30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Island of Misfit Cards

Every Monday, Corky over at Pack War posts a new hobby related question to his readers.  Normally, I leave a comment and move on.  However this week's question addresses one of my collections.

Today I figured I'd show off some singles from that collection to help me answer Corky's question:

At what point is a card too damaged for you to consider adding it to your collection? 

A few years ago, I decided to start collecting the damaged cards I accumulated from eBay purchases, flea market finds, and card show hauls and display them in a binder.  I've even had a few bloggers send me unwanted damaged cards that are now loved and cared for.

Unfortunately, I don't have the space to house every damaged card I come across.  If I stumble across a 2013 Topps Grant Balfour, I'll probably toss it in the trash or add it to the stack of cards I bring to my classroom.

On the other hand, if I find a heavily creased rookie card of The Kid... it goes in the binder.

A Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. insert with a chunk taken out of it?

That goes into the collection as well.

How about a water damaged Maury Wills on card autograph that refuses to lay flat?

Yup.  I'll take it.

Faded signatures of hall of fame outfielders?

Sure.  Why not?

Minor league cards of hall of famers that look like they've been sitting at the bottom of a box in the sun at the local flea market?

Without a doubt.

Severely miscut vintage cards featuring Boog, Bench, and half of Clemente?


How about a card with a dinged corner and a signed label that's peeling off?

Well.  If it's of Steve Sax, the 1982 NL Rookie of the Year, then heck yeah.

What about a memorabilia card that is permanently embedded with a five dollar price tag?

This one kind of hurt, because I collect Altuve.  But at the end of the day, this card looks better in my Damaged Card PC than in the trash.

In his response, Corky mentions that he draws the line at "skinned" vintage cards.  How about a "skinned" relic card?

No-mah says... "no problem".  This was a fine addition to my Damaged Card PC binder.

Bottom line is I'll add any damaged autograph, insert, memorabilia card, parallel, or manufactured relic card to my collection with no questions asked.

When it comes to rookie cards and base cards, then I draw the line at semi-stars or better.

If you're wondering why I'd start this kind of collection.  It's because damaged cards are difficult to move and deserve to be loved.  In a sense... this collection is sort of the Island of Misfit Cards.

What about you?

At what point is a card too damaged for you to consider adding it to your collection?

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Feeling Judged

I've been collecting baseball cards off and on for thirty-something years and I've been judged for doing so the majority of those years.  Or at least it feels that way.

These are the $5 ones you get for buying toilet paper in bulk.

Yesterday I hit up three local Targets with a stack of gift cards I've been accumulating in hopes of finding some blaster boxes to tear into.

I ended up finding two 2017 Topps Series One and one 2017 Gypsy Queen blaster boxes at the final store.  Obviously I was pretty excited, but there was a part of me that was nervous.  I'm always running into people I know at this particular Target and the last thing I want to hear is a familiar voice from behind asking... "you still collect baseball cards?".  

I'm not talking about running into an old card collecting buddy who's carrying three blaster boxes himself excitedly asking, "you still collect baseball cards?".  I'm talking about seeing your ex-girlfriend who's giggling while asking, "you still collect baseball cards?".

My solution?  I quickly started adding other items I needed into the basket to cover up the three blasters.

Anyone else ever hide the fact that they collect baseball cards, because they fear others might judge?

Speaking of getting judged... Aaron Judge was the main reason I tracked down and bought these blasters.

The results?  Well... I completely struck out on Judge.

The best card?  I'd probably give the nod to this Sandy Koufax short print from the box of Gypsy Queen:

The coolest insert?

I really like these Fortune Teller inserts... although this particular gypsy incorrectly predicted when Pujols would hit home run #600.  Barring injury, her 2nd prediction should come true though.

Bottom line?  Sure the packs were entertaining, but honestly blaster boxes are kinda like that ex-girlfriend I keep running into at Target.

I still have the big dogs sitting in my wallet.

I'm bound to go back and give both of them another chance, while knowing both will probably leave me feeling judged and shaking my head.

But we're all addicted to something, right?

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Plenty of Fun & Generosity

When it rains... it pours.

I received three more packages in the past seven days.  This week's theme?  Giveaways.

Package #1:  Gavin's 4 Year Anniversary Celebration

Last month, Gavin celebrated four years of blogging by hosting a white elephant themed giveaway and I was one of fifteen lucky participants.  I chose the 4th prize with the 6th pick and was awarded with a nice stack of vintage baseball cards:

I was excited when I drew this prize package, but figured it would get stolen at some point.  In the end... the Cardboard Gods were looking down upon me and I walked away with several new cards for my vintage binder.

Gavin didn't stop there... he also sent a nice stack of Steve Carltons:

This is quite possible the single largest contribution to my Lefty collection.  I was able to add ten new cards to my insert, parallel, and oddball binder.

If that weren't enough... he also included a stack of Oakland Athletics:

I was blinded by the shine coming off of these cards.  I'm just not sure Sonny and Sean will be around in Oakland much longer.  Either way... all of these cards are staying here in my collection.

Package #2:  Top 10 Cards Contest

At the end of April, Collecting Cutch held an interactive contest where he asked bloggers to show off ten favorite cards of their favorite player.  Of course... I dedicated my post to Tony Gwynn.

The grand prize was a beautiful Craig Biggio Topps Dynasty autograph, which was won by Raz over at The Raz Card Blog.  However... Brian hooked up anyone who participated in the contest with a nice consolation prize package.

I was awarded a stack of Oakland Athletics that included this super thick Sweet Spot Signature of Dan Haren:

Gold ink with gold stitches.  Wow... that's a beautiful card.  There was also my very first Jemile Weeks relic:

I'm a big fan of autographs and memorabilia cards... but I'm an even bigger fan cards featuring Kurt Suzuki.  Brian also included this Gypsy Queen mini parallel of my favorite Japanese American catcher:

Rounding out the package was my very first Andrew McCutchen police issue card:

I love me some regional oddball issues... especially when they feature MLB logos.

Package #3:  Ricky Russo

The last package isn't from a blogger.  It's from a YouTuber.  I'm sure some of you are already subscribed to his videos.  However if you aren't, I highly recommend you check him out.

Ricky takes box busting to the next level.  I've never seen anyone rip open as many sports card boxes.  And I'm not talking about low end stuff.  He opens everything.

I kinda live vicariously through his videos, because there's no way I'd ever be able to afford some of the stuff he opens.  Plus he entertains his viewers by talking to us through his videos while he's opening packs.

And as an added bonus... he's one of the most generous collectors around.  He loves hooking up people who comment on his videos with cards.  This week, I received this Hershiser card in the mail:

One more thing you should know about Ricky is... don't call him Rickey.

Thank you Gavin, Brian, and Ricky!  All three of your packages are much appreciated.  Gavin and Brian... you'll be receiving a thank you package one of these days.  As for you Mr. Russo... let me know when you're coming out to the Bay Area.  The first sake bomb is on me.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

King of the North

Anyone else looking forward to the Season 7 Game of Thrones premiere?  It's been over a year since we saw Daenerys and her dragons depart for Westeros.  But this post isn't about that.  It's my next submission to Tony's 30 Day Baseball Card Challenge.

The card I'm using for the 18th Challenge is part of my COMC order, which hasn't arrived yet, so I'm leapfrogging it.  Today I'm going to tackle the 19th Challenge: A favorite card from a country other than the United States.

I've been looking forward to writing this post since I first saw the list of challenges, because I have a whole collection dedicated to Japanese baseball cards.  I even had a card already picked out... but after thinking about it... I've already written about it twice.

So I decided to go in a different direction.  Instead of heading west across the Pacific... I went north of the border into Canada.

Since I returned to the hobby in 2008, I've developed a deep appreciation for vintage O-Pee-Chee baseball cards.  The main reason is because they're something different and much less abundant than their sister company to the south.

My favorite O-Pee-Chee cards to chase are the rookie cards, which if you're interested... you can read about here.

However today... I wanted to show off my 1983 O-Pee-Chee card of The Stolen Base King:

The 1983 Topps card design has always been one of my favorites... and back then Rickey was my favorite player.

The card is almost identical on the front with two exceptions:

#1:  The Topps logo has been replaced with O-Pee-Chee.
#2:  The O-Pee-Chee added Voltigeur next to Rickey's position.

On the back, you'll immediately notice the lighter colored card stock that is often associated with O-Pee-Chee baseball cards.  In addition to that, most of the text has been written in both English and French.

Due to the additional text, they were forced to reduce the size of the text and one of the 1982 highlights was edited out.  If you look closely at the bottom you'll also notice in the fine print that this card was printed in Canada, while the Topps version was printed in the U.S.A.

Well there you have it.  One of my favorite cards that wasn't produced here in the states.  What about you...

Are you a fan O-Pee-Chee baseball cards?  Do have a preference between the two sister companies?

I hope you all are enjoying your week.  The past week or so, I've been very busy trying to binge watch the first six seasons of Game of Thrones in hopes of being ready for Sunday night's premiere.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Do Not Touch or Smell!

Graded cards.  Some people like them.  Most people don't.  Well... at least according to the people who commented on my "graded card" post six years ago.

I was somewhere in the middle back then and I'm somewhere in the middle right now.

When it comes to vintage... especially my 1956 Topps hall of famers... I prefer them to be slabbed.  I know... I know.  The plastic case prevents me from touching and smelling my sixty-one year old piece of cardboard.  However three things ultimately swayed me to turn to the dark side:

#1:  Peace of Mind (in regards to authenticity and alterations)

#2:  Protection

#3:  Resale Value

Before I'm bombarded with hate... let me assure you that I have no immediate plans to sell any cards... especially this specific collection.  But if I ever need (or want) to, I personally feel it's easier to sell a graded vintage card than a non-graded one.  And based on my research and bidding history... I feel that they've held their value over time better than most of the stuff I purchase.

With that being said... let me introduce one of my latest additions to my 1956 Topps Cooperstown collection:

I was hoping to win this auction for less than $100, but four bids within the last minute was the difference between $86.86 and the my high bid of $104.  Add an additional $4 for shipping and I walked away spending $108.

Remember the shopping spree that took place back in early June to help me cope with my best friend moving to Oregon?  Well this purchase was part of it.

Sure it's a lot of money to spend on a single card... but I could have easily spent that much at a nice steak house or on a hobby box of this year's Archives baseball.  In hindsight... I'd take the Mays over either of those things.

What about you?  Given the choice between a 1956 Topps Willie Mays, a $108 gift card to a steakhouse of your choice, or a hobby box of 2017 Topps Archives (you're required to bust)...

Which one would you choose?

I have really wanted this card for awhile now... and it's nice to cross it off My Most Wanted list.  The Koufax from this set has replaced Mays... however due to a stricter hobby budget... it's more likely I'll target the Whitey Ford or Yogi Berra next.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!