Category Archives: Cardboard Icons

Thrift Treasures 86: 6 Hits and more for a buck

For about a year, one of the thrift stores that I frequent has had thousands of cards sitting around for the price of 20/$1. Sadly, most of them were straight up commons from 1989 Fleer, 1989 Upper Deck and a few other sets from the same time frame. The boxes had been picked clean of anything worth owning.

Well, when I walked in this week, those boxes were gone and in its place was a single smaller box of cards, which had just arrived. Judging from the contents, I had to have been the first one to get a crack at them.

Most of the box consisted of Jacksonville Jaguar cards, mostly Mark Brunnel and Fred Taylor, but there were some other stragglers that made this a fun box to pillage. In all, I chose 20 cards and spent a whopping $1. And as the title of this post suggests, six of these 20 cards were hits — relics and or autographs. While they aren’t going to net me a fortune or anything, that’s still a huge win for being a thrift find.

And to the guy who walked in behind me and started rifling through the cards clearly in search of something worth owning, all I can say is: better luck next time.

Without further adieu, here is the haul:

Eight of the cards were relatively basic. But I figured I may as well fill out the 20-card order with whatever base cards or parallels seemed worthy of a nickel.

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Here’s a pair of 2000 Ultimate Victory Football Parallel rookie cards.  Deltha O’Neal is a local guy so it was a decent pick up.  Besides, the two top loaders were worth a nickel on their own.

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A few inserts and a Matt Holliday were a fun addition at this price

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In 1999, numbered parallels were still in demand by collectors.  Here’s a Dan Marino 1999 Encore F/X “Seize The Game” Gold parallel numbered 063/250

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And not the hits.  Like I said earlier, these aren’t going to break the bank, but consider that they cost a nickle each.

Speaking of nickels, here a 1998 Edge Ryan Leaf Draft Special featuring a swatch of Leaf’s jersey, which is the size of … a nickel.

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Remember Shaun King?  For a minute he was a legit NFL quarterback.  Here is a 2000 UD Ovation cards featuring a piece of his helmet.  This may be the first helmet swatch I have ever owned.

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Game-used cards were in full effect in 2000. Playoff, former known as Donruss.Leaf, Playoff 9DLP0 made some of the coolest ones.  Here is a Absolute Leather and Laces card featuring a swatch of ball used ont he Dec. 19, 1999 game between the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans.  Phenom Jevon Kearse is shown on this card, which is serial numbered to 250 copies.

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Playoff made lots of game-used items in the late 1990s. Among them were these weird team checklist cards which featured TWO swatches of jersey, neither of which were attributed to any particular player. Bad idea …

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After I went through the box and fished out what I thought was every decent cards, I did one more search and stick — literally — in the middle of a stack of 2000 Victory commons was this 1998 Skybox Autographics auto of Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala, former of the Uniiversity of Utah, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Say that name three times fast.

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And the last card if perhaps my favorite.  After the St. Louis Rams wont he Super Bowl in 1999, Upper Deck made championship relic cards and inserted them into packs of 2000 Ultimate Victory.  They were gorgeous cards then and even now, a decade and a half later, they’re still great-looking examples of relic cards done right.

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Total cost of these treasures: $1

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

Thrift Treasures 85: A mini helmet signed by an NFL HOFer

I have two kids.  One is in elementary school and the other is in pre-school.  Neither of them really enjoy shopping at thrift stores because “everything is old.” When they were younger they didn’t vent their displeasure, they just went along with the program.  So the only time I really get to go is when they both are in school.  My son (pre-schooler) goes to school two days a week and for only two hours.  What does this mean?  This means that in those two hours I get to jam in as much thrifting as a man can do.  I can cover stores within a 15-mile radius in that time if I stick to a quick search of the stores.

 

Well today, Tuesday, was one of those days.  I saw lots of cards today but not a single one came home with me.  I wasn’t interested in the baggies of 90s commons for $2.99 each or the 500-count boxes of 1987 Topps and 1988 Donruss for $9.99 either.  I had mild interest in a box that contained 20 packs of 1991 Fleer and a 1989 Donruss rack pack that had a Ken Griffey Jr. Rated Rookie on top.  And I would have bought that box ($9.99) had I not already found something that really caught my eye.

Behold, a Washington Redskins mini helmet bearing the signature of Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Theismann. This thing was sitting unprotected on a shelf in the misc. section.  Thankfully his signature is really only recognizable to sports fans.  The price tag ($4.29) as you can see in the picture made this an absolute no-brainer.

  

The autograph is in silver paint pent and is in pretty decent condition considering the rough environment in which it was found

Total cost of these treasures: $4.29

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

And then … there was one. Another big 2000 GOTG SP Auto acquired

Never did I ever think I would get so close to finishing one of the greatest sets of all time. The 2000 Greats of the Game autograph set has been one of the top sets I have ever seen and over the last two years I have spent time and money trying to finish this thing.  I have bought cards locally, I have purchased cards at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland in 2014, and I waited nearly a month for a card to arrive from New York after some snafu with the Postal Service. And now … I have brought a card back to the United States of America from Tokyo, Japan.

Behold, the second to last card for the set, the George Brett certified autograph from Fleer.

IMG_0819I’ve noted before that the George Brett autograph was one of the hardest to acquire and over the last few months a few have popped up on eBay with Buy-It-Now prices that would make some heads spin. And even though some of those sellers take offers, none of them would come down to a price range I was happy with.

And then IT happened … one was put up for auction by a seller in Japan.  After a week of bids, and many last-minute ones, I managed to win the card and today it arrived at home in less than two weeks from the date of purchase.

This acquisition leaves me ONE card shy of the set.  You can see 91 of the 92 cards here.

Thrift Treasures 84: Jesse “The Body” Ventura autograph, “error” WWE cards and SF Giants SGA set

IMG_9905Lately I’ve been getting back into professional wrestling.  Laugh if you want, but it’s always been that thing in the background that I’ve always found entertaining.  This is all makes sense because in about two weeks I’ll be attending my first WrestleMania. So it would seem fitting that this edition of Thrift Treasures is heavily wrestling-centric.

On Friday I made a trip to two thrift stores in the area and the first item I located for sale was a baggie of random wrestling cards for $1.49.  This baggie looked to have a stack of 2009 Topps cards and some other odd Topps WWE cards I’d never even seen before.

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The condition of the cards was obviously not great, but I figured it was worth a trip down memory lane.

The base 2009 Topps cards were interesting.  There was an early Brie Bella release, a gold parallel (/500) Kane, a pair of CM Punk cards, and many more stars.

