Buzz Poll: Looking back at 2015 & looking forward to 2016

2016toppsA new year is nearly here and Buzz simply has a pair of questions for collectors as we wrap things up for the day and head into 2016 …

Have more to say about the hobby today? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to 

>> Click here to buy baseball cards on

Just For Fun: Can you identify which years these vintage baseball card photographs were used?

MantleWhen someone says “1952 Topps Mickey Mantle” there’s simply one image that comes to mind for collectors — the image of the Oklahoma-born slugger looking over his right shoulder where his Louisville Slugger resides.

The blue hues and the yellow bat — the results of colorized images back in those days — are dramatically different than what we often expect from the cardboard of today, yet they are the basis of everything, too.

Seeing one of these memorable card images recently got Buzz wondering whether fellow collectors would be able to identify photographs from memorable vintage baseball card sets — but without the accoutrement that make 1952 look like 1952 or 1965 look like 1965.

Continue reading

eBay Buzz: What’s the price of perfection when it comes to Connor McDavid’s iconic Rookie Card?

BGS-Black-Connor-McDavidWe all knew that Connor McDavid was going to be a big deal and we all knew his Young Guns Rookie Card from 2015-16 Upper Deck would be kind of a big deal, too.

But what about a perfect BGS Black label specimen? Well, one of these sold this week so we know how big it can get.

How much?

Continue reading

Board Buzz: Five must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Dec. 31)

Birdies-1958-ToppsThe Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing: Multi-player cards, player-worn patches, Court Kings, goals and resolutions for 2016, college football and more on the forum that recently joined the 10-Million Post Club.

Continue reading

Five collectable NFL stars deserving of Hall of Fame status

Pro_Football_HOF_LogoThe Pro Football Hall of Fame is an odd one in terms of who gets in and who doesn’t — many memorable names from the past have yet to make the cut and many who do you might not know because of the positions they played and their relative lack of cardboard.

Part of that’s on the hobby, but part of that is on the voters.

Buzz briskly scoured the record books to select five players who you probably have in your collections who aren’t in Canton. Check ’em out …

Continue reading

Examining 20 Baseball Hall of Fame candidates’ Rookie Cards + Buzz casts his votes for Cooperstown

There are 32 players on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame ballot this year and the ongoing debate of who’s worthy, who’s not and who cheated with performance-enhancing drugs will rage on well beyond the reveal of the voting results on Jan. 6.

In Buzz’s book, there’s quite possibly only one new Hall of Famer headed to Cooperstown this coming summer, and that lock is Ken Griffey Jr.

The rest? Well, it’s not that easy. Buzz has eliminated 12 of the guys who are not likely to even make the cut to be on next year’s ballot and examined the stats for 20 of those who are left. Along with this, Buzz has added some key Rookie Card info, too, just in case you haven’t tracked any of them down just yet or want to revisit cardboard from your youth.
Continue reading

Get your 2015 Elite Extra Edition baseball checklist here


The checklist for 2015 Elite Extra Edition is here — click to view a PDF version.

Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to 

>> Click here to buy baseball cards on


First Buzz: 2016 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team & Hopefuls trading cards

16_Topps Summer Olympic-gabby-douglasWhat: 2016 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team & Hopefuls trading cards
Arrives: May 11, 2016
Box basics: One autographs, one Relic and one manufactured Relic in every 24-pack hobby box

What’s buzz-worthy: The latest batch of future Olympians arrives on cardboard in advance of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August. As with past Olympic releases, there are plenty of first-time signers who can become overnight sensations and sell very, very well once the Olympics arrive.

Keep reading for more and a full gallery of images.

Continue reading

Best of 2015: The 15 trading cards that helped define a crazy year

15-HK-connormcdavidyounggunsIt’s a time of change, a time of high-end product exploration and a time of options for many collectors in what we call the sports card industry these days.

Tastes, products and prices continue to evolve as does the business environment that helps bring us our cardboard. For every super-pricey box being made, there are seemingly just as many buyers ready to rip or pick off singles for not-always-so-super prices (but super bargains).

