Archive for Michael Jordan

Thrift Treasures 64: The Premiere Editions

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , on March 1, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

ThriftTreasuresLogoSo here’s a short Thrift Treasures post that’s been sitting in my queue for a while.  About two months ago while hunting treasures in the California’s south bay cities of Campbell and San Jose, I went to a Salvation Army that I only get to maybe once every two or three months,

Judging by the throngs of people I run into there, it’s definitely on the radar for treasure hunting folks. Sometimes it’s people looking for jewelry, other times its people seeking art or anything else they can flip on eBay.  I dabble in some of those areas as well, but head straight for sports stuff regardless of the circumstances.

During this trip, there were no cards. BUT there were two card-related items … which of course I had to own.  Which is why I am even writing this.

Granted these items were in the area designated by store employees as the “Collectibles” and their prices relative to the rest of the second-hand items int he store seem a tad inflated. But during my decade-plus of treasure seeking I’ve never seen these, so they were mine.

IMG_6825Here we have the first issue of Beckett Basketball featuring some player you may or may not heard. Michael Jordan graces the cover of the first every Beckett Basketball, which is the March/April 1990 issue.  These aren’t rare. You’ll find them at various card shows and on eBay of course.  But for $5.50 I figured I’d bite.  Especially since it was kept in pretty good shape.  The cover is stiff.   The articles inside talk about how the basketball card market has grown to a state where a magazine was warranted.  And of course there is the price guide.  I won’t go over everything, but I will answer the question that is on your mind: How much was the 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card worth then? Answer: $175, high book.

The other magazine t also cost me $5.50 is the premiere edition of the Topps Magazine.  Some of you may not have even been born — sad, but true — when Topps had its own Magazine. Well, here it is, the first edition — featuring Jose Canseco on the front.  The inside has a strip of cards that featured various players, primarily one George Kenneth Griffey Jr. and a pull-out poster showcasing every single one of the 792 cards that make up the 1990 Topps set.

IMG_6822 IMG_6826

While there are all sorts of cool little tidbits in this magazine, it is worth noting that there is a short article on the highly-coveted 1990 Topps George H.W. Bush Yale.

IMG_6824In short, the story says that President Bush is a baseball fan, he played on the 1948 Yale University team that went to the College World Series, and Bush’s grandsons apparently asked someone why President Bush didn’t have a baseball card. Word got to Topps; Topps made just a few of the cards and delivered them to President Bush. The article says the cards are not for sale to the public and that they likely would never reach the secondary market.  The author does, however, speculate what collectors would pay for “the rarest baseball card Topps ever printed.”


Thrift Treasures XLV: 2012 San Francisco Tri-Star Show Haul 3/3

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

Well, I made it.  I managed to scan the remaining 200 cards that I bought at the Tri-Star show.  And if you thought Part One and Part Two of this special Thrift Treasures series were awesome, I’m telling you …






1990 Score Bo Jackson FB/BB

This is Part Three of Three

I’ve been going to this annual card show consistently for the last six years.  And it was not until three years ago that I learned that the real point of going to these shows was to swoop in on the bargains that are hiding in the dime boxes.

I used to go to the show to look at cards I could not afford, buy some packs and supplies and leave with a handful of cards that really didn’t satisfy my appetite.

But over the years I have learned that I can pretty much buy any card I really want at any time; and a lot of the packs at the show might have been touched by a dozen too many hands if you catch my drift.  So why waste my money and time to go look at stuff that is always accessible to me?  What’s not always available are super cheap cards.  Now when I go, I spend 90 percent of my time digging through bargain bins, 5 percent looking for bargain bins that don’t exist, and 5 percent looking at the autograph area where the athlete’s are hidden behind a blue curtain hoping to catch a glimpse of a legend.

OK, enough of that diatribe.

The following cards are ALL from the same dealer.  The sign on the table said 25 cents each, or 100 for $10.

Do the math and that’s a dime each if you find enough.

Trust me, I found enough.

In the end, these all came out to 10 cents each.  I found 200 cards that had to come home with me.  There were probably another 100 I could have settled on owning, but this was the FIRST table I stopped at.  I spent 90 minutes here and I wanted to see what other treasures I could unearth.

Let’s kick things off in grand fashion.

