This past Saturday was another Northern Illinois Card Show in Rockford. The show is now in my monthly rotation (pending my schedule) to set up as a vendor. Rock Church on Harrison Avenue is the location and it’s in the church gymnasium. It is a really nice space, and the gym stage even has a ping pong table, air hockey, and foosball table.
I had a new location from my first appearance at this show. John Craig, the promoter, had me in the back corner straight ahead from the entrance. I loved the spot from the start. Since I have three tables of bargain boxes, space is a necessity. Being in the back corner allowed for ample space for my customers to take a seat and dig through the cards.
Sold Out Northern Illinois Card Show
As I pulled up to the Northern Illinois Card Show, the parking lot was already pretty full of vendors unloading their goods. The show was a sell out for vendors, which is great. It was also nice to see some new vendors I had never met allowing me to introduce myself and promote my own show. John and I have a great relationship and promote each other’s show. We encourage each other to recruit vendors from our shows to appear at the other.
One vendor I was looking forward to meet was Tony Gordon, who runs the Salvation Army show in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. It’s a show I have not yet attended, but do plan on driving over for their November 6 show. Tony has an amazing selection of vintage and pre-war cards. There was a Billy Herman Batters Up and a 1952 Topps Phil Cavarretta that caught my eye. But going into business full time starting this week, I need to restrain myself from impulse Cubs buys.
With a sellout crowd of vendors it also led to a different layout than my previous appearance in August. The vendor tables were set up on the perimeter of the gym, but then there were also interior tables.
While I was unloading my car another vendor asked if I was interested in buying a 5-row box of baseball cards. Ratsy on the Blowout Forums is from northwest Indiana, and he set up at the Madison Card Show a couple months ago. After I set up, I took a look at the contents and we agreed on $60. I’ll show off the contents in a later article.
Crowd Turnout Was Great
Attendance at the Northern Illinois Card Show was much higher than the previous show I set up at in August. Even though attendance and sales were down two months ago, it allowed me more time to network with other vendors and pick up some good deals as a buyer.
There was a big rush of people during the morning hours, and like many card shows the afternoon was a trickle and pretty slow. Still, I was very happy with the turnout.
Bargain Box Sales Were Down
At one point towards the end of the show John approached and asked how my show was going. My response: “It’s been okay.” I hate that response, and as soon as I muttered those words I wanted to smack myself. It’s like coming home from work and saying your day was, “fine.”
Was it okay good, was it okay bad? So, I’ll go into a little more detail on my “okay” day. While the attendance was far greater than the previous Northern Illinois Card Show, my table attendance was only slightly up. And that is okay. The bargain box customers either didn’t come to the show, or something with my set up needs to be adjusted.
Since I began selling bargain boxes at my first Madison Card Show in April, a constant internal struggle was how to organize the bargain boxes. Mine are very disorganized. They are sorted by sport, but that’s as organized as it gets. Should I organize by team? By year? By era?
One sales tip I learned at the Wisconsin Dells show from a bargain box seller was the “Fill a Box” method. A vendor had 100-count boxes that you could fill for $20, so essentially a built-in discount (20 cents per card) on the quarter boxes. Customers at the Northern Illinois Card Show in Rockford use my boxes regularly, but for some reason I do not get that same traffic at the Madison Card Show.
Overall A Success
It was a great outing in Rockford. While my sales were not quite to my expectations, it was a decent sales amount. I was able to make some great bulk buys to enhance my own bargain boxes along with some inventory I can put in my eBay Store. Additionally, I was able to network with a few new vendors that will likely set up at future Madison Card Shows. Overall, another fun day. The next Northern Illinois Card Show in Rockford will be on Saturday November 13.
Another Madison Card Show was held at the Sheraton Hotel on John Nolen Drive this past weekend. The show has now ran monthly for six straight months. A record number of vendors came out this month that filled 48 tables. This is my Madison Card Show review for the month of September.
Madison Card Show Review For September
A total of 29 vendors were in attendance and the 5,300 square feet ballroom at the Madison Sheraton Hotel was filled with 48 vendor tables. This was a record for both vendors and tables surpassing the June output of 44 tables.
As usual, there was a nice variety of items from the vendors from vintage singles to ultra-modern high end singles. A few vendors had modern sealed wax for sale, but there was a lack of brand new unopened product. Supplies are also in demand by customers, and is something that is lacking at the show.
While exact numbers are not known, many of the vendors expressed this was the largest turnout of the six-month run of the Madison Card Show. After a dismal turnout at the June show, each month since has seemed to bring in more and more buyers.
An estimated 400 people came through the doors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. despite the Ryder Cup being played out just two hours away, and the Wisconsin Badgers football matchup against Notre Dame that kicked off at 11 a.m. in Chicago. The room was crowded during the morning hours before the always-expected afternoon drop off.
All in all, mostly positive reviews were passed on by both customers and dealers. The show hosted a couple first-time card show vendors, as well as many customers either attending the Madison Card Show for the first time, or a card show in general for the very first time.
Madison Card Show Review
Unfortunately, there was a couple reports of theft or attempted theft. Vendors will be informed of this threat moving forward and more eyes will be watching would-be thieves.
The next Madison Card Show will be held on Saturday October 23 at the Sheraton Hotel at 706 John Nolen Drive in Madison, Wisconsin. Free admission for customers and the show runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Vendor tables are available by emailing email@example.com or call or text Beau at (309) 945-8986.
Next Show October 23
Additionally, check out the Rockford Card Show on Saturday October 9 at Rock Church at 6732 Harrison Avenue in Rockford, Illinois. Show hours run 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Free admission and to secure a table contact John at 815-519-8551.
The Card Life is a new TV show dedicated to passionate collectors in the hobby. It airs new episodes every month on Bally Sports regional networks (formerly Fox Sports regional networks).
