Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Duck Dynasty Musings

Normally I don't get into reality TV but this show has me laughing every time. Just got into it after the headlines; wanted to see what the fuss was all about. This is my favorite clip so far....

2013 Finest Andrew Luck # 60

This card is of a player that's pretty hot right now. Luck has taken his team to the playoffs and that's pretty impressive for a second year QB. None of the rookie quarterbacks are doing nearly as well as Luck. Card companies smartly put his veteran autograph in many products like finest to help bolster the weak rookie class this year. Even this base card has been known to sell for a dollar or two on Ebay. I'd say this and Peyton Manning are the hottest base cards in the set. Luck's rookie numbers are pretty close to what Manning's were in 1998 and that's eerie considering their careers will be forever linked.

Last card of the year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Finest BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Today's addition is my first "Law Firm" card. Since the Bengals handily knocked off the Ravens yesterday I'd have to say we're going to see a brief spike in Dalton, Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard cards unless they do the unspeakable and go really far in the playoffs. Due to past performances I'd say this is not likely but I'm hoping it will. I've got an Andy Dalton Elite RC Auto that I'm selling on Ebay and I could end up making money on that card. My strategy for selling cards is simple. I start out by asking the highest amount that the card has ever actually sold for in the last 60 days. Each time the auction ends unsold I will lower the price very slightly until it ends up selling. This may be a slow way to sell cards but I'm always happy when they do sell. This means I got the maximum possible value for the card and the card has time to sit on the market for a while. While this can backfire (injuries, suspensions and the like) 9 times out of 10 the card sells for more than if I had listed it for 99 cents and just let bidders decide what it goes for. Exceptions to the rule would be if the player is super hot (see Kaepernick in the playoffs last year and Foles in the middle of the season this year). At that point it's best to set it at 99 cents and let it go because you WILL see a good profit on the card. And you don't want to risk poor performance or injury in a week or two. A good example was when I sold my Case Keenum SP Authentic AU RC for 29 dollars when I purchased it last year for 6.00. The bottom dropped out a couple weeks later when he got benched. So it's a bit of luck and some planning needed on your part but Ebay can be fun and profitable for collectors and investors alike!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Finest Chris Johnson # 57

Here's the next card in my growing 2013 Topps Finest set! This card is # 57 in the set so I'm about a third of the way through my base cards.

On a side noteI usually am a Panini basher just like Adam Gellman of Sportscards Uncensored but I gotta say their new Hoops Basketball game on Facebook is really cool and revolutionary. You purchase "Packs" from the store and are able to fill up your album with their basketball set. What's really cool is you can examine these cards closely front and back. They correspond to the real Hoops set which is beyond awesome. You can even get jersey and autograph cards from the better packs. It's similar to the idea introduced on the Madden franchise. You then have a ""pack war" element which I've never been into in real life but I can see how it might be cool. Anyway, you gotta check it out if you get the chance!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Today's card is one I pulled about a year ago, box hit appears to be nearly worthless.

The card I pulled last December and am finally adding to my stash illustrates the dangers of breaking a box on your own. This was the main box hit. If you look on Ebay right now you will see 15 of these for sale, some of them with a buy-it-now of 5.99. For a 100 dollar plus box that isn't very good at all. That being said, there were not too many patch autos that you can pull to save the box value. The only ones that come to mind is Lesean McCoy and Matthew Stafford. Even the Mike Wallace and the Knowshown Moreno would only fetch 20-30 dollars on the secondary market. Same thing with Mark Sanchez since he's not the starter in New York any more. Sanchez was one of those players I never understood the attraction of collectors seeing as he never really showed much to me the whole time he played. Guess it's just the blind collectors assigning value to starting quarterbacks in the NFL regardless of the chance of them being a long term solution to a bad team (see Matt McGloin).

This particular pic I grabbed off of Ebay but my specific serial number is 384/999 and at least is a multicolored name patch nearly identical to this one.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Football Challenge Card (2002 Pacific Heads Up Josh Reed # 133)

Today's card comes from Ebay. I offered less than the initial price because this is not going to be a high-demand card any more since it's in the "ten year old or more" dead zone of cards. This one is machine numbered to 1090 copies using the old "dot matrix" printer style of stamping. As you can see from the photo it has a foil finish and features the Bills wide receiver in his LSU threads. The back of the card erroneously compares this rookie to Jerry Rice, of course hindsight is always 20/20 but that's a bold statement. Apparently Reed was a pretty darn good college player though as he got the Biletnikoff Award in 2001 (awarded to the nation's top College WR) but it just didn't pan out in the NFL. I snagged this one for about 3.00 including shipping.

The next card on my challenge list (the card ending soonest on Ebay once this card was in hand) is a base card from 2011, more specifically 2011 Panini Threads # 8 Roddy White. This card might be better to try to track down at the local card shop because shipping will be more than the card is worth. I'll see if I can track it down this weekend. Until tomorrow, good luck on your personal football card quests!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Next card is a 2013 Elite "Hard Hats" Alex Okafor card

These acetate rookie cards "step outside the box" and I really like the way these look in person. The autographed versions are even better. The Cardinals have been doing surprisingly well this season despite the fact that this is one of the 4 rookies they lost this year due to injuries. I scoffed at their choice of grabbing Carson Palmer but it looks like I was wrong. I don't know how well they will do in the playoffs but they have a chance to knock off another NFC team in the playoffs; I don't think anyone wants to play them right now during this hot streak they've been having.

This card is from 2013 Elite and I pulled it at the beginning of the football season, just now adding it to my collection! Looks like the next major football release will be Panini Contenders on 1/3. I can't wait to see how those turn out!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Clinton Portis card for the PC from a box break!

Here's a Portis for my collection bringing me up to 117 unique cards. In 2009 Sp Authentic there are several multiplayer cards, I believe there is one more with Campbell, Portis and Santana Moss. There are also the gold versions numbered to 25 as well as an autographed "Sign of the Times" card from this set. it really is too bad UD lost their license because 2009 cards looked really awesome. I have to say the college cards look pretty decent. UD Ultimate looks great this year and so did Spx. I still do like pro uniforms much better as I'm an NFL fan, not a college football fan.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 Finest Philip Rivers # 55

Based on the fact that you get 2-3 card gaps in this 150 card set after opening 2 boxes it would appear you need to open three full boxes or so to get the complete set of the 100 vets and 50 rookies. I'm excited because being a set collector and loving the SPX brand (even though they have to use players in college uniforms now) I found a full 50 card set of 2013 Spx at my local dealer that I picked up while grabbing supplies. That will be fun to add to my collection as currently the only 2013 Spx card that I have is the Teo card that's featured at the beginning of my blog.

This is only my 4th Rivers card. Looking at my collection I see that I have not really focused on veterans, most of my cards are rookies and autographs. We know that sometimes these cards hit it big like my 2000 Spx Brian Urlacher but most of them don't. I'd love to see a new football set comprised of all Hall of Famers like a recent baseball release had the guts to do. As long as the company had the proper licensing I think it would be a smash hit.

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Finest Alfred Morris

Here's today's add of "The Butler". Too bad the Redskins have done so poorly this year, it has really caused the value of two of the hobby's darlings of last year, RGIII and this 6th round surprise. These chromium base cards are a testament to Topps's superior design skills. When I watch some of the box breaks that are coming out of products like "Prestige" (really one of the most poorly designed brands every year, wish this set would just die) and "Absolute" as in Absolute Horseshit cards it makes me that much more grateful for this brand. I was watching a segment on ESPN called "Mint Condition" where "Adam" from Dave and Adam's Card World was discussing the market today. Seems that Topps Finest was the brand of the year and that really seems correct. When you see the product and hold it in your hands it's really the best thing I've seen in a while. The colored refractors, the veteran content and even the base set is probably the best I've seen  this year.

Since I subscribe to Sport's Collector's Daily on Facebook I see many posts about older cards which gives me an appreciation for how cool it is to open packs, especially older packs. Nothing better than to pull old timey hall of famers on just regular cardboard, the way it used to be. Sure you're going to pay a bunch for some boxes like stuff from the 1970s, but the junk wax boxes of the 1990's can be just as fun. Have you ever opened a box of 1991 Pacific? I did last night and it's odd how they were packaged almost like Klondike Bars, no sealing was necessary back in those days because there were no inserts and no "Pack Feelers". Today they have to seal packs, put in dummy cards and it's honestly not even safe to buy boxes from anyone but trusted dealers because who knows if the case hit was already pulled and then you're stuck buying a box with no chance for that huge lifetime hit.

My "pull box" is extremely full but by the time it's empty I'll probably be able to buy a really cool box from 2012, I'm thinking Exquisite or Topps Five Star might be really awesome to do.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Adding daily, here's today's card with a bit of a rant

Today's card is 2013 Topps Finest # 48 Andy Dalton. Dalton's one of those star quarterbacks who I could see being considered one of the game's elite in a couple of years. If you had to choose a few players that are going to take the mantle from the likes of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady you might look at this guy who's more of a traditional passer and not as likely to get injured like the running QB's tend to do (see Robert Griffin III) and also has a good receiving corps around him. So I'm enjoying today's add. It's kind of hard not to go out and bust some more wax right now but this method of adding daily from previous breaks is really the way to keep the addiction down to a minimum. I've also been in the habit of adding cards to the stash that I've tried to sell on eBay; my rule is if I can't sell it for .99 cents than I'd just as soon add it to the collection. Ebay tends to be somewhat of a garage sale with rock bottom prices happening daily on cards. While it's great as a buyer, it's not so great as a seller and if I'm not going to get at least a dollar plus shipping out of it, if it's not a double I'm going to just add it to my own collection.

