How Do You Collect

I have been thinking about this statement for a long time.  How do you decide what to collect? For years all I have collected are mainly vintage rookies, autographs and game used (mainly patches).  My interest has begun to wane though.  Maybe it’s just the glut of everything out there or maybe it’s the price per box, but I just can’t seem to figure out what I should collect lately.  I decided to break it down by sport first:


This was my first love of collecting, I was a baseball card fiend before all else.  The thing is, the designs that have come out recently have sucked.  The flagship has let me down year after year and aside from some subsets it’s been a complete letdown as far as I’m concerned.  Throw in the fact that the only creative design last year (in my opinion) was 5-Star and it was priced waaaaaaaay outside my price range.


My love of football cards has increased over the years.  I am still not happy that Topps uses the same design for baseball and football for it’s flagship.  I have always felt that the designs should be very different (see 1980s football).  There were several designs that came out that I did like.  Topps Magic and Mayo remain two of my favorite sets.  Also I liked UD’s Philadelphia, just because the designs were so radical compared to what we see now.  Instead of all these vintage sets, Topps would do better if they just infused retro designs in their flagship release.


I live in Carolina Hurricanes country, but I grew up a Devils fan (grew up on the Jersey Shore).  I love hockey, my wife loves hockey, I would kill for another Champs release!  The sets my wife and I like is O-Pee-Chee.  Every year we go out and buy a few blasters, it’s a monster set and so difficult to put together. Other than OPC and ITG’s releases there is nothing that really floats my boat.


Great sport, but it has no collecting appeal whatsoever. Other than Jordan, LeBron, Durant, and Kobe is there anything else worth collecting? I think bringing back to Hoops set was a colossal failure, and other than UD Black is there anything worth collecting?

Advantage: Football

Now after looking at the sports landscapes, look at the types of cards:

Base Sets

Is there any reason to collect base cards anymore?  Other than player only collections, I find the base cards pretty boring.  I usually focus my attention on . . .

SP Cards / Sets

I can’t count the number of subsets and SP cards I chase on the secondary market.  Can I tell you how brilliant some of those designs have been.  Some of the ones I have liked recently are the 2012 Topps Football throwback design set, 2012 Topps Baseball 1987 mini cards and also the news cards with the team patches on them.  Also the 2011 Topps baseball throwback patches.  If only Topps would infuse some of the subset designs into their base card designs, that would be great!

Autographed Cards

There was a time when these were my absolute favorites.  Now though, I am tired of the autographs.  The market is completely saturated.  The only autogrpahs I go for now are retired players on current sets, guys like Bobby Grich or Gorman Thomas.  That’s what I like to see in sets now.  That’s why I loved the Decades set from ITG.  You got autographs of players that never played in the autographed cards era.  It was great to see them getting their own autographed cards.

Game Used

Really, who cares anymore.  I’ve always liked patch cards, but there are so many fake patch cards on the market who knows what is real and what isn’t.  I do like basketball game used cards strictly because it’s almost never white/black/gray. Other than that thought I could live without them.

Advantage: SP Cards / Sets

So there you go, for me I guess I focus on football SP cards / sets.  What about you?  What is your focus on?

gorman thomas 2000 auto

Could Be The Worst Custom Card I Have Ever Seen . . .

. . . that was actually purchased on eBay!

worst custom card on eBay

I go on the bay a lot to look at what some people are creating lately.  As you know I love making custom cards.  I’ve sold quite a few on eBay as well.  What I find interesting is that some people will buy ANYTHING.  When I say anything I mean it, look at that card.  There are so many things wrong with it. Let’s count:

  • Not even remotely close to Brady’s autograph – at least get it in the ball park. Also he / she made a mistake signing it and overwrote it. Like it even matters.
  • Squiggly line overload – you want to put one in there, I’m good with that, but why the second? Were you just so amazed at how well the Tom Brady “font” came out you had to squiggly underline it?
  • T in Tom is not in the lines and it’s a backwards J – Not sure how you can screw this up. It’s not like you made the charlie brown – white  line and Tom’s first name at the same time.  Couldn’t you just avoid crossing the line?
  • 1/1 looks like three stripes – I thought it was just a “fancy design” until it dawned on me that it really was 1/1.

Now that being said, this card was actually purchased.  Ok it was only $1.99 + about $2.50 shipping, but still someone saw it and said, “I gotta have that!” So I looked to see what else the guy was selling:

Ray Lewis

Fancy right! With Ray Ray’s autograph on it. Except it’s not Ray’s autograph, it’s not even close.  But don’t tell the bidders that as the bidding has reached $10.  Here is a list of his auctions <auctions>.  He states, “Each card looks and feels just as real as any other professional sports card made, maybe even better.” Holy crap it might feel better than a real sports card, gotta get me some of that! Also states, “ Every product is made by hbcards manufacturing company.” I really hope his is a limited liability company.

