Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wow, That Was Fast!

So. Upon receiving the Jordan back from Upper Deck, I started doing my research on eBay and found a couple of examples of this exact same card selling recently. 22/23 sold for $361 and 23/23 sold for $490, but all bets are off when a jersey serial number comes into play.  I listed the card at $450 or best offer and waited. Almost immediately, I got an offer for $313 which was a little lower than what I was willing to accept. I got a second offer for $350 and so I countered the first offer with $350, but he dragged his feet. I took a chance and countered the $350 offer with $375 which was mostly just to cover fees.

The fact of the matter is that this being a sticker auto kills a bit of the value of the card with so many great looking on-card autographs out there for Jordan collectors to acquire. People aren’t going to purchase this card as a centerpiece of their collection. This is mainly going to be sought after by Jordan collectors who want to have everything.  Yes, there’s still a lot of them out there, but they also know what they should be paying for Jordan’s stuff.  There were some on-card autographs that sold for less and there were some sticker autos numbered as low as 10 that sold for less.  All in all, I think that I did pretty well.

Someone jumped on the Stephen Curry auto for $30 which I knew would happen. The Jonny Flynn is still sitting there with the best offer still being $3 and change. It looks like I’ll have to move this over to an auction setting and see what happens.

New listings include:

Courtney Fells Auto 18/25 auction $1.99 starting bid

Gerald Henderson Auto 24/25 auction .99¢ starting bid

Jeff Pendergraph Auto 44/199 auction .99¢ starting bid

Wesley Matthews base card .99¢ BIN

Unfortunately, I don’t know if there’s any money to be made on the sets or base cards. They’re all listed at .18¢ on  I might send a few of each of the big names to CheckOutMyCards once the batch I just sent in gets processed and some of those cards sell.  I’ve still got a couple of ideas up my sleeve so stay tuned to see if any of those pan out.

So, eight transaction pretty much covered the cost of the case. I’ll still have to sell a few more things to cover the part of that total that will be lost to fees, but hopefully some of that will come from the new listings. The rest can trickle in and go towards a future break. The most important thing is that this case paid for itself and I can no start the process of picking up a new case.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Upper Deck Replacement Package

Here’s a quick little video detailing the contents of the package that Upper Deck sent back to me for my damaged Upper Deck Draft cards.  I’ve got to say, I’m extremely happy with the quality of  the video from my new webcam.  The autofocus is amazing and the image is crystal clear. Check it out:




It looks like FedEx tried to deliver my replacement cards from Upper Deck yesterday. The package requires a signature so they weren't able to deliver it, but I'm hoping that it will get delivered today since I'm at home with my daughter for a snow day. If the snow delays the delivery, we just might have to take a trip out to FedEx this evening. Once I do get the package, it will be the first thing that I record with the new webcam so you can all see what I was sent as a replacement.

Don't forget about the contest and make sure to post a link in your blog for an extra entry. There's a ton of sports themed home decor items available and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Back to the FedEx Tracking site to obsessively check for tracking updates!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Revisiting Poor Topps Customer Service

NickYoungRipI forget if I ever posted about this way back when it first happened, but reading Mojo’s Christmas Tragedy post got me thinking about this again. A few years ago now, I busted a box of 2008-09 Topps Basketball jumbo packs. Out of those packs came this Nick Young rip card. Since this was a card of Nick Young, it made the decision of whether or not to rip it very easy to make.

This was actually the second year in a row that I had pulled a rip card from a jumbo box of Topps basketball and I was hoping for better luck than the previous year’s Smush Parker red autograph.  Pulling a red autograph was cool since they’re limited to something around 10 or 25 copies, but it could have been of a better player.


So, I ripped the little tab down the length of the card and took a little peak.  Any basketball fan knows who wears number 3 for the Miami Heat and that player is Dwyane Wade.  I also saw a little bit of silver that got me excited.

After my little peek, I carefully pried open the rest of the rip card to free the Wade card that was inside.  Once I saw what was inside, I was rather distraught. What I found inside wasn’t really anything to be excited about.


This is a mini card, so it was tough to get a large scan of it, but I’ll describe what was wrong with the card.  There was a fingerprint smudge in the autograph which would have come in handy if I were trying to prove Mr. Wade broke into my house, but it doesn’t look good on an autographed card at all.  Second, some of the silver ink from the autograph got rubbed off on the inside of the rip card.  It was a very bad looking version of what should have been a beautiful card.

So, I contacted Topps Customer Support and after exchanging a few frustrating emails, gave them a call. I asked what they could offer me and they mentioned a few 2007-08 boxes (which at the time were collecting dust due to the injury to Oden and lack of Durant autos).  They gave me the choice of one box of product and I went with 2007-08 Bowman Sterling and passed on Triple Threads.

I had and still have a feeling that this card was a 1/1.  No one at Topps could verify what the print run was on the card.  I asked for more than what they were offering, but they told me that it was the wax box or nothing. When I sent the card in, I requested another Wade auto along with the box and they did oblige, but it was an ugly card of a drawing of Wade.

In all this time, I’ve yet to see another of this card or even another card of another player similar to this one. I knew that Topps was screwing me by not giving me more, but I didn’t have a choice with the “this or nothing” ultimatum that they were issuing.

