Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Update About Sports Card Radio Being Down

I just want to start by saying thank you - I have been overwhelmed by the number of people that have contacted me the last 2 days about our site being down. We have been working almost non-stop with server administrators to solve the issues that caused many Joomla sites to go off-line recently. I have many websites, and this is the one that takes the longest to restore if something goes wrong (so of course it's the one that goes down :) Anyway, we will be back up soon. We will be making a few template changes shortly that actually might make using the site better - especially on mobile phones/devices ... since we set this site up before those were really popular.

Thanks again, long story short - things are good - we have tons of backups on this site, so nothing is ever in risk of being lost forever. However, due to the size of the website it takes a long time to restore it back to an original state.

I want to thank everyone for contacting me, I honestly have been humbled by all the comments I have received.

Colin, Ryan and the Sports Card Radio Family

Our Site Is Down - But We Will Be Back Soon

Thank you to everyone that has contacted me over the last 2 days about our site being unavailable. The hackers must not like baseball cards!!! :) Actually, we use free software to run our site called Joomla and it often gets attacked because the source code is available to anyone. We are currently just waiting for files to upload to the server, which can take many hours. We will  be back soon! Thanks so much!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

2011 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Autograph #RS-BI Armon Binns #/599

Being a west coast Bengals fan, I don't get to catch a lot of the radio/tv chatter that you might get if your team is in your local market. I rely almost solely on and sometimes twitter to get updates on the team during the week. I remember going to the site early in OTA's and hearing about WR Armon Binns - who was a rookie in 2011, but didn't play (except on the practice squad). The Bengals site reported that Binns looked good, and I think Jay Gruden (the Bengals offensive coordinator) even said something like Binns wasn't going to blow you away with speed, but he ran good routes and had good hands.

That all sounded good to me.

Andy Dalton likes to drop back and once he hits his last step - the ball comes out. So while Binns doesn't have speed like A.J. Green - he suits Dalton's style of getting the ball out quick. I've notice that Binns has caught a few balls in the teams first few games - so he activity has been a bright spot for the team on offense. We'll see how the rest of the year pans out, but I actually picked up a 2011 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Football autograph 'helmet' signature card on shortly after reading Jay Gruden's comments on the Bengals website several months ago. I don't have the card listed for sale, and I only paid $2.00 for it, and I'll either take delivery of it at some point, or if the price gets into the double digits, I might have to sell and buy a different player with the proceeds. There have been lots of micro-movements of players cards going up during the first 2 weeks of the NFL season, and this is just the example on my favorite team.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How To Tell If A Michael Jordan 86/87 Fleer Rookie Is Fake?

I get quite a bit of e-mail, probably because I tell people to contact me on every podcast I do - and my e-mail is pretty easy to find on my website. I've gotten lots of great ideas from collectors - not to mention I usually just publish the responses I give out in the Q&A Mail Bag Section on the main site. I'm a month behind and got a big update coming for that - but wanted to publish something I just got today. While I'm no expert in identifying a fake card, this is just the first step you can take to seeing if your Jordan is real. I would strongly recommend taking it to a local hobby shop - or better yet, just spend a little money (probably less than $30) to send it in to PSA or BGS to be graded. If the card looks like it's in good condition - the added value of a high grade will make the $30 you spent getting it graded seem like pocket change.

Here is what I wrote back just based on what I've heard being around hobby shops my entire life:

The best way to find out is by sending it in to a professional grader, PSA or BGS are the best - and I have outlined a bit of information about that process here:

And Here:

The cost would be around $20 - $50 depending on how fast you want it back.

If you want to examine it yourself - take a magnify glass and inspect the card for "pixel dots" ... back in this day everything was usually printed with dot-matrix type printing and you should see lots of tiny dots that make up the colors on the card. The existence of these printing dots does NOT mean it's authentic - just means it has a better chance at being authentic. Typically fakes are simply xerox copies that can't replicate the pixel dots. The crisper the pixel dots, the more likely it's authentic (or a really good fake).

Next examine the back of the card. Typically fakers will spend less time on the back. The Fleer Logo, and placement of text should all match what authentic copies look like. The colors should be consistent with what you see in authentic copies:

Here is one of the finest condition Jordan RC's on the market and you can compare the coloring on this card with yours with:

Here is a search for all the authentic ones on eBay graded by PSA or BGS - you can see that collectors really pay attention to condition, so be careful handling this card. You can also compare logo colors and text placements with these authentic ones to get a better idea if yours is real.

Lastly, how you acquired the card. Fakers usually sell this card for well under what it should sell for, which is a clear sign it's probably fake.

Hope this helps, hope it's real - this is a very valuable and important card in basketball.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

2012 Topps Finest Mohamed Sanu Autograph Relic #/100

With the preseason all wrapped up, now is the last chance you get to scoop up rookies before the real bright lights come on during the regular season. Not only that, but when fantasy football kicks off around the country at the same time, fans across all leagues are going to be looking for those 'sleeper' WR's that can get you some production in deeper leagues. Remember how Randall Cobb blew up after a big game last season?

If you've been following the blog, you know that Mohamed Sanu is off my sleeper list since I've been writing about his cards since the first sets came out this season. While I haven't gone off the deep end and drafted him in my fantasy league - I have been lucky enough to land a few of his cards from my wishlist.

The latest card I'm going to add is from 2012 Topps Finest Football. I don't know yet if I will get the jumbo relic version (seen here), or the smaller patch relic ... or there is even an on-card autograph version that is somewhat expensive because collectors really like those cards. As of today, this card can be had for about $9.00 ... which is at the tip of my range, considering Armon Binns and Brandon Tate have been seeing some run for the Bengals - and it might cut into Sanu's playing time. However, the team did cut Jordan Shipley - so he'll certainly see some playing time, especially as the season wears on . I'm thinking if the WR depth on the Bengals stays healthy, he probably won't see much action - and it should keep his cards in the affordable range. I don't see him going off for 1,000 yards, so this same card might be $9 bucks at the end of the season ... we'll see.

Either way, I'm happy I got a few cards of Sanu's before the season just in case, as last season A.J. Green and Andy Dalton started taking off in values before I could buy enough of them. If he does get off to a fast start, at least I got a few before they get out of my budget.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012 National Sports Collectors Convention Day 1 Notes

The 2012 National Sports Collector Convention kicked off today in Baltimore Maryland today ... which was essentially a sneak preview day where eager collectors could get in on the show floor. A lot of the main fun begins later in the week when the big-name athletes come in to sign autographs and companies do promotions for products with wrapper redemptions.

Some of the interesting things I saw were the Bowman Platinum wrapper redemptions were limited to just 100 sets each day, making those one of the hottest items at the National. Collectors will be lined up at the doors early in order to get these sets on the coming days.

DA card world tweeted photos of at least three Penske semi trucks that were rolling to the national in the wee hours of the morning, that's a lot of product that they brought to the card show. Another interesting tidbit is I found while listening to my brother Ryan on Freedom CardBoards live stream. Freedom Cardboard owns a hobby store in Georgia and he noted that you need lots of space to host gaming tournaments, and he is upgraded to a of 4,000 square-foot store.

Here are links to blogs, photo albums and more from day #1 at the NSCC

Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012 Donruss Elite Orson Charles Autograph Rookie Card

Reggie Kelly is a little known name in the NFL, but he solidified the Bengals TE position for many years. Kelly was a great leader, a great blocker and a great teammate. The only knock on Reggie Kelly during his time with the Bengals was that he didn't add much to the passing game.

In 2010 the Bengals looked to address this when they drafted Jermaine Gresham in the 1st round. It looks like Gresham will be a really good player for us - and he even made the Pro-Bowl in 2011. Some Bengals fans were kind of surprised when the team drafted Orson Charles in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL draft - but it may be that the Bengals were drafting the best player available at that time.

Another reason might be that the tight-end position has really become a weapon that teams use. New England, San Francisco and New Orleans TE's are some of the biggest playmakers on offense - and it's possible the Bengals want to go that route with their offense. Having 2 TE's that can catch and make plays makes it tough for opposing defenses to guard ... at least that's what I hope will happen.

Since a new football sets comes out virtually every week ++ I can't seem to win a Mohamed Sanu card on eBay for a low enough price, I might have to start dipping into Orson Charles autograph rookie cards. This card comes from the recently release 2012 Donruss Elite Football, and I kind of like the look, although the cards do look similar to the 2011 release. Maybe Panini thought they wouldn't mess with a good thing - and with a large checklist of rookies that signed for the set, I think this will be a good card to land cheap because there are so many signatures to collect.

With the NFL training camps opening this week - it's that time of year, and hopefully Orson Charles can help the Bengals win some games this year.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2012 Score Mohamed Sanu Photo Variation RC #357

Given that I'm still trying to win my first Mohamed Sanu rookie card (despite bidding on about 15 different auctions) ... I figured I'd better add another card to my early pre-season wish list.

2012 Score Football is a really cool set because packs only cost $1 - and you can get some good cards in the packs. The parallel cards, and even autograph cards are always really collectible, because they are pretty tough to get. It's certainly nice to see that they added serial numbers to some of the parallel set - after a year off in 2011. They even have 1/1 printing plates.

Another set that looks like it's tough to find are the photo variation rookies. As of writing this, I hadn't seen Andrew Luck or Trent Richardson, and I only saw one Robert Griffin III. Luckily for me, I did catch a look at the Mohamed Sanu variation. I'm probably going to wait another week or two before I bid on these cards because I don't know how rare they are yet. That might not be a good strategy if they turn out to be extremely rare ... but I don't think they will be SSSSSP if you know what I mean.

With 2012 Donruss Elite Football coming next week, I might be able to make my move on the Prestige and Inception cards I've had my eye on for a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2011/12 Panini Gold Standard Ryan Anderson Superscribe Autograph #9

Growing up in the 1980's, and my parents having just relocated from Southern California ... it was only natural that a young boy became a big fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. As time has gone on ... I've seen the Lakers win so many times I can't remember how many championships and finals appearances it has been. To say I've lost interest in the team is probably a stretch, however with the advent of fantasy basketball - I've certainly been watching other NBA teams more than the Lakers recently.

One player/team I've followed the last 2 season have been the Orlando Magic. I play in a fantasy basketball league where 3-Pointers are worth essentially 5 points ... so having players that can nail one from deep is key. Orlando has many players (the last 2 seasons that have hit the 3-point shot well).

Rewind to January 2011 and I was looking for a center I could plug into my starting lineup. I didn't have many options except Ryan Anderson - who was coming off the bench at the time. He defense was suspect, but he hit 3's at a very high rate.

A few months later I win a fantasy title - and the next year I do it again with Ryan Anderson in my starting lineup almost the entire year. His breakout season in 2011-12 had me thinking he was going to be the center piece of the Orlando Magic team with/or without Dwight Howard.


Given that Ryan Anderson was recently traded to the New Orleans Hornets, this 2011/12 Gold Standard Basketball card that just dropped with him in an Orlando Magic uniform might seem kind of silly now - but the on-card autograph is pretty sweet. Plus, if you want to collect Ryan Anderson rookie cards, they have him in a New Jersey Nets uniform, so Anderson fans might be used to the jersey change.

Casual fans of the NBA might not realize how good Ryan Anderson really is - but fantasy NBA players are well aware that this guy is one of the best centers to own in all of the NBA. With the lack of 'true big-men' ... outside Andrew Bynum, Howard, Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe and a few others - Ryan Anderson's perimeter game is where the NBA game is going. Also the deal that sent Ryan Anderson to the Hornets involved a player most NBA fans haven't heard of - however the Magic risked loosing Anderson for nothing, so getting a player for him was the best they could do.

I bid on the card you see pictured here, and I'll probably be going to find a few of his original rookie autographs to bid on as well. I think this guy has a nice future in the NBA as a 14.0 - 18.0 point-per-game scorer.

Friday, July 13, 2012

2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Pablo Sandoval Base Card #38

Photo Credit : Ryan Tedards
East Coast baseball fans almost lost it last week when Pablo Sandoval overtook New York Mets third baseman David Wright in All-Star voting. While Pablo is not having a horrible season, he did miss several weeks with a broken bone in one of his hands. Not to mention he's played a few games in the minor leagues as well, which is where the photo you see here was taken.

So it was only "wright" that Pablo Sandoval became the 1st player in All-Star Game history to hit a triple with the bases loaded. Not to mention, teammate Melky Cabrera was MVP, Matt Cain started the game and Buster Posey started too. (Now you know how Pablo got in ... he piggy-backed off his teammates votes).

Only problem with living on the East Coast is you can't stay up and watch the games because they are so late. If you have a job, go to school, or have responsibilities - there's no way you can stay up and watch an entire Giants game that the opening pitch is 10:15 at night. So often East Coast fans underestimate players, fans and their ability to vote their favorite players to the All-Star game. East Coast baseball fans might not know that one of the more popular hats when you go to a Giants game is not a baseball hat at all .... it's a panda like beanie that honors Sandoval.

Don't be upset New Yorkers - you probably found this website from a search engine near where Pablo plays games, and are reading it on a device that came from California too. Just consider it our reward when we get our guys into the game.

2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball just came out, and while Topps is known for being really East Coast biased - they do have some nice Giants cards sometimes. I've seen rare autographs of Sandoval, Posey and Bumgardner (and I'm sure others) this season - and I'm sure if the Giants keep winning, we might see more. This example is just a base card of Pablo, but you can see how much time they spend on these base cards - and I'm sure most Giants fans are scooping one of these up for their collection.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

2012 Topps Inception Mohamed Sanu Letter Patch Autograph

My early love for this player must be apparent by now, as this is the third article I've written on this blog about him since he was drafted. I've bid on a few of his cards already, but actually haven't won one yet. I may end up working out trades on the forums for one if I don't have any luck winning one.

Some people don't really like letter patch cards, and given how hard they must be to sign, I don't know why they don't just have the guy sign the back of the card. Not that Sanu's autograph is anything special, but we've been over that before here.

Behold a super nice "1/1" Mohamed Sanu from 2012 Topps Inception Football! I put the 1/1 in quotes because each letter is a 1/1, so if it's only for a guys last name - it's really 1/4 ...  but either way, still a nice card. I may be a buyer on one of these if they stay south of $20 - but given how fresh the product is, I don't expect to land one for that price anytime soon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2012 Topps Inception Mohamed Sanu Autograph RC #114

The 2012 NFL season hasn't even started yet, but we've seen a couple of different releases from Topps already to wet our appetite for the new rookies. Obviously my favorite rookie right now to collect is Mohamed Sanu - 3rd round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals ... and he's had a couple of nice cards released already.

His most recent release came out in the last day or so - that is his 2012 Topps Inception autograph RC. These cards almost look identical to the 2011 version, so Topps really didn't sway too far from tradition on these ones. Savvy Bengals fans might notice that Sanu is 'wearing' the wrong jersey number ... as the Bengals website has him suited up in #12.

I'm currently looking to collect this card - so if you have an extra one you want to sell or trade, I'll see what I can do. If not, I'll probably wait a couple of weeks and buy one right before the Pre-Season starts. Football rookies can go up in price pretty quickly (Andy Dalton) so I want to make sure I have at least a few of Sanu's cards before the season starts ... as he could be in line to get lots of playing time with coverages focusing on A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2010 Bowman Sterling Yasmani Grandal Autograph #YG

My brother took this photo.
It was probably right around this time last year that I started to track Yasmani Grandal's career in the minor leagues. Part of it was because I purchased his 2010 Bowman Sterling autograph card during a contest I was trying to win. The goal of the contest was to sell the card within one year for a profit. I ended up making 40 or 50 cents on the re-sale ... and I was happy at the time.

When I found out he hit a bunch of HR's in his first couple of at bats ... I wish I had kept it.

Turns out it wasn't a bad sale, as the card sells for about as much now as it did last year because it's not one of his real early autographs. However, I bet his early Bowman autograph rookie (found in 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects) are selling strong. I wish I had bought one back last summer when I saw him play during a minor league game. He was in the Cincinnati Reds organization, so I saw him play for the Bakersfield Blaze. Grandal has a big upper body, perfectly built for being a catcher. I'll probably pick up one of his cards after the hype of his MLB debut kind of wears off. I bet he has a really nice career if he can stay healthy.

Monday, July 9, 2012

2011 Panini Limited Andy Dalton Autograph Material RC #211 - Serial #/299

Being a Cincinnati Bengals fan for over 15 years, I've seen plenty of quarter backs come and go. I remember buying Akili Smith rookies in 1999 ... he was the only QB other than Jon Kitna that I even remember besides Boomer Esiason. I've had a Ki-Jana Carter collection, Chad Johnson and a couple of other players over the years. I couldn't really afford Carson Palmer rookies at the time, and maybe that was for the better because he got upset about something and basically forced the Bengals to trade him in 2011.

All for the better.

People who know me know that I don't watch college football ... not that I don't like it - just too many other sports to follow. So when the Bengals drafted A.J. Green and Andy Dalton in 2011 - I knew nothing about either player. When I read on the coaches were saying "Dalton was the guy we wanted" I thought they were just saying that because that is who they ended up with.

After the 1st preseason game I was a fan.

I remember seeing Andy Dalton play for the first time. It didn't go well. In fact ... the entire pre-season looked pretty bad for the Bengals, but the one thing that Andy Dalton does better than almost any QB I've seen is he gets the ball out of his hands very quickly. With a lockout shortened off-season and a rookie QB thrown into the fire of starting ... you'd expect Andy to hold onto the ball and take sacks. While, he's not perfect, I love how this guy plays.

Aside from that, I love the interviews I've seen with him on the Bengals official website + he had a recent interview on Panini's website. He revealed that a distant family member gets online and bids on his cards, which might explain why I can never get one for a 'really good price' on eBay!! I ended up picking up this card at a card show for $50 in March from the 2011 Panini Limited Football set. I actually really like these cards - the autograph is on-card and the design of the card is cool because it says Bengals.

I never started a Carson Palmer collection, but I like Andy so much, this is probably just the first of many cards I'll get from him over the years.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

2010 Topps Hertigate Johan Santana Base Card #231

Just a short time ago Johan Santana became the first New York Mets pitcher to throw no-hitter. It looks like on the back of this 2010 Topps Heritage baseball card that Santana came very close to throwing a no-hitter many times before. It says on the back of the card he allowed 2 or fewer hits in 23 starts during his career (as of 2010). So it really didn't come as much surprise to Mets fans that Santana threw a no-hitter ... they probably were just surprised it took so long. Johan has been a dominant pitcher almost since he first broke into the major leagues with the Minnesota Twins over 12 years ago.

These Topps Heritage cards are pretty neat and they show why Topps has always been one of the most popular sets to collect in any sport. The old designs are familiar with collectors young and old ... plus with new players on on them, it makes the old designs even more fresh. Santana has many baseball cards, and even has many Topps Heritage cards, but they all got some well deserved attention after his no-hitter a few weeks ago.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

2009-10 Upper Deck Immortals Alex English #254

During the 1980's most NBA fans were paying attention to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics, and even the Detroit Pistons - since they were the teams winning all the championships. Not to mention, it was an era where only 1 game a week would air on TV, and it wasn't even always aired live. Without the internet or modern technologies, only the most successful teams would find major TV converage in the early 1980's.

One player that was having a very consistent career all during this time was Alex English. You look at his stats on the back of this card from 2009/10 Upper Deck Basketball, it says he had eight straight seasons where English scored over 2,000 points, including one year or he averaged 29.8 points per game! One of the league's most prolific scores when he is with the Nuggets.

In today's time if Alex English was around playing basketball with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, he probably would be far more popular. He's almost like Joe Johnson, Carmelo Anthony (without the multi-million dollar contracts/endorsements) or another similar player that scores quite a bit but haven't been able to break through and win in the playoffs.

Looking Forward to 2012 Score Football Cards!

Football season is great, the action on Sunday and Monday night (and often Thursday night too) is very exciting. If you play fantasy sports or bet on the games, it can add even more excitement.

In 2010 I recommended Score Football to collectors because it had a really cool mix of serial numbered parallel cards. In 2011 they pretty much took all the serial numbers away, so I didn't buy as many packs as I normally would.

Fast forward to this season and looks like in 2012 Score Football, there is some serial ## parallel cards + they have added Printing Plates of all 400 base cards. I'll certainly try a few packs because they are only usually about $1.00 each.

My favorite team (the Bengals) have 1 rookie in the 'rookie premiere' group of players that will have autographs. Mohamed Sanu should get plenty of playing time this season for us - and with all the focus on Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and other 1st round picks ... many Bengals' coaches and players have been impressed with Sanu's maturity. I think he is worth holding onto if you get his cards early in the season, as they don't sell for very much money. The Bengals don't really have any proven WR outside last years rookie A.J. Green, so holding onto your Sanu cards for now is my best advice.

Anyway, back to 2012 Score - I think this will be a solid set, and is essentially Panini's version of "Topps Series 1" for baseball. It'd actually be cool if companies released more sets in series like they do in Baseball, but for some reason football never really does that anymore. Score football could easily have an 'update' or 'traded/rookies' set like they used to have. I remember Score Select was even a cool set that was a more expensive version of Score. Either way, this is a cool set to give to young collectors because most of the base cards aren't worth too much ... but you do have a good chance at getting an insert card or parallel card that might be worth some money.

Once this set comes out and I open some packs, I'll posts some of the cards in the "Card of the Day" segment. Good luck if you open any of this, and if you get any of the Bengals RC's and want to trade - let me know in the comments!

Friday, July 6, 2012

2010 Bowman Platinum Gerrit Cole USA Card #PP32

When you get these team USA cards in packs these days, you almost never know who the players are or if they'll ever pan out to be major league players. In fact, when I picked up this card out of the stack that I had laying around, I really wasn't too familiar with Gerrit Cole. Turns out ...  he was the #1 pick in all of major league baseball in 2011 by the Pittsburgh Pirates ... and I kind of felt like I had been living under a rock! On the back of this card it says Cole was a former Yankees first-round pick and pitched very well during the College World Series & during his team USA performance.

Apparently things haven't been going as well lately for Cole, as he was hit in the face by a line drive while he was pitching in the minors about 2 weeks ago. It looks like everything should be okay for him but sometimes those kind of things can haunt a picture for longer than a few games. He's having a pretty good season statistically this year and he's even been promoted once in the minors. While I'm sure some of the USA cards from the 2010 Bowman Platinum Baseball haven't panned out very well, I have high hopes for this Gerrit Cole USA card.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2011 Panini Gridiron Gear Marvin Austin RC Card #235

The New York Giants won the Super Bowl in 2011 in large part because of the play of QB Eli Manning and their defense. One of the guys that they drafted that season in round #2 was Marvin Austin from North Carolina. He's a 6 foot 3" - 310 pound defensive tackle, that ended up tearing his pectoral muscle early in the preseason. He ended up missing the entire 2011 season for the Giants, so you can expect he will be a nice added addition to a team that's already coming off a Super Bowl win.

Last year's Gridiron Gear football is a set I actually didn't really like that much. I thought the rookie Gridiron Gems Rookie cards looked almost like insert cards, and not like a true rookie would. This Marvin Austin card has ROOKIE displayed right across the top and it's exactly what I would expect over the card to look like. I think they could have done this set design for all the top rookies, and just had sticker autographs on these, and it would've been nicer than the cards that are found in the set. Although boxes and cards sell for quite a bit of money because the rookie class was so good last season so it almost doesn't matter what the cards look like. One thing is for sure, if Marvin Austin can stay healthy in 2012 and make an impact on the NY Giants - collectors will be going back to this set to hunt down his rookies they overlooked last season.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

2012 Topps Series 1 Justin Morneau Base Card #230

Justin Morneau's career seemed like it was on the fast track to the baseball Hall of Fame. For several seasons he hit 20+ homeruns and had over 100 RBIs while batting in the .300s. He also seem to stay relatively healthy often plane over 140 games during that stretch. However injuries and other problems have led Morneau's career to fall off the last few years. It seems like his power numbers have gone down, he isn't hitting for average, and he's striking out quite a bit.

 It just goes to show you how careful you have to be about when you buy a player over the course of his career. You could've bought Justin Morneau's cards between 2005 and 2009 and you would've paid quite a bit of money for them. His fans that might have waited or even sold during that period of time are now able to buy cards much cheaper, including the card pictured here #230 from 2012 Topps series 1 baseball. Minnesota Twins fans are probably doubting Morneau will ever get back to his All-Star/MVP caliber of play, and many collectors are probably feeling the same way.
He is 31 years old, which means time is not on his side, but if he can stay healthy ... he might be able to put together a decent season. Young collectors might not remember that Morneau was one of the hottest cards in the hobby for a few seasons - which is why it's good they put a guys full stats on the back of some baseball cards these days.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2012 Panini Prestige Mohamed Sanu Autograph RC #273

This Card Is Serial #/499
The Bengals have quite a history of quality WR's despite not always having great teams or QB's. Carl Pickens, Darnay Scott, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmanzadeh, and recently drafted A.J. Green have all played at an elite level for the Bengals. So despite being a 3rd round draft pick, Mohamed Sanu is on my radar here before the season begins.

First of all, the Bengals don't really have any experienced players at WR ... and in fact A.J. Green is probably the groups leader in only his second season. That means that if Sanu can stay healthy ... he should see some playing time this season. Also, Andy Dalton is more than a capable QB - so I fully expect Sanu to get some opportunities if he can get open.

Moving on to his most recent card from the 2012 Panini Prestige Football set. It looks like he has several autograph cards from the set - but the one pictured here is his 'true' rookie signature. What I noticed is that his signature is actually really bad/lazy - and that sometimes leads to people selling off your cards. With that in mind, I might be a buyer at these low prices - considering he hasn't even played yet. Plus collectors are paying more attention to the top picks, getting a couple Sanu autographs early on in the season might be worth it. If he puts up numbers early on, and the Bengals can pick up where they left off last season ... his prices should climb off the low levels they are at currently. We'll see - but it's actually nice being able to afford Bengals RC's this season, as Andy Dalton & A.J. Green cards are pretty expensive! :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

2011 Topps Platinum Vernon Davis Base Card #147

I remember when Vernon Davis was a rookie, it was the same year I opened a card store and his RC cards were always popular with collectors. I remember having one of his Exquisite rookies, but sold that along with all the other cards I've had of his over the years.

I do pickup packs and usually blaster boxes at retail places throughout the year of interesting products or things on sale. I'm sure that's how I came across this 2011 Topps Platinum base card of Vernon Davis. Like wine, Davis' game has gotten better as he has been in the league. Having Alex Smith play better and the addition of head coach Jim Harbaugh all seems to have helped Vernon Davis play even better.

This card is really nice, and the parallel cards that this set has are always interesting to track down. Topps should have cards with real platinum in them like Panini has real gold cards ... but I guess platinum is really expensive. Each card has that refractor like sheen to it, and just by touching this card a bit I see my fingerprints on the front ... so you'll want to be careful handling cards from this set.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

2011 Playoff Absolute Retail Matthew Stafford Base Card #36

Matthew Stafford is a great example of a guy that you have to wait on to really see what you have as an NFL team or as a collector. Being the #1 overall pick will always lead to his cards being collected during his first few seasons, but after that you need to start producing (ie: JaMarcus Russell).

