Report Claims That Press Pass Is Shutting Down

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According to ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell, Press Pass will be closing its doors.  Press Pass hasn’t released a statement yet.  I attempted to e-mail my contact at Press Pass, but the message came back saying it wasn’t able to be delivered.  I sent Press Pass a message through their contact form on their website, and I’ll see if I hear anything back from that.  I’m not going to hold my breath though.

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This is a sad day for collectors.  We’re only a few days into 2015 and we already have our first casualty.  Its really bad for racing fans since Press Pass was literally the only company that made NASCAR cards.  Fans don’t have any other choice to turn to.  I wonder if anyone will pick up the NASCAR brand now?  Dealing with independent drivers, teams, and sponsors isn’t the easiest thing to do.  Panini is really the only manufacturer right now that gives the impression that they have the money to take on another brand.  Maybe Leaf could do it.  But I highly doubt Upper Deck or Topps would be in the running.  Unfortunately those would be the first two companies I’d like to see make racing products.  Upper Deck made some nice looking NASCAR products in the 90’s.  NASCAR collectors have yet to see some of the innovations that other sports have had for years.  I hope whoever gets the ok to make NASCAR cards next will see that.

Press Pass was the first manufacturer to send Sports Card Info free products to review and use for contests.  2009 Press Pass Wheels Element was the first box they sent over.  Over the next five years they almost always sent over new products.  By the looks of it, Sports Card Info’s days of free boxes may be over.  Press Pass looks to be shutting down, In The Game and Leaf work together on products, and Panini stopped sending boxes on a regular basis a year ago.  Beckett is the only place getting boxes because they sugar coat their reviews.  Things are changing in this hobby and not for the better.  I’m glad I’m in this for the fun and not the money.  I certainly wouldn’t want to be a manufacturer or shop owner right now.

I don’t think Press Pass would just up and leave without saying something to its loyal fans.  Hopefully they release something in the next few days.  Maybe they’ll restructure and make a comeback.  One thing is for certain, and that’s to hear directly from the source as to what is going on.  If they are shutting down for real, who knows what will happen to all those redemption cards still out there.

Update:

Press Pass has notified their agents about their plans, and an official statement will be given on Monday.

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Sports Card Info’s 2013 Annual Report Is In

Those dung flinging monkeys over at WordPress.com put together a nice annual report based on Sports Card Info’s activity for 2013.  I rarely look at the blog’s stats, but enjoy browsing through the annual report.  Plus I like sharing it with the public since you people are the ones that shape it.

It wasn’t a shock to me that the George Washington 2008 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Hair Cut Signatures card that I used for the Card of the Day post on 1/30/13 got the most visits.  That card showed up on an episode of Pawn Stars and whenever it aired Sports Card Info’s stats shot up.

Follow the link below to see the full report.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year.  Sports Card Info was viewed about 140,000 times in 2013.  If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Sports Card Info Sees 21.4% Traffic Increase In 2012

The monkeys that work for WordPress.com put together the following annual report for Sports Card Info.  They do this at the end of each year.  I’m not someone that likes to constantly view the site’s stats, but I find the annual report interesting.  I always like to share it because you people make it all happen.

Sports Card Info saw a 21.4% increase in traffic for 2012.  In 2011 the blog received 140,000 total hits compared to 170,000 in 2012.  That’s amazing!!!  Not too bad while celebrating its fifth anniversary.  People from 146 countries decided to check out Sports Card Info.  To see the full report, click the link below.

Here’s something to think about:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year.  Sports Card Info was viewed about 170,000 times in 2012.  If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 3 years for that many people to see it.  Sports Card Info had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

Ephrata Rec Center March 2010 Show Report

The Ephrata Rec Center Show is one of my favorites to attend because it has always had a bunch of Phillies stuff.  Its not the biggest show in the world, probably only a few basketball courts filled with dealers.  Ever since I’ve started collecting I’ve gone to this annual show.  The Ephrata Lions Club has been holding this show for 31 years and it never seems to disappoint.

