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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Baseball Box 2 of 5

Box 2 of 5:

The Base Set: For the love of God Upper Deck. In this box I got 23 doubles. Yes in a 12 pack box I got 23 doubles, basically I was getting 2 doubles per pack. In addition, I only got 11 cards toward my set and 5 of those were short prints. The collation was terrible in this box, absolutely terrible. Since I have to send some damaged cards to Upper Deck, they are going to get an eyefull in my letter. One of my SP's, Johnny Bench, was damaged on the back. Same machine pushed in top, where the card kind of peels back.

Framed Card:
Black:
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If you look closely on the Thome and V-mart, you will notice that you can't read the Masterpieces at the bottom of the card. That is because the framed portion has been torn.
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Red: Teixeira Again. The red are not numbered
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Blue: /125 Curt Schilling
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Jersey:Aramis Ramirez
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Auto: Mark Teahen????
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This box was horrible. All those doubles, and Aramis Ramirez jersey and a Mark Teahen auto. The Damaged cards. This is exactly the type of box that I saw busted earlier, sans doubles, that made me think I would pass on it. As I said, I paid 46 shipped for each of these. That is so much less than retail and I am still not happy with the box.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thoughts on Prime Cuts

Nothing in this post should be construed as me not wanting the cards discussed or anything negative. These are awesome cards and any collector, including me, would be happy to have them.

After seeing the Monster Hit on the Prime Cuts group break at SCU and noticing that it was /25, it got me thinking as to the long term viability of these cards on the secondary market. In my opinion Prime cuts is far superior to Triple Crap and Topps Sterling. Prime cuts goes for $200 a pack/box on the bay, less a week or two ago.

It is lousy with great cards:
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If someone would have shown me these cards twenty years ago, I might have keeled over on the spot. Anyway, the only other thing lousy about these cards is their resale value on ebay given the cost of the box. Best case scenario, you get that 1/1 Thorpe or the Ruth auto. Then what? You sell it for a mere 4-5 times the cost of the pack. What happens if you get that Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Lou Boudreau triple jersey /25. That to me is killer card, but then you look at the ebay auction. I'll save you the suspense, $61.02. Less than 1/3 the cost of a box/pack nets you that card. Really? That's not all. Check out these auctions here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Yes, that Paige did go for more than the cost of a box, but it seems to me that you can buy 2 cases worth of hits for much less than the cost of a case. Don't get me wrong, each of these cards is a case hit in Baseball Threads, but has Prime Cuts demolished the super high end hobby? Even though each of the triple jersey cards are /25, I would imagine that there are literally 500-1000 each of Williams, Robinson, and others in this product.

I ask that question in all seriousness, as what is left that is not offered in Prime Cuts? Mantle maybe? Frankly, there are thousands of Mantle autos on the market, Prime Cuts offers everything that has not been previously available. Sure there are exceptions. There is no way that with as high end as this product is that Ripken should be a sticker auto. Some players with failing health I can see, but Eddie Murray?

I don't have any answers, I want to know: Where does the hobby go from here?

Upper Deck Masterpices baseball at Blowout

Blowout cards has masterpieces for 39.95, 21 left.

Find it here

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Baseball Box 1 of 5

Yes, you read right, 1 of 5. I won 3 auctions from the same seller back on December 18, still haven't arrived and the guy didn't ship them until I emailed him Sunday. He is a notoriously slow shipper. I am a bit ticked especially since I paid $23 to ship 3 boxes of these and 1 Threads Baseball. Anyway, I then won two others around the same time as I had bid on quite a few. Those two arrived last Friday.

I paid $46 shipped for each box. 1 box/12 packs/6 cards. Checklist can be found here.

The Base set: The base set has 90 cards with 30 SP's for a total of 120. I got 5 Short prints in this box. I did however get 15 doubles in this box. This was a collation error because I got doubles in the same pack. Often one in the front of the pack and then one behind the blank, auto, jersey, or framed parallel. It didn't matter. Because I got 15 doubles in 12 packs, something had to have been wrong. I will be interested to see what my 3 boxes from the other seller has in store.

