not that big so sorting is not that much of a headache!

With that being said, I went for 4 cases this year. Many people say I am nuts because I won’t turn a profit but I will re-iterate my 3 reasons above and rave yet again – this product is fun! .

Topps continues to baffle me with their allocation. I picked up 2 cases each from 2 different distributors and check out the following occurences:
-plenty of base refractors of course #d /499, however could not complete one set! Of course instead I got duplicates of several cards, just amazes me that I couldn’t complete the set in 4 cases….and I wasn’t even close to be honest
-gold refractors are #d to 50. Pulled 2 Ryan Howard gold refractors..no complaints as that’s a good pull! but wait it gets better. Red refractors are #d to 25. I pulled to John Lannan Red Refractors? What are the odds of that???!?
I will say that I am a big fan of the purple refractors. Something about metallic purple that looks nice! This year purple refractors are all 1/1s. I was lucky enough to pull a purple refractor of Manny Ramirez! Not sure what the odds are on pulling these but I will say that it was a sweet pull indeed!
My next big pull was a Madison Bumgarner red refractor auto #d /5. I was thinking that this might be a big pull but when you think about it, there are 9 letters in Bumgarner. When each of those are #d to 5 this might just be ehhh….who knows, still a nice pull!
The other quirk was pulling about 8 Tyler Colvin patches. With my luck he will get officially named to the roster the day after my auctions end on those patches…lol. The Cubs keep hinting that he might make the roster….hurry up, make the move. Other notables of course are a couple of Posey autos, a Jeter gold refractor, Prince Fielder! Dustin Pedroia, and Jeff Francour Finest Moment autos, the Francouer of which was a red refactor and #d / 25! All pictures of the hits are below and of course most items can be found in our ebay store here.
Play Ball Amrerica!
Cesar

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Case Break Day! – 2010 Topps Finest

March 24, 2010

2010 Topps finest releases today and we will be ripping cases this afternoon! There will be tons of autographed letter patches as well as Finest Moments autographs! Don’t forget the 2010 rookie redemptions as well!
Check our store for all of our listings!
Play Ball America!
Cesar