2014 Heritage: Non Hit Cards Take Center Stage

I posted earlier on the release of 2014 Topps Heritage, and like last year, I am shocked at how much some of the cards are selling for. Even more shocking is that these cards are not the normal variety anyone would expect in today’s hobby. Its become clear that Heritage has a cult following that may only come out once a year, and they are coming out in droves for a heritage year that everyone is fond of. There are autograph cards in the set, but the value in these cards isnt close to where we are seeing for other programs. Only a few are really worth the price of admission.

Heritage Chrome Parallels

First, let me say how glad I am that there are cards of this sort that are worth this kind of money at release. In the last 10 years, there are so few non-auto non-memorabilia cards that carry value in the hobby, but when you see how much interest the parallels are drawing, it might show hope after all. This is a set in a vacuum however, but there are similar situations that exist. I hope we can see more in the future.

2014 Topps Heritage Mike Trout Gold Refractor 5/5

2014 Topps Heritage Derek Jeter Gold Refractor 5/5

2014 Topps Heritage Stephen Strasburg Black Refractor /65

2014 Topps Heritage Manny Machado Black Refractor /65

Heritage Gold Embossed All Stars

I mentioned before how much I think these cards are horrible, and I still feel that way. Despite my feelings, they are selling at prices I never would have expected, especially considering how rare they are. Some people were saying there are less than 15 per card in existence, and they might not be that far off. They come in autograph and relic versions as well, but they arent worth as much. Talk about a deviation from normal protocol!

2014 Topps Heritage Yasiel Puig Gold Embossed

2014 Topps Heritage Justin Verlander Gold Embossed

Coins and Stamp cards

This type of card is interesting, but is not something I have anywhere close to my wish list. The cards feature items from 1965, embedded in the window of the cards with a player adjacent. The numismatists out there who are also card collectors must drive the market, as the cards sell quite well.

2014 Topps Heritage Felix Hernandez 1965 Dime Mint

2014 Topps Heritage Ernie Banks 1965 Churchill Stamp

Throwback Uniform Variations

Remember last year when these cards broke the 1K barrier on the rarer varieties? Well Topps obviously took notice and put out quite a few of them for different players. They arent selling near where they did last year, even though many of them are still quite scarce. Im interested to find out how many there really are.

2014 Topps Heritage Derek Jeter Throwback Uniform SSP

2014 Topps Heritage Mike Trout Throwback Uniform SSP

Again, Topps Heritage is not my bag and I dont really care to go buy a bunch of packs any time soon. However, this is the type of set that Topps must love, because the cost is minimal and the most valuable cards dont have autographs. That’s a winner.

Sports Card Album Changes the Game Once Again

Let me start off this article by talking about the way that the card community works. Basically, if you collect and you are online, you have to show everyone what you have. It makes collecting fun, because it uses a level of competition and pride in combination with the obvious vanity that we all inherently possess.

As a reuslt, for ages, collectors have repurposed photo sharing sites to show off their wares. Popular services like Photobucket have been around for ages, but they were never meant to be used for sharing cards in any way. We have all had the frustration of dealing with a type of site that never was meant to handle the type of situation we are all desiring.

Sergio from SportsCardAlbum.com has made it his life’s work over the last year to change that, offering a site completely dedicated to card collecting online. Aside from a place where collectors can go and share their photos, the site also offers messaging for trading and selling as well. That’s only the half of it. For the first time ever, Sports Card Album has now been made into an app on the Apple store designed to make it that much easier.

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I downloaded the app last week, and have had nothing but awesome results in using it. As good as the mobile site used to be, the app is that much better. Although it costs 3.99, for less than the price of a pack of cards, I was able to get the full functionality of uploading images and tweeting out pictures with the touch of a button. Its incredible to see all the things that Sergio and his team were able to come up with.

If you are still using one of the old photo sharing sites, its time to switch – NOW. They are already working on a batch of upgrades that should be ready soon, which adds even more functionality of the main site. Check out the video below and buy the app via the link below. I rarely vouch for something on this site, but this is one of those things that we all need to support for the good of the hobby. Its rare that someone comes along with the dedication to spend the time and energy to actually change things instead of just talking about it like I do.

Great job Sergio, you have definitely made some waves.


2014 Topps Heritage is Live, But Not My Type of Thing

For us autograph collectors, a product like Topps Heritage is like buying a veggie burger when you love eating meat. It just doesnt make a whole lot of sense to go running to the shop to buy a case. Although its been around for years and years, the focus of the set is not delivering autograph content (it does have some), but giving set collectors something to chase. I am not a fan of these sets and usually stay quite far away.

Here are some of the bigger hits:

2014 Topps Heritage Keith Olbermann Auto SSP

2014 Topps Heritage MIke Trout Gold Embossed Insert /15

2014 Topps Heritage Derek Jeter Action Photo SP Variation

2014 Topps Heritage Bryce Harper Black Refractor Chrome Variation

First off, I am a big fan of the 1965 design, as my dad had a bunch of them when I was growing up. It was the year the Twins went to the World Series, so he had the whole team set. I think its a pretty iconic year for Topps, and I can see why people were excited. I have always liked when retro designs are applied to modern players in this fashion, and when it comes to the base cards, 2014 heritage is nice.

