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
September 1, 2017
This continues our 42nd Year of hobby columns
Ted Taylor’s Collector’s Corner
Topps Allen & Ginter is Throw ‘way, way back”
It comes in an attractive box, the art simulates a long-gone-era and 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter falls in the category of baseball cards. Collectors seem to like this annual edition and, believe me, it is innovative. But, really, it’s a little of this, a little of that with about two-thirds (a mild stretch) of the cards in a 24-pack (8 cards per) really about 2017 ball players. A hobby box goes in the $120 range.
Highlighting the featured personalities with an oval frame, the standard set totals 300 cards along with 50 Base Short Prints (1:2 packs, oh how some collectors hate this) that fall in every other pack. Regular-sized parallels include Hot Box editions, which only come in hot boxes, as well as one-of-one Glossy versions. A box topper comes in each hobby box – mine was Buster Posey and the sepia tint was a nice touch.
You want a Harriet Tubman card? There’s one in here. You want a picture card of a Giant Panda, this is your set. You want cards of various World’s Fairs, well step right up. Cards about fish, we’ve got them here. Cards of folks you never heard of, in this set you’ll find Efren Reyes, Valarie Jenkins, Tom Anderson, Michal Kapral, Miguel Cotto and on and on. There’s even a card of one of the Jonas Brothers.
The box promises you’ll get three goodies. They could be relics, autographs, print plates, rip cards or book cards. Guess what? I got three relics – you know the ones that don’t come from any game, date or season. My treasures were swatches on cards of Justin Verlander, Gary Sanchez and Manny Machado (11/99) from the World Baseball Classic.
I got little cigarette card sized ones – 24 in all One-per-pack). Some baseball, some not. I got four vintage Topps cards (stamped “Rediscover Topps” of decent, but not star, players.
Next to current players I found 22 old-timer cards (Reggie Jackson, Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn even Lou Gehrig) and these assortments used to always include Mickey Mantle, but not lately. Also cards “What a day” featuring big baseball events, mostly (but not toatty) other old-timers. Topps tells us that boxer Floyd Mayweather is included in the offering with both base cards and autographs. Not a problem for me. He didn’t crack my box.
The art work on the current player cards is very good. Mostly portraits and they look like who they are supposed to be. No new ground among players portrayed is broken though a few rookies appear (but they’ve already appeared in earlier Topps sets). Deciphering the card backs is a chore, by the way.
This and That…
We’re light on product reviews this month. Topps, which usually sends us review copies, seems to have lost our address of late. They have been so good over the years that this puzzles me. Of course the fact that they no longer produce football cards has also diminished the review products they have that interest mainstream collectors. I have ordered (as in paid for from a dealer) Topps Heritage High Numbers and their Minor League issue but will not have them in time for this column. Look for comments next month.
Due to the Phillies rescinding Pete Rose’s Wall of Fame induction (a good move, by the way) the annual alumni weekend was, in a word, dull. We were at the park (two $80 tickets) on Saturday evening (the planned Rose induction) and, instead, each person entering the park was given a lame print of the late Dutch Daulton, Dallas Green, etc. Somewhere there are thousands of Pete Rose bobble heads that didn’t get given away and, at that Saturday game, for ten bucks I bought a Mike Schmidt bobble head (Toyota ad on it) and a yearbook. I can’t decide whether the yearbook (pretty weak on information) or the Schmidt statue was free or each cost five bucks.
On the alumni topic and having worked with Dutch Daulton several times, his passing was quite the loss. I worked with him once in a Fleer photo-shoot when he and John Kruk were picked as “featured” trading card players and, later in helping him liquidate his collection. Also worked with him at collector shows and personal appearances I have to say that he was fine man and we’ll all miss him.
The Colin Kaepernick drama has impacted the football pre-season. Lots of fans are talking boycott. Some liken it to the demise of the popularity of pro boxing. The concussion news hasn’t helped either. But back to Colin. The guy was just a so-so quarterback last year but one who gained international press by dissing the American flag. Needless to say that didn’t sit well (not with this Veteran and many others). He apparently walked away from the existing 49’ers deal he had and then rejected a back-up QB job with another team (because he didn’t like the money). Now the clueless “masses” are demanding that someone hire him. Why? If you were a coach would you want the distraction? Recall, if you can, that his antics likely cost Head Coach Chip Kelly his SF job. By the way, I checked with a couple of dealer friends and they tell me that his trading cards have about zero value.
Rhys Hoskins cards are hot. The Phillies rookie slugger has taken the NL by storm. His 2017 Bowman (BCP117) is in high demand now, but his true “Rookie Card” was from 2016, Bowman #BD 186. If money is an object and you would be happy with a minor league card of him it’s part of the current Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs set (selling by the club for around $10). This set is a good buy – lots of potential big league stars in it – Nick Pivetta, Jorge Alfaro, Dylan Cozens, J.P. Crawford, Nick Williams and Roman Quinn. Maybe even the next manager – Dusty Wathan. By the way, Scott Kingery’s rookie card was also a 2016 Bowman #BD 128. (Kingery is part of the Reading Phillies minor league team set this year.)
My wife and I will likely fold Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs tickets in to our 2018 summer plans. The drive from our new house to Coca Cola Park is pretty much the same mileage as from our house to Citizen’s Bank Park. We went a couple of times this season (“Whiz Kids” night was fun). The atmosphere in Allentown is great, the team was good (until the Phillies continued to mess with the chemistry of it), the food is priced right, parking is five bucks. Programs are free, all the seats are good ones. I got a WaWa tee-shirt sling shot at me from the field and my wife got a foul ball. Good or what?
I have readers still looking for the complete 1950 Bowman reprint set (I have someone who will go $100 for it in mint shape), and single cards – or sets (anything from f/g to ex) – from the 1951 Topps red and blue backed sets and the 1951 or 1952 Berk Ross sets. Single Bowman FB cards from 1950 and 1951 are also on my reader “want lists”.
The Oakland Athletics are coming to town in mid-September for a series with the Phillies and no one seems to really care. I guess the excitement that the old Philadelphia A’s Historical Society generated a decade ago has passed (as have most who remember Connie Mack’s team). The A’s Society, itself, and the neat Hatboro museum have faded from existence. Sad, too, because in the late 1990’s the organization had well over 1,200 members. I may go to one of the games and wear my A’s cap and jersey. I still think it would be fun if they did one of those “Turn Back the Clock” games and dressed the A’s in blue and white and the Phils in retro 40’s uniforms.
Contact me with comments –at email@example.com . Thanks for your feedback. (note new e-mail address.)
As usual - Thanks to Ted Silary for including this column in his web-zine and to all of you for regularly reading it.