What’s Hot in the Shop: 2013 Goodwin Champions

by Mike Fruitman

Thanks to Yasiel Puig and a few other rising stars, Bowman Inception Baseball was so hot we sold out of it, got some more boxes in and are working on a sellout of those.  But at least in our shop, collectors are also falling for another new product.

For the third straight year (and fourth overall) Upper Deck has brought back their popular multi-sport release, 2013 Goodwin Champions, to the adoring hobby.  The original Goodwin cards were issued in the 19th century but the current edition takes it about 10,000 steps further.

In Nolan Ryan autographed Goodwin Championsaddition to autographs and relic cards of some of the most popular players on the planet, the set offers the ever popular Animal Kingdom Patch Set, Meteorite cards (and you thought getting a enough relic cards out of a pair of wrestling trunks was tough), Wild, Wild West relics (Will Smith fans, you will be more than disappointed), The Element Booklet Relics and more.

Michael Jordan memorabilia card Goodwin ChampionsWell you can’t have an incredibly popular release from Upper Deck without Michael Jordan autographs and even though this auction was for a redemption card, it sold for an undisclosed price, apparently a bit south of $1,000.

Looking at the autograph and relic checklist, there is literally a who’s who of incredible names.  Anyone care for an autograph of MJ, LeBron James, Bo Jackson, Bobby Orr, Jerry Rice, Nolan Ryan, Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby, Tiger Woods, Steve Young, Joe Namath, Bart Starr, Mark Messier or Jim Rice?

Goodwin Juan Gonzalez autographed cardGranted there’s the “balance” autographs of slightly lesser (but still loved by someone out there) players like Juan Gonzalez, Kenny Lofton, John Olerud (now if you get one, please contact Steve Nemeckay at Amazing Heroes in NJ), Rafael Palmeiro (between him and McGwire I wonder why there wasn’t a special subset of “special” former MLBers), Jim Abbott, Muggsy Bogues, Kent Hrbek, Tim Salmon, Jay Buhner and the immortal Shawn Bradley.

Danica Patrick is here, too.

The relic selection includes many of the above listed players and Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Dan Marino, John Elway, Hulk Hogan, Tony Hawk, Barry Sanders, Ray Bourque, Tim Tebow and Abraham Lincoln.  Yes, the most famous dead President/vampire hunter of all time has a relic card.

Lincoln relicDon’t believe me?  Here it is.

The once-laughable, but now street credible Animal Kingdom patch cards return for another year and I have my money on the Giant Fossa standing out from the pack on ebay.  Granted the Giant Fossa batted .309 with 32HR at Triple A in 2012, he was certainly suspect in the field with 18 errors.  My guess is that he/she will make the September call-ups this year and anyone who bought his/her cards early should thank me.  (BTW part two, should you pull any of these patch cards, there is a Nicole Wagner at Wayne’s Sports Cards in Edmonton who would love your help in working on this set again).

The Art Of The Ages painting set should command quite a bit of interest with each card being a 1/1 painted rendering of original artwork.  Look for reprints of Monet, Munch, Whistler, De Vinci, Renoir, Van Gogh and more.  I remember a few years ago when one of the collectors at my store pulled one of the hand-painted Presidential cards and sold it for hundreds of dollars, so don’t laugh if your Monet pulls more than an MJ.

Goodwin relic card Jack Nicklaus swatchGo ahead and got those 360-pt. magnetic holders ready since Goodwin also offers Element Booklet cards.  Yes, you can get Copper, Iron, Silicon, Magnesium, Titanium, Platinum and yes…sulfur.  Please put your metal detectors away since all of these cards are redemptions.

Ready to head to the Wild, Wild West with Upper Deck?  No problem.  You can get relic cards featuring swatches from money bags, railroad spikes, a caboose, arrowheads, poker chips and more.  Once again, these are all redemption cards, but should be rather interesting when they go live.

While Goodwin might be an acquired taste for some, my store has built up a strong following for it and after just a few days, we are almost through our first case.  We’re not alone.  At last check, 4,300 lots have already hit eBay Upper Deck should be applauded for their creativity and I am already wondering what they will be putting into 2014 Goodwin.

Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo.  You can read his column here every week (or close to it), focusing on what products are selling best in hobby shops. See his eBay listings here.  Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter.  Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook  and you can email him [email protected]