Posts Tagged With: baseball cards

Topps Mends My Broken Heart


Here we have my favorite Jose Canseco card of 2015 and it comes from none other than Topps’ flagship, series 2.

Before I begin I have to say that this year’s flagship design is easily my least favorite, ever. Not only is it not a favorite but it’s become overused, as it’s been featured in two series, wall posters, Debut, and even the awful Bunt project. Oh, and Chrome eventually.

However, this card is a flat out winner in my book. From the awesome 90’s throwback design that looks like something Fleer would have made, to the awesome photo and even autographed parallel. It’s a perfect Jose Canseco baseball card.

I’ve grown tired of companies including Jose in their autograph subsets while leaving Jose out of their base set and robbing collectors of cool parallels. This is one of the most eye-catching cards I’ve seen this year and a must-have for me to add to my nearly 25-year old Canseco collection.

Thank you, Topps.

Categories: The Topps Company | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Topps Tier One (Or How Tanman Ruined Collecting for Me … for Good)

No, I’m not here to bash the hobby or Tanman’s amazing work with custom cards. Simply put, Tanman’s custom Canseco cards have shown me that one man can make better cards than Panini, Topps, and Leaf’s efforts and it’s changed me as a collector. Long gone are the days when I chased every single Jose Canseco card. The parallel madness that took over a decade and a half ago made that impossible for those with mortgages, car payments, kids, what have you. Today I collect mostly what appeals to me, well, I did … until I saw the amazing cards Tanman was producing. New innovations, styles, and creativity from one man was putting the big manufacturers to shame. Now, I only want the best of the best (or about 20% of what’s being released) all because Tanman opened my eyes. The days of inferior custom cards have come and gone and if one man has done this alone, just imagine what possibilities are just around the corner. The days of “Broder” cards and other customs are finished and with guys like Tanman around, card companies should beware and be very scared.

That brings us to 2015 Topps Tier and the only Canseco card that’s surfaced so far. It’s a beautiful, on-card autograph and the brand itself is classy and fun (review and giveaway coming soon) but do I need this card? Not really. I’ve seen way too many Topps horizontal cards this year and this one is not much different than the rest. It’s way better than the 2015 Prizm Jose card but nothing special in my eyes. Also, unless Jose dies suddenly, the value of his autograph will continue to decrease due to the massive amount of autographs being produced. I wouldn’t even mind a few relic and base cards at this point. Anything to switch up the pace for goodness sake.

Not that he needs my help but if you haven’t visited Tanman’s site to see his customs or read his fascinating posts, do yourself a favor and spend the rest of your day there. It’s forever changed my view of our hobby and my 25-year chase for the perfect Jose Canseco collection. Something tells me this man is going to make a huge splash in this hobby in the coming months and years to come. I for one can’t wait to see what he has in store.

Categories: The Hobby, The Topps Company | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Little Known Twitter Account Gives Collectors a Sneak Peak

Panini America has close to 149 thousand followers on Twitter. Topps Company has nearly 84,000. Upper Deck has over 30,000. They all at one point or another use their audience to show off new, upcoming products soon to be released. However, in my humble opinion none do a better job than Panini America. That being said, there’s a large demand to see what products are coming soon which thanks to @CelebzDirect, is now a wish being granted, sort of.

Below is an image Tweeted by @CelebzDirect showing Wax Heaven favorite and former 30-30 Man, Jose Cruz, Jr. enthusiastically signing his 2015 Topps Archives card. As you can see, it’s on-card (suck it, Panini!) and features the 1986 Topps flagship design, which is a personal favorite of mine. What’s great about this Twitter account is that it’s filled with pictures of retired players signing unseen, 2015 Topps cards. Unfortunately, some are a little harder to guess on what brand is pictured than others.

As for CelebzDirect, their Twitter account has been around since 2012 but has just over 500 followers. Located near Tampa, this is one of the few companies that are not only giving collectors a small sneak peak at upcoming product but also adding to the legitimicy of pack-inserted autographs by showing the players signing handful of cards. It is a service that needs to publicized as much as possible in this new age of social media and “game-used” memorabilia scandals affecting our hobby in a negative light.

Make sure to add @CelebzDirect to your Twitter feed if you haven’t done so already!

Categories: The Hobby, The Topps Company | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

My Version of Thrift Treasures

Copyright: Cardboard Icons

I’ve never done one of these before. Maybe that’s because when I collected there were still card shops around so the last place I’d ever look for baseball cards were in flea markets. Well, it’s now 2015 and there is not a single card shop around me or within 60+ miles. I guess all those years of being surrounded by card shops since the early 90s were taken for granted.

My first stop this morning was the Red Wagon Flea Market in Bradenton, FL. After 26 minutes, my daughter and I had combed through every vendor and found exactly zero baseball cards. I was, however, able to pick up a Transformers Unicron figure for $10 dollars so I am pretty fucking happy. That story belongs on another blog, though.

