“Lazarus” cards, and other commons worth keeping

The high school sports season has taken me away from my baseball cards lately. However, as I make an effort to clean the house from top to bottom, I’m looking at my baseball cards again and wondering once more.

I’ve blogged time and time again about my baseball card adventures. Over the past couple of years, I’ve made an effort to salvage as many baseball cards as I could. Like many collectors of the 1980s and 1990s, I was suckered into these cards being a sort of investment. Worse yet, my beginnings came with the junk wax-era.

I no longer actively collect baseball cards, but I’ve taken about 5,000 and kept them in my bedroom to show off as a “prime” collection of sorts. Others will be donated. Others are simply taking up space and are in no good condition to move.

Along with the usual star cards, there are commons that I keep because they have a specific personal memory for me. Some cards are famous, or infamous. Those are kept as well.

I had heard about the phenomenon regarding the late Jose Uribe and his 1990 Fleer base card. Here was this random common card of this random common player which was chosen by someone to make a scene on ebay and go for thousands of dollars. It was all a joke. Sadly, Uribe passed away 12 years before this resurgence happened. Nevertheless, this particular card became the subject of discussion among the baseball card community. The card is still $0.05, and I’m not sure if even this stunt will double its value to a whopping dime.

The Uribe card is what I consider a “Lazarus” card, literally sitting in a pile of nothing and now has some sort of meaning to it.

It got me thinking about another kind-of, sort-of “Lazarus” card that I have: 1992 Donruss Pat Mahomes.

Pat Mahomes’ rookie card is a hot one as of late — that is, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes. He is the son of the former Minnesota Twins pitcher, who only pitched for a few seasons. How many collectors are interested in a second-generation stars? Obviously, Mahomes’ 1992 Bowman is the better card. 51SXxmrreaL.jpg

Who would have known that a 1994-95 Pinnacle Sylvain Turgeon hockey card would be worth conversation? As it turns out, there is a VERY interesting cameo in this card. Not a hockey player, but a future hockey player. How about a 6-year-old Patrick Kane???

Continuing with my ASPCA-minded belief on such cards, I’m close to going back to my baseball card stash again and finding more “unique commons” to salvage, those that I can find a way to breath a second life into.

Interesting common cards also have photos that make one stare at it for a while. Anything before 1993 is fair game, anything after which was not meant to be a predetermined pose also is OK. It may also depend on your sense of humor.
Cards featuring outdated items also are worth keeping, IMO.

Cameo cards (those that feature a bigger star in the background) also are worth keeping, but it really depends on how much cameo is shown. Backs turned to the camera, or a lot of obstruction doesn’t work in my book, but it may in someone else’s.

“Caption This Card” is a game I’ll sometimes play while looking at cards to pass time. Find odd cards that could elicit an interesting caption (an expression, action, etc.). A possible game with more than one person is to track how many better captions one can come up with in a stack of cards.

What I’m not a real fan of are those with artistic graphics, comic book art, or anything Photoshopped (Sorry, ’96 Fleer Metal – My 10yo self thought it was cool, but I’m old now).

Are there any other “Lazarus” cards out there?

More life-saving ideas welcome!