Answering some reader emails and offering my two cents on the Panini Flawless football patch problems.
Our first email comes from someone who found my Ramblings from last fall on Mike Cramer, who founded Pacific Trading Cards years ago.
Ironically, my name is also Mike Cramer. And I even have a J as my middle initial. And I am a huge sports fan and have been a collector my entire life. I am 41 years old and I live in MN. My passion for baseball led me to write my Master’s Thesis on the beginnings of baseball in the state of Minnesota. That document ended up in the National Baseball Hall of Fame which is really pretty fun. I am writing to you to find out a way of contacting perhaps the only person on earth that shares my exact same name and shares the same passion for baseball and collecting. What are the chances? Feel free to send this message to Mr. Cramer. Thanks a lot for your help.
-Michael J. Cramer
Mike, I do not have any current contact information on the other Mike Cramer, if anyone does, please drop me a line at the address listed at the bottom of this story.
Here is another letter about people looking for dealers and collectors from the past.
I’ve been collecting off and on for the past 30 years I’d say. I’ve just recently gotten back into cards again. I was wondering if you know or knew of a Michael Perrotta from up north. bit I think I think he moved to Arizona. He has a business called Gridiron Collectibles. I’ve been reading a bunch on sports collectibles and thought I’d try to venture out and try to meet new folks. I’m one with no card shop for about two hours drive in either direction so I’ve been doing a lot of eBay buying. It is more convenient but I do wish I had a shop to walk into.
We found not a ton of information but we did get this listing with a Google search: Gridiron Collectables 7438 W Aurora Dr., Glendale, AZ 85308. Hope that helps.
And yes, we know the world has changed and many people such as yourself now have to devote a full day just to get to a card show or store. While in many ways the internet and the instant accessibility of cards has made the hobby easier for many people, there is still something to be said for interpersonal dealings which have declined significantly. That is one reason, so many collectors in my area (Dallas-Ft.Worth) want to see shows work, so they can go out and meet people and see cards face to face.
Carl Makowski asked us if there was either a program or website that could help him inventory his cards. One reader made a suggestion.
Sports Card Forum has an inventory manager that is free to use for its members. With the free membership on the site it is a perfect fit for those of us that collect on a budget & don’t have the extra funds to devote to Beckett to keep track of our collections. I hope this helps.
We also received a phone call from Matt Jarvis the other day. Matt’s brother was mentioned in a 2004 issue of Sports Illustrated as having what was a 2004 Alex Rodriguez/Derek Jeter card in which statistics for the two players were reversed.
Hi Rich – Thanks for calling! It was a pleasure speaking to you! Below is the link to the article. The last paragraph talks about the card. Thanks again!
I remember that ‘For the Record’ column. When that little blurb hit in SI, I got several phone calls from friends who read the story and then called me. That was, in terms of being quoted, the most reaction I ever received from people who knew me.
Matt’s brother passed away recently so he just wanted to know if any value had ever been assigned. I don’t recall the specific card but it is sure a great discussion piece. It might be worth more as a keepsake to the family than something monetary. But if you have information, please let me know.
And speaking of errors, I wanted to weigh in on the Panini Flawless problems.
When I first read about the story, my memories went back to my time at Beckett and a conversation I had with ESPN’s Darren Rovell before he did an Outside the Lines piece about this very topic. He understood the drawbacks of inserting “event-worn” cards and having collectors think these were game-used jerseys. I still remember our phone conversation before the show and, in retrospect, how prescient he was in wanting to discuss this topic.
When I saw these mistakes were made in a $1,000+ product, I was stunned beyond belief. A product such as Flawless is your standard-bearer and extra care needs to be taken in every step along the way. I realize that a company such as In the Game is much smaller but they are so meticulous in what they do with their game-worn material that they need to be looked as the industry standard. They learned many years ago to be transparent and although all their moves are not ideal (such as when the cut up Georges Vezina pads) at least you know all their items are as stated.
There is no excuse in a $1200 product for event-worm items. And if you don’t have game-worn items of a player, don’t use jersey pieces. And also, while as a hobby, we’re glad that the posters on Blowout Cards caught this issue, please remember that people such as Tracy Hackler are company spokespeople and may not work on the nuts and bolts of every project. They are simply being told to get the word out about a product and are given info on it from those who do work on them. So, personally insulting Tracy does not do anyone any good. Trust me, as a front person myself during my time at Beckett, I can tell you it’s easy to blame the most accessible person, but this is an issue beginning at the top and moving down. Find the people actually responsible and be mad at them, not at the easiest target.
I also want to state, I know many of the people at Panini, I worked with many of them at Beckett and most of them are good hard-working people who love the hobby. Panini has sent us thousands of packs for our Adat Chaverim charity shows and we appreciate everything they have done for us in their attempts to get people interested in the hobby.
But this issue needs to be cleared up and quickly and we’ve been glad to see that collectors who have either contacted Panini or been contacted are (hopefully) getting items which they will really enjoy for their personal collections. So, remember that when problems like this arise, the goal is to rectify them as quickly as possible. We hope Panini does that because that will determine how they are viewed going forward. We’d love to hear your opinions on this topic as well.