Don’t Dead Open Inside

I started out the 2019 year HOT, with over 100 new Jose Canseco cards added to my collection. However, as the year slowly progressed, I began to lose a little steam. By March, I was at a complete standstill. Maybe it had to do with the return of “Tanman”, back so soon from his religious sabbatical, which brings a lot more unwanted attention to the Canseco secondary market. Or just maybe it has something to do with Jose not appearing in any 2019 products (as of March 9th), including Panini’s awful version of Donruss, which actually looks promising. Whatever the reason, I found myself looking at eBay less and less in February and only picked up a small handful of cards for the month.

That being said, one particular card grabbed all of my attention last week. It is an eerie throwback to the beloved ’90 Fleer set, which was basically my introduction to baseball cards as a child and features “Zombie”-style artwork of Mr. Canseco. There was very little information about the card in question but thanks to obsessive research I was able to discover that the card was a promotional item gifted to buyers of the rare ‘Anonymous x Unheardof x Nike SB Dunk Collection’ shoes released around Christmas of 2015. I even found there was a second card produced, a ’90 Topps “Zombie” Eric Davis. After talking with an “insider”, I was told there are between 200-400 of each card.

 

These Nike shoes weren’t exactly expensive ($190 for the pair) but only those purchasing the limited edition version with the baseball wax box-style packaging got the cards. The shoes were also released with traditional Nike shoe boxes but those did not come with the two Zombie baseball cards. Unfortunately, these shoes were only sold in one store in the entire United States, in Cincinnati, of all places. That makes these unlicensed, Broder-style cards officially a regional baseball card release and one that will only get more hard to come by as time rolls on. Shoe collectors tend to be young and “hip”, while baseball collectors tend to be older and nostalgia-driven these days.

As you might expect, there are no current eBay auctions of either card and only one pair of the shoes for sale, which is a size 8 and doesn’t specify is the card/s are included. Insanely enough, there is no available data for these cards being sold separately on eBay going back to late-2015. It is very likely that sneaker heads who bought these cards eventually discarded the promotional items, much like what happens with most “freebies”. I received a limited edition Venom comic book when I went to see the 2018 Sony ‘Venom’ movie and that thing never even made it home. It sat in my back seat for a few weeks before being tossed out while cleaning out my car. I expect these two cards to continue flying well under the hobby radar.

If you live in the Cincinnati area and come across either of these two cards at a card shop, card show, or flea market, please contact me immediately. I always have my PayPal fully stocked and your generosity will put you in the “Friends and Family” category till the end of time. I would gladly take either card off your hands and trust me when I say that it will go into the home of a true fan and Jose Canseco baseball card collector of 29 years. The quickest way to track me down is on Twitter, as I am most active on there but if you’re old-fashioned, you can also email me at WaxMorgue@gmail.com. Hell, I may even buy your Nike pair if it’s a size 11 1/2 but only the Bash Brothers version.

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Table Cloth-GATE

I’m not a huge fan of Topps Now. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my favorite player, Jose Canseco, last played in the Majors almost two decades ago. It’s just not a concept for me because I am a one-trick pony, an exclusive player collector who won’t dare touch any other players or sports. I call it being loyal. Still, I can see how some collectors enjoy receiving Topps cards featuring the biggest moments of the baseball season a little early. Neat idea, especially if your favorite ball player is a fan favorite.

Below is a Topps Now card of Manny Machado, Miguel Cabrera’s uglier and less talented brother from another mother. From the notes on the card (I don’t keep up with baseball), it says he recently signed the biggest free-agent contract in American sports history. If you want to add one of these cards to your collection, you have 17 hours, 21 minutes, and 15 seconds to order (as of writing this) for the insane and absolutely ridiculous amount of $9.99. Don’t worry, folks … Topps generously discounts your price if you order in bulk. For example, if you decide to order 20 of them, you will only be charged $70 dollars. LIFEHACK!

Had Topps left things alone with this ugly base card, all would be forgotten in a couple of days. Unfortunately, that’s not something Topps Company is capable of. The folks in New York decided to double dip on Manny’s fans and produce a version featuring a piece of memorabilia. They could have gone with his hat, maybe even that over sized jersey he’s sporting in the picture. Again, this is Topps, so not happening. The “official” baseball card manufacturer for Major League Baseball decided to produce a Topps Now card featuring a piece of the mother-fucking table-cloth that was on the table during the press conference. I know this sounds like a bad joke but I am sadly, dead serious. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to.

Below is the “base” version of the Topps Now Manny Machado “Event-Used Table Cloth” card #’d to 99, which by the way is going for an outrageous $39.99. As of writing this, you have exactly 17 hours, 11 minutes, and 50 seconds left to purchase one. Unlike the base card, Topps offers you no discount this time around. It should be noted that you can find certified autographs of Manny for much less than the price of this “Event-Used Table Cloth”. God, I really hate typing that out.

Unfortunately, it does not end there. No, not even close. Topps Company has produced several tiers of parallels for their groundbreaking, table-cloth card. This beautiful card you see below is #’d to 50 copies and is available for just $69.99 for the next 17 hours, 3 minutes, and 42 seconds. As you can see, it’s a whole different color. Clearly, Topps’ design team is creating masterpieces on Photoshop because this card is truly special when compared to the boring and dull version above. WHAT WILL THEY COME UP WITH NEXT?!!!! I myself cannot wait to see what the geniuses at Topps have up their sleeves.

