Eight Big Breakout Sports Cards of 2010
2006 SP Authentic WBC Future Watch #58 Tsuyoshi Nishioka
Nishioka's cards are proof positive that prospecting can be found in the oddest of sets. For the most part collectors have overlooked the random World Baseball Classic cards that have made brief appearances in products since the mid-2000's. The Twins won the right to negotiate a contract with the 26-year old Japanese batting champ several weeks back. After the trade of both J.J. Hardy and Brendan Harris, it's clear the Twins have every intention of Nishioka becoming the team's everyday short stop in 2010. Fans in Japan are notorious for supporting player's that come to America in the secondary market.
1999 Topps Traded Autographs #T75 Carl Crawford
Crawford has been a star for sometime now, but playing for Red Sox will bring the speedster's key cards to a whole new level. Crawford and the Red Sox other big name addition Adrian Gonzalez should both see a drastic boost in book value playing in Boston. It also doesn't hurt that the card is part of one of the hobby's most under-appreciated insert sets of all-time, that being 1999 Topps Traded Autographs, which also includes Josh Hamilton, Adam Dunn, Alfonso Soriano and C.C. Sabathia. Due to the fact that 2000 was the year the Bowman Chrome Auto took off, the 1999 Topps Traded Auto is Crawford's best card.
2007-08 Exquisite Collection #96 Luis Scola JSY AU/ 99 RC
The oddly intriguing 30-year old big man from Buenos Aires (the same city that gets destroyed by arachnids in the movie Starship Troopers) has used his 4th year in the National Basketball Association well. The tall straw that stirs the Rocket's drink is averaging 20.5 ppg and 8.7 rpg over the first quarter of the NBA Season. Collector's tend to gravitate toward odd ball characters like Scola (example: Chris Anderson).
2008-09 Exquisite Collection #61 Kevin Love JSY AU RC
Could the second coming of Charles Barkley be hiding in the state of 11,842 lakes? Kevin Love continues to put up insane rebound numbers and is starting to evolve into a dominant scoring threat. The 5th pick in the 2008 draft out of UCLA is currently averaging an astonishing 15.7 rpg in addition to scoring 20.4 ppg! There have been a total of ten 20 point-20 rebound games during the first quarter of the 2010-11 NBA season, Love has five of them!
2010 Topps Unrivaled Autographed Patch #UAPJS James Starks/ 249
The most underrated debut of the 2010 NFL Season took place in Green Bay this past week when rookie "slim" Jim Starks took the field at Lambeau. Starks is the ultimate case of "coach talk" translating into hobby success, as Mike McCarthy and the rest of the Green Bay coaching staff have talked up Starks ever since drafting the Packers' future feature back in the 6th round of the 2010 NFL Draft. After spending the first 12 weeks of the season inactive, the University of Buffalo product rushed for 73-yards and looked 73 times better than Brandon Jackson. Starks' 2010 Topps Unrivaled autos are his only cards to also feature a relic.
2010 Panini Gridiron Gear Autographs Gold #167 Chris Ivory/ 99 EXCH
Whether the undrafted rookies recent success is for real or not is debatable, what's not debatable is that he's the league's leading rookie rusher (636 yards) and that his first autographed card came way via redemption in the recently released 2010 Gridiron Gear Football.
2003-04 SP Authentic #158 Alexander Semin AU RC
The 26-year old winger from Krasnojarsk, Russia currently ranks 6th in the NHL in total points and trails teammate Alexander Ovechkin by only 2 points for the Capitals team lead. In 2003-04, the autographed card party hadn't yet gotten out of control, Semin only has 4 true autographed rookies and you can never go wrong with an SP Authentic Future Watch auto.
2009-10 The Cup #116 Logan Couture JSY AU RC
Couture currently leads all NHL rookies in goals (14) and total points (21). The 21-year old Sharks Center's rookie cards are hidden in 2009-10 hockey card products unlike Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Jeff Skinner and this year's other premier performing freshman skaters. In the world of sports cards, "The Cup" is the standard to which all other rookie cards strive to match. Couture's cup RC currently books at just $60!