Ted Taylor's Collector's Corner

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    Ted Taylor has been a life-long baseball fan and collector of baseball cards and sports memorabilia. He began writing a hobby column back in the early 1970s and has been writing it someplace ever since. He was first president of The Eastern Pennsylvania Sports Collectors Club and co-promoter of the Philadelphia Baseball Card & Sports Memorabilia Shows. He served as VP of the Fleer Corporation (1991-97) and was co-founder and the first President of The Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society (1996-99). Ted can be heard playing big band and swing music from 8 a.m. to noon every Tuesday on WRDV-FM (89.3), and you can email him at ted@tedtaylor.com.

Ted Taylor's previous three books . . .
  "The Ultimate Philadelphia Athletics Reference Book (1901-54)" available from www.amazon.com
  "The Duke of Milwaukee - The Life and Times of Al Simmons" available from www.EduPublisher.com or by mail from TTA Authentic LLC, PO Box 273, Abington PA 19001 ($15 ppd.).

  "The Glenside Kid” – a story about growing up in the mid-20th century - available from www.eduPublisher.com or by mail from TTA Authentic LLC, P. O. Box 273, Abington PA 19001 ($24 ppd).

Click here for information on Ted's latest book . . .
“20th Century PHILLIES by the numbers”
Or . . . You can’t tell the players without a scorecard

October 10, 2016

This continues our 41st Year of hobby columns

Ted Taylor’s Collector’s Corner

Topps 2016 Heritage “High Numbers” Fill out teams

  Topps 2016 Heritage Baseball “High Numbers” could really be called Series 2, because that’s what it is. There are lots of new faces (finally) in this set but, still, a few familiar players make yet another appearance (why?). There are 24 packs, nine cards-per-pack. Each hobby box includes one autograph or relic.

  Still focused on 1967 Topps as their retro design the base set incorporates the late rookie call-ups and veterans that joined new teams. The 225-card set numbering builds on the main release, going from #501 to #725 with 25 short prints (guaranteed to drive a collector nuts) that fall 1:3 packs. Base parallels also include familiar Red Backs, Gum Damage Backs (Hobby, and kind of a neat, vintage idea) and Flip Stock (Hobby, and I was the neighborhood flipping champ of my day), which reverses the print so the back is smooth and front is rough.

  Being a Phillies fan (and there have been precious few Phils in the prior sets this year - see letter from a reader below) I pulled six of them from my box – Tommy Joseph, Vince Velasquez, Zach Eflin, all part of the future; plus Tyler Goeddel (a rule five pick that stuck) and catcher Cameron Rupp, who may be part of it. Peter Bourjos was the sixth. I doubt we’ll see him at the ballpark in Phils spangles next summer.

  You are guaranteed a relic or an autograph. Guess what I got? A relic, of course, It’s a piece of red cloth allegedly from Max Scherzer but it’s “not from any specific, game, event or season”. So what is it really?

  A nice hobby box addition is a “box topper” promo card (like they used back in the day). Three cards on one side, an advertisement on the other. Still, it’s nice. Bryce Harper is on the box, a generic player (no team name on his uni) is on the pack.

  Adding to the base set in 2016 Topps Heritage High Number Baseball are at least two different variations that are only found in Hobby boxes. Action Image Variations include 15 players where the posed imaged has been replaced with a more lively shot and 25 Team Name Color Variations swap the color for the team name on the card front.

  The hobby box is going for around $65, a good deal, but since there are more cards in the set than in one box, plan on buying two and then hunting for the short prints.

Bowman Chrome Shines…but really not much new

  Bowman, traditionally (and advertised as) “The home of the rookie card” adds a large assortment of “oh no, not another one of him” veterans (Kris Bryant, Freddie Freeman, Jacob deGrom, Ichiro, Chris Sale, Evan Longoria and Adam Wainright as examples) to the assortment of rookies (which is usually the incentive to buy Bowman). The set adds a few new elements (as in inserts and parallels) but the cards and their design are a familiar sight to prospect collectors.