IMG_0418There were also some inserts …

IMG_0419And then these weird Topps Insider cards … Make sure you pay close attention to the last scan

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OK, you’ve seen them.  Do you see the two errors? One is Brock “Lesner” instead of Lesnar, and the other is …

IMG_0427… um, oops. The only remote way this is ‘Triple H” is if we are calling him Hollywood Hulk Hogan, but he’s not even dressed that way, so …

The next item I located was yet another signed book for my growing collection.  This book is signed by a politician/professional wrestling legend Jesse “The Body”Ventura. Pretty neat find for the price.

IMG_0334 IMG_0335And the final item is a 32-card 2011 Topps Emerald San Francisco Giants Stadium giveaway set featuring second year cards of Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner, as well as a rookie-year release of Brandon Crawford.

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Total cost of these treasures: $7.47

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

BGS/BVG order returns: ’56 Clemente slabbed; RC’s crossed over

So, a few months ago my co-worker advised me that he had established a relationship with one of his local thrift stores and they would contact him if they obtained any sports cards.  This shop isn’t a chain store, just some little shop that buys storage lockers and resells items. I’ve never been there, but that’s how it was described to me.  And given the location in the middle of nowhere, I had no reason to doubt my friend’s description.

A short while after that relationship was established, my friend sends me pictures from the shop of various vintage cards.  Among the cards was a 1956 Topps Roberto Clemente. Long story short, my co-worker end up buying a bunch of cards and collectibles for several hundred dollars from this store.  In these transactions he acquired for me the aforementioned 1956 Topps Clemente and an off-center 1956 Topps Hank Aaron. I initially was going to send both cards to BGS in my order, but ultimately decided on just the Clemente as it was centered almost perfectly.

Well, the Clemente is  gorgeous. It graded a 6.5.  I could flip it for a decent profit, but like everything else in this batch of Beckett Graded cards, they are all for my personal collection.

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The Clemente was the newest addition to my collection before the BGS order was sent, but just about the same time I completed that transaction, I acquired a rookie card of Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg.  This 1934 Goudey rookie card had been elusive. And then it happened. A HENRY Greenberg rookie card was posted on eBay and it was slabbed by SGC.  The card looked amazing, and the simple fact that it was listed as Henry likely kept bidding lower that it should have went.  Centered the card was, but mint it is not.  I could not see that it had a crease in the picture on eBay, but when it arrived I could see it. Disappointed?  Not really.  The card was graded a 2.5 by SGC and that would explain why.  Whenever I purchase rookies that are graded by SGC, GAI or even PSA, I almost always end up cracking them and sending them to Beckett Grading because I like the continuity in my display case and I feel the cases are superior to the other companies. So I cracked it and sent it to BGS.  It crossed over at exactly a 2.5

IMG_0214Speaking of a crossover, here is a 1959 Topps Bob Gibson rookie card that is absolutely stunning.  It’s centered and doesn’t have a single crease.  So why was it graded an SGC 2 when it came into my hands.  There is clear glue residue on the back. It came back from BGS as a 2.5.  It could be the best-looking card in this grade. Finding these Gibson rookie centered is not an easy task.  I’m more than happy to have this copy, regardless of the grade that it has been assigned.

IMG_0218Technically speaking, there are no official rookie cards prior to 1933.  That is the year that Goudey was released and according to Beckett, that set holds the first “rookie cards.” This means that many early 20th century legends do not have rookie cards.  Ty Cobb, Cy Young and even Honus Wagner technically do not have rookies.  But for my collection, this just means I seek early cards of the players, and in most cases, I chase the coveted T206 tobacco cards. At some point last year I acquired a Willie Keeler graded a PSA 1. I sent it to BVG in this order and it came back a BVG 2. I wasn’t expecting that.  Grading on T206s is always a crapshoot.  I’m just happy that BVG concurred with PSA on the fact that the card was real.

IMG_0215Sometime last year I was taking inventory of my Hall of Famer rookie cards and noticed that I was missing a Robin Roberts 1949 Bowman rookie.  I managed to find a raw centered copy with rounded corners for about $25. Needless to say it was submitted and came back … a 2.5. Not exactly a high-end copy, but it looks great in this case. Still worth every penny that I put into the card and the grading fee.

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One of the oddest rookie card parings I own is the 1941 DoublePlay card that features not only Harold “Pee Wee” Reese but also Kirby Higbe.  The pairing is notable because Reese has for a long time been portrayed as a supporter of Jackie Robinson and Higbe was among a group of players who was traded in 1947 after they refused to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers after Robinson was brought onto the team as Major League Baseball’s first African-American player. This copy was a PSA 4 when I purchased it.  I cracked it from its case and saw that the only real blemish was a stain near the left border.  It came back a 5.5.

IMG_0212And speaking of Jackie Robinson.  In 2006, shortly after I returned to the hobby, I acquired a 1949 Bowman Robinson for my collection.  It was raw when I purchased it and I sent it to BGS to have it slabbed as ‘Authentic” instead of actually graded.  At the time I liked that idea.  However, over the years I’ve found that many people are confused by this, and in my own display cases, the blue labels looked odd with the silver, white and occasional gold labels issued by Beckett Grading.  I decided this was the perfect time to crack the Robinson from it’s authentic case and submit it along with the aforementioned Reese/Higbe rookie. It came back a 1.5.

IMG_0213The final card in this batch is on that was acquired at about the same time as the Jackie Robinson.  It is 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie.  In recent years, these cards have increased in value regardless of condition.  My copy is clearly not mint as it is way off center.  But it is not creased, so that it a plus. Like the Robinson, I initially submitted this card to be placed in an “Authentic” case only. And for the same reasons as the Robinson, I decided to crack it and sent it in this batch.  I was surprised to see it come back as a 2 — I just figured the centering would kill the grade — but the fact that there are no creases is always a positive apparently.

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He won more World Series titles than Ric Flair had major World Heavyweight Titles

Ric Flair is widely recognized as having held a major wrestling Heavyweight Championship title in the WWE(WWF), WCW, and NWA 16 times. Did you know there is a baseball player/coach who won more World Series titles than Flair held wrestling heavyweight belts?

Enter Frank Crosetti of the New York Yankees. Crosetti played 17 seasons in the majors and after his playing days went in to coach the Yankees. In all, he made 23 World Series appearances and was a member of 17 championship teams. Here he is pictured on his 1933 Goudey rookie card, one that I recently picked up from COMC.com.

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4x 2015 Topps Toys R Us blister packs with purples

If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that I have fallen in love with the 2015 Topps Toys R Us purple parallels. They are foil and are gorgeous. I personally think they are the best looking parallel of the base set so far. And for $2.99 a pack you get three purples and a basic retail pack.

I you’ve been breaking any Topps packs this year you may have gotten some of those coupons from packs, which give you anywhere from 50 cents to $10 off a purchase. The amount is specified on the card.

