Archive for rookie cards

A trip to LCS for supplies leads to purchase of vintage rookies

Posted in Hall of Fame Rookie Cards, New Addition with tags , , , , , on September 21, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

So earlier today I was taking pictures of some autographs in my collection and noticed that I still needed about 30 single-screw cases for a project I’m working on.  So I headed to the LCS to buy these …

Well, I had about 20 minutes to spare and the shop owner tells me he got a bunch of 1940s and older cards in the showcase. 

So I dug through and saw lots of stuff I liked, but really two cards that I absolutely needed for my collection.

For less than the price of a hobby box I added two rookie cards of Boston Red Sox legends to my collection, cards that I had only seen online.  Both are considered lower grade, but I love that these were unexpected purchases made in person and from one of the local shops, which I like supporting. 

(Public Service Announcement: If you’ve got a shop near you, buy a single or two every month for your PC and help keep them in business.)

I only had a few minutes at the shop today because I had to get my kids from school, but I had just enough time afterward to take these Instagram pictures on the baseball field at my kids’ school.

1939 Play Ball Bobby Doerr, who at age 97 is presently the oldest living member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

 And 1941 Play Ball Dom DiMaggio, younger brother of The Yankee Clipper Joe DiMaggio, and a star in his own right.   

Thrift Treasures 95: the HOF Class of 2015

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on September 19, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

When it comes to buying cards at thrift stores, sometimes you have to throw logic out the window and buy things based on principle.

To understand what I mean all you have to do is look at this post.
Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz were three of the four players elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this year. The other was Pedro Martinez.  

 Biggio, Johnson and Smoltz all have rookie cards hailing from sets in 1989 so it is not uncommon to find the hiding in common boxes across the country. (Before you flip out and start thinking about Biggio, Smoltz and 1988 cards, understand that those two guys have cards on 1988, but they are considered XRC due to the fact they were released in factory update-style sets.

I digress. These cards aren’t very valuable in their raw form. But since when is it acceptable for rookie cards of hall of famers to sit around in a vulnerable state such as a plastic bag at a thift store? 

When I see them on such places, and the price isn’t too bad, I almost feel it is my duty as a collector to save the cards from their demise.

During this trip I located three bags at a local thrift store, one with a 1989 Donruss Smoltz rookie showing and another with at least one 1971 Topps card peeking out from the middle of the stack. The baggie’s, as you can see, were $1.49 each. 

The Smoltz was accompanied by the Fleer rookies of Randy Johnson and Craig Biggio rookies shown in the first picture. And while we’re at it, here are the card backs for those rookies, since no one bothers to look at those anymore.   

And while the remainder of the contents of these bags won’t light the collecting world on fire, there were some fun pieces.

As it turned out there were two 1971 Topps Lou Piniella cards.  

There also were some of the typical 1990s cards of more recent hall of gamers.


And a few that don’t get much pub these days.

Like this 1989 card honoring Tom Browning and his perfect game.

And former Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti, who died less than five months after taking office. 

Total cost of these Treasures: $4.47

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here.

Thrift Treasures 89: What’s In The Box?!

