Ted Taylor's Collector's Corner
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
July 4, 2016
Happy Birthday America!
This continues our 41st Year of hobby columns
Ted Taylor’s Collector’s Corner
Topps Series 2 Baseball helps fill out the rosters
2016 Topps Series 2
Baseball provides a 350-card extension to series one. Mike Trout is the
poster boy for the packs and box and there are 36 ren-card-packs so you’ll
have plenty of chances to find good stuff.
So for the year 2016 your base set of the regular issue is 700 cards. Not shabby, for sure. In this go ‘round there are several new additions. Hobby boxes include one goodie while Jumbo boxes offer two relics and one autograph. I got a relic of Matt Harvey’s jersey (I guess). The usual disclairmer about specific games, etc. is there.
Featuring a new batch of base cards, the 350-card set includes veterans and rookies as well as subsets like Future Stars and team cards. The biggest surprise for me? A Domonic Brown card as a Toronto Blue Jay. (As a Phillies fan I wonder if Topps will ever issue an a Cameron Rupp card or, perhaps, a Tyler Goeddel - #1 Rule 5 draft pick – or a Tommy Joseph?) We have had two Aaron Altherr cards this year and he hasn’t played an inning (being on the DL and all).The rest of the second series is pretty much pedestrian with some cards being dead ringers of the same card in the “Opening Day” set.
Berger's Best (1:4 packs) picks up from Series 1 with 65 more cards – but with just one every four packs it’s going to take you a long, long time to round up a set of these babies. I got seven (just need 58 more to complete this subset). Best one was a ’58 “Bob” Clemente card from back in the day when all Hispanic players pretty much had Americanized first names. Also got a Yaz rookie (’60) and a Glavine rooke (1988). All the backs have Cy Berger commentaries.
Honoring Ichiro's historic run to 3,000 hits, Chasing 3K is featured in several forms. The 30-card insert set averages 1:9 packs and is joined by Relics (#/10), Autographs (1/1) and Ichiro Foil Stamped Original Buybacks (of which I got none). If you didn’t get enough of Ichrio insert set there are two more of his cards in the basic set. (He is, by the way, having a great year and just passed Pete Rose for most hits – total.)
Also getting in on the action in 2016 Topps Series 2 Baseball, Ken Griffey Jr. is the focus of Tribute to the Kid. I got five (of 30) so, again, another multiple box purchase if I care to complete this set (I don’t). The Griffey set features a similar format to the Ichiro set.
The box suggests you should look for “Double Play” cards. I did but I didn’t find any. I did find three cards that will get me 50-cents off on “selected” 2016 Topps products. Imagine.
Series two hobby boxes are going in the $50 range and are well worth the price.
Topps 2016 Tier One Baseball is “high end” product
Back for another year, 2016 Topps Tier One Baseball is a three-card box going for $100-or-more. To like this product you’ll need the chutzpah of a Riverboat gambler and some tossing around chas. The product features the same attributes that has appealed in the past to the high-rolling high-end collectors. Each hobby box yields two autographs and one relic.
My box yielded the aforementioned three cards – Astros star Jose Altuve (135/249) and Red Sox prospect Blake Swihart (286/299) are the autograph cards and Yankee hurler Masahiro Tanaka (020-199) was the relic (in this case a tiny part of Yankee pinstripe).
Only featuring autographs or relics, the same basic format is in place from last year. In addition to the normal box hits, hot boxes add another relic per box.
2016 Bowman Trots out the rookies
Nothing much new here but 2016 Bowman Baseball delivers the goods for prospect collectors. Following the recent pattern, each hobby box includes one autograph and jumbo boxes offer three autographs.
Dodger Corey Seager and young Astros star Alex Bregman dress up the packaging. The roster features key rookies like Miguel Sano and Kyle Schwarber and the base set showcases the top current players in the league. Adding to the that, there are 150 potential stars of the minor leagues.
Instead of a complete rookie roll-out though, Topps treats us to numerous players who have been around the block several times – and of whom we already have numerous cards. Examples would include Evan Longoria, Kris Bryant, Felix Hernandez, Chris Davis, Michael Brantley and so on.
The hobby box is selling in the $85-$90 range.
Donruss 2016 Baseball rolls out “The Rookies Test Proofs”
Either MLB has to make peace with Donruss or Donruss has to give up producing baseball cards of guys with blank shirts and hats that look like the janitor would wear. The fact that both cases still exist show little concern for the card collector and, honestly, a little real competition would be good for the baseball card collector – and the entire market.
I’m not sure what a rookie test proof is – since I didn’t find one – but that’s what they herald on the David Ortiz featured packaging.
Among the odd ball things I found was a card of the San Diego Chicken who, among other things, is no longer the San Diego mascot. There was a card of Pete Rose (his team listed as Philadelphia) and there is no logo anyplace. Recent high draft pick A. J. Puk shows up on a National Collegiate Team card (logos, etc. in place), Byron Buxton is on a Studio card and Billy Burns is on a Diamond Kings card (terrible picture).
Like watching a traffic accident I cannot help myself and I buy these cards when I see them. Why? Who could possibly know?
Favorite card set?
A reader asked if I had a favorite card set. I took that to mean vintage. And, yes, I do. The 1951 Bowman baseball set is my all time favorite from the 50’s. (The 1950 Bowman set is a close second, the 1957 Topps is third.) I’d list the 1949 Bowman set (240 cards, an ambitious project) for the 40’s. Play Ball 1940 and 1941 would be close behind. The 1960’s? It’s a toss-up. I like 1963 and 1967, call it a tie. How about your favorites?
Among quirky sets, I love collecting (still do) the Penny Arcade Exhibit cards.Trivia Question answered
Longtime reader Dan Paley
supplied the player-manager answer:
Last player-manager was Pete Rose (with the Reds)
Answers provided by reader
Phillies with Hall of Fame fathers -
Dick Sisler - Father was George Sisler
Earl Averill Jr. (1963 Phillies) - Father was Earl Averill
Tony Gwynn Jr. - Father was Tony Gwynn Sr.
ALSO – George Sisler had two big league sons, Dick and his brother Dave, a pitcher. And Dave's last big league appearance was against the Phillies in September, 1962 (per the Baseball Register website).
As usual - Thanks to Ted Silary for including this column in his web-zine and to all of you for regularly reading it.