HIT PARADER: Non-traditional hits can bring variety to collections — and dollars to pockets


By Chris Olds | Editor

Admit it, you’ve been here before — you rip into a pack, see a thick card and that rush of excitement is thwarted by a plain white swatch of a guy you’ve seen a dozen times before.

It doesn’t always have to be that way.

As you’ll see in the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly — The Hits Issue — what is a hit can vary from person to person and they can vary even more from product to product. If you dabble in some of the hobby’s multi-sport creations or in the non-sport realm, you can find even more variety in hits.

The possibilities are priceless, though there’s seemingly always a price tag on cards such as these. They’re not always expensive but they can always bring a fun element back to collecting.

Unless, of course, you truly like the plain white jersey.

Here’s a look at two of the 20 unusual hits with a bit of a story — or a surprise — behind them as will found in the next issue of the magazine.

2004 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Body Paint #BP4 Marisa Miller, $N/A

Released by Stellar Collectibles, this 10-card set included a dollop of body paint that had been used during the photo shoots for the annual magazine. They were found one per 24-pack box in the second-year product. This particular Marisa Miller card? It sold for $83 after 22 bids on eBay. If you’re not familiar with these 2000s sets, they include sometimes pricey autographs of models and athletes who have posed for the magazine.


2012 Topps Triple Threads American History Triple Relic #1 Davy Crockett /5, $N/A

Only five of these American History cards exist and that’s perhaps five more than should as it’s not real — as mentioned on the back of the card. “These Relics are not from anything at all,” reads the Topps disclaimer on the card back, which notes Davy Crockett as “an American folk hero whose exploits have been widely mythologized in books, plays, film and television.” Of course, finding this in a pack was gravy for one collector … it sold for $500 on eBay in November.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Feel free to share your unusual hits in the comments below.


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  1. David Johnson 22 January, 2013 at 13:47

    The Swimsuit cards have their own nitch. However that Davy Crockett card is misleading from the front, even though the back states that the relic isn’t from anything special.

  2. zotster 22 January, 2013 at 15:18

    I’m surprised by the price on that body paint card – those usually don’t sell that well, or at least they didn’t. They used to go for about $5. The supply on those cards has dried up over the years, though.

    As for fake relics, can anything beat the relic cards from Topps’ Santa Claus set?

  3. Jonathan 23 January, 2013 at 12:01

    How many companies in this world can make a fake product, tell you it is fake, and then get you to buy it? True marketing genius.

  4. Jon Waldman 23 January, 2013 at 17:26

    Generally I’m into unique pieces when they do pop up. I remember a Bowman football product a few years back that had pieces of endzone pylon, I believe from the NCAA, and a Playoff series or two that had astroturf pieces.

    I think my two favourites are:
    – Topps American Pie Berlin Wall cards – In terms of actual historical significance, nothing compares to these cards. I’m half tempted to get dupes of the card I have just for the heck of it.

    – Upper Deck Piece of History Wayne’s World jersey card
    – It’s too bad that imagery from the movie couldn’t be used, but it’s easily the most unique hockey jersey card in my collection.

  5. zotster 23 January, 2013 at 19:27

    I did buy the 2012 Topps Fenway Park factory set this past year with the exclusive infield dirt relic card in it … also have a “Green Monster” relic card from the 2001 Fleer Red Sox 100th anniversary set, with a piece of the left field wall. (Side note: Anyone know how those were distributed? I broke several boxes way back when and got redemption cards that were good for the same relic card with pieces of game-used base, on-deck circle or baseball in them, but not a mention of the wall cards. Didn’t know they were available until I saw one at a show.)

    Meanwhile, I found one of those body paint cards still in my collection and plan to put it on eBay soon to try to cash in for that $80 or so while they’re still hot …

  6. Jeff 24 January, 2013 at 13:09

    “As for fake relics, can anything beat the relic cards from Topps’ Santa Claus set?”

    What are you talking about?! I have it on good authority that the big guy provided Topps an actual suit. Apparently, years ago Sy asked Santa for one for Christmas and he obliged.

  7. Paul 24 January, 2013 at 13:33

    Fake Santa relics? What are you talking about? I happen to have 2 sets, one for each one of my kids. Now you’ll tell me there is no Santa! Way to ruin my day!

  8. zotster 24 January, 2013 at 20:30

    Well, the Santa relics I heard were fake. The autographs, of course, were witnessed by a representative of Topps, so they’re most certainly real.

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