30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, June 30, 2017

Heavy Metal

Music and sports cards are very similar... in the sense that I'm able to find something I like in just about any genre.

Today I'm going to show off two very unique cards.  One is made entirely of metal.  The other contains a chunk of metal.  Both are heavy enough to be paper weights.


First, we take a trip back to the early 90's when Highland Mint created metal reprints of iconic sports cards.


I always thought that these were cool, so I was pretty excited to see a few of these offered as prizes in Johnny's Trading Spot's contest last month.  As luck would have it, I ended up walking away with this beauty:



George Brett is one of the greatest hitting third basemen in the history of the game and back in the 80's, I always hoped that I'd one day land his 1975 Topps rookie card.  Obviously this is a replica, but it'll suffice.


Highland Mint didn't cut corners on these collectibles.  They used a solid piece of metal and made sure to capture the most minute details.


They secured it in a thick 1/2" lucite holder which does an excellent job of protecting the card.  Ultimately I decided to free it, because the card looks much nicer in my hands:



According to the COA, they produced 5,000 of these bronze replicas, which happened to be licensed by both Topps and Major League Baseball.



However Highland Mint has reported that after their contract with Topps expired in 1994, they melted down the unsold stock and there's actually only 3,560 in existence.


If I ever stumble across these at a flea market or card show and they're reasonably priced, I can totally see myself adding a few more to my collection.


In addition to the Brett, John also sent me a bunch of Oakland A's cards for my collection:





Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders also sent me a card containing some metal:



This card is from a 2016 Topps Update 3000 Hit Club Medallion set and it's a beauty.  I've always enjoyed manufactured relics and this card doesn't disappoint.  In fact, I enjoy this set so much... I'm actually considering putting the entire 20 card set together... assuming I can find a few eBay lots to help me get started.



In addition to the Gwynn, Dennis also hooked me up with a bunch of other singles for my collection.  There were a few new Ichiros for my binder, including this one:



2016 Topps Chrome Perspectives #PC9

I was also excited to see
this card:


2003 Fleer MLB 3-D Stars

I actually already have one sitting in my binder, but that's why I was so excited to see it.  I've always wanted to pop out the pieces and build it:




I'm not 100% sure I built it correctly... but I threw it up on my Ichiro shelf anyways.

Thanks you John and Dennis for these heavy chunks of metal and cardboard.  I love both of them!

What about you...

Are you a fan of heavy metal?  Do you have a favorite metal card?  Or metal band?

Well that's it for now.  I'll leave you with one of my favorites...


Happy Flashback Friday and sayonara!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

It's Showtime!

This month... I kinda lost control in terms of my hobby budget.  It was sort of a "perfect storm" kind of thing.

#1:  My best friend moved to Oregon and I was pretty bummed out.

#2:  eBay kept having 8x and 10x eBay Bucks days.

#3:  I came up with the bright idea that buying a few nice cards would cheer me up.

#4:  I received my retroactive pay raise in my May paycheck.

I won't go into too much detail today, because I have plans on sharing these pickups in future posts.  But I will say it's the most I've spent in a single month on trading cards since I returned to the hobby and it includes one of my most expensive card purchases ever.

With that being said... I walked into last Saturday's Serramonte Mall Sports Card, Toys, and Collectibles Show with the following plan:

#1:  Avoid all dime boxes and quarter bins.

#2:  It's okay to walk away empty-handed.  Hanging out with friends is worth the time and cost of gas.

#3:  I mainly brought cash just in case I found an affordable 1973 Topps baseball card set.

Well... let's see how well I stuck to my goals...


Purchase #1:  Dollar Bin Bonanza  $35


Due to construction, I parked in a new area... which placed me near my buddy's table.  He's one of the guys I hang out with at the Branham and De Anza Flea Markets.

Anyways... he didn't have anything I really wanted... but his friend had a solid dollar box.  I grabbed a bunch of low end autographs and relics.  Here are two of my favorite finds:


There weren't really any hidden gems that were going to pay this month's mortgage sitting in this guy's box, but I felt I got my thirty-five dollars worth.


