Thrift Treasures 115: Something For Everyone

Persistence.

That’s the one word I’ll use to describe what it takes sometimes to find so-called treasures in second-hand stores. From personal experience, I will tell you that the number of people buying and re-selling items these days has made it much more difficult to find items that appeal to me.

The days of finding boxes of trading cards in Goodwill Stores, or other thrift stores, are gone. Now they are much more difficult to locate. Heck, there is still a segment of the population that believes all cards are word a ton of money. But, every now and again there will be some goodies left behind, even if the thrift stores themselves are sometimes marking up the prices.

I have several thrift stores in my general region, and the closest one to my house is a Goodwill Store about a mile and a half down the road. In the mid 2000s I would go there daily and fish out old Nintendo-brand video games from the various consoles and flip them for card money. Hell, there is a good portion of my collection that was build on cash profits from those sales.

I digress, this specific Goodwill in the last five years has been really poor when it comes to video games and sports collectibles. They just simply do not show up on the shelves or in the show cases. I suspect they either 1) aren’t getting them as much as they used to. But also Goodwill does run auctions on their Web site, so I wonder if they are posting items there — I never look at auctions there, just not my deal.

But even though the pickings have been slim at this store in recent years, I still find myself going there on the off chance there might be something for me. As it turned out, Wednesday was that day.

I’ll preface the remainder of this post by saying that I definitely paid more for this random lot of items that I would have in the past, but there was enough randomness, and enough intrigue to make me whip out my wallet and throw down a $20. Hell, I haven’t bought a single pack of cards in over a month and this was my shot at finding something, either for my collection, or for others folks.

I asked the clerk to see the mound of three Ziplock freezer bags of cards they had piled in the corner of the standing showcase and could tell from one price tag the items had been there at least three days. The bags were taped shut so I could not open them, I merely had to do a visual inspection. I could see there were some sealed bags within, as well as a 100-count snap case full of what looked initially to potentially be Sports Illustrated For Kids cards, as well as enough oddball stuff to make me say “I’ll take them.”

Here’s what was within.

We’ll start with these Chipper Jones cards, which we all should know by now are not rookie cards, or even ones that garner much attention. But what really caught my eye on these are the two early-90s stackable snap cases. These were legit … at least I thought so. I loved them as a kid, and if memory serves me right they were like $1 each at the time, so they weren’t “cheap.” I’ll remove the Chippers and keep the cases as they remind me of the times when I viewed these the same way many view One-Touch magnetics these days.

From Chipper, we’ll go into the Refractors. It’s not often you find Refractors in thrift stores — unless you’ve had some spoiled collector or breaker just completely give up. Here there were four, three of which were serial numbered. The Mallex Smith Jefry Rodriguez are /499, that Luke Hochevar is /150. The Frank Thomas is from 1999 Finest and is the Refractor Left version. Not numbered, but still a fun find here.

The next grouping of cards made me smile. I mean, the 1990 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr feature’s The Kid’s infectious smile, as does the 1992 Upper Deck Frank Thomas. And that 1989 Upper Deck Triple Exposure Nolan Ryan was a hot card in 1989 — at least until the update set came out and his “With Football” Rangers card was released.

There is no shortage of early Derek Jeter cards, but it’s still shocking and fun when I come across these. This 1994 Classic “Cream of the Crop” isn’t worth a ton, but I was always fascinated by the inserts and bonus cards that Classic released so it’s a fun one to own. The 2003 Topps Joe Mauer-Justin Morneau is a classic and must-own for Twins fans. It’s super inexpensive, but features two MVP and fan favorites on the same card. An that 2014 Topps Chrome Xander Bogaerts is a rookie card — although I am miffed by the fact that the previous owner didn’t put it in a penny sleeve first. Cmon, man…

Let’s move to the sports oddball segment of this post. We open with two 1988 Fleer box set releases, a poorly diamond cut 1988 Topps Jose, and then two 1989 Topps releases, the Cap’n Crunch food issue, and the KMart Dream Team. I didn’t need these for my Clemens stash, but finding Clemens cards and essentially saving them from the dump always makes me smile.

Speaking of KMart … how about two of these 1982 Topps MVP sets. These sets were released through the retail giant in 1982 and commemorated 20 years of AL and NL MVPs but showing a reprint of their Topps card from the year of the award. The cards ARE NOT RARE … but what’s cool about this find is one of these sets has never been opened. Hell, the gum was still inside. And no, I will not eat the gum — honestly, one portion of it is seriously discolored. What’s really cool to me is the number of price tags on the front of these boxes. The sets appear to have been discounted no less than five times after the original $1.97 price tag.

As a collector in the Bay Area during the early 1990s there was no shortage of oddball or food issues showcasing someone on either the Oakland Athletics or the San Francisco Giants. It’s no secret that Mother’s Cookies releases are my favorite. But I was always intrigued by the Pepsi releases — I’m an equally astonished that many of them survived given their crappy card stock. But in this find, I located a complete 1991 Pepsi Rickey Henderson release. I remember these coming one card per 12-pack of cans … I forget how the whole sealed set was released.

On that note, the Post Cereal cards were always fun. I really enjoyed the relatively inexpensive hand-cut cards of the 1960s, and several years ago actually found an un-cut panel featuring Hank Aaron. But in this find there was a much more modern Post release, an entire 1994 set still in sealed box.

Continuing the trend of “oddball” releases, here is a stack of 60-plus San Francisco Giants “Donate Life Day 2014” Stadium Giveaway cards. This is a four-card set that appears to have been released in a perforated strip. The previous owner looks to have taken 16 strips and broken them down and placed them inside the snap case — the perforated edges are what made me think these were SI For Kids cards.

Let’s close out the baseball portion of this post with three vintage cards, which are always super cool to find in random collections like this. I always feel privileged to be the finder of true vintage baseball cards as I feel I have saved them from being completely destroyed. Here we have a 1957 Topps Dick Groat (little paper loss on back likely from being TAPED to the album or bedpost), a 1957 Topps Ed Bailey (I can see a ring of glue residue but all stats and verbiage is clear), and a 1969 Topps Jim Grant, which is notable because 1969 was the first year the Montreal Expos existed in Major League Baseball. Grant was a Dodger in 1968 and looks to have been a member of the Indians in the old image Topps used here. He was the 36th pick of the National League 1968 Expansion Draft.

Moving from baseball lets go to hoops … women’s hoops. Someone apparently was really into Dawn Staley, Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoops and more. One cool WNBA card in this lot was actually a 2000 Ultra WNBA Feel the Game Game-Worn shoe relic of Sacramento Monarchs player Kedra Holland-Corn. That swatch is legit –it’s black leather. In some ways the swatch alone reminds me of the 2001 Topps American Pie Elvis Presley relic card featuring a swatch of a leather jacket. I actually pulled one of those; good stuff — good money too.

Do you speak Klingon? I don’t. But here are three mid 1990s Star Trek inserts featuring the Klingon Disruptor Rifle, Klingon Tactical Display and Klingon Sash.

Do you read comics? I’ve got a slew of Wizard Comic Price Guide promo cards. I know these are not rare, but they do look awfully good.

In some circles, when it comes to Halloween some collectors package up some of their extra cards and give them to kids trick or treating instead of giving them candy. It appears that in 1991 that was already a thing. Here are 14 packs of Trading Card Treats. The packs appear to contain three Impel brand cards showcasing various comics and TV Shows such as Wolverine, Spider-Man, Widget, Inspector Gadget and Universal Monster. My favorites, though, are the two Nintendo themed packs with Super Mario Bros 3 artwork cards on the front.

Speaking of Mario … here is a Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Star perforated card from an issue of Nintendo Power. My son even walked by the table while I was writing this and stopped to ask what the card was. I haven;t told him yet, but this an d the other Super Mario items are for him — he’s a big Nintendo/Super Mario fan.

We’re getting close to the end … I promise.

When I was a kid, Garbage Pail Kids were my jam — hell, my mom started buying then when I was 5 years old, and it was this collection that actually introduced me to card collecting. Sadly there were no GPK here, but there were a slew of Wacky Packages both old and new. There were almost 30 original Wacky Packages from 1979 and 1980 in here, and twice as many modern ones, including a red, gold and holofoil parallels. Anyone collect these? I see the vintage ones do OK on COMC — which is where they’ll likely end up.

And we’ll close this edition of Thrift Treasures with two non-card items. The first is a ticket stub from the 2006 New Year’s Day game featuring the Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers. The the second is a commemorative Sept. 11, 2001 “We’ll Never Forget” stadium giveaway pin from the San Francisco Giants. The pin is still affixed to the original card, but does have some surface issues along the top border.

Total cost of these Treasures: $19.86

You can read more Thrift Treasures posts here

One Response to “Thrift Treasures 115: Something For Everyone”

  1. nighttimeowl Says:

    The last cards were the coolest. Vintage Wacky’s are something I need to collect (I bought those the first year I bought baseball cards).

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