Archive for Baseball
Fans have done a variety of tributes to show their love for Upper Deck cards over the years, but nobody does it like Tim Carroll who does the unthinkable to trading cards; he butchers them. That’s right, when Tim is feeling inspired he cuts up trading cards, but it is all in the name of art.
Tim’s creations have become well known in the industry, but it is his piece titled, “The Kid” that stands out for us as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary this week. For this piece Tim recreated Ken Griffey Jr.’s memorable Upper Deck rookie cards using 1989 Upper Deck trading cards entirely. And it is a piece that is amazing to behold. Tim is offering it to Upper Deck on loan for the next few months to share with fans at trade shows and other events so we are excited to see reactions to the piece.
Recently we had the opportunity to check in with Tim about creating the piece and what that 1989 Upper Deck Baseball set meant to him.
UD: What do you remember about the 1989 Upper Deck Baseball set when it first came out?
Tim Carroll: I was 11-years-old back in 1989 when I first heard about the Upper Deck set. Dealers at shows were abuzz about some new set that had some sort of counterfeit-proof holograms on the back and tamper-proof packs. A few months went by before I was able to actually get my hands on some. We were lucky to be at Wal-Mart right as an employee was cracking sealed cases. My brother and I only landed a couple Griffey Jr. rookies, but we made a killing on the Jerome Walton, Dwight Smith, Nolan Ryan (throwing the football), Jim Abbott (3D), and Todd Ziele to name a few. The Griffey is so iconic, but my secret favorite is the Gary Pettis card. A picture on a card of the player holding the same card? Genius!
UD: Do you still have one of those Ken Griffey Jr. 1989 Upper Deck rookie cards?
Tim Carroll: I still have the one Griffey rookie from the set I cut to recreate his rookie card and I still have one from that fateful trip to Wal-Mart 25 years ago.
UD: When did you start doing this unique form of art?
Tim Carroll: I started making the card art pieces back in 2009 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Honus Wagner tobacco card. A few months later, I created “The Kid” in honor of the 20th anniversary of that historic card. I have since created over 30 pieces in which I used cut baseball cards as my medium. Although I like to make portraits of athletes, musicians, and celebrities from items tied to the star, the cut trading cards have become my niche.
UD: Can you share a little bit about how you brought “The Kid” to life?
Tim Carroll: Making the Griffey out of one set was a bit challenging, as I wasn’t sure in the beginning if I had enough of a “palette” within the set. It all worked out, however. Some of the details that I think showcase what the piece is all about are: the bat and necklace made from some of the common Star Rookies; the Star Rookie logo and Seattle logo made from “Award Winners;” and the many, many names that make up the white area of the piece. The whole point of the piece was to highlight that – no matter how hot many of the cards were in that set – the Griffey is a card that has withstood the ups and downs of the card-collecting hobby.
Thanks again for including my work in the celebration. I grew up with that card being one of the modern “Holy Grails” of collecting. To have you showcase my art for the anniversary is extremely humbling.
For more on Tim Carroll’s art, please visit www.timcarrollart.com.
For the last 25 years Upper Deck has worked hard to bring fans closer to the game and players they love. As we begin to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, fans have shared some of their fondest memories of collecting Upper Deck during that time. Here are just a few we enjoyed:
“The great photography, I loved the 1993 set.” – Andrew P.
“Pulling an Eric Staal and Jordan Staal jersey card. Made my day.” – Ben B.
“Pulling my Michael Jordan autograph card numbered to five.” – Steven S.
“The 2002 Upper Deck 40-man Lumber Yard cards. Love those wood cards!” – Steve N.
“Buying a $4 pack of 2002-03 Upper Deck Hockey after not collecting for 10 years and pulling a Datsyuk Young Guns rookie card.” – Ryan B.
“My favorite card, the 1991 Deion Sanders card showing him running from baseball to football.” – Scott P.
“Chasing a 1989 UD Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card when I was a kid growing up in the 90′s. It was my holy grail at age 12.” – Jeremy N.
“My 1993 Derek Jeter rookie card and my 1994 Michael Jordan baseball rookie.” – Del C.
“Pulling this.” – Mark G.
“Pulling a dual patch of Lemeiux and Jagr.” – Logan G.
