I Traded A Jar Of Peanut Butter For A Pin – 2019 Little League World Series Pin Pickups

The 2019 Little League World Series is in full swing.  Baseball fans from all over the world have found their way to South Williamsport.  Pin trading is bigger than ever.  Corporate sponsors and local businesses have pins for everyone.  Some you need to buy, while others are freebies.

This is the first year that I did not visit the Little League campus.  Obtaining pins from the corporate booths has really become an activity for kids.  Years ago pins were easily handed out for filling out a survey or lining up at a booth at a certain time.  Over the course of a few years mobile apps and registering electronic bracelets for the Family Fun Zone has become a requirement.  That’s not something I’m interested in doing.  Personally, I think it adds a bunch of unnecessary steps.  I suppose it keeps the kids busy though.

Just because I skipped the Little League complex doesn’t mean I missed out on adding some new pins to my collection.  Between Dunkin’, Dairy Queen, various businesses on 4th street, and Williamsport’s Golden Strip, I came home with (22) pins.  Between the Chamber of Commerce and Dick’s Sporting Goods, I was able to pickup the pins I would’ve purchased over at Little League anyway.  Some places which traditionally have pins like Pennsylvania College of Technology and The Crazy Tomato don’t have them this year.

I’m not going to show off all (22) pins.  But I will show you some of the pins I got which I haven’t seen popup online yet and/or I find unique.

Woodlands Bank – in order to get this pin I had to trade-in a jar of peanut butter.  Woodlands Bank will donate the peanut butter to the Central PA Food Bank and Firetree Place.

Bullfrog Brewery & Restaurant

Kinley Jewelers

Dolly’s Diner

River Valley Transit

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2019 Leaf Flash Football Hobby Box Break

My local card shop, Sports Zone Toys & Comics, recently announced they got a new batch of bobbleheads in from Kollectico.  One of them is of the Flyers’ mascot Gritty.  I’ve been wanting to add a bobblehead of him to my collection for awhile.

While browsing their inventory, I came upon a box of 2019 Leaf Flash Football.  I decided to pull the trigger on it.  There are (5) on-card autographs per box.  All 2019 rookies.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Damien Harris Flash Photography
  • Will Grier
  • Parris Campbell
  • Greedy Williams
  • Aeris Williams Pink #’ed/15

Unboxing The 2018 Topps NOW Philadelphia Phillies Road To Opening Day Team Set

And now I’d like to show off the newest addition to my collection.  Take a look at my 2018 Topps NOW Philadelphia Phillies Road To Opening Day Team Set.  I think the Topps NOW cards get better looking every year.  Not only do they look good, but they feel nice too.  The cards are printed on thicker than normal stock.  Both the front and back have a clear coating as well.  Probably my favorite feature new for 2018 is the hologram backs.  All card backs have this Topps hologram printed on them.  It doesn’t stand out that much.  In fact, the only way you’ll see it is if you rotate the card just so the light hits it correctly.  Almost like how a basic refractor works.

According to Topps, (411) copies of this set were printed.  That’s a lot more than what I was expecting.  Some sets didn’t even crack (100).  The Phillies do have a lot of young talent, and those rookies most likely increased the demand.

I like these cards so much, I might go for the autographed version next year.  On a side note, after all of my tweets, Topps decided to make a Topps NOW card to commemorate the Phillie Phanatic’s 40th birthday.  Boomer and Swoop even made it in the picture.

Added A Sweet Harry Kalas Card To The Collection

I’ve been a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies since the mid to late 90’s.  That’s when I began to follow baseball.  Before that, I played a little t-ball and had a small shoe box full of cards, but really didn’t pay that much attention to the sport.  All of a sudden, one weekend morning I decided to pull that shoe box out of my closet.  Despite not having anything major, all of that 1992 Topps and 1992 Topps Stadium Club must have turned my brain on to something because I’ve been involved in this hobby ever since.  After I discovered eBay, things reached a whole new level.

Some collectors have bubble mailers stuffed in their mailbox everyday.  That certainly isn’t me.  I’m extremely picky when it comes to adding a new card to my collection.  There is so much out there it can be overwhelming.  The nonstop buying can easily get expensive too.  When it came time to choose a Philly I wanted to collect, there were lots of players to pick from.  All had tons of cards.  But I didn’t want a never ending flow of cards pouring in.  That can get old after awhile.  I wanted a challenge.  So I settled on former Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas.

As long as I’ve watched the Phillies, they’ve always had a fantastic broadcast team.  Right now the team consists of Tom McCarthy, Ben Davis, John Kruk, and Greg Murphy.  On weekend home games Mike Schmidt joins the fun.  Viewers are well informed about the game, while the broadcasters are cracking jokes and poking fun at each other the whole time.  I think its one of the top broadcast teams in all of baseball.  The Yankees, Pirates, and Mets are televised in my area, and I find their broadcasts to be quite boring.  Nothing compares to the show the Phillies put on.

Harry Kalas joined the Phillies in 1971.  He helped open up Veterans Stadium.  Over the decades his voice instantly became one of the most recognizable during the summer.  This 2002 Hall Of Fame broadcaster and Ford C. Frick Award Winner has an endless amount of famous calls.  My favorite being “The 0-2 pitch — swing and a miss, struck him out!  The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball!

Its not very often I get to add a Harry Kalas card to my collection.  He has such a minimal amount of them.  In December 2016 I was alerted to the whereabouts of one of his rarest cards – 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1.  I thought for sure this card was still sitting in a sealed box.  Even though the seller, who originally pulled the card, received higher offers for it chose to accept my offer since he knew it was going into my Harry Kalas collection.  Thank you very much!

