Monday, December 7, 2009

Lenny Wilkens TTM Success

Date Sent: 11/8/2009
Date received: 11/27/2009

This is the second TTM return I've received from Lenny Wilkens. He's a very generous TTM signer. I got a nice surprise this time with the addition of the "HOF 89,98" inscription on the card. This is not something I asked for, just a very nice addition by him.

Wilkens is one of only three people to go into the Hall of Fame as a player and a coach. John Wooden and Bill Sharman are the other two. I already have a Wooden autograph via TTM. I'll have to get a Sharman request out in the next couple weeks.

Wilkens also won a NBA Championship as a head coach and a gold medal as an assistant coach on the 2002 USA Mens Basketball Olympic team. He has quite an impressive list of accomplishments on his resume.

This return is one of the reasons that I encourage people to take up TTM autographs. All it takes is a couple stamps, some cards you won't miss if they don't come back and patience.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Replacement Cards From Topps

If you all remember, a few weeks ago I opened a case of 2009 Bowman Chrome Football. Well, in the very first box I got 10 extremely off-centered cards. So off-centered that you could see the name from the other card it was cut from.

I've never sent anything back to a card company for replacement but I thought I'd take a shot with some cards that I don't care about. None of these were rookies, just semi stars or commons.

It only took three weeks for my replacements to arrive from Topps. Thanksgiving was right in the middle of that too. I had honestly forgotten about mailing them back when the envelope arrived. As you'll see from the scan, they're packaged in a little box and there was some foam on top of that protecting the cards.

I'm also including a scan of the letter they sent with the cards explaining their replacement policy. Hopefully someone will find this helpful. Click on the letter picture for a bigger version.

Has anyone noticed the centering problems with this product? Out of the whole case I think I only sent 12 cards to be graded. Most of the cards I chose not to send had centering issues. Some had surface lines.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2007 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Football Box Break

My insane amount of orders from the Blowout Cards Black Friday Sale came in today. I just recorded a box break of my 2007 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Football box.

Thanks again to Blowout for the sale. I got a lot of really good deals and they still met their usual turnaround time for shipping. Amazing.

Monday, November 30, 2009

1986 Fleer Basketball Wax Box on eBay

The greatest modern day wax box, 1986 Fleer Basketball, is up for sale on eBay. There can't be too many of these out there anymore, at least that are legit.

I took a look at the sellers feedback and sales history. The feedback is solid and the past sales are all for vintage wax and old sports programs. I'd say that the seller seems very reputable.

What would you do with a box like this? I know that I wouldn't be able to. There will never be another box from the modern era that will be as desired and highly valued as this. To me, it's just too rare to open. Can you imagine opening it and getting a wax stained Jordan?

View the auction here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mark Sanchez TTM Success?

Date sent: 11/8/09
Date received: 11/27/09

I'm not really sure if this is a success or not. The signature shows some similarities to his certified autograph cards but it's not exact. I've compared mine to all the other ones with pictures on and it looks similar with one big difference, it's not stamped. All the other recent returns have been obvious stamps, as you'll see in the pictures below. They also all have the personalization in all caps, my name is lower case. I'm thinking since it matches the stamp so closely that it has a chance of being real. You certainly wouldn't have a stamp made of a fake autograph. What are the odds that Sanchez already has a ghost signer and he/she was out of ink for the stamp?

Let me know what you guys think. I'm curious to see some opinions on this one.

Stamped TTM Returns

My TTM return and a certifed autograph

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Target Half Price Blaster Saturday - 2008 Bowman Football

I know what you're thinking, how could I be buying blasters when I bought all that stuff at the Blowout Cards Black Friday Sale yesterday. Well, trust me, I thought the same thing. Although, the cards from Blowout won't arrive until Tuesday at the earliest. So this purchase is justified... right?

Anyway, I went to Target specifically looking for 50% off blasters. I wasn't going to buy anything that was full price today. I settled on two blasters of 2008 Bowman Football because the only other choices were 2008 Upper Deck Heroes Football and 2008 Upper Deck Series 2 Baseball. I've been on a football kick lately so I figured I'd stick with it. I also needed to see if the two 2008 Bowman Football Hobby boxes I got from Blowout are worth opening.

To my surprise, the "One Authentic Memorabilia Card" they mention on the front of the box is a 2008 Topps Rookie Premiere Jersey card. I just figured it would be a jersey card from the 2008 Bowman set. As you'll see below, I did very well on these. I got a Matt Ryan and a Joe Flacco. I can't complain about that at all.

As for the rest of the cards, nothing exciting. You basically get two Bowman rookies, one Bowman base, one Bowman Gold and one Bowman Chrome rookie per pack. I also ended with two Bowman Blue cards, each numbered to 500. The best card I got out of all of that was a Tim Hightower Bowman Chrome rookie. There really wasn't anything else exciting. I thought it was really funny that one of my Bowman Blue cards was Tony Sparano. I didn't know they made coach cards in this set.

