Friday, October 22, 2010

Card of the Week: 2009 Topps Platinum Mark Sanchez White Refractor Rookie #477/499

A great looking refractor rookie card of one of my favorite players/personal friend and a rising star for the New York Jets:
2009 Topps Platinum Mark Sanchez White Refractor RC #477/499

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2010 Topps Chrome Football Thus Far: Shiny!

I've been burned out on baseball lately (blame the Mariners for that) so I've turned by card buying focus to football cards. Topps Chrome is always one of my favorite sets and has great value at the retail level (with an insert or refractor in every pack). Here are some of my top pulls (in addition to countless rookies and refractors) so far:
Matthew Stafford Purple Refractor #/555: Since I'm a Mariners fan, I've developed quite a heart for losing teams, and no team knows how to lose better than the Detroit Lions. They've looked a lot better so far in 2010, and with Stafford at the helm things seem to be moving in the right direction. As for my Mariners...

Jahvid Best Orange Refractor RC: The orange refractors were inserted three per valu-pak and add a great punch to retail. I'd love to pull a Tebow orange refractor as the borders would really bring out his Broncos' jersey. Best has been explosive at times but slowed down by turf toe--once he's healthy he should put up some big numbers.

Colt McCoy X-Fractor RC: The x-fractors from this set look phenomenal and I was thrilled to pull one of a rising star in Colt McCoy. Although undersized, McCoy looked great in his first start against the unforgiving Steelers defense, and I think he has a very bright future. I'm keeping it for now, but Play at the Plate has first dibs if I decide to move it.

Dez Bryant Orange Refractor RC: Though he hasn't produced so far Dez Bryant has all the tools to be a top tier wide receiver--as long as he keeps a level head. He's shown flashes of brilliance but has been lost for the most part in a terrible season for the Cowboys.

Sam Bradford X-Fractor RC: This was a great pull, but alas, it fell victim to Topps' legendary chrome printing issues. In this instance, it was terrible centering and a small dimple above Bradford's helmet. It will still sell, but not for as much as it should have. Bradford has been amazing thus far in 2010, leading the woeful Rams to a .500 record despite a lackluster supporting cast. He's good.

Ndamukong Suh RC Variation SP: No, I wasn't quite as lucky as the Mojo Hand who pulled two autographs from blasters, but these rookie variations are case hits and this card actually sells for more than Suh's autograph card from the set (it doesn't make sense, but I don't mind). The variation came in a pack with 5 cards (instead of the regular four) which also had the McCoy x-fractor in it. A super hit for retail.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Playoff Swap with the Pride of Texas (PATP)

Since joining the blogosphere I've completed more trades with Brian from Play at the Plate than anyone else. We cheer for division rivals (Seattle and Texas) so swapping cards is cinch. Here's the lastest batch he sent my way:
2002 Pacific Joey Harrington RC: I'm not sure whether Brian sent this as a joke or not but I was always a fan of Joey Harrington during his college days at Oregon. Harrington was considered a bust by most, but given his surroundings (the Detroit Lions) he performed admirably. According to Wikipedia is a now a commentator for Oregon Ducks football games but is open to a return to the NFL. I'm not holding my breath.

2002 Topps Reserve Ken Griffey Jr: I never bought more than a few packs of Topps Reserve so I still needed this card to add to the Griffey collection. I'm not sure of the exact number of cards but I think it's nearing 600. Thousand.

2001 Upper Deck Ichiro RC: I don't know if Brian intended to send me an Ichiro rookie because it was in the middle of a bunch of other 2001 UD Mariners, but I certainly won't complain. I admire Ichiro more every season--a beautiful flower in a crappy pot.

2010 Topps Cliff Lee Orange Refractor: Brian was kind enough to throw in a card of the player who might help his team win the World Series. Cliff Lee is so, he doesn't even seem real. The orange refractors look great and were a nice addition to retail.

