I had a couple of big sales on CheckOutMyCards out of the blue and decided to put those funds to good use. It’s interesting to see how my collecting has changed. In the 90s, I would pick up new stuff almost exclusively at card shows. I would pick stuff up at card shops as well, but not as frequently. These days, I might have a new card arrive to become part of my collection every day of the week. It’s always a pleasure to see a package arrive from COMC since a whole bunch of new cards will be added to my collection.
First up are a couple of 2011 Finest Tom Bradys. I’ve been slowly getting back into football due to Panini driving me away from basketball cards. When I saw that this year’s Finest offering pictured Brady in the Patriots throwback uniform, I had to have it. For good measure, I decided to pick up both the base card and refractor version of the card since they were both very affordable.
Whenever I get the chance, I’ve been adding Bryce Brentz autographs to my collection. If I remember correctly, this all started when I pulled one myself and from there things have snowballed. Both of these Brentz cards are from In The Game. The cards look nice even without any logos on them. The autos are on opaque stickers, but they go well with these designs. The only additional thing that I’d like to see on these cards is serial numbering. These days, a little detail like that on a card can make all of the difference. Brentz is currently the 8th ranked prospect in a loaded Boston minor league system.
Here’s a little bit of old and new. I picked up an off-center Dennis Johnson rookie and a black bordered parallel from Panini’s Basketball Hall of Fame set. Like most Panini products, this set is best acquired card-by-card. Every single card in this set with the exception of maybe 1% of the cards produced can be acquired for less than you’d pay buying them by the pack. There seem to be a lot of singles on COMC for around a dollar a card which is perfect for me.
Sticking with off-center 1978-79 Topps cards, here’s a Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell rookie card. It’s not quite as bad as it looks in the scan. I guess I inadvertently cut off the right edge of the card.
I have to chuckle a little bit at Upper Deck including Dee Brown in the Immortals section of the 2009-10 hoops set. I think these are short printed. Eventually, I’ll need to pick up a second copy of this card since I need one for my set and one for my Dee Brown collection. Dee had one of the best dunks ever in the Slam Dunk Contest, but in no way is he an immortal.
BRAINS! Like a zombie, I’m always on the lookout for Brains. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan was the best thing about wrestling in the 80s and 90s. I probably mention this every time that I post cards of The Brain, but his humor was really the only way to make it through some of the terrible matches from the 80s when half of the WWE roster consisted of jobbers.
These Brains all come from 2010 Topps WWE Platinum. The first two are part of the Platinum Performance insert set with the second being a green parallel numbered to 499 copies. The final card is a green parallel of the base card and it is also numbered to 499 copies.
As a kid in the 80s, my two main player collections were Dwight Evans, who played for the hometown Red Sox and Kent Hrbek who played for the Twins. It was pretty random when it came to deciding to collect Hrbek. I noticed that he popped up in a few of the 44 card retail sets that I had purchased and that I had a good number of his cards already.
Though the selection may have been random, I knew what I was doing when I picked Hrbek to be one of my player collections. Like Evans, Hrbek was insanely popular with the hometown crowd, but his abilities weren’t as widely known to the majority of baseball fans.
I couldn’t remember if I already had the 1982 Topps Traded Hrbek XRC, but for the price it was listed at, I wouldn’t mind picking up another one. This would almost definitely be in better condition than anything I would have had from my collection in the 80s. I knew I already had both the 1982 Topps Future Stars card and Hrbek’s 1982 Donruss rookie, but there purchases were made solely for condition upgrades.
The Starting Lineup Talking Baseball card might be the only new addition to my collection. I remember this game being heavily advertised when it came out, but I never owned it. The game came with the AL and NL All-Star teams, but the rest of the MLB teams could be purchased on additional cartridges. The cartridges came with cards of the players included on the team rosters. These painted cards stand up well next to current releases such as Masterpieces or Chicle.
Not too long ago, I finally picked up a Kevin McHale rookie for my collection, but this isn’t that card. This is a reprint from 1996-97 Topps Basketball. Topps has been doing this rookie reprint thing for a while now and have produced so many iconic basketball cards. It’s a shame that they can no longer produce basketball cards.
Here’s another card from current basketball card serial killer Panini. Panini relies far too much on serial numbering to create value in their products. They are lazy in design and uninspired in execution. I won’t even get into their tremendously horrible customer service because I’m sure that all of you are sick of hearing about it.
This Robert Parish rookie is the real thing, but right below it is the chrome version of his rookie reprint which like the McHale is from 1996-97. The Heritage insert from Studio is one of the nicer looking Panini inserts that I’ve seen. Of course, the player is way over to the side to make room for a jersey swatch that is shoved into some of the cards. The main thing that these cards have going for them is that the autographed versions of these are on-card autographs. Wrapping things up is another Panini Basketball Hall of Fame black bordered parallel. Who knows, I may complete the Panini HOF set by the time that their exclusive license runs out and Topps can (hopefully) make basketball cards again.
You know that any package that comes in the mail from COMC is going to include some Mike Piazza cards. This is one of the better batches that I’ve gotten though.
First up is the 1997 Donruss Preferred X-Ponential Power insert numbered to 3000 copies. I’ve had the Tony Gwynn from this set for a while now and think it’s the coolest card that I’ve ever seen. The background is printed on clear acetate, it’s die cut and there’s a good amount of holofoil accents. Once I obtained this card, I was willing and able to trade away the Gwynn which promptly went into a trade pile that will some day be headed off to Fuji.
Next up was a card that I picked up mainly for nostalgia reasons. Back in the 90s, I was completely hooked on watching Don West pitch sports cards on the Shop At Home network. These Elite Dominators were available exclusively through the network when you purchased a box of 1993 Donruss for $99. That’s a huge markup on those boxes for one extra card numbered to 5000 copies. You did have a chance at autographs of Juan Gonzalez, Nolan Ryan, Don Mattingly or Paul Molitor, but there were only 10,000 autographs out of a total print run of 100,000 Elite Dominators. Not terrible odds, but at $99 a box it wasn’t a great gamble either.
I picked up a couple of cards from great 90s Upper Deck insert sets. The Generation Next Era has a motion hologram on it that moves as you tilt the card. The Mickey Mantle Long Shots is printed on that classic Upper Deck holofoil, not the garbage that Panini uses these days. Both of these sets were retail exclusives, but redemption cards for the complete sets could be found in hobby packs.
To round things out is a 2010 Sterling. It’s a great looking card, but Sterling is ridiculously expensive for what you get. I’m perfectly happy just picking up the singles.
One of the few sets that I liked from Panini last year was Totally Certified. It wasn’t quite the original Certified and it wasn’t quite Dufex, but it was a nice combination of the two. I liked it until I busted open a box which reminded me how bad of a value any Panini product is. I ended up picking up the base card, red parallel, red jersey card and Fabric of the Game card pretty cheaply. To top things off, I also picked up the Crown Royale card which is a great looking base card.
The Totally Certified base card is numbered to 1849, the red parallel is numbered to 499, the red jersey card is numbered to 249 and the Fabric of the Game is numbered to 299. Does anything numbered this high really matter? You can usually pick up a card numbered to 499 for the same price as one numbered to 1849 (and I did). These days, unless the numbered is double digits or lower, it doesn’t seem to have a huge effect on the card.
These jersey cards were were purchased for $3.50 and $4.00 which is about the same as a minimum bid plus shipping on eBay. Does this make you happy if you open a box that sells for over $100 and pull a jersey card of one of the top players in the league? This is $60 box content.
I had already finished this set a while back, but I hadn’t noticed that one of the U cards had a crease from the bottom edge to the “relic.” So, when this one popped up cheaply, I had to grab it. These cards are a perfect example of serial numbering not meaning everything. These cards are numbered to 55 copies and don’t carry a lot of value while this year’s Topps manufactured relics are numbered to over 700 copies and sell very well.
There you go, a pretty big batch of cards. Normally, I would have broken this up into smaller posts, but I hadn’t posted in a while and have a ton of other things to write about so you get a marathon post. Thanks for reading and don’t forget about the Red Sox Frankenset. Where else can you possibly win prizes from trading away Red Sox commons?