COMC x Seattle Mariners

Earlier last month, Topps unveiled their first-ever player curated set, ‘Topps x Bryce Harper’ . Topps worked with Bryce Harper to create “220: Second to None” , a box set containing not only players chosen by Bryce, but also cards designed by him as well. The base checklist includes Bryce Harper’s personally chosen fantasy starting lineup as well as five additional pitchers.

That set inspired us to curate our own set, appropriately named ‘COMC x Seattle Mariners’. In our set, we’re also creating our fantasy starting lineup and pitching staff, but we’re doing so using some cards that you’ve probably seen before. While Bryce’s team consisted of his favorite current baseball players representing all 30 MLB Teams, we’re focusing on just one team. So without further ado, here is our proposed set of favorite current and historical Seattle Mariners:

The Infield & Designated Hitter

1st Base – How could we possibly create an All-Mariners team and not include Mr. Mariner himself? First base has been a rotating door for the Mariners for the better part of the last twenty years. Alvin Davis provides consistency and power while hitting for average.

2nd Base – This was the toughest infield position to pick by far, as arguments could be made for former Mariners like Bret Boone, Harold Reynolds, and even Joey Cora. We went with current second baseman Robinson Cano, who’s three all-star appearances in a Mariners uniform, three hundred plus career homers, and continued production provide too strong of an argument to not include him on the team.

3rd Base – He only spent five of his 21 big league seasons playing for the Mariners, but future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre was an obvious choice at third base. Plus, we need someone to help keep Felix Hernandez (spoiler alert) in check, right?

Shortstop – Ask five baseball fans in 2018 what they think of Alex Rodriguez‘s baseball career and you might get five different answers. There were controversies and unhappy fan bases, but before the hundred million dollar contracts, it’s hard to find anything not to like about Alex Rodriguez. His time in Seattle produced nothing but good memories and huge stat lines.

Catcher – A case could definitely be made for Dave Valle, who spent ten years behind the dish for the M’s, but his successor Dan Wilson gets the nod on our All-Mariners team. Wilson embodied so much of the heart and soul that made the Mariners of the 1990’s so memorable.

Designated Hitter – The future Hall of Famer (mark our words) is an obvious choice to fill the designated hitter role on our team. A career .309 hitter with a WAR of 68.4 games, Edgar Martinez not only provides a ridiculously tough out in our batting order, but his grounded personality, leadership, and hitting knowledge is invaluable to this dream team.

The Outfield

Center Field – Was there ever any doubt?  If there was any other card than a 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. RC to represent our center fielder, this blog would have lost all credibility. Ken Griffey Jr. is the cornerstone of our All-Mariners team.

Left Field – of the three outfield positions, Ichiro played left the least over his career.But we’re 100% confident that if Ichiro could play left in 2018 for the Mariners, he can certainly play it on our All-Mariners Team. With so many power hitters on the team, Ichiro provides speed at the top of the line up.

Right Field – It was difficult to leave Nelson Cruz off of our team, but Jay Buhner spent nearly 14 seasons in right field for the M’s. With over 300 career home runs, a cannon of an arm, and a huge fan favorite in Seattle, ‘Bone’ slightly edges our Cruz as our final pick.

Pitching

Three of our five starting pitchers were obvious no-brainer inclusions. We give the nod to Felix Hernandez as our Opening Day starter over Randy Johnson, while Jamie Moyer provides change of pace stability in the center of the rotation. James Paxton‘s career with the Mariners has been short up to this point, but we’ll speculate on his future returns. The fifth spot in our rotation could have went to a number of pitchers (Chris Bosio, Gaylord Perry, and Aaron Sele come to mind), but Freddy Garcia had three stellar seasons out of the five and a half he spent in Seattle, finishing second only to Carlos Beltran in the 1999 Rookie of the Year voting. The Mariners closing role has been a hodgepodge of good, bad, and ugly over the years, but with Edwin Diaz posting what might be the best year of any closer ever in 2018, that enough is reason for his inclusion on this squad.

So what do you think? Do you agree with our picks, or did we snub one of your favorite or deserving Mariner of the past or present? Let us know in the comments below!

