30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Worth Every Penny

As collectors... we've all formed our own opinions on how we should or shouldn't collect.  When it comes to "group breaks", I typically avoid them like the plague unless they're for a charitable cause or something.

Why do I have such a strong opinion on them?  Well... it mainly comes down to the two teams I collect: the Oakland Athletics and the San Diego Padres.

Neither of these teams are hobby powerhouses, so it doesn't make any sense for me to try to grab them in group breaks and pay the same price as another collector who happens to pick the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, or the Boston Red Sox who are filled with more star power and legendary players.

I guess I'd be more likely to join a completely random group break, but then again... do I really want to get stuck with a bunch of Miami Marlins or Colorado Rockies base cards?  Nah.  Not really.

Group breaks just aren't my thing anymore.

Then a few weeks ago, Cardboard Collections offered up an affordable group break that included a box of 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection.  The first time I saw his post, I was a little intrigued, because I really do like the relic cards from that product.  However I stuck to my guns and continued on my merry way.

Almost a week later I noticed that somehow the New York Yankees hadn't been purchased, which surprised me because according to Trading Card Database, they have a bunch of big names on the Clubhouse Collection checklist:  Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Whitey Ford, Casey Stengel, Bernie Williams, and Mariano Rivera.

I decided for $18, it was worth a shot.

About a week later, I discovered that it was worth every penny.

This was my big hit:

2004 Topps Clubhouse Career Leaders Relics #LG2 (#'d 158/184)

This is my very first Lou Gehrig memorabilia card.

Although the New York Yankees have been my least favorite baseball franchise for as long as I can remember, I will always have a soft spot for The Iron Horse.  When I was a kid, I'd get excited every time The Pride of the Yankees was on the television.  Although... probably not as excited as I was when I saw this card in the group break video.

The Gehrig itself would have been worth the price I spent on the group break.  But there were two more solid hits that I am pretty excited to add to the collection:

2004 Topps Clubhouse Relics #MRI (Print Run: 239)

2004 Topps Clubhouse Copper Relics #JP (#'d 08/99)

Both Mariano and Jorge were part of the New York Yankees teams I despise the most.  They just kept winning and winning and winning... year in and year out.  It got to the point where I would rather see them lose than to see my teams win.

With that being said... now that they're all retired... I've learned to admire guys like Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada... since they spent their entire playing careers wearing Yankees pinstripes.

The group break also featured some 2002 Topps Gallery Yankees and Seattle Mariners (my randomized team) base cards:

Here's a look at the complete (non-short print) New York Yankees team set.  I'm a huge fan of Topps Gallery especially the 2001, 2002, and 2003 base cards.  

The Ichiro is a really good looking card though and the Juan Silvestre is a short print, but overall I really struck out in regards to the Seattle Mariners.  

I don't see myself joining anymore group breaks in the near future.  Let's just say that I want to try to end things on a positive note.

What about you...

What are your thoughts on group breaks?  Ever received any huge cards from a group break?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Following the Leader

One of my favorite blog series is Dime Box Nick's Top Five posts where he chooses a player and shows off his five favorite cards of that player.

2005 UD Mini Jersey Collection Replica Legends Jersey #NNO

I've been meaning to imitate his series for a while now and after watching Major League Baseball and their players honor Jackie Robinson yesterday... I figured today would be the perfect time to start.

Normally... five would be the perfect amount of cards... but since I had most of these already scanned and ready to go, I figured I'd go ahead and share my ten favorite Jackie Robinson cards.

#10:  2009 Topps Tribute Relics #58

I'm pretty sure this was the first memorabilia card I ever purchased of #42.  Not a huge fan of this card's design, but I like the photo selection and how they used a home plate shaped die-cut to show off the game worn uniform swatch.

#9:  2007 UD Masterpieces Green Linen #54

UD Masterpieces framed parallels are some of the best around and this one features Robinson stealing home during Game 1 of the 1955 World Series.

#7 (Tie):  2008 Stadium Club #91 and 2014 Stadium Club #42

When it comes to Robinson's Stadium Club cards, his 2016 card is my favorite.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find it in my Jackie Robinson box.  I was able to dig up both of these cards which easily lived up to my lofty Stadium Club expectations.  I just couldn't decided which on I like more.

#6:  1997 Pinnacle Denny's #29

This card represents three things I truly enjoy collecting:  oddball restaurant issues, cards featuring lenticular technology, and great action shots.  Combine this with Jackie Robinson and you have one heck of a card.

#5:  2009 Topps Magic #TMJR

Beautifully posed shot of Robinson on the gridiron during his time at UCLA, where he lettered in four sports:  baseball, football, basketball, and track.  

#4:  2009 Topps T206 Framed Relics #24

I'm a much bigger fan of jersey cards, than I am of bat cards.  Neither of the ones I own come close to this one in regards to card design.  I really enjoy framed relics and the blue border goes perfectly with the white cardboard design and the portrait shot of Robinson.

#3:  2013 Topps Archives Gallery of Heroes #GH-JR

Gallery of Heroes have always been one of my favorite insert sets and I was very happy to see Topps revive it back in 2013 with some of the game's greatest legends.  It's like holding a piece of art in the palm of your hand.

#2:  2010 Topps National Chicle #235

Speak of art... for years, this card sat within Night Owl's header taunting me with its beauty.  He updated it a while back, but that's okay... I finally was able to acquire my own copy to stare at.  There's only one card of #42 that I'd rather stare at...

#1:  1956 Topps #30

Are you surprised?  If so, you must be pretty new to this blog.  It's my favorite card period... which says a lot since I've been collecting off and on for nearly four decades.

Thank you Jackie Robinson for breaking baseball's color barrier and forever changing the game.  Your bravery as well as guys like Larry Doby, Roy Campanella, Minnie Minoso, and Satchel Paige paved the way for future generations.

Thank you Dime Box Nick for inspiring this post.  I hope you don't mind me borrowing your idea.  Just remember... imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

And thank you to everyone else who took the time to read this post.  I hope all of you have a great week.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Extra Innings:

Since the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs are well on its way... I thought I'd share one of my favorite hockey cards:

1997-98 Pinnacle Beehive Autograph #75

O'Ree is often referred to as the "Jackie Robinson of ice hockey", because sixty years ago he broke the National Hockey League's color barrier and opened the door for others including two current San Jose Sharks:  Evander Kane and Joel Ward.

Thank you Willie O'Ree!  Go Sharks!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Golden Goose?

One of the cards I'm periodically on the lookout for is the 1981 Granny Goose Dave Revering card, which I wrote about a few years ago.  The story behind this card is Revering was traded to the Yankees and the company destroyed most of the cards.  However there were a few that were released into bags of Granny Goose chips and these days they're pretty tough to find.

Anyways... today's post isn't about the Revering.  It's actually about one of the other cards in the set.  My favorite Oakland Athletic of all-time... Mr. Rickey Henley Henderson:

This morning, I decided to do a quick search for the Revering and I noticed that the Henderson has become a pretty pricey piece of cardboard.  Now I'm not talking about triple digits kind of expensive... but I was surprised to see these recently closed listings on eBay:

January 25th ($50 + $3.25 Shipping)

March 11th ($66.01 + $3 Shipping)

March 22nd ($25 + $3.50 Shipping)

I realize that these were only distributed regionally and Rickey Henderson is pretty popular among collectors, but that doesn't really explain the sudden interest in this card.  If the trend continues, I might just need to send in the stack of Rickeys I've slowly accumulated over the years to PSA to get graded... especially since someone is currently asking $2,806.40 for their PSA 8 copy:

But until I do end up cashing in on these Granny Goose cards, I'm going to consider this Gossage to be the true Golden Goose of my A's collection:

2014 Leaf Best of Baseball
1992 Leaf Buyback Autograph

I picked this up sometime last year on COMC for $7.62.  It's my first and only Gossage autograph where he's featured in an Athletics uniform.

Well that's all I have for you today.  Hope all of you are enjoying your weekend.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Flea Market Finds #127: Baseball Card Binder

I've been meaning to go out to the flea market, but it's been one of those things where my schedule never lines up... and when it has... Mother Nature has intervened.

Luckily things worked out perfectly last Thursday when my buddy and I scheduled a busy day that involved walking around my first flea market in months, then picking up supplies at the wholesaler, and finally wrapping things up at the Oakland Coliseum to watch the A's take on the Texas Rangers.

I've learned over the years that Thursday is the best day to walk around the Capitol Flea Market.  It tends to have a slightly smaller crowd than on Sundays, but you'll often find more sports memorabilia dealers.

Sadly that wasn't the case this time.  There were only three or four guys with baseball cards.  Most of the stuff was your typical junk wax I try to avoid, but I did manage to buy one thing...

Purchase #1:  Binder of Baseball Cards  $5

As we were walking down the 2nd to last row, I found a guy who had this binder of cards and a shoebox filled with cards.  I wasn't interested in the shoebox, because the cards were a mix of late 80's/early 90's junk that hadn't been stored properly.

On the other hand, I was definitely interested in the binder.  Inside was a 1984 Topps baseball starter set:

I actually already own this set, but I'm pretty sure that I have a stack of base cards sitting in a box somewhere.  I figured I'd try to build myself a second set if the price was right.

The guy wanted $10 for the box and binder.  I offered him $5 for the binder.  He said "no"  I started walking away.  Ten feet later, he changed his mind and accepted my offer. 

1984 Topps #8

This will be one of those future rainy day projects when I have a few hours to kill.  In the meantime, I pulled out the sharp looking Mattingly rookie card and added it to my 80's rookie card collection.

After the flea market we stopped off at GTS Distribution to pick up some supplies:

Usually, I'll at least inquire about their current Topps products, but ultimately I decided to save my money for individual cards on eBay and COMC.

It's a good thing I didn't buy any wax boxes, because when we got to the Coliseum I discovered that they charge $30 for parking now.  $30 for parking?  That's insane!

That was almost as expensive as the price of the tickets themselves.  Speaking of the tickets, my buddy Mike picked up the tab and bought me my nachos and a soft pretzel:

In return, I drove, paid for parking, and bought him dinner.  It's one of those trades where both parties walked away happy.

We had a really great view of the ballpark from our seats:

It's just a shame that there were hardly any fans there.  Although they announced that there were 10,132 fans in attendance... it was probably more along the lines of six or seven thousand.

The outcome wasn't any better.  After a rough 2nd inning and a 2-run home run by Shin-Soo Choo in the 9th, the A's lost to the Rangers 6-3.

But I'm not complaining.  Anytime you can start off the day by finding a 1984 Topps starter set for $5 at the flea market and spend the afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum chomping down on nachos while watching your favorite team play... it's a pretty good day.

Do you have any go-to foods you eat when you go to the ballpark?

Happy Thursday and sayonara!