Card of the Day: Wilkin Castillo 2009 Upper Deck A Piece Of History #109

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The History Behind Futera’s Earliest Sets

Ranging from their Code For Collectors and Colour Grading services, Futera is a card manufacturer that should be used as a beacon to others when it comes to autograph and relic authentication.  The amount of documentation that goes into their products is something that collectors in the United States can only dream about.  Here in America, we get glimpses of services like this, but nothing that comes close to what Futera has built.

Everyone has to start somewhere.  Upper Deck wasn’t the only new card company to enter the market in 1989.  This is when Futera got it’s start too.  Futera was founded by two U.S. professional baseball players – Tad Powers and David Voit.  Both were sent over to play in the newly formed Australian Baseball League (ABL).  Two team sets make up their inaugural 1989-90 baseball release.  One for the Sydney Metros and the other for the Perth Heat.  Each set came packaged in a playing card style light blue box with the team logo printed in dark blue on the front.  2,500 copies of each set were printed.

Sydney Metros

  • Stuart Barlow
  • Chris Brown
  • Mike Dennis
  • Matt Everingham
  • Don Franklin
  • Darren Fullerton
  • Karl Hardman
  • Michael Hennessy
  • Nick Kalaf
  • Troy Martin
  • Mike Milmoe
  • Sean Mullins
  • Peter Munro
  • Brian Murphy
  • Jeff Pettett
  • Tad Powers
  • Ross Thomas
  • Greg Turner
  • David Voit
  • Justin Weaver

Perth Heat

  • Tony Adamson
  • Kimon Anderson
  • Lyall Barwick
  • Mike Borgatti
  • Ken Burden
  • Scott Cameron
  • Kevin Driscoll
  • Heath Gillard
  • Greg Harvey
  • John Hearne
  • Sean Jones
  • Andrew Kendray
  • Ron Malcolm
  • Trevor Malcolm
  • Steve Meloncelli
  • Ray Mitchell
  • Dean Moyle
  • Michael Moyle
  • John Moore
  • Shayne Ruscoe
  • Dave Rusin
  • Mark Scorer
  • Scott Steed
  • Shane Tonkin
  • James Waddell

According to Futera, when Tad Powers and David Voit returned to the United States they brought lots of these sets with them.  That’s why they continue to hold a high demand in Australia.

Before having to sell the company due to a lack of funds, Tad Powers and David Voit issued another series of team sets in 1992.  Unfortunately 50% of them were destroyed because of poor storage and inferior transportation.  It’s believed that what did survive was purchased by a well known dealer in Melbourne, Australia.  Key cards from this series include the Phil Dale and Jon Deeble no number cards from the Waverley Reds team set.  Another important card would be the first Australian card of David Nilsson, who actually went on to play with the Brewers throughout the 90’s.

Once Futera was sold, baseball sets continued to be released until 1996.  Many other sports licensed products followed.  Today they are one of the best soccer/football card manufacturers in the industry.

Product Highlight: 2008-10 History Of Nike

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Nike isn’t a stranger when it comes to sports cards.  Sure, they’re mostly known for shoes, apparel, and sports equipment.  But they’ve produced a few card gems over the years that many collectors don’t mind spending a pretty penny on.  Most notably the Michael Jordan 1983-85 Nike Poster Card #850.

A product that you don’t hear much about is the History Of Nike set.  Single cards will popup now and then, and complete boxed sets are even harder to come by.  Very little information is out there on it.  What you do find is pure speculation and rumors.  Nothing 100% concrete.  Even though I knew it was a long shot, I contacted Nike just to see if they could shed some light on these cards.  Nike’s Public Relations Department came through and supplied me with a ton of information regarding this set.  Forget all the stories, this comes straight from the source.

Despite many sellers trying to convince you that these cards were only made for top executives at Nike, that simply is not the case.  These cards found their way out when Nike would distribute them to guests who visited their World Headquarters in Beaverton,Oregon.  They did this for free between 2008 and 2010.  A total of 5,000 cards were produced, and all were distributed.  Seeing that there are (34) cards in the set, you can calculate that each card is limited to about (150) copies.

The set features a good variety of athletes and coaches.  You’ll also find cards of key figures from Nike’s history like Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman.  Other cards highlight buildings from around the Nike campus such as the Nike Sports Research Lab (NSRL) and Japanese gardens.  There is even a card commemorating the “swoosh” logo.

Here’s the checklist.  The first (23) cards come with a card number printed on them.  The remaining (11) don’t have card numbers.

  • One Bowerman Drive #1
  • Steve Prefontaine #2
  • Alberto Salazar #3
  • John McEnroe #4
  • Joan Benoit-Samuelson #5
  • Michael Jordan #6
  • Michael Johnson #7
  • Bo Jackson #8
  • Mike Schmidt #9
  • Nolan Ryan #10
  • Nissho Iwai Gardens #11
  • Lance Armstrong #12
  • Cynthia Cooper #13
  • C. Vivian Stringer #14
  • Mia Hamm #15
  • Ken Griffey Jr. #16
  • Pete Sampras #17
  • Jerry Rice #18
  • Tiger Woods #19
  • Ronaldo #20
  • Dan Fouts #21
  • Joe Paterno #22
  • The Berm #23
  • Bill Bowerman
  • The Time Capsule
  • The Walkway of Fame
  • Nike World Headquarters
  • The Kitchen
  • Phil Knight
  • Nike Sports Research Lab
  • The Land
  • Nike
  • Corporate Responsibility
  • The Swoosh

A complete set recently sold for $400.  Individual cards with a high grade have been known to sell for $100+.

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Card of the Day: King George III 2008 Upper Deck A Piece Of History Hair Cuts

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Card of the Day: Willie Mays 1999 Upper Deck – A Piece Of History 500 Club Game Used Bat Auto

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Card of the Day: Babe Ruth 1998 Upper Deck A Piece Of History Game Used Bat

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Lee History Jersey Contest Winner Announced

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Congrats to Ron on being the lucky winner of the Carlos Lee 2008 Upper Deck A Piece Of History Box Score Memories Jersey.  Once Ron sends me his mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!