Archive for Santa Clara

Collecting Carney: I waited a year, what’s an extra week or so?

Posted in Collecting Carney with tags , , , , , on February 6, 2022 by Cardboard Icons

Way back in December 2020, Sporting News reporter Ryan Fagan was opening some packs for Twitter — a practice that had been around for a while but picked up popularity during the Pandemic — and unearthed from his 1984 Donruss Action All Stars pack a card of Carney Lansford.

Lansford is a local guy for me, and is someone I’d turned some collecting focus to in recent years. When Ryan pulled the card I reached out to him and had two requests: I wanted the card he pulled and I wanted Fagan to sign the reverse with the date that he pulled it.

Ryan returned my message, and seemed somewhat shocked by my request:

“For real(?) If you want me to do that, I’d be happy to,” he said.

I offered to pay, but Ryan said it wasn’t necessary. I thanked him and provided my address.

A few days after the pull, he tweeted that he had taken a Hal McRae from the same set into the local card shop and jokingly asked if the owner wanted to buy it. Ryan obviously was kidding; he had in fact merely taken it there to buy a top loader for MY Lansford.

And so I waited.

About a month later nothing had arrived and I was concerned that it had gotten lost. So I sent Ryan a message asking if the card was ever sent and he apologized as something had come up. No big deal, I replied.

I waited. And waited. And then waited some more.

After about two months I just assumed the Lansford was never coming. And I was not about to message him again asking where the card was. That’s not really my style. Afterall, this was a gift that wasn’t costing me nothing.

And then out of the blue, almost a year to the date after our previous message, Ryan messages me apologizing for the delay and said it was going out soon. A day later he sent me a tracking number — it was set to arrive January 25, just three days later.

I thanked him and was super appreciative the card was still heading my way so the anticipation built.

And then … nothing. The 25th came and the Lansford didn’t show up. Another week passed and nothing. So I decided to check the tracking and it was showing “In Transit” with no updates for more than a week.

And then, seemingly out of the blue, a photo mailer arrived with a rigid Top Loader inside. I knew exactly what it was. The Lansford had in fact arrived, and just in time for Carney’s 65th birthday which is today!

“Ha. OF COURSE it got stuck. What’s another week in the postal system after it took me more than a year to mail it.” Ryan said when I advised him of the delayed arrival.

And so here is the Carney in all it’s glory. Gotta love that bright yellow pull-over Oakland Athletics jersey on the front; a close-up of those round-frame “Coke Bottle” glasses and sweet ‘stache on the rear. And there, at the very bottom, just as I requested, the signature of reporter Ryan Fagan along with a pull-date inscription of “12.15.20” and “#RFPOD.”

Here’s my public thank you to Ryan for the card, and I’ll take this opportunity to say “Happy Birthday” to Carney who took our league to the Little League World Series in 1969.

If you’re not following Ryan on Twitter you can catch him on one of his two accounts: @ryanfagan for his professional and @myjunkwax for his card-related tweets,

And if you’ve got a stash of Carney Lansford cards that need a new home, I’m your guy. I’ve got almost all the base ones but will happily take what you’ve got and probably end up re-gifting them to the kids in our Little League.

Thrift Treasures Part XIII: Sons of My Native Land

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

I was born in San Francisco, but grew up primarily in the city of Santa Clara, California, the home of Major League Baseball’s Troy Tulowitzki. He’s a pretty big deal ’round these parts, even if he does play for the Rockies, a division foe of the San Francisco Giants. I actually saw someone — had to be a family member — riding around in a pickup recently with a license plate that read something to the effect of “TuloFn1.”

But my post today is not about Tulo. Actually, it’s about a pair of other local talents — Carney Lansford and Jeremy Giambi — whose cards I stumbled upon at a flea market on Saturday.

Now usually my thrift treasures posts actually contain what some believe to be treasures — or bargains –but here I’m only talking about three cards, 1979 Topps Carney Lansford rookie, 1982 Topps Carney Lansford (Red Sox), and a 1999 Bowman Chrome International Refractor of Jeremy Giambi. Yes, the OTHER Giambi.

I knew Carney grew up in the area. Hell, I played in the same Little League that Carney did — there is a picture of him as a kid in a Red Sox Briarwood-El Camino Little League uniform hanging in the snack shack — and the baseball field at the high school I attended is named after Lansford. And as a kid in the 1980s, Carney was big deal to us locals because he played for the A’s, who always seemed to be in the world series.

But now as an adult, and a Boston Red Sox team collector, I’ve been passively 1982ToppsCarneyLansfordlooking for a Carney Red Sox card to add to my collection. I knew he played two seasons for Boston in the early 1980s. Well, I finally uncovered the treasure at the flea market on Saturday for a whopping 50 cents. The card clearly came from a guy who was praying on locals who knew nothing about the current state of the card market, but might be intrigued enough to buy some of his common Raider or 49ers cards. You know, the same retired collectors who you might hear chatting up your local card shop operator to figure out what his 10 1991 Fleer baseball factory sets are worth. And then that pseudo collector tells the tallest of tales when upon learning his sets are worthless, he shoots back with an asinine statement about how he also has a handful of Michael Jordan rookies.

I digress. I typically despise these sellers because they often lie through their freakin’ teeth to get someone to spend a few bucks at their booth. But here, I can honestly say I am glad he was there.

After landing the Carney Red Sox card, my wife, daughter, and my brother-in-law continued our search down the flea market aisles. 1979ToppsCarneyLansfordAbout 20 minutes later I found another guy selling cards. Most of his stuff was crap piled atop of crap, but among his stack of cards on sale for $1 was this 1979 Topps Carney Lansford rookie.  I’ve always loved and admired this card, primarily because it was considered vintage and impossible to obtain when I was younger. The card shop never had them for sale, and the only time I saw one in person was at my friend’s home — his dad had one in his collection. Despite being valued at only at $1.50, this card has remained elusive to me, but alas it has found a home in my box of rookie cards. It should be noted that this image was shot at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, home of the A’s, which also adds some intrigue to the card since he wound up spending most of his career playing at this ball park.

1999BowmanChromeGiambiRefAfter walking around for about two hours we decided to head home. But right before we left, I spotted a former collector who had nothing but baseball cards for sale at his booth. He had a few 5,000 boxes packed to the brim with cards for which he was charging a buck each. I quickly flipped through his baseball box and unearthed this 1999 Bowman Chrome International Refractor of Jeremy Giambi,  serial numbered to just 100 copies. I didn’t have a buck, but offered the guy 50 cents and he took it. The card isn’t that valuable, but I know that some of these “early” serial numbered parallels can be quick useful either in trades or on eBay as there are a handful of people still building this International Refractor set. Suffice it to say I can easily turn the 50 cents for a small profit, at least enough to say that I got my Lansford cards for free. As a bonus, I learned yesterday by reading the back of the card that Giambi was born in San Jose, California, just a few minutes from where I live.