Oddball: Super Awesome! Trading Cards

My wife, the saint she is, bought me a few packs of cards for Christmas.  She gave me a few of the time tested standbys like Topps Update and Bowman Platinum, but she also got me something a little special, something I’ve never seen before: Super Awesome! Trading Cards.

Super Awesome! Trading Cards

These are cards of awesome stuff like facial hair, the day of the dead, and break dancing.  There are 50 cards in the set, so a mere 5 packs could complete your set.  My set was complete the moment I pulled Facial Hair.  Check out Super Awesome! cards from Archie McPhee, they are neato.

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Merry Christmas, Go Cats.

Merry Christmas to all my loyal reader(s). Also, don’t forget to check out the finals of the Diamond Head Classic tonight on ESPN2 where my #3 Arizona Wildcats (Bear Down!) take on the #17 San Diego St. Aztecs. Arizona remains undefeated through 11 games and tonight is probably their toughest game for the rest of the season. A win tonight means a good chance of going undefeated, given the weak state of the Pac-12. East coast bias means that the Cats are not getting the coverage that they deserve, so I’m giving everyone a heads up that this game will be well worth it.

Check out PointGuardU for more coverage.

This is a 360 dunk, in game. IN GAME!!!!! #nickjohnson is a beast.

Sean Miller says: “Just watch the game. DO IT!”

 

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Christmas 2012: Just the hits please.

Another year, another Christmas box opened with my pop.  This is year 19 of our Christmas tradition and since we are a family of few traditions this is my favorite.  This years box: 2012 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects.  DP&P is always a must buy, while I don’t recognize a lot of the names the prospector in me knows how important this product will be down the line if any of these guys turn into Pujols, Trout, or Harper since these are the first cards and autographs for many young players.  DP&P is essentially Bowman’s version of Update, so the design is identical to this years Bowman base, which  I find appealing with it’s large pictures, team coordinated borders and simple, silver foil text.

2012 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects Bryce Harper

Valdespin, again.  If Valdespin becomes the next Jeter then I'm in the money with all Jordany RC's I've pulled this year.

Valdespin, again. If Valdespin becomes the next Jeter then I’m in the money with all the Jordany RC’s I’ve pulled this year.

Jeter's successor?  Probably not but a fella can hope.

Jeter’s successor? Probably not, but a fella can hope.

 

The Chrome cards, as is well known, are not my favorite but they are a good investment as they are generally worth 50% more than their non-metallic counterparts.  I’ve actually learned to love Chrome recently, as I’ve realized that reselling my Chrome pulls allows me to recoup some of my cost and keep my favorite players around in all their non-Chrome glory.

2012 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects Yoenis Cespedes

Jesmuel.  I can't say it, but I like it.

Jesmuel. I can’t say it, but I like it.

We can’t forget abou the ever-present parallels, which also help increase the value of the product.  No big parallel pulls this time around.  (Don’t worry, there were hits…boy were there hits).

2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Blue Abe Ruiz

Blue Refractor

Blue Refractor

Silver Ice

Silver Ice

There is also a solid insert pairing old and new top draft picks, cleverly enough it is called Top Picks.  The cards are nice, featuring consitent black borders with silver and gold accents and blurbs on the back detailing the players as a pair.  These fall 1 in 6, so they are not tough pulls by any means but they do feature some bigger names and could get a few dollars on the secondary market.

2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Top Picks Jeter & Almora2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Harper & Hamilton

The hits, you say? The hits:

Bowman Black.

Bowman Black.

It took the whole Bowman season, but I finally pulled a Bowman Black Autograph.  I’m not familiar with Michael Wacha, but I do know what /25 means, so Merry Christmas to me.  The card itself is very thick, about 4x thicker than a normal card and is as clean and simple as what you see above.  I really love the silver ink autograph and the simplicity of the card, but there is a pretty big drawback: the condition.  The card has quite a bit of chipping on the edges which I would attribute to the black border and extreme thickness of the card.  I would say this grades an 8 out of the pack, which is unacceptable.  If anyone else had this problem leave a comment, I’d like to know how widespread this issue is.

