Saturday, February 28, 2015

Card coma

I'm here to tell you that a "card coma" is a perfectly legit medical excuse.

It's a shame that most employers/college teachers still don't recognize it. I tried to use my card coma to get off of school this week, but nobody bought it.

Come on, people. After hours of buying, sorting, and filing Sunday's card show finds, how can I be expected to perform any other daily duties? (That doesn't even mention the mega-Just Commons order I received last Saturday, which I'll be featuring on the blog next week.)

Still, after plowing through a coma-induced week of school, I'm starting to come out of it. It's time to move on from Sunday's show and do other things. Things like, say, featuring more great cards I've received from fellow bloggers. (It feels like ages since I've done a trade post.)

The excitement of posting about another terrific batch of cardboard I received from Weston of "Fantastic Catch" has started to pull me out of my card coma today.

Facemask shots are usually good for that.

There were player collection hits abound in this trade package.

At this point, I'm not sure what else I can say about my appreciation of Vladimir Guerrero and Josh Reddick. I've covered about every possible angle already. I'm tapped out.

But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate all the Vlad and Reddick cards people send me.

Because I do.

Weston has dropped quite a few trade packages on me in the past.

One thing I love about the stacks he puts together is the fact that he included a lot of cards from long-forgotten sets, like these two bat-themed singles. 2000 Bowman Draft? 2005 UD Pros and Prospects?

Without Weston, I wouldn't have had a prayer of finding these two cards here in 2015.

I'm torn on how to feel about that Lankford.

I'm Mike Scioscia fan and all, but it is kind of funny to see someone running up his face on the Dodger Stadium outfield wall.

At first, I thought the Ross was some kind of photo variation short-print. Turns out that it's just Ross's standard base card from last year's Topps Update.

See, not all the quirky shots have to be limited to photo variations.

If you want quirky, look no further than minor league cards.

Willie Greene isn't about to let the chilling cold stand in the way of his pack of sunflower seeds. A name like Michael Goodnight (yes, he's a pitcher) is the catch phrase-crazed announcer's dream. I can hear it now.

Strike three looking! MICHAEL SAYS GOODNIGHT!

It's too bad the guy was completely out of baseball last year.

With a name like that, he seemed destined for the big time.

When someone specifically attaches a note that says "Look him up," I look the guy up.

I'm both glad and sad that I did, because I otherwise wouldn't have known about the tragic story of Evan Chambers.

Chambers was a third-round pick by the Pirates in 2009. Sadly, after a few years in the minors, he passed away in his sleep at the age of 24 in December 2013.

I feel honored to own a card of the guy.

Sorry to get all somber on you there in a simple trade post.

But I know mini-collections are always good for a pick-me-up. Weston threw quite a few of those into this trade package.

We start with this play at the plate of Miguel Montero, one of the newest Cubs. I'm actually more intrigued by the Morgan Ensberg cameo here (the subject of one of my oldest player collections), since the former third baseman never had an official card released during his days with the Padres.

I guess I'll have to settle for this.

More from the mini-collection archives.

I'm pretty sure the card on the left is my first-ever "college pitcher at the plate" shot.

I'm not one to play favorites, but I think throwbacks are right near the top of the list with my mini-collections.

I love when people find new retro jerseys to send me. Especially ones of greats like Griffey and hometown heroes like Bobby Jenks.

Jenks even has the portly physique of a lot of pre-war ballplayers.

Since Weston is a big Cardinals fan, I guess it's fitting that we'd close with The Wizard.

This double dip is one of the finest Ozzie Smith cards I've seen, and we even get Dodger Stadium in the backdrop as a bonus.

I can feel the card coma slipping away already. But it wasn't looking good for most of the week, I'll tell you.

Next time you feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of cards on your sorting table, just tell your boss you're feeling a card coma coming on. It's a perfectly reasonable excuse.

I'm sure they'll be happy to give you the day off.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The birthday show, Pt. 3: Name your price

Aside from the nickel and dime cards I've already featured, the prices were all over the place at Sunday's show.

I've never set up a card show before, but I'd love to know how vendors sort their inventory. Okay, this one'll go in the quarter box. Toss that one in the 3/$1 bin. That one's fifty cents. That's dollar box material. Hmm...put it in the quart -- no, put it in the fifty cent bin. It all fascinates me.

The cards you'll see in this post had all kinds of different price tags on them. In terms of pricing, they were probably the most diverse bunch I've ever picked up at a show. And, hey, the cards themselves weren't half bad either, folks.

