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.
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.
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
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.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.