Here Is Parkside’s 2020 Santa Claus Card

Parkside Collectibles is an interesting manufacturer that makes cards for the National Women’s Soccer League, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Major League Lacrosse, and BIG3 Basketball.

In 2019, Parkside Collectibles issued a card featuring Santa Claus on it. I’m happy to announce this tradition has continued for 2020.

During the holiday season Parkside Collectibles issues these cards along with purchases on their website, and gives them out to their followers on social media.

I’m digging the ugly sweater design, and Parkside Collectibles sticker across the top of the top loader.

2020 Futera/Onyx Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball Is Here

Futera and Onyx are at it again. For a second year in a row collectors get to enjoy their Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball set.

This week marks the release of this product. Some breakers have begun to open it, and singles have started to surface on the secondary market. Card companies collaborating on a single product certainly isn’t something you see today.

(4) packs come in every display box. Inside each pack is an autograph, relic, or autograph/relic. You can even use the empty display box as a storage container when your finished.

2020 Futera/Onyx Unique Prospects & Legends is packed with some incredible looking cards. Very ornate and fancy! They make the coolest looking gold-plated metal framed cards.

Is This Dave Kingman Baseball Card Haunted?

The 1974 Topps Baseball set is known for a lot of things. It was the first time Topps issued all of their cards in one series versus multiple series throughout the year. It also marked the first time Topps would issue their baseball cards in factory set form. Factory sets were sold exclusively through the J.C. Penny catalog. As a bonus for purchasing the set, collectors would also receive the first Traded set which featured players in their new uniforms if they had been traded that year. Key rookie cards include Dave Winfield, Ken Griffey, Sr., Bucky Dent, Frank Tanana, and Dave Parker.

Among the (660) cards, #610 is the most disturbing. Giants first baseman Dave Kingman looks as though he’s swinging his bat in front of a crowd made of ghostly hell demons. What happened to these people? Why do they look like this? What events took place during this game? Is anyone still alive? Has Dave Kingman been questioned? Was this game erased from the record books? Obviously there are more questions here than answers. But I believe this to be one of the biggest sports/hobby cover ups ever.

People who own this card have admitted to witnessing paranormal events. Storage lids popping off their boxes. Album pages flipping on their own. Bleeding top loaders. And that’s just the minor stuff.

Perhaps no story connected to this card is more shocking than that of 31 year old Kevin Clarke. After his father’s death Kevin inherited a baseball card collection. This card was in the collection, and he became obsessed with it. Over a period of time he claimed that the card would talk to him. Telling him to do horrible things. One day he gave in to the card’s demands and went on a killing spree. His victims were always found wrapped in clear plastic mimicking that of a penny sleeve. In some sick and twisted way Kevin may believe he’s helping to protect them from something much like you’ed use a penny sleeve to protect a card. Eventually he was caught and spent 2 years in a mental institution. But due to a computer glitch he ended up being released by accident. The media has given him the name “The Penny Sleeve Prowler”. To this day he remains on the loose.

Topps may have assigned this card #610, but we all know it should be #666.

Mike Baker Authenticated Is An Unnecessary, Sloppy, Lazy Service

Severe amounts of conflicts of interests plague the entire grading side of the hobby. Its been that way since PSA graded their first card, and it probably isn’t going to change any time soon. Special grades for those submitting a certain volume of cards, specific grades for friends, and looking the other way allowing altered cards to make their way through the grading process happens all of the time. So many people turn a blind eye to these facts because the money and publicity that comes with these highly graded cards can be immense. In short, as long as the merry-go-round keeps spinning its extremely difficult to convince someone to get off the ride. You can blog, record YouTube videos, and Tweet all you want about how corrupt grading is and it won’t change a thing. In fact, grading companies like PSA have seen a record increase in sales even after stories exposing their corruption have come out.

Just when you thought card grading couldn’t get more ridiculous, let me introduce you to Mike Baker Authenticated. Mike Baker once worked for PSA. For a fee, his newly formed company will (get ready for this) grade your already graded cards. These graded graded cards come with a COA and a corresponding sticker attached to the card’s holder. I guess the holder is receiving the grade. This is total !@#$%.

The example I’m showing is of a LeBron James 2003-04 Upper Deck MVP #201 rookie card graded by SGC a GM 10.

Everything about this COA screams lazy. This is an SGC graded card, but the COA only mentions PSA. In addition to that, there are numerous misspellings:

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Probstein123 has been selling these on eBay. The two are probably working together. Probstein123 is notorious for shill bidding his own auctions, and a top place for card doctors to move their altered creations. All the investigations in the world haven’t been able to put a dent into his business. Very sad.

2020 has seen a massive wave of new money enter the hobby. Cards selling for record amounts have received national coverage. Services such as Mike Baker Authenticated prey on those who don’t know any better. You don’t need his stickers plastered all over your cards just to feel superior.

