Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Blog Home

I was having some technical difficulties so I decided to move my blog to WordPress and see if I like it. Please bear with me as I become more familiar with WordPress – pretty soon I will be seending out more frequent posts. Here is the link to the new blog.

Craig's New Blog

Craig in Texas

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Product review: 2009 Bowman Chrome....

Well, I decided to open a box of Bowman Chrome to see if I was going to like this product. One thing for sure, you know you are going to get one autograph per box and some refractors of players that you may want to put away. You never know -- in a few years you may have the next Albert Pujols! Each sealed box contains 18 packs of 4 cards each in a 330 card set including 110 Bowman and 110 Bowman Chrome cards. Each box also contains ONE Bowman Chrome Autograph Prospect card. The autograph I got in my box was Brett Anderson of the Oakland Athletics. There are the usual parallel sets: Bowman (Refractor, X-Fractor > #`d to 250, Blue > #`d to 150, Gold > #`d to 50, Orange > #`d to 25, Red > #`d to 5, Super-Fractor > 1-of-1, and Printing Plates > each is a 1-of-1) and Bowman Chrome Prospects (Refractor > #`d to 500, X-Fractor > #`d to 250, Blue > #`d to 150, Gold > #`d to 50, Orange > #`d to 25, Red > #`d to 5, Super-Fractor > each is a 1-of-1, and Printing Plates > each is a 1-of-1). Insert: Autograph Prospect cards 1:18 (Refractor > #`d to 500, X-Fractor > #`d to 250, Blue > #`d to 150, Gold > #`d to 50, Orange > #`d to 25, Red > #`d to 5, Super-Fractor > each is a 1-of-1, and Printing Plates > each is a 1-of-1). Overall this product is a good value every year. I give it a 7 out of 10. For a checklist of the 2009 Bowman Chrome, please click here:

2009 Bowman Chrome Checklist

I will try to get my pics working.....

Stay tuned for my next review and other news!!

Craig in Texas

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Product review: 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

As most of you know I am a big fan of Topps. Occasionally, something from Upper Deck will catch my attention. Yesterday, it was Goodwin Champions. A friend of mine opened a case and after he told me what he got in it, I was determined to go ahead and get a box!

Goodwin Champions reminds me a lot of Allen & Ginter -- nice looking base cards plus you will get one mini per pack. There is also the non-baseball element that seems to be the delight of a few and the disgust of many. You are "guaranteed" to get three hits per box which usually consists of two game used jerseys and an autograph. As far as case hits go, I was told you could get an original Goodwin Champions card from the 1800's, an Entomology card, or a printing plate. Also randomly inserted are Magician mini cards hand numbered to 8! My friend got two of these rare Magician cards in his case. If it were me, I would have had two common cards but since it was my friend, he got some guys named Derek Jeter and Lebron James!

As far as the hits in my box, I received two game jersey cards: Justin Verlander and Steve Carlton. My autograph was a redemption for an autographed card of Felix Hernandez. I really enjoyed opening this box.

Overall I rate this product a 7.5 on a 10 scale. I would have rated this higher but a few of my cards had centering issues.

I'll try to get some pictures later....

For a checklist of these cards, you should look here:

2009 Goodwin Champions Checklist

Stay tuned for more!

Craig in Texas

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Interview with a Champion....

Recently, I got the chance to interview Jason Wong, the first champion code breaker of the Topps Allen & Ginter "Crack the Code" contest! I am really jealous of him as I did attempt to crack it but failed.

Craig in Texas: How were you notified that you were the first to crack the code?

Jason Wong: I was notified by phone. When I submitted my answer I also added my phone number. The contest ended on October 22 and a Topps brand manager for Allen & Ginter called me on October 24, two days after the contest ended.

Craig: How was the selection made for your picture that is on the card?

Jason: All I had to do was submit a picture, any picture I wanted. I asked if it was OK to wear an Orioles jersey and Topps said yes as long as it was a current jersey. It must not have been a current jersey because if you notice the picture does not have the Orioles on my card. BUT if you see a cloth card (limited to 10) it has the Orioles on my jersey.

Craig: Did you get to choose what information was printed on the back of the card?

Jason: Yes, just like the picture, I could write anything I wanted. I was limited to what I could say and could only use up to 300 characters.

