Manny Machado In A Padres Uniform – Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces Has It!

Two major MLB free agents have been on constant watch this winter to see which teams they decide to sign with.  Its no secret that I’m talking about Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.  Every single day the rumors would change as to who might be in the lead to land each superstar.

As of this writing, Bryce Harper is still up for grabs.  I hope he goes to the Phillies.  Manny Machado on the other hand has signed a 10-year deal with the Padres worth $300 million.  That’s a lot of cheddar.

One of his earliest Padres collectibles will come from Piece of the Game’s Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces.  Each player in the main set will have (3) game-used, hand-painted, and autographed baseballs.  The artist, Monty Sheldon, saved a few Manny Machado and Bryce Harper balls to paint until each player signed with their new team.

Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces is scheduled to be released this spring.

Checkout my latest write-up on this product with an updated sales sheet.

Phillies Dream Scene Artist Jamie Cooper Warns About Fake Prints

Jamie Cooper is an amazing artist.  This former professional footballer in the Australian Football League (AFL) has gone on to create fantastic pieces of artwork that are on display all over the world.  You definitely should check out his stuff.

Here in America, collectors, sports fans, and art enthusiasts know him best for the Phillies Dream Scene that hangs on display outside the Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park.  Mr. Cooper has also painted a Yankees Dream Scene which was auctioned off by Legendary Auctions in 2013 in Chicago during the National Sports Collectors Convention.  An All Stars Dream Scene was painted too for a private collector in California.

Owning the actual paintings isn’t something every collector can do.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy his artwork.  High-quality prints are a much more affordable option.  Luckily he offers these prints for most of his work.  I have one of the Phillies Dream Scene on my wall right now.  It looks terrific.

Recently it was brought to my attention that counterfeit prints of Jamie Cooper’s work have been floating around.  They’ve shown up for sale on Facebook.  Judging by the pictures, they’re of very poor quality.  You can tell that these scammers simply swiped the images off of his website, and are just trying to make a quick dollar.  DO NOT BUY!!!  If you see them pop up on your feed, please report it to Facebook.  For those of you that did get duped, please let me know how your experience went.

If you’re looking for an authentic Jamie Cooper print, the best way to know that its 100% genuine is to purchase it directly from his shop.

Take a gander at these fakes.

R.I.P. Frank Robinson – I Got Yelled At For Taking His Picture

Frank Robinson was one hell of a baseball player and manager.  He is the first player in history to be named MVP in both leagues, and the first African American manager in Major League Baseball.  For those looking for his rookie card, it can be found in the 1957 Topps set card #35.

For years Frank Robinson was on the autograph circuit.  He was a regular signer at the National Sports Collectors Convention, and various other shows throughout the country.  While I never got his autograph, I did run in to him during the March 2009 Philly Show and 2016 National in Atlantic City.

In March of 2009, the Philly Show recently moved from Reading to Valley Forge.  In my opinion, that wasn’t a great move.  I attended the show a few more times after that, but then decided to stop going.  I just didn’t enjoy the setup, and it became more focused on the autograph guests.  Lots of my favorite dealers began dropping out.  The attendance wasn’t there, and the price for booth space kept rising.  I’m not too sure what the state of the show is right now.  It still goes on in Valley Forge, but I haven’t been there since 2011.

Lets go back to that March 2009 show.  Former Phillies pitcher Marty Bystrom was one of the autograph guests.  He loved interacting with fans, and not once did he talk on his phone while signing autographs.  Yeah right!

Shortly before lunchtime, I remember buying a box and taking it over to the food court to open.  I think it was a box of 2009 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Football.  While sitting at the table, I saw Frank Robinson walk in.

As soon as Frank Robinson walked in, I quickly snapped a picture from across the room.  I then continued going through my box.  The next thing I know he’s sitting at the table with me eating a muffin.  It was just us at the table, and nobody else around.  He made it well known to me that he didn’t like that his picture was taken without asking permission.  No “Hi.  Nice to meet you.”, he went right to the fact that I took his picture.  He acted like I shoved the camera in his face.  I was way on the other side of the room.  My thinking is this, in a world where everyone has a camera in their pocket and you walk into a show to sign autographs, people are going to take pictures whether you want them to or not.

Perhaps he woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning.  I don’t know.  Once I was finished opening my box, I left.  While waiting to enter the National in Atlantic City, he walked by.  The second he was gone, other people in line began exchanging similar stories.  It made me chuckle to know I wasn’t alone.

Monty Sheldon & Piece of the Game’s Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces Are Coming This Spring

All good things are worth waiting for.  Originally scheduled to be released last November, Piece of the Game and Monty Sheldon’s Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces is now planned to go live near the end of March.

This is truly a unique product.  Only (15) cases will be produced.  Housed inside each case are (10) game-used, autographed, and hand-painted baseballs.  Monty Sheldon is the artistic genius behind all of the original artwork.  He’s been using baseballs as a medium for over twenty years.  You probably recognize his name from the various projects he’s worked on for Topps.  Some of his baseballs were even included in 2017 Topps Transcandent.

They went all out on the packaging too.  Every baseball comes packaged in an LED lit maple or ash wooden box.  Very high-end stuff.

(150) baseballs make up the entire set.  When it comes to the main player set, each player will have (6) baseballs – (3) portrait shots and (3) action shots.  There are also rookie balls, and dual signed hand-painted balls as well.

Somewhere within the (15) cases there will be a Babe Ruth authentic autographed, and hand-painted baseball.  We have yet to see this one, but I bet it will be really cool looking.

Wondering about documentation?  They’ve got you covered.  Each baseball comes with a hologram and serial number which will allow you to look-up in their database to see that specific baseball’s identity.  MLB Debut Balls, Triples, Doubles, Singles, RBI’s, Fouls, Pitch In Dirt, Record Breaking Hits, Playoff Hits, and Defense Play baseballs are all in here.

Cases have been allocated to Steel City Collectibles, Blowout Cards, Layton Sports Cards, GTS Distribution, and Ripping Wax.  A single case will run about $36,000.  Group break spots have been selling for about $3,600.  I’m really interested to see how these perform on the secondary market.

Updated Sales Sheet – Page 1, Page 2.

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!

’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.