Well, I had pulled six of them and placed a few into my wallet for future purchase. Well, guess what? You can use them at Toys R Us. I had four with me on Tuesday so I decided to go buy a few “purple packs.” With the coupon that brings the purchase down to $2.50 per, which is a no-brainer since I love the purples so much.

Here is the loot. As my luck had it I snagged a relic in the packs, one of Javier Baez. I also got a gold parallel, which is you haven’t noticed are tougher this year. And my purples weren’t half-bad either.

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Thrift Treasures 83: A bag of ‘Super’ Topps cards + bonus

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IMG_9897You know why I love thrift shopping?  Because you never know what you’re going to find.

Such was the case Monday when I visited a local thrift shop and located a bag of oversized cards hanging on a peg hook in the toy section.  There was a 35-year-old card of former Indians player Rick Manning starring at me with a nice stack of similar over-sized 1980 and 1981 Topps Super cards behind it.  I estimated that there were about 50 of these jumbo cards within the bag.  And since I had not owned any of these, and the cost per card was going to be able a dime each, I figured I’d bite.  I mean, why not? Maybe I could turn some of them into an art project, use them to decorate, or even help out some other collectors who had been seeking them.

After located the bag, I checked the remaining peg hooks and located about a dozen bags that held stacks of 1990 Topps, which was clearly obvious based on the horrific borders that year. And then there was one bag that really caught my attention for three reasons:  1) There was an unopened re-pack type of pack dated from 1989 inside, 2) There were two packs of cards within (2010 Topps Ser. 1 and 2010 Upper Deck); and 3)  the price tag was a mere 99 cents. So …. I bought them too.

IMG_9898We’ll start with the cheap(er) stuff.  As it turned out, the Topps and Upper Deck packs in this 99-cent bag were opened.  But clearly whomever owned them before didn’t remove anything because I pulled arguably the best 1951 Topps Blue Back card in the set, Babe Ruth.  It’s not worth a bunch, but it is Babe Ruth.

IMG_9931The Upper Deck pack was less exciting.  But we’re not five years removed from Upper Deck’s last-ditch effort at producing baseball cards.  If you remember, MLB ended its 20-year relationship with Upper Deck after 2009, but UD still had a contact with the Major League Baseball Player’s Association.  So, Upper Deck produced baseball cards that wre unauthorized by MLB and used photos that were supposed to hide the actual logos.  Well, check out these four cards in my 18-card pack.  Those logos (Team and MLB) look pretty clear to me.

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Remember that re-pack thing I mentioned earlier?  THAT was stilll sealed.  I remember seeing these at stores like K-Mart, Toys R Us, Woolworth, KB Toys etc. when I was a kid.  So I was taking a two-and-a-half decade jaunt back in time with this.  Was I expecting anything exciting? Not really.  Even if the company who created these implied there might be items of value inside by showcasing a 1954 Topps Ted Williams on its wrapper …

IMG_9910The packaging promises a mix of Topps, Donruss, Score and Fleer.  That, they delivered.  Sadly, it looks like they took a 1989 Topps Cello pack and removed the wrapper, then added in two to three of the 1988 Donruss and Score, and 1989 Fleer sets. Ugh.  I did manage to get a pair Hall of Famers though.

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Now we move onto the Topps Supers.  I estimated that there were 50 cards inside.  As it turned out there were 48, including a half-dozen football, which actually made this even more intriguing to me:

IMG_9922That’s not a bad six pack:  Tony Dorsett, Joe Theismann, Bob Griese, Franco Harris, Joe Greene and John Stallworth.

The baseball ones were fun too, and there were even a few dupes.  As stated earlier, none of these are worth a ton, but they are fun to own.  Heck, if I had them when I was younger I definitely would have placed them on the front of my school binder.  Here are the cards from the 1980 set; followed by a few from 1981, specifically from the Phillies, Yankees and Mets.

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Total cost of these treasures: $5.98

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

COMC shipment knocks chunk out of 2014 Gypsy Queen mini set needs

Over the weekend I received a shipment from COMC of 100 cards. Some will be for resell, others are for my PC, and a good size chunk — about 30 — are for my 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen Mini set.

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I figured this was a good time to share an Update in this set and see of there was anyone who had any for trade.

You can see my 2014 needs here:
http://cardboardicons.com/2014-needs/

Rookie Card Upgrade 5: 1970 Topps Thurman Munson

About a decade ago when I started to seriously collect vintage rookie cards condition was not a priority for me.  Rounded corners, creases, ink, etc.  None of it really mattered.  All it did was make the card more affordable for me.

Truthfully, I still operate this way in some cases.  But I also like to upgrade rookie cards — key rookie cards — when the opportunity presents itself.

Such was the case with the 1970 Topps Thurman Munson rookie card.  Munson is one of those players whose legend lives on.  A stud players who died far too young, one who has a strong following, one that seems to get stronger over the years as more people appreciate him.

I bought my first Thurman Munson Topps rookie for about $30.  I might have over-paid for the condition, but having the card was important for me.  And then a few years later I was able to acquire the Canadian version, the 1970 O-Pee-Chee rookie.  Again, there was much to be desired in terms of condition, but the opportunity was there and I jumped on it.

So for years, these two Thurman Munson rookies sat in my collection, filling the void for the Hall of Famer.

IMG_9761 IMG_9762Then opportunity knocked again a few weeks ago to make a huge upgrade for my collection for a fairly decent price.  I unloaded a bunch of low-priced stuff on COMC.com and was able to acquire this gorgeous old-label Beckett Vintage Grading (BVG 6.5) copy with fantastic subgrades, 8,8,8.5, 6. The low grade is on corners.

IMG_9760This card arrived from COMC over the weekend.  Now that I am able to examine it in hand, I can see that the corner grade was given not because the corners aren’t sharp, but because they are a tad white — probably from sitting in a card saver without a penny sleeve for too long.

I have more stuff from COMC that I’ll be showcasing in different ways in the coming days.

You can see more Rookie Card Upgrade posts HERE.

2015 Topps Macklemore card is my new “Wallet Card”

When 2015 Topps was released there was one insert card I had to own. Yes, it was a “First Pitch” insert card. But it was not “The Dude.” And it wasn’t 50 Cent. It was non other than Seattle rapper Macklemore. Why? Um … Have you not been reading Thrift Treasures?

Macklemore famously sang about thrift shopping a few years back and has become much bigger since the song was released and played out everywhere. It only seemed fitting that known the card.

A few weeks back a Twitter follower joked that one day I would find a Macklemore card on top of a Baggie of baseball cards at a thrift store. It literally made me laugh out loud … Because he’s probably right.

I went about three weeks ripping packs of 2015 Topps backs. I think I own enough Austin Mahone First Pitch inserts to decorate a bathroom, but it was not until today that I FINALLY pulled a Macklemore.

