Thursday, December 8, 2016

Massage + Cards = Mental Health Day

My doctor told me that one of the best things we can do is take care of our mental health, so I decided to take the day off and catch up on a few things like sleep, car maintenance, and get a much needed haircut.

My mechanic doesn't open his doors until 9am and my barber doesn't show up until after 10, so I decided to get some exercise and walk around the Capitol Flea Market.  When it comes to finding hidden treasures, Thursdays are probably the best day to walk around this particular flea market.

Unfortunately... it had rained sometime last night and the water must have scared away most of the dealers.  There were a handful of people set up, but I think most of them were the produce people.  I decided to save my money and head over to the sports card wholesaler who is a few miles away from my mechanic.

After finding out that Mechanic Mike couldn't look at my car today, I drove myself over to GTS Distribution for some supplies.

I grabbed some thicker Ultra Pro top loaders and some thick penny sleeves.  Normally I avoid the urge to buy boxes, but today I caved in and picked up three:

Box #1:  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes $30

I'm not a big fan of Panini baseball products, but I really like this product.  The cards have a solid design and some of the autographs are actually hard signed.  Can't wait to eventually tear into this box.

Box #2:  2014 Topps Pro Debut $35

I have no clue what or even who I should be looking for, but hopefully there will be a few San Jose Giants I recognize.

Box #3:  2015 Topps Pro Debut $45

The guy at GTS mentioned that Kris Bryant is in the 2015 product, so I'm excited to see if I pull his card.  I'm also looking forward to seeing what manufactured patch card I pull.

Even though I wasn't able to refrain from buying these boxes... I did manage to hold off on busting them (until probably this weekend).

As a reward for showing some self-discipline... I decided to treat myself and have my barber take care of my feet too:

Try not to judge too much.  I could care less about having her cut my toe nails... it's all about the leg and foot massage.  And yes... those are flip flop tan lines.  They might be ugly... but I don't care.  It's a fair trade off to be able to wear flip flops to work 98% of the school year.

Happy "Mental Health" Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It's Not You... It's Me

Oh man... that title kind of makes me feel like one of my dramatic middle school girls.  But "click bait" is "click bait".  Don't worry... I promise I won't annoy you will anything too dramatic.  I'll try to keep things sweet and simple.

I'm officially removing myself from the Super Trader's group.  The group itself is an awesome idea and I really enjoyed swapping cardboard with fellow collectors.  Unfortunately there are a few things that prevent me from being a committed member.

#1: Cards

My quality trade bait inventory is almost entirely depleted.  A few years ago, I picked up a few collections at the flea market... which gave me some solid inventory.  Most of that inventory has now been sent or handed out and I have no immediate plans to restock.

#2: Time

This is going to sound selfish... but it's important to keep things real.  Time is valuable.  And I'm not exactly sure what the deal is... but there really aren't enough hours in the day for me to do everything that needs to be done.  And although I enjoy and can find time to build trade packages... driving down to the post office and standing in long lines aren't high on the priority list.

I used to do this at least once a week.  Then... I scaled things back and was going to the post office once or twice a month.  These days... I only go once every two to three months.

#3:  Commitment

It's important to make commitments in life.  It keeps me "honest" and focused.  But when it comes to trade packages, it can often become overbearing.

People who have traded with me in the past can tell you that it often takes me weeks (let's keep it real... months) to hold my end of the bargain.  That's totally not cool.  I feel bad.  Eventually the number of packages I owe start adding up... along with the stress.  

When I'm finally able to... I'll build the packages, ship them out, and it's like the greatest weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

I'm not sure if this kind of "commitment" is healthy for me at this particular point in my life.

So "where do we go from here" (Alan Parsons Project, anyone)?  Well...

#1:  Secret Santa

I'm excited to be participating in this year's Secret Santa event.  It actually felt really good to go out and shop for my person.  Hopefully they'll enjoy the items I picked out.  I'll be shipping out their package next week, so it'll arrive sometime during the week before Christmas.

#2:  Future Care Packages

I will continue to pick up cards for specific bloggers' collections and build "care packages"... with no strings attached.  So if you receive anything from me... understand that it's a gift... not another trade commitment.

#3:  Future Blogger Trades

I haven't actively traded specific cards for other specific cards in years... and honestly have no plans on starting anytime soon.  My trade lists are outdated and inaccurate.  Will I ever update them?  Probably.  In fact, I have another blog set aside for writing about individual cards available for trade.  But for now... I'm not looking to create any new trades.

I'll wrap things up with this message:

I love this hobby.  I love collecting sports cards.  I love writing posts and reading your responses.  I love reading your blog posts and leaving comments.

But at this junction in my life... I'm just not fit to be a member of the totally awesome Super Traders group.

Happy holidays... happy Tuesday... and sayonara!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Smörgåsbord

First Course:  Black Friday Purchases

The older I get... the less attracted I am to the gambling aspect of card collecting.  A few years ago, I enjoyed the thrill of busting boxes in hopes of pulling "the big hit".  These days... I'd rather spend my hard earned money on hand picked singles for my collection.

However... Dave & Adam's lured me back to the dark side with two items I have wanted for a few years.  The first item is an autographed baseball that I'll share in a future post.  The second item is this black San Jose Earthquakes soccer jersey with their old logo:

With those two items sitting in my shopping cart, I decided to pick up a few boxes to take advantage of the free shipping.

