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A new era, plus who's the next best?

Welcome back, and thank you for coming back. For those who thought you might be missing an issue and missed out on the announcement in the Jan. 28 issue of SCD, the Feb. 11 issue (mailing Monday) is the first biweekly issue of SCD since the 1980s.

There is no Feb. 4 issue, and the next issue of SCD will be the Feb. 25 issue, arriving in two weeks.

You’ll see some of the new features we will be incorporating into SCD going forward. Some of these additions include more information on new card releases, including a release calendar and previews of upcoming sets. This will complement box breaks of new product we will conduct online.

You’ll also find more emphasis on autographs in SCD. Appearing monthly will be a column by Tom Talbot on through-the-mail autograph success stories, complemented by a column by Bryan Petrulis that provides a list of through-the-mail signers, complete with turn-around time and the addresses for the players featured. I also hope to provide an autograph price guide for the various sports for current and Hall of Fame players in the near future.

I said we’d have more show coverage, a direct result of what readers have asked for, and in this issue is a preview of the upcoming Cranston Sports Collectors Show, which celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2011.

And for a quick preview of what’s in the hopper for issues ahead, we have interviews with Bill Purdy, Corey Hart and a feature on Charlie Finley, along with a piece from Kevin Nelson on the Baseball Hall of Fame archives.

So we have plenty to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead. I hope you will continue to enjoy the new changes with me.

The next big thing
When you deal in the sports collectibles market, there is always the question of which young player is the next Hall of Famer. From card collectors to autograph chasers, everyone in this hobby hopes to catch the next big thing before others catch on and prices start to rise.

With the NFL playoffs in full swing and the Green Bay Packers one game away from the Super Bowl, a lot of attention has fallen on the shoulders of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The heir apparent to Brett Favre in Green Bay, Rodger’s recent success in the playoffs has led many people in the NFL and the sports collectibles hobby to believe he is one of the next stars of the league for years to come.

As mentioned before, it’s the age-old question in the hobby of who will be the next big thing. However, the Stephen Strasburg mania and eventual injury might temper some of the outrageous selling prices that first popped up regarding his collectibles and for others along the same line.

Collecting the next big thing is a tricky game, because they could have a hall of fame career, see Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven, but not have a lot of value on the secondary market even with such credentials. In essence, many collectors and fans will pay more now for players like Rodgers than they might if he goes on to Canton a dozen years in the future.

This is probably why a large segment of collectors stick to players who have long since retired and enshrined.

– Tom Bartsch