A reason to Re-Joyce!

March 15, 2009 at 12:19 am | Posted in Autographs, My Cards, Trades | 2 Comments

I know that I am very far behind in posting about recent card trades; if you sent me something in the last month or so and I haven’t posted about it yet, rest assured that you’re on a list and I will be posting about it soon.  But I received something this week that I really wanted to post right away.  It was the first time that someone has obtained an in-person autograph and sent it to me.  Justin from Tampa Bay Sports Wasteland is a fellow Rays fan (although he’s an Orioles fan too) and we’ve made a few card trades in the past.  He attended the Rays Fan Fest at Tropicana Field a few weeks ago and he was kind enough to get a 2009 Matt Joyce card signed for me!

joyce_auto

That was a totally awesome thing to do!  Joyce, as you may know, hit 12 home runs in 242 at bats for the Tigers last year, and he was traded to the Rays for Edwin Jackson.  He grew up in the Tampa Bay area and he was thrilled to become a Ray.  Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to play in spring training yet, due to tendonitis in his lower right leg.  Because of that, he’s likely to start the season in Durham where I’ll get to see him play in person.  But it’s only a matter of time before he takes over Gabe Gross’ role as the lefty in the Rays right field platoon.  I think that he has the potential to be a big contributor to the Rays for many years to come.

As if that weren’t enough, Justin threw in a few other cards too.  The best one is this Upper Deck Cam Ward jersey card:

cam_ward_jersey

This is a card that even my wife is excited about.  Cam Ward is her favorite hockey player.  We attend a lot of Hurricanes games together.  For the third year in a row, the Canes are battling for one of the last playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.  Hopefully they will succeed in actually making the playoffs this year, for the first time since 2006 when they won the Stanley Cup.  If they do, Cam Ward will need to be at the top of his game in the net.

Justin also sent an Evan Longoria Documentary card that I needed, three 2009 Topps cards (Longoria, David Price, and the Longoria/Price dual card), and a Wade Boggs card and Jonny Gomes card for my collection of old Devil Rays.

Thanks again Justin, for your awesome generosity!

Amazing card acquisition – Part 3 (or maybe not so amazing)

March 13, 2009 at 12:43 am | Posted in My Cards, Upper Deck | 7 Comments

You can check out Part 1 of my “amazing card acquisitions” here and Part 2 here.

This post has been in draft mode for a while now.  Check out my third amazing acquisition:

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coveleski_cut_auto_back

Stan Coveleski is a name that is familiar to most baseball fans.  He’s a Hall of Famer, but not many people know much about his career – at least I didn’t until recently.  A little over a month ago, I had just finished watching the 3rd inning of Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary on MLB Network (covering 1910 – 1919) in which Coveleski was mentioned.  I had trouble falling asleep that night, so I walked over to my computer and started looking at eBay auctions that were about to end.  This card was one of them.  The only cut signature card that I owned was the Enos Slaughter that I pulled from Sweet Spot Classic (see it here) and I thought that it would be cool to add another cut signature of a Hall of Famer to my collection.  I had seen many cut signatures sell for well over $100, so I was very pleased to be able to get this one for $43.57.

Coveleski was a Polish kid who grew up in the Pennsylvania coal mines.  He made his major league debut for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1912, but he had his best years with the Cleveland Indians between 1916 – 1924.  The highlight of his career came in the 1920 World Series, in which he had quite possibly the greatest pitching performance in World Series history.  He pitched three games, completing all of them, and giving up only two runs in 27 innings.  He won all three games and had an ERA of 0.67 for the Series, a record that still stands today.  He was a master of the spitball, which was outlawed after 1920, but Coveleski was one of several pitchers who were still allowed to throw it until their retirement.  After his tenure in Cleveland ended, he went on to pitch for the Washington Senators and New York Yankees, retiring after the 1928 season.

Coveleski wasn’t one of the elite pitchers of his era – that group includes Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, and Grover Cleveland Alexander – but he was definitely in the second tier of great pitchers.  He was finally elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969, and he passed away in 1984.

