Win a Minor League Baseball Contract

That’s right, announced the other day, in select packs of 2012 Topps Heritage Minor League, you will be able to find entries into a contest to win your very own one day contract with the Corput Christi Hooks, as well as get your own 2013 Topps baseball card. Topps is really innovating with real life experiences included in your card collecting experiences. I love it.

The official press release from the Topps desk:

“Make YOUR Pro Debut” with the Corpus Christi Hooks and Get Your Own 2013 Topps Baseball Card!

To help launch the 2012 release of Topps Heritage – Minor League Baseball Edition, Topps is offering one lucky collector the once in a lifetime experience of being a professional baseball player for an entire day with a Minor League Baseball franchise and then have their very own “Pro Debut” Topps baseball card included in the first Minor League Baseball release of 2013.

Topps, Minor League Baseball and the Corpus Christi Hooks present the “Make YOUR Pro Debut” promotion!

For their Pro Debut, the lucky collector will be flown to Corpus Christi, Texas for a regular season game in 2013 to suit-up with the Corpus Christi Hooks – Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.  The winner will receive their own locker in the Clubhouse and be outfitted with their own professional uniform and equipment.

Once dressed and equipped, the collector will hit the field with the Hooks and participate in pre-game team activities including stretching, batting practice & shagging (fly balls).  The winner will then start the game by walking out the Hooks’ lineup card and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

In additional, the lucky collector will be interviewed in the broadcast booth and, to cap off the entire experience, the “newest Hook” will meet and greet Club owner and baseball legend, Nolan Ryan who will be making a special appearance at the game.

Finally, Topps will memorialize the lucky collector’s experience with an official “Pro Debut” baseball card which will be unveiled in the 2013 Minor League Baseball release of “Topps Pro Debut”.

To Make Your Pro Debut:

Look for special “Make Your Pro Debut” cards randomly inserted into packs of Topps Heritage – Minor League Baseball Edition, in stores September 12th 2012.  Follow the instructions on the card to enter the contest which will include writing an essay on “Why You Should Make Your Pro Debut.”  The Essay must be submitted to Topps for review by December 1st at the address below.  The best essays will be voted on by Topps collectors to determine the winner by January 15th.

For more information about the “Make Your Pro Debut” promotion and how to enter please visit us on facebook at or on

Topps Address

Topps Make Your Pro Debut – Entries

PO Box 2098

Duryea, PA 18642

September 2012 Sports Card Releases

Now I did terrible on previewing for the August sports card releases. I blame that of course on my wedding and honeymoon. Grad school isn’t as big of a hurdle as family coming into town and being in a few foreign countries without decent internet access. So as always, here is a list of products coming out this September including my rating of excitement.


2012 Topps Baseball Minor League Heritage – September 12, 2012 – $68 – 6/10

A product I still personally don’t care about makes a return featuring some of the best prospects in the game that are currently down on the farm getting ready for their call ups. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Triple Threads Baseball – September 19, 2012 – $200 – 7/10

Never really been a huge fan of the product and have been advocating a complete change over or removal of the product, but it’s coming out again for another season. Some nice cards to be had though, it’s just a matter of preference. Full preview coming soon.


2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro Basketball – September 6, 2012 – $300 – 7/10

I’m not sure what to expect in this product from Upper Deck, but from what I’ve seen it’s a lot of old Fleer designs with rookies and legends of the game in their college uniforms.

2012-13 Panini Prestige Basketball – September 14, 2012 – $96 – 7/10

Getting into more of the full season of NBA products from Panini with their second release of the season, before the season even starts! Full preview coming soon.


2012 Panini Momentum Football – September 12, 2012 – $200 – 8/10

This looks like a great rookie product from Panini which features some sweet rookies, some sweet autographs, and some sweet memorabilia cards. A whole lot of hits in this product.

2012 Panini Prominence Football – September 19, 2012 – $100 – 7/10

More from the hottest rookie class in years with another Panini debut in their football brands. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Platinum Football – September 12, 2012 – $110 – 8/10

Not a bad looking product from Topps with 3 autographs per box and a ton of refractors, especially with this awesome rookie class. But Topps and foilboard? OHMAHGERD! Full preview coming soon.

2012 Upper Deck University of Alabama Football – September 25, 2012 – $46 – 6/10

Roll Tide. Upper Deck comes out with another college football team themed product after last year’s products. I wasn’t a fan then, not really a fan now. Full preview coming soon.


2011-12 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey – September 11, 2012 – $400 – 9/10

One of the best all around products of the year returns again as the final product of the 2011-12 hockey season from Upper Deck. Will it live up to it’s usual hype? Probably. Full preview coming soon.

2011-12 Panini Dominion Hockey – September 26, 2012 – $400 – 9/10

The competitor to The Cup is coming back for it’s sophomore season making the necessary improvements it needs and it looks fantastic. Will it finally dethrone The Cup?


2012 Upper Deck SP Authentic Golf – September 25, 2012 – ? – 8/10

Golf has made it’s return and it features some sweet autographs including the first ever autographs from Ernie Els! Full preview coming soon.

August 2012 Sports Card Releases

It’s August and heading into the dog days of summer. My August is filled and busy with tons of stuff which will cause me to miss a lot of blogging time. At least I should have all these previews out beforehand…well, I hope.


