Thrift Treasures Part III: Bang for your Buck

3treasuresguillenMonday’s are always tough for me. That’s usually when I get the itch to buy some new cards. But this week I did good. Instead of blowing my hard-earned cash on some blaster with astronomical odds, I headed back to the thrift store in search of some bargains. So here we are, Part 3 of Thrift Treasures. Again, 20 cards, $1.

Quick story: While sorting through this massive box of cards, another interested party rushed over and started grabbing cards by the handful. He searched a few dozen cards, then asked, “So, are you into cards?” As if such a question needed to be asked when it is clear that I was. Anyhow, during this odd five-minute not-so-interesting mini conversation between two guys looking through crappy baseball cards, this guy drops this line on me three times: “So, I sell on ebay …” Hurray. I bet this is the guy whose been searching all those packs lately and not cleaning up his mess.

Anyhow, onto my “treasures” …

It was asked of me while I was searching this box if I had “found anything good.” The definition of good is one with many meanings. Did I find anything worth a bunch of money? No. Did I find things that interest me? Yes.

First we’ve got four Red Sox cards that I didn’t have. It still irks me a bit to pay even a nickel for a Jin Ho Cho or Frank Castillo card, but sometimes you just bite the bullet and do such things. Such is the life of a team collector.



One of my favorite cards of 1991 hails from the Upper Deck High Number Series, that being the “Rookie Threats” card featuring rookies Jeff Bagwell, Luis Gonzalez and Karl Rhodes. Bags could be on his way to the Hall of Fame, Gonzalez will forever be remembered as a World Series Hero, and Rhodes is king of Opening Day. He hit three bombs on the first day of the 1993 season. Love this card. As for the others shown here, a 2006 Bowman Heritage Prospect Sean Watson (someone might need it for a set) and I mistook Sean Bergman pictured here for Jason Bergmann, current pitcher for Washington. Oh well, at least I got a ~cool~ looking 1992 Stadium Club Dome card out of it. Looks like Zack Morris’ Senior Portrait.



Pacific parallels are fun. I always enjoyed the “emerald” versions of the late 1990s early 2000 Pacific cards. And while there were none in this particular box, I did find two “reds” (they look better in person), a “gold” and a “copper.” I’m sure I’ll send them to some team collectors at some point, unless of course there is someone killing themselves looking for a certain Darren Bragg 2000 Pacific card.



Cheap inserts from the 1990s always make me smile, even if they are of Jeff Conine, Tim Belcher, Carlos Baerga and Marquis Grissom. I really enjoyed the predictor inserts from 1994 through 1997, so the Conine was a no-brainer for a nickel. The Tim Belcher is a Museum Collection parallel I had to have for a nickel. And I bought the Grisson and Baerga cards for team collectors with whom I have traded with in recent weeks. They’ll be freebees. A quick interesting note on the Grissom card. I turned to my 2003 Beckett Almanac for a little help on price (the Beckett Web site was really slow when I was writing this) and as it turns out this Grissom card is the worst in the 16-card set. Want to guess the value? Fifteen cents. Hilarious.



And now the “Good Stuff.”

Here we have a 1997 Topps Jose Guillen base card. There is nothing special per se about this card other than the fact that the image used on this card immediately made me stop dead in my tracks. It’s Guillen emulating a Roberto Clemente statue. I found it kind of neat. I’m a sucker for interesting images.



Two rookie cards of a solid ball player, one Bobby Bonilla. Both of these cards (1986 Donruss The Rookies and 1986 Topps Traded) will be on their way to Mr. Bonilla in a few days. I saw somewhere there were a few TTM successes for him, so I figured I’d give him a try. If he’s going to sign, I might as well have it on a rookie, ya know? I’ll update should “Bobby Bo” sign these badboys.



And lastly, my favorite card of the bunch. 1998 was a special year for me a collector. It was the year that I pulled from packs a 1998 SP Authentic Randy Moss rookie, AND a 1998-1999 Topps Chrome Refractor Vince Carter rookie. Both were the best cards of their respective sports for a short while. In baseball, Kerry Wood and Ben Grieve were all the rage. I managed to pick up a pair of 1994 Topps Traded sets (with the Grieve rookie) in a poker game, but could not for the life of me get the 1997 Bowman Chrome Refractor Kerry Wood my friend had. He was my poker buddy. At age 18, we’d play for hours on end and every time we played for the Wood (at the time it was worth $60) he beat me. Then he struck out 20 batters, the card went to $300, my friend sold the card for $150 and I was left with the memories. Now, thanks to this 1999 Sports Illustrated card, I reminded of those fun times.


3 Responses to “Thrift Treasures Part III: Bang for your Buck”

  1. Seeing old Kerry Wood cards brings back memories. The best baseball game I’ve ever seen in person was at Turner Field in 1998, Braves vs. Cubs, Maddux vs. a young Kerry Wood. Both bitched very well, Wood pitched just a little bit better, giving up no runs and striking out 11 in 7 2/3 innings. He walked five but none of them scored. The late Rod Beck picked up the save.

  2. Nice thrift purchases – much better than a blaster box. I love the Guillen card – looks like it outside of old Three Rivers so it is also a picture set in a place that really doesn’t exist anymore. The SI cards are cool too. I haven’t seen many of these but I always like them when I see them. I generally enjoy any of the sports magazine cover cards, ESPN, SI, Sporting News.

  3. Ever notice when a player compares or tries to emulate Clemente, their careers go down the drain? Guillen can only play with a short porch … the only other guy The Jon can think of is Ruben Sierra saying he would be bigger than Clemente.
    It is called, “Hi, I am an effin idiot syndrome.”

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