Archive for Lou Gehrig

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.

New items on COMC

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on October 24, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

Over the last few weeks I’ve added a slew of new items to my account.  There’s a bunch of autos and relics, as well as some other stuff in there.

Some of the items are more personal collection items, like the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig shown here.

But there are plenty of other items available to you.  If you get a chance, go check it out and see if there is something you’d like to add to your collection.


This Decade in Baseball Card Collecting

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on December 31, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

The card that brought me back ...

It’s been a crazy decade to say the least. I’ve gone from a struggling lowly college student spending all of his money on cards from three sports, to a husband and father who enjoys buying only baseball cards. But the journey to where I am today has been a fun one. Here is a quick recap of the last decade in sports card collecting.

2000: Sold basketball card collection, which at the time contained two of the hottest cards on the market: Topps Chrome Rookie Refractors of Tim Duncan and Vince Carter, both graded Mint 9. Truth be told, the collection was pretty wack aside from those two cards. There were a ton of star cards and lower-end rookies, but nothing really to brag about. Reflecting on things, both the Duncan and Carter cards could gave garnered Gem Mint grades had I resubmitted them. Bummer, I know.

2001: Had the pull of a lifetime, 2001 UD Hall of Famers Walter Johnson Cut Autograph /5. I’ve told the story before, but the card came from packs purchased at 7-Eleven in San Jose, California. A few months later I sold the card for what I believe is still the most the card has ever sold for, $3,605. The sale was documented in Beckett.  Unfortunately, I failed to retain a scan of the card; the hardrive the image is on is no longer in my possession. Trust me, it was a beauty.

Other big pulls from that year: 2001 UD HOFers jersey of Joe DiMaggio AND 2001 SP Legendary Cuts bat card of Mickey Mantle.

2002: Still riding the momentum of the Walter Johnson pull, I managed to snag a 2002 Topps Heritage auto-relic of Willie Mays, serial numbered 01/25.  Again, another retail pull. I purchased the remaining 18 packs in a box at a different 7-Eleven (Cupertino, California) in an effort to work on the Heritage set. Toward the end of the pack ripping session, the Mays “brick” fell out of the middle. I was floored and the card remained in my possession until 2004, when I sold it for a better looking Mays autograph.

Also during this year, I pulled a Mark McGwire jersey card while living in Salem, Oregon,  a card that I immediately sold and paid for my first trip to Las Vegas with some college buddies. Good times.

2003: Despite my attempt to have massive pack pulls three years in a row, 2003 proved to leave with nothing of note. Actually, this was the year that I bought the least amount of cards because I had graduated from college and really had no income source. I purchased a few packs here and there, but pulled nothing of note.

2004: At some point in 2004, I realized that even though I had ditched basketball cards, my collection was continuing to grow at a rapid pace, one that I was not able to comprehend. And to make matters worse, much of what I had acquired was stuff that I really didn’t enjoy.  That’s when I decided to drop football, which to me felt like a big money pit. I had amassed a pretty decent collection of rookies, including those of Walter Payton, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana. But along with them were dozens of rookie card of supposedly up-and-comers like Robert Edwards, David Boston, Akili Smith, etc. Quite frankly, I enjoyed watching football, but collecting the cards just wasn’t cutting it for me, so I sold everything, save for maybe two dozen cards I felt I couldn’t part with, including my Montana rookie.

2005: The biggest purchase I made in 2005 was singles I bought from a friend who had an on-again, off-again relationship with baseball cards. He always had all the luck, and wouldn’t you know it, he managed to pull autographed rookie cards (which to me at the time were still amazing) of some of the hottest up and comers, Justin Verlander (2005 SP Authentic) and Ryan Zimmerman (2005 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor). I had steered clear away from packs during this year, due in large part to the fact that my wife and I were getting married.

2006: I kind of returned to the hobby late in 2006 after taking about 10-12 months off from buying anything. It was an odd return. My first purchase: A blaster of 2006 Bowman Draft Picks from Wal-Mart. I remember buying the box and thinking, “What the hell am I going to do with these?” Then about half way through the box, I managed to pull a blue shiny refractor of some kid named Travis Snider. I immediately went to eBay to judge how good the kid was … yeah, he was thought to be pretty good. That pull led me to buy several more Blasters, and my luck continued less than a week later when I unearthed a Clayton Kershaw auto refractor. Both cards remain in my collection.

2007: This was a bad, bad year in baseball cards in my opinion — and it was my 20th year of collecting. I bought WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too much of that god awful Topps base set (ugliest in recent memory), too many boxes of Allen & Ginter, and too much of Bowman Draft Picks. What did I end up with? Two sets of A&G, a ton of Topps commons, a crap load of inserts, and a few hundred prospect cards. I did manage to pull this Jay Bruce Magenta press plate out of BDP though. I thought I had struck gold at the time. Yeah, not so much. Regardless the Magenta plate remains in my collection and I have since purchased the Cyan plate. I saw the Black version on eBay but the seller wanted way too much for it. Too bad.

Also of note, I attended my first card show in like 10 years  and it had an interesting affect on me — I decided that my collection was missing some real corner stones. I subsequently went on a selling and buying spree on eBay and wound up some cards I had always wanted: rookies of Nolan Ryan, Willie Mays, Reggie Jackson, Jackie Robinson, Roger Maris and Hank Aaron. Also got my first vintage Mickey Mantle, 1953 Bowman Color, and a copy of one of the most iconic baseball cards to date: 1952 Topps Andy Pafko, Card No. 1

2008: This year continued where I left off in 2007. While there were some dumb purchases, both in singles and boxes of cards, this was the year I added some REAL vintage to my collection, most notably 1909-1911 T206s of Christy Mathewson and Nap LaJoie, and a 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig rookie. Other notable rookies purchased: 1963 Topps Pete Rose, 1954 Topps Ernie Banks and 1973 Topps Mike Schmidt.

Also during this year I started this blog, mainly as a way to appreciate my cards and to document why certain cards are in my collection.

2009: In some ways, this has been a rather calm year in collecting. I’ve still made some foolish purchases, but there have been some awesome additions, most notably my Roberto Clemente rookie.

The Future: As we enter a new decade, I look to enter a new phase in my collecting, I like to think of it as less junk. My garage is cluttered, my daughter is growing and I simply do not have the space for much of my cards. The solution: Buy less, sell more.

I can’t promise to never buy another pack again — although I do have a running clock on the front page of this blog documenting the time since my last pack — but I can try to keep it at a minimum. The result likely will mean less set collecting, which is fine because all those turn out to be are money pits that I do not enjoy.

Baseball Cards On Television

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

gehrigrc2Since I started collecting in the late 1980s, I’ve always been intrigued whenever baseball cards are discussed or shown on television. One of my fondest memories was watching Kevin and Paul on “The Wonder Years” try to hash out a trade for a Willie McCovey rookie card, something that eventually turns ugly and ultimately causes a temporary rift in their friendship — what’s new, right? This episode is great for many reasons — I wish I could find this on You Tube but the entire episode is not there — but the baseball cards makes it a classic for any collector. And for the record, neither character is actually seen handling a 1960 Topps McCovey rookie card, both are seen with common cards from 1989 Topps.

But that episode also reminded me of an episode of MacGyver I watched about a decade and a half ago. I remember distinctly there was tie-in with counterfeit baseball cards and Pete Rose. Well, after some simple searching this morning, I found the MacGyver episode on YouTube. Continue reading

Waiting for three boxes to arrive

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

Late last week I decided to search the Internets for some deals on sealed boxes. And after scouring all the regular places, BlowOut Cards, Dave & Adams and eBay, I settled on what I decided seemed to me like a good deal: Three Topps Gallery Boxes (2002, 2003, and 2003 Hall of Fame Edition.)

My real draw to this lot was the 2003 Hall of Fame Edition, one I’ve loved since it’s release. The packs were like $4 upon release and when I bought a few, I pulled a autograph of baseball legend and Red Sox God Bobby Doerr. The card still sits in my Sox display case. My local hobby shop has a few boxes of this product sitting around for $100, and needless to say, they’ve been sitting on the product for five years. But every time I go to the store, I imagine myself breaking the box. Thankfully I’ve held out.

So during my search for some deal — any decent deal — I came across this three box lot, which was priced at about $60, or $20 per box. I snatched it up thinking I got myself a deal. But now as I wait for the product to arrive, I’m uncertain about what to do with this lot. Clearly I’m going to open to the HOF edition, but should I resell the other boxes?

The 2002 series features autos, relics and a rookie card of Twins catcher Joe Mauer. The 2003 series also features autos and relics, and several rookies, including Marlins slugging shortstop Hanley Ramirez. And of course each box offers chances at 1/1 printing plate cards. This piques my interest because it reminds me of 1999 when I went to shop and snagged a Nomar Garciaparra plate from Topps Gallery. Nomar AND Printing Plates were HOT then.

I digress. Surely I can get at least $20 per box on the 2002 and 2003 Topps Gallery, right? If so, then I would have gotten my HOF box, factory sealed with a chance at some awesome relics — Ruth, Cobb, Gehrig etc. — and great-looking base cards, for about $20. That’s a freakin steal!

Of course there is part of me that loves deals and busting wax, and getting three factory sealed HOBBY boxes of modern decent looking products for about $20 per is a bargain in and of itself.

So I pose the question: