COMC on the Haunted Road: Catch us in Ontario Next Weekend!

Happy Halloween COMC Nation!

We are coming out from the dark of night and are howling about our ominous presence at the 56th Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo . Come catch us at the show from The-Great-PumpkinNovember 9th – 11th at the International Centre (6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, Ontarioooooo!). We are located at Booth #3300 in the Corporate Area between Upper Deck and the Autograph Pavilion. COMC’s own Geoff “Howlin” and Boo-Barry will once again be in attendance to take your drop-off submissions, eat your unwanted Halloween candy, or answer your questions you may have about COMC.

Free Giveaways!

Stop by our booth each day of the Expo as there will be free treats for everyone!
– One per customer per day (while supplies last.) –

Prize Wheel!

Spin the COMC Prize Wheel to receive an entry to win one of 20 prizes that are worth screaming about.  Please note that you must have a COMC account to participate.  Limit one spellbinding spin per COMC account per show.  All participants will receive a COMC branded miniature coffin in the shape of a storage box (while supplies last).

Winners will be drawn the week of November 11th and will be splattered on our “blob”-page.

Games For The Kids!

All kids can receive a free hand stamp of our blood-red COMC shield.  In addition, young collectors accompanied by a COMC account holding “mummy” or daddy can spin-to-win instant prizes (while supplies last).  Devilish details will be announced at the show!

Drop Off Consignments Accepted!

As always, we will be accepting drop-off submissions at the Expo to help our consignors save on the legitimately frightful cost of shipping.  Prior to dropping off your submission please follow the steps below:

  1. All submissions must have complete and accurate paperwork. Please use the ’Sportscard & Memorabilia Expo drop off location’ option on step 5 of the Submission Wizard to expedite processing
  2. Ensure your submission is packed securely within a secure card box/coffin.

We are excited to see you at the most fang-tastic hockey card trade show in the world.  For more details on the Toronto Fall Expo, check out their website at: http://sportcardexpo.com

– The COMC Team

[COMC Tutorial] All About The Rookies

Rookie cards are among some of the most coveted cards in the trading card hobby. Unfortunately, the hobby does not have a fool-proof system for conveying what is and isn’t a true rookie card. What some collectors might consider to be a true rookie card, others would not. One of the most commonly asked questions that our Customer Service Team receives is the following:

“What is the difference between the Pre-Rookie Card, Rookie Card, Rookie Year, and Rookie Related search filters on COMC?”

Today, we seek to answer that question by explaining our search filter designations for rookies in detail, using examples and cards that you’re probably familiar with, and some that you might not be.

Rookie Card 

The red-colored ‘RC’ tag on COMC is reserved for cards that are recognized as true rookie cards. To satisfy the designation of RC, a card must:

  • Depict a player in their pro uniform
  • Be licensed by both the league and players association
  • Come from a standalone nationally distributed set
  • Come from a base set
  • Be released after the player’s top-level debut

Some of the sets that we see as producing true rookie cards include Topps Base Set, Topps Chrome, Panini Prizm Basketball, and Upper Deck Hockey to name a few. These sets are considered to contain a player’s true rookie cards because they are commonly accepted as major annual releases that have high relevance in the industry.

Rookie Year 

With defined criteria necessary to earn RC status, our yellow rookie year tag is applied to any other card released of a player during the same year as their rookie card. These cards can include parallels of rookie cards, inserts cards from sets that feature a rookie card, cards that are licensed by a player’s association but not a league (i.e. Panini Optic Baseball), stadium giveaways, and many more cards that do not meet the qualifications of a rookie card.

Looking at these three 2018 Shohei Ohtani cards, we have designated one (2018 Topps Chrome #150) as a true rookie card, and three others as rookie year cards. Here’s why:

2018 Topps Chrome – Pink Refractor #150: This card does belong to a flagship product that we recognize as producing true rookie cards, but it is a parallel of the base rookie card. For that reason, we designate it as a rookie year card.

2018 Topps Now – Japan #5J:  Topps Now is not a nationally distributed set, as it is an on-demand product that is printed year round. As of this writing there are 29 different Shohei Ohtani Topps Now cards available on the COMC Marketplace. These cards all receive the rookie year designation as they are not widely considered to be true rookie cards.

Pre-Rookie Card 

A pre-rookie card is any card that was printed prior to the year that a player made their debut at the top level of their respective sport. The most common pre-rookie cards are included in prospect-heavy products such as a Bowman Draft, Topps Pro Debut, team-issued minor league baseball cards, football rookies depicted in college uniforms in sets released prior to the start of an NFL season, and junior league hockey cards.

Rookie Related

The Rookie Related designation is really quite simple – it’s a catch-all filter of all the cards that have received a rookie card, rookie year, or pre-rookie card designation. If you’re still a little bit confused over rookie card vs rookie year vs pre-rookie card, simply choosing the rookie related filter will show you ALL of those cards.

The Politics of the Rookie Card

One of the most common misconceptions on COMC is that the red rookie card symbol represents the most desirable cards belonging to a player. That isn’t true at all. While these items are considered that player’s true rookie cards, there are many instances where a pre-rookie card or even a rookie year card can be a substantially more desirable card than a flagship RC. Don’t believe us? We’ll let you decide which of these cards you would rather have in your collection:



Have any questions? Feel free to post in the comments below, or email our Customer Service Team at Staff@comc.com and we’ll be more than happy to look into your concerns. If you disagree with any of our assessments pertaining to these rookie designations, you are more than welcome to submit a correction requests for rookie years that you would like to dispute. However, please note that while we will not agree with all requests, we will review each one.

The Faces Behind COMC #5 – Getting to Know our Processing Team

Welcome back to our ongoing series, “The Faces Behind COMC”. In this series, we highlight the faces and personalities of our hardworking team members who’s day-to-day efforts help ensure that our customers have the satisfactory experience they know and love in using COMC. This time around we’re featuring members of our Processing Team, the team that is responsible tasks such as opening and verifying your consignment submissions, imaging items, and several other duties. These team members see nearly every single card that COMC receives, and work diligently, consistently and efficiently to process your cards.

Chee (Chee21 on COMC)

For over six years now, ‘Mama Chee’ has not only been a key member of our Imaging Team, but she’s been feeding her co-workers with her delicious homemade dishes and treats Her homemade salsa is to die for!  Beloved around the office, Chee is as talented in the kitchen as she is at work, and currently serves as our Imaging Team Lead.  Born in Malaysia, some of her hobbies enjoy watching the wild birds that she feeds at home, trying new receipes, and searching for trading cards at local garage sales. Her best ‘flip’ came recently when she found a Derek Jeter card for $1 and resold it for $70 on COMC. In addition to cards, she enjoys collecting stamps, coins, and recipes

Favorite sport:  Bowling
Favorite players:  Russell Wilson
Favorite Musical Artist(s): Tom Jones
Favorite Movie / TV Show /etc: The Big Bang Theory


Tad 

Tad joined our team in 2014 after looking for a change of pace from his previous career. In that time, he has since become our go-to Lead for specialty imaging.  Born in Seattle, he previously lived in Southern California and has one pet cat named Rico. He collects both baseball cards as well as pint glasses. He prefers the classic rock tunes of bands like Rush, Pink Floyd, among others, who can be heard just about anytime playing in his office.

 

Favorite sport(s): Football & Baseball
Favorite Player: The late Willie Davis (baseball)
Favorite  Food: Pizza
Favorite Musical Artist: Rush
Favorite Movie / TV Show / etc: The Godfather / NFL Redzone
Favorite Card in your Collection: 1969 Topps #65 Willie Davis


Marie

Marie joined the COMC Team in fall of 2011 originally as a member of our Shipping Team, but has since transitioned to our Imaging Team. Born close to COMC Headquarters in Everett, WA, she has previously lived in Bremerton, which is across the Puget Sound from Seattle. Away from COMC, she juggles a part time job with raising her 5-year-old, but says that life is more low-key than it is chaotic. She enjoys arts, crafts and hiking, and collects cute pop culture items.

