Saturday, August 24, 2013

2013 Pinnacle Baseball

Ah, I remember the good old days.  Pinnacle was always a nice little addition to the Topps and Upper Deck's of the world.  Slightly funky.  A little bit futuristic (by early 90's standards).  I never though about seriously collecting Pinnacle, but they sure were fun to buy every once in a while.

Then...they disappeared.

So, when I walk into the LCS looking for something totally different, I see that brand.  Pinnacle is back, baby!

Here's the basic lowdown:  A 150 card basic checklist along with another 50 rookies, totally a 200 card easily do-able set for collectors.  Tons of inserts.  The autograph signers are surprisingly impressive:  Trout, Griffey Jr, Mattingly, Strasburg, and others.  Not bad, I must say.  Looks like they are bringing back the old clear cards, too.  Harkens back to the good old days...

Overall, the product isn't bad.  It's not really all that good, either.  Use it how I use it:  a fun little side trip down memory lane.  If you are looking for something great and collectible...well, I would look elsewhere.

I bought four packs.  Here's how I did:

Pack 1:  M. Cabrera, Carlos Pena, Strasburg, Scott Diamond Auto, Prince Fielder "Swing for the fences" (clear), Jose Reyes, Jackie Bradley Jr RC, Collin McHugh RC

Pack 2:  Bo Jackson, J. Upton, E. Andrus, Mauer, Michael Morse Clear Vision "single", D. Wright, Grant Balfour, Nick Maronde RC

Pack 3:  J. Montero, Kimbrel, Y. Alonso, Pete Rose Hit King, Teixeira Clear Vision "single", Huston Street, Brett Lawrie, Yasiel Puig RC

Pack 4:  Prince Fielder, BJ Upton, CarGo, Mat Harvey, Jeter clear looking Pinnacle of Success, Nolan Ryan, Tyler Skaggs RC, Denis Phipps RC

For four packs, I am certainly not disappointed.  An autograph and a Puig RC are all good for me.  The design is simple and there are no MLB logos, so be ready for that.

Pinnacle.  Back in the neighborhood, once again.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Trending Down: Stephen Strasburg

Maybe it's just my perception (which may be wrong) but, it appears that the over-hype on Strasburg cards has died down quite a bit.  A card once worth hundreds is now worth a fraction during his rookie year.  Maybe it's due to the injury or the pitch count or the less-than-awesome year he has been having for the underachieving Nationals.  But, I might actually be able to afford a Strasburg auto sometime soon!

Don't get me wrong, I still love the big guy.  Would be thrilled to see him pitching at the Trop wearing a Rays jersey.  But, his shine has been tarnished by the guys that are the "flavor of the month".  The likes of Puig, Myers, Machado, and of course Trout and Harper, have taken over the reigns of "hot" cards, lately.

This may actually be able to help us (the broke collectors) finally be able to afford an auto from a player that is still destined for greatness.

Thanks all for are awesome!

2013 Allen and Ginter

Really, what's not to like about the Topps Allen & Ginter line?  It's classy, simple, kind of old-timey, perfect for getting signed, and they tend to load their product with plenty of great hits.  I, for one, can simply call this my favorite product.  Easily.

Plus, they have mini's.  I love the mini cards.  Don't really know why or what my fascination is with the little guys.  But, I do love 'em.

The 2013 Allen and Ginter set is just as awesome as previous years.  Last year I bought three boxes.  I did pretty well, too.  Considering the odds of pulling some sweet cards (not all that great), I pulled a Yu Darvish auto RC and an Ernie Banks auto'd box topper plus an assload of relics.  So, last year I did pretty good.

So, what did I do?  Bought a box of 2013.  What a dud.  Three relics.  That's it.  Sucked hard.  But, this is the only box of A&G I will be able to afford this year.  Budgets are tight and I only get one.  Too bad it had to be like this.  Oh well.

Here's a bit of a review of the set:  The base set has 300 cards...kinda big for the collector but do-able.  The mini set is equal to that (I would love to try this one).  There is also a 50 card short print (SP) set.  Then you have the Rip cards, which are super-tough to pull.  I got one once...ripped a SP mini card.  Meh.  Then there are the 1/1 wood cards, printing plates, autographed cards (blue base and SP red ink), the silk cards, various subsets, cards with bugs, and booklets.  There really is tons of stuff in this set that could keep people buying.

One side note:  This is the first time that I have seen an A&G product go with a relic card that was NOT framed.  They are actually full-sized, and upon researching found this to be a subset.  I pulled one and thought it was super weird.

The autographs offered are, once again, stellar.  Young studs like Profar, Puig, Myers and Trout are all there.  Plus there are killer hits on old-timers such as Maury Wills, Mike Schmidt, and Cal Jr.  Add to that non-baseball autos like Axl Rose, Nick Saban, Mark Cuban, and freakin' Pele.  Pele!  Lots of hits to be had folks.

I just wish I had more cash to dump into boxes.  But, broke, I am.  Dammit.

Enjoy this year's Allen and Ginter.  It rocks.  Again.

