These Cards From 1984 Are NOT Dan Marino Rookies

At one time you could think of a player, and instantly one iconic rookie card would come to mind.  Nowadays that doesn’t happen.  Active athletes today have so many rookie cards to choose from.  For example, if you asked a group of collectors to write down a single Tom Brady rookie card, you’ed get various correct responses.

In my opinion, the further back we go the easier it is to identify a player’s true rookie.  That’s just how it goes when there were fewer manufacturers and products being released.  Its very possible for someone to have one unanimously regarded rookie, while at the same time having other cards issued that same year.  He’s far from the only one, but Dan Marino is the first person I think about when it comes to this setup.  Trust me.  There are lots of others.

Dan Marino’s true rookie card is #123 in the 1984 Topps Football set.  As far as football rookie cards from the 80’s go, this one is atop the list.  That card is his only rookie.  Despite that, eight other Marino cards can be found from 1984.  They’re a mixture of subsets, inserts, stickers, and promotional pieces.  Its very common for sellers to label them as rookies though.  I don’t like to see that.  Someone who doesn’t know any better could easily think they’re getting a good deal on an actual Marino rookie.

1984 Topps Instant Replay #124

1984 Topps Passing Leaders #202

1984 Topps Instant Replay #355

1984 Topps Glossy #3

1984 Topps Stickers All-Pro Foil #132/#144

1984 Topps Stickers #222

1984 Miami Dolphins Police #9

1984 7-Eleven Discs #E15

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Mickey Mouse Turns 90 – Here’s His Rookie Card

When you hear the name “Mickey” and the words “rookie card” in the same sentence, most people are going to think of that famous #7 who played for the Yankees.  It makes sense they would.  Mickey Mantle is one of the most notable and collected sports figures.  His cards have fetched millions.  That 1951 Bowman rookie card is an icon of the industry.  So are many of his other cards.

What if I told you twenty years prior to Mickey Mantle’s rookie card, another Mickey was already making his cardboard debut.  Of course I’m talking about Mickey Mouse.  I believe he’s a bit more well-known around the world than that Yankee guy.  Mickey Mouse is right up there with the McDonald’s Arch and Nike Swoosh as far as most recognizable symbols go.

In 1928 Mickey Mouse made his public debut in the short film Steamboat Willie.  It was a total hit.  Animated short films eventually turned into full-length features.  Everything snowballed from there bringing fame and fortune to Walt Disney.

Disney is the king when it comes to merchandising.  They’ll slap their characters on anything if they think it will sell.  Three years after being introduced to the world, Mickey Mouse received what is now considered to be his rookie card.  Drawn by Floyd Gottfredson, this premium was made available during the May 27, 1931 Mickey Mouse comic strip.  In that particular story, Mickey had his picture taken.  Fans of his could get a copy of that picture if they wrote in during the “High Society” story line.  This is the card they’ed receive.  It measures 3-3/8″ x 5-3/8″.  At the bottom it reads “Gobs of Good Wishes, Mickey Mouse” and “Me too, Butch”.  As you can see, Mickey’s streetwise friend Butch is standing in the background.

Very few of these cards exist.  When they do popup, the asking price is usually in the thousands.  Another card featuring both Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse was released in 1931.  That one comes from the Wills Cinema Stars tobacco card set.  Its much more common though.

Mickey Mouse celebrates his 90th anniversary this year.  His 1931 First Newspaper Premium Picture Card takes us back to a time when he was fairly new and just beginning to make an impression on the world.  Truly an interesting piece of history.  Four more years would have to pass by until Mickey Mouse’s 1935 Gum Cards would be released.

WARNING: Missing Autographs In ’18 Panini Illusions Football

Last night while browsing through the card topics of the day on Twitter, I came across something interesting.

