Tag Archive | "Fleer"

Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – All-Star Edition

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Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – All-Star Edition

Posted on 10 July 2012 by Tim Danielson

Welcome to the mid-summer classic, the brief time every season when records, standings and division rivalries are put aside. For a few special days in July both fans and players alike come together for the joy that is the Major League Baseball All-Star game.

MLB’s All-Star weekend provides a tremendous opportunity for collectors. The different activities surrounding the game are all great places for obtaining autographs and collectibles. Even players have admitted to wanting to get autographs from each other.

For as long as there has been an All-Star game, baseball card manufacturers have been making All-Star cards. These All-Star cards have come in different forms and styles. One popular way card companies highlight the annual event is by creating a ‘sub-set’ of All-Star cards in their regular set. These cards are considered base set cards and the set is not complete without them. Often the players are pictured in their All-Star uniforms, but the card will almost always have a special graphic designating them as All-Star cards. Another type of card to collect is All-Star insert cards. These special cards are randomly inserted into packs of regular cards. The inserts can have a different design from the base set cards, and usually have a much smaller print run and are a smaller set then the base set.

This week, Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes will look at some different All-Star cards of my favorite player from the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

1982 Perma Graphics AS – From 1981 to 1983, Perma Graphics worked with Topps to produce these credit card sized cards actually made of plastic.


1984 Topps Glossy Send-in AS – These cards were obtained by sending in Topps card wrappers.

1985 Topps AS – Actually part of the base set, this sub-set features players from both the American and National League squads.


1986 Fleer AS – An early insert card, the Rickey Henderson card from this 12 card set is actually an un-corrected error card and has his name miss-spelled on the back.

1987 Topps Glossy AS – Another early inert card featuring 22 players each form the American and National Leagues.


1992 Upper Deck FanFest – A 54 card set commemorating past present and future All-Stars of the game. There is a much rarer Gold Foil version. I have both, no, I am not a stalker.


1993 Topps Finest – The first super premium card set produced with higher quality, better photographs and a limited print run. This card is part of the base set. The ‘refractor” parallels of this set are still some of the most soft after cards today.

American League or National League fan, an easy way to start collecting and enjoy the sport more is with All-Star cards.

Until next week, keep collecting, collect for the joy of the hobby and collect for the fan in all of us.

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Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – Fourth of July cards

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Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – Fourth of July cards

Posted on 04 July 2012 by Tim Danielson

While it is certainly possible to research what games have been played on the 4th of July, it is much harder to verify what photos for baseball cards were taken at those games. I decided to take a different approach and look for cards that were patriotic in theme. There has to be a reason why we have the phrase “as American as Baseball and mom’s apple pie,” right?

I was a little surprised to find how few patriotic cards I had, or least knew about. There are a lot of cards that have stars or banners on them. These are mostly All-Star cards or insert cards. This is not an exhaustive list by any means. However, I hope you enjoy Bike Spokes And Shoe Boxes visual addition to the 4th of July.



1997 Bowman Chrome International Refractor – Sean Casey

2002 Fleer base – Sean Casey
This is the back of card, the front has red and blue stripes, but the flag is more noticeable on the back. Plus I think it interesting that Sean Casey was born on July 2nd.

2002 Studio Base – Rickey Henderson
Both Fleer and Studio went with the flag theme for their 2002 releases as a tribute of sorts after the World Trade Center attack in 2001.

Other patriotic cards that I can think of include any Team USA cards and USA National Team from the 2009 and 2009 World Baseball Classic, any Year Bowman International parallel cards, or Team USA Olympic cards. The World baseball Classic cards have a graphic of the United States flag on them. If you have any cards that are patriotic please post them here to share and show your pride in the good ‘ole U.S of A.

Until next week, keep collecting, collect for the joy of the hobby and collect for the fan in all of us.


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Oops! Errors in baseball cards – Alex Gordon

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Oops! Errors in baseball cards – Alex Gordon

Posted on 15 March 2012 by Trish Vignola

Alex Gordon’s rookie card was the hottest in all of baseball. It sold for as much as $2,550. Here’s my first question. Who is Alex Gordon?

Is he the Second Coming of George Brett? Did I miss that on the ESPN ticker? If he is, please don’t tell George Brett. I don’t think he’ll take it well. Gordon has a lifetime batting average of .262 for the Kansas City Royals. Why are people paying couture handbag pricing for a piece of cardboard?

