Thrift Treasures 72: Three Baggies Of Cards, $1.99 each. I spy vintage!

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on September 13, 2014 by Cardboard Icons


I recently heard from one of my Twitter followers that he enjoys the Thrift Treasures series, but wished they were more frequent.  Believe me, me too.  My time these days, however, is occupied by work and my kids.  It’s easy for me to stop into a store and buy something, which I frequently do, but finding the time to chronicle it on my blog is another.

That said, here’s a trio of baggies I found earlier this week that set me into a small, cheap cardboard frenzy.


I’ll say this up front: It is NOT uncommon for me to find bags of cards in thrift stores.  I see them everywhere, but it is worth the time to look closely and see what should be inside.  Notice I did not say OPEN them or to do a full-on search of them like a pack searcher.  But look closely and see if you see flashes of shiny inserts, drab-looking vintage or something else. Something that might lead you to believe there is more than a stack of 1989 Topps or something.

Heck, with the exception of the baggie shown here on the right, which has a 1974 Topps Boog Powell showing on the back, you might just gloss right over the other ones.  After all, it looks like the bag contain nothing more than junk wax era filler.

But a little visual inspection shows that the one on the left had a small section of a dozen or so cards that appeared to be 1992 Japanese Baseball Magazine (BBM) cards, the one in the one in the middle had some parallels and inserts, and the one on the right had multiple vintage cards within.

For the price of two retail packs, I figured I’d roll the dice.  You know I love to share my Thrift Treasures.

We’ll start with the middle bag.

In 1995, Pacific released this pretty decent looking base cards set that had full bleed photos on three sides, and then a strip of gold foil along one border. It’s a very 90s design, one I actually enjoyed. Within this particular bag, I could see a small section of about a half-dozen cards that had blue edges instead of the gold. Obviously they were parallels.  Additionally, I could see the sweet die-cut crown insert peaking out from within the stack.

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There were no big names among the parallels, but the die-cut was Drew Bledsoe, and there were other inserts, notably the Dan Marino “Hometown Heroes” an the Jerry Rice “Gems of the Crown.”  And the base cards weren’t half bad:  Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and John Elway were the highlights.  Not a bad stack of cards for $1.99.

Next we’ll turn our attention to the left baggie, the one with the more modern cards.

As noted earlier the primary reason I wanted this one was the small section of what turned out to be 10 1992 BBM Japanese baseball cards. Ichiro’s rookie is in 1993  (I own it) and Hideo Irabu and Hideo Nomo are in 1993 (I own those as well).  So who is in 1992?  No clue.  But I don’t get to see these very often.


As you can see there are a total of 10 Japanese BBM cards here, nine players and a checklist.  One name is familiar — Carmelo Martinez, who played in the Majors — but the others are guys I’ve never heard of.  My favorite is, of course, the rookie card of one Jun Takeshita.  What a fantastic name.


The remainder of this bag had a few notables: a 1990 Bowman Larry Walker rookie card, a 1989 Bowman Ken Griffey Sr. card that also features the younger Griffey as a rookie, and these pictured.


And the last bag is where the fun really begins as it contained some cards that were some 30 and 40 years old. And they weren’t just commons. The first card on the outside of the bag is a 1974 Topps Boog Powell, who was a member of the Baltimore Orioles on this card.  There were a few other Orioles in the bag as evidenced by the 1972 Frank Robinson and 1974 Brooks Robinson also in this lot.


There were a few Cincinnati Reds too …


Like Hall of Famers? Me too. They were in here as well.

Loving my new 1971 Topps Tom Seaver, even if the borders appear to have been touched up at some point.


This is a sweet 1972 Topps pitching leaders card with THREE Hall of Famers on it …


How about Hobby King Mickey Mantle?  He’s on this 1967 Topps Yankees checklist somewhere …

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How about four more HOFers: 1974 Topps Billy Williams, 1978 Tony Perez, 1978 Rich Gossage and a 1983 OPC Gaylord Perry …


And three more HOFers: 1981 Fleer George Brett, 1985 Topps Ryne Sandberg and 1986 Donruss Highlights Steve Carlton (shown as a member of the San Francisco Giants)


Can’t hate on a 1963 Topps rookie card of Diego Segui …


Know what else I really like? O-Pee-Chee from the 1970 and 1980s. Check out these 1978s … Love the fact that I have an Montreal Expos Team Card from OPC.  Also dig the Bob Bailor Topps Rookie Cup OPC card.

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And finally a few random lots of …

1974 Topps (LOVE this set)


and 1978 Topps


Sure, the condition on these older cards may not be top quality, but if they had been, they would not have been on the thrift store peg hooks waiting for me to save them.

Total cost of these treasures: $5.97

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE




The ONLY Johan Santana rookie that matters …

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , on September 6, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

A few weeks ago I wrote about a 2000 SP Authentic Barry Zito rookie card that bore the serial number of Zito’s jersey.

Well, that’s not the only former Cy Young Award Winner whose serial numbered rookie card that I own with the number matching the jersey.

I present the 2000 Finest Refractor Johan Santana serial numbered 0057/1000. And before you say it, I’ll acknowledge it — yes, this IS a parallel. Someone surely has the 0057/3000, which is the true rookie card.

