Card of the Day: Derek Jeter 2003 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Black #121

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Harry Kalas Black Stitch Auto Surfaces

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Sweet Spot was a fun brand when it was around.  Although after Upper Deck started to use that manufactured baseball leather near the end it took a nose dive.  Mainly because the autographs would bleed heavily into that material.  Some of those autographs were barely visible straight from the pack.  The regular baseball leather they started out with doesn’t bleed as much.  Just to be safe, I keep all of my Sweet Spot autographs in the dark no matter what material Upper Deck used.  Especially when it comes to those cards signed in red ink.

I enjoy Sweet Spot Classic from 2004 and 2005.  Phillies legendary broadcaster, Harry Kalas, has autographs in both sets.  If you’ve been following Sports Card Info, you know that I’m a big Harry Kalas collector.  He doesn’t have many cards.  The ones he does have rarely show up.  When I do get to add something to my collection its a big deal.

The last Sweet Spot Classic card I need of his is the Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1 from 2005.  A fellow collector stumbled upon my blog and noticed this card on my want list.  Twelve years ago, this collector just happened to be the person to pull it from a pack.  Its been sitting in their collection ever since.  I thought it had been lost forever or still stuck in a box somewhere.  The last I heard, this collector was thinking about selling it.  That was about a month ago, and nothing has surfaced on eBay.  I have a feeling its worth quite a bit considering the base version recently sold for $130.

Even though I don’t own this card… yet, I wanted to show it off.  Phillies and/or Sweet Spot fans should appreciate seeing it.

Below is a list of the Harry Kalas cards I need:

  • Harry Kalas/Mike Schmidt 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game – Announcing Greats Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E – Top 50 Broadcasters Cut Signature #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E Premium Back Redemption Sketches #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2015 Topps Five Star Cut Signature #’ed 1/1

Card of the Day: Ralph Branca 1953 Bowman Black & White #52

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Card of the Day: Bud Black 1990 Topps #144

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Card of the Day: Zach Eflin 2013 Bowman Chrome Mini Black Refractor

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Card of the Day: Rougned Odor 2014 Topps Chrome RC Black Refractor Auto

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Q&A – What’s Up With Those Black Marks On 80’s Topps Boxes?

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Question: Dear Sports Card Info: I really enjoy your blog, especially the weekly contests.  I’ve got a question for you.  I’m looking to purchase a box of 1984 Topps Football.  Why do so many of them have black marks on the front?  It seems like a lot of Topps boxes from the 80’s have these markings.  Thanks!

Answer: Great question!  Congrats on wanting to purchase a box of 1984 Topps Football.  That set has some great rookie cards including Dan Marino and John Elway.  Opening a box like that can be really fun.  If that’s what you plan to do.

During the 1980’s, Topps allowed distributors and stores to return older products that they were having a difficult time selling.  A way to get rid of old inventory.  The people making the return would get a little something back.  When an old case would be sent back, Topps would open it, place a black mark on the front of each box, and then send it back out to discount retail outlets for sale.  If I’m not mistaken, Topps would even allow individual boxes to be sent back too as long as they contained all (36) packs.  Back then, Topps did not seal their boxes with plastic like they do today.  Its possible that individual boxes sent back could’ve been compiled from other boxes in order to make a complete box.  Its almost impossible to know if the packs inside are the original ones Topps put in there.  They could be from other ’84 Topps Football boxes.

Authentic boxes without the marks will almost always be more desirable.  I wouldn’t purchase a valuable older box without the people at Baseball Card Exchange looking at it.  They have a great reputation with collectors.  The last thing you want to do is spend $1,000 and find out your box was tampered with.