Stafford had some injury problems, and he was often getting sacked - but still showed why the Lions drafted him number one. During the 2011 season, it all seemed to come together for Stafford and the Lions - especially his connection with WR Calvin Johnson.

The card shown here is a retail version of his Absolute Memorabilia from 2011. You can tell the difference between the retail & the hobby versions is that the hobby versions have a 'refractor' like sheen over the front  - and the retail versions appear to be much cheaper stock & don't have the shine the hobby cards do. I got this pack at a 99-Cent store, and didn't get much, but I have gotten a serial numbered rookie in the past.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

2010-11 Panini Season Update Ersan Ilyasova Base Card #65

Not many people pay too much attention to the Milwaukee Bucks (outside their loyal fans) ... and not too many collectors care too much when they get a Ersan Ilyasova card.

But my eyes lit up when I saw a manager dropped him earlier last season in a fantasy basketball league I was playing in, and Ilyasova led my team to the championship. He had numerous games where he would get rebounds, score, hit 3's and do it all very effectively. In my opinion, he's one of the most solid players in the league when he's on his game.

Shown here on his 2010-11 Season Update Baseball base card, almost wraps up this guys game in one photo. I watched a least 10 Bucks games this season to just watch Ilyasova play, and he plays with a focus look like he has in this card. I really liked his intensity, ability to box-out and rebound +++ hit the 3 PT shot & shoot a high percentage. This is the type of player that won't get much attention from collectors, fans or even teams in free-agency ... but Ersan will be a solid NBA player for many years in the NBA.

Friday, June 29, 2012

2012 Topps Series 1 Ben Revere Base Card #62

I first came across Ben Revere last season when I bought one of his 2007 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Refractor Autograph RC's on eBay for a contest. I ended up selling the card for $18.89 (a $0.73 cent profit) shortly after I bought it because that was the goal of the contest I was in.

So going through a stack of 2012 Topps Series One base cards today and seeing his card was cool. He is pictured here trying to make a diving catch, which he is known to do. According to the back of this card, he hit .267 last season for the Twins, with 34 stolen bases in 117 games. You can probably find this card for around a quarter at your local hobby store. He doesn't have those big power numbers, but players like Mike Trout and Jose Altuve have caught the attention of collectors without hitting home runs. Early this season, Revere has his average up to around .300 - so I might regret selling his autograph rookie last season for less than $20 if he keeps that up.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

2010-11 Panini Rookies & Stars Carmelo Anthony Base Card #67

When LeBron James won his first NBA Championship, he officially put the pressure on other young players in the league to win a ring - or they will never be among that select group of players that have won.

The top of the 03/04 NBA Draft class has done pretty well outside Darko, who was a mistake the minuet Detroit picked him. Why they didn't select Carmelo Anthony at the time (and now) is still a mystery. Chris Bosh and D-Wade have rings, and now Melo is the last of that group of elite players that doesn't have one.

Pictured here wearing Denver Nuggets colors on this 2010-11 Panini Rookies & Stars Basketball base card - there is no doubt he's one of the games best scoring players. I compare Carmelo's game to Paul Pierce who both need other elite players around him to win championships. By themselves they can win games and score big numbers, but need other elite scoring and defending players around them to win it all. Given that Carmelo is in New York, the ownership should give him all the tools to win. However, former NY Knicks player and HOF coach Phil Jackson was recently quoted as saying he wouldn't coach the Knicks because he didn't like how the team was put together. So the Knicks ownership and Carmelo have some work to do this off-season, and it's only going to get harder getting through Miami and Oklahoma for a ring the next couple of seasons.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2010 Topps Series 1 Tim Lincecum Base Card #80

"Big Time Timmy Jim" is what they called him after most of his starts early in his career. Most cards these days don't have stats on the back, but this card has the traditional stat run many of us are used to. Growing up, this was how you got to look at a guys stats - there was no Yahoo or ESPN on the internet.

Tim Lincecum's 2010 Topps card even has his 2006-07 campaign in the minor leagues. I remember hearing about him then, and how he was dominating the competition. The stats reveal that he only gave up 7 earned runs in a shade over 62 innings during those years!! In 5 games  at Triple AAA Fresno, he only gave up 1 earned run and went 4-0.

