Saturday, May 29, 2010

Box Break: 2008 Bowman Draft Hobby (Aflac Auto)

I've been on a bit of prospecting spree lately, a choice made easier by the utter lack of new products being released. As crazy as it sounds, I had a gut feeling that if I was going to buy a box, it had to be a box of 2008 Bowman Draft. The feeling was so strong that I spent some money I didn't really have to get a box off eBay, and as luck would have it, the decision turned out pretty well. You've already seen the best card out of this box but here are the rest of the inserts to get a better idea about how the product looks:

Brent Morel Blue Border Parallel #69/399: The blue border parallels fall about one per box and work fairly well with the design of the base cards. My blue border was of White Sox third base prospect Brent Morel, a third round pick of the team who just got promoted to Triple A. He's a career .298 hitter in the minor leagues so there's a chance this card may raise in value from $1 to $2. I guess that's just what makes prospecting so much fun.
Will Inman Rookie Refractor: The refractors from this set look phenomenal in person--really some of the nicest looking refractor cards I have ever seen. The first one I pulled was of Padres' pitcher Will Inman, who was originally drafted by the Brewers in 2005. The 23-year-old right hander has put together a solid minor league career and is currently sporting a 3.42 ERA at Triple-A Portland. The Padres' already have a surplus of pitching, so maybe he'll be moved at the deadline this year when the team looks for more offense. At least he's still in baseball.

Lou Marson Futures Game Refractor: Marson came to the Indians as the part of the Cliff Lee trade and started 2010 as Cleveland's primary catcher. He's struggled at the plate and is likely only keeping the seat warm till top prospect Carlos Santana gets called up, but Marson did hit three doubles a few days after I pulled this card, so that's something. Right?

Kevin Dubler X-Fractor Rookie #68/199: After nearly being blinded by the shine of this card (I first thought it was a Gordon Beckham auto) I realized that I had pulled an x-fractor of someone with a great baseball name. Unfortunately, Dubler hasn't lived up to his surname yet, with just 14 two-baggers in over 300 minor league at-bats. There's still time, but I don't plan on stocking up on his cards just yet. I would love to get an x-fractor auto from this set--it would look stellar.

Carlos Gutierrez First Year Auto: Well, thank goodness for the next card, because this is one of the worst autographs in the product. Carlos Gutierrez was a first round pick of the Minnesota Twins out of the University of Miami and has struggled to live up to his potential after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He's currently in Double-A but it looks like he is still a long way off from the big leagues. Though I was upset that I didn't pull a good chrome auto with so many good names available, I quickly realized that I couldn't feel too bad after I pulled the Heyward. That's just selfish.

Jason Heyward Aflac Auto: Sold for $499...nuff said.

Overall Thoughts: If you can find a box of 2008 Draft between $80-90 it's a great buy. There's an amazing checklist of future stars (Jesus Montero, Mike Stanton, Ike Davis, Buster Posey, Gordon Beckham, Wilmer Flores, etc.) and if you pull a parallel version of an autograph you're in for a nice payday. There's also an outside shot at a Jason Heyward Aflac Auto, though a bit less so after this box :) The base chrome cards have a nice design and the refractors look great in person. If you like prospecting, and are looking at fun high risk/high reward type box, then I would highly recommend 2008 Draft. I'm using my earnings from this break to buy a few more boxes so stay tuned for a couple of box breaks in the next week.
As always, thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Just the Pulled the Most Amazing Card of My Life: Run, Don't Walk to First Day Issue and Prepare to Be Stupified!! My Oh My!!! You Gotta See This!

I just got done busting a box of 2008 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects (full review to come once I catch my breath) and needed to show the blogosphere the mind-boggling great card I pulled. Behold, a 2006 Aflac Auto of rookie superstar Jason Heyward. I was literally shaking when I pulled this card (a case hit by the way) because I knew it was one of the best cards in the product. Little did I know how good it was--the last few have sold on eBay between $400 and $500 dollars!!! Needless to say I am on top of the world right now and I am still trying to wrap my mind around how amazing this card is. WOW! Thanks for looking!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My New All-Time Favorite Non-Sports Card

I'm not the type of person who gets caught up in the hype of Hollyweird (my subscription to People was a gift--thank you very much) but there is one actress who always captures my attention and never fails to leave me speechless: Scarlett Johannson.

It's not so much the fact that she's a great actor (she's okay). It's more the fact that she is the most attractive creature on earth. I mean seriously, look at her. God must have spent a little more time on you...

Alright, back to the crux of the matter. I was thrilled to find out she was going to be in Iron Man 2 (worth seeing, but not as good as the first) and even more excited to find out that she would be prominently featured in the Upper Deck card set. It didn't take long for me to track down and purchase an authentic Scarlett Johannson movie-worn memorabilia card of her catsuit used to play the "Black Widow".

