Card of the Day: Daniel Cleary 1997-98 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice #307

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Card of the Day: Rick Krivda 1997 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice #44

Tickets For The 40th National Are Now On Sale

The National Sports Collectors Convention will celebrate it’s 40th anniversary this year.  40 years is a long time.  Just think about how many autograph guests, memorabilia, and cards have made their way through each show.  I’ll give you a hint.  Its a lot.

Every collector should experience at least one National in their lifetime.  Its the greatest show in the world.  I’ve attended seven of them starting in 2007.  Its an awesome opportunity to meet-up with industry insiders, get some autographs, and pull incredible cards.  Many of my big pulls have come at the National.  Lots of luck floating around.  Anything can happen.

In 2019, the National takes place 7/31-8/4 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont (Chicago), IL.  Tickets are now on sale.  General Admission and various VIP packages are available.  I highly recommend purchasing one of the VIP packages.  Each comes with a ton of free stuff.  TRISTAR will announce the autograph lineup in the coming months.

Onyx Authenticated will be in Chicago, and they’ve got shirts all ready to go.

BIG PULLS!!!  Only at the National.

Hobby Oddities: Fleer’s All-Star Collector’s Hat

Our hobby is filled with lots of crazy stuff.  When it comes to odd merchandise, Fleer’s All-Star Collector’s Hat has to be at the top of the “What were they thinking?” list.

Mail-in offers have been around the hobby since the beginning.  During the 80s though, card companies started to offer all kinds of weird stuff on the back of their packs.  Topps, Fleer, and Donruss all offered something as a thank you for your purchase.  Card storage units, team hats, and albums are among some of the items you could get.

1986 Fleer Baseball is remembered for rookies of Jose Canseco, Cecil Fielder, Paul O’Neill, and Lenny Dykstra.  The set’s blue borders are notorious for chipping which can make high-grade examples very desirable to collectors.  In a million years you couldn’t have guessed what the Fleer marketing team settled on as their mail-in offer for this set.

With a cost of $2.95 plus (3) proofs of purchase, you could be the proud owner of this ultra-cool Fleer All-Star Collector’s Hat.  This just isn’t any regular old hat either.  It has pocket sleeves that can hold eight of your favorite cards.  You heard correctly boys and girls.  Now you can proudly display your favorite cards on your head.

What a dumb idea.  I can’t imagine many people actually sent away for this.  You rarely find them today.  Which eight cards would you put in this hat?  I’d fill mine with eight ’52 Topps Mickey Mantle cards, and wear it outside on the sunniest summer day.

2018 Topps Gallery Collector’s Box Break & Review

After a very successful revival last year, Topps Gallery makes it’s return in 2018.  Once again this product is a Walmart exclusive.  So if you’re out shopping for those last minute Christmas gifts, checkout the card section for Topps Gallery.

I really like this brand, and what Topps has done with it.  It comes in three different formats – Collector’s Box, Blaster, and Jumbo Value Pack.  A Collector’s Box is equal to what a hobby box would be, and is the only format that guarantees any hits.  Packaged within each Collector’s Box are (20) packs along with (1) Oversized Base Topper.  You should find at least (2) autographs.  Blasters have exclusive Artist’s Proofs, while Jumbo Value Packs have Canvas Parallels.

The base set consists of (150) cards.  Parallels include Artist’s Proof (Blaster), Canvas (Jumbo Value Pack), Private Issue #’ed/250, Green #’ed/99, Blue #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/1, and Printing Plates #’ed/1.  I’ve seen the Canvas parallels referred to as Wood sometimes.  Short Prints are found between #151 and #200.

Nine artists came together in order to produce the images for this set.  They are Gerry Garcia, Kris Penix, Mayumi Seto, Carlos Cabaleiro, Dan Bergren, John Giancaspro, Kevin Graham, Jeff Mallinson, and Evan Shoman.  Lots of these artists have done work for Topps before.  Mayumi Seto is responsible for all of the Topps Living Set cards.

On the back of each card you can see which artist did the work.  Five cards actually list the wrong artist – Ted Williams #163, Ernie Banks #167, Nelson Cruz #169, Robinson Cano #199, and Jackie Robinson #200.  These cards attribute Carlos Cabaleiro as the artist when in fact it should be Kris Penix.

In addition to the base set and autographs, there is a nice selection of inserts.  The Impressionists inserts are quite impressive.  Despite not having any parallels, just the inserts themselves get more attention on the secondary market than you’ed expect.  I pulled (1) from my Collector’s Box.

Although difficult to pull, its possible to own the original artwork used to make these cards.  You can only get these pieces in the Collector’s Boxes.  It would be hiding in your box topper pack instead of an oversized card.

Topps Gallery is one of my favorite looking products.  On-card autographs could improve it, but given that its a retail-exclusive stickers make sense.  I believe it to be one of their most important retail releases.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Ryan McMahon RC Auto
  • Anthony Banda RC Blue Auto #’ed/50

Short Prints

  • Noah Syndergaard #195
  • Darryl Strawberry #170
  • Max Kepler #187
  • Randy Johnson #177

Parallels

  • John Smoltz Green #’ed/99
  • Jordan Hicks Private Issue #’ed/250
  • Jose Altuve Heritage Green #’ed/250

Inserts

  • Victor Robles Impressionists
  • Randy Johnson Masterpiece
  • Cody Bellinger Masterpiece
  • Hank Aaron Hall of Fame Gallery
  • Bob Gibson Hall of Fame Gallery
  • Anthony Rizzo Heritage
  • Nolan Arenado Heritage
  • Ichiro Heritage
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. Heritage
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. Oversized Base Topper

Notable Rookies

  • Rhys Hoskins #133
  • Shohei Ohtani #116
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. #140
  • Juan Soto #126

Pin Highlight: 39th National Sports Collectors Convention

Its no secret that I had a great time while attending the National Sports Collectors Convention this year.  I’ll be talking about it forever.  Sports Card Info pin/t-shirt, Topps hat, and pulling a Babe Ruth/Shohei Ohtani dual relic #’ed 1/1.  All while surrounded by some of the most museum quality sports memorabilia known to man.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

I was very happy to see the NSCC selling show-branded merchandise.  Its been a long time since we’ve had stuff with the show’s name on it.  This past year they went all out.  Five different types of t-shirts, poster, and a pin.  Some of this could only be purchased online or in person at the show.

When I saw they had a pin, I needed to pick one up.  Pins were a regular thing they sold for awhile, but then stopped.  Show-exclusive bobbleheads should be next.

2018 Topps Fire Baseball Collector’s Box Break & Review

During the 90’s, we saw some of the most innovative and creative card designs.  Today’s hobby really focuses in on nostalgia.  Classic sets are making a comeback all the time.  Topps Fire never existed in the 90’s, but it looks and feels as if it should have.  That especially goes for the inserts.

Like last year, 2018 Topps Fire is a Target-exclusive set.  Graphic designer and digital artist Tyson Beck is back with all of his fiery creations.  There are three ways to enjoy Topps Fire – Collector’s Box, Value Box Blasters, and Fat Packs.  A Collector’s Box is the closest thing to a traditional hobby box as it guarantees (1) autograph and an additional hit.

A total of (200) cards make up the base set.  Parallels include Blue Chip (Fat Packs), Gold Minted (Value Box Blasters), Flame, Orange #’ed/299, Green #’ed/199, Purple #’ed/99, Magenta #’ed/25, Onyx SSP (Collector’s Box), and Inferno #’ed 1/1 (Collector’s Box).

As I mentioned before, a Collector’s Box is your best bet at pulling any hits.  You can find hits in Value Box Blasters and Fat Packs, but nothing is guaranteed.  You can find single, dual, and triple autographs.  Single autographs have Green #’ed/75, Purple #’ed/50, Magenta #’ed/25, and Inferno #’ed 1/1 (Collector’s Box) parallels.

Your standard relics have the same parallels as the single autographs.  Autograph patches are a difficult pull at 1:518 packs.  These have Blue #’ed/15, Magenta #’ed/10, and Inferno #’ed 1/1 (Collector’s Box) parallels too.

Where this product truly shines the brightest is with it’s inserts.  Topps and Tyson Beck really hit one out of the park here.  Inserts include Cannons, Fired Up, Flamethrowers, Hot Starts, Power Producers, and Speed Demons.  Each has Blue Chip (Fat Packs) and Gold Minted (Value Box Blasters) parallels.

2018 Topps Fire, specifically the inserts, come off as a modern interpretation of what a new 90’s product would look like.  That’s exactly how I would describe it.

Looking for a checklist?

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Harrison Bader RC Auto

Relic

  • Kyle Schwarber Relic

Parallels

  • Ronald Acuña Jr. RC Purple #’ed/99
  • Jake Arrieta Green #’ed/199
  • Mike Moustakas Orange #’ed/299
  • Gleyber Torres RC Orange #’ed/299
  • Garrett Cooper RC Flame
  • Wil Myers Flame
  • Chance Sisco RC Flame
  • Hunter Pence Flame

Inserts

  • Carlos Correa Fired Up
  • Marcell Ozuna Power Producers
  • Miguel Sano Power Producers
  • Tucker Barnhart Cannons
  • Ichiro Cannons
  • Starling Marte Speed Demons
  • Trea Turner Speed Demons
  • Kenley Jansen Flamethrowers
  • Robbie Ray Flamethrowers
  • Jarlin Garcia Hot Starts
  • Jed Lowrie Hot Starts