I have many interests in life but two of the largest ones are sports and politics. I follow them both with a mix of enthusiasm, optimism and all out frustration. Almost any time that you ask me my opinion on one of these subjects, you will find that I’m somewhere within that range of emotions. So, that said, you would have to think that with the election of 2012 coming up, the State of the Union this week and the Super Bowl next week that I would be on cloud nine – lots of interesting things happening with my interests – right? Right. So I’m super excited about all that, right? Wrong.
If one were to talk about sports and politics within the same breath – something that may come to mind, is the effect on both as it relates to the evolution of the news cycle and thereby analysis, analysis, talking, yapping, speculation, speculation about insignificant facts, rehashing the same opinions, bringing in different people to issue the same opinions and so on and so forth. My point is, even a guy (me!) that loves the analysis of nearly everything in life can become exhausted of the countless hours spent by talking heads analyzing things like Mitt Romney’s hair, replaying David Tyree’s catch, talking about if Tom Brady can turn water into wine and if so would it be Merlot or a Pinot Noir and so on h. We are at that stage, both with the Super Bowl and with the 2012 election. It always reminds me of a similar time in college football – the period that seems like forever prior to a National Championship football game. It just drags on and on and on and I always feel like Keith Jackson prior to the USC-Texas National Championship game in 2006 when he said, it’s finally here, the talk is over, “whoopee, lets play football!”
So with that said, lets play, the beauty of the Hot List is it is ever changing and even guys on from week to week might make it for different reasons and thereby I hopefully do not turn into just another talking head.
1. Anderw Luck 2012 Leaf Metal Army Prismatic /?? /39
Comments: Speaking of analysis, any Leaf product that hits these boards is certainly analyze with a critical eye. I honestly believe we’ve been close before to having members say that it isn’t Brian Gray running Leaf, it was a shooter on the grassy knoll. However, critical eyes can be a good thing, especially when they catch critical errors. At this point, what, why is this on the Hot List? Well hears the deal, the error was caught, the presses were stopped and the cards were shipped but just the first 39, thereby massively limiting Andrew Luck’s first card and immediately creating scarcity. As economics does, prices skyrocketed and these cards that were a buy it now for $14.99 are now seeing prices of $200-$300
2. Jason Pierre Paul National Treasures Autos /99
Comments: Another D Lineman at the top of the Hot List, who says these big lugs don’t get any hobby love! I’ve read lots of scouting reports that say Jason is operating on pure talent and when he really learns football, well then he’s going to be really good. Well let me tell you the beauty of that, Jason is already REALLY good and if he happens to get better, well that’s going to be scary for opposing offensive lineman and quarterbacks alike, really scary. Tom Brady has a super quick release often and it is going to be a speed versus speed match up in the Super Bowl. This year was a breakout season for JPP and the Giants performance in the playoffs continues to drive his cards higher, this week National Treasures autos doubled from $30 to $60.
3. Victor Cruz 2010 Playoff Contenders Autos
Comments: If you watched the Giants Niners game, you know exactly why Victor is on this list. You know that his Contenders Autos went up AGAIN this week from $60 to $90 right? No, you know that Victor’s first half in that game was as impressive a half as I’ve ever seen put together by a wide receiver in the playoffs, against a good D to boot. This performance continues to build on what has already been an incredible and unexpected season for Victor. You could have had all the Contenders Autos you wanted in the offseason for $5 bucks.
4. Jurickson Profar 2011 Bowman Chrome Autos
Comments: Someone discussing Jurickson on the boards said it best, he pretty much was a middle of the top 50 prospect entering the season who attained or exceed most of what people expected of him and now is rising towards the top of the list at a premium position. In less words, people are jazzed about Jurickson’s upcoming 2012 season and decided that his Chrome Autos at $35 were a steal, because of this, they’ve now risen to $50.
5. Mason Williams 2011 Bowman Chrome Autos
Comments: I knew several prospectors who were really buying Mason upon the release of the chrome product, they must be happy now. Mason had some really kind words said about him when he was mentioned in trades and anytime you combine the idea of a 5 tool prospect and the Yankees card prices start rising. And rise they have throughout the offseason, not quickly but surely. A refractor autograph hit $40 this week and as all the new product that has released continues to dry up and people look elsewhere for their purchases, Mason may continue to rise.
6. Eli Manning 2004 SP Authentic Auto Patches
Comments: Last week in this spot, an SP Authentic Auto Patch, this week, an SP Authentic Auto Patch. Eli’s Giants are absolutely on a roll right now and so is he, I thought I was going to watch some sports commentators bend down on one knee and propose to him last week, the lovefest was in all its glory. In spite of the fact that his brother is revered as one of the all time greats, Eli is one win away from having more Super Bowl rings than the elder brother and you know what, he better send a thank you card again to David Tyree and also to Kyle Williams. Eli’s premium autos are on fire, just like the SP Authentic Auto Patch that moved to $400 this week from a previous $300.
7. Tom Brady 2000 Bowman Chrome Refractor
Comments: Every once in a while when a football player just gets stupidly hot, one of the phrases that comes to my mind is that those prices are Brady-esque, except, often they aren’t. Brady’s Chrome Refractors were selling for $550 this week up from $400 last week. When I say that, it is easy to assume that these cards are autographed but they aren’t, this is just a plain old Chrome Refractor that sells for $550 dollars, if you are looking for something autographed you better bust out ten Benjamins at least and pay up.
8. Prince Fielder 2002 Prospect Premieres Auto
Comments: As a Cubs fan, I love it, both Pujols and Fielder no longer play the Cubs 18 times a year, that collective sigh of relief you heard this week is from the North Side of Chicago, after Prince signed his deal with the Tigers. Honestly, when you think about it, having the 1-2 punch of Fielder and Cabrera in a lineup and then having Verlander on the mound. I do not believe there is a team in the MLB with 3 players of that caliber in the lineup. Any time there’s big news like this prices are likely to spike and Fielders 2002 Prospect Premieres Auto moved to $110 this week up from the mid-$70s the previous week as he is now on Tiger collectors radars.
9. Bubba Starling 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Autos
Comments: Reading the sub-titles in many eBay auctions is often good for a laugh, however, one of them on a Bubba Chrome Auto said “compared to Josh Hamilton.” Well, let me see, hits for all sorts of power, throws 95, runs like a deer (youtube some of the guy’s football videos, umm, wow) and we’ll hope that he diverges from Josh when it comes to off the field struggles. If Bubba becomes a huge star in Kansas City, his hometown, that will be the best pick the Royals ever made at number five. eBayers continue to drive up prices on Bubba’s rare cards and this week Gold Refractor Autos hit over $400 and an Orange over $500.
10. 2010 Totally Certified Basketball Boxes
Comments: As I’ve mentioned before, basketball cards seem to have more potential for insanity, when it comes to prices, than almost any other sport. I guess this includes boxes, collectors have decided that last year’s Certified is to be the next round of Leaf Metal Precious Gem type price craziness and therefore, the remaining unopened wax is going absolutely bananas. Boxes are up to $150 when just last week they were in the $120s.