30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, April 25, 2014

One Thousand Reasons

I could probably sit here and list twenty to thirty different reasons I enjoy collecting sports cards.  But I'm too lazy and don't feel like boring you to death, so I'll spare us the pain and list only a handful:

A.  I'm pretty sure I have a mild case of OCD, which explains my addiction to classifying and sorting cardboard.

B.  I love watching sports and supporting my favorite teams.

C.  It's a hobby that keeps me connected to my childhood.

D.  Flipping through a stack of cards or a random binder relaxes me and takes me to a better place.

E.  And finally, the simple fact is... I'm a huge NUMBERS guy.  I can sit and analyze statistics for hours without getting bored.

So today's post is dedicated to just that.  Numbers.

Be forewarned... this post is a little longer than my typical posts.  I tried to keep it straight to the point, but failed.  I'll stop wasting time and get things started: 


That's my birth year and the year the Oakland Athletics won their first World Series since leaving Philadelphia.


If you collected during the 80's, than this number probably rings a bell.  It's the number of cards in each of Topps' standard baseball card sets from 1982 to 1992.  This time period took me from the 4th grade all the way into my sophomore year in college and was the peak of my collecting years.


My favorite Topps baseball card design was produced in 1956.  The combination of action and portrait paintings creates mini masterpieces out of each of these cards.  I'll never be able to afford a complete set, but I definitely plan on picking up a few more to keep Jackie company.


Rickey loves Rickey.  And I do too.  It's hard to pinpoint exactly when I became a fan, but I remember monitoring his stolen base totals back in 1982 when he surpassed Lou Brock and eventually set the single season stolen base record with 130 thefts.

Intermission #1:  Let's add these four numbers.  1,972792 + 1,956 + 130 = 4,850


That's how old I was when I acquired my first pack of trading cards.  It was a pack of Star Wars cards my parents bought for me at the Dobashi Market during our regular trips to San Jose's Japantown.

Intermission #2:  Now let's take the sum from Intermission #1 and divide it by 5.  4,850 ÷ 5 = 970


Last May, I purchased this autographed A's jersey in an MLB auction where the proceeds were donated to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.  The jersey contains twenty-nine autographs from the 2013 Spring Training roster.


This is the number Tony Gwynn wore for twenty straight seasons as a member of the San Diego Padres.  He is without a doubt my favorite athlete of all-time.

Intermission #3:  Next we're going add 29 and 19 to the quotient from Intermission #2.  29 + 19 + 970 = 1,018

That's how old I was when I started working at National Pastime, a baseball card shop less than a mile from where I grew up.  I worked there for three years and it was one of the coolest jobs EVER.

Last math problem of the day:  Take the sum from Intermission #3 and subtract 18.  1,018 - 18 = 1,000.


What's the significance of 1,000?  It's taken me a little over four years, but this is my 1,000th post.  So I invite you celebrate with me and a little Kool and the Gang.  If they're good enough for the Oakland A's... they're good good enough for me:

Thank you to all of you who were patient enough to read through this entire post... and/or any of you who have taken the time to read this blog.  I truly appreciate all of your comments.  The interaction among bloggers is one of the best things about starting this blog.  And speaking of interaction... it's time I get back to my roots and start offering you guys my "question of the day".  Here is today's:

What's a number that is special to you in terms of sports or collecting?  Why?

Happy Friday and sayonara!


  1. Take away "mild" from point A, and this post could go on my blog. Right down to the birth year. Congrats on 1,000 posts.

    1. Oh, and 9. Its THE baseball number, and it was in the uniform of all 3 of my favorite players. Ted Williams, Rod Carew, and Tony Gwynn.

    2. Lol... maybe "mild" is an understatement for me as well.

  2. Congrats!! Right now two numbers see special to me: 2015...the next year I need to accomplish in my Topps Yankees Project, and 1952...because I really want a 1952 Topps Rizzuto.

  3. Well done! I love the numbers, too.

    Of course, Griffey's jersey numbers, 24, 30, 3, and to a lesser extent 17. There's something about 132, a full sheet of cards. I love 33 too, the Griffey '89 Griffey Donruss Rated Rookie #. 2131 from the night Ripken surpassed Gehrig. 7 because of Mickey Mantle and Seinfeld. 630, Junior's homerun total. Griffey got a lot of card #1's, but I feel like choosing 1 would be cheating.

    Congrats on all the posts! I have a bunch of Japanese guys to send you. If I can fit them all into a PWE, I'll send them off Saturday.

    1. Love the number 132... reminds me of Topps Traded sets from the 80's.

  4. First of all, great post and congrats on 1000 of them. I enjoy every single one you write.

    My special number in collecting would be 1959... I put that set together piece by piece and blogged it. I really got to know and appreciate the set more with every post.

    In sports my number would be 44. When I (shockingly) made the football team in high school I was issued 65 (I think) but I swapped it with another freshman because 44 equals 5+19+20. Brooks Robinson+Johnny Unitas+Frank Robinson. I wore it in every sport

  5. Congrats on 1,000 posts, Mr. Fuji!

    I'd say my special number is 10, because of dime boxes and all.

