Archive for sports

So I was thinking … A recommendation for Beckett Magazines

Posted in Commentary, Misc. with tags , , , , , , on May 8, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

A few weeks ago I picked up a copy of the newest Beckett Baseball. Don’t ask why. I just like to have a new copy in my hand every few months. I really only buy it once or twice a year.

Anyway, I was just flipping through the magazine as I normally would and it dawned on me that Beckett is missing an opportunity.

Hear me out.

A few years ago Beckett stopped publishing in its monthly magazine any set released before 1980. The move was done to keep a more modern presence and to reduce the size, and maybe the cost, of the monthly magazine. I get it.

So here’s my idea. Why don’t we trim out all this nonsense like the 3-inch listing of 1990 Fleer and just list key cards going all the way back to t206? I mean seriously. Not to pick on Ozzie Smith or Robin Yount, but we don’t need to know that those cards are listed at 15 to 40 cents in the book.

What’d be more valuable is seeing key rookie cards and even other major HOFers from vintage sets from t206 to 1980; and then list other key rookies and some inserts from 1980 to current. Don’t you all think it’s a bit asinine that a person returning to the hobby can’t buy a copy of the monthly magazine and see what year or how much a rookie card of Mantle, Mays or Aaron is, but can go find damn near every 1990 card of George Brett or Greg Maddux?

And this is not a forum for you to blast the magazine. I know — hell, we all know it’s not as valuable to the hobby as it used to be — rather this post is a suggestion to improve the product, and maybe help find a way for it to be useful in today’s market.

Sometimes you just gotta buy it

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , on May 7, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

After dropping off the kids at school on Monday I stopped at a Walgreens nearby in search of one of the Walgreens exclusive 2019 Topps Series 1 hanger packs. I’ve seen shelf space for them at two different stores but to date I have yet to actually see any of the packs in person.

This Walgreens didn’t have any of the yellow exclusive packs, but they did get a new batch of the 100-card repack boxes priced at $4.99. I know some people swear by these and buy them often. I often don’t buy them and just walk away … unless something showing on the front intrigues me.

On this date I was intrigued … by a 1987 Fleer Roger Clemens card.

I could have walked away. I mean I already have a copy of this Clemens card in my collection. And for $5 I could buy a dozen of these. But it’s not every day that you see a 30-plus old card of your favorite player on the front of a repack, so it almost feels like an omen when you find one in the wild. So I had to own it … right?

As luck would have it, there were actually TWO identical 87 Fleer Clemens in the box, so now I have an extra, one I shall give to my son for his collection.

How about the remainder of the box?

Started strong with a cool 1987 Fleer Limited Dale Murphy right behind the Clemens cards.

A solid vintage 1979 Topps Julio Cruz. Condition is great condition. Yes, it’s just a common, just nice to see I. A repack.

I’ve always been a fan of the early 1990s Minor League releases.

I bet it’d be fun to be a Jim Edmonds collector. He was a great defender and his actions were often captured on his cards, like this 1998 Topps release.

Oh look, it’s a chrome prospect auto. I guess I got the 1:4 box hit. Luebke was a solid MLB pitcher for a year or two, totaling 200 Ks and a near 3.50 ERA over his brief career.

Bro, it’s Steve Balboni and his mustache on bright white paper stock used for the 1989 Topps Traded set. You know I have to post that.

This 1991 Donruss Diamond King Edgar Martinez ain’t worth much of anything, but Inhave always been a fan of these. This was the last of the basic Diamond Kings before Donruss turned them into chase cards the following year.

Fred McGriff on this 1990 Fleer Card looks like he is ready to break into his patented finger point like he did in the Tom Emanski baseball video.

Oh look, it’s a 1997 Leaf Cody Bellinger Card … I bet these are 1 in every box now.

Here’s a 2018 Topps Indians team set Yan Gomes Card. I have a cool piece coming up that touches in Yan Gones and his concussion-like symptom from a few years ago.

This Gregg Jefferies Future Stars Card from 1989 Topps is one of my childhood favorites. It may be worthless, but it made me smile.

The sealed pack in this box was a 1990 Upper a deck that was very uneventful, save for a Bo Jackson All-Star Card.

There are dozens of other cards in the box, but we’ll wrap this up with three 2011 Topps Update cards, which suggests that perhaps maybe … and I mean maybe … there is a box out there containing one of Mike Trout’s Topps Update rookie cards

Was it “worth” the $4.99? Depends. The resell value probably isn’t there, but trips down memory lane are always fun and sometimes priceless.

Kershaw 2018 NLCS Game 5 First Pitch game-used ball added to collection

Posted in Collecting Kershaw, Game-Used Items, Misc. with tags , , , , , on April 19, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

When it comes to sports collectibles, baseball cards will always be my first love.

But in today’s collectibles climate, MLB authenticated game-used baseballs just might be the new hot girlfriend who may be a better partner than the first wife.

And this week, that new girlfriend arrived looking finer than any of the girls that came before.

This week the mailman came through with a massive mailday that contained a purchase I made last week. The contents? THE baseball that Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw used to start Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

Kershaw is my dude. My guy. My favorite active player. And last year I was lucky enough to witness in person an almost improbable collision of worlds when Kershaw faced off against my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, in Game 5 of the World Series.

True, the outcome was not what Kershaw would have wanted. But that did mean that the Sox did clinch a world title in Dodger Stadium while I was present.

