Cancelled 2020 MLB Little League Classic Pins Begin To Surface – Red Sox vs. Orioles

This COVID-19 virus sure has messed-up a lot of stuff.  Everyone wishes we could just go back to the way things use to be.  Life will eventually get back to normal, but it certainly won’t happen overnight.

One of the casualties of this horrific virus is the Little League World Series.  It has officially been canceled for 2020.  This will be a significant impact to baseball fans, and businesses to the surrounding communities.  Hotels, restaurants, and shops are already hurting.  Taking away the business generated when the world comes to Williamsport will only deepen the economic blow.

With the cancellation of the 2020 Little League World Series also comes the cancellation of the MLB Little League Classic.  Taking place during the Little League World Series, the MLB Little League Classic features two MLB teams playing a regular season game at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field right there in Williamsport.  Little League players, and their families are welcomed to attend.  For a lot of these kids, this game might be the only chance they have to watch a MLB game in person.

Collectible lapel pins are a huge part of the Little League World Series.  Everywhere you look teams, districts, players, umpires, ushers, emergency medical staff, security guards, corporate sponsors, and local businesses have pins they’re looking to buy/sell/trade.  2020 will be an unusual year with a low number of pins.  With no Little League World Series being played, it doesn’t make sense to spend money on making them right now.  Especially during this economic downturn.

Some 2020 pins have found their way out.  I suppose they were in the works before the Little League World Series was cancelled.  Take this pin for instance.

It commemorates the now cancelled 2020 MLB Little League Classic between the Red Sox and Orioles.  A handful of these pins have been floating around Williamsport.  I wasn’t fast enough to hit the “Buy It Now” on the first two, but I got lucky with the third.  They were selling extremely fast.  According to the seller, only (50) of these pins were made.  I’ve seen a few different variations.  The pin I bought has a white scoreboard.  Others come in grey.  Its possible there could be more colors.  I’d speculate each color is limited to (50) copies.

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Added A Sweet Harry Kalas Card To The Collection

I’ve been a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies since the mid to late 90’s.  That’s when I began to follow baseball.  Before that, I played a little t-ball and had a small shoe box full of cards, but really didn’t pay that much attention to the sport.  All of a sudden, one weekend morning I decided to pull that shoe box out of my closet.  Despite not having anything major, all of that 1992 Topps and 1992 Topps Stadium Club must have turned my brain on to something because I’ve been involved in this hobby ever since.  After I discovered eBay, things reached a whole new level.

Some collectors have bubble mailers stuffed in their mailbox everyday.  That certainly isn’t me.  I’m extremely picky when it comes to adding a new card to my collection.  There is so much out there it can be overwhelming.  The nonstop buying can easily get expensive too.  When it came time to choose a Philly I wanted to collect, there were lots of players to pick from.  All had tons of cards.  But I didn’t want a never ending flow of cards pouring in.  That can get old after awhile.  I wanted a challenge.  So I settled on former Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas.

As long as I’ve watched the Phillies, they’ve always had a fantastic broadcast team.  Right now the team consists of Tom McCarthy, Ben Davis, John Kruk, and Greg Murphy.  On weekend home games Mike Schmidt joins the fun.  Viewers are well informed about the game, while the broadcasters are cracking jokes and poking fun at each other the whole time.  I think its one of the top broadcast teams in all of baseball.  The Yankees, Pirates, and Mets are televised in my area, and I find their broadcasts to be quite boring.  Nothing compares to the show the Phillies put on.

Harry Kalas joined the Phillies in 1971.  He helped open up Veterans Stadium.  Over the decades his voice instantly became one of the most recognizable during the summer.  This 2002 Hall Of Fame broadcaster and Ford C. Frick Award Winner has an endless amount of famous calls.  My favorite being “The 0-2 pitch — swing and a miss, struck him out!  The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball!

Its not very often I get to add a Harry Kalas card to my collection.  He has such a minimal amount of them.  In December 2016 I was alerted to the whereabouts of one of his rarest cards – 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1.  I thought for sure this card was still sitting in a sealed box.  Even though the seller, who originally pulled the card, received higher offers for it chose to accept my offer since he knew it was going into my Harry Kalas collection.  Thank you very much!

And here it is.  The last Harry Kalas Sweet Spot card I needed.  This card was made when Upper Deck used real baseball leather and not that manufactured stuff.  Into the safe it goes.  I think it was meant to be.  I bought this card on April 13th, which was the ninth anniversary of his death.

As far as what I’m looking for, there are only three more Harry Kalas cards left:

  • Mike Schmidt/Harry Kalas 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Announcing Greats Dual Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E Sketch Card Premium Back Redemption #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2015 Topps Five Star Cut Signature #’ed 1/1

Of those three, I believe the 2012 Sportkings Series E Sketch Card Premium Back Redemption #’ed 1/1 will be the most difficult to locate.  That card was only available to those people who collected enough base cards with letters on the back to spell out the word “SPORTKINGS” twice.  In June of 2013 this redemption program expired.  I’ve only seen one of these cards surface, and it was of Phil Rizzuto.  Recently, I contacted Dr. Brian Price who at the time had the rights to use the Sportkings name in hope that I might get some info on it.  According to him, all of the records pertaining to that program are long gone.  There is no way of knowing which cards were redeemed before the deadline.  In addition to that, who knows what happened when Leaf took over the Sportkings brand a few years later.  It could be residing in someone’s collection right now.  It also could have been trashed.

I don’t see Harry Kalas showing up in any upcoming sets.  In July, Topps plans to release Big League Baseball which is suppose to contain an insert titled Ballpark Landmarks.  Its possible a card featuring the Harry Kalas statue that is on display at Citizens Bank Park could sneak in there.  That’s a long shot though.  SAGE’s Sportkings is another possibility too.