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Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Mailday Fun

I received two packages in the mail today. It is always nice going to the mailbox and seeing something other than bills or advertisements.

The first pack (actually it was a PWE, but that's ok) had a card from a member on the Bench. I have been hanging around on there for awhile now, mostly providing market/BV pricing to other members since I like to waste inordinate amounts of time at work. One of the members apparently noticed my efforts and sent me a card as a little reward. It's also a refractor. I have this set already but none of the refractors so this is nice. Thanks to MITCHIEHO over at the Bench for sending this.

Mark Messier Finest Cool Trade Refractor

The second package was from a trade with another Bench member. I sent a couple of football jersey cards out for a few GU Bill Guerins for my PC.

2002 Titanium Draft GU

2004 ITG Jersey & Stick
(my first Stick Card!!! Sweet)

1997-98 UD 3 Star Selects
(nice die cut insert)

BOX BREAK - - 2008 Topps Football (retail)

Ok. I haven't done one in a while and I have had this box sitting in my closet for almost two weeks. I guess I was trying to cut down on my pack busting. It makes it hard to do when the local retailers have clearanced their inventory of pre-2009 stuff. So here we go...a bunch of these cards have already been earmarked for trade with a couple other traders (you know who you are) but I'm open to other options.

Box Guarantees: None
Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 12
Cards per box: 288
Base set completion: 60% of 440
Duplicates: 0

Rookies Pulled (65):
There are too many and I'm not listing them all...ok maybe I will

Brian Brohm, Andre Woodson, Chad Henne,
Colt Brennan, Dennis Dixon (NFT), Erik Ainge,
Johnson, Matt Flynn, Morelli, McFadden (held),
Stewart, Jones (held), Hart, Smith, Slaton (held),
Forte (held), Boyd, Jackson, Kelly (held),
Manningham (held), Hardy, Jackson, Thomas,
Jordy Nelson, Williams, Simpson, Caldwell, Morgan,
Fred Davis, Bennett, Finley, Tamme, Kellen Davis,
Long, Baker, Otah, Chevis Jackson, Sims, Harrison,
Moore, Bryant, Laws, Gholston, Merling, Conner,
Lofton, Mayo, Gordon, Wheeler, Rivers, Highsmith,
Adibi, Henderson, Bruce Davis (NFT), Dizon, Geno
Hayes, Mike Jenkins, Talib, McKelvin, Lee, Porter,
Castille, Griffin, Tyrell Johnson, Jamar Adams

Inserts Pulled (24):
Gold Border #'d/2008: Laurence Maroney PSH #325, Antonio Gates #174, Antoine Cason #430

Honor Roll: Gino Marchetti, Art Donovan, Johnny "Blood" McNally

Own The Game: Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Braylon Edwards

HOF Class of 2008: Gary Zimmerman, Emmitt Thomas

Armed Forces Fan of the Game: James Lenihan (Bengals), Mark Middlebrook (Jaguars), Wyat Tomlinson (Chiefs), Sean Ryan (Broncos)

Brett Favre Flight to 420: 255, 361, 354, 401

Dynasties: Ted Johnson (Pats), Ty Law (Pats), Donnie Shell (Steelers) [NFT], Joe Greene (Steelers) [NFT], Joe Montana (49ers), Kenna Turner (49ers)

Best Card(s):
For me, despite the 65 rookies in this box, it would have to be the two Steeler's Dynasty cards. I have a few of these from Chrome too and I just think they are really slick looking. Kind of boring but slick nonetheless.

Image Image

First on the product...I really like this set design. It features a heavy card stock with an all white border on the base cards and a slick gloss coating. This is, in my opinion, a huge improvement over the light weight condition sensitive 2007 set. The photos are all action photos and the rookies are either in practice jerseys or their actual team uniforms (what a concept). The masthead on the card features the team name decked out in some kind of carnival ballon pattern.
I wasn't a fan in the beginning but I have warmed up to it. As for the box itself...It was a nice print run with no doubles in the entire box. Unfortunatly, there were no guaranteed hits and that's exactly what I got, no hits. The inserts were very week, especially with the Fans of the Game set and the continuation of the Brett Favre ridiculousness. I would have liked to see at least one GU'd but such is life. The product gets an 8 for the slick, appealing design. My box gets a 4

Friday, September 11, 2009

More on the visit to the White House

President Obama hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins aat the White House on Thursday and celebrated the hockey team for its performance on and off the ice. The Pens won the cup in June and since then, have taken it on a road trip to thank their fans, an act that earned the players the thanks of a grateful president.

