The National Baseball Hall Of Fame welcomed two new members to it’s exclusive club – Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey, Jr. Who would’ve thought card #1 in the first product released by Upper Deck would end up being the rookie of a future Hall Of Famer. The odds of that happening are next to nothing. Making Ken Griffey, Jr. #1 in the 1989 Upper Deck Baseball set was an excellent decision. Its one of the most iconic cards in the industry. Rookie cards of Mike Piazza from 1992 Fleer Update and 1992 Bowman have their place too. Both guys have rookies from a time when everything was being overproduced.
Members of the press were greeted with the above pin for induction weekend. Just like a lot of press pins, various retail outlets sell a version that looks darn close to the real thing. They’re fully licensed and not counterfeit, but an unfamiliar collector could easily mistake a retail pin for one made for the press. There are four major differences between the press and retail pins. Press pins are serial numbered out of 5,350 on the back, contain gold coloring, have two baseball bats crossing in the background, and the “INDUCTION” banner is straight. Retail pins have none of that. The press pins are worth around $100, whereas the retail ones sell for $8.
Not familiar with CyberAction? I’m betting most collectors don’t remember this company given it’s short lifespan. You may also know them as Digibles. They changed their name a few times. CyberAction was truly ahead of it’s time releasing what is believed to be the first digital trading cards. This is long before any of the digital trading card apps that Topps has come out with. They originally started with entertainment properties like Marvel, Star Trek, and Xena: Warrior Princess, but eventually found their way to Major League Baseball.
Compared to the digital cards of today, CyberAction’s products look quite primitive. You have to remember that this was a time before smartphones. CyberAction sold CD-Rom discs that had digital cards on them. Once you inserted the disc into your computer, installed the software, you were ready to go. The cards on the disc could virtually be flipped and interacted with. All kinds of videos, stats, bios, and trivia were included. If you had the internet, even more digital cards could be found on their website.
Digital collectibles are becoming much more popular in today’s hobby. I don’t think they will ever replace something you can physically hold though. When CyberAction was around (1997-2001), I think it was just too early for digital cards. Its only something that has been getting attention over the last few years.
The only physical cards that CyberAction made were ones used for promotional purposes. If you were making a peanut butter sandwich in 2001, the odds are pretty good you came across these discs. CyberAction and Skippy teamed-up to bring collectors this 4-disc set featuring Derek Jeter. You can easily find all four discs. Sometimes they’ll even be attached to the lid. It wasn’t long after when CyberAction folded. But look on the bright side, Skippy is still around.
Hand-drawn sketch cards, especially ones containing a multi-colored swatch, are some of my favorite modern day cards. In addition to Gypsy Queen this year, sports artist Monty Sheldon contributed his talent to 2016 Topps Major League Soccer too. There are (10) sketch patch cards inserted within ’16 Topps MLS, and Monty Sheldon drew all of them. Each card is numbered “1 of 1” and is incredibly difficult to pull. I think they look absolutely stunning. I like how the patch seems to be shinning a beam of light on the player. Even though this product was released in April, I’ve only seen two of these cards arrive on the secondary market – Obafemi Martins and Federico Higuain.