Archive for Jose Canseco

Thrift Treasures XLIV: The Taste of a New Generation

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

There was a time when I’d go grocery shopping with my mother and would ask her to buy certain products simply because the item contained a free promotional baseball card.

Kellogg’s brand cereals? yep.

Mother’s Cookies? Damn right … HAD to have those iced Animal Cookies.

Pepsi or Coke?  Depends on which one was offering my cardboard icons.

Today I present to you the food edition of Thrift Treasures.

My wife and I made a trip to some local antique stores about a week ago looking for whatever piqued our interests.  The trip as a whole was fairly mediocre.  Antique stores carry odd hours.  We went on a Tuesday, and most of the stores are open Wednesday through Sunday.  The result was only 3 of the 10 antique stores were open.  This of course translated into slim pickings.

But not all was lost.  Among the piles of organized madness was a small baggie of cards (pictured above) priced for a buck.

A BUCK!

The first card in the baggie was one I had owned when I was a tweenager.  I remember pulling it from the inside of a 12 pack of Pepsi cans in 1989.  I remember that I creased the hell out of the card because it was attached to the box with a strip of hot glue.  Yeah, the geniuses at Pepsi adhered these seemingly collectible cards to the inside of their boxes using hot glue! Naked!  No plastic outer bag! Cardboard to cardboard with only a strip of glue between the two.

Grrrr.

So yeah, this was a total sentimental purchase.  Value?  None, really.

Here are the cards that were within the baggie.

1989 Pepsi Mark McGwire Card #3

1989 Pepsi Mark McGwire Card #5

1989 Pepsi Mark McGwire Card #2

1989 Pepsi Mark McGwire Card #1

1989 Pepsi Mark McGwire Card #8

1990 Pepsi Jose Canseco Card #4

Mixed in with the Pepsi cards was a Mother’s Cookies card …

1992 Mother's Cookies No Hitter Set Nolan Ryan #6

… and some 1994 Tombstone Pizza cards made by Score

1994 Tombstone Pizza cards: Cecil Fielder (#18), Marquis Grissom (#7), Tim Salmon (#27), and John Kruk (#12)

Thrift Treasures Part XXVII: Bash Brothers Autograph Edition

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , on August 18, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

We all grew up baseball fans, but few of us really had a chance to be raised around excellence. Fortunately for me, I was one of the few (relatively speaking) who lived, breathed and witnessed the greatness of the Oakland Athletics, circa 1988-1992.

True, I am a Red Sox fan, and have been since 1988, when I selected Roger Clemens as my favorite player. But there has always been a soft spot for those A’s teams, the same squad I would rush home from school and listen to on 560 KSFO radio or watch on KCIU-36, the flagship television station.

Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco were my guys. I waggled my bat the same way they did whenever we played pickup ball. I had pretty much all of the batting stances down from those teams, including the ridiculous bat-wielding technique of Ron Hassey, Carney’s bat jitter,  Rickey’s rock and explode, Hendu’s toe-tap, the way Walt choked up on the bat. Yep, all of them.

So imagine my delight when I stopped at a thrift shop and saw a binder full of Oakland A’s cards. Now before we go any further, this simplistic description of a binder of cards is actually pretty common in my area. I still live in the Bay Area. All sorts of collectors have dumped their collections at thrift stores, who then routinely over price them. But not today, my friends. The Cardboard Gods were shining down upon me. This time they wanted a mere $3.99.

I flipped through the pages of this neat-looking binder and nearly dropped a load in my pants when I saw this page:

Do you see it? Hell, do you see them? It’s a pair of freakin’ Mark McGwire autograph cards! And one of them being signed on my favorite McGwire card of all time, the 1989 Upper Deck card?

When I saw this, I closed the binder and headed to the register. You’re telling me that this store — which often removes cards from binder pages, throws them into baggies and hawks them 50 for $2.99 — was going to sell this entire binder for less than a bottle of Diet Coke and a pack of gum at the neighboring liquor store?

I was hoping the cashier didn’t thumb through the binder to get a gander at what I was so giddily ready to purchase. Good thing he didn’t or he might have realized there were FIVE more autographs in the binder including Bash Brother Jose Canseco (90 UD), Dennis Eckersley (89 Fleer), Mike Gallego (90 UD) and a pair of Walt Weiss (89 Topps, 90 UD).

Questioning the authenticity of these autographs? Not me. They are absolutely legit in my opinion, especially those McGwire’s. I’ve been mesmerized by McGwire’s auto since childhood and have been studying every stroke. I spent my first two years of college (1998 and 1999) trying to perfect it instead of listening to the history of Napoleon Bonaparte and the such.

Aside from the inked cards, there are still a boat load of cards that bring back all sorts of memories. Check out these Mark McGwire Mother’s Cookies cards. Gotta love the one with the massive bat and the one with fellow Rookie of the Year winners, Jose Canseco and Walt Weiss. I’ve written about some of these before.

