Thursday, July 14, 2011

Have You Seen Me???

'98 Upper Deck SPx ProMotion Football & Basketball

As many of you know, I'm putting together the late 90's Upper Deck SPx ProMotion, Cornerstones and Duo View sets for all four of the major sports. The design of these sets are very similar featuring die cuts and holograms. I have been doing well with the sets from '97, but have not had much luck with the basketball and football cards from '98. So I'm putting an all points bulletin out for these cards. If anyone out there has ANY of the cards from the 1998 basketball or football Upper Deck SPx ProMotion sets and would like to work a trade out, let me know. You can view my trade/want list here. Thanks and… "Enjoy Every Bounce of the Ball".

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thomas Vanek In The Hoopography House: '09 Upper Deck Black Lustrous Materials

'09 Upper Deck Black Lustrous Materials Thomas Vanek
UD Black is one of my favorite product lines in the hobby, and to find a UD Black card of one of my hometown Buffalo Sabres makes this recent purchase a hat-trick. I nabbed this Thomas Vanek Lustrous Materials card a few weeks back for $15.00. That's not the cheapest card for my collecting budget, but it's not too bad. Actually, for an auto'd/multi-color jersey card of a 35 goals/year NHL scorer, I thought it was a nice deal. One things for sure though, I can't wait for the upcoming release of 2011 Upper Deck The Cup. I hope to pick up a few more cards of my Buffalo Sabres.

Friday, July 8, 2011

What Size Case Fits The 2010 Upper Deck Exquisite Rare Materials Cards?

2010 Upper Deck Exquisite Rare Materials
I recently bought this 2010 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rare Materials card of former Buffalo Bills QB Jim Kelly. It's a cool card with the four pieces of game used materials. I also really like how Upper Deck utilized the gold foiling, but I have one sort of major issue. I like to keep many of my cards in snap magnet cases. I keep a good number around of different sizes so I have a case for when I get a new card in the mail. However, I have not been able to find a case that this ultra thick card will fit into. Not even a 180pt will do. So I thought I would check before I go out and buy any more cases. Does anyone know what size cases will fit these Rare Materials cards perfectly? Thanks for the help and… "Enjoy Every Bounce of the Ball".

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

KICKS: The Nike Air Penny I's In The Hoopography House!!!

As you all know by now, I'm a huge Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway fan. I collect Hardaway cards, posters and now kicks. Actually, these Nike Air Penny I's are the second pair of Hardaway kicks that I've laced up. About 16 years ago I had an original pair with this Orlando Magic colorway. They looked great back then and these retro's look even better today.

The retro's were released this past February or March, but sold out in my area pretty quickly. Every now and then I would go into the many sporting good stores I frequent and see a pair on the shelves. However, a random size 8 or 18 isn't really going to help me. A couple weeks ago I again saw a pair on the shelf and asked the young punk working in the store if they had any pairs in size 10 or 10.5. He proceeded to just laugh at me. I left the store like a wounded puppy with my tail between my legs. Fortunately, I'm persistent and went into a discount/surplus Foot Locker about a mile from my house this weekend and again saw a pair on the shelf. They had one pair of size 10's left. Did I feel like a kid in a candy store? Nope, I felt like a sneakerhead in a sneaker store.

Happy collecting and… "Enjoy Every Bounce of the Ball".

Here's a stock photo of the Nike Air Penny I's along with the actual size 10's!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Trade Bait: Bobby Richardson, LeBron James, UD The Cup, And More...

Due to a number of recent player personnel moves in the NBA and NHL, as well as a few recent eBay purchases, I've got a few new cards to trade. You can checkout all the cards I have up for trade and what I'm looking for on my Trade/Want List page. Below are some of the cards I have up for trade. Please feel free to leave a comment, send me a message on Facebook or at Happy collecting and… "Enjoy the Thrill of the Trade".

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pudge Rodriguez and Mike Piazza In The Hoopography House: '97 Upper Deck SPx Cornerstones

'97 Upper Deck SPx Cornerstones Rodriguez/Piazza
I know it's been about a week or so since my last post. I've been extremely busy with work and family. I actually became an uncle this past weekend which I'm very excited about. With as busy as I've been though, don't think I'm not collecting or staying up to date with the hobby happenings. I just got in a few new items in recently and I'm posting today about what I think is a pretty sweet addition to my late 90's Upper Deck SPx Pro Motion and SPx Force sets. As many of you probably know, I'm currently putting together all of the SPx Pro Motion, Cornerstone, Duo View and Force sets from '97 and '98 for football, baseball, hockey and basketball. It's a tall order, but I'm a huge fan of the die-cut and hologram designs from these sets.

