Archive for Million Dollar Man

Wrestling cards are bringing the joy back to collecting

Posted in Newspaperman, wrestling with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

So here’s the deal, I’ve been a card collector since I was 7 years old. Baseball has always been my focus, but I’ve ventured into other sports over the years, including professional wrestling.

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I dug the 1980s Topps WWF sets; loved the 1990s Classic WWF sets; chased the ice cream man each summer to get some of the WWF ice cream bars that included a card in the packaging; always wished I had enough to buy some of the 1994 Action Packed WWF cards; and in the late 1990s and early 200s, I really enjoyed all the different WWF products produced by Fleer, which started to incorporate autographs and memorabilia cards.

I followed wrestling as a kid, and then stopped for a few years when I learned it wasn’t real. I then got back into it around WrestleMania IX (9) and watched pretty strong for about 10 years until I got consumed by college and life. I was away from pro wrestling for another 10 years as I got married and started a family.

But when WrestleMania XXXI (31) came to my hometown, I had to be there  — even though I was out of the game for a while, I saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  And with my decision to buy tickets, my passion for wrestling was rekindled and it’s going strong again today, almost 18 months later.

Since my return to watching wrestling, I’ve started to buy some of the cards as it seemed like a natural extension of my hobby.  I bought some 2014 Topps and some 2015 Topps and Topps Chrome. And then later in 2015, Topps and WWE partnered to bring the hobby a high-end product in Undisputed, which made autographs and memorabilia cards fairly accessible to wrestling card collectors. Needless to say I was hooked.

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I bought into a “draft your box” break of 2015 Undisputed at Blowout Cards and wound up with a box that contained a Bret “Hitman” Hart autograph redemption. When the cards arrived I was floored by the quality.  Sure, I have owned many high-end baseball cards, but seeing the wrestling stars on this type of product was amazing.

I then bought more singles to add to my collection.  I’ve pretty much repeated the same pattern again here in 2016 and with the recent release of the latest Undisputed, it’s really put wrestling cards back in focus for me.

But here’s the premise under which I operate and why I chose to share this with you:

I know that wrestling cards will never have the prestige that baseball cards have. The factors that make a card rise or fall in baseball, or any sport for that matter, aren’t exactly there for wrestling. When a ball player breaks into the Bigs and takes the sport by storm, his cards experience a massive swell. In wrestling, the value of the card is really tied to the character’s following. In my opinion, this is a more realistic expectation for a collectible, and for the modt part eliminates the “risk” or gamble in collecting.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love baseball and baseball cards.  And I still love some of the stuff — not all — that has come out in the last decade. But sports cards as a whole have become such a damn gambling man’s business that at times it disgusts me. The joy is there, but it’s short lived at times because while we tell ourselves that we are collectors, the monetary “value” of  card is always there in the back of our minds because everything is so damn expensive. We have to justify our expenses sometimes to ourselves.

And yes, you can choose to collect low end, but we all know that the value of cards is usually somewhere in the equation because collecting baseball cards has become a game of “how much are they worth.” We can thank the collecting boon of the 1980s for this.

For me, wrestling cards have rekindled the joy in collecting. When I open a pack of basic wrestling product I’m not necessarily worried about “getting my money back” in a pack or box.  I enjoy looking at the cards, reading the backs and collecting the guys I like. And, the hits are fun and relatively cheap by comparison to other sports. And even in the high-end products, the packs are about $20 (boxes about $200 for 10 packs) and the hits in the packs are fairly evenly priced on the secondary market. This makes the risk relatively small and the ability to collect what you want so much more attainable. And really, isn’t this what collectors all want anyway, like this rainbow of 2015 Topps Undisputed Ted DiBiase cards or these autographs.

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This is my story and this is the way I collect. Some of you will get it; others will not. I’m interested to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below, or reach me on Twitter or via e-mail:

My first rainbow is complete — 2015 Topps WWE Undisputed Ted DiBiase

Posted in Misc., Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 6, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

When Topps released WWE Undisputed last year I was absolutely floored by the quality.  And I was thrilled that the set featured cards of one of my all-time favorites, Ted DiBiase, “The Million Dollar Man.”

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I’ve got quite a few of the autos — that post will come later — but I have just concluded the rainbow of DiBiase’s base card, which is a feat that I never thought I’d complete.  A big thanks to Rich Layton, owner of Layton Sports Cards for hooking me up with the base gold 1/1 parallel. The Magenta printing plate arrived today via eBay.  The base card and the unnumbered red parallel are in my collection as well, but the serial numbered ones look more impressive.

The World Is Yours: The Life and Times of Lil B Weezy (Topps Big League Mini)

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on June 29, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

IMG_8631To say Lil B Weezy is a weird one would be an understatement. He didn’t act like the others and he certainly didn’t look like them either.

Whereas most of his Topps Big Leaguer buddies had clean-shaven faces and you could see their eyes, B Weezy liked to hide behind his beard and glasses. At times he seemed like the life of the party, but at other times, he was seriously conflicted. He has his issues, to say the least.

