Card of the Day: 2017 Topps Pro Debut – Ben’s Biz – The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor #4

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Card of the Day: Rakeem Christmas 2015-16 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1991 Hot Aire Trading Cards

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In a million years you couldn’t have guessed that I’d pick this product.  The 80’s and 90’s were filled with a lot of obscure sets.  With the rise of sports cards as an investment, people were willing to put anything on cardboard hoping one day it would amount to riches.  Looking back, I think we can all agree how that went.  Overproduction set in, and many products ended up being worthless.  Needless to say, all this rush did create some funky products that manufacturers today would never even think about making.

Yes.  This is a product dedicated to hot air balloons and their pilots.  Hot Aire Trading Cards made their debut in 1991 during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  It was the brainchild of two hot air balloon enthusiasts, Danny Edwards and Patrick O’Hea.  Edwards would collect pilot bios and take photos while O’Hea designed the cards.  Their first set consists of (100) cards.  When they were first introduced, you could purchase them by the pack for $2.50 each or in factory set form for $23.50.  Only producing 30,000 sets was thought to increase the cards’ value.  As you can probably guess, that didn’t happen.  The last complete set to sell went for $15, which is still way more than what I was expecting.  Hobby boxes range anywhere from $15 to $30.

Hot Aire Trading Cards lasted for a few years, and then fizzled out.  I’m surprised they lasted that long.  The Fiesta continues to be held each year though.  When it comes to chase cards, there really aren’t any.  No “hot” packs.  These are more of a novelty now than anything.  A modern day interpretation of a product like this would be interesting.  You could have autographs, relics, and perhaps some type of inflatable card.

Card of the Day: Matt Bush 2004 Fleer Hot Prospects Draft Edition Auto

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The 36th Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show

One of the longest running sports card shows in my area is held once a year by the Ephrata Lions Club.  Its held for one day at the Ephrata Rec Center, and they always have an autograph guest.  This was their 36th annual show, and the signer was former Phillies HOF pitcher Steve Carlton.  About 40-50 dealers were setup, and they had many items for their live auction.

The show opened to the public at 8:30 am.  I left around 6:15 am in the middle of a minor unexpected snowstorm.  On the way I passed six car accidents due to the snow.  Luckily none of them slowed down traffic when I was going by.  I arrived at 8:15 am and quickly got in line.  Once the show opened the line moved very quickly.  Inside the show you needed to purchase autograph tickets for Steve Carlton.  The Ephrata Lions Club was only selling 300 tickets, and they went like hotcakes.  After the autograph tickets were obtained, it was time to dive into the show.

During this particular show I was on the lookout for Harry Kalas stuff, bobbleheads, pins, and some 2015 wax to bust.  At first glance I didn’t see too much wax.  The only boxes I saw were some 2015 Topps Series 12015 Topps Opening Day, and 2015 Topps Heritage.  Those products are great, but have way too many base cards for my taste.  My usual wax dealer wasn’t there, but then I came across VSM Sports Card Outlet.  This was the second time I’ve seen VSM Sports Card Outlet at this show.  I purchased a Harry Kalas UD Sweet Spot Auto from them last year.  In addition to some very high-end singles, they also had boxes just fit for me.  I ended up buying three boxes from them – (2) 2015 Leaf Metal Draft Football, and (1) 2015 Upper Deck Inscriptions Football.  I’ll be posting what I pulled from those boxes later, but lets just say I got some fantastic cards 🙂

While walking around a little more I found a 2009 World Series Phillies vs. Yankees pin, and a Reading Phillies Crazy Hot Dog Vendor bobblehead.  I ran into a lot of people I knew too.  That includes the owner of the first card shop I ever went to back in 1997.  I hadn’t seen him in over twelve years.

Overall, it was a great show.  I can see why its been around for thirty-six years.  Now check out the photos.

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Phillies HOF pitcher Steve Carlton

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Reading Phillies Crazy Hot Dog Vendor bobblehead.  He has to be one of the coolest mascots in all of sports.  Its a hot dog vendor riding an ostrich.  These all came unpainted as you’re suppose to paint them yourself.  I’m leaving mine like this.

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THE SHOW!!!

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THE SHOW!!!

Watson Hot Rookie Auto Contest Winner Announced

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Congrats to Shane.K on being the lucky winner of the Asa Watson 2014 Score Hot Rookie Auto.  Once Shane.K sends me their mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!

Williamsport Crosscutters 9th Annual Hot Stove Banquet

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Its been almost a decade since the Williamsport Crosscutters held their first Hot Stove Banquet.  On the night of January 19th, baseball fans were invited to sit back, relax, eat some good food, and here stories from the celebrity guests.  This year the guest list included Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg, Denny McLain, Crosscutters Manager and 1992 World Series MVP Pat Borders, and Pat Gillick.  Other members of the Phillies organization were also there in attendance.  Phillies pitcher Ken Giles was suppose to be there, but due to a scheduling conflict he couldn’t make it.

For a ticket price of $49.00, I believe you get one heck of a deal.  That includes a full chicken dinner, salad, and cake.  Plus at the conclusion of the event you can get autographs from the guests, given you get in line fast enough.  Some guests stick around longer than others.  Its best to prioritize which autographs you want first, second, and third so you can get in that particular line early.  You never quite know when they’ll cut the line off.  I was able to snag Ryne Sandberg on my bat.

The Chinese auction had a lot of signed baseballs, bobbleheads, and pins.  I threw some tickets into three different bags for bobbleheads, but didn’t win any this time.  They were also giving away a Dellin Betances game-worn Yankees jersey that came with a COA from Steiner.

Right before the autograph session began, they made an announcement that the Phillies had a special gift for everyone as they left.  All attendees were to receive a FREE Chase Utley bobblehead on the way out.  This was an added bonus that I didn’t see coming.  I collect bobbleheads and never had one of Chase Utley before.  This specific Utley bobblehead was a stadium giveaway the Phillies gave out last season.  They must have made some extra.

Overall, it was one of the best Hot Stove Banquets they ever had.  Denny McLain’s story about how he and Tug McGraw went over to Vietnam was very funny.  The bobblehead at the end really put it over the top for me.  Try getting a full meal, autographs, and a bobblehead for $49.00 some place else.  You won’t find it.  I forgot to mention that each seat had a Taney Baseball t-shirt too.

Next year is their 10th anniversary.  I would like to see some 10th anniversary commemorative pins made up to giveaway.  One at each place setting.  Great job everyone!!!

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(Left) Pat Gillick – former Phillies General Manager & 2011 Baseball HOF inductee (Right) Gabe Sinicropi – Crosscutters VP, Marketing & Public Relations

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Pat Borders – current Crosscutters Manager & 1992 World Series MVP

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Ryne Sandberg signature on my bat

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Utley bobblehead

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Taney Baseball t-shirt

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Phillie Phanatic!

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Boomer!