*Thanks to Cardboard Connection for letting me swipe their images and info!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Mail Brings Jedd

Took a look in the mailbox because it is something I do.  Daily.  Mostly it's bills and junk mail and coupon flyers and the like.  Even though I have sent out bunches of TTM requests in the past few months, things have been so sparse I have stopped expecting any.

Then...well, then Jedd Gyorko arrives.  You know the guy.  Comes seemingly from out of nowhere to play pretty well for the San Diego Padres.  Then, gets demoted.  Then, gets promoted.  Then, gets hurt. Then, signs my cards.

I like Jedd and think he's going to be a pretty good ballplayer for years to come.  That's why I sent the request.  I really only send to guys I respect...the way they play, anyway.  So, Jedd's a keeper for me.

Pretty decent day even though I only netted one return.  It's way better than most days...which are usually nothing.

He returned 3/3 in roughly two months.  They are as follows: a 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League (which looks awesome), a 2010 Topps Pro Debut (equally awesome), and a 2012 Pro Debut that bubbled somewhat because I am a doofus who doesn't know how to properly prep cards (or I missed that one).

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hooray For Jose!

After all this PED mess in the game today, and with all the suspensions and whatnot, it turns out that this man...this a prophet on a Nostradamus-like level.  Who would've thought that he was telling the truth the whole time.

Dig the mullet in this picture, too.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Trending Up: Yasiel Puig

I know this may be a little late to the game.  But, in the collectors world no one player is hotter than Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig.  The Cuban-born wunderkind is taking the collectors world by storm.  As I write this, there are very few officially licensed Puig products on the market.  This fact, coupled with Puig's outstanding rookie performance, has caused collectors to get into a froth...even over base cards.

For example:  A base Puig Topps Minor League card can fetch up to twenty bucks on the eBay right about now.  Crazy talk, right?  These are Trout and Harper like demands for even the most common of products.  

Puig mania has hit.  They are loving the guy on ESPN.  The city of LA is crazy for the dude.  The rest of the collecting world has caught the fever.

So, if you are holding a Puig common (which I am, right now) I have some solid advice.  Sell, sell, sell.

Dude is trending up.  But, for how long?

2013 Bowman Platinum

Now, here's a product I can get behind.  Just about anything that Bowman puts out...well, I'll try to buy as much as financially possible.

The 2013 version of Bowman Platinum looks great to me.  The design is typical Platinum:  Slick, glossy, and a little futuristic.  It really is a cool looking card.

The base set is small:  100 cards.  Even though the pack size is small (5 cards) it looks like set builders will be able to put a set together with little problem.  Of course there will be the normal color variations included.  There is also a prospect base card set with an equal collectible number of 100.  Nice.

Bowman would be remiss if they didn't put out a bunch of subsets with autographs abound.  2013 has all those and then some.  Die-cuts, prospect autos, hexagraph booklet cards, patches, relics, bat plates...the list of "hits" is exhaustive.  So, check out the checklist that I used from our friends sportscardradio.

One thing I love about Bowman:  rookies.  The set is loaded with rookies and prospecting rookies can be a lot of fun.  And profitable.

If the funds allow, I will definitely be buying some more Platinum.

Here's the tally from my two packs:  Lucas Sims, Luis Merejo (Diamonds in the rough), Mo Rivera, Gary Sanchez, Jonathan Schoop, Zunino, Lucas Giolito, Taylor Guerrieri (Top Prospects), Jedd Gyorko, Carlos Correa.

2013 Goodwin Champions

So, even though I'm a sucker for a vintage-style set, I just couldn't find it in my heart or my bank account to buy an entire box of this year's Goodwin Champions.  The Upper Deck set, which in past years has been much hated by many, isn't all that bad.  However, because of UD's lack of player's association affiliation, this set has no team or league logos present, whatsoever.

Once again, Goodwin proves themselves to be...weird.  Apparently, some of the big hits in the boxes are relics and antiques from the Wild West era.  Strange that this stuff would be included in a sports card set.  Or can Goodwin Champions even bill themselves as a sports card set anymore?

There is good news if you are a set collector.  There's only 150 cards in the base set with 40 short prints.  This is very do-able for set collectors everywhere.

I'm a big fan of the mini cards, though.  I can't get enough of the little fuckers.  In the two packs I bought, I did get a Vinny Del Negro mini...which will go in my mini collection.

So, take Goodwin Champions for what you want.  Sports or not, there seem to be some decent hits within the set.  Tiger Woods, Mark McGwire, Tony Hawk...they all signed for UD for the set.  However, I'm pretty sure they didn't sign a whole lot so these auto cards will be super-rare and expensive.  Worth buying a box or case for?  Nope.

Heres the lowdown for the two packs I bought:  Vinny Del Negro mini, Katie Brown, Laimbeer, Robert Horry, Cobi Jones, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Jem Mace, The Hulkster, Tim Howard, and Tim Hardaway.

If you are counting that's: 4 basketball players, 3 soccer, 1 golfer, 1 wrestler, 1 climber, and an old-timey boxer,  Jeez...

I can't find a proper checklist for you all yet.  But, I'll keep looking.