The Buzz has only been around for part of 2015, but Buzz has been here all along as part of the world of collecting. Here are Buzz’s picks for 15 cards that helped define 2015.

2015-16 Upper Deck #201 Connor McDavid RC
The impressive prices being paid for what’s just a simple piece of cardboard with just gloss and some foil stamping shows that fundamentals never go out of style when there’s a big name involved. This time, it’s the No. 1 pick Connor McDavid, a Canadian phenom drafted by the Edmonton Oilers. This photo was selected by collectors and it even has a fun sign of 2015 — the fan showing off a photo on her phone in the background.

Continue reading

Go deeper inside game with Topps Strata Clearly Authentic Relics

If you’re a Buzz regular, you have already read all about (link here) the 2015 Topps Strata Clearly Authentic Relics that include MLB Authentication. If not, check out the link after you check out this video released by Topps.

Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to 

>> Click here to buy baseball cards on

Upper Deck MVP rookie redemptions coming soon after checklist reveal

2015-16-NHL-MVP-Upper-Deck-Connor-McDavid-Rookie-Redemption-CardUpper Deck revealed its checklist for the 2015-16 MVP rookie redemptions on Tuesday with 35 cards of newcomers headed to the printer and into collectors’ hands soon.

No surprises who’s at No. 1 — Connor McDavid has a standard card, an autograph card and a gold autographed card.

Who’s on the rest of the list? Keep reading.

Continue reading

eBay Buzz: This perfect Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Topps Chrome rookie Refractor is how much?

KobeBGSblackWhen Topps Chrome arrived in basketball, it was a bit simpler time than it is today — so much so that the brand was a retail-only release because the idea of merely Chroming a set perhaps wasn’t a sure thing.

Plenty of time has passed since 1996 and in that time so has the career of Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant who was a rookie back in 1996-97 Topps Chrome.

The best card in that landmark product is arguably Bryant’s Refractor version of his Rookie Card and this copy is the best of the best of the thousands that were pulled and saved since then.

Continue reading

New Buzz: Products out this week (Dec. 27-Jan. 2) include Court Kings, EEE & Marilyn Manson’s debut


CourtKingsAnother holiday week leads to another abbreviated release schedule for trading cards with just five brands on the tarmac and set to arrive beginning tomorrow.

We’ve got one from Leaf Trading Cards, one from Cryptozoic, one from Topps and two from Panini America and that’s where we’ll start off.

This week’s NBA release is 2015-16 Panini Court Kings, a rookie-heavy art-style product that will include one autograph and one memorabilia card per 10-card box. It will also include box-toppers. This one will feature on-card autos as well as one Hot Box delivering extras in every 15-box case.

Continue reading

Upper Deck Authenticated adds Teemu Selanne to its lineup

teemu-selanne-autographed-finnish-flash-photo-84999Teemu Selanne was a 10-time All-Star and Rookie of the Year who scored 684 goals in his 21 seasons and whose next stop is the Hall of Fame.

Now he’s a member of the Upper Deck Authenticated signing roster.

Continue reading

Daisy Ridley’s Star Wars mystery autograph redemption keeps selling

Daidy-Ridley-autoThere was an awakening and it’s been felt on eBay as well as the box office.

Another Mystery Redemption from 2015 Topps Star Wars: The Force Awakens Series 1 has sold for big bucks on eBay, going for $1,700 on Sunday. (Spoiler alert: It’s for an autograph of Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey.) Four other copies have sold for $1,200 or more on eBay since the product’s release 11 days ago, while a fifth sale came in at $900 to set the low mark.

Asking prices for the card in current auctions have gotten steeper, though.

