Archive for the Thrift Treasures Category

Thrift Treasures 104: Are you effin kidding me?

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , on May 27, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

So check this out.  I went to one of the local thrift stores on Friday and did my typical rounds through the store. 

Toys, clothes, books, collectible showcase, and random bags in te housewares area.

There was nothing in the first few spots. And then as I am walking a chick in a bikini catches my eye …
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Yeah, I saw that lady on the cover of the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swim Suit desk calendar in my peripheral view And when I stopped, I found bags of cards on a nearby peg tucked behind the scantly clad lady.

The cards instantly looked like stuff I see all the time. Bunches of 1989 Topps baseball, 1991 Donruss and then I saw a beacon of hope: a 1989 Score Steve Atwater rookie card. 
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Atwater, a safety for the Denver Broncos, had a solid NFL career. But I remember his mostly for this very card, which obviously hails from a very iconic 1980s sports card release. 

The presence of the Atwater, a card that was NEVER a common card during 1989 or the early 1990s, piqued my interest. And so I tried to get a gander of whatelse was inside.
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I could see two Derrick Thomas rookies in this bag. I then placed the baggie into my cart. Thomas Score rookies strike a nostalgic chord with me. DT, along with Bruce Smith, was one of my favorite players when I was a kid and his Score rookie was on my Christmas List for three straight years before I actually got one.

I took another off the peg hooks and did a quick check and could see a Michael Irvin rookie. I placed it into the cart without reviewing the baggie further.
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I went through the other five bags on the pegs and none of them really excited me. I did buy one more bag simply because it had a 1988 McGruff Crime Dog/Oscar Meyer release of former San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh. The Walsh card comes from a police set that was distributed to school kids here in the Bay Area. In 1988 I personally obtained multiples of Joe Montana and Jery Rice from this set through some bartering with classmates.

I went to the register and paid. As I headed out the door I ran into a guy whom I consider competition when it comes to hunting treasures. So instead of opening the baggies in the car I headed to next thrift store.

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After that stop, which yielded nothing, I received a text message from a friend who had see my teaser Twitter post. At that point I peeked at the baggie with the Michael Irvin bag. When I picked up the baggie the cards separated and I saw the unthinkable: a 1989 Score Barry Sanders rookie card.

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I snapped a picture and sent it to the friend. I then ripped open the bag to confirm that the Sanders, a true Iconic card from my child hood, was left for dead in a thrift store. 
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Clearly the Barry isn’t mint. infact, the card is creased. But it’s unthinkable that this card, which is on the same level as the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card, was ditched in a second-hand store. To make things more interesting I had not owned a single real copy of this card until earlier this year when a full 1989 Score set was gifted to me by a friend.

Total cost of these Thrift Treasures: $5.97.

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here.

Thrift Treasures 103: an Uncommon Refractor

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , on March 24, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

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So there I was doing my thing on a Thursday morning, looking for cardboard treasures in multiple thrift stores when in one store I spotted a binder in a showcase that intrigued me.
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The binder, as you can see from the picture, was covered in shiny baseball stickers from a vending machine, and was surrounded by two bags, one containing all 1991 Fleer baseball (pass on those every time) and another that obviously contained a few dozen Sports Illustrated For Kids cards, which I usually buy if the price is right.
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I asked the clerk to open the showcase and when I opened the binder quickly and I could see that there was a mix of soccer, non-sports, hockey and some baseball cards.  And in the back there were two signed photos of former soccer star Eric Wynalda (which were personalized to “Ben” — which just so happens to be my name.)  Also tucked in the back was a game-used card and a certified autograph. I flipped through the binder pages quickly and could see a few 1996 Finest cards including a few silver “uncommon” cards, which at that point I felt was worth the purchase.  I did not go through every page before I bought the binder.
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I also decided to buy the bag of cards that contained the SI For Kids cards — it was 20% off because it had been sitting there for a while.

I made the purchase and headed to the car.
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I ripped into the bag of cards first and counted more than 40 SI For Kids cards, including an early Shaq, an early release of female soccer legend Mia Hamm, and a bunch of other stars from various sports. The remainder of the bag was filled with basketball commons which were all in sleeves. While there was nothing of great value here, I would’ve paid a dime per SI For Kids card if I had seen them separately so this was a fair deal.

Now onto the binder.
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I started to flip through the pages one by one hoping that there was some treasure within.  The first card that made me stop was about a dozen pages in.  It was a 1995 Ultra X-Men acetate “Limited Edition” insert of “Beast.”

