Thrifty 2012 (Part 3) – Yard sales

May 23, 2012

For the most of my life, I remember rummaging through yard and garage sales, flea markets, and antique shops. Mainly looking for sports things, or whatever else caught my eye that would not need an immense area. So recently, I discovered a way to electronically map out local garage sales, and then word-search them for “cards” or “sports” or whatever to help filter the sales.

Last weekend was my first trial, and I came up with five yard sales with 10 miles or so. Here were the results:

Yard Sale #1 – a kids collection of some rubber banded football cards for ten cents a piece, maybe 100 cards in total. There were a bunch of rookie cards (that I typically don’t collect, but for 10 cents a piece, what the heck.) As you can see, I grabbed a Kolb and Gabbert and a bunch others. Nothing to complain about here as I dropped a measly $2.10.

Yard Sale #2 – In the garage there was about six 5,000 count boxes of late 80s/early 90s which saddened me, but I did come across a small box of Georgetown cards and a slew of early 90s unlicensed cards from places like: Sports Report, Investor’s Journal and the like. From there, a bunch of Shaq cards, as well as some other Hall of Famers. I had not actually seen any of these cards before (lived in Japan in the early 90s), so I grabbed the box for $3. If it did not have the Georgetown cards or Ewing and Thompson, I would have passed.

Yard Sale #3 – Someone beat me to it and bought it all. Football cards was all I heard from the working ladies. Bummer.

Yard Sale #4 – These folks had a bunch of eclectic things as they had purchased a bigger collection from an estate sale. I started br grabbing some 1978 Dover Great Player Postcards. Eddie Collins and Tris Speaker are two of my favorites, and they were still there. So snag them. 19 postcards were listed for $30. Got them f0r $20. Also, saw a small table of autographed cards, and only one caught my eye – a Topps Retired signature card of Rob Dibble for $2.

2005 Topps Retired Signature Autograph Refractor #TA-RKD Rod Dibble (#3/25) – BV $50

How can you go wrong with that. It was only when I got outside in the sun that I discovered what it was.

Yard Sale #5 – There was a small table of “baggied” cards for $2 a piece, or two for $3. As I browsed through, I was impressed by some of it. Plenty of mid-70s Topps Basketball with some of the minor stars (Gervin, Parish, etc). Even some early 70s baseball and football. I aked what he wanted for theentire box (Maybe 50 baggies). He said $60. I told him I was more comfortable at $25-30, and even upped it to $40, but he would not go lower than $55. Pass. So, I grabbed $10 worth of the best bags I found. nagged about a dozen cards that book over $5.Overall, I thought it was a crazy success. Most of the fun is the hunt and the thought of something new at every stop – for example, I had a few first-time seen items this weekend. Over the weekend, I dropped $39 and kept about $210 (BV). All good. Lets see what next weekend brings.

Thrifty 2012 (Part 2) – Target Exclusive Pricing

May 15, 2012

A couple weeks ago, I read from Cardboard Icons about his visit to Target and the quick 2008 Upper Deck Soccer box he broke because he found it half-off. So, I thought I would go take a visit to the neighborhood Target and see what I could find …

2008 Upper Deck Soccer box – 36 packs, two memorabilia cards, $11.99 – To be honest, I am not sure I have any soccer cards in my collection. If so, less than a handful – so, I thought why not. I should have a Beckham and Donovan card, and it would be quite cool if I nailed one of these guys on the hits. Well, that did not happen, but I got the two guys I wanted (actually two Donovan base cards) as well as a memorabilia card from Kljestan. No idea who he is, but he is featured on the box, so …

Literally did not recognize a single other name of the 300+ cards opened. As for the Beckham card – what is up with the photo? One of the main faces for the entire sport, and Upper Deck could not nail down a spectacular photo? The best photo in this product should be his.

Nice cards and a nice product (for this price) – overall, I think the thriftiness was a PUSH. If you are looking for any cards of this set, let me know and I will send them along.

2009 Press Pass Racing – Six packs with two Target Exclusive cards, $4.99. I also have a lack of racing cards in my collections, and for this price, I grabbed three boxes. There are only six listed Target Exclusive cards, and I managed to nail all of them, which totally booked for about $30.

