Monday, December 29, 2008

UD Black Diamond Hockey

I bought five packs of the newest Black Diamond Hockey last Tuesday from a card store in Streetsboro. Nice card store and have been going to them occasionally for the last 3 years. The store itself has gotten a face lift on the inside and looks really nice now. It's on Route 14, and coming from the West, is just past Route 43, on the right side in a small strip of stores.

Anyways, my big pull was a quad jersey of Thomas Vanek (Buffalo). I've never pulled a Quad Jersey out of a pack, although I do own a few quad jerseys. The pull happened in my second pack, which was unusual, as I never really hit for anything in my first two packs.

After the first 4 packs, I decided to try one more pack, out of hope I get another decent pull. Sure enough, this pull was better than the Vanek Quad Jersey. A level 4 Black Diamond Rookie Card of Derick Brassard, who was a strong candidate for the Calder Cup. Unfortunately, he is out of the year now due to hurting his shoulder in a fight about a week and a half ago. That is the worst thing to happen for him and for Columbus, since the team is showing signs of promise between him and Ryan Mason between the pipes

I don't have enough time to blog about the current Browns season and recent firings of Savage and Crennel, but there will definitely be a solid blog in the near future. Between them and Tottenham, I don't really know what to say about my sports teams. And I refuse to blog about the Cavs, because the moment I dedicate a blog to them, they'll start doing bad. I have been watching every game and am completely lost for words the way the team is performing.

Also hope to put up a series of blogs about the Indians whole system and what I hope to be done for our 2009 campaign.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

First off, Merry Christmas to everyone, hope your Christmas goes well.

The other day I purchased some of the Donruss Sports Legends packs. And by some, I mean one pack. And I'm so glad I did. The moment I opened the cards, I hated them. Gold foiled, why? The pictures themselves are nice and the layout of the card is nice, but the gold is a bit too much. I pulled a Cliff Hagan (who?), Jennie Finch, Whitey Ford, Dennis Rodman parallel /250, and Amanda Beard. The Whitey Ford is my favorite card of the pack.

I'm about to leave to go see family, so I'll have an update with photos on my pulls from 2008/2009 UD Black Diamond Hockey.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Card a Day

2003 Leaf: #232 Ryan Klesko

I am unsure if I like this card.

This card has solid imagery. Although it looks like Klesko just missed a curve ball, the picture is an excellent full body photo. From the top to the bottom, left to right, Klesko covers the entire center area of the card. It's always important when making a card to focus on the player because, regardless what card companies want you to believe (jersey patches, bat cards, George Washington hair pieces), it is all about the players. I mean, if I pulled a Ryan Klesko jersey I wouldn't be nearly as happy as pulling a Grady Sizemore because of the player. Anyways, Klesko's picture is in the center of the card, and the background is his home field, with no fans to create any color disturbance. Photo rating is a 7 out of 10.

The creative staff of Leaf has never exactly known what they are doing. The overall style of the card is fairly typicial. There is a white outline with the company logo in the top left corner. The name and position are faded-in on the bottom. Nothing over the top or out of the ordinary (in a good or bad way) with this. But then one takes a look at the sides of the card and wonders what is going on. No, it's not bad photagraphy that makes the right side of the card blurry, that is the actual style of the card. I guess pixel stretching was a fad I never knew about. For some reason, Leaf thought that it made the card look better. I also have a problem with the location of the Padres logo. The fact that is says Padres on both sides of the card at the exact same height is less than desirable. Leaf, your buyers are (generally) not retarded, you don't need to beat it into their heads that Klesko is on the Padres. One reference and the jersey should be sufficient. The style has some good ideas, but overall lacks direction and has some serious flaws, 5 out of 10.

With the ability to do basic math, it is pretty obvious this card is slightly above average, an overall rating of 6 out of 10.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The New Wave of Football Cards

Late last night, I was searching everywhere to find Futera cards to purchase. After witnessing the box breaks of Unique (a post below), I wanted to bust some of the packs pretty bad.

The first step in achieving this would be to find out where to buy the cards State-side. Futera's web-site doesn't really offer much help in that regard, mostly due to them updating the site.

The next logical step was to contact them about information regarding purchasing in the United States. What I received back this morning was a complete shock. Not only did I get a reply, but I received it from the CEO of the Company.

Here is the email:

Hi, Andy

Great to hear from you, and thank you for taking the time to write to us, really appreciate it.

Yes, we ship internationally, and we’d be very pleased to send you some details about the collections.

Right now we’re into the production of our new World Football Online Game Card Collection which is an interactive online football game using the trading cards which carry codes enabling different player card ratings and ‘power play’. The Collection also features Limited Edition Memorabilia Cards of top international soccer players. We’re scheduled to run a Trial Tournament of the Game in a few weeks’ time (January) where people can get a chance to ‘play for free’ and get a general feel of the game. The actual Card Collection and the full Game is due to release mid February. We’re actually going to give EVERYONE 15 free cards to start with anyway, so everyone CAN still play for free when we launch. Obviously the more rare cards are randomly inserted in packs to hunt for and collect which will help improve your team’s winning chances, but we hope many people will be able to enjoy this new trading card game which we believe brings a new, unique dimension to the hobby.

We’re currently updating our website with information, checklists and facts about the historic Futera collections together with sample pictures of some of the cards from each collection since the brand started around 20 years ago... so that might be of interest to you. And we’ve also got a Collectors’ Forum where people can discuss things, ask questions, find answers, trade/swap/buy cards....

If you can bear with me for a few weeks whilst we get through the launch of the new collection, I’d be pleased to try to put together some information about the collections/card/history of Futera and its cards – if there is specific information/detail you would like please email me so that we know how best to be of help to you.

I hope the above is of some help/interest to you; please let me know if I can be of further assistance, Andy.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us, and have a great Christmas!

Kind regards,

Gwyneth Glascodine

Futera FZ LLC

The new game that is talked about reminds me of the Japanese game WCCF. Some of those cards fetch top dollar on Ebay. Plus the addition of memorabilia cards in the set is something I always thought would be a good inclusion.

Also part of the emails were attachments for the new game, which are shown below:

This set features 350 base cards and 50 Future Stars for a total of 400 cards. That's quite a big set, but seeing as how it's players from around the world, with such a huge array of footballers it's probably pretty tough to narrow it down to 400.

There are two main insert sets, Heroes (1:12 packs) and Legends (1:50 packs). The memorabilia set is just six cards, not serial numbered. One of which is French stricker (and Barcelona foward) Theirry Henry. These cards are (1:100 packs). It'll be very interesting to see how much money these memorabilia cards sell for since they aren't numbered, but seeded (on average) 1:100 packs.

I plan on testing the online game out sometime this week, with even a possibility of tonight.

Once again, I'd like to thank Gwyneth Glascodine to take the time out and answer my questions.

Futera Unique World Football 2008 Breaks

The European Exquisite is what I'm calling this set now. Luckily one Youtube member has opened quite a few packs of this already and more than graciously allowed me to put his breaks onto Attic Insulation. Thank you very much johnsmithysmithy.

Just like Exquisite, these boxes are not cheap. They are about 400 British Pounds, and for johnsmithysmithy, that runs him about 800 Australian dollars. For us Americans, we'd be looking at spending roughly $600 on this. Now onto the breaks.

Break One:

Thierry Henry auto. Amazing card of a phenomenal player, and that pains me to say it since he is an Ex-Gunner. Also that legends of Football Zidane card is a card I would love to own.

Pack Two opens up with Jermaine Defoe, former Tottenham player. Currently plays for Portsmouth, but rumor has it he's coming back to Spurs. Pull of this card is a jersey card /285 of Brazilian and AC Milan player Ronaldinho. Completely gold plated too!

Break Two:

Pack One is highlighted by Tottenham Winger Aaron Lennon, a Legends card of Pele, and coach Tassoti. Also got a Paul Robinson, which is a bit unfortunate, but still a nice card regardless.

Pack Two has Aussie Harry Kewell and a David Beckham and Wayne Rooney patch card /350. Another legends card which got my attention is Paolo Maldini, who has spent his whole career (15+ seasons) with AC Milan. Just like his last big gold card pull, this time it's fellow countrymen Ronaldo, a legend footballer. Unfortunate his career was cut short by recurring knee injuries, but that still didn't stop "Fat" Ronaldo from having scored the most goals in World Cup History.

Break Three:

Hit one features a jersey of Wayne Rooney, the second Rooney jersey card pulled.

Pack Two features Frenchman and Inter Milan player Patrick Viera. The jersey card pulled is of AC Milan and Ballon D'Or winner Kaka. Great pull.

Break Four:

Legends of Football Diego Maradona. Arguably the best player to ever grace a pitch. American Carlos Bocanegra is featured in this pack as well. Shortly after Carlos was pulled, a two-colored jersey was pulled of Dutchmen Ruud Van Nistolroy and Roben Van Persie. Unfortunately it is an Arsenal shirt, /350. The pack also gives another Aussie, Timmy Cahill, currently at Everton.

