Giveaway: Free Personalized Sports Print From SportyNames.com

I got an email the other day to give away a free personalized sports print from SportyNames.com, and of course I said yes. So to get in on this giveaway, read below and follow the directions. Simple as that.

SportyNames.com offers personalized sports prints for the NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA College teams and more.  The sports fanatic in your family will love a personalized professional locker room print with their name on the jersey hung alongside their favorite players.  How about a sports action print in the middle of a fast paced ballgame?  SportyNames also offers prints featuring golf, racing, kids soccer, family art, lovers art, Hollywood art, adventure art and kids prints as well.

Each SportyNames print is individually personalized with your name in the photo along with your favorite sports team.  You can easily select your style from personalized locker room to the stadium.  A free live preview of your actual print is also offered on the SportyNames site.  When you select your sport print, you even have the ability to select your favorite players and a team number for yourself!   SportyNames personalized sports prints are officially licensed by the NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA.  This site offers the latest active player rosters, so you if you aren’t sure about certain players, no worries, the site will automatically pick the top three for you.  You will then be able to take the preselected players or choose for yourself!

SportyNames would like to give away one personalized 11X14 sports print to one lucky Sports Card Blog reader.  Upon winning, the winner will be able to choose and personalize any print off the SportyNames site.  This Print is a $43 value after adding shipping fees.  Don’t be shy, enter today!  Spring training has begun and this is sure to make a great gift for that special sports fan or for your own man cave.

This giveaway will run for 20 days so make sure you enter today!


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Guest Blog Post: The National Sports Card Convention Experience

I had mentioned recently that I found a great resource on the ground at the 2011 National Sports Collectors Convention to describe the event and the experience. RJ Reyes was kind enough to write this guest post about his experiences at the 2011 National Sports Collectors Convention. Enjoy.

I overhear my friends telling me that this is simply a larger version of the local card shows that happen at the shopping mall once a month. It’s funny to hear people think that it’s a  giant flea market. It may look like it, but the “flea market” part is indeed just a small part of the whole experience.

It starts Wednesday, “Sneak Peak”, early in the afternoon for the VIP and Super VIP ticket holders to pick up their various items. The buzz is electric and as the day goes on, more and more people crowd the waiting area. Here one can hear all types of sports news, controversy, and various opinions of who will win this year. Usually, the prominent colors seen are of the local favorites. (Cubs, Blackhawks, White Sox, and Bulls) If one looks hard enough, all teams from all leagues will have their backers clad in retro or modern jerseys.

As the convention continues and opens, people of all types, ages, shapes, and creeds pour into the convention hall,  which looks like an endless array of sporting history. In the first few aisles, one might see vintage base collectors rummaging through vendor’s wares hoping to find that one card that would finish up that old 1960 set. Watching them, is a sport itself; their fingers quickly looking through 1000 card boxes. When finding that one card, their eyes light up, like a young child finding their favorite toy.

Another common sight is that of a young collector, staring at the cards they might have only heard about. Many times, I would hear, “Daddy look Mickey Mantle!” Just the sight of the card was exciting to them. That excitement to me, defines what collecting is about. Wide eyes, a huge smile, and a respect for the sport that is unrivaled.

Autographs and meeting the athletes is certainly one of the most awesome aspects of the convention. Superstars of yesteryear and rookies of today are all here. Meeting a hero, shaking their hand, or getting a picture with them puts a smile on people’s faces regardless of cost.

The auction sites are some of the most interesting parts. How often do you see a jersey of Lou Gehrig’s Japan Tour on display? Old gloves, pictures, balls, and anything are here. One may not be able to afford them, but to enjoy the history the article represents is amazing.

Experiences of the collectors, young and old, are swapped, and you can hear the older fans talk with just as much excitement as the seven year old about their first baseball game. Just walking around and absorbing the wealth of information is definitely awesome.

I have refrained from talking about the redemptions and the pack breaks, because more importantly than those activities, is the chance to talk to the company representatives and make your opinion known. All companies have a booth or a table or something. Most companies will take the time to answer questions about their product or products. For example, Tracy Hacklet from Panini spent the better part of an hour talking to me about the products, and what we thought were good and bad about them. Whether or not they take any of my suggestions, remains to be seen, but it was nice to think that my thoughts matter. (Thank you to Tracy!)

