Archive for San Francisco Giants

Bryce Harper on the mind … now I want THIS ball even more

Posted in Game-Used Items with tags , , , , , on February 6, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I have two collecting passions, it’s baseball cards and game-used baseballs. When it comes to the balls, there is a certain niche I began collecting a few years ago and that’s balls used in Hit By Pitch at-bats.

I’ll showcase all those balls in another way later. Rather this topic comes to mind today as we got word of the San Francisco Giants meeting with Bryce Harper this week. Now, ai’m a Red Sox fan but would love to see Harper in San Francisco. After all, the Giants are one of two teams in my area.

I was lucky enough to see Harper play once, and that was on Memorial Day 2017 when I surprised my kids with an impromptu train ride and the game. As it turned out, that was the game when former Giants reliever Hunter Strickland beaned Harper on the hip, and a short fight ensued.

As it happened, my kids and I were walking around the stadium just as Harper was coming up for that at-bat. And when I saw him approach the plate, I pulled out my camera and told my kids I wanted to take a few pictures.

That’s when this happened.

I have several other frames in between and after these images, but these photos tell the story.

It was an amazing sight, something I had to explain to my kids, who were ages 8 and 6 at the time.

I digress, today’s news about Harper’s meeting of course gets talked about locally and this play gets brought up a lot. Also getting discussed is the fact that Strickland — the pitcher — is no longer part of the team so that wouldn’t be an issue.

I feel lucky to have witnessed the play and have document it with my camera, but what I REALLY want is that damn baseball … and you can see it just lying there on the ground in the third photo.

I did acquire a ball from that game — a Matt Weiters single. But I want the ball that struck Harper; it’d go great with the other HBP balls I already own, including ones that struck Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, and the ball that struck Alex Bregman in his very first HBP.

I’ve asked Giants if they have it, and they apparently they do not. I’m hoping it was authenticated by MLB and the Giants that day.

Do you know where the ball is? Have a lead on it? Let me know.

Generous Friend strikes again – 1989 World Series Press Pin

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , on February 3, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I have this one friend who is a hardcore game-used uniform collector. From time to time he brings me pieces to photo match for him, or to simply let me get hands-on with. Recently he brought me a lot he purchased that included a Buster Posey used equipment bag. In the lot were a pair of used batting gloves, a signed 2012 World Series ball (not used), a used Posey beanie cap, and two lapel pins, one of which I identified as a Press Pin from the infamous 1989 Bay Bridge World Series. The pins were gifted to members of the press in the press box. They are highly collectible, although the older ones certainly carry much more value.

I pointed this fact out to my friend and he said, “Cool. Now you have a Giants World Series Press Pin. It means more to you since you used to be Press.”

I asked three times if he was serious and he answered in the affirmative each time. He also gifted me the other pin, which I believe is also a press pin from the 1984 MLB All-Star Game played at Candlestick Park, then-home of the San Francisco Giants.

Both pins are made by Balfour, which has made both pins and championship rings for MLB and other sports entities. Thanks, Al, the gifts are always appreciated and totally not necessary.

Thrift Treasures 115: Something For Everyone

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Persistence.

That’s the one word I’ll use to describe what it takes sometimes to find so-called treasures in second-hand stores. From personal experience, I will tell you that the number of people buying and re-selling items these days has made it much more difficult to find items that appeal to me.

The days of finding boxes of trading cards in Goodwill Stores, or other thrift stores, are gone. Now they are much more difficult to locate. Heck, there is still a segment of the population that believes all cards are word a ton of money. But, every now and again there will be some goodies left behind, even if the thrift stores themselves are sometimes marking up the prices.

I have several thrift stores in my general region, and the closest one to my house is a Goodwill Store about a mile and a half down the road. In the mid 2000s I would go there daily and fish out old Nintendo-brand video games from the various consoles and flip them for card money. Hell, there is a good portion of my collection that was build on cash profits from those sales.

I digress, this specific Goodwill in the last five years has been really poor when it comes to video games and sports collectibles. They just simply do not show up on the shelves or in the show cases. I suspect they either 1) aren’t getting them as much as they used to. But also Goodwill does run auctions on their Web site, so I wonder if they are posting items there — I never look at auctions there, just not my deal.

But even though the pickings have been slim at this store in recent years, I still find myself going there on the off chance there might be something for me. As it turned out, Wednesday was that day.

I’ll preface the remainder of this post by saying that I definitely paid more for this random lot of items that I would have in the past, but there was enough randomness, and enough intrigue to make me whip out my wallet and throw down a $20. Hell, I haven’t bought a single pack of cards in over a month and this was my shot at finding something, either for my collection, or for others folks.

I asked the clerk to see the mound of three Ziplock freezer bags of cards they had piled in the corner of the standing showcase and could tell from one price tag the items had been there at least three days. The bags were taped shut so I could not open them, I merely had to do a visual inspection. I could see there were some sealed bags within, as well as a 100-count snap case full of what looked initially to potentially be Sports Illustrated For Kids cards, as well as enough oddball stuff to make me say “I’ll take them.”

Here’s what was within.

We’ll start with these Chipper Jones cards, which we all should know by now are not rookie cards, or even ones that garner much attention. But what really caught my eye on these are the two early-90s stackable snap cases. These were legit … at least I thought so. I loved them as a kid, and if memory serves me right they were like $1 each at the time, so they weren’t “cheap.” I’ll remove the Chippers and keep the cases as they remind me of the times when I viewed these the same way many view One-Touch magnetics these days.

From Chipper, we’ll go into the Refractors. It’s not often you find Refractors in thrift stores — unless you’ve had some spoiled collector or breaker just completely give up. Here there were four, three of which were serial numbered. The Mallex Smith Jefry Rodriguez are /499, that Luke Hochevar is /150. The Frank Thomas is from 1999 Finest and is the Refractor Left version. Not numbered, but still a fun find here.

The next grouping of cards made me smile. I mean, the 1990 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr feature’s The Kid’s infectious smile, as does the 1992 Upper Deck Frank Thomas. And that 1989 Upper Deck Triple Exposure Nolan Ryan was a hot card in 1989 — at least until the update set came out and his “With Football” Rangers card was released.

There is no shortage of early Derek Jeter cards, but it’s still shocking and fun when I come across these. This 1994 Classic “Cream of the Crop” isn’t worth a ton, but I was always fascinated by the inserts and bonus cards that Classic released so it’s a fun one to own. The 2003 Topps Joe Mauer-Justin Morneau is a classic and must-own for Twins fans. It’s super inexpensive, but features two MVP and fan favorites on the same card. An that 2014 Topps Chrome Xander Bogaerts is a rookie card — although I am miffed by the fact that the previous owner didn’t put it in a penny sleeve first. Cmon, man…

Let’s move to the sports oddball segment of this post. We open with two 1988 Fleer box set releases, a poorly diamond cut 1988 Topps Jose, and then two 1989 Topps releases, the Cap’n Crunch food issue, and the KMart Dream Team. I didn’t need these for my Clemens stash, but finding Clemens cards and essentially saving them from the dump always makes me smile.

Speaking of KMart … how about two of these 1982 Topps MVP sets. These sets were released through the retail giant in 1982 and commemorated 20 years of AL and NL MVPs but showing a reprint of their Topps card from the year of the award. The cards ARE NOT RARE … but what’s cool about this find is one of these sets has never been opened. Hell, the gum was still inside. And no, I will not eat the gum — honestly, one portion of it is seriously discolored. What’s really cool to me is the number of price tags on the front of these boxes. The sets appear to have been discounted no less than five times after the original $1.97 price tag.

As a collector in the Bay Area during the early 1990s there was no shortage of oddball or food issues showcasing someone on either the Oakland Athletics or the San Francisco Giants. It’s no secret that Mother’s Cookies releases are my favorite. But I was always intrigued by the Pepsi releases — I’m an equally astonished that many of them survived given their crappy card stock. But in this find, I located a complete 1991 Pepsi Rickey Henderson release. I remember these coming one card per 12-pack of cans … I forget how the whole sealed set was released.

On that note, the Post Cereal cards were always fun. I really enjoyed the relatively inexpensive hand-cut cards of the 1960s, and several years ago actually found an un-cut panel featuring Hank Aaron. But in this find there was a much more modern Post release, an entire 1994 set still in sealed box.

Continuing the trend of “oddball” releases, here is a stack of 60-plus San Francisco Giants “Donate Life Day 2014” Stadium Giveaway cards. This is a four-card set that appears to have been released in a perforated strip. The previous owner looks to have taken 16 strips and broken them down and placed them inside the snap case — the perforated edges are what made me think these were SI For Kids cards.

Let’s close out the baseball portion of this post with three vintage cards, which are always super cool to find in random collections like this. I always feel privileged to be the finder of true vintage baseball cards as I feel I have saved them from being completely destroyed. Here we have a 1957 Topps Dick Groat (little paper loss on back likely from being TAPED to the album or bedpost), a 1957 Topps Ed Bailey (I can see a ring of glue residue but all stats and verbiage is clear), and a 1969 Topps Jim Grant, which is notable because 1969 was the first year the Montreal Expos existed in Major League Baseball. Grant was a Dodger in 1968 and looks to have been a member of the Indians in the old image Topps used here. He was the 36th pick of the National League 1968 Expansion Draft.

Moving from baseball lets go to hoops … women’s hoops. Someone apparently was really into Dawn Staley, Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoops and more. One cool WNBA card in this lot was actually a 2000 Ultra WNBA Feel the Game Game-Worn shoe relic of Sacramento Monarchs player Kedra Holland-Corn. That swatch is legit –it’s black leather. In some ways the swatch alone reminds me of the 2001 Topps American Pie Elvis Presley relic card featuring a swatch of a leather jacket. I actually pulled one of those; good stuff — good money too.

Do you speak Klingon? I don’t. But here are three mid 1990s Star Trek inserts featuring the Klingon Disruptor Rifle, Klingon Tactical Display and Klingon Sash.

Do you read comics? I’ve got a slew of Wizard Comic Price Guide promo cards. I know these are not rare, but they do look awfully good.

In some circles, when it comes to Halloween some collectors package up some of their extra cards and give them to kids trick or treating instead of giving them candy. It appears that in 1991 that was already a thing. Here are 14 packs of Trading Card Treats. The packs appear to contain three Impel brand cards showcasing various comics and TV Shows such as Wolverine, Spider-Man, Widget, Inspector Gadget and Universal Monster. My favorites, though, are the two Nintendo themed packs with Super Mario Bros 3 artwork cards on the front.

Speaking of Mario … here is a Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Star perforated card from an issue of Nintendo Power. My son even walked by the table while I was writing this and stopped to ask what the card was. I haven;t told him yet, but this an d the other Super Mario items are for him — he’s a big Nintendo/Super Mario fan.

We’re getting close to the end … I promise.

When I was a kid, Garbage Pail Kids were my jam — hell, my mom started buying then when I was 5 years old, and it was this collection that actually introduced me to card collecting. Sadly there were no GPK here, but there were a slew of Wacky Packages both old and new. There were almost 30 original Wacky Packages from 1979 and 1980 in here, and twice as many modern ones, including a red, gold and holofoil parallels. Anyone collect these? I see the vintage ones do OK on COMC — which is where they’ll likely end up.

And we’ll close this edition of Thrift Treasures with two non-card items. The first is a ticket stub from the 2006 New Year’s Day game featuring the Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers. The the second is a commemorative Sept. 11, 2001 “We’ll Never Forget” stadium giveaway pin from the San Francisco Giants. The pin is still affixed to the original card, but does have some surface issues along the top border.

Total cost of these Treasures: $19.86

You can read more Thrift Treasures posts here

Rest easy, my friend. Thanks for the memories.

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , on August 3, 2018 by Cardboard Icons

When I started high school some 25 years ago I had a fear that I would be hunted down like the freshman that I was and subjected to torture by the upperclassmen.

I feared being shoved in lockers, mocked by girls whom I thought were cute, and then left on an island — a castaway, a friendless forgettable face.

None of that ever happened. And part of me credits a friend named Eric, who sadly passed away this week from health complications. He left behind a wife, an unborn child that is due in just a few months, a sister and many relatives.

I came to know Eric very early in my freshman year of high school. He was a senior who had a sister the same grade as me, and Eric and I had two classes together, Geometry (vomit) and bowling (hell yeah!).

Eric was a cool guy who shared same interest as I. He collected basketball cards — I did too at the time — enjoyed wagering a few dollars on various games, and loved sports in general. He wasn’t Mr. Popular, but he was well-known and liked, and being around him in those first few days and months of high school seemingly made me feel at ease. I was no longer worried about the problems listed above — well, save for the girl thing. I always believed that to be the case.

I digress. At the end of Freshman year Eric graduated from high school, along with a few other upperclassmen friends I made, and off he went. I wasn’t sure when I would see or talk to him again.

Remember, this was several years before social media gripped us and ensured that we’d know everything about everyone at all times.

Many years later, we found each other again on Social Media and the friendship was rekindled.

I knew Eric to be a big Giants fan, but I’d come to learn that his fandom was on a different level. He went to Giants games all the time and no longer collected cards, but instead he’d turned his attention to bobbleheads, more specifically those that were given away at the stadium.

