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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The AP Poll is a Joke

Posted by houstoncollector on November 22, 2009

So, another week is done, and University of Houston beat 2-win Memphis by the score of 55 to 14.  In the process, Case Keenum threw for over 400 yards and 5 TDs, without any interceptions.  Houston’s reward?  To drop in the AP rankings from 24 to 25.

Stanford lost for the 4th time, and dropped from 14th out of the polls entirely.  Wisconsin loses for the 3rd time and is also out of the polls and LSU lost for the 3rd time and is 17th.  Above Houston in the polls are the following 3-loss teams:  Virginia Tech, Clemson, Oregon State, LSU, Miami, Mississippi, California, North Carolina and USC.

Houston admittedly lost to 2 unranked teams.  Virginia Tech lost to 2 top 25 teams and one unranked team.  Clemson also lost to two ranked teams and one unranked. Oregon State is the same way, as is LSU.  Miami lost to 1 ranked team, and two unranked teams, and so has Mississippi.

But wait, it gets worse.  California and North Carolina have both lost to three unranked teams.  USC is getting a similar shafting that Houston is, having only lost to two ranked teams and one unranked, and are ranked #24 themselves.   There’s also the fact that Houston beat #11 Oklahoma State, who has the same record as #25 Houston.  The AP poll is a complete joke, and has been most of the season.  Here’s the best part.  Houston went up 2 slots in both the Coaches and Harris poll, from 22nd to 20th.

AP Poll = Fail.


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2010 Upper Deck NFL Draft Preview

Posted by houstoncollector on November 21, 2009

While this won’t even be out for another five to six months, we’ve already got an early preview thanks to the folks at Upper Deck of 2010 Upper Deck NFL Draft.  The set will consist of 150 base cards, and four different inserts, each with 25 cards (Tood McShay Scouting Report, Draft Edition Magazine, Alumni Association and Conference Clashes).  There’ll be 5×7 Draft Edition Magazine box toppers, with autographed variations on the box toppers, rookies, Alumni Association and Conference Clashes cards.  Each box will have 16 packs with 10 cards per pack.  Also, each box will have 5 autographs and 4 numbered parallels.

I don’t have the checklist for this product yet, so I can’t do my in-depth analysis to see what I’d be interested in.  I’d presume boxes of these to run around $70 or so, maybe less, and this product is due out in April of 2010.

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2009 Topps T-206 In-Depth Preview

Posted by houstoncollector on November 21, 2009

With the release of 2009 Topps T-206 coming out on the 25th, it’s time to take an in-depth look at the product, especially how it concerns me, as a Houston Collector. First, we’re looking at a 300 card base set, in the visual style of the T-206 cards which originally came out in 1909-1911. The most famous card from this series is unarguably Honus Wagner. The set will also have 50 short-printed variations which will be in the original T-206 size and design. There will be five different parallels (Carolina Brights which will be 1/1, Cycle which will be /99, Piedmont, Old Mill and Polar Bear), as well as two parallels of the short-print cards (Gold Chrome which are /50, and Silk which are also /50). In addition, there are 8 printing plates, 4 regular and 4 mini. ‘Hits’ will consist of T-206 autograph cards, 80% of which will be on-card and placed in a Piedmont frame. There will then be T-206 Cut Signature Book Cards, which are 1/1 and hobby exclusive. There will also be regular autograph cards of current veterans. There will also be game-used uniform and bat cards in a Piedmont frame, with parallels for Polar Bear and Old Mill. Finally, the set will include T-206 buybacks. You’ll get 20 packs per box, and 9 cards per box, with 2 of those being parallels, and two autograph or relic cards.  Blowout Cards has these for $80 with free shipping on all orders over $100.

So now that we know what the set’s about, let’s dig into the checklist and see what we have.  Hunter Pence is card 38, Michael Bourn is 115, Roy Oswalt is 179, Lance Berkman is 226 and Michael Bourn also has a short-print variation.  There’s a Tejada card, but I won’t want that.  Bud Norris wouldn’t have been bad, but what can you do?  There are 25 T-206 autograph cards, none of which interest me, and they haven’t announced the cut signature book cards yet.  The checklist only shows 10 normal autographs, but there are some definite names in them.  The T-206 include Elvis Andrus, Koji Uehara, Ryan Braun, and a number of others, while the standard autos include David Wright, Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun (again), Joba Chamberlain, and Jay Bruce.  There are then 25 T-206 relics, again with some fairly big names including Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth.  Unfortunately, the only Astro is going to be Miguel Tejada which is disappointing.

So, we’re looking at 300 base cards with a total of 300 variations and 1500 mini-variations, 2800 printing plates, 25 relics with 50 parallels, 35 autograph cards, and then the cut signature books and buybacks.  This honestly feels like 2002-2005 Donruss with the sheer number of parallels, especially given that you’re going to only get 2 per pack, with one of them being the Bronze variant.  The minis will undoubtedly sell well on eBay, at least for the first month or two, maybe a bit longer, as will the larger name relics and autographs.  You guys know how I feel about slews of parallels and everything though.  Given the release so close to Christmas, and no real draw for me in the autos or relics, I’m going to be passing on this.  I’ll probably find a team set of the base somewhere, and look for some of the mini parallels and the short print of Bourn, but that’s really it here for me.

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My Challenge To The Card Companies

Posted by houstoncollector on November 20, 2009

With 2009 almost over, and only a handful of products left to come out (other than basketball and hockey, which I don’t collect), it’s time to look towards 2010. Personally, I have a challenge for Topps, Panini, Upper Deck, and the rest.

1) Innovate: For the past few years, there’s been a lot of Me-too and one-upsmanship going on, with little actual innovation. When Topps came out with DNA relics, Upper Deck had to come out with something better to fire back. The only real innovation that’s come out recently has been the shadow box cards in 2009 SPx football. Most products have looked remarkably similar from year to year, other than the card design itself.

2) Design Better Cards: Set designers have fallen down on the job in the past few years. We started with the explosion of ‘gimmick’ cards, starting with the (presumably accidental) 2006 Topps Alex Gordon and then the upside down rookie cards, Joba Chamberlain with the wrong team mentioned, Kazuo Ishii, Poley Walnuts, and so on. Not only that, base cards are designed, and then that same design is replicated for almost every variation possible. The same applies to insert cards.

If a card is meant to have an autograph or GU piece, or both, then make the version with the AU/GU different than the normal version. Don’t just slap a sticker or swatch on the card wherever it fits. It’s lazy, it makes it look like you just don’t care about your customers, and it’s insulting to us. While I’m at it, if you can’t make a reason for two sets to be different, then don’t bother putting one of them out. If your set is a rehash of last year’s, don’t bother.

3) Stop recycling set designs: Base sets are one thing. It’s perfectly fine to have your base baseball and football sets looking similar. Your other sets, though? No. Not at all. Panini’s bad about that most years. Prestige looks the same in both football and basketball, as does Rookies & Stars. Upper Deck isn’t as bad, especially since their hockey line looks completely different than anything else they’ve put out. This won’t be quite as big an issue in 2010, with Topps not putting out football or basketball, but it’s still going to be an issue if someone doesn’t step up.

4) Stickers: For the love of god, stop using stickers from three or four years ago, just because you have them available. For that matter, stop using stickers period. Most of the time, they look completely stupid (Triple Threads, a number of Panini products), and they don’t last. Not only that, they’re an easy out for someone to make fake cards, and we all know it by now. Redemptions fall into this as well. If an athlete cannot meet his contractual obligations to sign cards (or stickers, if you must) within a reasonable amount of time, then stop paying them money. I realize you can’t sue them for breach of contract. One way around this is to have single-year contracts. Hold these guys responsible for what they do. If they don’t have time during the off-season to sign things, or can’t take a few hours out once in a while, then find someone who can. While we’re at it, hold the athletes to a higher standard on the signatures. CJ, BS, Squiggle McSquiggly …. these don’t cut it as signatures. I’m not your bank, I’m a collector. I want your signature because I prize it, and dammit, I’m worth the time it takes to SIGN the card. If you don’t give a rat’s ass about signing it? Maybe I’ll stop collecting it. And post Youtube videos burning it.

There’s probably more I’m forgetting, but I have surgery today, and I really can’t bring myself to care much more. But dammit, give us a reason to be excited about collecting. Give me a reason to buy packs of wax, instead of buying cards off eBay. Give me a reason to buy a box of 2010 product instead of 2002, or 1998, or 1985.

Act like you give a crap. Please. I’m begging you.

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2002 Fleer Premium and Upper Deck Vintage Breaks

Posted by houstoncollector on November 19, 2009

Here’s the video breaks!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "2002 Baseball Box Breaks", posted with vodpod

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Trade Me Anything!

Posted by houstoncollector on November 19, 2009

Okay, I have on my site a list of what I have currently.  I want to fill my holes.  I have boxes and boxes and boxes of cards, both base, parallels, numbered cards, inserts, rookies, game-used and autographs for both baseball and football.  I want to be rid of them.  I’m trying to unload them on Freedom Card Board, but due to v arious reasons, it’s proving harder to do than I thought.  Especially cataloging the thousands of non-base cards I have floating around.

So here’s the deal.  Look at my list.  Find something you have of those players that you have, whether it be a base card or a patch auto.  Leave a comment with what you have, and what you collect.  If I can, I will match base for base, parallel for parallel, insert for insert, game used for game used.  I will work something out with you.  I want these cards gone.  I am quite happy to accept base.  I’ll try to get you a list of what exactly you’ll get in return, but that may or may not be possible.  I have to seriously sort through my boxes, and am having surgery tomorrow.

I’ll probably even give you extra stuff, just to get rid of what I have.  The only thing I’m going to say, up front, is the following things:

1)  I get paid every 2 weeks, and am horrible at remembering things.  Don’t send to me until I’ve personally told you I’ve put your package in the mail.

2)  For the love of god, don’t quote book value, or even sell value at me.  Especially if you’re looking at trading base.  This isn’t about who can make the most money, this is about a personal collection.  I don’t own a Beckett subscription.  I’m not selling anything here.  This is about collecting, not money.

3)  No, I don’t have scans of most of this stuff.  I’m sorry, but I simply have too many cards, and I want them GONE.

This is going to be a long-term concept, through 2010.  I want to be down to my 1 box and 2 binders of my collection by the end of 2010.  Please help, and thank you.

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More 2010 Topps Baseball Information and Ratios

Posted by houstoncollector on November 16, 2009

We have more information today on 2010 Topps Baseball, including the numbering on some of the parallels, as well as pull ratios.  Presumably, all of these are hobby, of course.

Gold Parallels are #’d to 2010, Black are #’d to 59 and are Hobby and HTA only, Platinum are 1/1 and are not limited to hobby and HTA, while printing plates are.  The silk collection are numbered to 50, as they were this year, and are likewise hobby and HTA only.

The Cards Your Mom Threw Out are reprints from 1952 to today, and are 1:3 packs.  There’s a parallel of these with original backs, which are one per box.  The History of the Game are 1:6 packs, with Turkey Red being 1:4 packs.  Tales of the Game comes 1:6 packs as well.  The 1961 Mickey Mantle Reprint Relics mentioned in my original preview are numbered to 61.  The manufactured hat logo cards are 1 per HTA box, and 1 per Hobby case, which is a good reason to go with HTA this year, other than the fact that there’s freaking 186 of these things.  God forbid you want a master set of 2010 Topps.  Legendary Lineage are 1:4 packs, and the relic versions are #’d to 50.  Peak Performance is 1:4 packs as well, with the jumbo relics #’d to 20 and the auto’d relics #’d to 50, both hobby and HTA only while the regular auto and relic versions are also in retail.  The Yankee World Champions Autographs are #’d to 50 and the relics #’d to 100.  Of course, the auto’d relics are #’d to 50 and are hobby and HTA only.

The In the Name relics are 1 of 1s and are hobby and HTA only, as are the Sketch cards, which also are 1 of 1s.  When They Were Young fall 1:8 packs, and Ticket to Toppstown is one per pack, with gold versions falling 1:9 packs.  Finally, for retail both Wal-Mart and Target have Continuity cards, with Wal-Mart having 1951 Topps blue back and Target having 1951 Topps red backs.  Also, each value box will have manufactured patch cards, with 50 of these in total, one per value box.  On top of that, I presume they’ll have team sets as always, as well.

So, for anyone who really thought that only having one brand produce baseball would lead to less confusion in the marketplace, this obviously proves that it isn’t going to be true.  Looks like I won’t be buying much 2010 product either.


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2009 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects In-Depth Preview

Posted by houstoncollector on November 13, 2009

For those who haven’t paid attention, Topps’ annual Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects baseball product comes out in December.  I wanted to take a moment and comb over the checklist and look a bit deeper into what’s in this set.  Personally, I’ve always viewed this set as Bowman Series II.  It’ll feature all the minor league guys that they didn’t think fit in 2009 Bowman, as well as those who made it to the Show with their ‘rookie’ cards, along with tons of minor league players that will never make it.

There are three base sets this time, with 55 base cards (all ‘rookie’ cards), 97 Draft Picks & Prospects cards (with the last 22 cards being autograph only), and 35 World Baseball Classic Stars.  In the base set, the only card I care about is Bud Norris, who debuted for the Astros this fall, and will likely be in their starting lineup next year as the #3 starter.  I’m surprised that Tommy Manzilla doesn’t have a card in this set, given that he also debuted this fall, and will be the team’s starting shortstop in 2010, but whatever.  I don’t follow prospects at all, so Tommy Hanson, Neftali Feliz, Andrew Bailey and Drew Sutton (who the Astros traded to the Reds) are the only other players I really recognized.

As far as the draft picks and prospects go, of course Stephen Strasburg is not in the set, but neither is 3 other top 10 drafts.  In fact, thirteen of the first round picks aren’t even in the set.  That’s over a third of the first round not represented.  For me, though, Houston’s first 3 picks are represented, as are rounds six through ten.  This being said, the autograph list is almost exclusively first rounders, or comp round A players.  There’s one 4th rounder in Max Stassi, although he’s compared to Dustin Pedroia and Craig Biggio, so we’ll have to see.

I could completely do without the World Baseball Classic cards, especially since this marks at least the fifth set this year that  features these guys, with Topps, Topps Chrome, Bowman, Bowman Chrome, and now DP&P.  Packs will have 7 cards per pack in the standard 2/1/1/2/1 ratio of Rookies, Rookie Chrome, Parallel, Prospect and Prospect Chrome.  The problem is that the WBC players also share the Prospect s lot, which means you can see a lot of packs with a chrome WBC card, which is a complete waste.  You’ll get 24 packs a box, with one autograph.  Boxes are going for $56 on Blowout right now, and will ship on December 10.  One thing I missed in this is that Topps did add the AFLAC All-American autographs to the product as hits above and beyond the single.  I don’t know what the ratio on these are, though, if it’s an extra auto per box, or not.  Also, the 3rd pick in the draft, Donovan Tate, is in that list, so that’s another first-rounder.

I’ll probably want the Bud Norris and the Astros Prospects, but that’s it.  I’ll debate picking up a box of this, if I can find it for under $50 shipped.  DPP usually holds its price though, so I may have to go up to $60.

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Box Breaks Incoming!

Posted by houstoncollector on November 13, 2009

I just picked up a couple of boxes from eBay from ‘way back’ in 2002.  I’ll be breaking these baseball boxes live once I figure out how to use uStream, and then will post it here.   I’m not saying what boxes they are yet, as I want to leave it a bit of a surprise.  However, one is something that could be considered very good, and one is something that could be considered very old.

Hey, I smell a contest here.  Guess what the two boxes are, and I’ll ship you off a surprise prize, customized to your collecting tastes (as much as I can).  Leave comments!    Also, don’t forget the 20,000 hit contest in progress.  I should hit it either today, or early next week.

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20,000 Hit Contest

Posted by houstoncollector on November 11, 2009

By my records, I am currently at just under 20,000 hits (somewhere around 19,600 or so). I average about 40-60 hits a day, so I should hit 20,000 within the next week.

Here’s the deal. If you can take a screenshot of your browser window, showing that you are hit 20,000, post in the comments that you have it (then email it when I ask for it), I will reward you. I haven’t decided what with, as I want to custom-tailor it for the person who wins, but it’ll be worth the time.

Thank you to everyone who has viewed my site, and helped me get where I am, as well as to all of the card companies for their support.

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