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2015 Topps Heritage Set Features Koufax Cards

With the sheer volume of cards released every year, it can be tough for Jewish baseball card collectors to know what Jewish Major Leaguers have cards in newly issued sets.

Koufax a legend retiresToday, I was pleased to learn about the 2015 Topps Heritage cards featuring Hall of Famer pitcher Sandy Koufax.

According to CardboardConnection.com, the set includes a 15-card "A Legend Retires" subset. Cards are numbered SK-1 through SK-15. They are available exclusively in product sold at Walmart. A search on Walmart.com shows no product available. As such, I'm assuming the cards are available only in card packs purchased in-store.

The checklist for the Koufax special inserts is as follows:

  • SK-1 Sandy Notches Shutout at 19
  • SK-2 Teenage Whitewash
  • SK-3 "Student-Athlete"
  • SK-4 Koufax Proves He Belongs
  • SK-5 Sandy Isn't Rusty
  • SK-6 18 Go Down on Strikes
  • SK-7 Matty's Mark Falls
  • SK-8 Mets' Can't Muster a Hit
  • SK-9 Sandy Slays the Giants
  • SK-10 Sandy Pitches L.A. to Title
  • SK-11 Practically Perfect in Philly
  • SK-12 Absolute Perfection
  • SK-13 Koufax Sets Season K Mark
  • SK-14 Twins Tamed by Koufax
  • SK-15 One for the Ages

The Walmart inserts are selling for a few dollars a piece, and in lots with prices exceeding $10 a group, on eBay.

In addition to the "Legend Reitres" subset, Koufax is featured on nearly a dozen other cards that are part of the 2015 Topps Heritage product. These include:

  • Card BF-10 Sandy Koufax - Los Angeles Dodgers, the last in the 10-card "Baseball Flashbacks" inserts.
  • ROA-SK Sandy Koufax - Los Angeles Dodgers, a "Real One Autographs" card. The limited edition redemption cards are going for $800 or more on eBay!
  • Five different "Then & Now" cards, pairing the Hall of Fame lefty with current pitchers Clayton Kershaw (TAN-6 and TAN-8), David Price (TAN-7 and TAN-9) and Adam Wainwright (TAN-10). These cards are interesting, but only Kershaw belongs in the same breath as Koufax, let alone the same cardboard, in my opinion. 

Do you have any of the 2015 Topps Heritage Sandy Koufax cards in your Jewish baseball collection? Will you be going to Walmart (or eBay) to buy any? Do you have any to sell or trade?

Let fellow Jewish baseball card collectors know by commenting below.

 


Jewish World Series MVPs

Jewish Major Leaguer Craig Breslow will become the 24 Jewish player to appear in the World Series, should he pitch for the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 Fall Classic.
Craig Breslow. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
The Boston Red Sox take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, which starts tonight, Wednesday, October 23. 

Should he have the opportunity to come on in relief, Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow will become the 24 Jewish Major Leaguer to play in the World Series, as documented in these postings from Kaplan's Korner and Jewish Baseball News.

Koufax Upper Deck Print

Sandy Koufax Upper Deck artwork. Photo courtesy of Beckett.com.

 

During the history of the World Series Most Valuable Player Award (which started in 1955), two Jewish baseball players and a player who converted to Judaism after his career won a total of four MVP trophies.

Interestingly, all three played for the Los Angeles Dodgers when they captured the honors.

 

 

Larry Sherry 1960 Topps

Larry Sherry Topps card. Photo courtesy of eBay.com.

JewishSportsCollectibles.com offers reviews of the players' baseball cards and collectibles ... which range from common cards to $100,000+ game-used leather, from books to DVDs, from postcards and programs to books by the yard. 

Steve Yeager 2004 UD Legends 2 Autograph
Steve Yeager Upper Deck card. Photo courtesy of Beckett.com.

To read the JSC's overviews of the cards and memorabilia for World Series MVP winners Larry Sherry (1959), Sandy Koufax (1963 and 1965) and Steve Yeager (1981) click on the players' names.

Feel free to comment below, or in the individual postings, to let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know what your most treasured collectible for these World Series winners might be.

