Archive for Super Bowl

Tom Brady: A constant reminder I quit football cards too early

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on January 21, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Tom Brady is headed back to the Super Bowl, and sadly I’ve still got nothing to show for it.

No rookie cards. No autographs. No relics.

Just some basic Brady cards that managed to find their way into my collection.

You see, I made a decision around 2002 to stop regularly buying football cards. Like many, there was a time I collected cards of the four major sports. But by the time I was nearing the legal drinking age I was in college and tried to focus on my passion of baseball cards and tinker less with football.  In my mind I had already reached the peak of that segment of the hobby with a very successful 1998 – I managed to pull both Randy Moss and Fred Taylor from the same box of SP Authentic, and then hit both Dan Marino and Joe Montana autographs from the same box of SPX Finite that year. That success then caused me to have feelings of doubling down in 1999 with that massive quarterback class, most of whom washed out of the league within a few seasons.  And by year 2000 I decided Peter Warrick was the second coming of Randy Moss and Jerry Rice, and Chad Pennington was definitely the new Joe Namath. I think you see I failed miserably.

Opening the 2001 season, Tom Brady was still just a backup to Drew Bledsoe. His rookie cards were mere commons. Hell, I owned one – 2000 Upper Deck Black Diamond – and I let it sit in a penny sleeve among a bunch of defensive player rookie cards.

Well, by 2001 I had become so jaded by miserable purchases of 1999 and 2000 that I pretty much decided I was done with the football segment of the hobby.  I purchased less football in 2001, and even less by 2002. And in 2003 I sold it all – save for the Brady Black Diamond rookie because I had already unloaded it for like $15 the moment its status as non-common changed. (side note, the Brady is like a $300-$600 Card now, the one shown about is a PSA 9 on COMC.) You see, while I was the only person in my college Sports Psychology class at San Jose State University to actually pick the Patriots over the Rams during that year’s Super Bowl, I still didn’t quite buy the notion of Bledsoe permanently being unseated as the Patriots signal caller.

Well, I was wrong.

Bledsoe was done in New England and Brady was just getting started, ushering in a whole new generation of Patriots fans, and creating new standards by which we measured quarterbacks.

Because of the way I collected cards, I know that if I had stayed with football cards, I likely would have obtained multiple Tom Brady rookies at some point. Maybe not the Holy Grail Rookie Contenders autograph, but I still would have had many, especially that 2000 Bowman Chrome card, which to me seems like a must-own for hobbyists.

Alas, here I am some 15-plus years later reminiscing about what could have been — the prices of his standard rookie cards are insane — and the only thing I have to show for it is a blog post about a card I used to own.

 

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

 

36 Times Dope: The “YO! MTV Raps” Box Break (Part I)

Posted in Yo! MTV RAPS Box Break with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

111_0772For about a year I’ve had this wonderful little box of unopened cards sitting in the truck of my car. I found this box of 1991 Pro Set “Yo! MTV Raps:Update” at a thrift store for a whole $3 and had intended to resell it on eBay. But to my surprise, the boxes don’t sell for much; I would have barely make my money back.

So for 12 months it ripened in my trunk, until Super Bowl Sunday, 2009, when my wife and I went shopping with our daughter before the game. When I pulled the stroller from the trunk, I spotted the box again and entertained the idea of just busting the box for fun. After all, I’ve been waiting all weekend to open packs of 2009 Topps baseball (Wednesday, baby!), and opening some of this stuff might soothe my itch.

So, from now through the first two weeks of March, each day I will post the contents of one pack, in the end hopefully ending up with an entire set of worthless, but entertaining cards. Who knows, maybe I’ll even be the proud owner of one of the rare “Bonus Hologram” collectibles advertised on the box. But if these holograms were anything like the Lombardi Trophy holograms from the football Pro Set series, odds are I’ll be S.O.L.

And just for kicks, I’m going to keep a running tab of M.C. Hammer and Vanilla Ice cards.

Without further adieu, here is pack No. 1, which I decided to let my wife open. Continue reading