Friday, July 3, 2020

Free Stuff Friday - Time Capsule Cards

Last weekend I was at my mom's house in Connecticut, for the first time since February. Since then Mom has informed us that she's moving out of the house that she moved into when I was 18 months old - which would be the spring of 1982. Mom can't climb up and down stairs any more because her back and knees are beyond repair. She'll be 78 in September - which is when she plans to move into her new first floor apartment on the other side of town.

I was asked to help her clean out the attic crawl space, but I had so much fun up there that I just did it all myself. By the time I was done more than four hours had passed, and I swear it only felt like two. The attic was my sports card and memorabilia room, before I moved out and my nephews moved in. While the room itself was a mixed bag of my stuff (which is still there) and my nephews', the stuff in the crawl space was all mine. Or so I thought.

The big thing that had to come out was my brother's old weight bench. I remember pushing that thing around the room as a kid; we must have stuffed it in the "hole" at some point. Once that was unbolted and discarded I pushed everything within reach to the mouth of the crawl space. I sat on the floor and sorted through the pile of sports cards that had been sitting in there for over 25 years. The newest cards were from 1993-94. I wasn't expecting to find anything older than 1986 - the year I started collecting - forgetting that even in the pre-internet days I was able to acquire older cards than the current year. Duh.

The attic room is always hot, especially in summer. I had a bottle of water nearby and an open window ten feet from where I was working. I was sweating and dirty and I couldn't have been happier. Some of the things in that crawl space were a tad embarrassing, but most of them brought back great memories. 

I uncovered things that had been buried in there for so long I'd never seen them before. My sister's toy horse collection was strewn about the crawl space. Larger horses were in one box, and glass/porcelain miniatures wrapped in newspaper were buried in the fiberglass. My mom was not going to look past the wooden bars, but I didn't want to leave anything behind. There were some cards and books sticking out of the fiberglass fields, too.

Along the inside wall I found more of my mom's books, at least six boxes worth. I'd barricaded myself inside at one point and called for someone to help move them out of my way. No one heard me, so I pushed them out myself. One of them was an old World Book volume that I wanted to take home (I loved encyclopedias as a kid and I miss them) but I was too concerned with the sports stuff and forgot to bring it. Oh, and I found this:

As soon as I saw it I laughed out loud. Mom, were these my diapers? I'm not sure what a box would cost today but these were $6.99. My sister (who has grandkids now) saw this and joked that Mom should have stocked up on Pampers at that price. 

Anyway.. you're not here to see 40 year-old diaper boxes, am I right? You're here for cards. We'll get there.

Among the reading material I found were some record store ads. One was from 1992, when I first started purchasing CDs, watching MTV every day, and checking the Billboard chart whenever I was in a music store. 

The funny thing about this particular top 40 chart is that my boss gave me the nickname "Chris cross" when I started working there - and then asked me if I knew who Kris Kross was.

Yep, I knew. He even played "Jump" at full blast one Friday afternoon. We all had a good laugh. He still calls me "Chris cross" sometimes.

This is not mine. Queen released Hot Space in May of 1982, so this flyer has been sitting in the attic for about as long as that diaper box.

Here's a magazine from 1981 with a boy playing baseball on the cover (remember when kids played baseball?) I skimmed through it and found a Quebec tourism ad, which I found funny considering the cover headline of "America, America!"

This was also published in 1981. Apparently I acquired it at a library bookmobile some years later. Take a look at these rankings, it's kind of a time capsule within a time capsule:

Please excuse my scribbles. I scribbled on pretty much everything back then. 

I could go on and on about the things I found in the crawl space, and perhaps I will discuss them further in a separate post. But I've made you read enough for now unless you scrolled through just to see the free cards - if so, shame on you! :P

About half of the time spent "cleaning the crawl space" was actually spent sorting through the hundreds of cards scattered on the floor. 90% of them were damaged; I only kept about 30 cards for my own collection. Most of these were overproduction-era singles that weren't worth saving considering their condition. I brought home the rest, in case any of my readers could use some of them. 

None of these "time capsule cards" are in near mint-mint condition, but they are free for the claiming. All I ask is that your comment includes more than just your claim (and limit 9 cards per customer, please.) Since I'm giving away cards that would have ended up in the garbage I'll do my best to throw in some more modern cards, in better condition. 