And wouldn’t you my next stop was … The thrift store. When I pulled up to the store I had a stroke of genius. I was not only going to enjoy my Macklemore card, but I was going to make it my new “Wallet Card,” the single card that I would carry in my wallet.

At this very moment Macklemore is resting comfortably, but it is only a matter of time before the card is bent and thrashed. And that’s OK. Because it’s fitting that the card LOOK like some that I have found at thrift store. It’ll be all good until the card starts smelling like R Kelly’s sheets …

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Thrift Treasure 81: MLB Showdown ASG finds a home

I’ll say this up front, I am not a big card game guy.  I never got into Magic.  I never played Pokemon. I don’t hate it.  I don’t dislike people who play such games.  I, personally, have never felt the need to sit down and learn or play those games.  They are games of strategy; I prefer to apply my knowledge — the little that I have — to my hobby, where I acquire real things. That’s just how I operate.

IMG_9512Having said that, I do find some intrigue when I find card game cards at thrift stores.  I have a little knowledge as to what is “worth” money, but I can say that I have not cashed in on anything card game related.  This post, I suppose, follows in those foot steps.

So, in the early 2000s, Wizards of the Coast, makers of the Magic The Gathering cards, produced a series of baseball strategy card game that spanned the course of four of five seasons I believe. The game had a mild following. I don’t recall the cards ever being scorching hot.  And every now and then I find them in thrift stores, usually mixed in with some typical baseball cards. I usually pass on them unless I see an absolute reason to buy:  Multiple foil cards, many “first edition” cards, multiple stars, quantity for little money,  etc.”

On this occasion, I happened to find this box (shown here) sitting in an aisle of photo albums.  It must’ve been mistaken for a photo box, but I knew what it was immediately. When I opened it, I got a bit excited because while the bx itself makes for a fun display, it had a fair amount of cards. I was even more exited when I learned that the $3.99 price tag on it was incorrect for on this day, this item was half off.

IMG_9513So for $1.99 everything in this picture came home with me.  And while I won’t strike it rich with this find, it turned out to be a bargain.

The box contained 5 foil cards …

IMG_9543A bunch  of cards, albeit it a 4:1 ratio of strategy cards to player cards

IMG_9545Some neat team — and other subject/set — dividers

IMG_9546and … 50 2002 All-Star Game cards, which is the whole set.

IMG_9544The funny thing is the 2002 All Star Game is infamous for having ended in a tie, which ultimately led to then-Commissioner Bud Selig to the ASG “count” in subsequent years.

Total cost of these treasures: $1.99

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

Actual cartoons from the back of 2 1969 Topps rookies

As you may know I am in the process of cataloging my rookie cards. Year-by-year, card number by card number, name by name, etc. anyhow, I was going through some 1969 Topps rookies today and came across those of Bill Melton and Jerry Johnson. The cartoons on the back of their cards are fantastic and I figured I’d share them. Because of the salaries in pro sports today many don’t have to work jobs during the off season. It wasn’t always that way.

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Michael Jordan wishes you a Happy Valentines Day

Raise your hand of you have these bad boys out during Valentines Day during the early 1990s!

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I sure as hell did. And honestly, I wish a kept a box of them for myself.

I have memories of tearing these perforated cards off the sheet and taping them to boxes of Sweethearts. Even the girls got cards of MJ.

They’re cheesy as hell, but now nearly a quarter century (let that sink in) they are a classic throwback.

Happy Valentines Day!

Remember 2014?

As I get older, it gets more and more difficult to wrap my head around each year. It’s 2015 already and I think I’ve just finished figuring out what 2012 was all about.

For the last decade or more, the years have blended together, and I don’t see that trend stopping, only speeding up.

Baseball cards help slow things down a little. Each year of new cards is a marker for that year, and if the year goes by too fast, I can at least say, “well, I liked that set in 2008″ or “this is what the cards looked like in 2010.” Maybe that won’t help in polite conversation when jerky co-workers are remembering each year by the countries they visited, but it helps me document things in my own little head.

Unfortunately, it seems the years are now moving too quickly even for my baseball card collecting.

Here we are raving about 2015 Topps and I’m still horribly delinquent in a number of 2014 card responsibilities. I still haven’t completed the Dodgers team set from last year’s base set, I haven’t even bothered to post a 2014 Bowman team set want list, and when it comes to my yearly habit of completing Allen & Ginter, I’m not even done with the 2013 set.

I was so much more together in 2009 — at least when it came to cards.

These days I need handouts to finish things off.

For instance, my 2014 Allen and Ginter chase has been gasping for air for months. It’s sickly, panting in the corner, wearing a couple of IVs and with an oxygen mask over its face. One blaster and a few rack packs and then the money ran out. Perhaps completing sets 2008 through 2012 was as good as it was going to get. Maybe I didn’t have it in me anymore.

Then along came Cardboard Icons. Ben had a whole bunch of 2014 A&G dupes just ready to ship out. One very large stack arrived on my front step not too long ago.

That’s not the front step. But that’s the stack.

That’s 128 cards, which trimmed my want list down to under 50. I’ve already thrown away the oxygen mask and ripped out the IVs.

I’ve addressed most of my views on 2014 A&G already, But I did feel a few unspoken thoughts welling up as I looked through these cards, so let’s take a listen to those:

Allen & Ginter has made its peace with the PED crowd a lot quicker than the writers, Hall of Fame or some retired players. I’m not exactly itching for another Roger Clemens card — I’d be more happy if they were throwing pictures of Rick Burleson and Juan Beniquez on fancy card stock — but I’m glad baseball cards can be a place where punishments hold no power.

I don’t watch cable news so I didn’t know who Chuck Todd was until pulling this card. I read on the back that he’s a baseball card collector and I’m automatically intrigued.

I had to stare at this card for much too long before determining that Orlando Hernandez had not re-signed with the Yankees and was playing for them in 2014. Why does Topps do this? El Duque was still playing in pro ball in 2010! Can we at least let his stats grow cold before throwing another Yankee tribute at collectors? How about a card of Bake McBride please?

While I like the design of 2014 A&G a lot, there are two distressing things about it.

1. The card stock curls. This has been an issue for the last couple of years. A&G card stock should not curl.
2. This card is miscut. And it’s not the only one I’ve seen recently. A&G cards should not be miscut.

But, damn, do I like this card.

A few months ago I went through the 2014 A&G checklist and noted what a perfect job the set did in projecting which players would make the Hall of Fame in 2015.

Hall picks Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio all have cards in this set. A&G also made cards for Mike Piazza and Tim Raines, although they just missed out (finishing 5th and 7th, respectively). It’s interesting to note that Jeff Bagwell, who was 6th, did not get a card.

