Wednesday, March 30, 2011

PC Spotlight #12: My Ronald Reagan PC

Today marks the 30th anniversary of John Hinckley Jr's assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. I remember seeing the news reports and listening to my mom and dad talk about it at the dinner table. At the time, I was more concerned that someone tried to kill another person... than the fact that it was the President himself.

Over the years the event has taken on a new meaning for me. I grew up in a Republican household and my parents are huge admirers of our 40th President. Then... in college I learned more about his impact on our economy and some of the "not so glorious" things that took place during his term in office.

Love him or hate him, President Reagan is a part of our country's history... including my own family's history. Which is why I decided to build a small PC dedicated to him.

First up... my two Garbage Pail Kids cards that have been in my collection since the 80's.


These are from the series 2 which were released in 1985. They've faded a little, but they're still one of my favorite things from my childhood.

The second addition to my collection was his card from the 1985-86 Star Lakers Champs set.


I wanted this card since the first time I saw it... sometime in the early 90's... but didn't actually acquire it until this past year. I love how it combines two PC items into one card: The Los Angeles Lakers & President Ronald Reagan.

The next acquisition was this 2009 Philadelphia National Chicle insert, which I grabbed online for $1.00 shipped.


I'm a huge fan of the whole retro-look and that's what Chicle is all about.

Speaking of retro... a couple of months ago, I picked up several sets of 2009 Topps American Heritage Heroes to use in my classroom. One of these days, I'll get around to reviewing the set... but today I'm focusing on President Reagan. Here's his base card from the set.


This card is definitely a classic. I like Topps' decision to use their 1952 baseball card design for this card. It features a great photo of President Reagan along with our flag in the background.

The final piece in my collection is my sheet of 2011 Ronald Reagan commemorative stamps. I originally heard about these in February and was excited to see them at my post office two weeks ago. I picked up a couple of them... one for my collection and the other to use.


This isn't the first time President Reagan has been featured on stamps. He was also honored in 2005 and 2006. Both feature the same photo. The only difference is that the 2005 version is a 37-cent stamp and the 2006 version is a 39-cent stamp.

Well...that's it so far. It's not a PC that I'm aggressively collecting. But if I see a card that I really like... I'll pick it up. I know that some people aren't huge fans of President Reagan, but the fact is he will always be a major part of my childhood memories as well as a popular politician in my parent's eyes. Therefore... this collection holds great sentimental value to me.

I'm glad I was able to post this topic on the anniversary of such a historic day. Unfortunately, President Reagan passed away in 2004, but he lived a long life. In a couple of months he would have celebrated his 100th birthday.

Happy Wednesday everyone... only two more day until the weekend. Sayonara!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I need your help with another project... 09/10 UD Masterpieces Basketball

When I purchased my case of Masterpieces football, the two boxes of Panini HOF, & a couple of soccer boxes... Dave and Adam's Card World through in two boxes of 09/10 Upper Deck basketball as a bonus.

I really enjoyed busting it, because it gave me a ton of rookie cards and one memorabilia card in each box. But the thing I loved most about this product was the 09/10 Upper Deck Masterpieces insert set, which are pulled at a rate of 3 per box. One of my boxes contained these two:

MA-KB

MA-MJ

Since I pulled two of the nicest cards in the set... I decided to try and build it. I recently picked up a cheap lot on Ebay, so I now have 13 of the 35 cards. Here's a list of the ones I still need:

MA-AR Anthony Randolph (incoming)
MA-CL Courtney Lee (incoming)
MA-CP Chris Paul
MA-DE Deron Williams
MA-DH Dwight Howard (incoming)
MA-DR Derrick Rose
MA-DW Dwyane Wade
MA-JH John Havlicek
MA-JO Michael Jordan
MA-KL Kevin Love (incoming)
MA-LB Larry Bird (incoming)
MA-LJ Lebron James
MA-MB Michael Beasley
MA-OM O.J. Mayo
MA-PP Paul Pierce
MA-RH Roy Hibbert (incoming)
MA-WC Wilt Chamberlain
MA-WI Dominique Wilkins

So if you busted this product and have these cards laying around... I'll trade or buy them from you.

