Archive for Leaf

An Auto A Day … #6

Posted in An Auto A Day with tags , , , , , , , on August 24, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

I’ve got a thing for former players who turn manager/coach. This is not a new trend, but it’s interesting for me to see this these days as I clearly remember some of the players-turned managers/coaches when they first came into Major League Baseball.


Such is the case with Torey Lovullo. He was somewhat of a prospect with the Tigers. The thing I remember most about him was having rookie cards in 1989 products … I pulled a ton of them while hunting for Griffey rookies of course. He spent part of eight seasons in the Majors with seven different teams before ending his MLB career in 1999.

Lovullo’s baseball career, however, didn’t stop as a player. Two years after retirement he got into managing and coaching and worked his way through the Cleveland Indians minor league system. He then followed current Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell to the Toronto Blue Jays and then from Toronto to Boston, where he is a bench coach. Lovullo was a top candidate for the Chicago Cubs managerial gig in 2010 and it’s probably only a matter of time before he gets a manager gig in the majors.

As noted, Lovullo has rookies in 1989, including in the high series of Upper Deck. He has a single certified autograph: 1996 Leaf Signature Extended.

An Auto A Day … #5

Posted in An Auto A Day with tags , , , , , on August 23, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

Here’s another solid Major Leaguer who used his skill set on the field to help him get a job in the dugout.


Brad Ausmus, a three-time Gold Glove winner and an all-star, spent 18 seasons as a Big League catcher. His career started in 1993 with the San Diego Padres and ran through 2010 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. And just three years after retirement, he found himself as the skipper of one of the best teams in Major League Baseball, the Detroit Tigers.

Often regarded as one of the game’s nicest guys, Ausmus proved to be the same to fans as he frequently signed Through The Mail (TTM). That said, how does a guy spent nearly two decades in the majors — a time frame that coincides with a book in certified autographed in the hobby — yet he only has one signed card (1996 Leaf Signature Autographs), with two parallels of the same. Ausmus only has one true rookie card as well, a 1992 Topps card that he shares with three other guys.

It took 20 years, but I finally got one

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , on January 14, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

When I was a young collector, one of the sets that always seemed out of reach to me was 1990 Leaf.  If you were a collector that year and didn’t have your own job, or the means to buy your own baseball cards, you know the feeling I’m talking about.

The unfulfilled desire that filled your body when you saw those crisp blue, red and silver foil wrappers in that silver box depicting Nolan Ryan.  The cards in those wrappers were the epitome of the collecting world in 1990. A sleek, clean design highlighted with white borders and silver graphics that gave the collector the feel that they were living a luxurious life … well, in a cardboard sense anyway.

This was premium. This product was filled with rookies. Frank Thomas, John Olerud, Ben McDonald, Kevin Maas,  David Justice, Eric Anthony, Steve Avery, etc.  — they were all there. (Except Juan Gonzalez, anyway.)

Over time I managed to acquire all of the aforementioned rookie cards.  But there was one card that always eluded me, and it was not even a rookie card.  It was the Griffey shown above.

A year removed from being pictured on the first, and most prominent, card in the 1989 Upper Deck set, Griffey adorns the front of this long-desired card.  The card used to trade hands at more than $20 cash; that was a market level at which I was not able to play in during the heyday of this card.

Alas here we are 20 years later and I have finally acquired one of my white whales. And in the grand scheme of things, it really didn’t cost me much, if anything, at all.

Such is the case with all of these once highly desirable cards from our collecting youth.  Just about anything that seemed untouchable can be had for pennies on the dollar.  I’m not really sure how that makes me feel.

Card of the Day: 2001 Leaf Rookies & Stars Barry Bonds

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

I got a little behind this weekend, so here’s a double-shot Monday to make up for the day off yesterday.  

Kudos to DLP (Donruss/Leaf/Playoff) for making an effort to keep the infograph on the back of this 2001 Leaf Rookies & Stars Barry Bonds card relevant. While most companies could have had a boilerplate paragraph about Bonds’ bloodlines to the game, his numerous MVP awards or his drive for 500 career homers, DLP decided to document Bonds’ record pace during the 2001 season. And it took me eight years to appreciate this card.   Continue reading