Apparently some of the cards coming out of 2018 Panini Illusions Football contain Panini’s autograph certification message on the back, but lack the actual autograph itself.  Contacting Panini wondering how you can get your autograph hasn’t brought the happiest of news either.  According to those who have talked to Panini on this, you won’t be eligible for an autograph.  These cards were never intended to be autographed, but somehow received Panini’s COA printed on the back.  Its an error.  Some of the players this has happened to include Baker Mayfield, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Randy Moss.  Just doing a quick search on eBay shows even more.  From what I’ve seen, this error applies to the Living LegendsIllusionists, and Mystique inserts.

Please be aware of what you’re buying.  It wouldn’t take much for a scammer to forge a signature on the front, and attempt to pass it off as the real thing.  That COA easily opens the door for people to do this.

You have to admit that its pretty ironic that something like this happened with a product called Illusions.

Upper Deck Shows Off Gritty’s Rookie Card

The Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty has been making his rounds lately.  From The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to appearing with the Phillie Phanatic at Citizens Bank Park, he has been all over the place.  He’s already a pop culture legend that will bring endless amounts of entertainment to fans for years to come.  Gritty is awesome!!!

Last night Upper Deck surprised collectors with a preview of 2018-19 Upper Deck NHL Series One.  The preview contained an image of Gritty’s Young Guns rookie card.  On the back is Gritty’s complete origin.  Apparently he has been living under the Wells Fargo Center for years, and sneaking hot dogs.  Recent construction disturbed his hideout.

If you’re hoping to pull a Gritty rookie from a pack of 2018-19 Upper Deck NHL Series One, that doesn’t look like its going to happen.  This particular card will be given away as a promo.  How it will be given away is still a mystery.  Please follow the Upper Deck Blog and Upper Deck on Twitter for those upcoming details.  2018-19 Upper Deck NHL Series One will be released in November.

Blockbuster, Baseball, & Holograms

A video rental store and hologram baseball cards.  Wow!  Talk about two things that can easily describe the 90’s.  Kids born today won’t have any knowledge of what its like to walk into a store and rent a VHS tape.  Those days are long gone thanks to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and every other streaming service.  Disney is the next big player to enter this field.

I have a lot of fond memories of renting videos.  Before the internet became big, you could wander around a video store and discover movies that you had no idea existed.  A couple that come to my mind is the 1966 Batman film based on the show featuring Adam West.  I knew of the show, but never heard about the movie.  The other is that god awful Captain America movie from 1990.  I also remember renting the 2-hour pilot episode of the 1990 The Flash T.V. show.

When it comes to video rental stores, Blockbuster was the big one.  There were smaller mom-and-pop stores, and other chains like West Coast Video.  But Blockbuster was a monster.  Before going defunct in 2013, at one time there were just over 9,000 locations worldwide.  Over half of them were in the U.S.  The corporate stores shutdown when the company went under, but some of the franchise-owned stores remained open.  As of today, there is only one of these stores left in America.  Its located in Bend, Oregon.

In 1994, Blockbuster (along with World Holographics) created three promotional cards for Yankee Stadium, Tiger Stadium, and Comiskey Park.  I came across these cards one day, but could find very little information about them.  World Holographics printed the cards.  As it turns out, they are still in business.  Now they’re called World3D Lenticular Printing.  I sent them an e-mail to see if anyone could shed some light on these cards.  Given that it has been 24 years since they were made, I knew it was a shot in the dark.  I quickly received a response from a Greg Schuman.  Not only does Mr. Schuman work for World3D, he worked on the actual Blockbuster project.  Bullseye!

According to Mr. Schuman, 50,000 copies of each card were printed.  At first they were used as stadium giveaways.  The Yankees, Tigers, and White Sox gave them out to the first 25,000 fans.  The remaining cards found their way to local Blockbuster stores in New York, Detroit, and Chicago.  For about a month, Blockbuster tied those cards in with a video rental for $2.99.  Due to the MLB strike, many were sent back to World Holographics and got destroyed.

Despite many of them ending up in the garbage, all three cards are readily available on the secondary market.  Each can be bought for under $10.  They’re a neat snapshot in time when holograms were all the rage, and a video rental store was a titan.

Unrelated to the Blockbuster promotion, World Holographics also created hologram cards of Dodger Stadium and Roberto Clemente in the 90’s.

FYI – Here is a list of Billboard’s Top 10 video rentals from 1994:

  1. Sleepless In Seattle
  2. Philadelphia
  3. In The Line of Fire
  4. The Pelican Brief
  5. The Fugitive
  6. The Firm
  7. Carlito’s Way
  8. Silver
  9. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  10. Mrs. Doubtfire

Piece of the Game & Monty Sheldon Prepare Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces

Update

  • This product has been pushed back until March, 2019.

Alright you high-end baseball collectors.  Mark your calendars.  On Black Friday, 11/23/18, a new product will be hitting the market.  Sports artist Monty Sheldon has teamed-up with Piece of the Game to bring you Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces.

Only (15) boxes of this product will be produced.  Housed inside each individually numbered, maple and ash box, will be (10) autographed, game-used, and hand-painted baseballs.  These just aren’t foul balls and wild pitch game-used baseballs either.  They’ve included MLB debut balls, triples, doubles, singles, RBI’s, record breaking hits, playoff hits and defensive play baseballs from current MLB superstars, rookies, and Hall of Famers.  Every baseball comes with a MLB hologram certifying that the ball was in fact game-used by that specific player.  Authentication holograms for the autographs and artwork will also be included.  All baseballs are #’ed 1/1.  An example of a historic baseball would be Ronald Acuña Jr.’s first MLB double ball.  That’s in here.  Painted and already autographed.

The checklist features the best of the best.  Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Derek Jeter to just name a few.  Even Babe Ruth is in here.  That’s correct.  You did not misread.  One of these (15) boxes will have an authentic, hand-painted, and autographed Babe Ruth ball.

Main set players will each have (3) different portrait and action baseballs.  Rookie Balls and Dual Balls can also be found.  Rookies include Juan Soto, Gleyber Torres, and Shohei Ohtani.  Dual Balls pair guys like Chipper Jones/John Smoltz, Craig Biggio/Jeff Bagwell, and Xander Boegarts/Mookie Betts.  All hand-painted, game-used, and autographed.

If you attended the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention, you could’ve gotten an early glimpse of these amazing baseballs.  Monty Sheldon has been using baseballs as a medium for his artwork for over two decades.  You’ve probably seen his work in various Topps products.  Last year, (10) of his painted baseballs were used in Topps Transcendent.

Paul Goldschmidt

Preview: 2018 Futera Unique World Football

A lot of collectors would like to see American card companies issue products in the way Futera does.  Here in America, collectors have many products thrown at them all year long.  Futera is the total opposite.  They produce a handful of products throughout the year in small quantities.  Most of these products center around football (soccer).

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Futera makes some of the nicest looking high-end cards on the planet.  More collectors from the U.S. should pay attention to them.  Futera’s Colour Grading and Code For Collectors services demonstrate a level of documentation that American collectors can only dream about.  When issuing fewer products, services such as these can be put into place.

In August, Futera plans to release it’s next product, 2018 Unique World Football.

What will you find?

  • (4) packs per box
  • (6) boxes per minicase
  • (3) minicases per case
  • A full case will include (18) boxes and (72) packs

Every pack includes up to (12) base cards, plus either a limited edition memorabilia card, or an on-card signed autograph, or a 24ct gold-plated framed autograph or memorabilia card.  Every third pack also includes a “Heritage” card (one of either a “Heritage Gold” #’ed/23 or “Heritage Silver” #’ed/39).

Each box will include a pack which has either an on-card signed autograph, or a 24ct gold-plated framed autograph or memorabilia card.

A minicase will average (18) rare memorabilia cards, (3) on-card signed autographs, plus (1) “1 of 1” 24ct gold-plated framed autograph, memorabilia or combo auto/memorabilia card, plus (2) 24ct gold-plated framed cards.

For a full rundown of the entire product, checkout the sales sheet.

Once all of the packs are opened, you can use the box to store your cards.

My favorite cards are the ones featuring a 24ct gold-plated frame.  We have metal framed cards here in America, but the ones made by Futera are really ornately designed.  I pulled one from a pack last year.