Thrift Treasures Part XIV: Homemade Vintage Baseball Cards


Fake baseball cards suck, period. No one likes to buy something and then realize that they had been fooled or bamboozled. But what if you know they are fakes when you buy them, and the price was next to nothing: Does that make you feel any better? Sorta.

I recently unearthed two baggies of baseball cards at a local thrift shop, one containing a about 20 cards in late 1980s LARGE penny sleeves, and the other containing a small stack of early 90s food-related baseball cards. Don’t believe me when I say large penny sleeves? Look at size of this monstrosity.


Anyway, the one with the penny sleeves immediately caught my eye from a short distance away because it was obvious that the cards were in some sort of protector. And even though the first card in the back was the pictured 1988 score Larry Sheets (worthless), it still made me smile because it reminded me of my early collecting days. I remember buying those type of oversized sleeves thinking those flimsy pieces of plastic alone would protect my million dollar collection of 1987 Topps and 1988 Donruss.

TT14TedWilliamsI digress. It was clear that the cards in the baggie were pretty crappy. But toward the bottom I could see what appeared to be a 1954 Topps Ted Williams cards. I knew this was too good to be true, but it made me laugh. The cards had to be mine, if for no other reason so I could write about them.

After paying for my two baggies (total cost: $2.14) I finally got a chance to see what was in these bags. Well, much to my amusement, there were two of these Ted Williams, as well as (2) 1952 Topps Willie Mays, (2) 1953 Topps Satchell Paige, (1) 1954 Topps Jackie Robinson, (3) 1954 Topps Billy Martin and a Red Sox common from the 1953 Topps set. Again, let me be clear: These are NOT REAL. If they were real — or any chance that they were even close to being real — these would have been promptly placed by store personnel behind a class case. Right now, this store has a stack of early 1990s cards (in top loaders, no penny sleeves) in a glass case with a price tag of $3.98 each. Trust me, they suck. Anyway, back to the “vintage.”

Upon further inspection, I have determined that these homemade cards are actually images of cards that were cut out of a magazine and then pasted to pieces of a cereal box and then trimmed with a pair of scissors. Pretty amusing.

The second baggy had what appeared to be a dozen or so “odd-ball” cards mixed in with a grouping of commons. The odd ball cards included:

1992 Post


1994 Post


1994 Tombstone Pizza (Score)

1994TombstoneFront1994TombstoneFor the time period these were obtained by the original owner, I’d say they did very well — they got the Jeff Bagwell from each of these sets, and two Frank Thomas.

Although the odd-ball cards are not endorsed by Major League Baseball, I actually find them kind of neat to own. The Tombstone design is pretty nifty, and I love the 1992 Post Jeff Bagwell card. Also, I really liked the inclusion of the facsimile autos on all of these cards. While faux autos are a staple these days, they were not too common in the early 1990s.

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