Pack Break: 2 1984 Topps packs

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

So, later today my son and I are going to our first Golden State Warriors game together and I knew my son was excited when he woke up this morning asking to go to the card shop.

Turns out he not only was thinking about the game all night, but he also was thinking about Panini Optic basketball, since I had explained to him yesterday that the product came out this week.

“Daddy, can we do go the card shop today?” he asked not less than five minutes after waking up. Uh, yeah. You know I’m always down for an LCS run.

So we went and he grabbed a retail Value Pack featuring three retail packs and one of the retail exclusive packs. I didn’t have anything in my hands and wasn’t going to buy anything until I realized the LCS had packs of 1984 Topps behind the counter at $3.50 per pack. I wouldn’t know if the price was high, but I figured that two packs of that would likely be more enjoyable than buying something else I didn’t want. Besides, I’d never opened these before.

The Don Mattingly rookie card is the one to own in this set, and they are not overly expensive. But the nostalgia of opening a pack 35 years old and not breaking the bank to do so sounded well worth the $7. Also, my son recognized that these original 1984s were the set upon which the 2019 Topps anniversary silver pack and insert cards were based.

So, without further adieu, here are the results. These contain 15 cards, one contest card, and one piece of gum.

Pack One: Doug Bird, Alredo Griffin, Rick Sutcliffe, Scott McGregor,Ken Oberkfell, Onix Concepcion, Tigers Team Leaders, Bob Gibson (rookie card), Rick Miller, Dickie Noles, Rich Hebner, Don Slaught, Ryne Sandberg (second year), Bob Shirley, and Harry Spillman.

Pack Two: Rick Sweet, Checklist #1, Luis Sanchez, Mike Proly, Mike LaCoss, Bob James, Andy Hassler, Dave LaPoint, Dave Lopes, Hal McRae, Jerry Remy, Jerry Martin, Tom Tellmann, Ken Forsch, and David Green.

As you can see, the first pack was solid with a sweet Ryne Sndberg second-year card.

The second pack was saved, in my opinion, by the checklist (which shows Don Mattingly at #8) and by the existence of Jerry Remy and Jerry Martin on back to back cards to give me the duo “Remy Martin,” which got a giggle from me.

Thanks to South Bay Sports Cards (Sunnyvale, Calif.) for having these available.

Collecting Kershaw: Today begins a new page, the first of 2019

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Today I woke up and saw that I left my Clayton Kershaw binder on my kitchen table. I opened the binder and the first page was that containing various 2018 Topps Heritage cards. It’s a beautiful page, but it also represented cards from last season.

2019 Topps is by my count 11 days old today, and since the product hit shelves I have been trading for and buying various Kershaw inserts and parallels. I’v e had several maildays over the last week or so, and today I decided to put them all in the binder to effectively begin the new card year in this collection.

The page has seven of the nine pockets full, but by the middle of the week this page will be filled with parallels of this base card, and a second page will have been started.

For the record as of this moment I have the Base, Gold, Rainbow Foil, Black, Independence Day, Father’s Day Blue and Advanced Stats back; I have the “150th” gold stamp and the Meijers Purple versions on the way to fill out this specific page. And a pair of inserts are on the way, and of course I’ll need the parallels of those at some point.

Collecting these parallels has kept me away from buying more of the 2019 Topps packs for the most part. Typically I would have gotten several blasters, tons of loose packs and other type of packs by this point. Instead I’ve kept it fairly light — a hobby box, two blasters and handful of packs. And I’ve managed to trade off some base doubles for Kershaws, so that’s a win.

Have something I may need? Hit me on Twitter @cardboardicons.

2019 Topps is like 10 days old … now what do we buy?

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on February 9, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Funny thing happens every year. The new Topps flagship hits stores and we buy like crazy.

Then the newness wears off and some of us are left wondering what else we’re going to buy.

My son and I just went to Target to get some groceries and I grabbed three 2019 Topps Series One packs and put them in the cart.

Then something happened. I started thinking that I was going to spend about $9 on three Topps packs when I only need like two cards for the set, and I’ve been buying Kershaw parallels on eBay. In short: I didn’t NEED these packs.

As we returned to registers to pay for our items, I told my son we’d put one pack back and then he and I could each open a pack and then make a trade. However, when my son learned a pack was for him and not for me, he asked for a pack of Prizm basketball instead. I wasn’t too keen on spending $2.99 on four Prizm cards from a loose box that likely had been searched in some fashion.

So we talked and I wound up putting my Topps pack back, talked him out of the Prizm — we opened a fair amount during the holidays — and grabbed a Panini Contenders blaster instead. He remembered these cards were designed to look like a ticket and we hadn’t opened any this year.

I let him open the blaster and keep everything. He didn’t do too bad; he even pulled two Steph Curry cards, which is perfect timing because I’m taking him to his first Warriors game tomorrow against the Miami Heat.

When did the “Junk Wax Era” end?

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , on February 8, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

The topic of this post is one that I never really though had much wiggle room, but as it turns out, I was mistaken.

I logged into Twitter this afternoon and found myself in a discussion with a fellow Ben (ourtradingcards) from About The Cards Podcast (@AboutTheCards) about “Junk Wax” era cards. Turns out, we had two different definitions of the era.

Ben defines the era essentially as extending from the 1990s into the early 2000s. This blew my mind a bit because I personally think the Junk Wax Era ended right around 1996. I’m curious where everyone else stands on this? And not because one of us has to be right or wrong — I’m curious how folks go about defining such a period of time in our hobby.

