Added A Sweet Harry Kalas Card To The Collection

I’ve been a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies since the mid to late 90’s.  That’s when I began to follow baseball.  Before that, I played a little t-ball and had a small shoe box full of cards, but really didn’t pay that much attention to the sport.  All of a sudden, one weekend morning I decided to pull that shoe box out of my closet.  Despite not having anything major, all of that 1992 Topps and 1992 Topps Stadium Club must have turned my brain on to something because I’ve been involved in this hobby ever since.  After I discovered eBay, things reached a whole new level.

Some collectors have bubble mailers stuffed in their mailbox everyday.  That certainly isn’t me.  I’m extremely picky when it comes to adding a new card to my collection.  There is so much out there it can be overwhelming.  The nonstop buying can easily get expensive too.  When it came time to choose a Philly I wanted to collect, there were lots of players to pick from.  All had tons of cards.  But I didn’t want a never ending flow of cards pouring in.  That can get old after awhile.  I wanted a challenge.  So I settled on former Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas.

As long as I’ve watched the Phillies, they’ve always had a fantastic broadcast team.  Right now the team consists of Tom McCarthy, Ben Davis, John Kruk, and Greg Murphy.  On weekend home games Mike Schmidt joins the fun.  Viewers are well informed about the game, while the broadcasters are cracking jokes and poking fun at each other the whole time.  I think its one of the top broadcast teams in all of baseball.  The Yankees, Pirates, and Mets are televised in my area, and I find their broadcasts to be quite boring.  Nothing compares to the show the Phillies put on.

Harry Kalas joined the Phillies in 1971.  He helped open up Veterans Stadium.  Over the decades his voice instantly became one of the most recognizable during the summer.  This 2002 Hall Of Fame broadcaster and Ford C. Frick Award Winner has an endless amount of famous calls.  My favorite being “The 0-2 pitch — swing and a miss, struck him out!  The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball!

Its not very often I get to add a Harry Kalas card to my collection.  He has such a minimal amount of them.  In December 2016 I was alerted to the whereabouts of one of his rarest cards – 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1.  I thought for sure this card was still sitting in a sealed box.  Even though the seller, who originally pulled the card, received higher offers for it chose to accept my offer since he knew it was going into my Harry Kalas collection.  Thank you very much!

And here it is.  The last Harry Kalas Sweet Spot card I needed.  This card was made when Upper Deck used real baseball leather and not that manufactured stuff.  Into the safe it goes.  I think it was meant to be.  I bought this card on April 13th, which was the ninth anniversary of his death.

As far as what I’m looking for, there are only three more Harry Kalas cards left:

  • Mike Schmidt/Harry Kalas 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Announcing Greats Dual Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E Sketch Card Premium Back Redemption #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2015 Topps Five Star Cut Signature #’ed 1/1

Of those three, I believe the 2012 Sportkings Series E Sketch Card Premium Back Redemption #’ed 1/1 will be the most difficult to locate.  That card was only available to those people who collected enough base cards with letters on the back to spell out the word “SPORTKINGS” twice.  In June of 2013 this redemption program expired.  I’ve only seen one of these cards surface, and it was of Phil Rizzuto.  Recently, I contacted Dr. Brian Price who at the time had the rights to use the Sportkings name in hope that I might get some info on it.  According to him, all of the records pertaining to that program are long gone.  There is no way of knowing which cards were redeemed before the deadline.  In addition to that, who knows what happened when Leaf took over the Sportkings brand a few years later.  It could be residing in someone’s collection right now.  It also could have been trashed.

I don’t see Harry Kalas showing up in any upcoming sets.  In July, Topps plans to release Big League Baseball which is suppose to contain an insert titled Ballpark Landmarks.  Its possible a card featuring the Harry Kalas statue that is on display at Citizens Bank Park could sneak in there.  That’s a long shot though.  SAGE’s Sportkings is another possibility too.

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Harry Kalas Sportkings Cut Signature Mailday

Some collectors add new cards to their collection every single day.  For many, the bubble mailers just don’t seem to stop.  I’m very picky about what I collect.  The Steelers, Eagles, Penn State, and the Phillies are the main teams that I follow.  I probably follow the Phillies more than anything.  Years ago I was looking for someone from the Phillies to collect, but I didn’t want it to be too easy.  Players for the most part have tons of cards.  Broadcasters on the other hand do not.  So I settled on former Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas.  Good old HK only has a handful of cards, and none of them are simple to find.