This pack gives us two doubles, Patrick Viera and Carlos Bocanegra. The jersey this time is the same that was pulled earlier, a Ronaldinho. Not a bad double to have if you ask me.

Break Five:

I'm not sure, but I think the first two cards pulled (Michael Owen and the other player) are autographed. It'd be something to have an auto'd card of Owen, the former Ballon D'Or winner (in his days at Liverpool). Another big pull, another double. This time it's Van Persie and Van Nistoolroy again. It's kind of unfortunate to pull the big hits and already have one in the box, but it's trading material and the guys pulled are some of the biggest in the game right now.

This box is just loaded with Arsenal scum. A nice jersey but of an unfortunate player, Robin Van Persie. This pack ends off with Manchester City's super star, Robinho.

The final pack gives a rookie card of Samir Nasri, who I used to love when he was with Olympic Marseille, but he has since moved to Arsenal. Gennaro Gattuso jersey card from the 05/06 Champions League. Wow! That's quite a pull. The box comes to an end with Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

Overall a very nice product. Except the only problem is the overwhelming influence of Arsenal scattered throughout this product.

Futera, The Way Sports Cards Should Be.

In my time of being a soccer (football) fan, I've never really been able to purchase cards of my favorite players that are currently playing. All I've ever found were Football Champions, which I've covered on this blog. However, last night while scouring Ebay for Alessandro Del Piero (best Central Foward ever) and Zinedine Zidane (best midfielder ever) items, I came across some game used cards of other players. I had never seen such cards, and did a bit more research. Turns out, the cards are made by a company called Futera, who in the early 90's dabbled in MLB and NBA cards as well as Football.

The first thing I did was search Ebay to see if I could buy a box of this stuff. Unfortunately, I was not able to find what I was looking for. Right after this miss, I scoured Youtube for a bit, when I came across a Futera set called World Football. To me this set would most likely be a mid to high level set.

What's neat about World Football, is that the 2007 set is 200 cards deep, and every player featured is in their National (Country) Team Jersey. Of course, there are the jersey and autographed chase cards in there as well. The 2007 set had a print run of 6900 boxes, and all are hand numbered.

Here is one of the cards you can find in this set, a game used swatch of French Midfielder, Claude Makelele. The card is numbered to /275.

The second set I came across I believe would be the end all of sports card sets if it were produced in America. It is called Futera Unique World Football. So you could get an idea of what this is comparable to in America, I'd go with Exquisite, on crack. There are quite a few of these cards on Ebay currently, and are priced very high, but then again so are the boxes. I went right to Youtube to see if I could find any breaks of this set, and was lucky enough to find a couple of videos all done by the same person, whom I have contacted and will be putting his box breaks on this site in the next post.

Example of a Futera Unique Card below, former Tottenham Manager, and favorite of mine, Martin Jol. Jol is now the coach for German team Hamburg, who have been simply dominating in the Bundesliga. I'm glad for Martin as he didn't deserve to get fired by Spurs and the evil empire that was Levy/Comolli.

This card is surrounded by a Gold Plate and a 1/1 stamp on the bottom right. The back of the card is Jol's autograph, written on the WHOLE CARD. Unbelievable card.

Having the urge to break any Futera Product, I emailed Futera directly about if they shipped to card stores in the United States. I didn't expect a reply due to it being nearly Christmas time coupled with the fact that they probably receive these emails all of the time. What I did get though, was a direct response from their CEO, Gwyneth Glascodine, which I will also post a little later. Not only am I shocked that the CEO of the company would directly respond to my inquiries, but I'm very appreciative of this, and wish the heads of American Card Companies would do the same to the many bloggers and customers out there. Thank you very much Gwyneth.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tri-Star Productions

The most I have ever purchased of any Tri-Star Products was back in 2006 when I purchased 5 packs of those secondary re-sale packs. The only reason I purchased them was to get a free Jeremy Sowers autograph later that afternoon. While the packs will never contain any of those super rare chase cards, I had fun opening the packs. Where else could you open a BRAND NEW pack and pull a 1993 Topps Otis Nixon followed by a 1970 Joe Charboneau Rated Rookie? Nowhere.

However, at my work, we sell the Tri-Star one per pack Graded Cards. I don't like Graded Cards at all. I think they are a waste of time, especially on any current cards. I can understand getting a pre 1960's card graded just to keep it sealed forever so it won't be damaged by time any longer. However, if I pay about 20 bucks for one of these packs and pull a 1999 Upper Deck base card of Will Clark and it's only an 8, I want my money back. However, nobody should spend money on this product anyways.

Then they also have the 1 Autographed ball per pouch. There's plenty of variations of this, but usually I see the Hot Prospects version, the Hall Of Famer/Random Award Winner/Team Favorite/Milestone pouches. Both of these products, to me, suck. I'd never spend 65+ on one of these. And the people that do buy them have the look of shame when they open it and pull a Scott Williamson ROY. The usual end result I hear from the customer is "Do you know who this person is?" I usually reply with, "yeah, sorry about your luck!" with plenty of apathy in my voice.

A new product that we got in a few weeks back, are Autographed Bats from Tri-Star. This product hasn't been opened in front of me, and I highly doubt I'll ever see one being opened. I can't seem to find any breaks of it on Youtube, so I'll just take a guess and say that it's probably not worth a purchase, ever.

What does interest me that we just got in from Tri-Star is the Autothentics where it's a small blaster with an autographed baseball of a rising star, along with 3 packs all which contain autographs. The back of the blaster shows the big names that can be found, guys like Joba, Lester and co. However, I don't think I'd ever pull any of those, and I'd be left with 4 auto's of guys that will end up like Andy Abad or Jose Hernandez. I have been tempted to purchase one of these for about a month now, but I just can't bring myself to do it, even with a massive discount I currently have.

Going to Ebay and watching a few breaks I've come to think the cards themselves are very nice looking. One video I've watched has a guy pull a worthless ball auto and in the first pack pull a very nicely auto'd Jose Tabata card along with a parallel of Max Ramirez who is now with Texas. Pretty sure all the cards are on-card too, which is something I love.

I think I won't buy one of these, instead I'll scour Ebay to pick up a few of the autographed cards just because of how sharp these cards are.

One of the big hits of this set, above is Evan Longoria. His card is on Ebay right now, currently sitting at $6.50 (w/o S and H) and about 20 hours left. Glad I made the right choice not to buy one of these things.

A Card a Day

a 1995 Score: #331 Pedro Munoz

I like this card.

When I first look at this card, the first thing I noticed was Munoz's pose. Instead of going with the tradition bat on the shoulder, eyes into the camera approach or the more recent in-game action shot, this photographer thought he would capture the native Pedro Munoz in his natural habitat, the on-deck circle. To me, it's fairly obvious Munoz is asking the Sun God Sol for extra strength so he can ground out to third with more velocity then his prior at-bat, but to most he just looks like he is day-dreaming since he played for the 1995 Twins. The angle the photo is taken at is really good, it gives a full frontal of Munoz yet he isn't looking at the camera straight on. The background crowd blends nicely with the away jersey and really makes Munoz himself stand out. On the reverse side, Score adds a small photo of Munoz's head. This photo is hilarious because it confirms a well known baseball rumor that Pedro Munoz never owned a toothbrush as well as highlighting his awesome moustache. Seriously thought, the reverse side photo is a nice touch that many cards don't have, either because it is too costly or just to plain difficult to do. It gives an alternate photo to look at and makes both sides of the card worth looking at, thus making the card more marketable to kids who like to look at cool ballplayers, like me. Basically this photo is awesome because it not only shows Pedro Munoz the baseball player, but Pedro Munoz the Sun God worshiper as well. Overall photo rating is a 9 out of 10.

The style of the card is one I have a soft spot for. I love the cream and green outline, even thought it has not direct style relation with baseball, but I feel it makes the photo on the card even more prominent. The company throws its brand name in a small logo in the top left corner, but since there is nothing but crowd background in the corner it is still noticeable. The only gripe I have in the style is the choice for a blue tag-line. I mean, with a green and cream colored outline, blue doesn't exactly fit in as the third color of choice. Personally, I would have gone to a light black or another off cream or green to fit in with the rest of the card. Regardless, it is still a lovely card. Unlike the Nelson from yesterday, I was able to get the back of this beauty, and it fits in perfectly with the rest of the card. Sticking to the plan on the front, there is a boarder of cream and green, and the traditional listing of career stats, birthday, and a fun fact. The front and the back blend together perfectly, helping give the style of the card a great rating of 9 out of 10.

Since I started with an ugly card, I felt I needed to come back with one of my favorites. Overall rating: 9 out of 10.

