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Notebook: Washington Shop, Topps’ New Frontier, ’93 Refractor Set, Card for a Special Kid

It’s so far, so good for a sports card shop in the Pacific Northwest getting ready to mark eight months in business.

Jesse Hizey left his job to open Hizey’s Sports Cards in Auburn, WA, just south of Seattle.

Hizeys Sports CardsHe collected in his younger days, then gave up on collecting until a 2009 visit to another local shop while waiting for his wife to do some shopping rekindled his interest.

He started buying and selling on eBay, and did it well enough that he decided to take a risk.  He studied the local market, decided on the city of over 70,000 people for his shop and dove in.

There have been some rocky times, but business is now picking up consistently.

He told the Auburn Reporter for this story he doesn’t regret leaving his former job behind.

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Topps BuntScoff if you will, but Topps seems to have a hit on its hands with BUNT, the digital baseball card mobile app.  There’s a fantasy baseball tilt to it which brings in some folks who aren’t necessarily collectors of actual cardboard.  A digital card’s value inside the app goes up or down based on a player’s actual performance.

According to this article, Topps may be bringing in over $100 million with its three mobile sports apps.

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Remember Rich Klein’s story on the 1993 Topps Finest set, which launched the ‘Refractor’ craze?  As the story goes, there were only 241 refractor versions of each card in that inaugural Finest set.  Last night, one of the very rare complete sets sold on eBay.

Click here  to see the final price.

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If you’re a little new at this and not quite sure what to make of card grading, Dave & Adam’s Card world came up with a nice infographic that spells it out pretty well.  Smart companies understand that giving away some of their knowledge and not always being in sell mode goes a long way toward winning customers in today’s marketplace.

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Jack Miller Upper Deck has joined forces with the Friends of Jaclyn charity to shine a light on some of the children who have been the inspiration for collegiate teams throughout the nation by creating trading cards of them with their respective teams. Upper Deck’s first trading card from a member of the charity will be of Jack Miller, a 9-year-old who has been battling brain tumors over the past six years. Jack has been “adopted” by the Colorado State Rams Football team and his 2014 Upper Deck “Star Rookie” cards will be available through the Friends of Jaclyn charity.

Additionally Upper Deck will be hosting an in store appearance with Jack at Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colorado on Sunday, April 27 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Jack will be signing autographed versions of his trading cards and posing for photos with fans for donations to the charity. Additionally, Mike Fruitman, the owner of Mike’s Stadium Sportscards, will be presenting Jack with a special gift on behalf of both Upper Deck and the Colorado State  Football team.

“It is our goal to tell inspirational stories of brave young children suffering from this terrible disease while raising awareness and funds for the Friends of Jaclyn charity,” said Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin.  “Jack Miller is an inspiration to the Colorado State Football team, his community and all who have been affected by pediatric brain cancer. He deserves his very own trading card.”

“Jack is a big part of our family, and we all are honored that he chose us to be his teammates,” said CSU Football Coach Jim McIlwain. “Part of this whole deal in life is understanding what it takes and what it is to give of yourself to somebody else. I can’t tell you how enjoyable it is, after a game, to see Jack in the locker room wearing his Rams jersey, and that smile on his face. He has taught all of us so much about toughness, determination and embracing life.”

Friends of Jaclyn will be releasing details on how fans can own the 2014 Upper Deck Jack Miller “Star Rookie” card in the coming weeks.

In 2013 Upper Deck created a “Star Rookie” trading card for Jack Hoffman, the inspirational young man who was able to fulfill a childhood dream by running a touchdown in for Nebraska during their spring game. Proceeds from the sale of Upper Deck cards made for Jack helped raise over $50,000 to date for the Team Jack Foundation for pediatric brain cancer research. More recently Upper Deck created a “Heroic Inspirations” trading card for Jaclyn Murphy who is the founder of the Friends of Jaclyn charity and a cancer survivor.

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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