Flashback Product of the Week: 1991 Score Mickey Mantle Dealer/Media Mailing List Set

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Mickey Mantle hasn’t had any new cards made for about five years.  The Mantle Estate parted ways with Topps after 2012 claiming the market had been too saturated with his cards.  Personally, I believe it was all over money.  During that time, no manufacturer was allowed to print cards of the great #7.

His estate seems to be loosening up a bit.  This week we learned new Mickey Mantle cards are going to be offered through the Panini Eternal line of collectibles.  Panini can make cards of him, but none of them will contain a Yankees name/logo.  Mickey Mantle and the Yankees.  Yankees and Mickey Mantle.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly.  It looks odd.  Mickey Mantle would’ve fit well into the Topps Now program.  Unlicensed Mantle cards kinda makes the family look desperate.  Although Topps isn’t the only company to make cards of Mickey Mantle over the years, its the first manufacturer I think of when it comes to his stuff.

For a brief moment in time, it was possible to pull authentic on-card autographs of Mickey Mantle.  Today’s collectors are mostly likely use to seeing his autographed cards come in the form of cut signatures, but it didn’t start out like this.  Mr. Mantle was around long enough to see the start of pack inserted autographs before passing away in 1995.

Collectors opening packs of 1991 Score Series 2 have the opportunity to pull an autograph of Mickey Mantle.  They’re individually numbered out of 2,500.  I can’t tell you how many might be left in packs, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a few were still hiding in there.

In addition to those autographs, that second series also had seven Mickey Mantle inserts.  Score sent out a special version of these inserts to dealers, members of the media, and whoever else was on their mailing list.  All seven cards came packaged in a pinstripe promo pack.  The cards inside look almost identical to the ones found in the standard second series packs.  Other than the serial number, Score’s name on the back is surrounded by a red box.  Five thousand of these sets were produced.  I don’t believe its possible to find any Mickey Mantle autographs tucked away inside these promo packs.  Sealed promo packs cost about $20 each.

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“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2014 MLB All-Star Game Media Pin

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The marketing people behind the 2014 MLB All-Star Game really had pin collectors in mind.  There seems to be many more collectible pins made for this year’s All-Star Game then ever before.  Along with the standard logo pins that could be purchased at the various gift shops, you’ll find exclusive pins.  Many of these exclusive pins could not be purchased.  A lot of them could only be obtained by trading pins with employees working for the All-Star Game and/or FanFest.  Others were given away at specific times.  Obviously this makes some pins rarer than others.  My personal favorite pin that was given out this year has to be the one from OYO Sportstoys.  You seriously can’t go wrong when combining an exclusive All-Star Game pin with a minifigure.  Mine should be arriving this week.

But at the end of the day, probably the most sought after pin would have to be the media pin.  Its the pin provided to all media, press, and big shots who attended the game.  The pin features two baseball players shaking hands.  One representing Minneapolis and the other Saint Paul.  Collectors are paying up to $200.00 for this pin, which far exceeds what any of the others are selling for.  Given that this was Derek Jeter’s final All-Star appearance increases the demand too.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Sochi 2014 Nippon TV Winter Olympics Media Pin

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The 2014 Winter Olympics are in full swing over in Sochi, Russia.  Norway currently holds the most medals with six.  Whenever the Olympics come around, pin collectors are in heaven.  Pin trading is huge when it comes to the Olympics.  Its even bigger than the Little League World Series.  They pretty much have a pin for everything.

Media outlets from all over the world are represented at the Olympics.  In America, NBC has the most coverage.  Over in Tokyo, Japan they have Nippon TV.  Nippon TV has been around for 60 years.  They were the first to air a TV commercial and broadcast in color.  Nippon TV has a rich history in shaping Japanese television much like ABC, NBC, and CBS do here in America.

If you’re attending the Winter Olympics right now, consider yourself lucky if you can get your hands on one of these Nippon TV media pins.  One recently sold for $90.00.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Super Bowl XLVIII – Host Committee 1-28-14 – Media Party Pin

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If you were lucky enough to make it into the Super Bowl XLVIII Media Party that took place last Tuesday, you know all about this pin.  Individuals that were allowed in, got one of these exclusive pins.  They’re one of the more in demand pins that collectors can obtain since these weren’t sold in retail gift shops.  Most of them sell for between $30.00 and $50.00.

The Super Bowl is one of the most merchandised sporting events.  Given its location this year, you can definitely see that.  Even though the actual game takes place in New Jersey, New York is making out well.  Macy’s Herald Square in New York City created an entire lineup of pins to giveaway leading up to this year’s Super Bowl.  The lines are quite long, but collectors do love their pins.  Not to mention most of the Macy’s Limited Edition pins are selling for $45.00 a piece.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Cal Ripken Jr’s Final Game At Yankee Stadium Media Pin

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Baseball’s true Iron man.  Cal Ripken Jr played his final game at Yankee Stadium on September 30, 2001.  His last official game came October 6 of that year.  Ripken will go down in history as one of the best baseball players of all time.  Among all of his records, the 2,632 consecutive games played is probably his most notable.  On September 6, 1995 Ripken broke the 56 year old record set by Lou Gehrig.  Members of the media that were at Yankee Stadium that day received the above pin.  They are worth about $80.00.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Super Bowl XLVII Media Pin

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Here it is!  One of the most sought after Super Bowl XLVII collectibles floating around.  This is the official Super Bowl XLVII pin that was given exclusively to credentialed Super Bowl media.  Collectors are always on the lookout for the media pin as they are much harder to obtain.  Normal pins that can be found in the gift shops or eBay generally sell for an average of $5.00 to $10.00.  The media pin on the other hand is currently selling for up to $100.00 or more.  Other popular non-traditional pins that seem to be getting a lot of attention are the ones made by the Hard Rock Cafe and VISA.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Super Bowl XXXVIII Sliding Roof Media Pin

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Super Bowl XXXVIII took place on February 1, 2004 between the Patriots and Panthers.  The Patriots won 32-29 and Tom Brady was named the MVP.

This pin is pretty cool not only because it was given strictly to members of the media, but because the stadium cover actually opens and closes just like Reliant Stadium in Houston.  That is always a cool effect.  As of right now, this pin has one bid on it for $30.00, but I’m sure it will go a little higher.