Category Archives: football cards

A “Mystery Box” from SportsCards.com

I received an e-mail from Michael at SportsCards.com a couple of weeks ago offering a complimentary “Mystery Box” for review on the blog. In addition to the “Mystery Box,” Michael also wanted to inform me (and for me to inform you) about a pricing tool available at SportsCards.com. Here is the info:

Additionally, we wanted to let you know about our newly launched pricing tool for collectors that features a massive database of current and completed eBay auction data. It’s a great option for pricing out your sports cards, autographs and memorabilia using real eBay sales data. It’s also helpful for finding great deals. We were originally charging fees for our service, but decided to open it up to all in the hobby for free. We’d greatly appreciate any feedback that you or your readers have on it as we are constantly trying to improve it to make it of maximum use to collectors.

I signed up for an account, and it looks like a great tool for those who use eBay frequently. I encourage you to sign up and check it out as well.

The “Mystery Box” arrived in my mailbox today, and I’d like to share what came inside. Full disclosure: this was a complimentary box, meaning it came at no charge to me. Further, this is an introductory package; there are several different subscriptions available to purchase on SportsCards.com.

Mystery Box

There was a mixture of different sports inside the box, so I’ll start with a the ones I don’t generally collect. First, basketball:

Wiggins

A nice—nay—spectacular jersey swatch from Andrew Wiggins of the Timberwolves. I honestly know zilch about modern basketball, so I don’t know if this is a great card or not. Several of these items will be offered up as giveaways either here or on Twitter, so keep an eye out to see how you can snag this memorabilia card for your collection if you’re interested.

Leaf

Next is a pack of 2019 Leaf Draft football cards. This five-card pack contained Anthony Johnson, Darrell Henderson, Marquise Brown, Rodney Anderson, and Hall of Famer Barry Sanders. I generally don’t collect football cards, but Barry Sanders played when I did, so I’m probably going to hang on to that card. The others I will offer up soon as a giveaway.

Rose

Moving on to baseball, which is definitely my wheelhouse, we start with a “Verified Vintage” 1976 Topps Pete Rose. A quick check of my wantlists revealed that I did not already have this card, so this box is an automatic winner in my book. Well, it was already a winner since it was free, but including a card that I want? Double winner. I will leave this card in its case for now, but will move it to a binder when I get my basement cleaned up (which I’ve been meaning to do for over a year now).

Cobb

Next up is a Ty Cobb card, produced by SportsCards.com. These are “authentic handwriting” cards. Mine is a sample, so does not include the handwriting, but the back of the card reveals that these relics are meant to include snippets of handwritten letters from one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball. An interesting piece to be sure.

Leonard

The final card in the box is a jaw-dropper. A Beckett authenticated autograph of late Negro Leaguer Buck Leonard. Leonard was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972, one of the biggest stars in the Negro Leagues. This card is from the 1978 Grand Slam set. I don’t have an official collection of Negro League cards, but it takes quite a bit to pry one away from me. You add a legend’s signature, and there is no way this is leaving my collection.

This was a great “Mystery Box” from SportsCards.com. While the subscriptions do not fit my collecting budget, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase one in the future if that budget was readjusted.

Stay tuned for giveaways of some of the above cards here and on Twitter!

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Goodbye, Jared Lorenzen

(February 14, 1981 – July 3, 2019)

Lorenzen

Former University of Kentucky and New York Giants quarterback Jared Lorenzen passed away today from an acute infection complicated by heart and kidney problems. He was 38. He was also a graduate of Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, a few years after me. The card above was created by TWJ contributor Patrick several years ago.

Wacky Wednesday Cardboard

These cards definitely do not fit into my collection, but I was intrigued enough to plop down a couple bucks for them.

OJ and Howard Cosell

In 1994 the Interlink News Service produced a 50-card set called “In Pursuit of Justice” chronicling the O.J. Simpson case. There are cards from Simpson’s playing career, broadcasting career, and acting career, along with cards featuring some of the lawyers involved and news coverage. And a card of the Juice with Brian Bosworth.

Bosworth

It’s a really weird set.

OJ at NBC

There are also a couple of cards of the television coverage. I remember watching the chase in a friend’s basement on June 17, 1994, just a few weeks after my high school graduation. For the youngsters out there, television screens back in the mid-’90s were nothing like they are today. Taking a photograph of a television screen didn’t result in the clearest picture.

CNN Bronco chase

The backs of the cards are colorful, but not particularly interesting.

OJ case

You may be cynical like me and think these cards were merely to profit from the high-profile case, but the back indicates that Interlink intended to donate part of the money from these sets “to support the prevention of domestic violence and benefit shelters for abused women and children.” I had never seen these cards before, but I hope enough were sold to make a sizable donation to that cause.

