Rich Reminiscences: New York Life in the 70’s.

by Rich Klein

If you have ever spent any time in waiting rooms, the odds are pretty good the television station was playing HGTV. The reason is pretty simple: these programs are designed to appeal to everyone, and have no political or religious viewpoints which might upset some of the patients or guests waiting. 

Recently, the house which was used for the Brady Bunch series was purchased by that network, and all the living members of the cast have reunited as part of a series titled: “A Very Brady Renovation”. I should point out there is no mention if Cousin Oliver is going to show up near the end of the production.

But what this really proves to all of us is that we still long for the memories of seeing what appeared to be a perfect family, which for years was part of the pre-cable world, and seemingly always in reruns somewhere on our daily television dial.  We do have the memories of the original show, just as we’re also fortunate to have our memories from the sports world (some of which were kept and are still available) of our youth.

Growing up in the New York Metropolitan area in the 1970’s, we were always enthralled by the exploits of the New York Yankees and seemingly everyone in the organization, including the boisterous owner, George M. Steinbrenner. Since the Yankees were one of the best teams of baseball from 1976-81, and had all those personalities, let’s take a look back at some of the fun we had in New York in those days. 

Here’s some footage of George Steinbrenner in the early days, including the introductory press conferences.  Look how uncomfortable Mike Burke, the previous Yankees head honcho is during Steinbrenner’s speech.


For the next couple of decades Steinbrenner continued to be embroiled in controversy, and was actually suspended from baseball twice in his first two decades as the Yankees owner. The first time was for improper political donations, and the second was when Steinbrenner was involved in a scandal where he was trying to dig up dirt on Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.   Here is some audio of John Sterling, who has been a Yankees announcer for the past 30 years (albeit, he took some much deserved time off this year) breaking the news of the 1990 decision.


Of course, 1990 was such a fine season for the Yankees that Andy Hawkins pitched a no-hitter (at least according to the rules of the time) and lost on an error by Jesse Barfield.  But I digress.

Billy Martin as Yankees Manager


Although Steinbrenner hired and fired managers like a grandparent handing out cookies, the manager who kept recurring in the first 15 years of his rule was Billy Martin. Now, there might have never been anyone who loved being a Yankee more than Martin, and how he put up with indignities big and small to keep in George’s good graces was legendary. Billy had plenty of his issues, as he never met a punch he did not like to throw, or a drink he could pass up. That combo led to some interesting experiences and interesting publicized stories.  Without delving too far into details, let’s just say Billy enjoyed the not-so-quiet night life and debauchery a little too much.

So instead of writing of such events on this blog, here is a newspaper account of some of the Yankees highlights of his off-field exploits. This does not even mention the barroom fight he got in with Baseball in 1969 while managing the Minnesota Twins.

Billy;s favorite player protagonist was Reggie Jackson, the Hall of Famer who played on many post-season teams during his career. One of the myriad quotes Reggie came up with was “If I played in New York they’d name a candy bar after me“. 

Well after some twists and turns that we’ll get to later on, Reggie hit 3 homers in the final game of the 1977 World Series, and by the next opening day the Reggie candy bar was created. Having had some of those back in the day (no, it did not unwrap itself and tell you how great it was), I can assure you that it was perfectly edible, but a not great chocolate bar. In my opinion, the Pro Set Puck Chocolate was actually better, but that’s a different argument for a different day.

And now for some of the bumps along the way that Reggie faced on his way to hitting those 3 famous World Series homers. First was this infamous quote in a Sport Magazine article released a couple of months into the season. This was in a pre-social-media world where newspapers and magazines mattered just as much as the modern day facebook and twitter.

You can imagine just how well that statement went over in the Yankees clubhouse, especially since Thurman Munson was coming off an MVP season in 1976, and was a beloved figure with both teammates and fans. Supposedly by the end of the season, Reggie’s only person he could really turn to was Fran Healy. Healy was able to parlay his positive presence for all concerned to a 40-year post-playing career working in the New York area as a baseball personage. 


And of course, there was some playing drama on the field in both 1977-78. There was this famous incident where Billy Martin wanted to fight Reggie in the dugout because Reggie did not apparently hustle after this ball in the outfield.

But at the end of the season all was forgiven after 1977 World Series game 6.

