Pin Highlight: 2017 Williamsport Sun-Gazette LLWS Gorilla Pin

Baseball season might be over.  The weather is getting colder.  Christmas music has begun to play.  But in my mind though its still the summer.  And that means the Little League World Series.  With that comes pins.  Lots and lots of pins!!!

The Williamsport Sun-Gazette was founded in 1801, and issued their first pin in 2004.  Since then, they have regularly sold pins while the Little League World Series takes place.  Every year its exciting to see what new designs they come up with.

Ten new pins were released this past August.  Each one is limited to only (125) pins.  In terms of pins, that isn’t many.  That’s probably why I haven’t seen any 2017 Sun-Gazette pins show up on the secondary market yet.  The Sun-Gazette never sells them online.  You have to purchase them in person.  Low quantity combined with in person only availability holds them back from surfacing.

Most of their pins are baseball themed.  Some aren’t.  The craziest pin they made for 2017 has nothing on it pertaining to baseball.  It measures 3″ and has a gorilla on top of the Sun-Gazette building.  They sold t-shirts with this image on them.  It reminds me a lot of King Kong or that arcade game Rampage.

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2017 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball Box Break & Review

Minor league stars and burlap.  Plus Tim Tebow.  Its a party now!  Products based on minor league baseball are fun to rip.  During the summer I attend almost one minor league game per month.  Almost always shooting for a bobblehead night.  Topps produces two MiLB sets per year, Pro Debut being the other.  Where Pro Debut resembles more of a flagship set, including lots of wacky inserts that celebrate minor league baseball, Heritage takes a more traditional approach.  My box of this stuff last year contained a neat patch.

Just like Heritage and Heritage High Number for MLB, the MiLB set utilizes the classic 1968 Topps Baseball design.  This year’s set consists of (220) cards.  #1-#200 are base, and the last twenty cards are short prints.  Parallels include First Name Omission, Blue #’ed/99, Green #’ed/50, Gray #’ed/25, and Orange #’ed/1.  The missing first name seems more like a variation than a parallel, but not this time around.

You can’t have a Heritage set without a few variations.  This minor league counterpart doesn’t have as many when compared to the MLB sets, but you do need to keep an eye open for a couple.  Viewing the CMP code on the card backs can easily assist in identifying them:

  • Base cards end in #3408 or #3413
  • Short Prints end in #3418
  • Base Errors end in #3420 – six of these have autographed versions.
  • Base Facsimile Signatures end in #3419

Where this product shines the brightest are the on-card autographs.  Everything looks to be signed on-card, except for the ones containing nickels minted in 1968.  Those have stickers.  You’re most likely going to pull a Real One autograph.  Other autographs include Fantastic Feats, 1968 Mint, and Looming Legacy.  Although there are only four cards, the Looming Legacy autographs is the only veteran content in this product.  These are incredibly difficult to pull, but feature Manny Machado, David Ortiz, Chris Sale, and Derek Jeter in their minor league uniforms.

Game-used relics come in the form of Clubhouse Collection.  Even though I’ve only seen them online, the text on the black parallels housing patches and numbered 1/1 can be difficult to read.  Maybe that’s just me, and in person they look different.  Non-autographed 1968 Mint cards are counted as relics too.

As pop culture goes, Tim Tebow is a name that stands out on the checklist.  His card is a short print, but is much easier to pull than the one found in Pro Debut.  Bat relics of him are also in here.

If you’re a fan of minor league baseball like myself, I highly suggest giving a box a shot.  They’re quite affordable at $50 while guaranteeing at least (1) autograph and (1) relic.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Jorge Mateo
  • Jacob Heyward

Relic

  • Willie Calhoun Clubhouse Collection Blue Parallel Relic #’ed/50

Parallels

  • Jack Flaherty Blue #’ed/99
  • Francisco Rios Gray #’ed/25

Short Prints

  • Dawel Lugo #206
  • Ian Anderson #214
  • Justus Sheffield #209

Inserts

  • Scott Kingery 1968 Topps Discs #18
  • Bo Bichette 1968 Topps Discs #21
  • Sandy Alcantara 1968 Topps Discs #4
  • Ariel Jurado 1968 Topps Discs #13
  • Striker 1968 Topps Game Mascots #3
  • Sluggo 1968 Topps Game Mascots #10
  • Triston McKenzie Baseball America All-Star
  • Tyler O’Neill Baseball America All-Star
  • Kevin Newman Baseball America All-Star

Notable Base

  • Rhys Hoskins #164
  • Gleyber Torres #100
  • Clint Frazier #75

Pin Highlight: Olive Garden 2017 Little League World Series Pin

Who doesn’t love the Olive Garden?  That list is fairly short.  Their pasta, soup, salad, and bread sticks are all delicious.  Its been almost two months since the Little League World Series came to an end, and there are still some pins that have yet to popup online.  One such pin comes from the Olive Garden.

During the 2016 Little League World Series the Olive Garden in Williamsport had pins.  A few of them have showed up for sale, but not recently.  This year’s pin has been seen even less.  You would think these would be all over the place given that the Olive Garden is a popular restaurant.  Especially when the world comes to Williamsport and people need to eat.  I think the price has a lot to do with it.  The Olive Garden charged $10 for one of these pins, or it was free with the purchase of a dessert.  Considering their pins are very small in size, that’s a lot of money.  Little was done to advertise them too.  It was basically word of mouth.  You know no advertising was done when you see a local fence company (Kriger Fence) have more pins show up on the secondary market compared to the Olive Garden.  Trust me, more people passed through the Olive Garden during the Little League World Series than Kriger Fence.

Most businesses in Williamsport don’t sell their Little League pins over the internet.  Almost all of them need to be acquired in person or on eBay.  Limited availability like this can drive up the demand for certain pins.  Which pins won’t end up surfacing that much is a total shot in the dark.  Fifty years from now we could learn that a pin was made for the ’17 LLWS and only be hearing about it for the first time.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2016 LLWS “Best Buds” Boomer & Dugout Two-Pin Set

Boomer and Dugout.  Two mascots that rule the town of Williamsport, PA.  Boomer being the mascot of the Williamsport Crosscutters and Dugout the mascot of the Little League World Series.  It only seems natural that both would appear on a pin.

Outside of eBay and the Little League Store’s website, Little League pins for the most part need to be acquired in person.  Even the Little League Store’s website doesn’t sell every pin you’d find in their physical location.  This pin is a perfect example of that.

In August 2016, Little League and the Crosscutters came together and made this two-pin set.  The half with Boomer could only be obtained directly from the Crosscutters, while the Dugout side could be found at the Little League Museum.  (500) Boomer pins were given out to Crosscutters fans on 8/26/16.  I think its safe to say (500) Dugout pins were made too.  Considering they go together, it doesn’t make sense to make less or more of either side.  One set recently sold on the secondary market for $58.  Not too bad considering the cards they come affixed to value each pin at $5.

Card of the Day: 1990 Baseball Wit Little League World Series #10

Record Pin Haul During The 2017 Little League World Series

40.  That’s how many new pins I obtained for my collection this year.  I believe that is a new record.  Some of them I got for free, others I bought, and I even took a handful of my Sports Card Info pins to use for trading.  It really helps to have your own line of pins when it comes to trading.  Most collectors have never seen them before.

Every year more and more businesses in the surrounding area make pins.  I live about an hour away from Williamsport and a few businesses in my town like Budget Bakery and Murray Motors Chevrolet has pins.  As they should, considering not everyone visiting the Little League World Series can stay in Williamsport.

Over the past few years, Little League and many of it’s corporate sponsors have become heavily reliant on these electronic wristbands.  These are used for various activities and assist in getting you eligible for giveaways.  From my point of view and for what I’m there for, I find them to be intrusive.  But for the kids and the things they use them for I can see a reason for having them.  Their activities can keep them busy all day long.  And I think that’s the point.  Personally, I’m there for pins.

After spending a few hours on the Little League campus scoring as many free pins as possible and making some trades with other collectors and ushers, it was time to head downtown.  I hit up the Chamber of Commerce, The Clothier, Bullfrog Brewery, and Genetti Hotel.  All of them have pins.  Williamsport’s Golden Strip is loaded with businesses that I’ve never had pins from before.  KFC, Dolly’s Diner, Olive Garden, Aquarius Pools, Kriger Fence, The Taber Museum, and Bimbo Bakeries are all new places I got pins from.  You could easily spend all ten days of the Little League World Series hunting for pins.

Merchandise for the 2017 MLB Little League Classic featuring the Pirates and Cardinals is available over at Little League.  I got a new t-shirt and a few pins.  I’ve been to Historic Bowman Field many times.  For the most part, that game was for Little League players and their families.  A local lottery was held for Lycoming County residents so some fans from the general public could attend.  I hope they make this game an annual event.

One day it would be great to see Topps have a corporate booth setup at Little League.

I’ll do anything for a free pin.

Giants ’17 Topps Series 2 Relic Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Buster Posey 2017 Topps Series 2 Major League Material Relic.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, July 28, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!