Archive for Upper Deck

A 20-year-old NFL retail break 

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

A few months ago a co-worker brought me a gift, a four-pack blister of 1995 Upper Deck football that had a commemorative Joe Montana Super Bowl card.  

This co-worker is a big San Francisco 49ers fan and at one point he bought this for his man cave. He’s not really a card guy, but more of a game-used 49ers jersey collector.  So he decided to gift this blister to me.

I opened a good amount of this product in 1995, as we as the SP brand, which was high-end at the time and was one of the first sets I completed.

I digress.  Yesterday during my lunch break I stopped by my locker and noticed that I still had this thing sitting on my top shelf.  With the NFL kicking off this week I decided to open it for fun.  There really are no hits in here, just base cards, parallels and the occasional insert. 

So, the Montana C-card was cool.  It shows Montana and the 49ers against the Miami Dolphins jn Super Bowl XIX, which is the last Super Bowl to be held in the San Francisco Bay Area. that Super Bowl was held at Stanford University in Palo Alro. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl and will again be in the Bay Area.

 
And now for the packs.

The first pack had a card that literally made me laugh out loud.  I mean check out this seductive rookie card of former Jets draft pick Kyle Brady.

   
 
Pack two wasn’t quite as awesome, but it had a card if one of the newest Hall of Famers, Charles Haley, and a good-looking rookie card of Michael Westbrook. Oh, and it had TWO silver parallels. Money!  

 
Pack three  features a rookie card of a very good linebacker from the late 1990s and early 2000s, one Derrick Brooks.

   
And the final pack featured a dud rookie QB card, but the last card in the pack was none other than hall of fame 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice. Heck, my co-worker might even have this Rice jersey shown on this card.  

 Al, if you’re reading this, the Niner cards are all yours if you want them back. That Kyle Brady card is mine though. It’s priceless.

Rookie Card Upgrade 6: 1994 SP Alex Rodriguez

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade with tags , , , , , on August 15, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

For the longest time I considered myself lucky to own a BGS 8 copy of the 1994 SP Alex Rodriguez.

It’s probably hard to remember now just how hot this card was in this hobby, but believe me, once grades get above an 8, things got pretty expensive. 

So when I scored an 8 on a copy I submitted to Beckett Grading about a half decade ago I was pretty happy.

  
Well, we know that A-Rod’s legacy has taken a major hit a few times since then and the value of his SP rookie has plummeted. And even with his resurgence this year, mint copies are now fairly affordable.

  
A few weeks ago while writing my column for Beckett Baseball, the one on stands now, I considered whether or not it was time for me to seek a rock solid mint copy of this iconic rookie for my collection. 

After moving a few extra pieces in my collection I found a nice copy to replace my BGS 8. Even with his checkered history, this is still a must-own card for rookie card collectors.

  

Just what I always wanted … A Gem Mint Michael Jordan rookie

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I received a package from CheckOutMyCards recently chock full of items I wanted for my PC.  My intention was to write one post showing them all but that’d be quite lengthy. So I’ll go about this in a different manner and show items on an individual or group basis.

 I’ll start with a BGS 9.5 1994 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice rookie card of Michael Jordan. While it is no where near in demand as his 1986-87 Fleer basketball rookie card, this Gem Mint copy of this Jordan rookie will look fantastic in my collection with my BGS 6 Fleer basketball Jordan and 6.5 1986 Nike Postcard.

Jordan had three rookie cards produced in 1994, all by Upper Deck.  He has basic Upper Deck, the Collector’s Choice card shown here, and a Fun Packs card, which is not as easy to find, but hardly rare.

Right after I bought the Gem Mint copy, I picked up a raw “silver signature” parallel for about $1.  Why? Why not!

  
And for good measure I shelled out another $3 for two more Jordan baseball cards.  A 1994 Action Packed Minor Leagues card and a 1995 Upper Deck card featuring Jordan and Harry Carey. 

  
  

Thrift Treasures 86: 6 Hits and more for a buck

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , on May 17, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

For about a year, one of the thrift stores that I frequent has had thousands of cards sitting around for the price of 20/$1. Sadly, most of them were straight up commons from 1989 Fleer, 1989 Upper Deck and a few other sets from the same time frame. The boxes had been picked clean of anything worth owning.

Well, when I walked in this week, those boxes were gone and in its place was a single smaller box of cards, which had just arrived. Judging from the contents, I had to have been the first one to get a crack at them.

Most of the box consisted of Jacksonville Jaguar cards, mostly Mark Brunnel and Fred Taylor, but there were some other stragglers that made this a fun box to pillage. In all, I chose 20 cards and spent a whopping $1. And as the title of this post suggests, six of these 20 cards were hits — relics and or autographs. While they aren’t going to net me a fortune or anything, that’s still a huge win for being a thrift find.

And to the guy who walked in behind me and started rifling through the cards clearly in search of something worth owning, all I can say is: better luck next time.

Without further adieu, here is the haul:

Eight of the cards were relatively basic. But I figured I may as well fill out the 20-card order with whatever base cards or parallels seemed worthy of a nickel.

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Here’s a pair of 2000 Ultimate Victory Football Parallel rookie cards.  Deltha O’Neal is a local guy so it was a decent pick up.  Besides, the two top loaders were worth a nickel on their own.

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A few inserts and a Matt Holliday were a fun addition at this price

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In 1999, numbered parallels were still in demand by collectors.  Here’s a Dan Marino 1999 Encore F/X “Seize The Game” Gold parallel numbered 063/250

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And not the hits.  Like I said earlier, these aren’t going to break the bank, but consider that they cost a nickle each.

Speaking of nickels, here a 1998 Edge Ryan Leaf Draft Special featuring a swatch of Leaf’s jersey, which is the size of … a nickel.

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Remember Shaun King?  For a minute he was a legit NFL quarterback.  Here is a 2000 UD Ovation cards featuring a piece of his helmet.  This may be the first helmet swatch I have ever owned.

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Game-used cards were in full effect in 2000. Playoff, former known as Donruss.Leaf, Playoff 9DLP0 made some of the coolest ones.  Here is a Absolute Leather and Laces card featuring a swatch of ball used ont he Dec. 19, 1999 game between the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans.  Phenom Jevon Kearse is shown on this card, which is serial numbered to 250 copies.

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Playoff made lots of game-used items in the late 1990s. Among them were these weird team checklist cards which featured TWO swatches of jersey, neither of which were attributed to any particular player. Bad idea …

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After I went through the box and fished out what I thought was every decent cards, I did one more search and stick — literally — in the middle of a stack of 2000 Victory commons was this 1998 Skybox Autographics auto of Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala, former of the Uniiversity of Utah, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Say that name three times fast.

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And the last card if perhaps my favorite.  After the St. Louis Rams wont he Super Bowl in 1999, Upper Deck made championship relic cards and inserted them into packs of 2000 Ultimate Victory.  They were gorgeous cards then and even now, a decade and a half later, they’re still great-looking examples of relic cards done right.

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Total cost of these treasures: $1

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

Thrift Treasures 80: Jon Lester rookie, more for $2.99

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , on February 9, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

Quick Thrift Treasures post here.  Earlier in the week I stopped at one of the thrift stores in the city where I work and they had a baggie of cards — about 100 — priced at $2.99.  Itook a quick look and could see that there was a Jon Lester 2006 Upper Deck rookie card inside so i decided to take a shot.

IMG_9123Well, as it turned out, Lester was the best card in the bag, but that’s not to say there wasn’t anything else that interested me.  There were some rookie cards that I needed to go through to see if I own them yet.

IMG_9252IMG_9253And a handful of star cards, a parallel — JJ Hardy Ultra gold #’d/999 — and a few inserts.

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Not a huge win or anything, but they can’t all be full of bigtime steals.  The big plus here is that I did not have the 2006 UD Lester rookie yet.

Total cost of these treasures: $2.99

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

 

 

Icon-O-Clasm: 1989 Upper Deck Jim Abbott

Posted in Icon-O-Clasm with tags , , , , on August 30, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

“Triple Exposure”

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I recently paid $8 for a Barry Zito rookie card and it wasn’t autographed …

Posted in Rookie Card Showcase with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

I must be crazy, right?  Who pays $8 for a Barry Zito rookie card, especially one that doesn’t bear his signature?

Well, when the serial number on the card matches his jersey number, sometimes collectors do funny things.

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Barry Zito used to be a big deal.  He was a big-time pitcher for the Oakland A’s in the early part of the 2000s — even winning a Cy Young Award in 2002 — and then signed a massive contract with the San Francisco Giants who play just across the San Francisco Bay (or estuary for you science types) from the A’s.  He sucked for the most part, constantly ripped on sports talk radio and even relegated to a spectator in 2010 when the Giants won their first World Series.  And then he came back in 2011 and 2012, even becoming a key contributor for the Giants down the stretch as they won their second title in three years.

Alas Zito played again in 2013 and finished his mammoth contract with the Giants by posting the second-highest ERA of his career.  He hasn’t played in 2014 and it appears that his career may in fact be over.

Zito hasn’t been relevant in the hobby in almost a decade and prices on his cards plummeted over the years.  His key rookie is still the 200o SPX set, a card that features a serial number and autograph. His second best?  Quite possibly this 2000 SP Authentic, which is limited to 1,700 copies.  Believe me, this was a big deal in 2000. I located this one — in it’s glorious PRO graded case — at a local card shop in a bargain graded card bin.  Every card priced $8 each, all of them were graded by either PSA or BGS, except for this one.  This company — which has zero traction in the hobby — graded this card at 9.8 “N-Gem,” which I’ll have to believe means Near Gem Mint.  I’m not aware of any company who uses that lingo.  Go figure. I’ll leave it in here for now, but might send it eventually to BGS for continuity purposes.

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