Category Archives for News

Brashear v. Panini America Inc Redemption Card Lawsuit

Kevin Brashear has had enough. He popped Panini America with a civil lawsuit in January over failure to produce redemption cards in a timely manner. 

It is a beautiful thing to see: Panini America Inc, a lawsuit has been filed against you. 

Here is the full complaint against Panini

Brashear filed a putative class action against Panini, noting that hundreds of potential collectors are impacted by redemption cards.  

In court documents Brashear says he stopped collecting because he realized he would never receive the redemption (cards) at dispute.’

Panini's Better Business Bureau rating of 'F' is provided, along with Brashear alleging it's 'nearly impossible to contact Panini through any means, including telephone, emails, posts, etc.' 

A 2012 civil lawsuit against Upper Deck is citied where a Michigan man took Upper Deck to court over redemption cards that were not fulfilled and won a $1,329 judgment.

Here is the summons Panini got slapped with.

Stay tuned for case updates!

2016 Bowman Chrome Juan Soto Superfractor ALTERED

Someone took a baby wipe to the 2016 Bowman Chrome Juan Soto 1/1 Superfractor Autograph and PSA graded it a 10.

The card was originally evaluated by BGS, and received a 9 with a 9 autograph score. 

If you look closely, you can see the underline below "Juan" trails off the card in the BGS version. In the more recent PSA 10 photograph, the line has been wiped clean. 

eBay seller Small Traditions mentions the alteration in the auction description. The seller purchased the card in the PSA 10 holder.  

You can follow discussion of the card on Blowout Cards Forum

Card Prices at the National Sports Collectors Convention

The 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention will be the 7th year in a row Sports Card Radio has attended.

Here is a look back at some cards we’ve seen over the years and what they might be worth in 2018.

2012 Baltimore Cards

1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan RC BGS 9.5

2012 NSCC Price: $4,700

BGS 9.5 Jordan Rookie Cards tend to sell in the $6,000-$7,000 range on eBay as of July 2018.

2008-09 Upper Deck Exquisite Derrick Rose RC

2012 NSCC Price: $2,900

Rose won NBA MVP during the 2010-11 season. Since then, his game has fallen off a cliff largely due to injuries.

A BGS 9 version of this card sold for $804 in April 2018.

1954 Topps Hank Aaron RC PSA 6

2012 NSCC Price: $1,140

In 2018, several PSA 6’s have sold online in the $3,000-$4000 range, making this a great buy in 2012 even with no haggling.

1969 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 6
Name in Yellow

2012 NSCC Price: $190

If you look around, you can find these for under $190 in 2018.

2011 Bowman Chrome Bryce Harper Autograph

2012 NSCC Price: $480

These tend to sell in the $500-$900 range as Harper has lived up to the 2012 hype.

2013 Chicago

Andrew Luck – Robert Griffin III – Ryan Tannehill Autograph

2013 NSCC Price: $1,600

A triple autograph of this same group sold for $99 in 2018. Most people around the National don’t like to talk about their losers.

2011 Topps Finest Mike Trout RC Orange REF

2013 NSCC Price: $500

Yikes. These sell in the $2,700-$3,000+ range now.

2012 Panini National Treasures Robert Griffin III RC

2013 NSCC Price: $3,500

A PSA 10 sold for $69 in 2018. Weeeeeeeeeee.

2014 Cleveland

2012 Panini Golden Age Baseball Hobby Box

2014 NSCC Price: $29
2018 Price: $29.95

Some wax goes up in value, some goes down, some stays the same.

1959 Topps Bob Gibson PSA 9

2014 NSCC Price: $10,000

Thanks to the PSA Card Price Guide, you can see this exact same card sold for $13,200 about 3 1/2 years after I saw it in Cleveland.

2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady Autograph RC

2014 NSCC Price:
PSA 10 = $7,500
BGS 9.5 = $5,400

Current PSA 10 price: $80,000-$100,000.

A BGS 9 reportedly sold for $250,000 in February 2018.

