Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The final card in my Chrome RC auto lot

    Another Topps Chrome RC autograph out of the 2014 product goes into my collection. This particular one is #181 Jordan Lynch. I learned from the back of the card that even though he was undrafted (no large surprise considering these can be had for a dollar or two on Ebay) he was a Heisman Trophy candidate as a QB for the Washington Huskies. I had a little time off today due to the holidays so I was considering swinging by the local card shop to grab another box regardless of how bad the product has tanked. There is a nice large lot tonight that ends on Ebay with tons of autos from this product that I'm going to shoot for instead. Impulse buys are usually not good, often you're just left with a sour taste in your mouth, especially if your box was bad. I think I'll pass today and see what goodies Ebay has to offer. 

While I was perusing the site (a great resource for box reviews and industry news I popped across an online shop that seemed to have reasonable prices, even on freshly pulled autographs and base singles. Next time you need to fill that hole in your base set or find that tough insert check out Football Card Shop. Even comparing to Ebay they seem reasonable and they have thousands of singles priced far better than similar items on the Beckett Marketplace.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Another 2014 Topps Chrome RC card autograph

Here's my second of three rookie autographs I got on Ebay last week. The design really is nice and the autograph is on-card for most of the set. I've seen a few (the Jake Matthews OT for the Falcons) where the autographs were on a sticker. As you can see by this one the autograph can be much bigger and have a sweeping look to it than those confined to those tiny stickers. Not all the players make use of the space they are given (and there sure are some lazy signers in this set) but when they do it looks really cool. This card is a prime example of that. People went bananas over the Money Manziel card, an example where the top rookie decided to inscribe "Money Manziel" below his autograph.

Some collectors were annoyed with the product as I've mentioned several times before. One collector, Mike Pereira had an excellent rant on Beckett which you can read here:

Mike Pereira
\This year’s Topps Chrome is awful because unlike last year there is no limit we know of on the base autos. Last year it was limited to 600 or less so we had as good as chance of hitting a Le’Veon Bell as hitting a Tyler Wilson. Now who knows how many Johnny Manziels are available while we keep getting multiples of players like Mike Davis in a single case. Without auto limits who’s to know that Manziel only signed 100 base autos while Davis signed 1000. Collectors have a worse chance of pulling something they want when the product is stacked with fillers. Topps is stacking the product with cheap filler player autos and hiding exactly how many are available for each player so they can make more cases and therefore make more money as collectors continue to open more product looking for players they want. And unlike last year if you take the stated Refractor total you are really only getting two numbered refractors since Topps is counting the three that everyone gets in a box that aren’t numbered (blue wave, pulsar, and green) and then three base reflectors. Leaving collectors only two total numbered cards per box instead of eight.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Topps Chrome Rookie Auto

     Here is one of the three rookie autographs I got in the mail today. I only paid 1.40 for each of the three and they are cards I need for the 2014 Topps Chrome collection I have going. I feel bad for the seller having to unload these three autographs so cheaply but that's the going rate for most of these. Boxes might plunge a little more in price now that the Odell Beckham RC Auto Superfractor has been pulled.

    All three of the cards I got are rookie players with no stats in 2014 so I guess they aren't what you'd call impact players. This watered down rookie autograph content really makes Topps look bad. I know they are still the best card company right now when it comes to football cards but collectors all around have been extremely disgruntled with this release. It has made me reconsider buying a box or two for sure. I'll be saving my money for something better and pick these autos and singles up for much less.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A National Treasure card

Today's card is a 2012 National Treasures Pro Bowl Colossal numbered to 49 copies. I got this one at the beginning of the year at Mike's Stadium Sports cards and just haven't added it to the collection yet. Although I don't see the need to celebrate the Pro Bowl with an entire set of cards I do like the alternate Jersey type, it does make for an interesting card at least. As a sucker for Broncos cards and memorabilia this is a great addition for me. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Sweet 2013 Finest card

This lot I bought last year is still being added to my collection bit by bit. Today's card is the Blue Refractor Jumbo Jersey Autograph of Brent Celek shown in the picture above (although my serial # is 2/99). This was one of the veteran autographs that Topps added to the 2013 content. I really have a thing for Eagles cards which is why this lot appealed to me, two nice Eagle TE cards all in a lot priced less than half of a box of Finest. His production fell off a bit in 2014 (31 catches for 339 yards and 0 TDs) but it's still a nice card and one I'm glad to own.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Why Not collect the best in the game?

