Quick updates

March 11, 2009 at 9:17 am | Posted in Donruss-Playoff, Football, Panini, Random, Razor, Upper Deck | 4 Comments

As you’ve probably noticed, my posting has been sparse since the beginning of March.  I’ve been very busy at work and at home recently, with very little time left over to devote to collecting, let alone blogging.  This will probably continue at least until the beginning of April.  My schedule is pretty packed for the next week and a half, and then my wife and I will be on vacation in Florida from March 20 – 28.

In case you’re waiting for it, I’m still working on my follow-up post on 2009 Topps Heritage.  It should be ready soon; I just need to find some time to scan some of the cards.  One thing that I can tell you is that I was extremely lucky with my two boxes in that I got ZERO doubles!  Yes, I managed to get 382 different cards.  I got enough base cards that I don’t think I’ll need to buy any more hobby boxes or packs.  I’ll just buy the cards that I still need on eBay or Sportlots.

Of course, any time that I take a break from blogging, huge events start to happen.  Here’s my take on a few of them:

  • It’s absolutely inexcusable that Razor and Upper Deck have allowed fake “cut” signatures to find their way into their products.  I’m sure that everyone has read about this by now, but if you haven’t, the details are here.  I give Brian Gray of Razor credit for trying to rectify the situation after the fact, but I think that some irreparable damage has been done to the hobby.  I know that I’m not alone in saying that I’m much less likely to buy any cut signature card now, but my confidence is shaken in other types of cards too.  For example, I doubt that any significant verification is done on the “game used” pieces of memorabilia that are inserted into cards.  I think that it’s less likely that non-cut certified autographs are fake, but in many cases, the card companies are simply mailing stickers to athletes, who sign them and mail them back.  I do believe that the vast majority of athletes are legitimately signing the stickers (and cards) if only because they don’t want to see their reputations damaged if they’re caught mailing back fake autographs to the card companies.  But the potential does exist that there are some fake certified autographs out there.  If any evidence of that is ever discovered, get ready to watch the entire card industry implode.
  • So apparently Panini is buying Donruss-Playoff (details here).  This has the potential to be a very good thing for collectors.  First, it keeps Donruss in business.  The company was obviously having financial troubles, but Panini seems to have plenty of cash, so that problem is solved.  I think it’s logical that Panini would use the Donruss name for their U.S.-based card business, and keep many of the existing Donruss, Leaf, and Playoff brand names around.  Let’s face it, football and baseball card collectors are much more likely to buy cards with the Donruss name on them than Panini.  Hopefully they’ll keep many of the creative people from the company too.  But this is really great news for basketball card collectors.  After it was announced that Panini had obtained an exclusive license to produce NBA cards, many collectors assumed that the cards that would be produced would be a joke.  But now, the cards are likely to have the Donruss brand name on them, be designed by the Donruss creative team, and be produced at the Donruss facilities.  I don’t really see any negatives about this deal at this point.  Now, it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens to Upper Deck, which is also for sale, and has apparently completely given up trying to make quality baseball card products.
  • If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’m a Buffalo Bills football fan.  Even though my blog is focused on baseball and cards, my private conversations with friends and family in recent months have been dominated by talk of my disgust for how the team is being run.  They have a completely incompetent head coach (Dick Jauron) and coaching staff who are coming back again in 2009, their biggest star player (Marshawn Lynch) is unable to obey the law and stay out of trouble, and they consistently make horrible decisions about what players to let go and what players to sign.  It seemed obvious that a 10th straight non-playoff season was on the horizon…

    And then they signed Terrell Owens this past weekend.  I was completely shocked and blown away by this.  My first reaction was disbelief, and then I quickly decided that I hated the signing.  After all, T.O. is a complete jackass, a horrible teammate, and he’s been a cancer in the locker room of every team that he played for.  I mean, if Jerry Jones didn’t want him in Dallas anymore, that really says something.  The signing also demonstrated the impulsive decision-making in the Bills front office and their complete lack of long-term planning.  But amazingly, the more that I thought about it, the more that I started to like the signing.  First, it’s a one-year deal.  If it doesn’t work out, the Bills can cleanly cut ties with T.O. after the season.  Also, he’s going to have to keep his tantrums to a minimum and perform on the field at a high level if he wants any other team to want to sign him next year.  But most importantly, T.O. is unquestionably an elite receiver, and he’s going to make the Bills offense a lot better.  One of their major problems has been that opposing defenses have been able to double-cover Lee Evans, preventing him from getting open and making plays.  Now, the Bills will have two top receivers, Evans and Owens.  That’s going to cause problems for defenders, and it should allow both of them to make more big plays.  And if the passing game is much improved, then teams won’t be able to load up on the line of scrimmage to stop the run, so Lynch and Fred Jackson should be more productive too.  Finally, one of the things that I hated about 2008 was how apathetic it appeared that the coaches and many of the players were.  They just didn’t have much competitive fire.  Say what you will about T.O., but he wants to win more than anyone, and he’s not afraid to speak his mind if others around him don’t have the same commitment to winning.

