Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blog Bat Around: Once Upon A Time

There's nothing like a timely Blog Bat Around.  More often than not, I'm digging and sifting through scans in hopes of coming up with something to write about.  I mean... there's only a finite number of flea markets I can attend while maintaining my summer job.

But Blog Bat Arounds save the day.  I mean seriously... why don't we do these more often?  Now for those of you who may not be familiar with one of these, it's actually pretty simple.  A blogger posts a question and other bloggers write responses on their blogs.

They're a lot of fun, because you get to see different perspectives around our blogosphere.  Last Friday, GCRL posed the question...


What cards have you owned that you regret are no longer in your collection?

You can read his response... HERE.  Wanna read Spastik's?  Click... HERE.  Night Owl's?  Right HERE.

As for mine... it ended up being a little more difficult than I thought, because I don't usually sell or trade any of the cards I consider to be PC.  Except for back in 2002... when I sold off the bulk of my collection.

The problem?  I kept most... if not all... of the cards that had sentimental value to me, like my 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn or my 1975 Topps Mini Robin Yount.  And the ones that I didn't keep, I have acquired since I re-entered the hobby back in 2008.

Then it hit me.  Once upon a time... way before I dove head first into the hobby... my aunty from Hawaii took me to store that had a small display of sports cards.  She told me to pick out any card that I wanted, but I didn't recognize any of the players.  That's because they were all guys from the 50's and earlier.


She asked the owner if he had a suggestion and he mentioned the 1952 Topps Andy Pafko.  He explained the significance behind the 1952 Topps baseball card set and taught us about how the first and last cards were often damaged by rubber bands.  The car salesman... I mean card salesmen did his job and the Pafko had a new owner.

A few years down the road, I ended up trading it to a dealer at a card show for... wait for it... a 1987 Fleer factory tin set and a bunch of 1986 and 1987 rookie cards that included guys like Wally Joyner, Will Clark, and Jose Canseco.

I actually think my mind blocked out that trade, because it took me a few minutes to remember my Pafko.  I can't remember how much it went for back in the late 80's, but it was one of the most valuable cards in my collection back then.  At one point, I remember seeing it for over $100 in Beckett.  In the early 90's, it soared even higher than that.

Over the years, it seems to have held its value.  Low grade copies like the PSA 1 shown above sell for around $100.  I know my copy wasn't perfect, but I'm pretty sure it would have graded higher than that.

One day, I'll pick up another copy if it's available at the right price.  At the moment, there are way too many cards that are higher on my wantlist.  However... if and when I finally grab another Pafko... part of the credit will go to GCRL for motivating me to remember this long lost card.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Morning Soapbox: Historical, Yet Controversial


When I started this blog in 2010, I had no idea whether or not people would read my blog.  Five years later, it feels good knowing that there are people out there who regularly read and comment on my posts.


But regardless if I had one follower or two hundred followers... the bottom line is that this blog serves as a journal which documents everything from my childhood stories to latest sports card purchases.  And every once in a while something historical comes along that's not necessarily sports card related, but it's so important to our country's history that it needs to be remembered and documented.


This is one of those posts.  On Friday, while preparing my group of fifth graders for their field trip to see Disney's Inside Out... my friend came into my classroom and told me about the Supreme Court's landmark ruling regarding same-sex marriage.


Twenty-something years ago, I might have frowned on this decision.  Growing up, I didn't know anyone who was homosexual.  And whether it was the national media, the people I hung out with, my personal prejudices (ignorance), or a combination of all of those things... I had no desire to hang out with a guy who was attracted to other men.


Luckily I was fortunate enough to cross paths and eventually befriend a fair share of gay and lesbian people.  There have been co-workers, friends, students, and even family members who have come out with their sexuality.

 

And thankfully... I have matured and realized that we're all human beings and when it comes to choosing my friends, their character is much more important than their sexual preference.


Now... I'm not telling you... or even asking you to share my beliefs.  I have friends who don't agree with same-sex marriage based on their religious or personal beliefs... and I completely respect that.  I just hope that this historical event makes our country and its citizens that much stronger, instead of tearing us apart.