Favorite Food: Pho
Favorite Musical Artist: Michael Jackson
Favorite Movie / TV Show / etc: Any sci-fi or thriller


Heather (Heather714 on COMC)

You may already be familiar with Heather, as she was featured in our COMC Origins video we published earlier this year. Along with her father Steve, she is one the longest tenured employees at COMC, joining the company over 10 years and several locations ago back in 2007. Born in southern California, she considers herself a Disney nerd, and collects Funko Pops and Bath and Body Works candles in addition to trading cards. She has a pet cat and rabbit, and spends her time doing Zumba, completing puzzles, and volunteering for animal rescue groups when not at work.

Favorite Player: Russell Wilson
Favorite Food: Mac and Cheese
Favorite Musical Artists: Josh Grobam, Girl Generation (K-Pop), Lindsey Stirling

Rich Reminisces: Roger Craig

One of the great aspects of my role with COMC is the freedom I have within my office. The way I’m able to work is with an oldies-based internet radio station, old radio air-checks, or old sports radio broadcast playing just about at all times. Of course, I do turn them off for the occasional work meeting or other important aspect, but since I’m in an office by myself most of the time, some background noise is very appreciated.

Out of all those sports radio broadcast stations available on sites such as youtube, my personal favorite is “Classic Baseball on the Radio:” This user posts exactly what his name is, which is old radio broadcasts, which have been preserved in many cases for more than 60 years. The person got most of his air checks from a person who lived in Upstate New York and thus the vast majority of the games are either New York Yankees or New York Mets games. Since I grew up watching those two teams, albeit a few years later than these recordings, there is a great pleasure in hearing about those players one never saw being brought to life.

In my GTS column, I have mentioned the work that the great Raymond Jones has done in helping us with the Adat Chaverim show. Raymond comes up whenever I receive a new donation and takes boxes with him to see if he can make sets based on what he notices in those boxes. I think Raymond made 20-30 sets for us for the last show and also did some yeoman work in verifying sets were actually complete. I mention Raymond because for a good 2-3 months Roger Craig seemed to be on the mound (or would come on in relief) in every Mets game. We’ll go through his career later, but yes, he pitched in a time when many starters would come in for an appearance. Try that in today’s baseball world and you would hear screams from every executive. For fun, check out Lefty Grove‘s statistics some time on Baseball Reference. You will see some interesting categories he led the league in during the same season.

So for those reasons, we agreed Roger Craig should be the official baseball player of the DFW COMC office. The only other athlete we (actually I) considered for this honor was WWE Superstar Alexa Bliss. Raymond and myself have a running conversation about whether we prefer ‘The Godess’ Ms. Bliss, or his favorite, ‘The Empress of Tomorrow” Asuka. If you have never seen this bit entitled a Moment of Bliss from a recent WWE Raw episode, you are missing the development of a future actress. Note how easily she delivers the line comparing herself to Nelson Mandela, or discussing herself as a 7-year old goddess while building up a match against rival Trish Stratus. She actually has a future in Hollywood if she does desire:

And now that we have finished with our digression about Ms. Bliss (and who would really object to focusing on her?), let’s return to Roger Craig. Roger’s rookie card are in the 1956 Topps set, and yes there are two versions available (White and Grey back). Those cards are very affordable and show the stats of someone who did help the Brooklyn Dodgers win their only World Series the previous season.

Roger would continue to be part of the Dodgers organization for the next several years. His best year as a Dodger was probably in 1959 when he tossed four shutouts to lead the National League and garnered the only MVP votes of his career. But after the 1961 season, his career would turn, and not in the best way. Whilst he only spent two seasons with the expansion New York Mets, he compiled an 15-46 record. Now the saying goes you have to be a pretty good pitcher to lose 20 games in a season, so he must have been a great pitcher to do that in consecutive seasons. Here is his first Topps card as a Met and just as with the 1956 card there are two varieties. We are picturing the Green Tint Topps card in the card on the right.

A side note on 62 Green Tints: When I was collecting a master 1962 Topps set way back in the day, it took me forever to get a Moose Skowron green tint card. To me, that card was probably harder to acquire than the now well-known 1961 short print Skowron card. But I think the bemused expression on Craig’s face presaged his next two seasons.

At the end of the 1962 season, Craig was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals and as if the gods were shining down, Craig pitched on another World Championship team.

Frankly, by the conclusion of the 1964 season, Roger’s career was pretty much concluded. He did spend the 1965-66 seasons with two different NL teams and completed his career shortly after his 35th birthday. His final card as a player was a 1966 Topps High Number which does make sense, since by that time in his career Topps was not always sure he would make a major league roster. As Sy Berger would note, Topps usually had a pretty good concept of who would make the team coming out of spring training. Not perfect, but pretty darn good for that era

But we are not done with Mr. Craig. Roger ended up as a baseball lifer and spent almost a quarter-century as either a pitching coach or a manager. He was the pitching coach for the 1964 World Champion Detroit Tigers and managed the 1989 San Francisco Giants to the World Series.

Here is a really cool Mother’s Cookies Roger Craig card with him in a traditional managerial pose:

Roger has continued to have cards issued almost to the present day. A few years ago, Topps Heritage included him in their 2015 Real One Autographs insert set. As they have done a “reprint” final year card was created so the player could autograph those cards for random placement in packs.

 

Quite a life for the nearly 90 year old Roger Craig and we are happy to show you some of the cards of Mr. Craig, the official baseball player of the COMC DFW office.

I would love to hear your comments and your suggestions for future blog post subjects. Reach me by email with your thoughts at RichKlein@comc.com.

Montreal Anti-Expo Card Show Recap & Contest Results

We had a wonderful time at the 2018 Fall Anti-Expo last weekend in Montreal! Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth to chat, participated in our contests and giveaways, and dropped off their consignment submissions. If you were able to attend the show and stopped by our booth, you probably partook in our Dice Roll Contest. If so, here is the moment that you’ve been waiting:

Dice Roll Contest Results and Winners! 

Grand Prize Winner:
(Roll a 3, 4, or 5) –  2017-18 Upper Deck UD Game Patch #GJ-PR Carey Price #14/15 – Fragfrogs

Runner-Up Winners:
(Roll a 6 or 7) – 2016-17 Upper Deck Canvas #C261 Thomas Chabot – DirtyMcFly
(Roll a 8) – 2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Color Wheel #1 Connor McDavid – Patyas
(Roll a 9) – 2015-16 Upper Deck Canvas #C244 Guy Lafleur – Omnious
(Roll a 10) – 2015-16 MVP #276 Max Domi RC – Scotttessier
(Roll a 11) – Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #1 Connor McDavid – robertbergevin3
(Roll a 12) – 2016-17 MVP #366 Thomas Chabot RC – johnmaher
(Roll a 13) – 2013-14 Prizm Autograph #A-GA Brendan Gallagher – Jimm83
(Roll a 14 or 15) – 2015-16 Upper Deck Canvas #C246 Patrick Roy – dmknation17
(Roll a 16, 17, or 18) – 2017-18 Upper Deck UD Game Patch #GJ-AG Alex Galchenyuk #14/15 – pkchu

To claim your prize, please contact staff@comc.com with your name and username before December 14, 2018 @ 23:59:59 PST.

We will announce the second chance store credit draw winners next week on our Facebook page! Stay tuned and good luck!

#Cardstock Volume 12 – The Future is Now

#CardSTOCK is an ongoing series created by Baseball Cards Daily’s Chris Steuber that details the hobby value of baseball players based on their popularity and performance . You can check out all past editions of #CardSTOCK here. You can catch Chris’s podcast ‘Baseball Cards Daily’ for free on itunes and Google Play.

With the 2018 MLB season coming to a close, now is the time to look back and reflect on the accomplishments of these five players who are quickly becoming household names. For some, the dream of the post season is still alive, while others will potentially be snubbed for awards they should win. Yeah, we’ll say it: Blake Snell for American League Cy Young! Regardless, these players made an immediate impact to their respective teams, and as a result their card values and desirability has risen tremendously.

 

 

 

Sets Revisited: 2007 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects (baseball)

By James Good

Although I consider myself a lifelong collector, there was about a five or six year stretch through my teenage and early adult years where my trading card collection remained largely dormant.  The 2007 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects set is near and dear to my heart because it was the first product that pulled me back into the hobby as an adult a little over ten years ago. That makes it a perfect candidate for this installment of Sets Revisited.

As close as a 90’s kid would ever get to the real thing!

As a 90’s kid in the hobby, I bought and traded cards not only because it was AWESOME to have a superior collection than my friends, but also because I was led to believe that one day I would be sitting on a goldmine of cardboard. Shout out to all the fellow 90’s collectors with hundreds of pounds of junk wax era cards who felt the same way! While that pipe dream has yet to pan out, 2007 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospect was the first set that really introduced me to the prospecting aspect of the hobby.

In early 2008 I took a job at a sports card and memorabilia shop at the local mall. As I got reacquainted with the hobby, a lot had changed, particularly on the baseball card front. I was completely caught off guard that products containing primarily minor league players had leaped to the forefront of collector’s attention. I could not believe that the Ken Griffey Jr. and 90’s Mickey Mantle insert cards that I loved so much were worth so little, yet collectors were now crazy for kids who had yet to make their major league debut. The idea of a stock market like approach to collecting fascinated me, and I too quickly bought into the hype.

Before I get into the prospecting element of this blog, everyone likes a feel-good story, right? At the time in early 2008, my favorite baseball player on the planet was Tim Lincecum. ‘Lincy’ was a University of Washington pitching standout who I always felt belonged in Seattle Mariners uniform. But as fate would have it, my beloved Mariners instead took Brandon Morrow in the 2006 MLB Draft with the sixth overall pick instead, passing on names like Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw, and Max Scherzer. I’ll save my grievances for a later blog. Regardless, in my very first box of 2007 Bowman DP&P, I pulled a monster rookie card of my favorite player:

2007 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects – Red Refractor Tim Lincecum #’d 3/5
(It kills me that I don’t have a better picture!)

That was all the excitement and enjoyment that I needed to keep ripping the product for the next several months. To this day, I have not hit a card from a product that I have loved nearly as much as I did that card. One of my biggest regrets in collecting was selling it when money was tight back in 2009. I’m hopeful that someday it will return to my collection, but for now a gold refractor version that I was able to snag for about $30 earlier this year on COMC will suffice.

As far as the prospects in the set, time is the one true constant in the world of professional sports, and time will always tell all. Enough time has passed that there is no more speculation to be had with 2007 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects. Without further ado…

Who Were We Prospecting Back in 2008?

