Q&A: Did Topps Issue Boxes Of 1992 Stadium of Stars Cards?

Question: Hi!  I came across this odd card of Larry King.  It appears to be from 1992 Topps Stadium of Stars.  Did Topps issue boxes for this set?  What can you tell me about it?

Answer: No.  Topps did not issue these in the traditional box format.  The year was 1992, and the 13th National Sports Collectors Convention was being held in Atlanta, GA.  For the first time in it’s thirteen year existence, Topps decided to setup a booth.  Used as a promotional giveaway, Topps created a 13-card set entitled Stadium of Stars.

  • Bruce Jenner
  • John Wooden
  • Joan Lunden
  • Lou Holtz
  • Chris McCarron
  • Nick Charles
  • Larry King
  • Ann Meyers
  • LeRoy Neiman
  • Wilma Rudolph
  • Bob Costas
  • Nancy Lopez
  • Jim Beckett III

The exact number of cards handed out during the show is unknown.  Every celebrity on the checklist received (500) copies to hand out at their discretion.  Two jumbo-size cards were also printed for each individual.  One was given to the celebrity, and the other was autographed.  The signed version was auctioned off, and the money went to a specific charity chosen by that celebrity.

Topps sold 5,000 uncut sheets to dealers at the show.  From time to time one of those will popup.  I believe Jim Beckett III was a late addition and/or had to be obtained differently compared to the others.  You can find his single card on the secondary market, but its not pictured on any of the promotional material like the uncut sheet.  An oversize souvenir sheet featuring these cards is suppose to be floating around too.

A complete set is worth about $30-$50.

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Q&A – What’s Up With Those Black Marks On 80’s Topps Boxes?

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Question: Dear Sports Card Info: I really enjoy your blog, especially the weekly contests.  I’ve got a question for you.  I’m looking to purchase a box of 1984 Topps Football.  Why do so many of them have black marks on the front?  It seems like a lot of Topps boxes from the 80’s have these markings.  Thanks!

Answer: Great question!  Congrats on wanting to purchase a box of 1984 Topps Football.  That set has some great rookie cards including Dan Marino and John Elway.  Opening a box like that can be really fun.  If that’s what you plan to do.

During the 1980’s, Topps allowed distributors and stores to return older products that they were having a difficult time selling.  A way to get rid of old inventory.  The people making the return would get a little something back.  When an old case would be sent back, Topps would open it, place a black mark on the front of each box, and then send it back out to discount retail outlets for sale.  If I’m not mistaken, Topps would even allow individual boxes to be sent back too as long as they contained all (36) packs.  Back then, Topps did not seal their boxes with plastic like they do today.  Its possible that individual boxes sent back could’ve been compiled from other boxes in order to make a complete box.  Its almost impossible to know if the packs inside are the original ones Topps put in there.  They could be from other ’84 Topps Football boxes.

Authentic boxes without the marks will almost always be more desirable.  I wouldn’t purchase a valuable older box without the people at Baseball Card Exchange looking at it.  They have a great reputation with collectors.  The last thing you want to do is spend $1,000 and find out your box was tampered with.

The #1 Question Being Asked During The 2014 Industry Summit Is…

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Q & A – Is This Michael Vick Card An Error?

Errors have been around ever since the first cards were produced back in the 19th century.  Some are collectible, and others people don’t care about one bit.  I’m sorry to say the question I received today from a reader deals in the category of ones people probably don’t care about.

Here we have a standard Michael Vick 2010 Gridiron Gear base card #115.

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Nothing too special about the front.  Now lets take a zoomed in look at the back side.

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Notice anything?  I don’t recall Michael Vick ever playing for the Vikings.  To answer the reader’s question.  Yes, this is an error.  Is it one that will make this one cent base card worth a million bucks?  No.  Perhaps if this were the 1980’s, and Panini had stopped production to issue a correction.  Then we might have something.  But its not the ’80’s anymore.

Q & A – Why Isn’t My Sid Luckman Card Autographed?

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I get questions all the time from collectors passing by Sports Card Info.  99.9% of them go a little something like this – “I just purchased a card for $20.00, how much is it worth?”  Every now and then I get a really good question that deserves its very own blog post.  Today I received one of those questions.

Last night Sports Card Info was contacted by  a collector who told me they had a Sid Luckman 1997 Leaf Reproductions card that looks as if it should have been autographed, but isn’t.  As you can see in the above picture the collector sent me, in the upper right hand corner it says “[Authentic Signature]” but there is no signature.  There is a perfectly good explanation for this.

Deep within 1997 Leaf Football there is a 24-card set called Leaf Reproductions.  This insert set contains twelve current players (current as of 1997) and twelve former players.  Every card is serial numbered to 1,948 copies ironically due to the fact they are designed after the 1948 Leaf Football set.  The last 500 copies of the twelve former players are autographed.  The current players have no autographs.

All is good until we reach Sid Luckman.  Many believe the cards he did sign were released onto the secondary market by his family after his death in 1998, and not in packs of 1997 Leaf Football.  Luckman didn’t sign all of the final 500 copies of his card.  This results in what we have here.  One of the final 500 cards that should have been autographed.

The first 1,448 cards were released in packs.  None of these were autographed either.  The collector I talked to thinks he pulled this card from a pack.  In my opinion, Donruss either included some of the cards that should have been signed but weren’t into packs, or the Luckman family released the unsigned ones to the public along with the handful he did sign.

If you look this card up, you’ll see three different versions – autographed, non-autographed, and a promo.  But after seeing this card, there is really four.

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After seeing the serial number on this card, I thought I might be able to determine a ballpark figure on the number of cards Luckman actually did sign.  But looking at some of the autographed versions, it looks like he skipped around in the order that he signed them.

Its funny how a simple card serial numbered to 1,948 copies can get so complicated.

What Else Do I Get Crazy About? – MLB Dugout Heroes

This post is a response to an article I saw on A Cardboard Problem yesterday.  Every weekend they have a Sunday question.  Yesterday’s question asked collectors whether they get crazy about something else other than baseball cards.  In my response, I can say I do.  Along with collecting sports cards and other memorabilia, I am a huge fan of the video game MLB Dugout Heroes.  I discovered this game last summer after seeing an advertisement on YouTube and I have been playing ever since.  You choose a team to play as (I picked the Phillies), then you just start playing online games with other people.  The currency in the game is “Nuts” and as you make more money by playing you can purchase upgrades for your team.  Some of the upgrades include sunglasses, gloves, bats, and shoes.  The best thing about this game is that its totally FREE!!

For years I was addicted to playing video games.  I had a bunch of systems ranging from the old NES to a PlayStation 2.  I sold every piece of gaming equipment a few years ago because I got bored and decided to do more collecting.  If your a baseball fan and a gamer, I highly suggest trying it out.  I like the way the players look.  Usually video game manufacturers try and make the athletes look as real as possible.  With MLB Dugout Heroes, the players look like cartoons.  If you decide to jump on board, my Phillies team name is SportsCardInfo.  I’m far from the best at it, but its still really fun.  My Phillies are more like last year’s Nationals.

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This is suppose to be Ryan Howard 🙂

In case anyone was wondering.  I have almost 700,000 “Nuts”.

Q & A – Signed Letter From Sy Berger

Question:  I have a letter addressed to me from Sy Berger when he worked at Topps.   I was a kid asking him for some info.  It is a typewritten letter signed by Sy Berger.  I also have the envelope.  It is from March 1965.  How can I find out if it’s worth anything?  I would appreciate any suggestions.  Thanks.

Answer: Wow!  That is a really cool find.  Sy Berger is one of the most influencial people that has ever worked within the trading card industry.  He is most notably remembered for designing the 1952 Topps set.  Berger does have one autographed card, which can be found in the 2004 Topps Fan Favorites set.  Those usually sell for $10.00 to $20.00.  Within the last few years Topps has been selling extension contracts of athletes in which have Berger’s signature on it.  I picked one up for $30.00.  Sometimes you’ll see checks up for sale containing his signature, but the sellers usually start them with a very high price and they never sell.  If I had to put a value on your signed letter, I would say $50.00 to $70.00.  With that being said, it probably will be hard to sell because its not authenticated by a third party.  If I were you, I’d keep it.  That is a really cool collectible that shows how the hobby use to operate way before the internet came along.  Back in 1965, kids were still putting baseball cards in their bike spokes.

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