Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm sure glad today's not my birthday...

1991 Upper Deck #670 Bryce Paup RC


There's only one thing worse than sharing your birthday with Jesus. That's when your birthday falls on Leap Day.

Bryce Paup was drafted in the 6th round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers and within two years became an effective, pass rushing linebacker. During his five seasons with the Packers he started 41 games and had 32.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, 8 forced fumbles, 1 safety, and made the Pro Bowl once.

In 1995, he signed with the Buffalo Bills, had the best season of his career, and was the AP Defensive Player of the Year. After eleven seasons in the NFL, Paup retired with 75 career sacks and 4 trips to Honolulu.

Today, Paup is celebrating 44 years of life for only the 12th time on his actual birthday. Hopefully his family and friends make sure it's 4x better than an ordinary birthday party.

Happy Birthday Bryce!

Happy Leap Day everyone else... and until my next post... sayonara!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sayonara Salute #18: Jamie McGinn


This season has been quite a roller coaster for the San Jose Sharks and their fans. They're finally coming home after a rough road trip. Injuries, rough outings for Sharks netminders, and undisciplined penalties are just a few of the teams' issues.

Issues that have the Sharks at just 3-8-1 in their last 12 games. They were once a lock for the Pacific Division title, but those days are long gone. Nope... if they want to get into the playoffs... they're going to have to figure stuff out and turn things around. Otherwise their streak of seven straight years of making the playoffs will be coming to an end.

I, myself, remain confident that things will come together in due time. They just need to come home, nurse some injuries, and start playing smart hockey as a team. Now that the trade deadline has passed, hopefully they can now focus on the game and do just that.

Sadly, the Sharks will be moving forward without Jamie McGinn, who was traded to the Colorado Avalanche with a couple of prospects for Daniel Winnik & T.J. Galiardi.

McGinn broke out this season and really impressed a lot of fans here in San Jose. His 12 goals and 12 assists are a huge improvement over last year's numbers... and was 8th on the team in points.

I can't speak for all Sharks fans, but I know that I'll miss seeing McGinn skating in teal.

Sayonara Jamie and thanks for your contributions you've made to the San Jose Sharks the past four seasons.

Have a great week everyone... and good night.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Set Showcase #19: 1990-91 Fleer Rookie Sensations

Once upon a time... there was an insert set that actually commanded FULL Beckett value. This is the story of that set.

Back in the early 90's, I worked at a local card shop called National Pastime and remember when customers came in seeking 1990-91 Fleer basketball cello packs/boxes.

Now, some of you may be wondering... why would anyone want that junk. Well... it's simple actually. At the time, they contained the hottest basketball insert set in the hobby: the 1990-91 Fleer Rookie Sensations.

Set: 10 Cards

#1 David Robinson

#2 Sean Elliott & #3 Glen Rice

#4 J.R. Reid & #5 Stacey King

#6 Pooh Richardson & #7 Nick Anderson

#8 Tim Hardaway

#9 Vlade Divac & #10 Sherman Douglas

These beautiful, blue bordered inserts could only be found in cello packs. Back in the early 90's, customers paid up to $5 a pack in search for these singles.

FYI: Their color made them stand out among the white colored base set, so these packs could be easily searched.


Hall of Famers: 10% (1 Player)

David Robinson is the only one to be elected into Basketball's Hall of Fame. And looking at the rest of the checklist... it looks like it's going to stay that way.

Tim Hardaway had a very successful NBA career and is very popular among Bay Area collectors, but doesn't have HOF numbers. Elliott, Rice, and Divac each made the all-star team at some point in their careers and the remaining five players each played 8 years or more in the NBA. In other words, this set isn't loaded with superstars, but they all had decent careers.


Beckett Value: $15


Back in 1992, this set booked for $80. I don't remember selling sets for this price, but I remember the Robinson and Hardaway cards once commanded full book value at the shop. Today, Robinson still is considered the most valuable and lists at $8, while Hardaway is at $6.


eBay Value: Under $5

I was shocked this morning to see several "completed listings" for these sets at $5 or less. So, if you're looking for an affordable set that has a historic hobby background, then I encourage you to pick up one of these sets.

Okay... you know the routine. It's your turn...

