Monday, August 26, 2013

The mystery box, Pt. 1

Well, day one at my new college was a definite success.

While it's still early, I have a feeling the next few months of school are going to be both challenging and quite a bit of fun. Still, it's nice to be back at my humble abode for the night.

So, what do you think I did the instant I got home?

That's right. I played with my baseball cards. This is really the only time I'll get to do so during the week, so I might as well make it count.

More specifically, I sorted and scanned a few of my favorite treasures from the "mystery box" I picked up at the local flea market last afternoon.

In case you missed last night's post, I scored the huge heap of cards you see above (which were individually priced at a dime each) for a cool $20 from a flea market vendor yesterday. It's the first time I've ever purchased an entire dime box.

All in all, I found about 100 to 150 pieces I would've bought had I actually searched and sifted through the entire bin, card by card. In essence, that means I spent right around five to ten bucks for the sheer fun of digging through the thing.

So, was it worth it?

You bet it was.

Devon White kicks off the first of two posts I'll be writing on this box.

This was one of the very first gems I found. As you'll see in "Part 2", most of my haul was comprised of mid '90s Topps issues, which are a whole lot of fun for me.

In fact, this beauty from the '94 Topps checklist is nothing but fun. I can't say I've ever seen another shot of a guy reading his mail before. I must admit, I'm a little surprised this card hasn't popped up around the blogs a little more in the past.

This was the first I'd seen of it.

I like to imagine that ballplayers dig through their fan mail with a smile on their face.

Mr. White certainly seems to be enjoying himself there.

Thanks to this mystery box, I'm now proud to say that I own the "Cyberstats" parallel of one of the best cards from the '95 Topps set.

You can get a better, non-foil look at it here, but trust me.

It's a masterpiece.

These were certainly a pleasant surprise.

I can't say I find new cards from either the Pacific or Emotion brands much these days. They're not exactly in demand.

While I wouldn't say I love either set, I have a healthy appreciation for each. And it's always nice to find a couple new ones for the collection.

Plus, the folks in charge of the Emotion release used a shot of former pitcher Jeff Fassero posing with a bat.

That's always a plus in my book.

In a big box like this, you're bound to find at least a few oddballs.

This group stayed true to that rule. I probably dug up at least a dozen oddities during this dig for cardboard treasure.

While oddballs themselves are hard to define, is it safe to say that any sticker-related set can be classified under the oddball realm?

I think so.

While they're probably not official "oddballs", these struck me as a couple of the strangest cards I found in the mystery box.

The card on the right is from the fairly common '93 Topps checklist. The name, however, is what grabbed my attention.

Sherard Clinkscales?

Now that's a tongue-twister if I've ever heard one. Sadly, "Clinky" (I'm just assuming that was his nickname) never made it to the bigs. He pitched in the Royals' system for three years in the early '90s before being given his walking papers.

And, no, your eyes aren't deceiving you. That's what an '89 Bowman card looks like without the borders. Apparently, some kid decided to go all Hostess on it with the rather sloppy cutting job.

So, now, I basically have a "mini" from 1989 Bowman in my collection.

If I'm telling the truth, they're actually a whole lot better than those ugly, oversized monstrosities.

This may well be the trippiest scan in the history of this blog.

Courtesy of the '97 Stadium Club "Matrix" parallel set, this Belle is one fancy piece of cardboard. It was in a toploader and everything when I pulled it from the box.

Still, I wouldn't stare for too long.

You might start seeing some strange things.

The mid '90s was actually a pretty neat time for inserts.

I've always liked the one-and-done '96 Pinnacle Aficionado release, but I'd never been able to track down anything from the "Global Reach" series. Thanks to this box, though, I'm now the proud owner of that beautiful Dennis Martinez.

Let me tell you, it looks every bit as nice as the scan suggests.

Die-cuts were still a fairly new phenomenon back in the '90s as well. I'd imagine the Suppan was one of the first of its kind.

So, while the mid '90s may have gotten a bit out of hand, it did still come out with a few neat innovations by the time the dust settled.

To close out tonight's post, I thought I'd show one of the more interesting cards I've ever come across.

When I first saw this piece, I figured it was simply another ad card. I've found those in boxes like these quite often.

Upon flipping it over, however, I discovered this was actually a redemption for a Reggie Jackson autograph card. Yes, you read that right.

A Reggie Jackson autograph.

I see two possibilities.

Either some lucky collector pulled this from a pack of 1995 Upper Deck and didn't send it in for some crazy reason, or it was pulled sometime past the redemption's expiration date.

The latter is probably more likely, but I can't help but wonder about the former.

I mean, the back does say that you had to send this and $5 to UD's mailing address. But if someone's buying packs of baseball cards, I'm sure scrounging up an extra five bucks for a Reggie Jackson autograph wouldn't be much of a hassle.

Still, at the least, the redemption itself is an interesting piece to have. I can't imagine many are floating around these days.

But, yeah, I would've much rather had the Mr. October autograph.

If only I could've found this box back in 1995.


Jerry Yeager said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry Yeager said...

I like your pulls so far. I like oddballs cards sometimes...I like the Hills card, and you are correct, the Belle is a trip...if I had been the type, it would be shades of the 60's.

Mark Kaz said...

That is one badass Albert Belle!!

The Junior Junkie said...

That Belle is sick. I bought the Griffey cash money at a show not long ago because it melted my face so thoroughly at first glance.

The Junior Junkie said...

Also, I have a couple of Clinkscales in my silly names collection. One of my absolute favorites. Instant giggling.

petethan said...

There is NOTHING better for random fun than a mystery box. Awesome. The El Presidente card is probably my favorite. Fun.

Fuji said...

Love the Albert Belle and Kirk Gibson... but the Reggie redemption card is by far the coolest!

beefman said...

Some great cards there, Nick!

I found a Roger Clemens Auto redemption card from the Upper Deck set back in 1995. I sent it off to Upper Deck, and about 2 months later, I received a reply, along with my redemption card, and a polite letter advising me the offer was only open to U.S. & Canadian residents. My most disappointing day in card history!