Goodbye Paul

Yesterday I did not get to see any of the Tottenham game. Away at Newcastle is always trouble for us for whatever reason. However, as I'm getting ready to sit through 3 hours of terrible football between the Brownies and Bungels, my buddy texted me saying "Lukkkaaa". All I knew is that Spurs little Croatian midfielder, Luka Modric put up his first premier league goal, and second goal of his Tottenham career. Second goal in as many games, Luka has broken his duck. Unfortunately for Spurs, worthless Damien Duff scored for Newcastle in stoppage time to beat us 2-1. This week is Fulham, or America FC.

However, this post is dedicated to a Canadian. I started to follow Tottenham in late 2005. I barely knew any of the players on the squad but followed because my friend had told me about them. I quickly became attached to our two fowards, Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov, neither of which play for us anymore (Keane is a Red, and Berbatov is with United). There was however, one other player I became attached to, and that was Canadian defender Paul Stalteri. Staltsy had just signed from Werder Bremen during that summer, where he had won some silverware with the team in the later years of the 90's.

Stalteri's stint with Tottenham lasted up until around this time last year, where he was loaned to Fulham last January. Hopefully someone will pick him up soon. It'd be a dream to me if somehow Cleveland City Stars picked Stalteri up, but I highly doubt that'd happen.

For myself, probably my favorite Tottenham moment ever, is the Spurs vs West Ham game in 2007 which finished at 4-3 Spurs. West Ham were in a battle to stay up in the Premier League at this point in the season and needed all the points they could get. They had signed world class foward Carlos Tevez, which in itself was a shady deal. West Ham were up 2-0 on us when Jermaine Defoe knocked in a penalty to make it 2-1. Our next goal came off the nastiest back heel by Aaron Lennon, which Teemu Tainio put into the net to make it 2-2. West Ham came back and put a third in the net, which Berbatov leveled back with a gorgeous free kick.

Our 4th and final goal came off the counter attack. Super Sub (at least in this game) Paul Stalteri followed Jermaine Defoe down the whole field and when Defoe's shot was blocked, Stalteri was there to slot the ball into the net. Stalteri became a legend for that goal. It was a beautiful ending to a very thrilling game, and great to see us beat West Ham at home. West Ham should have been relegated, but the Tevez scandal saved them and sent Sheffield United down that year, shame really I'd have loved to see West Ham play Championship Football.

So thank you Paul for your contribution to Spurs, and hope you find a place to play soon.


Paul Stalteri has been signed by German side, Borussia Mönchengladbach. Borussia plays in the 1. Bundesliga, Germany's main league. Hopefully Staltsy performs well for them and get back to his old ways when he first joined the Bundesliga, way back with Werder Bremen.

A Card a Day

NelA few days ago, I thought I had come up with a great idea for the blog (which I haven't posted on in roughly 6 months). I mean, I love cards from 1985-2005 as much as anyone, so why not open a pack a day and talk about them? Well, uh, then I figured out that a pack a day would cost me at least $1000 a year, and there is another blog that already does this. So, I decided to go with cheaper/more easily done from college/less effort idea and talk about a random card every day.

1994 Donruss: #492 Jeff Nelson

I do not like this card.

The imagery on the card is horrific. Nelson's pitching arm looks like it was made out of bone spurs. Not only does the most vital part on Nelson's body look like it is exploding, the center piece of the card seems like it is Nelson's back. Why would you make the least interesting part of an athlete's body the focal point of a baseball card? The angle of the photo doesn't help either. It looks as though Nelson's uniform and the crowd in the background have merged together to form one enormus blue-grey blob. Just looking at the card now I am getting a head ache, next time try and add at least one vibrant color somewhere on the card. However, there is one redeeming image on the card: Jeff Nelson's hair. For eons, the mullet has been an exceedingly risque hairstyle, but a man like Jeff Nelson can pull off the business in the front, party in the back style with ease. If you thought the party in the back was looking even more awesome than normal, you were right because it has an extra element of awesomeness, manly blonde curls. This added awesomeness, mixed with undeniable knowledge that Nelson and Randy Johnson had the same barber in 1994 saves the image and makes a solid 5 out of 10.

The style, however, cannot save the overall value of the card. In 1994 baseball card companies were just realizing that if they make their cards really shinny, stupid kids will spend countless amounts of quarters buying them. Donruss only got half the memo. While they did make their logo really cool and hip by making a baseball go through the D, it is twice the size of Nelson's name and the only thing that is shinny. Speaking of Nelson's name, if I didn't have an excellent second grade cursive teacher I would think his name is Feff. Feff. If you thought things couldn't get worse, you thought wrong. Someone on the Donruss creative staff thought it would be a good idea to split the 19 and the 94 in half inbetween the Mariners logo. Surely someone besides me thought the 19 and 94 looked more like a serial number than the actual year, possibly increasing the cards value into the 10 cent range. I guess not. The style of the card is flat out awful, a 0 out of 10.

Frankly, I have no idea why I started with such a horrible card, but that's irrelevant since I already wrote this entire blog. Overall rating: 2 out of 10

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yesterday's Highlights, Christmas, and the Cavs

Here are yesterday's highlights from the UEFA Cup match against Spartak. Other notes about the game:

-Pretty sure that is the last we'll ever see of Gilberto in a Spurs shirt. After the match Harry Redknapp basically killed him off. Sad that the only thing Spurs fans will remember of the Brazilian is his botched game yesterday. He was a wasted purchase anyways. Thanks for that Damien, don't ruin St. Etienne now.

-Our draw in the UEFA Cup Knock-Out Stage is Shaktar Donesck. They are a solid team and a good test for Spurs. Luckily for us, Vedran Corluka and Roman Pavlyuchenko won't be cup-tied any longer. Should be interesting to see if 'arry goes with Ledley for one of the games, if at all.

Here's the goals from yesterday:

Luka Modric's first Spurs goal to make it 2-1.

Tom Huddlestone's goal to tie the game at 2-2.

I don't know how to post video's on this blog, so bear with me, sorry.

Christmas Idea:

If you read this blog; which I don't think anyone does, I'd like to send you some cards for free. Just post a comment about how you found this place and what you think about the blog itself. Pick a team you follow (sorry can't do players yet) and I'll get back to you within the week. Yes, I realize the cards won't make it to you in time for Christmas, but it's the thought that counts, no?


Cavaliers play tonight, in Denver and the tip is in a little bit. Cavs are 3-7 since Lebron and Carmello first started their "rivalry". Hopefully Denver continues to not play defense and the Cavs get a solid victory on the road.

Exquisite Love

I did a post about this months ago, but I love Exquisite. I have never opened a pack, nor will I probably ever. And that's alright because I could never imagine the shame I'd feel for spending a ton of money on a pack of the stuff only to pull a not so great hit.

Instead, I scour Ebay for one of my favorite player's cards, Jeremy Sowers. Sowers I don't think will ever amount to anything special, even though at one point he was compared to Tom Glavine (whoops!). But looking at what few cards are available of his on Ebay, I came across this gem.

Sowers will pull the value of this card down, but to be a dual auto /55 with the World Series MVP in Cole Hamels makes it pretty cool. The card currently sits at $1.25 with $2.99 shipping. If I do bid on this card, I'm sure it'll be against a bunch of Phillies/Hamels fans.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spurs v Spartak Moscow UEFA Cup Live Blog


Well, having trouble here with the stream. Game kicks off in about 5 minutes, so this kinda sucks. Well shit, changed the stream to the 275kbs version, and it works. Love that the first song I hear is "Glory Glory".

1': Missed the pre-game formation listing. Feed is pretty crappy, but at least it's in English.

4': Modric has looked brilliant in his first two touches and runs in the game. I am pretty sure Bale is on the left mid and Gilberto is our LB for the game. Exciting. O'Hara is in mid too. Spurs possession of the ball is good as well. Fans are loud, love the Lane.

9': And Spartak's first push with the ball almost results in a goal for them. Solid 1-2 link up play by the fowards for Spartak.

Pretty sure our lineup is Gomes (GK), Gunter (RB), Zokora (CB), Dawson (CB), Gilberto (LB), Bentley (RM), Huddlestone (CM), Modric (CM/AM), O'Hara (CM), Bale (LM), Campbell (F)

Spartak has never drew on English soil, 4 wins and 3 losses. That's a fun stat.

15': We are giving the two up top for Spartak too much space to work with. Zokora and Dawson need to communicate better.

21': Forgot Croatian Goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa plays on Spartak. Bale takes a free-kick about 30 yards out, and hits it right into traffic.

22': Ball is played back to Gilberto by our box. Gilberto sees Gomes coming out to try and take the ball, meanwhile both fowards are coming down hard on Gilberto. Gomes stops coming to the ball, Gilberto stops, Russian foward Dzuba gets the first goal of the game. 1-0 Spartak.

23': Ryzhkov almost puts in a second from 20 yards out, just a bit left of the goal though. Past a full-stretched Gomes too.

28': Bentley takes our second corner of the game. Lays off to Luka who passes back to Bentley who still cannot beat the first man. Lame.

30': Bentley takes our 3rd corner. This time beats first man, but beats Dawson too. A lot of possession after the corner, Huddlestone lets off a rocket that is right at Pletikosa.

32': Dzyuba gets another. A long pass is what beats Dawson and Zokora this time. Gomes comes to the top of the box to try and get the ball but to no avail. Dyzuba beats Gomes for a wide open goal. 2-0 Spartak.

35': Get Bentley off the pitch. He's done absolutely nothing this game. He has completely forgotten how to play this year and you can tell it's messing with him. Bring on Lennon, we need a real threat on the wings.

39': Bentley is awarded a corner kick for his free kick attempt. This time he beats the first defender and finds Dawson who heads it over the net. I can already sense the urgency from Spurs to get a goal. Hopefully 'arry has some magic up his sleeve.

43': Free kick, again for Bentley. Another decent effort, again in for Dawson. Spurs want one bad here.

Half-Time: I didn't expect us to be down 2-0 at half. I didn't think we'd get through this game with a clean sheet, but to be down 2-0, shit. Dawson and Zokora are showing their inexperience together, and it isn't helped that Gomes has been caught out of position twice now. Bentley needs to do something soon to help this team. His last two set pieces haven't been bad, but we need a bit more from him to get back in this. Lennon will come on eventually (although he might not even be on the bench, I still don't know). Frazier Campbell hasn't done anything of note in this game. Here's to a better second half, C'mon you Spurs.

45': Lennon comes on for Gilberto. This means Bale is back to LB, while Bentley moves to the LM position and Lennon to RM. I expected Lennon to come on, but to play on the left, not the right. Hopefully 'arry saw something in Spartak's team.

52': Great ball up to Campbell by O'Hara. Solid chance to had Frazier not fallen down. I love how one of the pop up ad's on this stream is giving me the chance to "Win a Free Justin Morneau". I sure know the Indians could use one of those.

60': Over the last 8 minutes we've had two blasts by Huddlestone well over the net halfway into the crowd. Luka Modric had a decent chance, but he really hasn't done much past his first few touches on the ball. Bentley still cannot beat the first man, and when he does, it beats Dawson. I'm debating if I should make tacos or go grab fast food for dinner later. What do you think?

68': GOALLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!! Luka Modric with his first ever goal in a Spurs shirt. Great play by Lennon on the cut to beat two guys and deliver a low cross to Modric who boots it past his national teammate Stipe Pletikosa. Great play, great goal! And to think this all came right after horrible play by Zokora.

72': GOALLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! This time it's T. Hudds! Great cross by Bale to find Huddlestone's head whom pushed it on the right side past Stipe. And just like this, Spurs are looking to push past these group stages with Udinese.

80': We have plenty of chances. Momentum is surely in our favor to get a 3rd this game, right? Campbell is nursing his leg, as the announcers are thinking he pulled something. He got a solid run but legs gave out just meters before the goal, rough. Then a corner just now was sent into Frazier and he was stopped by Pletikosa. I'm really liking this link up play on the left by Bale and Bentley. Maybe David can learn a thing or two about corners from Bale.

90': +3 minutes. I'm alright with the draw, seeing as how we'll get through. Udinese is getting dumped 2-0 by NEC, ha!

Full-Time: Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspur! Not the prettiest result, but a 2-2 draw will get us through to knock-outs. Great to see Luka get his first goal for us. Highlights will be up later tonight. Sunday has us at St. James Park to take on Newcastle United in league play.


Today/Tonight Tottenham face Spartak Moscow at White Hart Lane. Kickoff is 7:45 PM (London) and 2:45 PM (EST).

I know absolutely nothing about Spartak, aside from the fact they play in Russia.

Spurs however are going to be very short-staffed, as our two main signings in August (Vedran Corluka, Roman Pavlyuchenko) are cup-tied. Injuries limit the action for Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, and Gio Dos Santos. Not included are Darren Bent, Jermaine Jenas, and Alan Hutton (who needs to get fit soon).

This leaves our bleak squad looking something similar to this:
GK: Gomes, DEF: Gunter, Dawson, Zokora, Ekotto, Bale, MID: Huddlestone, Lennon, Modric, Bentley, O'Hara, Bostock? F: Campbell, Dervite.

Yikes. While I'm sure we can pick up a win from this game, it still scares me to see such a short-staffed lineup, even if we are at home.

If you'd like to tune into the game, click the link below:

After clicking the link, scroll down to Live24xtra [EN] (it's 2 down from FOX Sports Espanol). Click either the first or second link to stream the game.

C'mon You Spurs!!!!!

Football Champions

Damn. Paying bills has to be the worst part of growing up.

Yesterday I was browsing the Italian and United Kingdom's Ebay websites hoping to find some new Football Champion cards. Usually on the Italian site I find the rare Lega Promos from the 2003-2004 seasons. These cards are priced anywhere from 8-25 Euros.

The above card is Francesco Totti's 2004-2005 Signed Card which is priced at 25 Euros. I'd never pay this much for any Football Champions Card, especially Totti. Actually, I'd probably pay something close to that for any of the rare Del Piero Cards, or a Zidane.

Ebay Italy doesn't really offer much aside from 2-3 large lots of cards. Last time I bought one of those, the cards were in horrible condition and the few foils I got (Mutu, Adriano) were in horrendous shape. I guess that's what I get for trying to get a foil card of a guy who loves to blow coke (Mutu).

Ebay United Kingdom has a complete set of the 2001-2002 Football Champions for 24.99 Pounds. Shipping included, you are paying about 60 dollars for all 330 cards. That's not a bad deal at all, and Football Champions is a great game to play and it's not hard to learn at all.

However, one auction that I'm most likely going to spend some money on is a lot of 14 Juventus cards from 2003-2004. Everyone is included from that year in the set, so I'd be getting Buffon, Nedved, Davids, and of course Del Piero. For about 12 bucks, it's a steal.

I know soccer isn't a very popular sport in America, but if you are curious about these cards, I have plenty to trade out, or even send for free if you'd like to learn the game. Just drop a comment.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So this is my first post in nearly 4 months. So much for trying to update daily.

There are many reasons for not blogging over the last few months, mostly the lack of interest I had in card collecting once I started to see the way the hobby is going. I still read Wax Heaven and Sportscards Uncensored daily to see what is up with the blog world. Tribecards and Stale Gum are in there also.

School has taken quite a toll on me this semester, and with the lack of funds, I haven't purchased any new cards in quite some time. The last pack I bought was my Allen and Ginter in July.

This blog will see quite a few changes. First, I'm going to start covering sports, mostly Cleveland sports, and soccer. So if you are a fan of Cleveland, Tottenham Hotspur (England), or Juventus (Italy), well then you are in luck.

I will still talk about cards, and if you want to inquire about a trade for a specific team or player, let me know, I'm trying to slim down my collection to only a few cards that I want to keep.

Also, the MLB Showdown Collection Project is never going to end, so if you are into that, I'll talk.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Grocery Store Shoppin'

Today I had to get my wisdom teeth out. It turned out that only one needed to come out which was a huge relief. After the dentist, I headed over to the supermarket with my mother to pick up my prescription. After going around the store for a little while, I found a rack of sports cards.

The first pack I pick up were some NHL cards from this past season with Crosby on the cover. Having the huge itch to get back into NHL cards, I decided that I would buy a few. Turns out, these stupid things are 2 packs of the stuff in the main pack, and at $9.99, I put it back.

Scuffling through the rest of the stuff lead me to something I couldn't believe. A pre packed single card pack for $9.99. It was a random "GAME USED MEMORABILIA" card of any NFL player. No longer did pack searchers need to dig through packs to feed their desire for a hit.

I didn't look to see exactly what company made this, but looking over the front of the package at the cards, it was certainly some half-assed third party company. The front showed various cards, most notably a Tom Brady patch card and a signed Reggie Bush jersey card from his college days.

No way in hell is anyone going to pull either of those cards out of a supermarket pre-packed $9.99 pack. I generally feel bad for the young kid who wants a "super premium" memorabilia card and shells out the $10+ for the pack, only to open it up and find some garbage card of a player the kid has never heard of.

Seriously, what the fuck is with this card business anymore?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Allen & Ginter

For roughly the past month, I have been counting down the days until July 23. No, I wasn't planning an awesome spring vacation to North Carolina, and no I'm not headed to college early, I am just counting down the days until 2008 Allen & Ginter is released.

Phew, no laughs, thank god this is a baseball card blog.

