Sunday, August 12, 2012

Par For The Course

I think it really takes a special person to collect golf cards.  Specifically, collecting golf cards prior to the Tiger Woods era.  Let's face it, golf is not the most action-packed, exciting sport to watch or to even play for that matter.  It is most definitely one of the hardest sports to master.  If you are anything like me, you enjoy the game but it frustrates the crap out of you.  After about 8 or 9 holes, it essentially becomes just a day out of the office.

I'm no expert on the sport or for that matter, the golf sports card market.  But just based on my own observations, up until Tiger exploded onto the scene, it seemed golf cards were only for the hardcore fans because I know of no casual collectors.  I'm sure most collectors know or at least have seen pictures of the golf cards in the Goudy Sport King sets of the 1930s and the US Carmel set in 1932.  Some of those are iconic in the sports card world.  I believe the first recorded set of golf cards was a cigarette set from 1901.  But up until we had "personality" guys like Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer, I don't really think golf had the attention that it does today.  

Since Tiger, there have been golf sets released on a fairly regular basis and the sport has taken a huge leap in popularity.  When you check the master checklist, there are now over 12,000 golf exclusive cards (meaning they came from a golf only set).  11,600 of those were since 1981.  Plus are numerous sets like Sport Kings, Allen & Ginter, and Goodwin Champions that regularly include golf subjects.  

But even still, there isn't the target audience in the card market like the other sports.  Golf takes a back seat (way back seat) to baseball, football, hockey, basketball, even NASCAR.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most collector's out there probably either don't own a golf card or if they do, they probably could tell you every one of them.

Up until the Garage came into existence, I don't remember owning a single golf card, other than this one.  

I don't really remember how I got it but I'm sure it was in a trade.  But that card was long gone before I started blogging.  I think I remember trading this one away for some 1992 Upper Deck Baseball commons or something like that.  

While in the Garage, some golf cards surfaced that I figured I would share with everyone.  Including the one above, there were these.

The Chi Chi Pro Set along with the Ben Crenshaw were in a little folder marked by the Pro Set logo.  I can only assume this was some type of promotional giveaway or a prototype released to dealers.  The Tom Watson is a 1981 Donruss card.  When I looked it up, it is apparently considered his "rookie" card.

 And then there was this little box

Obviously the set is still sealed and I have no intention of opening it.  I am guessing the Pro Set cards above came out of this set.  Since it is blurry, there are 100 cards in this set which include 75 PGA Tour cards and 25 Senior Tour cards.  It also says "1 Collectible" on the bottom.  I'm not really sure what that means.

I guess you never know what you'll find in the Garage.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Still kicking...

It's been ages since I last posted on the card garage.  Not because the garage is no more.  I just haven't had a whole lot of non-primary-hobby-collecting-time-and-energy to go through things out there.  But I would like to start doing so again at some point because looking through all that stuff is fun and I always find interesting and different things.

A couple updates for anyone that might care.  The garage was expanded a couple times since the last post on here.  There is now somewhere in the range of a million cards or more out there.  At first I thought that was an exaggeration but I don't think it is.  There were two other "collection" purchases made in the last year that added to the enormousness.

As a result, I installed shelves along one entire side of the garage to house all of the cardboard wonders.  I also had to remove many of the boxes that were moved inside the house out of fear of domestic violence.  So shelving was the logical step and it looks way better than it did before.

I was putting stuff on the shelves this morning and as I was going through some of the boxes, I noticed a few cards that I had never seen before.  I figured I would share here since this is my outlet for all things that come out of the garage.

These were the first two out of the box.  When I first saw these I was kind of mesmerized because I had never seen a set like this before (actually if you look around the blogosphere, countless collectors have featured this set...I'm just oblivious).  The cards are from the 2001 Upper Deck Cooperstown Collection Hall of Famers Set.  This was issued as a hobby only set when it was released.  The boxes can still be obtained from places like Dave & Adam's but they are still over a hundred bucks!!  And remember, if you do pull the trigger on one of these and you get a redemption are SOL.

To give you an idea of what we have here, the set is broken down into 90 cards that feature the greatest players, builders, and moments in baseball history.  There are four different categories of cards in the set.

The main vets are cards 1-50,

a subset called Origins Of The Game make up 51-60,

The National Pastime make up 61-80

and the Hall of Records finish out the set with 81-90. 

Despite the fact that a bunch of the photos are a little grainy and some of the design placement could use some work (especially on the backs), I think this set is one of the nicest sets I have seen in a long time (pretty good considering it is almost 12 years old).   The photos that are used on these aren't the typical ones you find in retro sets and Upper Deck did a real nice job of capturing some history that has long been forgotten by many baseball fans.  

The best part, for me anyway, is that these are the kinds of things that randomly pop up when opening boxes.  These were in a couple jewel box cases at the bottom of a Home Depot shipping box that was otherwise filled with early 90s overproduction era stuff in both baseball and basketball.  

You never know what you will find in the Card Garage.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Something different, I think

Since I was tired of looking at Tiffany's face at the top of my other blog, I decided to grab a box from the garage to see if I could find anything interesting.  Of course, it's not hard considering the shear volume of boxes that are out there.  So today I wanted to share with you an odd find that I had never seen before.

Behold, a set of 1992 First Edition Baseball Hall of Fame Heroes Cards, err Official Baseball Card Stamps.  What in the world are baseball card stamps.  Well in 1992, the St. Vincent Philatelic Services, Ltd. decided to manufacture and release a 12 card set of standard size cards featuring some of baseballs well known HOFers.  Of course, being the Philatelic Service that they were, the cards doubled as peel-away stamps and are actually official legal postage in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The cards have an interesting design, featuring a head shot of the player in a black/white/sepia color over a faded gold two tone background.  The borders deckle edge to simulate a stamp design and there is a clean yellow boarder around it.  Each card has enough for $4.00 worth of postage. 

The backs feature a plain white background with all the pertinent text you would expect to find on the back.  Everything from when they were born, died, where they were from, and their position are printed on the top.  The states included most, if not all of their playing history including World Series stats. 

As you can see by the back of the box, the players include Ty Cobb, Whitey Ford, Lou Gehrig, and Babe Ruth.  The set also features Satchel Paige which is kind of cool since you don't see many cards of him out there other than from the last 10-15 years.  The sides of the box are also printed with the inscription "A Unique First In The Trading Card Industry" on one side, and "Baseball Card Stamp Set Is Legal For Postage" on the other side.  Here are a few scans of some of the cards, both front and back.

Here are 9 of the player stamps.  You can click on the image to zoom in and get a better look.


And here is what the backs look like.

I couldn't find much about these anywhere so I really don't know what the print run was.  Since it was in the early 90s I can only imagine it was quite large.  Plus, if people actually peeled them and used them, that could make the print run less.  I'm still not sure if they were actually printed in St. Vincent or the Grenadines or if they came out of some dusty warehouse in Miami.  I check around on Ebay for sales of these.  You can pick up sets anywhere from about $5 all the way up to $40 depending on where you look.  There are even FDC versions already on envelopes floating around out there.  

Definitely something a little different. But that is always expected when you pull a random box from the garage. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011


No, not that Tiffany.  Tiffany baseball cards.  You know those weird glossy cards that Topps put out between 1984 and 1991?  

Well, I found some mixed in with a pile of 1988 and 1989 Topps cards that I was prepping for the bonfire.  Upon initial review, there is really no difference between these cards and their regular counterparts.  But where they stand out is with the high gloss finish to the fronts and the brightly colored backs.  At first, you may think they are from the Traded sets as those generally have a shade or two brighter back than the base set.  But these don't have the "T" designation after the number and they are the same photos on the fronts.  

Topps released the Tiffany cards as a "super" premium set for the collector that was able to fork out an arm and a leg for a set.  They were only packaged for sale by hobby dealers in a full set, not as a wax box or rack pack like the regular cards.  The sets themselves were limited by over production era standards to anywhere from 5,000 to 25,000 sets, not serial numbered.  The 1991 set is believed to be the lowest print run set at the 5,000 mark.  

Since they seem to be scarce, you can generally find these selling for quite a bit more than their base set counterparts.  For example, a 1986 Topps Traded Will Clark rookie went for between $.50 and $5.00 on Ebay while the same card in the Tiffany version went for over $50.00.  

