30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, November 12, 2018

Mishmash Monday

Last week, one of my students was reading To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  When I walked over to talk to her about it, I noticed that it wasn't the original version.  It was the graphic novel.

I had never seen this before.  A classic novel made into a graphic novel?  I immediately logged onto Amazon and picked up my very own copy:

It arrived on Saturday and I'm excited to sit down and read it.  Hmmm... maybe that's what I'll do this afternoon.

How does this book relate to baseball cards?  It doesn't.  But I'll do my best to connect the two.

2003 Fall Classic All-American Autograph #AAA-BM

To Kill A Mockingbird was originally published back in 1960.  That's the year that Bill Mazeroski hit the only Game 7 walk off home run in World Series history against the mighty New York Yankees.

I wouldn't be born for another twelve years... and I didn't read the novel until my freshman year in high school.  That was the year the New York Mets stunned the Boston Red Sox by coming back down 3 games to 2 with a 2-run deficit in the bottom of the 10th inning with two outs and nobody on in Game 6.

Then this happened:

Seeing Wilson's routine grounder roll under Buckner's glove is almost cringe-worthy... but it's a major moment in World Series history.

2015 Archives Signature Edition Buybacks 1984 Topps #465

And I consider reading To Kill A Mockingbird a major moment in my high school history, since it's one of the few novels I truly enjoyed reading while there.  It's been over thirty years since I've read about Atticus, Jem, and Scout.

But like I said... that's about to change in the very near future.

Here is today's question of the day:

What's your favorite book that you read back in high school?

What's your favorite World Series memory?

My favorite book from high school would be Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.  I also really enjoyed Of Mice and Men.

As for my favorite World Series memory, it would have to be watching the Oakland A's sweep the San Francisco Giants in the Bay Bridge Series back in 1989.  It's the last time the A's were World Series Champions... and it happened against their cross-bay rivals.  Throw in the Loma Prieta earthquake and you have a memory that'll last a lifetime.

Well that's it for today.  Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Loyal and Lucky

I'm not an expert, nor do I have the time to do the research, but I've gotta imagine that baseball is one of the more challenging sports to spot talent.  A quick look at the list of first overall MLB draft picks, shows that only two guys have been enshrined at CooperstownKen Griffey Jr. and Chipper Jones.

Alex Rodriguez could the next person in line, but considering Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have been forced to wait... I'm sure he'll have to too.  Who's after him?

Well after announcing his retirement yesterday, I'd have to say Joe Mauer.

He might not have been Mike Piazza in the batter's box or Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate, but Mauer retired with over 2,000 hits, a career .306 batting average, 3 AL batting titles, 5 Silver Slugger Awards, 3 Gold Glove Awards, and the 2009 AL MVP Award.  But personally my favorite fact about him is that he spent his entire fifteen season career in the MLB with his hometown team.

I will always have a soft spot in my collection for guys who were loyal enough to stick with one team and lucky enough to have the franchise stick with him.

That's why I spent over an hour this afternoon digging through my collection looking for this memorabilia card which happens to complete my Joe Mauer Sports Card Trifecta:

2007 Bowman Heritage Pieces of Greatness #PG-JM

I only own a handful of Mauer memorabilia cards.  This card represents my only bat card.  Who knows if this piece of wood was actually part of one of his game used bats.  One thing is for certain, it's the best looking memorabilia card of his sitting in my collection.

2014 Five Star Autographs #FSA-JM

I only own two of his autographsOne is part of my All-Autograph Sticker-Graph Team.  The other is this on-card signature.  Determining which one would be represented in his Sports Card Trifecta was a pretty easy choice.

2002 Topps Gallery #186

Choosing a favorite rookie card of Mauer was much simpler.  I'm pretty sure this is the only rookie card I own of him, but that's not necessarily a bad thingTopps Gallery has always been one of my favorite Topps products.

Well that's about it for tonight.  Let's go ahead and wrap things up with our questions of the day:

Would Mauer receive your Cooperstown vote?

Who's your all-time favorite Minnesota Twin?

Considering that from 2004 to 2013, he had the second highest batting average in Major League Baseball behind only Miguel Cabrera and the fact that he has the eight highest fielding percentage of all-time for a catcher, along with all of his accomplishments previously mentioned... I'll go ahead and give him my vote.  Although I don't necessarily think he's a first ballot hall of famer.

1985 Minnesota Twins Postcards

And Kirby Puckett is definitely my all-time favorite TwinWho's yours?

Enjoy a safe holiday weekend.  Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

A Brown and Gold Whale

When it comes to collecting sports cards, I'm completely aware of the fact that I collect way too much stuff.  Bottom line is I spread myself too thin.

On one hand, there's always plenty of things to shop for online and at card shows and flea markets.  The downside is that sometimes I neglect certain collections because they get placed on the back burner and forgotten.

One of those collections is my signed and slabbed rookie card collection.

This project started off with a 1988 Cape Cod League Frank Thomas card that I purchased because it was killing two birds with one stone.  I had been looking to add a signature of The Big Hurt to my collection along with that specific minor league card.

Eventually I began targeting some of my other favorite players like Martin Brodeur, Steve Carlton, Rickey Henderson, Steve Largent, James Lofton, Greg Maddux, Joe Sakic, and Ichiro Suzuki.

But anyone who knows me and my collection should be able to look at this lineup and see one really big name missing.

Well I recently filled that vacancy with this card:

Owning an autographed rookie card of Mr. Padre was never high on my priority list.  He signed readily for card companies and for fans, so his autographs were always plentiful and pretty affordable.  I took that for granted and figured I'd eventually have one of my friends get him to sign a rookie card at one of the SJSU/SDSU games.

Then on June 16th, 2014 Tony Gwynn lost his battle with salivary gland cancerBaseball fans and card collectors around the world lost one of the greatest hitters of his generation.  I lost my all-time favorite player and the main reason I consider myself a San Diego Padres fan.  And in regards to collecting, it hurt my chances of picking up a reasonably priced signed and slabbed rookie card of his.

Four-plus years later... I finally picked one up.  It wasn't cheap.  Even though I was the lone bidder... it still had an opening bid of $99.99 (+ $3.42 shipping).  Luckily I had a ton of eBay Bucks saved up, so the final cost was less than $35 shipped.

I'm not finished.  One day, I will add a signed Topps rookie card to my collection.  Maybe his Fleer and OPC rookie cards as well.  But for now, I'm more than happy with crossing this whale off of my list.

Today's question of the day...

Have you ever waited too long to pick up a card?

If so, what card?  And what were the circumstances?

One of my biggest hobby regrets is waiting around to pick up a 2008 Topps Update KershawPrices are starting to drop... but they still sell for way more than I'm willing to spend.

Well... that's a wrap.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

Attention fellow bloggers...

It's time to sign up for the 3rd Annual Secret Santa blogger gift exchangeMr. Scott has passed the reins along to Jon over at A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts.  If you're interested in participating, click here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Grease Stains and Baseball Games

Potato chips and sports cards are two of my biggest addictions.  Combine the two with childhood memories involving my favorite baseball team and you have something very, very, special.

When I was a kid there was a local snack company called Granny Goose based out of Oakland, California.  My parents would always buy their plain potato chips.   In fact, I can still close my eyes and picture their yellow bags and light blue lettering with the Granny Goose logo.

Back in the early 80's, they partnered up with the Oakland Athletics to produce three baseball card sets.  I've written about them before, but honestly Tony over at Collecting the 1980s did a much better writeup back in 2017.  If you're a fan of oddball food issues, I highly encourage you to check out the post.  Go ahead and click the link.  This post isn't going anywhere.

Interesting, right?  Hard to imagine a regional issue once commanding triple digits, but I vaguely remember those stories.

Anyways... I've owned all three sets for quite some time now.  However my 1983 set wasn't technically complete.

That year the Granny Goose included a silver scratch-off stripe at the bottom of the card as part of a instant winner giveaway with the grand prize being a trip for two to the World Series.

The set I purchased at a 2012 card show had the bottom tabs cut off:

It honestly didn't even bother me until I stumbled across a cheap set that contained the instant winner tabs on eBay a while back.

Today I figured I'd take a closer look at the most affordable of the 80's Granny Goose A's sets:

The set contains a total of 15 cards with Rickey Henderson being the lone hall of famer.  There are a few other notable names like Davey Lopes, Carney Lansford, and Mike Norris.

Honestly all of these guys stand out to me, because my brother would take me to a lot of games during this era.  I grew up watching Norris, Matt Keough, Steve McCatty, and Rick Langford take the mound, while Rickey, Dwayne Murphy, and Tony Armas (traded in the offseason to Boston for Lansford) patrolled the outfield.

In addition to being inserted individually into bags of chips, complete sets were handed out at one of the Oakland A's home games.  According to Beckett, these didn't come with the giveaway tabs.  Although I'm not exactly sure if they were specially printed without tabs or if the Oakland A's and/or Granny Goose sat around and used a paper cutter to chop off the tabs.

Beckett also states that over a million cards were produced.  I wonder if they mean Granny Goose printed one million of each card or one million cards in total.

Can't imagine 15,000,000 (or even 1,000,000) singles floating around the hobby.  I'll go out on a limb and say that a lot of these were damaged with grease stains and thrown away thirty-five years ago when the promotion was going on.  Then again... maybe there are a few collectors who are hoarding these sets in their garages.

Whatever the case... these sets are by no means scarce.  You can find plenty of sets sitting on eBay and if you're patient, you should be able to pick one up for under $10.

Personally the $4.40 (shipped) I spent on my copy was well worth the money, because it's an oddball set that has a direct connection to my childhoodGranny Goose might have packed up and left the Bay Area two decades ago, but their memory will live on forever in my collection.

Here is today's question of the day:

Outside of the super popular Kellogg's and Hostess trading cards...

What are your favorite food issue oddballs?

Hope y'all have a great week.  Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Another Week Another Project

Last weekend, I showed off my Topps Glossy All-Stars project that was inspired by a fellow collector I met over on CCW a few years ago.  Over the years, he's sent me numerous care packages and his latest one was filled with project starters.

Yesterday I sat down and sorted a stack of 1980-88 TCMA Baseball Immortals that he sent me.  After about 15 minutes, I figured out that over 80% of the set was sitting right in front of me.

Normally... I'd break this set up and put the singles into my player's inserts, parallels, and oddballs binders.

However this set is way too beautiful to be buried among other card designs.  These colorful borders are absolutely stunning and need to be displayed in a binder for easy viewing.  And that's exactly what I did:

I'm not exactly sure about how I'll go about building this set.  I'll probably start by hitting up Sportlots and hopefully cross off the majority of my set needs... which happens to be these:

Thank you Woody for helping me get started with such a cool set from my childhood.  When I was younger this was one of the only ways I could add guys like Jimmie Foxx and Babe Ruth to my collection.  And the fact that they're reminiscent of the 1975 Topps set is the icing on the cake.

Speaking of 1975 Topps... I recently received a care package from Night Owl who happens to be one of the blogosphere's biggest fans of that set.

The package contained a variety of stuff that included cards for my A's, Padres, Seahawks, and Packers collections:

He also included some cards for my player collections:

And if that weren't enough... he sent a nice stack of cards for my students as well:

Thanks Greg!  I don't think I have any new Dodgers that you need.  However... I've been picking up a few Buffalo Bills cards that have your name on it.  I'll probably ship it out after the new year to avoid the holiday postal scene.

Have a great week everyone!  Happy Monday and sayonara!