Thrift Treasures 74: Oldies but Goodies; shiny ones too.
So late last week I hit a thrift store on the way home and in the “collectible” section behind the show case near the register were three white boxes that all card collectors could spot from across the room. One was small, like a 200-count box, but the others were 400-count and 550-count. On the outside the store wrote a vague description of what was inside. The small said something to the effect of “comic cards” and they wanted $2.99 for the box, and the others had various sports descriptions on them, as you can see from the pictures.
I don’t buy every “mystery” box I run into, but if I am allowed to open it and get some idea of what is inside, I’ll bite if the contents and price point make sense. Well, in this case I was allowed to do so. The first card I pulled out of the 400-count box was a shiny 1996 Topps Chrome Tony Gwynn refractor. I closed the box immediately and staked my claim at $2.99. I then popped the larger box and pulled a small stack. The highlight of the stack was a 2007 Score Adrian Peterson rookie, followed by a 1988 Topps Brian Bosworth rookie. I looked at the price on the lid ($3.99) closed it up and headed for the register. I’d already seen enough to justify by purchase.
So after the purchase I sat in my car and finally dug through both boxes hoping to unearth some special gems. As it turned out, both boxes had a little something fun and even some items I’d even call treasures.
We’ll start with the small box, because it was heavily baseball-centric. When I opened this box in the store, I gravitated toward the single card that was in a penny sleeve which was the Tony Gwynn.
Refractors at one point were the epitome of parallel cards and in 1996 Topps released it’s first Topps Chrome run. They’re not as hard to find as their basketball counterpart, but the baseball ones from the early Chrome years are still not a easy to find as the ones made these days. The Gwynn could re-sell for more than what I paid for these two boxes.
There were some star cards in the 400-count box but I wont spend too much time on them. Instead I’ll just show a lot of 1997 Mother’s Cookies San Francisco Giants — lots of dupes, but at least I got ONE Barry Bonds — and five misc. cards, including two rookie-year Marshall Faulk cards, and a cool 1995-96 Hoops Skyview Joe Smith. Yes, that last card is of Joe Smith, a former First Overall Pick who didn’t exactly light the NBA on fire, but those mid-90s inserts do well on the secondary market.
The 550-count box was 99% football. I stopped collecting football about a decade ago, but every now and again I dabble in the sport. I also still have an emotional draw to rookie cards of guys, so some of the contents of the box really struck a cord with me.
First off, we’re start with a small grouping of stars cards that were in here. A few Peyton Mannings, some 1988 Topps Joe Montana and Steve Young cards, a pair of Jerry Rices, a 1980 Topps “Mean” Joe Greene” and a very very very sharp 1980 Topps Bears team checklist featuring the legendary Walter Payton.
I loved Upper Deck’s innovation during the 1990s. One of my favoriter sets the 1994 Upper Deck Pro Bowl inserts. What’s not to like? It’s a refractor-like finish matched with the epic motion-capturing hologram mug shot. Yeah, it’s Brent Jones, but it is still gorgeous. It goes perfectly with the other 49ers unearthed in this box.
And remember when I said there were rookie cards? Yeah, there were a few dozen. Three-quarters of the rookie cards were of guys who never mattered at all in the NFL, there were these eight which I chose to feature here. There was the aforementioned 2007 Score Peterson rookie, as well as rookie cards of Patrick Willis and quarterbacks flops JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn. But the 1988 Topps Brian Bosworth rookies (there were two of them), 1988 Vinny Testaverde, and 1989 Topps Traded rookie cards of Deion Sanders and the late Derrick Thomas really made this box fun to go through. The 1984 Topps Morten Anderson rookie is a bonus. It’s sharp as well, much better than the one I used to own.
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