Saturday, January 22, 2011

New chances to get up to three bonus entries to win our Grand Prize, 8 boxes of cards, in our contest.

This is the Grand Prize in our current contest.  One person will walk away with all these cards.  If you haven't entered yet, use this link to find out how to get in on this contest, then come back here when you're done because we are about to reveal even more ways to earn bonus entries.

You now have the chance to earn up to 3 bonus entries by answering the questions below that are based on the 2010 Panini Century Collection.  We just did a box break and review of these cards, if you missed it, use this link to see what we pulled.

To answer these questions you will probably need a checklist.  If you don't have one I suggest you head on over to Sports Card Radio.  We've talked about this site in the past, telling you how great their fan forum is, but they also have some of the most well done checklists on the net.  It's a resource we use time and time again.   Use this link to see all of their checklists.   The Century Collection checklist should be number 20 on the list.

Leave a comment here with your answers.  For every answer you get correct, you'll receive another bonus entry to win our Grand Prize.  You have until Sunday Night, January 23, 2011 (1/23) at 11:00PM PST to leave your answer in the comments here on this blog only.  Your comment will be hidden until after the deadline to prevent anyone from copying your answers.

Here are the questions.

1- Later this year, Stan Musial will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, making him the 17th person with that honor to be represented on a card in the 2010 Panini Century Collection.  Musial isn’t the only sports figure to have a card in the Century Collection and be honored with the Medal of Freedom, 4 other athletes and a coach, Paul “Bear“ Bryant can claim the same.  For a BONUS ENTRY, name 3 of the 4 professional athletes who have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom who also have a card in the 2010 Panini Century Collection.   

2 - Excluding Honorary Oscars, there are 17 people who have won Academy Awards that have a card in the 2010 Panini Century Collection.  Of the group, there were 4 slightly unusual winners.  One person known primarily for their long, successful TV career won an Oscar before ever being nominated for an Emmy. Two people known primarily as recording artists won Oscars for acting.  One person known primarily for acting won their Oscar for music.  For a BONUS ENTRY, name these four Academy Award Winners

3 - Only 24 astronauts have ever flown to the moon.  Of those astronauts, only 12 have walked on the moon’s surface.  There are four of these Astronauts with cards and autos in the 2010 Panini Century Collection, Edgar Mitchell, Alan Bean, Charles Duke and Alan Shepard.  They have they’re glory, but we are more concerned with the astronauts who made it to the moon, but not onto the moon, the ones who flew over 238,700 miles and missed landing on the moon by a little over 100 miles.  So for a BONUS ENTRY, tell us the names of the astronauts that have a card in the 2010 Panini Century Collection who flew to the moon, but didn’t make it to the surface.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Adrenalyn code for ten free cards and your chance to win a game used jersey worn by this year's NHL All-Star Game MVP.

As if our contest wasn’t cool enough, here is one just as cool.  Not only is there a chance to win an incredible prize, everyone who participates receives free cards.

Thanks to a unique partnership between Panini America and the National Hockey League Players Association, one lucky fan will have the chance to win a jersey worn by the MVP during next week’s 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, N.C.

Fans who correctly identify the game’s MVP beforehand at the nifty 2011 All-Star MVP Challenge homepage will be entered into a drawing to win one of his game-worn All-Star Game sweaters. With 42 possible choices, this guessing game promises to be quite compelling.

But here is the kicker, everyone who registers online will receive 10 free virtual NHL Adrenalyn cards when they visit and enter the promo code NHLPAMVP.

For more details and your chance to enter to win the Jersey, use this link to go to the contest site.

For amazing behind the scenes looks at how cards are made, contests and sneak peeks at some great cards, visit Panini America’s blog, The Knight's Lance using this link.

To enter our contest where one person will win a grand prize of 8 boxes of Sports Cards which include Baseball, Football, Basketball and Hockey Cards, use this link.

Teacher sells the best part of his baseball autograph collection to help send his former student to college.

By now you’ve probably heard we are running a year-end contest, (if you haven’t entered yet follow this link for your chance at the Grand Prize) but one of our favorite contests this year was a little one.  It was called Random Packs of Kindness.  All you had to do was something nice for someone else and you were entered for a chance to win some nice football cards.  We have a story that easily could have been an entry and an amazing act of kindness.

