Topps Vault Serves Up Rarities
Since 2001, The Topps Gum Company has made rarities from their archives available to the public through their eBay store - and more recently, a memorabilia web store on topps.com. Over the years, they have sold player contracts, final card negatives, test prints and rare photos that never made it to print.
Card collectors will enjoy looking through the store and finding the final negatives, or mock-ups of their favorite vintage cards - or 1/1 blank-backed test prints of recently issued ones. While some lots, like the pictured "final negative" of Mike Schmidt's 1982 Topps card sell for a premium (it sold for $100), most can be bought for $25, or less. One of my favorite things to find are non-published player photos - which offer a new perspective into their time with the Phillies.
Popular TTM Signer, Mel Clark Passes
Former Phillie and frequent autograph signer, Mel Clark died last week. Clark was a World War II veteran who served in the US Navy from 1942-45. After being discharged, he had a nice Major League career as a reserve outfielder - spending parts of five seasons as a Phillie during the 1950s (1951-55).
Mr. Clark was always good to those of us who collect autographs through the mail - according to Sports Collectors Net he logged a "career" 100% success rate. Last summer I asked him to sign my "1950s-era Phillies" project. It is an internal picture of Connie Mack Stadium which I have sent around for the past few years. The project has helped me learn about players, like Clark, who I never got to see play. As he had done many times before, the photo came back signed.
Collectible of the Week - Scott Rolen Salvino Figurine
The year was 2000. And, though it is hard to believe, people around these parts still liked Scott Rolen. With few marketable players on their roster, Rolen was the most visible Phillies player in the memorabilia market - appearing on posters, and as figurines or bobble heads. Read more on The Phillies Collector...