Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Panini takes over America

Yesterday it was announced that Panini will produce basketball cards here in America. No more Topps or Upper Deck. Tons of bloggers have already posted about this and the way they feel. Many of them feel it's great that Topps and UD are getting challenged by other companies. This challenged should have been happening years ago, not just with basketball, but in all the sports.

A lot of bloggers also feel that Panini will destroy the basketball card industry. Just exactly how will they destroy it? By not having autographed cards or jersey cards? Please. I'll give the fact that Panini doesn't have a few of the worldwide superstars to use (Lebron with UD), but they might already be in talks about getting Lebron, or even be working with UD to be allowed to produce Lebron cards. Panini is a business, they'll get it together.

Face it, sports cards have been ruined for at least a decade now, if not longer. The people cards used to be catered to (read: kids), can barely afford packs just because the older generation are trying to cash in on triple event used relics of Kevin McHale's jockstrap from the 1983 Photo-shoot. Topps is no longer the company they once were. They make some nice Products, but for the most part, their stuff isn't great. The company lives off name brand only. Hell, for my 21st birthday last year I received a retail box of 2007-2008 NBA Series 1 Basketball. The cards were nice, but very cookie cutter and boring. And don't get on me for getting a retail box, it was a gift from my parents. Upper Deck (at least to me) makes better basketball cards, but nothing special either. My favorite set has been Hardcourt, and that's a mediocre set at best.

Panini is going to ruin the basketball industry because they are European company. What? They will produce basketball cards and get the NBA name-brand out overseas. It's already out there now. Shit, Greece team Olympiacos wants to sign Kobe or Lebron. You tell me people don't know the NBA? Panini will not ruin the basketball card industry, you bloggers and collectors will ruin the b-ball card industry by talking it down and not buying the product because you aren't sure what Panini is about. Look at it this way, Panini might even help America. People buying these cards might be more inclined to buy NBA merchandise and travel here to see the teams.

I'm all for Panini to make cards. Will they make stickers, sure they probably will. Do you have to buy them, no. There's another company that specializes in Football (Soccer) cards in Europe called Futera. I've blogged about them before. Their high end set (Futera Unique Football) caters to overseas collectors (read: American), by adding 1/1 auto's and memorabilia on the cards. If you think these companies don't know that not having these kinds of inserts in their sets will be good, you are crazy.

I'm very excited for Panini to start making basketball cards, because frankly this industry sucks and could use any sort of fresh air it can get. And if they do fail miserably (as in, nobody buys the cards) then it wasn't their fault, they tried, it'd all just come down to the collector being just as stubborn as the manufacturer's they love to hate.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Across the Pond Part Two:

I haven't had any time to post more of what I received from John in our Baseball Cards for Football cards deal. I also haven't had the time to send out any of the packages that I owe, so I'm going to try and add a bit extra to the few that I need to send out, sorry for the delay. School and work are killing me.

This entry is about two Football Cards I received. The first card, of Croatian superstar Luka Modric is a 2008-2009 Topps Match Attax card. These cards are wildly popular over in the UK. So much so, that Topps is bringing Match Attax over here to America, but for baseball.

Luka is by far my favorite player on Spurs. Ever since Davids left, I didn't really have a favorite player. Sure I liked Keane and I loved Berbatov, but they both left too. Luckily for me, Spurs snapped up Luka before Euro 2008 and he has looked great. Too bad Spurs are horrible so far this year, worse than usual.

The next card I received was in a few of the Match Attax packs I was sent.

Niko Kranjcar of Portsmouth. Niko was injured for quite some time, and is finally back to playing for Pompey. Another one of my favorites in the EPL by far. Even have his Pompey jersey from last year.

I really like the look and feel to these cards. Real sharp. I just wish the back had some stats or a short bio, but that's alright.

I'd love to try and get all the variations of Luka and Niko's card, as well as all the Vedran Corluka cards.

If you can't tell of the bias in this post towards Croatians, it's because I'm a Croat myself.

The next time I do a post about Match Attax it will be all about the other Tottenham guys I got, and there were plenty.

What happened to the "Coolest Game On Earth?"

The NHL All-Star Game was played last night, did you watch it? Did you even know it was on TV? Do you even have any idea the NHL still exists?

The All-Star Game was on at 6 pm last night, and I searched every station to watch it. No luck. In fact, I just found out the score and the MVP (12-11 East in a Shootout; MVP was Alexi Kovalev). I've been hockey-less since October, when Time Warner Cable got rid of Versus. I can catch a Blue Jacket's game here and there, but other than that, I don't see any NHL action at all.

Nearly 10 years ago, the NHL was coming down from it's peak. The Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry helped put hockey into the upper echelon of American Sports. ESPN2 would carry plenty of hockey games. ESPN and Barry Melrose would talk hockey and show highlights all the time. Now the NHL is lucky to get 1 clip on ESPN a day.

Ever since the lockout that wiped out a whole season, the NHL has become virtually invisible to Americans. I'd even guess that the MLS draws more viewers.

The new 2008-2009 SP Hockey (Upper Deck) comes out soon also. Since dinosaur teeth are already taken in another hockey set, this set's gimmick will be fight straps. Fight straps are the little straps on the lower back of the jersey to keep the player's shirt on him while in a fight (common sense, no?). I think this sounds pretty neat. Unfortunately, most of the fight straps are white, so the card's patch/strap won't be very appealing to many. Although this prevents any chance of having different colored relics on the card, making it nearly impossible to counterfeit. Unless of course Upper Deck adds some "blood" to some of the relics, but that's usually the kind of gimmicky crap Topps does.

Check out some of the cards here:


This card would have been much cooler about a week ago. Both these guys recently stopped their hatred for each other at this weekend's All-Star Game Festivities. While both are superstars in the NHL, the lack of rivalry doesn't make the card as interesting anymore.

This is what I'm talking about. Detriot versus Colorado. Legendary stuff right there. These teams hated each other and even the goalies would fight each other. Patrick Roy is on this card and so is Mike Ver....wait, Dominick Hasek. What? Upper Deck couldn't get a fight strap of Mike Vernon? Or Chris Osgood? Are you serious? Both goalies on this card are amazing and will be in the HOF eventually. But for a 1/1, this card NEEDS TO HAVE Vernon or Osgood. Way to drop the ball UD.

Hopefully Hockey can regain it's Coolest Game On Earth status someday, but until that day comes, I'll be searching for channels on TV to watch the NHL.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Collection

I've been collecting Grady Sizemore cards since early 2004. I've got some pretty good ones, although I don't have the 2000 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects Autograph or his 2001 Topps Update Autograph. I probably never will. They are just too far out of my price range.

After reading Dave from Fielder's Choice Blog about his Longoria Collection, I wanted to see how my Sizemore collection compared.

Currently, I have 118 Grady Sizemore baseball cards. I thought I had about 70, haha.

1 Printing Plate
4 Autographed (3 Serial Number Auto's)
11 Jersey cards (6 Serial Numbered)

My favorite card by far is this one below. I've written about it in a past blog.

I stopped collecting Grady cards in 2008. I didn't really have much time for card collecting and would like to try and acquire some before all the 2009 stuff comes out. If you have any to trade, get in contact with me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cleveland City Stars 2009 USL-1 Schedule

The Cleveland City Stars were founded in 2006. Our first season was played in 2007, where we finished 2nd, making to to the semifinals in the playoffs. Last season, the club finished in 3rd place. The City Stars won the USL-2 Championship at home. Our former head coach, Martin Reinne, moved to a USL-1 team. However, we decided to follow Martin and on December 5th, 2008, the City Stars moved up to USL-1. And today, the Cleveland City Stars announced their 2009 schedule.

