Super Bowl LIII: Signature Showdown

After two thrilling overtime Conference Championship Games, Super Bowl LIII is set to feature a clash between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots. While the finish of the Los Angeles Rams vs New Orleans Saints game will be discussed for years to come, it was business as usual for the Bill Belicheck led Patriots, who unrelentingly punished a tired Kansas City Chiefs defense in overtime en route to their third straight Super Bowl appearance.

A lot has happened in the seventeen years since these two teams last met in Super Bowl 36. That Super Bowl would be the starting point for the dynasty New England Patriots, who have gone on to win four more Super Bowl’s since. Tom Brady is still going strong at 41 years old, and with five rings and four Super Bowl MVP’s, it could be argued that he’s hungrier than ever to add to his legend before time runs out.

On the other side of the ball, the Rams have transitioned from the Greatest Show on Turf to a team that struggled to find it’s identity for many years. It wasn’t until they drafted Running Back Todd Gurley in 2015, Jared Goff in 2016, and returned to Los Angeles later that year that the team found their direction. The team made waves when they signed Head Coach Sean McVay at just 30 years old in 2017, and that may very well have been the final piece of the puzzle. The Rams went on to finish with a 13-3 record in 2018, the same record they finished with in 1999, a season that just so happened to end with a Super Bowl victory.

Last year we chose our Super Bowl winner by rating the respective team’s rookie cards. Our method of picking a winner did not go so well, as our pick of the Patriots did not come to fruition. This year around, we’ll be rating the team’s offensive skill position and one defensive position by the quality of their signatures found on trading cards. We’ll be using cards featuring highly visible and clean autographs for the sake of a fair review process.

Quarterbacks

If this were a contest based on autograph value,  Tom Brady would have Jared Goff by a Hail Mary and then some. But we’re judging based on penmanship, and neither of these players earn high marks from us (and the puns began….). While iconic and somewhat legible, Brady opts for the lazy approach of three letters and squiggles to fill up the rest of his autograph. Goff take a different route, but unfortunately that route teeters somewhere between fifth grade cursive class and “Hey, that kind of looks like my last name, right?”. We’re going to give the win to Goff because while neither auto is particularly great, Goff’s does not come across as dismissive, and it’s apparent he puts at least a little effort into trying to produce a quality signature. Touchdown Rams.  Rams 7 Patriots 0 

Running Backs

On the field, there are very few players who come close to the caliber of Todd Gurley. In just four years, Gurley has established himself among a very elite group of running backs, and is poised to set records if he can stay healthy. On the other hand, Sony Michel is a young upstart who was able to take over the starting role halfway through his rookie campaign. But when it comes to the pen, we have to give the nod to Sony, who’s autograph possesses a coolness with it’s sailboat S and lone M representing his last name. Gurley’s overlapping TG just doesn’t cut it, and there is strong evidence to support that you’re more likely to get a streaky autograph out of a Gurley than a clean one. Patriots 7 Rams 7

Wide Receivers

For the Wide Receivers group, we’ll be awarding 3 points to each receiver who’s autograph receives our stamp of approval.

James White – While technically a running back, James White led the Patriots in receptions in 2018. White’s intentionally smaller autograph shows time and care. We’re awarding a field goal here.

Julian EdelmanJulian Edelman has beautiful penmanship, but the glaring problem is that his ‘J’ looks more like a ‘D’, and his last name is marred with issues. The effort is there, and if his name were let’s say, David Iverson, this would absolutely be a points-worthy auto.

Chris Hogan – Now here’s a guy who’s doing the best with what he’s got. We appreciate the effort, even if that effort is in the same vein as Billy Madison writing ‘Rizzuto’ on a chalkboard. Kick is up and it’s good!

Brandin Cooks – No, the Pats are not cheating, at least not yet. While he caught passes from Brady last season, Brandin Cooks is now catching passes from Goff. He’s also catching points in our contest for the beautiful loops found in his initialized signature.

Robert Woods – We really like the route that Robert Woods takes with his auto, with consistent lines, a looping R, and a clever little w that transitions into an S that brings it all together. Three points on the board without question.

Cooper Kupp – He can catch passes with the best of them, but Cooper Kupp is a bust with the pen. He’s probably pretty good at drawing up offensive plays on a white board though!

So James White and Chris Hogan both earn the Pats three points a piece, while Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods keep the Rams lockstep with the Patriots. Patriots 13 Rams 13

Tight Ends

Rob Gronkowski has over five hundred receptions in his brilliant career, while Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett barely have over 100 receptions combined. Gronk has a track record to haul down touchdowns in bunches, which is why we’re awarding him TWO touchdowns for his shining example of excellent penmanship, legibility, care and consideration for signing. We’re also awarding a touchdown to Tyler Higbee for a quality H and overall legible auto as well. Although we appreciate the uniqueness, Gerald Everett’s signature just doesn’t do enough for us to get all seven point, so we’ll give him three points for getting close to pay dirt. Patriots 27 Rams 23

Defensive Players

Aaron Donald gave offensives nightmares all season long, racking up 20.5 sacks along the way. Devin McCourty has been the model of consistency on an otherwise inconsistent Patriots defense. Both players have vastly contrasting signatures, making this final match up particularly difficult to decide. Devin opts to go full name, but gets lazy on his first name and trails off in areas of his last name. On the other hand, Aaron Donald not only opts for the ‘AD’ approach, but his ‘A’ is far more of a star than it is the first letter of the alphabet. Intentional or not, the swagger is overbearing, because Aaron Donald delivers every bit of what his signature seemingly represents: Star D(efense). Rams 30, Patriots 27.

Our painstakingly researched and 100% scientific method of picking a winner has led us to choose the Los Angeles Rams as our favorite to win the Big Game. Regardless of the outcome, we expect Super Bowl LIII to be a match up for the ages as many story lines play out. Speaking of which, we want you to play along at home with us. Be sure to follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages where later this week we’ll be giving you three different opportunities to win prizes in our Super Bowl Contests!

Fresh Out of the Pack #6 – New Sets Found on the COMC Marketplace

Fresh out of the Pack #6

Check out what’s new on the COMC Marketplace….

In our ongoing series ‘Fresh out of the Pack’ , we shine the spotlight on the latest sets that have emerged on the COMC Marketplace. It’s been a little while since our last installment of ‘Fresh out of the Pack’, so a lot of products have

Fresh new inventory of these sets will be added for many months to come, so be sure to check back often!

2018 Baseball

2018-19 Basketball

2018 Football

2018-19 Hockey

2018 Misc. Sports & Non-Sports

Best of 2018: 5 Great “It Sold for WHAT?!?” Cards in COMC History

As we wrap up 2018, we wanted to take the month of December to highlight some of our favorite blog posts of the year. This was one of our most popular new blog series this year, and generated buzz on social media. This story was originally published on 05/21/2018 and is presented in it’s entirety in this blog as well

Over the course of our 11 plus year existence, we’ve seen A LOT of cards. When we say a lot of cards, we mean somewhere in the neighborhood of 52 million and climbing at the time of writing. As you can imagine, we’ve seen our fair share of iconic cards, especially cards that didn’t gain notoriety until many years after we first saw them. This can lend itself to some pretty hilarious historical pricing data when some of these cards sell years or even a decade before they peak in value.

That being said, we’ve scoured some historical sales to find some of the best “It Sold for WHAT?!” examples in COMC’s history:

2009 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects – Prospects Chrome – Refractor Autograph #BDPP89 – Mike Trout /500

As the legend of Mike Trout continues to grow, so do the value of his 2009 Bowman cards. This particular card was listed for sale on February 19th, 2010 and sold almost two weeks later for a fraction of what it’s worth today. These cards are so desirable that we’ve never seen a copy of this card consigned since. BGS 9 versions of this same card have recently sold for $7000.00.

2000 Playoff Contenders – [Base] Rookie Autograph #144 – Tom Brady [BGS MINT 9]

We have seen our fair share of this coveted Tom Brady rookie card over the years. This BGS 9 version was sold back in June of 2013 for a paltry $1254.00. Recent sales of this card with an equal grade have recently sold in excess of $10,000.

2013-14 Panini Prizm – Autographs – Target Red Prizms #33 – Giannis Antetokounmpo /49 [BGS 9.5 GEM MINT] 

Before earning his nickname ‘The Greek Freak’ and becoming the NBA mega star that he is today, Giannis  Antetokounmpo’s rookie cards could be had for a fraction of what they’re worth now. This beautiful Red Prizm RC autograph sold for just $256 back in October of 2016. A Non-graded version of this card recently sold for over $1,700.

1986-87 Fleer – [Base] #57 – Michael Jordan [BGS 9.5 GEM MINT] 

We’ve seen just two BGS 9.5 graded copies of perhaps the most iconic basketball card ever printed sold on the COMC Marketplace. The most recent took place in 2016 and sold for over $11,000, but it is the first sale that makes this card earn a spot on our list.  In the summer of 2013, a BGS 9.5 Michael Jordan RC was had by a buyer for just over $4,000.00. Talk about a good return-on-investment!

