Chicago Fire ’18 Topps MLS Auto Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to FLAME on being the lucky winner of the Tony Tchani 2018 Topps MLS Auto.  Once FLAME sends me their mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!

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“Pin-Up” of the Week: Chicago Cubs Sports Crate Bringin’ the Heat Pin

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In May, collectors who purchased a Sports Crate began to receive their box full of goodies.  For each month of the MLB season, you can have a box of team-oriented items sent straight to your front door.  As of right now, only ten MLB teams are available.  You can pay $39.99 per crate or $179.99 for the whole season.

Given that the people behind Loot Crate are the same ones behind Sports Crate, I think this has a lot of fun potential.  The items inside are exclusive to Sports Crate.  Even Topps has made special cards for them.

This isn’t the first sports-themed subscription box service.  A few years ago, Collector Crate gave it a shot but quickly went out of business.  Some collectors have been a fan of The Loot Locker.  But everything inside a Loot Locker box has been around for a while and isn’t anything new.  In my opinion, you need to put some serious money behind a service like this in order for it to be successful.  Exclusive in-demand items are key.  I look forward to seeing what else they roll out.  Hopefully the Phillies are coming soon.  It would be neat if Sports Crate came to the National Sports Collectors Convention and sold special boxes.

Loot Crate is known for including pins in their boxes.  This seems to have carried over to Sports Crate too.  “Bringin’ the Heat” was the theme for May, so each box came with a team logo pin surrounded in fire.  On the back of the pin’s package it says “The original Bringin’ the Heat pin was designed by your friends at Sports Crate.  It was created to be either worn or displayed.  Since there are a limited number of these in existence be sure to take good care of it.  You never know what it will be worth someday.”  They’ve been selling for $13 on the secondary market.  I highly doubt they’ll ever increase in value, but its nice of them to give you a heads up.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Press Pin

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Wow!  Within a week the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, and Donald Trump was elected President.  It really makes you wonder what might happen next week, doesn’t it?  This feels like I stepped into a Doctor Strange-like alternate dimension.  Next thing you know, the Cleveland Browns will win the Super Bowl.

Cubs fans waited 108 years to see their team go all the way.  It had been 71 years since they even saw them get to the World Series.  A win was long overdue.  Pins remain a top choice collectible when it comes to supporting your favorite team.  Tons of different pins have been made to celebrate the Cubs being 2016 champs.  The one that remains in heavy demand is the press pin.  These could not be purchased at the gift shop.  Only members of the press and top executives got their hands on these when the series was in Chicago.  Cleveland had their own version.

Press pins can be very expensive.  This one is no exception.  The most recent one to sell went for $325.  Sometimes they’ll sell pins that look exactly like the ones provided to the press.  By doing that, it can make it difficult to distinguish between the $5 souvenir and the $300 real thing.  I don’t think they made mass produced replicas of this pin yet.  Even though the World Series was broadcast on Fox, I did see that NBC officials received a specially made version of this pin.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Chicago Cubs 2016 Season Ticket Holder Pin

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Could this be the year the Cubs win their first World Series title since 1908?  It might be.  The Cubs have been tearing through every team they play, and sit comfortably atop the National League Central Division.  With the team they have now, if they don’t get to the World Series or do get there and lose, they truly aren’t meant to win another.  They are just too good right now not to go all the way.  Something drastic would need to happen in order to steer them downhill.

After the beating the Cubs just put on my Phillies, I want them to get to the World Series and lose.  I don’t want them to be blown away either.  I want the Cubs to take the apposing team to a Game 7, and then walk in the winning run.  It needs to be a devastating loss that carries over into many seasons to come.  I’m starting to sound like a supervillain… muhahahahaha!

Chicago Cubs season ticket holders were welcomed with a special pin this year.  The season ticket holder pin for 2016 features the famous Win Flag that is flown over Wrigley Field after each home game victory.  You’ll find these up for sale ranging anywhere from $10 to $40.  So if you can’t afford season tickets to the Cubs, you can at least make people think you can by wearing this pin.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Kermit the Frog 1993 Chicago Blackhawks Team Giveaway

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Two of my favorite Christmas movies are The Muppet Christmas Carol and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  This pin is a perfect combination of both.  Kermit the Frog obviously is a main character from The Muppet Christmas Carol, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation takes place in Chicago.  In fact, there’s a scene in which Clark Griswold is wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jersey with his name on the back.  Its the scene where cousin Eddie is telling everyone that the “shitter’s full”.

The Muppets love hockey.  Cardz even made a set of Muppets themed cards featuring them in NHL uniforms.  Throughout the season in 1993, each team in the NHL gave away pins.  All of these pins incorporate The Muppets somehow.  There are (26) pins altogether, and each one is worth about $9.00.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1982 Chicago Cubs Red Lobster

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Red Lobster!!!  Freakin Red Lobster got into the card business?

Yes they did.  In 1982, the Chicago Cubs and local Chicago based Red Lobster restaurants came together to create a 28-card set.  These cards were given away to Cubs fans on August 20th, 1982.  About 15,000 were produced.  The cards are numbered in order of the player’s jersey number and contain a facsimile autograph.  Of all the cards, Ryne Sandberg is the most desirable.  In general, collectors see Sandberg’s cards made by Topps, Fleer, and Donruss in 1983 as his true rookies.  But the Sandberg included within this set predates all of them.  This is considered to be his first card to feature him in a Cubs uniform.  Most of his other cards before 1983 have him in a minor league outfit.  Sandberg’s card alone is worth about $40.00 to $50.00.  Some examples have been known to sell well into the hundreds.  The second most popular card would be the Lee Smith.  Finding sealed sets are a little difficult.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 1945 Chicago Cubs World Series Press Pin

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If there is any team in MLB that’s itching to win a World Series, it would have to be the Chicago Cubs.  The Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908, and the last time they even appeared in an October Classic was 1945.  This is just one of those freak things that makes baseball what it is.  This is the longest title drought in all of the four major American sports.  In fact, the last time the Cubs even won the World Series the NFL, NBA, and NHL didn’t exist.  I guess this is why we call them “The Lovable Losers”.  The Cubs lost to the Tigers in the 1945 World Series 4-3.  It would also be the origin of the Curse of the Billy Goat that many people believe is why the Cubs haven’t played in a World Series for the last 68 years.

Chicago Cubs World Series related items are in high demand simply because of the drought.  This pin was provided to members of the press that were covering the World Series in 1945.  Originals can fetch hundreds of dollars.  If you are in the market for one, be careful of reproductions.  These reproduction press pins aren’t worth nearly as much as the real thing.  They’re made to look as old, which could easily fool anyone.