Archive for collectibles

Another year gone: Cardboard Icons is now 9

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , on July 7, 2017 by Cardboard Icons

IconsThe times have certainly changed in the hobby and they’re always changing in my world. In fact, the anniversary of this blog came and went earlier this week and I didn’t recognize it publicly. In case you glossed over the headline, Cardboard Icons is now 9 years old.

My views on the sports collectibles world have varied quite a bit in recent years. I’ve become bitter at times with the industry; yet still love the hobby. I can’t stand the buying methods of the modern collector; yet still partake in the same activity from time to time. In short — I need to hit the reset button before I feel I can offer something of value to the readers who still check in every now and again.

The one aspect of blogging or providing commentary is this incessant need to give an opinion on everything. And it needs to be immediate. And in some cases it needs to be an extreme opinion otherwise you get lost in the shuffle.  You know exactly what I’m talking about.

Anyhow, the memories that this blog have afforded me over the years are not all negative, and I try to remind myself of the positives that I have gained from starting this little blog on July 3, 2008. I’ve met some great people, made some fantastic trades, documented some big additions to my collection, and have enjoyed some incredible experiences, such as the one shown in the photo above.

Of all things that the Cardboard Icons site and persona have afforded me, the events that led to me meeting the late Earl Weaver to briefly reunite him and his game-used jersey are among my finest hobby recollections.  You can read all about it here.

I’ll wrap this piece up with a familiar message: I’m still around. I still have opinions. I still collect. But life has changed and I no longer have the time to devote to blogging as frequently as I want. So … I’ll do it when I can.

Thanks for reading.

Ben Aguirre.

-Cardboard Icons.

You can always reach me immediately via Twitter (@cardboardicons) and on Instagram.

This needs to be said about our hobby and card “values” in wake of Rousey loss

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I’m not an MMA fan per se. I don’t buy Pay Per Views, seek Online streaming of events or even care really about who’s the champ of their weight class in whatever promotion.

But unless you were living under a rock last night there was no chance you were going to avoid the hot topic: Ronda Rousey getting knocked out by Holly Holm with a kick to the neck and a succession of punches to the face and head to end the fight and Rousey’s reign as baddest woman on the planet.

You’ve all seen the video or still images. No need for me to go there.

I watched this madness unveil on Twitter via countless reactions and a seemingly endless barrage of bandwagon jumpers.

But what started to upset me, as a card collector, was when discussions started to center around how a Ronda Rousey 2012 Topps Finest autograph sold on eBay for $1,300 before the fight and how blazing hot Holly Holm’s rookie cards immediately after the fight.

   
Rovell is not a hobby guy.  He’s a sports business reporter, so he’s always looking for a numbers angle. I don’t fault him for that.

While what he tweeted is true if you believe what you see on eBay, the perception of actual worth of a card gets misconstrued before, during and after big events such as the Rousey-Holm fight.

The reaction to Rovell’s tweet included mostly discussion about how the Rousey card is seemingly worthless now and how dumb collectors are.

Additionally, this conversation about the Rousey card then leads to a discussion about Holm’s card(s).

During the minutes that made of the entire fight, Holm’s card went on eBay from just a few dollars to one hitting triple figures.

While this is all true, what you won’t hear from the mainstream media outlets or via their reporter’s Twitter streams is that many of the immediate high sales on eBay for cards of people involved in significant events often go unpaid and the “worth” or “value” ends of being incorrectly reported to the masses. 

True, Rousey cards lost value generally speaking and interest for Holm’s card increased based on the outcome of UFC 193. But they surely are not to the extreme that some would have you believe based on the immediate numbers shown on eBay.

Collectibles by nature are volatile and what’s important for everyone to understand is that the value of a card is determined in the exact moment a transaction is actually completed. And a deal it’s not actually complete until cash or goods are exchanged and the items is delivered.

  

Thrift Treasures 79: Signed Vintage Minor League Baseball (15 sigs on 43-year-old ball)

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on January 19, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

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My wife and I made our annual end-of-the-year trip to a local city that has plenty of antique and thrift stores.  I know, it’s like we’re old, right? I might be 34, but I might as well be 64. I mean I like antiquing and thrifting, and I watch baseball and not the more popular choice of football.  What’s next, golf?

I digress, on these trips my wife finds all sorts of stuff that strikes her fancy: earrings, necklaces, cake platters, etc.  Me?  You know I have my eye on sports related stuff, so when I actually find something that fits my theme, I give it a good look.

Well, as it so happens, these shops usually have their fair share of sports cards, old ones too. I always hope for something new (read: old, but new to me) and exciting (read: at a decent price) but its been getting harder and harder.  I feel like I’ve picked these stores clean through the years.

And so just as we were about the end our day — me empty handed except for the bag of stuff my wife bought — we stepped into a shop that has only been in the neighborhood for about two months.  The guy had some interesting items, and even a stack of cards too, but nothing really struck my fancy.  At least not until I took one last look back before we walked out of the store.

There, on the bottom shelf hidden in the back of the showcase were a small grouping of four baseballs, two of which I could see were signed.  I asked to look at the two and quickly determined that the $25 price tag on one ball was too steep. Sure, i t was signed by four or five people, but I didn’t recognize a single name — not a one. Besides, the ball was modern and the signatures weren’t that old.

