Celeb Rookie: Phillie Phanatic

He is the mascot of all mascots.  He is the Great Green Goliath from the Galápagos Islands.  Since 1978 the Phillie Phanatic has been at the center of all kinds of antics all to entertain Phillies fans.  Whether he’s dancing on top of the dugout, riding his ATV, or shooting hot dogs into the crowd, people can’t take their eyes off of him.

The Phillie Phanatic’s first pack-inserted card comes from 1992 Donruss Triple Play Baseball #133.  But if were’re going to be specific, his official rookie card arrived almost ten years earlier.

Some Phillies fans who sent-away for autographs in 1983 received team-issued postcards sponsored by Tastykake in return.  Within that set you will find the Phillie Phanatic’s very first trading card.  Not only does he have one card, but for you die-hard OCD set collectors he’s got at least three.

The most common version you’ll find features the Phillie Phanatic riding his classic ATV.  Two versions of this card exist.  Both feature the same photograph.  Its the back that can differ.  One back says “Dear Fan: Thanks for your letter.  The Phillies and I appreciate your interest.  Unfortunately, we can not always answer each letter we receive individually so these photo cards have been prepared for your enjoyment.  Thanks again for writing and hope to see you at the ballpark.  Best Wishes, Phillie Phanatic”

The other back reads “Tell your parents to fasten their seat belts when driving.  Phillie Phanatic”

Another version pictures the Phillie Phanatic stirring up trouble on the field.  The back reads “Family fire drills and smoke detectors save lives.  Phillie Phanatic”  Of the three types, this one is more difficult to find.

Card of the Day: Dwight Gooden 2000 Topps Chrome All-Star Rookie Team #9

Blue Jays ’19 Bowman Sterling Auto Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Ryan Borucki 2019 Bowman Sterling RC Auto.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, May 29, 2020 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • U.S. residents only.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

Card of the Day: Luis Robert 2020 Topps Opening Day RC #201

Card of the Day: Luis Severino 2016 Topps Finest – Finest Firsts RC Auto

Card of the Day: Carter Hart 2019-20 Topps NHL 2018-19 Rookie Debut Sticker #535

Celeb Rookie: Rick Moranis

Sequels and reboots of popular television and movie franchises from the 1980s and 1990s is all the rage today.  If you were a kid during that time period there is a good chance some of your most beloved childhood characters are in the spotlight again.  While its not uncommon for new actors to take on these roles, bringing back the original people to play them happens a lot too.  I guess it all depends on the franchise, and who’s running the show.

An actor who I remember being on my T.V. a lot as a kid is Rick Moranis.  He’s right up there with Michael Keaton.  GhostbustersGhostbusters IIHoney, I Shrunk the KidsThe Flintstones, and Spaceballs are all key films I watched him in.  Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is probably where I saw him the most mainly because I owned a copy of it on VHS.

In 1997, Rick Moranis went on a bit of an acting hiatus.  He hasn’t acted in a live-action film or show since.  Behind the scenes work and doing some voice acting are all we’ve seen from him recently.  The reason for his hiatus is a mixture of wanting to focus more on being a single parent, and deciding to be selective about the roles he takes.

On February 12, it was announced that Rick Moranis would be reprising his role of Wayne Szalinski in Disney’s upcoming live-action Honey, I Shrunk the Kids reboot/sequel Shrunk.  I know a lot of fans are happy to hear this news.  He’s an icon from so many people’s childhood.  Eager fans can’t wait.

One of Moranis’s legendary roles is that of Seymour Krelborn in Little Shop of Horrors.  Seymour is a very nerdy florist who is interested in unusual plants.  His mutant-like plant named Audrey II tricks him into feeding it humans.  Upon the film’s release the studio considered it to be an underperformer at the box office.  Despite that, it has developed quite the cult following.  Other key cast members include Bill Murray, John Candy, and Steve Martin.

Looking for a Rick Moranis rookie card?  You’ll find it in 1986 Topps Little Shop of Horrors.  This 44-card/sticker set features various characters and scenes from the iconic film.  Rick Moranis is on many of the cards/stickers.  I consider card/sticker #1 to be his true rookie.  Copies can easily be found.

