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From T.S. O’Connell’s Infield Dirt Blog:
This lame All Star Game cost me nothing at all ..

derek.jpgWas it just me, or was this the quietest All-Star Game that anybody old enough to have voted for Richard Nixon – on any of three occasions – can remember?
   I assume that part of my observation is from the fact that the game was played in Anaheim, where displays of either unbridled enthusiasm or raucous behavior are reserved for Disneyland or City Council zoning committee meetings when somebody pitches the idea of building a trailer park.
   (This All-Star Game-related entry provided me the opportunity to use this cool artwork by Johnny Pennisi, which he sent to me this a.m. – Ed.)

But more likely, it’s just the game itself, which has seemingly had its vibrancy sucked out of it by the corporate behemoth that gobbles up everything and turns even glittering gems like the All-Star Game into a kind of mushy, spiceless meatloaf that can’t even be salvaged by a half bottle of ketchup.

More All-Star Game

In This Week’s SCD: Ty Cobb graces the cover this week in an unprecedented two-page cover painting from the acclaimed artist Dick Perez. Cobb is the featured Hobby Royalty subject and former columnist Ron Keurajian disses about Ty’s autograph, plus we have a fascinating story from George Vrechek about a 1945 Esquire Magazine article about tobacco cards, and Bob Lemke tells the story of Native American Joe Guyon, a member of the college and professional football halls of fame.

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Survey Says: Which MLB division leader is most likely to fall out of the race by season’s end? Click HERE to give us your vote. Auctions’ Sports & Americana Auction No. 5 Live July 26 Auctions’ Sports & Americana Auction No. 5 is almost here. The catalog is off to the printer and bidding will commence July 26. Bidding ends Aug. 12. If y[description]ou haven’t registered already, visit or call (888) 463-3063.
The auction is highlighted by Mark McGwire’s 500 Home Run Ball, fully certified by PSA/DNA, and the largest find of 1934 Al Demaree Die-Cuts (R304) ever to come to auction, all graded by PSA. Many of the cards are the only graded example in PSA’s population report or the highest graded example to date.

Other highlights include:

  • 1910 Hermes Ice Cream Bobby Byrne Pin PSA 7 (pictured)
  • 1955 Bowman Baseball Complete Set
  • 1960 Armour Coins Bud Daley WHITE PSA 9 – 1 of 1
  • Babe Ruth Signed Baseball from 1947 with 11 Cincinnati Reds
  • Roger Maris, Ronald Reagan & 4 Others Signed Baseball
  • 1959 New York Yankees Team-Signed Photo (29 Signatures) withMantle,  Berra, Ford
  • 1988 Pacific Legends Near-Complete Signed Set (90 Signatures) with Mantle, Williams, Aaron, Mays, Banks
  • 1961 Topps Football Unopened Wax Pack GAI 8
  • 1972-73 Topps Basketball Unopened Wax Box (24 packs)
  • 1979-80 Topps Hockey Unopened Wax Box from Sealed Case (36 packs)

More Auctions


Mr Memorabilia


MLB Unveils 75-pound, $3,000 Historical Book
In the short history of sports megabooks, there has been a 75-pounder about Muhammad Ali, a celebration of Pelé that was a shapely 35 pounds, and a history of the Super Bowl that tipped the publishing scales at 85 pounds.

To coincide with the July 13 All-Star Game, Major League Baseball on recently entered the market with a 75-pound, $3,000 tome that traces the game’s hisMLB Opus tory through 110,000 words and more than 1,000 photographs and illustrations.

Like those before it, the leather-bound book, “The Official Major League Baseball Opus,” will come out in a limited edition (1,000 copies), packaged in a silk-covered clamshell case. The huge volume is aimed at teams, corporations, wealthy fans, museums and collectors. An abridged 26-pound version is available for $295.

More MLB Book

Yankees Museum Featuring Famed Fogel Collection Items
Two major exhibits in the New York Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America include more than 80 historic pieces of game-used equipment, vintage baseball cards and other important memorabilia from the fabled sports collection of Marshall Fogel of Denver, Colo. He also has provided more than 40 photos of iconic moments in the Fogel Collection history of the team for exhibits that honor Lou Gehrig and the legendary “Subway Series” of games between the Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and Mets.

    “Twenty-three of the cards he loaned for the exhibits are PSA-certified, including high-grade Cracker Jack, Play Ball and Goudey cards,” said Joe Orlando, President of PSA.

    Opened in April 2009, the Yankees Museum has become a “must see” for fans.  Located on the Main Level near Gate 6 of Yankee Stadium, it is open on game days from the time the stadium gates open until the end of the eighth inning.  On non-game days, visitors can enjoy the museum as part of the Yankee Stadium tours. 

