Collecting Kevin White – WR – WVU (or any player in their college uniform)

I am a big Kevin White collector.  I currently have no Kevin White cards, even though he has items from both Leaf and Sage out there.  There’s a reason that while a collector, I have no cards yet.

Last week Panini posted a blog previewing the upcoming Panini Contenders Draft Picks football and then this morning posted about cards that will be available at tomorrow’s NFL Draft.  There were a couple images of Kevin White cards.  Being a WVU alum, I will be picking up quite a few.  While I wish that Upper Deck still had the college license, it is what it is.

Kevin White Panini Contenders Draft Picks Gold
Kevin White Panini Contenders Draft Picks Gold
Kevin White 2015 Score NFL Draft
Kevin White 2015 Score NFL Draft

I am a hockey guy, for the most part.  I do have what I consider a pretty solid collection of former Mountaineers in their WVU uniforms.  It’s not anywhere close to updated, but you can see what I have uploaded here.  I love my alma mater and college football in general.  However, I couldn’t possibly be less interested in what happens in the NFL.  Over the last few years, I have bought s few boxes of Upper Deck Football and SP Authentic from Baseball Card Exchange in Indianapolis.  However, I’ve decided that I’m not busting football boxes anymore.  I will get into that a little more later.

If you’re going to collect players in their college uniforms, there are some things you should ask yourself.

1) How many players are you actually looking to collect?

2) What are you collecting for?  Fun? Resale value?

3) Do you trade (online or in person) a lot?

4) Who are the items for?

5) Are you trying to get EVERYTHING of a particular player or are you collecting more casually?

6) When should I buy singles?

To me, these are some of the questions that can help you determine the best way to go about things.  Perhaps busting boxes isn’t in your best interest and you can put that money into singles and actually better your personal collection.

How many players are you looking to collect?

Is your alma mater or favorite school one that has just a guy or two in the product?  If so, perhaps eBay, Collector Revolution, COMC, Sports Card Forum or even <GASP!> actual card shows are the best way to go for you.  Why spend $80-100 on a box, if you can spend less than $20 bucks and get (most of) the cards you want?  Think of what you can do with that extra money to actually better your collection.  Don’t forget the added space benefit.  There aren’t many collectors who just have an abundance of room to store cards they don’t want.

However, if you are an Alabama fan and there are ten Crimson Tide players in a particular product, the fun of busting boxes is much easier to justify.  In my case, collecting WVU players only, it’s a good year if there are two guys in the product.  Many years there is only one, or none.

The card companies are also working with individual players and/or reps.  Sometimes, even high draft pics don’t make it into products.  Sadly, there are no Bruce Irvin cards of him pictured in his WVU uniform.  Upper Deck, SAGE and Press Pass all failed to make it happen.  It’s not as though Irvin was a third round pick (and we know plenty of those guys make it into product).  He was drafted 15th overall by the Seattle Seahawks.

What are you collecting for?  Fun? Resale value?

Sorry if I insult any readers, but if you bust boxes thinking that you’re going to make money, you are dumb.  This rarely happens and most collectors know this.  It’s also the wrong reason to be in the hobby, but I will save that for another day.

If you’re going to bust with hopes of making money, college sets are NOT the way to go.  With few exceptions, these cards level out and end up worth much less than their counterpart NFL sets.  There are more people collecting players in NFL uniforms.  It’s as simple as supply and demand.

Do you trade (online or in person) a lot?

Selling online isn’t really a good idea for most cards.  If you get 50% of book value out of your cards, you are lucky.  Most of the time you end up selling them at a lot less.  The best thing to do is trade online.  In my case, I mostly bust hockey.  I don’t have a lot of traders and I have a very limited want list.  Also, it IS very time consuming to trade online.  I spend a lot of time on hockey and just don’t have more to spare to trade off football cards.

Another option you might have is local card shows.  My experience is that for a one day show, tables are in the $35-50 range.  There is a lot of time and money that goes into getting ready for a show if you’ve never done it.  Then, there’s the question of even making your table money back.  Unless you set up consistently or have a lot of high dollar, desirable items, this isn’t always the best option.

If you aren’t doing any of these things, what are your options for “dead” items that you have?  I mentioned it earlier, but most of us don’t have an abundance of space.

Who are the items for?

Are the cards for you, or for junior?  Most of us love the autographs, jerseys and low numbered items.  If the cards are for your son or daughter, why not just buy them some base cards if they are new to collecting.  Heck, buy a lot of cards and give them to the kids on junior’s baseball team.

I started collecting at eight and took very good care of my cards.  As I’ve become an adult, I’ve been around enough kids that age to learn that I was likely the exception.

Are you trying to get EVERYTHING of a particular player or are you collecting more casually?

If you want it ALL, then obviously you have to be buying from the start.  There’s no time that more product is opened at once than in the first few days.  Odds dictate this being the most likely time for the rare cards to make it to online marketplaces.  This also means you’ll shell out more money, but if you want an item, sometimes you pay more than you want to or know that you should.

If you’re collecting casually, there’s no need to jump in early.  Let others overpay!  A couple of weeks down the road, you will be able to pick items up at a much more discounted price.  Your “competitors” have picked theirs up (likely at a higher price) and moved on.

When should I buy singles?

I will just go ahead and assume that every person reading this is like me and has just wondered “How does that guy have the money to pick up all of that stuff.  I can’t compete.”  Those of us that can’t dedicate endless amounts of money to our habit…errrr….I mean “hobby,” need to use an adage I adapted from an old job.  “Work smarter, not harder” was something we heard weekly.  I just started telling myself to “collect smarter.”

Don’t buy items over the next few days.  NFL fans of the team that drafts White will be looking to pick up some pieces of their new receiver.

I tend to buy items that I know will be readily available later, once the price has come down.  Many times, I can find WVU players at card shows in quarter or dollar boxes.  Why spend three dollars to ship one, just to have it a week after release?  If you’re looking for base cards and can wait, consider comc.com.  While you might pay more for an individual card, a flat $3 shipping fee saves you money.  You can buy, they will hold, and when you want to ship, you just add $3.  Most times that’s the fee for one card on eBay.  Multiply that buy buying 20 different cards and you’ve spent $60 on shipping alone.  Meanwhile, you could spent that extra $57 on CARDS instead of shipping on COMC.

You may have other ideas that I didn’t address.  Heck, maybe I didn’t even think of them.  Feel free to let us know how YOU collect players from your favorite school.

Happy collecting and enjoy this weekend’s #NFLDraft.

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#Mailday – The 2014-15 Fleer Ultra Hockey Redemptions are LIVE!

The best maildays are the unexpected ones.  I couldn’t even figure out WHAT I was getting from Upper Deck, until I opened it.  You would think I’d remember, since I only bought one box and hit the #1 card in a Gold Medallion and also the #4.  I’d say that was a pretty good box.

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I had thought about selling the redemptions on eBay, but seeing the Jonathan Drouin Gold Medallion at only about $30 and the Leon Draisaitl at only around $5, I decided to redeem them myself.  With the Edmonton Oilers winning the number one overall pick, that might be a good choice.  Edmonton will draft Connor McDavid.  If they don’t, downtown Edmonton might look like current day Baltimore.  This will allow Edmonton to potentially trade one or two of their younger studs and make way for Draisaitl, who could play alongside McDavid.

It was certainly a fantastic mailday!

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 13

Despite losing last night’s game and the series, Jaroslav Halak’s play in goal was spectacular.  He made 24 saves on the night and was even awarded the third star of the game.  Halak played every game for the Islanders, going 3-4 in the series with a 2.30 goals against average.

Like many others, Halak’s best rookie card is from “The Cup.”

2013-14 The Cup #75 Jaroslav Halak
2013-14 The Cup #75 Jaroslav Halak

Five copies have sold on eBay since early February, ranging from $28 all the way up to $100.  There are three currently listed.  You can pick up one now as low as $50.  The highest asking price is $100, with the best offer option.

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 12

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 11

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 10

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 9

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 8

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 7

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 6

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 5

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 4

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 3

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 2

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 1

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 12

The Minnesota Wild eliminated the St. Louis Blues yesterday, making this guy one happy man!  One of the most underrated stars in the league, Zach Parise, scored his second and third goals of the series, to lead the Wild to the victory.

The supply for Parise’s 2005-06 rookie from The Cup appears to have all but dried up.  Numbered to 199, there have only been three sold on eBay lately and there are five more currently available.   The two sold cards have for $280.  Two of the currently available are less than that, at the moment.  The others are asking as high as $999, while high Beckett book value is $300.

2005-06 The Cup #113 Zach Parise
2005-06 The Cup #113 Zach Parise

There’s not even a close second place on Parise rookies.  The next highest sold item is an SP Authentic Future Watch autograph graded 9.5 by BGS.  It sold for $53.

Enjoy the rest of tonight’s hockey!

