How To Spot A Fake Mike Trout 2011 Topps Update Series RC #175

Browsing the Blowout Cards Forums attempting to get a beat on the daily hobby pulse I came across an interesting post by user CoachBruno.  Within this post are some tips for spotting a counterfeit Mike Trout 2011 Topps Update Series RC #US175.  Rookie cards of Mike Trout aren’t cheap.  Even his mass-produced base rookies.  It shouldn’t surprise you that this card of his and the accompanying parallels that go with it are being forged.  Some of these are being sold as reprints for a few dollars, while others are being used to trick unknowing collectors.  Someone recently spent $1,200 for a counterfeit Diamond Anniversary parallel of this exact card.

When buying this card online, the best place to look at is the back.  This card’s front, especially the Diamond Anniversary parallel, is easier to identify a counterfeit in person.  The counterfeits are nowhere near as shiny.

A majority of counterfeits contain these features.  Its very possible that better counterfeits exist which don’t.

Authentic – Features “ANGELS OUTFIELD” in red.  Grey trapezoid beneath the Topps logo.  Color MLBPA logo.

Counterfeit – Features “ANGELS OUTFIELD” in black.  Missing/faint trapezoid beneath the Topps logo.  Black/white MLBPA logo.

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Card of the Day: J.D. Drew 1998 Donruss Signature Series #129

I Traded A Jar Of Peanut Butter For A Pin – 2019 Little League World Series Pin Pickups

The 2019 Little League World Series is in full swing.  Baseball fans from all over the world have found their way to South Williamsport.  Pin trading is bigger than ever.  Corporate sponsors and local businesses have pins for everyone.  Some you need to buy, while others are freebies.

This is the first year that I did not visit the Little League campus.  Obtaining pins from the corporate booths has really become an activity for kids.  Years ago pins were easily handed out for filling out a survey or lining up at a booth at a certain time.  Over the course of a few years mobile apps and registering electronic bracelets for the Family Fun Zone has become a requirement.  That’s not something I’m interested in doing.  Personally, I think it adds a bunch of unnecessary steps.  I suppose it keeps the kids busy though.

Just because I skipped the Little League complex doesn’t mean I missed out on adding some new pins to my collection.  Between Dunkin’, Dairy Queen, various businesses on 4th street, and Williamsport’s Golden Strip, I came home with (22) pins.  Between the Chamber of Commerce and Dick’s Sporting Goods, I was able to pickup the pins I would’ve purchased over at Little League anyway.  Some places which traditionally have pins like Pennsylvania College of Technology and The Crazy Tomato don’t have them this year.

I’m not going to show off all (22) pins.  But I will show you some of the pins I got which I haven’t seen popup online yet and/or I find unique.

Woodlands Bank – in order to get this pin I had to trade-in a jar of peanut butter.  Woodlands Bank will donate the peanut butter to the Central PA Food Bank and Firetree Place.

Bullfrog Brewery & Restaurant

Kinley Jewelers

Dolly’s Diner

River Valley Transit

2019 Topps Archives Signature Series Baseball (Active Player Edition) Hobby Box Break & Review

“Wouldn’t this card look nice with an on-card autograph?”.  That’s the question Topps answers each year with the release of Archives Signature Series.  That goes for the Active Player and Retired Player Edition.  I’ve had quite a bit of luck with this brand before.  In 2017 I pulled a Mike Trout autograph #’ed 1/1.  Last year I got a Starling Marte autograph #’ed 1/1.  No duds for me.  Now I didn’t get another 1/1 autograph this time, but it is a decent card of a pitcher doing well this year.

Buyback autographs are what keep the heart of this product beating.  Each box contains (1) encased buyback autograph of a currently active MLB player.  Just under (100) different MLB players have autographs in here.  Many with multiple cards.

For those of you unfamiliar with what a buyback autograph is, here’s a little refresher.  Topps will buy up a ton of cards they issued in the past.  They then get players to sign those cards.  Topps then foil stamps the cards with the “Archives Signature Series” logo.  The cards are then placed in BCW holders for their protection.

A single box will cost just under $50.  If you think that’s too expensive for one card, I’d recommend sticking to picking up singles on the secondary market.  Its amazing how far an on-card autograph on a simple base card can go.  Lots of past Topps designs are improved with an on-card autograph.

Very simple and to the point.  I’ve always said cards with a simple design are the most attractive.

Wondering if your favorite player has cards in here?  Take a look.  The amount of cards per player and the serial numbering varies.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Michael Soroka 2015 Bowman Draft Buyback Auto #’ed/79

Cubs ’19 Topps Series 2 Relic Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to Stadium Fantasium on being the lucky winner of the Jason Heyward 2019 Topps Series 2 Major League Material Relic 150th Anniversary Parallel #’ed/150.  Once Stadium Fantasium sends me their mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!

Cubs ’19 Topps Series 2 Relic Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Jason Heyward 2019 Topps Series 2 Major League Material Relic 150th Anniversary Parallel #’ed/150.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, July 5, 2019 @ 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.
  • 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!!!

2019 Topps Series 2 Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

We’re at the halfway point of the 2019 MLB season.  Things started off really well for my Phillies, but recently they have sunk into second place behind the Braves.  Pitching is the Phillies’ biggest problem.  They just don’t have it.  If I had to pick their best pitcher, I’d go with Zach Eflin.  That Jake Arrieta has become so incredibly difficult to watch.  I believe he reached his pinnacle when winning the World Series with the Cubs.  Since then its been downhill.  What bothers me the most is how much praise I keep hearing about their pitching.  No sooner does the game end, Phillies lose, and all you hear about is how great the pitching was.  Sometimes I think they’re in complete pitching denial.

Ok.  That’s enough about me complaining about the Phillies’ pitching.  Being almost halfway through the MLB season means the next addition to the classic flagship set is upon us once again.  I’m talking about 2019 Topps Series 2.  In a few more months we will be welcomed with 2019 Topps Updates.

Flagship sets such as this are made for major set collectors.  Products like Series 2 come with (24) packs per box, and guarantee (1) autograph or relic per hobby box.  More affordable retail options are always available.  If you feel like spending a bit more, jumbo boxes offer more hits.

2019 Topps Series 2 picks up right where Series 1 left off.  The base set ranges from card #351 to #700.  Parallels include Purple (Meijer), 150th Anniversary, Rainbow Foil, Gold #’ed/2,019, Advanced Stats #’ed/150, Vintage Stock #’ed/99, Independence Day #’ed/76, Black #’ed/67 (Hobby/Jumbo), Mother’s Day Pink #’ed/50, Father’s Day Blue #’ed/50, Memorial Day Camo #’ed/25, Base Clear #’ed/10, Platinum #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1.

Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. made it into the set as a Short Print.

You can’t have a flagship set without photo variations.  And there are plenty of them to look for.  The CMP codes can help:

  • Base – #962
  • SP Variation – #031
  • SSP Variation – #032

The Advanced Stat parallel also has a different CMP code which ends in #968.  The easiest way to identify these is to just look at the back as they are #’ed/150.

Unless you get extremely lucky, your hit for the most part will be a basic one-color relic.  There are plenty of big cards to find, but that shouldn’t be your main goal with this type of product.  Its vital that you check everything.  That autograph or relic may not have been a big dollar hit, but a photo variation or parallel could easily end up being the highlight.  The photos Topps picked, especially for the SSP variations, are really interesting.

The Home Run Challenge inserts continue to be my favorite.  None of the dates I’ve picked have been correct.  Anything that can keep collectors thinking about the product once its been opened is ok in my book.  Especially in a time when there are lots of products to choose from.

Gary Vaynerchuk a.k.a. Gary Vee, is featured on his own insert set, and even has some autographs.  Gary Vee is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, investor, and internet personality.  I’ve talked a bit about him before.  Earlier this year Gary Vee appeared on The Rich Eisen Show, and mentioned some of the sports cards he’s been investing in.  Trading cards is one of the areas he started in many years ago.

I think its great to see Gary Vee using his platform to talk about cards.  The general public listening though shouldn’t misinterpret what a successful, wealthy person like Gary Vee does for a hobby as a new guaranteed can’t lose source of income.  A lot of people will interpret what he says in that type of manner.  Its not meant to be received that way.  Just be smart, and enjoy the show.  His insert set highlights top entrepreneurs in baseball.

Set collectors get the most enjoyment out of Series 2.  Bring on Topps Chrome and Updates!

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Jason Heyward Major League Material Relic 150th Anniversary #’ed/150

SP Photo Variation

  • Joe Morgan #374

Parallels

  • Evolution – Radio Broadcast – Black #’ed/299
  • Tyler O’Neill Independence Day #’ed/76
  • Chris Owings 150th Anniversary
  • Billy McKinney Rainbow Foil
  • Patrick Corbin Rainbow Foil
  • Ronald Torreyes Gold #’ed/2019
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu Gold #’ed/2019
  • Ender Inciarte Gold #’ed/2019
  • David Dahl Gold #’ed/2019

Inserts

  • Carlos Correa Home Run Challenge
  • Byron Buxton Significant Statistics
  • Trevor Story Significant Statistics
  • Derek Jeter Gary Vee’s Top Entrepreneurs In Baseball
  • Chris Iannetta Gary Vee’s Top Entrepreneurs In Baseball
  • Johnny Bench 150 Years of Baseball
  • Honus Wagner 150 Years of Baseball
  • Jackie Robinson Iconic Card Reprints
  • Ernie Banks Iconic Card Reprints
  • Dale Murphy Iconic Card Reprints
  • Javier Baez 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars
  • Mark McGwire 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars
  • Max Scherzer 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars
  • Francisco Lindor 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars
  • Chris Sale 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars
  • Jose Altuve 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars