Topps 582 Montgomery Club & 1952 Bowman Baseball Card Pack Pins Arrived This Week

This is just a quick post to show-off my latest trade.  I was able to acquire a set of (3) Little League pins that look like packs of 1952 Bowman Baseball.  They’re large in size, but nowhere near as big as the 1954 Bowman Baseball pins I received not too long ago.  I made this trade through the Little League Pin Traders Club group on Facebook.  Very cool!

Members of the Topps 582 Montgomery Club began to receive their collectible pin this week too.

You Know What’s Cool? Little League Pins That Look Like Packs Of 1954 Bowman Baseball Cards

With the cancellation of the 2020 Little League World Series, I’ve been looking around for some alternative sources to obtain new pins this year.  eBay has always been an option, but the Little League Pin Traders Club group on Facebook can be an equal or even better source.

Everyday collectors are posting pictures of their pins looking to trade.  Upon joining, I came to realize how many pins I didn’t know existed.  That’s the thing about Little League pins.  You can go many years without knowing that certain pins exist.  There is no official release date and/or checklist.  In addition to that, the quantities are all different.

Did you know there are some Little League pins that look just like packs of old baseball cards?  Organizing a trade using one of my Sports Card Info pins, I was able to obtain (2) pins that look like packs of 1954 Bowman Baseball.  One of them is green, and the other is red.

These pins aren’t small either.  They’re made of metal, and are about the size of a normal pack of cards.  High-quality and very heavy.  I had no clue they existed until I joined this group.  Other baseball card pack pins I’ve seen include 1952 Bowman Baseball and 1963 Topps Baseball.

Its interesting when the sports card hobby collides with the pin collecting world.

Cancelled 2020 MLB Little League Classic Pins Begin To Surface – Red Sox vs. Orioles

This COVID-19 virus sure has messed-up a lot of stuff.  Everyone wishes we could just go back to the way things use to be.  Life will eventually get back to normal, but it certainly won’t happen overnight.

One of the casualties of this horrific virus is the Little League World Series.  It has officially been canceled for 2020.  This will be a significant impact to baseball fans, and businesses to the surrounding communities.  Hotels, restaurants, and shops are already hurting.  Taking away the business generated when the world comes to Williamsport will only deepen the economic blow.

With the cancellation of the 2020 Little League World Series also comes the cancellation of the MLB Little League Classic.  Taking place during the Little League World Series, the MLB Little League Classic features two MLB teams playing a regular season game at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field right there in Williamsport.  Little League players, and their families are welcomed to attend.  For a lot of these kids, this game might be the only chance they have to watch a MLB game in person.

Collectible lapel pins are a huge part of the Little League World Series.  Everywhere you look teams, districts, players, umpires, ushers, emergency medical staff, security guards, corporate sponsors, and local businesses have pins they’re looking to buy/sell/trade.  2020 will be an unusual year with a low number of pins.  With no Little League World Series being played, it doesn’t make sense to spend money on making them right now.  Especially during this economic downturn.

Some 2020 pins have found their way out.  I suppose they were in the works before the Little League World Series was cancelled.  Take this pin for instance.

It commemorates the now cancelled 2020 MLB Little League Classic between the Red Sox and Orioles.  A handful of these pins have been floating around Williamsport.  I wasn’t fast enough to hit the “Buy It Now” on the first two, but I got lucky with the third.  They were selling extremely fast.  According to the seller, only (50) of these pins were made.  I’ve seen a few different variations.  The pin I bought has a white scoreboard.  Others come in grey.  Its possible there could be more colors.  I’d speculate each color is limited to (50) copies.

Consumer Probe: 1992-93 Case XX Racing Series Knives

No.  You’re not imagining anything.  This was a real product sold in stores.  What is it with racing fans and knives?  They seem to go hand in hand with each other.

A few different companies came together in order for this product to reach the shelves – Little River Knives, Case XX Racing Collectibles, and Maxx Racing.  From what I can find, at least three different sets were released between 1992 and 1993.  As you can clearly see, inside each package is a fully functioning folding pocket knife and an exclusive Maxx Racing card.  The cards come with red, blue, and black borders.  They also contain the Case XX Racing Collectibles logo in the corner.

