Archive for the New Addition Category

Sometimes you win, Sometimes you lose, Sometimes you break even … in theory

Posted in New Addition with tags , , , , , , , on February 18, 2018 by Cardboard Icons

About a month ago I located on eBay a lot of cards that I thought might have a nice return for me. The auction was poorly titled and clear as day in the pictures was what appeared to be a 1963 Topps Mickey Mantle.

For as long as I have been on eBay — which is now 20 years — I’d dreamed of coming up on a group of cards featuring an authentic Mantle card priced for next to nothing.

Well, I’ll need to keep dreaming.

I won the auction for $40 — a bit of a gamble, but not overly expensive. And when the cards arrived in my hands I opened the package and went straight to the Mantle. The card felt weird and the image looked soft. I grabbed my jewler’s loupe and confirmed my suspicion: The Mantle was a fake.

The stock was wrong. The type face was blurry and there were grain lines printed into the cardboard. And the card is slightly smaller than other 1963s I own.

Gone was the dream.

Gone was my confidence.

Gone was my $40. (The seller didn’t accept returns — which isn’t a problem as I do not allow them either.)

I let the cards sit on my coffee table for about a week before the disgust wore away and I was able to appreciate what was still in the package, which included two cards I did not already own.

The two highlights from this package were a 1973 Fleer Laughlin Baseball’s Famous Feats Babe Ruth and a 1976 MSA Isaly’s disc Hank Aaron. Both items are oversized, but would look neat in a display piece I’m thinking about making.

Additionally, the package also had this 1964 Topps Giants Harmon Killebrew, which is also oversized and may make its way into the piece I’m envisioning.

The remainder of the lot is rounded out by a 1964 Topps Jim Kaat, 1965 Topps league leaders HR featuring three Hall of Famers including Willie Mays, a 1969 Topps Deckle Luis Aparicio, two 1986 Sports Design Products unlicensed wannabe 1969 Cards of Whitey Ford and Eddie Mathews, and an intriguing 1957 Topps Dick Williams.

Why is the Williams intriguing? The bottom border has been cut off and a previous owner clearly had this thing taped to something — perhaps a bed post? — which always reminds me of how cards were enjoyed before they became items associated with money.

While the package didn’t quite deliver the value I’d hope, in hindsight it still offered more value than a lot of current stuff. I mean this lot did have vintage cards of three of the game’s most prolific power hitters — Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.

Mint and slabbed: 1985 Clemens Topps rookie finds new home

Posted in New Addition with tags , , , , , on January 14, 2018 by Cardboard Icons

True story: When I was 11 years old I entered the sixth grade with a binder decorated in Roger Clemens pictures. I was that hardcore of a fan. And my collection at the time consisted of damn near every copy of every Roger Clemens card I could find.

Hell, during one trip to card show in the mall I purchased some 60 copies of a 1989 Classic Travel Orange Clemens card one dealer had for sale.

I digress, one of my prized possessions was a single 1985 Topps Clemens rookie card I purchased from a local card shop in 1990. I forget how much the card cost me, but surely it was in the $15 range — which was about the same price as a box of packs from the current year at the time. So there was a debate: a single card versus a whole box of cards.

That card was THE Clemens card for me. The 1984 Fleer Update XRC was a figment of my imagination really. I figured there was no way on earth that I’d ever own the card as it was valued at the time in the $350 range.

So the Clemens Topps rookie was something I never wanted to let out of my sight. So what did I do? I placed it into a Card Saver I and taped the Card Saver to the inside of my binder.

And so there it sat every day. When I got sick of listening to the teacher I opened my binder and looked at the Clemens, an escape from school work and a journey to baseball card land, where all things were positive and fun.

Fast forward to 2018. I have the Clemens Fleer Update rookie — two in fact; although it should be noted they’re worth about a third of what they went for in 1990. But I hadn’t owned a GRADED version of that beloved 1985 Topps Clemens.

The original one I owned is still in my collection. Remarkably it isn’t thrashed, but it was never mint, always near-mint at best.

And so one day recently while perusing the Clemens stuff on eBay I came upon a BGS Topps Clemens rookie, a solid Mint 9. It’s not rare, but I had to make this one mine. And so I did — for a whopping $15, the same price I paid for my original Clemens rookie.

Ben Aguirre, Jr.

Former Beckett Baseball columnist and writer.

Collector of Hall of Fame tobacco era and Rookie cards.

Collector of Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw.

You can reach me on Twitter and Instagram @cardboardicons. You can also e-mail me at cardboardicons@yahoo.com

Another iconic card added to the Icons collection

Posted in New Addition with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

Additions to my personal collection have slowed down in recent months, so when I make an acquisition that fits into that “PC” category, I shall share it.

Like many of you I have an addiction, a true sickness for cardboard. I say this somewhat in jest, but there is some truth to it. I spend more money on cards than I should; I even find myself buying stuff just for the sake of buying. Don’t laugh, you might be in the same boat but just not willing to admit it.

But rather than walk away from the hobby that has been a part of my life since I was 7 years old, the way I “right the ship” so to say is to find one card to add to my collection; one that i can point to and say, “THAT is why I collect.”

img_0879And today that card is the 2001 SP Legendary Cuts Game-Used bat card of the one and only “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

When it comes to memorabilia cards I have many of the greats.

I have Mantle. I have Mays. I have Aaron.

I have Ruth. I have Gehrig. I have DiMaggio.

I have Mathewson. I have Cobb. I have Wagner.

And the list goes on …

But there has always been one player whose memorabilia card that has taunted me from a  distance. And now I can look at Joe Jackson eye to eye and clutch his card between my thumb and index finger like it were a big ol’ bass and say, “Gotcha!”

For a long time Jackson, the controversial baseball player whose legendary playing career is forever tied to the gambling scandal of the “Black Sox,” really only had one licensed memorabilia card, this 2001 Upper Deck release. More than a half-decade after the card’s release, Donruss (then owned by the company known as Donruss Playoff) lost its MLB license and with that came the release of various logo-less products. This “free reign” seemingly allowed them to produce cards of Jackson, base and insert cards, as well as memorabilia cards. Panini America, who now owns the Donruss name, continues to produce Jackson cards in all forms under various brand names.There now are several options for collectors when it comes to Jackson memorabilia cards.

Meanwhile, Topps, the only company with the MLB license, has not produced any cards, likely because Jackson has been blackballed — not unlike Pete Rose — from licensed products. His name is often met with a head tilt and a grimace as Jackson’s actions in the gambling scandal are still somewhat debatable, although time has shown that he may have been the good guy in all of it.

Nonetheless, Jackson is still a baseball icon. Over his 13-year career he notched a .356 batting average and tallied 1,772 hits. And while I don’t own any of his older cards, at least I can say that I now own a piece of Jackson’s bat and it’s not just on any card. It’s THE Jackson memorabilia card, which is one of the most recognizable in our hobby.

A few CARDS from the toy show

Posted in New Addition with tags , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

This weekend we celebrated my son’s sixth birthday with a trip to a place he chose — the toy show. He’d never been to a toy show — and for that matter neither had I — but he wanted to go so we took the family and a bunch of his cousins and gave them money to pretty much buy whatever they wanted.

While this was a toy show, I held out hope that I might find a few card/sports-related items for myself.  And that I did, while spending a grand total of $10.

What did I find?  Here ya go.

img_0458One seller had a cigar box with vintage cards in warped top loaders.  His prices weren’t bad … just not at the level that I wanted. And almost every card in the box that appealed to me — major stars from the 1960s — were ones I already owned. But he had one item I did want. This 1972 Topps Baseball wrapper. The wrapper is not in perfect shape, and from what i can tell it was folded down flat and then sealed again with wax.  It now fits in a top loader. And while the “value” of said wrapper may be diminished by the fact that it is not in its original state, I have three words that best describe my feelings on that: I Don’t Care. I just think it’s a cool-ass item to have in my collection. Would I buy another at $4? Probably not.  But I’d be open to owning other wrappers.

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Another seller at the show is actually a tandem whom I see quite often at one of the local flea markets.  And his items are usually priced really well.  He had a slew of toys and a few cases of sports cards, some high-end.  Then he also has these boxes of cards that he sells for $1 each and others that are $2 or three for $5.

There were quite a few cards I wanted to buy but I decided to harness my impulse and opt for just a few.

I purchased ONE card from the $1 box, this 2016 Topps Gold Jose Bautista. That bat flip is still amazing. And the price for this card was HALF of the price of a pack of cards.  That’s a win.

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And from the $2 each/ three for $5 boxes I selected these three:

2015 Topps Allen &Ginter Mini No Number on Back /50 Nolan Arenado, 2016 Donruss Signature Series Elias Diaz and 2016 Stadium Club Kole Calhoun autograph.

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Two of the three will be headed to COMC with my next submission, but the Calhoun is a card that I really like.  Good (not great) player, fantastic image and a clean, loopy signature. For $1.66 that’s a nice addition to my collection.

 

 

Two-time MLB Triple Crown Winner Rogers Hornsby added to the ‘Icons collection

Posted in Hall of Famers, New Addition with tags , , , , on October 8, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

This hobby is funny.  So many of us get caught up in the day-to-day grind of buying packs and looking for the good stuff, only to put stacks of cards away with the idea that we will sort them later. And we all know that rarely gets done as planned.

I’m now in the midst of what I’m calling the Great Purge of 2015, which is basically code for getting rid of almost all non-PC items. I did this once before in 2010 and ended up using the proceeds from the sale to buy a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card.

  
Well, I do have my eyes set on something big for my collection, but the other day I was thinking about the fact that I don’t have a single good card of Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby in my collection.

I was eying a relic card, but what I really wanted was something old. Something that could eventually make its way into my showcase.

Hornsby’s first documented card was produced in 1917 and over the following decade and a half he had a few others produced, which made things tricky when it came to deciding which one I wanted to add to my collection. 

I had to decide between buying a card showcasing a artist rendition — a poor one at that — or Hornsby, or a card that showed a picture of him.

Ultimately I settled on this 1927 York Caramels card of Hornsby, which is one of the nicer and not-so-easy to find of his cards from his playing days

  
Do you realize that Hornsby not only won the Triple Crown, but he did it twice, one of only two players to achieve the feat more than once. The other guy was Ted Williams.  

Additionally, Hornsby finished his career 70 hits shy of the magical 3,000 mark, tallied a .358 career batting average, three times led the league in batting with an average over .400, and twice was voted the Most Valuable Player of his league.  Oh, and he wasn’t elected to the Hall of Fame until his fifth year of eligibility. Crazy. 

A trip to LCS for supplies leads to purchase of vintage rookies

Posted in Hall of Fame Rookie Cards, New Addition with tags , , , , , on September 21, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

So earlier today I was taking pictures of some autographs in my collection and noticed that I still needed about 30 single-screw cases for a project I’m working on.  So I headed to the LCS to buy these …

  
Well, I had about 20 minutes to spare and the shop owner tells me he got a bunch of 1940s and older cards in the showcase. 

So I dug through and saw lots of stuff I liked, but really two cards that I absolutely needed for my collection.

  
For less than the price of a hobby box I added two rookie cards of Boston Red Sox legends to my collection, cards that I had only seen online.  Both are considered lower grade, but I love that these were unexpected purchases made in person and from one of the local shops, which I like supporting. 

(Public Service Announcement: If you’ve got a shop near you, buy a single or two every month for your PC and help keep them in business.)

I only had a few minutes at the shop today because I had to get my kids from school, but I had just enough time afterward to take these Instagram pictures on the baseball field at my kids’ school.

