Archive for Joe Montana

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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


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.


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.


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 74: Oldies but Goodies; shiny ones too.

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

So late last week I hit a thrift store on the way home and in the “collectible” section behind the show case near the register were three white boxes that all card collectors could spot from across the room.  One was small, like a 200-count box, but the others were 400-count and 550-count. On the outside the store wrote a vague description of what was inside. The small said something to the effect of “comic cards” and they wanted $2.99 for the box, and the others had various sports descriptions on them, as you can see from the pictures.


I don’t buy every “mystery” box I run into, but if I am allowed to open it and get some idea of what is inside, I’ll bite if the contents and price point make sense.  Well, in this case I was allowed to do so. The first card I pulled out of the 400-count box was a shiny 1996 Topps Chrome Tony Gwynn refractor.  I closed the box immediately and staked my claim at $2.99. I then popped the larger box and pulled a small stack. The highlight of the stack was a 2007 Score Adrian Peterson rookie, followed by a 1988 Topps Brian Bosworth rookie.  I looked at the price on the lid ($3.99) closed it up and headed for the register. I’d already seen enough to justify by purchase.

So after the purchase I sat in my car and finally dug through both boxes hoping to unearth some special gems.  As it turned out, both boxes had a little something fun and even some items I’d even call treasures.

We’ll start with the small box, because it was heavily baseball-centric. When I opened this box in the store, I gravitated toward the single card that was in a penny sleeve which was the Tony Gwynn.

IMG_7056Refractors at one point were the epitome of parallel cards and in 1996 Topps released it’s first Topps Chrome run. They’re not as hard to find as their basketball counterpart, but the baseball ones from the early Chrome years are still not a easy to find as the ones made these days. The Gwynn could re-sell for more than what I paid for these two boxes.IMG_7057

There were some star cards in the 400-count box but I wont spend too much time on them. Instead I’ll just show a lot of 1997 Mother’s Cookies San Francisco Giants — lots of dupes, but at least I got ONE Barry Bonds — and five misc. cards, including two rookie-year Marshall Faulk cards, and a cool 1995-96 Hoops Skyview Joe Smith. Yes, that last card is of Joe Smith, a former First Overall Pick who didn’t exactly light the NBA on fire, but those mid-90s inserts do well on the secondary market.


The 550-count box was 99% football.  I stopped collecting football about a decade ago, but every now and again I dabble in the sport. I also still have an emotional draw to rookie cards of guys, so some of the contents of the box really struck a cord with me.

First off, we’re start with a small grouping of stars cards that were in here. A few Peyton Mannings, some 1988 Topps Joe Montana and Steve Young cards, a pair of Jerry Rices, a 1980 Topps “Mean” Joe Greene” and a very very very sharp 1980 Topps Bears team checklist featuring the legendary Walter Payton.

IMG_7062David Boston never really caught on as a top receiver.  Maybe that explains why a mem card of the former Cardinals receiver was in this box.

IMG_7064I loved Upper Deck’s innovation during the 1990s.  One of my favoriter sets the 1994 Upper Deck Pro Bowl inserts.  What’s not to like? It’s a refractor-like finish matched with the epic motion-capturing hologram mug shot. Yeah, it’s Brent Jones, but it is still gorgeous. It goes perfectly with the other 49ers unearthed in this box.

IMG_7063And remember when I said there were rookie cards? Yeah, there were a few dozen.  Three-quarters of the rookie cards were of guys who never mattered at all in the NFL, there were these eight which I chose to feature here.  There was the aforementioned 2007 Score Peterson rookie, as well as rookie cards of Patrick Willis and quarterbacks flops JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn. But the 1988 Topps Brian Bosworth rookies (there were two of them), 1988 Vinny Testaverde, and 1989 Topps Traded rookie cards of Deion Sanders and the late Derrick Thomas really made this box fun to go through. The 1984 Topps Morten Anderson rookie is a bonus. It’s sharp as well, much better than the one I used to own.

IMG_7061Total cost of these Thrift Treasures: $6.98

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE


Thrift Treasures XXXIX: T-U-R-T-L-E Power!

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, no he didn’t just drop a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reference on a baseball card blog.”

You bet your ass I did.

The turtles are back!  Well, in my collection anyway.

I made some thrift store rounds earlier this week, and if you follow me on Twitter, you know I found a pretty sweet bag of vintage cards which I will blog about in the very near future.

But not less than 30 minutes after I found those items at one thrift store on the south side of town, I found a massive stash of cards at a vintage store on the north side of town.

And they were for sale for a nickel a piece.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because this is the thrift store where I’ve found dozens of cards in the past.  They usually just chuck all the cards into some cardboard box or plastic container and let whomever have their pick.

Sometimes I am the first person to get to them; sometimes I am the last.  Judging by the 20 cards I scored for a buck on this day, I’d say I was probably the second or third person to hit these mounds.

With that, I present the 20 treasures that have been added to my collection:

1989 Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stickers #1 and #8

Gotta lead with what brought us the dance — Turtles.

I like(d) Turtles.  Not turtles like this kid, but these Turtles.  These were cool dudes back in the day.  I dug the movies, the video games and cartoons.  I even had a few toys and cards.  But not until this day did I ever own a TMNT sticker.

Cowabunga, dudes!


My one regret from my thrift trip was buying this Madonna ProSet Super Stars card instead of the Yo! MTV Raps Vanilla Ice card.  The Ice Man would have gone perfectly with the Turtle stickers.

But I chose Madonna for the hell of it.  I already own the Vanilla Ice card, along with damn near every other Yo! MTV Raps card.  Anyone got a lead on the three I need for my set?


1991 Upper Deck Brett Favre rookie card

This Favre rookie was actually in the first fist full of cards that I picked up from the boxes.  Along the way I found traces of a 1991 Stadium Club football box that had been opened and I kept waiting to uncover a Favre. Sadly there was none.  And on that note, this was the only Favre.  Classic card.


1991 Classic Basketball Draft Picks certificate of authenticity.

Speaking of Classic … how bad does a set have to be that the one and only card I decided to buy for a nickel is the certificate of authenticity?  I LOVED these certificates of limited edition.  Why?  Because nothing says limited like 450,000 sets produced.

Speaking of bad …

Ultra inserts.  Bleh.  I dig those red top loaders though. Totally worth a nickel each.


1991 Upper Deck Joe Montana

Dude!  LOVE this card.  The large Upper Deck poster version of this triple exposure card was pretty bad ass back in the day, too.  Can’t pass on this for a nickel.


1991 Upper Deck Steve Young

I like this card because it shows Steve as a backup to the aforementioned Montana.  Nothing says backup like having your helmet resting on its side.  Too bad this guy never turned out to be any good.  Oh wait …


Can’t pass on a few Michael Jordans, can we?

1991-1992 Upper Deck Michael Jordan All Star

1991-1992 Upper Deck Classic Confrontations Magic Johnson vs. Michael Jordan

1991-1992 Skybox Bulls Starting Five

One of these guys is not like the other …


A quick break in the action for some random non-sport items.

1993 Dynamic Creator's Universe Family Fusion foil chase card #1 Syvil

Not much of a comic card guy, but I do buy the chase/insert cards when I find them this cheap because you never know who will want it.

My kids LOVE Toy Story … I’ll give these to them after this post hits the ‘Net.


 OK, back to sports …

2004-05 Topps All-Star Support Tim Duncan / Kevin Garnett

2003-2004 Upper Deck LeBron James box set #10


And now, the top 2 cards from the haul…

1990 Action Packed Rookie Update Jeff George

Was there anything bigger in 1990 football than Jeff George AND Action Packed? Twenty-two years later we laugh, but this was a killer combination back then.  Still an epic card.

1993-1994 Upper Deck SE Johnny Kilroy special

And last but not least, Mr. Johnny Kilroy.  This guy was a stud.  Never seen anyone perform like him.  Such an epic player, a sure bet Hall of Famer.  He had mad hops.  He actually reminded me a bit of Michael Jordan …

Let’s Go Niners! Let’s Go Niners!

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

My 1981 Topps Joe Montana rookie card

It’s been a long time since Bay Area football has been this good.

For about a decade, football fans in the San Francisco Bay Area have been subjected to sub-par football on both sides of the Bay in the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders.