“In 2001 Upper Deck Ovation I received an Ichiro card that had a chance to evolve. I inputted the code and it evolved into an Ichiro jersey card, awesome memory, thanks!” – Shaun J.
“Opening up a 1999 Upper Deck Baseball box and getting a Babe Ruth ‘Piece of History’ bat card. It was 1 in 10,000 packs odds.” – Joe M.
“I bought a box of 2001 SP Legendary Cuts and pulled a Lou Boudreau bat card, Jackie Robinson bat card, Bobby Thomson jersey card and a cut autograph of Lloyd Waner.” – Mason S.
“The inaugural Upper Deck Hockey set for 1991-92! I still have all the great rookies and star cards from Upper Deck’s first hockey release! It was all about the hologram for me! There was something very authentic about that hologram! You knew you were getting the real deal!” – Clayton H.
“I used to collect a lot of hockey and baseball cards in my early teenage years of 1990 to 1994 and gave up the hobby for quite a while. The National Hockey Card Day and McDonald’s Hockey card promotions brought me right back into the hobby over the past few years.” – GN H.
“In a single year pulling Jordan, LeBron, Kobe and Gretzky autographs.” – Doug C.
“My favorite UD moment was opening up my first and only box of Exquisite. I have bought up tons of singles from the product, but nothing compares to cracking one open on your own.” – Lewis V.
“Nolan Ryan throwing a football. My first Upper Deck card.” – Adam J.
“Buying and opening multiple packs to get Shaq‘s rookie card. It was worth the $$$!” – Andrew B.
“1993 SP Authentic Football… I wanted that Bledsoe so bad as a kid!” – James B.
“When I busted my UD Brett Favre autograph card limited to 25 copies!” – Vince A.
“Purchasing my 1994 Upper Deck Griffey/Mantle dual autograph card!!! Best card of the 1990s!” – Eric M.
“Winning your giveaway a couple years ago. It was the World of Sports Tiger Woods/Michael Jordan dual autograph card number to 5!! Absolutely amazing! Thanks Upper Deck!” – Kheva E.
“Joking with a fellow collector about pulling a Jordan autograph card from 2008-09 Radiance. I bought a pack and then my hands were shaking for the next half hour when I actually pulled an on-card Signature Flight card from the pack!” – Todd S.
What is really interesting to note is how many fans responded sharing that collecting cards had made them closer as a family. Trading cards really provide meaningful quality time between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, siblings and more. Take a look at some of those comments:
“The day you sent my Autistic son cards for the story my husband wrote for your blog. Shawn is still enjoying those cards. Thank you again.” – Danyel P.
“First few packs my dad bought in ’89. I remember the Griffey rookie and a reverse negative Dale Murphy.” – Eric S.
“Sharing a hobby with my mother…” – Jason L.
“Me and my brother opening boxes!!!” – Scott Y.
“Seeing my wife’s face when she pulled a Luongo Milestone jersey last weekend at my local card shop!” Greg B.
“My very first game used card I pulled was from 2001 Upper Deck Vintage. My best autograph I ever pulled was from 1999 Upper Deck Retro (Walter Payton). Upper Deck kept me opening packs and boxes for years. Then you released the University of North Carolina Basketball set and I have opened so much of that product and never get tired of it. I was born and raised a UNC fan and pulling autographs of the guys I grew up watching and rooting for with my grandpa brought back very fond memories of my time with him.” – John J.
“Probably the first card show I brought my daughter to in 2011. You guys gave her a box of cards and a t-shirt, she was soooo happy! Then I took back last year and you guys gave her the mike to call out the raffle winners and again you made her day! She also won a signed puck of Seth Jones! You guys do the greatest job at keeping your fans happy, thanks so much!” Cindy-Lee V.
“There have been so many, but I think the fondest memory is now was the look on my baby daughter’s face when I came home with a bunch of free National Hockey Card Day packs. Her face just lit up.” Will D.
Thanks to everyone for sharing. It is an honor to have played a small role in these memories that are so special to our fans. We look forward to making more memories over the next 25 years!
Fathers and sons and even fathers and daughters bond over sports. Upper Deck loves to promote that type of engagement through programs like National Hockey Card Day or UD’s Father of the Year promotion. It is awesome to see father’s bonding with their kids through sports, and just this week, we saw something like that happen which was really cool!
