30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Craigslist Card Collection Purchase

During the summer, I like to keep busy... so I usually sign up to teach summer school. The extra money goes towards vacation expenses, school supplies, and of course my cardboard addiction.

Normally, I work with middle schoolers... but in the summer, my buddy and I like to switch things up and work with the little ones (4th graders to be exact). She teaches the language arts curriculum, while I cover the math. It's pretty much the same routine every year.

And every spring, I start stocking up on junk wax to pass out to my little kids. They love ripping open packs, even if 99% of them don't recognize the players. I'll usually teach a statistics lesson first to get them hooked... then use the extra packs as incentives for the rest of the summer.

Well I recently found this post on Craigslist and realized it had a little bit of everything and would be perfect for my summer school program. I immediately contacted the guy to see if he was firm on his price. After a little negotiating... I picked up everything you see below for $30.

1988 Fleer Baseball Wax Packs (x36)
1987 Topps Baseball Wax Packs (x6)
1987 Donruss Rack Pack
1988 Donruss Rack Packs (x2)
1989 Donruss Rack Pack
1986 Fleer Sluggers vs. Pitchers Set
1987 Fleer Baseball SuperStars Set
1987 Fleer Sluggers vs. Pitchers Set
1988 Topps Baseball Commons
1993 Action Packed ASG Series 2 Set
1989 Topps Baseball Rack Box (24 packs)
1989 Topps UK Mini Baseball Box (48 packs)
1991 Conlon TSN Baseball Box (36 packs)
1987 Topps Baseball Set (hand collated)
2000 MLB Showdown Starter Deck
2001 MLB Showdown Starter Deck
2001 MLB Showdown Draft Pack

The bulk of this purchase is going towards my classroom this summer. I'll probably bust the rack packs, since they're heavily damaged and are coming off the backing boards.

I might also use a couple of these items as prizes in the month long contest I'll be running this summer.

Plus, I'm going to keep the three Fleer "mini sets", the 1989 Topps UK Mini box, and maybe the 1991 Conlon TSN box.

Here are a few other items, I'm planning on keeping from this Craigslist collection:

Ultra Pro 8 Pocket Pages (x37)
Ultra Pro 2 Pocket Pages (x33)
1990 Baseball Wit Game (w/ 108 trading cards)
2000 APBA Board Game (w/ 30 cards)

The students have no use for odd-sized binder pages, so I'll be keeping those. It's nice to have a few of these in hand just in case I need them.

I've never seen this Baseball Wit game, but it comes with 108 trading cards. I'm debating on busting it or not. Either way... according to Beckett it has some pretty nice names in the set: Tony Gwynn, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Rickey Henderson, Nolan Ryan, and even Babe Ruth.

He also had a board game called "Super Stars Baseball". It was produced in 2000 and comes with 30 cards. The game is sealed, so I used Beckett again to help me with the checklist. This game is also pretty loaded with cards of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Cal Ripken Jr., and my personal favorite... Tony Gwynn.

I'm not sure what I'll do with the two games. Neither of them have any monetary value... in fact the whole collection is pretty much worthless... but the sealed board game is pretty cool.

1988 Topps Big Series 1 Set
1988 Topps Big Series 2 Set
1989 Topps Big Series 1 Set
1989 Topps Big Series 2 Set
1989 Topps Big Series 3 Set

I was pretty excited to see this binder in the lot. If you collected in the late 80's... then I'm sure you know about Topps Big. I remember seeing these in random places, but never picked any up. A few months ago, I considered buying some boxes just to finally grab some. Now I don't have to. Best of all... they're all in pages and were placed in this new binder.

Now all I need to do is hunt down the 1988 Series 3 set. This will be going on my bookshelf with my other binders. I'm sure I'll do a Set Spotlight on these sets sometime in the near future to give you all a better look.

In addition to these sets, he also had a bag full of flats:

1992 Lou Gehrig Wheaties Box
1992 Babe Ruth Wheaties Box
1993 Upper Deck Home Base Newspaper (x2)
1987 National Sports Collectors Convention Poster
1993 The Diamond Magazine (August - 3 issues)
1995 Daily News Brooklyn Dodgers Tribute Magazine
1992 Dino Cardz Promo Strips (x2)

Outside of the dinosaur cards, I'm sure none of these will interest the students. I'll probably give the two Wheaties boxes away as prizes... along with the magazines. The UD newsletter thing is pretty cool, since I've never seen this publication. The guy probably thought it'd be worth something one day, since it's the first issue in the first volume. I wonder if they ever printed a second issue. Maybe one of these days, I'll blog about it... since it has some interesting reading material.

Out of all of these items, I only plan on keeping one thing... this 1987 poster from the 1987 National Convention:

It's an 11" x 14" poster, printed on matted paper and features some of the greatest baseball players of all-time. I wonder if they had all of these guys at the National signing back in the day. If so... can you imagine collecting autographs of Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Joe DiMaggio all on one poster?

Unfortunately... it has a small tear along the top and a couple of slight creases along the sides. It doesn't bother me though. Later on today, I'm going to Michael's to buy a frame. This beauty is going up on my wall.

I never made it to the National Convention held in San Francisco back in 1987. It's probably because I wasn't driving yet... and most of my buddies were too cool to collect cards. Hopefully the National will make its way back to The City, because if it does... I'll definitely be there.

Oh... speaking of card shows... check out this flier for a 1989 card show at the Moscone Center:

Can you believe the prices? Maury Wills for $4? Mark McGwire for $10? The most expensive autographs were $15. Those were the days.

Okay... today's question of the day is:

You're traveling back to 1989 and you're attending this card show with $25 in your pocket...

Which players' autographs are you going to chase down?

I have to go with Mays and Henderson... Mays is one of the greatest players of all-time and Henderson is one of my favorite players of all-time.

I'd probably use the leftover dollar and buy a pack of 1989 Upper Deck.

Anyways... recapping my purchase. It may not be a great deal... but I have no regrets. Sure there weren't any huge hits... but it was sort of a smorgasbord: stuff for my students... some items for my contest... and a few PC items for myself.

Enjoy your Saturday everyone... I'm headed out to buy a frame for the poster... and then I might bust a few packs of Conlon. Sayonara!


  1. That Card Show Flyer is really cool.

    As far as auto's go, I'm looking for Warren Spahn, Anfernee Hardaway, Bo Jackson, Chris Mullin, any 90's Stars. Ok, basically any auto's I'm cool with.

  2. As much as I hate the Giants, probably MAys and McCovey. The funniest one on there is Walt Weiss. Man, did I love Walt Weiss back then. You probably couldn't give a Weiss auto away now.

    BTW, nice pickup for $30.

  3. Cool flyer. I could go for a re Catfish autos.


  4. I would be all over Mike Greenwell. And maybe Matt Williams too.

  5. I'll probably get two Darryl Strawberrys - he's a superstar already but he can take it to another level, he'll likely be better than Mays and I can probably double what I put into the two autographs.

    With the drug problems of Dwight Gooden in the last few years, hopefully Darryl isn't into that nose candy.

  6. I would have to go with the two players that have since passed away, Hunter and Stargell. And with the remainder McCovey who was possibly the greatest "second banana" of all time, well maybe second on that list behind Gehrig.

  7. Great lot of stuff. Junk is in the eye of the beholder, and it looks like you got a ton for your money, including lots of interesting and unusual things.

    As for the question, I'll go Mays & Stargell, then successfully beg/mooch a couple dollars off my parents to get Cepeda too. :P

    Also, I love the misspelling of McGwire as McQwire on the card show flier.

  8. I can't believe Canseco is not only more than McGwire - though I guess for 1989 that makes sense. What is more ridiculous: That Jose is also more than Mays, a top-5 all-time player? Or that you could have gotten a Mays auto for $14?

    Either way, I'd go with Rickey and Wills. On the same ball. Then I'd have $11 left over, and I'd travel to the St. Louis card show a month after this one (hey, if I get a time machine - inventing another card show is nothing! Plus, it's realistic they'd both be there).

    For $25, I could have a ball with every 100-SB guy ever!

  9. nice lot, I have the baseball wit cards...they are pretty silly

  10. charles - yeah it was one of the coolest parts of the whole lot

    dodgerbobble - i laughed at the weiss too... can't believe he was getting more than wills

    unclemoe - oh... i totally overlooked catfish. i'd want one of those too

    spastikmooss - i remember stocking up on mike greenwell rookie cards. wow... those were the days.

    laurens - :-D i'm a huge fan of both players... and have both of their autos in my PC

    hiflew - good choice... both men passed away way too early. i'm thankful that i have both of their autographs in my collection.

    lonestar - i agree with your quote "junk is in the eye of the beholder". it cost me $30, but it game me several hours of entertainment. oh i busted the donruss rack packs and was able to pull a bonds rookie and a larkin rookie... so i was stoked about that. it surprising they misspelled his name since he was "royalty" during the late 80's/early 90's in the bay area.

    lifetimetopps - that would be one helluva ball (henderson/wills/brock). i'm with you... how is mays only $14? and how is canseco more than mays?

    markz - i go back and forth about busting it open... was tempted a few times last night... but it's still sitting here sealed. i checked eBay and they sell these sets for $5... so i'll probably just bust it.

  11. That's an amazing haul for $30. I've got that APBA set myself. I saw it for a few bucks at discount store and snatched it up. The set had two Piazzas in it (game card and playing piece) so that was good for me. I love all of that oddball stuff. Action Packed! UK minis! I especially loved the 44 card sets that seemed to be everywhere when I was a kid. I loved going to Woolworths, KB Toys, Toys R Us, Kmart, etc and picking up a set filled with stars.

    In 1989, I would have gotten The Rocket, but I would have already gotten him to sign for free at Jordan Marsh. I never liked Greenwell so that covers all of the Red Sox that were there. I probably would have gotten Will Clark and Rickey Henderson because a 14 year old me was really into the current players and hadn't really started looking into the history of the game yet.

  12. offy -i'm a huge oddball fan too. that's one of the main reasons i picked it up. i had never seen the action packed baseball cards before... but i remember a few local collectors got their hands on the uk minis. i'll be busting that box sooner than later.

  13. Don't forget Vince Coleman - too!

  14. That's not a bad haul at all Fuji. Considering what you're doing with most of it, I'd say it was well worth it. Back when I was teaching 6th grade, I used cards all the time and gave away thousands of cards to kids. It was great to see them get excited over stuff I was too jaded to care about. As for the autos, I'd go for Clark, may all time favorite, and Mays.

  15. Dude, I love the flier for the card show. I remember when Ken Griffey Jr. came to Kansas City and was signing for $8 and I passed because I thought that was a lot for a rookie. For my $25 I'd go with Mays and Catfish, that way I have a couple bucks left for some junk wax.

  16. lifetimetopps - love vince coleman... i picked up one of his obak autographs for my childhood idols pc.

    play at the plate - yeah... it's awesome to see kids (even my 8th graders) get excited over cards. i wasn't a giants fan, but i definitely loved will clark.

    mr. kelsey - ken griffey jr. for $8? that's awesome... i'm glad this flier was included in the lot. gave me a chance to remember how ridiculously low player charged for their signature... or how ridiculously high current players charge... depending on your point of view.