No. 297 in Topps’ 2006 set was worth apparently the price of a Vespa because it frankly should have never been produced in the first place. In part to reduce confusion in the marketplace, the Major League Baseball Players Association ruled that card manufacturers could make rookie cards only of players who either made the 25-man roster or played in a major league game the season before. For the 2006 season, Gordon didn’t qualify either way. After he led Nebraska into the College World Series, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 draft didn’t sign his contract until late September of that year.

“At the last second, we realized we had made a mistake, so we pulled the cards, destroyed them by cutting out the photo and then destroyed the plates,” said Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi in 2006.

Still, a fan named Jeremy Troutman pulled five of Gordon’s cards on a shopping trip in his hometown of Wichita. I think at the same time that year, I pulled five of Todd Pratt’s cards. Troutman sold all five of his cards to different collectors for a total of $5,761.79. My Todd Pratt cards aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.

Although Topps destroyed the plates, Topps now believes a little under 100 of the Gordon cards got out. Apparently, most were traced to Wal-Marts across the country. Here I was being a Target snob.

Jason Mauk purchased one of the cards from a wholesaler for $1000. He then put it up on eBay and sold it for $1,425. Mauk claims almost 100 people put his auction on their watch list. He had never seen that happen before. Did I mention that was five Todd Pratt cards I pulled?

The last major error of this magnitude in the trading card industry happened in 1989. A Fleer card featuring Billy Ripken was released carrying an obscenity clearly written on the knob of the bat Ripken was holding. Ironically, my dad and I got this card several times. Fleer’s attempted cover-up created more than six versions of that card. We had two. The original remained the hottest property, selling for hundreds of dollars at the time. However, due to the extremely soft market, that card can now be had for $5.

I personally always thought Cal did it.

Gordon error card went through the roof, because of his potential. In his first full season as a pro, Gordon batted .326 with 6 home runs and 12 RBI with the Wranglers – a Royals’ minor league affiliate. Up with the big club now, he’s since cooled off. However, he’s definitely got potential.

Like the Ripken card, other versions of the Gordon card have emerged. One version has the photo missing so it just includes the thin card borders. It has been selling in the $30 to $50 range. There is one on eBay right now.

Frankly, it’s just creepy. A full Gordon card that just has his name on the front and a blank on the back has sold in the $100 to $200 range.

Before you go spend your tax refund on an Alex Gordon rookie card, take a breath. He too has now fallen victim to the soft market. It looks like the last fully intact version went for $300 bucks, a far cry from the thousands Jeremy Troutman pulled in a couple of years earlier.

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Bike spokes and shoe boxes – cameo cards

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Bike spokes and shoe boxes – cameo cards

Posted on 06 March 2012 by Tim Danielson

This week we will take a look at cameo cards.  I am not talking about multi-player cards like team or league leader cards.  For this article, I consider a cameo card to be a card of a specific player where you can easily identify another player.  Most of the cameo cards I have seen are the result of an on-filed action, like the featured player is the second baseman and the picture of him shows a player sliding into second base.

I will admit that I have not opened a lot of product lately, but I feel that cameo cards are few and far between.  A lot of card sets are using either posed, portrait, or single player action pictures.  Some premium sets even crop the player out of the original picture and superimpose the image onto a different background or design.  Do not take me wrong, these sets are just as good and collectible as anything else.  I also really like action pictures used on baseball cards as well.  The pictures capture a part of the game in time and often produce amazing images and candid shots that could never be posed or made on a computer.

Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes’ salute to cameo cards will of course feature cards where my favorite player has an appearance.  If you do not know who that is by now you really should be reading more of my column!

Who would have thought that in 1983 that a stolen base king and an iron man would be pictured on the same card?
1993 Fleer Jeff Reboulet – Yes Rickey we both know you are safe.
1994 Topps Felix Fermin – I find it interesting that Rickey also showed up on Fermin’s 1993 Upper Deck card. Rickey was breaking up a double play here, but he was way safe on the Upper deck card.
1997 Topps Shawon Dunston – Rickey is breaking up a double play again, maybe even Shawon’s ankle as well. I still do not know what the Short Stop is trying to do.

Who knows what future Hall of Fame player or record breaker is making a guest appearance on your cards?  Have fun finding out!

Until next time, keep collecting, collect for the joy of the hobby and collect for the fan in all of us.

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