Thursday, March 31, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#85 93-94 Upper Deck SE Die Cut All Stars Anfernee Hardaway

Upper Deck SE might have been a one shot product released in 93-94, but one of the insert sets within the set became one of the most popular insert sets of the 90's. So popular in fact, it was redone ten years later in 03-04. The Die Cut All Star insert set is one of my personal favorite insert sets of all time. This was definitely a very innovative and nice set created by Upper Deck. The Penny is actually one of the more sought after cards in the set (along with Shaq and Chris Webber) and this is arguably Penny's best non-parallel rookie insert. The rookies inserted into the set say Future All Star while veterans feature how many times that certain player made an all star team. These were found at a rate of 1:30 hobby packs which is the reason at the time hobby packs were visibly more expensive than their retail counterparts. This is definitely one of my favorite Penny cards in my collection and definitely worth of top 100 card status.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#86 95-96 Topps Finest Kevin Garnett RC

It's crazy to think years ago there was a time where there were no one and done players. All rookies usually had 3 or 4 years of college experience before they turned pro. Then in the 90's it all changed. At first it was underclassmen like Kenny Anderson, Chris Webber and others who bypassed more than a year of college eligibility to turn pro. In 1995 though, one player would open the flood gates to what we basically have now. Kevin Garnett became the first player since the 70's (Moses Malone and Daryl Dawkins) to jump directly from high school to the pros. Garnett would become the pioneer for prep to pro basketball players and there was a lot riding on his shoulders. Should he have failed, it would've definitely put a halt to giving kids a chance to play with the big boys, but instead Garnett exceeded expectations and he along with others such as Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, and LeBron James ushered in the new era of players, who skipped college completely to play and succeed in the pros. Of course now high schoolers must be 1 year removed from graduation to declare for the NBA draft which leads to a lot of one and done
players, but even that can be attributed to KG. KG proved that
you don't necessarily need college to succeed in the league, and though he had some
growing pains along the way, he worked very hard and he has become one of the greatest players
in the game today. Card #86 is his best rookie card, as Topps Finest for 3 years
represented the ultimate Rookie Card  to own before Topps Chrome took that crown in 96-97 .
I love the design of the card and although not an action shot. I still like the draft day shot as it shows the absolute beginning of KG's journey to superstardom. KG's Finest Rookie is definitely a must have rookie in any collection and it definitely is one of my favorite basketball rookie cards in my collection.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#87 2000-01 Upper Deck NBA Legends Legendary Signatures Oscar Robertson

Here's the first autograph to make the countdown. The Big O is one of the games greatest players of all time. Oscar Robertson managed to average a triple double for an entire season!! Basketball is my main sport so of course basketball hall of famers are definitely a favorite of mine, especially hall of fame autos like this one. What I like about earlier issued autos is that they are all on-card autos. No stickers, and this makes this card much more attractive than current day counterparts. I also love the simple yet elegant design, UD has always done a superb job in designing the Legendary Signatures line, and this design is definitely one of my favorites. Oscar also has a full nice legible signature. All in all just a great looking card of one of the greatest legends the NBA has ever seen.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#88 2005 Leaf Limited Lettermen Ladainian Tomlinson

Here's another variation of the game used patch. Lettermen take each individual letter  (usually the last name on the back of the players jerseys, but sometime the team name in the front as well) of the game used jersey and insert each of them on a card as shown here with card #88 on my countdown. It seems like Logoman cards are more valuable, but I perfer Game Used Lettermen actually. This card comes from 2005 Leaf Limited and features the L of a game used Tomlinson jersey. Naturally it's numbered to 9 (this one is 4/9) since that's how many letters are in Tomlinson's last name. Of course now a days you have to be careful because companies like to produce manufactured letter cards in almost every product they come out with and since they look exactly like the game used counterparts it can become a little confusing. Lettermen are definitely a unique twist in patch cards and that's one of the reasons (oh yeah the other being LT is a future Hall of Famer) that this is one of my favorite cards.

I must say I actually like my fantasy baseball team!

Last Night we had our draft for our fantasy baseball league. It's a 10 team 5X5 league, head to head. I'm the commissioner of our league and I always feel like there is some kind of conspiracy for the commissioner not getting a top 3 pick (I swear I'm like 0-20, all time in every sport I'm commissioner,lol). So naturally I picked 9th out of 10 and initially was upset, but I think for the first time in baseball, I am actually happy with the team I drafted. Here's the team

C-Brian McCann
1B-Adam Dunn
2B-Dan Uggla
3B-A-Rod
SS-Stephen Drew
OF-Carl Crawford
OF-BJ Upton
OF-Chris Young
Utility-Kendrys Morales/Carlos Pena/Alfonso Soriano

SP-CC Sabathia
SP-Yovani Gallardo
SP-Gio Gonzalez
SP-CJ Wilson
SP-Josh Beckett
SP John Lackey
RP-Joakim Soria
RP-JJ Putz
RP-Brandon Lyon
RP-Aroldis Chapman

Pitching may be a little thin, but I like my hitting a lot. Figure I'll stash Morales until he's ready to come back, and who knows if Fransisco Cordero struggles, maybe Chapman can take over the closer role. He was my last pick of the draft so I think it was a low risk pick. I can't wait till baseball starts now!!

Countdown Resumes Today

It's Monday, so that means it's time to resume the top 100 countdown. #88 will be posted later today, stay tuned!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Awesome Autographs:UDA Derrick Rose Auto'd Basketball With #1 Draft Pick Inscription

Derrick Rose has been an absolute BEAST this season. I don't think anyone expected the Chicago Bulls to be so dominant this season, not with the Heat, Celtics, Magic, and even to some the Hawks all expected to finish with a better record than them. But Derrick Rose put this team on his back and has delivered on his potential big time. Even with injuries to Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, the Bulls have still managed to stay atop the Eastern Conference, and are fighting the Celtics for that #1 seed in the playoffs. Rose's cards have been on fire all season. I saw an opportunity to grab this ball and pounced on it. Not only did Derrick autograph it, he inscribed it
08 #1 Draft Pick. Such an awesome ball and terrific to
display. Instead of overpaying for a an auto'd sticker card
I decided to go for a piece of auto'd memorabilia from UDA.
I couldn't be more happier with the decision. The ball is also
limited to 100 (mine is #67).

Elite 8 Bracket Recap: Bracket Champion already crowned

Well, the final four has been decided and so has our bracket champion. No #1 or # 2 seeds advanced to the final four this year, in fact VCU or Butler will be playing for a National Championship. Pure craziness. Kentucky and UConn round out the final four. Kenny aka If the Slipper Fits won after Kentucky beat UNC to advance to final four. That knocked Drew out as he had UNC winning it all. With that happening, no one else can gain anymore points so with 68 pts, Kenny Bybee wins the Bracket Championship. I came in 2nd with 60 pts and Brandon Deacons came in 3rd with 56 pts. The unpredictability of the tournament led to such a low score winning the league. Now with that officially over ,I can sit back and just watch the Final Four with no stress!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Close But No Cigar-2000 SPX Update Winning Materials Trio Griffey/Sosa/A-Rod

When I saw this card on Ebay the first time when 2000 SPX Update came out, I fell in love. I HAD to get this card. A TRIPLE GAME USED JERSEY card of three of the GREATEST OF ALL TIME (Remember this was 2000). This card was my dream card and I remember thinking man this card would go well over triple digits. I took a risk and won the card from a guy with 2 feedback for $75 bucks and crossed my fingers my gem would come in. And sure enough...it arrived, and shot up to the top as my favorite card. How could you compete??? Well fast forward more than 10 years later and even quad or more jersey cards are worth nothing more than a shrug and a yawn, but back then it was definitely
a nice card to own.


Why this was considered: Mainly historical purposes. I had only like three or four memorabilia cards at the time, and only one (Grant Hill Fleer Focus Feel the Game) was a jersey card, so to add a triple jersey card of three of the best baseball players at the time was beyond insane in my eyes.

Why this card ultimately did not make the cut: Well Sosa's big fall from grace (to an extent A-Rod's too) kind of hurt this card in my eyes. Also the swatches are generic and boring, white, grey, and black. There are millions of these kind of cards out these days, and they don't fetch more than 10 to 15 dollars at the most. If game used weren't as plentiful as they are now, this could've been a top 20 card much less 100, but with game used cards flooding market, this is just another jersey card in my collection.

A Piece of the Game:Vladimir Guerrero 2009 Game Used Bat






























Pics of my Vladdy Game Used Bat. I got this from Paragon Auctions and is PSA/DNA Certified. This is my 5th game used bat of my collection. I now have bats of Joe Mauer, A-Rod, Edgar Renteria, and Adrian Beltre along with Vlad.

NCAA Bracket Recap-Sweet 16

The Slipper Fits-60 pts
Deaks Ballin Bracket-56 pt
Don't Steal Sting's Cheerios-53 pts
The Legend of Dyron Nix-52 pts
Roberts-51 pts
Wrestling's Man Bracket-49 pts  
Brad -46 pts
I Win!-45 pt
No Clue-42 pts

What an awesome and unpredictable tournament it's been so far! 3 of the #1 seeds are gone. VCU is still chuggin along beating Florida St in OT and is in the Elite 8 while Duke got blown out by Derrick Williams and Arizona, and Ohio State lost to Kentucky thanks to a Brandon Knight game winner with seconds left in the game. Florida's in thanks to an OT win against BYU as Jimmer Ferdette showed the world he's actually human by going 3-15 from 3's. Butler survived a late scare from Wisconsin to go to their 2nd straight Elite 8 and UConn took care of San Diego State. Kansas and UNC cruised to their victories. So how are those brackets now??? Mine's officially done and i'm so done I might lose to Kristen who didn't even pick a National Championship winner. Kenny once again took over #1 and his gutsy Kentucky pick over Ohio State has him in pretty good shape to win it all. He has Kentucky in the Final Four so he'll really need them to beat UNC. He lost Duke in his Championship game but still has Kansas winning it all so he's still a viable contender for the title. Deaks is pretty much all but done but he's in 2nd for now. He lost 3 of his final four team in this round, Ohio State, Duke, and Wisconsin, and had Duke winning it all. His only chance at a respectable finish is getting Kansas in the championship game. Drew is the darkhorse to win it all, he too went with Kentucky, and he has the sleeper pick in UNC winning it all. He's the only one who has them in the finals so if he controls his own destiny to win it all. He has UNC and Kansas in the championship game and both are still alive and have great shots at meeting at the end. I'm 4th, but it's all smoke and mirrors. I have UConn in the final 4 and that's it for me, Pittsburgh, Norte Dame, and Ohio State are all out and I had a Ohio State-Pitt final with Ohio State winning it all. More than likely I'll finish last or 2nd to last. Ricky's 5th and though he lost Duke in the championship game, he does have both Florida and Kansas reaching the final four and Kansas winning it all, so he still has a shot as well. Now that I see it, I think Bill is destined for last. What a change a round makes. From 1st to last, because he has zero final four teams left. He had already lost Notre Dame and Pitt and lost San Diego State and Ohio State in the Sweet 16. Brad had San Diego State in the championship game, but still has UNC and his pick Kansas. Kristen has Kansas left out of her final four teams, but no championship winner. Ryan's pretty much done as well. He has Kansas in the final four but had San Diego State and Ohio State in the final four and his championship game is done. The game to watch will be UNC-Kentucky, that will separate the contenders even more. We'll what happens this weekend in the Elite 8!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#89 2008 UD Ballpark Collection Logo Patch Rickie Weeks

