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Ramblings: Missing Print, Autograph Windows and ‘Loaded’ Boxes

Time to answer the mailbag and drop in a few more tidbits before the holiday weekend gets here.  Your emails are below with my answers in bold.

Rich Ramblings 2014Scott Lewandoske of Sheboygan, Wisconsin writes:

I find your columns and box breaks very interesting. 

Masahiro Tanaka Topps missing frontA friend of mine bought three packs of 2014 Topps Series 2 and he was a bit unhappy because in two of the packs, the last three cards in the pack did not have the names printed on them. One of the cards was Tanaka which disappointed him because he is a Yankee fan. I suggested putting it on eBay and he gave me the card to do that for him. Here is the listing for the card and what it sold for. 

What made this letter interesting to me was a comment we received on the SC Daily Facebook page about a collector being all upset because the cards he got from his box were missing some foil. Perhaps  some innovative marketing might have helped that person sell some of those cards.

One can tell from reading the popular Net 54 message boards that all sort of odd printings of pre-war cards are red-hot and I would wager the same is about to happen to more modern cards as well.

Your thoughts?

Jason Leonard of Phoenix, Arizona had some concerns about Topps not printing all of its cards in the U.S.

Just a quick heads up that may are may not mean much to anyone else. 

I have been collecting Topps baseball cards since 1986. In the past Topps would indicate on the cards, packs and the boxes, that their product was made in the U.S.A....That information is no longer available anywhere on the product. 

So, I began questioning the location as to where these cards were currently printed. 

After many phone calls and emails(nearly two years’ worth), I finally received a phone call from a Topps representative. My worst fears and notions were confirmed.  Although some of Topps baseball cards are printed here, some are printed in China as well so for now, I'm done collecting. 

Panini and Upper Deck still print their cards in the U.S.A. It's too bad they don't have the license to make official MLB cards. 

What do you think?

Frankly, we do not know enough about this to make any comment. However, like many other aspects of card collecting, all of those is an individual choice. However, if you own any 1984-91 Topps Tiffany cards or many of the older Topps Traded set those cards were printed in Ireland. And would you not collect OPC cards or Leaf cards because they were printed in Canada? 

Thanks to all of you who follow Ramblings and we always look forward to your emails.

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Tony Gwynn Topps Archives 2014We’ve discussed player mortality and signed baseball cards a few times this year.  Generally the discussion is about cards that are issued in the weeks or months before a player’s death, leaving little time for anyone to have added that autographed card to a set or general collection.

When I looked at the 2014 Topps Archives set I realized the Tony Gwynn card falls into that category now.  Gwynn was obviously very sick over the last few months and while it’s possible he accepted and signed items through the mail, we do know there was a very short window in which he could have signed the base cards. Are there any out there?

A little more than five years ago Mark the Bird Fidrych passed on in a tragic accident. He was still a hobby hero and remains one to this day. He’s one of those players who have relatively short careers but a much longer hobby status. We'd love to hear your stories on those, too.

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And one more quick note:  I was in Triple Cards recently doing my normal work on getting his views about new releases since we always try to get the shop owner’s perspective rather than just eBay sales.  Al mentioned to me that some of his customers complain about how every box I receive from the card companies are “salted” to have nothing but the very best hits. My next question was did these people actually "READ" the box reviews considering what stinkers I get from time to time.  Al said it didn’t seem that way.

Who wouldn’t want to pull great cards every time but it should be obvious that what I get from card companies is honest and very reflective of what an average collector receives. I would not want those reviews to be any other way.

About Rich Klein

Rich Klein has spent almost his entire life collecting baseball cards having begun at the tender age of seven. He has spent more than three decades in the organized hobby including editing the first 12 editions of the Beckett Almanac of Baseball Card and Collectibles. He lives in Plano, TX along with his wife Dena and their two dogs. You can reach him at [email protected].

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