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The Sports Card Bulletin





We are a sports card trading club together since 1999!

We provide message boards for trading baseball cards, football cards, basketball cards and hockey cards. Join now! (or take a tour)


Baseball Card Values and Prices - Selling Baseball Cards
The most common question we are asked is how much are my baseball cards worth? We've tried to answer this question from a variety of different angles.

We are also frequently approached by people asking for advice on how to sell your baseball cards. Fortunately, people looking to sell their sports cards and sports memorabilia have several options to choose from!

Baseball Card Writing Contest

Add your email address to our Sports Card Bulletin to receive information about our contests and special sports card offers from our sponsors! 

Be sure to check out our previous baseball card essay contest entries. These essays are full of great ideas and useful information about baseball cards:

This writing contest was an easy one. Participants just had to write something positive about the sports card hobby that they love to participate in. Baseball card collections come in many different shapes and sizes. Read about the various sizes, storage, and display methods of some passionate baseball card collectors. What's so fun about collecting baseball cards? Our members share their baseball cards stories with you! This is a great group of essays about collecting baseball card sets. There are so many reasons why collectors decide to build the sets that they do.

Innovative and creative ideas for Upper Decks new line of baseball cards.

The Sports Card Collectors Guide to Trading on the Internet

My favorite baseball cards

Baseball cards on Baseball Tonight

Baseball card show or a good baseball card shop?

I'm going to save the baseball card industry and here's how I'm going to do it.

Why Should a kid start collecting baseball cards?

Baseball Card of The Week

The Sports Card of the Week (or sports card story) is provided by our members. The Sports Card of the Week is not selected based on cash value or rarity. Rather, it's simply a card or story that has some sort of personal value to the person who owns it. We hope to show you the wide variety of reasons that people collect or find certain cards appealing. It's just our way of providing a way for collectors to share some of their passionate for this awesome hobby.

This sports card of the week is provided by Tim Deane  (aka tdeane22) from, Daphne AL:
The 2009 SP #55 is what did it...this single card brought together a father and 2 wonderful sons into the world of card collecting.

I had collected from 1975 through 1994 and stopped when it was time to start a family and focus on my military career. From time to time I would pick up a pack or two and that was it. My first son was a baseball fan but didnt seem interested at the time to start collecting. Then my second son came along and it was the same, no real interest.

One Saturday morning in a few years ago we were out and about and noticed a new card shop in our area and decided to look around. They though the cards were nice, and I felt like a kid in a candy store. We saw that the store was doing a "trade night" and decided to come back later that evening. When we returned the boys saw all kinds of folks ripping packs and trading, and saw that there was a contest for a card...a 2009 SP Authentic #55 Tim Lincecum. This made the boys curious and they both wanted to join in. They started ripping packs and about the third pack into it they scored the card. And picked up a box of Topps for getting the winning card. At the same time they discovered that they were getting cards of the players they liked watching and copied on the baseball fields. "Look dad! Albert Pujols!" or "Wow dad, Stan always said you liked him!", "Dad!!! Dizzy Dean!!!". You get the point.

That card started the collection craze for my sons. That card is responsible for many hours of pleasure watching my sons rip packs, collect their stars, trade with each other or friends. It started their interest in card shows, finding cards at yard sales or flea markets, visits to other card shops, ebay and our favorite Sportscardfun page (where they have been trading for their fav's, and so has dad).

I spend a lot of time away from home due to my military status and when I am home we talk cards and collections and what they have scored. We go out and buy blaster boxes and packs and rip together. That one card brought a father and two sons closer together and gave us all something we enjoy doing together. Their younger sister is now involved too...see what one card has done?

This is why the 2009 SP Authentic #55 is one of my all time favorite cards. In fact, we now have 3: one each for the boys, and one for dad. Traders beware...I'll be looking to add a fourth for sister...

Read more cool stories about baseball cards, football cards, basketball cards and hockey cards in our previous sports cards of the week. All cards and stories were submitted by our members!

News and Information About Baseball Cards

Visit our baseball card boxes page for new release information and viewing of some great hobby products!

An Innovative Baseball Card Promotion
By Rob Harris ( guest author)

In 2012, the Chicago Cubs went someplace that no Major League team had gone before. For each of the 81 home dates on their schedule, the team reproduced a Topps baseball card having something to do with the day or the opponent.

For example, October 2’s ticket bore the image of Rick Sutcliffe’s 1985 Topps card, his first in a Cubs uniform. On that date in 1984, Sutcliffe won the first game of the National League playoffs against the San Diego Padres, and hit a home run in the process.

Likewise, June 15’s game against the Boston Red Sox featured an image of a 1984 Bill Buckner card, since Buckner was traded to the Red Sox that year. It didn’t go so well for him, as you may have heard.

