News and Notes: Russell’s Deposition a Bad Pass?

Some interesting testimony from Bill Russell during the Ed O’Bannon trial.  A story about the trial on CBS Sports’ website stated that Russell provided a deposition to the court during which he testified he has signed “maybe a dozen” autographed cards with him in a University of San Francisco uniform.Upper Deck Exquisite Bill Russell autographHowever, a quick check of eBay would reveal that to be untrue, where numerous Upper Deck cards with Russell’s signature were listed for sale and those would likely be just the tip of the iceberg when factoring in the cards that are either in the possession of collectors, for sale inside sports card shops or still in unopened boxes.  

Some are sticker autographs and Russell may not have known which cards those stickers were being placed on but he’s also signed plenty of USF photos on card such as this one.

CBS quoted Russell as saying he told trading card manufacturers he no longer wants to sign items dating from his USF career because he has a “fractured relationship with the college.”


Three big league teams are within easy driving distance and minor league baseball abounds nearby.  The game—and the hobby—are alive and well in central Illinois, where a show in Springfield is now in its 21st year.

The State Journal-Register stopped by the show on Sunday, where the major leagues’ last 31 game winner was signing autographs and collectors young and old were enjoying the show experience.

1904 Christy Mathewson photograph———

RMY Auctions recently concluded their June Premier event with a 1904 Christy Mathewson portrait, likely shot by Charles Conlon, selling for $4,541.  The never before seen image was one of several that soared past $1,000 when bidding wound down on Saturday night.

An unusual photo of Joe Jackson sitting on a bench while playing for a local New Jersey club following his lifetime ban from baseball while smoke obscures his face, brought $3,735.


There is no shortage of World Cup memorabilia on eBay as the matches continue in Brazil.  Soccer trading cards, old programs and other items are being offered by sellers worldwide.  The most expensive item?  This Pele jersey worn in the 1962 World Cup.


It seems like a long time ago, but browsing online auctions, I stopped at an auction for a  1991 Topps baseball case and realized that it was less than 25 years ago when cards were still 50 cents a pack (yes, I know that 25 years before that they were a nickel).

Funnier still (or sad, depending on your outlook), is that you can buy that ’91 case for less than $300 plus shipping and probably pick up boxes at your well-stocked local shop for around $15 each—less than what it would have cost you at the time.   It was Topps’ 40th anniversary year.

Take heart if you own a case or two, though.  1981 Topps wax boxes—unsellable at $50 each a few years ago—are now selling for over $200 a pop as old wax (apparently) continues to dry up.  If only the set prices would follow suit…  Which unopened boxes are drawing the most bids right now?  Find out here.