Monday, August 31, 2009

Card-Ola: 2009 Topps American Heritage American Heroes Edition

In case you missed my first BlogTV LIVE! show, here's a little but of what you missed.

One box (supplied to me by Topps for free) of 2009 Topps American Heritage American Heroes Edition)
24 packs per box, eight cards per pack

Part One:

Part one American Heritag - Broadcast your self LIVE

Part Two:

Topps American Heritage p - Broadcast your self LIVE

Part Three:

Topps American Heritage 3 - Broadcast your self LIVE

The Pulls

Base Set:
131 of 150 (87.33%)
short set: 125 of 125
Lincoln/Obama subset: 6 of 25 (1:4)

19 doubles


8 Chrome (1:4, numbered to 1776) M. Pitcher, S. Gompers, E. Crocker, J. Petrosino (X2), M. E. Walker, J. Monroe, N. Bly

6 Heroes of Sport (25 cards, 1:4) M. Mantle, F. Robinson, R. Hornsby, H. Wagner, W. Johnson, G. Sisler
4 Heroes of Spaceflight (28 cards, 1:6) Aurora 7, Gemini VIII, Gemini IX-A, Apollo 12
12 Medal of Honor (50 cards, 1:2) E.A. Carr, T. Custer, O. P. Howe, J. Chamberlain, M. E. Walker, W. F. Cody, B. J. D. Irwin, J. E. V. Gaujot, G. R. Roberts, F. Bennett, W. Halford, O. B. Willcox
6 Presidential Medal of Freedom (25 cards, 1:4) J. Jackson, D. Ellington, H. Lee, J. Stewart, R. Petty, C. Powell
3 A Hero's Journey (15 cards, 1:8)


1 American Heroes Relics (14 cards) J. Moran
1 American Heroes Autographs (12 cards) F. Serpico

Friday, August 21, 2009

This can not possibly be a Topps card.

It can't be. Where's the tractor? And where's the ghost of Tommy Kramer peering over Favre's shoulder?

(h/t Beckett Blog)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

BREAKING NEWS "MLB grants UD new license."

Or at least it says so on page 18 of the new Beckett Baseball.

Don't believe me, see for yourself.

"Upper Deck announced in July that it has been granted a new trading card license from Major League Baseball."

Beckett: The Hobby's most reliable and relied upon source.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Card-Ola: 2009 Topps Magic Football

Topps sent me this box over a month ago. Shortly after I ripped this box, my laptop was out of commission for a few weeks, and I completely forgot about this break. All apologies.

Part One:

Part Two:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ESPN's first video box break.

Recently,'s Jim Caple went searching for a 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey, Jr. card. So, he went to a Seattle area card shop and found one, the old fashioned way...

... by ripping packs of 1989 UD and recording it on video! Enjoy.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Some thoughts on the Topps/MLB license deal.

So naturally, the biggest Hobby story in years breaks when my computer is in the shop. Just my luck. By now you've heard that Topps has locked up the exclusive trading card license with MLB Properties. For 2010 and beyond, the only baseball cards that will feature the non-airbrushed logos of the 30 Major League teams, will be produced by Topps. This comes on the heels of last month's extension of the licensing deal between Upper Deck and the MLB Player's Association that will keep UD in the baseball card game. (Topps is not, and has never been, privy to the MLBPA's group license, choosing instead to sign players to individual contracts.)

Although UD will, more-than-likely, continue to print "half-licensed" cards (and still retains their license with USA Baseball), the initial reaction in the cardblogosphere to the Topps deal has been, as expected, negative. However, this collector thinks that 2010 may not all that bad for The Hobby. Let me give you five reasons why a return to exclusivity may not be such a bad thing.

1) Fewer brands -- Four years ago when there were four licensees, The Hobby was drowning in a sea of 89 different baseball card releases. So MLB and the PA did what was best for The Hobby by 1) letting Fleer die; 2) kicking Donruss out; and 3) limiting the two remaining card companies to 20 -- later lowered to 17 -- releases each.

Four years later, and 34 brands is still too much; and to be honest, Topps and Upper Deck just aren't up to producing that many quality products. If you don't believe me, just take a look at some of the stinkers Topps and Upper Deck have released in recent years: UDx, Documentary, Moments & Milestones, and Stadium Club -- products whose sole reason for being, it seemed, was to fill out their respective company's 17-brand quota.

34 brands among two licensees being reduced to 12-15 from only one company will lead to fewer crap products. But it will also have the added benefit of giving the remaining products a longer shelf life, and bring a level of clarity to the marketplace.

2) The end of the gimmick card -- With exclusivity, the days of the gimmick card should be over. There is no need for Topps to print cards of squirrels, print cards upside down, or stealth short-prints that compromise the integrity of the base set.

3) Reinventing Bowman -- The last couple of years, Bowman Baseball has been a brand that has lost its way. Yes, the "ROOKIE CARD" rules that went into effect in 2006 have taken a bite out of Bowman, but much of the decline of Bowman has been self-inflicted. This is a golden opportunity to reinvent Bowman. Instead of three Bowman sets (Bowman, Bowman Chrome, and BDP&P), consolidate them a single, late-season, brand.

4) Marketing The Hobby to older collectors -- For years the mantra has been, "We must get kids into The Hobby." And for years, The Hobby responded by making "kid-friendly" products: Triple Play, Fun Pack, Topps Kids, UD PowerUp, UDx, et al. There's just one problem with that though. Speaking as a former child, I know from experience thatmost children hate being pandered to. Kids want "grown-up" stuff and grown-up trading cards are no exception.

How about this: Instead of marketing baseball cards to kids, how about selling them to adults? Back in the early-90s, you couldn't watch a hockey game without seeing an ad for Upper Deck Hockey cards. Why not try the same now? Why not place Topps banners on outfield walls? Why not run thirty-second ads during games? How about ads in Sports Illustrated or ESPN: The Magazine?

Oh sure, Michael Eisner is saying the right thing about kids. But in order for The Hobby to grow, Topps needs to re-focus it's efforts towards adults. Market to them. Educate them. Sell to them. It not that The Hobby should abandon kids, per se; but market to their older brothers and dads. (And yes, their sisters and moms, too.)

5) A more down-market Hobby --Topps does not do "high-end" well. So why bother with it anymore? Now that they have exclusivity, is there any reason for Triple Threads or Sterling Baseball? I doubt most collectors would miss it anyway.

Will we miss a fully licensed Upper Deck Baseball? Of course, but it's not the end of the world and it's not the end of The Hobby. Besides, WHAT ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO COLLECT?

Look who's laughing now.

My take on the Topps/MLB deal, later tonight.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Great Raul Hunt.

The mission: To find as many Raul Ibanez rookie cards out of a pair of recently purchased junkwax boxes. It would be a tough job, but I had an obligation to my readers to find the Raul's, for good or ill.

Box #1: 1996 Bowman

Base Set: 188 of 385 (48.83%)
47 doubles
2 triples

Parallels: 24 Foils (one-per-pack)

2 1996 Bowman's Best Preview (30 cards, 1:12) C. Baerga, C. Jones
1 1996 Bowman's Best Preview Refractor (30 cards, 1:24) NOE-MAH!
2 1996 Minor League Player of the Year Candidate (15 cards, 1:12) R. Rivera, G. Alvarez
1 1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle Reprint (one card, 1:48)

Autogamers: NONE


Box #2 1996 Bowman's Best

Base Set: 106 of 180 (58.89%)
24 doubles
6 triples

2 Refractors (1:12) J. Buhner, T. Greene

1 Mirror Image Atomic Refractor (10 cards, 1:192) Alomar/Relaford/Biggio/Castillo
1 Bowman's Best Cuts (15 cards, 1:24) ManRam
1 Bowman's Best Cuts Refractors (15 cards, 1:48) M. Piazza
1 Bowman's Best Cuts Atomic Refractors (15 cards, 1:96) M. Piazza
1 Mickey Mantle 1952 Bowman Chromium (one card, 1:24)

Autogamers: NONE