My Patrik Laine Auto, Not Signed by Laine

I’ve always been one of the people that loves Upper Deck.  All of the card companies have deficiencies but personally I’ve always felt that Upper Deck does the best job, until now.

I even gave them the benefit of a doubt a few months ago.  I had purchased some packs of cards and as I was opening them, the site crashed.  Once it was back up, all my packs were gone.  After about a week, I finally received a reply from Upper Deck customer service that even though I didn’t open the packs, the cards were there.  I highly considered being done with ePack.  I didn’t like their nonchalant reply.  I ended up spending more money with them.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have.

Last night I decided to buy three packs of O-Pee-Chee Platinum on the Upper Deck ePack site.  This card was in one of my packs.

chychrun

Once I went into my collection to look for it, this is actually what I saw…

chychrunlaine

WOW!  My card is actually marked as a Patrik Laine autograph!  WOOHOO!  For those not in the know, Laine is the best rookie one can pull from this class, outside Auston Matthews.

I was excited, but not sure what to do, so I asked in the chat room. I was directed to the “news” page of ePack’s site and found their “explanation” of the situation.

chychrunnews

To me, they are hosing people.  I don’t really care what their excuse is, they are wrong.  I work corporate retail and if we screwed over customers and didn’t fess up to our errors, we’d be out of business.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, here’s my other complaint.  See the date in the screen shot above?  That was six days before my card came out of a pack.  Why was this not corrected?  If you knew about it and didn’t fix it, that is a problem.  This comes across shady to me.

I tweeted last night about it.  A few followers chimed in that they hoped Upper Deck would make it right or that they thought Upper Deck would.  I wasn’t optimistic, as I had already seen their “explanation.”   Not long ago, this was the generic reply that I expected to receive.

chychrunresponse

I’ve been critical of other companies (particularly Panini) and because I love(d) Upper Deck, I might have gone a little easier on them that I should have.  I can’t see myself doing that anymore.  I’m also not sure that I will spend any more money on their products.  I haven’t spent as much as some others on there, but I’ve spent enough that I could have a really nice vintage card if I had all that money back.

Not happy.  Not sure what the future holds.

You can follow me on Twitter at @beansbcardblog.  I tweet out hundred of other bloggers’ post.   You can also read and follow my personal blog, I Feel Like a Collector Again.  I write much more there than here.

Have a wonderful day (hopefully much better than mine) and God bless!

Pitiful Panini

As I write this, we are about a week removed from the Dak Prescott autopen situation coming to light.  If you’re reading this, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  The story has made the Washington Post, ESPN and other outlets.  I even saw a local opinion piece from someone that has no idea what he’s talking about in regard to this situation.

Panini hasn’t said a word.   It’s been reported that a Panini employee hung up on a USA Today reporter.  None of Dak Prescott’s representatives have talked.  Nor has the NFL or NFLPA.  I guess they don’t realize that the longer they let this go, the worse it looks.  Besides, something tells me that Panini knew about this before word got out.  To me, the silence is deafening.

Less than a month ago, Panini acknowledged that some cards signed by first round pick Takkarist McKinley were not signed by him.

This morning I saw a tweet regarding signatures from a Panini Country Music product that may have also been autopenned.

Oh, and we are just months removed from Panini being called out for using Mitchell & Ness jerseys and calling them “game worn” on 2016 National Treasures product.

LINK:  MISTAKENLY LABELED EVENT-WORN TAGS INCLUDED IN 2016 NATIONAL TREASURES FOOTBALL

Is the a doomsday scenario for Panini?  I don’t think so.

All of the major card companies have serious deficiencies.  Not once has the collecting community said “enough is enough” and stopped purchasing any company’s product.  It’s sad, but I don’t believe that even all of these situations will keep people from buying Panini.

There are too many in the hobby just waiting to pull that next “sick hit” or “wicked patch” and they will be giving more money to Panini in no time.  If only the consumer had an option of something else to buy…

They don’t though, thanks to exclusives.  We can add this to the list of reasons that exclusives are bad for this hobby.  If Topps was still producing football cards, I believe that shops would have a hard time keeping them on the shelves after this high-profile boner.

