23 March 2013

First Anthony Gose autograph is a thought provoker.

I scored a 2012 Panini Signature Series Rated Rookie* autograph manu-patch of ebay on Thursday for a very manageable $5.32 green American dollars.

Miraculously, the card made it from San Francisco to the far eastern end of America's Rust Belt by mail delivery time this afternoon. Upon ripping open this package and being stunned at how awesome an unlicensed card can be, a number of thoughts come to mind on baseball cards, logos, rookies and life.

If you're just here for the cardz, here's the front:
And the back, since some of you are in to that:

Patch-haters look away. Lovers of all things awesome, bask in the awesome.

Anthony Gose has a nearly indecipherable autograph, but it is consistent and not confusable with anyone else's. I like it, I think. It looks kind of purple, but I am pretty sure it was signed in fine-tip blue Sharpie.

I missed the Rated Rookie logo. I mean, damn. That's just straight nostalgia. Donruss and their affiliates or partners or tentacles were some of my favourites back in the day.

Which leads me into thought #1.

1. Panini needs a license.

Immediately, this is what I though. Then I gave it more of a gander. Do they really need a license? This card wasn't licensed by MLB. The MLBPA logo on the back makes this card possible with the likeness of Gose's face and name. The card looks great. A bit of the cap it photoshopped, sure. I have a hat with a Blue Jays logo. Topps pumps me full of logos.

I think I can get by.

Do Panini, Leaf and Upper Deck need licenses? Panini maybe not. They seem to be doing just fine, and have NHL, NFL and NBA licenses to make up for it. As far as I can see, their sales are fine and their products are savory. Leaf needs the license, I think. I just don't see them succeeding without one. Upper Deck, however, is thriving in hockey - taking an unfilled niche and running with it. Competition with Panini seems to give them  just enough of a boot in the ass to progress the product, but I think we're in the modern golden age of hockey cards.

Best of luck, Leaf.

2. Rookies and Spring Training statistics

Yasiel Puig is great. Francisco Lindor will also be a great player. Then you see guys like my man Anthony Gose. On a stat sheet, he's killing it in Spring Training, but there are some things you must consider.

Much of Gose's playing time has been against minor league pitchers, similar to those he blasted off in 2011 and 2012 in the Pacific Coast League, before tripping up in the Bigs. Many of his hits have dribbled through infields of career minor leaguers and out of shape major leaguers. NEVER take speed stats seriously in the Spring - ground balls get through, the wind rips balls all over the outfield, the scorers are full of shit and pitchers just aren't that good.

So temper your expectations. For years I have watch Brett Cecil mow batter down in Spring Training, you know, when he's not cutting his hand open trying to separate frozen chicken breasts.

3. Baseball cards in 2020.

The fat cats at Topps and MLB have extended Topps' "exclusive license" through 2020. That's seven more years of Topps Flagship releases, Allen and Ginter and Gypsy Queen and Heritage retreads (at least Heritage can change every year) and airbrushed logos from competitors.

Rather than looks forward, let's look backward. 2006 was seven years prior to now...you know what? No. This will get it's own post. Sorry.

4. Ebay Seller Shipping

As an occasional seller on the Bay, I pride my account on excellent customer service. Yes, I recycle bubble mailers and I rarely use USPS Tracking Information.

I do try to get a package out as quickly as a buyer pays. Pay immediately? First chance to get to the PO and I'm there. Take a week? I may take a week to ship.

Lately, I rarely have good ebay experiences. The Gose above blew me away, though. IN other news, I see more and more PWEs with low-numbered cards in them. Not amongst friends, the PWE is a huge risk. This week I received a 2013 Topps Black (/62) Edwin Encarnacion. The card cost me $6 and came in a PWE. Scary.

I have NO issue with PWEs among bloggers, though. Keep 'em coming.

That's it for now. Your thoughts would be appreciated, as always.

*I hereby declare that Rated Rookie shall always be italicized.



  1. Leaf does need some sort of license. They put out great cards, better than some of the big guns, so a license would make them more competitive.

  2. I really want to see all of these companies succeed. But they'll have to do it for seven years without logos.

    A teaser of 2012 Prizm baseball showed that it can be done, though...