The Bowman/Bowman Chrome design is boring to me. The Bowman singles have black borders and many of them have chipping straight out of the pack. I'd have been very disappointed with the condition if I'd paid full price. Bottom line, I'm not a fan of this product at all and won't be opening the boxes from Blowout. Those will be Christmas gifts or eBay items.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Blowout Cards Black Friday Purchases

The Blowout Cards Black Friday sale is still going strong but I figured I'd post my purchases to this point.

2 - 2008 Upper Deck Goudey Baseball Retail Box @ $11.27 ea.
6 - 2008 Topps Football Fat Pack Box @ $9.99 ea.
3 - 2008 Leaf Rookies & Stars Football Retail Box @ $9.99 ea.
2 - 2003 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres Baseball Hobby Box @ $29.95 ea.
1 - 2007 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Football Hobby Box @74.95 ea.
2 - 2008 Topps Series 1 Baseball Jumbo HTA Box @ $11.27 ea.
1 - 2007 Topps Triple Threads Football Hobby Box @ $119.95 ea.
1 - 2007 Bowman Chrome Football Hobby Box @ $11.27 ea.
2 - 2008 Bowman Football Hobby Box @ $11.27 ea.
2 - 2007 Leaf Limited Football hobby Box @ $59.95 ea.
2 - 2007 Upper USA Nationals Team Baseball Box Set @ $42.90 ea.

I love that they're putting a lot of 2007 Football products on sale. Adrian Peterson rookies are fun to go after.

Head on over to their site before the sale is over. They're doing an amazing job of posting a huge variety of products at amazing prices. Thank you Blowout!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Allen & Ginter George Washington DNA Relic Hits eBay

One of a supposed three 2007 Allen & Ginter George Washington DNA Strand of Hair Relics has surfaced on eBay.

The seller claims that one of these sold for between $30,000 - $40,000 in a private auction. I never heard that and find it hard to believe. It will be very interesting to keep an eye on this and see what it gets up to. The seller has a reserve so my bet is that bidding never reaches that amount.

Either way, it's an amazing card and one that's rarely ever seen. I cannot imagine the rush of pulling something like this from a pack. It would certainly make up for a lifetime of bad box breaks.

Link to the auction here

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cameron Maybin TTM Success

Date sent: 3/4/09
Date received: 10/30/09

This is another recent TTM return that I had pretty much written off. I sent it way back during spring training. On top of that, Maybin carries a 12% success rate for members of

I'm not sure what made my request stand out but I got it back and I couldn't be happier.

I've followed Maybin ever since he was part of the trade that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers. I'd heard that Maybin was the key to the deal for the Marlins. I wondered what made this kid so special so I kept an eye on him. He's yet to live up to his 5-tool can't miss potential but he's still only 22 years old.

Maybin made the team last year out of spring training but the Marlins sent him down to AAA in early May as he was batting .2o2. They brought him back up on September 1st and he remained on the team through the final game. In that time he raised his batting average to .250 and hit three home runs.

Hopefully Maybin will make the Marlins out of spring training again and stick around for the whole season.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Half Price Target Blaster Sunday

You'd think with all the stuff that I've opened lately that I'd be content. Well, that's just not the case so I headed to a couple Target stores this morning. I picked up five blasters of 2008 Upper Deck Football. They're part of the 50% off boxes so they were only $9.99 each. That comes out to $1.00 per pack and you're guaranteed a jersey card. I'll take those odds.

You get two Star Rookies per pack so you end up with 20 rookies per box. It's a very large set of rookies. There are 100 in the base set and then 25 more in the SP set. You also have the chance to pull the Target exclusive Star Rookies. All in all, I got one SP rookie and three Target Star Rookies out of the five boxes. Luckily, the SP was Desean Jackson and on of the Target Star Rookies was Joe Flacco. From the base rookies the highlights were two Flacco, two Forte, two Mendenhall and one Chris Johnson. You get one Starquest card per pack as well. You end up with all sorts of color as there are five different colors in that set.

Here's how I did:

UD Rookie Jersey (4)
Ray Rice Gold /350
Limas Sweed Gold /350
Desean Jackson
Jordy Nelson

Team Colors Jersey (1)
Philip Rivers Gold /299

Target Exlusive Rookies (3)
Joe Flacco
Antoine Cason
Kenny Phillips

SP Rookie Card (1)
Desean Jackson

Masterpieces Preview (2)
Franco Harris

Starquest (50, one per pack)
Check the pics below for the highlights.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

2009 Bowman Chrome Football Case Break - Boxes #7, 8, 9 and 10

In a word, ugh. This case was definitely a disappointment. The biggest disappointment had to be getting doubles of autographed rookies twice. I ended up with two Nate Davis and two Andre Brown. Obviously had they been two Mark Sanchez and two Knowshon Moreno I wouldn't be complaining.

I gathered up the cards that were worth grading and sent them off to BGS today to take advantage of their half price grading special. I was surprised how many of the cards had scratches or lines on the surface. I had to hold a few back because of that, most notably the Mark Sanchez refractor.

I was able to put together two complete sets. I'll be putting those up on eBay unless someone reading is interested. They've been going in the $40 range on eBay so that's what I was hoping to get. Leave a comment if you want one.

I also got ten severely off-centered cards in one of my boxes. Luckily none of them were rookies or cards of any value. I mailed them back to Topps just to see if they'll replace them. I've never sent damaged cards for replacement so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Here are the last four boxes:

Box 7

Autographed Rookie: Brandon Tate

Box Topper: Donald Brown Silver

Gold Refractor: Jason Smith RC

Green Refractor: James Davis RC

Xfractor: Mike Thomas RC, Lamarr Woodley

Refractors: Johnny Knox RC, Joseph Addai, Matt Cassell, Felix Jones

Notable Rookies: Kenny Britt, LeSean McCoy, Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, Darrius Heyward-Bey

Box 8

Autographed Rookie: Brian Hartline Orange Refractor!

Box Topper: Louis Murphy Silver

Gold Refractor: Oshiomogho Atogwe

Xfractor: LeSean McCoy RC, Matt Ryan

Refractors: Brian Robiskie RC, Shonn Greene RC, Warrick Dunn, Braylon Edwards, Fred Taylor

Notable Rookies: Mark Sanchez, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks, Donald Brown, Johnny Knox, Chris Wells

Box 9

Autographed Rookie: Johnny Knox

Box Topper: Mohamed Massaquoi Bronze

Green Refractor: Calvin Johnson

Blue Refractor: Brandon Tate RC

Xfractor: Laveranues Coles

Refractors: Tyson Jackson RC, Randy Moss, Jared Allen, Marshawn Lynch

Notable Rookies: Michael Crabtree

Box 10

Autographed Rookie: Andre Brown (case starts and ends with him)

Box Topper: Tom Brandstater Bronze

Blue Refractor: Frank Gore, Fred Taylor

Xfractor: Jared Allen

Refractors: Brandon Gibson RC, Trent Edwards, Marc Bulger, Jay Cutler

Notable Rookies: Mark Sanchez, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks, Donald Brown, Johnny Knox, Chris Wells

Friday, November 20, 2009

2009 Bowman Chrome Football Case Break - Boxes #4, 5 and 6

Well, things turned around a bit on these three boxes. The highlights were the Jeremy Maclin Blue Refractor Autograph the Brian Orakpo Orange Refractor and the Mark Sanchez Refractor. The low point was the second Nate Davis autograph in six boxes. We'll see how the last four boxes go tomorrow.

Box 4

Autographed Rookie: Jeremy Maclin Blue Refractor

Box Topper: Austin Collie Bronze

Gold Refractor: Bernard Berrian

Blue Refractor: Matt Ryan

Xfractor: James Davis RC, Jason Witten

Refractors: Derrick Williams RC, Mohamed Massaquoi RC, Willis McGahee, Maurice Jones-Drew, Derek Anderson

Notable Rookies: LeSean McCoy, Chris Wells, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Kenny Britt, Knowshon Moreno, Matthew Stafford

Box 5

Autographed Rookie: Nate Davis

Box Topper: Brian Robiskie Bronze

Gold Refractor: Dwayne Bowe

Blue Refractor: Reggie Bush

Xfractor: Steve Slaton

Refractors: Mark Sanchez RC, Carson Palmer, Chad Pennington, Greg Jennings

Notable Rookies: Michael Crabtree

Box 6

Autographed Rookie: Curtis Painter

Box Topper: Kenny Britt Silver

Orange Refractor: Brian Orakpo RC

Green Refractor: Darren McFadden

Xfractor: Malcolm Jenkins RC, Matt Cassell

Refractors: Brian Cushing RC, Rhett Bomar RC, Greg Camarillo, Terrell Owens, Michael Turner

Notable Rookies: Michael Crabtree

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2009 Bowman Chrome Football Case Break - Boxes #2 and 3

Here are boxes 2 and 3 from my 2009 Bowman Chrome Football case break. They got a bit better than the first box but still not great. It was nice to see some rookie refractors and some good base rookies in the third box. If the autographs continue to be like this then the case will be a bust.


Autographed Rookie: Nate Davis

Box Topper: Knowshon Moreno Bronze

Gold Refractor: Eddie Royal

Blue Refractor: Steven Jackson, Lee Evans

Xfractor: Shonn Greene RC

Refractors: Ramses Barden RC, Lamarr Woodley, Joey Porter, Tim Hightower

Notable Rookies: Michael Crabtree


Autographed Rookie: Austin Collie

Box Topper: Glen Coffee Bronze

Green Refractor: Tyson Jackson RC

Blue Refractor: Aaron Curry RC

Xfractor: Clinton Portis

Jeremy Maclin RC, Derrick Mason, DeMarcus Ware

Notable Rookies: Mark Sanchez, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks, Donald Brown, Johnny Knox

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2009 Bowman Chrome Football Case Break - Box #1

Over the next few days I'll be breaking a case of 2009 Bowman Chrome Football (purchased from Blowout Cards). I'll post the results of the boxes as I get to them. From what I've seen so far these are pretty hit and miss. There are so many rookies in this set that it would be really easy to miss on an entire case.

Unfortunately, I missed on the first box. I did get what seems like a lot of refractors. Too bad none of them were overly exciting. Here are the results:

Autographed Rookie: Andre Brown

Box Topper: B.J. Raji Bronze

Gold Refractor: DeMarcus Ware

Blue Refractor: Santana Moss

Xfractor: Kenny McKinley RC, Joey Porter, John Carlson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh

Refractors: Brandon Tate RC, Brandon Gibson RC

Notable Rookies: LeSean McCoy, Johnny Knox, Hakeem Nicks, Darrius Heyward-Bey

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2008 Allen & Ginter Hobby Break - Red Autograph

I've never opened a box of Allen & Ginter before. I've always liked the way they looked but never got around to buying a box. Well, last weekend I broke down and purchased a box of 2008 Allen & Ginter.

My first impression was the odd shape of the box. It looked more like a box of crackers than a box of baseball cards. Anyway, once I opened the first pack I loved the product. The cards look great and they're perfect for autographs. I'm a big TTM autograph collector so a lot of these will be going out in the mail.

Enough talk, here are the cards that I got:

Mini Baseball Icons (1)
Rogers Hornsby

Mini Black (3)
Marie Curie
Andrew "William Ocean" Litz
Greg Smith

Mini World Leaders (2)
Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said
Robert Fico

Regular Mini High # (1)
Bengie Molina

Mini A&G Back (17)
Mickey Mantle
16 others. Is it normal to get so many?

Matt Kemp
Carlos Marmol

World's Greatest Victories (1)
The American Revolution

Base SP's (12)

Notable Base Cards
Evan Longoria RC
Jay Bruce RC

I was thinking with a few packs left that I got some cool stuff but the box just didn't have enough bang for the buck. I really went into this hoping to get a Mini Bazooka Back. Much to my dismay, I did not end up with one. Instead, I got a Red Ink Autograph of Rampage Jackson numbered 6/10. I don't watch MMA but I've heard of Jackson. I know that this has to be a popular card but I really have no idea what the value is. One of the regular versions sold on eBay for $51 so this one has to be fairly valuable.

Bottom line: Topps has made a fan out of me. This is a really fun break. The relics looks great and I love the idea of all the mini parallels. I'll be purchasing another box in the future.

Awesome Josh Hamilton TTM Success

Date sent: 2/28/09
Date received: 11/7/09

I wasn't sure that I'd get this item back or not. Josh Hamilton has a great track record for TTM request successes but I had my doubts as it had been 8 months since I sent it off.

I'm thrilled to get this back because this is a ticket stub from the game where Josh Hamilton got his first major league hit, a home run. I was at this game, I lived in Phoenix, AZ for two years and attended many Diamondbacks games while I lived there. This was just any other game, nothing special, but I knew going in that Josh Hamilton was playing.

If you collected cards in the late 90's, you know who Josh Hamilton is. His 1999 rookie cards were the hottest thing going back then as he was the #1 overall pick in the MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Ray (Devil Rays then). You may have also heard of Hamilton's struggles with drug addiction that lead to him being out of baseball. He worked very hard to get clean and work his way back to the majors.

Anyway, I was completely aware when Hamilton came up in the 3rd inning that he didn't have a hit in the majors yet. He ripped a pitch to right field and his first major league hit was a 2-run home run. A few fans in the small crowd realized the moment and stood to applaud Hamilton, most didn't realize the significance.

Here we are three years later and Hamilton has been an All-Star and a Home Run Derby champion. He had an excellent 2008 season but was hampered by injuries last year that lead to him only playing 89 games. I've rooted for him ever since I heard of his struggles with drugs and his fight to get back to the majors. After receiving this ticket back from Hamilton I'll be more than a casual observer, I'm now a legit fan.

Link to game article

Monday, November 16, 2009

Upper Deck Redemption Mail Day

I ordered a tin of 2007 Sweet Spot Football from Blowout Cards about a month ago hoping, against hope to get an Adrian Peterson rookie. Instead, I got Laurent Robinson and a couple average jersey cards. I also got this Reggie Wayne Green Pigskin Sigs numbered to 99. It was a redemption and took about a month to arrive.

Sure, it's not an extremely valuable card and definitely not the hit I was hoping for. But its a cool looking autographed card of one of the top three receivers in the NFL and sure Hall of Famer when all is said and done.

It's a very timely arrival considering that Wayne caught the winning touchdown last night against the Patriots to seal the last second victory for the Colts. I think this one is going to end up in my private collection rather than go on eBay.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fun Retail Box Break From Target

It's been a very long time since I've posted. What compelled me to get back on the horse, you ask? It was a box of cards that I bought this morning at Target. Rarely is a retail purchase something to write about but this one inspired me.