And the other ball? Well, you’re looking at it. I initially studied the ball, looking got any name that might be recognizable. None immediately jumped out at me, but the one thing about this ball that made it stand out from the other ball was the fact that it looked and felt old. I tussled with the idea of spending $25 on this thing, but I looked a the bag of stuff and reasoned in my head: This is something you’ll never see again. Besides, you spend $25 on plenty of other baseball stuff (read: crappy blasters many times over.)

By now if you’re still reading I applaud you. You must really want to know what the hell the “San Jose Bees” are. Well, here’s you’re answer: the precursor to the San Jose Giants. Before the Giants were affiliated the minor league baseball team in San Jose, Calif., they the team in the South Bay was the stomping grounds for the Kansas City Royals.  Don’t believe me? Turn over George Brett’s 1975 Topps rookie card and tell me what team he played for in 1972. Answer: The San Jose Bees.

Well, as it so happens, this here  ball is from nineteen seventy …. ONE. Yes, 1971, a year BEFORE Mr. Brett played in San Jose.  This means that his signature is NOT on this ball.  Bummer. But here’s a list of who IS on this call.  You might recognize a few, although none of them are exactly going to turn my “treasure” into a fortune.

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Buddy Peterson:  Manager of the Bees in 1971. He had two short mlb stints in 1955 with the White Sox and in 1957 with the Orioles.

Steve Myers: This player was 23 in still in Single-A ball.  I believe this was his final year in professional baseball.

Steve Busby: An eight-year Major League veteran who played with the Royals from 1972 to 1980.  He tossed a pair of no-hitters during his career and was elected/named to two American League All Star team.

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Edward Siracusa: From what I can tell, he was 19 in 1971 and this was his final year in pro baseball.

Darrell Gambero: Mr. Gambero played three seasons at San Jose and 1971 was second one.

Gary Houston: This guy made it out of San Jose and played as high as AA ball during his career before calling it quits.

Thomas Combs: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox, Combs wound up in the Royals minor league system for five years, including 1971, which was smack dab in the middle of his career. Combs was 22 and would get as high as AA ball in 1973 before calling it a career.

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Stephen Wright: In 1971 Mr. Wright was 24 and still in A ball. It was his final season in pro ball.

Doug Bird: Another MLB veteran who pitched in the Majors from 1973 through 1983. He spent time with the Royals, Phillies, Yankees, Cubs and lastly the Red Sox.

Al Autry: All minor leagues dream of getting to the Big Leagues.  Al Autry made it … once.  He had one start in 1976 while he was with the Braves. He went five innings and struck out three en route to getting a single MLB victory.

Jim Wohlford: Long-time Major League who played from 1972 through 1986 with the Royals, Brewers, Giants, and Expos

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“Duke” Wathan:  Does that name NOT look familiar?  If so, it’s because “Duke” Wathan is really JOHN Wathan, who spent more than a decade with the Royals as a player from 1976 through 1985. Then after he retired as a player, he managed the Royals for five season.  So, what is this “Duke” nickname about?  The Internet says the nickname comes from Wathan’s ability to do a spot-on impression of country actor John Wayne, whose nickname was “Duke.”

Dale Phillips: This guy was 19 when he played with the San Jose club in 1971.  He’s go on to play as high as AA in 1973 before returning to SJ and leaving pro ball.

Robert “Bob” Peters: he was a pro baseball rookie in 1971 when he played with San Jose. He’s played two additional years in Royals system until 1973 when he left pro ball at age 24.

Calvin Meier: He’d go on to play as high as AAA in 1975, but did not make it to the majors.

Total cost of these treasures: $25

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

MLB Network, I Love You

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

109_1191I’m not sure what to say today.  I’m waaaaaaay too happy that the MLB Network has finally arrived.

Should I be this excited?

Is this Heaven? (3:42)

I started a thread (its still on-going) at TheBaseballStars.com today about my giddiness, but it reached a whole new level while watching Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. While watching this game,  I saw a Gillette shaving blades commercial, and in it was a special offer for the Vest-Pocket Encyclopedia of Baseball, a free gift with your purchase of blades.

Well, as it turns out, I actually own that freakin’ encyclopedia! Continue reading

Card of the Day: 1955 Topps Don Zimmer Rookie

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

OK, you know you have too many cards when you go to sort a stack of papers on your desk and you uncover one of these: 1955 Topps Don Zimmer rookie. I totally forgot I had this card. During one of my eBay searched last summer I found this Zimmer, which I needed for my rookie card project (see RAM Project). Zimmer is an interest baseball character to me. As a Red Sox fan I recall him managing the Sox, and then in ’03 I watched Pedro Martinez pretty much body slam him during a bench-clearing brawl. But what’s even more intriguing to me is that this guy played shortstop! (Note, he split time at second and third as well) The back of this card indicates that Zimmer was 5’9 and a trim 165 pounds when this was produced. Zimmer has to be pushing 350 these days. Anyhow, Zimmer had a fairly uneventful playing career. He was an All-Star (1961) and managed to hang in there for a dozen seasons. During his playing time he collected 773 hits (pretty much the same number Ichiro had by the end of his third season) and “belted” 91 homers. After playing, Zimmer managed in the league for 13 seasons. He was named National League Manager of the Year in 1989, the same year his Cubs lost to the Giants in the NLCS.