Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sport Kings Series B: Coming Soon


After a strong debut in 2007 with the first series of Sport Kings which featured the first Pete Rose cards in years, the brand will making a second showing this summer with Sport Kings Series B.

The second line-up will include more of the world's greatest athletes like Joe Montana, Pele, Roy Jones Jr., Arnold Palmer and Hakeem Olajuwon among others.

The new series will also include more autographs and memorabilia cards as well as cut signatures.

More information will be shared when it becomes available.

Card of the Day: 2008 Topps Heritage Dontrelle Willis


With a new team, Dontrelle Willis finds himself with new colors in new 2008 releases. Topps Heritage is one of the most sought after new releases for baseball and this year's stellar design is no exception to the rule.

Heritage always delivers short prints, variations, and old-school designed insert sets. While I have never seriously collected them, I have also appreciated the set for the history it hold.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Babe Ruth


Upper Deck has produced, at least I think, the best set of 2008 so far with its O-Pee-Chee insert set.

The set is beautifully set with close-up photos encased in a white border, and they capture the vintage 1969 O-Pee-Chee feel very well.

The only negative about these cards is that they are glossy. Had Upper Deck made these without gloss, it would've captured the essence even further.

Despite that small negative, I am still chasing these cards. I only have like 7 right now, but hopefully that will change after the high demand of the new cards passes over when higher quality sets come out.

If you have any for trade or sale, please let me know via comment.

A Good Note For Collectors


Many collectors feel that a slowing nationwide economy has really affected the card show business. And while this may be true, one show in Massachusetts proves that some shows still have what it takes.

The Second Annual Supershow, sponsored by the Downtown Sports Card Shop, provided many collectors and dealers from the surrounding states a chance to make a deal at the Taunton Holiday Inn.

The organizers of the show realized that they needed to find some of the highest quality dealers in order to attract people to their moderately small show (30 tables) and did so through lots of advertising and word of mouth.

But, this is just one example of a good show. Many of the shows I used to go to 5-7 years ago aren't like they used to be. Some are down to just 10 tables anymore.

I blame part of that on the economy, but I also blame part of it on the card companies. Because they focus most of their line on high end brands that can sell for over $100 a pack, it is tough for the everyday collector, like myself, to collect. I can't afford to spend $10 on a pack, let alone $100.

Maybe soon, this trend will change in both areas: the national economy and the price of trading cards.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Another Mickey Mantle Super Sale


A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 5 sold on eBay for $14,100 yesterday. The seller, based in Canada, had sold the card for over $15,000 one week before, but apparently did not complete the sale.

This card is the second big Mantle sale recently as a PSA 10 1951 Bowman Mantle RC sold for $600,000.

See it on eBay

Card of the Day: 2007 Bowman Printing Plate Dan Uggla


I thought it would be good to feature a new type of card today.

While Dan Uggla has nothing newsworthy about him right now, this was the best example picture I could find of a printing plate.

Printing plates are produced for every card, but they aren't always released in packs. Basically a printing plate is the actual metal plate used to print all of the cards. The fronts and backs both come in four different colors: cyan, yellow, magenta, and black.

These also can have autographs or relic pieces in them which enhance their value.

A common printing plate can be had for around $10-$15 on eBay so it is probably the cheapest way to acquire a 1/1 card.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Presidential Hopefuls Net More Big Dollars in the Collecting World


Topps has been leading the race for presidential cards this year. And while the Hillary Clinton Upper Deck Presidential Predictors "error" card has been selling for more than $1,000, a Topps card has now stolen the two highest sales.

Topps Presidential Cut Signature Collection had a recent sale of over $3,000 for a Barack Obama.

The set includes:

Barack Obama (#'d to 15)
Hillary Clinton (#'d to 18)
John McCain (#'d to 15)
John Edwards (#'d to 15)
Fred Thompson (#'d to 15)

An Obama sold for over $3,000 on eBay, and a Clinton sold for $600.

As for the Upper Deck card of Clinton, the most recent eBay sales are at about $1,800. The sad part is, I could've bought one Buy-It_Now for $729 and almost did, but I can't afford a $700 risk right now. Oh well, that's how things go sometimes.

Card of the Day: 2007 Topps Heritage Mark DeRosa


Mark DeRosa isn't a superstar, but no one wants to see someone have to leave spring training for a heart condition no matter what their status is.

DeRosa had to leave the Cubs to check on his non life threatening irregular heartbeat, but he expects to back on the field by next week.

And while he is not popular in the collecting world (he has four eBay listings right now), I do hope he has a speedy recovery and a bright future.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Bench Trading Charity Drive Update


Here is the current list of members of The Bench that have donated cards to the charity drive the site is running:

Doc Dave--10 cards

dlackey--9 cards

jflan702--8 cards
PitofSteel--8 cards

hdjstuff--7 cards

maddogg--6 cards
STLSHOEMAN--6 cards

uglyrad1--5 cards

alma1960--4 cards
David K.--4 cards
Slavlite--4 cards
Worldwideed--4 cards

murph3--3 cards

Braves95--2 cards
Cano22--2 cards
Hoyt55--2 cards
IRobo--2 Cards
kingsfaninri--2 cards
pac rat 76--2 cards
rolenalong--2 cards
YankeeBob63--2 cards

cardsfan06--1 card
Jack--1 Card
seawolf17--1 card

For information about the project please visit:

Official Wesbite

Cardboard Mania's Blog

Card of the Day: 1982 Donruss Terry Francona


The Red Sox like their man. And I don't blame them.

After not winning the World Series for an eternity, Terry Francona has taken them to two titles (2004, 2007) since taking over as manager in 2004.

Now, he will be around for the next four and possibly six years if he can keep up his good record after signing a contract extension.

It's just a good thing for the Red Sox that Francona's mangerial record isn't as lusy as his player record was.

Over his ten journeyman seasons, Francona hit .274 in 1731 at-bats gaining just 474 hits. Although he did have a .990 fielding percentage and struck out a batter when he pitch a single perfect inning in 1989 with Milwaukee so I guess he does have a small claim to fame as a player.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Card of the Day: 2007 Bowman Heritage Joba Chamberlain


One of the biggest stories of spring training is where Joba Chamberlain will start the season for the Yankees.

So far most known for being "attacked" by bugs in the playoffs against Cleveland, Chamberlain is expected to be a big part of the Yankees rotation for years to come.

But speaking of Cleveland, that is what they thought about Jaret Wright after he pitched well in his first playoffs. And we all know how that went.

Nervertheless, Chamberlain's cards are some of the hottest on the market right now. I made a trade for a couple and sold them less than 30 minutes after I received them. His autographs are selling for $75+ on eBay on a regular basis. Even base rookies like the Bowman Heritage are popular among collectors.

Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose


And Sports Collector's Digest lost this time around.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Card of the Day: 2001 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres Ryan Howard


Ryan Howard has broken a few records in his time, but those were probably more meaningful that the one he most recently surpassed.

Howard set the record fo rmost money won in an arbitration hearing with $10 million.

Now I am a huge Ryan Howard fan, but I hate this agreement. He has just done to arbitration what Alex Rodriguez did to free agency in 2001: ruined it.

No baseball player is worth $10 million. Not Babe Ruth, not Ken Griffey Jr. in his prime, not Randy Johnson in his prime. I mean no one.

And now, Howard has opened the door for other young stars like Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Hanley Ramirez, and others who will be eligible for arbitration in the near future. Each one of the aforementioned players will get overpayed, I will say that now.

Nevertheless, Howard and those others are good for the card industry because they give collectors a young exciting player to chase. Such is the case for this XRC of Howard's. You can get a Howard jersey card for less than you get this basic first-ever card of him.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Card of the Day: 2007-08 Stadium Club Full Court Press Jerseys Ben Wallace


Next thing you know, he'll be a Pacer.

Ben Wallace started his career in Detroit, signed with Chicago as a free agent two years ago, and has now been traded to Cleveland. He's bounced around the division more than Mike Morgan did in baseball.

Nevertheless, he brings some help to a Cleveland team notorious for not making big trades in the middle of the season, or ever.

