window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-12381093-3'); A Cardboard Problem: April 2015

April 14, 2015

My newest cardboard obsession

I have a new obsession. I love to collect things. Sometimes not just baseball cards, and I usually have to curtail a collection before it starts so it doesn’t get out of hand.

Pop Funko Vinyls: I’ve had to limit them to just the Supernatural ones. The boxes are not small and can add up after just a few purchases.

Oyo Toys: Only going to get the Jeters (though I’ve been lucky to get most as gifts)

Hallmark itty bittys: I refuse to buy one even though I want ALL of them.

Then Topps began making oversized cards to sell on its website. I held off on buying the wall art – 10x14 passes my thresholds. Now we’re talking posters (which was a problem I had in college and have since been on the poster collecting wagon).

But these 5x7 oversized sets have got me hooked. I received a six-card pack at the start of the baseball card season when Topps created a “media pack” that featured Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, a few other players, and some dude named Derek Jeter. They were just a 5x7 version of the 2015 Topps Series 1 base cards with the full back. These were unnumbered, but I think just 100 of these packs were made.

A short while later, Topps released the team sets of these on its site. I loved the way the Jeter from the media pack looked, and my finger clicked order. The team sets were numbered to just 99 copies.

I controlled myself for just a little while and then Topps created the Cardboard Icons collection. It features a pack of 5x7 cards of every Topps cards from that player’s career. It started the collection with Derek Jeter – and I ordered a pack of the regular set numbered to 199. I let the Gold Edition numbered to 49 go.

Then, last week, Topps released a 1952 Tribute team set … with one retired star in each of the team sets. Of course, it was Jeter for the Yankees, and, of course, I made a purchase.

I work for Topps and this post could definitely seem like a plug, but I have to pay for my sets of cards just like anyone else. If I didn’t like them, I wouldn’t spend my money on them. But, spend my money, I have, and now I have a new collection of 5x7 Jeter cards.

One step closer to being a hoarder.

April 12, 2015

Kris Bryant Auto Superfractor coming to a repack near you (hopefully!)

The Kris Bryant autograph superfractor has found a home – only to be going to a new home, and maybe a new place after that.

Prospect Rush is a repack product featuring the ultimate break for prospectors. The company has said on Twitter that it purchased the Kris Bryant 2013 Bowman Chrome Superfractor Autograph to be put into an upcoming product.

The company likely spent A LOT of money. But this type of hype will bring attention to the company (see: this post), and get case breakers, prospectors, and thrill seekers to purchase it.

It seems as though the Bryant will be placed in Prospect Rush Draft, which is scheduled to come out in May.

This is an interesting take on repack products. Many of them tend to focus on a specific sport, but Prospect Rush goes for a smaller part of the marker. The cards include many Bowman and Bowman Chrome autographs, many of which are graded. The cards it has shown off on its Twitter page features many of the current top prospects .

There are several repack companies these days with Prospect Rush, Leaf, Fairfield, and Super Break Sports. Let’s talk about repack products in this week’s #CardChat on Twitter. Tune in at 3 p.m. on Monday.

April 7, 2015

Hobby news making its way into the mainstream

Every once in a while something in our little card world breaks its way into mainstream media. Usually, it has to do when a card is worth lots and lots of money.

It’s happened again. Kris Bryant's 2013 Bowman Chrome Superfractor Autograph has turned up and the card is on eBay with a BIN of $89,999. Will the card go for $90K? Of course not, but the consigner says there are offers of on table between $35K and $45K, according to a Fox Sports report.

Prospecting is a crazy part of this hobby. Guys who have yet to play even a second of Major League Baseball can have their cards sell for thousands. The same happened with Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper’s Superfractors. Now, it’s Kris Bryant’s turn.

But don’t tell this to the doomsday media outlets. There was a video piece in the Washington Post recently entitled The Rise and Fall of Baseball Cards. Short version: Collecting isn’t the same as it was in the boom of the 1980s and 90s (but, really, what is?), card shops are closing and baseball players don’t like to smile at 7 a.m.

Yet, there is no mention of how ecommerce has affected the hobby. No mention of eBay, COMC, cards being sold on Amazon. No talk of prospecting or how vintage collecting is bigger than it has ever been. Nothing about those who only sell online spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year or group breakers – you’re never going to see those guys selling at a card show or opening a hobby shop, but they exist.

As someone who has spent more than a decade in the news world, it can be difficult to get over your biases when beginning a story. You have a preconceived notion, but it’s important to keep an open mind and ask questions to get the full story rather than mold a story into hole you created. Maybe MSM can get it right the next time.

April 5, 2015

Five players whose cards you should watch heading into 2015

It’s #OpeningNight and the mood is right.

OK, that’s the opening line to TGIF theme song from back in the day, but it certainly applies. After a long winter of snow, ice, slush, gripping winds and more snow, baseball is back.

A few players stood during this season’s spring training, making some guys well known to more than just prospectors and die-hards.

Here’s a look at five players from spring training to keep an eye on this season whose cards you may want to grab – although they are getting pricier by the minute.

Walker’s cards have a lot to gain. Throughout the spring, his cards have steadily risen in price, in large part to his spectacular numbers. He threw 25.1 innings and gave up one earned run. That equates to an ERA of 0.36. He also walked just four guys. Walker is 22 years old and gets to learn from one of the best pitchers in the game, Felix Hernandez.

With the Mariners poised to make a run for the AL West title this season, Walker’s cards are warm right now and could get hot.

Gray is another pitcher who got attention this spring. He was reassigned to triple-A before the end of the practice session, but still many are awaiting his MLB debut. Gray’s last Spring Training outing was, but shouldn’t scare too many. The scary part is that he should end up pitching in Colorado one day -- that’s never been good for any pitcher.

The Dodgers seem to have a plethora of players so the rookies had to fight and scrap their way onto the 25-man roster. Pederson seems to have done that, and even won the starting centerfield position. He hit six home runs in 60 at-bats this spring, and hit slugged .750. He is not, however, one of the cheaper autographs to grab. But his Rookie Cards will appear in 2015 products

The Red Sox are another team that is loaded with talent – they even have Rusney Castillo starting in Triple-A. Betts is one of their young studs that could shine this year, and the Red Sox are going to give him the chance. Betts hit .451 with a 1.295 OPS this spring.

By the way, his Rookie Cards appear in 2014, but there aren’t many autos because of his late call up.

I feel like a teenage girl, ‘I can’t even’ with Bryant. Bryant was sensational, amazing, legendary this spring. He hit nine home runs in 44 plate appearances. He slugged 1.175 with an OPS of 1.652. And, he will start the season in Triple-A. However, it’s likely we see Bryant sooner rather than later with the Cubs.

But, getting an autograph card of his will set you back on the secondary market as they going for hundreds, if not thousands. Pulling one of his autographs from a pack is like finding a unicorn.