Tuesday, April 29, 2008

2005: The Year of Baseball Rookie Cards

For anyone keeping track of baseball's young stars, you may have noticed that 2005 was the year of the star rookie.

Many players who will be in All-Star Games for years to come and some who probably will make the Hall of Fame all were first featured on cardboard in 2005.

Here is a list of such stars:

-Prince Fielder
-Melky Cabrera
-Ian Kinsler
-Billy Butler
-Justin Verlander
-Ryan Garko
-Russell Martin
-Matt Kemp
-Jered Weaver
-Jacoby Ellsbury
-Stephen Drew
-Ryan Braun
-Troy Tulowitzki
-Ryan Zimmerman

Not bad. Jay Bruce and Colby Rasmus, two of the top baseball prospects, also have 2005 rookies.

So I would suggest buying any cheap boxes of 2005 cards you can find because you are sure to find some star rookies in there.

Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Heritage Chrome Victor Martinez

Victor Martinez is quietly having a stellar season. It's quiet because he hasn't shown any power.

Despite a .365 average, Martinez hasn't hit any home runs and has just four doubles.

Martinez has a chance to get it going tonight as he has hit .452 with four home runs against Carlos Silva in his career.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 Press Pass Silver Autographs Darren McFadden

It's funny how a guy who went #4 overall and wasn't even considered the best player or running back in the draft can be the hottest selling rookie.

Darren McFadden's sales have been helped out by the Adrian Peterson effect.

After breaking out for the NFL single game rushing record last season, Peterson has helped McFadden become the hobby's newest icon.

However, a lot of experts and sites had McFadden as the second best running back in the draft behind Rashard Mendenhall. But McFadden's similarities to Peterson have collectors up in arms.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

NFL Draft Affects Trading Cards

With pre-draft cards coming out, one can't possibly know where the middle-of-the-line players will get drafted.

Did anyone really see Devin Thomas falling to the second round or DeSean Jackson being the sixth wide receiver taken? I certainly didn't, and now that it has happened, they may see a drop in card value.

The same situation applies to Brian Brohm and Chad Henne. These two are now going to be like Drew Stanton and Kevin Kolb of last season.

But because people expected these players to be taken higher, their cards were selling for a lot. With their draft stock drop, these values may do the same making for some unhappy collectors.

Cards don't usually come out before the draft so it was a new territory for collectors. If this trend continues then collectors may better understand how to buy in the next few years.

Card of the Day: 2008 Senior Bowl Kory Lichtensteiger

Well, I have a new player to collect.

Bowling Green's center Kory Lichtensteiger was selected by the Denver Broncos in the fourth round of the 2008 Draft.

While this is his only card that I know of, Lichtensteiger should have plenty more issues coming out over the course of the summer.

Collecting his cards will quite a bit easier than collecting former Falcon QB Omar Jacobs whose 2006 cards were mostly game-used and autographed.

Lichtensteiger will just have less abundant, harder to find cards but also nearly no demand.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 Press Pass Power Picks Autographs Chris Long

Everyone already knows that Jake Long is the first pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, but sources this morning are reporting that Chris Long will be the t. Louis Rams' selection at the second pick.

Long is a monster of a man who will line up nicely next to last year's first round pick Adam Carriker as he looks to follow in his father's (Howie Long) footsteps.

Early sales on Long's cards are picking up steam as the draft approaches. When SAGE and Press Pass first released some Long autos were selling for as much as $70, but they leveled off around $20-$25 earlier this week.

Now, Long autos are pushing $30 each, and they may go higher if he does turn out to be the #2 pick.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Card of the Day: 2007 Bowman Chrome Xfractors Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee is back to form (at least that what it appears to be).

Lee's ERA is down to 0.28 on the season and his record is 4-0. After last year's dismal season, he has returned to his form from 2005 and 2006.

Hopefully he gets it up rather than imploding to the minors again.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Card of the Day: 2005 Topps Heritage Autographs Pac Man Jones

The controversial corner back of the Tennessee Titans has a new home in Texas.

The Dallas Cowboys agreed in principle to acquire Jones for at least fourth-round draft pick depending on whether the suspended Jones get reinstated.

Jones has had a shady criminal past and has been suspended since the beginning of the 2007 NFL season for his role in those crimes.

