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Editor’s Blog: College Programs Overreacting to Manziel? Big Gehrig Card Sale, Mastro Update

The Johnny Manziel autograph case isn’t surprising.  In fact, you’d have to be naïve to think that players haven’t done private signings under the table with autograph Manziel signed footballbrokers in the past.  It could be the sheer volume of Manziel autographs entering the market that is most startling.  It’s almost hard to believe you could find thousands of people willing to fork over a respectable price for a signed photo or helmet of a guy who has essentially had one good college season.

The whole thing has done one thing, though.  It’s scared the heck out of big time college programs who could see stars become ineligible or wind up on NCAA probation because of the allure of easy money. Miami and Louisville say their annual fan photo days won’t include autographs, which doesn’t make a lot of sense.  The problem isn’t fans selling player autographs without their knowledge.  It’s the players taking cash for signing stuff for dealers.  Is it really not possible to have security around the best players to prevent dealers from getting a dozen things signed?

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The only SGC 98 graded 1934 Goudey Lou Gehrig sold via SCP Auctions over the weekend for $125,332.  Other sales included a 1980-81 Topps Larry Bird-Magic Johnson rookie card, graded BGS 10 which brought $60,667 and a 1916 Famous Barr Babe Ruth (PSA 3) which sold for $51,450.

Another Super Bowl ring was also sold.  Packers’ running back Travis Jervey sold his Super Bowl XXXI ring for $37,610.

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According to attorney Paul Lesko, a change of plea hearing for former Mastro Auctions founder Bill Mastro in his federal fraud case has been set for October 10.  Plea agreements were reached earlier this year but rejected twice by the judge in the case.

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Topps now selling its 2013 Mini Baseball boxes via online store at $52.99/cases for $1,272.  Rich Klein has a box and will review it this week.

Upton GinterThe company’s idea to slip those unannounced 1-1 cello-wrapped cards inside the lids of Allen & Ginter was a pretty creative one but there should have been a  well-publicized riddle or some clues handed out as soon as the product was released.  Topps could have stretched it out over a day or two.  It would have kept collectors and dealers interested in the product, driven sales and been a fun element.  Apparently, Topps tweeted a cryptic message one day but not everyone is on Twitter and not everyone is paying attention to it every hour if they are.

Instead, quite a few of the cards were likely tossed into the trash since almost a week had passed since the product arrived.  Ginter seems to be a hit, though.  Seems remarkable for a 1-week old non-flagship product but over 11,000 Ginter listings are already up on eBay.

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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