As cool as the ’70s Reggie card was, this is not cool. Dusty the player is a Dodger. Dusty Dodger. Alliteration means I’m right.

This is a lot better photo of Al Kaline than A&G used last year, which has been reused in one of Topps’ insert sets for 2015:

This Kaline photo is a cropped version of his 1970 Topps card. But you really have to be careful about photo cropping when hands are down that way.

Speaking of which:

Come on, man.

And there’s another issue with this card (and a few others in the set).

I think Mr. Nava needs to be quarantined.

Moving on to better cards. Johnny Bench has been featured in Allen & Ginter for a few years now. But I don’t think there’s a better A&G card of him than this one. This is how I remember ol’ Krylon Spray Paint pitchman.

Allen & Ginter overloaded on beauty queens in 2014. The fact that Miss USA Erin Brady is not the A&G Babe of the Year (future post on the way) explains how tough the competition was in 2014.

I think we’re being entirely too hard on Austin Wierschke, texting champion. We need to be going after the people who thought it was necessary to organize a national texting tournament.

You may have read about a study several months ago that determined that women are more different from other women than men are different from other men. I look at this card and I know that this study is thoroughly inaccurate.

Final card. Just because I felt the need to bring some decorum to the discussion.

Allen & Ginter isn’t as good as it was six years ago, but it’s still collectible and still probably the most interesting card set on the market.

And it needs to stay around. Because if it goes, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to tell one year from the next.

Topps really hoodwinked collectors with the Million Card Giveaway

It was billed as a

<audio for this video is screwed up … I covered the microphone by accident.>

Million Card Giveaway.  Th promotion seemed simple enough: Topps supposedly bought back the cards your mother threw away and stashed them until collectors unlocked the cards via their Web site and then asked for them to be shipped.

The condition of some of these cards have left some collectors less than satisfied.  But what’s a bigger sin is that some collectors are not even receiving the cards they unlocked or traded for.

About a month ago I received my initial package from Topps and in my post I noted that one cards, probably the most valuable card, that I unlocked was not shipped.  Instead, the shipping list stated that the card was back logged.

Initially, I was curious how a card was backlogged when the premise of the giveaway was the Topps had re-purchased these cards to giveaway.  And then about a week ago I started receiving comments and messages regarding the same card I didn’t receive, the 1961 Topps Phil Rizzuto MVP card.

Collectors who contacted me stated that they received a single 1954 Topps common instead of their Rizzuto, no one seemed happy.  And then on Tuesday I received my envelope from Topps.  I filmed my opening of the envelope as you can see above and received the same thing — a 1954 Topps common. (sidenote: the video sucks because I accidentally covered the microphone while shooting with my iPhone.)

It’s ridiculous that Topps was unable to secure a card that as been out for five decades.  And to think that collectors would be OK with a older common is a smack in the face.  And to make matter worse MY 1954 Topps Frank House card is creased and looked like someone stepped on it.  I’m not sure what condition others collectors have been receiving.

The end results of the MCG go to show that Topps cannot be trusted with its buy back program. Who knows how the current promotion — the Diamond Giveaway — will turn out.  Maybe those who unlock real rings will get a nice vintage silver plastic ring with a spider on it instead of their newly created ring holding gemstone.

To be continued …

Thrift Treasures XXXII: San Francisco Tri-Star Show edition

The annual Tri-Star Productions card and autograph show rolled through the San Francisco Bay Area last weekend, and I was able to attend for the second time in three years.

I love this show.  There’s always tons of variety, and it’s kind of neat to see collector’s of all ages and races gather in a spot to buy what they like.  There’s always a ton of factory sealed wax and high end rookies and vintage card at this show.  But my main purpose in going was, without a doubt, the bargain bins.

One thing I had going for me this time was the fact that I attended the show on the very first day.  So, in theory, I was among the first batch of people to go through these boxes.  And judging by the results, this is definitely something I’ll have to do again in the future.

We’ll start with z dime Box. Pretty self-explanatory. Every card in the dealer’s Monster Boxes were a dime each.  Typically boxes like these are jam packed with commons.  Not this time.

1952 Bowman Hank Thompson

That get your attention?  That’s a 1952 Bowman Henry Thompson card, the second to last one in the set.  Sure, someone appears to have stapled it to something — perhaps a wall? — at one point, but this matters not.  It cost a dime — the same price as a top loader.

1951 Bowman Eddie Miksis RC

Score!  1951 Bowman rookie of Eddie Miksis! Who?!  Exactly.  But does it really matter.  This one looks like it was the victim of a run-in with a GI Joe toting a bazooka, but still … it was a dime. AND it’s going into my ever-growing rookie collection.

I know most of you don’t give a damn about vintage cards, so I’ll switch gears here and hit you with a few cards more contemporary ones.

2008 Elite Extra Edition Mike Stanton

2008 Elite Extra Edition Wilmer Flores

2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects Gaby Sanchez

2007 Elite Extra Edition Drew Stubbs

I love finding low-end rookie/prospect cards of up-and-coming players like these guys — it’s like finding a small treasure.  The Mike Stanton is being sold in a local shop for $8; Sanchez and Stubbs are legitimate major leaguer at this point.  Flores has yet to crack the Majors, but he’s supposedly on his way.

1991 Upper Deck Rickey Henderson / Lou Brock

This 1991 Upper Deck Rickey Henderson / Lou Brock card is a classic in the Bay Area.  I’ve owned dozens of copies of this card before, but NEVER one of variations with the date printed on the base.  What makes this find even more surprising is that Rickey was signing at this show, albeit on a different day.  Usually dealers set cards aside for the guys who are signing and then jack up the prices for the impulse autograph buyers.

1998 SPX Finite Radiance Barry Bonds /3500

From one Bay Area legend to another.  I was a fan of 1998 SPX Finite.  Honestly, I would have bought more of it if it were not so damn expensive for its time.  The vast majority of the Finite I wound up with came from repack boxes that were sold at KMart in 2000.  This Bonds card is a Radiance parallel, serial numbered to 3,500 copies. Super rare! … well, in 1998, anyway.

Let’s shoe-horn in a few hockey cards.

1990-1991 Topps Mike Modano RC

1991-1992 Upper Deck Peter Forsberg RC

1978 Topps Sticker Philadelphia Flyers

Whose up for some Minis?  Here are 13 Topps Gypsy Queen minis (including an insert, 2 SPs, and 2 parallels)

I’ve kind of come full circle on Minor League cards.  I used to love them when I was a kid collector, and then I abandoned them.  In recent months I’ve come to dig them again.  Here are 10 1987 Southern League All-Star Larry Walkers and seven Ken Caminiti cards.  The guy had some 50-75 sets that were missing only the Randy Johnson cards.  I almost bought all of the Walkers and Caminitis but at some point a deal is no longer a deal, ya know?

2007 Bowman Chrome Draft Adam Lind (RC)

Three 2007 Bowman Chrome Draft Adam Lind “Rookies.”

2004 Bowman Chrome Draft Ray Liotta

I always wanted this card.  If for no other reason his name rules. Good thing it only cost a dime.

2004 Bowman Chrome Draft Matt Tuiasosopo

This 2004 Bowman Chrome Draft Matt Tuiasosopo used to be like $10, didn’t it? Ten cents, baby!

1992 Manning 1919 Black Sox Reprints Joe Jackson

Here’s one thing I loved about the Free-For-All that was the early 90s: unlicensed cards.  Companies these days paid big bucks to Joe Jackson’s estate to get his likeness onto their licensed cards.  I have a feeling there wasn’t dime that was paid to create this “Black Sox” Special Offer card.  The result is a cool collectible for me.

Wanna see random?  Checkout this 1978 Topps basketball folding poster of the Milwaukee Bucks.

I see one familiar face:  Don Nelson.  You know dig those coaches polo shirts.

Someone settle a debate.  When Upper Deck created these “special” short print cards in their base sets such as this Darrell Green card shown below, did the “SP” numbering mean “special” or “short print?”

1991 Upper Deck Darrel Green Fastest Man SP1

I always thought it meant short print, but others think it meant special. Either way I am a winner with this flashback for a dime.

About the same time the Darrell Green card above was released, Holograms were all the rage.  And while Upper Deck was the first licensed company to include them in their products, other companies were popping up out of nowhere to create their own. Like Arena Holograms, which produced this Frank Thomas card.

1991 Arena Holograms Frank Thomas

The hologram is OK … looks funky without logos.  The best part about this card?  Check out the back … do you see it?

No, not the flat top, that awesome bow tie or the fract that the company dubbed him the “Big Frank.”  It’s this line:

LIMITED EDITION OF 250,000

A quarter of a million of these?!  Holy bleeping bleep!

2010 Bowman Topps 100 Freddie Freeman

I know some of you collectors are itching to see something more modern. There will be more of that later, but here are two quick ones to keep the masses calm. I have a ton of 2010 Bowman Topps 100 prospect cards.  I don’t think I ever pulled one of Freddie Freeman.  Good times.

2010 Topps Heritage SP Tim Hudson

2010 Topps Heritage Tim Hudson short print.  Not going to break the bank here, but I will profit. I guarantee it.

2004 Playoff Honors Prime Signatures Mariano Rivera /2500

I love this insert set from 2004 Playoff Honors.  Each card is so inviting for a signature.  I actually had one of these Rivera cards that I got signed through the mail.  Unfortunately he kept the signature out of the white space.  Now I have another … which I think I’ll send again.  Maybe this time he’ll put the ink on the white.

Here’s kind of an oddball … UD Victory Japan Hideki Matsui. Cool card.

Seconds after finding this Matsui, a smaller, a card fell out of the stack onto my pile of stuff to buy.  It was another Japanese Matui card, only it was unfamiliar to me.

Pretty interesting card.  It’s like a card inside a plastic sealing. The back features a barcode sticker and the official Yamiuri Giants logo on a sticker.  No clue what this is from or what it’s worth, but it’s surely worth more than a flippin’ dime.

And the final two cards from this dime box:

1989 Mother's Cookies Mariners Ken Griffey Jr.

1993 Stadium Club Master Photo Ken Griffey Jr.

You absolutely have to love a “oddball” 1989 officially licensed Mothers’ Cookies Mariner’s rookie year release of Ken Griffey Jr. I love this set.  I love this release.  I love this card. Love it.

* * *

If all I bought at the card show were those cards, it would have been a successful trip.  But I aint done yet… not even close.

A few tables away from my the dime box seller was guy selling cards five for a buck. Here are the best 15 cards I could find:

I was never a huge fan of the Topps Constitution cards inserted into 2006 Topps.  I was an even less fan of the Topps Chrome versions.  But the refractors are intriguing … well, when you can get them at this price.

2001 Topps Chrome Retrofractors Charlie Manuel

I like the 2001 Topps Chrome Retrofractors.  And I’m sure someone will like this Charlie Manuel.

Here are a couple 2009 Bowman Chrome Prospects Refractors.  I like the John Anderson because I’m pretty sure I worked with his dad. I’m going to have to confirm that.

2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Refractor Brock Huntzinger /500

2004 Bowman Chrome Draft Refractor John Anderson /500

Here’s a trio of veterans:

Team Albert Pujols”]

2006 SPX SPX[extreme

2010 Bowman Blue Chipper Jones /500

1997 Finest Gold Ken Caminiti

A few rookie cards I needed for my collection:

1999 Fleer Update Bengie Bolina RC

2004 Bowman Chrome Draft J.A. Happ RC

1996 Bowman's Best Raul Ibanez RC

I’ve always wanted the Molina and the Ibanez rookies but was too cheap to pay full price.  I did learn something about Ibanez though. Apparently he started as a catcher?  That can’t be right.

* * *

One more quick run of super cheap singles.  Found a dealer who was selling cards four for a buck.  He let me take five:

2009 Bowman Chrome WBC Norichika Aoki

2003 Topps Heritage Joe and Jake Mauer

2007 Topps 52 Rookie Flashback Ken Griffey Jr.

2005 Bowman Heritage Mohagany Derek Jeter

2008 Razor Eric Hosmer

Solid grouping of five cards from this seller.  While the Hosmer may not be worth a ton, it was surprising to see this card in this box.

 * * *

Now onto some cards that were actually in top loaders. These were  a wopping 50 cents each

1997 Topps Etch-A-Sketch Cal Ripken Jr.

2000 Aurora At-Bat Styrotechs die-cut Mike Piazza /299

2001 Pacific Ornaments Ken Kriffey Jr.

2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Blue Refractors Kurt Suzuki /199

2003 Topps Chrome Gold Refractors Franklin Gutierrez RC /449

1999 Topps Mark McGwire HR Record 220 x7

* * *

Someone need a Shin Soo Choo Bowman Chrome rookie?  I got eight of them … for a buck each.

2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Shin Soo Choo RC

* * *

There were more than a few auto/relic boxes at this show.  The prices really varied.  Some guys were selling them for $1 each.  Others were $5 each.  Nothing really caught my attention aside from these two autographed rookie cards that were $2 each.

2007 Bowman Chrome Draft Autograph Refractor Corey Lubke /500

2004 Donruss Elite autograph Ian Snell /750 RC

* * *

And the final two purchases from the trip were the most expensive.  These were tagged at $3 each, but the seller let me have them for $2.50 each:

2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects Blue Refractor Jedd Gyorko /250

2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Orange Refractor Travis Wood /25

Um, that’s not THE Brian Wilson’s autograph

The Giants’ Brian Wilson is best known for his beard.  But trust me, if his first name were Leslie, he wouldn’t hear the end of it.  Check out the facsimile signature on his 2006 Topps 52 Rookie Card.