This year, in apparent recognition of what the Cubs did last year, Topps and the Chicago Cubs have teamed up for a very exciting and unique sales promotion. There are four dates on this season’s schedule—all of them Fridays—where fans will receive what is being referred to as the Topps Exclusive Limited Baseball Card Edition.

The set contains 82 cards in all, and appears to follow the lead of the Topps Archives set, in which players are set in classic Topps designs from years where they did not play. For example, Anthony Rizzo--the Cubs’ rising star at first base--is depicted in a design from the 1956 Topps set.

From a sneak peek at the set tweeted out by @briangarza1, it appears that, among others, there will be Kerry Wood and Ernie Banks in the 1977 Topps baseball design, Ken Holtzman, Jeff Samardzija, and Ryne Sandberg in the 1965 Topps baseball design, Greg Maddux, Jose Cardenal, Rick Reuschel (although he went by “Ricky” his first few seasons in the majors), and Mark Grace in the 1972 Topps baseball design, and dozens more. And, unlike a traditional pack where a buyer like me would get one Cubs baseball card, if I was lucky, this set will have nothing but Cubs players. It’s hard to beat that!

The four games are being packaged as part of a “Topps Six-Pack” of tickets, with two non-baseball cards games also included in the package. There are no details about how many sets of these cards will be made available to fans at Wrigley Field on the day of the game, but you can be sure that similar promotions are in the works for other teams, as well.

This is a brilliant way to leverage Topps’ “exclusive” licensing deal with MLB and its member teams. Team collectors will be able to expand their horizons, and even casual fans won’t have any problem selling these things to collectors on eBay. The first of the promotional set giveaways is Friday, May 3 against the Cincinnati Reds. Hope to see you there!

Panini America
By Rob Harris ( guest author)

Just as in the 1970s—when some of us were collecting baseball cards for the first time—Topps baseball cards are the only game in town. Since they are the only brand with licensing rights to MLB and the names and logos of its teams, Topps is now the “exclusive” card for the baseball hobby. It says as much on the front of every pack and box that they sell.

But just as you could once get baseball cards inside boxes of Kellogg’s cereal, or on the bottom of Hostess snack cake boxes in the 1970s, somebody has found a way around Topps and their exclusivity deals.

Panini America, which has been producing basketball cards, football cards, and hockey cards for several years now, recently released its Cooperstown series, through a licensing agreement with the Baseball Hall of Fame. Panini recognizes, correctly, that the name “Cooperstown” is synonymous not only with excellence on the diamond, but with the game of baseball itself.

There are certain realities that Panini had to live with as it assembled this set. The first is that no logos appear anywhere on the cards. This means lots of strategic cropping, or shots where a player is following through on a swing, with only their number visible in the shot.

Another reality is that “Pittsburgh” can be used for describing where players like Willie Stargell or Roberto Clemente played, but “Pirates” cannot. It’s a minor issue, though, since if you’re a fan enough to purchase these cards, you know which teams play in which cities, anyway.

The Cooperstown set has some engaging text on the back of each card, describing the career of the player or manager shown on the card. If I want to know how many homers Johnny Mize hit in 1947, that’s why the internet was created. (He hit 51 that year, if you’re curious). But the precious space on the back of these cards is devoted to telling us something about the players. It’s a revolutionary concept, although it really shouldn’t be.

There are many insert cards devoted to induction ceremonies, where the inductees are seen in non-baseball attire. Other inserts include images from the village of Cooperstown itself, which anyone who has been there knows is part of what make the Baseball Hall of Fame such a unique setting. And, of course, there are autograph cards. A Hall of Famer’s autograph is a special thing for a baseball card collector, and for any true fan of the game itself. But in this set, that’s all you can get. Pretty nice, huh?

The nature of this set is such that some—and maybe even most—of the cards won’t have much personal meaning to today’s fan. Johnny Mize appears to have been a great player, but he retired several years before I was even born. He was voted in by the Veterans’ Committee in 1981, when guys like Reggie Jackson and Pete Rose and Jim Palmer were the ones that I was looking for. Still, he’s a Hall of Famer, and his contribution to the game is honored in a way it probably hasn’t been since 1981. And that’s definitely worth noting.

Hats off to Panini America for getting around the Topps monopoly, and giving us a beautiful set of baseball cards that encompasses the history of baseball in a way that no other set could.

Baseball Hall Of Fame
By Rob Harris
( guest author)

The votes are in, and despite a star-studded Hall of Fame ballot this year, nobody was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. This year’s Induction Weekend in Cooperstown will have a different feeling than in years gone by.

The BBWAA voters’ refusal to enshrine Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro will have a negative impact on all memorabilia relating to these players for the foreseeable future. Collectors of signed items, jerseys, balls, and baseball cards of all types will have to keep waiting for the day when “Hall of Famer” can be attached to their names.

Leaving aside the players tainted by admissions or suspicions of steroid use, there were some other possible Hall of Famers to be considered. Dale Murphy once seemed like a lock for the Hall of Fame, and Dale Murphy baseball cards once seemed to be a good investment play. But now that he has run out of years of eligibility, he will have to wait for validation from the Veterans’ Committee, instead.

Surviving for 15 years on baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot is not an easy thing, and there are over 100 Hall of Fame voters who consider Dale Murphy’s achievements to be Hall-worthy. But unlike Jim Rice--who got in on his 15th and final time on the ballot--Dale Murphy fell well short of the 75% threshold. Collectors of Dale Murphy baseball cards and other memorabilia saw a potential windfall fail to materialize.

Another 15th year of Hall of Fame eligibility will come next year, when Jack Morris appears on the ballot for the final time. With 67.7% of the vote in his favor for the 2012 Hall of Fame voting, Morris fell just short of induction this year. Maybe we’ll see Hall of Famer Jack Morris this time next year.

But the value of Jack Morris baseball cards, and other memorabilia, still has some potential upside. Collectors could begin acquiring Jack Morris items in the coming months, with the expectation that the Hall of Fame will vote him in next year. Call it a final round of Jack Morris speculation. We’ll know what the answer will be in one year’s time.

A Celebration of the Checklist
By Rob Harris ( guest author)
It has to be the most underappreciated card in the collecting universe. It has no star players on the front, unless you're willing to get out your magnifying glass and look for some in the team photo. Or, to make matters even worse, sometimes it has a picture of the manager on the front. The manager! Sure, maybe if the manager is a Hall of Famer like Frank Robinson, or Ryne Sandberg soon will be, that's one thing. But who really wants a manager's card?

Like gum stains on the back of a card, checklists are a window into what baseball card collecting used to be. There's a number of cards in each set, but since the internet hasn't been invented yet, how do you know who you have, and who you still need? That's where the checklists come in, and that's why the checklist should always be a part of every collectable set.

Today I came across a Cubs checklist from the 1987 Topps team set, with manager Gene Michael on the front. It was Andre Dawson's first season in Chicago, but he hadn't yet signed his famed $500,000 deal with the team yet, so no Dawson card is to be found on the card. Greg Maddux was little more than an unproven rookie in 1987, and so he has no card on this checklist either. Dennis Eckersley is on here, but he was still a starting pitcher, and had not yet made the switch into the dominant closer he would become two years later in Oakland. There is also a T. Francona listed, whose card in that year's set called him Terry, but who everyone now knows as Tito.
Most people wouldn't give a team checklist a second look. The act of using a checklist for its intended purpose is a no-no if the card is ever going to be traded for anything. But then again, who trades for a checklist?

Marking on a checklist, as the Cubs checklist I found was marked up (and all the way filled in, I might add), makes that baseball card yours. You have X card and Y card and Z card, but you may still need to get A card or B card or C card. Nobody can use your checklist after you do that. But that's OK, since it's your card meant for keeping track of your other cards in the first place.

May the Forsch be with you
By Rob Harris ( guest author)

Two of the main ways of collecting sports cards are by player or by team. In these days of player moment from one team to another, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of who's on what team. If you're a Kenny Lofton collector, for instance, there are eleven different teams that might be in your collection. But if you're a collector of the Mets, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, or a few other teams, Kenny Lofton will not appear in your collection.

Some players spend their whole careers with the same team (Derek Jeter comes immediately to mind), but they're becoming an increasingly odd duck. Players just chase a paycheck, which is completely understandable, as we all do the same thing in our lives, and it doesn't matter to them who they play for. Red Sox fans probably never wanted to see Johnny Damon play for the hated Yankees, but Mr. Steinbrenner's money sure changed that. And I doubt any of Damon's Yankees baseball cards made it into Red Sox fans collections.

I'm the same way with my team, the Chicago Cubs. Andre Dawson was my favorite player ever, as long as his jersey read 'Cubs' on the front. I certainly wished him no ill will upon leaving to go play in Boston, and finally with the Florida Marlins, and I was even in the bleachers when the Cubs held an Andre Dawson day in his last season in the big leagues. But would I collect the baseball cards of him in these uniforms, or with the Montreal Expos, where he played more seasons than anywhere else? No thanks, I'll look for another Chuck McElroy or Paul Kilgus card instead.

When a longtime player for one team changes uniforms, confusion can sometimes ensue. A 2007 Upper Deck card of Jason Marquis, in full Cardinals regalia, made its way into my Cubs collection because he had been signed by the Cubs in the off-season. And a 1981 Kellogg's cereal card of Bruce Sutter, wearing Cubs gear but traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in the off-season, still went in because, well, he was Bruce Sutter. I was willing to be flexible with his cards.

But the funniest example of this confusion came with the status of pitcher Bob Forsch. Forsch pitched for the Cardinals from the mid-seventies until the middle of the 1988 season, when he was traded to Houston. Forsch would have had full no-trade rights under the five-and-ten rules today, but this was in a different labor environment (pre-1994 strike, that is). Two baseball card companies handled this trade in different ways.

The Score set for the 1989 season identified Forsch as a Cardinal on the front and the back of his card (#525). The only evidence that he was no longer a Cardinal came on the back of the card, where the text that sometimes fills up space under the players statistics indicates that Forsch had been traded to the Astros on August 31 of the previous year. Cardinal collectors, who probably have many Forsch cards in their collections, thus received an unexpected bonus card in 1989. I'm certain that they added it anyway. I would have done the same thing.

The Topps company handled Forsch differently in 1989. He is identified as an Astro on the front and back of his card (#163), but the hat and jersey he's wearing appear to be colored over with magic markers. These were the pre-photoshop days, and Topps did what they had to do in order to make Forsch into an Astro. Astros collectors got to add a Forsch card before he retired after the 1989 season, while Bob Forsch collectors added a new color to their large supply of Cardinals red. Variety is the spice of life, after all

A parting of the ways is ahead
By Rob Harris ( guest author)

In baseball card collecting, there are two gold standard players at the moment: Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols. Both are sure-fire hall of famers, and anything with their picture and career stats on it will be in demand for years to come. But their paths are likely to diverge from each other in the years ahead.

The Yankees had a decision to make last Spring. Derek Jeter, the captain of the Yankee's team and the heart of their franchise, was due to become a free agent. He's clearly not what he once was as a player, but he is a symbol of the team's success over the past fifteen years, and he is allowing himself to be paid as such. But this won't be the case with Albert Pujols.

Albert Pujols is in the prime of his career, and will be for five more years, at least. And those who think he'll return to St. Louis after this season--World Series title or not--are overlooking the fact that the Cardinals haven't once paid him what he's worth. They can afford Chris Carpenter, or Berkman and Molina, because Albert plays for less. And do any of the other Cardinals' players cards or memorabilia have even a fraction of the value that Albert's do? I can't imagine that they do.

Yankees fans and Jeter collectors have and always will coincide with each other quite nicely. But Cardinals fans and Pujols collectors are probably not going to share in this, once this season is over. Whoever wins the bidding derby for his services will trot him out at a press conference, and his jersey will become an immediate best seller in whatever city that might be.

There's no question that the novelty of seeing him in another team's jersey whether it's on baseball cards or on the field will be hard to ignore. But Cardinals fans will have to make a decision very soon: Do they follow Albert to his new team, or do they stay home and learn to love whoever comes in to take his place? At least there will be a few days to think it over, and admire him in Cardinal's red for the remainder of the Series.

You Can't Make This Up
By Rob Harris ( guest author)

Last Wednesday evening I dropped my daughter off at an ice skating lesson. These lessons last about an hour and a half, so I had some time to go and run an errand. I decided to drive to the nearby Target store, to pick up a few items to put in my kids' lunches.

There was a ballgame on the radio, so I turned it on to listen. The announcers for ESPN were calling the Tigers-Rangers game, and one of them pointed out that Rick Porcello, the Tigers' starting pitcher, already had several strikeouts in the game's early going. I made a mental note of the pitcher's name as I continued on my way to the store.

After picking up the items I needed, I made my way toward the checkout lines, and passed their display of baseball cards in the process. I debated whether to buy any, and then decided to feed the habit that I've had since I was about 7 years old. There were a couple of boxes of different sets, and I randomly decided to pull a pack from one of the Topps Series 2 Baseball boxes.

I've always, from the time I was a young kid, been a pack buyer. There are some obvious drawbacks to this, the most obvious of which is that you invariably wind up with cards you already have, or what I think of as doubles. It doesn't matter if I have two or twenty copies of the same card, every last one of them is a double to me. But, at the same time, it's the cheapest of the options available. When I was a kid, a dime and a nickel (and a penny for the tax) was all I needed to buy a single pack of baseball cards. Going to the store and exchanging coins for cards and bills for cards, in today's world is the cheapest possible rush you can get.

Some sports card collectors choose to buy cards a box at a time, which has the economic benefit of being cheaper per unit (since sometimes bonus packs are included in the box). And sometimes there are special cards, like relic cards or serial-numbered cards, that aren't available to the single pack buyer. It requires a greater monetary outlay than single packs do, and you can still end up with doubles.

The third option--which I've never done but I can see the advantage of--is to buy an entire set at the same time. This way, you will be certain to get all the cards in a set particularly the rookie cards that will appreciate in value the most without any of those pesky doubles. This requires the greatest monetary expense of all, but it also gives the best price per card value. In the end, it all depends on what you want.

Whenever I buy a single pack of baseball cards, I pick something from close to the bottom of the box. Not the very bottom, but two or three packs removed from it. In this case, I grabbed one of the packs and proceeded to the checkout.

