Card of the Day: 2013-14 Upper Deck Trilogy Charlie Coyle RC Auto

Who is Charlie Coyle? Just a guy drafted 28th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. A decent Center prospect who was traded to the Minnesota Wild and scored his first NHL goal last season. He isn’t one of the stars of the rookie class, but he is making a name for himself in other ways.

Behold.

charlie-coyle-boner-auto1

Sorry for the terrible grab there. But the scan sucked.

Well now I’m not sure who Charlie Coyle is even more. Do his teammates call him “Dick”? Is this an homage to recently deceased Richard McWilliam? That can’t be you real autograph, can it be Charlie?

Charlie is obviously a jokester or a collector himself knowing that this would go into collector’s hands and could be worth a bit more than his usual autographs.

How Upper Deck Quality Assurance missed this? We will never know.

Update: Upper Deck states that the autograph is fake after contacting the athlete in question. Should you believe them? If you were the athlete, would you confess to doing that? Another thing we will never know.

Upper Deck Returning to Baseball

There was some big news at the Industry Summit. Panini announced an exclusive autograph deal with Stephen Strasberg. Topps is changing the way they work with customer service and distributors. And Upper Deck will be returning with a MLBPA license for 2013.

Upper Deck no longer had a MLB license soon after the 2009 season before Topps became the sole heir of MLB trading cards. But with Panini returning to baseball recently with a MLBPA license, Upper Deck has now also acquired that license and will be producing baseball cards once again, back to the foundation of their company.

Upper Deck regaining a license to produce baseball cards is a big deal. While Topps is continuing their exclusive license until 2020, Panini has slowly been making a name for themselves despite not having the ability to use logos. Another competitor in that MLBPA licensed genre is good for the industry. In fact, it will probably help improve those types of products until the MLB finally decides it can’t live with an exclusive license. Upper Deck has always been an innovator and with that new challenge of the MLBPA license, they will do what they do best, innovate. How many ways can a piece of cardboard be created without logos? What else can be done? Panini has done some great things with changes in photography and cropping, but with fresh minds working on it, can we see great things from this realm?

I think Upper Deck may be just what unlicensed sports cards needs to push the envelope even farther.

Topps & MLB Sitting In A Tree, Until 2020

Seven more years. Seven. 7. Siete. Sette. Clicking noises.

Why has the MLB continued the exclusive license with Topps to produce baseball cards, again? Most people are guessing that Topps just threw a boatload of cash at the MLB and said, “Here! Take as much money as you need so we don’t have any competition. Panini has been catching up a little too quickly to our liking.”

The press article on Sports Collector Daily has these remarks from the senior licensing man in charge with MLB. “Since making Topps our exclusive baseball card licensee, they have continually validated that decision by bringing clarity to the marketplace and reinvigorating the hobby, especially among young people,” said Howard Smith, senior vice president, Licensing, Major League Baseball. “Generations of baseball fans have grown more attached to the game through collecting baseball cards, and Topps is continually coming up with new and creative ways to reach the next generation.”

My Buddha almighty in Enlightenment! (That sounds about right.) What a load of garbage spewed by the MLB on this matter. Let’s see, Topps has held the MLB license since 2010? What have they changed in bringing clarity to the marketplace? Prospect cards and rookie cards with a fancy logo that still confuses collectors? Reinvigorating the hobby? The only invigorating I see is by collectors with pitchforks. Oh, and with young people you say? With what products? Stickers? Topps has come out with more high-end products since then than anything else.

It isn’t like I haven’t made it known before, but as a collector I hate exclusive licenses. I hate that the MLB and Topps are exclusive. I hate that Panini and the NBA are best buds, despite what you may think about me being a Panini fan-boy. And I hate that the NHL isn’t giving ITG a full license.

Folks around the community are up in arms about the signing. Small sample size on vocal boards, I know, but the issue has been causing a ruckus on Twitter since its announcement as well.

I wonder if there will be a new edition of Topps Monopoly baseball coming to stores soon?

Obviously, collectors voices haven’t been heard in this matter, nor do I think the MLB really cares. But for shits and giggles, MLB.com has information here on how to contact their licensing department:

For licensing information, please send an e-mail to the following addresses:

Wait a minute, that’s not Howard Smith’s email. Maybe try Howard.Smith? Somebody, somewhere has to listen to the collectors. This is an issue with Topps looking out for their own business, which is fine, but listening to collectors over this isn’t in their best interest. The best place to go would be with the MLB, where they ultimately decide they want an exclusive.

Anyway, I’m not writing this to ream Topps. It’s really not even their fault. They are a business and their job to make money. If offering a ton of money to do so makes them more money, then by all means, go ahead and do it. Your shareholders will love you. A recent article by Sports Card Radio details that part nicely. If you want to blame anybody, blame Major League Baseball. They took the offer as it was all about money.

I understand, it’s just business. And I do like to collect some Topps baseball products. But I have a new motto: “Try and have fun until 2021!”

 

Sponsorship With And1Cards Announced

 

and1cards

 

SportsCardBlog and And1Cards of Clarence, New York, have teamed up in a sponsorship deal that will greatly benefit both sites. And1Cards.com is having a huge relaunch party this week and we want you to be a big part of it. But you’ll need to read the rest of this release to find out how.

And1Cards.com is a shop in New York that has decided to feature alot of the products they sell in-store, online as well. They offer a variety of sports card products, group breaks, as well as memorabilia and other items that you may have a difficult time finding anywhere else online. They will be starting their relaunch with a huge “break-a-thon” throughout the month where they will be busting a case of every 2012 football product that has come out. And you’ll only be able to sign up with them.

They will also be featuring a rewards program where every dollar you spend with them gives you one point. The top point getter at the end of each month will receive an awesome prize with them that will be announed at the beginning of the month. There will also be a couple consolation prizes as well! It will be rewarding to do business with them.

Now in order to get you started with them, I’m giving away one $50 gift card to their site that can be used on whatever you wish. Want to know how you can win the gift card? Well there are two ways to gain entry.

#1: Find my tweet about this contest on my Twitter page, and make sure you retweet that tweet and follow me @SportsCardBlog. Make sure you follow @And1Cards while you’re at it too.

#2: Visit their site at And1Cards.com and tell me what member of the Indiana Pacers is the player in which they pulled a Gold Prizm of from 2012 Panini Prizm basketball. It will be located under the tab “In-Store Hits”. (Comments hidden to protect contest!) Answer must be posted here in the Comments section.

Update: Since that page mysteriously disappeared…tell me the name of one of the autographed helmets they have for sale! If it does pop back up, either answer will work, but only one entry will be given for a correct answer to either question!

Contest ends Wednesday at 11:59PM PST. Winner will be randomly chosen and a code will be emailed to you that will give you $50 off your order!

So make sure you visit And1Cards.com and check them out. Those group breaks will be insane!

Card Companies: It’s Not All About Rookies

I continue to open boxes and packs of cards, in every sport. Baseball, basketball, football, hockey, I love collecting every one of those sports. These past couple years, with every box and pack that I open I continue to pull more and more “rookie” hit cards. The vast majority, and I mean vast, continues to be rookie autographs or memorabilia cards. Sometimes scrubs, sometimes future stars of the game. And that disappoints me.

When I got back into collecting in 2005, this wasn’t always the case. I would receive hit cards from superstars and stars on a consistent basis. Cal Ripken Jr., Deion Sanders, Roger Clemens, I was pulling hit cards of veteran players and retired stars from just about every single box. Now, it’s one out of every 4-5 boxes. And that disappoints me.

Now I haven’t posted my review of this product yet since I’m a little backed up, but I opened a box of 2012-13 Upper Deck SP Game Used hockey a week or so ago. It was fantastic. Do you know why though? I did not pull one single rookie autograph or memorabilia card. It was that anti-rookie card box. Every box I’ve opened this season has been rookies and more rookies, but this time, I pulled a bunch of jerseys of veteran players, most All-Stars even, and autographs from Eric Staal and Jordan Eberle. And that made me happy.

It sounds weird to say, doesn’t it? I pulled a bunch of hit cards, all of players I’ve heard of, I’ve been able to watch play over the past couple of years, and know that they are staying in the NHL. It was the anti-rookie box and it made me feel good while opening it and reaping the rewards afterwards of some solid hits all around.

Now I’m not saying get rid of rookie cards or memorabilia hits. They are definitely needed in the hobby. They are cheaper for companies to attain and produce, and are sometimes the only cards you might find of someone for a few years. We saw what happened with Jeremy Lin. But does every single product need to contain all these rookie hit cards? Absolutely not. And that disappoints me.

It can be better. I think it may come to the point where boxes of cards or products need to guarantee at least one veteran autograph per box and one rookie autograph per box. I’ve said before, how much more is an autograph of someone like Logan Mankins, Jeff Saturday, or skill position players that aren’t exactly superstars, but everyone knows their names? Fantasy football is huge, most people can name almost the entire set of skill positions on a team.

Or maybe a product where we don’t have rookie autographs. Panini Classics hockey was fun because you knew that you were going to get autographs of players you’ve seen skate before, some Hall of Famers, fan favorites, it was a fun product. Topps Fan Favorites baseball, same thing! Upper Deck Past Time Pennants, there have been some great products out there that give non-rookie collectors, non-flippers, something to collect.

Me? I may be biased because I don’t collect rookies and I generally don’t buy cards to flip them. I am really picky when I purchase my own cards. I make sure I know what I’m getting into and understand the hit checklists. I watch YouTube videos and read about box breaks on forums. I know what I want, and if the product doesn’t provide me with what I want, I choose something else. Yeah, I bought Topps Strata. I knew it was all rookie autographs, but it was a fun product with the technology. I also bought SPGU hockey because of the lack of rookies and all the veteran hits I saw coming out of it. I would of bought Museum Collection if prices didn’t skyrocket (missed the boat on that one.) A product with good veteran content is now too difficult to find, maybe 1-2 products a year out of 15 products per sport. And that disappoints me.

Give me a good product with one rookie hit, a few good veteran hits, and I’ll buy it every time.