  6. Congratulations on all the posts . Enjoy them all

  7. Congratulations on hitting 1000, and thank you for the encouragement you've given to me to continue writing the random things I write on my blog. I actually first came across your writing through some cross-posting you have done on (I think) the Cardboard Connection forums, and it was that writing that actually spurred me into searching for baseball card blogs. From there, it spiraled into writing.

    It's also good to know that I'm nearly exactly the same age as you are -- born at the end of December in 1971 -- so it makes sense that I really *get* where you're coming from.

    For me, the magic numbers in baseball were always the uniform numbers of my favorite Brewers players growing up: 4 (Molitor), 15 (Cooper), 17 (Gantner), 19 (Yount), 20 (Gorman Thomas), and 37 (Dan Plesac). It should be no surprise that I used that combination one time as lotto numbers in the first-ever lottery drawing in Wisconsin.

    I matched 4 numbers and got something like $50 for my troubles.

    1. I always feel bad that I rarely interact with all of those awesome Cardboard Connection Forum members. Just not enough hours in the day. Keep up the great blog! And congratulations on the very creative and lucrative lotto win.

  8. Congrats on 1000, Fuji! That's a great accomplishment, and I'm sure everyone here would agree that we'd love to see 1000 more.

  9. Great job Fuji! Like Tony you were one of my inspirations to start a blog as well. Heres to a 1000 more!

    22 (McCutchen) 18 (Van Slyke) 2013 (the year the losing streak ended)

  10. Congratulations on 1,000 posts, Fuji! That's an awesome accomplishment and I certainly appreciate your posts. You're one of the many card bloggers that keep me checking in regularly as well as staying active and collecting in our great hobby. I can definitely relate to your points B, C, and D:
    B. I love watching sports and supporting my favorite teams.
    C. It's a hobby that keeps me connected to my childhood.
    D. Flipping through a stack of cards or a random binder relaxes me and takes me to a better place.
    Just last night, while watching the Padres-Nationals game I took down off the shelf my Gwynn and Padres team sets binders to flip through while watching. It'd been too long and it was thoroughly enjoyable to slowly flip through the binders.

    BTW, my blog was hacked and lost a while back which is why I'd been MIA. After the frustration wore off, I've relaunched (on Wordpress). Check my new site out when you can and I look forward to trading with you again, soon. And, I think you might like my second Gwynn Pentafecta put together since the loss of my first blog.

    Again, congrats, Fuji!

    The Underdog Card Collector

    1. Sorry to hear that your blog was hacked. I was wondering where you went. I've updated my reader feeder and now have access to your new blog. I've got some catching up to do. Go Padres!

  11. Congrats, Fuji! Keep up the great work.

    As far as meaningful numbers in regards to sports/collecting, I'd mention 44 (Reggie, Hank) and "12/25" if that counts.

  12. Whoo hoo! Snappy 1000th!

    I'm gonna go with infinity for my number. That's the amount of time it would take for me to have all of the cards I could want, and to put them in order.

  13. 396 - it's the standard size of OPC hockey from 1974-85. And congrats on 1000!

  14. Happy round number anniversary!

    There are probably several numbers that have meaning. The only one I can think of right now is "10" because it's Ron Cey's number. (And Bo Derek's "number").

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  16. Congrats on your 1000th post! I was a huge Griffey fan so I've got to agree with The Junior Junkie and say 24, 30, and 3. defgav can also add Paul Goldschmidt to his list of famous 44's. 2001 will always be a memorable year for me because of 9/11 and the D-Backs winning the World Series.

    1. Great choice. 2001 is definitely a very significant number for many of us.

  17. Congrats on the 1000 posts man. Here's to 1000 more :).

    As for my special numbers, they would probably be:
    *4 (I use a 4 pocket binder)
    *2010 (when I really started getting into MLB)
    *69 (hehe, 69, hehe)

  18. Congrats Fuji,I love reading your blog.

  19. Congratulations on your 1,000th post, I look forward to the next 1,000 posts.

    Special sports numbers for me:
    1972- Like you, this is also my birth year and some day I will put together a complete set of 1972 Topps Baseball

    48- The number I wore on every jersey from elementary school through college

    24- The number my favorite modern day athlete Ken Griffey Jr.

  20. Right now and in terms of collecting, the most significant number is one that I don't know... and that's the number of cards in my collection. I'm genuinely curious to know what it is, and whatever that number turns out to be is going to be way too high.

    Congratulations on 1,000!

  21. Congrats Fuji! Your blog is an inspiration for all. The numbers significant for me is 81 the year I first began collecting. 79 the year I actually remember buying a pack of baseball cards.

  22. Thanks everyone! I appreciate all of the kind words. The first 1,000 post have been a blast. Hopefully I have the energy to last another 1,000.

    Btw... I'm just putting the finishing touches on my Saturday afternoon post where I'll be announcing a contest to thank all of the people who have taken the time to read the blog.