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), or you can email him at ted@tedtaylor.com.

Ted Taylor's latest 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).

September 22, 2014

This is our 39th Year of hobby columns

Ted Taylor’s Collector’s Corner

Triple Threads is high-end Topps winner

  Topps Triple Threads Baseball is always a surprise waiting to be discovered. Packaged in a sleeve with Mike Trout’s picture on it come two mini-boxes each containing seven cards – two of which are an autographed relic and a triple relic card. Retail on this two-box combo is over $100 as I write this. A hobby box is in the $160 range.

  My first box was just okay. Evan Gattis signed one of the cards (seems like I pull a signed Gattis every few products) with a relic (white fabric) and a Mark McGwire limited edition (15/18) with more white fabric. As usual the Topps disclaimer states that the relic comes from no particular game, event or season.

  The second mini-box included a triple signed, triple relic card of Braves Hall of Fame pitchers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. It’s card 30/36. The other is a relic card of Michael Cuddyer (2/3) that has a smidgeon of a red (blue trimmed) letter on a base of camouflage.

  Other cards are the usual suspects (a few old-timers – I got Brooks Robinson, Pedro Martinez and Rickey Henderson, others current such as Trout, Cliff Lee, Giancarlo Stanton) some numbered to 325, others to 250 and 125. For those looking to complete the set, there are 100 base cards. If you’re going to do that plan on spending some serious money.

Topps Chrome Baseball looks great!

  Topps 2014 Chrome Baseball takes the prize for sheer good looks this season (unless getting your fingerprints all over them if you handle them too much might bother you). The colors, the sheen, the solid stock make this affordable ($65 range) high ender a real “must have”.

  The box promises two autographs and mine delivered Yankee catcher J. R. Murphy (079/499) and Eddie Butler of the Colorado Rockies. The box contains 24 packs (of four cards each) which means that putting the basic 220 card set together is, at least, a three (maybe four) box proposition. Jose Abreu (of the White Sox) adorns the packaging (and I got his card, twice, in my box).

  Topps Shelf cards are artist’s rendering of top stars – I got Mike Trout, but I’m not sure his Mom will recognize him. I got two die-cut cards (U-shaped) of Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Beltre. With only 96 cards in the box finding eight duplicates was disappointing.

  I got a blue bordered (limited to 199) of Mets hurler Zack Wheeler. Two 1989 replicas (Dustin Pedroia and Paul Goldschmidt) that were nice, but the same players were also in my basic assortment from the packs as ’14 Chrome.

  There seem to be more horizontal cards in this set than usual (personal preference moment here, I don’t like them) including a shot of Jason Werth and four other people, but that’s nothing compared to the Jonathan Lucroy picture that includes eleven others. Gray Sizemore arrives as a member of the Red Sox (he’s on the Phillies) but it doesn’t matter because the card shows him entering the dugout after hitting a homerun – a nice shot of his back. Josmil Pinto of the Twins shares his card with eight others…and so it goes.

  Most players portrayed – rookies and veterans – have appeared on other cards this year (often in the same pose)-+, so little ground was broken there. Still, overall the cards are sharp and well worth adding to your collection.

NFL PLAY 60 Kids Get THeir Own 2014 Topps Grid cards

  2013 NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid and other kids who ‘PLAY 60’ will have their own collectible trading card in 2014 Topps Football.  Topps and NFL PLAY 60 celebrate the achievements of kids across the nation who are staying active for 60 minutes a day and leading healthy lifestyles. 

  The collection will specifically feature the 2013 NFL Punt Pass and Kick Champions, the 2013 Super Bowl Contest local winners and PLAY 60 mentors on cards, featuring NFL players who are ambassadors for PLAY 60 in their communities.  The PLAY 60 mentor cards feature NFL players from every team who have taken time out of their busy schedule to support and champion the PLAY 60 cause.  

  The 2014 Topps Football product features NFL PLAY 60 Super Bowl Grand Prize winner Thomas Brown, the 2013 NFL PLAY 60 “Super Kid.” Thomas successfully demonstrated a sincere commitment to playing 60 and staying active and as a result he earned a special appearance at Super Bowl XLVIII (last February) and his very own Topps Trading card in 2014 Topps Football.

 Quick Hits…Topps 2014 Inception Football (goes for about $90 for a box) Continuing the familiar formula from the past this current offering is a Hobby exclusive that features three hits per box, including two autographs or autographed relic cards and one jumbo memorabilia card.

  The base set checks in with 100 veteran cards and a variety of parallels.

  Topps 2014 Football contains 36 10-card packs and either an autograph or relic card included. Going for about $50-a-box at your favorite hobby shop. This product brings a broad mix of base cards, inserts and hits for what is, traditionally, one of the most widely collected football sets of the year. Rookies and fantasy football elements get particular attention for the set. The base set has 440 cards. Besides basic rookie and veteran cards, subsets include team cards and award winners.

  Topps 2014 Chrome MLS trading cards. With fan interest in soccer growing this product offers three chrome autographs and 24 4-card packs. Going in the $80+ range, the MLS soccer set marks the first time that MLS fans will be able to collect Chrome versions of their favorite soccer players. Each Chrome-filled Hobby box promises three autographs and a bevy of Refractors.. Carrying on the theme from the initial regular MLS card set the main base set here includes players in the MLS and an additional subset features members of the Mexican National Team.

  Baseball Notes: Select 2014 Topps Chrome Baseball card backs of MLB rookie stars Jose Abreu, Masahiro Tanaka and Xander Bogaerts might make one do a double take – the copy is in each player’s native language! These unique cards pay tribute to the global scale of baseball.

  Baseball Season is winding down - Always happy for your comments on collecting topics, write me at: ted@tedtaylor.com. Thanks to Ted Silary for including this in his web zine and to all of you for regularly reading this.