Sunday, November 27, 2011

Check Out My Triumvirate Cards

A while back, I posted some of the Stadium Club Triumvirate Basketball cards that I had picked up cheaply at a card show. It was my first time seeing the cards which led me to tracking down any of these cards from local teams or players that I collect. The first place that I looked was CheckOutMyCards where I was able to locate a few. I just took delivery the other day after some cards sold so now I have these to share with you.

MartinTriumverateFirst up is one-time Patriot Curtis Martin. Martin is the fourth highest rusher in the history of the NFL. The Patriots found something special when they took a chance on Martin who had slipped in the draft to the third round due to injuries in college. Martin would only play in New England for three seasons before leaving for the Jets along with The Tuna.

It’s always fun to play the “What if?” game in sports. What if Martin had stayed with the Patriots? With a running game, does Drew Bledsoe still get hurt? Does Tom Brady end up starring for a team other than the Patriots? Say that Bledsoe still gets hurt, how dominant would a Patriots team have been that featured the surgically precise Brady along with Martin carrying the ball? If the Patriots don’t overwork a 31-year-old Martin in 2004, like the Jets did, do injuries still limit Martin to 12 games the following season? (That season being his last.)

These Triumvirate cards are incredibly cool. Although this is a Stadium Club card, this is printed using Chrome technology. The die cutting on this card is amazing. Not only do you have the puzzle piece edge, you’ve got the word Triumvirate in the top left corner, holes in the top and bottom right as well as ovals around the player’s name. The scan of this card just doesn’t do it justice at all.

PiazzaTriumverateWhenever I discover a cool looking set, I check to see if it contains a Mike Piazza card. If it does, I’m going to want to acquire it for my collection. This was no exception. While I will probably never end up attempting to complete this Triumvirate, I’m really glad the I was able to pick up this Piazza for my collection.

This card has so many cool things going for it. First off, there’s the glove stitching along the right edge of the card complete with die cut holes. What you might not be able to tell is that the stitching is all little die cut holes. That little detail makes this card incredibly cool.

While I have no plans to complete the Dodger Triumvirate, I want to collect all of the trios of local players that were produced. There are Triumverates out there of Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox. Once you put all three cards together, you’ve got yourself a cool image:


These Triumvirate cards from 1999 come in two flavors. The Nomar is Luminous while the Pedro and Mo are Luminescent (Refractor). The die cuts on these cards make it look like the Red Sox are playing inside of a baseball themed crib or prison cell. I’m not a big fan of Nomar or Vaughn, but I love Pedro. This is a nice addition to the Red Sox collection.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blast From the Past: 1993 Fleer Ultra Performers

One of the fun things about organizing your collection is finding stuff that you completely forgot that you had. Do I really have 3 sets of 1994 Upper Deck Fun Packs? (Boy did I love busting that stuff. So much fun.) I’m going to feature some of the smaller, oddball sets that I’ve uncovered as they go from the box they were in to their new home in my man cave.

Back before the Internet really took off around 1995 or so, everything done in the collecting world was done through snail mail. Once you factored in the amount of time that it took to process most of these offers, it really did feel like your cards were being delivered via snail.

I had a lot more free time back in those days so I loved taking advantage of these offers. Fleer had a ton of these offers and many of them were for the last cards to complete the Career Highlights set that you were pulling out of the packs. This set was a little different in that it was its own standalone set. I can’t remember for sure, but I’m thinking that you had to send in around $10 and some empty wrappers in order to acquire this set. I forget if this was advertised on the wrappers themselves or in magazine ads. The cards are very nice looking and feature some of the biggest stars of the time.


When it came to special offers such as this one, I almost always sent away for multiple sets. For this set, I’m glad that I had two sets shipped my way. At the time, I was a Juan Gonzalez collector and so one of these went into that collection. I also have a binder full of almost every 1993 Rockies card produced and the David Nied went into that collection.

This set was limited to 150,000 copies which seems like a lot now, but for 1993 that was a limited edition. Along with these 9 cards, there was also a Barry Bonds (never to be pictured in this blog) and a header card congratulating you on adding this set to your collection. You can see the serial numbering on the back of the Greg Maddux card. You get a matched set of serial numbers which is nice. On the back of the cards, they give each player a nickname of sorts. The Big Hurt is now “The Comiskey Cannon” while J.T. Show is “Snowballer.” (Clerks had not yet been released at this time or there’s no way they would have gone with that.)

There aren’t any recent completed auctions for this set on eBay, but a few of the singles have sold for a dollar or two. Smart dealers could make a quick profit on these back in the 90s. Most people wouldn’t send away for these sets and with the serial numbering you could average around $3 a card and do pretty well. Remember, this is the era when unnumbered Griffey, Thomas and Bonds inserts would sell for $10 or $20 all of the time. I know that we’d sell a ton of the Career Highlights cards both in the shop and at card shows

Thursday, November 17, 2011

When Buzz Goes Bad

I hope that I'm not disappointing anyone, but this is not about Buzz Lightyear getting brainwashed by Lotso and going bad in Toy Story 3. This is about trying to reign in hype when it starts to turn on you.

For the most part, Topps has gotten rave reviews for this year's Diamond Giveaway. The die cut cards have been a huge hit, the factory set is a nice little bonus and for a lucky few there are diamonds and replica rings to be had. The only problem is that lately the spin has gotten out of control for Topps in regards to the Diamond Giveaway promotion.

