30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Against All Odds

Remember when pulling a printing plate or a card #'d to ten made you feel like you won the lottery?  They're still pretty cool to pull, but they're definitely not as big of a deal to me as they were twenty years ago.  Heck... over the past few years, I've even pulled five or six and at least two of them were from blasters.

On the bright side, they make me appreciate the days when pulling a rare card was something special.

Today's post centers around one of those cards:

2002 Topps Autographs #TA10

At first glance, this looks like your run-of-the-mill Barry Bonds autographed card.  However after doing a little research, I discovered this card was one heck of a pull back in the day.

2002 Topps baseball utilized a tier system for their signatures and Bonds was in the A1 group, which were inserted into 2001 Topps Series One hobby boxes at a rate of 1:15,402 packs.

Please allow me to rephrase that... that's one A1 signature inserted into every fifteen thousand, four hundred two packs.  In other words... one A1 signature per 35 hobby cases.

Now those are tough odds.  And things get even crazier when you consider that there were three other guys in the A1 groupIvan Rodriguez, Mike Mussina, and Johnny Damon.  Assuming all four guys signed the same amount of cards, a collector might need to open 140 hobby cases to pull the Bonds autograph.

I couldn't find any information on how many Bonds autographs are out there, but this autograph was so tough to pull that after 18 years, it's still listed in Beckett as one of those "no pricing due to scarcity" cards.

These days, I try to spend $50 to $65 for certified, pack pulled, on-card autographs of Bonds.  However I opened my wallet up for this card and dropped $100 (+ $3.94 shipping) a few weeks ago.  When you consider that I only spend triple digits on single card purchases once or twice a year, this purchase is definitely a rare occasion for me.

I probably won't make another $100 purchase anytime soon, but if I do... odds are it's going to involve a vintage Mantle.

Okay it's your turn to chime in...

Have you ever beaten the odds and pulled a really rare card?  If so, what card?

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

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Up for Debate

When it comes to talking baseball, there are plenty of debatable things to discuss.  OpenersDesignated hittersBarry BondsJuiced balls.  The list goes on and on.

However you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't think Brooks Robinson is the greatest defensive third baseman in MLB history.  Heck... he's actually considered one of the greatest defensive players period.  You don't earn the nickname the Human Vacuum Cleaner unless you're one of the best.

It's just a shame that he was a little before my time.  There's a chance, I watched him play at the Oakland Coliseum back in the day.  If I did, I have no recollection of it.  When Robinson played in his final MLB game, I was just about to turn five years old and was more interested in the newly released Star Wars than baseball.

Thankfully baseball cards, bloggers, and highlight films have helped bridge the gapLast month, someone (my memory sucks) showed off their 1973 Topps Brooks Robinson card on their blog and I immediately went hunting for a copy of my own.  Here it is:

1973 Topps #90

By now I'll assume you know my deep appreciation for well cropped action shots.  This card fits the bill.  I decided to go with a slabbed copy, because it was affordable ($9.99 + $2.99 shipping) and fits into my Classic Card PC as well.

I figured today was a good day to write about this card, since he celebrated his 82nd birthday over the weekend.  Happy belated birthday Mr. Robinson!

 2013 Topps Chrome Purple Refractor #78 N. Arenado
2001 Topps Team Legends Autographs #NNO C. Boyer

Okay... I just read this article on Nolan Arenado and this one on Clete Boyer, so I guess the greatest defensive third baseman is up for debate.

What do you think?

Who is the greatest defensive third baseman in MLB history?

Looking forward to reading your responses...

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Bright Start to my Week

The past week or so, my mailbox has been flooded with packages.  There were three eBay purchases, a COMC package, a blogger prize package, and three blogger care packages.

I spent several hours Sunday morning opening up packages and sorting and organizing cards.  It felt like my birthday or something.  My original plan was to throw all of the blogger packages together into one post.  But there were honestly so many cool items... it felt like the cards would be better appreciated spread into individual posts.

Today's post covers a contest prize package I won over at Diamond Jesters.  Let's kick things off with three Oakland A's parallels that Matthew sent:

2010 Topps Gold #417
2019 Topps Rainbow Foil #66
2019 Gypsy Queen Green #132

I'll never get tired of receiving parallels of A's players... especially anything green bordered.

Next up was a pack of 2019 Topps Series One:

Who doesn't like opening up packs?  This one didn't have any A's in it, but it did contain a Padre:

2019 Topps #56

Now that's a great looking card.  Here's another well cropped action shot I pulled from this pack:

2019 Topps #114

The final two prizes were a pair of 1990 Donruss cards:

1990 Donruss #311
1990 Donruss #328

Now before you start thinking these are your ordinary, overproduced base cards... you should know that each card came with a very cool bonus:

If you're a regular reader of Diamond Jesters, then you know that his specialty is writing haikus.

