30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, November 8, 2018

A Brown and Gold Whale

When it comes to collecting sports cards, I'm completely aware of the fact that I collect way too much stuff.  Bottom line is I spread myself too thin.

On one hand, there's always plenty of things to shop for online and at card shows and flea markets.  The downside is that sometimes I neglect certain collections because they get placed on the back burner and forgotten.

One of those collections is my signed and slabbed rookie card collection.

This project started off with a 1988 Cape Cod League Frank Thomas card that I purchased because it was killing two birds with one stone.  I had been looking to add a signature of The Big Hurt to my collection along with that specific minor league card.

Eventually I began targeting some of my other favorite players like Martin Brodeur, Steve Carlton, Rickey Henderson, Steve Largent, James Lofton, Greg Maddux, Joe Sakic, and Ichiro Suzuki.

But anyone who knows me and my collection should be able to look at this lineup and see one really big name missing.

Well I recently filled that vacancy with this card:

Owning an autographed rookie card of Mr. Padre was never high on my priority list.  He signed readily for card companies and for fans, so his autographs were always plentiful and pretty affordable.  I took that for granted and figured I'd eventually have one of my friends get him to sign a rookie card at one of the SJSU/SDSU games.

Then on June 16th, 2014 Tony Gwynn lost his battle with salivary gland cancerBaseball fans and card collectors around the world lost one of the greatest hitters of his generation.  I lost my all-time favorite player and the main reason I consider myself a San Diego Padres fan.  And in regards to collecting, it hurt my chances of picking up a reasonably priced signed and slabbed rookie card of his.

Four-plus years later... I finally picked one up.  It wasn't cheap.  Even though I was the lone bidder... it still had an opening bid of $99.99 (+ $3.42 shipping).  Luckily I had a ton of eBay Bucks saved up, so the final cost was less than $35 shipped.

I'm not finished.  One day, I will add a signed Topps rookie card to my collection.  Maybe his Fleer and OPC rookie cards as well.  But for now, I'm more than happy with crossing this whale off of my list.

Today's question of the day...

Have you ever waited too long to pick up a card?

If so, what card?  And what were the circumstances?

One of my biggest hobby regrets is waiting around to pick up a 2008 Topps Update KershawPrices are starting to drop... but they still sell for way more than I'm willing to spend.

Well... that's a wrap.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

Attention fellow bloggers...

It's time to sign up for the 3rd Annual Secret Santa blogger gift exchangeMr. Scott has passed the reins along to Jon over at A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts.  If you're interested in participating, click here.


  1. I could've bought the 1984 Fleer Update set for whatever list price was at the time, but I passed figuring I'd get it later. Later still hasn't come, which is mainly significant for me because I never got that Dwight Gooden rookie card. Lesson learned.

  2. I’m all over the place with my collecting but I wish I’d picked up a nice Mike Trout Bowman Draft Chrome first year autograph card even when he was really starting to get hype as a prospect in 2010.

    I figure I was good with the Trout autographs I got in-person and in all honesty was he the type to be a once in a generation talent - like I thought Albert Pujols was through his last years with the St. Louis Cardinals.

  3. Yup...I was late picking up Mantle cards for my '58, '59. '60, and '62 sets. About 50 years too late.

    I don't usually dwell on the fact that I once had all those vintage cards that I chase for those sets. But plunking down the $$$ for thge big ticket ones does make me wince in regret a bit.

    But on the bright side...I really like that Gwynn. I don't care what anyone sez, the early Donruss sets had some nice ones.

  4. I could have had Wayne Gretzky’s Toppsvrookie for 6 bucks in 1982 but that was 2 weeks of my junior high school allowance and too rich for my short sighted blood ..... oh well ..

  5. I had the pleasure of meeting Tony at All Star Fanfest in 2012. Though I had to practically defend my spot in line, I made it through and got a card signed.


    As far as a regret for picking up a card... I wish I would have done more to get my 81 Donruss set completed earlier. It took me ten years to do so and many guys passed away or quit signing over that span.

  6. Congrats on the pickup. I don’t have any stories that come to mind about cards I waited too long to pick up.

  7. I wouldn't say I waited too long, but I wish I was smarter about picking up more autographs of guys like Judge and Andujar when they could be had for a few bucks each.

  8. Love the Thomas Cape cod league card. That set has a few future MLB guys. Cape league games are a great way to take in a ballgame

  9. I need a 2005/06 Upper Deck Ovechkin rookie to complete that hockey set. They were going routinely for about $60 (so I heard a dealer saying). Now, since my Caps won the Cup, his RC has more than doubled. Dangit!
    (I also need a Squidney, but that will be cheap since I'd buy one with a crease through it.)

    1. ...and I second the motion on the Gretzky and '84 Donruss update set. Just got a starter for that this past year. Still need the big stars.

  10. I've waited too long on many cards, as well as plenty of non-card collectibles, unfortunately I can't think of any examples right now.

    And thank you for helping to promote the Secret Santa!

  11. the shlabotnik report - i never even thought about buying that set until it was way too late. i'm still looking to add the gooden to my collection one day.

    laurens - i'd be happy with just his rookie card. totally missed the boat on him.

    commishbob - by the time i knew who mantle was... his cards were way out of my price range. as for the 1983 donruss design... i really think it's underrated (even if i like the 83T and 83F designs more).

    baltmoss68 - wowza. i completely understand. that's 20 packs of 1982 topps baseball.

    zman40 - great post (although the guy with his daughter kinda bugged). as for the 81 donruss project, i'm not a huge fan of that set design... but gotta admit they look really cool autographed

    sumomenkoman - it's probably best that you don't ;)

    the lost collector - there are some yankees prospectors who hit the jackpot with those two.

    mark hoyle - it's one of the big frank thomas cards missing from my collection. i'd still like to grab an unsigned version one day. heck... maybe i'll try to find a complete set.

    gca - i wasn't collecting in 2005/2006, so i don't think i have rookie cards of either of those guys. then again... don't have gretzky, lemieux, roy, or any of the big names from that era either.

    jon - of course. now that names have been assigned... can't wait to get out there and shop.