1992-1993 Upper Deck Team MVP Michael Jordan

Meet Michael.  He’s kind of a big deal in the hobby.  Even his most basic card should not be in a dime box.  And now consider that this is an insert … and he’s holding the NBA’s biggest prize.  He’s no stranger to the trophy, and he’ll be no stranger in this post.  This card alone holds a Book Value of $25.

1959 Topps San Francisco 49ers Checklist

I was in San Francisco, right? Why was this card still sitting in this box?

vintage Fleer baseball A's sticker

I love these vintage stickers.  I still have all of the stickers from the Fleer packs I opened in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Maybe I’ll met my kids play with them when they are older.

Let’s stick with vintage for a few …

1974 Wonder Bread Paul Warfield

1974 Wonder Bread Larry Csonka

1971 Topps Game Inserts Frank Tarkenton

1970 Kellogg's (Blank Bank) Bill Nelsen

1978-1979 Topps Stan Mikita

1981 Kellogg's George Hendrick

1974 Topps Ron Santo

1974 Topps Larry Bowa

1974 Topps Eddie Mathews

1968 Topps Tony Perez

1970 Topps Tony Perez

1974 Topps Tony Perez

1970 Topps Joe Morgan

1972 Topps Joe Morgan

Some random old school Garbage Pail Kids stickers.  I still can’t believe my mom was buying these for my sister and I when we were 5. Crazy.

Here’s that Michael Jordan guy again …

2 1992-1993 Upper Deck McDonald's Michael Jordan Holograms

I remember when Upper Deck and McDonald’s collaborated for this set.  I never had the fortune of pulling one of these holograms, although I did wind up with a dozen Tom Gugliotta and Alonzo Mourning rookies. ugh …  Guess I got the last laugh though.

Who likes wrestling legends?  These two might look familiar from earlier in this series.

1987 WWF Topps Bartolo Colon Andre The Giant

1987 WWF Topps Hulk Hogan IA

And baseball legends?

1993 Topps Archives 1953 Series Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle

1991 Foot Locker Bo Jackson

6 1994 Action Packed Roberto Clemente cards

Some randomness …

1990 Leaf John Smoltz

1994 Mother's Cookies Rookies of the Year -- Tim Salmon / Mike Piazza

1994 Mother's Cookies Rookie of the Year -- Tim Salmon/Mike Piazza -- still in wrapper

1996 SPX Bound for Glory Mike Piazza

Hey, look, it’s Michael Jordan again …

1989 Hoops Michael Jordan and David Robinson IA

And some more randomness …

1997 Circa Super Boss Bernie Williams

1998 Donruss Diamond Kings Bernie Williams /10,000

1998 Topps Mystery Finest Borderless Greg Maddux

1998 Topps Etch-A-Sketch Greg Maddux

1990 Action Packed Barry Sanders

1995 Leaf Limited Gold Don Mattingly

1991 Upper Deck Holograms Emmitt Smith

1997 Upper Deck Power Package Barry Bonds

1996 Leaf Limited Steel Gold Hideo Nomo -- w/ Protective Coating

Look, it’s Mike again…

1992-1992 Upper Deck Holograms Michael Jordan #AW1

1991-1992 Upper Deck Holograms Michael Jordan #AW4

You know you love holograms!

1991 Upper Deck Holograms Hank Aaron

1989 Score Joe Montana

And now some mini player collections …

1989 Score Jerry Rice

6 1987 Topps Jerry Rice

1996 Summit Turf Team Jerry Rice /4000

The Iron Man …

1984 Topps Cal Ripken Jr.

1986 Fleer All-Stars Cal Ripken Jr.

1992 Fleer Team Leaders Cal Ripken Jr.

1992 Ultra Award Winners Cal Ripken Jr.

The Big Hurt …

1992 Donruss Diamond Kings Inserts Frank Thomas

1997 Topps All Stars Frank Thomas

1998 Metal Universal Language Frank Thomas

1993 Upper Deck Clutch Performers Frank Thomas

1998 Metal Universe Diamond Heroes Frank Thomas

1997 Topps Interleague Finest Frank Thomas / Sammy Sosa

1991 Stadium Club Frank Thomas

The Kid …

1987 Moeller High School Unauthorized and 1988 Spirit Ken Griffey Jr.

3 1991 Fleer All-Stars Ken Griffey Jr

The Ryan Express …

6 1989 Upper Deck Nolan Ryan triple exposure

6 1989 Upper Deck High Series Nolan Ryan w/ Football

I know I am not the only one who remembers how hot these Nolan Ryan cards were.  Especially that high series card where he’s throwing a football.  You know you still love it.

