“Pin-Up” of the Week: 1972 Central Counties Bank 1st Generation “Crush the Orange” Penn State Button

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Its funny how the simple looking things can end up having an entire science to them.  That’s the way this hobby works.  Take for example the button pictured above.  Central Counties Bank produced three generations of buttons for Penn State fans in 1972.  This button is one of six from that first generation.  They all have phrases on them such as “Get the Goat”, “Hammer the Hawkeyes”, “Crush the Orange”, “Trip the Terrapins”, “Wallop the Wolfpack”, and “Pulverize the Panthers”.  Central Counties Bank wasn’t sure what type of response they would get from the public, so they only made them for the six home games and left their logo off.

Fans went nuts for these buttons.  Generation 2 consists of a second printing of the last four buttons from generation 1, and the Central Counties Bank logo is at the bottom.  Generation 3 is a third printing of the last two buttons from generations 1 & 2.  The main difference are the metal backs compared to green cardboard found on the first two generations.

Central Counties Bank eventually was taken over by Mellon Bank.  Now Mellon Bank is Citizens Bank.  No matter the name of the bank, they still made buttons.  Its a tradition that continues to this very day.

Many of the early buttons first introduced in 1972 carry a hefty price tag.  A collector recently spent $100 for this generation 1 “Crush the Orange” button.  For all Penn State button collectors, check out this great resource.  The site looks like something from the 90s, but its kept up-to-date.

On Location: Inside The Penn State All-Sports Museum

Located inside Beaver Stadium is the Penn State All-Sports Museum.  Shortly after it opened in 2002, I remember taking a tour through it.  That was long before Sports Card Info existed, and I’ve always wanted to go back.  That’s exactly what I did over the weekend.

This museum is a mecca for Penn State fans.  Between the two floors it covers major moments from every sport they’re involved in.  Penn State memorabilia galore.  Given that the school was founded in 1855, it has a lot of history.  Football probably gets the most coverage, but all sports get their good share of recognition.  You don’t need to be a Penn State fan to appreciate all of the historical artifacts on display here.  Just being a sports fan is enough.

Once you’re finished visiting the museum, a guide will take you into the stadium.  Getting to see the field without anyone else around is really cool.  Usually the place is packed with 100,000 fans.

Before leaving, I stopped by the gift shop and found a new pin for my collection.  I was looking for a bobblehead, but didn’t find any.  The closest I got to a bobblehead was a Penn State-themed nutcracker.

I didn’t realize that John Montgomery Ward attended Penn State.  He assisted in helping them start their baseball program, and played one season for them in 1875.  Then he got kicked out for stealing some chickens.  Ward eventually went on to have a very successful professional baseball career.  The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted him in 1964.  You can find cards of him in the 19th century Allen & Ginter and Old Judge sets.

If you’re passing through State College, PA I highly suggest stopping.  They don’t charge for admission, but donations are appreciated.

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The 1886 College Nine.  Standing: Halter, Jackson, Rose, Mock, Quigley, Mitchell.  Seated: McLean, Gibson, McClaren, Lencz.  Robert Gibson actually made it to the pros.

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Vintage Penn State baseball memorabilia.  Two game baseballs from 1905 and one from 1906.

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John Cappelletti’s Heisman trophy

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1986 National Championship trophy

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1969 Orange Bowl trophy

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Early 1900s basketball jersey.  Game ball from 1921.

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The Gene Wettstone Most Valuable Gymnast Award

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The Nittany Lion mascot is based on the eastern mountain lion which went extinct during the late 1800s.  This one was shot in 1856.  Considering the techniques for stuffing an animal back then are nothing like they are today, its in great condition.  Its probably one of the finest examples of a taxidermied eastern mountain lion.

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Sears sponsored fencing trophies.  When was the last time Sears could sponsor anything?

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“Pin-Up” of the Week: 61st Lawry’s Beef Bowl – USC vs. Penn State – Rose Bowl 2017 Pin

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Personally, I think there are way too many college bowl games.  It seems like more and more get added to the schedule every year.  They’re beginning to be overproduced like plain one-colored jersey cards.  I guess as long as companies keep throwing money at them two teams will find their way to a “big” game.

Penn State is scheduled to take on USC on Monday in the 103rd Rose Bowl Game.  Earlier this week, Penn State beat USC in another classic bowl game – Lawry’s Beef Bowl.  Lawry’s is an upscale restaurant in Beverly Hills that has been hosting the Beef Bowl for 61 years.  What is the Beef Bowl?  Before the Rose Bowl, each team is served a hefty meal of prime rib.  Whichever team eats the most, wins the Beef Bowl.  Penn State ate 536 lbs. compared to USC who came in at 502 lbs.  That’s a combined 1,038 lbs. of beef eaten.  Lawry’s Dallas, TX location also holds a Beef Bowl for the two Cotton Bowl participants.

You won’t find that much merchandise when it comes to the Beef Bowl.  Occasionally pins will show up.  I bought this pin for $12 last night.  This specific pin was given out to players, guests, and members of the media who attended the dinner.

Card of the Day: Robbie Gould 2016 Panini Penn State Collegiate Collection #43

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Flashback Product of the Week: 2007 TK Legacy Penn State Premiere Edition I

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Card companies rise and fall.  Some stick around, while others are here one day and gone the next.  Its been this way since the hobby began.  When you think of the major card manufacturers, companies like Topps, Upper Deck, Donruss, Playoff, Panini, and Leaf come to mind first.  There are a lot of smaller manufacturers that may not be around anymore, but still have quite the following.  One of those companies is TK Legacy.

For a large chunk of the 2000’s, TK Legacy released a handful of sets.  Most of these products were centered around specific college teams such as Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Penn State.  They also made some bowling boxes too.

Before TK Legacy shut its doors, they issued a full product surrounding Penn State football.  Unlike other schools, this was the only Penn State product they made.  The Premiere Edition was the only edition.  Some schools had four or five products made.  Boxes contain eight packs each housing an autograph or sketch card.  Key autographs to look for include John Cappelletti, Lydell Mitchell, Lenny Moore, Shane Conlan, DJ Dozier, Curt Warner, Blair Thomas, Todd Blackledge, Chris Bahr, and Matt Bahr.  For a lot of these guys this is the only product they ever had cards in.  I’m sorry to say that Joe Paterno isn’t in here at all.  For a guy who barely has any cards, this would have been the perfect product for him.

The cards are fairly basic looking.  No fancy graphics or foil.  In my opinion, TK Legacy had some of the best football sketch cards the hobby has ever seen.  A few Ohio State sketches of Troy Smith and their mascot Brutus recently sold for $100.00 to $200.00 each.  Sealed boxes of their Penn State product sell for $140.00.  Some of TK Legacy’s boxes have been known to sell for up to $300.00.  I think the reason why TK Legacy cards are still so popular is because they included players that don’t have a lot of cards.  Die-hard fans of those schools want them.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Penn State vs. Boston College 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl Pin

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Penn State wasn’t even expecting to be eligible for a bowl game last year.  But with the lifting of the sanctions and their 6-6 record they became eligible for the 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl which took place in Yankee Stadium.  They were able to sneak out a 31-30 win over Boston College.  Placekicker Sam Ficken made the extra point that put Penn State over the top to win.  Ficken was using Derek Jeter’s old locker that day.  I guess using Jeter’s locker brought him some luck.

Pins from this game haven’t shown up all that much.  Apparently most of them sold out at the game.  They’ve been selling for $15.00 to 50.00.  I got mine for $15.00.

Card of the Day: 2014 Upper Deck College Tribute Penn State White Out Patch

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