Card of the Day: 1993 Pacific Nolan Ryan 27 MLB Seasons – Nolan Ryan/Tom Seaver – Pacific Pride #250

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2017 Topps Now Predictor: MLB Little League Classic – August 20th

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Rumors were confirmed this week that the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals will play a regular season game in Williamsport, PA this year.  The game will take place on August 20th, right in the middle of the Little League World Series.  It’ll be broadcast on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball”, and played at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.  Based on the official press release from the Williamsport Crosscutters, only Little Leaguers and their families will be invited.  Tickets will not be sold to the general public.

The MLB Little League Classic would make for a perfect Topps Now card.  It is right on par with the Fort Bragg game they played in 2016.  I’m predicting that Topps will make a Topps Now card to commemorate this game.  If they do, it would most likely show up for sale on August 21st.  I at least just want to see a base Topps Now card made.  If any of the players do something spectacular, I guess autographs and/or relics won’t be out of the picture.  Whoever pulls the Topps Now Golden Ticket for August 20, 2017 will be due a special gold stamped parallel #’ed/1.

Its not easy to predict who and what will receive a Topps Now card.  This game feels like a sure thing.  Having it take place in my backyard is even cooler.  I visit BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field almost every summer for a bobblehead night.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2002 MLB All-Star Game Press Pin

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The MLB All-Star Game has been in the news this week.  Starting next year, the winning team will not determine who gets home-field advantage during the World Series.  Instead, home-field advantage will now go to the team with the better record.  That’s the way it should be, and I hope it stays like this for a long time.

It was the 2002 All-Star Game that made baseball officials change the rule in the first place.  The game ended up going into the 11th inning, and both teams ran out of available pitchers.  Eventually they came to the decision to allow the game to end in a 7-7 tie.  Fans were in an uproar.  In order to prevent future ties, they decided that someone would have to win the game.  That winner would then decide who got home-field advantage for the fall classic.  It remained this way from 2003 to 2016.  Before all of this, home-field advantage for the World Series alternated between leagues from year to year.

Pictured above is the pin members of the press received while attending the All-Star Game in 2002.  The top of the pin has a separating roof that you can actually pull apart just like the real roof at Miller Park.  Press pins can be expensive, but this one is quite affordable.  You can easily own this pin for under $20.

Personally, I think MLB overreacted in 2002.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2016 MLB All-Star Game Press Pin

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The pin provided to members of the media during the 2016 MLB All-Star Game is bringing in serious dollars.  Collectors have been spending $75 to over $100 for one of these.  Given the high demand these pins have on the secondary market, I think its very important that they look as different as possible from the ones you could buy in a gift shop.

When you compare the one made for the press to the other pins, the difference is quite clear.  Press pins for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game come with a gold, blue, and white ribbon attached horizontally to the back.  There is a gold star on each side too.  The actual pin affixed in the middle looks familiar to one that could be purchased from a vendor for around $5.  Although it would take some work.  What stops someone from buying one of those cheaper pins, picking up some ribbon & stars at a craft store, and attempt to pass it off as the real thing?  Nothing.  What should be the most difficult part of the whole counterfeit process (the pin in the middle) is served on a silver platter.  Pins sold in a retail setting should have zero similarity to those provided to the press.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: WinCraft 2016 MLB All-Star Game FanFest Topps Pin

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The 2016 MLB All-Star Game has officially come and gone.  Once again the American League gets home field advantage for the World Series.  Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer won the MVP award as the National League fell 4-2.

Leading up to the All-Star Game was FanFest.  WinCraft always makes a lot of pins for this event.  Some of them you can purchase, while others need to be acquired by trading.  They had a group of pins that would be given out each day at certain times.  Only (100) of each pin would be handed out at that specific time.  These pins historically are sponsored by corporate partners.  For 2016, companies such as Louisville Slugger, Rawlings, Majestic, New Era, Wilson, and Topps sponsored pins.

The Topps pin resembles a baseball card and contains a silhouette pitcher.  A few have popped-up on the secondary market selling for about $7.00.  I always find it cool to see the Topps name on stuff other than cards.

Jamie Cooper Wraps Up His Latest MLB Masterpiece

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Renowned sports artist Jamie Cooper recently completed his latest piece of MLB artwork.  This masterpiece was done for a private collector in California.  After working on it for three years in Australia, its finally arrived in its new home.  Complete with a museum grade frame of water gild gold leaf.  This All Stars painting now rests peacefully in what looks like a very high-end collection located on a sprawling seven-acre estate on the side of a mountain.  The collector’s name was left unsaid for privacy.  I think we can all agree this collector has some cool stuff we can only dream about owning.  Jamie Cooper documented his entire trip to the U.S. on Facebook.  There you can see where this painting now resides.  In addition to the painting, its fun to look around the room to see what else is there.  I spot a lot of bats, and what looks like some 1992 Donruss Diamond Kings – Supers.  Jamie Cooper is pictured on the right, with the owner to the left.

One glance at this painting and you’ll see a who’s who of ballplayers coming from multiple generations.  Much like the Phillies and Yankees Dream Scenes he has done.  My eyes go straight to Mike Schmidt.  That powder blue uniform and red hat really stand out.  I think I can even see Jamie Cooper and the painting’s owner back there behind the dugout next to Nolan Ryan.  I wonder what all these guys are talking about while sitting around 1933 Comiskey Park?

Card companies here in America need to recognize Jamie Cooper’s talent.  His work would look great on some MLB sets.  He’s already done caricatures for an AFL product.