Sunday, August 19, 2018

Adventures in Micro Collecting The 1998 New York Yankees

Today the New York Yankees gave fans attending their home game a Replica of their 1998 World Series Ring to celebrate winning it all 20 years ago. In 1998 the Yankees finished with a record of 114  wins, 48 loses for a winning PCT of .704. They almost shut out the Texas Rangers in the ALDS, allowing only 1 run in the 3 games, defeated the Cleveland Indians in 6 games in the ALCS and swept the World Series against the San Diego Padres. 

As nearly perfect as this team was, it makes for a perfect opportunity for a Micro Collection.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Adventures in Micro Collecting Baseball Hall Of Fame Edition

This past weekend the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2018, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Jack Morris, Jim Thome and Alan Trammell.  The National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland is this weekend. Seems like the right time to talk about another one of my Micro Collections, Baseball Hall of Fame members certified On-Card Autographs.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

More Adventures In Micro Collecting 2017 Topps Transcendent Collection Picture Selection

If you frequent our website, you know we did rather extensive coverage of 2017 Topps Transcendent Collection, but the most viewed page was our Transcendent Card Tracker. To gather information for the Tracker I got in contact with some of the collectors who were buying cases, heard their stories about collecting and their appreciation for the release. As I became more familiar with these collectors and this set, I started to understand the attraction. I also grew to appreciate these high end collectors who were so generous with their time and their willingness to share information.

Granted, Transcendent is a release that, per case, is out of range for the vast majority of collectors. But there were plenty of opportunities for most collectors to pick up some of these cards within their price range, either through the 50+ group breaks or buying individual cards on the secondary market. Here are the cards I have obtained from the set.

Each one of these were autographs I needed for other Micro Collecting projects I’ll share with you soon. For now I want to point out something I noticed about the photo selections for these cards.

Let’s start with Cal Ripken Jr.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Topps and MLB Extend Their Exclusive Contract Through 2025

When you think baseball cards, you think Topps. For more than 65 years, Topps has been the only rock, steady producer of those 2.5 by 3.5 pieces of cardboard collectors seek, obtain and have shared over generations. It was announced today that the tradition will continue as Major League Baseball and The Topps Company today have extended their exclusive global partnership for MLB-licensed trading cards through 2025.

Since 1952, the long-standing partnership between Major League Baseball and Topps has allowed Topps to create iconic trading cards that have become engrained in baseball culture, from 1952 with Mickey Mantle to 2017 with Aaron Judge.

From humble origins of just cardboard to creating cards out of plastic, wood and leather, to including pieces of players’ game-used jerseys, bats, helmets and other items to autographed cards by the MLB’s top stars and rookies, Topps has changed with the times while still holding on to the essence of what got kids interested in collecting in the first place.

“Topps has always strived to be at the forefront of innovation,” said David Leiner, Topps Global General Manager of Sports & Entertainment. “We constantly look for new ways to bring joy and excitement to baseball fans whether they have been collecting for decades or just starting out. Our exclusive MLB license gives us the opportunity to continue as the category leader.”

With the exclusive global license, Topps has expanded it’s range with direct purchase items on it’s website, topps.com, with innovations like TOPPS NOW, the first on-demand trading card that captures the best baseball moments on a nightly basis, The Living Set which is the first cross-generational set featuring lifelike artwork and leveraging Topps iconic 1953 design.

Topps has also provided amazing opportunities for fans that are tied into their products, including the Topps\ Make Your Pro Debut contest, where a lucky fan becomes a Minor League baseball player for a day, trips to the T-Mobile Home Run Derby and All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, and private dinners with some of baseball’s greatest players and legends, such as Cubs superstar Kris Bryant and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, through its Transcendent Collection experience.


“Collecting baseball cards is such a personal experience for so many and we look for ways to enhance those moments, whether it’s through opening a pack of cards with your friends or winning a contest to throw out a first pitch,” Leiner said. “MLB and Topps aim to be a part of baseball fans’ lives from their childhood and this partnership will allow that to continue for years to come.”

Thursday, June 14, 2018

David Ortiz Comes Out Of Retirement To Join A New Team… The Topps Team

Topps announced this morning that “Big Papi” David Ortiz will assume duties in a new role with the company as a spokesperson and TOPPS NOW lead scout. In this role, Ortiz will work with the Topps team in picking the best moments of the Major League Baseball season and support Topps’ initiatives throughout the year, including National Baseball Card Day, which is held on the second Saturday in August.
“The TOPPS NOW program is fun to work on with all the top moments captured on a card every day,” Ortiz said. “Baseball cards have been a part of my and my family’s life for a long time. I’m excited to work with Topps.”