Continue reading

Board Buzz: Five must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Dec. 29)

Mike-Trout-2015-Topps-DynastyThe Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing: Results from 2015 Topps Dynasty, favorite sets, Star Wars, prospecting the 2016 NFL Draft & more

Continue reading

Globetrotters great Meadowlark Lemon leaves entertaining legacy even seen on cardboard

meadowlark-lemonBasketball Hall of Famer and legendary Harlem Globetrotters showman Meadowlark Lemon has died, the team announced on Monday. He was 83.

Known as “The Clown Prince of Basketball,” Lemon was a fixture for the traveling exhibition team beginning in 1954. He’s one of just five players to have his number retired by the team and he played more than 7,500 games in the red, white and blue before retiring in the late-1970s. He joined the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

“Meadowlark was the most sensational, awesome, incredible basketball player I’ve ever seen,” former Globetrotter Wilt Chamberlain told The New York Times in 1999. “People would say it would be Dr. J or even Jordan. For me, it would be Meadowlark Lemon.”

Off the court, he was one of the core players often seen on the Globetrotters’ cartoon series, some memorable episodes of Scooby-Doo and, of course, seen on plenty of cardboard.

Continue reading

Aroldis Chapman should be hobby star as closer for New York Yankees


Not long ago, we thought Cuban fireballer and four-time All-Star Aroldis Chapman was on his way to Los Angeles after the Dodgers agreed to trade a pair of prospects to land him.

But, after a deal on Monday, he’s headed to New York to be the closer for the Yankees.

What does it mean for Chapman’s baseball cards?

Continue reading

Upper Deck readies exclusive cards for Winter Classic showdown

2015-16-NHL-Upper-Deck-Winter-Classic-Commemorative-Set-Montreal-Max-PaciorettyHockey fans will have some extra things to look out for after the NHL’s Winter Classic on Friday when the Montreal Canadiens take on the Boston Bruins in Gillette Stadium.

Upper Deck hockey cards will be made just for the event and also will be distributed at participating hobby shops in the Boston area as well as in and around Montreal.

As with any premiere event, there also will be interactive displays and other unique cardboard for hockey fans (and collectors) to pick up outside the stadium.

Continue reading

Will more authenticity (& more cost) translate into more interest (& more sales) of 2015 Topps Strata?


When 2015 Topps Strata arrived last week with just two cards per box, some collectors may not have noticed one of the features that the high-end brand includes on its Clearly Authentic Autographed Relic and Clearly Authentic Relic cards.

But it’s something that many collectors say they have been seeking for a long time.

What is it? Added authenticity — as in specific game-dating — thanks to the little silver MLB Authentication sticker found on every single card in those two sets.

Continue reading

You can snack like a big-leaguer thanks to MLB Auctions

MLB-auctionsBuzz thought he had seen it all when it came to game-used memorabilia until he visited MLB Auctions on Sunday night to find this.

It’s a snack container straight from the dugout of the Detroit Tigers this past season and it can be all yours.

How much? We’ll get to that … but first the details.

Continue reading

Julio Jones & Kirk Cousins among NFL’s most Buzz-worthy players in Week 16


julio-JonesThe Atlanta Falcons took a 7-7 record into their game against the undefeated Carolina Panthers on Sunday and thanks to one guy’s one big play they recorded their biggest win of the season.

The player was WR Julio Jones and the play was a 70-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter — the biggest part of a nine-catch, 178-yard day. Jones has been one of the better receivers in the league, but this is one play for the highlight reels that could live on for some time.

His Rookie Cards can be found back in 2011 products and, in general, his autographs aren’t all that plentiful. Combine that with interest from his past Alabama Crimson Tide fans and some of those early cards can be tougher to find.

>> Click here to shop for football boxes on

Keep reading for four more guys who generated some buzz on the field this week. (Note: This was published before the late games this week.)

Continue reading

Buzz Collector Profile: Robert Morris aka @dalsubfan

Robert Morris

Also known as: @dalsubfan on Twitter and most other places
Location: Texas
Work away from cards: Manufacturing
Collecting since: 1970-80, 1992-95, 2005-current

Main focuses: My collecting focus is Mark Teixeira cards and whatever else interests me. Hall of Famers, 1/1s, memorabilia …

Favorite players/teams: Mark Teixeira and Texas Rangers

Current collecting projects: In addition to chasing at least one of every Mark Teixeira card made (at 5,700 or 81 percent), I am completing th 2013 Historic Autographs Originals 1933 set. Also working on a bat with Hall of Famer autographs — at 65 so far.

Continue reading

Making the Grade: Grading Diary I includes Derek Jeter, legendary ink, vintage, WWE Diva Paige & more

Buzz-Grading-Diary-1993-Upper-Deck-Derek-JeterLike many collectors, Buzz is a fan of grading and knows that there are many reasons that collectors choose to slab cards. Sometimes it’s to enhance the appeal and protect them when selling. Other times it’s to protect an investment for the long-term or to protect for sentimental reasons. Or, it might be just for fun or curiosity about a potential grade.

For the first Grading Diary here on The Buzz, it will be a mix of cards graded for a few reasons.

The Card: 1993 Upper Deck #449 Derek Jeter
The Reason Graded: This was pulled straight from an underpriced factory set and looked very clean except for a tiny spot on the back — Buzz figured it might push into the high grades even with the gloss issue. These cards are also not easy to pull from wax or sets cleanly because the high-gloss cards often stick together, peeling away specks of paper. Another reason? This is an iconic card that’s worth grading if you own a clean one.
The Grade: BGS 9

 Grade: 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 Total
Population: 24 20 65 124 334 761 1,314 1,579 806 307 3 5,360

Reality Check: The SP Jeter rookie is the one people chase, not this one. This one’s $20 on eBay — and perhaps undervalued considering how they grade on the pop report. BGS 9s and higher are really much rarer than people think.

Continue reading

Need a fun & affordable football card focus? Try collecting NFL sons

NickMontanaAdmit it, you may have overdone things when it comes to buying football cards this year — maybe past years, too — and have a big ol’ stash of cards you don’t know what to do with. What do you keep? What do you jettison? That’s where having a collecting focus comes in. If you haven’t overdone it on wax, then maybe having a focus for your single-card buys is a need. (That’s one even Buzz has struggled with over decades of collecting.)

One potential niche that seems prevalent this year in NFL and college sets? Cards showing the kids of former NFL players who have now made their way onto cardboard.

They seem to be everywhere this year. Second-generation players aren’t anything new, of course, but they can be a fun way to revisit the past while also collecting the present. Buzz started his collecting days in the 1980s and, back then, a Joe Montana autograph wasn’t an easy find — plus, his handwriting didn’t justify the high cost on a small budget. Fast-forward to 2015 and Nick Montana has cardboard. He won’t be an NFL star — he wasn’t really even that good in college — and the handwriting also isn’t great, but he’s got a certified autograph card.

Buzz wanted it, Buzz got it. Can’t say the same thing for a Joe autograph, though, even all these years later.

Continue reading

Old baseball cards become artwork for graphic design student

CardStadium2What to do with old common cards is a question and a challenge for many collectors, especially as they continue to pile up.

But for 19-year-old New York-based Blowout member Steven Verdile, aka Metsfan1121, the temptation to simply throw them away was thwarted when the graphic design student received an assignment in a 3D class earlier this year.

“We had to take items that we already had and aren’t typically used for art, and use them to create a 3D piece,” he wrote on a post on the forum. “I quickly thought about using my cards, and came up with an idea. I decided to make a baseball field, along with bleachers and a dugout, out of cards.”

Continue reading

Board Buzz: Five must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Dec. 24)

The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing: Vintage cardboard, 2015 Topps Strata, penmanship & more.

Continue reading

First Buzz: 2015 Leaf SportKings trading cards

 2015 Leaf SportKings trading cards
Arrives: January 2016
Box basics: One autograph, one memorabilia card, four base cards and one mini per box.

