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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Scary Cards For Your Halloween Enjoyment

I'm guessing this will be the 100th of the 486 posts today featuring these 1992 Coca-Cola Monsters Of The Gridiron cards.  These were a few that I could dig up and surprise basketball ones at the end.

Happy Halloween!!

Former Steeler and then Tampa Bay Bucaneer Hardy Nickerson as "The Hyena".  Funny.

Former Dolphins (and Chargers, Redskins, Jaguars, Eagles, and Broncos) Defensive End Marco Coleman as "The Cobra".  Wasn't he in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective?

Former Steeler "The Man Who Shall Remain Nameless" as the Knight Raider.  Funny they show him in a Steeler's jersey but dressed as a Raider.  Kind of like he was playing for the other team.  Hmmm.  Irony.

HOFer Ronnie Lott as "The Rattler".  Shown here in his New York Jets colors.  I wonder if he were still a 49er here, what they would call him?  "The Finger Mangler" or "The Missing Tip"?

Former Packers Defensive End Sean Jones as "The Ghost".  This is, of course, before his dealings with the law and other legal troubles.  Scary...just scary.

Former New York Knick Patrick Ewing as "Frankenstein".  That is a perfect costume for him.  Very little creativity involved.  Not a stretch at all.

Remember when Michael Jordan dressed up like a baseball player?  That was fun.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Recent Redemption Success

I post about redemptions quite often and usually it is to voice my disdain for the entire idea behind them.  But sometimes, there is a silver lining.

Recently I received a plethora of redemptions from both Upper Deck and Panini.  In fact, they all came in right about the same time, which seemed odd at first but who am I to question it.  I'm just glad they did.  My record of receiving redemption cards is still replacements, no unfulfilled requests.

First up is the card I probably waited the longest for.  I don't know why that is but I can only imagine it is because he was a hard guy to track down...

2012-13 Certified Freshman Fabrics Scott Glennie Rookie Jersey/Autograph /499

Requested 3-2-13.  Shipped 9-30-13.  212 Days (6 months, 2 days)

This was a redemption from a box of Certified that I picked up at some point along the line.  It was actually an extra "hit", if you can call it that, in the box.  It wasn't a Hot Box by any means but getting an extra auto or memorabilia card is always nice.  Why this took over 6 months to get, I will never know.

I am not really a Scott Glennie fan, at least yet.  He's been out since training camp and was just recently assigned to Texas to try and work his way back into a roster spot.  I wouldn't be surprised if we see him offered up in a trade package come deadline time.  If there are any Glennie fans or Stars fans out there that would like to lay claim to this card, have at it. 

 2012-13 Artifacts Rookie Jonathan Huberdeau /699

Requested 8-25-13.  Shipped 10-18-13.  54 days (1 month, 23 days)

This card led me to many sleepless nights because of the whole lock-out shortened season last year.  As everyone knows, many sets were cancelled due to the lock-out and the NHL rules on rookie placement in trading cards.  I received this Florida Panthers redemption last year in a box of Artifacts I purchased from my LCS and had been sitting on it for almost a year.  Why?  Because I didn't know if it was going to result in a Huberdeau card or Nick Bjugstad or Quinton Howden.  Not that those wouldn't be ok but come on?  It's Huberdeau...2013 Calder winner?  Yeah, that's what I thought.

Once I figured out what the final checklist would be, I imediately scratched the silver paint off the redemption and began my wait.  It was a short one as you can see and well worth it.  This card is awesome.

2012-13 Limited Monikers Silver Phil Kessel Autograph /49

Requested 8-25-13.  Shipped 10-17-13.  53 days (1 month, 22 days).

For the record, I'm not a Kessel fan although I do respect him as a player and what he has accomplished thus far in his career.  I'm also not a Boston fan and by nature, despise every inch of Earth that he walks on.   So why did I get this?  I bid on a bunch of auctions about 6 months ago that contained autograph cards.  They were all $.99 auctions with little time left and little viewings by users.  I figured if I could get a few of them, get combined shipping, it would be worth it.  Well, I won.

The card really isn't that blurry like it looks.  That's because the scanner didn't pick up the recessed fabric that Phil signed inside the card.  Like most of the other "shadowboxed" style cards, it is hard to get a clean scan.  I don't have another Kessel auto in my collection so I debated keeping this or throwing it up for sale.  If there are any Leafs fans or Kessel fans out there that would like to add this to their collection, let me know.