I think we can all agree the most interesting thing here is the knife.  You just don’t see knives packaged with cards.  Its down right odd.  Each knife matches-up with the driver pictured on the card.  You’ll even find a facsimile signature engraved on the blade.  This has got to be one of Irwin Mainway’s products.

Anytime something is labeled “Collectors Edition” in this hobby the odds of it being worth anything are low.  All of these knives were massively overproduced and can easily be found today.  Most can be bought for $10 to $20 or less.  What they do have slightly going for them is the conversation piece factor.

Its ironic that you probably need a knife to get into the package.  No mystery here folks.  This product gets straight to the “point”.

Harry Kalas Black Stitch Auto Surfaces

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Sweet Spot was a fun brand when it was around.  Although after Upper Deck started to use that manufactured baseball leather near the end it took a nose dive.  Mainly because the autographs would bleed heavily into that material.  Some of those autographs were barely visible straight from the pack.  The regular baseball leather they started out with doesn’t bleed as much.  Just to be safe, I keep all of my Sweet Spot autographs in the dark no matter what material Upper Deck used.  Especially when it comes to those cards signed in red ink.

I enjoy Sweet Spot Classic from 2004 and 2005.  Phillies legendary broadcaster, Harry Kalas, has autographs in both sets.  If you’ve been following Sports Card Info, you know that I’m a big Harry Kalas collector.  He doesn’t have many cards.  The ones he does have rarely show up.  When I do get to add something to my collection its a big deal.

The last Sweet Spot Classic card I need of his is the Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1 from 2005.  A fellow collector stumbled upon my blog and noticed this card on my want list.  Twelve years ago, this collector just happened to be the person to pull it from a pack.  Its been sitting in their collection ever since.  I thought it had been lost forever or still stuck in a box somewhere.  The last I heard, this collector was thinking about selling it.  That was about a month ago, and nothing has surfaced on eBay.  I have a feeling its worth quite a bit considering the base version recently sold for $130.

Even though I don’t own this card… yet, I wanted to show it off.  Phillies and/or Sweet Spot fans should appreciate seeing it.

Below is a list of the Harry Kalas cards I need:

  • Harry Kalas/Mike Schmidt 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game – Announcing Greats Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E – Top 50 Broadcasters Cut Signature #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E Premium Back Redemption Sketches #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2015 Topps Five Star Cut Signature #’ed 1/1

Phillies Dream Scene Concept Art Included Pete Rose

Jaime Cooper’s Phillies “Dream Scene” masterpiece that hangs inside the Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park is a must see when visiting.  The 14′ painting shows the best Phillies players from various generations all hanging out in the locker room.  The only player not seen in physical form is Pete Rose.  He was left out and is represented in spirit by having a rose sitting on the table.

Recently some Phillies “Dream Scene” concept art popped-up for sale which you can see includes Pete Rose.  Rose can be seen off to the right and standing in front of Gary Maddox.

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Unfortunately Rose didn’t make the final cut.  Too bad.  I think he deserves to be in there.  This isn’t the only difference, but it is the most significant.  Larry Bowa is standing in a different position, and so is Paul “Pope” Owens.  I’m sure there are even more differences if you sat and looked at it longer.

For those of you that haven’t seen the real thing.  Here it is.  I’ve split it up in two parts so you can get a closer look.  Prints are available and for more information please feel free to contact Jaime Cooper at: jamie@jcap.com.au

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Harry Kalas Makes Cameo Appearance In ’89 Upper Deck

The Phillies 2012 season has officially come to an end.  They finished the year 81-81 which seemed like a dream a few months ago.  If you’ve been reading Sports Card Info for awhile, you know what a fan I am of the Phillies former broadcaster Harry Kalas.  Harry Kalas doesn’t have a ton of cards, which in one way makes him easy to collect.  But then on the other hand the cards he does have rarely show up for sale and when they do be prepared to open your wallets.

Here is a little discovery I made today:

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At first glance, it looks like your standard Mike Schmidt 1989 Upper Deck #407 base card.  Look harder.  Who is that interviewing Schmidt?  It sure looks like Harry Kalas to me.  ’89 Upper Deck Baseball has been released for 23 years, and its still shooting out surprises.