After loading everything into the car, I turned the radio on and opened up the pack. The first card I came to was Rick Porcello, which was odd because he was pitching in the game that was on the radio. I continued sorting through the cards, and noticed there were several pitchers contained in the pack. I even saw a Rangers pitcher, Matt Harrison, who I wasn't familiar with.

A flip to the back of his card revealed a player who bounced around all over the minor leagues, and who really only had significant action in the majors in 2010. With 37 games pitched, 78 1/3 innings, and 2 saves, I realized that he's probably a middle reliever. I thought it would be funny if he pitched in tonight's game, and listened to hear if his name was called.

It didn't take long to hear his name. I put the car in reverse and started to back out of my spot when I heard one of the announcers say the name "Matt Harrison." I then realized that I had randomly bought a pack of baseball cards with both sides of that evening's pitching matchup contained inside.

Had I bought this pack of cards a week earlier, the matchup would not have been set yet.  If I had bought it the day after the game was played, I likely wouldn't have recalled who pitched against who on a previous day. The only reason I noticed it at all is that I was listening to the game they were matched up in at the time. It was as if fate had decided to set these two cards--along with a few others--free as the game was going on.

What are the odds of this happening? They're astronomical, I'm sure. It's the kind of thing that some people would use as an omen to go buy a lottery ticket right away. And those lottery odds would pale in comparison to ever buying and opening another pack of cards in a similar situation.

The names Harrison and Porcello have now become linked in my mind, not for anything they did on the field, but for the sheer randomness of how I came into possession of their baseball cards. Every card--no matter how it's acquired--has the potential of becoming a story. As these stories present themselves, we can tell them to others who share our interest in the game.

A piece about why I collect cards
By Rob Harris ( guest author)

Today I went to a "one day only" rummage sale in a church. I wasn't looking to find it, either. I was trying to find a parking space, noticed the sign in front of the church, and so I parked my car and went inside. And I found some clarity as a result.

It was the final hour of the sale, and to clear out the merchandise they were offering anything you could fit inside a shopping bag for $3.00. I paid for a bag and went exploring.

As always, I made my way to the book section. Baseball books are always on the top of my list, and I found a couple that look pretty interesting. I wasn't expecting to find any sports memorabilia, but at the end of a book shelf I found two oversize baseball cards that Topps produced in 1980. If I had to guess, I'd say they were 4 by 6 inch cards, or considerably bigger than regular trading cards. So I put them in my bag and moved on.

The cards themselves are basically just headshots of the players (of Don Baylor and Amos Otis, if you're curious) with their simulated signatures in what looks like a light blue color (I had only seen these in black on regular Topps cards). The back side of the baseball cards have no statistics, but simply give the players' names, teams, positions, and a card number. Apparently there were 60 cards in this set.*

But what really struck me was what was printed in the center of the card. There is a Topps logo, which I had seen before on one of their 1970s sets. The logo says Topps, with the "T" being lowercased and dropping underneath the other letters. I had never noticed this before, but the curve in the "T" was actually forming a smile. And underneath this smile, following the shape of the line, were the words "For the fun of it" in all capital letters.

Those few words were like the Gettysburg Address of baseball card collecting. I could go on and on (as I have on several occasions) about why I collect cards, but those five words get right to the heart of the matter. Following baseball is, and always has been, fun for me. The fun of following baseball is then extended to the fun I have with collecting baseball cards, and telling whatever stories I can about the players and the game itself.

So much about the game has changed since these cards were made in 1980. There have been two player's strikes, expansion into new cities, interleague play, instant replay, the Steroid era, the evolution of the bullpen into set-up men and closers, fantasy baseball, sabermetrics....the list goes much further than that. But through all of it, the game has remained fun for me.

I've changed as dramatically as the game itself since 1980. Puberty, high school, relationships with girls, college, working at a "real job," marriage, graduate school, home ownership, children, middle age...basically passing from an adolescent to a young man to a middle aged man. And through all of it, baseball has marked the time, as Terrence Mann said in "Field of Dreams."

I'm glad I found these baseball cards, and if anybody reading this wants to acquire them, let me know and we can work something out. But I've already learned quite a bit from them, meaning this was $3.oo very well spent.


Nyjer Morgan's Baseball Cards
By Rob Harris ( guest author)

When the Brewers beat the Diamondbacks to advance to the NLCS, Nyjer Morgan played the hero by driving home the winning run. His popularity with Brewers fans certainly rose as well, although you'll never see too many of his jerseys at Miller Park. The other team members who have been around for several seasons Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, and others-- will see that before Nyjer Morgan does.

One easy and inexpensive way that Brewers fans can celebrate Morgan's achievements is by acquiring his baseball cards through eBay and other online vendors. But true Brewer's fans may be disappointed with what they find.

