Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Griffey Jr Card Arrived From Topps!

Just a short post, wanted to share the pure magic of this card!

Surprising to see this card selling for over $750 on Ebay!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

$50 and COMC

One of the best things I like to do from time to time is take a certain amount and try to find the greatest amount of cards.  This months limit was $50 and below are the cards I was able to buy at budget!  I was able to pick up a Rockie rookie auto I needed, and a few star rookie autos at the likes of Headly, Gordon, and Johnson.  In addition I picked up my first Topps Ring card.



After last years 2012 Topps Golden Giveaway yielded just two cards, I had a unexpected email from Topps yesterday.  I was one of 20 who won the 2012 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. Golden Giveaway Autographs!  Here it is almost a year later and of the millions of entered codes, I was selected!  Of course I have no picture, but will post once I get it!  Being my first and only Griffey Jr. auto, this card is going to be a great addition to my collection.  (Unless Junior Junkie really gives me an offer I can't refuse!)  What I found online odds of winning this was 1:188,000.

This year I entered my codes, but not once have I played the game.  Maybe next year I may need to think twice.  So I guess this is proof that there are really winners in these games!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Undervalued Player - Ian Desmond

As many already may know, my favorite shortstop is Troy Tulowitzki, but in a near second is another star player, Ian Desmond.  Desmond has been the starting shortstop for four years and he hasn't held a super star status, but he has been a consistent player for the Nationals.  One card I have had under my radar was Ian Desmond's 2010 Topps National Chicle.  Last month I did some price shopping and was able to pick this up for just $3.25 online.  In his first five years, four years as a starter, he has had some very good stats.

Career Stats:

Avg.    Hits    HR    RBI   2B   3B
.274     619     67      274   129  16

Desmond has a career fielding percentage .972, and to put this in perspective on how good he is, Troy Tulowitzki has a career fielding percentage of .973 and the great Ozzie Smith's career fielding percentage is .966.  Tulowitzki may have a little more power and hit for better average, but Desmond has been largely able to keep from being injured for long periods of time.  Desmond alongside veteran third basemen Ryan Zimmerman then sprinkling in many new upcoming stars, such as Strasburg, Harper, and Rendon, there is a very bright future for the Washington Nationals.  

2010 Topps National Chicle Ian Desmond AU bought for $3.25 at
If you are a collector looking for a solid player to get an autograph of for around $5-15 with a little shopping around, Ian Desmond could be a key addition to any collectors collection!  

Remember When...Y2K

Remember Y2K?  Remember all the hype created about Y2K?  Why not create some baseball card Y2K hype too about how worthless your cardboard is without grading?  I never could get the hype and I have been collecting for near 30 years.  If I had a 1952 Topps Mantle, yes I would grade, if I have a 2012 Topps Bryce, sorry Bryce, no slab for you!  Baseball card history shows us almost every year the hype is created about values.  Buy this, or do this and your simple piece of cardboard is worth more than a pile of gold coins!  What would you rather have, a graded Sammy Sosa or $1,200 worth of gold.  Sorry Sosa, I'm going with the tried and true coins!  Below is an ad from Beckett in 1999 showing a boreing old Sammy Sosa RC only worth $90 (according to Beckett) and then spend $15 to slab, add some plastic and a sticker...BAM, worth $1,200!  It is just that easy!

You may have seen this ad in 1999 and maybe you paid the $90 book value on that Sosa at a card shop.  Then you paid the $15 to slab it in hopes to make money down the road.  What a great idea, right?  You have only spent $105 and may make $1,200!  You are making almost $1,100 for putting a stamp on an envelope.  Now it is 2013, and the market is FLOODED with graded 1990 Leaf Sammy Sosa Rookie Cards.

Right now there are hundreds of these graded cards on Ebay, you can pick up a graded 10 for a price around $7!  For the most part the graded and ungraded cards go for about the same rate!  Most of these graded cards I see being sold are selling for LESS then the cost to slab the card in the first place!  Don't get me wrong, there are certain times I think slabbing could benefit, those cards are the early vintage cards where there are very many mint cards left.  Here is a Beckett Graded 10 going for $7.