I realized the other day that I have a small collection of both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady so why not try to go for good collections of both? My Tom Brady collection is a bit better with the 2000 Spx RC leading the way. My Manning collection also only has one rookie card (oddly enough) with his 1998 Topps Gold Label being the only card I have in this collection. Yesterday I added a Brady, today a Peyton and I think these might be the only ones I have left. The rookies of both are pretty out of sight with Brady having much less cards in 2000 than Manning did in 1998. Manning was hyped to the gills being the #1 overall pick as a QB, a rarity in this era. The same can be said of Andrew Luck right now, many people are asking why his cards are valued so much more than Russell Wilson and the answer is obvious. Luck can win games on his own, there have been many examples of this in this season alone. Put Wilson on a team with not much of a supporting cast and I don't think you would see the ability and "wowness" that Luck showcases. 

I'll be adding cards from previous breaks as I save up for my next Brady RC (any one will do but I'll try to get something in a lot) I decided it's best to focus my efforts on cards that will retain their value rather than rookies that won't even play a down. This is what smart collectors do and I think after many years I'm seeing the value of this.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Today's card is of Tom Terrific!

Today's card comes from 2014 Topps Chrome and is of course one of the best to ever play the game. These Fantasy Focus cards come at a rate of 2 per box. Since fantasy is such a fickle game I'd like to post the checklist here and see if there were any non-factors in 2014.

FF-AB Antonio Brown - Pittsburgh Steelers
FF-AG A.J. Green - Cincinnati Bengals
FF-AJ Alshon Jeffery - Chicago Bears
FF-AL Andrew Luck - Indianapolis Colts
FF-AP Adrian Peterson - Minnesota Vikings
FF-AR Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers
FF-BM Brandon Marshall - Chicago Bears
FF-CJ Calvin Johnson - Detroit Lions
FF-CK Colin Kaepernick - San Francisco 49ers
FF-CN Cam Newton - Carolina Panthers
FF-DB Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints
FF-DM DeMarco Murray - Dallas Cowboys
FF-DR Dez Bryant - Dallas Cowboys
FF-DT Demaryius Thomas - Denver Broncos
FF-EL Eddie Lacy - Green Bay Packers
FF-JC Jamaal Charles - Kansas City Chiefs
FF-JN Jordy Nelson - Green Bay Packers
FF-JR Jimmy Graham - New Orleans Saints
FF-JT Julius Thomas - Denver Broncos
FF-JW Jason Witten - Dallas Cowboys
FF-LM LeSean McCoy - Philadelphia Eagles
FF-MF Matt Forté - Chicago Bears
FF-ML Marshawn Lynch - Seattle Seahawks
FF-MS Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions
FF-PM Peyton Manning - Denver Broncos
FF-RB Reggie Bush - Detroit Lions
FF-RW Russell Wilson - Seattle Seahawks
FF-TB Tom Brady - New England Patriots
FF-TR Tony Romo - Dallas Cowboys
FF-VD Vernon Davis - San Francisco 49ers

I'd say they nailed the list down pretty well with the exception of Adrian Peterson (legal troubles), Vernon Davis (30 year old tight end on poor offensive team this year) and Russel Wilson (never has been a top fantasy QB) By keeping this list short and sweet the team at Topps made this a little subset that I think anyone would enjoy putting together. Interestingly enough I had both Tom Brady and Andrew Luck on my fantasy team at the beginning of the year. Foolishly I dropped Brady early on the year when he was doing poorly thinking he was done. Brady proved me wrong as the year went on, in fact one of my hated opponents beat me using Brady. It's kind of like the fable of the eagle that gave one of his feathers to the archer and, as he lay dying looked at the arrow fletched with his own feather. Moral of the story is don't ever give up on Tom Brady. This card is a nice addition for me. I pulled it from my three team case break a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Another 1/1 printing plate!