Brandon Verzal is the brains behind the show that is hosted by San Diego Padres pitcher Matt Strahm. Strahm is a baseball card collector himself. Brandon reached out to me in May 2021 and asked if I would be interested in filming a segment for the show as he was driving from Nebraska to Green Bay. The Card Life TV show, sponsored by Loupe, was going to film Packers running back A.J. Dillon break boxes on Loupe.
I was in! Brandon arrived a few weeks later and we hung out in my Cubs Cave for a few hours talking baseball cards, our backgrounds in college sports and media, and of course my Cubs collection.
Below is the entire Card Life TV show that aired during the month of August.
It was a great experience sharing my Cubs baseball card collection with Brandon and all of the viewers watching on Bally Sports Networks. Also cool…that’s my friend Ryan Haack, as he was featured on the same episode.
One of my life bucket list items is to own Chicago Cubs season tickets. In case you were not aware I am a pretty big Cubs fan. Owning season tickets never made sense because I lived in rural western Illinois about four hours from Wrigley Field. In 2014, I moved much closer to the “Friendly Confines,” only about a two-hour commute from Madison, Wisconsin.
That is really when my desire to own season tickets came to the forefront. The Cubs season ticket waiting list was long even during the rebuild years of 2013 and 2014. I signed up in 2015, and found myself about 60,000th in line.
The Cubs made a run to the NLCS in 2015 and top prospects like Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Jorge Soler had arrrived to Chicago. And then 2016 happened. A Chicago Cubs World Series win. Needless to say that Cubs season ticket waiting list didn’t budge an inch. Out of 60,000 fans on the waiting list, I probably only moved a couple hundred spots those first two years.
A Chicago Cubs baseball dynasty never came to fruition, and heading into the 2021 season it didn’t look like the Cubs would compete for another title as that window with our favorite stars was quickly closing. Still, I found myself at 22,000 in the Cubs season ticket line.
Much to my surprise, I received an email (and later that day a postcard)from the Cubs ticket department in September 2021 essentially saying that my turn could be coming up soon.
Hi Beau –
I saw you did not complete the survey we sent out regarding your interest in Cubs season tickets. Since it is highly likely that your spot will come up on the waitlist this Fall, I’d love to connect to talk through the process and answer any questions you may have.
What are your thoughts on connecting to discuss Cubs season tickets in more detail?
I read the email and was going to trash it with no response. For some reason the emotions of Cubs baseball and their poor showing over the past four years washed over me. So, I responded. This was my unedited response to the Cubs ticket department.
Hi Evan, Thank you for reaching out. The Cubs organization has been the love of my life (Cubs are now second to my wife – my apologies) since I was a young child hearing Harry Caray and Steve Stone on the broadcasts and family members quizzing me on the names of players like Scott Sanderson (RIP), Steve Trout, and Leon Durham.
In December 2017, I began a pursuit to collect one million Chicago Cubs baseball cards. As of this letter my current count is near 670,000 Cubs cards. And I’m still married.
When I signed up for the season ticket list it was a bucket list item to be a Chicago Cubs season ticket holder despite living in Wisconsin among cheeseheads and only getting to a small handful of Cubs games each season. Sadly, Cubs season tickets are no longer among a bucket list item for me.
There was so much excitement around the team when I signed up in 2015 or 2016. It was the pre-World Series hype. We Cubs fans were on cloud nine with what Theo and Jed and built. Mr. Ricketts was fan friendly anticipating delivering us the long-awaited World Series trophy.
And then something changed. More and more, the Cubs organization seemed to chase the almighty dollar catering to corporate sponsors. More and more the everyday Cubs fan was being pushed aside. Season ticket benefits were being taken away. Prices for the average family continued to rise and they were squeezed out.
While I am enjoying the current Cubs winning streak, it’s too little too late. I understand the business of baseball, and my decision to pass on season tickets is not directly tied to the loss of our favorite stars: Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant. But it still hurts.
I will continue to collect my Cubs baseball cards with my goal to reach one million. I will celebrate the milestone at Wrigley Field. I will continue to attend a few Cubs games each season. And I will continue to love the Chicago Cubs with all my heart. But I will not spend my hard earned money on Cubs season tickets. Cubs fans deserve better than how we’ve been treated since 2016.
P.S. Please pass a message to Mr. Ricketts: We want Sammy Sosa welcomed back to the Cubs family.
In regards to the organization and team, I understand your frustration with the organization since our 2016 World Series season. However from 2015-2020 the Cubs frequently had one of the highest payrolls in baseball. We offered some very competitive contract extensions to our top guys, and while they might still be back we will also be active in free agency this offseason. The Ricketts family also spent hundreds of millions to renovate Wrigley Field for our fans, which was in bad shape when they purchased the team.
Mr. Ricketts took over the organization and achieved the goal many thought was years down the road of winning a World Series and the ultimate goal here is to get back to the World Series and win another. After all these years of waiting to become a season ticket holder with the Cubs, I would hate for you to miss out on this opportunity.
Please note if season ticket seats are available during your assigned seat selection appointment time and you decline to purchase, you will be removed from the Cubs Season Ticket Holder Waiting List. The current list size is 90,000+. While the opportunity might not be right for you at this moment in time, do you know of any friends, family, coworkers, etc. who might be interested in purchasing season tickets through your account?
Please let me know if this option is of interests to you.
Did my passionate cry for help fall on deaf ears? Apparently, so. I will continue to attend Cubs games, but I don’t want your season tickets, Mr. Ricketts.
Attending the National Sports Collectors Convention is not cheap. There can be travel costs involved plus parking at the Donald Stephens Convention Center is $15 per day. And then it will cost you $20 just to get inside. If you are within driving distance, I am going to tell you how to attend the National for free.
How To Attend The National For Free
First things first if you have to fly to The National there will be some extra costs involved. But, if you’re within driving distance it is pretty simple to spend the entire week at the National at no cost. You’re probably asking how this is all possible. Allow me to explain.
Buy The National Super VIP
The Super VIP pass is costly at $200. If you purchase this plan, it gives you a number of benefits. It also gets you swag, and this is the key for how you can attend the National for free.
