Archive for hobby

Cardboard Icons author in video interview about hobby, collection

Posted in Commentary, Misc. with tags , , , , , on August 26, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

Late last week Patrick at Radicards.com hit me up about doing an “on-camera” interview with him about the hobby. I paused initially because for years I was the one asking questions, not the one answering them. And for so long I had this phobia of being in front of the camera. But after some thought I decided to do the interview. And I’m glad I did.

It’s a 30-minute video, edited down from our hour-long discussion,  The audio on my end starts out low but does get better. We touch on my history in the hobby, why I collect what I do, some discussion about the state of our hobby and so forth.  Give it a watch (or listen) at your leisure. It was a lot of fun to do.

And if you’ve never seen Radicards, take an opportunity to check it out.  There are dozens of interviews like mine sitting there waiting to be watched, which is somewhat unique because we don’t often get to see people talking about the hobby other than when they are busting wax.

Thanks for reading (or in this case watching),

Ben, Cardboard Icons.

Reach me via e-mail at cardboardicons@yahoo.com; on Twitter at @cardboardicons, and LIKE the new Cardboard Icons FACEBOOK page

 

Cardboard Icons Turns 8

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , on July 3, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

WeaverBagIt all started here eight years ago today with a little post about an iconic 1951 Bowman Phil Rizzuto card. And what has become Cardboard Icons the blog and the opportunities this site have provided for me are things I never could have imagined.

When I started this blog in 2008 I had few connections to other collectors.  The Beckett Message Boards (the old ones, if you remember them) was my favorite way to communicate with other hobbyists. And when the company reformatted its Web site the message boards lost their steam and some collectors went looking for other places to talk shop.

For me, I decided to try my hand at blogging. After all, at the time I wrote for a living and had collected baseball cards for more than two decades (I’m actually coming up on three decades now). I was pretty much as qualified as anyone else to write about the stuff. And so Cardboard Icons the blog and persona were born.

I’ve always maintained that this site is really nothing more than a chronicle of my journey through this hobby. Sure, there were times early on after gaining some readership through connections that bigger ideas started to enter my mind, but many of those never really came to fruition. And honestly, probably for the better. Because what ended up happening was really  far beyond any of those “big” ideas that had entered my mind.

This blog started just about the time Twitter was starting to take off, and so I now had two platforms to share my stories and experiences, especially my passion for not only collecting, but also hunting sports cards and memorabilia through second hand stores, flea markets, etc. To this day the signature feature of this blog is the “Thrift Treasures” series.  The blog in an of itself was doing relatively well by my standards for the first few years. And then in late 2011 I discovered in a thrift store an item that would take the game to a whole new level for me — a 1977 game-used jersey of Hall of Fame Baltimore Orioles Manager Earl Weaver. Such items being found in such fashion are almost unheard of.

The discovery of that jersey ultimately aided in me fulfilling a dream of mine — being published as an author in Beckett Baseball magazine, a publication I had been reading since I was just 8 years old.

My first-hand account of finding the Weaver jersey opened more doors for me. It led to more writing opportunities for the magazine, which led to a trip to the annual National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore in 2012 where I got to meet Weaver just months before he died.  This journey was also picked up by Yahoo Sports’ Big League Stew, where author David Brown wrote: “A collector named Ben Aguirre must fancy himself a real, live Indiana Jones of sports memorabilia after recently finding not one, but two game-worn Baltimore Orioles jerseys — including one that used to belong to legendary manager Earl Weaver — at a Bay Area thrift store.”

In the following years I was able to assist in the creation of content for two special baseball magazines through Beckett Media and authored a monthly column for Beckett Baseball for almost two years. The column ended during the summer of 2015. And no, I am not bitter about it. The timing was right.

And so here we are.

By the standards of some of the larger and more popular (and way better, I might add) blogs, my near half-million page views aren’t special. But for a guy who really just started this as an extension of his own journey through the hobby that’s pretty remarkable. And I thank you all for contributing to the success I have enjoyed thus far by your continued reading and viewing of content on this blog.

Thank you,

Ben Aguirre, aka. Cardboard Icons.

In addition to this blog, you can also follow me on Twitter and on Instagram.

 

Thrift Treasures 93: The Topps Collectors Album (binder)

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , on August 20, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

Many years ago Topps released a collector’s kit which included a car collector’s album (really a three-run binder) along with some sheets. I always wanted to own one as a kid but never had a chance to acquire one.

  
About two years ago I ran across one in an antique store and it had a $10 price tag, but for whatever reason I balled.  And when I changed my mind and went back for it, it was gone.

Fast forward to about a week ago.  While checking one of the local thrift stores I spotted one of these binders and it was bull of binder pages filled with cards.

The price tag was $19.99 and in my mind I was not going to let this binder out f my sight again.  The contents of the binder really were a bonus.  

 
Well, as you can probably guess, the cards in the binder really did leave much to be desired.  It was mostly 1990 Donruss cards separated by team with a few other cards from the same era thrown in. Here are the highlights … 

A few Hall of Famers…  

A few stars of the time …   

 
And by far the card with the weirdest image, a 1989 Upper Deck Fernando Valenzuela.

  
The binder sheets were also typical poor quality of the time, so many of them were not worth keeping for my use. But there were three original Topps brand sheets inside. These were slightly different than the typical sheets because you load the card through the side of the pocket instead of on top. A few other companies tried this design too, but it never really stuck with collectors.

 
Total Cost of these Treasures $19.99

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here

Icon-O-Clasm: Got ’em! Check! (1969 Topps Checklist / Mickey Mantle

Posted in Icon-O-Clasm with tags , , , , , , on November 18, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

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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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A Lesson In Caring For Cards

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , on April 2, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

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