Pulled this card from a mini box today, and it looks fantastic, but as I was looking at the back something jumped out to me as being grossly inaccurate. I'm sure people have noticed this long ago (well two years ago at least), but the Tim Lincecum height, weight, and throwing data on the back is WAY off. He's listed as 6'10, 420 lbs, and throws as a lefty.
He's 5-11, throws right (just look at the card), and surely doesn't weigh 420 lbs. Way to go Bowman, give me a great card, and lower my expectations with bad editing. I was about to say how much I think 2007 Bowman's Best is one of the best hobby boxes for your money (and I guess I can still say that), but if it's really "Bowman's Best", shouldn't it also be error free?
Just a look at some recent 2009 Bowman Hobby Box hits... A couple of xfractors, Yu Darvish chrome, Charlie Blackmon auto, blue Kelvin De La Cruz, and an orange Chen Hao Li.
In general I like Bowman/Chrome, but those designs are so bland, right? And like many Topps products, it seems very difficult to ensure that the card is well centered. But at least they have some of those on-card autos. Being that it's also a rookie card set, the potential to have good value returned for your purchase is much better than say a box of O-Pee-Chee.
A couple of thoughts about a hobby box of 2009 O-Pee-Chee I picked up last week while visiting one of the messiest card stores ever (In retrospect, I should have taken pics, it was a sight to behold.)
At first I was disappointed with my box, but I did get an autograph card which falls only twice per case. So I guess I got a bit of a case hit there, but considering who the card was (Brian Barton), I had to check the auto checklist for the set. Check the autograph checklist out here. This might just be the most unimpressive signature checklist I've ever seen in a set. The Yankees have autos from Ian Kennedy and Jonathan Albaladejo, that's the best they can do?! Weird...
I find it odd that the New York, New York subset cards are on thick card stock and glossy. There's no memorabilia on the card, no auto, just a picture. What's the purpose of the thick card stock? I can't seem to figure that out. Could they not make a glossy card on regular card stock? Are collectors going to put a premium on the card because it's thicker? Or is this some new way of trying to prevent pack searchers from looking for jersey cards? I suppose in a way it would be interesting to use those thick dummy cards in packs as a parallel to the base set. Instead of placing a thick card for advertising purposes, make it a SP parallel to the base set. It would be collectible, but also help in the prevention of pack searching for jersey cards.
I'm not a big fan of retro card sets, Heritage/Goudey/O-Pee-Chee don't do much for me, and I probably won't buy another box. The more I get back into collecting the more I realize that I prefer the higher end cards with more contemporary designs. So far this year Topps Finest might just be my favorite set (though the auto patches aren't exactly the best way to go about getting legible autos). I've yet to find a Topps Finest card that contains a crease down the middle of the card. Rarely are Topps Finest cards miscut, and the corners are usually VERY sharp.
Since I'm not looking to finish a set of 2009 O-Pee-Chee, if you're looking for a few cards for your set let me know... I'll try to provide a list of the base cards I have this evening.
I will start by saying that my biggest problem with card stores is the stereotype that they fulfill. After starting collecting again, I've only been to a few shops so far, but they are more the less all the same. Now when I write about this, some will likely say that what I mention is part of the charm or that they prefer things this way but maybe I just have higher standards for everything (not just hobby shops).
So this store I go to it's on a pretty much dead end street, where there really isn't a place to park. How you run a business and not have a well defined parking location is beyond me. Not a good way to start, because you'll probably loose customers for the simple reason that they don't know where to park.
The inside of the store was small, kind of expected since most hobby shops don't need to be too large. But when you look around everything is just scattered. There's not a logical order to things, no idea where to look for items, just a cluttered shop. I've seen this at most stores, that things are just cluttered in general, that's not a good way to leave an impression on a customer, much less make it easy to find things. And I know, the clutter is more or less a result of the mass amounts of single items that are located within a store, but I shouldn't have to ask a store owner where something is, it should be rather apparent. For instance, have hobby boxes located on a shelf by year/alphabetical order. Seems like a simple way to organize things, but no, this shop had some hobby boxes here, some there. I think I spent 5 minutes just trying to find the hobby boxes for 2009 because they weren't all in the same location. Pretty amazing since it was a small store.
