30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Against The Grain

"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
-Albus Dumbledore

That's one of my favorite movie quotes of all-time... and it's one I wholeheartedly believe in and try to live by.  It's especially meaningful, because they're words I can picture coming out of my father's mouth.

He isn't perfect, but I sincerely believe that he's tried his best to be a positive role model for his children and siblings.  As far back as I can remember, he's instilled values such as honesty, responsibility, compassion, and respect for others.

The man has always been my hero and someone I've admired.

However every now... I've gotta admit.  It feels good to cheer for the bad guy.  Y'know.  Guys like Boba Fett, Tony Montana, Mike Tyson and today's man of the hour... Mr. Barry Lamar Bonds.

Even before he got involved with PED's, Barry was one of those players the media and fans either loved or hated.  Now that he's the single season and career home run leader those feelings have only been amplified.

I can't help but remember seeing him step into the batter's box and watching the level of energy soar throughout the stadium.  Like guys like Clayton Kershaw and Jose Altuve... I couldn't help but cheer for him even though he played on a rival team.

Over the years, I've picked up his cards here and there if they were too good to pass up.  Then about a year or two ago, I decided to pursue his cards a little more aggressively.

Today I figured I'd show off some of the key cards in my relatively small Barry Bonds PC.  Let's kick things off with my collection of autographs:

2001 Bowman Heritage Autographs #BHA-BB

 1999 Topps Autographs #A10

I've sort have been obsessed with trying to add affordable on-card, pack pulled, MLB licensed autographs of Bonds.

1999 Stadium Club Autographs #SCA3

2000 UD Pros and Prospects Game Jersey Autographs #BB

2002 Fleer Showcase Baseball's Best Memorabilia Autographs #NNO

As of right now, all of my autographs were produced in the late 90's or early 2000's.  I'd like to eventually expand to newer Topps autographs, but so far none of them have fallen into a price range I'm comfortable with.

2000 Skybox Autographics #NNO

2001 Topps Gallery Autographs #GA-BB

The 2001 Topps Gallery was the first autographed Bonds card I ever purchased and one of the more expensive.  It's also one of my favorites.

In addition to these seven autographed cards, I also own an autographed hat and baseball:

Back in 2001, Fleer released a product called Fleer Legacy.  Each box contained one autographed hat.  I've picked up a few of these over the years and Bonds was one of them.

The signed baseball was purchased at a card show off of a friend for $55... which still seems like it's a pretty good price.

Next up are a handful of memorabilia cards I've picked up over the years:

I don't really go out of my way to look for memorabilia cards, but if I stumble across one at a card show or on COMC for $3 or less, I'll grab it.

Moving along... here are the rookie cards I've managed to add:

I'm still missing his 1986 Fleer Update and Sportflics Rookies cards.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think I have both of these cards sitting in factory sets somewhere in my collection.

Last year, I purchased a few of his 1987 O-Pee-Chee rookies.  Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced them.  One of these days I'll stumble across them and add a scan to this post.

Until then... here are graded copies of his 1987 Topps and Topps Tiffany cards:

I've said it before... and I'll say it again.  This is one of my favorite baseball cards of the 80's.  It features a solid card design and a well cropped, action shot of Mr. Bonds.

I'll go ahead and wrap up my collection with these three San Jose Mercury News printing plates I discovered at a local flea market:

All three plates are from 8/8/07... the day after he launched his 756th home run to pass Hank Aaron on the all-time home run list.  They aren't very practical and they're a pain in the butt to store... but I've gotta admit... I'm glad they're sitting in my collection.

Okay... it's your turn.

Do you go against the grain and collect any unpopular players?
If so, who?

Until next time... happy Thursday and sayonara!


  1. It's funny, whenever I see people get really angry and carried away about "discussing" Bonds vs Aaron, I usually end up trolling them by saying that the true home run king is Sadaharu Oh. Because it's technically true.

    I guess the guy I "go against the grain" for is A-Rod. Although I'm not sure how "unpopular" he is since most of the people I hang out with like (and have always liked) A-Rod. I don't really care to know either TBH.

  2. Not to be a 'bandwagon' guy but Bonds and A-Rod are pretty much the 'unpopular guys' to collect for me - I thought as long as they put up the numbers, it was entertaining regardless of the fact they were not liked or had used PEDs.

  3. Those plates are very cool! I'd probably display them on my wall if I had something like that.
    I too have had a love/hate relationship with Bonds and Arod over the years, and currently have decent PCs for both. To a lesser extent, Clemens, McGwire, and Canseco.