Gulp. I need to sit down. Since I saw these cards in 2014, Tom Brady is 2-1 in Super Bowls and his legend has only grown.

2005-06 Upper Deck The Cup Alexander Ovechkin RC /99

2014 NSCC Price: $7,000

Despite the 2018 Stanley Cup win and Ovechkin’s legendary tour after, this card is probably still worth around $7,000-$15,000.

Kurt Cobain “Autographed” Business Card

2014 NSCC Price: $5,999
Current Price: ?????

Even autographs that have been certified by JSA or PSA of Nirvana songwriter Kurt Cobain may not be real. There are examples of “certified” Cobain autographs that are thought to be forgeries.

Cobain was only famous for a brief time in his life, during which he remained largely out of the limelight. MTV played Smells Like Teen Spirit over and over to drive album sales, while Cobain dealt with drug addiction and the weight of his new found fame before committing suicide in 1994.

Authentic autographs of Cobain are hard to come by, hard to prove, and are getting more expensive by the year. If authentic, $6,000 for this signed business card would be a steal in the long run.

2014 Bowman Chrome Johnny Manziel Prism Refractor BGS 10

2014 NSCC Price: $10,000

The hype around the 2014 National was that LeBron James was returning to Cleveland and Johnny Manziel was a rookie QB for the Browns. How things change.

Hopefully this dealer sold this Manziel card. Today it’s mostly likely worth less than $100.

2013 Topps Chrome Yasiel Puig RC

2014 NSCC Price: $995

PSA 10 versions sell for $150-$255. A lot of people wasted money on Puig cards in 2013-2014 but nobody really likes to talk about it.

1993 Upper Deck Sp Derek Jeter RC PSA 10

2014 NSCC Price: $35,000

ESPN wrote a story on May 25, 2018 how a PSA 10 Jeter Sp RC sold for $99,100.

2015 Chicago

2014 Topps Chrome Football Hobby Box

2015 NSCC Price: $39

I’d seen these as low as $25 at some dealer tables around this time, boxes in 2018 now sell for about $90.

2009-10 Panini National Treasures Stephen Curry RC

2015 NSCC Price: $6,200

Curry continues to be a beloved player, one of these could cost you over $20,000+ today.

1955 Topps Roberto Clemente PSA 7

2015 NSCC Price: $12,000

These can fluctuate in value a little bit, but you should be able to snag one for about $6,000.

2009 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Gold Autograph

2015 NSCC Price: $14,000

The 2015 price is pre Vegas (he recently moved to Mexico) Dave. Expect to pay at least $40,000 for one today.

2016 Atlantic City

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 5

2016 NSCC Price: $80,000

In August 2017, according to the PSA Card Price Guide, this same card sold for $65,499.95 on eBay.

2016 NSCC Price: $650

McJesus Young Guns in BGS 10 condition can sell for over $1,000+ in 2018.

2017 Chicago

1958 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 6

2017 NSCC Price: $775

If you look around, you should be able to find one for about $600 in 2018.

2016 Panini Prizm Dak Prescott ‘Autopen’

2017 NSCC Price: $750

This is one of the infamous Dak Prescott Autopen Cards. Not sure what it’s worth today, it might be priceless.

Check out videos from the 2012-2017 NSCC on YouTube

Topps Company Greatest Hits of Mistakes

The Topps Company has a long history of selling sports cards in the U.S. since the 1950’s. No card company has a more loyal following.

With such a long history of card making, mistakes will happen over the years.

Panini America Scams & Mistakes

What you won’t find on this page are printing errors, misprints, variations, card numbering issues and other stuff that has been covered and rehashed 100 times.

Topps Dump 300-500 Cases of ’52 set into Ocean
(1960) – Bleacher Report

In 1960 Sy Berger and his friend Woody Gelman dumped 300-500 cases of the original 1952 set into the Atlantic Ocean after poor sales. 

Topps Owner Compares Game Used Cards to Drugs
(1998) – Sports Card Radio

Former Topps owner Arthur Shorin tells friends privately that game used cards were like a drug that would provide only a short-term boost to sales because it did not enhance the underlying product.

