NSA Cards Are Still Garbage!

Just because a company has gone out of business doesn’t mean their garbage can’t continue to pollute the hobby. This is the perfect way to describe NSA (National Sportscard Authenticators).

From baseball to Bruce Lee NSA made “relic” cards for anyone. None of the material found in these frankencards were ever in the presence of the person or people featured on the cards. At best the material came from items purchased at the local Walmart and/or sporting goods store.

Their generic COA on the back doesn’t offer much confidence either. Especially the part that reads “NSA Grading excepts no responsibility and expressly disclaims all liabilities which may arise from the use or resale of these pieces.” They’re basically saying its not our fault if you go to resell this card and the material is found out to be fraudulent.

Between 2008 and 2010 I jumped on NSA’s case many times before they finally closed up. When NSA was alive and kicking they would actually post positive comments about their products here on Sports Card Info. They would then take those self-made comments and post them on their website as fake testimonials.

I continue to see people get fooled by these things. On a regular basis I receive e-mails from people telling me they have this “rare NSA card”, and want to know what the value is. The answer will always be zero.

Card of the Day: Pat Stud Still 1968 Topps #156

20 Years Later Topps Crystal Is Still A Mystery

Drawing a blank upon hearing about 1999 Topps Crystal?  I was debating whether or not to use this for a post since very little is known about it.  But then I thought perhaps just talking about it could shed some new light on this set.

Right now, there are only five different cards known to exist that come with the Topps Crystal name – Craig Biggio, Wally Joyner, Ivan Rodriguez, Andy Brown, and Mike Mussina.  Every card that has surfaced is serial numbered to (99) copies.  Given how rarely you see these popup, I highly doubt (99) copies were actually made for each card though.

The reason why you probably haven’t heard of Topps Crystal is because it was never released.  Many people believe that Topps printed these cards as a test for what would eventually become 2000 Topps HD.  The printing technology between the two is very similar.  Topps HD was a minor success, but only survived for two years.  What makes the cards standout is that they are printed on thick plastic.  Its unfortunate that they didn’t catch on.  I think they look really well done.  Especially the handful of on-card autographs that include Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Adrian Gonzalez.

Seeing that Topps Crystal was never officially released, it makes you wonder how these five cards found their way out.  The most logical explanation is that someone at Topps walked out the door with them.  The odds of finding a new Topps Crystal card are slim, but it could happen.  It would be cool to find one from the Phillies.  For all we know, one of Pat Burrell could be out there somewhere.

Golf Cards Still Have Potential

Tiger Woods is one of the most recognizable athletes in the world.  If you have never watched a sporting event in your life, you probably still know who he is.  This past weekend, Tiger won the Australian Masters and took home $1.5 million in prize money.  He also took home an additional $3 million they paid him just for showing up.  Thats one heck of a nice job.  Maybe I can get paid millions just to appear at card shows 🙂

Golf cards have never really had a ton of success in The Hobby.  Donruss produced a set back in the early 80’s featuring the first cards of many popular players.  Pro Set created a few sets in the early 90’s, and finally Upper Deck started in ’01 ended in ’05.  They seem to be popular with only a few players, Woods being by far the biggest name.  Compared to baseball, basketball, football, and hockey, the amount of golf cards don’t even come close.  Tiger Woods has the most trading cards of any golfer, and the prices of his relics are just outstanding.  Its quite difficult to find a Woods shirt relic for under $70.00, and thats just being a plain base relic, not serial numbered.  If you pull a plain relic of Peyton Manning, Albert Pujols, Kobe Bryant or Sidney Crosby, your not likely going to sell if for $70.00.  Woods has the most valuable base relics of all active athletes.  Pulling a plain jersey of Manning isn’t all that big of a deal, but a plain shirt of Tiger is great.  Other than cards containing pieces of shirt, I’ve seen Upper Deck insert a few gloves which sell for well into the hundreds.  I usually don’t like when manufacturers include athletes from other sports into a product, but when it comes to Tiger and other popular golfers, they really don’t have a choice.  Golf cards are one collectible that hasn’t been terribly overproduced and I think they have a lot of potential, just not as a stand alone product.  It would be cool to pull a card containing sand from a bunker in Pebble Beach.  How about the head of a golf tee?  There are a lot of neat relics that could be made.