Sunday, November 30, 2014

New cards for the last few days

       Here are my latest additions to the football collection. As you can see it's all Chrome and Finest. Two of these are older ones from 2005. My favorite one here is the Vincent Jackson followed by the Montee Ball 1986 RC insert from last year's chrome. 

        I've been reading a ton of posts on the Blowout cards forum about how purchasing a box or god forbid a case of 2014 Topps Chrome is a "dumpster fire" this year because of the massive amount of cases released. You can tell the print run is huge because of the gigantic (73 RC base autograph) checklist. Some of these guys like Conner Shaw (no longer in the NFL) and Jordan Lynch for the Dolphins (Who? That's what I said...) will be really disappointing for collectors as their box hit. There are still many cards that collectors WILL be happy to pull, many more than last year. The receiver class is insane this year and if you pull one of the other top QBs it's not so bad either. The problem is that the really good autographs are so hard to pull that the box prices have tumbled by 20 dollars in the last few days. This is absolutely unheard of and a testament to just how bad these boxes are for rippers and flippers. I actually am not sorry to see it happen because it means cheaper prices for real collectors like me. You can find a ton of singles for rock bottom prices right out of the gate on Ebay right now.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

In three days I've added 2 case hits of Topps Chrome and an older base card

These three cards are my additions for the last three days. The first two don't look very special but they are in fact the base variation cards for 2013 Topps Chrome. Each one of these cards were had at  a great price, the Austin was .99 cents plus shipping which is what you could expect to pay for a base RC card. The Peterson would have had much more interest earlier in the year, these were typically selling for around 20.00 but due to his legal troubles I was able to pick it up for about 2.50 plus shipping. When I set out to do the 55 card SP set from this year I expected to pay an average of 10.00 a card. So far I've been able to pick up quite a few for much much less than that. Even though these were correctly named variation cards in the listing I'm not sure if the buyers really know the rarity of the cards, hence the low values. Another possibility is the demand has fallen off greatly due to the newest Topps Chrome release which just came out on Wednesday.

The Steven Jackson is a base card I pulled from a 2005 box I broke but never cataloged and organized. A better design than the 2004 set, I love seeing how the designs progressed year after year.

In terms of Chrome I went looking for the inaugural set on Ebay, the 1996 Topps chrome set. While you can find many singles, I haven't seen the set for sale nor any completed auctions. While it's easy to get a full set from the last few years it seems like any sets that were for sale were bought a long time ago. With older sets you just have to be patient. If I decide to so the 1996 set I may have to do it the old fashioned way, card by card.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In celebration of 2014 Topps Chrome Football...

Today's card comes at you from a decade ago. I'm assuming I opened a bunch of packs back then because lo and behold I have at least 100 chrome cards from years past. I like this look with the white borders. The text and photo only are chrome as you can see from this pictures. Looking back on this set as it has progressed you can see the variations have gotten out of control depending on how you collect. As a set collector it's a nightmare. If you're a player or team collector all these variants are much more attractive. I remember buying a box of 2005 Topps Chrome for roughly 55.00 in the year it was released. All I got were a few inserts, 5 or 6 refractors and that was it. Autographs were in the product but at vastly long odds. If I remember correctly the best card I got out of this box was a Darren Sproles RC.

Things have changes in some ways for worse but in many ways better for the hobby. Now you will always get an autograph and with inflation, (for another 20 bucks a box than it was 10  years ago)
75-80 dollars for a box of Chrome is in my opinion, not so bad.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday's football day right?

This is a rookie refractor out of 2013 Topps Chrome that I bought last week at my local card shop. Part of the fun with a real card shop is sifting through all the singles to find the cards you want. Sort of like an Easter egg hunt when they have thousands of singles. This will by my ninth refractor card out of that 220 card set. I've always been a closet Eagles fan ever since Donovan Mcnabb got drafted in 1999. He went on to have a great career and was pretty fun to watch. Barkley's rookies have cooled off significantly since it's clear he's a third string QB (although with the injury to Foles he's now #2). I love all the attention that Mark Sanchez has gotten but last week's stumble just proves that he's Mark Sanchez and is prone to turnovers. Who knows? We might see this guy playing quicker than collectors might think.

