Heisman Highlight: Steve Spurrier


Heisman Highlight

Name: Steve Spurrier
Position: Quarterback
College: Florida Gators
Class: Senior
Winning Year: 1966 – 32nd Award
Official Heisman Profile: Click Here

Interesting Notes: Spurrier was one of the most successful career college quarterbacks of all time…broke many Florida and SEC records at the time…amassed 4,848 and 37 TDs over 31 collegiate games…beat another future Hall of Fame quarterback for the 1966 Heisman (runner-up Bob Griese of Purdue)…was very successful quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers…was very successful as head coach of Duke and alma mater Florida and is currently head coach of South Carolina…was elected into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1986.

1972 Topps #291

Featured Card: 1972 Topps #291. “Super Steve’s” success on the collegiate, professional, and especially collegiate coaching levels have obviously kept his name in the forefront of collectors minds. 1972 Topps isn’t a hugely collectable set a la 1935 National Chicle or 1952 Bowman, but Spurrier’s rookie still commands a $75 – 100 price tag. There is also Pro Action subset card from the same set that seems to be popular amongst eBay sellers, but this is not considered to be a pure rookie card.

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


Product Review: 2010 Topps Finest


This whole reviewing every 2010 football release is proving harder than I anticipated. Apparently I drastically over estimated my ability to instantly turn cards into cash to buy more cards and so on and so forth. This box is a good example of this concept. It was released nearly two months ago and I only recently was able to purchase it and review it. Esta es la vida. But alas, here is the official 1&G Product Review of 2010 Topps Finest

2010 Topps Finest box
The Box – Click for Detail

Hobby boxes come with 2 mini boxes each holding 6 5-card packs for a total of 60 cards. I purchased this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $109.25, which translates into a $1.82/card ratio. That firmly establishes Finest as a mid-shelf product and consequently we should expect fewer base cards and higher-end hits, although not quite Exquisite-esque.

2010 Topps Finest Mini Box2010 Topps Finest Pack
Tim Tebow graces us yet again

The Breakdown:
Base Cards: 35 (1 duplicate)
   Rookie Cards: 10 (included in base card total above)
Refractor Parallels: 8
   Refractors: 4
   XFractors (#/399): 3
   Gold Refractor (#/50): 1
   Finest Moments: 2
   Finest Atomic Rookies: 2
   Finest Moment Auto: 1
   Rookie Auto Patch: 1
   Auto Dual Jersey: 1

2010 Topps Finest2010 Topps Finest
Click images for full-sized scans

1st Down, Design: If the NFLPA had stuck to its guns and not allowed Topps to produce football sets this year, this is exactly the type of set we would have missed. The 2010 Topps Finest design is right on the mark. It is balanced, it’s attractive, and it is simple enough to not thwart your attempts to focus on the player. I like the fact that the players are cropped by the frame on the bottom yet allowed to flow over the border on the top. It adds a nice depth to the design and gives the illusion that the players are popping of the card surface. I also love how Topps incorporated team colors into the design. The card back is also well designed and although I like seeing several stat lines, the “2009 Finest Moment” is a nice thematical inclusion. Lastly, the Chromium technology always looks great, especially when you are pulling base cards that would have been highly prized inserts not long ago. Overall, this is a great set.

2nd Down, Inserts: I’m not sure if the main focus was supposed to be the hits or the refractors, so fortunately they are both well done. The refractor technology will always please me. It takes a good looking card and makes it great. The X-Fractor cards seem a bit over the top at times, but it does not take away from that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you pull one from a pack. The gold refractor was also a nice rendition and it reminded me of the old school parallels where silver and gold were as crazy as it got. The hits are also solid in this set. Sure, a lot of the high-end cards are playing the lottery with rookies, but they are nice cards. Some people don’t like the borders, and I admit that I’m not sure why Topps insists on drawing attention to their sticker autos and glaring lack of on-card autos, but it is obvious each card is designed almost independently. The auto, the jersey auto, and the base cards all look great without leaving you wondering “what is missing in this big blank space?” or “why on earth would they cover that part with a jersey swatch window?” For the other “basic” inserts, I wasn’t wild about the Finest Moments set, but I can see the point in including it. Again, thematics. I will say however that I LOVED the Finest Atomic Rookies. The die-cut design and the overly shiney stained-glass window effect threw me right back to my earlier days of collecting and it was marvelous. I think I was actually more excited to pull these two cards than the three hits I’m supposed to care about.

3rd Down, Collation: Normally, it’s very hard for me to gauge this on a box with so few cards. I believe I mentioned in a previous post that if I don’t notice the collation, then the collation must be good. I noticed the collation with this box. It wasn’t terrible, but I did pull the exact same Colt McCoy base rookie card from two consecutive packs. No refractor parallel. No auto sticker. The exact same card. The only reason I didn’t run to my computer and shoot an email to Topps Customer Service was that it was Colt McCoy. I certainly could have done worse with a duplicate. But seriously. One duplicate in 60 cards? Not good. It also didn’t help that I pulled the limited edition autograph rookie patch card in my first pack (the only one I allowed myself to open the day the box arrived). Granted, that is more dumb luck than a collation problem, but it certainly did give me unreasonable expectations for the entire box.

4th Down, Overall Value: I admit I haven’t been following the resale value of singles on the ‘Bay, but I imagine it is pretty decent. At nearly $2 per card, you’re certainly not guaranteed to flip a profit if you’re into that sort of thing. But, if you’ve got some dime to spare and you’re just looking to add some great looking cards to your overall collection, Topps Finest is a solid way to do so. Personally, I would probably wait a bit more and hope to score a lower price or even an upcoming holiday sale if I were just adding these to my hits box, but they are great cards and you’re not paying $10+ per card like you will on some higher end sets.

RED ZONE RESULTS: FIELD GOAL Overall, this was a fun product to open. The hits are certainly better than you’d expect to find in an entry-level product and the base cards are fantastic. Add to that some very nice inserts, and you’ve got yourself a solid product. The price point is still a bit high, so given a few months on the market, I can see this being an even better buy in the future. The biggest draw back for me was the duplicate base card. It may not bother some people, and I will admit it was eased by the fact it was of a high profile rookie, but duplicates are one of my few card pet peeves. But although 2010 Topps Finest wasn’t able to punch it through the gridiron and find paydirt, it was able to get on the board with an easy chip shot from the near hash mark. It may not have been what the coach wanted, but it will give the defense a chance to prove what really wins championships.

NEXT UP: 2010 Panini Crown Royale?

Blogosphere Kindness, Pt. 7


Every so often, something occurs that blows my mind.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that I was on vacation last week. Wife and I just celebrated our second anniversary and we returned to Maine, which was beautiful as always, albeit wet. When I returned home, there was a big stack of mail on our kitchen island (my in-laws had been checking on the place in our absence). Most of it was junk, except for the bubble mailer on top of the stack.

It was from none other than bigD of Hey, That’s Mine! fame. I quickly thought, “We didn’t have a trade in progress” and then my mind instantly leaped to the next possible solution, “Holy crap! A custom card!” I ripped into the mailer (before unloading the car or saying hi to our cat, mind you) and sure enough, there was a one of a kind masterpiece waiting for me.

2010 bigD Customs Hall of Fame Heroes

I turned the card over (which has all of the thickness and glossiness of a great insert) to see the now infamous card back. I have seen these on other blogs, but I must say, it was much cooler to have it in person.

Needless to say, this card went straight into my Emmitt box and will certainly be a unique and treasured piece of the collection. Whenever I get around to working on my Emmitt Collection website again (still haven’t figured out if I can recoup all of my data on my now disfunctional USB key), it will definitely be featured there as well.

Thanks bigD! Your custom card work is awesome!

