I just got done watching the Arizona Cardinals beat the previously perfect Seattle Seahawks. I was rooting for the Cardinals and when it became evident to my wife that I was leaning for Arizona to win, she of course asked me why.
My response was that I have more 2019 products with possible Kyler Murray rookie cards than I did have 2012 with possible Russell Wilson first year cards. Fortunately we have been married for close to 20 years and since I have owned the shop for a rapidly approaching 28th year, she knew why I wanted the team from the desert to get the W.
Yes, card shop owners do root for teams to win just like you do. Granted I might have a few more cases of 2019 National Treasures or Prizm on the line than most collectors do, I’m guessing that many of you have much cooler Kyler Murray cards than I do.
As for the World Series, since I’m a Rockies fan, I can’t bring myself to root for the Dodgers even though it would mean much more to my business than the Rays winning would. There is something satisfying knowing that since the team from Colorado started in 1993, that the Dodgers have won exactly as many championships as my favorite team has won.
Yes, card shop owners also have hearts and can, from time to time, place their rooting interests ahead of money. Granted the success of most stores in 2020 has given us a little rope that we can use on occasion for such rare sentimental moments.
So, back to card specific chat for the duration of this piece if you can handle it. Please enjoy what has been hot at my shop for the past month or so. Feel free to compare and contrast to what you have seen in your LCS or what you might have busted yourself.
Perhaps I am biased, but I have given thought recently that Spectra should get a honorary inclusion in the Prizm/Mosaic/Optic/Select family/genus/species but as a higher end version. Between the oodles of parallels and overall appearance I’m going to add them to the debate at least.
My shop started off with a little over 5 cases and if you turned it over, looked in every crack or crevice and shook it up, you would find none left. Boxes offer ten autographs or relic cards and while the old sticker price on it a few years back turned some people away, the current crowd didn’t mind committing to it in 2020. Suffice to say it trumped many of the other NFL releases that hit the shelves recently.
Typically Gold Label gets a decent response and trickles upward depending on how well the rookies are performing and how much the Mike Trout autographs are running for. This year, I started off my Gold Label at $79 a box and realized quickly how many friends I was making.
Boxes once again offer 6 packs with one very clearly, unless there’s a redemption card, offering a metal bordered autographed card. This year collectors could hope for either single signed or dual autographed cards with a mix of rookies, more well established veterans and a really cool selection of retired players. I’m old enough to appreciate the vibrant colors of the 1998 design, but can still enjoy the 3 different classes and the 4 parallels you could pull from each. If you’re extra lucky and you are willing to bide your time, you might just pull a jersey card on top of your framed metal card.
3) 19/20 Upper Deck Premier NHL
Upper Deck Premier hit this year and after the Avalanche getting KO’d earlier than many expected coupled with two not overly collected teams battling it out in the Stanley Cup, I wasn’t sure it would run strong, but I was wrong big time.
Boxes offer four hits with 1 auto relic, another auto and two relic cards greeting when they pop their tins. I’m still hoping to see a killer Cale Makar auto when I can find some to restock. No, my son Sam was not involved with the acquisition not mailing back of the Calder Award winner’s signed cards like he was with Ultimate Collection. It isn’t just rookies that collectors can pull signatures of with popular veterans like Connor McDavid, Martin Brodeur, Auston Matthews and more. Back again are perhaps my favorite hockey relic cards, the Mega Patch Set with pieces that make The Cup feel conservative.
Back again for another year, Triple Threads returns to deliver some OMG patches, White Whales, some of the quirkiest phrases one could hope for on a relic card and with it being a later in the season release, an impressive selection of 2020 rookies. Also back are the multitude of parallels including Citrane which according to www.crystalvaults.com “is a transparent, yellow variety of Quartz, ranging in color from pale to golden yellow, honey or almost brown, and may contain rainbow or sparkle inclusions. The name comes from the French word citron, meaning lemon.” I had to look since honestly I had never heard of it before.
Now that I am done waxing poetic on lapidary, you might get autographs from Larry Walker, Chipper Jones, Clayton Kershaw, Cal Ripken Jr, Roland Acuna, Shohei Ohtani, Fernando Tatis Jr, Nolan Arenado, Todd Helton and yup Mike Trout for good measure.
Absolute is another one of my favorite releases each year in part because of the coolness of the RPAs that Panini drops into each box. I really enjoy the multi relic cards with a box of jerseys, gloves and other pieces of apparel Panini can line up. I also like how liberally Panini includes both base set and insert parallels to bolster return values. It was announced that the Kaboom inserts were one per case, but sadly the one we busted didn’t deliver one. Fortunately, Joe and Tua had autographed singles to take some of the sting out of that. Recently boxes have taken a bump in prices and I would credit the inclusion of these inserts as a factor.
So there you have it, my thoughts of what has been rocking at Colorado’s Best Card Shop. Feel free to find the Sports Collectors Daily Facebook or Twitter post and share your thoughts on whether you agree with my assessment or whether I left off some incredible release you would have added since your vote counts here and other places.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO. His column normally focuses on what products are selling best in hobby shops. He’s got thousands of cards for sale on COMC.com under the ID cardmn5150. You can email him at [email protected]
Check out past editions of What’s Hot here.