30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Saying Goodbye Is Tough

This post was suppose to highlight my card show haul, but the past few days have been pretty hectic since it's the start of the new semester.  That means working on report cards and preparing for my next group of students who arrived on Monday.

Although I'm excited to work with my eighth graders, saying goodbye to my seventh graders is always tough.  I'll see a high percentage of them next year, but there's a sort of "end of the innocence" thing that takes place during those 12 months.  A lot of them have stopped by the past few days to tell me about their new electives, but it's only a matter of time before they become "hellos" in the hallways around campus.

So while my mind is still fixated on goodbyes, I figured this would be the perfect time to salute Adrian Beltre who provided years of entertainment to baseball fans both on and off the field.  Personally, I didn't really start appreciating him until a few years ago, but his twenty-one season career left him with some serious numbers:

3,166 Hits
477 Home Runs
4x MLB All-Star
4 Silver Slugger Awards
5 Gold Glove Awards
2 Platinum Glove Awards
2014 Lou Gehrig Award Winner

Sitting within my collection, I found all of the pieces I needed to build myself a Adrian Beltre Sports Card Trifecta...


Autograph: 1999 Bowman Autographs #BA37


Okay.  I lied.  This card is one of my latest Beltre purchases.  If you read my post from Tuesday, then you know how much I enjoy on-card, pack pulled autographs from the 90's.  I'm especially fond of the ones that were tough pullsThis card meets all three of these things.

The 1999 Bowman autographs came in three tiers: blue (1:162 packs), silver (1:485 packs), and gold (1:1,194 packs).  There are five gold autographs in the set.  Beltre is one of them.


Rookie Card1997 Bowman Chrome #182


Beltre only has three different rookie cards.  Gotta admire the simpler times... although I'm not sure anyone would classify the mid 90's hobby scene as simple.  Anyways... out of his three rookie cards, this one is probably his most popular.

A few weeks ago, this card was selling for a little under $100 on eBay.  However the past two weeks have seen a huge spike in sales.  Since January 20th, four have sold in the $122 to $137 range.

I purchased mine back for $5.38 on COMC in 2011Who says baseball cards aren't a good investment?


Memorabilia Card2013 Archives 1960 Topps Relic #60R-AB


I could have sworn that I had a bunch of Beltre jersey cards, but I was only able to find a handful.  This is my favorite out of the lot.  1960 Topps has always been one of my favorite designs, although Beltre doesn't seem to be amused by this card.

I'm going to miss all of his different facial expressions... especially the ones that involved Elvis Andrus.  Those two seemed to have this awesome chemistry... similar to the one I had with my seventh graders.

Enjoy your retirement Adrian!  Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

Since I took the time to scan all of my Beltre autographs, I figured now would be the time to show them off:



And here's my second favorite Beltre autographed card in my collection:

1998 Donruss Signature Series Millenium Marks #NNO

Another 90's autograph.  Only this time this card was pulled from one of those "autograph per pack" products.  It's also interesting to see how his signature has evolved over the years.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Garage Card Days

One of my buddies is living the dream.  He's a stay at home dad who sells sports cards to supplement his family's slush fund.  You won't find him on eBay or COMC.  He's not listed in BeckettNope.  He sells cards out of his garage.

And I'm not talking about Junk Wax bulk.  He specializes in high end cards with connections to people who bust an insane amount of product.  Plus he's one of the best I know at buying low and selling high.  It's really impressive.

I don't really bother buying a lot of stuff from him, because his inventory usually consists of cards you'd see in Beckett Top 10 lists and that's not really my thing.  But that doesn't mean I won't go over to his house a few times a year to check out what he has to sell.

Two weekends ago, I hung out in his garage and we talked about the Super Bowl, the Golden State Warriors, and of course... sports cards.  Although I didn't intend on spending much, I purchased one nice card for my collection.

However... before I show it off, let's check out some cards that caught my eye, but ended up staying in his garage:


Not the biggest fan of Bieber or the Kardashians, but it's not often I get a chance to see their signatures.


I can't stand the Cowboys, but this one of one Nike logo patch is sweet!


I've always wanted to own a Danica Patrick autograph, but not sure I need something this nice.

The final two cards I'll share are two I definitely could picture myself chasing...


The only problem is that these gorgeous one of a kind recreations are not cheap.  Maybe one day, I'll be able to work out a deal for one.

Until then... I had to settle for this card:

1997 Topps Rookie of the Year Autograph #NNO

Yeah.  I know.  I can't stand the Yankees.  But I have the utmost respect for Mr. Jeter as a player.  And let's keep it real... the guy is a Yankee's legend.  That's why when I came across this in my buddy's box, I quickly set it aside.


Autographs are one of my favorite things to collect and my favorite ones are the on-card, pack pulled kind from the 90's.  I'm especially fond of the ones that were tough pulls, like this card.  Topps inserted these Jeter autographs into one out of every sixteen Series 2 boxes (or 576 packs).  Now I'm not going so far as to say that this card is rare.  It's not.  Topps produced an insane amount of boxes back in the 90's.  But seriously... that's what made this Jeter autograph fall into my price range.

I was hoping to have my card show haul up today, but I haven't finished scanning the stuff.  Gonna try and have it up on Thursday.  One of the purchases involves junk waxYippee!  Stay tuned.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Updated Reading List

Just because I collect what I want to collect... doesn't mean that people don't influence my purchasesA few weeks ago, Adam wrote a book review on Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic by Jason Turnbow over on his blogARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession.