Unnecessary, sloppy, and lazy easily sums-up this service. The worst part about the whole thing is that people are buying into this garbage.

Is Pete Rose Back In Major League Baseball?… Kinda, Maybe, Probably Not

Pete Rose’s banishment from MLB for gambling on baseball while playing for and managing the Reds will go down in history as one of the most debated sports topics.  Should the banishment be forgotten allowing him entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame?  This is a question that plaques the minds of many baseball fans today, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Legendary baseball player, and sometimes controversial pop-culture figure Pete Rose hasn’t appeared on an MLB-licensed Topps baseball card since 1989.  The last time he was featured in a licensed product showing team names and/or logos comes from 1994 Upper Deck: The American Epic.  Since then he has been seen countless times in other non-licensed baseball products made by Leaf and Panini.

Collectors opening 2020 Topps Series 2 Baseball are finding a familiar looking fellow on the Philadelphia Phillies Decades’ Best insert.  With his back turned, no team name and/or logos visible, you can just make out the cockeyed name across the back of the jersey which says “ROSE”.  Other players on the card include Steve Carlton and Bob Boone.

This isn’t something that Topps made a point to alert collectors about.  Collectors are discovering this all on their own.  Self-discovering moments such as this add a bit of excitement to the brand.  Pulling a card out and saying “I wonder if anyone else has noticed this?” can be fun.

In no way is this card rare.  Topps didn’t issue a corrected version.  Each one, including the parallels, looks just like this.  That won’t stop some folks from attempting to sell their cards for a premium.  This reminds me of the 2019 Topps Stadium Club Shane Bieber “error” which calls him Justin on the back.

Q&A: What Is The First Baseball Card?

Question: What is the first baseball card?

Answer: The answer to this question can vary depending on how a person defines “the first baseball card”.  In my opinion, this 19th century game card is what I view as the first card depicting what looks to be some form of baseball.

Based on bat and ball drawings from the 18th and 19th century, baseball historians have dated this card to around the 1830s.  During that time, children’s educational card games were popular in both England and the United States.  The picture shows three boys – one at bat, another pitching, and in the background a boy looks as if he’s standing on what would be first base.  Several other cards came in this set, but none of them deal with sports.

I wish this card was talked about more often, but it just isn’t.  If it dealt with a specific player or team I believe it would be.  Rarely do they ever show-up for sale.  When they do, its usually with an auction house.  Not many examples are floating around.

Is 2020 Bowman Sapphire Edition Baseball On The Way?

Over the weekend an interesting photo popped-up on Instagram.  The photo shows a bunch of Lency Delgado 2020 Bowman Chrome Atomic Orange Refractor Autographs.  What has people talking is the Atomic Orange aspect of the picture.

As far as we know, 2020 Bowman and 2020 Bowman Chrome will not have Atomic Orange Refractor Autographs.  Its also too early for 2020 Bowman Draft.  So what product will these cards be used for?

Its very possible Topps could be gearing-up for a 2020 Bowman Sapphire Edition Baseball online-exclusive release.  These cards look very similar to 2019 Bowman Draft Sapphire Edition.  Collectors/flippers have been all over these Topps online-exclusive products, especially when they pertain to prospects and rookies.

2019 Bowman Draft Sapphire Edition initially cost $35/box.  They are now selling for close to $200/box.  2020 Bowman 1st Edition cost $360/24-pack box.  Currently they’re selling for almost $700/box.  Its extremely fun to watch, and even more fun if you’re fast enough to get in on the action.  I’d never suggest using modern-day sports cards as a wise investment though.

As a member of the Topps 582 Montgomery Club, I hope club members get a crack at buying a box first.  If in fact these cards are meant for 2020 Bowman Sapphire Edition Baseball.  Trying to compete with the general public can be brutal.

Have you noticed how much people complain if they’re not fast enough when it comes to getting their order in with online-exclusive products?  They complain even more if they do get their order in, but the product doesn’t sell out immediately after.

Q&A: What Is A PSA Qualifier?

Question: Could you please tell me what a PSA qualifier is?  I see a lot of PSA graded cards with strange designations on them – OC, ST, PD, etc…

Answer: In short, a PSA qualifier allows for a card to receive a higher grade while having one major defect.  PSA qualifier designations include OC (Off-center), ST (stain), PD (Print Defect), OF (Out of Focus), and MK (Marks).  According to PSA “A “qualified” card is a card that meets all the criteria for a particular grade, but fails the standard in one area.”

