2018 Topps Heritage Baseball is Here! Let’s Look at the Inspiration…

By Kin Kinsley

(Note – Please welcome guest blogger Kin Kinsley to the COMC Blog. Kin is a lifelong collector and accomplished writer who currently writes content for his two blogs – I Feel Like a Collector Again and Bean’s Ballcard Blog.)

It’s almost time for one of the most anticipated baseball sets of the season to hit hobby shops and retailers.  The 2018 Topps Heritage set is scheduled for a February 28th release.  This year’s set design mimics the popular 1969 set, so let’s take a look at the set kids were collecting in the summer of ’69.

Cream of the Crop: The Three Top Cards of 1969 Topps

1969 Topps #533 Nolan Ryan
Combining the career leader in strikeouts and a higher series release makes Nolan Ryan one of the most desired in the set. Even for the poorest condition of cards, you should expect to pay at least $30…if you’re lucky.

1969 Topps #260 Reggie Jackson
The card of “Mr. October” Reggie Jackson is the top rookie in the set. Best known for wearing glasses and as a Yankee, the image of a young Jackson sporting an Athletics vest provides a very different look. Picking up anything other than a poor condition cards will likely set you back more than $40.

1969 Topps #500 Mickey Mantle
Mickey Mantle’s sunset card may be the most popular card in the set because, well, Mickey Mantle. The card is in one of the most common series, but more cards haven’t hampered the price or collectability.


Who’s the New Guy?: Three Featured Rookie Cards of 1969 Topps

Reggie Jackson’s rookie card is the most well-known in the set.  However, there are some other quality rookies in the set:

1969 Topps #597 Bobby Floyd/Larry Burchart/Rollie Fingers
Rollie Fingers is the “other” Oakland Athletics rookie in the set that has been enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  In 1992, he was just the second reliever elected.  Twelve years after this card was released (1981) he won BOTH the American League MVP and Cy Young Awards.  You should be able to get lower condition copies of the card for $20 or less.

1969 Topps #630 Bobby Bonds
I’m sure that to many Bobby Bonds is best known as Barry’s dad.  The elder Bonds accomplished many of baseball’s “first” and held all-time records at the time of his retirement.  He was the first player to have two 30/30 seasons and ended his career accomplishing this a record five times (later matched by Barry).  He also held the career and season records for times leading off a game with a home run, but both records have been broken.

1969 Topps #516 Earl Weaver
Who’s to say that a manager’s rookie card can’t be desirable?  It can if it’s Earl Weaver.  The best example I can give of why is the sheer number of post-career sets that Weaver appears in.  They are all as a manager, as he never made it to the bigs as a player.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996 and you can easily find a copy of his rookie card for less than $10.


Shenanigans and Mishaps: Three errors and variations from 1969 Topps

1969 Topps #653 Aurelio Rodriguez
It’s not an error or variation, but the Aurelio Rodriguez is one of the better known cards in the hobby.  Why?  He’s not pictured on the card but instead, it’s an Angels batboy. The switcheroo wasn’t known for a few years so the error was never corrected.  You can easily find this card for less than a couple bucks.

1969 Topps #500 Mickey Mantle (VARIATION)
There aren’t many variations in the 1969 Topps set so I’m sure Mickey Mantle being one of them is pure happenstance.  Instead of Mantle’s last name appearing in yellow, it’s white on the variation.  If you want to acquire this one, be prepared to shell out some good money.

1969 Topps #47 Paul Popovich
The Paul Popovich variations are my favorites in the set for a couple of reasons.  Popovich attended West Virginia University (my alma mater), making it a favorite for that reason alone.  Also, it’s the only card in the set with three variations.  There are two airbrushed versions (thick and light) that the Cub “C” is not visible on.  There’s also a version where you can still see the “C” despite the airbrushing (pictured above).  The version with the “C” showing can command a premium, but nothing too significant.  I find it interesting and reflective of the innocent days passed in trading card collecting.

Best of the Rest: Three “Cooler” Cards From 1969 Topps

1969 Topps #650 Ted Williams
Let’s face it, not everyone that would like a Ted Williams card from his playing days can afford one.  I’ve been collecting for more than 30 years and have never really looked because the prices are out of my comfort zone.  However, most anyone should be able to lay down $10 or so to pick up a copy of this card.

1969 Topps #100 Hank Aaron
I feel that Hank Aaron was pretty decent with the lumber himself.  People think of him as a power hitter but either forget or don’t know that he also hit .305 during his career.  You can usually find low grade copies of the long time home run king for under $10.

1969 Topps #237 Bobby Cox
There are more than a handful of things iconic about the Topps brand.  One of them is the All-Star Rookie Trophy on the front of cards.  Bobby Cox didn’t make the Hall of Fame for his playing career, but he was one of the All-Star Rookies.  This is his only mainstream card from his playing days and you can find copies for around $10.

One of the best things about our hobby is the multitude of ways to acquire and collect. I always encourage that collectors get out there and support your local card shop, but if that is not an option, Topps Heritage should be available today at most retail locations on February 28th. For those collectors uninterested in the pack rippin’ experience, 2018 Topps Heritage should be appearing on the COMC marketplace in just a few weeks. Regardless of how you choose to collect, enjoying the experience is the most important aspect. Happy Collecting!

The Faces Behind COMC – Getting to Know Our Customer Service Team

We’re going to step outside the box and do something a little bit different in the first installment of this ongoing blog series. Instead of showcasing some of the great cards found on COMC, we want to introduce you to a few of our employees here at COMC. If you’ve ever sent an email to staff@comc.com or given us a call, it is very likely that you’ve been helped by one or more of our Customer Service Team. In this blog, we’ll put faces and personalities to the names that have helped improve your COMC experience. Enjoy!


Christopher Thornton

Originally joining COMC to help bolster our Shipping Team in the Fall of 2015, Chris quickly found his way to our Customer Service Team thanks to his keen eye for detail and appreciation for language. Born in Wenatchee, WA (a three-hour trek across the mountains from COMC), he has lived all across Washington including Seattle and the Tri-Cities area.

Away from COMC, Chris can be found partaking in partner acrobatics 4-5 nights a week with his friends. His fascination for cooking using both unique combinations of ingredients and niche cooking gadgets always spurns conversation around the office. His remaining free time is usually spent squeezing in other hobbies such as watching sci-fi, astronomy, self-improvement through reading and being a wine enthusiast. He collects literature in the form of poems as well as old books.

Favorite Sport: Acrobatic Gynastics
Favorite Players: Simone Biles
Favorite Food: Sushi or Szechuan
Favorite Musical Artists: Astronautilus, Garbage, Jesse Cook, Daft Punk, Aesop Rock, Metric
Favorite Card in his collection: Magic: The Gathering card, “Cauldron Dance”


Norbert Strub

The longest tenured member of our Customer Service Team, ‘Norb’ joined the team back in October of 2013. Originally from Virginia, he now resides close to COMC with his adorable eight-year-old Japanese Chin dog.

He is the resident expert at COMC for any and all things retro video gaming. In addition to knowing virtually everything there is to know about retro gaming, he owns a vast collection of video games spread across a variety of consoles.  When not gaming it up,  he can be found on the disc golf course competing or honing his skills.

Favorite Sport: Football, Hockey
Favorite Food: Dishes with noodles (spaghetti, yakisoba, pad thai, etc.)
Favorite Game in his collection: King of Dragons


James Good

James joined the COMC Team in the Fall of 2012 as a member of our Identification Team. He transitioned onto the Customer Service Team as an extension of his role as our Social Media Coordinator in early 2016. Born just outside of Los Angeles, California, he has lived the majority of his life in the Pacific Northwest.

In his spare time, James enjoys being active within the hobby buying and selling sports cards. A former professional Pokemon Trading Card Game Player, he finished 3rd in the 2013 Pokemon World Championship. James is an automotive enthusiast, owning a limited edition Dodge Challenger SRT8 and a Ram 1500 pickup truck.  He is self-professed homebody who would much rather spend his free time at home with his girlfriend Brittany and their three cats.

Favorite Sport: Baseball
Favorite Players:  Bryce Harper, Tim Lincecum, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mitch Haniger
Favorite Food: Carb-free burrito bowl from Chipotle
Favorite Musical Artists: Tycho, Caspian, Josh Abbot Band, and Chis Stapleton
Favorite Card in his collection: 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects Blue Refractor Autograph Tim Lincecum

 

Joseph Highfill

Having joined our team more recently midway through 2016, Joe has quickly acclimated to the culture of COMC. His infectious laugh can be heard frequently throughout the halls of our Redmond Headquarters. The most- well traveled of the Team, he has previously lived in Portsmouth, VA, Orlando, FL, and Georgia before settling in Washington.

When not helping and assisting our customers, Joe can be found making music and enjoying media arts. His passion for music is second-to-none as he packs a substantial collection of records and various forms of music highlighted by an extensive David Bowie collection. When not rocking out or spending time with his family and friends, he can be found remaining very active as an enthusiast of cycling, martial arts, and dancing.

