Card of the Day: Mark McGwire 1998 Topps Gold Label Home Run Race #HR2

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1954 Parkhurst Race Against Time

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Parkhurst had a nice thing going throughout the 50’s and 60’s until Topps came along and built up a relationship with O-Pee-Chee.  Although they are mostly known for their hockey sets, Parkhurst did make it’s share of sets for other sports.  One of these “other” sets was released in 1954 called Race Against Time.  It’s technical designation is V339-12.  The Race Against Time set only consists of 40 cards.  Every card in the set depicts a famous race in history, except for card #39 which is a fantasy race between two spaceships.

On the front of each card is a nicely illustrated picture of a specific race.  The 40 cards cover a wide variety of vehicles such as cars, horses, motorcycles, and even ice boats.  It really is a diverse set, but with a common theme.  The reverse side contains a fully detailed historical write-up about the event (in both English and French).

Like most vintage sets, condition is everything.  Cards from this set are very affordable.  Not unless you need one that is in pristine condition.  Singles can usually be found for under $20.00.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2013 Daytona 500 55th Running The Great American Race Pin

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Tomorrow is the 55th running of the Daytona 500.  Hopefully they can get the track repaired after that crash which took place there earlier today.  I’m sure by now you’ve heard that Danica Patrick will be starting in the pole position.  She is the first woman to do so in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.  Her cards have always carried a premium, but prices spiked once she won the pole for Daytona.  If she were to win tomorrow, I can’t even imagine what her cards will do.

As for this pin, its one of the new ones floating around the track this year.  I’ve heard they’ve sold out and can only be found online.  That’s probably why they are selling for $25.00 in some cases.

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Its just a scratch.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1992 Motor Art Iditarod Sled Dog Race

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Man.  They really did make cards for everything back in the early 90’s didn’t they?  With the 2013 Iditarod right around the corner, this seemed like a perfect set to talk about.

Using sleds and dogs as a form of transportation has been around since the dawn of time, but the Iditarod only began in 1973.  This annual race takes place in early March where teams travel from Anchorage to Nome.  For up to two weeks or more, mushers and their dogs will endure some of the harshest winter weather.  Blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, and violent winds are just some of the challenges they have to face.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary in 1992, Motor Art made a 110-card set covering everything that dealt with the Iditarod.  This set features past winners, upcoming mushers, important figures in race history, scenes from along the trail, and some of the cards feature famous dogs.  Four of the cards can be placed together in order to form a map of the trail.  The Iditarod may be the biggest sporting event in Alaska, but these mushers don’t get quite the attention as baseball, football, basketball, and hockey players.  Everything in the early 90’s was a “Limited Edition”.  Today you can easily find these factory sets for under $10.00.  As a standalone product, sets like this don’t have the fan base in order to survive.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1991 Traks Race Cards

This was the premiere issue of Traks Race Cards.  Its advertised that the set consists of 200 cards, but for you die-hard Traks collectors there really are 212 cards.  Like many products at the time, 1991 Traks was drastically overproduced.  The set was filled with errors and Traks released a handful of corrections.  There is a lot of chipping too due to the black borders.

Jeff Gordon #1 would be the most prominent card within this product.  It was the first widely issued Gordon card.  To most collectors this would be considered his rookie.  They can easily be found for a few dollars.

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The people of Traks did a nice job when it came to the design of the box.  Its suppose to look like a race car.  I’d like to see more manufacturers come out with unique box designs that not only look cool, but can easily be stacked too.

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And The Winner Is…

Congrats to jo on being the lucky winner of the Jimmie Johnson 2011 Press Pass “Burning Rubber” Race-Used Tire Relic #’ed/50.  Once jo sends me their mailing address, I will ship this card out ASAP.  Thanks to everyone that participated!!!

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Press Pass Mailday!

Today in the mail I received an authentic Kyle Busch Race-Used Lug Nut from Press Pass.  This is either a replacement for my Phil Ivey redemption or a prize for participating in their recent Facebook contest.  Either way its really cool!

Update: It was for participating in their Facebook contest.

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Twelve Years Ago Tonight………………….

Twelve years ago tonight Mark McGwire passed Roger Maris as the single season home run king.  Bonds now holds that record, but 1998 was a great season for baseball.  Too bad that it all had to get ruined by steroids.

Back in ’98 the card below was on fire!  This thing went through the roof, and today it can be found for a few bucks.  Even though both McGwire’s and Sosa’s rookies are barely worth anything, their autographs are in high demand.

Ok lets here it.  How many of you purchased one of these during that season?

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Should Press Pass Go Retro?

Retro sets are the popular thing in today’s hobby.  Just take one look at the product release calendar and you’ll see old brands becoming new again.  Products like Allen & Ginter, Goodwin Champions, Obak, Philadelphia, and Magic have been popular with collectors.  One company that really hasn’t jumped on the retro bandwagon is Press Pass.  In fact the only real attempt they have made at a retro set would be the tobacco sized mini’s that can be found in ’09 Press Pass Series 2.  That got me thinking.  Should Press Pass do a retro themed set too?  Press Pass being a company that is the main supplier of racing cards to The Hobby, would have to do some digging to find an old set they could use for racing cards.  When trading cards became popular, the last thing any company thought of doing was putting a race car driver’s image on a card.  They stuck with what was popular, baseball and football.  If Press Pass wanted to make a retro set, they might want to go with the Adventure set design.  Back in 1956, Gum, Inc made a 100-card hand painted set featuring Adventurers like skiing mail men, sailors, military people, and race car drivers.  The design is simple and is typical of what a painted set would look like 50 years ago.  I’d like to see Press Pass make a set that would look like this.  Insert a few sketch cards, relics, and autographs, and you’d have a nice looking product.

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