I'm using the Ebay picture that the seller posted, the card I'm adding today is the 1/1 Yellow printing plate of Ahmad Dixon. I would have expected more interest, especially considering the rabid Cowboy collector base but I managed to pick this up for less than $10.00. I decided to pull the trigger based on the poor team based break I had at the LCS a couple of weeks ago. Had this card been in our particular case it would have been mine as I got all the Cowboys Patriots and Bills in our case. This is my second printing plate this week (getting kind of spoiled!) and my third for the year. I may not have posted it to the blog but I added a 2013 Finest Randal Cobb Black printing plate that I pulled from a box personally. As a buyer I'm really enjoying the low prices on all the 2014 Topps Chrome cards, the singles prices make up for the shortfalls I might experience from any future boxes I break or team breaks I participate in.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My first Contenders autograph in many years

I understand the draw to the Contenders brand. When I picked between the 2000 Spx set and the 2000 Contenders set to collect and complete I obviously made the wrong choice because of how insanely valuable the Tom Brady RC autograph is in this set. He was mostly overlooked in the Spx set but he did get a RC numbered to 1250. That's what people love about Contenders. Almost every single rookie gets an autograph which can help make the set more valuable if a no-name takes off. CJ Anderson would be a great example for the 2013 set. I'm sure this card was only a dollar or two and in the bargain bins of shows and dealer tables everywhere. Now they are selling for 25.00 or more and rising. Hell, I almost picked one up myself until I realized that I'm not a bandwagon collector, I go for sets and don't worry what this player or that player is doing at the current moment. For the most part too much money is lost that way and it's pretty much a no-win situation unless you are going for the top guys in the game. Even that doesn't pan out so well sometimes (see Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice this year)

This Contenders card is pretty cool and all and it is numbered to 21. This is the regular version (with stars on the team logo box on the back, I had to look this up to see what the difference between the SP and regular version was) The differences on the front of the card are super minor but I guess some collectors love this. I'd have to put that style of collector into the "OMG MOJO" catagory because personally I think it's kind of silly but hey, to each his own right? Otherwise they wouldn't have garbage horrifically designed cards like Panini Hot Rookies. I didn't mind getting this card as a bonus, for what I paid for the lot this card seemed to be free but I tell you for sure I'd never buy a box of contenders now. Back in 1999 and 2000 it was a whole different company, whole different set of standards and a much better brand. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

1/1 Topps Chrome card for today

Today I'm adding the Topps Chrome 1/1 Black Printing Plate of Josh Boyce seen on the end in this completed auction photo. While many people don't really like printing plates I think they are pretty cool myself. What's wrong with owning something that noone else can own? Since I'm trying the impossible task of owning a master set of 2013 Topps Chrome any 1/1's I can get will be just icing on the cake. All these cards were pretty rare. I think it would have been cool if they added an autographed sticker like they had done in past issues. I remember them doing this in Finest a few years back and the autograph just makes it that much cooler if you collect that player.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Another 2013 Topps Chrome Blue Wave Refractor Auto comes home

This card is another important addition to the blue wave set I started this year. I picked this one up in a well priced lot that included a printing plate 1/1 and a Contenders Cracked Ice rookie autograph. The price was too good to pass up, especially since 1/1 cards get snapped up never to be sold again. While this guy is just a practice squad player it doesn't really matter for a set collector like me. This is my seventh card of this particular subset. I've noticed that this year's blue wave refractor autographs are insanely shortprinted as compared to the 2013 version out of 50. 2014's versions are only numbered to 20. They look great to me and are my favorite set of the last couple of years. On card autographs, well designed and overall a really fun chase set.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

2005 Topps Chrome base card

Today's card is a 2005 Topps Chrome base card of Dwight Freeney, card # 105 in the set. He also has a jersey card in this release as well as a throwback style card. All together there are 10 cards of him in this set (including the 4 printing plates of this card) but pretty sure this is the only one I pulled in my box. Pretty cool card of a great player!

Friday, December 19, 2014

A 2005 Topps Chrome Edgerrin James

This card is pretty cool because the back of the card showed all the AFC rushing leaders in 2004. Some of them I expected like Curtis Martin (now in the HOF) and Ladanian Tomlinson (soon to be in the HOF) but some of the guys on the list I had nearly forgotten about. Anyone remember when Rueben Drougens rushed for 1200 yards for the Broncos? I had almost forgotten this and I'm a Broncos fan. Rudi Johnson and Chris Brown were also huge that year too. Sometimes even hardcore fans like me forget the semistars like these guys were in their time. It also just shows the flash in the pan status that some players have even now. Just keep that in mind when you spend big dollars on a guy just cause he had a few good games. Investing in sports cards is tough and the card might tank while it's in the mail to you, just goes that fast sometimes. That being said I have made money either on prospects that I thought would be good (like Nick Foles) or underpriced large autographed card lots. It can be done but the best thing is to spread out the portfolio so to speak. I buy diversified lots where if one player does well I can make my money back and then some. I've done it enough times to have a good sense for it but I've made mistakes at times too and lost money on a few big cards too. One mistake I made was buying a redemption for a Deion Sanders Bo Jackson dual autograph jersey card from Elite. By the time I got it back (one year later) the demand for it died down and I lost about 30-40 dollars once I finally sold it. Redemptions can be pretty bad or they can do really well. Most cases I've seen though you lose money because the product is too old by the time they get fulfilled OR you end up waiting for so long the card is totally valueless by the time you get it back if you ever do. This can easily happen with rookies. That's why collectors and case breakers just hate these things. The Panini points system isn't much better but it's a step in the right direction. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Standard base card from 2005 but it is Peyton Manning!

Today's card is just your average base (#136 from 2005), not quite a good as some of the additions I've been lucky enough to book lately but certainly a good card for me. The last Manning card I added was the 2013 shortprint version, #1B about a month and a half ago. There were a few different versions of 2005 Topps chrome that were available for Peyton. He had this base card and then some other base cards in the set like you'll see with some stars in larger sets, "League Leaders" being one of those subsets. This was one of the first years that the 1/1 printing plates were released so there are 12 total cards that are printing plates (3 card types, 4 colors). With 2004 being a banner year for Manning (a then record of 49 TDs) he had all sorts of cards released in 2005. I couldn't even venture to guess how many new cards of him are released per year but if Beckett is correct there were over 700 cards of Manning released in 2013.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Today's card is another 2013 Topps Chrome Football Shortprint Rc

Here is today's addition, a 2013 Topps Chrome #218B Mike Glennon RC. This is an interesting pickup because I'm finding that these cards are commonly selling for .99 cents plus shipping, a deal you'd never be able to find in a card shop. The demand on these shortprints is extremely low, especially now that the 2014 cards are out for people to chase. The trend I've noticed is that for all cards except for the really popular players values plummet a few weeks after release. I am pretty sure this is due to all the overproduction and over saturation of the market with hundreds of thousands of different football cards being released every season. After about 20 years you start to see values slowly pick up, once a set is 50 years old I think you see drastic increases, even commons from that many years ago are typically a few dollars. The lesson here is hang on to your cards. They might not be valuable right now but many years down the road that could change. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

3rd Aaron Dobson addition this month!

Today's card is the second AD card autograph of the month and the third overall card. The patch card from 2013 Finest was one of the better card designs of the year. It gave collectors a chance to pull some really cool colored patches out of every box, no small feat for Topps. Although the sticker autograph is prevalent here the design team did a good job of transitioning it so that it looks natural and doesn't hinder the look of the card. While this particular player may have cooled off considerably this season due to injury (only 3 catches this season) I love the look of these. 2014 Finest was not as well executed in terms of design. Here's an example of 2014:

Sorry Topps, you need to try again!

Monday, December 15, 2014

First card from 2014 Topps Chrome, one of the 73 RC autographs...

Most people would complain that this is a seventh rounder that will probably never become anything. Personally I like the card because the autograph is on-card and the piece is very well designed. I did a case break at Mike's Stadium Sports cards and bought 3 spots (Patriots, Bills and Cowboys) I didn't hit any of the autographs so I grabbed this one on Ebay for a few dollars as I mentioned in a post last week. While our case certainly wasn't very awe inspiring I'd like to remind people that this is a hobby. If you go into it expecting to make money, unless you are more savvy than most, don't expect to. Certainly you're not going to make money breaking boxes of cards. I got quite a few cool cards in the process, had fun and since I didn't hit any autographs I just made use of Ebay which is full of the rippers and flippers. Many people sell their cards for whatever reason and I got the hit out of a 50.00 box for a few bucks. What's to complain about? The hobby is much different than it was even 10 years ago and we just have to adapt. I like a combination of box breaks and Ebay since you get the best of both worlds. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Today's card is an encased X-fractor!

Today's card is a beautiful box-topper X-fractor card from the 2004 Topps Chrome set. The original holder has some scratches on it and the little Topps sticker is lifting up. I got it in some lot years ago and it's been forgotten until today. I'm not real sure what the Gold Xfractor configuration was but it was probably 1 per box. Some of these were autographed as well. I remember the Tatum Bell (former Broncos RB that was super hot in 2004) being a card that I wanted for the longest time. Now it's only a few bucks it's a good thing I didn't spring for it at the time. Doing a search on Ebay revealed around 1500 Tatum Bell cards on sale right now which is kind of amazing. Some sellers are wanting 2004 prices too which goes to show how delusional Ebay can be. Only 47 Bell cards have even sold in the last 3 months so there's tons of stock that people just can't get rid of.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Another pair of cards from 2004 Topps Chrome

Here's the next couple of cards I've added to my collection. The 2004 design is so clean and the refractor version is even better as you can see. This 2004 set is larger than the last few base sets in Topps chrome with the 2004 set being 275 cards deep and 2013 and 2014 having 220 cards. The flagship base Topps sets are always considerably larger than the chrome sets. I would imagine this is for condensed product although the chrome has more variation refractors to chase. Back in 2004 there were only 4 variations. The black was always my favorite back then because it looks so classy. The black still has that appeal now but I'd say my favorite refractor now has to be the sepia. The team logos look so much cooler when everything is muted to a monochromatic scheme like this.

This is what I'm talking about:

How cool is this card?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2004 Topps Chrome Ernest Wilford #192

Today's card comes at you from a break I did in 2004, as with many of these cards it just hasn't seen the light of day for many years. Wilford never really did much, but as a 4th round draft pick it wasn't ever likely that he would have much impact Reading the back of the card I found out he was a converted DE in college (VA Tech) and was thinking I hadn't heard of too many defensive ends converted to wide receiver. This was part of the trend of really big WRs that we saw in the late 1990s to the end of the 2000's. I'm not saying this trend is over but with the exception of Megatron most of these guys end up being too slow or too easily injured. David Boston was one of those monsterous players that had issues with being oversized.

Wilford ended up moving to tight end and signed with the Dolphins in 2008. He resigned with the Jags in 2009 and his last year in the league was 2010. He's now been the subject of legal troubles due to resisting arrest in a Jacksonville bar. Overall he had 156 catches in 6 years. Team buyers and set collectors like me are still happy to get his cards but that's about it!

 This cards would be relegated to the common bin forever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A pair of Topps Chrome WR rookies

The first card pictured here is only my second 2004 Topps Chrome card, #194 Jerricho Cotchery base RC. The next one is my 340th from 2013 Topps Chrome (2013 Topps Chrome #65B Aaron Dobson) The Dobson is the case hit short print photo variation card. I've been winning quite a few of these auctions lately for a few bucks so it's apparent that collectors aren't giving these much value except for the first few months after release. It also has to do with the player popularity as well. Not too many people are collecting Dobson this year as he hasn't really played much. The card like the Manning will always have interest because it's a star QB and he has tons and tons of collectors.

