Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Goodwill Monster Box Pick-up: The Results

If you happen to follow me on twitter, you know that I’ve made some waaaay cool finds at my local Goodwill lately. A while back, I posted on some premium 1990s sets I found at the same location. That find surprising to me, as I had only found cards at that store a few times in the past and almost never found anything worth picking up. But, as the next few posts will show, Milwaukee’s Oakland Avenue location has seemingly became a hotbed for fun card finds. It seems to me that most of this stuff is coming from the same donation, with the store putting it out for sale a few items at time. The way the cards are boxed (and even organized within the boxes) is all pretty similar. I’ve found myself checking in now about once a week just to see if there is anything new. And I’ve been pretty lucky with what I’ve found.

The first item I’ll discuss is my find from a few weeks ago: the $13 MONSTER BOX. I’ve never seen one of these at any kind of second-hand shop before. I actually had some other stuff gathered up to take to the register when I spotted this thing by the furniture. I had to abandon my other stuff (a Zach Davies bobblehead most notably) because, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have a car. It was a hell of walk home with this big bastard in some chilly weather but it was well worth the effort.

Of the 5,000 cards, about 1,500 of them were straight-up junk era filler. You can probably spot the ’88 Donruss in the photo above. So those, I set aside. Another 800 were Cubs which, as I mentioned in my last post, made their way to the Million Cubs Project and yielded a nice box of Topps needs for my sets. Big win! I found a few dozen cards from my needs list in the box itself.

The rest of the box was strangely in line with what I was collecting as a kid and adult… not necessarily in terms of the products, but the years covered: most early 90s to the mid 90s and stuff from the last few years… an indicator of someone who collected as a kid, tried to get back into as an adult and then ditched the whole works to the local Goodwill.

The contents also kind of struck me as a really, REALLY big Fairfield repack. Some decent stuff mixed with junk filler… and a ton of those Topps team set cards… the one without the foil Topps logo. I found about 50 of them from various teams.

Oddballs! Yes, indeed. Here is a Doc Gooden from the 1989 Farmland Milk Mets issue.

Or this not-too-terribly-attractive Tom Seaver single-player set card from Pacific. Dig that backside… yeesh.

This is a nice part of the Upper Deck set that was issued to promote the Ken Burns Baseball series in 1994.

And who doesn’t like a Hygrade Jackie Robinson? I found a number of cards from this set. All nice additions to my oddball stack.

And not really an oddball, but this Frank Thomas bobblehead punch-out is a nice relic of late-90s drive by US to bring kids back to collecting. (Update: since this one was already falling apart, I punched it out and set it up since the rat cage to see what they would do with it. 12 hours later, and they've stolen his head)

Speaking of which, I found a BIG stack of UD Fun Packs cards, including several fold-outs and even a few heat-activated cards. I also found lots of mid-1990s Studio cards and a big pile of 1996 Score.

And what says mid-90s more than a Hideo Nomo Fleer Emotion rookie card? I found a few Nomo rookies, and each one really took me back to the days when they were on FIRE in Beckett.

Throwing back to the werid-o Tom Seaver above, I found lots of other Pacific in the box. I’ve already shipping most of them to Nick at NJVV for his Spanish-language collection. I’ve always kind of hated Pacific cards. They always looked a little off… like one of those unlicensed sets that were all over the place in the 1980s. There was always something just a bit amateurish about their designs and the weird sets they invented.

But I gotta admit, these are pretty decent looking cards. It’s something called Pacific Aurora from 2000… back when companies named sets like car companies named new models.

Also found and already gone is this Barry Larkin Ultra All-Star insert. It’s missing its foil! An eBay 1 of 1! I sent it over to Nachos Grande for his Larkin collection.

Speaking of eBay 1 of 1s, how about this red parallel of Arodys Vizcaino (who got a star number for some inexplicable reason)… number 50/50! I still have this one if anyone is interested. 

There were not a whole lot of Brewers in the box, but I did find this 1986 sealed police team set. Alas, I cannot stand oversized cards. So this is now an object of scorn in my collection and I hid it deep in some box I’ll never look inside of.

Among the more recent Topps cards were these Archives 1991 designed cards. I looooove these. It’s one of my favorite Topps designs of all time and they did a great job reproducing it.

I also loooooove the glossy All Star cards that used to come one per rack pack. They brought back that design as well and pretty much nailed it… except for the gloss. What the hell? It was the defining feature of the original sets.

And maybe among the worst Topps repros I’ve ever seen is this “60 years of whatever/Berger’s Best/ Threw away” thing of a 1995 Frank Thomas. They replaced the gold foil with silver and made the border much larger than on the original. It looks terrible.

So that is mostly the gist of my MONSTER find. I’ll wrap things up with some common cards I found that hold a near n dear place to me…

Tony Kubek and the late Todd Frohwirth. What could these two have in common? They are both Milwaukee natives! I have it in my head to start a Milwaukee-collection some day.

And then this awful card of a former Dodgers farmhand. He played summer league ball in Manitowoc, WI, where I grew up, during college and his family and mine became friendly during the summer. My sister even still has one of his used uniforms from that summer. He topped out at AAA, but still managed a pretty long professional career. I was unaware he had ever had a card made (outside of MiLB team sets), so it was a nice surprise to find an old Manitowoc-er in the box.

So that’s my monster box recap. Coming up next in the Goodwill series is my BIG SET find!


  1. Awesome pickup. You should ask them what else they might have from that donation. They'd probably be happy to clear the space, and you might get a better deal buying all at once.

  2. lucky you - and a free workout comes with! I can't imagine hauling that box on foot!

  3. "Hell of a walk home with this big bastard" hilarious! Man, what a treasure trove! Tons of fun digging through that!

  4. This is great stuff. Thank you for sharing. The Gooden and Seavers, in particular, are fantastic.

  5. I've come across a few of the Fleer Greats cards in repacks.. They are a nice set..

  6. Thanks for the Pacifics! My post is going up tomorrow. And I'm super duper intrigued by the hypercolor cards. Please post or tweet a video of those.

  7. I'll go to my local Goodwill from time to time, but I've never found anything like this. What an awesome find!

  8. Planning another trip to Milwaukee right now.

  9. Definitely an interesting box. Like you said, it resembles a really big Fairfield repack. Looks like a fun.