Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jonathan Stewart Collection - A Work In Progress

An update to my Football personal collection:

Here's a short update on some of the cards I've picked up for my personal collection in the recent weeks. Some off of eBay and a few pulled from an assortment of packs. These are all players that played for the Oregon Ducks, Jonathan Stewart and Patrick Chung are the two I plan on focusing on when dealing with Football at this moment.

2008 Topps Football - Jonathan Stewart (RC) #348:

First card is one I pulled earlier this week from a hobby pack I got for $2. Not to bad, I was pleased since this was the first pack of 2008 Topps I opened and did not already own Jonathan Stewart's Topps base rookie card which I assume would be essential if I plan on putting a Jonathan Stewart collection together. The pack of Topps lived up to it's $2 price tag because I also got a Eddie Royal gold foil rookie, nothing great but certainly two decent rookies are better then none.

2008 Donruss Elite - Jonathan Stewart Elite Status Rookie Card #117 [serial #'ed 05/28]:

This one here is a die-cut rookie card from 2008 Donruss Elite. This is one of my personal favorite's, for some reason I really like the design of this card. Sometimes the die-cuts can be over done and cut into some pretty interesting curves (ex: 2009 UD Icon's) the 2008 elite die-cuts are very sharp and simple and not overdone. Another plus when it comes to Elite is the shiny foil card although they are very sensitive to finger prints I personally like the look. I'm currently on the look for the autographed version of this card or perhaps the gold version I hope I'll be able to pick one up sooner or later. I received this card via eBay yesterday. The white Oregon road jersey was one of my favorites and J. Stew was wearing white when he ran for over 250+ yards against Washington in the 2007 season.

2008 Upper Deck SP Rookie Threads - Jonathan Stewart SP Authentics Rookie Autograph #SP-JS [serial #'ed 11/50]:

This card here is from SP Rookie Threads, a product that can empty your wallet for a total of six packs. This is the reason why I choose to purchase the card itself instead of attempting to open a box in hopes of anything Stewart. Not really a huge fan of this card design but decided to pick it up on eBay since the price wasn't too high and someday I hope to get an rookie auto from every product of the 2008 season. As you can see this is a sticker auto would much rather have it on card but hey you can't always get your way I guess.

2009 Donruss Classics - Jonathan Stewart Membership VIP Jersey/Patch? card #14 [serial #'ed 11/50] :

I'm looking to pick up as many #'ed jersey cards and autographs as I can throughout the 2009 Football season and started off with this 2009 Donruss Classics Patch(supposedly)/1-Color Jersey card. I wish this were a multi-color patch but instead I'm left with the single colored baby blue swatch. All-in-all I guess it doesn't matter since mulit-color patches would have cost a little more.

2009 Donruss Classics - Jonathan Stewart Monday Night Heroes (insert) #26 [serial #'ed 128/150]:

I also managed to get my hands on two more cards out of the 2009 Classics. This one here is a serial #'ed insert card that comes in multiple variations although I'm not positive of this. If there are variations I'll do my best to get them all if I can find them.

2009 Donruss Classics - J. Stewart #15 & 2009 Donruss Elite - J. Stewart #16:

Here is the basic base 2009 Donruss Classics along with the 2009 Donruss Elite Jonathan Stewart card. One of my goals is to collect every base J. Stew card each year, this is a decent start to the '09 football products.

2009 Topps Magic - J. Stewart #217 (Base & Autographed versions):

These next two are the base and autographed version of Jonathan Stewart's 2009 Topps Magic Football set. Topps Magic features all NFL players current/retired in their college uniforms. Jonathan is pictured in my personal favorite Duck uniform. Green helmet, Green shoulders w/ steel mark pattern and the Belloti bold font named after then head coach Mike Belloti along with black pants also w/ the steel pattern. I believe the logo on his right shoulder is that of the Brut Sun Bowl since that was the bowl Oregon attended at the end of it's 2007-08 season defeating the University of South Florida Bulls. As much as I can remember, Jonathan spent the day running up and down the field (not sure how many yards he got though).

2009 Topps Magic - D. Dixon / J. Stew #AD-DS & 2009 Topps Magic - J. Stew Black Mini #217:

Along with the two cards above, I have also been able to get my hands on a black mini, regular mini and this 'Alumni' card which features Oregon's Jonathan Stewart and Dennis Dixon. I'm not a huge collector of Dennis Dixon but sure had a blast watching these two work their 'magic' throughout the 2007 season. Watching the game live from the stands I'll be honest I never knew who had the ball, you just hear cheers and see Stewart running all by himself towards the end zone while the defense is forming a dog pile on quarterback Dennis Dixon. This was one memorable season even though it choose to end with the Ducks without a shot at the BCS National Title game due to an injury to Dixon during a game down at the University of Arizona with only three weeks left and a path to the title game in sight.

That's a wrap on what I added to my Jonathan Stewart collection recently. Feel free to let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You got 100 pitches or less... Make every pitch count!

I just got done reading the article posted by Tim Kurkjian on (check it out here Baseball's magic number: 100). Within this article Kurkjian covers the issue of pitch counts and it's current magic number of 100 pitches for pitchers in today current game. Pitch counts are in place to protect players arms, but maybe even more important to managers trying to protect their jobs. Managers that limit players to pitch counts can save themselves the blame if their players do end up getting injured. Managers ultimately are the one's who call the shots and in this case are held responsible for the period of time they leave their pitchers on the mound. As soon as a pitcher is fatigued or injured and misses time, the first question is whether or not the player was asked to throw to many pitches in his previous outings. Kurkjian made it clear that a pitch today is thrown with more stress and intensity due to the shrunken strike zone and increase of strength and speed of the batter's they are facing (perhaps due to steroids in some cases).

I noticed the increased amount of attention broadcasters pay towards a pitchers pitch count as the innings progress. This amount of attention by the media places a lot of attention towards players that end up going over 100 pitches. Broadcasters, fans, and analysts will all begin to break down and analyze a players pitch count in fine detail if they head on the DL. This puts pressure on managers to not encourage or allow high pitch counts. As starters are very aware of their limited pitch count, it encourages to them to throw each pitch with higher intensity and physical effort. I believe pitch counts are necessary to keep pitchers healthy and allow pitchers to go out there and make every pitch count.

How does pitch counts affect the game?
The game has evolved to require teams to carry multiple pitchers in their staff. The role of middle relief (set-up men) has become of increased importance. I think in some ways it makes the game very exciting and intriguing to watch. As the game play's itself out, I find myself wondering when the next pitching change will take place while constantly analyzing match up's. Since starting pitchers go anywhere from a couple of innings to six or seven on average, the strength and depth of a bullpen often determines how well a team does throughout the duration of the season. Personally, I find those innings of relief-work to be the most interesting to watch as managers determine their strategy and approach to get the opposing hitters out. Often times, many relief pitchers are only brought in to face one batter and to get one out (if they are successful). I think the stress of pitch count's has increased this aspect of the game since starters are beginning to leave games earlier then before. I enjoy trying to make my own decisions on when pitching moves are needed and if a manager should decide to make a move, I watch to see if it's a success or utter failure.

The amount of attention placed on a pitcher's count makes it tremendously hard to throw a complete game in today's game. This is why Roy Halladay's ability to finish so many games makes him one of my favorite pitchers. I'm tuned in as he is currently on the mound for perhaps the last time as a Blue Jay against the Seattle Mariners. As an Angel's fan let's see if Roy can shut down the Mariners!

How do you feel about the increased emphasis on pitch counts determining how long a pitcher stays on the mound? (Good/Bad/Undecided?)

Monday, July 27, 2009

2009 O-Pee-Chee Baseball - Target Blaster Break!!!

Today I stumbled into the local target looking to pick up some materials I would need later in the day and decided to take a look at the retail card section. Personally, I'm not a huge fan or purchaser of retail packs/blaster boxes since I enjoy that chance of pulling a good card. When making my decision I knew nothing great could possibly be pulled and decided to go with a product that would give me the most cards for my buck and decided on 2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee instead of football or the other baseball blasters that guarantee a jersey piece ( ex: 2008 Upper Deck, Icons, etc. ). I just wanted to get a product that is fairly new and unknown to me and UD O-Pee-Chee Baseball stood out so I grabbed my blaster and headed for the checkout. Before breaking open the product I had no expectations simply because I know how difficult it is to get a 'hit' out of this stuff even when dealing with hobby. This product is aimed more towards set building and the appreciation of the simple base cards of players you've either grown to love or hate. Now on to the break! the cards I received in my blaster box are listed below.

Blaster Box Configuration: 6 cards per pack / 15 packs per box. ( total of 90 cards approx. $0.22/card )

Now on to the cards I received from my blaster box.

Black Border Cards ( inserted 1 per pack ):
#34 - Takashi Saito
#39 - Zack Greinke
#81 - Joel Peralta
#150 - Dustin Pedroia
#161 - Eric Stults
#163 - Alex Gonzalez
#210 - Alfonso Soriano
#274 - Scott Feldman
#294 - Tom Gorzelanny
#297 - Luis Castillo
#312 - David Purcey
#414 - Dontrelle Willis
#428 - Daniel Murphy
#522 - Cincinnati Reds 2009 Team Checklist ( picture of stadium )
#542 - 2008 National League Strikeout Leaders ( 1. Lincecum 2. Haren 3. Santana )

** Great looking cards, the black borders look sharp and not as much noticeable chipping on the edges as I experienced with '07 Topp's which is usually the downside to having black bordered cards. It would be pretty neat to put together a set of the black bordered parallels but I highly doubt I'll be doing so.

Rookie Cards:
#561 - Travis Snider
#568 - Jason Motte
#575 - Trevor Cahill
#583 - Elvis Andrus
#593 - Koji Uehara
#600 - Joe Martinez

** Elvis Andrus is a highly athletic and talented rookie short-stop. Good enough to move gold glover Michael Young over to third? I guess so, let's see how he performs in this second half.

Moments Cards:
#545 - Hanley Ramirez ( March 8, 2008 )
#552 - Derek Jeter ( July 15, 2008 )
#559 - Evan Longoria ( June 26, 2008 )

Insert Cards:
#HM12 - Kelly Shoppach (2008 Highlights & Milestones )
#FF24 - Jay Bruce ( Face of the Franchise )
#AR8 - Kosuke Fukudome ( All-Rookie Team )
#RM-2 - Alexander Ovechkin ( Hockey )

** Not quite sure what Alex O. is doing in this baseball product but I guess hockey is less random than the microwave card I found in my '09 Piece of History box. Jay Bruce is also a very talented young player along with Votto, Volquez, and Cueto that I enjoy to watch on the Cincinnati Reds.

Base Cards: #14 Jason Giambi, #45 Joey Votto, #48 Jason Bartlett, #56 Huston Street, #58 Jose Valverde, #60 Adam Dunn, #62 Jeff Francoeur, #85 Joba Chamberlain, #95 Denard Span, #100 Albert Pujols, #111 Shin-Soo Choo, #114 Gerald Laird, #120 Mariano Rivera, #131 Adam Wainwright, #134 Dustin McGowan, #168 Todd Wellemeyer, #174 Omar Vizquel, #176 Jarrod Saltalamacchia, #177 Yuniesky Betancourt, #193 Ryan Church, #196 Jeremy Hermida, #198 David Weathers, #211 Jeff Clement, #229 Jon Rauch, #235 Jed Lowrie, #238 Mike Hampton, #247 Johnny Cueto, #256 Brad Lidge, #257 Pedro Feliz, #260 Ian Kinsler, #280 Aramis Ramirez, #281 Jeff Keppinger, #287 Gregg Zaun, #296 Scott Hairston, #298 Gabe Kapler, #306 John Baker, #310 Billy Wagner, #318 Hideki Matsui, #320 Miguel Cabrera, #332 Kyle Kendrick, #360 Francisco Rodriguez, #369 Brendan Harris, #372 Jonathan Broxton, #393 Mike Cameron, #430 Nick Markakis, #433 Adam Lind, #434 Jody Gerut, #436 Duaner Sanchez, #438 Eddie Guardado, #444 Elijah Dukes, #447 Kelly Shoppach, #461 Matt Diaz, #486 Randy Winn, #492 Ian Snell, #503 Chicago White Sox - Team Checklist ( Stadium ), #504 Houston Astros - Team Checklist ( Stadium ), #510 Chicago Cubs - Team Checklist ( Stadium ), #517 New York Mets - Team Checklist ( Player Faces ), #524 Kansas City Royals - Team Checklist ( Stadium ), #538 - 2008 NL ERA Leaders - Johan Santana/Tim Lincecum/Jake Peavy

** I decided to list the base since this is a product that is focused on set building therefore the base cards are more significant within this product compared to others.

Personal Review & Feelings:

Overall, I'm not totally disgusted with the cards but it didn't really provide me with any sort of excitement either. I guess for a product that is targeted for set building you can't expect to much although I enjoyed looking at the different cards and think the design is simple and fitting for this type of product. This will most likely be the last blaster/hobby box of this product for me unless the future prices drop significantly. One thing that amazed me was my inability to pull a single Angel's player, what are the odd's ( I don't know for sure ) but hey come on I was hoping for atleast one! Oh well, these are all available so just let me know if you are interested in anything to complete your set or just want that player specific card to add to your collection. You can send all such e-mails to me at Feel free to let me know what you think about this blaster box ( how do you think I did? good/bad/average? ). Or even your thoughts on this product in general, if your working on completing this set or perhaps your knowledge about the lawsuit from Topps ( or something along those lines... ).

Introduction & Life after eBay

First off, I'd like to welcome you all to my blog! Since this is my first post I should start off with a little introduction to who I am and what exactly I will be blogging about in the future. My name is Tom and I'm a collector of Baseball, Basketball, and Football Sports Cards. I'm currently enrolled as a college student and enjoy buying, trading, and selling Sports Cards as a hobby. After spending some time browsing through and reading other sports collectors blogs I've decided to begin one of my own (hopefully I can draw some readers). Within my future blog posts you can find material that will be related closely to sports (mainly baseball, basketball, and football) along with my experiences and thoughts about the sports card hobby!

Now, the topic of my first post, I'm curious to know where you other sports cards collectors have been selling your cards besides eBay (feel free to leave comments sharing your insights to any eBay alternatives). Recently, in the last week or so I've totally shut down and abandoned me store on eBay where I had a total of 2,200 active listings just after becoming a powerseller! The reasoning behind this action is due to the lack of profit from selling cards in the $1-$5 range with all the listing and final percentage fees. I know selling sports cards on eBay is only reasonable when you possess that rare autograph of a rookie standout or hall of fame autograph cards since you will be able to receive top dollar for such cards with the help of eBay's traffic. Personally, I only have a few such cards in my collection and more interested in selling/trading my base, inserts, serial #'ed, and average jersey/autograph cards. My personal feeling behind having a place to sell these types of cards is to make them available for people who collect these players at a reasonable price. In order to do so, I need to find a place where I can sell cards without having to pay listing and final value fees because as small as they may seem at first, they do add up! ($0.03 x 2,200 items = $66 just to list each month with the $16 eBay store fee!) TOO MUCH!

After some research surfing the web for a new place to begin selling sports cards I've finally decided to pay a site to host a web store where I can list items and sell them only having a pay a $10/month fee. This site provides me with the freedom to create my own web store without having to pay final value or listing fees, just the simple monthly payment. With the freedom to list freely and update and add features to my store front, I'm excited to make the cards I have in my collection available to collectors at very reasonable prices! My main goal is to list all my base, insert, serial #'ed, and autograph/jersey cards of players that I'm not personally collecting and make them available to you at what I feel to be fair prices. The majority of the cards I'm currently listing are available under $1 which is currently the lowest price any item can be with the fixed price listing option on eBay. The only major difference is the amount of traffic for my site compared to my previous eBay store. Traffic will become my sole responsibility and most likely my biggest challenge in the upcoming months while I try to get up and running. If your interested, head on over and check out my site Cardboard Singles at I'm currently working on adding more listings throughout the summer!!! I will do my best, but remember this does take time.

Please feel free to let me know what you think about my site by leaving a comment here or send me an e-mail at! Also, if you'd like to share your eBay alternatives or eBay selling experiences with me, please do so. I'm interested to hear about your success or perhaps even failures in your attempt to buy/sell/trade sports cards online.

Hope you decide to check out my site! I'd enjoy to hear what you think!