Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Most Recent Entries
- Land O’ Lakes boys soccer coach Mark Pearson picks up 300th career win
- Manuel signs deal with Panini Authentic
- Panini previews Gold Standard basketball
- Golf: All-Western Conference Teams
- Baseball: Jesuit OF Taylor selects Duke
- Land O’ Lakes defensive standout Shaheed Salmon picks up first offer
- Football: All-Western Conference Teams
- Rays non-tender Fuld
- Chargers WR Allen top rookie in Week 12 voting
- Collect call: 2014 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team and Hopefuls
- Panini’s Totally Certified hockey to debut in February
- Leaf releases some corny inserts
- Volleyball: Berkeley Prep’s Brown a finalist for Miss Volleyball
- Rays 2014 spring training schedule
- Proposal would ease FHSAA penalty for violating “follow the coach” law
- Bucs Report -Tribune staff
- Rays Report - Roger Mooney
- Bolts Report - Erik Erlendsson
- Bulls Report
- Prep Report - Hillsborough
- Prep Report - Pasco
- Prep Report - Region
- Prep Report - Recruiting Updates
- Prep Report - Football
- Go Fishing: On The Waterfront
- The Sports Bookie - Bob D'Angelo
- Gators Report - Tribune staff
- Youth Sports Report
- NFL Draft Report
- Go Ask: Frank's Tacklebox
- Bucified Bert Blog
- BUK Power - Bucs Fan Blog
- Pigskin Preacher - NFL Fan Blog
- Breakfast Bonus - Tom McEwen
- Highlands Sports
Manuel signs deal with Panini Authentic
Posted Dec 5, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Dec 5, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Here’s some news about a Florida State quarterback that doesn’t involve a criminal investigation.
Make that a former FSU quarterback.
Panini America announced Thursday that it has signed Buffalo Bills rookie EJ Manuel to an exclusive autograph and memorabilia agreement through the company’s Panini Authentic division.
The former Seminoles star becomes the second NFL player to be signed to Panini Authentic, following Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Authentic’s roster also includes NBA stars Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Blake Griffin.
Memorabilia autographed by Manuel — including helmets, jerseys and photographs — will be available on the Authentic website (http://www.paniniauthentic.com) in time for Christmas shoppers.
“We’ve had a great relationship with EJ since before the 2013 NFL draft and we are extremely excited to welcome him to the Panini Authentic family,” Panini America CEO Mark Warsop said in a news release. “On the field and off, EJ is an impressive individual and someone we’re proud to have representing our brand while offering another dimension to our Panini Authentic division.”
In eight starts during his rookie season with the Bills, Manuel has thrown for 1,596 yards and nine touchdowns. He also has rushed for a TD and has gained 120 yards on 38 carries. He was the 16th overall pick in the NFL draft.
At FSU, he won four consecutive bowl games. He finished his college career as the Seminoles’ career leader in completion percentage (66.9 percent) and was second on the all-time Atlantic Coast Conference list in that category. During 2012, Manuel passed for 3,392 yards, which ranks second in school history. He also finished third in career passing yards and completions and was sixth overall in passing TDs.
In the same news release, Manuel said he was “truly honored” to be included in Panini’s Authentic division.
“Panini America is a first-class organization and the global leader in trading cards and memorabilia,” he said. “I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know them [on a personal level] for almost a year now, and I’m truly honored to officially join their team in this exclusive relationship.”
Panini previews Gold Standard basketball
Posted Dec 4, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Dec 4, 2013 at 11:12 PM
For collectors who are looking for a higher standard of basketball cards to own, Panini America’s 2013-14 Gold Standard set should whet their appetites.
There is plenty of gold to go around in this set. Collectors can find one of the 50 Solid Gold cards, which contain 14-karat gold.
Gold Standard will be released in February and will contain a 275-card base set. The interesting twist to the base set will be 25 short-printed variations that will feature players wearing the jerseys of every team they have played for.
Panini is promising that every 10-card hobby box will contain four autographs and one memorabilia card. There will be eight different autograph and three memorabilia insert subsets to chase. Four of the autograph insert cards will be numbered to 199 or less, and there will be rookie autographs and Ring Bearers — featuring cards numbered to 99 or less and signed by players who won an NBA title.
A 90-card Metal set also will be an intriguing collectible, as will Finals MVP inserts, which will be numbered to 20 or less. Lucky collectors will pull large prime memorabilia swatches in the Black Gold Threads and Bullion Brand inserts.
Chargers WR Allen top rookie in Week 12 voting
Posted Nov 30, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Nov 30, 2013 at 09:25 AM
Voters on NFL.com chose Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen as the Week 12, 2013 Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of the Week. Allen beat out four other contenders, including Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon, who was a finalist for the second straight week.