Purchase #2:  The Cheap Stuff  $1


Tony's friend also had a 50¢ bin.  I honestly had no intention of going through this, but my other buddy was working a deal for a Jeter autograph and I was bored.  There were tons of goodies I normally would have grabbed, but I had to stick to my guns.

Actually... if I had two quarters in my pocket, I would have been happy with just this:


But since I didn't... I grabbed this shiny Matsui as well:


After my two friends couldn't work out a deal for the Jeter autograph... we continued walking around.  About thirty minutes later, I came across the guy who sold me the 1964 Topps Giants and 1977 Topps baseball sets last year.  I was hoping to run into him and find a 1973 Topps set.  Instead, I found the following...


Purchase #3:  2006 Merrick Mint Golden Legends Set  $15


I'm a sucker for oddballs.  Baseball legends on 24kt gold plated quarters?  Yes, please.


Purchase #4:  2007 Merrick Mint MLB Wax Box  $15


The guy also had this unopened box for the same price, so I grabbed it too.


Purchase #5:  More Relics  $20


In addition to the baseball quarters, he about thirty stacks of trading cards organized by groups.  The first group I looked at was his $3 autographs and relics.  Since I had already dropped $30 at his table, he told me I could have as many as I wanted for $2 each.

I love hall of fame relics, so I pulled out ten.  The Carter is headed into my Montreal Expos collection:


And the Fisk is headed into my special serial numbers collection:



Purchase #6:  Mel Ott and Company  $10


My final purchase from the "coin" guy consisted of his high end stuff ($5 stack), with a three for ten dollar discount.

The Mel Ott was an instant buy:


I would have paid $5 for this card all day.  We'll never know if it's actually authentic pieces of Ott's bat.  But it's totally cool nonetheless.

I also grabbed this Csonka to keep the Fisk company...


After dropping $96 within the first ninety minutes of walking around the show, my budget alarm went off and I decided to slow things down.

I walked around the mall acquiring steps on my Fitbit while stopping along the way to check out cool toys and collectibles I didn't check out during my first walkthrough.  I saw a guy who had a bunch of McFarlane Sportspicks, so I asked him if he had the Tony Gwynn white jersey variant.

He pulled this out instead...


Purchase #7:  2010 McFarlane Tony Gwynn  $5


I already own two of these.  One has been opened up and is sitting on my Padres shelf in my office.  The other is still sealed and is displayed on my office wall.  For $5... I figured I'll bring this one into my classroom and hang it up in there.


Purchase #8:  Even More Relics  $12


A few minutes after picking up the McFarlane, I came across a guy with a $2 box.  It contained the typical autographs and relics you'd find in a $2 bin.

I pulled this card out, because I'm a fan of old school jersey swatches... even if I don't recognize the player.


I also found a Brandon Moss autograph with him featured as an Athletic:


After digging out a few more cards, I asked him if he work with me on a price and he gave me the nod.  I was thinking he'd charge me $15 for the lot... but didn't complain when he said he'd take $12.


Purchase #9:  Tony Gwynn Relic Lot  $10


This isn't really a card show purchase.  My buddy mentioned he had four Tony Gwynn relic cards and offered them to me for $10.


I paid for them and picked them up at the show... even though technically... we agreed on the price weeks before.

All in all... I walked away feeling okay about my purchases.  With the exception of the one 50¢ bin, I avoided all other cheap singles.  I know that I spent a lot more than I originally intended... but I also added a lot of cool cards to my collections, while replenishing my trade pile.  I wasn't able to find a 1973 Topps set.  However... I didn't really expect to either.

Most importantly... I was able to hang out, catch up with friends, and enjoy my favorite hobby.  Isn't that part of a successful baseball show?

