Archive for Donruss

Thrift Treasures 120: The Best of the American League

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , on November 8, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Real quick hitter today. I had about an hour to spare on Wednesday between drop off time at school and an award assembly in which my son and nephew were receiving accolades in math so I make a quick run to a Goodwill I hadn’t been to in several months.

As I scoured the shelves, the word “Donruss” entered my brain. I admittedly bypassed it for about two seconds then I retraced my steps and lo and behold stuff between a various board games was this Boxes 1990 Donruss “The Best of the American League” set.The set isn’t rare, but its surely not as common as basic Donruss. The set was clearly unwrapped, but the box was taped shut. For $5 I figured ai’d take a shot. Sure enough the set was complete.

The blue is actually quite pleasing to the eye, not quite the eyesore that 1990 Donruss became.

Total cost of this Thrift Treasure: $4.99

You can seen more Thrift Treasures posts here

Next-Level disrespect for the base card

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on April 4, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Over the last few years there has been a trend among some persons in our hobby, a practice that has involved using base cards as packing materials to help protect the key card in a package.

Usually the practice involves a single key card in a top loader and then one or two — or more — base cards places on both sides of the top loader as them all of those cards places within a team bag.

When so first saw it, so had mixed feelings as it was clear that the base cards had been relegated to being nothing more than packaging materials. But alas they also were kind of extra fun items that could evoke emotion.

I let it go.

And then this happened this week.

The base cards were TAPED directly to the top loader with scotch tape. The base cards had zero chance to survive.

I know these are your cards and you’ll do as you will with them. But this is definitely some next-level disrespect for some base cards, let alone ones from such a classic set such as 1987 Donruss. it’s gut wrenching to some degree.

My brain has been trained to stop when I see the word …

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on March 11, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I was out running errands this morning after taking my kids to school when I decided to stop at Walgreens just in case the retailer got the Topps yellow exclusive packs early.

No such luck.

But I did take a glance at the 75-card repack boxes and I instantly stopped when I saw the word “Elite.”

Ever since I was a 11, the words “Elite Series” have been engrained in my head as being synonymous with the words “rare” and “valuable.”

Now, time has shown us that the original run of Elite Series baseball cards from 1991 through about 1995, and even a bit from 1996 through 1998, can still carry some clout.

But even though much of the newer stuff is technically “rarer,” it definitely does not carry the same weight In the hobby as the older ones.

But even the mere sight of this 2017 Donruss Elite (Rookie) Series Kenny Golladay makes me stop and reflect. I almost bought it … but I reminded myself that I don’t collect football.

But it did make me go look at my Complete Set of 1991-1993 Elite Series baseball inserts including the autographs.

Everyone remember’s their first …

Posted in Collcting Clemens with tags , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

If you started collecting cards before the late 1990s, there is a good chance you remember the first autograph or relic card you obtained featuring a player you really liked.

Certified autographs started hitting the hobby in the early 1990s and really became more prevalent in the middle of the decade with a slew of Donruss releases featuring not only the major stars, but also a bunch of others. Of course these came on the heels of the Upper Deck releases featuring Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan, Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan and Ted Williams.

But there was a time when as a teenager I would have given anything to own a certified autograph card of my favorite player, Roger Clemens.

In 1995, Upper Deck ran a promotion in which you could get an autograph of the Rocket by sending in 36 empty packs and they’d mail one back to you. I was 15 at the time and it took be a little while to accumulate the required number of packs. When I met the quota, I mailed the wrappers off in a PWE. I couldn’t wait to get my first Clemens autograph. As fate would have it, no such card would arrive for me. My envelope with all of the wrappers was returned and the outside of the envelope stamped with something along the lines of “Promotion Expired.” What I think really happened is they had run out of autographs.

And so for three more years I went without owning a Clemens auto. There were releases in 1996 and 1997 Donruss brands, but they were too expensive for me. But in 1998, I would get my very first.

At the time I was a member of the America Online message boards and at the time I was a heavy buyer of football products. Hell, I had just gotten my first job at Target and a lot of my income was being out toward cards of all brands. In a Donruss pack I received a redemption card for some NFL Europe guy. I mailed it off and several months passed and nothing came back — remember, we didn’t understand how long redemption cards would take at the time.