2012 Upper Deck Fleer Retro Dan Marino 1960 Fleer Autograph  No#

Requested 8-25-13.  Shipped 10-19-13.  55 days (1 month, 24 days).

Last but not least is my GEM of the lot.  I purchased a "blockbuster" deal that my LCS offered me some months ago that resulted in this card.  My LCS owner is one of those guys that will do anything to help out a loyal customer and it just so happens that I am one of those.  I have been going there for seven years or so and have built a good relationship with them.  So when I purchase a box or two, the "Have I got a deal for you" comments sometimes pop up.  Well, a box of 2012 Fleer Retro Football happened to be included in this one so I figured why not?

This is a special card to me because as a kid, I used to have a personalized autographed black and white 8x10 photo of Dan Marino when he played for Pitt.  It was given to me by a family friend that knew Dan's parents.  I received a copy and the family friends daughter also got a copy.  Both of them were personalized too.  Mine said "To Tim, Best Wishes.".  I'm almost positive he signed it "Danny", too.  But don't hold me to that because I was young and when you are young, you make things out to be whatever you want them to be.  Fast forward a bit...I have two younger brothers...that liked to break stuff...and ruin things...and get into trouble. Needless to say, that photo disappeared, never to be heard from again.

I always wanted to replace that photo and have tried and failed many times.  I have searched the countless purveyors of autographed merchandise, the auctions, and the card shows but never found that exact photo.  I don't know whether it was Marino who just didn't sign Pitt items or the fact that there weren't many out there.  The auto itself looks a little sloppy compared to what I remember him signing.  I looked at similar autos out there and realize that this seems to be his "in a hurry" auto.

Regardless, this was truly a major addition to my collection and I am excited to finally have a Marino auto back in my possession.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Old Is The New, New?

Like most collector's, I have many collecting goals.  Whether it's a player PC, team PC, or simple commons to fill a set, I want it all and I want it now.  But the reality is, there isn't enough time or money in the world to get it all now or maybe ever.  That's not to say that I don't already have a lot though.  Because, well, I do.

But one thing I don't have a lot of is old time hockey.  By old, I'm talking about pre-overproduction era hockey cards (before the 80s).  Sure I have a few singles here and there.  I even have almost 300 pre-1980s cards in my COMC inventory at my disposal if I wanted, but other than a couple cards, there's nothing substantial to any one set.  

So long story short, on top of all the other things I collect within this great hobby, I've decided to go Turbo and find a vintage set (or two or three) to go after.  There are many sets that I have always wanted to collect like the 1979-80 Topps or OPC set, the 1971-72 OPC set, the 1964-65 Topps Tallboys, or the 1951-52 Parkhurst set.  But those are just way too far outside of my price range to go after the stars and rookies in each set.  I need something that is small, not extremely over-the-top expensive, and possibly attainable within my lifetime.  I first narrowed it down to a few sets to consider:

1953-54 Parkhurst  - 100 cards - Key Cards: Tim Horton, Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau RC, Terry Sawchuk, Bill Dineen/Al Arbour RC Errors, Gordie Howe, Gump Worsley RC

1957-58 Topps - 66 cards - Key Cards:  Johnny Bucyk RC, Glenn Hall RC, Terry Sawchuk, Gordie Howe, Norm Ullman RC

1962-63 Topps - 66 cards - Key Cards:  Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, The Checklist

1971-72 Topps - 132 cards - Key Cards:  Ken Dryden RC, Gordie Howe, The Checklist, Bobby Orr

1976-77 OPC - 396 cards - Key Cards:  Bryan Trottier RC, Bobby Orr, Tiger Williams RC

I think when all is said and done, I'm going to go after all five of them but for now, my winner is going to be the Parkhurst set.  It's small, has some mega HOF power in it and I think I can get most of it for well under the "pie in the sky" values.

What is everyone's opinion?  Do you see any of these being an advantage over the other?  Do you collect vintage sets?  How concerned are you with completion vs. condition?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hobby Impact: My Take On Thomas Vanek To The Islanders

So Garth Snow decided to put a bunch of Isles fans into cardiac arrest on Sunday night by trading Matt Moulson, the 1st rounder in 2014 and a 2nd rounder in 2015 to the Sabres for Thomas Vanek.  Now, there are some of you that might be saying, "So what, DFG!  You aren't a fan of either team.  You should be posting more random Steeler posts or just not posting at all."  Well I say, "NO".  I will post what I want and when I want to.  So there.  This trade puzzled me for about an hour early this morning.  It made me think about the chance that the Pens would dump a player like James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, or dare I say Crosby/Malkin.  But then I got it.  Today's NHL is a bi-polar league.  You have teams on either side of the fence whether it is from a talent standpoint or a financial standpoint (they go hand in hand usually).  You are either a "win-now" team or a team in "rebuilding mode" to "win-soon".