As I mentioned in Wednesday's post, the very first table I found on Sunday had a couple dime bins. One of them was an all-vintage dime box. I didn't find a whole lot (it was mostly common no-namers from the early-to-mid '70s), but I did land this sweet trio. I don't usually seek out League Leader cards, but I couldn't pass this one up.

I mean, it's criminal to pass on anything featuring Vida Blue for a dime.

Right next to the dime box was a little snap case that made my heart jump.

I didn't believe it at first, but when I leaned in closer, I read the words over and over again in my head.


DID YOU SAY O-PEE-CHEE?!?!?!?!?!?!

The snap case wasn't that big, but I ended up buying about a third of the cards in it. I was surprised to see a few stars. I sure never thought I'd unearth guys like Keith Hernandez or Fred Lynn in there for fifty cents a pop.

Once I get started on O-Pee-Chee...'s hard for me to stop.

This one actually came from a dollar box that the first vendor had on display. My dad actually dug through it on my behalf since I was busy with the dime bins. I don't think he knew it at the time, but Dad found a card I've wanted for a while with this Tony Perez.

Unlike most OPCs, this is a completely different shot than the one featured on Perez's standard 1977 Topps issue. OPC went and got a shot of the former first baseman in his brand new Expos duds to bring collectors up to date.

Kind of like a vintage Topps Update, if you will.

Here's a couple more from the dollar box.

Even in rough shape, finding any vintage Billy Williams for a buck is quite an accomplishment here in the Chicago area. Vendors (understandably) have a tendency to overprice the hometown heroes quite a bit.

The Hershberger brings me one step closer to my lofty goal of obtaining every vintage Topps Seattle Pilot card ever made. I'm down to mostly high numbers from the 1969/70 Topps checklists now.

Not bad for a project I never expected to come close to finishing in the first place.

Bob Gibson for a buck?

I couldn't give the guy my dollar fast enough.

Let's shift from that fantastic first table to the very last table I stopped at on Sunday.

My last purchase was a single-card buy, something that isn't too common for someone used to buying hundreds of cards in one sitting. Mr. Cash were was priced at six bucks in a half-off vintage bin. So, three dollars.

I actually saw him earlier in the show, but passed. As Jeff, Dad, and I were packing up to leave, however, I happened to drift by the table again. That's when I remembered Norm Cash, and figured what the heck. What else is three bucks going to get me?

You've got a good home now, Norm.

Not all my "money" purchases were vintage though.

I spent more than a dime on all four of the cards you see here. The two Archives Reserve singles and the Nestle Quisenberry were a quarter each. The Gossage box bottom was fifty cents.

Big spender, I know.

One of the tables I found had a big 3200-count box packed with recent inserts.

Trouble was, none of them were priced. Like most collectors, I'm skeptical of anything without a price tag at a card show. However, Jeff said he'd stopped at this table earlier and got a pretty good deal on some cool inserts, so I felt a little more at ease digging through the guy's inventory.

In the end, I spent nine buck on a stack of about 25 inserts. Not bad. Not bad at all.

This police badge (am I the only one who sees it?) Adam Jones Chrome insert will kickstart my new player collection of his.

I've been itching to get my hands on some more Stadium Club inserts.

The photography in the "Field Access" series is just as good as most of the base cards. Joe Mauer can attest to that.


A see-through Dickey!

I'm forever blessed (cursed?) with a twelve-year-old's sense of humor.

Seriously, though.

Most of what I bought from the guy's table came courtesy of Panini. I'm sure I'll be finding Topps inserts left and right throughout the course of the year, but Panini's have a tendency to fly under the radar.

The first five cards on this page are from the Classics brand, while the last four are from Golden Age. The Golden Ages are epic (as usual), but I'm not too keen on the Classics inserts. Still, as I've said over and over again with Panini, the player selection keeps me coming back.

It'll be centuries before Topps produces a Heinie Groh card.

These Golden Age inserts had my name all over them.

I'm a huge fan of newspaper-themed designs, and these two happen to cover a couple of my favorite historical events. The Black Sox scandal and Beatlemania.

I say "favorite" in terms of the 1919 White Sox not because I endorse what the players did, by any means. The whole saga is just so fascinating, as anyone who has ever read or seen Eight Men Out will tell you. That's the first card I've found that specifically commemorates the actual trial.

Maybe "commemorates" isn't the right word.

Hey, did you know there was a new card of Reggie the Oriole on the market?

Neither did I.

When I saw Reggie's name in the 2015 Topps "Baseball Highlights" checklist, I assumed it'd be another card of him as an A or Yankee. Nope...he's an Oriole.

A rare new card for what might be the greatest "Short Term Stop" ever.

I could go on a rant about buybacks, but I won't.

I'll just say that scrounging up old cards (of which thousands and thousands of copies exist), stamping them, and repackaging them as some kind of new, high-dollar insert doesn't seem right to me. But again, I won't rant.

Especially considering I actually bought one of them on Sunday. I came across this J.R. Richard in a  box of miscellany one vendor had on display. My feelings on stupid buybacks are clear...but I am a big Richard collector. Stupid...J.R. Richard. What to do?

In the end, I haggled and managed to secure it as a throw-in with what ended up being my most expensive purchase of the day.

Seeing as how this was my birthday show and all, I wanted to treat myself to something nice.

I just kind of assumed that the "something nice" would be vintage-related. After the dust settled, however, it was a modern card. A 2015 card, for that matter.

This, as you might know, is actually a photo variation from 2015 Topps. What we have here is Yu Darvish taking some hacks in the on-deck circle, which makes it a coveted American League "pitcher at the plate" shot.

I was hesitant at first, but (like the Norm Cash) I figured what the heck and handed over eight bucks for it. And, as I mentioned, I got the J.R. Richard buyback in the deal as well.

Sometimes you have to treat yourself.

While I didn't make a huge vintage purchase, there were some nice bargains to be had.

One of the vendors had a box on display that literally said BARGAIN BOX. Most of the other cards he had were woefully overpriced, but I managed to scrape up a few nice gems from the bargain bin. The McCarver, Marichal, and Kranepool were two dollars each, and the Garvey cloth sticker was a buck.

Bargains, indeed.

Most vendors were starting to pack up as I made my final rounds through the rest of the show.

One of the few remaining tables left had a bin full of 7/$5 cards. Jeff was actually the one who first found it.

My bag was heavy with awesome finds at that point, but I was still a little disappointed with the fact that, aside from the aforementioned Kranepool, I hadn't really found any Hostess or Kellogg's cards. Those are card show staples for me.

With that in mind, I started digging. At first, I didn't find much. Eventually, though, my luck started to change.

This neat "A's Stars" trio was well worth the 7/$5 price tag.

As were these two.

It's tough to tell from the scan, but the card on the left is a Michael Young rookie card. He never played for the Blue Jays, which makes it a much needed zero-year issue.

Matt Kemp, of course, did wind up suiting up for the Dodgers. Ten years after the release of his rookie card, however, he'll be playing for the Padres.

It'll take some getting used to, I'm sure.

It was right around here when I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Jeff was actually the one who discovered this Hostess Johnny Bench. Thankfully, he didn't need it. I was pretty much frothing at the mouth for oddballs at this point, so Mr. Bench immediately went into my purchase pile.

Sadly, it'd be the only Hostess card I'd find from the 7/$5 box.

But, hey...

...I can't complain too much.

Especially when the rest of the box was loaded with Kellogg's. These 3-D beauties were tucked away into the very back corner of one of the rows. It almost seemed like someone was trying to hide them from me. Nice try, but I'm no rookie.

Unlike most discounted Kellogg's cards I've found, these are all in fantastic shape. And, seeing as how they were in a 7/$5 box, I was astounded by the sheer amount of star power in this stack. Yaz, Seaver, Schmidt, Eck, Sutton...the list went on and on. It's safe to say that my oddball thirst was quenched by the time I finished digging.

Kellogg's made for the vast majority of the twenty-eight total cards I picked out from this guy's table, mine for a cool twenty bucks.

Okay, I guess I've gone on long enough by now. It's finally time to reveal The Greatest Find of the Day in this, the final installment of these card show posts. For this one, we have to go all the way back to those nickel boxes I talked about earlier in the week.

I don't know how I can possibly build up to something like this, so I'll just show it.

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you.

Yes, that is an actual 1967 Topps Bob Uecker. His sunset card. Only my second vintage Uecker. From the nickel box. Nickel, as in five pennies.

No, I'm not lying. You can ask Jeff if you don't believe me. He was there. Finding this elicited an audible WOW from both Jeff and the guy standing next to him.

It had to be some kind of mistake. I didn't find any other vintage cards in any of those nickel boxes. Uecker doesn't usually end up in dollar boxes, much less nickel boxes. I kind of felt like I was getting away with a crime or something.

Well, you know what the kids on the playground say. Finders keepers, losers weepers.

To tell you the truth, I'm still in shock. Bob Uecker for a nickel? That's not real. That couldn't possibly happen. But it did. It did happen.

Finding all these terrific cards did happen. Stumbling upon a treasure chest of Kellogg's did happen. And, most of all, spending a fun-filled afternoon with Jeff and my dad did happen.

As hard as it might be to believe, it happened.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The birthday show, Pt. 2: Looking for FDR

As awesome as those nickel boxes might've been, I don't go into a show expecting to find cards for Jeffersons.

If the name of this blog is any indication, FDRs are the name of the game around here. The upstart nickel bins put on quite a show on Sunday, but the dime boxes were their usual fantastic selves as well.

I've said this before, but the smaller shows like this one are better for low-end collectors like myself. Most vendors aren't just out to make a quick buck, which means that they're usually more willing to put out discount boxes. (They also have a tendency to be a lot friendlier.)

Sunday's dime bins were every bit as good as one you might find at a bigger show. The one slight disappointment was the fact that I wasn't able to scrounge up much of my remaining 2014 Stadium Club needs. Mr. Perez was one of just two SC base cards I found all day. (The other being a Wade Boggs.)

I can't complain too much, though, since this gem instantly became the centerpiece of my new Salvador Perez collection.

Aside from that, the dime boxes passed with flying colors.

I think I made purchases from six or seven different vendors on Sunday, and about half of them had dime cards on display. Heck, the very first table I saw when I walked into the place had a dime box, and this Klesko was one of the first cards I nabbed from it.

About a year ago, I made a pact with myself that I'd pick up every single one of these Sample cards I happened to come across in dime bins. I've kept my promise.

How could I not?

Oddballs as a whole were in full force on Sunday.

This quartet covers both ends of the oddball spectrum. The Classic Bo and Topps Glossy Thornton are more conventional oddities, as oxymoronic as that sounds. They're still technically oddballs to me, but they're not all that difficult to find.

Every now and then, though, you'll stumble upon cards that are downright stumpers. I haven't found much info on either that Ruth or strange Griffey/Cobb combo. Conventional or not, each of these four oddballs are cool.

I'm pretty sure all of them came from that first table as well.

One thing I really enjoyed about that first vendor was that he had a healthy amount of minor league issues mixed into his dime boxes.

I can't pass up an opportunity to post a Rusty Kuntz card, and, yes, that is that Ricky Williams. The NFL Ricky Williams.

His handful of seasons in the Phillies' organization are all but forgotten now.

Players are fun, but cards like these are the real reason I enjoy minor league sets so much.

You're not likely to find anything of pitching coaches, groundskeepers, bat boys, or trainers in mainstream checklists. They're all fair game for minor league sets, though.

I don't know about you, but I'm especially fond of that groundskeeper card.

I've been picking up a lot of these so-bad-they're-good cards lately.

These, well...these might just be bad, period. I guess I'm just fascinated by the fact that photos like these could ever wind up on nationally-distributed baseball cards. Thousands of different collectors have spent their hard-earned money on packs of cards...and found these.

At least they only cost me forty cents.

Let's stray away from the odd, odd, odd, odd world for now and get to some more mainstream cards.

You of guys in actual major league uniforms. Not long ago, I mentioned that 2003 Flair Greats is one of the more underrated all-legend sets in history. These two Hall of Fame hurlers can back me up there.

And I can tell you that finding anything of Rube Waddell is an unmatched thrill for me.

While dime boxes can highlight some of the stranger aspects of this hobby, they're always good for a handful of unexpected beauties as well.

I'm on a half-hearted quest to finish that World Series Programs insert set. Half-hearted might be too strong of a term, now that I think of it.

With the one-a-year pace I'm at, it'll probably take me a few decades to finish it.

Without dime boxes, I doubt I'd have mini-collections.

A good dime dig almost always manages to beef up my various themes.

Much like the nickel boxes, the dime bins seemed to be coughing up parallels left and right.

Most of bloggers seem to enjoy them, but, given how easy they are to find in discount boxes, I really have to stop and wonder how popular parallels are with the collecting community as a whole. Maybe we're the minority when it comes to these things...which is fine.

More parallels of Coco's 'fro for us.

One of Sunday's vendors had an entire dime box stuffed with retired players.

Some of what I've already shown in this post (Waddell, Perry, Murray, etc.) came from those stacks. (I also had to remind myself that Derek Jeter was, in fact, retired whenever I found cards of him in there.)

