Sunday, December 9, 2012

Panini Black Friday Packs - Encore

This is the last in a series of three posts regarding the Panini Black Friday promotion.  As I mentioned in the earlier posts, I am a big fan of the Panini promotional series.  This last series is perhaps my favorite - the black foilboard faux painted cards.  I enjoy these because they span all 4 sports and they have a distinctive look to them.

Because they are black foilboard they don't scan well, but they really look great in person.

 The photo choices are spot on - they really capture the intensity of the game.

Finally, some of the packs contain relic cards and autos as well.  I did not pull any autos, but I did receive a few jersey cards.

I think I pull Isaiah Pead in just about every product I open.  Maybe some day he will be the next Barry Sanders, but for now, I would be happy if just got a carry or two.

This years promo packs have, however, given up quite a few RGIII's - included this massive "event worn item" from the Rookie Premiere event!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Panini Black Friday Packs - Part 2

Continuing from post 1, below is another base series from the Panini Black Friday Packs.

These are from the Kings series (Diamond Kings, Ice Kings, and Gridiron Kings).  the scans don't do these justice - they are foil board and very shiny.  I'm not a fan of the no logo look on baseball, but the cards look great.

More Gridiron Kings.  Love the Richardson.

Some old school Kings...

Another card where the scan is not great.  Gold foilboard of RGIII and a great looking card. 

Kobe cracked ice - these look really good - not numbered but reportedly limited to 25.  

That's all for now.  I will have one more post to follow.  

Panini Black Friday Packs - Part 1

I am a huge fan of the Panini promotional packs.  My first experience was the Father's day promotion, my second was at the National this summer and I decided to grab some this Black Friday as well.  These packs always have some interesting "base sets" and are always loaded.  Below is a sampling.

The Thanksgiving series features football players who played on turkey day.  These are cool looking cards.

Rookies of Luck and RGIII - cards are numbered to 599 and look great.

More rookies...

These are proofs - similar to printing plates but not made of metal.  They are blank backs and I have been told there are 5 for each color - these are clearly the yellow variety.  The Namath looks pretty cool.

Another proof card (Doug Martin - yellow).  The Woodson is numbered out of 5.

I will post more later.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Jaybarker's Draft

I recently received my loot from the recent Jaybarker's Junk draft.  These drafts are always good cheap fun...for the cost of a bowman chrome rack pack, I scored the following eclectic mix of cardboard goodness:

A 1959 Robin Roberts and an 1969 Billy Williams.

A 1969 Ruben Amaro and the ERA leaders (featuring Tiant) which is in really nice shape.

Reuss and Messersmith with teams I don't associate them with.  

Some well loved 78's of two great pitchers (love the stache that Eck is sporting - not to mention his cool Cleveland windbreaker under the jersey).

And finally two future hall of famers.

I love these drafts because of the eclectic mix - things you probably would not seek out, but your glad you found once you see them...

Thanks Jayabarker's Junk for a great draft.   

Sunday, November 4, 2012

One Man's Trash...Is Another Man's Treasure

I recently attended a card show in Chantilly, Virginia (just outside of DC).  Collector's Showcase of America hosts a pretty big show every 4 months or so, and there are usually some pretty big name autograph guests and a pretty large number of dealers. 

October's show was disappointing from a collector traffic standpoint (there was nobody there) but for a browser and a bargain box digger, it was just fine. 

I spent a good amount of time digging through one dealer's box of jersey cards - marked $3/card.  As I was merrily flipping through the boxes the dealer was showing off some of his higher-end modern jersey/auto cards to another dealer and negotiating over prices.  Most of the prices they were discussing were in the hundreds of dollars (which, quite frankly, I just don't understand when it comes to a modern card with a sticker autograph).

In any event, when I finished digging and presented my haul to the dealer, he asked to see the cards so he could see "what was moving out the junk box".  I responded with the title to this post "one man's trash is another man's treasure..." which caused him to stammer and apologize...but I assured him I was only joking.

Anyway, these were the $3 "treasures" I scored....

First - two phan phavorite Phillies (I don't see a lot of Lefty relics and for $3 I thought this was pretty cool)

And a couple of Rollins (I really like the way the Gypsy Queen relics look - particularly the framed minis)

An some Iggles.... (great action shot of Jackson, and the multi material Kolb looks pretty cool).

More iggles....I like the jumbo swatches.

