Archive for Fleer

“I heard this card might be about $5,000 …”

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on May 7, 2021 by Cardboard Icons

My son and I were at one of the local card shops the other day. It was our first time to this shop in a few months. While we were debating what to buy a man walks in and one of the clerks advises him to holler if he needed anything. The man said he had a question, then pulled something out of his pocket. He sheepishly said he’d purchased a re-pack item at Target recently and pulled something he believed was worth about $5,000 based on recent eBay activity.

This caught my attention so I glanced over from across the shop and immediately placed my hand over my face. The man was holding a 1988 Topps Jose Uribe in a Card Saver I, the type of holder one would send to a grading company.

The clerk got a gander of the card and went into a diatribe about how the sales for the card were a hoax and the card wasn’t worth much of anything. A second clerk had not seen the card but saw my reaction and immediately asked me: “Is that a Uribe?”

I nodded my head and fought back tears as I had never seen this question asked in real life, only online.

The man took the news like a champ, although he continued to question how on earth the completed sales were false. He of course then questioned why anyone would do such a thing. The clerk gave him several theories, all of which basically came back to people are assholes and the Card Saver I was worth more than the Uribe. The clerk asked me to confirm, which of course I did.

The man placed the card back in his pocket and said he was going to just rip it up. At this point I almost wanted to buy the Uribe because I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff. I mean how funny would it be to own that card, the actual one involved in this story. Worthless to everyone else, but priceless for me. I didn’t ask though, partly because It’s actually frowned upon for two customers to be striking a cash deal inside an establishment like this.

For those unaware, Jose Uribe was a MLB player in the late 1980s and 1990s and his 1988-1990 cards in recent years have been a running joke in this hobby. Someone somewhere posted a 1990 Fleer for sale at $5,000 a few years back and a sale appeared to be completed through eBay. Since then the 1988 Topps and 1990 Fleer cards for Uribe keep popping up with high price tags. There are a few theories that include folks just running up the price as a joke or scam hoping that others will start under cutting and buying, praying that a few actual sales get completed and someone ends up making a good chunk of money on a common. And then there are theories that the card and many others like it — commons from the era — are being used as a vehicle for money laundering.

In a nutshell, there are very few commons from the era worth the paper they are printed on these days. The memories and nostalgia attached to them, of course, can indeed be priceless for some folks. The actual Uribe in this story would’ve been worth $5 to me … but absolutely worthless to everyone else. Again, I’m a sucker for memorabilia, even if the item is merely a piece of memorabilia belonging to a specific experience.

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.

The one 2000 GOTG auto I wished I kept – Tom Seaver

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on March 7, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

News came out today about Major League pitching legend Tom Seaver and his family making a decision for him to step out of the public spotlight due to his diagnosis with dementia.

I’ll admit, I was sad when I saw the statement. And I’ll be honest, I was half expecting there to be a bigger announcement about him — because in some ways we’ve trained ourselves to think that way in this age of social media — but I’m glad that was not the case and I do wish Mr. Seaver and his family well going forward.

In my eyes, Seaver has always felt like a bigger legend than Nolan Ryan. Sure, Seaver had long held the record until recently for highest vote percentage by a player elected to the Hall of Fame on their first ballot — so his value was appreciated by voters. But in many ways it seems as though he had been overshadowed by his former teammate because Ryan had seven no-hitters and still holds the record for strikeouts.

Aside from Seaver’s Rookie Card, the secondary market for his relics and autos have paled by comparison to Ryan, and even some others from the same era.

Personally, I’ve always loved Seaver’s signature. And my favorite was his 2000 Greats of the Game, which I owned until last year.

That 2000 set was such an iconic release, and several years ago I managed to finish the entire set — which I chronicled both here and in Beckett Baseball Monthly. In fact I still have all the images listed on this page here. But last year I sold the set, except for one card — the Nolan Ryan, which I decided to keep because I personally pulled that from a pack in 2000. Kind of ironic given how I feel about Seaver, his signature and this specific card.

In Memoriam: Darren Daulton: Jan. 3, 1962 – Aug. 6, 2017. 

Posted in In Memoriam, Misc. with tags , , , , , , on August 7, 2017 by Cardboard Icons

Darren Daulton, 1985 Fleer Update XRC 

And then … there was one. Another big 2000 GOTG SP Auto acquired

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , on March 23, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

Never did I ever think I would get so close to finishing one of the greatest sets of all time. The 2000 Greats of the Game autograph set has been one of the top sets I have ever seen and over the last two years I have spent time and money trying to finish this thing.  I have bought cards locally, I have purchased cards at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland in 2014, and I waited nearly a month for a card to arrive from New York after some snafu with the Postal Service. And now … I have brought a card back to the United States of America from Tokyo, Japan.

Behold, the second to last card for the set, the George Brett certified autograph from Fleer.

IMG_0819I’ve noted before that the George Brett autograph was one of the hardest to acquire and over the last few months a few have popped up on eBay with Buy-It-Now prices that would make some heads spin. And even though some of those sellers take offers, none of them would come down to a price range I was happy with.

And then IT happened … one was put up for auction by a seller in Japan.  After a week of bids, and many last-minute ones, I managed to win the card and today it arrived at home in less than two weeks from the date of purchase.

This acquisition leaves me ONE card shy of the set.  You can see 91 of the 92 cards here.