If you have ever seen the footage of the game, note the top of the 9th inning. The fans are actually sitting on the fence waiting to jump on the field and celebrate/riot after the final out. Thankfully, no baseball came close to the fence, so what could have been a real disaster never occurred.

The next season Billy and Reggie had round 2. Billy got so worked up over everything that he uttered this famous line one night:  “One’s a born liar and the other one is convicted.”

Yes, seemingly we can use that line about politicians then and still today, but calling your owner “convicted” is a pretty good way not to be working in the near future. So Billy got let go, but the fan reason was so anti-Steinbrenner that a few days later at old-timers day this event occurred: 

The ovation lasted a long time and is still remembered as of the seminal moments of that era. Here are clips of some of the other famous late 1970’s moments:

No, Chris Chambliss never touched home plate, but under those circumstances who was going to take away the homer!

And I love to tease my Red Sox friends about this one:

Bill White’s understated call is still great to hear.  “Deep to Left”.   

This card featured Dent being greeted at home plate after the homer.


Sadly the next year, the Yankees lost Thurman Munson in a tragic plane crash in 1979. Jerry Narron told us at a SABR meeting that having to catch in that game was the hardest and most emotional game he ever participated in his life.

A year earlier Munson had hit this massive homer in the American League Championship Series. He was broken down, and every bone in his body was hurting, but he had that one great moment left:

A few games later the final out of the World Series was this play:

Looking back over 40 years, we can’t even imagine all the sub-plots which the Yankees were involved with.  This became the theme for the Bronx in 1977. On top of everything else, New York City was having major issues in the 1970’s:

The Bronx was indeed burning, and the Son of Sam was shooting innocent people:


And in 1976 the Daily News had this unforgettable headline:

Image result for Ford to NY Drop Dead

 And we had songs written about those pre-1970 older days in NY City:


When I first heard this Simon and Garfunkel song I understood the importance to both singers, because of the break-up they had a few years earlier.  Listen to the wonderful lyrics of Paul Simon and this song, which was recorded at the famed Muscle Shoals studio.

This was the only top 40 single for Cashman and West, who were better known as Jim Croce’s producers in those days. In case you didn’t know, Cashman is the same Terry Cashman who recorded Talking Baseball just in time for the 1981 season. 

And with that, we’ll always remember baseball is part of our life today, it was part of our life in the 1970’s and 80’s, and it was part of our life even before any of us were born.

2019 COMC Pack League Fantasy Baseball Team Results

Earlier this year we introduced you to our latest iteration of fantasy sports meets trading card collecting concept when we presented our 2019 Topps Opening Day Fantasy Pack Team. If you missed that blog, you can check it out here and learn about this fun and unique way to play fantasy sports using packs of trading cards! Today we want to share with you how our team did now that the 2019 MLB regular season has concluded.

If you remembered how scoring works, or read the blog linked above, you’d know that points are calculated as WINS. The ultimate goal of the game is to have more wins than the other players in your league if you’re playing with friends. If you’re playing alone, the goal is to have more wins than any team in the Major Leagues this season.

Scoring System:

Hitting Scoring 
Every 40 runs = +1 win
Every 15 Home Runs = +1 win
Every 15 Stolen Bases = +1 win
Every 30 RBI’s = +1 win
Every 50 walks = +1 win

Pitching Scoring:
 Every 5 Wins = +3 Wins
Every 5 losses = -1 Win
Every 5 Saves = +1 Win
Every 75 Strikeouts = +1 Win

The 2019 COMC Fantasy Baseball Team & Results

Designated Hitter: Mark Trumbo (Missed 2/3rds of the season, replaced by bench player Max Muncy)
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto (5 Wins)
First Base: Anthony Rizzo  (7 Wins)
Second Base: Gleyber Torres  (8 Wins)
Short Stop: Francisco Lindor (6 Wins)
Third Base: Rafael Devers  (9 Wins)
Outfield: Ronald Acuna (11 Wins)
Outfield: Mike Trout (10 Wins)
Outfield: Mitch Haniger  (Missed 2/3rds of the season, replaced by bench player Juan Soto)

Pitching Staff

SP: Justin Verlander (14 Wins)
SP: Gerrit Cole (12 Wins)
SP: Trevor Bauer (7 Wins)
SP: Blake Snell (3 Wins)
SP: Jacob Degrom (8 Wins)
Closer: Edwin Diaz  (5 Wins)

Bench:

Hitter: Juan Soto (9 points)
Hitter: Max Muncy  (8 points)
Hitter: Whit Merrifield
Pitcher: Dereck Rodriguez
Pitcher: German Marquez

All in all, our team put up a total of 122 wins, which is six wins above the all-time record of 116 set by the 2001 Seattle Mariners. Our win total is a little bit inflated thanks to the stellar performances of Verlander and Cole, as well as our team being stacked with top-tier talent on rookie contracts. For that reason, in future years, we’ll propose a rule to the salary cap where all players on a rookie contract will automatically be bumped to $5 million.