Thanks Brian! Go Rangers!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Box Break: 2010 Topps Platinum Football Hobby

After not pulling a patch auto out of a handful of Platinum blasters I figured I would cut my losses and go for the guarantee in a hobby box. I sold some cards some eBay so the box was basically free (you know, since paypal money isn't real money) and I wasn't too concerned about making my money back on it. Thankfully, I beat the odds and ended up with a stellar box. Here's how I did:
Jahvid Best RC Refactor #338/999: The refractors from this set look very sharp in person and I was happy to pull one of a top rookie in Jahvid Best. He's slowed down a little bit after a quick start but looks like he should be a big part of the Lions rebuilding project. I also pulled a refractor of Jermaine Gresham (TE-Bengals) and a white refractor (#/499) of Jimmy Graham (TE-Saints).
Carlton Mitchell RC Auto #573/1099: I pulled this out of the second pack of the box and figured my break was doomed. Despite his intense concentration, Carlton Mitchell isn't a top receiving prospect in the NFL, and playing for the Browns won't help at that either.

Eric Decker RC Auto Patch #207/800: You know if the patch/auto isn't the last card featured in the break, I must have pulled something good (be patient, it's next). Even though Eric Decker isn't one of the big names from this set, I was happy with a nice three-color patch and mildly inappropriate signature (I won't go into great detail, you can see it for yourself). Decker had a great career at the University of Minnesota and was talented enough to be drafted twice by Major League Baseball teams. Here's hoping he's a hidden gem.

Sam Bradford/Colt McCoy Dual RC Refactor Auto #13/25: And boom goes the dynamite. It's always nice to pull a card that leaves you speechless, and this beauty did exactly that to me. I saw the refractor shine when I opened the pack and figured I had a basic autograph, nothing special. When I slid the other cards away I saw the serial number and thought, wow that's pretty rare. Then I saw both Bradford and McCoy a new I had myself a real winner. The dual autographs from this set are 1:4,288 packs so I certainly beat the odds. With both rookie quarterbacks playing well, this card should net me a pretty penny when I decide to part with it.

Overall Thoughts: Although not as nice as the recently released Topps Finest, Platinum delivers two rookie autos and one patch auto per box at a decent price. With two rookies per pack you get over 50 a box, and I sold those along with the Mitchell auto for $25 bucks. It's a fun break (especially if you like shiny cards as much as me) and gives you a decent chance for a good ROI. It's a nice break from the monotony of baseball, and as seen in my break, a chance at pulling a big hit. Thanks for looking!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Color of the Saunders Rainbow Acquired

2009 Bowman Draft Michael Saunders Red Refractor #5/5: Considering the fact that Saunders' jersey number is 55 is this card (#5/5) a one-of-one? Well, I'm sure it would have been if I had got it off eBay, and lord knows I would have paid a hefty premium for it too. Thankfully I got a fair deal on it (from the equally adorded and hated Blowout Cards Forums) and brought it home for less than the price of a blaster. To me, that's a success. With the addition of the Red Refractor (and the imminent arrival of the Purple Refractor) I just need the Gold Refractor and X-Fractor to complete the rainbow (acquiring the Superfractor would be nice, but I'm sure not counting on it). Can't wait to see it finished.

Thanks for looking! I'll keep you updated as more cards arrive.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Prospect Maildays: 2009 Bowman Draft Edition

After getting skunked on a couple of boxes of Draft about a month ago I decided I was better off spending my money on singles from the set. I got the following cards for the less than the price of a box, so I'd call this break a success:
Michael Saunders Orange Refractor #21/25: I'm getting close to my first rainbow (red refractor incoming) with this card, and will show it off in it's entirety once it's completed. Now I just have to hope Saunders turns into a passable big leaguer.
Tyler Matzek X-Fractor Auto #/225: Tyler Matzek is a hard-throwing lefty in the Rockies' system who posted a 4-1 record with a 2.92 ERA and 88 K's in 89 innings. The stigma around Colorado pitching prospects has disappeared with the emergence of Ubaldo Jimenez and Jhoulys Chacin, and hopefully Matzek will be adding to that mix in a few years (he's only 19).
Bobby Borchering X-Fractor Auto #/225: Bobby Borchering was one of a multitude of Diamondbacks first round picks last year, and looked every bit the part in 2009, hitting .270 with 15 HR's and 74 RBI's at age 19. This is one of the best designed Bowman autograph sets ever, with the white box providing a nice background for signatures.
Zach Wheeler Aflac Auto #215/244: Zach Wheeler joined a talented group of Giants' pitching prospects after being drafted 6th overall in 2009. He struggled with consistency during his first year in the minors, but still posted a 3.99 ERA and 70 K's in 58 innings. The Aflac autos were inserted one per case and feature signatures from the country's top highschool prospects--and their on-card, as all autographs should be.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pack Attack: 2010 Donruss Classics Hobby (x9)

I was out of town for work the other day and happened to find a small card shop in a strip mall. There wasn't a great selection of next wax (not a single baseball product I liked) but I couldn't resist a rare chance to open some hobby packs. After some deliberation, I settled on half a box of 2010 Donruss Classics Football. Here's what I pulled:

Mike Alstott Legends Timeless Tribute Gold #6/50: Alstott was one of my favorite players growing up; his combination of power and speed made him one of the few fullbacks in football who got more than a few carries a game. I always made sure to trade for him in franchise mode on Madden. Donruss/Panini has ruined the serial number, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy pulling something "limited" to less than 100.

Chad Ocho Cinco Dress Code Jersey #223/299: I still laugh every time I see the name Ocho Cinco on a football card, so I was delighted to pull a jersey card of ole number 85, even if Panini has no idea how to design a jersey card.

Tom Brady Sunday's Best Jersey #90/150: I know I'm supposed to hate Tom Brady because he's basically the Derek Jeter of football, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Hopefully I can trade this for a nice Mark Sanchez jersey card.

Overall Thoughts: I didn't do awful for 9 packs (I also pulled an Anthony McCoy RC #/999, and Eddie George Legend #/999 and a Antonio Gates Dress Code #/100) but I don't think I would consider buying classics again anytime soon. Panini has started to improve as a card manufacturer, but not to the level where I would invest in a whole box. Let me know if you are interested in any of the cards. Thanks for looking!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Personal Collection Spotlight: Rick Ankiel

After Rick Ankiel's mammoth longball into McCovey Cove carried the Atlanta Braves over the San Francisco Giants last night, I figured it was a good time to dig out my favorite cards of this pitcher turned hitter and show them off to the blog world. Here they be:
2010 Topps Peak Performers Jersey: I pulled this card from a pack myself which gives it a special place in my collection which is good because it's a very regular looking card.

2001 SP Game-Used Edition Jersey: I got this beauty from the ever generous Kerry at Cards on Cards. Despite the fact that this set forever watered down game-used cards, I like it's straightforward, clean design.

2000 Topps Stars Autograph: A nice on-card autograph from Brian at Play on the Plate, this was an awfully hot card when it was released about 10 years ago. Has it really been that long sicne Ankiel was airballing pitches off the backstop?

2001 UD MVP Kerry Wood/Rick Ankiel Game-Used Bats: This game-used card is rather prophetic, as you don't often see game-used bat cards of pitchers. While Kerry Wood still doesn't know how to use one, Ankiel certainly does. Both of these players are in the playoffs this year too, although with different teams than on the card.

2000 Pacific Crown Royale Sweet Spot Signatures: The original Sweet Spot Signature (I'm looking at you Upper Deck) this card features a nice on-card auto of last night's hero. I miss Pacific--they were always cutting edge.

2001 Fleer Authority Diamond Cuts Game-Worn Shoe Patch: My favorite Ankiel card, I'll never understand why companies stopped producing game-used shoe/hat/glove/etc. cards and only make jersey and bat cards now. Did players stop wearing shoes? Get with it Topps.

Thanks for looking! Keep up the good work Rick!