Heisman Highlight: Charles White

08.25.2011

Heisman Highlight


Name: Charles White
Position: Running Back
College: Southern California Trojans
Class: Senior
Winning Year: 1979 – 45th Award
Official Heisman Profile: Click Here
 
 
 

Interesting Notes: White was a workhorse and carried the ball 30-40 times each game his senior year…averaged 194.1 yards per game his senior year…rushed for a total of 6,245 yards in his career, including bowl games…holds a total of 22 NCAA, PAC-10, and USC records…was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and later played for Los Angeles Rams…was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1996.

1981 Topps #69

Featured Card: 1981 Topps #69. Despite an incredible college career, White’s NFL career never quite took off, having only one respectable season when he led the league in rushing yards in 1987. This fact obviously affects his rookie card value as there is only a very small sampling listed on the secondary market. An autographed copy will set you back less than $10 and a raw copy looks to cost about $1. White certainly wasn’t the first or the last Heisman winner to fizzle out after college and is still a valuable member of the fraternity and any Heisman card or memorabilia collection.

NOTE: You can find all of my Heisman Highlight Features by clicking the post banner above.


Product Review: 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars

08.18.2011

Here at 1st and Goal Sportscards, I reserve the right to make any last minute changes that I feel are necessary. One such change is being exhibited here. The past two product reviews have advertised that 2011 Score would be the next product to be reviewed. I have, in fact, purchased and busted a box of 2011 Score. But due, in part, to my laziness, I have not yet completely organized and scanned the cards, so that product review is on hold. To take its place is 2011 Panini Rookies and Stars. Enjoy.

2011 Panini Rookies & Stars box
The Box – Click for Detail

Hobby boxes come with 24 8-card packs for a total of 192 cards. I got this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $82, which translates into a $0.43/card ratio. Panini Rookies & Stars is pretty solidly a mid-shelf product and this average card cost backs that up. So you know what you should get: a lot of decent base cards a small sampling of nice jersey or autograph cards. Last year, Panini failed to deliver on the promise of the once great Rookies & Stars line. Were they able to improve on their efforts? Let’s find out…

2011 Panini Rookies & Stars pack
A very teal Blaine Gabbert joins AD for the packaging

The Breakdown:
Base Cards
   Veterans: 158 (10 duplicates)
   Rookies: 24 (0 duplicates)
Parallels
   Longevity (#/249): 2
   Longevity Holofoil (#/99): 1
   Longevity Gold (#/49): 1
Inserts
   Rookie Revolution: 1
   Rookie Revolution Gold (#/500): 1
   Studio Rookies: 1
   Studio Rookies Gold (#/500): 1
Hits
   SP Rookies Signatures (#/299): 1
   Rookie Autographs (#/300): 1
   Statistical Standout Jersey (#/299): 1
   Dress for Success Jersey (#/50): 1

2011 Panini Rookies & Stars2011 Panini Rookies & Stars
Click each image for a full-sized scan

FIRST AND GOAL’S FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down, Design: In a word: improved. In two words: VASTLY improved. Last year’s design was terrible. Panini had once again churned out an ultra-neutral and paint splattered set that was forgettable. This year, they redesigned almost the entire product and produced a set that has a certain simple elegance we don’t often see in the hobby anymore. The background of the player photo isn’t completely cut out but isn’t distracting. The surrounding design elements are subtle and have a minimalist quality to them. The card fronts still aren’t overly team oriented, but the quiet look makes the team logo “pop” much more than last’s year busy design. It’s not quite a perfect comparision, but this set really reminds me of older SP Authentic sets. And that’s a good thing. The card back is fairly standard Panini fare, but is also much better than last year. It’s just an overall much cleaner and more attractive product. One interesting note was the rookie card photographs. There was a fairly even distribution between three concepts: 1) ultra close-up to avoid showing college logos, 2) combine/training photos, 3) “look at my new jersey!” poses. I realize the lockout meant no NFL training camps prior to this product’s release, so I guess Panini did the best they could. I would have liked to see more Draft or Rookie Premiere shots though. Oh, and good call [sic] with including Terrell Pryor. Though maybe that’s just my Penn State bias shining through…

