Sunday, December 18, 2016

Read a Book

There are some things in the hobby that I've always wanted to do. Some are not possible (but I can dream...) like completing every base set ever issued for the NBA and NASCAR, or to open an entire case of a set.

But some things were within reach, and I've been reaching...that's for sure.

One of the things I've been wanting was a booklet card. These are cards that fold out to have stuff on the inside- usually relics, but you can also get them with autographs- but they are pretty much only in high-end sets. Panini Preferred guarantees you will get one in each pack, but there is no way I could justify spending $150 on 4 cards, which is what I think you get in the box. And the $150 was the sale price!

But I could pick up one...or two...on COMC. I did a search on booklet and this one hit all the marks I was looking for:
  • I could afford it. It cost me $6 and change. 
  • It had multiple players, which looks really kind of spectacular in this format. 
  • It had sensible wording with the relic cutouts. Some of them are abbreviations or cutesy slang. 
  • The relics were multi-color.
Granted, there's not a lot of star power here. Marc Gasol is one of the top centers in the league, but Datome and Bargnani are both out of the NBA, Datome playing in Turkey and Bargnani in, I think, Spain. Rubio is a solid player as is Gallinari but neither of them are going to set the world on fire. Calderon is past his prime but still has seen some solid minutes for the Lakers this year, before going out with injury. He had been the starting point guard for the Knicks for the past several years where I've seen him struggle to carry a load far bigger than his skills and health would allow. But I don't care. I'm an NBA fan and will gladly add cards of each and every one of them to my collection with any chance I get.
As an aside, Datome is the only Luigi in NBA history. 

 This one isn't mutli-player but it is pretty darn awesome. It's actually better than I originally realized when I bought it. It's taken from the rookie photo shoot (where most rookie season images come from these days) and I suspect was taken with multiple cameras...either that or Panini is spending a lot more money on tech than I can (of course, LOL). It almost gives you a 360° view of Hardaway Jr. going up for a dunk. Of course you get two pieces of something (Panini doesn't bother to tell you, but I'm pretty sure it's jersey based on the hole pattern) which is presumably the very jersey worn in these photos, although maybe not as they have it set up where they wear multiple jerseys which the card companies take and cut up and put on cards. I don't know if it's still the case but for a time the player would put on a jersey, then immediately take it off and put on another identical one, and then again, etc. so the card companies would have lots of jersey material for the season. I kind of think it is still the case because they crank out a lot of rookie season jersey cards, lol.

This Hardaway card comes from a 12 card set, and it's so cool that I think I might keep my eyes open to see if I can get some more of them. The 2013-14 rookie class is considered pretty weak but the CJ McCollum and Michael Carter-Williams may be out of my price range. They also offer patch (which Panini calls Prime) and Super Prime versions, but I don't think I will be able to afford any of them. Let alone finding them- Super Primes are usually 1 of 1.
The Europe set is only 4 cards, and not outside the realm of someday completing. There I go dreaming again...

As for Hardaway, he was starting to hit his stride and had become one of the best players on the of course they promptly traded him to Atlanta where the coach decided he didn't like him and gave him a bunch of DNP-CD before sending him to the D-League. He finally started to use him more eventually but I can't help but think that the Knicks would be doing a lot better with him on the team then without him. He is a third string guy on the Hawks whereas when he was with the Knicks he was almost the second option behind Carmelo Anthony. He's only in his 4th season now so hopefully he will go a better team - or at least better for him - when he hits free agency.

Both of these cards are from 2013-14 Panini Preferred, and for right now they are the only Booklets in my collection...but I really enjoy them so I will try and add some more over time, like I mentioned above. You can be sure that if I do, they will show up here!


  1. I actually have one of those Panini Preferred booklets sitting in my COMC inventory. They're pretty neat looking, especially that Hardaway.

    1. Do you have a link to your COMC? I'm tapped out for now but hope to do some more shopping after Christmas.

    2. I'll link you up here. It's overpriced at the moment because I just had a sale (and plan to do another) but if you're interested shoot me an e-mail and we'll work something out. Funny thing is, I sell more cards off sale than on.

    3. I'm not sure I'd be able to afford that one even with a discount as I have a pretty hard $20 limit on non-Elton Brand cards. Great card though!

  2. I really like these booklets; hope you get more!