I never really buy single cards at hobby shops (frankly they're cheaper via ebay anyway), but that doesn't mean these can't also be in order or easily viewable. I'm not being picky about the organization of this shop because I'm a neat freak or anything. It's just good business. If wal-mart were to just throw a bunch of items on a shelf and not tell you with signs where things were, would you really spend your time searching through everything to find what you wanted? Seeing as how current online dealers sell product for much cheaper than a local hobby store, providing service that is easy, clean (don't let the store smell like the mildew of an odd fellows hall, kids don't like the smell of old "stuff"), fast (unless of course you want to just hang out with local hobbyists, in which case it should also be hospitable), and convenient should be the focus as it is essentially the only advantage that you might still have.
And another thing... If you're marking up product over 15 percent over the price I can get online, rest assured I'm probably walking away. I'm not stupid, I know when I'm being gouged, sometimes I just choose to help a local shop owner out, but that doesn't mean I don't have other/cheaper options. A box of 2009 Topps Finest for $110?! F*!k that!!!
In my opinion, the death of the hobby shop is going to be a result of doing bad business. Unbelievable how many times I've looked online and found a hobby shop that doesn't have a webpage, or even details on store hours. These kinds of details can be posted online for FREE. The store owner even admitted he was suprised I found the place. Are you serious?! Surprise at having a customer? That's not good... See ya again at your going out of business sale.
So this store I visited pretty much sucked. Not saying anything about the shop owner, he was rather nice. But in terms of shopping experience, I will likely never be back. I did buy a box of 2009 O Pee Chee, for more than was wise, and I will write about that box soon...
I opened a box of SP Legendary Cuts the other day, and am just now getting around to giving my take on this product. I don't mean to come across as entirely negative about this product, but as you'll see, I got screwed every possible way on this box. For about $90, you get more or less 60 baseball cards. Yeah, $1.50 per card is what you pay. Rest assured you can buy pretty much any base card on ebay for $1 or less. But of those 60 cards you're guaranteed 4 memorabilia cards. My hits were absolute crap, and by crap I mean, players that are suspended or don't even have a team to play on. When Grady Sizemore is the best player in your box, you know you're screwed. I also got a Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, and Tom Glavine/Steve Carlton. So two players without teams, a drug user, and a lower level star. Fantastic! This is easily the worst box of Cuts I've ever seen, and I will not be opening another box this year. The owner of the card store I frequent showed me some hits that people got recently, a Griffey Auto, Tris Speaker cut, so you can get some nice cards out of the product. But aside from the Griffey auto, which looked really nice, the cuts are just horrid looking IMO. Barely any actual design to the card, it's like pulling a piece of paper out of a pack of cards that's signed by a player. Not impressed... So there you have it, my opinion on Legendary Cuts, hopefully I never speak of them again this year...
OK, so here's my experience with Topps Series 2. I purchased the jumbo box, which promises 2 relics and 1 auto and 500 cards overall for around $100. With the base set being 330 cards, and the box containing 500 cards, you pretty much expect to complete the set. At least in series 1 I was able to complete the set. The time around I came up one card short (card #383), not sure if that's a collating oversight by Topps (not me, I checked twice) but it would seem like for such a large box, you'd make sure that the whole set ends up in there somehow. Anyway, that irked me slightly.
The hits in the box were pretty lame, and really killed any value that could have been obtained from the box. For staters, the auto is of Chris Volstad a career 10-9 pitcher with a decent ERA. The auto comes, of course, on a sticker, and stickers suck, so that slightly irks me as well. This auto is readily purchasable on ebay for a buck. Thanks topps.
The second hit was an Angel Berroa Career best game-used bat card. The card too can be purchased for a mere dollar on ebay, and in fact most of these cards listed never even sell, so technically it's worth less than a dollar.
The last hit, which is actually sort of decent (in terms of current value) is a Jackie Robinson Legendary Letters commemorative patch #20/50. In terms of value, this card can be had for between $5-20. I only say sort of decent, because we all know this is just a piece of fabric some random stranger sewed together. I could buy these same supplies at a hobby barn for a few dimes. So technically this card really is only worth the price of its rarity.
So out of 3 hits, I see a value around $7-22. I just ended up paying $80 for a base set of series 2 cards (minus #383), and a bunch of inserts. What a load of crap...
