The First 100: Ranking Our Favorite Cards from Topps Living Set

This year Topps released a very unique and welcomed product named ‘The Living Set‘. Each week, three new cards are released into the set, which should theoretically never end. Each particular week’s cards are only available for that week and then never reprinted again. Current players can only have one card in the set unless they change teams. All cards are stylized after 1953 Topps, can feature current or retired players, and are created around the artwork of legendary sports card artist Mayumi Seto. Card #100-102 (week 34) were released last week, with #100 reserved for Babe Ruth. 

From the moment this set was unveiled, two of COMC’s employees were hooked on the concept, design, and the execution. Our Communications Manager James Good and Senior Business Analyst Grant Wescott each own a complete set up to this point in time and plan to continue to collecting the set as new cards are released each week. We asked them to choose their favorite 10 of the first 100 cards released in the set and give a reason why those cards resonated with them.

Grant Wescott:

“I’d wished for years Topps would produce an on-demand baseball set with the same, consistent design year after year, featuring only one player to a card, no parallels, and a checklist to eternity. The day Topps Living Set was announced was probably the best of my collecting life. Not only did they check all the boxes – that consistent design? None other than the most beautiful Topps set of all time: 1953. All meticulously hand painted by the talented Mayumi Seto. “

James Good

“In an industry that tries to consistently innovate by making cards flashier and more complex, the basic card stock and classic design of Living Set, as well as the focus on artwork, is a welcomed breath of fresh air. While I would prefer that Topps would let me pay for Living Set as yearly subscription service, as opposed to buying each week individually, there is a certain charm to the current format that plays well to my nostalgia for simpler times in the hobby. Just like opening a pack as a kid, there is that rush of excitement that comes with heading to Topps website each Wednesday to see who this week’s subjects are. I thought that sense of satisfaction was long gone in our day and age. Bravo Topps.”

What are some of your favorite cards in Topps Living Set so far? Who would you like to see featured in the next 100 cards? Do you have a set of your own? Let us know what you think about The Living Set in the comments below!

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.