I'm not saying I pulled anything $50 worthy here, it's just interesting to get to see these in person.  As a childhood collector, neither myself or any of my friends could afford a Tiffany version of any of these cards.  I remember seeing singles at card shows back in the late 80s/early 90s with price tags on them upward of a few hundred dollars.  What kid can fork out that kind of cabbage?  None that I know, that's for sure. 

So here's a few from the garage that have been rescued from their eminent doom.

1989 Jose Canseco

1988 Jose Canseco

1989 Wade Boggs

1989 Paul Molitor

1989 Will Clark

1988 Will Clark

1988 Ryne Sandberg

1988 Don Mattingly

On the scans of a few of them you can notice that they look to be a little brighter than their regular release brethren.  Scanner doesn't pick up shiny very well so you don't get the gloss.  Instead of the gray cardboard like the base set, these are printed on a white card stock that is a little thinner, which makes the colors pop a little more.  Notice the backs where you can see the color of the cards is much brighter than what you would normally find on an 1989 or 1988 set, especially the 1989s.  If you believe everything they print on the internet like I do, apparently these were printed in Ireland instead of Pennsylvania. 

I didn't find any other years of these yet, but now that I know they are out there, I will be more careful before sending these late 80s nightmares off to Hades where they belong.

PS.  Did you click on that album cover up top?  Go ahead.  Try it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Random 8 (Episode 3)

Since the point of starting this blog was to showcase what was in this giant collection, I figured I better get on the stick.  So with that, I bring you another episode of The Random 8.  These are 8 cards pulled, at random, from a box that I may be currently going through.  Why 8?  Because that is how many fit comfortably on my scanning bed.  These can be anything, all sports, even non-sport.  I'll even attempt to comment.  Also, if I ever show anything you might want, let me know before it goes back to the garage or gets put up for sale.

(From left to right, Top to bottom)

1.  1998 Donruss Jeff Bagwell (Hit List) - I was always a fan of Jeff Bagwell.  The tandem of he and Craig Biggio was one of the best in baseball at the time.  Donruss again put out the Hit List set only in 1998, they included it in the regular issue of the set.  It looks like an insert but is sequentially numbered with the base cards.  Sadly, Bags can be found in the common boxes these days.   

2.   1997 Leaf Gary Sheffield (Legacy) - Again, another cool looking card that appears to be an insert but is not.  Leaf included the Legacy cards as regular set issued cards.  The set was broken up into two 200 card series so this one came out of Series II.  Sheff was another guy I always liked growing up and thought he was underrated as a player.  Unfortunately, like many of my childhood "heroes", he was no stranger to controversy and tarnished himself by making friends with good ole' Barry.  I think I lost respect for him somewhere between the racial comments he was making in almost every interview back in 2006 or 2007.  To think, for a while there, there was a slim chance that he could have suited up again this year. 

3. 1984 Donruss Kevin McReynolds RC - I'll admit that I hardly remember Kevin as a Padre.  He spent from 1983-1986 with San Diego and apparently wasn't horrible but not enough to keep him from being traded.  I remember him mostly as a Met (although he would play for the Royals later on).  If my recollection serves me correctly, Kevin was on a stolen base tear back in 1988.  He set the record for most SB's without being picked off.  In my little trading card circle which consisted of about 5 kids from the neighborhood, his cards were most definitely not "commons" at the time.  Afterall, he was better than Rickey Henderson according to one of my friends at the time.  If only...

4.  1987 Fleer Bo Jackson - This was the most sought after Bo Jackson card amongst the kids in my neighborhood.  That was until the 1990 Score "BO" card came out featuring the over the shoulder pads bat picture that has since become iconic.  I remember picking one of these up from a show at the Ramada Inn and being the envy of the neighborhood.  $20 was a lot to spend on one card back then.  I think I'd be lucky to get $2 for it now.  Funny how times change.  I guess I should have traded it for the Don Mattingly RC and Darryl Strawberry RC I was offered when I had the chance. 

