How much is a 1992 Fleer Todd Van Poppel baseball card worth?


A 1992 Fleer Todd Van Poppel basebard card is worth about .83 to $1.50. If it was autographed it could be worth $20.00 or so.

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Donruss, currently known as Panini America and owned by Panini Group, manufactures sports cards. The company started in the 1950s, producing confectionery, evolved into Donruss and started producing trading cards. During the 1960s and 1970s Donruss produced entertainment-themed trading cards. Its first sports theme cards were produced in 1965, when it created a series of racing cards sponsored by Hot Rod Magazine. Its next series of sports products came in 1981, when it produced baseball and golf trading cards. It was one of three manufacturers to produce baseball cards from 1981 to 1987, along with Fleer and Topps; until Score entered the market in 1988, and Upper Deck in 1989. Since entering the trading card market, it has produced a variety of sports trading cards, including baseball, basketball, boxing, football, golf, hockey, racing and tennis; and has acquired a number of brand names. Donruss produced baseball cards from 1981 to 1998, when then parent company Pinnacle Brands filed for bankruptcy. Baseball card production resumed in 2001, when then parent company Playoff Corporation acquired the rights to produce baseball cards. From 2007 to 2009, Donruss has released baseball card products featuring players that are no longer under MLB contract after MLB decided to limit licensing options in 2005. Panini America is licensed to produce National Football League and National Hockey League trading cards, and has exclusive rights on producing National Basketball Association trading cards. Panini also maintains an exclusive license with FIFA for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup, and has partnered with DreamWorks to produce non-sports trading cards of select DreamWork movies. Donald and Russell Weiner founded the original Donruss company in 1954. At first, they were the owners of the Thomas Weiner Company located in Memphis, Tennessee. They manufactured hard candy, suckers and Super Bubble gum. Combining their first names, Don and Russ, they renamed their company Donruss and continued to produce candy and gum. Donruss produced several entertainment-themed trading cards, from such television shows as The Addams Family, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Monkees and The Flying Nun from 1961 until 1969. That same year, Donruss made national news with a $30,000 surtax dispute. Donruss paid its surtax but sued to get the money back. It won in U.S. Circuit Court but lost in U.S. Supreme Court. Donruss claimed its earnings did not pass the "purpose test" to avoid paying the taxes, and having lost it prevented any other corporation from using the purpose test. Later that year, Donruss was purchased by General Mills. Donruss continued making entertainment-themed cards throughout the 1970s, adding titles like Dukes of Hazzard, Elvis Presley, Kiss and Saturday Night Fever to its product lines. Producing these cards was profitable; however, Donruss, looking for additional avenues of income, desired to enter the baseball card market. Unfortunately, Topps had exclusive rights and Donruss would have to wait until Fleer's lawsuit against Topps. In 1975, Fleer sued Topps over its exclusive baseball rights. After five years a federal judge ruled that Topps illegally obtained Major League Baseball Players Association rights. Donruss and Fleer negotiated deals with Major League Baseball and by late 1980 Donruss had acquired the rights to produce baseball cards. Its first baseball card set was produced and ready in time for the 1981 season. In August of that year, an appellate court overturned the judge's ruling. Quick to react, Fleer's lawyers found a loophole in Topps' contract that stated it had exclusive rights to sell baseball cards with gum or candy. So, Fleer started distributing its baseball cards with stickers, and Donruss started distributing its cards with puzzle pieces. Overproduction and distribution was an early problem for Donruss. In 1983 Huhtamäki Oyj purchased Beatrice US Confections, Donruss and Leaf Candy Company, merging the three companies into Leaf, Inc. The company continued to use the Donruss name on baseball cards, which now benefited from Leaf's established distribution network. The Leaf brand was used from 1985 through 1988 on specially made baseball cards distributed in Canada, and in 1990 on a premium series of cards distributed in the U.S. Donruss expanded its Memphis plant from 256,000 square feet (23,800 m2) to nearly 400,000, grew from 550 employees to 720 and continued to make trading cards and bubble gum at the facility throughout 1991. In 1992 demand for higher-quality cards rose, and standard card sales dropped. Donruss responded by reducing production, increasing price, upgrading card quality and randomly inserted limited edition and autographed insert cards to its new foil packaged cards. Donruss also partnered with Coca-Cola, Cracker Jack and McDonald's to create special card series, and created a less expensive line of cards called "Triple Play" without statistics but with superior action and artistry (evidenced by book values now being typically higher than for comparable cards) targeted at young collectors. In 1993 Donruss acquired the rights to produce hockey cards. With poor sales in 1994, due in part to a Major League Baseball strike and National Hockey League lockout, Donruss began producing new lines of entertainment cards, and a football collectible card game under license from NXT Games, in 1995. May 1996, Pinnacle Brands acquired the Donruss/Leaf brands, as well as their baseball and hockey licenses, from Huhtamäki Oyj for about $41 million. The entertainment line was sold to United States Playing Card Company. Pinnacle used the Donruss and Leaf brands on baseball, football and hockey cards. In July 1998 Pinnacle Brands filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Playoff Corp. can be traced back to as early as 1970 with a company called Optigraphics. At the time, Optigraphics specialized in advanced printing technology. Its first sports work was seen in 1983 when 7-Eleven began distributing multiple-image discs—utilizing the lenticular printing process which gave an appearance as though the image were moving, or changing—with purchases of Slurpee drinks. In 1985 the company obtained baseball licenses and started producing its unique style of cards under the name Sportflics. This also marked the first time any company used full-color photography on the back of sports cards. Minus "Magic Motion", but using the same style as its Sportflics cards, it released baseball cards under the Score brand in 1988 and football cards under the Score brand in 1989. In 1992 founders and owners Ann Blake and John Flavin divorced. Flavin maintained the Score brand. Blake left and founded a new company called Cardz Distribution, which later developed into Playoff Corp. and ultimately gained control of the Score brand, along with Donruss and Leaf, in 1998 when then parent company Pinnacle Brands, Inc. was under bankruptcy. Playoff could not obtain Pinnacle/Donruss' baseball and hockey licenses, however. Playoff was producing high-end lines of football cards, generating some $25 million in annual revenues. With its Pinnacle Brands purchase, Playoff began producing trading cards under the Donruss Elite, Leaf and Score brand names. Playoff expanded its business in 2000 by adding a 36,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) distribution facility, and developed its Score Entertainment subsidiary to produce Dragonball Z trading cards. Action Packed manufactured trading cards from 1988 to 1997. Complete sets consisted of few cards to keep collectors happy when opening packages. Action Packed created a 6-card embossed set in 1988 to show its technique to Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. It was not awarded a license. Action packed created a single set of basketball cards in 1995, produced football cards from 1990 to 1997, produced hockey cards in 1993 and 1995, produced racing cards in 1990 and from 1992 to 1997, and World Wrestling Federation cards in 1994 and 1995. Pinnacle Brands acquired the brand in 1995, and Donruss/Playoff acquired the brand when it acquired Pinnacle Brands in 1998. In 2001 Playoff Corp. became Donruss Playoff L.P., acquired the rights to produce baseball cards and established its headquarters in Arlington, Texas. Donruss Playoff expanded its entertainment lines in 2002, with such trading cards as Buffy, The Vampire Slayer through its new Score Entertainment division. Donruss also produced the first Spanish-only baseball card set. In 2003, Donruss Playoff stirred up controversy when it paid $264,210 at auction for a rare game-worn Babe Ruth jersey, which it then cut up and turned into 2,100 memorabilia cards. From 2007 to 2009, Donruss has released baseball card products featuring players that are no longer under MLB contract. On March 13, 2009, Panini Spa. of Italy (which had previously acquired the exclusive license to produce NBA trading cards beginning with the 2009-10 season), announced that it had purchased Donruss Playoff. Effective immediately, the company was renamed Panini America Inc. However, the company remained separate and continued to operate out of Irving, Texas, with much of the existing upper management. During the 2010 Industry Summit Collectibles (a gathering where retailers can meet leaders in the trading cards industry, and listen to discussions about card collecting), held in Las Vegas on April 11, Panini America announced changes to the company’s distribution network. Vice president Mike Anderson and sales director Rodney Alsup outlined their goals to address retail store concerns over profit margins, and how online sellers are having a negative impact. Only retail stores would be authorized to sell Panini products directly to consumers, and any retailer attempting to wholesale would lose its authorization. Only wholesalers would be authorized to sell Panini products directly to retailers, and any wholesaler attempting to retail would lose its authorization. “You are one, or you are the other,” Anderson said. Alsup noted they would reduce the current number of wholesalers from fifty to about four nationally. Under Donruss Playoff the company sold to anyone. “We turned a blind eye toward those things, because, honestly, we had to. Our ownership needed the money, and we perpetuated the industry’s problem,” Anderson said. “But under Panini ownership, we work for a CEO who is allowing us to do what should’ve been done 10 years ago. We are well structured, well financed and committed to doing what is best for the brick-and-mortar stores who are the lifeblood of this hobby.” Panini also outlined other initiatives: will continue to destroy returned NBA trading cards to protect "collectibility", willing to implement minimum advertised price if needed, formation of a brick-and-mortar standards committee, upgraded ordering systems and schedules, new football and hockey trading cards and other products featuring autographs and memorabilia swatches from sports, history and pop culture. In the winter of 1980, on the heels of Fleer's historic court victory over Topps, Donruss rushed into production a 605-card set for the 1981 season. The first printings were riddled with errors (though Fleer's first set was even worse in this regard), most of which were fixed in subsequent runs. They were also printed on flimsy card stock and there were no factory sets; rather, the cards were shipped to dealers in 100-count lots and were then collated by hand. TCMA of Amawalk, New York handled dealer business. TV personality Keith Olbermann was a photographer for some of the cards that are a part of the 1981 Donruss set][. With an entire offseason to prepare, Donruss shipped a much improved, more polished set for 1982. The 1982 offering also saw the introduction of the Diamond Kings, the first 26 cards of the 660-card set, made up of oil paintings by noted sports artist Dick Perez. Another Donruss innovation for 1982 was the inclusion of jigsaw puzzle pieces with a pack of cards in place of gum. Babe Ruth was pictured as "Hall of Fame Diamond King" when the 63-piece puzzle was assembled. (An appeal of the 1978 Fleer v. Topps ruling in 1981 barred the two new card companies from using gum premiums; Fleer switched to team logo stickers in 1982). Donruss also began selling to dealers directly, the first of the major card companies to offer factory sets for those buying in bulk. Notable card in this set is Cal Ripken's rookie card. Donruss released three baseball card sets in 1983. Its standard 660-card set (with only minimal changes; a glove replacing the ball on the front and the back switching from blue to yellow), a 60-card "Action All-Star" set and a 44-card "Hall of Fame Heroes" set. "Action All-Star" were not the standard 2½" by 3½" card size, rather 3½" by 5" and included a 63-piece Mickey Mantle puzzle (eight cards per pack and three pieces on one card per pack). The "Hall of Fame Heroes" set were standard sized cards issued in the same packs as the "Action All-Star" cards, but rather than picturing photographs of the players Donruss used its Diamond King style and showed Dick Perez oil paintings. Notable rookie cards in their standard set include Ryne Sandberg, Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs. Another card of note is an error card of Ron Jackson where Donruss claimed he played for the A's rather than the Angels. Donruss did issue a card to correct the error. This year's jigsaw puzzle inserted in wax packs featured Ty Cobb. The 1984 660-card base set was among the company's most successful; however, only 658 are numbered. A new feature introduced this year were two "Living Legend" cards designated A (featuring Gaylord Perry and Rollie Fingers) and B (featuring Johnny Bench and Carl Yastrzemski). These were issued as bonus cards in wax packs but not issued in the factory set. Another new feature among the base set were labeling cards 27 through 46 as Rated Rookies (chosen by Bill Madden). This year's jigsaw puzzle inserted in wax packs is Duke Snider. Notable card in this set is Don Mattingly's rookie card. Donruss, again, produced the 60-card "Action All-Star" set, with this year's 63-piece puzzle featuring Ted Williams, and created another 3½" by 5" 60-card set called "Champions". The "Champions" featured the artwork of Dick Perez and were issued in cello packs along with pieces of the Duke Snider puzzle. Donruss released six baseball card sets in 1985. The standard 660-card set, 60-card "Action All-Stars", 56-card "Highlights", 8-card "Hall of Fame Sluggers", 28-card "Super Diamond Kings" and 263-card "Leaf" set. The standard set contained last year's features, the first 26 cards are Diamond Kings with artwork by Perez-Steele Galleries and cards 27 through 46 as Rated Rookies. Lou Gehrig puzzle pieces were inserted in this year's wax packs. Notable card in this set is Roger Clemens' rookie card. The wax boxes, which held the wax packs, of the standard issue set featured four standard-size cards, styled the same as the standard set, on the bottom of the box and are numbered with a PC prefix. "Action All-Stars" measured the usual 3½" by 5", but rather than using a different puzzle for this set Donruss issued the standard set's Lou Gehrig puzzle pieces with the cards. The "Highlights" set, as the name would suggest, features 54 highlights of players and pitchers of the month for the American League and National League. The final two cards of the set were devoted to American League and National League Rookies of the Year (chosen by Donruss). Dick Perez provided the artwork for the 3½" by 6½" "Hall of Fame Sluggers" set. Players for this set were chosen by their career slugging percentage, and the cards are numbered by the percentages. This is the first and last time Donruss would make this type of set. The "Super Diamond Kings" are enlarged, measuring approximately 4 15/16 by 6¾", versions of the first 26 cards of the standard set, and were obtained through mail-order. The other two cards featured a checklist card and one of artist Dick Perez. A Lou Gehrig puzzle piece was also included in the mail-order. Donruss produced a "Leaf" set to establish themselves in the Canadian baseball card market along with rival Topps' affiliate O-Pee-Chee. These cards are similar in appearance to the standard set, but are numbered differently and the backs are in both French and English. Card numbers 251 and 252 feature Dick Perez artwork of Dave Stieb and Tim Raines, respectively, and are not found in the standard set. Wax packs of this set also contained Lou Gehrig puzzle pieces. Donruss released this set at a later date in the U.S. Donruss' 1986 baseball card sets didn't deviate much from 1985. The standard 660-card set featured Hank Aaron puzzle pieces inserted into wax packs. Again, Donruss issued cards on the bottom of wax boxes. The 60-card "Action All-Stars" changed slightly. The set was now called "All-Stars" and featured players that were involved in the 1985 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Cards were very similar to the standard set, and backs of the cards displayed each players All-Star game statistics. Similar to the 1985 and 1986 wax boxes, the All-Star Boxes featured four standard-size cards, styled the same as the standard set, on the bottom of the box. The 56-card "Highlights" set were given a glossy-coating on the front side of the card. Again, the "Super Diamond Kings" set was available by mail-order and is an enlarged versions of the regular set. This year's set featured an extra card, however. Card 27 is Pete Rose "King of Kings". The other two cards featured a no numbered checklist card and a no numbered card depicting the complete Hank Aaron jigsaw puzzle. The 264-card "Leaf" set had the same differences as the previous year's set. However, this year card numbers 214 and 254 feature Dick Perez artwork of Jeff Reardon and Jesse Barfield, respectively, and are not found in the standard set. Two new sets were introduced in 1986. 18-card "Pop-Ups" and 56-card "Rookies". The "Pop-Ups" measured 2½" by 5" and features the first 18 players of the "All-Star" set. The cards were die-cut and folded in a manner that when we unfolded, or "popped up", could stand on its own and give the appearance of a player in action in front of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome ballpark background. For the cards to remain in mint condition, card collecting guides recommend not unfolding the cards. The "Rookies" were issued in factory set form and came with 15-piece jigsaw puzzle of Hank Aaron. All of the 1986 sets were used again in 1987, with a few differences. The standard set put a checklist card at #27, so the Rated Rookie cards now occupied 28 through 47. Roberto Clemente debuted as the jigsaw puzzle pieces inserted into wax packs, and the 1987 factory sets contained a complete puzzle set. Perez-Steele Galleries started using repeats of the Diamond King (1-26) sections, to avoid depleting their limited pool of available players. There was no change to the "All-Stars" set. 1987 marked the last year Donruss issued cards on the bottom of the regular set and "All-Stars" boxes, and the last year Donruss released a "Highlights" set. "Pop-Ups" increased from an 18-card to 20-card set. "Rookies" replaced last year's 15-piece jigsaw puzzle with Roberto Clemente. "Super Diamond Kings" decreased from a 29-card set to a 28-card set, excluding card 27 this time. Again, the other two cards featured a no numbered checklist card and a no numbered card depicting the complete Roberto Clemente jigsaw puzzle. This year's "Leaf" set featured artwork by Dick Perez on card numbers 65 and 173, Floyd Youmans and Mark Eichhorn, respectively. Again, those cards were not in the U.S. set. 1987 was the last year Donruss released enlarged versions of the "All-Stars" and "Pop-Ups" sets. Donruss introduced one new 272-card set this year called "Opening Day". The set featured a card for every player in the starting line up on Opening Day. Like the "Rookies" set, the "Opening Day" set contained a 15-piece jigsaw puzzle of Roberto Clemente. Notable card in this set is a Barry Bonds' error card with Johnny Ray pictured instead of Bonds. Donruss did issue a card to correct the error. 