“They took it on fishing trips and stopped by neighborhood barbecues. They visited elementary schools and brightened the days of children recovering in the hospital,” Obama said during his speech. "This is a team that understands that being a champion doesn’t end when you step off the ice,” Obama added.

The Pens got to meet with the President and get a tour of the White House before the ceremony. The earlier part of the day was spent with the kids from the Fort Dupont Ice Rink and the Hockey in the Hood program. As reported by NHL's blog about the trip, the kids seemed shy and took a while to warm up to the guys but once they did, it was a great day. Crosby mentioned that the best question came when one of the kids asked if he and Malkin were brothers. Bill Guerin chimed in that they certainly looked alike.

“That’s what the Stanley Cup is all about. Not just having your names engraved alongside the best players in history, but also giving back to others along the way,” the president said. “And this spirit of service helps to strengthen our communities, it strengthens our country, and I know the team gets a lot in return for it as well.”

Awesome stuff!! Here is some video:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Penguins in the White House

In all my ranting and raving about the start of the NFL season, I almost forgot the other Pittsburgh news that was happening today. The Penguins are visiting the White House with the Stanley Cup today.

There is a blog over on that is following the Pens as they get to tour the White House, meet with the President, and meet with some youth hockey clubs in the D.C. area. It looks to be a lot of fun for the players and especially the kids of the Fort Dupont Hockey League.

It brings back memories of when they won their other championships in the early 90's and were invited to Washington. In fact, that is another one of my favorite cards in my collection.

1991-92 Upper Deck "White House Welcome" card.

This card (I know, it's a crappy scan) features Mario Lemieux presenting then President Bush Sr. with a #2 Penguins jersey, the same number he wore when he played for Yale. I love this card because it shows the impact of sports on the country and the world for that matter. The practice of inviting teams to the White House has been going on for years and to have one of my favorite teams take the stage with the President of the United States is such an honor. I also like the card because you can see Joe Mullen, Bryan Trottier, Kevin Stevens, I think Mark Recchi behind the President, and I can't tell who is behind Mullen or Lemieux. How many cards out there have multiple HOF'ers and the President? The answer is none.

I can only hope UD makes one for today's event. That would be cool.

(as a footnote, I realize Kevin Stevens went down in flames like a cliche but before his injury, he was dominant. He could have had HOF #'s if it wasn't for the injury and the JUNK. I'm sticking to my opinions that he was better than Cam Neely. There, I said it.)

Jacked UP!!

(I know the photo is old, but does that discount it's awesomeness in any way? I think not.)

Only 8 hours till kick off and I'm JACKED UP!!! (Do they even do that on ESPN Countdown anymore?)

Set your Tivo's, Freevo's and Vivo's. Set your VCR, DVR, and PVR's. Roll out the Terrible Towels, Terrible Blankets, Terrible Flags, and Terrible (insert item)...If you can't tell, I'm so freakin' excited it makes me want to pee.

Steelers vs. Titans kicks off at 8:30 EST tonight. There is the obligatory kickoff show prior to the game at 8 starring some, I can only assume, people that are apparently popular in today's music scene that would be only offensive to small pockets of the population that probably won't be watching anyway or don't have televisions. But that is not the point here.