    Strangely enough, the signing of T.O. has made me a lot more excited about the 2009 football season.  If nothing else, he’s going to make the team much more exciting to watch, either because of his performance on the field, or his antics off the field.  The Bills weren’t going to do anything in 2009 without T.O. and now that he’s on the team, they have somewhat of a chance.  If the Dolphins and Falcons could improve so much between 2007 and 2008, anything is possible with the 2009 Bills.

It looks like this wasn’t such a “quick” update after all.  I might only have a few more posts for the rest of the month, but I hope that you’ll stick around and keep reading Fielder’s Choice when I’m able to write more!

My continuing adventure with Razor

February 18, 2009 at 11:03 pm | Posted in Razor | 8 Comments

Lots of people on the internet have been talking about Razor over the last couple of months, and most of what they’re saying is not very good.  Sure, the guy who pulled a George Washington cut signature from a pack of Razor’s Cut Signature Oval Office edition (albeit a $2500 pack) is probably thrilled with the new card company, but the vast majority of collectors have not had such a positive experience.  Take me for example.  In case you missed it, check out my post about the absolutely horrible box of Razor Signature Series, the baseball draft pick product, that I busted in December.

I was disappointed with the product for two reasons.  First, out of my 10 autographs, I only pulled one autograph from a first round pick, and it was one of the least touted players drafted in the first round.  Normally, I’d just consider myself unlucky.  After all, I’ve gotten bad results from many boxes of Topps and Upper Deck products in the past.  But the thing that really irritated me was that almost every collector who paid for a box of the Razor product and busted it on YouTube had similar horrible results.  And at the same time, the president of Razor, Brian Gray, personally delivered a case of the product to Beckett, and opened four boxes from the case on video with Beckett employees.  Those four boxes yielded an amazing 23 first round pick autographs.  It seemed pretty obvious to me that Gray had purposely delivered a loaded case of his product to Beckett, figuring that the amazing results would fool collectors into believing that every box would be as good as the ones that were opened by Beckett and they’d be enticed to buy boxes of Razor themselves.  We’ve seen Topps, Donruss-Playoff, and Upper Deck all play that foolish game with Beckett in the past, and they all enraged collectors by doing so.

Anyway, I want to share with you a couple of developments that have happened since my original post.  First, in case you missed it, Chris from Stale Gum happened to win a contest for a box from the very same case that Brian Gray delivered to Beckett.  I strongly encourage you to read his post and watch his video box break here.  And be sure to read my comments on that post – although reader discretion is definitely advised.  I used some very strong language due to the sickening feeling that I experienced when I saw Chris pull 9 first round pick autographs in his box.  Chris’ box break should leave absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that Beckett’s case was loaded.  It’s really unfortunate that a new card company like Razor would decide to engage in such unethical behavior right from the start.

The second development is that I emailed Brian Gray in January to express my concerns.  I applaud him for being so accessible to collectors.  His willingness to listen to collectors is definitely a strength of his company.  When I asked Gray about whether he intentionally delivered a loaded case to Beckett, here was his response:

“ABSOLUTELY NO funny business occurred… on the contrary I was actually upset as we didn’t get even a single parallel autograph of any kind till the fourth box.. This is not good collation obviously. Your insinuation is not only insulting but its off base.”

I responded to that statement with this:

“Here’s my perspective on the parallel autographs: they don’t matter.  If you check the sell values of Brad Holt Razor autographs on eBay, you’ll find that the /199 cards aren’t selling for much more than the regular autograph cards.  I think that’s because there is nothing that makes the Razor parallels stand out as special except for the lower serial number.  For example, Topps parallels are great to pull because their refractor technology makes the cards look great.  What makes a Razor parallel any more desirable than a non-parallel besides the lower serial number?  Take that as a suggestion – I’d like to see Razor develop a more meaningful type of parallel than the parallels that were included in Razor Signature Series.

