Monday, May 9, 2016

A MAGnificent Garage Sale Day

When I was a kid, waking up on that special morning was always a joyous moment.  After sleeping very little due to my immense excitement, I would hop out of bed, check the weather outside my window and then enthusiastically wake up my parents before rushing downstairs in anticipation of a mountain of toys and fun-tastic finds.

Why am I talking about Christmas in the middle of May?  Well, I'm not - I'm talking about my village's annual "garage sale day," which has been my Christmas ever since I was a child.

Having been born a penny-pinching, scavenger and a natural collector ever since my first bucket of patterned super balls, the vast and seemingly endless array of garage sales, peddling all sorts of mysterious items, appealed to me on the deepest of levels.  Nothing has changed today; as an adult, I've planned work schedules, family functions and even vacations around this special day.

This past Saturday, my Christmas came.  

After a slow start, including one card guy who felt the need to tell me how old everything I picked up was and what a great deal the price was (being pushy will just push me away, sir), I was finally able to track down a garage with just the right stuff.

Held together with a rusty, ancient paper clip, was a set of Keith Magnuson oddball cards, which had seen better days, for the price of three bucks.  Included within that bind was this 1970 team-issued post card featuring a baby-faced photo of the Chicago sporting legend.

As you can see, it's got thumb-tack holes, some paper loss, wrinkles and, based on the backside, it looks as though it was affixed to the inside of a scrapbook at one time:

That said, these sorts of things don't pop up very often and, when they do, get a significant hometown fee.  My interest was certainly piqued, especially since Mr. Magnuson was not yet represented in my Blackhawks All-Time Roster Collection.

Like I said, there were multiple oddities of Keith found clipped together, including this seemingly homemade card:

This well-framed and joyous shot of the defenceman is printed on thick, cardstock-like photo paper with a matte finish.  Additionally, it's standard-sized with rounded corners; if Mother's Cookies made hockey cards, I think that this is what they'd look like.

However, I can find no information on this particular card and one can kind of see the faded markings of Kodak on the reverse; thus, I'm leaning towards a vintage custom.  Still pretty nifty, though.

On the other hand, there's no doubting who was behind this next card:

I have a feeling that this postcard-sized premium was issued by 7Up - the Uncola; it's just a hunch.

You see, Keith Magnuson had a long relationship with the soda brand as a spokesman and, after his playing career came to an end, as a Chicago-area salesman for the pop company.  Keith even played a strong role in getting the "uncola" served in the omnipotent restaurant chain that is McDonald's.

I guess that 7Up made it into Chicken Unlimited's doors as well, judging by the fact that his facsimile signature here also includes that fast-food chain's name.  Perhaps these were given away at those establishments?

The last card in the stack was very similar to the above premium, but with one key difference:

Well, okay, two key differences - no white white border and the facsimile signature is real... wait, what?

That's right, I was able to score an autographed card of the late, great Keith Magnuson for three bucks.  Of course, it's inscribed to some guy named Thomas, who apparently didn't take very good care of it either; nevertheless, this was an exceptionally pleasant surprise of a find.

**EDIT** As pointed out by Once a Cub, I should be blaming Theresa for the condition.  Damn my eyes!  Sorry Thomas.

Hot damn - that honestly might rank as my greatest Garage Sale Day find of all-time.  At the very least, it's now the cornerstone of my Hawks collection.

The seller must have been a collector, through and through, himself - seeing as he had wide-offerings of all sorts of memorabilia.  His tables were crammed with Disney stuff, die-cast cars, Beanie Babies and even cereal boxes - one of which was this bad boy:

Just a couple of weeks ago, in my post about RizzO's, I discussed how I wanted to track down a box of the only other Chicago Cub to have his own cereal, or even grace the front of a cereal box.  Seriously, not a single one has ever even appeared on a Wheaties box (to my knowledge).

I remember having a couple boxes of these for breakfast, back in the day; unfortunately, childhood Tony did not think ahead and save future Tony one of the boxes.  But, have no worries childhood Tony, your mistake has finally been rectified.

As you can see from the front, this was issued in 1999 in the wake of the epic home run race from the previous year.  Sadly, the "super-limited edition" card was no longer resting inside this now-empty cardboard shell.

In case you were curious, here's the back of "Slammin' Sammy's Frosted Flakes."  Do you think it's too late to send away for all of this (unlicensed) swag?  I really want to "slam it like Sammy!"

Anyway, this was something that I've been searching out for a long time.  Usually the price on these gets trumped up by cereal box collectors and vendors who see the name "Sammy Sosa;" courtesy of this awesome garage sale, I got it for a solitary green Washington.  Score!

Furthermore, I never would have found my "Mega Magnuson" find without Slammin' Sammy.  Knowing that I'd be looking for this box, my brother kindly pointed this sale site out to me when we ran into each other at the pushy guy's garage.  Woot!

From here, the rest of Garage Sale day was pretty much a dud - I didn't find a single thing before or after that really caught my eye.  That said, I'm quite satisfied with what I did track down - I mean, just look at how great these look together:

Sidenote - my fiancee collects rubber ducks and Buddha statuettes, as you can see above.

With that, I now have approximately 363 more days to prepare until that next magical Saturday morning, where I can wake up and catch the smell of superb deals and exploration wafting through the air... or is that must?  Well, I guess that's not EXACTLY true, since all of the neighboring communities now hold similar exhibitions and I plan on making the rounds through all of them.

I'm a fiend.

In conclusion, I'm just curious, what are some of your best garage sale finds?  If you found something better or more meaningful to you than my Magnuson oddballs and Sosa cereal box, please mention it in the comments - it'll give me inspiration for the next garage sale scavenger hunt.


  1. Nice pickups.

    But it looks like you should blame Theresa for the autograph condition, not Thomas.

    1. You're quite right - nice catch! Clearly I need a stronger lens prescription.

  2. See, I suck at going to garage sales. I went to one last weekend, and I grabbed this huge orange hot wheels track for my kid. He did not need it and we don't need to add it to our cluttered house. So I found no cards/collectibles, but ended up with a giant hot wheels track. That's what happens when I go to yard sales. I should steer clear.

  3. Great steal on the Magnusons. Having the first owner's name only lends to it's authenticity so that's a plus, I think. I rarely go to garage sales but one time I did find some cool Peanuts items. More recently (a few years ago) I picked up some homemade packs. They were a lot of fun. I did a bunch of posts featuring them. Here's a sample:

  4. Magnusons 72-73 Topps card is one of the alltime great hockey cards. Couldn't stand him when I was a kid. Had some monumental fights against the Bruins

  5. Wow.... those oddballs are awesome! I haven't been to any garage sales in the last couple of years, but back in 2011 I picked up a bunch of cool cards for my collection: