30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, August 15, 2014

Flea Market Finds #68: Nothin' But 90's

The 90's were the Sports Card Industrial Revolution.  During the decade, card companies produced more creative ideas than all of the other decades combined and if you're anything like me... you ate it up.  Unfortunately all good things must come to an end.

Eventually creative cardboard ideas began to dry up and so was my credit.  By the late 90's, I had maxed out several credit cards with sports cards shouldering most of the load.

It's during this period of my life when I dove into adulthood headfirst.  I became a teacher and started making better, more responsible choices.  I cut up my credit cards and slowly paid off my debts.  I sold off the bulk of my collection and bought my townhouse.  Last, but not least... I promised myself I'd never travel down that road again.

Obviously that was short lived.  I'm collecting again and still drawn to the innovative and ingenious pieces of cardboard produced in the 90's.  But this time around I'm being more responsible with my money.  It also helps that most of the cards produced during that era are worth much less these days.  Yesterday's flea market purchase is the perfect example.

When:  Thursday, August 14th
Where:  Capitol Flea Market
What:  Three Sports Cards 
How Much?: $3

There were probably four or five guys with sports memorabilia, but I fought the urges and walked away with only one purchase.  One guy had several boxes filled with top loaders priced at a buck a card.  It was filled with a little bit of everything:  vintage, inserts, autographs, memorabilia cards, rookie cards, base cards, and parallels.  I pulled out ten cards.  Unfortunately he wasn't willing to give a bulk discount, so I narrowed the stack down to three.

Purchase #1:  Two Inserts and a Rookie Card $3

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade #103

Yesterday was the first time I've ever seen one of these inserts in person and now I know what all the hype is about.  This card is absolutely stunning.  The "refractorish" foil really helps the Medieval "coat of arms" card design stand out.  It's even cooler that this "green" version goes perfectly with the Oakland Athletics' colors.  One day I hope to add the Tony Gwynn and Greg Maddux to my collection.

1997 Pinnacle Certified Epix Purple Season #E10

I never figured out this multi-tiered, cross product insert set, but I've always liked them.  For a buck, this card will make a nice addition to my Brett Favre PC.

1998 Bowman #1

The final card I grabbed is this Peyton Manning rookie card.  I've always admired the Manning's work ethic and the way he's approached the game.  Even though values have dropped a lot over the years, I was still surprised to find his rookie card available for a dollar.

Well that's it for now.  This is my last weekend before I report back to my classroom.  I'm hoping to make it out to at least one more flea market, but if not... at least I ended things on a solid note.

Happy Friday and sayonara!


  1. That Tejada looks like last year's Leaf Valiant autos...or last year's Leaf Valiant looks like those. The similarity is actually eerie.

  2. Yeah. I'm pretty sure that's what Leaf was going for. What's the saying? Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Something like that.

  3. They've been printing new versions of the Crusade inserts in basketball. They are quite beautiful. I've grabbed a couple in various colors for my collection.

  4. Crusades are awesome. I spent a ton of money back in the day on a Tino. Still hard to find. And with response to Judson, yes, Panini/Leaf/Donruss did bring the design back for Valiant. It was more intentional the coincidental.

  5. Hard to dislike Manning. I got sucked into ESPN's "Book of Manning" again the other night.

  6. I've always loved the look of those Crusade cards - very nice find!

  7. All those late 90s cards are new to me. Those are pretty awesome!

  8. I love the Crusade cards, I am glad that Leaf and Panini have their versions.