30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, March 25, 2019

Looking to Adopt

When it comes to collecting modern day inserts, 98% of the stuff produced by Topps and Panini doesn't appeal to me.  But every year there's one cheap, mass produced insert set I actually pay attention to and actively seek.  It's the Topps Opening Day Mascots.

This year's product has Stomper and The Swinging Friar... which I hope to track down eventually.  In the meantime, I figured I'd show off my Stomper PC, which includes six different Opening Day cards, two Topps Stickers, and one Topps Attax card:

2007 Topps Opening Day #203

Stomper made his first appearance as the Oakland Athletics' mascot on April 2nd, 1997 and ten years later he made his first appearance in a Topps Opening Day set.  That year the mascots were part of the base set.

2010 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M16
2012 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-24
2013 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-6

Since 2010, Topps has made the mascots part of their Opening Day insert setsStomper has been included in every year from 2010 to 2019, except 2015 and 2018.

2014 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-5
2016 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-22

I'm currently trying to track down three more for my collection:

2011 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-16
2017 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-17
2019 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-10

Stomper has also made appearances in other Topps sets:

2011 Topps Attax #207
2012 Topps Stickers #108
2014 Topps Stickers #117

I'm sure there are more cards and stickers of Stomper out there.  If anyone has any laying around, I'd be more than happy to adopt them.

Well that's it for today.  Hope you guys have a great week.  Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Mental Health Break

March has legitimately been crazy.  Even though my days of being a basketball fan are in the rearview mirror, I'll still fill out a bracket during March Madness and follow the scores.

Unfortunately my mind has been on other things lately, so I'll be going bracket-less this year.  Back in November, I purchased a box of 2015 Panini Contenders Draft Picks during my Black Friday haul.  The original plan was to use the contents of this box to help me make my selections.

Instead, I used it as part of a mental health break earlier in the week.  Without any March Madness motivation, I honestly didn't focus on anything other than the five autographs that were promised to me.

Sadly, I didn't recognize any of these guys or the girl... but like I said... it helped me take my mind off of things for about fifteen minutes as I mindlessly ripped open packs.  So in a sense... it was well worth the $32.95 purchase price.

The only other college basketball related item that I recently purchased was this Mike Krzyzewski rookie card

1991 Hoops #588

When I was a big North Carolina Tar Heels fan when it came to college basketball, so I couldn't stand Duke.  However when I saw this card on eBay back in December for $8.75 (free shipping), I grabbed it.  Figured it was a cool card of the all-time winningest college basketball coach.

It looks like Duke is favorite to win the National Championship... but I'll be rooting for the rest of the field.

Well that's it for me.  What about you?

Are you following March Madness?

If so...

Who are you rooting for?

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Another Day, Another Goodbye

The first thing I did the past two days when I woke up was open up my laptop and head over to MLB.com to check the Mariners vs. Athletics scoresToday I paused though as soon as I got to the website, because I saw that Ichiro had announced his retirement.

The guys on morning sports talk radio didn't make a big deal of it, because he had already made the headlines last year.  In fact they compared it to a dog dying at the end of the movie only to reappear later, and die again.  While I can see where they were headed with that analogy, I was actually a little annoyed by that comparison.

Ichiro has been one of my favorite baseball players since the early 2000's,  Part of it has to do with his ability to slap a pitch in seemingly any direction he wanted.  But a bigger part of it is he's the greatest Japanese baseball player to play in the MLB and I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to follow his entire career.

In regards to collecting, I walked away from the hobby when Ichiro collectibles were at his peak during his rookie year.  However when I returned in 2008, I knew I wanted to grab at least a few of his cardsWithin a few years, he became one of the guys I PC.

I originally had a graded card post planned for today, but in honor of #51, I postponed it and decided to show off the heart of my Ichiro collection.  Hope you enjoy it...

1993 BBM #239

This card is the holy grail of my Ichiro collection.  It represents the only autograph of his in my collection and the most expensive single card I've ever purchased.  If I could only keep one card of his, there's not doubt in my mind that this would be it.

Here are the other two Japanese rookie cards I own:

1993 Tomy I.D. #102
1993 Teleca Japan Ichiro Phone Card #1

When it comes to Japanese baseball cards, I'm an avid fan... but not exactly knowledgeable.  That's why I put my faith that these are legit issues in the hands of PSA and BGS.

I know that some people don't consider his 2001 MLB cards his true rookie cards, but I still enjoy collecting them when they're affordable:

2001 Topps Gallery English #151
2001 Topps Gallery Japanese #151

2001 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects #BDP84
2001 Topps Limited Edition #726
2001 Keebler Stadium Giveaway #5

2001 Upper Deck All-Star Fan Fest #UD51
2001 Upper Deck #271

2001 UD Victory #564
2001 E-X #105
2001 UD Collectibles #SE2

2001 Fleer Futures #230

Okay... now for my three favorite Ichiro MLB rookie cards...

2001 eTopps #100

eTopps are like Japanese baseball cards.  I love to collect them, but aren't too familiar with their history.  This card reminds me of Topps Gold Label with it's dual image, crazy shine, and thicker card stock.

2001 Fleer Tradition #452

Fleer isn't dumb.  They know that there are a lot of collectors out there who appreciate the 1956 Topps card design.  I'm pretty sure that's what they were thinking when they designed this set.

2001 Topps Gallery #151 (Japanese)

Yes, I realized I already showed off this card at the start of this post.  But that's how much I love this card.  I have two copies.  The one at the beginning of this post and his English brother are part of my 2001 Topps Gallery set.  This one is part of my PSA 10 collection.

Next up are my Ichiro memorabilia cards...

2008 Allen and Ginter Framed Mini Relics #AGR-IS
2009 Allen and Ginter Framed Mini Relics #AGR-IS
2010 Allen and Ginter Framed Mini Relics #AGR-IS

I'm a big fan of framed relics... especially the Ginters.  I'm missing a few of the Ichiros, but I'll hunt them down one day.

Here's one more...

2009 Topps 206 Framed Relics #FR-8

Now for my non-framed relics...

2005 UD Origins Old Judge Materials #OJ-IS
2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom Ticket Stub Memorabilia #TSP-39
2011 Heritage Clubhouse Collection Relic #CCR-IS

2003 Upper Deck Leading Swatches #LS-IS
2004 UD Diamond Collection Dean's List Jerseys #DL-IS

Here are a few game-used base cards...

2002 Playoff Piece of the Game #POG-28
2002 Fleer Box Score Press Clippings 

2002 E-X Hit and Run Base Memorabilia #NNO

Last, but not least...

2012 Archives 1956 Relics #56R-I

Yup.  Another 1956 Topps knockoff.  But I'm not complaining.  I love this card.

I could honestly show off at least 100 other Ichiros, but I don't have time for that.  So I'll wrap things up with a few more cards containing fabric, yet don't claim to be game used:

2002 Fleer Focus Materialistic Away #9M
2003 Fleer Focus Materialistic Away (Action) #M-I
2003 Fleer Focus Materialistic Away (Portrait) #M-I

2011 Topps Throwback Manufactured Patch #TLMP-IS

Well that's a wrap.  This month has been filled with goodbyesFirst my momNow Ichiro.  In a few weeks, one of my friends will be going on maternity leave and moving to the Central Valley.  But I'll probably write about that another day.

This post is dedicated to #51Thanks for the memories and being one of the inspirations for my Japanese PC.  I'm sure I'll be blogging about you in a few years when you become the first Japanese player enshrined in Cooperstown.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!