Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Bowl Set Spotlight: 1990 Pro Set Commemorative Set

Remember this set? This to me was one of the coolest sets ever made and it was by Pro Set nonetheless. Is it hard to find? Not exactly, but still a cool way to celebrate Super Bowl 25. This was a silver anniversary commemorative set that paid tribute to all the Super Bowls that had taken place. There were Super Bowl MVP Cards, Replica Super Bowl Ticket Cards, and Super Bowl "Supermen" cards showcasing important players that played in the Super Bowl. I actually had this set a long time ago when I bought it from Wal-Mart. I honestly don't know when or why I sold it, but it's no longer in my collection. It's not expensive at all, and one day I hope to reacquire this set. Here's a couple photos of some of the cards included in the set.

Jerry Rice MVP card from the Set

 Super Bowl Supermen Cards

Steelers-Cowboys Ticket Card

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Awesome Autographs: Super MVP's Auto'd Mini Helmets

In honor of the Super Bowl, I've decided to showcase the autographed mini-helmets I have of Past Super Bowl MVP's. Here they are!

Bart Starr (Super Bowl MVP I & II)
Definitely cool cause it's inscribed MVP Super Bowl I and II

Joe Namath (Super Bowl III MVP)

Chuck Howley (Super Bowl V MVP)
Of course one of my favorites cause Howley was Cowboys Super Bowl MVP (even though they lost the game to the Colts, Howley is the only player to win Super Bowl MVP as a member of the losing team). This one also has a SB MVP inscription

Roger Staubach (Super Bowl VI MVP)
Staubach inscribed this both Super Bowl MVP and HOF 85

Terry Bradshaw (Super Bowl XIII and XIV MVP)
Inscribed Super Bowl MVP XIII-XIV

Marcus Allen (Super Bowl XVIII MVP)
Inscribed Super Bowl XVIII MVP

Joe Montana (Super Bowl XVI, XIX, and XXIV MVP) and Jerry Rice (XXIII MVP)

Troy Aikman (Super Bowl XXVII MVP)
This is actually a multi signed helmet with not only Aikman, but Michael Irvin, Jay Novacek, Deion Sanders, Daryl Johnston, and Mark Stepnoski

Emmitt Smith (XXVIII MVP)

John Elway (XXXIII MVP)
Kurt Warner (Super Bowl XXXIV MVP)
Inscribed Super Bowl 34 and 99 NFL MVP

Ray Lewis (Super Bowl XXXV MVP)

Peyton Manning (Super Bowl XLI MVP)

Drew Brees (Super Bowl XLIV MVP)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Starting Lineup Spotlight: Super Bowl Edition

For the rest of this week and next, all my posts will be super bowl related in anticipation for next Sunday's big game between the Pats and Giants. Since I'm in the middle of my Starting Lineup Retrospective, I figure I might as well share the one SLU that actually ties to the Super Bowl

Back in 2000 Starting Lineup's Classic Double football line was dedicated to Super Bowl Matchups and what better one for me than the matchup that brought us back to back Super Bowl Titles. The Cowboys and Bills faced off in both Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII and the Cowboys dominated both games. It was the height of America's Team's dominance in the 90's. Led by our triplets Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin, the Cowboys were virtually unstoppable. This lineup commemorates those Super Bowls by pairing up both starters (Aikman was the Super Bowl MVP of the 1st meeting). The added bonus is the mini replica Lombardi Trophy that is included, very nice touch. This is definitely one of my favorite pieces in my collection as it's a reminder of what the Cowboys once were and what I hope the Cowboys can being again some day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Starting Lineup Stories: Jealous of a Penny

When I started really collecting SLU's on a more serious basis, my friends took notice and interest as well. Soon after, my main group of friends were all in as well. Now that's cool and all, and it gave us even more things in common with each other, but my 10 year old brain quickly realized that they were no longer just my friends....but my competition as well. It wasn't as bad as it seemed though. We rarely crossed paths on the SLU hunt, and for the most part I was still the most active out of them all. We did help each other out and if there was doubles of figures we bought, we would buy them and give each other a chance to buy them. It in actuality was a good system...except for one time where it made me the most jealous kid in the world. My favorite player is Penny Hardaway, and back in 96 he was  still in his prime and one of the biggest superstars in the NBA. It was impossible to locate a SLU of him, and it was one I wanted soooooooo bad. Finding a Penny here in Corpus was just not going to happen...ever..pipe dream....until it did. It wasn't me that found it though, oh no, of course not, my friend Javy found it at the local Venture. At first I thought he was kidding, how in the world did a Penny Hardaway manage to make it alllllll the way to a retail store here in Corpus??? Sure enough, he was telling the truth. I was sooooooooooo upset at him (unrightfully so, I mean, what are you gonna do LEAVE IT THERE??). He knew it was my favorite player and that I had wanted it so bad, and here he came Johnny Come Lately and he gets the biggest find in the history of lineups in Corpus Christi (hey, I'm channeling little kid mode again, cut me some slack!)! I was beyond jealous and frustrated. I never wanted to speak to him again (that lasted like 9 or 10 minutes before I asked him to come over and play some video games, lol). My Penny holy grail...hanging in someone else's room!! The gall!!!! The story ended up ok, as for Christmas my parents bought me the figure (they had to pay the flea market price). It would've been much sweeter to find it, but I didn't was finally ALL MINE!!! I didn't let it out of my sight all Christmas day, and when I finally hung it up, it just would stare it in awe. I still have the figure (along with all my Penny's) hanging in on my bedroom wall and when I stare and look at it now, it reminds of just how obsessed I was with that particular figure!
The "controversial" Penny Hardaway 96 SLU

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sports Cards and Memories Presents: My History With Starting Lineups Part 2: The Collecting Boom 1996-2000

And to think this was the SLU that started the REAL craze in my collection.
Yep, the 1996 Hank Greenberg Cooperstown collection SLU, kickstarted what would be a 5 year period where Starting Lineups RULED my hobby life. Before 1996, like I said earlier, I was a casual collector, picking up 1 or 2 figures a year. If I came across one, great, but it wasn't something I was really specifically looking for. In 1996 though, for reasons I can't explain, it allllllll changed. It was the summer of 96 and we were visiting my cousin, aunt and uncle in Atlanta (which happened to be the site of the Summer Olympics that year). We had randomly gone to the mall one day and I bought a Jeff Bagwell 96 SLU at the KB Toy Store there (I seemed to have luck in Georgia, I remember buying my 95 Juan Gonzalez at that same KB the year before). We also stopped by a Toys R Us when I saw the Greenberg. Now I was around 10 or 11 and had NO clue who Hank Greenberg was, but my kid mind was "hey he's an old baseball player, they made a figure of him, I should buy it". Idiotic, probably, but I plunked down my money, and now felt the need to buy the whole 96 Cooperstown Collection set. I liked the look and packaging of the set. So that summer I really turned on the SLU radar and starting seriously hunting for lineups. Since this was also Olympic time, Kenner had come out with two 5 figure sets of the 96 Olympic Basketball Team. These were MUST HAVES to me and the Set 2 was easier to find then set 1 (which had Shaq and my favorite player of all time Penny Hardaway)

