Special Selections from My Collection

CamaroDMD

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I thought it would be fun to start a thread…and periodically add to it…sharing cards from my collection that are meaningful to me. Each card is special for its own reason; it might be valuable, it may have taken a long time to find, perhaps it just has a special meaning. But, I thought I would share those types of cards.

My thought was to add another card approximately weekly. Anyway, here is the first:

1991 Upper Deck Football Heroes Joe Montana Autograph /2500


I grew up on the west coast and being born in the mid-1980s, the football center of the world was in San Francisco. As a result, I grew up hearing about the legend of Joe Montana and I think because of that he became my favorite player. As crazy as it sounds, I’m a little too young to have strong memories of him with the 49ers…my memories are more of him with the Chiefs. But, that doesn’t matter. He became my favorite player and to this day still is.

When I was in middle school I would visit this local card shop and spend my allowance there. Typically, it was a small purchase or a pack of cards…something insignificant as I didn’t have enough money for anything nice. I did from time to time set aside a little of my allowance for nicer things…but for one reason or another that never seemed to pan out.

Anyway, the owner of the shop knew I was a huge Montana fan and every once in a while would have something interesting to show me. One day, he had one of my dream cards in his case. It was the 1991 UD Football Heroes Montana auto. Unfortunately, the price tag was $200…which was way out of my reach.

First, I’ll give little background information on the card itself. In 1991 Upper Deck introduced its “Heroes” Insert sets. 1991 football had a 9 card career set of both Joe Montana and Joe Namath (10 cards if you include the “Header”) and in addition to that a “very rare” autographed version of the checklist (limited to 2500).

Although not rare by today’s standards, this was a difficult hit. The 1991 Upper Deck product was right in the middle of that “junk” era where cards were being produced at an enormous rate. I’ve seen some estimates that suggest that one of these autos was a hit that was 1 per several cases. As it was one of the very first pack issued autographs, there isn’t a traditional “authenticity statement” on the back either. Instead, this card features a very subtle one. The normal issue “Heroes” cards have the UD hologram on the back in the shape of a football…as do all the cards in the cards in the 1991 Upper Deck set. The only exceptions to this are the Autographed Heroes cards. Both the Namath and the Montana have a diamond shaped UD hologram on the back (like the baseball issues). That is the way to distinguish an authentic auto from a fake.

When I saw the card in the case that day, I was in love. But, sadly there was simply no way for me to afford it…or so I thought. After chatting with the owner for a while we made a deal…basically he would put the card on layaway for me and I would pay him a small amount per week until the card was paid off. Having never done such a thing before (and excited at the opportunity), I accepted. That summer, the majority of my allowance went to paying off that card…but eventually I was able to do so and I still have the card to this day.

With the change in the hobby over the last few years, prices of these cards are lower. I could probably easily find an example of this card for well less than $200 today…and that’s in today’s dollars (not 20 years ago). But, I don’t care. It’s special to me and I have enjoyed owning it for over 20 years. My card is 727/2500…and that one is special to me.
 

ranbethscards

NASCAR products are back baby!!!!! oh yeah!
sweet Joe! I couldn't tell you how many cards I purchased at "well above" what they are selling for today... but you know what... those were wanted then... so they got purchased then.

...and I know there were 2500 of the Joe's printed... but how many actually exist now? how many were lost in fires? thrown out by mistake? dog ate it with my homework?

Can you imagine if you could actually contact everyone in the world or has one "in hand"... what would the total be?
 

CamaroDMD

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sweet Joe! I couldn't tell you how many cards I purchased at "well above" what they are selling for today... but you know what... those were wanted then... so they got purchased then.

...and I know there were 2500 of the Joe's printed... but how many actually exist now? how many were lost in fires? thrown out by mistake? dog ate it with my homework?

Can you imagine if you could actually contact everyone in the world or has one "in hand"... what would the total be?
Not to mention how many are still in cases. This set was so overprinted you can still buy boxes of the stuff super cheap. Probably will be able to for years to come. I'll bet there are a bunch of them still sitting in their original boxes waiting to be found.

As for the price, at the time (1998 or so)...$200 was the going retail rate. It was a fair price. But, then the hobby crashed and with all the new super SP cards and the influx of GU and sticker autos...cards like this sorta lost their magic to a lot of the collecting world. But, not to me. Honestly, I'd love to pick up all 4 of the Football Heroes Autographs. In addition to the 1991 Montana and Namath, they did a pair in 1992...Dan Marino and Walter Payton. That Payton is on my list.
 

ranbethscards

NASCAR products are back baby!!!!! oh yeah!
here's an idea... "buy a case" .. and leave it unopened, with the idea that the autographs you are still searching ARE in the unopened case!

you see the guys buying the old cigarette packs (that included the T206 baseball cards) that are not opened and they leave them sealed "just in case" they have a Wagner... if the ol' guys can spend a million dollars on a pack of cigarettes and pretend they have a Wagner.. why can't you buy a box.. or a case... and pretend you got the Marion/Payton?
 