Craig: Have you gone to a card shop or card show and bought one of your cards without telling the card dealer who you are? If so, have any of them recognized you or asked you if you were Jason Wong?

Jason: I have gone to one card show and that was last weekend. No one knew who I was and I really didn't expect anyone to recognize me. I was trying to finish my set and needed less then 20 cards. I saw two people have singles for sale. The first guy had all but two cards I needed and one of me. He didn't even look at my card. I didn't say anything so I just paid for the cards I needed and went on my way. I saw the second guy and I was down to two cards I needed. He had one and then I asked if he had any #338's, he had two, he looked at the front and looked at me and looked at the card again and asked if I was him. I said yes but I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. We talked for about 15 minutes. I signed one for him and left.

Craig: I have read that you are autographing some of your cards for collectors as well as doing something special for charity. Explain this process.

Jason: Yes, I saw collectors who do TTM for there collection and collectors trying to get whole sets autographed. I figured no one knows who I am and no one would be able to locate me unless I created something like a website or blog. I always wanted to do something for charity. We raise money at work for different charties so thought I would take advantage of my card to raise money for charities I wanted. I wasn't going to take advantage of my card for my own benifit so I wanted to do something for charity. Don't get me wrong the ones at my work are great but none go to animals or other charities I liked. In October I will be signing 10 cards all hand numbered to 10 in pink sharpie for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. These are the only 10 I will sign in pink sharpie.

Craig: What is the address that we collectors can send you cards to have autographed or to give you?

Jason Wong
PO Box 51
Annapolis, MD 21404

Saturday, August 22, 2009

2009 Topps Heritage Update news, notes, and opinions....

It is official. There will be a 2009 Topps Heritage High Number set this year. However, why Topps will be including two Topps Updates & Highlights cards in each pack AGAIN this year is beyond me. Last year, I opened a bunch of the 2008 Heritage Update and ended up giving away all of my 08 U&H base cards to anyone that wanted them.

According to, Topps officials on Thursday afternoon released preliminary images and product details on 2009 Topps Heritage High Number Edition, an update to the basic 2009 Topps Heritage set that includes 220 new cards numbered 501-720, including 75 rookies.

In addition, Topps has confirmed that every autograph in the product will be signed on-card and every pack of the product will include gum. OK, the gum I can do without. I would much rather Topps spend money on obtaining better autographs than spending money on gum!!

Each pack will deliver six Topps Heritage cards and two Updates & Highlights cards (why Topps, why???) and every box will include one autographed or Relic card. The product is set to release in mid October.

Please tell me that the autograph selection is not going to be similar to what we saw when 2009 Heritage released!!! Heritage seems watered down these days with no chance of solid autographs. Remember the earlier releases of Heritage when you could get Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Warren Spahn, Frank Robinson, and several other Hall of Famers? Now, in what I am sure is a cost saving measure, Topps is trying to spark our interest by omitting good autographs with these so called "super short print" base cards which cost nothing to make. Didn't we all learn our lesson from the error craze of 1989 and 1990? Just as the error card craze busted I hope that the super short print craze will bust as well so we can get back to the good old days of getting decent autographs out of packs. C'mon Topps, you can do better! Maybe I am jumping the gun a bit here and this update set will be loaded. Time will tell.....

Craig in Texas

Please click here for my current want list....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A new type of cut!! Get your scissors ready...

Please tell me that this buyer is not this dumb! The seller is very accurate in his description yet look at what this card sold for!!! UNREAL!!!!

You have to give this seller credit!!

I am going to go get my scissors ready -- what do you guys think???

Craig in Texas

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2009 Topps Updates And Highlights info.....

Topps announced product information and released preview images for its 2009 Updates & Highlights baseball set on Thursday.

The product is scheduled to arrive in October with 180 traded players and 55 rookies on the checklist as well as Sketch Cards and All-Star Game Relics.

Also returning will be Legends of the Game as well as Turkey Red, Career Bests and World Baseball Classic inserts (with as many as three jersey swatches on some Relics) along with a new addition — Stadium Stamp Cards.

Each hobby box will include one autograph or Relic as well as a Rookie Chrome Refractor box-topper. Each HTA jumbo box will include two Relics and one autograph.

Click here for pictures:

Pretty soon I would expect some information on 2009 Topps Heritage update!!

Craig in Texas