What if you only want to attend one or two days? You might think the $35 for admission and parking for the day is a better option than forking over $200 for the Super VIP. It’s not, though.
Admission and Parking
Admission and parking for all five days would set you back $175. A parking pass is included with the Super VIP pass. The parking pass is not included with a regular VIP package. Of course, entry to the show is also included. In fact, with the VIP packages, you are allowed onto the show floor 30 minutes before the general public.
The VIP Lounge
Another perk to the VIP package is usage of the VIP Lounge. It opens on Wednesday ahead of the early entry sneak peak of the show. The lounge also hosts free autograph guests. This year’s autograph signers were Cecil Fielder, Wally Joyner, and Jan Stenerud.
Additionally, the lounge sponsor, Pristine Auctions, gave out mystery envelopes on a first come, first serve basis before the signers arrived. The gentleman next to me pulled a Mickey Mantle signed 8×10 authenticated by PSA/JSA. The lounge also provided pizza, sliders, and drinks. A bonus free meal.
At this point you are still wondering how to attend the National for free. It’s all in the swag bag. When you check in for your VIP pass, you are given a bag of goodies.
These bags contain advertisements from sponsors, as well as special National exclusive items from corporate sponsors like Panini, Leaf, and this year the return of Wild Card.
The cards within these bags are highly sought after, and each year it will vary on the contents. With the Super VIP you receive free autograph tickets from all 18 VIP autograph signers. Additionally, with the Super VIP pass you receive two of each item within the swag bag, and this is the key on how to attend the National for free.
How To Attend The National For Free? Sell.
If you keep everything in your swag bag, you won’t be able to attend the National for free. How to attend the National for free? You have to sell the items in the swag bag and it should more than pay the $200 you spent on the Super VIP package.
Like with any new product on the market you have to move your items quickly. I was listing my VIP items the first two nights of the National. And everything nearly sold overnight.
Selling Items From The Swag Bag
Panini Packs – $112
Each Panini pack contained 10 cards. My sales on the singles of Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Wander Franco, Julio Rodriguez, and Jarred Kelenic grossed $112.
Leaf Packs – $36
There were four cards within the packs of Leaf. Baseball prospects Blaze Jordan and Spencer Torkelson were joined by football rookies Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. My gross sales on the eight cards was $36.
Wild Card Packs – $113.50
Wild Card is back! That is even their official Twitter handle. Each Super VIP bag received two vouchers for a gold National exclusive pack of Wild Card. Additionally, if you followed Wild Card on social media they have you a free Matte pack. I pulled some nice hits out of my three packs including a Trevor Lawrence Alumination that sold for $35. My gold packs yielded both a blue holo and red holo Spencer Rattler. Collectively, the two cards of the Oklahoma Sooners quarterback sold for $40. Other cards sold included Ian Book, Mac Jones, Micah Parsons, Justin Fields, and Davis Mills.
Upper Deck Goodwin Champions – $43
Upper Deck included a 5×7 jumbo Goodwin Champions card of Michael Jordan. My first card sold for $25, and the second was sold with an offer of $18.
Autograph Tickets – $50
I sold all 18 of my autograph tickets for $50 on the Blowout Forums.
Total Sales From Giveaways – $354.50
Gross sales yielded more than $350. Even after fees and shipping this is a net profit just getting the Super VIP package.
I Profited From Attending the National
Not only did I get free entry into the National all five days, I parked for free all five days. On top of that, my net profit on sales from my freebies from the Super VIP package was between $50 and $75. And that’s how to attend The National for free.
Two years in the making and the 2021 National Sports Collectors Convention lived up to all its hype and then some. The biggest card show was held at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois just across the interstate from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. These are my top five takeaways from the National.
Top Five Takeaways From the National Hobby Energy is Contagious
Rumors of the hobby on the decline were greatly exaggerated. It seemed like every collector you bumped into commented this was their first National. Even better, the show lacked drama, theft, and other crimes. The 1991 National in Anaheim has always been the pinnacle of card shows, and that show was marred with theft. The 2021 National may very well have eclipsed the show thirty years ago as the greatest ever, and very few crimes were reported on the show floor. Trade nights were held into the early morning hours at the neighboring hotels and each day brought more excitement to collectors.
Crowded, Not Over Crowded
Many feared the convention center would be shoulder to shoulder without a space to actually peruse the vendor booths. While there was a huge turnout for the show, it was well spaced with plenty of room to browse. It seemed every square inch of the space was used and the National show planners did a fantastic job with the layout.
Finding raw cards was actually fairly difficult, unless you were digging through bargain boxes. It seemed everything under a showcase was slabbed.
PSA is still the king of graded cards, and their slabs were the most prevalent. SGC had a major presence among the vendor booths. I saw very few BVG, CSG, and HGA graded cards.
Something For Everyone
While slabs were a hot commodity, especially for the high end cards, the show had something for every price point.
One booth had nickel boxes with several monster boxes on their table. There were plenty of dime and quarter boxes and the very popular Singles Club dollar boxes.
It was also great to catch up with Rich Klein and Mike Sommer (WaxPack Hero) in the Singles Club booth.
Mike also had me on his podcast that he hosted from the COMC booth. It was a tough act to follow as I took the hot seat immediately after Dr. Jim Beckett.
All in all, the 2021 National Sports Collectors Convention was a big hit. Moving forward it’s likely that this show will be the new benchmark for others to follow. Those are my top five takeaways from the National. What are yours?
Target pauses sports card sales nationwide. The retailer has put a temporary pause on in-store sales for baseball, basketball, football, and Pokemon trading cards. This comes amid safety concerns for customers and employees after recent incidents.
Several months ago, we reported a Madison, Wisconsin Target creating an online waiting list that collectors could join and be alerted when it was there time to purchase. Later, various Target stores limited card purchases to three items per person. Recently, all Target stores instituted a one item per person limit on trading cards.
Further, Target began implementing a scheduled release time to prevent card buyers from blocking checkout lanes and aisles. This created a card collector campground in Target parking lots with people waiting overnight for the Friday morning release time.
It is unknown how long this pause in trading card sales will last, but it will be temporary. Beckett Live with Eric Norton featured Panini’s D.J. Kazmierczak on Wednesday, May 12. He reiterated this is just a temporary pause. “The bottom line this is a short term cooling off period and to allow Target to try to figure out can they reinvent the customer experience in the trading card section at Target.”
Another safety issue that Kazmierczak mentions in the above video is that GPS trackers were installed on vendor vehicles to follow them from store to store, and this was not an isolated one-off incident. It occurred multiple times in different states.
Bowman is home of the rookie card. Well, technically it’s not anymore. Bowman is home to the first Bowman baseball card for tomorrow’s superstars. The 1st Bowman cards and 1st Bowman autographs have become the top draw when it comes to collectability in baseball cards. Who are the top prospects with 2021 Bowman baseball cards? This is the definitive guide for the top prospects with 2021 1st Bowman baseball cards.
We had a sneak peak at which baseball prospects will carry 2021 Bowman with the online exclusive Bowman 1st Edition. Now that we have the complete checklist for 2021 Bowman, let’s do a deep dive into the prospects that will earn a 1st Bowman card this year.
This year’s product does not have a splashy name like a Wander Franco (2019) or Jasson Dominguez (2020). But any of these prospects could break out in the future, while the current splashy names could fizzle out in AA.
The biggest name among 1st Bowman badges in 2021 is Austin Martin. The Vanderbilt University product was the fifth overall draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays last year and is ranked as baseball’s 20th overall prospect by MLB Pipeline. Martin is the lone representative in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects among the 2021 1st Bowman baseball cards.
2021 1st Bowman Prospect Rankings
While only one player that receives a 1st Bowman badge in 2021 Bowman ranks among baseball’s top 100 prospects, this is a product that holds the first cards of future prospects. Many of the players getting their first Bowman card will be the top prospects of tomorrow. Let’s take a look at how these players rank within their own team’s prospect rankings.
MLB Pipeline #20 Prospect – Austin Martin (Blue Jays)
Previously mentioned, Austin Martin is the lone representative of MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects in baseball. The former Vanderbilt Commodore was taken with the fifth overall pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2020.
The second baseman/outfielder shows hitting as his premier tool (ranked 65 on the 20-80 scale by MLB Pipeline). MLB Pipeline’s scouting report on Austin Martin states: “He has an outstanding feel for the barrel and effortlessly makes hard contact with a short, quick right-handed stroke that quickly and efficiently gets into the strike zone.”
Philadelphia Phillies #2 Prospect – Mick Abel
The Phillies’ first round pick in 2020, Mick Abel, was also the first high school pitcher taken (15th overall) in his draft class. Abel throws a 98 mph fastball and he hits 85-86 mph on his slider.
The Texas prep right handed pitcher, Jared Kelley, was the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2019. Kelley joined an exclusive group that includes Alex Rodriguez, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw as National Players of the Year.
Chicago landed the 6-foot-3 right hander with the 47th overall pick in 2020. His fastball and breaking ball are his strengths. MLB Pipeline writes: “In addition to two plus pitches, Kelley also offers impressive feel for pitching. He repeats his easy delivery well and pounds the strike zone, giving him the opportunity to advance faster than most high school pitchers.”
Cleveland Indians #5 Prospect – Gabriel Arias
A 21-year old shortstop, Gabriel Arias was originally signed as an international free agent by the San Diego Padres in 2016. Arias was signed out of Venezuela for $1.9 million and was dealt to Cleveland in the Mike Clevinger trade.
At age 19, Arias slashed an impressive .302/.339/.470 at high Class A and led the league in total bases (224). According to MLB Pipeline, Arias is loaded with tools: “Arias has more raw power than most shortstops and is capable of driving the ball out of the park to all fields thanks to his bat speed, strength, and leverage.”
Pittsburgh Pirates #5 Prospect – Liover Peguero
Liover Peguero was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017 for $475,000 out of Dominican Republic. He was sent to Pittsburgh in the Starling Marte trade. By 2019, Peguero had already earned a promotion to the Northwest League at just 18 years old.
Peguero is expected to stick as a shortstop. MLB Pipeline has a glowing report on Peguero: “The power will come more as he keeps adding strength to his 6-foot-1 frame, and his advanced approach for his age has separated him from other young prospects.”
Texas Rangers #5 Prospect – Maximo Acosta
With Gleyber Torres comps, Maximo Acosta is an 18-year old shortstop in the Texas Rangers organization. Acosta was signed out of Venezuela in 2019 for $1.65 million.
MLB Pipeline’s scouting report on Maximo Acosta: “Extremely mature at the plate for a teenager, Acosta recognizes pitches and manages the strike zone well, stays inside the ball with a quick right-handed swing and utilizes the entire field.”
Minnesota Twins #6 Prospect – Aaron Sabato
Aaron Sabato is a power hitter, so if you like home runs this might be your guy among the 2021 1st Bowman cards. The first baseman was undrafted out of high school, but showed his power at the University of North Carolina blasting a freshman record of 18 home runs in 2019. In the shortened 2020 season, Sabato added 7 long balls in just 19 games. The Twins drafted Sabato with its first round pick last summer.
It’s all about power with Sabato. Here’s MLB Pipeline’s take on Aaron Sabato: “It’s a power-first approach, but he’s more than willing to take walks and he keeps his strikeouts relatively low, particularly given his power potential.”
Washington Nationals #6 Prospect – Jeremy De La Rosa
The Washington Nationals signed Jeremy De La Rosa out of Dominican Republic as a 16-year old in 2018. Washington brought him to the U.S. for instructs shortly after signing, and he was assigned to the Gulf Coast League in 2019 at age 17. De La Rosa is a 6-foot-1, 160 pound outfielder.
De La Rosa shows some power due to his bat speed. MLB Pipeline scouting report on Jeremy De La Rosa: “All the pieces are there for a solid hitting outfielder, regardless of exact placement on the grass, and his time against advanced competition at the alternate site in 2020 should help him reach that ceiling moving forward.
Chicago Cubs #8 Prospect – Christopher Morel
Christopher Morel has been in the Chicago Cubs organization since 2015 after signing out of Dominican Republic for $800,000. His brother, Rafael, was signed by the Cubs in 2018. Christopher was added to the Cubs 40-man roster in November 2020. Morel is the only player in a Cubs uniform among the 2021 1st Bowman baseball cards.
Morel spent the 2019 season with the South Bend Cubs in Low Class A. He slashed .284/.320/.467 with 6 home runs, 15 doubles, and 7 triples. From MLB Pipeline: “A quick-twitch athlete, Morel has plus speed and is aggressive on the bases. His arm is his best pure tool, earning plus-plus grades from some evaluators, and he’s equipped to play all over the diamond.”
Boston Red Sox #10 Prospect – Blaze Jordan
Blaze Jordan is one of the chases among 2021 1st Bowman baseball cards among collectors, despite ranking just 10th in the Red Sox organization by MLB Pipeline. It could very well be the power potential for the 18 year old 3rd baseman. Jordan hit a pair of 500+ foot home runs…at the age of 13. He was the High School Home Run Derby champion at the 2019 All Star Game.
What does MLB Pipeline say about Blaze Jordan? “Jordan’s value centers around his prodigious power, the product of impressive bat speed and strength that allow him to hit tape-measure shots without a lot of loft in his right-handed swing.”
Los Angeles Angels #12 Prospect – Alexander Ramirez
The Angels signed Alexander Ramirez on his 16th birthday in August 2018. The outfielder spent the 2019 season in the Dominican Summer League slashing .234/.328/.429 with 4 home runs, 8 doubles, and 5 triples.
MLB Pipeline write: “It is the 6-foot-2 Ramirez’s offensive profile that made him such an attractive prospect in the first place. His calling card is certainly his easily plus raw power from the right side of the plate.”
New York Yankees #12 Prospect – Kevin Alcantara
Kevin Alcantara was the only 16 year old on a U.S. based minor league team when he spent the summer of 2019 in the Gulf Coast League. In the GCL, Alcantara hit .260 with 5 doubles, 2 triples, and a home run in 123 at bats.
“His bat speed, projectable strength and leverage give him well above-average power from the right side of the plate and produce some of the highest exit velocities in the system,” according to MLB Pipeline.
Cincinnati Reds #13 Prospect – Ivan Johnson
The Cincinnati Reds drafted Ivan Johnson with its fourth round pick in 2019 out of Chipola Junior College. The infielder slashed .255/.327/.415 with 6 home runs and 10 doubles in the short season Appalachian League in 2019.
MLB Pipeline writes: “A switch-hitting middle infielder, Johnson has the chance to really hit, with excellent bat speed from both sides of the plate.”
Los Angeles Dodgers #17 Prospect – Jake Vogel
Jake Vogel turned down a committment to UCLA to sign with the Dodgers as a third rounder in 2020. He logged the fastest 60-yard dash (6.15 seconds) at the 2019 Perfect Game National Showcase.
Vogel’s scouting report from MLB Pipeline: “Vogel has both offensive upside and work to do at the plate. In addition to his quickness, which should help him get on base, he also can flash some electric bat speed and shows feel for recognizing pitches.”
Miami Marlins #19 Prospect – Jose Salas
Jose Salas turns 18 years old just two days before Bowman’s official release date. The Venezuelan signed with the Marlins for $2.8 million in 2019. At 6-foot-2, Salas is a shortstop with power potential.
Here’s how MLB Pipeline breaks down Jose Salas. “A switch-hitter with a quick swing from both sides, Salas is more advanced than most hitters his age and already recognizes pitches well. He put on a show in batting practice at Marlins Park after he signed and has the upside of 20-25 homers per season in his prime.”
Philaelphia Phillies #19 Prospect – Nick Maton
Nick Maton was the Phillies’ 7th round draft choice in 2017. The shortstop turned 24 this past February, but age is a moot point because he has already reached the big leagues. Maton has appeared in three games this season for Philadelphia and is 5-for-12 as of this writing on April 21.
What does the future hold for Nick Maton? “He’s just about ready to contribute as a super-utility type, but he’s the kind of player who could outplay his tools and end up a big league regular in the future,” says MLB Pipeline.
Detroit Tigers #20 Prospect – Adinso Reyes
Detroit signed Adinso Reyes in the 2018 international free agent class. He hit .331 with 7 home runs in the Dominican Summer League in 2019. Reyes is a bigger kid at shortstop at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds.
“Reyes moves well at shortstop and on the bases for a relatively big player, though any further growth could bump him over to third. He combines an advanced approach with plus bat speed to barrel pitches in the zone, which should translate to more power as he continues to physically mature.” – MLB Pipeline
Los Angeles Angels #20 Prospect – Trent Deveaux
Signed out of the Bahamas for $1.25 million in 2017, Trent Deveaux is an outfielder that hit 7 home runs with a .238 average during the 2019 minor league season. Scouts grade Deveaux out at 80 for speed on the 20-80 scale.
“Deveaux’s carrying tool is his speed, which gets 80 grades from evaluators, , though he’s still learning how to get out of the box quickly and to be a consistent base stealing threat.” – MLB Pipeline
Chicago White Sox #21 Prospect – Yolbert Sanchez
Yolbert Sanchez is a bit older as a prospect, but that’s only because he recently defected from Cuba. Sanchez spent three years playing in Cuba’s top professional league and defected in 2018. He signe with the White Sox in 2019 for $2.5 million.