Is it a little weird? I guess, but no more weird than collecting pieces of a grown man's work attire. Until next time, feel free to oogle Scarlett.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pack Attack: 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition (x12)

I stopped by a small card shop while I was visiting some friends out of town last week. The store didn't have the greatest selection but the owner was very friendly and I was happy to spend some money on baseball cards at a place other than Target or Shopko. I cleaned out a box of 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition hoping to pull a Mike Stanton, Gordon Beckham or Buster Posey. While I didn't get any of the big names, I was happy to pull a couple of inserts and autographs. Here's what I pulled:

Andrew Liebel Gold Status Die-Cut #7/25: This is a phenomenal looking card in person; shiny, die-cut and a low serial number--who could ask for more? Okay, well maybe a good player would have been better. Liebel was a third round pick of the Blue Jays in 2008 but has struggled so far in the minors and is currently mired in Single A. I guess I'm just not meant to be a prospector...I want instant gratification. Blame the culture for that, it's not my fault.

Cody Satterwhite Aspirations Parallel #46/150: Satterwhite was a second round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2008 and had a decent showing at Double-A last season, going 4-6 with a 3.47 ERA and 52 K's in 49 innings. I'm not really sure what the pattern for these die-cuts is but I know it's very heroine chic...or avant garde...or something.
Jacob Jefferies Rookie Auto #555/819: Jake Jefferies isn't exactly John Jaso Jr. (so many J's!!!) at this point in his minor league career. The Tampa Bay Rays former third round pick is hitting just .222 with no home runs and only 8 RBI's so far in 2010. I would be happy to send this one your way if you want it Mr. Troll.
Juan Francisco Rookie Auto #1487/1495: Francisco is a legitimate power prospect for the Cincinnati Reds coming off a season between Double-A and Triple-A in which he hit a combined .295-27 HR's-93 RBI's. He's only 22 (we think) so hopefully he pans out and these packs won't prove to be a total bust...not that it would ever stop me from buying more cards.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

First Day Issue's 100th Post and the Ultimate Ken Griffey Jr. Card: Prepare to be Dazzled.

It only took about a year but First Day Issue has finally reached it's 100th post. I appreciate all the followers of this blog and want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my posts and comment on them; it means a lot to me.

I realize that I am not the most funny/creative/prolific blogger, but that's what is so great about baseball card blogs---everyone has their own niche to fill and we all benefit from those differences. I started this blog as a way to share my passion for a great hobby and my love of baseball cards has grown exponentially through the generosity and knowledge of other bloggers.

Thanks once again to all the great people in the baseball card blogosphere that have traded with me and helped my Ken Griffey Jr. collection soar to heights I never thought it would. There's nothing better than coming home from a hard day at work and finding a package of cards that someone spent their time and money to create for you; we really have a great community here, and I feel fortunate to be a part of it. Thank you.

With that, I leave you to stare in wonder at the ultimate Ken Griffey Jr. card in my collection:

2009 Ultimate Collection Ken Griffey Jr. Ultimate Patch #21/35

Pack Attack: 2009 Bowman Draft Picks (Retail Hit)

Although I've had pretty good luck with 2009 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects of the hobby variety it's retail counterpart has provided me nothing but heartache. I had sworn off the product altogether after pulling nothing of substance, but on a recent trip to Target I discovered just enough cash in my wallet for one pack, and went back to the well one last time hoping for a miracle. The box had about half of the packs remaining so I figured if there was anything inside at one time, it was long gone. I opened the pack in my car (not while driving) with zero expectations, so I was quite pleased when I saw this (in addition to a Mat Latos refractor):

Buster Posey Prospect Auto: The Giants' young catcher is tearing the cover off the ball at Triple-A and this card is actually more valuable than most of the chrome rookie autos in the set. Although I don't buy cards to make money, it's nice to come out ahead once and a while. This baby is up on eBay as we speak to keep my habit alive.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Much Needed Trade with Reader Dan

I hadn't made a trade in a long time...a really long time (part of that has to do with the fact that I lost every one's addresses when my computer crashed...shoot me an email with your mailing address when you get the time). So it was nice to come home the other day and find that familiar manila envelope of goodness. Dan (of an unknown blog?) contacted me about some of my needs for 2008 UD Masterpieces and sent them my way along with some Griffey and Mariners goodies. Here's the stuff:
2008 UD Masterpieces Cal Ripken Jr. SP: These are gorgeous cards and I am excited to be nearing completion on the set. I still need the following cards ( ) so contact me if you have them and I would love to work out a deal.

2007 Sweetspot Felix Hernandez #570/850: I'm always happy to add a card of one of the best young pitchers in baseball, even if Felix has been a bit inconsistent in the early going of 2010. Thankfully the rest of the team has been picking up the slack with their stellar play.

2008 UD Masterpieces Kenji Johjima Jersey: How bad are the Mariners' catchers this year? Bad enough that I wish we had Kenji Johjima back. On a positive note, I love the design of these cards. Can someone please bring Masterpieces back?

Thanks again for the cards Dan! I'll make sure to send some your way as soon as the Mariners can reel off a two-game winning streak

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Few Goodies from the Local Card Shop

I didn't realize until recently that there was a card shop around where I lived, although it doesn't carry any wax, just singles and supplies. Still, it was nice to browse through some cards that weren't mine (I've seen them a few thousand times) and I found some nice cards in a 25 cent box. I'll probably head back there sometime again to find cards for trades (haven't done that in a while). Here's what I got yesterday for a quarter a pop:

2008 Topps Heritage Stan Musial Flashbacks: I'm not a Cardinals fan but I've always felt myself drawn to Stan "the Man" Musial. Someday I like to get an autograph of him; you know, when I have money and all.
2006 Upper Deck Special FX Albert Pujols Player Highlights: Not even a Cubs' fan could say no to a shiny Pujols for a quarter. Come to think of it, shiny Pujols sounds kind of dirty--I'll try to avoid that word combination moving forward.

2006 Fleer Josh Johnson RC: Josh Johnson was the anchor of my fantasy team's pitching staff last year and thus gained a special place in my heart. The kid's got a bright future.

2006 Topps Chrome Ben Zobrist RC #173/599: I thought this was just a base chrome rookie of Zorilla but when I flipped it over I saw the serial number and realized that it must have been one of the box topper rookies. I'll never complain about paying a quarter for a nice rookie of my favorite Ray, even though he's not quite playing like himself yet. But hey, it could be worse. He could be playing for the Mariners...

Well, nothing too exciting but I think I picked up some nice cards for the price of a gumball. It's nice to know someone else likes baseball cards where I live; I feel so alone sometimes. Thanks for looking and have a stellar weekend!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The One Card I Wouldn't Trade for the World

Despite being an ardent Ken Griffey Jr. collector the most prized card in my collection is not one of the Kid; rather it's an autographed card of the greatest shortstop of our (and possibly any) generation--Cal Ripken Jr.

Growing up I played shortstop because of my slight build (I'm gigantic now) and thus aspired to be like baseball's Iron Man. I didn't model my swing after his (though judging from my high school stats, perhaps I should have) but Cal was someone I looked up to for his character on and off the field.

As luck would have it my parents got tickets for our family to watch the Mariners play the Orioles in Cal's final trip to Seattle during the 2001 season. I grabbed the best Ripken card I had at the time, a 2001 Topps Gold Label Gold Parallel #606/999, in hopes that I might grab an autograph of the Iron Man, though I certainly wasn't counting on it.

We got to the stadium early and lined up on the third base line for a chance to get face-to-face with greatness. My little brother and I were pretty far down the line and felt a bit bummed because it seemed like Cal would sign autos for the people closest to the dugout and he might not have time to get to us. But someone upstairs was looking out for me, and Cal started signing autographs about 10 feet up the line from us.

Before I knew it I was looking right into the steely blue eyes of Cal Ripken Jr. and he was autographing my baseball card. My mom said that she could see my face light up from across the stadium, and I believe her, because it was one of the greatest moments of my young life.

I don't remember who won the game that day (probably the M's) but I'll never forget my childhood idol taking the time to sign an autograph for me. Memories are what make collecting baseball cards worthwhile, and there are so many attached to this card that I wouldn't trade it for the world. Seriously.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects Packs a Punch

I made a trip to the other side of Washington on a long weekend to catch a couple of Mariners games (they're awful) and spend time with some friends from college. Since there are zero card shops within three hours of me I went a little crazy when I found one in Olympia. I got four packs of Topps Unique (which yielded bupkus), four packs of SP Authentic (same story) and last but certainly not least, 12 packs of 2009 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects. Here's what those packs yielded:

Eric Arnett Rookie Auto: Well, I guess I should be excited about an autograph, even if the player and signature both leave something to be desired. Arnett was a first round pick, so I suppose he must bring something to the table. I'll hold onto this one and see if he breaks out in the next few seasons because it fetches about $3 on eBay right now. I figured that this was the only hit of the box, but thankfully I was wrong, because in the last of the 12 packs I pulled...

Tony Sanchez X-Fractor Rookie Auto #114/225: Shazow!! A beautiful on-card rookie autograph of the #4 overall pick in last years draft, Tony Sanchez. He's one of the better prospects in the set and is tearing the cover off the ball at high class A so far in 2010. The x-fractoring looks great in person and I was very happy with this pull as it saved me from a complete disaster at the card shop.

Instead of stopping while I was ahead (and by that I mean not totally behind) I stopped by a gas station on the way home that carries hobby packs. I got one pack of SP Authentic (nothing--and I'm done buying these forever) and two dusty packs of 2008 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects. The first pack had nothing noteworthy and at that point I was cursing myself for spending money I didn't have on rookies who would never sniff the big leagues. I opened the last pack, fully expecting more disappointment, but was greated by a friendly face. I saw the shine of the refractor and was happy to at least pull something worth a buck or two. Here it is:

Gordon Beckham Refractor Auto Rookie #393/500: Great googely moogely! My jaw literally dropped when I pulled this gorgeous card out of the last pack of the trip. As far as I know, Beckham was the best possible card to pull from this set, and the fact that it's the refractor version is just icing on the cake. I wished I had pulled this last summer, but once Gordon starts hitting again this will be one of the centerpieces of my collection. A great way to end the trip and make me forget about the Mariners struggles.

Thanks for looking! None are for trade at the current time. Have a great Thursday!