The first Ghostbusters film was released in 1984 and we got to see him play accountant Louis Tully.  Unfortunately, Ghostbusters fans didn’t have a set to collect until the second film was released in 1989.  In between those two films Little Shop of Horrors came out.

His return to acting is a huge deal.  I think its time he makes a return to cardboard as well.  Lets get an autograph of him in Allen & Ginter.

How To Spot A Fake Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss #248 Rookie Card

It might seem like a trivial card to counterfeit today, but at one time the Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss #248 rookie card was the king.  Back in the 1980s this card easily fetched over $100.  Many hobby veterans consider it to be the card that kicked-off the whole prospecting phenomenon.  With that type of attention and money being thrown around its no surprise that the counterfeiters came crawling.

Counterfeit Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss #248 rookies have been around almost as long as the real card itself.  If it weren’t for counterfeit versions of this card being made, the Upper Deck Company most likely wouldn’t exist.  Getting duped is what gave them the idea to print cards featuring holograms in order to make counterfeiting more difficult.

Don Mattingly has a very dedicated group of collectors.  His rookies may not be worth what they once were, but still are in demand.  An endless amount of counterfeits will always be floating around.

Here are some tips for spotting a counterfeit Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss #248 rookie card:

  • Card Stock – Large quantities of counterfeits were printed on thin card stock.  Authentic examples have card stock which is much thicker.
  • Gloss – Counterfeits tend to contain a lot more semi-gloss on the front.
  • Print – Blurry, dot-matrix printing is a major red flag of a counterfeit.  Especially on the front where it says “DONRUSS ’84”.
  • Coloring – A lighter-colored front/back is a telltale sign that the card is not genuine.  On an authentic example these areas will be darker.

One of the best things you can do is compare your Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss #248 rookie to other cards from that same set.  The card stock, gloss, photo, and text should all look similar.  I wouldn’t use cards depicting star players from 1984 though.  Even those are known to have been counterfeited despite not being rookies.  Use some nobody.

There has been a growing trend of counterfeit cards being sold as reprints.  Counterfeits and reprints are two completely different things.  Reprints originate from the card manufacturer.  Counterfeits are whipped-up in some losers card doctoring lab.  Its a wording loophole that helps them move their stash of counterfeits.  They’re hoping the people buying them don’t realize the difference.

Authentic front

Authentic back

Counterfeit front/back

Card of the Day: Yordan Alvarez 2020 Topps Series 1 RC #276

Celeb Rookie: Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar isn’t a famous musician, actor, or athlete.  But in the tech world though he’s considered a major celebrity.  Buyers, sellers, collectors, and flippers, use his creation on a daily basis.  I’m talking about eBay.

On September 3, 1995 Pierre Omidyar launched AuctionWeb.  At first it began as part of another site he ran.  A broken laser pointer became the first item to be sold.  One thing led to another and it quickly became the first online auction site which allowed person-to-person transactions.

Two years after it’s founding the company’s name was changed to eBay.  The story that eBay was created to help Pierre Omidyar’s fiancée buy/sell Pez dispensers is a complete fabrication.  eBay’s PR Manager came up with that story and the media outlets just ate it up.

Thanks to the popularity of Beanie Babies during the 90’s, eBay saw incredible growth.  I don’t know if eBay would exist today if it weren’t for Beanie Babies.  It probably would.  The site would’ve had a slower start though.  After eBay went public in 1998, Pierre Omidyar became an instant billionaire.

eBay held their first eBay Live! event in Anaheim, CA in 2002.  This was a get together of buyers, sellers, and various eBay employees.  Among the t-shirts, stress balls, and pins handed out there was also a 32-card set.  Each card in the set represents something or someone important to eBay.  A majority of the set consists of cards representing each major category on eBay at the time.

Card #26 is of eBay’s founder Pierre Omidyar.  Like all of the cards in this set, its an animation.