5.  Skybox/Hoops Isaiah Rider - Here we have another fallen, waste of potential talent in Isaiah JR Rider.  I thought this guy was going to be huge.  After coming out of UNLV, he was drafted by the T-Wolves with the #5 pick overall.  But like most modern-era players, the quick jump from poor college athlete to filthy rich pro went to his head.  Drugs, legal problems, assault charges, and other distractions sent him on a downward spiral after just two seasons.  He was never the same after that.  I think he may actually hold the record for the most suspensions in the shortest amount of time.  You'd have to fact check me on that one though.

6.  Topps Gallery David Justice - I'm not 100% on this one anymore but I think this may be a promo sample.  Since I can't seem to find where I put this one, I will refrain from further comment. 

7.  1990 Donruss Harold Baines All Star (Variation B) - What random pile-o-junk would be complete without the obligatory 1990 Donruss card?  The answer...none.  Here we have Hammerin' Harold and his acknoledgment for being in the 1989 All Star Game.  But if you notice the former owner of the card's meticulous attention to detail, you will see the sticker that designates this as Variation B.  Wait for it.... It took me a minute or two after finding this to see the problem.  The line in the header of the card is going through the star instead of behind it.  That's it.  I hardly think this card was worth $20.00 for that, then or now, or ever for that matter (no offense to Mr. Baines.

8.  1987 KMart 25th Anniversary Brooks Robinson - Arguably one of the best 3rd basemen of all time, Brooks Robinson was one of many all time greats to be included in the 25th Anniversary set by Kmart back in 1987.  The set was manufactured by Topps and included a set of 33 glossy cards featuring "Stars of the Decades", meaning the 60s, 70s and 80s.  Also included was that ever popular stick of gum.  The cards were packaged in a box similar to a pack of playing cards.  Other stars included Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, Wade Boggs, and George Brett.  I was actually shocked to see graded versions of some of these on Ebay going for $10-20.  Crazy. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another Random 8

Since the point of starting this blog was to showcase what was in this giant collection, I figured I better get on the stick.  So with that, I bring you another episode of The Random 8.  These are 8 cards pulled, at random, from a box that I may be currently going through.  Why 8?  Because that is how many fit comfortably on my scanning bed.  These can be anything, all sports, even non-sport.  I'll even attempt to comment.  Also, if I ever show anything you might want, let me know before it goes back to the garage or gets put up for sale.

 (From left to right, Top to bottom)

1.  1993 Skybox Ultraverse II Origins Mantra Promo Card - Another non-sport promo card from a random box.  This one is from the Ultraverse II set produced by Skybox in 1993-1994.  These cards feature artwork created by some of the biggest comic artists of the time.  This particular card features Mantra, a man trapped in a women's body.  The background story, and I'm not a comic guy so bare with me, is that a warrior who was immortal for some reason or another has to become a mortal woman and a sorceress.  How's that for a story line.  The character was created by the comic artist Matt Barr.  There are also autographed versions of these floating around the universe too.

2.  1999 Topps Gold Label Class 1 Todd Hundley - I was always a fan of the Topps Gold Label series.  Any sport, any year.  I like the card stock, the reflective/glossy surface, and the design with multiple cut out shots of the player.  The backs, on the other hand, need some work.  They only show career totals with average stats and career best.  Although, this years set has a short write up on the player.

3.  1992 Wild Card Decision '92 Ross Perot (and George Bush) - This is still sealed in the promo pack it came from originally back in 1992.  Apparently a ton of these were given out during the various campaigns as "special cards" or promos.  They also put out parallels just like the football versions with numbers stripes that could be redeemed and traded through their Trading Card Center.  These were manufactured by AAA Cards.

4.  1992 Topps Stadium Club Batman Returns Promo - These were put out right before the movie was released and featured 100 cards.  The cards show movie photos, behind-the-scenes shots, and also included some production artwork.  I think it would have been cool if they inserted these at random into the baseball and football sets back then.  Could you imagine pulling one of these out of those poorly packaged cellophane wrappers?

5.  1996 Upper Deck A Cut Above Ken Griffey Jr. #CA3 - Another die-cut card by Upper Deck.  The subtitle on this one is "Fun Loving".  "Once in spring training, when he lost a bet for a steak dinner to manager Lou Piniella, he paid up by bringing a live cow into Piniella's office."  That's no bull.  Get it?  Bull.

6.  1980 Topps Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Series II Star Pilot Luke Skywalker - This was from the second series of ESB cards.  It features 132 cards with 33 stickers.  On the back is a trivia question.  "What is the first spaceship ever to be seen in a STAR WARS movie?"  The answer is on card 148.

7.  1993 Gil Elvgren's Ladies of Naughty Nostalgia Promo Pin up Girl - These were produced by Comic Images through Gil Elvgren's publishing company Brown & Bigelow back in 1993.  The cards all feature pin-up girls from the 40s and 50s and were contained in a 90 card set.  There were also three bonus Super Spectra-Scope and three Opti-Prism cards randomly inserted in packs.  I'm surprised I haven't seen more of these around considering the popularity of pin-up art.

8.  2004 Topps Opening Day Gary Sheffield #105 - Nothing special.  Just a base card.  It was just weird that it was sandwiched between some of the ones above.  By this point, Sheff had been in the league for 18 years.  Here we see him contributing to his 2003 Braves season RBI record (which was held by Hank Aaron).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What (if anything) Is The Effect Of Serial Jersey Numbers

I have come across some stuff in a football box that has intrigued me.  Apparently at some point or another, the person that owned this collection at one time felt that it was fun/important/profitable/etc. to accumulate serial numbered cards.  This box has a ton of them.  But something I took note of was the small stack that was separated out in the back of the box.  These cards had notations made on the penny sleeves indicating that the serial number was the player's jersey number.  So I guess my question to all the blog readers/collectors out there is, does serial numbering that shares the same jersey number as the player bring a premium value to the card?

Here are a few examples:

Here is a 1999 Fleer  Trophy Collection Brian Griese of the Denver Broncos.  The card is number 139TC from the set and is serial numbered, (if you click on the picture you can zoom in on the bottom right corner) 14/20.  As we can all see by Brian's wonderful demonstration of how to receive a snap for a field goal/extra point, he dons number 14.  I'm not aware of the current BV on the card and I was unsuccessful at finding any auctions on Ebay or listings on COMC for this one.  I did find a few dealers with the card offered anywhere from $40-60.  Does the fact that his number is the serial number increase the desirability and value of this one?

My second example is this 1999 Donruss Zoning Commission card of Curtis Martin.  As we can see here, Curtis sports his #28 as he puts on the brakes in the endzone.  The card is die-cut on the sides as you can see by the scan.  If we flip the card over...

we see it's number ZC16 and the set is serial numbered out of 1000.  It just so happens that this one is #28, the same number as his jersey.  By checking with COMC, I can see that many of the cards minor stars are listed between $1.50-2.50 while the superstar players are about $8.  Regardless of what I think, Mr. Martin is probably going to be part of the bottom tier when considering the hierarchy of popularity.  The Bay has these selling from $.99-$10 depending on where you look but there was only 1 completed auction for poor Curtis here at $2.99 with no bids.  So I'm definitely going with the $1.50 price tag on this one.  Does the fact that it is numbered the same as his jersey kick this one up a notch?

But what about for superstars?  My final example (and believe me I could keep going with this) is this fine specimen.  It's a 1998 Pacific Dynagon Turf Titanium Turf John Elway #'D/99.  I found this weird case in a box with nothing in it so I thought the Elway would look does.  Pacific was always good for putting out a billion insert sets into their product and this was no exception.  This comes from a 20 card set with a print run of only 99 cards.  If we flip Mr. Elway over, we find...

that the card is numbered 7/99.  Again, his jersey number is the serial number.  One thing about this set that I found is that despite the player selection, the print run seems to inflate the price.  If we go by BV alone, many of the mid to lower tier players are listed at $20.  Heck, even Ryan Leaf has a $15 tag on him and we know that is ludicrous.  I haven't seen any completed auctions from this set.  There are a few from the 1999 set though with much lower pricing including the Curtis Martin for a buck (man, that guy get's no hobby love).  The current ones for sale are ranging from $10 for guys like Terrell Davis, Napoleon Kaufman, or Corey Dillon; up to $140 for the likes of Peyton Manning.  Sportsbuy has the Marino for $91.  So between the Manning and the Marino, I would probably put Elway at about $100-120.  Does that #7 stamped on the back push this one higher?

I'm curious to hear the hobby communities take on this one.