Manny Machado In A Padres Uniform – Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces Has It!

Two major MLB free agents have been on constant watch this winter to see which teams they decide to sign with.  Its no secret that I’m talking about Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.  Every single day the rumors would change as to who might be in the lead to land each superstar.

As of this writing, Bryce Harper is still up for grabs.  I hope he goes to the Phillies.  Manny Machado on the other hand has signed a 10-year deal with the Padres worth $300 million.  That’s a lot of cheddar.

One of his earliest Padres collectibles will come from Piece of the Game’s Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces.  Each player in the main set will have (3) game-used, hand-painted, and autographed baseballs.  The artist, Monty Sheldon, saved a few Manny Machado and Bryce Harper balls to paint until each player signed with their new team.

Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces is scheduled to be released this spring.

Checkout my latest write-up on this product with an updated sales sheet.

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2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports Christmas Box Break

I absolutely love this product.  2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports debuted during the National Sports Collectors Convention last summer.  Collectors quickly realized how loaded these boxes are, and the supply dried up significantly.  Individual box prices went from a starting point of $160 to $270 as of right now.  Sometimes a sealed box will popup on eBay with an asking price of over $300.  Very few dealers have any of this product left.  In fact, the only dealer that I can find who has any boxes left is Steel City Collectibles.  Back in August, I busted two of these boxes at the National, and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

Santa Claus found me a box.  As expected, it totally delivered.  I have yet to find a bad box of this stuff.  Highly recommended, and worth the price.

Here is what I pulled:

Relics

  • Rod Carew/Tony Gwynn Reflections Relic #’ed/20
  • Michael Jordan Enshrined Silver Relic #’ed/2
  • John Smoltz Jumbo Patch Magenta #’ed/4
  • Andruw Jones Fantastic Fabrics Patches Gold #’ed 1/1
  • John Elway/Peyton Manning/Steve McNair/Dan Marino/Kurt Warner/Tom Brady/Steve Young/Joe Montana MVP 8’s Patches #’ed/20

’52 Mantle Makes Cameo Appearance In Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles

Rarely do I stray away from a core group of Christmas movies during the holiday season.  Movies such as ElfThe Santa Clause, and my personal favorite, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, are classics that I tend to stop on while browsing through the channels.  When I heard that Kurt Russell was going to play Santa in the Netflix exclusive film The Christmas Chronicles, I decided to give it a shot over the weekend.

Without giving away any spoilers, I have to say Kurt Russell makes one cool, straight talking Santa.  Fans even get some classic Kurt Russell car chasing/action movie scenes.  Lets not forget a fun Star Wars reference too.  Fans seem to enjoy it, as the movie received 20 million views within the first week.

My favorite scene in the entire movie is when the reindeer get lost.  Santa walks into a nearby restaurant, and attempts to barter with people in exchange for their car.  Given that its Santa, he knows the names of everyone, and what they’ve always wanted for Christmas.  One of the customers he tries to make a trade with is named Larry.  In exchange for Larry’s Porsche, Santa offers him a “Mint condition 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card”.  Larry’s wife quickly tears the card up while saying “You’re not trading our Porsche for a baseball card.”

You can clearly tell that the card they used for this scene is a reprinted prop.  Its far from the real thing.  That’s not Mickey Mantle’s rookie card either.  Its his first Topps card, but his 1951 Bowman #253 is his actual rookie.  I have two theories as to why this choice was made.  One, I believe the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 card is much more recognizable to the general public.  You hear people refer to it as his rookie card all the time despite that not being true.  Or two, they just didn’t know any better.

I know that I sound like an internet troll pointing out these imperfections.  But I had to do it.  I find it incredibly fun to see sports cards randomly popup in films.  Its Kurt Russell as Santa.  Go watch The Christmas Chronicles.

FYI – Kurt Russell played minor league baseball until an injury ended his career in the 70’s.  He’s had some cards made for celebrity-themed products like AmericanaThreads, and Celebrity Cuts.  An autographed card of him in one of his minor league uniforms would be perfect for Heritage Minor League Baseball and/or Archives.

WARNING: Missing Autographs In ’18 Panini Illusions Football

Last night while browsing through the card topics of the day on Twitter, I came across something interesting.

Apparently some of the cards coming out of 2018 Panini Illusions Football contain Panini’s autograph certification message on the back, but lack the actual autograph itself.  Contacting Panini wondering how you can get your autograph hasn’t brought the happiest of news either.  According to those who have talked to Panini on this, you won’t be eligible for an autograph.  These cards were never intended to be autographed, but somehow received Panini’s COA printed on the back.  Its an error.  Some of the players this has happened to include Baker Mayfield, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Randy Moss.  Just doing a quick search on eBay shows even more.  From what I’ve seen, this error applies to the Living LegendsIllusionists, and Mystique inserts.

Please be aware of what you’re buying.  It wouldn’t take much for a scammer to forge a signature on the front, and attempt to pass it off as the real thing.  That COA easily opens the door for people to do this.

You have to admit that its pretty ironic that something like this happened with a product called Illusions.

BREAKING NEWS: Newly Discovered Tobacco Cards Hidden In Duke Chapel

Lola Simmons, an exceptional architectural and engineering student at Duke University made an interesting discovery while inside Duke Chapel – three rare tobacco cards.

After weeks of red tape, she finally received the “ok” to test a new type of structural x-ray equipment.  Although the school administrators weren’t thrilled that she would be using it inside one of their most beloved structures, she persuaded them otherwise.  According to Miss Simmons, “The chapel’s age, foundation, and material used in it’s construction made it the perfect test subject.”

