Archive for Tommie Smith

Topps Allen & Ginter: Making baseball irrelevant on baseball cards

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on July 5, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Since returning to the hobby in 2007, I have come to love and hate Topps Allen & Ginter. True, I missed the 2006 incarnation of the set — which featured arguably the best checklist of autographs — but from 2007 to present, the set has featured a solid share of subjects who have intrigued me. But what I’ve come to love about the product — the non baseball subjects — has also sort of made me despise it.

I’m not among the segment of this hobby that hates baseball cards of people who do not play baseball. In fact, I actually like them quite a bit. Like this 2010 card of Sig Hansen, the captain of the Northwestern fishing vessel featured on the hit television show “Deadliest Catch.” And I loved that the 2007 line features an autograph and relic featuring Olympic Gold Medal Sprinter Tommie Smith, who in 1968 made history on the track and on the podium. Of course there are some other odd-ball ones like an air guitar champion, a skeet shooter, and a dancer shown in a viral video.

But what these guys/subjects have done to this baseball product is almost make the baseball players themselves irrelevant. People who pay high prices to bust these boxes are almost certainly looking for autographs, relics and rip cards that ultimately will net them a small sum akin to a winning lottery ticket. And unless you’re pulling an ultra rare card featuring a baseball player, it is the non-baseballers who will bring the most in return.

What that has done is created a mindset among many collectors who are disappointed to pull an autograph or relic of a baseball player when in fact they are buying a pack or box of baseball cards.  Should we really be disappointed to pull an autograph of up-and-comers like Clayton Kershaw and Ryan Braun? Truth is many are disappointed because they know what they’re getting with these guys — and for the most part the card’s value is no where near what we’re paying for the box. And sadly these feelings are legitimate because of the price for which this product sells.

The 2010 version of Allen & Ginter is no different that in years past. There are subjects on baseball cards who are not baseball players — and for the most part, they are the ones who will net the most cash in return. But as it turns out, perhaps the biggest draw this year happens to be a baseball player, none other than pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg. It’s an interesting twist considering the legacy of the product. Sadly, his inclusion has done little more than drive up the price of the product and create even more situations where most collectors are disappointed with their purchase.

I made it into Beckett

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

BeckettTommieSmithGetting published is something that is not new to me. I write for a living, so seeing my name in print isn’t a huge deal anymore. But when it happens unexpectedly, I must say there is a sense of giddiness.

Big thanks to Tom at South Bay Sports Cards for pointing out to me last week that I had been published in Beckett. I swung by the card shop last Friday for the first time in about six weeks to buy some supplies, and Tom asked if I was the guy who was published in Beckett. Turns out the magazine ran my letter in the “Readers Write” section.

In a nutshell, Beckett had created a list of most significant Allen & Ginter autographs since the set’s re-released in 2006. I noted that the 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter Tommie Smith card was not on Beckett’s list, but that I had considered it one of the most significant non-cut signatures Topps had released in the last decade. (You can probably click the image posted here and read the letter for yourself.)

What’s funny is that I had kind of stayed away from Beckett magazines in recent months because of my inactivity in the hobby so I had no intentions on buying the magazine. I actually held a copy of this same issue just days earlier while getting my oil changed at Wal-Mart, but I put it down before actually flipping to the Readers Write section. Had Tom not pointed out that I was in it, I probably would have never known.

This is the first time I’ve had my name in the magazine, but the second time something I did was recognized in print. In 2001, the magazine noted my $3,605 sale of a 2001 Upper Deck Hall of Fame Walter Johnson cut signature. And yes, I am kicking myself for not keeping a scan of the card or taking a picture with it. Gah!

Card of the Day: 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter Autographs Tommie Smith

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

It’s been four decades since Tommie Smith and John Carlos stepped on the track in Mexico City during the 1968 Olympics and made a “silent gesture” to the world. The image is one everyone has seen. The two black American athletes on the medal stand after the 200-meter dash with their glove-clad fists in the air, while Australian Peter Norman (Silver medalist) stood with them wearing the badge of the Olympic Project For Human Rights.

The Olympics and protests have gone hand-in-hand for the better part of a century, and with the 2008 Summer Olympics kicking off today, amid protests no less, I figured it was a good time to show off the 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter Tommie Smith card. Continue reading