And of course Jordan again …

Quick short story.

As I was digging through these boxes, the seller was sitting behind the table somewhat frantically shuffling through some stacks of cards.  I was doing the same, pulling out dozens of stuff as you can see.  Then I come across a little black box …

Just as I add it to my stack, the seller slumps his shoulders and is clearly dejected.  He mutters the following:

“Oh, you found it.”

He immediately stops shuffling and stands up.  From that moment on, he is watching me like a hawk as I am pulling out dozens more cards.

He didn’t say much else, and I was not about to offer to allow him to keep the cards.  That’s a bad precedent to start … and it’d be bad etiquette for him to ask me to give it back to him.  If we started down that road, there is no telling what else he might ask me to give back to him.

Here’s what was in the box … the 1991 Nike promotional set featuring Michael Jordan and Spike Lee.

Classic stuff.

Not bad eh?

Well …


While I would have been pleased to purchase everything shown above for a dime each, I would not have gone out of my way to pimp my finds on Twitter.  You know I had to uncover some rookie cards.

8 1988 Topps Traded Tino Martinez rookie cards

Another 1981 Topps Dan Hampton rookie card

1981 Topps Dwight Clark rookie card

1990 Action Packed Junior Seau Rookie Card

3 1984 Topps Roger Craig rookie cards

1980-1981 Topps Mike Ramsey rookie cards

1978-1979 Topps Doug Wilson rookie card

1974 Topps Bucky Dent rookie card

1974 Topps Gorman Thomas rookie card

1979 Topps Carney Lansford rookie card

1985 Topps Orel Hershiser rookie card

1981 Topps Kirk Gibson rookie card

5 1989 Upper Deck Randy Johnson rookie cards

1990 Bowman Frank Thomas rookie card

4 1990 Score Frank Thomas rookie cards

1989 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card

2 1991 Topps Chipper Jones rookie cards

These Topps Chipper Jones rookies are some of my favorite cards of his.

But I like the 1991 Upper Deck rookie better.

I found a few of those …

BUT …  There weren’t just two of them …

… or four of them …

… or six of them.

Try 32!

32 1991 Upper Deck Chipper Jones rookie cards

Don’t ask me who needs 32 of these.  There is no way I pass on these when they cost a dime each.

Who wants to see more rookies?

That Barry Sanders guy was pretty good …

6 1989 Pro Set Barry Sanders rookie cards

Say what you want about Barry Bonds, but he is the Home Run King. Think I found any of his rookies?

Maybe one …

Maybe two …

Maybe three …


How about 15!

15 1987 Topps Barry Bonds rookie cards

OK … now we’re hitting the home stretch.

I promise.

1977-1978 Topps Darryl Dawkins rookie card

4 1993 Bowman Andy Pettitte rookie cards

1971 Topps Dave Concepcion rookie card

Now the final three …

1993 Topps Derek Jeter rookie card

2 1977 Topps Bruce Sutter rookie cards

And lastly …

Is that a …

What the puck!?


It may not be pretty, but that IS a 1980-1981 Topps Ray Bourque rookie card.

Did I mention these were all a dime each?

Total cost of these Treasures: $20

Simply put this was the greatest card show haul I’ve ever had. And I thank you for taking the time to view this post, as well as the other two parts of this series.  If you care to revisit them, or view them for the first time, click the links below.

Part One // Part Two // Part Three

Thrift Treasures XLIII: A `Platinum’ in the rough

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

There are some things I know to be true.  One of them is that a certain San Francisco Bay Area thrift store ALWAYS has a trough full of cards priced at 10 cents each.  Whether or not they are worth that much is always up for debate, but they are there for the picking.

It’s the same store at which I bought the reprinted of the first Sports Illustrated magazine, a piece I posted yesterday.  I actually bought the cards in this post along with the rookie edition of SI, but figured the magazine was so awesome it had to be shared on its own.

If you follow me on twitter, you may have already seen what I saw at this shop.

Looks like a mess to a lot of people.

I think it looks like potential.

Normally I would have spent the next hour or two pouring over this entire box to purchase anything I found interesting.  But on this day I didn’t have the luxury of time.  I had to do a cursory search. Continue reading

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 …

So this is what happens when there are no logos … (Goodwin Champions)

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

On a whim I decided to purchase a blaster of 2011 UD Goodwin Champions. Yeah, I probably should have stayed away.  But I’ll admit that the image of Michael Jordan Peering at me on the side of the box and his signature scrawled in the area below his face made things intriguing.  Plus, I like that I got 12 packs in the box.

