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 email@example.com.
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
November 23, 2015
This is our 40th Year of hobby columns
Ted Taylor’s Collector’s Corner
2015 Topps Heritage (1951 Design) arrives as a full set
The 2015 Topps Heritage '51 Collection Baseball, which as just arrived, goes back to where it started. It's done as a premium factory set that also includes some inserts and an autograph.
Even seasoned collectors often incorrectly talk of the ’52 Topps set as the company’s first. It wasn’t. A hinky pair of 52 card sets (same size as ’50 Bowman) came out in 1951 – a red back and a blue back set. (The blue back was harder to get. I suspect because nobody bought the red backs and they didn’t make as many blues.)
Not even really considered viable cards by the kids of the day – Bowman had made their premier ’51 set larger – the Topps cards were also-rans and were more a game and came with some awful candy in the packs – as well as team cards and Connie Mack die-cut All-Star cards. As a kid in that era I must admit I didn’t much care for them.
The 2015 Topps Heritage '51 Collection Baseball base set has 104 cards. This mimics the combined size of both the 1951 Topps Blue Back and Red Back sets. While it uses the 1951 design as a template, the checklist uses current players.
Each factory set has 21 total Mini parallels. Card number 1 is Mike Trout, but the pictures have an odd pixel (dot matrix) look. The cards have varying back colors (red & blue) and, like the original, all the information is on the front.
Former Phils pitcher Cole Hamels shows up in this set as card #70 – in his Rangers cap. That’s the best that Phillies fans will do, there’s not a single Philadelphia player in the set. And did anyone ever notice that David Oriz and Pablo Sandoval appear to be twins? They are cards #61 and 63. Troy Tulowitzki makes it as a Blue Jay otherwise the player choices are pretty much as you’d expect.
The minis are the same size as the original cards. The per-set parallel breakdown is ten Red Back, five Blue Back, three Green Back, two Black Back and one Gold Back. I was a tiny bit disappointed that the color back breakdown in my box ended up being duplicates in two instances. No biggy, but still….
As far as Autographs go, the checklist is on the small side. Around 25 current players have signatures in the set. Mine was A’s pitcher Sonny Gray (192/150).
Autograph parallels include Blue Back (#/25), Green Back (#/10), Black Back (#/5) and Gold Back (1/1).
Sets are going in the $90 range.
2015 Heritage MiLB Mystery Redemptions
Topps has named top overall pick Dansby Swanson and No. 3 pick Brendan Rodgers as the Mystery Base Cards redemptions for 2015 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball. Swanson will be Mystery Redemption No. 1 and Rodgers will be Mystery Redemption No 2.
Swanson was the first overall pick in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected the shortstop out of Vanderbilt. He played at Single-A Hillsboro this season, and in 22 games, he hit .289 with a .394 on-base percentage and .876 OPS. He had one home run, three triples and seven doubles.
The Colorado Rockies selected Rodgers with the third overall pick. The shortstop hit .273 in 37 games in rookie level. He had a .340 on-base percentage, .420 slugging, .759 OPS with two doubles, three home runs and three triples.
Bill Goff’s 2016 Hallowed Ground baseball calendar is ready for purchase. Ballparks (past and present) featured include Crosley Field, Fenway Park, Polo Grounds, Camden Yards, Comerica Park, Kauffman Stadium and others and in keeping with the trend in the ’51 Heritage (2015 Topps) Philadelphia gets skipped. One-to-5 calendars cost $20 each, shipping $8. It gets cheaper the more you buy. Order from Bill Goff, Main Floor, Ste. 4, 931 Bantam Road, P. O. Box 457, Bantam, CT 06750. Info call 860-576-7770.
2015 Topps UFC Champions
Women’s straw-weight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s and up-and-coming UFC fighterPaige VanZant’s first autograph cards are in Topps’ latest UFC release. 2015 Topps UFC Champions offers a variety of hits and Jedrzejczyk and VanZant are two of the top highlights for UFC fans.
Jedrzejczyk’s has a Fighter Autograph in Champions, which is gaining plenty of attention from UFC fans. But collectors aren’t just chasing her ink. Champions also features Jedrzejczyk’s UFC rookie card. The undefeated fighter made her debut on July 26, 2014.
VanZant has two autographs in Champions in the Fighter Autographs and Fighting’s Future Autographs (numbered to 50) subsets. VanZant made her UFC debut on Nov. 22, winning Fight of the Night honors. The sixth-ranked women’s straw-weight fighter has three straight wins and is set to fight No. 8 Joanne Calderwood in December.
TOPPS FINEST FOOTBALL COMES IN MINI BOX 2-PACKS
Jameis Winston is the cover boy for Topps 2015 Finest NFL cards. The #1 overall pick (by Tampa) adorns a high end product ($95 range). With the exception of some slight changes not much has changed in several years. Refractors, color designs and autographs are all still the main parts of the 2015 Topps Finest Football mix. Once again packaged as a pair of mini boxes, each hobby box has a Rookie Autograph Patch and an Autographed Jumbo Relic. The biggest change is actually based on something old -- 1995 Finest inserts. Printed on Chrome-style stock, the 2015 Topps Finest Football base set has 150 cards.
Fistographs debut in 2015 Topps WWE Undisputed
Topps’ popular ‘Fistographs’ cards are part of 2015 Topps WWE Undisputed, the company’s first high-end wrestling release.
Handprint and fist print autographs have been made popular in Topps' MLB, NFL and UFC products. They depict a hand or fist print along with the subject’s autograph. In the case of WWE Undisputed, a fist print is used giving wrestling fans an up close and personal feel.
WWE Undisputed is one of the most comprehensive checklists Topps has ever put together for professional wrestling. Many top wrestlers are included in the Fistographs checklist including fan favorites such as Bruno Sammartino Ric Flair, Trish Stratus, John Cena, Big Show and more.
2015 Topps WWE Undisputed includes 10 packs per box and five cards in each pack. Each pack will contain one autograph or autograph relic card.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE…
As usual - Thanks to Ted Silary for including this column in his web-zine and to all of you for regularly reading it.