The 2008 set doesn't have quite the pop of the 2007 because it seems the best material was used in the 07 set. The SP's are all retired players but don't quite have the same juice.

Parallels: Apparently there are 10 framed parallel sets. Come on Upper Deck? What's that about? Just make a few more of the non numbered versions. They have made it impossible to comlete a damn set of these. I still think redemptions for complete framed sets would be sweet.
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Deep Blue?: /125
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Bronze Ore?: /100 Ichiro
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The Auto: On card, gotta like that. These autos look really nice even when your auto is Tom Gorzelanny:
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Jersey: Normally I put the jersey before the auto, but I am making an exception here. These are placed back first, so again you can see the logo. I saw the Rangers logo and was hoping it was a Nolan, but alas it was a Teixeira.

Oh yeah, the above only applies to a Patch: /25
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Nice 3 color patch. These cards are pretty nice. Not sure what the insertion rate is.EditThese patches are one per case according to the sell information on Blowout.

This box was ok, the patch sure as heck made it better than it would have been. The collation was very poor. In addition, for the retail cost of this box, there needs to be 2-3 jerseys or a second auto. When I saw these being busted when they were released, I didn't see the value and I still don't. Given the cost that these sell for on ebay as opposed to retail price, it is clear that others don't either.

One more note: Buying these one or two packs at a time is a waste. You should only buy these by the box. If you can't afford a box, don't waste your time or money on these because you are probably going to come up with nothing but base cards or a parallel at best. With what I have seen these sell for by the pack at shops, you have essentiall paid $12 for 12 base cards.

10 Questions with Joe Collector

ROUND ONE:

1-If I didn't collect baseball cards, I'd collect comics or coins. I really enjoyed my years as a comic collector, in a lot of ways it is less expensive than Cards. Coins have alway been an interest of mine. Anything that carries a date on it makes me think of the history of the item. What was going on when it was produced.

2-My baseball heroes include one you probably wouldn't know from my blog or comments, and that person is Kirk Gibson. Frankly, the man just got it done. No excuses, no nothing, just got it done. The other, from the same year, is orel hershiser.

3-Every New Years I resolve to not add so much to my collection.

4-If I could spend a day with one person from baseball history, it would be The Mick. If we didn't have anything to talk about, he at least knew how to have a good time.

Round 2
1-What is your favorite kind of dog? The Bastard Breed. Jack Russell/Black Lab Mix

2-Who is your favorite baseball player? Pedro Guerrero, current is Randy Johnson

3-What is your favorite team? Dodgers/Cubs

4-What is your favorite baseball movie? Major League

5-What is your favorite baseball book? Lou Gehrig: One of Baseball's Greatest (Childhood of Famous Americans), read this book many years ago as a kid.

6-What is your favorite card? The 1979 Topps Pedro Guerrero Rookie

Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Upper Deck Heroes Football Box Break

I have been frothing at the mouth to bust a box of these. One of my first posts on my blog was me having picked up a few packs of these and getting a Jackie Kersey auto redemption /25. I had also bought a box of retail.

24 packs/8 cards/2 autos/2 jerseys*
on Average.

I paid $43 shipped for this box. The lowest I had seen these was on Big T's at 51.95 a box. On to the cards.

The Base Set: I have no urge to build a set of these. The Sport Heroes, Guitar Heroes just don't do it for me. You can find a checklist here. There are quite a few nice rookies and the legends cards are nice.

Parallels: Seeded 1 in 3 packs. This set, like the baseball, suffers from too many parallels. Look at the checklist, besides spelling Heroes "Heros", there are 6 parallel sets and the set is just too big to build. Here is what I got:
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But what's that on the bottom of the AP?
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Nice bent corner. That was the same level of crushed corner as my Henne parallel that I got in the retail box. With the number of damaged cards I got in the Donruss products that were autos or serial numbered, it might be a problem with how the package them at the factory. The Donruss serial numbered cards are in the middle of the pack. The Football Heroes parallels are on the back of the pack so it is just as likely they are damaged in shipping. Looks like I am going to have to go through the replacement game again.

Jersey card(s): As stated on the box, jersey cards are supposed to be two per box. Well, I only got one:
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Bowe must be my Upper Deck Jersey card of the year. Not a bad card to get /75. It has a bit of edge issue but with white borders it isn't so noticeable.

Autographs: Two Rookie Autos DeSean Jackson /25 and Felix /50:
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I do like that UD had these done on card. Now that we have gone from on card to sticker, when you pull an on card you really notice the difference. Good job Upper Deck.

The best(for so many reasons) for last: Redemption. Any lawyer that has ever tried a Jury Trial will tell you that as nerve racking as trying to get 12 people to agree on anything is, there is nothing that gets the adrenaline going like getting court back into session and the jury streams back in. They all get seated, in some courts they had hand the verdict form to the baliff. The baliff walks it to the judge, as you try to see if you can tell which line is marked. The judge opens it, usually keeps a straight face. Then starts reading the case caption, then they read the first count then the judge says "we the jury, find the defendant".

It is a rush, the only rush I get that is similar is when you pull a redemption or a patch when all I can see is the back. Trying to find the part on the card where it tells you who and what it is takes forever. The other day when I opened my masterpieces football, I opened the pack and the Booty patch was right there, all I could see was the Vikings logo. I was hoping for AP, but it was Booty. That feeling as you are waiting for the "verdict" is what I am talking about.

Silly I know, but true. Anyway, I got a redemption for:
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Turkington? You mean Turk from Scrubs? No, I suspect and hope they mean Fran TARKINGTON. You know that Hall of Famer. God Upper Deck, show some respect. When I redeemed it, the description said Turkington as well. Who do you have working for you? Maybe I can get a Gabe Ruth, or a Jim Dimaggio, maybe a Ted Willims. The "scratch off" portion you see in the pic is the scratch off from this card. I was able to peel it off without having to actually scratch it. Its a silver coated label of some sort.

The bottom line with Upper Deck Heroes Football is: I like it a lot. Even though I don't like the base set, the jerseys and autos are awesome. I can see myself busting a case of these when they get to $25 - $35 a box. I think that price might happen, here's why: Much like Baseball Heroes, Upper Deck printed Billions of these things. There are 269 cards in the set with approximately 575 numbered parallels printed of each card, seeded 1 in 3 packs = 19,334 boxes/12 boxes per case = 1611 cases. That's if all of the cases were hobby. I just don't see that many boxes being busted at the price they are at given the competition in the market. I realize my math makes huge assumptions, but its at least plausible.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Warner for MVP

In response to this article, I posted the following:

You said:

running game (76.9 yards per game, 31st in the league coming into Sunday's game), it would be fair to say the Colts rode Manning's arm into the playoffs.

Guess who was 32nd? Yup, the Cardinals with 71.1 YPG. Warner had more yards, more TD's and only one more INT. He took a team that was flat out terrible last year to a division title. Yes the west is incredibly weak, but the Cards have no running game, no offensive line, no defense. That team is 6-10 at best without him.

Manning? He is one of the top 5 QB's of all time, but the Colts are a strong team regardless. They have a much better defense than the Cards at 19.9 PPG vs 27 PPG for the cards, their offensive line is substantially better. Obviously we found out that Brady is Valuable but the Pats were still able to get 10 wins without him. The Colts are the same way

Seems your analysis needs some help as you didn't actually compare Manning to anyone, you just talked about Manning taking a bad team to the playoffs. Well, sorry, the Cards were worse and Warner played better.

