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Author: Tony

Starting a New Venture

**NOTE: This article was first published on 1/2/12, on Since then, I have let the old store URL from the story lapse, but I am (slowly) working on a new store at – more on that in due time…** When I was a child collecting sports cards (mostly baseball, back in those days), I always dreamed of opening my own card shop. The closest true shop to my house was a comic/card shop about 20 miles away in a much bigger city, which always seemed like the ultimate place to work (I was into comics for a while...

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Topps Loses Football License

While I don’t post much these days, the news that Topps lost their NFL Players Inc. license to publish football cards was clearly big enough to warrant a post. I first saw the news at Cardboard Junkie (although he apparently thinks that baseball is all that matters…I hope he’s kidding), and then found the news at Wax Heaven and a couple of other sites.  I even noticed this morning that ProFootballTalk had the news on their site–albeit with his rather unsupported claim that “the trading-card industry has diminished over the past two decades, possibly due to the inherently low-tech nature of it.” My take on it?  Like most people blogging about the card industry, I do tend to think it’s too bad that all sports appear to be heading down a more exclusive path.  While the NFL is still granting licenses to Upper Deck and Panini, rather than a single card company, I do tend to think that in all cases less competition amongst card companies ill simply mean that the card companies will have less incentive to put out product that is truly the best it could be. While I don’t share the level of angst some in the card blogging community have towards…seemingly all manufacturers, and in fact have largely gotten out of collecting (although I am taking part in mini-card show next month–was supposed to happen...

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Random Surfing: Pat McInally

I’m very fortunate in my current job, I occasionally have the chance to go on some interesting web surfing tangents, which often lead me to finding out random information about things that I never knew about things & people that interest me. Today, my surfing led me to the Wikipedia page for Pat McInally, who played for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1975 to 1985.  The reason his name jumped out at me when I saw it on another Wiki page (I believe I was looking at the 1975 draft), was that when I was younger, McInally’s cards would always fascinate me–I’d heard of guys playing multiple positions, but how often do you see a guy that split time between wide receiver and punter?  And later in his career, a punter wearing #87 on his jersey? (And yes, I know Danny White was often listed as QB-P–but for some reason, that never seemed quite as unusual to me). Beyond the oddity of his WR/P position, I had never looked much into McInally’s career–what I found was actually kind of interesting: He attended Harvard University, and led the nation in receiving in 1973. He suffered a broken leg in the 1976 College All-Star Game, which forced him to miss his rookie season, and was part of the reason the College All-Star Game was cancelled after the ’76 edition Prior to the...

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2009 Bowman Draft Picks

A couple months back, I stopped in at my local card shop to see how the owner was doing since his new baby was born–especially since my first was born right around the same time. While there, I noticed that some new football cards were in–including Bowman Draft Picks, which apparently replaced Topps Rookie Progression (which I didn’t care for), which had replaced Topps Draft Picks & Prospects (which was actually a favorite of mine). I asked how the reaction had been, and he said mostly positive in his shop–although he admitted he didn’t think it was that great.  I decided, “What the heck, it’s been almost a year–why not grab a box.” I wish I’d listened to him. I got all the big base cards (Stafford, Sanchez, Harvin, etc), and I got my two hits–an auto of…someone (that’s how impressive it was–I think it was a 7th round pick), and a letter auto of Aaron Kelly. So how is it that I can remember Kelly (who was an undrafted free agent signed by the Falcons out of Clemson)? Well, I figured I already had invested in a full box–why not invest a little more, and do something I’d always wanted–assemble a full players name of letter patches.  So, after a couple of weeks of playing around on eBay and assembling the best deals I could, this is what...

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Great Football Card Mini-Story

For some reason–most likely something to do with the fact that I was one in high school–offensive linemen are most often my favorite players.  When doing their jobs, they go unnoticed, and the good ones always seem to have the kind of attitude I like in a player–that is, they aren’t the prima donnas on the team, screaming for attention after a 6-yard gain on 2nd and 10, or dancing around like an idiot after making a tackle 8 yards downfield. And a lot of lineman seem to like to have fun while playing–from practical jokes, to contests to see who can go the furthest into the season without wearing long sleeves, to fining other linemen in Kangaroo Court just for talking to the media (both of the latter of which Hall of Fame Tackle and former Viking Gary Zimmerman was famous for).  Seems offensive linemen are often some of the smartest players on the field as well–which if you really knew the complexity of some of the blocking schemes, you’d understand why they need to be. I think it’s that reason that this comment, left by a regular on a local sports blog that I follow, drew my attention–granted, it was from two months ago, but it’s getting to be the football time of year, and I just came across it again. Tim Irwin wasn’t the greatest offensive...

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