Topps T-Shirts And Sweatshirts

When this ad was placed in edition 7 of Topps Magazine in the summer of ’91, the price was just $15.95 per t-shirt or $27.50 per sweatshirt, plus $3.25 per order for shipping and handling for Anniversary or Traditional series items.

Apparently, a special edition Mickey Mantle one was available with this 52 Topps card on it and a Babe Ruth, too, featuring his ’73 card. About twenty players were available, including George Brett, Will Clark, Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco, Ken Griffey Jr., Gregg Jefferies, Wally Joyner, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Cal Ripken Jr., Nolan Ryan, Darryl Strawberry (Mets or Dodgers), Ozzie Smith, Frank Viola, among others. Checks were payable to Insta Graphic Systems based in Cerritos, CA.

I’m unsure what these look like, so if you have one, please let me know.

Memorabilia Madness – Some Background On The PSA 8 T206 Honus Wagner

I ran across this tidbit about the “PSA-8” graded McNall/Gretzky T-206 Honus Wagner in Topps Magazine’s 6th Edition (Spring 1991). Madness indeed!

The article explains that the Piedmont-backed T206 Honus Wagner achieved the highest price ever (at the time) for a single baseball card, $410k (plus $41k auction fee) during Sotheby’s auction of The Copeland Collection of Important Baseball Cards and Sports Memorabilia in March 1991.

The card’s history is quite infamous, but I have nothing unique to add to that part of the story; check out Wikipedia or the net54 message boards for more info. However, I’m not sure many people today have seen the auction description, including a photo of the back of the raw, pre-graded card.

The Great Topps Auction

Hobby historians learned a lot from Guernsey’s Topps Auction, which occurred on August 19th/20th, 1989, following a two-day public exhibition at the Hunter College Sportsplex in NY, but photos from the event are scarce.

This one’s from the Premier Issue of Topps Magazine, which accompanied an article called The Great Topps Auction. In it, Kenneth M. Liss wrote that Topps baseball photos and art were the big hits of the auction. He highlighted that the original color painting used to create Mickey Mantle’s 1953 Topps card was the #1 attraction and sold for $121k.

Based on the auction’s catalog (pictured below), here are the players pictured in the image:

  • BF 3 is three action frames of Rocky Colavato while on the Detroit Tigers.
  • BF 4 is Lenny Green
  • BF 5 is George Altman and Billy Cowan.
  • BF 6 is Chick Cotter
  • BF 7 is Glen Clark
  • BF 8 is Pete Cimino
  • BF 9 is Ernie Fazio
  • BF 10 is Camiio Carreon
  • BF 11 is Don Loun and Ron Stillwell

The Worst Baseball Card?

The February 1993 issue of Baseball Cards featured a section called Readers’ Choice, but I’m going to have to disagree with Eric Hoffman on this one!

The 1951 Bowman #195 Paul Richards card is the only cartoon image in the 324-card set.

I’ve read that the most common theory concerning the card was that Richards wasn’t named the manager of the Sox until the Bowman cards were nearly ready to print and because Richards retired as an MLB player in 1946 (he was a player-manager with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League from 1947-49), Bowman didn’t have any recent or suitable photos of Richards to colorize, so they had one of their artists do a last-second drawing.

1982 Jackie Robinson First Day Cover

The USPS initiated a Black Heritage Stamp Series in 1978. On August 2, 1982, they issued one for Jackie Robinson. This advertisement, from the October 1982 Trader Speaks, is for a pair of 1st Day Covers with a B. Scott Forst stadium exclusive drawing on the left side.

There seem to be a few different 1st Day Covers for the stamp; the one advertised in Trader Speaks appears to be a little more challenging to track down but not any more expensive than the others.

Now, for the stamp specifically, it was painted by Howard Koslow, and 164,235,000 stamps were issued at a postage value of 20¢ each.