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These Are NOT Mike Schmidt Rookie Cards

Michael Jack Schmidt will go down in history as one of the greatest third baseman to ever play the game.  He is definitely the best third baseman to ever wear a Phillies uniform.  I enjoy listening to him talk with the rest of the Phillies broadcast team on weekend home games.

If you’re in the market for a Mike Schmidt rookie card, look no further than 1973 Topps BaseballIts card #615 in the set, and he’s pictured along side John Hilton and Ron Cey.  This card, and it’s Canadian printed O-Pee-Chee counterpart, are his only recognized rookies.

One of these days I plan to own a Schmidt rookie.  They’re readily available.  I just haven’t pulled the trigger yet.  I’d like to own a PSA 5, 6, or 7 example.  Cards graded higher start to get expensive.

Pictured below is a small group of Mike Schmidt rookie-era cards that are not officially recognized as true rookies.  That doesn’t mean they’re worthless.  In fact, most are very desirable.  But authentic rookies they are NOT.

My favorite one is the 1973 Topps Philadelphia Phillies Team Card #536.  Since his real rookie card has more than one person on it, I guess some people like to think the team card counts too.

1972 Puerto Rican League Sticker #64

1973 Philadelphia Phillies Team Issue Postcard – Early Season

1973 Philadelphia Phillies Team Issue Postcard – Late Season

1973 Topps Philadelphia Phillies Team Card #536

These Are NOT Tom Seaver Rookie Cards

Earlier this month it was announced by Tom Seaver’s family that he would be retiring from public life due to dementia.  That’s a shame.  For years he’s been a regular on the autograph circuit.  This 12x All-Star pitcher and 1992 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee will be greatly missed.  Thanks Tom Terrific!

Whenever I hear Tom Seaver’s name, I always think back to the first National Sports Collectors Convention that I attended in 2007.  While I was there, I pulled a Tom Seaver/Dwight Gooden/Roger Clemens Triple Auto Relic #’ed 1/1 from a pack of ’07 Triple Threads.

Tom Seaver has a ton of cards.  Autographs and relics of him are all over the place.  His one true rookie card comes from the 1967 Topps Baseball set.  Its card #581, and he is pictured along side fellow Mets pitcher Bill Denehy.  Along with Mickey Mantle and the Rod Carew rookie, its one of the most sought after cards in the set.

There are five Tom Seaver cards from that era which could easily be mistaken for his actual rookie.

1967 B&E Color Advertising New York Mets Postcard – Team Issue

1968 Topps All-Star Rookie #45 – Whenever that All-Star Rookie trophy shows up I sometimes think people believe its an actual rookie card.  In most cases, the player was a rookie the year before.

1968 O-Pee-Chee All-Star Rookie #45 – The same info from the 68 Topps applies, except this card was printed in Canada.

1968 Topps All-Star Rookie Milton Bradley #45 – The same info from the ’68 Topps applies, except the back of this card has a brighter color yellow.  Its part of a Milton Bradley board game called “Win A Card”.

1968 Topps All-Star Rookie Venezuelan #45 – The same info from the ’68 Topps applies.  This set was released in South America.  The cards were printed on gray stock, and have an orange tint.  Most of the cards say “Hecho en Venezulela – C. A. Litoven” on the back.  Tom Seaver’s card does not.

Who’s Going To Win The 2019 MLB World Series? – Introducing Topps Now Future Cards

Official Topps press release from the awesome Susan Lulgjuraj.

“The Topps Company, the exclusive trading card partner of Major League Baseball, is offering an innovative way to collect cards.  Topps is excited to announce TOPPS NOW Future cards for the 2019 Major League Baseball season, giving baseball fans a chance to win rare and valuable prizes that only Topps can offer.

Topps is combining a fantasy sports element with trading cards by giving fans a chance to win by getting the 2019 World Series champion Future card.

Starting Tuesday 3/26, TOPPS NOW Future packs, which contain three random cards, will be on sale for $12 each.  The cards will feature players from all 30 teams.  Scratch the back of the card to reveal a code and enter it on Topps.com.  If the team represented on the card wins the 2019 World Series, you win the prize indicated on the back of the card.

“This is an exciting way to follow your team all the way to the World Series,” said David Leiner, Topps Global General Manager of Sports & Entertainment.  “These exclusive cards can’t be found anywhere but on Topps.com.  TOPPS NOW continues to push the envelope with its innovations year-after-year.”

The limited-edition packs are only available while supplies last and the World Series packs won’t be offered again this season.  Prizes can range from special rare card sets to autographed trading cards from a player on the World Series winning team.  TOPPS NOW Future packs for other events are planned throughout the season.

Head to Topps.com to get these exclusive cards for a chance to win.  For a full list of rules, visit – Topps.com.

Sports Card Info’s thoughts

Just like the Home Run Challenge cards, I think this is a very cool idea.  Anytime you can win stuff based on a team/player’s performance makes watching the games even more exciting.  Once these TOPPS NOW Future cards are in the hands of collectors, you know that many will hit the secondary market.  As teams perform well and/or go into a slump, it will be fun to watch the prices fluctuate.  The prizes Topps plans to offer are going to be highly sought after.

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These Are NOT Mickey Mantle Rookie Cards

A big pet peeve of mine is when people refer to certain authentic cards as an athlete’s rookie card when in fact they’re NOT.  This happens all the time.  Some athletes are more prone to it than others.

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, athlete this applies to is Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle.  I know this may sound like common knowledge for most of us, but Mickey Mantle only has one rookie card.  Its card #253 in the 1951 Bowman Baseball set.  That’s it.  His one and only true rookie card.  No debate needed.

Countless reprints have been made over the decades.  But that isn’t what bothers me.  Three items from that era are constantly being called rookies, but truly aren’t.

Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Berk Ross card uses the same photograph found on his ’51 Bowman rookie.  Although there are some differences between the two, one could easily be mistaken for another.  The 1952 Berk Ross set consists of (72) cards.  I’ve never been a big fan of this set because the images are fuzzy and of poor quality.

Can you believe thousands of these 1952 Topps High Numbers cards were just tossed away in the ocean?  It happened.  They were part of a stash of old inventory that nobody wanted, and Topps dumped them.  You regularly see this classic called Mickey Mantle’s rookie.  Its his first Topps card, but a rookie it is not.

Technically not a card, this Mickey Mantle photograph is part of a Wheaties promotional set from 1951.  The promotion was not widely done, and did not receive the best feedback.  Still not a rookie card though.

Uncut, Unfinished, & Unreleased Fleer Cards

Ok.  I’m going to need some help from all you super-smart collectors out there.  Every week I receive questions from people.  Some of these questions can be answered quickly, while others need more thought and can be turned into a blog post.

I recently received a question about some uncut, unfinished, and unreleased Fleer cards that an individual has in their possession.  This person was looking for a value.  When it comes to cards like this, its very difficult to put a dollar amount on them.  Basically, they’re worth whatever someone is willing to pay.  One of two things will happen.  First, collectors won’t want anything to do with them.  Second, collectors will go nuts for them.  Its very hit or miss.

While talking with this individual, I came to find out he worked at the press where these cards were being printed/finished.  By the looks of it, people would slip him items for his own collection every now and then.  Very cool, and certainly not the only time and place this has happened.The first treasure he showed me is this 2003 Fleer Showcase Football Avant Card uncut sheet.  It contains jersey cards of Tom Brady, Michael Vick, Chad Pennington, and Jeremy Shockey.  Not only are they uncut, but they’re missing the serial numbers as well.  Another thing that stands out to me are the borders.  From what I can find, jersey cards from this specific set did not have gold borders.  Only silver.  Its possible the printing process wasn’t over yet before this sheet “fell off the truck.”  The hot stamp would’ve been another process.  According to my guy, these cards came from finishers who would add the foil, embossing, and die-cutting.  The borders are done in ink, not foil.  PMS 871 Gold Metallic Ink to be exact.

Next up we have three batches of cards.  Starting in the upper left corner we have a 3-card uncut sheet from 2003 Fleer Avant Baseball.  The players are Craig Biggio, Garret Anderson, and Pedro Martinez.  I think these look like standard base cards, but the owner calls them “die-cut frame cards w/ gold metallic ink.”  Printing lingo.

In the upper right corner is a 4-card uncut sheet of basketball cards from 2004-05 Fleer SkyBox NBA Hoops.  Antawn Jamison, Allan Houston, Ray Allen, and Clifford Robinson make up the sheet.  On the front of each card is a gold dot.  I have zero clue as to what that dot was used for.  None of the parallels I’ve seen for that base set have a dot there.

Lastly, there are some Legendary Foils cards.  I’ve never heard of these, but I highly doubt they have anything to do with Fleer.  Most likely they were printed/finished in the same facility.  Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, and Roberto Clemente are in this lot.  None of them have backs.  In my research, they seem to have been released in 1993.  I’d put them in the same class as those mass-produced, embossed, gold cards that almost nobody wants.

Part of the Bertelsmann Printing Group, Dynamic Graphics from Horsham, PA is where they originated from.  The company is still operating today.

Anymore thoughts about these cards are gladly welcomed.

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.