Product Highlight: 2016 Titleist

Golf cards have taken a backseat to other sports recently.  The last standalone golf product to come out is 2014 Upper Deck Exquisite Golf.  Since then, golfers have popped-up in multi-sport products like Allen & GinterGoodwin Champions, and various Leaf sets.

It doesn’t look like a new standalone golf product is coming our way anytime soon.  Collectors are craving new golf cards thanks to young stars like Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.  Watching Tiger Woods make an incredible comeback to win The Masters has helped increase interest too.  Like NASCAR, licensing comes down to the individuals.  Obtaining a PGA license doesn’t mean you can just start making golf cards of whoever you want.  Money is the main problem.  Some of these golfers just want too much.  They want Tiger Woods level money, without having all of his accomplishments.  It doesn’t make it feasible.  In short, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

Upper Deck, Pro Set, and Donruss are the main companies that come to mind when you think of golf cards.  The Acushnet Holdings Company certainly isn’t one of them.  Are you not familiar with The Acushnet Holdings Company?  They make golf equipment and apparel.  I’m sure the name Titleist rings a bell.  That’s one of their main brands.

In 2016, Titleist issued an incredibly scarce set of cards.  Available only in PGA Jr League merchandise packs could these cards be found.  Packs containing (4) cards each were packaged along with Titleist golf balls they provided to Jr golfers.  A total of (12) cards make up the entire set – Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson, Rafael Cabrera Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas, Zach Johnson, and Kevin Na.  According to my contact at Titleist, under 2,000 sets were printed.  Its simply known as 2016 Titleist.

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Product Highlight: 1992 Dad’s Kid Corp. Tri Cards

Various companies have taken a stab at making 3-D cards over the years.  A company that did it really well was called Dad’s Kid Corp.  Their Tri Cards product has one of the best 3-D effects the hobby has ever seen.

Dad’s Kid Corp. brought their Tri Cards product to the market in 1992.  Each box has (1) card.  A window on the front allowed you to pick which player you wanted.  Three base cards were used to make one card.  Strategically cutting and overlaying the three cards gave them the 3-D look.  Base cards from 1990, 1991, and 1992 were used.  Upper Deck, Score, Leaf, and Fleer cards made it into the mix.  Stores like Toys “R” Us, F.A.O. Schwartz, and Spencer Gifts all carried them.  At one time I believe QVC even had them available.

The serial numbering can be a little misleading.  Every player’s Tri Card is serial numbered to 50,000 copies.  That 50,000 accounts for all of the cards for that specific player.  Lots of players have more than one type of card in here.  For example, Nolan Ryan has at least three different Tri Cards.  That doesn’t mean each one is limited to 50,000.  It means that the print run for all three adds up to 50,000 copies.  They never released the print run for the individual brands.

Thanks to them offering what they call a “Completer Set”, we know that (36) different players had Tri Cards made.  (300) “Completer Sets” were issued to those collectors who wanted matching serial numbers.  Players offered included Sandy Alomar, Roberto Alomar, Wade Boggs, Bobby Bonilla, Barry Bonds, Tom Browning, Jose Canseco, Will Clark, Wes Chamberlain, Eric Davis, Andre Dawson, Cecil Fielder, Juan Gonzales, Dwight Gooden, Ken Griffey, Jr., Rickey Henderson, Gregg Jeffries, Howard Johnson, Wally Joyner, David Justice, Kevin Maas, Ramon Martinez, Don Mattingly, Kevin Mitchell, Jack Morris, Fred McGriff, Terry Pendelton, Kirby Puckett, Cal Ripken, Jr., Nolan Ryan, Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith, Darryl Strawberry, Frank Thomas, Greg Vaughn, and Robin Yount.

As unique and fun as these cards seem to be, they didn’t stick around very long.  A trip through the legal ringer brought this company down.  The MLBPA, Upper Deck, Score, and Leaf all sued.  When it came to the MLBPA’s lawsuit, the court actually sided with Dad’s Kid Corp.  In addition to the card manufacturer lawsuits the legal bills just kept adding up, and Dad’s Kid Corp. came tumbling down like a pile of Jenga blocks.  However, we do know that production was stopped while the lawsuits were going on.  Its very possible that not all 50,000 Tri Cards were made for every player.  I think its safe to say thousands made their way out.

Don’t look for a lot of value here folks.  Most of them can’t break $10.  Ken Griffey, Jr. has been known to reach $20.  Its too bad a Frank Thomas rookie didn’t make it in here.

Dubbed “The next dimension in sports card collecting.“, baseball was the only sport they were able to produce.  They had plans for 3-D basketball, football, hockey, tennis, golf, comics, and celebrities.  A Kid’s Club was offered to 20,000 people.  Being a member got you access to exclusive cards.  I’ve never seen these cards surface.  Dad’s Kid Corp. may not have been around long enough for them to make their way out.

Product Highlight: 1997 Upper Deck Shimano

When you think of professional fishing, trading cards certainly aren’t the first thing that come to mind.  Sure, we’ll find cards pertaining to fishing popup in sets like Allen & Ginter, Goodwin Champions, and Sportkings.  Even in the early 90’s we had some Pro League Bass sets make an appearance.  Nothing of major importance though.

In the sports card industry, fishing cards are kind of odd.  One very small set that you don’t see often is made by Upper Deck.  In 1997, Upper Deck partnered with Shimano.  For those not familiar with Shimano, they are a large manufacturer of fishing, bicycling, and rowing equipment.  This “Special Edition” set only consists of five cards.  Two of the names I’m sure you’ll recognize.

  • Bob Izumi #1
  • Jimmy Houston #2
  • Jose Wejebe #3
  • Larry Dahlberg #4
  • Jay Buhner #5
  • Tony Gwynn #6

I had no clue that Jay Buhner and Tony Gwynn were such big fishermen.  According to the cards, Jay Buhner’s favorite Shimano reel to fish with is the Chronarch 100A, and enjoys fishing with Ken Griffey, Jr. and Norm Charlton.  Tony Gwynn likes to fish for bass, while his favorite places to fish are Lake Poway and the Pacific Ocean.

Obviously Shimano issued this set as a promotion.  Its a neat little unique piece.  Not a whole lot of value.

Pin Highlight: Philadelphia Phillies Bryce Harper WinCraft Player Jersey Pin

Out of stock.  This product is currently not available.  Nothing left.  Gone.  These are just some of the ways to describe the status of this new piece of Bryce Harper merchandise.

As an avid Phillies fan and pin collector, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to own one of these bad boys.  On the same day that I purchased a new Bryce Harper Phillies t-shirt, I got this WinCraft jersey pin.  The Phillies sold out of this pin very quickly.  Luckily, I was able to snag one.

WinCraft is known for making lots of neat pins.  Especially when it comes to special events.  As you can see, this one features a white Phillies jersey with red pinstripes.  Harper’s name, #3, and facsimile signature have been added.  Out of respect for former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, Bryce Harper didn’t want to continue wearing #34.  #7 was his second choice, but that’s already taken by Maikel Franco.  Bryce Harper wasn’t going to ask him to change his number just because he showed up.

The Phillies made tons of moves over the winter.  Fans can’t complain about them not trying anything.  I predict the Phillies will go 161-1 this season.  They’ll lose the first game, and win the rest.

Pin Highlight: Reggie Jackson – “I Must Kill… The Queen.”

Now this is an eye catcher.  Its a pin featuring baseball legend Reggie Jackson holding a handgun.  What on earth is going on here?

In 1988 a little comedy called The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! came out.  It stars comedy legend Leslie Nielsen, and became an instant hit.  Two sequels came to follow.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about the film for those who haven’t seen it yet.  But I will say this.  Leslie Nielsen plays Police Squad Lieutenant Frank Drebin.  Police Squad is put in charge of protecting Queen Elizabeth II while she visits Los Angeles.  During her visit, she attends a Seattle Mariners and California Angels game.  They learn an assassination attempt will take place during the seventh inning stretch, and one of the players will carry it out.  Using a beeper and hypnosis, the real assassin uses Reggie Jackson as an agent to fulfill his mission.  Things don’t go well for Mr. October though.  A large woman from the upper deck ends up falling on him before he gets his shot off.  Its a funny scene that you can watch here.  Lots of other sports stars are in this movie too – O.J. Simpson, Jay Johnstone, Jim Palmer, Dick Vitale, and Jesse Ventura.

Patti Lapel makes some really fun pins based on people, places, and things from pop culture.  One pin in particular is of Reggie Jackson under hypnosis, gun in hand, and preparing to take out the Queen.  Memorable scenes from movies is a big chunk of their pin business.

You don’t mess with Mr. October.

Pin Highlight: Friends of Doubleday – Cooperstown, NY

The last two weeks have been extremely slow for me.  What felt like the start of a cold turned into pneumonia.  After two trips to the doctor and some medicine, I’m beginning to feel much better.  This was the first time in three years that I was sick.  It doesn’t happen very often.

Have you ever been to Cooperstown, NY?  Its a must for any baseball fan.  I’ve been there a few times.  The Baseball Hall of Fame is amazing, and their gift shop is great too.  Outside of the Hall of Fame is another attraction, Doubleday Field.  This field is used throughout the year for all kinds of special events.  Friends of Doubleday is a non-profit organization that helps to raise funds in order to maintain and keep Doubleday Field up-to-date.  They also actively promote the rental opportunities Doubleday Field has to offer.

Given that Friends of Doubleday is a non-profit, it survives on donations.  Sports graphic artist Todd Radom designed this pin which can be obtained with a $50 donation.