As much as the start of the football season drives the hobby, a close second is when the MLB season gets going. There is something about a month and a half of games that do not matter other than trying to see who is going to make the cut and which box of older Bowman prospects needs another weeding for the next “can’t miss” prospect. When a prospect’s card sells, I always wonder how much I left on the table by not bumping my prices. Then again, I remember Brien Taylor and the pain goes away.
Speaking of that, it will hopefully be a great time to own a card store in Colorado if Rockies’ rookie Trevor Story keeps hitting homers like he has been. Here’s to hoping Topps and Panini can drop his rookie cards into some products– and fast– since we are almost out of his prospect cards.
I do have to reserve the top spot on our Hot List for a recently-released football issue that closes out last season’s product line.
1) 2015 Panini National Treasures NFL – A few weeks ago, my neck of Colorado got about 20” of snow on a Wednesday. I did not think much of it until there was no UPS delivery on Wednesday or Thursday. I figured that National Treasures would still be OK since it wasn’t supposed to arrive until Friday. Imagine my surprise when the most anticipated high-end release of the football season did not make it until the following Monday.
Collectors wait a whole year to get their hands onto some of the most desirable rookie patch autographed cards and once again, Panini saved some of the sweetest patches for this release.
Of course it is not just the newest players to the league that inspire sales. Current players like Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Von Miller, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo join retired stars Barry Sanders, John Elway, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Tim Brown, Joe Namath, Joe Theisman and many others to offer some serious signatures.
2015 Flawless Football releases this Friday, but most shops will not have enough to go around for too long and the only thing that is stopping me from having more NT is that most of my distributors are either out of it, or packaging it with other Panini releases that I already have in stock. Oh well, after moving 11 cases in spite of Mother Nature in less than two weeks will simply have to suffice.
2) 2016 Topps Heritage MLB – While it prices for about $420 less a box than National Treasures, Heritage is still being incredibly well received. We have moved case after case to shredders who enjoy knowing they will be able to put together a set with all of the 75 short-prints. Somehow a product with one autograph or relic that hits in the $70 – $80 range still inspires box after box sales.
Now it is not like there are not any quality autographs in the set. If anything, the quality might make up for the quantity argument. With chances at signed cards from Buster Posey, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Johnny Bench, Rod Carew, Nolan Ryan, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and others, perhaps 1 hit boxes are the way to go.
Only because this will be probably the only reason I will ever have to go include these names as part of a checklist, I offer you some of the 1/1 cut signature cards that are possible Anne Bancroft, Diana Ross, Frankie Valli, George Harrison, Gregory Peck, C Julia Child, Leonard Nimoy, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Red Auerbach, Ray Bradbury, Ray Manzarek, Sean Connery, Sidney Poitier and William Shatner.
3) 2016 Topps Legacies MLB – So about six months ago when I ordered Legacies, I figured that even if it completely fell on its face, that all the profit I made on 2015 MLB would soften the blow. Now of course I did not expect it to go the way of 2015 Donruss Soccer and fall through the floor, but I was not sure how a $175 box with two autographs a metal card and an insert /99 or less would go over.
Well after seeing our first couple of cases opened, I wish I could have gone back and loaded up a few more cases into my shopping cart. The two gems below are numbered out of 25, signed on card and make opening most cases worth it.
Other possible autographed cards include Bryce Harper, Bo Jackson, Omar Vizquel, Chipper Jones, Cal Ripken Jr, Ozzie Smith, Hank Aaron, Mike Trout, Sandy Koufax and seemingly every big name that Topps could get on the line.
4) 2015/16 Upper Deck SPX NHL – How can you have a Hot List during the season of Connor without a current year NHL product? Of course you can’t. DUH!
Here is the short and the sweet from a recent case break we hosted on SPX:
5) 2016 Leaf Ultimate Draft NFL – Let’s face it, there is something cool about opening up brand new football cards before the draft, right? Sure Mel Kiper, Todd McShay and that one guy who always crushes you in fantasy football might be the only ones who could break down each player in every box, but with three QBs expected to go in the first round (PLEASE DRAFT ONE DENVER, PLEASE DRAFT ONE DENVER, PLEASE DRAFT ONE DENVER) it is nice to see the first NFL releases not performing like Cam did in the Super Bowl.
Nick literally froze in excitement after pulling this card. He’s literally still in my store in this position.
So there you have it. My little version of what works for me in my store and not necessarily anywhere else in the world. If you happen to find any Trevor Story cards lying around in your old Bowman common boxes, my address is listed around here somewhere.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO. Normally, his column 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. 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]