January 16, 2012

Hobby Box Break and Review: 2011 Bowman Sterling

As most of you know my interest in cards has more or less vanished recently for various reasons mentioned in a previous post. When I saw the box from Topps, that little feeling of excitement came back.... It was nice to know that it was still in there somewhere.

This year 2011 Bowman Sterling looked a little sharper out of the pack with the stealth stickers instead of those terrible silver ones, so that was an instant plus.... I shall wait for the day we see them on card... One day at a time, one day at a time...

Each box delivers 6 mini boxes, one pack per box with the following in each pack:
-1 rookie
-2 autographs
-1 game used

So as you can imagine this box does not come cheap, they retail for roughly $200 per box. If you like rookies and prospects, this is well worth the price of the box for the crazy number of hits you come away with.

Oh, I guess you want to see what was in the box? Fine.

The base cards

Refractors

Team USA game used cards and rookie game used cards.

Autographs (I feel so out of the loop reading these names. Then again I am not a prospector so I guess I shouldn't be upset if i don't know these dudes right off the bat.)

Now these guys are familiar. Hello, boys.

Joe Panik refractor auto /199 - This is the second autograph of Panik that I have pulled, which makes me think someone is trying to tell me to collect him.

Travis Harrison gold refractor auto /50

Team USA dual autograph /99 Hoby Milner and Andrew Mitchell (Hooray? I have no idea who these guys are but I'm hoping they are really good when they get to the majors.)

Box topper, dual game used of King Felix and Michael Pineda. I thought this card was pretty awesome before the Yankees traded for Pineda, so this is cooler now.

This product is absolutely loaded with hits and it a really great product- if you can afford it. The downside to liking a product packed with hits and not too many base cards is the price. I guess if you skipped the products that promise 1 hit per box and only picked up the higher end releases it would even out in the end? If i had money I would test that theory.

2011 Bowman Sterling Report Card:

Design: B+

The design is nice don't get me wrong, but I feel like it just looks recycled from other higher end products. I know continuity between years seems to be a thing with this type of product but when all the collectors are always saying they are looking for something new and fresh, well this isn't exactly the answer.

Value: A

Clearly if you collect veteran players you would not buy this type of product, but since it is marketed towards prospectors and rookie collectors it delivers big time. With 13 autographs and 7 game used cards you can't beat it for $200. You could hit one or two big cards in the box and easily justify the price point.

Quality: A

There were no centering issues with the cards in the box, everything was inside as promised. (And they did not smell like maple syrup.)

Overall: A-

It's really hard not to like a product that delivers 20 hits for $200. If you are someone who buys products to flip cards, I don't see how you could go wrong here. Heck, even if you do what I normally do (buy a box sell what you don't want a keep a couple), you could still stand to almost break even or completely break even. And if you don't break even.... well, that really wasn't the point of opening a product like this if you are a collector. You were looking for the high thrill of getting 2 or more hits per pack. Everyone wins here.

January 15, 2012

Random card that isn't that random...

Well, it was random a few months ago. At the national I wanted to get my mitts on a 2011 Topps Heritage Dustin Ackley NSCC exclusive RC. As it turns out, I ended up with a Michael Pineda RC which disappointed me then and now I don't know how I feel about it.



When I got the card, I admit I didn't care much for it and really didn't give Pineda a second thought. I actually had planned on selling it on eBay, however like most cards I don't want and plan on selling it ended up in a box next to my desk.

The fact that the Yankees traded Jesus Montero for Pineda is a little bittersweet for Yankees fans. Many of us have been waiting and waiting to see this kid come up and get a look at what he can do. He was up for a short time when rosters expanded this season and showed that he isn't afraid of the New York pressure and can hit. So much for that. While it is very clear that the Yankees desperately need pitching with A.J. Burnett constantly needing therapy for his head and his arm, I think we will all wonder how he would have fit into the Yankees lineup. Luckily, with a team of aging veterans there will be plenty of people to fill the DH slot.

There are plenty of pissed off prospectors out there who were sitting on a boatload of Montero autographs and now will likely take a huge profit hit because he's no longer a Yankee. (My condolences, Wes.)

I don't plan on collecting Pineda other than if I pull a card of his, it will end up in my binder. I would still be willing to trade this one for someone I do collect. So if you have something I want, feel free to give me a shout.

If you want to have a little fun, take a look at current Pineda listings vs. completed ones on eBay.

January 3, 2012

Hobby Box Break and Review: 2011 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects

I know, I know... You have all already opened this and seen it. However, it took me forever to get to writing this review and to be able to scan anything to do so. My apologies. I will make this one short and sweet.

Getting right down to business, here are the goods that were in the box:

I skipped scanning the base cards because they are the same as the rest of the Bowman releases from this year. I did scan a base card of the Draft Picks because I love that they are not white this year. I think they look so much sharper with black borders, and I said the same thing last year with the wrapper redemption cards.

I scanned this card obviously because he is a Yankee, but he is also Joe Girardi's best friend. Girardi also has a son named Dante, named after Sr.
Base RC refractors:
First Year/USA refractors. I must say, there is something about the USA refractors that makes me want a whole set of the USA cards. Considering I still haven't finished the one set I tried building in 2009, I don't see me trying this but I'd like to.
Blue refractor. My absolute favorite color refractor out of all the colors that are used in any set, any year. They are just the nicest looking to me.
Blue parallel. Contrary to the blue refractor, these do nothing for me. They aren't that nice in this color. Love the goofy face in the photo though.
Joe Panik autograph. Something is telling me that I should hold onto this kid.

I am going to forgo the usual report card because I would score this just as I would Bowman Chrome or base Bowman with the exception of one area. I was somewhat happy about not having a bajillion different inserts in this box and just straight cards that were a part of the main two sets (and the parallels obviously). I would also sooner build a set of Draft Picks than any other prospect set solely based on the black borders.

Did anyone pull any Dante Bichette cards they would be willing to send me or trade me? I would like to build a small collection of his cards.