Fearing Topps would lose market share to Upper Deck, Topps jumped on the memorabilia card bandwagon. Both companies went on to spend $2-$5 million a year through 2006 on game used items without evidence it helped increase sales.

Topps takes $3.7 million loss on The Pit
(2006) – SEC

Topps acquired, a startup company for $5.7 million in cash in August 2001.

The undertaking was not successful and Topps unloaded the site to Naxcom in January 2006. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed, but Topps charged a $3.7 million after-tax loss on its books in connection with the sale.

Topps Uses Stadium Seats as Game Used
(2010) – Beckett

Topps confirms that six “game used” memorabilia cards in 2009 Tribute Baseball include pieces of stadium seat.

Collectors noticed and got Topps to promise not to pass stadium seats as game used memorabilia going forward.

Mark Ingram Photo
(2011) – Sports Card Radio

At the 2011 NFLPA Rookie Premiere, Mark Ingram tweeted a picture of him wearing what he said was 17 New Orleans Saints jerseys. The jerseys are used for event worn material cards throughout football card products.

The photo sparked discussion and controversy amongst collectors who had never seen a peak behind the curtain.

Lou Gehrig Fake Game Used Card
(2011) – Beckett

The two game-used memorabilia patches on a 2010 Topps Triple Threads Lou Gehrig Book Card appear to be from a modern Yankees jersey — not the old school stuff from Gehrig’s time.

Topps Takes Two Years to Redeem Golden Ticket
(2012) – Sports Card Radio

Twenty 24K gold infused baseball autographed by Ken Griffey Jr., Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were available in 2012 Topps Series 1 Baseball.

After 2 1/2 years of feet dragging by Topps, collectors got their baseballs.

End of eTopps
(2012) – Wrigley Wax

Topps ends eTopps after over 10 years.

What helped kill the program was Topps had to redesign the website after a “renowned website integrator” failed at the first attempt.

Topps Fires Employee, Then Puts Him on Card
(2012) – Deadspin

In August 2012, Christopher Holmes was fired from his job at Topps of 17 years, one of many casualties of Michael Eisner’s restructuring. In September 2012 , the “American History Relics” were released, featuring Holmes as John Henry. Holmes sued for $4 million.

According to Deadspin, one former employee says Topps was “not the most diverse work environment,” and as such, Holmes was the go-to when the art department needed a black guy.

Dealer Tells FBI Card Companies Knowingly Buy Fake Jerseys
(2012) – NY Daily News

Sports memorabilia dealer Bradley Wells, who pled guilty to mail fraud in 2012, sold bogus game-used jerseys to all the prominent trading card manufacturers. Wells acknowledged he was involved in “dirtying up” jerseys and gloves to make them look game used.

In a stunning claim, Wells told the FBI Panini America, Upper Deck and Topps knew they were purchasing phony game-used jerseys to insert in trading cards.

Pitcher Blasts Topps for Picture
(2013) – Deadspin

In 2013 MLB Pitcher Daniel Hudson tweeted Topps:

“Thanks @toppscards for using a close up of me right after my elbow blew out! Card will be around forever as a reminder!”

The photo on the card comes just after Hudson tore his UCL in his right arm.

Employee Tests Sports Card Radio…. & Lost
(2013) – Sports Card Radio

Topps employee Mark Sapir sent a message to Sports Card Radio that read: “If I ever see you say anything negative about this company (Topps), especially on Twitter, I’ll cut you off for good.”

Never one to back down, Sports Card Radio amped up the heat on Topps & Sapir.

It culminated with an in person showdown at the 2013 Industry Summit where Sapir, hands shaking, approached @SportsCardNews looking to apologize. The bridge had been burnt and it was not accepted.

Sapir mysteriously left Topps just weeks after the encounter. Sports Card Radio was banned from the Industry Summit.

Backdoor Superfractors
(2013) – Huggins & Scott


Tons of Superfractor and other low number parallel “test-proof” cards hit the market after uncut sheets were sold at auction house Huggins & Scott.

