Thursday, March 31, 2016

Time For A Gatorade Bath And An Autograph or Two

Yesterday I showcased my first purchase with my Steiner Sports Browns QB promo gift card, today I am showcasing the other purchase. The one I had to have.

The timing on my gift card couldn't have arrived any better, Steiner was running a sale on certain items and one of the items was for a dual signed photo from Super Bowl 42 featuring Giants FB Madison Hedgecock and 2-time Super Bowl winning coach and one of my favorite all-time coaches, Tom Coughlin.

This 16x20 photo is full of color (they had a sepia toned version one on sale too but I liked this one much more), life and feature two autographs I don't have and wanted, especially Coughlins.
I wished the Giants could had made the kinda splashes they made this year in Free Agency in past years when Coughlin was coach and maybe he wouldn't have had to "step down" after last season. Images of another Lombardi trophy pop in my head thinking about it.

Either way, there is no argument that this guy is heading to the Hall and I wanted to make sure I added his autograph before he does so.

Thank you Tom for all that you did for the Giants organization and thank you Steiner Sports for running that Browns QB promo.

What do you guys think of this addition? Do you collect coach autos?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Have A Slice,Find Some Topps:Marketside Pizza And Pack Break

I was at my local Walmart today, and by local I mean an hour away so I don't go to often, and I was really itching for some cards especially some new baseball ones. For the first time in my collecting career, I have broken tradition and haven't bought any 2016 Topps yet. My budget hasn't been the best.

So today, I found myself in that same scenario, have food or buy cards. Obviously, I have to eat....or do I?? 
Anyways, it popped into my head as I walked down the refrigerated section that Topps recently announced a deal with Walmart where they included a 3-card pack of cards inside of Walmart's Marketside pizza. Then it hit me, cards and food together. That's gotta be a win-win for me and especially on a day like this. So I picked up one of these bad boys......
Inside, I found this.
Then under that, I found this.

I do worry however as the pack wasn't even attached to the box and anyone could easily just go up and snatch these out from under the pizza as the package wasn't sealed either. I think at least the pizza box needs a seal.
Inside of the pack, I was able to find my first 2016 Topps cards that I opened myself and a Topps Bunt code that I just tossed to the side. As you know, I am not a fan of digital cards but those who are will appreciate that addition.
Each card in the Marketside set has a decent design with colored photography and a "digitalized square blur" top 1/3rd of the card. The Topps symbol is in one top corner and the Marketside symbol in the other. Not sure if there is a hidden meaning on this, but I noticed that Marketside was always on the side the player was swinging.

Joe Mauer was the first card in my pack

Followed by A.J. Pollock

Then to finish it up, Andrew McCutchen.
In case you are curious by the card back, here is that on my McCutchen.

The checklist on these cards is very promising with the mix of rookies, vets and even a couple of mascots. Here is the list of players you can find.

1 Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
2 Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
3 Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
4 Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
5 Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
6 Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
7 Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals
8 Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
9 Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
10 David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
11 Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
12 Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
13 Troy Tulowitzki, Toronto Blue Jays
14 Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
15 Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
16 Phillie Phanatic, Philadelphia Phillies
17 Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
18 Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
19 Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
20 Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees
21 Luis Severino, New York Yankees
22 Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
23 Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers
24 Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
25 Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
26 Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
27 Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
28 Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics
29 Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
30 Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
31 Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
32 Hector Olivera, Atlanta Braves
33 Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies
34 Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
35 Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres
36 Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
37 Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
38 A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks
39 Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
40 George Springer, Houston Astros
41 Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
42 Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
43 Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins
44 Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels
45 Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
46 Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs
47 Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
48 Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
49 Mr. Met, New York Mets
50 Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

I think to make the chase even more fun would have been to add a few Sp's. No sparkles and such, just plain photo variations. Maybe an idea for the next round as these will only continue to be found til June.
Overall, I really dig the marketing idea by Topps and whoever came up with it as it is excellent. First off, pizza is a very popular food among adults and especially children that could get hooked on collecting when finding these. Second, they created a nice checklist of players and the timing to release this at the start of the season was perfect. Third, a lot of us collectors who collected oddball cards that were featured in food products from the 70's, 80's and 90's will completely love this chase and it's a great sell for Walmart as well as collectors will be buying their product to get them.

Before closing, I must also note that the pizza isn't terribly bad either. It's actually surprisingly good. That will be another key element to this as you don't want to buy hobby cardboard and something that tastes like it.
What do you guys think of this card/pizza combo?

WELLS, Here Is A Game Used Locker Room Nameplate

I am months behind on posting what I got with my $100 Steiner Sports gift card from the Cleveland Brown's QB promo. If you don't know what that was about, you can find that info on my blog, HERE.

One of the things I wanted to make sure to get was something game used. Something from the Yankees and something from a player I knew, while also not overspending on it so I could get the main item I wanted, which I will post about tomorrow.

At first I really wanted a game used ball since I don't own one. But, decided I would wait. Second, I looked at some game used equipment like gloves, it was a bit steep and I wanted to get more than one item with my gift card so I had to turn it away. So being frugal I continued to search the site until I stumbled upon something that not only fit within the budget, but also was game used and by a player I knew.

And that's how I ended up with this sweet Vernon Wells game used Locker Room name plate. It's going to look great in the man cave.

Wells was best known for his years in Toronto as an All-Star Gold Glover and not his one in NY where he put up minimal numbers and only hit 11 home runs before calling it a career at the end of the 2013 season. Despite his lack of production and impact, as most of us NY fans say, once a Yankee, always a Yankee no matter what. (not unless they play for the Red Sox afterwards then they are dead to me JK)
What do you guys think of this new addition? Do you own one of these? Any big Vernon Wells fans thoughts?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Uniform Versus:Denver Nuggets

The one thing about the Uniform Versus segment is sometimes you don't always pick the "updated" version as I have done in the past two segments. Sometimes retro is simply better.

When I take a look at these retro Denver Nuggets uniforms, I honestly think, cool and at the same time please wear longer shorts. Not only do these look good on cardboard, but can you imagine the nice swatches they would make on a jersey card? Would almost eliminate a single color jersey pull of them.

These jerseys were their road uniform from 1982/83-1984/85 season. They switched the color to a lighter blue, but, still same design and ran those until the 1992/93 season.

Now we take a look at their current uni's. Kinda bland and down to a single color. It doesn't look awful just basic. I do however like the shorts better as it fits the uniform better.

These have been their home uniforms since the 2008 season.
When taking a look at these in terms of collecting and on cardboard, I have to go retro on this one. I know I chose one home vs one away, but even still, the opposite version of the retro in white still looks better than the solid light blue of the current. Either way, retro wins today for me.
What do you guys think? Retro? Updated uni's? Let's hear your arguments for both in comments!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Top 5:1991 Upper Deck Baseball (500+) Base Cards

Oh yes, the simple yet elegant base cards Upper Deck put out the first three years they were in the hobby. Even with a border, they knew exactly what they were doing and even though the designs were similar, they just continued to up-their-game and make a presence in the hobby.

Today, I want to take a look at my Top 5 favorite base cards from number 500 and up. You may agree on some, but not others. That's what makes this hobby fun, difference of opinions and difference of likes. If we all felt the same, well, we would be pretty bored.

Starting at #5, Joe Carter doing the original "bat flip". Wonder his thought on Bautistas....

#4 you just want to say FORE! or I got it, I got it, I got it! You don't see a lot of these kinda angles anymore. I will also note I totally dig these Expo uni's.

#3 has you wondering how often do you get to see images of players signing things at ball games on cards? Answer, not very often. I like the images that capture more than just the game on the field and showcases a bit of a players personality as some won't sign..

#2 is not only is this Faries rookie, being able to capture this moment on the field is amazing. Safe, out, you make the call. Dirt on the plate too!

And #1, I know it's nothing over the top spectacular, but, sliding is just as important in baseball as a bat and ball. Once again, Upper Deck went above and beyond with this image of Fernandez helping us feel like we are right there on the base waiting try and tag him.

I think my selection of the Top 5 cards from 1991 Upper Deck cards #d 500 and up is pretty solid. However, would love to hear your take! Would you choose one over the other on this list? Do you have your own list from cards #500 and up? Are you offended I left the Bagwell rookie off this list? Let me hear it!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunday's With Rodney:1997 Collector's Edge Excalibur Crusaders /750

I talk about Collectors Edge a lot when I discuss the 90's and it's simply because they came out with some of the coolest things.

Another one of those cool things was in their 1997 Excalibur product. The insert is called Crusaders.

Inserted only in retail packs at a rate of 1:30, this 25-card set features action color player photos on acetate cards die cut in the shape of a knight chess piece. The name of the player is printed on gold foil in a medieval kinda design.
The back of the card looks as great as the front. Each of these cards in the set were limited to 750 each. This number may seem like a lot in today' standards, but back then numbered cards actually mattered.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mail Day Saturday:Reader's Mail Day Part 1:Little Of Everything

I posted last weekend about my latest mail day from Sport Card Collectors reader Grady M and thought it was time I started to break this down to show what was hidden inside of this box.

To save myself some time and to save this from being broken down to 7 or 8 posts, I cut my pictures in half and made stacks for certain sections. But, I will do my best to generalize what was in there.

Up first, you can't see it that well, but there was a stack of NY Ranger base cards. Mostly from Upper Deck.
 Next, TONS of inserts from Topps, Stadium Club, Heritage and so on.
I pulled this Randy Johnson out because it was my first 2016 Topps baseball insert. I have been really slacking with my box busts recently. I haven't opened any 2015 Topps Chrome baseball or football and no 2016 Topps baseball which are usually musts for me. That's what happens when funds are low.

 I also pulled this out cause I really dig the design. Topps did a great job with these perspectives in my opinion.
First Pitch is one of my favorite inserts from Topps flagship in some time. It's outside the box thinking and I like that. OH, not to mention I got a new Griffey from Gypsy Queen in the bottom right.
Tons of minis! Gypsy Queen, Allen and Ginter and Upper Deck Goodwin Champions.
And to finish it up, a sharp looking CC Sabathia jersey card. Just wished CC was the same guy he was when he first arrived in NY.
This is only one of four parts I am posting on this mail day. Plenty more to show coming up soon.

Friday, March 25, 2016

CONTEST! Sport Card Collectors 4 -Year Blogversary One!

I know this contest is a bit late as my blogversary was on the 1st, but I was waiting on a few things to fall into place before I could move forward with it.

First up, I would like for you guys to thank Tracy Hackler and Panini America for providing the reviews that provided today's prizes.

Secondly, BCW Supplies was kind enough to also help in this giveaway. Please give them a thanks as well.

Third, thanks to all of those who read Sport Card Collectors. Whether it's daily. Whether you just found it online. Whether it's when something catches your eye. Or maybe it's just to enter contests, even though I will say you are missing out. Thank you for checking in. I wouldn't be doing this without you reading it. I mean, what's the point??

Now onto the loot that ONE WINNER will take home.....

(not pictured, the /35 Todd Frazier from Donruss too!)
Lots of numbered goodness here!
Five hits!

The BCW goodies!
Now onto how to enter to win this!
  1. MUST BE A U.S. RESIDENT to enter or have a shipping address in the U.S. Shipping costs have gone haywire and I can't afford to ship everywhere. Also was one of the sponsor rules. Sorry. This is always hard to do as I appreciate all readers but I hope you all understand.
  2. Random winner will be chosen after 7 randoms
  3. LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW telling me which new SEGMENT you like the most and which older segment you miss the most on the blog. (if you can't remember them, just check the blog archive at the bottom of the blog and see posts that are repeated from anything before March 8th. After March 8th are the newer ones)
  4. EARN AN EXTRA ENTRY FOR SHARING THIS CONTEST ON YOUR BLOG AND/OR ON TWITTER. Make sure to leave your link in comments too so I can count it. If not, I won't be able to give you the credit. Commenting with it is very important!!
  5. Sport Card Collectors or it's owner (person who runs the blog), WILL NOT be held responsible for lost, stolen or damaged mail. Sorry had to add this in since someone tried to scam me once about this.
  6. Contest starts today, ends on Friday, April 1st 2016. Winner will be announced in a separate post on Saturday April 2nd. 
  7. Don't forget to thank the above sponsors of this contest and I won't mind a thank you as well :)

REVIEW:2015-2016 Select Basketball (TOP NOTCH BREAK with 1/1)

I had previously only opened one Select product and that was for football. It was an okay break and some spiffy looking cards. However, opening this basketball one, I was blown away.

In every box of 2015-2016 Select basketball, you will find 12 Packs Per Box and 5 Cards Per Pack. You will also find Three Autographs or Memorabilia Per Box along with Twelve Prizms with some of those being  numbered. Boxes will run you roughly $135.

Select features three 100-card base sets that are unique in design and scarcity. Look for the Courtside Base Set that falls two per box on average. New to this year is twenty cards in the Courtside Base Set that features players with their rookie year teams and photography! 

With so much to chase and try to put together, this to me as a set collector is a dream.

Here are the designs broken down for you.


Now onto the many inserts. Well, parallels.
You get up to 12 Prizm parallels per box mixed with those many base card set chases. To make it easier on you guys and myself, I am just going to list the parallels right here and then have you enjoy the gallery after.

Concourse Prizms: Silver Prizms, Tri-Color Prizms, Blue Prizms #/249, Red Prizms #/149, Orange Prizms #/60, Tie-Dye Prizms #/25, Pink Prizms (#/20 - 2016 Industry Summit), Gold Prizms #/10, Green Prizms #/5, Black Prizms 1/1 

Premier Level Prizms: Silver Prizms Die Cut, Tri-Color Prizms Die-Cut, Light Blue Prizms Die-Cut #/199, Purple Prizm Die-Cut #/99, Tie-Dye Prizms Die-Cut #/25, Gold Prizms Die-Cut #/10, Green Prizms Die-Cut #/5, Black Prizms Die-Cut 1/1 

Courtside Prizms: Silver Prizms, Copper Prizms #/49, Tie-Dye Prizms #/25, Gold Prizms #/10, Green Prizms #/5, Black Prizms 1/1

Groovy man!

And boom! Gold Prizm /10 of Spurs Kawhi Leonard

Back of the card. 10/10 at that!

I was a big fan of all of these parallels. Would make for a fun rainbow chase of your favorite player.

Up next, the hits! It went big here too just like with the Leonard gold.

First, a Sparks Memorabilia card of John Wall. Cool concept and design.  There are Prizm parallels of these too that I bet really spark(le).

My first autograph pull is a Die Cut rookie auto Wave Prizm of Pat Connaughton numbered to 10! That makes two cards numbered to 10 in this box. Can that be beat?? Well....

You bet it can!!

BIG BOOM! A Die Cut autograph Power Prizm 1/1 of Norman Powell!

Back of the card

Great break right?????? This wasn't the first great break I have seen of this product either. I visited a few other sites to see if this was a rare case and it wasn't.

Overall, this is powerful product with lots to offer. If you love chasing base sets, collecting rookie cards, PARALLEL chasing, nice looking autograph cards then this product is for you. The price per box isn't too bad either compared to a few other higher end Panini products I broke recently on here. This box provided much more boom than those did.

To see other images of what the product offers that way it draws you in even more, I strongly suggest you go follow this LINK and check out the Panini's Knight's Lance blog for visuals.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Beckett Files:COVERing My Collection

In the previous The Beckett Files, I discussed the price guides and whether you guys use them or not.

In this post, I want to take a look at something else I get Beckett's for, the covers. (Don't worry about this segment series ending quite yet however, I plan on going back inside the magazine in the next The Beckett Files)

I don't collect them as much as I used to, but in the 90's I would collect Beckett's specifically for who was on the cover and keep the magazine in the best condition I could. Storing them wasn't easy, but I found using sheet pages and binders worked best.

When it came to collecting the covers, it couldn't be just anybody on it. It had to feature either a special event or one of my PC players/teams. One of my bigger collection of Beckett's is of Griffey since I use to PC so much in the 90's.

This one was one of my favorite Griffey ones except I don't believe I ever got the 4 in the 24 cover. Either way, I always thought it looked cool.

Here's one with Griffey as a Red with Bonds and A-Rod. Obviously only one of these guys hit their home runs the truthful way.

And here is one of the latest Beckett's discussing Griffey's introduction into the Hall Of Fame. This one obviously had to find it's way in the collection.
Some of my other favorite magazines over the time are the June 1990 issue with Bo Jackson on the cover, 1990 July Ken Griffey Jr cover, A Brett Favre one (can't remember the year but it had a cool jersey design to it) and of course the Super Bowl 46 Champions NY Giants to just name a few. There are others, believe me.

I tried to cut down on collecting these as much as I am putting my main focus of my collecting strictly on cards and nothing else. But, if the occasional one pops up that I think I need, well, I will most likely grab it. Especially if it involves Griffey or the NY Giants.

So don't make me feel alone in collecting these. How many of you collect Becketts for their covers? Which one is your favorite if you do?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March Madness Card Company Finale

The March Madness Card Company Finals were a back and forth battle that had forced a tie and went into overtime that ran for 12-hours yesterday.

What happened in those 12 hours, well, a back and forth battle that eventually ended in yet another tie.

Here is how I am going to end it, I know I said I didn't want a tie, but I feel the fans have left me no choice with a downed amount of votes yesterday and the ending the same.

In the first annual March Madness Card Company Finals, we will end in a tie.

Panini America and Topps will share a championship this year. Unless you guys want to try one more day of voting? If so, leave your plead in comments below.

To recap this years,  I was a bit surprised how Topps almost didn't make it this far with a barely defeat in the first round to Upper Deck and then almost losing to SA-GE. I was also shocked how fast Leaf exited and how far SA-GE made it. Cryptozoic made some noise along the way and almost came back to beat Panini to be in the finals. It would have been interesting to see if they matched up with Topps instead of Panini whether Topps could have beaten them.

What will happen next year? Well, a lot of things may shift the voters with so many licensing changes ahead. Panini grabbing the NASCAR license and snatched the NFL one away that may hurt Topps. But, with so many baseball card enthusiasts and Topps fans, we could eventually look at another tie if they meet again. However, with other companies on the rise it will make things tighter.

I think what really matters is where the match-ups fall in a competition like this. That will play the biggest role and will be interesting to see next year how that goes.

Thanks to everyone who took a second out to vote. I am looking forward to doing this again next year.

REVIEW: 2016 Donruss Baseball

One of my favorite revives Panini has done, Donruss baseball comes packed with surprises at a reasonable price. Why do I feel this way, well, you are gonna have to read on!
In every box of 2016 Donruss baseball are 24 Packs with 8 Cards Per Pack. You should find Three Autographs or Memorabilia Cards Per Box with a chance at finding the rare San Diego Chicken relic and autograph cards. Boxes run about $65.

You should also find in every box,
- 24 BASE 1982

There are 150 base cards in the set. The base set is a bit bland in design, but I think it's because Panini can't use logos. In that case, I would love some throwback designs instead of using the throwbacks for inserts. Sort of like Heritage does.

The checklist is built of stars of today and yesterday. Find names like Pedro..
And my boy Ken Griffey Jr!

There are base card Sp's as well. I pulled this one of MVP Josh Donaldson. Not sure the odds on these but I found a visual showcase of them on Cardboard Connection, HERE.

Every pack you should find a Rated Rookie, 1982 Design and possibly an insert or parallel.
Rated Rookies bring top talent from the 2016 rookie class including Kyle Schwarber. You can also find new parallels to 2016 with the addition Black Borders, Pink Borders, Test Proofs of one-of-one Printing Plates. I found Corey Seager in my box. My first rookie of him.

Other fun Donruss inserts you can find. Diamond Kings, Masters Of The Game, The Rookies and The Prospects.

Here are a couple of the base card parallels. Ripken is a black /199 and Rizzo is an unnumbered pink. I even found a blue border parallel from the USA baseball set.

Returning after a 10-year hiatus, the iconic Power Alley insert. Find the games top power hitters at two per
box, on average! My other in this box, Josh Donaldson.

Last year Panini highlighted 1981 Donruss and this year we turn to 1982. Find veteran and retired players in
striking poses at one per pack. Look for new Holometric and Holoflow parallels! I pulled a regular and pink one of Cal.

Here was one of my bigger pulls of the box, a black/white Test Proof /25 of Kris Bryant. This is a tough pull from the research I have done. These are just base cards turned a color in all reality. There are many versions of these with different numbering.

Two iconic Donruss inserts in Elite Series and Elite Dominator. Both add sparkle and shine to the product. Both are numbered as well.

More base card parallels. The Frazier is a silver one numbered to 35. All of these have different numbering.

And card number 151 in the set is of The Famous San Diego Chicken. Totally dig this tribute card of him in the product. Unique find.

Now onto the hits, which to me, I had fun without them. But I know it today's hobby most can't live without them.

Up first is a Back To The Future jersey card of Jeff Samardzija . These jersey cards take a look back at players in a former uniform. You can't tell from here, there is a nice size swatch involved.

Up next, an Ichiro Bat card. Nice looking card and is numbered to 49.

My lone autograph is Donruss Signature Series which takes me back to the late 90's. Nice looking card all around.
Overall, you would be INSANE if you didn't give this product a try. So much value packed in here for a such little cost. I would take this one over Topps flagship any day. Look at a box break of that for about the same cost of this one. Huge difference. I guess what turns people away is the fact there are no logos. If you can push yourself past that, you will be very happy. If not, you are really missing out on a winner here.

All I know is, it left me wanting more.