30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, February 18, 2019

A Little Cardboard Controversy

Politics and controversy tend to go together like two peas in a pod.  So when I discovered there was controversy surrounding the 2015 Pastime Presidential Portraits set I purchased last year, I wasn't too surprised.

In a nutshell, the card company that produced this set took presell orders at $45 (free shipping) leading up to the March 10, 2015 scheduled release date.  Unfortunately they went out of business a few months before that.  Although I did find one member on Non Sport Update Card Talk who stated he/she received their set approximately one month after the release date, it's assumed that most people didn't receive their orders.

Then in July of 2016, sets started popping up on eBay.  Each factory sealed set contains a complete 44 card base set, two inserts, and one one-of-a-kind hand drawn sketch card.

The controversy has to do with the fact that none of the sketch artists were paid for their artwork.  Plus there are randomly inserted redemption cards for the original artwork used to create the base set that will never be redeemed.  In fact, you've gotta wonder what ever happened to the original artwork.  This definitely left a sour taste in the mouths of anyone who never received their sets or never received compensation for their work.

As for my interest in the set, I can't remember exactly how I learned about them.  But I'm pretty sure I
purchased my two sets primarily for the sketch cards.  By the way, if you're wondering if I paid $45 for each set, I didn't.  I paid $26 (+ $8 shipping) for the two sets back in August of 2018.

Today I figured I'd crack them open in honor of President's Day as well as kickoff my first contest of 2019.  But more about that at the end of the post.

Let's show off the set:

I'm a pretty big fan of portraits and some of these aren't too bad.  However there were a bunch of the base cards that seemed a little off.

Here's a closer look at Ronald Reagan:

I admit that there's no way I could do a better job, but this isn't how I remembered our 40th President.

Here's how I remember him:

This is one of the inserts I received in my first set.  It's called a Presidential Posters Collection card.

Here's the one from my 2nd box:

As you can see these inserts are unnumbered and do not contain any serial numbering.

The second insert in each set were the Presidential Stamp Relic Cards:

The card on the left features a 1938 3¢ Jefferson stamp, which seems to be fairly common.  The other one contains a 1923 8¢ Grant stamp which is a little rarerUnused copies sell for $20 to $30.

On the back of each stamp card there's a certificate of authenticity:

And finally the two cards I was looking forward to the most:

I was very impressed by both of these sketch cards.  The detail on the Theodore Roosevelt is fantastic, but on the other hand, I enjoy the simplicity of the Obama sketch as well.  I'll be hanging onto both of these sketch cards, the four inserts, and one of the base sets.

Contest Information:

However if you would like to own the other forty-four card base set, please respond to at least one of these questions of the day:

Who is your favorite United States President?

Who is your least favorite United States President?

What is your favorite trading card controversy?

I'll leave the contest open until Saturday afternoon at 3pm PST.  After that I'll put everyone's names into the randomizer, hit randomize five times, and whoever is in the 16th slot will win the set.  If there are less than 16 entries, then I'll enter everyone's name two times.

Happy President's Day!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Lots of Luck!

When it rains... it pours.  At least that's how I feel when it comes to contest winnings.  I recently won two different card blog contests.

The first one involved a popular Blog Bat-Around over at Waiting 'til Next YearP-town Tom asked bloggers to write about their favorite card of 2018 and offered two random winners blaster boxes of 2019 Topps Series 1.  Thanks to a unique way of selecting a winner that involved an integer set generator, I won.  This was sort of a blessing in disguise since I didn't have any plans on purchasing any 2019 Topps, but I've really been enjoying reading everyone's product reviews.

Here are my five favorite cards from the box along with a few of my thoughts on the product:

This card has been written about on several blogs and I haven't gotten sick of looking at it.  I'm usually an action shot junkie, but there's a place in our hobby for dugout snapshots and this one is a masterpiece.

Speaking of action...

The Calhoun is possibly a bat flip... and definitely well-cropped action shot.  And the Stroman might be zoomed in, but it captures an interesting body contortion.

Here's my nomination for subset of the year:

I would have rather pulled the Oakland Coliseum, but this card features a beautiful shot of Fenway.

And finally... a new addition to my Kershaw collection:

Thanks Tom for hosting this Blog Bat-Around and the generous contest!  

The other contest win involved a Rose Bowl contest over at Stadium Fantasium.  I tried to access the site to help me remember the exact details of the contest, but it was down for maintenance while I was writing this post.

I think it involved predicting the final score of the Rose Bowl or something like that.  Whatever the circumstances, I was the first place winner and was able to choose three prizes.  I ended up picking three of the 2018 Topps LA Dodgers 60th Anniversary SGA Packs:

Each of these packs contain seven player cards, along with the header card seen in this photo.  The cards resemble something from Topps Archives and utilize the 1965, 1977, 1985, 1994, 2001, and 2018 Topps designs.  As soon as I get my hands on the other three packs, I'll do a review of the entire set.

He also included a 2019 Rose Bowl Program:

My cousin attended UW, so I grew up cheering for the Huskies.  Unfortunately their 4th quarter comeback fell short and the Buckeyes walked away with a 28-23 victory.

He also included five souvenir cups from the game:

And a 2019 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Program:

I honestly don't know much about this game, but it'll be interesting to see how many players listed in this program get drafted in April.

Thank you Andy for all of these awesome Rose Bowl goodies... and the cool Dodger SGA cards.  I've been wanting to get my hands on some of these cards since the first time I read about them.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Unconditional Love

I'm sure many of you are planning on enjoying this romantic holiday with your significant others, so I'll keep this post short and sweet.

I've been in love with this hobby since I was eight or nine years old, which is why I get excited three times a year to hang out with friends at the Serramonte Mall Sports Card, Toys, and Collectibles Show.

