Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bad Wax's Half Million Hits

Bad Wax is closing in on half a million hits and Chemgod is holding a contest to see who can get closest to the actual time and date of the 500,000 hit. Stop by the site and leave your guess for your chance to win.

Also, if you are interested in creating your own custom cards or just enjoy seeing what other people create take a look at Chemgod's
Custom Card Blog. There are some very original designs that could easily compete with some of the big boys in card design.

Banner courtesy of

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Panini's Coup

While it has not been announced officially, Panini is broadcasting loud and clear that Kobe Bryant has signed with the company. This is a huge coup for a company that less then a year ago had almost no market shares within the United States.

Since Panini purchased Donruss in March they have signed exclusive deals with the NBA, the NFL Draft, a number of NBA Lottery picks, the NBA Hall Of Fame and most recently stole Kobe Bryant away from Upper Deck. Apparently Panini has come to America with no intent on sitting in third place behind Topps and UD.

Signing Kobe Bryant was no small feat and you wonder what else may be up their sleeves in the near future, only time will tell. How will this affect the upcoming Panini basketball sets?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Panini or panini?

My newest addition to the “WTF?” file, I present to you a Blake Griffin autographed panini. When I say panini I am describing a grilled flatbread sandwich not the company Panini-Donruss. To add to the complete oddity of the entire situation is that the sandwich was signed by Blake Griffin at the Upper Deck Store in Huntington Beach and was officially certified authentic by Upper Deck to only be voided shortly afterwards.

The collector has since eaten half the sandwich but is currently offering up the second half of the sandwich for auction. The current bid is a little over $120 with 6 days left in the auction. For your winning bid you will receive the half of sandwich along with a COA that has been voided and is missing the actual certifying hologram sticker.

You have to wonder who thought it was a good idea to certify an autographed sandwich? I do understand that the autograph itself was authentic therefore logically could be certified but this is definitely an interesting dilemma.

I do have to say, it does take a wild imagination to even think about having someone autograph a sandwich and that Blake Griffin has a sense of humor for actually signing it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What Drives Some Dealers?

What is wrong with people? Apparently no matter what oddball card you have, if it is graded a 10 with a population of 1 the card is apparently worth twice its weight in gold.

Is this Ken Griffey Jr 1989 Starting Lineup card really worth $7,500? Even being the only PSA 10 out there I find it hard to cough up the dough for this one. You can walk in to any number of card or toy shops around the Seattle area and still find a 1989 Griffey SLU hanging on the wall selling for less then $75-100. But I guess there are some collectors out there that must complete their collection no matter what the cost.

I can come up with a number of options I would opt for before I laid down a dime for a graded SLU card. Just a few random selections:
A Game-used Autographed Away Jersey, Game-used Autographed Shoes and the ULTIMATE Ken Griffey Jr Autograph card. This card is the shit; it is the autograph to have no matter whom you collect. Griffey and Mantle together, does it get any better?

When the card came out a friend offered me the single-signed Griffey version of the card for $50 but I was holding out for the dual-signed card, I kick myself now.

So, in the end the choice seems obvious… a game-used auto jersey, game-used auto shoes and the Gold Crown of Griffey & Mantle autograph cards with well over $2500 still left over. Being a Griffey collector the choice is easy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

2009 Topps Sterling Baseball

Topps recently released a preview of the 2009 Topps Sterling Baseball set, which is scheduled to be released in January 2010. The base set is 130 cards and contains a decent checklist including many of the standard players from the past, present and future. Ruth, Cobb, Cal Ripken Jr and Alex Rodriguez all are on the checklist as expected but you will also find future stars like David Price and Joba Chamberlin on the checklist.
Obviously absent are players currently under contract with Upper Deck like Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr.

The boxes contain 5 cards, plus a Mystery Pack, and are expected to have a SRP around $230 each. Included in each box will be 3 base cards and 2 hits. The 2 hits will be one Relic Card #/25 and either one Autograph or Relic Card #/10 or less. The Mystery Pack will contain a Base Parallel card that is numbered and framed or contain a Cut Signature from Classic Baseball or Historical Figure.

As with previous releases there are plenty of autographs and relics available to pull including Multi-Autograph and Multi-Relic cards. Additionally there is a Sterling Spectators Relics set that includes relics from John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, George W Bush and Franklin D Roosevelt. Does anyone else find it odd that a five-card set contains 4 strong Democrat politicians and a Republican politician with a “less then Sterling” legacy? This leads me to believe that George W Bush was an after-thought addition to the set. Topps has some serious pull when it comes to hits, you are telling me that they could not get relics of Regan or Eisenhower for a top end set?

One thing that you will notice, besides the Base cards, the hits are the focus of the card design. Many of the inserts are basically relics and sticker autographs with a tiny image of the player. The Chronicles, Sterling Moments and Jumbo Swatch inserts are the worst offenders of the entire set. I know people love to pull relics but when you have to flip the card over so you can read the player info to figure out whom you pulled then something seriously went wrong during the design phase.

I am not down on the entire set, like I said I actually love the simplicity of the Base card. The border really accents the player photo, the silver foil name and border design really pop out. The Sterling Cut Signature cards are pretty sweet too; a cut signature and three relics are a nice pull. The relics are not overpowering either; the cut signature is the focus of the card especially when the signature is clean like the Babe Ruth and Mickey mantle cards.

Some of the book cards are nicely designed too while others seemed to be put together solely around the relics. The Bat Barrel Name Plate really caught my eyes. The blue coloring is nice and sets off the autograph and relics while the barrel sits on the opposite side. This set up works well, the player, autograph and relics are not over-powering and have a visually appealing look.

The Season Autograph Relic set is another nicely design insert. The player stands out nicely and the relics, while small, are presented well along the bottom of the card while the autograph sits on the opposite side from the player’s image. The coloring is done well and the background design adds a nice tough.

While the Season Auto Relic cards are nicely designed the basic Season Relic cards are just appalling in comparison. You have to wonder why Topps would create two different overall designs for the same set (minus the autograph). With the base Season Relic set they should have placed the relics along the bottom with the players image on one side and the team logo on the opposite side in place of the autograph. This would have offered continuity throughout the set. I added a mock-up design of what I am talking about to compare the original Sterling Season relic with what I suggest.

This is one product that I don’t think I will be picking up any boxes. Being a Griffey collector I have nothing to shoot for here and with my luck I would end up pulling a George Sisler or Dan Haren theme box. Not bad players but definitely not someone I would be interested in collecting. If any cards do draw my interest I think I would be better off picking up singles.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fossil Cards

Last month I touched on the blurring of lines between sports cards and non-sports cards. I bring this up because I was reading a story on the Upper Deck Blog regarding a special 1/1 redemption card from the 2008-2009 Champs Hockey set.

In the 2008-09 Champs set Upper Deck included redemption cards for a very rare insert, actual fossils and other artifacts. These shadowbox cards, which are suppose to be up to 10 times the thickness of a regular card, contain various fossils including femur bones and teeth. The top dog from the set is a 1/1 Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth, the entire tooth, and as pointed out in the story the redemption card for this treasure is still out there in a pack somewhere on a shelf. With other fossil cards showing up on eBay ranging from about $90 and up you have to wonder how much this bad boy might fetch.

This is a cool insert, I would love to pull any of these fossils but I don’t see the connection between dinosaur fossils and hockey. What brought UD to create an insert like this for the Champs set?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Patch Works

Player: Jeff Bagwell
Team: Houston Astros
Set: 2002 Fleer Flair - Jersey Heights (Hot Numbers)
Card # : No #
Serial # : 001/100
Description: This is one of the cooler patches that I have pulled. A white grass-stained jersey swatch, the edge of lettering appears along the right side. Colors include, white jersey, black, gray and red edging.

Why does Fleer create a bad ass patch and then center the white jersey portion? Really, you have a 3 color patch off-center and under the die-cut window while the white jersey stands dead center. Woohoo!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jake's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I was watching the Cowboys vs. Bucs game this morning, and while I was wondering if Tony Romo will ever live up to the hype I caught a “highlight” of the Eagles vs. Panthers game.

What happened to Jake Delhomme today? If today is a sign of things to come, his better years are well behind him now. Delhomme went an abysmal 7/17; 73 yards and 4 interceptions plus 1 fumble lost. That equates to a 14.7 Passing Rating, a miserable outing on any level. Carolina may be in for a very long season if this keeps up and a sudden down turn in the value of his cards will surely follow.