“He doesn’t lack strength but makes a lot of soft contact and probably will max out at 10-12 homers per season. His main focus will be getting on base to take advantage of his solid to plus speed.” – MLB Pipeline
Colorado Rockies #21 Prospect – Eddy Diaz
Edy Diaz was the first player signed out of Cuba by the Colorado Rockies inking a contract in 2017. Diaz was impressive in two seasons in the Dominican Summer League and Pioneer League sporting a .327 average and 104 stolen bases in 126 games.
“If Diaz is going to be a big league regular at one position, it’s likely going to be at second base, though he can handle shortstop as well. He likely profiles best as a super utility guy who finds ways to help his team win from a number of positions.” – MLB Pipeline
New York Yankees #21 Prospect – Antonio Gomez
The first catcher on the list. Antonio Gomez signed with the Yankees in 2018 for $600,000. Gomez has battle injuries his first two years in the Yankees organization. He missed two months with a triceps injury in 2019 and dealt with arm issues in 2020 that held him out from the Dominican Summer League.
“Gomez is a power-over-hit guy whose bat speed and strength give him plus raw pop from the right side of the plate. He’ll be 19 throughout the 2021 season, so he has plenty of time to develop on both sides of the ball.” – MLB Pipeline
Cleveland Indians #24 Prospect – Jose Tena
Jose Tena was signed by the Indians in the 2017 international free agent class for $400,000. The shortstop from Dominican Republic is the nephew of former big leaguer Juan Uribe. In two seasons of rookie ball, Tena has a slash line of .319/.360/.425 with 15 doubles, 10 triples, and a pair of home runs.
“He almost puts the bat on the ball too easily, resulting in a 3-percent walk rate and inconsistent quality of contact during his U.S. debut in 2019, so he’ll need to develop better plate discipline.” – MLB Pipeline
Chicago Cubs #25 Prospect – Ismael Mena
Ismael Mena will be in a Padres uniform despite being in the Chicago Cubs organization now. Mena was part of a package of prospects sent from San Diego to Chicago in the Yu Darvish trade. San Diego signed Mena for $2.2 million, largest signing bonus in the class, in 2019.
Mena just turned 18 in November and stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 185 pounds. Speed is his strongest tool, grading out at 70 on the 20-80 scale. “He’s starting to add strength to his 6-foot-3 frame and to launch some balls in the air, and he could develop into at least a 15-20 homer threat.” – MLB Pipeline
Los Angeles Dodgers Unranked Prospect – Hyun-il Choi
The Dodgers signed Hyun-il Choi as a 17-year old high pitcher out of South Korea in 2017. Choi is unranked at this time by MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Dodgers prospects. The 6-foot-2 right hander turns 21 in May, and in 2019 had a 5-1 record with a 2.63 ERA in the Arizona Rookie League. Choi struck out 71 in 65 innings pitched.
Yunior Severino was originally signed by the Atlanta Braves in 2016, but that contract along with 12 others was voided by MLB due to the organization circumventing international spending rules. Minnesota swooped in and signed the Dominican infielder for $2.5 million.
Severino’s 2019 slash line was .240/.287/.370 and hit 8 doubles between the Gulf Coast League and Midwest League. Severino is among two Twins players with a 2021 1st Bowman baseball card.
2021 1st Bowman Baseball Cards Checklist
BP-5 Nick Maton Philadelphia Phillies BP-7 Maximo Acosta Texas Rangers BP-21 Adinso Reyes Detroit Tigers BP-25 Jeremy De La Rosa Washington Nationals BP-33 Eddy Diaz Colorado Rockies BP-36 Ismael Mena San Diego Padres BP-40 Yolbert Sanchez Chicago White Sox BP-42 Mick Abel Philadelphia Phillies BP-52 Liover Peguero Pittsburgh Pirates BP-59 Jake Vogel Los Angeles Dodgers BP-71 Blaze Jordan Boston Red Sox BP-82 Antonio Gomez New York Yankees BP-87 Austin Martin Toronto Blue Jays BP-89 Gabriel Arias Cleveland Indians BP-94 Trent Deveaux Los Angeles Angels BP-97 Kevin Alcantara New York Yankees BP-106 Jared Kelley Chicago White Sox BP-110 Jose Salas Miami Marlins BP-125 Aaron Sabato Minnesota Twins BP-128 Jose Tena Cleveland Indians BP-130 Hyun-il Choi Los Angeles Dodgers BP-131 Christopher Morel Chicago Cubs BP-140 Yunior Severino Minnesota Twins BP-145 Alexander Ramirez Los Angeles Angels BP-149 Ivan Johnson Cincinnati Reds
2021 Bowman Chrome Autograph Checklist
CPA-AAM Adael Amador CPA-AC Austin Cox CPA-AGO Antonio Gomez CPA-AH Austin Hendrick CPA-AL Asa Lacy CPA-AM Austin Martin CPA-AMA Angel Martinez CPA-ARA Alexander Ramirez CPA-ARE Adinso Reyes CPA-AS Aaron Sabato CPA-AV Alexander Vargas CPA-BB Brainer Bonaci CPA-BE Breidy Encarnacion CPA-BJ Blaze Jordan CPA-BW Beck Way CPA-CMA Coby Mayo CPA-DC Darryl Collins CPA-DK D’Shawn Knowles CPA-DM Daniel Montano CPA-DMA Dylan MacLean CPA-ED Eddy Diaz CPA-EHA Emerson Hancock CPA-EHO Ed Howard CPA-ER Endy Rodriguez CPA-EY Eddy Yean CPA-FV Freddy Valdez CPA-GA Gabriel Arias CPA-GMI Garrett Mitchell CPA-HC Hyun-il Choi CPA-HH Heriberto Hernandez CPA-HK Heston Kjerstad CPA-HP Hedbert Perez CPA-IJ Ivan Johnson CPA-IM Ismael Mena CPA-JB Ji-Hwan Bae CPA-JCL Jackson Cluff CPA-JDL Jeremy De La Rosa CPA-JE Jeferson Espinal CPA-JED Jake Eder CPA-JK Jared Kelley CPA-JP Jairo Pomares CPA-JR Johan Rojas CPA-JRO Jose Rodriguez CPA-JS Jose Salas CPA-JT Jose Tena CPA-JV Jake Vogel CPA-JW Jeremy Wu-Yelland CPA-KA Kevin Alcantara CPA-KF Kohl Franklin CPA-LF Luis Frias CPA-LS Luis Santana CPA-MA Maximo Acosta CPA-MAB Mick Abel CPA-MB Mariel Bautista CPA-MM Michael McAvene CPA-MME Max Meyer CPA-MS Marcus Smith CPA-MW Mac Wainwright CPA-NG Nick Gonzales CPA-NM Nick Maton CPA-PB Patrick Bailey CPA-RDC Brayan Buelvas CPA-RH Robert Hassell CPA-RT Riley Thompson CPA-SE Stevie Emanuels CPA-SG Sandy Gaston CPA-ST Spencer Torkelson CPA-WH William Holmes CPA-YC Yoelqui Cespedes CPA-YS Yunior Severino CPA-YSA Yolbert Sanchez CPA-ZV Zac Veen
2021 Bowman Prospects Paper Autograph Checklist
Retail Exclusive PAPR-ACO Austin Cox PAPR-AN Andre Nnebe PAPR-AR Alberto Rodriguez PAPR-ARE Andres Regnault PAPR-BJ Blaze Jordan PAPR-CW Colby White PAPR-DA Daniel Alvarez PAPR-DG DJ Gladney PAPR-DS Davis Schneider PAPR-EF Edgardo Fermin PAPR-GH Gabe Holt PAPR-HK Heston Kjerstad PAPR-HM Hansel Moreno PAPR-JA Jeremy Arocho PAPR-JB JJ Bleday PAPR-JC Jackson Cluff PAPR-JM Jose Miranda PAPR-JP Jaylen Palmer PAPR-JR Julio Rodriguez PAPR-JS Jake Snider PAPR-JY Jeremy Ydens PAPR-KF Kohl Franklin PAPR-NM Nick Maton PAPR-RC Roansy Contreras PAPR-RP Robert Puason PAPR-RR Ripken Reyes PAPR-SM Shane McCarthy PAPR-ST Spencer Torkelson PAPR-VB Victor Bericoto PAPR-WK Will Kincanon PAPR-YM Yohanse Morel
What are your thoughts on the 2021 1st Bowman baseball cards?
Big news hit the hobby world this week with the announcement that Topps will be going public this year. Topps will merge with Mudrick Capital, a special purpose acquistion company, and values Topps at $1.3 billion. This is not the first time Topps will be a publicly traded company. Topps first went public in 1972 before going private in 1984. Going private was short-lived, as Topps went public again in 1987 and was traded until 2007. Topps goes public, here’s a look at the history of Topps stock.
History of Topps Company
Topps was founded in 1938 by brothers Abram, Ira, Joseph, and Phillip Shorin. The initial focus of the company was chewing gum. The company’s first foray into trading cards came along in 1950 when Topps wanted to boost gum sales by packaging picture cards of early television star William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy.
The first baseball cards came along one year later in 1951. Known as red backs and blue backs, the two sets contained 52 yards like a standard deck of playing cards. Fast forward another year and the first Topps baseball card set came along with the 407-card 1952 Topps set. It was full steam ahead with trading cards.
Topps Goes Public for the First Time (1972)
By 1972, Topps goes public for the first time. The initial offering of 435,000 shares of common stock went live in June. The issue price was set at $17.50 per share and quickly investors bid that price up to $22.37. Quoted in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader on June 17, 1972, White, Weld, and Company attributed the success due to “the company’s steady earnings record.”
Topps earnings for fiscal year 1971 was reported as $33.8 million. During fiscal year 1972, the company reported net sales at $36.4 million. Throughout the 1970’s the trading card market cooled from initially going public. Topps posted a $9 million loss in 1979 that hampered stock prices. The stock traded as low as $2.50 per share in early 1980, but bounced back to $4.50 on September 29, 1980.
Beginning of a Baseball Card Boom
Fleer and Donruss entered the baseball card market in 1981. There were court proceedings regarding antitrust laws, but Topps came out victorious. A federal appeals court ruled Topps did not violate antitrust laws by signing players to exclusive contracts. The victory marked another rise in stock prices on August 26, 1981 to $5.75 a share.
In 1982, Topps stock surged. The stock closed on January 4, 1982 at $5.00 per share. Nearly six months later, it traded at $8.88 per share at the close of business on June 29, 1982. At the end of August, Topps shares had doubled since the beginning of the year closing at $10.00 per share on August 26, 1982. As the year closed out, Topps was trading above $21 per share.
In an acquisition that would lead to Topps being privately held for the first time in 12 years, the company was being purchased by an investor group led by Forstmann Little for $94.5 million. According to an article in the Scranton Times-Tribune on November 18, 1983, it would be business as usual for employees at Topps. This will close the first chapter on the history of Topps stock.
Topps Goes Public…Again (1987)
Just a few short years later Topps would go public again in May 1987. This time around, Topps would issue 4.5 million shares of stock with an expected initial price between $15 and $18 per share. Topps showed revenues of $147 million in 1986 mainly attributed to baseball cards along with an increasing demand in non-sports trading cards such as E.T. and Rambo cards.
The first of two stock splits occurred in 1989. Topps declared a 3-for-2 common stock split that gave shareholders one additional share for each two shares held. At this time, Topps was also issuing a 10 cents per share quarterly dividend.
Baseball Card Boom is About to Burst
Junk wax era is a term coined for this era in trading cards. This graphic from 1991 shows the massive increase in sales for the company during this time.
Even though the trading card bubble did not burst until the early-to-mid 1990’s, some within the hobby expected to see a crash. Angelo Cataldi, a sports talk radio host and former newspaper reporter in Philadelphia, told the Detroit Free Press in 1990: “The market is glutted with product. People think that if they hold on for a long time these cards will have enormous value. But tens of millions of these cards are on the market right now. It’s just not a good investment.”
