Archive for basketball

What The Luka?! Pink Pulsar Prizm /42 unwrapped from discount packs at 7-Eleven

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , on April 21, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Two and a half months ago I stopped at a 7-Eleven half way between my house and the home of my ex wife and was surprised to find the retail hotness that was 2018-19 Panini Prizm.

I had picked up my kids for their days with me and we stopped there for milk. I managed to fight off the urge to buy any packs — at the time the packs were $2.99 each and Blasters were $19.99 — so it wasn’t a tough decision.

I hadn’t returned to that particular store since that day. But on Easter Sunday I again found myself in a similar situation as I needed milk whilst taking kids to/from their moms house. I decided to stop at 7-Eleven as my brain began wondering if the Prizm packs ever sold; and if they had not had the store discounted them?

Well, by now you know the answer.

They sold some of the stock that was there in February, which I documented in a post. (Here)

But there were three blasters, seven sealed retail boxes and some 20 loose packs sitting around. After confirming the price — 99 cents for each retail pack and $9.99 for the blasters, we were off to the races.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

After the clerks settled their confusion as to how to ring up the sealed boxes and stopped asking why I wanted all the Prizm, the transaction was done — they had their money and I scored a great price on a product that remains in demand from basketball fans.

Now before you go stopping at every 7-Eleven looking for the same deal, I am fairly certain this was an anomaly. The store manager told me that her son used to collect — “he was always buying cards looking for a Michael Jordan…”– and explained that these had been sitting here for months.

And as you may know, each 7-Eleven is franchised so there exists some opportunity to sell some site-specific merchandise. That’s why some stores carry knock-off hats and other kitsch items and others don’t.

I brought the Prism packs home, occasionally ripping into a pack at each red light. And when I pulled into my parking garage I decided to open a few more of the loose packs — that’s when Luka (/42) appeared, like the prize of an Easter Egg Hunt.

My son and I had bought a fair amount of Prizm blasters — he has really taken to basketball, almost the way I had baseball when I was his age. And to date we had not pulled a basic Luka Doncic Prizm, let alone any sort of color. So when the Pink Pulsar Prizm Luka showed from behind a common, I was completely taken aback.

I had thoughts of reselling the retail boxes and basically accepting the double profit before even contemplating what to do with the Pink Luka. But I decided we should just open it all — besides, my boy was still working on the Prizm set, the cost was relatively cheap and I figured we’d never had this opportunity again.

Luka was clearly the prize here, but there was more good stuff to be had. We picked off a pair of Luka base Prizms; a Trae Young auto, a Young silver Prizm, and more. I did laugh at the 150 Panini Points though — that was a first for me.

That one time we all bought shirts, underwear with our card money

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , on March 12, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

One day we’re all going to laugh at what has transpired over the last week — Us card collectors venturing past checkout lanes, where the cards are usually sold, and speed walking to the clothing department to hunt our wears.

I laughed last week when I saw people on Twitter filling shopping cards with new packages of Hanes underwear and shirts, most of which were solely purchased for the bonus item — a pack of five Fleer Michael Jordan cards with a 1 in a 100,000 chance at obtaining his autograph.

When I saw the cards were live and there was a frenzy, I immediately figured people would go into stores and find a way to rip the card packs off the packages or buy the item and then return the clothing without the cards. Sadly, I did not buy the notion that so many folks were actually going to donate any of the clothing to persons in need.

I digress, I managed to stay away from the stores this weekend, so I didn’t partake in the first rush that seemed to be taking place at the end of last week. But then Monday rolled around and there I was doing groceries at Target … and I decided “just to see” if any of the Jordan cards had made it to the store.

Sure enough there were a few mixed in among the standard Hanes merchandise. While I didn’t need any of the wears for myself — I did just buy new undergarments about a month ago — I was faced with a decision: Does my SON need any new underwear or shirts?

The answer, of course, was yes. On both. And truthfully, I would have just bought one package, but the wrapper said to buy a red pack and a blue pack to complete the set.

And the smirk on Mike’s face here says it all. Because little did I know that we’d need much more than just a red and a blue pack to complete this set …

I bought a pack of underwear and shirts for my son and then ripped the card packs open in the car. The very first card front I laid eye upon was this glorious screen grab from a commercial. The picture was apropos as it looks like Mike just got a whiff of some rancid milk — or in my case, a brilliant marketing scheme to sell more undergarments.

Because we all know that we needed cards of Michael Jordan palming a football helmet …

And palming a pumpkin …

And wearing a bright white Hanes t-shirt, probably tagless for comfort, under a black vest — all presented within a holofoil insert to make us feel like we got something special.

