Small bit of Topps advertising “hidden” on 1953 card

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , on November 26, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

I was just looking at this Clem Labine card from the 1953 Topps set, which is perhaps one of the nicest sets ever produced.

I’ve probably looked at this card a hundred times. But today I saw something that I had missed every other time.

Look over Labine’s right shoulder. Look at the advertising panel on the wall behind him. Although we can’t see the entire panel, it would appear that this is an advertisement for Topps Gum. I love “hidden” items like this.

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Icon-O-Clasm: “Progression”

Posted in Icon-O-Clasm with tags , , , , on November 26, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

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Completed: Golden Age Woodward and Bernstein autographs

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , on November 24, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

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Icon-O-Clasm: Got ‘em! Check! (1969 Topps Checklist / Mickey Mantle

Posted in Icon-O-Clasm with tags , , , , , , on November 18, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

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Golden Age “Bad News Bears” autograph set is complete

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , on November 17, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

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2000 Fleer GOTG Baseball Autos: The Final Four

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on November 13, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

When I opened my first pack of 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game baseball some 14 years ago, I was immediately drawn to the set.  The simplistic design and checklist appealed to me.  And of course there was the fact that I pulled the Nolan Ryan autograph on that first day, just as I wished.

IMG_6252Over the last 18 months, I casually started to gather other autographs from the certified set. And before I knew it I had made real progress toward achieving something I once thought was impossible — completing the autograph set.

Well, I’ve written here and in a Beckett Baseball Magazine column how far I had come and how I had met a pair of dealers at this year’s National in Cleveland who had some of the harder-to-find short printed autographs.  At the show I acquired two of the harder ones.  And then when I got back home I established contact and essentially agreed to purchase three others that they had that I needed.

The first that I acquired from the dealers after the show was Johnny Bench. I got a fantastic deal on the card, but as I documented about six weeks ago, the transaction was far from smooth.  The hang-up really happened with the United States Postal Service and the Bench card spent 19 days in Postal Purgatory.

When it came time to complete the transaction for the final two cards I was a bit reluctant.  Not because of anything the dealers had done. Rather I was a bit gun-shy due to the USPS service.  Would I really spend nearly three weeks on pins and needles waiting for my cards?

Well, much to my surprise, the second half of the transaction went down rather smoothly.  And in just three days (from New York to California) I had acquired two more short prints, cards of deceased Hall of Famers Phil Rizzuto and Warren Spahn.

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And so where does this leave me with my set? Down to the Final Four.

Yep. Four autograph cards stand between me and a complete set — minutes that Derek Jeter autographed card that, in my mind, does not count as it was not originally released with the set.

So who are these pesky four players whose signed cards have yet to find a home in a penny sleeve, black top loader and team bag in my collection?

Three of the players are Hall of Famers, and if you know a thing or two about this set, they are all probably the three hardest — and most expensive — cards to find in this set. They are George Brett, Mike Schmidt and Kirby Puckett.

And the fourth card? It’s not a short print. It shouldn’t cost me too much. Heck, the player on the card is not even a Hall of Famer.  It’s Alan Trammel, whose card I had seen long ago and decided to wait on since it was one of the “cheaper” ones in the set.

Nonetheless, it’s clear to me that the contact I made at The National — with a little help from Beckett Baseball Editor Chris Olds, who actually located the dealers while I was trudging through bargain bins — has been a vital contact point for getting this close. It just goes to show that while the world is at our fingertips via the Internet and our Smart Phones, personal contacts are still important.

You can see each of the 88 cards I have acquired thus far in this 92-card set HERE.

Thrift Treasures 73: What’s up, Buster! Early Posey release found at thrift.

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , on October 15, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

I made a short trip to the thrift store today with my son and lookie here … a baggie of cards worth buying.

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They had about a dozen bags, 10 of which were filled with 1988 Topps cards, one that had a stack of Pro Set hockey from like 1991-92, and then this one, which had some oddball San Francisco Giants cards.  See the small sections of orange?  I like to buy baggies when they have local odd ball releases.  Sometimes they can be valuable, other times it’s the only place you’ll find them these days as they were more than likely a giveaway for children.  And we all know that once children get a hold of things — especially made of paper — more times than not they’ll end up in the trash.

So I plunked down the$3.99, which is a bit more than I like to spend on a “blind bag,” but I could see there was a rookie-year (or maybe early 2011?) Posey from one of these sets inside. I figured that card alone would be worth my money.

Well, when I opened the bag, I was pleased to find not just the Posey, but the entire nine-card set, which appears to be a Junior Giants giveaway from early 2011.  The back of the cards are not dated, but there is the 2010 Giants World Series logo on the bottom.  It could be a late 2010 release, but I’m guessing early 2011. I’m not positive on how these cards were distributed, but it would appear that they were given individually to a child once they completed a task as described on the back of the card. The set features Posey, Maddision Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff and Andres Torres.

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While I would have been pleased with just those nine cards, I was pleasantly surprised to find a partial set of other Junior Giants cards.  Based on the format, I gather that there were nine cards in this set as well, however this baggue only had seven of them.  Well, lucky for me the most important — Posey — was included here, as was a card of Pablo Sandoval.  If I had to guess, these cards with the black border across top are actually 2010 releases based on the lack of World Series logo and the inclusion of Bengie Molina and Aaron Rowand.  This of course would make the Posey a actual rookie-year release, which of course could make this a tough rookie-year issue to find for a collector.

IMG_5066 IMG_5067There is something funny about the Posey card.  So, this card presumably was given to kids when they finished a portion of their reading program.  Well … read the back. I spy a spelling error …

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The remainder of the bag was pretty brutal, but there was one other small nugget in here, a 2002 Fleer Tradition Mini Al Levine, serial numbered 38/50.

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To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

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