Blogosphere Kindness, Pt. 6


Just as a warning, this post is EXCESSIVELY late.

A little (ok, ok, a LONG) while ago, I got an email from a collector I had never “met” before. He said his name was Bo and he had a whole box of base Topps Pirates for me if I wanted them. This was right after I began my quest to collect every base Topps Pirates card, and this Bo guy must have found my blog and either read that post or took a look at my Buccos page above. I informed him I didn’t have a lot of trade bait as most of my baseball cards are from the height of the junk wax era. He said that was perfect as he loves those sets and he expressed interest in my early Upper Deck cards. Sweet. He sent along his box and it did not disappoint one bit. In fact, it exceeded my expectations more than any other package I’ve received so far.

Bo sent so many Pirates that I couldn’t scan all of them. Instead, I scanned just a one-card example from each set that was represented in Bo’s box, and it still took two scans to get them all. Below are those one-card examples…coming from a staggering 17 different sets.

Click images for full sized scans

In total, Bo sent an absurd 201 different base Topps Pirates. He was able to completely knock out my 1988 wantlist and nearly completed several other years. I was blown away by the sheer kindness and generousity of Bo. I did a little digging (actually, he may have sent me a link to make my “research” much easier) and found that Bo is a fellow card blogger and is the proud owner and author of the aptly named Baseball Cards Come to Life! If you enjoy old school ‘ball cards and some clever writing, you should definitely check out his site.

So, what did I send in response to Bo’s generous offerings? Absolutely nothing. Why? Because I’m a jerk. Actually, the truth of the matter is (and yes, I realize this sounds like a cliché and awful excuse), I just haven’t had the time to go through my old Upper Deck cards and compare them against his wantlists. I also have a bad feeling that one of my early collection boxes is missing because I know that I have more UD cards around somewhere than I am finding. But Bo, if you are reading this, please know that I am a man of my word and I promise to get a box to you someday. It may not be this week or even next month, and I may not be able to get together 201 different cards you need for your collection, but I will make good on my end of the trade and the excessive time that has lapsed since you fulfilled your side.


Blogosphere Kindness, Pt. 5


For a guy who doesn’t trade all that often, I sure seem to have a lot of trade posts backed up in the “to be written” queue in my head. Here is another one.

A little while ago (okay, maybe it’s been a long while by now), I sent out a few emails to fellow bloggers in an attempt to kick start my Buccos base Topps collection. One email I sent out was to Big D of Hey, That’s Mine! and Big D Custom Cards fame. He said he probably had some cards that would match my criteria and would send them off.

Not long afterward, I received a package straight outta Texas. Big D said it turned out he didn’t have a lot of base Topps Buccos, but he sent me what he had. I could piss and moan and cry that he should have sent more, but hey, there are now 10 fewer Buccos I need to track down, and that is cool by me.

And because Big D obviously has a Big H(eart), he threw in some Emmitts to boot, most of which I did not previously own. Let’s just say I would never turn down or complain about having more Emmitts. At this point I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to completing the massive overhaul to my Emmitt Smith card site, but at least I now have a few more to look at in person.

In return, I sent him some old Elways I had laying around. There aren’t a lot of trades I can complete with a smattering of old football cards, so I was really excited. I also like when I can use one of the many 1997 Donruss Preferred Tins as “packaging material.” Fortunately, Big D appreciated my offerings. It’s great guys like Big D that make me wish I had more trade bait and more time to complete trades. It certainly is a fun way to get some new cards for your collection while at the same time cleaning out some room in your storage boxes.


Blogosphere Kindness, Pt. 4


Time for another trade post. I am terrible with these things…trades and trade posts. I picked this one for today because it’s already been several weeks since it occurred and because I’ve actually completed my end of the deal for this one (I have a few outstanding trades I just can’t seem to find the time to fulfill).

A while back when I decided I would be foolish and embark on a quest to collect base Topps cards of Buccos, I sent out a few emails to prominent baseball focused blogs to see if I could kick start my collection. One guy that replied rather quickly was sir Night Owl of Night Owl Cards fame. He said he could probably scare up a few Pirates for me and although he’s already got most of the Dodgers from the junk wax era, there were probably a few I had that he didn’t.

Not long afterwards, I got a nice package in the mail from Mr. Owl. In it were two stacks of Buccos, including 34 individual cards off my base Topps wantlist, as well as a bunch of other goodies, including some nice Allen & Ginter cards (I had not seen any in person up to this point). I didn’t take time to scan and crop each of the 34 cards I needed, but I did scan all of them en masse:

I was quite happy with the older cards as I figure those will be the hardest to track down. Mr. Owl didn’t send any priceless 1952 Topps or a mint condition of Roberto Clemente, but these are 34 great looking cards I did not previously have, so I am very appreciative.


I will admit, I feel like a bit of a terd for not sending an equally great stack of Dodgers back to New York, but at least he did enjoy a few of my offerings. Who knew perforated cards could be appreciated?

Blogosphere Kindess, Pt. 3


To risk sounding like a broken record, I will once again say that the thing that has amazed me the most since beginning this blog is the incredible good nature and kind-heartedness of my fellow collectors and bloggers. I once again have someone who deserves much thanks from yours truly. The card you see below is why:

1997 Score New Breed #17
1997 Score New Breed #17 Emmitt Smith

There is nothing paticularly special about this card. Granted, I am discounting the fact that it is an Emmitt Smith card and that it is a shiny insert from 1997. Let’s not get hung up on the details. But on the surface, this one lone card is not significant. I received it in a plain toploader wrapped inside a blank white piece of paper in a plain white envelope from a fellow collector. So no, there is nothing spectacular about this one card, even though it was sent to me completely free of charge. What’s makes this card so special to me, then? For what it caps off.

A fellow Emmitt Smith enthusiast has been sending me Emmitt cards over the past few months. Somehow he stumbled upon this humble blog, looked over my Emmitt Smith Collection list, and informed me he had about 30 Emmitt doubles that were not on my list and he would be willing to trade them to me for just 7 of my doubles that he did not have. Of course! Practicing due diligence in the skepticism realm, I waited to even gather his request until I received his package. And boy did he deliver. I was thrilled. A bunch of brand spanking new Emmitts for nothing more than a few of my dusty doubles. That was great.

And then just like an infomercial host, I got a “But wait! There’s more!” email from him. He told me he retrieved a huge bundle of Emmitts he sold to a co-worker for which he never got paid. He said he’d send me anything that wasn’t on my list, so I should make sure it was updated. Lo and behold, this fella sent me well over 100 new additions to my collection. Holy cow! And these weren’t all base cards from 1993. He included a lot of sweet inserts and high end base cards that would have cost me several pretty pennies to get online. We arranged another trade, this time me sending him all of my Michael Irvin, Jerry Rice, Warrick Dunn, and Ray Lewis cards. That might sound like a lot, but for whatever reason, I did not have an abundance of any of those players, which was completely fine with him.

Since then, he has sent me at least three additional single cards that I did not previously have, the latest being the Score New Breed pictured above. And what makes it even cooler? He continually sends these Emmitt Smith cards even though I have been blasted at work and haven’t had a chance to package and mail my end of the deal. He just keeps sending new cards and always says “Don’t worry about it. I know you’ll get to it. Take your time.”

This kind fellow collector, whom I will simply call Catch22 since I don’t know if he would want me to share his actual contact information, is not necessarily a fellow blogger, but he does have his own Emmitt Smith card website, The Emmitt Zone. His collection beats piss out of mine and is worth your while checking out. His packages are also a big reason I have been so slow in updating my own Emmitt card site, but that is a problem I am happy to deal with.

Thanks, Catch22. Here’s hoping that we have many more trades between us…and that I finally get your package mailed out…