You have nowhere else to go.  You won’t stop buying.  Why should Panini care or change anything?

Within the last year I sent my resume to Panini.  They never bothered to contact me.  The sports card industry is very much a “good ol’ boys” network and unless you have a connection, it’s next to impossible to get it.  Thank God for unanswered prayers.

Good luck to Panini at the National.  You’re going to need it.

 

 

Let’s Help One of Our Own

Many in the hobby refer to it as a community or family.  I subscribe to this, as I have met some wonderful people because I collect sports cards.  I hope that you feel the same and that’s why I am writing this post.

Many of you know Rich Klein.  He’s been a part of the hobby for decades.  He’s worked for Beckett, works for COMC now, writes at SABR Baseball Cards and I believe has written for Sports Collectors Daily.  I’m sure that there’s more that I know of, but they are slipping my mind at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night.

I’m not going to share anything too personal, as I am posting this without him asking or even knowing.  He would never ask anyone to post something on his behalf.  His wife Dena recently spent a week in the hospital due to complications with a disease.  The have a Go Fund Me page to help with various medical expenses and I’m asking people in the hobby to step up and help out one of our own.

I’m not asking you to send $100.  Imagine what $5 per person that reads this could do.  That’s basically a pack or two of cards, depending on your tastes and budget.  Maybe instead of that blaster you think about buying on your next Walmart or Target run, what about helping out someone out and throw that $20 to help with someone’s medical expenses?  Reverse the roles.  How thankful would you be?

From Dena’s Go Fund Me page:

My name is Dena Medwed Klein and I have been struggling with a disease called focal segmented glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) for many years, which has caused chronic kidney failure. I have recently been placed on the kidney transplant list, and am currently trying to find a living kidney donor. Until I get a donor, I will be on dialysis .
My special-education aide salary doesn’t allow for much savings, and neither does my husband’s job. The money will help cover my time off work, the life-long medications that I will be taking, and the expenses that insurance won’t cover (both for dialysis and when I can eventually have the transplant). I have worked in special education for over 15 years and want to continue helping my students succeed.
In addition, if you are interested in being tested to be a match for a kidney donation, either check my Facebook page or go to http://livingdonordallas.org . I do not know exactly when dialysis will begin, but the doctors and I are hopeful that a living donor will be available soon. I am grateful for everyone in my life, and appreciate each and every one of you.
Every day is a blessing and I will continue to live each day to its fullest. Thank you for being a part of my life and for all of your support.

What do you say, card family?  Can we help out just a little?  I think we can and hope we do.   If you’re willing and able to help, you can click here or below to take you to the link.  I know that Rich and Dena will appreciate any amount that anyone can donate.

Dena’s Kidney Fund

Happy collecting!

-kin

1957 Topps Baseball Set Break from BurlsSports.com

Kin Kinsley
October 31, 2016

There was a time that I though box breaks were the greatest thing. After awhile, I no longer felt that way. Also, how I collect has changed in the last 18 months and now I’m more into vintage, with a few exceptions. I assumed that would mean no more breaks for me if I felt the urge unless I just got into one to say that I did. Continue reading

Nostalgia: For Me, It’s About the Details Too

Kin Kinsley
October 21, 2016

The hobby that we love is an always-evolving one.  Whether it is the number of card companies, the kinds of cards (numbered, memorabilia, etc), the ways we add to our collection or any number of other things, change is always a constant.  Something that does not change is nostalgia and the memories of simpler, more innocent times in our lives that cards can bring.

You see it with the older collectors that stick to vintage.  Many abhor new products.  It has caused some to leave the hobby, including the man that gave me my first baseball cards.  As parallels, inserts and memorabilia cards continued to become the focus of many, he tapped out of the hobby.  I can’t say that I blame him.  However, he still has all those old cards that can bring back the memories of his youth.

Continue reading

Frustration in the Unknown

Kin Kinsley
October 4, 2016

I envy vintage baseball card collectors.

Are they more expensive than similar cards in other sports?  Absolutely.

Are there more people chasing them?  Oh yes.

Is there more of most of the cards available?  Undoubtedly.