Who is at fault here for the false hype?  Does Beckett Grading Service who also produced at the time a price guide for graded cards inflate prices in hopes to create a niche of loyal collectors to expand their brand?  Did Beckett at the time use the Y2K craze to make under educated collectors think that their cards would be worthless in the future if their cards aren't slabbed?  I have even pulled a Bryce Harper AU and still never considered slabbing.  What do you all think?

Mr. Rockie, Todd Helton Announces Retirement

Todd Helton is a rare breed, not many players play their whole career playing for the very team that drafted him.  Todd Helton was drafted out of the University of Tennessee and he also was the Quarterback for the Vols before an injury let another player become the new starting Quarterback, that player's name is Peyton Manning.  Todd was also the Vols team closer for a season setting their team record for saves in a year at 11 while posting a 0.89 ERA.

Helton was drafted 8th overall by the Rockies in the 1995 draft, and debuted in the majors in late 1997.  Helton during his first five years was the best there was at first base, but in 2003 when Albert Pujols shifted from 3B to 1B Todd Helton began taking a backseat in all-star votes.  If back injuries around 2007 to present weren't so serious we would be talking about Helton in the 3,000 hit club and not just the 2,500 hit club.  After back problems started taking away his power numbers, his average went from a career .335 to .317.  In the day where money dictates the team you play for, it is a rarity to have one player in a franchise to be that almost all offensive records.  Todd collected his 2,500 hit two weeks after hitting a double down the left field line.

#2 Helton and #16 Peyton Manning
Peyton and Todd are still good friends today

Stats as of 9-15-13

.317 Avg /  2,505 Hits  /  367 HR  /  1,397 RBI  /  586 2B

Those stats above all together I think are deserving for a Hall of Fame nod, but I could see their being Coors Field factor in the voting.  As much as I enjoy Helton as a player, I do think the Rockies have suffered because of having no everyday healthy first basemen for the past 5 years.  This year the Rockies have just in 2013 have used 7 different first basemen, that doesn't help having a good cohesive working group.


.372 Average in 2000
147 RBIs in 2000
49 Home Runs in 2001
5 Time All Star
3 Gold Gloves

Last year Chipper Jones at every ball park got standing ovations from fans, this year Mariano Riveria will get presents from all teams, but Helton will quietly go into retirement unfortunately without much of any fan fare.  Hats of to one of my all-time favorite players, and thanks for being Mr. Rockie!  Colorado and the Denver area right now is in a time of emergency with the floods and loss of life so even with the last of the remaining home-stands I wouldn't expect to much joy around Coors Field.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

JAC - 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Canidates: Their Sophomore Year and More

Last year the NL Rookie of the Year race could have swung to a rather large group of players.  Though some of us in the blogging world had our votes for players from Wade Miley to Wilin Rosario, the hype and age of Bryce Harper made it a pretty easy pick to be made.  In history we have seen hundreds of players who jump into majors and make a huge splash but just to come into their sophomore year fizzling out and in some cases like Kevin Maas in the 90s would be out of baseball by age 30.

2012 NL TOP ROOKIE OF THE YEAR VOTES (current stats as of 9/14/13)

1. Bryce Harper     2012 STATS    Avg .270  HR 22  59 RBI
                                2013 STATS   Avg .273  HR 19  49 RBI
                JAC'S EST 2014 STATS   Avg .280  HR 25  75 RBI

I was one of the many who didn't think that Harper was as great as people stated.  I read all about how awesome his WAR stats are, but in reality the hype hasn't equaled the career .270 average in his near first two seasons.  That doesn't mean that Harper can not be a top tier player, he is still just 20 years old, he has plenty of career left to get his average up to .300.  On the bright side, compared to his rookie year there isn't a sophomore slump because he is pretty much right on track as he was last year.

