Saturday, February 12, 2011

On-Cards and Stickers and Redemptions... Oh My! An All About Cards "Sports Card Sound Off."

The description of Sound Off is "to voice one's opinions freely and vigorously."  That's what we intend to do with this part of our blog; something we hope will become a regular feature.  So, here is our first ever "Sports Card Sound Off."

We hear all the time about how much collectors frown upon Sticker Autos and Redemptions.  Yet, collectors seem to like cut autos as long as they are done well and they certainly don't mind waiting extra time past a release date to get the cards they want.  So why isn't an autograph an autograph?  What is the problem with having a card sent to you, at a company's expense, through a redemption program?   Maybe you have no problem with this and maybe you have a big problem with this.

More than knowing how you feel about this issue, we are really interested in why you feel like you do.   So, using the comments below, tell us WHY you either like or don't like sticker autos and redemptions.   Leaving a comment like "because they suck" doesn't really help us here because it doesn't lead to much of a response other than "Yeah... they suck" or "They don't suck."   So, try to share with us the reasoning behind your opinion.  And, please do your best to keep it clean so that people of all ages can participate too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A little more about our next giveaway

Under 12 hours and we already have enough interest to make this a possibility.  Now for a sensitive question.

I would never ask you to purchase something as a condition of participating, but it would be MUCH better if you did.  I understand some people just can't even spend an extra cent in this economy and certainly any kids here should consult their parents before answering yes to this next question because I don't want a Soupy Sales "Green Pieces of Paper' situation on my hands. (Don't know your TV history, look at the video at the end of this post to find out what I'm talking about.)

So if given the choice of buying a blaster of Topps 2011 baseball cards or receiving a "virtual blaster" from me (sending actual blasters to all would be prohibitive for me at this point, perhaps someday that will change)  to play this game, which option would you take.   Would you buy a blaster or use virtual cards.

Please understand, your answer in no way will affect your ability to get in on this game, so answer honestly by leaving a comment.   Your answer will not be visible until I have read it so if you prefer not to have your answer published for all to see, please tell me in your comment and I will delete it after reading it.

Our next giveaway.

Hey all.   Hope you enjoyed our last giveaway.  At the very least, I know three people did.

So I told you that we would be doing other give aways and I'm already working on them.

No promises but you could see tie ins with The Stanley Cup, The NFL Draft and The NBA Playoffs to name a few.

With the first reporting days starting Sunday, one idea I'm toying with is a month long giveaway tied into Spring Training.  But its not just an enter and wait kind of deal.  It would involve some game playing, with a prize going to the best game players.

I would need a good amount of people, between 24 and 30 to make it worth the effort.

As you know, I like to reward those that jump in early without too many details, so this is your chance to be an "early adopter" by leaving me a comment that you would be interested in daily game lasting from Feb 25th to March 30th.   You don't have to be available every day, but those that are will definitely have the advantage.  Its not a huge time commitment, but it will take some daily attention.

The one thing I will tell you is it involves Baseball and Baseball Cards.  Its a little retro, a little new and since this is just formulating in my head, hopefully its a little original.

So who's interested?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's Hot in Cleveland as Bryon Scott unloads on his players after the Cavaliers 26th loss in a row.

As a player, Byron Scott was selected to the All Rookie 1st Team in 1983/84, lead the league in 3 point field goal percentage in 1984/85 and was a key part of the Los Angeles Lakers World Championship teams in 1985, 1987 and 1988.  As a coach, he was awarded as the 2007/08 NBA Coach of the Year.   It safe to say this man knows Basketball.

It may be 16 degrees Fahrenheit, but right now its hot in Cleveland.
That's not what were are talking about.  We are talking about Byron Scott's verbal beating of his team.  A team with a record of 8-45.  But it was not a fit of frustration over a season gone wrong, or even the Cleveland Cavaliers current 26 game losing streak.  Its the fact that the Cavs, with as bad as they are playing, were actually FAVORED to win last night over the Detroit Pistons and they didn't come ready to play.

Scott lost it last night, taking the Cavs players to task during halftime and then again in a closed locker room session that last 30 minutes, and he had every right to do it.

Byron Scott was later interviewed and had this to say.  "I'm mad as hell.  I can deal with losing, especially when our guys play as hard as they have in the last couple weeks.  But I find it very hard to deal with when guys don't come out ready to play.  I thought we took a gigantic step backwards and it was all because of a lack of effort.  We had no sense of urgency whatsoever and that kind of amazes me.  When we've lost as many in a row as we lost and when you've been as close as we've been in the last four or five games and to be at home and come out the way we came out, that amazes me."

No doubt, the Cavs have their work cut out for them, and its got to be hard to be in that kind of losing streak, but they can't afford to beat themselves by not showing up to play.   They will have a chance to redeem themselves on Friday as they host the Los Angeles Clippers.  But if the players show up with the same attitude, Coach Scott might want to consider giving Betty White the start.   I've seen her Snickers commercial.  She's no push over.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A must see, amazing video on the sports card manufacturing process and adding relics to a card by Panini

This is one amazingly cool card.  I'm sure most of you would agreed.  Yes... for some of you the thought is unbearable (see what I did there) that the two pieces of relics you see on this card came from a full sized article of clothing, and not only were they of some monetary value, but of historical significance too.

Now I have a few friends who have chosen a Vegan lifestyle and I certainly respect them for it.  I think in the true sense of the American Way, everyone should have the right to their pursuit of happiness.  If that means molding tofu in the shape of a turkey for Thanksgiving or grilling up some garden burgers makes you happy, have at it.  That's not me.  I likes me my steak.

Everyone once in a while my tolerance gets tested as one of my friends will do something I feel crosses the line.  They will send me the latest video from a PETA uncover investigation into the cruelty to chickens or cows that includes raw video of the "processing" of the meat.  Something I don't need to see and something that wont make me stop eating things medium rare.

So for those of you who feel that card companies should preserve Jerseys and hats or whatever stuff they decide belongs on a card instead of giving away tiny swatches of it to collectors, the video below is not for you.  If you feel this way, perhaps we should refer to you as memorabilians or artifactans, I am doing you a favor that my own friends wont do for me by telling you, "DO NOT START THIS VIDEO."   It contains graphic scenes of one of Bear Bryant's Famous Houndstooth Hat being helplessly chopped into hundreds of pieces.  AVERT YOUR EYES!

For the rest of us, this is one of the coolest videos I've ever scene about the sports cards manufacturing process.  It is a must see and, of course, it's brought to us by The Knight's Lance and the good people over at Panini.  I have watched this several times now and it still holds up.   After the video, use the link to Panini's site to get even more info.

Link to Panini  -  Houndstooth Hat Trick: Turning a Classic Bear Bryant Collectible Into 100 of Them

What does it take to become a professional athlete? When mad skilz are not enough. An amazing video.

We've all experienced watching a football game and seeing a particularly bad performance from an individual athlete and thought "This guy is awful. There's got to be someone better on the bench?" Sometimes it seems like guys who have don't have the basic skills to play the game get through to the next level, while other guys who can really play the game have to watch from the sidelines.

In a video that is a cross between the Michael Vick's Powerade commercial and the best of the Beer Pong trick shots videos, here is Johnny McEntee, a quarterback for the UConn Football team, showing off some incredible precision passing.  As you watch this, keep in mind that McEntee is a third string quarterback and has only seen the playing field once in two years, late in a blowout game, and only to hand off the ball for a few running plays.  Makes you wonder what it will take to give this guy a shot at some passing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Can you remain timeless while being timely? Panini tries with 2010-11 Timeless Treasures Basketball Cards and succeeds. An All About Cards review.

It was just announced the 2009-10 release of Panini Treasures was our pick for Best Premium Basketball Cards of the year in our 2010 Sports Card Awards.  So how does the 2010-11 compare?  It’s another winner for Panini and you just might see it again when the 2011 awards roll around.  Going with the theory of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” this release uses the same concepts as last year, same tin holder, same amount of cards and the quality is still there.   We are glad they didn’t make any big changes. 

This set falls just between our classifications of Premium cards and Ultra Premium cards, but we’ve classified these as Premium because of the low price point, which makes it less of a high risk set while still retaining the possibility of a high reward.  At only 5 cards to a tin (ours had 6), it has elements of a “lottery box” that is normally found in our Ultra Premium card classification but its more accessible to the common collector.

Lets look at the cards we found in our tin before I get into details of how we feel about this set of cards.

Base cards of Rajon Rondo, 118/399, Al Horford 198/399, and Marcus Thornton 3/10

Rookie Recruits auto of Greg Monroe 24/299

NBA Apprentice Triple Jersey of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson 28/99

NBA Apprentice Jersey/Auto of Eric Bledsoe 50/50

Overall Look
We love the design of this set and its inserts.  The base cards strike a nice balance between shiny and matte finishes which give them a classy feel.  Some nice retro flair mixed with modern lines make these cards feel classic without seeming dated.  The rookie card designs are modern with splashes of older color schemes, and by referring to them as apprentices, carries the theme of these new players taking their place in the history of the game.   The sharp, bold lines of the Hall of Fame cards make these historical players relevant to the modern game of today.  One might even call the design of this set… timeless.

Quality and Variety of Players
By paring down this set to about 100 of today’s star players, about 50 rookies and about 35 old school Hall of Famers the quality is there and variety is found in the amount of different inserts.  Because of the smaller pool of players, you are more likely to pull something nice.

Do the Hits satisfy?  Are the cards too base heavy?
Keeping with the theme of this being close to a “lottery box” and at only 5 cards, there will be times that a tin will be a bust.  Our tin’s hits were all rookies, great if you are a prospector, not if you are looking solely for star power, but we’ll chalk that up to luck of the draw.  The hits are plentiful and easy to get.  The base set is properly proportioned.  This is not going to be an easy base set to collect, but that’s what you want from a Premium set of cards.   With each numbered to, at most 399, these are base cards that will hold their own value, which strikes a nice balance for this set.

Will it keep you coming back for more?
With a low price point, not much more than a regular hobby box, and a chance to pull some really nice hits, these just might be the potato chips of the Premium card world where you can’t buy just one.  This release will make a lot of collectors very happy.

 4 1/2 out of 5

You just might want to pick up a few Panini 2010-11 Timeless Treasures to see what gems are hidden inside those tins.

Review box provided by Panini

Monday, February 7, 2011

Winner for Best Ultra Premium Cards announced

There are five nominees for Best Ultra Premium Cards.  There is a wide variety of cards to choose from in this uber-highend batch of nominees.  Here are descriptions of the nominees for the All About Cards 2010 Sports Card Award in the category of Best Ultra Premium Cards.

2010/11 In The Game Ultimate Memorabilia 10th Edition $600 – 15 cards
This set lives up to its name with multiple packs of cards prepackaged in loaders.   Jumbo swatches of patches, sticks, gloves and other highly collectible materials put these cards in a class all their own.  Its enough to make a die hard Hockey fan swoon.

2010 Press Pass Five Star Racing $550 – 5 cards
If ever there was a sport that was the perfect match for relic cards it would have to be racing.  With such incredible materials to draw upon, like sheet metal, tires, and racing suits that are covered inch by inch with embroidered logo patches, its hard to produce a bad card.   Press Pass doesn’t just sit on this “easy ride,” they bring great card design to the mix and its at its best with Five Star Racing.

2010 Panini Century Collection $200 – 5 cards
At $200 a box this is our least expensive entry in this catagory.  But with a great vintage photos, stamps and signatures, it fits well with our other nominees. 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.  All of this makes the depth and the quality of the set amazing.

2009/10 Panini National Treasures Basketball $400 – 8 cards
This was the year that rookie class and veterans list hit on all cylinders.  Awesome patches, autographs in single dual and triple versions, helped push this release to its apex.  Then add logoman, timeline and notable nickname cards to the mix.   Its an amazing release.

2009/10 Upper Deck The Cup $400 – 4 cards
The Cup lived up to expectations and then exceeded them.  With star exclusives and cards that have excelled in the after market, Upper Deck’s release was a great box to buy, if you could find it.  Supplies of boxes were quickly gone.

And now… the All About Cards 2010 Sports Card Award for Best Ultra Premium Cards goes to:
This set is already showing signs of taking off in the after market.  But 2009/10 Panini National Treasures Basketball takes this award based on the cards, not just their increase in value.  That’s just a bonus to the collector.  

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Drumroll please... here is the grand prize winner of our contest.

Great drive by the Steelers.  Will Woodson return?  After one half of football the score is Packers 21, Steelers 10.

And now for the winner of our grand prize. the person that will take home all 8 boxes of the sports cards you see above.   Once again, a big thanks to the companies that have provided the boxes for this amazing prize package.

 Check out this video to see which, of our 717 entries, was selected as our grand prize winner.

Just one quarter left of football before we reveal our Grand Prize winner.

After two touchdowns by the Packers there is just 15 minutes of football that separates you from finding out who is our grand prize winner.  Check back at half time.

We are just hours away from the drawing for the Grand Prize in our contest.

In a little over 12 hours, a name will be drawn and that person will win all the cards you see in the picture.  One person, 8 boxes, 5 sports.

After a week of checking, rechecking and verifying, we have 717 entries.  So at the very least, your odds are 1 in 717 that you will win this Grand Prize.  Some of you will have even better odds because of the bonus entries you've picked up along the way.

A few things I should point out.

1 - There will be a video of the drawing.  Please check the winner's name carefully.  Some names are rather close.  For example, we have a Michael Rubin and a Michael Reuben, no typo, two different people.  There are also some first name only entries, like David, who won our Early Adopters prize.  If a name like that comes up and you happen to have the same first name, please be patient and don't jump to any conclusions.  We will now exactly which person that entry is associated with because...

2 - We have coded each entry, so we will know, right away, where that entry comes from.  You might have noticed a two or three letter code next to each name in our other prize drawings.  Well, that's our system that tracks all the entries.  So no matter what name gets selected, we will know exactly where to find the place that entry came from, whether its from Twitter or a bonus entry from Facebook, or answering our Quarterback question.  It took a lot of extra time to do this, but we want to make sure there are no disputes and that the person who wins this package will be the one who receives it.

3- Because we can trace back our entries, we will be able to verify that we have the right person with 100% certainty.  

So we hope you all are as excited as we are to be giving this Grand Prize away.  Good luck to all, and if you can tear yourself away from the Black Eyed Peas (and possibly the Puppy Bowl) for a moment, we will see you all at halftime.

The winner for Best Basketball Trading Cards announced.

There are a wide variety of designs when it comes to the five nominees for Best Basketball Trading cards.  While there are some great inserts, to win this award you need a strong, collectable base set too.  Here are descriptions of the nominees for the All About Cards 2010 Sports Card Award in the category of Best Basketball Trading Cards.

2009/10 Panini Adrenalyn XL Basketball
You may think its weird to include a card that is made primarily to play a kids game, but if you’re a kid, this makes sense.  It also makes sense if you consider the 300 base cards that are needed to complete the set, including different colored and signature parallels.  And at a dollar a pack not only is this set a bargain, its easy to collect, which is what old school collecting was about and something that we need to keep an eye on for future generations to keep the hobby alive and vibrant.  Don’t underestimate the importance of these entry-level cards to the health of the collecting community. 

2009/10 Panini Classics Basketball
There are four hits in the box, and they are great hits, but this base set shines.  The 200 Commons, Legends and Rookies to be collected are what makes this set really excel.

2010/11 Panini Rookies & Stars Basketball
The name says it all for these cards, not much middle ground.  But that doesn’t stop collectors from eating them up.  It’s a fan favorite and will continue to capture the interest of collectors for as long as Panini continues to make them.

2009/10 Panini Season Update Basketball
At 200 base cards, this was the last opportunity for collectors to purchase Basketball cards for the 2009/10 year.  With Lakers Legacy, All-Star Game inserts, Rookie Challenge and Rookie auto cards in dual and triple signatures, this was a great closer to another NBA season.

2010/11 Panini Threads Basketball
This set strikes a nice balance with 138 base cards and inserts that are great looking.  From the rookie cards that are printed on real wood to the die cut jersey cards to the All-Time Big Men, these inserts are different and attractive.  Throwing in the kind of cards collectors are looking for in auto/material rookie cards, legends and on-card autos, this set has it all.

And now… the All About Cards 2010 Sports Card Award for Best Basketball trading cards goes to:
Panini has this part of Basketball locked up and they do it well.  And 2010/11 Panini Threads Basketball is our pick for its variety and innovation.  It’s always difficult because Basketball releases tend to be split over the calendar year and there are some great releases on the horizon.  But collectors should be happy with any of these cards as well as the 2010/11 versions of these releases.