Card of the Day: Christy Mathewson 1961 Golden Press #24

Card of the Day: Christy Mathewson 1940 Play Ball #175

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Christy Mathewson’s Relic Cards Have Increased 283% In Price Over The Last Four Years

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Here is something you don’t see very often, especially within the hobby today.  The increase in price of a modern day card that isn’t related to some 18 year old prospect that was just bumped up to the majors.

Christy Mathewson relic cards have been on the rise over the past few years.  His first memorabilia card was issued in 2001 Upper Deck Legends of NY, and was limited to only 63 copies.  After that, Mathewson had relics appear in other products such as 2003 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts2005 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts2005 Upper Deck Trilogy, and last came in 2007 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic.  Since he has not had a new relic card issued in almost 5 years, the demand for his relics has drastically increased.

In 2008, I purchased a Christy Mathewson 2005 Upper Deck Trilogy game-used pants relic #’ed/75 for $58.00.  Last weekend I sold it for $222.50.  That is an 283 percent price increase in only 4 years.  During the time when he had a somewhat steady line of relic cards being issued, it wasn’t that difficult to find one up for sale.  Now you’ll be lucky to find one up for sale at all, and if you do be prepared to spend a hefty price.  Just take a look at some of these recently closed auctions:

Christy Mathewson is a perfect example of what can happen when manufacturers stop making relic cards of a popular HOFer.  Among the first five inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Mathewson has the second fewest relic cards.  Walter Johnson would be first considering he doesn’t have any.  Mathewson relics have really dried up.  It looks as if all the collectors that purchased his relics are keeping them in their personal collection.  I don’t know if I’d like to see some new Mathewson relics hit the market.  Someone would have to get their hands on some more Mathewson relics first, and those aren’t the easiest to find.  If new ones were to be issued, I have a feeling they would drive the price down on the older ones.

Mathewson’s 373 career wins still sits atop the number one spot in the National League, along with Grove Cleveland Alexander.  He attended Bucknell University which is only a few minutes away from where I live.  His body is also buried in the Lewisburg Cemetery and is right next to the college.

Monty Sheldon’s 2010 Sketch Cards Come With A Little Extra

Monty Sheldon has started up his sketch cards for 2010 already, and this year he has added a little twist to each of his cards.  His first five cards of 2010 will feature the first inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame: Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, and Christy Mathewson.  Sheldon has attached coupons to the bottom of each card in which collectors can redeem for other art such as sketch cards, hand-painted premium cards, a hand-painted hockey puck or cigar box, or a hand-painted baseball.  The coupons make each card look like the old Pacific Coast League Zee-Nut cards that were made from 1913-1937.  The redemption plan goes as follows:

  • 10 coupons = One (1) 2010 S.S.C.C. sketch card which will be a part of the 2010 series; customer selects player
  • 20 coupons = One (1) hand painted premium art card; customer selects player, more details to follow
  • 30 coupons = One (1) hand-painted hockey puck or cigar box; customer selects player
  • 40 coupons = One (1) hand-painted baseball customer selects player

Coupons distributed with the 2010 SSCC cards expire on 12/31/2012.

All sketch cards feature a very detailed pencil drawing with a black ink border. The size of this year’s sketch cards will be the standard 2 ½” x 3 ½” with the coupon intact. With the coupon clipped the card would measure 2 ½” x 2 7/8”.

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Card of the Day: 2008 Upper Deck: The First Class

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This card basically wakes up in the morning and pisses excellence.

Card of the Day: Christy Mathewson ’09 Topps American Heritage: An American Legend

I think this is one of Mathewson’s coolest looking modern day cards.  There isn’t anything fancy about it.  Just a plain mugshot of one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.

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Penny Cards

No, I’m not talking about cards worth a penny.  I’m talking about cards containing pennies.  A few years back I saw these cards on eBay but never gave much thought to them.  Recently I’ve been more interested in these cards which were made by Auth/Ink and always contain a penny.  They always feature a famous athlete, entertainer, or historical figure and then have a penny inserted into the card from a year that was significant to that person.  A couple of weeks ago I found a Christy Mathewson Auth/Ink card at a show for only $15.00.  Inside the card is a wheat penny from 1936 because that was the year Mathewson was inducted into the Baseball HOF.  Since I collect cards of older players such as Mathewson, I knew I had to have it.  Mathewson went to Bucknell University which I drive by everyday and is even buried the Lewisburg Cemetery which is right next to the school (that would make for a great place to do an on-location box break near Halloween).

Nobody is quite sure how these cards were distributed.  I doubt they were inserted into packs.  I think Auth/Ink sold them exclusively in eBay just like Razor did with some of their Metal cards.  These cards range in price from $9.99  all the way up to $50.00 in some cases.  This Lou Gehrig card looks really cool.  Usually you’d find Gehrig in a Yankees uniform, but they decided to use a picture of him in his Columbia jersey.  Another one of my favorites is of Mike “King” Kelly.

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A Monty Sheldon Mailday

Today in the mail I received a package from sports artist Monty Sheldon.  Sheldon is famous for painting his Artballs of popular baseball players and will be doing some of the artwork in the upcoming Topps National Chicle Football and Baseball sets.  Last week I did an interview with him and as a thank you he sent over a few card sets that he created for promotional purposes.  Below you’ll find a few cards from each set.  I think they look very nice, and each set contains cards of players you don’t always hear about, especially from the Black Sox Scandal.  Click on each photo for a closer look.

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Babe Ruth from the 8-card Triple Fold Sheldon Series 1 set

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Christy Mathewson from the 36-card “Goudey” style Sheldon Series 2 set

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Sheldon Series 3 consists of 8 mini cards featuring players from the Black Sox Scandal

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This is one of 9 postcards that he sent me.  Its from his Series 1 postcard set he used for a gallery show back in 2006.

Is There A Lawyer In The House?

During The National, I passed this one artist who painted a lot of really great sports images.  At their booth, they provided a few giveaways for collectors including these mini tobacco sized cards of Christy Mathewson.  Every weekend I usually list some cards to sell on eBay, and I thought I would give the Mathewson a chance.  Last night I received a message from another eBay user stating the following:

Kindly remove the Mathewson t-206 card given out at The National. This was a business venture using a personal card for Kreindler. Once it goes into the commercial mainstream it becomes liable to the estate and we had no prospect of making money from these cards. By leaving it up you give me no choice but to direct all legal inquiries to you now that you have been advised. I understand you are trying to be clever but it creates an actionable situation which I will not place Mr. Kreindler in.

Just to be on the safe side, I closed the auction.  I wasn’t expecting it to sell anyway, but thought I’d just give it a try.  If anyone else picked one of these up at The National, be very careful when trying to sell/trade it.

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These 2009 Kreindler Paintings Christy Mathewson mini’s are really cool.  I think the artist should start his own card company.

The Best Cut Signature Card Ever Made

Does anyone disagree that this is the best cut signature card ever made?  It features five cut signatures of the original inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame: Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Walter Johnson.  This card is from the 2001 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts set and popped up for sale last night with a starting bid of $49,995.00.  If I were the person to pull this card from a pack I probably would have gone crazy.