Perhaps the most redeeming quality of the all-retired dime box was the large assortment of Panini Classics I dug up. This set, as far as I can tell, took the place of Hometown Heroes for 2014. The look isn't as good as Heroes was, but the player selection is right on par. (Dig the Waner brothers.)

I've struck out with finding packs of the stuff, but I had a sneaking suspicion I'd find some in a dime box sooner or later.

Right next to that all-legend bin was a dime box packed with more contemporary ballplayers.

About half of the 3200-count box was comprised of 2013 Topps Minis. I'm in a hopeless romance with these things. I went a little bonkers when I found around 60 minis from this set at my local flea market last summer.

So, how many did I buy from this guy?

Try 190.


They couldn't even all fit onto my scanner. I spent a good amount of time digging through all of them, but I picked up just about every single mini I needed from the set for well less than I could've spent on a box of 'em. (Even at their highly-discounted current rates.)

Put a dime box of Topps Minis in front of me, and there's no telling what might happen.

Because of how much time I put into mining for minis, I didn't take a close look through the rest of the guy's contemporary dime box.

In hindsight, it's a good thing I chose to take a closer look at the last few stacks in there, because out of the very last section of the very last row of that box came came what I think was my greatest dime find of the day with this card of Carl Crawford.

Or, more appropriately, this card of Carl Crawford's legs.

Had I owned it before I did my "Cards of the Year" countdown, this Gypsy Queen insert probably would've slotted in at around #5 or #6 on that list. It's the kind of card that someone like Pacific or Pinnacle would've been apt to create. Not Topps.

To me, this equally strange and beautiful card confirms the fact that Topps does still have a slight sense of humor. It's dying, yes, but it's still there.

Between Carl Crawford's legs, groundskeepers, Rusty Kuntzes, and just about everything else, the dime boxes were firing on all cylinders on Sunday.

You can't find a mix like this anywhere else.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The birthday show, Pt. 1: Rolling nickels

As I mentioned on Saturday, I hit a card show yesterday.

My parents floated me a few extra bucks for my birthday last week, and I used it to treat myself to a much-needed cardboard extravaganza. Dad and I hopped in the car and made the hour-long drive south to hit a local show yesterday afternoon. (Can an hour drive be considered "local"?)

It was an especially fun experience for me because I got to meet up with Jeff from "2x3 Heroes" once again. Jeff's a great guy, and it was awesome to compare our respective card show experiences. We swapped cards (more on those in a later post) and he, my dad, and I grabbed a bite at Portillo's afterwards. (I'm still salivating over that Italian beef sandwich.)

Still, when you get down to it, the cards are what bring us all together in the first place. Yesterday did not disappoint, as I came home with a heavy bag filled with over 800 brilliant pieces of cardboard.

A good amount of those came from those nickel boxes you see behind yours truly there.

Yes, I said nickel boxes.

Jeff was actually the one who scoped out the guy's table, but I honestly didn't believe him when he first told me. I had to see for myself. But, true to his words, there it was. A whole table full of nickels. The vendor had at least ten 3200-count boxes filled to the gills with nickel baseball cards.

I was about five boxes deep and was still going strong when the guy announced that he was packing up for the day. In hindsight, I guess it was a good thing. I could've easily spent another hour at that table without even thinking, but that wouldn't have left much time to check out the rest of the show.

So, although I'm sure there were a bunch of hidden treasures in what I didn't get to look through, I couldn't have been happier about the 260-ish nickel cards I found, mine for a meager thirteen bucks.

These nickel boxes were better quality than most dime, quarter, or maybe even fifty-cent bins you'll find. Contrary to how you might picture nickel cards, there wasn't a sniff of 1989 Bowman or 1991 Donruss to be found in them.

The "award show" card you see above is actually a "Cards Your Mother Threw Out" reprint, but it has me inspired to pick up the real thing.

If the Ichiro/Pujols was any indication, this guy's nickel cards didn't slouch when it came to mini-collections.

My 832 different themes benefited greatly from this dig.

This has to be one of the most picturesque plays at the plate out there.

Still, despite the emphatic out call, The Babe sure looks safe to me. Looks like he knocked the ball free from the catcher's grasp.

Maybe it's time we got that ump some glasses.

If you look at this card closely enough, you might see a sailboat.

This exceptionally loud (yet interestingly beautiful) double dip comes courtesy of Pinnacle's "Starburst" parallel series.

Back when parallels were more than just colored borders.