Raiders fans have been Raider fans.  Every year calling their shot that they will return to the Super Bowl and each year they fall short of even making the playoffs.  Good drama for sure, but still horrible ball.

And the Niners? People hated Alex Smith.  They wanted him gone.  He was no Joe Montana.  Or Steve Young.  Or even Jeff Garcia.  Hell, he was barely one rung above Jim Drukenmiller.

But then things changed.

The Niners hired Jim Harbaugh.  They began to win.  Alex Smith stopped throwing dumb passes for pick sixes.  And the defense started knocking fools out.

And suddenly everyone is wearing the red and gold with pride again.

It’s interesting to see what winning can do to a fanbase, no matter how serious the fans are.

But even though it has been 10 years since San Francisco has even made it to the playoffs, this feeling is not something I have forgotten.

THIS is how things were when I was growing up here.

I’ll say this right now:  I don’t call myself a Niner fan.  I don’t pretend to be.  I don’t go around puffing my chest out saying “I have been there from the beginning.” 

When time came to choose favorite teams when I was 10 or so, I chose the Buffalo Bills.  I loved Bruce Smith, Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas.  I loved their status as perennial Super Bowl contenders who always got their asses handed to them when it was crunch time.

Hell, I even had a bitch-ass physical education teacher — a huge Cowboys fans — make fun of me in front of the entire locker room while I wore a Bills hat a day after the Cowboys defeated the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII.  He proceeded to say “Bills, huh?  You know what “BILLS” stands for right? Boy I Love Losing Super Bowls. HAHAHA”

Dude, I was 12.


Anyway. While I claimed the Bills as my team, I distinctly remember the atmosphere here when the Niners were king.  Kids, parents and even teachers were into football.  In elementary school we actually spent an entire class making posters in favor of the Niners as they prepared to play the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII.  Of course they won.

And years before that, I remember having my first ever Big Mac with a Coke. Joe Montana was on the cup, and Ronnie Lott was on my first true trading card, which hailed from a set given away at McDonald’s.

The Niners were EVERYWHERE. Proof that football is a big deal here … when the teams are winning.

And from an outsider prospective, they call this Bandwagon Fanaticism.

There’s probably some truth in that.  But what you have to realize is that lots of people my age (31) grew up here in an era when the Niners were second to none.  Whether they were true fans or not, the people here always ended up cheering for San Francisco anyway.

And as the Niners prepare to take on the New York Giants in the biggest 49ers game in probably 16 years, they are all cheering for them again.  Even Raiders fans, who probably wouldn’t admit it you asked them.

I leave you with this. A gem from the 1980s.  A song I heard A LOT when I was  a kid but completely forgot until earlier this year when my wife — who is not a sports fan — started singing it one day after we watched a game.

Thrift Treasures XXXIII: Kiss the rings …

Posted in Newspaperman, Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

Some people spent their weekend digging through bargain bins at The National Sports Card Convention in Chicago; I spent an hour digging through quarter boxes at a local flea market.  All the same, right?

It’s been a while since I’ve written a thrift treasures post.  I actually have three of them in the works, but this one is the most timely seeing as how I obtained these cards today.

I visited a local flea market with my kids on Saturday, and there were two guys who had a few 5,000 count boxes with everything inside priced at a quarter.

Suffice it to say I had a good time digging through the boxes, unearthing cards I hadn’t seen or thought of in nearly two decades.  But you know how I roll.  I’m always looking for a deal.  I wasn’t just buying cards because they evoked emotion.  I bought cards because I knew they were under priced.

In the end I came away with 32 cards that cost me less than the price of three retail packs. Enjoy.

Football season is just about here.  And now more than ever I am excited about the sport. For much of the last five to seven years I had become a one-sport guy.  But I am slowly starting to turn my attention back to the NFL, a league I loved so dearly when I was younger.  And for some reason, cards of Joe Montana have been catching my eye lately.  The Niners have been in Purgatory for almost a decade, but these two remind be of better times in the Bay.

1992 ProLine Gold Quarterbacks Joe Montana

Check out those rings ...

I had a total brain fart when I bought these next two.  I thought Chad Jackson was actually good (still like the card though), and for some reason I thought this 1992 Upper Deck Brett Favre was a shirt print.  Upper Deck is NOT Stadium Club. Doh!

