Archive for Ty Cobb

Sometimes I wish for simplicity

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

When you look at your collection what is it that you see? What makes you proud? What still has you passionate about the hobby? Does the amount of cards or the complexity, or lack of focus, weigh you down?

These are the types of questions I often ask myself.

When I started collecting cards I collected because I enjoyed the idea of acquiring cards. Value wasn’t a big factor. Of course time has changed and I needed a focus, and as you know by now, value — or perceived value, or worth, or whatever you want to call it — most certainly does play a big factor in our hobby these days.

By the time I entered college I realized that I truly loved rookie cards because they were a player’s first card, often their most iconic card, and for better or worse the value of said first cards seemed to rise and fall with performance more than any other a player’s card. And so I determined that I was going to be a rookie card collector.

First it was a rookie card of every baseball player who had one. I actually pulled out a Beckett Almanac and started making a checklist of cards officially designated with the RC or XRC tag.

And then I narrowed it a bit to just Hall of Famer Rookie Cards, but I realized I was missing an entire generation of players who starred on baseball diamonds before Goudey cards were a thing. So I expanded to include t206 or any suitable tobacco or gum card released from HOFers playing days.

For the most part I had accomplished all I set out to do. I do not own a 52 Topps Eddie Matthews because they’ve never been affordable by comparison to what it cost me for other HOFers.

But I do own an authentic rookie or tobacco era cards of just about every other HOF player.

Ruth. Gehrig. Honus. Cobb. Big Train. Mantle. Mays. Aaron. They’re all there in my collection.

For all intents and purposes, my cardboard dreams have come true. I have accomplished what I set out to do — with or without the Eddie Mathews.

But sometimes I sit and wonder what my hobby experience would have been like had I not taken the plunge and sought out rookie cards.

Once I pulled the trigger on the 1951 Bowman Willie Mays in 2006, the seal was broken for me. I was no longer “just collecting cards” I was buying pieces of Americana; I was buying the most iconic baseball cards created. And because I had gone down that route, it seems as though I have spent the last 13 years chasing the fleeting feeling I got when my Mays arrived — and that is an impossible task. Because when the card of your desire arrives via whatever means, it usually creates a situation where you’re instantly looking for the next one that evokes the same emotion. It’s like a drug user constantly looking to match the euphoria they got on the previous hit.

Many people never collected the way I did when I actively chased the HOF rookies. In fact, most people are content with what makes/made them happy regardless of what it is. And in many ways I envy that; I have a great appreciation for those who find the same joy and express such passion in simplicity.

It’s nice to accomplish your goals, but inevitably there is a point where you begin to ask yourself: Now what?

The hunger, the passion that I once had for cards has waned a bit. And I have taken joy in reverting to player collecting. But it does at times feel like I poisoned my own hobby experience. I miss the ability to cherish my pulls, to enjoy cards for what they are and what they represent without constantly measuring them to the HOF collection. While I do not regret the path I have taken; I am not sure where I go from where. I’m not sure there is a suitable answer for the “what’s next” question.

COMC yields another beauty for the personal collection

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on January 11, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

It seems like every time I write these days, my posts have some sort of connection to

You’re probably tired of hearing about it, and I get that.  But if you use the site like I do, you’d probably be screaming about your personal collection additions too.

Take this 2000 Upper Deck Piece of History 3,000 Hit Club game used bat card for example.

It’s been a while since I’ve really bought a game-used card for my collection.  Once I obtained Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, I really had no where else to turn.  That is until I saw the opportunity to grab this Ty Cobb.

The early 2000 Upper Deck theme gamer sets such as this 3,000 Hit Club are very appealing to the eye.  Game Used cards have lost a lot of luster of the years, but cards like these always remind me of brighter days for the little slivers of wood and cloth clippings that have been embedded in our cards for the last decade or so.

The Cobb is something I kind of stumbled upon on the site, not really what was I setting out to buy.  But it’s a bonus when you can add such a cool card to your collection without 1) having to spend actual money from your bank account and 2) high shipping costs often seen on eBay.

Thrift Treasures Part XXVI: Rub Me Down

Posted in Newspaperman, Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

This one comes a few months later than expected. Yes, I said months. Back in June, or maybe it was May, I found at one of my local treasure dens two baggies of cards that were for sale for $1 each. I snagged ’em both because they contained multiples of cards that I felt were at least worth writing about.  However, it was not until a few days ago that I actually brought the cards into my house for scanning.

You see, sometimes when I am on the run I grab cards, thumb through them real quick and then stash them under one of the seats of my car. And that’s where they say, stewing in their juices for some 60 days or so, waiting for their new owner to look them over again and write something pithy about their existence. Today is their lucky day.

As you can see from the image above, there were multiples of many cards in these packages. In this case there are some 24 instruction cards for some 1985 Topps Rub Off “cards.” They aren’t worth anything and will likely be round-filed here within a few hours unless someone can convince me otherwise. I did find the instructions somewhat intriguing, particularly the last part that tries to convince us that there is some magic — PRESTO! — involved here. Must be the same guys who thought Atari 2600 was the pinnacle of realistic video games.

From 24, we go to eight … as in the number of these funky Barry Sanders Topps cards I cannot identify. They appear to be 1997 and have a foil-type finish to the fronts. I immediately want to guess that they are some sort of parallel, but yet I cannot find them on Beckett’s Web site or Check Out My Cards. A little help, anyone? These are Card No. 2.

I’m not a football collector, but I find some soft, minimal value in this rookie-year Bo Jackson release. Pretty cool image of Bo breaking loose as a Los Angeles Raider. Too bad the guy got hurt a few years later; he coulda been Barry Sanders, or vice versa.

Might as well get these basketball cards out of the way now since I’ve started with a few non-baseball released. Here’s three serial numbered parallels — the black borders are /500 and the gold is /100. I HATE that Topps made some of these thick to serve as decoys in packs — I bet a good number of parallels got ruined by searchers.

While we’re on serial numbered Gold Topps cards, here’s a 2008 Topps Paul Byrd that managed to sneak its way into my collection. The more I think about 2008 Topps, the more the design irritates me.

And now the “good” stuff.

Back in the 1990, I remember walking into my local shop and seeing for sale some boxes of actual Bazooka Gum that contained ONE trading card. The boxes contained early releases of Ken Griffey Jr (if memory serves me right) and players who were sure to set the game on fire like Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith. And of course you had one of the most awkward-looking players of the era, Chris Sabo. This guy rocked the goggles like no one else ever did; well, maybe James Worthy. And he did so while en route to earning National League Rookie of the Year honors. This was a fun (and cheap) walk down memory lane.

That little stroll through the 1990s index part of my brain also made me remember Diamond Kings, which were all the rage in 1992. Those gems were drawn by this man, Dick Perez, featured on these 1983 Donruss cards. I have to get one of these signed by Dick, it’d be a cool card to add to my collection. Dick, if you’re reading, one (or both) is(are) headed your way.

Before Diamond Kings were all shiny, golden and covered in gloss, they were simply drawings of a player and part of the basic set. Here Ty Cobb is depicted as a Diamond King on this “Puzzle” card from 1983 Donruss. These show collectors what the puzzle pieces inserted in that year’s packs are supposed to build. Love these.

1983 Donruss is an interesting set in and of itself, solid rookies — Ryne Sandberg, Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs, to name a few — but also for the subset cards. Here’s the MVP’s card of Frank Robinson, Vida Blue and America’s favorite television baseball analyst Joe Morgan.

And we finish things off in a super-serious way — the Infamous San Diego Chicken. Sadly, this is NOT his rookie card, which would have been a great addition to my Ultimate Rookie Card Collection.  The Chicken also appears on a card in 1982 Donruss.

Cardboard Porn: 1909-1911 T206 Ty Cobb (Red Port.)

Posted in Cardboard Porn with tags , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Cardboard Porn: Because sometimes words just get in the way.

This is the 10th in an on-going series of card images titled “Cardboard Porn.”

Baseball Hall of Famers: Class of 1936

Posted in Hall of Famers with tags , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Got an idea I’m unveiling here. As I move into a new era of card collecting, I’m going to showcase my cards from another era simply by grouping them by the year the depicted player was inducted into the Hall of Fame. We start at the beginning: 1936



1909-1911 T206 Piedmont Ty Cobb Red Background



1933 Goudey Babe Ruth



1909-1911 T206 Sweet Caporal Dark Cap Christy Mathewson



1909-1911 T206 Polar Bear Walter Johnson



Baseball Greats post card Honus Wagner -- circa 1960s

Updated 2/26/12