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Archive for the ‘New Morneau’ Category

I originally titled this post “Moreau Autographed Balls” but I had a feeling if I left the title as such, I would attract a whole different audience this time. So I changed it slightly. Anyway…

I figured I would break from the baseball card form and go with something different. Now that I finally managed to pick up the baseball that I needed to complete this little set, I figured it was time to show it off a little. I give you my collection of Morneau autographed commemorative baseballs…

asg07_ball    asg08_ball

hrderby_ball

Let me start out by saying that I really love these special All-Star Game baseballs. I love how they have the special colored stitching to go with the team that is hosting the game. If you haven’t seen the ball for next year’s game in St. Louis, you’ll really like it. So if your favorite player has been in a recent ASG, I recommend tracking down one of these. They look great!

Back to the topic at hand. The two balls on top are from Morneau’s two All-Star Game appearances so far. I hate that the 2007 ball has some wear around the ASG logo, but I’ll get over it. The Home Run Derby ball was my most recent addition and I’m very pleased with it. All are certified and authentic and are on my display shelf along with an unsigned 8×10 of Morneau at this year’s HR Derby and an ASG patch card from this year’s Triple Threads. I have room on the shelf for the ASG patch card that will likely be in next year’s Triple Threads. I will be getting one. 🙂

 

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Patience is certainly a virtue. Yes, in this hobby it is sometimes VERY difficult to be a patient collector but there are times when it pays off. Last year when Topps announced that Justin Morneau would be included in the Topps Sterling product, I was really geeked up about it. The Sterling cards I knew at that point were the 2006 edition and I thought they looked great.

The 2007 product was released and I will admit I was underwhelmed. There were plenty of Morneau cards but they all looked essentially the same. So I didn’t chase them like I thought I would. But, one card from the product was on my “Must Have” list and I finally managed to snag it last week.

07_sterling_foThis same fold-out card highlighting Justin’s 2006 MVP was a hot commodity when the product was initially released. I remember seeing these cards ending around $120 and $100 out of the gate and I told myself I would wait until they came down. I’ve watched a few on ebay over time but always bow out once the bidding had reached $70. Last week I won this card for just $48 and I’m extremely pleased that I stayed patient.

As always, there are things I can nitpick about the card. First of all, for being a fold-out card the relic pieces really do suck. Actually, if you look at a lot of the Morneau cards from Sterling, the relics suck. He has the most single color jersey and bat pieces of any player in the product. I don’t really know why, but that’s how it is. So being one of the cooler Morneau cards, I would have expected the relics to be a bit nicer…kinda like this Johan Santana fold-out that I previously owned. santana_dual_sterl

But all in all I’m very happy with the fact that I stayed patient on this card and got it in a price range that I’m very comfortable with. The bad thing though is that it was one of the main cards I was chasing at the moment (other than the E-A-U from 2006 SPA By the Letters) and now I’m not sure what to make as my current chase card. I think I may now try to snag one of the jumbo swatch cards from Sterling as well. I haven’t seen one on ebay in a long time so the patience thing may have to kick in again.

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Now that I got my Bat Around assignment completed, I figured it was time to get back to the main point of this blog, and that is my Morneau collecting.

A few months back I manged to pick up this card (right) from the 2008 Upper Deck Premier product. 2989594582_7025ef0c78This is Morneau’s autographed base card variant and is numbered to 25. As you can see from the image, the signature is once again on a sticker. I’m not really sure why I even both to point this out anymore. Most autographs are on stickers now and I would probably be best served to save my time and point out when the autograph isn’t a sticker. Anyway, the autograph is nice and visible.

prem1Last week I managed to pick up the predecessor to this card from the 2007 Premier product. Again, this is an autographed version of the Morneau base card. Like the 2008 version, it features an autograph on a sticker and is numbered to 25.

So what we have are two cards from the same product released in back to back years that have the same basic specs. Which do I like better? If I had to choose just one to keep, I would keep the card from 2007 (left). Both cards have good photos on them and that is key in my book. But the 2007 card has a much better layout in my opinion. I like the framed look of the card much more than the layout of the 2008 product.

In my opinion, if you’re naming a product Premier, you need to make the cards look like something special. I think they tried to do that in 2007 and succeeded to some extent. In the 2008 product, I think the cards look nice but they don’t really scream of a high end product like I think they should. This extended to the relic cards as well, as I think Upper Deck took a huge step backwards with those between the two products. If you look at the relics from the 2007 and 2008 editions, there is no contest. If they are continuing with this product in 2009, let’s hope they take the necessary steps to make this look like the high end product it is supposed to be.

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About a month or so ago I wrote a post on here talking about one of the hardest items for a player collector to have to deal with….the multi player card. In the post I said that for me, it ultimately it comes down to who else is on the card. This was one of those instances.

jm_dm_th_tripleThis beauty made it’s way into my mailbox earlier this week. It is from the 2006 Topps Triple Threads product and features signatures and relic from Morneau (bat), Don Mattingly (jersey), and Travis Hafner (jersey). Not that it really matters in this instance, but it’s numbered 8/18. (In my opinion, numbering means jack squat on Triple Threads since all they do is change the color and produce the same damn card)

When I saw this listed on ebay I knew I had to have it. Once in awhile I will see a card and feel a strong need for it and I’ll bid up until I get it and this was one of those instances. So why feel this way about this card?

It’s simple. It has Morneau and Mattingly. When I was a kid growing up in Indiana, Don Mattingly was my hero. I wanted to be just like him and even adopted his mannerisms in my own baseball playing days. This was before baseball games being on ESPN so I saw very little of the Yankees on TV but followed Mattingly closely. He was the first player I ever collected. I collected lots of cards but I had more Mattingly cards than anyone else. I even made my mom drive me down to Evansville twice to eat at his restaurant (Mattingly’s 23) during the winter in hopes that he might be there.

So to me this card is special since it has my favorite player from my youth and my favorite player from the present. I don’t know of any other cards featuring the two together but if anyone does, please let me know.

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A couple weeks ago in my review of 2008 Stadium Club Baseball, I said that singles from this year’s product should be very affordable after awhile and I appear to be correct since I picked up two Morneau cards from the product for pretty darn cheap.

The first card is st_club_basethe “1st Day Issue” variation of Justin’s base card that you see to the left. Normally, I don’t really go fo base cards but I like the base cards from Stadium Club because of the photography and the fact that they are thick. You kinda feel as though you have something more than just a regular old base card. Now I really have no clue what “1st Day Issue” means so if any of you do, please let me know. To me it just seems like another cheap way for Topps to serial number a card that most people wouldn’t care about. Personally, I know I could care less what it means, I know I got the card for $0.99 and that’s good enough for me.

st_club_triple_autoThe other card I picked up was this “Triumvirate” triple relic autographed card. I believe all of the Triumvirate cards are numbered to 99. This card features two jersey swatches with a bat piece in between. I saw a lot of these on ebay but I went with this one because the two jersey swatches were different colors and I felt that made for a better looking card than those with dark swatches on the outside. Although, I’m really struggling to figure out where they got an orange jersey swatch from the Twins uniforms. Hmm…

Like I said before, the Stadium Club cards are very nice but I wouldn’t buy a box of them in hopes of hitting something I want. If your favorite player has a card in the product, do yourself a favor and chase one of them down for your collection. The prices for these cards are surpisingly low on the secondary market and you’ll be happy with your purchase.

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I don’t know if it is because I’ve become a pickier collector or if there just hasn’t been any good Morneau cards out on ebay lately, but I haven’t had a new Morneau card in what feels like ages. On Monday I finally got a new one and I’m pretty happy with it.

3023255157_353dbee6a2I picked up this Justin Morneau autographed relic Sportkings card. The Morneau cards appeared in Sportkings Series B and featured regular autograph cards, relic cards, and auto relic cards. This particular card is the “Silver Edition”, which means it is not serial numbered. It does feature a nice on card autograph from Justin.

For me, the Sportkings cards have definate pros and cons. On the plus side, the cards all feature on card autographs, which has sadly become pretty rare. They are also a bit under the radar still and you can get some good deals on some of the cards.

My one real beef with the product is something that some collectors might find to be a positive. I don’t really like that the cards all come in the regular toploader with the Sportkings seal across the top. Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m all for a company that likes to distribute their cards already protected with a tamper proof seal. Personally, I think that would help reduce the number of fake patch cards on the market. But what I don’t like on these cards is that this is just a regular old toploader with a sticker and that’s it. And since it has the sticker, I feel like I have to leave it in there.

Probably a minor gripe, but a gripe nonetheless.

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Finally the postal carrier had something for me in the mailbox that wasn’t a bill or an application for some credit card that I don’t need. Today brought two recent ebay scores to add to my Morneau collection and both are from 2007 Upper Deck Black product. Most collectors know of the problems with chipping and slightly dinged corners on the bulk of the Black cards so I won’t feel the need to talk about those here. I’ll just voice my displeasure with UD’s shoddy QA department on that. Tsk Tsk!

The first card is the “Prodigious Autograph” pictured to the left. This particular card is numbered to 75 and features just a signature. It’s a nice looking card with the very reflective silver stamping but my gripe here goes back to the stupid sticker autograph. This card design just screams for an on card autograph. The nice silver box above the numbering would be perfect for a good signature. Sadly, we get the same old sticker.

The second card I received today was this “Lustrous” card (#’d to 50) from Black and I have to say that I was pretty shocked when I received this one. I hadn’t seen any of these in person so going by scane and pictures on ebay, I just assumed it’s nothing but a signature on an oval sticker placed on the card. Nope. The card features a lucite type of material and has depth to it. The signature is ON CARD and seems to “float” over the oval window. Justin’s photo seems to do the same thing at the top. The J and the M are in cut out windows. This isn’t the coolest card I own, but it’s near the top of my favorites just by design only. I’m trying to figure out a way to display it to allow light to come in from the back to take advantage of the clear design. If your favorite player has one of these “Lustrous” cards, I’d recommend picking it up. These aren’t that expensive anymore.

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