Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cardboard Treasures Was a Hit!!!

The first ever television special about the Hobby we all love ended more than an hour ago. And after falling into third place on Mario Kart Double Dash (we're trying to win the Mirror Mode track by beating the All Cup Tour at 150cc), I now have time to write my glowing review. If you didn't have twitter, you were definitely missing out on the running commentary by a bunch of the bloggers who sat in front of their tv's (or in some cases their computer), and watched the MLB Network's first show on baseball cards. Some of the highlights included:

  • Me just marking out about uncut sheets and the brief appearance of a 1959 Topps Maury Wills card??! WHAT??!

  • Mr. Stale Gum himself wondering if they would mention the legendary Mr. Jefferson Burdick...and not three seconds after posting that query did they feature the museum that now houses his famous collection AND mention Burdick's name.

  • Me again promising as God as my witness that one day I will visit Cooperstown and the HOF to see their baseball card collection.

  • The mention of gimmicks (like the Jeter/Bush/Mantle from 2007), but why nothing of our favorite April Fool's prank, Kazuo Uzuki?
Features I enjoyed included:

  • Billy Ripken defending himself for his 1989 Fleer card (he claims on the show that he had nothing to do with it...but didn't he admit to it a couple of years ago???

  • Dmitri Young and his "Halliburton cases" (Chris Harris' words...not mine) of nothing but GEM MINT 10 ROOKIE CARDS (had to go all Don West there...sorry). I saw his collection a few years ago at the National. Awe inspiring. He has the only GEM MINT TEN 1990 Topps Frank Thomas NNOF card to date.

  • They featured one of the houses that print the cards. I swear it was like looking at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. To dream.

  • The Topps Vault and the pallets of uncut sheets (they held the 2001 Topps Archives sheets for the show).

  • It wasn't all about Topps as a number of present day players mentioned (and the show featured) cards from those other card companies.

If there was one complaint that I would have about the show was that it wasn't close-captioned. What about our Deaf collectors? You'd think they would have wanted to know what was being said??!

Otherwise, it was a great show. And I do hope that they try to make a regular segment/series/special on the topic. It was worth watching, and I wouldn't mind seeing it again.


JayBee Anama


Laurens said...

I know you are a Topps fan and MLB has an exclusive license but I was glad to see some very brief cameos of cards made by other companies on the show.

I'm not talking about the vintage cards, but maybe the 1989 Fleer, Dmitri Young's PSA 10 Upper Deck card and a random 1990 Score Frank Thomas.

I do think the Billy Ripken segment was tongue and cheek and wasn't meant to be taken seriously.

Chris Stufflestreet said...

I watched it as well and found it to be filled with erroneous information.

Topps was given way too much credit for starting the bubble gum era, when it started nearly 20 years earlier. Goudey, Leaf and Bowman were glossed over, while Delong, National Chicle and Play Ball were never mentioned. There was also little info given about early cards like N, T and E cards beyond some glimpses in the museums.

A seller was allowed to call a 1952 Topps Willie Mays his "rookie card" when the '51 Bowman was shown elsewhere.

An "expert" mentioned the '84 Topps Mattingly card as the beginning of the "rookie card" craze...but that's wrong on two counts. It was the '84 Donruss that was highly coveted, and the rookie craze was in full swing before '84: Fernandomania, Charbonneau, Dale Murphy and even Ron Kittle predated the Mattingly era. If anything, Mattingly was the hot card when the hobby really began heating up.

The Gretzky T206 Wagner was nice, but it's also become a very controversial topic among hard-core hobby types due to questions about its history. The piece mentioned nothing about that.

In short, it was a nice hobby primer for those who aren't already part of it, but it's too broad for those of us who are. I'd have expected better from the MLB Network...but then again, when even the Commissioner goes on record saying that he believes the Abner Doubleday invented the game when even the available evidence disproves it, perhaps I expect too much.

On the other hand, a multipart series about cards that hits on the hobby's main eras, its names (Buck Duke, Sy Berger, Warren Bowman, Woody Gelman, Jeff Burdick) would be an amazing thing, especially if they actually went with the vast historical material available on places like my own blog, several Websites and books...instead of what was essentially a 1-hour commercial for Topps.

As a collector, I really wanted to see more than what I got with the piece.

GCA said...

Does that mean you have to be on Twitter to see all the comments? Yours is really the only blog with a review of any kind I've seen.

I thought it took a lot of gall (or ignorance) to show Beckett as the grader example and have them giving a Strasburg auto a 9.5!

And Amsinger is definitely not a collector - he had no clue about what Studio or Archive cards were supposed to be...

It was nice to see inside the Topps facilities. Wish they had shown more of the production/design and packaging processes.

Anonymous said...

Wish I could find a video link for the show. I would love to watch it.

PhilM said...

I found it a little introductory, but the behind-the-scenes stuff was great. I never knew that Willie Mays was the action shot on the Hank Aaron rookie, but from the close-up, it was definitely him. All in all, an hour well-spent -- bring on opening day!