Target has full retail boxes (24 packs/5 cards per pack) of 2008 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Football for $24.99 each. That's right, this is a full box, not a blaster. As I was staring at the 2009 Topps Chrome Football blasters for $19.99 each, I just couldn't justify buying another with this Absolute Memorbilia box and its $24.99 price tag staring me in the face. The box claims to yield at least one jersey or autograph per box on average. Let's see how I did.

This was a really fun break, that's why I'm posting and recommending you go pick up a box. Overall, I got four jersey cards, 7 red spectrum parallels, 2 blue spectrum parallels, 1 Gridiron Force insert, 1 Star Gazing insert and the #101 Brett Favre card (short print?). Here are the jersey details:

Rookie Jersey Collection
Early Doucet
Matt Forte
Dustin Keller

Star Gazing Jersey /250
Limas Sweed

As you'll see from the scan below, I got Colt Brennan and Peyton Manning in the red spectum parallel cards. Could I get $24.99 for all this on eBay? Probably not. Could I squeeze $24.99 out of it on COMC? I bet I can.

All in all, this was a fun box to break and there's potential to get some really good cards. For just $5.00 more than a blaster box I think this is a great purchase. Target also has some new half price blasters on the shelf. I saw 2008 Goudey Baseball and 2008 Upper Deck Series 2 Baseball. There was probably some more stuff too that I didn't notice.

I'll be posting more frequently from here on out. I've got some good stuff coming in the mail soon to break, including a 2009 Bowman Chrome Football case. Check back soon for the results of that and some other breaks.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tommy Hanson Mania

Tommy Hanson has received a considerable amount of attention ever since his stellar performance in the Arizona Fall League. He continued that trend in AAA with the Gwinnett Braves going 3-3 with a 1.49 ERA in 11 starts. He added 90 strikeouts while walking only 17 batters.

Collectors have been anticipating his June call-up for some time. His 2007 Bowman Chrome has risen from the $5 range to the $8 range within the last couple weeks. The value of this card is also helped by the fact that he has no other 2007 releases, unless you count Just Minors.

Well, Hanson got the call and made his first major league start today against the Milwaukee Brewers. He started off very strong, going into the 4th inning before yielding his first hit. It all went downhill after that. He gave up three 2-run home runs, two of those to Ryan Braun. All told, he went 6 innings giving up 6 runs.

Prospectors will be keeping a close eye on his second start which should be June 12th at Baltimore.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Update - 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates TTM Project

Date sent 5/22/09
Date received: 6/6/09

Dick Groat is my fifteenth TTM return from the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates. Groat played fourteen seasons in Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants. He also played one season in the NBA for the Fort Wayne Pistons. Groat was a two sport star at Duke University, playing basketball and baseball. He went straight to the Pirates out of college, never playing in the minor leagues.

Groat was a career .286 hitter, finishing with 2,138 hits. He was a five time All-Star and won the league MVP in 1960. Groat was also part of one of the best double play combinations of all time with Bill Mazeroski.

Well, this was really the last realistic request I had out there. I'm going to consider this project completed. The others that I'm missing will have to come from in-person signings or off of eBay. It seems like I've been doing this forever but the first request went out only 41 days ago on April 27th.

The autographs I received during that span are R.C. Stevens, Roman Mejias, Roy Face, Hal Smith, Gino Cimoli, Bennie Daniels, Dick Schofield, Bob Skinner, Danny Kravitz, Dick Groat, Bob Oldis, Bob Friend, Vern Law, Bill Virdon and Joe Gibbon. I also purchased a Rocky Nelson signed '60 Topps card on eBay.

I don't know what my next TTM project will be. I'm open to ideas if anyone wants to leave one in the comments. I'm ready for a new challenge.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Update - 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates TTM Project

Date sent: 4/27/09
Date returned: 6/5/09

Roman Mejias is one of the requests I had out there that I was beginning to wonder if I'd get it back or not. I'm very happy to get this one back.

I've also had my George Witt and Don Gross requests out there for about the same amount of time. I don't really expect to get those back as the reported successes for those two are very low on Hopefully I'll be able to pick those up in some other fashion.

Roman Mejias played six seasons for the Pirates, never getting more than 276 at-bats in any of those. He went to Houston in 1962 and finally got a chance to play full time. He batted a respectable .286 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI.
He was the first Latin American player in Houston franchise history. In 1963 he left to play for Boston and retired after the 1964 season.

I found an incredible stat while researching Mejias' career. He's one of 336 major league players to hit 3 home runs in one game. No, that's not the incredible part. The incredible part is that he did it in 1958 when he only had 5 home runs the entire season. That has to be the lowest amount of home runs in a season for a player that had a 3 home run game.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Ultimate 1981 Topps Football Cello Pack

What could be better than Joe Montana on the front of a 1981 Topps cello pack? How about Joe Montana on the front and back of a 1981 Topps cello pack! It's times like this that you don't care about getting doubles in a pack.

