These Cards From 1984 Are NOT Dan Marino Rookies

At one time you could think of a player, and instantly one iconic rookie card would come to mind.  Nowadays that doesn’t happen.  Active athletes today have so many rookie cards to choose from.  For example, if you asked a group of collectors to write down a single Tom Brady rookie card, you’ed get various correct responses.

In my opinion, the further back we go the easier it is to identify a player’s true rookie.  That’s just how it goes when there were fewer manufacturers and products being released.  Its very possible for someone to have one unanimously regarded rookie, while at the same time having other cards issued that same year.  He’s far from the only one, but Dan Marino is the first person I think about when it comes to this setup.  Trust me.  There are lots of others.

Dan Marino’s true rookie card is #123 in the 1984 Topps Football set.  As far as football rookie cards from the 80’s go, this one is atop the list.  That card is his only rookie.  Despite that, eight other Marino cards can be found from 1984.  They’re a mixture of subsets, inserts, stickers, and promotional pieces.  Its very common for sellers to label them as rookies though.  I don’t like to see that.  Someone who doesn’t know any better could easily think they’re getting a good deal on an actual Marino rookie.

1984 Topps Instant Replay #124

1984 Topps Passing Leaders #202

1984 Topps Instant Replay #355

1984 Topps Glossy #3

1984 Topps Stickers All-Pro Foil #132/#144

1984 Topps Stickers #222

1984 Miami Dolphins Police #9

1984 7-Eleven Discs #E15

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BREAKING NEWS: Newly Discovered Tobacco Cards Hidden In Duke Chapel

Lola Simmons, an exceptional architectural and engineering student at Duke University made an interesting discovery while inside Duke Chapel – three rare tobacco cards.

After weeks of red tape, she finally received the “ok” to test a new type of structural x-ray equipment.  Although the school administrators weren’t thrilled that she would be using it inside one of their most beloved structures, she persuaded them otherwise.  According to Miss Simmons, “The chapel’s age, foundation, and material used in it’s construction made it the perfect test subject.”

Miss Simmons enjoys working alone.  She finds that its the best way to concentrate.  Her work with this particular experiment needed to be done at night in order to avoid disrupting the chapel’s daily traffic.  On October 10, she settled in for a long night of testing with the school’s newly acquired multi-million dollar device.  After a few hours, things weren’t going well.  She came to the conclusion that a move to another part of the chapel needed to be done.  The Duke Memorial Chapel she believed would work far better.  Unfortunately this part is blocked off with an iron gate.  Determined to complete her work, she macgyvered her way through the lock.

Silence was quickly erased as a thunderstorm moved in.  That first clap of thunder caused her to drop the device.  It went off taking a picture of the left wall.  Luckily the device wasn’t damaged.  Before deleting that dud, she took a look at it.  The sarcophagus housing the remains of George Washington Duke seemed to display an unusual compartment.  Judging by the picture, the compartment looked to be right behind one of the ornate carvings.  Giving the decoration a touch, she could tell it wasn’t fixed.  With a small twist, the compartment opened.  Inside was a strong smell of tobacco, and one lonesome card.  The card was of Mr. Duke.

Along with George Washington Duke, his sons James and Benjamin also have sarcophagi.  Miss Simmons noticed the same carvings on those as well.  Each ended up having a compartment holding a tobacco card.  One of James, and one of Benjamin.

All three cards look to be part of the 1887 Old Judge N172 set.  They most likely are the only examples featuring these men.  George, James, and Benjamin are each pictured sitting in a chair.  A dead stare is in their eyes, while a haunting stag head hangs on the wall.  All attempts at photographing or scanning them have failed.  Not wanting to be seen seems to be their main objective.  Each card was respectfully returned to it’s rightful grave.

The Duke family made their fortune in the cigarette and tobacco business.  Once having a monopoly over the entire industry.  Duke University is one of their largest benefactors.  In the mid-1880s, it was their idea to place cardboard advertisements inside tobacco products.  They helped start this hobby of ours, and didn’t even know it.

Shortly after my meeting with Miss Simmons, she went missing.  The last person to see her was her mother.  According to her mother, “Lola didn’t look well, and just wanted to go to sleep.  She went up to bed, and wasn’t there the next morning.  I just want my baby back.”  The police are doing everything they can.

Until now, this card from 2009 TRISTAR Obak was the only card of The Dukes.

Are Sculpted Sketch Cards In The Hobby’s Future?

Collectors are always on the lookout for the next cool thing.  Sometimes innovation can get a little stagnant depending on who you talk to.  Just look at the plain, unnumbered, one-color jersey card.  At one time these would be considered pulls of a lifetime, and now they’re a dime a dozen for the most part.  Nowadays when something new does come along, it either ends up being overproduced having it’s value get reduced to nothing, or produced in such small quantities only a few collectors get to appreciate it.  Its an incredibly difficult balance.

Speaking of innovation, check out the new Sculpted Sketch Cards from Glebe.  These pieces of artwork look awesome.  Its definitely a new take on sketch cards.  They literally jump out at you.  I’d really like to see Topps team-up with them to create some sports pieces.  As of right now, Glebe’s Sculpted Sketch Cards mainly focus on Marvel superheros.  I could see them being offered in high-end products as a redemption.  They would be ideal for a product like Topps Transcendent.  Just imagine some of baseball’s most iconic moments depicted this way.

 

Mayweather/McGregor Highlight Leaf’s 2017 NSCC Cards

Leaf usually has one of the largest booths in the corporate area.  They also have multiple promotions going on for the 2017 National Sports Collectors Convention.  Even if you don’t participate in any of their wrapper redemption programs, their booth is still worth stopping at.  Leaf likes to show off a lot of new cards which will be featured in upcoming products.

Just by opening a hobby box of Leaf cards (2011-present) at their booth will get you entered to win one of five Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor dual autographs.  Each day of the show one will be given away.  You must be present to win.

Collectors opening boxes of 2017 Leaf Pop Century will receive a Pop Century NSCC proof card #’ed/1.  A case will get you six proof cards and a Century Signature #’ed/1.

Opening a box of 2016-17 In The Game-Used will yield a specially made Jack Eichel relic card.  These will have parallels.  Nolan Patrick/Nico Hischier dual autograph cards and a full set of Eichel relics will be waiting for those who open a case.

VIPs will find a non-autographed version of the dual Mayweather/McGregor card in their bag.  A card of Vin Scully will also be thrown in.

Topps Readies Exclusive Bowman Chrome Cards For The 2017 National

Of all the promotional programs that take place during the National Sports Collectors Convention, Topps usually draws the largest crowd.  For 2017, specially made Bowman Chrome cards make a return.  The 50-card set includes Hall Of Famers, current stars, and rookies.  Randomly inserted parallels and autographs will be thrown in.

Other than Opening DayBunt, and Sticker Collection, all 2017 Topps baseball products are eligible for this promotion.  Boxes of 2017 UFC Knockout and 2017 Major League Soccer can also be used.

Compared to last year, the biggest change is that (1) 4-card promo pack will be given out for each hobby box opened in front of a Topps employee.  This should drastically speed up the line while helping to extend the lifespan of the promo packs.  Before it was (1) promo pack for every (5) packs of Bowman and (1) promo pack for every (10) packs of everything else.  I would think that once the plastic is off the box you’d receive your promo pack.  It doesn’t sound like you would need to stand there and open every pack in front of them.  This should help move things along.

This promo was a big hit in Atlantic City last year.  I participated in it a lot and pulled numerous gold refractors including one of Babe Ruth #’ed/50 and an autograph of Julio Urias #’ed/30.  Both Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger will have cards in here.  As long as they’re still playing like they are, it’ll be fun to see the values of those cards.

Update:

Certain boxes will get you more than (1) promo pack.

Product Highlight: Greatest Sports Legends – Video Baseball Cards

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Over the years, multiple attempts at merging video with trading cards have been made.  Most were met with poor reviews from collectors.  Upper Deck gave it a shot with their line of Evolution cards in 2011.  They did their best to make them look like a card, but in all honesty I think they resembled a small portable gaming system like the Nintendo Game Boy.  In good old Panini fashion, they too tried their hand at it with their line of HRX video cards.  Despite some coming with autographs, Panini’s HRX cards were met with even a poorer response.  The video on many didn’t function very well or at all.  It wouldn’t surprise me if some collectors are still waiting on their redemption.

Perhaps Steve Rotfeld Productions did it best in 1990.  Greatest Sports Legends is a series of 207 documentaries covering some of the best athletes from the 20th century.  They first began airing in 1972, and even won an Emmy Award for their 1983 film about Jackie Robinson.  Throughout the 80’s, these documentaries were heavily distributed on VHS tapes.  The ones with a 1990 copyright date are my favorite.  You have to admit the words “video baseball card” couldn’t have been taken more literally.  Its very primitive.  The front and back of the VHS sleeves are designed to look like a card.  Whether or not all 207 athletes got this treatment is unclear.  I know it carried over into football too.

Unlike some VHS tapes, these don’t carry much collecting weight.  Its unlikely that many of us still own a device that could play one of these.  Funai Electronics was the last company to make video cassette recorders for home-use, and they ceased production in July 2016.

I use to own tons of VHS tapes, but got rid of them years ago.  Only a few remain in my possession, mainly for nostalgic purposes.  I couldn’t let go of my Star Wars and Batman (1989) VHS copies.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1991 Hot Aire Trading Cards

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In a million years you couldn’t have guessed that I’d pick this product.  The 80’s and 90’s were filled with a lot of obscure sets.  With the rise of sports cards as an investment, people were willing to put anything on cardboard hoping one day it would amount to riches.  Looking back, I think we can all agree how that went.  Overproduction set in, and many products ended up being worthless.  Needless to say, all this rush did create some funky products that manufacturers today would never even think about making.

Yes.  This is a product dedicated to hot air balloons and their pilots.  Hot Aire Trading Cards made their debut in 1991 during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  It was the brainchild of two hot air balloon enthusiasts, Danny Edwards and Patrick O’Hea.  Edwards would collect pilot bios and take photos while O’Hea designed the cards.  Their first set consists of (100) cards.  When they were first introduced, you could purchase them by the pack for $2.50 each or in factory set form for $23.50.  Only producing 30,000 sets was thought to increase the cards’ value.  As you can probably guess, that didn’t happen.  The last complete set to sell went for $15, which is still way more than what I was expecting.  Hobby boxes range anywhere from $15 to $30.

Hot Aire Trading Cards lasted for a few years, and then fizzled out.  I’m surprised they lasted that long.  The Fiesta continues to be held each year though.  When it comes to chase cards, there really aren’t any.  No “hot” packs.  These are more of a novelty now than anything.  A modern day interpretation of a product like this would be interesting.  You could have autographs, relics, and perhaps some type of inflatable card.