On Beckett I've heard of people throwing away base cards and I'm stunned. Why would you pay good money for packs and not appreciate every card you got? That's just crazy to me. At least donate them to a children's hospital! No wonder people hate Americans.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

My 5th Marshawn Lynch card, this one out of 2013 finest

The base cards out of 2013 finest are going to take the bulk of my posts over the next few months. Just adding one per day probably cuts back on the very expensive habit of busting boxes. That being said, box busts are really the most fun you can have in the hobby, it brings the element of surprise and the chase back into the game. I wouldn't have gotten my 1/1 pull this year (although it was not a very expensive card, still cool to find) and wouldn't have gotten my pack pulled autographs of Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno either. Always much more fun to get personal PC items right from packs. I was really happy about my Portis SP Authentic finally coming back home to roost for probably nothing as well as that sweet hall of famer jersey card from one of the original charter members of 1963 even if it was a little damaged.

Using the Beckett Search function I was able to see that I had 5 Lynch cards in my collection including a rookie, a few base cards and a triple autograph from 2008 Spx.

2013 Topps Finest #32 Marshawn Lynch

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Slinging Sammy Baugh and a very important Portis card

Here are this week's  notable pickups. First we got a Sammy Baugh "Majestic" Jersey card. Now, normally I wouldn't go all bonkers over a jersey card but this one has a jersey that could be at the youngest 61 years old because Baugh's last season was in 1952. That's pretty damn cool if you ask me. Initially I had bought this as resell card because I got it for very cheap a year or two ago. The card has some creasing on it and due to some recent bad experiences on Ebay where the buyer didn't read my description I've decided it's better not to sell damaged cards. Unfortunately people are idiots and even when you state in the description and take several closeups of the damage, it's still not enough.

So I'm keeping that one and it's still a great card. People get so caught up in condition but this isn't really something I'm a stickler on. I'd like to have the card look great but if there's a few flaws, so be it! If you look at really old cards, they have all kinds of round corners, bends and things like that.

The next card is a recapture of the SP Authentic card I had sold off a few years ago as I needed some extra cash and never repurchased. The original time I bought it (back in 2002) I remember paying 80 dollars for it. Now I got this one in a lot along with a Portis Contenders autograph AND a Finest Autograph for 30.00. Can't beat that anywhere. Now I have an extra contenders and a finest auto that I can sell off and probably end up getting this one for free. You gotta love wheeling and dealing on Ebay because great deals can be had that you'll never find at your local card shop. If I had to guess, these cards would have set me back over 100 dollars or more if I bought these from a dealer. Anyway, I'm stoked.

The final card I added was a Colin Kaepernick Topps Finest Refractor from this year. First card in my personal collection from the Kap although I had an autographed Inception card that I made a nice profit on last year when he went insane in the playoffs!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Time to get back to the "challenge" of the Football Challenge

While I like opening packs the idea of the football challenge was much more fun. Looking at eBay and finding the first card for sale, then trying to get that card at the best price is more fun to me than breaking a box and finding cards that aren't even worth 25% of the box price. So the next card I'll be hunting for is this one! 2002 Pacific Heads Up Josh Reed. Josh Reed was a rookie WR for the Bills that didn't have much impact. I doubt even the best of his 1/1's would top 100 dollars. The highest one went for an undisclosed price (a best offer that started at 29.99) of a press-pass jersey card numbered 1/25 two color. Not many of his cards have even eclipsed 10.00. So I'll be on the hunt for this and let you guys know when I win it!

Believe it or not, my first Cam Newton card

I input this card into my collection today and honestly wondered how in the world someone who collects all kinds of football cards could not have this player in their collection. I've been collecting a long time and have focused much of my attention to the older Spx football cards, I've got a whole set of 1999, 2000 and 2008 Spx cards. Since I used to be mainly a set builder (and still am at heart) I guess see how this might happen. Still a bit surprised though. Anyway, here's 2013 Topps Finest # 25 Cam Newton:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Today's card is a 2013 Finest Joseph Randle RC Autograph

Here's a nice patch card that I pulled from one of my boxes this year. It features a mostly blue patch from his jersey. Based on his output (just over 100 yards and 1 TD) you couldn't call him a star yet. DeMarco Murray's health issues make him a good insurance policy and he did have a monster career in college. Here's hoping he's the next Marion Barber and not the next Felix Jones. These patch cards are the nicest insert from the product, my favorites are the blue version numbered to 99 though as you get some really nice color contrasts with that color of parallel.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Troy.... I can't even spell this dude's last name

Here's today's "pickup". Actually I have a ton of cards that I'm just saving up from various box breaks I did this year, and I did a ton more this year than I ever have. I'm sort of going in order here on the 2013 finest. Out of two boxes I did not even pick up a base set which puts these boxes as somewhere between a "hits" based" and a "set" based product. The fact that the base set is 150 cards deep is somewhat surprising although 50 of these are base rookies (no auto, no jersey). Now, if the base card set was 490 cards deep that would be pretty crazy as this was the norm in the early nineties when I started collecting football cards in earnest.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Card of the Day! 2013 Finest Football Percy Harvin # 18

Here's my newest addition to the collection. The 2013 Finest set has similar problems that Topps Chrome of yesteryear had with "bowing". The card does not stay flat, probably has something to do with the manufacturing process. It's still a cool set and the two boxes I broke yielded most of the 150 card base set. Here's the card!