Sunday, October 25, 2009

My First 2009 Triple Threads Rickey!

In the mail this weekend I received my first 2009 Rickey Topps Triple Threads, one of the first new cards of Rickey that has been released in many years.

It seems that there are probably 6 different parallels to three different base cards, judging by the auctions that have surfaced, so I'll be chasing these for quite some time.

Rickey has card with the "SB KING" notation, as well as "MAN OF STEAL" and "1990 AL MVP," and I believe that's all their is, unless a rare short-print shows up later. So far, I have seen auctions for cards #/3, #/9, #/18, #/27, and #/36, and can only assume that a #1/1 of each card exists as well.

Despite how it may look in the scan, the patch is actually a dark green, and the card looks a lot brighter and shinier in person. I do enjoy the image that they chose to use of Rickey, but it would have been nice if a different one would have been used for each of the three card notations.

The back of the card lists the typical legal disclaimer, with the emphasis that this does not come from any particular year or event. I am glad that it actually came from an A's jersey, but they must want to be sure that it's clear that it was not the jersey that he wore when he broke the stolen base record back in 1991.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2009 Triple Threads, and a 2010 Topps Preview!

Based on the events of the past week, it's pretty clear that Rickey has once again signed an agreement with Topps to have his cards included in their myriad of sets. As of earlier this year, Rickey did not have an agreement with either Topps, Upper Deck, or Donruss, but that's obviously changed.

Although it's not scheduled to be released until tomorrow, 2009 Triple Threads started to hit eBay last night, which included the awesome cards below!

I have mixed feelings about Rickey's inclusion in Triple Threads, as although the cards are great, they are going to quickly rise out of my price range.

The last mainstream set in which Rickey was included was 2007 Triple Threads, which contained a total of 35 different Rickey cards. Of these, 10 were 1/1's, and 8 were serial numbered to less than 10 copies, which definitely makes them pretty hard to acquire! Of the remaining cards, 13 were numbered between 10 and 40, and only 4 (including the base card), had a print run of 99 copies or greater.

I can't complain, and I definitely love having new Rickey's to chase after, but will just have to focus on the ones that will be easy (financially) to acquire.

In other news, Beckett has released a preview of 2010 Topps, which will also contain new cards of Rickey!

The "big" news is the announcement of buybacks of over 1 million Topps base cards to be reinserted in packs next year. I'm not sure how I feel about this, as I don't know how many people will be happy about acquiring some random 1986 Topps, but I'm sure Topps will be promoting it widely.

I did appreciate that there was a Rickey card included in the promo poster above. His 1980 Topps rookie card is at the top of the poster, to the left of the Million Card Giveaway logo. Also included with the Beckett preview was a checklist of the set, which of course includes a few choice Rickey's!

The Cards Your Mother Threw Out
MTO29 Rickey Henderson

PPR-RHE Rickey Henderson

Hat Logo Relic
MHR-110 Rickey Henderson

MHR-111 Rickey Henderson

MHR-112 Rickey Henderson

MHR-113 Rickey Henderson

I'm definitely looking forward to the "Cards Your Mother Threw Out" set, as I always enjoy it when Rickey is included as part of an insert set, and not just as a parallel of a base card. The relic card should also be obtainable, while I'm pretty sure the hat logo relics will be 1/1's, or at least have a minuscule print run, which will make them hard to even see, let alone obtain.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Even More Topps U&H Releases

It seems that every day brings even more surprises from 2009 Topps Update & Highlights!

First, I found out that Rickey was included a an SP in the set, and then two different relics showed up on eBay. Now, Beckett has updated their official checklist with the cards that will be included in the now common Wal-Mart and Target blasters and "cereal" boxes. The complete list is included below. As always, if any of you guys pull any of these, please let me know!

2009 Topps Update #UH318b SP
2009 Topps Legends of the Game Relics #RH Jsy
2009 Topps Legends of the Game Relics #RH2 Bat

2009 Topps Target Legends #LLG21
2009 Topps Target Legends Gold #LLG21
2009 Topps Target Legends Platinum #LLG21
2009 Topps Legends Chrome Target Cereal #LLG21
2009 Topps Legends Chrome Target Cereal Gold Refractors #LLG21
2009 Topps Legends Chrome Target Cereal Refractors #LLG21

2009 Topps Wal Mart Legends #LLP22
2009 Topps Wal Mart Legends Gold #LLP22
2009 Topps Wal Mart Legends Platinum #LLP22
2009 Topps Legends Chrome Wal Mart Cereal #PR26
2009 Topps Legends Chrome Wal Mart Cereal Gold Refractors #PR26
2009 Topps Legends Chrome Wal Mart Cereal Refractors #PR26

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Topps Updates & Highlights Relics!

As more boxes of Updates & Highlights are busted, more surprises continue to emerge! I was excited enough about the variation that surfaced yesterday, but there are now relic cards as well!

This jersey card is numbered to only 20 copies, which will make it a bit difficult to acquire, but it features an awesome picture of him on the A's.

The bat card is also limited to only 20 copies, with this one showing him on the Yankees. I can't wait to see what other surprises might pop up!

Once again, if anyone happens to pull these cards, please let me know!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A New Rickey Card is Released!

For the first time since I've been blogging, a new mainstream Rickey Henderson card has been produced! Other than a couple of horrific 1/1 cut signatures from Tri-Star (see here), Rickey hasn't had a card released since 2007, and there definitely hasn't been one that I had any chance of obtaining. But, that has all changed!

When perusing eBay last night I was shocked to see that Rickey was included as one of the variations in the newly released 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights (it's card UH318). I've seen a couple of his cards posted, all with him as a Yankee. Based on the other variations that have surfaced, most other players have two variations, featuring them on two different teams. Here's hoping that he's featured on the A's in the other one!

Of course, if anyone pulls any Rickey cards, please let me know! I'm sure we can work out something in trade. I haven't followed the variations closely, but do they have a gold parallel as well?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vote in the ESPN: The Shot Photo Contest

As any of you that are reading the blog already know, I was recently able to attend the Hall of Fame Induction of Rickey Henderson, which is something I've had "planned" since I was about 8 years old. I believe that I took a lot of great pictures over the weekend, and I entered my favorite into the "faces of the game" category of a contest that ESPN is currently holding.

You can vote for my picture here.

There are two portions to the contest, the judged portion, and the people's choice portion. For the people's choice portion, please feel free to share the above link with anyone that you'd like: friends, family, Facebook, Twitter, message boards, blogs, I could use all the help that I can get!

The winning pictures will be published in ESPN: The Magazine, which would definitely be a cool collectible to add to my Rickey collection.

Thanks in advance for all your help and support!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rickey Henderson Field Dedication Ceremony

As I mentioned previously, Rickey's high school Alma Mater Oakland Tech was renaming their baseball field "Rickey Henderson Field" this past weekend. I was unable to make it to the ceremony, but Sam Laird of Oakland North was on hand to cover the event. Some excerpts from his coverage are included below, while the full article can be found here. He was also nice enough to send some additional pictures from the event which I've included below.

The dedication day banner on the right field fence. Sam Laird/Oakland North

Hometown hero Henderson honored by alma mater - Sam Laird/Oakland North

Oakland Tech product Rickey Henderson’s pro baseball career spanned parts of four decades, included stints on nine major league teams, and ended with the hometown hero holding career records in stolen bases, runs scored, and leadoff homeruns. Widely considered the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history, he also provided innumerable amusing and often head-scratching quotes that only enhanced his flair on the field.

On Saturday, Henderson’s long, sometimes strange, and always wildly entertaining trip took the legend back to his North Oakland roots. Just a few months after being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, Henderson attended a dedication ceremony at the now-former Carter Field as the baseball diamond was renamed in his honor.

Rickey gets a standing ovation from the crowd on hand. Sam Laird/Oakland North

“As a kid I never imagined something happening like this, that they could name a field after you at the school you played with,” Henderson said in a quiet moment before the program began. “It’s an honor. It’s something you cherish. Now maybe the kids today who play here can grow up and have something they never imagined possible happen to them.”

The push to rename the field after the former Oakland Athletic began with a petition to the city school district that was approved a few months ago, said Matthew Gabel, president of Oakland Field of Dreams, the non-profit group that maintains the diamond.

“What would be more appropriate than naming the field after one of the greatest Tech players and one the greatest ballplayers of all time, with his just being inducted in the Hall of Fame?” Gabel asked on Saturday.

Rickey addresses the crowd at the ceremony. Sam Laird/Oakland North

In the warm autumn morning sun, facing scores of bleacher-seated fans and admirers and flanked by purple and gold banners and balloons, Henderson humbly spoke to the gathered crowd about playing sports at Bushrod Park as a kid, as well as his childhood dream of playing not baseball, but pro football.

His compact frame looking fit as ever and decked out in a half-unbuttoned white dress shirt, silver crucifix necklace, bulbous Hall of Fame ring, and dark sunglasses not unlike the stylish shades he sported on the Oakland Coliseum base-paths, the fifty-year-old appeared still capable of batting leadoff for the 2009 A’s that afternoon against the Los Angeles Angels.

This sign is located high on the backstop, facing the diamond. Sam Laird/Oakland North

The significance of the two year-old state-of-the-art facility and its new namesake are far from lost on Tech players and coaches.

“This goes beyond words,” said baseball coach Eric Clayton. “I’m sure as the kids keep playing on this field over the years, they’ll honor and understand the legacy of baseball in Oakland.”

Standing on the dirt infield wearing the purple and gold Tech uniform after the dedication ceremony, senior pitcher and first baseman Kelvin McMiller echoed his coach’s sentiments.

“It’s a very special thing to play on a field named after Rickey Henderson,” McMiller said, surveying the immaculately groomed diamond as, nearby, a crowd of autograph-hounds besieged the Hall of Famer. “I know he’s one of the greatest players to play at Tech; he got drafted out of high school, went to the pros, and did his thing. It’d be an honor to follow in his footsteps.”