The Moeller Show

Twice a year, a card show is hosted in the Moeller High School gymnasium. Moeller is the alma mater of two Baseball Hall of Famers, Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey Jr. I attended this show for the first time in November, 2008, and got my first Dave Parker autograph. I’m not sure why it took me a decade to go back, but last weekend my youngest son and I hit the show. No autographs this time around, just cards on the cheap, such as these Reds legends for a quarter each…

1985 Circle K baseball cards

Rose

Junior

Seaver no-hitter

Groh

Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, Junior Griffey, Tom Seaver, and Heinie Groh, thank you very much.

I also got a quartet of Gypsies for a quarter each as well…

2018 GQ

If I had more wall space, I would love to add some Heroes of Yesterday artwork by Steve Douglas to my collection. But I’m not going to buy something and let it collect dust in my closet, when it could be enjoyed by someone else hanging on their wall. But Mr. Douglas was giving out business cards which featured artwork as well, and I took one featuring Chris Sabo

Heroes of Yesterday

If you have a mancave and want to add a little originality to the walls, check out Heroes of Yesterday for some pretty cool pieces.

Of course, I grabbed a handful of non-Reds cards also. From Gypsy Queen, I scored Zack Cozart and Chris Archer for ten cents each…

2018 GQ

And Magic Johnson for a quarter…

Magic

And the entire 1989 Pro Set Football Final Update series…21 cards…for a quarter…

1989 Pro Set

I really miss Pro Set. I miss the fun NFL. I hope the XFL lives up to the hype and restores my interest in football.

I’m not going to wait another ten years to go back to the Moeller Show, but I don’t think I’ll wait until the last day to go, either. A lot of dealers had already packed up and left, and I’m sure those who remained were picked through pretty thoroughly before I got there. It was still fun, though, and I was happy with the cards I added to my collection.

He broke his leg, now he is breaking our hearts

1985 Topps Lorenzen

Jared Lorenzen, injured quarterback for the Northern Kentucky River Monsters, has announced that he is finished playing indoor football. The “Hefty Lefty” said the decision was due in part to his broken leg, but added, “I’m tired of being burned by ownership.” Fort Thomas Matters has the full story.

Lorenzen goes down

Fort Thomas Matters broke the news that Jared Lorenzen broke his leg a few days ago, and even has video of the fateful play. This could be a devastating blow to the Northern Kentucky River Monsters, at least publicity-wise, as Lorenzen was the biggest name on the team.

TWJ contributor Patrick quickly sent over a couple of “fun cards” of this season lowlight, using the 1978 and 1979 Fleer football templates for inspiration.

1978 Fleer football Lorenzen fun card

1979 Fleer football Lorenzen fun card

I decided to get in on the action too, pulling from the 1985 Topps football set, one of my favorite card designs of all time regardless of sport.

1985 Topps football Lorenzen fun card

Another former Highlands High School quarterback, Kyle James, took over for Lorenzen. I still hope to catch a NKRM game this season, but it won’t be the same without the Hefty Lefty on the field.

Fun Cards Submission: 1959 Topps Jared Lorenzen

Lorenzen River Monsters

TWJ contributor Patrick is back with a brand new “fun card,” featuring the Pillsbury Throwboy Jared Lorenzen of the Northern Kentucky River Monsters. If you’re not familiar with the River Monsters, click here.

Thanks for the submission Patrick!

Too big for a binder: Boomer

Back when I was a football fan, and more specifically a Cincinnati Bengals fan, I accumulated some memorabilia that was too big for a binder. In 1986, McDonald’s issued football cards with some sort of a scratch-off game on a perforated bottom. The only card I have from this set is Boomer Esiason, and hey it’s a rookie card! The scratch-off game was separated from the card before I received it.

Boomer Esiason McDonalds

The other Boomer item I have is a candy bar wrapper. The candy bar is long gone of course. There is an offer on the back for a limited edition “I Ate a Boomer Bar” shirt. There are a handful of Boomer Bar wrappers on eBay, but no shirts.

Boomer Bar

Fun Cards: 2013 Topps Marvin Lewis

Lewis Topps

Before today’s Reds game, some of the Bengals players and staff took batting practice. Coach Marvin Lewis even got in the cage and took a few hacks. Maybe he and Dusty Baker can switch jobs? Couldn’t do any worse, could he?

TWJ 2012: Arian Foster

From undrafted free agent to one of the most sought-after running backs in Fantasy Football drafts, Arian Foster rushed for over 1600 yards in his second season.

Why did every team pass over Foster in 2009? According to Wikipedia:

Foster’s subpar senior campaign caused his draft stock to plummet, as well as scouts’ concerns about his below-average pass-blocking, issues with ball security and the less-than-stellar reviews from Tennessee staff members that portrayed him as selfish and hard to coach.[13] A pulled hamstring also prevented Foster from working out at the NFL Scouting Combine, then he had a poor showing at Tennessee’s Pro Day when he registered a 4.71 40-yard dash, 4.50 short shuttle, 32-inch vertical leap and 9’7″ broad jump.

running back arian smith

Large photo credit: AJ Guel
Inset photo credit: US Presswire

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