What's the last card you sold or purchased for FULL Beckett value?


I recently sold one of my 1990 Score #697 Bo Jackson cards for $2 at the flea market. Beckett currently lists this card at $.50. What a joke.

Happy Sunday everyone. Sayonara!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Domo Arigato: Annie & Colin @ Sports Card Radio


Earlier this month, I entered a unique group break over at Sports Card Radio's Fan Forum. I typically don't enter group breaks, but this particular one was different.

First: The break included six boxes of cards: two retail boxes of 2012 Topps Series 1 baseball, a box of 2011 Bowman Platinum baseball, a box of 2010 Bowman Chrome baseball, a box of 2011 Panini Plates & Patches football, and a box of 2011 Panini Limited football.

Second: You got to pick the team(s) you were interested in. The thing that makes it unique was that you entered bids, like a silent auction. I ended up winning the San Francisco Giants for $21.

Third: You received ALL of the cards pulled, not just the inserts & hits.

Fourth: All of the money raised (over $300) will be donated to the National Kidney Foundation.

Here's a quick look at what I received from my break:

2012 Topps base cards

2011 Bowman Platinum base cards

A "Lot" Full of Gold

2011 Plates & Patches #151 Marcus Cannon RC (011/100)

2011 Limited #111 Terrell Davis (056/499)

And last, but not least... a 2012 Topps Golden Giveaway card...


Which was redeemed for this...


Lol... it's a digital coin, which is pretty much worthless to me. But... at least it's of someone I collect.

Thanks again Annie & Colin. This was an amazing event... well organized... and with good intentions. Let me know when you guys are doing it again, and I will surely be there.

Have a great weekend everyone. Sayonara!

Domo Arigato: Card Collectors World


Last November, I entered a contest over at Card Collectors World & made a donation that helped support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and ended up winning these:

2011 Topps Attax Baseball Starter Kit
2011 Topps Attax Baseball Wax Box

This is my third or fourth time winning a prize over at CCW. If you're not signed up, I encourage you to head over there right now. It's a great way to meet other collectors, talk sports cards, and make trades. It's free and the people who run the site are top notch.

Thanks ac-n-mike for the awesome contest!

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. Sayonara!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nifty 90's Nostalgia #9: 1997 Pacific Card-Supials

Hello... my name is Fuji & I'm addicted to 90's inserts and gimmick cards.

Wow... that felt good to get that off my chest.

Let's celebrate by taking a closer look at one of my favorite 90's "gimmicky" insert sets: 1997 Pacific Card Supials.

Anyone else remember these? If you busted Pacific baseball, football, or hockey products in the mid 90's, then you probably do... if not, then I'm sorry to say... you're missing out.

Card Supials. A play off of the "marsupial", which is a type of mammal sometimes known for having a pouch to carry their young.

1997 Pacific "Card Supials" #32 Jerry Rice

(Back Without Mini)

There's a regular sized 2.5" x 3.5" card that contains a little pouch on the back and a miniature card that fits snugly into the pouch.

1997 Pacific "Card Supials - Mini" #32 Jerry Rice

(Back With Mini)

It's been awhile since I've pulled some of these... but if my memory serves me correctly, when you pulled one of the larger cards, you received a random mini card inside of it's pouch. This encouraged collectors to go and hunt down the appropriate card counterpart.

Thankfully... a trip over to COMC produced these sweet Card Supials pairs:

1997 Pacific "Card Supials" #5 Troy Aikman

1997 Pacific "Card Supials" #10 Barry Sanders

1997 Pacific "Card Supials" #15 Marshall Faulk

1997 Pacific "Card Supials" #33 Steve Young

According to Beckett, a pair of these 1997 Pacific Card Supials (football) was inserted into packs at a rate of 1:37 packs. There are a total of 36 pairs in the set, which happens to book for $150. I was able to build these five pairs for $4.90.

Now I know some of you are tired of "gimmick" cards... but I personally can't get enough. These cards motivated collectors to bust open packs in search for pairs of their favorite players. And when they couldn't find a "match", it encouraged collectors to trade and help each other out.

Isn't this one of our hobby's foundations? I know for me, it is.

So, what's your take?

Are these Card Supials a waste of cardboard or a nifty piece of 90's nostalgia?

Happy Friday everyone! Sayonara.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

PC Addition: 1910 T107 Japan Coat of Arms

Recently, I picked up this 1910 T107 Japan Coat of Arms card off of eBay for $4.91:


The card is pretty beat up with rounded corners and a slight crease down the center... but regardless of condition, this card is an amazing addition to my collection. It's 102 years old and is officially the oldest piece of cardboard in my collection.


I'm a huge fan of the card design, because it reminds me of the 1911 T51 Murad College cards. Outside of the year and name of the set, I wasn't able to find any additional information on the set. Beckett doesn't list it in their database, but they sell for under $5 on eBay. I assume that these cards were inserted into Helmar cigarette packs.

I've been wanting to add another tobacco card to my collection for awhile... but it had to fit into my PC requirements. This card meets that criteria and will fit nicely into my Japanese Players PC.

I'm proud to be a Japanese-American, but the fact is... there aren't many Japanese-American professional athletes (LOL... no Jeremy Lin is not Japanese). Actually... this is a blessing in disguise... because the fewer athletes to choose from... the less I have to spend on pieces of cardboard.


Before I forget... A huge thank you goes out to Greg over at Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle... who shared this card with me on Facebook. This card, which is displayed on my Japan PC shelf in my office will be a reminder of how grateful I am to be a part of this special blogger community. A community that is generous and willing to go out of their way to help each other out. Thanks Greg!

Happy Thursday everyone. Sayonara!

Blog Trade #17: No One's Going to Read This Blog


Two weeks ago, I wrote my "Let's Make a Deal" post and Jeremy (over at No One's Going to Read This Blog) responded with a huge list of cards off of my wantlist. He was looking for Adrian Peterson cards in return, so I dug through my collection and eventually we worked out a trade.

Here's a quick look at what he sent me:


I won't bore you with the details, since they're mostly base cards... but he traded me a ton of 49ers & SF Giants cards... along with singles of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Bo Jackson.

But that's not all. He also threw in this AWESOME one of a kind sketch card:


It's a sketch of me dressed up as a katana wielding ninja. Everything I traded for will either be given away to students or sold at the local flea market... EXCEPT for the sketch card, which has found a permanent home, displayed on my office desk.

Thanks Justin for the wonderful trade. I appreciate you helping me out with the singles and taking the time to draw that AMAZING sketch card. Looking forward to trading again in the future. Sayonara!

Monday, February 20, 2012

PC Spotlight #16: President Barack Obama


Today, Presidents' Day is being observed here in the United States... but I promise politics will not be debated on this blog. Nope... it's my day off and I'm trying to relax... not get worked up.


Originally, Presidents' Day honored our first President's birthday: President George Washington (b. February 22nd, 1732). It eventually evolved into a holiday that celebrated all American Presidents, because Abraham Lincoln's birthday (b. February 12th, 1809) falls only ten days apart.

So in honor of this federal holiday, I present to you my President Barack Obama PC:

2009 Goodwin Champions #44

2009 Philadelphia #319 The Story of Barack Obama

2009 TriStar Obak #100

2009 Topps American Heritage #20

2009 Topps Mayo #205

2009 Topps President Obama "Inaugural Stickers" #1 & #13

Regardless of which political party you support... the inauguration of America's first African-American President in 2009 was a major historical event for our country. A few weeks ago, the school I teach at held a Black History Month poster contest in which students chose an African-American they look up to and admire.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the most popular person illustrated in the competition. But President Obama was the clear second favorite, ahead of Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Jackie Robinson, and Rosa Parks.

To many of those students, President Obama is a symbol of hope. He is proof that with hard work and determination an individual's dream can come true. One day, there will be a Hispanic/Latino American President of the United States, a female President of the United States, an Asian-American President of the United States, or a Native American President of the United States. And when that day arrives... people will refer back to President Obama as one of the pioneers who paved the way.

Happy Presidents' Day everyone. Sayonara!


Extra Edition

I'm one of those collectors who enjoys celebrating the history of "firsts". If you're interested in seeing more of these posts see the links below:

Jackie Robinson - The first black player to play in the MLB.

