Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Almost the Easiest Super Bowl Contest on the Web 7!! Coming Soon!

With one week left in the regular season I think it's time to put up a little reminder that my 7th Annual Super Bowl contest will open next week!  It'll be easy like always and I promise to have some cool prizes.  I might even post what they are.  The AFC is pretty much decided, but there is all sorts of drama over in the NFC.

So mark your calendar's.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Acts of Niceness

It's always nice to get a package.  Even better when it's a thank you package.  Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown won my World Series contest a few months ago.  He had the closest correct guess ever for one of my World Series contest.  Spooky close to getting all the tie breakers right.  Anyway, Gavin ended up sending me a thank you package, while completely unnecessary, was greatly appreciated.

Inside was a nice hand full of Brewers cards.

Including a great parallel card from the classic 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads.  If the Trading Card Database is right this is the Gold Century Proof, numbered to 100.

But I finally got my Robin Yount custom that I was drooling over when Gavin set one of these to Tony L over at Off Hiatus Sportcards.  It's a great custom and two of my blogs get a shoutout!

Thanks Gavin

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Blackest of Fridays

I was delighted to see a package from COMC in my mailbox when I got home yesterday.  The only shopping I do on Black Friday is at COMC.  I ended up taking the day after Thanksgiving off because my daycare lady also takes that day off. 

  I've had a few cards sitting in my portfolio at COMC for a while.  I've still be doing a challenge here and there and picking up some free credit, but this year I splurged and added $40 bucks to my account to go crazy.

First up I was able to add all sorts of Scooter Gennett parallels to my growing PC of him.  Scooter isn't the best player on the team, well maybe now he is with all the players getting traded away, but I got to meet him at spring training in 2012 and really like him and his play.  If the Brewers end up keeping him I'm really hoping he can have a break out season.

I picked up his 2015 foilboard, Chrome sepia, pink and purple cards as well as his 2015 limited card, which was one of those stupid Topps Online sets.  It looks just like his regular card only twice as thick.  I also picked up his 2016 Sapphire card from that $1500 online set and a pre-rookie card.

The nice thing about collecting Brewers in general is how cheap their cards are.  I also picked up one of Scooters 2013 Bowman rookie cards. This one a nice green parallel numbered to 75.  Another player I'm excited about on the team is Orlando Arcia. I pick up this purple prospects card number to 250 for about buck.
I also added my first auto for him too.  Sure it's a sticker auto and sure its a non licensed product, but it was cheap.

I also picked up a sextet of former Brewers autos on the cheap.

Kevin Barker here was the Brewers third round pick in the 1996 draft.  He ended up making his debut in August of 1999.  He played for the Brewers till 2000 when Richie Sexson replaced him and Kevin was sent down to the minor and then traded to the Padres in 2002.  Kevin is currently a radio talk show host in Toronto.  First off I love the old Pacific design.  These cards were so cool and in 2000 auto cards were just starting to get plentiful in the hobby.  If the design looks familiar it's because Panini has recycled it many times.  But who can blame them?  It's a great design and the auto is on card.  One of my collecting goals is to get a certified auto and/or relic of as many current and former Brewers and prospects as possible.  

But my best former Brewer pick up was this gem below.
I also got to meet Jonathan at spring training in 2012 and he signed a baseball for me.  Right on the sweetspot.  It's still a centerpiece for my very small signed baseball collection, and it sits, or it would sit if I still had a man cave, next to my Robin Yount ball.  This is the first auto I've been able to pick up for Lucroy.

Speaking of Robin Yount.  If you didn't know from reading this blog or from the fact that I also write another blog completely devoted to my Yount collection.  Robin Yount is far and away, not only my favorite Brewer of all time, but also my favorite baseball player of all time and a huge focus on my collecting effort.  So no Black Friday shopping spree would be complete without added a few new Younts to the collection.  
 I was able to add three parallels from the 2016 Donruss set.  I also picked up his Diamond Kings Heritage card, his 2016 Topps Series 2 Berger's Best and a classic 1991 Police card from the Oak Creek Police Department. I can't resist finding a cheap police card addition.
 While I bitch that sometimes it can be hard to find deals on COMC now-a-days, I was able to pick up a great selection of cards.  While I might have paid a tad more than I could have won off of ebay, not paying for shipping more than made up for that.  The next batch of pick ups included a blue bordered parallel from this years Topps Archives, Red Cyrstal Shard parallel from 2013 Panini Cooperstown, Robin's 2016 Allen and Ginter X card, both his purple and retail foil mini parallels from this year's Gypsy Queen and I was really lucky to snag his 3000 Hits Club chrome inserts from the retail holiday mega boxes.  Just happened to be added while I was shopping.

And finally... Robin's 2015 Gypsy Queen Brown Framed parallel numbered to 499, his 2014 Archives Gold parallel numbered to 199, his 2016 Series 2 MLB Debut retail insert and surprisingly enough a relic card!  I find people tend to want way too much for HOF relics on COMC, but every once and a while I find someone who actually wants to sell a card.  A great 2015 Tribute Jersey Green parallel relic numbered to 150, with the hint of a pinstripe peeking out.

Not a bad haul for myself.  Anyone else pick up some goodies on Black Friday?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Transcending the hobby.

I've been sitting on this post for a while now.  I was hoping that Topps would finalize the checklist so I had something more solid on the product.  Topps did confirm it's final autograph line up and promised me a full checklist weeks ago, but didn't deliver.  When Topps announced at the end of October that it would be putting out a baseball product that would retail for over $25,000, the reactions were mixed, but overwhelmingly there was a general feeling of disgust and disenfranchisement from most of us working class collectors.   But believe it or not after some deep meditation on the subject I think Topps Transcendent is good for the hobby as a whole.  Now hear me out.

Let's be honest this product is probably not for you and it's definitely not for me.  No this is more for Keith Obermann.  And I have a feeling the vast majority of the 65 box/cases available will be broken by group breakers. Random slots were going for between $150-200 a spot.  In all you get about 200 cards, over 50 autos and a base set numbered to 65 and a complete sketch card reproduction set numbered to 65.

With this product Topps launches itself to the top of the pile in the category I've seen termed the Luxury level, above Mega High End and the most expensive baseball card product or trading card product ever produced!

The previous king of the mountain was Upper Deck's Master Collection.  I've included a box break of a Master's Box and one for Panini's Eminence.  Take a look if you've never seen one of these Luxury products opened.

I've seen a lot of hate coming out about how with this set that Topps is thumbing it's nose at the common collector.  I tend to throw a lot of criticism Topps way for lots of things like quality control issues, team inclusion, and over use of the same licensed image on everything, but not on this.  For some reason we as collectors have come to expect that everything Topps produces has to be aimed at the common man.  I've fallen into this mind set as well specially when Topps tried it's 5 Star Club years ago.  But lets look at it this way.  Take any other industry that produces consumer products like the car industry.  A car manufacturer produces many types of vehicles.  Some are very affordable, I use that term loosely, with few bells and whistles while they also tend to offer very high end vehicles as well.  And even within the affordable range you can add upgrades.  I think you could carry this analogy over many scenarios, but the point is not everything Topps puts out is going to be targeted toward you or me.  So with that said Transcendent isn't a set for the masses.  Transcendent will be Topps top of the line Cadillac of card sets.  Now will it hold up, will those that are able to open this product be satisfied with what they get?  Will this blow up in Topps' face from not following through with all the hype produced about the product?  Will what's offered be worth the money ponied up?  I guess we'll find out in a few weeks.  While I won't be opening any of this product or taking part in any group breaks I will definitely be watch breaks on Youtube.

And while I'm defending Topps' decision to produce this product I do have my misgivings.  As most of you have probably noticed if you follow current releases the overall trend in the sports card market has shifted from cheaper products with large base sets and a few inserts and hits to much more expensive products that are specifically hit driven (relics and autographs) with lower card counts per box or pack and smaller or even nonexistent base sets.  Products that offer less variety of players and teams featured.  This trend is what worries me most in the hobby.  And while I actually really like the idea of a Lamborghini of a baseball card set the fact that Topps has set it's upper bounds of product pricing so high that the vacuum created from the difference to its next highest product might mean an even larger shift to much more expensive products to fill that void.  However that never happened at Upper Deck when it released it's Masters Collection, so there's hope that this is just Topps reaching for the sky and seeing if they fall flat.  What really interests me is even with 1 of 1 autos and artist sketch cards and a ton of other autographs, can this really be worth the price tag?  Feel free to comment.