2012 Panini Cooperstown Baseball – August 22, 2012 – $90 – 8/10

A set dedicated to the baseball hall of famer, Cooperstown features a number of hall of famers or players with displays in the most famous little town in baseball.

2012 Panini Triple Play Baseball – August 1, 2012 – $24 – 7/10

Quite possibly the most kid friendly product in all of sports, this $1 per pack product features some fabulous comic book style artistry from some of the games top players along with some actual eye black you can use. Pretty sweet stuff.

2012 Topps Finest Baseball – August 2012 – $110 – 8/10

No preview.

2012 Topps Chrome Baseball – August 2012 – $72 – 7/10

No preview.


2012-13 Panini Hoops Basketball – August 17, 2012 – $68 – 8/10

Panini Hoops returns. Full preview coming soon.

2012-13 Panini Prestige Basketball – August 29, 2012 – $96 – 8/10

Panini’s full schedule of products is back and Prestige is included. Full preview coming soon.


2012 Panini Momentum Football – August 29, 2012 – $200 – 8/10

Panini Momentum is released for it’s rookie season featuring some great looking hits and rookies in a product that should deliver some solid hits all around for those hit lovers out there.

2012 Panini Rookies & Stars Football – August 22, 2012 – $96 – 7/10

Rookies & Stars makes an upgraded return. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Finest Football – August 22, 2012 – $100 – 9/10

I really enjoyed this product last year, and this year looks to be another great year of Finest. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Football – August 8, 2012 – $57 – 9/10

The first real football product of the year from Topps is released. Full preview coming soon.

2011 Upper Deck Exquisite Football – August 15, 2012 – $555 – 8/10

A bit overpriced this year and very late, Upper Deck releases this year of Exquisite football looking as good as ever featuring college uniforms, 3D autographs, and more.


2012-13 Panini Score Hockey – August 24, 2012 – $30 – 8/10

The low end highlight of the hockey season will arrive once again at $1 per pack. Full preview coming soon.

2012-13 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Hockey – August 14, 2012 – $59 – 7/10

Upper Deck’s lower end offering is back as well. Full preview coming soon.

2011-12 Panini Prime Hockey – August 17. 2012 – $200 – 9/10

A fantastic looking new product from Panini featuring some fantastic prime memorabilia and autographs. This may be one of the better higher end products coming from Panini this year.

2011-12 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey – August 7, 2012 – $97 – 8/10

Usually one of my favorite products of the season, Ultimate will return once again looking great but at a slightly higher price than usual.


2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions – August 14, 2012 – $74 – 9/10

The more I’m seeing of these types of products from Upper Deck, the more I’m liking them. Goodwin Champions returns as a multi sport type product from UD featuring some very cool inserts and sketch cards.

Panini Adds More For 2012 NSCC

Panini already announced some big plans for the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore in a couple of weeks. But we all had a suspicion that there was more than Panini was letting on, and there definitely is.

Not only has Panini announced their wrapper redemption program that will be taking place at the National, they announced a special program for the “ballers” at the National who open over $6500 of Panini product.

The VIP program was instituted to show those die hard collectors how much Panini cares for their business. And the VIP treatment they will get – from mingling with Hall of Famers, free autographs, Black Boxes, and the chance to bid on some rare Panini experiences…these collectors are being treated like royalty.

The only catch is that you have to buy specific items from specific retailers at the show to get Panini Bucks. These items also will be up for wrapper redemptions.


  • 2011 Limited
  • 2011 Prime Cuts
  • 2011 Contenders


  • 2011-12 Gold Standard
  • 2011-12 Limited
  • 2011-12 Past & Present


  • 2012 Elite
  • 2012 Prestige
  • 2011 Totally Certified
  • 2011 Playbook
  • 2011 Prime Signatures


  • 2011-12 Elite
  • 2011-12 Contenders
  • 2011-12 Rookie Anthology

For more information check out this post on the official Panini blog.

So good luck to those heading out to Baltimore for the NSCC. It looks like you’ll have a ton of different options when it comes to wrapper redemptions with each company.

Panini’s Big Plans For the 2012 NSCC

With the National Sports Collectors Convention coming up on August 2, 2012, Panini has made a huge announcement for one of their plans at the National.

One of the most interesting and innovative concepts for redemption replacements is being brought live to the show. If you are attending this event and have outstanding redemptions of at least 4 months, you’ll be able to get involved with this “trade up” program.

Combining the book value of your cards that you request replacement for, you will be able to get a “grab bag” style redemption replacement for your cards. They will fall in different sports and categories with you being able to redeem for several different valued grab bags. Yes, you can combine multiple cards for one higher value grab bag.

It’s really quite interesting what may be involved here. Will these cards be redemptions that were never redeemed? Cards that were never inserted into product, but produced anyway? Will these be NSCC show stamped items?

Either way, I have a feeling most collectors are going to end up happy with their replacement. Just the fact that you can combine 15 Nathan Eberle autographed rookies into 1 $200 grab bag card makes this interesting. I really can’t wait to see the results and what collectors end up pulling from these grab bags.

Find out more about this program on the Panini blog.