A few pages later I located a pair of quality Derek Jeter cards, a 1997 Finest base card and a 1997 Pacific Crown Prizm card, which is a set I loved back in the day.
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The next page, stopped me dead in my tracks.

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Located in the No. 9 slot on the binder page was a 1996 Finest Silver Refractor Derek Jeter, an “Uncommon” refractor.  In 1996 and 1997, Topps’ Finest product was divided into tiers, base “common” cards, silver “uncommon” shorter print cards, and gold “rare” even shorter print cards. And naturally there were refractor versions of each. Well, Jeter is Jeter and in this hobby, Jeter always has been one of the top draws.  How this card managed to find its way into a binder and left at a Goodwill is unreal. The card has a high book value of $80. And even if you consider book value to be meaningless, you get the point that it’s not a common card.

The remainder of the binder held a few other neat cards including several of the uncommon Finest cards, a Sammy Sosa “common” refractor, a 1994 Crown Contenders Randy Johnson insert (I loved these too in 1994), and a 1996 Pinnacle ‘Essence of the game” Eddie Murray insert (these were 1 per 23 packs).
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Usually such binders are filled with items not really to my liking, but this is a clear example that you must at least peruse a binder before ruling it out.

Total cost of these Treasures: $14.85.

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts here.

 

 

 

Thrift Treasures 102: Nomo Mojo for $5

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , on March 17, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

Surely you’ve heard of “weekend warriors,” a phrase that has been given to many groups of people including those who run around to various garage sales and flea markets looking for treasures. 

Well, have this week I was a Wednesday Warrior.

I went to visit a friend who recently had surgery and during this trip I also visited a mid-week flea market that has turned up some treasures for others.  The pickings were slim got a sports guy like me, but I did find a single binder that for $5 was too good to pass up.

It’s crazy to think this, but it’s been twenty years since the baseball world went crazy for Japanese star Hideo Nomo. His stuff was blazing hot, and among his most sought after cards was his primary Japanese 1991 BBM release. 
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Well, this binder just so happened to have the basic Japanese rookie card, as well as four other subsets from that same set.  Additionally, it had more than 30 total Nomo cards, most of which were from 1995, his MLB rookie year. photo 836447D8-50D7-4376-A400-C71D6EC135A0_zpsfbrpzx8b.jpg
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As a bonus, the binder also had this sweet 2010 Topps National Chicle Tim Wakefield which I’d always wanted.
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Also two autographs, including one with a “John 3:16” inscription. 
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Total cost of these treasures: $5

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here.

Thrift Treasures 101: An authenticated signed baseball for under $3

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , on December 14, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I almost missed it.

Last week I took my 5-year-old to the thrift store with me and as soon as we got to the toy section he started doing pee-pee dance.

I did a quick eye scan of the toys as we headed to the restroom on the corner of the store.  I saw nothing that caught my eye immediately.

After the restroom trip we headed back toward the toy section and I initially walked three steps past the stuffed animal section when a small hologram caught my eye. I backtracked and look up to find this:  

I immediately Tweeted the picture to see if anyone else could figure out who signed the ball. My gut said Julio Franco, a fan favorite who played 23 seasons in MLB and even at age 57 is still playing ball in Japan. The signature is in fact that of Mr. Franco.

This is a Braves team ball, one with a slick surface, not like the leather on an official Major League Baseball. When these balls are signed, the ink tends to bleed into the faux leather, which is why the signature looks as it does.

So here’s the kicker. There is no question about the autographs authenticity. How do I know? The ball has been authenticated by MLB!  That’s the hologram that caught my eye.

When you run the serial number on the hologram through the MLB database, this comes up:

  

Not a bad find for a quick trip to the thrift store.

  
Total cost of this Treasure: $2.99.

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here

Thrift Treasures 100: Foul Ball! 50-year-old Game-Used MLB ball

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , on December 11, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

  
Well, I made it to the century mark for Thrift Treasures posts.  Honestly, I’ve been slippin’ in terms of posting these.  Such is life I suppose.

Anyhow, today I present to you an item I unearthed in a antique store in San Jose, Calif.

  
Tucked in a bucket of baseballs within a locked showcase was this Pres. William Giles Spalding baseball with the side panel inscribed “St. Louis Ball Fouled in LF Stands Sept. 29, 65.”