During the fiscal year that ended in March 1991, Topps reported net sales of $290 million. That would be the height and hard times were coming just like Angelo Cataldi had predicted. Shares traded at $8 in January 1993, down from almost $16 during the fourth quarter of 1992. The company stopped issuing dividends in 1993 after a dismal earnings report. Moving further into the 1990’s, the Major League Baseball and National Hockey League lockouts plagued the industry even more.
The Late 1990’s Resurgence
At the end of the decade there would be a bounce. Interest in trading cards could have shown growth from the resurgence in baseball during the summer of 1998, but moreso the popularity in Pokemon as reported in the October 26, 1999 edition of the Baltimore Sun.
Topps would continue to be traded publicly until 2007, when Michael Eisner’s Torante Company partnered with Madison Dearborn Partners to acquire the company, and it went private. Topps generated $326.7 million in sales during its 2006 fiscal year. By comparison, Beckett reports Topps had sales of $567 million in 2020.
What are your thoughts on Topps going public? What will the next History of Topps Stock look like?
There has to be a way to bulk list items on eBay. It’s a thought that has crossed my mind many times since eBay discontinued its Turbo Lister application. So, how can you bulk list items on eBay, and make more money selling baseball cards?
eBay File Exchange is the follow up to Turbo Lister. It’s not as simple as the old Turbo Lister tool, but if you can figure it out and acquaint yourself with using it, it will save you a lot of time and fill your eBay store in no time.
In the past year I have attempted to use eBay file exchange a couple times. Both attempts were a miserable failure. As I sat on the couch and listed card after card I continued to think there just has to be a much simpler way. There is and it’s eBay file exchange.
This time around I put more effort into the process and did my due diligence reading the file exchange guide. This helped tremendously, but I was still receiving many errors when attempting to upload my test listings.
How Do I Bulk List Items on eBay?
Thanks to social media, I made a call out asking for help on Twitter. Kris (@GM3AMP88) came to the rescue via direct message and we talked through it. He sent me his template and I gave it a spin. Success!
Before I passed the knowledge to you I wanted to make sure I uploaded multiple times and expedited the process. The first couple tries were pretty clunky and slow especially when it came to uploading photos. Now, I have a good process in place and will pass along the knowledge so you can bulk list items on eBay. This is not perfect nor the quickest, but should help you immensely in listing items in bulk at a much faster pace.
Before we start, you will need to sign up for file exchange. It is a very simple process, and to do this click on the “Help” tab on the eBay home page. This can also be done in the eBay app by going to “Help” and searching “file exchange.”
To get the most insight on how eBay file exchange works, read through the eBay File Exchange instruction guide. There are also numerical guides for categories that will be needed (more on that in a bit).
Use This Template to Bulk List Items on eBay
There are a few different templates that you can use within the eBay File Exchange page. To simplify things, I have included the template I use to bulk list items on eBay.
Once you have the template, let’s take a look at the fields. My template has a few rows of items to show you which fields are necessary to successfully upload to eBay. For this exercise we will just be adding items to list on eBay. Column A should read, “ADD,” to add your listing. Column C is the next necessary field. This will vary depending on the item you list and it is numerical, so you will need to cross check the eBay numerical category guide. You can download that category guide below.
My template is filled out with “213,” which is the sports trading card – baseball cards category. The next required field is title, which is self explanatory. Column I is Condition ID, which is also numerical. I default most of my trading card conditions to “very good.” Condition ID “4000” is very good. You can find the numerical values in the guide below.
Columns J and K are also simple, just listing out the quantity and price. Manufacturer is the next column, so Topps, Panini, Leaf, Upper Deck, etc. Column O is “single,” for single card. Column P is for professionally graded if that is the case. If your card is raw, you can use “Not Professionally Grade.” Column Q is simply the sport. Since I am listing raw cards, Column S is “ungraded.” Column T is simply original or reprint. Column U is the year of the card.
Uploading Pictures Using Image Shack
Column V is league, and for this example I am listing baseball cards so it will be MLB. Images are always tricky when it comes to listings. Column AM is important as this is how you will upload the image for your listing. You will need an online photo host, and not all hosting sites will work with eBay. I use Image Shack, and you can play around with it on a free trial basis. If you get comfortable with eBay File Exchange and see that it is worth a subscription, an Image Shack annual subscription is only $18 per year. Important: when linking from Image Shack, make sure you use “Direct,” for the link. Using “Link” will not upload your picture.
Column AN is “NONE” for no gallery being used. Column AO is your description. I use a default description for my bulk listings with pertinent information. The key information will be found in the title. This is just my preference, and obviously this is at your discretion. Column AP is the format of your listing, which can be auction or buy it now. This template is using buy it now, “FixedPrice” for my eBay Store. Column AQ is “GTC” for Good ‘Til Cancelled because it is being uploaded as a fixed price listing in my eBay Store. Columns AR and AS will simply be your ZIP code.
Shipping is another field(s) that will be your preference. All (or most) of my items I list with free shipping. This makes the bulk listing easy as everything is just listed as 0. I have all of the fields filled out in the event something in the future changes where I begin to charge shipping. These columns are set up to economy, standard, and express. Again, since I offer free shipping I have simply left the fields as “0” for cost.
Uploading Your Spreadsheet to eBay
Once you have your file ready to upload, go back to the eBay file exchange page. On the menu to the left, click on upload files.
Next, you will upload your selected file.
It takes a very short amount of time for eBay to upload your listings. My recommendation is start by running a test template with two or three listings. After eBay uploads the listings it will provide you with a download report showing any errors. You can find this by clicking on the “View Upload Results” link. Now you are ready to bulk list items on eBay.
If you have any questions or need a further explanation on how to bulk list items on eBay, please feel free to comment here or reach out via email or Twitter.