The bulk of my money was spent on this 10 blaster box lot of 2011 Panini Americana:

I also grabbed a box of 2005 NECA Napoleon Dynamite Flippin' Sweet trading cards:

And of course, I had to have at least one box of baseball to break.  I considered picking up a few different 2016 Topps baseball products, but settled for a pair of logoless Panini boxes:

These two boxes are obviously "low risk/low reward" options, but for under $24... it provided me with about 30 minutes of entertainment last night.  Which brings us to the second course of today's smörgåsbord.

Second Course:  Last Night's Box Breaks

I debated on busting all thirteen boxes in one sitting, but ultimately... I set aside the Panini Americana blasters and the Napoleon Dynamite box for another day.  Then I grabbed the 2014 Panini Draft box and went to work.  Here are the highlights:

I'm not a big prospect guy, so I was hoping I'd pull an autograph of at least one guy I recognize.  I did.  But it wasn't any of these three guys.  I might have seen Cole Tucker's name in a Bob Walk the Plank post.  And I'm sure I've heard Zimmer's name at some point, since he's the Tribe's top prospect. Unfortunately if you asked me about either of these guys before the box break, I wouldn't be able to tell you anything.

On the other hand, I do know who Michael Conforto is... and I pulled a redemption card for his autograph in the last pack I opened:

Unfortunately... it's expired.  I still attempted to redeem it.  Only time will tell if Panini takes care of me.  For all of the prospectors out there... here are the other hits from the box:

The only other guy I recognize is Rusney Castillo, but he hasn't really lived up to the expectations many people had for him.

Overall... this box was okay.  At least I pulled something I can eventually send over to Woody (@ CCW) and Matthew (@ Bob Walk the Plank).

The other box I busted was 2013 Panini Triple Play.  In my humble opinion... this product is garbage. I guess if you're a five year old kid, it'd be okay.

I was able to build the 90 card short set:

I found an Altuve insert I didn't own (he's hiding under Adrian Gonzalez):

I also pulled an Ichiro insert I needed:

The rest of the box is a bunch of blah...



Luckily for me... the entire 24 pack box was only $3.50.  I guess for that price, I can accept a few "blahs".

Third and Final Course:  University of Washington Huskies

These days, I pretty much root for any Bay Area college team.  But in the early 80's... I was a big Washington Huskies football fan... thanks to my cousin Keith who attended UW at the time.  I'm sure he's probably celebrating today after finding out they'll be headed to Atlanta to face Alabama in the Peach Bowl.  Go Huskies!

I have an important post regarding the Super Trader's group set for Tuesday.  Until then...

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fanny Packs and Secret Powers

Back in the early 90's... before I made the decision to become a teacher... I worked at a card shop called National Pastime near my house.  At the time... it was my "dream job".  I mean... who wouldn't enjoy going into work, sorting cards, and talking shop with other people who enjoy collecting?

One of the regulars was Bob whose trademark was a fanny pack that held his wallet and his weekly trade bait.  After the own ran National Pastime into the ground, I never saw Bob again.

Then last weekendI was flipping through some scans looking for something to write about... when I came across the 1969 Topps card of Joe Schultz.

For those who aren't familiar with Mr. Schultz, he was the first and only manager in Seattle Pilot's history.  Technically Dave Bristol was hired as the second manager in the team's history, but by the time he managed his first game, the team had switched cities and names.

Anyways... getting back to Card Shop Bob... as soon as I turned over the Schultz and saw the awesome caricature staring back at me... I instantly thought of Bob and his famous fanny pack... which proves that baseball cards truly hold secret powers.

All jokes aside... I was blown away that a drawing on a trading card was able to stir up memories of a fellow collector I hadn't thought of in over two decades.

By the way... this card also inspired me to purchase Ball Four yesterday by Jim Bouton.  I just downloaded the Kindle version onto my iPad and look forward to reading about his relationship with Joe Schultz and other coaches, teammates, and players from that era.

Well that's it for now.  I hope you're all enjoying your week.  Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Back in Black

1971 Topps #118

In the spirit of Black Friday... this post is dedicated to fans of black bordered sports cards.  I'm a little tired after attending my first San Jose Sharks game of the season, but to make up for the lack of words... I have provided you guys with some of my favorite songs that contain the word "black" in the title.

So pick a song, press play, and check out some chipped borders:

1985 Donruss Box Bottom #PC-1

1985 Topps #389

2007 Topps #40

1987 Donruss #36
1993 Diamond Marks #47

2000 Topps Gallery Gallery of Heroes #GH7

2013 Topps Archives Gallery of Heroes #GH-JR

1991 Fleer Pro-Vision #6
1991 Fleer All-Star Team #5

1992 Fleer Ultra All-Star #9
1993 Fleer Major League Prospects #13

1989 Kenner SLU Baseball Greats #10

1989 Kenner SLU #85

There are plenty of other black bordered sets out there... especially since Topps insists on creating black bordered parallels for almost every set they produce.  I made the decision to leave them out... because there were just too many to scan.  And there are a few that I just don't have any examples of... most notably the 1962 Topps football and 1986/1991 Toys 'R Us Rookies baseball sets.  I'm a huge fan of both of these designs, but couldn't find any laying around.

I'm sure I also have some black bordered memorabilia cards or autographs, but most of that stuff is stored at my parent's house.  I do have this scan saved on my hard drive:

2002 UD Vintage Timeless Teams Bat Quads #2

Okay... time to head to bed.  I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving with their loved ones.  And...  

Did anyone hit the stores and take advantage of the Black Friday deals out there?

As I mentioned earlier in the post, I decided to surround myself with thousands of people... but it wasn't at any malls or shopping centers.  I was at the San Jose Arena watching this:

Happy Friday and sayonara!