Wednesday, April 30, 2014

3 more Blue Wave Refractors and I hit a first!

With these three Blue Wave refractors this is the first month where I maintained focus and every day I added a card I needed for this set. I managed to add a couple more blue wave refractor autographs to my incoming list. My goal for these is to snag any good deals that I see and to add the cheapest ones first. The most expensive autograph, by far, is the Eddie Lacy from the Packers. This one is the granddaddy of the set for the moment, where I was able to get the Mike Gillislee today for around 8 bucks including shipping, the Lacy can't be touched for less than 250.

My focus for May was going to be getting all the Bills cards and I will be getting all of the base at least with some help from Mike's Stadium Sportscards. He gathered up the four remaining base cards I need including the EJ Manuel. Getting the 4 autographs in May could be kind of costly though. They are all on Ebay as we speak but with BIN (Buy it Now) prices they are not in auction format and therefore would be more expensive than you could normally get them for. I'll wait and see if they pop up as auctions.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Today's card, another Jaguar Free Agent QB...

Today's card is #153 Matt Scott of  the Jaguars. Now this card as well as tomorrow's addition I got in trade on I'm such an old schooler on there that I really didn't take advantage of the trading opportunities that are actually pretty awesome on there. I had a couple of rookies of Dennis Pita and Haloti Ngata in my "for sale bin". Problem with my bin is that I have so many cards at this point I'll have a tough time selling them all off. I'd much rather trade for a card I actually need for my collection. I like how Beckett has streamlined the process so that you can send messages to your trader, check on the status of the shipment and leave feedback. Much better than the no-holds barred method of 5 or 10 years ago. I encourage you fellow football fanatics to check it out.

I'm excited about last night's hockey game even though my DVR fucked up the recording. I did not get to see it (one problem with recording live sports and watching them later) as the event was mislabeled, but apparently Nathan Mackinnon had another HUGE night, securing an overtime goal in the Avalanche's home win against the Minnesota Wild. I caught highlights of it on and can only imagine what this is going to do for the young phenom's card values. Almost makes me want to go get a box of Certified Hockey if my shop has it just to see if I can pull one of these rookies. I'll let you guys know if the urge wins me over...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

More progress with my Topps Chrome Blue Wave refractor set

I haven't posted for a few days so this post contains what equates to about a week of additions. I might be visiting the local card shop today for a case break and an autograph session so I will see if I can find any more of the 220 cards I need to make a dent in this gargantuan set. I am really enjoying the hockey and basketball playoffs and am thinking about getting a hockey box to see if I can pull a Nathan McKinnon Rookie. He's the hottest player right now and being here in Colorado it's really fun having a superstar rookie as part of one of the teams you follow. Mike from Mike's Stadium Sportscards even has an article about it that you can read here courtesy of Sports Cards Collector's Daily which I follow on Facebook.

As he mentioned, his signature isn't much to look at but the hype surrounding him is unreal. He already scored 7 points in the first two games of the playoffs which is unheard of. He's only 18 too which puts his upside in the stratosphere of a young Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby. 

One thing that's odd about Denver is that you'd think it was a huge hockey town. Honestly you don't hear that much about the fact they are in the playoffs; when I ask people at my gym or work about it, I mostly just draw blank stares. Our town really belongs to the Broncos. I'm lucky enough to work less than a mile from Dove Valley and get to pass the team headquarters all the time on the way to other places. People always talk about Manning, the Superbowl loss, what next year will be like, whatever. If the Avs blow this series which is entirely possible with this two game slide, I don't think too many people here in Denver will even know. And that's a shame!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Newest pair of Blue Wave refractors added to my set!

Got these two added to my Beckett organize! Both are rookies which is pretty sweet. I know collecting cards should be fun but the look on Travis Kelce's face is well, kind of ridiculous. Some of these up close and personal shots make the card look like a Back Street Boys poster and not a football card. The Dion Jordan? Comparatively awesome. He's got his full uniform on and it looks like he's pointing right at the QB promising pain and destruction. That's the kind of bad ass looking card I want in my collection.