Eric and I texted, spoke and messaged each other fairly often in recent years, particularly when it was related to the Giants or collectibles. He wanted my opinion on moves the Giants made, wanted tips on what Giants rookie cards he should collect, and as usual, I was always on the lookout for bobbleheads that he needed for his collection.

Several months ago we met up briefly and he gave me a small box of baseball cards, items he didn’t want anymore. They weren’t rare or even worth a lot. But it was an unsolicited gift, a generous offer that he told me might be fun for my kids and I to go through.

It was after that meeting that he disclosed some health issues but he assured me he was on the mend.

It’s been several months since I’d seen Eric, but we still messaged often. In fact, we spoke just last week.

And then news came down just two days ago that Eric had taken his last breath. He was 41.

Devastating news for sure. And while the shock and pain I feel is real, I can’t imagine the feelings that his family have. Eric you’ll be missed. Thank you for the memories and for having a positive impact on my life. I shall think of you every time I see a San Francisco Giants bobblehead.

2016 Stadium Club Clayton Kershaw is my new favorite card

Posted in Misc., Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on July 8, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

Being a card collector, new cards releases of my favorite players always bring joy into my life.  Roger Clemens will forever be my favorite player, but Clayton Kershaw is my second favorite. And his 2016 Stadium Club card is now my new favorite card.

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Take a look at this card and you see Kershaw celebrating with catcher AJ Ellis.  A keen Dodger fan knows this exact moment when the two embraced at the conclusion of Kershaw’s one-hit, 13-strikeout performance against the San Francisco Giants on Sept. 30, 2015, to clinch the National League West title on enemy territory — at AT&T Park.

I am not a Dodger fan. I am a Red Sox fan. But why is THIS card my new favorite?

Because I was there. And I also captured this moment from near the Giants’ bullpen along left field.

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It was a magical performance by Kershaw, who got the best of the Giants who were led into the game by their ace Madison Bumgarner. It was billed as a pitching classic from the start and while Bumgarner wasn’t great that night, Kershaw definitely was and now I will not only remember the performance based on what I saw, or the pictures I took, I will remember it with the assistance of this Topps Stadium Club card.

Thrift Treasures 100: Foul Ball! 50-year-old Game-Used MLB ball

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , on December 11, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

  
Well, I made it to the century mark for Thrift Treasures posts.  Honestly, I’ve been slippin’ in terms of posting these.  Such is life I suppose.

Anyhow, today I present to you an item I unearthed in a antique store in San Jose, Calif.

  
Tucked in a bucket of baseballs within a locked showcase was this Pres. William Giles Spalding baseball with the side panel inscribed “St. Louis Ball Fouled in LF Stands Sept. 29, 65.”

  

Such an inscription is one that is typical of an era gone by when people physically wrote in their memorabilia in stead of writing the details elsewhere.  Does it devalue the item? That’s a personal preference I suppose.

Anyhow, I saw the inscription on the ball and decided to make the ball mine, without even checking the box score for the game the ball is associated with.

After buying the ball I started my research. 

First off, Warren Giles balls sell for a decent price, so I was already pleased with the fact that au could add such a cool ball to my collection at $35, which seemed like a steal.

But the game is what adds intrigue.  The Cardinals played the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park that day, and the Cardinals went on to win the game.

Hall of Famer Bob Gibson started the game and earned his 19th win of the season. In the game Gibson also hit a GRAND SLAM off Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. Let THAT sink in.

Anyhow, it’s unclear what St Louis player supposedly fouled this ball into the stands, or at what point the play occurred. 

As for the ball itself, it’s in great shape and has a scuff, probably from when the ball was struck with a bat, or when it bounced in the dirt before getting into the stands.  

On a side note, there was a piece of paper in the bucket that listed the details of the ball and the prices. The list showed that there had previously been for sale a ball struck by Giants player Frank Linzy. 

Total cost of this Treasure: $35

You can see more Thrift Treasures post Here.

HOF Rookie Card: 1933 Goudey Carl Hubbell BVG 4

Posted in Hall of Fame Rookie Cards with tags , , , , on November 18, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

Perhaps the biggest PC addition to come out of my most-recent COMC Mailday was this 1933 Goudey Carl Hubbell rookie card graded a 4 by Beckett Grading.  

  
The centering is amazing. The back is clean. The surface is fantastic. The price was unbeatable.

Hubbell was a two-time NL MVP, nine-time All Star, a World Series Champion and hurled a no-hitter.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame on his third ballot and has his number 11 retired by the Giants organization.

Welcome home, Mr. Hubbell.