I think that it’s awesome to own a signature of a legendary Hall of Famer who pitched almost 100 years ago, and who passed away 25 years ago.  However, in light of the recent allegations about card companies, including Upper Deck, allowing fake cut signatures into some of their products, the card has lost a little bit of its luster for me.  The wording on the back of the card that the signature was “independently authenticated by a third party authenticator” doesn’t inspire much confidence.  I think that there’s a pretty good chance that the signature is real, if only because counterfeiters would probably be focusing their efforts on bigger names than Stan Coveleski, but it’ll always be a question mark in my mind.  I probably won’t buy any more cut signature cards in the future, unless the card companies do something significant to give collectors more confidence that they’re completely authentic.

As you can see, the card pays tribute to 1920, when Coveleski had his amazing World Series performance, but a photo on the front of the card would’ve been nice – especially since many collectors probably have no idea what he looked like.  So I present to you a photo of Hall of Famer Stan Coveleski in action:

coveleski

Watch out for Part 4 of my amazing card acquisitions, featuring a player who played even before Coveleski…

More on 2009 Topps Heritage

March 12, 2009 at 2:23 am | Posted in My Cards, Topps | 14 Comments

As promised, here’s my follow-up post on my two 2009 Topps Heritage hobby boxes.  You can check out the videos here if you missed them.  First, here’s the breakdown of what I got in each box:

Box 1:

  • 171 base cards (1 – 425)
  • 8 short prints – Carlos Gomez (433), Elijah Dukes (440), Frank Thomas (454), Pirates Coaches (467), Austin Kearns (473), Troy Tulowitzki (478), Chipper Jones All Star (486), Kosuke Fukudome All Star (492)
  • 5 chrome cards – Nick Markakis, Aramis Ramirez, Mat Gamel, Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Bruce
  • 1 refractor – Travis Snider
  • 1 New Age Performers – Tim Lincecum
  • 1 Then & Now – Bob Friend & Cliff Lee
  • 2 Baseball Flashbacks – Mickey Mantle, Luis Aparicio
  • 2 News Flashbacks – USS Seadragon Surfaces at North Pole, First Televised Presidential Debate
  • 1 “Real One” certified autograph – Taylor Phillips (ROA-TP)
  • 1 1960 Buyback – Ruben Gomez (82)
  • 1 Advertising Panel – Cole Hamels, Juan Pierre, Yunel Escobar

Not counting the box toppers, I got 192 total cards in my 24 packs.

Box 2:

  • 169 base cards (1 – 425)
  • 8 short prints – Zach Duke (437), Kevin Millar (448), Rays Coaches (462), Brad Ausmus (471), Josh Willingham (474), Lance Berkman All Star (482), Dustin Pedroia All Star (483), Matt Holliday (494)
  • 4 chrome cards – Derek Jeter, James Loney, Adrian Gonzalez, Travis Snider
  • 1 refractor – Nick Markakis
  • 2 New Age Performers – David Wright, Cole Hamels
  • 1 Then & Now – Mickey Mantle & Adam Dunn
  • 2 Baseball Flashbacks – Juan Marichal, Frank Robinson
  • 2 News Flashbacks – 50-star U.S. flag, JFK elected as 35th President
  • 1 Clubhouse Collection relic – Kevin Millwood (CC-KM)
  • 1 Advertising Panel – Corey Patterson, Pat Burrell, Brian Bannister

I got 190 cards in this box, two less than the first box due to the thickness of the jersey card.

The amazing thing is that I did not get ANY doubles in my two boxes!  I was happily surprised by this.  So I already have 340 of the 425 non-short print base cards.  In addition to not receiving any doubles, the lack of black back parallels makes 2009 Heritage a much easier set to build than the 2008 version.  Because of this, I don’t plan to buy any more hobby boxes or packs.  I’ll just buy the 85 cards that I still need on eBay or Sportlots.  Of course, the hobby boxes are ridiculously overpriced right now anyway.  They’re currently selling for $80 or more, which is way too much to pay for a product like this.  I was fortunate enough to snag my hobby boxes for $62.50 each (with free shipping) during the pre-sell period.

I really like the cards, at least as much as I liked 2008 Heritage.  1960 Topps was a very nice, colorful design, and the cards have a lot of character.  The chrome and refractor parallels are great as usual, and the same standard Heritage inserts are included.  Unlike 2008, it’s easy to determine which cards are short prints, since they’re all grouped between number 426 and 500, and their backs are darker.  The “hits” are worthless, but that’s pretty much expected with Heritage.