I would have been satisfied with a single Bowman Black hit, but this was a bonus box, giving me this surprise:

Aflac.

Aflac.

High School All-American autos are a bit of a holy grail for me, there is no auto before these for most of these players and you often get a super cheesy photo out of the deal.  This is actually a 2008 Aflac All-American card, so the design is obviously different than the base set.  As you can see this was serial numbered out of 225, so they are relatively rare.  Zunino had a solid first season, hitting over .300 with 15 homes in 63 games between rookie ball, single A, and double A.

I also pulled a few codes for the Bowman Prospect Challenge.  This is basically a fantasy baseball game where you collect codes which gives you the opportunity to select players who will then accumulate stats over the course of next season.  All the players are prospects and it appears that bonus points will be given, in addition to normal stats based points, when players are promoted.  I’m a fantasy player and a card collector, so this is right up my alley.  Prizes are detailed on the game site.

Based on hits alone, I give this a 5/5.  Factoring in the design, inserts, and new-fangled Bowman fantasy baseball it is a 4.5/5, a worthy purchase for any prospector or autograph hound.

 

 

 

 

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The Best: Kruk

I was a chubby kid and I loved sports, both watching and playing. Much as it stands today, I loved baseball and basketball. Early in my childhood I noticed one thing about my two favorite sports, not a lot of fat guys. This was especially true in basketball where I was limited to “idolizing” Oliver Miller as a fat kid. Baseball was also fairly short on fat “idols” but there were a few more stars who I could identify with. Baseball, due to a lesser emphasis on running, seemed more friendly to the overweight player, I would say it still is. Back then I could look at Cecil Fielder, David Wells, and Mo Vaughn as athletes with my body type, today you have Prince Fielder and CC Sabathia (I’m not saying these guys are out of shape, just “bigger”). I would never say any of these guys were my favorites, but it helped me believe that even if I never got my cardio in order I still had a chance to be a good player in something other than football. (I did get my cardio in order, somewhat later however, I can now run a few miles without keeling over but it has come long after my dreams of glory ended)

This all brings me to John Kruk. He is my favorite “fat” ball player (I will not refer to him as an athlete, as he does not refer to himself as an athlete). His gregarious personality and solid hitting made me a fan even if he didn’t play for my beloved Yankees. I also always loved this All-Star moment:

The man was just happy to live.

I also have to mention that mullet…look at the mullet.  Furthermore, I actually enjoy his ESPN shenanigans, which I can’t say for most former players. The man is a legend in his own time and he was also my most recent ebay pickup.

Krukograph

Krukograph

My fixation on Topps Archives continues and this was a must-have.  An autograph of one of my favorite non-star, non-Yankee players on a reprint of a set that I spent a lot of time collecting as a kid.  Truly classic, truly the best.

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Into the Future: 2013 Topps Archives Baseball

As a companion piece to my earlier post, here is link to a preview of 2013 Topps Archives Baseball and few comments.

Topps is bringing back the four design model for the base set, this time 1972, 1982, 1985, and 1990.  The first thing that strikes me is that there is no 1950s or 60s designs.  Usually Topps goes farther back in the vault for these products, so it’s a bit surprising that they pushed it up a little farther.  I will admit to being a little excited about the inclusion of the 1990 set.  That was around the time I started collecting, so as ugly as that set is, I’m feeling a little nostalgic.  I can’t wait to see some modern favorites with those hideous colored borders (1990 Topps is the pug of the card world: so ugly that it’s cute).

There are some new inserts like the 1969 4-in-1 stickers and a set based on the 1973 Topps Basketball design, not to mention a return of the ever-popular Fan Favorites autographs.  The autograph checklist looks far from complete, but as it stands I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on Matt Williams or Darren Daulton throwback autogaph.  Topps is also included some dual autos including a Giants fans wet dream, Matt Williams and Buster Posey.

     

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Black Friday Update

As I mentioned in my Black Friday post I purchased a box of 2012 Topps Archive Baseball as part of my post-Thanksgiving haul. The box recently arrived and, much like my Panini Threads box, it was a winner.

A full review of Archives is probably not necessary, or timely, but since this is one of my favorite products of the year I think it’s worth a write up. For the record, this is my second hobby box of Archive (not to mention a few blasters) and was a bigger score than my first. I love retro products, so I need to establish that bias and I love, LOVE, retro reprint autographs (especially when they are on-card, like they are here). Besides the annual Bowman release, Topps throwback products are the releases I most look forward to.

The 2012 Archive base set brings back four classic Topps designs, 1954, 1971, 1980, and 1984. Out of these four, I prefer the ’71s and the ’84s. Both sets are iconic designs that feature excellent action photography and design flourishes that make them instantly recognizable. The 71s feature a black border and team coordinated text. The 84s feature an inset portrait and fun block lettering on the front. All of the designs are solid in their own way and it is always fun to see modern players on the better, classic base designs.

The set also features SP remakes of some fan favorite cards. The SPs range from all-time greats like Ken Griffey Jr. to lesser heralded stars of their day like Dave Righetti and John Olerud. The SPs make collecting a whole set a challenge, but that is welcome in a product where the base set is only 241 cards. They also provide added value to those collectors who want to recoup some money on the secondary market, as you get six per box and they sell pretty quickly at $1-$2 per card.

There are numerous inserts in the Archives set, based on past cards. They include the 1976 Cloth cards, 1967 Stickers, 1969 Deckle Edge, 1968 3d cards, and reprints of iconic rookie cards. The inserts are not the draw by any means but they are fun throwbacks to inventive (if not gimmicky ideas of the past). The only real seller on the secondary market are the reprints, which command a few dollars based on the player.

It wouldn’t be Archives without Fan Favorites autographs. A box of Archives yields two Fan Favorite autogrpahs and at the current price, these two auto boxes are a bargain. The checklist is a solid list of former stars and fan favorites including Cecil Fielder, Don Mattingly, Hank Aaron, Jim Abbott, Jay Buhner, John Kruk, Sandy Koufax, Will Clark, Willie Mays, not to mention the obligatory Bryce Harper autograph and the first Topps autograph of Ken Griffey, Jr. in a long time (if ever). The autographs don’t stop with the Fan Favorites autographs, Topps also included buyback autographs of guys like Griffey, Aaron, Mays, and others like Albert Belle. There are also framed 1983 mini autographs and box topper autographs of 80’s celebs like Vanna White and Billy Zabka of Karate Kid fame. (Sweep the leg!!!!!). See full checklist here. As a final note: ON CARD AUTOS!!!! That’s what I’m talking about. I pulled two Fan Favorites out of my box: Oscar Gamble and Jim Wynn. Gamble is a Yankee so his auto is a keeper to supplement my Yankee auto collection. Wynn is a $3 sale on eBay.

I also pulled an additional auto. YU DARVISH!!!! (sorry for all the yelling).

2012 Topps Archive Yu Darvish Autograph

This is a special SP auto, and if I pulled it five months ago would have netted me three big ones. As it is, I got a cool hundred for it on ebay. The card is very nice, while it is retro it is glossy and the photo is sure to be a classic. I’m not a Rangers fan, so I was happy to trade it to someone who would appreciate more for a few dollars. This card paid for the box, plus some. My last two boxes have each produced $100 autographs, so I’m guessing my run of luck is probably up for now.

