Card of the Day: Mario Lemieux 1996 Upper Deck Game Jersey

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Piece of the Game & Monty Sheldon Prepare Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces

Alright you high-end baseball collectors.  Mark your calendars.  On Black Friday, 11/23/18, a new product will be hitting the market.  Sports artist Monty Sheldon has teamed-up with Piece of the Game to bring you Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces.

Only (15) boxes of this product will be produced.  Housed inside each individually numbered, maple and ash box, will be (10) autographed, game-used, and hand-painted baseballs.  These just aren’t foul balls and wild pitch game-used baseballs either.  They’ve included MLB debut balls, triples, doubles, singles, RBI’s, record breaking hits, playoff hits and defensive play baseballs from current MLB superstars, rookies, and Hall of Famers.  Every baseball comes with a MLB hologram certifying that the ball was in fact game-used by that specific player.  Authentication holograms for the autographs and artwork will also be included.  All baseballs are #’ed 1/1.  An example of a historic baseball would be Ronald Acuña Jr.’s first MLB double ball.  That’s in here.  Painted and already autographed.

The checklist features the best of the best.  Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Derek Jeter to just name a few.  Even Babe Ruth is in here.  That’s correct.  You did not misread.  One of these (15) boxes will have an authentic, hand-painted, and autographed Babe Ruth ball.

Main set players will each have (3) different portrait and action baseballs.  Rookie Balls and Dual Balls can also be found.  Rookies include Juan Soto, Gleyber Torres, and Shohei Ohtani.  Dual Balls pair guys like Chipper Jones/John Smoltz, Craig Biggio/Jeff Bagwell, and Xander Boegarts/Mookie Betts.  All hand-painted, game-used, and autographed.

If you attended the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention, you could’ve gotten an early glimpse of these amazing baseballs.  Monty Sheldon has been using baseballs as a medium for his artwork for over two decades.  You’ve probably seen his work in various Topps products.  Last year, (10) of his painted baseballs were used in Topps Transcendent.

Paul Goldschmidt

2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports (2) Box Break

The 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention is now closed.  The final autograph has been signed, and the last pack has been opened.  But I’ve got a few more blog posts coming that highlight what I pulled from the boxes I opened while I was there.  If you weren’t able to attend, be sure to checkout my Day #1, Day #2, and Day #3 coverage.

One of the hottest products to debut on the National’s opening day this year was 2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports.  It was released on August 1.  Each (1) pack box contains (5) cards which are all hits.  I usually don’t do much with unlicensed products, but something about this one made me want to bust a few boxes.  Its a good thing I did because I pulled some amazing cards.  Not every dealer carried this product.  The only two dealers that I saw selling it were Blowout Cards and Chicagoland Sports Cards.  I purchased a box from each.  At the time Blowout Cards was selling them for $165/box, while Chicagoland Sports Cards had them for $160/box.

Both of these boxes were opened at the Leaf booth, which got me a bunch of Leaf Originals Metal promo packs.  I’ll make a separate blog post about all of the promo cards I got.

Brian Gray and the folks at Leaf did a fantastic job with this product.  Very fun to open.  Feast your eyes on these hits.  I’m still in shock with what I pulled.  The Babe Ruth/Shohei Ohtani card came from Chicagoland Sports Cards.  They opened a new case for me and I picked the upper left box on the top.  Pelé is from Blowout Cards.  Cleveland continues to be the location where I have the best luck.  I think it has something to do with the same Burger King I stop at on the drive out.  Its my lucky Burger King.  And you can’t know where it is 🙂

Auto/Relic

  • Pelé Auto/Relic Red #’ed/3

Relics

  • Babe Ruth/Shohei Ohtani Reflections Bat/Jersey Gold #’ed 1/1
  • Vince Carter Jumbo Patch #’ed/3
  • Frank Thomas Enshrined Prime Relic Magenta #’ed/3
  • John Smoltz Enshrined Prime Relic #’ed/6
  • Ozzie Smith/Paul Molitor/Tim Raines Draft Class History Relic #’ed/12
  • Joe Namath/Mickey Mantle/Mark Messier/Walt Frazier/Lawrence Taylor/Mike Bossy City of Champions Relic Blue #’ed/6
  • Karl Malone Legendary Kicks Shoe Relic Red #’ed/3
  • Goose Gossage Nickname Hall of Fame Relic Blue #’ed/6
  • Yogi Berra/Gordie Howe All-Time Enshrined Relic Blue #’ed/6

Card of the Day: Bill Lee 1999 Sports Illustrated Greats of the Game Auto

Pin Highlight: 2018 MLB All-Star Game Press Pin

Its hard to believe that we’re half way through the 2018 MLB season.  Phillies fans like myself should be thrilled with how the team is playing.  Especially when you compare what their record is now to what it was last year at this time.  The Phillies are 53-42, and half a game ahead of the Braves while sitting atop the NL East Division.

Earlier this year, I purchased a 2018 Topps Now Philadelphia Phillies Road To Opening Day Team Set.  If anyone from that team does something special throughout the season, Topps will send out a special card to those who purchased the set.  One of those special moments is placing #1 in the division at the All-Star break.  So I will have to keep an eye on the mail for that.  I’ll show it off when it arrives.

The 2018 MLB All-Star Game takes place in Washington D.C.  FanFest has lots of merchandise to buy.  But its the stuff not for sale that draws massive attention.  Pictured above is the press pin made for members of the media, and various MLB partners.  The center portion is made of a finely crushed marble powder, which was then mixed with a resin and molded into the shape of the U.S. Capitol Building.  That’s just not any marble powder they used either.  Its from the actual U.S. Capitol Building steps that were removed during a 1995 renovation.

I find it ironic that something as patriotic as this pin was made in China.  Well, the metal part of the pin and plastic container it comes in is from China.  A few have leaked their way on to the secondary market.  One completed sale ended at $125.

Product Highlight: 1998 Riddell Game Greats

Why?  Its a simple question that is asked quite a bit in this hobby.  Sometimes you just have to wonder what people were thinking when it came to giving the “ok” to a new product.  Maybe they deliberately wanted these products to flop just to create good blogging material twenty years later.  If that’s the case, then I’d call it a success.

Traditionally, Riddell is known for making sports equipment.  Over the years though they’ve dabbled in the collectibles market.  One of their collectible ventures came in 1998 with Game Greats.  These miniature busts feature 360° wrap-surround digital imaging.  That’s just fancy talk meaning they printed a digital picture and folded it into a loop.  I guess using an actual image was the main selling point verses having a molded plastic face.

Riddell made a series for both baseball and football.  The baseball set consists of six players – Ken Griffey, Jr., Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Mark McGwire, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Sammy Sosa.  Football has seven – Troy Aikman, John Elway, Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Kordell Stewart, Steve Young, and Barry Sanders.

In order to obtain the Barry Sanders bust, you needed to mail-in three proofs of purchase along with the original register receipt.  Barry Sanders wasn’t sold in stores like the others.  If you didn’t want Barry Sanders, you could still request one of the other busts for free.

Riddell offered a mail-in program for baseball too, but I’m unclear as to what you’d get in return.  On the proof of purchase for the football busts, it states the exact name of the bust it came from.  For example, the proof of purchase for the John Elway bust says “’98 Elway – Blue Jersey”.  The proof of purchase for the baseball busts is a little different.  For example, Mark McGwire’s just says “’99 McGwire”.  Just like the football, the baseball busts were released in 1998.  The checklist on the backside of the baseball packaging identifies them from 1998 too.  So why do the proof of purchase for the baseball players state they’re from 1999?  Unlike football, nothing is stated on the back of the baseball busts as to what you’d receive.  I’m thinking the baseball proof of purchase were going to be used for a future product that never arrived given how poorly Release 1 sold.

You can easily find these for sale.  Sellers can’t give them away.  It wouldn’t surprise me if someone at Riddell is sitting on a few rare prototypes.

Carrasco ’06 Bowman DP&P Jersey Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Carlos Carrasco 2006 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Futures Game Jersey.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, May 11, 2018 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!