What’s buzz-worthy: SportKings returns with a new mix of cards that includes numbered autographed parallels and buyback autographs for stars throughout the sports world (and even a few from elsewhere) on the famed design from the 1930s.

Keep reading for more and a full gallery of images.

Continue reading

Panini increases autograph output in 2015 Elite Extra Edition boxes

panini-america-2015-eee-baseball-yoan-moncadaWhen Panini America first revealed 2015 Elite Extra Edition back in October, it promised that the annual prospecting staple would include plenty of autographs — eight to 10 in the warmest of Hot Box scenarios and six autos for the standard boxes.

But there will be even more ink when it arrives next Thursday.

A lot more in every case.

Continue reading

First Buzz: 2016 Leaf Best of Basketball

 2016 Leaf Best of Basketball
Arrives: February 2016
Box basics: One buyback or redemption card plus one new Leaf card per box.

What’s buzz-worthy: The elite basketball cards from the past will be found here in buyback form accented with new creations featuring Hall of Fame-enshrined players.

Keep reading for more.

Continue reading

First cards just keep getting earlier with newest USA Baseball set

14underPanini America‘s annual USA Baseball boxed set arrived in hobby shops today with a new inclusion inside.

As in the newest players ever.

New in 2015 Panini USA Baseball are autographs and memorabilia cards like those of Adam Crampton seen above. He was a member of the USA Baseball 14U squad this year. That’s the 14-and-under squad — do the math and you’ll figure out that the third-baseman was born sometime in the 2000s. (It’s May 24, 2001, to be precise, meaning he’s now a grizzled veteran and too old for that roster.)

Continue reading

Gallery: 2015 Topps Strata baseball cards

Strata4It’s a standalone and it’s looking spectacular.

The arrival of 2015 Topps Strata as a standalone brand is today and the results ripped from wax boxes are starting to appear on eBay with some big names but also more affordable ones, too.

(They all just look like a million bucks.)

Continue reading

Iconic Sports Illustrated covers can be quite collectable & sometimes quite valuable, too (gallery)

SIcoverWillSmithIf you’ve watched any NFL games this season, you’ve likely heard the word “concussion” many times as the league has implemented new tests on players to help prevent future problems by assessing the here and now immediately following a hard hit.

On Christmas Day, a film about the issue of concussions in football called Concussion opens in theaters. You’ve probably seen the commercials for the film during NFL games.

Will Smith stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered the degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. It’s a real-life issue that has affected more than 80 former players — many you’ve seen on football cards and might have collected. The movie is an important one and Sports Illustrated has Smith on its cover this week to discuss the movie.

Is it the first time a celebrity has appeared on the cover of the highly collectable sports magazine?

Continue reading

Buzz Collector Profile: Stacy Marlow aka @slmsolo

StacyBabeRuthStacy Marlow

Also known as: @slmsolo on Twitter
Website: No personal site
Location: Georgia
Work away from cards: Estate Manager for private family
Collecting since: 2012

Main focuses: Atlanta Braves — prospects, veteran/Hall of Fame autographs, in-person
BuzzProfiles-LogoHeritage autos, in-person sweet spot autographs, graded Bowman first-year autos

Favorite players/teams: Atlanta Braves — Chipper Jones, Craig Kimbrel, John Smoltz

Current collecting projects: Currently working on 2015 Topps High Tek John Smoltz auto rainbow/collection (needing two printing proofs to finish) and 2012 Bowman Sterling Lucas Sims rainbow

Continue reading

Card Gallery: 2015 Bowman’s Best baseball cards

2015BowmansBest-3Bowman’s Best officially returns tomorrow for the first time in eight years and it’s going to pack two autographs into each mini box, four per master, when collectors tear in.

First introduced in 1994, Bowman’s Best ran for more than a decade before a year off and a return in 2007. It’s been sidelined ever since. This time around, the brand replaces Bowman Sterling and offers a selection of young stars that have captivated collectors already this past season or so along with a crop of new draft picks as well. Nearly all autographs are signed on-card for this release.

Continue reading