30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, October 24, 2020

TWIB: Credit Cards, Controversial Cardboard, and my Puckett Phase

Good afternoon sports card collectors.  Welcome to another edition of This Week in Blogging.  This week's buffet plate is loaded, so let's dive in before things get cold...

#1Credit Card Addiction

My father warned me about the dangers of messing with credit cards when I was a kid.  I didn't listen and had to learn the hard way.  Back in the 90's, I found myself in a big pile of debt.  I spent five years paying it off and it was one of the greatest life lessons I ever learned.

1981 Perma-Graphics Credit Cards #19

These days, the bulk of my credit cards look like the Rickey you see above.  Last Sunday, Gregory reminded me of this set I bought a few years ago when he showed off his Keith Hernandez over on his blogNine Pockets.  Here's a look at the set in its entirety:

These credit cards might not earn you any bonus points, but they won't leave you with a pile of debt either.

#2Controversial Cardboard

2005 Topps Turkey Red

Topps included Tony Gwynn in their 206 set this year.  On the surface, this isn't too shocking.  However I thought Jongudmund made some interesting and thought provoking arguments on his blog .394 this past Monday regarding Mr. Padre and a card with tobacco roots.  If you haven't read about it already, I encourage you to check it out.

Sorry... I don't have a copy of the 2020 Topps 206 Gwynn, so I decided to use another tobacco inspired card of him instead.

#3Incredible Iwamura

2008 Topps Silk #243 (#'d 44/50)

This postseason has made me accept the fact that I'm oblivious to almost anything related to the Tampa Bay Rays.  Thankfully, Jeremy listed his Top 5 Rays Moments back on Monday and recapped important events in their franchise history.

In his post, he made me realize how important Akinori Iwamura is to Rays' fans.   I have a bunch of his cards sitting in my Japanese Athlete PC, but I thought the above card was perfect for this post, since his putout against the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS sent the Rays to the World Series.

#4Lemonade Stands and Penny Cards

1960 Topps #35

Dimebox Nick has inspired a fair number of posts on this blog.  He shows off some of the most unique cards and has some of the most interesting card stories in the blogosphere.  Earlier in the week, he showed off his Top 5 Whitey Ford cards and the card seated in the #1 spot was his 1960 Topps card which was given to him by his father.

Now any card passed down from father to son is a cool card in my book.  But to top it off, Nick's father purchased it from some kids with a lemonade stand.  This sent me on a trip down memory lane as I remember setting up a lemonade stand in front of my house as a kid with some friends.  And guess what.  We sold cards too.

By the way, the 1960 Topps Whitey Ford shown above is the latest autograph addition to my collection.  Picked it up last Saturday off eBay for $30 (+ $6.56 in taxes and shipping).  The seller didn't show a scan of the card back and I failed to ask about it, but I'm pretty sure the price reflects the condition.

#5Better Than a Blaster

When it comes to fellow bloggers, I feel like Shoebox Legends and I share similar interests when it comes to collecting.  One of the things we have in common is an appreciation for bargain priced graded rookie cards.  A few days ago, he wrote about his recently purchased graded Kirby Puckett rookie card and I was truly enviousShane seems to find the best deals on slabs.  He's also really good at flipping cards for profits and using that money to buy more cards for his collection.

1985 Donruss #438

After doing a little digging, I discovered that I own my own graded copy of that card.  I purchased mine ten years ago on COMC for $12.  Back then... I went through a Puckett phase.  Here are a few of the other collectibles in my Puckett PC:

1985 Fleer #286
1985 Topps #536
1985 Minnesota Twins Postcards #NNO

2003 Sweet Spot Classic Greats #CG-KP
1984 Fleer Update #U-93

The autograph and 1984 Fleer Update set me back a few bucks, but the pair of cellos packs and the slabbed postcard were all purchased for less than the price of a blaster box.

There were actually two more blog posts I was going to feature in today's post, but this one has dragged on long enough.  But my plan is to write about each of them this week, so stay tuned.

Until then, here are a few questions to keep you busy...

What are some of your favorite controversial cards and/or Tampa Bay Rays sitting in your collection?

If you're a team collector, have you ever went through a phase where you collected a player outside of your team(s)?

