Archive for Nolan Ryan

Thrift Treasures XLVIII: Count Your Lucky Stars

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on July 3, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

And I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack with another Thrift Treasures you ya’ll.  And as you can tell from what you see below, I did it via video.  Had a problem though … I shot this with my iPhone and had a problem uploading it as one whole video to YouTube.

Anyway, this might work out better as it’s a lengthy one.



To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click here.

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 XXXIII: Kiss the rings …

Posted in Newspaperman, Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

Some people spent their weekend digging through bargain bins at The National Sports Card Convention in Chicago; I spent an hour digging through quarter boxes at a local flea market.  All the same, right?

It’s been a while since I’ve written a thrift treasures post.  I actually have three of them in the works, but this one is the most timely seeing as how I obtained these cards today.

I visited a local flea market with my kids on Saturday, and there were two guys who had a few 5,000 count boxes with everything inside priced at a quarter.

Suffice it to say I had a good time digging through the boxes, unearthing cards I hadn’t seen or thought of in nearly two decades.  But you know how I roll.  I’m always looking for a deal.  I wasn’t just buying cards because they evoked emotion.  I bought cards because I knew they were under priced.

In the end I came away with 32 cards that cost me less than the price of three retail packs. Enjoy.

Football season is just about here.  And now more than ever I am excited about the sport. For much of the last five to seven years I had become a one-sport guy.  But I am slowly starting to turn my attention back to the NFL, a league I loved so dearly when I was younger.  And for some reason, cards of Joe Montana have been catching my eye lately.  The Niners have been in Purgatory for almost a decade, but these two remind be of better times in the Bay.

1992 ProLine Gold Quarterbacks Joe Montana

Check out those rings ...

I had a total brain fart when I bought these next two.  I thought Chad Jackson was actually good (still like the card though), and for some reason I thought this 1992 Upper Deck Brett Favre was a shirt print.  Upper Deck is NOT Stadium Club. Doh!

2006 Turkey Red White Chad Jackson rookie

1992 Upper Deck Brett Favre

Funny thing about football.  I’ve often found myself marveling at the greatness of — not the Raiders — but NFL Films.  After I went to this flea market, I came home and watched a special on Ed Sabol, the founder of NFL Films. I was holding my son at the time because he was teething (F-U-N).  And for some reason, the sound of John Facenda’s voice soothed him for a bit.  Anyway, here are two old-time footballers were featured in many of those films.

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Retrospection Collection Joe Namath

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Vince Lombardi

And we’ll finish out the football section with a cheap, yet solid rookie card.  What’s funny about this Emmitt Smith rookie is that this one was in the quarte rbox, and the seller had another one set off to the side in a top loader for $3.  Um, yeah.  I’ll take this one.

1990 Pro Set Emmitt Emith Rookie

Before we get into baseball, I bought a few basketball and other sport/non-sport cards to sow off.  Here are a few Michael Jordan cards that I felt compelled to have at this price point.  Should be worth noting that the Jordan “Generations’ card also features Julius Erving on the back, and the card “books” at $10.

1998-99 UD Black Diamond Michael Jordan

1999-00 UD Century Legends Michael Jordan

1999-00 UD Century Legends "Generations" Michael Jordan & Julius Erving.

I chose this Wilt Chamberlain solely because it was an insert card.  It’ll be headed to CheckOutMyCards.

1999-00 UD Century Team "All Century Team" Wilt Chamberlain

This one, too. Meh …

2008 Topps Gold John Stockton #'d /2008

Another brain fart … I got Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee mixed up.  Must have been the heat.  This was a waste of a quarter.

2009 Donruss Americana Jackie Chan

Wrestling cards usually are not my thing unless they evoke emotion.  I mean, none of these things are worth anything anyway, right?  Well, this one stuck out because it is a Chrome/Finest insert from 1996.  It “books” at $10.

1996 Topps WCW/nWo Nitro Chrome Hulk Hogan & Bret Hart

And now let’s get to some baseball.

A few rookie cards to whet the appetite.

1982 Topps Dave Henderson rookie

1096 Donruss "The Rookies" Dan Plesac rookie

1999 Ultimate Victory Jim Morris rookie

A four pack of fun-ness:

1993 Classic "Superheroes" Ken Griffey Jr.

1992 Score "90's Impact Players" Ken Griffey Jr.

1992 Ziploc Bob Gibson

1988 Starling Line Up Ozzie Smith

A pair of cards from 2001.

2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Willie Mays

2001 Topps Heritage Red Back Alex Rodriguez

Love this one:

2002 T206 Mini Tolstoi Red back Joe Tinker

Sticking with 2002 Topps 206, here’s one of those meh inserts.  But it is Pujols.

2002 Topps 206 "Team 206" Albert Pujols

When Albert was hot, his cards were scorching.  And when people’s cards are scorching, people will try to do anything to get an extra nickle out of their sale.  For example this 2002 Stadium Club card.  So many people bought and sold this card under the premise that it was his rookie.  Why?  Well, it doesn’t help that Topps used a “2001” in their small print copywrite.  Nonetheless, the card is 2002, yet still collectible.  I hadn’t owned one until now.  Pretty cool card.  Book is $12; and one sold last week for almost $15.

2002 Stadium Club Albert Pujols

From a current Cardinal slugger to a former … here is another “$10” insert.

2000 Upper Deck "People's Choice" Mark McGwire


Generally I hate reprints.  That said, I was not passing up these 2001 Topps Archives cards for $.25 each.

2001 Topps Archives Jackie Robinson (1952)

2001 Topps Archives Robert Clemente (1955 - Rookie)

And we’ll close with some real vintage:

1978 Topps Pete Rose


1978 Topps Nolan Ryan

Pound for pound this was a solid flea market trip.  Not a ton to get super excited about, but at the quarter price point I am buying stuff all day long.  Seriously, where else are you going to find vintage Ryan and Rose cards for less than two pieces of Bazooka gum?

Total cost for these treasures: $8


Pacific Nolan Ryan sets weren’t a complete waste

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on July 23, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

If you’re a Nolan Ryan collector, your collection probably includes one SEALED Pacific set dedicated to Ryan. And when you go out buying lots of his cards, the first question you ask: How many of those are from that Pacific set?

Yes, it’s true. The Ryan Pacific set is largely a complete waste of cardboard. But there is one card in the set that will catch any collector’s attention. Card No. 92 — the one showing him with the blood running down his face.

Ryan suffered the seemingly horrific injury in 1990 after taking a batted ball to the face. At the time, no one thought more of the bloody sight other than “Ryan’s a gamer.” But if such a thing were to happen today, that player would have been yanked off the field, or a calvary of trainers and coaches would have been on the mound trying to get the bleeding to stop.

There is no shortage of iconic Ryan cards, but who would have thought that Pacific would have produced on of them in that crappy little set?

Thrift Treasures Part XXIII: I (HEART) the ’70s!

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

I didn’t live a single minute of the 1970s, but for whatever reason I find the entire decade intriguing. From the music, cars and television, to the quaffed hair and abundance of denim and polyester, the era before my birth has captured my imagination. What was it really like to live during this time, when some folks considered “classic rock” music to be noise pollution, when baseball uniforms were uglier than sin, and when Star Wars was merely a new movie? I’m never really going to know, but thanks to some cardboard I found at a thrift store on Tuesday, I can get a sense of the time. These 40 cards cost me $2, their real value is in the eye of the beholder.

We’ll start with some non-sport items because they are probably my favorite of the bunch.

These 1976 Topps Autos of ’77 cards are simply awesome. One of the first cards I pulled from the box was that of the Pacer; you would not believe the smile I had on my face. At this point, the Pacer is a complete joke, but it is still somewhat of a pop culture icon. For me to find a card of the Pacer is simply amazing. Aside from the photo, my favorite aspect of this card is that it touts the “360-degrees visability.” (Yes, it is mispelled) AWESOME. For the record, I never knew these cards existed. I’m tempted to go find others.


While non-sport cards are really not my thing, I must say that when the cards come from the 70s, they never cease to amaze me. Here we’ve got two of one of my all-time favorite actors, John Travolta. He starred in a TV show called “Welcome Back Kotter,” which was about a high school alumnus who returned to be a teacher. Travolta starred as bad-ass Italian teenager Vinny Barbarino, who is portrayed on these cards. Love the quote bubbles.


By the time I started watching sitcoms, “Happy Days” was already in re-runs. Having said that, I still found Fonz, Richie and Potsie to be rather amusing. Imagine the joy that came over me when I found these three, particularly the card with the caption “Easy girls, one at a time!”


I’m going to admit something I’ve never owned up to on this blog:  I hadn’t watched the original “Star Wars” movies until 2002, a full year after a friend of mine purchased the trilogy as a present for my 21st birthday. That fact may have played into why these cards intrigued me so. I’ve NEVER seen C-3PO’s name spelled “See-Threepio.” I still feel like this is an error, but obviously it is not. And the Carrie Fisher card … was she hot for her time? Can’t get a good feel on this.


This card was so odd that I had to buy it, this is from the 1970 Fleer “Ripley’s Believe It of Not!” set. The card is so busy I have no words.


And now the sports portion of our program … There were “old” cards from three sports in this box, baseball, basketball and football. I chose cards from all three sports.


Not a real noteworthy rookie card, but a rookie card nonetheless. Johnson played 10 seasons in the NBA and currently is the sports director at Community College of Philadelphia. (H/T: Wikipedia) Maybe I’ll send this to him for fun.


Six vintage Pro Football Hall of Fame members. The Griese and Youngblood cards are the worst condition of the bunch, but they were must-buys given the stash I found. The cards I really love here are the Franco Harris (love that hair) and the Ken Houston. Check out the shades!


Starting with a trio of rookies, most notable names here are Ken Macha and Rick Rhoden. Unfortunately the Larry Anderson is the only guy on the 1977 card that is not an official rookie card.

A couple of MLB Dads. Cookie is the Dad of MLB Network’s Victor Rojas, and Steve is the father of Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher.

Hey, look, it’s Bucky Dent before he became Bucky F’n Dent.

Believe it or not, I own a Greg Luzinski player model glove and this, I believe, is my first Luzinski card. Good times.

I never knew Ron Santo played for the White Sox! Apparently he played one season for the Pale Hose and then hung up the spikes. Atta boy, Ronnie! This may be Santo’s last card (as an active player). Won’t know for sure because Beckett’s Web site is acting up again. (Update: This is his second-to-last card, he has one in 1975 Topps)

Solid set of Red Sox from 1978 Topps. Problem: They are is terrible condition. Oh well.

One of the best defensive first basement of all time … and seen here on his fourth-year card without that legendary mustache. Kinda off, no?

There is only one reason why I would buy this card. Can you guess why? Hint: Second row from the bottom, first player on the left.

Not a huge fan of these 1975 Topps MVP cards, but I needed the Yaz for my Red Sox collection, and Johnny Bench/Boog Powell was a bonus.

A couple of Hall of … Oh, nevermind. These two baseball legends are remembered on these 1978 Topps cards for feats they accomplished the year before. The Jackson performance is legendary.

Third-year cards of two Hall of Famers who came into the sport and left at the same time. Awesome.

And lastly a pair of 1977 Fleer stickers featuring the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers. Don’t know about you, but I kind of miss the idea of stickers in my packs of cards.