I’ll let Ben speak for himself — so I wont put words into his mouth. But here’s how I see things … again, this is MY opinion. It does not mean anyone else is wrong.

Our Hobby underwent a transformation in the 1980s. Card collecting went from something people do for fun, to something that a new wave of people did to make money. There was a massive influx of consumers who saw dollar signs and believed cards were a sound investment. With that new group of people joining the hobby came a massive increase in print runs, this the beginning of my defined “Junk Wax Era.” Personally I see this has happening right around 1988 — just about the time Jose Canseco made a push for 40-40 and his 1986 Donruss Rated Rookie exploded in the secondary market. Hell, remember, this was before Upper Deck broke into the market in 1989. For that matter, few people knew who Ken Griffey Jr. was and certainly no one could foresee the popularity to which he or his rookie cards would reach.

I digress. Production seemed to skyrocket in 1988 and 1989 and continued to do so until about 1994/1995, an era in which products would go from just containing base cards to the inclusion of chase cards, some of which were damn near impossible to pull. And with few exceptions from Upper Deck, Donruss and Score, there were no autographs and certainly no relics. The end of this time frame also coincides with the Strike of 1994, which caused many fans and collectors to leave the market, and in my mind forced to companies to change things up to keep interest.

The hobby would seemingly change in 1995, as the number of chase cards, parallel cards and number of products released every year seem to increase again. And then in 1997 Upper Deck began including autos and relics in packs, and the quality of products seemed to shift again forward, thus marking the beginning of a new era in my mind.

And so, when I think of the Junk Wax Era, I tend to think of products from 1988 to about 1995, with a little wiggle room on both ends of course — especially on the front end. Junk Wax Boxes in my opinion offer NO CHANCE at hits — because they did not exist in the products — or offer a long shot at something featuring a signature. Also, the boxes were produced after the 1986 Donruss Canseco, which I see as a game-changer.

What say you?

My definition is the one I operate under, and by no means am I claiming it to be the end-all, be all of the hobby. But this discussion on Twitter genuinely intrigued me as I did not know others viewed the term “Junk Wax Era” as extending a full decade past when I thought. I’d agree that there was a lot of stuff from 1995 through 2005, but that’s a different era in my mind.

In Memoriam: Frank Robinson (Aug. 31, 1935 – Feb. 7, 2019)

Posted in In Memoriam, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on February 7, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

1957 Topps Rookie Card.

They have NBA Prizm where?!

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , on February 7, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

As a kid, it was not uncommon to run down to the corner store, whether it be an independent liquor store or a 7-Eleven and find sports cards for sale.

Hell, it was at 7-Eleven stores that I had two of my best pulls, a 2002 Topps Heritage Willie Mays auto relic, and a 2001 Upper Deck Hall of Famers Walter Johnson cut Autograph — the latter of which I sold and helped get me through a year of college.

But times have changed, and cards at these stores have pretty much disappeared.

So imagine my reaction when I picked up my kids Wednesday night from their moms house and stopped at 7-Eleven to buy some milk and saw this …

That is a TON of retail Prizm and Hoops … and at the same price you’d find it at Target, which is only a mile down the road.

I had the urge to clear the shelf … but I resisted. My son and I opened a fair amount of both Prizm and Hoops, and are working on the sets.

And so I walked away, but that sight is likely one I’ll never see again. I am curious though if this particular store will be selling cards going forward, or if this franchise decides to sell these since Warriors players Stephen Curry and Kevin Durrant are in the wrappers — I do live in the GSW market.

For what it’s worth, I have not seen cards at any other 7-Elevens recently.

Bryce Harper on the mind … now I want THIS ball even more

Posted in Game-Used Items with tags , , , , , on February 6, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I have two collecting passions, it’s baseball cards and game-used baseballs. When it comes to the balls, there is a certain niche I began collecting a few years ago and that’s balls used in Hit By Pitch at-bats.

I’ll showcase all those balls in another way later. Rather this topic comes to mind today as we got word of the San Francisco Giants meeting with Bryce Harper this week. Now, ai’m a Red Sox fan but would love to see Harper in San Francisco. After all, the Giants are one of two teams in my area.

I was lucky enough to see Harper play once, and that was on Memorial Day 2017 when I surprised my kids with an impromptu train ride and the game. As it turned out, that was the game when former Giants reliever Hunter Strickland beaned Harper on the hip, and a short fight ensued.

As it happened, my kids and I were walking around the stadium just as Harper was coming up for that at-bat. And when I saw him approach the plate, I pulled out my camera and told my kids I wanted to take a few pictures.

That’s when this happened.

I have several other frames in between and after these images, but these photos tell the story.

It was an amazing sight, something I had to explain to my kids, who were ages 8 and 6 at the time.

I digress, today’s news about Harper’s meeting of course gets talked about locally and this play gets brought up a lot. Also getting discussed is the fact that Strickland — the pitcher — is no longer part of the team so that wouldn’t be an issue.

I feel lucky to have witnessed the play and have document it with my camera, but what I REALLY want is that damn baseball … and you can see it just lying there on the ground in the third photo.

I did acquire a ball from that game — a Matt Weiters single. But I want the ball that struck Harper; it’d go great with the other HBP balls I already own, including ones that struck Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, and the ball that struck Alex Bregman in his very first HBP.

I’ve asked Giants if they have it, and they apparently they do not. I’m hoping it was authenticated by MLB and the Giants that day.

Do you know where the ball is? Have a lead on it? Let me know.