Let me know what you think down below.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Dust In the Wind

Thirty years ago, I discovered pallets of 1987 Topps baseball cards at Costco.  To the average person this experience would be a meaningless hiccup, but for me... it was a life altering experience.  I blossomed from the kid collector who opened up a few packs here and there to the sports card investor who busted entire boxes in an effort to build sets and player lots.

That summer I shared my vision with my mom, grandma, and two aunties who were visiting us from Hawaii and somehow convinced them to finance this dream.  I can't remember exactly how many boxes of 1987 Topps they purchased, but ten seems like a nice ballpark figure.

I can still remember sitting on my family room floor busting pack after pack of this stuff... and sorting the thousands upon thousands of cards for what I can imagine must have occupied a week or two of my summer vacation.

With that many boxes at my disposal, I was able to build a bunch of sets.  In fact, I'm 98% certain that 1987 Topps was the first trading card set I built... although there's a 2% chance I may have completed the 1986 Topps set the year before.

That's why I've decided to use this Kevin Mitchell card for my Day 17 submission to Tony's 30 Day Baseball Card Challenge, which is a card from the first hand collated set you put together:

1987 Topps #653

When it comes to "play at the plate" cards, this card has to be considered one of the most memorable from that era.


The iconic dust cloud created by Mitchell and his pop up slide gives off an old Western movie vibe that goes perfectly with the wood bordered design Topps utilized that year.

Normally I'm sitting around complaining about how Topps always seems to find a way to chop off players' limbs or pieces of equipment, but whoever was in charge of this card did an excellent job.  He/She chose a photograph that somehow captured action, emotion, and intensity all at the same time, then wisely kept Mitchell intact.

If there were a baseball card hall of fame, I'd have no complaints seeing this card hanging up on its walls.

Well that's it for today.  I hope all of you are managing to stay cool as we head into the heart of summer.  I know some of you enjoy this warm weather, but I can't stand it.  Too bad my local Costco doesn't carry boxes of baseball cards anymore.  I'm sure busting boxes of 2017 Topps baseball cards at wholesale prices would help take my mind off of the heat.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Flea Market Finds #122: The Poor Man's Claw

High expectations can sometimes lead to extreme disappointment.  Sports fans might have experienced it when they think their team is going to compete for the title, but instead they compete for the worst record.  If you're a foodie, then maybe you've gone to a highly recommended steak house and they overcook your filet mignon.  Or what about the movie with the blockbuster cast, Academy Award winning director, and an insane budget that you wait in line for hours to see, but is so terrible you can't help but laugh.

That's kinda how I felt when I drove out to the Branham Flea Market this past Saturday and only found one vendor (Box Bottom Guy) with sports cards.  Normally there are at least three or four.  Even my buddy Tony was nowhere to be found.

Oh well... at least I didn't walk away completely empty-handed.  Box Bottom Guy had a few things I was interested in...

Purchase #1:  Discounted Relics and a Wannabe Rookie Card $12


All of the cards marked $2 or $3 (and the $5 Mulder) were a buck each, while the $5 Mazeroski and Kershaw were two bucks a piece.

2006 Bowman Heritage Prospects #BHP85

The main card I wanted was the Kershaw.  After reading one of Night Owl's posts about his 2008 Topps Update official rookie card and the insane prices they're currently selling for, I figured this card was cool find and the closest I'd get to actually owning a rookie card of The Claw.  The card looks clean in the scan, but the bottom left corner isn't "gem mint", which is probably why the guy was selling it so cheap.


Purchase #2:  1991 U.S. Playing Cards  $1


The same vendor had this deck of cards sitting on his table for a dollar.  I'm not sure about you, but I just can't pass up oddballs.

Outside of Box Bottom Guy, there really weren't any of vendors of interest (at least to me).  I was in and out of this flea market within 30 minutes.

Normally this wouldn't bother me too much, but I had high expectations for this flea market now that the Capitol Flea Market has been put on hiatus.  I'll try to mentally not get my hopes up for my upcoming trip to the De Anza Flea Market.

What about you...

What was something you had high expectations for, but was left feeling disappointed?

Happy Thursday and sayonara!