Monday, December 30, 2019

A Big Box of Randomness

Back when I started this blog, I didn't want it to turn into a "look what I got" blog where I just showed off my new acquisitions. Then I got active in trading, and it was all I could do to keep up with publicly thanking my trading partners and showing off what they sent me. I've decided recently to try to do less just showing. But this is something that I have to show.

I came across an auction on Sportlots for a Priority box of stuff. The description mentioned vintage cards and stamps, but didn't give too many details. After two days, there were no bids, so I put one in for $.25. Nobody else bid and shipping was $8, so for $8.25, I awaited to see what kinds of things I might get.

It turned out to be an interesting buy.

This is about half of the 1985 Topps USFL set. I'm not sure what to do with these cards. I think they're pretty cool. I've always been interested in leagues like this. The NFL/AFL merger is the sport's most historic event, in my opinion. I really got behind the ill-fated AAF earlier this year. The USFL fascinates me. The upstart league was able to draw Heisman winners like Herschel Walker, Doug Flutie, and Mike Rozier out of college. Future Hall of Famers like Steve Young, Jim Kelly, and Reggie White got started here. If some of those big names were included in this starter set, I might consider building the rest of it. With so many key pieces still missing, I'm undecided. This picture represents the names that I recognized as future NFLers. Kelvin Bryant was the USFL MVP one year.

The stamps were 1972 Sunoco. I already had a few of these. I have to say I'm happy with these additions. There are lots of Hall of Fame names here. This is a really big set, so I'm impressed that with just a sampling, I got some great players. They are shown here two cards to a penny sleeve, so you get an idea of the size.

These are from 1969. They're Four-in-One inserts. I can't say that I know too much about them, but it appears that four mini cards, from different teams, came in one card. Thus, they are exactly 1/4 sized. All the cards I received are Steelers. I'd never heard of any of these players, so I had to do a little research. Some of them, like Dick Hoak, Clendon Thomas, and Bobby Walden were Pro Bowlers in their career. Andy Russell actually made 7 Pro Bowls. Roy Jefferson was coming off a 1st Team All-Pro season this year with Pittsburgh. Earl Gros won a championship in Green Bay with my Packers before heading to the Steelers. Since none of these cards came together originally, I have to wonder what happened to their card mates. Was the seller a Steeler fan?

I really wish the cards were whole. The full 4-in-1s featuring these players also included Hall of Famer Larry Wilson, former Packer Boyd Dowler, and other notable names such as Earl Morrall, Alex Karras, Roman Gabriel, and Don Meredith.

I received the entire 1982 Kellogg's set. I'll be honest; I never even knew that Kellogg's made these cards. This is probably my favorite thing in the box. It's a great pickup with some good names.
Here's my dilemma. All of them came in the original full panels. I'm leaning toward keeping them this way, as opposed to separating the cards. The problem is that they're so old that it seems they might fall apart at the perforation any moment. What do you think?

A graded Vinny Testaverde 1988 Topps rookie! My retirement is set! Seriously though, this thing will be freed and added to my 1988 set. I'm pretty sure it's in better shape that my current Vinny. Yeah, I'm that guy, upgrading the cards in a 1988 set.

These are some real oddballs. If you can't tell from the picture, they're pins. Two are obviously sports related--Chris Miller and Jim Harbaugh from 1994 Action Packed--while the other two don't seem to have any sports connection at all. Either way, I'm not interested in hanging on to any pins. Does anybody want any of these?

This was the most interesting find of the box. This oddball is so odd that it wasn't even listed in TCDB. I've learned they are a Notre Dame issue from 1989. There were three separate sets, divided by eras. This is the complete 22-card set of 1903-1932. The other two sets also contain 22 cards, and run from 1933-1963 and 1964-1987. I don't have any of those. I'm still undecided about what to do with these. My only interest in Notre Dame cards would be adding to my Heisman collection. However, the first Heisman wasn't awarded until 1935, after this era. On the other hand, Knute Rockne and the "Gipper" are characters in one of the greatest football legends and there are few cards to represent them. Since the set is complete in hand, I would hate to break it up, but I have little interest beyond the two cards. More decisions.

I had no idea what was coming in this box, but I figured for a quarter plus shipping it was worth it to find out. It totally was. I received
  • a partial USFL set
  • 1972 Sunoco Stamps
  • 1969 4-in-1 minis
  • a graded 1988 Topps
  • some pins
  • the 1982 Kellogg's football set, and
  • the 1989 Notre Dame 1903-1932 set.
Of these offerings, I previously had only a handful of Sunoco Stamps and an ungraded 1988 set. The rest were things I had never seen/heard of/owned. And I daresay that I won't see some of things again.


  1. Those '82 Kelloggs cards are too sweet. I'd try keeping them as is but would have no qualms separating them given their condition. Tough to store and keep safe as is too. Great post and pick up.

  2. That's so funny, I was looking for Sunoco stamps just this morning... turns out that I need way more of them than I thought I did for all of my new player collections :(

    This was a pretty interesting lot though, I think that you definitely got your money's worth. And like Roy, I'd probably try to keep those panels intact too.

  3. Lots of great oddball stuff, and you got a heck of a deal! I'm fascinated by the USFL too, but the cards never interested me for some reason. If you haven't seen the 30 for 30 Documentary "Who Killed The USFL?" I highly recommend it.

    The 1988 Topps set was my introduction to the NFL, so I can definitely see why you'd want to upgrade your set singles. I'm currently doing that with 1986 Topps football.

    1. 1986 is in the running for the best set ever. I've never started building it, but who knows if I will one day.

  4. Dang. This 25¢ box of mystery was an awesome find! Lots of variety. Who doesn't love 1972 Sunoco Stamps, Kellogg's cards, and Topps USFL cards? Congratulations!