And if you're building this set yourself... I have a few doubles I'd be willing to trade:

MA-BR Brandon Rush
MA-KA Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
MA-KG Kevin Garnett

I'm a huge fan of the artwork and I figure it's big enough to pose a challenge, yet cheap enough to be realistic. This should be fun.

Well... that's it. Sorry for the short post... but I'm headed out to try Ethiopian food for the first time in my life. Have you ever tried it? I'm a little nervous... but I'm willing to try almost anything at least once.

Have a good evening... Sayonara!

Update: Between Ebay & COMC, I've picked up an additional 9 cards on my wantlist.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Priceless Gift From Student = Huge PC Addition

I've been a teacher for quite some time now... and if you asked my students one thing about my interests... the majority of them would say "sports".

I use a variety of ways to bond with my students, but at the middle school level... I've found that sports and music are two of the easiest ways to make a connection. So... when the Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV this past February... I went to work with a huge smile on my face and most of them knew why.

Just around that time, one of my students asked me who my favorite player was... so I told him "James Jones"... because he's a local guy and a fellow San Jose State University alumnus.

The fact is SJSU doesn't produce too many big name athletes, but when they do... I'm usually a huge fan of theirs. As a bonus... Jones was drafted in 2007 by one of my favorite teams... the Green Bay Packers. It was almost as if the stars were aligned.

Anyways... back to the story. As I was talking to the student, another student joined our conversation and told me that his uncle was a close friend of Jones and that he had met him on numerous occasions. He seemed to know a lot about him... like the fact that his uncle and Jones both went to Gunderson, which is one of our local high schools. At the end of our conversation, he said that he'd get me a autograph to hang on our classroom wall.

In my time as a teacher... I've heard hundreds... maybe thousands of promises... and from those promises, I've learned not to get my hopes up. It's not because I don't believe my students... it's just that kids are human beings and sometimes forget... just like adults do.

Well... he didn't. A couple of weeks ago... he brought in a signed copy of a James Jones lithograph... with the inscription: "To Fujimoto... James Jones NTAF Super Bowl Champs"


In short... I was speechless, excited, and thankful all at once.

Every gift that I've received from my students has been appreciated... but only a handful have the potential to become a family heirloom. Everything about this gift is special: my student, the thought behind it, the player on the lithograph, his autograph, and of course his inscription.

After standing there speechless for a few seconds... and after I said "thank you" about ten times... I asked JN what NTAF stood for. He told me that James told him, but that he had forgotten.

Later... I researched it on the internet and found his website, which promotes his non-profit organization and the local youth football camp that he runs every Summer. There... I learned that NTAF stands for "Never Think About Failure", which is something I preach to my students on what seems to be a daily basis. Which is why this it's now hanging up in my classroom for all of my students to see.

I've already thanked him a bunch of times... but JN if you're reading this... domo arigato. This gift will be treasured as long as I'm in the classroom... and as long as I'm a fan of sports... which probably means until the day I die. It's truly a priceless present... and like the MasterCard commercials say... There are some things money can't buy.

Now it's your turn to share...

Do you have any sports memorabilia that you consider to be priceless?

In other words, you wouldn't sell it for any amount of money. If so... what is it? Why is it special?

It's unlikely that anyone would give me anything for my treasured item, since it's personalized to me. However... if someone offered... I wouldn't sell it for anything.

Well... only four more days until the weekend... enjoy the rest of your week! Sayonara!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cheap Cool Cards #12: 1977/78 Topps Adrian Dantley RC

If you've been reading my blog for awhile now, then you probably know my favorite basketball player growing up was #4 on the Lakers... Mr. Byron Scott.

So a few weeks ago... I was doing a little homework and considering starting another PC of players who wore #4 for the Los Angeles Lakers. That's when I strolled across Adrian Dantley. He wore #4 for the Purple and Gold for two seasons from 1977/78 to 1978/79. Dantley went on to have an amazing career and was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

Which is why I was shocked an excited to find this card on COMC for $1.00:


It's his 1977/78 Topps rookie card and it's a beauty. However... the buyer sold it to me for that price, because it had a huge wax stain on the front of the card. Actually, I didn't see it in the COMC scan, but it definitely stood out when I received it.

I came very close to adding it to my Damaged Card PC, but then I figured I'd try a little experiment. I took a microfiber cloth and a lightly dampened it. Then I rubbed back and forth across the front of the card. Less than 30 seconds later, all of the wax was gone and there was no damage to the card's gloss.

Overall the card is definitely clean. It has four clean corners (mint, but not gem mint sharp)... nice gloss on the front, a centered & mint back, and decent centering (40/60: left to right).

I'm not ever going to pay for my retirement on this investment... since the card only books for $8. But it's a great feeling to find a rookie card of a HOFer for one dollar.

Which led me on my mini mission for today. How often do you stroll across rookie cards of HOFer's for $1.00? After browsing checkoutmycards.com for about 15 minutes, I found one for each of the four major sports:





What do they have in common? Well I know some people don't appreciate the term... but I'm going to say it anyways... they're all from the "junk wax" era. Which is a good thing if you're a collector on a budget.

So today's question is...

What's the best rookie card out there that you can find for $1.00 or less?

or

What's the best rookie card you've purchased for $1.00 or less?

I'm not talking about book value, I'm talking selling price. If possible, leave a link in your comments. Maybe someone else will be interested in picking it up.

Enjoy your Sunday afternoon. I'm headed off to the Warriors game to watch Monta Ellis & Stephen Curry take on John Wall and the Wizards. Sayonara!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Set Showcase #12: 2011 Topps Green Bay Packers Super Bowl XLV Set


Seven Sundays ago... the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers and won Super Bowl XLV. This victory was sweet on so many levels... but here are my top 5 reasons:

#1 - The Green Bay Packers are my favorite football team and it's been over a decade since they lost to John Elway and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII. It was well worth the wait.

#2 - Aaron Rodgers & the Packers won it without #4.

#3 - The Packers pulled off the miracle season. They endured injury after injury... by the time they reached the big game... 15 players were placed on injured reserve. In reality... they barely made the playoffs. After their loss to the New England Patriots in week #15, they needed to win their last two games against the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears to secure the final playoff spot. It's the kind of season they make movies about.

#4 - They beat the Chicago Bears two times in four weeks. I don't dislike the Bears as much as the Vikings... but it sure was nice to see them shut down their division rival.

#5 - The Packers avenged the Seahawks loss to the Steelers in Super Bowl XL. The Seahawks are my other favorite team... and I won't be a baby and complain about the officiating in the game... but let's just say... it was awesome to see the Steelers lose. It was even better to hear a few Steeler fans complain about the officials.

I know it's still fresh in my head, so I'm a little biased when I say that it was the greatest season I've ever witnessed. But... it's truly how I feel at the moment. I was able to watch at least 50% of the Packers and Seahawks games thanks to the internet, which made me feel closer to the game. Plus... both of my teams were in the playoffs this year... how sweet is that?

So... when I found out on Sports Card Radio's Forum that Topps was going to create a set to commemorate the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl victory, I knew I had to get my hands on the set.

Well... today it arrived and so I apologize for back to back Set Spotlight posts... but I just couldn't wait to post it up.

Set: 27 cards (11 offensive players, 8 defensive players, 1 team card, and 8 cards that summarize their season)

Green Bay Packers Offense



Obviously, Topps chose the Super Bowl MVP to be the first card in the set. In addition to Aaron Rodgers, they had all of his key receivers. Plus they added rookie cards of James Starks and Andrew Quarless... and my first card of John Kuhn. It was nice to see Topps honor Jermichael Finley with a card too. He may not have played in the big game... but he was one of the many reasons they were there.


