Archive for Fleer

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.

2000 GOTG Baseball autograph set down to just TWO …

Posted in Mail Day, Misc. with tags , , , , , on February 2, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

Entering 2015, I was down to just four cards to complete the iconic 2000 Greats of the Game baseball autograph set. I was down to an Alan Trammel, and three very hard to find short prints that rarely pop up on ebay.

IMG_9061Then IT happened.  someone decided to break a set.  The Trammell was posted three times BV but I bit on it within 5 minutes of it being posted.  And then the Mike Schmidt showed up. George Brett too.  And of course Kirby Puckett.

Now, if I had the funds available I could have snagged the three SPs and celebrated completing this set — sans the Derek Jeter of course.  But I don’t roll like that.  The seller had them priced super high because they were the only ones on eBay.

Well, since then, three other George Bretts have appears, all over $500 each.  The Schmidt sold for an undisclosed amount — the seller wanted $799.  And a second Puckett appeared — which later became mine.

The second Puckett wasn’t exactly mint.  The corners were white, which made it less appealing to others.  To me, it allowed me to negotiate with the seller.  And when all was said and done I got it for less than half of what the other was being offered for.

There is a side note to this Puckett.  I figured I would ask the seller if he had any more and the seller told me he didn’t. The reason, this Puckett reportedly comes from a collection of items OWNED by Puckett himself.  The seller has some 40,000-plus feedbacks and is based in Minneapolis. While there is not “proof” of this ownership, I only have his word and some circumstantial evidence.

TIMG_9062he condition of the card actually lends some — SOME — credibility to this.  Clearly a true collector didn’t own this card. Most knew that these cards did not belong in any sort of screw case or card protector without a penny sleeve. The white corners show that it was owned by a novice collector.

Now, whether or not this is true — the angle of Puckett owning this card — is almost impossible to prove, therefore not really adding any value to the card.  But it does make for an interesting story line.

It should be noted that this card arrived it was in a Card Saver I WITHOUT a penny sleeve. It was packed between two pieces of cardboard though.

I’ve now updated my 2000 Greats of the Game Autograph set with pictures.  There is no rush to complete this, but I’d love to find a  Schmidt and Brett to wrap this up.

2000 Fleer GOTG Baseball Autos: The Final Four

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on November 13, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

When I opened my first pack of 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game baseball some 14 years ago, I was immediately drawn to the set.  The simplistic design and checklist appealed to me.  And of course there was the fact that I pulled the Nolan Ryan autograph on that first day, just as I wished.

IMG_6252Over the last 18 months, I casually started to gather other autographs from the certified set. And before I knew it I had made real progress toward achieving something I once thought was impossible — completing the autograph set.

Well, I’ve written here and in a Beckett Baseball Magazine column how far I had come and how I had met a pair of dealers at this year’s National in Cleveland who had some of the harder-to-find short printed autographs.  At the show I acquired two of the harder ones.  And then when I got back home I established contact and essentially agreed to purchase three others that they had that I needed.

The first that I acquired from the dealers after the show was Johnny Bench. I got a fantastic deal on the card, but as I documented about six weeks ago, the transaction was far from smooth.  The hang-up really happened with the United States Postal Service and the Bench card spent 19 days in Postal Purgatory.

When it came time to complete the transaction for the final two cards I was a bit reluctant.  Not because of anything the dealers had done. Rather I was a bit gun-shy due to the USPS service.  Would I really spend nearly three weeks on pins and needles waiting for my cards?

Well, much to my surprise, the second half of the transaction went down rather smoothly.  And in just three days (from New York to California) I had acquired two more short prints, cards of deceased Hall of Famers Phil Rizzuto and Warren Spahn.

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And so where does this leave me with my set? Down to the Final Four.

Yep. Four autograph cards stand between me and a complete set — minutes that Derek Jeter autographed card that, in my mind, does not count as it was not originally released with the set.

So who are these pesky four players whose signed cards have yet to find a home in a penny sleeve, black top loader and team bag in my collection?

Three of the players are Hall of Famers, and if you know a thing or two about this set, they are all probably the three hardest — and most expensive — cards to find in this set. They are George Brett, Mike Schmidt and Kirby Puckett.