2013 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects – Draft Picks Chrome – Gold Refractor #BDPP19 – Aaron Judge /50

In hindsight, a 6’7″ power-hitting Yankees prospect flying under the radar just seems silly, but it’s safe to say that Aaron Judge cards sold at pedestrian prices until #AllRise took baseball by storm last year.  Not one, but TWO of these gorgeous gold refractors sold for right around $30 in 2014. This card can’t be had for under $1,000 just four years later.

If you happen to have sold one of these cards, just remember time heals all wounds. It also increased the value of your card exponentially. If you’ve sold a card on COMC that you’ve regretted years later when a player’s stock rose significantly, we want to hear about it! Share your best “What was I thinking?” stories with us!

[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.

On the Horizon: Our Most Anticipated Products to Come in 2018

Hello COMC Nation!

We are less than three months away from the start of a new year as 2019 rapidly approaches. That being said, one quick look on the New and Upcoming Releases Calendar offered by Cardboard Connection and you’ll know that the hobby is in for a strong close to what has been a very hot year for trading cards across all sports. In this blog, we want to highlight and showcase some of our most anticipated products that are yet to come before the calendar turns.

2018 Topps Update Baseball
October 22nd, 2018

2018 Topps Update Baseball will round out the Topps Baseball flagship set for the year, bringing 300 more base cards and plenty of short print variations as well. All of the familiar parallels return from Series 1 and 2, along with new insert sets such as ‘An International Affair’ and Washington D.C. All Star Game themed relics, patches, and autographs to those lucky enough to land a tough odds monster hit from the product. Update is a perennial favorite with collectors and generally features rookies who came on strong in the second half of the season. We’re expecting to see first Topps flagship rookie cards from players such as David Bote, Dereck Rodriguez, and Franmil Reyes find their way in 2018 Topps Update. That’s reason enough to get excited about this set.

Revisit 2017 Topps Update Baseball

2018 Panini Prizm Football
October 24th, 2018

We’ll admit that we’re still not entirely acclimated to the new landscape of football cards in the wake of the NFL and NFL Player’s Association’s exclusive agreement that started in 2016 and effectively eliminated all Topps football products.That being said, Panini has done a commendable job transitioning their Prizm set as the new standard chromium flagship product in the wake of the loss of Topps Chrome. Featuring over 100 rookies, this year’s Prizm set is sharply designed and will feature coveted rookie autographs from Baker Mayfield, Saquon Barkley, and more. The new stained glass parallel should be popular among player collectors.

Revisit 2017 Panini Prizm Football

2017-18 Panini Flawless Basketball
October 31st, 2018

Flawless Basketball has carved out a place for itself among basketball collectors as the highest of high end products, coming in at around $1800 per box at time of writing. While this set is out of the price range of many collectors, putting it in the look but don’t touch realm in their local hobby shop, it does generate huge buzz among group breakers in particular. Even the packaging for this product is ultra high end, with each ‘box’ of 10 cards being presented in a locking suitcase bearing the Flawless logo.

Revisit 2016-17 Panini Flawless Basketball

2017-18 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey
October 2018

Although the start of the 2018-19 NHL season has begun, Upper Deck saves the best for last with their final 2017-18 season release with The Cup. Each tin of The Cup contains one pack of six cards, that yields two autographed patch cards on average. Laundry Tags, Triple Autographed Booklets featuring legends of the NHL, and NHL Shield Patches are just some of the obscenely monster hits to be found throughout the product. With a base set limited to just 249 copies, The Cup will be home to some of the best looking rookie cards of Brock Boeser, Alex DeBrincat, and Alex Tuch.

Browse 2016-17 The Cup Hockey

Even More Sets We’re Looking Forward to this year:

2018 Topps Dynasty Baseball
2018 Upper Deck Marvel Masterpieces
2018-19 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey
2018 Panini Immaculate Collection Football
2018 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects

Rookie Review – Five Hot Football RC’s that you need RIGHT NOW!

We are now two weeks into the NFL season, and the landscape of the league is beginning to take form. While perennial greats such as Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, and Julio Jones are doing their thing and posting the type of stats that are to be expected, there is a whole crop of players who have emerged from the pack and are positioning themselves to have a stand out 2018 season.  As a result of their strong performances, the collecting world has taken notice and these player’s cards have seen renewed and/or increased interest on the COMC Marketplace.