None of those are the reason why I envy those collectors.  I think they are lucky because more is known about the cards that they are collecting.  The reasons for that?  See the three questions above.  More demand equates to more collectors researching the history of the cards.

The American Tobacco Company T206 set is the granddaddy of all baseball card sets.  It starts at the top with the Honus Wagner (a copy just sold for $3.1M on October 1) but is popular for many reasons.  Many collectors focus on back variations.  Cards were produced of some Southern League players, but in more limited quantities.  There are many ways to collect the set.

LINK:  ‘Jumbo Wagner’ Sets New Record — Topping $3M

The popularity of the set has accounted for no lack of information on the set.  You can find hundreds, if not thousands, of threads about the set on net54baseball.com.   In a thread I posted there, asking for general knowledge, someone gave me a link to a 77-page piece on the set (link below).

LINK:  Inside T206 – A Collector’s Guide to the Classic Baseball Card Set 

I recently picked up a couple of cards from the set, but it’s not an interest of mine.  I am into trading cards that revolve around the Indianapolis 500 and the men that have driven in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

My interest in the history of the Indianapolis 500 reached an all-time high this year, leading up to the 100th Running of the race.  I began researching and found a few vintage sets that were about the race or contained drivers in the race.  That’s where I came across the 1911 American Tobacco Company Auto Drivers (also known as T36) set.

I haven’t been able to find much information on the set.  It is a 25 card set, by the book.  This is the “set information” from Beckett.com.  “This 25-card set was produced for The American Tobacco Company. Each card includes a small ad for either Hassan or Mecca Cigarettes on the cardback. All 25 cards were produced with both ad back variations. The cards measure 2 1/2 x 1 3/4 and came with square corners. The cards are unnumbered and feature top race car drivers of the day from both North America and Europe representing all types of auto racing events. They were packaged one card per 10 cigarette pack and two per 20 cigarette pack. The cards were inserted in cigarette packs starting on March 27th, 1911 and ending on March 31st, 1911. Special thanks to Jon Hardgrove for providing much of this information.”

I’m not the world’s greatest internet researcher, but I feel quite positive that I am at least average.  Other than that, I’ve only been able to find one other piece of information on the set, an old auction listing that had information I was not aware of.

022

024

Outside of these pieces of information, I know very little about the set.  However, learning about back variations made me wonder about the T36 cards.  I knew there were both Hassan and Mecca backs, presumably making this a 50-card set.  Then I learned about Factory variations and checked the cards that I could (both mine and currently for sale).  They do come from two different factories, 30 and 649.  Is this a 100-card set?

So far, I don’t have enough evidence to make a solid hypothesis, but for me the door is open than this could be a 100-card set with all variations.  I have found out a couple of things examining the few copies of these cards that I know of.

I have two copies of the Ralph DePalma card.  One has the Mecca back and one the Hassan.  They have different factory numbers.  This was the first pair of variations that I knew of, leading me to believe it is a 50-card set with the variations.

For months I believed that this was the “master” set, a Mecca and Hassan back for each.

Most of these cards I’ve seen are listed on eBay with ridiculous Buy it Now prices.  When auctions come along, they end anywhere from 33-50% of the ones establishing residency on eBay.  The auctions don’t come along often, at least that I have found.  Over the last six months or so, I have seen five auctions and won four of those.

In the last month, two George Robertson cards have been up for auction and I won both of those.  When I saw the second one, I was interested in the back.  It was a Hassan back, just like the one that I had.  However, it was from Factory 30 but the one in my possession already was Factory 649.

The combination of these two pairs of variations has me back to thinking that the complete, master set will indeed be 100 cards.  So far these are the only cards I have seen with the different backs, but one is a brand variation and one a factory variation.

Since I cannot find much info on the set, I am left to researching them myself.  My hope is that sometime soon another DePalma or Robertson variation will come along, but I doubt it will be soon.  Luckily, I’m young enough that I have plenty of years to try and unravel this mystery.

RELATED PIECES:

Yes, a Non-Baseball “T” Card Addition

Second T36 Post for a Second Place Finisher.

My Third 1911 American Tobacco Auto Drivers (T36) Card

T36 Pickup – 1911 ATC Auto Drivers Ralph DePalma SGC 40