Category Archives for Sports Card News

Scammers Run Scammers Exposed Facebook Group

You’d think a Facebook group devoted to exposing scammers in the sports card hobby would be a safe place.

Think again.

In the often shady world of sports cards – things are not always what they seem

Last April, disgraced breaker Nathan Burns of Grand Slam Collectibles broke 25 cases of Heroes of Sport – a product riddled with trimmed cards from convicted felon Will Jaimet.

The product exposed the shady world of card trimming, and eventually led to an FBI investigation.

You’d think Burns, Jaimet, and the others associated with the scam would be exposed on sites devoted to exposing scammers.

Think again.

Burns is an advertiser on the Scammers Exposed Facebook group.

Any negative comments about Burns are scrubbed. And he’s not the only one.

Last year Stephen Michael, owner of Filthbomb Breaks, sold a trimmed Mickey Mantle to a collector. When the collector posted about the incident on the Facebook group – the post was deleted.

Why?

Because Filthbomb Breaks was an advertiser.

But it gets worse …..

Chris Gilmore

For over a year, collectors have been waiting on Chris Gilmore, a moderator on the Scammers Exposed page, and breaker for Vintage Breaks to deliver on a group PSA submission.

The collectors are still waiting.

The supposed 45-day turnaround has lasted over a year.

Gilmore’s response: “Just tell them all to f*ck off”

After a victimized collector got upset about the long wait, Ron Steven Marion, another admin of the Scammers Exposed Facebook Group, messaged the collectors’ place of employment and threatened to leave negative reviews about the business.

Marion later bragged about it to the group.

Collectors are still waiting for their cards.

Some victims feel Gilmore kept the customers’ cards for himself – and the delay is due to the fact he needed to purchase cards in lesser condition to submit.

If you question where your cards are a year later – moderators of the Scammers Exposed Group will call the HR department where you work.

This hobby is full of greedy scumbags.

Recently another moderator of the Facebook Scammers Exposed, Drew Herndon, invited Luis Molina – who runs a cleaning/trimming service for getting cards higher grades onto The Hobby Hotline Show. (link takes you to where the interview starts).

Despite being banned by all the major grading services since 2018, Luis is allowed to promote his service.

A search of Luis’ name in the Scammers website reveals:

Wonder if he’s a paying advertiser as well?

Ultimately the Facebook Scammers Exposed group & website is simply a slush fund to collect bounties from other scammers – and a feeding ground for the moderators to conduct scams themselves.

With card values never being higher – you wonder why dorks like this have to stoop to these levels. But the hobby seems to attract cockroaches. Be careful.

@GaryVee: Ignore The Card Cops

Gary Vaynerchuk has caught the trading card bug. Like the Coronavirus, he’s been spreading it via social media postings and influencing his many followers to do the same.

For some, it’s welcomed attention for the industry.

For others, it’s “too much power” and must be put to an end!

Take for example this post from @OldTownCards where he outlined his concerns about someone sharing their passion for the hobby:

Here’s a summary of the tweeters complaints, which are shared by many others in the hobby:

  • Gary has too much influence
  • Gary doesn’t know enough about the players he’s hyping.
  • Gary is hyping cards only to sell them later at higher prices.

Let’s address the 1st point that Gary has too much influence.

Beckett Magazine would publish Hot Lists, Hot/Cold, rate players as “Stars, Semi-Stars, and Commons”. What Gary is doing is simply the 2020 version of what Beckett used to have an exclusive license to do.

Thinking we as collectors need to stop this type of influence is foolish. However, even more foolish, is thinking you need to step in and protect other collectors – as if you were their mom or the cops.

If that’s the role you want to play, why not try to stop teenagers from smoking or doing drugs?

Ultimately I think many of these collectors are simply jealous of Gary’s following and probably the fact his budget to buy pictures of men is higher than their annual salary.

The second point that Gary isn’t researching players is laughable. Where in the sports card collecting handbook does it say we need to be experts in analyzing athlete performance? Tim Tebow cards sell just fine – and he isn’t going to make the HOF in the NFL or MLB.

Players like Wander Franco have never played a game in front of more than a thousand people – yet collectors pay small fortunes to acquire his cards.

Prices of goods are based on supply & demand – not your knowledge of hitting a fastball or throwing a football.

Gary understands basic economics – which is far more valuable than analyzing a players step-back jumper or 40-yard dash time.

Finally the last point that Gary is “pumping & dumping” cards is pure comedy.

First, who’s to say that the cards he’s buying weren’t undervalued in the first place?

Second, where’s the evidence he’s even selling the cards?

When I buy a stock and publish an article about it – just because it goes up means I’m guilty of pumping?

When Gary’s picks on what cards to buy doesn’t work out, people are quick to point that out as well.

You can’t have it both ways.

And if Gary wants to buy cards and resell them when/if they achieve higher prices – where in the hobby handbook is that not allowed?

Card cops are quick to critique Gary, but are silent on issues like card trimming, Topps and Panini goofs, Razzing illegal raffles, shill bidding, etc.

Not saying everyone needs to be a card cop – but come on rookies – other collectors don’t need you to save them from buying pictures of men.

Topps Website HACKED… Again

Oops they did it again! The Topps website was hacked on November 19, 2018. 

This isn't the first time Topps has been hacked. The company has owned up to a previous attack to their site on July 30, 2016.

Topps became aware of the newest hack on December 26, 2018.

Orders placed on their website from November 19, 2018 - January 9, 2019 may have resulted in hackers getting your name, address, telephone number, email, and credit/debit card information. 

Read more about the hack:
Topps issues OAG Statement

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 ThePit.com, 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 Topps.com 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.


Topps Website Hacked… Again
(2019) – Sports Card Radio

Oops they did it again! The Topps website was hacked on November 19, 2018. 

Orders placed on their website from November 19, 2018 – January 9, 2019 may have resulted in hackers getting your name, address, telephone number, email, and credit/debit card information. 


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

1 2 3 19