Monthly Archives: January 2015

2014 Mets Draft Class Autographs

Panini 3, Leaf 1, Topps 0

Full list of 2014 Mets draft picks

With the 2014 product year now behind us, we can tally up the score for getting the year’s draft picks to sign autographs. Panini came out on top with Milton Ramos, Eudor Garcia, and Josh Prevost (the team’s round 3-5 picks) live in Elite Extra Edition and Michael Conforto only available as a redemption (or live on dual player autograph cards). Topps completely whiffed with no Mets autographs in 2014 Bowman Draft and a Michael Conforto redemption (supposedly signed as of 30 January 2015) in Bowman Sterling as their only 2014 autograph from a 2014 Mets pick. Leaf beat out Topps for the number 2 spot with the only live 2014 autographs from Michael Conforto in 2014 Leaf Metal Draft, 2014 Leaf Valiant, and 2014 Leaf Trinity. That makes a total of 0 MLB-licensed autograph cards from 2014 Mets picks issued live in all 2014 products. The dark days of Mets prospect autographs are once more upon us.

1 Michael Conforto 3 Milton Ramos 4 Eudor Garcia 5 Josh Prevost
6 Tyler Moore 7 Brad Wieck 8 Dash Winningham 9 Michael Katz
10 Kelly Secrest 13 Erik Manoah 18 Raphael Ramirez 40 Dale Burdick

Previous Entries

Six out of eleven ain’t bad

After drafting just five players with any baseball cards in 2013, the Mets came up big in 2014 with 11 of 39 picks having certified autograph cards. Most of these were from 2013 Leaf Perfect Game, which has asserted itself as the premier pre-pro product and should merit a look when it returns later this year. While the Mets did sign all of their picks in the first 20 rounds, most late-round high school picks declined to sign, taking away five players with 2013 Leaf Perfect Game autographs: Luke Bonfield, Tommy Pincin, Keaton McKinney, Jordan Hand, and Jonathan Teaney. McKinney and Hand also have various memorabilia cards, leaving top pick Michael Conforto as the only signed Mets pick from 2014 with memorabilia. The loss of nearly half of the potential autographs in this draft class is unfortunate, but the remainder still rates as the best-ever draft day autograph crop.

Previous Draft Class Autographs:

2013 Mets Draft Class Autographs
2012 Mets Draft Class Autographs
2011 Mets Draft Class Autographs

The 2015 Queens Baseball Convention

Collectors have an increased presence the second time around

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since a bunch of bloggers and fans did what the Mets wouldn’t do – put on a fanfest to brighten up the dark days of winter. The 2014 Queens Baseball Convention was a huge success, so of course there were high hopes for a follow-up. That came on a cold and icy Saturday at City Field. Well, in the bar around back at least. Lessons were learned from last year and things ran more smoothly. But with so much going on, there was a lot to miss. Many questions remain about what will come next, but it is a near certainty that this event will continue in 2016 and beyond.

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Product Spotlight: 2014 Topps High Tek

Contains more Mike Piazza than the Hall of Fame

When we last checked in with Topps revivals of decades past, we saw the unenthusiastic return of Stadium Club.  With a generic format, terrible photography, and no standout cards, it looked like Topps had pushed the modern-retro thing just a bit too far.  After all, the Major League cards in Archives were a huge hit, Gold Label returned in a classy, though limited, form, and Finest had one of its best designs in more than 20 years.  Stadium Club seemed to show that Topps was out of ideas, but they didn’t stop there.  Topps dug back into the turn of the century well for one of its shortest-lived but fondest-remembered experiments: Tek.

Topps Tek ran from just 1998 to 2000.  In a departure from cardboard, Tek is an all-acetate product.  Plastic cards?  It’s an interesting novelty, but it wouldn’t last.  The product’s unique hook was that each player is featured on a variety of different patterned backgrounds.  The 1998 version, which featured John Olerud and Mike Piazza as Mets, had 90 different patterns for each player.  The 1999 version (with Piazza), cut that to 30 but had two photograph variants for each player.  2000 (again Piazza) narrowed the checklist even more with just 20 different patterns, five each with four different photographs, the last five being colored pattern short prints.  Tek was tailor-made for player collectors and made base cards relevant again. And then it was gone.  The rise of autographs and memorabilia and the eventual emergence of parallels pushed quirky concepts like Tek aside.  Those player sets were fun to chase but almost impossible to finish.  Tek was a journey.  14 years later, the journey begins anew. Read more »

2014 Biggest Pulls

The hobby of diminishing returns

Welcome to 2015.  With Topps and Panini going down to the wire with their 2014 product releases, it will take at least another couple of weeks to finish off all of the year in review pieces here.  With any luck, we’ll have the Best Mets Cards of 2014 post up this weekend.  But before we get to that, let’s look at how my luck fared with packs in 2014.  Spoiler: it was crap.

My spending was down in 2014, with just under $3,000 going toward unopened 2014 product.  That yielded just $540 in eBay sales, though, for a variety of reasons, I ended up not selling quite a few of the biggest hits.  Meanwhile, even the lesser hits were tough sells; cards that would have sold for $20 or more a year or two ago were lucky to go for $10 this year.  Part of the problem is overproduction.  Topps in particular has been pushing out more products with more parallels than ever before (and somehow without featuring more players).  This results in a glut of low-numbered parallels of star players.  That’s great for collectors who buy singles, not so good for sellers.  If a Jose Altuve parallel numbered to 35 isn’t going to sell for more than $1, I might as well hang on to it.  And so now I have piles of 2014 hits that can’t find good homes.

Of course, even the cards that did sell didn’t always sell.  Out of 130 sales on eBay this year, three resulted in non-paying bidders.  We’re not talking about junk cards either, these were big names: Clayton Kershaw, Kris Bryant, and Robin Yount.  All of these cards went relatively cheap compared to other listings, but all three went unpaid.  This seems to be an increasing problem as eBay has become more and more biased against sellers, bending over backwards to placate buyers while making selling more of a hassle.  With Check Out My Cards getting into auctions, it should be interesting to see how eBay fares in the sports card market.  We could see a tipping point in the next few years.

But enough doom and gloom, let’s get to the pretty cards.

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