Friday, July 7, 2017

Garage Sale $5 Treasure Box! Cards, Cards, Cards!

WARNING: This post will be lengthy and wordy but full of pictures. Feel free to scroll to the cards and skip the jibber jabber. I get excited.

The spoils!
As I pulled around the corner to my house a voice from heaven whispered into my ear "" as I drove past a small garage sale. With nothing better to do I grabbed all of my debt collection junk mail at the mailbox and wandered over to the sale. From the outside it looked like your standard garage sale with old tv's and tools. Then suddenly; a small sealed box of 1992 Topps Traded. Then I spotted a few Starting Lineup figures, and  a Macfarlane Griffey 3". I got worried. In my pocket was the cash I had scraped to get for the card show this weekend. I asked the guy nonchalantly "how much for the cards?" He said give me a minute and let me look them up online and I'll make you a deal. Then he pointed to another table I hadn't noticed and said "that box is five bucks," pointing to a large shoe box overflowing with early 2000 baseball cards. To shorten the story I will just say I bought the $5 box, a MLB baseball that looked game used for $1, a 2006 World Series collectors baseball $1, and 3 nerf guns for $1 each. Both baseballs were thrown in with random rubber and plastic t-balls so I don't think the guy even looked at them. Here are the treasures, oddities, and interesting contents of that treasure chest:

I have bought a few of these crazy boxes from yard sales and garage sales in the past and often try to play detective to figure out the collecting habits of it's previous owner. What year are the cards? Are there any teams/players missing? Are they sorted in any special way? Question after question pops in my head and I try to get down to who this collector was and why it came to be that I could purchase their prized possessions at such a dirt cheap price. This collector had me thrown for a bit of a loop but I can assume a few things from the box. Here is what I deduced:
1. 90% of the cards came from 4 sets; 1989 Upper Deck, 1994 Upper Deck, 1995 Upper Deck and 1999 Fleer Ultra
2. Most of the cards looked as though they had been removed from their packaging, looked at once and tossed in this box. I assume the 1989 Upper Deck were purchased later than 1989 and as boxes and not a complete set because there were duplicates and the only card I know was missing was the Griffey RC. Case closed on those cards. He bought 1989 Upper Deck looking for Griffey and tossed everything else. 
3. All the stars and even inserts were in the box. Most of the time these boxes lack the Nolan Ryan, Ken Griffey Jr., and Cal Ripken Jr. cards that should have been there. This one had them, other than the missing Griffey RC. Even all the teams were accounted for including the Tigers.
4. This collector must have been a high dollar card collector and had no time for commons or even basic inserts. Jackpot for me!

I'll start off with probably the most valuable card in the box. This Morneau RC is gold and numbered on the back. I found only one on eBay running $27ish. Its a cool card and a sweet find in a $5 box. My second favorite comercial of all time is for MLB the show the year Justin Verlander said "I know Morneau better than Morneau knows Morneau and Morneau knows it." My first favorite being everybody's favorite; Chicks Dig the Longball.

The stars were well represented in the UD Choice cards from 1999. This box is funny because it basically filled in the years I was away from the hobby and barely collected. God sent me this box.

I did have these as a kid. Some of them at least. I was in love with the pictures of the stadium outlines on these. Very cool cards from Upper Deck 1994.

This set I don't know much about. It looks like there are variations of cards based on the Biggio's and I can't tell what is an insert and what isn't but the cards look really cool. 1998 UD3, I guess. There were a few Tino Martinez in the bunch. He was the reason I even tried batting lefty before I could switch hit.

Some Fleer Laziness!

Which frame came first? I doubt Cal wore his hat like that often.

I had never seen this card before. Now I have 3 of them. This is why Fernando Valenzuela is a badass with style.

An insert set of prospects. That Konerko guy was alright. I probably pulled 10 different AJ Hinch rookie cards from this box.

I didn't know the Electric Diamond variations included the star rookie cards until now. Now I have to chase the Tiger ones.

How quickly they grow up. Great infielder!

Another insert set that had the players embossed on the card. Very cool.

Some random cards from the box.

There was a stack of POST cards in the box so if anyone needs any of this years cards I have duplicates of almost all of them. I thought POST did a great job on these cards even the backs. The Sabo and a Mark McGwire from another pic were oddballs.

Another different set that was in the box. Mike Hampton could rake, eh?

Some more randoms. The Dempsey was a strange card. The oldest in the box and all by itself. I have no idea what the DiMaggio is. Had a lot of Guerrero's and Ortiz in his Twins uni.

Some more randoms. The Piazza is gorgeous. The Giles card is a great picture. The Milacki card is now my worst cut card I own. The Coleman is numbered. Love Big Daddy cards even in the halos uni.

Look how young Edmonds and Colon look, two of my favorites. The two Nolan Ryan cards are sweet!

Another insert set I am assuming. Kerry Wood was included so I threw two more Wood's on the page.

A Guillen I had never seen before. Fullmer could demolish a ball. Pena RC I think. I don't remember Mike Lowell as a Yankee.

The Wagner Electric Diamond is sweet. I have that Johnny Damon card signed. I think I posted about it years ago when I got it.

Another insert set. These cards were in great condition. I know I have found them peeling and faded a lot of times. I guess there were variations on these too look at the gold and silver Nomo's. There were a ton of these so if anyone is looking for a certain player let me know I probably pulled it.

I have never even heard of Topps Gold Label. These cards did not scan well. They are beautiful thick cards much like the old Flair.

So many 1994 and 1995 Electric Diamond cards, the thought of trying to collect the whole set in them crossed my mind many times. I couldn't take pictures of 10% of them. Check out the White Sox Jim Abbott card. That one is new to me.

More of those.

This set had great pictures. I love a good landscape card and Upper Deck really tried on this set and it shows. The Abbott Electric Diamond is cool.

The 1999 Fleer Ultra had the "Gold Medallion Edition" randomly thrown in. I received a couple dozen of those. I wish they were embossed with a serial number on the back not just the label.

A couple of new Tim Salmons to round it out.

I had a stack 2 feet high of cards I wanted to scan and show but my scanner sucks and takes forever and there are just too many cards. Probably my best garage sale buy to date.


  1. Topps Gold Label was, in fact, Topps answer to Fleer Flair. And they are beautiful cards. They were high end, though high end then was a lot less expensive than high end today. Where Gold Label succeeded: Fleer seriously overprinted Flair. You can pick up boxes cheap these days (cheaper than they were then). Topps did not overprint Gold Label. Where Gold Label failed: Topps did one of those stupid things they are forever doing with their higher end cards, by having so many "tiers" and variations, it was simply too confusing to even bother with, no matter how attractive the cards were. Same way they killed Stadium Club. So, you had Flair and Gold Label competing. Both were good looking cards, but you could build a set of Flair. You couldn't even understand what was a set of Gold Label. So most people bought the Flair, even though Gold Label was a little better looking. Upper Deck had a brand like those as well, but I don't think it lasted more than one year. Both Stadium Club and Gold Label are back, I believe. Stadium club would be considered mid-range on price, these days, while Gold Label is in the lower atmosphere of the super high end stuff I don't even bother to read about, let alone buy.

    1. Wow. Thanks for the info! I'm trying to catch up on the "lost years". Pre-Ebay for most of them and my local card shop shut down; 1996-2004.

  2. Are you interested in trading the die-cut Nomos?
    I never saw that Konerko before. that one's sweet. I also like that UD Frank Thomas

  3. Replies
    1. It took me 8 hours to go through the whole box. He threw in a ziploc gallon bag of Basketball and Hockey too. Once in a lifetime deal.

  4. all this for $5??? unreal stuff! Fleer Tradition Piazza Marlin...this is a great card! If it needs a home...let me know ;)