Its about a 2 hour ride to the Rec Center, and the show opened at 8:30 a.m.  I wanted to get there early because the Lions Club was selling tickets for collectors to get their items signed by Fergie Jenkins.  I arrived right at 8:30 a.m. and my ticket number was 111.  That means at least 110 other people came before me, not counting the dealers because they can get their items signed without purchasing a ticket.  I thought the show was very well attended and the prices on the singles (at least the ones I purchased) weren’t that bad.  The boxes were priced higher than usual, but thats common for this show since there is usually only one dealer that sells a large portion of unopened products.

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Jenkins signing my bat.

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Fergie Jenkins’s rookie can be found in the 1966 Topps set.  He was also the first Canadian to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I had a great time at the show, and picked up some good stuff.  Check it out!

Singles:

  • Domonic Brown 2008 Playoff Contenders RC
  • Domonic Brown 2008 Bowman Chrome Refractor

Box Breaks:

2009 UD Ultimate Collection Football –

  • Brett Favre base #’ed/375
  • Brandon Jacobs base #’ed/375
  • Drew Bledsoe Ultimate Legends #’ed/375
  • Don Maynard / Steve Largent Ultimate Dual Signatures Auto #’ed/35

2010 Topps Finest Baseball –

Refractors:

  • Felix Hernandez #’ed/599
  • Pablo Sandoval Blue #’ed/299
  • Nelson Cruz #’ed/599
  • Mark Reynolds #’ed/599
  • Manny Ramirez Blue #’ed/299
  • John Hester Green #’ed/99
  • Paul Konerko #’ed/599
  • Pedro Viola #’ed/599
  • Nelson Cruz Blue #’ed/299
  • B.J. Upton Blue #’ed/599

Autographs:

  • Dustin Richardson Letterman Auto #’ed/217
  • Ian Desmond Letterman Auto #’ed/170
  • Justin Morneau Finest Moments Auto

Rookie Redemption:

  • 2010 Topps Finest Rookie Redemption #1

The March 2010 Philly Show Report

This morning I ventured out in the rain to the Valley Forge Convention Center to attend The Philly Show.  I’ve been going to this show for 7+ years and always find it to be pretty good.  MAB Celebrity brings in some nice signers for the show, and I think they have finally realized that bringing in athletes who play for the Phillies, Orioles, and Eagles draws a lot of collectors.

One thing I would like to get out of the way is the small communication problem MAB Celebrity had with collectors.  Saturday’s autograph guests included: Tyler Green, Bobby Shantz, Von Hayes, Jim Bunning, Dickie Thon, Jim Palmer, and Cal Ripken, Jr.  When I arrived, the sign downstairs had Jim Palmer crossed off and said “Canceled due to weather.”  The sign upstairs where you first walk in had Palmer on the list, but nobody crossed him off.  I remember a few collectors were angry because they paid the fee to get into the show and then found out Palmer wasn’t coming.  This is just a small communication problem that should have been fixed easily with a simple Sharpie.  Dickie Thon was suppose to be signing autographs at 1 p.m., but then they got word he was delayed because of the weather.  I had purchased a ticket for him to sign my bat, but decided to return it because nobody knew when he was going to arrive.  I’m glad to see MAB Celebrity was willing to refund collector’s their money when an athlete can’t make it on time or cancels.

I was able to get some good shots of the players that arrived while I was at the show.  I got Hayes, Bunning, and Green to sign my bat.  Take a look!

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Former Phillies pitcher Tyler Green

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Former Phillies pitcher and now Senator from Kentucky Jim Bunning – Bunning pitched a perfect game in 1964

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Former Phillies outfielder Von Hayes

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Bobby Shantz – 1952 AL MVP

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Cal Ripken, Jr – The Iron Man!

Now lets talk about the cards.  The Philly Show is filled with dealers selling vintage stuff, but if you do a little hunting you’ll find some booths containing more modern stuff.  I picked up the following two singles for my collection.

