Celebrity Death

The Hobby Death of Stan Musial

Not long ago, I wrote about Stan “The Man” Musial signing way too long into his life and tarnishing his hobby legacy, not to mention the value of his autograph. You can imagine my shock when I discovered 2015 Heroes of Baseball, featuring a Stan Musial sticker autograph per box for around $30-$40 a piece. The problem is that if you think you’ve seen bad Musial autographs, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Do a quick search on eBay and see for yourself. These look like Topps rejects that Musial’s estate likely sold off to the highest bidder. Much like the awful sketch cards they have done in the past, Leaf should be ashamed to put their company’s historic name on these things. What’s sad is that the other cards in the set look great, including photographs and design. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t make a sale without the autos.

When I returned to collecting early this year, I was ecstatic about Leaf after purchasing my amazing ‘Q’ Jose Canseco card and then I started seeing nothing but negative comments. My opinion was saved by Gregg Kohn of Leaf after he divulged that his company had some huge plans for the next two years. We already know they made a deal with the Babe Ruth estate, could a similar Ruth set be in the works? Probably.

The problem is that much like Jose Canseco and Pete Rose autographs, prices are hitting an all-time low due to mass production from companies like Leaf and Panini America. There are already WAY too many Musial autographs and these less than stellar stickers have basically killed his value moving forward. Was it worth it? I don’t think so but I’m also not aware how business runs in the card world.

Much like Panini America has hit their stride with the resurrection of Donruss Baseball and what’s going to be a huge hit in 2015 Prizm, I expected the same from Leaf Trading Cards. I’ve already given up on Upper Deck ever again competing in baseball but I was looking for a challenger to Topps’ throne but it appears that I was wrong by expecting Leaf to be “the one”.

Obviously, I trust Gregg’s word and what he says but someone should have stopped this disaster of a product. Don’t get me wrong, I love these kind of sets and still have ‘The Jose Canseco Story’ set from the late 80s which came with a mini Canseco binder, 20 unofficial but licensed cards, and a record to play featuring an interview with the still green Jose ripping up the English language. This, however, is different.

Surely, someone at Leaf would have known that these autographs were in no shape to use for any product. Surely someone, maybe even Gregg went to Brian Grey and pleaded with him not to release such a shoddy autograph sticker set with their name plastered on every card? Someone must have known these autographs would bring the value of all Musial autos down, right?



Categories: Celebrity Death, eBay Treasures, Leaf Trading Cards, The Hobby | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Topps, We Need This Card Before It’s Too Late

It’s 2015 and Chevy Chase is not a popular man. Young tv/movie fans won’t even know who he is and those old school fans have probably been turned off after the ‘Community’ debacle or Gawker’s scathing article on this now washed-up comedian, writer, and actor.

Still, you can’t erase history and looking back at the 70s and 80s, it’s impossible to deny Chase’s star on the small and big screen. From breaking out on the first season of ‘Saturday Night Live’ to the Vacation franchise, Chevy was a huge star once upon a time.

There are currently just two autographs of Chevy on card board and both are awful 1 of 1 cut signatures. Topps, who has a long history with pop culture would benefit greatly from an SNL autograph set in a product like Topps Archives.

Below is a custom card I found on Google Images, likely created by card genius, PunkRockPaint. This exact card and photograph, with an on-card autograph of Chase would be HUGE. Why it hasn’t happened already is shocking.

Can you imagine a Topps insert line with on-card autographs of Chase, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Jimmy Fallon, and other famous SNL alum? It would be huge and would easily break into mainstream news and media, something this hobby desperately needs.

Categories: Celebrity Death, Celebrity Drama, The Hobby | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Time for the Old Timers To Put the Pen Down

Below is a pack-inserted, certified autograph from Topps Company. If you can tell who signed it, you just might be a genius. It belongs to Stan “The Man” Musial, who passed away at the age of 92 in 2013. It is rumored that he was suffering through serious health problems way back in 2007 but he kept signing away. Stan’s auto can be found all over 2014 products and has already made an appearance in 2015 Topps.

