Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ruminations on Hobby Life: Part II

Last week I published a series of what I called Ruminations on Hobby Life. It was a card collecting version of a popular website where people talked about the random thoughts that popped into their heads. This is a similar venture into my mind, with the goal of preventing these nuggets of info and ideas from continuing to drill into my cortex.

Here are a few more:

- Watching people try to defend their use of book value over recent eBay sales is like watching a baby try to walk before its able. They just try to stand and take steps, but ultimately just fall on their butts. Sometimes you even get a nice good cry out of them when they do.

- I know eBay keeps past auctions sales SOMEWHERE. How hard would it be to allow people to view all of them? Im actually curious. That's a lot of info, but I would expect it to be VERY beneficial to those who know how to use it.

- Have you ever seen a past card you owned come up for sale again? To me, its kind of trippy. I always watch those items just to get a portion of that feeling I had back when I owned it. I would guess it feels something like seeing an old friend from high school that you never really talked to.

- If a card company came up to you and offered to make a card of you, only one copy, would you take it? Im not sure I would. I mean, if I had a card made of me, I would want it to get into the hands of as many people as possible. Plus, if I had the only copy, that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? I would even sign 10,000 cards for free if it meant more people would pull them. I don’t want the fame, I just want there to be enough of them that all my haters could gather and do a card burning. That would be well worth it.

- Cool card idea: Dual autograph featuring big hits in Hockey or football. May be tough to get the guy who got destroyed on board, but the hitter would definitely be proud. I would. You know, like get a picture of one of those hits over the boards in hockey, one where you can just see the guy's feet or something. Get it signed by both guys. Even that one where the punter got blowed up on that kick return a few years ago. I would collect that set.

- I think it actually takes MORE effort to write a poorly spelled and gimmicky box break post on a message board than just a normal one. Yet, people still do it.

- If I were working for a card company, I would scour the fan favorites for players that only had one or two autos, and then create one of the coolest cards around. I bet it would sell for a lot. There has to be one or two of those players that exist. Hell, John Randle just went into the HOF, how many auto patches does he have?

- If a player charges 200 per card, but their auto sells for 150, do you think they know about it? I don’t think so. Maybe someone needs to tell Emmitt Smith that he cant charge what he does because his cards just arent worth that much. Its not like he needs the money right? Why do they even charge what they do? I guess if they did it for charity, it would be different.

- Do you find yourself looking at signatures from non-famous people and evaluating it as a sports autograph? I think athletes go to classes to create their signature. They just LOOK like a famous person's signature. I know Pat Neshek put a lot of thought into his, but he is crazy nuts. I got a check as a gift from one of my parent's friends for Noah, and I couldn’t help but think "this would look great as a cut sig!"

- With all the cards that are created each year, you would expect that there was at least one designer that snuck an easter egg into one of them. You know like photoshopping a sign in the crowd to say I love you to their kid or something. THAT would be epic to find.

- Cool card idea: Autograph set where the player inscribes their stats for their career game. You know, that one where they scored 8 TDs and rushed for 572 yards or something like that. Pujols would sure have a hard time with that one though.

- When the companies do autograph sessions with players and they sit there for four hours, I think its in their best interest to take a minute and a half and take some video. Show us what its like. That Tiger Woods video that UD did was awesome, too bad we didn’t get the full cut, where the IHOP waitress popped up from under the table when he was done.

- Another cool card idea: a redemption for every card of a certain player for the brand's entire card year. Super collectors would go freaking nuts.

- Yet ANOTHER cool card idea: Dual auto card of a young star player and their older favorite player. Im filled with these things. Its terrible.

- Since we are all about vanity, one of the companies should create a collector leaderboard for one of their spokespeople. Collectors enter their individual codes from the backs of that player's cards, and whoever gets the most points, gets to meet that person at the end of the year. Make autos and auto jerseys worth different amounts, and 1/1s get ridiculous points.

- Last cool card idea: HOF Class auto cards. 'Nuff said.

- Does anyone have more attachment to cards they have actually pulled? There are a few I have and wont sell because I pulled them. I think its dumb, but I cant let them go. I sold a Nolan Ryan auto that I pulled once, I regret it to this day.

That’s about it for now. If I think of more ruminations, maybe ill be able to create another one of these posts. I will say its fun to have a spot to write down ideas and thoughts like this.