Yes, I did get a box of Bowman Sterling which an interesting break since you get a ton of jersey cards and a couple of autos, but there really isn’t much value in the product. I did get a Wade auto, but they sent the ugliest card possible. They weren’t even willing to listen to me when I suggested that they were undervaluing the card that I had gotten in damaged condition.

The reason that I bring any of this up again is because of the current disaster that is Topps Customer service. I sent in a David Ortiz card with an upside down autograph sticker and got back… a David Ortiz card with an upside down autograph sticker.  Mojo sent in his damaged card and got another damaged card in return. Topps admitted on Twitter that they are completely overwhelmed due to this year’s quality control issues.

Damaged cards and redemption cards are sucking the fun out of the hobby. When you open packs of cards, everything that you are supposed to get should be there and it should be in good condition. You shouldn’t have to wait months for a card to possibly get produced or have to pay money to get a damaged card replaced.  When this does happen, card companies should do a little more to make it up to you.

Ok, rant time is over. I now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.

CSN Stores $25 Gift Card Giveaway

It’s contest time here at Sports Syzygy. I was recently contacted by CSN Stores and asked if I wanted to give away a gift certificate to my readers. I jumped at the opportunity to give a $25 gift certificate to one of you. Some of you may have previously heard of this site on the Nachos Grande sports card blog.  CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from kids’ swing sets to Pyrex cookware and MLB Fan Products (including boxes of cards). If you want it, there’s a good chance that a store on the CSN website has it.

Here’s the details: To enter the contest, make sure that you are following the blog and then leave a comment that you are a follower of the blog. To earn a bonus entry into the contest, hype up the contest on your blog and post the link to your post in your comment.  Entries will remain open until noon Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, January 30th.  At that point, I’ll head on over to and shuffle things up three times to get a winner.

  • The gift certificate will be emailed to you so make sure that I’ve got your email address.
  • This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.
  • Do not comment on CSN Stores’ Facebook page as that violates Facebook policies.

Good Luck!


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More eBay Acquisitions

Since I’ve had some money in the PayPal account as of late, I’ve had a steady flow of packages coming in from eBay.  There aren’t many here, but there are some really cool ones that I wanted to share right away.

ShadowBoxFirst up is a Brian Westbrook 2009 Upper Deck SPx Shadow Box insert. I just wanted one of these in my collection ever since I first saw pictures of them.  Now that I own one, it is just as cool as I thought it would be.  One strange thing is that the sides of the card aren’t straight up and down, but they’re at an angle instead.  The bottom layer is a little smaller than the top layer of the card is.

Upper Deck put college versions of these cards in their 2010 SPx set and they continue to be popular inserts to pull especially since they fall just one per case.  The autographed versions go for big bucks.

BlueBrentzThe Bryce Brentz collection continues to grow with the addition of this blue refractor numbered to 199.  I got to see both Brentz and Vitek play at the annual Futures at Fenway event and hopefully will get to see them play this summer if they’re with one of the local minor league teams.  I’ve yet to make it up to Portland, but want to do so this year and need to get back to Pawtucket, Lowell and Brockton.

It’ll be interesting to see what I think of these cards in a few years.  Will Brentz be starring for the Red Sox, will he be a bust or will he get traded away to another team like top prospect Casey Kelly did this offseason.

ReggieJerseyI’m still beaming over the eBay win.  The two Reggie Lewis jersey cards that Panini has produced have been red hot since their release; regularly selling around the $20 mark. This auction ended at $21.01 at 11 PM EST/8 PM PST on December 28th. This auction ended at $22.19 at 10 AM EST/1 PM PST.  The auction I won ended at $5.50 at 1 AM EST/10 PM PST.  All of the Reggie Lewis fans were asleep on the East Coast and I got one heck of a steal.  This is a beautiful card numbered to just 100 copies and you can’t beat the price that I got it for.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Want List updated

Just a quick post to say that I've updated my want lists so check them out especially if we've been discussing trades. I busted a box of Undisputed over the weekend. It's always fun busting a box and I'm psyched that I won it, but this set makes me worry for a number of reasons that I'll get to in the review.

Still sorting through stuff and pulling cards for the contest that seems to have occurred forever ago.  Speaking of contests, there will be another one on the site soon.  I wanted to get the post up this weekend, but the time just wasn't there.

Still have 4 Black Friday box breaks to post, the Undisputed box, a brief case update, some more eBay purchases and random thoughts as well as the contest.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Recent Ebay Acquisitions

PivenShirt Anyone who has been following this blog (or its previous incarnation) for any length of time knows that I collect some strange stuff and love all kinds of oddball items.  It helps that a lot of these oddball items don’t sell for much money.

Jeremy Piven’s role as Ari Gold on Entourage has gotten him noticed by everyone, but I’ve been a big fan of his for years.  I love his delivery and the type of sarcastic humor that seems to be his specialty.  I own a copy of PCU on VHS and think that his two minutes in Cameron Crowe’s Singles rank as one of the all-time best cameos in a movie.  Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell also have great cameos (for their unintentional hilarity) in the movie.

I’m not a huge fan of Razor’s products.  The head of the company seems to be a shyster and there’s always been a shady aura around the company.  That being said, I couldn’t pass up this card for .99¢ plus shipping.  Who knows if it is from a shirt that Piven ever really wore or not.  I’ve seen a lot of his clothing show up in charity auctions so it is entirely possible.  The card itself is pretty ugly.  There’s no picture and the design is just bland.  The big white swatch is just begging for an autograph.  If I ever found a reliable TTM address for Mr. Piven, I’d send this right off to him.

PivenHUTJeremy is a big Bears fan so I figured that arranging the letters in this way was appropriate. I have no clue where I stand on this catch phrase, but the letters keep popping up for a buck and I keep buying them.  It’s too bad that I didn’t hold off on collecting this because someone recently posted the whole set at a really good price.  I was tempted to buy it in spite of the ones that I already had.

DavicBlackRCWhen I won this card, I wasn’t sure yet if I already owned it or not, but for $6.19 delivered I figured that I wouldn’t mind owning a second copy of this rookie refractor numbered to 199 if it was already in my collection.

As I type this, Big Baby is at the free throw line against the Pistons after collecting a big defensive rebound late in the game.  Davis had a little bit of a rough time when he was starting in place of Garnett especially when Shaq was healthy.  With the second unit, Davis fills the role of the guy waiting just outside of the lane for a pass from a penetrator who draws his defender.  Shaq is that guy in the starting lineup.  Davis doesn’t yet have the outside range that Garnett has and when he got those shots in the flow of the offense, he wasn’t hitting them as often as Garnett does.  He’s back to being a beast now that he’s coming off the bench again and has renewed his quest for a 6th Man Award.

BigBabySPxOne eBay seller had both of these Big Baby on sale for $3 a piece with free shipping so I couldn’t refuse.  Normally you are paying $3 just for a shipping fee, so this looked like a great deal to me.  Once I got the cards, I wasn’t disappointed.  These are beautiful, thick cards with a foil board sheen to them.

The two cards do look similar, but I’m fine with that for a couple of reasons.  First off, there are different pictures used for the two cards.  Second, there aren’t other versions of these cards out there with big blank spaces where the jerseys are on these cards.

PierceniniCompare the Davis SPx cards to these Pierce cards from Panini.  First off, there would usually be an ugly version of these cards with a blank space or team logo in place of the jersey swatch.  I think that Panini spared collectors from those travesties in National Treasures.

You can still see the trademark Panini laziness in the fact that these are essentially the same card with a different hole cut in the front.  Boring.  How difficult would it be to produce a second card with a different picture?  Does it really save that much money on product costs to print up the same front for both?  *Yawn*

BuchholzChromeRCClay Buchholz doesn’t have too many rookie cards. I think there’s just this one and Bowman Sterling.  This one costs too much locally so I finally picked one up for a good price on eBay.

This officially completes my Trifecta of Buchholz.  I’ve got an Allen & Ginter auto and a Bowman jersey card.  I’ve got to get my butt in gear and start posting more of those.  Off of the top of my head, I think I have Dwight Evans, Mike Piazza, Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, Ken Griffey, Paul Pierce, Glen Davis, Al Jefferson and Delonte West.  I might also have some random ones where the whole Trifecta exists in one card.

BuchholzJerseyI also added a new Buchholz memorabilia card to my collection.  I’ve had my eye on this card for a little while and finally won it for the right price (a dollar plus shipping).  You can pull some beautiful cards out of Sweet Spot, but it’s such a huge crapshoot and there are always some terrible clunker autos.  The singles are great if you can pick them up at the right price though.

BrentzRefractorsThis is a lot of cards that I didn’t think I had a shot of winning at the price I did.  For just over $12, I picked up a Bryce Brentz refractor auto /500 as well as two refractor versions of the base card.  I’ve seen auctions for the non-refractor version of the auto close higher than this one did.  I still haven’t picked up any Vitek autos, but I’m putting together a nice little Brentz collection.

HrbekHThis is another card that I’ve had my eye on for a while now.  A couple of copies of this card went for $20 and more because they just weren’t showing up on eBay and everyone trying to collect the name needed them.  I waited and got the card for $5.50 plus shipping.

Hrbek still has a decent fan following and his better cards see some action when they show up on eBay.  It’s always easier collecting a player who isn’t a member of one of the local teams because you can usually find their cards for good price.

HrbekSweetSpotHere’s a great looking Hrbek auto out of 2009 Sweet Spot.  This one cost me a little over $20, but I had a little bit of money in the PayPal account and really wanted this.  The black numbers on the front looked weird to me since I’m used to gold numbered, but that’s what they used that year.  I think that I have a Sweet Spot auto of the majority of player that I collect because the cards are just so beautiful looking.

PiazzaFenwayI forget now which blog I first saw these cards on, but once I saw them I knew that I had to add one to my collection.  It just so happens that there’s a Piazza in the set so not only do I get to add one of these cards to my collection, but I also get to add something to one of my player collections.

This is a great acetate card that pictures one of my favorite players in front of the Green Monster from the best park in the league.  These cards look even better in person with the etched foil and large player picture.  Great stuff.

PiazzaBatThis last card is one that I had to pick up since I already had the black version.  I’m not anti-manufactured cards as long as they look nice.  All cards are manufactured.  It doesn’t matter that much to me if the card is just a flat piece of cardboard, a think piece of cardboard or something with a letter or bat embedded in it.  If Topps goes back to the well once to often then I may tire of these cards, but right now I’m enjoying them.

So, there you go.  A little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Hope you enjoyed!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2009/10 Draft Case Update

Dave and Adam’s Card World posted my Jordan auto pulled in their blog today.  I’m not sure if I ever posted where I purchased this case from, but it was from them.  They’re often overlooked in favor of Blowout, but their prices have been getting more and more competitive and the free packs that they throw in are fun to open.  I’ve pulled some decent hits out of them including a sketch card and a Jason Bay jersey auto.

I’ve got a webcam coming for future breaks so that you can actually see the cards and don’t have to stare at my mug for 15 minutes.  I figure that it could very possibly pay for itself since a few of the retailers out there offer a discount on prices if you’re going to post a video break and mention their site.  It also helps that I got a pretty hefty discount on the cam through work.  It’ll most likely get here long before I’m able to order the next case so I’ll have some time to play around with it and get ready for a big break.

I posted the first items up on eBay and have the first sales to report:

  • I did some research on where to list the autographs and put the Ricky Rubio up at $25.00 where it consistently sells which it did within a day.
  • The Curry/Rubio/Harden parallel had some bidding action in the final minute and finished up at $8.51.
  • The same can be said of the Gerald Henderson autographed card that was numbered to his jersey number.  That card finished at $9.00 even.
  • A James Jones auto numbered to 99 went for a whopping .99¢ which means that it is probably not worth listing the base version on eBay.
  • A Darren Collison autographed card numbered to 499 went for $1.78.
  • Singles from the set don’t look like they’re going to sell on eBay at all. I may try COMC and SportLots for those.  I did sell a lot of five Ricky Rubios for .99¢, but I don’t think I’ll do that again.

Items that didn’t sell:

  • The Kevin Durant blue parallel got no action with a starting bid of .99¢ which surprised me. That one will definitely be headed to COMC unless someone wants to make a trade for it.  (Just checked, COMC isn’t worth it. There’s plenty of each base card and they’re all listed for .18¢.)
  • Other cards that didn’t get any bids with a starting price of .99¢ were an Austin Daye auto /499, Sam Young auto /999 and a lot consisting of one card each of Curry, Flynn and Rubio along with the draft insert card featuring those three.

Items that are still listed:

  • Base set for $10. I just dropped it to $8, but until I get something cheaper to ship the set in, I can’t go any lower.  Once you factor in the eBay fee, PayPal fee and the fact that the plastic cases I have them in cost me a buck each there’s not much wiggle room.  Future case purchases will have to be accompanied by cases of supplies as well.
  • Stephen Curry base card for .99¢.  The shipping for this kills it even though it’s only $2.22.
  • Jonny Flynn auto /149 for $25.  Did some more research and that price was too high.  The card is now listed for $15.
  • Stephen Curry auto /249 for $30.  This is slightly higher than where one sold for the other day, but I’m in no rush to drop the price on this card.  There are four people watching it at the moment.  The only frustrating this is that no one has made an offer on it.

So, that’s just under $50 and I’ve only sold one of the four big autographs from the case.  I’d like to be able to clear $5 a set on the case set after fees and expenses, but I don’t know if that’s going to be possible.  I might have to wait for something along the lines of a yard sale to sell a couple of those. Anyone out there want to trade for a set?  It’s not a bad set, but it does suffer from the lack of three of the top four rookies from that year.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Replacement Options

Johnson99Since I pulled one card out of this case of Draft that could very well end up paying for the whole case, I can focus on having Upper Deck send me a replacement for the Michael Johnson autographed card that will end up staying in my collection.  I’m having a little bit of difficulty figuring out who I should ask for though.

The first part of the equation is trying to put a price tag on the Michael Johnson card that this redemption is for.  This doesn’t even have to be a real world price since I would assume that to determine value, Upper Deck would have to go by Beckett’s prices.

Michael Johnson is one of the most famous modern Olympic athletes there is.  He’s won four Olympic medals and it didn’t hurt that his best performance in an Olympics was here on American soil when he became the only male athlete to win both the 200 m and 400 m events at the same Olympics.  His record in the 200 m that he set at those Olympics stood for over 12 years.

I saw a Michael Johnson autograph that sold on eBay which sold for $50.  This site is selling an autographed 3x5 index card for $60 and an autographed Sports Illustrated that’s numbered to 96 for $300.  There’s a definitely lack of Johnson’s autograph out there especially certified trading card autographs (which is largely due to his never signing for Upper Deck).  I think that I could legitimately see this card, numbered to just 99 copies, having a value around the $100 mark.  Too high?  Too low?

Now I have to figure out what 5-7 comparable players I would like to ask for in return.  I don’t do hockey at all so that rules out the only sport that Upper Deck still has a license for.  There are some players that I collect which would have to be a 1/1 card in order for this to be comparable such as Glen Davis, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Dwight Evans, Kent Hrbek, etc.

So, who do I collect who I think might possibly have a card that I feel is comparable to the hypothetical Johnson?

  • Well, I don’t have a Tom Brady autograph in my collection yet.  Maybe I should request a Brady shadowbox auto.  That’s probably worth 5 hypothetical Johnsons.  Tom Brady definitely makes the list.  That’s about it as far as Patriots go though.
  • Paul Pierce is an option, but I already have a lot of his autographs and none of them go for a hypothetical Johnson unless they’re low numbered with a patch.
  • One Celtic who I do not have an autograph of in my collection is Kevin Garnett.  There aren’t a ton of Garnett autographs out there and I don’t think he’s in Panini products at all.  Garnett is a solid option.
  • I also don’t have an autograph of Ray Allen, but he’s about a half of a hypothetical Johnson.  One option might be to request some kind of multi-signature Celtics card to see what they can do.
  • I finally added a David Ortiz autograph to my collection, but it would be nice to have another.
  • New Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford will be here for a while.  It would be nice to have autographs of either of those guys especially A-Gon since I’ve been a fan of his for a while.

Anyone out there have any other ideas or suggestions?

Who Are You Trying to Kid, Panini?

I feel like a crotchety old man, but there’s just too much about the hobby that’s no fun these days.  Topps’ whole 2010 release schedule ended up being a huge disaster because one guy got injured.  Well, that’s how they’ll try and spin it, but the real problem is the poor level of quality control which is amplified by the lackluster customer service.  I’m sick of the empty promises and PR prattle being spewed forth from sports card companies.  Don’t even get me started on all of the illegal shenanigans that Upper Deck tried to hide from collectors.

On January 7th, Panini posted on their blog about “The State of Redemption Cards.”  Long story short, it was more PR fluff from Panini’s VP of Operations stating that they’re going to try and improve the process for fulfilling redemption cards and ultimately eliminating them completely.

Panini recently released their high end product 2010/11 Timeless Treasures.  There are five cards per tin and most tins contain 2 jersey cards and one sticker autograph.  Check out this case break on the Blowout Forums.  There are 15 boxes per case.  In 30 boxes this person pulled 20 redemption cards.  Amongst those redemption cards is one for Kobe Bryant.  That would be Panini spokesman Kobe Bryant.  If Panini can’t get their spokesman to sign then what the hell are they doing?  All I know is that card had better be on-card and not a sticker.  His third case had 7 redemption cards in 15 boxes which is better than his first two cases.  Ouch.  Why would anyone go anywhere near this stuff?  Yes, there are some beautiful looking cards, but you’re better off ponying up the cash for the singles if you really want them.

Maybe releasing this set in this state was the straw that broke the camels back and led to that posting on the blog, but this release as one of your top products is embarrassing.  38 autographs in 30 boxes in the first two cases and 20 of those autographs are redemptions.  17 autographs in 15 boxes in the second case and 7 of those are redemptions.  So, 10 out of 45 boxes had two autographs while 35 only had one.  These are terrible percentages all over the board.  Around 20% of the time you’re only going to get one auto and 50% of the time that auto is going to be a redemption card.  That’s after paying $80 - $100 for a tin of 5 cards.

So, it looks like I’m going to go another year buying minimal Panini basketball product.  They overvalue the jersey cards that they put into products and it overinflates the prices of their products.  I’d love for Panini to prove me wrong, but right now their products just aren’t worth it.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Update: UD Draft Case Break

I'm now playing the waiting game.  I called Upper Deck last night and spoke with Mike there.  My Jordan card will only be replaced with another Jordan card or else it will be sent back.  I figure that I can probably get more for a damaged Jordan auto than almost any other auto out there unless it's something ridiculous like a 1/1.  The packaged was mailed out today with insurance and signature required.  Hopefully, I'll have a swanky new Jordan autographed card in 6 - 8 weeks.

I'm also waiting on the jersey card redemptions which I'm excited to see.  The sale prices on these cards are all over the place on eBay so I'm not sure what to do with them.  Pulling the Jordan gives me more leeway on the other cards since I don't have to sell as much to make back the cost of the case.  If the jersey cards were cheap across the board, I'd sell the extras and put together a set for myself.  Heck, I might still do that.   It depends on how much I like the cards once I see them.

I haven't started to list any of the cards on eBay as of yet.  Things have been busy with Christmas parties, birthdays, work, life and things like that.  I work this weekend so things might have to wait one more week, but once things start selling on eBay I will start posting updates on those auctions.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Case Break: 2009-10 UD Basketball Draft Edition: Box 12

Griffith50Here we are down to the wire on this case break.  I promise that the boxes were posted in the order that I opened them and I would like to thank Upper Deck for packing them in the most dramatic way possible.  We’re still looking for one “A-List” autograph and the case hit.

We’ll start off this box with a Darrell Griffith Tournament Titan insert parallel numbered to 50.  Griffith had the nickname “Dr. Dunkenstein” and… well, that’s all I got.

These last two boxes were crazy loaded with hits.  It’s like Upper Deck realized that they hadn’t put everything into this case yet and stuffed it into these two boxes.  Keep reading to see what I mean.

AutosMore weird base autographs in this box.  The Eric Maynor is numbered to 349.  All of the base autos to this point have been numbered to something ending in 99.  All of the autograph parallels have differently colored borders.  So, this is a base auto going by the card it is on, but it is numbered like a parallel.  It’s also a terrible autograph.  He can’t sign his full name, but he adds his jersey number?  Go figure.  Dante Cunningham is numbered to 899.  I guess someone misplaced a few sheets of autographs.


This was the lowest numbered autograph that I had pulled to this point, but that mark wouldn’t last for long.  Not only is this Gerald Henderson numbered out of 25, but the 15 it is numbered is also Henderson’s jersey number.  That should draw some interest for this card on eBay.  I’ve got a post in the works that shows just how crazy things can get when serial numbers are involved.  It would be nice if it were one of the bigger names in the set that was numbered this low, but beggars can’t be choosers.  Besides, if I were to choose one autograph to pull out of an Upper Deck hoops product, which one would I choose?


Yeah, it probably would have been this guy.  I’ve been collecting long enough that I’ve held a lot of great cards in my hands, but I was shaking when this came out of the pack.  It’s numbered 3/23 and beat out the Henderson for the lowest numbered autographed card in the case.

If you have the time, click on the picture to get the larger version.  Now you see what I saw once I snapped back to reality and started thinking about listing the card on eBay.  The bottom of the card looks like someone used to get popcorn kernels out from between their teeth.  There’s chipping and dings all over the place.  So, even though I’m scared as hell, I have to send this one back to Upper Deck for replacement.  I know that I’ll be getting a college card in return, but I’m sending them a college card so that’s alright.  I’m making sure that they send this card back if they can’t replace it with another Jordan that’s numbered this low.  I may even call Upper Deck on the phone before I send the cards in to make sure they can do what I want them to.

So, I did amazingly well for my first case break considering that this one card should be able to pay for the whole case and then some on its own.  The only downside is that I’m going to have to wait a couple of months at the least to get a card back that I can sell which puts the whole case breaking thing on hold for that long.  It does give me the freedom to be a little more loose on the rest of what I pulled out of the case, so if you sent me a trade request then I’ll be looking to trade what you’re looking for.  Also, I might trade some of the 16 sets away if anyone is interested.  Send me an offer of something Celtics, Red Sox or Patriots.

Thanks to everyone who read through all of these posts.  I’m still looking for ideas of what I should ask for in return for the Michael Johnson redemption and what case I should break next.  I’m leaning towards something like baseball Heroes or Masterpieces, but for football Philadelphia and Magic look interesting as well.  If they were easier to find, I wouldn’t mind busting cases of Topps basketball jumbos.  There’s also the possibility of Donruss Basketball or 2011 Topps jumbos depending on what the Jordan card eventually sells for.


Case Break: 2009-10 UD Basketball Draft Edition: Box 11

Durant99For those of you keeping track at home, we’re still due two “A-List” autographs and one case hit, multiple signature card from this case.  There are only two boxes left for three hits so unless the case hit includes someone from the “A-List” it seems like this case is going to fall short.  Onward we go…

I was very happy with this card.  The weird thing about this box is that it produced multiple serial numbered insert parallels that were numbered 9.  The Chris Paul Alma Mater is numbered 9, this Durant is numbered 9 and the Kareem/Holiday is numbered 9.  Coincidence or wacky collation?  I’m thinking that this card might draw some interest on eBay.  Something’s got to, right?


This box contained base autographs of Jack McClinton /999 and Jon Brockman /999.  The Brockman was damaged and is going back to Upper Deck.  McClinton was drafted by the Spurs and waived.  He now plays in the Israeli Basketball Super League.  Brockman was drafted by the Blazers and traded to the Kings for the aforementioned Jeff Pendergraph.  He was traded once again in July 2010 to the Milwaukee Bucks and averages 2.5 PPG for his career.


Here’s another Alma Mater autograph.  This time we’ve got softball star Lisa Fernandez.  Fernandez, who struck out 25 in an Olympic game, may even be better than the much more well-known Jennie Finch.  Fernandez is a three-time Olympic Gold Medal winner and struck out something like 46 batters in a high school softball game (which is almost 20 behind the record, crazy).


Last, but not least in this box is a Ricky Rubio parallel autograph numbered to 249.  Rubio was drafted 5th by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who had an agreement with his Spanish team to buy out his contract, but Rubio backed out of the deal. He was traded to and signed a six-year contract with FC Barcelona.  The Timberwolves are still hoping that he’ll join the team at some point especially since they really haven’t been able to find a decent point guard to run the team despite drafting a bunch of guards to try playing the position.

So, that’s our third “A-List” autograph with one box to go.

Box 11 also contained the final Jordan Collection redemption card, again for Demar Derozan.


Case Break: 2009-10 UD Basketball Draft Edition: Box 10

Draft25This might turn out to be a decent card if Harden, Rubio and Curry collectors all start battling each other in the bidding for it.  I have no clue what kind of interest there is for something like this.  It’s got a very low serial number though so there should be some interest.  There are a lot of collectors out there who chase all of the different parallels out there so hopefully this one will garner some interest.

I’ve got to say that I really like this color that Upper Deck chose for the /25 parallels.  The colored parallels of the draft cards look sharp where the plain grey ones just look blah.  If all of the cards had colors like this to them then I would have liked the set a whole lot more.

AutosThis was another weird box for autographs and so I decided to scan them all together again.

Robert Vaden /999 – See previous post

Jeff Pendergraph /199 – Here’s another example of a base auto that is numbered lower than the first level of auto parallels.  Strange.  You have to wonder if sheets of autograph labels got destroyed or something.  This card was pretty damaged on the top right corner.  Maybe it happened when Pendergraph suffered a season ending injury before this season.  I wonder, if I send this card to Upper Deck for replacement, if I will have the new card back before Pendergraph is able to play again next season.

Korvotney Barber /249 – Looks to be playing for FIBA Europe.

Josh Heytvelt /249 – Went undrafted, played for the Washington Wizards 2009 Summer League team and is now playing for Lottomatica Roma.

This box also contained a Jordan Collection redemption card.  This time I’m getting Demar Derozan.


Case Break: 2009-10 UD Basketball Draft Edition: Box 9


This is going to be the only picture for this box.  Why?  I was shorted an autograph in this box.  There was one pack in the box that only had 9 cards instead of the usual 10.  I did get an Austin Daye /499, Ryan Ayers /499 and a parallel of Robert Vaden /249.  Daye has become a pretty important player off of the Pistons bench.  He’s played well the couple of times that I’ve seen him on TV.  Ayers wasn’t drafted.  Vaden was drafted 54th by the Bobcats and then was traded to the Thunder.  I didn’t find any stats for him and he’s not currently listed on their roster.

Box 9 did have a Jordan Collection redemption for Brandon Jennings.  Once that arrives (hurry up and ship these things Upper Deck) it will easily be the best card from this box.


Case Break: 2009-10 UD Basketball Draft Edition: Box 8


Now that I’m including fewer pictures with these post, I’m going to post them a little more frequently.  S’alright?  S’alright.

Here’s an Alma Mater parallel card of CP3 in his Wake Forest uni.  If you couldn’t tell from the number of scans that I posted, I really like this Alma Mater set.  I only got one complete set out of the case and that will be remaining in my collection.  It’s got a nice design, a great checklist and is something fun and different.  This is one of the good things to come out of Upper Deck’s loss of licenses.

If you click through to see the larger scan, you’ll notice that there’s a significant amount of damage along the bottom of this card.  Keep that in mind because it will rear its ugly head again in the near future.


This box was a weird one so I decided to scan all of the autographed cards together.  Technically, I didn’t get a parallel autograph in this box, but I did get a card numbered lower than most of the parallel autographs that I’ve pulled.

Sam Young /999 – Young was drafted in the second round of the 2009 Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 36th overall pick.  He’s only averaging 4.2 PPG this season after tallying 7.4 in his rookie season.

Luke Nevill /399 – I couldn’t find out much info about Luke Nevill post draft.  It looks like he wasn’t draft, but I’ve found information linking him to both the Utah Jazz (and maybe their D-League Team) and the Cavaliers, but he doesn’t have any NBA statistics.

Toney Douglas /299 – Douglas was drafted by the Lakers in the first round of the 2009 Draft (29th overall) and was later traded to the Knicks.  He averaged 8.6 PPG in his rookie season and has increased that to 9.4 this year.  Douglas is currently starting for the Knicks with Danillo Gallinari out with an injury.

Earl Clark /199 – Clark was drafted 14th in the 2009 Draft by the Phoenix Suns.  He is now a member of the Orlando Magic as part of the trade that got rid of Vince Carter and revitalized the team.  Clark’s numbers have taken a small jump since joining the Magic and since this is such a short printed base card, it might be interesting to see what kind of interest this draws.

Box 8 contained the first Jordan Collection redemption card that I’d seen in a while.  This one was good for BJ Mullens.  I’m looking forward to getting these cards in the mail as their pretty sharp looking and I want to see what they look like in person.


Case Break: 2009-10 UD Basketball Draft Edition: Box 7

Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance!  No wait, this is the part of the case break where I got really tired of the inserts after already tiring of the base cards and just searched out the autos.  Sorry about some of the crappy formatting of the previous posts.  You don’t get to preview the posts when you schedule them ahead of time so there were a few hiccups.  Hope that you’re enjoying.  At the halfway point, we have found two of the “A-List” autographs and no case hit.


The base autos for this box were DeMarre Carroll /999, Leo Lyons /999 and Garrett Temple /999.


The autograph parallel for this box is Courtney Fells and it is numbered to /249.  It doesn’t look like Mr. Fells was drafted.  Keep this in mind those of you who are considering a box or two of the upcoming Upper Deck pre-draft football product that’s coming out.  Sure, the NFL draft is much longer so most of the guys in the set will get drafted, but how many won’t go any further than a team’s practice squad.

This set is a great break now, but imagine opening this case for the normal price when it first came out and then getting crushed on draft night as player after player that you pulled go undrafted.

That being said, I do love the 1991 retro cards that will be found in the set.  Putting that set together should be fun.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Case Break: 2009-10 UD Basketball Draft Edition: Box 6

JordanI always thought that Upper Deck had the upper hand in basketball more than any other sport due to their exclusive contracts with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.  These were the top 3 most desirable autographs at the time so if you were busting any kind of high priced boxes, it had to be Upper Deck.  Here’s an Alma Mater card of His Airness in his UNC uni.

Ties99Here’s another numbered parallel.  This time it comes from the School Ties insert set.  Holiday has had a decent career to this point, but I think that Kareem brings a lot more to this card than he does.  It’ll be interesting to see what this card does up on eBay.



Three base autos in this boxes and they were of Connor Atchley /999, Courtney Fells /999 and Daniel Hackett /999.

Calathes249The parallel autograph in this box is a Nick Calathes and it is numbered to 249.  Calathes was drafted by the Timberwolves and then traded to the Dallas Mavericks.  This was in spite of Calathes announcing that he would not go to the NBA and would instead play in the Greek A1 League.  I can’t wait to see how many Greek Basketball fans are on eBay.

No redemption card in this box.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Case Break: 2009-10 UD Basketball Draft Edition: Box 5

84DraftHere’s that 1984 Draft card that I’ve mentioned a couple of times already.  You can’t complain about getting Olajuwon with the first pick.  Sure, the best player ever was picked two spots later, but any other year a team would be ecstatic about getting Olajuwon.  It’s not like they picked Sam Bowie ahead of Jordan.  Can you imagine getting someone like John Stockton with the 16th pick?  Just an amazing draft in retrospect.  Pulling the autographed version of this card would be a collector’s dream come true.

AutosThere were only two base autographs in this box and they were B.J. Raymond /999 and Antonio Anderson /999.  It doesn’t look like either player was drafted.  Anderson played one game with the Thunder in 2009-10, but I can’t find any stats for Raymond.


Here’s a low numbered autograph parallel of James Johnson.  This card is numbered 90/99.  Johnson was the 16th pick in 2009 by the Chicago Bulls.  So far, he’s only averaged 3.9 PPG in his career.  Oh well, I’m not putting my daughter through college with this one.

I’ve got to say, Mr. Johnson has a great looking autograph.  This one might just be a keeper for the great looking autograph.


Here’s my second card from the list of players that will show up four times within a case.  This is a base autograph and it is numbered to 249.  Curry was drafted 7th in 2009 by the Golden State Warriors and has had a very successful career so far.  17.5 PPG with 5.9 APG in his rookie season and 18.7 with 6.0 APG so far this season.  Curry’s autographing career… not so successful.  Maybe it looks better when it’s not on a tiny sticker, but here the Stephen inside of a big C doesn’t look so good.  It would be a nice tag for the side of a building, but it kind of stinks as an autograph.

No redemption card in this box.


Case Break: 2009-10 UD Basketball Draft Edition: Box 4

LeBronI know that many people, myself included, can’t stand him right now, but there’s no denying LeBron James’ popularity in the hobby.  I know that I wouldn’t have been complaining if this case produced a James autograph.  That single card would have probably come close to covering the cost of the case on its own.


Here’s one of the draft cards that would be a very nice pull in the autographed version.  Rubio, Flynn and Curry are all pretty popular in the hobby and having them all together on one card would be nice.  It still doesn’t come anywhere near the 1984 Draft’s card.  That’s a card with three Hall of Famers on it.




Base autos in this box: Lester Hudson /999, Jimmy Barron /999 and Henk Norel /999.


The fourth autograph in the box is my first from the list of players that I mentioned in the first post.  Flynn was the 6th pick in the draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves.  He averaged 13.5 PPG last season, but isn’t playing as much this year due to the revamped Timberwolves roster and Luke Ridnour ahead of him at the point.

The Jordan Classic redemption card from this box was for the same Tyreke Evans jersey card that came out of box 1.  There are two different cards on the checklist so it was possible to get a different Evans, but it wasn’t to be.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Case Break: 2009-10 UD Basketball Draft Edition: Box 3

FinchHere’s one of the two Jennie Finch cards in the Alma Mater insert set.  I’m not quite sure why there are two cards of Jennie in this set, but I’m not complaining too much.  It would have been nice to pull one of the autographed versions of this card from my case, but I didn’t.  I did pull an Alma Mater autographed card from this box though.  Missing out on a Finch auto is alright since I was able to get a card signed by her in person at a Brockton Rox game.

GarnettHere’s another athlete currently playing in Boston that’s in the Alma Mater insert set.  It’s been a pleasure watching The Big Ticket in green and white.  I’m hoping that there’s no lockout next season because it will probably mean the end of KG’s career a year early, but at the very least I got to see him bring one championship to Boston.
GulbisThis box was definitely Alma Mater heavy.  This box contained my first parallel card that wasn’t autographed.  Natalie Gulbis is one of those female athletes that has become extremely popular due to both her looks and her talent.

This card came out of the pack with its lower left corner crunched up.  I’m currently waiting to hear back from Upper Deck to see what they can do for me in regards to the damaged cards from this case.  The set is more than a year old so I’m not expecting too much, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about Upper Deck going above and beyond in the customer service department over the past year or so.

Johnson99I hope that they go above and beyond for me because this redemption is for a card that will most likely never exist.  This redemption is for a Michael Johnson autographed Alma Mater card numbered to 99, but a year and a half after the release of the set, this card still doesn’t exist.  In spite of this, I still have to wait 45 days before requesting a replacement.  So, I’ve got some time to come up with a list of equivalent players for them to send me.  This card isn’t listed in Beckett since it doesn’t exist to I have no idea what it will be worth.  Should I request a player that I collect such as David Ortiz, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo or Tom Brady?  Should I request something higher in stature since Johnson doesn’t have any certified autographs out there that I know of and this could have been a pretty valuable card.  Should I jump up to Albert Pujols, LeBron James and… well, Tom Brady levels for my redemption?  Any suggestions?  Anyone out there subscribe to the Beckett online hoops price guide?  Could you check to see what they have this card listed at for me?

I wouldn’t mind autographs of other players that I collect such as Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz or Glen Davis, but they’ve have to be very special cards of those players in order for them to be equivalent.  I think.  Who knows what Upper Deck will think.
Here’s a look at one of the Jordan Brand Classic redemption cards.  This one was for BJ Mullens.  I had to Google him because I honestly didn’t know much about him.  Mullens was drafted 24th in 2009 by the Oklahoma City Thunder.  He’s averaged right around 4 minutes a game over his season and a half in the league which explains why I haven’t heard of him.  It’s not the last that you’ll hear of ol’ BJ in this case break though.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but lets just say that the collation on these redemption cards wasn’t too great.

For base autographs we’ve got Michael Bramos /999, K.C. Rivers (not be confused with Austin, the son of Doc Rivers) /499 and Josh Heytvelt /999.  So, depending on what I’m able to get in place of the Michael Johnson, this could end up being a very good box.