We know that some readers of the COMC Blog were  also playing along at home. How did your teams do this season? Did you beat us? If you weren’t playing along, have you found a different way  to turn your trading card collecting experience into a game? We want to hear about it! Drop a comment below and let us know!

“It Sold for WHAT?!?” – Six Ronald Acuna Cards That You’ll Never Be Able to Find at These Prices!

Over the course of our 12 plus year existence, we’ve seen A LOT of cards. In many cases, we first saw a superstar’s cards long before they became a household name. As a result, this lends itself to some pretty hilarious completed sales in our historical sales history. Whether these buyers are cardboard Nostradamus’s, or simply happened to pick up a card before it’s value skyrocketed into oblivion, one thing is for sure: they got a crazy good deal!

In our previous installments we’ve shown you Mike Trout Trading Cards that now the grace the nose-bleed section of the high-end of our hobby, Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie cards that sold for just a fraction of their present day value, and Christian Yelich cards that sold for prices that would make you as sad as Miami Marlins fan.

We’ve scoured our sales data and are ready to unleash our next wave of cards that make for some pretty good laughs. We don’t need to talk up the greatness of Ronald Acuna Jr. If you’ve been following baseball at all, you know that the 21 year old is on a meteoric rise to super stardom. At this point the only question is whether or not his rookie cards will reach Trout-esque levels in the next 2-3 years!

Let’s get right into how silly the trading card industry can be with just a little bit of hindsight:

2017 Bowman – Chrome Prospects – Gold Shimmer Refractor #BCP127

A great debate in our hobby will always rage about non-original Bowman Chrome parallels. Whether you like ‘Shimmers’ or hate them, we can all agree that for $145 this Gold Shimmer numbered to 50 copies of Acuna’s first Bowman Chrome would be an absolute steal present day. BGS 9.5 copies of this card have sold for around $500, and that’s before the huge September bump the Acuna market saw.

2017 Bowman – Chrome Prospect Autographs #CPA-RA

Were you one of the five lucky collectors who were able to snag this card for under $160 on the COMC Marketplace? How about the collector who bought the very first one to hit our marketplace for $53.07? It’s very likely that we’ll never see a $50 Ronald Acuna Jr. autograph of any kind on the COMC Marketplace in a very long time, if ever again. BGS 9.5 copies of this base auto are now selling for around $1500. While they still have a long way to go to reach the levels of Mike Trout’s 1st Bowman Auto, they’re still up 10x from the last copy to sell on the COMC Marketplace!

2017 Bowman – Chrome Prospect Autographs – Blue Refractor /150

Oh, you thought we were done with Acuna’s 1st Bowman Autos? Not yet! Had you been able to predict the future, and had $500.99 to spend on COMC on 7-7-2017, you could have been the lucky (notice all of those 7’s!) owner of this beautiful tried-and-true blue gem! This card recently fetched nearly $11,000 earlier this month at auction. We can’t imagine where this card will be if Acuna and the young Atlanta Braves team is able to bring a championship back to Georgia.

2018 Panini Flawless – Rookie Dual Patch Autographs #RDP-22

Similar to the argument about non-traditional Bowman Chrome parallels, another argument in the hobby rages on about unlicensed cards. With Topps having an exclusivity agreement with the MLB, Panini and other manufacturers are relegated to creating cards that do not infringe on MLB copyrights such as team logos. Even without the logos, Acuna’s Panini cards are still trending upwards, with this encased Flawless auto numbered to 25 being sold for nearly double what the COMC buyer originally paid for it just three months ago.

