Panini Shows Off An Early Look At 2014 NSCC Wrapper Redemption Set

We’re only 24 days away from the opening of the 2014 National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland.  Things are starting to heat up.  You know me, I’m all about free stuff and that’s one of the best things about the National.

Panini has given us collectors a small glimpse as to what we’ll find inside those coveted wrapper redemption packs.  Right now all we’re getting to see are base cards.  For more pictures check out The Knight’s Lance.  Panini plans to bring back their popular VIP Party which you’ll most likely need to spend a few thousand dollars on product if you want to attend.  They’ll also have autograph guests at their booth too.  In my experience, Panini’s wrapper redemption programs aren’t something you need to rush through the door to participate in like some of the stuff you see with Topps.  Panini usually holds their programs at specific times.  Watch the lines!!!  Collectors have been known to lineup 2 hours ahead of time.

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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

Our First Real Look At 2012 Topps Strata Football

Today we got our first real look at 2012 Topps Strata Football.  Before we just had mock-up pictures to go on.  I must say, Topps is really stepping up to the plate and creating some nice looking cards.  Having acetate die cut panels over top a jumbo patch relic sure stands out from a lot of those cookie cutter products we’ve been seeing for years.  Lets not forget about the hard-signed autographs that include inscriptions.  This is just the beginning.  Topps is crushing the competitiom right now.  Someone finally takes design into consideration.  You just can’t keep pumping out the same old stuff year after year.
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An Early Look At 2012 Ignite Racing

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Ignite is a new product Press Pass plans to release in May of this year.  Collectors will find (20) packs per box with (5) cards per pack.  Boxes will contain (2) “hits” – (1) autographed memorabilia card and (1) memorabilia card.  This will be the first set to include all new 2012 photography.  You can look for Danica Patrick’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie cards and autographs as well.  Ignite will also introduce the first autographed quadruple relic cards entitled Supercharged Signatures.

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Look Out Leaf! Here Comes 2012 UD SP Authentic Golf

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Look out Leaf.  It looks as if Upper Deck is coming out with 2012 SP Authentic Golf.  Every box will contain at least (3) autographs and (1) rookie card on average.  As you can see, Upper Deck hasn’t lost its touch when it comes to product design.  I think they look fantastic!  Boxes will contain (20) packs each.

Collectors have been wanting manufacturers to bring a golf product back to the market for years.  Now after 7 long years, collectors will have two to look forward too.  Leaf’s Golf Metal will hit the market in March and SP Authentic will makes its way out in June.  With Upper Deck having relics, Tiger Woods, and Michael Jordan on their side it will be interesting to see how Leaf’s Golf Metal will stand up.  Either way, collectors are going to get two great looking golf products this year.

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A Closer Look At Leaf Legends of Sport

Here is a closer look at Leaf Legends of Sport, which will be released later this year.  Every card in the set is autographed and is serial numbered to 50 or less.  Three autographs per box.

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2012 Allen & Ginter Lacks The Hawaiian Look

Topps released some more images of what collectors can expect 2012 Allen & Ginter to look like.  I gotta say, I’m missing the funky Hawaiian shirt like borders you normally would see around the autographs and relics.

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