Archive for John Smoltz

Thrift Treasures 95: the HOF Class of 2015

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on September 19, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

When it comes to buying cards at thrift stores, sometimes you have to throw logic out the window and buy things based on principle.

To understand what I mean all you have to do is look at this post.
Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz were three of the four players elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this year. The other was Pedro Martinez.  

 Biggio, Johnson and Smoltz all have rookie cards hailing from sets in 1989 so it is not uncommon to find the hiding in common boxes across the country. (Before you flip out and start thinking about Biggio, Smoltz and 1988 cards, understand that those two guys have cards on 1988, but they are considered XRC due to the fact they were released in factory update-style sets.

I digress. These cards aren’t very valuable in their raw form. But since when is it acceptable for rookie cards of hall of famers to sit around in a vulnerable state such as a plastic bag at a thift store? 

When I see them on such places, and the price isn’t too bad, I almost feel it is my duty as a collector to save the cards from their demise.

During this trip I located three bags at a local thrift store, one with a 1989 Donruss Smoltz rookie showing and another with at least one 1971 Topps card peeking out from the middle of the stack. The baggie’s, as you can see, were $1.49 each. 

The Smoltz was accompanied by the Fleer rookies of Randy Johnson and Craig Biggio rookies shown in the first picture. And while we’re at it, here are the card backs for those rookies, since no one bothers to look at those anymore.   

And while the remainder of the contents of these bags won’t light the collecting world on fire, there were some fun pieces.

As it turned out there were two 1971 Topps Lou Piniella cards.  

There also were some of the typical 1990s cards of more recent hall of gamers.


And a few that don’t get much pub these days.

Like this 1989 card honoring Tom Browning and his perfect game.

And former Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti, who died less than five months after taking office. 

Total cost of these Treasures: $4.47

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here.

Collecting Cooperstown:  Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Posted in Collecting Cooperstown, Hall of Famers with tags , , , , , , on July 24, 2015 by Cardboard Icons


Thrift Treasures 89: What’s In The Box?!

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

When I hit thrift stores and find sports cards, they are usually stored in two ways: stuffed into small bags and priced per bundle or just left in a box and marked with a price. On a recent trip, the latter was the form in which the cards were found.    Behind the counter where they keep the ‘good” stuff was a box marked “Baseball Cards” The Box was one of the eight-section sorter boxes, which by themselves usually cost $3-$4 each. The $7.99 price tag on the box intrigued me as I felt this was worth the purchase if there was anything remotely of interest inside. So I waved down the clerk and said, “What’s in the box? Here is essentially what I saw.    It was a hoard of Donruss cards, lots of 1988, a good number of 1987, but also some 1981 through 1983.  I also took a quick peek and saw a stack of 1980s Minor League cards. I closed the box and bought it. As one could imagine, the stacks contained just what you would expect, lots of Hall of Famers mixed in with a bunch of 1980s common guys. In all there were more than 65 Hall of Famers — the typical 1980s mix of Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, George Brett, Mike Schmidt, Andre Dawson, and of course Rollie Fingers and his mustache.    There were two 1977 All-Time All-Stars cards, ones of Rogers Hornsby (trimmed) and Lefty Grove.    The Minor League cards were fun as usual. A bunch of guys whom I had never heard of, and a few who actually made it to The Show, headlined by Devon White and Randy Myers.     One interesting card is this one of then Mets farmhand Randy Milligan, who would eventually become a member of the Baltimore Orioles.      What makes it interesting? Look at those stats and all that biographical information! Even the card of El Paso trainer Pete Kold has more words. Oops.    If you have been following my collecting journey you know that rookie cards of everyone — EVERYONE — are what I like to collect.  What better way to fill a few dozen holes that to find loads of stuff from the 1980s.    There were guys whom I hadn’t heard of, such as Marvis Foley and of the White Sox and Ricky Peters of the Tigers. There were lots of solid Major Leaguers like Curt Schilling, Ken Caminiti, Jack McDowell, Mike Greenwell, Mark Gubicza, and John Kruk. And ot course there were rookie cards of Hall of Famers — remember recent HOF classes have rookie cards from the “Junk Wax” era — Roberto Alomar, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. Surprisingly the cards are NOT thrashed.    There are probably more than a million of each 1988 Donruss card, making them relatively worthless. But these miscut ones are of some — minimal — interest.    And we’ll finish with a few current Major League coaches shown during their playing days.    Total cost of these treasures: $7.99 You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here

Thrift Treasures XXXIV: Love between the sheets

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

The junk wax era is alive and well at some of my local thrift stores.  One shop was chalk full of little baggies containing horrible basketball cards from the early 90s; another was jam packed with 1988 Topps.  Good thing at one Goodwill, there was a binder with some small gems located within.

For the first time since I’ve been scouring my local thrift stores for treasures, I located a binder full of cards that were priced PER SHEET.  Usually the person pricing items in the back of the store takes one look in the binder and if they recognize ONE name out of any of the cards, they automatically throw a $49 price point on the binder.

This time it appears someone came to their senses and priced each 9-card sheet at $1.49.  There were probably 50 sheets in the binder and only four that really appealed to me.

Anyway, I scanned the nine-card pages in their entirety so that you can see the greatness that I uncovered.

The one pictured above has three nice rookie cards, and I am not talking about that sweet 1989 Topps Steve Searcy card or the 1992 Pro Set Ty Detmer BYU card.

I’m talking about the 1989 Donruss Craig Biggio, 1988 Fleer Update Craig Biggio and the 1988 Fleer Update John Smoltz.  I already own these three cards, but this seemed like a solid buy.  A fun one if nothing else.

The second sheet:

Everyone knows how valuable those Pro Set Lawrence Taylor and David Meggett cards are.  That is the entire reason I bought this page.

OK, all kidding aside. Seriously?  A 1980 Topps Phil Simms rookie?  Sitting in a binder page?  At a Goodwill?

Believe it, son.  Believe it.

The Simms rookie isn’t worth nearly as much as it was back in the early 1990s, but it is still a Hall of Fame rookie card that really shouldn’t have been relegated to PVC Sheet status.

No worries, Mr. Simms.  I saved your rookie card.

Sheet 3:

Even the 50-year-old cashier knew who the guy in the bottom right was.  Hell, she even identified it as his rookie card.  1989 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr. rookies are not hard to come by, but I was not going to leave this at the thrift store … especially when I can get it, and a 1988 Fleer Update Chris Sabo rookie at the same time. S-C-O-R-E-. SCORE!

Sheet 4:

I probably own enough 1988 Donruss Roberto Alomar rookies to decorate an entire wall of a house, but the real reason this sheet appealed to be is that 1988 Fleer Update Alomar rookie. I love that 1988 Fleer Update set, it was one of the first sets I actually purchased .. sort of.  I’ll save that story for another time.