Miss Simmons enjoys working alone.  She finds that its the best way to concentrate.  Her work with this particular experiment needed to be done at night in order to avoid disrupting the chapel’s daily traffic.  On October 10, she settled in for a long night of testing with the school’s newly acquired multi-million dollar device.  After a few hours, things weren’t going well.  She came to the conclusion that a move to another part of the chapel needed to be done.  The Duke Memorial Chapel she believed would work far better.  Unfortunately this part is blocked off with an iron gate.  Determined to complete her work, she macgyvered her way through the lock.

Silence was quickly erased as a thunderstorm moved in.  That first clap of thunder caused her to drop the device.  It went off taking a picture of the left wall.  Luckily the device wasn’t damaged.  Before deleting that dud, she took a look at it.  The sarcophagus housing the remains of George Washington Duke seemed to display an unusual compartment.  Judging by the picture, the compartment looked to be right behind one of the ornate carvings.  Giving the decoration a touch, she could tell it wasn’t fixed.  With a small twist, the compartment opened.  Inside was a strong smell of tobacco, and one lonesome card.  The card was of Mr. Duke.

Along with George Washington Duke, his sons James and Benjamin also have sarcophagi.  Miss Simmons noticed the same carvings on those as well.  Each ended up having a compartment holding a tobacco card.  One of James, and one of Benjamin.

All three cards look to be part of the 1887 Old Judge N172 set.  They most likely are the only examples featuring these men.  George, James, and Benjamin are each pictured sitting in a chair.  A dead stare is in their eyes, while a haunting stag head hangs on the wall.  All attempts at photographing or scanning them have failed.  Not wanting to be seen seems to be their main objective.  Each card was respectfully returned to it’s rightful grave.

The Duke family made their fortune in the cigarette and tobacco business.  Once having a monopoly over the entire industry.  Duke University is one of their largest benefactors.  In the mid-1880s, it was their idea to place cardboard advertisements inside tobacco products.  They helped start this hobby of ours, and didn’t even know it.

Shortly after my meeting with Miss Simmons, she went missing.  The last person to see her was her mother.  According to her mother, “Lola didn’t look well, and just wanted to go to sleep.  She went up to bed, and wasn’t there the next morning.  I just want my baby back.”  The police are doing everything they can.

Until now, this card from 2009 TRISTAR Obak was the only card of The Dukes.

2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports (2) Box Break

The 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention is now closed.  The final autograph has been signed, and the last pack has been opened.  But I’ve got a few more blog posts coming that highlight what I pulled from the boxes I opened while I was there.  If you weren’t able to attend, be sure to checkout my Day #1, Day #2, and Day #3 coverage.

One of the hottest products to debut on the National’s opening day this year was 2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports.  It was released on August 1.  Each (1) pack box contains (5) cards which are all hits.  I usually don’t do much with unlicensed products, but something about this one made me want to bust a few boxes.  Its a good thing I did because I pulled some amazing cards.  Not every dealer carried this product.  The only two dealers that I saw selling it were Blowout Cards and Chicagoland Sports Cards.  I purchased a box from each.  At the time Blowout Cards was selling them for $165/box, while Chicagoland Sports Cards had them for $160/box.

Both of these boxes were opened at the Leaf booth, which got me a bunch of Leaf Originals Metal promo packs.  I’ll make a separate blog post about all of the promo cards I got.

Brian Gray and the folks at Leaf did a fantastic job with this product.  Very fun to open.  Feast your eyes on these hits.  I’m still in shock with what I pulled.  The Babe Ruth/Shohei Ohtani card came from Chicagoland Sports Cards.  They opened a new case for me and I picked the upper left box on the top.  Pelé is from Blowout Cards.  Cleveland continues to be the location where I have the best luck.  I think it has something to do with the same Burger King I stop at on the drive out.  Its my lucky Burger King.  And you can’t know where it is 🙂

Auto/Relic

  • Pelé Auto/Relic Red #’ed/3

Relics

  • Babe Ruth/Shohei Ohtani Reflections Bat/Jersey Gold #’ed 1/1
  • Vince Carter Jumbo Patch #’ed/3
  • Frank Thomas Enshrined Prime Relic Magenta #’ed/3
  • John Smoltz Enshrined Prime Relic #’ed/6
  • Ozzie Smith/Paul Molitor/Tim Raines Draft Class History Relic #’ed/12
  • Joe Namath/Mickey Mantle/Mark Messier/Walt Frazier/Lawrence Taylor/Mike Bossy City of Champions Relic Blue #’ed/6
  • Karl Malone Legendary Kicks Shoe Relic Red #’ed/3
  • Goose Gossage Nickname Hall of Fame Relic Blue #’ed/6
  • Yogi Berra/Gordie Howe All-Time Enshrined Relic Blue #’ed/6

Are Sculpted Sketch Cards In The Hobby’s Future?

Collectors are always on the lookout for the next cool thing.  Sometimes innovation can get a little stagnant depending on who you talk to.  Just look at the plain, unnumbered, one-color jersey card.  At one time these would be considered pulls of a lifetime, and now they’re a dime a dozen for the most part.  Nowadays when something new does come along, it either ends up being overproduced having it’s value get reduced to nothing, or produced in such small quantities only a few collectors get to appreciate it.  Its an incredibly difficult balance.

Speaking of innovation, check out the new Sculpted Sketch Cards from Glebe.  These pieces of artwork look awesome.  Its definitely a new take on sketch cards.  They literally jump out at you.  I’d really like to see Topps team-up with them to create some sports pieces.  As of right now, Glebe’s Sculpted Sketch Cards mainly focus on Marvel superheros.  I could see them being offered in high-end products as a redemption.  They would be ideal for a product like Topps Transcendent.  Just imagine some of baseball’s most iconic moments depicted this way.