Thank you Matthew for this very generous contest prize package!  The Righetti and Parker (plus their poems) will be given a special home in my blogger binder.

Well that's it for today.  I hope you all have a great week.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Extra Time

2014 Chrome Refractor Auto #13
2014 Chrome Blue Refractor Auto #13
2014 Chrome Gold Refractor Auto #13

On Saturday, Chris Wondolowski of my hometown San Jose Earthquakes scored four goals against the Chicago Fire and became the MLS all-time scoring leaderCongratulations Wondo!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Mind = Blown

Woke up this morning thinking I might head out to the flea market... but my phone was reporting rain... and wouldn't you know it... it's raining.  Oh well... at least I got a free lunch at my summer school training.

I was hoping to summarize a few care packages I received, but I'm running a little short on time and I desperately need to take a nap.  Instead I'm going to share two mind blowing eBay sales that I've been tracking.

The first one involved a 1981 Granny Goose A's Dave Revering.  I've written about this set a few times, but I'll go ahead and summarize my interest in this card.  Back in 1981 Granny Goose put trading cards into their bags of potato chips... kinda like the Utz cards that are currently receiving a lot of interest.

There were 15 different cards to collect, but Granny Goose pulled the Revering from production after he was traded to the New York Yankees.  They're pretty rare and don't pop up very often.  Back in 2013, I picked up a copy for my set, but it's not exactly in the best condition.  See for yourself:

1981 Granny Goose A's #13

Anyways... I've been looking for an upgrade ever since and a reasonably nice copy popped up last week.  The opening bid was $20, which is pretty insane for an oddball issue of a guy most people have never heard of.  That didn't scare me away though.  I ended up going out to dinner last night and completely missed the end of the auction.  I was a little bummed, but when I saw what the card sold for... I was blown away:

I'm happy to report that I had no plans on bidding more than $21 + $4 shipping, so it didn't matter that I missed out on bidding.  It's just crazy that someone is willing to pay that much.  I guess I'm not the only one looking for this card.  

Here's another eBay listing that I had been following.  This one is for a Tim Duncan autograph I pulled from a box twenty years ago:

1999-00 Topps Gallery Autographs #TD

I've had a couple of guys throwing ridiculous offers my way ever since I wrote about this card a while back.  When I say "ridiculous", I'm not talking about low-balling.  One guy offered me $500.  Another made multiple offers... with his final one being four figures.  I honestly figured they were joking around... and possibly trying to scam me.

Then last month, someone listed their copy on eBay as an auction.  I watched it closely... but was once again blown away by what it sold for:

I'm not sure if the buyer ever paid for this card or if this was even a legit sale.  But regardless... I was definitely blown away by what I saw.

Well my head feels like it's gonna explode.  Time to go lay down for a quick nap.  I hope all of you are enjoying your Saturday afternoons.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Bargain Big Mac

My memory isn't what it used to be.  With each passing year, I'm memorizing less and less of my students names.  Last night I even forgot whether or not I had taken my medication for my sore back.  Luckily I have this blog to help me document my hobby history.

Plus my brain will sometimes associate certain events in my lifetime with key historical events.

For example... I can tell you exactly where I was when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up or when the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake took place.

It works with positive memories too.  Back in the Fall of 1998, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were battling each other in the Great Home Run Chase.  That was also my first year of teaching in public education.  My starting salary was less than $28,000, so I was forced to supplement my income by getting a job at the card shop located across the street at the mall.

At the time, anything and everything related to McGwire and Sosa was on fire.  Big Mac was especially popular because he was the new single season home run record holder.  Plus he was a former Oakland Athletic.  I was fortunate to have a few of his 1985 Topps rookie cards, but his 1985 Chong minor league card always eluded me.  People would always talk about it, but I never saw one in person... even though I worked at a card shop.

Two decades later, I've finally added a copy to my collection:

I tried looking up this card in older issues of Beckett, but couldn't find any information on what these were selling for back in the day.  But I'm pretty sure PSA 10 copies were selling for more than $8.89 (+ $2.99 shipping).  That's what I paid for this copy.

Now if I could only find a PSA 10 copy of his true rookie card for that price.

Okay, it's your turn to share.

What's a bargain priced card you've picked up in the last year or so that once commanded big $$$ back in the 80's or 90's?

I look forward to reading your responses.  Happy Throwback Thursday and sayonara!