Monday, August 19, 2013

The Day Has Finally Arrived: Sports Card Day!

After numerous requests to finally write about it, I'm doing it.  I spent a few hours on Saturday going through boxes of cards and I am ready to write about something that most of us spent a decent amount of our youth doing: collecting trading cards.  This is a loaded topic because if done correctly, it would be longer than that 90's Music Draft post from last week.  And I ain't doing that.  But I'm going to do my best.  I still have all of my baseball cards (as well as other sports--including old WWF cards!--but we're going to call them baseball cards anyway).  My dad bought me a complete set of Topps every year from 1980 to somewhere in the mid 90s.  I loved the day when I was able to sort them and put them in binders with those plastic sleeves.  Good times, BRAH!

I have no idea who makes what these days and I don't care to find out.  I know that my oldest nephew is into baseball cards and that brings me great joy even if he has no idea what he's doing.  He'll learn.  I was able to remember 9 different brands of cards and I'd like to discuss them briefly before we get into my collection.

*Topps - nothing flashy and not the most valuable, but they give me good memories and are reliable
*Donruss - "Rated Rookie", son!
*Fleer - Fuck Fleer.  I always thought that this was a Canadian company.  Possible even French Canadian!  Fuck 'em.
*Upper Deck - I found these cards to be smug and off-putting.  They always thought that they were better than what they actually were.  They're the Arby's of sports cards.  The pricing was absurd and no one ever understood why.
*Score - Their baseball cards sucked but they had quality football cards in the early 90's.
*Pro Set - These came along in the early 90's and they were the best football cards.  The pictures were terrific.  This is probably my favorite brand of all trading cards.
*NBA Hoops - Whatever.  Every time that I bought a pack of these, Danny Ferry's stupid face was inside.  That is inexcusable.
*Sky Box - Sky Box was the GOAT basketball card.
*Bowman - Such pieces of shit.  Anyone that had a bunch of Bowman cards in their collection was likely good friends with Darth Vader in The Sandlot.  What I'm trying to say is that Bowman was for old fuckers.

OK then, now that that is out of the way, let's examine my collection that I was pretty impressed with after not looking at them for at least the last 10-15 years.  We're just going to run through GOOD and BAD athletes that I had at least 25 cards of.  We'll start with the treasures:

Michael Irvin - He was always one of my most hated players but I saw value in his rookie cards (or I'm just afraid to get stabbed in the neck) and thus have quite a few of them.
Barry Sanders - Barry will always be one of my favorite players of all time and I have over 500 of his cards.  You're reading that right.  500+.
Brett Favre - Ugh, I have at least ten of his rookie cards where he's wearing that Southern Miss or Falcons uniform.
Marshall Faulk - I barely remembered that he started with the Colts.  Man, can you imagine if Faulk (one of the most underrated RBs ever) played his career with Peyton?
Emmitt Smiff - What the fuck is going on with me collecting 90's Cowboys?  That is so unlike me. 
Troy Aikman - Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE!!!  Where are all of my Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders rookies?  Oh well, it can't be a bad thing to have a bunch of rookie cards of Hall of Famers.
Jerry Rice - Out of everyone that played sports in the history of the world, I horded more Rice cards than everyone.  I LOVED Rice.  Much like Barry, I have over 500 cards of Jerry Rice.  Unfortunately, though, no rookie cards.  That is disappointing.  I have a couple of year 2 cards, but no debuts.
Warren Moon - You can't call me a racist, Warren!  The decision to collect Moon cards was 100% because I loved playing as the Oilers in Super Tecmo.  And I took his advice to heart by not smoking crack.
Frank Thomas - I was always a big fan of The Big Hurt.  I've got at least 8 of his Topps RCs where he is wearing his Auburn gear.
Ken Griffey, Jr - If you are around my age and didn't treat Juniors cards like gold then you were an idiot.  I didn't do a lot of high volume single person collecting of baseball cards for whatever reason, but these two were the exception.
Shaq - I've got quite a few Diesel rookie cards which is awesome but doesn't fill the void of having my Shaq Diesel CD stolen out of my car on 13th Street.
Kevin Garnett - This makes me feel dirty.
Scottie Pippen - I think he's broke now which would make his card worth more than he is.
David Robinson - Hold your boner, Ape.
Charles Barkley - Sir Charles was my absolute favorite basketball player growing up and I have a fuck ton of his cards.