By now, everyone knows what the base cards look like, and if you don’t, you can see every one of them in my videos.  Here are some scans of the inserts that I pulled:

taylor_phillips_auto

I had never heard of Taylor Phillips before I pulled this card, and for good reason.  He had a very lousy career as evidenced by his statistics.  I really wonder why Topps bothered to put autographs of such a worthless player in the product.

ruben_gomez_buyback

Speaking of players who had lousy careers, here’s my buyback card of Ruben Gomez.  It turns out that he actually had a few decent seasons with the Giants early in his career, but this card is definitely nothing to be excited about.  You can check out his career stats here.

millwood_jersey

By now, I’m sure that you understand why the “hits” in Heritage are worthless.  Millwood is completely washed up; his last decent season was in 2005.  In 2008, I actually pulled some jersey cards of really good players in Heritage.  Millwood is not a good player (but he used to be).

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Here’s a Then & New insert of Mickey Mantle and Adam Dunn.  I know that Dunn is a very good power hitter, but is he even remotely comparable to Mantle?  I don’t think so…

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New Age Performer insert of Tim Lincecum.  You can bet that this card will wind up in a mailbox in La Jolla, California very soon!  I have insane luck in pulling Lincecum cards…

jfk_flashback

One of the greatest things about 1960 is that one of the greatest Presidents of all-time was elected that year, as you can see in this Flashback card.

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Here’s a refractor of one of the most talented hitters in the A.L. East and one of my favorite non-Rays in MLB.

snider_ref

And my other refractor is of a player who soon will be one of the top hitters in the A.L. East.

It’s very likely that Topps Heritage will be the only set that I collect in 2009.  I’m only planning to collect the Rays cards from other products.  That’s a testament to how uninspired I am by all of the other products that have been announced so far.  I guess I should start getting ready for Heritage High Numbers this fall…

2009 Topps Heritage Video Box Breaks

March 7, 2009 at 12:03 am | Posted in My Cards, Topps, Video | 12 Comments

Whew.  It took almost an entire day’s worth of effort, but I finally got all four of the videos from my breaks of two boxes of 2009 Topps Heritage uploaded to YouTube.  Here’s some advice for you – if you ever try uploading a video to YouTube, and the upload just hangs for hours at a time, or if you get “Upload Failed: An unknown error occurred” error messages, just use the bulk uploader.  I’m not sure what the problem was; I’ve never had any trouble uploading to YouTube before.  Anyway, after struggling all afternoon, I finally tried the bulk uploader and it worked like a charm.

So check it out, here are my box breaks.  The first box encompasses the first two videos, plus the first minute or so of the third one.  Then I picked up the pace a little, and finished the second box in the rest of the third video and the fourth video.  I pulled an autograph at the end of the second video and a jersey card at the end of the fourth.  Be forewarned though – neither of them are any good.  But I had a blast with these boxes.  I think I might like 2009 Heritage even better than 2008.  I’ll be back with more commentary on the product, and probably some scans, either later tonight or tomorrow.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

Video 4:

My 2008 Topps Heritage set is finally completed

March 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Posted in My Cards, Topps, Video | 10 Comments

I have some good news – my two hobby boxes of 2009 Topps Heritage finally arrived last night.  But I was exhausted and had a headache, so I went to bed early, and woke up early this morning to bust my boxes on video.  The videos are currently uploading to YouTube, and I’ll share them with you on the blog as soon as they finish.

In the mean time, here’s another video that I filmed this morning.  I received the very last card that I needed from 2008 Topps Heritage (from Sportlots) and put it into my binder.  You can check out my 2008 Topps Heritage collection in this video:

And here is the last card that I needed, #315, Jacque Jones:

jones_heritage

By the way, I’m still working on completing my set of 2008 Heritage refractors (I have 45 of the 100 from Heritage and 51 of the 100 from Topps Chrome).  I’m also still working on 2008 Heritage High Numbers – I still need 31 green backs, 3 black backs, and a bunch of inserts.  You can see the cards that I still need in my Trade Corner.

