Spin-to-Win Prize Wheel Drawing Results (2019 National Convention)

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth earlier this month at the 2019 National Sports Collector’s Convention in Chicago and spun our Spin-to-WinPrize Wheel!

Now that we’re back home and have tallied all of the entries,it’s now time to announce our winners!

$500 COMC Credit Grand Prize:
WAXBLASTER (Kelly W.)

$250 COMC Credit:
Tmgrnzx9r (Eric S.)

$100 COMC Credit:
chn7171 (Connor N.)

1956 Topps Ernie Banks (JAS Certified Autographed):
390in1980 (Rich L.)

2015-16 UD The Cup – Limited Logos PatchAuto Jonathan Toews:
Kyle_AJ_Cards (Andrew W.)

2007-08 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallion Michael Jordan PSA 10:
Lee4420 (Albert A.)

2017 Panini Spectra Patch Auto Mitchell Trubisky BGS 9:
Dshimster (David S.)

(Winners can expect their prizes to appear in their COMC accounts shortly.)

We want to thank everyone who stopped by our booth and spun the prize wheel! We had an incredible time in Chicago and met with thousands of collectors, heard your stories, and listened to your feedback on how we can improve COMC.com going forward!

We look forward to seeing everyone next year for The National inAtlantic City, New Jersey!

[Tutorial] How to Search for Graded, Reviewed, and Aftermarket Autographs on the COMC Marketplace

In 2018 we implemented a much-requested feature allowing search results to be filtered by graded, reviewed, and aftermarket autographs! If your collection contains only items graded by a particular grading service, or if you prefer that the vintage items that you add to your collection are of at least Good to VG-EX quality or better, or even if you only want to see ungraded raw items, this new feature will greatly improve your experience shopping on the COMC Marketplace.

How do you use these search filters? It’s simple! Initiate a search via the search bar at the top of COMC or begin browsing items by category.  On the left side of the search, you’ll be able to filter your search results using many different attributes such as by memorabilia, autograph, rookie related, e.g.  Our newest filters can be found under the ‘Item Conditions’ heading:


Using the Ungraded Filter – Searching for Raw and Reviewed Cards.

The ungraded search filter will remove all graded items from your search results. Once this filter has been chosen, a second set of options is presented: COMC Reviewed, Dean’s Cards Reviewed (DCR), Manufacturer, COMC Comics, and Beckett Raw Card Reviews (BRCR).

In addition to modern items that have been submitted to the COMC Condition Review, the COMC or Dean’s Cards Reviewed filters are your ticket to finding vintage cards of a specific condition range. Vintage items printed before 1980 that have been determined to be in less than near-mint condition will be found under these filters: 

 

The ungraded search filter is also helpful for collectors looking for Manufacturer Uncirculated, Rereleased, or Redemption Autographs that are currently being redeemed:


 

Using the Graded Filter – Searching for Graded Cards by Manufacturer and Grade

The graded filter is a powerful tool that will allow collectors to search for items that have been graded to their exact preference. With this search filter, not only will collectors be able to search by specific grading company such as BGS or PSA, they will also be able to further filter that search by specific grades.

In 2017, we made some changes to our supported grading companies that can be seen on our supported trading cards page. The graded search filter contains options to filter by grading companies that are no longer allow to be listed on the COMC Marketplace. Any items found within these search results are legacy items that date from when we these items were allowed to be listed on the COMC Marketplace.

Perhaps you’re in the market for strictly GEM MINT cards? The graded search filter will allow you to narrow your search results down to just  gem mint specimens:

Using the Aftermarket Auto Filter – Searching for Manufacturer Buybacks and Third-Party-Authenticated Autographs

To complement our autographs filter that can be found under the attributes section of search result filters, we’ve added the option to search by Aftermarket autograph as well. This new set of filters will allow search results to be filtered to only include Manufacturer Buybacks and supported third-party-authenticated autographs.

COMC only allows aftermarket autographs to be sold through our website if they’ve been reissued by a manufacturer or authenticated by a supported third-party authentication service. Cards submitted with aftermarket autographs that do not meet these qualities will be declined to be listed. To see a full list of approved third-party authentication companies, please visit our supported trading cards page.

