Thrift Treasures Part XXXI: A Super Saturday before the Super Bowl

For the first time since my son was born,  my wife and I made a trip to one of the monthly flea markets.  It’s one I’ve written about before, as seen here.

With the kids in tow, we set off for the rows and rows of stuff.  Among the items I hoped to find was cards at a good price, or items that I could flip so that I could buy more cards.

Yeah, I like cards.

Anyway, about 30 minutes into the trip I found the video game vendor guy who dabbles in cards, the same guy from the post mentioned above.  Today he had nothing for me.  He had a stack of 100-125 1972 Topps commons he wanted me to pay $10 for, and a pair of PSA graded 1963 Bazooka cards featuring a league president and commissioner.  The PSA cards intrigued me, but I passed at the price of $20 for the pair.

I figured it was not my month … and then came Lady Luck.

At one booth some guy had a simple two-row shoe box with cards individually priced.  I chose these two:

1962 Topps National League Strikeout Leaders featuring three Dodgers, including Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Cost: $2.

I’m not a huge fan of league leader cards, but I had a card itch and I needed to scratch it.  Besides, I’ve got a thing for Sandy Koufax cards.  The guy intrigues me.  And the fact that this also has Don Drysdale on it makes it even more appealing.  I didn’t grow up in the 1960s, but if I had, I have a sneaking suspicion I would have been a Dodger fan.


1969 Topps 4-in-1 Inserts featuring Brian Piccolo in his rookie year.  Cost: 50 cents.

I realize that this is not a traditional looking card and that it is actually creased.  But that dude in the top right corner has a pretty solid legacy in football.

When I collected football cards with a vigor, I learned quickly about Brian Piccolo’s legacy.  And having owned his rookie card in the past, I knew that the pose on this card was identical.  Turns out my gut reaction was right:  This is a rookie-year insert card.  High book is $25.  Awesome price, right?


If we would have left the flea market after that purchase I would have been happy.  But we kept searching, and I found a small goldmine about 30 minutes later in the form of three Ziplock freezer bags full of cards.  I was reluctant to ask what the guy wanted for his cards — when cards are in Ziplock bags, that’s usually not a good sign.  But when he said $3 per bag, my ears perked up.  There were bags of 1988 Topps and Score baseball — I obviously left those behind.  But when I saw the striping of a 1986 Topps football set I could hardly contain myself.

I could have purchased more, but I held myself to a three bag limit and decided upon bags that contained 1953 Topps Archives, 1984 Topps football and a 1986 Topps football.


The 1953 Topps Archives set is awesome because I can’t afford to put the real set together but love the cards.  Turns out the set is missing seven cards … BUT all of the big ones are there including:


When I purchased the bag of 1984 Topps cards, I was 99 percent sure the rookies of Dan Marino and John Elway would be missing.  Turns out I was right.  But, these rookies were there:


The bag that really got my juices flowing was the one containing the 1986 Topps football set.  I LOVE the design of this set.  I was hoping that the Jerry Rice rookie was in the bag, but I knew it would be a long shot.  Remember, I DO live in the San Francisco Bay Area. You think Jerry is a legend elsewhere?  He’s a god here.  Long story short, there was no Rice.  BUT imagine the feeling I got when I unearthed this:

I realize that Steve Young is shown as a poor old Buccaneer in one of the ugliest uniforms in the history of the sport, but it IS a Steve Young rookie card.  And like Rice, Steve Young is a god here, too.

As it turns out, the entire set is here minus the Jerry Rice rookie.  That means rookie cards of Reggie White, Bruce Smith and many others.  Hard to beat that for $3.

Total cost for these Treasures: $11.50


3 Responses to “Thrift Treasures Part XXXI: A Super Saturday before the Super Bowl”

  1. Yep you did good.

    If you would have bought he 72 commons you would have done even better. There are tons of people that collect that set. (I don’t know why because I think it looks horrible) So they make great trade bait. Also the high number cards are kind of scarce if there were any in there.

  2. Well done. I love stories like this.

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