30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, January 5, 2019

My Portland Pickups

Today is the first Saturday of the month, which means that I should have been out walking around the De Anza Flea Market in search of my first 2019 Flea Market Finds.  Unfortunately rain was forecasted, which tends to scare off vendors, so I decided to sleep in instead.

Even though I enjoy my fair share of flea markets, the funny thing is... I enjoy rainy weather almost as much.  Last week, I spent five days up in Portland and it drizzled off and on the whole time I was there.

But that's okay... I spent most of my time indoors eating tons of food, building Lego Disney sets, reading picture books, watching college football, singing Christmas songs, playing a modified version of Pictionary, and spending quality time with my best friend and her daughters.

One of the traditions we started last year was taking the girls to a toy store in Beaverton and letting them choose their Christmas presents.  A few doors down there's a candy store we also go to for our sugar fix.  Normally, I grab some salt water taffy and call it a day.  This time around, I saw this sitting on one of their shelves:

A while back, I read a review on this licorice over at Sport Card Collectors and have wanted to try it out ever since.  In terms of taste, I wasn't disappointed.  This stuff is delicious.

The only downside is the price.  I paid $6.95 for a 3.5 ounce plug.  It's a little cheaper to purchase it from the company's website directly, which I've already done.  Like I said... it's delicious.

We also stopped off at Barnes and Noble to buy the girls some books.  While we were there, I found two things for myself:

I haven't bought a copy of Beckett Baseball in years, but I'm a huge fan of the 80's and wanted something to read on the airplane.  My goal is to dedicate a future post to this issue in the future, but we'll have to see.  I've said this about other price guides I've recently added to my collection as well and so far they're still ideas on the drawing table.

The book is a nice addition to my signed book collection, which I'm sure I've mentioned before.

If not... well guess what... I enjoy collecting signed books too.  Sometimes the author is an athlete or pop culture icon... other times it's a book I enjoy or a favorite author.  In this case... Wonder is a popular children's novel that's been recommended to me by students and fellow teachers the past two or three years.

I've started reading it a few times, but now that I have the book there's no excuse for me to not finish it.

I figured since I was showing off my Portland pickups, it's a perfect time to wrap up the second half of a care package Rod over at Padrographs sent me right before the holidays.  He lives in the Portland area and I'm hoping to one day meet up with him and Gavin (Baseball Card Breakdown)... or at the very least check out the book store he manages.

In the meantime, let's check out the awesome stuff he sent my way.  I wanted to kick things off with this piece of artwork that seems to be printed on felt or something very similar:

I'm not sure where this came from, but it's big, beautiful, and will eventually be framed just like the piece of kimono cloth that SumoMenkoMan sent me back in November.

Next up are these four 8x10 photographs depicting Japanese Americans right around the time when the United States entered World War 2.  On the back of each photo there's a caption that describes what's going on in each photo:

Man these photos stirred up some emotions.  My parents were lucky.  Neither of their families were forced into internment camps.  They lived in Hawaii and there were way too many Japanese Americans living there to feasibly put them all into camps.  However we have several family friends who lost almost everything when they were displaced.  One of those friends is the girl I went to visit in Portland last week.

I'm not 100% sure what I'll end up doing with these photographs.  They seem like they belong in a museum or something.  For the time being, I'm going to frame the children singing the Pledge of Allegiance and hang it up in my classroom.

I'm not sure if Rod is a psychic or not, but I've been thinking about starting a postcard collection for quite some time.  Well thanks to him, it has officially begun:

Kyoto/Mt. Hiei/Lake Biwa

I decided to break the postcards down into six stacks.  This first stack is one of those gift packages that contains a bunch of postcards featuring Kyoto and the nearby Mt. Hiei and Lake BiwaKyoto is famous for being the former Imperial capital of Japan.

Waterside Matsue

The second stack was another gift pack.  This one featured photographs of the present-day castle town located on the main island of Honshu.  The plan is to one day show off some of these postcards in more detail, but I need to conduct more research first.

The third stack contains a bunch of postcards of Japan's capitalTokyo.  All of these have similar backs, so I'll assume they're from the same manufacturer.  Maybe they were once part of a gift pack or something as well.

The fourth stack are the last of the post cards featuring Japan.

In addition to Japan, Rod also sent me some postcards featuring San Francisco.  While I was debating on starting this collection, I knew one thing for sure... San Francisco was one of the places I'd focus the collection on.

Rounding out the stack of postcards are two from the beautiful Niagra Falls and two from Lake Payette in Idaho.

Whenever Rod sends me a care package, he definitely targets my "niche" collections.  I was super stoked to see these seven issues of Sports Illustrated for Kids:

Sure the articles are interesting, but the trading cards are the main reason I love this magazine:

Rounding out this post and care package is this Japanese sports book:

I have no idea what it's about, but there are photographs of Jose Canseco, Dwight Gooden, and Hank Aaron, so I'm guessing it's some sort of baseball media guide.  Even the San Diego Chicken makes an appearance.

Thank you Rod for this very generous care package.  I'm going to plan a trip out there either in late July or early August.  Unfortunately my friend chauffeurs me around, so I'm working around their schedule.  However maybe I can convince her to drive me and the girls to your bookstore.  I've seen photos online.  It looks like a really cool store.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


2012 Panini Gridiron Rookie Signatures #207

After missing the NFL Playoffs last season, the Seattle Seahawks are back in it.  Although I don't have high expectations, I am hoping that Bobby Wagner and company can somehow find a way to walk out of Arlington victorious, since the Dallas Cowboys are by far my least favorite football team.

