|The Sports Card Guy||
Well, the Kobe Bryant era is over...and he never surpassed Michael Jordan as the G.O.A.T. Being that he was retiring, and is a first-ballot HOFer, I decided to add a few Kobe rookie cards to my new PSA collection. I'd really like to add his Finest and Topps Chrome, it'll eventually happen, but these were two of my favorites from that year. Enjoy and sorry for the gap between blogs.
Kevin McHale, #32, belongs in every conversation about who is the best power forward in NBA history. Kevin McHale played a pivotal role in the Boston Celtics legacy in the 80's and there will always be uncertainty around how his career would have gone without Larry Bird on the team. He's still one of the best ever and one of the best Celtics players to ever put on the uniform. His rookie card captures one of his key moves and while his game wasn't flashy, he was a master of the low post and would likely had success no matter what team he played for - similar to Scottie Pippen in that regard.
Topps Heritage has all of the potential to be the best release each year. Real cardboard stock, familiar designs, minimal inserts, one series release - a throwback to what set collectors and long-time collectors would want in a product. But, it's a Topps product so of course they screw it up. Believe it or not, some people in the hobby still want to build a set. Key word = build. Not buy a set without the fun of collecting, not be forced to buy cases upon cases to complete a set but actually buy a reasonable and manageable amount of the product and be able to hand collate a set. What makes Topps Heritage an impossible set to build? SHORT PRINTED BASE CARDS! Not only are they short printed, they are typically the star players in the set. It's not like Topps said "oh, let's short print the same way we did in the original release". Why would Topps care about their history? Instead, Topps says "let's short print the best guys so large case breakers and group breakers can get the most return on their purchase".
I've put a ton of time, effort and $$ into trying to build the 2012 Topps Heritage set. This was my first attempt to build a Topps Heritage set, as I was attracted to all of the things mentioned previously - 4 years later, I'm still 19 short prints away from a full set. Since that point, I said to myself - why even bother with this release? It is truly "uncollectible". For some silly reason, I started to feel excitement for the 2016 Heritage release and was looking on eBay/Twitter to see if there were any good deals on base sets (since I knew I'd never be able to afford enough to hand collate). Then I saw the checklist and the short print cards in this years release include: Kershaw, Ortiz, Harper, Trout, etc. Pretty much anyone you'd actually be excited about pulling in a pack. Yet again, Topps caters to the case breakers & re-sellers rather than the collectors.
This exact topic was discussed on Twitter today by a few people I'd consider "collectors". Here are some snippets from the conversation:
Given the price point of the product, nostalgic aspect and minimal inserts, Topps is once again flipping the bird to set collectors and, well, collectors by including so many SPs in this years set.
Did you collect basketball cards back in 1991?1991 was a pivotal year for a hobby surge in basketball cards. Upper Deck launched its first basketball product and the first key marketable rookie was entering the NBA since David Robinson. Larry Johnson was at a level that Shaq's RC reached, before Shaq was a rookie. 1991 Upper Deck basketball was the first of its kind, and Larry Johnson was coming off an amazing college career that led to crossover into mainstream media.
Larry Johnson would go on to lead a long and successful NBA career, and it was cool to pick up this rookie card in PSA 10 form as it was a HUGE deal when I was a kid collecting cards. While I've moved away from the NBA a bit, there is still something cool about picking up key NBA RCs from guys I grew up watching and rooting for.
Rik Smits was my boyhood hero. My parents had attended Marist College and were season ticket holders for the men's college basketball team. I used to love attending the games and shooting hoops on the court after the game. Then, they had signed this really tall kid who was very raw but had a ton of promise. I think I watched almost every home game Rik Smits played in college and met him on a number of occasions. As a kid who was always the tallest in his class, it was amazing to stand next to a guy who was 7'4". Rik was always very nice to everyone and spent a ton of time with kids at the summer basketball camps or at other alumni events.
I followed him throughout his NBA career and wanted to add his best rookie card to my collection. I may have to find a few other cool Smits cards to add to my PC as well.
Sorry for the wait. Things have been crazy on my end lately, but it doesn't mean I've fallen off the map. A lot has changed since my last post:
So, now that we're caught up. Here is a cool card that I picked up this week via eBay. I was a huge Chris Mullin fan as a kid, loved the style of his play and he had one of the sweetest jump shots in the game at the time.
I hope to be more active in 2016, but I said that last year too.
Anyone interested in joining a card collecting club in Southern NJ? We're looking to get started in October, meeting 1x per month. Here are the details so far:
Location: Mt Laurel / Cherry Hill area in NJ (securing location)
Dates: October 21st, thinking 6pm-9pm
Food: Depending on the number of attendees, we'll likely order pizzas & BYOB
Premise: Bring cards that you're looking to sell / trade, hoping to have TVs to watch sports, hang out & meet other collectors. Have a local card shop lined up to sell boxes, packs & supplies if we want to do pack wars or group breaks.
Interested? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
The newest item for my personal collection has arrived! After careful consideration, patience and building up a sizable amount of money in my paypal, I've finally added a key rookie card to my collection - the Larry Bird / Magic Johnson rookie card in BVG 8.5. This has been a key card that I've had my eye on for quite some time, and the final cost was lower than what some of the copies have been selling for recently. I've been slowly accumulating money from digital card sales, and wanted to really show some patience and wait to buy a bigger item for my collection. I think this was well worth the wait, and it's in my favorite BVG format - 8.5, which still gets the silver!
What card are YOU saving up for? Do you think you'll get enough saved to buy it by the end of the year? What card do you think I'm saving up for next?
I've had some pretty decent luck with winning cool contests on Twitter. There was the Starlin Castro 1/1 Allen & Ginter card from Topps during the National a few years ago, a Strasburg card (during his peak) from Beckett, the Boggs Autograph...and I recently won a RT contest for a box of Graded Greats Series 2.
If you're not familiar with Graded Greats (@GradedGreats on Twitter), they are self-described on their website as: "As Sports Card Enthusiasts our team has searched the country for a better way to bring the thrill of opening vintage cards and adding great graded cards to the process." I remember seeing their posts during the Series 1 release, and began to see information about their Series 2 release when I did the RT contest to win a box. Being a fan of graded cards (mostly BVG/BGS), I took a keen interest but also was a bit hesitant as they are not your typical brand name (i.e. Topps, Panini, Leaf, etc.). Winning this contest gave me a great opportunity to test out the product for myself and get more comfortable with the release.
Series 2 promised ONE graded rookie card of a HOF'er, plus 2 additional graded vintage cards and 1 vintage pack. Here is the outcome of my box:
1st pack: '87D pack, '89B pack and an '84F pack (pretty cool RC classes: Mattingly, Strawberry, Griffey Jr., Maddux, Bo Jackson, etc.)
2nd pack: '89B pack, '87F pack and a '65T Mantle's Clutch HR card (my 1st vintage Mickey Mantle card - EVER!)
3rd pack: PSA 10 '88F Glossy Eddie Murray (sending this out to my buddy Matt on Twitter, @mattduck21 - HUGE Eddie Murray fan)
4th pack: PSA 9 '85OPC Rod Carew
5th pack: BVG 6 '74T Joe Morgan
6th pack: BVG 6.5 '78T Eddie Murray RC (also sending out to Matt, he'll give it a good home)
All in all, their normal retail price is $59 per box and I'd say I definitely got the value from it. This is an AWESOME product if you're a graded card collector (key word = collector). This is not a BIG, MOJO hit repack product like that company that was around a year or two ago and we haven't heard from since (:: cough, Heroes of Sports, cough ::). This product seems built for collectors by collectors.
I may give their product a try in the near future - the framework of their Series 3 release seems cool, as there is a 1:10 box chance at some pretty cool vintage cards that are currently at PSA for grading. This is a great step forward in being more transparent about what hits / cards can be found in their product - which I think is always the biggest concern with repack companies. Personally, I feel like the more you know about what may be IN your box, the more likely you are to buy.
Here's the link to Graded Greats if you have an interest: http://www.gradedgreats.com
Favorite Card Sites
Baseball Card Exchange
Dave & Adam's Card World
Freedom Card Board
Greater Boston Sports Collector's Club (GBSCC)
Long Fly Ball
Sports Card Blog
Sports Card Magazine
The Cardboard Dugout
The Diabetic Card Geek
Voice of the Collector