You 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.
We’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.
The 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.
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 …
The 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.
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:
That’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.
Total cost of these treasures: $5.98
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