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), or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 18, 2013
This is our 38th Year of hobby columns
Ted Taylor’s Collector’s Corner
2013 Topps Triple Threads Baseball – Super High End
A hobby box of this high end product goes for about $170. Do you get lots of cards? Nope, what you get are two mini-boxes (Roberto Clemente on the boxes – both sizes) containing seven cards each. Do the math that’s about twelve dollars-a-card.
The Topps PR says that this offering “captures the excitement of the entire MLB season with cards featuring relics from the Regular Season, MLB All-Star Game, Spring Training, and the Post Season! Each box includes two types of packs. One includes three base cards, two parallel cards, one triple Relic and a Unity Single Auto Relic. The other pack will include three base cards, two parallels, one triple Autographed Relic and one Unity Relic”.
Okay, so how did I do? In box one I got a signed Justin Upton card (20/99) that also contains a swatch (not from any specific game, event or season) and an Adam Jones card (8/9) that contains a swatch of a player-worn 2012 MLB All-Star game workout jersey. I does not say that Jones actually wore it. Also in the box a Bo Jackson card (101/650), a David Price card (02/25) and base cards of Cliff Lee (I always get a Cliff Lee), Harmon Killebrew and Billy Butler.
In box two I got a Nate Eovaldi signed/relic card (03/50) and a Reggie Jackson relic card (6/18) but the usual disclaimer that it’s not from this, that or the other thing. Numbered cards were Ryan Howard (25/50) and Willie Stargell (517/650). The other cards were Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver and Matt Cain.
The cards are on very thick stock, and the relic cards even thicker. Photography is grand and we’re assured that inside this offering are some really super cards. Biggies like Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson. I didn’t find any. Nice set, but not for the feint of heart.
In passing, collectors with deep pockets can buy a case – costs around $1,500 – that contains nine boxes. Or in a simpler approach a little less-cost-per-card (around $11 each).
Topps Prime 2013 Football
Topps 2013 NFL Prime football offers lots of treasures in each box – one signed relic and one autograph card per box and two other relic cards as well. Four goodies among the ten six-card packs.
Dressing up the packaging are Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson Jr., Colin Kaepernick, E. J. Manuel, Eddie Lacy and Tavon Austin.
The base set has 150 cards: 100 veterans and 50 rookies. The minimal design includes full-bleed photography. Veterans have just one parallel, Gold, which is exclusive to hobby packs. Rookies fall one per pack. The set gives collectors plenty of different combinations. Autographs, relic swatches of varying quantities and parallels all combine for plenty of different combinations from a batch of 2013 rookies and potent veterans.
The product has three basic insert sets as well. Primetimers focuses on stellar photography, showcasing 75 top players. Primed Rookies gives some added attention to 25 first-year standouts. New Prime Performance inserts relive key moments from 25 second-year players.
It’s a set that should please football collectors and sells, currently, in the $65-a-box range.
TOPPS 55th ANNUAL ROOKIE ALL-STAR TEAM
The Annual Major League Rookie All-Star Team announced by Topps is one of a number of awards programs managed by them to reward and encourage young ballplayers. Since 1959, Topps has annually bestowed honors on minor leaguers, baseball scouts and the Baseball Organization of the Year.
1B Matt Adams, Cardinals (108 games, 17 HR, 51 RBI, .284)
2B Jedd Gyorko, Padres (125, 23, 63, .249)
SS Jose Iglesias, Tigers (109, 3, 29, .303)
3B Nolan Arenado, Rockies (123, 10, 52, .267)
OF Wil Myers, Rays (88, 13, 53, .293)
OF Yasiel Puig, Dodgers (104, 19, 42, .319)
OF Christian Yelich, Marlins (62, 4, 16, .288)
C Evan Gattis, Braves (105, 21, 65, .243)
LHP Hyun-jin Ryu, Dodgers (192 IP, 14-8, 3.00, 154 K, 49 BB)
RHP Jose Fernandez, Marlins (172.2 IP, 12-6, 2.19, 187 K, 58 BB)
RP Jim Henderson, Brewers (60 IP, 28 Saves, 2.70, 75 K, 24 BB)
The Topps Major League Rookie All-Star team began in 1959 with Willie McCovey being the first of 18 future Hall of Famers named to the squad (others include Johnny Bench, Rod Carew, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Carlton Fisk, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Eddie Murray, Tony Perez, Kirby Puckett, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, Tom Seaver, Ozzie Smith and Billy Williams). The Rookie All-Stars will each have a trophy on their 2014 trading card in Topps Baseball, with Series One due out in early February.
It’s time, again, for the Bill Goff “Hallowed Ground” ballparks past & present calendar. This calendar features art depicting the great ballparks. Included this time out are Ebbetts Field, Jacobs Field. Seals Stadium, RFK Stadium, Fenway Park and more. Cost is $19 each (plus $8 shipping for one-to-five copies). Contact Bill Goff Inc., Main Floor Ste. 4, 931 Bantam Rd., Bantam CT 06750. Phone 860-567-7770.
Brain Teaser –
Last column we asked “Only one time in baseball history this happened: this player made the team in spring training with no prior major league experience, played 150+ games in his rookie year, got cut the following spring training and never played another game in the majors (his entire major league career was in one season).” The answer is George “Sparky” Anderson who played one season (1959) with the Phillies and the next time he wore a big league uniform it was as a manager and he was on his way to The Hall of Fame. First correct answer came from Ted Silary, the second from Tom (no relation) Taylor. Good guesses, guys.
Always happy for your comments on other topics, write me at: email@example.com. Thanks for reading this.