A Quick Look at What's New in the Sportscards World
With new products coming out almost every day it seems like it's impossible to keep up with everything that's going on in the sportscards and collectibles hobby. This week I thought I'd just paste together some news and thoughts about recent events, and also introduce you to a new section of About Sportscards, the Press Release Archive.
SHOP AT HOME FIRES DON WEST
In what has to be the most interesting story of the week, Shop At Home has fired long-time sports collectibles host Don West. The details aren't clear, and SAH isn't quick to answer my calls (I guess they didn't appreciate my feature on their network), but according to other sources, SAH has decided to move toward a softer selling approach for sportscards. Unfortunately, they are still burdened with Ken Goldin who has been ripping off our hobby for too many years.
I tuned into SAH's new "softer" show only to find that Goldin has doubled his usual screaming to make up for West's departure. The deals I saw were just as big a rip-off as before, which just goes to prove that it wasn't Don West who was cheating collectors, it was and still is, Shop At Home. As always, make sure you know what you're buying from any shopping channel before you make that call. As for Mr. West, I've heard rumors that he's going to pop back up on television shopping, probably at Home Shopping Network (HSN).
REAL ROOKIE CARDS IN 2001
Ever since Topps has had the rights to making rookie cards of baseball players as soon as they are drafted, the excitement of buying a pack of new cards and finding the "hot rookie" has turned into the problem of looking up which year their rookie card debuted and searching your boxes hoping to find a few. In 2001 we find ourselves incredibly lucky. Not only are there a handful of rookies who are making big names for themselves early in the season, but a few of them never appeared on (U.S.) cardboard before making opening almost every 2001 pack an exciting experience. Topping the list of hot 2001 rookies are Ichiro Suzuki from Seattle and Albert Pujols from St. Louis.
In case you've been out of the country for the first two months of the season, Ichiro has been leading the majors in hits, stolen bases, and runs while Pujols has been in the top five in hitting, home runs, and runs batted in. While Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey Jr. sit out with injuries, these new stars are getting the chance to shine even brighter. This fact has not been lost on the card companies. Upper Deck jumped quickly on Ichiro (who already had "rookie" cards from his native Japan), and Topps has already produced a Pujols autograph card in their recent 2001 Finest set. Fleer made five rookie redemption cards in 2001 Premium and quickly named both players to the set. I hope they can keep up their early season success on the field because it is definitely making for a more fun year of baseball card collecting.
TOPPS LOSES ICHIRO, ADDS PUJOLS
Speaking of Ichiro and Pujols, Topps announced this week that they would be adding Albert Pujols to their upcoming Topps Chrome Series 2. To make room for the Cardinals rookie they will be removing Ichiro from the set. Now this sounded like an odd move, but it has been announced that it is a contractual problem. Apparently Ichiro has not yet been signed by Topps to an individual contract. This didn't keep them from including Suzuki in Topps base brand and hopefully this issue can be resolved soon so we can have more Ichiro rookie card options.
Some of the manufacturers and grading companies send me their press releases and I used to relay some of that information to you in the About Sportscards Newsletter. With our new format the newsletter isn't the best place to put releases so I've started a new section, the Press Release Archive. I've started with just a couple releases that I got this week, but keep checking back as I often get three or four new ones each week and I'll try to post them all.
That's all for this week. If you collect basketball or hockey cards this is a great time of year as we're down to the final four teams in each sport. While we won't get to see Kobe against Vince in this year's NBA Finals, it does look like we'll get a matchup of the two hottest hobby goalies if Patrick Roy's Avalanche and Martin Brodeur's Devils can each win one more game. I've always found it interesting to see the effect of a long playoff run on a player's cards. Following an MVP season, Allen Iverson is trying to get the Sixers to the NBA Finals. I wonder how high that might push his rookie cards?
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