Okay... that wraps things up another edition of This Week in Blogging.  Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. I'm just catching up on some of these posts now. Thanks for calling our attention to them.

    I'd have to assume that no one at Topps put two and two together re:Gwynn and tobacco cards. It's not like today's cards are issued in tobacco products, but still.

    For a while I collected color-matching refractors (I still enjoy them but they're not a priority anymore) among my favorites were blue-bordered Tampa Bay Rays cards, specifically Evan Longoria.

  2. I don’t have his cards but am following the World Series... your post made me think of Tsutsugo.

  3. My favorite Rays cards in my collection are my David Price cards from his time with Tampa. Which leads to your second question. I have several player collections to go along with my Cleveland Indians collections. These include Cal Ripken Jr, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, David Price, Francisco Lindor, Richie Sexson, Mark McGwire, Eric Lauer

  4. I don't have much of either.

    I do have a 1960 Lew Burdette with a - questionable? - Braves logo.

    My best Ray card is a 2010 Topps Evan Longoria.

  5. My two main player collections are Cubs. Non Cubs players are part of a few casual collections.

    I picked up a mini Longoria rookie from a dime box last year. Probably my best Rays card.

    I don't have the Billy Ripken f face, just the black box and scribble I think. So mine are close to controversial?

  6. My favorite All-Time Rays player is Rocco Baldelli. I've gotten some of his cards over the years, including a few relic cards, courtesy of Paul/ Scribbled Ink.

    I've always collected cards other than Tigers cards, put I don't really go after them like Detroit cards.

    Good Job 👍.

  7. To answer a couple of those questions at once, I am Twins team collector and I have several non-Twins players I like to collect. Two of the them are former Padres and currently Rays - Hunter Renfroe and Manny Margot. I picked up some nice Rocco Baldelli cards in a Rays uni after he became the Twins' manager. Other players I collect that never played for the Twins include Minnie Miñoso and the Alou family...

    Controversially - I have the Billy Ripken card, and I guess any Roberto Clemente card that lists him as "Bob" is a little controversial. Curt Flood as a Phillie is controversial too (1970 Topps). He refused to be traded and it ended up as a lengthy court battle. He never played a game for Philadelphia. The card is a close-up headshot and he's flashing an awkward half smile-grimace like he's pretending to laugh at a bad joke.

  8. Thanks for the mention, Fuji! And thanks for posting the entire set of Perma-Graphics. I've never seen so many in one place. The funky design for the team names is fantastic.

    I don't think I have an answer for either of your questions, as I'm not sure I have any controversial cards in my collection, and I'm also not a team collector. However, I will comment on how cool those cello packs with Kirby Puckett on the front are. Nice pieces for your collection there!

  9. chris - i was wondering if gwynn's family even knows brands like piedmont and turkey red are tobacco products. and it's super cool when the refractor border color happens to match a team's color. i'll try to have a refractor version of this post next year.

    steve at 1975baseballcards.com - maybe tsutsugo will be a hero for one of the rays this year. i didn't watch the game last night, but just saw the highlights. crazy ending

    ohiotim - i've always casually rooted for price too (b/c he's a lefty). and been thinking about buying a few nice ripkens (not necessarily building a pc of his) since he'll forever be connected to gwynn.

    elliptical man - yeah... i can see why it's controversial. interesting piece of collecting history though.

    jeff b - i think i might have a bowman card of longoria that i pulled from a box last year. if i find his 2008 topps card in a dime box, id grab it for sure. congratulations on your find. and the billy ripken is a great controversial card suggestion.

    john sharp - baldelli. huh. i remember he was a rising star, but then he just fell off the map. next thing you know, he's a manager. i'd have to sit down and really think about my favorite all-time ray. if they end up winning the world series, maybe i'll write a top 5 post.

    brian - i'll have to see if i own that curt flood card. i vaguely remember hearing the story of him refusing to go there. thanks for the review. and i only recently learned about roberto not liking the media calling him bob. very surprised topps would do that to a legend.

    gregory - i was originally going to write a set spotlight post, but right now life is a little too crazy. barely holding my head above water trying to teach and keep up with blog posts. i was very fortunate to find those cello packs of puckett for less than $15 when i returned to the hobby. i have a topps rack pack sitting around somewhere too, but need to dig it out.