Well, what do you know? Topps made yet another version of the table-cloth card, this time it is ultra-rare and numbered to just 25 copies. Oh, I almost forgot to mention … it too has a different colored background. But wait, this baby is gonna set you back $99.99, at least for the next 16 hours, 58 minutes, and 14 seconds, anyway. Again, you can buy multiple, low-end autographs of Machado or several, high-end parallels for that price but seriously, why would you even collect baseball cards of such a mediocre player to begin with? Don’t you have standards, asked the man who collects Jose Canseco.

If you think this debacle ends here, well sir, you don’t know Topps Company. The truth is, for Topps to make any sort of profit with their exclusive MLB monopoly they have to literally stay printing cards non-stop. We are now stuck in a flooded market the likes of which we haven’t seen or experienced since the days of the “Junk Wax” era. Of course, Hobby apologists who earn a small living promoting trading cards will never admit this. WHO CARES?!! You have just 16 hours, 44 minutes, and 57 seconds to drop $149.99 on the card below, which by the way is serial numbered to 10.

Oh no folks, don’t “X” out of your browser just yet because Topps Company has something really special for you, at least for the next 16 hours, 40 minutes, and 49 seconds. The stunning card you see below is serial numbered to just 5 copies (!!!) and can be had for the low, low price of just $249.99! Now, I have to say this because it is important. Please don’t be offended. IF YOU PAY $250 FOR AN EVENT-USED TABLE CLOTH, YOU’RE A GOD DAMNED MORON. But anyway, in the words of Ryan Cracknell, “Collect What You Love”. Be my fucking guest, you damn fool.

Well, here it is. The “White Whale” of this historic “Event-Used Table Cloth” baseball card. This is the “One of One”, which can be yours for the very reasonable price of $799.99. Hurry, supplies are limited and time is running out (16H, 35M, 08S). Let me just make this clear … if anyone buys this, they will officially be the biggest suckers in the history of baseball cards. A fool and his money are soon parted, but my friend and future owner of this “1 of 1”, think long and hard before you give your money to Topps because they will only continue to manufacture garbage like this if you keep buying it.

Let’s say you’re the biggest idiot or a die-hard Manny Machado fan. Let’s also say you are wealthy enough to want one of each of these cards, including the one of a kind version. To pick them all up, plus the base card would set you back $1,419.93. If you think you this hobby is now at the point where pieces of a table-cloth should demand that kind of money, by all means continue buying up Topps’ warez. Just don’t come crying when they continue this trend or worse, somehow find something even more ridiculous than a table cloth to insert into their overproduced cards.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED …

UPDATE: As of 12:06 AM, the red “Event-Used Table Cloth” cards of Machado #’d to 5 have sold out. That’s right, in the 30+ minutes I began writing this piece, collectors purchased all five versions for a total $1,249.95, not including tax.

UPDATE 2: Crackin’ Wax has created “Event-Used Table Cloth” t-shirts with a very limited run. You can find them HERE. These shirts will sell-out. Get them while they are still available.

Trolling the Twitter Prize Hounds

I love Twitter. I am a busy man with work, raising a child on my own, and training in Jiu Jitsu. I just don’t have time to read up on card-related message boards anymore. I barely even have enough time for my own blog. However, Twitter is fast and doesn’t take up much of my time during my day-to-day activities so it has become my favorite social app and my only daily connection to the world of trading cards. I love the interactions with several people I follow, which is why I feel really bad about the stunt I pulled on President’s Day.

Monday morning, while scrolling through my feed I found people retweeting SCAM accounts for what seemed like the thousandth time this year. Basically, some douchebag posts a screenshot of a PayPal balance in the millions, claims he won the lottery, and wants to give back to the community. All you have to do is follow and Retweet. If you have common sense, you’re probably going to immediately realize that it’s complete bullshit, but if you lack common sense all you have to do is a little research to keep from looking like a Class A Jackass.

For fun (or out of boredom) I decided to copy word for word the exact SCAM account’s Tweet but changed the words to include me giving away a Mike Trout rookie auto to the first 300 “dipshits” who followed and Retweeted. Surely, anyone who took time to read the Tweet would realize it’s all #FakeNews. At best, I figured 3 or 4 collectors would fall for it. I’d have my laugh at their expense and by lunch time it would all be forgotten, right? Sadly, what happened next made me realize how sad (and dumb) Prize Hounds really are.

In less than 12 hours, I received well over 1,000 notifications. The screenshot below is very recent after I told people that I was playing a cruel joke on them. Several unliked and un-Retweeted. I also started receiving DMs which went through all the typical emotions from thankful, to hopeful, but later changed to rage-filled, followed by an Unfollow. You 300+ who fell for this didn’t read my Tweet so I don’t expect you to read a blog with this many words but… NO ONE ON TWITTER IS GIVING AWAY ANY LOTTERY WINNINGS. I can’t stress this enough.

If you haven’t had a chance to read the entire thread, have a look. Many, many collectors had fun and I posted so many little inside jokes that even one very respected user, Paul Lesko, nominated it for best #TheHobby thread of 2019. Hell, one lucky winner got himself TWO, 2009 Bowman Chrome Superfractors. One was raw, one was graded. If that didn’t scream “SCAM” to these Prize Hounds, nothing would. Still, not a single collector batted an eye as I steamrolled towards 300 Retweets by early afternoon.

On a more positive note: I want to thank Tanman for connecting me with @SportsManiaCard ,who at a card show found one of my most wanted cards, EVER. Tanman already owned it but knew that it was a card I needed and tagged me in the Tweet. I bought it ASAP. I grew up on Score baseball cards and by 1998 they were owned and produced by Pinnacle Brands. When Pinnacle went bankrupt, Score died, seemingly forever. This was officially Score’s final offering and this Artist Proof is a tough find 21 years after its release. I’ve previously obsessed over the photograph in this card HERE.