Archive for Steve Young

Thrift Treasures 77: The ‘Special’ and ‘Young’ editon

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , on January 7, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

So there I was minding my own business in the toy aisle of one of the local thrift shops when I saw dozens of little bags filled with sports cards, some of which were actually in Card Saver II’s.  What’s that? Google it, kid.IMG_8014

Anyway, I was intrigued. I picked up each bag and checked as best I could to get an idea of what was inside of each.  Was this going to be a baggy of 1990 Donruss cards, or was there enough intrigue there to get me to buy it?  Out of the dozens of bags, four of them said “Buy Me!”  I should note that one baggy actually had a certified autograph inside, but when I saw that it was as shiny Topps Platinum auto of former 49ers running back Glenn Coffee tucked into a stack of 1989 Topps baseball, I exercised restraint and left it behind for someone else. Someone else can have the pleasure of owning that treasure.

I resisted the temptation of opening the baggies in the car and later opened them at home. I’ll explain real quickly about why each bag intrigued me.

The one on the left contained hockey cards, but my quick check revealed a Bobby Orr Power Deck insert card that I knew was worth the $2.99 purchase alone.  On top of the second bag there was a Juan Gonzalez Donruss Preferred die-cut insert card that I believed to be numbered to like 1,500 copies as well as a San Jose Sabercats team set and a San Jose Giants team set. In the third bag I could see a Reggie Miller gold portrait card that I had never seen before. And the fourth bag contained a stack of cards in Card Savers as I mentioned earlier.

In all, the baggies revealed the following … and three surprises.

The Bobby Orr insert mentioned above …

IMG_8023The Juan Gonzalez …


A Reggie Miller Skybox USA Gold Portrait…


The team set of the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League … a set that contains four cards of players who played at San Jose State University when I was there.


A 2006 San Jose Giants minor league team set …


Some random star cards …


And a stack of 1994 Donruss ‘Special Edition” parallel cards of the sets biggest stars …


So, about those surprises.

Well, there was this shiny Upper Deck Roadrunner hologram…



IMG_8021And … just an autograph of San Francisco 49ers legendary quarterback Steve Young.

IMG_8026 The Young is not certified and does not come with a Certificate of Authenticity (which is good in my opinion), but if you compare the signature to any of the certified autographs he has, it’s spot on. That’s a hell of a score … no pun intended.

Total Cost of these treasures: $11.96

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Thrift Treasures 74: Oldies but Goodies; shiny ones too.

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

So late last week I hit a thrift store on the way home and in the “collectible” section behind the show case near the register were three white boxes that all card collectors could spot from across the room.  One was small, like a 200-count box, but the others were 400-count and 550-count. On the outside the store wrote a vague description of what was inside. The small said something to the effect of “comic cards” and they wanted $2.99 for the box, and the others had various sports descriptions on them, as you can see from the pictures.


I don’t buy every “mystery” box I run into, but if I am allowed to open it and get some idea of what is inside, I’ll bite if the contents and price point make sense.  Well, in this case I was allowed to do so. The first card I pulled out of the 400-count box was a shiny 1996 Topps Chrome Tony Gwynn refractor.  I closed the box immediately and staked my claim at $2.99. I then popped the larger box and pulled a small stack. The highlight of the stack was a 2007 Score Adrian Peterson rookie, followed by a 1988 Topps Brian Bosworth rookie.  I looked at the price on the lid ($3.99) closed it up and headed for the register. I’d already seen enough to justify by purchase.

So after the purchase I sat in my car and finally dug through both boxes hoping to unearth some special gems.  As it turned out, both boxes had a little something fun and even some items I’d even call treasures.

We’ll start with the small box, because it was heavily baseball-centric. When I opened this box in the store, I gravitated toward the single card that was in a penny sleeve which was the Tony Gwynn.

IMG_7056Refractors at one point were the epitome of parallel cards and in 1996 Topps released it’s first Topps Chrome run. They’re not as hard to find as their basketball counterpart, but the baseball ones from the early Chrome years are still not a easy to find as the ones made these days. The Gwynn could re-sell for more than what I paid for these two boxes.IMG_7057

There were some star cards in the 400-count box but I wont spend too much time on them. Instead I’ll just show a lot of 1997 Mother’s Cookies San Francisco Giants — lots of dupes, but at least I got ONE Barry Bonds — and five misc. cards, including two rookie-year Marshall Faulk cards, and a cool 1995-96 Hoops Skyview Joe Smith. Yes, that last card is of Joe Smith, a former First Overall Pick who didn’t exactly light the NBA on fire, but those mid-90s inserts do well on the secondary market.


The 550-count box was 99% football.  I stopped collecting football about a decade ago, but every now and again I dabble in the sport. I also still have an emotional draw to rookie cards of guys, so some of the contents of the box really struck a cord with me.

First off, we’re start with a small grouping of stars cards that were in here. A few Peyton Mannings, some 1988 Topps Joe Montana and Steve Young cards, a pair of Jerry Rices, a 1980 Topps “Mean” Joe Greene” and a very very very sharp 1980 Topps Bears team checklist featuring the legendary Walter Payton.

IMG_7062David Boston never really caught on as a top receiver.  Maybe that explains why a mem card of the former Cardinals receiver was in this box.

IMG_7064I loved Upper Deck’s innovation during the 1990s.  One of my favoriter sets the 1994 Upper Deck Pro Bowl inserts.  What’s not to like? It’s a refractor-like finish matched with the epic motion-capturing hologram mug shot. Yeah, it’s Brent Jones, but it is still gorgeous. It goes perfectly with the other 49ers unearthed in this box.

IMG_7063And remember when I said there were rookie cards? Yeah, there were a few dozen.  Three-quarters of the rookie cards were of guys who never mattered at all in the NFL, there were these eight which I chose to feature here.  There was the aforementioned 2007 Score Peterson rookie, as well as rookie cards of Patrick Willis and quarterbacks flops JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn. But the 1988 Topps Brian Bosworth rookies (there were two of them), 1988 Vinny Testaverde, and 1989 Topps Traded rookie cards of Deion Sanders and the late Derrick Thomas really made this box fun to go through. The 1984 Topps Morten Anderson rookie is a bonus. It’s sharp as well, much better than the one I used to own.

IMG_7061Total cost of these Thrift Treasures: $6.98

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE


Thrift Treasures Part XXXI: A Super Saturday before the Super Bowl

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

For the first time since my son was born,  my wife and I made a trip to one of the monthly flea markets.  It’s one I’ve written about before, as seen here.

With the kids in tow, we set off for the rows and rows of stuff.  Among the items I hoped to find was cards at a good price, or items that I could flip so that I could buy more cards.

Yeah, I like cards.

Anyway, about 30 minutes into the trip I found the video game vendor guy who dabbles in cards, the same guy from the post mentioned above.  Today he had nothing for me.  He had a stack of 100-125 1972 Topps commons he wanted me to pay $10 for, and a pair of PSA graded 1963 Bazooka cards featuring a league president and commissioner.  The PSA cards intrigued me, but I passed at the price of $20 for the pair.

I figured it was not my month … and then came Lady Luck.

At one booth some guy had a simple two-row shoe box with cards individually priced.  I chose these two:

1962 Topps National League Strikeout Leaders featuring three Dodgers, including Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Cost: $2.

I’m not a huge fan of league leader cards, but I had a card itch and I needed to scratch it.  Besides, I’ve got a thing for Sandy Koufax cards.  The guy intrigues me.  And the fact that this also has Don Drysdale on it makes it even more appealing.  I didn’t grow up in the 1960s, but if I had, I have a sneaking suspicion I would have been a Dodger fan.


1969 Topps 4-in-1 Inserts featuring Brian Piccolo in his rookie year.  Cost: 50 cents.

I realize that this is not a traditional looking card and that it is actually creased.  But that dude in the top right corner has a pretty solid legacy in football.

When I collected football cards with a vigor, I learned quickly about Brian Piccolo’s legacy.  And having owned his rookie card in the past, I knew that the pose on this card was identical.  Turns out my gut reaction was right:  This is a rookie-year insert card.  High book is $25.  Awesome price, right?


If we would have left the flea market after that purchase I would have been happy.  But we kept searching, and I found a small goldmine about 30 minutes later in the form of three Ziplock freezer bags full of cards.  I was reluctant to ask what the guy wanted for his cards — when cards are in Ziplock bags, that’s usually not a good sign.  But when he said $3 per bag, my ears perked up.  There were bags of 1988 Topps and Score baseball — I obviously left those behind.  But when I saw the striping of a 1986 Topps football set I could hardly contain myself.

I could have purchased more, but I held myself to a three bag limit and decided upon bags that contained 1953 Topps Archives, 1984 Topps football and a 1986 Topps football.


The 1953 Topps Archives set is awesome because I can’t afford to put the real set together but love the cards.  Turns out the set is missing seven cards … BUT all of the big ones are there including:


When I purchased the bag of 1984 Topps cards, I was 99 percent sure the rookies of Dan Marino and John Elway would be missing.  Turns out I was right.  But, these rookies were there:


The bag that really got my juices flowing was the one containing the 1986 Topps football set.  I LOVE the design of this set.  I was hoping that the Jerry Rice rookie was in the bag, but I knew it would be a long shot.  Remember, I DO live in the San Francisco Bay Area. You think Jerry is a legend elsewhere?  He’s a god here.  Long story short, there was no Rice.  BUT imagine the feeling I got when I unearthed this:

I realize that Steve Young is shown as a poor old Buccaneer in one of the ugliest uniforms in the history of the sport, but it IS a Steve Young rookie card.  And like Rice, Steve Young is a god here, too.

As it turns out, the entire set is here minus the Jerry Rice rookie.  That means rookie cards of Reggie White, Bruce Smith and many others.  Hard to beat that for $3.

Total cost for these Treasures: $11.50