I was thinking about this trade in terms of actual team impact vs. hobby impact.  Moulson, while a great scorer and playmaker in the NHL playing alongside Tavares, would most definitely be a fringe hobby player (or a minor star if you go by that terminology) while Vanek is surely a fringe star player and garners much more traction in the hobby (partially because of his rookie class, partially because of his game play, partially because of where he played).  As an example, for the last 6 months, Vanek has been in the top 10 hockey player searches on Collector Revolution, so someone out there is looking for him.  You can even take a look at closed auctions on Ebay.  Matt Moulson...not so much.  From a team aspect, this could either be the best move for both teams or a disaster for the soon to be team from Brooklyn.  Here's why I think so.

Because GM Garth Snow was upset with a 4-4-3 start to the season, he wanted something to shake up the lineup.  The Isles are probably an impact player away from being a serious Cup contender.  While there isn't much by way of offensive prospects or minor leaguers in the organization that can make an immediate impact on a call up assignment, he wanted to check the market for something to spark the team.  Sabres GM Darcy Regier was more than happy to oblige by dumping Vanek in exchange for more younger talent and draft potential.  Buffalo has shown over the last few years that they are building from the ground up and that will eventually lead them to the Cup.  At least, that's the model that seems to work in today's NHL (see LA, Chicago, Pittsburgh, etc).

The problem is that both guys are UFA's at the end of the season and the chance of either of them signing is probably slim to none (just ask Vanek's agent).  Feasibly, this could be one-and-done for both players if an offer isn't tendered and neither player signed extensions as part of the trade.  An offer, if it does come, is going to hinge heavily on serious play from both guys.  I think Vanek might have a bit of an uphill battle because he will immediately have the pressure on him to perform.  The Isles obviously feel that he can not only replace Moulson's production but eclipse it and create one of the best lines in hockey along with John Tavares.  I don't think he will be a disappointment but even if he is a bust and the Islanders fall flat, they will surely retool and come back next season but without Vanek.  That would mean that not only did they give away Moulson, but two draft picks as well and have nothing to show for it.  Vanek would simply test the UFA market in the prime of his career and most likely get paid handsomely to do it.

The Stanley Cup is always the goal and in the long run, I think Moulson might have a better position playing with a team that has a solid goaltender and some defensive help in front of the net.  But that is a stretch this year since Buffalo is at 2-10-1 at this point in the season.  Regardless, Buffalo gets the better report card in this trade because they get a chance to audition Moulson on different lines, try to find the team chemistry, or deal him at the trade deadline for something that does work.  Worst case scenario for them, Moulson is either gone at the deadline for more draft picks, gone at the end of the season and they still have the two other picks they got in the trade, or he signs a multi-year deal either in the season or at the end and solidifies their top scoring line.

As I mentioned, Vanek came out of the that huge double rookie class of 2005-06 after that 2004 lockout.  He has over 1,400 cards on the market to show for it with a reference value in the range of $18K.  His value is fueled by rookie auto's and memorabilia cards from the likes of UD Ultimate, The Cup, and newer issues like Dominion and Prime.  Vanek cards tend to sell regularly, especially the nicer hits that are out here.  Matt Moulson has only been in the league since 2007-08 and has almost 350 cards.  His five rookie cards get some market traction but the bulk of his collection is centered on memorabilia and autographs.  I think Moulson might get some notice now that he is in Buffalo and Vanek can only get better playing alongside hobby darling John Tavares.

We shall see if it's in the cards for either player.  (pun intended)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Steeler 6-Pack

This is the seventh, or eight (I forget) installment of a the Sunday Steeler 6-Pack.  We got another win last week against the evil Ravens.  That put us in a great position if we actually can keep it up.  I'm hopeful but won't be surprised if we can't.  Either way, it is always nice to get a win against our division teams.

This week....the Raiders.  We haven't won in Oakland since 1995.  Let's hope we can change that.