1987 was the only year Donruss issued an "Opening Day" set. In 1988 Donruss started distributing a new set within its standard 660-card set. In addition to finding the usual jigsaw puzzle piece, this year's being Stan Musial, bonus cards, numbered with a BC prefix, were randomly inserted into wax packs. These cards had a MVP logo on the face of the card to distinquish them from the regular set; and created a new 26-card "Bonus MVP" set, featuring the most valuable player from each Major League Baseball team. This did, however, create a problem for both sets. Rather than producing extra pacakging materials to ship the extra cards, Donruss pulled cards from both sets to make room. This meant 26-cards from the regular set were in shorter print, cards 648 through 660 more so than the other thirteen; and cards BC14 through BC26 were in shorter print from the "Bonus MVP" set. The short printed cards did not have a significant effect on the cards values. Also new to 1988 is a 336-card set called "Baseball's Best" and 27-card "Team Books" of the A's, Cubs, Mets, Red Sox and Yankees. "Baseball's Best" was issued late in the season and sold in big-box stores as a complete factory set. Six 15-piece jigsaw puzzles of Stan Musial are included in every factory set. Each "Team Book" was issued with 27-cards (3 pages with 9 cards) and a large perforated full-page puzzle of Stan Musial. These cards are identical to the standard set cards, but copyrighted 1988 rather than 1987 distinguishing the cards from the regular set. Donruss did not issue "Team Books" again. Donruss produced their "All-Stars", "Pop-Ups", "Rookies", "Super Diamond Kings" and "Leaf" sets again in 1988 with a few differences. Previous years "All-Stars" and "Pop-Ups" enlarged sets were now produced in the standard 2½" by 3½" card size. "All-Stars" increased from a 60-card set to a 64-card set. No other changes to the "Pop-Ups" set. The "Rookies" set replaced this year's 15-piece jigsaw puzzle with Stan Musial. Donruss did not include extra cards in "Super Diamond Kings", making this a 26-card set. Dick Perez artwork is used, again, in the "Leaf" set on two cards, George Bell (213) and Tim Wallach (255), which were not issued in the U.S. set. Two "Bonus MVP" cards, Tim Raines (211) and George Bell (214), were issued in both the Canadian and U.S. versions of the "Leaf" set. 1988 was also the last year Donruss issued a "Leaf" set produced specifically for a Canadian, and later U.S., release. Donruss released many of the same sets in 1989, and three new sets. The base set remained 660-cards. Again, Donruss released "Bonus MVP" cards randomly inserted into regular set wax packs, along with a jigsaw puzzle piece of Warren Spahn. Donruss did not short print any cards this year. The factory set contained 672-cards. A 12-card "Grand Slammers" set accompanies the regular 660-card set as an added incentive to purchase a factory set. The "Grand Slammers" set contained players who hit one or more grand slams in 1988. "Grand Slammers" were also found in cellophane-wrapped packaged (cello pack) cards. The other new sets for 1989 were a 12-card "Blue Chips" and a 56-card "Traded" set. The 12-card "Blue Chips" set is identical to the "Grand Slammers" set, except in the place of the "Grand Slammers" logo is a "Blue Chips" logo with a Donruss or Leaf trademark. These cards were not issued in factory sets, and are not commonly found among collectors. The "Traded" set was issued in factory form, featured players that traded teams and card numbers began with a T prefix. 1989 was the first and last time "Blue Chips" and "Traded" sets were produced. "All-Stars", "Baseball's Best", "Pop-Ups", "Rookies" and "Super Diamond Kings" were produced again in 1989, with a few items of note. No changes to the "All-Stars" set, but Donruss would not make this particular set again until 1995. Once again, "Baseball's Best" was sold in big-box stores as a complete factory set. Notable card in this set is Sammy Sosa, Donruss was the only company to release a licensed major league baseball card of him in 1989. Donruss would not produce a "Baseball's Best" set again until 2001. "Pop-Ups" increased from a 20-card to 42-card set, and was the last year Donruss produced the set. The "Rookies" set replaced this year's 15-piece jigsaw puzzle with Warren Spahn. There were no changes to the "Super Diamond Kings" set. Throughout the 1980s, the baseball card market boomed, with new collectors getting into the hobby as well as speculators hoarding cards in hopes of selling them off later for a tidy profit. Unfortunately, as the "Big Three" ramped up their production numbers, new brands like Sportflics, Score and Upper Deck crowded the marketplace. Donruss baseball cards were produced continuously from 1981 to 1998, when its then-parent Pinnacle Brands filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Playoff Inc then purchased the Donruss name and produced Major League Baseball sets again from 2001 to 2005, when Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association revoked the company's production license. It also produced NHL hockey cards from 1992 until 1998, and NFL football cards since 1996. Today, Donruss Playoff LP produces NFL football cards and NBA basketball cards, along with a line of baseball draft picks products and entertainment cards. In the late summer of 2005, Major League Baseball created new license criteria for cardmakers in response to collectors' complaints that: 1) the market had become too fragmented and confusing; and 2) rookie cards were becoming too scarce, with diminished importance due to the race between makers to feature unknown players first. MLB chose to renew only its licenses with Topps and Upper Deck, tacitly sealing the fate of Donruss and Fleer. The last baseball product shipped by the company was the third series of the Playoff-branded Prime Cuts memorabilia cards. Today, Donruss is exclusively a football and basketball card producer. The Score brand was revived in 2005 for the flagship set, while Donruss and Leaf exist as premium brands and Playoff as a memorabilia-oriented brand. In late 2007 however, Donruss did release Donruss Elite Extra Edition, which is its first product outside of the NFL. This product was a multisport release that included cards of the top 30 picks in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft. Since this product wasn't licensed by Major League Baseball, the players from the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft were pictured in their High School or College Uniforms and existing Minor Leaguers had their uniforms airbrushed to remove all marks. In addition, there are a number of collegiate themed cards as well as soccer themes. In October 2008, Donruss released Donruss Threads Baseball, featuring a balance of Hall of Famers and young stars. Again, players were either featured in their High School/College uniforms or were photographed so as to make the team logo not visible. The cards also included only the city of the ballplayer, with no mention of the team associated. Donruss used its advantage of not having an MLB license to include baseball cards of both Joe Jackson and Pete Rose, who were banned from baseball for allegedly throwing the World Series in the Black Sox Scandal and betting on the game, respectively. The product included game-used bat cards for Jackson as well as autographed and memorabilia cards from Rose. As of September 28, 2008, Donruss had completely sold out the product to distributors. 1982 Donruss: Babe Ruth
1983 Donruss: Ty Cobb
1983 Donruss Action All-Stars: Mickey Mantle
1984 Donruss: Duke Snider
1984 Donruss Action All-Stars: Ted Williams
1985 Donruss: Lou Gehrig
1986 Donruss: Hank Aaron
1987 Donruss: Roberto Clemente
1988 Donruss: Stan Musial
1989 Donruss: Warren Spahn
1990 Donruss: Carl Yastrzemski
1990 Leaf: Yogi Berra
1991 Donruss: Willie Stargell
1991 Leaf: Harmon Killebrew
1992 Donruss: Rod Carew In addition to their trademark Diamond Kings subset/insert set, Donruss recognized several "King of Kings" for extraordinary achievements. They include: 1986: Pete Rose, for breaking Ty Cobb's career hits record.
1990: Nolan Ryan, for his 5,000th career strikeout.
1994: Dave Winfield, for reaching both 3,000 hits and 400 home runs.
1996: Eddie Murray, for becoming only the third player to reach both 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.
1996: Cal Ripken, Jr, for breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive games record.
Frank Henry Fleer (c. 1856 – November 1, 1921) was an American confectioner whose Fleer corporation developed the first bubble gum from his earlier attempts. Fleer was originally founded by Frank H. Fleer in 1849 as a gum manufacturer. Fleer's original formulation, called Blibber-Blubber, was never marketed to the public. It was not until 1928 that Walter Diemer was able to refine the formulation and market it as Dubble Bubble. He died, aged 65, of apoplexy in 1921. Fleer's company also went on to be innovators in the baseball card business, adding trading cards in 1923.
The Fleer Corporation, founded by Frank H. Fleer in 1885, was the first company to successfully manufacture bubblegum; it remained a family-owned enterprise until 1989. Fleer originally developed a bubblegum formulation called Blibber-Blubber in 1906. However, while this gum was capable of being blown into bubbles, in other respects it was vastly inferior to regular chewing gum, and Blibber-Blubber was never marketed to the public. In 1928, Fleer employee Walter Diemer improved the Blibber-Blubber formulation to produce the first commercially successful bubblegum, Dubble Bubble. Its pink color set a tradition for nearly all bubble gums to follow. Fleer became known as a maker of sports cards, and has also produced some non-sports trading cards. In 1995, Fleer acquired the trading card company SkyBox International and, over Thanksgiving vacation shuttered its Philadelphia plant (where Dubble Bubble was made for 67 years). In 1998, 70-year-old Dubble Bubble was acquired by Canadian company Concord Confections; Concord, in turn, was acquired by Chicago-based Tootsie Roll Industries in 2004. In late May 2005, news circulated that Fleer was suspending its trading card operations immediately. By early July, in a move similar to declaring bankruptcy, the company began to liquidate its assets to repay creditors. The move included the auction of the Fleer trade name, as well as other holdings. Competitor Upper Deck won the Fleer name, as well as their die cast toy business, at a price of $6.1 million. Just one year earlier, Upper Deck tendered an offer of $25 million, which was rejected by Fleer based on hope that the softening sports card market would revive. One negative aspect associated with Fleer's Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors is that many sports card collectors now own redemption cards for autographs and memorabilia that may not be able to be redeemed; those fears were somewhat quenched in early 2006 when random memorabilia cards were mailed to the aforementioned collectors. Well established as a gum and candy company, Fleer predated many of its competitors into the business of issuing sports cards with its 1923 release of baseball cards in its "Bobs and Fruit Hearts" candy product. These rare cards are basically the same as the 1923 W515 strip cards but are machine cut and have a printed ad for the candy company on the back. Many years later in 1959 it signed baseball star Ted Williams to a contract and sold an 80-card set oriented around highlights of his career. Fleer was unable to include other players because another company, Topps, had signed most active baseball players to exclusive contracts. Williams was nearing the end of his career and retired after the 1960 season. However, Fleer continued to produce baseball cards by featuring Williams with other mostly retired players in a Baseball Greats series. One set was produced in 1960 and a second in 1961. The company did not produce new cards the next year, but continued selling the 1961 set while it focused on signing enough players to produce a set featuring active players in 1963. This 67-card set included a number of stars, including 1962 National League MVP Maury Wills (then holder of the modern record for stolen bases in a season), who had elected to sign with Fleer instead of Topps. Wills and Jimmy Piersall served as player representatives for Fleer, helping to bring others on board. However, Topps still held onto the rights of most players and the set was not particularly successful. Meanwhile, Fleer took advantage of the emergence of the American Football League in 1960 to begin producing football cards. Fleer produced a set for the AFL while Topps cards covered the established National Football League. In 1961, each company produced cards featuring players from both leagues. The next year reverted to the status quo ante, with Fleer covering the AFL and Topps the NFL. In 1964, however, Philadelphia Gum secured the rights for NFL cards and Topps took over the AFL. This left Fleer with no product in either baseball or football. The company now turned its efforts to supporting an administrative complaint filed against Topps by the Federal Trade Commission. The complaint focused on the baseball card market, alleging that Topps was engaging in unfair competition through its aggregation of exclusive contracts. A hearing examiner ruled against Topps in 1965, but the Commission reversed this decision on appeal. The Commission concluded that because the contracts only covered the sale of cards with gum, competition was still possible by selling cards with other small, low-cost products. However, Fleer chose not to pursue such options and instead sold its remaining player contracts to Topps for $395,000 in 1966. The decision gave Topps an effective monopoly of the baseball card market. In 1968, Fleer was approached by the Major League Baseball Players Association, a recently organized players' union, about obtaining a group license to produce cards. The MLBPA was in a dispute with Topps over player contracts, and offered Fleer the exclusive rights to market cards of most players starting in 1973, when many of Topps's contracts would expire. Since this was so far in the future, Fleer declined the proposal. Fleer returned to the union in September 1974 with a proposal to sell 5-by-7-inch satin patches of players, somewhat larger than normal baseball cards. By now, the MLBPA had settled its differences with Topps and reached an agreement that gave Topps a right of first refusal on such offers. Topps passed on the opportunity, indicating that it did not think the product would be successful. The union, also fearing that it would cut into existing royalties from Topps sales, then rejected the proposal. In April 1975, Fleer asked for Topps to waive its exclusive rights and allow Fleer to produce stickers, stamps, or other small items featuring active baseball players. Topps refused, and Fleer then sued both Topps and the MLBPA to break the Topps monopoly. After several years of litigation, the court ordered the union to offer group licenses for baseball cards to companies other than Topps. Fleer and another company, Donruss, were thus allowed to begin making cards in 1981. Fleer's legal victory was overturned after one season, but the company continued to manufacture cards, substituting stickers with team logos for gum. In 1989, Billy Ripken's Fleer card showed him holding a bat with the expletive fuck face written in plain view on the knob of the bat. Fleer subsequently rushed to correct the error, and in its haste, released versions in which the text was scrawled over with a marker, whited out with correction fluid, and also airbrushed. On the final, corrected version, Fleer obscured the offensive words with a black box (this was the version included in all factory sets). Both the original card and many of the corrected versions have become collector's items as a result. There are at least ten different variations of this card. As of February 2009 the white out version has a book value of $120, but has been sold in mint condition on eBay for asking prices as high as $1,200. Years later, Ripken admitted to having written the expletive on the bat; however, he claimed he did it to distinguish it as a batting practice bat, and did not intend to use it for the card. Some collectors list the card as the "Rick Face" card. The script on the bat appears to make the word fuck look similar to Rick. Fleer produced two benchmark trading cards in the 1980s. In 1984, Fleer was the only major trading card manufacturer to release a Roger Clemens card; they included the then-Boston Red Sox prospect in their 1984 Fleer Baseball Update Set. The 1984 update set also included the first licensed card of Hall Of Fame outfielder Kirby Puckett. Fleer also released factory sets of their baseball cards from 1986-92. Like the Topps factory sets, they came in colorful boxes for retail and plainer boxes for hobby dealers. The 1986 was not sealed, but the 1987-89 sets were sealed with a sticker and the 1990-92 sets were shrink-wrapped. In 1986 Fleer helped resurrect the basketball card industry by releasing the 1986-87 Fleer Basketball set which included the Rookie Cards of Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. This set is seen by many basketball card collectors as the "1952 Topps of basketball." In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the glossy parallel sets Fleer produced for their 1987-89 baseball sets (similar to the Topps Tiffany sets) became very popular in the hobby. However, that popularity wore off, and today, the sets (except for the rare 1989) are not worth much more than the regular sets. 1991 saw the first release of Fleer's Ultra set, which in some years was actually been released earlier than its regular Fleer (Tradition) set. The 1991 set had an announced production of 15% of regular Fleer and this set was produced on higher quality card stock and used silver ink, just like Donruss' Leaf set starting the previous year. The 1992 set used UV coating on both sides and gold foil stamping on the front, which was among the most beautiful sets of that year. 1994's Ultra and regular Fleer sets began another tradition of offering an insert card in every pack and the next year started another tradition called "hot packs" (where about 1:72 packs contained only insert cards. An assortment of the easier to find insert cards and not the rare 1:36 100% foil cards). Still another tradition that continues today is the Ultra Gold Medallion parallel insert set, which started in 1995 and also included all the insert sets for the first two years. These are inserted one per pack. In 1997, Ultra introduced the Platinum Medallion insert set which is traditionally serial numbered to 100. The following year, 1998, saw the introduction of the purple Ultra Masterpieces, which are one of ones. 1998 also started the tradition of including short printed cards in the regular/Gold/Platinum sets. Fleer's super premium flagship set, called Flair, began production in 1993 with an announced production run as 15% of Ultra. Its trademark was that it was printed on very thick card stock (about twice the thickness of regular cards), used a unique glossy finish along with six color printing. The "packs" are done by shrink wrapping the cards (usually ten in a "pack") and then placing them in a shrink-wrapped "mini-box" instead of the usual mylar foil packs used on virtually all trading card products today. The 1997 Flair Showcase set included the first one-of-one cards for any major sport called "Masterpieces"; they paralleled the more common, or "base", Row 2, Row 1 and Row 0 sets. In 1992, Fleer was sold to the comic-book empire Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. for $265 million. Seven years later, Marvel sold Fleer-Skybox to a partnership formed by Alex Grass, the founder of Rite Aid Corp., and his son Roger. The Grass family retained ownership until 2005 when Upper Deck bought the rights to the name after it filed for bankruptcy. In early 2005, Fleer announced that it would cease all productions of trading cards and file an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, which is a State Court liquidation, similar to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In July 2005, Upper Deck acquired the rights to the Fleer name and began producing Fleer-branded basketball, hockey, and football cards. The $6.1 million Upper Deck paid for the Fleer name was significantly less than the $25 million UD offered to buy out Fleer a year earlier. In 2006, Upper Deck produced baseball sets under the names Fleer, Fleer Ultra, Fleer Tradition, Flair, Skybox Autographics, and Fleer Greats of the Game. The last Fleer-branded baseball cards appeared in 2007. Google Maps photo of former F.H. Fleer plant on the 5300 block of N. 10th St. in Philadelphia (vacant since Nov. 1995; Footnote #6):