This whole Jordan-Hanes-Upper Deck campaign is magnificent. It got us talking about undergarments; it got us collectors who would rather spend money on cards than lunch to go buy clothes. It got us to again talk about a company without a basketball card license. And they seem to have done it without even showing the greatest basketball player in history doing anything basketball related. Hell, the closest I got in my packs was him carrying golf clubs.

Damn, I wanna be like Mike.

Video Break: 2018-19 NBA Hoops Dollar Tree packs

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , on March 6, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

My son enjoyed the process of opening our 2018-19 Revolution box on video so he was game for another. Here is the second video my 8-year-old son and I did this week, this is the break of some 2018-19 NBA Hoops packs we found at Dollar Tree.

The Dollar Tree packs are completely void of inserts or hits, save for an exclusive yellow parallel card that is seeded one per pack. Each pack does contain a total of five cards, so this was a fun way for us to pull more cards for out Hoops set and chase a potential big fish in the Luka Doncic yellow parallel that has consistently sold on eBay for $75-$110.

You can view the video HERE.

Video Break of 2018-19 Panini Revolution Chinese New Year

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

My son and I swung by our local card shop this week and decided to break a box of the newly released 2018-19 Panini Revolution Chinese New Year. We bought the box and brought it home and tried our hand at a video box break. I’ve done them before — but this was really my son’s first foray into this.

A few notes:

-My son is 8, be nice.

-I sniffled a lot as I was just getting over a cold.

-Basketball is not MY passion so I likely butchered some names.

-We are not professionals and used only an iPhone, sorry if quality isn’t what you’re used to.

-Lastly … I can’t embed the video here, so you’ll have to click HERE to view it.

First Warriors game offers excitement, victory

Posted in Dad Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Eight years old. So many questions. So eager to experience the sport live.

That was me in 1988 when my father took me to my first Major League Baseball game. It was in Oakland and the Athletics hosted the Baltimore Orioles that day. I can remember generally the events of the night. But it would be years before I could appreciate the intricacies of the game.

Oddly enough that age and description is also true of my son, who last night got to experience his first Golden State Warriors game. I grew up a baseball fan but enjoyed the other sports.  My son seemingly has taken a liking to basketball, and who can blame him.  It’s easy to be a kid who gets swept up in a sport that everyone in this area talks about because the local team has been the best team in three of the last four seasons.

I told my son about a month ago that I had purchased tickets for us to go see Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durrant and Draymond Green play – remember, this was before Demarcus Cousins was actually scheduled to debut, so he really hadn’t heard of him.

As we got closer to the date, he kept asking about the game, and increasingly paid more attention to the games as we watched on television.  Then last week he told me that he already had his outfit picked out, one consisting of a Steph Curry shirt, some Warriors sweatpants, and a pair of Curry Under Armour shoes.

His thirst for this one single game really tugged at my heart strings. I’m a divorcing father of two, a boy and a girl.  The kids are quickly approaching the tween years, and I am pushing 40 in less than 18 months.  I’m not going to call it a mid-life crisis, but there has been an emphasis for me to make memories with the kids, especially as it pertains to stuff I know … which is this case is sports.

I watch games with them; I include them in much of my card shop trips, and try to take them to as many baseball games as I can during the summer time.  But this Warriors game was special because the damn tickets are pricey, and for the first time it was not I who was asking to go to a game – it was my son.

We woke Sunday morning, Feb. 10, 2019, and one of the first things my son asked was if we could go to the card shop before going to the Warriors game … because he wanted to look at basketball cards.  And later that day we headed to Oakland and got to the arena about 10 minutes before the doors opened to the facility. We stood in line with thousands of others, and once we got into Oracle Area, we basically went straight to our seats so we could watch the players warm up.

There was DeMarcus Cousins shooting three pointers with the hood of his black sweatshirt pulled over his head.  And moments later came Steph Curry taking jumpers both inside the arc, and even half way between the arc and the half court line. Later Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant took the floor, takings shots all over the court.  This was not only my son’s first time seeing the Warriors, it was MY first time seeing this version of the Warriors. I’ve only been to a handful of Golden State games over the years and have not seen them since 2005, a night in which the Warriors hosted Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.  And every time I had seen the team before this time with my son, I had seats in the upper level. On this night with my boy, we were 18 rows from the court, behind the north basket. So this was a sort of “firsts” for both of us.

The game started slow pace for the Warriors as the Miami Heat took a commanding lead early, causing my son to look at me like he was a bit worried.  At one point Golden State was down 19. I leaned over and told him I was worried too, but explained that Golden State could easily close this gap because they have so many good players.

And that’s what happened. Golden State cut it to 10; and then had it down to 5 at halftime. GSW then took an 8-point lead through three quarters, setting up a fun final quarter in which Miami would close the gap and re-take the lead on the back of Josh Richardson who scored 37 points. The Heat even had the lead in the final moments of the game after stellar play by Dwayne Wade, who was playing his last game in Oracle Arena.  In the end, though, the Warriors triumphed after Cousins hit a pair of free throws in the final minute and Golden State’s defense helped prevent Miami from scoring a tying bucket as the buzzer sounded.

The game was close, but it made for an exciting fourth quarter which had my son smiling all the way to the car. The look on his face is one I won’t soon forget.

It was a great experience. We saw Curry hit — and miss — multiple three pointers; watched Durant dominate at times; witnessed Klay hit big three pointers at each end of the court, and watched Cousins and Green both play their brand of gritty basketball. And we got to see an NBA Legend in Wade make his final trip through Oakland.

Hopefully this game was the first of many he and I can attend. But unlike baseball, basketball games are much more expensive these days – the price I paid for the two tickets (plus parking) was about as much as I had spent on my Game Five 2018 World Series tickets. That financial hit makes it tough to get out to a mid-season game.

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.

Thrift Treasures 113: Circumstantial Evidence

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2018 by Cardboard Icons

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, today I will show you evidence that even in 2018, anything is possible when it comes to thrift stores.

Please direct your attention to the photographs shown here as they depict the evidence — the circumstantial evidence — that led to the purchase of the “Treasure Chest” brought forth in the previous case of Thrift Treasures.

The bag in which these items are contained is not original to these collectibles. It is a Wal-Mart brand food storage container used by a Goodwill in San Jose, Calif., to hold these cards for sale. The cards themselves, as you can see, are at least two decades old, some of them three decades.

At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss this bag as containing commons — items no one would want. But a closer look reveals that some of the commons are 1985 Chong Modesto Athletics minor league cards, about 20 of which bear the signatures of the player or coach pictured.

While most of these guys never made it to the Majors, the fact that their signed cards exist, and that they were saved from a trash can, is a amazing. The basic set is best-known for housing an early Mark McGwire. However there was no McGwire to be found.

Here are the signed cards:

Twayne Harris // Paul Bradley // Kevin Stock

Jim Jones // Steve Howard (MLB) // Oscar De Chavez

Stan Hilton // Dave Wilder // Damon Farmar

Antonio Cabrera// Doug Scherer // Bob Loscalzo

Joe Strong (MLB Debut at age 37 in 2000 – Marlins) // Eric Garrett // Allan Heath

Mike Fulmer // Kevin Coughlon // Jim Eppard (MLB Debut, at age 27 in 1987 – Angels)

Pete Kendrick // George Mitterwald (Spent parts of 10 seasons in MLB) // Joe Odom

There also were a handful of unsigned A’s minor league cards …

One of the first cards I actually noticed when I picked up the bag was a 1985 Topps Tim Belcher Rookie Card which is signed in ballpoint one and personalized “To John, All The Best!” Belcher was a solid MLBer who spent 14 seasons in the Majors. He placed third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1988, and sixth in Cy Young voting, both seasons with the Dodgers.  He won 15 games three times during his career.

In addition to these cards, there was a partial set of these 1987 Fleer Award Winners — including this Tony Gwynn card, which is epic for two reasons: First — he’s wearing a single earbud.

And Secondly …

Made you look!

The remainder of the bag contained little more than commons. But there was a nice flashback when mixed in with the newer press lock baggies was this old school — thinking 1990/1991-ish — nearly full pack of penny sleeves. I’m not sure about you, but seeing the original packaging on supplies from the junk wax era brings about all sorts of memories. In my case, I distinctly remember rummaging through a relative’s bedroom for coins so that I could secure my first pack of soft sleeves.

Speaking of nostalgia, within this food storage bag there were two of these “Sports Card Collector’s Guide” books that give a very broad over view of collecting in the early 1990s. These things were all over the place, usually packaged with what we would equate to a card collector’s starter kit usually sold at retailers like Toys R Us.

The items within this food storage bag aren’t worth a ton, but certainly they are worth more than the  price tag. And when you consider that they were found with the aforementioned Treasure Chest, they certainly added value as circumstantial evidence for the purchase of the box, which as I noted in my previous post, had contents unknown to me at the time of purchase.

Total cost of this Thrift Treasure: $3.99.

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here.