All in all, there is so much to do and see at the National. So much to absorb, so many different people, experiences, cards, memorabilia and so much love for everything sport, that one can’t help not being a small part of sports history just attending the convention. It is an event that any sports historian or sports fan should definitely attend.

You can find RJ Reyes on Twitter @thecardcouplene. He is a big fan of all Philadelphia sports teams and loves collecting hockey cards so make sure you check him out.

Review: 2010-11 Panini Luxury Suite Hockey

Happy Canada Day to all you Canadians who read this blog. I know there are a ton of you and have I got a great break for you guys. Being a quarter Canadian myself and having a fiancee who is 100% authentic Canadian, we celebrate Canada Day in our household in the States. I am celebrating it this year by opening and reviewing a box of 2010-11 Panini Luxury Suite hockey!

Luxury Suite hockey is in it’s first year of production. What makes this product interesting is that it features a checklist of zero base cards. Every card is either a rookie, game used memorabilia, or autograph. Pretty cool concept if you ask me to have a product with no base cards. So with 4 packs a box and 3 or 4 cards in a pack (it seems like it couldn’t decide) and 8 total game used/autographs per box, I bring you my break and review of this product from Panini.

Rookies:

Game Used:

Autographs:

Design:

As I have stated in my preview on this product and on the official Panini America blog, I think this is one of Panini’s best designs of the year. While we weren’t able to see the beautiful rookie patch autographs in this break, you can see the good designing in these other cards. I would compare it to the design quality of SP Authentic mixed with Pinnacle. It shares very common characteristics and I think overall it’s a good design. On card autographs galore, great use of memorabilia, and I absolutely love the Private Signings set with the gold foil lettering. That looks great.

Checklist:

Everyone loves rookies, we get that. This product is full of a billion of them. Okay, not a billion but 125 rookies are in this product. There are a ton of star common jersey cards which is great too so you can pull some of the games best current players there. I’ll even say that the retired signatures checklist is okay with names like Gilmour, Roenick, and Dionne. The only thing lacking is the quality of star autographs in the Private Signings set. This is considered to be a high end product by most people. You can find this product at most places for about $170 right now. With a price point this high you should expect at least a few huge names in that list. Johnny T is the biggest name on that list. No Crosby, no Ovechkin, no Brodeur or Thomas…the star power on that portion is really lacking. Sure you have a chance to pull some absolutely awesome rookies in this product, but there should be at least a little bit of star power in your veteran players checklist at this price. If there were a chance for a Sidney and maybe Brodeur that subset would have been easier to swallow.

Value:

So the odds state you should get 8 autographs or memorabilia cards in your box. I received 9 so that is a good start. Including the rookies that breaks down to about $10 per card in this box. At the same price point as something like Absolute Memorabilia, you get a lot more hits for your money. The plain jerseys are high numbered and nothing special but the patches, sticks (which I didn’t pull), and autographs you can pull definitely make up for that. If there was a little more star power in these boxes as far as veteran players went, I think we could of moved closer to a 5 here. This is closer to 3 stars than it is to 5 stars as it stands. I didn’t receive a redemption which is nice and the autographs I pulled were on card autographs as well. Include the multi-colored swatches you can pull and the multi-colored stick pieces and this product definitely has value. But it’s hit or miss for the most part. Still, pretty solid.

Overall:

The design is one of Panini’s best in the hockey arena this year. I think the only product that can outdo it will be Dominion later this month. The swatches and sticks are very nice and the autographs are on card so that makes these cards look even better. While the veterans names on the checklist for autographs are kinda so-so, the rookies you have the possibility to pull amazing cards of are endless and rare so they hold great value. You get a ton of hits, including rookies, for your money and that beats other Panini products and even Upper Deck products at a similar price point. Just some of the selection could be improved in the veteran area. Overall, it is hit or miss but definitely a fun box to open as you know you are getting a couple of hits per pack.

I’d like to thank Panini America for providing this box for me to sponsor, please check out the various links I have posted around the site and visit them. I will be giving away a few cards from this break. Not sure which ones yet but I will give some away nonetheless. View the video below to find out how.

Okay, I’ll be nice for all those who don’t want to see my ugly mug. I’ll be giving away something to a random viewer who posts their comments on Luxury Suite in the comment area. Leave a comment about Luxury Suite, get your chance to win a random card or two from the break. Simple as that.