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Joy of Micro Collecting Update with Complete New York Rangers Retired Numbers Autographs

When I wrote my original article on The Joy Of Micro Collecting I was looking for creative solutions to keep me collecting but that wouldn't consume large amounts of time.  Coming up with small collecting tasks that I could complete easily and quickly was a revelation for me and greatly satisfied my completionist tendencies.

Choosing to collect on-card autograph cards of all the players that have numbers retired by the New York Rangers was the perfect start to my micro collecting back in 2015.
There were only 8 players with retired numbers and I already had 3 of them. (Side note, I don't include Gretzky in this group because his number was retired by the league, not by the Rangers.)

It didn't take long to complete this collection. Considering six years had past since the last number to be retired, I considered this Micro Collection to be complete, so I moved on to other projects.

Then, out of the blue, the Rangers announced in August of 2017 they would retire Jean Ratelle's number 19 in 2018.

Now my collection was incomplete.

Monday, April 23, 2018

All Time Players by Position Autograph Baseball Cards

So Zippy Zappy over at Torren’ Up Cards has a Blog Bat Around going on that is intriguing. Everyone has their favorites when it comes to All Time teams but what happens when you throw in the requirement that you must have an autograph of the player?

I’m jumping in with my All Time Autograph Team and setting some of my own ground rules.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Topps Authentics signs Shohei Ohtani to exclusive autographed memorabilia deal

 

Link



Shohei Ohtani has signed an exclusive autographed memorabilia deal with Topps Authentics, the memorabilia arm of The Topps Company. Topps.com is now the only place to get authentic signed memorabilia from Ohtani.   Items signed by Ohtani are witnessed by representatives of Authenticators Inc., the industry standard for autographed and game-used memorabilia authentication.

As of this post there are 8 types of items listed for sale, 7 Jerseys and a signed Baseball. Topps plans to have signed bats listed too. There are different Jersey versions of both Authentic and Replica Jerseys in home white and away red, signed either with his lone signature or his signature and “Kanji” inscription.

This Topps Authentics deal is separate from Ohtani’s autographed baseball card deal with the company. His first pack-pulled autographed card appeared in 2018 Topps Heritage Baseball, which is currently in stores.



With this deal Ohtani joins other MLB players who are part of Topps Authentics including Francisco Lindor, Gleyber Torres and Amed Rosario.

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Parents’ Guide to Collecting The 2018 Topps Major League Baseball Sticker Collection

You are walking through your local big box store and either yourself or your child notices the card section right next to the check out registers. Front and center is the 2018 Topps MLB Sticker Collection with a few boxes of stickers and starter albums to hold the set. With 301 total stickers to collect, should you go down the road towards collecting them all?
 Of course fun is a crucial part of collecting but as a parent of two children I take things like cost and ease of finishing the set seriously before I allow my kids to jump into any collection. Side benefits of collecting stickers are lessons in patience, perseverance, completing a task and for even younger kids, number sequencing, kind of the “hidden vegetables” of collecting. From past experiences with other companies’ sticker collections that required buying almost as many sticker packs as there were stickers in the collection, any valuable lessons were lost and the fun factor quickly dissipated.

Luckily you should have very little concern of a potential downside with 2018 Topps Major League Baseball Sticker Collection as it almost perfectly fits with my ease of finishing and a low cost equation. As sticker collections go, this was one of the easiest ones to finish, the stickers look great, organization and layout of the sticker album is premium and the fun factor is very high. What follows is a parents’ guide to the sticker collection to help aid your child towards the easiest path to completion, whether you are making the purchases or you child is spending their allowance.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

How To Spot 2018 Topps Heritage Baseball Error Cards


With 2018 Topps Heritage Baseball releasing next week, collectors will be opening packs trying to find the error cards that mimic and parallel the errors made in the 1969 Topps Baseball release. Because these new Heritage error cards are unannounced, the hardest part, most of the time, is spotting them.

In 2011 we were the first to spot one of these cards. We did an article about it called Mysterious ARod 2011 Topps Heritage Card Surfaces on eBay. At the time the card was on its way to being sold for a little more than $10. That auction was ended early and relisted. When it was understood to be an error card it sold for more than $300.

In 2015 we released an article, How to spot 2015 Topps Heritage Baseball Error cards, where we provided a guide with a checklist of cards that could potentially contain errors.  It was one of our most visited articles that year. We’ve decided to do one for the upcoming release of 2018 Topps Heritage Baseball.

Before we get to the potential error cards, here a little history about the 1969 set. 

1968 and 1969 were particularly tough years for Topps, putting together their Baseball card sets. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

USA Winter Olympic Medal Winners for Sunday February 11 in Topps Cards

Nothing like watching athletes representing our Country and bringing home some hardware! Congratulations go out to these US Olympians on their Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.
Gold Medal - Women's Snowboard Slopestyle

Silver Medal - Men's Singles Luge

Bronze Medal - Team Event Figure Skating
This US Ice Dance pair won with the rest of their team,
Nathan Chen - Men's Single Skating
Adam Rippon - Men's Single Skating
Mirai Nagasu - Ladies Single Skating
Brandie Tennell - Ladies Single Skating

We will have more updates though out the Olympics. All cards are from the 2014 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team and Hopefuls release. Hobby boxes of the 2018 release can be found on the Topps website following this link. To find single cards on eBay clink on the links of rate athletes above or follow this link to see everything available.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

2018 Topps Baseball Series 1 Silver Packs Promotion Checklist and Information



2018 Topps Baseball Series 1 arrives on January 31 everywhere. But only your local card shop will carry exclusive Topps Baseball Series 1 Silver Pack cards.

Each pack contains four chrome cards commemorating the 35th anniversary of the 1983 Topps Baseball design with an exclusive refractor pattern. Collectors have a chance to find various color parallels as well as randomly inserted autographed cards of some of their favorite players including Derek Jeter, Hank Aaron, Mike Trout and more.

Silver Packs will be included with the purchases of 2018 Topps Baseball Series 1 at participating local card shops. Buy a hobby box (36-packs boxes) an you will get One (1) silver pack. Buy a Jumbo Box (12 Jumbo packs) an you will get Two (2) silver packs. 

That’s the only way to get these Silver packs. Silver packs WILL NOT be included with purchases of Retail boxes.

A checklist of the cards in these Silver packs can be found below. Collectors can find the following parallels (the bolded refractors are included for autograph cards):

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Topps Has a Surprise For Collectors in the 2017 Transcendent Collection Party Aaron Judge Topps History Set.

Earlier Topps announced that it would be providing a set of Aaron Judge cards, based on the 1/1 Topps History autograph card found in cases of 2017 Topps Transcendent, to collectors with invites to the Hank Aaron Transcendent Collection Party in Atlanta. That 87 card set has a print run of #/87.

We already covered this set, and how much we thought it would sell for on the aftermarket in our article “Bold Prediction About the 2017 Topps Transcendent Collection Party Topps History Aaron Judge Card Set”  With just early pre-sales, this set is pacing to sell at $9,759.64 on average. But a new development could kick that number up substantially.

What was not made official until collectors started looking at those sets is each set contains one card that is a 1/1 Aaron Judge relic card.

 Relic 1/1                               Card #/87

It seems these cards also have MLB Authentications stickers to ID which piece of Memorablia was used as the relic swatch. 

For example the 1992 Topps History card pictured above leads to this Authentication identification.

It’s a swatch from a Aaron Judge game used jersey worn 6/12/17 and 6/16/17 and that leads to another level of verification seen here.

Judge hit a Home Run both times he wore this jersey. How cool is that?!?



Friday, January 12, 2018

Bold Prediction About the 2017 Topps Transcendent Collection Party Topps History Aaron Judge Card Set

I’ve been tracking the cards pulled from cases of this year’s release of Topps Transcendent on our 2017 Topps Transcendent Baseball Cards Checklist and Card Tracker. It’s been fun hunting down all the pulls, watching the breaks and getting to know some of the private collectors that have been buying cases “off the grid.” 
In the process I was hoping to purchase an invitation to the VIP Experience with Hank Aaron in Atlanta. Meeting Mr. Aaron and getting an autograph from him in person would have been a thrill. I was budgeting the trip based on last year’s prices when invites could be easily obtained for around $2,000. This year proved out of the question as invites were too hard to find and selling for around $4,500. They were gone almost as soon as they were listed.
Close to the RSVP deadline Topps announced they would be giving out an 87 card set of Topps History Aaron Judge Cards #/87 based on the 1/1 Autographs found in Transcendent cases. That’s when it clicked for me that if I could find a last minute invite, I could sell off the Judge set after the party to fund part of the trip. As a huge Yankees fan this had me conflicted, but I was willing to do it to make the trip happen. After all, my motivation was to meet Mr. Aaron and get his autograph. But how much of my trip would that set cover? What would that set be worth?
I started looking at sales of the Kris Bryant cards around the time of the party last year. I looked at his base card from 2016 Transcendent and his cards that were given out at the Transcendent Party to see if I could find some comps which could help me place a value.
At this time last year, which would put it in a comparable time frame with sales for this year, the Kris Bryant Party cards were selling for $55 to $100 a card. The 2016 Topps Transcendent Kris Bryant base cards were selling for between $108 to $150 a card. If you percentage that out, that means a worst case scenario of the party cards were holding 30% of the value of the base with best case scenario being 92% of the base. That’s entirely too big of a swing to effectively place a value, but if you start to use the averages of 48% to 67% of value, that starts to become closer to the actual sales numbers. At 48% of value of the base card you are looking at $51.84 for a Party card on the low end. At 67% value it’s $100.50 a card high end, which tracks eBay sales nicely.
What does this mean for this year’s set. Looking at what Aaron Judge’s base cards from this year’s Transcendent are going for reconfirmed the true magnitude of what Aaron Judge has meant to collecting baseball cards in 2017. The sales for his Transcendent base cards are ranging from $305 to $445. That’s not a typo. That's about 3 times what collectors were paying for Bryant’s base cards. In certain instances, Judge’s base cards are selling for more than his autograph cards. 
Applying the same percentages used for Bryant allows me to predict Judge's Party cards could sell for between $146.40 on the low end to $298.15 on the high end. 
And the beauty of this set is there are 22 more cards than last year, 87 Judge cards vs. 65 Bryant cards. Averaging out the cards makes it entirely possible this set could be valued as high as $19,337.93, maybe even more for first to market. Perhaps this is why invitations were so hard to get. 
If you are in the market for the Judge Party cards and see them listed as Buy It Now for less than $140 a card for a common year, or less than $300 for the marquee years, you might want to grab them. Someone is leaving money on the table to move them, or doesn’t understand their true value. Same goes for a complete set like these. (follow the link) Anything under a worst case scenario of $12,700 could be a bargain if these take off.
Either way I will be following sales closely. A Judge Party Card tracker may be in order. And one last thing to remember, These will be the last official RC rookie cards released for Judge.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2017 Bowman Draft Baseball Cards Jumbo Box Break

Here is our SPEED-break of 2017 Bowman Draft Baseball Cards. This Jumbo box contains 12 packs with 32 cards a pack and 3 autos in the box.

If you want to find any of the cards that were pulled from this box, make sure you follow this link.

Enjoy the break.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Shohei Ohtani Signs A Long-Term Trading Card and Autograph Deal with Topps

Justin Verlander on the mound, Babe Ruth at bat. That’s how some are describing incoming Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani. Many MLB teams fought to get the 23 year old, but the Los Angeles Angels won the battle. He is sure to become one of the hottest rookies of the season and collectors will be looking for his cards as soon as possible, but they won’t have to wait long. Topps has signed Ohtani to a trading card and long-term autograph deal for the upcoming MLB season.

Topps already issued an Ohtani card in the Target Exclusive 2017 Bowman Chrome Mega Box and a 2017 Topps Now card on December 14th that had a print run of 17,323 cards. If you missed either of those and still want one, you can follow this link to try to pick one up.

His first pack-pulled trading card will appear in late spring, just in time for Ohtani to join the Los Angeles Angels in Spring Training. His cards will be featured in Topps products throughout the year, including autographed cards.

The Angels are already hinting they might use Ohtani in a six player pitching rotation and move Albert Pujols back to first to open up the DH position to allow Shohei to bat on his days off the mound. If he produces in the way he has in Japan, 624 strikeouts in 543 career innings and a batting average of .322 with 30 home runs and 98 RBI in 169 games, Ohtani will have some of the most highly coveted baseball cards and collectibles on the market in 2018. Topps will be the only company to produce his officially licensed MLB trading cards.


If you haven't already, you can follow Topps on Twitter (@topps), Instagram (@topps) and Facebook (@topps) for the latest updates and see the first images of Ohtani’s rookie cards. We will be sure to share them too here on the site when they become available.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

2017 Bowman Chrome Mini Complete Set and Refractor Break with a huge rookie hit

Here is our video box break of 2017 Bowman Chrome Minis. Our 3 refractor packs contained some nice cards and one outstanding rookie refractor pull.



To find available 2017 Bowman Chrome Mini make sure to follow this link.