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

When I hit thrift stores and find sports cards, they are usually stored in two ways: stuffed into small bags and priced per bundle or just left in a box and marked with a price. On a recent trip, the latter was the form in which the cards were found.    Behind the counter where they keep the ‘good” stuff was a box marked “Baseball Cards” The Box was one of the eight-section sorter boxes, which by themselves usually cost $3-$4 each. The $7.99 price tag on the box intrigued me as I felt this was worth the purchase if there was anything remotely of interest inside. So I waved down the clerk and said, “What’s in the box? Here is essentially what I saw.    It was a hoard of Donruss cards, lots of 1988, a good number of 1987, but also some 1981 through 1983.  I also took a quick peek and saw a stack of 1980s Minor League cards. I closed the box and bought it. As one could imagine, the stacks contained just what you would expect, lots of Hall of Famers mixed in with a bunch of 1980s common guys. In all there were more than 65 Hall of Famers — the typical 1980s mix of Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, George Brett, Mike Schmidt, Andre Dawson, and of course Rollie Fingers and his mustache.    There were two 1977 All-Time All-Stars cards, ones of Rogers Hornsby (trimmed) and Lefty Grove.    The Minor League cards were fun as usual. A bunch of guys whom I had never heard of, and a few who actually made it to The Show, headlined by Devon White and Randy Myers.     One interesting card is this one of then Mets farmhand Randy Milligan, who would eventually become a member of the Baltimore Orioles.      What makes it interesting? Look at those stats and all that biographical information! Even the card of El Paso trainer Pete Kold has more words. Oops.    If you have been following my collecting journey you know that rookie cards of everyone — EVERYONE — are what I like to collect.  What better way to fill a few dozen holes that to find loads of stuff from the 1980s.    There were guys whom I hadn’t heard of, such as Marvis Foley and of the White Sox and Ricky Peters of the Tigers. There were lots of solid Major Leaguers like Curt Schilling, Ken Caminiti, Jack McDowell, Mike Greenwell, Mark Gubicza, and John Kruk. And ot course there were rookie cards of Hall of Famers — remember recent HOF classes have rookie cards from the “Junk Wax” era — Roberto Alomar, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. Surprisingly the cards are NOT thrashed.    There are probably more than a million of each 1988 Donruss card, making them relatively worthless. But these miscut ones are of some — minimal — interest.    And we’ll finish with a few current Major League coaches shown during their playing days.    Total cost of these treasures: $7.99 You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here

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

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , on March 6, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

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


Rookie Card Upgrade 5: 1970 Topps Thurman Munson

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade with tags , , , , on February 24, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

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 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.

Thrift Treasures 80: Jon Lester rookie, more for $2.99

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , on February 9, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

Quick Thrift Treasures post here.  Earlier in the week I stopped at one of the thrift stores in the city where I work and they had a baggie of cards — about 100 — priced at $2.99.  Itook a quick look and could see that there was a Jon Lester 2006 Upper Deck rookie card inside so i decided to take a shot.

IMG_9123Well, as it turned out, Lester was the best card in the bag, but that’s not to say there wasn’t anything else that interested me.  There were some rookie cards that I needed to go through to see if I own them yet.

IMG_9252IMG_9253And a handful of star cards, a parallel — JJ Hardy Ultra gold #’d/999 — and a few inserts.


Not a huge win or anything, but they can’t all be full of bigtime steals.  The big plus here is that I did not have the 2006 UD Lester rookie yet.

Total cost of these treasures: $2.99

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE



The Mickey Mantle Collection

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , on January 23, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

IMG_8719When it comes to collecting baseball cards there are just a few names that really strikes a cord with collecting Perhaps the biggest name is Mickey Mantle.  Mantle may not have been the best player in the game, but he is probably the most popular among cardboard enthusiasts.  When I was a kid I only dreamed of owning a single Mantle card.  Any Mantle card.  And when I was 16, Topps released the Mickey Mantle reprint series which turned the hobby on its ear.  Yes, believe it or not, reprint cards were selling like hotcakes.  If you were a collector back then you surely remember the hunt for Topps.

While those reprints were an affordable way for collectors to own reprints of the original Mantles, they are reprints and there is nothing quite like the real thing.

Over the last five years I’ve managed to acquire some real Mantle cards, including his rookie.  No, not that 1952 Topps card that is often mistaken for his rookie cards.  But his true rookie, the 1951 Bowman.  I digress. In addition I’ve added a few of his singles from the 1950s and 1960s, and I figured I’d post them all on my site.  Not only for you to see, but so that I have a visual reference to what I already own.  As the header to the page says, the cards may not be mint, but they are indeed real. Enjoy.



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