Green Bay Packers Defense


Kudos to Topps again for including all of the key players who helped them reach and win the Super Bowl. Clay Matthews was a beast this year and Charles Woodson continued to be their leader on the field. A.J. Hawk showed everyone why it was a blessing that he wasn't traded earlier in the season... while young players like B.J. Raji and Sam Shields made names for themselves around the NFL.

I'm not sure why they mixed an offensive linemen in with the defense... but Chad Clifton was card #20 in the set.

Team Card




Green Bay Packers Playoff Summary

Wild Card: Green Bay Packers 21 @ Philadelphia Eagles 16


Divisional Playoffs: Green Bay Packers 48 @ Atlanta Falcons 21


NFC Conference Championship: Green Bay Packers 21 @ Chicago Bears 14



Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers 31 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 25

The NFL lockout might be bumming a lot of fans out... but honestly... I'm still flying high reminiscing this amazing season. In fact... now I've set my sights on another Super Bowl set. I'm looking to pick up the Green Bay Packers set that Panini produced just prior to the big game. They also made a Steelers and Cowboys set... but I could care less about them. Just give me some more Green & Yellow.

Happy Saturday everyone... enjoy the rest of your weekend. Sayonara!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Set Showcase #11: 1996/97 SPx Hockey Holoview Heroes

I love hockey. I love holograms. I love inserts. So... to sum it up. I love hockey hologram inserts and that's exactly what the 1996/97 SPx Holoview Heroes set is.

If you collected in the mid 90's than you probably already know about these... but just in case you forgot... here's your history lesson. This particular insert set (not to be confused with SP Holoview Collection) was produced in two different sports: hockey & basketball.

They were seeded into boxes at a rate of 1 per 24 packs. Since boxes of SPx had 36 packs, you were either going to get 1 or 2 of these per box. So if you were planning on building a set you'd have to bust at least 5 boxes and that's with perfect collation.

At the time, these inserts were hot. I remember trading on the AOL message boards and could move these easily. Well... 15 years later... I'm back into these. This time, I avoided box busting... and took the easy way out. I found one on Ebay and placed a bid and won it.

My final price for this sweet hockey insert set was $35.75 ($31 + $4.75 shipping). I was prepared to spend $40, so I'm pleased with this purchase. Here's the set breakdown:

Set: 10 cards

#HH1 Ray Bourque & #HH2 Patrick Roy


#HH3 Steve Yzerman & #HH4 Paul Coffey


#HH5 Mark Messier & #HH6 Mario Lemieux


#HH7 Wayne Gretzky & #HH8 Brett Hull


#HH9 Doug Gilmour & #HH10 Grant Fuhr


Hall of Famers: 90% (9 players)

The only player in this set who isn't in the Hockey Hall of Fame is Doug Gilmour. Gilmour was a 20 year veteran who played for 7 different teams. During his career he scored 450 goals and had 964 assists. His 1,414 career points ranks him 17th all-time. Hopefully one day he'll be recognized for his accomplishments and be entered in the HOF.


Beckett Value: $154.00

The Gretzky carries the highest book value in the set... skating in at $40. Patrick Roy, Steve Yzerman, and Mario Lemieux each list at $25 a piece. The rest book from $5 to $10. But... as my purchase shows... Beckett value is a little inflated.


Ebay Value: $35.75

I'm sure a lot of you probably feel that even this price is a little high, but seriously... I'm okay with it. It would have been a little cheaper to build the set myself, since the Gretzky recently sold for $3.80 (+ $4 shipping), while another one went for $6.51 (+ $3 shipping). However, shipping charges add up and I wanted to get it out of the way. So... no regrets here.


Today's question of the day is...

Do you prefer to build sets by busting boxes and purchasing/trading for singles? Or... Are you lazy like me and go out and buy complete sets?