2007 Bowman DP&P was not a product that was popular for the autographs, but rather for the 1st Bowman non-autographed cards of several top prospects. We’ll get to them later. The set simply did not have a truly standout autograph class at the time:

BDPP111 Daniel Moskos
BDPP112 Ross Detwiler
BDPP113 Tim Alderson
BDPP114 Beau Mills
BDPP115 Devin Mesoraco
BDPP116 Kyle Lotzkar
BDPP117 Blake Beavan
BDPP118 Peter Kozma
BDPP119 Chris Withrow
BDPP120 Corey Lubke
BDPP121 Nick Schmidt
BDPP122 Michael Main
BDPP123 Aaron Poreda
BDPP124 James Simmons
BDPP125 Ben Revere
BDPP126 Joe Savery
BDPP127 Jonathan Gilmore
BDPP128 Todd Frazier
BDPP129 Matt Mangini
BDPP130 Casey Weathers

BDPP131 Nick Noonan
BDPP132 Kellen Kulbacki
BDPP133 Michael Burgess
BDPP134 Nick Hagadone
BDPP135 Clayton Mortensen
BDPP136 Justin Jackson
BDPP137 Ed Easley
BDPP138 Corey Brown
BDPP139 Danny Payne
BDPP140 Travis d’Arnaud

Looking at this list in 2018 is almost painful, and not just because none of the prospects who I invested in panned out. With the success of Tim Lincecum and the (at the time) raw potential of Madison Bumgarner, fellow Giants pitching prospect Tim Alderson seemed like a can’t miss prospect. While the latter two have multiple World Series rings and individual accomplishments, Alderson was never able to reach the bigs, logging nearly 800 minor league innings as of 2016.

I can’t recall if Todd Frazier was a hyped prospect back before his big league debut, but his name is one of two on this list that stand out as having solid big league careers. The other would be Ben Revere, who was one of if not THE top auto to hit in the product. Of the rest of these names, Beau Mills, Michael Main, Jonathan Gilmore, Michael Burgess, Kyle Lotzkar, and Nick Hagadone all had appeal and were considered the best of the rest.

As I spoke to earlier, the real appeal of 2007 Bowman DP&P came from the non-autographed 1st Bowman cards of several top prospects who would command top dollar from the day that the product was released. You can catch the full checklist for all 100 prospects in the set here. So who were the cant miss prospects of this set?

Matt Laporta and David Price were on EVERY prospectors radar. Laporta was generally seen as the safer option of the two, as even prospectors to this day would agree that prized pitching prospects are high-risk, high-reward investment opportunities. Obviously David Price has had a great career up to this point, so it’s always good to see a top prospect who does pan out. Jason Heyward, Madison Bumgarner, and Freddie Freeman were also very coveted prospects who were hot sellers. Freeman  has an opportunity this season to become the first league MVP from this group, although in my belief he’s been passed up in that race as of this writing.

With Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, and Johnathan Gilmore, the Atlanta Braves were one of the most coveted teams in the forum group breaking scene. I opted to put my faith and dollars into the San Francisco Giants for the handful of breaks that I took part in.  Aside from Madison Bumgarner’s first prospect chrome and Tim Lincecum’s green-bordered RC, Nick Noonan, Wendell Fairley, and Henry Sosa were all above average prospects at the time as well.

Speaking of above average prospects, here are the five players that I recall being sleeper picks among prospectors. Do you remember any of these guys?

Of these five, I was most invested in Matt Dominguez, who was a machine in Single-A in 2008, cranking out 18 homers. He was never able to hit for both power and average the Major League level though, and it pains me to see that parallels of this chrome card can be had for a fraction of what they were worth back then.

Nobody had a clue about Kluber’s talent 10 years ago!

Lastly, I wanted to mention the one guy who I felt wasn’t on any prospector’s radar back then and who has had arguably the most accomplished career to date. That man would be Corey Kluber and his TWO Cy Young awards!  He remains the only base card in the set that consistently sells for above $5. The entire San Diego Padres team could be had in group breaks for just over double that price back in 2008.

2007 was a really interesting year for this product. The set list is broken up by draft picks, all depicted in professional uniforms, and prospects, who were photographed in action during the World Baseball Classic. Some collectors were put off by the fact that these players were depicted in their WBC country uniform, which really stunted the long term value of Clayton Kershaw’s card in the set among others.

That’s going to do it for this stroll down memory lane. Do you recall any fun memories from this set? Let us know in the comments below!