Thank you for taking the time to sit there as I stand up on my Sunday morning soapbox.  Have a wonderful Sunday.  Sayonara!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Two Peas in a Pod

On Wednesday, I took my TA's out for a round of golf on the local executive course.  Although temperatures approached triple digits, we had a lot of fun.

After I got home, I ripped open a package from Frankie over at My Life In The Sports Card Hobby and found this awesome card:

2013 Topps Triple Threads Unity Jumbo Relics Sepia #MS1

I immediately recognized this card as being part of a prize package I won on his blog last month.  I'm pretty sure this is my first memorabilia card of one of the hottest pitchers in baseball right now.

It was sad to hear that his consecutive scoreless streak ended earlier this evening at 24.2 innings, but at the same time he earned his 100th win of his career.  His numbers over the past three games were insane.

Damn you Tabata!

After checking out his 2015 game logs, I noticed that my Wednesday golf game closely resembles Scherzer's season.  He has been straight up amazing this season with the exception of three starts in which he gave up a combined thirteen runs.

I too... had a pretty amazing day on the greens.  Well... that's if you count my six best holes.  I shot three bogies, two pars, and my very first birdie of the year.

Unfortunately... there are nine holes on this course.  And like Scherzer, those three holes were pretty bad: two double bogeys and a triple bogey.

But I can't complain too much... especially when I'm lucky enough to have awesome packages like Frankie's sitting in my office.

In addition the Scherzer, he also sent me these:


You're looking at my newest Tony Gwynn memorabilia card a gem-mint Randy Johnson rookie card. The Gwynn is my 61st memorabilia card added to my collection... and although I don't have confirmation... it's probably my 61st Randy Johnson rookie card.  But it's only the 2nd graded rookie card I own of The Big Unit.

Thanks Frankie for the generous prize package!  Keep up the great blog and congratulations on surviving your first 10 months.

Happy Friday and sayonara!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Obligatory Post

It's been a few years since I made the decision to stop following the NBA.   As a result my basketball collection has taken a back seat to other sports like football, hockey, soccer, mixed martial arts, and of course... baseball.


However, I wanted to publish my obligatory basketball post... since most of my family and friends are still celebrating the Golden State Warriors dream season that resulted in their first NBA Championship in forty years.




Believe it or not, I actually switched my allegiance from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Golden State Warriors a few years ago... after being a fan since the Showtime Era.


Why the switch?  I essentially grew tired of the Lakers buying NBA Titles.  As a kid, it didn't bother me.  But as an adult, it sort of ruined the sport for me.


And even though it's not natural, I've enjoyed attending Warriors' games since I was a kid and they were always my 2nd favorite team... especially when Run TMC were ballin' together.


The problem?  Within a season of cheering for the Warriors, they became a playoff contender... which made me look like I wanted to jump on the Oak-town Bandwagon.

The solution?  Focus on other sports and maybe in a few years I'll rekindle my love for basketball.  Hopefully by then, the Warriors will return to mediocracy... so I won't feel so guilty about cheering for them.

Until then... congratulations to all of the loyal and diehard Golden State Warriors fans who stood by your team all of these years.  I'm so happy for all of you.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Flea Market Finds #85: Will Ferrell & Def Leppard

When:  Saturday, June 20th
Where:  Branham Flea Market
What:  Sports Cards and CD's
How Much?:  $18

Purchase #1:  2015 Topps Archives Will Ferrell $5


I typically avoid overpaying on "flavor of the month" sports cards, but this card was too cool to pass up.


Purchase #2:  2015 Topps Archives Base Cards $3


I picked this up off of the same guy who sold me the Will Ferrell.  All of the rookie cards and inserts were pulled, however this purchase allowed me to finally get my hands on some Topps Archives at an affordable price


Purchase #3:  2015 Donruss Gwynn Tribute Set $2



Do you believe in destiny?  I do.  Marcus wrote about this set last Wednesday and three days later... I own it too.  This was the third and final purchase from the Will Ferrell guy.  I found these in his dollar bin, but he gave me a bulk discount since I already spent a hefty eight dollars with him.


Purchase #4:  1985 Topps Wax Packs $4


There were four guys in a row with cards who knew each other and set up together.  There was the non-sports guy on the left.  Then the Will Ferrell guy.  Next to him was the "high end" and bobble head dude.

