Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sentimental Favorites: 99-00 Fleer Focus Feel The Game Grant Hill Jersey Card

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I never thought in a trillion years that I'd be a game used collector. To own full pieces of game used memeorabilia like jerseys, bats, shoes, baseballs, footballs, etc.. is just so beyond awesome, it's just pretty cool to own something that a future hall of famer or your favorite athlete wore or used. Before that though, many years ago, my main white whale was something called the "Game Used Jersey Card". I know Press Pass originated it, but my first mainstream encounter with game used jersey cards was when Upper Deck introduced them in their base brand in 1996. I was in awe, they took jerseys that were worn in a game by Joe Montana, Ken Griffey Jr, and most of all MJ himself, cut them up into pieces and placed them inside trading cards! Are you freaking serious!?! I wanted one soooooooooo bad. They were super tough to pull naturally. 1:2500 packs. There was no way I'd ever be able to own or afford one. At the time, with no Ebay, and being a kid, basically my only chance was packs. As the 90's rolled on, game jersey cards were THE big pull to get. Even semistar players were popular because of the fact of how tough these babies were too pull. But then something happened, the odds started shrinking, probably in an effort to get more collectors to rip open packs. UD's hobby only jersey cards while still nice were 1:360 packs and it started an inevitable trend of mass productions. But in 1999, they were still highly sought after and after my buddy Kenny pulled a Terrell Davis Jersey card out of a pack of 1999 Upper deck at target, I was even more determined to get one..OF ANYBODY! I had a couple of memorabilia cards in my collection, but both were pieces of basketball and football, not really anything directly linked to a specific player. Fleer entered the game used market with it's Feel the Game series and the odds were 1:360. But I had entered the Ebay era, and instead of ripping open pack after pack, I decided to just buy one of those damn things. I had to ask my mom if I could use my money on something that big, cause mom wasn't exactly the biggest card nut, puzzled on why I'd want to spend that kind of money on cardboard much less cardboard with a "swatch of  clothes" on them. She joked "you know they just bought some clothes at a garage sale and put them in those cards to trick you right"? (might not be too far from the truth nowadays, lol). Anyway after promising that this was gonna be the best card in the whole wide world and I wouldn't buy anything "in a long time" she gave me the OK and I found a jersey card I wanted big time. Grant Hill was still a hobby superstar and here was a card that a swatch of a jersey he wore and I locked in on it. I was pleasantly surprised to see these cards didn't go for nearly as much as their UD counterparts and ended up winning the Hill for an amazing steal! $75!! Well...I thought it was a steal at the time anyway. FINALLY though...FINALLY I had acquired my first game worn jersey card! Now I didn't have paypal back then, so I paid with either a check or money order so the wait felt like foreverrrrrrr. Finally though, it came in and it instantly became the best card in my collection. I couldn't stop staring at it, such a magnificent card. I have a piece of jersey that Grant Hill ACTUALLY WORE! Fast forward to now, and I'd probably be lucky to get $5 for this card. The game used jersey card market has been completely saturated and the only things collectors care about are super sick multi colored patches and logomen. In a way it's sad to see the demise of the plain jersey card swatch, because at one time these was the cornerstones of collections. Even today, when I look at the collection I have, I always pull this card out of my box and it brings a huge smile to my face. The memories this card brings are much more than the $5 I'll get off Ebay. This card is never leaving my collection!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Game Used Greatness: Cal Ripken Jr. Autographed 1983 World Series Anniversary Ceremony Worn Jersey

Definitely one of my more unique additions to my collection. It's not "game used' per se, but it's still a cool alternative (and less expensive) This is a jersey Cal Ripken Wore on July 23, 2008 during a pre game ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1983 World Series Championship won by the Baltimore Orioles. 

Ripken also autographed the back of the jersey. In fact in a picture I have, it shows that Ripken had already signed the jersey before putting it on as you can see autograph in the picture. This came with a team letter and also MLB Hologram for the autograph. I really like this and think it's cool piece of Orioles history! Not a bad alternative to a gamer!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Today's Mailday: 2006 Bowman Chrome Justin Upton Autograph RC

Yes it's another card to add to my PC! I've kinda wanted this card for a while. I'm hoping Upton can rebound from a so-so year last season in his new home in Atlanta. He'll get to play with his brother BJ as well. Always been a fan of Chrome, both Bowman and Topps, especially autographed rookie cards. Another couldn't resist purchase!

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Just Could'nt Help Myself: 03-04 SP Authentic LeBron James Auto'd RC

Remember the whole I'm totally done with  cards spiel? Well, this is more of an exception to the rule, but nonetheless I've added my first PC card in well over a year. I guess it's Lebron Week as this the 2nd item I've gotten of his over the week. I wanted a high end Lebron Rookie Card and I got one! This is his 03-04 SP Authentic Autographed Rookie Card. I remember buying a box of this when it first came out hoping to pull this dream card. Instead I pulled a James Lang Autographed Rookie (ugh).  Depending on who you ask this is Lebron's 3rd or 4th best rookie, as it's in the area of his SPX. I prefer this one because it's an on card autograph and numbered to only 500 while this SPX is 750. Any of them are awesome, but I'm more than satisfied with the choice I made. Ok, now I'm officially done with cards....or am I????

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Awesome Autographs: Lebron James 16X20 Autographed Finals Photo (UDA)

The Miami Heat have been unbelievably on  FIRE, riding a 19 game winning streak as of today. LeBron James is more than likely on his way to a 4th MVP and possibly a 2nd NBA Title. I had to get something Heat related of his for my collection. I have a UDA Ball signed by him, but it's from his days in Cleveland. I had been eying this piece for a while now and finally decided to bite the bullet and buy it. The photo is amazing and I love the big Gold Sig on it. Mission Accomplished I'd Say!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sentimental Favorites: 1974 Topps Lem Barney

It's been a long while since I've posted card related posts due to the fact well..I pretty much sold off my collection. I wanted to get back what this blog was about Sports Cards and Memories, and I thought what better way than the create a series of some of my most sentimental  cards that I have/had in my collection. They might not be autographed or numbered to 1, but these cards have stories and memories that last a life time. I'll start with this 1974 Topps Lem Barney. It's the 1st vintage card I ever bought. Back when I first started collecting when I was around 6, card shops ruled the hobby and even in our small town of Calallen we had 3 card shops operating. My favorite was Pop's Cards and Comics. I'd go in there and buy packs of 90-91 Hoops for .50. This card caught my eye in one of the discount bins. I had no clue who Lem Barney was, no idea he was a hall of famer. All my little kid mind knew was old=VALUABLE. This car has to be worth 100 bajillion dollars cause it's so old! So when I found it cost a quarter, I happily paid it and my first vintage card was in my collection. Now of course the corners are bad, but I didn't care ,it was old! I sold a lot of stuff over the past couple of years, this 74 Barney though, isn't one of them. It still resides in what's left of my collection.