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Dan Marino 2001 Topps Rookie Reprint Jersey – the chance of finding one of these in a hobby pack is 1:1159

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John McGraw 2002 Topps T206 bat

The Philly Show wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t bust some wax.  I ripped (3) boxes of 2009 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Football, (1) box of 2009 Leaf Limited Football, and (1) pack of 2009 Bowman Sterling Baseball.  My best hit from the Leaf Limited box was a Shonn Greene auto/multi-colored patch #’ed/149.  The Bowman Sterling didn’t yield anything too big other than a Freddy Glavis Prospect card for my Phillies collection.  I had the most luck with the ’09 Ultimate Collection Football.  My first pack yielded a Michael Crabtree rookie on-card auto #’ed/99 (pretty nice start).  The second packed contained a Brandon Pettigrew rookie on-card auto #’ed/399 (rookie for the Lions :().

Now lets talk about the third and final pack of ’09 Ultimate Collection Football.  I opened the pack and saw a plastic sleeve.  Flipping through the base cards I come to this BEAST!!!!!!!

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On the front: Bo Jackson/Barry Sanders/Emmitt Smith/Earl Campbell

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On the back: Gale Sayers/Franco Harris/Roger Craig/Billy Sims

I pulled an Ultimate Eight Signatures card serial numbered 1/4.  This is the second most valuable card I’ve ever pulled from a pack.  I went nuts when I pulled this thing and I’m still feeling the rush after seeing it.  Ultimate Collection is a real hit or miss product.  I would call this a definite HIT.  The Philly Show has a few dealers that sell wax.  I purchased all my boxes today from Marty Davis of Marty’s Sportscard Exchange.  He is a dealer from Tennessee, and he always seems to have the best prices on wax.  I have pulled several good cards from his booth.

Overall, I thought it was a great show.  Pulled some good stuff, picked up a few singles, and got some in person autographs.  I highly suggest you check it out if your in the area.

The next show is Sept 24 – 26.

The Dec. ’09 Philly Show Report

After talking to one of my local shop owners, I didn’t know what to expect while attending The Philly Show this weekend in Valley Forge, PA.  I arrived at the Valley Forge Convention Center at about 9:15 in the morning and the parking lot didn’t seem too full.  Browsing around the show floor you could see that about one third of the dealers weren’t there.  I highly doubt it was the weather, but instead probably because of the increasing setup fees from Hunt Auctions.  Did you know Upper Deck owns Hunt Auctions?  Today was the first time I had heard that.  MAB-Celebrity was in charge of getting the autograph guests for the show, and I think they did a great job.  All of the signers this weekend were or still are Phillies.  Bringing all Phillies in is a great idea from MAB-Celebrity.  Being so close to Philadelphia it just makes sense.  Ever since Hunt Auctions purchased The Philly Show, MAB-Celebrity has brought in big name players like Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and Frank Robinson, but they really hit the jackpot when it comes to Phillies.  I had never seen so many people lined up for signatures.  This was by far one of the fullest shows I’ve been to.  The dealer that told me Upper Deck owns the show said he wishes they would bring in Michael Jordan and/or LeBron James and just let people get their photo with them for a few bucks.  If Upper Deck did that the place would be extremely packed, but I like the idea.  I hope they continue to bring more Phillies to the show.

While heading for lunch, I met the blogger who runs Phungo and he handed me some custom made Phillies cards for my collection.  The pack even included a card of Harry Kalas.  I also saw Chris Harris from Stale Gum from a distance.  When I started blogging, I never thought I would get recognized at shows 🙂  Thanks Phungo for the cool cards!!!!!!!!!

I got a few autographs, busted some wax, and pulled some insane stuff!!!!  Here are some of the highlights.

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Former Phillies catcher Todd Pratt

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Pete Rose signing my bat.  I hope he makes it into the HOF someday.

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Mike Schmidt

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Pratt’s signature is all the way to the right.

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Rose has such a huge signature.  It takes up a good portion of the bat and looks awesome.

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This Rose ’08 Sports Legends jersey #’ed/100 is the only single I purchased from a dealer.

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Pulled this Stafford autograph jersey/ball/jersey #’ed/299 from a single pack of ’09 Absolute.

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I took a chance with ’09 UD Black Football and man did it pay off.  This is my first Peyton Manning autograph and it is #’ed/18.  It also contains a piece of film.

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Tried a pack of ’09 Leaf Limited and pulled this Brees autograph jersey #’ed/25.

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Pulled this from my pack of ’09 Leaf Limited too.  Quad jersey relic of Turner/Peterson/Jones/Brown #’ed/100

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I wanted to try a box of ’09 Topps Unique.  Pulled this 3 color Freddy Sanchez patch #’ed/99.  While opening my box of Unique, another collector sat down at the table and started opening their box of Unique too.  They pulled an Utley jersey and an Ibanez autograph 🙂

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This was probably my best hit from ’09 Topps Unique and it isn’t even “game used”.  These Presidential Bat Barrels are quite difficult to pull.  I think they come one per case.

Overall, this was probably one of the better shows since Hunt Auctions purchased The Philly Show.  I think Hunt Auctions and MAB-Celebrity finally learned what draws in the fans.  Hopefully some of those dealers return for the show in March.  You can definitely say the “MOJO” was with me today, after seeing all the cool stuff I pulled like the Manning autograph.  I give this show 4.5 hot dogs out of 5 (1=poor & 5=perfect).

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The Sept. ’09 Philly Show Report

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3 hot dogs out of 5

Today I went to the Valley Forge Convention Center to attend the Philadelphia Sports Card & Memorabilia Show which is operated by Hunt Auctions.  Hunt Auctions must have read my report on the last show because things seemed to run a bit smoother this time.  Entering the show, I could tell there were a lot more places to sit to go through your purchases and grab a bite to eat.  This time the show wasn’t on the basement floor and the bathrooms were a lot nicer and didn’t look like a crime scene from CSI.  Making my way around the show I stopped at some of my favorite dealers such as Shaffer’s Trading Cards, Marty’s Sports Card Exchange, and MLS Cards.  They all said they did about average during The National but nothing spectacular.  The show seemed to be running a little slow and wasn’t that full (at least when I was there).  About 90% of the dealers still go by “Book Value” which I think we all know means nothing in today’s hobby.  Book Value is really destroying The Hobby and is one of the main reasons why dealers have such a hard time making sales.  The dealers I talked to were also angry that Hunt Auctions didn’t advertise the show very well.  For some crazy reason I get the feeling these show promoters get their money from the dealers and then pocket it for themselves and do little if any marketing.  I heard a lot of dealers say “Its not like the early 90’s anymore”.

After browsing the show for awhile, I decided to make my purchases.  I managed to pickup two really cool singles for my collection while busting a pack of ’09 Sterling Football and two boxes of ’09 Absolute Football.  Check out what I got.

Hunt Auctions was a little more organized this time when it came to the autograph guests.  I could clearly see where you were suppose to go when your signer arrived.  I was able to meet Johnny Bench and Dave “The Hammer” Schultz, and obtained photos of everyone that was signing.  Click on each photo for a closer look.

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Johnny Bench was very nice.  I’m glad I was able to get him on my bat.

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Bench’s signature is right under “Sports Card Info”

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Dave “The Hammer” Schultz really likes talking to collectors.  He was the Left Wing for the Flyers and holds the NHL record for penalty minutes in a single season.

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This is the first time I ever got a hockey puck signed.  Dave “The Hammer” Schultz was the free autograph guest today.

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Carlton Fisk

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Muhammad Ali’s trainer Angelo Dundee

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Joe Frazier came in wearing a cowboy hat and gold around his neck.

The next Philly Show takes place on December 4-6.  So far the autograph guests include:

  • Pete Rose
  • Steve Carlton
  • Mike Schmidt
  • Cole Hamels

I have always enjoyed this show and will continue to go as long as they have it.  I seem to find a lot of great stuff for my personal collection and the wax is usually priced reasonably.  If anyone lives close to Valley Forge, I encourage you to attend.