Win This Mickey Mantle Hand-Painted Autographed Baseball

If you have Twitter, this is a contest that you need to get in on.  Piece of the Game is giving away the Mickey Mantle ball from their Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces product.  Authenticated by JSA, this autographed baseball also features the artwork of renowned sports artist Monty Sheldon.  In order to be eligible for the contest, all you need to do is follow Piece of the Game on Twitter and retweet this tweet.  You can get (50) additional entries if you purchase a spot in a break of this product from any of the qualifying retailers too.  The contest ends 1/21/19.  Good luck!

Expected to be released near the end of March, Piece of the Game’s Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces features actual game-used baseballs, autographed, authenticated, and hand-painted by one of the greatest modern day sports artists Monty Sheldon.  It truly is a unique product that we haven’t seen before.

On a side note, don’t forget to take the 2018 Sports & Entertainment Collectibles Hobby Awards Survey.  When you get to the section “Favorite Collector Blog” be sure to vote for Sports Card Info.  Thanks!

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’52 Mantle Makes Cameo Appearance In Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles

Rarely do I stray away from a core group of Christmas movies during the holiday season.  Movies such as ElfThe Santa Clause, and my personal favorite, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, are classics that I tend to stop on while browsing through the channels.  When I heard that Kurt Russell was going to play Santa in the Netflix exclusive film The Christmas Chronicles, I decided to give it a shot over the weekend.

Without giving away any spoilers, I have to say Kurt Russell makes one cool, straight talking Santa.  Fans even get some classic Kurt Russell car chasing/action movie scenes.  Lets not forget a fun Star Wars reference too.  Fans seem to enjoy it, as the movie received 20 million views within the first week.

My favorite scene in the entire movie is when the reindeer get lost.  Santa walks into a nearby restaurant, and attempts to barter with people in exchange for their car.  Given that its Santa, he knows the names of everyone, and what they’ve always wanted for Christmas.  One of the customers he tries to make a trade with is named Larry.  In exchange for Larry’s Porsche, Santa offers him a “Mint condition 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card”.  Larry’s wife quickly tears the card up while saying “You’re not trading our Porsche for a baseball card.”

You can clearly tell that the card they used for this scene is a reprinted prop.  Its far from the real thing.  That’s not Mickey Mantle’s rookie card either.  Its his first Topps card, but his 1951 Bowman #253 is his actual rookie.  I have two theories as to why this choice was made.  One, I believe the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 card is much more recognizable to the general public.  You hear people refer to it as his rookie card all the time despite that not being true.  Or two, they just didn’t know any better.

I know that I sound like an internet troll pointing out these imperfections.  But I had to do it.  I find it incredibly fun to see sports cards randomly popup in films.  Its Kurt Russell as Santa.  Go watch The Christmas Chronicles.

FYI – Kurt Russell played minor league baseball until an injury ended his career in the 70’s.  He’s had some cards made for celebrity-themed products like AmericanaThreads, and Celebrity Cuts.  An autographed card of him in one of his minor league uniforms would be perfect for Heritage Minor League Baseball and/or Archives.

BREAKING NEWS: Newly Discovered Tobacco Cards Hidden In Duke Chapel

Lola Simmons, an exceptional architectural and engineering student at Duke University made an interesting discovery while inside Duke Chapel – three rare tobacco cards.

After weeks of red tape, she finally received the “ok” to test a new type of structural x-ray equipment.  Although the school administrators weren’t thrilled that she would be using it inside one of their most beloved structures, she persuaded them otherwise.  According to Miss Simmons, “The chapel’s age, foundation, and material used in it’s construction made it the perfect test subject.”

Miss Simmons enjoys working alone.  She finds that its the best way to concentrate.  Her work with this particular experiment needed to be done at night in order to avoid disrupting the chapel’s daily traffic.  On October 10, she settled in for a long night of testing with the school’s newly acquired multi-million dollar device.  After a few hours, things weren’t going well.  She came to the conclusion that a move to another part of the chapel needed to be done.  The Duke Memorial Chapel she believed would work far better.  Unfortunately this part is blocked off with an iron gate.  Determined to complete her work, she macgyvered her way through the lock.

Silence was quickly erased as a thunderstorm moved in.  That first clap of thunder caused her to drop the device.  It went off taking a picture of the left wall.  Luckily the device wasn’t damaged.  Before deleting that dud, she took a look at it.  The sarcophagus housing the remains of George Washington Duke seemed to display an unusual compartment.  Judging by the picture, the compartment looked to be right behind one of the ornate carvings.  Giving the decoration a touch, she could tell it wasn’t fixed.  With a small twist, the compartment opened.  Inside was a strong smell of tobacco, and one lonesome card.  The card was of Mr. Duke.

Along with George Washington Duke, his sons James and Benjamin also have sarcophagi.  Miss Simmons noticed the same carvings on those as well.  Each ended up having a compartment holding a tobacco card.  One of James, and one of Benjamin.

All three cards look to be part of the 1887 Old Judge N172 set.  They most likely are the only examples featuring these men.  George, James, and Benjamin are each pictured sitting in a chair.  A dead stare is in their eyes, while a haunting stag head hangs on the wall.  All attempts at photographing or scanning them have failed.  Not wanting to be seen seems to be their main objective.  Each card was respectfully returned to it’s rightful grave.

The Duke family made their fortune in the cigarette and tobacco business.  Once having a monopoly over the entire industry.  Duke University is one of their largest benefactors.  In the mid-1880s, it was their idea to place cardboard advertisements inside tobacco products.  They helped start this hobby of ours, and didn’t even know it.