With that in mind, we want to share our top players who’s rookie cards you should consider picking up sooner rather than later. Whether you’re looking to invest and resell at a later point in time or you’re simply adding them to your collection, here’s who we think you need to consider buying right now:

Patrick Mahomes II | Quarterback | Kanas City Chiefs
38-55, 582 yards, 10 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

The 10th overall pick of the 2017 draft, Patrick Mahomes II has lit the NFL on fire through the Kansas City Chiefs first two victories. After his six passing touchdown performance in Week 2, Mahomes set a record for most TD’s thrown through the first two weeks of the season. Will he eclipse Peyton Manning‘s record of 55 in a season? Only time will tell, but regardless this second year stud is headed in the right direction both on the field and in the collecting world. As of this writing, his Optic Rated Rookie RC is currently selling above $12 and continue to rise with only a handful of copies available.
Our Pick: 2017 Donruss Optic #177 Rated Rookie
Alternative Pick: 2017 Panini Rookie & Stars #201 


Ryan Fitzpatrick | Quarterback | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
49-61, 819 yards, 8 Touchdowns, 1 Interception

2018 marks the emergence of ‘Fitzmagic’. Over his career, Ryan Fitzpatrick has perfected the disappearing act, as the Buccaneers are his 7th team in 12 seasons. In the wake of Jameis Winston‘s suspension, Fitzpatrick was given one more chance to shine and did he ever! Not only has he accumulated back-to-back 400 yard, 4 touchdown performances in two wins, including one against the defending Superbowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, but he’s created a buzz off the field as well. Donning teammate Desean Jackson‘s outfit, he set social media on fire with an appearance that can only be described as Conor McGregor‘s older brother. Plenty of his 2005 rookie year cards can be found on COMC, including autographs at reasonable prices (for now).
Our Pick: 2005 Bowman #180
Alternative Pick: 2005 SPX #162 /1199


Tyreek Hill | Wide Receiver | Kansas City Chiefs
12 receptions,  259 yards, 3 Touchdowns, 1 Return Touchdown 

With Mahomes having a record setting start, someone has to be catching all of those passes right? That someone is Tyreek Hill, who is on pace to shatter the career bests that he set in 2017. A dynamic play maker, Tyreek not only found pay dirt three times on passing plays, but he also electrified the Chiefs Kingdom by running back a 91 yard return for a touchdown as well. We could be seeing the rise of the next great QB to WR duo in the NFL.
Our Pick: 2016 Panini Prizm #296
Alternative Pick: 2016 Donruss Optic #117


Michael Thomas | Wide Receiver | New Orleans Saints
28 receptions, 269 yards, 3 Touchdowns, 2 fumbles lost

In his first two seasons, Michael Thomas has posted 1,000+ yards seasons, while hauling in 14 touchdowns combined. It’s been apparent that the talent has always been there for this 2016 2nd round pick, but Drew Brees‘ favorite target has taken it to another level in 2018. He’s hauled in 28 of the 30 balls thrown his way through the Saints first two games. Even though he has lost a couple of fumbles, Thomas is positioning himself to have a truly special 2018 if he can stay consistent. He has no shortage of rookie cards to choose from, but we prefer his 2016 Prizm over the rest of the field.
Our Pick: 2016 Panini Prizm #230
Alternative Pick: 2016 Panini Playoff #240


James Conner | Running Back | Pittsburgh Steelers
39 rushes, 150 yards, 3 Touchdowns, 10 receptions, 1 touchdown

Leveon who? In the absence of arguably the best running back in the league, James Conner has emerged in the Steeler’s backfield as a similar offensive threat. With Le’veon Bell‘s hold out having no end in sight, Conner is doing his teammate no favors by stepping up and increasing his stock, while decreasing the chances of Bell getting the big payday that he seeks. Though the Steelers are 0-1-1 on the season, Conner is a big winner among fantasy owners and card collectors alike. His rookie card market has gone from stagnant to ablaze, so we’d recommend getting in on the action sooner than later!
Our Pick: 2017 Panini Prizm #225
Alternative Pick: 2017 Panini Donruss #322 

 

That’s going to do it for this installment of rookie review. We’ll be back in a few weeks with another installment. What do you think, COMC Nation? Which NFL player’s rookie cards will you be hoarding this season?

Fresh Out of the Pack #5 – New Sets Found on the COMC Marketplace

Fresh out of the Pack #5

Check out what’s new on the COMC Marketplace….

In our ongoing series ‘Fresh out of the Pack’ , we shine the spotlight on the latest sets that have emerged on the COMC Marketplace. We have seen a flurry of new products released as the dog days of Summer wind down. New baseball products remain hot and will continue to do so well into the fall with sets like 2018 Bowman Chrome on the horizon. With the start of football on the horizon, perennial release like Panini Spectra, Impeccable and Absolute are quickly approaching. High end basketball products such as Panini Immaculate Collection are slated for fall release, and Upper Deck certainly has more than a few hockey and non-sports releases slated for this fall.

Fresh new inventory of these sets will be added for many months to come, so be sure to check back often!

2018 Baseball

2017 -18 Basketball

2018 Football

2018-19 Hockey

2018 Misc. Sports & Non-Sports