Is 2020 Bowman Sapphire Edition Baseball On The Way?

Over the weekend an interesting photo popped-up on Instagram.  The photo shows a bunch of Lency Delgado 2020 Bowman Chrome Atomic Orange Refractor Autographs.  What has people talking is the Atomic Orange aspect of the picture.

As far as we know, 2020 Bowman and 2020 Bowman Chrome will not have Atomic Orange Refractor Autographs.  Its also too early for 2020 Bowman Draft.  So what product will these cards be used for?

Its very possible Topps could be gearing-up for a 2020 Bowman Sapphire Edition Baseball online-exclusive release.  These cards look very similar to 2019 Bowman Draft Sapphire Edition.  Collectors/flippers have been all over these Topps online-exclusive products, especially when they pertain to prospects and rookies.

2019 Bowman Draft Sapphire Edition initially cost $35/box.  They are now selling for close to $200/box.  2020 Bowman 1st Edition cost $360/24-pack box.  Currently they’re selling for almost $700/box.  Its extremely fun to watch, and even more fun if you’re fast enough to get in on the action.  I’d never suggest using modern-day sports cards as a wise investment though.

As a member of the Topps 582 Montgomery Club, I hope club members get a crack at buying a box first.  If in fact these cards are meant for 2020 Bowman Sapphire Edition Baseball.  Trying to compete with the general public can be brutal.

Have you noticed how much people complain if they’re not fast enough when it comes to getting their order in with online-exclusive products?  They complain even more if they do get their order in, but the product doesn’t sell out immediately after.

BREAKING: 2020 National Sports Collectors Convention Postponed Due To Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The National Sports Collectors Convention issued the following press release today:

(Edison, NJ) – The National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC) announced today its Board of Directors has voted to postpone the 41st National, scheduled to start Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at the Atlantic City Convention Center, a result of health and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world’s largest sports and entertainment collectible show’s premier annual event has been tentatively rescheduled for Saturday, December 12th through Wednesday, December 16, 2020, at the Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic situation with our partners along with city and state officials.  It has become clear postponement is the appropriate course of action.” said John Broggi, NSCC Show Promoter.  “We have tentative plans to hold the National December 12-16, 2020, at the Atlantic City Convention Center, given state and federal guidelines indicate it is safe to hold our event.”

Open to the public, the Atlantic City Convention Center will be transformed into a collector’s paradise utilizing over 400,000 square feet, including 650 high profile exhibitors from around the country who will be buying, selling, and trading sought after sports and entertainment collectibles.

“It was a very difficult decision to postpone the 41st National but we feel it is the right decision given the number of critical unanswered questions and uncertainty concerning the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, said Dan Berkus, NSCC Show Promoter.  “We are currently working with Atlantic City officials and our NSCC team will be coordinating with exhibitors, attendees, and signing guests to ensure a smooth transition to the new December 12-16, 2020 dates.”

Exhibitors currently registered for the 2020 National will receive information pertinent to their participation and how to proceed going forward.  In addition, exhibitors and attendees can visit http://www.NSCCShow.com, and our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@NSCCShow) social media platforms for current news and up-dates concerning the National Sports Collectors Convention show dates, December 12 – 16, 2020, at the Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

We thank you for your support and patience as we all work through these unprecedented times.  Our thoughts go out to those directly affected.

Well… this should be no surprise.  Honestly, I don’t think it will even happen in December.  People will still be recuperating from the coronavirus both physically and financially.  Given that its December the weather could be a potential factor.  Plus its the holiday season.  Lets not forget right now the Atlantic City Convention Center is being used as a field hospital for non-coronavirus patients.  I just don’t see it happening this year.  Wait until 2021.

I’ve attended seven Nationals.  Four in Cleveland.  Two in Baltimore.  One in Atlantic City.  I wasn’t impressed with the Atlantic City Convention Center.  I wasted so much power in my wheelchair just getting from the parking garage up to the room where the National was being held.  Cleveland will always be my favorite location.  As soon as you walk in the door of the I-X Center in Cleveland the National is right there.

Promos obtained through wrapper redemption programs are a huge part of the whole National experience.  I’m not a fan of Panini, but they are the only manufacturer so far to show-off what their wrapper redemption base set for 2020 will look like.  Take a good look folks.  This could very well be the most of any National promos you see this year.

Topps Project 2020 – Iconic Baseball Cards Get An Artistic Twist

Have you checked out the latest online exclusive offering from Topps?  The Topps Project 2020 has (20) artists giving their artistic spin on (20) iconic Topps baseball cards.  Cards receiving this treatment range from the Jackie Robinson 1952 Topps #312 all the way up to the Mike Trout 2011 Topps Update RC #US175.  Lots of other classic cards in between.