Shortly after my meeting with Miss Simmons, she went missing.  The last person to see her was her mother.  According to her mother, “Lola didn’t look well, and just wanted to go to sleep.  She went up to bed, and wasn’t there the next morning.  I just want my baby back.”  The police are doing everything they can.

Until now, this card from 2009 TRISTAR Obak was the only card of The Dukes.

SGC’s 20th Anniversary Coin

It has been a long time since I’ve gotten any cards graded.  For awhile I use to do it on a regular basis.  BGS and SGC were the main services that I used.  A few times I got lucky and my cards came back with high grades.  My Brett Favre 1991 Topps Stadium Club RC #94, and Ryan Howard 2003 Donruss Elite Status Die-Cut #’ed/57 both received Gem Mint 9.5 grades.

This year SGC is celebrating their 20th anniversary.  During the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, they had quite the display.  About $40 million worth of memorabilia was being shown off.  All on loan from various high-end collectors.  At the center of it was probably the most notable contract in sports history, the original copy of the 1919 trade of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees.  Talk about an eye full.

A few weeks ago I saw these SGC 20th Anniversary coins popup.  They’re something I’ve never seen before.  I tried finding some information about them, but came up with nothing.  An e-mail was sent off to SGC.  I quickly received a response from their Director Of Operations/Customer Service Matthew Clark.  According to Mr. Clark, (300) 20th Anniversary coins were made.  SGC began handing them out during the National.  Its something they have done with other shows they’ve setup at since.

When I was in Cleveland, I only looked at SGC’s big memorabilia display.  I never went up to their submission booth.  That’s where they had to be giving them out.  Upon inquiring about the coins, Mr. Clark sent over a promo package to Sports Card Info.  Inside were (2) coins, SGC draw-string bag, and a SGC New Era hat.

Check out SGC’s newly redesigned website.

Artist Jared Kelley Returns To Work On SAGE’s Sportkings

Since the announcement that SAGE will be producing the next incarnation of Sportkings, little information has been provided about it.  So far, the two Walter Payton promo cards found in 2018 SAGE Hit Premier Draft Low Series are what we have to go on.  Granted its only two cards, I do like what I see.  I’m a total sucker when it comes to artistic sets, and that is what Sportkings has always been.

On the reverse side of those Walter Payton promo cards, SAGE does list what we can expect:

  • Game Worn Cards
  • On-Card Autographs
  • Spectacular Patches
  • 1/1 Sketch Cards w/ Autographs
  • 1/1 Hand Painted Art Cards
  • Original 1933 Sportkings Cards

After some intense investigating, I’ve learned that artist Jared Kelley is working on some cards for the next edition of Sportkings.  Specifically the 1/1 Hand Painted Art Cards.  If that name sounds familiar, its because Mr. Kelley worked on various products when Dr. Brian Price had control of the Sportkings brand.  I’m glad to see that SAGE brought him back.  His artwork is amazing.  Every now and then one of his Hand Painted Art Cards pops up for sale.  Most remain in collector’s private stash.

When talking with Mr. Kelley, it sounds like SAGE could be looking at a summertime launch for Sportkings.  That’s not definite.  Although it would be great to see them release it during the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland.

Here is a little taste of the 1/1 Hand Painted Art Cards that Mr. Kelley has been working on for SAGE’s Sportkings set.  No checklist quite yet, but we know Kevin Durant, Mickey Mantle, and Ty Cobb are in the mix.

 

Glebe Wraps Up Their 1st Sports Sculpted Sketch Card

Collectors are itching for something new.  You can feel it in the air.  Finding growth within this industry today has become quite difficult.  It needs a shakeup.  But yet, there is nothing more exciting than pulling a big “hit” from a nice box of cards.

In February I blogged about these really cool looking Sculpted Sketch Cards by Glebe.  At the time they were making them for comic book and movie characters.  Recently they wrapped up their first sports related Sculpted Sketch Card.  This Michael Jordan Sculpted Sketch Card was recently finished for a private collector.

These pieces look so awesome, and make unique additions to any collection.  From the moment I saw them, I knew it wouldn’t take long until sports collectors would want them.  I believe its only a matter of time until they strike a deal with a card manufacturer.

What famous sports scenes would you like to see done like this?  Babe Ruth’s “called shot” with the bat coming right off the card would be neat.

Be sure to follow Glebe on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date on their latest artwork.

Are Sculpted Sketch Cards In The Hobby’s Future?

Collectors are always on the lookout for the next cool thing.  Sometimes innovation can get a little stagnant depending on who you talk to.  Just look at the plain, unnumbered, one-color jersey card.  At one time these would be considered pulls of a lifetime, and now they’re a dime a dozen for the most part.  Nowadays when something new does come along, it either ends up being overproduced having it’s value get reduced to nothing, or produced in such small quantities only a few collectors get to appreciate it.  Its an incredibly difficult balance.

Speaking of innovation, check out the new Sculpted Sketch Cards from Glebe.  These pieces of artwork look awesome.  Its definitely a new take on sketch cards.  They literally jump out at you.  I’d really like to see Topps team-up with them to create some sports pieces.  As of right now, Glebe’s Sculpted Sketch Cards mainly focus on Marvel superheros.  I could see them being offered in high-end products as a redemption.  They would be ideal for a product like Topps Transcendent.  Just imagine some of baseball’s most iconic moments depicted this way.