Agenda: After Honeymoon Return

Late last night, after hours of plane flights and flying through 3 countries, I finally returned home from my honeymoon.

I apologize for the lack of posts this month, but I just didn’t have the time to pre-write content that could last for awhile. Planning and executing a stunning wedding and honeymoon was pretty stressful and just took away a lot of my time and energy to write. With all of that behind me now, and great new memories, I have had the time to relax a bit.

So I wanted to share the agenda for things going forward for the next couple weeks. This will help keep me focused as well as I tend to forget things I want to do and say as I have so many things going through my head at the same time.

-Review 2012 Elite football and 2012 Score football

-Catch up on previews

-Combine cards and places I visited on my honeymoon

-Showcase some new items for the man-cave

-Showcase some special cards I received from the 2012 National, without even having to go!

-Get ready for the 2012 Panini NFL Player of the Day promotion

-Start graduate school

This is actually a more daunting list than previously expected. It’s a lot of different types of content over the next couple of weeks but also includes starting graduate school and going off to Hawaii for a week for a friend’s wedding. I should have plenty of content ready for the Hawaii trip but needless to say, it’s going to be a busy couple of weeks.

Thanks for sticking around with me while I was away, but it’s back to business as usual.

August 2011 Sports Card Releases

Here we go again for the month of August. Plenty of goodness about to be released in all 4 major sports. It’s heating up here in the dog days of summer with this product line up about to go out to collectors. As always, ratings are my excitement level for each product and what should be your excitement level too. Dates are subject to manufacturer change.

Baseball:

2011 ITG Heroes & Prospects “Hits” Series 2 Baseball – August 3, 2011 – Price: $85 – 7/10

This one pack per box baseball product brings you only the hits. Find autographs from players of the future and yesteryear including cuts of players like Hank Aaron and future stars like Manny Banuelos.

2011 Topps Lineage Baseball – August 3, 2011 – Price: $100 – 7/10

Find autographs from past and today as Topps uses it’s popular designs from the 60s and 70s including autographs on the old 1952 card design. It should be loaded with some great hits.

2011 Topps Marquee Baseball – August 24, 2011 – Price: $175 – 8/10

This new hit per pack product looks to be a mix of Tribute and Triple Threads. While I’m not excited about the relics unless I pull a patch, for this high end of a product I would want more patches. Other than that, the autograph checklist looks pretty good in itself so it’s definitely worth it to check it out.

2011 Tristar Obak Baseball – August 10, 2011 – Price: $105 – 7/10

11 hits per box! With autographs from history’s greatest baseball players as well as future stars, this product looks loaded with the possibilities for some nice hits. When you get 11 of them, there is sure to be a ton of filler, but the really good hits should be really good.

Basketball:

2010-11 Panini Elite Black Box Basketball – August 31, 2011 – Price: ? – 9/10

The newest high end offering from Panini looks like it has great promise for it. A ton of beautiful on card autographs and a few embedded autographs that don’t look that bad besides the autograph getting cut out a bit is what you’ll find and will be what everyone is looking for. A nice insert set dedicated to Kevin Durant has been long in the making. This product just depends on the checklist. But for now, I got the hype.

2010-11 Panini National Treasures Basketball – August 10, 2011 -Price: $440 – 8/10

The prominent high end product of the basketball season comes out with awesome patches, great autographs, and the rookie cards of the season for basketball. The rookie class may not be that great, but these cards are always top of the line from Panini.

2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic Basketball – August 30, 2011 – Price: $115 – 6/10

I can honestly say that I’m not very excited about this product. The only excitement comes from the fact it’s possible to pull a Michael Jordan or Lebron James autograph. The man-crush on North Carolina and the amounts of possibly Lebron or Jordan autographs is kind of killing their values, but if you want another good chance to pull one, here’s another shot.

Football:

2011 Panini Threads Football – August 24, 2011 – Price: ? – 8/10

One of the better Panini football products, there is a ton of great looking cards in this year’s set with some great looking rookie and veteran autographs, including the always popular rookie letterman autographs. The veteran and rookie autographs you can pull are pretty solid in this product and it looks like a winner.

2011 Topps Finest Football – August 31, 2011 – Price: $100 – 8/10

Topps Finest football is always a hit amongst collectors. Rookie autographs, rookie patch autographs, and veteran autographs, you can find some great cards in this product but also some duds. It’s a fun break as it’s one of the first Topps products of the season featuring rookies and veterans.

2011 Topps Inception Football – August 11, 2011 – Price: $90 – 9/10

I’m impressed with this product with the rookies and the design Topps was able to use despite not getting great pictures at the NFL Premiere when the lockout was in place. I’m in love with the design and what Topps has done with this product and I think it would be a great pickup.

2011 Upper Deck NCAA Sweet Spot Football – August 3, 2011 – Price: $110 – 8/10

A hit per pack product again, I think the price is a little high for this product, but it should be filled with some great autographs from the incoming NFL rookie class in their college uniforms. With college football gaining popularity by the year, it looks to be a solid product as it gives collectors, especially college collectors, what they want.

Hockey:

2010-11 Panini Dominion Hockey – August 31, 2011 – Price: $390 – 10/10

I am beyond hyped up for this product. Finally, a competitor with The Cup in the hockey arena and it looks like it will do a great job with some great cards and new concepts in this set. Plus, who doesn’t love an insert set dedicated to the Hartford Whalers?

2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey – August 30, 2011 – Price: $390 – 10/10

The Cup hockey. Really, what else is there to say here? The highest of high end from Upper Deck is back and looking just as good as ever. It will be challenged by Panini Dominion, can it claim it’s spot at the top of the high end hockey world with some new competition?

2010-11 ITG Heroes & Prospects Update – August 30, 2011 – Price: $40 – 7/10

H&P Update isn’t my favorite ITG product, but it always has very decent hits with heroes from the game of hockey and ITG’s great players that they have signed and some of the top prospects in the minors and junior hockey leagues.

2011-12 Upper Deck Victory Hockey – August 2, 2011 – Price: $30 – 8/10

How can you not like the first NHL product of the season? All the new rookies and the offseason trades and pick ups. This is the first cards of the new season’s hottest rookies from this year’s draft!

Check this post back often as I will be releasing official Sports Card Blog preview information in the coming weeks before the products are released!

Racing:

2011 Press Pass FanFare Racing – August 24, 2011 – Price: $115 – 8/10

Press Pass’s newest hit per pack product hits the shelves running with some of your favorite NASCAR drivers as well as some of your favorite Nationwide and truck series drivers. A lot of first time drivers on these cards make for some great value before you even open a pack!

Site News: A Week In Review

This past week I’ve been trying to catch up with previews for all the releases in July. That meant a little more Panini previews than anything else because of their large July lineup. Most are looking pretty good however in the design and value department so I am definitely happy to see the improvements that many people have been bothered by with this year’s earlier releases. In other Panini news, I heard that they have hired a new Customer Service person to man the phones, so if you haven’t heard about your Panini redemptions, they will be easier to contact.

Speaking of redemptions, for those who didn’t know why they couldn’t get a hold of Upper Deck this past week, it is because they were moving their facilities down the street to a smaller building. They have also been shipping their redemption team and supplies out to North Carolina to expedite the process. It’s been a busy time of changes at Upper Deck and they should be settling down completely soon. Hold off on calling them about redemptions, they’ll be there.

As far as the blog goes, the top post of the week was my interview with Adam of Dave & Adam’s Card World. I learned a few things from Adam and he answers some questions from me and his consumers about issues they may have. His responses were extremely well thought out and is probably one of the best interviewees I have seen in the industry. I couldn’t have asked for a better response from him and from the community by reading the post. I thank everyone from Adam to my readers for taking their time for that post.

Finally, Sports Card Blog has put in it’s application for the Ginta-cuffs Battle of the Blogs 2011!  Open a box of 2011 Allen & Ginter baseball and you score points based on your favorite team and favorite player. Plus the Commish picks a series of other ways to get points or lose points based off the cards in the box. I am very excited for this as the winner receives a hobby box of 2011 Allen & Ginter for free provided by Topps, bragging rights, and it’s just a ton of fun to open Allen & Ginter. Someone had already chosen my favorite player, Jon Lester, so I couldn’t go with him. Instead, I am going with Adrian Gonzalez of my Boston Red Sox as he has a ton of cards in the set. It’s a good thing I couldn’t get Lester, it turns out he is a SP in the set. It will be my first year in the battle when approved, so I’m hoping I can make headlines like Bryce Harper as a rookie. If there are any bloggers out there who want to play along you can join us for a rousing game of Ginta-Cuffs. May the best blog win! Believe me, if I do win, there will be a giant spectacle and I will bribe the Commish with amazing bribes to get that win.

So that has been the week that was. Next week brings on some more interesting things. I’ll be sending off some questions to Thomas Fish of Blowout Cards as he has emailed me recently (so if you have any questions for him please send me an email or leave a comment), a couple more product previews, and I’m really hoping I can get a couple reviews in. How about some 2011 Donruss Elite football and 2010-11 Panini All-Goalies? A little birdy told me I may have a package coming with those boxes in it. Did I mention when I do reviews from Panini I will be giving out fabulous prizes? Sounds like a good week ahead for you the awesome reader and me.

Again, thanks for reading and make sure you check back soon. Maybe I’ll pull something awesome to give away.