Some of you may not remember how good Johan was during the mid 2000s. He routinely led the Twins to the top of the AL Central and eventually wound up in New York where he twirled the only Mets no-hitter in franchise history — a fact that remains true despite whatever umbrage you take with the official scorer.

For years the only Johan rookie I owned was a 2000 Fleer Tradition update, primarily because Johan rookies were so expensive. His Finest rookie (/3000) is his best, and the refractor version always fetched a tidy premium.

Well, Johan’s been widely forgotten in the hobby. So when this one popped up on, I had to snatch it up, especially because of the serial number. One day I’ll haven’t stabbed by BGS.


Icon-O-Clasm: 1989 Upper Deck Jim Abbott

Posted in Icon-O-Clasm with tags , , , , on August 30, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

“Triple Exposure”


An Auto A Day … #6

Posted in An Auto A Day with tags , , , , , , , on August 24, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

I’ve got a thing for former players who turn manager/coach. This is not a new trend, but it’s interesting for me to see this these days as I clearly remember some of the players-turned managers/coaches when they first came into Major League Baseball.


Such is the case with Torey Lovullo. He was somewhat of a prospect with the Tigers. The thing I remember most about him was having rookie cards in 1989 products … I pulled a ton of them while hunting for Griffey rookies of course. He spent part of eight seasons in the Majors with seven different teams before ending his MLB career in 1999.

Lovullo’s baseball career, however, didn’t stop as a player. Two years after retirement he got into managing and coaching and worked his way through the Cleveland Indians minor league system. He then followed current Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell to the Toronto Blue Jays and then from Toronto to Boston, where he is a bench coach. Lovullo was a top candidate for the Chicago Cubs managerial gig in 2010 and it’s probably only a matter of time before he gets a manager gig in the majors.

As noted, Lovullo has rookies in 1989, including in the high series of Upper Deck. He has a single certified autograph: 1996 Leaf Signature Extended.

An Auto A Day … #5

Posted in An Auto A Day with tags , , , , , on August 23, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

Here’s another solid Major Leaguer who used his skill set on the field to help him get a job in the dugout.


Brad Ausmus, a three-time Gold Glove winner and an all-star, spent 18 seasons as a Big League catcher. His career started in 1993 with the San Diego Padres and ran through 2010 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. And just three years after retirement, he found himself as the skipper of one of the best teams in Major League Baseball, the Detroit Tigers.

Often regarded as one of the game’s nicest guys, Ausmus proved to be the same to fans as he frequently signed Through The Mail (TTM). That said, how does a guy spent nearly two decades in the majors — a time frame that coincides with a book in certified autographed in the hobby — yet he only has one signed card (1996 Leaf Signature Autographs), with two parallels of the same. Ausmus only has one true rookie card as well, a 1992 Topps card that he shares with three other guys.

An Auto A Day … #4

Posted in An Auto A Day with tags , , , , , on August 22, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

If you were a baseball fan after the strike of 1994, you surely remember that the Montreal Expos (which later became the Washington Nationals) were one of the better teams in baseball at the time, and in 1995 they had a hell of a left handed phenom on their hands by the name of Carlos Perez.

IMG_2984The brother of two Major Leaguers — both of whom were right handed — Carlos Perez was a flamboyant pitcher during his rookie season in 1995 — he made the all-star team that season –and after each strikeout, he’d do this funky twitch movement on the mound to celebrate his punch outs. Some people liked it; others hated it. Go figure.  At the time SportsCenter was really the only sports cable show available nationwide, so he was a constant on. He wasn’t really a strikeout machine but seemed that way given the rate at which is highlights were shown.

But due to injuries and off-the-field nonsense, Perez’s career never blossomed to the levels that many figured he could reach. He would miss all of 1996 due to injury and played parts of two more seasons with Les Expos before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where his MLB career ended in 2000.

Perez made it into nearly all of the 1995 products and has an astounding 15 rookie cards — his Bowman’s Best or Topps Finest are best in my opinion — but only really has one certified autograph. If you guessed 1996 Leaf Signature Series, you’re right. The base autograph is shown here and then there are two parallels of the same card.

An Auto A Day … #3

Posted in An Auto A Day with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

They always say that catchers make the best managerial candidates.

Mike Matheny, a four-time Gold Glove catcher who spent 13 years as a Major Leaguer, essentially went straight from behind the plate to being on the top step of the dug out calling the shots.  His career was cut short as a member of the San Francisco Giants after suffering a series of concussions.  Now he’s the leader of St. Louis Cardinals, an organization that always to seems to find itself in the mix of things at the end of the season.


Matheny has a handful of rookie cards from 1994, including Bowman, Select, Sporftlics Rookie/Traded and Ultra.  And like many other major leaguers from his time, he has really one certified autograph according to He has a base 1996 Leaf Signature (shown here)  along with two parallels of the same card.  Beckett also shows him as being part of a 2014 Topps Triple Threads auto with Travis D’Arnaud and Ivan Rodriguez, although I haven’t seen any evidence of the card actually existing. If you’ve seen it, let me know.



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