Ray of the day: Wade Davis

February 28, 2009 at 9:26 pm | Posted in My Cards, Rays, Upper Deck | Leave a comment

We all know that the results of spring training games are meaningless, and Thursday’s game between the Rays and the Yankees was no exception.  The Rays only had one regular starter in the lineup (Carl Crawford) and the team more closely resembled the 2008 Durham Bulls than the real Tampa Bay Rays.  And of course, they lost the game, 5-1.  But there are some moments in spring training games, performances by certain players, that actually are meaningful and become sources of real optimism for fans.

I remember last spring when David Price pitched an inning against the Yankees and struck out the side, generating a huge amount of excitement and foreshadowing his late season and post-season success.  And then on Thursday, another Rays pitching phenom, Wade Davis, took the mound and had an even more impressive performance.  Davis made his first start of the spring, and pitched two perfect innings against the Yankees.  While Price struck out Shelley Duncan, Jason Lane, and Wilson Betemit in his memorable outing, Davis faced the Yankees real lineup.  He struck out Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Robinson Cano.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Photo credit: St. Pete Times

Photo credit: St. Pete Times

Wade Davis is a name that might not be familiar to many baseball fans, but he’s been very well known to Rays fans ever since he was the team’s 3rd round pick in 2004.  Davis has been overshadowed by David Price in the Rays organization, but he’d be the top pitching prospect for almost any other team in MLB.  Although the Rays have a very, very good starting rotation with Scott Kazmir, James Shields, Matt Garza, Andy Sonnanstine, and Price, I expect that Wade Davis will find a spot in the rotation sometime in 2009, either because of an injury or by forcing the team to trade someone to make room for him.  At the very least, he could be a very valuable late inning reliever until a spot in the rotation opens up.

The story of Wade Davis really goes back to 2003.  That year, the (Devil) Rays took a gamble with their third round pick, taking a highly touted pitcher from a Florida high school in the third round.  They intended to offer a large enough bonus to entice him to sign instead of going to college.  That pitcher was Andrew Miller, and the Rays were unable to sign him.  He decided to go to college down the road from me in Chapel Hill, where he dominated for three years.  He was then drafted by the Tigers with the #6 overall pick in 2006, traded to the Marlins in 2007, and he became a card blog phenomenon in 2008 when Mario from Wax Heaven began collecting his cards…

Anyway, the experience with Miller in 2003 did not deter the Rays from following the same strategy in the 2004 draft.  Once again, they took a high school pitcher from Florida in the third round.  This time it was Wade Davis, and this time they were successful in convincing him to sign with the team instead of attending the University of Florida.  They did the same thing in the fifth round, grabbing Jake McGee from a Nevada high school.  Davis and McGee immediately became two of their top pitching prospects.  They pitched together in rookie league Princeton in 2004, and then they both started to dominate at short-season Single-A Hudson Valley in 2005.  Davis led the league in strikeouts.  They moved up to Single-A Southwest Michigan in 2006, and high Single-A Vero Beach in 2007.  Davis threw no-hitters in each year, and he finished second in the organization in strikeouts both years, only behind McGee.  Both of them were promoted to Double-A Montgomery in the second half of 2007.

They started 2008 together again in Montgomery, and both were among the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.  McGee was rated slightly higher on most prospect lists since he’s a lefty and Davis is a righty.  Unfortunately, McGee hurt his elbow in June, and had to undergo Tommy John surgery.  He won’t be back until late 2009 at the earliest.  Davis continued to dominate in Double-A, earning the start in the Southern League All Star game, which I attended.  I was able to get him to sign a baseball for me before the game:

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Davis was promoted to Triple-A Durham immediately after the All Star game, and he was the Bulls’ best pitcher in the second half, with a 2.72 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 55 strikeouts in 53 innings.  I was fortunate to be able to see him pitch a few times in Durham.  Davis is now 23, he throws a fastball that tops out at 98 MPH, a killer curveball, an improving changeup, and he’s recently added a slider to his repertoire.  He also seems to have a tough bulldog mentality on the mound, similar to Matt Garza.  He’s going to be a #1 or #2 starting pitcher in the major leagues, and I can’t wait to see his career develop.  But I won’t complain if I get to see him spend a little bit more time in Durham…

To date, Wade Davis’ only certified autograph is from 2004 Upper Deck SP Prospects, and it’s by far his most desirable card.  You can see my copy of the card, #418/600, below.  There should be quite a few more Davis autographs in Topps and Upper Deck products once he makes his major league debut.  If he has the success in the major leagues that I believe that he will, his cards will have a major impact on the hobby.

wade_davis_auto

Some great pulls from free packs!

February 24, 2009 at 2:22 am | Posted in My Cards, Upper Deck | 11 Comments

When I ordered the Joe DiMaggio set from Dave & Adam’s Card World, I spent enough money to earn two free packs of 2007 Upper Deck Elements with my order.  I wasn’t expecting much from these packs, so I was very surprised when I actually pulled two very nice hits from them.  Check it out:

elements_utley

elements_peavy

Not a bad haul from two free packs!  There are 15 packs in a hobby box of 2007 Elements, and three hits in each box.  So there’s only a one-in-five chance of pulling a hit from an individual pack.  Each box has one relic card, one autograph, and one autographed relic card – so I pulled the two best hits from the box that these packs came from.

I’m not the only one who’s had good luck with free packs of Elements from Dave & Adam’s.  Bailey from The Nennth Inning got some hits in his free packs too.  Elements is a pretty decent product.  It features cards made on three different types of card stock.  The “PETG” cards are particularly nice; the card material is similar to hard plastic.  With all of the pointless products on Upper Deck’s 2009 release calendar, reviving the Elements brand wouldn’t be a bad idea.  Even better, they could release a set of all PETG cards.  2007 Elements is also a pretty good deal.  You can buy hobby boxes from Dave & Adam’s for $40.95 – or you can try your luck with the free packs like I did…

It’s great stuff like this (and my free hobby box of SP Rookie Edition) that makes Dave & Adam’s my online card shop of choice.  I also picked up a few other boxes from them, and I’ll be posting my box break videos later this week.  I’ll give you some hints: one box was from 2004, one was from 2007, and one was from 2008 – and all were very good deals.  Unfortunately, Dave & Adam’s sold out of their pre-orders for 2009 Topps Heritage, so I had to order my two Heritage hobby boxes from Captain Collect on eBay.  Those should be arriving any day now, and I am psyched!

Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio

February 22, 2009 at 1:24 am | Posted in My Cards, Pinnacle, Video | 13 Comments

Here it is.  This is what I referred to yesterday as “quite possibly the most awesome product that I’ve ever opened”.  I was intrigued after reading a couple of posts on Wax Heaven (here and here) about the Joe DiMaggio “cut signature” card from 2008 Playoff Prime Cuts, where Donruss-Playoff cut up certified autograph cards of DiMaggio that were produced by Pinnacle in 1993.  I’ve always thought that it would be awesome to own a Joe DiMaggio autograph.  After all, he is one of the greatest players of all-time, and his 56-game hitting streak is one of baseball’s most unbreakable records.  For many decades he held the title of the “greatest living Yankee” until his death in 1999.

Then, last week, I was checking out Dave & Adam’s Card World when I came across one of their weekly specials – an unopened box of 1993 Pinnacle Joe DiMaggio cards including one certified autograph for only $150 (and free shipping).  I was amazed by the price, considering that cut signature cards of DiMaggio from recent products sell for much more than that.  In fact, the Prime Cuts card that features the cut up card from this very set, is selling on eBay for $200 and more.  Isn’t it better to own an original on-card autograph, a card that DiMaggio personally touched and signed in 1993?  This was an easy question for me to answer, and I jumped at the chance to buy a box.

Even though I knew exactly what I would pull from my box, it was still a lot of fun to open.  It’s a very good feeling to know that you’re definitely going to pull an amazing card.  I captured the box break on video, complete with the song “Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio” playing in the background.  Here it is:

Here is my new prized possession:

dimaggio_auto

And here’s the back of the card:

dimaggio_auto_back

Here’s my certificate of authenticity from Pinnacle:

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There are five different autographed cards that were produced, and there are 1800 copies of each one, for a total of 9000 autographed cards.  The number on the back shows that I have #0376 of the first card (number 1 of 5).  I chose this card because it’s my favorite of the five photos.  You can see what the others look like here.  I absolutely love the design of the card and the clear, crisp autograph.  The only bad thing is that the card is oversized (4 1/8 inches tall) so it won’t fit in a standard top loader or magnetic case.  I’m still trying to figure out how to store it, but for now I have it in the original holder that you can see in the video.

I know that the economy is in horrible shape and that not everyone can afford to add a card like this to their collection.  However, I still believe that this was an incredible value.  For $150, I obtained a certified on-card autograph from one of the very best players of all time, who passed away almost 10 years ago.  There are only 9000 of these, and with Donruss and possibly other card companies buying them, cutting them up, and inserting them into new cards, the supply is going to dry up.  When you consider that some collectors are spending $100 on jumbo boxes of 2009 Topps, I think that buying something like this is a much better way to spend money.  Also, I’d much rather buy something where I’m guaranteed to pull something great than to take my chances by opening a regular hobby box.  I’m planning to keep this card in my collection, probably forever, and pass it down to my children some day.  As the years continue to go by, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the value of this card will be climbing.

Here’s an image from eBay of one of the Prime Cuts cards:

prime_cuts_dimaggio

Can anyone explain to me why someone would want this “card” when they could buy the actual Pinnacle card for less money?

If you’re interested, the weekly special from Dave & Adam’s is over with, but you can still pick up a box from them for $164.95 or the single autograph card for $159.95.  There are also some sellers on eBay that are offering it for a little more.

Finally, here are some of my favorite cards from the 30-card base set:

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This is card #9 and features a great photo of DiMaggio’s iconic swing.

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This is card #11 – DiMaggio in his rookie season of 1936 with a 17-year old Bob Feller.

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And this is card #17 – the Iron Horse and the Yankee Clipper together.  It must have been great for fans to watch them play on the same team between 1936 – 1939.  I learned something that I didn’t know on the back of the card.  Gehrig passed away during the middle of DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak in 1941.

You can see what all of the base cards look like in the video.

So like I said, this was quite possibly the most awesome product that I’ve ever opened, and my best “pull” of all time, even though I knew what was in the box.  In my opinion, it just doesn’t get any better than this…

2008 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Hobby Box Break

February 21, 2009 at 12:45 am | Posted in My Cards, Topps, Video | 4 Comments

So one of my best talents is procrastination.  I bought a hobby box of 2008 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects at a card show before Christmas.  I finally opened it on January 29 and posted my break to YouTube that same day.  Since then, I’ve been putting off writing this post.  I’m finally writing it because I filmed a few new breaks today, including one that was incredibly awesome, and I want to get this posted before I post my new breaks.  Here we go…

The hobby box contained 24 packs of 7 cards each, and it took me long enough to open that I needed to divide it into two videos for YouTube.  Here’s Part 1 (the first 13 packs):

And here’s Part 2 (the final 11 packs):

So why did I delay posting this for so long?  To be honest, it wasn’t a very exciting break, and I figured that it would be even less exciting for people to watch than it was for me to actually experience the box break first hand.  If you can only watch one video box break this weekend, I’d definitely recommend watching my next one instead of this.

So why wasn’t it exciting?  There are a few reasons.  First, as most people know, Topps was not able to print cards of most of the top 2008 draft picks because they had signed exclusive contracts with Razor.  So the chance to get a highly valuable rookie card is significantly diminished from previous years.  Despite that, there’s no question that the quality of the actual cards is much higher than Razor’s Signature Series draft product.  But even with a good card design and a lot of good prospects who were not 2008 draftees, Topps made this set overly complicated.  There are basically two checklists: one for rookies and one for prospects who have not reached the majors yet.  On top of that, there are base and chrome versions of each of the cards.  So there are really four different sets in this one product.  Topps also loads the box with tons of meaningless gold parallels of the regular Bowman cards (I got 24 of them).  This is unfortunate because one of my favorite things about Bowman brands is the refractors.  This year’s Bowman Chrome refractors look spectacular.  But I only received two regular refractors and one Xfractor in the whole box.

Here’s the breakdown of what I got:

  • 47 base Bowman rookie cards (out of 55 in the set).  This includes Evan Longoria, but it’s really the same rookies that we’ve seen in almost every other 2008 product.
  • 15 Bowman Chrome rookie cards (out of 55 in the set)
  • 48 Bowman prospect cards (out of 110 in the set)
  • 29 Bowman Chrome prospect cards (out of 110 in the set)
  • 8 Bowman Gold rookie parallel cards
  • 16 Bowman Gold prospect parallel cards
  • 1 Bowman Blue parallel card (Fernando Martinez #382/399)
  • 2 Bowman Chrome Refractors (Micah Hoffpauir and Charlie Morton)
  • 1 Bowman Chrome Xfractor (Mat Gamel #174/199)
  • 1 Bowman Chrome Autograph (Anthony Hewitt)

I was happy with the Blue parallel of F-Mart, who is a very highly touted Mets outfield prospect.  A refractor would have been nicer than a regular blue parallel though.  The Mat Gamel Xfractor is definitely awesome.  If you haven’t heard of Gamel, you will soon.  He’s a third baseman for Milwaukee, and he’s one of the leading contenders for the N.L. Rookie of the Year award.  I predict that he’ll have a big impact this year.  The autograph was Anthony Hewitt, who was the Phillies first round pick in 2008.  He drafted out of high school as a shortstop.  So I got just as many first round pick autographs out of this box as I did from my Razor box, which contained a total of 10 autographs.  Hewitt had an absolutely horrendous season in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League though.  Just check out his stats to see what I mean.  Maybe Phillies fans can tell me if there’s any reason to be optimistic about him.

Here are the scans of the best cards from the box:

fmart_blue

gamel_xfractor

hewitt_auto

You can pick up a box of Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects for $62.95 on eBay, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  I remember paying less than that, but I can’t recall the exact amount.  I don’t think that this product is worth buying until the price drops below $50.  The product has potential, but it really suffers from the lack of big-name draft picks.  I’m hoping that Razor goes out of business before the end of 2009 so that Topps can once again make a great draft pick set.  I’d also like to see a simpler set configuration in the future.  Do we really need regular Bowman cards?  Why not just make all of the cards chrome?  And of course, I’d like to see many more refractors than what I received in my box.

Woo hoo! My Evan Longoria collection hits 100!

February 19, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Posted in My Cards, Rays | 8 Comments

Today is a historic day for my Evan Longoria card collection.  I received my 99th and 100th different Evan Longoria cards in today’s mail.  Both were cards that I recently purchased on eBay, and both are autograph cards, bringing me up to 25 different Longoria autographs – one fourth of my entire collection!

Here are today’s new additions:

longoria_soto_auto

This is the Evan Longoria / Geovany Soto dual autograph from 2008 Bowman Sterling.  It’s serial numbered #257/325.  The card actually looks a lot better than the scan.  For some reason, my scanner has recently been scanning a lot of cards darker than they really are.  This is truly a great card, but it took me a while to decide that I wanted to own it.  I’m not usually a fan of dual autographs featuring a Rays player with a player from another team.  Ultimately, I decided that this card was an exception because it features both 2008 Rookies of the Year.  The selling price has been dropping recently on eBay, so the time was right to pick up a copy of this card.

longoria_2009_topps_auto

This is the very first 2009 card of any player in my collection.  It’s also the first Evan Longoria card that I own that cannot be called a rookie card.  Topps really could’ve chosen a better photo for the card though.  It’s a “Career Best” autograph card, meaning that Longoria’s career best stats are listed on the back of the card.  That’s pretty meaningless since he has only played in one season in the major leagues.

So my 100th Evan Longoria card is also my first 2009 card.  Longoria should appear in every single card release this year, so my collection should be growing very quickly.  It won’t be long before I take the lead in my friendly player collection competition with Mario from Wax Heaven (Andrew Miller) and Bailey from The Nennth Inning (Tim Lincecum).  You can check out the list of every Longoria card that I own here.

On the other hand, it’ll be a long time before my Longoria collection can come close to my Don Mattingly collection, which coincidentally surpassed 1,100 different cards today…

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