The 2004 card is pretty cool because it's a player that's still playing in the league after 10 years. That doesn't happen too much. While Cotchery has been little more than a WR3 on the teams he's been on he's had some longevity. I played "Guess those stats" in my head and I thought he had around 4,500 yards and about 15 TDs. I looked at his stats on and it's around 6,000 yards and 30 TDs. (One year he had 10 for the Steelers which I did not remember).

Both are pretty cool additions to my growing Chrome obsession. Enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Another card from 2013 Finest football

This is certainly a fine looking card and better than anything I pulled this weekend out of my Topps Chrome case break. That being said we may never see anything more from this guy than the 6 carries he had in his rookie season last year. Luckily I picked this one up in a large lot last year and paid pennies on the dollar for it to begin with. According to Rotoworld he'll be lucky to stay on with the Dolphins in 2015 due to being put on IR this year but you never know. Doesn't really matter to me but this card is a prime example of why card companies need to move away from the rookie based hits and put proven veterans in these products. Rookies are where the hype is so until that changes, this is what we're going to get.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Today's card is a case hit again and is a sweet autograph

This card was purchased over a year ago in a very well priced lot I got on Ebay when I was on a 2013 Finest buying spree. These cards have settled down quite a bit as collectors are chasing this years autographs and brands. I like the look of these better than this year's rookie cards simply because last year was on card. This year all the rookie cards are stickers which doesn't look as good.

Yesterday I got in on a case break of 2014 Chrome football and to say the least it was as underwhelming as all the forums have pointed out. In our case we go 0 supers, 0 printing plates, 12 autographs of guys like Logan Thomas of the Cardinals and Andre Williams of the Giants and Terrance West of the Browns. The rest were guys that nobody has heard of and probably never will. We got 10 base autographs, 1 refractor autograph (the Terrance West was numbered to 150) and one camo autograph of Damien Williams. The complaints are real. Not many colored refractor autographs and no autographs of any of the top guys. I bought in for 3 teams and got murdered in terms of value but I did have fun. I got the Patriots, Bills and Cowboys. I didn't get any autographs but got some refractors and some colored refractors from these teams. I also got some doubles of  Sammy Watkins to hold on to as well as the Patriots QB Jimmy Garropollo. In this case it would have made much more sense to go ahead with a box but you also can't beat the fun of a case break at a physical shop. I also got a ton of cards to add to my growing Chrome collection. I ended up purchasing a Denard Robinson Chrome base autograph from last year from a collector looking to trade some items to the owner of the store. I overpaid by a little bit (paid 15.00 for a card that sells from 5-10 on Ebay) but when you look at completed eBay sales on things most collectors don't want to part with their items for those flea market prices. Sometimes when the item is right there in front of you and you need it for your collection it's best just to pull the trigger.

While I had fun I can see first hand why box values are plummeting on this product every day. The risk for getting skunked is too great. Even on Ebay the singles are being fire-sold off. I picked up a base autograph of Michael Campanaro (WR for the Ravens) as well as a yellow printing plate of a Cowboys safety (Ahmad Dixon) for another 10 bucks combined which helped make up for the sting of this break. Had I pulled those cards in the break I would have been much more satisfied and this way I have an autograph from this year's chrome and a 1/1 which would beat the odds of many boxes.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Today's cards are pretty dang cool

       Today's cards feature a bunch of rookies from 2013, most people have been saying this class is the worst in recent memory. Watching Geno Smith throw the ball tonight less times than Tim Tebow one might be inclined to agree. Bell and Lacy have been two bright spots for this class though and the card up top, the Atomic Refractor Rookie is sort of a throwback to some of the die cut stuff they used to do many years ago with the Pacific brand. I believe these were two to a box so these three were hits from a box I broke last year. Earlier this year I added most of the base set to my organize but didn't really focus on adding all of the inserts. With my renewed devotion to all things Finest and Chrome lately I'm adding these sweet cards. Bell had 159 yards receiving yesterday, a very Chris Johnson circa 2010 type number. Collectors seem to finally be realizing that he may be every bit as good as Lacy if not better.