And on the far right was the guy with unopened boxes and packs.  Most of his stuff was priced too high, but I decided to pick these up for a future Flash(p)ack Friday post.  Stay tuned to see if I pull a Clemens, Puckett, or McGwire rookie card.


Purchase #5:  Compact Discs $4

Once upon a time, I collected CD's too.  I haven't purchased any in years, but a few days ago I bought the Goo Goo Dolls Greatest Hits on eBay for seven dollars and some change.

Now normally I don't even bother looking at people's used CD's while walking around the flea market, but I liked the way this guy had his organized in alphabetical order.  Plus his stuff was in great condition.  He wanted $1 each (not sure if that's a good flea market price or not), but told me that I could have five for $4 or ten for $7.

His selection was pretty awesome, but I already owned most of it.  Here's what I ended up finding...












A nice mixture of 70's and 80's rock and pop.  My only problem is I'm not sure if I really want to start buying CD's again.  Is this a door I really want to reopen?  Ugh.  The dilemmas we're faced with in life.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Last In Line

One of my favorite activities to kick off summer school is to have my students list their pet peeves.  It's an entertaining way to get to know each other and allows me to explain my frustration of repeating instructions to distracted students without coming off as a mean teacher.

In the process, I list things like drivers who enter the freeway below the speed of traffic or dog owners who refuse to pick up their puppy's poop while walking around the neighborhood.  I also explain that I'm not a huge fan of standing in lines... especially when it's long and I'm the last in line.

But today's post covers a situation where last isn't too bad.  In fact it's great.

2014 Triple Threads Unity Relics #UJR-BL (#'d 36/36)

Back in April, I revealed my latest project that involves collecting special serial numbered cards that contain either the first card in the print run, the player's jersey number, or the final card in the print run.

2012 Certified Red Materials #225 (#'d 199/199)


Well... my buddy Woody generously donated three "Last In Line" serial numbered cards, which quadruples my previous total.

2011 Contenders Draft Class Gold #14 (#'d 100/100)

If you're not familiar with Woody, he's pretty much the jaybarkerfan of the Cardboard Connection Forums.  In other words, he's one of the most generous collectors out there.

We have exchanged plenty of packages in the past where he'll send me his extra Bay Area stuff and I'll send him my extra New England area stuff.

In addition to helping me with my Special Serial Number PC, he also sent me some other PC items:



Thank you Woody for the very generous package.  I had been distracted with other things, but you inspired me to go out and track down some new additions for this PC, along with a few new items for your PC as well.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Friday, June 19, 2015

No Logo... No Problem!

I can't remember the first time I stumbled across a logo-less card, but it was probably one of those mid 80's oddball issues that I've grown to love and embrace over the years.

However... even back then, they were still considered second rate pieces of cardboard.

Just check out this Gibson...

1994 Nabisco All-Stars Legends #1

Is there a single person out there who believes Gibby looks better without a Cardinals' logo on his hat?

Probably not.  And if there are a few of you out there, you're definitely in the minority.  The fact is... I  would rather see a team's logo instead of a blank jersey or hat.

But if you're on a strict cardboard budget, then logo-less cardboard is a great alternative.  In honor of Flashback Friday, I present some very affordable HOFer autographs from the 90's:

1994 Nabisco All-Stars Legends #2

A few months ago, I was in the process of building my 1998 Donruss Signatures "Significant Signatures" set, when I came across this set on eBay.  I entered a small bidding war with two other collectors and when the dust settled, I emerged the victor with a $21.50 bid.

1994 Nabisco All-Stars Legends #3

Tack on $3.34 for shipping and I walked away paying less than $25 for four on-card, certified autographs of players enshrined in Cooperstown.

1994 Nabisco All-Stars Legends #4

Each of the cards were accompanied by these COA's from Nabisco:



Now I realize that these aren't for everyone.  Heck... logo-less cards are one of my biggest sports card pet peeves.  But the fact is... I love bargains.  And anytime I find certified on-card autographs of HOFers for around six bucks each, there's a good chance I'll pick them up.

What about you?

What are you thoughts on 90's Nabisco autographs and/or logo-less cardboard?

Happy Friday and sayonara!