For example, although Warner has Breaston, Boldin and Fitzgerald, he has no outlet like a Dallas Clark, Addai or Rhodes. In addition, Manning still has Harrison, Gonzalez, and somebody by the name of Reggie Wayne. Thus, the Cards were one diminsional and Warner still got it done.

So please, go back, actually compare stats and the team and then get back to us, instead of making conclusions with no analysis.

The same can be said for AP. The Vikes had a platoon of offense this year but AP came through and carried that team. However, even comparing Warner and AP. The Vikes had one more win than the Cards but gave up 7 less points a game on Defense. With that kind of defense the Cards would have won 12-13 games

I would really like to hear why, with analysis, you think Manning or anyone deserves the award over Warner.

More Comments:
I really wouldn't have a problem with AP winning the MVP, the Vikings would be no where without him. I just think Warner was more valuable.

2004-05 Fleer Ultra Basketball Box Break

Some of the late 90's-05 stuff intrigues me because of how much the wax cost at the time of release as opposed to what was possible to pull and the current cost.

Fleer Ultra Basketball is one of them because of the rookies and the limited print run. Fleer inserts a Lucky 13 or 14 shortprint set in their basketball and football products. In 2004 the Lucky 13 were limited to just 500 copies. Each card in the set has a Gold Medallion parallel and a Platinum Parallel /100. The Gold Parallel Lucky 13 are not serial numbered but the Platinum are /13.

24 packs/8 cards/$25 shipped

The following insertion rates apply:
12 rookies: 1 in 4
Lucky 13 /500 1 in 100
Gold Medallion Rookies: 1 in 8
Platinum Medallion: 1 in 30 Packs
Platinum Lucky 13 1 in 3500 packs, Damn.
Game Used: 1 in 12
Auto: 1 in 72

The Base set is classic or not so classic Ultra. There are 175 base cards. I didn't bother to try and build a set because frankly I just didn't care. I do know that I didn't get any doubles. Here are a couple rookies:
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I didn't get any of the lucky 12 /500.

Gold Medallion:
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Not too bad, the good rookies go for a few dollars on ebay. Dwight Howard was actually the card I was going for. I did pick up a Ben Gordon on the bay for a couple bucks.
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LeBron 2nd year Medallion. Pretty happy with that. You get one per pack, but when you get a rookie medallion you get two medallions per pack.

Platinum Medallion /100: I got one.
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Inserts: The inserts are classic Ultra. I don't think they have changed the design since the late 90's. Pretty happy with the Kobe.
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Jerseys: The jersey cards are essentially parallels of the inserts. All of the ultra jersey cards I have seen have been single color. There are some Jumbo swatches available and are numbered to /100 /25/10 or player jersey number.
D-Wayne Wade /149. I am almost certain this is a jersey from his rookie year. It is possible they picked this up from early in his second year.
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Autos: I didn't get no stinking autos.

I am very satisfied with this box. Not too expensive, decent rookies possible, 2 GU on average. Now may be the time to go back and pick one of these or similar years up as the prices have probably bottomed out.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Football Box 3 of 3

Box 3 of 3

The Base Set: I got 3 doubles with this box. Since this is the third box I deem the collation in Masterpieces to be Pretty Good. I ended up 3 cards short of the base set so that is a bit disappointing. I ended up with 4 of the painted rookies toward the set because I was shorted one in one box and got 2 DeSean Jacksons. I got 3 time warps, so I need 6 more for the set.
Slingin Sammy Baugh. This guy did it all and was, in a lot of ways, the Babe Ruth of Football.
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Painted Rookies:
Matt Ryan and Jonathan Stewart:
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Because I can't get enough of it: THE GREATEST TACKLE EVER
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Framed Cards:
Flutie and Booty
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Red /199: More Sweetness and Romo
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Green /75: Brady, basically the opposite of the Dyson card above.
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Jersey: Dallas Clark and Booty /50
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The Booty was in the first pack I opened in this box. That is a common occurance for me in Upper Deck stuff I have opened. There is a collation pattern in these boxes, but I am not going to say what it is. Its not that important as most of the packs have a framed card or whatever, but there is a way to get the numbered parallels and patches without actually molesting a pack.