For example, take a look at this Mickey Mantle 1961 Topps #300 graded by PSA a Mint 9 with an OC qualifier.  Other than being off-center its in really nice condition.  Without the qualifier it would probably be graded a 5.  As far as value goes, a normal PSA Mint 9 will always be better than that same card graded by PSA with a Mint 9 qualifier.  The qualifiers just allow people to own lower-quality cards while being able to retain that higher grade.

While we’re on the subject of graded cards I think its important to remind you of some things.  Grading in it’s current form is a complete sham.  Card grading has been corrupt since it all began with the world famous 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner graded by PSA a NM-MT 8.  Certain people have been outed as receiving higher grades on their cards just because they have friends at the grading companies.  Better grades have been given due to the volume of grading individuals do as well.  Cards that are counterfeit, altered, and doctored have made it through the grading process just because they know how much publicity and/or money that high graded card will receive.  Its a total joke.  Grading companies, cosigners, card doctors, and trimmers are all in bed together.

Despite so much proof of all of this wrongdoing, very few people care.  PSA continues to have record profits.  As long as people are willing to spend large amounts of money on high-graded cards nothing is going to change.  They will all continue to look the other way because its a ride that nobody wants to get off.

Its difficult to look at a card like this and not wonder what might have been done to it in order to obtain that grade.

Spontaneous Explosions, Fire Pits, & Bribes – THIS… IS… MUTANT LEAGUE FOOTBALL!!!

An apocalypse is no excuse for that football game to go unfinished.  That’s what the people at Electronic Arts thought when they decided to release Mutant League Football for the Sega Genesis in 1993.

As you can tell from the box art, this is not your typical lifelike football simulation.  Radiation has caused humans to mutate, and the dead are rising from the grave.  The reason for the post-apocalyptic environment hasn’t officially been explained.  According to the instruction manual, the reasons were lost do to an alien invasion, spin control, a sloppy filing system setup by a temp, and/or BBQ sauce.  The investigation continues to this very day.

Playing fields can be made of rubber, toxic waste, ice, and rock.  You’ll find many hazards on these fields that you certainly won’t find on any normal gridiron.  Hazards include fire pits, landmines, and you can even fly off into outer space.  If members of your team hit any of these hazards they can easily lose health or even die.  If they die while carrying the ball, don’t look for any sympathy.  The opposing team will just pickup the ball as if it were a normal fumble.  Each team has what they call Nasty Audibles.  These involve using items such as jet packs, electric shocks, invisibility, and even exploding footballs to intentionally hurt players on the other team.  You can even attack the quarterback with the intent to kill.  If you eliminate enough players, the opposing team has to forfeit.  One of the most popular things you can do is bribe the referee.  You can do this twice per game.  A bribed referee will make fake calls.  This doesn’t last very long.  As soon as the first fake call is made, the other team usually kills that ref.

With all of this violence and additional features, I bet your thinking this game probably sucks when it comes to playing real football.  That’s not the case at all.  Its hard to find a game that has a good balance of comical violence, yet retains that excellent football game play.

Inside specially marked copies of the game you’ll find two trading cards.  Its cool to see cards included within a video game.  There were a few spin-offs.  They made Mutant League Hockey, and there was a Mutant League Basketball game in the works but it never saw the light of day.

Lyle Alzado would’ve done well in this league if it had existed in the real world.

If you play this game on full-season mode and end up winning the championship, the losing team spontaneously explodes.

Running for two seasons an animated cartoon was even inspired by these video games.  Along with the show came a series of crazy action figures.

Between 2017 and 2018 Mutant League Football received a revival for the PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.

20 Years Later Topps Crystal Is Still A Mystery

Drawing a blank upon hearing about 1999 Topps Crystal?  I was debating whether or not to use this for a post since very little is known about it.  But then I thought perhaps just talking about it could shed some new light on this set.

Right now, there are only five different cards known to exist that come with the Topps Crystal name – Craig Biggio, Wally Joyner, Ivan Rodriguez, Andy Brown, and Mike Mussina.  Every card that has surfaced is serial numbered to (99) copies.  Given how rarely you see these popup, I highly doubt (99) copies were actually made for each card though.

The reason why you probably haven’t heard of Topps Crystal is because it was never released.  Many people believe that Topps printed these cards as a test for what would eventually become 2000 Topps HD.  The printing technology between the two is very similar.  Topps HD was a minor success, but only survived for two years.  What makes the cards standout is that they are printed on thick plastic.  Its unfortunate that they didn’t catch on.  I think they look really well done.  Especially the handful of on-card autographs that include Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Adrian Gonzalez.

Seeing that Topps Crystal was never officially released, it makes you wonder how these five cards found their way out.  The most logical explanation is that someone at Topps walked out the door with them.  The odds of finding a new Topps Crystal card are slim, but it could happen.  It would be cool to find one from the Phillies.  For all we know, one of Pat Burrell could be out there somewhere.