One of the last things I do at the end of the day is an eBay search for “Harry Kalas”.  Most of the time what pops up doesn’t grab my interest.  Mainly because I either already have it or its junk.  My search last weekend turned up a card I’ve been looking for since 2012.  It was the Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E Top 50 Broadcasters Cut Signature #’ed 1/1.  The seller was from Massachusetts, and they accepted my first offer.  It was up for sale for less than a day.  The card has arrived, and has been added to my collection.  I believe this is the only cut signature of Harry Kalas to feature a picture of him.

This was the first Harry Kalas card I’ve added to my collection since last summer.  Its not something I get to do very often.  Other cards of his I’m looking for include:

  • Mike Schmidt/Harry Kalas 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game – Announcing Greats Dual Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Premium Back Redemption Sketch #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2015 Topps Five Star Cut Signature #’ed 1/1

Harry Kalas Black Stitch Auto Surfaces

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Sweet Spot was a fun brand when it was around.  Although after Upper Deck started to use that manufactured baseball leather near the end it took a nose dive.  Mainly because the autographs would bleed heavily into that material.  Some of those autographs were barely visible straight from the pack.  The regular baseball leather they started out with doesn’t bleed as much.  Just to be safe, I keep all of my Sweet Spot autographs in the dark no matter what material Upper Deck used.  Especially when it comes to those cards signed in red ink.

I enjoy Sweet Spot Classic from 2004 and 2005.  Phillies legendary broadcaster, Harry Kalas, has autographs in both sets.  If you’ve been following Sports Card Info, you know that I’m a big Harry Kalas collector.  He doesn’t have many cards.  The ones he does have rarely show up.  When I do get to add something to my collection its a big deal.

The last Sweet Spot Classic card I need of his is the Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1 from 2005.  A fellow collector stumbled upon my blog and noticed this card on my want list.  Twelve years ago, this collector just happened to be the person to pull it from a pack.  Its been sitting in their collection ever since.  I thought it had been lost forever or still stuck in a box somewhere.  The last I heard, this collector was thinking about selling it.  That was about a month ago, and nothing has surfaced on eBay.  I have a feeling its worth quite a bit considering the base version recently sold for $130.

Even though I don’t own this card… yet, I wanted to show it off.  Phillies and/or Sweet Spot fans should appreciate seeing it.

Below is a list of the Harry Kalas cards I need:

  • Harry Kalas/Mike Schmidt 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game – Announcing Greats Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E – Top 50 Broadcasters Cut Signature #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E Premium Back Redemption Sketches #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2015 Topps Five Star Cut Signature #’ed 1/1

Harry Kalas Sweet Spot Red/Blue Stitch Auto Found

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Its not very often I get to add something to my Harry Kalas collection.  He simply doesn’t have that much.  And what he does have rarely pops up.  A few times a week I check eBay to see if any new Harry Kalas cards are listed.  If by chance any of his cards are listed for sale, I most likely already have them.  That certainly wasn’t the case last week.

Imagine my surprise when I found this Harry Kalas 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Red/Blue Stitch Auto #’ed 1/40 on the auction block.  I bet it has been 8-10 years since I’ve seen one of these.  It needed to be mine.  The seller had a high “Buy It Now” price on it, but I was able to get him way down.  I’m happy to announce this card arrived safely without any problems.  I have my entire Harry Kalas card collection on display at Sports Card Album.  The bobbleheads and stadium giveaways I have of his are thrown in here.

My HK wantlist is really getting down to the extremely rare cards.  It consists of (4) different 1/1’s, and (1) #’ed/25.

  • Harry Kalas/Mike Schmidt 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game – Announcing Greats – Dual Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Black Stitch Auto #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2015 Topps Five Star Cut Signatures Auto #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E – Top 50 Broadcasters – Cut Signature Auto #’ed 1/1
  • Harry Kalas 2012 Sportkings Series E Sketch Card #’ed 1/1

I remember listening to Harry Kalas call Phillies games when I first started watching baseball.  When it came to collecting a specific person, I wanted someone that was associated with the Phillies but didn’t have tons of stuff.  HK fit that mold perfectly.  It would be cool to see him one day get a card in Allen & Ginter with the accompanying parallels.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Ozzie Smith/Harry Kalas 2002 HOF Cooperstown

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I think the biggest surprise in baseball this season are the Phillies.  Nobody thought they would have a winning record.  That includes the fans.  Now I know its early in the season, but things have been going great for them.  They’re currently 21-15, and sitting in third place in the N.L. East Division.  The Phillies have even had a couple of moments worthy of Topps Now cards.

Former Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas continues to be a major focal point in my collection.  I rarely get to add anything though because he doesn’t have that much merchandise.  He isn’t someone that manufacturers jump on when its time to make new cards.  I’ve got a feeling the cost to use his image might be too high.  Upper Deck, Fleer, and Sportkings have all made cards of him.  Topps literally only made one card.  It was a cut signature from 2013 Topps Series 1, and I own it.  I’d love to know if the one-of-one sketch from Sportkings Series E was ever redeemed.

Every now and then a Harry Kalas black patch pin will show up.  It resembles the patch the players wore when he passed away.  I’ve only seen the above pin one time.  Who, how, and where it was distributed remains a total mystery.  Cooperstown 2002 perhaps?  I picked it up a few years ago.

Topps Comes Through With HK Cut Signature Redemption

Lately Topps hasn’t been receiving the best feedback from collectors when it comes to their redemption cards.  Many are left out in the cold for months (sometimes years) wondering when they’ll get that card they’re due.  Unfortunately for some collectors the wait ends up in a total disaster.  They’ll get that bubble mailer in the mail, rip it open, only to find a replacement card not worth nearly as much as the card they were originally promised.  I don’t know what to say, other than they need a better system with improved communication.  An official Topps blog would be nice.

I rarely redeem redemption cards, let alone buy one.  But I certainly didn’t have a choice when someone posted the Harry Kalas 2013 Topps Series 1 Chasing History Cut Signature redemption for sale back in May.  Normally this is something I would never do, but I thought I’d take a chance on it.  My thinking was this.  Harry Kalas passed away back in 2009, and Topps didn’t have to chase him down for an autograph like they have to with many living players they issue redemptions for.  It was good enough logic for me to pull the trigger on the card.  After seeing that the Babe Ruth cut signature from 2013 Topps Series 1 was shipped, I was hoping the status on my card might change, and that’s exactly what happened a few days ago.

Here it is.  The Harry Kalas 2013 Topps Series 1 One-Of-One Chasing History Cut Signature.  He doesn’t have many cards, and this is one of the rarest for the former Phillies broadcaster/announcer.  Kalas rarely has cards appear in products, and that makes it even a bigger deal for me when I hear he is going to be included within something.  I have all of my Harry Kalas cards uploaded to Sports Card Album.  One of these days I’d like to get much more uploaded, as I have boxes full of relics and autographs I wouldn’t mind trying to sell.  Plus some other stuff I’d just like to show off.  At least this redemption card story has a happy ending.

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I’m still looking for the following HK cards:

  • Harry Kalas 1984 Tastykake Phillies Broadcasters #7
  • Harry Kalas/Gary Maddox/Richie Ashburn 1988 Phillies Tastykake Phillies Announcers #39
  • Harry Kalas/Chris Wheeler/Andy Musser 1990 Phillies Tastykake Phillies Announcers #35
  • 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Mike Schmidt/Harry Kalas Announcing Greats Dual Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2004 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Black #’ed/100
  • Harry Kalas 2005 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Black Stitch #’ed/1
  • Harry Kalas 2005 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Red-Blue Stitch #’ed/40
  • Harry Kalas Sportkings Premium Back Redemption Sketches #’ed/1
  • Harry Kalas Sportkings Series E Top 50 Broadcasters Cut Signature #’ed/1

2013 Bowman Box Break + New HK Pickup

I decided to drink the Kool-Aid and try a box of 2013 Bowman.  I usually don’t go for this kind of stuff, but it was a fun box to break.

Here are the most notable cards pulled:

Auto

  • Jairo Beras Bowman Chrome Auto

Mini Refractors

  • Tyler Skaggs
  • Alen Hanson
  • Ty Hensley
  • Courtney Hawkins

Ice Parallels

  • Carson Kelly
  • Austin Jackson

Blue Parallels

  • Jesse Hahn #’ed/500
  • Nelson Cruz #’ed/500

Sapphire Parallel

  • Tim Lincecum RC Reprint

Bowman Top 100

  • George Springer
  • Gregory Polanco

Notable Chromes

  • Gregory Polanco 
  • Byron Buxton

Notable RCs

  • Shelby Miller
  • Manny Machado
  • Jurickson Profar

Notable Prospects

  • Carlos Correa

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On a side note, yesterday I made a new addition to my Harry Kalas collection.  This one is going to be a biggie.  I’m not a fan of redemptions, but this time I didn’t have a choice.  I was able to acquire the Harry Kalas 2013 Topps Series 1 Chasing History Cut Signature #’ed 1/1.  Its already been redeemed and I’m now waiting on Topps.

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