If Jones can stay out of trouble, going to Dallas will put his name in the spotlight as being a star player rather than a felon which will help his trading cards increase in value.

Of course, if he goes back to his old ways, then his cards will probably go down.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 Finest Gold Refractors Brandon Webb

Brandon Webb improve to 5-0 this season with his second victory over Barry Zito (0-5) in six days.

This is Webb's best career start to a season and he also struck out a season-high seven batters last night.

His success has helped the Diamondbacks amass the best record in baseball at 15-5.

Look for all of the young stars on the DBacks to have increased demand in their cards very soon.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Video: Larry Fitzgerald Asks How Much?

Larry Fitzgerald reacts to how much his cards are worth while shooting a Be a Card Geek ad for Beckett at the 2008 Hawaii Trade Conference. I thought it was pretty funny how much Fitz underestimated his collection's value.

Card of the Day: 2005 SP Authentics Geovany Soto

I was writing an article today about 2005 rookie cards and realized just how many stars came out with rookies that year.

Names like Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander, and Melky Cabrera among others. A name not too many people probably know is Geovany Soto, the Chicago Cubs catcher.

On the season, Soto is hitting .328 with 13 RBI and eight runs scored in 16 games.

As a catcher, there is always a bigger risk involved with investment, but Soto has shown signs of what could be. He reminds me of my man Victor Martinez a little bit.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 Upper Deck A Piece of History 500 Club Frank Thomas

It's not every day that a 500 Home Run club member gets released.

After starting slow and blowing off teammates and reporters after Saturday's game, Thomas and the Blue Jays "mutally agreed" to part ways on Sunday.

However, it doesn't appear that Thomas thinks the agreement was mutual.

“It’s pretty obvious,” Thomas said. “Sixty at-bats isn’t enough to make that decision. I’m angry, I know I can help this team. My career isn’t going to end like this.” ~ Frank Thomas

Matt Stairs and Rod Barajas will split time at the DH spot.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 Topps Josh Bard

Anytime there is a long game in baseball, there are always some no-namers heavily involved. Last night's game between the Rockies and Padres was no exception.

The game was scoreless until the 14th inning when both team scored one run. However, it was Josh Bard's bases loaded single that continued the game going - until the 22nd inning.

Bard has bounced around the league since being a highly touted Indians prospect in the early 2000s. But he has found a home in San Diego where he is hitting .292 with six RBIs this year.

The best part about this story is that Bard is also the reason the game ended. After Willy Tavareas beat out an infield grounder, he stole second and took third on Bard's throwing error. Troy Tulowitzki was the next batter and doubled him in.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Video: The First Relic Cards

Beckett tracked down the guy in charge of creating the first relic cards back in 1995 at the Hawaii Trade Conference this week. The man behind who created this idea was then-Press Pass president Victor Schaffer. Take a listen to how the idea got started.

Card of the Day: 2007 Ultra C.C. Sabathia

This man needs to return...soon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Card of the Day: 2007-08 Topps Luxury Box Rookie Auto/Relic Yi Jianlian

Boy wouldn't you love to pull this card? well don't get to excited yet, you won't have the chance until April 23.

While basketball cards are a struggling market, Topps Luxury Box is one of the best products for basketball collectors. This year's version features Gilbert Arenas exclusive autos, logoman patches, and autographed relic cards like the Jianlian above.

A new feature of Luxury Box this year is that you will get a relic or auto/relic in every pack with your three base cards. In each box, you should find two auto/relics, eight relics, and 10 parallel or rookies.

I personally will not be anticipating Luxury Box fro two reasons: 1) I'm not a basketball kind of guy 2) There are bound to be on the pricey side of things.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Topps Signs Legendary Line-Up of Players

Topps recently signed deals with the estates of 16 baseball legends to be the exclusive producer of their trading cards.

Players include: Jackie Robinson, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Thurman Munson, Roy Campanella, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Cy Young, Mel Ott, Johnny Mize, Jimmie Foxx, Honus Wagner, Pee Wee Reese, George Sisler and Christy Mathewson.

This deal will include game-used cards and will run through 2010.

These 16 join Mickey Mantle as Topps exclusives.

