8-Card Set Highlights The National’s Early Years

I love the National Sports Collectors Convention.  Its the show of all shows.  They don’t come any bigger and/or better.  I know its only February, but its never a bad time to talk about the National.

The 40th National Sports Collectors Convention will take place in Chicago this year 7/31-8/4.  I regret to inform you that I won’t be attending.  As much as I’d like to cover the show, see all of the cool stuff, and catch up with the awesome people, I don’t think its going to happen.  I’m from central PA, and its a good 12-hour drive to Chicago.  Flying is out of the question.  I want nothing to do with airports.  Atlantic City in 2020 seems like a better opportunity for me to get there.  If it was up to me, I’d have it in Cleveland every year.  That’s my all-time favorite location.

One of the most popular activities collectors like to participate in is going after promotional cards.  Every major manufacturer has something happening during the National.  Collectors (myself included) have been known to wait hours in line for those precious exclusive packs.

Today these promotional programs are all over the place.  That certainly hasn’t always been the case.  One of the earliest, if not the first promotional card set to be made for the National arrived in 1984.  The National got it’s start in 1980, and was held in the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel.  By 1984, the show had grown and took place at the Aspen Hotel in Parsippany, NJ.  Only (8) cards are in this exclusive set.  They are Joe Collins, Willard Marshall, Larry Doby, Ed Lopat, Tom Gorman, Bud Harrelson, Bobby Thomson, and Gene Hermanski.  On the back of each card it states “5th Annual National Aug. 9-12, 1984” inside a black apple.  Beneath that it says “Sports Collectors Convention Aspen Hotel, Parsippany, NJ”.

I have a strong feeling those eight guys were the autograph signers for the National that year.  Back then that might have seemed like a lot.  Nowadays they’ll have eight signers all going at once, with a hundred more on the way.  “WE ARE NOW ACCEPTING ALL ACCESS VIP PLATINUM BADGES FOR RICKEY HENDERSON.”

Like a lot of cards from this point in time, they aren’t worth a lot.  You can easily find them for sale on the secondary market.  A complete set can be found for $10.  Its a neat snapshot of the National’s early years.

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Mike Berkus Highlights Leaf’s 2016 National VIP Set

In addition to their wrapper redemption program, Leaf will provide VIPs with a 4-card set.  The set includes Tom Brady, Jack Eichel, Mariano Rivera, and National Sports Collectors Convention co-founder Mike Berkus.  Mike Berkus passed away last year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we see more tributes to him from other companies.

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Card of the Day: Armando Galarraga 2008 Topps Updates & Highlights RC

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Welcome To The Hobby Raul

Last night I got a tweet from Mario over at Wax Heaven.  He wanted to show me the new Raul Ibanez autographs and relics that can be pulled from 2009 Topps Updates & Highlights.  This is Ibanez’s first certified autograph of him in a Phillies uniform.  Before this, Phillies fans would have to settle for an autograph of him in a Seattle or Kansas City jersey.  ’09 Updates & Highlights also has the first relic cards of Ibanez containing a piece of MLB All-Star workout jersey.  Topps also inserted some great looking jumbo All-Star patches of Ibanez too.  After the 3-run blast he hit last night, these cards seem to be in high demand.  Lets go Phillies!!!

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2008 Topps Updates & Highlights Blaster Box Break

This box wasn’t too bad.  I did get a few things for my collection.  I probably wouldn’t go out and purchase a full box.  What I am excited for is 2009 Topps baseball.  Lets hope I can track down one of those Phillies 2008 World Series relic cards.

Whats In My Personal Collection?

Yesturday my new shiny webcam was dropped off by the UPS guy and I thought I would give it a try.  Since I didn’t have any packs or boxes to open I thought I would share some cards from my personal collection.  You can check out Sports Card Info’s profile here if you want to subscribe.  Hope you enjoy the video 🙂

The Problem With Sketch Cards

Besides the picture, what would you say is the most important aspect of a trading card?  How about the name of the player.  Sketch cards are usually found in entertainment products such as boxes of Star Wars cards, but this year Topps introduced sketch cards to sports fans in their 2008 Topps Updates & Highlights and Stadium Club brands.  I think some of them look really nice, and could be considered tiny pieces of art, but a lot of these sketch cards don’t have the players name on them anywhere.  This can get really confusing.  Collectors end up guessing who the player might be if the name or number isn’t visible.  Another problem I see occuring is that people are starting to manufacturer their own sketch cards for sale.  This is a problem because it can be hard to determine which are from Topps, and which are self-made.  Take a look at the cards below.

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At a quick glance, they almost look like they are from the same company.  The top card is of Gary Carter from Stadium Club, and the bottom card is a custom sketch of Sam Bradford.  If companies want to insert sketch cards into their products thats fine, but I think they need to find a more distinctive way to separate their cards from custom cards.  Perhaps placing them in an uncirculated holder and inserting them as box toppers.  This is why its so important to read the product description.