OverPower is a collectible card game produced by Fleer Corporation originally featuring characters from Marvel Comics and later from DC Comics and Image Comics. The game was initially launched in August 1995 and is no longer in production. In the game, two players went head-to-head with teams of four heroes and villains. Unlike most other collectible card games of the mid-1990s][, OverPower was very distinct strategically and structurally different from Magic: The Gathering. Overpower was produced by Fleer from the game's beginnings in 1995 until October, 1997, when Fleer decided to end production][ in favor of its other products. Fleer, a company with a solid baseball card product line, was chosen because it was a neutral party. If Marvel had produced the game from the start, it was unlikely that they would have been able to broker a deal with DC Comics to make DC Overpower, but it was possible for Fleer. In early 1998, Marvel Interactive became the sole producer and distributor of Overpower, taking it over from Fleer. Marvel Interactive only produced two sets, Image and X-Men, both of which were fraught with delays and printing difficulties][. After X-Men was released in 1999, Overpower enjoyed no more official support][. Eventually, Marvel decided to sell the exclusive rights to produce a collectible card game based on Marvel characters to Wizards of the Coast. Though fans kept playing the game, its popularity started to die off around 2001, when it had become increasingly clear through Marvel Interactive and Wizards of the Coast press releases that Overpower would no longer be supported. Several years later, Wizards of the Coast released the X-Men TCG. The game did not sell well][, and ultimately the license ended up in the hands of Upperdeck. On January 27, 2009 Upper Deck Entertainment officially announced that they would no longer support VS System in Organized Play or additional product and it is unknown if they still have the rights to produce the game even though they will not. A deck typically consists of any combination of four heroes and/or villains, three in the frontline and one in reserve. The rest of the deck consists of fifty-one cards representing offensive and defensive actions that can be taken by the characters or their allies. Each player also chooses a set of 7 mission cards, that represent their team's goals. Finally, each player may also have a homebase and/or a battlesite that represent where their team is from and where the battle will take place. The goal of the game is to either KO the opponent's entire team, or to complete all 7 mission cards (or defeat all 7 of the opponent's). Players take turns playing attacks back and forth. During a battle, characters may become hurt, and if they are hurt enough, they may be KO'd and eliminated. In addition, each team ventures a number of mission cards, and the winner of the battle completes those missions, while the loser's missions are defeated. If neither team concedes, the team that did more damage to the other is the winner. Characters Each character card has a picture of the character or characters it represents, the name, and three or four numbers representing their power grid. In the initial game and its first few expansions, the only power grids were Energy, Fighting, and Strength, but in the DC Overpower Expansion Set, Intellect was introduced as the fourth type; it was needed for some of the DC characters, like Lex Luthor, whose main advantage was not their fighting or strength, or their powerful weaponry, but rather their ability to outwit their opponents. DC Overpower also introduced hero/villain codes; most characters and specials were labeled either as villains or heroes, and mixing the two was restricted in a DC-only game (no restriction in Marvel, Image or mixed games though). Characters are normally used only to represent the team a player is using, but they are also used as activators. A player's team consists of four characters: three on the front line, and one in reserve, who moves up to the front only when one of the other characters is KO'd. Power cards Power cards each consist of a number from 1 to 8 and a type, Energy, Fighting, Strength, Intellect, Multi-Power, or Any-Power. Power cards can be used as an attack of the level of the number, or as a defense of the level of the number. A character can play a power card whenever their grid is high enough. For instance, a character with 6 energy could play any energy power card from 1-6, but couldn't play 7s or 8s. (This requirement is the same on attack or defense.) Multipower power cards can be used in any of the types shown (either all four, or just Energy, Fighting, or Strength); their type may be chosen as they are played. Special cards Special cards each show the name of a particular character, and have a name and a description. Special cards can only be used by the character named on it. Specials serve a variety of purposes; some are attacks only, others can be used for defense only, while others affect the game in other ways, for instance healing hits that heroes have taken, or affecting missions directly, or interfering with the opponent's ability to play attacks. Some special cards are 'any hero' or 'any character' specials, and can be used by any character. Each character has their own unique set of specials. Some characters' specials are very straightforward attack or defense, while others have much more unusual abilities; this is how the unique character of the various superheroes and supervillains is shown in the game. Universe cards Universe cards actually come in a few categories, but generally speaking they are usable by any character that meets the usage requirement. For example, one type of universe card (basic universe cards) provide bonuses to power cards: such a universe card might be usable by any hero with a 7 or higher in strength, and provide a +2 bonus to a strength power card played with it. The most popular type of universe cards are teamwork cards, which themselves count as a level 6 attack, and give a bonus to a follow up attack made by a teammate in a different power type than the original attack; this is popular because a level 6 attack is a relatively powerful attack, and the ability to make multiple attacks in a row is benefit. Tactic cards These cards are seen much more rarely. Some tactic cards are doubleshot cards which lets two characters work together for a combined attack. The others are artifact cards, which either permanently or temporarily provide a benefit to one of the team members, such as enhancing their power grid. Event cards Event cards are not used in battle. Rather, event cards are played before a battle and then replaced; events can affect the coming battle or the state of the game in many ways, for instance, returning a KO'd character to play, disallowing the use of specials for the battle, et cetera. Each set of 7 mission cards comes with its own set of events. Location cards Locations have a name and describe a set of conditions for a team; usually, a list of six characters that can be used. In addition, they have an 'inherent ability' -- something that modifies the way the game is played. Locations can be used in two ways: either as a homebase or as a battlesite. When used as a homebase, one's team must match the team description, and the inherent ability applies to the game. Battlesites are somewhat different; they are an alternative to the ability to use 'any hero/character' specials. Instead of those specials, the deck may include character cards, called activators that appear on the list in the battlesite, and the battlesite itself may store specials those characters can play. A character card played as an activator is exchanged for one of that character's specials in the battlesite, which is then used like an 'any hero' special. Attack, Defense, and Damage Generally, the two players take turns attacking until one gives up or until both players are out of cards for the turn. Most attacks are numerical attacks, such as a power card attack against a character. Once an attack is made, the target has the opportunity to defend. A numerical defense can be played if the number played in defense is at least as big as the attack level (so a power card can be defended by any power card of equal or higher value, but type is unimportant). Cards other than power cards can also be used in defense; some universe cards can be used to provide a bonus to another defensive card, and specials can often defend against an attack. In some cases, specials that set up a lasting effect (for example "Hulk cannot attack or be attacked for remainder of battle") can be played as a defense. If a numerical attack isn't defended, it becomes a hit and immediately counts as damage. Most numerical attacks are energy, fighting, strength, or intellect attacks, but some are multiple types, and some have no type. Characters are KO'd in one of two ways. Cumulative KO occurs when a character has taken 20 total damage, regardless of how many attacks or what types they are. Spectrum KO occurs when a character has taken damage in three of the four different power types: multi-type hits can be changed retroactively in order to make spectrum KO occur. Some attacks are non-numerical (for instance, specials that say "Target opponent cannot attack for remainder of battle"). Such attacks can generally only be defended by specials; if they are not defended they do no damage, but instead the described effect takes place. If they are defended, nothing happens. If a player doesn't wish to make an attack, they have the option of conceding the battle instead. If they don't concede, their opponent will get a chance to attack them next. Battle Phases Each battle consists of several phases: first, each player draws 8 cards. Then, each player discards duplicate cards until they have only one of each type. (What is considered the same for duplicate purposes varies among the card types. For instance, two power cards are considered duplicates if they have the same number, even without the same type, whereas two special cards are only duplicates if they are exactly the same special). Players also discard unusable cards. Next, players take turns 'placing' cards. Cards, generally, can be placed on a character that can use them. Placed cards can only be played by the character they are placed on. The advantage to this is that placed cards that are unused at the end of a battle remain where they are, whereas unused cards in a player's hand are discarded. Each character may have one of each of the four types of cards placed on it: power cards, specials, universe cards, or tactic cards. After placing, the players decide on their venture—how many missions they are willing to risk on the battle. Then, the battle itself takes place. After the winner is determined, the next battle begins. Strategy Elements Some of the interesting aspects of strategy in Overpower are the following. First of all, specials are often more powerful than other cards but they have the disadvantage that only one character can use them. It is critical not to make a deck too overloaded with one character's specials unless that character can be defended very well; otherwise, the deck would be badly crippled once that character is KO'd. Teams typically share certain power grid similarities, especially high ones. For instance, a team may consist of various characters with 7 or higher Energy ratings. This way, high-level power cards can be energy and usable by all characters. Another key tactic in OverPower is the idea of placing and conceding: the idea is to take some time to heavily arm your team. Your opponent may gain a mission or two but you may get a significant advantage in the battles that follow. However, placing also reveals more information to your opponent about the cards you have available to use for the round. Many characters have specials that allow them to avoid an attack; this creates an interesting incentive to attack other characters. Similarly, some characters have specials that allow a teammate to avoid an attack. This also creates great opportunities for bluffing; you may play a dangerous character that has an avoid special, but not actually play any, yet act like you might have one. Indeed, having a good poker face, and bluffing often, are very useful skills in Overpower. Besides the expansion sets, a many Overpower cards were released as special promotions. The original Any Hero specials, by example, were comic book inserts in various Marvel comic books released in October 1995. Most promotional cards were never released in any expansion set, but some were reprinted in Mission Control and Monumental OverPower, but with different artwork. Promotional cards were considered legal to use in tournament decks. A list of all existing promotional cards follows:
Todd Matthew Van Poppel (born December 9, 1971 in Hinsdale, Illinois) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Oakland Athletics (1991, 1993-1996), Detroit Tigers (1996), Texas Rangers (1998, 2002-2003), Pittsburgh Pirates (1998), Chicago Cubs (2000-2001), and Cincinnati Reds (2003-2004). He retired during spring training with the New York Mets in 2005. Van Poppel was 11-3 with a 0.97 earned run average (ERA) and 170 strikeouts as a senior at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas. He was drafted in the first round, 14th overall, by the Athletics directly out of high school in the 1990 Major League Baseball Draft. The Atlanta Braves had seriously considered using the first overall selection on Van Poppel. However, Van Poppel explicitly told the Braves he would not sign with them, the team opted instead to take Chipper Jones thus, becoming a hero in Braves lore. Van Poppel was the first of four starting pitchers selected by the A's in the first 36 picks of the 1990 draft, referred to at the time as "The Four Aces". The other three draftees were Don Peters, Dave Zancanaro and Kirk Dressendorfer. All four struggled with injuries after being drafted, and only Van Poppel and Dressendorfer ever reached the major leagues. Because Van Poppel was signed to a major league contract rather than the standard minor league contract, the A's only had a limited number of minor league options they could use on him. By all accounts, his lack of seasoning in the minors cost both the A's and Van Poppel. He pitched just 37.2 innings in Single-A in 1990, spent 1991 at Double-A Huntsville, and was hurt for much of 1992 at Triple-A Tacoma before splitting time between Oakland and Tacoma in 1993. In all, he made only 32 minor league starts. Armed with a blazing fastball that had little movement, Van Poppel struggled with the A's -- his best season in Oakland was probably 1995, when he went 4-8 with a 4.88 ERA, splitting time as a starter and a reliever. He also notched 122 strikeouts (and 56 walks) in 138.1 innings that year. In 1996, his numbers dropped sharply, and he was released by the A's mid-season. After unremarkable stops in Detroit, Texas and Pittsburgh, Van Poppel did have two successful years (2000 and 2001) as a middle reliever with the Cubs, before his effectiveness declined. Van Poppel's career record was 40-52. He never won more than seven games in a season. Shortly after his retirement from baseball in 2005, Van Poppel announced he was investing in the Denton Outlaws, a Texas Collegiate League team. The Outlaws went on to win the league championship that year.
James Beckett may refer to:
A baseball card is a type of trading card relating to baseball, usually printed on some type of paper stock or card stock. A card will usually feature one or more baseball players or other baseball-related sports figures. Cards are most often found in the US but are also common in countries such as Canada, Cuba, and Japan, where top-level leagues are present with a substantial fan base to support them. Some companies that are notable for making these cards are Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini. Previous manufacturers include Fleer (now a brand name owned by Upper Deck), Bowman (now a brand name owned by Topps), and Donruss (now a brand name owned by Panini)][. Baseball cards can be highly collectible. Many antique stores contain a wide variety of baseball cards. One reason for baseball cards being collectible is that they have been around for a long time. Some baseball cards can be worth millions of dollars. While baseball cards were first produced in the United States, as the popularity of baseball spread to other countries, so too did the production of baseball cards. Sets appeared in Japan as early as 1898, in Cuba as early as 1909 and in Canada as early as 1912. The obverse (front) of the card typically displays an image of the player with identifying information, including, but not limited to, the player's name and team affiliation. The reverse of most modern cards displays statistics and/or biographical information. Many early trade cards displayed advertisements for a particular brand or company on the back. Tobacco companies were the most instrumental in the proliferation of baseball cards, which they used as value added bonuses and advertisements for their products. Although the function of trading cards had much in common with business cards, the format of baseball cards most resembled that of playing cards — at least initially. For an example, one need look no further than the design of 1951 Topps Baseball. While there are no firm standards that limit the size or shape of a baseball card, most cards of today are rectangular, measuring 2½ inches by 3½ inches (6.4 cm by 8.9 cm). Since early baseball cards were produced primarily as a marketing vehicle, collectors began to classify those cards by the 'type' of company producing the set. The system implemented by Jefferson Burdick in The American Card Catalog has become the de facto standard in identifying and organizing trade cards produced in the Americas pre-1951. The catalog itself extends into many other areas of collecting beyond the sport of baseball. Sets like 1909–1911 White Borders, 1910 Philadelphia Caramels, and 1909 Box Tops are most commonly referred to by their ACC catalog numbers (T206, E95, and W555, respectively). The rare baseball cards are the ones which are difficult to find and also the most expensive ones. The rare type of cards are the oldest baseball cards and those from limited edition sets. A rare card generally must be kept in good condition in order to be valuable, although the rarest cards can be worth tens of thousands of dollars even in poor condition. Price also increases if there is an autograph on it. Rare baseball cards or the vintage baseball cards do not have a certain price established. Their value is judged upon their quality, condition, rarity and upon the number of collectors that are seeking them. Vintage baseball cards have been a prime focus of countless collectors and historians of one of America's favorite pastimes. Some baseball card collectors pay large sums of money to gain possession of these cards and they may also put a lot of time into it. Since rare baseball cards are difficult to find, collectors seek for ways to be aware of the rare cards that come into the trading or selling market. Baseball card collectors normally obtain them from other card collectors or from specialized dealers. Some collectors may sell rare baseball cards over the internet and very often on eBay. Rare baseball cards may also be purchased at major baseball card shows. These events are held each year in different cities, allowing baseball card collectors and dealer to meet. The rare baseball cards do not have a specific price and they are worth what other collectors are willing to pay for, and in order to establish a price, the collector takes into consideration the condition of the card. The price of the rare cards depends as well on market demands. If there are many collectors who are looking to get a specific rare card, the one who gets it is the one who pays more for it regardless of its predetermined value. During the mid-19th century in the United States, baseball and photography were both gaining popularity. As a result, baseball clubs began to pose for group and individual pictures, much like members of other clubs and associations posed. Some of these photographs were printed onto small cards similar to modern wallet photos. As baseball increased in popularity and became a professional sport during the late 1860s, trade cards featuring baseball players appeared. These were used by a variety of companies to promote their business, even if the products being advertised had no connection with baseball. In 1868, Peck and Snyder, a sporting goods store in New York, began producing trade cards featuring baseball teams. Peck and Snyder sold baseball equipment, and the cards were a natural advertising vehicle. The Peck and Snyder cards are sometimes considered the first baseball cards. Typically, a trade card of the time featured an image on one side and information advertising the business on the other. Advances in color printing increased the appeal of the cards. As a result, cards began to use photographs, either in black-and-white or sepia, or color artwork, which was not necessarily based on photographs. Some early baseball cards could be used as part of a game, which might be either a conventional card game or a simulated baseball game. By early 1886, images of baseball players were often included on cigarette cards with cigarette packs and other tobacco products. This was partly for promotional purposes and partly because the card helped protect the cigarettes from damage. By the end of the century, baseball had become so popular that production had spread well beyond the Americas and into the Pacific Isles. By the turn of the century, most baseball cards were produced by confectionery companies and tobacco companies. The first major set of the 20th century was issued by the Breisch-Williams Company in 1903. Breisch-Williams was a confectionery company based in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Soon after, several other companies began to advertise their products with baseball cards. This included, but was not limited to, the American Tobacco Company, the American Caramel Company, the Imperial Tobacco Company of Canada, and Cabañas. a Cuban cigar manufacturer. The American Tobacco Company decided to introduce baseball advertising cards into their tobacco products with the issue of the T206 White Border Set in 1909. The cards were included in packs of cigarettes and produced over a three-year period until the ATC was dissolved. The most famous card, and most expensive for the grade, is the Honus Wagner from this set. Another famous one, from 1911, is Joe Tinker. At the same time, many other non-tobacco companies started producing and distributing baseball trade cards to the public. Between 1909 and 1911, The American Caramel Company produced the E90-1 series and 1911 saw the introduction of the 'Zee Nut' card. These sets were produced over a 28-year span by the Collins-McCarthy Company of California. By the mid-teens companies such as The Sporting News magazine began sponsoring card issues. Caramel companies like Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein were among the first to put 'prizes' in boxes. In 1914, they produced the first of two Cracker Jack card issues, which featured players from both major leagues as well as players from the short lived Federal League. As the teens drew to a close, the Chicago-based Boston Store Department company also issued a set. After the end of World War I in 1918, baseball card production lulled for a few years as foreign markets were not yet developed and the United States' economy was transitioning away from wartime production. This trend would continue until the late 1930s when the effects of the Great depression finally hit. The twenties produced a second influx of caramel cards, a plethora of postcard issues, and a handful of cards from different regions of the world. During the first two years, an influx of strip cards hit the market. These cards were distributed in long strips and often cut by the consumer or the retailer in the store. The American Caramel Company re-emerged as a producer of baseball cards and started to distribute sets in 1922–1923. Few, if any cards, were produced in the mid-twenties until 1927 when companies like York Caramel of York, Pennsylvania started producing baseball cards. Cards with similar images as the York Caramel set were produced in 1928 for four ice cream companies, Yuengling's, Harrington's, Sweetman and Tharp's. In 1921, the Exhibit Supply Company of Chicago started to release issues on post card stock. Although they are considered a post card issue, many of the cards had statistics and other biographical information on the back. 1920 saw the emergence of the foreign markets after what was essentially an eight-year hiatus. Canadian products found their way to the market, including products branded by the Peggy Popcorn and Food Products company of Winnipeg, Manitoba from 1920 to 1926, and Willard's Chocolate Company from 1923 to 1924. Other Canadian products came from ice cream manufacturers in 1925 and 1927, from Holland Creameries and Honey Boy, respectively. Billiken Cigars, a.k.a. "Cigarros Billiken", were distributed in Cuba from 1923 to 1924. In the early 1930s, production soared, starting with the 1932 US Caramel set. The popular 1933 Goudey Gum Co. issue, which included cards of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, best identifies this era. In contrast to the economical designs common in earlier decades, this card set featured bright, hand-colored player photos on the front. Backs provided brief biographies and personal information such as height, weight, and birthplace. The 240-card set, quite large for the time, included current players, former stars, and prominent minor leaguers. Individual cards measured 2 3/8" by 2 7/8", which Goudey printed on 24-card sheets and distributed throughout the year. The bulk of early National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees appear in this set. 1933 also saw the delivery of the World Wide Gum issue. World Wide Gum Co. was based in Montreal and clearly had a close relationship with the Goudey Gum Company, as each of their four issues closely resembled a Goudey contemporary. Goudey, National Chicle, Delong and a handful of other companies were competitive in the bubble gum and baseball card market until World War II began. After 1941, cards would not be produced in any significant number until a few years after the end of the war. Wartime production transitioned into the post-war civilian consumer goods, and in 1948 baseball card production resumed in the US with issues by the Bowman Gum and the Leaf Candy Company. At the same time, Topps Gum Company issued their Magic Photos set, four years before they issued their first "traditional" card set. By 1950, Leaf