Saturday April 18th 8:00pm @ Miami FC Blues

Saturday April 25th 8:30pm @ Austin Aztex

Friday May 1st 8:00pm vs. Rochester Rhinos Fox Soccer Channel

Saturday May 9th 7:00pm vs. Portland Timbers SportsTime Ohio

Saturday May 16th 8:05pm @ Minnesota Thunder

Friday May 22nd 8:00pm vs. Carolina Railhawks Fox Soccer Channel

Friday May 29th 8:00pm @ Carolina Railhawks Fox Soccer Channel

Saturday May 30th 7:30pm @ Charleston Battery

Thursday June 4th 7:00pm @ Puerto Rico Islanders

Saturday June 6th 6:00pm @ Puerto Rico Islanders

Saturday June 13th 7:00pm vs. Rochester Rhinos SportsTime Ohio

Thursday June 18th 7:00pm vs. Miami FC Blues SportsTime Ohio

Saturday June 20th 7:00pm vs. Miami FC Blues SportsTime Ohio

Tuesday June 23rd 7:00pm vs. Vancouver Whitecaps SportsTime Ohio

Saturday June 27th 7:00pm vs. Austin Aztex SportsTime Ohio

Friday July 3rd 8:00pm vs. Austin Aztex Fox Soccer Channel

Sunday July 12th 5:00pm vs. Puerto Rico Islanders SportsTime Ohio

Friday July 17th 7:00pm vs. Charleston Battery SportsTime Ohio

Wednesday July 22nd 7:45pm @ Montreal Impact

Saturday July 25th 7:35pm @ Rochester Rhinos

Saturday August 1st 7:00pm vs. Vancouver Whitecaps SportsTime Ohio

Saturday August 8th 7:00pm @ Carolina Railhawks

Tuesday August 11th 7:30pm @ Charleston Battery

Saturday August 22nd 7:00pm vs. Minnesota Thunder SportsTime Ohio

Thursday August 27th 8:05pm @ Minnesota Thunder

Saturday September 5th 7:00pm vs. Montreal Impact SportsTime Ohio

Friday September 11th 7:00pm vs. Montreal Impact SportsTime Ohio

Sunday September 13th 8:00pm @ Portland Timbers

Thursday September 17th 10:00pm @ Portland Timbers

Friday September 18th 11:00pm @ Vancouver Whitecaps Fox Soccer Channel

The club still has not come out with who our new head coach will be, or where the team will play at in 2009. Krenzler Field downtown was nice, however the glare from the setting sun made the first 15-20 minutes unbearable to watch. Plus the amount of fan's the team accumulated over the last two seasons is quickly outnumbering the seats Krenzler had available.


I've searched for years for a place to find all the Football Champions cards I need. I am pretty sure I achieved that tonight.

To me, collecting cards isn't about pulling the biggest hits or the hottest rookies. What I like the most is the chase. The countless searching and the roller coaster ride that ensues. Over the last year, I've searched high and low for some of the rarest Football Champions cards, only to come up empty handed. These cards aren't sold in America. To me, that makes the chase all the more worth it. I've searched through UK's Google, Italy's Google, and France's Google. I cannot understand Italian or French, but to me, that makes the search all the more fun. Call me crazy.

I guess what keeps me going through all this is the optimism, that I might just stumble across what I've been looking for. And I think that might have happened when I found this website.

A few months ago, I posted how I'd pay a good amount for my favorite soccer player, Alex Del Piero's rare promo cards. To me, the rarest is his "foil stamped" Adidas logo card. I found it for roughly $8. The only drawback is that shipping will kill me. I also found many other rare promotional cards, which is awesome.

I just hope this company ships to America.

Oh, and sorry for the abundance of soccer related posts as of late, I'll go back to American sports eventually.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

And the Spurs Go Marching On!!!

Burnley. Burnley. 3-2 Burnley. We gave up a 4-1 aggregate lead to Burnley. Luckily Pavy and JD tallied two for us late into the second half of extra time, but still.

This team is going nowhere fast, other than Championship Football. Redknapp is lashing out at players in public. Bale continues to play with below zero confidence. Lennon is coming back down to Earth. Our fowards are doing nothing. Modric has nobody behind him. Our defense has more injured than a hospital in the middle of Germany in WW2.

This is going to be a long rest of the season. Luckily there's only a 6 or so point difference between spots 12-20.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Football Champions Checklists

I'm going to try and put every single checklist for Football Champions on here. This includes the Premier League Set (2001-2002), English Subbuteo Set (2002-2003), French Set (2001-2002), and Italian Sets (2001-2005). I'm going to also try and put out the list of every single promotional card ever produced for the game also. Unfortunately, I don't think I have a list of every single promotional card, I'd guess I have about 90% of the ones ever produced.

If any of these lists are flawed, please let me know, as I'd appreciate any help with setting up these checklists. Thanks.

Bold= Foil

Football Champions Card Checklist

2001-2002 English Premier League Base Set
001 David Seaman
002 Tony Adams
003 Ashley Cole
004 Lee Dixon
005 Martin Keewn
006 Gilles Grimaldi
007 Frederick Ljunberg
008 Ray Parlour
009 Robert Pires
010 Patrick Viera
011 Dennis Bergkamp
012 Thierry Henry
013 Sylvain Wiltord
014 Peter Schmeichel
015 Gareth Barry
016 Mark Delaney
017 Alpay Ozalan
018 Alan Wright
019 George Boateng
020 David Ginola
021 Moustapha Hadji
022 Lee Hendrie
023 Hassan Kachloud
024 Juan Pablo Angel
025 Paul Merson
026 Brad Friedal
027 Henning Berg
028 Stig-Inge Bjorenebye
029 John Curtis
030 Craig Short
031 Martin Taylor
032 Gary Flitcroft
033 Tugay Kerimoglu
034 David Dunn
035 Damien Dunn
036 Corrado Grabbi
037 Craig Hignett
038 Matt Jensen
039 Jussi Jaaskelainen
040 Anthony Barness
041 Gudni Bergsson
042 Simon Charlton
043 Colin Hendry
044 Gareth Farrelly
045 Per Frandsen
046 Ricardo Gardner
047 Bo Hansen
048 Ian Marshall
049 Michael Ricketts
050 Dean Kiely
051 Steve Brown
052 Mark Fish
053 Radostin Kishishev
054 Chris Powell
055 Richard Rufus
056 Claus Jansen
057 Mark Kinsella
058 John Robinson
059 Graham Stuart
060 Shaun Bartlett
061 Jonatan Johansonn
062 Mathias Svensson
063 Mark Bosnich
064 Celestine Babayaro
065 Marcel Desailly
066 William Gallas
067 Graeme LaSaux
068 Mario Melchiot
069 Slavisa Jokanovic
070 Frank Lampard
071 Jody Morris
072 Mario Stanic
073 Eidur Gudjohnsen
074 Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink
075 Gianfranco Zola
076 Andy Oakes
077 Bjorn Otto Bragstad
078 Horacio Carbonari
079 Danny Higginbotham
080 Chris Riggott
081 Craig Burley
082 Seth Johnson
083 Darry Powell
084 Malcolm Christie
085 Georgi Kinkladze
086 Fabrizio Ravanelli
087 Paul Gerrard
088 David Unsworth
089 Steve Watson
090 David Weir
091 Paul Gascoigne
092 Scot Gemmill
093 Thomas Gravesen
094 Gary Naysmith
095 Mark Pembridge
096 Idan Tal
097 Danny Cadamarteri
098 Kevin Campbell
099 Joe-Max Moore
100 Edwin Van Der Sar
101 Rufus Brevett
102 Steve Finnan
103 Jon Harley
104 Andy Melville
105 Kit Symons
106 John Collins
107 Sean Davis
108 Bjarne Goldbaek
109 Steed Malbranque
110 Barry Hayles
111 Louis Saha
112 Keith Branagan
113 Jamie Clapham
114 Herman Hreidarsson
115 Chris Makin
116 John McGreal
117 Fabian Wilnis
118 Matt Holland
119 Tommy Miller
110 Jermain Wright
121 Alun Armstrong
122 Martijn Reuser
123 Marcus Stewart
124 Nigel Martyn
125 Paul Robinson
126 Rio Ferdinand
127 Gary Kelly
128 Dominic Matteo
129 Danny Mills
130 Luca Radebe
131 Eirik Bakke
132 David Batty
133 Oliver Dacourt
134 Harry Kewell
135 Alan Smith
136 Mark Viduka
138 Callum Davidson
140 Frank Sinclair
141 Matt Elliot
143 Matthew Jones
144 Robbie Savage
147 Arnar Gunniaugsson
148 Dean Sturridge
149 Sander Westervel
150 Markus Babbel
151 Stephane Henchoz
152 Sami Hyypia
153 Nick Barmby
154 Jamie Carragher
155 Dietmar Hamann
156 Gary McAllister
157 Danny Murphy
158 Vladimir Smicer
159 Emile Heskey
160 Jari Litmanen
161 Michael Owen
162 Fabien Barthez
163 Wes Brown
164 Ronny Johnsen
165 Gary Neville
166 Phillip Neville
167 Michaël Silvestre
168 David Beckham
169 Nicky Butt
170 Luke Chadwick
171 Ryan Giggs
172 Roy Keane
173 Andy Cole
174 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
175 Ruud Van Nistelrooy
176 Mark Schwarzer
177 Colin Cooper
178 Ugo Ehiogu
179 Curtis Fleming
180 Steve Vickers
181 Paul Ince
182 Paul Okon
183 Dean Windass
184 Alen Boksic
185 Brian Deane
186 Joseph-Desire Job
187 Noel Whelan
188 Shay Given
189 Warren Barton
190 Stephen Caldwell
191 Robbie Elliot
192 Aaron Hughes
193 Andy O'Brien
194 Christian Bassedas
195 Nolberto Solano
196 Gary Speed
197 Craig Bellamy
198 Carl Cort
199 Lomano Tresor Lua Lua
200 Paul Jones
201 Francis Benali
202 Claus Lundekvam
203 Dean Richards
204 Wayne Bridge
205 Mark Draper
206 Matt Le Tissier
207 Chris Marsden
208 Paul Murray
209 Matthew Oakley
210 Kevin Davies
211 Marian Pahars
212 Jo Tessem
213 Thomas Sorensen
214 Jody Craddock
215 Michael Gray
216 Emerson Thome
217/250 Stanislav Varga
218 Darren Williams
219 Julio Arca
220 Kevin Kilbane
221 Gavin McCann
222 Alex Rae
223 Stefan Schwarz
224 David Bellion
225 Kevin Phillips
226 Niall Quinn
227 Neil Sullivan
228 Goran Bunjevcevic
229 Gary Doherty
230 Ledley King
231 Chris Perry
232 Darren Anderton
233 Stephen Clarence
234 Oyvind Leonhardsen
235 Gustavo Poyet
236 Tim Sherwood
237 Les Ferdinand
238 Sergei Rebrov
239 Teddy Sheringham
240 David James
241 Hayden Foxe
242 Scott Minto
243 Sebastien Schemmel
244 Nigel Winterburn
245 Michael Carrick
246 John Moncur
247 Trevor Sinclair
248 Paolo Di Canio
249 Frédéric Kanouté
250 Svetoslav Todorov

2001-2002 English Premier League Base Set Tactic Cards:
01 Breakaway
02 Clean set Of Heels
03 Coming Forward
04 Desperate Shot
05 Extra Effort
06 Fast Footwork
07 Goalbound
08 Killer instinct
09 Nutmeg
10 Potshot
11 Push forward
12 Ride a tackle
13 Shoulder barge
14 Smart move
15 Straightforward attack
16 Swift attack
17 Tap Past
18 Fingers
19 Block
20 Crowd the middle
21 Final tackle
22 Keep it simple
23 Read the game
24 Sliding tackle
25 Strong defence
26 Well-positioned
27 Accelerated
28 Bad bounced
29 Change of pace
30 Charge in
31 Clean tackle
32 Fancy Footwork
33 Flair
34 Go in hard
35 Hard tackle
36 Heads up
37 In the clear
38 Measured pass
39 Motion
40 On form
41 Options
42 Out of defence
43 Pressing game
44 Quick off the mark
45 Speed burst
46 Speed it up
47 Step in
48 Tough tackle
49 Unstoppable
50 Watch the clock
51 Corner ball
52 Head home
53 High cross
54 Long pass
55 Long Shot
56 Marked out
57 Penetrating pass
58 Pop up
59 Rebound
60 Slip Up
61 Tough stuff
62 Anticipation
63 Clear the lines
64 Cut the angle
65 Distraction
66 Double up
67 Keeper's Ball
68 Packed box
69 Saving scramble
70 Tight defending
71 Tight marking
72 Timed tackle
73 High bounce
74 On a yellow
75 Pressure on the bench
76 Slide in
77 Smooth move
78 Tackle time
79 Take advantage
80 Test Of Skill

2001-2002 English Premier League Title Race Set

001 Richard Wright
002 Sol Campbell
003 Junichi Inamoto
004 Lauren
005 Giovanni Van Bronckhorst
006 Francis Jeffers
007 Nwankwu Kanu
008 Bosko Balaban
009 Olof Mellberg
010 Steve Stone
011 (Don't Know)
012 Darius Vassel
013 Alan Mahon
014 Lucas Neill
015 Mark Hughes
016 Damien Johnson
017 Keith Gillespie
018 Djibril Diawara
019 Paul Warhurst
020 Mike Whitlow
021 Kevin Nolan
022 Dean Holdsworth
023 Akinori Nishizawa
024 Henrik Pedersen
025 Rod Wallace
026 Paul Konchesky
027 Luke Young
028 Scott Parker
029 Gavin peacock
030 Jason Euell
031 Kevin Lisbie
032 Ed De Goy
033 Winston Bogarde
034 John Terry
035 Emmanuel Petit
036 Boudewijn Zenden
037 Jasper Gronkjaer
038 Mart Poom
039 Paul Boertien
040 Daniele Daino
041 Youl Mawene
042 Deon Burton
043 Alan Stubbs
044 Abel Xavier
045 Duncan Ferguson
046 Tomasz Radzinski
047 Alain Goma
048 Zat Knight
049 Lee Clark
050 Sylvain Legwinski
051 Luis Boa Morte
052 Steve Marlet
053 Matteo Sereni
054 Titus Bramble
055 Mark Venus
056 Jim Magilton
057 Richard Naylor
058 Pablo Couñago
059 Marcus Bent
060 Finidi George
061 Ian Harte
062 Lee Bowyer
063 Michael Bridges
064 Robbie Fowler
072 Pegguy Arphexad
073 Jerzy Dudek
074 Grégory Vignal
075 Igor Biscan
076 Steven Gerrard
077 Jamie Redknapp
078 John Arne Riise
079 Laurent Blanc
080/125 Dennis Irwin
081/125 David May
082/125 Quinton Fortune
083 Paul Scholes
084 Juan Sebastian Veron
085 Dwight Yorke
086 Jason Gavin
087 Gareth Southgate
088 Robbie Stockdale
089 Jonathan Greening
090 Carlos Marinelli
091 Robbie Mustoe
092 Allan Johnston
093 Hamilton Ricard
094 Nikos Dabizas
095 Sylvain Distin
096 Andy Griffin
097 Clarence Acuna
098 Robert Lee
099 Shola Ameobi
100/125 Laurent Robert
101 Alan Shearer
102 Tahar El-Khalej
103 Rory Delap
104 Dan Petrescu
105 Anders Svensson
106 James Beattie
111 Stephen Carr
112 Dean Richards
113 Mauricio Taricco
114 Steffen Freund
115 Christian Ziege
116 Simon Davies
117 Steffen Iversen
118 Shaka Hislop
119 Christian Dailly
120 Tomas Repka
121 Rigobert Song
122 Joe Cole
123 Laurent Courtois
124 Don Hutchinson
125 Jermaine Defoe

2001-2002 English Premier League Title Race Tactic Set:
02 From behind
03 Square ball
05 Back off
07 Out of your depht
08 Choices
09 Conditioning
10 Exploited
11 Fifty-fifty ball
12 Inspired burst
13 Jump for it
14 Outclassed
15 Pinball
17 Sidestep
19 Skilful play
20 Spanner in the works
21 Strong numbers
22 Thunderhead
23 Turn it on
24 Well-timed challenge
25 Counterattack
26 Cutting pass
30 Force the play
32 Bluff
34 Corner pressure
35 Collision!
38 On the wrong foot

English Football Champions Promos:
NOTE: All Promo Cards have a circular Logo Stamp on them. I also have no idea how many there exactly are.

01 Mark Kinsella
02 Gianfranco Zola
03 Les Ferdinand
04 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Italian Football Champions:
2002-2003 YOGA Promotional Cards:
01 Alessandro Del Piero (Italy)
02 Filipo Inzaghi (Italy)
03 Gennaro Ivan Gattuso (Italy)
04 Mark Iuliano (Italy)
05 Christian Pannucci (Italy)
06 Massimo Carrera (Atalanta)
07 Luciano Zauri (Atalanta)
08 Leonardo Colluci (Bologna)
09 Giuseppe Signori (Bologna)
10 Lorenzo D'Anna (Chievo)
11 Nicola Legrottaglie (Chievo)
12 Oliviera (Como)
13 Stephane Dalmat (Inter)
14 Mohammed Kallon (Inter)
15 Domenico Morfeo (Inter)
16 Matteo Brighi (Juventus)
17 Antonio Chimenti (Juventus)
18 Ciro Ferrara (Juventus)
19 Massimo Ambrosini (AC Milan)
20 Jon Dahl Tomasson (AC Milan)
21 Aimo Diana (Parma)
22 Sebastian Frey (Parma)
23 Alberto Gilardino (Parma)
24 Luca Mezzano (Torino)

Finished Sets:
English Premier League Base Set (01-02): FINISHED
English Premier League Title Race (01-02): FINISHED
English Promos (01-02): NONE
Subbuteo English League Base Set (02-03): NONE
French League Base Set (01-02): NONE
French League Pour Le Titre (01-02): NONE
French Promos (01-02): NONE
Italian League Base Set (01-02): NONE
Italian Calciomercato Set (01-02): NONE
Italian Promos (01-02): NONE
Italian League Base Set (02-03): NONE
Italian Calciomercato Set (02-03): NONE
Italian Promos (02-03): YOGA Finished. MORE TO COME.
Italian League Base Set (03-04): NONE
Italian Calciomercato Set (03-04): NONE
Italian Promos (03-04): NONE
Italian League Base Set (04-05): NONE
Italian Calciomercato Set (04-05): NONE
Italian Promos (04-05): NONE

What is this card?

While going through my dad's cards last summer, I came across a lot of really awesome stuff. The first being the '58 Update of Mickey Mantle. I'm not a Yankee fan by any means, but to me, Mantle is baseball. I really love the 1950-1970's baseball Era and don't think the current MLB can ever come close to back then.

Another card I found was this one below. It's a Cap Anson card. My dad had written a year on it, which I am almost positive says "1903". The card is in really bad shape, however it's also a complete mystery as to what or where this came from. It's also the size of the Allen and Ginter Mini's, maybe a bit wider. I doubt my dad ever did own a card from 1903, but stranger things have happened. I searched Ebay for cap Anson cards and all that was listed were his Allen and Ginter from the 1880's.

I'd guess this is a reprint of some sort. It'd be really awesome if this were an actual tobacco trading card though. If it is, I'd probably never sell it, would you?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Across the Pond

John from Pursuit of 80's(ness) sent me a nice package of football (soccer) cards. I received them yesterday and will be going through them for most of today.

My first impression of the cards was somewhat foreign. The card packaging is quite different from what I'm used to here in America. First off, football "cards" aren't very much cards at all. Most people (adults and children alike) are still big into the football stickers. The heavy player in this is Panini, who dabbled in American sports early in the 90's.

Packs of Panini Cards I received:
UEFA Champions League Trading Card Game 2008/2009
UEFA Champions League Trading Cards 2007
UEFA Champions League 2005
Coca Cola Championship Stickers 2009
Coca Cola Championship Trading Card Game 2009

The Coca Cola Championship Stickers 2009 are small feature two players on each sticker. I received two Birmingham guys, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie and Lee Carsley (lol), Barnsley's Stephen Foster, and Burnley's Brian Jensen. I also got two shiny stickers of Football kits and crests. The first one being both home and away kits of Blackpool while the second was a really awesome 125 years crest of Coventry City.

The Championship Trading Card Game cards are really cool. The background of the card has the club's crest with the player in front. On the side has the player's name, team, DOB, along with some form of point system in the top right. At the bottom right hand corner there is a star with a number inside. All cards are "8" other than two, which are "7". At the very bottom there is the Championship Cup with a number under that. Everyone has "0" while some have "1" or "2". No idea what any of this means.

The UEFA Champions League Stickers from 05 yielded me, Porto's Hugo Almeida, Man United's Paul Scholes, Leverkusen's Clemens Fritz, Lyon's Gregory Coupet, and a photo from a 1960's Champions League Match. I have no idea what game it is from though.

The 07 Champs League cards are pretty cool. The set up of the card is very simliar to the Championship Trading Card game, other than the club crest background and players. In my pack, I got a Javier Zanetti from Inter Milan.

The Champs League stickers feature a close shot of the player's face. Didn't get any superstar's, but did get a sticker of a field. I can't tell what stadium it is, but I am pretty sure it's not any English venue. There's a rubber track surrounding it. The stadium itself isn't very large. At the bottom of the card it says "UEFA Champions League Legend".

This year's version of the Champions League TCG cards have a very modern feel to them. I'm no fan of Celtic at all, and pulled two players. One being Jan Vennegoor Of Hesselink. Other notable pulls are Lukas Podolski and Giorgio Chiellini.

Thanks again to John, your package will be out by the end of the week! Also, expect pay back for the Sol Campbell figure you gave me, that's a low blow.

Monday, January 19, 2009


The Steelers are going to the Superbowl again for the 2nd time since 2005/2006. The first time was under Bill Cowher. Then he left and they hired Mike Tomlin. Everyone became worried that the Steelers wouldn't be the same team as they were under Cowher.

So, far that doubt has proven to be completely false. The team hasn't skipped a beat at all. And now they face Arizona. Hate to say it, but this game is all Pitt.

And what do I have to cheer for in the NFL? Another awesome 4-12 team. Not even my team. My "team" played tonight against Pittsburgh. The current Browns just hired a coach, before hiring a GM. Genius, really it is.

There is no rivalry anymore, it the first night the Browns came back in 1999. 44-10 Sunday Night routing.

The Steelers have been to more Superbowls in the last 4 years than the Browns have in their entire history.

But I'll still continue to cheer for the Browns, because one day they'll be good. Maybe Randy can put some of the effort into them instead of Aston Villa.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How Beckett Can Save Itself, Maybe. Part 1

The last time I purchased a Beckett magazine was in mid 2004. That was so I could get the 2004 Trading Deadline Alex Rodriguez Prmotional MLB Showdown Card. I have not purchased or even picked up a Beckett since. No, I'm not anti-Beckett at all. To be totally honest, I don't really like magazines at all.

However, I'm very in touch with all the Blogs vs Beckett war going on over the last few months. While Gellman over at Sports Cards Uncensored, is very against them, as are many other bloggers, I just don't really have that kind of hate. Have both his blog and Beckett slung mud at one another, yes they have.

When Mario over at Wax Heaven became sponsored by Upper Deck, I was pretty shocked. For any blogger, let alone Mario (a very good one I might add) to get sponsored by one of the biggest card companies in America is huge. Unfortunately, Beckett used their clout to get UD to stop sending Mario exclusives, and that was the end of the sponsorship. Was this a shady tactic, no I don't think so. Beckett just played business politics and won. Unfortunately, this burned some bridges that Mario had at Beckett and after a few emails, everyone could tell there was more than just the UD sponsorship. That was crappy on Beckett's part.

This has put Beckett in a tough spot for many of the "in the know" collectors and bloggers out there. We all collectively feel that Beckett is no longer what they once were, due in part to them eating their own hype that they really are the World's Number 1 Go to Guide for anything Sports Collectibles.

What I don't like about Beckett:
1- Pay for Website and Membership
-Yeah, no thanks.
2- Price Guide is way out of touch
-Why would I ever pay $600-$900 for a Gretsky rookie?
3- Out of Touch
-Talked about this already.

Their business model is outdated and if they continue down this road, they are done for. In order to compete in the current economy and with other sites (Blogs and Ebay) they need to act just like us, and here's how.

1. Change the Marketplace
Turn the Marketplace into an auction format. Set it up just like Ebay, in fact, even talk to Ebay about using their design and set up but run it all on Beckett. It'd generate more appeal into their site and help get them back into the true authority they once were. Another positive this could give all collector's is that all the fake patch and shady people who put fake patches into cards would be done away with, or at least dwindled down.

2. It'd give up to date pricing
The hobby analysts would actually be doing their job instead of throwing darts at a dartboard and using that as a price determiner. The foundation of the price guide could be kept in place (i.e. minor stars $.05-$.10, stars $0.10-$0.25, etc.). But the bigger cards would have a more real-life monetary value assigned. And hell, even the low number serial number cards would have a value instead of "No Pricing due to scarcity".

This is where I'll finish off right now. Sorry if this is at all incoherent, I've thought about this for quite some time now and these are just a few ideas on what can be done. To be honest, I don't think these ideas will ever come to fruition, but I can always dream, no?

Actually, why don't all of us bloggers just put something like this together? I'd love to hear any thoughts and comments about these ideas above. Oh, and if you guys at Beckett stumble upon this and take my ideas, I'll come down on you harder Eddy Curry did on his limo driver.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

When does it all become too much?

It all started harmlessly in the early-90's with parallels. Then there were serial numbered cards. "What?! Companies made only a certain number of cards?", many collector's thought. Forget parallels, I want these! After the serial number cards became customary, companies thought, let's put pieces of a player's uniform on the cards! Collector's started pulling these and charged top dollar on the secondary market. Then, autographed cards. No longer did a collector have to stand in lines at a ballpark, a hotel, or mail a 3x5 index card to players, they could just bust packs. Two birds with one stone really. And over the years, all three of these inserts have been combined, and that is where we are at currently in this hobby.

But that all changed with Allen and Ginter last season. Topps turned the clocks way back, before the times of man. Now you had the chance to pay a couple of bucks for a pack of Allen and Ginter and pull a relic card, of dinosaurs or Wooly Mammoths. Not that Allen and Ginter needed any help in selling packs, but dinosaur bones? Not to mention, this set also included DNA Relics of former Presidents.

But when does this become too much? At what point, not as collector's, but as humans do we say "This needs to stop?" Putting pieces of cloth on cards isn't too much to do. Hell, even most companies now don't even say the pieces of cloth are game used, rather, event used. Even some of the higher mid end product like last year's UD Sweet Spot Classic had "event used" cloth. Just ask Dave of Fielder's Choice.

But dinosaur bones? There's only so many of them to be cut up. The part that worries me is that collector's want to pull these cards. They are "white whales". And since the demand is super high, I could see more companies try to put prehistoric fossils in their cards.

It makes plenty of sense logically for Upper Deck to try and get a piece of the prehistoric card craze from Topps. And that is exactly what they will do come mid-March. But not in any sort of Americana card set. Nope, they are putting prehistoric bones and teeth in a hockey set. Are hockey cards really not selling that well that UD needs to put scare relics that don't even have anything to do with the sport into these packs? I was pretty sure UD Black Diamond is one hell of a product when it comes to the NHL.

2008-2009 NHL Champ's by Upper Deck is exactly where you can pull this card pictured above. You don't want a T-Rex bone, well how about a piece of it's tooth? No? Alright then, take your pick from a Spinosaurus, T-Rex, and Pterosaur. What's that, you don't like dinosaurs? That's totally fine, how about a bone relic of a Wooly Mammoth or Wooly Rhinoceros.

Sooner or later we'll have collector's trying to piece the whole animal together with relics they've pulled from cards. A miniature Jurassic Park in their basements.

Now, I know I realize it's only a few bones and hair clips from these animals. But it really makes me question if this is the beginning of something bigger and that extinct animals will have more of a prominence in this hobby. Maybe I just don't understand why dinosaur cards are going to be featured in a Hockey Set. I always thought it was the Ice Age that did the dinosaurs in? Wooly Mammoth's and Wooly Rhinoceroses I can sort of understand being in a hockey product, if only that they lived through the Ice Age.

But in the end, it still is a hockey product and I don't think hockey cards need dinosaur relics, but apparently Upper Deck thinks so.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Transfer Window BS

Failed to sign Palacios from Wigan. Understandable since they are sitting pretty in 7th place right now while we are nearing the bottom. Could be of good use to us, but whatever.

Also, lol at the fact that Adriano is in the same breath as Spurs. To me, it's almost as ridiculous as Podolski to Spurs rumors that were rampant back in August. Adriano has been off and on for Inter, especially with Mourinho at the helm. That could help the cause for him leaving Inter, but no way do I see him wearing Lilywhite anytime soon. Scratch that, make it never wearing Lilywhite ever.

"Where is Tottenham and why would I go there?"

By far the icing on the cake to the Adriano rumor is that they want Jenas in return. Brilliant tabloid work there. No team in their right mind would want Jermaine Jenas. I hate to beat an old drum, but he does absolutely nothing. Other than that one free kick against United two seasons ago. But the only thing that did was get his rating over an 85 in FIFA. The only way that Jenas would go to Inter is if Comolli was a part of Milan's board. But even then, would Damien want Jenas?

Should have never left Newcastle.

Even if we didn't get Adriano, I'd gladly get rid of Jenas for Vieira. And yes, I know he is an ex-Gunner. But at this point, he'd help our already busted up midfield. Wouldn't mind seeing him playing mid next to Appiah.

It's a shame Niko Kranjcar is still hurt, I'd love to rid the team of Bentley and have Niko running the right side of the field. Link him up with Vedran behind him and Luka as a second striker. Hell, I just want to make the whole club Croatian.

Crappy Hits, No Problem.

When I purchase packs, I always hope I get something cool. Usually that means an autograph card, jersey card, or an autographed jersey card. Unfortunately that's what's happened to this hobby and many people feel this way when they buy packs or boxes. It's very rare that people collect sets, although those collector's do exist.

If and when I do pull a hit, I'm really excited. Even if the player isn't that good. To be honest, I find the crappier hits more fun. That is, unless I spend $20 on a pack and pull this:

Dennis Sarfate. Neat card, crappy set. I was buying a lot of different brands back in 07 to see what I liked. SPx will never be purchased again after that. That's a post for another day though.

I think what makes collections unique is not only the cards you pull, but how you deal with the not so great hits. For myself, I cherish them. I love going back into my collection a few years later and looking at the cards I pulled and laughing at why that person would have an autographed card.

But seriously, who wouldn't want a collection with jersey cards of Eric Karros, Charlie Villanueva, and Luke Jackson? Or how about autographed cards of Dennis Sarfate or Miguel Montero?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I don't know where to begin on this

Like usual, I'm checking Ebay to see if I can find any new Sizemore cards that I don't already have. Basically any card from 2008. What I did find could be the best Ebay seller to have ever been on the website.


Go have a look at their shop.

I don't know whether to feel bad for this person for setting the prices on the cards so high, or wonder if they really are 8, like the number in the username.

My favorite part about the whole store is that Justin Upton is only $2.

Also, if any of you know how to actually link on Blogger, can you let me know. Some reason the code does not work for me. Thanks!

Watch this video.

Even if you don't like soccer, this video is worth the watch.

Yoann Gourcuff. French Footballer that plays for Bordeaux (France).

This is Zidane like movement in this video. Unreal stuff. No doubt why people call him Petit Zizou.

The Card Shop: Part 1

This is going to be a series of posts on my thoughts, questions, and possible future of all card shops nationwide.

Recently I've been thinking about local card shops. How exactly do they stay in business?

I've briefly talked about the card store that was near my house that closed down about 12 years ago. The owner was a friend of my dad. He would always tell my dad that this was his dream to open a card store, but once it happened, it quickly became a big loss of money for him.

It seems as though card shops used to pop up all the time and then fold a few months later. Maybe it's due to the owner having a dream to resurrect his childhood and to help other people feel the way he felt when he was a kid going into card stores.

With the way the economy is, I really wonder how card shops can stay in business. How do these places compete with online stores such as or Dave and Adam's Card World?

I'd love to hear on what you think makes a good card store, and how they can efficiently operate under these times.

I also urge you to check out I Am Joe Collector, as he is opening up a card shop and has posted many good blogs on his ideas.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Baseball Hall of Fame 2009

Congratulations to Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice.

I've had the pleasure of watching Rickey Henderson a few times throughout his major league career. When I was first growing up, when I heard Rickey Henderson, all I thought about was Road Runner-esque speed. To this day, I have no idea how a man could ever steal 130 bases in a year. I remember back in the mid-90's when Kenny Lofton would steal 65-70 bases and I thought that was insane. But 130 bases, my god.

I'm probably one of the few that could actually say they saw Rickey Henderson get picked off by a pitcher. I believe it was when he was with Oakland. My dad and I had tickets behind the visitors dugout and Rickey got on early in the game. We were watching Rickey take his lead and a moment later walk back to the dug out. I asked my dad, "Did Rickey just get picked off?" He looked at me and said "I think he just did." We were both completely shocked it had happened.

Jim Rice played well before my time. The only things I really know about him was that he played for Boston, was a tough power hitter, and whatever else Baseball Reference tells me. I refuse to listen to the morons at ESPN talk about Rice because it will all filled with pro-Boston nonsense.

Not to knock Rice, because his numbers are good, but a .298 career average? 382 Home Runs? Yes he was a monster power hitter in the 70's (77-79 he didn't hit less than 39 HR's). C'mon now Baseball Writers of America.

You've made Ron Santo wait. You've made Bert Blyleven wait. For what? Because they weren't Boston Red Sox? I'd really like to see in the coming days how the writers will explain themselves.

Also, if Rice can get in, than Albert Belle should be a lock. And before you tell me he was on steriods, tell me one time when he was caught with any banned substance in his body. Also, if Rice got in, than Fred "Crime Dog" McGriff is a pure lock. 493 Home Runs is more than enough in my opinion. One of the classiest players to play the game during the 1990's.

Larry and Jackie

What is so special about Jackie Robinson?

-Broke the color barrier in MLB.
-1947 ROY
-1949 MVP (7 other times to be top 20 in MVP voting)
-6 time All-Star
-Career Averages of .311/.409/.474

When people mention baseball, Jackie Robinson usually is one of the first players mentioned. Not only was he fantastic player on one of the most historical teams (Brooklyn Dodgers), but he did what nobody thought was possible when he broke the color barrier in '47. And it still shows today how much people think of him when they shell out thousands of dollars for game used items. Even in the sports card world, Jackie Robinson commands top dollar. And he should.

Perhaps it's just me, but there is someone getting overlooked here. That same year, another African American played in the Majors, a few months after Jackie. He was the first colored man to play in the American League.

Larry Doby. A 13 year career that encompasses:
-Averages of .283/.386/.490
-6 All Star Games
-4 MVP Votes (29th, 8th, 12th, 2nd)
-253 Career Home Runs

Larry has been honored by being selected to the Baseball Hall Of Fame (1998). He is one of Cleveland's most famous sports figures. The Indians honored him back in 2001 by selecting him to the franchise's 100 Greatest Indians.

However, when it comes to collectibles, Doby doesn't have much out there. Back when the All Star Game was in Cleveland in 1997, I got to go to the Fan Fest. There's always a card show and all the top brands are there giving promo items out. I received a 5 card set of Jackie Robinson. 1997 was the 50 year anniversary of the color barrier being broken. You would think that with the ASG in Cleveland, there'd be something for Doby too. Nope, not at all. Since the inception of Jackie Robinson Day back in 1997, every team has retired the number 42, and in April, every African American player puts on a 42 jersey to signify the relevance of Jackie.

There is no Larry Doby day. Only the Indians wear a number 14 jersey to commemorate Larry's entering the Majors.

A search on Ebay of Jackie finds many cards from new releases (Sterling, Premier) with Game Used Items, Cut Autos, and even Base cards. A search for Larry Doby and you'll find a few cards from 2004, an MLB Showdown card, and an 04 Sweet Spot Patch. What sucks about the patch is it's from his time with the White Sox while clearly his picture above has an Indians "C" cap on. Way to go UD.

It's a shame really that Larry Doby doesn't have more cards in new releases. Maybe the card companies can't get Doby items to put onto cards or there just isn't much Doby items out there, but I'd love to see more Larry Doby items in releases in the future.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

MLB Showdown

I haven't talked about Showdown in quite some time. To be honest there hasn't been a good reason to talk about it.

But I've recently started to search on Ebay again for Showdown. I'm hoping that I can find all the 2001 promos to help finish off my sets. I need probably around 20-30 of them and I have no idea where to buy them. Yeah, there's, but the prices are (and have always been) a complete rip. Back when that place had a messageboard, it was a decent place to go, because at least you could trade, now it's just a store, if that's what you want to call it.

What surprises me the most about Showdown and Ebay, is the fact that people are still making fake Showdown cards. Not only that, but those things have been around since Showdown ended, way back in mid 2005. How Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro, Ebay, MLB, or the MLBPA have not stopped these people is beyond me. I'd have thought these things wouldn't be around anymore, but they are.

Not to knock the people who make them, because the cards look nice. I also wonder who the people are that buy the fake cards too.

For those of you that regularly read the blog and wonder what this game is all about, I've got plenty of left over starter sets, playmats, dice, rule books, and cards (nearly 20,000) that I'd gladly trade for anything other than more Showdown, that is unless you have some of the cards I need.

If you read the blog and do know about Showdown, leave a comment, I'd love to talk about Showdown again. And if you have played and have some of the DCI promos from 2002, definitely get in contact with me, I'd love to trade for them.

Goal #183

Del Piero.

Trademark Free Kick goal today to give Juve a 1-0 win over Siena.

Wigan 1- Spurs 0

Where to begin? Spurs lacked everything today. No determination, no guts, no idea how to pass, nothing. NOT A SINGLE THING.

Harry has clearly lost any semblance on how to help our league form as we fall back into relegation zone. Harry, it's January 11, we shouldn't be playing as though we are zombies. What the hell did he do at Pompey to make them a solid football club in his brief time there that he cannot do at Spurs?

Defoe did nothing. Modric did nothing and was substituted just a bit past halftime. Jenas was Jenas, piss poor. Go back to Newcastle where you came from, you are trash.

Ledley King played. Great to see Ledley being able to play more than once a year now. Oh wait, he played in Central Mid. With Zokora. I'm baffled.

Pavy didn't impress and was taken off for Frazier Campbell. Campbell did absolutely nothing, much like he usually does.

The only usual thing about Spurs today was that we lost in the 91st minute.

Our upcoming non league fixtures will be wonderful. United in the FA Cup and Shaktar in the UEFA. We don't stand a chance, and rightly so. Maybe Redknapp will realize that he needs to straighten this team up or Levy will get trigger happy again. Honeymoon is over Harry, start getting the team together, get some positive results to catapult us out of relegation zone.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that Kevin-Prince Boateng is no longer a Spur. He's going back to Germany. Not that it really matters though, he was more flash than footballer.

Wigan Away 01/11/2009

Spurs currently sit in 16th just shy of relegation zone, on goal difference alone. That's scary enough to think about. It's January 10th and we are not even a point out of relegation zone. Yikes.

Wigan usually aren't that great, but they aren't bad either. Their form over the last few games have been solid, with 3 wins in a row, and 5 in the last 6.

Spurs have been horrid in league form as of late (LWDLDL). In the Cups we've been solid, having recently beating giant killers (....) Burnley in the semi-final first round leg in the Carling Cup.

Last time Spurs have faced Wigan was last Friday when we defeated them 3-1 in the FA Cup third round.

Alan "Long Term Injury" Hutton is out, most likely forever as Vedran Corluka has shown that right back is his forte. Benoit Assou-Ekotto is also out, but with a 2 game match ban, due to a red card he picked up in the last game. Usually I'm all for Benoit not seeing the pitch, but as of late he's been very good, and with Gareth Bale not having any confidence or form, I'm a bit skeptical at left-back tomorrow.

In Midfield, we'll be lead by pint size Croatian Luka Modric. Jermaine Jenas will most likely see the pitch as well after serving his suspension. Great. Huddlestone along with David Bentley most likely will not start but might see action tomorrow if we go down early.

Spurs also signed our first DM since the days of Edgar Davids, Stephen Appiah. You may remember him from the 2006 World Cup where he was a force to be reckoned with. I highly doubt he will see any action tomorrow.

As for our attack. With Pavy finally finding his wings in the Premier League, I am optimistic he can put a bunch more goals in for us. Oh, and an old friend is back at the Lane this week after a year long "loan".

Welcome home Defoe, you're a Yiddo!

You found your form at Pompey and I'm glad you excelled there. It was a shame how you left last year. It's very understandable being the back-up to arguably the best strike duo in the league last year with Keane and Berbatov, but to play behind Darren Bent, that's ridiculous. Glad to see you in the lilywhite shirt and simply cannot wait to see you bag a shitton of goals for us, because we all know we need it.

Predicted XI:






F. Campbell

My Score:
Spurs 2-1


C'mon You Spurs!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Does anyone have any Grady Sizemore cards to trade? Ebay really doesn't have much to offer, at least in terms of cards I don't have. I'm mostly looking for all 2008 cards of his, along with the late 2007 releases.

My other wants at the moment are the list of players to the right.

As for sets, I'd be interested in trading for any 2008 Topps Finest Baseball(especially the Refractors), 2008/2009 UD Black Diamond Hockey, or Evgeni Malkin. Unfortunately, I do not have an exact needs list for the set online anywhere. I'd also be interested in any and all Tribe cards, especially those from pre 1980's

If you have any of the above, post a comment and let me know what you are looking for, I have tons of cards from all sports, with a much higher quantity in baseball.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cavaliers Basketball.

I said I wouldn't do it. I promised myself I would not make this post. This season has been too good to be true, and growing up and seeing all the Cleveland failures, I do not want to believe this is actually a Cleveland team.

But my God, the Cavaliers. Yes, we have Lebron James. He can single handedly win a ball game. Just look at the video below.

Lebron aside, we've got a great back court for the first time since Ehlo and Price in Mo Williams and Delonte West. Z has been hurt, which really sucks because if there is any figure in Cleveland that deserves a title, it's him. He essentially polarizes everything about Cleveland sports. Longevity and dedication regardless of the team's record. Bad luck with injuries throughout his career. And getting to taste the finals, but never being able to win. I want Z to get a ring before he calls it quits.

With Z hurt, Andy Varejao's output has sky rocketed. He's taking 15 foot shots and actually making them. His hustle and grit is unremarkable. He's a grafter. Ben Wallace seems rejuvenated and I'd love to see him keep it up and go back to his 2003-2004 days.

Our bench is deep. I don't think I've ever been able to say that without sarcasm. Wally, Sasha, and Boobie. What I've liked about Wally the most this year is how he directs the court when he comes on with the other guys off the bench. Constantly keeping the squad together, telling them where to go, being a leader. A leader that this team has lacked when Lebron is off the court. Sasha is streaky. As much as I love the Serb, his play has lacked since his hold out last season, but it's getting back to the play everyone saw during the Playoff run back in 06-07. Gibson is just energy. He can defend and can shoot.

And then there's JJ Hickson and the other crop of rookies. Hickson sees the most time out of the others, but he also has deserved it. He mostly gets time when Wally is on the court and I believe that Wally's leadership (amongst others) has helped him immensely so far this season. And we'll need him later in the season, 82 games is quite a bit.

After tonight's win though, I couldn't help myself to post about this team. I've been dying to make this post for awhile now, I just didn't want to jinx it and watch the team come crashing down faster than a DC-10.

But we stuck it to Boston tonight, and even though it was a regular season game, it's still really nice to basically say "Fuck you Boston!"

So, Fuck you Boston.

Go Cavs!

14 Years Ago....

There used to be a card store at the end of my block. I was 8. Every Saturday after my bowling league a few friends and I would go over there with about $5-$10 and spend it on cards. Collector's Choice was usually our main focus due to the stickers we could get. None of us ever actually used the stickers, we just liked to collect them.

We'd look through the cases and see all the "rare" cards that we couldn't afford. You know, like that 1989 Fleer Ken Griffey Jr. card that was priced at $50. "Man I'd do ANYTHING for that card!" was the most common thing said amongst us. We'd buy our cards and go back to the bowling alley and open them up.

My dad and I actually got to run the store for one day. Probably one of the best days in my 8 year old life. I just wanted to open all the packs, but I was stopped. The owner of the store did give me and my dad a bunch of packs for helping him out though, which I opened in the first 10 minutes of being there.

The store closed within 2 years. The guy barely made any money and his stuff was ridiculously priced. On the last day I wasn't able to make it to the store, but my friends did and they had boxes and boxes of packs they got for nearly half off, I was pretty upset about that.

I'll never forget the day I bought (at the time) what I thought would be the most expensive pack of my life. It cost me $5. It was Leaf Studio '96. My dad wasn't very happy when I returned with only one pack purchased and no money to give back, but this pack was going to give me the best baseball cards I've ever had.

I don't remember what I exactly I pulled from those packs, but I did get one of my favorite cards of all time. A Ken Griffey Jr. Masterstrokes Insert /5000. This was the first ever serial number card I had ever seen, and even my dad had no idea what serial numbers meant. Back then, /5000 was a huge pull. Now it's worth nothing. I was told to go back to the store and buy a penny sleeve and top loader for the card. I did just that.

1994-1998 were probably my favorite year of collecting cards. I was just finally understanding all the sports and actually knew who most of the players were in all the Big 4 sports.

The best part about all of this is looking back on my "prize card binder" which is still somehow intact after 14 years. The first page are Mickey Mantle reprinted cards. Second page is full of Griffey cards. My favorite page by far though is the one full of Fleer 95 cards. Bip Roberts, Doc Gooden, Marty Janzen (wtf), Mark Portugal (what), Andy Benes, Royce Clayton (haha), and Ricky Bottalico are the studs on that page. Another page has a die cut Jimmy Haynes card that I remember pulling and saying this card would make me rich. Well it didn't, but it did make a hell of a blog post nearly 15 years later.

Hopefully over the course of the next week I can get a really old scanner to work and upload some of my prized collection up to AI for everyone to be jealous of.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Random Oddities

Earlier today I went through an already opened pack of some hockey cards I bought earlier in the year. It was the UD Series 2 from last year with Malkin on the cover. I pulled a Rookie Materials Jonathan Toews card, which is my first ever game used hockey card. What is so odd about this pack, was that the first card in it was Patric Marleau of the San Jose Sharks.

When I purchased some of the new UD Black Diamond Hockey from this year, I pulled a Quad jersey of Thomas Vanek of Buffalo. The first card in that pack was also Patrick Marleau.

I guess whenever I pull a Marleau to start the pack, something good is inside. Hopefully that streak continues.

Also, whenever I find packs I opened awhile ago and then go through them again, I always seem to have Dmitri Young in them. For instance tonight, I found a pack of 2003 UD Vintage. Third card in the pack is Dmitri Young. Jim (the other blogger) and I purchased quite a bit of Allen and Ginter this year, and both of us pulled a lot of Dmitri Young cards, two of them being the game used jersey of him. It's become some sort of weird joke between us that whenever we get baseball cards, Dmitri will be inside.

