Wednesday, July 9, 2014
If I may be so bold, I'd like to propose a proclamation.
I'm declaring this July as "Treasure Month". My challenge, if you should decide to join, is to dig for buried treasure in your neighborhood.
I'm talking garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores, or whatever else you can find. If you can spare a couple hours sometimes this month, go hit up a place where treasure may be hiding on a nice afternoon. If money is tight, even a couple singles can go a long way.
Your treasure doesn't even have to be baseball cards. It can be anything you want. My hope is to simply get people to at least try a garage sale or something. If you find something, great. If not, there are a lot worse ways to spend an afternoon.
I make this proclamation for a couple reasons. For one thing, my dad and I are planning to hit the local flea market this weekend. My dad just found a "That's All Right Mama" Elvis Sun Studio single (among others) in a bag full of other vinyl he picked up from a Craigslist ad for ten bucks.
The Elvis one alone is valued at a few hundred bucks, and I'm hoping my dad's mojo carries over to the flea market on Sunday.
The other is the fact that I recently received an incredibly varied and fun trade package from reader Mike.
In the note he included, Mike said that he's been scouring his local flea market for hidden gems lately.
He was nice enough to pass a few of those treasures on to me. The first thing that greeted me out of Mike's trade package was an unopened pack of 1991 Conlon Collection.
I actually already own a complete set of '91 Conlon, so all of the cards I pulled were doubles. Even so, opening the pack Mike sent was still a thrill. This page here basically sums up why I love the Conlon brand so much.
I pulled everything from Browns to Senators to guys named "Bubbles" to Casey Stengel to Chief Bender and beyond.
And that's just one pack.
Before this package arrived, I had no idea Drake's cards were sold in box sets.
I always assumed you could only get them individually in Drake's products. (I love the Drake!)
Mike enlightened me by slipping complete 33-card 1983 Drake's set into this assortment. The sticker on the back showed that he picked it up for a whopping 50 cents at a thrift store.
Thrift stores were a bit of a craze for my friends and I earlier this year, but we haven't gone as much lately.
I never found any cards during our digs, but I'm definitely willing to give it another shot after seeing this Drake's set.
I would've dropped 50 cents on this set in a heartbeat.
Aside from Hostess and Kellogg's, Drake's probably makes for my favorite oddball brand. The cards are very well designed and pack quite a punch.
Al Oliver, Rod Carew, and Jim Rice were just some of the big names I found in this box set. Oh, and that's now my oldest Cal Ripken card there in the top-center.
I'm seriously thinking about making a trip to the thrift store in honor of "Treasure Month" now.
Mike managed to put together an awesome team bag of other miscellaneous goodies as well.
This spectacular Vlad "Trading Card History" insert was new to me. It's probably the only time I've seen the old Post oddballs honored in any way, shape, or form.
I'd love to see an entire set devoted to oddballs of years past, now that I think of it.
Sort of like a bizarro Archives.
I have absolutely no information on this one, but I'm always up for finding new disc-shaped cardboard.
In case you might be wondering, I actually don't put these in my binders.
They do make for nice display pieces on my nightstand, though.
This package was about as oddball-laden as it gets.
Mike found everything from holograms to McDonald's oddballs during his own treasure digs. The Carter is especially cool, as it chronicles the final out from the 1992 World Series.
Speaking of McDonald's...
...here's a card from their rival.
At first, I thought this was a standard 1980 Topps Mike Schmidt. I was about to put it in my doubles box when I decided to flip it over.
It was at that moment that I discovered I was actually holding a 1980 Burger King Mike Schmidt, a card that I needed. The fronts are identical to their Topps counterparts, but the flip sides feature BK logos in the corner.
That just goes to show you, kids.
Always, always check the back.
As if this package couldn't get any better, Mike took the time to knock out a "Dime Box Dozen" need with Mr. Hooton here.
Thanks to Mike, I finally have a complete Burt Hooton "sunset" collection. This Fleer issue was the last one I needed. I didn't know that "Happy" spent his final season with the Rangers until fairly recently.
What else could Mike possible have in store?
This card hits home on a few levels for me.
For one thing, I've slowly started to warm up to these vintage Topps "combos" as of late. I ignored them for years, a decision I deeply regret. By the way, what's with those Tiger uniforms? I can't say I've ever seen that kind of cursive script anywhere else.
On top of that, I'm always excited to find new cards for my Jim Bunning collection. He's one of the few Hall of Famers whose cards won't put much of a dent in your wallet.
I'm not proud to admit this last reason, but I have to be straight with you. As tough as it might be to believe, this is my first card of Don Mossi. I'd somehow never found anything of the big-eared hurler before.
I don't know how or why that happened. All that's important is the fact that I have one now, thanks to Mike.
It's just the type of thing you could find during "Treasure Month". Go enjoy the summer with a quick trip to a garage sale or perhaps even a local flea market if there's one in your area. Take the family along if you want.
There's a lot of treasure out there waiting for you.