2. Wade Miley      2012 STATS    Wins 16  Loses 11  ERA  3.33  IP 195  SO 144
                               2013 STATS    Wins 9   Loses 10   ERA 3.73   IP 178  SO 130
                JAC'S EST 2014 STATS    Wins 10 Loses 8   ERA 4.00  IP 175  SO 125

Wade Miley is another who has had a good follow up campaign, other than his wins/loss splits all his other stats are very similar to 2012.  Miley suffers this year being on a team in the bottom of the NL West, but he has been durable and consistent to the very least.

3. Todd Frazier   2012 STATS     Avg .273  HR 19  RBI 67
                              2013 STATS    Avg .234  HR 15  RBI 65
             JAC'S EST 2014 STATS    Avg .250   HR 12   RBI 50

Here is a player that didn't start playing in the bigs till he was 25.  Frazier didn't have the Harper hype but he played consistent.  His 2012 stats are almost just as good as Harper, but he played quietly for the year under the radar.  His power and production numbers are there this year but his average is nearly 40 points lower.  He should continue to be a good every day player and down the road, but if his average suffers much more you may see him playing more as a bench power type hitter.

4. Wilin Rosario   2012 STATS   Avg .270  HR 28  RBI  71
                               2013 STATS  Avg .290  HR 21  RBI  78
                JAC'S EST 2014 STATS  Avg  .285  HR 25  RBI 90

Rosario suffered from the problem of playing at Coors Field when many considered him for rookie of the year voting.  Though his career stat splits are .284 at Coors and .285 on the road.  One thing that many took in consideration was how he played behind the plate, he had a total of 13 errors in 2012.  In 2013 he has caught more and just had 9 errors and has a career throw out percent of 31%.  Last years pitching staff for Colorado was one of the worst in MLB history, and has helped turn it around to a more respectable ERA this year.

5. Norichika Aoki  2012 STATS   Avg .288  HR 10  RBI 50
                                2013 STATS   Avg .280  HR  7  RBI 33
                JAC'S EST 2014 STATS   Avg .275  HR 6   RBI 40

Aoki was a player who came out of nowhere on a team that had recently not had much to cheer about (other than Segura).  Aoki has been solid in the outfield and has been a base stealing threat on the base paths.  He suffers of being on a team that has been missing Ryan Braun, and the exit of Prince Fielder a few years back.  Looking at the Brewers farm system, Aoki should be a starter for years to come.  Aoki should have a better 2014 if Braun comes back healthy.

6t. Yonder Alonso  2012 STATS   Avg .273  HR  9  RBI 62
                                 2013 STATS   Avg  .281  HR 6  RBI 45
                   JAC'S EST 2014 STATS  Avg. 270   HR 6  RBI 40

Alonso unfortunately plays at a very pitching friendly park but still has put up decent numbers even though at times being a platoon player.  He hasn't shown he can put up big numbers but could be a decent every day or platoon player in his career.

6t.  Matt Carpenter   2012 STATS   Avg .294  HR  6  RBI 46
                                    2013 STATS  Avg  .317  HR 10  RBI 70 * Leads NL in R/H/2B
                    JAC'S EST 2014 STATS   Avg  .312  HR 15  RBI 85  

Carpenter was maybe the best pick of the NL Rookie of the Year, only if he had some more at bats.  Carpenter and Rosario are the two players who have excelled over their rookie season.  Carpenter not only exceeded his rookie year stats, but he has turned into one of the best in the game in 2013.

6t. Jordan Pacheco    2012 STATS   Avg .309  HR  5  RBI 50
                                     2013 STATS  Avg .243  HR  1  RBI 20
                     JAC'S EST 2014 STATS    Avg .265  HR 2  RBI 25

Pacheco came out of nowhere, he wasn't expected to play as much as he did in 2012 but after injuries to Helton at first base and other injuries for the Rockies, Jordan ended up becoming an everyday player.  He excelled at that role by having the third best average in the NL at .309.  In 2013 Pacheco found himself without a position, Nolan Arenado being the new everyday third basemen and Helton being healthy most of the year.  Pacheco now found himself playing once a week or coming off the bench.  Pacheco is not a power hitter playing in a power hitter park.  His career may take off in a role where they need a position player to hit for average and not power.  Jordan can play several positions, 1B, 3B, OF, and even Catcher!  What team wouldn't love to have an all a round player such as this?  If Helton retires, does Pacheco get the first base nod, or does he become the backup catcher?  We will see next year.  I am thinking a backup catcher.