Brian Kinney wanted to surprise his father, who is a lifelong Cincinnati Bengals fan, with a special experience. His dad had never been to a Bengals game since they live in Connecticut, so Brian felt it was time his father got to experience that. He started by gifting him a new Bengals hat, and then a classic piece of memorabilia in a signed Bengals jersey by current starting quarterback Andy Dalton. It didn’t stop there however, check out what he did next (warning, some strong language):
Are you looking to make up to dad for your “Terrible Twos” or the time you told mom he fed you cake for dinner? Follow Brian’s lead and do something special that ties back to his passion, sports.
If he loves golf, Upper Deck Authenticated has you covered with two of the games greatest in Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Present him with a piece he will remember forever and then share tickets to an awesome golf event like The Masters or the U.S. Open. Every time he looks at the memorabilia item you got him, he will remember that trip.
If your dad is a fan of collegiate sports, Upper Deck has you covered as we are the sole licensor with the Collegiate Licensing Company. Upper Deck has produced standalone trading card sets for basketball programs like the University of North Carolina and the University of Kansas. For Football we have produced trading card sets dedicated completely to programs like the Oklahoma Sooners, the Texas Longhorns, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. We even have some college specific memorabilia from athletes like Cam Newton from Auburn. Imagine how quickly your adolescent sins will be forgiven when you give your dad tickets to see Notre Dame play in South Bend and some boxes of the Upper Deck Notre Dame Football product to open during the flight!
Or maybe your father is a fan of hoops. Well, nobody does basketball better than Upper Deck. From Michael Jordan to LeBron James, we’ve got you covered. Share with him a truly memorable piece like the LeBron James “Tegata” piece and then surprise him with tickets to see “King James” hold court in SouthBeach. Any time he gives you the business about having to change your diapers just point to the piece hanging on his wall and he will instantly stop that crazy talk as he reflects on that wonderful memory.
Now if you are a hockey fan, there is something really great you can do for your dad, give him the “Great One.” Wayne Gretzky is an exclusive spokesman to the Upper Deck company so get him a cool memorabilia piece along with tickets to the Hockey Hall-of-Fame in Toronto. Have an awesome weekend walking those hallowed halls and let dad know that in your book, he is the “Great One.” He’ll think about that every time he sees that Gretzky piece in his home or office.
What about dads like Brian’s who love football? Well we’ve got you covered there too. The hottest guy playing these days is Peyton Manning. Surprise him with tickets to the Denver to watch him play and include a signed piece from Upper Deck Authenticated. Watch history together making memories you will both treasure forever, just remember to dress warm!
And every dad loves baseball. Upper Deck has produced tens of thousands of awesome trading card sets and collectibles from America’s pastime since our inception in 1989. Why not find something unique like a Mickey Mantle autograph UDA bat and tickets to Cooperstown, New York to visit the Baseball Hall-of-Fame?
Do something special for the man who helped make you the person you are today and let us know how it goes! Who knows, maybe you and your father will become the next YouTube sensation!
For trading cards most collectors commonly refer to their trusty Beckett guides to find the prices on their favorite sports cards. For memorabilia however, finding out what the item you have is worth can be a little more difficult. Beckett has done away with their “Beckett Elite” guide which covered a lot of auction house memorabilia. Also gone are features in “Beckett Sports Card Monthly” publication on memorabilia. And while they are still contemplating getting back to providing analysis on this major aspect of the hobby, there is nothing set in stone as of yet. This leaves collectors in a quandary in terms of what the best ways are to find the value and price on their autographed sports memorabilia items.
When fans are looking for the value on something I hate when someone says in response, “It’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.” Well obviously that’s true, but certainly there have to be tools that let me know what something like this is currently selling for and how many “someones” may be interested in it. We probed customers, talked to partners and discussed tactics with internal staff to come up with the best ways to find values on sports memorabilia and here are some of the best resources we found to check values on memorabilia.
Completed Auctions on eBay
- You can get real time, up to date pricing on what similar memorabilia items are selling for.
- Quick and painless way to get a fell for value.