Jeff George - Jesus Christ, what was I thinking?  I must have been possessed by Jason Whitlock's fat, black ass.
Deion Sanders - If it was just his football cards, then that would not be a big deal.  But I appeared to be addicted to his baseball cards!  Why do I have so many of these things!!!
Cris Carter - Fuck that guy.
Herman Moore - I've got nothing but love for one of the more underrated receivers of all time but I have to laugh at myself for putting multiple of his rookie cards in those hard cases.
Ricky Watters - Not a bad RB but not worth the hard shell that his cards were put in.
Lawrence Phillips - COUNT THAT SHIT, BRO!!!  I'm keeping those beauties!
Rafael Palmeiro - I remember buying his Donruss rookie at Rick's for like twenty bucks.  It probably isn't worth twenty cents now.
Robin Ventura - I doubled down on the Frank Thomas hording with Rockin' Robin.  Didn't work out nearly as well.
Roger Clemens - Yeeeeeeeesh.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Jim Abbott - Fuck.  Yes.  If you have been looking for a few Jim Abbott cards for your collection, I know a guy.  He is me.
Joe Smith - The most non-descript #1 pick of all time!  Horrible name/average game.  I did like him as a Cav though.
Glenn Robinson - BIG DOG!
Isaiah JR Rider - Young me deemed his rookie cards to be quite valuable.  I should have been placed in special ed classes.

MY PRIDE AND JOY!  There are two things that I probably overvalue.
*I have Wade Boggs' Fleer, Donruss, and Topps rookie cards from the early 80's.  As soon as he left Boston, I became a huge Boggs fan.  Also, the urban legend surrounding him is the best.
*I have over 500 Michael Jordan cards.  Unfortunately, I never got a hold of his rookie card but I think I have multiple cards of everything else. Having a ton of cards for the best basketball player to ever live was/is/will continue to be a great decision.

Well, that's what I've got.  The wife has been told numerous times that we will never be getting rid of these.  After reading about that house in Defiance that had like a billion dollars worth of old cards in the attic, I'd be a damned fool to throw them away.  If worse comes to worse, maybe one day I can use them to upgrade me from the worst assisted living facility to the second worst.  You've got to have goals.  Let's do this!


The Iceman said...

What sucks donkey dick about everyone's card collection is that they're almost worthless these days. Especially anything printed after 1990. I'm sure the value will swing back around like it does with everything...but I'm pretty sour that my Mark Grace Rated Rookies didn't hold their value over the years. Some of my highlights:

I collected Chris Sabo. No idea why...but it was a terrible choice. I was sucked in by the magic of the rec specs.

I also collected Ricky Henderson. I even have his rookie card which I'm pretty proud of.

I have over 10 David Robinson rookie cards. Theyre worth shit now.

I have MULTIPLE Rae Carruth rookie cards. Those should be worth about 35 cents each in 50 years.

I once traded someone a Mike Greenwell rookie card for a Don Mattingly rookie card. I was a master fleecer. PS: trading cards was fucking great. I ripped off so many profitable trades back in the day. I deserved a spot on Wall Street...I was that good.

Basketball cards I collected Magic Johnson until he got the AIDS...I didn't want to catch it through his cards. I also dabbled in some Larry Bird. Oh...and I owned pretty much every Harold Minor card.

I'll have to explore my collection more when I get home...

Nate said...

What I am about to share with you is 100% true.

The luckiest day of my life was meeting Jon F. back in fifth grade.

Jon F. had decided he wanted to change the focus of his card collection entirely. Instead of collecting a little of this and a little of that, Jon decided he wanted to collect nothing but Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Not sure why, but considering the position I would be finding myself in I was not about to question.

So after hearing this from Jon, I decided to round up all of my Rahim's and swing by his house to begin dealing.

I spent a good two hours going through what he had and picked out several of the same players' cards G$ just listed.

That was until I came across three cards that had no business being in the hands of Jonathan F:

1960 Topps Mickey Mantle
1960 Topps Roger Maris
1945 Fleer Ted Williams

I thought these were jokes / reproductions.

They weren't. Combined value of these cards back in 1995: $1,800.00

That day I lost all of my Shareef Abdur-Rahim's and gained some kids' family heirlooms.

I have made it a point to avoid and disassociate myself with Jon F. since that day.

I'm not even sure I want to give these to my son for fear of him being as stupid as Jon F.

Anonymous said...

Well, Nate just won the internet for today.


Grumpy said...

My greatest treasure was the entire Reds 1956 starting lineup. Topps of course.

GMoney said...

Wow, Nate, TOTES wow. That's impressive bartering. I also found a few Abdur-Rahims in my collection. Give me Jon Favreau's number.

Trading cards was like poker. If you couldn't figure out who the idiot was within the first 20 minutes then you are the idiot at the table.

Found a bunch of old Eric Metcalf rookies mixed among my Deion Sanders Yankees and Braves cards.

GMoney said...

I want to believe that when I'm 60 or 70, those 50-60 year old Jordan cards will be worth at least a meat smoker to call my own.

By the way, Drew and I finalized our G$FL bet yesterday. If my team finishes better than his, he owes me a rib dinner. If the highly unlikely opposite happens, I have to join Twitter. STAKES ARE HIGH!

Daniel said...

I call bullshit on Commentor Nate. Mostly because 1945 Fleer baseball cards were never produced.

Did anyone have the Billy Ripkin Fuck Face card?

Anonymous said...

Your team is awful G$. Even Yahoo! predicted you'd finish 10th. That's probably accurate. Rex with the first pick is predicted to finish 11th. LOLS.

I have about 150 MJ cards. I got some late 80s MJ cards by trading those pens with the erasers on them. Thats really what kicked off my obsession. Damn it Nate, now I feel like I could've done better.

My brother has every Shaq rookie card that was valued in Beckett. And several copies of each (even that $150 Fleer Ultra one), that in total got to around 60. I always thought that was impressive. He also snagged a baseball signed by the 1969 Mets. Fuck him.

I have the Bilky Ripken fuck face card! And the complete set of 1989 Fleer cards that it came with (Griffey rookie!). That was a birthday present. My brother 9 days earlier got the 1989 Upper Deck full set (first year?) For his bday. Fuck him.

I came to the football trading card game late. I got an entire case (like 5000 cards) of 1993 Upper Deck (maybe?) Cards and that wad pretty much my collection. Oh, and a Randall Cunningham rookie card. I thought he was going to be the best football player ever because he was a fast black qb. I was an idiot.


Nate said...


I will give you the Fleer comment. I posted the story without having looked at the cards for several years.

The Fleer I have is a 1960, which was his last year in MLB.

If you have doubts about the rest of the story, come on over any time to verify.

Daniel said...

I was a pretty avid sports card collector in my youth, unfortunately my collection surrounded mostly around Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Braves (you won't find anyone with more Don Beebe or Mark Lemke cards than me). As you can imagine they are all pretty worthless. I always wanted an O.J. rookie, but it never happened.

My Brother's card collection could have some legitimate value. Some of his highlights include;

Walter Payton Rookie
1984 Topps Complete Set - Marino, Elway, and Dickerson Rookies
1986 Topps Complete Set - Jerry Rice and Steve Young rookies
1989 Score Complete Set - Barry Sanders and Troy Aikman rookies

He never got his cards professionally graded, and I think in today's completely saturated market you need a good grade to give a good card any real value these days. He had a couple McGwire and Sosa rookie cards as well, but I'm sure those are about as valuable as a Mark Rypien rookie card these days

Nate said...

Was Mel's Sports Cards the only hawker in Napoleon?

GMoney said...

