30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, February 19, 2018

Saving for a Rainy Day

If it doesn't start raining in the next 10 days, the Bay Area will experience one of the driest months on record.  Don't worry, this isn't turning into a weather blog.  I realize that this is the second time in three posts that I'm referencing the weather, but bear with me... I'm just using it as a lead in.

I've always been a rainy day weather kind of guy.  I loved stomping in puddles on my way to school and experiencing indoor recess when I was a kid.  Plus when it rained here in San Jose, it usually meant snow up at Lake Tahoe.  More rain led to more snow, which led to a great ski season.

But today's post isn't about Tahoe, skiing, or the weather.  I assure you it's about baseball cards.

A few weeks ago, I received a medium sized flat rate box from John over at Johnny's Trading Spot.

How does this care package relate to the weather here in San Jose?

Well... the next time I'm stuck inside of my house due to rain, I now have something to help brighten up my day thanks to these two boxes of 1991 Fleer baseball that John sent me:

Now I realize that many of you aren't fans of these yellow bordered baseball cards that will figuratively blind you if you stare at them too long.  However, I have actually grown quite fond of this set the past few years.  Don't get the wrong idea.  I'm not nominating it for my favorite Fleer baseball card design or anything.  At the same time, I don't think it's nearly as bad as the 1990 or 1995 Fleer baseball card designs.

One of the favorite things about this product are the card backs.  I also feel like Fleer did a pretty good job on photo cropping on certain cards.  Both of these things will be addressed in my recap post after I do my rainy day box break of these two boxes.

So come on Mother Nature... bring the Bay Area some rain.

Johnny didn't stop there, he also sent me a unopened box of 1990 Upper Deck Low # Series baseball:

Oh man, this box brings back memories.  I couldn't afford to rip open 1989 Upper Deck, so I tried to make up for it by cracking open tons of this stuff.  Obviously this stuff hasn't held its value over the years, but it still has some decent rookie cards:  Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker, Juan Gonzalez, John Olerud, and David Justice.

I haven't decided on if I'm going to do a personal box break with these cards or possibly use it to teach a fractions or statistics lesson with my summer school students.  Either way, I'll keep you posted.

The last box he sent me was a non-sports product I have never seen or heard of before.  It's a wax box of 1992 Pacific The Story of World War II:

I've always been interested in learning about U.S. history and World War II is probably the historical event I am most fascinated with.  I think it has to do with my parents growing up in Hawaii and experiencing the bombing of Pearl Harbor first hand.

I look forward to busting this box eventually.  Maybe a special December 7th box break?

And rounding out Johnny's care package was a team bag filled with singles for my Oakland A's collection:

Here are a pair of my favorites:

2017 Chrome Prizm Refractor #98

When the A's traded Ryon Healy back in November, it cleared the way for Matt Olson to become their starting first basemen (except when they're facing left-handed pitchers).  The guy showed baseball fans that he can hit bombs, but he also struck out a lot too.  It'll be interesting to see if he'll be the next fan favorite, the next attractive piece of trade bait, or the next Kevin Maas.  Only time will tell.

2017 Topps Update Postseason Celebration #PC13

This card is awesome!  It shows the Oakland Athletics celebrating at Riverfront Stadium on October 22, 1972 after winning Game 7 of the 1972 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds and The Big Red Machine.

I was less than two months old at the time and was a few years away from calling myself an A's fan.  But I still think it's pretty cool that my favorite team won the World Series the year that I was born.

He also sent me a small stack of promo cards:

1994 and 1995 Topps Pre-Production Cards

The 90's are often recognized by collectors as the Era of Innovation.  The competitive card market forced companies to think outside of the box, which led to things like memorabilia cards, shiny and diecut parallels, cards made from materials like acetate and metal, autographs, and printing plates.

But something that doesn't get recognized as much as it should are the plethora of promo cards handed out during this era.  Towards the latter part of the decade, I worked at a card shop that had tons of these laying around.  So whenever I saw a new one, I'd grab it and throw it into my collection.

