Archive for football cards

Tom Brady: A constant reminder I quit football cards too early

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on January 21, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Tom Brady is headed back to the Super Bowl, and sadly I’ve still got nothing to show for it.

No rookie cards. No autographs. No relics.

Just some basic Brady cards that managed to find their way into my collection.

You see, I made a decision around 2002 to stop regularly buying football cards. Like many, there was a time I collected cards of the four major sports. But by the time I was nearing the legal drinking age I was in college and tried to focus on my passion of baseball cards and tinker less with football.  In my mind I had already reached the peak of that segment of the hobby with a very successful 1998 – I managed to pull both Randy Moss and Fred Taylor from the same box of SP Authentic, and then hit both Dan Marino and Joe Montana autographs from the same box of SPX Finite that year. That success then caused me to have feelings of doubling down in 1999 with that massive quarterback class, most of whom washed out of the league within a few seasons.  And by year 2000 I decided Peter Warrick was the second coming of Randy Moss and Jerry Rice, and Chad Pennington was definitely the new Joe Namath. I think you see I failed miserably.

Opening the 2001 season, Tom Brady was still just a backup to Drew Bledsoe. His rookie cards were mere commons. Hell, I owned one – 2000 Upper Deck Black Diamond – and I let it sit in a penny sleeve among a bunch of defensive player rookie cards.

Well, by 2001 I had become so jaded by miserable purchases of 1999 and 2000 that I pretty much decided I was done with the football segment of the hobby.  I purchased less football in 2001, and even less by 2002. And in 2003 I sold it all – save for the Brady Black Diamond rookie because I had already unloaded it for like $15 the moment its status as non-common changed. (side note, the Brady is like a $300-$600 Card now, the one shown about is a PSA 9 on COMC.) You see, while I was the only person in my college Sports Psychology class at San Jose State University to actually pick the Patriots over the Rams during that year’s Super Bowl, I still didn’t quite buy the notion of Bledsoe permanently being unseated as the Patriots signal caller.

Well, I was wrong.

Bledsoe was done in New England and Brady was just getting started, ushering in a whole new generation of Patriots fans, and creating new standards by which we measured quarterbacks.

Because of the way I collected cards, I know that if I had stayed with football cards, I likely would have obtained multiple Tom Brady rookies at some point. Maybe not the Holy Grail Rookie Contenders autograph, but I still would have had many, especially that 2000 Bowman Chrome card, which to me seems like a must-own for hobbyists.

Alas, here I am some 15-plus years later reminiscing about what could have been — the prices of his standard rookie cards are insane — and the only thing I have to show for it is a blog post about a card I used to own.

 

Thrift Treasures 107: Serial Number Slayer

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

So the National Sports Collectors Convention is under way Atlantic City and like many others I wish I was there.  I’ve been to the annual event twice, both times as peripheral member of the Beckett Media team. But this year I couldn’t make it for several reasons as I IMG_0401I have a lot going on in my real life.  I may try for next year.  We’ll see.

On Wednesday I took my kids out to do a little thrift shopping. And what do you know, I find a massive amount of cards. So many that I was only able to get through a little of it before the kids got restless. Nonetheless, I got a good 15 minutes of digging in and with the cards priced at 5 for $1, I was able to snatch up a few treasures before I had to hit the road. It was a small sampling of what I would’ve been doing at The National anyway.

It’s not uncommon for me to run into such deals as 5 cards for $1, or even more.  But they’ve gotten a little harder to find lately.  And truth be told, I haven’t been out looking as hard as I had once been doing. It’s just a time issue.

Anyhow, I left some decent stuff behind, but I would up selecting 30 cards during this trip. And as the title of this blog post suggests, there were a good number of low serial numbered cards.

Let’s kick things off with three 2013 Topps Chrome football black refractors numbered /299 and a a 2014 Topps Chrome Bliue Refractor /199 of DeAndre Hopkins.

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Speaking of Refractors, here are  few more.  A shimmer silver 2013 RGIII /260 and a basic 2015 Topps Chrome Peyton Manning. The Manning will be a nice Christmas gift for my cousin’s son who just got into collecting.  I’ve already sent him every Manning I own, and about 5,000 other football cards.  His face when they arrived was priceless.

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Staying on the flashy subject. Here are three 2011 Leaf Limited parallels. The front of these are shiny foilboard. But I’m showing the backs because look at those serial numbers.  Hall of Famers Derrick Thomas /50 and Sam Huff /25.

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And some more Leaf Limited. These are from 2010 and they’re all rookies.  The base rookies are /499, but that Riley Cooper rookie is /25. Solid.

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How about some more serial rookies? Marcus Gilbert 2011 Absolute /50, 2010 Epix Ricky Sapp /50 and 2008 Prestige Chris Long serial 001/300. Gotta love those first-stamped cards.

IMG_0442A few random serial numbered cards. 1999 Paramount RW McQuarters /62, 2013 Absolute Boss Hoggs Julio Jones /99 and 2008 Icons die cut Mike Hart /150.

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Growing up in the Bay Area it’s almost a disgrace to see serial numbered cards of these two guys sitting in a thrift store. These are 2009 Leaf Limited Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, both serial numbered /399.

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Speaking of legends, I could not let a Barry Sanders (/1449) and Bart Starr (/639) from high-end 2007 Triple Threads sit on the shelf to collect dust.

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Johnny Manziel is pretty much a laughing stock at this point, but I still found some value – in terms of comic relief anyway – in finding his 2014 Topps Platinum rookie card.

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Here are a few basketball parallels from 2010-2011 Contenders, Caron Butler and Samuel Dalembert, both /99.

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Whatdya know, I found an autograph in the boxes. Sure, it’s Jamal Faulkner, a common. But this is an Alabama alumnus — I’ve already found a new home for this card.

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And let’s finish things off with a mixed group of four cards: 1999 Paramound Team Checklist Barry Sanders, a 1996-97 Topps Allen Iverson rookie card, a 1994-95 Collector’s Choice French GOLD signature Charles Barkley subset, and a 2012 Bowman Platinum Purple Refractor Javier Baez.

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Nothing here is going to make me a small fortune, but  all in all, still not a bad stack of cards for about the price of two retail packs,.

Total cost of these Treasures: $6

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here.

Thrift Treasures 104: Are you effin kidding me?

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , on May 27, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

So check this out.  I went to one of the local thrift stores on Friday and did my typical rounds through the store. 

Toys, clothes, books, collectible showcase, and random bags in te housewares area.

There was nothing in the first few spots. And then as I am walking a chick in a bikini catches my eye …
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Yeah, I saw that lady on the cover of the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swim Suit desk calendar in my peripheral view And when I stopped, I found bags of cards on a nearby peg tucked behind the scantly clad lady.

The cards instantly looked like stuff I see all the time. Bunches of 1989 Topps baseball, 1991 Donruss and then I saw a beacon of hope: a 1989 Score Steve Atwater rookie card. 
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Atwater, a safety for the Denver Broncos, had a solid NFL career. But I remember his mostly for this very card, which obviously hails from a very iconic 1980s sports card release. 

The presence of the Atwater, a card that was NEVER a common card during 1989 or the early 1990s, piqued my interest. And so I tried to get a gander of whatelse was inside.
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I could see two Derrick Thomas rookies in this bag. I then placed the baggie into my cart. Thomas Score rookies strike a nostalgic chord with me. DT, along with Bruce Smith, was one of my favorite players when I was a kid and his Score rookie was on my Christmas List for three straight years before I actually got one.

I took another off the peg hooks and did a quick check and could see a Michael Irvin rookie. I placed it into the cart without reviewing the baggie further.
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I went through the other five bags on the pegs and none of them really excited me. I did buy one more bag simply because it had a 1988 McGruff Crime Dog/Oscar Meyer release of former San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh. The Walsh card comes from a police set that was distributed to school kids here in the Bay Area. In 1988 I personally obtained multiples of Joe Montana and Jery Rice from this set through some bartering with classmates.

I went to the register and paid. As I headed out the door I ran into a guy whom I consider competition when it comes to hunting treasures. So instead of opening the baggies in the car I headed to next thrift store.

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After that stop, which yielded nothing, I received a text message from a friend who had see my teaser Twitter post. At that point I peeked at the baggie with the Michael Irvin bag. When I picked up the baggie the cards separated and I saw the unthinkable: a 1989 Score Barry Sanders rookie card.

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I snapped a picture and sent it to the friend. I then ripped open the bag to confirm that the Sanders, a true Iconic card from my child hood, was left for dead in a thrift store. 
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Clearly the Barry isn’t mint. infact, the card is creased. But it’s unthinkable that this card, which is on the same level as the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card, was ditched in a second-hand store. To make things more interesting I had not owned a single real copy of this card until earlier this year when a full 1989 Score set was gifted to me by a friend.

Total cost of these Thrift Treasures: $5.97.

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here.

Thrift Treasures 98: Sweetness and the Snake

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I haven’t had much time to write lately.  We had a death in the family the same day I wrote my Wally Pipp post, and since then every day has been a little hectic. 

Nonetheless here I am writing a new a Thrift Treasures trying to get back to some normalcy.

Friday night after work I poppedinto a thrift store and saw dozens of bags filled with cards.

  
What’s funny is that almost every card in the bags were protected with penny sleeves or a poor quality early rendition of a Top Loader.

I peeked at a few of the bags and could clearly see that they weren’t worth the $3.99 each that the store was asking. I’m talking stuff from 1988-1992, basic commons and stuff. Heck, one bag even had this 1990 Fleer Tim McIntosh card with a 12 cent price tag on it.  I used to do this to my cards them too, but o wasn’t going to pay for that memory.

  
I checked each bag for any semblance of hope. And then Sweetness appeared.  

This is a second-year 1977 Walter Payton card showing on the bag And I could see a few other older football cards.  I decided that even though the Payton was in poor condition, it was worth the purchase.

Well, as it turned out the football cards and one hockey card are we’re the only things worth writing about.  The bag was filled with baseball commons as mentioned above. 

But here are the “hits.”

1977 Topps Walter Payton  

1977 Topps Fred Biletnikoff  

1976 Topps Ken Stabler  

Four 1977 Topps cards including Oakland Raiders center Dave Dalbu and linebacker Phil Villapiano, Chicago Bears defensive tackle Wally Chambers, and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall.

  
And the stray hockey card, a 2003-04 OPC Dick Tarnstrom parallel #’d /500

  
Total cost of these Treasures: $3.99

You can read more Thrift Treasures posts here.

A 20-year-old NFL retail break 

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

A few months ago a co-worker brought me a gift, a four-pack blister of 1995 Upper Deck football that had a commemorative Joe Montana Super Bowl card.  

This co-worker is a big San Francisco 49ers fan and at one point he bought this for his man cave. He’s not really a card guy, but more of a game-used 49ers jersey collector.  So he decided to gift this blister to me.

I opened a good amount of this product in 1995, as we as the SP brand, which was high-end at the time and was one of the first sets I completed.

I digress.  Yesterday during my lunch break I stopped by my locker and noticed that I still had this thing sitting on my top shelf.  With the NFL kicking off this week I decided to open it for fun.  There really are no hits in here, just base cards, parallels and the occasional insert. 

So, the Montana C-card was cool.  It shows Montana and the 49ers against the Miami Dolphins jn Super Bowl XIX, which is the last Super Bowl to be held in the San Francisco Bay Area. that Super Bowl was held at Stanford University in Palo Alro. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl and will again be in the Bay Area.

 
And now for the packs.

The first pack had a card that literally made me laugh out loud.  I mean check out this seductive rookie card of former Jets draft pick Kyle Brady.

   
 
Pack two wasn’t quite as awesome, but it had a card if one of the newest Hall of Famers, Charles Haley, and a good-looking rookie card of Michael Westbrook. Oh, and it had TWO silver parallels. Money!  

 
Pack three  features a rookie card of a very good linebacker from the late 1990s and early 2000s, one Derrick Brooks.

   
And the final pack featured a dud rookie QB card, but the last card in the pack was none other than hall of fame 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice. Heck, my co-worker might even have this Rice jersey shown on this card.  

 Al, if you’re reading this, the Niner cards are all yours if you want them back. That Kyle Brady card is mine though. It’s priceless.

Thrift Treasures 87: Starting LineUp cards galore, including Jordan (SLUs!)

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

  
When I was a kid, we didn’t have highly detailed McFarlane toys for athletes. Instead, we had Starting LineUps, made by Kenner.
For a while these toys were hot. They were first produced in 1988, and I believe they ran until 2000, at which time the aforementioned McFarlane line had entered the scene.

The Kenner toys weren’t detailed, but the faces sort of looked like the players, and if nothing else the uniforms at least helped us figure out who the figure depicted.

One of the cool things about Starting LineUps, or SLUs, was the fact that they came with at least one card, and sometimes a second card, a coin, or a poster. I liked the figures but I always wanted the cards, because when it gets down to it, I’m a card guy. 

While I never personally opened my SLUs when they were sealed — I hung them on the wall — I always traded for the cards when people made them available.

So, imagine the giddiness that came over me this week when I hit a thrift store and saw this.

  
I asked to see the box up close and could see that it was full of SLU cards.

I then peaked at another box and saw that it, too, had more SLU cards.

  
I busted into the boxes and stopped immediately when I saw the 1988 Statting LineUp card shown above.  It was in the first stack I grabbed.  The Jordan hails from the very first basketball release for this set.  Crazy to think that this card would be found in the wild like this.  Sure, it’s not mint. And true, it’s not worth big money, but this is not a card you should find in a thrift store.

While there was not another Jordan SLU card in the box, I did find many stars and in all nearly 250 SLU cards, most of which are basketball.

  
It’s worth noting that the Tim Duncan shown here is a rookie-year card release. 

I can’t possibly show all of the cards, but here are a few more

  
  
  
  
Additionally, there were 17 posters.

  
 

Total cost of these treasures: $17.98

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here.

Thrift Treasures 86: 6 Hits and more for a buck

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , on May 17, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

For about a year, one of the thrift stores that I frequent has had thousands of cards sitting around for the price of 20/$1. Sadly, most of them were straight up commons from 1989 Fleer, 1989 Upper Deck and a few other sets from the same time frame. The boxes had been picked clean of anything worth owning.

Well, when I walked in this week, those boxes were gone and in its place was a single smaller box of cards, which had just arrived. Judging from the contents, I had to have been the first one to get a crack at them.

Most of the box consisted of Jacksonville Jaguar cards, mostly Mark Brunnel and Fred Taylor, but there were some other stragglers that made this a fun box to pillage. In all, I chose 20 cards and spent a whopping $1. And as the title of this post suggests, six of these 20 cards were hits — relics and or autographs. While they aren’t going to net me a fortune or anything, that’s still a huge win for being a thrift find.

And to the guy who walked in behind me and started rifling through the cards clearly in search of something worth owning, all I can say is: better luck next time.

Without further adieu, here is the haul:

Eight of the cards were relatively basic. But I figured I may as well fill out the 20-card order with whatever base cards or parallels seemed worthy of a nickel.

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Here’s a pair of 2000 Ultimate Victory Football Parallel rookie cards.  Deltha O’Neal is a local guy so it was a decent pick up.  Besides, the two top loaders were worth a nickel on their own.

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A few inserts and a Matt Holliday were a fun addition at this price

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In 1999, numbered parallels were still in demand by collectors.  Here’s a Dan Marino 1999 Encore F/X “Seize The Game” Gold parallel numbered 063/250

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And not the hits.  Like I said earlier, these aren’t going to break the bank, but consider that they cost a nickle each.

Speaking of nickels, here a 1998 Edge Ryan Leaf Draft Special featuring a swatch of Leaf’s jersey, which is the size of … a nickel.

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Remember Shaun King?  For a minute he was a legit NFL quarterback.  Here is a 2000 UD Ovation cards featuring a piece of his helmet.  This may be the first helmet swatch I have ever owned.

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Game-used cards were in full effect in 2000. Playoff, former known as Donruss.Leaf, Playoff 9DLP0 made some of the coolest ones.  Here is a Absolute Leather and Laces card featuring a swatch of ball used ont he Dec. 19, 1999 game between the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans.  Phenom Jevon Kearse is shown on this card, which is serial numbered to 250 copies.

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Playoff made lots of game-used items in the late 1990s. Among them were these weird team checklist cards which featured TWO swatches of jersey, neither of which were attributed to any particular player. Bad idea …

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After I went through the box and fished out what I thought was every decent cards, I did one more search and stick — literally — in the middle of a stack of 2000 Victory commons was this 1998 Skybox Autographics auto of Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala, former of the Uniiversity of Utah, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Say that name three times fast.

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And the last card if perhaps my favorite.  After the St. Louis Rams wont he Super Bowl in 1999, Upper Deck made championship relic cards and inserted them into packs of 2000 Ultimate Victory.  They were gorgeous cards then and even now, a decade and a half later, they’re still great-looking examples of relic cards done right.

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Total cost of these treasures: $1

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE