Preview: 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball

The rookie favorite in baseball is coming out in a few days bringing back the chromey and on-card goodness that Topps always delivers with this product. Prospectors and collectors rejoice every year when Bowman Chrome comes out by buying cases of this product in hopes to pull some of the most coveted rookie autographs of the season.

This year, each box should supply one on-card prospect autograph from a great checklist of possible autographs. You can find your standard chrome autographs or a chrome autograph refractor with a multitude of different parallels. Red, gold, orange, blue, regular, or superfractor! The lower numbered the parallel, the more it will be wanted by other collectors and prospectors out there.

This year, Bowman will be including several different inserts to kind of break up the monotony a little bit. You will find 1 Bowman’s Best Prospects card per box, 2 Bowman Chrome Throwbacks, and 2 Bowman Chrome Futures inserts. All of these you can find in different refractor versions as well.

As always, there are several veteran and prospect base cards as well with different refractor versions coming in about 2 per box as well.

And as an additional hit, you may find a Team USA autographed card as well in your box which is a nice little addition for Bowman Chrome. Some of these “pre-rookie” autographs come in handy in the future if the player makes a name for themselves.

At 18 packs per box and a little under $70 for a box, Bowman Chrome always provides solid value, especially if you hit a nice rookie auto.

Preview: 2011 Panini Playoff Contenders Football

The perennial favorite amongst rookie autograph collectors is back again by Panini with a new rookie autograph design and some new inserts that will keep it amongst the top rookie products of the season.

Each box of 2011 Contenders football will contain 2 on-card rookie autographs which will be a Rookie Ticket auto or a Rookie Ink autograph. There will also be two additional autographs, which could be more rookies or it could be a solid list of veterans and stars. Oh, and everyone remembers the hype of the Golden Rookie Ticket 1/1s from last year made of pure gold, but this year Panini will have 52 Black Gold Rookie Ticket 1/1s to change it up a little bit. Personally, I love white gold but maybe we’ll see that next year. The best part of course is that we don’t know which autographs are the short prints until after the product is released!

But back to the signatures. Contenders is going to be loaded with rookie signatures but also some great hits from the veterans and stars. With the rookies, there is a 236 card parallel 1/1 set with autographs from the top 36 rookies of the season. There will also be printing plates autographed by the rookies as well. All of those will be on-card autographs which is fabulous for the rookie collectors.

Away from the rookies, there will be Signs of Greatness autographs from some of the up and coming stars of the league and my favorite, NFL Ink Quad Signatures featuring some great quad signatures from some of the great teams and superstars of the league. How about a quad autograph of Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Charles Woodson, and Clay Mathews? Or Tony Romo, Felix Jones, Miles Austin, and Dez Bryant? These quad signatures should be very nice additions to the product.

You can see a ton of these cards at the official Panini Peek gallery of this product. Or you can check out the design of these rookie autographs over on the Panini World Premiere post.

This product will be released in early January 2012, with a price similar to last year of around $140.

Preview: 2011 Leaf Metal Draft Baseball

As much as I don’t care for prospecting, it has become a huge thing for baseball collectors looking to make a quick buck – or lose it all. With it gaining steam every season and the media making a big deal of these up and coming names, Leaf is right there bringing you some on-card autographs of some of the most highly sought prospects out there.

There are over 80 different prospect autographs you can pull from this product with big prospecting names like Anthony Rendon, Manny Machado, Bubba Starling, and Trevor Bauer. While I can not tell you a thing about any of these prospects, the prices for these autographs alone speak volumes on what scouts and collectors alike think of these players.

The interesting addition this year is the possibility to find autographs of Ichiro Suzuki in this product. Ichiro has signed an exclusive deal with Leaf for autographs of this Japanese superstar to appear in Leaf products. I can’t imagine the money Brian Gray, owner of Leaf, threw at Ichiro but it will be worth it for collectors to find his first autographs in a product in 6 years.

You will find 6 autographs per box. There are parallels of each card as well numbered to 99, 25, and 1 so if you hit a prospect autograph of one of the parallels, especially the highly touted prospects, it should bring in some extra cash for the prospectors.

While I thought this product wasn’t to release until next week, it looks like it released a little earlier than I thought, so I apologize. But you can find this product now for around $85.

The 2011-12 Hockey Season is Underway

With every team now having played a game for this 2011-12 NHL season, we can now sit back and watch the new teams, new players, and new story lines unfold throughout the season. As a sports card collector, the first thing I think of is all the new rookie cards that will be coming out soon.

The NHL rules when it comes to rookie cards work like this. If you are a skater, as soon as your skates hit ice you are eligible to be on a licensed trading card. If you are a goalie, if you are sitting on the bench and active you are eligible to be on a licensed trading card.

So with all the rookies hitting the ice the past few nights like Cody Hodgson (actually got some time last year), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Adam Larsson (amongst others) will finally have their rookie cards made and inserted into products. You better believe that Panini and Upper Deck already had cards designed and ready to be printed for some of these top rookies. Some probably even printed beforehand for autographs.

My personal favorite rookie this season is the number one pick in the NHL Draft, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers. Being a part-time Oilers fan (Hurricanes will always be number one since they were the Whalers) I am excited to see RNH in products. I wasn’t lucky enough to pull any Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, or even Jeff Skinner cards in 2010-11 products, so I’m hoping I can pull some RNH this year.

Who is your favorite rookie you are looking forward to collecting this NHL season?

Here are some rookie autographs ready to go out from Panini.

A big congrats to RNH for scoring his first goal in his first NHL game!

Topps Unveils Updated Checklist for 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball

Topps has announced it has added a few huge names to 2011 Bowman Chrome baseball so get ready to hear some of these names. In addition to the previously mentioned names, Topps is now including autographs of Matt Moore of the Tampa Bay Rays, Dustin Ackley of the Seattle Mariners, and Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals.

The full rookie autograph checklist in 2011 Bowman Chrome is as follows:

Bryce Harper
Hunter Morris
Jean Segura
Melky Mesa
Manny Banuelos
Chris Archer
Danny Brewer
David Bromberg
A.J. Cole
Alex Colome
Brody Colvin
Khris  Davis
Cutter  Dykstra
Nathan Eovaldi
Garrett  Gould
Brandon Guyer
Shaeffer  Hall
Reese Havens
Luis Heredia
Aaron  Hicks
Bryan Holaday
Bradley Holt
Brett Lawrie
Matt Lollis
Starling Marte
Ethan  Martin
Trey McNutt
Keyvius  Sampson
Jordan Swagerty
Dickie Joe Thon
Jacob Turner
Kendrick  Perkins
Enny Romero
Christopher Wallace
Brock Holt
Brandon Laird
Matt Moore
Dustin Ackley
Eric Hosmer