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 11

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 10

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 9

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 8

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 7

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 6

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 5

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 4

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 3

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 2

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 1

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 11

Saturday night Matt Stajan scored his first career playoff goal with 4:13 to go in the game, giving the Calgary Flames the win and eliminating the Vancouver Canucks from the playoffs  Down 3-0 in the game late in the first, he also made the primary assist on Michael Ferland’s goal, giving Calgary some momentum going into the intermission.

Today’s card of the day is one that I have, and there are only ten of them.   I pulled this from a box that I picked up from Baseball Card Exchange in Indianapolis.  I always had good luck out of my boxes that I purchased there and it’s one of the only things I miss about Indianapolis.

2013-14 Upper Deck High Gloss #281 Matt Stajan S#03/10
2013-14 Upper Deck High Gloss #281 Matt Stajan S#03/10

Stajan isn’t heavily collected.  A quick eBay search of completed items shows his highest sold card only went for $88.  Other numbered cards from between 5 and 25 only range from $15-$30.  While not heavily collected and not well known, he was a hero in Calgary for a night.  If you have any interest in this one, you can find it here.

Calgary has advanced to the second round and he will get more chances, #becauseitsthecup.

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Editions – Day 10

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 9

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 8

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 7

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 6

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 5

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 4

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 3

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 2

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 1

PACK BREAK: 1984 Topps Baseball

A few weeks ago, I went into a card shop that I’d never been to before, Autographs Ink, in Richland Hills (TX).  It was definitely an interesting shop and I will certainly be writing more on it in the future.  I didn’t find much for myself in there, but they did have some old baseball wax for sale and a lot of early 1980s.  After the “VIDEO: Want to try some 1990 Topps Gum” piece that I posted on baseball opening day, one of our readers mentioned that he has opened some 1982 wax packs at Baseball Card Exchange in Indianapolis a few days before.

YUM! 30 year old gum!
YUM! 30 year old gum!

I didn’t start collecting cards myself until 1987.  For Christmas 1986, my uncle gave me the 1986 Topps set.  I am not being dramatic by saying that my life has never been the same since.  My parents were happy to help me with my new hobby and there’s no telling how many boxes of Topps and Donruss I busted as an eight year-old.

I’m not into dropping a lot of money on one pack, so I passed over the 1982 Topps.  I was okay with the price on the 1983 Topps, $8.  However, I already have a couple of Tony Gwynn rookies, so I passed.  I was intrigued by the 1984 Topps at a $5 price point.  I know the only “big” hit from the 1984 is the Don Mattingly rookie and my odds weren’t good.  However, for some nostalgia sake, I went ahead and traded a Lincoln for a pack.  When I opened it up, it was an interesting mix of players.  Some I had forgotten, others have stories and unfortunate circumstances.  It was a stroll down memory lane.

As I started to open the pack, this is what I saw:

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It brought a smile to my face.  As a kid, my first favorite team was the Braves.  I admittedly jumped from bandwagon to bandwagon as a kid and by 1989, I was a big Oakland A’s fan.  I knew he would be with another team on this card (hated to discover it was the Red Sox), but the quick thought back to youth was fun.  In 1989 and 1990, the man was almost unhittable.  He had pinpoint control and his ERAs those two seasons were just 1.56 and 0.61 respectively.  Dennis Eckersley was inducted into the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004.

Upon further examination, I noticed two things:

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The first, you can’t really tell in the scan.  There is a wax stain on the back of the card.   You don’t see those anymore, at least not naturally (I refuse to count the Heritage “stained” parallels).  It was another blast from the past.  Also, I never noticed that he was born in Oakland, which is where he had most of his best seasons.  Funny how life works, sometimes.

These were the commons/cards I don’t have much to say anything about:

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What I noticed though was the abundance of the baby blue jerseys that were so popular in the 1970s and early 1980s.  Off the top of my head, the Blue Jays, Mariners, Braves, Rangers, Mariners, Royals, Cubs, White Sox, Twins and Cardinals all had some sort of jersey with that color.

Moving on, I am probably too late for this contest.

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When I first saw “Expos,” I was excited that it might be a Tim Wallach card that I could send to @29collector for his Tim Wallach project (you should view his blog), but it wasn’t.  Nonetheless, this wasn’t the worst card in the world.

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Francona managed the Red Sox to two World Series titles and is the current Cleveland Indians manager.  Before that, he was the manager of the Birmingham Barons when Michael Jordan was on the team.

This one likely didn’t excite too many when it was pulled in 1984.

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Through the 1983 season, Bob Knepper has a 67-83 record in the major leagues.  However, the 1984 season started a nice run for him where he won 47 games through the 1986 season.  He also played in the 1988 All Star game and won 14 more games for the Astros that season.

Steve Howe is certainly one of the saddest stories in baseball history.  He won the 1980 National League Rookie of the Year Award, the second of four consecutive Dodgers to win.  Howe never played in the 1984 season.  After checking himself into a clinic for substance abuse (alcohol and cocaine) in 1983, he was suspended for the 1984 season after a relapse.

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Howe was ultimately suspended from Major League Baseball seven times, including a lifetime suspension for substance abuse in 1992.  He successfully appealed the suspension and played in the bigs until 1996.  In 2006, Howe rolled his truck and was killed.  Toxicology reports showed that he had methamphetamine in his system at the time.

LINK:  The Tragic Tale of Steve Howe

The 1984 season wasn’t a banner on for Ron Guidry, but it was the one rough season he had in a nine year stretch.

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From the 1977 season through 1985, Guidry was one of the best pitchers in the game.  He won 144 games over that stretch, eclipsing 20 in a season three times.  He was also a four time All Star and won the 1978 American League Cy Young Award (25-3, 1.74 ERA).  By the time I got into collecting, he wasn’t a factor anymore.  It was a few years before I understood how good Guidry was for almost a decade.

This card preceded the four year stretch later in the decade that Dave Stewart won at least 20 games each season.

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Playing for the late 1980s Oakland Athletics, Stewart won 84 games in the 1987-1990 seasons.  He finished between second and fourth each season for the American League Cy Young Award.  Like I mentioned earlier with Eckersley, when writing this I noticed that he too was born in Oakland, where he had his best years.   He was a World Series Champion three times, once each with Los Angeles, Oakland and Toronto.  He was hired on September 25, 2014, as the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

For me, Hall of Famer Steve Carlton is kind of an afterthought on this card.

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I previously mentioned that I started collecting in 1987.  At that point, Carlton’s best days were far behind him.  I liked this card because I feel Jack Morris is a seriously under-appreciated baseball player.  Morris won 254 games in his career and also had the most wins by any pitcher in the 1980s.  He was a five time All Star and on four World Series Champion teams.  When his forkball was on, that thing was just a nasty, nasty pitch.

If you’re reading this, I shouldn’t need to tell you anything about this guy.  I will just let this one be.

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Finally…you are as surprised as me.  I hit the best card that you could get out of this set.

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Random question, is it a “hit” if it’s out of a product that is ONLY base cards?

I know that at one time, I had one of these.  I may even still have it.  However, I bought it or traded for it.  This one, I hit myself.  Any TRUE collector will say that there’s something better about hitting a cool/high dollar card yourself instead of acquiring it.  I do think I will send this off to Beckett (it would be the first card I’ve ever had graded) just to get it slabbed.  It will always be a PC keeper.

Not bad for one $5 pack, if you ask me.  I got a cool piece for my PC and took a nice trip down memory lane.  If you enjoyed reading this half as much as I did opening and writing it, then I know I’ve done a good job.

Happy collecting!

Kin

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 10

The Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs last night, but it was not due to the performance of Marc-Andre Fleury.  Over the years, even winning the Stanley Cup once, Fleury has been a much-maligned figure among Penguin fans.

Somehow, a team featuring Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin has suddenly forgotten how to score.  I have heard people knowing a lot more about hockey than myself say that the Penguins wouldn’t have made it this far on the season without Fleury’s performance this season.  Most also feel he was Pittsburgh’s most valuable player.

2003-04 Upper Deck #234 Marc-Andre Fleury YG
2003-04 Upper Deck #234 Marc-Andre Fleury YG

As of writing, there are only two Fleury Young Guns cards for sale on eBay.  The lowest of the two is an auction, currently at $47, for a card that has a Beckett book of $60.  Sales since the beginning of February have ranged from as low as $27 all the way up to book value.

With 322 career wins at only 30 years old, it seems all but a certainty that he will end up with over 400 career wins.  Just 120 more wins would find him in the top five all time.  Averaging 37 wins a season over the last six full seasons, the biggest question could be if the Penguins can find enough scoring to win games.

EBay isn’t the only marketplace for cards, but it is undoubtedly the most popular.  The small supply of Fleury Young Guns recently sold and currently available does make me think.  Is there a chance that if he hits the top ten or five in career victories and wins another Cup, combined with low amounts seemingly available, could there be a significant spike in value?  Online prices creeping closer to “book” value (which we all know are high, compared to sales), indicated there is a chance.

As always, it’s your call if you want to buy.

Enjoy today’s games!

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 9

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 8

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 7

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 6

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 5

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 4

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 3

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 2

Hockey Card of the Day – Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Day 1