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Editor's Note: A version of this posting originally ran under the headline "Jewish World Series MVP Profiles" in 2011.

Wilt Chamberlain: 'Borscht Belt Bellhop'


Wilt Chamberlain BellHop
Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop. Photo courtesy of Kutshersdoc.Jimdo.com.
Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop is currently airing on ESPN's 30 for 30 series. The documentary short film, from the Jewish filmmakers who made Welcome to Kutsher's, sheds light on basketball great Wilt Chamberlain's Jewish connections and ties to the famed Catskills resort.

Directed and produced by Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg, both Jews, Borscht Belt Bellhop examines Wilt Chamberlain's time working at Kutsher’s Country Club in New York's Catskill Mountain region in the summer of 1954.

Then a senior in high school, the future Basketball Hall of Famer served as a bellhop by day, and played basketball for the Kutscher's basketball team, which was coached by Jewish coaching legend Arnold "Red" Auerbach, who would later go on to a Hall of Fame career coaching the Boston Celtics.

According to the film's web site:

"Mixing rarely-seen archival video and interviews with people who lived and worked with Wilt during that magical summer, this documentary short reveals an unexplored and pivotal chapter in the life of one of basketball’s greatest players, and a fascinating glimpse of a time when a very different era of basketball met the Borscht Belt in its heyday." 

Wilt Chamberlain BellHop screencap
The film is available to view, in it's entirety, on ESPN's web site (or by clicking on the image above). Borscht Belt Bellhop is also being screened at a variety of film festivals. Visit the documentary's web site for a list of upcoming showings.

The mini-documentary about Chamberlain is an outgrowth of Laskow and Rosenberg's Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort.

That film, released in 2012, takes a "fuller look at the increasingly forgotten aspects of this unique chapter of the Jewish American experience," Rosenberg said in an email to JewishSportsCollectibles.com. The film is expected to release on DVD later this year, according to Rosenberg.

Other than the soon-to-be released Welcome to Kutsher's DVD, memorabilia from both films is extremely limited. Rosenberg says that he and Laskow don't expect to have any merchandise to sell. "ESPN Films may later make the 30 for 30 Shorts available for sale at some point," Rosenberg told JSC, "but that's out of our hands." 

For now, posters from and tickets to the various film festivals at which the documentaries have been (or will be) shown may be a Jewish basketball collector's only option. Borscht Belt Bellhop made is festival debut at the internationally-acclaimed Tribecca Film Festival, for example. Visit the film's web site for a list of past and upcoming screenings.

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In addition to the documentary film, Jewish basketball enthusiasts have access to a wide variety of cards and memorabilia associated with Chamberlain and Auerbach, including books, jerseys, autographed photos, basketballs, etc.

Wilt Chamberlain card
Wilt Chamberlain Panini Century Greats card. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Chamberlain is the subject of hundreds of basketball cards and numerous books. For a checklist of his pasteboard, visit Beckett.com. To purchase Chamberlain's cards and other collectibles, visit the Beckett Marketplace, eBay or Amazon.com.
Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach Center Court Art postcard. Photo courtesy of eBay.

Likewise, Red Auerbach cards -- including several specifically Jewish basketball cards -- and memorabilia is plentiful. For a checklist of his cards, visit Beckett.com. To purchase Auerbach collectibles, visit the Beckett Marketplace, eBay or Amazon.com.

For a look at some of the Red Auerbach memorabilia collection sold at auction by SCP Auctions in 2011, check out this posting from JewishSportsCollectibles.com.

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Have you seen Borscht Belt Bellhop or the Kutsher's documentary? What Red Auerbach memorabilia is part of your Jewish basketball collection? Given his connections to the community, does Wilt Chamberlain have a place in your Jewish basekball catalogue?

Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.


Bud Selig 2013 Allen & Ginter Cards


Bud Selig Allen & Ginter signature
2013 Topps Bud Selig Allen & Ginter signature card. Photo courtesy of eBay.

Jewish baseball collectors have the opportunity to add a new card featuring Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig to their collection.

The 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter release includes standard, autographed and limited edition Bud Selig cards. 

Selig's card is number 300 in the base set. His autographed card is, somewhat ironically, #AGA-BS, part of the non-baseball autograph card portion of the set (a complete checklist of the Allen & Ginter series is available at CardboardConnection.com).

