“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2017 NFL Draft Pittsburgh Steelers Dan Rooney Tribute Pin

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Owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dan Rooney, passed away on April 13, 2017.  He was the son of Steelers founder Art Rooney.  Owners typically don’t have that many cards, but Dan Rooney had a few.

His most popular cards include:

  • 2000 Goal Line Art Hall of Fame #203
  • 2000 Goal Line Art Hall of Fame Auto #203
  • 2000 Goal Line Art Hall of Fame Gold Auto #’ed/100
  • 2000 Topps Hall of Fame Class of 2000 #4
  • 2000 Topps Hall of Fame Class of 2000 Auto

In honor of Dan Rooney’s passing, Steelers staff wore the above pin during the 2017 NFL Draft.  I don’t have a problem with the Steelers wanting to pay tribute to Dan Rooney with this pin.  From a collecting standpoint it could easily cause some problems though.

With Dan Rooney passing away only two weeks prior to the start of the draft, there probably wasn’t enough time to design a new tribute pin from scratch.  Instead they had to improvise with what they had.  The Steelers simply took one of their misty gold lapel pins and pinned it to a green ribbon.

Does anyone else see a potential problem here?  What stops someone from buying a misty gold lapel pin for $4.95 and pinning it to easily accessible green ribbon which can be found at any craft store?  The answer is nothing.  Anyone could do that while attempting to spin a tale that it came from a Steelers staff member during the draft.

The odds of an authentic one showing up for sale are slim.  I highly doubt a large amount were put together.  It would be in poor taste if someone from the Steelers did try and make money off of it.  But it has been known to happen before.  I can imagine an authentic pin would fetch quite a bit more than $5.  The only way I’d trust that one of these Dan Rooney tribute pins is authentic is if I received one directly from a Steelers staff member.  Otherwise you’d never know.

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.

Harrisburg Sports Card Show – February 18, 2017

It has been a long time since I’ve attended a classic shopping mall sports card show.  There has been a steady stream of them around, but none really worth going to.  On the Thursday night news during the sports segment, I overheard them state that there would be a show at the Harrisburg Mall February 17-19.  In addition to that, they also mentioned some Pittsburgh Steelers were scheduled to sign autographs.  This definitely sounded like a show worth checking out.

The Harrisburg Sports Card Show is put on by show promoter Carl Hisiro.  Autograph guests for the weekend included three Steelers – Jesse James, Stephon Tuitt, and Sean Davis.  Former Eagles wide receiver Vince Papale was also on the list to sign.  I decided to take my black/gold Penn State football and get Jesse James to autograph it.  I think it turned out really well.  By the looks of it, I bet they sold at least (200) tickets just for Jesse James.  That number might be low.  It makes perfect sense for a lot of collectors to want him given that he is a Steeler and went to Penn State.  The line moved fairly quickly as they called by ticket number.  I was #114.  While I was there, everything seemed to be running very smoothly.  It didn’t take long to get a ticket, they had merchandise you could buy to get signed, and Jesse James arrived right on time.

As for the card show portion, I’d say there were (20-25) dealers.  I didn’t see that many selling new sealed hobby boxes.  One dealer had a truckload of retail boxes though.  A good mix of vintage and new single cards could be seen.  One dealer had a few Harry Kalas bobbleheads, but I already owned them.  The one card I did inquire about was a Mike Schmidt 2001 Topps Archives Rookie Reprint Bat Relic.  There was no visible price on it, but the card was in a case with other cards listed for $10-$20.  After asking the dealer how much it cost, I found out there was a $50 price written on the back.  The lowest they would go was $40.  Well overpriced.

Overall it was a decent show.  The autograph guests are what caught my attention.  This takes me back to when I first started collecting, and met Scott Rolen at a mall show in 1996-97.

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Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James

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The 35th National: Day #2

Day #2 of the 35th National was a fun one.  Then again, everyday at the National is fun.  I participated in promos from Upper Deck and Topps, then took some time to check out some of the many dealers found outside of the Corporate Area.  I even seemed to pull a little MOJO!

Here are the major highlights of the day for me.
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Diamond Stars paintings of “Cards That Never Were” – Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

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Van Mungo and Billy Werber Diamond Stars cards.

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Frank Crosetti Diamond Stars.

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1927 World Series (New York Yankees) Press Pin

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1902 Pittsburgh Pirates National League Championship Lapel Pin

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Dennis Rodman

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1992 Donruss Diamond Kings Supers.  This auction house had a complete set on display.  Only 10 sets are known to exist.

