COVID-19 Reflected In Many 2020 Little League World Series Pin Designs

Even though the Little League World Series has been canceled this year, many local businesses and organizations in Williamsport and the surrounding areas made new pins for 2020.  Collectible lapel pins are very popular to buy/sell/trade when the Little League World Series is taking place.  Its one of the main attractions.

COVID-19 and the lack of Little League Baseball are truly reflected in some of the 2020 pin designs.  Many pins feature people, places, and things wearing masks.  Cool, yet kinda creepy.  This event in world history will forever be remembered on these pins.

Others take a more traditional route, and don’t mention COVID-19 at all.

Despite lots of places having pins, I’ve noticed each place didn’t order the quantity they usually do.  It makes perfect sense as to why.  No need to order as many if the Little League World Series isn’t happening.

Below is a list of places that I’ve compiled which have pins for 2020.  Some may have run out, and they’re ordering more.  Others may not order more.  I ran into others who’s pins haven’t even arrived yet.

  • Boy Scouts of America
  • The Clothier
  • ARC Heating and Service
  • Robert M. Sides Family Music Centers
  • BAM! Book Store
  • James V. Brown Library
  • K&W Tire
  • Tebbs Brothers Landscaping
  • Industrial Piping Systems
  • Plankenhorn Stationary
  • Williamsport Sun-Gazette
  • Farrington Place
  • Horizon Federal Credit Union
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Corter’s Flooring America
  • West Branch Valley Federal Credit Union
  • It’s My Party Store
  • Thomas T. Taber Museum
  • Mileto’s Sub Shop
  • D&W Disposal
  • WILQ 105.1 FM
  • Finn Pest Control
  • Arthaus Projects
  • UPMC Susquehanna
  • C.J. Mertes Plumbing & Heating
  • Wine & Design
  • DJ Cory
  • Billtown Welding & Fabricating
  • The Break Room of Williamsport
  • Susquehanna Community Bank
  • Valley View Rehab & Nursing Center
  • Kriger Fence Co.
  • Yoder Insurance Inc.
  • Daves Repair
  • Heltman’s Excavation
  • Lycoming County 911

Topps Unveils The 2021 Baseball Flagship Design

I think the entire world is ready for 2020 to be over.  Many people wish to put this whole year behind us and look ahead to 2021.

A new year means a new Topps Baseball flagship set design.  Today Topps unveiled what that design plans to look like.

The flagship set sets the tone of the entire baseball card collecting year.  Between Series 1, Series 2, Update, Chrome, and Chrome Sapphire Edition its a design that you’ll be seeing quite often over a variety of products.

Looking Back On The 2016 National – Atlantic City, NJ

Today is July 29, 2020.  This was suppose to be the first day of the 41st National Sports Collectors Convention making it’s return to Atlantic City, NJ.  Thanks to COVID-19 this won’t be happening right now.  Currently it has been postponed until December 12-16, 2020.  Honestly, I don’t see that date sticking either.  Between COVID-19, weather, and the holiday season you’re just asking for trouble.  It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the National eventually gets cancelled altogether for 2020.

The last time the National was held in Atlantic City, NJ was back in 2016.  I attended this one.  Meeting people in-person who you only talk to online, sharing photos of high-end artifacts that only Mike Trout could afford, and participating in wrapper redemption programs were all major highlights.  If I remember correctly, 2016 Topps Chrome Baseball was released around this time and it was on fire.  Everyone was looking for rookies of Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Kenta Maeda, and Luis Severino to name a few.

Collectors should be picking-up their VIP packages, and running to the Topps booth to sign-up for their Q&A session.  But not today.  Hopefully one day we can return to normal.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos I got when I was there in 2016.

Getting my own baseball card made at the Topps booth.

Babe Ruth baseball bat from the 1930s.

Bobbleheads!

You never know what you’re going to find.

Pulled this Kevin Smith autograph #’ed/25 from an Upper Deck wrapper redemption pack.

Pulled this Julio Urias autograph #’ed/30 from a Topps wrapper redemption pack.

Great prices on boxes.

Wade Boggs not looking too happy.  Get him some chicken!

Fidel Castro Vintage Single-Signed Cuban Baseball.

Merry Christmas!  Shitter was full!

