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

May 8, 2015

This is our 40th Year of hobby columns

Ted Taylor’s Collector’s Corner

Topps Gypsy Queen offers very nice variety

  I’m the first to admit that I’m not crazy about the products that Topps issues when they go retro (Gypsy Queen, Allen & Ginter) but I have to admit that this year's Gypsy Queen Baseball is a cut above the usual.

  The artwork this time out is sharper, clearer, almost photographic (and after all isn’t that why we collect cards? To see what the player looks like.)

  The box, nicely done with a homage to Ozzie Smith, proclaims two relics and two autographs – and in my case, for the moment, that’s 75% accurate. I got relics (not from any game, etc.) of Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright and a signed (on the card) one of Chris Johnson. The other autograph is one of those send away jobs that I find to be irritating. This card, when I get it, will be Kevin Gausman (who?). Wonder why Kevin didn’t just sign the card and let Topps include it? (Back in my days as a card company exec such mail-in inserts usually meant the guy didn’t send back the cards in time.)

  The set is chock full of old-timer cards – and all of them are done well. Of course the down side of this is that neophyte fans might think guys such as Roger Clemens, David Cone, Mookie Wilson, Mike Mussina are still playing – because the card suggests that they might be.

  My box contained more American League cards than National. I wonder why? The players are mostly the usual suspects. Since, in addition to my hobby box, I also bought some packs at Target I got white framed cards of a few players while in the hobby box I got framed cards that matched the regular card borders. A pack of ten cigarette card-size copies shows up in the box and is joined by more in-pack inserts. Other hobby box inserts include “The Queen’s Throwback” (a gray-toned card of current players), Glove Stories (guys tossing leather at baseballs), Pillar of the Community (my card was Yasiel Puig and I’d have never mistaken him as one of them) and “Walk Off Winners”, which you can figure out.

  The hobby box is selling in the $100 range at the moment.

Topps Museum Collection – big box, four actual packs

  In to the realm of high end offerings falls Topps 2015 Museum Collection. A standard sized hobby box with four mini-boxes inside and a total of 20 cards in the whole batch. A batch that includes one quad relic, one jumbo relic, one on-card autograph and one autograph relic. Boxes are selling around $200 – or ten bucks-a-card!

  In my boxes came the following relics or autographs – Roberto Alomar (on the card autograph), Andrew McCutcheon (jumbo relic, a large swatch not from any specific game, etc.), Evan Gattis (signature and relic) and Mike Moustakas (quad relic, i.e., four swatches).

  The balance of the 16 cards are a mixture of current and former stars – some limited to “x of x”, some not. Beautiful cards but not likely to motivate set builders at these prices.

  Nice box, Mike Trout is on the cover of both the big and small ones. Sadly he didn’t sign or relic anything I got.

Topps signs Jameis Winston to autograph deal

  Topps announced that it has reached an autograph deal with former Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston.

  Winston, one of the top NFL prospects, will be featured throughout all of the company’s 2015 products including Toppsâ, its flagship product.   2015 also marks the 60th Anniversary of the company’s first NFL product. 

  “We are excited to add a player of Jameis Winston’s caliber to the Topps family,” Topps Football Brand Manager Kevin Eger said. “Winston is an electrifying player and collectors always look forward to a player’s first Topps Rookie Card. Winston will lead a thrilling 2015 rookie class, and we look forward to working with him in our 60th year of football cards.”

  His cards will first appear in June.

  The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner was a standout at Florida State, and could be the No. 1 pick in May’s NFL Draft. Winston earned a number of awards throughout his college career including 2013 AP Player of the Year honors, and won the 2014 BCS National Championship. He also won the Walter Camp Award, Manning Award and Archie Griffin Award in 2013.

Topps Promotion Culminates in Experience of a Lifetime

  Tyler Badger, a 21-year old student at the University of Georgia, is the newest member of the Corpus Christi Hooks. Although he has no baseball awards or accolades to his name, Badger met with Houston Astros executive advisor Nolan Ryan and president Reid Ryan at Whataburger Field on Monday to sign a one-day contract with the Hooks after winning the Topps Make YOUR Pro Debut promotion featured in the company’s 2014 Heritage Minor League Baseball trading card set.

  The Make Your Pro Debut promotion is featured annually in Topps’ Heritage Minor League Baseball set and allows collectors a chance to win a baseball experience for the ages. Topps will commemorate Badger’s pro debut with a trading card to be featured in its 2015 Topps Pro Debut set that releases in early June.

  Wonder if they have any interest in an older infielder?

  BOOK UPDATE – Biblio Publishing (Columbus Ohio) has released my latest (8th) book “The 20th Century Phillies by the Numbers – or, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard” (302 pages). It is available from them (BiblioPublishing.com), amazon.com and other internet book sellers. E-book versions also available. By mail an autographed copy costs $24 ppd. From TTA LLC, Box 273, Abington PA 19001.

  OLDER BOOKS – In doing a house cleaning of sorts I found ten copies of “Glenside Kid” ($20 ppd), two copies each of “Philadelphia Athletics by the numbers” ($20 ppd.) and “The Ultimate Phila. A’s Research book” (hardcover, $30 ppd.) and two copies of “The Duke of Milwaukee” ($14 ppd.). They are first come, first served. If it’s sold I’ll return your check. Order from TTA LLC, Box 273, Abington PA 19001.