Archive for Ichiro

2011 Bowman Chrome retail results (Bryce Galore)

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

I had the good fortune of getting to a Target on Wednesday just minutes after the vendor stocked the shelves with new items, including 2011 Bowman Chrome baseball.  I tell you, it’s a wonderful feeling to walk through the doors and see from about 100 feet away the sight of new packs.

So I dove in.

I bought a blaster and a few of the Value Pack Rack Packs.

The basics:  The blaster offers eight packs for $19.99 while each Value Pack offers three basic retail packs (same odds as loosies and in blasters) and a single pack of three green xfractors for $8.99.

What’s great about all of these packs is they offer a shot at the same cards that are in hobby packs, save for the superfractors.  This means the basic chrome prospect autos are available in retail packs.  Someone is going to pull a Harper Chrome Auto out of a pack at Target, or WalMart, or Kroger, or whatever. Awesome, right?

One problem:  Autographs fall one in 77 packs. They are one per box (18 packs) in hobby.

Anyway, the price points are obviously a lot more palatable than that of the hobby prices, which I imagine are eclipsing the $5 per pack point in some places.

Anyway, here are the better cards I pulled in my packs.  And yes, I actually hit an auto.

Did you know Bryce Harper is in this product?!

Calm down, I said that facetiously.

I got Bryce from the Past:

(And yes, it is dead center on both sides)

2001 Bowman Throwbacks

Bryce from the Present:

2011 Bowman Chrome Prospect

And Bryce from the Future:

2011 Bowman Chrome 2021 Bowman Chrome Future

Always nice at this point to see Bryce Harper in my packs.  Too bad none of them were covered in ink. That said, I did manage to pull this auto:

2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects Autograph Starling Marte

I know I showed off my Bryce Harper 2001 Bowman Chrome throwback above, but I also puled these two:

2011 Bowman Chrome 2001 Throwbacks Brett Lawrie

2011 Bowman Chrome 2001 Bowman Chrome Reprint Ichiro rookie

The Ichiro is the Japanese version.

But perhaps the nicest card of all came from one of my retail exclusive packs:

2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects Green Xfractor Brett Lawrie

Dead center.  No print lines. No scratches. Just beautiful.

Big Hit, Happy Body: Ichiro’s Japanese rookie added to the collection

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on March 5, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

Since the days of Nomo-Mania, I dreamed of owning a Japanese rookie card of a player who made the transcontinental move from his homeland to Major League Baseball.

In the 90s, Hideo Nomo’s BBM (Baseball Magazine – Japan) rookie card was all the rage.  In fact, in 1998, Topps inserted copies of that card (as well as those of Hideki Irabu and Shigetoshi Hasegawa) into packs of 1998 Bowman for collectors to own.  The cards seemed damn near impossible to find.  Trust me, I opened my fair share of that crappy product and never pulled one.  In fact, I’venever heard of anyone actually pulling one.

I digress.  The allure of owning the  first Japanese card of a Major League star was intriguing to say the least.  And with the magic of the Internet, it’s pretty easy to find what you’re looking for.  Enter the pictured 1993 BBM Ichiro Japanese Rookie.

There’s no shortage of Ichiro Major League rookie cards of the market.  There’s pretty much one for every price point from the bargain shopper to the big spender.  But make no bones about it, there’s always an asterisk in the hobby with 2001 Ichiro rookies.  Fact remains he was an established star in Japan before he ever set foot into the batter’s box at Safeco Field, and his 1993 rookie has to be mentioned in the conversation about cards to own.  He’s a first-ballot hall of famer, and one of the greatest players of this generation.

One problem does exist with these cards, though: They’re often counterfeited, which is discussed in great length here.  (H/T to Sports Card Info for that excellent guide.)

Anyhow, here’s an image of the back of this card.  Love the mugshot of a 20-year-old Ichiro … also the fact that “Did You Know?” is in English while almost everything else is in Japanese Characters. 

Now that I’ve acquired this badboy, I’ve got to go find a nice 1959 Sadaharu Oh rookie to go with this … oh and one of those Hideo Nomo’s, too.

Someone has some explaining to do

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , on December 31, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

So the other day I was doing a search on eBay and came across a poorly titled auction — my specialty — for a rookie-year Ichiro card that I had never seen: Mariners Keebler.  As it so happened, the card was actually graded Gem Mint by BGS, which made it even more attractive to me.  The final price was a steal in my opinion; less than what it cost to actually get the card graded.

Before the card even arrived, I debated whether or not to crack the case and re-submit the card to BGS.  It was clear from the blurry picture that the card was graded some time ago, when BGS was using its old-style labels.  And when the card arrived Thursday, I was stunned to see that two of the sub grades were 10s, and the others were 9.5s.  This was perhaps one of the finest Gem Mint cards I’d ever seen.  And then I took a closer look.

The card’s lowest grade is on the corners, which I find perplexing because this particular make doesn’t really have corners.  There is no sharpness on which to judge these areas because the corners are round!

Now before you jump down my throat about the ethics of cracking slabs and re-submitting, know this: The slab that was sent to be looks like it has been to hell and back.  So even if it was a “borderline” Gem Mint, I’d be sending this thing in for a new piece of plastic.  But now that I see how close it is to Pristine, it just justifies my decision to send it in any way.  Let’s just hope that I can receive that rare grade bump from merely Gem Mint to Pristine.



A sneak peak into my on-going project

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

For the last several weeks, I’ve been putting my non-graded/slabbed rookie cards into binder pages. I’ll have an announcement coming in a few weeks regarding this, but here’s a few images of one of the binders.

Dear eBay tool, I hate you!

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , on August 13, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Did some eBay cruising this evening and ran across a deal that looked awesome … and of course it was too good to be true. This jackass has a 2001 SP Authentic Ichiro PSA 10 rookie up with a $9.99 Buy It Now … but he wants $190 shipping. What an asshole.