Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nothing But Respect

On Wednesday I ran into an old friend and he was wearing a Kansas City Royals hat.  We started talking baseball and he mentioned that the twenty-nine year postseason drought.  The five minute conversation opened my eyes and really put things into perspective for me.

In terms of supporting a sports team, twenty-nine years must feel like an eternity.  Heck... I'm bummed that the San Diego Padres haven't made the playoffs the past eight seasons.  I can't imagine waiting an additional twenty-one years.

1985 Fleer #199

The last time the Royals made the playoffs, I was in the eighth grade, still watched Saturday morning cartoons, and was still waiting for my first kiss.


Rocky hadn't fought Ivan Drago yet and Mike Tyson was still waiting for his first title shot.



Buster PoseyMadison Bumgarner, Pablo Sandoval, and Kaley Cuoco hadn't been born yet.

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Elmo hadn't met Big Bird or Mr. Snuffleupagus.


Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, Ice Cube, and the Arabian Prince hadn't formed NWA.


Nintendo had just released the NES in North America the day before game one of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.


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And believe it or not... MacGyver had just started teaching people how to save the world with gum wrappers just a month earlier.

From where I'm standing... twenty-nine years is a very long time.  That's why diehard Kansas City Royals fans who have stayed loyal to their team for all of these years have my utmost respect.  I'm definitely pulling for you guys and your team.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Big Buddy Bell and The Dead Presidents

When I wrote about my 1980 Topps Superstars earlier in the month, I mentioned how I'm a sucker for oversized oddballs... especially when they're of the older variety.  But what I failed to mention is how the checklist is loaded with guys I grew up studying.

I've always been fascinated with numbers... especially sports statistics.  Anyone remember the American League Red Books?  Or National League Green Books?  Those were some of the most popular titles on my bookshelf.

I'd sit there and flip through those books comparing hitters like Buddy Bell and Amos Otis...

Generously Donated By Mr. Hoyle

Both of these guys were solid hitters.  Both had respectable career batting averages.  Both were five time all-stars.  And both are members of the Baseball Hall of Really Good, but not quite Cooperstown Good.

When I wasn't analyzing contact hitters, I'd focus on the sluggers...

Generously Donated By Mr. Hoyle

Dave Kingman and Andre Thornton combined to hit nearly 700 home runs, while neither reached the .300 mark in their careers.

Unfortunately focusing only on statistics has its drawbacks.  Players like Rick Manning were never highlighted in the American League Red Book.

Generously Donated By Mr. Hoyle

He had a solid thirteen year career and won a Gold Glove Award in 1976, but many of his career highlights don't involve numbers.  They involve history.

Manning caught the final out in Len Barker's perfect game on May 15th, 1981.  Six years later, he hit a walk off single in the 10th inning to win the game for his Milwaukee Brewers, but was actually booed by his hometown fans.  The reason?  Paul Molitor was on deck, had gone 0 for 4 that day, and was looking for one more opportunity to extend his 39 game hitting streak.  I guess you can't please everyone.

Thank you Mr. Hoyle for helping me get five steps closer to completing my two 1980 Topps Superstar sets.  Not only that... but thank you for helping take a much needed trip back to my youth.

In addition to Mr. Hoyle's package, I also received some 1984 Campbell Taggart Know the Presidents trading cards in the mail last week...

Courtesy of Uncle Tiny (KevAlan over at CCW)

It's always cool to come across cards I've never seen before...

Courtesy of Uncle Tiny (KevAlan over at CCW)

Each card depicts the President's name, a painted portrait, and a scene from their time in office.

Courtesy of Uncle Tiny (KevAlan over at CCW)

However not all of the cards I received depicted Presidents who have passed away.  

Courtesy of Uncle Tiny (KevAlan over at CCW)

Uncle Tiny also included the one living President featured in the set and my very first White House trading card.  And if his generous package weren't enough... it also opened my eyes to a new Ronald Reagan card that I've officially added to my Top 10 Wantlist.

And rounding out this post is a very limited card of Josh Parry...

Courtesy of Uncle Tiny (KevAlan over at CCW)

Who the heck is Josh Parry?  He's the newest addition to my San Jose State Spartans PC.  Although he was never drafted, Parry played three years in the NFL for both the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks.

Thanks Uncle Tiny for reaching out to me and helping me out with two of my collections.  I tried my best to utilize Google, but have no idea what the answer is to your trivia question.  Any hints?  I'll gather some Astros for your collection and ship them out the next time I head out to the post office.

And Mr. Hoyle... I'm still replenishing my Red Sox stack, but as soon as it's a decent size, I'll ship it out.  Do you happen to collect any other teams or players?

Okay... time to go out and grab me some Jack In The Box tacos.  After another long work week, I've earned them.

Happy Friday and sayonara!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Flea Market Finds #73: It's A Small World

When: Saturday, October 18th
Where:  Branham High School Flea Market
What:  Cards and Disney Memorabilia
How Much?:  $5.50

Every third Saturday, there's a small flea market about fifteen minutes from my house.  There's probably only 50 to 60 vendors, which is much less than the other two flea markets I frequent, but the quality of merchandise makes up for the lack of vendors.

There's always at least a handful of guys with baseball cards, so at the very least I do a little window shopping.  But this time around, I actually picked up a few cards from one of my friends.  He had a bunch of low-end cards for sale, so I spent a solid 30 minutes hanging out and sifting through his stuff.

Purchase #1:  Baseball Cards $1

He told me that I could have anything in his $1 or $2 bins for 50¢ each (or 3 for a dollar).  I ended up grabbing these three cards:

2014 Gypsy Queen Sepia Mini #330 (#'d 45/50)

I'm a huge fan of Pudge and minis.  Put them together and this was a no-brainer.

2014 Stadium Club Gold #83

I've been watching everyone else post their new Stadium Club cards and now I've officially joined the club.  This card brings me one step closer to finishing my first Brooks Robinson page in my inserts and parallels binder.

1969 Topps #263 75th Anniversary Buy Back

The third and final card I chose was this card of Roberto's dad.  It's one of the 75th anniversary stamped buyback cards out of this year's Topps and it's in awesome condition.  He might not be a HOFer, but he's a nice addition to my vintage binder.


Purchase #2:  Non-Baseball Cards $3

These cards came out of my buddy's $3 and $5 boxes.  Normally I wouldn't bother digging through these, but he told me I could have anything from these boxes for a dollar a piece.  So I grabbed these...

2014 Certified New Generation Materials #NGDA1 (#'d 233/599)

This is my first memorabilia card of Aaron Rodgers' newest target.  He's a solid #3 receiver behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.

2014 Allen and Ginter Relics #FRBAS

Yeah, I bought a card containing a piece of Adam Schefter's shirt.  Not exactly sure why Topps decided to produce this card or why I decided to purchase it.  But it's a conversation piece and probably a future blog post.


OMR Slabbed Gem Mint 10

I can't find anything other than eBay listings for this OMR card company, so I'll assume it's a Broder of some sort.  However it's a gorgeous shot of Sharapova (btw... Happy Hump Day!) and the fact that the card is damaged inside of the holder, while the company graded it "gem mint" is irony at its finest.


Purchase #3:  1975 Walt Disney World Guide Book 50¢


I know I collect a lot of different things ranging from comic books to action figures, but believe it or not... I've never really dove into Disney memorabilia.  However I realize that other people are into it, which is why I picked this up.  I'm hoping to flip it at the De Anza Flea Market in a few weeks to recover some of my flea market finds.


Purchase #4:  The Magic Kingdom Postcard Book $1


I picked this up from the same vendor.  Unfortunately there isn't a year printed on these, but if I were to guess... I'd say these postcards are from the late 70's.  Either way, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to sell it for some kind of profit.  Worst case scenario, I'll give them to students who appreciate Disney.

Today's question...

Do you own any Disney memorabilia?

and

Do you have a favorite Disney character?

The only pieces of Disney memorabilia that I own are some trinkets students have given me over the years that I have displayed in my classroom.  One of my favorites is a Goofy/Darth Vader bobble head.

As for favorite character, I'd probably go with Russell from Up!.  When the movie first came out, my students kept telling me I look like him...


I have no idea what they're talking about.  Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Swingin' A's

Last Friday marked the 40th anniversary of the Oakland Athletics celebration over the Los Angeles Dodgers for their third consecutive World Series title.  At the time, I was just graduating from diapers and probably wasn't a fan of them for at least another year or so.

But that's not going to stop me from celebrating their history.  The A's have been my favorite team longer than any other franchise in any other sport.  And since I grew up in the 70's, one of my favorite things to collect is cardboard of The Swingin' A's.

Luckily for me, card companies have been very helpful in producing cards of most of the key players from those World Series teams.

Let's start with their starting rotation, which had three 17-game winners:


And if the big three weren't enough... the A's also had one of the best closers in the game and World Series MVP:


In terms of run support, they had the American League stolen base leader running around the bases:


But North wasn't alone... he had some historical company:


Mr. Washington is the first and last player to ever have "pinch runner" listed as their official position

They also had four guys who hit twenty-two or more home runs:



Rounding out my collection of old school Athletics is the lesser known "Campy":


Bert Campaneris is the franchise's all-time leader in hits and games played.  He also has the second most stolen bases in franchise history.  I'm sure you can figure out who's first.

Well that's it for today.  I can't believe it's already the start of the work week.  Ugh.  At least the World Series starts tomorrow.  Congratulations Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants fans!

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Duh-Duh, Duh-Duh... Wilson!

The Seattle Seahawks might be the reigning Super Bowl Champions, but they are no longer the feared team they once were.  They're beatable at home.  Their defense is good, but hasn't looked great.  They no longer have Percy.  And they haven't even gotten to the rough part of their schedule.

But that's okay, because they have... duh-duh, duh-duh, Wilson!

2012 Crown Royale #280 (#'d 235/349)

I'm not saying he's an elite quarterback, but there's no denying that this guy is good.  Hopefully last week's loss to Dallas will help jump start both Russell's offense and the Hawk's defense.

Let's go Hawks!  Duh-duh, duh-duh...


Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flash(p)ack Friday!

Stress.  We all cope with it in different ways.  Some people drink.  Other people smoke.  Me?  I eat Baja Fresh and bust packs.

I've been saving some packs for future A Pack To Be Named Later posts, but last night I couldn't resist temptation and dove head first into the pack stack.  It's actually a small shoe box filled with random packs that are either:

A. duplicates for my non-sport wax pack collection
B. oddball packs I find at card shows and flea markets
C. gifts from fellow bloggers

Out of all the packs, I decided to go with some vintage packs.  Okay so maybe these aren't exactly what you define as vintage, but all of the packs are at least twenty-four years old and were the oldest I found in the box.

As luck would have it... there's a variety of sports and non-sports issues, so hopefully there's a little something for everyone.

I decided to rip open the packs in reverse chronological order...


1990 Topps Heads Up!

First up... a nice oddball set from the early 90's.  Have you ever wanted to stick a blown up cardboard face of your favorite baseball player on your bathroom mirror?  If so, this product is for you.  I busted a box of this stuff last year, so I knew what to expect.  And since the checklist is loaded, I knew I'd probably pull a decent player.

#6 Craig Biggio

Not too shabby.  Biggio just missed the HOF cutoff this year... but the lifelong Houston Astro shouldn't have any issues getting in next year.

1986 Topps Garbage Pail Kids (5th Series)

Next up... a pack of our favorite Cabbage Patch doll parodies.  If you're into busting old packs, you might want to stay away from 80's GPK.  I can't speak for all packs out there, but this pack was severely damaged by the gum.


Most of the cards had this brown residue on one of the edges and all of the cards were warping, which caused some of the stickers to start pulling away from the backing.  On the flipside, this pack was like trip down memory lane.  I loved collecting these cards back in middle school.

1986 Topps 3-D Baseball Stars

Here's another oversized oddball issue from Topps.  And just like the Heads Up! product, they were intended to be hung on something like a poster.


#15 Don Mattingly

However these aren't your everyday posters.  These are embossed plastic cards made from the same material vintage Halloween masks from the 80's were made from.  It's hard to see, but Mattingly is popping off of the card.


1981 Topps Animal Posters

Try to hold off on giggling.  This isn't something I'd normally purchase for my collection.  However I found an eBay dealer with a bunch of older packs at reasonable prices, so I took advantage of combined shipping and grabbed them.


#NNO Lioness and Cub

I was secretly hoping to pull the panda poster, so I could hang it up in my classroom.  Yeah.  I like pandas.  Oh well... maybe I'll find a student who loves lions.


1981 Topps Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Photocards

Now this is more my style.  I have never liked the Cowboys and after they marched into Seattle last weekend and knocked off the Seahawks... I like them even less.


#13 Cheer Up, Judy!

But I'm okay with their cheerleaders.

Last... but certainly not least is the pack I was looking forward to busting the most. 


1975 Topps Wide World of Sports

Although I had no idea this product existed, the show was a childhood staple... as was my obsession with stickers.  Combining the two equates to awesome.


#6 Hockey and #14 Skiing


And I couldn't be happier with the two that I pulled.  Well... let's rephrase that.  I really wanted the Muhammed Ali, but I'm not disappointed with what I got.  Hockey rules and skiing is probably the sport I excelled at the most as a child.  Plus if there's one thing I remember from watching ABC's Wide World of Sports, it's the skier wiping out in the show's opener.

Well that's all folks!

What are your thoughts?  Did any of these products catch your attention?

My next Flashpack Friday post will feature more modern packs, but I'll try to include at least one "vintage" pack.

Happy Friday and sayonara!