All Star week means a whole lot less to write about in regards to price bumps due to the lack of normal games played but it means a whole lot more to write about otherwise. That means a meatier introduction but lack of fodder for the actual list. I’m not feeling extremely organized at the moment so lets just hit these as they come to mind.
1. For some reason I found myself staying up later than I intended to watch that’s right, the Celebrity Softball game. Bill Self left my alma mater Illinois when I was in school and the basketball program has never been the same since (feel the bitterness?) and all Bill has done is go have all sorts of incredible success. As if a National Championship, endless Big 12 Titles, and another Final Four weren’t enough, the dude goes yard in the celebrity softball game and hits a couple of ropes in his other at bats.
2. And on that note, they really ought to move those fences back – I mean c’mon now half these guys are Hall of Fame caliber baseball players and even if they look like their joints have been filled with cement (hello Dave Winfield) the fact many of them hit it 50 feet or more past the fence says something.
3. I promise, this is the last one on the softball game. Bill Simmons has made what I’m sure is a ridiculous amount of money being a sarcastic sports writer but my goodness he didn’t translate well on screen. I can sum it up like this, I thought he was a whinier version of Doug Gottlieb and I can sum up my feelings for Doug Gottlieb by linking you here. The dude full court pressed Ne-Yo in the Celebrity basketball game…to show…what exactly? That a former college PG (who reminds us of this all the time) could take the ball away from a rapper…good for you Doug.
4. Speaking of that, the announcing was the trifecta of crappiness. John Anderson/Bill Simmons, Chris Berman and a cast of characters and Joe Buck/Tim McCarver (it can not be overstated how bad this man is at announcing). But wait for it, there’s Erin Andrews debut on Fox Sports – color me meh. When the highlight is Boomer and crew, that says something right there. Tim McCarver is to poor announcing what Michael Jordan is to good basketball. And Joe Buck wouldn’t get excited if Superman flew into the stadium. Joe: “Well look Tim, it appears there is a man faster than a speeding bullet that has flown into play left field, that’s interesting, I guess.” Tim: “Juan Pierre’s batting, I’d advise playing 3 steps back and what’s that color scheme he’s wearing? Red and blue really? What team does the S stand for?”
5. Much has been made of the Royals fans booing Chief Tippy Cano for not picking Billy Butler. He had every right not to pick Billy and he shouldn’t have, just like he shouldn’t have said he was going to, don’cha’ know Robbie? However, the real pinch was felt by Royals fans when Melky won MVP but wait, the Royals have Jonathan Sanchez instead, yeah! Yeah, exactly.
6. As a Cubs fan, I’ve many times been the beneficiary of the every team must have one All-Star rule and I still say, that’s a horrible rule.
7. The ovation Chipper Jones got was sweet, however, even more sweet was the ovation that the wounded warriors got who played in the Celebrity Softball game. In a political polarized election year that’s one of those things that warms your heart.
8. I think to make the HR derby more interesting, they should place targets in the outfield and if the players hit the targets, sections of fans win prizes. Except when Prince hits the bullseye that entire section has to buy him hot dogs. The old switcheroo.
And for all of the All Star game festivities, what had the card world abuzz this week was the Defiance, OH E-98 Caramel find. I’m not linking it here not because I’m too lazy to do so but because if you haven’t read about it yet you need to take to Google immediately. It is the dream of all collectors to have something like this happen to them and here’s a case when it actually did.
1. Pedro Ciriaco 2010 Bowman Chrome Parallels
Comments: We’ve mentioned before on this list that playing for a team in a big markets is a boon to prices. Pedro’s a great example of that, with Pedroia out, according to the Red Sox organization, Pedro is going to “play a lot of second base.” I think that “a lot of second base” is a technical baseball term. It does mean that a lot of Red Sox collectors have been busy accumulating Pedro’s cards. This means that blue refractors went from $5 to $15 plus.
2. Mike Trout Base Cards
Comments: A couple of weeks ago, we listed Mike Trout’s face as hot. Well, it’s not just his face, it’s his feet, his hands and every other part of his body. The guy is on an unreal tear and when Pro Debut cards like the one above jump from $12 to $20 well that’s an indication of the fact that absolutely everything is on fire. We’ve had Strasburg, Harper, Heyward, Montero and many others who have graced this list week after week but it’s hard to think of a guy who came out selling like Mike (Sterlings for under $10) did and now has Sterling 9.5 Autos selling for $200 plus. Guys like Mike Trout are so good for the game of baseball.
3. Zack Wheeler 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Autos
Comments: The big market part means that quite a few Mets have graced this list over time but outside of R.A. Dickey this year it has been largely hitters. Certainly a lack of pitching prospects but the Mets may have one now. As mid-season Top Prospects lists come out Zack Wheeler is at the top of many. For a guy who had a rough start in the minors he is on fire now and one Refractor hit $75 this week.
4. 2012 Topps Allen and Ginter
Comments: I remember having a conversation with a friend who lives nearby about Allen and Ginter when it came out in 2006 saying I might get in on a few cases. He advised staying away, didn’t see it going well. Ever since then Allen and Ginter has been on this Hot List every year it has come out and has become one of Topps staple products. Now, to a more serious question – who paid $150 for an Erin Andrews autograph. Ooooh look it’s a sideline reporter!
5. Nick Castellanos 2010 Elite Autos
Comments: Futures Game MVP, say no more. The guy has 124 hits in the first half of the season, all he does is hit. He’s so busy hitting he barley has time to do anything else. Elite Autos sold for over $30 this week up from the low $20s last week.
6. Travis Harrison 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Autos
Comments: I’ve rambled on (and sang my song?) plenty about the number of great autos from 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft and early returns are saying that 2011 is going to be more of the same, great autograph after great autograph. Well, good thing I opened 20 cases of 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft – now that’s foresight! Not. Travis Harrison was the guy that no one wanted to pull in 2011 Bowman Draft but his great performance in the Appalachian League is changing that. Chrome Autos moved up to $15 this week.
And a few more things:
If you haven’t seen this parody of “Call Me Maybe” then you are soooo missing out. So what’s your best parody of Call Me Maybe that’s hobby related?
Hey I just met you and this is crazy but I got refractors so trade me maybe.
Submit your best idea in a comment.
A source of a bit of debate in the Hot List Nomination thread surrounded the nomination of comic books. No, they aren’t cards but they are gradeable and the right ones bring quite a bit of dough.
Sets like Star Wars and Indiana Jones autographs often sell for huge amounts of money – why not make something like a Seinfeld or Simpsons set? I mean seriously – a Kramer autograph would sell for big bucks and I for one would totally buy a Frank Costanza autograph and pay even more if it had the inscription “Serenity Now” or “Hoochie Mama!”
I mean seriously Pikachu sells for these kind of prices. Which leaves me 100% convinced that the market for sets like Seinfeld and Simpsons is totally unexploited.