These refractor cards are cool in the right light but at first glance they do look like the base cards. Luckily there is the word "Refractor" on the back to help collectors out.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

1997 Pacific Prisms Baseball

Today's card is another beauty from 1997 Pacific Prisms Baseball. This is #55 in the set. This would have to be my first card with a player named Geronimo for sure. The Oakland As are another one of those popular teams, not as popular as the Yankees but they have some championships. 9 of them in fact, something which I wasn't aware of since I don't follow baseball very closely. The last one they've won was in 1989 so it's been a while for this club. Every time I see these cards I'm still blown away by the intricacy of them. My only complaint on the design of this is that by having the name in all those colors and printing it in vertical fashion it makes it very very hard to read. Obviously they were trying to think outside the box on this design but this doesn't work very well.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Going with a baseball one today

Today's card is one of the really nice 1997 Pacfic Prisms Baseball. This is #55 Bernie Williams. I remember as a kid loving every Yankee card I pulled just for the sheer fact that I knew they were more valuable. I used to trade all my Padres for Yankees. This one would have been no exception. The photo doesn't do it justice as the photo is printed on a clear acrylic. This card illustrates the height of late 1990's insert parallel goodness that you used to be able to find in packs. The innovation continues, there's a new sports release nearly every week of the year so the companies have tried it all. This was on the cusp of the autograph and jersey revolution. Manufacturers were trying to find new and interesting ways to market and sell these cards. I love this baseball set, it's a pretty one to look at in person. Unfortunately I probably only have about 80% of it from buying packs in 1997. Cards on the internet were just becoming a thing back then. I'm sure I could complete it pretty easily now if I dedicated the effort to it.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Finally some Football card additions!

It's been a bit since I've had any football cards to add to my collection. Most of the cards I've added over the last couple of weeks have been baseball and in keeping with trying to keep this blog focused on the football end. As you might have noticed I've become pretty enamored with the 2013 Topps Chrome brand. Two of these cards are off of eBay, (The Justin Hunter Photo Variation RC seen at the bottom  and the Luke Joeckel Blue Wave autograph numbered to 50 at the top). The middle one I got from Mike's Stadium Sports Cards in Aurora CO for a fair price. The Lacy is probably the most valuable of the three because of his hobby status. The other two are only important to me as a set builder. The Blue wave autograph which I love by the way is my sixth in the set. The variation photo card is my second in the set, I added the Peyton Manning not too long ago. I got some other cards at Mikes, very Broncos heavy as usual but I'll keep those under wraps until the time comes.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Skip numbered 1981 Donruss Baseball cards

These three cards are today's addition. They are numbers 573 (Dennis Lamp), 583 (Ken Oberkfell) and 593 (Bombo Rivera). While not quite as exciting as my Manning pickup yesterday these are still some great cards that are over 30 years old. They might be vastly over produced but this was Donruss's first foray into the baseball card market. They also were the only series to have gum in the packs. As an inaugural issue there are many factual and statistical errors present on the card, they are also poorly cut and centered so I imagine that these are difficult to get back from a grading company with very high grades because of the issue of centering. On all three of the cards I added to my collection they suffered from poorly centered cuts both front and back. At least there is not a black border to contend with, we all know that black bordered cards suffer badly from chipping.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fantastic card for me today

Today's card for me is about as cool as you can get. It's not often when you can get a rare card of one of the best in the game and I really love Topps Chrome from any year. I bought one box and tons and tons of singles. I completed the base set this year as well, finished the last card (#220 Colin Kaepernick) a couple of weeks ago. Here's a link to an article on the cardboard connection website that shows all the variations in a visual guide. 2013 Topps Chrome Variation SPs