Since Andy and I work minimum wage jobs and have to fund ourselves through college, neither of us can afford to buy any high end product (although I bought a box of SPX anyways). So, we both look for sets that offer an awesome looking product, great inserts, a set that isn't paralleled out its ass, and awesome random shit. Therefore, Allen & Ginter wins the title of the best set ever. Each year the set looks identical to the previous year, with the player photo looking as though it was hand drawn on a cream colored, standard looking card. The set has numerous mini sets (literally), including the 50 card subset with a player representing each state (Tim Stauffer must be thrilled to have a baseball card again), and a 50 card subset of famous world leaders (awesome). Oh, you can pull your standard jersey or bat card, but you can also pull awesome shit such as a Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini boxing glove card, among others. Basically, Allen & Ginter has everything I want in a set.

So, when July 23 came it took me less then a day to get to our card store and crack me some cases. The guy who owns the place is awesome, and isn't your typical dealer who will crack boxes until he has the case hit, then sell the excess to his customers. He cracked a new case infront of us, and I slowly pulled the three boxes I wanted.

The first case was my best, I pulled Victor Martinez and Tim Hudson jersey cards, a Paul LoDuca bat card, the Battle of Gettysburg crack the code card, numerous hilarious cards like Harriet Tubman and Marie Curie, and a Francisco Cordero mini autograph redemption card.

The second case had my biggest pull, a Lisa Leslie autograph, which I was initially pissed about since I thought it would be worth nothing. I also got another set of Tim Hudson and Victor Martinez jersey cards (!!!yay!!!), and a Don Larsen crack the code card.

The third and final case was my worst, I only pulled a Rafael Furcal and Albert Pujols jersey and bat cards, but I did get a Bill Mazeroski crack the code and a Rich Hill 10/25 bazooka back card.

Overall, my three cases rocked. I came up only 37 cards short of base set, 5 State cards short of the state set, and got two cards (Leslie & Hill) which I pulled zero of last year. So, I was satisfied with my 270 dollars being well spent, and was planning on keeping everything I got. However, when I check ebay and saw that a Leslie auto was selling for 59.99, I put her bitch as in a case an put it up on ebay. If anyone reads this blog (doubtful), here's the link: I'm hoping to just get 50 for her, which will be half of a future box which I will likely get, and hopefully pull an awesome rip card in and keep the cycle going. I don't know, I'll be updating later with results.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Goodbye Casey Blake

I didn't find out about the Xavier Nady deal until 12pm today. I don't think the Bucs got the better end of the stick, but at least Tabata has some hype around him. Hopefully Huntington knows what he's getting himself into, I'd hate for him to be stuck with an Andy Marte type player.

As for the Tribe, it really has been a rough rough year. While I'm more of a narcissist when it comes to anything Cleveland sports, I was actually optimistic about this season. Bad idea.

Since falling flat on our faces in April, May didn't get better. June sucked. And then comes the best part of the year, July. In July we've had our two bright spots Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee honored in the All-Star game. Our brightest spot for the last 7 years, CC Sabathia was dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers for promising OF prospect Matt Laporta and some other scrubs who will probably break into AAA but not much higher than that.

With talk about others being dealt, Casey Blake found himself on the chopping block today, and was dealt right quick to the Los Angeles Dodgers. I was never a huge fan of Blake, but I truly respected the way he carried himself. Soft spoken and a true team player. I remember when we signed Aaron Boone and Blake without a qualm changed his position to the corner OF. And he turned into a very productive outfielder with his rocket of an arm.

What we got in return is Single A catcher Carlos Santana (awesome name) and reliever turned starter Jonathan Meloan.

I'm actually pretty excited about this deal. Not only are we in desperation for catchers in our system (wish we still had Max Ramirez), but unlike the few we have in the minors, Santana is pretty promising. He started his career off as an OF but quickly was made into a catcher. Apparently (according to rotoworld) he is still green behind the plate, but his numbers on offense seem to make up for this (.323/.431/.563). He's currently 22 right now and will most likely report to either Kinston or Akron. If he goes to Akron I'll really need to attend a game seeing as how we have Hodges, Newsom, and Laporta down there. Plus it's a 20 minute drive for me.

When I heard Meloan's name I recognized it but couldn't remember why. My first Topps 2008 Mini-Box contained his autographed card (along with the hype of Redemption number 2!). Prior to this year Meloan was considered a top reliever prospect, but the Dodgers decided to try and turn him into a starter. With some mediocre results put up this season, I wouldn't be surprised to see us continue to utilize him as a stater, and if it is deemed a failure (read: most likely will fail), we should send him back to his normal position as a reliever. I am expecting Meloan to be sent to Buffalo.

As much as I'm going to miss Casey Blake, I'm not going to deny that I think now was the best time to deal him.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I spent my money on a box of Allen and Ginter two days ago. I still have not sorted it, I've just been too lazy. The other guy in this blog (maybe?) Jim, bought 3 boxes. I can't even begin to think what his biggest pull was.

My biggest pull was probably the Pujols jersey, but my favorite's of the box were the Dmitri Young bat card along with both Sizemore's I pulled (Flag and regular base).

In total, I pulled 5 relic cards.

-Dmitri Young Bat Card
-Jeff Francoeur Jersey Card (Home White)
-Albert Pujols Jersey Card (Grey Away)
-Paul LoDuca Bat Card
-Manny Ramirez Jersey Card (Home White)

For such a huge over hyped set, I am surprised at some of the inserts. Paul Loduca, really? I thought this guy was out of baseball.

Not really sure if I'll pick up another box again as I'll probably start buying hockey within the next few weeks. Most likely my buying will continue on Ebay for Sizemore cards (there's a few on there right now I'm looking at buying).

Also, a really cool note, the card shop Jim and I frequent the guy offered us $100 to come in and sort some of his cards. I'm not sure if he's serious, but how hard could it be to sort cards and laugh at all the names we scour through?


I am stupid.

I bought a box of 2008 Upper Deck SPX

Here is what I now own:

Triple Patch Jim Thome 08/15 (Phillies)
Triple Patch Derek Lee 07/25
Triple Patch Dan Haren 17/75 (Athletics)
Triple Patch Francisco Liriano 78/99
Triple Patch Jason Varitek 074/125
Triple Patch Jermaine Dye 078/125
American Hero Ken Griffey Jr 371/725
Young Star Signatures Nick Markakis
Rookie Signatures Justin Ruggiano
Rookie Signatures Josh Anderson
Rookie Signatures Chris Seddon
Rookie Signatures Rob Johnson

979 Yankee Stadium Legends Lou Gehrig

4 Dan Haren
11 David Ortiz
16 Derek Lee
23 Ken Griffey Jr
28 C.C. Sabathia
35 Justin Verlander
47 Jared Weaver
52 Brad Penny
56 Justin Morneau
59 Delmon Young
71 Cole Hamels
76 Freddy Sanchez
80 Barry Zito
83 Ichiro
95 Hank Blalock
100 Dmitri Young

Sure, the common set has really nice looking cards, but shouldn't a set that costs $175 per box have that? As Andy mentioned (and I ignored) when I bought it, this set is so stupidly paralleled. Being a giant light-weight when it comes to collecting cards, I honestly didn't full understand what this meant when he said it, and also being an impulse buyer, I figured I had some cash to blow so why not try and pull some Jay Bruce 1/1 or something. Whoops!

Well, the common set is solid, let's check out the inserts. We start first with the autographs. Talk about a great pull! Josh Anderson! Chris Seddon! Justin Riggiano! Rob Johnson! Honestly, I expected to get these black holes in a Topps Chrome box, not a set that actually is supposed to be worth something. I know I got Nick Markakis, and he actually will make a Major League roster in three years, but he isn't anything super special. For a set that is supposed to be as good as this, Nick Markakis isn't supposed to be my prized autograph. This blows.

Let's take a look at the jersey cards, surely I got a nice pull. Wrong. I got a Derek Lee serial to 25, which is nice but nothing over the top. The Jim Thome I have serial to 15 is really thick and has alot of jersey, which is nice. Wait, hasn't Jim Thome been on the White Sox the past few years? I guess SPX didn't get that memo so I have a 2008 Jim Thome Philadelphia Phillies GU card. God, fuck this set so much.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Low in Card Collecting

This is my first post in nearly a month. I'm quickly losing interest in sports cards. Perhaps it's due to the fact that I don't really have much money to splurge on cards, maybe it's because there aren't that many sets out right now that interest me, actually the main reason I'm losing interest in sports cards are PARALLELS!

These things suck. My favorite baseball player is Grady Sizemore. I like to think I have a pretty good card collection of him. Plenty of commons, some rare cards, some auto's and a lot of game used stuff. However, every time I head over to Ebay to see what I might want to buy, I get disgusted when I see 10 different listings on the first page of "GAME USED SWATCH UD SPECTRUM, PURPLE RAINBOW STORM REFRACTOR /75". That card is selling for 5 bucks. Cool, I'll pick that up. But wait, I'm not done yet as I've still have to purchase the /10, /55, /35, /105, and the ever so rare /555.

Seriously Topps and UD, stop doing this shit. I know quite a few blogs out there that I frequent (most notably Sportscards Uncensored) talks about this daily and I love reading about it.

However, when browsing today, I have seen it all. The 2008 UD Grady Sizemore Jersey out of their base set is not serial numbered which makes it not as rare. So how would the seller make this card seem enticing?

Yep, just plop a pair of pushed up tits with the card in the middle of the two. Genius. Whatever dude buys that card will be in heaven. Probably gloat to his buddies "d00d i just won a jerzey card of an all-star for 10 bucks and it was on some tits!"

Personally, I think this option of selling your cards is real tacky. Not to mention it screams white trash when you consider that in the lower left corner the woman's hand is pushing up her boob so the stupid card is "centered".

By the way, if you guys care enough to look at some of their other SUPER BOOB auctions, the persons name is sweet daisy20.

Have fun.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Love Exquisite

There's no way in hell I'd ever pay $200 for a box or tin of cards. As much as I love buying cards and getting an awesome pull, I just cannot pull the trigger on shit like that.

Last year I bought a pack of 2007 SPx for $20. I had never purchased a pack of SPx before, so I figured why not try it once. One Dennis Sarfate autograph later, I wanted my money back. I can't imagine getting that feeling knowing I just spent 10x as much on a box of Exquisite.

The hype for Exquisite at the National card show was mayhem. Between that and Allen and Ginter just coming out, that's all the dealers talked about. So as many of them were breaking case upon case of Exquisite, I'd just watch and see these great looking cards being pulled. And nobody pulled anything solid that day.

Now, I want to finally get some Exquisite. I just got my paycheck and can easily buy some of the holy grail of sports cards. With that said, I'm going straight to Ebay. As a Cleveland Indians fan first and foremost, I'm going to try and find Tribe cards.

Within the first few minutes, I've seen a ton of cut signatures listed, and sitting around $30. For all the hype these kind of cards get after being pulled, as the owner selling it, I'd be kinda pissed that I'm only getting back $30 in return. Then again, I'm not the seller so I couldn't careless. One cool cut signature I did see was Earl Averill, former Tribe great and one of the few who has his number retired with us.

I've got two cards I am going to be bidding on later today. One is a dual signature of Jeremy Sowers and Paul Maholm. The second card is a tri-patch featuring Hafner, Martinez, and Sizemore. Never seen this card before, and it'd add another great card to my already large Sizemore collection. Hopefully I'll be able to win the auction.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

3 All Star Selections, 1 MVP Vote Later.....

and a solid 18 years of service in the Majors, Attic Insulation brings you the best lefty specialist ever, Dan Plesac. Sure he retired in 2003, but he's so awesome he should be talked about as much as ESPN talks about Pacman Jones.

In 1,064 games, Plesac pitched 1,072.0 IP with a career ERA at 3.64. His final W-L was 65 wins and 71 losses, but any respectable baseball fan knows that wins and losses mean jack shit. How about his 158 career saves (58th all time), 1,041 K's (392nd all time!), or his best stat, he got one hit, in 15 career AB's!

Plesac is the leader of the lefty specialist craze (don't tell me otherwise, you're wrong) and should be in the Hall Of Fame. I'm a huge fan of his, for really no reason other than he's awesome (and probably the best Croatian to ever play in the Majors).

To my knowledge I have at least two Plesac cards, and am going to get every Plesac card ever made (I'd guess ~100?) along with his really rare Starting Line-Up figure.

Best part, I even have a screen-name based on Plesac. So Dan if you ever read this, you're the fucking man, and should be in the Hall.

Fuk-u got the wrong redemption card


Topps on Friday announced that Cubs standout rookie Kosuke Fukudome is the player redeemable for the 2008 Topps Finest Baseball Rookie Card Redemption #3.

Throughout the 2008 season, Topps will announce the subjects for the 10-card Rookie Redemption set. Each Master Box of Topps Finest includes one Rookie Redemption. The cards will be printed and shipped to collectors after Aug. 30, 2008.

Stay tuned to for future Rookie Redemption unveilings.
* #1 Johnny Cueto, Pitcher, Cincinnati Reds
* #2 Jay Bruce, Outfielder, Cincinnati Reds
* #3 Kosuke Fukudome, Outfielder, Chicago Cubs

I wasn't really expecting Kosuke to be number 3 at all. After the Jay Bruce hype I for sure thought that they'd have another player be the third redemption; which would save Kosuke for around August and September when the Cubbies started to sniff a playoff berth.

With all the bullshit spewed out by Topps and UD so far this season with Kosuke, perhaps Topps realized that they needed a true Kosuke rookie card. Since the announcement I've seen two Ebay listings for his redemption card, one going for nearly 25 while the other is sitting at $18.50. Not Jay Bruce status yet, but I'm sure he'll eclipse the Great White Hope from Cincy soon enough.

I'm still holding my Number 5 Redemption Card, hoping and praying it's Clayton rather than some stupid Red Sox player who I won't want.


I just listened to two different voicemail messages about the same topic:

All 7,000 of my Cleveland Indians cards are currently sitting back home at my house.*

Since work doesn't like to give me hours anymore, my card purchasing (along with blogging) has slowed down considerably. But this is all going to change over the next few days as I go home to get the huge amount of Tribe cards.

As for the cards themselves, they've already had quite a trip. Between packing nearly 7,000 cards and making their adventure throughout this country, apparently it's quite a toll. When the cards arrived at our local branch, supposedly one of the boxes ripped really bad, and cards spilled everywhere. Luckily for me, my family knows nearly all the mailmen so they helped pack up the box and hand delivered them for me.

Hopefully with all the upcoming Tribe card blog posts, the real Indians will start to play some good baseball and maybe (probably not) try to contend for at least a glimmer of playoff hope.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


As I'm perusing Ebay, I decide to see what's newly listed for MLB Showdown. Nothing really worth note as I have most of what's listed, but I always keep hope that there will be a lot of super rare promos I need to finish my sets (2002 DCI promos).

I decide to check the NFL Showdown listings as well. Nothing new either.

So I go to the most pathetic sports card game ever made by Wizards, NBA Showdown. This set was put out a year too early in my opinion. Had it been the 03/04 season, I think it would have had some staying power much like any other cards made from that year for one reason only, Lebron James.

Usually for NBA Showdown's listing it's chock full of the old NBA Showdown games that were made for Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis. Sprinkled in, you'll find around 4-5 Starter Decks featuring Tracy McGrady on the front. Over the past month or two, there have been listings for lots of 5 packs a piece, usually starting at $0.99. Whoever lists those should just keep them all together and sell by box, they'd make far more money.

I was shocked today though once I saw this listing:

I don't even know where to begin. It's not even a full set. Hell, half of what's missing are rares! Tracy McGrady himself, the coverboy of the whole thing, IS NOT INCLUDED IN THIS LOT!

All for the low low price of $299.99. Oh yeah, since it's not from the US tack on $30.00 for shipping. I'd love to meet the buyer and seller of this item. A little over a year ago, I bought nearly 500 NBA Showdown cards for about $30, included were nearly 75% of the common set, at least 2 of all strategy card, about 15 rares, and everything to learn how to play the game!

NBA Showdown is a great card game that flows smooth, doesn't take long, and has plenty of strategy to tide over even the most competitive gamer. However, I don't think this game is worth nearly $350 dollars.

I'll probably blog about each of the Showdown Sports in the next coming week.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I'm back from Chicago. This trip marked the first time I was ever on the Southside for a baseball game. Saw the Sox take on the Rockies. Comiskey isn't really that exciting and not memorable at all. My dad and I had fantastic seats, but the stadium is pretty bland. Sox won 5-4 (I think) and the highlight was that we both bought Albert Belle T-Shirts for $5!

I didn't get a chance to visit any card stores, unlike last year when I visited a place called Legends Sportscards, which had a wide array of product, along with a lot of cool old memorabilia pieces throughout Chicago's sporting past.

My main hype lately has been all about Upper Deck Legendary Cuts. After seeing some of the cards online, I'm with a few other bloggers when I think this set really has not much going for it. The checklist isn't anything too special, and the only amazing pulls are the cut auto's of guys like Babe Ruth and company. So basically, these cards will never be able to be had by the common collector. Hell, I went on Ebay and saw a "Master Set" sitting at under $200. Poor guy is selling it hoping to recoup some cash after he dropped a bucketload on 3 cases (!!!).

Since I didn't buy a box of Legendary Cuts, I might buy a box of Allen and Ginter (or two), or perhaps start my hockey collection back up once Be A Player comes out. What do you people suggest (all 2 of you who read the blog)?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

MLB Showdown

Back in 2000, my dad took me to a card show. Usually I loved to go to card shows with him because he'd show me all the great old time players, former Tribe players and how bad they were, or just buy boxes of cheap wax and break them open with me when we got home.

However, my interest in sports was dwindling. I still played them all the time, attended Tribe games all the time, and even opened some packs here and there, but the main priority I had at this show was simple:

Pokemon cards.

I was crazy for those stupid things. Even though I was at a show where millions of cards were, I wanted to collect and "battle" with cards of animals that looked like they just came from the Chernobyl plant. My dad would (I think) reluctantly drive me to Toys'R'Us every Wednesday so I could play in the league and get promo cards.

One Wednesday, everything changed when I walked into a game called "MLB Showdown". It was a new card game made by the same people who make Pokemon (Wizards Of The Coast). I love baseball, so I picked up a starter set and 3 packs.

My Pokemon adventure was done the moment I got home. I cracked open the starter, and my dad was interested to see what I bought. The first pack gave me my first foil, Kenny Lofton. My father and I played a few games that night, and I decided I was going to see if some of my friends wanted to convert from Pokemon to MLB Showdown.

Over the course of the six years that Wizards made Showdown, I never stopped collecting, and now have nearly 15,000 cards. Most of the cards have little to no value and couldn't be given away, but I like them because it reminds me of all the time I spent late summer nights watching a late MLB Game or Baseball Tonight while constructing decks and deciding between putting in Todd Van Poppel or Scott Sauerbeck. In the end both of those players were in my bullpen.

In 2006, Wizards stopped making the game due to lack of interest and the fact that the MLBPA wanted way more money for a new contract with Wizards.

I (along with Jim) still buy MLB Showdown, but it's getting much harder now because no place carries a product that is 3 years out or print coupled with the fact that it really didn't sell all too well.

I like to thank MLB Showdown for getting me back into baseball cards. Had I not found those cards and bought them, I'd probably be playing World of Warcraft in my parent's basement eating Dorito's and 3 day old Taco Bell. At least to me, I'd much rather own 15 Darren Oliver cards as opposed to playing World of Warcraft.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Soccer Cards (Football Champions)

With Euro 2008 in mid swing already I figure I'd make the first football (soccer) post. I've followed the sport for a few years now, and support London's only true north team, Tottenham Hotspur. The team has a lot of talent, but always falls short, many people (myself included) compare them to the Chicago Cubs, or better yet my own hometown team, The Cleveland Indians.

Wizards of the Coast, who made my favorite game ever, MLB Showdown, had it's own card game overseas, called Football Champions. With the end of MLB Showdown in 2005, I had nothing to collect and play. And with me being a soccer fan and not owning any of these cards, I decided I'd start to collect.

The cards themselves were made in England for two seasons. The 2001-2002 season was made by Wizards of the Coast and feature stars like David Beckham (Manchester United), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Teddy Sheringham (Tottenham Hotspur), and many others. There was the base set and then Title Race, which was a smaller extended set. The second year, they were made by a different company, Subbuteo, who makes the table top football game that is wildly popular overseas. France had one season made, which was 2001-2002. Just like the English, the France set had a large base set and an extended set called "Pour Le Titre".

The largest sets by far came from Italy. They had sets from 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005. Each of these sets had the base set, along with their "Calciomercato" extended sets. Along with these sets, Italian Football Champion players had the chance to earn plenty of promotional cards, some of which are very hard to get, even today.

Some of the best sites to check out Football Champions are: (Ebay England) (Ebay France) (Ebay Italy) (La Fumetteria) (LPP Collecting, Italian Site)

I mostly got all of my Football Champions through the various Ebay sites. There's actually a listing for over 100+ Italian foils from all the years, something which would greatly help in trying to finish my collections.

If you read this and have FC Cards, I'd gladly trade.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Indians Cards!

Much like Jon, I love to collect anything with the Indians name or Chief Wahoo logo on it. I have a ton of Tribe cards, and love breaking them out here and there to look at some of the names (mostly Topps Total 2002).

However, recently, I've been wanting to purchase a bulk amount of older baseball cards just for the sole purpose of looking at pictures, uniforms, and names of the players. Over on David's Indians card blog (It's in my blog roll, check it out!) he posted this fun card listing:

7,000+! This is a dream come true. It sold on Ebay for nearly 50 bucks, and I was the lucky winner (yes I'm a sniping pro). I really excited to be receiving this and plan on uploading many photos to this blog. Unfortunately at the moment my USB drive is broken, so any pictures I take, do no good.

In the last week, I received my 2005 Playoff Prestige Grady Sizemore Purple Parallel /100 along with my 2008 Co-Signers Sizemore Printing Plate.

Also, I'm going to Chicago with my parents for the Peterson Bowling Tournament, and hope to find a few card shops out there near the hotel so I can bust some packs, or start a Ryan Theriot collection.

I'm going to write about baseball cards

I figure I'd like to do a bit of an introductory post here before I go on writing about baseball cards in general. With that in mind, let me explain first why I decided I'd write here about baseball cards at the invitation of my good friend Andy. First and foremost, I like to write. I like having an excuse to write. Baseball cards sound like a pretty fun excuse, at least to me. I've also written here and there about baseball cards before (at the now-defunct Future Considerations. I even wrote a post there once that got featured on Deadspin, which I find quite braggable. Which I imagine is something you'd have picked up on as I'm blatantly dropping that in here for no real reason). My first job was at Dave's Dougout, a baseball card store in Albany, CA. I worked there for about four years. I'm a lifelong collector myself. I know cards and I want to bring some of that knowledge here in the written form.

I think baseball cards are pretty awesome. The photography, the design, the look, the feel. I've learned more about baseball players (and football and basketball players) from cards than I think through any other outlet over my years so far. What he looks like, what teams he played for. Baseball cards are like a visual history of the game and the times that surrounded the game. The best cards can capture a player in a moment like few other mediums.

I think it's a shame the baseball card industry has hit a snag (I'm doing my best to refrain from saying it's dying). I think it's a shame more and more card shops close with each passing year. I think it's a shame more young people like Andy or myself don't bother with baseball card collecting. Most importantly, I think it's a shame that baseball card companies focus so much on the thrill-seeking involved with baseball card collecting nowadays. I, too, enjoy a great pull here and there, but I also get as much (if not more) enjoyment out of card collecting when I find an obscure card of an A's minor leaguer or a Northeastern alum for a dollar at a card shop. That's part of what I want to bring here: an appreciation for the obscure, the low-end, the offbeat, and the simple of the baseball card world. I want to write for the person like my dad who spends some of his free time putting together cheap basketball sets and bidding on common 1966 Topps cards on Ebay looking to finish a set. I want to show how can it be exciting to find the simple cards that relate to you in a collecting world that glorifies rarity for the sake of rarity these days. I hope, throughout my time writing here, that I accomplish just that.

To end things, let me share one of my favorite cards in my entire collection with you:

2002 Topps #334- Season Highlights: Oakland Athletics win 20 consecutive games. This card's pretty well worn by now. It's the one baseball card I keep in my wallet. Back in 2002, 14-year-old me witnessed wins 18,19,20 in the A's American League record-breaking 20 game win streak. All three games ended in a walk off for the A's, and to date that three game stretch remains my most memorable and my favorite moment as a sports fan yet. This card commemorates that streak, and I wouldn't trade it for anything in your collection.

Lastly, forgive the photography. At some point I'll figure out how to take pictures of cards right. That point is not right now.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Number 5, The Finale.

So here's the last of my boxes of Topps Finest, for at least a little while. So far I'm at 38% done for this set, and at a rate of 18 base set cards per box, this is an expensive and tough set to get. Out of all my boxes, my biggest pull by far has been the Jay Bruce redemption. Since then, I have not pulled a redemption card nor have I pulled anything crazy (1/1, cut autos). Most likely, Ebay will be the way I go about collecting the rest of this set. But before I check out Ebay, I'll finish by opening my last box. Here goes:

Pack One:
Felipe Paulino Rookie (Astros)
Manny Ramirez
Vernon Wells
Jermaine Dye
Felipe Paulino Rookie Refractor (Astros)
Eric Byrnes

Well, a pretty tame pack to start things off. Although this was tame, I am almost positive I needed all of these cards to build my set, so thumbs up.

Pack Two:
Eric Chavez
Finest Moments David Wright Blue Ink Autograph
Finest Moments Felix Hernandez
Lance Berkman

Well I pulled my autograph in the second pack, and what a great auto it is. David Wright is the second coming of Christ to most Met's fans, and his signature is right up there with Brian Bannister. Kinda pissed I only got 7 cards though, what the hell Topps?

Pack Three:
Jake Peavy
Frank Thomas
Donny Lucy Rookie Blue Refractor /299 (White Sox)
Topps Team Favorites Dual Alfonso Soriano/Felix Pie
Brian McCann

Cool. A nice variety of stuff in this pack. Although now that I got another Team Favorite Dual card, I'm really wondering when Felix Pie became a fan favorite up in the north side.

