Sunday, December 31, 2006

Featured Breaks
From a card show

Can anyone justify spending more than $40-$50 on a box of trading cards that probably features no more than 60 cards? You can turn a $90 box of cards into $15 in about 20 minutes.

I do realize that modern [as in the last five years or so] 'baseball card' collecting is designed for people with discretional spending money and a desire to gamble. I'm not one of those collectors, but I was going to slurge on a box of cards.

I was going to get 2006 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Update [$85], since the quad jersey/patch cards look pretty good, where there is one 'notable' patch piece running across the four square frames. There are also two autographs per box.

Being the indecisive collector, I also saw a hobby box of Bowman Draft and Prospects [$63] and was contemplating getting it instead since Bowman Draft and Prospects is one of those boxes that goes up in value [though I'm going to bust any box I purchase]. Will you be able to get one for $63 in three months?

While it isn't as 'sexy' as the other new products and as the MLBPA has altered the rookie-card rules, BDP still features first year cards from select 2006 draft picks with opportunities to pull versions that are signed.

I ultimately went with the BDP since it was cheaper, but perhaps, I can get lucky with some loose packs [if I was going to spend up to $85 anyway].

I don't know if you get the instant gratification with BDP because it features players that may never reach the Major Leagues, but you hope you pull something for later. I'm going to admit that I have no idea and don't really care who the other guys are in BDP, unless they are one of the higher profile prospects [Evan Longoria- who I curiously feel is the next Phil Nevin...].

Still, with Sweet Spot Update, you already know you are going to pull a Sweet Spot certified autograph insert card of a 2006 MLB rookie, that is a long reliever and had his rookie card in 2003. Maybe your second autograph will yield a Sweet Spot 'table'[mimicking a bat barrel] certified autograph card of another 2006 MLB rookie, maybe a 27-year old backup outfielder.

Your quad material card will be all jersey and of some Cuban player who will defect when he is 33 or 34.

My Bowman Draft and Prospect Pulls

Just listing the pulls that I care about as opposed to listing everything under the sun.

Chad Huffman autograph refractor [serial #'d 322/500]

Brian Bannister x-fractor [serial #'d 213/299] - print line across the surface, though it isn't a first year card.

Refractors - Carlos Villanueva and Adam Davis.

Randomness - my Futures Game jersey card was Kurt Suzuki [CSUF], the one guy I may have been looking for, though the card may only be worth $2. pulled a base, chrome and gold insert of Kyle Drabek...pulled a gold insert of Billy Rowell...pulled a base chrome rookie card of Mike Napoli...pulled a base of Hank Conger.

The condition of these cards seemed rough - there are occasional minor nicks, dings and scratches that probably knocks the cards' overall condition. It perhaps takes away from the collectibility of the product. I also wish there was one more certified autograph hit per each box.

Overall, it isn't really the cards that are hot, but the potential for future value that drive this product. It is like being attracted to someone because they belong in a certain clique.

I also bought four packs of 2006 SP Authentic [$4 each] - $4 a pack isn't that bad, but this is where I waste money, trying to get one of those By the Letter certified autograph inserts, which look pretty damn nice from loose packs.

After the damage was done, I did pull one lame auto [Chris Denorfia]. I also pulled a Heroes insert card of Ken Griffey Jr./Andruw Jones [SPAH-43].

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Featured Target Breaks
In Orange County California

Anaheim Hills [12/20/06]
2006 Bowman Draft [$2.99 each] - I grabbed a random pack.

Daniel Garcia refractor - eighth round draft pick from a So. Cal high school

Garden Grove [12/11/06]
2006 Bowman Draft [$2.99 each] - I grabbed three random packs to get my fix, though I ended up not getting anything out of it.

Mike Napoli rookie card - hopefully I can get these inked.
Mike Rouse - I pulled one last week and I thought, this card is already
Jason Place chrome

Anaheim by Disneyland [12/8/06]
2006 Bowman Draft blaster break [x1 @$19.99] - not great at all with no autograph or game used card.

David Pauley - refractor; common
Jermaine Mitchell chrome - Mitchell is apparently a darkhorse prospect in the Oakland organization.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Jason Windsor and the 'New' 2006 Rookie Card Rules

$5 and change special at the bi-weekly card show - not much here except a couple of baseball card packs of the low-end variety, eight nine-pocket sheets [$1.00] and an 800-count box [$0.50].

2006 Upper Deck Update [$2.00 each x2] - pulled the one base card I was looking for, essentially a 'bastard' non-rookie prospect card of Jason Windsor with the 2006 rookie card logo. Windsor led the 2004 Cal State Fullerton baseball team to the College World Series title in 2004 and hope to get it signed at the Titans' alumni game in 2007, since I go to school there.