Plus, it was nice to nail down some base and insert cards of guys that I do not typically collect: Earnhardt Jr, Gordon, Stewart, Johnson, etc. All in all, the cards were sharp, some nice writing and stats, although I could do without the “car shots”. A total of eight cards that BV at $5 or more, so not too shabby for a $14.97 purchase.

Finally, there was one retail blaster box of 2010 Absolute Memorabilia Football for $11.99. This one was pretty disappointing, mainly because about 30% of the base cards were duplicates. not cool. No rookies, but I did come out of it with a McCluster memorabilia cards (a painful reminder of Jamaal Charles and my fantasy team the last couple years) as well an NFL Icons Junion Seau insert card.

Absolute Memorabilia is a solid product, and I really like the cards and designs. This particular blaster box? Well, I am glad I got it half-price.

Thrifty 2012 (Part 1) – Card Show

May 9, 2012

For guys like me, going to card shows are always a place to get things on the cheap. I am not a collector that chases the new products, the new hits, or the 1-of-1’s of players I barely know.

I collect Hall of Fame signature cards, HOF memorabilia cards, and if all else fails, any other HOF card. Since there is plenty of inventory out there, rarely is there a problem finding something above for a bargain price. And well, what’s cheap … that is obviously a tough question, but I guess my goal is 30% of Beckett High. Not sure how I came up with that number, but after some time, it seems like a legit goal. I usually hit right around there, and typically feel like I got a good deal without screwing someone over.

As for the weekend’s card show, there was plenty of things to look at, and plenty of other things to ignore. I actually saw a guy pull a /25 Chipper Jones Patch Auto, and he was pissed that it was out of 25 and not lower. Maybe I am too easy to please.

2011 Upper Deck World of Sports Autographs Mike Gartner
2012 Leaf Golf Authentic Signature Fred Funk (89/99)

Table one was his partner’s. He had a table of non-hot autos and memorabilia cards that I looked through deligently and pulled about bunch, a couple autos and lot of memorabilia, and even surrendered to Cam Newton and Stephen Strasburg rookies. End all be all, 14 cards from this table for $60. Book Value, $185. Jackpot.

Here are a couple of the ones I particularly liked.

Table two had about ten 5,000 card boxes on a side table – three cards for a dollar. Since I had some time one my hands and nothing else in the mall show grabbed my attention, I thought what the hell.

There was plenty of football and baseball, and plenty of Bowman, Chrome and Upper Deck from the last few years, so again, I loaded up on some promising rookie cards. In essence, the entire box was filled with $3-4 cards for 33 cents a pop. Easy pickens. I grabbed 30 cards for ten bucks. Book Value at about $90.

Total deal: dropped $70 for about $275 of BV.

Thrifty 2011, Part 5 – repeat seller

February 15, 2011

A few months I made a small purchase from a Craigslist ad – a few binders of some late 60s, mid 70s baseball. Some nice cards overall, and although my memory is a bit sketchy, I am sure I kept maybe 10-20 percent of it.

So last week I rolled back to the same house again to pick up some 1969 Topps Football. For the price, I was a bit worried that the cards were all messed up, but the pictures looked pretty good, some of the stars were listed, and there were more than 100 cards. Didn’t even haggle with the price.

Needless to say, I was very pleased with the purchase. Pleased with cards below, with the 3-4 that I set aside to send to PSA for the hope of an 8 or 9.

1969 Topps Four-in-One Insert #60 Johnny Unitas (BV $20)

1969 Topps #215 Bart Starr (BV $40); #139 Dick Butkus (BV $40); $150 Frank Tarkinton (BV $20)

1969 Topps Mini-Album Inserts #5 Dallas Cowboys (BV $5)


Poor Tuff Stuff (but it was your own fault)

February 13, 2011

I’ve been a reader of Tuff Stuff for … well, I would guess since the early 90s. To be honest, it was for the articles. Beckett had the price guide nailed (but no content) and the RSS feed had not been invented yet.

Fast forward 20 years, and time has not been good for Tuff Stuff. They can’t provide news anymore since the internet and social media have long since bypassed a monthly magazine. In turn, those media sources have all the features a reader could want also. A 2011 price guide is not Tuff Stuff, is less and less Beckett and more and more what the item is selling for on EBay.

I am not even going to get into the lack of their a user-friendly website, any type of revenue/auction ability, zero social media landscape and on and on.

So, I wasn’t surprised when I heard that Tuff Stuff was done a couple weeks ago. And today I received a new Sports Collectors Digest with the below sticker attached. Here is another example of why Tuff Stuff was laid to rest: If I had any questions about the transition from Tuff Stuff to SCD (wanting my money back, when my sub will now end, did they receive my latest renewal, etc), what do they want me to do? Write them a letter and mail it to Florida.

A letter. No e-mail, no phone, no send a question through the web. Stuck in the mid 80s.

(p.s. – Sports Collectors Digest – consider this a warning of your future. Just because ad revenue is carrying the publication printing …)


2010 Tri-Star Obak, a history of the game

February 12, 2011

This has been on my mind for the last couple months. Once the Card Corner Club gents mentioned that this was one of the Products of the Year, well … then I had to get it.

I love these kinds of products. History based, neat photos, awesome stories and you will get a couple autographs of historical players that you will never have heard of … but yet are pretty darn cool.

There were plenty of short prints, parallels, came close to completing the base set. All was great.

Here is what I liked:

Bob Horner #A64 (#12/25) – 1978 Golden Spikes Award Winner, 1st Overall pick in the ’78  draft, and ’78 NL Rookie of the Year. A 1x All Star, who played all but one year of his career with the Atlanta Braves. In ’78, his salary was $27k – amazing.









Ed Kurpiel #A67 (#12/125) – I’ll support it, Fast Eddie blasted a 738 foot home run from Moana Stadium (Reno) – the longest home run ever hit. The poor guy never made it out of the minors and ended in Tidewater. However, in his last year (1978), he had three pitching appearances and ended with a 1.80 – seems like that would earn a trip back in 1979.








Hank Greenberg red mini T212 version #10 (#1/5) – Nice! Pulling a 1-of-5 of a Hall of Famer. I dug Hammering Hank – he was one of the first guys to say he would not play on Yom Kippur, and guess what he did after hitting .340 with 41HR/150RBI during a 1940 MVP season? Took off for military service for three plus years.








Rube Foster black version #74 (#22/50) – One of the things I remember at the Baseball Hall of Fame was a big statue of this man. Foster, considered by historians to have been perhaps the best African-American pitcher of the 1900s, also founded and managed the Chicago American Giants, one of the most successful black baseball teams of the pre-integration era. Most notably, he organized the Negro National League, the first long-lasting professional league for African-American ballplayers, which operated from 1920 to 1931.







from the blank dark
walls of the kankakee
it all started to slip away
memories of the green
grass between the lines
memories of the love words
from god through your father

the big black body
dove against itself
after the hotel gas
weaver overlooked the cane
and union giants struggling
to keep you up the heart
ended the fight after all
and chicago cried for days

my hands rests
on your cold metal shoulder
and your thousands sons
play happily in the sun today

Thrifty 2011, Part 4 – Shop Goodwill

January 30, 2011

1981-82 Topps #16 Wayne Gretzky BV $20

It was my first time buying through the online auction site of Goodwill. I had bid on a few items and had won nothing in the past. For the most part on this site, I think bidders are willing to pay high prices and risk more money on unknown items. While there are photos of the items, they are not taken by experts … and well, sometimes by someone who knows nothing about sports in general.

1988-89 Topps Sticker Insert #6 Patrick Roy BV $4

However, this time I saw a lot for 500ish hockey cards from “stars of the 80s.” Typically, I would not even look due to the dreaded late-80s printing craziness, yet there were a couple photos from the mid to early 80s. Topps and OPeeChee. And the cards looked in pretty good shape. Obviously, it was still a risk to only see about 5 cards of the 500+ lot.  I paid about a bit more than what I wanted to, which is a rarity.

When all is said and done, I only kept the Hall of Famers which was about $120 of BV total with a bunch of late 70/early 80s Topps hockey. Not a bad deal.


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