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.

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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!!!

Card of the Day: Ken Griffey, Jr. 1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey

Card of the Day: Adam Haseley 2013 Leaf Perfect Game #81

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Card of the Day: Mike Schmidt 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Auto

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“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2002 MLB All-Star Game Press Pin

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The MLB All-Star Game has been in the news this week.  Starting next year, the winning team will not determine who gets home-field advantage during the World Series.  Instead, home-field advantage will now go to the team with the better record.  That’s the way it should be, and I hope it stays like this for a long time.

It was the 2002 All-Star Game that made baseball officials change the rule in the first place.  The game ended up going into the 11th inning, and both teams ran out of available pitchers.  Eventually they came to the decision to allow the game to end in a 7-7 tie.  Fans were in an uproar.  In order to prevent future ties, they decided that someone would have to win the game.  That winner would then decide who got home-field advantage for the fall classic.  It remained this way from 2003 to 2016.  Before all of this, home-field advantage for the World Series alternated between leagues from year to year.

Pictured above is the pin members of the press received while attending the All-Star Game in 2002.  The top of the pin has a separating roof that you can actually pull apart just like the real roof at Miller Park.  Press pins can be expensive, but this one is quite affordable.  You can easily own this pin for under $20.

Personally, I think MLB overreacted in 2002.

Card of the Day: Bobby Knight 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Auto

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