 

Rich Reminisces: 1968 Detroit Tigers

Why do teams become legendary in our sports collecting hobby? Sometimes the reason is the cast of characters are a unique bunch mixed around. Think of the great New York Yankees teams of the late 1970’s. They had enough oversized personalities on and off the field that the moniker “The Bronx Zoo” worked for that team. For others, it was because they were a right place, right time team. Example of this was the 1969 New York “Miracle” Mets who went on a run the last 2 months of the 1969 season and post-season and won their first World Series. For others. the amount of time a team was dominant mattered. A good example is the 1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers, who won four Super Bowls within a six season period.

And sometimes, there is a little bit of all of the above including fortuitous timing and how they brought a community together. A great example of this scenario is the 1968 Detroit Tigers ,who truly were the last of their era. Five decades later we can say that because they did not have to go through a post-season gauntlet to win a World Series, nor did have to play any night games in the post-season. 

And how did they get to the 1968 World Series? First, their ace pitcher was a youngster named Denny McLain. McLain won an astounding 31 games that season. No one has won more than 27 games in a season since. In fact, very few starters even get to 31 starts anymore, so you’d basically have to win most every start to even be in a position to win 30 games. While we knew 30 games was quite the accomplishment for a pitcher, we all thought in 1968 there might be another one to reach the milestone. Many teams still used four man rotations, and that gave pitchers 40 starts in a season, which meant 30 wins was not the impossible target that it is today.

What made McLain even more interesting was his career as playing the organ and flying an airplane. Did all those outside interests shorten his career? One could argue between the known gambling issues and the just as well known outside interests, the odds were he would have had a longer career if he had focused more on his pitching career. We do know a few things today.

1) His career was over before he reached 30.
2) He is a great guest at a card show.

Their second best pitcher was Mickey Lolich, who would go on to win 3 games in the World Series that year. In 1968, the concept of a pitcher winning 3 World Series games was not considered unusual, as three pitchers had reached that total over the previous 22 seasons. After Lolich, no pitcher has won 3 games in a World Series since. On the other hand, George Frazier actually managed to lose 3 games in the 1981 World Series. Maybe some reliever will win 3 games in a future World Series.  Lolich owned a donut store and rode a motorcycle, but he was always serious about his pitching. To show what a fluke 1968 was, Lolich also blasted his first career homer during that World Series.

It was not just the pitchers who were interesting . Bill Freehan, who was the best American League Catcher from about 1964 through 1971, could have won an MVP award if things had broken a bit differently. Freehan did everything well for the Tigers, and as such garnered much MVP support in 1967 and 1968. He was a force both offensively and defensively. Today, he is battling a long-term illness, but we all remember him fondly for his time on the diamond.

The starting first baseman was Stormin’ Norman Cash. Cash, is a player who helped define the term career year. Look at his 1961 season (.361 batting average and 40+ homers) and compare that year to the rest of his career.  Cash also had a great sense of humor, and in Nolan Ryan‘s first no-hitter brought up a piano leg as his bat as he figured he could not hit Ryan with a standard bat. 

At second base was Dick McAuliffe, who set a record which can be tied, but never broken. After a 1967 season in which he only grounded into 2 double plays, he improved that in 1968 by never grounding into a double play. This record can surely be tied, but never broken indeed.  Also, he had a nasty on-field brawl with Tommy John that injured John’s shoulder and prematurely ended his season. Could that fight have been part of the reason John later needed the surgery now named for him?

The shortstop with the most playing time for the Tigers was Ray Oyler, who batted all of .135 that season. Yes you read correctly, .135 was his batting average.  To me, Ray Oyler is best known for a classic line within the book Ball 4, which I blogged about last month. That line was not family friendly, but if you want to look it up for yourself, search out “bridges completed in 1929”.  Meanwhile, here is Ray posed with a bat in the bunting position. And when he came to the plate,  posing to bunt might have been his best way to get on base.

When you hit just .135, which was absurd for any player, including most pitchers, you probably are not going to play much in the post-season. And that’s what occurred to Oyler, as Mickey Stanley transitioned from the outfield to play shortstop during the World Series. Purportedly, the move was to get Al Kaline‘s bat into the lineup, and who can argue with subbing a future Hall of Famer for a guy hitting all of .135? Yep, all of .135. I don’t know how many times I can repeat that number, but it only gets more awesome each time it’s mentioned. Stanley played error-less ball in the World Series, and having Kaline in the lineup gave extra length as well.  Jim Northrup and Willie Horton were also the other starting outfielders and for 1968, boy that was quite an explosive team at the plate.