Pack Four:
Brandon Webb
Andruw Jones
Chris Young Green Refractor /199
Redemption Card Number 5
Alex Rodriguez Refractor
Jorge Posada

Hey I finally got another Redemption card. Thankfully it was not number 3. I really think that the Fukodome card will be announced right around the All Star Game, so getting number 5 helps my chances, I hope.

Pack Five:
Robinson Cano
Billy Buckner Rookie (Diamondbacks)
Finest Moments Andy Pettitte Refractor
Finest Moments Ryan Howard
Scott Kazmir

Meh, not a bad pack, not a great one. I wish that the Pettitte card wasn't a refractor, there's so many Finest Moments cards to collect (Ankiel!). However, I'm thinking about trying to complete a refractor complete set too, but that is pretty insane along with being very costly.

Pack Six:
Gary Matthews
Mel Stocker Rookie (Brewers)
Finest Moments Tom Glavine Blue Refractor /299
Topps Team Favorites David Wright
Roy Oswalt

A nice way to end my box run. Looking at the back of Mel Stocker's card, I'm sensing this guy will never see daily play in the Majors. Drafted in 2001 and currently playing in Huntsville, that doesn't sound very promising. The Glavine I'm really happy about, I've always liked him and this card is real nice to have. The David Wright Team Favorites is a solid looking card too.

I'll edit this post a bit later with pictures.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mini Box 4

After last night's heart-breaking loss for my Pens, I've given up hockey cards (for now) and gone back to baseball. I haven't tried to collect any sports set since NFL MVP 2000, which I completed. Granted I have completed various MLB Showdown sets, but those have barely any value. Given the fact that they are almost impossible to find now, I've gone to Topps Finest 08. Currently, I'm sitting at about 28% of the base set done. So without further adieu, here is installment number 4 (of 5).

Pack One:
Wladimir Balentien Rookie (Mariners)
Seth Smith Rookie (Rockies)
Paul Konerko
Manny Ramirez Refractor
Aaron Harang

Boring pack. I did want the Balentin though, if not for the set, for his fun name.

Pack Two:
Tim Hudson
Josh Banks Rookie (Blue Jays)
Finest Moments Dan Haren Refractor
Finest Moments Clay Bucholz
Nick Markakis

There are way too many Finest Moments Inserts in this set, and at about 3-4 a mini box, it'd be impossible to complete. Luckily I got two in this pack.

Pack Three:
Frank Thomas
Jeff Francis
Tom Glavine Blue Refractor /299
Topps Team Favorites Bobby Crosby
Nick Markakis

Another Markakis to end the pack. I hope this isn't a collation trend that I will see repeat itself. Bad card collation is the biggest pet peeve of mine. This is what slowly turned me off of a game I loved to play and collect, MLB Showdown.

Pack Four:
Chase Utley
Ryan Hanigan Rookie (Reds)
Dan Haren Gold Refractor /50
Freddy Sanchez Refractor
Troy Glaus

Wow. I didn't think I'd ever pull a Gold Refractor, even though they are listed as 1:7 packs. Now all I need is a White X-Fractor (yeah right). Cool that I pulled a Freddy Refractor to boot.

Pack Five:
Ryan Zimmerman
Alberto Gonzalez Rookie (Yankees)
Clint Sammons Rookie Blue Refractor Blue Ink Autograph (Braves) /399
Finest Moments Brandon Phillips

Well Sammons is my autograph for this box. And looking at the back of the card to check his stats, I don't think this card will gain any value. Although a quick check on Baseball Reference, and Sammons is currently in AAA hitting .273/.343/.373/.716. Mediocre at it's finest! Oh well, still a cool card.

Pack Six:
Bill Murphy Rookie (Diamondbacks)
Dan Meyer Rookie (A's)
Topps Team Favorites Dual Robinson Cano/Melky Cabrera Refractor
Topps Team Favorites Robinson Cano
Brad Hawpe

Not bad at all. Two inserts I did not have yet, along with two rookies and Brad "Drop It Like It's" Hawpe.

Mini Box breakdown:
Percent of Set Complete: 38% (63 out of 166)
Doubles: 2, Topps Team Favorites Bobby Crosby, Nick Markakis
Refractor: 2, Manny Ramirez, Freddy Sanchez,
Blue Refractor /299: Tom Glavine
Gold Refractor /50: Dan Haren
Topps Team Favorites: Bobby Crosby
Topps Team Favorites Dual Refractor: Melky Cabrera/Robinson Cano
Finest Moments: Clay Bucholz, Brandon Phillips
Finest Moments Refractor: Dan Haren
Rookie Autographs Blue Refractor /299: Clint Sammons

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


2/10? Yeah right. If memory serves me right, this card is out of /530 or so. Update doesn't parallel that much. Good try. Anyone that pays $50 for this should be refunded.

Here's a real version of the card. To be totally honest, I didn't think fake relics would make it's way onto a low end Sizemore card.

Grady Watch

This is the second time this card has been listed on Ebay. First time, it went up to ~$135. The seller's reserve was not met. With a little over 2 days left, I'm going to be really curious to see how much this goes for.

So far Sizemore has played horrendous through 1/3 of the season. Hitting at a clip of .257 for a leadoff hitter isn't anything great. However, his .371 OBP and his .477 SLG aren't too off his career norms. The last time this card was listed, Sizemore was in the mid .260's average wise.

With the Tribe slowly slipping game by game, and Grady not hitting, his cards shouldn't fetch much dollar right now.

It'll be interesting to see how his drop in production effects this ultra rare card.


Hockey used to be my favorite sport next to baseball. Growing up, our cable company used to receive a few Pittsburgh channels, and my dad was a fanatic of hockey. Since Cleveland didn't have a professional team, we followed our closest team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. I was a huge fan of Mario, Jagr, Ronnie Francis, Paul Coffey and Tom Barrasso. This was during the early 90's when the Pens were the top of the food chain in the NHL. Once our cable company stopped carrying the Pittsburgh stations, my only chance to watch the NHL was on ESPN.

This is where my love affair with the Detroit Red Wings started. Yes, I was a band-wagoner. My favorite player was Sergei Federov. The Russian 5 was what I thought the best thing ever to happen to hockey. Those classic matches between the Wings and the Avalanche on ESPN was like Christmas to me.

And to help feed my hockey addiction, there was a card store at the end of my street. Every Saturday I'd go bowling in the morning with my friends, and then we'd all go two doors down and splurge on cards. Our parents would give us about $10 or so and we'd buy any cards we thought were awesome. Most of it was Collector's Choice. One day, I'll post some of my favorite cards from those years.

The other day when I went to Medina, I didn't see anything I really wanted to buy, and to make the trip worth it, I bought 3 packs of hockey cards, UD Series 2. I've changed my favorite team again, this time being the Columbus Blue Jackets along with my old favorite, Pittsburgh Penguins. And since Malkin is on the cover of UD Series 2, I had to buy a few packs.

I'm looking foward to Pittsburgh winning the Stanley Cup and the start of the 08/09 season, a new NHL video game, and all the new hockey sets coming out.

But for now, I'll stick with my 3 packs of UD Series 2.

Pack One:
Patrick Marleau
Tomas Holmstrom
Darryl Sydor
Paul Kariya
Rookie Materials Jonathan Toews Game Worn* Jersey
Jere Lehtinen
Shane Doan
Michel Ouellet (Victory?)

Some of the names in here already bring me back. Marleau, Holmstrom, Sydor, Kariya!!!, Lehtinen, and Doan. I used to love Kariya when he was with the Ducks. Odd to see him in a Blues shirt (yes I know he's played for other teams in between the Ducks and Blues).

*Game worn now means photo shoot worn....hahaha. Really odd but it's a jersey card and in my first pack of hockey, a solid way to start I think.

Pack Two:
Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Chris Drury
Robert Lang
Kimmo Timonen
Johan Holmqvist
Tuomo Ruutu
Jonathan Cheechoo
Nikolai Zherdev

Awesome pack. Robert Lang was a Penguin for awhile, and he's a pretty solid player. Ruuto and Cheechoo in the same pack are nice too. But the icing on the cake came in the Zherdev card. Zherdev is one of my favorite players and is a hell of a player too. I always have loved left wingers too.

Pack Three:
Derek Morris
Rick Nash
Ryan Malone
Martin Rucinsky
Brandon Bochenski
Philippe Boucher
Young Guns Matt Keetley
Mike Lundin Rookie (Lightning)

One (if not the) best offensive players in the game, Rick Nash as my second card. This is actually my first Nash card, and it's got a pretty cool photo. When I got to the Flames goalie card, I at first thought it was an insert for Kipper, but nope. Oh well, hopefully I'll pull a Kipper soon.

These cards are pretty awesome, and with the NHL Finals having my interest, now is a great time to get back into hockey. Plus once baseball is over I'll have a full plate between the NFL, NBA, English Premier League, and the NHL.