Archive for Bowman

Discounted 2014 Bowman Platinum blaster pays off with Correa ink

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , on November 12, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I made a quick stop today at a Target to see if they had any WWE Topps Archives (they didn’t have any) and ended up finding a stray discounted 2014 Bowman Platinum blaster hidden on the bottom shelf. It’s a fun product at $12.99 a box for eight packs because it has autographs of most of the young prospects and rookies.

  
I snatched up the blaster and hit the checkout line hoping that I would pull an autograph of either Kris Bryant — whose auto I still don’t own — or Carlos Correa, whose likely to be named American League Rookie of the Year.

You won’t believe me when I say I had a feeling I might pull a Correa autograph. The reason I say this is because I bought a Correa autograph (2013 Bowman Inception) earlier in the day. 

Well, guess what was hiding in the sixth pack …  I’ve had incredible luck with this product.  The same week it came out I opened a blaster and pulled a blue refractor Jose Abreu auto. That pull came the same week I bought Abreu’s 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects auto.

Now I have a dilemma: Do I keep both autos or move one? I love that I personally pulled a Correa auto but I really like the Bowman Inception one that was produced a year earlier and has a full signature instead of the shortened one on this Platinum.

 
On a side note: Carlos Correa’s shortened signature looks very much like Clint Frazier’s auto.

  

Pack-Pulled vs Industry Standard

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , on October 19, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

As a rookie card (and prospect) collector, it is a goal of mine to acquire early cards if every guy who has played in the Majors. It’s a daunting task that at times I struggle to adhere. With players from pre 2002, it was fairly simple to decide which card(s) I wanted to target.

In the last decade or so the lines between first, early, rookie card, prospect card, etc. have become blurred and there are any number of cards a collector could target.

As most of us know, Bowman Chrome autographs in any form are pretty much the industry standard.  But we also know, obviously, that many other brands exist. Which creates an interesting scenario when a collector who owns multiple cards of a single player.

Example: Jose Abreu.

  
Shortly after Abreu broke into the majors in 2014 I picked up this shown Bowman Chrome Prospects autograph on the secondary market. For all intents and purposes I was done with Abreu. And then Lo and Behold I bought a blaster of Bowman Platinum and pull the shown blue refractor Abreu auto.

Conventional wisdom would have this one of two ways: Keep both, or unload one and go add something else. The latter is where my head is considering I could turn one of these into another sogned rookie or prospect of a buy whom I do not have.

And so here is the true dilemma: Keep the Bowman Chrome autograph because it’s the industry standard, or the Bowman Platinum because It’s technically rarer (it is serial numbered to 199) and I personally pulled it?

BGS/BVG order returns: ’56 Clemente slabbed; RC’s crossed over

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

So, a few months ago my co-worker advised me that he had established a relationship with one of his local thrift stores and they would contact him if they obtained any sports cards.  This shop isn’t a chain store, just some little shop that buys storage lockers and resells items. I’ve never been there, but that’s how it was described to me.  And given the location in the middle of nowhere, I had no reason to doubt my friend’s description.

A short while after that relationship was established, my friend sends me pictures from the shop of various vintage cards.  Among the cards was a 1956 Topps Roberto Clemente. Long story short, my co-worker end up buying a bunch of cards and collectibles for several hundred dollars from this store.  In these transactions he acquired for me the aforementioned 1956 Topps Clemente and an off-center 1956 Topps Hank Aaron. I initially was going to send both cards to BGS in my order, but ultimately decided on just the Clemente as it was centered almost perfectly.

Well, the Clemente is  gorgeous. It graded a 6.5.  I could flip it for a decent profit, but like everything else in this batch of Beckett Graded cards, they are all for my personal collection.

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The Clemente was the newest addition to my collection before the BGS order was sent, but just about the same time I completed that transaction, I acquired a rookie card of Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg.  This 1934 Goudey rookie card had been elusive. And then it happened. A HENRY Greenberg rookie card was posted on eBay and it was slabbed by SGC.  The card looked amazing, and the simple fact that it was listed as Henry likely kept bidding lower that it should have went.  Centered the card was, but mint it is not.  I could not see that it had a crease in the picture on eBay, but when it arrived I could see it. Disappointed?  Not really.  The card was graded a 2.5 by SGC and that would explain why.  Whenever I purchase rookies that are graded by SGC, GAI or even PSA, I almost always end up cracking them and sending them to Beckett Grading because I like the continuity in my display case and I feel the cases are superior to the other companies. So I cracked it and sent it to BGS.  It crossed over at exactly a 2.5

IMG_0214Speaking of a crossover, here is a 1959 Topps Bob Gibson rookie card that is absolutely stunning.  It’s centered and doesn’t have a single crease.  So why was it graded an SGC 2 when it came into my hands.  There is clear glue residue on the back. It came back from BGS as a 2.5.  It could be the best-looking card in this grade. Finding these Gibson rookie centered is not an easy task.  I’m more than happy to have this copy, regardless of the grade that it has been assigned.

IMG_0218Technically speaking, there are no official rookie cards prior to 1933.  That is the year that Goudey was released and according to Beckett, that set holds the first “rookie cards.” This means that many early 20th century legends do not have rookie cards.  Ty Cobb, Cy Young and even Honus Wagner technically do not have rookies.  But for my collection, this just means I seek early cards of the players, and in most cases, I chase the coveted T206 tobacco cards. At some point last year I acquired a Willie Keeler graded a PSA 1. I sent it to BVG in this order and it came back a BVG 2. I wasn’t expecting that.  Grading on T206s is always a crapshoot.  I’m just happy that BVG concurred with PSA on the fact that the card was real.

IMG_0215Sometime last year I was taking inventory of my Hall of Famer rookie cards and noticed that I was missing a Robin Roberts 1949 Bowman rookie.  I managed to find a raw centered copy with rounded corners for about $25. Needless to say it was submitted and came back … a 2.5. Not exactly a high-end copy, but it looks great in this case. Still worth every penny that I put into the card and the grading fee.

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One of the oddest rookie card parings I own is the 1941 DoublePlay card that features not only Harold “Pee Wee” Reese but also Kirby Higbe.  The pairing is notable because Reese has for a long time been portrayed as a supporter of Jackie Robinson and Higbe was among a group of players who was traded in 1947 after they refused to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers after Robinson was brought onto the team as Major League Baseball’s first African-American player. This copy was a PSA 4 when I purchased it.  I cracked it from its case and saw that the only real blemish was a stain near the left border.  It came back a 5.5.

IMG_0212And speaking of Jackie Robinson.  In 2006, shortly after I returned to the hobby, I acquired a 1949 Bowman Robinson for my collection.  It was raw when I purchased it and I sent it to BGS to have it slabbed as ‘Authentic” instead of actually graded.  At the time I liked that idea.  However, over the years I’ve found that many people are confused by this, and in my own display cases, the blue labels looked odd with the silver, white and occasional gold labels issued by Beckett Grading.  I decided this was the perfect time to crack the Robinson from it’s authentic case and submit it along with the aforementioned Reese/Higbe rookie. It came back a 1.5.

IMG_0213The final card in this batch is on that was acquired at about the same time as the Jackie Robinson.  It is 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie.  In recent years, these cards have increased in value regardless of condition.  My copy is clearly not mint as it is way off center.  But it is not creased, so that it a plus. Like the Robinson, I initially submitted this card to be placed in an “Authentic” case only. And for the same reasons as the Robinson, I decided to crack it and sent it in this batch.  I was surprised to see it come back as a 2 — I just figured the centering would kill the grade — but the fact that there are no creases is always a positive apparently.

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I pulled a 2013 Bowman Draft Black 1/1 … And it’s damaged

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on November 26, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

Dropped by my local card shop today — Southbay Sports Cards in Sunnyvale, Calif. — to pick up the new Beckett Baseball and a few packs of Bowman Draft. The unthinkable happened — I actually pulled a black parallel serial numbered 1/1. It was an awesome pull considering I only bought six packs. The scarce — hell, the Unique — card is of White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, a 17th round selection this year. But there is a downside to this story … The card came out if the pack with a smashed corner. I didn’t say dinged– I said smashed. Sad part is this damage happened at the packing factory; this pack came from a sealed box that was opened just minutes before my purchase… And it was the only card in the pack that wasn’t mint. I’m not going to go all irate and call out Topps. I’ll contact them about my options, but I just wanted to share this story since I know the product gets broken heavily, some of you track the 1/1’s, and it was an experience worth documenting.

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“Cowboy” Joe West, 2004 Bowman Heritage Signs of Authority autograph

Posted in Icon-O-Clasm, Instagram Portraits with tags , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

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Cardboard Icons’ Collecting Goals for 2013

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

Last year at this time, I set my goals for 2012 and for the most part, I met them all, including the top goal of them all — acquire a 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth rookie card.

Well, as we again prepare to flip the calendar, it’s only right that I take a few moments to set my collecting goals for 2013.

But before I do, I will throw this unofficial one out there:  I will not try to match or best the performance I had in 2012.  About a week ago, I documented here my top 25 acquisitions of 2012.  While I was compiling the list, it was apparent to me that I had gained so many new “trophy” cards in the last calendar year that I might go broke if I tried to do that again.

So if you think I’m going to intentionally try to improve my collection by leaps and bounds again, you’ve got another thing coming.  Of course if the right situation or deal should present itself, who am I to say no?

And so it is without further adieu that I hereby set the Cardboard Icons’ Collecting Goals of 2013:

#3

Buy less Bowman Baseball

Some collectors have a hard time saying “no” to the Topps flagship release each year.  For me, my weakness is Bowman, especially in each of the last three years. The tag team of Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg had made it hard for me to pass in recent years, and then the additions of Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes made the sets something to chase — at least in my head.  Well, heading in 2013, I simply do not see a new guy who stirs the collecting juices like the others mentioned here, so I’m hoping that this fact in and of itself will aid in my goal to not buy Bowman Baseball like it’s super rare.  I’m not saying I won’t buy any; I’m just saying I don’t want to feel like I need to buy it all out every time I see it.

#2

Finish The Elite Series (1991-1993) set

I’m getting so close that I can smell it.  In 2012, I knocked more than a dozen cards off my need list, including two mammoths — the signed cards of Ryne Sandberg and Cal Ripken Jr.  Well, Will Clark is the only inked card standing in my way from finishing the signed cards, and a few 1991 “commons” are all I need to finish this run of flashy chase cards.

#1

Organize the rookie card collection

I have six three-row shoe boxes chock full of rookie/prospect (Bowman) cards; and there are at least another two boxes of cards sitting near by computer containing rookie cards I acquired via CheckOutMyCards.Com over the last two years.  This is unacceptable.  I have doubles, triples and quadruples of some players; I have rookie cards of hall of famers sitting among cards of guys who never even sniffed The Majors.  Bottom Line:  I need to get my ish in order.  The added benefit of this, of course, is that once I get my stuff in order, I can see what extras I have, so I can purge those and sell them.

What are your 2013 Collecting Goals?

Rookie Card Showcase: 1949 Bowman Johnny Pesky

Posted in Rookie Card Showcase with tags , , , , , on August 30, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

This is part 21 of an ongoing series. To see the rest of this series, click here.

Don’t ask why it took so long for me to own this card.

I’ve been a Red Sox fan since 1988, the year in which I basically had to decide which team I wanted to cheer for.

I knew who Johnny Pesky was.

I knew what he meant to the Red Sox organization.

I knew that I needed this card for my Rookie Card Collection.

Yet it was not until Pesky died on Aug. 13, 2012, that I decided I absolutely had to own the card immediately.

Say what you want about that buying strategy — I actually snapped it up before word of his passing was wide spread so that helped with the cost — but fact is I own it now.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Pesky.