CamaroDMD

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here's an idea... "buy a case" .. and leave it unopened, with the idea that the autographs you are still searching ARE in the unopened case!

you see the guys buying the old cigarette packs (that included the T206 baseball cards) that are not opened and they leave them sealed "just in case" they have a Wagner... if the ol' guys can spend a million dollars on a pack of cigarettes and pretend they have a Wagner.. why can't you buy a box.. or a case... and pretend you got the Marion/Payton?
Haha...not a bad plan. :D

Actually here's the crazy thing. Because the print run on the Payton is so high (it's actually 2800)...they are reasonably affordable. If you're patient they can be purchased for $200 or less. A real pack issued on card Walter Payton autograph.

I have 2 "larger" card purchases I want to make this year...and that's one of them.
 

CamaroDMD

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I know I said I would post about one per week, but I thought I would post another now just to get the ball rolling. So here’s the next “card:”

Custom 1967 Topps Themed Danny O’Neil #16 Prototype



Now, this card is a special one…and it’s not even real. As of right now, this card only exists in a digital format…at least this exact card.

Those of you who have seen my custom card designs probably recognize this card from my Oregon Ducks Set…and you would be correct. The front of this card is the same as the card in that set…but the back is not. It is slightly (perhaps even insignificantly to most) different. But, that difference makes this "card" special.

To fully explain the significance of this “card” to me…I need to go back and tell a bit of a story. As a child, I grew up in Eugene, Oregon…home of the Ducks. My dad took me to a few games when I was little and we watched a rather unimpressive Oregon team lose more often than win. The first game I ever attended was a game where Danny O’Neil was the starter. As time went on, I watched the Ducks get better and by the end of O’Neil’s tenure…he led the Ducks to a surprise conference title and Rose Bowl bid. This all happened at a very impressionable time for me (I was 9) and really cemented my love for the team. As the QB, O’Neil became one of my favorite Oregon players. He would not have a professional career and his presence on cardboard would be limited to 3 oversized Oregon team issues. For many years, the only things that I had in my collection from his playing days were memories.

Fast forward a couple decades…the internet has grown up and I am seeing all these custom cards people are creating. Some of them are terrible, but some really good. Part of me wants to try and create my own…but every time I try and fire up Photoshop I am overwhelmed. I know in my head what I want…I want a Danny O’Neil card in the design of my favorite football set, 1967 Topps. But, I just don’t know how to do it. Normally I’m not one to turn down a challenge; I like to push myself but for some reason that I cannot explain Photoshop seems too daunting. So, in my mind the card stays.

In the summer of 2015, I am at a family event. My wife’s sister is getting married and it’s her rehearsal dinner. Not really involved in the wedding, I’m staying out of the attention and enjoying the food with my wife’s youngest brother and his fiancée at a table near the back. They are a really nice couple and people that I really like…but today I can tell something is on their mind. They aren’t as chatty as normal. Finally, after some time passes they ask me a question…a question that frightens me to my core. They ask me to be their wedding photographer…for their wedding planned in July of 2016.

I enjoy photography as a hobby...but despite what my wife’s family seems to think, I am not a photographer. I am simply a guy with a camera that likes to take pictures and every once in a while gets a good one. But, they were insistent. They are young, low on a budget and said they would be happy with the results (I set the bar pretty low). So, I agreed to do it.

Suddenly, I had a reason to learn Photoshop…I was going to have to edit wedding photos. Although they insisted I didn’t have to, I’m someone that dives 100% into something that I commit to. I agreed to be their photographer, so I would deliver professional results (or as close to it as possible).

So, after procrastinating for quite some time…I started playing with Photoshop. I was just trying to learn the basic tools to clean up a photo. After some practice I got the hang of it and realized that Photoshop really wasn’t that complicated. Like anything else you just gotta take the time, break it down and practice at it.

With a little more confidence in the program, I decided to try and create a custom Danny O’Neil card. Something I had dreamed of doing for a long time. I figured it was an excellent way to learn additional features of Photoshop and I had a goal in mind…so something to shoot for. After spending a week or two working on it…my first custom was done. I completed it in August of 2016.

My original custom (the card above) was just want I hoped it would be, a 1967 Topps themed Danny O’Neil card. I put #16 on the back as it was his jersey number and didn’t really have any other plans to design more. But, the more I thought about it…the more I realized I really enjoyed the process. I was also really happy with the results. So, using the original as a template I began to make a set. The O’Neil prototype was renumbered and eventually became card #3 in the set (I elected to have #1 and #2 to be the two biggest stars in Oregon history…Marcus Mariota and Kenny Wheaton). I am still adding to this set today…I am working on card #26 right now.



This experience sparked a new hobby for me. I started creating other designs as well. After the designs got going, I realized the next logical step was to actually produce them…which turned out to be more work and more complicated than actually designing. But, eventually I found a system that worked for me and I have been really pleased with the results.

The O’Neil prototype is what started the whole thing. The actual “produced” card (#3 in the set) was sent to Mr. O’Neil and he was kind enough to sign an example for me. I also sent him a couple to keep for himself.



Oh, and the wedding photography turned out pretty good too. They were happy with the results.



I'll post another card next week.
 

CamaroDMD

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OK, here is this week’s card:

1956 Topps #20 Al Kaline


I love baseball history…there is just something special about the 1950s and 1960s at least to me. It is one of my favorite baseball eras even though it was long before my time. I love to collect cards from that time and this one is one of my favorites as this specific card has a personal connection.

Some of you have probably read my posts where I mention the 1989 Topps football set…my almost irrational love for a set with minimal redeeming qualities. The reason I love it so much is because it is very strongly tied to my childhood. You see, my dad had this friend Joe…they were really close friends and for some time Joe had a card shop. Joe’s shop went out of business and he ended up giving us tons of boxes of 1989 Topps football when I was a kid. So, I remember that set well. This card also came from Joe.

My dad was born in the late 1940s…so he grew up in that wonderful baseball time. Although he grew up in Oregon, Al Kaline was his favorite player. Many years later, he met Joe and they became friends. Joe was a huge sports memorabilia guy…and my dad wasn’t. Joe learned about my dad’s interest in Kaline and over the years gave my dad a few Kaline items. One was this card.

As I got older, my dad started to downsize some of his possessions…as someone who always loved sports memorabilia (especially vintage cards) he gave this card to me. It’s not a perfect example, the corners are soft…the centering isn’t ideal and someone has drawn on the back. But, it belonged to my dad and it was given to him from a close family friend. So, it’s special to me.

Joe passed away when I was in college. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met. He was just an old guy from Arkansas…loud, and at times obnoxious, but if you were his friend you were his friend for life. I remember as a kid, he would come to my elementary school sporting events and he would be the most obnoxious person in the stands…yelling at refs and coaches. No matter, the level or the sport, Joe loved it.
 

CamaroDMD

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OK, so I meant to post a card to this thread early in the week...but I was so busy that I didn't get a chance. So, here it is...better late than never.

1991 Topps Desert Shield #329 David Justice


I have always been a huge Braves fan. Despite being born, raised and (thus far) living my entire life in Oregon...I am a die hard Braves fan. As a kid in the 1990s, they were always on TV when I got home from school (thank you Ted Turner) and they were an excellent team. I watched them almost daily and as a result became a fan for life.

As a kid, my favorite player without question was David Justice. He was the up and coming Braves slugger who appeared to be destined for stardom. Although injuries would derail his career...he is still to this day one of my all-time favorite Braves.

So, this card is of my childhood favorite player...from a very special version of one of my childhood favorite sets. As a kid, I remember having a ton of 1991 Topps cards. They were cheap and common...so that's what I had. I remember really liking them because of the "special" Topps anniversary logo on them. I guess when you are a kid...that sort of thing is neat.

Today as an adult, the standard set doesn't do much for me. Another common set from the junk wax era. However, the Desert Shield version is very interesting...and one of my dream sets. This rare set was produced for our troops serving in Kuwait at the time and is estimated that between 6500-7000 sets were made. With 792 cards in total (and more fakes than real one's)...it's very challenging to assemble. A long term goal of mine is to complete one...but for the moment I only have a few in my collection. Of the cards that I have, this is my favorite.
 

CamaroDMD

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I'm going to add a bonus card because I was so slow getting a card up last week. So, here's an extra one:

1994 UD Collector's Choice Gold #379 Carolina Panthers Logo


When I was in elementary school, my friends and I would walk from school to a local park where we would have flag football practice. Each day, we would stop on the way at the "Big Y Market" (a local convenience store) and buy candy and a pack of cards. We'd walk to the park, eat our snacks and trade cards before practice.

There wasn't a big variety of cards to choose from...but one of the products the store has was the brand new (1994 was the first year it was issued) UD Collector's Choice and it was a product that I really liked.

The cards were issued in packs with (I think) 12 base cards a 1 parallel card. The most common parallel was a Silver which simply had the team name printed on the card in silver foil. Gold parallels were much harder to come by...inserted at a rate of 1:35 packs instead of a silver. They had gold foil team names and boarders. I think I found one gold in the entire time I opened packs as a kid.

As a kid, a gold complete set was a dream...an impossible dream. But, today with some effort proved to not be impossible (thank you internet)...just very challenging. I spent several years tracking down all the cards and eventually was able to complete the set...all 384 cards. I shared the bulk of the set with the forum here...but I need to finish posting it: https://www.sportscardclub.com/threads/just-finished-a-major-football-card-project.428629/

This card is one from that set. Carolina and Jacksonville both started play in 1995...so in this set (just before the set checklists) UD produced team cards for both teams. Carolina is #379, Jacksonville #380. Completing this set was my greatest collecting accomplishment so far.
 

ranbethscards

NASCAR products are back baby!!!!! oh yeah!
I know...he looks like a little kid. Hard to believe that a few years later he was married to Halle Berry (for a little while).

According to him and witnesses, that was some of the worst years of his life! lol.. guess she's a psycho... yeppers.. beauty is only skin deep! you never know what's under the covers!
 

CamaroDMD

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According to him and witnesses, that was some of the worst years of his life! lol.. guess she's a psycho... yeppers.. beauty is only skin deep! you never know what's under the covers!
Yeah, I have heard that...as I understand it it isn't the only time she has had "relationship issues." LOL.
 
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