Auto: Billy Sims
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Solid career that was cut short by a severe knee injury. Probably would have passed 10,000 yards. Playing for the Lions, thats 20,000 yards on any other team.

I have to say I really enjoyed opening these boxes. There needs to be more than one time warp per box and 3-4 painted rookies. There is no reason that it should take more than 3-4 boxes to make a set. I may end up getting more of these boxes if they get down to the $30 range. I am not sure what the production numbers are on this, but they should be around for a while.

Generally Speaking, Masterpieces is the most well done "history" set ever. If collectors are looking to learn or teach their kids about football or baseball history, these are the sets to get them. They are small enough that you can put them in plastic sheets so you can enjoy them over and over with no damage to the cards. I agree with some commenters that a continued number scheme from on year to the next would have been great.

Note to Upper Deck: A nice "case hit" for these would be complete set redemption cards including 1 in 10 being for black framed and 1 in 50 or whatever for Red Parallel complete sets. I do see myself looking to complete the framed sets in both baseball and football.

Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Football Box 2 of 3

Box 2 of 3

The Base Set: I got 5 doubles in this box including Joe Flacco. There are worse doubles to get:
The Snow Plow Game:
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That strip was in one of the packs, but I didn't receive a miscut card. I have gotten that before in a pack of 1987 Donruss Baseball. Except in that pack i got a severly off center Will Clark. At the time I was pissed because that was a valuable card.
Kellen Winslow Sr.
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Black Parllel: I got Four including Jack Lambert

Red Parlallel /199
Limas Sweed
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As a Rams fan, I was stoked to get this card. My Dad, Brother and I are lifetime Rams fans and watched the Super Bowl together. The last play of the game and what would turn out to be THE GREATEST TACKLE EVER:
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Can you imagine how proud this guy's defnesive coaches were/are?

Blue Parallel: Mario Manningham /75. I think this guy may develop, we will see, however since I have a ton of his cards, I doubt he will.
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The Jerseys: Reggie Bush and Jamaal Charles. Can't complain:
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The Auto: Tom Rathman.
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Many of you may have no idea who this guy is, but he was a beast. His stats don't show it at first glance, but note a couple things about him. First, one lost fumble in his career. One in 544 rushing attempts and 320 receptions. Second, his average yards 3.7 rushing and 8.4 receiving. This was a short yardage 3rd and 3, 4th and 2 type of guy. He wasn't a featured back, but he was a perfect role player. Again as a Rams fan, I hated him. He killed them. So yes, I am happy with this auto.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Gifts from the Family

One of my favorite things about Christmas is finding out whether my parents bought me packs or factory sets. They usually go the Factory Set route. A few years back they would be me boxes when even I didn't realize there was such a huge difference between Hobby and Retail. I told my mom this year of the difference when she asked me what I wanted. I tolde her any 2008 Hobby Wax or whatever. This year, the parents and grandparents went Factory Set.

I don't build sets from wax because it takes so many damn packs. Here is what I got:
2008 Topps Factory Set: Nice presentation by Topps. Mantle Gold Refractor thingy. The box also has a Checklist on the back, which I like.
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2008 Upper Deck Factory Set: This set comes with 5 Yankee Legacy cards and 1 jersey card. No Checklist.
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My brother picked me up a box of hidden treasures. 16 packs. He got me one last year where I ended up with some decent packs with some pretty good cards including a John Smoltz /150 Stadium Club can't remember the year off hand. This year however, the packs were all 1986-1989 with a couple packs of Tristar thrown in, nothing noteworthy but I did get an 87 Toppps Nolan Ryan, and 88 Donruss Cal Ripken. Fun to open as these were the main years I collected by buying boxes of the stuff.
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Yes, those are price tags on the boxes. I told my mom to stop pulling them off because she would tear the plastic.