While checking the message boards one night I came upon a thread in which folks were complaining about redemption cards, and I got a message from a guy who supposedly worked for Donruss, Leaf, Playoff (DLP) at the time. The guy asked what sport, team or players I liked. Of course I shot for the moon and said “Roger Clemens.”

About a week passed and lo and behold in my mailbox I received a small padded envelope sent from some place in Texas. Inside was a 1998 Donruss Signature Millennium Marks SAMPLE card signed by The Rocket, who was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays at the time.

The mailday blew my mind and I decided that this Clemens autograph card would never leave my collection as I figured it must be way rarer than the regular Millennium Mark card, which was numbered to 1,000 copies.

Flashforward to today and it is still here in all it’s glory, only it is now one of about 50 Clemens signatures I own. Also among the signed cards is the traditional 1998 Donruss Millennium Mark card numbered 0398 on the back.

While the signature cards still mesmerize me, it should be noted that I also remember my first Clemens relic. The first piece of Clemens game-worn memorabilia came to me in 2000 via eBay. Relic cards were still relatively new at the time, and I had owned a few, but never had I owned one of anyone I actually cared about.

I recall paying about $45 for this 2000 Upper Deck Legends relic, and when it arrived it did not disappoint, save for it’s condition. I immediately removed the card from the case in which it was shipped and placed my finger on the swatch. I remember what a big deal that was for me given that I had been following Clemens since I was about 8 years old. And then I looked closer at the card and realized it was creased.

I wondered: Why would someone crease such a card. And then the notion of card thickness in relation to base cards and it dawned on me the seller had likely searched the packs in a box that contained this card,

Nonetheless, crease or not, the card was not going to leave my collection. And like the autographs, this is now one of several I own — I’m over 100 Clemens relics at the moment.

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.

Thrift Treasures 89: What’s In The Box?!

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

When I hit thrift stores and find sports cards, they are usually stored in two ways: stuffed into small bags and priced per bundle or just left in a box and marked with a price. On a recent trip, the latter was the form in which the cards were found.    Behind the counter where they keep the ‘good” stuff was a box marked “Baseball Cards” The Box was one of the eight-section sorter boxes, which by themselves usually cost $3-$4 each. The $7.99 price tag on the box intrigued me as I felt this was worth the purchase if there was anything remotely of interest inside. So I waved down the clerk and said, “What’s in the box? Here is essentially what I saw.    It was a hoard of Donruss cards, lots of 1988, a good number of 1987, but also some 1981 through 1983.  I also took a quick peek and saw a stack of 1980s Minor League cards. I closed the box and bought it. As one could imagine, the stacks contained just what you would expect, lots of Hall of Famers mixed in with a bunch of 1980s common guys. In all there were more than 65 Hall of Famers — the typical 1980s mix of Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, George Brett, Mike Schmidt, Andre Dawson, and of course Rollie Fingers and his mustache.    There were two 1977 All-Time All-Stars cards, ones of Rogers Hornsby (trimmed) and Lefty Grove.    The Minor League cards were fun as usual. A bunch of guys whom I had never heard of, and a few who actually made it to The Show, headlined by Devon White and Randy Myers.     One interesting card is this one of then Mets farmhand Randy Milligan, who would eventually become a member of the Baltimore Orioles.      What makes it interesting? Look at those stats and all that biographical information! Even the card of El Paso trainer Pete Kold has more words. Oops.    If you have been following my collecting journey you know that rookie cards of everyone — EVERYONE — are what I like to collect.  What better way to fill a few dozen holes that to find loads of stuff from the 1980s.    There were guys whom I hadn’t heard of, such as Marvis Foley and of the White Sox and Ricky Peters of the Tigers. There were lots of solid Major Leaguers like Curt Schilling, Ken Caminiti, Jack McDowell, Mike Greenwell, Mark Gubicza, and John Kruk. And ot course there were rookie cards of Hall of Famers — remember recent HOF classes have rookie cards from the “Junk Wax” era — Roberto Alomar, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. Surprisingly the cards are NOT thrashed.    There are probably more than a million of each 1988 Donruss card, making them relatively worthless. But these miscut ones are of some — minimal — interest.    And we’ll finish with a few current Major League coaches shown during their playing days.    Total cost of these treasures: $7.99 You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here

Icon-O-Clasm: 1989 Donruss Pop-Up Will Clark “Casting Shadows”

Posted in Icon-O-Clasm with tags , , , , on January 30, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

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