Allen had nine catches for 124 yards in San Diego’s 41-38 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs. Glennon threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns in the Bucs’ 24-21 win against Detroit — Tampa Bay’s third consecutive win after an 0-8 start.
The other Week 12 finalists were St. Louis running back Benny Cunningham, Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter and Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy.
In conjunction with the 2013 Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of the Week promotion, Panini America produces virtual trading cards of each week’s five nominees and a virtual card for each week’s winner. At the end of the regular season, Panini will produce an actual trading card set of all weekly winners. This week’s card pays tribute to the Select football card design.
After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com/rookies throughout the month of January. The Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of the Year will be announced at the third annual NFL Honors awards show in New York on Feb. 2, the night before Super Bowl XLVIII.
The weekly winners so far: Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis was chosen in Week 1, Bills quarterback EJ Manuel was the Week 2 winner, Bengals running back Giovani Bernard was the Week 3 winner, Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso was the Week 4 choice, Jets quarterback Geno Smith was the Week 5 choice, Chargers receiver Keenan Allen was the Week 6 pick, San Diego offensive lineman D.J. Fluker was the Week 7 choice, Oakland linebacker Sio Moore was the Week 8 selection. Packers running back Eddie Lacy was the Week 9 winner, Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin took honors in Week 10 and Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin was the Week 11 choice.
Collect call: 2014 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team and Hopefuls
Posted Nov 27, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Nov 27, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Topps had a nice formula when it put out a set of cards commemorating the 2012 U.S. Summer Olympic team.
Why argue with success?
Topps didn’t. The same basic formula holds true for its 2014 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team and Hopefuls set, which revolves around the Winter Olympics that will be held in Sochi, Russia. With a 100-card base set, this will be an easy product for set builders to complete, especially if they buy a hobby box.
A hobby box contains 24 packs, with eight cards to a pack. Topps promises one U.S. Olympic team autograph and two relics — or commemorative relic — cards.
The hobby box I opened easily produced a complete base set, with 39 additional doubles. Every base card has a gold, silver and bronze parallel; the U.S. Olympic team logo is replaced by the medal color. The box I opened yielded four golds, 12 silvers and 24 bronze.
There are several inserts to collect: Games of the XXII Winter Olympiad highlights an athlete and explains the rules of the sport he or she competes in; these are seeded two per hobby box. The 2014 Olympic Winter Games Venues gives the collector an overview of the places where sports will be held in Sochi; there was one card in the box I opened. Olympic Heritage pays tribute to previous Winter Games teams, heroes and events. Expect to find one per hobby box.
The design of the base set has a painted look, with a background that sparkles like cracked ice. It’s definitely a nice wintry look.
While Topps touts on-card autographs of U.S. Olympic champions, the autograph I pulled was a sticker signature. It was signed by snowboarder Jamie Anderson; since she is not an Olympic champion, the advertising claim on the box remains valid. An on-card autograph of Anderson, however, would have been nice; after all, she’s a six-time gold medalist at the X Games, so she is certainly a champion. Oh well.
The two relics I pulled were both “athlete-worn memorabilia” from male figure skaters: Alex Shibutani and Charlie White. Both cards had generous swatches of clothing.
This set gives collectors a nice preview of what to expect for the Winter Games. I wish there had been more parallels rather than nearly five packs worth of doubles in the hobby box I opened, but a complete base set was definitely a plus.
Panini’s Totally Certified hockey to debut in February
Posted Nov 27, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Nov 27, 2013 at 07:43 PM
The waiting is nearly over for collectors who were curious about Panini America’s Totally Certified hockey. Come Feb. 26, 2014, the product will make its debut.
Totally Certified originally was going to be released in 2012-13, but the shortened NHL season precluded that decision. Because of this year’s double rookie class in Panini products, hockey fans will have plenty to look forward to when Totally Certified is released.
Each hobby box will contain four packs, with give cards to a pack. Panini is promising that each hobby box will deliver four autograph or memorabilia cards, with at least one autograph card guaranteed. A hobby box also will include four rookie cards or rookie parallels.
Panini officials said this product will use, for the first time, etched mirror-foil technology. Totally Certified also will mark the hockey debut of Rookie Slideshow and Rookie Slideshow autograph insert cards. They remind me of the photo negatives that were used in the projector my parents had when they wanted to show slides of our annual vacations to guests. Panini’s versions are probably more exciting — or, at the very least, there is more action and less posing. The slides will be embedded into the cards, which will make for a very interesting look.
Mirror parallels will be released in red, blue, gold and green, numbered from 25 to 1/1. There also will be autograph and memorabilia versions of these cards.