Each Sunday of the NFL season, I will feature 6 random cards from my Pittsburgh Steelers' PC.  There is no rhyme or reason for any of them, just 6 random cards I pull out of one of my many boxes or binders of black and gold (and there are MANY) and maybe a comment or two.

Here we go...

 1948 Bowman Chuck Cherundolo #50

By far my oldest Steeler card, this 1948 Bowman is a beaut.  The best part is cost me less than a couple bucks.  I'll buy that all day.  Check out that leather helmet.  I wonder if Polamalu would still hit guys as hard if he had to play with a leather helmet?  I'm guess...yeah, probably.

 1996 Playoff Contenders Genuine Leather Jerome Bettis #36

This card is made of leather.  At least it sure feels like it is.  I guess that is the point.  The card is real thick and even has the leather smell.  I'm not real sure I understand the little quiver lines around the bus but still it's a nice card.  We could sure use the bus these days.

 2010 Epix Jason Worilds Rookie Auto #'d/499

 2010 Certified Immortals Jack Lambert #182  #'d/999

Oh so shiny.  So unbelievably shiny.

 2013 Bowman White Jarvis Jones #120

This is the white parallel.  At least I think.  I don't remember what the normal cards look like.  I know there are black parallels, blue, green, red, orange, purple, mauve, chartreuse, pink, fruit-stripe, emerald green, light blue, steel, grass green, off white, ecru, eggshell, off-black, and clear.

 2013 Topps 1959 Mini Ben Roethlisberger #99

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Steeler 6-Pack

This is the sixth installment of a the Sunday Steeler 6-Pack.  We finally got our first win last week...only after I posted two of these Six Packs.  Maybe that was the reason??  Or the fact that we played the Jets.  Actually the Jets are a lot like the Steelers.  You never know which team you are going to get week to week.

Each Sunday of the NFL season, I will feature 6 random cards from my Pittsburgh Steelers' PC.  There is no rhyme or reason for any of them, just 6 random cards I pull out of one of my many boxes or binders of black and gold (and there are MANY) and maybe a comment or two.

Here We Go!

1991 Pinnacle Dermontti Dawson

I don't know why all my Dermontti Dawson card scans look all funky like this.  Weird.

2009 Bowman Red Parallel Lamarr Woodley

I have posted on here the white version and regular version too before.  Maybe even this one.  I don't know.

1971 Topps Dave Smith

You can see this is a little banged up.  I think I have a better version of it but that wasn't the scan I had.  Smith led the team in Touchdowns in 1971 with five.  It would have been 6 had it not been for the other incident he is known for against the Chefs on Monday Night Football.  After catching a pass from Bradshaw, sprinting 50 yards to paydirt, and celebrating by pumping the ball over his head as he approached the goal line, the ball slipped from his hands, rolling through the endzone and out the back for a touchback.  I'm sure many of you have seen it on the all-time blooper highlight reels.  I know I have.

1955 Bowman Ted Marchibroda

While probably best known for his coaching stints with the Redskins (I can still call them that, right?), Colts, Bears, Lions, Eagles, Bills, Colts again, and Ravens, he was actually a player.  He was drafted in 1953 by the Steelers, played one season, then joined the Army.  After returning, he played parts of another two seasons in Pittsburgh, including starting 11 games in 1956 (he was 4-7 with 12 TD passes) before heading to the Cardinals for a year.

2008 Topps Stadium Club

I picked this card, not for Ben, but for the two guys blocking for him.  There we have Marvel Smith and Alan Faneca.  These guys were two of the most important players on the Steelers offensive line and they are a big reason why we won two Super Bowl rings.  Unfortunately, age and free agency kicked in.  Faneca went to the Jets for an unheard of salary.  Smith had back problems that kept him from being resigned and after signing with the 49ers in 2009, he retired.

2006 Upper Deck Super Bowl XL Casey Hampton

This is from the commemorative set issued by Upper Deck, seemingly after every Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, etc.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hockey Related Reason #5 To Move To Canada

Another in a long line of reasons to move to Canada, or at least plan lots of vacations there...

The Legends Classic is a hockey game of sorts between two teams of legendary NHL players.  This years' Classic is no less awesome than other years.  It is being held at the Maple Leaf Gardens (or whatever weird name they actually changed it to now) and features current HOF inductees, NHL legends, and Maple Leaf greats.

In the Red corner, we have Team McDonald, captained by non other than Lanny McDonald.  In the Blue corner, we have Team Sittler, captained by Darryl Sittler.

Event and giveaways will be plenty as all ticketholders will get a free program and a free pass to the Hockey Hall of Fame to boot.  Plus, they will get to experience the 2013 induction class receiving their member blazers at center ice.  There will also be a Shoot Out during intermission where fans can win autographs of the 2013 HOF inductees.

Very rarely, if ever, do we get these events here in the States.  And for that, I am forever jealous.  The only opportunity we usually get to see this many legends in one place is either at a team sponsored event or ceremonial game or at one of the national-type card/memorabilia shows.  It seems like in Canada, these things happen all the time.  For a hockey fan, this has to be like Christmas in November.

Check out the team rosters so far for this event...

Team Sittler

Darryl Sittler
Ed Belfour
Chris Chelios
Doug Gilmour
Brendan Shanahan
Shayne COrson
Gary Leeman
Bob McGill
Darcy Tucker
Rick Vaive
Tiger Williams

Team McDonald

Lanny McDonald
Geraldine Heaney
Angela James
Scott Niedermayer
Joe Nieuwendyk
Borje Salming
Dan Daoust
Wendel Clark
Al Iafrate
Nick Kypreos
Gary Roberts
Sami Jo Small

Even if you aren't a fan of the Leafs, this still seems like it would be a lot of fun.  Are they any readers/bloggers out there going to be attending or have attended these in the past?  Leave a comment.  I'd like to hear about them.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Steeler 6-Pack BONUS (sort of)

The fifth installment of a the Sunday Steeler 6-Pack, on schedule at normal time.  There are two this week because I inadvertently forgot last weeks.

Each Sunday of the NFL season, I will feature 6 random cards from my Pittsburgh Steelers' PC.  There is no rhyme or reason for any of them, just 6 random cards I pull out of one of my many boxes or binders of black and gold (and there are MANY) and maybe a comment or two.

Here We Go!

 2009 Topps Magic Rashard Mendenhall RC

Here we have Mendy in his Fighting Illini uniform.  This was a feature of the Topps Magic set in 2009.

2008 Upper Deck SP Rookie Edition Hines Ward

Hines Ward was considered by many NFL players as "dirty".  Those guys were evidently the ones that he knocked on their asses each week.  And he did it all with a smile on his face.

2009 Mayo Cut Plug Mini Terry Bradshaw

Another TB mini.  This time it's a Mayo's Cut Plug Mini.  Not sure where I got this because I know I never opened any of that product.

2007 Panini Threads Generations Ronnie Lott/Troy Polamalu

Two guys with some of the most ferocious hits of all time.  Did you ever see Ronnie Lott's fingers?  They are gross.  Seriously gross.  Imagine how much faster Troy would be without the wind resistance of his hair...

1977 Topps Mel Blount (All Pro) 

Mel was always one of my favorite Dynasty Era Steelers.  The guy was arguably one of the most physical cornerbacks of his day, roaming the secondary, looking for a guy to knock his head off.  They don't make him quite like Mel today.  Closest thing would probably be Troy but even that is a stretch.

1971 Topps Terry Hanratty

Hanratty was drafted in 1969 to be the starting QB.  He played a few games as starter but was quickly replaced by the #1 pick in 1970...Terry Bradshaw.  He spent the majority of the rest of his career backing up Terry, suiting up for a Super Bowl and playing in another.  He was also picked in the expansion draft by Tampa Bay and has the dubious distinction of helping lead them the only win less season in NFL history.

Sunday Steeler 6-Pack (A Week Late)

The fourth installment of a the Sunday Steeler 6-Pack.  It's brutal to watch every Sunday.  I'm beginning to wonder if we are ever going to win.  I even forgot to post this last Sunday.  I must have been celebrating the Bye Week win!!

Each Sunday of the NFL season, I will feature 6 random cards from my Pittsburgh Steelers' PC.  There is no rhyme or reason for any of them, just 6 random cards I pull out of one of my many boxes or binders of black and gold (and there are MANY) and maybe a comment or two.

2008 Score Select Gold Zone Ike Taylor 

1980 Topps  '79 AFC Championship Game Highlight 

Here is a nice shot of Rocky Bleier cutting up the Oilers defense.  In the background is Mike Webster looking on after probably throwing a nice block to open up a hole and on the ground is Gerry Mullins throwing a nice cut block on Greg Bingham.   