Retail Therapy – 2018 Topps Heritage High Number Baseball

One of the hottest baseball sets this fall is 2018 Topps Heritage High Number baseball. Here at COMC, sets such as Heritage are very popular among our team, as there is a contingent of collectors on our team who prefer classic designs and traditional card stock over the chromium card stock and futuristic designed sets. This makes Heritage High Number the perfect product for our latest installment of ‘Retail Therapy”.

Stylized in the spirit of 1969 Topps, this set is crammed full of key rookie cards of all of the usual suspects from the 2018 rookie crop such as Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Gleyber Torres, as well as the first non-online-only exclusive Topps rookie cards of fan favorite rookies such David Bote and Dereck Rodriguez. 

We took a short trip to our local Fred Meyer (Meijer) to track down two $19.99 blaster boxes of Heritage High Number near release day. You can check out our full recap below, and as always, any cards featured in our Retail Therapy series will be available for sale on the COMC_BreakHits account!

We stumbled out of the gate as our first blaster had to be one of the worst in the history of retail products. Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration when you consider some of the products that were sold in supermarkets all around the world in the early 1990’s.The first Heritage High Number blaster we opened yielded zero serial numbered, variation, errors, or parallels at all. Our loan ‘hit’ in this blaster was an Ichiro Suzuki Deckle Edge insert that falls one every 10 packs. OUCH.

For those who don’t believe us, we photographed the miserable experience, so revel in our disappointment:

As luck would have it however, we quickly had a reversal of fortune as the first pack of the second blaster yielded the purple goodness that was a Chrome Hot Box Refractor. For those who don’t know, hot box parallels tend to come in bunches in some recent Topps products. Hitting one meant that each of the remaining seven packs in the blaster would also contain purple mojo!

In a shocking turn of events new to the Retail Therapy series, we actually had a pretty decent hit! Although it is unnumbered, Hot Box Purple Chrome Ronald Acuna Jr. RC’s have consistently been selling for about $30. With four sharp corners and pretty good centering, whoever decides to purchase this card from the COMC Marketplace will definitely have a good candidate for grading on their hands! Not only did we hit one Acuna….

We hit base RC as well! Heritage High Number marks the Topps debut of Chicago Cubs up-and-comer David Bote, who as of this writing has zero cards available on COMC. The set is also home to the first pack issued Dereck Rodriguez rookie card as well. Rodriguez is the son of all-time great catcher Ivan Rodriguez and bright spot in the San Francisco Giants pitching rotation. Rodriguez also had an RC released in the Topps Living Set. It will be interesting to see how the value of his Living Set & Heritage RC’s compare to his flagship RC that is expected in Topps Update later this year.

As far as short prints & inserts go, we did hit six short prints, easily recognizable as they are cards 701-725 in the 225 card checklist (cards 1-500 can be found in the standard 2018 Topps Heritage released earlier this year). Our two retail exclusive Collector Card Set Checklist were expected and nothing to write home about.

Lastly, before we wrap up, we just had to share what is arguably the best photo in the base set:

We’re giving Daniel Mengden a 7 out of 10 on the Rollie Fingers mustache scale, and we’re giving Heritage High Number two thumbs up as a fun product for those who prefer a more straight forward and traditional pack ripping experience. There are plenty of autos, memorabilia and inserts that we didn’t even touch on in this blog. You can check out a full breakdown of the product here.  Although time will tell, with a checklist this stacked, it’s hard to imagine this product not increasing in value over time. Until next time, good luck and happy ripping!

“It Sold for WHAT?!?” – The Giannis Antetokounmpo Edition

Over the course of our 11 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 last installment, we looked at some skewed historical sales history on baseball’s Mike Trout. You can check out that blog here. This time around, we’re featuring ‘The Greek Freak’ Giannis Antetokounmpo. Selected 15th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, Giannis’ first couple of years in the NBA produced stat lines that were commendable but by no means eye-popping. Coupled with playing for the smaller market Milwaukee Bucks, it wasn’t until the 2015-16 season that his rookie cards begun to take flight.

