Thrift Treasures XXI: Will You Accept This Rose? ( “The Bachelor” Edition)

For four long weeks I waited, and when the day arrived, it simply was not as I expected. Each month a local community college holds a fairly extensive flea market chalk full of regular vendors. Among them is a guy who hawks video games and baseball cards. He’s usually got a showcase of sports cards, but behind him he’s got a dollar table where he throws out two stacks of cards he offers for a buck a piece. Last month, after I ran out of money, I saw that he had vintage baseball! I quickly thumbed through them and saw some stuff I would have purchased if I had any money left.

So for four weeks I longed for the first Saturday of the month. I imagined swooping in and buying everything within sight for the low price of a buck a card, of three for $2, as he told me last month. Well, Saturday was not my day. He had no vintage, or baseball really. In his showcase he had some 2009 Topps 209 relics and autos, most notably an Old Mill Ty Cobb bat card for which he wanted $125, and a Evan Longoria auto priced at $75. I passed and moved onto the dollar table, which contained only game-used football cards. I don’t really collect football, but for a buck a piece I figured I could find a few things that would humor me, entertain you, and eventually turn for some measly Red Sox cards of the same nature. So without further adieu, I bring to you, Thrift Treasures XXI, The Bachelor Edition.

We’ll start with this utterly worthless Absolute triple relic of Brian Leonard, who at one time played for the St. Louis Rams. These cards are one of the reasons I stopped collecting football. This card features swatches of two jerseys and a football used during a PHOTO SHOOT. WTF!? A photo shoot? Lame. What intrigues me here is that we’ve got two different color jersey swatches (looks cool), which leads me to believe they used multiple jerseys during said photo shoot. I’m almost positive these didn’t come from the same jersey. But the real reason I bought this was because of the pigskin swatch. As much as I hate these event-worn relics, I do love when swatches of football with character are inserted into cards. Here, the pigskin swatch features letters from the area of the ball under the laces, the part that reads “National Football Conference.” I dig it.

For our second serving, I give you a heaping plate of Dustin Keller. This 2008 SPX “Rookie Materials” dual relic intrigues me because of the way Upper Deck has been abusing the SPX brand. Seriously, inserting metal in lieu of a jersey swatch is disgusting. I already hated the way SPX has been changed from a brand based on Holograms to a set focused on relic cards inserted into the letters S, P and X. I hate it. What makes it worse is when they do what they did with this Keller — give me two swatches and a piece of metal. Boo! The ~good~ news, this is a jersey from another rookie photo shoot. Any Jets fans want to relieve me from this agony? Did I mention it’s numbered to just 199 copies?! All I ask for is baseball, preferably Red Sox in return.

When I was attending San Jose State, I had the pleasure of spending three years at the student newspaper, an experience that ultimately helped me into my profession. I have many memories from that time including two stints as  a sports editor. During one semester, there was a wide out for conference rival University of Nevada-Reno who was lighting the Western Athletic Conference on fire, Nate Burleson. Now some seven years later I’ve finally got my hands on a Burleson rookie, a rookie jersey card at that. There is no mention of where this purple swatch of Minnesota Vikings jersey comes from, but given what I’ve shown you already today, I’m guess this also came from a photo shoot. What is mentioned on the back of this card is that he used to light up San Jose State. Just awesome. I might have to keep this card just because of the memories it brings back.

Remember Freddie Mitchell? I think the guy made one great catch in a big game somewhere and then became the talk of the National Football League for a few minutes. He then came out at a press conference dressed like he was Don Magic Juan talking all kinds of junk. At least that is what I remember of Mitchell. Anyway, here is another reason to remember Mitchell: This sick-ass jersey card. This was the very first card I pulled out of the stack for purchase. Are you kidding me? This swatch comes from his UCLA jersey and features a powder blue jersey with a navy blue area that I’m almost certain came from the shadow effect around his jersey number. This card is worth the entire purchase alone.

And finally I present The Bachelor: Jesse Palmer. This washed up college and NFL quarterback, now ESPN college football analyst, was the centerpiece of Season Four (2004) of The Bachelor television show. For a few months the ladies swooned over this guy, who I’d imagine must be pretty well-off financially. They gawked at his images in magazines across the country and started to follow his already declining career. They wanted to know him, they wanted to be with him. And these ladies could have had a piece of him the whole time … well, his jersey anyway. Not sure what my intentions are with this card. I mean it’s not like Jesse Palmer is the object of every woman’s affection at this point; they’re all into pretty boys like Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson. I may just keep it for fun, or is that a bit creepy?

2 Responses to “Thrift Treasures XXI: Will You Accept This Rose? ( “The Bachelor” Edition)”

  1. I have interviewed Brian Leonard before. He comes from our area and he was actually our newspaper’s “Sports Performer of the Year” when he was in high school. I wrote the story.

    I’m marginally interested in the card. I don’t collect football, but given who it is, it’d be cool. I’d have to scare up a Red Sox relic though.

  2. It’s yours. I’ll add it to my Dodger box, which is headed your way this week.

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