Collector seeking Autographs

I used to be an autograph seeker in my adolescent years.  Cards and a fresh sharpie in hand, fighting my way to the front in hopes of getting an illegible scribble from the baseball stars of the 1980’s.  After a while i build up quite a collection that i’m proud of and like to look back on every once in a while.  San Antonio didn’t have a major league team in San Antonio (AA San Antonio Dodgers though!), but my mother…being the most amazing working / single mother that she was (and still is…) would take me to Arlington a couple times each summer.  We’d mostly go the Rangers games rather than the Astros in Houston…i guess i’ve always been an American League guy…or maybe it was those horrific rainbow sherbet jerseys…the trips each year would include the Yankees, of course and maybe the Blue Jays or Mariners.  Looking back, we went to quite a few Mariners games as a kid and now i live in the PNW, it’s like it was fate or somethign?  My mother is an incredibly generous and giving person, and she always went out of her way to make sure i had what i needed, and most times what i wanted.  Even if it was a terrible idea.  Like sitting in an open air stadium under the relentlessly pounding late afternoon sun of Texas in July and August.  It was a brutal request from an only child after driving for 5 hours, but she obliged, albeit with some resentment in her eyes…but hey, i’m an only child :)!!

As i got older and realized i could maximize my inventory while minimizing my road trips through through the mail autographs, or TTM as every single one of you kids out there reading this knows.  I did this for a couple of years and had some success, check out the page of autographs HERE.  DOIT!!

As i got even older…and was able to finally get that Rickey Henderson auto i always wanted…but can’t seem to find anymore…shit…i’ll dig it out.  Anyways, after that autograph, i decided to stop asking adults for their signature.  Seemed kinda silly of me i guess…not sure why, maybe it was that i was starting to get older than the people i wanted autographs from?  Maybe I was a little embarrassed?  Maybe it was simply the asking for something and being shy about it?  Not really sure.  That said, i have nothing against collecting autos…especially if they have some kind of story associated with them.  Unfortunately, the cards below have no great story other than they are what i pulled from the box i picked up at Brian’s shop.  Here they are!  There are 5 of them and they are nice pieces to have in the collection for now.  You gotta wait for these guys, some of them never pan out and other may take a couple of years to get there…so enjoy.

16-bd-will-benson-auto

Will Benson – Cleveland Indians – 1st Bowman Card16-bd-robert-tyler-auto-227250

Robert Tyler – Colorado Rockies – 1st Bowman Card 227/25016-bd-dylan-carlson-auto-316499

Dylan Carlson – St. Louis Cardinals – 1st Bowman Card 316/49916-bd-ben-bowden-auto

Ben Bowden – Colorado Rockies – 1st Bowman Card16-bd-anfernee-grier-auto

Anfernee Grier – Arizona Diamondbacks – 1st Bowman Card

Actually got to see this guy play a couple of games last year in Hillsboro for the Hops.  He was the 39th pick from Auburn in last years draft, so there is some hope that he could find his way to the big leagues in a year or two.

The jumbo box included a couple other cards of note that i was pretty excited about.  This lovely Griffey Jr. card, which could have been posted in my previous post on Sons and Fathers…doesn’t top Gavin’s 1/1 auto, but not a bad looking card to have…and Bo Jackson…

16-bd-ken-griffey-jr-draft-history16-bd-bo-jackson-draft-history

These Bowman Chrome cards are really nice cards to hold…but do smell a little bit like syrup as Sooz mentioned in a very cool and random tweet a couple days ago.  Speaking of Yankees…Here are the last two cards i wanted to share.  A couple of guys i have high hopes for this year that came through via trades Cushman made out on, or at least the Yankees fans hope so.

16-bd-gleyber-torres16-bd-justus-sheffield

I apologize for the fingerprints on that Sheffield card, not only do they smell like syrup…they love to grab hold of anything that touched the surface.  So much grit!

I hope you had a good MLK day and took a moment to understand the importance of his life.  Normally, this is where i post a music video that ties in to the cards or story of the day but i wanted to post something appropriate for the day rather than the post.  I listened to this while i was at work today and…well, you should listen to.  And in case you question why #BlackLivesMatter, it’s very thoughtfully explained and passionately addressed by Dr. King.

Black Friday Reeds

Going back to Black Friday.  As I mentioned earlier, I jumped all over the COMC.com Black Friday sale and picked up some very nice Jordan Reed cards.  These are the kind of cards that you want to put in nice card holders and present on some prominent shelf in your sports card room.  I don’t have a sports card room, so they will be shown here on the blog.

Here are the player worn patch/player worn relic/player worn memorabilia cards in landscape format.  The first one is from Topps Inception.  I love these cards with the very cool over processed images and intense photography.  Plus it’s number 1 of 93.  What’s up with the random number 93?

13 TI Jordan Reed Player Worn Patch 1:93

Next up is Bowman Sterling with Mr. Reed staring very intensely into the cameraman’s lens.

13 BS Jordan Reed Relic 671:1214

And here is a quad patch numbered to 75.

13 TP Jordan Reed Quad Patch 68:75

Here is the autograph portion of the post.  The Bowman card along with the three above are super thick cards that barely fit into a penny sleeve.  It’s kind of a shame that a card this thick and nice is a sticker auto.

13 BS Jordan Reed Autograph

The next card is from this years Prizm set.  I love Prizm.

13 PP Jordan Reed Auto

For the last two cards, you will notice they are crazy die cut cards with reflective shiny-ness all over them.  I love the die cut cards, but they can be a pain to put back in the penny sleeves.

13 TF Jordan Reed  Finest Atomic Rookies Die Cut

This one was more difficult to put back in the sleeves.  Not putting the toothpaste back in the tube difficult, but difficult no less.  I happened to scan these along with the thicker cards, so pardon the shadows…although they create a nice depth to the card and the angles.  So nice!

13 TC Jordan Reed Die Cut

If you are in your late 30’s like me and love some good ole Hip Hop, then you should listen to this as I am doing right now.  This takes me back…life moves way too quick.

PS – I’ve updated my 1970’s Redskins checklist…check it out if you think you have something to help me complete my team sets.

An RG3 autograph has come to my home.

No words to describe this one.

This is the card that I wanted as soon as I saw it and I got a pretty good deal for it on e-bay.  After a few months of stewing over the piece of cardboard I went for it!

I really couldn’t pass up an on-card autograph of the Washington Redskins Rookie of Year Quarterback numbered to 25 (21 for Sean Taylor?)

12 PS Robert Griffin III Auto 21:25

One of the dealers at the local card shows had a different, higher serial numbered version of the card for the same price I paid and so I’m glad I waited.  This is going to be a great addition to my collection and something that I will always enjoy owning…I keep telling myself that…it may just become an investment, if that’s something you believe in with football cards.

The piece itself is in pretty spectacular condition and has no scratches or dents anywhere on the card, plus the corners are all sharp.  This is one card that I had thought about getting graded, but am going to pass at this point as I just can do that to a card on my own…not yet at least.

Road Trip Packs II

The next pack along the road was actually a blaster of 2013 Leaf Draft from Wal-Mart.  Purchased at 12:30am.  This was actually the first group of cards I purchased on the trip and were picked up on a midnight run for ‘snacks’…plus I was really curious what type of Wal-Martians I could find around 1am on a Friday night…and just like the box of cards, the Wal-Martians were just ok.

This is a product I buy a few packs of each year in hopes of getting the Redskins draft picks…the value of these cards is minimal and the quality of them is about the same, but if you like a specific college or NFL team, it’s nice to get the players first (or last) card depending on your perspective.  I’ve never picked up a blaster box of these guys before, so I’m not sure if this is typical, but the package came with 2 autographs in top loaders and placed in a team bag.  I thought that was pretty cool.  No need to open any packs to see what your hits were.  They were just there!  I also thought it was pretty cool that Leaf managed to package them so nicely to keep them in as close to mint condition as possible.

The first auto was Markus Wheaton.  A receiver from Oregon State who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round.  Not a bad auto considering what else I could have pulled.

13 LD Markus Wheaton AutographThe second auto was of Sean Porter, whom quite ironically is from Schertz, Texas and went to Samuel Clemens.  The box of cards was purchased in little ol’ Schertz, Texas.  Porter is an A&M product and played Linebacker during his four year career.  He was drafted in the fourth round by the Cincinnati Bengals.

13 LD Sean Porter Autograph

Next up are the Redskins players.

Jordan Reed TE – 3rd round from Florida.  Early reports from the couple of practices he participated in were really high on this kid.  It sounds like he can become a big time playmaker at Tight End and hopefully compliment Fred Davis for years to come.

13 LD Jordan Reed

Brandon Jenkins DE – 5th round from Florida State.  When healthy, he was pretty much a beast at FSU and could have gone much earlier had he indeed been healthy.  If Jenkins is able to rebound, he should be a nice compliment to Orakpo and Kerrigan next year and hopefully the next 5 years.

13 LD Brandon Jenkins

Jawan Jamison RB – 7th round from Rutgers.  Mike Shanahan has a way of hitting on running backs.  Here’s hoping Jamison can be another one. He too was injured but has a huge upside…but injuries tend to derail the greatest of athletes, especially if they limit opportunities in practice and games.

13 LD Jawan Jamison

Although the cards were not that impressive, I was pretty happy with what i pulled.  If anyone out there has a desire to trade for the autos, please let me know…could be nice for a Bengals or Steelers collector!

Box Break: 2013 Bowman

Bowman is one of those in between sets for me.  Do I buy packs?  A box and build the set?  Pull my favorites out and part ways with the rest of them?

I’m not a prospector, but I love to pull some of the great rookies that I read about.

I don’t put together too many sets, but I love to buy packs and sometimes a box of cards that I enjoy openings packs of.

I like inserts, but too many of them become overwhelming.

Bowman has a way of providing a response to each of these contradictions in my collecting habits.  When Topps brought back the Bowman cards in 1989, my friend Alex and I were all in.  The cards were weird and big and didn’t fit well anywhere, but they were cool and had a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card.  Griff was the man in 1989 and his rookie cards were something every kid in America that collected cards wanted.  I had them all, and loved the oversized Bowman version (after the Upper Deck version of course…)  Although the cards weren’t that great.  The photography was a little grainy at times and the overall design was weak…plus the stat on the back were quite confusing and took some getting used to.  Either way I was going to collect this set…and all other versions that would come out in the future.  That was, until 1992 rolled around.  The card quality became significantly better and the rookie class was pretty stellar at the time (I still have my Raul Mondesi in a screw down holder, iknowright!).  1992 was also the time I began to realize I can’t collect everything…because I couldn’t afford it.  So I never completed the set and ended up getting rid of my other sets from the previous years.

13 BB Mariano Rivera Chrome RC Reprint

Fast forward to the future that is today.  The card quality has improved exponentially and in relation to the other stuff that’s being issued, Bowman is quite affordable.  I’ve purchased a box of these the past three years and took a bigger step this year and bought the jumbo pack box from Dave and Adam’s card world.  Here is my review.

13 BB Josh Hamilton Chrome RC Reprint

Card Design – 3 of 5

The overall design of the cards is quite simple, which I love.

13 BB Robinson Cano

13 BB Hanley Ramirez

No extra weird things going on here, just some simple graphics and all the basic information you need on a baseball card.  I do like the subtle variation on the front of the card that differentiates the Bowman Prospects from the Major Leaguers.  Bowman also carried this through as they do on the back of  the card with the numbering and color of the card stock.

Photography – 3 of 5

The photographs are your typical action photos mixed in with awkwardly posed for photos of young men in uniforms.  There are a lot of beards and facial hair in general around the world these days and the major league baseball franchise is no different.  I’m thinking Panini needs to do a facial hair card set.  Maybe Josh Reddick get the coveted #1 card?

13 BB Matt Kemp Bryce Harper Gold Border

Hits – 4 of 5

Like I said before, I’m no prospector.  I simply don’t have the patience or wherewithal to invest in people I don’t know and Bowman counts on people doing this.  That’s what makes this set so wonderful though.  If you do pull a great auto of a young talented player or a refractor you have a nice piece of cardboard.  If you don’t, well, you have something shiny to look at i guess.  Another thing with the hits is that you have to wait a couple of years for these guys to pan out and get a year or two under their belts.  Just because you are a top 100 prospect doesn’t mean you are going to be a star in the bigs.  All that said, It’s nice to get the ‘First Bowman card’ of a potential star.

13 BB Eddie Rosario Dorssys Paulino Top 100

Another thing that i really enjoy about the Bowman cards and the young stars is the names of these kids.  Damn.

13 BB Oliberto Amaya Calderon Maldonado Chrome

Review

Bowman is always fun to open and the cards are always a very solid quality.  I’m not sure if I will buy a jumbo box next year unless i plan to start building the sets again…but getting 32 cards in a pack is pretty cool.

13 BB Rodriguez Bundy Reed Rowen Gold Sparkle

The overall look and feel of the cards is great, nothing to complain about here, plus the price is right with Bowman, especially for what you get.

Mini’s are cool.

13 BB Skaggs Hanson Bradley Hensley Minis

So are Flags…

13 BB Davis Upton Alonso Maurer Hometown

and blue or maybe purple cards?

13 BB Brett Gerritse Blue Refractor 60:250and who doesn’t love them some autographs!

13 BB Eddie Butler Auto

13 BB Yordano Ventura Refractor Auto 79:500

13 BB Alex Meyer Auto

Panini Limited: Revisited

So, I couldn’t help myself.  Dave and Adam’s Cardworld had a great deal on their 2012 Limited boxes so i picked up one more.  That made three total, as i bought one direct from Panini and somehow received an extra box from them.

12 PL Andy Dalton 383:399

I really liked the cards initially and thought i’d give it another go.  I was pleased with this box as it yielded some nice new cards for me, although nothing to add to my PC.

12 PL Steven Jackson 326:399

The design of this set has been one of my favorites, next to the Prime Signatures by Panini this year.

12 PL Juron Criner 73:299

Look at this guy, Jim Otto.  I’m sure this legend is super proud of this card too.

12 PL Jim Otto 337:349

The hits were nice, two autographs from two young and talented players along with a gigantic jumbo patch of LaMichael James, with the safety strip at the lower left corner.

12 PL Dont'a Hightower Auto 10:25

12 PL LaMichael James Jumbo Patch 37:99Alshon Jeffery is going to be a beast, look at his intensity!  This card should be blown up, framed and hung up on a wall next to my degree.

12 PL Alshon Jeffery Membership Auto 61:99

Box Break: 2012 Panini Playbook

Panini Playbook

This is something i have never thought of buying in the past and will not buy in the future.  For me, this was a high risk, low reward box and something that i bought because i got whipped up in the Panini hype machine and my pursuit of pulling an RG3 auto from a box.  As you will see, that did not happen.  With all that negative energy out, these cards are pretty cool and it’s difficult to have any kind of criticism of the cards themselves.  They are quite beautiful and definitely pieces of art…for the cardboard connoisseur.

As you may know, Playoff gives you 4 cards in a box with some autos and some jersey cards.  You always see the great 1/1’s on the websites out there, but I never actually pull them myself.  I do love the booklet card idea and had hoped to pull any kind of Redskin card… instead i got a freakin’ Cowboy.  A very young and talented cowboy no less…but a Dallas Cowboy.

12 PP Morris Claiborne Jersey Booklet 11:49

The other booklet card i pulled was a guy that i strongly remember from Hard Knocks that barely made the team and seemed lost quite a bit.  Michael Egnew.  He played in two games last year and put up some goose eggs.  I wonder if he even ran the right routes?  It’s kind of crappy that this is the box ‘hit’.  A guy that will probably be out of the NFL in a year or two.  No disrespect to Mr. Egnew, but Panini should do a better job of making these box hit booklet cards of guys that will have some type of impact in the NFL.  I realize they don’t have crystal balls, but if they did, it would be awesome…crystal balls.  If i pulled a single card of Egnew, I would have been cool with that, but not the booklet.

12 PP Michael Egnew Auto Booklet Acetate 9:49

The next two autos were of the Bears Rookie Brandon Hardin…

12 PP Brandon Hardin Auto 53:140

…and Casey Hayward from the Green Bay Packers.  Casey had a pretty good rookie season with the Packers, picking of 6 passes.  Seems like the kind of guy you want to keep an eye out for in the future…would love to have received a booklet auto of THIS GUY!

12 PP Casey Hayward Auto 119:140After re-reading this post, it sounds really negative an filled with varying levels of disappointment.  That’s not totally the case.  I knew what i was getting in to.  It was a gamble and in all honesty it was a fun gamble that i enjoyed taking part in.  I probably won’t buy another box of these in the future, but I really do like the look and feel of them.