And here is the last card of the week and it's a doozy. Collectors lovvvvvvvvvvve logomen. NFL Shield, NBA Logomen, or MLB, logomen are the ultimate hit as far game used cards go. Here at #89 is the only logoman card in my collection. 2008 UD Ballpark Collection has an array of different game used cards, whether it be laundry tag patches, buttons, or logoman cards and they had plenty of all of em. This Weeks Logo Patch is actually #2/5, so there are 4 more of these babies out there. The player might not be a superstar, but Weeks when not injured is a very good second baseman and had a very nice season last year as well. This is the one and only time so far
I bit the bullet and bought a logoman. A very cool and unique card
that  ranks #89 on my countdown.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#90 07-08 Topps Trademark Moves In the Paint Triple Patch KG/Duncan/Dirk

I dunno, there was something about this card when I saw it on Ebay that made me wanna have it. The player selection is great, three of the greatest players of this era, and it's numbered to 25 so it's a little tough to find. I think I really like this card because the patches featured are All Star Patches, not just any normal regular jersey patches. All three are multi-colored patches as well. There are regular run of the mill jersey swatch versions of the cards in the In the Paint set, but the patch parallel is where the set really shines. You can't go wrong with a triple patch of future Hall of Famers at #90 on my countdown.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#91 2003 UD Authentics Threads of Time Ty Cobb

We finally have our first baseball card into the countdown and might I say it's not too shabby of a card. Baseball has the richest history of all the major sports. So many greats have played the game throughout the years. As a collector, it used to be hard to fathom that you would be able to get a card that had memorabilia from the greatest players from the golden era of baseball. If such cards existed, you'd guess they'd cost an arm and a leg. Luckily (yet also sadly) the market has become saturated with so much game used cards that yes even Stars of the 20's and 30's, icons and hall of famers that helped shape the game we know and love today, can be had for relatively modest prices. Case in point, Number 91 on
my countdown. Personally, he may been detestable, but no one
can deny Ty Cobb's impact on the game of baseball. He's one of
the greatest players to ever play the game. This card features a swatch
of pants that Cobb wore in an actual Athletics major league baseball game.
This is an amazing card with an amazing piece of history and it won't break the bank.
This card books high at $100, but i'm sure with hunting you could find it like I did, in the
50-60 dollar range. Investment wise, people might look down on what card companies have
done to the game used card market, but personally, if not for the saturation, I doubt I would
able to afford this gem.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#92 04-05 Fleer Sweet Sigs Sweet Stroke Quad Patch T-Mac/Iverson/KG/Baron Davis

After the initial game used jersey craze, card companies had to find a way to make game used jersey cards even more desirable. Enter the "patch" card. Collectors were getting tired of the one color (especially the boring white or grey) jersey cards and wanted something with a little more oomph. So card companies started taking the lettering, numbers, logos etc and creating multi colored patch cards that collectors ate up like candy. This card came out of one of Fleer's many one off brands Sweet Sigs. What I love about this card is that each patch is multi colored with at least two colors per patch. TMac and Iverson are on the front of the card while KG and Baron Davis are on the back. Of course at the time KG, T-Mac and Iverson were still big time heavy hobby hitters and Baron Davis wasn't that bad of a 4th option either. I haven't seen too many of these cards, and there were only 35 copies made. So excellent player selection, relative scarcity and nice patches get this card #92 on the countdown.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#93 92-93 Upper Deck Shaquille O'Neal RC

My first bout with any kind of mania was Shaq-Mania back in 1992. Shaquille O'Neal was one of the most heavily coveted college players to come out of college since Patrick Ewing back in 1985. The NBA was salivating for the next big thing and Shaq fit that description to a T. In the hobby, collectors anxiously waited for a chance to pick up Shaq's rookie cards. In a strange twist though, Classic, a college sports card manufacturer signed Shaq to an exclusive contract that prohibited other licensees to produce Shaq cards. All other companies had to wait until their Series II products to include Shaq in their sets. This made collectors just want Shaq's cards even more, and 92-93 Series II products sold like hot cakes and were hard to find. I, personally tried my best to buy any and every product I could with the limited funds I had, for a chance to acquire any kind of Shaq rookie. The only two I was ever able to pull were his low end Topps and Fleer rookies. There were two rookie cards that were considered to cream of the crop, his Stadium Club rookie and the card that is #93 on this countdown, his Upper Deck Rookie. Now, Upper Deck used a loophole (as did Hoops) by
issuing a trade redemption card of Shaq in their Series I products,
redeemable for a Shaq Trade Card. It looks exactly like the rookie card
pictured here, but instead of the #1 Draft Pick gold lettering and it says Trade
Card. I love the triple shot of Shaq about to throw down a monstrous dunk
and not to mention that this rookie is a short print so it's not as easy to find as
his other rookie counterparts. It took me years to acquire, but this was the first
card I hunted for, when I started working and had some extra money to spend
on cards. Shaq definitely more than lived up to the hype as he is a sure fire Hall
of Famer and one of the greatest of all time. It sure is fun though, to look back and
remember when collectors were still wondering just how great Shaq would be. Well
now, we all know.

