Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2010 Panini Threads - Rob Gronkowski Rookie Class Auto

Last year I opened a lot of football cards. It remains my favorite sport and I want to support it and the manufacturers that make all kinds of football cards. However, 2010 happened to be a year that saw so many products, it almost became noncollectable. There wasn't a truly great rookie class and there were an overabundance of those rookie autos packed out in product.

One of the products I enjoyed last season was Panini Threads. A lot of collectors are not fans of the manufactured patch cards. I don't see any need for fake patches as a hit if they aren't autographed, but when you attach an auto to it, I think it is a much better solution than a sticker.

Threads boasted rookie patch autos #'d to 500 and while most everyone was hoping for an auto of Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy or even Ndamukong Suh, I actually wanted Rolando McClain of the Raiders.

After opening the box, I wasn't disappointed when I found a Rob Gronkowski. I remember doing the Cardboard Connection Radio show that week and discussing the product. I talked about the signed letter cards and that at that point in time, the box might not have looked that good, but I needed to give it some time acquire value. A lot of collectors were griping to me that I gave a decent review to a product that seemed to yield nothing near the cost of the box. A similar incident happened with the Limited product a little later in the season. Even one of my co-hosts thought it was a bust. I didn't.

What I saw was potential. Tom Brady is one of the most gifted quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. Yeah, he even gets some gifts from the officials too. But he likes to target the Tight End and when you put a 6'6" 260lb target in front of Captain America, he is going to throw that shield at him often and accurate.

Brady in a little more than a season and a half has helped make Rob Gronkowski a superstar. This past Sunday, the two made history when Brady connected with Gronkowski to establish a single-season record for most TD grabs by a TE. His record-breaking 14th TD of the season was a nice 49-yard completion against the Washington Redskins. Later in the game, they connected again and he notched his 15th TD.

To say he's having a stellar season would be an understatement. He still has three games to go and he's got 1088 YDS from 77 catches. He has become Brady's go-to-guy in only his second NFL campaign. Barring injury, he had a very bright future ahead of him and I'm happy to say I saw it coming.

After pulling this card out of a pack of Threads, I immediately put it aside knowing it would be one I wanted to keep. I honestly didn't know I'd be writing about it this soon though.

The card itself is one of his best looking rookie cards. A clean, blue signature on a white letter K says it all. It is #'d to 500 and is #193 from the 2010 Threads set.

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