As with most modern card releases, numerous limited edition variations of the Selig cards exist.

These include miniature, black framed and a 1-of-1 mini "wooden" design varieties of the base cards. There is also a one-of-a-kind glossy card variation. Several different card backs are also available, in the style of vintage T206 tobacco cards, as are one-of-a-kind printing plate variations (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).

An autographed variation also exists. A red ink signature -- the standard signature card (pictured right) is signed in blue ink -- variation has a limited printing of 25 cards.

For a checklist of these cards, see Beckett.com.

The standard edition and regular autograph cards are readily available on eBay and Amazon.com. The base cards sell for $1-5, with standard autographed cards listing for $40-$80. Prices for the limited edition and variation cards vary widely, depending on the issue type's scarcity.

Unsigned Selig base cards are available in the Beckett Marketplace for less than a dollar. As of this posting, no Beckett Marketplace retailers are offering autographed cards.

Will you be buying the new Bud Selig cards? Do you have other Selig memorabilia in your Jewish baseball collection? Let JSC readers know by commenting below.

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For a look at Selig's other cards and collectibles, read JewishSportsCollectibles.com's previous postings about the Commissioner, including this posting marking Selig's 20th anniversary in office.


MLB New Jew Review: Josh Zeid


Josh Zeid Topps Pro Debut solo signature card
Josh Zeid 2011 Topps Pro Debut solo signature card.
Photo courtesy of JSC.
Reliever Josh Zeid made his big league pitching debut on July 30 with the Houston Astros, joining Nate Freiman and Kevin Pillar among the ranks of the newest Jewish Major Leaguers.

Zeid, a 6'4" righty, was drafted by the Phillies in 2009, according to JewishBaseballNews.com. He was traded to the Astros in 2011, in the Phillies deal for Hunter Pence.

A veteran of the Arizona Fall League in 2010, Zeid also pitched for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic in 2012.

Jewish baseball collectors have access to cards and memorabilia associated with the big righty.

Zeid's pasteboard includes several cards from Topps and Bowman. Among them are 2011 Topps Pro Debut autographed cards (pictured right), two different 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League cards, and 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects issues.

Short-prints and color variations of Heritage and Prospect cards exist.

All of these cards show Zeid in Phillies or Phillies minor league team uniforms.

His minor league cards include team issues from the 2009 Williamsport Crosscutters, 2010 Lakewood Blue Claws, 2012 Corpus Christi Hooks and 2013 Oklahomoa City RedHawks.

For a checklist of Zeid's cards, see Beckett.com.

Zeid's cards are plentiful, even the signed and limited edition issues. They sell for between $0.01 and $5 on eBay, Amazon.com and the Beckett Marketplace.

At the time of this posting, Zeid does not yet have any memorabilia, other than his baseball cards, available on eBay. This is certain to change in the future.

Nor does Zeid have any collectibles for sale in the Astros online shop, although collectors could customize jerseys to include his name and number.

Josh Zeid pitching for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic.
Josh Zeid pitching for Team Israel in the WBC. Photo courtesy of JewishLedger.com.

Zeid does not have any photos available in the MLB Photo Store. In the meantime, collectors can find images of Zeid online, many that would make nice additions to any photo collection. These include pictures of Zeid in his Team Israel uniform.

Following Israel's loss to Spain in the WBC Qualifiers, Zeid auctioned off his signed, game-worn cleats, with a portion of the auction's proceeds benefiting the Texas Children's Hospital.

Zeid has, during his minor league career, been a generous through-the-mail signer. He autographed several cards for me while with the Phillies farm teams and during his time in the Arizona Fall League.

Josh Zeid signed ticket
Josh Zeid signs for fans.
Photo courtesy of ZackHample.mlblogs.com.

As this image from Zach Hample's Baseball Collector blog on MLB.com shows, Zeid has been a willing in-person signer during his brief MLB career. Let's hope this trend continues in the future.

Zeid is an active user of social media. Tweet collectors can follow Zeid on Twitter.

Have you had the chance to meet Zeid or get his autograph? What other Josh Zeid cards or memorabilia might exist? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.