Today I'll be wrapping up the rest of my card show haul that took place three weekends ago.

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I figured I'd kick things off with a shiny pink card:

1993 Donruss Elite #24

The guy who sold me the relics and rookie cards from last week's posts is the same guy who sold me this Mattingly.

This card was by far my favorite purchase from the show.  Anyone who collected cards back in the early 90's is familiar with the history of this insert set.  That's why my eyes lit up as soon as I saw it sitting in a 50% to 75% off bin.  It's hard to see, but there's a tiny ding in the bottom left hand corner, but I still love it.  

Unconditional love, right?  

Actually the ding is the thing that helped bring the price tag down to $10.

In addition to the Mattingly, I also picked up these four cards that were sitting in his $5 bin:

2001 Upper Deck Hall of Famers Bat #B-RCa

1996 Leaf Signature Series Autographs Bronze #NNO
2001 Topps Team Legends Autographs #NNO

2002 Fleer Triple Crown Season Crowns Triple Swatch #NNO (#'d 067/100)

Two on card autographs and two memorabilia cards featuring four hall of famers... all for $15.  I can live with that.  I absolutely love the Maddux.  It represents the 71st memorabilia card of his in the collection.

My final purchase of the day was from my buddy who sold me these six cards for five bucks:

I'm looking forward to seeing if Andujar can build on those impressive numbers he put up in 2018.  Part of me doesn't want him to, since he's a Yankee.  But if he does, at least I'll be sitting on a few of his rookie cards.

Well that's it for today.  Happy Valentine's Day and sayonara!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Slipped Through the Cracks

As a guy who enjoys collecting hall of famers... I'm ashamed to admit this... but Frank Robinson never really popped up on my collecting radar.

1983 Topps #576

When I was a kid, he managed the San Francisco Giants, but somehow he slipped through the cracks.  Some might say it's because he was a manager, but as a kid, I was weirdly fascinated by skippers.  I enjoyed watching and collecting guys like Billy Martin, Sparky Anderson, Roger Craig, Earl Weaver, Whitey Hertzog, and Tommy Lasorda.

As a player, I may or may not have had the opportunity to see him play during the tail end of his career, but if I did, I don't remember it.  The majority of his all-star seasons took place before I was born.

However the same can be said for guys like Al Kaline, Lou Brock, Juan Marichal, Catfish Hunter, and Willie McCovey... yet I definitely have gone out of my way to purchase specific cards of each and every one of these guys.

I can't for the life of me figure out how I neglected to pay attention to such a legendary player.

Thankfully, I've been truly enjoying all of your blog tributes these past few days.  They've taught me a lot of interesting facts and shown me some truly great cards, which inspired me to dig and see which of his cards reside within my collection.  To my surprise, I had a lot more than expected.  However to keep this post a reasonable length, I'll show off my five favorites and some honorable mentions.

Without further ado...

#11964 Topps Giants #29

I don't own a lot of vintage Frank Robinson cards, but I'm sure glad I have this one.  I've said it before and I'll say it again... this is one of my favorite vintage oddball sets.

This card highlights him winning the 1961 NL MVP Award.  I might not have known much about Robinson and his career, but I did know that he's the only player to own both NL and AL MVP Awards.

#21963 Topps #3

This card isn't just one of my favorite Frank Robinson cards sitting within my collection, it's one of my favorite league leader cards as well.  How often do you see five hall of famers on a single card?

By the way, when he retired as a player, only three MLB players had hit more home runs during their careersHank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Willie Mays.

#31999 Century Legends Epic Signatures #FR

This is one of my all-time favorite autograph sets and I was very happy to see that Frank Robinson was part of the set I'm currently trying to build (even though I know it'll never be completed).  I really love how the blue Sharpie stand outs over the black and white photo of Tiger Stadium in the background.

#41995 Upper Deck Autographs #AC3

C'mon.  What did you expect?  You know I enjoy collecting autographs.  Surprisingly I only own three Frank Robinson signatures.  Although he had a few other autographs before this particular card, this was the first released by one of the major card companies.

Back in 1995, Upper Deck inserted "trade cards" into their Series 2 packs which could be redeemed for an autograph.  If you're interested in seeing the rest of this set, click here.

#52001 Donruss Classics Stadium Stars #SS-18

I have two other game used memorabilia cards, but this one is my favorite.  Unlike the Epic Signatures card featured above, I like how Donruss took the time to actually match the player with the stadium in the background of the card.  The piece of wood is supposedly a piece of a stadium seat from Baltimore's Memorial Stadium where Robinson played over 400 games at.

Robinson had a lot of success playing there.  He hit 104 home runs, while maintaining a .305 batting average and .569 slugging percentage.  The batting average and slugging percentage are Memorial Stadium records among batters with a minimum of 500 plate appearances.

I'll go ahead and wrap things up with some honorable mentions:

1962 Post #122

1962 Topps #54

1968 Atlantic Oil Play Ball Contest #5

1968 Topps #2

1968 Topps #4

1969 Topps #250

1970 Topps #700

1971 Topps #640

1974 Topps #55

1994 Nabisco All-Stars #NNO

1995 Topps Legends of the 60's Bronze Medallion #8

2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection #FR

2004 Topps #284

2006 SP Legendary Cuts Baseball Chronology Materials #BC-FR

Thanks again to all of you who posted Frank Robinson tributes recently.  It opened my eyes to just how significant his role was to the game we all love.  I can assure you that his cardboard will no longer fly under my radar nor will they slip through the cracks from this point moving forward.

And my thoughts go out to Mr. Robinson's friends and familyRest in peace.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!