NCAA Bracket Recap End of Day 4

Wrestling's Man Bracket-45 pts    
Deaks Ballin Bracket-44 pt 
The Slipper Fits-44 pts
The Legend of Dyron Nix-40pts
 Roberts-39 pts
Brad -38 pts
No Clue-38 ptsI Win!-37 pt
Don't Steal Sting's Cheerios-37 pts

Well yesterdays games proved to further mess up everyone's brackets as there were yet another rash of upset destined to drive everyone crazy. Syracuse, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Texas were eliminated yesterday, while surprise VCU who all the experts cried shouldn't have made the tournament to begin with, blew out Georgetown and Purdue in back to back games. Marquette defeated Syracuse and Florida State crushed Notre Dame. UNC and Duke both survived their matchups just barely while Ohio State continued to look dominant. So taking a look at the Bracket, Bill leads again but took a big blow losing Syracuse in the Elite 8 and having Notre Dame in the Championship game. Brandon and Kenny are tied for 2nd at 44 pts apiece. The upsets didn't really mess up Kenny, he still has 3 of his four in the final four, while Brandon lost Syracuse in the Elite 8 but still has his final four intact making a prime contender for the bracket title. I'm in 4th with 40 pts, and I lost another final four team in Notre Dame, I had lost Pittsburgh already in my championship game. I too lost Syracuse in my Elite 8. Ricky is 5th with 39 pts, but still has his final four intact as well. Ryan and Brad are tied for 6th. Ryan lost both Notre Dame and Syracuse in his Elite 8 but still has 3 of four in the final four. Brad just lost Notre Dame in his Elite and still has 3 of his 4 in the final four. Kristen and Drew are tied for 8th and last place. Kristen is all but done, because combined with no pick in the championship game she lost Syracuase and Notre Dame in her Elite 8 and lost Texas in her final four. Drew lost Texas so is down to North Carolina and Kansas as his final two teams who he picked to face each other in the National Championship game. We'll see what happens in the Sweet 16 starting Thursday night and see where everyone stands then.

Top 100 Countdown resumes today!

Just a reminder that the top 100 countdown resumes today with #93. What will it be?? Check in later today to find out!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Awesome Autographs:Jesse Owens PSA/DNA Certified Cut Signature

I don't veer to far from the big 3 in sports usually, but in this case I made an exception. Jesse Owens is one of the most celebrated athletes in Olympic history. His historic performance at the Summer Games in Berlin in 1936 are stuff that legends are made of. In an era of racial inequality, and in the home country of Adolf Hitler, Owens rose to the occasion and won 4 gold medals. He's one of the greatest athletes in American history. This is one of my favorite autos in my collection. A
PSA/DNA autograph that I picked up
off Ebay. Any time I can add an autograph
of one of the greats in sports, no matter what
sport, I jump at the chance, and this was the case
with this Jesse Owens.

Close But No Cigar-1973 Topps Roberto Clemente

I'm not a huge vintage collector, but I have been trying to be more recently. I'm really starting to appreciate older vintage cards. It's real cool to have a 40 or 50 year card of a Hall of Famer, and in this case one of the best players in baseball history. This one of my first vintage pickups and it was years ago at a local card show here in Corpus. This card was in the $1 bin at one of the tables, and I bought it just so I could have a Roberto Clemente card. It's not in great shape, there's a huge crease on the bottom right corner, corners are dinged, but for a buck, I thought it was very worth it. I still have a fondness for this card and it came real close to making my countdown.

Why this card was considered: It's a vintage Topps cards of one of the greatest players of all time. This is also his last issued card during his playing days, before his untimely death.

Why this card ultimately didn't make the cut: The biggest reason
is it's in pretty rough shape. There was a reason it was in the dollar bin.
Also, maybe an earlier issue of Clemente would've made the cut, but I
just felt there were many others in my collection that deserved to make the
list besides this Clemente.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

NCAA Bracket Recap End of Day 3

Wrestling's Man Bracket-37 pts     
Deaks Ballin Bracket-36pt
The Slipper Fits-34 pts
Roberts-33 pts
I Win!-31 pt
The Legend of Dyron Nix-30pts
Brad -30 pts
No Clue-30 pts
Don't Steal Sting's Cheerios-29 pts

Well here is where brackets start to get busted. First of all I have neverrrrr ever seen a game end like the one between Pitt and Butler. You have got to be KIDDING ME. That killed my bracket as I had Pitt in the National Championship game. How bout the double OT thriller that San Diego State and Temple had? Also another tournament fave Kansas St. was bounced by Wisconsin. So Bill keeps his lead and is in 1st place all by himself. Bill like most lost Pitt in his final four, but has been excellent at picking so far and the rest of his bracket looks to be in strong shape. Deaks is 2nd and is actually looking really good with his Wisconsin pick. I believe he's the only one who has them advancing far and he's put them in the final four which could bode well in the upcoming rounds. As of right now, he has yet to lose a major team in his bracket. Kenny is 3rd with his 34 pts, he too lost Pitt in his final four. Ricky is 4th with 33 pts, he lost Pitt in his elite 8, but his final four remains in tact for now. Kristen is next with 31 pts also losing Pitt in her Elite 8, but all four of her final four are intact. A three way tie between me, Brad, and Ryan. Me and Ryan got the worst of the deal, both of us had Pitt in the Championship game, while Brad survived a scare and could've had half his final four gone. Brad  has San Diego State in the National Championship game, but did lose Pitt in his final four. Drew brings up last place with 29 pts and he also lost Pitt in his final four. Tomorrow we'll find out the remaining 8 teams in the Sweet Sixteen and see if Bill can keep a stronghold on the 1st place lead.

