Archive for sports
I didn’t plan it this way, but if I was going to pick the subject of my final Beckett Baseball column it definitely would have been about thrift shopping.
Thrifting is the subject of my current column, which is on newsstands now in Beckett Baseball Issue #116, which features likely AL MVP Josh Donaldson on the cover. And as it turns out, this appears to be my final column.
Just days after submitting the piece I learned that Chris Olds, who had been the editor of said magazine for almost seven years, was moving on from his position. And this change in scenery for him likely meant the end of my column.
It was a fun run that lasted almost two years and essentially fulfilled my childhood dream of writing for the magazine that I grew up reading. I do appreciate the opportunity that Chris gave me when he was the editor. I wish him well in the future.
As for me, while the column has come to an end, this basically means that I can get back to writing more stuff here.
I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t holding back here so that I didn’t burn material for column that was going to be published.
Thank you all for your continued readership. I’ll get back to writing more here shortly. In the mean time you can follow me on Twitter @cardboardicons
I’ll say this up front, I am not a big card game guy. I never got into Magic. I never played Pokemon. I don’t hate it. I don’t dislike people who play such games. I, personally, have never felt the need to sit down and learn or play those games. They are games of strategy; I prefer to apply my knowledge — the little that I have — to my hobby, where I acquire real things. That’s just how I operate.
Having said that, I do find some intrigue when I find card game cards at thrift stores. I have a little knowledge as to what is “worth” money, but I can say that I have not cashed in on anything card game related. This post, I suppose, follows in those foot steps.
So, in the early 2000s, Wizards of the Coast, makers of the Magic The Gathering cards, produced a series of baseball strategy card game that spanned the course of four of five seasons I believe. The game had a mild following. I don’t recall the cards ever being scorching hot. And every now and then I find them in thrift stores, usually mixed in with some typical baseball cards. I usually pass on them unless I see an absolute reason to buy: Multiple foil cards, many “first edition” cards, multiple stars, quantity for little money, etc.”
On this occasion, I happened to find this box (shown here) sitting in an aisle of photo albums. It must’ve been mistaken for a photo box, but I knew what it was immediately. When I opened it, I got a bit excited because while the bx itself makes for a fun display, it had a fair amount of cards. I was even more exited when I learned that the $3.99 price tag on it was incorrect for on this day, this item was half off.
The box contained 5 foil cards …
Total cost of these treasures: $1.99
To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE
To say that this blog is what it was six years ago when I started it would simply be untrue. The industry has changed. My life has changed. I was married for a mere three years when I started this thing, and I didn’t have any kids. I now have two kids who are 6 and 4 and my wife and I will be celebrating our tenth anniversary later this year. Oh, and I had a career change some four years ago. Yeah, time flies.
There was a time when page hits were important to me; when I felt the need to publish something everyday. But the more that I let that motivate me, the more this hobby became like work. Over time I did my own thing. I branched out and got published elsewhere and used this site to do what I initially set out to do, chronicle MY collection and share MY thoughts.
One of the things that has developed through this site is ‘Thrift Treasures,” which has been my constant theme in which I chronicle sports items — usually cards — I find during trips to thrift stores, antique stores, flea markets, etc.
It came as a surprise to me this week when I learned that the “Thrift Treasures” series has been nominated for “Best Recurring Subject,” in the “2014 Bip Awards” as hosted by fellow bloggers over at A Cardboard Problem.
I’m humbled by the fact that I have even been nominated. The other candidates are among some of the stronger and more popular blogs in our hobby. Anyway, I’ll quite rambling. If you’re so inclined go vote for somebody — even if its not me.
And in case you missed it or care to read them again, all of my Thrift Treasures posts can be read HERE.
Some of my favorites include:
* A 1971 San Jose Bees (Royals Single-A affiliate) signed baseball (read)
* Sealed 1984 Donruss set (read)
* A signed George W. Bush book (read)
* a Cal Ripken Jr. signed book (read)
* A signed Harry Caray book … which I returned to the owner (read)
* A full game-used bat that might be photo-matched to a card (read)
* a team-signed 1997 USA Baseball jersey (read)
* A signed Casey Stengel 1963 Topps card (read)
* And of course, the legendary find of a game-used Earl Weaver jersey (read) which has been the gift that keeps on giving. The find led to new opportunities within the hobby for me, including a chance to meet Earl and have his sign the jersey before he passed away in 2012. (Beckett first-hand piece from 2012)
So there I was minding my own business in the toy aisle of one of the local thrift shops when I saw dozens of little bags filled with sports cards, some of which were actually in Card Saver II’s. What’s that? Google it, kid.
Anyway, I was intrigued. I picked up each bag and checked as best I could to get an idea of what was inside of each. Was this going to be a baggy of 1990 Donruss cards, or was there enough intrigue there to get me to buy it? Out of the dozens of bags, four of them said “Buy Me!” I should note that one baggy actually had a certified autograph inside, but when I saw that it was as shiny Topps Platinum auto of former 49ers running back Glenn Coffee tucked into a stack of 1989 Topps baseball, I exercised restraint and left it behind for someone else. Someone else can have the pleasure of owning that treasure.