had bowed out of the industry. Japanese baseball cards became more numerous in 1947 and 1950. The cards were associated with Menko, a Japanese card game. Early baseball menko were often round, and were printed on thick cardboard stock to facilitate the game. Bowman was the major producer of Baseball cards from 1948 to 1952. In 1952, Topps began to produce large sets of cards as well. The 1952 Topps set is the most sought-after post-World War set among collectors because of the scarcity of the Mickey Mantle card, the first Mantle card issued by Topps. Although it is not his true rookie card (that honor belongs to his 1951 Bowman card), it is still considered the ultimate card to own of the post-war era. Topps and Bowman then competed for customers and for the rights to any baseball players' likeness. Two years later, Leaf stopped producing cards. In 1956, Topps bought out Bowman and enjoyed a largely unchallenged position in the US market for the next two decades. From 1952–1969, Topps always offered five or six card nickel wax packs and in 1952–1964, also offered one card penny packs. In the 1970s Topps increased the cost of wax packs from 10–15 cents (with 8–14 cards depending on year) and also offered cello packs (typically around 18–33 cards) for 25 cents. Rack packs containing 39–54 cards could also be had for between 39–59 cents per pack. This did not prevent a large number of regional companies from producing successful runs of trading cards. Additionally, several US companies attempted to enter into the market at a national level. In 1959, Fleer, a gum company, signed Ted Williams to an exclusive contract and sold a set of cards featuring him. Williams retired in 1960, forcing Fleer to produce a set of Baseball Greats cards featuring retired players. Like the Topps cards, they were sold with gum. In 1963, Fleer produced a 67 card set of active players (this time with a cherry cookie in the packs instead of gum), which was not successful, as most players were contractually obligated to appear exclusively in Topps trading card products. Post Cereals issued cards on cereal boxes from 1960 to 1963 and sister company Jell-O issued virtually identical cards on the backs of its packaging in 1962 and 1963. In 1965, Topps licensed production to Canadian candy maker O-Pee-Chee. The O-Pee-Chee sets were essentially identical to the Topps sets until 1969, when the backs of the cards were branded O-Pee-Chee. In 1970, due to federal legislation, O-Pee-Chee was compelled to add French-language text to the backs of its baseball cards. In the 1970s, several companies took advantage of a new licensing scheme, not to take on Topps, but to create premiums. Kellogg's began to produce 3D-cards inserted with cereal and Hostess printed cards on packages of its baked goods. In 1976, a company called TCMA, which mainly produced minor league baseball cards, produced a set of 630 cards consisting of Major League Ball players. The cards were produced under the name the Sports Stars Publishing Company, or SSPC. TCMA published a baseball card magazine named Collectors Quarterly which it used to advertise its set offering it directly via mail order. The cards were available directly from TCMA, and were not made available again, like other sets issued by TCMA, due to a manufacturers agreement. Fleer sued Topps in 1975 to break Topps' monopoly on baseball cards and won. In 1981, Fleer and Donruss issued baseball card sets, both with gum. An appeal of the Fleer lawsuit by Topps clarified that Topps' exclusive rights only applied to cards sold with gum. After the appeal, Fleer and Donruss continued to produce cards issued without gum; Fleer included team logo stickers with their card packs, while Donruss introduced "Hall of Fame Diamond Kings" puzzles and included three puzzle pieces in each pack. In 1992, Topps' gum and Fleer's logo stickers were discontinued, with Donruss discontinuing the puzzle piece inserts the following year. With the issuance of a very popular and rare (compared to other sets at the time) set in 1984, Donruss began to take hold as one of the most popular card brands in competition with Topps. In particular, several rookie cards in the 1984 Donruss set are still considered the most desirable cards from that year of any brand (especially the Don Mattingly rookie card). Also in 1984, two monthly price guides came on the scene. Tuff Stuff and Beckett Baseball Card Monthly, published by Dr. James Beckett, attempted to track the approximate market value of several types of trading cards. More collectors entered the hobby during the 1980s. As a result, manufacturers such as Score (which later became Pinnacle Brands) and Upper Deck entered the marketplace in 1988 and 1989 respectively. Upper Deck introduced several innovative production methods including tamper-proof foil packaging, hologram-style logos, and higher quality card stock. This style of production allowed Upper Deck to charge a premium for its product, becoming the first mainstream baseball card product to have a suggested retail price of 99 cents per pack. In 1989, Upper Deck's first set included the Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie card. The card became highly sought-after until Griffey's persistent injury troubles caused his performance level to decline. The other major card companies followed suit and created card brands with higher price points. Topps resurrected the Bowman brand name in 1989. Topps produced a Stadium Club issue in 1991. 1992 proved to be a breakthrough year as far as the price of baseball cards was concerned, with the previous 50-cents per pack price being replaced by higher price points, overall higher-grade cardboard stock, and the widespread introduction of limited edition "inserts" across all product lines. 1992 was the beginning of the collectors' chase for "gold foil," which was commonly stamped on the limited edition "insert" cards. Notable examples from 1992's "insert" craze include Donruss Diamond Kings, which included gold-foil accents for the first time ever, and Fleer's host of gold foil-accented "insert" cards, including All-Stars and Rookie Sensations. 1992 was also the first year that "parallel" cards were introduced. In 1992, Topps produced Topps Gold "insert" cards of each card in the standard base set. The "parallel" Topps Gold cards had the player's name and team stamped in a banner of "gold foil" on the card front. The "parallel" moniker became popular to describe these cards because each and every card in the standard base set had an accompanying "insert" variation. In 1993, the card companies stepped up the "premium" card genre with "super premium" card sets, with Fleer debuting its "Flair" set and Topps debuting its "Topps Finest" set. Topps Finest was the first set to utilize refractors, a technology that utilized a reflective foil technology that gave the card a shiny "rainbow" appearance that proved extremely popular among hobbyists. Other notable "premium" card sets from the 1990s are as follows: Donruss issued its Leaf brand in 1990; Fleer followed with Fleer Ultra sets in 1991; and Score issued Pinnacle brand cards in 1992. Starting in 1997 with Upper Deck, companies began inserting cards with swatches of uniforms and pieces of game-used baseball equipment as part of a plan to generate interest. Card companies obtained all manner of memorabilia, from uniform jerseys and pants, to bats, gloves, caps, and even bases and defunct stadium seats to feed this new hobby demand. It is also in 1997 that the first "one-of-one" cards were released by Fleer, beginning with the 1997 Flair Showcase "Masterpieces" (the Ultra set would begin to include purple 1-of-1 masterpieces the following year). Both kinds of inserts remain popular staples in the hobby today. The process and cost of multi-tiered printings, monthly set issues, licensing fees, and player-spokesman contracts made for a difficult market. Pinnacle Brands folded after 1998. Pacific, which acquired full licensing in 1994, ceased production in 2001. In 2005, Fleer went bankrupt and was bought out by Upper Deck, and Donruss lost the MLB license in 2006 (they also did not produce baseball cards in 1999 and 2000). At that time, the MLBPA limited the number of companies that would produce baseball cards to offset the glut in product, and to consolidate the market. As a result of the measure that included revoking the MLB/MLBPA production licenses from Donruss, only two companies remained; Topps and Upper Deck. Topps and Upper Deck are the only two companies that retained production licenses for baseball cards of major league players. In a move to expand their market influence, Upper Deck purchased the Fleer brand and the remnants of its production inventory. After purchasing Fleer, Upper Deck took over production of the remaining products that were slated to be released. Upper Deck continues to issue products with the Fleer name, while Topps continues to release Bowman and Bazooka card products. Topps is also the only company that continues to produce pre-collated factory sets of cards. Card companies are trying to maintain a sizable hobby base in a variety of ways. Especially prominent is a focus on transitioning the cards to an online market. Both Topps and Upper Deck have issued cards that require online registration, while Topps has targeted the investment-minded collector with its eTopps offering of cards that are maintained and traded at its website. Also, since the late 1990s, hobby retail shops and trade-show dealers found their customer base declining, with their buyers now having access to more items and better prices on the Internet. As more collectors and dealers purchased computers and began trusting the Internet as a "safe" venue to buy and sell, the transformation from the traditional retail shops and shows to Internet transactions changed the nature of the hobby. During the same time period, MLBPA also introduced a new guideline for players to attain a rookie card. For years, players had been highlighted in previous sets as a rookie while still in the Minor Leagues. Such players would sometimes remain in the Minor Leagues for considerable time before attaining Major League status, making a player's rookie card released years before their first game as a major leaguer. The new guideline requires players to be part of the a Major League team roster before a rookie card would be released in their name, and a designated "rookie card" logo printed on the face of the card. The rookie card logo shows the words "rookie card" over a baseball bat and home plate with the Major League Baseball logo in the top left corner. Baseball cards garnered national media attention again in early 2007, when it was found that Topps' new Derek Jeter card had allegedly been altered just prior to final printing. A reported prankster inside the company had inserted a photo of Mickey Mantle into the Yankees' dugout and another showing a smiling President George W. Bush waving from the stands. Topps Spokesman Clay Luraschi later admitted that it was done on purpose by the Topps creative department. In February 2007, the hobby's most expensive card, a near mint-mint professionally graded and authenticated T206 Honus Wagner, was sold to a private collector for $2.35 million. The card was sold again later that same year for a record-setting $2.8 million. Baseball cards in the United States have gone through numerous changes in everything from production and marketing to distribution and use. The earliest cards were targeted primarily