Saturday, July 30, 2011

EA Sports' Madden 12 Keeping Up With The NFL. First Look at Traded Players In Their New Uniforms.

We have been keeping you up to date with the fast and furious changes happening in the NFL.  Well EA Sports is have to work twice as hard to make sure that all of the changes are available for the release of Madden 12.  They are providing screen shots of the players in their new uniforms over at their Facebook page just as fast as they can get them done.  You can go to their page using this link.

Here is a first look at some of the images.

 Reggie Bush with the Miami Dolphins

 Chad Ochocinco Johnson with the New England Patriots

 Darren Sproles with the New Orleans Saints

Kevin Kolb with the Arizonia Cardinals

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Whole Bunch of Player Movement Now That The Lockout Is Over And The NFL Is Back In Business.

The lockout is over and teams have been wheeling and dealing in a fast and furious way.  Here is a recap of some of the movement that's been happening.

Kevin Kolb from the Eagles to the Cardinals

Chad Johnson (Ocho Cinco) from the Bengals to the Patriots

Reggie Bush from the Saints to the Dolphins

Greg Olsen from the Bears to the Panthers

Donovan McNabb from the Redskins to the Vikings

Sidney Rice from the Vikings to the Seahawks

Matt Hasselbeck from the Seahawks to the Titans

Daren Sproles from the Chargers to the Saints

Vince Young from the Titans to the Eagles.

Nnamdi Asomugha from the Raiders to the Eagles.

Check back for more updates as they become available.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Video Box Break of 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified Basketball Cards

2010-11 Panini Totally Certified Basketball is the first product to feature HRX video trading cards, but there is much more being offered by these colorful cards.   Check out our video box break to see what we pulled.

Michael Irvin Gives Captivating Interview To The Knight's Lance.

Say what you will about Michael Irvin and you will probably be right.  Controversy follows him but there is no denying what he did on the gridiron.  Five pro bowls, three Super Bowl wins and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He recently sat down to sign for Panini and took a few minutes out of his time to give an interview.  From a portion of what he said, you'll understand why he was happy to talk.  The video is captivating, definitely worth viewing.

I would post it here but don't feel it's fair.  You should head over to The Knight's Lance to watch it.  Use this link to get there.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Topps Prime 9 Redemption Card For Week 2 is Albert Pujols!

We told you about the release dates for the Prime 9 redemption cards found in 2011 Topps Baseball Series 2 hobby and jumbo boxes.  Week 1 was Johnny Bench.  We are right in the middle of Week 2 so if you have one of these...

...its time to go visit your HTA Local Hobby Shop and redeem those cards.   I went down to my LCS and picked this beauty up.
This Albert Pujols Prime 9 cards limited edition Chrome Refractor is gorgeous.  Pujols’ “Prime 9 Moments” include played only 133 Minor League Games and leads active players in OPS at 1.050.  You only have a few more days to get to your participating LCS and redeem those cards.  And don’t forget to fill out the back of your redemption card to be entered into a sweepstakes.  You could win a trip to the 2012 World Series.

Check in next week to find out who is on the card for week 3.

Angels' Pitcher Ervin Santana Throws a No-Hitter Against the Cleveland Indians

In an early game today in Cleveland, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Ervin Santana tossed the first complete no-hitter for the Angels in nearly 27 years.  How close was he to a perfect game?  Santana allowed only two runners. The first batter up for the Indians, Ezequiel Carrera, reach first base on a fielding error by Angels’ shortstop, Erick Aybar and in the eighth inning, Cleveland’s Lonnie Chisenhall was walked. 

The final score of the game was the Angels 3 – the Indians 1.  Yes... the Indians were held to 0 hits but they score in the first inning after Carrera stole second base, advanced to third base on a ground out and scored on, of all things, a wild pitch by Ervin Santana.

Other than the wild pitch, Santana’s control was excellent as he struck out 10 on his way to the “No No.”  It only took 106 tosses to the plate for the Angels’ pitcher to complete the game, 76 of which were strikes.

The last time the Angels had a no-hitter was when pitchers Mark Langston, who threw for 7 innings, and Mike Witt, who threw for 2, combined on a no-hitter on April 11, 1990, in a 1-0 win against the Mariners.  The previous complete game no-hitter for the Angels was when Mike Witt pitched a perfect game on Sept. 30, 1984.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Video Box Break of 2011 Score Football Cards

Football is back, the lockout is over.  We celebrate by busting a box of 2011 Panini Score Football NFL Trading Cards.  MOJO SPOILER - we beat the odds and pulled an auto.  Watch the video to see all 36 packs get ripped.

You Can Have Dinner with a Two-Time MLB All-Star at a Special Event During The National, Autographs Included

UPDATE - This event has been canceled.   Dmitri Young has decided to resume his pro baseball career ad can not attend the National.  The link to the payment site has been removed.
Sometimes life gets in the way.

As much as I would like to, I just can’t make it out to National this year.  I’m sure quite a few of you will be there, so towards the end of the week we will do a preview of what to expect, list some of the must have freebies and events you should try to hit.

There is one event that is limited and could easily sell out, so it is best not to wait. 

Over at the ever-expanding Cardboard Connection there is a listing for a special evening.  Recently the site acquired Card Corner Club Radio and is now Cardboard Connection Radio.  The show is hosted by Doug Cataldo, Rob Bertrand, (you’ve seen his comments here on the blog as VOTC) Russ Cohen and two-time MLB All-Star Dmitri Young, who played for the Cardinals and Reds but most notably for the Tigers and Nationals.  If you didn’t see Young play, you’ve probably seen or heard of his baseball card collection.  Featured on the MLB and Topps documentary “Cardboard Treasures”, which we told you about a few months ago, Young’s collection is made up of a variety of Gem Mint 10 rookie cards that include Roberto Clemente, Reggie Jackson, Jackie Robinson and many others.

So Dmitri played in the Majors and collects cards.   Sounds like the kind of guy you would want to sit down with and have a meal, right?   Well you can do that.

In what is sure to be a great event with very limited seating, Dmitri Young will be spending the evening sharing a meal and conversation at Harry Caray’s, a restaurant in Rosemont, Ill. near to the National.  The event will take place on Thursday, August 4th.

Everyone who attends gets to have a photo op with Dmitri, have one of your items that you bring to the dinner signed and get an additional autographed item as part of the package.  You’ll also get a goodie bag at the door with items provided by ISA Grading, Leaf, Panini, Topps and Tristar.  On top of that there will be door prizes and a silent auction that include, among other things, a game-worn Dmitri Young jersey.

Something tells me this is going to be different than your normal “Private Signings” event.  This is a group of guys that have worked together already, so I have a feeling the vibe will be a little less formal.  I could be wrong about that, but I think the lines will blur a little which should make this a night to remember.  If I were going, this would be a no-brainer for me.  Wish I could be there.

Monday, July 25, 2011

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Contains An Error... On The Box.

There has been speculation as to the rarity the Ryan Howard Auto Card found on boxes of 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter.  They can't seemed to be found.  There is a reason for that...  they are not in the product.

Topps has confirmed that "the Ryan Howard autographed card appearing on the 2011 Allen & Ginter box is not on the checklist nor in the product."

May people were certain it was in the checklist, but here's a look at the checklist included in the box.

No Ryan Howard.   There was no further information as to why the card is on the box.

Are You Ready For Some Football? The NFLPA and NFL Owners Come to an Agreement. The Lockout is Over.

Football is back.  In what NFLPA Director DeMaurice Smith termed "a fair deal" which involves a 10 year agreement,  the NFL lockout has ended.   Smith noted "there are still things to work out down the road" but for the long term, NFL Football is here to stay.

NFL Commistioner Roger Goodell said "the agreement only came out of mutual respect."  He also noted that "we know we have frustrated fans" with the lockout and months of negotiations, but "our commitment is to bring them better football."

Much of the credit to getting this deal done was given to the presence of Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, who was there for the final negotiations even though his wife, Myra, passed away from cancer five days ago.

NFLPA President Kevin Mawae said the players "wanted to secure the long term interest of the game."  That could not be done unless the was "talk about what will make Football better and safer."

DeMaurice Smith noted "we didn't get everything we wanted" and neither did the owners, but the agreement is "fair and balanced."

There are still issues to be worked out separately that will not affect the NFL season going forward or this agreement.  Certain points involving player's health, safety, pensions and the way grievances are handled will be ironed out at a later date.  But for now the NFL and the Players just want to get back to work.