My second stop was back near my house in Sarasota. The place is called the Sarasota Swap Meet and this place was about 1/3 the size of the Red Wagon and that place was small so imagine this place. Fortunately, it wasn’t a complete bust as I found a factory box of 1994 Donruss Baseball. Unfortunately, the guy wanted $35 dollars so I kept on walking. By this point, I had wasted all morning and was frustrated. Thank God I didn’t give up.

Sitting an hour and seventeen minutes away, the Wagon Wheel Flea Market in Pinellas Park, FL. didn’t look all that appealing but with no where to buy baseball cards besides Walmart and Target, I was desperate and began the long trip with my now grumpy 3-year old daughter. Upon my arrival, I was greeted with good news. First, there were four different vendors selling sports cards and I came away with some nice finds! Second, the place was absolutely awesome and had a little bit of EVERYTHING.

Vendor #1

The first guy had a few boxes or random cards all for $1 a piece. No game-used or autographs anywhere in sight but so much 90s goodness I couldn’t help not bite. He also went out of his way and started looking through boxes to help me find Jose Canseco cards, since they were in no order whatsoever. I’ve never been to a shop where the guy takes time out of his way to help you find stuff. This was a pleasant surprise.

1994 Leaf Slideshow – These cards were kind of a big deal back in the day and were inserted into Series 1 and 2 Leaf at a ratio of 1:54. He had several but I chose “The Big Hurt” Frank Thomas, who just entered the Hall of Fame. The price was $1.

1998 Topps Tek – Here is another Frank Thomas card even though I will admit … I never was a fan. I simply bought this because it was from Tek’s debut and Topps’ ressurection of the brand was a huge hit among collectors. Once again, I paid $1.

1987 Topps – Here we have a card which at one point sold for at least $12 back in the early-90s. I know this because I have seen it myself. Unfortunately, Bo Jackson, who was once a hobby superstar, never played the same after a horrific football injury shattered his body. For just a buck, I couldn’t resist picking this card up for my collection.

1983 Topps – Here we have what in my opinion was the best design ever created by Topps, at least in the entire decade of the 80s. In my fifth grade Science book, there was this very card pictured for some reason I can’t recall and it’s always been a card I wanted to own. Again, can’t go wrong with a dollar. On the back of this card it shows his 130 steals for 1982, a season in which he hit .267. One can only imagine how many more steals he would have had if he was a better hitter that year.

1996 Topps Chrome – It took all of three years for Topps to incorporate Chrome technology into more than just one brand and they did it in 1996 with Topps Chrome. This was the first year for Chrome Baseball and owning the Kirby Pucket card seemed like a good fit even though I will admit, I was never a fan.

1998 Leaf Fractal Foundations – I tried reading this brand’s description on BaseballCardPedia and literally went cross-eyed. I don’t know exactly what to make of it but the cards are nice and all serial numbered. I picked up recent Hall of Famer, Pedro Martinez, #’d 2525/3999. Despite this brand’s zaniness, I would LOVE to bust open a box of it. The cards feature an elegant design and the card backs are good enough to be fronts. Once again, the card cost me $1,

2000 Upper Deck Drawing Power – Here it is! I somehow found a Jose Canseco I did not already own. With that out of the way, the card is kinda lame and features Jose in a check swing position. Who thought that would make a good card? Still, I didn’t own it and now I do so the day was a huge success!

Vendor #2

While enjoying the rest of what Wagon Wheel had to offer I found a small display of cards, which included a complete set of 1996 SPx Baseball and 1994 Leaf Limited Baseball. Unfortunately, it was a little bit too high for my taste so instead I went with some cheaper offerings.

1991 Topps Micro – An entire factory set of the smallest baseball cards I have ever seen and all for $3 dollars. The Micro Gold cards alone make this buy a complete steal and in case you’re wondering, there is a Canseco in the set.

1987 Fleer Miniatures – Another smaller than usual set in size. It is essentially 1987 Fleer but half the size. Again, I couldn’t pass it up for $3 dollars even though I have very little interest in ’87 Fleer.

1989 Topps Big – This is a set I am thrilled to own and for just $3 dollars it couldn’t be more perfect. I was actually watching three unopened boxes of this on eBay for $30 dollars or best offer but this will likely fill my Topps Big needs for quite some time.

Vendor #3

My first eBay purchase has arrived! I won this card, of Jose Canseco from 2014 Topps Tek for under $4 dollars thanks to Gixen’s sniping services. It’s my first eBay purchase since 2009 and all I can say is that the card is beautiful. It’s also serial numbered to 99 copies.

All in all, today was an awesome day. I am very thankful for Wagon Wheel and that one of my two eBay purchases arrived. Next up … a very special card from Leaf that I am hoping arrives on Monday.


Categories: eBay Treasures, Fleer Trading Cards, The Topps Company | Tags: | 4 Comments

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