#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!

#Cardstock Volume 11 – Undervalued and Under 30.

#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.

This time around we’re highlighting a unique group of players under the age of 30 who are all experiencing different trajectories of their careers. Each of these players came into the league with high exceptions, and while some have performed better out of the gate than others, we still have faith that the others will come around. While Alex Bregman and Trevor Story cards are reaching new heights almost daily, there is still plenty of room for growth. On the other hand, cards from players such as Byron Buxton and Amed Rosario remain largely undervalued, and could see huge growth if these players can live up to their expected potentials.

Who are you investing in from this group?

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!

#Cardstock Volume 10 – Onward and Upward

#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.

This time around we’re highlighting six players who have stepped their game up in a huge way in 2018. Whether it be an immediate impact upon their big league debut, posting career highs at the plate, or helping carry their team to the postseason, these players have turned on the jets this season. As a result, their most coveted prospect and rookie cards have seen substantial growth. Who should you invest in? Check out their cardstock and decide which of these players has room for the most growth both professionally and in the world of cardboard!

 

 

#Cardstock Volume 9 – All Stars and Almosts

#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.

We’re just a couple weeks removed from the 2018 MLB All Star Game. As you may or may not know, the All Star Game’s participants are decided by fan vote for position players and player vote for pitchers. This means that many deserving candidates can be overlooked in favor of more popular players (as if Bryce Harper wasn’t going to be a starter in an All-Star Game held in Washington D.C.).  This time around we’re looking at four All-Stars that fans chose to be a part of this year’s festivities, and one player who came up a little bit short to the Mariners’s Shortstop Jean Segura’s #SendSegura campaign in the fan vote for the final spot.

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…..