I also remember seeing Lincecum's first couple of starts. I believe they came in a time where Barry Bonds was the only other reason to watch the Giants, and even then his elbow and other injuries had wore him down a bit. Tim was a breath of fresh air. I remember the TV coverage panning over to the opposing teams dugout to the player that just struck out who was describing Tim's fastball action to teammates like he'd never seen something like that before.

So the fact that Lincecum has been struggling in 2012, and some collectors are even selling off his cards despite winning Cy-Young Awards and a World Series Championship in 2010 - has me wondering when will Tim be "Big Time Timmy Jim" again?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2012 Topps Archives 1968 Topps 3D #683D-RCL Roberto Clemente

Seems like every movie is in 2D and 3D these days ... and I might be one of the few people I know that has NEVER seen a movie in 3D. Something about going indoors, and then putting sunglasses for 2 hours doesn't make sense to me. I've heard it's amazing though, and I bet live sports like the Super Bowl or a UFC fight might be really cool in 3D.

The 3D I'm interested in are these 1968 Topps retro 3D cards found in 2012 Topps Archives Baseball. Back in the day, these were the type of cards people handled quite a bit because the '3D' printing kind of lead to you showing these to your friends. Not to mention that in 1968 people weren't too worried about keeping baseball cards in nice condition. Now, given that these fall 1:8 packs - collectors are probably still letting people mess around with these cards, but Hall of Fame players like Roberto Clemente are kept in storage. I certainly never saw him play, and most people reading this haven't either - but the one thing that stands out about the photo is Clemente's look of concentration as he peers in to what I presume to be a pitcher throwing to a batter. Another thing of note is that many of Roberto Clemente's early cards have his name listed as "Bob Clemente" and it's always worth searching that name if you are hunting for his cards online.

Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 Bowman Baseball Bowman Prospect Autographs Bryce Harper #BPA-BH

When you're as good as Bryce Harper has been during all stages of his young baseball career, you have cards going back several years before you even reach the majors. In fact, Bryce Harper was features in many 2011 Bowman & Topps sets - and he is again in 2012.

Not that anyone is complaining, his play on the field and the fact that the young Nationals team are exciting to watch mean almost all of his cards have value. The one thing about the 2012 Bryce Harper auto's is that some of them are cut off at the top/bottom like this one from 2012 Bowman Baseball. Maybe Topps ran out of 'good' stickers last year, or possibly Bryce just has a tall signature that cannot be constrained by the stickers. Either way, the fickle collector will certainly shy away from the copies that don't have a pristine signature. Now that it appears Bryce Harper is probably done playing minor league baseball, maybe Topps will print up a bunch of his cards so collectors can have him on-card for some sets later in the year. One thing is for certain, expect to see Bryce Harper headline many sets for many years to come.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 Topps Tier One Clear Reprint Autograph Chipper Jones #333

Topps re-prints and re-makes cards in every set it puts out. It's part of the reason why people like collecting the cards, because often time you pull a card you remember getting the original one of. Over the years they have added autographs, relic pieces, coins, and other things to spice them up.

One of the 'reprint' sets that recently caught my eye for being a little different than something I've seen in the past was in 2012 Topps Tier One Baseball set. The 'Clear Reprint' Autographs are pretty cool; Upper Deck and I think even Panini has used Acetate or similar type plastic materials to print cards and autographs on. These are pretty cool because they re-print a famous card on them AND get the player to sign them. The combination has led to some very nice examples. One of the best is this 1991 Topps Reprint #333 Chipper Jones 'Rookie' card autograph. In 1991 the Topps set contained 792 total cards, and this one was one of the best ones you could possibly get. The fact that Chipper has continued to play his entire career for the Atlanta Braves has led to him having an extremely loyal fan base that collect his cards. Finding copies of this card will probably be tough as time goes on, as these types of cards stay in collectors collections and off the for sale market.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

2011/12 Leaf Metal Golf Webb Simpson Autograph Card

Not too many people outside of the major golf fans really knew much about Webb Simpson before he won the US Open in 2012 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, CA. He actually won the tournament in the clubhouse, as tournament leaders couldn't keep their games together down the stretch on Sunday. Simpson watched on TV with his beautiful young wife and realized he had won one of the years biggest tournaments.

Collectors might have had the same kind of realization on that Sunday that they had one of Webb Simpson's most valuable cards. Released in late March of 2012, but boxes and promotional material state 2011 as the 'date' for Leaf Metal Golf set which contains many PGA tour names, including Webb Simpson.

The cards value obviously took a spike on that Sunday and the days following. Very few players on the PGA Tour win multiple majors, Jim Furyk is a good example, who was one of the competitors that faltered to allow Webb Simpson to win. These Leaf Metal Golf cards are pretty nice, and including Simpson in the set certainly brought attention to a sport that doesn't get many releases.