Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sportscaster Cards are a Challenge for Player and Team Collectors

The Sportscaster cards are great with their large photos and interesting stories on the back.  They can be quite a challenge for set collectors because of the way that checklists are created.

The card pictured below is listed as "Basketball Lingo".  Some checklists might also refer to Pete Maravich since he is the focus of the photo.  None would probably mention the New Orleans Jazz or the Washington Bullets.  The Jazz moved to Utah in 1979 while this set was still in production but the picture is from a prior season while the team was in New Orleans.

How does one get around that?  The site http://sportscastercards.com/ can show you a picture of the cards from each set.

The oddity of the checklist has proven less of a challenge for me since I want to get the entire set, but it was a challenge early on when I wanted to get every track and field card.  The Beyond Sports subset leaves no mention as to what sport is being depicted.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sportscaster Card Numbering System - How to Tell Which Set You are Building

The number system on the sportscaster cards is a bit more complicated than the average card set.

What is called the USA or North American set was printed in both Italy and Japan.

The UK set is quite similar.  The backs are the same, but some players have been changed out in this set.  More about those differences in a future post.

Sets from other countries use different numbering and have text in their home language.  I could explain it well, but it is already done well on the following website -

How to Tell Which Country Your Sportscaster Card is From.  

There is also more information about the sets on this site.  I cannot confirm all of these numbers yet since I only have cards from the North American, UK and Finland sets.

The set, deck and card number designation on those above is at the bottom right of the card.  Here is a breakdown of those codes.

03 005 20-23

03 005 - This is from the North American/UK set

20 - This is from deck #20 otherwise known as a pack.  Each deck came with 24 cards in a cellophane wrapper.  I will show one soon.

23 - the card number within the set.  I will try to learn more about sealed decks in a future post.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Some Players Like Bruce Jenner Show Up on Many Sportscaster Cards - Checklists Might Not Reflect This

There are over 300 different track and field cards in the Sportscaster set.  The entire set is well over 2,000 cards not counting variations.  There are cards for individuals and cards for different track events.  In order to track down your favorite athletes, one needs to see a great checklist or look at each card to determine whose picture is on the card.

Only one of the cards below is actually listed on the checklists as Bruce Jenner.  One needs to really check the cards to see that all four cards picture Bruce Jenner.  Usually there is a caption on the front that will name the persons pictured, but sometimes the caption is generic.  I am still researching some of the captions without names.  If I complete this I plan to create a master checklist which will include all pictured athletes.

The back of one of the cards refers to Jenner as Mr. Track and Field.  I couldn't make this up.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sportscaster Card Variations - An Overview of Some of the Variations

I've been tracking variations in the Sportscaster set that was released in the late 1970s.  There are some variations that don't follow the pattern below, but most do follow it.

As can be seen on the cards below, the print runs can be tracked by where they were printed - Italy or Japan.  Each print run also has a letter to denote the print run - I've seen A, B, C, D and none noted (I call it blank).  For blank I will use the code b.


The following card had no differences in the print runs other than the date listed and the print run letter shown on the back.  Some wouldn't find that to be enough of a variation that would warrant collecting it.

The type of change show above was common in cards that discussed sports in general terms and in cards of people who were no longer active in sports.  I plan to collect those as variations.


Some cards, like the ones shown below, have updated statistics that reflect the long-term release of each print run.

I like that they took the time to update the winners of certain events.  They didn't do this with every individual, but they did a good job with events.