Card of the Day: 2008 UD Spectrum Omar Vizquel

It's amazing this guy is still around. Omar Vizquel's first cards came out nearly 20 years ago in 1989.

While he's out for awhile with injury right now, Vizquel has still been a solid contributor for the Giants in the waning years of his career.

Last season, Vizquel played in 143 games, but hit for his lowest average (.246) in a full seaosn since 1992.

Pretty soon, Vizquel will probably be announcing his retirement from baseball, and the argument for his Hall of Fame selection will begin. However, it will probably be short-lived because the likelihood of him being elected are very slim.

Nevertheless, a collection of Vizquel cards is probably very nice. He's had a lot of releases and doesn't have too many rare cards (outside of 1/1s).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Card of the Day: 1999 SkyBox Autographics Gabe Kapler

Back in the day, Gabe Kapler was one of the most touted prospects in all baseball. After becoming a bust, bouncing around several teams, and managing in the minors for a little while, Kapler is back.

Hitting .423 with four homers and 11 RBIs, Kapler's cards are becoming what they once were in 1998.

Whether or not he keeps this pace up is hard to tell, but I would say don't invest in this guy. He's a one-year wonder.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Card of the Day: 1961 Topps Chicago Cubs

While I can't speak for the 1961 Cubs team (or have the time to research it), the 2008 Cubs team is playing extra innings a lot.

Today, the Cubs are playing in their fourth extra innings game of the year. They are averaging one every four games That puts them on pace to play in 40 extra inning games.

Obviously that won't happen, but I can't really remember a time when there was this many at the beginning of the year.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Card of the Day: 2007 UD Black Quad Patch Auto Roy Halladay

A lot of people in the collecting world would consider this a great card, but I consider it to be a part of the hobby's demise.

Quad patches and products like UD Black are slowly ruining the card industry.

The demand for patches and autographs are driving the desire for base cards and 1:5 inserts to the same intensity as the desire for 1990s commons. They've also helped make those 1990s commons even more obsolete than they used to be.

With SRPs of some products now reaching $300+, how are kids supposed to get into this hobby in this day and age? Even worse, to be a collector and make trades online nowadays you pretty much need to have game-used and autos.

I remember, I got my first card of the like when I was probably 15 or 16 years old, but now kids are getting this when they are 10. This is a problem because the next era of collectors will have forgotten about "bad" base cards because of the early age they started getting these supposed "good" cards.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 eTopps Kosuke Fukudome

The newest Japanese sensation finally has an American baseball card. Well, sort of.

With the release of 2008 eTopps, Kosuke Fukudome got his first American card release limited to 1199.

As Fukudome continues to tear pitching apart, the 1199 copies of this card may go fast at just $8. So I would suggest jumping on this while you still can if you like eTopps cards.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 Topps Gold Doug Davis

Most everything about the Diamondbacks 10-5 win against the Dodgers last night seemed to be normal.

However, Doug Davis pitched six strong innings knowing that he would not be pitching for quite some time after his final pitch.

Davis will have surgery on Thursday to remove thyroid, and it's remarkable that he was able to pitch (and hit for that matter) as well as he did last night.

What effect will his cancer have on the his card market? Well, probably none, but I'm sure there will be plenty of people will save a card of Davis just to remember the incident.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Card of the Day: 1991 Fleer Bo Jackson

Is it just me or was 1991 Fleer one of the ugliest sets of all-time? The cards remind me of a school bus with the yellow and black border.

Not to mention, there are no significant cards at all in the set.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Card of the Day: 2002 Bowman Ryan Doumit

Every season, there are plenty of no-namers who make a name for themselves at the beginning of the year. People go crazy for their cards and then they go back to being no-namers. Chris Shelton anybody?

This season, Ryan Doumit is one of these players. However, Doumit has more upside than most of the players who would make this list.

With a .450 average, Doumit has terrorized pitching in his four games this season. Last season, he hit .274 in 83 games. So he is ahead of that pace right now, but I won't be surprised to see Doumit have better numbers by the end of the year.

Do I think he is worth investing in? Maybe short-term but not long-term.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Anyone want to buy me a card?

Omar Jacobs UD Exquistite Patch/Auto 1/1

I would be indebted forever.

Card of the Day: 2008 Topps Heritage Kevin Youkilis

This man almost made me want to throw things yesterday. Well, I guess it would've more been Terry Francona.

