Card of the Day: Rebecca Lobo 1997 Pinnacle Inside WNBA #3

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On Location: Inside The Penn State All-Sports Museum

Located inside Beaver Stadium is the Penn State All-Sports Museum.  Shortly after it opened in 2002, I remember taking a tour through it.  That was long before Sports Card Info existed, and I’ve always wanted to go back.  That’s exactly what I did over the weekend.

This museum is a mecca for Penn State fans.  Between the two floors it covers major moments from every sport they’re involved in.  Penn State memorabilia galore.  Given that the school was founded in 1855, it has a lot of history.  Football probably gets the most coverage, but all sports get their good share of recognition.  You don’t need to be a Penn State fan to appreciate all of the historical artifacts on display here.  Just being a sports fan is enough.

Once you’re finished visiting the museum, a guide will take you into the stadium.  Getting to see the field without anyone else around is really cool.  Usually the place is packed with 100,000 fans.

Before leaving, I stopped by the gift shop and found a new pin for my collection.  I was looking for a bobblehead, but didn’t find any.  The closest I got to a bobblehead was a Penn State-themed nutcracker.

I didn’t realize that John Montgomery Ward attended Penn State.  He assisted in helping them start their baseball program, and played one season for them in 1875.  Then he got kicked out for stealing some chickens.  Ward eventually went on to have a very successful professional baseball career.  The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted him in 1964.  You can find cards of him in the 19th century Allen & Ginter and Old Judge sets.

If you’re passing through State College, PA I highly suggest stopping.  They don’t charge for admission, but donations are appreciated.

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The 1886 College Nine.  Standing: Halter, Jackson, Rose, Mock, Quigley, Mitchell.  Seated: McLean, Gibson, McClaren, Lencz.  Robert Gibson actually made it to the pros.

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Vintage Penn State baseball memorabilia.  Two game baseballs from 1905 and one from 1906.

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John Cappelletti’s Heisman trophy

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1986 National Championship trophy

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1969 Orange Bowl trophy

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Early 1900s basketball jersey.  Game ball from 1921.

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The Gene Wettstone Most Valuable Gymnast Award

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The Nittany Lion mascot is based on the eastern mountain lion which went extinct during the late 1800s.  This one was shot in 1856.  Considering the techniques for stuffing an animal back then are nothing like they are today, its in great condition.  Its probably one of the finest examples of a taxidermied eastern mountain lion.

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Sears sponsored fencing trophies.  When was the last time Sears could sponsor anything?

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On Location: Inside The Pro Football Hall of Fame – Canton, OH

Over the weekend I took a trip to Canton, Ohio and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  I first visited back in 1998.  That year, guys like Paul Krause and Anthony Munoz got inducted.  It was also the year Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were neck and neck in the single season home run race.

Going through the Hall of Fame is a blast!!!  They’ve really changed a lot since the last time I was there.  Right after buying your tickets to get in, you’re greeted by a photographer who will take your picture in front of a green screen.  When you’re finished touring the museum, you can stop and see your pictures before leaving.  They put a whole photo package together for you.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the holy land for any football fan.  You can sit there and open every high-end football card product on the market today, and it will never come close to the fun stuff you see inside this place.  All the way from professional football’s 1892 birth certificate to memorabilia used by players today.  The Hall of Fame covers everything.

Its difficult to pick what parts of the Hall of Fame are my favorite.  Every corner I turned there was another priceless artifact.  The older memorabilia fascinates me the most.  Mainly because its a miracle that its still around.  The Hall of Fame Gallery filled with all of the inductee busts is really cool too.  That was dramatically better looking than what I remember it being.  But if I had to pick one artifact to be my personal favorite, it would probably be the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The gift shop is massive and contains every NFL themed item you could possibly think of.  I bought three new pins, lanyard, golf shirt, and a Hall of Fame mini helmet.  I also ate lunch at the Hall of Fame Cafe.  They serve lots of stuff from hot dogs and hamburgers to gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

Take a look!!!