1939 Play Ball Bobby Doerr, who at age 97 is presently the oldest living member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

 And 1941 Play Ball Dom DiMaggio, younger brother of The Yankee Clipper Joe DiMaggio, and a star in his own right.   

Latest COMC mailday … sigs, sigs and more sigs

Posted in New Addition with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

IMG_3123Over the last four months I’ve made about 40 purchases on the consignment site COMC.com.  I’ve said it before — and I will continue to say it going forward — if you haven’t at lease checked out the site, you’re missing out.

Anyhow, the batch of cards arrived over the weekend and as the title of this post suggests … it’s full of ink.

TEN Hall of Fame signatures, an iconic one and a slew of prospect (and failed prospect) autographs filled this batch.

OK, enough of the shenanigans, let’s get to it.

We’ll start with a solid rookie card I’ve needed for quite some time — a 1955 Bowman Elston Howard.  Howard isn’t a hall of famer, but his career was significant.  Howard was the first black player to ever don a Yankees uniform, he was a 12-time all star, an MVP in 1960 and a six-time World Series Champion.  SOLID.

IMG_3110Speaking of MVP’s here’s a 2009 SP Legendary Cuts cut signature of the 1926 National League MVP Bob O’Farrell, who played for four teams during his 21-year career, including two stints with the Cubs and three stops with the Cardinals.

IMG_3115Here’s a 2010 Bowman Chrome autograph prospect card of a contender for the American League 2013 MVP award, Josh Donaldson.  He won;t win it — because it’s hard to pick him over Miguel Cabrera, who made another run at the Triple Crown this year — but he had a legit season.  At one point these Donaldson chrome signatures were over $20 each.  Just after the World Series I managed to grab this one for less than $8.  His signature isn’t hard to find, but this release is THE card to own — well of the non-parallel versions anyway.

IMG_3109Here’s a few prospect/failed prospect autos:

IMG_3107IMG_3126A few vintage rookies:

1933 Goudey Joe Sewell.  Did you know that Sewell, a Hall of Famer, struck out a total of 114 times during his career?  American League Home Run Champion Chris Davis struck out 199 times in just 2013.

IMG_30651933 Goudey Bernie Friberg.

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1934 Goudey Dolph Camilli.  Camilli took home the American League Most Valuable Player award in 1941, slugging a league-best 34 homers and driving in 120 RBI’s.

IMG_3112Here’s a card that always intrigued me: 1994 SP Holoview Michael Jordan.  Jordan didn;thave a basic SP rookie from this set; if he had one, it would be an epic card.  Instead we are left with this holoview caard, which is cool, but not nearly as cool as a foil, condition-sensitive rookie card would’ve been.  An if for some reason you’ve never handled one of thee Holoview cards, try to check one out … UD’s technology in the early 1990s was second to none.  The hologram of Jordan incorporates several images of Jordan’s face, so when you turn the card, he’s always looking at you.

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Here’s a pair of 2004 Bowman Heritage Signs of Authority autographs … I’m sort of working on this set.  Who collects umpire signatures?  This guy.

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How about a pair of 2012 Panini Cooperstown Signatures of journalist Murray Chass and Marty Brennaman.  I love these non-player signatures.

IMG_3120So yeah, Hall of Famer autographs … Here’s five.

1993 Nabisco Jim “Catfish” Hunter w/ COA.

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1998 Donruss Signature Series Ozzie Smith /2000

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2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Rollie Fingers.

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2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Tom Seaver

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2001 Topps Team Legends Mike Schmidt rookie reprint autograph

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Last week I declared war on the 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game autograph set.  Here’s a few of the ones I purchased over the last few months on the site.  The highlight is the shortprinted Willie McCovey.

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And perhaps the prize of the whole package … a 2013 Panini Golden Age Historic Signatures Jackie Earle Haley, who played “Kelly Leak” on the Bad News Bears.

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