2019 Leaf In The Game Used Sports Set To Arrive In Time For The National

Earlier this week I was excited to announce that Leaf In The Game Used Sports is making it’s return in 2019.  Like I mentioned in my previous post, the 2018 version of this product was just loaded with one low-numbered hit after another.  I never had a bad box.

Leaf has released the official sales sheet for 2019 Leaf In The Game Used Sports.  As is the case with a lot of sales sheets, some of these autographs and patches could change between now and the time it actually comes out.

The configuration looks similar to last year – (12) boxes per case, and (5) hits per box.  July 31, 2019 is the set release date.  I’m sure it will be one of the eligible products that you can use for Leaf’s wrapper redemption program during the National Sports Collector’s Convention.

Advertisements

Leaf In The Game Used Sports Returns For 2019

Good luck trying to find a sealed box of 2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports.  Its almost impossible.  Released on August 1, 2018 (the first day of the National), this product was a huge hit at the show.  If you couldn’t make it to Cleveland, various dealers carried it.  But their stock didn’t last very long.  Its been months since I’ve seen a sealed box surface.

What made this product so popular?  Boxes are loaded with low-numbered hits.  Five to be exact.  At an initial cost of $160-$165 per box, collectors quickly realized they were getting quite the deal.  Most boxes were solid, and delivered value that was equal to the box price.  Lots of times the value was much more.  Not mass-produced.  Low case production.  I think Leaf configured it this way because they knew it would draw people in.  As collectors began to catch on, the price of a single box began to grow.  The last time I saw a box listed for sale it cost $269.  I was lucky to get my hands on three boxes last year.  You can see what I pulled here and here.

I’m happy to announce that Leaf plans to bring back In The Game Used Sports for 2019.  While we don’t have a release date, box/case price, configuration details, and/or print run yet, Leaf did let a few images slip out.  These pictures are of cards from their “The Chosen Few” collection.  Randomly inserted are redemptions for some heavy-duty high-end cards.  If you pull one, Leaf will allow you to pick a card from their “The Chosen Few” inventory.  Obviously the sooner one is pulled, the more selection you will have.  More details to come.

Cobb, Cochrane, & Crawford Are Among The National’s Earliest Promos

Back in February I blogged about an 8-card set that highlights the early years of the National Sports Collectors Convention.  That set is from the 5th NSCC which took place in 1984 at the Aspen Hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey.  At the time of that writing it was the earliest promotional set for the NSCC that I had ever seen.  Today that all changes.

A 32-card set recently popped-up on eBay, and seems to be from the 2nd National Sports Collectors Convention.  In 1981, the second NSCC was held in Detroit, Michigan at the Plymouth Hilton.  This simple 32-card set includes a nice selection of all-time great players from the Detroit Tigers.  Notable names include Ty Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Hank Greenberg, Sam Crawford, and Charlie Gehringer.  The backs are all blank.

I can’t say how exactly these cards were distributed.  Back then they didn’t have the elaborate promotional programs like they do today.  Dealers may have only gotten them.  I say that because you don’t see these cards very often.  Then again, they could’ve been handed out at the door to everyone that walked in.  Either way, its an awesome historical set from what has turned into the best sports card and memorabilia show on the planet.

The 40th National Sports Collectors Convention will take place in Chicago at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center 7/31-8/4.

Yes… Sonic the Hedgehog Does Have A Rookie Card

What was the first thing you had on your mind this morning?  If it was “Does Sonic the Hedgehog have a rookie card?”, then you’ve come to the right place.

Introduced to the world in 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog is an iconic video game character.  This fast-moving, chili-dog eating speedster has been on a never-ending quest to stop the evil Doctor Robotnik from taking over the world.  Many gamers, including myself, have fond memories of watching this dude speed through loops and tunnels.  The sound of Sonic collecting those gold rings has been permanently ingrained into gamer’s heads.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were the two games I played the most on my SEGA Genesis.  Both games could be played separately.  Thanks to the “lock-on” technology, it was possible to connect Sonic the Hedgehog 3 into the top of the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge.  This allowed people to play the game as it was originally intended.  Cartridge space and time constraints resulted in SEGA splitting them up into two games.  Figuring out both games could be connected together like that was super cool.

Sonic’s official rookie card can be found in the 1993 Topps Sonic the Hedgehog set.  Believe it or not, but sealed boxes of this product sell for $80 today.  Every box comes with (36) wax packs.  The whole set is comprised of (33) cards, (33) stickers, (15) promos, and (6) Prism inserts.  Card #1 pictures Sonic in the Green Hill Zone, which is the first zone in Sonic the Hedgehog.  Cards feature actual pixelated screenshots.  However, Sonic was not left pixelated like he normally would be in the game.  A pixelated Sonic was swapped out for an animated one.  On the back are game tips, and Rogue’s Gallery.

It should be noted that U.K. candy manufacturer Trebor Bassett, a division of Cadbury, issued a 48-card tobacco-size set based on various SEGA titles.  Despite each of these cards having a copyright date of 1991 on the back, they were actually released in 1994.  Three Sonic titles are in here – Sonic the HedgehogSonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic the Hedgehog 3.  Given that the first Sonic game came out in 1991, it wouldn’t have been possible for this set to come out that same year because the two sequels didn’t arrive until 1992 and 1994.  Don’t be fooled into thinking Sonic the Hedgehog #35 from this set is his real rookie card.

Onyx & Futera Team-Up For New High-End Baseball Set

What’s this?  Two card companies coming together to bring collectors a single product?  What year is it?  How long have I been asleep?  Is left now right?  Is up now down?  Is McDonald’s now serving Whoppers?  What parallel dimension have we stepped into?

Its unheard of to see two manufacturers collaborating on one product.  In an age where exclusive licenses are a regular thing, team-ups like this just don’t happen.

Onyx Authenticated and Futera plan to break that mold this summer with Onyx/Futera Unique 2019 Baseball Prospects & Legends.  While the details are still scarce, here’s what we know about it so far.

Judging by the picture, its going to be a very limited release and quite high-end.  Unlike most other manufacturers, Onyx Authenticated and Futera don’t issue one product after another all year long.  That especially goes for Futera.  I’ve talked about Futera on here a number of times, and have compared them to the Lamborghini or Ferrari manufacturer of the sports card industry.  On numerous occasions, I’ve mentioned their Code For Collectors and Memorabilia Colour Grading services are something U.S. collectors would enjoy taking advantage of.  It looks like that might be coming true.

While the checklist has yet to be announced, both prospects and veterans seem to be in the mix.  I reached out to my contact at Futera to see if I could squeeze out some more info.  I was told “What I can share at this stage is that the collection under discussion would have a format of similarity to our Futera UNIQUE 2018 release including on-card Autographs, Game-used Memorabilia, ‘1 of 1’s, and some sets featuring 24ct gold-plated elements.”  Futera UNIQUE 2018 came with (4) packs per box, with each pack containing a hit.  A box cost $300.

I’m really excited to see how these cards turn out.  Futera and Onyx Authenticated each have created some insanely cool looking cards.  I was lucky enough to open a pack of 2016 Futera Liverpool Unique Collection and pulled a Gerry Byrne Mythicals Matchday Program #’ed/7 – contains a piece of program from the 1965 FA Cup Final between Liverpool FC and Leeds United at Wembley Stadium; 24ct gold-plated frame relic.  Recently, I opened a box of 2019 Onyx Authenticated Vintage Collection Baseball which yielded some fun stuff.

Between the two, I think we should get ready for an awesome baseball product.  No.  There won’t be any team names or logos.  But given what each company has created in the past, I’ve got a good feeling we’re in for something special.

Right now they’re shooting for a late July release.  Just in time for the National Sports Collectors Convention.

2019 Onyx Authenticated Vintage Collection Baseball Variation Guide

For those collectors ripping into boxes of 2019 Onyx Authenticated Vintage Collection, here is a handy guide to the variations that you can pull.

Only (4) players from the 22-card checklist have photo variations – Brent Honeywell, Taylor Trammell, Nolan Gorman, and Heliot Ramos.  Unsigned versions of these photo variations are limited to (30) copies each.  Autographed cards featuring these images are limited to Blue Ink #’ed/25, Green Ink #’ed/10, Red Ink #’ed/5, and Black Ink #’ed/1.

Its very important that you consult this guide before listing any of your cards for sale or buying any of them on the secondary market.  I’ve seen people attempting to pass off a base photo autograph signed in Blue Ink #’ed/200 for a photo variation #’ed/25.  You need to know what you’re buying and selling, especially since the serial numbers aren’t printed on the cards.  The value of a card with a base photo versus a variation can be dramatically different.

Non-autograph #’ed/30.  Autographed – Blue Ink #’ed/25, Green Ink #’ed/10, Red Ink #’ed/5, and Black Ink #’ed/1.

Non-autograph #’ed/30.  Autographed – Blue Ink #’ed/25, Green Ink #’ed/10, Red Ink #’ed/5, and Black Ink #’ed/1.

Non-autograph #’ed/30.  Autographed – Blue Ink #’ed/25, Green Ink #’ed/10, Red Ink #’ed/5, and Black Ink #’ed/1.

Non-autograph #’ed/30.  Autographed – Blue Ink #’ed/25, Green Ink #’ed/10, Red Ink #’ed/5, and Black Ink #’ed/1.

These Are NOT Mike Schmidt Rookie Cards

Michael Jack Schmidt will go down in history as one of the greatest third baseman to ever play the game.  He is definitely the best third baseman to ever wear a Phillies uniform.  I enjoy listening to him talk with the rest of the Phillies broadcast team on weekend home games.

If you’re in the market for a Mike Schmidt rookie card, look no further than 1973 Topps BaseballIts card #615 in the set, and he’s pictured along side John Hilton and Ron Cey.  This card, and it’s Canadian printed O-Pee-Chee counterpart, are his only recognized rookies.

One of these days I plan to own a Schmidt rookie.  They’re readily available.  I just haven’t pulled the trigger yet.  I’d like to own a PSA 5, 6, or 7 example.  Cards graded higher start to get expensive.

Pictured below is a small group of Mike Schmidt rookie-era cards that are not officially recognized as true rookies.  That doesn’t mean they’re worthless.  In fact, most are very desirable.  But authentic rookies they are NOT.

My favorite one is the 1973 Topps Philadelphia Phillies Team Card #536.  Since his real rookie card has more than one person on it, I guess some people like to think the team card counts too.

1972 Puerto Rican League Sticker #64

1973 Philadelphia Phillies Team Issue Postcard – Early Season

1973 Philadelphia Phillies Team Issue Postcard – Late Season

1973 Topps Philadelphia Phillies Team Card #536