2009 Topps Football

Now that the first game is in the books, it is official, the NFL season is here and ready to entertain. I am a huge fan of football and collecting football cards is a passion for me, so once the sets start showing up on the shelf I start grabbing up packs.

A few weeks back I started with grabbing up some packs of 2009 Topps Football. A basic set with some potential to it mainly because of the photography. I have to say that the photography for this set is quite good, the action shots are amazing and from what I have seen there are not many poor selections used for the cards.

Some of the images actually amaze me at the detail that the photographer was able to catch. Take a look at Santonio Holmes tiptoeing down the line from the Super Bowl.

Topps even got players in their new uniforms like TO in Buffalo and Kyle Orton in Denver. This is pretty impressive considering the early release of the set. Outside of the occasional poor photo selection like this Santonio Moss card I am very happy with this Topps release.

There are very few problems with the set; good checklist, most of the shots are great action shots and 1 hit per box (3 hits per Jumbo box). Not bad for a relatively inexpensive purchase. Some of the hits include Letter Patches, autographed Letter Patches, Dual auto cards and Jumbo Relic cards.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

2009 Topps National Chicle

Today Topps released a sneak peak of an all-painted set, the 2009 Topps National Chicle Football set, which is scheduled to be released later this year. No other information has been released besides a preview of a single card, Mark Sanchez, and a list of the artists who provided work towards the set.

The artists include:

Ken Branch
Jason Davies
Brett Farr
Chris Henderson
Don Higgins
Dave Hobrecht
Brian Kong
Mike Kupka
Paul Lempa
Monty Sheldon

Being a vintage collector I love the original 1935 National Chicle set and more or less I have been impressed by many of the retro releases over the last few years but I do not see any connection between the original set and the Topps 2009 National Chicle set

As an artist I am intrigued here and I will reserve judgment until more information is released and I can get a better overview at what is to come from the set.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


As 9/9/09 comes to a close in the next couple of hours I decided to gather together a list of prominent and notable athletes who have worn the #9 throughout the history of sports. I am slotting the players randomly and in no way rank them in any order other then to present them.

In no particular order I present my top 9 who wore #9:

#1 The Splendid Splinter himself, Ted Williams

#2 The man known as Mr. October, only one name needed here… Reeeeeggggggiiiieeee
He wore #9 while playing 9 years for the Oakland A's.

#3 He is still under 30 but has already won the NBA Championship 3 times. He is a definite Hall Of Famer, Tony Parker.

#4 He defined the Power Forward position, players like Charles Barkley, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett owe their ass-kicking talent to the man. I present to you Bob Pettit

#5 With a name like Sonny you need no further introduction, Sonny Jurgensen.

#6 He may be young but he has overcome being tossed on the junk heap by the Chargers, came back from injury and still has made the Saints a respectable team. Drew Brees.

#7 Mr. Hockey himself, his career spanned over 50 years total, Gordie Howe.

#8 Not much can be said negatively about the Rocket. He was a goal scoring machine, Maurice Richard.

#9 Nomar’s better half and an all around soccer guru, Mia Hamm

I have a few players that deserve recognition for one reason or another:

While he wore #23 for most of his career, he wore #9 for his country when it needed redemption on the basketball court. I give recognition to the Dream Teamer Michael Jordan.

Gretzky wore the Double 9s for so many years. He has won the Stanley Cup, he has won the MVP and today he receives recognition.

The final player to receive recognition was a hard-nose football player who gave it his all every time he stepped on the field and sadly lost his life at a young age, I give a special recognition to Steve McNair.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Patch Works

Player: Jose Canseco
Team: Chicago White Sox
Set: 2002 Fleer Platinum - National Patch Time
Card # : No #
Serial # : 7/150 Handwritten
Description: The worst thing about this card is that the patch is actually underneath the right side of the die cut.

Why the hell would Fleer create a patch card and then not even center the patch?

Friday, September 4, 2009

To Bid or Not To Bid...

I am selling off a portion of my collection and decided to break them up in to lots to sell on eBay. So while looking through other collections that are being sold to get some ideas on how to present my auctions I came across this wonderful offering.

I am speechless; I believe this may actually top some of the delusional Craigslist Idiots.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

eTopps... Time for a Change?

