Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cream of the Crop!

On Saturday, Andrew over at Need More Cardboard showed off his 2012 Goodwin Champions card of the lovely Natalie Gulbis... which inspired me to show off my favorite female golfer:

Okay... this makes it seem like I actually follow the LPGA, which in fact I do not.  But I love to golf and I'm a huge fan of women, so it made sense for me to add this card to my collection:

2005 SP Signature #38

I purchased it from Tromp's Sports Cards the night that Creamer sunk this amazing 75ft. putt:

That's one of the sweetest putts I've ever seen... and she made it with the tournament on the line.  I'm not sure what's prettier... the putt or the person who sank the putt.

One thing is for sure... the stars were aligned that evening.  A few hours after seeing the highlights on ESPN, I noticed this card was on sale for four bucks and the rest is history.

Happy Hump Day!  And sayonara!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Jackie Robinson Day > Tax Day

2005 Upper Deck Mini Jersey Collection Replica Legends #JR

Every February, I teach a unit on the Civil Rights Movement to my eighth graders.

1956 Topps #30

And every February, I learn to appreciate everything that Jackie Robinson had to endure while breaking the color barrier in baseball.

1990's Apple Think Different Poster

And although I consider myself to be a positive role model, a hard worker, and a person who tries his best to be an "upstander"... if I were in his shoes, there's no way I could have persevered they way #42 did.

2010 Topps Chicle #235

Thank you Jackie!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Little League and The Bird

I love this video...

It stirs up childhood memories of playing little league baseball.

2001 Topps American Pie Rookie Reprint Relics #BBRRMF
2006 SP Legendary Cuts Chronology Materials #MF

Back in an era where me and my buddies wore polyester uniforms with belts and stirrups that matched the color of our hats.

2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Archives Autograph #MF

When we ran out onto the field... it was as if the stars were aligned and everything in the world was perfect.  We all worked together, played together, and had a lot of fun together.

1977 Topps Cloth Stickers #15

It didn't matter if I was the quiet, shy, oddball at school... because everyone on the team knew me as the short, chubby, Japanese guy who was really good at fielding ground balls.  And out there, I was a functioning member of a team who was having the time of his life.

1977 Hostess #46

But as crazy as this might sound, my favorite part of playing little league baseball was grabbing my juice box, orange wedges, and Hostess Twinkies and sitting in the dugout with my buddies after the game.

1977 Pepsi-Cola Glove Discs #30

Seriously.  It was perfect.  A PSA 10 moment from my childhood.

Thanks for the memories Mr. Fidrych.  We miss you!  Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Friday, April 11, 2014

It's Not Only Rainbows and Butterflies

I love 90's inserts.  In fact, I have seven binders sitting on my office shelf dedicated solely to them.

1999 Finest Split Screen Dual Refractors #SS2

And there isn't a month that goes by, that I don't sit there at least once or twice to flip through them and soak in all of their glory.  Lenticulars.  Die-cuts.  Embossed.  Acetates.  Foils.  Dufex technology.  Serial numbered.  Holograms.  And of course... Refractors.

1999 Finest Split Screen Single Refractors #SS2A

Unfortunately, they're not only a great source of eye candy.  They're also a reminder of one of the biggest mistakes I made in my life:  major credit card debt.  Back in the 90's, I put myself in quite the financial situation and sports cards addiction was huge part of the problem.

1999 Finest Split Screen Single Refractors #SS2B

In 2001, I made the decision to quit collecting and sell off the bulk of my collection to help pay off my credit cards.  It took me several additional years of living the life of Scrooge to make things right.  These days, I refuse to carry a balance on my credit cards, but I'm obviously back on the cardboard.

Thankfully most of the inserts I own nowadays cost me a fraction of their value back in the 90's.  These three inserts of Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez are perfect examples.  I picked up the refractor trio for $3.79 on COMC back in February.  Fifteen years ago, I would have been lucky to pay $10 for one of the single refractors (1:28 packs), while the dual refractor (1:82 packs) probably would have set me back $20 to $25.

Anyways... the point I wanted to make was that I love collecting 90's inserts and they often bring a huge smile to my face.  But every now and then, they also take me back to a very dark period of my life.

It's a good thing that the "good" memories outweigh the "bad".

Happy Friday and sayonara!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I love the 80's (Baseball Edition) #9 - Fernandomania!

On April 9th, 1981 Fernando Valenzuela started the first game of his career and pitched a five-hit shutout against the Houston Astros.  He went on to pitch seven more complete games in a row... four of which were shutouts.

1981 Dodgers Police #34

The numbers for his first eight starts are mind-blowing.  Eight complete games.  Five shutouts.  Sixty-eight strikeouts.  And only four earned runs allowed.  Fernandomania was officially born.

It just so happened to take place during my formative years when nothing was more important to me than baseball... which is why this San Diego Padres fan has no regrets admitting how much I admired Valenzuela's game.

1984 7-11 Slurpee Discs #W9

Years later he would eventually arrive in San Diego to play for my beloved Padres after stops in Anaheim, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

1995 Upper Deck #375

Unfortunately... his best years were a thing of the past and nothing more than great memories of my childhood.

Viva El Toro!  Thanks for the memories Fernando.  Happy Wednesday and sayonara!