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Happy Belated April Fools’ Day

by Paul Angilly
April 5, 2005

In honor of April Fools’ Day this past Friday, and in the spirit of good fun, I’m going to describe five new insert card sets. The catch is, only one of the sets I’ll describe here is for real -- the other four are straight from my own imagination (so don’t expect to ever see them on store shelves or card show tables -- and don’t go writing to the card companies asking about them, because they won’t know what you’re talking about).

Your task: Pick the one new insert set listed below that is actually being made by one of the major card companies. The answer is at the end of this column.

So here it goes:

"Injected" -- Planned as a memorabilia insert with the 2005 Playoff Prime Cuts set is a series of cards picturing a star player along with a piece of hypodermic needle (safely encased in a clear, hard plastic bubble) allegedly used by that player to inject steroids. Famed former player turned "so-called author" Jose Canseco will be providing all the authentic used needles for the cards. Canseco will also be among the featured players, with the rest of the checklist not yet finalized.

Mounted $100 bills -- Inserted into Topps’ new Pack Wars product, inside the "prize" packs, are real $100 bills folded up and placed inside a standard-sized trading card frame. Each pack of Pack Wars cards is really three packs in one: two packs of regular cards (one each for two different players), plus the prize pack. The regular cards are designed to play a game between two people, with the winner getting to keep the prize pack -- which usually holds a relic or autographed card, but could include a $100 bill.

"Genuine Diploma" -- To be issued with the upcoming Fleer Genuine NBA card set is a series of memorabilia cards featuring the league’s intellectual elite -- picturing a player along with a piece of his authentic college diploma. Fleer has obtained a copy of each player’s diploma directly from the school he attended. The checklist (not yet finalized) is expected to be limited to just a handful of players, but should include UConn graduate Emeka Okafor.

"Endzone Autographs" -- Planned for release in December with the 2005 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection NFL set is an autographed insert series featuring running backs and receivers who rank among the league’s top touchdown scorers, limited to just 10 copies per player. What makes the set extra special is that each player will actually sign his allotment of cards on the field, in the endzone, immediately after scoring a touchdown during a regular-season game.

"Sideline Sensations" memorabilia cards -- To be inserted with the 2005 Flair set from Fleer (due out in late July) is a series of memorabilia inserts featuring NFL cheerleaders. Members of the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints cheerleading squads will be included. The cards (found one per box) will include a piece of game-worn outfit from the pictured cheerleader.

Red Sox stars of ’67 to visit Foxwoods: If you’re a card collector that’s always thought it would be fun to visit Foxwoods Casino and have never quite got around to doing so, this month might be a good time. The Great Cedar Hotel at the resort, located on the Mashantucket Pequot reservation in Ledyard, is hosting a card show featuring a reunion of 14 members of the 1967 Boston Red Sox American League championship team, who will be signing autographs.

The Foxwoods Resort & Casino is located off state Route 2, or off I-95, exit 92. The card show will be held April 15-17, 5-9 p.m. that Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on that Sunday. The price of admission is listed at $7 for Saturday and Sunday, with free admission on Friday.

The featured signer is Carl Yastrzemski, who will appear on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. There is an $80 fee per item for autographs on flats and balls, $90 for oversize items (such as posters) and $125 for equipment or jerseys.

Also from the 1967 Red Sox team, Reggie Smith and manager Dick Williams autographs will be available for $20 each (any item), with Smith there on Saturday, 1-3 p.m., and Williams present on Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The other 11 members from the 1967 team will all have a $10 fee per autograph: George Scott will appear on Friday, 6-8 p.m.; Jim Lonborg and Darrell Brandon will be there on Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Russ Gibson, Dalton Jones and Dan Osinski will each be present on Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Gary Bell, Dave Morehead, Jose Santiago, Lee Stange and Jose Tartabull will all be there on Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 p.m.

Also appearing at the show will be three key members from the 1946 Red Sox American League champions: Dom DiMaggio (Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., $60 fee for all items), Bobby Doerr (Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., $20 fee for all items) and Johnny Pesky (Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., $10 fee for all items). A "super ticket" good for one autograph each from DiMaggio, Doerr and Pesky is available for $75.

In addition to the Red Sox players, two Hall-of-Fame members of the World Series champion 1967 St. Louis Cardinals team will also be present. Lou Brock will be there on Sunday, noon to 2 p.m., with a $45 fee for flats and balls, $65 for oversize items, $125 for equipment or jerseys and $25 extra for inscriptions. Steve Carlton will be there on Saturday, noon to 2 p.m., with a $40 fee for flats and balls, $45 for oversize items and $65 for equipment or jerseys.

April Fool’s answer: The $100 bill inserts in Topps Pack Wars are for real -- and currently available. Although I have not seen one myself and they are not mentioned in any of Topps’ promotional material for the product, they are described in an article on the Beckett.com website ("Around the Hobby," March 17) and a collector posted a picture of one of the cards on the message board area of that site.

About the author
Paul Angilly is a sports reporter for The Bristol Press in Connecticut, and has been collecting sports cards and memorabilia for 30 years. He is not a dealer, nor does he make a profit from buying and selling cards. His weekly sports card and memorabilia collecting column appears each week in The Bristol Press and several other daily newspapers in Connecticut.

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