My guess is that somewhere someone hasn't noticed the super shortprint because of lack of labeling on the card. I have noticed that the back of the Manning card has a career blurb rather than a long list of stats like the base card does. To the untrained eye this card looks like it belongs to the base set, nothing more. I wonder in the future how much value will be lost on these cards, it will take an expert for that year's chrome to identify these. I wish Topps had put some sort of labeling on the back to identify these as SPs but maybe collectors like it better this way. Right now most sellers seem to be aware of their value and most of these cards are listed for sale as we speak. I'm either going for #2 in the set next, the Larry Fitzgerald or the next card I need for my 2012 Spx collection, the RPA for Nick Foles. We all know he suffered an injury last week so now might be the time to buy. His prices haven't seemed to fall much but I would expect in the next few weeks collectors will realize that Sanchez not Foles is at the helm and values will soften a bit. As I've always recommended, this is the time to buy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Not football cards but cleaning up and organizing a multisport lot.

I've been steadily adding some hockey and baseball cards to the organize as I'm clearing out thousands of commons from cards I bought over the years that just have been sitting around. You never know, I could find a gem somewhere! Today's cards are: 

1991-92 Parkhurst Steve Chiasson #268, 1991-92 Parkhurst Brian Skrudland #314 1997-98 Zenith Hockey Saku Koivu #26. None of these cards are anything more than commons based on ebay sales. The Zenith card hasn't even been sold lately, hence the COMC logo on this image.

The 1991-92 Parkhurst are from a brand that if you're not a hockey fan may not be familiar to you. Here's an interesting history that I found on Wikipedia since I really didn't know what happened to them. For now Upper Deck still has the license, UD has this sport only at the moment as a fully licensed seller of hockey cards. Most football collectors like myself are extremely upset with this as issues like Panini Flawless slap the high end collectors in the face. While there are some good, even great cards in this release it's many times over more risky than UD Exquisite was.

Modern Parkhurst hockey cards[edit]

The Parkhurst was resuscitated in 1991 by a group led by Dr. Brian H. Price. After Price tried unsuccessfully to acquire an NHL license. As a last resort to bring the historic brand back, he licensed Parkhurst to Pro Set Inc., a Dallas based hockey card manufacturer. After the hockey card explosion of 1990–91, Parkhurst cards were back in the marketplace. Now promoted as a premium brand of cards, there were three different series available. Series I and Series II were available in both English and French and featured the rookie cards of players such as Dominik Hasek and John LeClair. The 1991–92 Update Set was the final release of the year and was the most valuable of all three sets. One of the key rookie cards of that set was of Bill Guerin. Of note, the cases of Parkhurst cards were sequentially numbered, and this was the first time hockey card cases were numbered.
When Pro Set, Inc. entered Chapter Eleven bankruptcy protection prior to the 1992–93 "season", Price was forced to travel weekly from Toronto to Dallas and became the unofficial hockey brand manager in order to keep the brand alive. The second year of Parkhurst (1992–93) was the last with Pro Set as the company went bankrupt and Price took his Parkhurst brand name to The Upper Deck Company, a five-year agreement which began with the 1993–94 season.
As part of the Upper Deck/Parkurst license agreement, during the 1993–94 hockey season, Price was allowed under the Upper Deck/NHL licence to create and release three retrospective Parkhurst trading cards sets. The first set of cards was known unofficially as "The Missing Link" (a mock 1956-57 set). These cards were produced to complement the fact that Parkhurst did not make cards in 1956. All the cards in the set featured the Original Six teams. The cards featured stats from the 1955–56 season, and had a very retro feel to them, with a no-gloss finish and simple design. One of the most unusual cards in the set was a card featuring the likeness of Johnny Bower in a New York Rangers uniform, while other Parkhurst traditions were upheld, such as action cards.
The popularity of this set led to two other retro-style sets, one commemorating the 1964–65 season (in the "Tall Boy" format Topps used that year), released in 1995, and a subsequent set issued in 1996. This set "commemorated" the 1966–67 season, which signified the rookie season of Bobby Orr and the final Stanley Cup triumph of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Once again, all Original Six teams were featured in the set and each pack contained a "wheel", akin to the Shirriff pieces issued around this time. There was one wheel issued per pack, which paralleled the shell cards (player cards) in the set, as well as 10 bonus wheels that paralleled the Beehive-inspired inserts of Orr and Gordie Howe.
Aside from the Missing Link sets, three other series were issued by Price and Upper Deck (two series in 1993–94 and one in 1994–95) in North America. One other set released in 1994–95 was the Parkhurst SE series (Special Edition), intended for distribution in Europe but equally available in North America. It could be distinguished from the standard 1994-95 Parkhurst cards by its unique numbering with an SE prefix. This set also featured the first cards of players like Jarome Iginla and Jean-Sébastien Giguère.
After two years, Upper Deck breached their Parkhurst license agreement in 1995, thus the brand was no longer in Upper Deck's hands. With no place else to turn, Price created his own release, Parkhurst International, only available in the European markets. Some of the highlights from the 1995–96 Parkhurst set can be found in Series II, including the first card of Wayne Gretzky in a St. Louis Blues uniform. Although the controversy of this card was that Wayne Gretzky's face was superimposed over previous captain Shayne Corson's body, it was not correct. Wayne Gretzky was also featured on another card in the Series II set, but this time, it was on the back. Kevin Stevens was featured in Series II as a member of the Los Angeles Kings. On the back of the card is a picture of Kevin Stevens and Wayne Gretzky wearing the Los Angeles Kings' third jersey. This is the only known card that features an image of Wayne Gretzky in this infamous Kings "playing card" jersey. Despite these unique Gretzky issues, the brand disappeared after 1995–96, save for phone card and 24-karat gold specialty issues.