What was I THINKING?!?! 02-03 Bowman Signature Dajuan Wagner Auto/Jersey RC

As a collector for over 20 years, I've made plenty of boneheaded purchases over the years. Who hasn't? Chasing the next big thing is always a risk especially in baseball, but in basketball? It should be easy to see who's going to be a superstar and who will flame out right? WRONG?? Exhibit A: Dajuan Wagner. Here's a guy who out of New Jersey who scored 100 points in a high school game and averaged over 42 points in his senior season before going to Memphis for a season. His dad was also a pro basketball player, Milt Wagner. He was drafted by the Cavs with the 6th pick in the 1st round and comparisons were made to Allen Iverson, as it was thought Wagner would be the next super scoring machine in the league. That was enough for me to want to start collecting him, and one of the cards I had to get was his either his SPX Auto/Jersey RC or his Bowman Signature Auto/Jersey. I was determined to get this gem at any cost and jumped for joy when I got this card for $50.00. Yes that's right, $50 dollars. To be fair, it was the going price at the time, as it also carried a high beckett value of $100.00. Unlike the SPX
with the auto cut window, this was an actual on card auto and numbered to 999.
Wagner didn't set the world on fire, averaging  a little over 13 points per game in
his rookie season and then proceeding to be injury prone the rest of his short career.
He tried making a comeback with the Warriors but it did not pan out. Rumors are
he's trying again to make a comeback, but this is a card that doesn't even sell for
.99 cents much less $50 bucks. In fact I sold mine in a huge lot, since I knew I couldn't
sell it on its own. So yeah, $50 dollars for a Dajuan Wagner rookie card....WHAT WAS I
THINKING?!?!

Close But No Cigar: 97-98 Topps Rock Stars Refractor Anfernee Hardaway

Narrowing your favorite cards to a Top 100 list is a very challenging and daunting task. There were so many contenders, that were worthy of making the list, that I want to showcase some of them as almost of a honorable mention post during the weekend. I will give my reasons why the card was in consideration of making the countdown and why it ultimately did not make it. The insert set for this card should look familiar as  the Michael Jordan from this set was ranked #95. This is the refractor version of that set.

Why this card was considered: Obviously because of my love for 90's insert sets, especially this set, and of course it's of my favorite player. Also unlike the MJ, this is a tougher pull as like I said, it is the refractor version.

Why this card ultimately didn't make the cut: One of the many factors I try to factor in is duplicate insert sets. When looking at my cards at and what would be the final list, I thought it was appropriate for there to be only one Rock Star on the countdown. I'm pretty sure if the card was top 150 or top 200 it'd make it for sure, but at the end despite it being
a harder pull than the MJ, I still prefer the MJ over the Hardaway by a small
margin.

Friday, March 18, 2011

NCAA Bracket Recap End of Day 2

Wrestling's Man Bracket-25 pts
I Win!-25pt
The Slipper Fits-24 pt
Deaks Ballin Bracket-24pt
Roberts-23 pts
The Legend of Dyron Nix-22ptsBrad -22 pts
Don't Steal Sting's Cheerios-21 pts
No Clue-20 pts

Well the 2nd round has officially closed and the field of 64 is now 32 and though there were not as many thrills as the 1st day, there were still a few games that weren't decided till the last few seconds of the game and yet another upset as VCU just flat out destroyed Georgetown to advance to the next round. George Mason barely survived Villanova in a great 8-9 match-up. Memphis almost pulled of an upset but fell to Arizona by two points. Texas was in control most of the game but managed to only defeat Oakland by 4. Georgia came reeeeeeeal close to taking Washington out as they made a late run in the game but lost by 3. 11th seeded Marquette took out 6th seeded Xavier and the though not an upset Tennessee got ROUTED by 30 pts against Michigan. So let's see where we stand now. Bill and Kristen are tied at 25 pts but remember Kristen forgetting to pick her National Championship winner is a huge blow, and it's highly doubtful she'll finish at the top when it's all said and done. Bill didn't really have any huge losses, he got the Marquette and Georgetown games wrong, but didn't have them going past the next round anyway. Kristen got both games Bill had wrong plus picked Tennessee over Michigan. After a great start, Kenny had a crucial blow to his bracket as had Xavier going all the way to the Elite 8 but he's still officially tied for 3rd with Brandon as they both have 24 points as of now. Brandon actually went with an upset and picked Oakland to beat Texas and if it wasn't for that he'd be in the lead and all his main teams are still in tact. Ricky is 6th with 23 pts.  Ricky though, had Georgetown in the Elite 8 so that was a loss that was very costly to his bracket. Brad and me are tied with 22 points. None of the games I lost did I have the teams I picked going past the next round so I think I'm OK. Brad didn't do too bad this go around but did lose Xavier who he had in the Sweet 16. Drew's in 8th with 21 pts and all his Sweet 16 teams in tact while Ryan rounds out the bottom at 9 with 20 pts. Tomorrow starts the 3rd round and I'll be back again with another recap with results of tomorrow's action

End of Week Thoughts, Weekend Postings, Countdown to resume Monday

I never thought that I would actually become a blogger, I mean it's crossed my mind and being an avid reader of many of the sports card blogs out there, I always thought it would be fun, but I always thought maybe the trouble wouldn't be worth the effort, but after a week, I can say that it definitely is and it's a ton of fun. I just wanted to create a simple blog to share my collection and thoughts on the hobby and on sports in general, no bells and whistles, and to me if at least one person read my blog, that would be ok with me. But it's been awesome to see many fellow collectors who either here or on facebook have told me how much they've enjoyed my blog so far and for that I appreciate it. I would really like to thank Charles at Hoopography, Fuji of the Chronicles of Fuji and Michael over at Hupe Royalty who have been really supportive of my blog and have welcomed me into the blogging community with open arms. I really appreciate it and to my followers and to the other members of blogging community, thank you as well. Trust me, the ride has just begun. I thought it would be cool have the countdown be a weekday thing, and use the weekend to start other hobby related series. Here are few series I am working on

What Was I Thinking???-This will focus on some of my dumber and more mindboggling purchases that I have made throughout my collecting career. We alllllllll have em!!

Starting Lineup Spotlight-Focuses on a former hobby of mine, which was collecting starting lineup figures

Close but No Cigar-Cards that did not make my top 100 countdown

Game Used and Autograph Memorablia-Focuses on the autographs and game used stuff in my collection.

Mailday Mania!-Anything I get in from Ebay or any of the auction houses

And more, plus to bring a little more personal stuff, I'll be posting about my fantasy baseball, and basketball leagues as time permits. I really hope you have enjoyed my blog so far and remember like I said, you ain't seen nothin yet! I hope you enjoy some of my new series during the weekend, as for the countdown we will pick up at #93 on Monday!

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#94 96-97 Topps Chrome Allen Iverson RC

When Topps initially introduced Topps Chrome for basketball during the 96-97 season, it was supposed to be a one shot deal. It was just supposed to be a retail level only product available at Wal-Mart. No big deal and that's exactly what I thought when I first saw this product at my local Wal-Mart. I saw a couple boxes and decided eh why not try a pack (if ONLY I had a time machine and go back and buy up the entire product). Curiosity got the best of me, I was always willing to try new product at least once, so I bought my one pack for a little over 3 bucks after taxes and was on my way. I opened the pack and pulled a Kerry Kittles Chrome Youthquake, and this beauty right here. At the time though, it was just another rookie card, in fact I have this EXACT same rookie card without the chrome finish, since Topps Chrome was basically a glorified parallel set to the regular Topps base set. I thought nothing of it, I collected Iverson, but I never thought in a million years this card would end up being Iverson's best rookie card (besides the refractor parallel of course). But all of sudden, the perception of
Topps Chrome changed. Fueled by a young star studded draft class
that included Iverson, Marcus Camby, Shareef Abdur Rahim, Stephon
Marbury, Ray Allen, Steve Nash, and Jermaine O'Neal and oh yeah
and a guy named KOBE BRYANT, who was taking the league by storm
and possibly fueled by perceived scarcity since they were only available at
Wal Mart, Topps Chrome become the hottest set in the market in a long time.
It overtook Topps Finest as a player's "best rookie card" and month after month
these cards took on a life of their own and  skyrocketed in the price guides. Guys like
Antoine Walker and Stephon Marbury booked up to $150. When I pulled my Iverson
it debuted at a modest 12 bucks, at it's peak it had reached $150. This set was compared to
86-87 fleer on so many levels that it basically became this generations 86-87 Fleer set. Like all
things, hype eventually faded, and newer sleaker and rarer rookie cards became available in later years
and Topps Chrome was pushed aside as no longer a high end rookie card but a mid level (although, still desriable) rookie card, and prices came back down to earth. I believe the Iverson has settled in the $60 range
but for those of us who collected, no-one will ever forget "Chrome-mania".  Like I said earlier, I'm very surprised I only bought 1 pack ever, usually when I do buy packs I buy multiple, but for some unexplained reason I bought this one, but to buy one pack and still be able to pull the Iverson, was just awesome and lucky. That's why this card is on the countdown at #94, Iverson's best rookie card...and I pulled it out of 1 pack.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

NCAA Bracket Recap End of Day 1

The Slipper Fits-13 pts
I Win!-12 pts
Deaks Ballin Bracket-12 pts
The Legend of Dyron Nix-11pts
Wrestling's Man Bracket-11pts
Roberts-11 pts
Brad -11 pts
No Clue-10 pts
Don't Steal Sting's Cheerios-10 pts


What a great 1st day of opening matchups, that saw one big upset in Moorehead St taking Louisville, and almost saw another with Princeton losing at the end to Kentucky, not to mention the exciting finishes of Temple/Penn State, Butler/Old Dominion, and Vanderbilt/Richmond. How bout UCLA blowing a 23 pt lead and barely escaping with a 2 pt lead against Michigan State? Hopefully this is the beginning of a great tournament. So after the 1st day of games how are the brackets in my group doing? Kenny Bybee leads the pack as he only got 3 games wrong on Day 1. Losing Louisville might sting a little since he had them advancing to the Sweet 16. Kristen is tied with Deaks for 2nd with 12 pts but unfortunately she forgot to pick a National Championship Winner, putting her in a big disadvantage to winning the whole thing. She also had Louisville in the Sweet 16. Deaks as well had Louisville in the sweet 16 and still in prime contention for the #1 spot. Me, Bill, Brad, and Ricky all are tied with 11 pts. I tried to go cute and pick an upset with Belmont and of course that didn't work, and I had Vanderbilt in the sweet 16. Brad unfortunately had Utah State and Louisville in the sweet 16 and St. John's in the Elite 8 which will put him in a huge disadvantage. Bill had Louisville in the sweet 16 (what a recurring theme). Ricky had Utah State and yep Louisville in the sweet 16. Ryan and Drew round off the bottom with 10 pts. Drew was one of the rare guys in our bracket that went with Clemson over  West Virginia  and also Belmont over Wisconsin and he too has Louisville in the Sweet 16. Ryan had surprise surprise Louisville in the Sweet 16 but also had Belmont going that far too. There is still plenty of games left to go but congrats to Kenny for a terrific start and we'll see what happens tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow will be just as thrilling as today!

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#95 97-98 Topps Rock Stars Michael Jordan

What do you get when you combine an awesome die cut insert set from Topps and the greatest basketball player of all time? Card #95 on my countdown is what that combination creates. I first saw this insert set when I bought a Blaster Box of 97-98 Topps at Wal-Mart. I not only pulled a Keith Van Horn Draft Redemption(Mojoooooo!lol) but pulled a Grant Hill Rock Stars insert. Topps is a low end base brand, so I was always appreciated when they would put in a higher end looking insert set in their lower end base Topps set. The die cut design is so cool, and I just love the shot of Michael about drain yet another shot while the hapless Kings just look on like "well...what are you gonna do..it's MJ". Again, it's not a terribly hard insert to find (1:36 packs), but still a beauty of a card and in my opinion one of the most underrated insert sets of the 90's.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Favorite March Madness Moment Ever: My Alma Mater Making the Big Dance

For fans of any of the major powerhouses, making the NCAA tournament is always a reason for celebration, but for most it also feels like a right, I mean who really thinks teams like Duke or North Carolina will go years without making it to the field of 64? But for us who went to small schools and come from Mid Majors, making the tournament feels like seriously a once in a lifetime experience. That's exactly how it felt when we punched our first ever ticket to the big dance in 2007. Not too many people know or have heard of Texas A&M Corpus Christi, most confuse us with the actual Texas A&M and in reality we are known more for our beaches than our basketball, but all the cards fell in to place and the nation was gonna find out just who this upstart team from South Texas was. Our first year of Division I basketball was in 99-00 and we started out as an independent for our first few years until 2006 when we joined the Southland Conference. Our coach was Ronnie Arrow, who was no stranger to playing the Cinderella role. Ronnie Arrow was the coach of 11th seeded South Alabama in 1989 when they defeated 6th seed Alabama before losing a closely contested game to eventual champion Michigan in the next round. After beating Northwestern State by 3 to win the Southland Conference championship the little school that nobody knew was named a 15 seed and was to play major powerhouse and #2 seed Wisconsin in the first round. The days leading up to the tournament were so cool, our team was getting national coverage from ESPN, Ronnie Arrow was doing interviews on Outside the Lines, it was so surreal and so fun. I was so proud of our guys and our school. Nothing beat us actually being on the big stage on CBS and though no one thought we stood a chance, our team shocked the world at first by going up 20-4 and leading by as many as 20. We were hitting every 3, grabbing every board, playing nasty D, it was amazing. I really felt we could've had that game. Towards the end of the half Wisconsin started coming back and cut the lead to 8, 27-19. I could feel it slipping away. Our guys were playing their heart out, but the Badgers were simply just the better team, and with Alando Tucker and also Kammron Taylor hitting every 3 in sight, it was just too much to overcome, and the end score did not reflect how competitive the game really was and how Wisconsin was thisclose to being on the losing end of one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history. It was the first time in college basketball that I could feel the pain, I wanted it sooooooooo bad for our guys, but I will always be proud of that Islander team(and yes a little part of me cheered, when UNLV bounced the Badgers in the next round, lol). We have not gone back to the tournement since and who knows when the next time will be that we can make it, but I'll never forget the 1st time, and that was a great store in itself.

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#96 98-99 E-X Century Dunk'N Go Nuts Anfernee Hardaway

Not every card has to be serial numbered, autographed, or have a piece of memorabilia, sometimes all it takes is a little innovation to make a card stand out and when it came to the E-X Century sets Fleer put out, they nailed this to perfection. From the super rare and highly desirable Jambalaya to even the easier find inserts like Gravity Denied, the E-X series in basketball had some of the coolest insert designs ever created. My personal favorite is the Dunk'N Go Nuts from the 98-99 set. The card really is cooler in person than on the scan. This insert combined inspiration from the Dunkin' Donuts brand (including a clever play on the name) and used clear acetate stock to create a memorable if not somewhat controversial insert set (I believe I read that Dunkin' Donuts sued Fleer over this set because of the obvious take off of their trademark). You combine this set with my favorite player of all time and it's a match made in heaven. The odds aren't too tough to pull (1:36) but like many 90's insert sets they still sell very well, in fact last I checked this card books at $6 yet I paid $20.00 for this card. Of course being graded a 9.5 might have had a factor in the price I paid, but overall it's just such a slick looking card, I could not pass this up. So who says a card has to be worth hundreds or
more to be considered great? This $6 card looks like a million bucks to me.

Let the Tournament BEGINNNNNNNN!

Tomorrow begins the real March Madness, as the field of 64 will be set in stone after tonight's last two play in games. I've got a group with some friends on Yahoo and here on Sports Cards and Memories I'll be keeping our progress updated to see who the winner of this year's bracket will be. There will be 9 of us vying for the #1 slot.

The Teams

The Legend of Dyron Nix (Yours Truly)
Wrestling's Man Bracket (Bill)
No Clue (Ryan)
The Slipper Fits(Kenny)
Roberts (Ricky)
I Win! (Kristen)
Don't Steal Sting's Cheerios(Drew)
Brad (Brad)
Deaks Ballin Bracket (Brandon "Deaks")

I will be updating how our group is doing throughout the tournament. Good luck to everyone on their brackets!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#97 99-00 Fleer Metal Genuine Coverage Vince Carter

I will never forget Easter Sunday 2000. Not only did
I have a great time at my grandma's with all my family
but that night I got the best Easter gift I could ever get. As an only child, I was indeed a little spoiled so I got a little something for each holiday. For Easter, I received 3 packs of 99-00 Fleer Metal and 2 packs of 99-00 UD Encore. I never expected anything huge, just to add some cool cards, maybe pull a Steve Francis rookie or a cool Vince Carter insert. Remember, this was right in the MIDDLE of Vinsanity. Everything and anything of Vince was INSANELY in demand, as Vince was having just an unbelievable sophomore season including the unforgettable 2000 Slam Dunk Contest which is probably still regarded as the best dunk contest of all time. Anyways, that night I started ripping the packs, and didn't get anything too exciting out of the first two packs. If I recall the best thing I pulled was an Antonio McDyess Heavy Metal insert. The 3rd pack though..the 3rd pack was magical. It's like it was yesterday that it happened. First card off the bat was a Vince Carter base card, followed by another base and then followed by what was the time the MOTHER LODE of all pulls. An actual VINCE CARTER GAME USED CARD. My reaction was priceless, I screamed like I was dying and ran around the house just full of so much joy and happiness. I had never in a million years dreamed I would pull a card
like this! It trumped my friend Kenny's Terrell Davis Jersey
Card and for once I was the one with the jealous friends!
It's funny cause even then, this was just a warm up card, not
even a jersey, but this card booked at $400 when it first hit
Beckett. I didn't want to tell me my mom because I was afraid
she would make me sell the cornerstone of my collection! I took
the card to the local card shop where my parents bought the packs
and they congratulated me and showed me what they had just pulled
a Michael Jordan Auto Game Jersey numbered to 23!! Between those
two pulls, it looked like the Dugout was on a little bit of a hot streak! Though
Vince Carter and this card have cooled off considerably since then, I still
love early era memorabilia cards and I love how big the warm up swatch
is on this card. Also, as you can see on the back, I always like Fleer (and
Donruss as well) showing a picture of the actual memorabilia they used for
the card itself. The card may only book around $20 bucks now, but the memories
will be forever priceless. (Oh and btw, the Encore packs were afterthoughts,
I forgot about them in the excitement, I opened them later on that night, and the best
card I pulled was a Ray Allen Electric Currents insert, not enough to take my attention
away from the Vince,lol).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#98 1999 UD Ovation A Piece of History Steve Young