The different variations are plenty, including a chrome version with refractors of every base card. Transferring these cards to chrome stock has been a staple of the product, and I only wish the autos were on the chrome too. The rare refractors tend to sell for tons of money, and it has a lot to do with how many people out there build the set each year.

There are also Gold Embossed box loaders and cards, which look horrendous to me. This is all understanding of the fact they are updates from the original set, but people are going nuts over them. I guess they are impossible to pull, and have autographed versions as well. Personally, I would be happy to pull one, only to turn around and sell immediately to avoid having to look at its ugly presentation.

Not much has popped up yet, but we will be getting some really ugly cut autographs which include living players, as well as even uglier autograph relic cards. Topps does as much as possible to keep the set design close to what the cards would look like in the year of release, but I hate the way these cards look. Big yellow boxes dont sit well with me.

Ernie Banks Auto Relic

Roger Staubach Cut Auto

As I mentioned above, Heritage and I are never going to be a match made in heaven, but with all the hoopla, you might want to check it out.

Johnny Manziel’s Superfractor is the First Big Card of 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, the first big card of the year has been pulled and listed. Leaf’s recent release of 2014 Metal Draft has the first dose of Superfractor style card, and the Johnny Manziel has been pulled in Pennsylvania.

Here is the listing from the seller.

Although the price is ridiculously far above where it will eventually sell for, the card is pretty impressive. I really like the design for 2014 Leaf, as I think it really does a good job of presenting the players without a license to show their college uniforms. To add on that SOMEHOW, despite the autograph debacle of 2012, Brian Gray has gotten Manziel to sign, is a feat in itself.

When considering the top autographs of the 2014 rookie class, it should be no surprise that Manziel takes top billing. His current cards in pre-draft products are selling well above the 100 dollar mark, which is a GREAT sign after a dismal 2013 class.

Here are some of the better ones for reference:

2014 Press Pass Johnny Manziel Auto Red Ink Inscription

2014 Leaf Metal Johnny Manziel Auto Blue Refractor /15

2014 Press Pass Johnny Manziel Power Pick Auto /25

Other players will emerge, especially as guys like Teddy Bridgewater eventually end up going high in the draft.

Manziel is the first of the big supers to be pulled, but more will come.

2014 Industry Summit Giveaways Start to Take Shape

If you have been reading this site for the last few weeks, you have seen how much I dislike what is happening with the events relating to the 2014 Industry Summit coming up in Las Vegas. Although the summit was conceived as a way for Shop owners and dealers to commiserate and get best practices, it hasnt exactly seemed like that was the main focus anymore. Number one with a bullet has been getting giveaways to pay for the trip. Aside from the swag, from my perspective and the perspective of attendees over the last few years, its become more about the companies vomiting information from every inch of the show floor. Of course, survival tactics are still shared, but the real purpose of this event is no longer near the top.

Here are some of the giveaways from previous years. You can see what I mean:

2011 Upper Deck Sidney Crosby Auto Industry Summit

2013 Topps Miguel Cabrera Auto Industry Summit

2013 Topps Mike Trout Auto Industry Summit

2012 Topps Adrian Peterson Auto Industry Summit

Even crazier is that the Summit has banned Leaf and ITG, among others from participating, which means that the focus of the event is even further left of center than normal. I dont get it anymore. Its a bastardization of what it was meant to be. Leaf even had some of the better giveaways, which is going to piss some eager attendees off.

Many of the companies have started to leak the previews of their summit giveaways, and for the most part they are pretty cool. While Upper Deck is in the midst of their 25th anniversary, and bringing their version of the famous black box, that is just the beginning. Panini is taking a football focus with the Green Parallel of Select Football, which was made popular at the summit last year for basketball.

Press Pass, somehow not banned in the licensing fiasco that has ensnared the other unlicensed companies, is releasing a set of unlicensed football cards for the upcoming 2014 draft. Seriously. I cant make this shit up. Where Leaf and ITG were banned for not being licensed, Press Pass is giving away cards that fall under exactly that. Who are the ad wizards that came up with that one?

These types of giveaways are used to fund the trip of the owners that attend, and then some. One guy who emailed me last year said he walked away with 2000 dollars worth of swag on a trip that cost him 800. Not a bad haul, especially when you see how much some of this stuff sells for. Should that be the focus of a struggling shop just trying to survive? I guess. Should it be the only reason they attend? No. With successful shops from all over the country coming to this show, this is the time to build a business plan, not listen to the verbal diarrhea coming out of the company presentations, only to get in line for the next giveaway. Every last piece of information delivered by any company at the summit will be available through other sources. No need to waste time there, yet that’s where everyone gravitates to.

That's not saying I dont like the cards, as most of the exclusives are interesting giveaways. Look at some of the stuff UD is giving out! Pretty nuts, and Panini has a history of some great stuff too. Considering how much they sell for, I understand why people want to spend the time to get them. The issue is that it can detract from the true motives of why someone should attend. Keep that in mind.