For those of you interested, here is my Harry Kalas wantlist:

  • Harry Kalas 1984 Tastykake Phillies Broadcasters #7
  • Harry Kalas/Gary Maddox/Richie Ashburn 1988 Phillies Tastykake Phillies Announcers #39
  • Harry Kalas/Chris Wheeler/Andy Musser 1990 Phillies Tastykake Phillies Announcers #35
  • 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Mike Schmidt/Harry Kalas Announcing Greats Dual Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2004 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Black #’ed/100
  • Harry Kalas 2005 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Black Stitch #’ed/1
  • Harry Kalas 2005 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Red-Blue Stitch #’ed/40
  • Harry Kalas Sportkings Premium Back Redemption Sketches #’ed/1
  • Harry Kalas Sportkings Series E Top 50 Broadcasters Cut Signature #’ed/1

Cabrera’s Cards Are Red Hot… Even The Ones Not Picturing Him

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This year Miguel Cabrera became the first player to win the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski back in 1967.  Its going to be a long time before we see this happen again.  That’s if it happens at all.  Cabrera’s cards are red hot.  2000 Topps Traded and 2000 Topps Chrome Traded is where you will find his true rookies.  As you can imagine, they’re going off the charts right now.  Its definitely not the time to be buying.

Miguel Cabrera’s first Bowman cards came in 2001.  Normally these would be his true rookies, but that’s not the case here.  Collectors are spending big bucks on these, and they don’t even picture Miguel Cabrera.  The picture is of some other dude.  The name and stats on the back are all Cabrera’s, but not the picture.

Take a look at some of these prices for a non-rookie picturing the wrong guy:

Not too bad.

Literally The First Packed Pulled Autographed Card Ever Made

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Upper Deck’s first product hit the market in 1989 like a ton of bricks.  Premium card stock, anti-counterfeiting holograms, and tamper-proof packs showed collectors that Upper Deck was here to play.  Having Ken Griffey, Jr’s most popular rookie as the first card in the set didn’t hurt either.  Upper Deck was innovative and set a standard for card design/quality.

After the tremendous success of their 1989 baseball set, Upper Deck had to kick it up a notch if they wanted to keep things interesting for collectors.  For their 1990 set, they randomly inserted 2,500 Reggie Jackson certified autographed cards into packs.  This was above anything that had been done before.  It was the first time an autograph could be pulled from a pack of baseball cards.  Today its standard procedure to see autographed cards being pulled from packs, but back then it was a major deal.

Some collectors put a lot of emphasis on serial numbers.  First one, last one, and a player’s jersey number can all factor in here.  Personally, I don’t think it matters except for in this case.  The 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson autograph pictured above is serial numbered 1/2,500.  It is literally the first packed pulled autographed card ever made.  This card recently sold for $200.00, and its funny to think all the autographed cards you see today started with this one.

Something To Smile About

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Dexter Manley had a long career in professional football as a defensive end starting in 1981 with the Washington Redskins and ending in 1994 with the Ottawa Rough Riders.  Manley’s best seasons probably came in 1986 and 1987 where he made the Pro Bowl team (1986) and was an All-Pro.

Manley’s cards aren’t in demand all that much, except for this little gem pictured above.  Pro Set products were riddled with errors, variations, and corrections.  Were they accidents?  Or were they gimmicks to try and bring attention to their products?  Everyone has their opinion, but we’ll probably never know for sure.  One of their biggest “errors” was Manley’s 1990 Pro Set #772.  The bio on the back says the following:

Reinstated by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue 11 weeks into the 1990 season after suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy… Immediately waived by Redskins, but was claimed by Cardinals… Involved as spokesman for United Way anti-illiteracy program.

The error is that Pro Set shouldn’t have talked about the substance-abuse policy violation.  They decided to change it and quickly issued a corrected version.  You rarely see this error pop-up for sale.  When one does, it will command huge dollars.  One recently sold for $382.00.  These Pro Set errors are some of the coolest cards that came from a time when overproduction ruled the hobby.

When I first saw this card, it cracked me up to see someone look so happy and then to have a bio that talked about substance-abuse policy violation.  This isn’t the only error Manley has either.  There are a few others, but this one by far is his most popular.  I don’t think we’ll ever stop finding Pro Set errors.