Note the position on the 1969 Mickey Stanley card. :

Of course there was plenty of controversy during the series, but one of the oddest ones had to do with the National Anthem. Jose Feliciano was just beginning his career, and did not perform a traditional Star Spangled Banner. I did not understand back then why it was so criticized, and I don’t today but let’s listen and see what you think.

And this is a version done in 2010 to honor the original version by Jose.

We leave you with one final image of the 1968 Tigers, which is of their 3rd base coach Joe Schultz. It was known during the series that Joe would take over managerial duties for the 1969 Seattle Pilots, but who knew just how legendary Joe would become within two years of the series?


Guest Blog: My Top 7 Favorite Trading Cards

(Editors Note: Please welcome Austin Ward to the COMC Blog! Austin’s blog comes to us courtesy of our encouragement of guest blogs a few months ago. Austin has been collecting cards since his youth, and still finds as much joy in the hobby now as he did back then. He recently started Crown Card Connection as a way to engage with the trading card collecting community. He encourages anyone interested in discussing the hobby to join in on the action that Crown Card Connection has to offer!)

Collecting cards brings all sorts of thoughts and feelings to people’s minds. Joy, excitement, risk, and nostalgia are just several of the many for me. Today, I want to share seven favorites from my collection. While a number of them do hold strong value, the memories attached to them are greater still. Here we go:

7. 2018 Leaf Metal Draft Sam Darnold Autographed Printing Plate

One of ones are big in the hobby today, but haven’t been something I’ve really chased after. While browsing some cards online, I came across this Sam Darnold and sent an inquiry to the seller. We ended up getting a deal done, which allowed me to add the first NFL printing plate of my collection.

6. 2018 Select Josh Rosen Tie-Dye Autograph RC

Despite being a San Francisco 49ers fan, Josh Rosen is someone who I’ve decided to personally collect. Due to comparably low value as a rookie, I’ve been able to compile a pretty strong collection of Rosens (around 20 cards and growing). Convinced that Rosen is going to have a strong career in the league, I’m taking my own advice and stockpiling.

5. 1998 Donruss Elite Neifi Perez

Although the card itself is pretty unimpressive (and could be purchased for next to nothing), this was the first autograph I ever got. I vividly remember standing on the third base side with a stack of Colorado Rockies baseball cards during a family trip to Colorado. I was convinced that I was going to get Larry Walker or Vinny Castilla to sign my cards (which clearly didn’t happen), but was thrilled when Perez took the time to make my day.

4. 2018 Leaf Army All-American Football Trevor Lawrence Patch/Autograph

During his freshman campaign, Trevor Lawrence impressed me as a quarterback and as a person. I didn’t anticipate finding much available with him being a freshman in college, but I’m glad I looked when I did. Shortly after I got my Lawrence card, his value spiked during the NCAA Championship run.

3. 1999 MVP Football Set

This one is clearly for the sentimental value, but I can’t count how many times I’ve looked back at the binder that contains the first set I was able to put together. Each time I do, I’m reminded of the hours that went into sorting through my childhood collection and the countless trades that I made with my brother to finish out my set.

2. 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout RC

After a few years of not making many purchases, I bought a random box of cards at an auction and was shocked to find a Mike Trout rookie card inside. I was even more amazed to find out what the card was selling for, but have preferred to hold as a keepsake instead.

1. 2000 Pacific Aurora Tom Brady RC

This is the card that transformed me from a kid that enjoyed collecting to a lifelong hobbyist. The couple hard-earned dollars that I risked back in 2001 created a priceless memory for years to come.

The COMC Summer Sale is Coming July 31st – August 4th!

Beat the Heat and Join Us July 31st – August 4th for the COMC Summer Sale!

Can’t make it to the The National Sports Collector’s Convention in Chicago this year? We’re bringing the deals online with the COMC Summer Sale!

Starting on July 31st, you’ll find incredible deals all across the COMC Marketplace on your favorite teams, players, and sets.

Buy Now & Ship Later!

One of the biggest advantages of having a COMC account and shopping with COMC Credit is that you can instantly purchase items when you find them and ship everything all together at any time in the future!

When you buy items with COMC credit with your COMC account, they stay safe and secure in our warehouses until you’re ready to request shipment for them. You can buy items throughout our Summer Sale and request shipment for your items next week, next month, or even next year! You pay shipping just once, regardless of how many items you buy.

