Information, News, and other generalities related to sports cards.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Are cards still for kids? At all?

As a dealer I understand that the market for sports cards moved away from 8 year olds and to 38 year olds a long time ago. Even at that I still thought that cards were still, if not intended for kids, produced with kids in mind. I thought that the MLBPA particularly wanted the companies to market to try to draw kids back into the hobby. Kids were still relevant in the hobby. Or not:

Seriously? This card is in the 2008 Topps Heritage baseball "News Flashbacks" insert set. Who produces a product for kids that features "Murders Committed"?

Booo on this one Topps.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 28, 2008

2008 Topps Heritage is coming!

Should have it tomorrow.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Card O' The Day (or every third day) - 1999 Upper Deck 450 Bobby Estallela

Here you go all. Card 'O The Day volume 2. 1999 Upper Deck #450 Bobby Estallela. I was really hoping the old number generator would spit out a card that was significant.. or better yet.. really old. Instead we have this. Lets make the best of it.

1999 Upper Deck:

Nothing too significant about this set. Just another in a long line of adequate UD base sets. This was a period where I had taken a hiatus from collecting so as to fund my excessive drinking college expenses. My firsthand knowledge of the nuance of this set is very limited. What I can tell you is that it was a two series release (as are practically all the UD base sets) and it has 525 cards in the set. If I can recall correctly you could pull an auto'd Griffey card out of series 1, which I imagine was probably a pretty big deal in 1999. (yeah, it books at $1250) The wax on these isn't readily available, but you can still find it if you look around a bit. Only one guy has the product for sale on Ebay and he's been unable to move the Hobby series 1 and 2 for $40 and $30 for about 3 weeks.

Bobby Estallela:

Good old Bobby is a 9 year big league veteran. Played catcher. Known by most as a Phillie, he also played with the Giants, Yankees, Rockes, D'Backs, and Blue Jays. Bobby doesn't appear to have ever been an every day player, having played in more than 47 games in a season only once. (106 with the Giants in 2000) His career highlight was hitting 3 home runs in a game in 1997. (3 home runs constitutes 6.25% of his career total, so.. wow!) He last played in the bigs in 2004.

Interesting trivia on Estallela: He was signed as a free agent by the Tigers in January 2004 and released three weeks later. Before spring training even started. That can't be normal.

Estallela is from Florida and his grandfather (also Bobby) played in the majors in the 1930's and 40's.

Estallela was named in the Mitchell report.. for what its worth. I can't get over the fact that there are FOUR Bobby Estallela fan clubs on Yahoo.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Card O' The Day (or every third day) - 2002 Topps 206 Pedro 113 Pedro Astacio

A new feature to our oft ignored blog: The card o' the day. We'll use a random number generator to spit out a number.. We'll go to our giant database, enter that number, and whatever card shows up.. that'll be the card o' the day. Today the number was 117642. That gives us the 2002 Topps 206 #113 Pedro Astacio.

2002 Topps 206:

If I recall this was the first set to revive the pre-war card design and names. Every year since Topps has done something similar. The set was released in three series. Series 1 was the hot item. When this product came out it generated a lot of excitement. I remember a story about series 1. We lived in California at that time and I knew all the shop owners in the area very well. A few weeks after this product came out one of the local shops still had 4 boxes in stock and he hadn't raised the price since its release date. I do not recall the price point on the product at release but it was probably in the $65-$75 range. The price quickly shot up to $100-$110. The product had been generating a lot of noise so I bought his last four. If I didn't crack it, I could sell it on the website. Later that same day I visited another shop, and the owner asked if I knew where he could find some 206 wax. He had sold out, and really wanted to pick up a few more boxes. In that short drive I went from a shop that couldn't sell it to a shop that was desperate to find it.

As Topps does occasionally do, they killed the product. Series 2 was overproduced and watered down, and by Series 3 I had lost all interest. We still have some Series 1, and a decent amount of Series 2, but we didn't pick up a single box of series 3. By 2003 they moved on to Topps 205, which wasn't nearly as popular.

Pedro Astacio -

A 15-year MLB veteran that last played in 2006. A starting pitcher for the Dodgers and Rockies for most of his career. He hopped from the Astros, Mets, Rangers, Padres and Nationals for the last 4 or so years of his career. On the Card O' The Day he is pictured in an Astros Uniform even though he played in all of 4 games for the Astros in his career.

He came into the league like a rockstar. In 11 starts in 1992 he threw 4 shutouts. His best full season came the next year where he finished 14-9 with a 3.57 ERA. He had some decent seasons after that and finished his career with a 129-124 record. During his career he led the league three times in home runs allowed, and twice in hit batsmen. Oops.

Interesting Factoid courtesy of Wikipedia: Astacio "is an amateur Jai Lai player and has recently applied for Pakistani citizenship so he may compete in the annual National Jai Lai Championships (NJLC)."

Labels: , ,