1996 Dream Team Set, I was sooo excited when I found both

So with the combination of the Cooperstown Collection set and USA Basketball Set, my Starting Lineup collection was quickly growing. The fun thing about it was "the hunt" as I like to call it. SLU's were everywhere in their peak. It became a daily Saturday routine, hit every retailer that had SLU's and go to the Dugout (our local sports card shop) to buy a few packs of cards. It was friggin AWESOME. You never knew what you would come across. We had 3 Wal-Marts, a K-Mart, 2 KB Toys, a Target, Toys R Us, and even a Venture (does anybody remember THAT RETAIL STORE!) and nothing was greater than seeing the latest and newest lineups. Of course the really hard to find ones were probably cherry picked, but nonetheless the anticipation and surprise of going to the stores and maybe finding a gem or two was a great experience indeed. Another thing that really helped grow my collection, was the number of products Kenner was throwing out. Stadium Stars, Freeze Frames, Classic Doubles, Cooperstown Collection, I wanted em all. My favorites were Classic Doubles in all the Sports. I loved the player combinations. There we plenty of stories in this Era that I have to share, but the bottom line is that I was hooked big time. Another thing we would do, is take trips to San Antonio, Austin, Houston, every once in awhile, just to look for SLU's! I tell you, as a kid I was spoiled BIG TIME. My collection grew to epic proportions. On the card front, I still collected, but my obvious focus was on Starting Lineups. I remember even going to our local flea market and marveling at the hard to find lineups they had for astronomically high prices, just wishing and dreaming that one day they would be mine. My next few posts will be dedicated to the stories I remember from this era, and I have plenty to tell. This was a fun time to be an SLU collector and I really wish I could go back to such a fun time in my life!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Game Used Greatness: 09-10 Andrea Bargnani Game Worn St Patrick's Day Green Jersey

I'm a roll with enhancing my Game Used Collection, this will be the 4th game used jersey in the last couple months (Pierce, Aldridge, Al Jefferson). This one was once again something I won in Meigray's auction from last week and it's a St. Patrick's Day Green Jersey worn by Toronto Raptors star Andrea Bargnani. This is very awesome cause it's a rare jersey style that they only use on St Patrick's Day. Also Bargnani recorded 22 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists against the Hawks in this game! Always a plus when it's game dated. Here's a pic of him in the jersey

And here's the jersey itself!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Game Used Greatness: 09-10 Al Jefferson Throwback T'Wolves Jersey

One day, I promise I'll do a card post, but I had to blog about my latest acquisition on the game used front. It's a 09-10 Al Jefferson Throwback T-Wolves Jersey that I won from Meigray. What I really love about this jersey is that it comes from a specific game. He wore it on January 22, 2010 against the New Orleans Hornets. He had 25 points and 13 rebounds in 33 minutes. It's so cool to actually know the game he played in and know that he had a great game as well!

Pic of game that my Al Jefferson jersey came from. Way too cool!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Game Used Greatness: Griffey and The Big Hurt

Growing up two of my favorite baseball players of all time were Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank "Big Hurt" Thomas. I was definitely excited when I was able to add game used pieces of each of them off Mears December auction. I got them in this past weekend and without further ado here they are

Ken Griffey Jr 1994 Game Used Autographed Cap

Frank Thomas Game Used Bat

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Starting Lineup Stories: Not Even A Hurricane Could Stop Me From Getting These Babies!

In between my Starting Lineup Retrospective, I will be sharing some of my favorite Starting Lineup Stories in detail. Here's the first one.

To say my parents are awesome would be an understatement. My parents have always been supportive of my hobbies, and probably my best and favorite example of this was around August in 1999. 1999 Starting Lineup Extended had just come out, and two of the hottest pieces were the J.D. Drew and Ben Grieve. I wanted them sooooooooooo bad, but knew there would be no way I'd ever find these at retail. We were having bad weather, and it looked like Hurricane Bret was about to get us on a direct hit. People were out scattering for supplies and such. A couple days before the storm was going to hit, I get a call from my friend Alex who had just been at H-E-B. He told me they just received a new shipment of Starting Lineups and they had the Drew and Grieve! I was excited beyond belief! Now I had to convince my dad to brave the madness so we could get em. As usual, dad was cool and we were off to H-E-B right in the middle of what was going to be a huge hurricane! It was funny seeing people buying batteries, water, etc, and there I was They weren't just ANY toys! They were rookie pieces of the hottest young stars in baseball!! My mom was in disbelief when we came back, she couldn't believe we actually went there just for Starting Lineups. "And if our house gets destroyed, what good will those do"? Ha, I didn't care, I had them in my possession. Luckily for us, the storm totally avoided us, and we didn't get major damage to our house.  To this day, it's still a fun story to bring up, but that was how passionate and crazy I was about SLU's. That also was one of the numerous times, my parents came through big time for my hobby.

  Hey don't laugh now, it was worth it at the time!!