In The Game obtains Parkhurst license[edit]

For the 50th anniversary of the initial set, the Parkhurst brand was relaunched by Dr Price's new venture In The Game Trading Cards. The set originally appeared as an insert in various 2000–01 products before being re-introduced a year later as a standalone set. Parkhurst was issued both in 2001–02 and 2002–03 before becoming a larger brand name in 2003–04, where it was broken up into multiple sets, including Parkhurst Rookie and Parkhurst Original Six, which was subdivided into six sets. Several collectors still debate the legitimacy of these cards being considered rookie cards, since they were team-specific. The only other set issued under the Parkhurst moniker was Parkhurst Retro (in the 2002–03 season), which utilized the 1951–52 design.

Upper Deck Company acquires Parkhurst license[edit]

The new incarnation lasted only a few years before the 2004–05 NHL lockout threw the trading card market into chaos. During this year, the NHLPA did not work with In The Game. ITG, rather than use the Parkhurst name, used alternate titles such as In The Game Franchises under a licence from the NHL.
Prior to the lockout, Ted Saskin of the NHLPA made a back room deal with Upper Deck making them exclusive licensee for NHLPA hockey trading cards. When the NHL resumed operation, the NHL got wind of the NHLPA's arrangement and agreed to give Upper Deck an exclusive arrangement, too.
In 2005, Upper Deck acquired the license to the Parkhurst brand name and issued a new Parkhurst series. This was a unique brand that was launched late in the 2005–06 season, featuring 700 cards and had a card of Alexander Ovechkin's goal, lying flat on his back (card number 588). Another unique card commemorated the first head-to-head meeting between Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby (card number 600). In all, there were four cards of Alexander Ovechkin (card numbers 588, 597, 600, and 700), while there were six cards of Sidney Crosby (card numbers 526, 586, 587, 593, 657, and 694). Not to be forgotten, this set also features Stanley Cup Hero Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes(card number 614).
Parkhurst returned in the 2006–07 season, with a shift in focus to retired players. The set included a wide variety of autographs, from Hall of Fame honoured members such as Patrick Roy to cult favourites like Bobby Smith.