Go Hawks!


  1. That's a killer care package from Rod. The postcards are beautiful. I spy Taylor Hall in the SI for Kids card pile. I agree the WW2-era photos should be displayed in a museum or library. It sickens me that the US committed such acts against innocent Japanese-American citizens. WW2 really was a low point in humanity as a whole.

    On a lighter note.. go Seahawks! I hope Wilson, Wagner, and co. crush the Cowboys!

  2. I also had not picked up a copy of Beckett in a long time, but I saw that current one and just had to pick it up. It is kind of inspiring me to start a new collection of cards. It is a great read by the way!

  3. Wonder! My son LOVES that book so I just read it over Christmas break. It is indeed very good.

    Also yeah it's kind of odd being sansei or yonsei and not having the internment experience in your family's past. It's such a shared moment of trauma in the nikkei community and really sets the Hawaii experience apart due to how small and forgotten Honouliuli was. That said, when I found my grandmother's wallet a couple years ago she'd held on to her WW2 identification for decades so there was clearly something from those days that left a mark.

  4. So much goodness in this post but those WWII-era photos are just amazing. That is quite a package you received.

  5. Quite an eclectic collection of goodies there from Rod and your trip to Portland. I'll definitely have to show the photos to the gf. Her parents were both sent to the internment camp in Gila River, Arizona.

  6. Nice package of Japanese goodies! Very cool stuff! I spent a good amount of time in the Portland area...love it!

  7. I have a friend who's grandparents were interned. Shameful.

    Interesting that the one postcard with a car showing in Japan appears to show an Austin Healy, a British car. It's a little too small on this device for me to be sure though.

    I have a rather small collection of post cards, probably around 50 or so. I hesitate to begin collecting them full time, for storage issues and financial reasons...I already have so many hobbies that some go months or years without my devoting any money to them...but on the other hand, they are just big trading cards. Typing out this comment has got the wheels turning in my head for a future post or series of posts.

  8. You're right, the licorice plugs aren't cheap but they are quite tasty. I picked up a box last year and it almost lasted me the length of my high school baseball coaching season.

  9. Those photos are probably hanging in a museum somewhere. Dorothea Lange is one of the most important photographers of that era. Her Depression works probably surpass even that of Walker Evans (Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.)

    Lange's Migrant Mother may be one of the most important photographs ever.


  10. There is a museum a couple hours from my house devoted to the history of the camps in Idaho and Oregon. We walked through it a couple of summers ago. I would have liked to have more time there, but my kids and their cousins were running around and making me nervous. Your photos would have fit right in among the photos on display there.

    One of my coworkers is a little too young to have spent time in the camps, but her parents and grandparents were sent to a camp just over the border in Oregon. I'd like to know more of her family's story, but I haven't found the right way to ask.

    1. I was wrong about the location of the camp that my coworker's father was sent to. His family was taken to the Minidoka camp in Idaho that I talked about a couple of comments down.

      I have another coworker who lived across the border in Oregon, and she may have been the one who interacted with people who had been sent to the Oregon camps.

      I talked to my coworker about it today, and she said she's been to the Minidoka site. She said that she was struck by the fact that the barbed wire and guard towers were intended to keep the incarcerated Japanese in the camp, not to protect them.

  11. chris - yeah there are lots of atrocities over the history of mankind. i tell my students all the time it's important to learn from your mistakes.

    tshenson - it wasn't enough to get me to buy a subscription, but it was a solid read

    nick vossbrink - i'm reading about 20 pages a night and over halfway done. it's really good! I hadn't read that post of yours. very cool. hope other readers took the time to click on it. great piece of history.

    john miller - it sure was. it's not your ever day sports card care package... that's for sure

    commishbob - yeah, i'm looking forward to showing the photos and the post cards to my parents. hopefully it'll stir up a great conversation

    bbcardz - it's so sad that entire families had to pack up their things and could take only what they could carry.

    steve at 1975baseballcards.com - ugh. i hate the cowboys

    sumomenkoman - portland is so beautiful. big fan of how green it is there.

    billy kingsley - i was wondering what kind of car it was. i'm not an expert, so i'll trust your opinion. if i dive headfirst into postcards, i'll definitely keep the budget in the 10¢ to 25¢ per postcard range.

    p-town tom - i can't wait for my shipment to arrive. i gained 5 pound during my 5 days in portland and have been trying to get the weight back down. as soon as i do, the licorice will be my reward

    carlsonjok - thank you for sharing that link. had not heard of her, but i have seen that photo with the mother and two kids.

    raz - from my experiences, my parents friends have either been very open about their experiences or just the opposite. i'll have to look into this museum. is it the tule lake segregation center? i'd love to one day visit it and learn more about it.

    1. Oh man go down that rabbit hole of photos by Lange about internment. Also the Ansel Adams ones (why yes I've posted about these)

    2. It is the Minidoka National Historic Site. The museum is more of an exhibit room in Hagerman, Idaho, which is about 40 miles away from the site of the camp. Here is an article about the exhibit:


      They are working on building up the Minidoka site into a more robust experience. Right now they just have a guard tower, a small visitor's center, and a trail. Here is the website for the actual site:


      And to tie this to sports, there is a page on the Minidoka web page about how important the game of baseball was to people living in the camp: