Product Highlight: Greatest Sports Legends – Video Baseball Cards

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Over the years, multiple attempts at merging video with trading cards have been made.  Most were met with poor reviews from collectors.  Upper Deck gave it a shot with their line of Evolution cards in 2011.  They did their best to make them look like a card, but in all honesty I think they resembled a small portable gaming system like the Nintendo Game Boy.  In good old Panini fashion, they too tried their hand at it with their line of HRX video cards.  Despite some coming with autographs, Panini’s HRX cards were met with even a poorer response.  The video on many didn’t function very well or at all.  It wouldn’t surprise me if some collectors are still waiting on their redemption.

Perhaps Steve Rotfeld Productions did it best in 1990.  Greatest Sports Legends is a series of 207 documentaries covering some of the best athletes from the 20th century.  They first began airing in 1972, and even won an Emmy Award for their 1983 film about Jackie Robinson.  Throughout the 80’s, these documentaries were heavily distributed on VHS tapes.  The ones with a 1990 copyright date are my favorite.  You have to admit the words “video baseball card” couldn’t have been taken more literally.  Its very primitive.  The front and back of the VHS sleeves are designed to look like a card.  Whether or not all 207 athletes got this treatment is unclear.  I know it carried over into football too.

Unlike some VHS tapes, these don’t carry much collecting weight.  Its unlikely that many of us still own a device that could play one of these.  Funai Electronics was the last company to make video cassette recorders for home-use, and they ceased production in July 2016.

I use to own tons of VHS tapes, but got rid of them years ago.  Only a few remain in my possession, mainly for nostalgic purposes.  I couldn’t let go of my Star Wars and Batman (1989) VHS copies.

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Prints Available For Jamie Cooper’s The Greatest All Stars Dream Scene

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Earlier this year, sports artist Jamie Cooper wrapped up his most recent piece of MLB artwork for a private collector in California.  Its a masterpiece that collector will enjoy for many years to come.

I’m happy to announce that prints of this piece are now available.  Just like his Phillies and Yankees Dream Scenes, there was quite the demand for prints to be made of this one as well.  On his website, be sure to read the description Jamie Cooper has written about it.  He points out a lot of things you may not recognize at first.  Mike Schmidt continues to stand out the most to me thanks to his powder blue uniform.  Pete Rose found his way into this piece too.  You’ll find him sitting in the stands disguised as a janitor.

Jamie Cooper’s artwork is truly unique.  Prints based on his work make excellent gifts.  Every time you look at one of them, you’ll see something new.

Card of the Day: Brett Favre/Peyton Manning 2014 Panini Prizm Greatest Of All-Time Gold Parallel

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1993 Topps McDonald’s All Time Greatest Team Glass Set

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If you don’t have at least five sets of these glasses in your kitchen, then you’re not a true collector.  When your girlfriend opens up the cupboard to see these, and she doesn’t run, you better hold on to her for dear life.  Because it doesn’t get much geekier than this.

McDonald’s has been making collectible glasses for decades.  I never really got into them, except for when they made a set dealing with Batman Forever in 1995.  Only recently did I discover that McDonald’s made a set of glasses featuring baseball cards.  There are ten glasses that make up the complete set.  Each glass contains the front of an official Topps card.

The checklist is as follows:

  • #1 Nolan Ryan 1969 Topps #533
  • #2 Johnny Bench 1970 Topps #660
  • #3 Lou Gehrig 1961 Topps #405
  • #4 Joe Morgan 1973 Topps #230
  • #5 Cal Ripken Jr 1985 Topps #704
  • #6 Brooks Robinson 1961 Topps #10
  • #7 Roberto Clemente 1961 Topps #388
  • #8 Willie Mays 1957 Topps #10
  • #9 Babe Ruth 1962 Topps #139
  • #10 Carl Yastrzemski 1970 Topps #10

The first nine glasses were sold nationally.  In order to get the tenth glass, you needed to live around the Boston area.  This makes the Carl Yastrzemski glass the rarest one in the bunch.  A full set of ten glasses will run you about $60.00 today.

Where Are The Reich Relics?

On January 3, 1993, Frank Reich led the Bills to the largest comeback in NFL history.  At halftime the Bills were losing 35-3 and in the second half Reich led the Bills to a 41-38 victory over the Oilers.

Reich was a rookie for the Bills in 1985, but didn’t get an actual rookie card made until 1989.  His only two rookies can be found in ’89 Topps Traded and ’89 Score Supplemental.  From ’89 to ’97 he had a steady flow of trading cards, but nothing really major.  He went 11 years (’97-’08) without having a card made, until Upper Deck included him in their Masterpieces set.  What surprises me the most is the fact that Reich has no memorabilia or autographed cards.  I would think that leading your team to the greatest comeback in NFL history would stand out to most manufacturers.  Perhaps Reich doesn’t want his relics and autographs floating around?  I guess some athletes are like that.

Right now, Reich is the quarterback coach for the Colts.  His playing career ended in 1998 with the Lions.  I remember when he gave a speech at Cedar Crest High School about his playing time.  For one year I attended the same school as Reich before moving.

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