Archive for December, 2010
I remember attending the 2009 NFL Rookie Premiere Photo Shoot at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum like it was yesterday. As a lifelong USC fan I was excited to meet Patrick Turner and Mark Sanchez, but there were a variety of potential superstars that day including Matthew Stafford, Jeremy Maclin, Knowshon Moreno, Percy Harvin, LeSean McCoy, Michael Crabtree, and many others. One guy who definitely stood out was Tampa Bay Bucs rookie QB Josh Freeman, not because he was loud, but because he was so darnn big. Freeman is 6’ 6” tall and every bit of his 250 pounds, an imposing force for sure and the vision of the new prototypical NFL quarterback.
He was an affable young man who seemed just happy to be there. Little did any of us know that two years later he would arguably be the best quarterback from the 2009 NFL Draft. Just take a listen to what he had to say that day.
Freeman mentions an ability to make plays as to why he should be considered the most valuable rookie in the interview. And that’s just what he did in his first NFL game when he completed a fourth down touchdown pass to take the lead late in the game and help the Bucs snap an 11-game losing streak. Freeman performed admirably for a young signal-caller taking over a team with a penchant for losing as of late. And this season he has been extremely solid earning an alternate role this week for the Pro Bowl after tossing five touchdowns on Sunday. But still, in the hobby, he is the Rodney Dangerfield of that year’s rookie class; he gets no respect.
Rookie cards of Stafford and Sanchez still outsell him going for several hundred dollars each while Freeman’s cards sell for significantly less. Freeman is a top talent that you can still invest in now at low prices. His Exquisite rookie sells for about $200 while his SP Authentic and Ultimate rookie cards can collectively both be had for less than $100. And if you can wait until the off-season, you can likely get them for even less when football isn’t top of mind.
There are a multitude of reasons why Freeman has been overlooked. People just don’t think of great quarterbacks when they think of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s in a small media market so there is less attention on him. Also, there was so much hype around Stafford and Sanchez, he never really had the spotlight cast on him. It seems like he wouldn’t have it any other way as he just goes about his business with a quiet confidence and poise that make him seem like a seasoned pro, not a second-year starter.
But go ahead and keep ignoring him. He’ll just keep putting up numbers, getting better and, barring injury, help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers return to the Super Bowl. And he’ll be doing it all while flying under the radar.
For collectors it can be very depressing when a rookie you speculated on to be the next big thing just doesn’t pan out right away. What can be even worse is when a veteran star you are heavily vested in gets in trouble and the values on their cards drop like politicians approval rating after a scandal.
But every once in awhile these players can make a comeback where you are just thrilled you didn’t give up on them and race to find their cards you had thrown in your common pile. This year we have seen some great comebacks in the sports card market and we wanted to profile the biggest ones here for you:
Baseball Comeback Card of the Year – 2007 Exquisite Collection Josh Hamilton Card #170
Josh Hamilton has been considered a comeback player a variety of times throughout his career. He couldn’t have been hotter than he was in 2008, especially after the show he put on at the Home-Run Derby at Yankee Stadium, shattering Bobby Abreu’s first-round record by hitting 28 homers. As of late he has been hampered with injuries, but he has persevered and helped to lead the Texas Rangers to an improbably World Series appearance this year. He was named the 2010 AL MVP and the future remains bright for this tremendous story of redemption. Collectors have taken notice and you can find his 2007 Exquisite Collection Quad Patch Autograph Rookie card selling in the $175-$250 range based on the quality of the card and patch.
Football Comeback Card of the Year – 2001 SP Authentic Michael Vick Card #91
Most football experts expected Michael Vick to return to the NFL and maybe be a quarterback that could come in for a few plays a game running the Wildcat. Some even thought he may come back and return punts and kickoffs. Nobody expected him to come back and not only be as good as he was with Atlanta, but better. His cards went as low as they could go, but have bounced back to even greater heights than before. Recently, his 2001 SP Authentic Autograph Rookie Patch card sold on eBay for a whopping $4,550. Beckett price guide lists this card with a value of $750 currently, but if you held on to this card and it is in great condition with a multi-color swatch, it will likely bring much more today.
Hockey Comeback Card of the Year – 2008-09 The Cup Steve Stamkos Card #150
Steven Stamkos was hailed as the next “Great One” and just did not live up to the high expectations surrounding him during his rookie season. Collectors dumped his cards, not realizing the breakout performance he would have during his sophomore season and he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down yet. One of the biggest frustrations hockey collectors have shared with us this year is how depressed they are that they sold/traded their Stamkos rookie cards early, fearing he would never be able to live up to the hype. Now you can’t get near his rookie cards without paying a high premium. The best rookie to have of Stamkos is no doubt his 2008-09 NHL The Cup Autograph Patch Rookie card that routinely sells for over $1000.
Basketball Comeback Card of the Year – 2009-10 Exquisite Collection Blake Griffin Card #43
Blake Griffin was thought to have been just another victim of the Clippers curse, but who would guess he would bounce back from missing his entire rookie season to become a human highlight film? Collectors dumped his cards fearing he was just another Greg Oden, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. He has proven to be a dominant force and collectors are now scurrying to pick up all the rookies they can of this top talent. And you can tell that by the performance of his Exquisite Rookie card. How often do you see a card without an autograph or game jersey patch selling for hundreds of dollars? Not very often, but such is the case with Blake Griffin’s 2009-10 Exquisite Collection Rookie card which can be had for about $250-$300.
So what do you think? Did we nail them all or did we miss some big named players whose Upper Deck card values have rebounded in a big way in 2010? Also, who do you think is low right now that is poised to bounce back and potentially have a comeback card of the year in 2011?
When the Upper Deck Curve™ Displays first hit the market, we knew we had stumbled upon an innovative new way to display signed memorabilia. Now we are taking that to the next level. The Upper Deck design team has been busy at work to come up with some new displays that really help show off memorabilia pieces like shoes, basketballs, footballs and helmets.
We have the first prototypes in today and people around the office were just drooling over how cool these displays are. The memorabilia pieces from LeBron James and Aaron Rodgers definitely “pop” when placed in these displays. Enjoy a sneak peek at some of these first images of the new Curve™ Displays, only from Upper Deck Authenticated.
Stay tuned for more details on these new Upper Deck Authenticated items! Oh, and it’s okay to go ahead and put these at the top of your Christmas list for next year now…
Based on Upper Deck’s unique relationship with Marvel, the trading card giant was able to secure some extremely cool (and ultra limited) movie props directly from the set of THOR, which has its theatrical release date scheduled for May 6, 2011. As you might suspect, Upper Deck has an exclusive, 100-card set of THOR trading cards in the works that is slated to launch on March 15, well in advance of the movie. By the way, Upper Deck has also secured a pair of movie-worn pants from actress Natalie Portman as well as movie-worn shirts and a cape from leading man Chris Hemsworth, pieces of which will be utilized on movie-worn memorabilia cards.
In the meantime, check out some of the unique THOR movie set collectibles below: his stunt hammer and a pair of Loki knives. Now the question is: How should Upper Deck utilize these sought-after gems? Should we cut them up and put them on movie-used memorabilia cards inserted within the set, or should we use them as exchange cards where some very lucky collectors might wind up walking away with either THOR’s stunt hammer in its entirety or a set of these stunt Loki knives?
Feel free to give us your opinion. It might just work out to your advantage.
When Upper Deck announced the Collect the Set & Win promotion around 2010-11 NHL Upper Deck Series One Hockey, there was plenty of excitement and it didn’t take long for the grand prize winner to be found. There are four other prizes however and now all but one has been claimed as three other collectors have submitted their 2010-11 NHL Upper Deck Retro variation complete sets.
That leaves one last prize for the last collector that turns their set in. That skillful set assembler will win a NHL Draft Puck from the #2 pick in last year’s draft, Tyler Seguin. Collectors have until December 31st to finish their sets and contact us. The next one in will take home this great looking puck from one of the NHL’s top rookies this season. If you’ve completed this set or are close, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!!!