Archive for old school

Mint and slabbed: 1985 Clemens Topps rookie finds new home

Posted in New Addition with tags , , , , , on January 14, 2018 by Cardboard Icons

True story: When I was 11 years old I entered the sixth grade with a binder decorated in Roger Clemens pictures. I was that hardcore of a fan. And my collection at the time consisted of damn near every copy of every Roger Clemens card I could find.

Hell, during one trip to card show in the mall I purchased some 60 copies of a 1989 Classic Travel Orange Clemens card one dealer had for sale.

I digress, one of my prized possessions was a single 1985 Topps Clemens rookie card I purchased from a local card shop in 1990. I forget how much the card cost me, but surely it was in the $15 range — which was about the same price as a box of packs from the current year at the time. So there was a debate: a single card versus a whole box of cards.

That card was THE Clemens card for me. The 1984 Fleer Update XRC was a figment of my imagination really. I figured there was no way on earth that I’d ever own the card as it was valued at the time in the $350 range.

So the Clemens Topps rookie was something I never wanted to let out of my sight. So what did I do? I placed it into a Card Saver I and taped the Card Saver to the inside of my binder.

And so there it sat every day. When I got sick of listening to the teacher I opened my binder and looked at the Clemens, an escape from school work and a journey to baseball card land, where all things were positive and fun.

Fast forward to 2018. I have the Clemens Fleer Update rookie — two in fact; although it should be noted they’re worth about a third of what they went for in 1990. But I hadn’t owned a GRADED version of that beloved 1985 Topps Clemens.

The original one I owned is still in my collection. Remarkably it isn’t thrashed, but it was never mint, always near-mint at best.

And so one day recently while perusing the Clemens stuff on eBay I came upon a BGS Topps Clemens rookie, a solid Mint 9. It’s not rare, but I had to make this one mine. And so I did — for a whopping $15, the same price I paid for my original Clemens rookie.

Ben Aguirre, Jr.

Former Beckett Baseball columnist and writer.

Collector of Hall of Fame tobacco era and Rookie cards.

Collector of Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw.

You can reach me on Twitter and Instagram @cardboardicons. You can also e-mail me at

VIDEO Box Break: 1996 SPX Baseball

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

About a week ago I wrote about my love for the original SPX cards. Not the junk that UD passes off these days as SPX or simply X, but the original stuff: the die-cut cards with the holoview technology, the one-card per pack, hit-or-miss product that collectors loved back in the mid 90s. Well, no less than two days after writing about it, I bought a box of 1996 baseball on ebay for about $36. I decided to do my first ever video break. I’ll scan the cards and post them later this week when I’ve got more time.

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A little background about the video. I’m using a Web site called Qik. Some of you may be familiar with it, but some media-type folks like myself are using this site for multimedia stuff because you can stream video … live. No editing and uploading to YouTube. I mean L-I-V-E, as if you can watch me rip packs or break a box as I do it. Baring a few seconds lag time, the site is pretty good for a low-budget multimedia video. In the future I’ll try to give advance notice here, but if you’re on Twitter, it’s even easier to get the word out that way. That is what I did on Wednesday when this box arrived. You can follow me at Also, my future videos will be posted at HERE.

Check out Qik if you’re interested. Basically you can use your smart phone (I’m using a Samsung BlackJack II) to all this stuff, no need for high-quality video cameras unless your shooting other types of movies. Oh, and the site is free. Enjoy.

36 Times Dope: Yo! MTV Raps Box Break (Part VIII)

Posted in Yo! MTV RAPS Box Break with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2009 by Cardboard Icons


36timesdopedoneOK, I’m about a day and a half behind schedule here. My goal was to post one pack every day, but life happens, ya know. You go to a car dealership at 2 in the afternoon, and next thing you know it’s 9 p.m. and you’re leaving with a new car. Anyway, here are the contents of Pack Eight. Hammer lives. Continue reading

Card of the Day: 1989 Topps Pete Rose

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

I own thousands of baseball cards. Some worthless, some worth hundreds of dollars, some I’d even consider irreplaceable. But of all the cards I have, one card in particular kept me up Friday night. And believe it or not, it was a 1989 Topps Pete Rose.

Don’t bother going to Google to see what the latest is on Rose. He’s still alive, bannished from baseball, and shunned from the Hall of Fame; all the while remaining one of the greatest the profession has ever seen. If it were up to me, Pete would be in the Hall tomorrow. Continue reading