Favorite Sport: Performing live.
Favorite Food: Thai
Favorite Musical Artists: David Bowie, The Fall, Skinny Puppy, Talking Heads
Favorite Card in his collection: 1974-81 Dutch/Swedish Star Gums #601 – David Bowie


Chris Brown

Chris started his journey at COMC as a member of our Identification Team in 2015 before transitioning to the Customer Service Team last year. Born and raised in the State of Washington, he has resided all across the state from as far north as Bellingham to across the Puget Sound in Port Orchard.

He surrounds himself with friends and family that keeps him plenty busy in his free time. He has a standing weekly chess appointment with one of his oldest friends. It’s not uncommon to find Chris attending a game night on the weekends where any number of games might get played. He has a small dog named Jax who he says is an equal part delight and pain in the rear.

Favorite Sport: Boxing
Favorite Players: Gennady Golovkin, Earl Thomas, Kyle Seager
Favorite Food: Lasagna… No, Burrito…
Favorite Musical Artists: At the Drive-In, Red Fang, et al.
Favorite Card in his collection:1996 Topps – #290 Reggie White – “I got to meet him and he signed this card for me.”

 

Fresh Out of the Pack #2 – Newly Released Sets on the COMC Marketplace!

Hello COMC Nation,

In our ongoing series ‘Fresh out of the Pack’ , we take a look at the latest sets that have found their way to the COMC Marketplace. As these sets are among the newest released, consignors are still opening product found at their local hobby shops and purchased online and submitting it to COMC, meaning our inventory is continuing to grow of these sets. Don’t get discouraged if we don’t have your player or team in stock! Fresh new inventory of these sets will be added for many months to come, so be sure to check back often!

 

Your Guide to the 2018 NBA All Star Game (via Rookie Cards!)

The 2018 NBA All Star is next week and as expected, the format under which the game will be played has been changed YET AGAIN. Instead of a classic Eastern Conference vs Western Conference showdown, this year the two top vote getting players in each conference were named Team Captains. Unsurprisingly, Lebron James led the voting in the East and Stephen Curry took the West. As a result, this year we now have Team Lebron vs Team Stephen highlighting NBA All-Star Weekend in just a few days.

After being announced as Captains, Lebron and Steph were then able to draft their team’s starters based on a pool of players decided upon by fans, NBA players and media without any consideration for which conference those players played in. The reserve players for the two teams were chosen by their two respective coaches, with Mike D’Antoni coaching Team Steph and Dwane Casey coaching Team Lebron. Here’s the starters for each of the two teams:

 Team Lebron  Team Stephen
 Lebron James  Stephen Curry
 Kevin Durant  James Harden
 Kyrie Irving  DeMar DeRozan
 Demarcus Cousins  Giannis Anteokounmpo
 Anthony Davis  Joel Embiid

We decided that it wouldn’t quite be an All-Star Game without us making a bold prediction. We turned to the historical sales data of each player’s rookie card. To keep things fair, we used the highest completed sales data available on COMC of each player’s Topps Chrome Refractor RC or Panini Prizm Silver Prizm RC, when available. In the event that the player didn’t have a rookie card in either of those sets, we defaulted to the player’s best available rookie autograph from a comparable set. As expected, the result was fun but not quite perfect, as some historical sales data was rather old due to the scarcity of the cards and did not accurately reflect the card’s current market value.

Team Lebron

Total Team Value = $1380.56

Team Stephen

Total Team Value = $1525.10

There you have it! On the backs of the silver prizm rookie cards of The Greek Freak and The Process, Team Steph bests Team Lebron by nearly $145, making Steph & Co. our pick to win the 2018 NBA All Star Game. Despite our Super Bowl prediction not going so well a couple weeks ago, we have faith that our highly in depth analysis of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game Starters will prove us right!

NBA All-Star Weekend kicks off February 16th at 9pm EST with the Rising Stars Game All-Star Saturday Night (Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest) will be held February 17th at 8pm EST) and capping off the weekend will be the Team Lebron vs Team Stephen All-Star Game on February 19th at 7pm EST).

Check Out Your Grades! – January BGS Grading Returns

Hello COMC Nation!

February is here which means it’s time for another installment of Check Out Your Grades! In this series, we showcase our favorite items that have been submitted to BGS Grading via COMC and have just recently returned. Last month, we said that we would limit each installment to our ten favorite grading returns. However, we’ve decided that sharing just 10 cards a month is a little too restricting for our taste. We’ll be sharing ALL of our favorites, which means 17 grading returns made the list this month!

Did you know that you can submit any item in your inventory manager via the actions menu to BGS for grading or to COMC for our weekly Condition Review? Not only will your cards be graded within six weeks, but they’ll have a chance to be showcased in our monthly blog series!  Without further ado:

January 2018 Grading Returns:

That’s all for this month! Check out previous installments of this blog series here:

December 2017