Actually... I'm not completely lazy. There are a few sets that I'm currently trying to build. Please let me know if you have any singles from the following sets:










Damn... I actually have a lot more projects than I thought. Well... I hope everyone enjoys their weekend. Time to head back to the Ohio State/Kentucky game. I picked the Buckeyes to win it all... so I'm finished if they lose. What the heck... the Wildcats just took the lead. I've gotta go. Sayonara!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blog Trade #11: The Daily Dimwit


Less than a week ago... I wrote a post about The Daily Dimwit and the amazing contest I won over at his blog. If you missed it... click here. Anyways... our paths quickly crossed again... this time it involved an amazing trade.

One of the things that makes collecting sports cards enjoyable at my age is the same thing that made it fun when I was 8 years old: TRADING.

I've been in the hobby for over thirty years and although my collecting wants/needs have changed dramatically over the years... the fact is... I still love to trade cards. Well... last Saturday I saw this post over at the The Daily Dimwit and knew I wanted the 2011 Topps Gary Carter memorabilia card for my Expos PC.

A day later... we worked out a trade... but not just any trade. It's the best kind of trade. What kind of trade is that... you ask? It's the kind where both parties are picking up cards for their PC's. Neither one of us was looking to upgrade our tradebait... or trade for something we were planning on selling. Nope... The Daily Dimwit collects Houston Astros cards and I collect A's, Padres, and Expos.

Don't get the wrong idea... as long as both parties are happy... then that should be considered a great trade. I'm just tired of dealing with people who want my HOF memorabilia cards for their memorabilia cards of thirty-six year old prospects. If you're going to offer these kinds of trades... at least trade in my favor... since that's what I'm willing to do if the roles are reversed. Anyways... enough complaining... it's time to celebrate... because this was an awesome trade.

Here's what The Daily Dimwit sent me:



This card is sweet... it's going to look great next to my Carter autograph. All I need now is his 1975 Topps rookie card... and I'll have a trifecta.




Khalil was the Padres 1st round draft pick in 2002 and was second in voting for the NL ROY award in 2003. He played six solid seasons for the Padres, before being traded to the Cardinals. This is my fourth memorabilia card of Greene... and was an added bonus from The Daily Dimwit.




Last... but not least were these four A's cards. I'm stoked to have received the Ken Holtzman on-card autograph, since he's one of the key reasons the A's reached the World Series three years in a row during the 70's. It's my first autograph of his... and my second of Sal Bando. Which by the way... is horrendous. What the heck was TriStar thinking when they produced Signa Cuts? Finally... I added two more memorabilia cards of pitchers no longer with the Athletics: Harden & Haren.

Thanks again Samuel for the great trade. If I get anymore Astros cards... I'll definitely contact you. Keep up the great blog!

Everyone else... if you have some Astros you'd like to trade... I encourage you to head over to his blog: The Daily Dimwit. Maybe you guys can pull off... the perfect trade... where both of you add to your PC's.

So... today's question is:

What's your definition of a great trade?

One more day until the weekend... I hope everyone has a happy Friday. Sayonara!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

GOOD THINGS COME IN small PACKAGES

Last night... while organizing my desk in my office... I found my box with old letters, report cards, pictures, and other trinkets from my childhood. Among all of those things... I strolled across one of my earliest PC additions.

The card wasn't with the rest of my collection... because it used to proudly display this card in a 1/2" lucite on my desk... next to pictures of my family.

I'm not 100% sure when the card was purchased. But it was sometime in the early 80's at a local sports memorabilia store, which sold mostly jackets, lamps, stickers, pennants, and other 49ers and Raiders novelties.

However if you browsed the shop long enough... you'd stroll across a display case that had one shelf dedicated to baseball cards (and maybe a few football cards).

At this point in my life, I had already purchased or received as gifts at least one card set (1981 Fleer) and probably had a binder or two worth of cards. Those were the days when I put every A's card in a binder with those thicker plastic pages (you know the ones that faded and cracked over the years). I would also put some of the stars of the game in that binder too... while the rest went into a shoebox.

