Monday, March 09, 2009

Itching to throw some blog posts up

Bobby Abreu - in-person success from spring training in Arizona, the weekend before he left for the World Baseball Classic.

I've been home from spring training about a week and I've finally got my play-by-play in order - all the gory details of a spring training trip typed up for posterity. I think some time has passed, so posting any specific results maybe outdated or just too esoteric. I had some fun and some nice autographs to show for my time.

It seems like my interest in baseball is pretty high right now - with seeing various talents light it up in the World Baseball Classic, the anticipation of an upcoming season and the need to find reasons to collect the autographs and cards related to baseball.

During my Cactus League trip, I had no internet access - which seems unheard of, but that was the situation. It was all about going to workouts and several games to get autographs. Time spent in a Motel 6 room, meant sorting cards and hopefully getting rested up for the next day.

I got the photos and cards I'd bought in the last minute weeks before I was leaving for spring training - in hand, after I'd returned from a 10-day long trip. It was a little 'clumsy' for me to order some stuff weeks before I left, when I should have done it months ahead.

I couldn't read any of blogs - especially Cardboard Junkie, which seems to be the pulse of the hobby as far as the average collector is concerned. Hopefully through thick and thin, the blog sticks around for a while.

I figured I'd probably miss out on 150 posts of the 10-15 blogs - I tend to visit on a daily basis.

These days, I care more about what I do to get autographs in-person and through the mail - but the foundation of my collecting endeavors still begin and end with baseball cards.

Apparently the most important trading card related news include:

Topps Walmart and Target blaster exclusives revealed - I busted a $19.99 Target blaster box, the lone one I could find, over the weekend. It didn't have the special code to indicate it was a Throwback blaster, but I wanted to bust a blaster to get a commemorative [manufactured] patch card of a baseball legend/icon.

The release of 2009 Upper Deck Spectrum [yawn] - I'm sure collectors are eager to bust this product and some of the D-List notables like [Kim Kardashian and Kendra Wilkinson] are a change of pace from the hair band autographs from 2008, but Spectrum is still a junky baseball product.

The release of 2009 Topps Heritage - I like retro products in bits and pieces, but Heritage has jumped the shark a long time ago, since it is a mainstream set with a strong following among dedicated collectors. I suppose I respect the product's 'lineage,' all the way back to 2001, but its really kind of boring for me to gawk and drool over these cards.

Gaffes in securing authentic examples for Presidential cut autograph cards - for both Upper Deck and Razor [from their $2,000 a pack product]. I received a random cut autograph insert of a former United States President [Woodrow Wilson] from an Upper Deck redemption and I wonder if I should be worried.

Also, Razor is pimping $5 singles on Ebay of their base cards from the draft sets all Bowman Chromed up - the company are calling their cards Razor Metal and they look Bowman Chrome good actually. I think I'd like to get several for my various autograph endeavors, but why get the Metal version, when original Razor cards [of a star draft pick perhaps] sell for about $1-$2 each on Ebay.

From what I've read, there is about a thousand of each card and whatever doesn't get purchased within the month, gets destroyed - I do wonder when Razor is producing particular cards [and products] with one audience [prospectors] in mind, doesn't it shrink its overall value? If they are catering to prospectors' whims [the prospector as a collector, not just the prospector who enjoys flipping cards for profit], then there is less value because any cards/products Razor produces isn't for the masses.

Prospectors who kind of back Razor's prospect products think particular cards [and products] are going to be worth something - but then if those particular cards [and products] is only produced with prospectors in mind, then they are the only ones going that are going to care and there won't be mainstream collectors to flip the cards to.

Some veteran collectors won't even look at Razor [and/or Donruss] baseball cards - if there is no mainstream collectibility, there isn't really the pent up demand for something, if somehow you have the first card of someone and it happens to be a parallel and autographed.

I like the non-MLB/non-MLBPA cards, especially if they happen to be the first cards I get signed of some first year baseball professionals - on the other hand, part of what makes something in demand [for baseball card collectors in general] is having potential with a ceiling to hit.

What Razor is doing is basically making 'collectors issues,' to fool collectors into thinking their products are going to valuable - they can put up some good numbers, but what is their ceiling? Its kind of like the 1980s or the early 1990s, when companies sprouted up left and right to produce random trading card sets that ended up having no long-term value.

Razor might not ever get a MLB/MLBPA license - but they'd better find a way to make sure they aren't just catering to one genre of collectors.

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