As baseball's best players head to St. Louis for this year's Major League Baseball All-Star Game, collectors will want to head to the Gateway City as well for the MLB All-Star FanFest.
07/09/2009 2:27 PM ET
FanFest offers collectors treats
St. Louis' America's Center hosts this year's event
This year's FanFest runs from July 10-14 at the America's Center in downtown St. Louis. Now in its 19th year, FanFest is like a theme park for baseball fans. The event features interactive exhibits and attractions, skills clinics and seminars, free autograph sessions with Cardinals legends and Hall of Famers, exhibits of rare and historic memorabilia and much more.
The Collector's Showcase portion of the show offers a variety of items for sale for hobbyists, and both Topps and Upper Deck will be producing exclusive products available only at FanFest. Here's a look at what each company is offering:
Topps: Collectors who purchase three packs of specific 2009 Topps baseball brands (Topps, Heritage, Finest, Bowman or Allen & Ginter) from any exhibitor at FanFest can open their packs at the Topps booth and redeem the wrappers for one of five cards. The five-card set features Albert Pujols, Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel, Yadier Molina and Kahlil Greene. Only 200 cards per player will be available each day.
Collectors who purchase a complete box of any of those same 2009 products and redeem the empty wrappers will receive an All-Star Game logo patch card of Ryan Howard or Ichiro.
Topps will also be selling a special version of its 2009 Baseball factory sets. The sets feature special All-Star Game packaging and also contain five special All-Star cards of current Cardinals not found in any other product. Fans who purchase the sets will also receive an exclusive Pujols All-Star Game logo patch card.
Upper Deck: For its wrapper redemption program, fans who purchase three packs of any 2009 Upper Deck brand with a suggested retail price of $1.99 per pack or higher and open the packs at the company's booth will receive one of five exclusive FanFest four-card packs. The packs offered vary each day.
Friday's packs include Pujols, Ken Griffey Jr., Bruce Sutter and Tim Lincecum; Saturday's lineup is Stan Musial, Derek Jeter, Ankiel and Enos Slaughter; Sunday offers Ozzie Smith, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dustin Pedroia and Colby Rasmus; Monday will boast Bob Gibson, Joe DiMaggio, Zach Greinke and Ryan Braun; and Tuesday's foursome is Lou Brock, Ichiro, Red Schoendienst and Josh Hamilton. The card, with artwork by Ron Stark, shows five Cardinal greats: Smith, Gibson, Brock, Pujols and Musial. The original painting will be on display at Upper Deck's booth and will be sold on Tuesday during the live Hunt Auctions event starting at 10 a.m.
In addition, collectors can pick up a free Pujols poster each day. Upper Deck will also have its personalized trading card station where collectors can get free personalized MLB FanFest trading cards produced free of charge by Upper Deck.
As mentioned earlier, FanFest is a great place for autograph collectors. More than 40 Cardinals favorites and popular Hall of Famers will be signing at no charge during the five-day event. Signers include Lee Smith, Will Clark, Rollie Fingers, Juan Marichal, Earl Weaver, Harmon Killebrew, Vince Coleman, Goose Gossage and many others.
For a taste of some truly rare baseball memorabilia, check out the live Hunt Auctions event going on throughout the show. Bats used by Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle, a cap worn by Lou Gehrig, and jerseys worn by Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Warren Spahn are among the treasures being offered.