   More Yankees Museum




Hobby’s Hottest Card Fuels Next Huggins & Scott Sale
Headlined by the Stephen Strasburg Autographed Red Parallel 1/1 Bowman rookie card Graded a Mint 9 by Beckett Grading Service and an uncut sheet of 1954 Topps Baseball cards with the Hank Aaron rookie card, Huggins and Scott has completed Strasburg preparations for their upcoming worldwide sports memorabilia catalog auction that closes July 28-29.
The auction will offer over 800 consigned lots of vintage and modern sports cards and memorabilia in a two-day auction with bidding conducted by phone and Internet via the company’s website (
An exemplary list of unique, rare and vintage baseball memorabilia highlights the auction with a fine selection of 1954 Esskay Meats baseball cards, an original Leroy Neiman watercolor from the 1978 World Series and a 1931 New York Daily News 14-karat gold boxing medal.

More Strasburg Card

Sneak Peek: Exclusive Interview With Hall of Famer Cal Ripken
Featured in September Issue of Tuff Stuff

By Scott Fragale

With this year’s National Convention being held in Baltimore, the one person atop every autograph seeker’s wish list was undoubtedly MLB and Orioles legend, Cal Cal Ripken InterviewRipken Jr.

But because of a busy post-baseball career that includes duties as an entreprenuer, television broadcaster and full-time father, getting Ripken to sit down to sign autographs these days is about as difficult as getting him out of the lineup was during his playing days.

Fortunately for fans heading to Baltimore, persistence paid off for this year’s National organizers and for those of us here at Tuff Stuff, as Ripken is scheduled to be among the Oriole-heavy autograph lineup at this year’s show and was also kind enough to take some time for the following exclusive interview.
Tuff Stuff: What are some of the business duties you have with Ripken Baseball (and other ventures) that are keeping you busy these days?
Cal Ripken: We have a lot going on at Ripken Baseball between our two youth baseball facilities in Aberdeen and Myrtle Beach and the three minor league teams that we own and operate.

I am still making the rounds on the speaking circuit and representing some great companies like State Farm, Cheerios, Comcast and more.

On the personal side I have been spending time with my family. Rachel (my daughter) is in college and doing great and Ryan (my son) is playing baseball and basketball.  I helped coach his baseball team and they ended up winning the championship.

Tuff Stuff: Other than your incredible consecutive games played streak, what are the things you are most proud of that happened during your career?

Cal Ripken:
When I started playing and made it to the big leagues I would have never dreamed that I would be lucky enough to play 21 seasons. It was a wonderful career.  
My most memorable baseball moment was catching the final out of the 1983 World Series. It represented the culmination of an amazing season with a great team.

The best personal moment had to be the night that I set the consecutive games played record. When I was pushed out of the dugout and did the lap around the field the celebration became very personal and very powerful.

For the rest of the exclusive interview, check out the September issue of Tuff Stuff’s Sports Collectors Monthly.

Sneak Peek Of “What’s It Worth?” Part II Featured In Next Tuff Stuff  
1975 Fleer Immortal Football Set
I have the 1975 Fleer Immortal Football Set. This set has a total of 84 cards with the possibilty of getting 60 of the cards signed. I have all 60 cards signed, authenicated by[description] JSA and slabbed by Beckett. I’m in the process of getting the entire 84-card set graded as well, but that really isn’t as important as the signatures. The toughest signatures in the set are Johnny “Blood” McNally, Ernie Nevers, and Sid Luckman mainly because his wife signed most of his items. Other notables include Jack Christiansen, Joe Stydaher, Bob Waterfield, Art Rooney, George Halas, etc. 

Even though you can buy the complete set of unautographed cards for about $50, I’m interested in the price of the set signed. The only reason why I’m getting the whole set graded is just so I have everything in nice holders. I doubt if the grading is really going to effect the pricing that much.  I’m thinking the autographed set is probably worth $5000-plus. What’s It Worth?

David Catlin

Evaluation: The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, was the first place this set was sold. This was also the first full set of Pro Football Hall of Famers. It was Pro Football’s version of MLB’s  yellow Hall of Fame plaque card set sold at Cooperstown. When the set was sold in 1975, it was possible to get 60 of the cards autographed, since 24 were deceased at the time. You will find a wide variety of pricing on the single cards signed. With Ernie Nevers signed cards selling in the $400-$550 range, John “Blood” McNally selling in the $500-$800 range. I like the ideal of having the complete set graded I do think it would help the value of the set. I would put an estimate value on the set of $3500-$5,000

Troy Aikman Signed Litho
This is a 27 x 37 framed and matted print of Troy Aikman titled “Troy.” It is done by famed sports artist Vernon Wells Jr. This print was made in 1991 and is a limited edition of only 750 pieces. This piece is #409/750, and is signed in pencil by Troy [description]Aikman and V. Wells, it is hand numbered and comes with a certificate of “Affidavit of Limited Edition.” The certificate is hand numbered in silver pa pint pen and signed by Joe Macnack of International Sports Decor, who manufactured and distributed the prints. What’s It Worth?

Mike Freeman

Evaluation: Troy Aikman has remained very popular with fans through his playing years and now as a commentator for Fox Sports and is a popular autograph. This particular print for some reason does not retail for as much as one might think. This print measures 18×25 unframed and I believe had an issue price of around $500. I would put an estimated value of $150-$250 range unframed.

To check out Part II in the “What’s It Worth? series subscribe to Tuff Stuff’s Sports Collectors Monthly

Submit your items to  “What’s It Worth?”


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