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

Thrift Treasures XXI: Will You Accept This Rose? ( “The Bachelor” Edition)

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

For four long weeks I waited, and when the day arrived, it simply was not as I expected. Each month a local community college holds a fairly extensive flea market chalk full of regular vendors. Among them is a guy who hawks video games and baseball cards. He’s usually got a showcase of sports cards, but behind him he’s got a dollar table where he throws out two stacks of cards he offers for a buck a piece. Last month, after I ran out of money, I saw that he had vintage baseball! I quickly thumbed through them and saw some stuff I would have purchased if I had any money left.

So for four weeks I longed for the first Saturday of the month. I imagined swooping in and buying everything within sight for the low price of a buck a card, of three for $2, as he told me last month. Well, Saturday was not my day. He had no vintage, or baseball really. In his showcase he had some 2009 Topps 209 relics and autos, most notably an Old Mill Ty Cobb bat card for which he wanted $125, and a Evan Longoria auto priced at $75. I passed and moved onto the dollar table, which contained only game-used football cards. I don’t really collect football, but for a buck a piece I figured I could find a few things that would humor me, entertain you, and eventually turn for some measly Red Sox cards of the same nature. So without further adieu, I bring to you, Thrift Treasures XXI, The Bachelor Edition.

We’ll start with this utterly worthless Absolute triple relic of Brian Leonard, who at one time played for the St. Louis Rams. These cards are one of the reasons I stopped collecting football. This card features swatches of two jerseys and a football used during a PHOTO SHOOT. WTF!? A photo shoot? Lame. What intrigues me here is that we’ve got two different color jersey swatches (looks cool), which leads me to believe they used multiple jerseys during said photo shoot. I’m almost positive these didn’t come from the same jersey. But the real reason I bought this was because of the pigskin swatch. As much as I hate these event-worn relics, I do love when swatches of football with character are inserted into cards. Here, the pigskin swatch features letters from the area of the ball under the laces, the part that reads “National Football Conference.” I dig it.

For our second serving, I give you a heaping plate of Dustin Keller. This 2008 SPX “Rookie Materials” dual relic intrigues me because of the way Upper Deck has been abusing the SPX brand. Seriously, inserting metal in lieu of a jersey swatch is disgusting. I already hated the way SPX has been changed from a brand based on Holograms to a set focused on relic cards inserted into the letters S, P and X. I hate it. What makes it worse is when they do what they did with this Keller — give me two swatches and a piece of metal. Boo! The ~good~ news, this is a jersey from another rookie photo shoot. Any Jets fans want to relieve me from this agony? Did I mention it’s numbered to just 199 copies?! All I ask for is baseball, preferably Red Sox in return.

When I was attending San Jose State, I had the pleasure of spending three years at the student newspaper, an experience that ultimately helped me into my profession. I have many memories from that time including two stints as  a sports editor. During one semester, there was a wide out for conference rival University of Nevada-Reno who was lighting the Western Athletic Conference on fire, Nate Burleson. Now some seven years later I’ve finally got my hands on a Burleson rookie, a rookie jersey card at that. There is no mention of where this purple swatch of Minnesota Vikings jersey comes from, but given what I’ve shown you already today, I’m guess this also came from a photo shoot. What is mentioned on the back of this card is that he used to light up San Jose State. Just awesome. I might have to keep this card just because of the memories it brings back.

Remember Freddie Mitchell? I think the guy made one great catch in a big game somewhere and then became the talk of the National Football League for a few minutes. He then came out at a press conference dressed like he was Don Magic Juan talking all kinds of junk. At least that is what I remember of Mitchell. Anyway, here is another reason to remember Mitchell: This sick-ass jersey card. This was the very first card I pulled out of the stack for purchase. Are you kidding me? This swatch comes from his UCLA jersey and features a powder blue jersey with a navy blue area that I’m almost certain came from the shadow effect around his jersey number. This card is worth the entire purchase alone.

And finally I present The Bachelor: Jesse Palmer. This washed up college and NFL quarterback, now ESPN college football analyst, was the centerpiece of Season Four (2004) of The Bachelor television show. For a few months the ladies swooned over this guy, who I’d imagine must be pretty well-off financially. They gawked at his images in magazines across the country and started to follow his already declining career. They wanted to know him, they wanted to be with him. And these ladies could have had a piece of him the whole time … well, his jersey anyway. Not sure what my intentions are with this card. I mean it’s not like Jesse Palmer is the object of every woman’s affection at this point; they’re all into pretty boys like Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson. I may just keep it for fun, or is that a bit creepy?

2009 Topps Updates & Highlights Break

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

Over the last couple days I picked up 11 regular packs and a jumbo pack of 2009 Topps Updates & Highlights from three different stores. Here are the results:

Were these supposed to end up in New York?

Were these supposed to end up in New York?

Pack 1: Ty Wiggington, Sean O’Sullivan, David Eckstein, Ryan Braun All-Star, Joe Nathan All-Star, Propaganda Poster Ryan Howard, Topps Town  Carl Crawford, Joe Crede, Jesus Guzman, Brian Moehler

Pack 2: Josh Hamilton Al-Star, Josh Bard, Mark Kotsay, Casey Kotchman, Matt Holliday, Legends of the Game Babe Ruth, Topps Town Brian McCann, Micah Hoffpaur, Takashi Saito, Raul Ibanez

I like the Ruth (Red Sox), but was an updated version of this necessary?

I like the Ruth (Red Sox), but was an updated version of this necessary?

Pack 3: Michael Saunders, Brayan Pena, Sidney Ponson, Kevin Youkilis All-Star, Hunter Pence/Ryan Braun combo, GOLD Chad Gaudin (Yankees #/2009), Legends of the Game Paul Molitor, Gold Topps Town Chris Carpenter, Matt Palmer, Ross Ohlendorf

Pack 4: Ty Wiggington, Sean O’Sullivan, David Eckstein, Trevor Hoffman All-Star, Jack Wilson, Chone Figgins All-Star, Ring of Honor Mel Ott, Topps Town Jay Bruce, Mark Melancon, Joe Thurston

Thurman's beard is off the hook. Again, were these New York bound?

Thurman's beard is off the hook. Again, were these New York bound?

Pack 5: (short on cards) Gerardo Parra, Tyler Greene, Brian McCann All-Star, Jason Marquis All-Star, Topps Town Justin Verlander, Ryan Hanigan, Josh Anderson

Pack 6: Jonny Gomes, Daniel Bard, Adam Kennedy, Prince Fielder All-Star, Roy Halladay All-Star, Turkey Red Ty Cobb, Topps Town Chris Carpenter, Nick Green, Scott Podsednik, Heath Bell

This hurts. The pic is grainy and Boggs is pictured as a Devil Ray. Boooo.

This hurts. The pic is grainy and Boggs is pictured as a Devil Ray.

Pack 7: Matt Maloney, Brett Gardner, Scott Hairston, Chase Utlet All-Star, Gold Carlos Beltran All-Star (#/2009), VARIATION SP Wade Boggs (Rays), Topps Town Victor Martinez (Red Sox), Brad Penny, Brad Bergesen, Andrew McCutchen

JUMBO PACK: Jake Fox, Mark Lowe, Ben Francisco, Mike Sweeney, Chris Perez, Kyle Blanks, Edwin Maysonet, Russell Branyan, Alex Gonzalez, John Mayberry Jr., Dallas Braden, Luke French, Matt Maloney, Jason Grili, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Cecil, Jorge Posada Season Highlight, Joel Hanrahan, Ken Griffey Jr., Ken Griffey Jr. Season Highlight, Ryan Hanigan, Jhoulys Chacin, Mark Melancon, Joe Thurson, Luis Valbuena, Carl Crawford Season Highlight, Jesus Guzman, Brian Moehler, Chris Tillman, Aaron Hill All-Star, Jack Hannahan, Ryan Church, Miguel Tejada All-Star, Victor Martinez All-Star, Catrlos Beltran All-Star, Jonathan Papelbon All-Star, Dan Haren All-Star, Tim Lincecum All-Star, Adam LaRoche, Nelson Cruz HRD, Prince Fielder HRD, David Wright All-Star, Albert Pujols HRD, AUTO Heath Bell, Gold Kevin Cash (Yankees /#2009), Ring of Honor Thurman Munson, Legends of the Game Frank Robinson, Turkey Red Jimmie Foxx (Red Sox), Propoaganda Poster Ryan Howard, Topps Town Brian McCann

Love these, they are not for trade.

Love these, they are not for trade.

Pack 8: Kevin Hart, Craig Stammen, Jason Giambi, Freddy Sanchez, Ryan Howard HRD, Propaganda Poster Todd Helton, Topps Town Jacoby Ellsbury, Jeff Niemann, Frank Catalanotto, Ryan Franklin

Pack 9: Matt Diaz, Gerardo Parra, Tyler Greene, Jason Bartlett All-Star, Yadier Molina All-Star, Propaganda Poster Dustin Pedroia, Topps Town Hunter Pence, Bud Norris, Scott Rolen, Mariano Rivera Season Highlight

These would look sooooooooo much bette ron cardstock similar to the Turkey Reds. They are begging for a matte finish, not glossy.

These would look sooooooooo much better on cardstock similar to the Turkey Reds. They are begging for a matte finish, not glossy.

Pack 10: John Mayberry, Dallas Braden, Albert Pujols HRD, Ryan Freel, Ryan Zimmerman All-Star, Gold Jerry Hairston (Yankees #/2009), Topps Town Vernon Wells, Jeff Baker, Brian Fuentes, Orlando Hudson

Pack 11: Aaron Bates, Laynce Nix, Tim Wakefield All-Star, Ryan Howard All-Star, ALL-STAR GAME RELIC Trevor Hoffman, Topps Town Vernon Wells, Neftali Feliz, USA WBC Classic Walkoff

Kind of ironic that I would pull these two seeing as how Bell replaced Hoffman in San Diego.

Kind of ironic that I would pull these two seeing as how Bell replaced Hoffman in San Diego.