With game-used memorabilia all but dead due to over production and questionable issues coming up over and over again, certified autographs are one of the few gimmicks left to move product by card companies. I can only imagine how important it is for a manufacturer to get their stickers and cards signed by someone as popular as Musial but when and where do we draw the line?

Fans of Musial have come to the defense of these autographs by stating that Stan just wanted to please his fans by signing as much and for as long as he could. The thing is, judging by that auto, he no longer could. Besides, at 92 years of age and with failing health, just how many people really believe Stan wanted to sign thousands and thousands of stickers in his final days?

This situation makes me wonder just how much card companies were paying Stan to flood the market with autographs which sell for as little as $40 dollars or less, if not certified. What if, and this is complete speculation, Stan was being pushed to sign these thousands of stickers to appease family members? Taking advantage of the sick and the elderly is extremely common when money is involved.

Much like Stan Musial’s signature, another signature addict is Hank Aaron. Also, much like Musial’s auto, Hank’s has been getting worse and worse as time goes by. Maybe it’s time card companies give some of these old timer’s a break. Look, it’s 2015 … we don’t need more Hank Aaron autographs. There’s already more than enough for every baseball fan who wants one.

Categories: Celebrity Death, eBay Treasures, The Topps Company | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Harrison Ford Nearly Joins the Wax Morgue

Seriously, Harrison Ford, can you not?!?

Iconic movie actor, Harrison Ford, crashed his small airplane in a Los Angeles golf course. Right now details are extremely sketchy but it appears the 72 year-old actor survived but was seriously injured. TMZ, as always, has the best coverage from Ford’s report of engine failure to photos and videos of the wreck and the paramedics working on the aging actor.

Before this accident, Harrison Ford’s certified autographs were among the most expensive in the Hobby. The most coveted appear to be from Topps Company and some cards have sold for well over $5,000 dollars in previous years. Recently, this Topps Star Wars card hit $2,500 but other lesser known franchises and card company releases barely crack $600.

Fun fact: I’ve never seen Star Wars or Indiana Jones.

“I’ve had people walk out on me before, but not when I was being so charming.”


Categories: Celebrity Death, eBay Treasures | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Saddest Baseball Card I’ve Ever Seen

This past Sunday, I had a minor Twitter card meltdown over the absence of Upper Deck in the baseball card market. I made a suggestion that caught on somewhat when I suggested Upper Deck try out a full hologram baseball release like they did so long ago with SPx and in inserts before that. Surely by now, hologram technology has improved and it would be neat to see Upper Deck rise from the grave they have one foot stuck in to bounce back into a hobby that still craves nostalgia.

During a Google Images search for Upper Deck holograms I ran into the card below, which was an insert from 1993 Upper Deck. It features an old photograph of a player in front of a hologram background and current photo/gram of said player.  The 18-card set is absolutely brilliant and features players from that era along with retired greats like Reggie Jackson, Willie Mays, and the man you see below. There’s just something about the card that really makes it special and probably not in a good way.

The young picture of Mantle is the image all baseball fans will forever remember; a good-looking, all-American boy with a God-given gift to hit a baseball. The more recent photo of Mantle, with a huge gut and wrinkles, just three years from an early death is the one hopefully no one recalls when telling their kids about Mantle. Come to think of it, it’s 2015 and there will soon come a time when no one who watched Mantle play will be around. This card is a scary look at our mortality. Nothing lasts forever.

Even our heroes get old and die. 

As for the long-forgotten, 18-card insert set, ‘Then & Now’, I would highly recommend it to any fan of baseball and/or baseball cards. It features a great who’s who of the Hall of Fame checklist and features technology that was new and innovative at the time, much like the company who produced the card, Upper Deck. They may never get back what they lost, but no one can deny the impact they left in our hobby. Here’s hoping Upper Deck, much like Mickey Mantle during his playing days, can swing for the fences just one more time.

“If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”


Categories: Celebrity Death, Upper Deck Company | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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