30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Flea Market Finds #159: Vintage, Junk Wax, and a Cool Mug

Hello there.  Sorry I haven't been very present in the card blogosphere the past few weeks.  Life happens.

I'll spare the explanations and excuses.  Most of you who check out this blog know the deal.  Let's get to the collectible stuff.

This past weekend, I hit up the De Anza Flea Market.  I planned this trip out earlier in the week and set aside a few hours in my schedule.

In recent trips, this flea market hasn't been that good.   Although it reopened after the lockdown over a year ago... it has struggled to lure both vendors and visitors... and seemed to be clinging to life.  I'm happy to report aisles were filled with collectibles and people treasure hunting.

Made a purchase within a few minutes into the walk and it involved one of my favorite things to collect...

Purchase #1Vintage Cards $5

An older gentleman I hadn't seen before had a bunch of unopened wax boxes from the early 90's.  The only thing I was remotely interested in was a box of 1990 Pro Set PGA Tour cards.  Next to them were three monster boxes with dollar packs.  One of these boxes had a bunch of cheap, pre-priced vintage in top loaders.  I ended up pulling out two cards

1964 Topps #246

I've always pictured Mota as a Dodger.  This card will be a healthy reminder that he was a Pirate too.

1956 Topps #7

I bought this card thinking #15 in the front row was Bart Starr.  It's not.  It's Paul HeldStarr was drafted in 1956, but didn't show up on a Topps card until the following season.  There are at least two hall of famers featured on this card though:  Jim Ringo and Bobby Dillon.  Possibly more.

The back features two more hall of famers names:  Don Hutson and Tony Canadeo.

Purchase #2San Francisco Postcards $5

Two rows over, there was a family with a bunch of garage sale stuff.  The father had a box of old stereoscope photos and postcards.  There were hundreds of them related to San Francisco, but I narrowed my stack down to these five:

I couldn't find any dates on these, but the guy said they were likely from the 50's or 60's... maybe even a little earlier.  His asking price was a little steep ($3 each), but thankfully he accepted my $5 counteroffer.

Purchase #3One Lone Curry Card $1

The postcard guy's son had a few stacks of cards (wrapped in rubber bands).  I found two... but this is the only one he'd let me have for a buck:

2021-22 Panini Hoops Slam #193

Like father, like son... his asking prices were a bit extreme.  Both cards I pulled were Steph cards.  He wanted $5 for one of them and $3 for this one.  After I was about to leave empty-handed, he told me he'd take my dollar for this one.

Purchase #4Pac-Man Beer Mug $3

I have way too many mugs sitting around.  Probably because I just can't say "no" to cool mugs with affordable price tags at the flea market.

Purchase #5One Lone Junk Wax Pack $5

1989 Donruss Value Pack

As I was walking down the last two rows... there was a guy with some clothes, books, and cd's laid out in rows on the ground.  I strolled down the cd aisle and saw a box with some late 80's rack packs.  All of them had at least one star showing.  There were three that stood out.  One was a 1990 Fleer with Gwynn on top.  Another was a 1989 Topps with a Nolan Ryan showing.  However the guy wouldn't budge off from his $5 per pack asking price, so I put both of those back and took home The Kid.

That'll wrap up my recent trip to the flea market.  There were actually two more purchases (a succulent and a pot) made on this trip, but I gave them to my friend's mom before writing this post.  Sorry about that succulent fans.

Thank you for those who have stuck around and continue to support the blog... even though posts are few and far between.  I actually have plenty to write about... including a pair of recent care packages... it's just a matter of finding time in my hectic schedule.  In fact... if it weren't for the extra day off this week... this post would have been written and published much, much later.

Okay... no more moaning and groaning.  Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

They're Just Babies, Man

When I'm working in the office... sorting and scanning cards... I like to have something playing in the background.  Sometimes it's Bob's Burgers reruns.  Other times it's music.  Just depends on my mood.

One day back in January or February... I was listening to videos on YouTube discussing Kobe Bryant's legacy.  I honestly never get tired of watching his highlights and listening people talk about his determination and passion for the sport of basketball.

On one of these videos, a 1978-79 Philadelphia 76ers Pictorial Yearbook was mentioned... that pictured Joseph "Jellybean" Bryant and his family:

Sitting in his father's lap is a very young Kobe "Bean" Bryant.  Since he was born in August of 1978, he can't be more than a few months old.

Now I'm not normally into collecting images of babies, but I thought this was a pretty cool collectible for my Kobe Bryant PC.

I immediately headed over to eBay and added it to my daily searches.  Fast forward to this summer and a BIN listing popped up for $10 (+ $5 shipping & 94¢ tax).  A few clicks of the mouse and a week of waiting to see if the picture actually existed... and voila it arrived.

In addition to the Bryant family photo, there was another future NBA player pictured as a baby:

Anyone recognize the infant sitting in his mom's lap?

Brownie points if you guessed this guy:

1998-99 Topps #196

Mike's father, Henry Bibby was Joe Bryant's teammate in Philadelphia for three seasons from 1976-77 to 1978-79.  They played together again in San Diego during the 1980-81 season.

And for those who care... here's the back cover of the yearbook:

Bibby and Bryant's 76ers reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals that season... which isn't too surprising considering they had guys like Julius Erving, Doug Collins, Maurice Cheeks, and Darryl Dawkins on the court with them.

Since basketball posts don't garner a lot of attention, I figured I'd show off a really cool card I pulled from a pack right around the time I purchased the yearbook:

2022-23 Prizm Monopoly Black Gold #73 (#'d 4/5)

I can't remember the last time I received a box of trading cards as an "end of the year" present, but one of my 7th graders hooked me up with this:

It's a box of basketball cards that doubles as playing cards for the Monopoly Prizm board game.  Normally this isn't something I'd go gaga over, but my buddy offered me a stack of singles for $5... which led me to this set build:

After placing a Sportlots order to fill in most of the blanks, I'm down to needing only these two cards to complete the base and Prizm Skills insert set.

Now I should clarify things for anyone new to this blog.  I was a big Los Angeles Lakers fan for most of my life, but after they joined other franchises in building "super teams" back in the late 2000's, my interest in them and the sport has waned.

That being said... I still love collecting Lakers and Golden State Warriors cardsReader X is my primary source of their cards these days.

Here are some basketball card highlights from his two most recent care packages:

1997-98 Collector's Choice #64

Holy moly... this card is awesome.  I wonder if Kobe made this shot... or if Marcus Camby ended up blocking it.  In the spirit of Kobe's birthday, I'm gonna choose to believe he made it.

Next up are a pair of shiny Prizms:

2022-23 Prizm Silver #276
2021-22 Prizm Red, White, & Blue #154

I will gladly inherit any unwanted Prizm and Mosaic parallels from any sport.  They are absolutely gorgeous.

And I'll wrap things ups with some 9-pocket pages of Lebron James, Steph Curry, and other big named Lakers and Warriors:

And I'll round things out with the musical inspiration for the title of this post...

Thank you TN for the box of Prizm cards.  And thank you Reader X for the stacks of Warriors and Lakers cards.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Same Family, Different Spelling

Seventy-two years ago... Eddie Gaedel made MLB history.

1961 Nu-Cards Baseball Scoops #426

I'm sure many of you are familiar with Mr. Gaedel and his pinch hitting appearance with the St. Louis Browns that made him the shortest person to ever appear in a Major League game.

If not, you can read about it on the National Baseball Hall of Fame website.  Just click here.

Today's post is about his much lesser known grandnephew:

2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Franchise Futures Signatures #76 

Back in April, Jeff over at Wax Pack Wonders showed off some new additions to his Lesser Known collection, which consists of baseball players who have family members who tend to be much more famous or guys who share their name with someone more prominent.

While reading his post, I remembered an ESPN article featuring Kyle Gaedele and his family ties to Eddie.  You might be thinking... the last names aren't even spelled the same.  But trust me, same familyDifferent spelling.  Don't believe me... click here to read the article for yourself.

Unfortunately they never had the opportunity to meet each other.  Kyle was born nearly thirty years after Eddie passed away and didn't really know about his famous granduncle until he was invited to a special ceremony honoring the famous at-bat in Cooperstown.

As for me and the autograph, Wax Pack Wonder's post motivated me to grab a copy on COMC for $1.23.  Now I own the autograph of a lesser known guy related to the shortest player in MLB history.  The seller was probably just glad to unload the autograph of a minor league player that never made it past AA.

i might not write as much as before, but I'm truly grateful for all of the card bloggers out there for their dedication, passion, and hard work they put into their posts which open my eyes to hobby news, interesting ways to collect, collection additions, and every once in a while... inspiring me to add a card to my collection.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Twenty Six Years & Counting

The Little League World Series will always be special to me, because it's one of the annual sporting events my mom actually showed an interest in.  Like I mentioned before, she was the one who signed me up to play baseball when I was a little kid.  She also volunteered to be the team mom at least once... and played catch with me on our front lawn numerous times.  So every year when it rolls around, I'll monitor the box scores and root for teams from California, Hawaii, or Japan.

The 2023 Little League World Series kicks off tomorrow and to celebrate the event, I wanted to post three books that I've been sitting on since January.  Back in the early 90's, Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo published several books dedicated to professional athletes and their boyhood stories.  Within each of these books, there are five uncut sheets of cards with each sheet containing nine cards.

1991 More little BIG LEAGUERS #NNO

Now I had seen the Mark McGwire card at some point, but didn't really know where it came from.  Then in January, Nachos Grande wrote about his Barry Larkin card... which led me to discovering this book online:

1991 More little BIG LEAGUERS

This book includes the Barry Larkin, Mark McGwire, and forty-three other baseball players including Ken Griffey Jr.:

1991 More little BIG LEAGUERS #NNO

The cards aren't numbered, but they do include stories about the athlete from their youth.  In the case of Griffey, he never made an out at the plate or lost a game he pitched during his first season of Little League.  That's pretty impressive.

I was hoping that Tony Gwynn or Rickey Henderson would be included in the book, but they weren't.  However Gwynn was included in the 1990 book:

1990 little BIG LEAGUERS

Here's a look at the Gwynn:

1990 little BIG LEAGUERS #NNO

He's so young and skinny as a kid, I wouldn't have recognized him without his name being plastered on the card.

According to the back of his card, Tony and his teammates would sneak onto their opponent's home field and practice the day before big games.

Anyways... getting back to the books.  Instead of purchasing the Gwynn for $1.74 (+ tax), I decided to buy the book and all forty-five cards for $10 (+ 94¢ tax & free shipping).  The seller also had the 1991 book for the same price, so I grabbed that too.

I also picked up the football version for the same price from the same seller:

1990 little football BIG LEAGUERS

There wasn't a Steve Largent in the book, but two other Seahawks made the checklist: Brian Blades and Kelly Stouffer.  The lone Green Bay Packer was Perry Kemp.  I didn't think there'd be much interest in any of those guys, so I took a picture of the John Elway instead:

1990 little football BIG LEAGUERS #NNO

I'm not sure how accurate some of the stories printed on the back of these cards are, but at the very least they're interesting.  And the childhood photos are pretty cool too.

If any of you are interested in seeing the checklists for each of these books... I'll add links to them right here:

There's also a basketball version of these books, but I haven't been able to land one within my budget yet.  The issue has to do with Michael Jordan being on the checklist... which means they aren't really cheap (at least to me).

Well... with the arrival of the Little League World Series... it usually signals the end of my summer break.  Although i've been going into my classroom the past ten days... I'll be officially returning for professional development on Thursday for the start of my 26th year of teaching.

1986 Topps #230

That's the same number of years that Tommy John pitched in the MLB.

1971 Topps #39

That's the same number of years that George Blanda played in the NFL.

1985-86 Topps #51

1968-69 Topps #29

And that's the same number of years that Chris Chelios and Gordie Howe each played in the NHL.  In case you are wondering... that does not include the six seasons Howe played in the WHA.

Teaching might not be in the same category as playing a professional sport... but just like Little Leaguers... sometimes guys like me need to dream a little and draw comparisons.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!