30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, January 24, 2022

The Power of Cardboard and Panning for Gold

When I was little... my parents took me on a trip to the American River where we panned for gold.  That's when I learned about the California Gold Rush and how it essentially motivated hundreds of thousands of people to move here.  I don't remember all of the small excursions my parents took me back in the day, but I vaguely remember receiving a little bottle to put the gold (or maybe it was pyrite) in.

Forty years later, that bottle is long gone.  No idea where it's at.  Honestly I might not have ever given any thought to that little trip had I not seen this card pop out of a PWE sent from Jon over at A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts:

1994 Score Gold Rush #660

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to finally sit down and open up some care packages and this shiny gold parallel was the first card I noticed.  It immediately made me think of that trip with my parents and the bottle of gold flakes.

Upon further examination, this card also took me back to Candlestick Park where I'd go watch Will Clark and Robby Thompson play a few times each season.

That's just one more reason I appreciate this hobby.  When a piece of cardboard can take you back in time to your childhood and adolescence... that's pretty darn powerful.

Jon also sent me these four Oakland A's cards...

Each of these guys represent a different era of Oakland A's baseball... which come along with their own set of memories.

And finally four new additions to my Japanese Athlete PC:

Although none of these guys made me think of my childhood, I will say that seeing that Action Packed card of Makoto Suzuki took me back to the 90's.  That's when that card company delivered some pretty awesome embossed cards to collectors.

I'm sure most collectors remember them for their football cards, but that Suzuki is proof that they also produced baseball cards.  In fact... I recently discovered a few others during that multi-month card collection sort in my garage:

Sadly... I don't remember acquiring these cards or their released back in the early 90's... nor do I remember seeing any of these guys play for the A's back in the 70's.  But they do remind of an era when the A's were winning (the 70's) and when card companies still took the time to think outside of the box (the 90's).

Thank you Jon for the thoughtful PWE and inspiring this trip down memory lane.  I'm sorry it took so long for me to open it up and write this post.  I actually finished it over the Christmas Break, but postponed publishing it so it would coincide with the 174th Anniversary of Marshall discovering gold at Sutter's Mill.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

A Stocky Slugger with a Contagious Smile

On Tuesday the Baseball Writers' Association of America will announce the results of its 2022 Hall of Fame vote.  I've been enjoying reading fellow blogger's personal ballots.  , I won't waste either of our precious time since my fictitious ballot hasn't really changed.

Instead... I figured I'd show off some of the David Ortiz cards I've accumulated over the years.

2009 SP Legendary Cuts Destined for History Memorabilia #DHM-DO

This card is a good place to start since he's likely to get the call either this year or next.

2018 Topps Allen & Ginter Framed Relics #MFR-DO

He was one of those guys I truly enjoyed rooting for after he arrived in Boston.  The stocky slugger could hit for average and crush the ball.  But it's his personality and contagious smile that transcended his popularity across the country and into my household.

2014 Topps Tier One Acclaimed Autographs #AA-DO

Ortiz had plenty of acclaimed "clutch" hits over the course of his career, but the one that stands out the most to me was his heroic ALCS performance back in 2004.

The New York Yankees won the first three games in the series and were three outs away from meeting the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.  But thanks to a walk-off home run in Game 4 and a walk-off single in Game 5... Ortiz managed to keep the Red Sox hopes alive.

2008 UD A Piece of History Timeless Moments #TM-6

The Red Sox would march into Yankee Stadium, take the final two games and earn a ticket to the World Series.

2008 UD A Piece of History Franchise History #FH-10

That was probably the moment I became a Big Papi fan.  Anytime someone can take down the Evil Empire, it brings me a little joy.

1998 Donruss Signature Series #NNO
1998 Skybox E-X2001 Signature 2001 #NNO

Gotta wonder if the New York Yankees would have went on to their 7th World Series in nine seasons... had the Minnesota Twins decided to pay Ortiz.

2017 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection #CCR-DO

Red Sox fans rejoice, because they didn't and his career flourished at Fenway where he become a clubhouse leader and wrapped up his career...

2018 Topps Diamond Icons Autograph #AC-DO

a Boston sports icon.

Hopefully this Tuesday he'll get the call from Cooperstown to become the 59th first ballot hall of famer.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

On Friday, John posted on his blog that Louie Anderson had passed away.  Earlier in the week, I was organizing a box filled with memorabilia cards... when I came across this card:

2011 Topps American Pie Relics #APR-37

Rest in peace, Mr. Anderson.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

40 Year Old Wrapper Redemption Offer


Back in June of 2020, I went to an awesome card show held in an old Forever 21 store eighty-five miles away.  I'm not the biggest fan of driving that far for a show... but this time around... it was totally worth it.  The amount of cool stuff I picked up at bargain prices easily made up for the money I wasted on gas.

