Archive for rookie card

In Memoriam: Darren Daulton: Jan. 3, 1962 – Aug. 6, 2017. 

Posted in In Memoriam, Misc. with tags , , , , , , on August 7, 2017 by Cardboard Icons

Darren Daulton, 1985 Fleer Update XRC 

In Memoriam: Jose Fernandez (July 31, 1992 – Sept. 25, 2016)

Posted in In Memoriam with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

When I stop to post something on a baseball player who has passed away, I typically will show their rookie card — or something close to it — and leave it at that. Today, I will do something more.

img_0245By now you’ve heard the news, Marlins ace pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed early Saturday in a boating crash. He was 24.

I repeat, TWENTY FOUR.

People come and go in our real lives, usually not at or before the age of 24. And if by chance they do pass at a young age we all stop and call it unfortunate. This case, albeit involving an athlete, a budding superstar, a guy paid millions to play whats been called  kid’s game, is no different.

The death of Mr. Fernandez has struck me like no other athlete’s has struck me in recent memory. Muhammad Ali passing a few months ago was big, but didn’t punch me in the gut this way because Ali lived a full life. Besides, by the time I came to know Ali he was already in retirement; I was only living with the legacy that he’d already built.

When Dave Henderson died in December of 2015 that hit me a bit because growing up I watched him play in Oakland AND two of his twin nieces were in my fourth and fifth grade classes. They  brought a signed bat of his to class for show and tell once. Even then I merely posted  picture of his 1982 Topps rookie card and moved on.

When Cardinals top prospect and super rookie Oscar Tavares died during the post season of 2014, the card world mourned because he was supposed to be THE guy. Collectors bought into him heavily hoping to reap financial benefit, but they all wound up dumping his cards post mortem for mere pennies on the dollar. Personally I was saddened as usual, but wasn’t really affected — I hadn’t had a chance to see him do much of anything on the diamond. Also, the suspicion that he was driving while reportedly being intoxicated kind of changes the tone a bit.

And then there is the sad case of Angels super prospect Nick Adenhart, who died after his car was struck by a suspected drunken driver on the morning of August 9, 2009, just HOURS after Adenhart in his one and only MLB start of the year. I repeat: His car was hit by a suspected drunken driver; Adenhart was not the party who was intoxicated. A bright future was there for Adenhart, but again, he had a lot to prove at the Major League level.

Now lets come back to the present as it pertains to Mr. Fernandez, the bright, smiling face of a Marlins organization that comes and goes as it pleases in baseball with almost no real foot print. True, outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the longest-tenured Marlin with the club and sure-fire Hall of Famer Ichiro recently joined the land of baseball immortality with his 3,000 hits, but neither of them in my mind was as big of a star for the Miami club as Mr. Fernandez.

He was all of 24, but everything he showed us in his four seasons in Major League Baseball lead us to believe he certainly was flirting with greatness.

During his age 20 season, he went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts en route to capturing the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year honors.

Elbow injuries shortened his 2014 and 2015 seasons, but even when he was playing he still maintained his dominance to the tune of a 10-3 record over 19 starts during which he struck out 149 batters in 116 1/3 innings.

And this year he was dominating his opponents to the tune of 12.5 strikeouts per 9 innings. At the time of his death he’d struck out 253 batters in only 182 1/3 innings of work. He had 16-8 record and a 2.86 ERA over the course of 29 starts. In his final outing on Sept. 20, he went 8 innings against the eventual National League East champion Washington Nationals, allowing only three hits while striking out 12 batters — just another typical Fernandez outing.

I took a liking to Fernandez during his rookie year. His stuff was electric and his style — even his hair — reminded me a bit of Ricky Vaughn from Major League the movie. There was just something about the guy that made you watch the game. I made it a point to own the above pictured 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Refractor autograph and when it came to keeper fantasy baseball leagues, he was mine — forever, just as Clayton Kershaw shall be.

img_0239Oddly enough the news of Mr. Fernandez’s death came to me through a push notification from Yahoo Sports.  There I was using the restroom when a bell rang on my phone. I’m in the semi-finals of my league’s playoffs, a day away from entering the championship round, so I was intrigued by this seemingly odd notification that Fernandez’s status was changed from “healthy” to “day-to-day.” I clicked on the link and boom: the news hits me like a ton of bricks. And not because he was a part of my team, but because he was a hell of a talent and because he was just a kid.

He was 24. What were you doing at age 24? For me. I had graduated from college a year earlier and was only a few months into my career as a professional journalist. The Marlins, oddly enough, had defeated the Yankees in the 2003 World Series and in 2004, my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, had completed an unbelievable comeback against the New York Yankees during the American League Championship Series and then went on to win club’s first World Series in 86 years.

By the time I had turned 24 I hadn’t been married yet and was still five years away from having the first of my two children. At age 24 I was just becoming an adult. Sure, Mr. Fernandez had talent, fame and fortune that most of us could only dream of, but I’d imagine that when all of those material things are stripped away, he wasn’t that much different that most of us at that age. He was enjoying the life of a young adult, but still had many real life milestones ahead of him.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Fernandez. May there be nothing but called third strikes for your pitching career in the afterlife.

 

 

 

 

In Memoriam: Joe Garagiola (2/12/26-3/23/16)

Posted in In Memoriam, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 23, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

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1951 Bowman Joe Garagiola, rookie card. 

Rookie Card Upgrade: 1965 Topps Joe Morgan

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 26, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

The latest in a series of recent upgrades.

The raw copy that I used as a place holder:
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New BVG slabbed copy:
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1965 Topps is a classic set, but fonding nicely centered copies of key cards from the set is a problem, which was partially why I jumped on this slabbed Morgan when I did.

With all the recent added slabs to my collection it might be time for me to invest in a second display case.

Rookie Card Upgrade: 1959 Topps Sparky Anderson

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade with tags , , , , , on December 20, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

The old 1959 Topps Sparky Anderson rookie card has been in my collection for almost a decade. The card is centered nicely but features creases consistent with being stepped in by a bare foot.

  
The new Anderson in my collection, obtained recently during a great sale at COMC.com, is centered nicely, doesn’t have the scuff marks in the black area of the design and isn’t creased. It is a candidate for grading in the future. 

  

Rookie Card Upgrade: 1966 Topps Jim Palmer

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade with tags , , , , , , on January 14, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

Jim Palmer is kind of one of those Hall of Fame players who easily gets overlooked. Palmer also gets passed over quite a bit in the hobby. I once purchased this raggedy 1966 Topps Jim Palmer rookie for under $10, a place holder in my collection:

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It served its purpose. But I always knew that it had to be upgraded at some point, preferably a centered copy graded by a BVG.

During a recently eBay spree I managed to find a gorgeous BVG 5 that looked dead center, and was not creased. It came with another card, but for about $40, the pair seemed like a deal, especially since the Palmer was exactly what I was looking for and I figured I could sell the other card for about half of what I paid for the lot.

Welcome home, Jim.

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Thrift Treasures 78: What’s in the Box? What’s in the Box?!

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , on January 10, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

For as long as I can remember, card storage has always been a fluid topic among collectors.  Some prefer the white cardboard boxes sold at stores.  Others prefer actual shoe boxes, just as kids used back in the day. And yet other find interesting ways to store their collectibles.

IMG_8124In the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the card market was booming and collecting (or speculating?) was at an all-time high, there were all sorts of collecting gimmicks being used, including different storage methods. Plastic boxes made to look like lockers, big plastic boxes similar to those used for Hot Wheels, containers shaped like a baseball, etc. You name it and it probably existed.

One thing I’d seen on occasion were wooden boxes used for storage. I liked the idea, but the items were always expensive. Well, the other day I was doing some routine checks of thrift stores when I located behind the “collectible” counter a small stash of baseball cards as evidence by the signature white storage boxes with scribbling on them. Among the boxes, however, was one of those wooden boxes. A custom wine box, even, with the words “Baseball Cards” burned into the cover.

The price tag (I’ll reveal that later) was a bit more than I like to pay but this was probably my one and only chance to own something like this. I opened the top and sure enough there were cards inside. It was clear they were from the “Speculation Era” (aka Junk Wax Era) but the cards were really a bonus, if you want to call it that. If there is one motto I’ve learned when it comes to thrifting and antiquing, it’s this: “If you see something you want and you know it’s not readily available elsewhere, buy it. You may never see it again.”

And so I did.

And earlier this week I posed the question to my Twitter followers: What would you pay for this box, contents unseen?

The responses were great. They ranged from $5 to $25, with many agreeing that it’s a neat box.

So, what did the box cost me? $17.99. Yes, a bit more than I would have liked to pay. But as I said earlier, it was something I wanted and did not know where else I could find one. I had to own it.

OK, so now that the price on this has been revealed, there is still one question that remains to be answered: What’s in the box.

IMG_8128Most would look at this and immediately close it up and move on. But as I said: the contents were really a bonus. By the way, I forgot to mention that all of the other boxes at this thrift store were the same price despite the fact that they were just cardboard boxes you could buy at any card shop.

There was nothing major in the box, but there was lots of fun inside.

Here we have a few rookie cards, some of which I needed for my rookie card collection.  Yes, I collect rookie cards of everyone. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E.

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There were 16 1993 Topps Gold parallels:

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Some cards of Hall of Famers

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A good size stack of Topps/O-Pee-Chee minis and stickers from the 1980s and 1990s.

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Speaking of stickers. Gotta love stickers from the early 1990s, especially those for display boxes …

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And then these funky 1983 Huddles NFL cards, featuring caricatures of each team. These cards are really beat up, but they are fun.  They remind of of the players from Tecmo Super Bowl

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As you can see, the contents of the box leave much to be desired in terms of monetary value. But the contents were a fun addition. The real prize is the box itself:

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Total cost of these treasures: $17.99

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE