Monday, September 29, 2014

The Other Guy

Today is the 60th anniversary of one of the most famous plays in baseball history.

"Say Hey" Authenticated

Just one look at the photo and 99% of baseball fans can name the player who made the The Catch.  But what about the other guy involved in the play?

No.  I'm not talking about any of Willie's teammates.  I'm talking about the guy who hit the ball to The Say Hey Kid.


Back in July, I took a trip down memory lane and reviewed parts of the January 1993 issue of Beckett Baseball.  One of the things I forgot to mention was this cool comic strip highlighting the famous play.



That's where I read about Vic Wertz and his epic day at the plate.  

1954 Bowman #21

Did you know that Wertz went 4 for 5 that day and fell a home run short of hitting for the cycle?  Actually he had a pretty amazing series altogether.  Even though the Indians were swept by the New York Giants in four games, Wertz batted .500 for the series.  In fact, he represented 30.7% of his team's hits for the series.

Before the comic strip, I had no idea who Mr. Wertz was.  But thanks to a twenty-one year old Beckett Baseball, I now know the name of The Other Guy involved in The Catch.


Happy Monday and sayonara!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Card Show Camaraderie

I've stood around dime boxes plenty of times since I reentered the hobby eight years ago.  But yesterday's experience was unique and really cool, because I wasn't alone.


When I described the Serramonte Mall Sports Card, Toys, and Collectibles Show to my buddy Michael, the two things I used to describe it were "variety" and "dime boxes".  One of my favorite things about this show compared to the TriStar and GTSM card shows is the variety of memorabilia.  Whether you're the kind of guy looking for a Generation 1 Optimus Prime Transformer or the little girl looking for a new Sailor Moon plush toy, chances are there's something for you.

I really enjoy walking around and looking at toys I played with as a kid, but obviously my favorite thing to do at this show is stand around dime boxes.  And that's exactly what I spent most of my time doing.


Somewhere around 11am, I walked up to a dealer and saw my buddy digging through the guy's dime boxes looking for Oakland Raiders to add to his collection.  I decided to jump in and within a few seconds, a gentleman asks me "Are you Fuji?".  Even though I've never met this person in my life, I immediately recognized him, because of his St. Louis Cardinals hat.  It was Brady from Yadier Molina Baseball Cards and he had been standing next to my buddy looking for his Cardinals cardboard.


For the next hour or so, the three of us stood around digging through the dealer's boxes pulling out cards for each other and talking cards.  If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you know how much I enjoy this card show in the past.  But believe it or not... yesterday's experience was ten times cooler, because of the card show camaraderie I experience around those dime boxes.

Michael... I'm glad you decided to start collecting again.  Let me know if you're down to attend the De Anza Flea Market next weekend.  Churros are on me.


Brady... It was great to finally meet you.  Thank you for the stack of Nomo's.  If your wife will let you go, you're invited to hang out at De Anza too.  Let me know and I'll bring you a box of Cardinals for your collection.  If not, then hopefully we can catch up at Serramonte in February.

Everyone else... I'll show off my card show pickups sometime this week.  I blew most of my budget Friday night picking up singles for my PC's... while Saturday's purchases were more of the dime box variety.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Card Show Survival Kit

This weekend I've been blessed with the opportunity to attend two card shows.  Tonight there's the GTSM Memorabilia Show at the Santa Clara Convention Center which happens to be right across the street from Levi's Stadium.  There will be a bunch of former and current San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, and Golden State Warriors signing today and tomorrow.  Unfortunately the prices they're charging for autographs are way out of my league.

But that's okay because if things go as planned, I'll be saving my money for the Serramonte Sports Card, Toys, and Collectibles Show.  It's my favorite show of the year, because there's a little bit of everything and there's always at least two guys who have solid dime boxes to dig though.

Hopefully I'll run into Brady... who authors Yadier Molina Baseball Cards.  If I do, it'll be the first time I actually meet a fellow blogger.

Anyways... last weekend he asked his readers the following question...

What should I bring to the show?

I figured I'd answer his question and show off my Card Show/Flea Market Survival Kit:


Let's kick things off with my backpack.  It's your standard two compartment JanSport backpack.  Inside the main compartment, I pack the following:

500ct Box

First up is a 500ct. box with the following: team bags, penny sleeves, a plastic grocery bag, a variety of top loaders, and plastic storage boxes.


I carry a 330ct. box too, just in case I need extra room for dime box purchases.  Within the box, I keep a 100ct. plastic storage box.


I also carry an Ultra Pro magazine sleeve that holds an 8.5" x 11" top loader, a 6" x 9" top loader, and a pair of 5" x 7" top loaders for those oversized purchases.


And just in case I run out of room in my backpack, I carry a reusable grocery bag.  Oh... can't forget my bottle of water.

Inside of the smaller pouch, I carry a bunch of random items like snacks, hand sanitizer, a pen, note pad, more penny sleeves, and some spare change.


Okay... it's time for you guys to chime in.

Any suggestions for my card show survival kit?

Happy Friday and sayonara!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Forgive Me Friar Fan Brethren

With only four days remaining in the 2014 MLB regular season... I'm still sitting around waiting to see where the Oakland A's will land after their horrendous finish to this season.  It's been pretty painful watching their hitting fall apart over the past seven weeks.  But seriously... nobody wants to sit here and listen to me whine and be a Negative Nancy.

Let's focus on the greatest pitcher in the game and some of his left-handed colleagues.  Being a "lefty" myself, I've always enjoyed watching dominant left-handed pitchers.  And right now, there's nobody better than Deuce-Deuce:


As a San Diego Padres fan, this post might be construed as heresy among some of my Friar fan brethren... but there's no denying what I feel in my heart.  Clayton Kershaw is a beast and I enjoy watching him pitch.

Another National League West left-handed rival that I can't help but admire is San Francisco's Mad Bum:


He's not quite at Kershaw's level on the mound (then again... who is?)... but at the plate there are few pitchers who rival his bat.  Earlier in the year, he became only the second pitcher in MLB history to hit two grand slams in one season.

I'll wrap things up with another young lefty who has dominated hitters this season... only this time it's an American League pitcher:


This season The Condor has soared to elite status in terms of left-handed pitching.  It's a shame he doesn't receive the same kind of run support as Kershaw and Bumgarner.

If you're wondering why Jon Lester, David Price, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee are missing from this post... it's because I haven't acquired their autographs.  Yet.

But as soon as I pick up a few more... I'll be sure to unveil one of my latest cardboard projects.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Shoebox Buffet

On Saturday, I walked around the flea market and picked up some cards that included this shoebox full of randomness.  It was filled with a little bit of everything and kind of reminded me of a trip through a casino buffet.


I figured I'd kick things off with something light.  You know... the cardboard equivalent to a salad:


After that... it's time to try something new.   Something you wouldn't typically order when you go out to eat.  Let's see... how about some Dr. Who CCG's and a pair of Star Trek sets:


Okay... win some, lose some.  That's what happens when you experiment at the buffet.  Time to get back on track with some of your favorites.  Personally that means mashed potatoes and gravy with some corn on the cob.  Cardboard translation... inserts and oddballs:


And you can't have mashed potatoes without a few slices of turkey:


The idea of football coaches having rookie cards is like having dried out turkey at a buffet.  Let's get to the good stuff.

The main course.  The main reason you decided to go to that specific buffet.  Sometimes it's the prime rib.  Other times it's the barbecue ribs.  In this particular situation... it was the stack of 1992 Skybox Marvel Universe cards.


This shoebox contained six cards for my Series 3 set...


And it made this entire meal... I mean shoebox... super satisfying.

The only thing left is a little dessert:


Two hearty servings of Pamela Anderson.  And if Barbed Wire trading cards aren't your thing... how about comic book artist trading cards that include Todd McFarlane going topless:


Oh no.  I think I just threw up a little.  Sorta reminds me of the first time I laid eyes on this:

(borrowed from Google... this card wasn't in the box)

Okay... it's official.  I'm stuffed.  It was fun sifting through this stuff.  But just like when I go to the casino buffets... I always leave feeling a little bloated.  Time to figure out how to get rid of five hundred 1991 Pro Set football cards that even my students don't want.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Flea Market Finds #71: Quarter Bin Vintage + Blonde Ambition

When:  Saturday, September 20th
Where:  Branham Flea Market
What:  Sports Cards and Laser Discs
How much?:  $18

When I woke up yesterday, I almost rolled over and went back to sleep.  Thankfully, I didn't.  This school year has been a little crazier than usual, so I figured the fresh air would do me some good.  It did.

My friend and I walked around the small high school flea market and while she looked for cookbooks, I looked for cardboard.  There's always a fair share of sports cards at this flea market, however with only $40 in my pocket and two card shows coming up next weekend... I knew I wasn't buying anything unless:

A.  It was cheap.
B.  It was something I really, really wanted.

Purchase #1:  Quarter Bin Bonanza $4


I'm not sure if you did this, but when I first started collecting cards in the early 80's... I used an old shoe box and recipe dividers to store my cards.  About halfway through the flea market, I stumbled upon a woman who had a similar setup.  She had sorted her cards alphabetically by teams and thrown the cards in the box without any penny sleeves or protection.

I could tell by the color of the card sides that these weren't your everyday, run of the mill early 90's Donruss and Fleer junk wax.  Before I even reached for the stack of A's, I asked the lady what she was selling the singles for.  As soon as she said 4 for a dollar, I knew it was worth it for me to look, so I dove in.

I immediately discovered the 75T Fingers and Hunter, which got me excited.  Unfortunately there wasn't much to get excited about from the Angels to the Mets.  The lone card I pulled from the Angels, Astros, Blue Jays, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mariners, and Mets was a 75T Garvey.


But as soon as I hit the Orioles... things began to flow and I began pulling cards left and right.  When the dust settled, I had extracted sixteen cards from her box.  They weren't in the best condition, but that's okay... because I enjoy collecting cards with a little character.

Best of all, I had a great time talking to the vendor about sports and collecting.  We covered everything from Rowland Office to O.J. Simpson.

Does it get any better than hanging out a flea market and talkin' cardboard?


Purchase #2:  Madonna Laser Discs $1


I continued to shop with the "Quarter Bin" lady when I noticed that she had a bunch of sealed laser discs.  They took me straight back into the 80's.

One of my buddies in elementary school had a laser disc player and I was totally jealous of him.  The lady had a bunch of Disney movies, but the two that caught my eye were these Madonna concerts.

I've been a fan of her since the days of Borderline and Into the Groove.  It's just a shame that I have no way of ever watching them, but they're cool nonetheless.


Purchase #3:  1974 Topps #250 Willie McCovey $8


I have wanted to build this variation team set for several years and now that I own the McCovey... it's time to get to work.

This card has been sitting in my friend's display case for a few months now, so I finally pulled the trigger and bought it.  I know I didn't secure it for $5 like Marcus...all the way to the backstop, but I grew tired of waiting and figured $8 was a fair price for the condition.


Purchase #4:  Shoe Box Smorgasbord $5


There aren't any vintage Mickey Mantles or Tony Gwynn autographs in this box.  But there were a few cards that caught my attention.  Unfortunately... this post is starting to drag on, so wrap things up and write about the five dollar mystery box either tomorrow or Tuesday.

In the meantime, let's talk Madonna.

Are you a fan?  Favorite song?

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Friday, September 19, 2014

I Overpaid & I Liked It

Values in our hobby typically follow the whole "supply" vs. "demand" concept.  Simply put... "overproduction" tends to kill values.

Usually that's not a good thing from my point of view, but today I'm turning things around.  Let's call it "Flip the Script Friday".  Today I want to share an amazing card that features an on-card autograph of a hall of famer that can be purchased for less than $20.

Back in 1995, Upper Deck inserted redemption cards into their Series Two packs.  There were five players available:  Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Roger Clemens, Raul Mondesi, and Mr. October himself... Reggie Jackson.


Take two seconds and just stare at this masterpiece.  Great photo.  Simple design.  Beautiful signature.  Baseball legend.  Can you ask for anything more?

I picked mine up a while back for $20 to $30 and thought I was robbing the guy.  This morning I checked completed eBay auctions for the same card and discovered this card now sells for a fraction of that price.  One closed eleven days ago for $8.50 (+ $2 shipping).  That's insane!  And depending on your point of view, it could be really awesome or really depressing.

Being the bargain hunter that I am... I normally would be frustrated that I overpaid for my copy.  But I just can't help feel excited that collectors who are willing to be patient... now have the opportunity to pick up a signature of one of the greatest players in World Series history for less than $20.

Happy Friday and sayonara!