Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rick Harrison and the Case of the Bogus Joe

Last night on Pawn Stars, Rick Harrison, the shop's owner, went against his own rules and in the process got taken for $13,000. That is a lot of money no matter what way you slice it and quite frankly Rick knows better. When presented with a copy of the book, "Say It Ain't So Joe", supposedly signed by the legendary player, Rick didn't hesitate to begin negotions all the while saying, Joe Jackson was illiterate and few of the signatures on the market are actually legit.

After he acquired the book, the Old Man, visibly upset, sent him to their rare book dealer who after showing him a known example of Jackson's signature had to break the bad news to Rick. Submission to PSA/DNA did not help Rick's case either and now he is stuck with a bogus autograph. Knowing that no business person can afford to take a loss like that, my concern is, what is going to happen to that autograph now?

Here is the only known example of a "Shoeless" Joe Jackson signature that all the major authenticators can agree upon as being legit. The ONLY one and yet how many have we seen in the marketplace in recent years?



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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thoughts, Musings, Rants and Other Nonsense


The inclusion of Civil War era relics into Goodwin Champions brings a whole new level of collectability to trading cards and I would not be surprised to see a company broaden this concept into specific historical sets as stand-alone products. While some have been done like America at War and WWII Propaganda, imagine some of the concepts you could apply this too, and not just military either.

The History of Flight- Cut autos of Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Orville & Wilbur Wright, the Red Baron, Chuck Yeager. Relic/Memorabilia cards of: worn flight suits, navigational charts, plane parts, etc.

Regardless of what Mark Sapir told us on Cardboard Connection Radio last week, I am convinced that there was a concerted effort to make the Allen & Ginter code easier this year. I wonder if now they feel they made it too easy. Who is smarter; the one that builds the code program or the guys that solved it?

SEREAL, a trading card manufacturer in Riga, Latvia is the license holder for the KHL (Russian Hockey League). They have players from all over the world and while their primary market is obviously Russia and Eastern Europe, I can’t help, after opening a box, thinking that they are missing an opportunity by not having the cards printed in English and French as well. The product is solid and could compete in North America given the price point. I know it is a very small and narrow market but nothing venture nothing gained.

I’m sorry but on the heels of the self-proclaimed #1 Authority having zero, zilch, nada, media presence at the Industry Summit this past March, what does it say about their credibility as a hobby news source to post their image gallery 8 days, AFTER, the National has concluded. I don’t know maybe I’m splitting hairs, whatever, just seems bush league to me.

I am very happy for Mike Berkus and John Broggi, the organizers of the National, and all who exhibited. It sounds like several companies really stepped up their game in terms of delivering a value added presence for attendees in the form of autograph guests, premiums and after-hours events.

An NHL lockout, while not in any way a death blow to the hobby, would certainly hamper what has been a growing collector base in no small part due to recent events; (2) Original Six teams winning The Cup in the last three years, a big market franchise in LA winning its first Cup, successful sponsorships and presence by trading card manufacturers at NHL events like the Draft, Winter Classic and All-Star Game.

Baseball has some great story lines right now; Mike Trout is incredible, Bryce Harper is living up to the hype, the Washington Nationals are dominating, Pittsburgh, yes the Pirates are battling for a division race, BIG trades, and more.

Football is just around the corner and collectors are chomping at the bit to see if Andrew Luck and RGIII are the real deal.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Book Details How Our Hobby Came to Be

The post-war years of 1948 to 1955 ushered in the modern era of baseball cards. It was the result of what Dean Hanley describes in his new book, The Bubble Gum Card War, as "the perfect storm." With the end of World War II, rationing also came to end. Bubble gum manufacturing came back in full production. The key ingredients to make the sugary treat were, once again, readily available.

Read the rest . . .