30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Spice of Life

Life was so much simpler as a kid.  There were no bills to worry about.  I didn't have to worry about getting my taxes done.  Car problems weren't an issue.  Even collecting was simpler.

When I started collecting back in the early 80's, I only had access to baseball cards and a limited amount of non-sports products.  There were only three major baseball card companies and each one produced one, maybe two products each year.

Nowadays card collecting is much more complicated... well... at least for me.

Last week, Night Owl wrote a post about the various projects he's currently working on.  This led to other bloggers starting the current Blog Bat-Around where they're sharing their different card collecting interests.

Unfortunately it would take me way too long to cover all of the different things I collect, so tonight I'm going to choose ten of my favorite collections that may or may not receive a lot of attention on this blog.

#1:  Damaged Cards 

1989 Fleer #548
1997 SP Special FX #16
2005 Diamond Kings Materials Bronze #273

Do you ever get a COMC order and one of the inserts has a slight crease you didn't see in their scan?  Or have you ever opened a pack and there's a dinged corner on the key rookie card you were hoping to pull?  If so, maybe you should considered dedicating a binder to damaged cards.  I did.

#2:  Hometown Heroes

2001 UD Vintage #254
2012 Goodwin Champions Autographs #A-JC
2004 Topps Retired Signatures #TA-DST

I have lived in San Jose for the past 43 years and been a Bay Area resident my entire life.  A few years ago, I thought it'd be fun to collect people who grew up in San Jose or athletes who attended local high schools and colleges.

#3:  Classic Affordable Graded Vintage

1971 Topps #118
1974 Topps #330
1975 Topps #625

I've always loved vintage baseball cards.  Last year, I specifically started targeting affordable vintage featuring cool photography that have been slabbed.  It's been one of my favorite projects the past year or so.

#4:  Kenner Starting Lineup Cards

1988 Kenner SLU #45
1993 Kenner SLU #NNO
2000 Hasbro SLU #19

If you collected in the 90's, then you probably collected Kenner Starting Lineups or at least knew someone who did.  When I returned to the hobby, one of my favorite things to buy were cheap SLU's.  Eventually, I ran out of storage space and was force to bust 90% of them out of their packages.

Ten years later, I have two binders dedicated to the collection.

#5:  Sports Illustrated for Kids Cards

SI for Kids May 1990
SI for Kids May 1996
SI for Kids June 2013

Do you enjoy collecting women athletes?  Are you a fan of sports outside of baseball, basketball, football, hockey, golf, and racing?  If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, then you might consider collecting SI for Kids trading cards.

#6:  Prime #'s PC

2013 Topps Five Star Autographs #RH (#'d 01/50)
2005 Upper Deck Artifacts MLB Apparel #MLB-CA (#'d 325/325)
2016 Topps Archives Signature Series 99 Topps #2 (#'d 14/17)

First in the run.  Last in the run.  Jersey #'s.  Yup.  I'm the guy all of those eBay dingleberries target with those eBay 1 of 1 titles.

#7:  Draft Busts

1992 Classic Best Autographs #NNO
1998-99 SP Authentic Sign of the Times Silver #MO
1998 Score Rookie Autographs #NNO

When I left the hobby back in 2001, I held onto a few hundred cards.  Some were top draft picks that had flamed out.  When life gives you lemons... make lemonade.

#8:  Surfers

2009 Goodwin Champions Autographs #CC, LO, and TC

When I was a kid, my parents would take me to Hawaii a few times each year to visit family.  I'd always boogie board or body surf, but deep down inside I wanted to surf with my cousins.  Call me a poser, but this is a way to embrace a sport I always admired, but never actually did.

#9:  80's Rookie Cards

1980 Topps #482
1982 Donruss #405
1983 Fleer #360

The 80's will always be the important to me, because that's when I started collecting.  And back in the day the rookie card explosion definitely left a lifelong impression on my collection.  Outside of the high end Tiffany parallels, I've managed to acquire most of the key rookie cards from the 80's.  The goal is to one day display all of them in one binder for easy access.

#10:  Left-Handed Athletes

2013 Topps Five Star Autographs #FSBA-MB
1998-99 SP Authentic Sign of the Times Bronze #DK
2000 Upper Deck Legends Autographs #KS

When I was younger, I was always a little self-conscious about being left-handed.  These days I embrace it.  That's why I decided to build myself a collection of left-handed hall of fame athletes.

I could continue listing other projects I'm working on, but there's a limit to how long my posts are and I passed it about 500 words ago.  Plus I'm sure I lost a bunch of you as soon as I started rambling about how I collect damaged cards.  So I'll wrap things up here and give you a question of the day to ponder...

If you could go back to your childhood for five minutes and grab one card from your collection and bring it back to the present, what card would you choose?

I'd jump back to the mid 80's and grab my 1952 Topps Andy Pafko before I traded it for a 1987 Fleer Tin set.  You're probably thinking it has to do with card value... and you wouldn't be wrong.  But more than monetary value, it holds sentimental value to me, because my aunt bought me that card.

Well that's it for today.  Thank you Night Owl and all of the bloggers who inspired this Blog Bat-Around.  I have really enjoyed reading everyone's responses.  Remember what they say... variety is the spice of life.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Do you have a checklist/namelist for your Hometown Heroes PC? I've been doing something similar (but only specific schools).

    1. Also to your prompt. I only ever traded away duplicates so my childhood collection is very much intact. I'm instead stuck in a weird place where incorporating my childhood cards into my new collection somehow feels like cheating on my childhood self.

  2. The Hometown Heroes collection appeals to me as well.

    I still have pretty much all of my childhood cards. I did tear up an 8 x 10 glossy of Lassie during some fit of anger and I always regretted it. I also had a mid-1960's Chicago Blackhawks President's Trophy pennant that went missing. That I'd really like back. Here's what it looked like:

  3. Lefties rule! Draft busts-I like the theme and even damaged cards need some love. Stay dry!

  4. I wouldn't mind having the '69 Clemente and Rose cards I traded in high school to get a '51 Duke Snider. Other than that, I was pretty good about protecting my cards even at a young age.

  5. I had baseball, basketball, football and hockey cards from the late 70s and early 80s that we used to flip for or flip at walls, I am sure I had rookies from that time that got damaged, drawn on and thrown away.

  6. I still have all the cards I've ever had. (After Jason German sent me a replacement for the only one I ever had and traded away in January of this year). I never stopped collecting. But, to answer your question, I would have stored the cards that got damaged in the flood of 2015 in a different place. Some of them I don't think I'll ever be able to replace...and even if I do, every time I see them I think about the ones that got damaged/destroyed.

  7. When we moved from New Jersey to Texas in 1967 I took all (or nearly all) of my cards and gave them to kids who lived on our street. There were any number of cards in those boxes I'd love to retrieve today. (sigh)

  8. I have pretty much kept my childhood collection so I can't think of anything I regret not having. I like the variety of projects you have going. I am working on my bat around post and don't have many that are as unique as most of yours.

  9. It took me a while, but a few months ago, I did finally get back the '62 Ed Mathews I traded away for some hockey cards many years ago. That one'd been haunting me for a while now.

    Your collection projects are terrific. I think I've subconsciously started a Failed Prospects mini-collection over the years as well, or at least rookie cards of Failed Prospects -- I can't resist Corey Patterson, Ben Grieve, etc. rookies when I find them in a dime box.

  10. Those are some fun collections you got going there, Fuji!

    The only thing I really regret getting rid of from my childhood is a ball I got signed in person by Dick Allen. I've since bought a replacement signed ball on eBay, but obviously that's not as special.