2006 Turkey Red White Chad Jackson rookie

1992 Upper Deck Brett Favre

Funny thing about football.  I’ve often found myself marveling at the greatness of — not the Raiders — but NFL Films.  After I went to this flea market, I came home and watched a special on Ed Sabol, the founder of NFL Films. I was holding my son at the time because he was teething (F-U-N).  And for some reason, the sound of John Facenda’s voice soothed him for a bit.  Anyway, here are two old-time footballers were featured in many of those films.

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Retrospection Collection Joe Namath

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Vince Lombardi

And we’ll finish out the football section with a cheap, yet solid rookie card.  What’s funny about this Emmitt Smith rookie is that this one was in the quarte rbox, and the seller had another one set off to the side in a top loader for $3.  Um, yeah.  I’ll take this one.

1990 Pro Set Emmitt Emith Rookie

Before we get into baseball, I bought a few basketball and other sport/non-sport cards to sow off.  Here are a few Michael Jordan cards that I felt compelled to have at this price point.  Should be worth noting that the Jordan “Generations’ card also features Julius Erving on the back, and the card “books” at $10.

1998-99 UD Black Diamond Michael Jordan

1999-00 UD Century Legends Michael Jordan

1999-00 UD Century Legends "Generations" Michael Jordan & Julius Erving.

I chose this Wilt Chamberlain solely because it was an insert card.  It’ll be headed to CheckOutMyCards.

1999-00 UD Century Team "All Century Team" Wilt Chamberlain

This one, too. Meh …

2008 Topps Gold John Stockton #'d /2008

Another brain fart … I got Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee mixed up.  Must have been the heat.  This was a waste of a quarter.

2009 Donruss Americana Jackie Chan

Wrestling cards usually are not my thing unless they evoke emotion.  I mean, none of these things are worth anything anyway, right?  Well, this one stuck out because it is a Chrome/Finest insert from 1996.  It “books” at $10.

1996 Topps WCW/nWo Nitro Chrome Hulk Hogan & Bret Hart

And now let’s get to some baseball.

A few rookie cards to whet the appetite.

1982 Topps Dave Henderson rookie

1096 Donruss "The Rookies" Dan Plesac rookie

1999 Ultimate Victory Jim Morris rookie

A four pack of fun-ness:

1993 Classic "Superheroes" Ken Griffey Jr.

1992 Score "90's Impact Players" Ken Griffey Jr.

1992 Ziploc Bob Gibson

1988 Starling Line Up Ozzie Smith

A pair of cards from 2001.

2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Willie Mays

2001 Topps Heritage Red Back Alex Rodriguez

Love this one:

2002 T206 Mini Tolstoi Red back Joe Tinker

Sticking with 2002 Topps 206, here’s one of those meh inserts.  But it is Pujols.

2002 Topps 206 "Team 206" Albert Pujols

When Albert was hot, his cards were scorching.  And when people’s cards are scorching, people will try to do anything to get an extra nickle out of their sale.  For example this 2002 Stadium Club card.  So many people bought and sold this card under the premise that it was his rookie.  Why?  Well, it doesn’t help that Topps used a “2001” in their small print copywrite.  Nonetheless, the card is 2002, yet still collectible.  I hadn’t owned one until now.  Pretty cool card.  Book is $12; and one sold last week for almost $15.

2002 Stadium Club Albert Pujols

From a current Cardinal slugger to a former … here is another “$10” insert.

2000 Upper Deck "People's Choice" Mark McGwire


Generally I hate reprints.  That said, I was not passing up these 2001 Topps Archives cards for $.25 each.

2001 Topps Archives Jackie Robinson (1952)

2001 Topps Archives Robert Clemente (1955 - Rookie)

And we’ll close with some real vintage:

1978 Topps Pete Rose


1978 Topps Nolan Ryan

Pound for pound this was a solid flea market trip.  Not a ton to get super excited about, but at the quarter price point I am buying stuff all day long.  Seriously, where else are you going to find vintage Ryan and Rose cards for less than two pieces of Bazooka gum?

Total cost for these treasures: $8