Also, I’ll take your word that no ‘funny business’ occurred.  But why didn’t you state during the recording of the video that Beckett was pulling an unusually high number of first round pick autographs from their boxes?  Instead, you made comments that suggested that the results from their boxes were normal, and perhaps even worse than what most collectors would get due to the lack of parallels.  It would be a classy move for Razor to issue some sort of public statement that at least acknowledges that Beckett’s boxes were exceptionally good.”

Gray then responded with this:

“I agree on the parallel technology issue… however, look at Tim, beckham #/199, #/25 or #/5… in good players, parallels matter…

actually, in my head, I was worried sick about pulling no parallel autos after saying they should fall 1 per box.”

So Brian Gray denies that the case that he delivered to Beckett was intentionally loaded to make his product look good.  I don’t buy it at all – especially after seeing Chris’ box break.  Of course he’s right about the parallel autographs of the high end players being valuable, but that doesn’t help when collectors don’t pull any autographs, let alone parallels, of the high end players in the first place.

However, in a very classy move, Gray asked for my address so that he could send me a “token of my apologies you didn’t have a good experience”.  I received a bubble mailer from Razor yesterday containing this card:

skipworth_auto

Kyle Skipworth was a high school catcher who was the #6 overall pick in the 2008 draft by the Florida Marlins.  He’s one of the players that Razor signed to an exclusive contract.  I would’ve been thrilled to pull this card from my box, and it is definitely a great addition to my collection.  I thank Brian Gray and Razor for sending this card to me.  I don’t think it’s likely that any of the more established card companies would have made a gesture like this to a dissatisfied customer.  I’d encourage any readers who had a similar experience with Razor Signature Series to email Brian Gray (you can find his email address on Razor’s web site).  I don’t know if he’ll be so generous with everyone, but at the very least you can give him feedback on what you don’t like (and maybe what you do like) about the product and he’ll listen.

So after all of that, here’s how I currently feel about Razor.  I’m willing to forgive them for delivering the loaded case to Beckett.  I don’t need Brian Gray or anyone else to continue to deny it.  It’s in the past, and it was an error in judgment by Razor.  All of the card companies have done it.  Hopefully they learned from the incident, and we won’t see it happen in the future.  I hope that they continue to listen to collectors and they take steps to improve the design of their products, and perhaps the collation of their boxes.  Loaded cases or not, there’s no excuse for some boxes to yield 9 first round pick autographs and others to contain one or none.

I’ll probably eventually cave and buy a Tim Beckham Razor autograph on eBay.  It’ll be interesting to see what the future value of that card, and other first round picks, will be.  Obviously, I’d be a lot more confident about a Bowman Chrome Tim Beckham autograph, but due to Razor’s exclusive contract, we won’t see that.  I’d honestly be happy if Razor went out of business, simply so that the players who they signed to exclusive contracts could appear on Topps and Donruss prospect cards.  But until that happens, we all have to live with Razor and its exclusive contracts, so I hope that their products improve in the future.  Rest assured that if they pull any more shenanigans, I’ll be first in line to call them out on it…

2008 Razor Signature Series Hobby Box Break

December 21, 2008 at 4:06 am | Posted in My Cards, Razor, Video | 24 Comments

Back in July, I was pretty excited when I first heard about a new card company, Razor, signing the Rays first round pick, Tim Beckham, and several other first round picks to exclusive contracts.  I also gave them some positive coverage in this post.  What you are about to read, however, will not be very positive.  I recently purchased a hobby box of Razor’s first baseball product, Razor Signature Series, from a dealer in Pennsylvania on eBay.  I went into this really wanting to like Razor.  Here’s my box break:

As you can see, I did not get an autograph from any of the big names in the product.  I originally thought that I didn’t get autographs from any first round picks, but after I finished recording the video, I realized that David Cooper was actually the first round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays this year, so I got one first round pick.  Of course, I was hoping for a Tim Beckham autograph.  I did get his base card, and I would have been happy with any one of the top ten picks, but instead, all of the autographs in my box are pretty much completely worthless.