Tony Apuzzi is an avid baseball fan and a collector of MLB player autographs. He’s put together a collection of over 600 autographed baseballs and photos.  Apazzi is also a teacher and enjoys his profession as much as collecting.  But he developed a special relationship with one of his students, and at first she wasn’t the teacher’s pet or star pupil.  Jasalle Ruiz was a rowdy sixth-grader when they first met.

"She acted out all the time," said Apuzzi. "If I told her to sit down, she stood up. If I told her to pay attention, her mind wandered."

But eventually Apazzi broke through to Ruiz and that changed the course of the young girl’s life.

On the day that Apuzzi left the school for another job, Ruiz's grandmother approached him with an unusual request.

"You've changed my granddaughter's life. You've changed her," she said. "Please remain a part of her life after you leave."

The teacher and student kept in touch.  Years later Apazzi found out that his favorite student was accepted to nursing school at College of New Rochelle, but could not attend because even with financial aid, she was still $30,000 short.

At the time Apuzzi was out of work. Still, he still went into his autograph collection, pulled out legendary players like Sandy Koufax, Joe Morgan and the 1996 Atlanta Braves roster, as well as the 1998, 1999 and 2000 championship Yankees teams and sold them for about $3,000 and gave the money to Ruiz which paid for her to stay in school for the fall semester on the promise that she find a way to keep attending Nursing School.

"This is a kid who had to settle for second best her whole life, and all of a sudden she had a chance to go somewhere good," said Apuzzi "I wanted that for her. I didn't want it to slip away."

"Nobody has ever done what he has done for me," said Jasalle Ruiz. "He's always been there when I needed him."

But the story gets better.  Apuzzi's friend wrote to the Yankees, telling them of Ruiz's problems and what Apuzzi did for her.

One day there was a knock at Apuzzi’s door,.  He opened it and standing there was Yankee Great, Mariano Rivera.   Rivera was there to personally give Apuzzi a check for $6,000 from his foundation for Ruiz’s tuition.

"They helped to keep a young lady's dream alive," said Apuzzi.

"It's a great honor to be helped by Mariano Rivera," added Ruiz. "If it wasn't for him, I don't know how I would have come up with the money."

So the question is do you think you could do the same?  Would you dip into your collection, pull your biggest hits and sell them to help out a friend?

Check your collection for Blake Griffin cards. The value of his cards are skyrocketing.

This is one of Blake Griffin's rookie cards from 2009-10 Panini National Treasure, a set that is a nominee for our 2010 Sports Card Awards in two categories, Best Ultra Premium Cards and fan category Box Most Likely to Contain Mojo.   With the recent trends of this card its easy to see why this set is in the running for awards.  

As recent as August 2010, the card you see, which is numbered to /99, was valued at $400, it now books at $1,200.  This master of the slam dunk is surpassing that on Ebay with a recent sale of $2,950 and another auction set to end in 2 days that is already at $2,601.  There are Buy It Nows that range from $3,000 all the way up to $5999.  

There is even a #/5 version of this card an someone is asking $14,999.  We will be watching how this trends.  Who knows, you just might be looking at a nominee for next year's Sickest Card of the Year.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

2010 Panini Century Collection is a release for the ages. An All About Cards review.

For those who follow this blog, you know I've been waiting, with much anticipation, for the release of the 2010 Panini Century Collection.  I wrote in my blog post Officially on my holiday wish list... autographs! that I was hoping to hit a cut auto of Lefty Gomez, an autograph that I've been chasing since childhood.  Well... I'll spoil the surprise and tell you I didn't pull one so the chase continues.  But I'm not disappointed because this box falls under our category of Ultra Premium Cards which we refer to as "lottery boxes," high risk, high reward.  So you can't expect you will always pull the card of your dreams or even that you will pull cards that have a book value of what you paid for the box every time. Some people will come out ahead, some will not.  But just as in any lottery, "you have to be in it to win it."  You want a shot at a cut auto from Gomez, Ruth, DiMaggio or Ted Williams, you have to put your money down and take your chances.  But at $200 a box for 5 cards (or as it is appearing in most boxes, 6 cards) this lottery box seems to have the odds stacked in your favor.

Lets get to the cards in the box first and then I tell you what I think about this release.
Barry Larkin Blast From The Past bat card 02/99
Barry Larkin was just behind Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven on this years Hall of Fame ballot, missing induction by a small margin.  He will probably make it in on next year's vote.

Ed Gibson worn/used material and vintage stamp card 094/250 
Ed Gibson was the Science Pilot aboard for Skylab-4 in 1973.  He spent 84 days in space on the space station, which at the time was the longest manned flight in the history of manned space exploration, and traveled the equivalent of 34.5 million miles on the flight.

 Katharine Hepburn Hollywood Materials worn/used material and stamp 041/250
Katharine Hepburn was famous for her leading roles in the films Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and On Golden Pond.  She has the record for most Best Actress Oscar wins with four.  She received an Emmy and was nominated for twelve Academy Awards, five Emmys, two Tony Awards and eight Golden Globes .

 Wade Boggs Blast From The Past bat card 015/250
Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 on his first ballot, Wade Boggs is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, eight-time Silver Slugger Award winner, twelve-time All-Star selection and a World Series Champion in 1996 with the New York Yankees.

 Monte Irvin Autographed Postmark card 185/250
Monte Irvin was an All-Star selection in both the Negro League and the Major League, a World Series Champion in both the Negro League and the Major League.  He was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.

So that's five cards, but there was also this card, already in a Ultra Pro holder with a Panini sticker sealing it.

 Carlton Fisk Souvenir Stamp Autograph and Vintage Stamp card 13/38
Carlton Fisk was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1972, the same year he won his only Gold Glove award, a three time Silver Slugger Award winner and an eleven-time All-Star selection.  Her was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Overall Look
Without an MLB license, Panini is not allowed to show any baseball players in uniforms with Major League logos.  In the movie Jaws, Steven Spielberg could not show the shark in the majority of the film because the mechanical shark used for filming kept breaking down.   Spielberg has acknowledged the film is better because he had to find different and creative ways to complete the movie without seeing the shark.  The same applies to Panini and their use of players in black and white photos from their youth, some in high school uniforms and sometimes in the uniforms of sports that are different than the one's they played.  Baseball great Jim Rice appears in his high school football uniform.  I love the vintage photos of the athletes, it works great with the "Century Collection" theme and separates this release from the rest.   The card design is wonderful.   The addition of the stamps, both recent and vintage, are great.  I also appreciate that the stamps are exposed so you can get close to them.  Yes... it forces you to be careful with the stamps because they can easily be damaged, but its as important to me to be able to touch the stamps as it is to be able to touch a relic or a material.

Quality and Variety of Players
This set is loaded with baseball players who are members of the Hall of Fame as well as the Basketball, Football and Hockey Halls of Fame.  You'll find racing legends, famous singers, Hollywood legends, astronauts and a former president.  If award winners are your thing, this set is also loaded with winners of the World Series, NBA Championship, Stanley Cup, MVP trophies, Gold Gloves, Golden Globes, Grammys, Emmys, Academy Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  All of this makes the depth and the quality of the set amazing.

Thrill Seeking Fulfillment
One word to describe this release of Panini Century Collection, awesome!  The anticipation of opening this box was intense, and the actual break was a thrill.  No numbered base cards to "get through" to see the hits, each card was a hit, a big bonus for any Ultra Premium box.  On top of that, I was expecting five cards and wound up with six, gotta love that.  Out of the four Baseball Cards, three current members and one future member of the Hall of Fame with two of their autos, an astronaut and a silver screen star, these cards provide quite a thrill.

Buyers Remorse or Speculator's Delight
My hits were not the biggest ones available, but I was still happy the next day with the cards I pulled, a true measurement of an exceptional set of cards and a feat not easily accomplished.  I find myself looking at these cards over and over again, its hard to put them down.  These are cards to hold on to and to revisit in the years to come.  I can see opening more boxes of Panini Century Collection if resources are not an issue.

5 out of 5

Do yourself a favor and pick up a box before they are all gone.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This Grand Prize of 8 boxes of cards will go to one lucky contest winner.

If you are here for the first time and looking for information on how to enter our contest, use this link to find out how.  One person will walk away with this entire prize package.  Enter soon, time is running out.

The winner for Best Alternative Sports Cards announced.

Selecting a winner in this category is a challenge.  It’s a real Apples and Oranges group of cards, so we had to distance ourselves from the sports and really look at the individual cards.  Here are descriptions of the nominees for All About Cards 2010 Sports Card Award in the category of Best Alternative Sports Cards.

2010 Panini FIFA World Cup South Africa
Do not confuse these with the stickers of the same name; this is the ultra rare, premium release of trading cards.  These were only released in a few select countries.  A nice binder to hold this set of 198 cards was released along side the cards.  Each box contains 36 packs of cards, 6 cards to a pack.  There are also random autograph cards included.  Panini used vibrant colors for these cards, featuring great action shots of the best players the world has to offer including our own, Landon Donovan.  Even though these are premium cards, it is great for set builders.

2010 Press Pass PBR 8 Seconds
 Fans of Bull Riding, all 21,000,000 of you, are well represented by this set of cards that feature the bulls and the men that ride them.  In a unique twist, on the back of the relic cards you’ll find a picture of the actual relic that was used to make the card before it was cut up.  The relics include gloves, shirts, jeans, cowboy hats and bull ropes.  Each box contains 24 packs, 5 cards per pack and all three of the included Autograph cards per box are hard, on-card autos.

2011 Press Pass NASCAR Racing
Released in 2010, the 2011 issue of NASCAR Racing is a set builders delight.  With 200 base cards and tons of inserts and subsets.   The photos from action to portrait to vintage are fantastic.  Card design is just as good.  It’s a great way to kick of the start of the new season and one of the boxes we are giving away in our contest.

2010 Press Pass Wheels Main Event Racing
 Press Pass does racing right and this set is no exception.  In a feat that is difficult for any set of Sports Cards, the backs of these cards are as interesting and well designed as the front.  With the right balance for set builders and insert chasers alike, these cards deliver the goods for all. 

2010 Upper Deck MLS Soccer
Upper Deck’s soccer release offers a 200-card base set and a variety of inserts that even include 10 cards of the best that the WPS has to offer.  Built around professional teams in the USA, it offers stand out local players like David Beckham in addition to materials cards and autos.  Each box contains 20 packs with 12 cards per pack.

And now, the 2010 Sports Card Award for Best Alternative Sports Cards goes to:
With incredible design and graphics, mixing vibrant colors on some cards and muted tones of grey with single standout colors on others, exceptional action and portrait photography, Press Pass Wheels Main Event Racing cards are, indeed, award worthy.  Hits include hard, on-card autos in single and Match Ups back-to-back dual configurations, mini cards and memorabilia cards that come with every conceivable racing item like fire suits, hats, pit signs, windows, sheet metal and tires.  Press Pass sets the benchmark for trading cards in all sports with Wheels Main Event.

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's bonus entry time. Pick up yours today.

If you are here for the first time and looking for information on how to enter our contest, use this link to find out how.

Here is you chance to gain one bonus entry today.  I'm feeling generous so there will be no limit to the amount of people that can get this one.

It's simple.  Go to twitter and tweet this exact phrase.

To enter a contest for free boxes of @PaniniAmerica @PressPass @toppscards @UpperDeckSports go to @Allaboutcards

Anyone who does it will get the bonus entry.  You have until 10:00 PM PST tonight so tweet away. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winners of Sunday's bonus entries.

If you are here for the first time and want a full explanation of how to get entries for our contest to win the above Grand Prize, use this link for all the information.  There will be more chances to get bonus entries for our contest in the days to come, but for today, Sunday the 16th of January, we are done.

The first four winners of today's five bonus entries with the closest guesses to the total points scored in the Jets/Patriots game are Rob AKA "VOTC", BA Benny, Charles @ Hoopography and Thorzul.  There was a three way tie for the last spot between Mark, cynicalbuddha and Dan.  So here is the random pick for our fifth bonus entry.
Congratulations to Mark and our other four winners.  Thank you to all that participated today.

One person will win these 8 boxes of cards in our contest. Here is today's bonus chance to get another entry.

Have you heard?  Even if you have an entry in our contest, there is still time to pick up bonus entries to increase your odds of winning this Grand Prize Package, going to one lucky person.  Use this link to find out all the different ways to get those bonus entries then come back here for today opportunity.

For a chance at today's bonus entries, ***UPDATE*** The deadline has past, this part of the contest is closed.  ***leave a comment here on this post or on our Facebook page with the total points that will be scored in today's Jets/Patriots game,.  For example, if you think the score will be Jets 7 Patriots 10, you would leave a comment with your answer of 17.  The five closest guesses will get a bonus entry.  If there  is a tie, the names will be randomized to determine the winner.  You have until 4:15 PM EST to leave your guess.

Congratulations to Mark A., Camgo74, dawgbones, David L. and Mark H who were the first five people to email us the correct answer to yesterday question.  The correct answer was Philip Rivers who had 4710 yards.