Buzz Collector Profile: Tony Yi — an Ichiro Suzuki fan aka The Ichiro Vault


Tony Yi

Also known as: @theichirovault and iamtony33 on Blowout Forum
Website: theichirovault.blogspot.com
Location: Washington
Work away from cards: Corporate management
Collecting since: 2011

Main focuses: Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson Cano and 1/1 cards — he owns 335 1/1s and 42 of those are Superfractors.
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Favorite teams: Seattle Mariners, Washington Huskies football

Current collecting projects: I used to work on rainbow projects often, and I have completed 14 of them. They have become too time-consuming so I now mainly concentrate on obtaining Ichiro, Cano and certain 1/1 cards. There is one Ichiro rainbow I will never stop trying for though and it’s from my favorite set, 2012 Topps Chrome. All I am missing is the Superfractor that sold years ago and I assume its in a PC collection forever. But if anyone knows who has it, please let me know.

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At least one notable fan among surprises in 2017 Topps Archives

A notable New York Yankees fan will be among the surprise signers to come in 2017 Topps Archives.

His name? “Bald Vinny” Milano and he’s led the Bleacher Creatures‘ “roll call” at Yankees home games for years.

Keep reading to see more and to react to the card in our Buzz Poll.

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Mickey Mantle returns to baseball cards with new Panini America deal

The Mick is back on cardboard.

Mickey Mantle, the icon of a generation of collectors, will be back on baseball cards soon as Panini America has reached a deal with the estate of the Hall of Famer and former New York Yankee who died in 1995. It will be his first cardboard since 2012 when his family let their deal with Topps expire.

The deal is expected to be formally revealed today with at least one card perhaps coming immediately via the Panini Eternal program, though his sons David and Danny disclosed the deal to Yahoo Sports’ Big League Stew in an interview.

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First Buzz: 2017 TRISTAR Hidden Treasures New York Dynasty

What: 2017 TRISTAR Hidden Treasures New York Dynasty autographed baseballs
Arrives: April 26
Box basics: 
One autographed baseball per box (12 boxes per case)

What’s buzz-worthy: TRISTAR’s autographed baseball chase brand takes a New York twist for yet another year as this one’s all about the Yankees with stars of the past and present being part of a chase that includes all baseballs having a product-specific and numbered hologram.

Keep reading for more and a gallery of what’s in this one.

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Buzz Poll: Which Mickey Mantle item topped the auction block?

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Mickey Mantle dominated the auction block on Saturday night in Dallas as Heritage Auctions‘ Platinum Night sports sale was topped by a pair of Mantles with very different attributes.

Yet both had very high demand.

Both items you see here — one a PSA 8 copy of his 1952 Topps card and the other being Mantle’s New York Yankees road jersey worn when he hit his 535th career home run on Sept. 19, 1968 — are six-figure items.

One went for $660,000 with a buyer’s premium while the other went for $486,000 and with that pair of facts we have these two questions for you.

Spoiler: Highlight the text after this on this line to learn more. The card sold for more.

Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to BlowoutBuzz@blowoutcards.com. 

>> Click here to buy baseball cards on BlowoutCards.com.

First Buzz: 2017 Leaf Babe Ruth Immortal Collection baseball cards

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What: 2017 Leaf Babe Ruth Immortal Collection baseball cards
Arrives: March 31
Box basics: Four hits in every six-card box (10 boxes per case)

What’s buzz-worthy: The Bambino returns with a high-end product from Leaf Trading Cards that includes two stadium seat cards and two bat cards in every single box — and the possibilities of much more.

Keep reading for more and a full gallery of images.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Feb. 11)

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The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Nothing but big NFL and MLB collecting questions.

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Steiner Sports brings game-used ties to world (No, seriously)

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We can hear it now across the office cafeteria …

“Hey, Lumbergh, you’ve got something on your tie.”

“That’s Yankee Stadium dirt, Peter.”

It could become a reality soon thanks to Steiner Sports, which has taken game-used to a new area with material from the stadium world to the office space.

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Gallery: 2017 MLB spring training & batting practice caps from New Era

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A new baseball season is nearly here with the first spring training games set to air later this month and that’s when we’ll see the newest players on their new teams.

And many of them will be wearing new uniforms — well, at least new caps.

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Unique Mickey Mantle autograph among cool items in Steiner auction

mantfos000000-2_medSometimes they just want a unique autograph.

Some vintage collectors out there may have a little bit of everything, which leaves them searching for unique pieces once they have all of the basics from when a past player was on the field. Sure, there are countless new cardboard creations for icons like Mickey Mantle, but this piece on the auction block from Steiner Sports is a bit different than the typical Mantle autograph.

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Derek Jeter signs multi-year autograph deal with Topps

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The Captain’s autographs are coming back to Topps packs.

Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has signed a multi-year autograph deal for his ink to appear in Topps baseball products. His first ink for the company since 2001 will be found in 2016 Topps Dynasty and 2016 Topps Transcendent Collection as well as 2017 Topps products. Dynasty arrives on Dec. 7, while Transcendent arrives two days later.

“Adding Derek Jeter autographs to our trading card products will be thrilling for collectors,” said David Leiner, Vice President and General Manager of North American Sports & Entertainment at Topps. “He is one of the most-prolific and well-known players of our time, and his addition is one collectors will be clamoring for.”

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Alex Rodriguez rips into a pack of 1991 Donruss baseball cards

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Yahoo! Sports’ Mike Oz had some 1991 Donruss Series 1 packs in storage and he’s made a habit of tearing into a pack or two when the time is right.

That latest bit of time came in the presence of Alex Rodriguez, who joined the Big League Stew writer to tear into a pack, see who he got inside and pull off a trade while fielding some questions.

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Heritage’s 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle auction could top $1 million

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Update: Including a buyer’s premium, the card sold for $1,135,250

A Heritage Auctions sale with more than 20 days remaining has a legitimate shot at yielding the hobby’s next million-dollar baseball card.

It’s a PSA 8.5 copy of Mickey Mantle‘s iconic 1952 Topps card and it’s already pushing the high six-figures in an auction that began earlier this month.

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Steiner Sports gets into boxed niche with Ultimate Yankee Fan Box

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Steiner Sports is jumping on a trend of the last few years with one of its newest promotion.

It’s the Ultimate Yankee Fan Box, and, while it’s not a subscription-based boxed memorabilia offering like LootCrate, it’s an interesting one to consider for fans of the New York Yankees or game-used and autographed memorabilia in general.

So, what’s guaranteed inside the 10-item box for $299.99?

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Steiner Sports’ Yogi Berra auction includes everyday items as well as legendary MLB memorabilia

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“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

That’s one of Yogi Berra‘s famous Yogi-isms and Steiner Sports‘ current auction of the Hall of Famer’s memorabilia includes one item that fits that saying well.

It’s his driver’s license.

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Masahiro Tanaka autographs coming in 2016 Topps High Tek

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One of Japan’s biggest stars finally has signed.

New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka hasn’t had a certified autograph since he came to MLB but that all changes on Nov. 23 with the arrival of 2016 Topps High Tek.

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Steiner Sports’ Don Larsen auction includes some real talkers

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More than 300 items from the collection of New York Yankees great Don Larsen are on the auction block via Steiner Sports but they’re not all glorious tributes to the man who pitched a perfect game in the World Series.

Some include some real talk — like this letter to Larsen from former Kansas City Athletics General Manager Frank Lane.

Larsen, of course, went on to pitch into the 1967 season before retiring at age 37.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Sept. 22)

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The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Vintage hauls and plenty on 2016 Topps Heritage High Number.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Sept. 14)

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The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Gary Sanchez, Don West, “All The President’s Men,” Mailman Maildays … and more.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Sept. 11)

psagradedyankee911ticketsThe Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: The day the game was canceled, big breaks and … fake Kobe Bryant Rookie Cards?

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eBay Buzz: How much would you pay for this piece of The Babe?

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If you’re still digging into boxes of 2013 Topps Five Star, you’ve lost your shot at this gem — a Babe Ruth bat barrel Relic that can currently be found on eBay.

You won’t believe the price, either.

The price tag is lofty, but it got Buzz wondering what you think this card is worth.

Or better yet …

Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to BlowoutBuzz@blowoutcards.com. 

>> Click here to buy baseball cards on BlowoutCards.com.

Topps Now goes big with David Ortiz autos & Gary Sanchez Relics

artbb-16c2s-16tn-0389f-1_1It might be the biggest (Papi) day in Topps Now history.

For the first time, Today’s Topps Now lineup includes autographs that can be purchased outright — David Ortiz — and Relics for the hard-hitting New York Yankees rookie Gary Sanchez on the same day as part of a 14-card offering.

Ortiz autos start at $199.99 for his card limited to 99 copies all the way up to a $999.99 1/1 card that is already sold out.

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Gary Sanchez’s power prompts look back at cardboard journey

Gary-Sanchez-2010Gary Sanchez is a rookie for the New York Yankees, though he’s been around the baseball block a bit.

He’s 23 but he’s already got seven years of minor-league experience with two big-league at-bats last season before his call-up this year — one that’s paid off pretty well.

How well? He’s got six home runs and 12 RBI while batting .379 in 15 games, tying him for the most-powerful start to a career for a Yankee through 17 games.

“This is a time when he’s going to play and play a lot,” Brian McCann told Newsday. He’s a future All-Star. There’s not many guys walking around with his talent. He’s one of the best young catchers I’ve seen since I’ve been in the big leagues.”

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Aaron Judge arrives for New York Yankees with plenty of power — as well as plenty of cardboard to chase

Aaron-Judge-2016 Topps-NowAaron Judge‘s arrival in New York City and New York Yankees pinstripes have already been headline-worthy with a 457-foot home tun in his first at-bat and another in his second game on Sunday.

The hours are ticking down on his first baseball card as a big-leaguer — his first Topps Now card is above, reflecting his first at-bat — but it’s far from the only cardboard for this can’t-miss prospect (he’s 6-foot-7) who’s taken a bit more time than some might expected to arrive.

His cardboard debut? Well, it came some time ago.

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Steiner Sports was in on Alex Rodriguez’s final game before it was even over — and you can be, too

ARodGU_medAlex Rodriguez‘s time as a New York Yankee on the field is over, but the auctions have just begun.

Steiner Sports is auctioning off one of the jerseys worn by A-Rod on Friday night as well as other memorabilia from the 6-3 victory as part of a “Farewell No. 13!” sale.

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Ichiro Suzuki’s “Journey to 3000” is this week’s Topps #TBT pack

artbb-cckb28-16tbt-10-secondary1.pngThe best players of today on new cards using memorable designs of yesteryear is the point of the 2016 Topps #TBT, an ongoing baseball card set from Topps that has been released one pack a week this summer.

And this week the players are all Ichiro Suzuki and his “Journey to 3,000” that ended on Sunday at Coors Field in Colorado.

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Buzz Poll: Do you think Alex Rodriguez will play elsewhere?

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Alex Rodriguez‘s playing time with the New York Yankees is coming to an end on Friday.

How many games he might play between now and then is up in the air with a road trip to Boston, but the end as a player is definitely at home on Friday with an advisory role signed through next season if he wants it. However, he insisted that he’s “not a coach” and stopped short of saying he’d never play again. Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he’d have an open door if he wanted to play elsewhere.

It’s been a long journey with cardboard that looks back to his high school days, time with USA Baseball and throughout his years with Seattle, Texas and New York.

A-Rod is four home runs short of 700 — and that makes one wonder if it’s not a possibility. What do you think? Tell us in our poll, with a comment below or on Twitter.

Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to BlowoutBuzz@blowoutcards.com. 

>> Click here to buy cards on BlowoutCards.com

Scenes from tonight’s Panini VIP Party (ongoing gallery)

CpNHM0SVIAA8v37.jpg-largeNow that the National Sports Collectors Convention is completed for today, the spotlight selectively turns to this year’s Panini VIP Party, which will include some big-name guests, big-name signers and some big-name cardboard.

Black boxes, Gold packs, autographs and more are the mementos of the event, but the memories are made with the interactions between the collectors and the stars.

We’ll help take you behind the rope virtually right here with a gallery of images from tonight’s event.

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Reggie Jackson is Panini America’s second confirmed VIP Party guest

Co9fcR7UkAABSdA.jpg-large“Mr. October” is coming to the Panini America VIP Party on Saturday night coinciding with the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City, N.J.

Reggie Jackson is the second guest confirmed for the party.

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Ichiro Suzuki’s 3,000-hit conquest may hit its finale sooner than later

1993-BBM-ichiro-suzukiHe’s been a legendary hitter in MLB since arriving in a Seattle Mariners uniform back in 2001, and he’s now 42 years old and on a tear with 10 hits in his last three games for the Miami Marlins.

He’s Ichiro Suzuki and he’s just 40 hits away from the 3,000 Hit Club as a major-leaguer. (Throw on 1,434 hits in Japan and, well, that’s a career mark even Pete Rose should appreciate.)

Even if you’re a deep-pocketed collector, chasing Ichiro cardboard isn’t easy. He’s been in high demand since his legendary Rookie of the Year/MVP season and there’s plenty of cardboard from that year alone. There’s also been plenty since. And there are also plenty of collectors from around the world who are watching his cardboard just as intently as they are watching the box scores right now.

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Al Capone’s fingerprints up for grabs this week via Heritage Auctions

Heritage14The impressive stash of 1992 Olympic Dream Team memorabilia will probably get the post-sale attention, but there are a few other big-ticket items presently the auction block and ending in the next few days via Heritage Auctions.

The weirdest? Al Capone‘s fingerprints.

In 1929, Capone provided these prints after he was sent to the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. It’s an 8-inch square document that’s also signed by Capone — and it’s presently sitting at $44,000 ($52,580 with a buyer’s premium) with two days remaining in the sale.

Sure, it’s not a sports item — but there are some big pieces in that world that more than a few collectors would want to get their hands on in this auction. Keep reading for more.

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Board Buzz Gallery: Just don’t drool over these baseball cards

Ruth bat knobSometimes you just have to let the images speak for themselves.

Check out this gallery of images — new additions to a Blowout forum collection thread that Buzz included in yesterday’s Board Buzz.

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Four cards top $100,000 mark in Memory Lane Inc. auction

item_38092_1Memory Lane Inc.’s Spring Classics Rarities Auction ended with more than $2.9 million in sales during the weekend and four cards were of note helping the company reach that mark.

Three of them topped $100,000, while a fourth key card from the past topped $90,000 before a 20 percent premium was added.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (May 8)

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The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Showing off your Top 10 cards, 1990s NBA box breaks, Bartolo Colon‘s historic homer, 2015 Topps Diamond & Tim Duncan‘s cardboard.

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Hideki Matsui to sign at National Sports Collectors Convention

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Former New York Yankees star and 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui has been added to the autograph roster for this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City, N.J.

He’s scheduled to sign on the final day of the five-day show, Aug. 7.

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