Morgan's career began with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he also played for the Washington Nationals before being traded to the Brewers in March of this year. As a result, there is only one basic Nyjer Morgan card--in a Brewers uniform--that I have been able to find online. It's Topps Series 2 baseball card #573, which shows him in a full layout to catch a fly ball. The ball's just above his glove, and it's a great action shot of him.

However, it just looks a little fake, in the sense that there is a rather generic blue outfield wall behind him, but no warning track is visible on the card. If he did make that catch, it certainly saved a run if there were runners on base. But if you want him in a Brewer's jersey, that's what you have available to you.

There are variations on this basic theme, though. There are a Diamond Anniversary sparkle baseball card and a gold-bordered serial numbered insert card also available, but they are essentially the same pose as the Topps Series 2 base card. But any other Nyger Morgan cards, even from recent sets like the Topps Gypsy Queen series, have him pictured as either a National or a Pirate. But if you can get beyond that, there certainly are baseball cards to be had of this momentary hero.

A similar, but even more extreme variation of this theme involves Dave Roberts and the Boston Red Sox. In 2004, Roberts was acquired from the Dodgers at the trading deadline. It was too late in the season for him to be included on any update cards for that season. His steal of second base in Game four of the ALCS made him a hero in Boston, but he was then traded away by the Red Sox in November of that year. As a result, he does not appear on a single baseball card in a Red Sox uniform, that I've ever been able to find. Completist-minded Red Sox collectors for the 2004 team either have to use his Dodgers' card from that year, or do without any reminders of his presence on their championship team.

If Morgan comes back to the Brewers after this season, I'm certain that he will have a Topps baseball card in the base set like everyone else. He may even appear on a playoffs-related insert card in next year's sets. As for right now, his role on the team is largely, but not entirely, absent from this year's baseball cards. And if you're a Brewers fan, you have at least another week to keep rooting for him and the rest of the team.


An appreciation of Jewish Big Leaguers
by Rob Harris
( guest author)

Yom Kippur is this week, and it's been forty-six years since Sandy Koufax refused to pitch in Game One of the 1965 World Series because it fell on the Day of Atonement. What happened the year after that is less well-known, but an interesting story just the same.

Since Yom Kippur is based on the Jewish calendar, it falls on different dates every year. Koufax's decision may not have received as much attention today, due to the absence of a playoffs--the way we now envision it--in 1965. Teams won their league's pennant during the regular season, and the World Series started right away in early October. With the addition of divisional play in the late 1960s, and the expansion into a second round of playoffs in the 1990s, a World Series game is not likely to be played on Yom Kippur ever again.

But the next season, Yom Kippur was during the late stages of the regular season. Koufax again refused to pitch that day, although he did take the mound the following day, against the Cubs in Chicago. His opponent that day, Ken Holtzman, was also a Jewish pitcher, and the two engaged in a classic nine-inning pitcher's duel. Both pitchers went the distance, but Holtzman and the Cubs handed Koufax his final regular season loss.

Koufax retired at the end of the 1966 season, and his 165 wins made him the winningest Jewish pitcher in major league history. But Holtzman was no slouch, either. He went on to pitch two no-hitters for the Cubs (which gave him the nickname of "No-hit" Holtzman) and win three World Series rings with the Oakland A's.

The 1980 Topps baseball card shown above was the final one of his career, which had actually ended in September of 1979, thirteen years after his matchup against Koufax. His 174 career wins surpassed Koufax' mark, making him the winningest Jewish pitcher in history, at least for now. We’ll have to see how Jason Marquis finishes up his career.

There are several other Jewish players in the majors today, with Ryan Braun, Ian Kinsler, Sam Fuld, and Kevin Youkilis among them. According to the website, the history of Jewish players in professional baseball goes back to 1871, when Lipman Pike played in the National Association, which was the forerunner to the National League. Other Jewish big leaguers from the past include Hank Greenberg, Lou Boudreau, and Steve Yeager.
The contributions of Jewish players have enriched the game of baseball for more than a century, and baseball cards of these players can serve as a reminder of their continued success at the major league level.


Building Your Sports Card Trading Reputation
by Jennifer Shook ( guest author)

Online sports card trading is a fun way to connect with a HUGE audience of people. You can find people who can teach you, answer questions for you, and (of course) swap cards with you! Online trading can also be beneficial because some companies pack their products for specific regions. If you live on the East Coast but you love a West Coast team, you can find someone out west to trade with you for cards of their favorite East Coast team.

When you start as an online sports card trader it can be hard to find people to trade with you because you are a "rookie". No one wants to take a chance on mailing you some really great cards and never getting cards back from you. They are afraid of being ripped off. Although their concerns may be valid, what is a new trader to do? You must establish your online reputation. You can do this in many ways. Here are a few suggestions:

First you must acknowledge your rookie status. Some veteran traders will gladly make a small trade with a rookie to help them build their reputation. It may only be a few cards, or it may be commons for commons. These types of trades may not be what you were looking for, but you must complete some trades before you earn the right to swap the big cards!

Secondly, your communication with traders will go a long way to building your reputation. Make sure you are courteous, clear with your wants, and honest about the condition and description of the cards you offer in trade. If you will only trade autographs for autographs, say so. If you use a particular source for pricing, say so. If you like even dollar amounts on your trades say so! By being clear (and doing it early) you leave little opportunity for miscommunication. Speaking of miscommunication, it is important to remember the old adage: The early bird catches the worm! The sooner you respond to a sports card trade proposal, the better your chances of getting cards you want. If you wait to reply, you may find the trader already made a deal with someone else.

Another helpful hint is to be sure to reply to all trade proposals you receive. If you don't want to trade, you don't have to. Just give the other person the courtesy of a response. "Thanks for the offer, but I've already traded that baseball card. Sorry! Maybe next time". A few seconds of your time can make the difference between people being willing to work with you versus people who see your email address or online name and don't want to bother with you.

Lastly, most online trading sites have an opportunity to leave feedback about your experience with a trader. Be sure to leave feedback. And if someone does not do the same for you, ask why. If there was a problem, it gives you a chance to fix it. Otherwise they may have just needed a reminder. Your feedback will go a long way for establishing your online credibility!


Will the Real Ryan Braun please stand up?
By Rob Harris
( guest author)

Strange things can happen when you have two people with the same name. I've been in situations before when I've received emails destined for someone else named Robert Harris within a company I've worked for, and we would exchange emails signed with "the other Robert Harris." There's a Robert Harris who runs a chain of coffee houses in New Zealand*, and I'd like to go to one sometime before I die.

And so it is with Ryan Braun. When you mention that name to baseball fans today, they immediately think of the Milwaukee Brewers star who will get some serious MVP consideration this year, if he doesn't win the award himself. And his future looks even brighter after this year, if Prince Fielder leaves Milwaukee via free agency. If Braun stays healthy and produces at his current level for another decade or so, he has a real shot at becoming a Hall of Famer. As a result, any and all cards of him are now in great demand by collectors.

But there's also another Ryan Braun out there. "Ryan Braun" doesn't seem like the most common name you'll find, but it was common enough to belong to two big leaguers in 2007. The aforementioned Braun was an outfielder for Milwaukee, while the "other" Ryan Braun was a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. And it turns out that even Topps wasn't able to keep the two straight.

For the 2007 Topps base set, Pitcher Braun's rookie card appeared as #262 of the set. He was on the Royals' 40 man roster and appeared in nine games with the Royals in 2006, thus earning him the "Rookie Card" distinction, by virtue of the players' union rules established in 2006. Outfielder Braun was on the Brewers' 40 man roster and made his major league debut in May of 2007, which allowed him to have his rookie card in the 2007 Topps update set as card #UH150. Since Pitcher Braun did not appear in a big league game after 2007, while Outfielder Braun is now one of the biggest stars in the game, these two cards will have dramatically different values in the years ahead.

But look closely at the simulated autographs on the front of each card. Pitcher Braun's is over the top button of his Royals' jersey, while Outfielder Braun's is just below his belt. Notice anything interesting? The Topps Company apparently never bothered to tell the two players apart, since the exact same autograph appears on both cards. No two people sign their names exactly the same way, and yet Topps apparently assumed that nobody would ever know the difference.

A simulated autograph on any player's card does not add any actual value to the card. Nobody would seriously suggest otherwise. However, this snafu does show a lack of respect for one of the two Brauns, since his card carries the others Ryan Braun's fake autograph. I don't know which card is correct, and which one is mistaken. The players themselves may not know, or even care, about the difference. But Topps clearly deserves an "E" for this one.


Packaging Your Sports Cards To Mail
by Jennifer Shook ( guest author)

When shipping baseball cards you have sold or traded, two questions come to mind: 1) How should I package the cards to make sure they arrive safely in good condition? 2) What is the most cost effective way to ship? These can be tough questions especially if you are new to collecting. Although I don't have all the answers, I can share with you some tips I've discovered in my 30 years of collecting and nearly 13 years of online trading.

First, I always package sports cards in the way that I expect others to package mine. I think about the type of cards I'm sending. If the card is a chrome card or a thicker cardboard card (like Heritage), I usually put only one card in each penny sleeve. Thin base cards I usually put two in a sleeve. If a thin card is an expensive insert or a rookie card though, it will go in its own sleeve. My reasoning: if the value of the card is dependent on condition, I want to keep the card especially safe.

After putting cards in penny sleeves, I determine what I need for top loaders. When sending just a few cards in sleeves, I place them in one thick (GU) loader. If they are GU, auto, RC, high end inserts, etc. they each need their own loader. When dealing with a few loaders or one thick one, I place the loader(s) in a team bag and seal it with a small piece of tape. If I don't have any team bags available, I use a small piece of tape to seal the top of the loader so the card can't slide out in transit.