Anyone else have a certain player that continues to pop up when they open packs?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009



Eric Mangini is the new head coach of the Browns. He was alright with the Jets, and if any of the rumors are true, he is going to be bringing his offensive line coach with him. That bodes well for Brady as he'll actually have more than ya know, 3 seconds to throw the ball.

What I don't like about this signing:

-He is somewhat like Crennel in that he doesn't show emotion on the sidelines. We need fire on the sidelines, a la Cowher.

-We don't have a GM yet.

Really, what team signs a coach before the GM. Oh, right Cleveland.

I'm already calling for a 6-10 season, just like I did last year.

Do You Remember....

Age 23, First Full MLB Season Stat line:

17-8, 214.3 IP, 92 Runs Given Up (83 Earned), 205 K, 3.49 ERA, 1.232 WHIP

Not bad at all. Imagine the comparisons that are linked after a first full season with those stats.

Oh boy, this guy is HOF bound!!!

Age 24, Second Full MLB Season Stat Line:

23-5, 229.3 IP, 79 Runs Given Up (70 Earned), 182 K, 2.75 ERA, 1.134 WHIP

Amazing. Even the Baseball Writers of America thought enough of this season to award the player the 2002 Cy Young Award.

Yep, that's right, I'm talking about Barry Zito. All throughout high school and summer league baseball Zito was my favorite player. Oddly enough, he became my favorite player when in 2001, I went to the mall to purchase a pack of MLB Showdown 2001 Pennant Run Cards. Needing a solid number 1 ace for my team, I bought a pack and opened it to find none other than Zito's amazing card. Not only was this card really good in the game, but he was a lefty, much like myself.

Zito's claim to fame outside of his Cy Young was his nasty 12-6 Curveball that I tried to emulate, with moderate success. Over the rest of my high school years (oddly enough the whole time he was in Oakland), Zito was a dominant force with two other pitchers, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder. ESPN as well as many other baseball writers ranted and raved over the "Big Three". But after 2004, the Big Three were nothing more, Mulder was off to St. Louis and Huddy was in Atlanta.

During a late 2004 card show, I went and bought some 2002 Topps packs, hoping to get a game used card. What I got instead was a 2002 Topps Autographed Zito card. To say the least, I was ecstatic. The card was awesome, and Zito's autograph was pristine.

His next two seasons with the A's were alright. I never did get to see him pitch in person, but I got his Autograph in 2005 at a game, which is one of my favorite pre-game moments, right up there with Albert Belle telling me "shut the hell up kid" back in 1995 when I was 8, at Tiger Stadium.

After the '05 season, he cashed out and ran across the Bay to San Fran, only to become completely irrelevant in card collecting and the Majors.

This Bowman 2000 Auto is currently going for under $10. A few years ago, you'd be laughed at when offering $10 for this card.

I've got two questions regarding Barry:

Are there any Zito collectors still out there?
What do you think was the reason for his downfall?

Hockey Cards

Does anyone know of any good hockey card blogs out there? I see all the major sports covered, but I've never seen hockey. Mario at Wax Heaven did a few previews on hockey cards back when UD sponsored him, but that's all I know about.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Carl Pavano and YOU!

Carl Pavano is an Indian. I don't know why this happened, but it did. This signing better be no more than $2 million for this year alone.

After I wrote those sentences, I decided that I would try and make this article talking about the positives about Pavano, and how he should do somewhat decent this season with the Tribe. Perhaps our pitcher's park will somewhat suit his pitching and he can blossom and we'd either keep him and make a great post-season run and win it all, or if we somehow flop, we deal him out when his trade value is at an all time high thanks to his amazing CC-esque half of a season and get some nice return value.

But no. Nothing do I think will help Carl Pavano in his time in Cleveland. Although, it will be pretty awesome seeing Carl Pavano jersey shirts at the ballpark. I'm not going to lie either, I'll probably buy one, just for comedic value.

Dan Plesac, please come out of retirement and play for the Tribe.


The contract is $1.5 million with incentives that could kick it up to $5.3 million if he exceeds 130 Innings Pitched and 18 starts. I could see both being reached, but I surely hope not.

Michael Aubrey's time as a Cleveland Indian are done as he was bumped off the 40 man for Pavano's signing. Aubs has never been healthy for a full season, and at age 27 and only reaching the Majors once, I don't see him making a team. Sad end to a promising career.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Zinedine Zidane is a retired French Football (Soccer) player. He has worn the shirt of many prestigious clubs such as Juventus, Real Madrid, and his national country, France. Zidane, or Zizou, is to many football fanatics to be a World Class Legend. However, most people remember Zizou for his antics at the 2006 World Cup.

The match was the Final in the 2006 World Cup between France and Italy. Both clubs are littered with talent, but Zidane is miles beyond all of the players. 2006 was his final appearance on the International stage for Les Bleus. Unfortunately for Zidane, he was sent off for his headbutt on Materazzi.

While searching Ebay for my quest to own a Zidane card, I came across his 2007 Futera dual jersey card (/175) of his. At the time, the card was currently going for $6 with shipping at $3.50.

I was very shocked to say the least and this card would easily have been a centerpiece of my collection. Both jersey swatches are from two different jerseys (Juventus and Real Madrid), and with a very low serial number (not 1/1 like the listing said), this card is a must have for any Zidane fan. And a must have it was.

Well, the listing ended, and I was very much out of the running when it was all said and done at $66 even. 15 bids were put in for this card, and not one of them was mine because I set my ceiling at $30.

Hopefully another Zidane jersey card is put on Ebay sometime soon, and maybe, just maybe I can win it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Derosa, Yankee Stadium, Transfer Window

I've been in New York City over the last few days to celebrate New Years. While I no longer have any money left in my bank account, my liver, or a kidney which I might have sold on the black market to give myself more cash to spend in the city, it was a great time.

I did make it up to Yankee Stadium, which just to say I got there is something special. Unfortunately, the stores around the stadium do not sell any Cory Lidle shirts.

While I was celebrating the New Year, the Cavs lost a game in Miami, the English Premier League's Transfer Window opened, and the Tribe traded for Mark Derosa.

I have tickets for the Cavs game tonight 7 rows off the bench, and if they lose tonight I'm not talking about them the rest of the season.

As for the other Cleveland Team making positive moves, the Indians acquired Mark Derosa from the Cubbies. We only gave up RHP Jeff Stevens, RHP Chris Archer and LHP John Gaub. I had only heard of Stevens before this, because he was on the Olympic Team with LaPorta. Unfortunately Stevens one appearance was a blown save and he wasn't used again. With Randy Newsom tearing up our farm system, Stevens seemed that his time with us was running out. The other two are much lower in our farm system and don't have bad numbers, but whether they pan out won't be known for at least another few seasons.

Mark DeRosa on the other hand is an alright pick up. Obviously he won't get near his last season, which was the best of his career. I doubt Mark will be with us past this season, due to him being 34 and a free agent after this season. Plus we have Wes Hodges about a season away from coming up and hopefully doing more than Andy Marte could ever dream of.

With DeRosa's acquisition, this no longer means Peralta and Asdrubal will be moving to 3B and SS respectively. In doing so, I really strongly feel that Josh Barfield might not be with us when Spring Training opens up in about a month.

Speaking of a month long, this month should be a very exciting one for Tottenham. Harry Redknapp's honeymoon with us is over after not getting dumped by West Brom over the weekend 2-1. This game showed just how horrible our fowards have been and it is crucial we sign a foward who does more than just "run around". The midfield needs a defensive cog ASAP. Yes Luka is fantastic and much stronger than anyone thought the little Croat could be, but he can't do everything. Jenas is garbage. Bentley is about as good as, well nothing. He needs to ride the bench and actually watch the game and see what a right mid is all about. And please, no more expensive signings (Bellamy, Downing). They would not be worth our time and would only put us exactly where we were pre-Martin Jol era.