2018 Topps #698.2 – Back Behind Back Variation

Without question this is one of the hottest trading cards on the planet today, and probably will be for a very long time. With Acuna posed in a follow through swing, and it being an extremely tough pull out of a Topps Series 2 product, it has all the makings of an iconic trading card. While the card is a short print, we have seen significant volume of the card bought and sold, with over 50 total copies changing hands. One thing is for sure, nobody is acquiring this card for under $50 anymore, and the two lucky individuals who were able to get their hands on one for under $25.00 certainly have a story to tell around the hobby!

2018 Topps Update #US250.3 – SSP White Jersey Variation

As rare as the 2018 Topps Series 2 Bat Behind Back SP Variation is, there is an even more elusive Acuna Jr. rookie card – the super short printed white jersey variation from 2018 Update! This is a card that is rarely seen in the wild that most collectors aren’t even aware it exists! The card has already found it’s home in the high-end section of the hobby, where raw copies have recently sold at auction for nearly $2,000! Not a bad come-up for the two COMC buyers who were able to snap this card up for 1/3rd of that price just three months ago!

Now we want to hear from you! What Ronald Acuna Jr. trading cards did you not hold onto just quite long enough? Do you have a stash worth the equivalent of a new sports car that you’re hoping will one day be worth a new house or boat? Share your best investment and #collectfail stories with us!

The Good Word: Three Chords and the Truth

It’s been a little while since I penned one of these columns, so I spent the better part of the week wracking my brain how I would tie together the four talking points that I wanted to hit on in this blog.  It’s been said among generations of country western singers that the key to a great song is “three chords and the truth”. That seemed like a pretty good format to work off of, so without delving any further, here are my three chords and a truth.

Chord #1:  A Reunion 10 Years in the Making

One of the perks of working for COMC is that I talk to literally hundreds of collectors on a daily basis. One of the reoccurring points in those discussions is always of trading cards that we once owned but are no longer in our collection. Whether it be low numbered or short printed cards that were sentimental to us that we can no longer owned, or cards that are now worth 100x what we sold them for, everyone has at least one sad cardboard stories.

My story revolves around a beautiful red refractor rookie card of Tim Lincecum from the 2007 Bowman  Draft Picks & Prospects set. Numbered to just 5 copies, it is without question my favorite trading card of one of my favorite athletes of all time. it’s a card that I’ve talked about on this very blog many times in the past. The story goes that in 2009 I was a little tight on money and had to part with the card when I sold off part of my collection. Less than six months later, I was on the hunt to reacquire the card, but was unsuccessful. The collector I had sold the item to had also sold it themselves. Every pathway to a reunion proved a waste of time.

As the years went by and Lincecum’s career flourished and then floundered, I assumed that my opportunity to find one of the five cards was diminishing with each passing year. The push notifications that I had set up on my phone for COMC and eBay for ‘2007 Tim Lincecum Red’ only occasionally yielded false hope notifications that his Topps Turkey Red RC was now in-stock.

Earlier this past Spring, I received a text message from ProjectFiveFive, a fellow Lincecum collector who said that our friend and Lincecum collector TheFreakyFranchise55 was willing to part with his copy of the card I so coveted. Mine was an ungraded and number 3 in the print run, and his was PSA 9 numbered five in the print run, but I didn’t care. A price was quickly negotiated and within a matter of days, my white whale was now safely within the confines of my office at COMC, never to leave my collection again under no circumstances. The cloud that has been hanging over my personal collection has dissipated.

Chord #2: The Fred Hutchinson Award Luncheon

Speaking of emails, last year I received an email from a gentleman named Stan Opdyke, a local collector who is also a very passionate supporter and contributor to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Following an email exchange, he sent over an incredible blog that we published last year highlighting the life and times of Fred Hutchison. In the golden area of Pacific Coast League baseball in 1938, Hutchinson posted a 25-7 record with the Seattle Pilots before moving on to a 10 year career in the big leagues. Hutch would later manage both the Pilots and three major league teams before passing away at the young age 45 from lung cancer.

His legacy lives on to this day thanks in large part to his brother, Bill Hutchinson, a doctor who originally diagnosed him. Bill founded the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle in 1975. The Hutch Award was created a year after his death in 1965 to honor courageous and inspirational baseball players facing similar adversities. This year’s recipient was Stephen Piscotty of the Oakland Athletics,  who’s mother passed away from ALS in May 2018.