Topps also include a 1956 style relic set. Relics are not a box guarantee which makes them more exciting than normal because rather than wishing that your relic hit was an auto, you are happy to see this additional hit in your box. Fortunately for me I pulled one in this box (making it a four hit box) and it was Frank Thomas, who was one of my favorite players as a kid before I cemented my allegiances as a Yankee fan. The card is nicely designed and it is a bat relic, which is preferable to a single color jersey swatch but less preferable than a multi-color jersey swatch (this is based on a continuum I worked out some years ago, ordered from least prefered to most: single color jersey, single colored pants, bat, multi-colored jersey, multi-colord pants, jersey patch, hat patch, jersey logo, hat logo, piece of a base or ball (only if used in a specific game and touched by the player)).

2012 Topps Archives Frank Thomas Relic

Archives was one of my favorite products of the year, it has solid and varied base set, along with some fun SPs and a worthwhile autograph checklist.  For my tastes I can’t find anything wrong with the product, though for someone who is not a fan of the retro products or wants a more prospect heavy product this may not be for them.  The box, at $60 – $75, provides some good value with two autogrpahs but don’t expect to build a set on one box (or two, you’ll probably need three), so set set collectors beware.  Overall, 4.5/5

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David HasselHOF…or Jimmy HOFfa…or I’ve gone off the rails

I feel like I’m drowning in Panini lately.  Between basketball and black friday, they’ve had me posting Panini for what feels like a month.  Now they are getting me with Baseball too.  (Note: I should have some Bowman and Topps soon, for those who care)

2012 Panini Cooperstown is in the house.  Or the retail outlet as the case may be.  I grabbed a few packs, so I could bring you, my loyal reader(s), a timely and reliable review.

This product is exactly what it sounds like, cards of Hall of Famers.  A checklist can be found here and I’m sure you can find boxes on eBay or elsewhere which contain one Hall of Famer autograph and a few manufactured patch cards.  Boxes are running about $90, so I would recommend a purchase if you’re an HOF guy or a vintage autograph hound.  I am not either of those things, though I do appreciate the Hall of Fame and will take a vintage auto where I can get it.  As such, I purchased two packs.  Here we go…

Panini lacks an MLB license, so my first order of business when opening my packs of Cooperstown was to see how they handled getting the logos out of the pictures.  This was a hit or miss proposition.  About half the cards contained pictures where the player’s back was turned or had otherwise naturally obscured the logo, the other half cropped the pictures in a way to cut off the hats of players.  Fortunately for Panini older uniforms generally did not have a lot of text, so this limited the need to photoshop logos out which I appreciate, because nothing is worse than a doctored photo.  The cards that were cropped to obscure the hat logo seem off somehow, like the picture was accidentally placed off-center or something.

2012 Panini Cooperstown Harmon Killebrew

Good photo selection.

vs.

Distracting photo cropping.

Distracting photo cropping.

I have no qualms with the card design themselves.  The photos are nice action shots and are black and white, which is pleasing.  The tan borders adds a vintage feel, with a texture that resembles an old wool uniform.  The Cooperstown logo is present on all the cards, which is a nice celebration of the institution.  Panini does not burden the cards with their logo.  Overall a solid, understated design though I think they could have benefitted from a matte finish to enhance the vintage feel.

I thought the backs were where the cards shined.  Each one contains a thoughtful player bio and the statistics from the players best season and career.  It also shows the years the player played at the top and contains a photo that differs from the one on the front of the card, which is something Panini has been failing to do in alot of their other products (nothing screams lazy like the same photo on the front and back of the card).

2012 Panini Cooperstown Rod Carew

Unsuprisingly, my two packs did not contain an auto.  The auto checklist is solid, which could go unsaid considering its all hall of famers.  A slightly cheaper price tag (something in the $60 range) would likely lead me to purchase a box just for the off chance of getting a Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, or Nolan Ryan autograph.  I did get two inserts: an Induction and a Credentials.  The Induction card features a picture of the player on their induction day and doesn’t really improve on the base cards at all.  The Credentials cards are an abortion, they are god awful.  They don’t have a picture on the front, just a bunch of stats (which are fine…on the back).  I guess that is one way to avoid licensing issues.