Let's start with some oddball items. Here's the Iron Man and Stan The Man:

Along with these Starting Lineup cards I found three figures and the backer board of another figure.

I remember buying the Rite Aid boxed set but had no recollection of the Fleer sets until I found the empty Award winners box in the crawl space.

Griffey is one of five Collect-a-books I found. The others were Robin Yount (keeper), Jeff George (damaged, one page had scotch tape across it), Joe Dumars, and Charles Oakley.

Non-sports anyone? There were more salvagable non-sports cards than football, basketball, and hockey cards combined.  

Yo! Anyone like old-school hip hop? 

Some all-time greats in decent shape...

..and some all-time greats in not-so-great shape.

Some early '80s commons:

And a few notable names:

We'll end this giveaway with the oldest card - and perhaps the most well-loved:

Hardly a historic find, but hopefully some of you can use some of these.

Thanks for reading, and happy 4th!


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

PWEs from Fuji and Jon

Quick post today because I'm planning a much longer one for Friday and I still haven't returned to regular commenting.

I've been scouring eBay looking for that big piece to add to my collection and so far I've been much too cautious. The prices are higher than I expect (which usually happens with auctions) and the one card I really want hasn't come back down to the price it was before i had the money to buy it. 

I saw a nice Pee Wee Reese 1956 Topps card just before I left work yesterday. I added it to my watch list, but by the time I got home someone bought it. It's just as well. I probably would have delayed a decision on it until it sold - like I've done with the Hank Aaron and Willie Mays cards that were on my watch list. 

You know what would be great? If there was a major sports card and memorabilia convention nearby with both high end and low end cards that I could purchase all at once without paying tax or shipping fees. Sigh...

Thankfully I've been perked up by a pair of PWEs from two of my favourite* bloggers.

 This Kevin Youkilis mini is one of 15 Red Sox cards in the latest care package from Fuji.

This PWE was full of neat inserts and parallels. 

Some Han-Ram here, and a purple refractor of blogger favorite Henry Owens.

Here are some cards I picked from Jon's Free Stuff Friday offerings:

Williams, Chesbro, and Bonds will go into my All-Time Teams binder (I'm rebooting that series when the 2020 baseball season starts -- assuming it starts on time.) I used to have a bunch of those Brett Favre NFL on Fox booklets and it's nice to have it back in my PC.

Thanks for the cards fellas, they were a nice surprise when I definitely needed one.

*Today is Canada Day, ya hosers. Here are some Canada-centic memes that made me chuckle.

Thanks for reading, eh.


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Nine In The Afternoon

I went to the card show in Milford today. The dime box guy was not there so I was in and out in less than an hour. I spent a total of $50 on nine cards:

I picked these three from a dealer who has some nice Red Sox cards. He had a Carlton Fisk Panini Immaculate Jersey & auto card #d/15 for $45 that I was tempted to buy, and an Ivan Rodriguez Clearly Authentic auto for $35 that was also intriguing. I decided not to spend that much on a single card. The Betts relic (#d/199) was priced at $18. The JDM/Papi dual (#d/150) was priced at $9. The Perez (#d/36) was priced at $5. 

I offered $25 for the three and he accepted.

The dealer wasn't pushy but he made it clear that he would be flexible on price. While I was searching through his boxes a kid stuck his hand in the row of cards I was looking at, plucked a Yankees card that the dealer valued at $3 and asked if his crumpled up dollar was enough. It was.

On the other side of the room was another dealer I'd seen before. He had a box of random loose packs from all sports and years. I had seen this box before but was too focused on dime box diving to pluck some packs. I've really been jonesing to rip open something (a box of 1993 Leaf S2 baseball is on its way to me) so I reached my hand in the box and pulled out a bunch of 2016 Donruss football and 2016-17 Upper Deck hockey. That's when I noticed these were four-card packs. I was hoping they'd be .50 but I was expecting $1. 

He informed me they were $2 each. I put them all back and bought singles from him instead:

The last time I attended a card show I'd picked up Panini Immaculate autos of Kevin Love and Horace Grant for $15 each. This might have been the same guy; his inventory was similar and there was a crowd around his table just like at the December show. Since there was no dime box (and I didn't see a Steve Young RC anywhere) finding more Immaculate cards was my last remaining goal. 

This dealer wanted $12 for Rick Barry and $6 each for Dan Majerle and Kenny Anderson.  Curry and Brodeur were 50 cents each. He didn't know what to charge me for the Cubs trio so he tossed it in as a freebie. 

On my way out I bought  a bunch of penny sleeve packs (5 for $4) and two packs of top loaders, so I spent about $70 total. I was satisfied with my purchases and the amount of time/money spent, but I don't think I need to go there again for a long time.

But! These are not the only nine cards I acquired this weekend...

There's a story behind these and a hundred other cards I brought home. And I'll tell you all about it in my next giveaway this Friday :)

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, June 24, 2020 Blaster #2

For the second time in as many months, I placed an order at There were some low-end cards sitting on my COMC watch list that were priced well over 50 cents apiece and since there's no way of knowing when I'll ever get my cards I thought I'd check my new favorite sports card site to see if they had any of these singles. 

I ended up ordering 180 cards for $22.99. Combined with my first order that's over 300 cards for under $40 shipped. I may have to take advantage of their new combined shipping offer next time.

Sometimes I search for local players like Jersey Jeff Hammonds here. My wife and father-in-law saw him play in high school; she said he was known as Jeff back then.  

Most of the baseball cards I picked up were either set fillers or All-Time Teams players. Langston and "El Presidente" go in the latter category, along with Barnstormer bench warmer Will Clark. I stumbled onto the Red Rodon parallel while searching for Opening Day set needs. He's on the verge of becoming a bust but a parallel or insert for a dime is too good to pass up - especially the "Planet Baseball" Guzman. As for Steve Finley.. I never knew he played for the Angels and I like Topps Chrome singles so I tossed it in the cart. 

More All-Time Teams stars, including a couple Chrome cards. Cromartie is an upgrade, the others are all new to my collection. Just about every Ed Delahanty card you'll find has a photo like this


Refractors for a dime? Yes, please. Especially when they're All-Time Team eligible. Frank Francisco leaves me one player (and one manager) shy of completing my first team set. The ballpark card is Marlins Park, not Pro Player Stadium. It was listed as "Ballpark Marlins" and I probably should have checked TCDB first. Oh well.

I only picked up two Red Sox cards in this order - a Chrome Kevin Millar and a 40-Man Brandon Lyon. Cam Newton is somehow still unemployed (why aren't the Chargers or Broncos going after this guy?) and I've always like NFL helmets and team logos. 

Of course I go right for the Green and Gold on I don't think this 1993 Topps Favre was available in my last order - unless I passed it over assuming I already had it. The Robert Brooks GameDay RC was a surprise freebie.

More Packers - and more than a pack's worth of 2015 Panini Prizm. Blowout cards has had 15-card Fat Packs of this set on clearance for well over a year. I bought a bunch for about $7 in at least two separate orders. They're still in stock but for some reason they doubled the price. Even though I have no intention to build this set, Blowout's price gouging enticed me to pick up all the singles I didn't have on Ten cents per card sure beats a dollar per card.

Some 1980s singles here, and a Swell Ray Nitschke from 1990. The site has been all but cleaned out of '80s stars, but you can still find some nice cards of well-known players like Jaworski and Clark.

We'll finish the football portion of this order with some 1991 Upper Deck high numbers and 1992 Collector's Edge. I remember buying a pack or two of these at the time but they weren't cheap, especially on a 12 year-old's budget. 

This order had a near-even amount of cards in each of the four major sports. I didn't scan up most of the Opening Day and Bunt baseball set fillers I bought, and I wont bother showing you the 1993-94 Fleer Ultra basketball singles I picked up since half of them are checklists and the other half are guys like Josh Grant and Eric Riley. I'm down to just 35 needs in the set - though I might crack open the graded Michael Jordan card I received unexpectedly in a TCDB trade.

Thanks to MJ, my 1988-89 Fleer set build is no more. That's okay, I like 1989-90 Fleer better anyway.

I was able to snag some superstars last time but Mo Cheeks is the only HOFer I found this time around.

The Kyle Lowry Prizm was an impulse buy. Prizm stars sell for well over a dime and I don't have a lot of Raptors. Unfortunately this is a pretty bland All-Star card (again, I should have consulted TCDB or COMC for a scan first.)

I don't have many Grizzlies either so I picked up a bunch from 1999-00 Hoops Decade, another set I'm passively collecting. 

The rest of my b-ball buys were from the early 1990s, including a handful of Finest.

Tom Chambers doesn't look so good. Luckily his was the only card that yellowed. Upon closer inspection the Wayman Tisdale is starting to turn :/ This is why I'm very reluctant to buy or trade for early Finest singles, but for ten cents a pop I took a shot. No regrets here, especially with names like Richmond, Horry, Grant, and 'Zo.

Upper Deck's All-Division Team was one of my favorite insert sets back in the day. I've never liked the Knicks but I couldn't pass up a John Starks Ultra insert. Any Hakeem card for a dime is a no-brainer for me, though this 1995-96 SP single was pretty much the only "Dream" card available.

How 'bout some hockey? These Allure singles were the main reason I revisited All eight of these cards cost as much as the Ovechkin alone set me back on COMC.

I doubt I'll be able to sell the COMC copy unless I take a 30-cent loss. Still, I couldn't pass up ten cent Ovechkin cards - or any of these great goalies. I tried finding a Taylor Hall card and settled for Phil Kessel. 

Found Hallsy in O-Pee-Chee Platinum though. I was thrilled to pick up some Vezina-winning goalies in '13-14 Prizm - especially Martin Brodeur, of course. 

Here's another Brodeur base card, and a bunch of Devils from 2019-20 Upper Deck (plus Charlie McAvoy.)

I shouldn't be surprised to find this much star power from a card shop/site in Canada - but I'm always impressed. Connor McDavid and Alex Ovechkin are automatic adds to the cart. Patrick Kane, Carey Price, and Jack Eichel aren't far behind. (The bottom three cards are not miscut, the scanner couldn't quite fit them all.)

Tim Hortons' singles including McDavid, goal-scoring co-champ David Pastrnak, and my first Carter Hart card. I've mentioned this before, but my nephew played against Cam Atkinson in high school. Braden Holtby is a free agent at the end of the year and I would love to see the Devils to throw a bunch of money his way. Then again it might be better to let Mackenzie Blackwood develop and get some help in front of him. 

I've got just about all the hockey cards I could ever want from 1990 to about 2016. It's still exciting for me to add 1980s issues like the Morrow, and 1988-89 Topps was the first hockey set I ever saw. On the newer side, I picked up a pair of O-Pee-Chee/Canadian Tire 'Coast To Coast' cards including a second helping of Pasta and noted Anna Kendrick fan Anthony Beauvillier.

We'll wrap this up with a gone but not forgotten franchise. 

No, I didn't get any Hartford Whalers cards (didn't see anything I needed this time.) For some reason I like the Atlanta Thrashers more now that they're gone than I did when they stunk up the Southeast divison. 

This team logo sticker from 2009-10 Panini was one of my favorite finds. Searching for Thrashers cards led me to a numbered relic of current Lightning blueliner Zach Bogosian. It's the second time I've found a relic card of a current NHL player on for a dime.

Some bloggers have mentioned that the site isn't very user friendly - most cards are not scanned, and the search makes finding specific cards difficult. Personally I find it easier to use than the Beckett Marketplace, cheaper than Beckett and COMC, and better than Cardbarrel because Baseballcardstore is much more than just a baseball card store. The extra time spent on the site is well worth it considering the selection of ten cent gems to be found.

I'm currently agonizing over whether to spend that Mike Trout money on one high-end vintage card or spread it around for a 'virtual card show' haul. And I still haven't decided what to do about those Pinnacle cans.

Also I'll be in Connecticut this weekend, and traditionally there is a card show nearby on the last Sunday of the month. I'm not sure if the Covid has cancelled the card shows indefinitely and even if they're back on I'm not certain I should attend. 

Hopefully I'll have answered at least one of these questions in time for next week's post.

Thanks for reading!