That appears to be the penning of Leslie Brian Wilson.  Who the hell is that you ask?  Just some 38-year-old guy who never made it above A ball.  Kind of amusing because Topps apparently signed some sort of contract with Leslie to have his signature on file, yet the company never made a  card of him.

Trying Gypsy Queen retail …

For the the better part of the last two weeks, I’ve been hearing about the new Topps Gypsy Queen.  About how it’s another retro-brand release, about how the product seemingly has been printed in shorter numbers than anticipated, and blah … blah … blah.  In a nutshell, it’s translated into a pricey niche brand that really hasn’t caught my collecting eye.

Nonetheless, I did want to buy a pack of two.  But I opted to stay away from the hobby version since prices were through the roof. Luckily, the product arrived at Target this week.

I had many options, lose (already searched) packs, blasters (with an extra pack) or a “Value Pack” containing three packs and a special bonus pack of parallels.

I love me some exclusive bonuses!

Here’s the result.  Perhaps my Target computer-generated coupon was foreshadowing …

Pack 1

It’s always nice to open your first pack of  a product and be greeted with a card of the best player in the game. Too bad the card looks like someone was snacking on the edge …

Wall Climbers insert of Mike Stanton. Meh.

Mini Gerardo Parra

and three commons

Pack 2

Roger Maris … pretty sure this image has been used 9,674 times.

Future Stars Trevor Cahill insert

Mini Ty Wiggington

and three commons

Pack 3

A nice surprise … Sandy Koufax

Home Run Heroes Mark Teixeira insert

A Jimmy Page Gypsy Queen back mini parallel of Xavier Nady

three commons (Yes, ANOTHER James Shields)

Bonus Pack

Gary Carter

Ryne Sandberg

Christy Mathewson

Review:  I really like the bonus pack green border parallels.  If every card in the set looked and felt like these, I’d be all over this product.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) they don’t, so my opinion about this product … Remains The Same.



WTF Part II: Calling Time Out

Sometimes I like to look at cards and analyze certain things about it.  Why is a card designed such a way.  Why did a company choose a certain image?  Why is a certain player depicted within a certain set.  Sometimes, I am baffled and am left thinking — W…T…F…

Such is the case with this 1995 Score Jeff George “Offensive Inc.”

Jeff George never really did become the great offensive stud he was expected to be when the Colts drafted him in 1990.  He had a few good seasons, including 1994 when he set then-career high marks in completions, yardage, touchdowns and passer rating.  So how does Score celebrate this accomplishment?

They put him in this set … and depict him calling time out.  WTF…

A disappointing end to the Topps Million Card Giveaway

Like many fellow collectors, my loot from the 2010 Topps Million Card Giveaway arrived recently.  And let me say that the reality of actually receiving the cards didn’t exactly live up to the hype of the promotion.

For starters, I ordered 13 cards and only received 12.  The one card that was missing?  A 1961 Topps Phil Rizzuto High Number MVP card — probably the best card I obtained via trading through the program.

Why did this card not arrive?  Because it’s backordered.

WTF?!

Backordered?  I was under the impression that Topps had already bought back a crap load of cards for this promotion and that they were already sitting in some warehouse ready to me shipped whenever collectors wanted them.  This surely does not support that notion.

In fact, what it appears to me is that Topps created the program and decided to buy the cards on the secondary market after the order was placed. Makes economic sense for them, but for collectors who wait a month or longer to receive their cards after they asked them to be shipped, this surely is disappointing.

The Rizzuto may have been the card I was most looking forward too, but I did order 12 others and not all was lost with them.  I’m not going to showcase each one, but I’ll highlight (and lowlight) a few here.

1953 Billy Hunter rookie

Believe it or not, this was one of the first cards I redeemed.  Of course it was all down hill from there.  A cool addition to my rookie collection.

1956 Ray Narleski

I love this set, might be my favorite of all time.

1966 A's Rookies

No, you’re eyes are not deceiving you.  That IS a 3-d Topps card.  Ok, maybe not, maybe it’s just horribly out of register.

1971 Gene Tenace

Now this is freakin’ horrible.  Look at this card, it looks like it survived (barely) a round of buckshot.  Think the front is bad?  Check out the back.  I guess when they said they were giving back the cards that were thrown out, they weren’t kidding.

A colorful $10 Challenge entry

After much searching, I’ve found my $10 Challenge entry. I’ll be the first to admit this is not nearly as good as my last entry.  But, this is better than a typical vintage entry … and I came in under budget.

I’ve really soured on memorabilia cards over the last year or so.  In fact, I’ve sent 98 percent of what I had to CheckOutMyCards.com.  But there are some that I really like.  And at the top of the list are these 2001 UD Gold Glove Slugger’s Choice batting glove cards.  There’s something special to me about a batting glove, probably because the swatches have much more character than your typical jersey … even multicolored patches.

I’m working on this set and pick  up singles every now and then when the swatches appeal to me.  This Rafael Furcal set me back a whopping $3.

Yeah, it’s another jersey card.  Yeah, it’s Cesar Cedeno.  But, look at that swatch!  Classic.  As ugly as the Astros Creamsicle jerseys were, they still have wide appeal as they can be spotted from a mile away.  And to capture the essence of that on a piece of cardboard is something I loved adding to my collection for a mere $4.  There have been two other Cedeno jerseys on eBay recently, but they were single colored swatches.  It’s not often you get a two-tone non-swatch, non-pinstripe like this.

New $10 card shop challenge leads to a blast from the past

On Monday I threw down another $10 card shop challenge.  By now you should know the rules: Go to a local card shop, buy $10 worth of singles and post either via blog or Twitter your results.  The winner gets nothing but bragging rights.  Deadline will be Sunday at midnight Pacific.

Get it?  Got it?  Good.

Now that that is out of the way, check out what I found as I deviated from my plan on Monday.  I’ve yet to find my entry for this challenge, but I did discover that one of the shops in the area has 1991 Stadium Club football packs for $3.50 each.  I’m a baseball only collector, but I do have some emotional ties to some of the early 1990s football.  The premier edition of Stadium Club was uber-premium when I was a kid, and it’s still appealing today because of the Brett Favre rookie.

Anyhow, I ponied up for a few packs figuring that at least I could relive some memories of two decades gone by.  And let me tell you, the packs lived up to the hype I’d built in my own head.

There was no Favre, much to my chagrin.  BUT I did pull some of the coolest cards I remember from the set.

First off, the Emmitt Smith card was one of the hottest non-rookie cards from the set.  In 1991, Emmitt was still a young powerful runner who had yet to fully leave his mark on the game.  And we all know that youth, exceptional skill and premium early cards of such players always command top dollar … well in the time they were released anyway.  I never owned a copy of this card because it always commanded close to $20.  In 1991, that was a lot.

This card is so bad-ass.  Love that panoramic view of Emmitt busting through the line on high-gloss card stock.  Granted I was a Buffalo Bills fan at the time and Emmitt torched the Bills constantly, especially when it counted.  But this card was iconic.  Even 20 years after its release it’s still breathtaking.  And to make things better, I pulled it from a pack with my own two hands.

***

During the hayday of my football collecting, there were two players I idolized the most, and neither of them were in a position of throwing or catching the ball.  They were bad-ass pass rushers who got paid to crush people carrying the football.  They were Bruce Smith and Derrick Thomas.

Look at this card.  Seriously, look at it!

D-T just walloped Wade Wilson and some photographer got a picture of him standing over the QB celebrating … and Topps had the balls to put the image on the card!  Freakin’ LOVE this card.

Caption: “Yeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh Suucccckkkkkkaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

***

And here’s where the groans come in …

If this were 1991, this card would be in some dealer’s showcase sporting a $20 price tag.  Hell, if you walk into the right card shop today, you might still find one in a Card Saver I without a penny sleeve and still priced as if Ice Cube still hadn’t had a Good Day.

But here’s where my story gets better.  The card shop where I bought these packs on Monday was a place I discovered in 1991 … when this product was blazing hot.  And guess what I actually bought during that first trip.  A Todd Marinovich.  How’s that for full circle.

Big Hit, Happy Body: Ichiro’s Japanese rookie added to the collection

Since the days of Nomo-Mania, I dreamed of owning a Japanese rookie card of a player who made the transcontinental move from his homeland to Major League Baseball.

In the 90s, Hideo Nomo’s BBM (Baseball Magazine – Japan) rookie card was all the rage.  In fact, in 1998, Topps inserted copies of that card (as well as those of Hideki Irabu and Shigetoshi Hasegawa) into packs of 1998 Bowman for collectors to own.  The cards seemed damn near impossible to find.  Trust me, I opened my fair share of that crappy product and never pulled one.  In fact, I’venever heard of anyone actually pulling one.

I digress.  The allure of owning the  first Japanese card of a Major League star was intriguing to say the least.  And with the magic of the Internet, it’s pretty easy to find what you’re looking for.  Enter the pictured 1993 BBM Ichiro Japanese Rookie.

There’s no shortage of Ichiro Major League rookie cards of the market.  There’s pretty much one for every price point from the bargain shopper to the big spender.  But make no bones about it, there’s always an asterisk in the hobby with 2001 Ichiro rookies.  Fact remains he was an established star in Japan before he ever set foot into the batter’s box at Safeco Field, and his 1993 rookie has to be mentioned in the conversation about cards to own.  He’s a first-ballot hall of famer, and one of the greatest players of this generation.

One problem does exist with these cards, though: They’re often counterfeited, which is discussed in great length here.  (H/T to Sports Card Info for that excellent guide.)

Anyhow, here’s an image of the back of this card.  Love the mugshot of a 20-year-old Ichiro … also the fact that “Did You Know?” is in English while almost everything else is in Japanese Characters. 

Now that I’ve acquired this badboy, I’ve got to go find a nice 1959 Sadaharu Oh rookie to go with this … of and one of those Hideo Nomo’s, too.

New $10 Challenge … and a few other goodies.

It’s been six months since I’ve ventured to a pair of card shops that are almost 45 minutes away.  The weather sucked and the traffic was bad, but I’d  issued an informal $10 card shop Twitter challenge on Friday and I had to hold up my end of the bargain.

For those unaware, the Twitter challenge is essentially designed to send collectors to their card shops to find a single or singles for the designated amount — in this case $10 — and see who can come up with the best value.

There are no prizes, just bragging rights.

In the end I wound up hitting both card shops and walked away with eight cards, none of which are vintage.  Kinda shocking, if you know how I typically collect.

First things first, these are the two cards I am “entering” into the challenge … and it only cost me $8 for the pair:

I’m no football collector, but I tend to know a deal when I see one. And when these were staring me in the face for $4 each, I knew they had to be mine.  Again, I’m no football guru, but I played enough fantasy football last year to know that Steve Johnson was a pretty good play down the stretch, taking over as the Bills leading receiver.  How does that translate to this challenge and these cards?  These exact cards are selling on eBay for $25-$30 each right now. LOVE it.

Now that that is out of the way, I’ll show you the rest of the loot.

At the first shop I found three other autos and relics that intrigued me, cost on these was $4 each.

I’m a sucker for flannel jerseys.  In hind sight, I kind of wish I stayed away from this because it cuts into my profit, but there was pretty slim pickings for things that actually interested me.  Truthfully it came down to this card or one featuring a small solid gray modern swatch of Bob Gibson.  I think I made the better decision.

I saw this after I found the Steve Johnson rookies and the only reason I wanted it is because Lowery went to San Jose State, which is my alma mater.

One of the Royals young pitching prospects, figured it was worth a shot at $4. Looks like I can come close to doubling my “investment” right now.

***

After buying the aforementioned five cards, I was pretty satisfied and was ready to just head home.  But I was only five miles away from the other shop (and 35 miles from home) and figured that I should complete the journey since I had already traveled so far.  Turns out it was worth my time.

This card is not exactly going to light the world on fire, but I like these jumbo swatches, and the fact that this is numbered to 25 also makes it appealing. Cost? $5.

Paul O’Neill may not be a hall of famer, but he has a pretty solid following in the hobby.  And when his cards are short printed AND autographed, they tend to have even better appeal.  This beautiful looking card cost $5, but has sold for $20 recently on eBay. Gotta love that.

And lastly …

Just as I was about the leave the last shop, I started looking through the show cases.  I usually shy away from the show cases because they feature higher price tags.  But this card was peeking at me from behind a stack of pretty common autos and game used …

Oddly enough, the last time I was at this card shop, one of the store workers noticed that I was wearing a Red Sox shirt and offered to sell this EXACT card to me for $80.  He called it a deal back then and I just laughed.

Today? $20.

The guy working today did a double take at the price tag when he pulled it out of the case for me.

 

 

New COMC batch priced and ready to sell

In my quest to continue downsizing my collection and tailoring it to what I really want, I have sent more cards to CheckOutMyCards.

My latest batch is 500 cards and was uploaded over the weekend.  The cards have been priced and are available for your viewing/purchasing pleasure.

A good number of the cards are relics, ones that I once cared about but no longer do.

Don’t like my prices? Feel free to shoot me an offer.

CheckoutMYcards HERE.