Pin Highlight: 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Press Pin

Whether its pure laziness or just an effort to pinch pennies, pins handed out to the press for specific sporting events many times look quite similar to the ones you’d purchase at the souvenir stands.  This can result in mass-produced pins being sold as their much harder to come by press pin counterparts.  A good example of this can be seen when it comes to the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four pin.

Press pin

Mass-produced pin

At a quick glance you can see how someone might mistake one version for another.  The NCAA logo on the mass-produced pin has silver coloring around the letters “NCAA”.  The press pin does not have this, just white lettering.  A solid silver-colored ring also circles the entire blue NCAA logo on the mass-produced pin.  The silver-colored ring fades out near the top of the circle on the pin issued to the press.  Looking at the font used for “2015” and “INDIANAPOLIS” you’ll see some major differences.  The mass-produced pin’s is thicker and plain white whereas the press pin font is thinner and a shiny metal color.  Those spikes on the left-side are a bit sharper on the mass-produced pin as well.

When it comes to press pins its important to know what you’re buying.  The price difference can be significant.

Product Highlight: NCAA College Basketball 2K3 for Nintendo GameCube

When an athlete doesn’t live up to the expected hype, their cards and memorabilia take a hit in price.  Its the natural law.  Unless that individual goes on to do something historically spectacular outside of their sport, prices will remain in the gutter.  But every now and then we’ll come across a crazy anomaly that defies this way of thinking.  Enter NCAA 2K3 College Basketball for the Nintendo GameCube.

I can imagine that in 2002 cards of Jay Williams carried some weight.  The Duke point guard was drafted second in the first round by the Chicago Bulls.  Right after the Houston Rockets drafted Yao Ming.  He did alright during his first year in the NBA, but nothing mind blowing.  In June of 2003, he suffered a severe motorcycle crash in Illinois.  He wasn’t wearing a helmet, didn’t have a license to drive a motorcycle in that state, and was in violation of the terms of his contract with the Bulls by riding a motorcycle to begin with.  Its safe to say that smarter decisions could have been made.  When he finally recuperated, attempts were made to get back into professional basketball.  None were that successful.  Jay Williams now works for ESPN as a college basketball analyst.

Today you can’t giveaway cards of Jay Williams.  The only cards that carry any real value are ones which have him teamed-up with stars like Michael Jordan, Yao Ming, or Kobe Bryant.  Trust me.  Collectors aren’t buying them for the Jay Williams part of the card.  In fact, they’re probably getting a good deal on a star relic and/or autograph.  Dual relics and/or autographs featuring stars and dud rookies tend not to sell for as much compared to if that star was pictured alone.

Its not uncommon for a popular rookie to be pictured on the cover of a video game.  Jay Williams received this honor with the release of NCAA 2K3 College Basketball in December, 2002.  The game was released for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube platforms.  Copies of this game for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox are readily available.  The GameCube version is a completely different story.  The general consensus is that Sega decided they didn’t want to release sports games for the Nintendo GameCube anymore.  NCAA 2K3 College Basketball just barely made it out.  What copies made it to the stores didn’t sell very well.  This led to the game becoming rare.

While copies of this game for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox can be bought for next to nothing, complete GameCube examples have been known to reach $200.  Although Jay Williams isn’t the driving factor, its interesting to see him attached to something that continues to sell for so much.

Card of the Day: Christian Laettner 2014-15 Upper Deck NCAA March Madness Collection Auto

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Card of the Day: Ben Tate 2010 Upper Deck NCAA Sweet Spot Signatures

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2010 Upper Deck Sweet Spot NCAA Football Box Break

Relics

  • Josh Freeman
  • LeSean McCoy
  • Albert Haynesworth
  • A.J. Hawk
  • Knowshon Moreno
Autographs
  • Ed Dickson Sweet Spot Signatures #’ed/150
  • Paul Hornung Sweet Spot Signatures #’ed/25

The only thing that turns me off about this product is the fact they used college photos, but inserted pieces of pro jerseys.  I don’t like when they mix stuff like that.

An Upper Deck Product Worth Opening

Its been a long time since I’ve opened an Upper Deck product.  To be honest, I don’t think they’ve issued a product worth busting.  The last time I busted an Upper Deck box was last fall which was 2010 NCAA Football.  Ironically 2011 NCAA Football might be the next Upper Deck product I open.  The 2011 version looks really good, and isn’t overloaded with plain colored jerseys.  There are (4) packs per box and an autograph inside each pack.  I absolutely love the signatures on those little mini-helmets.  Booklets are all the rage in The Hobby right now, so it would seem natural for them to make an appearance here.  Each case will yield an autographed booklet.  These books are going to have to be some of the thickest cards ever.

I miss Upper Deck having an MLB and NFL license.  They produce good looking college stuff, but its still not the same.  Its like putting a Ferrari engine in a Model T.  It can be done, but it doesn’t quite look right.

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2010 Upper Deck Sweet Spot NCAA Box Break

Took a ride over to Sports Zone Memorabilia this afternoon and decided to bust a box of 2010 Upper Deck Sweet Spot NCAA football.  I really like the autographed mini helmet cards and the backgrounds look cool too.  Check out what I pulled.  I’ll give you a hint……………….. I got a Gator 🙂