Other typical stats which came out more or less as expected... Career Best (1:6): Hornsby, Speaker Toppstown (1 per jumbo): 10 (5 regular, 5 gold) Turkey Red, Ring of Honor, Legends of the Game, Gold parallels (all 1 per jumbo) WBC Stars (1:2) I got 6... 1 Black parallel of David Freese
Also, each box comes with a red hot rookie redemption, mine was #4. Here's to hoping it's good and provides Longoria-like value when all is said and done. (no wammies, no wammies... and..... stop!)
While I haven't posted in a few days, that doesn't mean I haven't spent (wasted) money on some recent card purchases. I've opened a jumbo hobby box of 2009 Topps Series 2 and a hobby box of 2009 SP Legendary Cuts. More or less I'm pretty disgusted by the apparent value of these purchases, and I will go into that more later when I post some pics (hopefully this evening). Rest assured I will not be buying another box of Legendary Cuts again this year, and the sole reason I bought the Series 2 box was to ensure I wouldn't need to buy any more of that product again this year either.
Much more interesting than opening these hobby boxes are a couple of recent Longoria acquisitions I've made. I'll post pics as I receive them. I am far from a Longoria super collector, but I continue to accumulate nice autos memorabilia and short prints.
Oh, and the recent video I took of a blaster of 2009 Bowman, I later went back to look at the cards and found one of those silly auto'd scout cards stuck to the back of another card. It was some old timer that apparently works with the Colorado Rockies and has something to do with Matt Holliday. WTF, who cares... How about some auto'd cards of people that sell tickets at stadium ticket booths, how about auto's of the beer guy. I'm sure those would be good for your profit margins as well. (Sounds like I have an idea for a new bad idea card...)
Here's a few cards that have come in the mail, most recently being the Price auto patch in a trade from Sooz. Thanks Sooz, your cards are on their way. The Longoria/Soto dual is an amazing looking card in my opinion that scan doesn't do it justice, and the Elegance is one of those cards that for a 2007 auto is very affordable (usually around $30).
Ok, this video is the first time I've tried including a theme song and titles, it's... how shall I say, a little amature-ish. Hopefully you enjoy my funked up rendition of the Press Your Luck game show theme song...
(Also, I don't know how it happened, but I seem to have a link to my blog on the beckett blog.)
Bought more packs of series 2 today, went with the retail packs of 18 (that contain 1 starquest/pack). After all of these packs I'm fairly close to having all of the base set of series 2. I'm sure if you've opened packs of series 2 you've seen the tendency for the cards to have some sort of imprint on the card as though a have roller was pressed over the card. But have you noticed that on the back of the card, usually right on the player picture in the upper left there's a silver colored residue on the card? It's almost like somebody in the office was playing with scratch off lottery tickets while running the machine. Speaking of, how interesting would that be to have cards that were scratch off's in order to view the player picture? Would you scratch it off to find out who the player was, or not scratch it off, so that it was still in originial pristine condition? Anyway, here's the highlights of the packs (in my view)...
Pack 1: Laid Hamilton (surfer) - Goodwin Champions Preview Brandon Webb Starquest Silver Common
Pack 2: Justin Morneau Starquest Silver Common
Pack 3: Ian Kinsler Starquest Emerald Super Rare Mike Schmidt 20th Anniv
Pack 4: Ichiro Award Winners Jonathan Papelbon Starquest Blue Uncommon Rick Porcello
Pack 5: Cole Hamels Starquest Silver Common Dustin Pedroia Geovany Soto Award Winners
Pack 6: Evan Longoria (Needed it for the collection!) Beltran Starquest Blue Uncommon
Pack 7: Fukudome Jimmy Rollins Starquest Silver Common
Pack 8: Evan Longoria Starquest Blue Uncommon
Pack 9: Carlos Quentin Starquest Silver Common
Pack 10: Pujols Josh Hamilton Starquest Silver Common Ichiro O-Pee-Chee Preview
Pack 11: Ken Griffy Jr. Josh Hamilton Starquest Black Ultra Rare
Pack 12: Pedroia Award Winners Gordie Howe (hockey) Goodwin Champions Preview Geovany Soto Starquest Silver Common
Pack 13: Francisco Liriano Starquest Blue Uncommon
Pack 14: Carl Crawford Starquest Emerald Super Rare
Pack 15: Evan Longoria Award Winners Curtis Granderson Starquest Silver Common
Pack 16: Nick Markakis Starquest Gold Rare Bob Gibson 20th Anniv