Here’s the breakdown of what I got:

  • 39 base cards (including 3 duplicates) – giving me 36 out of the 100 base cards in the set
  • 1 black parallel – Brett Wallace (#120/200)
  • 3 “Exclusive Signature” autograph cards (not serial numbered) – Ryan Flaherty, Derrik Gibson, Brett Marshall
  • 1 autograph card #/1499 – Dennis Raben (#0494/1499)
  • 4 autograph cards #/1199 – David Cooper (#0291/1199), J.P. Ramirez (#0537/1199), Cody Satterwhite (#0311/1199), Zeke Spruill (#0491/1199).
  • 2 autograph cards #/199 – Trey Haley (#146/199), Brad Holt (#102/199)

Here’s some information about the players on the autograph cards that I pulled, including the round in which they were drafted and the team that picked them:

  • David Cooper – First baseman from UC Berkeley, Blue Jays first round pick (17th overall).
  • Brad Holt – Right-handed pitcher from UNC Wilmington, Mets sandwich round pick (33rd overall).
  • Ryan Flaherty – Shortstop from Vanderbilt, Cubs sandwich round (compensation) pick (41st overall).
  • Dennis Raben – Right fielder from the University of Miami, Mariners second round pick (66th overall).
  • Cody Satterwhite – Right-handed pitcher from the University of Mississippi, Tigers second round pick (67th overall).
  • Zeke Spruill – Right-handed pitcher from Kell High School (Georgia), Braves second round pick (70th overall).
  • Trey Haley – Right-handed pitcher from Central Heights High School (Texas), Indians second round pick (76th overall).  The front of the card erroneously states that he was an 11th round pick.
  • Derrik Gibson – Shortstop from Seaford High School (Delaware), Red Sox second round pick (77th overall).
  • Brett Marshall – Right-handed pitcher from Ross S. Sterling High School (Texas), Yankees sixth round pick (200th overall).
  • J.P. Ramirez – Center fielder from Canyon High School (Texas), Nationals 15th round pick.

So I got one freakin’ autograph from a first round pick in my box.  Now, if you haven’t seen Beckett’s Razor box break, how many first round pick autographs do you think they pulled from the boxes that were hand-delivered to them by the president of Razor, Brian Gray?  I just watched their video again, and I counted.  They pulled 23 (yes, twenty three) autographs from first round picks in their four boxes.  That is an average of almost 6 per box.  You can watch their video here.  They got two Tim Beckham autographs, one of the #2 overall pick Pedro Alvarez, one of the #3 pick Eric Hosmer, two of the #5 pick in the 2007 draft, Matt Wieters (who is arguably the top prospect in baseball right now), one of the #6 pick Kyle Skipworth, two of the #7 pick Yonder Alonso, one of the #9 pick Aaron Crow, two of the #10 pick Jason Castro (that’s 12 autographs of top 10 picks), one of the #11 pick Justin Smoak, two of the #12 pick Jemile Weeks, one of the #14 pick Aaron Hicks, one of the #15 pick Ethan Martin (that makes 17 cards better than my Cooper autograph), two of Cooper, who was the #17 pick, two of #22 pick Reese Havens, one of #23 pick Allan Dykstra, and one of #25 pick Christian Friedrich.

Brian Gray sat next to Beckett’s esteemed box breakers, Tracy Hackler and Chris Olds, and opened the boxes with them.  He also provided commentary on how great he thinks his company’s product is.  At two points in the video, Gray makes comments that would suggest that an average collector would be likely to get similar or better results from boxes that they buy.  When they were choosing the boxes from the case, Gray says this:

“Factory sealed case, these guys pick the boxes so there’s no funny business … I think collectors sometimes wonder if people, you know, if the boxes are just as they would buy them in a store, and this is exactly how the store receives its case when they order from Razor.”

Really, Mr. Gray?  So, you hand-deliver the cases to every hobby store in the country?  Obviously not, and that was probably just a slip of the tongue.  But it’s clear that the message that you’re trying to get across is that you aren’t conducting any “funny business” (like delivering a loaded case to Beckett) and that collectors are likely to receive similar results from boxes that they would buy from an average hobby store.  Right?

Later in the video, Gray says the following:

“And there are also parallel autographs in the product, and we didn’t hit it.  They are tough.  They fall on average a little less than one per box … and we didn’t hit them.  They’re hard.  They generally fall one per box, so if we open the rest of the case, someone is gonna do great on the rest of that case.”

OK, so there were no parallel autographs in the first three boxes.  You’re right about that.  But does that really matter?  I mean, is a parallel autograph of a 15th round pick like J.P. Ramirez going to be more in demand than a regular autograph of Tim Beckham, or any other first round pick for that matter?  Nope.  People want to get autographs of the big name prospects in their boxes.  If those autographs happen to be parallels, then great.  I got two parallel autographs in my box, but neither were first round picks, so I don’t care.  But anyway, I think that in that quote, your goal was to give collectors the impression that even though the boxes that were opened on the video were very good, the rest of the boxes in the case (and by extension, the boxes in any case) are likely to be even better.

