Archive for the Newspaperman Category

A dozen new HOF relics added to collection; Jackie Robinson for trade/sale

Posted in Hall of Famers, Newspaperman with tags , , , , , on August 2, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

Yesterday I stated a new page on this site called the “Hall of Fame Hits.” The page is designed to house the relics and autos of baseball hall of famers in my collection.  One reason is to show them off; another reason is so that I don’t obtain too many duplicates.  RobinsonJackieNTUNISome sets I really like and will acquire the relics from that set regardless of whether of not I already have a game-used card of that player. The same goes for cool-looking swatches. I added another dozen to the site this morning — highlighted by 2001 UD HOFers Frank Robinson auto relics and a sweet National Treasures Carl Yastrzemski swatch featuring stitch holes from what looks like his jersey number — and I should be all caught up until my newest shipment from CheckOutMyCards arrives. As the title of the page suggests, autographs will also be shown here, but they are not ready to be uploaded quite yet.

On a side note, while uploading I realized I have a second Jackie Robinson relic card that I’d be willing to move for something nice for my collection.  The one for trade hails from 2015 National Treasures and is serial numbered 25/99.  The card is somewhat unique because it features a swatch of flannel whereas most of the other Robinson’s feature a slick blue fabric presumably from a jacket worn by Robinson.

Have something to offer? You can reach me via e-mail at or on Twitter @cardboardicons

Some things should never be slabbed

Posted in Hall of Famers, Newspaperman with tags , , , , , on July 30, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

Earlier this year I was on a quest to acquire a relic card of one of the hobby’s biggest names: Honus Wagner. During my search I found a relic of Wagner at a fairly decent price, but it maybe because the card was in a Beckett Grading slab, and was stuck with an 8.5 label.

 photo AEAA0C4E-CE82-42FC-B722-88B54DA22CD5_zpsof3wvn15.jpgA lot of graded card collectors see 8.5 on a modern card and run away. The card obviously isn’t mint, leaving it in a state of uncertainty for collectors who are real sticklers on condition.

I’m OK with 8.5 sometimes. It just depends.

I digress. While the grade may have turned people away in this case, I saw this as an opportunity to swoop up a card that would satisfy my particular collecting goal at the moment. So I bought it for less than the price of two retail blasters.

The card arrived and it has been sitting in a box for months as I sort out stuff in my life.

Alas here I am, card in hand thinking about the acquisition and how the card fits into my collection. But then it hit me. It doesn’t fit. I mean physically.

Relic cards do not belong in slabs. Period.

I know I am not the only collector who  has received a relic card of a legend and instantly touched the piece of material, whether it be part of a jersey, pants or bat.

Honus shall be no different.

 photo 654A9AFF-C657-4C23-8308-8C268FBEC5DC_zpsyrmmtinf.jpg

Wrestling cards are bringing the joy back to collecting

Posted in Newspaperman, wrestling with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

So here’s the deal, I’ve been a card collector since I was 7 years old. Baseball has always been my focus, but I’ve ventured into other sports over the years, including professional wrestling.

 photo 7E21168C-B966-4C61-804B-B18532DAA1F4_zpsv1lajjtw.jpg

I dug the 1980s Topps WWF sets; loved the 1990s Classic WWF sets; chased the ice cream man each summer to get some of the WWF ice cream bars that included a card in the packaging; always wished I had enough to buy some of the 1994 Action Packed WWF cards; and in the late 1990s and early 200s, I really enjoyed all the different WWF products produced by Fleer, which started to incorporate autographs and memorabilia cards.

I followed wrestling as a kid, and then stopped for a few years when I learned it wasn’t real. I then got back into it around WrestleMania IX (9) and watched pretty strong for about 10 years until I got consumed by college and life. I was away from pro wrestling for another 10 years as I got married and started a family.

But when WrestleMania XXXI (31) came to my hometown, I had to be there  — even though I was out of the game for a while, I saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  And with my decision to buy tickets, my passion for wrestling was rekindled and it’s going strong again today, almost 18 months later.

Since my return to watching wrestling, I’ve started to buy some of the cards as it seemed like a natural extension of my hobby.  I bought some 2014 Topps and some 2015 Topps and Topps Chrome. And then later in 2015, Topps and WWE partnered to bring the hobby a high-end product in Undisputed, which made autographs and memorabilia cards fairly accessible to wrestling card collectors. Needless to say I was hooked.

 photo BB21A33E-A819-4F20-A4A7-60F7953B76CD_zpsstxpasj2.jpg

I bought into a “draft your box” break of 2015 Undisputed at Blowout Cards and wound up with a box that contained a Bret “Hitman” Hart autograph redemption. When the cards arrived I was floored by the quality.  Sure, I have owned many high-end baseball cards, but seeing the wrestling stars on this type of product was amazing.

I then bought more singles to add to my collection.  I’ve pretty much repeated the same pattern again here in 2016 and with the recent release of the latest Undisputed, it’s really put wrestling cards back in focus for me.