2nd Down, Inserts: In a word: tired. Panini products really show cohesion in this department because every line of inserts feels the same. I’ll never understand having multiple parallels of inserts. Never. And can we ever have jersey or autograph cards that are specifically designed to be auto/jersey cards and basic inserts that are designed to be basic inserts? I hate when the auto sticker or jersey window are either hanging out in no man’s land or blatantly missing. I do like that Panini stuck with the Studio Rookies concept. They are pretty cool. I didn’t think to scan the back of one, but I really like that has a different photo, and the back of the player at that. Nice idea. I’m still not sure how to feel about the big name rookies only having a short print manu-patch auto for a base card, but the cards themselves are nice.

3rd Down, Collation: In a word: conflicting. This has more to do with the comparision to last year. Last year I pulled 186 base cards with 27 duplicates. Abysmal. This year I pulled 182 base cards with 10 duplicates. Much better, but still pretty bad. As I said last year, I don’t know why half of the base set has to be short printed. The product is ROOKIES and STARS, not STARS & A FEW ROOKIES, which is what you actually pull. You want to short print the big names to drive market value. Fine. I won’t agree with it, but it’s not the worst marketing tool. But why are all rookies short printed? Give me fewer veterans and more base rookies and I’ll be happier.

4th Down, Overall Value: In a word: decent. I definitely could have done worse with my hit pulls, but I also could have done much worse. I do feel like I got a Patriots hot box, though. I opened this box with a buddy who is a huge Ravens fan, so he was definitely disappointed with that fact. The base cards may not have huge value from a resale standpoint. However, from a purely collecting view, they are fantastic because they are well designed and overall attractive. If you’re sorting through a stack of sleeved cards in your player collection or paging through a binder of your team collection, these cards are going to stand out for good reasons. And really, let’s keep in mind that this is a HOBBY. You may not make a fiscal gain buying a box of 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars, but your enjoyment and pleasure with your beloved hobby should profit.

RED ZONE RESULTS: FIELD GOAL This product doesn’t quite have what it takes to find paydirt, but I really think it was the collation issues on third down that was the shortfall. I cannot say enough how pleasantly surprised I was with the base cards. The inserts could still use some work, but are by no means the worst I have seen. With a bit of a tweak to the veteran to rookie base card ratio, this could be a very solid product. So we’ll say 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars only managed a field goal, but did so in a very tight defensive battle where every point counts. It certainly doesn’t guarantee a victory, but could still be the difference maker at the end of the game.

NEXT UP: 2011 Score (if I feel like it…)


Heisman Highlight: Billy Sims

08.18.2011

Heisman Highlight


Name: Billy Sims
Position: Running Back
College: Oklahoma Sooners
Class: Junior
Winning Year: 1978 – 44th Award
Official Heisman Profile: Click Here
 
 
 

Interesting Notes: Sims was a man possessed his junior year, setting the Big Eight single season rushing record at 1,762 yards on 7.6 yards per attempt…rushed for more than 300 yards in three consecutive games…won a host of national awards in just his first full season after injury-riddled freshman and sophomore years…had fewer first place votes than Penn State QB Chuck Fusina but finished ahead in total points by dominating the second place votes…was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1995.

1981 Topps #100

Featured Card: 1981 Topps #100. Sims may have set the news presses on fire in 1978, but he has evidently lost some of his luster after 30 years. There are relatively few copies of his rookie card listed on eBay and not one breaks the $50 mark. Interestingly enough, there are a few autographed copies available, which is not the case for many Heisman winners. With a vast majority of listings falling under $10 shipped, this would be a great card to add to or kick start a Heisman winners rookie card collection.

NOTE: You can find all of my Heisman Highlight Features by clicking the post banner above.


HOF Spotlight: Pete Pihos

08.15.2011

Tom Fears
Name: Pete Pihos
Position: End
Pro Career: 1947 – 1955
Team Affiliation(s): Philadelphia Eagles
College: Indiana
Induction Class: 1970
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: Pete Pihos may have been the very definition of versatility. Drafted in 1945 but unable to play until 1947 due to military service, Pihos made an immediate impact on both sides of the ball once he hit the field. A second-minute man, Pihos was an excellent receiver and defensive end. As football become a platoon-style game, Pihos was positioned as a receiving specialist and thrived. The Eagles won three straight divisional championships and back-to-back NFL championships with Pihos catching the ball. In 1952, the Eagles were in desperate need for a defensive end and Pihos aptly filled the roll, winning All-NFL honors. Pihos then switched back to receiver and was the league leader for the final three seasons of his career. He was never a blazing speedster, but what he lacked there he more than made up for in moves, brains, and toughness. Pihos missed just 1 game his entire NFL career.

Career Stats: 107 games played; 373 receptions; 5,619 receiving yards; 61 receiving touchdowns; 1 punt return TD; 1 fumble recovery for TD; 2 INTs.

1948 Leaf #16

Featured Card: 1948 Leaf #16. Making an immediate impact on the field, there is little wonder why Leaf picked up Pete Pihos in its 1948 set. Despite not being one of the all-time “big names,” Pihos obviously still catches collectors’ attention. There are quite a few copies of his Leaf rookie card available on eBay, ranging in price from $15 to $225. Interestingly enough, there are currently no graded copies of the card listed, which seems a bit odd for a vintage rookie card, especially of a hall of famer. Pihos does have another official rookie card, 1948 Bowman #63, and several other vintage cards available.

 

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.


Product Review: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter

08.12.2011

Wait a minute. Something doesn’t look right. Isn’t Allen & Ginter a baseball set? Aren’t I reading a football card blog? Did banks get tired of buying each other and opt to start buying and merging sports card blogs? I’m confused.

The answer to those burning questions would be: Yes. Yes. Not yet. So to clarify, I will remind you all that I already posted a disclaimer about this one. I got caught up in the moment and bought a box of baseball cards. I wasn’t able to enter Gint-a-Cuffs III, so I figured I might as well do a box break review. This is that review.

2011 Topps Allen and Ginter box
The Box – Click for Detail

Hobby boxes come with 24 8-card packs for a total of 192 cards. I got this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $82, which translates into a reasonable $0.43/card ratio. Allen & Ginter is a rare breed. It appeals to set collectors with its large base set, short prints, and variants, but it also appeals to hit collectors (though certainly not as much as a super high end set) with its red ink autos and DNA relics. So $0.43 is just about right: low enough for set collectors to buy in bulk but not so low that it thwarts all mojo collectors.

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter pack
If you get around Blogland, you’ve seen this olde tyme guy a lot by now…

The Breakdown:
Base Cards
   Total: 127 (3 duplicates)
   Rookie Cards: 13
   Short Prints: 12
Minis
   Base Minis: 6
   A&G Ad Back: 6
   Black Border Parallels: 3
   Portraits of Penultimacy: 2
   World’s Most Mysterious Figures: 1
   Animals in Peril: 2
   Step Right Up: 2
   Uninvited Guests: 2
Inserts
   Hometown Heroes: 18
   Floating Fortresses: 3
   Baseball Highlight Sketches: 4
   Minds That Made the Future: 3
   The Ascent of Man: 4
   Base Code Card Parallels: 3
   N43 Box Loader: 1
Hits
   A&G Captured Mini Relics: 3

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter2011 Topps Allen & Ginter
2011 Topps Allen & Ginter
Click each image for a full-sized scan

FIRST AND GOAL’S FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down, Design: I love it. Other folks have mentioned they don’t particularly care for the A&G design this year and that it’s slowly been going downhill over the past few years. This is my first real look at A&G, so I guess I haven’t been jaded by even better sets, because I really like this design. The painted feel of the photos is great and the overall design is very clean. I also really like the logo placement and what Topps did for the non-MLB base cards. I do admit the player name placement could be better. The last names just sorta hang out there. One thing I’m not a fan of is the horizontal cards. They just seem awkward and don’t fit the feel of the set as well, especially the ones that have an action shot. The card backs are interesting. Maybe A&G has always done this, but I was amused by the lack of any graphics and having all statistics in word form.

2nd Down, Inserts: Where to start? I guess the minis. These are cool, espcially since they have the old cigarette feel to them, especially once you add the Ad Backs. The various inserts were all very interesting subjects, I’m just still not sure how I feel about non-sports cards in my sports card box. One thing I need help from an avid A&G fan is about the mini vs standard sized inserts. Other than base cards, all of my minis were from different sets than my standard sized inserts. Is that common? Do they separate inserts so that this group is only available as minis and that group is only available in standard sized? I also really like the A&G relics. I find it really cool that the actual relic swatch is embedded on a mini card which is then encased inside a standard sized card. Cool stuff. I’m also digging the plaid Upton relic. For more information on that, go read Night Owl’s post. Overall, these are pretty cool inserts. Even if I do have my doubts about sponges being a part of the “ascent of man”. It probably doesn’t help that I believe in intelligent Creation…

3rd Down, Collation: Solid. Out of 127 base cards, a mere 3 were duplicates. I tend to hate duplicates, but that really isn’t a bad ratio at all. And one of those was from my favorite team (Pedro Alvarez), so I really can’t complain (although I’d rather have a duplicate of Neil Walker or Andrew McCutchen). I feel like I got all of the short prints, minis, relics, and various other inserts I was supposed to get, so that is another plus. Really, this was one of the best collated boxes I’ve seen in a long time. Hopefully this box is indicative of the entire product run.

4th Down, Overall Value: Well, it certainly helps that this is one of the most popular products of the year across any sport. As I said, there are a lot of pieces to lure in a lot of different types of collectors. You’re getting a very nicely designed product with some rather nice “chase” cards for a decent enough price. One factor that probably goes unnoticed in these product reviews more than it should is the fun factor. This product was just fun to open. I never knew if the next card was going to be a base card of Chase Utley, a mini parallel of Wee Man, or a very colorful card of a fish. Not every card appealed to my tastes in collecting (where are the Emmitt Smith A&G minis?!?), but each one has a cool factor. Considering this is a HOBBY (which a lot of people seem to forget on a daily basis), what more could you ask?

RED ZONE RESULTS: TOUCHDOWN, PAT GOOD As I mentioned above, maybe it’s just because I haven’t had prior experience with the Allen & Ginter line, but I loved this product. There were very few items that made me question the folks behind the scenes and it was just a blast to open. I got thrashed for saying the Big Time inserts in 2011 SAGE were nice because they were colorful and reminded me of my childhood for some reason, but I’m going to play a similar card here. Even if these cards were worthless (and I’m not sure how many people are storming eBay looking for cards of old wooden ships), this product would still have a fair amount of value in every pack. It’s well designed. It’s spontaneous. It’s fun. It deserves the TD and PAT.

NEXT UP: 2011 Score


Heisman Highlight: Earl Campbell

08.11.2011

Heisman Highlight


Name: Earl Campbell
Position: Running Back
College: Texas Longhorns
Class: Senior
Winning Year: 1977 – 43rd Award
Official Heisman Profile: Click Here
 
 
 

Interesting Notes: Campbell had a very successful four year rushing career at Texas…eclipsed the 100-yard mark in 18 college games…was a four-time All Southwest running back (the first to do so)…won every region of Heisman voting except his home base…was the first overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft…broke several rookie records with the Houston Oilers…had a very successful NFL career…was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1990.

1979 Topps #390

Featured Card: 1979 Topps #390. Earl’s Heisman victory, #1 overall pick status, and successful NFL career have obviously kept him in the collecting limelight. There are a lot of current listings on eBay with a huge range of prices. There are actually TWO token higher than anything listings right around $2,000. There are a large number of copies available in the $25-$50 range. There are a handful of auctions starting at just $0.99 and the lowest BIN listing carries a $5.25 + 2 S/H. So yeah, there’s a wide range.

NOTE: You can find all of my Heisman Highlight Features by clicking the post banner above.


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