But the road for the Dodgers to get there that night was something that I, as a Kershaw fan and collector, would not forget. And his start in Game 5 of the NLCS, during which the southpaw would strike out 9 Milwaukee Brewers over 7 innings en route to his 9th career post season victory (and the last to date), was something that Dodger fans absolutely needed to see from their ace.

The performance in the NLCS helped set LA up for a second straight World Series appearance, and was one that eventually would lead to the aforementioned dream scenario of me seeing my favorite player gave off against my favorite team with all the marbles in the line

I’m not going to kid myself. This newly acquired baseball isn’t the dream ball I’m still chasing. I absolutely NEED to acquire a Kershaw-thrown ball from Game 5 of the World Series. But this NLCS Ball is something I could not pass up when I noticed it up for sale recently.

There had been two other Kershaw-related NLCS balls posted on eBay for sale. One was actually the second ball used during Game 5 against the Brewers and the other was used during the at-bat in which Kershaw walked during a plate appearance against Brandon Wooddruff.

But the ball I bought trumped all of that as it is THE ball that Kershaw used to warm up, then thrown for the first pitch (a 90 mph fastball) and then a bouncing slider to Milwaukee lead-off hitter Lorenzo Cain.

2019 Topps Kershaw Printing Plate added to collection

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

The last few weeks have been so busy that I haven’t been documenting/sharing a ton of stuff here. I have this stack of Clayton Kershaw cards on my desk that I’ve been meaning to sort. Along the highlights is this 2019 Topps Series One Yellow Printing Plate.

I still enjoy printing plates from time to time, even if the majority of the hobby has moved away from them. But honesty, others going in a different direction just means I’m more likely to acquire them at a cheaper price.

The 2019 base Topps card is also amusing because it’s an image from Opening Day 2018 and Kershaw’s zippier is down, something I noted just says before the product was released.

Next-Level disrespect for the base card

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on April 4, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Over the last few years there has been a trend among some persons in our hobby, a practice that has involved using base cards as packing materials to help protect the key card in a package.

Usually the practice involves a single key card in a top loader and then one or two — or more — base cards places on both sides of the top loader as them all of those cards places within a team bag.

When so first saw it, so had mixed feelings as it was clear that the base cards had been relegated to being nothing more than packaging materials. But alas they also were kind of extra fun items that could evoke emotion.

I let it go.

And then this happened this week.

The base cards were TAPED directly to the top loader with scotch tape. The base cards had zero chance to survive.

I know these are your cards and you’ll do as you will with them. But this is definitely some next-level disrespect for some base cards, let alone ones from such a classic set such as 1987 Donruss. it’s gut wrenching to some degree.

The Title Defense Starts Today (Opening Day)

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Chris Sale peered in at the catcher, gripping the baseball within his glove. He agreed to the pitch selection and began his windup.

The weight transfer. The release. The swing and miss by Manny Machado.

The Boston Red Sox were again the World Series Champions.

I remember the scene clear as day as I viewed it from the auxiliary press box at Dodger Stadium that night, five months ago today.

I had tears in my eyes. I had witnessed something that few have been able to lay claim — watching their favorite team clinch their sports title.

The memories will last a lifetime. That title will forever be linked to that team.

But today starts a new. A new journey for the Red Sox as the team begins its title defense. And for every other team, today also marks the beginning of their quest to unseat the champions to earn the right to start next year at the top of the hill.

Opening Day is upon us. So full of hope and joy. This day is indeed a holiday for some of us. As a kid as would favor illness so that so could stay home and watch the Triple Header on ESPN. As an adult I have selected vacation day(s) based on the seasons first pitch. And for more than a decade I have celebrated this day with packs of baseball cards.

This morning I began this years ritual with my kids as they each opened two packs of Topps Opening Day. And this afternoon I will carry on that tradition with my girlfriend, with whom I will be attending Opening Day festivities in Oakland — this will be our second straight Opener together.

I would have preferred to be in Seattle today to see the Red Sox kick off their title defense against the Mariners, but I have to say being able to see generational player Mike Trout kick off the next chapter of his career after signing the largest contract in the game’s history isn’t a bad consolation.

This will be my third straight year seeing Trout and the Angels open their season against Oakland. And I know that while I understand how lucky this opportunity is, it has not fully sunken in yet how special it has been to see Trout in his prime on Opening Day given that I do not live in the Angels geographic market.

Additionally, it’s also special to be able to see the budding Athletics, especially star third baseman Matt Chapman, whose defense is second to none, something I appreciate since his position is my favorite on the diamond, and slugger Khris Davis who has hit a home run on each of the last two Opening Day games on Oakland.

Writing these words now is getting me pumped up. I can’t wait for the pageantry to begin in less than two hours.

Baseball is back.

Play freakin’ Ball!

It took 27 years to see the sexual innuendo on this 1992 Upper Deck Card

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , on March 27, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I was poking around COMC on Wednesday and I spied a 1992 Upper Deck Cecil Fielder Card, a single I had seen many times over the last 27 years. But it was not u til today that I realized the unintentional sexual innuendo here.

Cecil Fielder seated, with a water bottle between his legs and a chicken on its knees before him, and of course the cropping doesn’t help.

Yeah, it’s a bit immature, but it is what it is. Is it not?