Category: Baseball Cards

Kate Upton Follows Christie Brinkley

Kate Upton Allan and Ginter Card from ToppsKate Upton, the super model that was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit  Issue and the spokesperson for the MLB 2K12 game franchise will grace the cover of something very different than a magazine cover. According to Beckett (the source for baseball card news), Kate Upton will be on a baseball card when Topps issues it’s popular Allen and Ginter set.

The card (to the right) has an old-time feel because the Allen and Ginter set is a reproduction set of a popular Tobacco set form the late-1800s. The original set featured cards from all walks of life: from baseball to boxing, from Native Americans to icons of the Wild West. The reproduction set stays true to the original by having not only baseball, but cards from all sectors of pop culture. Given Upton immense popularity, it is no surprise to see her in the set. The real question is how much the card will be worth.

Upton is not the first supermodel to be on a baseball card though. In 1996, the Pinnacle Company (makers of Pinnacle, Score, Summit, and Zenith baseball cards) enlisted the photography skills of Christie Brinkley. She took key players from the Braves and Indians (who were in the 1995 World Series) and had them in a variety of poses and posed with each player on the back of the card.

Christie Brinkley Collection with Dave Justice

Baseball card companies (Topps, Panini, and Upper Deck) are always looking for unique ways to try to attract customers. Whether it is a hair from a president or a celebrity encapsulated in a card, or having cards of supermodels. They will try anything and keep what works the best. Kate Upton is not the first supermodel to be on a card, and she won’t be the last. I suspect, though, that her card will be a hot commodity when it is released.

Advertisements

Looking Back on Chipper Jones

Chipper Jones announced, today, that he will be retiring at the end of the of the 2012 season. As a long-time Braves fan, I am saddened by this news. Chipper Jones was a huge part of my teen years and I enjoyed watching him play for so long. What makes Chipper Jones unique is that he played his entire career with one team, which is a rarity this day and age, but that is a story for another blog post.

MLB.com posed a question about whether or not he should be in the Hall of Fame. For me, there is no question. He has a career batting average of .304 (higher than Mickey Mantle), 1,500 RBIs, and 456 HRs. Most people get stuck on the 456 HRs and since he didn’t hit 500 that he’s somehow not worthy for the Hall. However, he has the 3rd highest all-time HR total for switch hitters.

He was a World Series champion in 1995, the National League MVP in 1999, and won the batting title in 2008 hitting .364. That is a long period of sustained greatness. One that is hard to find from any other player. Even though his career has been plagued by injuries, he was still able to put up solid numbers.

It’ll be very strange next year watching the Braves without number 10 on the field. He was as rock solid as they get. He was the cornerstone of the infield at third base, and the cornerstone of the Braves franchise. 22 professional seasons in the Braves organization is something not likely to be duplicated. I hope the Braves send him off with a great 2012 season and I hope he stays in the Braves organization in some fashion. Somehow, I think he will.

Hunting for 1958 Topps

Aside from my other baseball card quest, I am also trying to complete the 1958 Topps set. It’s a great that will take some time, but I’m off to a good start. It all started for me at the 2009 National Sports Cards Collectors Convention.

Every table we went to had a Mickey Mantle card. I made it my goal to get one of them. the one I settled on was a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle. From there, my friends encouraged me to start the set since I already had the hardest card to get. I thought about it. It seemed simple enough.

After I got a hold of a few other 58s and I was hooked. After about a year and a half and I have just over half the cards. The hunt is the exciting park. Getting the cards, upgrading the cards. It’s great.

There are still a lot of cards for me to get, and it will take some time, but luckily there is no time limit. I’ll get the cards when I get them. For now, I’ll take my time and get the best deals I can. Let me know if you are trying to complete sets or if you have any tips.

My (Impossible?) Baseball Card Quest

Aside from a love of the game, I have a passion for the hobby of the game: collecting baseball cards. For me, it started very young. My dad was/is an avid collector so I grew up around baseball cards.  I have fond memories of watching my dad open countless packs of cards and giving the gum to me (back when they came with gum). For Christmas in either 87, or 88, I received the complete set of 1988 Score. My first cards. It was also the first year Score made baseball cards.

That started my card collecting, but I didn’t really get anything to speak of until 1992. That was when I was introduced to 1992 Topps with their “Match the Stats” scratch off cards, the elusive Gold cards, and the highly  sought after Brien Taylor Draft Pick card. Brien Taylor was my first lesson in the highs and lows of the card market. At it’s height, it was valued at about $20. Today you might be able to get a nickel for it. Nevertheless, I HAD to find a Gold card. Finally, the day came. I remember being on the playground opening my pack like it was yesterday. Inside that pack was a Dan Gakeler Gold card. I’ll always remember Dan Gakeler for being on the card.

Now that I am not in 4th grade and I have some disposable income, I can afford to buy bigger and better cards. I have always had a love for Tobacco cards. It combines my love of the game with history as the cards are over 100 years old. I recently found out is that the tobacco cards have many different advertisements on the back depending on what part of the country you got the cigarettes in.

This is where my (impossible?) quest starts. My quest is not to get the famed Honus Wagner from that set. That’ll probably never happen. It’s a much more sensible (read: cheaper) goal. It want to get at least one card from every brand of cigarettes there were. Some are a dime a dozen and are very cheap. Some are very rare and a lot more expensive. A lot of the fun in this hobby is the hunt. I am very excited about the hunt and the completion of this quest.

Let me know if you have any baseball card quests, or stories, or just your favorite card. I love talking about the hobby.