If I have a trade that involves many sports cards, I put them in sleeves and put them in a team bag directly. When I do this, I use "fill cards" or "dummies" on the top and bottom of the stack. Then, when I fold the team bag, the pressure won't be against the corners of the good cards. Once the team bag is sealed, I sandwich the team bag between two top loaders. Using small pieces of tape, I secure all four sides of both top loaders making a neat package.

Another option is using plastic cases to ship sports cards. If you choose cases, try to still use "dummy" cards at the top and bottom of the stack for protection. Most plastic cases have rounded corners and they can damage cards. If the case holds 25 cards, don't stuff in 30 and try to tape it shut like an over-loaded suit case! Likewise, if you only put 5 cards in the case they will move in transit and may become damaged. Use filler cards or a soft piece of packing material to keep the cards secure. Remember to use small pieces of tape to seal the case when you're done.

Once the baseball cards are packaged, it is time to consider outside mailing wrappers. If I have a small stack like the ones described above, I use padded mailing envelopes. Always be sure to use the right size padded envelope to prevent damage. When making a large shipment, I put all the cards in a 200 (or larger) count box (with packing fill to keep them safe). I put a plain paper wrapper around the box like a birthday package. After writing the proper addresses, I seal the package on all sides with clear packing tape. I don't recommend putting cards in a plain letter envelope with a stamp as a shipping option.


Keeping Shipping Costs Down
by Jennifer Shook ( guest author)

  Now that we have covered proper packaging techniques for baseball cards, let's talk about cost. One of the reasons we sell or trade cards is to try to get some money back on our investment. So, how can we save some money when it comes to packaging and shipping cards? First... RECYCLE! I reuse penny sleeves, team bags, and top loaders. I also reuse padded mailing envelopes and plastic cases. I try to send cards in a recycle-friendly way, so the recipient can carefully unpack the cards and reuse the items themselves. I have access to a secretarial/ clerical staff that receives manila envelopes in the mail. I noticed these envelopes were opened, contents removed, and thrown away. I thought the envelopes were similar in color to the padded envelopes I use, so I started to cut out portions of the plain envelopes (with no writing on them) to cover the previous address on the padded envelopes that I recycle.

  Secondly when it comes to shipping baseball cards (in my opinion) the U.S. Postal Service has the cheapest rates. (Unless you are shipping full boxes or cases because the weight of these items makes the prices of other companies more competitive.) When it comes to postage, I never make guesses. Too many times I have received packages from traders (and sellers) that were postage due. Then I have to waste my gas to drive to the post office and pay to receive my package! Argh!

  The post office has a never ending and always changing set of rules for sizes, weights, and postage. You are better off to pick two or three days a week that you ship cards and tell your traders/ buyers that up front. Then you can go to the post office, pay for only the postage you need (saves you money), and you don't short-change anyone by not using proper postage. By limiting your trips, you save on gas and time.

  Before you get to the post office, ask yourself:  Am I mailing First Class? Do I want Delivery Confirmation or Insurance? Are my addresses complete including zip codes? Do I need a Customs Form? If I'm buying insurance, how much do I need? There are so many forms now and while some are done by computer, some still need to be done by you. Ask the clerk about your options. You may find that buying insurance is not worth the actual replacement cost of the common cards you are sending.

  When shipping baseball cards, use common sense. Package your cards properly. Use the services that offer efficiency and good value. Not every package will need every service. If you plan to insure the cards you are sending, be sure that the other party knows and has the option of insuring the cards they send to you or the option of paying for insurance directly (if they are buying) so you don't have to assume that cost. The key is to try to save money where you can, but don't be so cheap that your online reputation suffers because cards get lost or damaged.


Topps has announced that it has made some significant additions to its 2011 Bowman autograph list. Bowman Chrome, which hits store shelves shortly, will now feature autographs of standout pitching prospect Matt More of the Rays and top rookies Dustin Ackley and Eric Hosmer. Every hobby box of Bowman Chrome guarantees 1 on-card Chrome Autograph!

* Baseball card tidbit - Results of a completed Ebay auction we found: 2011 Legendary Cuts Babe Ruth CUT AUTO EXQUISITE #1/3 baseball card sold for $5,200.00 on September 14th 2011.

* Baseball card tidbit - Results of a completed Ebay auction we found: Lou Gehrig 1/1 Cut Autograph 3 Pinstrip Jersey MINT 9 baseball card sold for $5,035.00 on August 31st 2011.

* Baseball card tidbit - Results of a completed Ebay auction we found: 1933 GOUDEY # 53 BABE RUTH GRADED NM-MT 8 BY GAI baseball card sold for $9,800.00 on August 30th 2011.

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