2012 Panini Cooperstown Harmon Killebrew Induction

2012 Panini Cooperstown Juan Marichal Credentials

There is one insert set that I am interested in: The Ballparks set.  I love old ballparks.  They were quirky and interesting with their funny dimensions and odd design elements.  I could look at pictures of old ballparks as a pasttime, which is kind of sad but don’t you dare judge me.  You have no right.  I may try to track down the set on eBay.  I can’t imagine it costs too much.

Overall Panini Cooperstown is a solid product for vintage auto collectors and as a tribute to the institution.  Panini finds it in themselves to create an understated design and to serve a valuable niche.  I would have preferred less cropped photos, but I understand the difficulty in finding a good photo of each player with no logos so it is a minor gripe.  I don’t love it enough to buy a box, but I don’t hate it enough to tell you not too.  I’m guessing the people who want it already got it, so my opinion is probably moot anyway.  3/5.

While we are talking about Cooperstown, I did want to weigh in on this years ballot.  I have vacillated on whether or not any of the confirmed, or practically confirmed users, should get in.  However, I have mostly leaned towards having them included for a few reasons.   First, guys like Bonds and Clemens were, regardless of how they got there, the major stars of a generation.  They defined baseball for twenty years and posted amazing stats (go to fangraphs and look it up), to exclude them from the hall of fame is to leave part of the picture of baseball unpainted.  I believe the same is true for Pete Rose and Joe Jackson, so I’m not being inconsistent.  Those guys belong in as well, they were baseball and their displays should include the good and bad.  Same for Bonds and Clemens.  Second, steroids were part of the era.  While I understand that not all players took them, enough did that they changed the game, therefore the best players from that era should be given their due.  This is the same as a deadball era pitcher being inducted. Pitchers in that era had it a lot easier than current pitchers do, so rather than compare across eras just the best pitchers from the deadball era should, and have, been inducted.  Same goes here, just induct the best roid guys.  Juan Gonzalez and Mark McGwire may have made it twenty years ago on homers alone, but they should be held to the Bond’s standard, not the Carew standard.  Therefore, you take only the guys who truly excelled from 1988ish to 2005ish.  Finally, in the case of Bonds, like Rose, it feels wrong to exclude the all-time leader in a major statistical category.  How can the Hall be a record of baseball history without the leaders.

I hope that Bonds and Clemens make it in.  Do I think they will? No.  The BBWA is a funny organization, they thrive on these controversial figures to make a living, but then they refuse to honor them because they were not angels.  Que sera sera.

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Black Friday Recap

Black Friday.  That great annual celebration of consumerism where we all gather around the great mall and pay our respects to goods and services.  In all honesty, not my favorite day of the year.  For one, people act crazy, for two, it tends to only drive sales to large corporations rather than small business, and three, those line are long.  I do, however, appriciate a deal.  As a public employee I’m not exactly at the top of my earning potential, so I take a bargain where I can get it.  So here is my recap of my sports card-relevant black friday pickups.

Functional Friday Pickup

I finally purchased a printer with a scanner, so from this point on all of my images will be scans.  Let me just say taht I can’t believe I didn’t have one before.  It’s much easier than trying to find that perfect angle with the digital camera and the images are super sharp.  Also, I got it for $30.  Very nice.  I would recommend a scanner for anyone who sells cards on-line or blogs.

On to the cards….

I often purchase a few boxes on Black Friday, usually on-line at either dacardworld.com or blowoutcards.com.  Both have very good box prices and great selections.  I continued that tradition by purchasing a box of 2012 Topps Archives Baseball from blowout.  It was on-sale for an outrageous $59.  I’ve already opened a box of it this year, but I love retro stuff and I can’t pass up the chance at two more on-card retro autos.  Maybe I’ll get the Ken Griffey Jr. auto that I want so badly (wishful thinking).  I do not have this hand yet, so I’ll post again with my box bustin’ results later.