Mr. Opdyke kindly invited myself and my fiancé to attend the 54th annual Hutch Award luncheon at T-Mobile Park (Formerly Safeco Field) this past July. The experience was as unique as it was emotionally powerful. Speeches from the employees of The Hutch spoke to the goals and the advancements made in medicine. Keynote speaker and 1995 Hutch Award recipient Jim Abbott spoke of the adversity he faced on and off the field as a pitcher born without a right hand. The event was capped off by powerful message from Stephen Piscotty’s father Mike, who has firmly vowed his life’s work towards finding a cure for ALS.

All-in-all the Luncheon raised more than $577,00, which will go towards accelerating research towards new treatments and cures. I’m a firm believer in utilizing the things that you love to make the world around you a better place, and the Hutch Award and Fred Hutchinson bridge that gap for me, uniting the amazing game of baseball with a meaningful and impactful humanitarian effort.

Chord 3: The National isn’t all about the Cards, it’s about the People

The 2019 National Collector’s Convention in Chicago marked the fourth year I’ve been fortunate enough to attend The National as a representative of COMC. While I’ll admit that my first National experience back in 2016 was five days of sensory overload being in the same room as thousands of revered landmark cards of our industry collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars, my National experience has taken on a different form in recent years.

I won’t lie, my COMC portfolio will prove me guilty of dollar box diving and ripping bad wax many times over. However the true enjoyment of The National for me is celebrating our hobby with the growing number of familiar faces and connections I’ve made over the years. Meeting thousands of COMC buyers and sellers each year offers us perspective on how collectors intertwine COMC with their collecting needs. We hear their successes and their frustrations, and from those conversations we are able to extract ways that we can improve our platform and re-prioritize desired features we would like to implement on COMC based on their needs.

To me, The National isn’t about finding a 2013 Topps Update Emerald Foil Christian Yelich RC in a dollar box (true story for fellow COMC representative James T.), it’s about my yearly selfie with Ivan (@WatchTheBreaks) of GoGTS Live and chatting about the Twitter-verse. It’s about eating deep-dish pizza with my partner in the Pokemon card world Jameel (Meelypops on COMC) and his team. Having recently opened his first shop in Florida, understanding how his position in the hobby has changed helps me gain the perspective of that of a new shop owner.

Speaking of new shop owners, Ryan (@CardCollector2) bought and re-imagined a shop in Grove City, Ohio just months before The National, amidst the planning of the fourth annual Instagram Trade Night. Having attended the prior three events which COMC has sponsored, Ryan took his event to a whole new level this year by renting out a ballroom blocks from the National. This allowed well over 1,000 attendees to comfortably gather, trade, and enjoy the four hour experience. The work Ryan has done breathing life into the Instagram trading card community and introducing young new collectors to the hobby is an effort that will reward the hobby for decades to come.

The Truth: August 17th, 2019

The truth is that I have been blessed with a life that allows me to live surrounded among the trading card hobby and all of it’s wonder. I live in a world occupied by cardboard, stat lines, and sports memes. I’m incredibly grateful for my better half, who has supported every single moment of it for the last four and a half years.

Less than two weeks after I returned home from The National, I married the love of my life along the coast of Washington as 20 of our closest family members and friends watched on. Nothing in my life will ever be as special as the day we said, ‘I Do’. She is my true 1/1 in this world.

Happiness isn’t finding that pristine 52’ Mantle hiding within an old shoe box at a garage sale you’ve searched for all your life. Happiness is meeting and surrounding yourself with the people who will encourage and support you to never stop searching.

Rich Reminisces: 1968 Detroit Tigers

Why do teams become legendary in our sports collecting hobby? Sometimes the reason is the cast of characters are a unique bunch mixed around. Think of the great New York Yankees teams of the late 1970’s. They had enough oversized personalities on and off the field that the moniker “The Bronx Zoo” worked for that team. For others, it was because they were a right place, right time team. Example of this was the 1969 New York “Miracle” Mets who went on a run the last 2 months of the 1969 season and post-season and won their first World Series. For others. the amount of time a team was dominant mattered. A good example is the 1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers, who won four Super Bowls within a six season period.

And sometimes, there is a little bit of all of the above including fortuitous timing and how they brought a community together. A great example of this scenario is the 1968 Detroit Tigers ,who truly were the last of their era. Five decades later we can say that because they did not have to go through a post-season gauntlet to win a World Series, nor did have to play any night games in the post-season. 