2020 Topps Baseball’s Finest Flashbacks Hits A Home Run With Collectors

As a member of the Topps 582 Montgomery Club I was able to purchase (3) boxes of the new online-exclusive 2020 Topps Baseball’s Finest Flashbacks for $55/box.  The design pays tribute to 1993 Topps Finest which introduced collectors to the Refractor.

Not only is the design a nod to the original set, this new version also consists of (199) cards and contains (1) refractor per box.  With that being said, most people ripping find at least (2) refractors on average.  Parallels include Base Refractors, Gold Refractors #’ed/50, Black Refractors #’ed/25, Red Refractors #’ed/5, and Superfractors #’ed 1/1.  Even though the Base Refractors aren’t serial numbered, its speculated that no more than (50) copies exist for each card.

Opening a single box doesn’t guarantee an autograph.  Autographs fall about 1:6 boxes.  Base Autograph parallels include Base Refractor #’ed/20, Gold Refractors #’ed/15, Orange Refractors #’ed/10, Red Refractors #’ed/5, and Superfractors #’ed 1/1.  Base All-Stars Autographs are #’ed/20, and have parallels which include Gold Refractors #’ed/15, Orange Refractors #’ed/10, Red Refractors #’ed/5, and Superfractors #’ed 1/1.

Andre Dawson, Ivan Rodriguez, John Smoltz, Mark McGwire, and Roberto Alomar each have original Autograph Buybacks #’ed/20 or less.

Inserts come in the form of All-Stars Jumbo Box Toppers.

(18) packs come in a single box.

Pack Odds

Base Parallels:

  • Refractor (1:18)
  • Gold Refractor #’ed/50 (1:18)
  • Black Refractor #’ed/25 (1:36)
  • Red Refractor #’ed/5 (1:176)
  • Superfractor #’ed 1/1 (1:880)

Autograph Parallels:

  • Refractor #’ed/20 (1:296)
  • Gold Refractor #’ed/15 (1:381)
  • Orange Refractor #’ed/10 (1:573)
  • Red Refractor #’ed/5 (1:1,138)
  • Superfractor #’ed 1/1 (1:5,765)

The odds of finding an Autograph Buyback is (1:2,260).

Given that the odds of pulling a non-autographed Superfractor are (1:880) packs should tell you how limited this product actually is.  Normally that number is in the thousands.

This was a no-brainer buy for me.  Where else are you guaranteed (2) cards #’ed/50 or less for the price of $55/box?  The answer is nowhere.

Nostalgic design.  Colorful, low-numbered parallels.  On-card autographs.  It doesn’t surprise me that these boxes are selling for hundreds on the secondary market.  Nobody knows what the ceiling will be for these boxes.

Is Pete Rose Back In Major League Baseball?… Kinda, Maybe, Probably Not

Pete Rose’s banishment from MLB for gambling on baseball while playing for and managing the Reds will go down in history as one of the most debated sports topics.  Should the banishment be forgotten allowing him entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame?  This is a question that plaques the minds of many baseball fans today, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Legendary baseball player, and sometimes controversial pop-culture figure Pete Rose hasn’t appeared on an MLB-licensed Topps baseball card since 1989.  The last time he was featured in a licensed product showing team names and/or logos comes from 1994 Upper Deck: The American Epic.  Since then he has been seen countless times in other non-licensed baseball products made by Leaf and Panini.

Collectors opening 2020 Topps Series 2 Baseball are finding a familiar looking fellow on the Philadelphia Phillies Decades’ Best insert.  With his back turned, no team name and/or logos visible, you can just make out the cockeyed name across the back of the jersey which says “ROSE”.  Other players on the card include Steve Carlton and Bob Boone.

This isn’t something that Topps made a point to alert collectors about.  Collectors are discovering this all on their own.  Self-discovering moments such as this add a bit of excitement to the brand.  Pulling a card out and saying “I wonder if anyone else has noticed this?” can be fun.

In no way is this card rare.  Topps didn’t issue a corrected version.  Each one, including the parallels, looks just like this.  That won’t stop some folks from attempting to sell their cards for a premium.  This reminds me of the 2019 Topps Stadium Club Shane Bieber “error” which calls him Justin on the back.

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)

Update: THE 2020 National Sports Collectors Convention HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

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: