eBay Treasures

Mike Tyson Got it Wrong

Leaf hit a grand slam with the Mike Tyson inscription autographs released a few years ago. Below is one of those cards, which is currently on eBay. As you can see, it refers to Mike Tyson’s first career loss to the unheralded, Buster Douglas.

That event was tragic for many reasons. For starters, it was the beginning of the end for Tyson, who was at the time the undefeated and undisputed Heavyweight Champion. His career never truly bounced back and his personal life only worsened. Not only did Mike lose his belts and aura of invincibility, he also lost millions in endorsements.

As for Buster Douglas, he ended up losing his very next fight after coming in fat and unprepared against a young and still ferocious, Evander Holyfield. He would never again reach anything close to what he accomplished that night in Toyko when he knocked out Mike Tyson.

Here’s the thing; the card signed by Mike reads, “Buster Douglas got the best of me.” Not true at all. Mike didn’t train and was on a diet of narcotics and prescription drugs. His lifestyle and addiction to women, plus his partying beat him that night. Not only that but he knocked down Buster late in the fight and the referee gave a slow count, which was somewhere between 12-14 seconds. Even at his worst, Mike defeated Buster Douglas.

This card comes from the genius hobby mind of Brian Gray of Leaf BUT it’s an insult to any true boxing fan, not to mention Mike Tyson supporter. It’s a neat autograph but not something I could ever give my backing to because simply put, Mike Tyson got it wrong.

Categories: Celebrity Drama, eBay Treasures | Tags: , | 1 Comment

2015 Gypsy Queen is (Sorta) Live

Fresh off a hot Museum Collection release last week, Topps is back with another retro-style product, Gypsy Queen. Cards are slowly but surely hitting eBay ahead of the April 15th release date.

I’ve never had a chance to bust Gypsy Queen although I may have a card or two from 2014’s release of Jose Canseco. This year, although no Jose has surfaced, he is all over the checklist, which I’m extremely excited about.

There is currently very little of this product on eBay so it’s way too early to judge but I can say I’m not excited about this brand the way I was after seeing Museum Collection on eBay and Twitter. Time will tell if it will live up to the hype. One thing is for certain, Topps has been incredibly busy, pumping out one release after another.

As for me, I tried to unsuccessfully get into a Gypsy Queen case break to try my luck at pulling some Canseco cards but as it turns out you have to plan ahead on these things so I will be forced to pick up whatever is pulled on eBay. Sooner or later, I will get my foot in the door of these case breaks which seem to be all the rage among collectors these days.

Categories: eBay Treasures, The Topps Company | Tags: | Leave a comment

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

What to do When You’re Missing Key Refractors

There was once a time when you could buy an entire box of Topps Finest, Bowman or Topps Chrome, and Bowman’s Best and be left with a single Refractor for your efforts. If you were extremely lucky, maybe two. These young collectors will never know how tough we old guys had it. In February, I busted a box of 2014 Finest and came away with something like 14 Refractors, of all shapes and colors.

In the days before eBay, that meant you had to spend long hours and hot summer days tracking down friends who collected (there were a lot more in that era) or go to shows and hope and pray some Beckett thumper had the Refractor of the player you collected. To put things into perspective, I paid $40 dollars for the 1993 Topps Finest Refractor of Jose Canseco … fifteen long years after its release.

While organizing my collection, I have found that I am missing some key Topps Refractors which I will now spend my money and time acquiring. This of course will put to rest my eBay spending streak of low-end Canseco autographs as I chase something way more appealing in my eyes, early-year Refractors back when these parallels had some meaning.

The oldest Refractor I need is 21 years old and comes from Topps’ inaugural Bowman’s Best line, which coincidently is coming back in 2015 after a long hiatus. In 1994 Bowman’s Best, a set that has aged terribly, by the way, Refractors were seeded 1:9 packs with a full box containing 24 packs. There are just three of these on eBay at the moment, all graded and anywhere from $59.99 to $349.99 a piece.

I too am missing 1996 Topps Chrome’s Refractor, also the first year Topps made their flagship Chrome and as you all know, the rest is history. Refractors were seeded at 1:12 packs, with a full box containing 24 packs. Unlike ’94 Bowman’s Best, these cards still look great today. Unfortunately, there is only one copy on eBay right now for a reasonably priced $29.99. This one is attainable.

Finally, I am missing an even bigger debut. In 1997, Topps created the Bowman Chrome line and all hell broke loose almost immediately. Unfortunately, Topps inserted just two Refractors per box, which drove the prices through the roof on highly-touted prospects such as Kerry Wood and Jose Cruz, Jr. but also kept player collectors like me at bay. There are ZERO Refractors of Canseco on eBay right now.

So as you can see, I have my work cut out for me. I have to make the decision to spend way more than an autograph and/or relic card to pick up 90’s cards with very little gimmicks. This is one reason I have stalled on these early Refractors because as much as I like them, it’s tough to pass up a $13 dollar, 2015 Tek autograph just to spend $70 or more for a 1994 Refractor.

Don’t even get me started on 1998 Donruss Crusade, which is a $300-$500 card on a slow day.


1996 Topps Chrome Refractor


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

Will We See Bruce Jenner’s Transformation On Cardboard?

Hate it or love it, Bruce Jenner is an iconic and well-respected athlete. More recently, he has been the butt of pop culture references thanks to a reality tv show in which he played second fiddle to a domineering pig and her over-sexualized daughters. Who knew that the real storie on ‘Keeping up with the Kardshians’ wasn’t playing out on cameras?

At the end of this month, Bruce will say farewell to his life as a man and officially become a woman, something he says he has been or at least related to since the age of 5. Whatever his choice is, I support it. On card board, however, it may cause some confusion as Jenner has been prominently featured all over a hobby as a man.

It seems every company has featured Jenner on a card including heavy hitters like Topps and Upper Deck and even Panini America and Leaf. Even companies that are no longer around like Impel, put Jenner on a card. My favorite, though, comes from this early 90s on-card and serial numbered autograph from a release called Signature Rookies Tetrad. It will run you around $30-$40 dollars on eBay despite a print run of over 1,000.

There is still a lot of information on Jenner’s new life that remains a mystery, including what his new name will be. All will be revealed in due time but for now, we can all still enjoy the wonderful career of Bruce Jenner on cardboard.


Categories: Celebrity Drama, eBay Treasures | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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