When it is all said and done, the set will contain (400) cards.  Monday through Friday two new cards will go up for sale each day for 48 hours on the Topps website.  Regular cards cost $19.99 each, while Silver-Framed Artist Proofs #’ed/20 cost $99.99 each.  Gold-Framed Artist Proofs #’ed 1/1 are sent out at random with orders.

Creative, alternative, eye-catching new takes on well-known baseball cards really gets collectors talking.  I’m glad to see Topps taking risks like this.  Things like this need to happen in order to move the hobby forward.

One thing is for certain.  The Topps Project 2020 cards make for an interesting conversation piece.

41st Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show Postponed Due To The Coronavirus

4/30/20: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED.  The next show will be March 27, 2021.

Announcing on their Facebook page the Ephrata Lions Club has postponed their 41st Sports Card Show.  It was originally scheduled for Saturday, March 28, 2020.  The postponement is due to the coronavirus.  They will announce when a new date is set.

Former Penn State QB and current Baltimore Ravens QB Trace McSorley was scheduled to sign autographs.  We don’t know if he’ll be the autograph guest at the rescheduled date or not.

Panini’s 2018 Illusions Football Autograph COA Mistake Continues To Screw Unknowing Collectors

In 2018 Sports Card Info helped to shed some light on this issue.  Even though not much has changed since the initial story broke, I believe its important to remind people that this continues to be a MAJOR problem in the hobby.  Especially when a collector was recently screwed out of $400.

On February 28, 2020 a Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends Autograph sold for $393.  Too bad the autograph is a complete fake.  Panini made the huge mistake of printing the message “THE AUTOGRAPH IS GUARANTEED BY PANINI AMERICA, INC.” on the back of a bunch of cards from 2018 Illusions that were never intended to be signed.  But yet these unsigned cards with the autograph COA on the back somehow found their way into the product.  We’ve seen this error popup on the Living LegendsIllusionists, and Mystique inserts.

Panini allowing cards to ship out with their autograph COA yet lacking the actual signature itself opens the door to all types of fraud.  And that’s exactly what we’re seeing here.  Loser scammers will sign the athlete’s signature themselves, and then attempt to pass it off as the real thing.  Because that COA is printed on the back people will believe its authentic.

As you can clearly see the autograph here is on-card.  MAJOR RED FLAG as the authentic cards use stickers.  Another indicator is the absence of a serial number.  It should be #’ed/10 or 1.

Panini simply stamped their autograph COA on too many cards here.  Some were meant for legitimate pack-inserted autographs.  Others received the autograph COA by mistake, and are just basic unsigned inserts.

Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends insert with a fake autograph (front)

Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends insert with a fake autograph (back)

This is what an authentic example should look like:

Card Grading In It’s Current Form Is A @#!%$ Joke – Human Graders Must Go

Years and years ago I gave card grading a shot.  This took place well before Sports Card Info existed.  Because I didn’t do it very often I either went with BGS or SGC.  I had some modest success, but most of the time my cards came back 8’s or 8.5’s.  Those types of grades on the cards I was sending in actually diminished their value.  Two cards came back 9.5’s – 1991 Topps Stadium Club Brett Favre #94, and a Ryan Howard 2003 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Status Die-Cut #’ed/57.

To put it simply, card grading is a scam.  It always has been.  The first card PSA graded is the infamous Honus Wagner 1909-11 T206 which came back a NM-MT 8.  That card was altered and trimmed from day one.  PSA looked the other way because they knew the publicity they would receive.  Looking the other way for publicity and/or giving high grades based on a customer’s grading volume for more profit has been ingrained into grader’s skulls since the beginning.  Its a sickness that needs to be eradicated.

In 2019 we have seen card altering and trimming scandals exposed one after another.  Everywhere you look another one pops-up.  They’re like roaches.  Just check out some of the most recent articles from Sports Card Radio, and what the investigators on the Blowout Cards forums have dug up.  I think its safe to say that every card encapsulated in a grading holder should be questioned.  That’s if you get your cards back at all.  Wait times are atrocious, and PSA has been known to openly admit to throwing cards out.

Grading has a place in the hobby.  Just not in it’s current form.  Right now card grading is way too corruptible.  How do we eliminate this corruption?  Well, I don’t believe we can get rid of it completely.  Removing the human component would certainly help.  An A.I. and/or highly advanced computer system would most likely be the best way to go.  It would need to have a vast database filled with perfect examples of every card ever printed.  Scanning the card down to the very molecules its comprised of would result in an overall detailed grade unheard of today.  I want a grading system so unbiased/advanced when that Mickey Mantle rookie card is placed inside the machine it’ll tell you which part of the country it was pulled and what else the customer purchased that day.

But not even the most futuristic grading system will stop the skeptics.  Who’s to say the system’s designers won’t program it to be biased towards cards in their own collection?  What if someone hacks the system to improve their grades?  Nothing is full proof.  But as we sit today, the human graders need to go.  Humans are too tempted by greed.  Graders, trimmers, and cosigners are all in bed together.  The FBI is coming folks!  Until some drastic changes happen, I wouldn’t take card grading seriously.

We all had a feeling shady stuff was going on behind closed doors, but most simply looked away hoping the talking would stop.  With all of the garbage that’s been uncovered this year nobody is going to forget about it.  This topic and the players in it need to be dealt with.  More and more collectors should be on major alert.  If these graders did what they’re suppose to do, not a single altered/trimmed card should have made it passed them.  Money is more important to them than their integrity.  As long as people continue to turn a blind eye, pay top dollar for high-grade cards, this cycle will continue.  Lets break that cycle and inform as many people as possible about what’s going on.  With each scandal that breaks, more consumer confidence is lost.

With the National Sports Collectors Convention right around the corner, I’m sure companies like PSA, BGS, PWCC, Probstein123, and many more will have some explaining to do.  Some of these people shouldn’t even be allowed in the building.  Lots of great cards will be on display.  Just keep in mind that they might not have always looked so nice.  Promotional subpoenas for everyone!!!

It all started with this one.

Key Rookie Cards of Apollo 11’s Crew

Within 66 years we went from the Wright brothers first flight to landing on the moon.  That’s some incredible innovation right there.  Did you know a couple of relics from the Wright brothers flyer were aboard Apollo 11 and made it to the surface of the moon?  Relics like that would make an excellent addition to Allen & Ginter or Goodwin Champions cards.  It probably won’t happen though as those relics are safely kept on display at the Smithsonian.  I wonder what cards containing pieces of the Wright brothers plane would sell for on the secondary market?  Its safe to say quite a bit considering how big of an event in history that is.  The relics aren’t very big either, so very few cards could be made.

On July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the moon.  2019 marks the 50th anniversary of this historic event.  Many men and women played important parts in order for that mission to be a success.  Three key individuals from the Apollo 11 mission are Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.  When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin traveled down to the lunar surface, Michael Collins remained in the Command Module “Columbia”.

Thousands, if not millions of years from now the Apollo 11 mission will continued to be talked about.  Its the first time mankind stepped onto a surface not of this Earth.  Truly an astonishing achievement.

Thanks to Topps, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins each have rookie cards.  These cards can be found in the 1969 Topps Man on the Moon set.  Its important to note that this set was reissued in 1970.  The 1969 set consists of (55) cards.  The 1970 reissue has the same (55) cards plus an additional (45) cards bringing the total to (99) cards.  Telling the difference between the 1969 and 1970 set is fairly easy.  All of the cards from the 1970 reissue set are numbered “1 of 99”, “2 of 99”, “3 of 99”, etc…  Whereas the original 1969 set has them numbered “1A”, “2A”, “3A”, etc…

Complete sets in exceptional condition will require some deep pockets.  In general though singles can be obtained for a relatively low price.

Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces Babe Ruth Ball Unveiled

During the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, collectors were introduced to Piece of the Game’s Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces.  Scheduled to be released to the world on July 9, 2019, this is truly a unique product.

Inside every case you will find (10) game-used, autographed, and hand-painted baseballs.  The baseballs were actually used by the player depicted on the ball.  Those baseballs were used for singles, doubles, triples, home runs, strike outs, you name it.  (15) cases have been produced.  That’s a total of (150) baseballs.

Sports artist Monty Sheldon is responsible for the artwork.  He’s been painting on baseballs for over 20 years, and his stuff looks amazing.

At a cost of $36,000 per case, this product is for the ultimate high-end breaker.  With an awesome checklist of players, there really isn’t a bad case.  If I had to pick the luckiest case to open, it would be the one housing the Babe Ruth ball.  Its considered the chase ball to find.

A lot of time and effort went into making this product happen.  It certainly isn’t something that could be quickly pumped out over night.  Good luck.  I hope its a success.

The Shadow (1994 film) Celebrates It’s 25th Anniversary

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

What’s the problem?  Isn’t this movie jogging any memories?  That’s alright.  Many people have forgotten about this one.

The Shadow is a superhero created by Walter B. Gibson in 1931.  He’s actually older than both Batman and Superman.  When placed side-by-side you can clearly tell that The Shadow was used as a heavy influence on the creation of Batman.

In 1994, Universal Pictures gave The Shadow his very own feature film simply titled – The Shadow.  It starred Alec Baldwin as Lamont Cranston a.k.a The Shadow.  Other supporting characters in the film were played by John Lone, Penelope Ann Miller, Peter Boyle, Ian McKellen, Jonathan Winters, and Tim Curry.

The film follows wealthy playboy Lamont Cranston over in Tibet shortly after World War I.  He decides to stay in Tibet, change his name to Yin-Ko, and sets himself up as a drug warlord.  While running his empire, he is kidnapped by servants who work for Tulku.  Tulku knows Cranston’s true identity, and shows off his otherworldly powers.  Cranston is offered a chance to change his life and be an agent of good.  The offer is refused, and he stays under Tulku’s watch for the next seven years.  In that time, Cranston undergoes massive amounts of physical training, learns how to hypnotize others, read minds, and warp the perception of others so he cannot be seen, besides his shadow.  Once the seven years were up, Cranston moved back to New York and resumed his old life.  At night though, he fights the criminal underworld as the vigilante called The Shadow.

Every superhero needs a villain.  That’s where Shiwan Khan comes in.  He’s a former student of Tulku, and a descendant of Genghis Khan.  Of course Khan wants to fulfill the destiny of his ancestor, and dominate the world.  I won’t spoil how it ends.

Released on July 1, The Shadow was planned to be a big summer blockbuster.  Unfortunately it faced tough competition among other movies like The Lion King and The Mask.  It never made it passed #2 at the box office.  It started off strongly, but quickly lost momentum.  Since it’s release on VHS and DVD, The Shadow has gained quite the cult following among fans.

Universal Pictures had plans for The Shadow to be the start of a new franchise.  Once it didn’t make enough money, that went out the window.  Despite that, merchandise for The Shadow was all over the place.  I distinctly remember owning four action figures.

Guess what else The Shadow had?  You got it.  Trading cards.  Topps created a 90-card set for this movie.  A majority of the set consists of photos from the film.  These cards have a very Stadium Club-like look to them.  Other than The Shadow logo in the corner and two green lines going across the bottom, the main focus is on the photographs.

In addition to the movie photo cards, there are (10) Shadow Legend art inserts.  (4) Topps Finest inserts are by far the most difficult cards to pull.

Not a whole lot of value can be found here.  It was mass produced, and even the “rare” cards aren’t in demand.  Alec Baldwin autographs should’ve been included.

I was eight when The Shadow came out.  At the time I wasn’t old enough to see it in the theater.  I had to wait for it on VHS.  The toys stick in my memory more than the actual movie itself.  The hype for it was unbelievable.  I think I watched it a few times, and moved on.

The Shadow drew me in because he reminded me so much of my favorite superhero Batman.  It wasn’t until years later that I discovered Batman was actually inspired by him.

PSA “Loses” Customer’s Connor McDavid 2017 Upper Deck Buyback Autograph

The hobby media has been beating up grading companies recently, and for good reasons.  Whether its guaranteed grades based on your volume submission, to looking the other way when it comes to altered cards.  It hasn’t been a good year for graders.  Just check out all the garbage that’s been going on.  And the hole just keeps getting deeper.

I woke up this morning to see a tweet on Twitter from a Dave Guido.  In it, he talks about how a friend of his recently submitted a Connor McDavid 2017 Upper Deck Buyback Autograph to PSA for grading.  On June 19, 2019 this e-mail began to fly around:

That’s correct.  PSA openly admits to losing the card.  They offered a $499 credit on the account or a check for the same amount.  If you’re wondering why the declared value was only $499, its so his friend could take advantage of a specific grading pricing structure.  There is no excuse for losing that card.  Did they even lose it at all?  That card is worth well over $499.  For all we know PSA saw an opening to basically buy a card for $499 while fully aware that they could sell it for a lot more.  I’d like to see this footage they’re talking about.  Unfortunately, that footage will probably never see the light of day.  It’ll get locked up with the Bigfoot, UFO, Elvis, and JFK tapes.

FYI – I wouldn’t deal with any grading companies today.  If you have to, I’d suggest declaring the card’s actual value just in case they decide to pull something like this.