Anyways... back to the shop. It must have been just after my birthday or maybe it was Christmas... but I had a few dollars to spend so the owner "coached" me on baseball cards... especially the 75 Topps Minis. He explained how they were rarer than the regular sized cards. Unfortunately... I don't really remember his story, but I've since learned that they were only available in certain parts of the country. So... after some nudging from my mom to hurry up... I made my final decision to grab the Robin Yount rookie card.


I have no clue what I paid for it... $5? Maybe $10? The card has a few creases and isn't in the best of shape... but it was definitely the centerpiece of my collection for at least a couple of years.

Over the years the card has gone up and down in value. These days even DACardworld has unopened boxes of this stuff... so it's debatable if this stuff is even rare. But I could care less... it remains in my collection as a memory and reminds me of my youth.

What about you...

Are there any cards you keep in your collection that bring you back to your childhood? If so... which ones?

Happy hump day everyone... have a great week and thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Sayonara!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sports Card Trifecta #13: Joe Pavelski


Last night the San Jose Sharks face the St. Louis Blues at home as they hoped to gain momentum going into the final 10 games of the 2010/11 season. They did just that... beating the Blues 5 to 3... with a little help from
Joe Pavelski.

It was originally thought that Pavelski scored a hat trick, but after the game it seems that he didn't actually deflect Patrick Marleau's shot in the first period. So Patty got credit for the first goal of the game instead of Little Joe.

It's a shame... because that would have been his first career hat trick and the third goal would have been the 100th of his career. So to make sure he's honored for his amazing play last night (2 goals-1 assist), I present to you my fourth hockey addition to my Sports Card Trifecta PC:

Rookie Card: 2006/07 SP Authentic #219 (#'d 565/999)



Autographed Card: 2010-11 Score Signatures #397 (#'d to 25)



Memorabilia Card: 2010/11 SPGU "Authentic Fabrics Gold" (#'d 025/100)


Congratulations Little Joe on the amazing game you played last night. Keep up the hard work... because the Sharks are going to need your help if you guys are planning on going deeper this year into the playoffs.

By the way... the autographed puck above was a gift given to me by one of my friends. At the time she had no idea who Joe Pavelski was... but these days she attends more Sharks games than I could ever dream of. I know you're not a reader of my blog... but if by chance you stroll across this one day... Thanks C for the awesome puck. It sitting on my office puck next to my other Sharks memorabilia.

Happy Sunday y'all. Sayonara!

Blog Trade #10: The Lost Collector


Last Tuesday... I came across this blog post over at The Lost Collector. Right away I knew I could use the Trevor Cahill manufactured patch and his Dale Murphy jersey card. So... I left him a comment with a link to my Yankee trade bait... and he contacted me immediately. By the end of the day, we worked out a trade that would benefit both of our PC's. Another awesome trade!

The first card will be going straight into my Oakland A's PC:

2011 Topps Commemorative Patch

The other card I wanted will also be going into my collection. It's the second piece of my Dale Murphy Trifecta. Now all I need is his 1977 Topps rookie card.


My favorite thing about the card is actually the back (I apologize for not scanning it... before I tucked it away). Upper Deck did a great job of writing up a great certificate of authenticity. It stated something like this: "On the front of this card is an authentic piece of a jersey worn by Dale Murphy in an official Braves game". I wish manufacturers would go back to being this descriptive.

The Lost Collector also threw in a bunch of cards for my students and a couple of bonuses for me as well:


The Johjima insert will fit nicely into my Japanese PC... and the Ed Reed base card is one that I didn't have yet. So thanks... I appreciate both of them.


Plus he sent me some Giants, 49ers, and Raiders cards for my students. I'll bring them in on Monday and hand them out. They'll love it.

Thanks again for the trade. I look forward to trading with you again in the future.

If any of my readers have extra Yankees for trade, I suggest you head over to The Lost Collector and see if you can work something out with him. You won't regret it.

Happy Sunday everyone... Sayonara!