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.