Every collector probably remembers their first...game used pull that is. Back in 1999 game used was still in its infancy and even game used equipment like basketballs, baseballs, and footballs were highly collectible and in demand. As the game used craze started to slowly take over the hobby, I could only dream of owning a card that contained a piece of the game. Something that could really connect you to the sports that you followed religiously. I watched jealously as one by one my friends pulled their first game used cards and wanted to know when my time would come. It started with my friend Kenny pulling a  Terrell Davis game used jersey out of one pack of
1999 Upper Deck at our local Target. I'll never forget
the phone call, a 1:2500 pack pull of the hottest running
back in the league at the time, out of 1 pack at Target
no less! Then came my cousin, a James Posey Hats Off
card out of a pack of  99-00 Skybox Dominion. My aunt
and cousins had just moved in with us for the time, and
off the bat my cousin pulls a game used hat card. Not only
that, but the pull made Beckett Basketball's hot pulls! The
next major pull was my friend pulling a JD Drew autographed
Authen-Kicks shoe card out of 1999 EX numbered to 8. You
HAVE to be kidding me!!! Finally though...I had my moment.
I bought a pack of 1999 UD Ovation Football at a cardshow,
took the pack home, ripped it, and lo and behold pulled this beauty.
Yes, it's just a piece of game used football, and there's not even a
guarantee Steve Young touched this, but still it was amazing. My first
game used pull!! I still love this card to this day, especially since it has
some of the Wilson lettering from the football. This was the beginning
of what would be many game used acquisitions throughout my hobby
career.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#99 97-98 Upper Deck AIRLines Michael Jordan AL6

Way back before the internet and EBay became the #1 destination for sports cards, I had to add to my collection through either the only card shop in town or more frequently retail places such as Target and Wal-Mart. The occasional card show would roll into town every once in a while, but for the longest time, the majority of my cards were pack pulled and usually pulled out of a retail pack. For awhile, this Jordan was the best card I had ever pulled and it came out of 97-98 Upper Deck Series II Blaster Box I bought at Target. This is card 6 of a 12 card insert set (all 12 of MJ) found at a hard rate of 1:230 packs. Old school Jordan, Penny, and Shaq inserts are still a big favorite of mine, and this die cut beauty is no exception. Nothing beats beating the odds on a rare pull especially at the retail level and I'll never forget the day I pulled my first "big time pull".

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Top 100 Cards of My Collection-#100 93-94 Topps Finest Anfernee Hardaway RC

To start off this countdown at #100 is a card that is near and dear to me. Growing up after Michael Jordan retired the 1st time, I started following the young up and coming Orlando Magic and Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway was my favorite player (and to this day is still my favorite player of all time). The way he played the point guard position was simply amazing and I have no doubt that if not for injuries he would've have gone down as one of the greatest of all time. There no way I ever thought as a 10 year old I would own this card, but for Christmas my parents bought it for me and I was pure heaven! In Penny's prime, this was easily the best card in the inaugural super premium Topps Finest set of 93-94. Packs and boxes of this stuff were outrageous (for the time) and there was no way I would be able to afford this gem. But my parents, like always, came through in a big way, and though it doesn't carry the aura like it used to, it still remains the best rookie card of my favorite player of all time.

Introduction

Sports and collecting have been a huge part of my life ever since I can remember. I'll never forget my Dad's friend buying me my first pack of football cards, 1990 Pro Set from a local sports card shop in town, or my dad buying me team sets of 91 Donruss baseball, until we completed the entire set including the Diamond Kings and All Star Subsets. Almost every kid dabbles in collecting sports cards at one point in their lives, and for most it simply passes, but for me, once I was hooked I was HOOKED, and to me there's not a better hobby that connects you to the sports, teams, and players you root for and watch than sports cards and memorabilia. Collecting of course has come a long ways from the 15 card 50 cents a pack days, with it now becoming increasingly more expensive, especially with the addition of game used memorabilia and autograph cards that really started to take off in the late 90's, but despite that, I continue to collect for one reason and one reason only....for fun.  That's what it's always been about for me, I don't collect for investment purposes (though on a rainy day, it is nice to know that my collection is there as a safety net), I collect because it's just plain fun. Simple, right? I've decided to go through my personal collection and pick out my 100 favorite cards and rank them from #1 to #100 in descending order. I thought it would be fun to go back and look through my collection and see what cards I treasure amongst the many I have acquired throughout my collecting career. Of course this list is purely subjective but that's what's fun about it, cause it's not always the value of the card that makes it special. Every card I select has that little something "special" that makes it standout from the rest of my collection. Sorry for the long boring intro, I will be posting as time and work permits and feel free to comment on my posts at any time. Thank you and enjoy!