Posts Tagged With: jose canseco

Twenty Five Years of Canseco Super Collectors

I remember meeting my first Jose Canseco “super collector” back in 1991. His name was Arthur and we became best friends in the 4th grade. Naturally, we both adored Jose Canseco and even changed the words to the morning pledge as a tribute to Jose. I came from a broken home with not much money as my mom did her best to raise me all by herself, Arthur had two very successful parents. My first Canseco came home in 1990 and by the time I met Arthur, I had accumulated about 25 different cards. The Beckett book value on the ’86 Donruss Rated Rookie at the time was $125 and $60 for the Topps Traded. Both these cards were out of reach so my collection was full of Donruss, Fleer, and an Upper Deck, if I was lucky, along with some oddballs. Arthur, had all the main Canseco cards with over 100 total cards and even a game-used bat. I was in shock but not jealous because Arthur was still my best friend. As he was flipping through page after page I stopped to look at a card (Donruss Elite #’d to 10,000) when he slapped my hand away and told me not to touch. It was the beginning of the end of our friendship and the start of a 25-year dislike of fellow Canseco collectors.

Over the years, I’ve finally found financial freedom but still have never spent much on my Canseco collection. This year upon my return to collecting and blogging, I spent $200 on a CheckOutMyCards order for 91 Jose cards and since 1990, that’s the very most I ever spent on cards. Since then, I’ve picked up 2-3 cards per month with no card costing over $20. What can I say? I am a thrifty super collector. That Canseco Rated Rookie? I waited 8 years to add it to my collection (1998) at which point it bottomed out for $8 in Beckett back when book value still meant something. By the time I started Wax Heaven in 2007, I flat out hated all other Canseco collectors not out of spite but simply because they were all arrogant bastards. That all changed when Bryan Fitzgerald came in to my life (#NOHOMO). Not only was he really open to sharing his collection and love of Jose and his cards, he was also extremely friendly. One day out of the blue, he sent me a box of 700 Jose Canseco cards, for free, just because. Inside were 10-15 autographs, 10+ jerseys, and hundreds of cards I never owned. I was nearly in tears as he single handedly took me from 700+ cards to over 1,000 just because he wanted to help my collection. I will never forget that day (or Bryan, pictured below). I was sad to hear he sold off his collection, unfortunately, when I was away from the hobby because I would have loved to purchase even 5% of it.

That brings me to 2015 and the two current top dogs in Canseco cards. Tanman, who basically owns an amazing collection but an even more amazing blog and custom card skills and Razor, who recently showed the entire world just how amazing his collection is on Blowout Card Forums. While seeing those cards I didn’t have an ounce of hatred or jealousy in my body despite there being a great chance I will never own 1% of cards like that for two reasons: I’m happy with my collection as is and because Razor is a great guy.

Okay, maybe there is just a little jealousy. As for Arthur, he sold off his Canseco collection in high school, probably for less than 1/3 what his parents paid for it. Today, he doesn’t remember our love for Canseco despite being on my Facebook friends list. At least I can say I’ve aged a million times better and that is something my hero would approve of much more than silly baseball cards. Yes, even after all these embarrassing years, Jose Canseco is still my hero, which is why even 25 years later, I still chase after his baseball cards. Here’s to another 25 years!

Categories: The Hobby | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Not Even the Biggest Haters Can Bring this Card Down

I absolutely love the idea of buybacks. You take a usually worthless card, many times from the dreaded “junk wax” era. Have the player sign it, stamp it, and insert it into new products and suddenly you have what is perhaps the greatest card gimmick of all-time. I mean, look at the card below. It’s absolutely beautiful despite the player featured. I mean, are there any real Joe Giradi fans? The on-card autograph and low serial numbering makes this a, absolutely bad ass card.

There are many cards that have eluded me for my Jose Canseco collection. The truth of the matter is that I associate myself with being more of a card industry enthusiast than a bonafide collector. I rarely buy boxes and when I do, unless the card has immense value or it is a Jose Canseco, I tend to give it away. In my final year of the first run with Wax Heaven, I was given a complete set of 1/1 printing plates of Manny Ramirez by a card company. In return, I immediately gave them away in a contest.

So while I have the money to buy several high-end Jose Canseco cards, the truth of the matter is that I choose not to. I would much rather write about the next big card than to actually own it. That’s why after 25 years collecting one player I probably have 20 or so certified autographs out of several hundreds. The same goes with memorabilia cards. If they enter my collection, sure why not. Otherwise, I just sit back and wait until prices hit a reasonable point and with Canseco, they always do.

That’s not the case with the Donruss buybacks. These are top of the line autographs I simply have never been able to own due to insane prices Canseco collectors bring them up to. Yes, I did purchase a recent 1992 Leaf autographed buyback but when it comes to the leader of this card gimmick, Donruss/Panini simply own the market, hands down. I think people forget just how beloved non-Panini Donruss was in the 80s and 90s. In my opinion, they were way up there with Topps as the second most collected brand around.

For now, I will have to sit back and hope that Panini has more baseball products in store in 2015 besides the already announced and in production, Prism, which has Canseco in the checklist. Maybe if I’m lucky, Panini will go back to the well and re-issue another ’86 Donruss Canseco autographed buyback with a print run of 1,000 cards or something. I’m 35 years old with a daughter and a mortgage. There’s no piece of card board that will ever be worth a grand, in my opinion.

Especially not of a player whose biggest post retirement achievement is appearing on VH1’s Surreal Life.

Categories: Panini America, The Hobby | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Panini America Hits A Grand Slam

I’m not a fan of unlicensed baseball cards. I’m not a fan of questionable “game-used” relic cards. I’m definately not a fan of Mark “I’m not here to talk about the past” McGwire. That being said, this card is all sorts of awesome. Simply put, there’s never been a better “Bash Brothers” baseball card. Panini America didn’t have much to work with but thanks to a great concept and execution, they put out a great dual-patch of iconic, 90’s era baseball players.

Judging by the photographs used on this card, it appears they used ’98-’99 Big Mac and ’90-’91 Canseco. Unfortunately, they weren’t playing on the same team during those years but only a huge baseball nerd would know that. As for the air brushing, it was done so well that you can still tell McGwire is wearing a Cardinals uniform.  Unfortunately, Jose’s colors don’t match. That’s my only nit-picking I can do with this great baseball card.

As for secondary market price, it sold for $162.49 on March 2nd. That’s way more than what low to mid-end autographs of these two sluggers sell for so clearly Panini America did something right with this card. Let’s hope one if not both these guys are in 2015 Donruss, which is slated, after a delay, to hit card stores next week. It’s not easy putting out unlicensed baseball cards in this time and age but Panini America is making one hell of an effort to please collectors.

The Bash Brothers of Oakland and St. Louis

Categories: eBay Treasures, Panini America | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Topps Breathes New Life Into 25-Year Old Card

Back in 1990, there weren’t a whole lot of cards to collect. You had the big four consisting of Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer, and Donruss (in that order). You had Classic, Score and Sportsflics on the low-end. Plus you had Leaf’s debut and Bowman, in their second year back. Also “oddballs” but those didn’t count back then. If you were a player collector of say someone like Jose Canseco, you had maybe 20 total cards to chase.

As a 10-year old, impressionable kid new to America and now obsessed with baseball and its stars, there are some cards that will be forever burned into my memory. You see, it was different then. Last year, there were 781 Jose Abreu cards released. How many of those will become “iconic”, memorable baseball cards and how many will just sit in boxes collecting dust as another 700-800 cards are released of Abreu in 2015?

I’m not saying one is better than the other. I wouldn’t trade the technology of 2014 for the cards of 1990 any day of the week, ever. However, I would trade 1997 for 2014 but that’s another story we can cover in the near future. I’m not one of those collectors who bitches and moans about this or that. I’m just happy that nearly 15 years after my favorite player retired, I am still seeing amazing cards being produced.

1990 Bowman – #460

So imagine my surprise when browsing the Topps Vault this morning upon running into this sale. It was a Topps photograph, circa 1988 of none other than Jose Canseco. It comes from that same 1990 Bowman I have seen thousands of times over the past twenty-five years yet is somehow different and new. It’s like a missing puzzle piece I never knew existed.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know what makes this photograph worth $75 dollars but if they can put up his 1986 Topps Traded and 1987 Topps Gold Rookie Cup photographs, I would be a very happy, old school locator. Somehow, finding this photograph, which is now half a century old brought back a piece of my childhood and brought back some appreciation for this forgotten Bowman classic.

I guess some times, living in the past isn’t so bad …

Jose Canseco, young and full of Steroids

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

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