  10. 1. Since the Durham Bulls have been the Rays Triple A over the last 20 years, I feel like I have a huge collection of cards from that team. Currently, I think my favorite cards are my Snells, but I have also gone heavy on Will Myers, Evan Longoria, Upton, David Price, and Justin Ruggiano.

    2. I collect players outside of my team all the time, depending on how you look at it. If a former Durham Bulls player is traded off the Rays, I still collect them if I like them. I would still go after Snell cards if they traded him. Same with the college players I see locally. I have always liked guys like Trea Turner, Carlos Rodon, and Marcus Stroman. I don't really care where they are playing. In someways when you are watching Minor League and college baseball, it's easy to identify a player as belonging to your team even when they have gone to other things. Trea Turner might be on the Nationals for the moment, but he will always be an NC State player in my mind.

  11. Oooh the 1970 Curt Flood is a good call.

    The Gwynn thing is a good point but also reminds me that Topps deletes explicit references to tobacco from those as well. Like where the original Piedmont backs say "The Cigarette of Quality" the new ones say "The Brand of Quality." I do wonder if Topps has decided that no one remembers/cares what Turkey Red/Allen&Ginter/GQ/etc used to be.

    As a Giants collector the only guys I collect more than their Giants cards are Bobby Bonds and Tito Fuentes. Main reasons for both are that they have too many cool non-Giants cards.

    Also those Permagraphics cards look more like employee ID badges. I love the logo treatments though. Goes beyond custom lettering to some alternate reality craziness.

  12. Thanks for giving my post a shout out!
    Favorite controversial card is probably the F-Face Ripken and the ‘94 Stadium Club Frank Thomas where it looks like he’s shooting a bird.
    My favorite Rays card has to be the ‘10 Topps franchise history card of Aki making the final putout of the ‘08 ALCS which I mentioned in my post.
    I collect all kinds of players, so many of them have cards from different teams, even some guys who have Yankee cards.

  13. If the infamous Billy Ripken card can be considered "controversial," than that's probably my favorite.

    Also, cool '60 Whitey, and thanks for mentioning my post! The world could use more lemonade stand/card hubs like yours.

  14. Perfectly wrapped Kirby Puckett RCs! Doesn't get any better than that! As a kid I always liked collecting cards of latino players. The most controversial card in my collection would probably be those Score Dream Team cards with the shirtless players, Puckett being one of them.

  15. the snorting bull - you are one of two bloggers who i consider to be a rays collector. i wish i had a stronger connection to local minor leaguers or college athletes, because it'd be cool to follow them like you mentioned. but i just don't have the time (or maybe energy) to keep up with all of that. that being said, i enjoy following durham bulls by reading your blog

    nick vossbrink - i feel like that's the angle topps has chosen to go with and that's fine with me as long as it doesn't offend people. in the case of gwynn, it might be offensive since it's a topic that hits close to home. as for those permagraphics... i was actually going to focus on the logos for my set spotlight post. thought it was funny that the a's have angel wings on their logo

    jeremya1um - i love that frank thomas card. reminds me of the 72 topps billy martin. as much as i dislike the yankees... i've gotta admit, i have a ton of their cards sitting in my collection too

    nick - yeah, i'd call the ripken controversial. totally agree. i can't remember the last time i saw a lemonade stand. i feel like the kids in my area don't do that anymore. and if i were to guess, i'd say none of them collect cards either... but that's just a guess.

    big tone - lol. yeah... those shirtless cards are definitely disturbing ;D

  16. Just catching up on some reading. Thanks for the mention. Topps seem to be producing more tobacco related cards every year now. I think I've blogged that Turkey Red card from a few years back. There's a 2020 one as well.

  17. Those Puckett cards though, oofta!

  18. Thanks for the mention, Fuji! Whoa, your Puckett collection is unreal. Love that PSA 9 Donruss and also those unopened cello packs are just too cool. I've never thought to collect anything like that but what awesome, unique items those are.

  19. jongudmund - looks like i'll have to track down a copy of the 2020 turkey for my collection. maybe in time for thanksgiving?

    grant - lol. i've neglected that collection for a few years. might need to do something about that

    shoeboxlegends - i've been a fan of unopened packs for years. i remember my lcs had some racks with stars showing, but i didn't get into them myself until about 10 years ago.