1. Matt Carpenter (St. Louis Cardinals)
2. Wilin Rosario (Colorado Rockies)
3. Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals)
4. Wade Miley (Arizona D-Backs)
5. Norichika Aoki (Milwaukee Brewers)
6. Todd Frazier (Cincinnati Reds)
7. Yonder Alonso (San Diego Padres)
8. Jordan Pacheco (Colorado Rockies)

What do you all think about this years NL Sophomores?  What do you think about their 3rd full year in the league?  (*I know this is some players 3rd year, but most played after the expanded rosters in 2011)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hits...Ups and Downs - Profar/Harper

This past year I pulled two cards of two of the top prospects from the past two years, Bryce Harper and Jurickson Profar.  These autographs weren't just your average autograph, the Bryce Harper was and still is one of the top selling of his autographs on Ebay.

The Bryce Harper I pulled was a 2011 Bowman Autograph BCP111 from a $2.99 retail pack from Wal-Mart.  When pulled the autograph was going for near $400 on Ebay.

Earlier this year I bought a blaster box of 2011 Donruss Elite on discount at Target for $9.99.  The autograph inside was a Jurickson Profar 2011 Elite Back to the Future.  At the time, Profar was the top prospect in the MLB and this card was on Ebay from $150-200.

At the time of pulling the cards in theory I could have flipped both for over $500.  Today you can pick up the same 2011 Donruss Autograph Jurickson Profar for around $30-50.  Right now I have found a few of the Bryce Harper 2011 Bowman BP111 Autographs at buy it now at $249.  You may even be able to pick it up cheaper bidding on the card.

Since pulling each of the cards I have followed these two cards pretty closely on Ebay tracking what the average sales have been.  "Normally" you can most of the time pick up a card lower then its Buy It Now price.  I have graphed the lowest Buy It Now prices I found in those months.  I remind you that this graph is NOT book value nor is the Ebay tool to officially track the sales.  I just randomly go to Ebay, put lowest buy it now price and average what I find.

Bryce Harper has just about met his expectations, but in the past year has taken a back seat due to the enormous success of Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig.  Harper no doubt will have a great baseball career but if his career begins to mirror many other major league players his cards will continue to fall.  On the bright side, he should have a good career so his cards should always be in demand.  The worst feeling is paying $500 for a hot card just to have the player flop and be out of baseball before his 25th birthday.  Unless he starts hitting .350 and hit 50 home runs, I would expect his 2011 Bowman autograph to level out around $200.

Jurickson Profar's autographs have taken the biggest hit so far, mostly because of his struggles so far this year.  So far in nearly 300 career at bats he is hitting just .233.  Harper in his first 300 at bats was hitting around .260.  Yasiel Puig after his first 300 career at bats was hitting near .350.  Mike Trout after his first 300 at bats over his first two years was hitting around .300.  So you would expect Profar to have the biggest decline of all the recent big name rookies.  Here is Profar's Ebay prices.

I ended up trading the Bryce Harper last year, click here for the trade information.  I am still pretty happy with the overall trade.  After picking up the Profar I decided to gamble by holding on to it, hoping that he would be that great hitter that everyone was writing about.  So far he has struggled, but he is still very young.  As for his cards value, I would expect his card to decline to stay around $30, and depending how quickly he starts off next year would determine if the card goes up or down anymore.

My personal view as a collector, it is very hard for me to buy high on a player who has yet to perform on the field.  9 times out of 10 that card will go down.  Does everyone remember the person who paid $15,000 on a Strasburg 1/1 Bowman card?  Strasburg hasn't disappointed, but hasn't performed to the standard to warrant having a $15,000 baseball card.  I love collecting rookie cards because it is always great to have a player go from a nobody to a somebody.  For example I have five Chris Johnson rookie autographs, collectively I maybe spent $12 on those five cards.  Today Chris Johnson is one of the top hitters in the NL for the Atlanta Braves.  Those same five cards collectively on Ebay are going for nearly $50.


We all have a style of collecting, some are the BUY HIGH, HIGH RISK collectors, and then there is how I love to collect, BUY LOW, LOW RISK collecting.  What type of collector would you call yourself?  Where do you think the Harper and Profar rookie autographs will level off at and do you think the Profar card will ever go back up?

Friday, September 6, 2013

US Postal Service Goes All Baseball Hall of Fame!

I wasn't planning on any baseball card purchases today, just intended to go down to the Post Office to get some stamps to send out some PWE in the coming weeks. When I got there I seen a familiar sight, baseball players!  4 awesome Hall of Fame players on a 20 count sheet.  Now the issue is to use or not to use?  Do I just keep 4 unused or do I keep the whole sheet and frame it?  This is the issue when the Post Office uses items that are highly collectible on stamps, like baseball players.  Maybe they know that thousands of collectors will buy them up and never actually use them, so it is an added bonus for the Post Office since those stamps will never make the front of an envelope.  If you haven't seen them yet, here they are.  

Ted Williams, Willie Stargell, Joe DiMaggio, and Larry Doby
The back is not blank, which I think makes it that much more collectible!
I did some research to find out that this set was released July 2012.  As for what I read that the stamps were released in the four cities of the players pictured, Pittsburgh, Boston, New York, and Cleveland.  Nearly two million of these sheets were produced and over the past year a few sheets have migrated to Post Offices across the country.  If you can't find these at any of your Post Offices and instead of buying on Ebay you can still buy them here: .

Now I think I'm going to start looking for a new frame for these beauties!  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Largest COMC Haul So Far...

I went several months without buying any cards, so I was able to pull some strings with the wife to purchase just a few cards...she didn't know I was going to get something like 50!

Here is my haul I just got in the mail today!

Sam Bradford
Franciso Lirano RC AU - Have a huge comeback year for PIT 

Doc Gooden Relic
Marlon Byrd AU - Having a Career Year
Bill Madlock AU - 70s and 80s great player
Dexter Fowler AU
Jeff Bagwell Relic
CARGO Five Star Jumbo Relic
NY Yankees Catcher Chris Stewart AU RC
Yankees Prospect Peter O'Brien AU
Delgado Relic
C.C. Sabatha Rookie Yr Relic
a cheap AU
Cardinals Prospect Steve Bean AU 
Dual Relic
Former Top Rockie Top Rookie Ian Stewart JSY AU RC
Cards Prospect Patrick Wisdom AU
Jon Niese AU
Had to get a Matt Holiday AU as a Rockie!

Love this Maury Wills AU
I LOVE the vintage Astro Orange in this Relic 
My FIRST Helton AU on a card! (I have one on a ball, and a helmet)

Wilin Rosario Red AU (He is on FIRE!)
First Hanley Ramirez AU
Roberto Alomar HOF Jumbo Relic
70s vintage look in this Winfield Relic
Lenny Dykstra AU
Another Great Winfield Relic!
Kurt Warner 2001 Relic
One of the few Cardinals Larry Walker Relics

Jordan Zimmerman first pro AU

Rockies Outfielder Charlie Culberson 

Awesome Video Blue Relic

Russell Martin AU

Brandon Webb AU RC 
Carlos Delgado Relic
Joe Mauer 2004 USA Relic

Vida Blue AU
Wade Miley 08 AU

Another awesome Rosario Relic AU
08 Wade Miley Letterman AU

Rockies Great Ellis Burks Relic 

Tommy Hanson RC AU

Micheal Young early AU!
A great hitting SS Ian Desmond RC AU

Great hitting Aramis Ramirez