After reading his post, I immediately headed over to Amazon and purchased this:


It arrived a few days ago and I'm excited to dive into it at some point, because it seems really interesting.  The problem is I have a bunch of items currently on my reading list.  There are two books sitting on my iPad and a bunch of different sports card magazines that were sent to me by a generous collector back in November.  Plus there are the two different Beckett magazines I recently purchase along with the two Baseball Digests sitting on my dining room table.

The bottom line is... I'm a little backed up.  But I'm not complaining.  More reading material is far better than no reading material.

In fact, Julie over at A Cracked Bat sent me a care package last week and inside there were two Texas Rangers programs and a baseball magazine from the early 2000's.


I've already started diving into this magazine.  It reminds me of the Street and Smith's Baseball Yearbooks my mother would buy me when I was a kid.  There are team reviews, tons of statistics, position reviews, and hidden among these pages was this one of a kind sketch by Julie herself:


Unfortunately... this is a PG rated blog, so I'm unable to show you the goodies hidden beneath those post-it notes.

However I thought I'd share this little snippit from the magazine:


Interesting that while talking about players with a chance to break Hank Aaron's home run record, there's no mention of Barry Lamar Bonds.  Can't wait to read more interesting things from eighteen years ago.

Julie also included these two Texas Rangers baseball game programs:


Both programs involve the Oakland A's.  The one on the left has an article about Eric Chavez that I'm looking forward to reading:


While the other program has a section dedicated to the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame:


Can't wait to read more about guys like Buddy Bell, Jeff Burroughs, and Will Clark.

And just in case you were wondering... yeah... she sent cards too.  Here's a six pack of current and former Oakland Athletics:


Plus there was an oddball issue for my San Diego Padres collection:

1992 Topps McDonald's #2

I have a few singles from this set... but I might need to track down a complete set one of these days.  As for Santiago, I remember him for that hitting streak early in his career and his ability to throw out runners from his knees.  Good times.

I saved my favorite card for last:

2018 Topps Chrome Update #52

Attention Topps:  If by chance you stumble across this post, congratulations on the production of this card.  This is what I want my baseball cards to look like.

Thank you Julie for this generous care package!  I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the 2001 baseball magazine and the two programs.  You've been added to the list.  Best of luck on your job hunt!  Hope you find something you truly love.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Live (Not Really) from the Local Card Show


Today's my first card show of the year... and it's the first time I'm ever writing a post from a show.  I'm sitting at my buddy's booth giving my legs a break.  So far, there's only one purchase I'm looking forward to blogging about.  The rest are your typical cheap relics and autographs.

I'll try to show off my card show goodies sometime during the week.  Today's post is a little late, but I wanted to tip my cap to the Cooperstown Class of 2019 and show off some signatures I've acquired over the years.

2013 Five Star Autographs #FSBA-EM

Although I'm more of a small hall kind of guy, I have no problems seeing Edgar get the call.  The guy was arguably the greatest designated hitter of all-time.  I have a couple of Martinez autographs, but this one is my favorite.  Back in 2014, I picked up this card for just under $7.

2013 Five Star Autographs #FSBA-MMU

I loved Mussina during Baltimore days.  Sadly I don't have an autograph featuring him wearing the black and orangeOne day.

1995 Signature Rookies Tetrad #72

Once upon a time, this card sat inside my low-end trade bait binder.  Sure glad I didn't trade this away for a Kurt Suzuki autograph or something.  Halladay doesn't have a lot of certified pack pulled autographs out there.


Huge props to Rivera.  There's no debating his place among closers.  He's simply the greatest.  Sadly I don't own an autographed card of Mo.  For the time being, I have to settle for this autographed book authenticated by Steiner.  Here's a closer look at his signature:


As of right now, his on-card signatures command triple digits... which is a little too pricey for me.  But 10 years ago, the same could be said for Rickey Henderson and Greg Maddux.  Maybe Topps will start flooding the hobby with his autographs too.

Rounding out this post are Baines and Smith who were voted in by the Today's Game Committee back in December:

2015 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autographs #FFA-HB

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Autographs #NNO

Okay... legs are officially refreshed.  Time to get back out there and buy some more cards.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Diversity is a Great Thing

Last night, I read a really interesting blog post over at Getting Back into Baseball Cards... in Japan that discussed how collectors across the Pacific aren't as obsessed with card condition and grading nearly as much as those here in the States.

He wasn't saying that all collectors over here are obsessed with those two things, but pointed out that neither of these things seem to be as important to the average Japanese collector.

There's a huge part of me that wishes I could permanently turn off my "care for condition", because it'd definitely save me money.

Right before Christmas, I finally added Jose Altuve's 2011 Topps Update rookie card to my collection.  Raw copies typically sell for $15 to $18 on eBay, but I decided to pay $63.89 for this:


Why would I pay four times as much for a slabbed card Well... there are a few reasons:

#1:  I enjoy collecting graded rookie cards.
#2:  This was a spur of the moment purchase that involved combined shipping.
#3:  When it comes to the majority of my card purchases, condition matters.

That doesn't mean that I don't have an appreciation for well loved cards.  I totally do.  In fact, I have a special name for them: "cards with character".

My 1952 Topps Jerry Coleman is the perfect example:


I purchased this card off of COMC back in 2017, because it's what I envision a 1952 Topps baseball card looks like when I close my eyes.  There are creases all over the place and even a small tear.  I love everything about this card and have no desire to replace it with a graded copy.

But that's just the way I collect.  Sometimes I wanna purchase a card with character for my collection, while other times I enjoy buying a new graded card.  It's who I am as a collector.  But that's the beauty of our hobby.  There are countless ways to collectBuy what you want to buy.  Collect what you want to collect.


Diversity among our collections is a great thing.  So is accepting each other for who we are and the different ways we collect.  Happy Thursday and sayonara!