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
January 1, 2017
This continues our 42nd Year of hobby columns
Happy New Year everyone…
Ted Taylor’s Collector’s Corner
2016 Bowman Baseball Draft Set Puzzles Me
Every year I look forward to 2016 Bowman Draft issue. Highly anticipated is not a stretch, here. It should include all the top picks and newcomers to baseball – and usually does. This year my 12 pack (32-cards-per-pack) box arrived with the potential for 384 cards. The problem was that when I matched the chrome cards versus the base cards and toss in an overwhelming inclusion of base-card- duplicates my box provided me with 42 per cent doubles (as we called them as kids). Of the 384 cards I pulled from the 12 packs, 162 were doubles. Remember opening packs as a kid saying “got ‘em, don’t got ‘em”. Well this time it was almost a draw.
This year’s edition comes in just one box style with 12 packs per box and 32 cards in each pack with seven chrome cards and two Bowman Chrome refractor parallels. The box is selling in the $125+ range. That’s close to $11-a-pack.
This jumbo-style configuration also includes three autographs found in every box. (My third one was in the last pack. Whew.) In addition, there are randomly inserted autograph hot packs found throughout 2016 Bowman Draft Baseball (as usual I got not a one of those). My signed cards were Kyle Lewis (Seattle), Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) and Jack Fraley (Tampa Bay). Two of the three were first round picks.
The packing features Mickey Moniak (Phillies, the number one overall pick) and A. J. Puk (of Oakland, 6th overall). In fact I got three Puk’s, one Moniak. There’s a funny line there someplace but I won’t use it. If the pundits are correct, one day the Moniak card could be quite valuable – everyone is high on this kid who turns 19 soon.
For Philadelphia area readers my Phillies cards included Moniak, Scott Kingery (the next Chase Utley, we’re told), Cole Stobbe (3b, 3rd round pick), Dylan Cozens (who launched 38 homers for Reading last season), Kevin Gowdy (a 2nd round pick right out of high school – he was 4-1 in 9 starts in high school last year), Rhys Hoskins (another Reading slugger with 40 dingers last year), and Cole Irvin (a lefty who pitched at Williamsport last year).
Curiousity department . . .
All season long the only card I had of Rockies infielder Brandon Rodgers came from Donruss (“The Prospects”) card #TP5. Now I’ve got a Bowman card, #BD-150 of him. It took awhile. There are a few other Donruss cards that will, forever, populate my 2016 team books. A total of 38 of the players in the draft set also had cards issued by Topps and Bowman earlier this year – some were minor league Heritage, to be sure.
If you like common baseball names there are cards of guys named Biggio, Guerra, Bickford, Adcock, Zimmer, Banks, Miller, Williams, Jones, Smith (of course), Rodgers, Fisher, Rizzo, O’Neill, Jefferies, Anderson, Dawson, Lopez, Peters, Jay, Jordan, Lee, Fox, Hansen, Bradley, Benson, Stewart, Reyes, Martinez, Sheffield, Wade, Lynch and McKinney (even more, sure I missed some). Bound to befuddle people in the future card #BD-72 is Ryan Howard. Only this Ryan Howard is a shortstop and belongs to the Giants. He’s 22 and was a fifth round draft pick in ’16. There’s even a guy named Bieber, but it’s Shane (a Cleveland pitcher) and not Justin (whatever he is).
Two oldtimer cards snuck in. One is Bo Jackson, the other Cal Ripken Jr. The premise is MLB draft history. There are also “Fantasy Impact” cards of players who might, someday, impact your fantasy team. A stretch, but I get it.
The offering includes 200 base cards with more than 100 2016 MLB Draft Picks featured on the checklist. The cards will include the following parallels with various borders including silver, blue, black, green, and so on. The chrome base cards will have refractor parallels in various border designs as well. But the bottom line is that if you are just trying to complete a team set for ’16 you’ll have duplicates coming out your ears.
With this offering I completed my 2016 team books. And so should you.
The Conlon Collection…
This marvelous set, issued between 1991-1994, was never completed. The baseball player strike did it in, financially sunk Megacards the company that owned the rights to the marvelous Charles Martin Conlon photography collection. In 1998, as VP at the Scoreboard (Cherry Hill NJ) I had negotiated a deal with the Conlon image owners for our company to continue the set. The missing piece was an MLB license. Since I had often dealt with baseball during my seven years at Fleer I asked for a meeting, hopped a train, and went to the Big Apple to meet with the MLB licensing folks. I met total rejection. “If you, as Ted Taylor, were asking for a license it would be a slam dunk” I was told but they had issues with Scoreboard over prior disagreements and would not grant them “another chance” as much as I assured them I would be in the driver’s seat. Three months later I walked in to the office of the president of the company and resigned. Like MLB I, too, had had enough of that company. (As an aside I just won a large assortment of those wonderful cards in an auction and cannot wait to begin assembling them in to team sets.)
I was given a year’s membership in the Baseball Hall of Fame by my cousin and his wife. This assures a trip to Cooperstown some time in 2017. I also got, from my wife, a wonderful blue Philadelphia “Athletics” pennant (circa 1949) that she bought in a shop in Peddler’s Village in Lahaska PA. Santa was kind this year.
The future of this column…
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 serious doubt. 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
As usual - Thanks to Ted Silary for including this column in his web-zine and to all of you for regularly reading it.