I resisted the temptation of opening the baggies in the car and later opened them at home. I’ll explain real quickly about why each bag intrigued me.
The one on the left contained hockey cards, but my quick check revealed a Bobby Orr Power Deck insert card that I knew was worth the $2.99 purchase alone. On top of the second bag there was a Juan Gonzalez Donruss Preferred die-cut insert card that I believed to be numbered to like 1,500 copies as well as a San Jose Sabercats team set and a San Jose Giants team set. In the third bag I could see a Reggie Miller gold portrait card that I had never seen before. And the fourth bag contained a stack of cards in Card Savers as I mentioned earlier.
In all, the baggies revealed the following … and three surprises.
The Bobby Orr insert mentioned above …
A Reggie Miller Skybox USA Gold Portrait…
The team set of the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League … a set that contains four cards of players who played at San Jose State University when I was there.
A 2006 San Jose Giants minor league team set …
Some random star cards …
And a stack of 1994 Donruss ‘Special Edition” parallel cards of the sets biggest stars …
So, about those surprises.
Well, there was this shiny Upper Deck Roadrunner hologram…
The Young is not certified and does not come with a Certificate of Authenticity (which is good in my opinion), but if you compare the signature to any of the certified autographs he has, it’s spot on. That’s a hell of a score … no pun intended.
Total Cost of these treasures: $11.96
To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE
So in my previous post, I documented a sweet pull that came from a 2012 Panini America Signature Series pack. That pack came as an impulse buy after I spent an hour digging through the card shop’s Price Friendly Vintage boxes. It’s a great shop for vintage, and I used to go through these boxes more often. But in recent years I’d slowed down this hunt.
But there I was on Wednesday going through the boxes that I had not gone through in more than a year.
There were a couple high-dollar scores, some not-so-significant rookie cards I (think I) needed for my collection, and a few “different” types of cards that caught my attention.
On that note, let’s start with the “different” items.
I’m sure you’ve seen these before, but this is a 1965 Topps Embossed card of Ernie Banks. These were inserted into regular packs in 1965 and offered collectors a “different” type card of star players. There was a badly cut Roberto Clemente in the box for $5, but I liked the value on this Ernie Banks at $1. The card is scuffed and has a pin hole at the top, but it’s still worth 100 pennies to me.
Here are a pair of 1969 Topps Sticker Albums. These also were inserted into packs and basically served as a place to put the player stickers that were also included in some packs. The albums are separated by team and show players inside with their stats. The albums I got are of the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs. The Astros one doesn’t have any stickers, but the Cubs has a few, including Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins. One a side note, the back side of these albums showcase facsimile signatures for players on the team. Surely that was a nifty idea for the time. These were 50 cents each.
And here are a pair of 1970 Topps Booklets, one of Pete Rose and one of Ernie Banks. These are essentially comic books telling the career story of the depicted player. Kinda neat. Banks cost me $2; Rose was $2.50. Pretty good shape considering the card stock is thin like paper.
We’ll start with a PSA 7 1981 Topps Jari Kurri rookie. I’m not big on hockey cards, but a PSA 7 for $3 seemed like a goo deal so I nabbed it.
Speaking of graded. Here’s a 1981 Topps Harold Baines BGS 6 for $2. The grade is lower, but looking at the breakdown, the reason this got a 6 is because of the centering. Either way, I’ll pay $2 for older solid rookie cards in BGS slabs.
And lower grades … here’s a creased 1992 Topps Derek Jeter rookie card for $2.50. Not exactly vintage, but it was in the box. I’ll bite at that price. It still presents nicely.
So, I went a good five years without acquiring a Bobby Cox rookie. And about a year or so ago, I found one in an antique store for just a few dollars. It’s a gorgeous card. During this trip I located another Cox rookie and it was $3. I like adding those kind of cards to my collection for the price of a pack of cards.
We’ll start with a 1948 Bowman Marty Marion rookie. Truthfully, I have never seen one of these. This one is in good shape aside from the centering. Price $16. Not bad for a Hall of Famer.
Creased cards get a bad wrap in our hobby. It’s almost the death of a card if it has been bended. That said, I can’t let a 1968 Topps Johnny Bench rookie card sit in this box for $9. Surely someone can appreciate just owning a Bench rookie. I already have a graded one, so this one will be made available at some point.
And now the main attraction. Remember what I said about creased cards? The crease in this 1959 Topps All Star Mickey Mantle card killed it’s value. But for $15 I cannot — nor shall anyone else — leave an authentic vintage card of perhaps the hobby’s biggest name in a box.
For the last year and a half I’ve had the good fortune of having some of my writings published in Beckett Sports Cards Monthly. After spending about a decade in the newspaper business and seeing my name on newsprint, it’s been fun to see my name in a magazine related to my hobby. But recently things took an even cooler twist when I was asked to write more for Beckett Baseball, which is THE magazine I had been reading since I was like 7 years old. And this week I picked up the latest copy — featuring National League Most Valuable Player Andrew McCutchen on the cover — and found my first published column (on Page 16) in the baseball magazine. Obviously I knew it was coming, but it’s been awesome to finally see my name and my writings in the baseball magazine. I’m looking forward to writing more in the future.