But here’s the premise under which I operate and why I chose to share this with you:

I know that wrestling cards will never have the prestige that baseball cards have. The factors that make a card rise or fall in baseball, or any sport for that matter, aren’t exactly there for wrestling. When a ball player breaks into the Bigs and takes the sport by storm, his cards experience a massive swell. In wrestling, the value of the card is really tied to the character’s following. In my opinion, this is a more realistic expectation for a collectible, and for the modt part eliminates the “risk” or gamble in collecting.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love baseball and baseball cards.  And I still love some of the stuff — not all — that has come out in the last decade. But sports cards as a whole have become such a damn gambling man’s business that at times it disgusts me. The joy is there, but it’s short lived at times because while we tell ourselves that we are collectors, the monetary “value” of  card is always there in the back of our minds because everything is so damn expensive. We have to justify our expenses sometimes to ourselves.

And yes, you can choose to collect low end, but we all know that the value of cards is usually somewhere in the equation because collecting baseball cards has become a game of “how much are they worth.” We can thank the collecting boon of the 1980s for this.

For me, wrestling cards have rekindled the joy in collecting. When I open a pack of basic wrestling product I’m not necessarily worried about “getting my money back” in a pack or box.  I enjoy looking at the cards, reading the backs and collecting the guys I like. And, the hits are fun and relatively cheap by comparison to other sports. And even in the high-end products, the packs are about $20 (boxes about $200 for 10 packs) and the hits in the packs are fairly evenly priced on the secondary market. This makes the risk relatively small and the ability to collect what you want so much more attainable. And really, isn’t this what collectors all want anyway, like this rainbow of 2015 Topps Undisputed Ted DiBiase cards or these autographs.

 photo 97C665AB-253E-42BD-83AA-2F40520BAD07_zps6vvc1su9.jpg

This is my story and this is the way I collect. Some of you will get it; others will not. I’m interested to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below, or reach me on Twitter or via e-mail:

’16 Stadium Club & ’15 Prism box breaks

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

 photo D05FC024-A94F-4BCA-8B64-362755ACF80E_zpsklb4j41t.jpg
I won a gift certificate from Blowout Cards earlier this year and it’d been sitting in my account for months.  I decided to use it last week and just a few days ago the boxes arrived. I love Stadium Club and Prizm offered two autos per box at a discounted price so it seemed like a decent buy.  Here are the results.

I’ll say this upfront. Panini America’s Prism is always fun to open, although I think we’d all like it more if the cards had logos. I like the design,  the quality of the cards and I the parallels. These boxes have two autos and four numbered parallels per box.  I did OK given the price point.  My autos were James McCann and Addison Russell, which was a parallel. My parallels included a Barry Bonds /125, Stephen Strasburg /99 and Cole Hamels /42.

 photo 1FDB2955-9BBF-4EA4-835C-9DC814AC92ED_zpsey0opswu.jpgThe real reason I decided to order the cards was because I really like Stadium Club. I love the photos, which is what brings be back to the product every year that Topps decides to bring it back.  As you know, each box contains two autographs and a slew of parallels and inserts.  My haul wasn’t half bad.  The autos included one of a young Mets pitcher Steven Matz whose signature I didn’t already own, and my parallels were solid — black parallels of Corey Seager and Babe Ruth, gold Mike Trout.  And I pulled one of those tough (1:256 packs) Triumvirate Illuminators (Prince Fielder) and a photo variation of Greg Maddux.

 photo 2A85454C-6C33-40D5-97E7-471F480C85EF_zpsdremmqek.jpg

Two packs of WWE Undisputed 2016

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

I’ve caught the wrestling bug again in the last few years and along with my enjoyment of sports (entertainment) comes a love for related cardboard. In 2015 I bought a box through an online breaker of Topps’ first “high-end” wrestling product. I enjoyed it quite a bit. This year I decided to try my hand but on a lesser scale. I bought into two separate breaks.  Both were 10-spot hit draft style. Here are my results:

The first break I wound up dead last in the draft, so I wound up with these:
 photo 3936E03B-3A0D-45F6-8BC6-7E57EA34A8CF_zpsh5fhbcsp.jpg
The hit here is the Bray Wyatt relic, which isn’t a huge draw for many.  The remainder of the pack was OK quality wise.  The Ultimate Warrior is serial numbered /99.

In the second break I believe I placed 6th in the draft order and ultimately had to choose between packs containing a Nia Jax NXT Autograph or Xavier Woods Autograph. I chose the Woods, whom I actually enjoy and feel has solidified himself as somewhat of a social media star with his video game work.

 photo 8D69B5C6-5E5C-4FA6-96B4-34813932512C_zps80e1uxi1.jpgAside from Woods, it’s not a bad pack.  That Diesel/Shawn Michaels tag team insert is pretty sweet, you get two “King” in Macho Man and Wade Barrett, and of course the Jim Ross is serial numbered /99.

Do you see something you like here?  I’m willing to trade any of these — except probably Woods — for 2016 Undisputed Ted DiBiase base and parallels, or Tag Team inserts and parallels of Money Inc. (DiBioase/IRS) or Mega Bucks (DiBiase/Virgil/Andrew The Giant).

Reach me on Twitter at @cardboardicons or e-mail