Topps said at the 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention that it was a legal matter but never followed up with collectors.

Topps Allen & Ginter Dumpster Dive
(2013) – Beckett

Topps hid wrapped 1/1 cards inside the top panel of some 2013 Allen & Ginter hobby boxes.

Many collectors didn’t notice until after they had thrown out the boxes, prompting some to literally go dumpster diving.

Topps Redemption Dump
(2013) – Sports Card Radio

Without notice Topps sent out 10,000 replacement autograph cards for people waiting on various redemption cards.

Some collectors weren’t thrilled they didn’t get an option to wait or pick a replacement for their card.

Collector Threatens Lawsuit at NSCC
(2013) – Twitter

In one of the greatest moments in National Sports Collectors Convention history, a collector began yelling out he was taking names for a class action lawsuit against Topps because of how they handled their wrapper redemption program at the show.

Recycling Picture Choices
(2014) – Sports Card Radio


This type of photo recycling is nothing new for Topps and it even spans back to some vintage sets but things got real bad around 2014.

Wade Boggs GU Angels Card
(2014) – Twitter

Topps pulls a Panini. Wade Boggs card with an obvious Angles logo. Topps never responded.

Topps Recall Tribute Set
(2015) – Sports Cards Uncensored

Topps says autographed cards in 2015 Topps Tribute Baseball are damaged due to UV contamination on the card and recalled the product.

Topps Botches Mike Piazza Autos
(2015) – Baseball Card Breakdown


Topps mixes up auto-stickers of Mike Piazza, the HOF catcher and Mike Piazza, the meager minor league pitcher.

Topps Website Hacked
(2016) – Sports Card Radio

Orders placed on between July 30, 2016 – October 12, 2016 could have had information stolen by hackers. Including your name, address, email, phone number, full credit card details and more.

Cards in $25,000 Product Fall Apart
(2016) – Beckett

Cards from 2016 Topps Transcendent Baseball were falling apart. Maybe not a big deal, but it was the most expensive product Topps ever made at $25,000 per box.

Topps Mislabels Transcendent Party Cards
(2018) – Sports Card Radio

Several autographed cards that were inserted into the exclusive party packs at the 2017 Topps Transcendent Party were mislabeled as being 1-of-1.

Topps Tells BGS Don’t Grade These Cards
(2018) – Sports Card Radio

Beckett Grading Services (BGS) tells a collector that Topps told them not to grade strange cards found in a 2017 Bowman Draft Box.

Panini America Scams & Mistakes

Future of Cardboard Connection in Doubt

EXPLOSIVE details are emerging that show the future of the website Cardboard Connection is in limbo. 

Cardboard Connection founder & 90% owner Mike Smeth has BRAND NEW FELONY CHARGES against him.

Smeth was arrested on February 25, 2018 on the following charges:
Possession of a firearm by First Offender Probationer
Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substance (Heroin)
Possession of Schedule I Controlled Substance
Possession of MDMA (Ecstasy drug)
Possession of Firearm During Commission of a Felony

This caused Smeth to violate his probation from a separate 2016 incident that Sports Card Radio has covered exclusively.

Things get worse.

On March 14, 2018 Smeth was ordered by the Superior Court of Cobb County to turn over all Cardboard Connection access to his soon to be ex-wife. 

But wait there is more.

On March 30, 2018 Smeth HACKED into his ex-wife's Gmail to gain access to Cardboard Connections PayPal account. From there he ILLEGALLY transferred $8,500 to himself. CAUSING CARDBOARD CONNECTION TO MISS PAYROLL TO THEIR EMPLOYEES. 

Smeth is expected to serve prison time or enter drug rehab and currently has no access to the Cardboard Connection website. 

How Cardboard Connection will be divided up is crucial to the Smeth's ongoing divorce. 

In court documents, the website is said to earn $250,000 a year and is the sole income for the Smeth's. 

The next hearing is July 11, 2018. 

Mike Smeth

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