Video: Mail-day from breaks

This season, it seems like I have picked a rookie in each major sports to personally collect. I was chasing my basketball rookie in Anfernee Simons. I chose him by picking a draft pick that was universally lauded but whose pedigree that I liked; hence Anfernee Simons. I can see him coming in and becoming a Tracy McGrady type; a good scorer who just needed a few years to develop.
This was pretty much a test video. I learned that I need to angle to cards to the camera better; as it seems like I held them at and angle so I could see them but barely cared about the audience. These will get better before they become consistent.

This Week in the Hobby: End of January 2019

3 notable things have happened in the hobby that I find worth commenting on. I am going to go in order of what I think you want to hear:

1. Retail stores have been putting out packs and blasters of 2019 Topps Series 1 baseball early. This isn’t a new phenomenon but with the advent of social media, we are seeing just how prevalent it is. For the most part, this is not happening at an alarming rate but the isolated places that are doing it are adding up. As a collector, I think this adds to the enjoyment and excitement surrounding the release. As someone who used to be in the music business when CDs were all the rage, I question how this is happening at the bigger chains. Some products give an error when the barcode is scanned nullifying the purchase. I don’t recall their being a major cost on the business end for this to happen so perhaps it is something that companies have not thought to do yet.

2. Topps has announced that they will be the exclusive distrubutor of Alliance of American Football cards. You can find a link to information here: https://www.blowoutcards.com/blog/alliance-of-american-football-opts-for-topps-football-cards/.
Let me start by saying that I want the release and the league to succeed but I am just not seeing it. The name players, and players with a chance to make a name for themselves, in the league will have already had cards put out. Unless they put energy in coach cards, I don’t see a huge market for it. It will be a distant 3rd to Panini and Upper Deck (USA). Yes, the CFL has cards out but they have a country behind them. With the XFL coming back into the picture, I worry that Topps is investing in the wrong minor league. Speaking of CFL, in December blaster boxes were going for $3 on major card retailer sites; so are their cards even doing that well to begin with?

3. The entire 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame class has just 15 rookie cards. The link will take you to the Beckett article telling you what to look for if you are chasing them. This worries me. It makes me wonder if companies are not learning from the mistakes of the 90s.
Let’s take a player that I personally collect this year and use him as an example. As of this writing, Ozzie Albies has 41 rookie cards when you put in his name in the COMC filter for rookie cards. This is not counting cards cards in his rookie year; when you account for that you get a whopping 425 cards. Only 1 of those rookie cards is an autograph; so in context you can say he has 40 rookie cards available. That is over-saturation times a 1000 to me.

Bonus: Crown Royale basketball was released this week. The cards look great. I wish that the price point came down because I would love to do a set of them.

 

Angry: Prevalence of Panini Points lately

As some of you know, I have a love/hate relationship with Panini points. They are good when I can fill needs for random players in my collection but they offer no value and shipping is atrocious.

Lately though, it seems that there has been an abundance of points in new product released. It has hit embarrassing levels. For example the 4 boxes on Youtube that I have watched opened on Twitter of Contenders retail have all had points replace the autograph. This is is also in line with numerous football hobby releases. Every case seems to have two or more boxes of points replacing an autograph.

When I buy a product, I want a card from that product. I don’t want a hit from another product that I have to pay an additional shipping cost on. I don’t want to have to add those up to get a better hit. Collectors want instant gratification for the most part. Contenders football updated their base cards and the base cards are something that I can get excited about. I was thinking about buying a box of them from Target until I saw all of the boxes had points replacing the autograph.

The rise and prevalence of points is at the point where I am genuinely worried for the hobby and Panini as a whole. They have a new football release every week. They are oversaturating the market. I understand that this is part of the contract with the NFL and NFL players association but to me it is clear that they have not learned from the mistakes of the 90s. The industry is a period where it has risen and collectors have come out of hiding. Also people are buying more product when they buy now. Instead of buying packs, people are buying boxes to chase hits. Parallels are a dime a dozen and feel like the new base cards; don’t get me started on those. On top of the fact that football cards do not age well because of short careers and injuries decimating every team every season. My point is, I genuinely worry is Panini is overproducing base cards again to meet demand. I worry that this is why we are seeing more of those awful points replacing hits. Aren’t there enough autographs to go around so that points aren’t needed? If not, why aren’t there?

Pickups: Break Exchange haul

I feel like I wrote a post similar to this before so feel free to ignore the words and watch the video if you are a frequent reader.

I never thought that I would be addicted to breaking but I caught the bug because Dan at the Break Exchange runs a great ship. They used to be known as Maine Sports Cards and he got me hooked on a one dollar break. Those of you that know me, know that I work at a church. Paying $4 to $8 to buy into a break after working on a Sunday is how I have been relaxing lately.

The Apropos Pack

I don’t like posting one off hauls on here so when I do, they have to mean something. Well I was just looking for a reason to smile and opened a jumbo pack of 2018 Topps baseball series one that I have been sitting on for almost a month. Nothing special right? Well, have you ever opened a pack of cards that was just so apropos that you had to laugh? I am not talking about hitting a great relic, I am talking about cards that mean something. Well this pack just felt like it was destined for me in this moment.

Let’s start my personal collection. I bought this pack because I am a big Ozzie Albies fan and my goal was to chase some of his insert cards. Bang, this pack gave me one of those. Now just with that, I would have been happy but there is more.
I am a big Jose Altuve fan. His rise from suspect to prospect happened when I lived in Lancaster and saw him put himself on the map with the Lancaster Jethawks, high A ball team. So I get his insert. But wait there is more.
3 weeks, Brewers cards would have no meaning to me. But now, I am watching them everyday as they play my Dodgers. If you are reading this week, you will know that Orlando Arcia has made a huge name for himself and is performing out of this world.
The cherry on top of this apropos pack is the fact that the pack yielded a Brewers team card.

The pack yielded 50 cards and was very Red Sox and Brewers heavy. The Travis d’Arnaud rainbow foil was cool.

What do I do with all of these cards?

What do I do with all of these cards that I don’t want? The age old question. Whether it is a pile of junk wax or cards from packs where you were hit chasing.

As some of you may know, I am considered a community leader in my town. As a result of keeping tabs on things, I thought to ask if a local charity that gives out care packages to troops if they wanted cards. I was expecting a ‘thanks but no thanks.’ However I was given an unenthusiastic ‘YES.’ I wish that I thought of it earlier.

Not every place will take your cards. What works in one community, may not work in another. It is the reality of dealing with people. I know that a lot of you are introverts, I am myself, but don’t be afraid to ask. It is easier than asking your dream date out.

Knowing that not everything will work, I have seen so many people be creative. Here are more ideas that I have personally done: giving them to teachers for prize boxes, giving them to a local little league, giving them out at Halloween, and of course giving them to a church yard sale. Other places worth hitting up are local boys and girls clubs and hospitals. In some cases, I have had to give places team bags. Considering how rewarding it is to give the cards a good home, the team bags are no skin off of my back; especially considering they would be a sixth of shipping anyway.

So did I miss anything? Do you have ideas?