Then came his breakout season, which saw his cards surge in value and popularity. Not only did Antetokounmpo notch his first All-Star Team selection, but he also won the 2016-17 Most Improved Player award. Playing in 80 games for the Bucks, he accumulated a stat line of 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.9 blocks per game. He became the first player in NBA history to finish a season in the top 20 in points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks. Even though the Bucks fell to the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the statement had been made. Giannis Antetokounmpo was a megastar in the making.

He did not disappoint the following season, further cementing himself as the centerpiece of the Milwaukee Bucks franchise. He improved in nearly every statistical category, earning the nod as an Eastern Conference All Star Team starter. By posting his ninth career triple-double in 2017-18, he overtook Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the history books as the Bucks all-time triple-double leader. Now it’s our turn to look at the history books of COMC and present some of the deals of the past that could have been yours!

2013-14 Panini National Treasures – [Base] #130 Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Panini National Treasures RPA is without question one of the most desired rookie cards in the game. Numbered to just 99 copies, our most recent sale saw the highly coveted card sell for just over $3600 back in February 2017. Two years prior, a savvy COMC user was able to snag one for less than 1/6th of that price! Earlier this month, a BGS 9.0 copy of this card ended at auction for $5300.00!

2013-14 Panini Immaculate Collection – Rookie Patch Autograph #131 – Giannis Antetokounmpo

These are our favorite examples to showcase in the ‘It Sold for What’ blog format because it shows exactly how lucrative rookie card investments can become. Here we see a BGS 9.0 copy achieving an all-time high sale of over $5200 in October 2017. This even better BGS 9.5 Gem Mint version sold back in June 2015 for just over $700.

2013-14 Panini Select – Rookie Jerseys Autographs #1 – Giannis Antetokounmpo 

This is also a fun card for us to showcase because the pricing for different graded copies is all over the place! With raw copies having sold for up to $430, none of the yesteryear sales have remotely come close to that figure. That being said, the buyers of the two Mint 9’s and one Gem Mint 10 were all able to secure their graded copies in 2016 right before the rise of The Greek Freak took form.

2013-14 Panini Crusade – Crusade – Orange Die-Cut #61 – Giannis Antetokounmpo

Crusade inserts have always been a set that is sought after by collectors for it’s beautiful design and wide array of colors of the rainbow. In recent years, Panini has added die-cut versions into the mix, which makes these cards especially difficult to secure a high grade on. This BGS 10 Pristine copy narrowly missed the prestigious black label by just .5 on corners, but it’s former owner narrowly missed hundreds (thousands?) of dollars by selling it in June 2016. With raw copies selling for over $100 just one year later, we’re willing to bet that it will be a long time before another pristine copy hits the market again!

2013-14 Fleer Retro – [Base] – Fleer Metal Precious Metal Gems Red #252 – Giannis Antetokounmpo

Precious Metal Gems are another multi-colored insert set that are widely popular among collectors, with some earlier year sets worth thousands upon thousands of dollars for the right player. Seven lucky individuals were able to get their precious fix by securing one of the 150 red gem Giannis’ printed for less than $20 in 2014. The last completed sale of a PSA 8.5 version was in November 2017 for $236.99, with raw copies selling elsewhere as of late in the $100.00 range.

2013-14 Panini Prizm – Autographs – Target Red Prizms #33 – Giannis Antetokounmpo

We shared this card back in May in our first ‘It Sold For What?’ blog post, but we wanted to bring it back for the Giannis edition! This beautiful Red Prizm RC autograph sold for just $256 back in October of 2016. A Non-graded version of this card sold for over $1,700 earlier this year.

2013-14 Panini Prizm – Red, White, & Blue Wave Prizms #98 – Giannis Antetokounmpo

A word to the wise: BGS 10 Pristine grades are very hard to get, especially on chromium cardstock rookie cards. If you’re ever so lucky as to get one that doesn’t break the bank, hold onto it as long as you can!  This BGS 10 Pristine copy of his 2013-14 Panini Prizm ‘true’ rookie card sold for a paltry $20.87 back in December 2015. Santa delivered one heck of a Christmas present that year, as this card has topped the $300 raw completed sale mark as of November 2017. A PSA 10 copy of this card sold at auction one month ago for $470, but we’re guessing it’s BGS counterpart would sell for a lot more!