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I purchased 15 packs of 2014 Topps Baseball and took them over to the Topps booth.  In return I got 6 Allen & Ginter minis – (2) Jim Brown, Johnny Manziel, Mike Trout, Jadeveon Clowney, and Derek Jeter.

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Upper Deck started their wrapper redemption program this morning at 10:25 a.m.  Today’s promo cards were of Jack Nicklaus, Joc Pederson, Johnny Manziel, Archie Griffin, and Wayne Gretzky.  I also got one of those Magic Johnson Amazon.com cards.  Wait until you see what I got in the pack I needed to open in order to get these.

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In order to get my Upper Deck wrapper redemption pack today, I decided to open a pack of 2014 Upper Deck SP Game-Used Edition Golf.  Inside the pack was this Jack Nicklaus Inked Fabrics Shirt/Auto #’ed/10.  I also pulled a Nancy Lopez Tour Gear Dual Shirt #’ed/35.

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“Pin-Up” of the Week: The Terrible Towel Pin

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The Terrible Towel is one of the most recognized pieces of fan merchandise in all of sports.  It was the brainchild of Steelers radio broadcaster Myron Cope back in 1975.  They needed a gimmick to help draw advertisers to their talk show, and the result was The Terrible Towel.  Since then it has been a staple within the Steelers culture.  The Terrible Towel was the first rally towel in sports.  Now teams across all sports have their own rally towels.

Over the years, there have been many different Terrible Towels made for certain occasions.  Depending on the age and occasion, these towels can be worth a lot of money.  Just check out some of these prices:

You definitely don’t want to use those towels to wash the dishes.  This pin is just a tribute to The Terrible Towel and isn’t rare at all.  They can easily be found for a few dollars.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 1979 World Series Pittsburgh Pirates Press Pin

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Let’s face it.  The Pittsburgh Pirates are the only pro team in Pennsylvania worth watching right now.  The Phillies are over, the Eagles suck, and the Steelers don’t even know what a football is.  Its way too early to say now, but the Flyers and 76ers probably don’t have too much hope either.

This year the Pirates had their first winning season since 1992.  For years Pittsburgh would start off well but then completely fall apart.  Something has finally clicked for them.  Since my Phillies aren’t in it, I have to be rooting for the Pirates.  I’d like to see them go all the way, but for some reason I just don’t see it happening.

The last time the Pirates were in the World Series was 1979.  They beat the Orioles four games to three and Willie Stargell was named the MVP at the age of 39.  This is the pin provided to members of the press at the time and is worth about $100.00.

OYO Sportstoys Field Set Review

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According to Santa Claus, there are only 97 more days to Christmas.  Kmart has already rolled out the first Christmas commercial this year, and it’s just the beginning.  It really does come sooner with each passing year.

OYO has recently added a new lineup of toys to their collection that I’m sure will be a big hit this holiday season – Field Sets.  Collectors began snarfing up OYO’s Field Sets this past summer during the All-Star Game in New York.  Now they offer four types of Field Sets for each MLB team – Starter Set, Infield Set, Outfield Set, and the Game Time Set.  If you’re looking to go all out, it’s best to go with the Game Time Set as it is the highest level, and consists of the other three sets in one.

The 157 piece Game Time Set contains the following:

  • 136 OYO Building Blocks
  • 10 OYO minifigures – 9 OYO team characters & 1 OYO Umpire (The umpire minifigures are exclusive to the Field Sets)
  • 11 baseball accessories (9 gloves, 1 bat, and 1 ball)

Although the minifigures that come along with each Field Set don’t represent specific players, their facial expressions completely make up for it.  The faces on the Field Set minifigures are much more animated when compared to the actual player minifigures OYO sells separately.  You could always take the head of a Field Set minifigure and put it on the body of one of the player specific ones.  That’s one of the great things about OYO’s toys.  They’re interchangeable.  Not just with each other either, but with other building toys such as Lego.  So if you wanted to have two OYO teams playing against one another and during the game they get invaded by some Lego alien set, it’ll work.  Its limited only by what your imagination can come up with.

What would I like to see OYO do next?  They are currently working on blind packages that contain a few random minifigures.  I think this is a great idea, as the blind packaged collectible market has taken off.  But the figures inside need to have some type of chase factor.  Minifigures with variations would work.  How about randomly inserted redemptions for you to get your very own minifigure made?  I think they need to expand on the Field Set idea and move into stadiums, vendors, team buses/planes, fans could build.

OYO has really hit a niche market that I think Lego missed.  Anything that can connect you with what you love now to something you played with during your childhood is awesome.  If you think these things are popular now, wait until the Lego movie comes out next year.