New images of 2009 Ballpark Collection!

Upper Deck just released new images of their ‘Rookie Autographs’ insert line from 2009 Ballpark Collection. Once again, they have included into their product a Matt Wieters autograph, once a Razor exclusive.

Along with Wieters, you can find autographs of the Detroit Tigers’ babyface rookie phenom, Rick Porcello, Gordon Beckham, Colby Rasmus, David Price and more.

You can check out Upper Deck’s Facebook page HERE.

Introducing ‘The Big Hit’

While most companies today are now working with bloggers instead of against, none of them have done much in the way of promoting their product shortly before release. For example,  Wax Heaven did a product preview of 2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History way back in December and we collectors have not seen any new images since then.

Speaking of A Piece of History, it’s been live for a couple of days and while the overall blogger consensus is not a good one, there are still a couple of “hits” in the product that may be tempting enough to buy a box or two. On eBay, the boxes are selling for well under $70 dollars, with the lowest price being $63.00.

As for the biggest “hit” so far, it’s a tie between a David Price sticker autograph and a piece of memorabilia worn by none other than Bruce Lee. The Price autograph showed up as soon as cards from the product began appearing on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $500 dollars but sold for an even $100.

Two different Lee relics have sold recently; one for an even $50 and the one pictured below grabbed $99.99. As for a more unrealistic big “hit”, someone pulled a redemption for a DNA hair card and listed it for $6,000 dollars but ultimately settled on a grand.

You can see the completed auction, along with a list of the hair checklist HERE.

Cardboard Wars – David Price

In today’s Hobby scene, you’re no one until you have a Bowman Chrome rookie autograph. For Devil Rays phenom and 2009 Rookie of the Year candidate, David Price, his 2007 Bowman Chrome does not have one. Despite the lack of a certified signature, the Bowman and its parallels are considered his best cards by collectors.

Meanwhile, Bowman Sterling, Donruss, and a few other brands managed to get David’s autograph but still almost always play second fiddle to the Bowman Chrome. So if you had the money, which David Price rookie card would make it into your collection?

Would you choose the popular 2007 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor #’d to 50? Or would you take the less traveled path with a 2007 Bowman Sterling Black Refractor autograph #’d to 25 copies? The last Gold Refractor sold for $375 while the Black Refractor is on sale for $450 dollars.

So, who wins this edition of Cardboard Wars?

Topps has some explaining to do

In today’s hobby you truly have to beat the odds to pull a one of a kind card that is not only highly-desired but also has the ability to turn a profit. Today’s collectors spend thousands of dollars a month on cases filled with boxes with the hopes of pulling that one card that will keep you from sleeping on the couch after you sell it on eBay.

With that being said, Beckett Media user ‘All In Cards’ has a strong reputation on the forums for being one of the high rollers when it comes to buying cards. Recently, while going through 12 cases of 2007 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects, A.I.C pulled a Dual Autograph Superfractor redemption of former #1 Draft Pick David Price and future Royals Ace Luke Hochevar. After a long wait it turns out Topps could not fulfill his redemption and offered A.I.C a replacement card of much less value or $150 dollars in cash.

If that’s not a slap in the face, Topps even consulted with Beckett Media and it was then determined what the price offered would be. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see many true prospect Superfractors selling for $150 ANYWHERE. You are realistically looking at a card that will sell in the high $900’s or even more if it were on eBay.

Why am I not surprised? It’s Topps after all. These are the same guys that screwed me out of an Andrew Miller autograph and have yet to deliver on the Ross Detwiller Autograph redemption I pulled and sent out over six months ago. Where’s my card, guys?

If anyone is interested in what real customer service is all about, check out this video. Now THAT is how you keep collectors and your customers happy.

The #1 Draft Pick

Can you imagine what it’s like to be chosen the #1 overall draft pick in baseball? I sure as hell cannot. I imagine it feels something like being chosen first for dodge ball in 6th grade phys-ed, multiplied by 1,000. Here is a look back at every #1 draft pick since the year 2000. You be the judge on how they have faired so far.

2000 – Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian has turned out to be a very reliable, above-average baseball player since being drafted #1and even hit 30 home runs, 100 RBI last season but looking at his cards on eBay, it’s clear he doesn’t have much of a hobby following. At just 26 years of age he is at 99 career home runs which pretty much guarantees 300 for his career these days but not much else. Overall grade: B+

2001 – Joe Mauer

Joe has one of the bigger followings in the hobby and is clearly the most popular man in Minnesota. The fact that he is a catcher and hit .347 a few years back is amazing on its own but what worries me is that in 5 seasons in the bigs his career-high in games played is 140. Overall grade: B

2002 – Brian Bullington

It’s fair to say that Brian has been a bust so far in his career since he has only pitched in 18.1 innings from 2005-2007. The injury-plagued Bullington has a few cards on eBay but none selling for more than $4.99 currently. He is currently toiling in the minors. Overall grade: D

2003 – Delmon Young

Delmon, brother of Dimitri placed second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2007 but is off to a slow start this season. It should probably be noted that he is not a fan of umpires. Overall grade: B-

2004 – Matt Bush

If there ever was a roller coaster draft pick, Matt would be it. First, he was given a signing bonus of over $3 million by San Diego but received a suspension the very same year for his part in a nightclub fight. He eventually ended the season hitting .192, well below the “Mendoza Line”. The next season it was .221 in over450+ at-bats and the next year he broke his ankle. In 2007 the organization turned him into a pitcher and watched in disbelief as he tore a ligament in his elbow. You are not going to see much of Matt this season because he isn’t expected to play until 2009. Overall grade: D-

2005 – Justin Upton

Wow, if there ever was any doubt about #1 draft picks check out Justin Upton. How is this for an overview: no controversies, no lackadaisical play, just great numbers. In just 20 games Justin has 5 home runs, 13 R.B.I. and is hitting .368. Not bad for a 20-year old, right? There are currently 5 cards of Justin’s selling on eBay for $1,000 or more. Overall grade: A+

2006 – Luke Hochevar

Something tells me Luke cares more about money than playing baseball. I don’t know, you be the judge. So far he has not done much in the big leagues but recently he was called up from the minors when the Royals designated Hideo Nomo for assignment. Overall grade: C-

2007 – David Price

Way too early to tell but at 6’6 and weighing in at 220 lbs. he is going to be one of the pitchers to fear for years to come. Despite not having come close to pitching in the big leagues there are still some greedy eBay sellers looking to make one hell of a sick profit off Rookie Card nuts. Overall grade: N/A