’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.

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“Pin-Up” of the Week: Sam Thompson 1898 Cameo Pepsin Gum Pin

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When a product is released today, collectors can find out everything about it pretty quickly.  There aren’t too many surprises, and if there are you’ll hear about them shortly after the product is released.  That certainly isn’t the case when it comes to the 1898 Cameo Pepsin Gum pin set.  After being released over 100 years ago, new pins are still being discovered.

Even though this pin set has been dated to come from 1898, researchers believe that these could have been made as early as 1896.  They are the first known celluloid baseball pins ever made.  Collectors consider them to be one of the most important sets issued.  About three years ago, Kieth Olbermann wrote a highly detailed article on this set.

A new addition to the Cameo Pepsin Gum pin set is Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Sam Thompson.  The Thompson pin was found in New England by an antiques dealer while cleaning out an estate.  Given that it could be the only surviving pin around, it will most likely bring in thousands of dollars when the auction ends.

Original pins are difficult to find.  Don’t be fooled by all the replica ones you find on eBay.  You’re not going to find an original pin for $7.95.  Sets from this time period are fascinating.  These were not originally intended to be collectible let alone be worth anything.  Products like this are challenging and can take a lifetime to put together.  This is what happens when you try to put organization and logic to something that wasn’t meant to be logical and/or organized.  As of right now there are just over 100 pins in the set.

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Since we’re on the topic of really old pins.  I’d like to show off a new purchase I made a few weeks ago.  It has nothing to do with sports, but the odds of me finding this was slim to none.  The pin pictured above is of John E. Fox.  He was a PA Senator from 1901 to 1912.  After doing some research it turns out this man would be my step great grandfather.  This pin was made as a political promo.  Its not every day you find something of an old relative up for sale on eBay.  How it landed in a comic book shop in Newmanstown, PA is a total mystery to me.

Harry Kalas Makes Cameo Appearance In ’89 Upper Deck

The Phillies 2012 season has officially come to an end.  They finished the year 81-81 which seemed like a dream a few months ago.  If you’ve been reading Sports Card Info for awhile, you know what a fan I am of the Phillies former broadcaster Harry Kalas.  Harry Kalas doesn’t have a ton of cards, which in one way makes him easy to collect.  But then on the other hand the cards he does have rarely show up for sale and when they do be prepared to open your wallets.

Here is a little discovery I made today:

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At first glance, it looks like your standard Mike Schmidt 1989 Upper Deck #407 base card.  Look harder.  Who is that interviewing Schmidt?  It sure looks like Harry Kalas to me.  ’89 Upper Deck Baseball has been released for 23 years, and its still shooting out surprises.

For those of you interested, here is my Harry Kalas wantlist:

  • Harry Kalas 1984 Tastykake Phillies Broadcasters #7
  • Harry Kalas/Gary Maddox/Richie Ashburn 1988 Phillies Tastykake Phillies Announcers #39
  • Harry Kalas/Chris Wheeler/Andy Musser 1990 Phillies Tastykake Phillies Announcers #35
  • 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Mike Schmidt/Harry Kalas Announcing Greats Dual Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2004 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Black #’ed/100
  • Harry Kalas 2005 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Black Stitch #’ed/1
  • Harry Kalas 2005 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Red-Blue Stitch #’ed/40
  • Harry Kalas Sportkings Premium Back Redemption Sketches #’ed/1
  • Harry Kalas Sportkings Series E Top 50 Broadcasters Cut Signature #’ed/1