I digress.  I’d done ZERO research before  buying the box, so everything I saw in my packs was brand new to me.  Which may be why I was so stunned … and really amused … by the images I saw on my cards.

I mean I know Upper Deck really does’t have permission to print many logos on their cards, but some of these are really mindboggling.

Take a look at this Carlton Fisk.

The back of this card discusses how one of the lasting images of Fisk’s career is of him coaxing the ball fair in1975.  There’s also some chatter of him having his jersey number retired.  So how does UD honor this guy?  By depicting him as a lumberjack.  Wtf?

And Troy Aikman … Hall of Fame quarterback … blah blah blah.  All-American athlete … blah blah blah.  No mention of him leaving the world of football to be the head coach of some country’s national soccer team, which is how he is depicted here.

But perhaps my favorite … Mike Schmidt.

What says “one of the third basemen of all time” like depicting him as the director of some 1970s pornography film?   This image looks like it is straight out of Boogie Nights.

So, is this what happens when a company cannot produce cards of a player in their uniform?  Are companies just going to give us card images of players doing things that we are not used to seeing them doing?

I thumbed through the 48 cards I received in my box and noticed that there is really only ONE logo that appears on any of these cards…

Interesting, no?

An Iconic addition to the ‘Icons’ collection

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on June 8, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

The Jumpman logo is unmistakable.  The silhouette of a man flying through the air, legs spread apart, and a ball attached to his hand. The logo has been seen on shoes for two and a half decades, and nowadays  you can find the logo on just about anything associated with Michael Jordan.

Jordan’s likeness is one that has deep roots in our society.  Whether you’re a card collector or a shoe collector, or merely a sports fan, the logo means a lot. In many ways, it transcends sport and holds a special place in pop culture and even business.

Nike began using the logo in 1985 to help promote the Jordan brand of shoes.  And while promoting the line of shoes, they also used the pose on Jordan’s 1985 Nike promotion post card.

The set featured five cards of players/athletes from differed sports.  Lance Parish and Dwight Gooden were highlighted for baseball, John McEnroe for tennis, and James Lofton for football.  But they all pale in comparison to basketball’s representative — Michael Jordan.

The Jordan Nike card represents a cool and affordable rookie-year collectible for the sport’s greatest player, and perhaps one of the most successful people of the last half decade.

But like his 1986-1987 Fleer rookie, the Nike card is highly counterfeited, which I suspect is part of the reason why the card’s value is relatively low.  The Nike Jordan books at $50 while the Fleer rookie books at $800.  Raw copies of both are erratic in pricing because the real cards are outnumbered by the fakes.  But when the cards are authenticated they carry a nice premium regardless of condition.

I purchased my Nike Jordan as part of a five-card set for less than the price of two retail packs of any recent  product.  Card must be fake then, right?  Not necessarily.  The auction title was ridiculously horrible — no mention of Jordan in the title.  I was a bit skeptical, but with my buy-in price I was willing to take the gamble. And when the cards arrived in hand and I was able to examine them all, I think I’ve got the real thing.

Are Goodwin Champion minis underrated?

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

So the other day I completed a small trade for some minis from Topps Allen & Ginter, as well as UD Goodwin Champions. Among them were two black border parallels — a 2009 Allen & Ginter Albert Pujols and a 2009 Goodwin Joe Mauer. These two cards reminded me of a thought I had late last year — are Goodwin minis underrated?

Allen & Ginter gets a lot of love because people dig A&G with a passion. But what about Goodwin? Sure, it has been treated as an A&G knockoff, but truth is UD’s Goodwin line is a rendition of an old tobacco brand, just like Topps’ A&G.

The thing I like about the Goodwin cards is that there is a sense of realism about them. Aside from the cloudy background, UD used actual pictures on their cards, where as Topps’ ran the images through a filter on some photo editing software to get this artistic feel.

I suppose it’s a matter of taste; there really is no wrong answer as to which is better because they both are good-looking cards. I just think that Goodwin may not have gotten the credit it was due. Afterall, UD’s brand was cheaper and did have minis of Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Alex Ovechkin and Smarty Jones last year — all of which look pretty damn cool if you ask me.