“Pin-Up” of the Week: 1972 Central Counties Bank 1st Generation “Crush the Orange” Penn State Button

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Its funny how the simple looking things can end up having an entire science to them.  That’s the way this hobby works.  Take for example the button pictured above.  Central Counties Bank produced three generations of buttons for Penn State fans in 1972.  This button is one of six from that first generation.  They all have phrases on them such as “Get the Goat”, “Hammer the Hawkeyes”, “Crush the Orange”, “Trip the Terrapins”, “Wallop the Wolfpack”, and “Pulverize the Panthers”.  Central Counties Bank wasn’t sure what type of response they would get from the public, so they only made them for the six home games and left their logo off.

Fans went nuts for these buttons.  Generation 2 consists of a second printing of the last four buttons from generation 1, and the Central Counties Bank logo is at the bottom.  Generation 3 is a third printing of the last two buttons from generations 1 & 2.  The main difference are the metal backs compared to green cardboard found on the first two generations.

Central Counties Bank eventually was taken over by Mellon Bank.  Now Mellon Bank is Citizens Bank.  No matter the name of the bank, they still made buttons.  Its a tradition that continues to this very day.

Many of the early buttons first introduced in 1972 carry a hefty price tag.  A collector recently spent $100 for this generation 1 “Crush the Orange” button.  For all Penn State button collectors, check out this great resource.  The site looks like something from the 90s, but its kept up-to-date.

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2015 Central PA Sports Card Show Review

Hey!  Look at this!  Its a card show!  These are becoming rare at least where I live.  Outside of the annual Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show and National Sports Collectors Convention, there really aren’t that many shows worth going to anymore.  Last month I heard about the Central PA Sports Card Show from a dealer I met in Ephrata – VSM Sports Card Outlet.  It was held at the Lancaster Host Resort.  Judging by the flyer, it looked like it might be a decent show.  So I decided to give it a try.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but there was a good supply of vendors.  A lot more than what I thought was going to be there.  Before making any purchases I like to make my way around the whole show.  There was a good mixture of vintage and modern cards.  Neither was too dominant.  All of the dealers were quite friendly and helpful too.  I’m a Harry Kalas collector, and that list of cards I need is small.  Not only is it small, but the cards are difficult to locate.  The only Harry Kalas item I saw all day was a duel bobblehead of Harry and Richie Ashburn, which I already own.  At one time I couldn’t find that bobblehead at all.  Now I see it all the time.

VSM Sports Card Outlet was where I spent most of my time and money.  In addition to high-end cards under glass cases, they had autographs and relics divided up in boxes.  I spent a chunk of time flipping through the Phillies section, but didn’t come up with anything I need.  But the fun of it is not knowing what you might find.  They also had the best supply of newer boxes.  I bought two boxes of 2015 Topps Five Star Baseball.

Throughout the day they had a steady run of autograph guests.  Guests included Sean Landeta, Lenny Moore, Lydell Mitchell, Brian Propp, and Bob “The Hound” Kelly.  The prices were very reasonable.  Sean Landeta was free with the $5.00 price of admission.  Lenny Moore was only $25.00 (20.00 for the autograph, and $5.00 for the photo op).  Both guys were really nice and happy to interact with their fans.  After signing my football, Sean Landeta gave me an autograph photo for free too.

The only negative part of the day really didn’t have to do with the show itself.  You had to walk down a few steps in order to get onto the show floor.  I don’t use steps because I’m in a wheelchair.  Luckily there was a ramp right next to the steps, but they had a table blocking it.  The table was there so people wouldn’t go down the ramp and skip out of paying the admission fee.  It was a little inconvenient having to move the table each time I went in and out of the show.

Another issue was the bathroom.  The Lancaster Host Resort really didn’t have a bathroom I could use.  The bathroom most people were using was nothing my wheelchair could even fit into.  According to the Lancaster Host Resort, I would’ve needed to hunt somebody down for a key and hop on a lift in order to get to the bathroom I had the best chance at using.  Even that one wasn’t the best.  Its an old hotel, and I guess that should be expected.

Overall it was a pretty nice show.  I would say that its about the same size as the Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show, maybe a little smaller or bigger.  The dealers were spread out a lot more here which can make it look bigger.  If they decide to have this show again next year, I’ll probably check it out as long as the autograph guests are different.

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Baltimore Colts halfback and 1975 Hall of Fame inductee Lenny Moore

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Retired punter Sean Landeta

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Sean Landeta had a very long career as a player (’83-’06).  This is one of the longest inscriptions I’ve ever received during an autograph signing.

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Landeta’s rings from Super Bowl XXI and XXV