For anyone who knows about MLB.com's Beat the Streak, you know the nerves that run through you when the player you picked didn't start. You are praying he doesn't come in an a pinch-hitter and go 0-for-1, thus ending your hitting streak.

That was me yesterday. Fortunately, he never made an appearance on the field.

As for this card, it one of the better looking cards I have seen from 2008 Heritage. The yellow background really does it for me. Any time Topps had had solid colors in the background the yellow ones always come out the best.

This card is an SP though, so you'll have to do a little more looking and pay a little more to get it.

Or, if your unlike me and have good luck, you'll probably pull it out of your next pack.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Another Tiger Super Sale

This ended about a week ago, but I had not heard about it. Regardless, this sale is worth mentioning.

A BGS 10 2001 SP Authentic Auto of Tiger Woods sold for $16,000. There are 900 of these out there.

See it

Card of the Day: 2008 SAGE Autographs Jake Long

It's almost time for the NFL draft which means SAGE and Press Pass are dominanting the football card industry for awhile.

These products are always thefirst football products of the year and feature all of the top NFL prospects in their college threads.

The cards are very popular when they first come out, but later in the year people no longer want them. You will see threads on messages boards saying "Looking for so and so's autographs: no SAGE or Press Pass."

It's a shame because these companies are on top at one point of the year and at the bottom at another.

If you pull a no-name auto from these products, you better sell/trade it now because there won't be hardly any demand for it later in the year.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Card of the Day: 2008 Upper Deck Game Jerseys Error Jason Varitek

Well, Upper Deck misses a swatch or two every now and then.

With the mass amount of autographs and game-used cards produced today, it only makes sense that a few slip through without getting the sticker auto or jersey swatch attached to the card.

To pull one of these, makes for a unique collectible, but a disappointment at the same time.

On this Varitek, the swatch is supposed to be in the D in the UD, but Upper Deck simply overlooked it.

See it on eBay

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Card of the Day: 2000 Bowman Chrome Barry Zito

Boy, $126 million just doesn't buy what it used to does it?

Barry Zito rusty Opening Day start is only further enhancing the Giants blunder of signing Zito to a seven year, $126 million contract last year.

Last year, his first with the Giants, Zito was a dismal 11-13 with a 4.35 ERA. Part of that is to blame on the Giants terrible offense, but some of it is to blame on Zito's overratedness.

I admit, I got hooked on Zito when he showed flashes of greatness by going 17-8 and 23-5 in 2001 and 2002. As time rolled along and the best season Zito had after 2002 was a 16-10 in his free agent year, I realized my investment in him had not paid off.

Now, I am stuck with almost 100 Zito cards that I had hoped would increase in value as time rolled along, but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

This time, I lost.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Uzi is Fake

Let's take a brief lesson in Japanese language.

Kazuo Uzuki means "the first son of April." Hence...April Fool's.

Many hobbyist hyped on this card when it first came and Topps had many people fooled into think The Uzi was a legit Japanese prospect.

However, as time rolled on, many people on hobby message boards began to discuss the posisblity of this card being of a fake player. Yahoo! searches for Kazuo Uzuki came up empty leading many to speculate.

But, today Topps confirm their suspicion by announcing thier prank.

“With the latest Japanese imports, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kosuke Fukudome, fans, scouts and even card companies continue to search the globe for the next sensation,” said Clay Luraschi, Topps’ Baseball Brand Manager. “While “The Uzi” is indeed a fictional character, we look forward to the 2008 major league baseball season as the league continues to become more and more global.”

Now I know a lot of collectors are going to be all over Topps for this, but I think it is a great idea for them. It not only generated publicity in February, but it will generate it again.

Topps's marketing strategies are usually controversial among collectors, but I am an exception to that rule. I think Topps uses good strategies in promoting thier brands. There is only so much you do to promote baseball cards, and Topps has used some new ideas to do so.

And for all of you who complain, it's working isn't it?

Card of the Day: 1992 Bowman Tom Gordon

One of my favorite stats every Opening Day is to see what kind of outrageous ERAs pitchers put up.

This year's winner is Tom Gordon.

In just 1/3 of an inning, Gordon managed to allow seven earned runs which amounts to a 135.00 ERA.