Brian Gray also talked a lot about how carefully Razor listens to its customers and how they took input from collectors and made changes to the product, such as putting the autographs on-card.  So he seems to care what his customers, the collectors, think.  Well, Mr. Gray, if you really do care, please honestly tell us if you delivered a loaded case to Beckett.  If you did not, then how do you explain why the autographs that I pulled from my box were so much worse than the ones that Beckett pulled?  How do you explain why many other collectors who have posted video box breaks of your product did so much worse than Beckett?  Was my box the result of an unfortunate collation error?  Based on what you said in Beckett’s box break video, I should expect that my box would be similar, if not even better, in quality compared to Beckett’s boxes.  I think you can clearly see that it was in fact much worse.  So, can I have my money back, or can you send me a replacement box that contains better autograph cards; in other words, a box that would be more typical of what an average collector should get in their box?

I’m going to stop short of outright accusing Razor of purposely delivering a loaded case to Beckett.  I’ll wait for an explanation from Brian Gray.  But I think that anyone can see why a collector like me would suspect that there was something fishy going on.  Mr. Gray delivered the case to Beckett himself, opened the boxes with them to promote his product, and the boxes yielded much better autographs than a box opened by a random collector who purchased his box from a dealer.  And on the video, Mr. Gray says things that would lead collectors to believe that Beckett’s boxes are typical of what they should expect from the product.  If Beckett was just really, really lucky with their boxes, then Mr. Gray should have told us that these boxes were not typical of what collectors would get from most boxes.

Anyway, I’ll finish the post by showing you scans from some of the cards from my box.  Here’s Tim Beckham’s base card:

razor_beckham

Beckham is the main guy that Razor is promoting their product around, so why couldn’t they have used an action photograph of him?  He has a nice smile, but the head shot is more reminiscent of 1988 Topps than most modern baseball card products.

Here’s the #2 pick in the draft, Pedro Alvarez of the Pirates:

razor_alvarez

OK, I understand that Razor is not licensed by MLB, so they can’t use team names and logos on the cards.  But what’s preventing them from at least putting the city name of the team on the card (like Donruss did with 2007 Elite Extra Edition) so that collectors can easily identify what team the player is with?  For example, they could have put “Pittsburgh” on this card…

Here’s my black parallel of Brett Wallace.  He’s a third baseman who was drafted by the Cardinals:

razor_wallace

Here’s the David Cooper autograph, the only autograph of a first round pick in my box:

razor_cooper_auto

Here’s one of my parallel autographs.  Brad Holt was a sandwich round pick of the Mets:

razor_holt_auto

And finally, here’s an “Exclusive Signature” autograph card of Derrik Gibson, a second round pick of the Red Sox:

razor_gibson_auto

One final piece of advice for Razor would be to use a bigger picture of the player on the autograph cards.  The autograph cards feature a small photo of the player in the corner of the card.  I don’t mind the big autograph window, and I like that the autographs are larger than on most cards (especially cards with sticker autographs), but I’d like to see the player’s picture take up at least half of the card.

Anyway, what does everyone think of Razor’s product?  And what are your thoughts on the differences between the boxes that Beckett opened and my box?

The Razor’s Edge

July 29, 2008 at 12:58 am | Posted in Razor | 3 Comments

I first blogged about Razor Entertainment Group a couple of weeks ago when they signed the #1 overall pick in this year’s MLB draft, Tim Beckham of the Rays, to an exclusive contract to produce his cards until he reaches the major leagues. Since then I’ve visited Razor’s web site many times, and each time I check it out, I see that they have signed even more high draft picks to similar contracts. As of today, they have 13 draft picks signed:

  • 7 first round picks: Tim Beckham (Rays), Kyle Skipworth (Marlins), Jemile Weeks (A’s), Aaron Hicks (Twins), Ethan Martin (Dodgers), Reese Havens (Mets), and Casey Kelly (Red Sox).
  • 2 sandwich round picks: Jordan Lyles (Astros) and Brett DeVall (Braves).
  • 2 second round picks: Destin Hood (Nationals) and Derrik Gibson (Red Sox).
  • 2 third round picks: Stephen Fife (Red Sox) and David Adams (Yankees).

I am confident in predicting that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Many first round picks will not sign with the teams who drafted them until the signing deadline of August 15. I expect that we’ll hear about many other big-name players signing with Razor between now and then.

Razor seems to be poised to make a big impact on the hobby when they release their draft pick card set later this year. It is great to see a new company being so aggressive in making these deals. With the amount of money that they are investing, I am hopeful that we’ll see a high quality product.

So where does this leave Donruss-Playoff? With so many top draft picks not available to them, I’d be very surprised if they produce a follow-up to last year’s Elite Extra Edition set. It might be a very long time before we see another baseball card from them.

And where does this leave Bowman? This year’s Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects and Bowman Sterling releases will be significantly less interesting.

Now, if Razor would just sign this guy …

Count me in for a box of … Razor?

July 10, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Posted in Blogs, Rays, Razor | 2 Comments

Several of my favorite blogs (Wax Heaven, Stale Gum, Sports Cards Uncensored) reported today that Tim Beckham signed an exclusive contract with some company called Razor Entertainment Group to produce all of his cards of any type (base, insert, game-used, autographed) for three years or until he reaches the major leagues. Beckham, as you may know, was the #1 overall pick in this year’s MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, which automatically qualifies him as one of my favorite players. According to Razor’s web site, they have also signed two other first round picks (Kyle Skipworth and Reese Havens) to exclusive contracts, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear announcements about others in the near future.

As usual, Gellman from Sports Cards Uncensored didn’t hold back in his criticism of these contracts, and I recommend checking out his post about it. Since I am someone with a strong desire to own many cards of Tim Beckham, you might expect that I’d be furious about this too. But not so fast, my friend…

This actually might not be such a bad thing. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how nice it would be for a third company to get a license to produce major league baseball cards. Competition would make Topps and Upper Deck produce better products. Upper Deck’s releases this year (besides their flagship Series 1 and 2) have been terrible. Topps has been better, but they have plenty of faults (e.g. gimmick cards) too. I actually called Donruss-Playoff’s customer service number the other day to ask if they were trying to get their license back and how I could help them out as a blogger. The customer service rep transferred me to some guy’s voicemail and I left a message. He hasn’t called me back.

Now obviously, Razor is a new company and we don’t know if they even aspire to get a license from MLB someday. All we know is that they have made cards of poker players and that their web site apparently consists of one static HTML page. On the other hand, they obviously have ambition and a lot of cash. They must have given Beckham a lot of money to outbid Topps (and maybe Upper Deck) for his rights. And while we don’t know if Razor’s cards will be high quality or not, remember that any new card company has to start somewhere. What would you have said if I told you in 1988 that some company that you’d never heard of (Upper Deck) would put out the most memorable card of the decade in 1989?

Let’s consider the immediate consequences. First, there will be no Tim Beckham (or Skipworth and Havens) cards in any Bowman products this year, which I suppose will result in decreased demand. But this should have even more impact on Donruss-Playoff. I don’t know if they’re planning a follow-up to last year’s Elite Extra Edition, but if they are, Razor is totally stealing their thunder. I know that I’d much rather buy a box from an unknown company like Razor that has Beckham autographs in it than a box of Elite Extra Edition without Beckham. If they can sign some more first-round picks and put out a well-designed set, Razor can really make an impact with collectors. If they generate enough buzz, it’s possible that collectors will demand that MLB grant them a major league license.

As a number one pick, Tim Beckham’s cards will be in high demand. With only one company producing his cards, there will be fewer Beckham cards available. This means that if he becomes a superstar, the value of his 2008 Razor cards will skyrocket. That is a good thing for collectors that have his cards and a very good thing for the company that produces them. When you think about it, this deal with Beckham is a very smart way for Razor to jump into the baseball card market.

Another effect of this is that when Beckham reaches the major leagues, and Topps and Upper Deck are finally able to produce his cards, the value of his Topps and Upper Deck rookie cards will be higher than they otherwise would be. It’s true that any collector would want 2008 Jay Bruce or Evan Longoria rookie cards, but let’s face it, the value of those cards is diminished by the fact that Jay Bruce had his first Bowman cards in 2005 and Evan Longoria had his first Bowman cards in 2006. How cool will it be to get a rookie card of a great prospect that really is his first card from one of the major card companies?

So I’m looking forward to hearing about what type of product Razor will be putting out. I’ll definitely be buying some to try to get my hands on some Tim Beckham cards. I will also hope that their first release is a lot more reminiscent of 1989 Upper Deck than anything that TriStar or Just Minors have put out in recent years. And finally, I don’t think it’s a horrible thing that I’ll have to wait until Beckham reaches the majors in order to get Topps and Upper Deck cards of him.

Tim Beckham with the Rookie League Princeton Devil Rays

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