Although there is a chance that these were once passed out by a card shop dealer, it's more likely that these were acquired originally from 1993 and 1994 Topps factory sets.  Regardless... their purpose was to give collectors an idea of what the upcoming set would look like, so these will be added to my ever-growing promo card collection.

I'll wrap things up with two more singles that stood out in Johnny's care package:

1990 Classic WWF #22

I haven't been a professional wrestling fan in years, but there were two brief periods of my life where I was really into the scene.  The first time was in the mid to late 80's when I was in middle school and high school.  I'd look forward to watching guys like Hulk Hogan, Rickey Steamboat, The Ultimate Warrior, and The British Bulldogs.  Then I took about ten years off and returned in the late 90's to early 2000's when The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and D-Generation X ruled the ring.

Mr. Fuji was a big part of the first go around for obvious reasons.  

1996 Topps #96

If I ever put together a list of my favorite Cal Ripken base cards, I hope to remember to include this card.  It's the perfect tribute to Ripken's 2,131 consecutive games played streak.  I love the collage that Topps designed for the front and the nice write up written on the back.

One of my favorite things to collect are cool, cheap cards.  This card has been added to that binder.

Thank you John for this very generous care package!  I'm really looking forward to cracking open those two 1991 Fleer boxes and bringing a little sunshine into my card collection.

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. That's quite a care package! Should be a fun rip - if and when you ever do get some rain. I do remember the 1992 Pacific WW2 set, I bought a fair amount of it back then, but the only card to survive in my collection is the..Joseph Stalin? (Don't read anything into that!)

    I feel like you could get some use out of that Mr. Fuji card. Like an avatar or something. I do like your current one though, it's got kind of a South Park look to it :)

  2. Rip em, don't wait. You procrastinator!. LOL JUST KIDDING. Then again, I do still have a bunch of 80's/90's unopened wax lying around......

  3. -I have been trying to put the 1991 Fleer together.....not a very valuable set, but fun just the same. I put together the 1989 and 1990 Fleer sets a couple of years ago....still working on 1987, 1988, and 1991. 1991 Fleer still looks better than the Donruss and Upper Deck sets of that year. You have a shot at the All Star cards too since your ripping wax......the Griffey All-Star is worth a couple of bucks....

  4. I'm doing a rain dance. My wife wouldn't let me video it, though.

  5. I'd be interested to see if you pull any of the Fleer Baseball Sticker variations from that year...that is when you finally decide to rip the boxes. John sends some great stuff, I cant wait to post about what he sent me this week!

  6. Wait,didn't Fleer release those Pro Visions inserts that year?For what It's worth,the base cards had great action pics ,albeit,small because of the big borders.

  7. Ohhh rainy day packs and boxes are awesome. I need to reload my stash, awesome stuff!

  8. I've never seen the '95 Preproduction cards. Looks like they changed Vaughn's photo selection for the real set.

  9. Chris - I'm absolutely stoked. Stalin? Possibly a Stalin rookie card? Excited to pull my own copy. Maybe one day I'll superimpose my face onto Mr. Fuji's body and use it as my new custom.

    John Miller - I PROMISE you that they'll be ripped. But the timing has to be just right. Stay tuned. P.S. Thanks again for this awesome package.

    TLC - Agree 100%

    Alan Deakins - I'm excited. I hope I'll be able to complete the set with these two boxes. If not... I'll really have a dilemma on my hands, because I'm pretty sure I've seen complete 1991 Fleer sets at the flea market for under $10.

    Peter K. Steinberg - Lol. Thanks for the support. Btw... just opened up your PWE. Post coming tomorrow (Friday).

    The Angels In Order - Sticker variations? You've piqued my interest. I'll have to do some research when I finally crack open those boxes. I've built quite the Fleer sticker collection and look forward to pulling these as much as the yellow bordered beauties.

    forestrydave - i have about 40 boxes waiting to be busted. one of these days i'll write a post about them.

    Adam Kaningher - Looks like they switched up the Walker photo too.