Today's post revolves around an item I purchased at that show.  It's an uncut sheet of 1982 Topps team leader cards... which contains twenty-seven cards divided into three nine-card panels.

This sheet was sitting in a dealer's 5 for $1 box and I snatched it up and put it into my stack as soon as I could.  I really like the 1982 Topps set, but that's not the main reason I wanted this sheet.  I wanted it because I had never seen one before.

It's taken me seven months, but I've finally gotten around to look into this mysterious uncut sheet.  I started with Beckett's website, but they only mentioned that it was part of a mail-away offerTCDB provided a little more clarity by stating it was a wrapper redemption offer... which led me to search eBay for wrapper scans.  That's where I found this:

On the right side of the wrapper, Topps offers collectors the opportunity to get all 26 team checklist cards for 75¢ + one wrapper.  I tried to give you a better look at the offer, but it came out a little blurry:

When I was a kid, I opened a few packs of this product, but never sent in for this uncut sheet.  I'm pretty sure none of my friends did either, because I don't remember seeing one of these until I saw it sitting on this dealer's table.

In case you're wondering if these cards are any different from the ones pulled from packs... they are.  You can easily tell the difference by turning the sheet over:

As you can see... Topps used a white cardstock very similar to the Tiffany sets that arrived two years later

Back in 1982, there were only twenty-six MLB teams, which means there was one spot Topps needed to fill on this sheet.  They ended up using it to advertise two storage options for their customers.

The front featured these "easy-to-carry files" that kids could store their cards in:

I'm 98% sure I owned some of these.  If I remember correctly... I used them to house my Empire Strikes Back cards.

The back featured the popular card lockers from the 80's:

I definitely owned one of these lockers (doubt it was the Topps brand) that I used to store my 1981 Fleer baseball set at one point.

These are the type of card show purchases I love, because I added something different to my collection (although it's not easy to store) and it motivated me to research the item and learn something new.  That knowledge is well worth the 20¢ it cost me.

By the way... this is part of the same purchase that included the uncut sheets of Hostess Cards and oversized Donruss Puzzles I wrote about back in September.

I'm not exactly sure when this show is coming back and even if it does... there's no guarantee this dealer will be there.   And even if he does set up... who knows if he'll have cool stuff like this again at these awesome prices.  But if I'm available... it's worth me taking the risk and wasting the gas to get there.

Well that's it for today.  Here's your question of the day...

Did you ever take advantage of wax wrapper offers?

If so, what did you buy?

I look forward to reading and responding to your comments.  Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Metric System and Puckered Lips

Eighteen hours into 2022... I made my first card purchase of the year when I stumbled across this card on eBay:

1994-95 Collector's Choice French #23

I pretty much avoided looking for new Michael Jordans in 2021, because prices were ridiculousDealers at card shows I attended were asking $3 to $5 for Junk Wax Era base cards.  My reaction was to chuckle and walk away.

Ironically... I spent close to that on this single ($2.39 + $0.27 tax + free shipping).   The reason I dove deep into my pockets to pick this card up is because I've never seen one before.  Okay.  I've seen this card, but I've never owned a copy (of the French version).

At first glance the English and French versions look identical:

1994-95 Collector's Choice English #23 (Left)
1994-95 Collector's Choice French #23 (Right)

However on the back, the French version features the text in English and French and the measurements use the metric system:

While the English version is only written in English and features the U.S. Customary system of measurement:

Luckily... both card backs feature Michael's backswing and puckered lips.  By the way... just to clarify... this is a basketball card that features him playing baseball and golf.  Even if I didn't collect Jordan, I'd still want to add this quirky card to the collection.

As for future purchases... there's a card show coming up in eleven days.  I'm sure I'll find something to buy.  As for eBay... not sure I'll be making another purchase anytime soon.  I'm watching a complete set of 2021 Archives, but doubt I'll get around to placing a bid.  Even though sports card prices have started to settle, I'm going to be patient and wait for them to fall a little further.  And if they don't, then they don't.

I'll still keep my eyes posted for cheap, cool cards like this Jordan and his puckered lips.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, January 17, 2022

For Entertainment Purposes Only

Nine days ago, I shared a fifty card mystery box purchased from the online dime store.  Some of you commented that they would be interested if they offered single sport boxes.  Well... I don't remember seeing them on their site, but they did have single sport fifteen card mystery packs.

I picked up a bunch of them in a variety of sports since they were cheap ($1 each)... which translates to less than per card.  Obviously I'm not expecting too much in regards to card value, but I thought it'd be cool to see if they could predict this year's Super Bowl winner.  

