July 2011 Sports Card Releases

July 2011 is going to be busy with sports card releases. It seems like every sport is throwing a ton of product out in July. I’m not entirely sure why July is that month, but it’s going to be very interesting to see what collectors will be spending their money on and what they will be pushing aside. But rest assured, I am here to help you. Below will be a list of all releases in the month of July and their dates in every sport. I will also link to any previews I may have up and rate them from 1 to 10 on my excitement level. I’ll even include a price point. Sounds like a big undertaking? Well it is. But it’s going to be informative. Release dates are subject to change.*

BASEBALL

2011 Bowman Platinum Baseball – Release: July 27th, 2011 – Price: $110 – Excitement: 8/10

The Bryce Harper chase will continue with 2011 Bowman Platinum baseball. While a rookie autograph relic for Harper is not yet confirmed in the checklist, you know Topps is going to do everything in it’s power to get that card in this set, just like Strasburg from last year. You will be able to find plain rookie autographs though and that is enough to get the nod as a product to buy.

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball – Release: July 13th, 2011 – Price: $90 – Excitement: 8/10

A fan favorite since it was brought back from the dead, Allen & Ginter will be out in July. With one of the better autograph checklists in recent years and a fun set to collect, everyone will continue to buy Ginter.

FOOTBALL

2011 Panini Rookies & Stars Football – Release: July 27th, 2011 – Price: $85 – Excitement: 7/10

While not traditionally one of the strongest releases of the football season, 2011 Rookies & Stars will have all your top draft players and a mix of veterans with jerseys, autographs, and patches. This will also have an insert set that pays homage to the old Donruss Studio brand as well which is pretty cool to me.

2011 Score Football – Release: July 6th, 2011 – Price: $30 – Excitement: 6/10

The set for just about anyone is back. Mainly aimed at lower end set builders and those without the money to spend on cards, Score Football is back and will include all the top rookies and a few scattered autographs here and there. I am not a set builder so this rating is a little lower, but lower end flagship sets are definitely a need in this hobby and Score football supplies that.

2011 Topps Football – Release: July 27th, 2011 – Price: $55 – Excitement: 7/10

Topps flagship football is here year after year with all your new rookies and players in their new uniforms. It may be harder to do without official workouts going on, but it will be out. A big set to put together and a ton of new Super Bowl themed inserts to keep it fresh, Topps is looking good as usual.

2011 Upper Deck NCAA Sweet Spot – Release: July 13th, 2011 – Price: $110 – Excitement: 7/10

Your premium one autograph a pack Upper Deck product is back with the newest draft picks and veterans all in their college glory. Usually a very hit or miss product, this is for those who love autographs and are looking to get a head start on the rookies for the upcoming season.

BASKETBALL

2010/11 Panini Gold Standard – Release: July 14th, 2011 – Price: $175 – Excitement: 9/10

This new product by Panini looks like it is going to be a hit amongst collectors. Just from looking at the number of Google searches coming into my site looking for information on Gold Standard is astounding. With real gold embedded into the cards and a great selection of autographs and memorabilia, this first time product looks like it may become a Panini staple.

2010/11 Panini Season Update – Release: July 20th, 2011 – Price: $65 – Excitement: 7/10

To wrap up the season in full, Panini Season Update is released at the end of the season and finishes with updates of trades, champions, and history making games of the season. Last year, this was the best value of the season with tons of extra hits and one can hope for the same this year.

2010/11 Panini Totally Certified – Release: July 6th, 2011 – Price: $100 – Excitement: 8/10

The newly renamed Totally Certified will be coming out as well highlighting the best rookies and stars of the season. Tons of low numbered parallels and the debut of Panini HRX video trading cards, Panini Totally Certified should be near the top of your list for basketball products.

2010/11 Upper Deck All-Time Greats – Release: July 6th, 2011 – Price: $285 – Excitement: 8/10

With a Jordan autograph every 6 boxes, it’s hard not to like this product. The checklist looks great for a 20 living legend checklist. Included will be deceased cut autographs as well. You want stars of the game today and the past, look no further. This should be a fun product to open.

HOCKEY

2010/11 Panini Dominion – Release: July 27th, 2011 – Price: $375 – Excitement: 9/10

Panini’s debut high end hockey product of the season releases in July with great hits and already tons of buzz from the hockey community. Tons of great memorabilia hits and autographs of stars, rookies, and legends, this is a product that I would want most this July, but will only be able to afford if I find a job. Please let me find a job.

2010/11 Panini Zenith – Release: July 6th, 2011 – Price: $85 – Excitement: 7/10

Panini debuts Zenith with their first Rip Cards and the largest rookie checklist of the year. Over 200 rookies for you to get your hands on in this product. Also find rookie autographs and veteran autographs as usual with some neat insert concepts.