Dion Jordan has been the subject of trade talks with the Eagles since he vastly under performed on a bad team. Chip Kelly of the Eagles coached him at Oregon and believes he's be a good fit in the system. I think it could be a good trade for them because Jordan might be undervalued if his performance was just the result of being poorly coached. With such a deep draft class the Eagles could be giving up too much. It's really unfortunate that the Eagles lost Desean Jackson to FA because they could have really been a contender this year and I think he was the lynchpin to that franchise despite his selfish attitude.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Jordan Rodgers RC Blue Wave, Roddy White Blue Wave, Josh Freeman Blue Wave!

These three blue wave refractors went into my collection today. The undrafted Free Agent, Jordan Rodgers I learned is the brother of Aaron Rodgers, star QB of the Packers. I didn't know Aaron had a brother in the NFL. It's not exactly the Eli - Peyton connection because it's doubtful Jordan will ever get playing time. The only actual star out of these is Roddy White. Looking at his stats its a wonder I've never targeted him for any of my fantasy football teams. Sometimes you just don't realize what kind of monster stats a player puts up if he's not on a team or division that you follow.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

20th Blue wave refractor added, This one from the Steelers...

The Steelers have a huge fan base across the United States and here's a one per box RC card of Markus Wheaton. Judging by his card back stats he had an outstanding career at Oregon State. The last really big player I remember coming out of Oregon State was Steven Jackson and that worked out pretty well for the Rams for so many years. There are other notable players that have been pretty damn good from there that I didn't know until running a search like Nick Barnett (LB) for the Packers and Brandon Browner (DB) for the Seahawks.

I like the cards with plain backgrounds like these rather than some of the cards that have action shots or crowd shots in the background because it shows the "wave" pattern better and the main player photograph is offset better because of it. I understand that you can't have all the cards with the same static type of shot but these backgrounds along with the horizontal layouts interspersed within the set are some of my favorites.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Got the Maysonet Blue Wave Auto, my first one!

Got this card in the mail today and it's pretty sweet! I'm going to try to add one of these autos per month at the very least along with adding whatever blue waves from the non-autoed set as I can get my hands on. Despite the fact they are inserted at 1:24 packs they are fairly easy to get in lots on Ebay right now. I'm still trying to figure out what these autos are inserted at as there is no good information about the /50 blue wave autos out there. I'm assuming it's gotta be a 1 per case. Essentially with the autos and the base refractors I'm doing a 2 in 1 set here.

Over the last couple of days I added these Manti Te'o, Andre Johnson and Theo Riddick refractors as well. The Manti reminds me of the first card I added on this blog, the 2013 Spx AU RC that I got before the 2013 football season started. As we know Te'o didn't have much of an impact and the value of this card plummeted. Still, I got  the SPX AU RC for less than a third of the price of a box so I'm not too upset about it. Since I'm not planning on selling it doesn't much matter anyway.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Today's Collection addition is one of the best Quarterbacks of All Time

Some people may debate whether Drew Brees is one of the best QBs of all time but he's got to be in the top five for sure. This future hall of famer was one of the primary reasons that the Saints don't suck anymore. I don't know if you remember the perennial celler-dweller days but they had a whole carousel of bad draft picks, worse trades and coaches who invariably got lead to the chopping block. Anyone remember the Mike Ditka, Ricky Williams trade of 1999? While Williams proved to be an exceptional back for a few years he never really found his stride in New Orleans. "Mike Ditka went all-in on Williams in 1999. And the Saints then finished Williams’ rookie season 3-13, Ditka was fired and the franchise dealt Williams to Miami two seasons later. New Orleans at least saved a little face with that 2002 trade with the Dolphins, scoring a pair of first-round picks and four draft choices overall." (Burke, 2013)

When the Saints got Brees from the Chargers in 2006 it was anything but a sure fire home run. Brees had some nagging shoulder issues and the Chargers if you remember had drafted Phillip Rivers in the first round in 2004. That was the year that Eli Manning would have been drafted by the Chargers but essentially pulled a John Elway and refused to play for them. Rivers has also developed into a top tier QB but nowhere near the talent and playoff success of Drew Brees.

In other news I'm looking at the box breaks for 2014 Leaf Best of Football on YouTube and gotta say, what a money burner. I like the idea of getting unopened boxes hidden in another box but some of the boxes have been pure garbage. I saw a 2007 Classics box that got opened to reveal nothing more than a few dollar bin jersey cards and a no-name rookie free agent that never played a down as the hit autograph. While the box also contains a cut hall of famer autograph to soften the blow there really are way better ways to spend 175.00 in the hobby that will make you much happier. That's just my take on it. Not only are you gambling that you'll get a good box here, you're also gambling once again when the box is opened that it will yield the sweet card that everyone is chasing. Most of the times these boxes just are not delivering. I did see a box that had a 2013 Museum box in it, this one had a Peyton Manning Metal framed auto numbered to 25. That was the only one out of 8 or so boxes I saw broken that was remotely worth the price. I'd say stay away from this one unless you love the thrill of old boxes and have a ton of money to spend.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A pair of Blue Wave refractors from the Cowboys and Jaguars

Tony Romo is one of those controversial players, you either love him or hate him. Plagued by the regular season greatness and big-game choke artist reputation you can't deny that he's the best QB the Cowboys have had since Aikman.

Cecil Shorts III busted out on the fantasy and real world football scene in 2012 with eyepopping stats. He's one of the few Jaguars I would put on my fantasy team and being a top receiver on a bad team always trying to play catch-up it's easy to see why.

While I really like these bluewave cards a couple things might have made this insert set even better. I would have liked these cards to be numbered. We know they are rare, but just how rare are they? I think they are not getting the proper respect they deserve in auctions because people are assuming that they are only a little more rare than the unnumbered regular refractors. Weird decision for topps not to number these but to number the rookie autograph versions. Another cool thing would have been to have some veteran auto content. Weak 2013 football sales could have been much better if you could pull a Peyton Manning or Drew Brees auto out of one of these packs. Would the price have to go up a little bit? Probably so but I think Chrome would still have a rabid following. Finally I would have loved to see some vintage players in this set. A Jim Thorpe Blue Wave refractor out of this set? Would have been phenomenal and I'm sure you'd all agree.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2013 Topps Chrome Blue Wave Refractors Mike Wallace #155, today's add!

While Mike Wallace didn't start the season off that well with the Dolphins he actually eclipsed some of his numbers from his previous season in Pittsburgh. His receptions and yards were greater and while he only had 5 TDs he was a consistent player filling in fairly well for the void that was left when Brandon Marshall left for Chicago. NFL Network noted that the Dolphins and Jets are probably one or two players away from making the playoffs and I tend to agree. Being in the same division as the eternal Patriots does have to suck because your team has to play them twice a year and keep up with their blistering win pace.

This a pretty sweet card and I'm lucky to have found such a big lot of these since they only fall at one per box. Found another card with free shipping today from the non-autographed set, seem to be picking these up at a pretty fast pace for me!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Today brings another Blue Wave Refractor of Titans QB Jake Locker

Today's card is 2013 Topps Chrome Blue Wave Refractor Jake Locker #56. This is my 11th card to the set leaving me with 269 more to go including the autographs. I've set up two collections in my Beckett Organize, one with the cards I've added to the Blue Wave collection and another where I see what cards I have left. This is a handy tool to see what cards have been purchased and to help me make a plan for getting the autographed cards. I've found the best strategy for completing sets is to get the cheapest cards first. While you do run the risk of the expensive cards getting too far out of reach this honestly doesn't happen very often. Usually what you are doing is allow the overhyped players to come back down to earth when they get injured, the team does bad or interest moves on to the newest hottest set. I imagine once some of the licensed 2014 sets come out we're going to see a massive fall off for demand for any 2013 cards with the exception of 1 to 2 players, probably Eddie Lacy and Geno Smith. Everyone else's cards will likely be able to be gotten for much less as time goes on. I've been collecting long enough to see these cycles happen over and over again. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Bengals star from yesteryear graces my collection today

Added this 2013 Topps Chrome Blue Wave refractor to my collection today. This is the 10th so far in the regular set of 220. I was looking at purchasing another large lot to help me along with this set from the same seller that seemed to have tons and tons of Topps Chrome but I wasn't willing to pay as much for this lot as the last one because there would be so many doubles to sell or trade off. Looking at the guys lots he must have opened tons and tons of product. He had nearly a complete set of the x-fractors. He was selling lots of 50 or more of these blue waves. He also had a huge lot of pink refractors and blue refractors from 2012 which had tons of demand because of the stars like Russell Wilson and Nick Foles that were in these limited sets. I'm glad he was selling but was wondering what the draw would be to open so much product and then being forced to sell for pennies on the dollar which is essentially what happens with lots on Ebay. 

I did end up getting my first autograph from the 60 Blue Wave Rookie Autograph set yesterday, a Miguel Maysonet that ended up going for less than 10 dollars. My goal is to get at least auto a month, maybe more if I can afford it. At that rate it will take 5 years to complete this set but my patience is unlimited. It took me 7 years to complete the 1999 Spx set and 4 years to complete the 2008 Spx set. I can be very patient when it comes to hunting down the cards I need at a good price to finish off a set.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A strange case of different uniforms on the same player

I am adding the regular version of the 2013 TC Blue Wave, Miguel Maysonet #13. I was wondering if the autographed version was of someone else although I thought it was really unlikely someone had the same name since the last name is so strange. When I checked under Beckett organize it appears that they are both card #13 so they are the same player, it's just the autographed and base versions are using a different photo . I looked him up on and it appears that he's actually with neither of these teams, that he's on the Steelers (his 7th team!) I don't think I've heard of anyone going through that many organizations before, especially in such a short period of time. This is one of those autographs that you might expect to pull from Contenders (that is a scrub that will probably never play) but the checklist for the Topps Chrome Autographs is pretty deep. One might wonder why it's needed to have an autograph of nearly every rookie but everyone's hoping for the next big thing. It's also a nice draw for the team collector. Team collectors probably outweigh the individual player collector, I've had several instances where I've invested heavily in an individual player on my favorite team only to see them get traded a year or two later. Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler are great examples. I never thought they'd get traded but under the Josh McDaniels regime they both got booted in the same season. This might be why I've shifted my focus mainly to sets. There is a sense of satisfaction to completing them and what happens to individual players don't matter as much when you've diversified your spending habits.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spectacular additions today since I'm a Broncos fan AND doing this Blue Wave Set

No reason to be shy about these beauties today, especially if you're a die-hard Broncos fa like me! These are the Topps Blue Wave Refractors #'s 1 and 97 respectively. The Manning alone was going for over 10.00 or more right before the SuperBowl, it's now leveled off to a more reasonable 6 or 7 bucks on Ebay. I'd guess this would sell for 20-25 at your local card shop, especially here in Denver. I got the Manning from one huge lot of 45 of these cards for a very reasonable price and the Decker in another. Buying lots for set collectors is a dream come true because shipping is reduced per card and any doubles you get you can sell off one by one and really recoup some of your collecting costs. You have to have the patience to do it but in the long run you will do far better for your collection than any other method. Box breaking, group breaking, shows and card shops just can't compete with the vast marketplace that Ebay has become. has been making a run at it as well as other minor players like Amazon (in the sports cards market anyway, in other products like books they are obviously industry giants). I'm not really too impressed with because the niche that they claim to cater to (the small time buyer who just needs a common or two to finish their set) can just as easily be filled by Ebay. also claims to have an edge up on Ebay because of their "low low" shipping prices capped out at 3.00 per card. If you look on Ebay, very rarely will you see unreasonable shipping costs because sellers are now rated for it. It has become more and more expensive to ship cards and you always want to be careful of those sellers offering free or very reduced shipping costs because guess what... it will come to you in a plain white envelope with high risk for damage and maybe a toploader if you're lucky. I even had one card shop sell me 4 hall of famer autographs. No top loader, plain white envelope and they were all sandwiched between a piece of cardboard. Why in the hell would you ship even commons that way much less 4 very rare cards with AUTOGRAPHS? The common sense of some of these sellers really eludes me sometimes. I will gladly pay 2 or 3 dollars for shipping to get an undamaged card. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nice Blue Wave of 6th overall pick Barkevious Mingo

Today's card is one of the first horizontal card layouts I've seen and with the blue wave refractor technology it looks stunning as you can see. Mingo did well for a rookie last year, in looking up his stats looks like his first ever career sack came from getting Tom Brady, not a bad way to start off. 

A minor difference between the autographed and non autographed versions of these cards besides the lightened area where the auto goes is that the team logo gets moved out of the middle so the player has more room to sign. This is my sixth card in the series and I've got enough buildup now to showcase one a day of these cards for quite some time what with the awesome lots I picked up on Ebay.

On other product notes it looks like Fleer Retro is live for Upper Deck (weird right?) and now we're seeing all the throwback insert sets but very few on-card autos. As with all UD products they are going to be college uniforms, a big problem with collectors like me that enjoy NFL based products. I stopped collecting the SPX brand for this very reason, just can't get into the college theme that much because I don't tend to follow college. Focusing on the singles I need for this set seems to be a far better project that shooting in the dark for big hits out of the late NFL releases like this and National Treasures.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Today's addition, by far my best Polamalu card to date

Today's card that I'm adding to the stash is a 2013 Topps Chrome Blue Wave Refractor #123 Troy Polamalu. Because most of the complete sets I've worked on so far have been extremely rookie oriented (like the 1999 Spx, 2000 Spx and 2008 Spx sets that I've completed) I don't have many star cards other than if they happened to be rookies and made it that year or if they were in the base set. Since this is a rare refractorit's a bit better than the common base cards that he usually shows up in although he does seem to show up in most sets. He's obviously the most popular Steeler outside Roethlisberger and the Steelers have a huge fan and collector base all over the country. I've pretty much ignored this team in my collecting habits since I'm mainly a set collector first and a Bronco collector second. His 2003 Spx RC might be one that I get if I ever get around to completing that set. That one's famous for having the Romo and the Sp Authentic is even better with Romo's card being autographed.

Checking in my collections I have the base 2013 Finest, the base 2008 Spx and a card from a 2009 Steelers Superbowl commemorative set out of Donruss. This is my fifth Blue Wave card, just 275 more to go! This could take a while but with money and patience I'm determined to put it together.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

More Topps Chrome additions, and another Blue Wave Refractor

Today's additions consisted of a base card, a rookie and a Blue Wave Refractor rookie from 2013 Topps Chrome. I was looking around yesterday at the completed auctions for 2012 Blue waves since I'm sort of enamored with this set idea right now. If you guys have seen the "Chuck Strong" version of the Andrew Luck RC refractor that is going for HUGE bucks right now and it's not even autographed. This is the version where he's got his helmet off and his head is shaved to support when head coach Chuck Pagano had cancer in Luck's rookie year. My guess is that it's really really rare and combine that with the fact that it's just a cool card to own and the sky is the limit on this one. An ungraded version of this sold for around 75 bucks which is big money for a non-autographed non-serial numbered card.

Last year's version even included an autographed version of Alfred Morris. This had a shabby looking sticker autograph which ruined the look of the card. This years 60 rookie autos have solved this problem by using a lighter shade above the team logo and eliminating the sticker entirely, a very smooth move by Topps.

If you wanted to purchase a full set of the 2012's the buyer was asking about 2 grand for it. I haven't done any market research on this but my guess is this is well over twice what the market will bear. Full sets don't really do that well on Ebay unless they happen to be rare vintage sets, and even then I'd say the seller will get gouged much more often than if they would break it up.