When Life Water-Logs Your Floorboard…

Don’t worry, all is well in this neck of the proverbial woods. This is a throwback post to highlight a few cards I grabbed in September. If you’ll recall, we’d just been through the mother of all hurricanes here in Texas. I thought we’d escaped damage completely (we were very fortunate in our area), but then I went out to my car a few days after everything had passed and the streets were finally drivable – at least around here. That’s when I noticed that my rear floorboard had flooded when the water came up our driveway.

So after scooping as much as possible out of my car, I threw a bag of rice in it, and resolved to try and clean it out myself the next day. Oh, and it stunk – like a pack of wet dogs.

Well, that sure as hell wasn’t going away on its own, so I found a local car wash/detail joint offering up post-storm specials and took my car in for the works. While I was waiting, I walked over to a junk shop a few doors down the road, hopeful that I might find anything worth a few minutes of my time. By and large, I did not – until I noticed a coffee can full of what appeared to be junk wax. Only – there were minis! Yep, plenty of Topps mini leaders were in the can, and with nothing better to do with my time, I rifled through the couple hundred cards looking for ‘Stros I needed and anything else that caught my eye. That’s how this 1990 Mike Scott Mini Leader wound up in my collection.

I also found a pair of these awesome Donruss All-Star pop-ups from 1988/1989. I remember having a Terry Steinbach one back when I was a kid and having actually set him up on my bookshelf. I’d made a little game of sorts – the Pirate Parrot was pitching, Terry was hitting, there was a plastic catcher who was once a birthday cake decoration – there might have even been an umpire. Anyway, I think these things are cool, and I decided I’d try and put the sets together. Who doesn’t love a good oddball, right Tony?

The pickings were pretty slim and I needed to round out my stack a bit, so I snagged a Mark Grace from the Iooss Collection inserts in 1993 Upper Deck. As a kid, Iooss was a major inspiration for me picking up a camera – somewhere at my folks I have one of his books. I decided I should probably build this insert set too.

Nomo-mania! Another card that got thrown in to help round out the pile. I’ve got a soft spot for cool cards of the Tornado, and this one definitely fits.

I grabbed some more minis, including several that went off to trading partners, and a pair of Bob Kneppers from the 1989 Topps Super Star Stickers set – both the sticker (on the right) and the actual card, and I needed both!

I almost walked out without spending any of the dimes because I had to do that thing where you’re telling someone who just runs an old junk shop that these baseball cards are essentially not worth the paper they are printed on, but then I noticed this in the stack – a signed Topps Sticker from 1981 (I think) of Tony Scott, who had a spot appearance with the Astros in the 80s.

After a few minutes of assuring the lady running this tiny dust-ridden pile of other people’s discards that I was not trying to swindle her out of a real find and us settling on the very reasonable dime box price, I happily piled up another dollar or two worth to send out to trade pals and checked another Astro-graph placeholder off the list.

I walked back over to the detail joint and my car was immaculate – seriously, I don’t know how the guy got all that dog hair out of the seats. And it was a much better day, thanks to that and a little cardboard find.

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