The problems started when Topps decided a month after the release of Topps Update Series 3 Traded, Prospects, All-Stars and Debuts that they were going to add new 1/1 diamond encrusted cards of the big rookies in the Update series. When it was what Topps intended or not, it reeked of an attempt to perk up sales of an underperforming product. Most people who were going to buy large quantities of this product had done so already. It would have been one thing if Topps had let people know that the cards wouldn't be available right away, but they dropped the ball in the execution of this.

For months now, the Diamond Giveaway site has been very unreliable. Just check out my code entry videos for proof. See how many times the site would error out on me and take forever for anything to be processed. After that, there would be days where I would log in and I couldn't accept any trades. Other days, no trades could be offered. Many times, the site would error out just when you were accessing the card database trying to figure out a trade.

It got to the point where the complaints quickly outnumbered the praise when it came to the Diamond Giveaway and you never want that to be the case for a promotion such as this one. If people aren't enjoying the promotion, there's no reason for them to make that impulse purchase at Target of a couple of packs that come with a guaranteed Diamond Giveaway Code. It got to the point where you couldn't miss the complaints on Twitter, blogs or even on Topps' own Facebook page (before many of them "mysteriously" disappeared).

It would seem that Topps finally decided that they needed to take control of the spin. The Diamond Giveaway site has been down for almost 3 days now and hopefully when the site goes live again it will be running smoothly again. There's no way to smooth over any hurt feelings about the late addition of the new diamond cards, but at least they can get people using the site again. I'm also hoping that Topps extends the end of the promotion to reflect the months when the site wasn't useable or was down completely.

In the end, the promotion should be looked upon as a success and hopefully Topps will learn from the bumps along the road this year to improve the experience if they do anything similar in years to come. It's just unfortunate that all of these problems occurred this far into the promotion.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sports Syzygy Child-birthing Classes

Ever Google your website while you've got some free time to see what kind of mentions you might be getting? Ever find anything funny while doing so? from ChildBirth 101 For A Pregnant Mother Expecting a Baby.

ChildBirth 101 - Come to find out about babies, stay for the Glen Davis articles.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Topps Customer Support

Here’s something that shows that Topps Customer Support isn’t as bad as the person with the faded Jeter autograph is trying to make them out to be. Before I busted my case of Topps Chrome, I purchased two boxes for myself from my local card shop and the two boxes were almost exact duplicates of each other. Yes, it sucked, but I did get everything that I paid for. I let Topps know about it mostly venting and to let them know that it’s something less than ideal for collectors. Well, without my even asking, Topps sent me some free product because of this. It wasn’t anything like a full box of cards, but it was more than they sent out for the Jeter autograph. See, this problem was something that was their fault while the faded Jeter auto was not their fault at all. Hell, once time all I did was send them back someone else’s cards that they sent me in error and I was sent around $30 in packs for my time/shipping cost. So, until they do me wrong, I’ll defend Topps’ customer support when they’re wrongly attacked.

2011 Topps Chrome Team Sets


So, these are the prices that I came up with for the 2011 Topps Chrome team sets. The average set has around 7 cards and that’s where I set my baseline of $2 a set. Sets that fell well short of that mark dropped down to a dollar. The Yankees have 15 cards in the set while the Pirates and Diamondbacks only have 3 a piece. Big stars and rookies pushed some of the team sets up into the next price bracket.

People who claimed teams in the first post have first dibs, but please confirm here even if you did already post in that first post. I just want to make sure that you’re still interested at the prices that I’ve listed here. Also, feel free to make new claims here. Want an Eric Hosmer rookie for $2? Grab the Royals. Want a ton of rookies? Grab the Braves.

I will be keeping the Red Sox for myself. Everything else is up for grabs if not claimed in the previous post.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Breaking The Silence

Sorry about the lack of posting over the past couple of days. I got the opportunity the other night to work the merch table for my favorite performer and that led to me crashing after work on Friday night. My body just doesn’t like these late nights like it used to.

I’m working on collating and pricing the Topps Chrome team sets. I’ll post the list here and contact everyone that expressed interest. I’ll also include other things that I have available from that team. I’m also willing to hold these items for you since it’s kind of silly to pay shipping just for a team set. It might be a great time to work out a trade along with the break cards. If you’ve got any extra Piazzas, Big Papis or even Red Sox in general, let me know and maybe we can work something out.

Opened a great bunch of non-sports boxes that I’ll be posting here over the next couple of weeks. I did get a damaged sketch card so I’ll be contacting Rittenhouse to see what their policy is regarding the cards. If they can give me something by the same artist then I’d be satisfied, but if they can’t then I’m not sure that I’d take the chance on what they’d send back.

Opened a box of 2011 WWE from today’s card show. It wasn’t as good as the box that I opened of last year’s set, but that box would be tough to beat.

I think my favorite purchase from today’s show just might have been the three pennants that I picked up for $8 total. They’re not high quality, but they will look great in my collectibles room. I got a 2004 Red Sox World Series Champions, 2007 Red Sox World Series Champions and a 2008 Celtics World Champions.

So, that’s a little update for now. Back to the Chrome team sets.