1991 Enor Hall of Fame Art Rooney 

1970 Topps Chuck Allen

What are you so smiley about? 

2008 Topps Bruce Davis 

Is Brucey doing his best Elvis hip shake here or is he running some kind of play?

2007 Upper Deck James Farrior

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Activate the Photon Accelerator Annihilation Beam

Well the dream season is officially over.  I have had plenty of time to sleep off the playoff hangover and the devastation that came with last nights shellacking at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals.  Am I sad?  Yeah, probably.  Angry?  I was a little last night with a few sketchy calls and the lack of offense the Pirates were producing, but not any longer.  But more than anything else at this point in time....I'm PROUD.

And that's what all Pirate fans need to be right now (or soon enough after the sadness, anger, yada yada like I already mentioned wears off).  Every sports fan in the world has had their moments like this and have been in the same shoes as we are.  We just had to endure it since the 1992 NLCS.  But in that last 21 years or so, with a few exceptions, this years team is probably going to go down as my favorite team.  In the last two decades, no Pirates team has had much in the overall talent pool, virtually no supporting cast for any "star" player to play with, not much by way of a bullpen, and certainly not a winning attitude.  This year that all changed.

With any luck, we should see the Buccos playing this type of ball for at least a few years.  McCutchen will be MVP (I hope) and will be back in black next year.  They will also get to keep Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and Starling Marte.  The only guy not protected is AJ Burnett and frankly, I'm not worried about that.  The rest of the bullpen should remain together and Burnett will be replaced (hopefully) by Jameson Taillon.

I, for one, was a skeptic even into August, knowing that "my Pirates" haven't existed for years and "these Pirates" would surely buckle under pressure and play themselves right out of contention.  But that didn't happen.  They proved me wrong.  And for that, I'm PROUD.

When the season came down to the final stretch, they did as much as they could have done to write their own destiny.  And for that, I'm PROUD.  They were able to pound out the runs they needed and fend off the Reds in their (futile and ridiculous that Bud Selig even allows this to happen) one-game Wild Card playoff.  And for that, I'm PROUD.  They stood face-to-face with the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, a virtual David & Goliath battle, taking them to 5 games.  And for that, I'm PROUD.

Clint Hurdle said not long after the game,

"We were able to take a huge step forward this year in restoring the pride and the passion of the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization, and rebonding our city with a ball team."

So Pirate fans, once you are over the initial pain, be PROUD like me.  This team has erased 20 years of futility and done so with class, style, and a flair of excitement like many of us can't remember.  These guys have brought the black and yellow pride back to PNC Park and to the city of Pittsburgh.

For that, we should all be PROUD!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Redemption Song - A Tale Of Uncertainty

Everyone has had a problem...errr, wrong word choice.

Everyone has had an that isn't it either.

Everyone has had an experience with Redemption cards.  Yeah, that's the ticket.  Experiences can be defined as some type of contact with or observation of the facts or events surrounding the existence, ability to obtain or not obtain, or downright nastiness of a redemption card.  As such, those experiences are mostly unique (albeit sometimes repeated...over and over and over again).  You would be hard pressed to find ten collector's in a row that you could ask the question, "Have you had a bad experience with a redemption?" and not find at least one that has (in some circles, all ten may).

For as much as people get excited about getting the "hits" out of packs of cards, that excitement is sometimes filled with trepidation and uncertainty when those "hits" come out on those super thick, white cardboard slugs.  I am no different.  Let me walk you through my thought process when I unearth one of those scary scratch-offs.

My first reaction is joy.  I know that when I see a super thick card in my pack it can be one of three things.
  1. It is a "decoy" card with all the sexiness of a '52 Mantle you won on auction that was shipped in a PWE from a Canadian post office somewhere outside of Ontario (for those confused, that is bad).
  2. It is a "hit" and probably some type of memorabilia card because why else would it be so thick.
  3. It is a "hit" in the form of a "decoy" with a scratch and sniff sticker requiring the use of a coin which I no longer possess because I just used it to purchase the pack it came from.    
So I shuffle through the rest of the cards in the pack, hoping I won't be further disappointed by what was probably a knee-jerk reaction type purchase and I am getting annihilated on.  Then I see it.  The plain white cardboard slug with a manufactured sticker affixed mostly crooked and text that was printed using a dot matrix printer with recycled typewriter ribbon.  I quickly adjust my eyesight to squint mode so that I can decipher the half faded, half illegible text.  I then immediately realize what I have...either something nice or something, well, not so nice.

Let's assume nice for a moment...My brain reacts in a way that probably most collector's do in that if it isn't a redemption for a player in one of my PCs (either individual or team) I begin to contemplate whether this might be something I really need.  If I am at home and near a computer or my phone is charged and ready to go, I will hop online to see if there have been any of the redemptions or the cards they refer to actively moving on the open market (generally this is via Ebay, COMC, Collector Revolution, Beckett Marketplace, or a couple forums I joined at one time or another).  There is going to be a distinction in price usually between the redeemed cards and their place holders.  Sometimes, especially when a product is new and there is still some excitement, the unredeemed cards have a much higher demand and will get sometimes double, even triple the redeemed value (I can only assume people are paying for that uncertainty I talked about earlier).

Nice or not so nice, in most cases I balk on the selling of the redemption card.  I tried it once and it didn't work out in my favor.  I guess that is because I never can seem to time the market right.  Regardless, I am then left with two options, scratch or not scratch and find a trade partner.  Nine times out of ten, I'm trading with other bloggers/collectors.  They too understand the em...experiences with redemption cards and sometimes just don't want to deal with it.  I completely understand.  So the other 98% of the time, I'm left with no option but to scratch and hope for the best.  

I have personally dealt with Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini when it comes to redemptions but I have no first hand knowledge of trying to get anything back from the other manufacturers like Leaf, ITG, Press Pass, TriStar, or Sage (did I miss anyone?).  So I will just say this...I am one of the fortunate ones that has not had an instance of never receiving a redemption, receiving the wrong redemption, having to receive a replacement redemption, or being told "what redemption?" by a nameless customer service rep.  I know I'm in the minority and I know I must be one of the lucky ones.  The only experience that I have had to endure is the wait time because the act of waiting to receive a card you should have had in your hand in the first place is agonizingly painful.  

A lot can happen from the time a redemption request is made until the time that item reaches your hands.  Players can become injured.  Players can get traded.  Players can go into a slump or become social and public pariahs.  In some cases a player could die in the time it takes to receive your redemption.  What?  It could happen.  It might be a fringe-type freakish event, but it could happen.  But in that time you are waiting to receive the card, the worst thing that happens (I guess the death thing is really THE worst but...) is second guessing the decision to redeem it in the first place.  

I go back and forth with myself, wondering what I was thinking all the time.  It isn't healthy.  But I know I can't be the only one that does that.  In a world filled with collectors, filled with unopened packs, filled with eager-to-be-scratched cardboard, there has to be others that experience the same anxiety, the same uncertainty, the same lack of faith in the system as I (despite never being burned, yet).

There is more to this story.  This is only the beginning of another post down the line.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Call To Bloggers

I probably do this a couple times so if you are looking for content, go somewhere else for a minute.  I wanted to call out all the bloggers and readers of The Real DFG for a minute and request some assistance.

I have been noticing that over the last few months, readership seems to be down, not just on my blog but on many bloggers sites out there.  Now I'm not sure what to contribute that to.  Is it the new Google search BS that has been rocking the SEO world?  Is it the fact that the content we are creating isn't "read" worthy?  Is it just everyone on earth is just too busy?  I don't have an answer.  

But here is what I do know.  I have quite a few people that come here, not just for my witty and entertaining posts, but for the access to other blogs over here on the right hand side with my Dogfaced Daily.  This is my blogroll so to speak.  I try to keep it as updated, diverse, and comprehensive as I possibly can.  As such, I tend to deactivate any sites that haven't had any activity for more than 6 months.  I know we are all busy and sometimes get in a rut but even I don't generally go more than 6 months without posting something on one of my blogs.  

With that being said, I would like to encourage any one with a blog, any reader of this blog, or anyone in general to take a look at the blog roll over there.  If there is a blog that you feel should be there, comment with the address and I will try to add it.  If you used to see one and it has disappeared, let me know and I will check it and find out why.  Also, add me to your blog lists if you don't mind.  Follow my blog, this one or any of the others (although I don't post on the Garage much, if at all anymore...the actual garage kind of blew up).  Also follow me on Twitter or whatever else I have linked to over there.  I promise I won't bombard you with random tweets of what I am doing every waking moment of the day.  

I am extremely appreciative of all of you that read my drivel on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.  In one way or another, I think we are all dependent upon each other.  This is a great community.  I am very happy to be a part of it.