This year I switched it up a little and also visted my local card shop, Showtime Cards, for their black friday sale.  Normally, I only buy boxes on-line because they are so much more expensive at the shop, however I wanted to throw a little love their way this year because I truly enjoy having a good shop near my home.  While I don’t normally buy boxes from them, I do get packs and all my supplies there and they are always congenial and knowledgeable.  So I decided that it was time to fork over a little extra cash and I bought a box of 2012-13 Panini Threads Basketball for $108.  It goes for $96 on-line, so the difference wasn’t too extreme and I got to feel good about supporting my local card shop.  Let me say, it was well worth the extra money for peace of mind and also because of what I pulled.

First things first, my local shop was participating in the Panini Black Friday promotion, so I got my requisite pack of Panini Black Friday cards.  I pulled a Bryce Harper and a Cam Newton card, unfortunately no auto’s or inserts, but at least I got a couple bigger names.  The cards themselves are not my cup of tea, both are full of shine and cut out player photos. I’m sure they will be nice for collectors of these players and because of that they will be on eBay post haste.

On to the box.  As mentioned in previous posts, I am a fan of this years Threads product.  I like the simplicity of the design, I like the unaltered photographs, and I even think the wood card stock autograph idea is a good one.  Overall, I think Panini did a good job with this product and I would like to see it become the flagship.  It really reminds me, design-wise of the mid-90’s Upper Deck issues, which were always nice and understated.  While I will always prefer classic card design with white borders, unaltered player shots, and a simple aesthetic, I also have a soft spot for the borderless design that Upper Deck was using for a while.  For one thing, it helps cards grade higher, which is great on the resale market and for another it really takes away the potential for awful, busy designs (which Panini has a propensity for).  I was happy to open these cards.  Pictured below are a few examples of the quality design aesthetic at work.

While I do really like this design, with the copper flourish, the real reason I splurged on a box was because of the promise of three on-card autos.  The autos were to be of rookies of this years and last years class and they were to be on wood card stock, which is a gimmick that I like because of the retro feel and the connection to the basketball hardwood.  Opening the box created a lot of anticipation because of the breadth of the rookie class, guys like Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Damian Lillard, and Anthony Davis had me excited for what was in those packs.  Remember the only rookie cards in this product are these autographs, therefore this box, moreso than the packs I bought, had the promise of amazing hits.

Rookie auto #1 – John Jenkins – great shooter in college, promise as a role-player but with great upside.  Solid, but uninspiring hit.

Rookie Auto #2 – Bismack Biyombo – Interesting player with good defensive potential, though I can’t see him being anything other than limited minutes shot-blocker.  Cool name, little esle to be excited about.

Rookie Auto #3 – Pack a Week HIT OF THE YEAR – Anthony Davis – This is the first time I’ve ever pulled an autograph of a #1 overall pick.  Davis is poised to be a star, he has the defensive ability and the offensive potential to be an Olajuwon or a Ewing, and as long as he stays injury free I think he will get there.  This has been a rough year on autograph hits for Pack a Week, but this is the sort of thing that gives you hope that you can occasionally get the big one.  It also makes me glad that I spent the extra money for this box at the shop.

Fear the brow! Seriously, fear that thing.

I also got a number of inserts, some ok, some bad.  I pulled a David West gold card, which is numbered out of /25.  It is the base design but with a gold bottom border instead of a copper border.  Given my affinity for the design, I like it, I’m just bummed it wasn’t a bigger star.

Also pulled were a few Floor Generals cards (including Kyrie Irving, who should bring a few bucks on the secondary market), A couple High Flyers (including Kevin Durant), some Century Greats (Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Clyde Drexler), and a couple Talente Twosome cards.  Overall the inserts are uninspired, though inoffensively designed.  Most, other than the Century Greats feature full action shots and unobtrusive designs.  The talented twosomes really reminds me of subsets from the 90’s featuring teammates, which is an ok idea but probably not worthy of a full insert set, though I do like the single photos featuring two players.  The other ones just seem to be reaching for a theme and a design.  I also pulled a few of the Team Threads Jersey Die-cut Cards, including a Lebron James.  I’ve mentioned before that I like these cards.  They are kind of like the team stickers of our day and they add a little diversity to the product.  Overall the only decent inserts are the Team Threads and the different colored parallels.  I’m guessing we’ll see some of the bigger star’s platinums versions going for $30 – $70 on eBay.