Manon Rheaume - The first woman to play in an NHL exhibition game.

Willie O'Ree - The first black player to play in the NHL.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Profiting Off the Death of an Individual

I just read a great post over at The Card Chop that talked about a topic I find to be very interesting: Profiting Off the Death of an Individual.

This topic has been debated for years... with reasonable arguments from both sides.

Like most things in life... selling sports memorabilia comes down to supply & demand... and for one reason or another demand goes up when people pass away. Which is why some sports card enthusiasts (especially the ones who make a living off of selling cardboard) find the passing of an athlete the opportunistic time to sell their cards.

On the flipside... some find it to be "immoral", "disgraceful", and/or "disrespectful" to make money off of something so heavyhearted.

Until recently... I would have indubitably sided with the latter. Just saying... "profiting off the death of an individual" sounds wrong.

But a friend of mine is going through some very tough times financially and there are months when he has to sell off portions of his collection to pay the bills.


On Thursday, we talked about Gary Carter and his impact on the game & our childhood, along with his pieces of cardboard in our collections. He has a few autographs of Mr. Carter that he's picked up over the years and was considering putting them up on eBay.

I'm not sure if he has or not... but knowing his current financial situation... I wouldn't look down upon him if he did.

Personally... I have never tried to sell anything of a person in the wake of their passing, and although I can't say for sure... I'm fairly certain, I never will. But I understand why some choose to do so.

What's your take on this topic?

Happy Saturday everyone. Sayonara!


Extra Edition!


The Card Chop's post covers Topps' recent decision to open up the Topps Vault and sell some one-of-a-kind Gary Carter items... in which they plan on donating 10% of their proceeds to the Gary Carter Foundation.

I think it's pretty cool that they're willing to give collectors the opportunity to purchase these cool treasures... but agree with The Chop Chop 100%.

Topps... if you're reading this... please consider giving more than 10%. The fact is... you're not a struggling collector... you're a corporation that has vaults filled with assets. Give 100% of the proceeds to the Gary Carter Foundation and use it as a tax write-off.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cheap Cool Cards #23: 1991 Stadium Club Nolan Ryan Bronze Card

Last Saturday, I wrote about my less than memorable flea market experience... where I ended up taking $47 out of my pocket and had nothing to show for it.

Well... almost nothing. While my buddy watched our stuff, I took a quick stroll around the flea market and found this sitting in a box:


It's a 1991 Stadium Club Charter Member Nolan Ryan Bronze card that I picked up for $1. The card is a solid piece of metal and is surprisingly heavy. A gentleman had a box full of matchbooks, postcards, and random "junk wax" era commons that were in top loaders. I sifted through the cards and came across this heavy chunk of metal... that made me flash back to the early 90's.

When Stadium Club baseball, football, and hockey first hit card shops in our area, the stuff was on fire and was definitely on most collector's HOT list. At the time, it was considered a premium product with borderless, glossy photos. Topps inserted a "club membership" advertisement card into their Stadium Club packs and those who joined received a special Stadium Club Charter Member box.

(image borrowed from: www.blujay.com)

The contents in the box included the following: a special 50 card set, a key chain, and the Nolan Ryan Bronze card.

Back in the day, I signed up to be a member and somewhere at my parent's house there's a black Charter Member box with my name on it. But... I figured if the price was right, I could always use another one in my collection.

In my head, I figured the vendor would want $5 for the card, but I'd counter with $3. So when he said, "a buck"... I was all over it.

Vendors on COMC, sell these for $6.95 and $9... while a quick eBay "completed" search shows that these cards still fetch between $6 and $14 (shipping included).

Although this card doesn't begin making up for last weekend's losses... I guess my flea market adventure wasn't a complete failure.

It seems like I haven't done this in weeks... but here's today's question:

Do you miss Topps Stadium Club?

I'm one of the collectors who feel that card companies should limit the number of product releases... but there's not a doubt in my mind that Stadium Club should be one of those. Sure... the concept of high gloss, borderless photos may have run it's course in the hobby. But what if they released this product once every three or four years? If they marketed it as an "entry level" product with a $1 to $2 price tag... I'd actually consider busting a box or two.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone. Stay safe & sayonara!