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Pro Football’s Birth Certificate – this is an expense sheet from the Allegheny Athletic Association dated November 12, 1892.  The “game performance bonus to W. Heffelfinger for playing (cash) $500.00” is the earliest evidence of someone being paid to play football.

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Jim Thorpe’s Carlisle Indians Letterman Sweater.

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(Top Middle) Arnie Herber’s sideline coat, (Top Left) Butch Gibson’s 1934 N.Y. Giants jersey, (Top Right) “Wooky” Roberts Canton Bulldogs jersey.  Also seen in this picture is the helmet worn by Link Lyman in the 1934 NFL Championship Game, game ball signed by the 1925 N.Y. Giants, and coach’s cap worn by Redskins founder-owner George Preston Marshall.

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Jerseys of Bob Waterfield #7, Bronko Nagurski #3, and Sid Luckman #42.

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Jerseys of Johnny Unitas #19 and Doak Walker #37.

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Jerseys of Jim Brown #32, Lance Alworth’s AFL All-Star jersey #19 , and Sonny Jurgensen #9.  Helmets of Dick Butkus (left), and Tommy Nobis (right).

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Jerseys of Peyton Manning #18, Reggie White #92, and Tony Gonzalez #88.  Shoulder pads of Cortez Kennedy and college helmet of Larry Allen.

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Tim Tebow jersey – this jersey was worn during the playoff win over the Steelers in 2012.  Tebow threw an 80-yard bomb to win the game 29-23.

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Miami Dolphins Perfect Season.

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The “Immaculate Reception” Turf – Franco Harris removed this piece of turf at the exact spot where the “Immaculate Reception” took place in Three Rivers Stadium.

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Toys!!!

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The inaugural Hall of Fame class from 1963.

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Jim Thorpe

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Vince Lombardi

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O.J. Simpson

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Mike Ditka

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Dan Marino

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John Madden

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Team Postcards – (Left) 1911 Nutshell Tigers of Canton, (Right) Game action from a 1900 game.

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World Football League football – they didn’t make it.

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United States Football League football – they didn’t make it either 🙂

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Player bench from the last game Vince Lombardi coached at Lambeau Field.  Green Bay, Dec. 31, 1967.

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LeSean McCoy wore this jersey, gloves, and cleats in a game against the Lions in Dec. 2013.  On that day, in blizzard conditions, McCoy ran for 217 yards setting a new franchise record.

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Vince Lombardi Trophy

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Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XLIII ring.

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“I’m ready to go in coach, just give me a chance.  I know there’s a lot riding on it, but it’s all psychological.  Just gotta stay in a positive frame of mind.” – Ace Ventura

A Look Inside The Newly Renovated World Of Little League Museum

At the conclusion of the 2012 Little League Baseball World Series, Little League began a $4.3 million renovation to the Peter J. McGovern museum.  The World Of Little League Museum has drastically improved over what it use to look like from when it originally opened in 1982.  Walking in the front door you’re immediately inside their new and much larger gift shop packed with tons of Little League items.  Pins, shirts, baseballs, golf balls, books, hats, you name it they probably have a Little League logo on it.

After watching an eight minute video about Little League, you can take yourself on a tour of the newly renovated museum.  The museum is divided up into six “innings” with each section housing items that recount Little League’s past.  Not only have many physical aspects of the museum changed, but they now have about 3x the amount of artifacts.  Many generous individuals have donated and/or loaned pieces which will stay on display.  Many pieces come directly from the family of Little League’s founder Carl Stotz.  They’ve also included a bunch of interactive computer elements that will teach you about each exhibit.

When the world comes to Williamsport next month, this newly renovated museum will be one of the major highlights to visitors.  I picked up three new pins for 2013.  That includes the new Australia jersey pin.  This is the first year that Australia will be represented at the Little League World Series.  Their pins are going to be on fire.

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Babe Ruth wore this uniform in 1934 during a barnstorming tour of Japan.  The tour of well-known Major League players fanned an interest in baseball among the Japanese people that had been growing since the sport was introduced there decades earlier.  It is one of only a few existing known uniforms that Babe Ruth wore during his playing career.  After winning the World Series in 1923, Babe Ruth visited Williamsport, PA.  During batting practice on 10/31/23, he hit the ball you see on the stand next to the uniform 500 feet, and then autographed it.

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Edward Younken pitched the first no-hitter in Little League with this ball, on August 6, 1942.  It is signed by him and by manager John Lindemuth of the Lundy Lumber team.

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Presidential signed baseballs – Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, & George W. Bush

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Jimmy Carter autographed baseball

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That’s a lot of pins!

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Cy Young was a big fan of Little League and attended each World Series from 1951 until he passed away in 1955.  He wore that hat during his final visit to Williamsport.

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Nice collection of Cy Young T206 & T205 cards.

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Cy Young autographed baseball

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Hack Wilson model bat

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Little League’s first home plate was carved from rubber that it’s founder, Carl Stotz, found in his father’s basement.  The knife he used, won in a footrace at a railroad picnic when he was a boy, broke in the process.  The plate is 14 1/8″ wide, slightly smaller than the standard 17 inches.

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While turning the corner and entering the Hall Of Excellence I was a bit shocked to see this space suit.  The Hall of Excellence is dedicated to a lot of famous people that played in Little League.  One of those people is NASA astronaut Story Musgrave.  This is the suit Dr. Musgrave used to train for Skylab.  Other famous Little League players from the past include Mike Schmidt, Mike Mussina, Jim Palmer, Kyle Petty, and Tom Selleck.

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The view from the Viewing Plaza.

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Viewing Plaza

Flashback Product of the Week: 1997 Pinnacle Inside WNBA

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Its the weekend of the Super Bowl and I’m writing about WNBA trading cards.  Something doesn’t seem quite right.

I believe that Pinnacle has the distinguished honor of being the first manufacturer to issue cards for the WNBA.  The product was called 1997 Pinnacle Inside, and if you remember anything from the “Inside” brand its that the cards came sealed inside a soup can.  Pinnacle was obsessed with doing this back in the 90’s.  They put basketball, baseball, football, and hockey cards inside cans.  If I’m not mistaken, Pinnacle even made a can opener that came with each case.  You would walk into your local card shop and think you were at the grocery store.  The can idea is by far one of the most unique ways for cards to be packaged.

The WNBA began league play back in 1997 after receiving some hefty backing from the NBA.  It wasn’t the first time a women’s professional basketball league was put together.  The WBL (Women’s Pro Basketball League) gave it a shot back in 1978, but folded in 1981.  Teams have a strong following, but the WNBA is far from a commercial success.

1997 Pinnacle Inside WNBA is an 82-card set that covers all the main women to play in the inaugural season.  Key rookies to look for include Lisa Leslie, Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, and Tina Thompson.  Sealed cans can be found for a couple dollars.  There really isn’t a whole lot of value when it comes to this set.  WNBA cards made by Fleer and Rittenhouse seem to hold much more value due to having low numbered parallels and autographs/relics.

What Was Inside That Dare To Tear Box Topper?

A couple of weeks ago I held a contest for a sealed Felix Potvin 2010-2011 Zenith Dare To Tear box topper.  Matthew Wilson from the blog Tenets of Wilson was the lucky winner.  I received an e-mail from Matthew early today.  The urge to open it was too much to handle and Matthew decided to tear.  Inside waiting for him wasn’t a base card or a parallel.  Instead what was waiting for him was a Taylor Hall 2010-2011 Donruss Elite RC Auto #’ed/99.  The odds of pulling a card like this are out of this world.  I couldn’t be more happy for Matthew.  I’m glad one of Sports Card Info’s contests could yield such a high-dollar card.  This has to be the most valuable card awarded to a reader.  The last Taylor Hall ’10-’11 Elite RC Auto #’ed/99 sold for $125.00.

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