Monday, July 24, 2006

The National
Baseball card collecting runs hot and cold because everything seems like the same old cardboard, but the upcoming National in Anaheim gives me an opportunity to see why [or why I’m not collecting].

I want to go to the National and milk the $99/$100 pass for all that it is worth. I have philosophical problems with it though that didn't stop me from purchasing a pass. It is going to be my third National - all have been in Anaheim.

1.) The promos are likely going to be mass produced cards that you are going to put away in junk boxes. I don’t think any of the card companies participating in the National is really willing to put value in their [VIP package] promos by producing high-end versions [ particularly with autographs and/or GU materials]. You take what you can get, but you don’t want to be stuck with crap.

2.) Tiered VIP Packages – you aren’t really guaranteed to get one star, superstar, legend or icon in the $99 package. I don't even know if I'm getting the same one because I purchased my $99 VIP package from the official National website as opposed to Tristar. You get a bunch of loosely termed semistars from the Dodgers and the Angels, with perhaps some other guests, blah, blah, blah - seems like the same names a local promoter [] has been trotting out for the last six years to their autograph shows.

3.) Unless you are willing to pay $$$ - Tristar Productions or a company like Upper Deck is not likely to give you opportunities for casual meet and greets with a star, superstar, legend or icon at the National.

4.) The autograph guest lists has its share of heavy hitters, but any particular sports guy [for example: Magic Johnson, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana] has already done every imaginable show. Those are among the cream of the crop of athletes and there is just seems less elite sports icons [maybe Jim Brown perhaps] you really would pay for, while Johnson, Rice and Montana continue to pimp themselves down to Bob Feller levels [autographs signed, certainly not in fees].

5.) Tristar is known for locking down youngsters to sign autographs at their shows around the country. Where are the local rookies like Russ Martin, Andre Ethier, Mike Napoli or maybe a young, rising star like Ervin Santana? All I see is Matt Kemp and he was already sent down two weeks ago.