Sneak Peek at 2010-11 Panini Playoff National Treasures Basketball

More images of cards from 2010-11 National Treasures Basketball are being released by Panini.  The set won our Sports Card Award last year for the Best Ultra Premium Cards and 2009-10 Panini Hall of Fame Basketball Cards were a personal favorite.

For the upcoming release of National Treasures it appears that Panini is combining the two sets.  Here is an example.
I think this card is fantastic.   Sure, it's a great player with a highly desirable autograph but it's the design and layout of the card that makes it visually stunning.

There are more examples of the cards that will be included in this set over at The Knight's Lance and if you haven't done so already, check out Panini's newly revamped Facebook page using this link.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

2010-11 Panini Zenith Hockey Cards Box Break Recap and Review

Here’s a bit of a spoiler, there is a lot to like about 2010-11 Panini Zenith Hockey but at the same time this is a hard set to review.  Just like that last statement seems stuck in the middle of opinions, Zenith Hockey is placed in the middle of two categories, set builder trading cards and premium hit cards. 

For the purposes of our review, we will consider Zenith Hockey premium cards based on it’s price point per card.  Each hobby box contains 10 – 5 card packs.  Most boxes contain three autograph or memorabilia cards per box.  There are “hot boxes” that fall about 1 out of every 12 boxes that contain three times the hits of a regular box with nine autograph or memorabilia cards per box.  Lets take a look at the cards we pulled from the box.

First from the base set
Steven Stamkos, front and back

Here are some of the best of the base cards.

Roberto Luongo, Jonathan Toews and  Evgeni Malkin
 Joe Thorton, Henrik Sedin and Jarome Iginla

Legends Ray Bourque, Kelly Hrudey and Brett Hull

Rookie Stefan Della Rovere

From the inserts - PLEASE NOTE - The next four cards are covered from side to side with foil and Nufex which makes for a really cool card, but almost impossible to get a good scan or picture.

 Theo Peckham and Anders Lindback Rookie Roll Call

 Tampa Bay Lightning Mozaic, Ryan Malone, Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos

 Crease is the Word Kari Lehtonen

Gifted Grinders James Neal

Our hits were
 Minnesota Wild Mozaic single swatch, Cal Clutterbuck,Mikko Koivu and Niklas Backstrom

 Winter Warriors Swatch Daniel Sedin

Rookie Auto Mattias Tedenby #/999

And the 5X7 Dare to Tear Box Topper
Dare to Tear Jeremy Roenick

You Double Dog Dared us to tear it and inside was this.

 Epix Michal Neuvirth, front and back.

Overall Look
The cards have a clean look overall, almost like they are framed photographs.  The Gifted Grinders and Chasing the Cup inserts are really nicely designed. 

Quality and Variety of Players
The checklist is tight at 115 Players, 85 Rookies and 25 Legends.  The thing that is a little confusing is the distribution of the base cards.  To be fair, out of the 85 Rookies, 25 of those are only available in autographed versions or SPs in Dare to Tear cards and another 15 are only available as Auto SPs.  Perhaps it’s a minor point, but it kind of feels like these should have been given their own subset numbering, as should the Dare to Tear cards for that matter.  Also, of the base cards pulled, 39 were commons, 3 were legends and we pulled 1 rookie.  Perhaps the collation for our box was not typical, but if it is, this leaves a difficult chase for premium set builders. 

Do the Hits satisfy?  Are the cards too base heavy?
There are a lot of great hits to chase, a great checklist of autos to hit, especially the Yours Truly Autos. On the memorabilia side, The Winter Warriors are nice as are the Triple Mosaic Cards.  The real fun comes with the “Dare to Tear” cards that, in addition to the Epix card we pulled, can yield Donruss Elite and National Treasures Autos.

Will you keep coming back for more?
This feels like a three box purchase with hopes of hitting a hot box.  Super collectors will order by the case to ensure two hot boxes and all of the case hits that come with it.

4 out of 5

2010-11 Panini Zenith Hockey feels little stuck in the middle, but Hockey Aficionados will appreciate its return to collecting.

Review box provided by Panini

Our Box Break of 2010-11 Panini All Goalies Hockey Card Set

Want to see every card from the entire set of 2010-11 Panini All Goalies Hockey and more?  No problem.  Just watch this video box break.