  1. On the young star/favorite star...I think someone did that once. Maybe it wasn't auto's though.

    On the leaderboard one...that sounds like ToppsTown but with prizes.

    Most of the others, I either agree or like the ideas.

  2. Thats the thing, everything's been doen or tried before, but those things are still better than another piece of shit subset from Donruss Elite though.

  3. Actually, 2005 Donruss Greats did a concept of fan favorite autographs. The checklist includes guys like Minnie Minoso, Dave Parker, George Foster, Kent Hrbek, and Harold Reynolds. And relatively cheap too. I picked up a Harold Reynolds auto with "'87 SB Champ" inscribed for 12 bucks. The cards don't look too bad either.

  4. When I was working in retail, looking at signatures on the backs of credit cards made me think of sticker autographs all the time. I like your idea of the cards of lesser produced fan favorites. For instance, I don't think there's ever been an autographed card of '69 Cubs 2nd baseman Glenn Beckert or pitcher Bill Hands.

  5. I was going more for football, baseball has whole sets devoted to it.

  6. As far as the Tiger video with UD is concerned, I agree that it was great. Similarly, I thought it was really cool to see Kobe Bryant opening up packs Panini's CEO. They sat down and did nothing but break boxes, and we got some better insight into Kobe as a collector, much more than "oh yeah, I collected as a kid." He got really into it and was genuinely excited to pull a Kareem Abdul Jabbar auto from Limited. I thought this was a ton of fun to watch, and I wish there were more like it.

  7. Codes to meet players- That would be sick. Even if it was a lesser known player. It can't be that expensive to arrange a meet and greet. Maybe a few grand for airfare and a game of horse. You put a code on every Ty Lawson card, and you turn a small guys base cards into Kobe Bryant value on ebay. It would be great for everyone.

  8. >If a card company came up to you and
    >offered to make a card of you, only
    >one copy, would you take it?

    Obviously not many people probably do. The ability is there (UD offers custom cards) but I don't think many people outside of people who recreationally play sports have custom cards made.

    >I know eBay keeps past auctions sales

    Yes, it's a database that is accessable for a fee. You get 2 weeks of values or so free on ebay, going back further you pay ebay or whoever they might have as a company that saves the data for reselling. I think Beckett subscribes or is in a partnership wtih ebay for access to that database of older past sales.

    >Does anyone have more attachment to
    >cards they have actually pulled?

    I'm a collector, not a flipper. I don't have a single ebay sportscard sale to my name. The only sportscards I sell are on a non-ebay site and it's just my duplicate cards.

  9. When it comes to trades, I pretty much refuse to consider trading a GU/AU that I pulled from a box. Perhaps I place irrational value on it ($70 box, 2 autos per box... $35 per AU!!), but I don't spend all that much on the hobby, so I like to keep everything that comes out of my overpriced boxes.

    On the other hand, I'll sell cards I can get a lot for. Sketch cards are easy money, and I don't see the appeal in the first place, so there's no loss on my end.

  10. Unfortunately, I doubt Emmitt Smith would care.
    Besides, his beard... is weird. (At least according to Keith Hernandez and Walt Frazier.)

  11. Topps was doing individual hall of fame auto's for a while

    Ebay allows you to view past sales - only on a weekly basis

  12. Guys, I dont think we are on the same page. I know how to use the completed auction button on eBay. Im talking back further than 60 days.

  13. To a very limited extent you can see some completed ebay listings through the Wayback Machine. Search for archived copies of eBay, browse to the category you want and select Completed listings (at least for the editions back when it was still the set of "Current || New Today || Ending Today || Completed || Going, Going, Gone" breadcrumbs.

    Doesn't always work and not all listings are available, but I just browsed through several pages of listings from 2001 & 2002.

  14. "- Another cool card idea: a redemption for every card of a certain player for the brand's entire card year. Super collectors would go freaking nuts."

    If I remeber right, Fleer baseball did that same exact thing in 2002 or 2003. An eBay seller I used to frequently buy from pulled one and sold it for well over $1000. It included every base card, parallel, insert, auto, and GU for the following year's products. Obviously, 1/1s were not included with the redemption.

  15. I'd like to see dual autos from epic NHL fights. Domi v. Probert would have been a good one.

    I'd pay too much for a dual auto of Neely ramming Lemieux headfirst into the boards.