I know that I've seen two of the same card on the front of a rack pack before but never a card of this caliber. The cello is on eBay and ends Sunday. It's currently up to $330.55. I can't wait to see what this goes for.

This is also the first time I've ever seen a PSA graded pack. I had no idea they were offering that service. I thought I only GAI was doing that. Does anyone have any idea how long they've been grading packs?

I've never had a pack or box of cards graded. Although, I've never had a pack valuable enough that would make sense to grade. I've had pricey boxes of vintage cards but I bought them to open them. I just don't know how I feel about getting a box of cards graded. I could see getting a pack graded, especially something like this. I really can't see myself ever getting a box graded, though. I'm not even sure that PSA grades boxes but I know GAI does.

Hopefully one day soon I'll have a pack or box valuable enough to consider grading. That's a problem I'd like to have.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Update - 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates TTM Success

Date sent: 5/26/09
Date returned: 6/2/09

This is my thirteenth return from the 1960 Pirates. This is also another one that came back in one week or less. I actually just went back and checked the numbers, ten of the fourteen have been returned in one week or less. That's amazing.

This return is from Bob Oldis. He played in the majors from 1953-1955 and 1960-1963. He was a backup catcher that played for the Washington Senators, Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies. He amassed only 236 at-bats over his career, batting .224. He still works as a scout for the Florida Marlins.

Well, There are only five more living members of the 1960 Pirates that I need. Four of those requests have been sent. The other one, Joe Christopher, is not worth sending as he doesn't sign TTM. There's going to be a 1960 Pirates reunion in Pittsburgh next year so I'll catch him then.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Upper Deck Baseball Series 2 Review

I had to run some errands on the way home from work today. I had to go to the drop off some packages at the post office, buy a birthday card and buy some groceries. I could have bought the birthday card at the grocery store but they don't have baseball cards. I went to Target instead and bought four packs of 2009 Upper Deck Series 2 Baseball. Oh yeah, I got the birthday card too.

I'm going to start a new series in the next couple of days for new product reviews so this post will just be to show the "hits" that I got and a quick first impression of the product.

The packs were $2.99 each and come with 18 cards per pack. Target also had blasters for $19.99 each. Those have 10 packs with 8 cards per pack. They also had the fat packs of 36 cards for $4.99 each. The fat pack is the best deal in terms of price per card but I'm not sure if those include all the inserts available in the blasters and retail packs.

The cards are pretty much what I expected as they're not much different from series one. I actually got a few doubles in only four packs from the same box. That's not very impressive. On the flip side, I think I got some good "hits" for only purchasing four packs. I got a Michael Jordan Goodwin Champions preview card, a 20th Anniversary Retrospective Pedro Martinez and an Emerald StarQuest (Ultra Rare or something) Nick Markakis. These are all pictured below. I also four common StarQuest cards and a Team USA card that aren't pictured.

I don't know that I'll purchase more of this product. I have no interest in building the set and the insert cards aren't that interesting to me. Getting a StarQuest card in every pack is a bit much. The Goodwin Champions cards look nice but I'd rather buy that product when it comes out than to buy Upper Deck 2 to chase the preview cards.

Update - 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates TTM Project

Vern Law
Date sent: 5/26/09
Date returned: 6/1/09

R.C. Stevens
Date sent: 5/22/09
Date returned: 6/1/09

This are my eleventh and twelfth TTM successes in my quest to get autographed 1960 Topps cards from all living members of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates Team. My original plan was to complete this and give it to my Dad for his birthday but it's on Wednesday. This will have to be a gift for another occasion as it's not going to be completed in time.

These two returns are from Vern Law and R.C. Stevens. Vern Law came back in less than a week. I've been impressed throughout this whole project at the speed of some of the returns. Stevens took a bit longer but still came in under two weeks. You can't ask for more than that.

R.C. Stevens only played in the majors for four seasons. His career high in at-bats was only 90. That was in his rookie season of 1958 with the Pirates. He played for the Pirates through the 1960 season and was traded to the Senators after season. He played in Washington for one season which would be his final in baseball.

Vern Law played sixteen seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates accumulating a 162-147 record. Law won the Cy Young award in 1960 going 20-9 with 18 complete games. He topped that off by going 2-0 in the World Series. Law is currently the head coach of the Provo High School varsity baseball team in Provo, UT. His son, Vance, also a former major leaguer, is head coach across the street at Brigham Young University. Law was credited with saying "
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards."

Hopefully I'll be reporting a few more returns in the near future.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jamie Moyer TTM Success?

Date sent: 3/10/09
Date returned: 5/29/09

I don't think that I'm ever going to send a jersey card in a TTM request again. If you've been reading my blog for a little while you'll recall what happened when I sent a TTM request to Mike Mussina with jersey cards included.

I sent a 2004 Topps All-Star Stitches card to Jamie Moyer back during Spring Training. The request came back today. The jersey card was there and it was signed. The only problem were the huge creases and tears down the middle of the card. I've included scans of the front and back for you to see.

I'm certainly not accusing Moyer of anything but when you grab the card with both of your hands and start to bend it around the creases the damage sure looks like it could be a result of that action.

The card was sent in a top loader and returned in a top loader. The envelope that the card came back in was not damaged and there wasn't any damage to the top loader.

All this being said, I'm very happy to get a return from Jamie Moyer. He is an ageless wonder and is a true rarity of today's game. Moyer has 249 wins for his career so he most likely won't stick around long enough to get to 300 wins as he'll turn 47 after the season.

I think I'll stick to sending rookie cards with my TTM requests. I think my experiment with sending jersey cards is over at two requests. I'll have to dig a Moyer rookie card out of my 1987 cards over the weekend and get another request out next week.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Update - 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates TTM Project

Rocky Nelson was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1959-1961, retiring after the 1961 season. He hit a two run home run in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series, later won on Bill Mazeroski's home run the bottom of the ninth.

The most amazing stat I could dig up on Nelson is that he won the Triple Crown twice (1955 and 1958) while playing in the International League. Yes, it's the minor leagues but winning the Triple Crown is quite an achievement at any level.

Rocky Nelson passed away in 2006 at the age of 81. I hadn't originally planned to try and add deceased members of the 1960 Pirates to my collection but couldn't pass up this card when I saw it on eBay.

I had a tough time when it came down to bidding on this auction. I had no idea what a card like this would be worth. It's not like you can obtain Nelson's autograph anymore. Plus, I'm only collecting these autographs on 1960 Topps cards. What are the odds that I would ever find another 1960 Topps card autographed by Rocky Nelson? How many could there possibly be?

The auction was only at $1.75 with 10 minutes left when I sat down to think about what I would pay for the card. With a couple minutes left I decided to bid $30.00 for the card. I just couldn't pass up the chance as I didn't see how another one of these would be popping up on eBay any time soon. I ended up getting the card for $6.01. I consider that a heck of a bargain for a 1960 Topps card in reasonable condition autographed by a deceased player.

I'll keep my eyes open on eBay now. Maybe I'll be able to add more cards to this collection that I didn't think I'd have the chance to.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Brett Wallace TTM Success

Date sent: 4/11/09
Date returned: 5/26/09

I'm excited to get this request back. I haven't received too many requests back that have gone out to young prospects. I sent this one as soon as Brett Wallace was assigned to AA Springfield out of Spring Training. He just got called up to AAA in Memphis so maybe he cleared out his requests when he moved cities.

Wallace is the future for the Cardinals at third base and may get called up at some point this season. The Cardinals have started three different players at third base this season and are waiting for Troy Glaus to return to the lineup from shoulder surgery.

Wallace batted .281 with 5 home runs and 16 RBI in 32 games with AA Springfield. So far with AAA Memphis he's batting .342 with 1 home run and 4 RBI in 9 games. That's a nice start for him in AAA after getting off to a slow start in AA to start the season.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Padded Envelopes!

I don't know about you but I go through a lot of padded envelopes because of eBay. I've always ordered in the past from but had the brilliant idea last week to look on eBay. It's funny, I'm always telling friends and family to look on eBay before they purchase anything but I never took my own advice for padded envelopes.

I got such a good deal last week that I wanted to pass along the info on my blog. Just in case there's anyone else out there paying too much like I was. I picked up a case of 250 #00 envelopes (5x10) for $15.50 shipped. That's only 6 cents per envelope! The seller that I purchased this from on eBay was justpoundsandounces. They have many fixed price auctions but I got my deal from an actual auction. It was in the middle of the afternoon when I won so that may have had something to do with the great price.

I want to make it clear that I'm in no way affiliated with this seller. I'm just hoping that this helps someone out there cut costs on their shipping supplies and then be able to pass those savings on to their bidders.

David Price Starts For The Rays Tonight

This is a much anticipated moment tonight for the Tampa Bay Rays as David Price makes his first start of 2009. It's only his second start of his career. He made one start late last season and then pitched in relief during the ALCS and World Series. His fantastic performance in the playoffs last year had all fans waiting to see what he could do in '09.

The Rays are in Cleveland and the first pitch will be somewhere around 6:05PM EST. Fausto Carmona will take the mound for the Indians.

It will be interesting to see how Price performs tonight. He had to be disappointed to be sent back down to AAA to start the season. I think that's evident by his stats at Durham. He went 1-4 with a 3.93 ERA in eight starts. He did pitch well in his last two starts so there were signs of a turnaround.

You're lucky if you have any Price cards on eBay ending tonight. Collectors will scramble to pick some up if he has a strong start tonight.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Update - 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates TTM Project

Date sent: 5/16/09
Date returned: 5/22/09

This is my tenth return in my quest to get 1960 Topps cards signed by all living members of the 1960 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

I sent three more requests today. Those went to Dick Groat, R.C. Stevens and Joe Christopher. Stevens and Christopher do not have 1960 Topps cards. I got a 1959 Topps of R.C. Stevens and a 1961 Topps of Joe Christopher.

Cards that have already been sent but have not been returned are George Witt, Don Gross and Roman Mejias.

The requests that have not been sent yet are Vern Law and Bob Oldis. I purchased those cards off eBay and they should be here any day now.

The only living player that doesn't have a card is Dick Barone. He only played one season in the majors, that was 1960. I'm not quite sure what to do for his autograph. Maybe I'll just send an index card.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

2009 Topps Heritage Blaster Break

My post from yesterday inspired me to go buy another Topps Heritage blaster from Target. I think this is the fifth one I've opened. Here we go pack by pack...

Pack 1
Khalil Greene
Brandon Lyon
Jim Leyland
Luis Cruz
Alex Gordon
Chase Headley
Jeff Mathis
A.J. Burnett

Pack 2
Chad Tracy
Ramon Ramirez
Jesse Litsch
Washington Nationals
Coco Crisp
2008 World Series Game #2
Mark DeRosa
Troy Glaus

Pack 3
Scott Lewis
Nick Blackburn
Chris Perez
Cardinals Coaches SP (have it)
B.J. Ryan
Yuniesky Betancourt
Kurt Suzuki
Javier Vasquez

Pack 4
Jeremy Guthrie
Raul Ibanez
Rickie Weeks
Shaun Marcum
Ryan Doumit
Jake Peavy
Randy Wolf

Pack 5
Ross Gload
Vernon Wells
Carlos Pena
Kevin Kouzmanoff
Mike Lowell
Phil Coke
John Maine

Pack 6
Gaby Sanchez
Yunel Escobar
Charlie Manuel
Joe Blanton
Mike Pelfrey
Gavin Floyd
Ryan Howard
Miguel Cabrera

Pack 7
Matt Harrison
Miguel Tejada
Jeremy Sowers
Grady Sizemore
John Smoltz SP (Braves logo. have it)
Brian McCann
Manny Acta
Matt Joyce

Pack 8
Juan Pierre
Cole Hamels
Evan Longoria
Adam Jones
Red Sox Coaches SP (have it)
2008 World Series Game #4
Adam Dunn
Kila Ka'aihue

Well, this was a bust for me. I already have the three SP cards. This is the third Smoltz Braves SP that I've pulled from blasters. This is also the second blaster I've opened in a row that didn't have any chrome cards. All the previous blasters I had opened had a regular chrome and a chrome refractor.

Hopefully any of you out there that became inspired like me had better luck than I did. I'll stick to filling my Chrome and SP sets through purchases of singles instead of blaster purchases.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Collector Hits Topps Heritage SP Jackpot

Have you been wondering like I have how you could have opened so many 2009 Topps Heritage blasters and not pulled one SP variation card? Well, the Beckett Blog has a story about a guy that we can blame for that. Todd Neuman hit the jackpot by pulling 51 Heritage SP variations in a single blaster he purchased in Mayfield, KY.

This is one of those once in a lifetime boxes that every collector dreams of but few experience. I remember my brother and I combining to get around 20 Jose Mesa cards in 1989 when opened two or three boxes of cards one day. Sadly, that was not the collecting jackpot and we realized it at the time. My brother coined the phrase "a mess of Mesa's" that day.

I did however experience a true collectors jackpot years later by watching a friend of mine open a box of 1989 Pro Set Series 1 Football. I believe it was 1991 at the time the box was opened. He ended up with 27 William Perry cards. I could be wrong but I believe that card wasn't supposed to be released in the product and was replaced by another card. That's what made it so rare and valuable. At the time the card booked around $100 and he sold most of them for $50 each. It was crazy. A quick search of eBay just now showed that you can easily pick one up now for less than $5. The rareness of the card was most likely overstated.

I doubt that the rareness of the 2009 Heritage SP's is overstated. I think that Todd Neuman just had a really lucky day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

High Dollar Michael Jordan Insert Cards

I've noticed while searching eBay over the past few weeks just how many high dollar Michael Jordan insert cards are out there. I'm talking about true insert cards, not autographed cards or memorabilia cards.

The card pictured is a 98-99 Skybox Thunder Noyz Boyz insert that sold for a whopping $330 on eBay. Don't believe me? Have a look at the auction here.
They were inserted 1:288 packs so the card is legitimately rare.

Personally, I think it's crazy. There are endless examples of non-autographed, non-memorabilia Jordan inserts selling in the $200 - $400 range. Just search completed auctions on eBay and you'll find loads of them. Most of them look as hideous as this one too.

A quick search of eBay and a few wax sites like Dave and Adam's didn't yield any 98-99 Skybox Thunder boxes. I'm wondering if there are some really cheap basketball boxes out there with possible high dollar Jordan's. It could be a fun purchase if you're looking for something to break that could lead to a really rare Jordan insert.

If anyone knows of any boxes like this or has already had this idea leave your experiences in the comments section. Hopefully someone has and came up with a card like this already. It would be fun to hear about it.

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