...and more Iggles (the cards with football pieces are an interested change to the typical memorabilia card)

While I was digging, I couldn't resist picking up a few NFL stars that either are (or once were) on my fantasy football team - the Harrison did not scan well (it is foil board and numbered out of 99).

I had Curtis on my team back when he was with the Pats....

....and Jamaal the year he broke out....

Hope you enjoy the "garbage".

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pimpage - Jaybarker's Junk

Head on over to Jaybarker's Junk for a weekly recurring Free Card Friday contest  Free Card Friday.  It's really easy to enter (and I even won a few weeks back)!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Better Late Than Never....Community Gum Group Break

Community gum is offering an all Upper Deck group break.  Teams still available and a special discount if you act tonight.  Break is located here community gum group break.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Kermit Washington - American University's Favorite Son

While many college sports programs regularly send numerous athletes to the professional ranks in multiple sports year after year, such is not the case for my alma mater - American University.  American is a small school in Washington DC with no football program and no baseball program.

A member of the Patriot League, American University competes in Division 1 NCAA basketball and has since 1966, but it wasn't until 2008 that AU finally earned a trip to the "Big Dance" (losing to Tennessee in the first round).  AU would return to the tourney in 2009 ultimately losing to Villanova (despite having a double digit lead into the second half).

While AU has had its share of big name coaches (Gary Williams who would go on to win a national championship with Maryland and Jim Lynam who would coach the Philadelphia 76ers) only one AU player would make it to the NBA - Kermit Washington.  Unfortunately Kermit Washington is best know for "the punch" - an unfortunate brawl where he punched  Rudy Tomjonovich - which largely defined and derailed both men's careers.

Before that incident Kermit looked to have a bright future in the NBA - earning All American honors while at American and a first round selection by the Lakers in the 1973 draft.  As you can see from the back of Kermit's rookie card, he became the 7th player in NCAA history to average 20 points and 20 rebounds for his collegiate career, joining Dr. J, Bill Russell, Artis Gilmore and Elgin Baylor.  In fact, he needed 39 points in his last college game to accomplish the 20/20 average - and he scored 40.

As an AU grad, one of my main goals at this year's national sports card convention was to obtain Kermit's rookie card (and a few other samples from his playing days).  They are not expensive and I managed to land all of these for less than the price of a can of soda.  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Shameless Pimping for All About Cards Contest

All About Cards is hosting a Panini America NFL Player of the Day Promotion where you can win a number of great prizes - check out the details here All About Cards - Contest.   There are a number of prizes available and a number of ways you can enter!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Greatest Overachievers: 1993 Phillies

I make no attempt to conceal that I am a lifelong fan of the Fightin Phils.
I grew up during the glory years watching some really solid teams from 1976 through 1983 (including two trips to the World Series and a world championship).  Those were great teams...then stars of my youth got old and retired and we had some not so great teams (from the mid 1980's through the early 1990's).

We hit bottom in 1992 -  the Phillies lost 92 games and finished in dead last in the NL East.  There was not a great deal of optimism that the Phils would do much better in 1993.  But 1993 was a magical season - a worst to first Cinderella story - a season that included 97 wins, a playoff victory over the 104 win and heavily favored Braves, and a trip to the World Series.

What made this possible?  Certainly luck had something to do with it.  But more important was a sense of team - an unselfish style of play that allowed the Phils to platoon 3 positions (second base, right field and left field) with fantastic success.  I was recently reminded of the incredible statistics these platoons generated by Mitch "the Wild Thing" Williams on MLB Tonight as he fondly remembered the 1993 team and compared it to this year's A's team.

Let's take a look at the platoons -

2nd Base - Mickey Morandini/Mariano Duncan
Although Duncan played several positions for the Phil's in 1993, he is primarily known as a secondbaseman. Between Duncan and Morandini they accounted for 106 RBI and scored 125 runs.

RF - Jim Eisenreich/Wes Chamberlain
A true platoon in right field, Chambelain hit .282 and Eisenreich batted .318 and between them they knocked in 99 runs.

LF - Milt "the Stilt" Thompson /Pete Incaviglia
Another true platoon (Inky only played against lefties), this platoon managed 28 homers and 133 RBI and scored 102 times.

Although perhaps not as well remembered as Dykstra, Daulton, Kruk, Schilling and the Wild Thing, these 6 platooners were truly the key to the Phillies 1993 magical season.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Collecting History Part 2 (the 1990's)

After a decade long hiatus from trading cards during the 1980's, I jumped back into the hobby in the early 1990's.  The hobby had changed quite a bit (more brands, more sets, nicer card stock, better photography) and cards were everywhere  - CVS, Rite Aid, hobby shops, and card shows just about every weekend in hotels and shopping malls.

Another thing I discovered around this time was the existence of price guides - Beckett, Tuff Stuff and a host of other magazines that charted the "book value" of cards.  Since Ebay was still a number of years away, there was no practical way to gauge the market and I, like many other collectors, just assumed "book value" was the same as "fair market value."

Like many collectors from this period, I have lots and lots of cards that look this

and this....

and this....

Notwithstanding the fact that these cards are "worthless" from a monetary perspective, they are (in many cases) beautifully designed and photographed cards.   The fact that these sets and singles, many of which include fantastic cards of hall of famers, can be obtained for next to nothing makes them extremely "valuable" in the sense that they are an extreme "value" to purchase.

For a fraction of the price of any current hot or even marginally hot "prospect" who may or may not ever make a major league roster, you can obtain dozens of hall of famers and future hall of famers from their playing days.

What you prefer in your collection -

This card

or a shiny, flashy card of some 16 year old kid you've never heard of who will probably never make it out of AA ball?  What if I told you the shiny card would cost you a $1 out of a 4 card pack at Target and would probably be warped and chipped right out of the pack?


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Kindness of Bloggers

As I look back on my various phases of collecting  - (from the 70's, the early 90's, the early aughts, and over the last several years) - the hobby has never been more accessible or enjoyable.

One of the aspects that has energized me to renew my interest in collecting over the last couple of years is the blogosphere and the community of collectors that resides in it.  I've enjoyed reading, commenting, participating in contests and group breaks...and I've really enjoyed the community (both as an observer and as a participant).

I recently participated on one of Kyle's group breaks at Juuuuust A Bit Outside.  Kyle hosts a group break every month and I regularly participate - usually selecting the Phillies.  Kyle recently sent me a card accidentally that was intended for another Phillies Phan.   Realizing his error, he emailed me and asked me to forward the card to another participant.  Kyle was very apologetic and offered to reimburse me for the postage - but the amount was minimal and he has always been great with his breaks - so I was more than happy to make sure the card made it to its rightful home.  

Fast forward a couple of weeks and, after the last group break, Kyle sent the following (in addition to my haul from the group break) -

As a Phillies phan I was thrilled with all 4 cards - thanks Kyle!!

The rest of the break was pretty kind to me as well.  It included a box of 1990 Leaf and 1998 Bowman's Best and I took the White Sox largely because I never owned a Frank Thomas rookie (too expensive in "the day").  Well - I no longer have that problem....

I now have these two...AAANNNND

These two!!

Plus a Sosa:

And a Pair of Maglios:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm Ready for Some Football-Themed Loot From the National

In honor of the first day of the 2012 NFL season I thought I would show off some of my promo/redemption loot from this year's National in Baltimore.  It was my first National and I had been planning to attend for nearly a year (since reading and hearing so much about the 2011 Chicago National).

I attended on Friday to avoid the Saturday crowds .  I arrived before the doors opened with my list of redemptions and special offers in hand.  When the doors opened I headed straight to the corporate area, and lined up at the Topps booth to obtain the special 2012 Gypsy Queen mini National promo cards.  After over an hour in line, we were told they were out of the Bryce Harper card, but I was able to obtain the remainder of the set - including these football minis (Ricardson, RGIII, Luck, Tannehill, Blackmon, and Floyd):

Next I lined up at the Panini booth for another hour-plus wait to secure the special Panini redemption packs (which were loaded with great stuff).  Below are some of the football cards I received (I also scored an autographed hockey puck [Matt Read] a cut autograph card of Hall of Famer Eddy Rousch and some assorted baseball, basketball and hockey cards - which I will show in a future post).

Now - on with the football (which includes this really cool Robert Griffin III towel card):

Three Richardson cards:

A couple of Blackmon's:

A few RB's you might have heard of (the Gore is numbered to 5):

Oh - and a few QB's who might do OK this year:

After the redemptions, I ended up roaming the floor and digging through cards for the next 5 or 6 hours.  My feet were tired, but I sure could have used another day to roam the floor!!

Happy football season everyone!!