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

April 8, 2015

This is our 40th Year of hobby columns

Ted Taylor’s Collector’s Corner

Topps Opening Day Baseball "on target"

  Topps Opening Day base set checks in with 200 cards and that includes 75 Series Two preview cards. Parallels are not as abundant as other releases from Topps, but collectors can find Blue Opening Day, Opening Day 1/1 and Printing Plates (4 total per card, each #1/1 and I found one in the rack pack I bought at Target, but none in the hobby box) that mirror the main set. Both Opening Day parallels feature a foil stamp with the actual date of the MLB's Opening Day. The Blue cards were originally announced as being numbered to 2015 but they released without serial numbers.

  So, unlike years past, this set (hobby boxes go in $35 range) is more than just a e-run of series one and includes mascots, flashbacks (players in oldtime uniforms), "Hit the dirt" cards an something called "Team Spirit" that includes one of the worst cards ever (Bryce Harper dressed as a fireman, TS-07).

Topps 2015 Baseball Sticker Book is fun

  My wife looks over at me and says "How old are you?" (as if she didn’t know) and then went on this rant about how I seemed to be enjoying filling out the 2015 Topps Baseball Sticker Book. Truth be told, I had a good time and I found and stuck in all 301 different.

  The book comes with "six free stickers" (be still my heart) and one of them is sticker #1 a sticker that says "Topps" on it. (It says you can download pages from the internet if you can’t afford the cost of the book - $6.) The box of stickers (that’s 50 packs of 8-stickers, or 400 stickers) costs $45 and if you buy one I’m betting you get the whole set and a load of extras. Of course you can buy the sticker packs separately which pretty much guarantees you’ll lose your mind along the way hunting for missing stickers.

  Here’s what I liked. Each page has nine slots for stickers. Some have team mascots, some have a veteran Hall of Famer and some have both – the rest are players. And that’s why I don’t like. It seems like half of them are no longer on the teams in the book.

  And, if my wife is right (and she frequently is) kids will buy the stickers thinking that Roberto Clemente, Cal Ripken Jr.,Frank Thomas, Roberto Alomar, Tom Glavine, Willie McCovey and so many others are still big leaguers. If you are a Phillies fan and miss Jimmy Rollins, have no fear. He’s a Phillie in the sticker book.

  Long term (like in 25-or-30 years) these sticker books will be valuable. Why? First of all (if you heed my wife) few will be completed by grownups and the rest will be discarded with other childhood memories at some point. It took me the duration of a Phillies-Yankees game one afternoon to complete the book.

Topps "High end"…I got one pack ($75-$100 range) of Topps 2014 "Supreme" NFL and one would have to admit that these cards are quite pricey. My four cards, though, did include a rre "1 of 1" this card of Johnny Manziel signed and then added, in his hand, "Money Manziel". Wonder what that’s worth? The other cards are DeSean Jackson (084/144), Jordy Nelson (9/99) and Cordarrelle Patterson (77/162). A full case has 16 boxes, do the math ($1200-$1600-per).

Topps has First Autograph Cards of NYC FC Star David Villa

  Collectors will have a chance to find the first MLS autograph cards of international soccer superstar, and current New York City FC forward, David Villa, in 2015 Topps MLS now on the market. Each hobby box contains two autographs, two relics and one autographed relic.

  The set has 200 cards that highlight veterans and young players from all 21 of the growing league's teams. Subsets spotlight venues as well as 24 of the top players under the age of 24.

  Villa, who has scored 299 career club goals and 59 international tallies, was named NYCFC’s first-ever team captain and registered the first home goal in franchise history.

  In addition, Villa has also achieved the rare trio of winning FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League and La Liga titles. He remains Spain’s all-time top goal scorer. Boxes are going in the $110 range.

Remembering "Concrete Charlie"

  The passing of Chuck Bednarik near the end of March rekindled great memories of one of the most fearsome football players who ever walked the gridiron. As a young married man I lived in Abington, as did Bednarik, and it wasn’t unusual to see him at the local super market shopping with some, or all, of his five daughters.

  At Fleer we cooked up a football set using the vintage Goudey design. Chuck and Y. A. Title were featured in the set – autographs and vintage photos. At a press conference to introduce the set Chuck was, well, "Chuck" (no holds barred) while Title came across as a college professor. He, Bednarik, was one of a kind.

  I also worked with Chuck at a few autograph/hobby shows over the years and, though he was naturally gruff, his interaction with the fans was marvelous. There will never be another player like old #60.

  Bednarik’s rookie card was a 1949 Leaf (tough to find) and he was attired in his U of P uniform. First as an Eagle was 1950 Bowman.

Topps recalls 2015 "Tribute" baseball cards from market

  Topps has been investigating complaints regarding the quality of the autographed cards in the just-released 2015 Topps Tribute Baseball and has confirmed that many autographed cards are damaged due to a UV contamination on the card. Topps has initiated a complete recall of the product.

  Between now and June 30, 2015, anyone in possession of a damaged autographed card (not in pack) can exchange the card by contacting Topps Customer Service.  Exchanges will be made for another card of equal or greater value, plus a bonus autographed or relic card (valued at the company’s discretion).

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.

  As usual - Thanks to Ted Silary for including this column in his web zine and to all of you for regularly reading it.