at adults as they were produced and associated by photographers selling services and tobacco companies in order to market their wares. By the early 1910s, many cards were issued as part of games and confection companies began to distribute their own card sets. The market in the United States has been particularly affected by issues both sports and non-sports related. Economic effects of World War I, World War II, and the Great Depression have all had a major impact on the production of cards. For example, World War I suppressed baseball card production to the point where only a handful of sets were produced until the economy had transitioned away from wartime industrialization. The 1994 players' strike caused a decline in interest and industry consolidation. Yet, with the advent and acceptance of third party grading companies (c. 1997) bringing greater objectivity in the grading of baseball cards (coupled with online marketing), the vintage baseball card business has become quite popular again, with sales in the multi-millions of dollars recorded every year for at least ten years. Topps' purchase of Bowman led to a stranglehold on player contracts. Since Topps had no competition and there was no easy way for others to break into the national market, the company had a de facto monopoly. However, several regional sets featuring players from local teams, both major league and minor league, were issued by various companies. Over the years, there was also a great deal of resistance from other companies. In 1967, Topps faced an attempt to undermine its position from the Major League Baseball Players Association, the League's nascent players' union. Struggling to raise funds, the MLBPA discovered that it could generate significant income by pooling the publicity rights of its members and offering companies a group license to use their images on various products. After initially putting players on Coca-Cola bottlecaps, the union concluded that the Topps contracts did not pay players adequately for their rights. Fleer even filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Topps was engaged in unfair competition through its aggregation of exclusive contracts. A hearing examiner ruled against Topps in 1965, but the Commission reversed this decision on appeal. The Commission concluded that because the contracts only covered the sale of cards with gum, competition was still possible by selling cards with other small, low-cost products. However, Fleer chose not to pursue such options and instead sold its remaining player contracts to Topps for $395,000 in 1966. Soon after, MLBPA executive director Marvin Miller then approached Joel Shorin, the president of Topps, about renegotiating these contracts. At this time, Topps had every major league player under contract, generally for five years plus renewal options, so Shorin declined. After continued discussions went nowhere, before the 1968 season, the union asked its members to stop signing renewals on these contracts, and offered Fleer the exclusive rights to market cards. Although Fleer declined the proposal, by the end of 1973, Topps had agreed to double its payments to each player from $125 to $250, and also to begin paying players a percentage of Topps' overall sales. The figure for individual player contracts has since increased to $500. Since then, Topps used individual player contracts as the basis for its baseball cards. In April 1975, Fleer asked for Topps to waive its exclusive rights and allow Fleer to produce stickers, stamps, or other small items featuring active baseball players. Topps refused, and Fleer then sued both Topps and the MLBPA to break the Topps monopoly. After several years of litigation, the court ordered the union to offer group licenses for baseball cards to companies other than Topps. Fleer and another company, Donruss, were thus allowed to begin making cards in 1981. Fleer's legal victory was overturned after one season, but they continued to manufacture cards, substituting stickers with team logos for gum. Donruss distributed their cards with a Jigsaw puzzle piece. The history of baseball cards in Canada is somewhat similar to that of baseball cards in the United States. The first cards were trade cards, then cards issued with tobacco products and later candies and gum. World Wide Gum and O-Pee-Chee both produced major sets during the 1930s. In 1952, Topps started distributing its American made cards in Canada. In 1965 O-Pee-Chee re-entered the baseball card market producing a licenced version of the Topps set. From 1970 until the last Topps based set was produced in 1992 the cards were bi-lingual French/English to comply with Canadian law From 1985 until 1988, Donruss issued a parallel Canadian set under the Leaf name. The set was basically identical to the Donruss issues of the same years however it was bi-lingual. All the Leaf sets were produced in the United States. There were several promotional issues issued by Canadian firms since Major League Baseball began in Canada in 1969. There were also several public safety sets issued, most notably the Toronto Blue Jays fire safety sets of the 1980s and early 1990s and the Toronto Public Libraries "Reading is fun" set of 1998 and 1999. These sets were distributed in the Toronto area. The cards were monolingual and only issued in English. The first baseball cards appeared in Japan in the late 19th century. Unlike American cards of the same era, the cards utilized traditional Japanese pen and ink illustrations. In the 1920s, black-and-white photo postcards were issued, but illustrated cards were the norm until the 1950s. The 1950s brought about cards which incorporated photos of players, mostly in black and white. Menko cards also became popular at the time. NPB branded baseball cards are currently widely available in Japanese toy stores, convenience stores, sports stores, and as bonus items included in certain packages of potato chips. In 1987 and 1988 the American company Topps issued two series of American baseball cards featuring cards from American and Canadian Major League Baseball teams in the UK. The full colour cards were produced by Topps Republic of Ireland subsidiary company and contained explanations of baseball terms. Given the baseball's lack of popularity in the United Kingdom, the issues were unsuccessful. Topps issued licensed sets in Venezuela from 1959 to 1977. Most of the set had Spanish in place of the English text on the cards and the sets included winter league players. There were locally produced cards depicting players from the winter leagues produced by Offset Venezolana C.A., Sport Grafico, and others which were in production until the late 1990s. In Cuba, sets were issued first in the early 1900s. By the 1930s various candy, gum and chocolate makers were offering cards, most notably Baguer Chocolate. The post-World War Two era had cards issued by magazines, candy makers, Coca-Cola, and of course a gum company. In post revolution Cuba, baseball cards were still issued. Several sets of Mexican League baseball cards have been issued in the past few years. Price guides are used mostly to list the prices of different baseball cards in many different conditions. One of the most famous price guides is the Beckett price guide series. The Beckett price guide is a graded card price guide, which means it is graded by a 1–10 scale, one being the lowest possible score and ten the highest.

Todd Matthew Van Poppel (born December 9, 1971 in Hinsdale, Illinois) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Oakland Athletics (1991, 1993-1996), Detroit Tigers (1996), Texas Rangers (1998, 2002-2003), Pittsburgh Pirates (1998), Chicago Cubs (2000-2001), and Cincinnati Reds (2003-2004). He retired during spring training with the New York Mets in 2005.

Van Poppel was 11-3 with a 0.97 earned run average (ERA) and 170 strikeouts as a senior at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas. He was drafted in the first round, 14th overall, by the Athletics directly out of high school in the 1990 Major League Baseball Draft. The Atlanta Braves had seriously considered using the first overall selection on Van Poppel. However, Van Poppel explicitly told the Braves he would not sign with them, the team opted instead to take Chipper Jones thus, becoming a hero in Braves lore.

USD Collecting Ephemera

Todd Matthew Van Poppel (born December 9, 1971 in Hinsdale, Illinois) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Oakland Athletics (1991, 1993-1996), Detroit Tigers (1996), Texas Rangers (1998, 2002-2003), Pittsburgh Pirates (1998), Chicago Cubs (2000-2001), and Cincinnati Reds (2003-2004). He retired during spring training with the New York Mets in 2005.

Van Poppel was 11-3 with a 0.97 earned run average (ERA) and 170 strikeouts as a senior at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas. He was drafted in the first round, 14th overall, by the Athletics directly out of high school in the 1990 Major League Baseball Draft. The Atlanta Braves had seriously considered using the first overall selection on Van Poppel. However, Van Poppel explicitly told the Braves he would not sign with them, the team opted instead to take Chipper Jones thus, becoming a hero in Braves lore.

Fleer Baseball

A baseball card is a type of trading card relating to baseball, usually printed on some type of paper stock or card stock. A card will usually feature one or more baseball players or other baseball-related sports figures. Cards are most often found in the US but are also common in countries such as Canada, Cuba, and Japan, where top-level leagues are present with a substantial fan base to support them. Some companies that are notable for making these cards are Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini. Previous manufacturers include Fleer (now a brand name owned by Upper Deck), Bowman (now a brand name owned by Topps), and Donruss (now a brand name owned by Panini)]citation needed[. Baseball cards can be highly collectible. Many antique stores contain a wide variety of baseball cards. One reason for baseball cards being collectible is that they have been around for a long time. Some baseball cards can be worth millions of dollars.

While baseball cards were first produced in the United States, as the popularity of baseball spread to other countries, so too did the production of baseball cards. Sets appeared in Japan as early as 1898, in Cuba as early as 1909 and in Canada as early as 1912.

A trading card (or collectible card) is a small card, usually made out of paperboard or thick paper, which usually contains an image of a certain person, place or thing (fictional or real) and a short description of the picture, along with other text (attacks, statistics, or trivia). There is a wide variation of different types of cards. Modern cards even go as far as to include swatches of game worn memorabilia, autographs, and even DNA Hair Samples of their subjects.

Trading cards are traditionally associated with sports; baseball cards are especially well-known. Cards dealing with other subjects are often considered a separate category from sports cards, known as non-sports trading cards. These often feature cartoons, comic book characters, television series and film stills. In the 1990s, cards designed specifically for playing games became popular enough to develop into a distinct category, collectible card games. These tend to use either fantasy subjects or sports as the basis for game play.


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