Archive for vintage

Tales from the Vintage Bargain Bins: 59 Topps Mantle, 68 Bench RC, more

Posted in Newspaperman, Vintage Bargain Bins with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

So in my previous post, I documented a sweet pull that came from a 2012 Panini America Signature Series pack. That pack came as an impulse buy after I spent an hour digging through the card shop’s Price Friendly Vintage boxes. It’s a great shop for vintage, and I used to go through these boxes more often. But in recent years I’d slowed down this hunt.

But there I was on Wednesday going through the boxes that I had not gone through in more than a year.

There were a couple high-dollar scores, some not-so-significant rookie cards I (think I) needed for my collection, and a few “different” types of cards that caught my attention.

On that note, let’s start with the “different” items.

I’m sure you’ve seen these before, but this is a 1965 Topps Embossed card of Ernie Banks. These were inserted into regular packs in 1965 and offered collectors a “different” type card of star players. There was a badly cut Roberto Clemente in the box for $5, but I liked the value on this Ernie Banks at $1. The card is scuffed and has a pin hole at the top, but it’s still worth 100 pennies to me.


Here are a pair of 1969 Topps Sticker Albums. These also were inserted into packs and basically served as a place to put the player stickers that were also included in some packs. The albums are separated by team and show players inside with their stats. The albums I got are of the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs. The Astros one doesn’t have any stickers, but the Cubs has a few, including Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins. One a side note, the back side of these albums showcase facsimile signatures for players on the team. Surely that was a nifty idea for the time. These were 50 cents each.


IMG_6901IMG_6900IMG_6903And here are a pair of 1970 Topps Booklets, one of Pete Rose and one of Ernie Banks. These are essentially comic books telling the career story of the depicted player. Kinda neat. Banks cost me $2; Rose was $2.50. Pretty good shape considering the card stock is thin like paper.


IMG_6907IMG_6908And now some rookies:

We’ll start with a PSA 7 1981 Topps Jari Kurri rookie. I’m not big on hockey cards, but a PSA 7 for $3 seemed like a goo deal so I nabbed it.


Speaking of graded. Here’s a 1981 Topps Harold Baines BGS 6 for $2. The grade is lower, but looking at the breakdown, the reason this got a 6 is because of the centering. Either way, I’ll pay $2 for older solid rookie cards in BGS slabs.


And lower grades … here’s a creased 1992 Topps Derek Jeter rookie card for $2.50. Not exactly vintage, but it was in the box. I’ll bite at that price. It still presents nicely.

IMG_6913How about a 1967 Topps Sal Bando rookie card. I own one already, but this one looks a LOT better than the one in my collection.

IMG_6904Here’s the rookie card of 1970 American League batting champion Alex Johnson, 1965 Topps.

IMG_6905And the 165 Topps rookie card of Cleon Jones, a key member of the 1969 New York Mets championship run.

IMG_6909So, I went a good five years without acquiring a Bobby Cox rookie. And about a year or so ago, I found one in an antique store for just a few dollars. It’s a gorgeous card. During this trip I located another Cox rookie and it was $3. I like adding those kind of cards to my collection for the price of a pack of cards.

IMG_6906And now the three big purchases of the day.

We’ll start with a 1948 Bowman Marty Marion rookie. Truthfully, I have never seen one of these. This one is in good shape aside from the centering. Price $16. Not bad for a Hall of Famer.

IMG_6914 Creased cards get a bad wrap in our hobby. It’s almost the death of a card if it has been bended. That said, I can’t let a 1968 Topps Johnny Bench rookie card sit in this box for $9. Surely someone can appreciate just owning a Bench rookie. I already have a graded one, so this one will be made available at some point.

IMG_6898And now the main attraction. Remember what I said about creased cards? The crease in this 1959 Topps All Star Mickey Mantle card killed it’s value. But for $15 I cannot — nor shall anyone else — leave an authentic vintage card of perhaps the hobby’s biggest name in a box.


A Mint Condition 1975 Topps George Brett rookie card

Posted in Icon-O-Clasm, Instagram Portraits with tags , , , , , on February 20, 2013 by Cardboard Icons


Thrift Treasures XLI: 30 year old rookie extravaganza

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

So about a week and a half ago I tweeted this picture seconds after exiting one of my local thrift stores.  At that time I located a bag full of “vintage” cards, the years obviously consisting of 1975 to 1980.  Was it a “true” vintage find?  I guess that is up for debate.

But what’s for sure is that the cards within were worth more than the $5.99 price tag that was on the bag. For less than the price of three 2012 Topps retail packs, I was going to get my vintage baseball fix and hopefully find some rookies for my collection.

Boy did I hit the jackpot.

As it turned out, there were more than 60 1975 Topps Minis in package.


A package consisting of that many 1975 Topps Minis would have sold to me for double the sticker price based on principle alone.

No huge names in the mini lot, but some recognizable ones:

Yogi Berra, Sparky Anderson, Manny Sanguillen, Bill Buckner, Bob Boone, Jose Cruz, Steve Yeager, Greg Luzinski and more.

The best, in my opinion, is this bad boy:

1975 Topps Mini Mario Mendoza rookie

A mini rookie card of the player whose name is probably best known for being associated with a poor batting average — the Mendoza Line.

Obviously that was not all that was in the package.  Before we get to the rookie cards, here are a few more random cards.

1971 Kellog's football cards

While researching these three football cards, I became aware that Tom Barrington — running back for the Saints — only has two cards in existence.  One is a Saints team issue, the other is THIS card.  Pretty awesome.  I should get the team issue and call myself a super collector.

2001 Private Stock Premiere Date Freddie Mitchell rookie /99

Too bad I didn’t get a hold of this card like five years ago when he was actually relevant.

2004 Bazooka Alex Rodriguez game used jersey

Super random … a mint game used jersey card in a bag of vintage cards.  Weird.

1974 Topps Walter Alston w/ LaSorda, Gilliam, Adams and Basgail

I love this card because it features two legendary Dodger managers, one at the end of his coaching career and one at the beginning. Alston led the team from 1954 to 1976.  Lasorda was the skipper from 1976 to 1996.

1976 Topps Dave Duncan

This is NOT Dave Duncan’s rookie card, but this is awesome.

And now …  THE ROOKIES:

Count ’em!  More than 60 rookies cards for my ultimate rookie collection.  I’ve noted this before, but I am working on a project that involves obtaining a rookie card* of every player who stepped foot onto a Major League field, or had a rookie card produced.  This lot goes a long way in filling those years from 1976-1980.  No huge names, but some recognizable ones.  Here are my 5 favorite from the bunch:

1974 Topps Bucky Dent rookie card

1974 Topps Jerry Hairston rookie card

1979 Topps Danny Darwin and Billy Sample rookie card

1980 Topps Dickie Noles rookie card

1980 Topps Jerry Don Gleaton rookie card.

If you want to see more of the rookies, you can check out my on-going project:  The Rookie Card Project.

And finally, not pictured, are roughly 300 “commons” from 1974-1980.  Any one working on any of these sets or interested in trading for teams?

MLB Network, I Love You

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

109_1191I’m not sure what to say today.  I’m waaaaaaay too happy that the MLB Network has finally arrived.

Should I be this excited?

Is this Heaven? (3:42)

I started a thread (its still on-going) at today about my giddiness, but it reached a whole new level while watching Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. While watching this game,  I saw a Gillette shaving blades commercial, and in it was a special offer for the Vest-Pocket Encyclopedia of Baseball, a free gift with your purchase of blades.

Well, as it turns out, I actually own that freakin’ encyclopedia! Continue reading

Baseball cards can be good investments

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

Vindication! For more than a decade, I’ve been focusing my collection on rookies and vintage, two things I always felt would maintain their value. And while I am not all about the money, I do believe that in some way these cards are investments, as well as a form of entertainment. But in this poor economy, I do spend less on baseball cards, and I know for sure that I have cut back on posting stuff on eBay simply because I know I am not the only one hurting for cash. Continue reading