- It usually doesn’t really give you a feel for the difference in price between authentication brands. For example a UDA Tiger Woods autograph 8×10 would have a premium value to a Tiger Woods 8×10 that was signed at a golf tournament and then authenticated.
- It doesn’t really give you a feel for an apples to apples comparison and as most items are different, especially with regard to condition, that can cause discrepancies on your self-appraisal of the piece.
- Platform tends to have a flea market or garage sale type feel on the memorabilia side with lots of odd items that quality pieces are lost with and frequently that leads to a lower sale price. People are generally willing to sell items here for a loss over a traditional store environment which cheapens the likely true value of a piece.
- Many people are hesitant about making a major purchase for memorabilia on eBay as they want to work directly with the manufacturer or re-seller so with less bids, comes lesser prices and a deflated evaluation.
Visit your Local Card Shop
- This is the route I would take because you are really dealing with the experts who live in this world day in and day out. Make sure to visit an Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer so you know you are working with a partner who is knows quality memorabilia items.
- By working with a local shop, you have the benefit of taking into account which region you are in. For example, a Brett Favre UDA autograph piece is going to sell better in Wisconsin than it would Florida. These shops get that and realize how much of a different that is to the value.
- They may be able to assist you in a sale or trade as they know a lot of customers, including ones who might be interested in the piece. You may also be able to work out a consignment deal with them where they show the piece off in their store and if it sells at a price you agree to, you can in turn share a small cut of the sale with them.
- You do have to lug the piece to a hobby shop so make sure you are careful during the transportation of the item. There would be nothing worse than taking it to get a feel for the price and damaging it along the way. Additionally, make sure to call ahead to see if there is someone at the shop at that time who could help with an appraisal like this.
Go to a Show
- Larger shows like the National Sports Collectors Convention have a ton of auction houses in attendance running a ton of auctions and they also have autograph pavilions where you can get a feel for what athletes are charging for their signature. Maybe take some photos of your items and just ask around as every major expert is there!
- This may actually be the best way to do it, but the big problem is these larger shows are usually just 1-2 times per year and there is significant costs tied to traveling to them and getting tickets.
Comparative Shop through Sites Upper Deck’s Online Store
- It gives you a good feel to see what the current retail price is on memorabilia items.
- There is usually a strong variety of items to give you a feel for the value.
- You are not going to find older items on these sites usually.
- The pricing you see doesn’t take into account special promotions the company’s may run which may decrease the price a bit more.
- These usually are a very good resource as there are usually a lot of “lots” sold that you can use to get a feel for current market values.
- There are so many auctions and auction sites, it can be very overwhelming trying to find a similar item in all these sales.
- They will usually talk up the sales of a few pieces that brought big bucks, but finding details on every sale can require a little more digging based on the company.
- Their main focus is creating excitement for new auctions so there are not always a focus with these companies on creating a historical database of what items sold for.
PSA’s Sports Market Report – This is one of the better platforms I have actually used myself. We talked to Steve Sloan who is the director of marketing at Collector’s Universe about their platform and he had this to say:
“PSA’s Sports Market Report, or SMR, is built upon data derived from direct submissions, private sales and actual auction results, making it a great compass for both buyers and sellers in determining market values for PSA-certified items. Plus, as an added bonus, we’ve provided links to actual, live eBay auctions into our listings so collectors can have direct access to ‘real time’ pricing.”
- It’s a free platform and is very user friendly.
- You can see real time auctions easily.
- It gives you a good immediate feel for price on items signed by particular athletes.
- Did we mention it is free?
- It doesn’t show everything unfortunately. So more unique pieces may leave you still scratching your head.
And that really is the biggest problem collectors face when they have really unique pieces they are trying to get pricing on. Collectibles that are extremely limited or 1-of-1 type items can be very difficult to price because you just don’t know how many people may be in the market for something like what you have. This is especially true when it comes to collectibles from Upper Deck Authenticated because producing innovative and different items is what we do best. Therefore, comparing items like these to a 16×20 photo or jersey is not an apples to apples comparison and premium value should be given to collectibles that are limited and unique like these.
I know for sure there are more resources than this, but would love to here from you on what you use to get a feel for values and pricing on memorabilia. Let us know what you use in the comment section below.