  

Such an inscription is one that is typical of an era gone by when people physically wrote in their memorabilia in stead of writing the details elsewhere.  Does it devalue the item? That’s a personal preference I suppose.

Anyhow, I saw the inscription on the ball and decided to make the ball mine, without even checking the box score for the game the ball is associated with.

After buying the ball I started my research. 

First off, Warren Giles balls sell for a decent price, so I was already pleased with the fact that au could add such a cool ball to my collection at $35, which seemed like a steal.

But the game is what adds intrigue.  The Cardinals played the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park that day, and the Cardinals went on to win the game.

Hall of Famer Bob Gibson started the game and earned his 19th win of the season. In the game Gibson also hit a GRAND SLAM off Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. Let THAT sink in.

Anyhow, it’s unclear what St Louis player supposedly fouled this ball into the stands, or at what point the play occurred. 

As for the ball itself, it’s in great shape and has a scuff, probably from when the ball was struck with a bat, or when it bounced in the dirt before getting into the stands.  

On a side note, there was a piece of paper in the bucket that listed the details of the ball and the prices. The list showed that there had previously been for sale a ball struck by Giants player Frank Linzy. 

Total cost of this Treasure: $35

You can see more Thrift Treasures post Here.

Thrift Treasures 99: An auto, a variation and the Heartbreak Kid

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on November 8, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I don’t get out to flea markets as often as I’d like, but we managed to get out this weekend.

We took the kids and some other family members to the monthly flea market at the local community college and while the kids were racking up good deals, for a while the only thing I had scored was this 1997 Playmates Figure of Shawn Michaels, the Heartbreak Kid.  

I felt like I was searching high and low for sports stuff and it just wasn’t there … At least something worth buying.

At one space I located a binder of 400 NFL cards in a binder that didn’t really intrigue me much. And then a short while later I thought I hit the jackpot as a dealer had a dozen 5,000 count boxes on his table.  Unfortunately the dealer said the prices of the cards vary from a quarter to a dollar but most of the cards were commons and massive quantities of unlicensed reprints. PASS.

But I did find a legit card table. I talked to the two guys at the table for a while and wound up with a few deals:

2015 Topps Heritage High Numbers Raisel Iglesias auto. $3.  
2015 Topps Heritage High Numbers Black and White variation John Jaso.  $5. He added the base card for free.

  
A pair of stamped Topps Originals and a 2015 Stadium Club gold foil Javier Baez. 3 for $1  

 A 2015 Topps Chrome Pink Refractor Nick Swisher, 2015 Topps Tek Ken Griffey Jr., 2015 Topps First Pitch Jon Hamm. 3 for $1 
Total cost of these Treasures: $10.10

You can read more Thrift Treasures posts here.

Thrift Treasures 98: Sweetness and the Snake

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I haven’t had much time to write lately.  We had a death in the family the same day I wrote my Wally Pipp post, and since then every day has been a little hectic. 

Nonetheless here I am writing a new a Thrift Treasures trying to get back to some normalcy.

Friday night after work I poppedinto a thrift store and saw dozens of bags filled with cards.

  
What’s funny is that almost every card in the bags were protected with penny sleeves or a poor quality early rendition of a Top Loader.

I peeked at a few of the bags and could clearly see that they weren’t worth the $3.99 each that the store was asking. I’m talking stuff from 1988-1992, basic commons and stuff. Heck, one bag even had this 1990 Fleer Tim McIntosh card with a 12 cent price tag on it.  I used to do this to my cards them too, but o wasn’t going to pay for that memory.

  
I checked each bag for any semblance of hope. And then Sweetness appeared.  

This is a second-year 1977 Walter Payton card showing on the bag And I could see a few other older football cards.  I decided that even though the Payton was in poor condition, it was worth the purchase.

Well, as it turned out the football cards and one hockey card are we’re the only things worth writing about.  The bag was filled with baseball commons as mentioned above. 

But here are the “hits.”

1977 Topps Walter Payton  

1977 Topps Fred Biletnikoff  

1976 Topps Ken Stabler  

Four 1977 Topps cards including Oakland Raiders center Dave Dalbu and linebacker Phil Villapiano, Chicago Bears defensive tackle Wally Chambers, and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall.

  
And the stray hockey card, a 2003-04 OPC Dick Tarnstrom parallel #’d /500

  
Total cost of these Treasures: $3.99

You can read more Thrift Treasures posts here.