So, here we are …

The All-Star break is behind us, the pennant races lie ahead, and we’re smack dab in the middle of trade deadline season.

You know … where teams drool all over the “rental” players they would love to add, even though most won’t be able to get the deal done.

That’s sorta the deal with these Droolworthy Card posts, too, right? We’d all love to dig in and snag these goodies, but most will remain out of reach.

Still …

It’s great fun to window shop, just our Major League teams are doing.

So this week, I present our Trade Deadline Droolworthy Deals, where each lot features at least one guy who, once upon a time, was all the rage at as the stretch run loomed in some long ago season.

Now, sit back, relax, and … drool!

(Note that this post contains affiliate links, which means if you click over to eBay and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.)

1909-11 T206 Rube Waddell (PSA 3)

1909-11 T206 Rube Waddell

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Rube Waddell was one of those fireplug-of-a-man pitchers from the early days of Major League Baseball who looked like he could carry his family’s oxen into town should one of them fall ill.

If you read his bio on Wikipedia, you’ll see that may not be far off.

While Waddell was never traded during the season, per se, his Baseball Reference page lists several instances when he changed uniforms in the summer — returned to the Louisville Colonels by the Columbus-Grand Rapids after an earlier trade, loaned to Milwaukee (American) by the Pittsburgh Pirates, returned to the Pirates, and “jumped” from Los Angeles (California) to the Philadelphia Athletics.

That last move sounds particularly Bunyanesque and makes this T206 Waddell card feel even more mythical than it already did.

The card is in pretty rough shape at a grade of PSA 3 but has the scarce brown Hindu back … and Waddell is a rough-and-tumble Hall of Famer,

Worth checking out at the very least.

Here is the eBay listing (affiliate link).

1962 Topps Lou Brock Rookie Card (PSA 9)

1962 Topps Lou Brock Rookie Card

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The 1964 trade that sent young Lou Brock (with Jack Spring and Paul Toth) from the Chicago Cubs to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Ernie Broglio, Doug Clemens, and Bobby Shantz is still legendary in baseball circles more than 50 years on.

Brock, of course, blossomed into one of the greatest base-runners of all time in his 16 years with the Cards, and he developed into a well above-average offensive threat across the board. When he hung up his spikes in 1979, Brock owned just about every stolen base record in the book (since rewritten by Rickey Henderson), more than 3000 hits, and a beeline to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Even now, “Broglio-for-Brock” elicits groans from Cubs faithful and serves as a cautionary tale for baseball execs everywhere.

Little wonder that Brock’s 1962 rookie card has continued to grow in prestige and value over the years as the hobby has matured, to the point that the ten grand asking price for this PSA 9 copy (population 28) doesn’t seem completely outside the realm of possibility.

Here is the eBay listing (affiliate link).

1980 Topps Baseball Unopened Rack Pack Box

1980 Topps Baseball Unopened Rack Pack Box

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Yes, the 1980 Topps set is home to the Rickey Henderson rookie card, with a good chance that you’ll uncover one of those gems in this unopened rack pack box.

But when these cards were new, in 1980, Henderson was an afterthought on the rookie scene. Though Rickey recorded his first 100-steal season, that summer was dominated by Cleveland Indians slugging sensation Joe Charboneau, who ran away with the American League Rookie of the Year award.

In the National League, Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Steve Howe took home ROY honors, matching fellow rotation member Rick Sutcliffe, who had copped the 1979 award.

And so, right alongside Henderson, you’ll find Sutcliffe’s rookie card in this 1980 set.


Four years later, in June 1984, the Cleveland Indians traded the Red Baron to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Joe Carter and Mel Hall.

The Windy City proved to be a magical elixir for Sutcliffe, who went 16-1 the rest of that summer, helping the Cubbies to their first-ever division title and nabbing NL Cy Young honors.

So remember that if you ever feel a twinge of disappointment in pulling a Rick instead of a Rickey!

Here is the eBay listing (affiliate link).

1969 World Series Game 4 Ticket Autographed by Tom Seaver

1969 World Series Ticket Autographed by Tom Seaver

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By the time the New York Mets traded Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds in June of 1977, we pretty much already knew what Tom Terrific was — a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

And, while Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman, and Pat Zachry provided some value to the Mets over the next several seasons, Seaver continued to build his legend with the Reds, starting with a 14-3 record to close out ’77.

Even though Seaver found himself on the Riverfront while the Big Red Machine was still trucking along, he never made it to the World Series with the Reds.

In fact, the only hint of World Series succor that Seaver, his fans, or Mets fans could muster until 1986 were sweet memories of past glory, like this autographed ticket from Game 4 of the 1969 Fall Classic.

In that tilt, Seaver pitched the Miracle Mets to a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles and to the brink of their first championship.

But the appeal of this ticket doesn’t end with dripping nostalgia, because it’s also a great looking display piece. Check it out …

Here is the eBay listing (affiliate link).

1989 Fleer Baseball 20-Box Wax Case (Billy Ripken F-Face Error Series)

1989 Fleer Baseball 20-Box Wax Case (Billy Ripken F-Face Error Series)

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We all knew that Randy Johnson was a rental player when the Seattle Mariners sent him to the Houston Astros in exchange for Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen, and John Halama on July 31, 1998.

But that didn’t really matter to any of us.

The Big Unit was set to be a free agent, and the Mariners couldn’t afford to keep him.

The Astros were trying to make it to the postseason.

And fans … well, we just wanted to see this dude smoke hitters with something on the line.

Boy, did we get our wish!

In 11 starts with Houston, Johnson went 10-1 with a 1.28 ERA, four complete games, and 116 strikeouts in 84-1/3 innings. Wow!

Alas, the Astros won the National League Central but lost to the San Diego Padres in the NL Division Series.

But Johnson’s dominance helped him land a fat new contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks that fall, set him up for what would eventually become a run to the Hall of Fame, and propelled his baseball cards straight into the summer glare of the hobby spotlight.

One of the beneficiaries was his 1989 Fleer rookie card, which you would undoubtedly find in multiplicate in this 20-box wax case.

And, oh yeah … the markings on this case indicate it was cranked out on January 4, 1989 — plenty early enough for the infamous Billy Ripken “F-Face” error to make an appearance.

Open at your own risk!

Here is the eBay listing (affiliate link).

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