And here it is.  The last Harry Kalas Sweet Spot card I needed.  This card was made when Upper Deck used real baseball leather and not that manufactured stuff.  Into the safe it goes.  I think it was meant to be.  I bought this card on April 13th, which was the ninth anniversary of his death.

As far as what I’m looking for, there are only three more Harry Kalas cards left:

  • Mike Schmidt/Harry Kalas 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Announcing Greats Dual Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E Sketch Card Premium Back Redemption #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2015 Topps Five Star Cut Signature #’ed 1/1

Of those three, I believe the 2012 Sportkings Series E Sketch Card Premium Back Redemption #’ed 1/1 will be the most difficult to locate.  That card was only available to those people who collected enough base cards with letters on the back to spell out the word “SPORTKINGS” twice.  In June of 2013 this redemption program expired.  I’ve only seen one of these cards surface, and it was of Phil Rizzuto.  Recently, I contacted Dr. Brian Price who at the time had the rights to use the Sportkings name in hope that I might get some info on it.  According to him, all of the records pertaining to that program are long gone.  There is no way of knowing which cards were redeemed before the deadline.  In addition to that, who knows what happened when Leaf took over the Sportkings brand a few years later.  It could be residing in someone’s collection right now.  It also could have been trashed.

I don’t see Harry Kalas showing up in any upcoming sets.  In July, Topps plans to release Big League Baseball which is suppose to contain an insert titled Ballpark Landmarks.  Its possible a card featuring the Harry Kalas statue that is on display at Citizens Bank Park could sneak in there.  That’s a long shot though.  SAGE’s Sportkings is another possibility too.

Jim Thome Topps NOW Autographs Beginning To Surface

When it comes to picking up new single cards for my collection, I can be quite picky.  Some collectors have bubble mailers arriving everyday.  That certainly isn’t me.  Former Phillies broadcaster, Harry Kalas, is the main person I collect but he has very few cards.  In fact, at the current time I believe I only need four more cards of his.

I’m a big fan of the Topps NOW program.  Once again, I’m picky about what cards I purchase, but I’ll jump on one when I really like it.  So far I’ve made two Topps NOW purchases this year.  The first is this Jim Thome 2018 National Baseball Hall Of Fame Electee Autograph #’ed 5/49.  I bought this card on 1/25/18 and it arrived on 3/3/18.  Not a bad wait time.  This is the first Topps NOW autographed card I’ve purchased.  These sold out so fast I didn’t think I had a chance at getting one.  Ever since Jim Thome played for the Phillies I’ve been a big fan.  He has a great signature too.  It almost takes up the entire width of the card.  If you weren’t able to buy one directly from Topps, I’m sure some will be hitting the secondary market shortly.

My second Topps NOW buy of 2018 is a Phillies Road To Opening Day Team Set.  Topps keeps track of who buys these sets, and if your team does something special you’ll receive an exclusive card.  This is something that Topps started last year.  I think it adds a fun element, and gives you something to watch for.

Harry Kalas Sportkings Cut Signature Mailday

Some collectors add new cards to their collection every single day.  For many, the bubble mailers just don’t seem to stop.  I’m very picky about what I collect.  The Steelers, Eagles, Penn State, and the Phillies are the main teams that I follow.  I probably follow the Phillies more than anything.  Years ago I was looking for someone from the Phillies to collect, but I didn’t want it to be too easy.  Players for the most part have tons of cards.  Broadcasters on the other hand do not.  So I settled on former Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas.  Good old HK only has a handful of cards, and none of them are simple to find.

One of the last things I do at the end of the day is an eBay search for “Harry Kalas”.  Most of the time what pops up doesn’t grab my interest.  Mainly because I either already have it or its junk.  My search last weekend turned up a card I’ve been looking for since 2012.  It was the Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E Top 50 Broadcasters Cut Signature #’ed 1/1.  The seller was from Massachusetts, and they accepted my first offer.  It was up for sale for less than a day.  The card has arrived, and has been added to my collection.  I believe this is the only cut signature of Harry Kalas to feature a picture of him.

This was the first Harry Kalas card I’ve added to my collection since last summer.  Its not something I get to do very often.  Other cards of his I’m looking for include:

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

Harry Kalas Sweet Spot Red/Blue Stitch Auto Found

 photo hkredblue05ssauto1_zpswuexl59m.jpg

Its not very often I get to add something to my Harry Kalas collection.  He simply doesn’t have that much.  And what he does have rarely pops up.  A few times a week I check eBay to see if any new Harry Kalas cards are listed.  If by chance any of his cards are listed for sale, I most likely already have them.  That certainly wasn’t the case last week.

Imagine my surprise when I found this Harry Kalas 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Red/Blue Stitch Auto #’ed 1/40 on the auction block.  I bet it has been 8-10 years since I’ve seen one of these.  It needed to be mine.  The seller had a high “Buy It Now” price on it, but I was able to get him way down.  I’m happy to announce this card arrived safely without any problems.  I have my entire Harry Kalas card collection on display at Sports Card Album.  The bobbleheads and stadium giveaways I have of his are thrown in here.

My HK wantlist is really getting down to the extremely rare cards.  It consists of (4) different 1/1’s, and (1) #’ed/25.

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

I remember listening to Harry Kalas call Phillies games when I first started watching baseball.  When it came to collecting a specific person, I wanted someone that was associated with the Phillies but didn’t have tons of stuff.  HK fit that mold perfectly.  It would be cool to see him one day get a card in Allen & Ginter with the accompanying parallels.