It’s going to be a nasty week for travel in New England, but promoters of the Cranston Sports Collectors Show are no doubt hoping things clear up by the weekend. The annual show, held on the Saturday before the Super Bowl for the last 38 years, is a fundraiser for the men’s guild of a local church.
Founded in 1976, it’s the longest running show in New England with dealers and collectors from a wide geographic area making the trek to Rhode Island each year.
The local newspaper chatted with the promoter about the 39th annual show, which hasn’t changed its admission price since that first one back in the Bicentennial year.
The footballs used in Super Bowl XLIX Sunday will once again be tagged by PSA/DNA with a specially prepared synthetic DNA ink that leaves an invisible-to-the-naked-eye security mark to protect against possible counterfeiting. The sideline pylons and even the coin used for the game-opening coin toss will be marked, too.
A PSA/DNA representative will mark each ball with a synthetic DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) strand that can be seen only when illuminated by a specific laser frequency.
“The special DNA ink we use has an astronomical 1-in-33 trillion chance of being accurately reproduced by counterfeiters. The mark is invisible to the naked eye but fluoresces green when illuminated by the proper laser frequency,” said PSA/DNA President Joe Orlando.
“Many of the game-used Super Bowl footballs are sold by the NFL through charity auctions. The PSA/DNA certification combats potential counterfeiting and helps assure future owners that each ball is genuine, but no, we are not involved with verifying the air pressure of the footballs being used in the game,” he joked.
About 120 footballs are expected to be used in the game in the game between New England and Seattle at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Topps received a big publicity jolt from numerous music and entertainment websites after its 2015 baseball checklist was released last week. The company’s decision to include cards of famous folks who threw out ceremonial first pitches at big league games in 2014 was the reason.
Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Mackelmore and Jack White are included in the subset.
Fifteen cards are on the checklist for Series One. Actor Jeff Bridges and Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney are among the others in the set.
Topps has added a video and social gaming executive to its Board of Directors.
Steven Chiang was most recently Executive Vice President of Games at Zynga. Prior to that, he worked at EA Sports.
Chiang co-founded Tiburon Entertainment, which was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1998 and holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University.
“Steven has incredible experience in the digital space and is responsible for some of the most successful sports and free to play games in the past two decades and we are thrilled to have him on our Board of Directors. We look forward to tapping into his passion and expertise as we continue to invest in Topps’ digital division and drive for accelerated growth,” said Andy Redman, Topps Chairman, in a news release.
“Topps is one of the most iconic companies in the world and their sports trading cards were a mainstay from my childhood,” Chiang said. “I am excited to see Topps’ evolution into the digital space and honored to be joining their board and to have the opportunity to work with Topps’ dynamic leadership team.”