Archive for Stephen Strasburg

Help me finish my 2010 Bowman master set

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , on July 25, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

I’m building a master 2010 Bowman set and am in need of the following cards. Whose got ’em?

USA Chrome: 21, 22

USA-18 Chrome: 14, 17
2010 Bowman Gold: 3, 35, 54, 77, 106, 136, 158, 182, 191
Topps 100 Prospects: 4, 6, 35, 48, 91
Bowman Throwbacks: 13, 62, 82, 83

I have a TON of extra 2010 Bowman to help finish your sets (prospects, chrome prospects, golds etc.) and some 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter. Have other stuff, but need to know what you need in return.

Playing the “What If” game with Allen & Ginter and Stephen Strasburg

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , on July 19, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

By now you’re aware that the primary draws to 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter is indeed one of the two Stephen Strasburg cards. Obviously his autograph is THE pull right now as it is fetching in the neighborhood of $3,000. Crazy, I know. But Strasburg’s mini card is also what is drawing collectors to the product; they fetch $350+. As of the writing of this post, there were some 22 available on eBay and maybe another 20 or so that had already ended. And assuming that there are others that have been pulled and are being kept by collectors, it’s safe to say there are somewhere about 50 that have seen the light of day.

Now what’s interesting of course is that Topps says the Strasburg mini is not shortprinted. This begs the question: Then where the hell are they?

The question has been asked hundreds of times in recent weeks and no one has the answer. But they have to be out there somewhere, right? Cases upon cases of hobby product have been ripped and in the majority of instances, they have coughed up zero Strasburg cards. And with the product now live in retail stores, an even larger portion of the collecting market is busting this product like crazy looking for the Strasburgs. And of course they aren’t appearing here either.

But WHAT IF the collation of this product is so bad that there are blaster boxes of this product chock-full of Strasburg minis? Sounds crazy, right? But crazier things have happened with Topps and its retail-distributed products. Remember the guy who busted a 2009 Topps Heritage blaster and pulled 51 of the super short prints.

I badly want to stay away from this stuff, but the thought of what might be in those unopened blasters keeps drawing me closer to buying one every time I see them.

Topps Allen & Ginter: Making baseball irrelevant on baseball cards

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on July 5, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Since returning to the hobby in 2007, I have come to love and hate Topps Allen & Ginter. True, I missed the 2006 incarnation of the set — which featured arguably the best checklist of autographs — but from 2007 to present, the set has featured a solid share of subjects who have intrigued me. But what I’ve come to love about the product — the non baseball subjects — has also sort of made me despise it.

I’m not among the segment of this hobby that hates baseball cards of people who do not play baseball. In fact, I actually like them quite a bit. Like this 2010 card of Sig Hansen, the captain of the Northwestern fishing vessel featured on the hit television show “Deadliest Catch.” And I loved that the 2007 line features an autograph and relic featuring Olympic Gold Medal Sprinter Tommie Smith, who in 1968 made history on the track and on the podium. Of course there are some other odd-ball ones like an air guitar champion, a skeet shooter, and a dancer shown in a viral video.

But what these guys/subjects have done to this baseball product is almost make the baseball players themselves irrelevant. People who pay high prices to bust these boxes are almost certainly looking for autographs, relics and rip cards that ultimately will net them a small sum akin to a winning lottery ticket. And unless you’re pulling an ultra rare card featuring a baseball player, it is the non-baseballers who will bring the most in return.

What that has done is created a mindset among many collectors who are disappointed to pull an autograph or relic of a baseball player when in fact they are buying a pack or box of baseball cards.  Should we really be disappointed to pull an autograph of up-and-comers like Clayton Kershaw and Ryan Braun? Truth is many are disappointed because they know what they’re getting with these guys — and for the most part the card’s value is no where near what we’re paying for the box. And sadly these feelings are legitimate because of the price for which this product sells.

The 2010 version of Allen & Ginter is no different that in years past. There are subjects on baseball cards who are not baseball players — and for the most part, they are the ones who will net the most cash in return. But as it turns out, perhaps the biggest draw this year happens to be a baseball player, none other than pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg. It’s an interesting twist considering the legacy of the product. Sadly, his inclusion has done little more than drive up the price of the product and create even more situations where most collectors are disappointed with their purchase.

2010 Bowman Retail Blasters are live

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , on June 1, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

You’ll notice a few negative things:

1) No Chrome autos.

2) No Strasburg autos.

3)  A pretty weak auto prospect checklist, albeit the list is “Subject To Change.”

But the retail version DOES:

1) Have purple Chrome refractors that are serial numbered to 999

2) The odds for USA Chrome (hunt for Harper) are 1:4, identical to the hobby version.

3) Both of these guys (Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper) are still present:

The base Chrome cards of these two guys might be enough to drive this retail product even without the autographs.

Perspective on 2010 Bowman and Stephen Strasburg autograph

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , on May 27, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

I’m not going to tell you how to spend your money. But if you’re hunting for a 2010 Bowman Stephen Strasburg autograph card, you’re probably best off just buying the single on eBay.

Now doubt there has been much written and said about the hottest card in the hobby — the 2010 Bowman Stephen Strasburg insert autograph. To date, the basic autograph will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 with the serial numbered parallel cards going for more depending on scarcity.

The reason this card and product pique my interest today is I went to my local shop  — first time I’d been there in about two weeks — and packs of this stuff are still flying off the shelf. Did I mention they cost almost twice as much as they did when they arrived in stores earlier this month?

The primary draw, of course, is the Strasburg autograph. In recent days we’ve seen national write-ups on the rarest Strasburg card — the 2010 Bowman Chrome Superfractor. That card isn’t even signed, but it is the ONLY one and at the moment is fetching about $17,000 — or the price of several modest vehicles.

The attention of that card, coupled with the draw of the Strasburg autographs, continues to fuel this product. Regular packs are more than $5, and boxes are about $120. Jumbo boxes — the favorite for many because they contain three autographs as opposed to the single autograph that is in the regular box — run more than $215.

There is  no shortage of “good” cards in this product. You’ve got a Jason Heyward “rookie” chrome autograph card, several decent chrome autographs, and of course the first chrome card (not autographed) of phenom Bryce Harper. Trust me, I know this is a good product. Probably the best basic Bowman product in a decade.

But it still boggles my mind that a basic product is still flying off shelves at such inflated prices. I understand the desire for the other cards in the set. The Strasburg Chrome pictured above was high on my want list, but it can be had for about $20. The Heyward Chrome autograph runs about $70, but it is probably worth mentioning it is his third Chrome card and second such autograph. The Harper runs between $15 and $20 and likely will decrease by the end of the year, assuming Topps includes him as the primary draw in its Bowman Draft set. And every other “good” autograph can be had for $30 or less.

I’ve been in this hobby long enough to know that basic logic has no place in this hobby. And that’s not an insult to anyone. I’ve had my fair share of questionable moves as well.

But with the prices on the hobby version of this product continuing to escalate, I just don’t see how anyone other than distributors and card shops are winning here. Don’t mistake that to mean that no one is doing well with this — I’m sure some case busters are doing just fine, and some boxes have revealed some awesome pulls.

But if the basic Strasburg is the object of your desire, then you might want to stop for a second and do your math. The basic Strasburg autograph is seeded at a rate of almost 1 in 7 cases. Not boxes. Cases.

If you’re in the market for the Strasburg (or any of the other cards) and have a desire to buy just a box (either regular or jumbo) to take a chance, I can understand that. But if you’re buying multiple boxes from an already opened case hoping to pull one of the Strasburg autographs, it may be more economical for you just to buy the single. The card will cost you about the same price of three basic boxes.