by Mike Fruitman
Hobby shops could always use a new friend. Luckily, we got two new friends in the last week and they now both call Washington home during their respective seasons.
From baseball, the messiah known as Bryce Harper finally (as if waiting almost a year was forever) made it to the majors and from football, RG3 has almost as much, if not more hobby power than Andrew Luck.
Seemingly anything with Bryce in it gained some serious heat the moment it was announced that he had been called up. The Trade Night event at my store stopped as he stepped up to the plate for the first time and even though he grounded out, people appreciated his quick pace to first base and really liked it when it looked like he had driven in the game winner late in the game.
Products such as 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars, 2010 Bowman Draft, 2011 Bowman and others with his singles were moving almost as quickly as 2012 releases. When Topps announced its plans for his cards in remaining 2012 products, it ensured that those boxes will be on the hot list for some time.
Speaking of 2012 products, Topps Museum Collection is still the big box on campus. No matter how high box and pack prices go, it seems that there is always a line for whatever there is available.
As expected, Robert Griffin III went to Washington with the #2 pick, and he elevated every release in which he appeared. At first, Leaf Draft, SAGE HIT and 2012 Upper Deck football all looked like they had some serious issues with Andrew Luck being exclusive to Press Pass. All three and Press Pass have been flying off the shelves.
When Upper Deck football arrived last week, the fact that they were not NFL licensed did not matter to my customers. My store rolled through multiple cases right after release with considerable interest in the autographed lettermen and the college mascot cards.
If there is as much interest in them as there was for the 2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Animal Kingdom cards, you can expect interest to continue for some time. Yes, I can freely admit that I broke down and bought a Ralphie mascot card to celebrate my years attending the University Of Colorado.
While it remains to be see whether Bryce will remain with Washington for this season or whether RG3 will turn this nations’ capitol into the football capitol, the hype they have already generated will not soon be forgotten.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo. 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 at [email protected]