And these unlicensed issues, which were pretty prevalent in my area during childhood.

I can’t seem to figure this one out. It’s not really a card, but more like a wallet size picture. The image appears to be from 1987, or Spring Training 1988, based on the jersey. The back only says “This Paper Manufactured By Kodak.”

How about this 1988 Topps Record Breaker Error/Gimmick card. Check out McGwire’s plant foot — there’s a bow on his cleat, and a weird triangle toward the heel. Come to think of it, it looks like Someone at Topps made a poor attempt to make it look like he was wearing a wedge heel. Seriously.

And for good measure, how about these rookie-year issues, 1987 Topps and 1987 Donruss Rated Rookie. Oddly enough, the Donruss card is probably the nicest raw copy of this card I have ever owned, and I’ve had a few come through my collection. They were tough to keep mint back in the day because of the stiff binder pages and black card borders.

Pretty cool, eh? And that’s just McGwires.

Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane with some other Junk Wax Era releases.

Here’s some 1989 Fleer error cards. Notice the red color bars on top and below the photos; they are supposed to be green.

I used to LOVE these oddball releases. 1989 Topps Toys R Us Rookies Walt Weiss and 1988 Topps Revco League Leaders Mark McGwire.

What an awesome image of Rick Honeycutt signing autographs. He actually looks like a police officer writing a speeding ticket. Sweet shades, Rick.

Who can forget how useful Tony Philips was. I’m pretty sure the Topps photographer caught Phillips off guard here. I wonder who else signed that ball and what happened to it.

A partial set of 1990 Fleer World Series cards, recapping the 1989 victory over the Bay Area rivals San Francisco Giants. That was the Bay Bridge Series that was stopped for a week or so because of the Loma Prieta earthquake.

I was going to scan an image of each player from those great teams, but there are too many. There are literally 200-plus cards in this binder. Instead I’ll finish this post with five of my favorite A’s cards from the era, all of which just happened to be in the binder.

1992 Upper Deck Mark McGwire — check out the bat.

1990 Score 1989 World Series recap of Games 1  and 2. Love the wording at the bottom left of this Dave Stewart and Mike Moore image. It says “Actual World Series Action Photography.”

1989 Fleer Triple A’s card featuring Canseco, McGwire and catcher Terry Steinbach. There’s a very personal story that goes with this card. Not the right forum to share it though. Actually, pretty depressing. Maybe I’ll save it for my book.
1988 Topps Team Leaders. So Young. So good. So innocent … or so we thought.

1991 Score Dream Team Rickey Henderson. Only a Canseco Dream Team card would have rivaled this badboy. Go, Rickey! Go!

1991 Fleer Pro-Vision Mike Greenwell — an iconic card for a hell of a player

Posted in Red Sox Collection with tags , , , , , , , on June 16, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

1991FleerProVisionMikeGreenwellI know guys who have been out of the collecting game for almost two decades. But all of them remember one thing about Mike Greenwell — his 1991 Fleer Pro Vision card. Greenwell was a stud for the Red Sox in the late 80s and early 90s. By now everyone knows how Greenwell feels about Jose Canseco’s MVP in 1988. But regardless of his on-field accomplishments, this 1991 card remains his cardboard legacy. I recently added this image to my on-going Red Sox Collection project. I’ve still got about 1,500 cards to add, many more to scan, but soon enough I’ll be making a call to all collectors to help fill the gaps.

My Newest Addition; Thoughts on Rickey, Rice

Posted in New Addition, Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

This piece was written by hand Jan. 12, 2009 and transcribed for this blog on Jan. 15, 2009. Some portions have been added.

111_0065Well, I almost called my shot. Just as I alluded to last week, my wife and I indeed this weekend welcomed into the world our newest addition — Alexa, born early Sunday morning.

Since her birth, the world has seemed like a different place. My wife and I are still in the hospital — I’m actually writing this by hand  as I listen my daughter make the funniest noises — so we’ve yet to feel any sense of normalcy. And for me, this really means that I’ve yet to see what life is like at home with my daughter and wife, who is recovering from Cesarean Section surgery.

But I’m not going to turn this into a diary about the joys of fatherhood. I bet a blog about such a topic would be more popular than my little blog about baseball cards, but I’m not going down that road here. Instead I want to talk about stuff I’ve missed. Continue reading

Card of the Day: 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco rookie

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

Before he sold his soul to the Devil Bud Selig, started turning tricks fighting former football players in Atlantic City, and claiming that Madonna wanted to have his child, Jose Canseco actually was a hell of a baseball player. In fact, he was almost worthy of the Hall of Fame. Canseco was the first man to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in one season (1988), has Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards to his name, owns (at least I think he still owns it) a championship ring and was one of the most feared sluggers in the game for nearly a decade. Continue reading

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