And how did they get to the 1968 World Series? First, their ace pitcher was a youngster named Denny McLain. McLain won an astounding 31 games that season. No one has won more than 27 games in a season since. In fact, very few starters even get to 31 starts anymore, so you’d basically have to win most every start to even be in a position to win 30 games. While we knew 30 games was quite the accomplishment for a pitcher, we all thought in 1968 there might be another one to reach the milestone. Many teams still used four man rotations, and that gave pitchers 40 starts in a season, which meant 30 wins was not the impossible target that it is today.

What made McLain even more interesting was his career as playing the organ and flying an airplane. Did all those outside interests shorten his career? One could argue between the known gambling issues and the just as well known outside interests, the odds were he would have had a longer career if he had focused more on his pitching career. We do know a few things today.

1) His career was over before he reached 30.
2) He is a great guest at a card show.

Their second best pitcher was Mickey Lolich, who would go on to win 3 games in the World Series that year. In 1968, the concept of a pitcher winning 3 World Series games was not considered unusual, as three pitchers had reached that total over the previous 22 seasons. After Lolich, no pitcher has won 3 games in a World Series since. On the other hand, George Frazier actually managed to lose 3 games in the 1981 World Series. Maybe some reliever will win 3 games in a future World Series.  Lolich owned a donut store and rode a motorcycle, but he was always serious about his pitching. To show what a fluke 1968 was, Lolich also blasted his first career homer during that World Series.

It was not just the pitchers who were interesting . Bill Freehan, who was the best American League Catcher from about 1964 through 1971, could have won an MVP award if things had broken a bit differently. Freehan did everything well for the Tigers, and as such garnered much MVP support in 1967 and 1968. He was a force both offensively and defensively. Today, he is battling a long-term illness, but we all remember him fondly for his time on the diamond.

The starting first baseman was Stormin’ Norman Cash. Cash, is a player who helped define the term career year. Look at his 1961 season (.361 batting average and 40+ homers) and compare that year to the rest of his career.  Cash also had a great sense of humor, and in Nolan Ryan‘s first no-hitter brought up a piano leg as his bat as he figured he could not hit Ryan with a standard bat. 

At second base was Dick McAuliffe, who set a record which can be tied, but never broken. After a 1967 season in which he only grounded into 2 double plays, he improved that in 1968 by never grounding into a double play. This record can surely be tied, but never broken indeed.  Also, he had a nasty on-field brawl with Tommy John that injured John’s shoulder and prematurely ended his season. Could that fight have been part of the reason John later needed the surgery now named for him?

The shortstop with the most playing time for the Tigers was Ray Oyler, who batted all of .135 that season. Yes you read correctly, .135 was his batting average.  To me, Ray Oyler is best known for a classic line within the book Ball 4, which I blogged about last month. That line was not family friendly, but if you want to look it up for yourself, search out “bridges completed in 1929”.  Meanwhile, here is Ray posed with a bat in the bunting position. And when he came to the plate,  posing to bunt might have been his best way to get on base.

When you hit just .135, which was absurd for any player, including most pitchers, you probably are not going to play much in the post-season. And that’s what occurred to Oyler, as Mickey Stanley transitioned from the outfield to play shortstop during the World Series. Purportedly, the move was to get Al Kaline‘s bat into the lineup, and who can argue with subbing a future Hall of Famer for a guy hitting all of .135? Yep, all of .135. I don’t know how many times I can repeat that number, but it only gets more awesome each time it’s mentioned. Stanley played error-less ball in the World Series, and having Kaline in the lineup gave extra length as well.  Jim Northrup and Willie Horton were also the other starting outfielders and for 1968, boy that was quite an explosive team at the plate.

Note the position on the 1969 Mickey Stanley card. :

Of course there was plenty of controversy during the series, but one of the oddest ones had to do with the National Anthem. Jose Feliciano was just beginning his career, and did not perform a traditional Star Spangled Banner. I did not understand back then why it was so criticized, and I don’t today but let’s listen and see what you think.

And this is a version done in 2010 to honor the original version by Jose.

We leave you with one final image of the 1968 Tigers, which is of their 3rd base coach Joe Schultz. It was known during the series that Joe would take over managerial duties for the 1969 Seattle Pilots, but who knew just how legendary Joe would become within two years of the series?


Guest Blog: My Top 7 Favorite Trading Cards

(Editors Note: Please welcome Austin Ward to the COMC Blog! Austin’s blog comes to us courtesy of our encouragement of guest blogs a few months ago. Austin has been collecting cards since his youth, and still finds as much joy in the hobby now as he did back then. He recently started Crown Card Connection as a way to engage with the trading card collecting community. He encourages anyone interested in discussing the hobby to join in on the action that Crown Card Connection has to offer!)

Collecting cards brings all sorts of thoughts and feelings to people’s minds. Joy, excitement, risk, and nostalgia are just several of the many for me. Today, I want to share seven favorites from my collection. While a number of them do hold strong value, the memories attached to them are greater still. Here we go:

7. 2018 Leaf Metal Draft Sam Darnold Autographed Printing Plate

One of ones are big in the hobby today, but haven’t been something I’ve really chased after. While browsing some cards online, I came across this Sam Darnold and sent an inquiry to the seller. We ended up getting a deal done, which allowed me to add the first NFL printing plate of my collection.

6. 2018 Select Josh Rosen Tie-Dye Autograph RC

Despite being a San Francisco 49ers fan, Josh Rosen is someone who I’ve decided to personally collect. Due to comparably low value as a rookie, I’ve been able to compile a pretty strong collection of Rosens (around 20 cards and growing). Convinced that Rosen is going to have a strong career in the league, I’m taking my own advice and stockpiling.

5. 1998 Donruss Elite Neifi Perez

Although the card itself is pretty unimpressive (and could be purchased for next to nothing), this was the first autograph I ever got. I vividly remember standing on the third base side with a stack of Colorado Rockies baseball cards during a family trip to Colorado. I was convinced that I was going to get Larry Walker or Vinny Castilla to sign my cards (which clearly didn’t happen), but was thrilled when Perez took the time to make my day.

4. 2018 Leaf Army All-American Football Trevor Lawrence Patch/Autograph

During his freshman campaign, Trevor Lawrence impressed me as a quarterback and as a person. I didn’t anticipate finding much available with him being a freshman in college, but I’m glad I looked when I did. Shortly after I got my Lawrence card, his value spiked during the NCAA Championship run.

3. 1999 MVP Football Set

This one is clearly for the sentimental value, but I can’t count how many times I’ve looked back at the binder that contains the first set I was able to put together. Each time I do, I’m reminded of the hours that went into sorting through my childhood collection and the countless trades that I made with my brother to finish out my set.

2. 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout RC

After a few years of not making many purchases, I bought a random box of cards at an auction and was shocked to find a Mike Trout rookie card inside. I was even more amazed to find out what the card was selling for, but have preferred to hold as a keepsake instead.

1. 2000 Pacific Aurora Tom Brady RC

This is the card that transformed me from a kid that enjoyed collecting to a lifelong hobbyist. The couple hard-earned dollars that I risked back in 2001 created a priceless memory for years to come.

The COMC Summer Sale is Coming July 31st – August 4th!

Beat the Heat and Join Us July 31st – August 4th for the COMC Summer Sale!

Can’t make it to the The National Sports Collector’s Convention in Chicago this year? We’re bringing the deals online with the COMC Summer Sale!

Starting on July 31st, you’ll find incredible deals all across the COMC Marketplace on your favorite teams, players, and sets.

Buy Now & Ship Later!

One of the biggest advantages of having a COMC account and shopping with COMC Credit is that you can instantly purchase items when you find them and ship everything all together at any time in the future!

When you buy items with COMC credit with your COMC account, they stay safe and secure in our warehouses until you’re ready to request shipment for them. You can buy items throughout our Summer Sale and request shipment for your items next week, next month, or even next year! You pay shipping just once, regardless of how many items you buy.

Don’t Ship it – Flip it!

Perhaps you found an amazing deal on a sale item, but don’t collect that particular player. You know the card is worth way more, so why not buy it now and flip it later?

With a COMC account, you can purchase an item on sale and instantly give it a new price. When the item sells, you receive COMC credit, without ever having to take possession of the card!

Thousands of cards are being flipped daily on the COMC Marketplace, but this benefit is exclusive only to COMC Members! If you’re not already a member, register your free account today