Q&A: Did Topps Issue Boxes Of 1992 Stadium of Stars Cards?

Question: Hi!  I came across this odd card of Larry King.  It appears to be from 1992 Topps Stadium of Stars.  Did Topps issue boxes for this set?  What can you tell me about it?

Answer: No.  Topps did not issue these in the traditional box format.  The year was 1992, and the 13th National Sports Collectors Convention was being held in Atlanta, GA.  For the first time in it’s thirteen year existence, Topps decided to setup a booth.  Used as a promotional giveaway, Topps created a 13-card set entitled Stadium of Stars.

  • Bruce Jenner
  • John Wooden
  • Joan Lunden
  • Lou Holtz
  • Chris McCarron
  • Nick Charles
  • Larry King
  • Ann Meyers
  • LeRoy Neiman
  • Wilma Rudolph
  • Bob Costas
  • Nancy Lopez
  • Jim Beckett III

The exact number of cards handed out during the show is unknown.  Every celebrity on the checklist received (500) copies to hand out at their discretion.  Two jumbo-size cards were also printed for each individual.  One was given to the celebrity, and the other was autographed.  The signed version was auctioned off, and the money went to a specific charity chosen by that celebrity.

Topps sold 5,000 uncut sheets to dealers at the show.  From time to time one of those will popup.  I believe Jim Beckett III was a late addition and/or had to be obtained differently compared to the others.  You can find his single card on the secondary market, but its not pictured on any of the promotional material like the uncut sheet.  An oversize souvenir sheet featuring these cards is suppose to be floating around too.

A complete set is worth about $30-$50.

Q & A – Is This Michael Vick Card An Error?

Errors have been around ever since the first cards were produced back in the 19th century.  Some are collectible, and others people don’t care about one bit.  I’m sorry to say the question I received today from a reader deals in the category of ones people probably don’t care about.

Here we have a standard Michael Vick 2010 Gridiron Gear base card #115.

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Nothing too special about the front.  Now lets take a zoomed in look at the back side.

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Notice anything?  I don’t recall Michael Vick ever playing for the Vikings.  To answer the reader’s question.  Yes, this is an error.  Is it one that will make this one cent base card worth a million bucks?  No.  Perhaps if this were the 1980’s, and Panini had stopped production to issue a correction.  Then we might have something.  But its not the ’80’s anymore.

Q & A – Why Isn’t My Sid Luckman Card Autographed?

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I get questions all the time from collectors passing by Sports Card Info.  99.9% of them go a little something like this – “I just purchased a card for $20.00, how much is it worth?”  Every now and then I get a really good question that deserves its very own blog post.  Today I received one of those questions.

Last night Sports Card Info was contacted by  a collector who told me they had a Sid Luckman 1997 Leaf Reproductions card that looks as if it should have been autographed, but isn’t.  As you can see in the above picture the collector sent me, in the upper right hand corner it says “[Authentic Signature]” but there is no signature.  There is a perfectly good explanation for this.

Deep within 1997 Leaf Football there is a 24-card set called Leaf Reproductions.  This insert set contains twelve current players (current as of 1997) and twelve former players.  Every card is serial numbered to 1,948 copies ironically due to the fact they are designed after the 1948 Leaf Football set.  The last 500 copies of the twelve former players are autographed.  The current players have no autographs.

All is good until we reach Sid Luckman.  Many believe the cards he did sign were released onto the secondary market by his family after his death in 1998, and not in packs of 1997 Leaf Football.  Luckman didn’t sign all of the final 500 copies of his card.  This results in what we have here.  One of the final 500 cards that should have been autographed.

The first 1,448 cards were released in packs.  None of these were autographed either.  The collector I talked to thinks he pulled this card from a pack.  In my opinion, Donruss either included some of the cards that should have been signed but weren’t into packs, or the Luckman family released the unsigned ones to the public along with the handful he did sign.

If you look this card up, you’ll see three different versions – autographed, non-autographed, and a promo.  But after seeing this card, there is really four.

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After seeing the serial number on this card, I thought I might be able to determine a ballpark figure on the number of cards Luckman actually did sign.  But looking at some of the autographed versions, it looks like he skipped around in the order that he signed them.

Its funny how a simple card serial numbered to 1,948 copies can get so complicated.

Q & A – Signed Letter From Sy Berger

Question:  I have a letter addressed to me from Sy Berger when he worked at Topps.   I was a kid asking him for some info.  It is a typewritten letter signed by Sy Berger.  I also have the envelope.  It is from March 1965.  How can I find out if it’s worth anything?  I would appreciate any suggestions.  Thanks.

Answer: Wow!  That is a really cool find.  Sy Berger is one of the most influencial people that has ever worked within the trading card industry.  He is most notably remembered for designing the 1952 Topps set.  Berger does have one autographed card, which can be found in the 2004 Topps Fan Favorites set.  Those usually sell for $10.00 to $20.00.  Within the last few years Topps has been selling extension contracts of athletes in which have Berger’s signature on it.  I picked one up for $30.00.  Sometimes you’ll see checks up for sale containing his signature, but the sellers usually start them with a very high price and they never sell.  If I had to put a value on your signed letter, I would say $50.00 to $70.00.  With that being said, it probably will be hard to sell because its not authenticated by a third party.  If I were you, I’d keep it.  That is a really cool collectible that shows how the hobby use to operate way before the internet came along.  Back in 1965, kids were still putting baseball cards in their bike spokes.

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Q & A – Are There Other Turkey Red Images?

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Question:  I wonder if the early Turkey Red Tobacco Trading cards were just images of baseball players or were there other images?  Thanks for your help.

Answer:  The original Turkey Red set contained 76 Cabinet sized cards.  Card numbers 51 – 76 were of popular boxers of the time.  

  • Jem Driscoll #51
  • Abe Attell #52
  • Ad. Wolgast #53
  • Johnny Coulon #54
  • James Jeffries #55
  • Jack (Twin) Sullivan #56
  • Battling Nelson #57
  • Packey McFarland #58
  • Tommy Murphy #59
  • Owen Moran #60
  • Johnny Marto #61
  • Jimmie Gardner #62
  • Harry Lewis #63
  • Wm. Papke #64
  • Sam Langford #65
  • Knock-out Brown #66
  • Stanley Ketchel #67
  • Joe Jeannette #68
  • Leach Cross #69
  • Phil. McGovern #70
  • Battling Hurley #71
  • Honey Mellody #72
  • Al Kaufman #73
  • Willie Lewis #74
  • Philadelphia Jack O’Brien #75
  • Jack Johnson #76

Q & A – Tiger Woods Tiger Quest

Question:  I have a 1984 Tiger Woods Tiny Champ trading card.   Made by Upper Deck Collectibles Tiger’s Quest Series.  Age 8 with a quote “I want to beat all the pros”.  I have tried to do research on the card but have failed to find any info.  Do you by any chance have any?

Answer:  I have a Tiger Quest card, but not that one.  Tiger Quest cards were packaged along with a bobblehead.  I believe there are three bobbleheads in the set.  The bobblehead your card was packaged with was the first one in the set.  As far as value, those cards aren’t worth much.  The only Tiger Woods card from that set which holds any value would be the autographed version.  Thanks for the question.  

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Q & A – 1953 Bowman Color Reprints?

Question:  How do I tell the difference between a card from the real ’53 Bowman (color set) and the reprints from the ’80’s?

Answer:  One of the main differences between cards from the original 1953 Bowman Color set and the reprints of the 80’s would be condition.  Cards from 1953 will be harder to find in really good condition.  There are some people that would “artificially” age reprints to make them look like the real thing, so you need to be on the look out for that.  Specifically, the Mickey Mantle 1989 Bowman ’53 Color reprint actually has the word “Reprint” printed on the front.  Another major area that separates the originals from the reprints would be the color of the back.  If you take a look at the back of an original, the color will be a brown or grey.  A lot of the reprints will have a white back.  The original cards measure about 2.5″ x 3.75″.  Reprints may come in different sizes depending on the set.  The best way to be 100% sure is to buy one that is certified and/or graded.

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1989 Bowman Mickey Mantle ’53 Color Reprint

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Original ’53 Bowman Color back

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’53 Bowman Color reprint back

Q & A – Returning To The Hobby?

Question: I just got into collecting cards again. I collected when I was a kid, and now I am starting to invest in football cards. I have some quick and easy questions. Why are some cards serial numbered, IE: 219/300? What does the serial number mean? What company would be the best to buy hobby boxes of? Which Beckett should I get, monthly or semi-annually?  Do you think the 3 ring 9 card pages keep cards in good condition? Thank you ahead of time for your answers!!

Answer: Glad to hear that you’re getting back into collecting.  A serial number such as “219/300” means that there are 300 copies of that specific card printed.  There are other serial numbers such as 1/5, 100/1000, etc….  The three major manufacturers of football cards would be Topps, Upper Deck, and Donruss/Playoff.  My personal favorite company is Donruss/Playoff, but everyone has their favorite.  If you’re looking for college cards, Press Pass and SA-GE mainly manufacturer those.  As for Beckett, many collectors have their own opinions about the company.  Collectors don’t really use their price guide anymore because collectors mainly go with what cards sell for on eBay.  You can read it for the articles, but if you are looking for something better I would suggest reading hobby blogs for free on the internet.  Websites such as Sports Card Info, Wax Heaven, Stale Gum, and a whole list of others run by collectors receive product information and news a lot faster than waiting for it in print format.  I think its fine to store cards in 9-slot album pages and placed in a 3-ring binder.  I have many cards stored like that.  Congrats on returning to the hobby!

Q & A: In Person Autograph Market

Question:  How do I know the value of signed cards.  I’ve had these ones since high school(90’s).  Are they worth anything and is there a market?

Answer:  Sports cards that people get signed in person aren’t worth as much as the ones that come from packs of cards.  The only way that any value could be added to your cards would be to get them certified by a reputable company like PSA.  When people get cards signed like that, they usually keep them in their personal collection.  The Yzerman autograph looks to be a little faded as well.  If I were you, I would keep them.  I don’t think spending the money to get them certified would be worth it.

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Q & A – What Is This Card?

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Question: For some reason I cannot find this card anywhere. I have had it for well over 15 years, so I know its not a reproduction.  Its a “Star 85” Michael Jordan 1984-85 Rookie of the Year basketball card.  It says “1 of 11” on the back. If you can help, thanks.

Answer: That Michael Jordan card is part of an 11 card subset within the Star ’85 set.  The Jordan cards from the ’84-’85 set are some of the most valuable within the hobby.  Congrats on having a really great card!