Baseball Cards Newsbeat
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I have a banded pile of these Reggie cards sitting next to a load of empty Les Soldats de Plomb boxes.
However, Upper Deck was able to take this concept and bring it to a whole new level beginning with its ‘high number’ cases in 1990.
It forged a deal with Reggie Jackson to include a special “Heroes” subset with the big hook being randomly inserted autographed cards. Jackson autographed and numbered 2,500 copies in the ‘Find the Reggie’ promotion that helped push sales. There were ten cards in the set, but Jackson signed only one. The others carried facsimile autographs.
Jackson was a natural choice. Even though he was retired, he was still a drawing card and knew the hobby well. He had begun accumulating quite a stash of his rookie cards. Upper Deck getting him to sign 2,500 cards for their product was considered a real coup at that time. While players such as Reggie were signing autographs at many trade shows during that period, this was the first time they were doing targeted signings for a card company.
Another element in the chase was that for every 100th card he added the notation of “Mr. October”. Among the thousands of cases produced by Upper Deck, that meant there were only 25 “Mr. October” Reggie autographs possible. Today, we’d call it a ‘super short print’ and hand numbering would eventually give way to foil stamped on card numbering years later.
The regular Jackson autographed cards were distributed in a ratio that wasn’t even close to one card per case and thus the signed cards are tough to find to this very day. When offered online, they sell for $125-150 each. Complete, unsigned sets are plentiful (remember, it was the overproduction era) and can be acquired for just a couple of bucks.
By the way, if you want a real challenge for the 1990 Upper Deck high number packs, go find card #702 of Mike Witt card with the ‘black box’ on the back. Those cards were tough in 1990 and are still tough to this day. Talk about the ultimate needle in a haystack.
1990 Upper Deck High Number packs were the first of the new breed of packs with the idea of looking for a “major hit”” and it was Reggie Jackson’s autograph that changed the hobby forever.
Posted: March 04, 2014 at 08:00 AM | 56 comment(s)
Friday, February 28, 2014
What the hell are you complaining about Werth?!
Jayson Werth said good morning and then asked me over to his locker.
“Take a look at this,” Werth said, taking a baseball card from a stack on a shelf.
It appeared to be Werth’s Topps card for 2014. Except…
“Whose card do you think that is?” he asked.
It’s a picture that includes Werth pointing to something in the stands at Nationals Park — he’s not sure what anymore. It’s kind of neat, actually. But ... it could be anybody’s card.
“Thank you,” Werth said.
Ian Desmond on the left, Anthony Rendon in the middle and Werth on the right. Even the Washington Nationals’ assistant trainer, Steve Gober, can be seen clearly. The only reason you’d know for sure it was Werth’s card is because you know what Werth looks like. (Like Animal on “The Muppets.”) The card happens to be captioned with Werth’s name and position under his part of the picture, but that seems like happenstance.
It’s just so ...
“Vague?” Werth said.
Desmond likes the card so much, he keeps it taped by the nameplate in his locker as if it were his.
“I actually saw this picture on a computer and didn’t realize it was a baseball card,” Desmond said. “I put it in my locker the other day. We got ourselves a team baseball card.”
Posted: February 28, 2014 at 05:26 PM | 22 comment(s)
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