2010/11 Upper Deck Ultimate – Release: July 20th, 2011 – Price: $90 – Excitement: 9/10

Upper Deck Ultimate hockey is the premium product that leads to The Cup in August. Great rookie and veterans autographs and usually awesome patches, this product is always a hit with hockey collectors. If I had the money it would be a tough decision to go with one box of Dominion or multiple Ultimate boxes. I’d have to find a way to do both.

That’s it for July. 13 products from four sports across the whole month and I didn’t even mention Upper Deck Goodwin Champions which will release July 5th, 2011 a week early at the end of June and covers a whole mess of sports. So make that 14 products over the course of one month. It will definitely be a busy month for collectors. Everything from a $30 box of Score football to a $375 box of Dominion hockey will be released.

But either way, all these products means a lot of fun for those who want to rip open some new product! May the mojo be with you this July!

Happy Father’s Day 2011!

Mary Riley of Benchwarmer says Happy Father’s Day in this card. It is from 2009 but forget about that, it’s Mary Riley.

This Father’s Day surely is a great one for all you fathers out there. For one, if you’re reading this post, you get to see the beautiful Mary Riley in a Father’s Day commemorative card.

Secondly, there will be a ton of great inter-league baseball for all you dads to watch this afternoon into the evening hours.

Third, if you aren’t into baseball you’re surely into golf. You can watch the final round of the US Open and see if Rory McIlroy can hold his lead at this major tournament this time around.

Finally, when the sun goes down it will only get hotter when the 2011 Miss USA Pagaent will be live on NBC.

What a great Father’s Day lineup for dad to sit home and enjoy the best things the world has to offer for men. Sports and women. While you’re at it, make it even better and crack open a couple cold ones.*

*If you’re of legal age: 21 in the US and 18 everywhere else that has their heads on straight. Otherwise, have yourself an O’Douls or root beer.

While I am not a father as of right now, I will be enjoying all of these things as the fiancee will be working.

And remember to support prostate cancer awareness on this day. If they find a preventative cure, you will no longer need those special appointments where you are afraid to look at your doctor afterwards.

 

I Love Finding Cards

I love finding cards when I least expect it. I was digging through some boxes recently when I was looking for my Wheels Main Event cards I posted the other day. While searching for those cards I came upon probably 200 inserts and rookies that I had packed up and moved from Connecticut last summer.

First off, last summer I tried moving my entire collection from Connecticut to Oregon. I chose UPS as the best way to handle the shipping and boy was that a bad idea. The box was mangled and many cards were so damaged they lost all value. Those all went into the trash. Luckily, the majority of those were base cards of star players. I was able to save many of the inserts and rookies that were packaged separately inside the box. A few have slight damage but are still manageable.

In the group I found a lot of great inserts. Chrome refractors, low serial numbers, and regular old inserts…the majority from around 2005. I was excited to find them.

Some highlights:

A bunch of Bowman Chrome star refractors

A bunch of 2005 Donruss Studio Portraits (all numbered to 50 or less) of star players

A bunch of acetate cards (Score! I thought those were gone)

A bunch of Bowman Chrome and Heritage rookies

It was a great stash of inserts. I have yet to go through them and price them and really check to see how bad some of the damage may be. The better ones will probably be sent to CheckOutMyCards eventually. I’ve been saying for months I would send them a package of inserts to sell on there. There has got to be somebody who wants some of these inserts.

If anyone has any wants please send me an email or leave a message here with your email. I have like 400 inserts/rookies total just hanging around here doing nothing. Even a couple of printing plates. Oh, 99% of them are baseball in case anyone else was wondering.

 

Preview: 2011 Topps Inception Football

It may be the middle of the Major League Baseball season, but football products are coming out like hotcakes. Topps Inception football is just as the name implies. Topps is welcoming the top drafted rookies this year in their own focused product with Topps Inception. Chock full of rookies, if you’re a rookie collector or looking to try and prospect some football players before they take the field this year (hopefully) this product is for you.

This product is full of great things. I’ll start with the rookie autographs. Every rookie autographed card is hard signed. Topps has done a great job getting these done in this department. It shouldn’t be a selling point more than it should be a requirement for autographs, but Topps is making the necessary steps. There will be dual, triples, and quad autographs all on card. This is shaping up to be a monster rookie product. There is also a black version signed in silver ink which looks awesome.

The second great thing is the design. These cards look great. Sure, the jerseys on the players are photoshopped on, but the look of a very realistic painting looks really good. But the overall design of the cards makes that seem like a non-issue. The players look like they are coming out of the smoke from the tunnel for their first NFL game. Instead, they are coming out for their first high-end rookie trading cards.

The final great thing is the price. What would you pay for a rookie product with a ton of autographs, great looking design, and a ton of relics? You would need to know what you get per box. Each box comes with one pack. Inside each pack is 2 autographs, 1 relic card, 2 parallels, and 2 veteran base cards. Every card is numbered. Sounds like a lot of other products out there that cost $150+. Try $90 for this product. The lack of veteran and star autographs drives the price down to an affordable level to pick up some of the hottest rookies of this coming season. With all the low serial number possibilities, you can find some real value in this box.

The only thing I kind of don’t like about this product is the relics. Now you need to understand where I am coming from with this. Every relic is just event worn from the NFL Rookie Premiere. Worn for two seconds or worn in multiple layers, these are not game used. I don’t like event worn memorabilia. BUT! I understand the need for event worn memorabilia when there hasn’t been a game played yet. If you want to get products out before the season starts you need to use the event worn jerseys, I understand that. I just like my stuff game worn, it means more to me as a collector.

But I can’t complain about how they use these relics. Shields, jumbo relics, jumbo patches, letterman, laundry tags, autographed versions of all of those…great use of the memorabilia. They are really using every bit of the jersey for this product and for that we do thank you. So honestly, I can’t not like it that much. It’s more of a preference I guess.

Either way, this product is looking good. Right now the release date is set for August 10, 2011. It will definitely be a favorite of the rookie collectors out there and with more people getting into prospecting in football, it looks like it will do well. If you want star autographs or legend autographs, you will not find it in this product, however.

Here is one of those sweet silver signatures:

My Favorite Themed Set – 2009 Press Pass Wheels Main Event

Themed sets are kind of hard to come by nowadays. I do enjoy a themed set where every card base, insert, game used, autos, are all based off of one central theme. My favorite themed set actually came from 2009 and came from Press Pass. That set is 2009 Press Pass Wheels Main Event.

When you think “Main Event” I hope your minds go to the place mine does. Poker. I love poker. Maybe because I’m actually good at poker. In 2008 I came in 4th place in a poker tournament with the top players in Oregon. I haven’t played much since then because I met a lady I really like spending my time with, but I still love playing poker.

The design by Press Pass really incorporated poker and it really stood out as the main theme. I’ll admit I don’t watch racing that often, but I will watch the big races of the year. I use to go to Stafford Speedway in Connecticut every once and awhile to watch the races when I lived back there. I know the big names and which cars to watch. I just can’t sit still and watch racing. But when I saw this set came out, I knew it had to be my first box of racing cards.

Here are some of the designs from this set.

This first design is really a great idea. Put drivers on 52 cards and insert them into the set. Collect the whole set and you have your very own NASCAR deck of cards to play with. Everyone loves playing cards and has at least a deck of cards in their house. Having a poker game with your beer buddies who love NASCAR? Bring out this deck of cards for your high stakes games and it’s time to rumble.

Jackpot is what it felt like every time I pulled one of these beautiful insert cards. I believe inserts were one a pack so I had a ton of Jackpot moments. These cards highlight those who won races in 2009 with pictures of them holding up their hardware for turning left the most times in the fastest amount of time. Jimmie Johnson has quite a few Jackpot moments and I love the look inside the poker chip with quad aces.

High Rollers are the ones with most money and play for keeps. This card exemplifies that. It has somewhat of a Chrome finish to it with the chips and driver raised off the card. The reflective surface looks awesome and it isn’t overpowering like foil board. This is really a nice looking card. I love the poker chips dumped everywhere across the card. Reminds me of the movie Rounders when he’s throwing some chips up in the air.

What’s a poker themed set without poker players? Phil Ivey is in this set amongst other top poker players. Also randomly inserted were poker player autographs. If you found a redemption, odds are it wouldn’t get fulfilled though. I pulled a Chris “Jesus” Ferguson autograph redemption. I subsequently lost the redemption as Press Pass makes you actually mail it in. I can’t keep track of things. But it’s okay, as Jesus never actually signed the cards. Neither did Phil Ivey. It’s sad for a poker fan like me.

But I love this set. The theme used throughout was amazing. A lot of Press Pass NASCAR fans weren’t happy with the theme that year, but I believe Press Pass uses a new theme every year for this Wheels series. Although I’m not a huge racing fan I think Press Pass did a great job with the design and execution of this set. There are even more great cards in this set as well, I just didn’t take a photo of them as they are in a set box sorted away somewhere. These were duplicates. If you are into racing even the slightest and love poker, this is a great set to see if you are interested in collecting racing cards.