  Following the recent pattern, each mini box (of 30 cards) includes one autograph and jumbo boxes offer three autographs. My box contained poster boy Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in a signed version (the other player on the packaging is Michael Conforto of the Mets), while the other box gave me Billy McKinney of the Cubs. These are basically Bowman baseball cards as issued earlier, only in chrome.

  Featuring key rookies like Guerrero, Miguel Sano and Kyle Schwarber ( got him), the base set shows off the top current players in the league. Adding to the that,150 Paper Prospects focus on the potential stars of the minor leagues (I got just a couple).

  Factory sealed hobby box (12 packs, 5 cards each) is selling between $65 and $75 depending on your hobby dealer.

An offer filled…Last column we wrote that the the first six readers sending a self-addressed stamped envelope (post mark determines who is 1st thru 6th) to me at: P. O. Box 1302, Buckingham PA 18912 would get two Bunt ’16 loot cards opening the digital door to free packs and much more. The six came within two days of the column appearing – several others came later (you got a note from me and a goodie). Thanks, hope you all got good stuff.

The readers write . . .
Longtime reader Walter Czop posed the following two questions:

1) 2016 Phillies Team Cards

Walter - Of all of the sets released to date (and I see the Updates are starting to come out, specifically Topps Heritage 2016 Update was released on September 21), have you found it possible to get a pretty complete team set from all the sets released? By team set, I mean the players pictured as Phillies.

Ted – As you know, I keep team sets and am pretty current with what’s out there. Current Phils (in Phillies uniforms) are scarce. The following were in either Topps or Bowman this year: Pitchers - Nola (many), Morgan, Eickhoff, Hellickson, Gomez, Asher (for some reason Topps issued Aaron Harang as a Phillie, he was released after last season and minor league hurler Franklyn Kilome also issued.) Catcher – Ruiz; Infielders –Howard, Franco, Ruff, Blanco, Galvis, Hernandez (minor leaguer Jhailyn Ortiz has a card); Outfielders – Asche, Herrera, Altherr. (Minor leaguers Darnell Sweeney, Nick Williams and long-gone vets Jeff Francoeur – with two teams since Phils released him and Domonic Brown, also long ago disposed of.) No manager card. Colton Murray (a marginal pitcher) and Jared Eickoff (also on a regular card) share a “2016 Rookie Stars” card. Pretty disappointing for Phils fans when such potential young stars are on the roster – Tommy Joseph, Roman Quinn, Cameron Rupp, Jorge Alfaro.. lots more? (See story on Topps Heritage High Numbers above.)

2) Connie Mack

Walter - Did Connie Mack, as the A's manager, ever get ejected from a big league baseball game? I know you have done a lot of research on the A's, and might know the answer.

Ted – Since Connie Mack never wore a uniform it is likely that he never got ejected – simply because sans uniform he was not allowed on the field. Maybe back in the early days (when he was just a kid of 60 or 70) his Irish temper might have gotten the best of him, but I don’t recall ever seeing anything about that.

Can anybody help?

Still Looking for ’51 Berk-Ross & ’51 Topps Redbacks…

  A fellow collector has asked me to help and we are still looking to help him acquire either/or both of the complete 1951 Topps Red Backs and 1951 Berk Ross (can be just baseball, would like all sports) – two sets from his boyhood. They can be in G-or-better condition. He expects to pay for them, of course. Let me know if you can help. Thanks. (ted@tedtaylor.com). Preferable deadline would be mid-October, he’s coming here from out of the area for a visit. One reader sent me four Berk-Ross baseball (three Phillies and a Yankee). That’s a nice start. He’ll take strays if you want to send them along. (If they are dupes, he’ll return them.)

  Someone else sent me a ’52 Berk-Ross Mickey Mantle – graded (8) & sealed – and offered it to me at a good price. I’m not sure if it’s the real thing or not, but it looks pretty good and I always wanted one. So there.

Also…Another collector friend is seeking the complete 1950 Bowman football reprint set and wonders why this is so hard to find. Can anyone help?

  As usual - Thanks to Ted Silary for including this column in his web-zine and to all of you for regularly reading it.