If you enjoy getting duped by forgery autographs, I implore you to check out his site.  This is why I stopped selling my custom cards. Someday like me he’s going to get a letter in the mail telling him to cease and desist.  It’s a real game changer let me tell you.

2000 Fleer Autographics

I’ve been trying to figure out what to write about today when the idea hit me.  Actually I guess hit isn’t necessarily the right word, more surfing eBay looking for an autograph fix.  When I come across this beauty:


As I looked at it I thought about all the things I like in an autographed card:

  • On card autograph – check!
  • Big signature space – check!
  • Nice big photograph of player – check!
  • Great card layout – check!
  • Team colors infused into design – check!

It was all there.  Let’s face it Fleer made some seriously wonderful cards over the years, it’s an injustice that Upper Deck hasn’t used their ownership of the brand better.  Some of their past designs were so over the top (as I am sure many of you have your own examples of this) that it just made their cards more fun to collect.

But back to the original reason I posted about the Fleer autographics line.  In 2000-01 Fleer produced these cards for their baseball, football and basketball card sets. What I am having a hard time trying to figure out is the checklist of these sets. It looks like there were between 50-100 subjects in each of the three sports and that they were seeded through multiple releases.

Most of the cards sell for between $1-$3 but there are some big names (Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, Allen Iverson, Derek Jeter, Emmit Smith, Dirk Nowitzki, Greg Maddux and Bernie Williams) that sell for a whole lot more (think $75 – as much as $800). The best part about these autographs is that there are a lot of my favorite players represented.  Guys like:

  • Shaun Alexander
  • Priest Holmes
  • Issac Bruce
  • Mike Lowell
  • Michael Dickerson
  • Joe Hamilton
  • Jon Kitna

Here is my question posed to my readers – can anyone find a checklist of all the autographics cards for all of the sports for the 2000-2001 year? Admittedly I did a quick search and gave up, but there have to be more people like me that love this design that might actually go for the whole set.  Help me (and them) out.

Long Time No Post

It has been an extremely long time since I wrote my last post.  There are many reasons for this.  I’ll break em down as follows:

  • November – sick with all kinds of side effects from my medications.  Felt like crap, didn’t even use the internet for most of the time I was feeling sick.
  • December – Broke my USB drive with all my custom card designs. Led to serious depression and numerous thoughts of “WHY THE HELL DIDN’T I BACK IT UP?”
  • December (cont.) – Family visits and being burried at work.
  • January – Holy crap have I not posted in over 60 days.  What the hell do I write about? Seriously I have 5 draft posts that I abandoned because they sucked.
  • Items of note – Getting emailed comments about 2-3 times a week about how I suck and how the blog sucks, tends to make me not want to post.  If you won something (ie/ keychain, bracelet, etc.) and are forever waiting on me to send it. I have sent countless emails out (to apparently the wrong address, although it never gets kicked back) to confirm the address. Email me here with what I owe you and your address.

I still have no idea what to post about.  I’ve started a new personal project:



It’s based off of The Infinite Card Set blog except it’s all the cut autographs that I have never gotten around to making.  The idea behind it was to make one cut autograph template and use it for everyone (and I mean everyone) whose autograph I have.  The only requirement to be in the set is that the person has to be relatively famous.  I have close to a hundred signatures that need to be put in cards.  This gives me something to do.

Also the traveling box of cards has been making the rounds.  I think it’s at this guy’s place.  As I get pictures (which hasn’t happened much) I’ll get them up here.  Look for posts from me 3ish times a week until I get a rush of energy and start posting everyday again.

Peace Out – Mike


It’s Weird Who You Meet

As many of you know I am a chemist when I’m not ripping open junk packs of wax.  About two weeks ago I took a trip to Chicago for a conference which I do some marketing at.  As I was walking around the floor I stopped by the US Pharmacopia booth because I thought I recognized someone.  It wasn’t someone from the industry, it was a baseball player.

I took his business card and read the name Kevin Correa and I saw the big championship ring on his finger and realized that he had played college baseball when I was in College.  So we got to talking when he mentioned his nephew Carlos Correa.  Then I put everything together, you see Carlos Correa was the first overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft.

To make a long story short, I got Kevin’s autograph, even though the highest level of play he reached was the Mexican Leagues and was promised if I send him a card he would get Carlos to sign it for me.  I’ve met a lot of players and even some on trips I go on. I never thought I would make a baseball card contact at a chemistry convention. Go figure.

Courtesy of