Now in to its 9th year is eTopps loosing the novelty that made it a splash in the first place? When Topps announced in 2000 that they would be releasing a series of digital cards I jumped on the opportunity to enroll in the beta testing. The Internet was still in its infancy in regards to collecting and I am a computer geek so this joined two of my favorite hobbies in one place.

The first release was the 2000 Football Set; a 12 card set that included some of the most popular players at the time including Peyton Manning, Randy Moss and Emmitt Smith. Almost all of the cards were limited to less then 1,000 and I was just lucky enough to purchase an Emmitt Smith card before everything was sold out.

Now 7 years later and it seems that eTopps may be loosing steam. With well over 1,000 releases many of the cards are selling for well below their initial release prices. There is only a small percentage that tops $10 and besides the Mickey Mantle Set none even top $100. Is this a sign of the future for the product or can it remain purely as a novelty with the occasional hit to draw in the collectors?

I understand that people are still purchasing digital cards from eTopps; I have even attempted to buy some myself over the years with little luck. I am just wondering if Topps should possibly limit their releases to just special occasions and limited sets and cut out the annual releases all together.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Seattle Sounders FC win the U.S. Open Cup

Today introduced another first for the expansion Seattle Sounders FC. With a hard-fought win against perennial favorite D.C. United at RFK Stadium, the Sounders bring home the U.S. Open Cup trophy. Not the greatest accomplishment that a team can win but definitely says something about this up and coming Seattle team.

The Sounders return to regular season play on September 12th when they return to RFK Stadium to play D.C. United again, but this time it is to battle for playoff position with the Seattle Sounders FC sitting 4 points out of an Automatic-Bid. Currently they are in first place for an At-Large bid to the playoffs but an Automatic-Bid would be so much better.

2009 NFL National Treasure Pen Pals

Today Panini gave Beckett an exclusive look at the 2009 National Treasure Pen Pals Autograph insert, I know… shocker that Beckett got the exclusive on the announcement. But I do want to give them the credit for releasing the information, something they should have done regarding a recent Topps announcement covering the fake RPAs.

The Pen Pals set is a 31-card set containing 84 total autographs, the cards contain between 2 and 4 autographs of the 2009 rookies. The 2009 National Treasure set is scheduled to be released in January 2010.

The set has some potential; some of the highlights include on-card signatures, a decent checklist and signatures signed in one of 3 different colored inks. There is no information about serial numbers or SPs, so I do not know if the colored inks differentiate the cards in any way.

On the flip side a huge sore spot is that the cards are generic and besides some foil and team logo they are essentially clones of the Panini 2009-10 Basketball Pen Pals inserts, which was previewed only 2 weeks ago. The sets are being released 3 months apart from each other; Panini should have re-created the Pen Pals set for their football release.

The checklist is listed below; Michael Crabtree appears on 9 different cards, Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno both appear 6 times each and surprisingly Matt Sanchez appears on only 3 cards.

Ramses Barden
Rhett Bomar
Andre Brown
Donald Brown
Kenny Britt
Deon Butler

Glen Coffee
Michael Crabtree
Aaron Curry

Nate Davis

Josh Freeman

Percy Harvin
Darrius Heyward-Bey

Juaquin Iglesias

Jeremy Maclin
Mohamed Massquoi
LeSean McCoy
Stephan McGee
Knowshon Moreno

Hakkem Nicks

Brandon Pettigrew

Javon Ringer
Brian Robiskie

Mark Sanchez
Matt Stafford

Mike Thomas
Patrick Turner

Chris Wells
Pat White
Derek Williams

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Upper Deck Signs Clemente Deal

In another exclusive announcement, Upper Deck has announced today that they have signed an exclusive deal with Roberto Clemente’s estate giving them the rights to produce Clemente related products. He is expected to appear in at least 6 Upper Deck products in 2010 with his first release being the Upper Deck 2009 Ultimate Collection, which is scheduled for release in December of this year.

Roberto Clemente had an amazing 18-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates where he played in almost 2500 games, batted .317 with 240 HRs. He also won the World Series Championship twice. Even though he played for 18 years his career was cut short when he died in a place crash while attempting to deliver emergency relief packages to Nicaragua following an earthquake.

Upper Deck has the MLBPA rights as well as various agreements with players like Griffey and Jeter, could this exclusive Clemente contract be the first step in picking up the rights to retired and deceased players? That could give them plenty of options to continue producing baseball related products.