Looking for that perfect holiday gift for the baseball card collector in your life? The holiday season brings several baseball card events to the New York area, which means there are several opportunities to snag that rookie card your loved one has been dreaming of.
See the list at JP's Sports Rock Solid Promotions, and be sure to leave a comment below if you know of another event in your area.
Twenty years after his rookie card helped introduce a promising newcomer to the world of baseball cards, Ken Griffey Jr. is returning to the place his career started. Fittingly, Upper Deck is celebrating Junior's return to Seattle with several special cards.
The 1989 Upper Deck Baseball set was the company's first, and it helped change the hobby forever by upping the ante on the quality of cards and packaging. Griffey's rookie card (No. 1 in the set) caught fire as the then-teenaged phenom hit the big leagues in a textbook case of perfect timing.
Now that Griffey is a Mariner again, Upper Deck is paying its respects with a pair of cards that will be available over the next few weeks. The card pictured here is a short-printed insert that can be found in packs of 2009 UD Piece of History Baseball, which is set to go live in early April. A second card will be part of a promotion at participating hobby stores that will take place just before Opening Day.
With another round of fortuitous timing taking place, don't be surprised if Upper Deck has more Griffey-related goodies in store as the homecoming season progresses.
Image courtesy of and copyright Upper Deck.
It is a tad early to do a top 10 list of rookies to collect this year as I did for 2008 and 2007, simply because the NFL Draft plays such a big part in helping to shape that list. The opportunity for early playing time and the market a rookie ends up in both play big parts in his collectibility.
Still, it's not out of the question to point out some names to watch now that the scouting combine is underway. Quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez will try to emulate Matt Ryan, with intriguing and athletic Pat White also turning a lot of heads in Indianapolis.
There doesn't appear to be an Adrian Peterson in this year's crop of running backs, but there is depth led by the likes of Chris "Beanie" Wells and Knowshon Moreno. All-everything (but currently injured) Michael Crabtree, lightning-fast Darrius Heyward-Bey and super playmaker Percy Harvin are at the front of a speedy group of receivers, and linebacker Aaron Curry is talented enough to be the No. 1 overall pick.
There's no guarantee this season's top rookie will come from this group of names, but they're a good starting point to have in mind when opening packs of new football cards in the next few months.
Just because one person completed Upper Deck's mammoth Yankee Stadium Legacy set didn't mean others stopped trying.
Upper Deck announced yesterday that a second person, Chuck Sauter of Pensacola, Florida, has finished putting together the 6,661-card insert set that commemorates every game ever played in the old Yankee Stadium. He follows Tommy Baxter of Little Rock, Arkansas, who pulled off the feat last November.
Sauter's story is interesting because he is a lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan who originally intended only to collect cards of the games that featured his favorite team. He eventually decided to tackle the whole thing, but it does drive home the point that there are a lot of different ways to appreciate the set without trying to accumulate all of the cards.
Sauter will receive the same prize package as Baxter, which includes a trip to New York to see the Yankees in their new home and a chance to meet Derek Jeter. That leaves three sets of prizes left for anyone else who's still thinking about taking on the Yankee Stadium Legacy challenge.
The U.S. got a National Baseball Card Day in 2008, so it's only fitting that Canada gets a National Hockey Card Day, right?
On February 21, Canadian collectors will be able to visit their local hobby shop, Walmart, Toys 'R' Us or London Drugs to pick up a free five-card pack of hockey cards from a 15-card National Hockey Card Day set produced by Upper Deck. You can see the Sidney Crosby card right here; other players on the checklist include Gordie Howe, Jarome Iginla and Steven Stamkos.
To get more details and find participating locations close to you, visit the NHCD page on Upper Deck's site.
Meanwhile, In The Game has announced the results of its contest that allowed collectors to have the ultimate power of choice over the cards they'd like to see. Hockey enthusiasts got to vote from among eight different significant years in the sports' history, with In The Game producing a new set based around the winning year.
And the winner is... 1972 - the year the WHA was born and the Summit Series took place - with 1980 and the Miracle on Ice finishing second. Keep an eye on In The Game's site, as the company will unveil details on the 1972-themed set on March 1.
Image courtesy of and copyright Upper Deck.
I don't get into NASCAR much on here, because even though racing collectors are a passionate bunch, that segment of the hobby simply doesn't have as much going on as the "Big Four" sports. I do consider myself a racing fan, though, and it's especially appropriate to think of racing cards today as the Daytona 500 gets ready to roll.
The economy seems to be casting a larger pall over Sprint Cup racing than some other sports, but everyone's focus should be squarely on the action in front of 200,000-plus fans this afternoon. From Tony Stewart starting life as an owner/driver to Mark Martin joining the Hendrick team for one last shot at a championship to the 500 debut of teen phenom Joey Logano, compelling storylines are everywhere.
One of those men could join the list of Daytona winners, but defending series champ Jimmie Johnson and some other talented drivers who have already won the Super Bowl of stock car racing won't make it easy for them. It's not hard to put together a complete collection of rookie cards for the six active drivers who have won the Harley J. Earl trophy, and it makes a fun little set of cards. Click on the link below for the details.
Two pieces of news broke over the last 24 hours that may be of interest to collectors. Earlier today, Brett Favre announced that he was retiring for the second straight year. Given the way the New York Jets came apart down the stretch, it will probably stick this time.
Football fans definitely experienced Favre fatigue after he retired and returned in 2008, so I don't expect a big surge in interest in his cards this time around. There's virtually no way he won't enter the Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot, though, so in five years we're going to see fans revisit his collectibles when he gets his bust in Canton.
The second story is a happy ending to one that made the national media last year, when Bernice Gallego, a 72-year old woman from California, found a baseball card from 1869 and almost sold it for $10 on eBay. Alerted by others that what she had was a lot more valuable than she thought - the Peck & Snyder Cincinnati Red Stockings card is one of the first baseball cards of any kind - she sold it at auction last night for over $75,000.
Some observers have expressed surprise that it didn't sell for even more, but I don't think Gallego will complain. You can read the whole story on the auction at Beckett.com
Image courtesy of and copyright Donruss Playoff.
While collectors and the current NBA basketball card manufacturers have been quick to react to the announcement that Panini would take over as the lone licensee later this year, there hadn't been much in the way of comment from Panini itself. That changed yesterday, as Beckett.com unveiled an interview with Peter Warsop, a senior executive from the Italian company.
Among the topics Warsop touched on were the need to balance the tastes of the domestic and foreign markets and the rumor that Panini was looking into acquiring part or all of Donruss Playoff. Dedicated basketball collectors will want to read the whole interview for a look at where the hobby is headed.
Two things stood out to me. The first was an acknowledgement that there are too many brands on the market, something that many dealers and collectors have been saying for years.
The other was the stated goal of trying to figure out better ways of getting new collectors into the fold. And yes, that idea is hardly a new one, but having fresh minds attack the problem gives real hope that some creative approaches can be found.
One thing is certain: it's going to be an interesting fall on the hoops side of the hobby.
With money tight for so many people right now, you may be considering parting with some of the cards in your collection. It's never a bad idea to trim the fat a little, but remember that lots of other people are currently having the same thoughts.
The forces of supply and demand affect sports cards just like they do any commodity, and with the economic downturn in full swing, there's more sellers than buyers out there - and it's likely to stay that way for at least the rest of 2009.
That means if you're going to sell now, sell smart. Take advantage of temporary spikes in demand. For example, you want to have Steelers and Cardinals cards for sale before the hype from the Super Bowl completely disappears, and LeBron James and Kobe Bryant cards ready to go this spring in case one of them leads his team to a title.
You also want to brush up on how best to describe and present your cards, especially if you're planning on selling them yourself online. To read more top tips and times for selling your sports cards, just follow the links below.
Well, I was close.
Larry Fitzgerald did everything within his power to help the Cardinals overcome a double-digit deficit, and Ben Roethlisberger kept numerous plays alive and threw the game-winning touchdown. But Santonio Holmes outshined both of them, making four catches on the decisive drive alone, none better than his ballet-like effort to keep both feet on the ground while hauling in the final score.
Coming up big in the Super Bowl is no guarantee of lasting popularity among football collectors, but players who do usually get a nice short-term boost. For proof of that, you may recall that even then-Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri made his way onto the Beckett hot list following his big game heroics. Expect the same for Holmes, at least until the hysteria among Steelers fans over the team's sixth title subsides.