Tips For Spotting A Fake 1968 Topps Rookie Stars Card

With rookie cards of Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench, not to mention second year cards of Rod Carew and Tom Seaver, the 1968 Topps Baseball set is quite memorable.  How could collectors forget that classic burlap bag design?

The Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench cards are the most counterfeited cards from this set.  Especially the Nolan Ryan.

Here are a few tips for spotting counterfeit 1968 Topps Rookie Stars cards:

  • Front Letter Pattern – Look at the letters in the title “1968 Rookie Stars”.  The red and black should be solid.  Counterfeits usually contain print dots.
  • Reverse Coloring – The reverse should be a solid yellow color.  You don’t want to see it made up of little yellow dots.  It shouldn’t be a bright yellow.
  • Front Coloring – The color on the front should be red, not orange.  Specifically when it comes to the title “1968 Rookie Stars”.  Counterfeits and reprints tend to be darker in color.
  • Card Stock – Thicker/white-edged and glossy surfaced card stock is a definite sign of a counterfeit.

As you can see the coloring has a lot to do with identifying a counterfeit.  It can’t hurt to have a common on hand to compare it to.  Special treatment wasn’t given to Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench during the printing process.

Authentic front

Authentic back

Counterfeit front

Counterfeit back

Counterfeit front

Counterfeit back

I Traded A Jar Of Peanut Butter For A Pin – 2019 Little League World Series Pin Pickups

The 2019 Little League World Series is in full swing.  Baseball fans from all over the world have found their way to South Williamsport.  Pin trading is bigger than ever.  Corporate sponsors and local businesses have pins for everyone.  Some you need to buy, while others are freebies.

This is the first year that I did not visit the Little League campus.  Obtaining pins from the corporate booths has really become an activity for kids.  Years ago pins were easily handed out for filling out a survey or lining up at a booth at a certain time.  Over the course of a few years mobile apps and registering electronic bracelets for the Family Fun Zone has become a requirement.  That’s not something I’m interested in doing.  Personally, I think it adds a bunch of unnecessary steps.  I suppose it keeps the kids busy though.

Just because I skipped the Little League complex doesn’t mean I missed out on adding some new pins to my collection.  Between Dunkin’, Dairy Queen, various businesses on 4th street, and Williamsport’s Golden Strip, I came home with (22) pins.  Between the Chamber of Commerce and Dick’s Sporting Goods, I was able to pickup the pins I would’ve purchased over at Little League anyway.  Some places which traditionally have pins like Pennsylvania College of Technology and The Crazy Tomato don’t have them this year.

I’m not going to show off all (22) pins.  But I will show you some of the pins I got which I haven’t seen popup online yet and/or I find unique.

Woodlands Bank – in order to get this pin I had to trade-in a jar of peanut butter.  Woodlands Bank will donate the peanut butter to the Central PA Food Bank and Firetree Place.

Bullfrog Brewery & Restaurant

Kinley Jewelers

Dolly’s Diner

River Valley Transit

Topps Readies 5-Card Set For 2019 National VIPs

VIPs attending the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention will receive a 5-card set thanks to Topps.  The set includes Frank Thomas, Ryne Sandberg, Carlton Fisk, Kris Bryant, and Ernie Banks.  Interested in attending the Topps Q&A during the NSCC?  Be sure to check out my tips on how to get your name on that exclusive list.

Leaf’s 4-Card Set For 2019 National VIPs

Leaf Trading Cards has a 4-card set for VIPs attending the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention.  The set includes Kyler Murray, Stephen Curry, Harrison Ford, and Wander Franco.

2019 Leaf In The Game Used Sports Set To Arrive In Time For The National

Earlier this week I was excited to announce that Leaf In The Game Used Sports is making it’s return in 2019.  Like I mentioned in my previous post, the 2018 version of this product was just loaded with one low-numbered hit after another.  I never had a bad box.

Leaf has released the official sales sheet for 2019 Leaf In The Game Used Sports.  As is the case with a lot of sales sheets, some of these autographs and patches could change between now and the time it actually comes out.

The configuration looks similar to last year – (12) boxes per case, and (5) hits per box.  July 31, 2019 is the set release date.  I’m sure it will be one of the eligible products that you can use for Leaf’s wrapper redemption program during the National Sports Collector’s Convention.

Leaf In The Game Used Sports Returns For 2019

Good luck trying to find a sealed box of 2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports.  Its almost impossible.  Released on August 1, 2018 (the first day of the National), this product was a huge hit at the show.  If you couldn’t make it to Cleveland, various dealers carried it.  But their stock didn’t last very long.  Its been months since I’ve seen a sealed box surface.

What made this product so popular?  Boxes are loaded with low-numbered hits.  Five to be exact.  At an initial cost of $160-$165 per box, collectors quickly realized they were getting quite the deal.  Most boxes were solid, and delivered value that was equal to the box price.  Lots of times the value was much more.  Not mass-produced.  Low case production.  I think Leaf configured it this way because they knew it would draw people in.  As collectors began to catch on, the price of a single box began to grow.  The last time I saw a box listed for sale it cost $269.  I was lucky to get my hands on three boxes last year.  You can see what I pulled here and here.

I’m happy to announce that Leaf plans to bring back In The Game Used Sports for 2019.  While we don’t have a release date, box/case price, configuration details, and/or print run yet, Leaf did let a few images slip out.  These pictures are of cards from their “The Chosen Few” collection.  Randomly inserted are redemptions for some heavy-duty high-end cards.  If you pull one, Leaf will allow you to pick a card from their “The Chosen Few” inventory.  Obviously the sooner one is pulled, the more selection you will have.  More details to come.

Onyx & Futera Team-Up For New High-End Baseball Set

What’s this?  Two card companies coming together to bring collectors a single product?  What year is it?  How long have I been asleep?  Is left now right?  Is up now down?  Is McDonald’s now serving Whoppers?  What parallel dimension have we stepped into?

Its unheard of to see two manufacturers collaborating on one product.  In an age where exclusive licenses are a regular thing, team-ups like this just don’t happen.

Onyx Authenticated and Futera plan to break that mold this summer with Onyx/Futera Unique 2019 Baseball Prospects & Legends.  While the details are still scarce, here’s what we know about it so far.

Judging by the picture, its going to be a very limited release and quite high-end.  Unlike most other manufacturers, Onyx Authenticated and Futera don’t issue one product after another all year long.  That especially goes for Futera.  I’ve talked about Futera on here a number of times, and have compared them to the Lamborghini or Ferrari manufacturer of the sports card industry.  On numerous occasions, I’ve mentioned their Code For Collectors and Memorabilia Colour Grading services are something U.S. collectors would enjoy taking advantage of.  It looks like that might be coming true.

While the checklist has yet to be announced, both prospects and veterans seem to be in the mix.  I reached out to my contact at Futera to see if I could squeeze out some more info.  I was told “What I can share at this stage is that the collection under discussion would have a format of similarity to our Futera UNIQUE 2018 release including on-card Autographs, Game-used Memorabilia, ‘1 of 1’s, and some sets featuring 24ct gold-plated elements.”  Futera UNIQUE 2018 came with (4) packs per box, with each pack containing a hit.  A box cost $300.

I’m really excited to see how these cards turn out.  Futera and Onyx Authenticated each have created some insanely cool looking cards.  I was lucky enough to open a pack of 2016 Futera Liverpool Unique Collection and pulled a Gerry Byrne Mythicals Matchday Program #’ed/7 – contains a piece of program from the 1965 FA Cup Final between Liverpool FC and Leeds United at Wembley Stadium; 24ct gold-plated frame relic.  Recently, I opened a box of 2019 Onyx Authenticated Vintage Collection Baseball which yielded some fun stuff.

Between the two, I think we should get ready for an awesome baseball product.  No.  There won’t be any team names or logos.  But given what each company has created in the past, I’ve got a good feeling we’re in for something special.

Right now they’re shooting for a late July release.  Just in time for the National Sports Collectors Convention.