And the fourth card? It’s not a short print. It shouldn’t cost me too much. Heck, the player on the card is not even a Hall of Famer.  It’s Alan Trammel, whose card I had seen long ago and decided to wait on since it was one of the “cheaper” ones in the set.

Nonetheless, it’s clear to me that the contact I made at The National — with a little help from Beckett Baseball Editor Chris Olds, who actually located the dealers while I was trudging through bargain bins — has been a vital contact point for getting this close. It just goes to show that while the world is at our fingertips via the Internet and our Smart Phones, personal contacts are still important.

You can see each of the 88 cards I have acquired thus far in this 92-card set HERE.

Thrift Treasures 71: “They have a bunch of cards in boxes … and they are cheap.”

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

So, my intention was to hit you guys next with another short post about items that I found at The National.  But on this day, I actually have a fresh Thrift Treasures post based on items that I found just a few hours ago.

I made the rounds to one of the local thrift stores this morning and while looking at about a dozen baggies or so, some random guy walks up to me and asks if I’ve ever been to a nearby town, which is one of the rich cities in the neighborhood.  I give him a stare as if my eyes were saying “why the hell are you asking me this?’

A few seconds of silence pass and he says, ” well, they have this thrift store there. They have a bunch of cards in boxes … and they are cheap.” The man tells me baseball cards are not his thing, so he figured he’d let me know.

Five minutes later I’m on the freeway headed to said thrift store, which i did not know even existed.

Located in an old house turned into a store front, I located the cards he spoke of.

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My jaw dropped and my heart skipped a beat because as you can see from the picture, they had multiple boxes marked as 1989 Upper Deck baseball sets.  I opened them and determined that all cards were in there … except for THE card, the Ken Griffey Jr.  Each box was priced at $4. Even at $4 those sets are decent.  There are some iconic cards and some good rookies.  The issue I had was that I already had three 1989 UD Sets.  I decided to pass.

What I did walk away with though was a complete 1987 Fleer baseball set, which had a Will Clark and Bo Jackson rookie card sitting in Top Loaders on top of the set inside the box.  I then checked to see if card 604 was there.  Barry Lamar Bonds was indeed there.  The Bonds single can be had for about $4, but I’ll take the whole set for this price.  I always liked this set anyway.

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And secondly there was a box of 1989 Donruss baseball sitting there.  Wax packs completely and the box looking just as it did some 25 years ago when it came out of the case.

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Well, I ripped the packs.  No Griffey. Insert fail horn here.

But I did get a Randy Johnson, two Curt Schillings and a Craig Biggio.  I also found a pack with a Don Mattingly Diamond King on the back,m so I kept that sealed. And I got to create these colorful pictures. Wee!

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Total cost of these treasures: $8

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

Mailday! But what’s wrong with this picture?

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

Just picked up my mail, and it was an awesome card day. But take a look at this picture and tell me what is wrong.

Hint, I’m NOT speaking of the scotch tape that was used.

See it yet?

If you answered yes. Good job. If you answered no, you’re technically right too. Where’s the penny sleeves, bro?!

This ain’t rocket science. It’s not hard to protect good cards. It’s as simple as making a hamburger — bun-meat-bun. Or in this case, card, penny sleeve Top loader.

Thrilled to have the cards, believe me. But as much as I paid for these — especially the short printed 2000 Greats of the Game Duke Snider auto — you’d think the seller could toss a few penny sleeves in here.

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Latest COMC mailday … sigs, sigs and more sigs

Posted in New Addition with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

IMG_3123Over the last four months I’ve made about 40 purchases on the consignment site COMC.com.  I’ve said it before — and I will continue to say it going forward — if you haven’t at lease checked out the site, you’re missing out.

Anyhow, the batch of cards arrived over the weekend and as the title of this post suggests … it’s full of ink.

TEN Hall of Fame signatures, an iconic one and a slew of prospect (and failed prospect) autographs filled this batch.

OK, enough of the shenanigans, let’s get to it.

We’ll start with a solid rookie card I’ve needed for quite some time — a 1955 Bowman Elston Howard.  Howard isn’t a hall of famer, but his career was significant.  Howard was the first black player to ever don a Yankees uniform, he was a 12-time all star, an MVP in 1960 and a six-time World Series Champion.  SOLID.

IMG_3110Speaking of MVP’s here’s a 2009 SP Legendary Cuts cut signature of the 1926 National League MVP Bob O’Farrell, who played for four teams during his 21-year career, including two stints with the Cubs and three stops with the Cardinals.

IMG_3115Here’s a 2010 Bowman Chrome autograph prospect card of a contender for the American League 2013 MVP award, Josh Donaldson.  He won;t win it — because it’s hard to pick him over Miguel Cabrera, who made another run at the Triple Crown this year — but he had a legit season.  At one point these Donaldson chrome signatures were over $20 each.  Just after the World Series I managed to grab this one for less than $8.  His signature isn’t hard to find, but this release is THE card to own — well of the non-parallel versions anyway.

IMG_3109Here’s a few prospect/failed prospect autos:

IMG_3107IMG_3126A few vintage rookies:

1933 Goudey Joe Sewell.  Did you know that Sewell, a Hall of Famer, struck out a total of 114 times during his career?  American League Home Run Champion Chris Davis struck out 199 times in just 2013.

IMG_30651933 Goudey Bernie Friberg.

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1934 Goudey Dolph Camilli.  Camilli took home the American League Most Valuable Player award in 1941, slugging a league-best 34 homers and driving in 120 RBI’s.

IMG_3112Here’s a card that always intrigued me: 1994 SP Holoview Michael Jordan.  Jordan didn;thave a basic SP rookie from this set; if he had one, it would be an epic card.  Instead we are left with this holoview caard, which is cool, but not nearly as cool as a foil, condition-sensitive rookie card would’ve been.  An if for some reason you’ve never handled one of thee Holoview cards, try to check one out … UD’s technology in the early 1990s was second to none.  The hologram of Jordan incorporates several images of Jordan’s face, so when you turn the card, he’s always looking at you.

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Here’s a pair of 2004 Bowman Heritage Signs of Authority autographs … I’m sort of working on this set.  Who collects umpire signatures?  This guy.

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How about a pair of 2012 Panini Cooperstown Signatures of journalist Murray Chass and Marty Brennaman.  I love these non-player signatures.

IMG_3120So yeah, Hall of Famer autographs … Here’s five.

1993 Nabisco Jim “Catfish” Hunter w/ COA.

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1998 Donruss Signature Series Ozzie Smith /2000

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2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Rollie Fingers.

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2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Tom Seaver

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2001 Topps Team Legends Mike Schmidt rookie reprint autograph

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Last week I declared war on the 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game autograph set.  Here’s a few of the ones I purchased over the last few months on the site.  The highlight is the shortprinted Willie McCovey.

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And perhaps the prize of the whole package … a 2013 Panini Golden Age Historic Signatures Jackie Earle Haley, who played “Kelly Leak” on the Bad News Bears.

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Chasing dreams: the 2000 Greats of the Game autograph set

Posted in Hall of Famers with tags , , , , , , , on November 2, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

For more than a decade, I’ve been drawn to the greatness of the 2000 Greats of the Game autograph set.  I think I’ve shared the story before, but the very first pack of this product that I opened in 2000 contained the ONE card I really wanted from the set:  Nolan Ryan.  Yeah, I called my shot.  And yes, you’ve heard this before because I know for a fact that I’ve written about it before.

YazI toyed with the idea over the years of collecting the set.  It’s a gorgeous set, I know it’s highly collectible, and in my opinion, the checklist is absolutely stellar.  There are a few “duds” but that’s beside the point.  Most of the least-desirable cards can be had relatively cheap.

Well, it’s official, I’m declaring my war on the 2000 Greats of the Game gold-border auto set … with one exception, that Derek Jeter autograph that is limited to 150 copies.

Here’s my issue with the card:  It was a redemption only and was not released until 2001.  And not only is it a year older, it appears to have been made with a glossy card stock.  Eff that!  Part of the charm of the 2000 set is the smooth non-glossy texture.  It’s hard to describe, but it kind of feels like vellum paper.

Anyhow, I’ve added an updated list and made it public so that you can see what exactly I am missing.  Surprisingly, I am already more than half way to the set … although once I get to the short prints, I’ll be looking at some pretty pricey cards.  Lucky me.