This is one of his few Major League cards so far, though his true rookie cards [and variations] are autographed and found in 2004 Donruss Elite Extra Edition and 2004 Upper Deck SP Top Prospects.

I suppose in an ideal collecting world, companies would have to wait until the player makes his Major League debut to get a Major League issue card. I think that is what the new rookie card logo is about [along with generating 'interest' in current year baseball card product is case the rookie year class is a strong one], but there are too many players that overlap, meaning that they've already had cards in Major League sets issued in previous years.

Slapping a rookie card logo on a 2006 Ryan Zimmerman or 2006 Hanley Ramirez, 2006 Justin Verlander card or any player with cards in the Major League sets [no matter what their status was when the cards were produced] in previous years is silly. No matter how the price guides like Beckett or Tuff Stuff is complying with adding extra meaning to cards [of Zimmerman, Ramirez or Verlander for example] with the rookie card logo, they are still not the rookie cards I've come to know prior to 2006.

If a the rookie card logo is affixed onto a card, I'd like the card to be considered a true rookie card, the first card from the set.

Unfortunately [or maybe not], I think Topps can still get away with putting fresh new professional players in their Bowman sets.

I think the problem is that you can include Major League players in Bowman Draft - so the cards of players just draft would be essentially rookie cards [unless of course, they are inserted].

I remember that Topps issued draft sets in 1994 [Stadium Club] and they didn't really generate much interest, because they were considered a specialty set, without any other players.

If the powers that be made Bowman Draft without the Prospects, cards produced during the Major League debut of a player [or whenever he is eligible to be put in a set] would have that much more value.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Featured Pickup
In an assorted box of random cards at the bi-weekly show, I picked up a 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter Josh Gibson base card [$0.50] - out of all the cards, this was the one I ended up. In baseball lore, Gibson is a pretty historical figure and for two quarters, this card featuring this Gibson means something - it really does.
Featured Pickup
Though worthless, I found a 1990 Upper Deck Ben McDonald error/variation card [and the corrected version] in a commons bin. I think the story is that McDonald was supposed to be part of the 'star rookies' subset.

Instead, Upper Deck had put the Baltimore Orioles logo on a number of McDonald cards, not the 'star rookies' logo.

McDonald was one of the hot rookies back in the day and I think it would have been easy for any companies to overlook a 'printing mistake,' capitalizing not only on McDonald's status, but also on the 'error craze' through the 1980s, particularly when Fleer received so much attention with the 1989 Bill Ripken FF card.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Target Breaks

Stopped by Target yesterday night to see if they had any 2006 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects.

I think it is natural habit to look for some new product, featuring cards of players in their professional playing infancy, just t get some new baseball cards in my collection.

I think Topps is the only company that still can put recent draft picks and other minor league prospects into new baseball card product.

2006 BDP was on the card shelves. I hoped that they were fresh boxes that haven't been tampered with.

When someone tampers with a blaster box, it is usually consists of buying a blaster, gutting the contents of the original product, filling it with junk cards, resealing the package only to return it to the store.

2006 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects blaster breaks [x2 @$19.99 each]
- seven packs plus one bonus pack in each blaster box.

Box One
- notables
Micah Owings Signs of the Future auto card - a card from dreaded autograph insert set

Davis Romero Futures Game jersey card - a relief scrub

Colton Willems refractor - the Washington Nationals No. 1 draft choice in 2006, whatever that really means

Hank Conger gold filler insert - it isn't the ideal Conger card from the set, but it is my first card of the LA Angels' No. 1 draft choice in 2006.

Box Two
- notables
Mike Napoli refractor - don't know if this is a true rookie parallel or not.

Boof Bonser xfractor - serial #'d 157/299; I don't think this is a true rookie parallel.

Tyler Colvin base chrome - he was a surprising No. 13 overall pick in the 2006 MLB Amateur free agent draft. I could have gotten his autograph in-person if I wanted to when he and his Clemson baseball team were playing in the 2006 College World Series.

Nathan Culp white - serial #'d 117/225 - I remember him pitching for Missouri in the 2006 Super Regionals.

Nick Adenhart Futures Game jersey card - another card for the Angels' collection.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mail Day
A 1980 Topps Nolan Ryan [$9.95 BIN plus $3.50 s/h on Ebay] made its way onto my mailbox on Friday. This was a card that an adolescent friend once had, purchased for about $30 ungraded during Ryan's later 'prime years' with the Texas Rangers back in the early '90s.

I've bought a few graded cards casually and I guess I'm not familiar with the imperfections that are figured into a particular card grade. I assume that buying a card PSA graded '8' would at least have good centering on the front [and the back]. The the graphics on the back of the card seems to be too off-centered to be really visually attractive.