Thursday, January 15, 2009

2009 Topps Heritage Preview With Video

Topps Heritage is my favorite modern set, and the 2009 version is set to be released in a little over a month. Topps has already let a few details slip out and it looks to be a very nice set. The Topps Heritage site has the preliminary 2009 checklist posted:

2009 Topps Heritage checklist

Beckett has a slideshow with some 2009 Topps Heritage sample cards:

Beckett Slideshow

Topps has also discovered youtube and created a slideshow/interview type video for youtube. You can view this video below.

A lot of the main features will be similar to the 2008 set. There will still be 500 cards including 75 short prints in the base set, a 15 card New Age Performers set, a 10 card Then and Now set and 10 card sets of Baseball Flashbacks and News Flashbacks. The chrome/refractors will be there as well as the Real One Auto's, Clubhouse Collection cards, etc.

One new feature will be a five card set of Clubhouse Collection dual autograph relics. Each one will be hand numbered to 10 and will have two players from the same team on the card, one vintage 1960 players and one modern player. Each of these will feature an auto and relic from each of these players.

Looks to be like another great Topps Heritage set! I know I'll ripping some packs.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Sweetest 120 Year Old Card You Will Ever See

While reading over the PSA message boards, there was a thread talking about a stunning Allen & Ginter card. Not the new Topps version of Allen & Ginter, but an original 1887 Allen & Ginter card, one of the first tobacco card sets ever produced. This card is by far the sweetest looking Allen and Ginter card I have ever seen. It looks like it came out of a new Topps pack today! Mike Kelly was what some consider to be the first star of professional baseball and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Kelly was the highest paid player in Baseball in 1887 with a staggering "salary" of $5000. Since no player could make over $2000 a year at that time due to salary cap limitations (what a novel idea), Boston got around it by giving him a $3000 endorsement bonus.

Kelly would later be the subject of both a song and a movie, both titled "Slide, Kelly, Slide". "King" Kelly was known as one of the best defensive catchers in baseball and was among the league leaders in most offensive categories almost every season. He was credited with inventing or popularizing the hood slide, the takeout slide at second to break up a double play, the catcher backing up 1st base and the hit and run. He would sometimes cheat, including running directly from first to third if the umpire wasn't watching, tripping baserunners or intentionally letting a fly ball drop to get an easy double play. My favorite story from the Mike Kelly wikipedia article talks about how Kelly was on third and another runner was on base behind him. They ran a double steal and Kelly stopped just before he got to the catcher who was waiting to tag him out. The runner behind him slid under Kelly's legs into home plate, thus scoring the winning run. That play would lead to a rule that still stands today where a runner cannot pass another runner on the base paths.

I talked to the owner of this beautiful card, and they have graciously allowed me to post a scan of the card here. I am also including a link to the card which has a much larger scan, and in case you are interested in adding this beauty to your collection.

1887 Allen & Ginter Mike Kelly

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Ultimate Larry Bird Autograph

Yesterday a friend of mine was telling me about the time when he pulled a Michael Jordan redemption auto out of a pack and sold it for over five grand. The Jordan card was numbered out of 23 and it was in the late 90's/early 2000's. That got me thinking as to what the top Larry Bird auto out there is, so I checked on ebay of course and I found some thing pretty strange and accidentally found the answer to another question that has been in the back of my mind for a while now. The top Bird auto that I found was a Bird/OJ Mayo auto that sold for $99,000! I could not believe that, but when I looked at the actual auction details there were some strange things in there. Here is the listing:

Larry Bird/OJ Mayo Auto

This is a nice card for sure, but $100k? Then I noticed the original buy it now price...$500. There were several declined offers and then the $99,000 best offer was accepted (of course). So that answers the question that had been buried in my mind about if you could offer a price higher than the buy it now price in a best offer situation. Looks like the answer is yes. I was interested in finding out a little more about this card, so I checked the feedback. Positive feedback was left for the seller:

A++ ebay seller, verry understanding :o)

When I looked yesterday, positive feedback was left for the buyer too. I assumed this meant that some type of accidental offer had been submitted, although it seems like it would be tough to enter $99,000 accidentally. I guess they could have been offering $990.00 and forgot the decimal, but that would still have been well above the original buy it now price. And to throw another twist in, when I went to look at the item again today, the buyers feedback has been changed to "private" so you can't read the feedback anymore. I have emailed the winner to see if they would send me some information on what really happened here, and I'll post any updates if and when the contact me.

So, just what was the top Bird card if you don't include this one. There is this sweet card, a Quad auto with signatures from Bird, Magic, Jordan and Dr. J which went for just over $1,000 in a true auction format.

Bird/Magic/Jordan/Dr. J Quad Auto

The best solo Bird auto I found went for close to $700 in a true auction. It is a Letterman card that features Larry's auto inside of the "B" from a game used jersey.

Larry Bird Letterman Auto

These are all very nice cards, but hopefully I will find out what really happened on that Bird/Mayo card.