This Ivan Rodriguez and Mike Piazza card is the second card from the '97 baseball Cornerstones set I've been able to add to the collection. The first one I got was the Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez you see to the right. These cards are beautiful. The set name is Cornerstones, but they are basically the same design as the basketball and football Pro Motion sets. I'm not quiet sure why Upper Deck decided to call the baseball and hockey (Duo View) sets by different names. No matter what the name, one thing is for sure. The gold foiling in the backgrounds, die-cut designs and crystal clear holograms make these inserts standout. I paid $5.00 including shipping for the Rodriguez and Piazza. It's not that the baseball Cornerstones cards sell for exorbitant prices, but that was a Rickey Henderson type steal.

I apologize for the lack of posts last week, but I needed some time to focus on a view other things. No worries though. I have a number of new items that I just added to my collection that I'm excited to post about over the next few days. Happy collecting and… "Enjoy Every Crack Of The Bat".

Monday, June 13, 2011

Which Is More Impressive: Handlebar Mustache or Mullet?

The mullet maybe a little tough to make out on this 1993 Upper Deck SP cards, but Rod Beck definitely had one back in the day. However, I'm going with the handlebar mustache as more impressive. I just think it's pretty cool. Those Reebok cleats aren't too bad either. Gotta like old school. What do you think?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Product Preview: 2011 Panini National Treasures Basketball

Other than the feverishly hot Blake Griffin RC Auto, last year's 2010 Panini National Treasures was a bit of a disappointment. It looked less like the hobby's high end basketball product and more like one of Panini's sticker books. I know 2010 NT sold well both in the retail and secondary markets, but that had more to do with the Griffin chase and less with the overall product. That's never a good thing for the perception of a product or a company, but it looks like Panini might have vastly improved upon 2010 NT with the upcoming August 3rd release of 2011 National Treasures Basketball.

Below are a few of the images Panini released on their official blog called The Knight's Lance. These images really look amazing and have got this collector's juices flowing. Each eight card box will include six autographed or memorabilia hits per box. It looks like most of those auto's will be on-card (at least from what the released images reveal). That's a big step in the right direction for the hobby. There is no reason a high end product such as National Treasures shouldn't feature a trading card/memorabilia company's best. And by "best", just checkout some of the cards below. If 2011 NT Basketball is anything like the early preview images, us collectors are in for a treat!!! What do you think?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Alonzo Mourning In The Hoopography House: '94 Fleer Illustration

'94 Fleer Illustration Alonzo Mourning
This 1994 Fleer Illustration card of Alonzo Mourning isn't worth really much at all, but it sure is fun!!! I'm a big fan of those old school Charlotte Hornets jerseys, and Mourning is one of the all-time warriors of the NBA. As much as I liked Zo and how he approached the game, I'm up in the air on the Hall of Fame. At 17.1 points/game, 2.8 blocks/game and 8.5 rebounds/game he does have respectable career stats, but I'm not quiet sure those numbers are enough. Certainly time will tell, but what do you think? Is Alonzo Morning an NBA Hall of Famer?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Did Shaquille O'neal Maximize His Talent?

To say Shaquille O'neal didn't have a Hall of Fame career is ridiculous. However, did he maximize his talent throughout his 19 year career? Did he really get everything he could have out of that 7'1'' 300 plus frame? I've argued for many years that he did not. Sure, I was a big fan of the Shaqdaddy throughout his illustrious career, but there were certainly times that I questioned if he was fully invested in the happenings on the court.

Reebok Shaq Pump
For someone with the size, strength and athleticism of O'neal, there shouldn't have been anything that stopped him. For the most part, there wasn't a player in the league that could stop him except maybe himself. Shaq has never successfully completed an 82 game NBA regular season in 19 tries. In fact, he averaged only 64.5 games per season. I understand that a man that size wasn't exactly treated like a little baby out there. The term "hack-a-chaq" was created for a reason. The real issue here is conditioning.

We all have our different body types, but it didn't look like O'neal spent the necessary time a professional athlete should have on his body as other great centers did like a David Robinson. I wonder how much more dominant Shaq could have been had he worked to keep his body in peak conditioning. How many more injuries could have been prevented at at what level he could have performed at had he worked to keep his body in better physical condition. Let's face it, that "Shaq Versus" show was entertaining, but it really was the cross-training workout he was touting.

No doubt, O'neal is a top 10 all-time great, but could he have been in the top 5 or even 3? Maybe, but I guess we'll never know. One thing is for certain. I like collecting the early O'neal inserts and auto's. A couple of my favorites from my collection are posted above. Enjoy the NBA Finals and… "Every Bounce of the Ball".

Friday, June 3, 2011

What Summer Releases Are You Most Excited For?

Although I'm most excited for the 2011 Upper Deck The Cup hockey release, I haven't actually seen any pictures yet. So I'll exclude The Cup from this conversation. However, it's safe to say that UD will do a great job with that product. I'm also pretty interested to see how Panini's Dominion Hockey product will fair against The Cup. As for a few other products I'm looking forward to this summer, Topps' Lineage baseball release should be fun along Panini's Gold Standard basketball.

I know there are a number of nice products coming out over the summer and I for one am very excited as usual. The above mentioned products are just a few of the many trading card releases that are sure to get my collecting juices flowing. What upcoming summer releases are you most excited about this year?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Poll: Is Phil Jackson The Greatest Coach In Professional Sports History?

Is Phil Jackson the greatest coach in professional sports history? Although I was a huge Chicago Bulls fan during the 90's like many young wannabe ballers during that time, I don't believe the Zen Master deserves the title. I think there are essentially two schools of thought on Mr. Jackson. You either believe he's the greatest coach in professional sports because of the 11 Championship rings or you think he was in the right place at the right time with the right players. I believe the later is true.

Sure, there had to be some level of coaching involved to win those 11 rings, but he also had the best players of their respective time periods in their primes with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O'neal and Kobe Bryant. I think he should have won as many title as he did. What do you think? Is Phil Jackson the greatest coach in professional sports history?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Poll: What Sport Do You Collect The Most Memorabilia/Cards of?

I think it's pretty safe to assume that most collectors have a variety in their sports memorabilia collections. Sure, there are certain players, teams and sports we all collect, but I know many collectors who have great collections featuring items from all sports. I'm sure there's even a reader or two that has a modest cricket or football (soccer) collection they're building. With that said, many of us still have one sport or player from a particular sport that we focus our collections around and I'm no different.

I recently inventoried my sports memorabilia collection and am now able to break my collection down into the four major sports. I know I collect a lot of hoops memorabilia, but I was surprised to see how diverse my collection actually has become. To beak it down for you, 48% of my collection is basketball related, 20% football, 19% baseball and 13% hockey. I do realize how dorky it was to inventory my collection to get these percentages, and I'm assuming many readers aren't as dorky as me. So I made the poll a little simpler: What sport do you collect the most?

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Jordan Collection (Part 14): '98 EX-2001 Gravity Denied

'98 EX-2001 Gravity Denied Michael Jordan
I'm no physicist, but I don't think Mr. Jordan's gravity has ever been denied. Even still, this is a pretty cool 90's insert and affordable too. I don't remember how much I paid for this one, but it's safe to say I got a pretty good deal on it when I picked it up a couple years back. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bought it.

The card is plastic and actually also has a clear protective cover that slides on and off the image. The image itself is very vibrant. The red of the Bulls jersey just pops off the card. Certainly one of the cooler and more unique Jordan inserts of the 90's. It's especially different since it has a little punch out for your keychain or lanyard. Not that I've used it as a keychain, but it's cool. This 20 card set is very affordable to put together and features some great players. Here's a link to the Bay with a few cards from the set (here).

Happy Collecting and "Enjoy Every Bounce of the Ball".

Monday, May 23, 2011

Super Joe Montana In The Hoopography House: '97 Upper Deck SPx ProMotion

'97 Upper Deck SPx Promotion Joe Montana
I know it's been about a week since my last post, but I'm back with what I think is a pretty sweet addition to my late 90's Upper Deck SPx Pro Motion and Force sets. As many of you probably know, I'm currently putting together all of the SPx Pro Motion, Cornerstone, Duo View and Force sets from '97 and '98 for football, baseball, hockey and basketball. It's a tall order, but I'm a huge fan of the die-cut and hologram designs from these sets.

This Montana is my fourth card from the '97 football Pro Motion set and I think really the best. The Barry Sanders is a nice card and so is the Dan Marino, but I hate Marino. So therefore, the Montana is the winner. At least it is for me. I remember him playing for the Chiefs and going to a Bills game here in Buffalo with my dad just to see the legend himself. Also the price on this card wasn't too bad either. I paid $13.00 which really is very reasonable. I once tried to buy this card two years ago at a card show for $25.00, but the seller wouldn't go any lower than $35.00. So for $13.00, I'm a pretty happy collector.