The point is, football is back!!! Back with a vengeance!!! I haven't been this excited for a Steeler's team going into the season since, well, I can't even remember (but I think Greg Lloyd was still on the team). But I'm excited just for football in general. I believe I have made my disdain for the period between the Stanley Cup finals and the beginning of the NFL season abundantly known on other posts. This puts an end to what I call the "Dog #$%& Days of Summer".
Although tonight's game may not be a marquee matchup, it is somewhat of a "revenge" game after last years week 16 loss. Those of you that aren't Steeler fans may not remember that game, but those in Steeler Nation will never forget the desecration of the Terrible Towel by LenDale "I've Never Passed A Krispy Kreme I Didn't Like" White. "So what?" "It's just a towel." "Who cares?" As a lifelong fan, I understand the history and tradition behind the Terrible Towel. I (in my warped, crazed football fan, irrational street justice, kind of way) viewed that the same as burning an American Flag. Just as Cowboy fans were outraged at the "star incident" with T.O., just as [insert team here] fans are outraged everytime Esteban Ocho Cinco celebrates a touchdown, just as football fans across the country are offended everytime Chris Collinsworth opens his self-profiling, egotistical, obnoxiously pompous mouth of his, I felt my blood boil when White and Kearse stomped that towel.
But I'm not here to point fingers, or preach about sportsmanship (or maybe I am since this is my blog and that's what blogger do). I will just say this. The same team will be taking the field tonight (minus a few guys) that played in that game. I bet they remember. You're in our house now, Mr. White.
"It's a 5-star matchup, cuz we in it" - that was the rallying cry for the Steeler's last season, as revealed on NFL Network's America's Game last night. If you missed it, shame on you. It will only be on re-aired 187 more times this season.

(also, thanks to "nearmint" for becoming my latest victim, err, I mean...follower. Hopefully I don't disappoint.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Favorite (Not Necessarily Best) Card


Ok, so it's not really the best card ever but for me, it is one of my top 5 cards that I own (probably even #1). I received this card in a contest over at Trade Cards Now after one of their trading day box break giveaways. I usually never win in these things so I was pleasantly surprised when I was notified of my victory. I was even more surprised after receiving the card.

As some of you already know, I collect Pens and Steelers cards for my PC. So this card, is a perfect cornerstone to a Pittsburgh sports collection. What I like about this card:

1. It's serial numbered out of 150. That means that only 149 other people in the entire world could own one of these. (Big deal, you say, in this world of limited production) Since I'm not in this to turn a profit, this makes me proud. (The sky is also purple in my world so, there)

2. It features two of Pittsburgh sports' greatest players; Mario Lemieux and Terry Bradshaw. 7 World Championships between them (4 for Terry, and 3 for Mario [as player and owner]). I think that is enough of an explanation there.

3. It has jersey swatches from both players. I have always wanted a Lemieux jersey card and this is a great way to satisfy that want. Plus, the Bradshaw jersey is a bonus. (if only they were multicolored...).

4. The artwork is great. The player portraits are true to life representations of both players. I especially like the cityscape of downtown Pittsburgh in the background, one of the greatest city scenes, especially at night, that you will ever see. I know if you ever watch a sporting event filmed in Pittsburgh you hear the announcers talk to the point of nausea about how it looks coming into town. Truly, though, if you have never driven through the Fort Pitt or Lincoln tunnels going into town and had the entire city explode before your eyes as you come out, you probably don't get it. Say what you want, it gives me goosebumps.

5. It is called "Hometown Heroes". I can't think of two better examples of that statement than Terry and Mario.

I want to thank Lynn over at TCN once again for giving me the opportunity to own this card. This will be one in my collection forever.

Obligatory Plug: If you are looking for a nice place to trade, check out Trade Cards Now. I've been on there for a few years and it is full of great traders and good collectors.

Trading information

I added a trading information section to this page as a request from another reader. I guess this is a good idea since that is what we are all about in this hobby. I'm a Pittsburgh guy so Steelers and Penguins are my weakness. Not so much Pirates though, unless it is vintage stuff. Even then I am pretty selective.

I am trying to complete team sets, pre-1980 for both teams. This has been difficult since most collectors covet their vintage hockey and football. Someday, they will be mine. Oh, yes...they will be mine.

Anyway, if anyone wants to trade, let me know.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Hobby and the Economy

First off, I just wanted to acknowledge the existence of two of my followers. AdamE and Dinged Corners both decided I was blog worthy and have chosen to follow my blog. Thank you to both of you and hopefully I won't disappoint.

I came across this article posted on Forbes magazine (thanks to Rob at VOTC for pointing out it's existence on Twitter). It parallels the relationship between the sports card hobby (baseball cards specifically) and the current economic situation we are under. The main purpose of the article is to highlight market responses to profit, inflation, and anti-trust lawsuits by making the connection to the sports card hobby as a whole. I thought it was an interesting read and felt I would bounce it again. (You don't have to be an economist to understand it)

Baseball Cards And The Current Economy by John Tamny