Archive for Joe DiMaggio

Icon-O-Clasm: 1938 Goudey Heads Up Joe DiMaggio XRC + autograph

Posted in Icon-O-Clasm, Instagram Portraits with tags , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by Cardboard Icons


Three Collecting Goals for 2012

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

There's someone missing from this stash ...

Right about this time each year I start thinking of things I want to accomplish in the new year.  And each year I start to make a list, but I rarely actually document the thoughts.

Maybe it’s fear of failure; maybe it’s sheer laziness on my part to make time to type them out and share them with you.


This time it’s different.  I’ll keep things simple.  Here are the three hobby-related things I want to accomplish in 2012.

3) Write more

When I started this blog three years ago I was passionate about writing.  Hell, I wrote for a living, so all I had to do was switch topics for a few minutes a day and write something, anything.

But much has changed.  I have two kids now, and work in a different field unrelated to writing.

In 2012, I want to write (at least) 50 posts. That works out to about one post every week or so.  I’d love to say I want to write 365 posts a year or even 180, but fact is that’s just not going to happen.  I love to write and entertain you, but fact is I am not that interesting and what I have it say is not that important.

2) Trim the fat

That’s code for get rid of crap I really don’t care about.

I’ve already started this process this year by sending more than 1,500 cards to But I still have a dozen three-row “shoe boxes” sitting in my closet and only three or four of them contain items I’d say I really care about.  If I can make the time, I can make a huge dent in the volume of stuff and maybe turn into something really nice like …

1) Obtain a Babe Ruth rookie card

In 2012, I will get my hands on one of the three 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth cards.  Yeah, I said it.  Ruth is the sole legend of Yankee Mount Rushmore whose rookie card has eluded me.

Mickey Mantle?

Got Heeeeeeeeeem

Lou Gehrig?

Got Heeeeeeeeeem

Joe DiMaggio?

Got Heeeeeeeeeem

But I need the Ruth!

R-U-T-H, Ruth!

Ruth had been playing baseball long before 1933, but his Goudey cards — as well as the Sport Kings cards — from that year are considered his “official” rookie cards.  And while my rookie card collection has many caveats that I have created for the sole purpose of fulfilling my cardboard destiny, the Ruth cards from 1933 are among the most iconic and I MUST own one by the end of 2012.

My latest BGS order is a bag of mixed emotions

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on October 10, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

About a month ago I sent a batch of cards to Beckett Grading for slabbing purposes.  Say what you want about grading, but I still rather enjoy having some of my cards encased in thick plastic and assigned a grade. Keyword: Some.

First off, let me say that I was disappointed that Beckett did not grade three of my cards — 1948 Bowman Bob Feller rookie, 1948 Bowman Yogi Berra rookie and my 1938 Goudey Heads Up Joe DiMaggio XRC.

The Feller and Berra have writing on the front, not unlike my 1939 PlayBall Ted Williams that Beckett Grading slabbed earlier this summer.  I placed a note on each card asking that the card itself be graded and that I knew the “signatures” on the front were not real.  This was a reasonable request based on my return on the Ted Williams rookie.  Both cards were returned just as I submitted them with a note stating that “Service Unavailable.”

Head scratcher for sure.

And the DiMaggio? Check it out:

Doh!  Really?  We’re going to flag this one for restoration?  If you look at the card in hand, you can see someone traced DiMaggio’s head with a dried-out pen.  The markings make the card look worse than before.  Couldn’t we just slab this one a “1” and call it a day?  That’s all I want. The card is clearly authentic.

Now that the bad news is out of the way, let’s have a look at the en-tombed items.

Yes, this card graded a 1, but if you’ve ever held this card in hand, you’d enjoy it’s true beauty.  Aside from the obvious paper loss, this is a beautiful example of Phil Rizzuto’s 1948 Bowman Rookie Card.  Love that I can now display it in my graded card case.

You might think that 6.5 grade is ugly … not I.  Do you know what I paid for this card? Yeah.  The key here is that this 1985 Nike Michael Jordan “rookie” is authentic.  The only real flaw are the corners, which show some white.  This is a nice win for my collection.

This is a straight cross over from a PSA slab.  I prefer BGS slabs.  I have said this many times.  I got this 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Buster Posey on  Probably  a bit pricey, but it was a must-own for my collection. Proud to have it in a BGS case. Straight 9’s, homey.

Speaking of COMC, here is a duo of 2002 Upper Deck Premire XRCs that I snagged off the site in raw condition.  How excited do you think I was when I saw that the Prince Fielder and Zack Greinke graded Gem Mint.  Not a rare grade for these cards, but clearly they display well.