Now we want to hear from you! What Giannis Antetokounmpo cards have graced your collection for less than a pretty penny? Share your best investment and #collectfail stories with us!

[Featured Video] 2018 Ultimate Collection Hockey Box Break (While Riding a Ferris Wheel!)

One of the best resources to previewing new products released is to simply type in the name of the product into a Youtube search. Perhaps you’re a veteran of the group break circuit, spending hours watching breakers such as Firehand and Cards Infinity, hoping that they have the hot hands and pull some sick mojo for your spot in a break. Maybe you’ve even shot your own box break video and shared it via Instagram or Facebook live. Case in point: you’re no stranger to the world of box break videos. But we’re guessing that you’ve never seen a break quite like this!

Earlier this month at the 2018 National Sports Collector’s Convention, two members of our team saw an opportunity to shoot a unique one-of-a-kind break, and wasted no time planning their move. The IX-Center in Cleveland, Ohio, the venue that hosted this year’s National Convention, features a full-sized Ferris Wheel in the center of the building that ascends up into the rafters of the building, offering a view of the entire show floor as well as at the Hopkins International Airport outside in the distance.

Join James and Jeremy of COMC as they embark on a box break like no other. Did Jeremy find incredible hits in his box of 2018 Ultimate Hockey? Did James immediately regret his decision to step foot on the Ferris Wheel when his fear of heights kicked in? Check out our video and let us know what you think!

 

Want to get your hands on cards like these?
Browse 2018 Ultimate Collection Hockey on COMC!

The Hunt is OVER! Item #50,000,000 Has Been Found!

The Hunt is OVER! COMC Acquires Card #50,000,000 From ePack/COMC Member!

#50000000 – 2017-18 Upper Deck – [Base] – Silver Foil #376 Chris Kreider

Earlier this year we put out a call to action asking for YOUR help in helping us secure a very important milestone card in COMC history. That item was the 50-millionth item processed by COMC in our 10+ year history and just so happened to be an ePack card from the 2017-18 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey Set.

It took almost four months to the day, but one lucky COMC member has answered the call and claimed the $1,000 reward that we placed upon this item. Alex B. (COMC username loki__101) from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was the lucky individual who randomly received the assigned item number of  50,000,000 when he combined 10 digital Chris Kreider base cards from the 2017-18 Series 2 Hockey Set into one physical silver foil card on ePack and transferred it to their COMC account. Alex promptly contacted our Customer Service Team to claim the reward and was gracious enough to answer a few questions for our blog!

How long have been collecting, and what do you collect?

“I collect hockey cards. I used to collect a lot as a kid and didn’t pick it back up until a few years ago (2015-16 season).”

Who are some of your favorite players?

“I am die hard Oilers fan, so of the current team McDavid and Draisaitl are my favorites. I’m also a sucker for goalies so Cujo and Bill Ranford are two of my all-time favorites.”

Do you have a favorite card in your collection?

“Growing up I was proud of my Forsberg rookie card, before he was traded in the Lindros deal. He still has a Flyers jersey on.”

Were you actively hunting for item #50,000,000, or did you come across it without much effort?

“I had bought some boxes on ePack (9-10 I think) and was really close to getting a silver foil for all of the base set. It took my a while to get the last Krieder due to its high demand. I admit I was crossing my fingers when I transferred it over to COMC and did a double take when I saw the number.”

What do you like about Upper Deck ePack?

“Its an easy was to collect, especially if you like the idea of collecting but don’t want / need to have the physical card right there. The ability to have a community for trading is also convenient.”

What do you primarily use COMC for?

“I do use it mainly for selling cards (not many). Also browsing to see what is available.”

Do you have any advice for those who use ePack or COMC?

“Find what you like and stick to it – be it a player, team etc. You’ll have more fun that way.”

 

 

COMC Office Pack Battle League Season Recap

pack battle

After 18 grueling weeks, our inaugural COMC Office Pack Battle League season has come to an end! Over four months ago, our 20 employees embarked on a hybrid fantasy sports meets wax busting experiment for fun and bragging rights, and needless to say, everyone involved greatly enjoyed this maiden voyage. Let’s take a look at our final league standings, shall we?

No real surprise here as Kevin started to pull away from the pack with several weeks left to play. Kevin’s 50 points (19 from HR, 18 from hits, 13 from strike outs) was a league best by 11 points, putting him more than a three-category sweep away from second place. Steve finishes behind him in second place as our runner up, improving his standing from 5th to 2nd in the final four weeks of play. James takes home the bronze trophy with 35 point, with 23 of those points coming from the HR category!

Now let’s move on to our Stat King winners…

Home Run King WinnerJames – 23 points

With 23 of his 35 league points, James managed to overpower the competition en route to the Home Run King title. James took an early season lead in the category and heavily leaned his team toward that category, consistently trading away top tier pitching for elite power hitters. Kevin and Bob finished tied for second in the category with 19 points a piece, with Bryson, Sean, and Jeff each sitting at 17 points.

Hit King Winner:

Kevin – 18 points

Kevin picked up the ‘W’ as our Hit King winner with 18 total points. Despite his huge dominance in the overall league standings, he only managed to take hits by three points over the second place Angela. Kevin was our only manager to finish in the top three in all three categories, meaning he fielded a well-rounded team all season long, opting not to lean his team towards one particular stat. Bob rounded out the top three in hits with 12 points.

Strikeout King Winner:

Steve – 19 points

Comeback complete! In the most exciting of the three categories, Steve was able to cap-off an epic comeback and win the Strike Out King title by accumulating 19 total points, with his final five points coming in the last two weeks of the season. Those five points propelled him ahead of Jeremy (15) and Kevin (13) to round out our stat king winners.

In Conclusion…

Thanks to everyone for following along at home! We had a great time testing out and learning this new fantasy meets collecting format, and we’re currently looking at how we can apply it to the upcoming NFL season. Is that a sign of things to come for the COMC Blog? We’ll see…..

Even More Funny Topps Triple Threads Baseball Captions You Need to See!

A few weeks ago, we showed you some of the funnier captions to come from the Topps Triple Thread product over the years. You can check out that blog here. This time around, we have even more Triple Threads cards that might have had you scratching your head at first before they made sense….

The Best of Nicknames

Dustin Pedroia earned this nickname after a nearly 6-hour marathon game that saw his uniform covered in dirt and mud when it was all said and done. (Source)

This one is just plain bitter sweet. We all thought we knew Robinson Cano, but apparently this nickname had a bit more truth than we all could imagine.

Just Plain Strange

So Ian Kinsler likes to wear throwback high socks. What’s the big deal? Low effort here, Topps.

The internet brought it’s full savagery to the table upon the release of a promotional video for the then-free-agent Cespedes back in 2011. Topps decided to further the ribbing by taking their own stab at it. (Source)

With his slow pitching mechanics and a slight pause in his wind up, Dan Haren‘s pitching style was coined a ‘chess match’ by reporters and announcers.

This one did not age very well. Imagine pulling a card in 2018 that had a similar cringe worthy phrase on it. Tyler “Snap” Chatwood? Trevor App-Store-y? We’ll stop now. At least this card is a good segue into our next topic.

PUNDERFUL!

Topps Triple Threads has featured some of the best and worst puns ever printed on cardboard. Keep in mind that they printed these puns on cards that are $200/box! We will respond to these strictly using images only.

Pop Culture References

Before Johnny Cueto was scaring hitters with his heat, Jack Nicholson was scaring everyone in the legendary horror film ‘The Shining’. This card plays homage one of that movie’s most memorable scenes

It hasn’t been Hammer Time for a very long time, but that didn’t stop Topps from dropping a 90’s reference pun to the disapproval of Cole Hamels‘ collectors everywhere.

We’d like to think someone at Topps wanted to pay homage to the video game character Duke Nukem with this clever play on ‘King’ Felix Hernandez‘s nickname.

Billy Murray’s 1993 classic movie reference or a show of appreciation to his defense behind the plate? You be the judge!

Mike Napoli with another appearance on our list! If you’re older than 25 years old, don’t click this link to understand the reference. You’ve been warned.

.You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. Did you click the link above anyways? If so then you probably need some ear bleach. Here you go.