He had an addiction to garlic fries.


He had an unhealthy obsession with thrift shopping.


And of course he was deeply involved in baseball cards.


Hobbies aren’t supposed to make you depressed, but one day, he went to Walmart to pick up some personal hygiene products and some baseball cards. He opted for a blaster of the latest release “Topps Archives.” As fate would have it, one card within the blaster sent Lil B Weezy into a tailspin that made him virtually disappear from the face of the Earth for about a week.

IMG_7745As Lil B Weezy ripped pack after pack, he came across a single card that reminded him of who he used to be. Before the injuries had sucked some of the limelight away, he was The Man. For the last two years he had been working to regain his status, but for the most part he had kept a low profile, staying in contact with only his closest friends.

IMG_7950During his hay-day, he had caught the eye of a beautiful female. The two were nearly inseparable at times, and as recently as a two weeks ago, the two had discussed having a family.

IMG_7956And of course he had friends in high-places, most notably a man whom he referred to only as MDM.

Lil B Weezy and MDM had forged a bond in which Lil B Weezy had learned of the finer things in life, such as catching and releasing raccoons. Why? Simply because they could.hunting

But when Lil B Weezy laid sight on the 2013 Topps Archives card of his nemesis, his blood began to boil, his vision became blurry and B Weezy felt he needed to get away from it all.


For three days B Weezy was out of touch with his friends. He went for walks around lakes.


He stared longingly into reflections of himself.


“Who am I? Why do I exist? How long will this beard remain black without treatment?,” he muttered to himself.


Meanwhile, MDM had been trying to contact Lil B Weezy to no avail. And by the third day, MDM had become quite worried. That’s when he started making calls to some of his friends to see if he could get a search party together to look for Lil B Weezy.

The first to respond was Lil Roy. He was so distraught at the news that Lil B Weezy had disappeared that he reached out to his Canadian friend Lil JV. While those two talked about where Lil B Weezy had gone, MDM reached out to one of his closest friends, Lil Jeet.


Lil Roy, Lil JV and Lil Jeet set off into the woods to look for Lil B Weezy. They searched high and low, behind trees and bushes and even under rocks. They had no luck.

Meanwhile, MDM remained at home, waiting in case Lil B Weezy returned home or tried to call him.

Suddenly, the video phone rang.


“Hey, MDM, I know I haven’t called you in a few days, I just wanted to let you know that I’m OK and that I’ll be home tomorrow,” Lil B Weezy said.

Before MDM could respond, the video cut out. There was no answer when he tried to call the number back.

MDM was worried. He had seen something suspicious in the video that made him think that something terrible was happening to Lil B Weezy. MDM re-assembled his search party.


MDM was able to track the IP address used when Lil B Weezy had contacted him. And he tracked it to a town in California. He sent the three searchers to that area. They decided to split up.

Lil Roy looked north, Lil JV searched to the east and west, and Lil Jeet had the south.

By this time, Lil B Weezy had spent nearly a week soul-searching. He knew that when he contacted his friend and that the line had disconnected abruptly. But in his mind he needed some more time away. He decided not to call back.

IMG_8590He took in a baseball game, but even then he was reminded of the person who had taken his job, and made the fans forget who he was.


Slipping deeper into depression, Lil B Weezy went to an exotic ranch and rode the mechanical dinosaurs, hoping that the extremely dangerous activity would help get his mind off the man known only as Romo.IMG_7958

But in the midst of his solo trip on the mechanical dinosaur through the canyon, he fell off and landed at the bottom of a deep dried up well. He survived the fall, but he was without food and water for at least two days.

That is until he heard the sound of cleats in the dirt above. It was Lil Jeet.IMG_8489

The rescue itself was fairly uneventful. Lil Jeet had unwound the baseball he had with him and used that to pull Lil B Weezy to safety. The two then flew home in Lil Jeet’s personal helicopter.


When the two returned home, MDM was there to greet them.

“Where have you been?’’ MDM asked. ‘I’ve been worried sick about you. I thought something happened to you.”

IMG_8629“Yeah, something did,” Lil B Weezy replied. “I pulled one of those Romo Topps cards and it reminded me of the good ole days. And then I saw a poster of him at a baseball game the other day and it made me think about life even more.”

Lil B Weezy went on to explain the trip and how when he ended up at the bottom of the well, he had a vision — he still had a long life ahead of him; the world was his for the taking. He also told MDM that he was sorry that his lone video call to him was cut short.

“Yeah, what was that,” MDM asked.

“What was what?” Lil B Weezy replied.

“That … that thing,” he said, asking about the person he had seen in the background. “I thought something horrible had happened to you.”

“That was nothing,” Lil B Weezy said. “That was ‘The Machine.’ … he used to live next door. .. Trust me, you don’t want to know.”

“Everyone has a price” By Cardboard Icons

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on March 24, 2012 by Cardboard Icons