No no no Nate. FOr us older gentlemen, there was Rick's (not the shitty bar owner) and The Bat Rack. The Bat Rack was the GOAT.

Rick's was where that State Farm office is now and The Bat Rack was down by that Radio Shack that no one ever goes to.

We can't all draft James Jones in the fourth round, Ide (worst pick of the day and you also own Riley Cooper, Terrelle Pryor, AND Aaron Hernandez). I have Brees. We have worked very well together before. I will be fine. Although I would have preferred Victor Cruz not get hurt while doing nothing last night.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that James Jones pick was desperation at its finest. My grand plan was to go with Cobb, and then take Jones (he did lead the NFL in TD's last year, and now with less Jennings!), however Saul fucked that all up the pick before. I was literally so sure that I was going to pull it off that it sent my two picks in a tailspin, however, I'd like to think that I recovered nicely.

TP was to fill my Buckeye quota, and Cooper, might be a viable bye week option, if CHIP KELLY is to be trusted. He is also, racist, so there's that. Hernandez was a gimme, since my last pick is always the mascot of my team (it was TP last year).


GMoney said...

(you won't find anyone with more Don Beebe or Mark Lemke cards than me)

Best yet saddest thing I've ever read!

Anonymous said...

I'd wager to bet that my BJ Armstrong collection is one of the worst investments a 9 year old could pursue. The jury is still out on my Shawn Kemp collection.

I once heard MJ say that Mitch Richmond was his favorite player, so I stockpiled Mitch Richmond. I fucking hate Mitch Richmond.

I do have an ELITE David Robinson autographed Skybox card. I bought it for $5 with the CoA. I'm happy with that one.

Oh, my Jamal Mashburn collection is something to marvel at. My brother and I went all in on these puppies amassing near 85 rookie cards. I bought an autographed picture from his UK days, and my brother wore his Mavs jersey AND his Fila shoes!

For baseball, I could never understand how Robin Venturas card was $20. He wasn't that great of a third baseman, and the Sox fucking sucked. However, because of that ELITE value, I bought up a lot of Ventura cards. That investment has devalued greatly. Glad to see G$ was in the same boat.

This topic is turning out to depress me more than make me happy now.


Anonymous said...

We never got big into football cards, but were stupid crazy over baseball and basketball. Literally buying and trading cards was a daily occurence growing up between myself and J.

'72 Nolan Ryan has to be the pride and joy of my collection.

Was a huge collector or Ricky Hendreson (a couple RC's), Barry Larkin, and Jordan of course.

For some god awful reason I know I have a shit ton of Carlos Delgado cards.

J - remember when I told you how smart you were for going all in and collecting a shit ton of ARod's? What an asshole.

Great cheesy card collecting story... My parents took J and I to the baseball hall of fame over spring break in 7th grade. When we left for the drive home, my dad bought us a new entire box of that year's Upper Deck's (I think). Obviously we wanted to rip through ever pack right then and there. He only let us open one pack every 5 miles. What a dick. Those were the longest 5 miles per pack ever. J definetly picked the better packs to open out of that box too.


GMoney said...

Oh man, Big Seal (The Walrus?) is an ELITE troll. I would have been furious.

Ide, I was a big Mash fan as well. Don't feel bad about that. Dude WAS good.

Brady said...

ELITE topic! I spent most of my high school/college employment at a local auction house that specialized in anyhting baseball/football related from pre 1970's. I have worked "The National" a few times as a dealer, have run many auctions and even got meet some athletes because of it.

Unfortunately, the sports card market collapsed in the early aughts and mostly anything produced after 1970 isn't worth the cardboard its printed on. That doesn't mean it is any less cool though. I used to spend hours going to through the refractors and inserts produced by Upper Deck and Topps when my boss was out of town. Shiny things catch my attention.

I too have a bunch of complete sets from Upper Deck and Topps from throughout the late 80's and 90's. They are cool to have but mostly worthless these days. I do however have a special "retirement" collection that I keep locked away. It has a Banks rookie card, a few Mantles and a slew of tobacco cards from the turn of the century. They too took a hit in the market collapse but have a much better chance of regaining value because of their rarity.