And finally …

These are solid copies of some of 1994’s rarest error cards.  These are 1994 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice Silver Signature “White Letter Variation” cards of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, the two best in the set.  As I’ve documented here before, these cards are much rarer than the basic silver signature cards that were offered one per pack.

I picked up both of these at a local shop and they were priced as basic Silver Signature cards.  The Rodriguez was about $15, and the Jeter was $6.

2009 Goodwin Champions Blaster Break

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

Stumbled into a local Target and what do I see? A small stack of 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions staring at me. Yes, the retail version of this product is live. Not only were there a handful of blasters, but also a gravity feeder, which someone apparently rifled through before I got there. Someone remind me why Upper Deck is using nearly transparent wrappers for the retail product? Gah. Anyway, here is the break of my one and ONLY blaster — 12 packs, 4 cards per pack. All will be for trade except for any Red Sox.

Pack 1: Phil Hellmuth, Hunter Pence, Ryan Braun, Jonathan Toews

The very first Goodwin card I see is Hellmuth. Hmm ...

The very first Goodwin card I see is Hellmuth. Hmm ...

Pack 2: Alex Rodriguez, Carl Yastrzemski, David Ortiz MINI, Phil Niekro


Pack 3: Matt Cain, Lyndon Johnson, Nate McLouth AUTO, Stephen Drew

Happy to have pulled an auto, but my luck has been off. That's topin for another post soon ...

Happy to have pulled an auto, but my luck has been off. That's a topic for another post soon ...

Pack 4: Curtis Granderson, Bill Rodgers, Rollie Fingers MINI, Matt Ryan (college)

Pack 5: Nick Markakis, Carlton Fisk, Josh Johnson, Carlos Delgado


Is UD going to use the same shot of Fisk in every release? This is a repeat of Goudey.

Pack 6: Derrick Rose, Grady Sizemore, Derek Jeter MINI, Robin Roberts

Can't go wrong with Jeter

Can't go wrong with Jeter

Pack 7: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Chien Ming Wang, Alexander Ovechkin BLACK MINI, CC Sabathia

I'm not a hockey guy, but I believe Crosy and Ovehckin are Nos. 1 and 2 in the sport.

I'm not a hockey guy, but I believe Crosby and Ovechkin are Nos. 1 and 2 in the sport.

Pack 8: Kristi Yamaguchi, Ben Roethlisberger (college) mini, Great White Shark ANIMAL SERIES, Ken Griffey Jr.

This is what happens when the sports leagues go with exclusive contracts.

This is what happens when the sports leagues go with exclusive contracts. Barf.

Not sure if I like this one better than the Allen & Ginter Great White Shark card.

Not sure if I like this one better than the Allen & Ginter Great White Shark card. /sarcasm

Pack 9: Michael Beasley, Todd Helton, Akinori Iwamura, Koji Uehara

Pack 10: Vlad Guerrero, Jeff Samardzija, Adrian Gonzalez MINI, Alexander Ovechkin

Pack 11: Kevin Garnett, Roy Oswalt, Al Gore Nobel Peace Prize Anniversay card, Joey Votto

For a split second, I thought this was a instant-win scratcher card of some sort. Nope.

For a split second, I thought this was a instant-win scratcher card of some sort. Nope.

Pack 12: Chad Reed, Brooks Robinson, Jake Peavey MINI, Joe Dimaggio


Comments: From the first card (Hellmuth) to the last (DiMaggio) this blaster of Goodwin Champions was entertaining. Can’t argue with an on-card auto of a Major League star — even if he is is pictured in the uniform of his former team.

From a broader perspective, Goodwin Champions is indeed UD’s answer to the wildly popular Topps Allen & Ginter set, but it does feel like a slight variation on Goudey — which really was not that impressive. As is the case with A&G, the minis are pretty neat, but hard to store.

As far as people represented in the set, it is refreshing to see a set where Micket Mantle IS NOT a big draw. Not to hate on Mickey, but Topps really has harmed his cardboard legacy. As collectors, we shouldn’t groan every time we see a card of one of the game’s greatest stars, but that seems to be the case these days. I was more than happy to see Mr. DiMaggio though.

Are we card collectors or memorabilia collectors?

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

ramprojectlogodoneFor about a year and a half I’ve been working on my “RAM Project,” one that entails obtaining a rookie (or early card), autograph and memorabilia card of all of the game’s greatest players. In some cases I’ve already made great strides. I’ve got a Babe Ruth bat card, a Willie Mays autograph and Hank Aaron rookie, as shown here.

But either early this week or late last week — all of my days are running together right now — I started thinking more and more about my feelings about memorabilia/game-used cards. Continue reading