Now as a Cavs fan, I will say this: Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, Wally Szczerbiak, and Delonte West are not enough for the Cavs to win it all in 2008.

The infamous Cleveland saying goes: There's always next year.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Vegas Collector to Soon Break Guinness Record


Collecting baseball cards is more than a hobby and a soon-to-be world record for Las Vegas collector Paul Jones.

His more than 520,000 cards will soon be recognized by Guinness as the largest card collection in the world, but for a person with disability, cards can do much more then bring enjoyment.

Jones was born without his 16th gene which has caused him trouble in retaining information. His parents then got him started with baseball cards to teach him geography.

At 22, he has collected to record size in his parents house.

His collection was verified this past weekend and the official request for a world record has been sent to Guinness for processing.

It is so nice to see someone like this getting honored for something great. With normal publicity for the trading card industry coming from politcally based variations, it is nice to see a touching story involving cards.

For this 22-year-old to hold this record is far better than most anyone else, myself included, having it. With this kid competing against the likes of Barry Hapler, Mr. Mint, and other legendary sports collectors, how can you not want this guy to get the record?

Card of the Day: 2008 Upper Deck Hot Commodities Miguel Tejada


When I saw that Miguel Tejada was in this set, I couldn't help but laugh a little. Hot Commodity? Maybe a few years ago.

Today, Tejada is aging and has steroid allegations hounding him at press conference with the media despite hoping for a fresh start in Houston.

Other dubious players in the set:

Russell Martin
Carlos Lee
Gary Sheffield

Inventory on 4000+ cards = not fun

And that would be the reason I haven't been around for a few days. Inventorying my baseball cards plus a lot of homework has made for two very long days. However, I am back and will do at least one and hopefully a couple blogs today.

Check out the baseball section at:

http://www.freewebs.com/thenickelbin

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Card of the Day: 2007-08 Upper Deck First Edition Behind The Glass Dwight Howard


You know the classic names: Dr. J, Dominique, Spud Webb, MJ, Vince Carter, Jason Richardson. And with last night's perfromance, add Dwight Howard to the list.

Howard singlehandedly revitalized the NBA Slam Dunk contest with four never before seen dunks including an amazing Superman dunk.

This Upper Deck features Howard doing what he does best. He leads the league in dunks this year 110.

Hopefully, I will be able to get my hands on a Superman dunk card when they come out.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Card of the Day: 2007 Topps Update All-Star Stitches Grady Sizemore


As an Indians fan, I am very hopeful that Grady Sizemore will have another year like 2007 and be included in 2008 Topps Update All-Star Stitches as well.

Hopeful, they will have some better uniforms this time around though.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Card of the Day: 1996 SP Zach Thomas


I suppose they don't have anything to lose.

The Miami Dolphins finished a league worst 1-15 last season and now have began a complete overhaul of their team under Bill Parcells.

Linebacker Zach Thomas, one of the best ever to wear a Dolphins uniform, was released Thursday a few days after the team dropped Trent Green and Marty Booker.

Thomas is expected to try and sign with a Super Bowl contender for next season to try to win his first ever championship.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Upper Deck Opens First Retail Store


Finally some good card news to blog about.

Tomorrow, Upper Deck will open up its first retail store in the Tella Berra Shopping Center in Huntington Beach, CA.

The retail idea was first brought last year and the southern California store was anounced as the first location, but now it is a reality.

However, shop owners in the area are concerned that the UD store will cut into their profits. Upper Deck has said that it will work with these stores to help both parties stay in business.

UD will also use this store to promote new items to a local audience before going nationwide with ideas in addition to selling their sports and entertainment products.

On Friday, Los Angeles Lakers star Luke Walton will sign autographs for an hour and Los Angeles Dodgers great Steve Garvey will make an appearance on Saturday.

How will this store affect UD's overall perception though? I assure you that if I posted this to a sports card forum, people would instantly say that UD should focus on fixing their redemption policies rather than open a new store.

My counter for that is that the people in charge of opening a new store probably have nothing to do with the people who are in charge of redemptions.

What's your take?

Card of the Day: 1987 Donruss Barry Bonds


Here's another card I'm not buying now.

For those who haven't yet heard, evidence of a failed drug test for Bonds in 2001 recently came out.

**
CORRECTION

My original blog proved to be incorrect as a error on the part of federal prosecuters ill advised many media outlets including myself, ESPN and Yahoo! Sports to a false story.

Despite the mistake, this is still not the time to invest in Bonds given his current involvement in court cases and perjury speculation.
**

These stories make me feel a little bad for those collectors that put big bucks into these cards via BGS and PSA grading. But, I'm sure we've all had investmnets that went bad.

Share your horror story here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Card of the Day: 1990 Donruss MVPs John Smoltz Error


Remember the days when errors were prevalent and unintentional?

This is a prime example of one such issue. Donruss MVPs were a fun little bonus set that Donruss put into packs.

However, they can't always tell players from other players. As you can see, the player is supposed to John Smoltz, but the picture is blatently Tom Glavine.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Card of the Day: 2006-07 Bowman Bravo GU Rasheed Wallace


With Kevin Garnett nursing an abdominal strain, the Eastern Conference All-Star team will now include Detroit Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace.

With Wallace replacing Garnett, the top vote getter in All-Star voting, he will join Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton to put three Pistons in the game.

Sheed should see a small spike in card sales with the All-Star selection, but his game-used cards will still be availiable for roughly $3-$4 delivered on eBay.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 Wheels High Gear Dale Earnhardt Jr.


I understand that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is popular and whatnot, but I still say there is too much being made of his exhibition win with Hendrick Motorsports.

Granted it was also his first win since 2006, it was still an exhibition.

Jr. said he is a favorite to win the Daytona 500, and if he does so, then I feel like we actually have a story.

Wheels jumped right out and created a card of Jr. in his National Guard paint scheme. Albeit an odd photo. A photoshopped race car with the tires not spinning as it drives off pit lane.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 Topps Kazuo Uzuki RC


With early buzz surrounding the the Boston Red Sox card from 2008 Topps, card FS1 is also creating a bit of its own buzz.

The card is of Japanses high school pehnom Kazuo Uzuki, or The Uzi.

Uzuki is most known for his work at the WBC tryouts in 2006 when he was 14 years old. He was the youngest player invited and struck out 17 batters in seven innings during an intrasquad game.

He also plans to jump straight from high school to MLB in 2009 which would be the first time in history that has happened.

Early sales on eBay on Uzuki have been around $10-$15.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 Upper Deck Presidential Predictor Hillary Clinton


And the political controversies continue. First it was Topps with Rudy Giulani and the Red Sox. Now, it is Hillary Clinton in a spoof of Bill's scandel.

While the card indeed makes me laugh, one has to wonder what Upper Deck's intention was here. Especially considering they had to pull this card manually after realizing the cartoon may be controversial or offensive.

Uh, duh.

Meanwhile, some collectors are picking up a cool amount of cash off of this issue. The top eBay auction at this time is at $1,125.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Card of the Day: 2007-08 Bowman Chrome Black Refractor Shaquille O'Neal


Once the NBA's most dominant big man, Shaquille O'Neal is looking to revitalize himself among the talents of the Phoenix Suns.

Running the court with Amare Stoudamire, Steve Nash, and company will further reinforce the Suns as the best in the West. This is assuming O'Neal can overcome his recent hip injury and succumb to his age of 35.

Bowman Chrome will be one of the last Shaq issues with him in a Heat jersey as the new Suns cards will be forthcoming in high demand very soon.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

eTopps Intoduces One-Day Candidate Set


Super Tuesday has a new meaning: for a day.

eTopps is introducing a one-day offer for a set of presidential candidates. Four mini Allen & Ginter cards of Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Mitt Romney, and John McCain numbered to 999 are being sold as I type this.

Obama, Clinton, and McCain cost $8 each and Romney can be had for $6.

Any collector who has the winning candidates from either party in their eTopps portfolio will receive two bonus reward points, and any collector that buys all four will receive a free hobby pack of 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter.

Card of the Day: 2007 SP Rookie Threads Calvin Johnson/Dwayne Jarrett/Steve Smith Triple JSY


There's nothing like turning a profit. I recently bought this off eBay for $5 and resold it for $10.50.

These three rookies were big parts of last year's NFL draft and they made for a very nice triple game-used card that satisfies collectors of three different players.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Topps Trickery Department Back At It


Here's what The New York Post's Richard Wilner had to say about Topps's next dive into trick trading cards:

---

February 5, 2008 -- The digital imaging wizards at Topps baseball cards are at it again - and this time failed presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani makes a cameo appearance on a collectable card.

Only he probably won't be too happy about it.

That's him in the middle of the Boston Red Sox on-field celebration - arm up in the middle of a victory yell - following the last out of the Bosox World Series-clinching win last season.

The limited-edition card is a none-too-gentle jab at the outspoken Yankees fan who pronounced last October that he would be rooting for the Red Sox to win the Series because he was an American League fan.

Giuliani's position shocked many Bronx Bomber loyalists - and led to a Post parody at the time (inset above).

Big Apple-based Topps, which former Walt Disney Co. boss Michael Eisner acquired last year, designed the special card to promote the 2008 season collection - due in stores tomorrow.

"We read about Rudy rooting for the Red Sox and we thought - why not put him in the middle of the celebration," said Clay Luraschi, baseball brand manager for Topps.

---

I like the fact that Topps has been having fun with cards lately. I'm not so thrilled with Upper Deck's retailiation cards, but it's nice to see that the companies can still put some fun into a multi-million dollar industry.

Not to mention, the card has garnered national media attention on Yahoo! Sports and ESPN which the hobby can always use.

See it on eBay

Card of the Day: 2003 Bowman's Best David Tyree RC Auto


Sticking with the Super Bowl heroes theme, we move to wide receiver David Tyree. Tyree's catch on the last drive of the game will go down as one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl.

His cards have seen a rise in action since that catch with this card jumping from $10 BIN to $25 BIN from Feb. 3 to Feb. 5.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Card of the Day: 2004 Sweet Spot Eli Manning RC Auto


The Super Bowl XLII MVP has seen a spike in eBay activity since leading the Giants to the Super Bowl and then to a victory.

Eli Manning was always Peyton's younger brother, over rated, not a good quarterback. Well, what does everyone think now? I like to call him a history maker.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

NFL Cracking Down on Fake Super Bowl Memorabilia


Buyers should always be aware when buying memorabilia. But now sellers need to watch their backs as the NFL is cracking down on people selling fake memorabilia at and around the Super Bowl.

In the past five days, police and agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have seized over 1,200 fake items in Glendale valued at over $140,000.

"Historically, major events such as the Super Bowl are a magnet for property rights fraud, and we're using all of our resources to go after the counterfeits and the counterfeiters." ~ said ICE Assistant Secretary Julie Myers

Between these kind of things and other unauthorized memorabilia floating around card shops and eBay, it makes one wonder what is safe to buy nowadays. A good rule of thumb is to always, always look for a COA no matter what piece of memorabilia you are buying.

However, some people even fake the COAs so you have to be well-aware of what a real COA looks like. The bigger the name, the more likely you have a legit item.

People that aren't careful and buy this items do three things that make the problem worse:

1. Profits generally go back into counterfeiting
2. Sellers see they can get away with some fakes and then try to make more and more
3. The buyers are getting ripped off without even knowing it

So I urge my readers to please be careful when buying memorabilia. Always double-check and ask the seller questions about the item. If they can't answer your question, I would be very skeptical.

Card of the Day: 2007-08 Bowman Relics Dual Pau Gasol


The Los Angeles Lakers got a little stronger today by trading for Memphis Grizzles star Pau Gasol.

The Lakers lost veteran Kwame Brown, rookie Javaris Crittenton, and two future draft picks to get the former rookie of the year and All-Star.

Reeling from injuries, the Lakers may be able to use Gasol to vault back to the top of the West and possibly win the NBA Finals.