I apologize for the lack of posts last week, but I needed some time to focus on a view other things last week. No worries though. I have a number of posts lined up for this week. Happy collecting and… "Enjoy Every Sparkle on Super Joe's Super Rings".

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Who Remembers Those "Cool" Laser Backgrounds For The School Year Book Photo?

1993 Topps Beam Team Miller/Barkley/Drexler (Front)
1993 Topps Beam Team Miller/Barkley/Miller (Back)
By "Cool"… I really mean cool with no parenthesis. That laser background was awesome back in the day for those oh so important yearbook photos and it's still pretty sweet today. Sure, that's only one blogger's not so humble opinion, but Topps liked the design as well. The Beam Team inserts were popular in both the higher-end Stadium Club and base Topps sets during the mid-90's.

The above card is from the '93 Topps set and features Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller. That's not too shabby of a trio. These Beam Team cards were inserted into Series 2 packs at a modest ratio of 1:18. So they're not the most rare cards in the hobby, but they are fun. All of the usual suspects are included in this set: Jordan, Ewing, O'neal, Robinson, etc, and many of these cards can be added to collections for right around $.99. So not only is this a fun set with a totally rad design, it's also affordable.

Happy collecting and… "Enjoy Every Bounce of the Ball".

Friday, May 13, 2011

3 Sports... 3 Cards

Apparently, Blogger has had some issues the past couple of days. I'm not sure how this has affected other blogs, but I haven't been able to post for about 24 hours and my last post was deleted. Maybe somebody over at Blogger wasn't a hockey fan. Anyways, everything seems to be working just fine now. Since I got out of work an hour early, I figured I'd type something up quick.

I've been getting out sniped on eBay pretty regularly over the past few weeks. I've been so close on a number of cards I need for several of the sets I'm putting together, but just haven't been able to close the deal. As frustrating as that's been, there's always another poster, trading card or piece of memorabilia on my Watch List for me to bid on. Here are a few recent eBay wins:

'10 Upper Deck The Cup
Chris Butler Rc
My hockey fever continues with this 2010 Upper Deck The Cup Chris Butler RC. UD's The Cup has been the premier hockey product in the industry for sometime now. I know 2011 will be out soon, and I'm pretty excited about that. Also, Panini has just released a preview on The Knight's Lance for their high-end hockey product called Dominion Hockey. Both will feature on-card auto's and great patches. I'm pretty excited to see these two products go head-to-head.

The Butler card isn't autographed or anything fancy like that. It's just a well designed RC that is limited to only 25. Butler is a young defensemen for my Buffalo Sabres. He started the season as a healthy scratch most nights, but was often paired with Tyler Myers as the Sabres' top defensive duo by season's end.

I'm glad to add this super thick card to my ever growing hockey collection. It really didn't set me back too much either. I think I paid under $10 including the shipping. Well worth it for an up and coming player in the Sabres franchise. Hopefully Butler will be here in Buffalo for a longtime to come.

'97 Topps Finest Anfernee Hardaway
 Gold Refractor
I'm sure many of you know by now that I'm a huge "Penny" Hardaway collector. I was a fan back in his playing days and there are just a ton of great inserts and auto's out there of Hardaway to collect. Plus, who didn't like those Lil' Penny Nike commercials from the 90's? He is just a fun player to collect.

This 1997 Topps Finest Gold Refractor is a Hardaway card I've been going after for sometime. For some reason, I've gravitated to these Finest Gold Refractors. I have about 10 different ones right now. I'm not actually trying to put the set together… I swear. I've seen this Hardaway card sell for $30.00 bucks before and one also sold for $18.09 recently. However, I was somehow able to steal this one for $9.99. I can certainly deal with a half-price auction win!

It's been awhile since I've picked up a nice Hardaway card. Hopefully this Gold Refractor will get me back in the Hardaway swing of things. Especially if I'm able to pick one or two up for a few pennys. Gotta love a cheesy play on words.

'97 Upper Deck SPx Pro Motion Troy Aikman
The '97 Upper Deck SPx Pro Motion set is one of those sets I'm attempting to put together. Actually, I'm putting together all the SPx Pro Motion sets across all four major sports for both '97 and '98. This Troy Aikman is a great addition to the '97 Football set. I unfortunately scanned the card in a top loader, so the scan didn't turn out too great. Although I'm certainly no Dallas Cowboys fan, not bitter at all about Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII, I love the card's design. I'm getting close with both the '97 basketball and football sets, but the baseball and hockey are a struggle. Also, my '98 Pro Motion sets are coming along even worse, but I'll keep working on them. The chase is all apart of the fun. Happy collecting and… "Enjoy Every Bounce of the Ball".