    1. ditto. I can't say a love/hate relationship, probably more like ugh, but I collect all 5 of those guys. I'm okay with a note by any "records", but let's face it the MLB, the owners, and mgrs all knew what these guys were doing, and had no problem collecting their $$$ from the packed stadiums. Of them all my biggest ugh guy would have to be a tie with Bonds (absolutely hated in attitude) and Arod for the way he handled being "caught" and dragging others into the mess. None the less I have a decent PC of them all.

  4. I guess I probably went against the grain with Michael Pineda for a while after the pine tar stuff. I’ve stopped collecting him now that he’s no longer a Yankee.

  5. Definitely Arod (with Seattle) for me.

  6. Those printing plates are cool as hell. I'm glad I haven't come across anything like them since I'd be obliged to buy them and have no idea what I'd do with them. Also it's interesting that there are no color plates to go with your black plates.

    Regarding unpopular players. Bonds is one of my guys too. Not in a supercollector way but he was *the team* for a large portion of my youth so his cards will always have that kind of resonance in my feelings.

  7. I don’t believe I collect anyone like that. I guess the closest would probably be Brady Anderson.
    Are those printing plates made out of metal like a baseball card plate is? They are unique and I would love to find something like them.

  8. Nice collection and a neat post idea Fuji. I've tried to think hard on this one but I don't really have anything that's truly against the grain. Maybe it's because I'm a hockey collector. I suppose there are a few heels out there like Voyanov etc. I do still have my Kovalchuk cards even though he abandoned NJ.

  9. Nice Bonds collection Fuji. I always thought about chasing after a 2003 Fleer Authentix Bonds autograph. There are only 3 autographs in the set (Bonds, Jeter and Ryan) but every time I find one the price is way out of my comfort zone. I'm definitely against the grain with my Pete Rose collection.

  10. Anyone on the PED list I no longer like or seek.out, but will still hold onto their cards just because

  11. I'm a big Russell Westbrook fan in the NBA. He's one of the more polarizing players in the league. You either can't stand him because he comes across a selfish ballhog and can't play with others or you appreciate him because he gives it his all every game. He might not always make the right play, but he NEVER takes a game off like some players do. I've just always loved his me against the world mentality.

  12. It's a nice collection Fuji. I'm still an anti-PED guy. I'm a Cubs fan but I soured bigtime on Sammy Sosa for instance. I guess I have a casual very small collection of commons of Dennis Rodman.

  13. Zippy - Lol. What kind of sports debates would we have without trolls?

    Laurens - I'm pretty good about putting up blinders... and focusing on the entertainment he provided millions of fans instead of the other issues.

    defgav & Nick Vossbrink - If I had the wall space, I'd probably get them custom framed. They're definitely one of the more unique items in my collection

    John Miller - I understand why Purists can't stand the PED guys, but you're right. The League, owners, and managers all knew what was going on, reaped the benefits, and didn't do anything to discourage it. SMH

    The Lost Collector - Lol. I dislike Pineda more for how he wears his hat ;)

    Cardboard Jones - Arod is making a lot of peoples lists

    Jeremya1um - Yeah they're metal and they're pretty beat up. I was just thinking about Brady Anderson and that insane 50 home run season.

    forestrydave - It's okay. I still have Belfour cards from his days in San Jose.

    Reds Card Collector - I've considered building that 3 card set... but I'm sure the Jeter is way too expensive for my budget. Possibly Ryan too.

    Sport Card Collectors - I hear ya

    Chris P - Living in the Bay Area, there's a lot of Westbrook hate. But from what I've heard/read, he's similar to Kobe and plays his heart out. He's okay in my book.

    Hackenbush - If I ever started collecting basketball cards again, I'd consider collecting Rodman. The guy played his heart out on the court... and is so interesting off of the court.

  14. Love Bonds. I get some of the unpopularity with him, but he is a great player regardless, and fun to watch. Sometimes I wish that people had spent a little more time watching him, a little less time booing one of the all-time greats. Your collection of Bonds autographs is amazing!

    1. It's hard imagining anyone who took the time to watch him play not appreciating the amount of entertainment he gave baseball fans. But I'm kinda okay with it. Less people who collect his stuff... the more affordable it is.

  15. Moonshots is one of my favorite relic sets ever.

    1. Yeah. Cool set. I've been looking for a Vladimir Guerrero Moonshots relic for my collection for quite some time.