I hope to someday pass it on to a son or just blow it all in my 60's on a motorcycle or something.

Prime99 said...

My Andre Ware collection was unrivaled. So bad.

I have a nice Ryne Sandberg collection and many Pro Set football cards, but that's about it these days.

GMoney said...

Ryno's value just went through the roof now that he can add interim manager to his highlight reel.

Cakes, I blame the market collapse of baseball cards on Obama. First my Freedom, now my Fleers.

I don't like hearing about the worthlessness of them though. That's sad. It was probably Upper Deck's fault. I bet that you saw a lot of past, present, and future heart attacks and strokes at "The National".

Pro Set made referee cards. WHY? Although I would deal my entire collection for a Jerome Boger rookie card.

Anonymous said...

Anyone collect Topps finest? They were about $20 a pack and were insanely valued. I only bought 2 packs, and got a Shaq card worth over $100.


Anonymous said...

Just checked. Now worth $45. Yikes.

Nate said...

I liked the kids at school who would bring in the SI for Kids cards that were perforated around the edges and think somehow, someway I'd be willing to trade conventional cards for that garbage.

Perforated edges? GTFO

GMoney said...

You know, those things might actually be worth some money in a few more decades since I assume everyone but me threw them away.

MUfan said...

ELITE topic.

Most of my cards were late 70's & early 80's Topps. My pride and joy was the 1977 Mark Fydrich. I traded a brown paper lunch bag full of cards for that card. Totes worth it.

Being from Michigan, I focused mostly on Tigers. The 1978 Topps cards had a game you could play and on the back of the card was either an out (Strike out, fly out, ground out) or a hit (single, double, triple, HR). Tito Fuentes was the only Tiger with a HR. He was also cool because he flipped the bat in his pre-bat stance. But I had classics such as Ron LeFlore, Trammel & Whitaker, Steve Kemp, John Wockenfuss, Rick Leach, Kirk Gibson, etc from 75 through about 85. I also have an Al Kaline from late in his career.

Got to meet former Cowboys player Bill Bates over the weekend. My hometown dedicated a new fieldturf at the football field, and he was the guest speaker for the dedication. A buddy of mine from high school knows him and got him to come. So Saturday night, my buddy and 2 other guys got to hang out with Bill Bates at the bar and basically ask him any question about football. He said Barry Sanders was the player he dreaded the most going against. He also told us about his son Dillon who just committed to Tennessee who is going to be a stud LB.

Brady said...

I absolutely saw lots of future strokes and heart attacks at the National. Card dealers are some of the fattest and most depressing people on the planet. Even the security was fat.

I saw a young black fella (much to Ide's surprise) try and steal some game-used bats one day right across from our booth. Two of Atlanta's finest gave chase and literally caused more damage to other booths than the bats were worth. The young lad dropped the bats when he knew it was a lost cause and took off like the wind through the crowd. He had moves that would make Barry Sanders blush. I'm sure he is on a full scholly for some SEC team somewhere today.

I did get to meet Joe Montana, Spike Lee, Reggie Jackson and Marty Cordova (who doesn't fit in that group of names) along with various other celebs. I'm sure that shaking my hand was a great moment in each of their lives.

GMoney said...

I remember Bill Bates. He played for the Cowboys so I hated him very much.

*sort of a filler episode as all things heavily featuring Skyler and Marie are but I LOL'd hard at Marie trying to steal the baby. There isn't enough baby thievery on TV today.
*Hank be cray cray. I thought he was going in for the retaturant rape Pitino-style on Skyler.
*Walt is an ELITE digger.
*Huell and Bill Burr going Scrooge McDuck was the best part of the episode. Huell's head shape is the weirdest thing I've ever seen.
*Gomie is still a tard. I hate him SO MUCH.
*I never would have guessed that Todd/Landry would dump Crucifictorius to become a bad ass drug maker.
*Jesse is still being a whiny little pussy bitch. He always has been but this is getting ridiculous. Hank is going to eat him alive next week. I can't wait for that scene.
*Saul Goodman needs to send everyone to Belize.

GMoney said...

If I ever meet Joe Montana, I will only ask him about his sketch on SNL when he was going upstairs to masturbate.

Anonymous said...

Not sure Id call it a filler episode; shit went down. The Scrooge McDuck and baby thievery scenes were great, but Hank is going balls deep after Walt. I imagine most episodes are going to be like this from here on out.

I did have a small quibble with them not showing the blood bath at the junkyard, because Todd and his ELITE prison family are awesome.

If Pinkman is the way that Walt falls, Im going to be pissed. It's such a cop out. I'd be cool with Jesse doling out some swift justice to Walt on his own terms but not ratting him out.

No Flynn always makes for a good episode.

Im all for this Saul spinoff if Huell is the second lead in it.


The Iceman said...

I'd like to sit down with Grumpy so he can tell me stories of trading tobacco cards with Chester Copperpot.

GMoney said...

Be careful what you wish for. Grumpy is the 1920's version of Cakes.

Grumpy said...

We not only traded cards, we flipped cards with each other with the guy getting heads taking the other guy's card. Glue two duplicates together to pull out when you really wanted a win.

Also clothespinned perfectly good cards to our bike rims. Cool sound but I wonder how many invaluable cards were ruined that way.

Anonymous said...

God, Grumpy was Smalls.


Anonymous said...


The Iceman said...

Mel's sports cards was a chop shop. Dude was a straight hack. So when I was about 19 or so, I got back into collecting to reclaim my YOUF. I regret nothing. It wasn't until a couple years later I realized how much the industry had changed and the value of cards was heading to the basement.

So one summer I hit up Mel's. He tried feeding me some bullshit line about how he had the cat's ass in new football cards and attempted to dump the lot on me. You see, back in 1999 and 2000 there were two hot rookies everyone wanted. Edgerrin James and Ron Dayne. But to Mel...those guys were Eggerin Gary (pronounced egg-gerr-in) and Rick Dayne. Here's the thing...if you absolutely fucking butcher the names of the guys you're trying to use as bait to unload a bunch of shitty cards no one wants, you're a terrible salesman. And you own a card shop so what the fuck?? That was my last trip to Mel's. The Bat Rack was ELITE though.

GMoney said...

Yeah, Mel sucks/sucked. He used to sell FagNasty thousands of those diecast Nascar cars (which I was expected to show interest in apparently). FagNasty sucks.

Grump seems like more a Squints since I imagine he mouth-raped many lifeguards in his youth. Count it.

Anonymous said...

I initially went Squints, but Smalls never did anything as cool as make an attempt to sexual assault attempt Wendy Peffercorn. Point goes to Smalls, bro.


Daniel said...

Anyone collect Desert Storm cards? I had like 45 Colin Powell rookie cards!

The Iceman said...

We had the Desert Storm cards. I'm sure they're gone by now and it's ironic because most of those cards are probably worth more than actual sports cards today.

Daniel said...

I was big into collecting the minor league (A, AA, or AAA) cards of Atlanta Braves. My prized card was probably a Greg Maddux card from when he was in like AA. The shitty thing about those cards is you had to buy an entire set of scrubs just to get the one guy you wanted.

GMoney said...

Dan, that was one thing that I noticed on Saturday. I have WAY too many International League cards. WHY? Who told me that this was a good idea?

Colin Powell rookies! LOL!

I found some old golf cards. I must have been drunk that day.

By the way, my favorite WWF card is a tie between psychotic Jim The Anvil Neidhart and very not politically correct Superfly Snuka pose.

GMoney said...

And, to end the day, I think we can all agree that Garbage Pail Kids were/are ELITE.

Anonymous said...

Maddux came up as a Cub

Anonymous said...

I think we can all agree looking back on it that Mel was probably a child molester.

His name was Mel. He held Pog/Magic tournaments, and lived in Napoleon OH.

MJ's and Barry Sanders. 100's of them.

- J Saul