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

February 2, 2017

This continues our 42nd Year of hobby columns

Ted Taylor’s Collector’s Corner

2016 Makes another curtain call

  While waiting for 2017 Baseball to arrive (see following story) I got a 2-mini-box pack of 2016 Bowman’s Best baseball – four chrome autographs per master box, 12 packs, 60 cards. The set is billed as “Showcasing the year’s biggest prospects and veterans. I had put my 2016 team books away – I just dug them back out. Last year is still with us.

  Poster boys for the packaging are Alex Bregman of the Astros and Kris (hardly a rookie) Bryant of the World Championship Cubs. With four autographs per box, collectors will find several designs and themes showcasing current and future stars. My autographs included Lucas Gigliotto (Washington), Orlando Arcia (Milwaukee), Will Benson (Cleveland) and a dreaded redemption card for the autograph of Henry Owens (I cannot tell you what a nuisance these cards are – but you already know that). Also included was Hall of Famer Hank Aaron (96BB-HA). Why? Who knows, but it’s a pretty card.

  Treated as the culmination to the Bowman line for 2016, the set pretty much stays true to the 2015 release that restarted the colorful brand. No real ground was broken here re. first cards of anyone that matters.

  Featuring a bold background the base set includes veterans, rookies and top prospects. The rainbow parallel is not too extreme with just six versions, including Atomic Refractor (1 per master box), Green Refractor (#'d), Gold Refractor (#'d), Orange Refractor (#/25), Red Refractor (#/5), and SuperFractor (1/1).

  What puzzles me about a set like this is that when it arrives at years’ end or early in the next calendar year it is already “last year's cards”.

Topps Series One 2017 Baseball Looms

  According to popular opinion every time baseball fans open a pack of cards, they search for the rookie cards. This piece of information is how Topps is promoting 2017 Series One Baseball.

  They point out that historically, these have been the most popular cards during a player’s career – and none are more exciting than their Topps rookie card. And I must agree with that premise. Who wouldn’t want a ’51 Bowman or ’52 Topps Mickey Mantle?

  Topps has been creating an annual release of baseball cards since 1952 (with 1951 meant for playing a game, but as a kid then I found those red and blue-backed cards to be fun to collect) and have made rookie cards for so many great players including Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Eddie Mathews, Nolan Ryan, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax, Ken Griffey Jr., Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Derek Jeter, Mike Trout, Kris Bryant and on and on. They never issued a Joe DiMaggio card, though, despite the fact that he was active when Topps was.

  This year’s cards installment of Topps Baseball Series One has an impressive group of youngsters who get their rookie cards starting with 2017 Topps Baseball Series 1, which comes out on Feb. 1. The group of 30 players getting rookie cards in the first release of 2017 feature recent first-round draft picks, international stars and future stand outs.

  Some of the bigger rookie cards in the set include Dansby Swanson (2015 No. 1 Draft Pick), Yoan Moncada (Cuban star), Alex Bregman (2015 No. 2 Draft Pick), Aaron Judge (2013 first-round pick), Andrew Benintendi (2015 first-round pick), and David Dahl (2012 first-round pick).

  Rookies are interesting, for sure. But hopefully Topps will expand their player rosters this year to include players other than the same old, same old issued with every new offering. One of the best parts about getting the first card of somebody you never heard of is that they may develop in to this years’ superstar. Stay tuned, the ride is about to begin.

Baseball Fans Vote Kris Bryant to Card No. 1 for 2017 Topps Baseball

  Baseball fans have voted for the next player to be on Card No. 1 for 2017 Topps® Baseball.

  Chicago Cubs World Series Champion and National League Most Valuable Player Kris Bryant will grace Card No. 1. Bryant joins a long list of great players who have been represented on the first Topps card of the year from Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams to Mike Piazza and Derek Jeter.

  “It’s a huge honor to be chosen as Card No. 1 since it has depicted so many legends before me,” Bryant said. “It’s very humbling and nice to know it came from the fans.”

  Bryant’s card will appear in 2017 Topps Baseball Series 1 when it goes on sale on February 1st. Also, included in this product are special cards depicting MLB Network on-air personalities, including Hall of Famer John Smoltz, former players Sean Casey, Kevin Millar and Harold Reynolds, hosts Greg Amsinger and Lauren Shehadi, and more. The first 10 cards of this 29-card set will appear in 2017 Topps Baseball Series 1 and the rest within the June release of 2017 Topps Baseball Series 2 and the October release of 2017 Topps Baseball Update.

  The one-week online vote occurred in October of last year where fans chose from a list of 16 nominees on Topps.com.

The future of this column still undecided . . .

  With Topps now out of every major sport but baseball – and they being the only company that regularly cooperates with me thanks to Susan, Kevin and Clay – the future of this column (entering its 42nd year) is in question. We got one new set to review this month. I will try to keep an eye on what else is happening in the hobby and, as always, review the Topps products that I get. It seemed odd this year without Topps football (basketball seldom matters, Hockey? Not a big one either) and I’m not so sure there’s enough baseball product to sustain the column. Stay tuned.

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