Don’t Ship it – Flip it!

Perhaps you found an amazing deal on a sale item, but don’t collect that particular player. You know the card is worth way more, so why not buy it now and flip it later?

With a COMC account, you can purchase an item on sale and instantly give it a new price. When the item sells, you receive COMC credit, without ever having to take possession of the card!

Thousands of cards are being flipped daily on the COMC Marketplace, but this benefit is exclusive only to COMC Members! If you’re not already a member, register your free account today

“It Sold for WHAT?!?” – Six Christian Yelich Trading Cards That Sold for Far Too Little!

Over the course of our 12 plus year existence, we’ve seen A LOT of cards. In many cases, we first saw a superstar’s cards long before they became a household name. As a result, this lends itself to some pretty hilarious completed sales in our historical sales history. Whether these buyers are cardboard Nostradamus’s, or simply happened to pick up a card before it’s value skyrocketed into oblivion, one thing is for sure: they got a crazy good deal!

In our previous installments we’ve shown you Mike Trout Trading Cards that now the grace the nose-bleed section of the high-end of our hobby, and Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie cards that sold for just a fraction of their present day value. We’ve scoured our sales data and are ready to unleash our next wave of cards that make for some pretty good laughs.

The Miami Marlins have two World Series Championships in their brief but memorable franchise history. While the current state of the Marlins may leave plenty to be desired, there is no doubting that the organization has a proven track record for manufacturing homegrown talent. Unfortunately, some of those players full potential never comes to fruition in a Marlins uniform. Such is the case with Christian Yelich, who’s star grew brighter following a trade to the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 2018 National League MVP winner and Silver Slugger posted career highs in home runs, RBI’s, stolen bases, batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS last year, leading the Brew Crew to a playoff run. He picked up right where he left off to start the 2019 campaign, and appears to be on pace to shatter most of those career highs once again. The 27 year old outfielder quickly became one of the faces of the MLB once he arrived in Milwaukee, and his trading cards have never been more sought after. Christian Yelich rookie autographs and rookie trading cards continue to see new top sale prices on a monthly basis.

Without further ado, the six Christian Yelich Trading Cards you can no longer find at these prices:

2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects – Chrome Draft Picks – Gold Refractor #BDPP78 – Christian Yelich /50

The buyer of this card managed to sneak in their purchase on August 28th, 2018, just before the Christian Yelich trading card market really started to skyrocket. This card has since sold for $300+. Not a bad return on investment.

2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects – Chrome Prospects Autographs #BDPP78 – Christian Yelich [BGS 9.5 GEM MINT] 

Whenever pricing data is this skewed, you have to assume that a player’s career trajectory took a massive turn upward. In this case, we saw a BGS 9.5 Christian Yelich 1st Bowman Chrome auto sell for $52.69 in March 2015. Raw copies of this card routinely sell for a price tag of several times that.

2012 Bowman Platinum – Prospects – Red Refractor #BPP49 – Christian Yelich /25 [BGS 9.5 GEM MINT] 

The 2012 Bowman Platinum set and it’s parallels are truly beautiful cards in person with their orange-peel like textured backgrounds. This BGS 9.5 Christian Yelich red refractor sold for just $18 back in July 2013.

Flash forward almost six years later and this exact same card (which is a pop-2) sold elsewhere for over 4-times the original purchase price:

2013 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects – [Base] – Purple Ice #40 – Christian Yelich /10 

It goes without saying that Bowman purists have a wide arrange of opinions on non-original color parallels (Ref, X-Fractor, Blue, Gold, Orange, Red, Superfractor) and also about the ice parallel. Regardless, you would be hard-pressed to find any collector who wouldn’t want to add this /10 Purple Ice Christian Yelich card to their collection for about $40. Recently completed sales put this card in the $275-300 range now.

2013 Topps Chrome – Rookie Autographs – Red Refractor #CY – Christian Yelich /25

Alright, now we start to get into the comical historical sales data. This Christian Yelich Red Refractor true rookie autograph numbered to just 25 copies sold for just $87 on April 3rd of last year, just months before he was traded to the Brewers and his rise to greatness began. Could this buyer predict the future? Was it just a case of right place at the right time? Are they a Marlins fan who was crushed when he was traded?