Unfortunately... the one sport I didn't purchase was footballDang it.

Guess I'll have to improvise and use these junk wax football packs that were part of that shoe box purchase I made back in November.  

The premise is simple.  I'll open up the four Fleer packs first and every time I find a card representing a current playoff team, they'll receive a point.  The team will only receive a point if the player is depicted wearing a uniform or if the team's name is printed on the front of the card.  

I realize this prediction isn't very scientific especially since certain teams like the 49ers and Bills will likely have an unfair advantage since both of these teams were popular in the early 90's and probably had more cards in these sets.  But this post and prediction is for entertainment purposes only.   I won't be putting any money down in Vegas based on this post's outcome... and I wouldn't recommend you doing it either.

By the way... the Titans will be represented by the Houston Oilers.  And in the event of a tie, I'll open up another pack and hopefully reveal a winner.  You'll notice that I've included both the Rams and the Cardinals.  That's because I'm writing and publishing this on Monday morning and they don't play until this evening.

Okay, here goes nothing...

Pack #11991 Fleer Football

Buffalo Bills1 point
Kansas City Chiefs1 point
Cincinnati Bengals:
Tennessee Titans1 point
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
San Francisco 49ers1 point
Green Bay Packers
Arizona Cardinals2 points
St. Louis Rams:

Right out of the pack, the Cardinals are in front.  Let's see if they can hold onto it.

By the way, I pulled a checklist out of the pack and made the executive decision to exclude them from the prediction because it features multiple teams.

Pack #21991 Fleer (Disqualified)

You won't believe it, but Pack #2 contained the exact same cards as Pack #1:

What are the odds?  Anyways... I decided to toss the results from this pack out of the prediction pickIs it tampering?  Sure.  But I've gotta give my Green Bay Packers at least a shot... and they're already two cards behind with only two packs to go.

Pack #31991 Fleer

Thankfully... zero duplicates in this pack.  

Buffalo Bills1 point
Kansas City Chiefs1 point
Cincinnati Bengals2 points
Tennessee Titans2 points
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
San Francisco 49ers1 point
Green Bay Packers1 point
Arizona Cardinals2 points
St. Louis Rams1 point

Things are getting interesting.  The Bengals, Titans, and Cardinals are currently in a three-way tie... and the Buccaneers are the only team without a point.

Pack #41990 Fleer

Well based on the wax pack predictions... the Arizona Cardinals are destined to win Super Bowl LVI.

Buffalo Bills1 point
Kansas City Chiefs1 point
Cincinnati Bengals2 points
Tennessee Titans: 2 points
Tampa Bay Buccaneers1 point
San Francisco 49ers1 point
Green Bay Packers2 points
Arizona Cardinals3 points
St. Louis Rams2 points

Congratulations Cardinals fans!

But just in case you guys lose tonight, here's the last pack to help determine an alternate winner...

Pack #51990 Pro Set Series 2

Buffalo Bills: 2 points
Kansas City Chiefs: 2 points
Cincinnati Bengals: 2 points
Tennessee Titans: 3 points
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1 point
San Francisco 49ers: 2 points
Green Bay Packers: 4 points
Arizona Cardinals: 3 points
St. Louis Rams: 2 points

Well... I guess I'm pulling for Los Angeles tonight (not really), because if the Cardinals lose... then the junk wax packs predict another Lombardi Trophy for Green Bay.

Speaking of LA... two of my favorite cards pulled from these packs feature representatives from the city:

1990 Pro Set #786

I wasn't the biggest fan of Al Davis, but his legacy will forever be remembered by Bay Area football fans for taking the Raiders down to Los Angeles in the early 80's.

He'd return the team back to Oakland in the mid 90's... only to have the city see them leave again (this time to Las Vegas) in 2020.

The other LA card I love is this Bo:

1990 Fleer #256

Bo was the man.  

And I'll never complain about pulling one of his cards from a pack.

If you're wondering what I consider to be the best card from this lot of packs, it's easily this one:

1990 Pro Set MVP Collectible #1

Bart Starr will always be a fixture in my collection, because he was the guy leading the Green Bay Packers when my parents were fans of the team.

This card is especially cool, because it honors Starr for winning the MVP Award at Super Bowl I... which is a game my parents attended.

Well that's it for today.  Hope you were entertained as much as I was with this wax pack prediction.  It may or may not be accurate... but it was fun.

Anyone have any Super Bowl LVI predictions?

It sucks to predict your own favorite team (only to see them lose), but I do feel like the Green Bay Packers have a good shot at winning it.  If they do, I predict it'll be because of Aaron Rodgers who will take home the MVP Award.

Happy Monday and sayonara!