Archive for Willie McCovey

Rookie Card Upgrade: 1960 Topps Willie McCovey 

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 15, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

I’m a big fan of Willie McCovey but I’ve never really been a huge fan of his 1960 Topps rookie card. Reason? It’s ugly.  The rendition of McCovey isn’t exactly flattering. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: McCovey looks like a deer on this card.

I digress. Being the rookie card collector that I am I had to own one. Hell, everyone should own one. The copy I decided on was raw and ultimately graded a 3.5.  It’s one of the best-looking 3.5’s I’d ever owned.  photo 76246699-8271-409C-B4BB-D5DA0E628931_zpsb2w1qcwh.jpg

Lately I’ve been doing a bunch of upgrading and recently posted my new Carl Yastrzemski. When I put that Yaz in my rookie display case next to the McCovey, it got me thinking about upgrading the Giants’ HOF rookie card.

And so I did. In relatively cheap fashion. in fact, it was maybe $20 more that what I had paid for the first McCovey.

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Thrift Treasures 68: 2014 Tri-Star San Francisco show bargain bin hauls

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , on May 1, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

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So last week I attended the annual Tri-Star show in San Francisco, and this time I went with a co-worker, whom I recently discovered was a card collector.  I was a bit uncertain of going with the guy — because I tend to go spend a lot of time going through stuff most people don’t care about — but it turned out fine.  He also likes to spend a lot of time at shows.  Guess I have a new partner to go to shows with.

I digress.  As usual I went to the first night of the three-day show, which gave me an early crack at the bargain boxes, the ones full of cards priced at a dime an a quarter, etc.  Well, in comparison to previous shows, this one was probably the least exciting for me.  The overall volume of stuff I bought was the least I had purchased in five years.  There are different reasons for this, but I think I’m becoming a tad more selective in what I’m purchasing from these boxes.

Anyway, enough of the chit-chat, on with the show …

We’ll start with the first dealer, who usually has cards offered for a dime a piece if you buy 200, but for some reason his stock this time didn’t grab me the way it had in previous years.  He tends to come up with new stuff for each show — which is awesome, by the way — but this stash just didn’t have the appeal.  So I settled for just 18 cards at a quarter a piece. A handful of prospect refractors, a few serial numbered cards (as low as 50) and one of my favorites of all time, the 1992 Upper Deck “Mr. Baseball” short print card featuring Tom Selleck and Frank Thomas.

IMG_8674The same seller also had some other boxes in which he had “better” cards priced at different levels, $3 each or $5 each.  I was kind of in a stingy mood so I only went for three from these boxes.

The Joey Votto Heritage ‘Action’ SP/variation and Bobby Thomson autograph were $5 each, and the 2014 Topps David Ortiz celebration variation card was $3.

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Across the way from the aforementioned seller was another guy who had cards cheap, at a dime a piece.  But I skimmed through the boxes really quick after a half dozen or so people did the same.  I spent five minutes going through boxes real quick and only nabbed these 10 cards for $1.  That’s six 1994 Topps Archives Hank Aaron rookie reprints and three Willie Mays cards from the same set.  I found a 2012 Topps Mike Trout as my tenth card and called it a day from that seller.

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Around the corner from the second seller was a guy who had a showcase full of signed shiny stuff, and then two boxes of items that were priced at $3 each, or three for $6.  I found three cards and the guy said he only wanted a $5 bill from me.  This shocked me because … I got a steal on these.  Do you see what I did?

IMG_8668Yeah, that Justin Morneau and the ‘Hot Corner Guardians” card are … 2011 Topps Heritage BLACK refractors, serial numbered to 62 copies each.  At $1.33 each that’s a steal.  That Posey is a basic Heritage Chrome refractor /562.

A few tables to the south was a guy from Sacramento.  We chatted a bit as I was going through his boxes of random autographs.  I stumbled upon a 2000 Greats of the Game Autographs Moose Skowron, which he had labeled at $10.  I paused, it was obvious I wanted it. Not because I am a big Moose Skowron fan, but because I am working on the set.  I told the guy I was working on the set and the Skowron was one of those autographs that I always pass on, because I hate the price.  He told me that I could have it for the lowest eBay price.  I checked and the prices were all over the place, from $2 to $10.  We settled on $5.  Win for me … and him, too, I suppose.

IMG_8670At another table a guy was selling a bunch of items for just a quarter a piece.  And while I could have purchased many more items, I decided to limit myself a bit here.  I picked up a few 2014 Topps Opening Day Blue Parallels, a 2013 Topps Update Gold parallel Danny Salazar “RC”, a 2013 Topps Update BCA Pink Pedro Strop /50, a 2013 Topps Update Juan Lagares Emerald Wave /25, three 2013 Gypsy Queen Minis of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, and my favorite, a 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter Bazooka mini of “King Tut” serial numbered /25.

IMG_8678The same seller had a box of cards for $1 each.  I took one, 2014 Topps Heritage Matt Kemp “Action” SP/Variation.  He put the base card in there too, which could be evident in the picture.

IMG_8679And the last dealer from whom I made purchases had a few items that made me laugh.  He had four boxes of items for a quarter each, and then a box containing items he was selling 3 for $5.

Well, the quarter boxes gave me eight cards, including five serial numbered cards (That McGwire is /600, Harrison is /100, Armas is /100, ans the Bagwell and Garciaparra are /2000), and three 1990 Leaf Sammy Sosa rookie cards.  I’m sure some of you remember when that Sosa Leaf rookie was a $150 card.  Had to own them at that price.

IMG_8675And the final purchases of the night came from the same seller.  Remember the aforementioned “3 for $5″ box?  Well, I found four cards.  He essentially charged me $1.50 a card.  That’s a 2000 Topps ‘Career Best” Sequential /1334, a 2000 Ultra Platinum Medallion Manny Ramirez /50, a 2012 Bowman Prospects (retail) Autograph Kolten Wong, and a card I always wanted, a 1974 Topps Willie McCovey with the “Washington” designation on top.  It’s the rarer version of the card; there is a more common “San Diego” version that is easier to find.

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Total cost of these treasures: $38

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Latest COMC mailday … sigs, sigs and more sigs

Posted in New Addition with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

IMG_3123Over the last four months I’ve made about 40 purchases on the consignment site COMC.com.  I’ve said it before — and I will continue to say it going forward — if you haven’t at lease checked out the site, you’re missing out.

Anyhow, the batch of cards arrived over the weekend and as the title of this post suggests … it’s full of ink.

TEN Hall of Fame signatures, an iconic one and a slew of prospect (and failed prospect) autographs filled this batch.

OK, enough of the shenanigans, let’s get to it.

We’ll start with a solid rookie card I’ve needed for quite some time — a 1955 Bowman Elston Howard.  Howard isn’t a hall of famer, but his career was significant.  Howard was the first black player to ever don a Yankees uniform, he was a 12-time all star, an MVP in 1960 and a six-time World Series Champion.  SOLID.

IMG_3110Speaking of MVP’s here’s a 2009 SP Legendary Cuts cut signature of the 1926 National League MVP Bob O’Farrell, who played for four teams during his 21-year career, including two stints with the Cubs and three stops with the Cardinals.

IMG_3115Here’s a 2010 Bowman Chrome autograph prospect card of a contender for the American League 2013 MVP award, Josh Donaldson.  He won;t win it — because it’s hard to pick him over Miguel Cabrera, who made another run at the Triple Crown this year — but he had a legit season.  At one point these Donaldson chrome signatures were over $20 each.  Just after the World Series I managed to grab this one for less than $8.  His signature isn’t hard to find, but this release is THE card to own — well of the non-parallel versions anyway.

IMG_3109Here’s a few prospect/failed prospect autos:

IMG_3107IMG_3126A few vintage rookies:

1933 Goudey Joe Sewell.  Did you know that Sewell, a Hall of Famer, struck out a total of 114 times during his career?  American League Home Run Champion Chris Davis struck out 199 times in just 2013.

IMG_30651933 Goudey Bernie Friberg.

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1934 Goudey Dolph Camilli.  Camilli took home the American League Most Valuable Player award in 1941, slugging a league-best 34 homers and driving in 120 RBI’s.

IMG_3112Here’s a card that always intrigued me: 1994 SP Holoview Michael Jordan.  Jordan didn;thave a basic SP rookie from this set; if he had one, it would be an epic card.  Instead we are left with this holoview caard, which is cool, but not nearly as cool as a foil, condition-sensitive rookie card would’ve been.  An if for some reason you’ve never handled one of thee Holoview cards, try to check one out … UD’s technology in the early 1990s was second to none.  The hologram of Jordan incorporates several images of Jordan’s face, so when you turn the card, he’s always looking at you.

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Here’s a pair of 2004 Bowman Heritage Signs of Authority autographs … I’m sort of working on this set.  Who collects umpire signatures?  This guy.

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How about a pair of 2012 Panini Cooperstown Signatures of journalist Murray Chass and Marty Brennaman.  I love these non-player signatures.

IMG_3120So yeah, Hall of Famer autographs … Here’s five.

1993 Nabisco Jim “Catfish” Hunter w/ COA.

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1998 Donruss Signature Series Ozzie Smith /2000

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2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Rollie Fingers.

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2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Tom Seaver

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2001 Topps Team Legends Mike Schmidt rookie reprint autograph

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Last week I declared war on the 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game autograph set.  Here’s a few of the ones I purchased over the last few months on the site.  The highlight is the shortprinted Willie McCovey.

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And perhaps the prize of the whole package … a 2013 Panini Golden Age Historic Signatures Jackie Earle Haley, who played “Kelly Leak” on the Bad News Bears.

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Instagram Portrait: 1960 Topps Willie McCovey Rookie Card

Posted in Instagram Portraits with tags , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

Willie McCovey rookie card at McCovey Point at McCovey Cove outside AT&T Park

The ugliest Hall of Famer rookie card has come home

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , on November 10, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

 

1960 Topps Willie McCovey rookie

Nothing against Willie McCovey, but is there another Hall of Famer whose rookie card looks worse that this 1960 Topps issue? I realize that the images used on baseball cards in the 50s and 60s weren’t as strong as those used today. In fact, many of the images were drawings or some sort of art. McCovey on this card looks like some sort of timid deer, not an up-and-coming fearsome left-handed slugger who ultimately would be considered one of the greatest. The mere fact that this card was so ugly was the reason I waited so many years to pull the trigger despite its relatively affordable price tag — think about the price of a 2010 Bowman Chrome retail blaster. Now that it is in my collection, I can stop searching eBay for Bambi, err, McCovey’s rookie. Thank goodness.

 

The Wonder Years: The Episode with the baseball cards

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

When I was a kid, there was one television show that was my universe: The Wonder Years. True, there were many shows I enjoyed. But there was only one that I felt was a must-watch for me. The Wonder Years captivated me from start to finish. There was just something about the time in which the show took place, the music, the relationship between Paul and Kevin, and then the constant chasing of Winnie Cooper that drew me in.

But of all the episodes, the one that always sticks out to me has just one mention of Winnie Cooper, it’s Episode 29, “Odd Man Out.”

In this episode, Paul and Kevin engage pretty early on in a discussion about baseball cards. Paul owns a Willie McCovey card that Kevin is just dying to have. Kevin offers him a Luis Tiant and Juan Marichal in exchange, but Paul won’t budge.  Paul wants Kevin’s Ted Williams, which Kevin believes is an insult.

The fall out from these trade talks alters their relationship — well, for the length of one episode anyway — and causes the two to seek friends in other classmates. It’s just a classic episode filled with lots of pop culture references and some discussions about baseball cards.

If you’re a card collector and have yet to see this episode, or have simply forgotten it, you must find it.  {editors note: I had the episode embedded here via YouTube but the links have since been disabled. 9/18/16}

The Wonder Years has not been released on DVD and won’t be any time soon because of costs associated with paying for the music that was played on the series. Much of the score is composed of classic rock songs played or written by artists who simply charge an arm and a leg for the rights to play it.

A few years ago, I found on eBay a seller who managed to put the entire series on DVDs. Obviously he taped the reruns from television and compiled them, but fact is the entire series could be mine. And it was. I bought the bootlegs for $50. (*note: they no longer appear on eBay because they are illegal copies.) But within a month of owning them, I lent them to a friend and he lost the first of the seven discs — which equates to the first 13 episodes. Epic fail.

But thanks to YouTube, we all can still enjoy the greatness of The Wonder Years.

{editors note 2: a version of seasons 1 and 2 has been released on DVD since this piece was originally published. The show also apparently is now available on Netflix. 9/18/16}

Sometimes Less Is More (2009 Topps Heritage)

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on March 15, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

2009toppsheritagemikeavilesI love retro sets, but honestly, sometimes they just don’t work. That is not the case with 2009 Topps Heritage. The cards are simple, beautiful and pretty authentic. As has been the case since 2001, Topps Heritage has given modern collectors a peak into what collecting was like in the 1950s (and now 1960). This years set features all of the same subsets that were in the original release 50 years ago. Among them are the all-star rookie cup cards like this Mike Aviles. Continue reading