We’ll never know, but we’d like to believe that they weren’t at all upset just a year later when a gold /50 version of this card sold for $1250. It’s hard to imagine what the even more elusive red refractor autograph may fetch….

2013 Topps Update Series – [Base] – Black #US290 – Christian Yelich /62 

Which brings us to this LOL-worthy historical sales data. Were you one of the 11 lucky individuals who managed to scoop up this card from COMC for $25 or less? Probably not. Numbered to just 62 copies, COMC has seen 1/6th of the entire print run of these now coveted Christian Yelich black parallels of his True RC out of 2013 Topps Update. Recent sales have seen this card fetch $695 via Buy it Now.

Now we want to hear from you! What Christian Yelich trading cards slipped through your hands over the years? Do you still have a coveted Yelich card that you won’t sell for all the money in the world? Share your best investment and #collectfail stories with us!

Rich Reminisces: Willie Mays

Willie Mays was the definition of a five-tool baseball player. Whatever he did on a baseball diamond he did well, and he did well until he was 40 years old. He outlasted all his contemporaries and made what might be the most famous catch in all baseball history. While those won’t be one of the cards we discuss today, that catch was honored on this 1959 Topps baseball card:

We’ll begin with his 1951 Bowman card. Just as with Mickey Mantle, who also was a 1951 rookie player and rookie card, this card is in the last and more difficult Bowman series. What most people do not realize in today’s world was when Dr. James Beckett published his first price guide book in 1979 there was only a $5 difference between the Mays and the Mantle card.

Yes, you would have done terrific with either card if you had put them away in 1979 and not have them seen the light of day for the following 40 years, but in those days Mantle was considered just a hair better than Mays in terms of pricing.

The next year we had his first Topps basball card. His first Topps card is in the second toughest series of the legendary 1952 Topps set and has never been an easy card for collectors to find. While not as difficult as the renowned last series, these are all pretty tough cards and the Mays is never readily available at shows or through the big auction houses

As you can see this also happens to be a very attractive card design and the attractiveness of the card works well with the expensive price tag. Another of my favorite Mays cards from his playing day is this 1962 Topps Superstars card with Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.If you look carefully you will see Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks with their back to the camera. Pretty impressive with either group of players I would say. And if you had those two players on your team during the 1954-1965 time period you probably would have been able to, well in the words of famed sportswriter Red Smith, “serving strawberries in the wintertime just about every season.” You would not have needed a lot more help to make a great team.

If you were collecting cards in the 1960’s, you learned Topps used certain numbers to honor the superstars. Usually if a player had a card number ending with 00 or 50 they were not only beloved, but also considered the key cards in the set. That tradition continued for a long time, even famously in the 1985 Topps set when Oddibe McDowell was set up to be card #400, when Topps featured the 1984 Olympic gold-medal team and then Mark McGwire was #401. More than three decades later you wonder if Topps would like that numbering sequence back. 

Another one they would like back came in 1969 Topps when Mays was shockingly given card #190 after a long streak of being a key number.  There were a lot of things going on with Topps in 1969 in terms of their relationship with the MLB Players Union, and I wonder if they even thought they would be able to get all seven series they released out the door. The first two series were heavily front-loaded with stars and superstars, and we can look at that with modern conjecture. If you are really interested I would recommend reading Mark Armour‘s work on that card era, for he has done a yeoman job on the research and appreciates the time from both the kid he was at the time and the excellent researcher he is today.

But without further adieu here is card #190 in 1969:

Finally we end our tour with the last regular season card issued of Mays. Willie returned to New York during the 1972 season when the Giants were looking for a soft landing for his career’s end, and his presence helped the New York Mets get to the World Series the following year. Now he was pretty much through as a player in 1973, but in 1972 he still had one last dramatic flair to his career.

This clip of Mays’ first homer as a Met came against the Giants no less and turned out to be the game-winning hit.

That was on Mother’s day in 1972, and it seemed like Mother’s day was big in New York for baseball highlights. We had this one five years earlier; In fact, it was five years earlier to the day

But we digress, and here is Mays 1973 Topps card as a Met.

Now, I always wished Topps did more career retrospective cards but we were lucky in 1974 to have this “accidental” Mays card as part of the 1973 World Series highlights:

What do you want us to write about in future columns on the COMC Blog? We want to hear from members of the COM Nation! We want this to be as much YOUR column as it is mine.