Card of the Day: Jimmy Johnson 2004 Upper Deck SP Game Used Significance Auto

Under The Tree: 1995 Gottlieb Big Hurt – The Pinball Game

Frank Thomas was the cover man for Big Hurt Baseball during the mid-90’s.  Big Hurt Baseball is a video game that was released for various consoles between 1995 and 1996.  The video games aren’t nearly as collectible as the pinball counterpart.

Gottlieb released a pinball version of Big Hurt Baseball in 1995 simply titled Big Hurt – The Pinball Game.  Just under 2,000 machines were produced, which according to pinball collectors isn’t many.  A small portion of them have been registered on the Internet Pinball Serial Number Database and the Pinball Owners Registry.  With Frank Thomas having a huge fan base, this machine is in high-demand.  Finding one that’s in excellent, fully working condition isn’t the easiest thing to do.  If you do find a complete example that functions properly, it’s going to cost into the thousands.  Roughly what a Frank Thomas 1990 Topps “No Name” rookie would set you back.  It would’ve been great if they could have incorporated one of those into this machine’s design.

You have to admit, a piece like this would make a great addition to any Frank Thomas collection.  Just as long as you have the money and space.  Even if you don’t have the money and/or space for one of these, collectors still buy loose parts for their collection.  It really wouldn’t surprise me if one day we see parts from one of these pinball games embedded into cards.

Game highlights include:

  • Roaring crowds
  • Play-by-play announcer
  • Moving baseball glove obstacle
  • (3) flippers
  • (2) pop bumpers
  • (2) slingshots
  • Drop targets
  • Captive ball
  • 4-ball multi-ball capability

If you woke up to one of these pinball machines on Christmas morning, your tree must have been huge.

Card of the Day: Jim Bouton 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Auto

Card of the Day: Sammy Sosa 2003 Upper Deck Game Face Auto

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.

José María Olazábal’s Most Valuable Card Is An N64 Game

José María Olazábal showcased on the cover of PGA European Tour for the N64 is another situation similar to when former college basketball star Jay Williams was the front man for NCAA 2K3 College Basketball on the Nintendo GameCube.

The main difference is this.  Jay Williams crashed and burned when he made it to the pros.  José María Olazábal on the other hand has had a long successful career in his given sport of choice golf.

Cards of Jay Williams are mainly used for kindling today.  Its a fair assumption to say that GameCube game is the only thing with his face on it that continues to hold any value.  Golf collectors don’t have much options when it comes to cards of José María Olazábal.  He only has (18) total cards.  Surprisingly none from Upper Deck given all of the golf products they use to make.  His rarest cards come from 2010 Leaf Sports Icons Cut Signatures Update and 2012 Sportkings.  Five out of his eighteen cards come from those two sets.  Each one is numbered one-of-one too.  Not the easiest to find.

When it comes to the world of golf cards, only a select few have a strong enough following to garner any real value.  I don’t believe José María Olazábal is one of those golfers.  If and when any of his one-of-one cards popup for sale, I highly doubt they would sell for much.  Despite being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009, and winning the Masters twice, this is just how things go.  Cards, even rare ones, of great golfers don’t always have the demand.  This is most likely why we haven’t seen a standalone golf product since 2014.  I’ve always enjoyed golf cards, found them fun to open, and wish they’d make a comeback.

PGA European Tour was released for the Nintendo 64 in 2000.  José María Olazábal already had his second Masters win, and made the box cover.  This game was released quite late in the N64’s lifecyle which resulted in not many being sold.  Sealed copies have been known to sell for $100-$200.  Some asking prices are even higher.  That’s a decent amount considering most sports games are rarely sought after for collecting purposes.

I know José María Olazábal is not the reason why this game is so collectible.  It wouldn’t matter who’s on the box really.  Things like this always catch my eye.