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.

Pin Highlight: 2017 MLB Little League Classic – Cardinals vs. Pirates – Baseball Pin

There is no doubt that one of the major highlights during last year’s Little League World Series was the Major League game that took place at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.  In nine innings the Pirates defeated the Cardinals 6-3.  It even got it’s very own Topps Now card.

Three different pins were made to celebrate this inaugural event.  The first two are fairly simple to find.  One features the MLB Little League Classic name with logos from both teams.  A second has Fredbird and the Pirate Parrot on it.  The third pin is what you see pictured above.  As you can probably tell, it has the MLB Little League Classic name, team logos, and is in the shape of a baseball.  Unlike the other two though, this pin was not available for sale over at Little League.  A majority of them were given out to game attendees.  Only Little League players and their families, plus any Lycoming County residents lucky enough to win a lottery were allowed to attend the game.  Not much of the general public made it in.  All pins are made by WinCraft.

Sports Card Info has been known to get me into certain events for free, but this wasn’t one of them.  So how did I get one?  For a short time Fanatics had them for sale.  The day after I purchased mine, Fanatics pulled them off the market.  Why?  I don’t know.  The next thing I saw were them being handed out on T.V.

The 2018 Little League World Series takes place August 16-26.  Little League recently unveiled the official logo for the 2018 games.  The Phillies will take on the Mets August 19 in the second MLB Little League Classic.

Card of the Day: Manon Rheaume 1993-94 Classic Pro Hockey Prospects Auto

2017 Topps Now Predictor: MLB Little League Classic – August 20th

 photo toppsnowlogo_zpstj6hfku6.jpg

Rumors were confirmed this week that the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals will play a regular season game in Williamsport, PA this year.  The game will take place on August 20th, right in the middle of the Little League World Series.  It’ll be broadcast on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball”, and played at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.  Based on the official press release from the Williamsport Crosscutters, only Little Leaguers and their families will be invited.  Tickets will not be sold to the general public.

The MLB Little League Classic would make for a perfect Topps Now card.  It is right on par with the Fort Bragg game they played in 2016.  I’m predicting that Topps will make a Topps Now card to commemorate this game.  If they do, it would most likely show up for sale on August 21st.  I at least just want to see a base Topps Now card made.  If any of the players do something spectacular, I guess autographs and/or relics won’t be out of the picture.  Whoever pulls the Topps Now Golden Ticket for August 20, 2017 will be due a special gold stamped parallel #’ed/1.

Its not easy to predict who and what will receive a Topps Now card.  This game feels like a sure thing.  Having it take place in my backyard is even cooler.  I visit BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field almost every summer for a bobblehead night.

Harry Kalas Black Stitch Auto Surfaces

hk05ud11ssauto1

Sweet Spot was a fun brand when it was around.  Although after Upper Deck started to use that manufactured baseball leather near the end it took a nose dive.  Mainly because the autographs would bleed heavily into that material.  Some of those autographs were barely visible straight from the pack.  The regular baseball leather they started out with doesn’t bleed as much.  Just to be safe, I keep all of my Sweet Spot autographs in the dark no matter what material Upper Deck used.  Especially when it comes to those cards signed in red ink.

I enjoy Sweet Spot Classic from 2004 and 2005.  Phillies legendary broadcaster, Harry Kalas, has autographs in both sets.  If you’ve been following Sports Card Info, you know that I’m a big Harry Kalas collector.  He doesn’t have many cards.  The ones he does have rarely show up.  When I do get to add something to my collection its a big deal.

The last Sweet Spot Classic card I need of his is the Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1 from 2005.  A fellow collector stumbled upon my blog and noticed this card on my want list.  Twelve years ago, this collector just happened to be the person to pull it from a pack.  Its been sitting in their collection ever since.  I thought it had been lost forever or still stuck in a box somewhere.  The last I heard, this collector was thinking about selling it.  That was about a month ago, and nothing has surfaced on eBay.  I have a feeling its worth quite a bit considering the base version recently sold for $130.

Even though I don’t own this card… yet, I wanted to show it off.  Phillies and/or Sweet Spot fans should appreciate seeing it.

Below is a list of the Harry Kalas cards I need:

  • Harry Kalas/Mike Schmidt 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game – Announcing Greats Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E – Top 50 Broadcasters Cut Signature #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E Premium Back Redemption Sketches #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2015 Topps Five Star Cut Signature #’ed 1/1

Card of the Day: Nolan Ryan 1990 Classic Update #T26

 photo nolan90classic_zpsqcumg3cl.jpg

Topps Uses Classic Design For Their 2016 National VIP Set

Topps has let the cat out of the bag and showed off what their 5-card VIP set will be for those collectors attending the 2016 National Sports Collectors Convention.

This year’s set focuses on the 1951 Topps Red and Blue Backs design.  It has Phil Rizzuto, Bobby Doerr, Duke Snider, Bob Feller, and Warren Spahn.  Every VIP package will contain a 4-card pack.  If you want that fifth card, you’re going to have to trade for it.

Topps will be hosting the VIP party that takes place before the show opens Aug. 3rd in Atlantic City, NJ.  It all kicks off at 2:30 p.m.  Topps plans to have giveaways and free autograph guests – Hockey Hall of Famer Eddie Giacomin, 1974 National League MVP Steve Garvey, and former Phillies closer “Wild Thing” Mitch Williams.
 photo ToopsBack275_zpsn7gj8t6y.jpg
 photo Topps-Rizzuto275_zpsk3rkvqxm.jpg
 photo Topps-Doerr275_zpskpgb9wrb.jpg
 photo Topps-Snider275_zps27fglixt.jpg
 photo Topps-Feller275_zpsrezyembm.jpg
 photo Topps-Spahn275_zpsq8xnhgr2.jpg

Harry Kalas Sweet Spot Red/Blue Stitch Auto Found

 photo hkredblue05ssauto1_zpswuexl59m.jpg

Its not very often I get to add something to my Harry Kalas collection.  He simply doesn’t have that much.  And what he does have rarely pops up.  A few times a week I check eBay to see if any new Harry Kalas cards are listed.  If by chance any of his cards are listed for sale, I most likely already have them.  That certainly wasn’t the case last week.

Imagine my surprise when I found this Harry Kalas 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Red/Blue Stitch Auto #’ed 1/40 on the auction block.  I bet it has been 8-10 years since I’ve seen one of these.  It needed to be mine.  The seller had a high “Buy It Now” price on it, but I was able to get him way down.  I’m happy to announce this card arrived safely without any problems.  I have my entire Harry Kalas card collection on display at Sports Card Album.  The bobbleheads and stadium giveaways I have of his are thrown in here.

My HK wantlist is really getting down to the extremely rare cards.  It consists of (4) different 1/1’s, and (1) #’ed/25.

  • Harry Kalas/Mike Schmidt 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game – Announcing Greats – Dual Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2015 Topps Five Star Cut Signatures Auto #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E – Top 50 Broadcasters – Cut Signature Auto #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E Sketch Card #’ed 1/1

I remember listening to Harry Kalas call Phillies games when I first started watching baseball.  When it came to collecting a specific person, I wanted someone that was associated with the Phillies but didn’t have tons of stuff.  HK fit that mold perfectly.  It would be cool to see him one day get a card in Allen & Ginter with the accompanying parallels.

Flashback Product of the Week: 2005 eBay Live! Pop Culture Classic Listings

 photo ebaylive2005jjbat_zpshlmcxko4.jpg

From what I hear, the eBay Live! annual conference was a pretty big deal.  I personally never attended any of them though.  But reading up on them, it sounds like sellers were treated like kings at one time.  eBay would listen to sellers, and offer fun classes to attend.  eBay is still the main place to buy/sell stuff, but I think that sense of community has really been lost.  Yeah, the message boards are still there, but it just doesn’t seem like it use to be.  eBay tends to care more about the buyers now.

Over the years, eBay has slapped their logo on tons of merchandise.  They use to have a store, but that closed up years ago.  Some of their merchandise has become quite collectible.  During the eBay Live! conference they gave out huge amounts of stuff.  That includes their own trading cards.

There was a card set made for almost every single eBay Live! event.  Each one has it’s own uniqueness about it, but the set made in 2005 seems to stand out the most to me.  Both from a design standpoint and subject matter.  eBay was celebrating it’s 10th anniversary in 2005.  They decided to create a set that commemorated the most notable items put up for sale up until that point.  The set consists of (13) cards.  Card fronts feature an animated drawing of a specific item on foil card stock.  On the reverse side, you’ll find a write-up about that item.  The checklist includes the following cards:

  • Real Arkansas Civil War Dirt
  • Size 12 Wedding Dress/Gown
  • Early Blown Glass Cathedral Pickle Bottle
  • 2005 Jay Leno Harley Davidson
  • The Meaning of Life
  • Gulfstream II Business Jet
  • Kidney For Sale
  • Oldest Known Pair of Levis Jeans
  • Ghost Cane
  • Ten Years of Community and Commerce
  • Pierre Omidyar’s Broken Laser Pointer
  • Shoeless Joe’s Bat
  • Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese

Shoeless Joe’s Bat refers to the famous “Black Betsy”.  It sold on August 7, 2001 for $577,610.  That was Joe Jackson’s main bat he used throughout his career.

These cards aren’t that difficult to find.  Ironically there usually is a good supply on eBay.  Its funny to think that eBay made cards.  But they did.

Card of the Day: Harry Caray 2004 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic #35

 photo carayudssclas_zpscfkv54kl.jpg