All of these nickel boxes seemed to have an acute case of parallel-itis.

Hey, that's heaven for someone like me. These 125th Anniversary foil parallels from 1994 UD All-Time Heroes allow me to enjoy one of my favorite sets even more.

This is one of those things that I could never explain to a non-collector. You mean a card is different if it has one of those little gold stamps on it?


It is.

Parallels as far back from the '80s could be found for mere nickels.

It's tough to tell from the scan, but these are just a portion of the Topps Tiffany/Fleer Glossy singles I nabbed from the nickel boxes. I have a hard time finding these things anywhere, and they're easy to miss when skimming through thousands of cards.

Another win for the nickel boxes.

Oh, but the parallels weren't just limited to the '80s and '90s.

One of the most defining features of these nickel boxes was the fact that they somehow held a lot of more recent cards as well. I found a good amount of 2014s during my dig, something which I certainly wasn't expecting. Parallels from sets like Turkey Red and Gypsy Queen made a couple cameos as well.

It's a bit hard to believe that this whole page cost just 45 cents total.

But the beauty of the nickel boxes went way beyond mere parallels.

Some cards don't need colorful borders or elegant frames to get noticed. Some cards don't need any help.

Some cards are beautiful all on their own.

I think my favorite thing about digging through cards with Jeff was the fact that we were constantly asking each other whether we needed this card or that one.

Every time he came across a Vlad or Ichiro card, he'd give me a nudge and show it to me. I did the same whenever I found a bunting shot or any cool White Sox. And, anytime I happened to stumble upon anything especially fantastic, I'd turn around and show it to my dad.

I had support from every possible angle yesterday.

I'll never know what card companies were thinking during the '90s.

Only rampant drug use can explain designs like these.

As is the case with any good discount bin, this nickel box offered up a healthy assortment of oddballs.

Ballstreet, O-Pee-Chee,'ll find a little of everything here. I think one of my favorites is that Nolan Ryan in the center. He's holding a card of Bo Jackson with the caption "Nolan Knows Bo." It was one of the first cards I found from these nickel boxes.

In a way, I guess it foreshadowed what was yet to come...

...because these awkward beauties fell out not too long after.

Bo knows soccer. Bo knows surfing. Bo knows horse racing. Bo knows tennis. Bo knows bike riding. Bo knows weightlifting. Bo knows that the "Bo Knows" campaign got a little out of hand in the late '80s.

If it's possible to both love and hate a baseball card, these do exactly that.

I mean...just...what the hell?!

Let's get back to, you know...normal baseball cards.

Kind of. Well, not really.

I don't think it's normal to find Barry Larkin rookie cards in a nickel box. Or Matt Williams minor league cards.

Is it?

That Abbott sure is ugly, but I'm not passing on anything of him for a nickel.

I didn't get a good look at that "Joltin' Joe" when I first came across it. I just saw the name DiMaggio and threw it onto my pile. Only later did I notice that he appears to be holding a spoonful of spaghetti there.

Mangia, mangia!

Hey, Sports Illustrated, can you start making baseball cards again?


Small in stature, small in price, big in beauty.

All hail minis!

The irony was strong with these nickel boxes.

Mega-shiny cards like that Chris Davis certainly don't strike me as nickel material. I don't think anything in the whole wide world will ever get me to like the '89 Bowman design, but those atomic refractor-like borders sure come close.

People drop hundreds of dollars on single packs of Museum Collection, and yet I found a stack of base cards from the set during my dig for just a nickel a pop. Makes you wonder how something like that could end up in a nickel box in the first place.

If you or a loved one is planning on spending hundreds of dollars on a pack of Museum Collection, stop. Save that money and take a trip out to the Midwest instead.

We've got 'em for nickels here.

You could've just about knocked me over with a feather when I found this one in the nickel bins.

I've seen this card on a few other blogs already, but I didn't think I'd get the chance to own a copy. I most certainly didn't think I'd find one for a shiny Jefferson.

Coming from Panini's special 2013 Father's Day promotion, this Kemp captures the full spirit of the Studio brand. Perhaps better than the original Studios, if such a thing is possible.

This, along with all the other cards I've featured in this post (and the hundreds of others that I didn't scan), definitely made digging through these nickel boxes a moment to remember. Still, as great as they were, they couldn't hold a candle to the greatest nickel find of them all. But more on that in a later post.

In the meantime, I'm going to lay down and try to convince myself that such awesome nickel boxes weren't just a figment of my imagination. They actually existed.

You have to believe me.