Can I call him Durantula, or will that other guy sue me?

Finally, I pulled one relic card, Anthony Mason, which is not pictured.  There was also a pack of Kobe Bryant Anthology cards packed in the box.  Kobe is my least favorite NBA player of all time.  Bold statement, I know.  But I just don’t like his smug demeanor and his selfish style.  You can tell me he is a winner all you want and that he has that killer instinct, but it doesn’t change the kind of player he is and it’s not the kind I like.  The cards are simply designed no borders and Kobe’s name at the bottom.  If you’re a Kobe fan then this is awesome, if not…well…not so much.

After buying a box, I still really like this product.  I like what they’ve done with the rookie cards.  Making them all autos helps increase the value and also makes for something much more interesting.  The experiment of using wood card stock seems successful and I can’t wait for more of the same.  On-card autos is a double plus.  While I don’t love the inserts, three autos per box makes up for it.  The design is simple enough to withstand the test of time and I’m happy that Panini has put a decent set together given the fact that they are the only NBA game in town.  Overall: 4.5/5

Finally, after entering probably 30 Golden Giveaway codes with Topps this year I only came up with one card, which I received this weekend.  It’s Derek Jeter, which I like.  I like nothing else.  It is a non-sense die cut (why the jagged edges, does that symbolize something?), it’s shiny with some design in the background, and the picture is a cut-out.  Bleeeech.

 

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Rethreads

I ignored my own advice and bought a few more retail packs of Panini Threads.  I really did like the design and I was excited about the rookie autographs, so I couldn’t resist.  I’m also waiting for the on-line black friday sales before I buy any boxes, so this seemed like the best way to scratch my itch.  Though I stick by my advice in my original Threads post, I’m glad I bought the packs because I pulled one of the “wood card stock” autographed rookies.

Pictured above is a Mike Scott autograph.  Though I am excited to pull an autograph out of a retail pack, I must admit that I don’t know who Mike Scott is.  Best of luck to him, but I don’t recall his college career, and I’m a college basketball fan.  As far as the card is concerned, I like it.  The design is nice, almost retro and the autograph is on-card.  The card stock itself is actually a hybrid, the back is normal card stock but the front is a thin wood veneer.  The texture is interesting and it adds to the retro feel because it is cracked and imperfect.  I like the idea, especially as a connection to the “hardwood,” however I do wonder how the cards will age.  When I say age, I literally mean physically age.  Wood cards are a bit of an unknown (please correct me if I’m forgetting about other wood cards), and I wonder if there will be any degradation of the photo or ink over time, or if the wood itself will begin to deteriorate.  The signature itself has already bled into the wood and has fuzzy edges, so I’m wondering if there may be any other long term issues.  Beyond those concerns, I like these cards and this idea.  It has reinforced my desire to buy a box, which I should do by the end of the week.

I also pulled a Floor Generals insert, which is mostly inoffensive, but does fall under the heading of Panini inserts that I don’t care about.

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The Best: In Hand.

I am now the proud owner of the greatest card that I’ve ever seen.  Yes, I finally purchased a 1997 Bowman Derek Jeter Autograph card.

It is a thing of beauty.  The card is so simple, so perfect.  The autograph itself is worthy of the player who signed it.  Rarely do I say this, but it will never be for sale.  Behold:

The best player. The best brand. The best autograph. Definitive.

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Left Field Cards

Letterpress baseball cards, postcard-size.

Bad Wax

Musings of a Card Collector

realhousewivesrealprofessor

Analyzing reality TV, and the world, at the same time