30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Baskin-Robbins of Card Collecting

The beauty of our hobby is that there are plenty of ways to collect.  Some people enjoy opening boxes in search of a monster pull or build sets.  Others dig through dime boxes in search of their favorite players or teams.  I've discovered that I'm sort of the Baskin-Robbins of card collecting, because it feels like I collect 31 different things or ways.

Last week, I showed off a 90's insert I recently purchased of my all-time favorite athlete.  Today I'm shifting gears and highlighting a graded vintage card of a guy I've been collecting since the very beginning:

1975 Topps #185

Everyone knows Tony Gwynn is #1 on my list, but I started collecting baseball cards before 1983... so there were other favorite players before him.  One of those guys was Steve Carlton.  I became a big fan of him, because I'm a fellow lefty.

This purchase was inspired by Gregory over at Nine Pockets.  A few months ago, he wrote about the behind-the-scenes science going on within the photo of this card.  It was well-written and interesting, but that's not what sent me on a hunt to track down this card.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I enjoy collecting in a variety of ways... and I'll use this card and the other copies I own to explain my madness.  I have one sitting in my 70's vintage binder.  There's also a copy inside of my 1975 Topps Mini set binder... which satisfies the set collector within me.  And there are two more hanging out in my Lefty PC.

But after staring at Gregory's copy, I decided to add one more to the collection.  This time I wanted to add one to my Classic Cards Collection, which contains graded cards of cool looking cardboard.  This card definitely fits the criteria.  Just look at that well-cropped photo of Carlton paired with the gorgeous 1975 Topps baseball card design.  It's my favorite Topps flagship regular issue base card of his from his playing days... and one of sweetest looking baseball cards of the 70's.

It took a little bit longer than expected to find a copy within my price range, but the wait ended when a seller accepted my best offer of $17.  After tax and shipping, this card set me back right around the price of a blaster.


The one downside is on the back.  The card is heavily off-centered.  But that kept the grade down... which made the card more affordable.  So in the end it worked out for me.

Well there you have it... my fifth copy of this 1975 Topps Steve Carlton for a 4th collection.  Hopefully this post explains why I'll sometimes chase a card that I already own multiple copies of.

If not, just remember that the beauty of our hobby is there are plenty of ways to collect... which means you can collect the way you want... and I'll collect the way I want.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

A Wacky Set Build

One of the things I worked on this summer was organizing my collection.  I'll use my Oakland A's collection as an example to help put things into perspective.  I had stacks of A's cards all over the place, but now they've been consolidated into a handful of locations... with the bulk being two 5,000ct. boxes.

The goal is to one day sort them out by year and brand... then build team sets.  In the meantime... there are only a handful of team sets I've created want lists for... and only one I'm actively working on.

1971 O-Pee-Chee #45

That's the 1971 O-Pee-Chee team set for the Oakland A's.  I've been a fan of these cards since I first saw them on Christmas Day back in 2014.  That's when I discovered they were completely different from their 1971 Topps sister set with their floating heads and bright yellow card backs.

But it wasn't until recently that I made the decision to build the team set.  Back in June, John (over at Johnny's Trading Spot) showed off a bunch from his COMC order... which sent me on a crazy mission to build a team set of my own.

It's a work in progress, but I already have ten cards out of the way.  Nine of them are currently in my possession:


Here's a peek at their gorgeous backs:


Eight of these cards were purchased from one eBay dealer the day after I commented on John's post.

The Joe Rudi will be arriving within the next week or two... with the rest of my COMC inventory.  Although this is a team set I'm actively working on, I know there's a chance it'll never be completed.  The high numbers in this set are insanely expensive.  That doesn't mesh well with the budget collector in me... which is why I consider this to be a silly set build.

And while on the topic of zany set builds, here are two more:



Just like the 1971 O-Pee-Chee team set, these two sets were also inspired by Johnny.  He sent me a care package several months ago that included both of these starter sets.

The 1991 set build only needs one card.  Here's a look at my favorites from this set:

1991 Wacky Packages #14
1991 Wacky Packages #22


The 1991 set features a really cool Bazooka puzzle on the back which looks like this when completed:


As much as I love Bazooka bubble gum, I'm an even bigger fan of the 1980 Wacky Packages puzzle:


This one features my all-time favorite Wacky Packages card, which is also included in the set:

1980 Wacky Packages #160

If you're wondering why the image looks so familiar, that's because it's a parody of the 1975 Topps baseball pack wrapper.  It's so awesome!

Here are a few other favorites from the 1980 set:

1980 Wacky Packages #145
1980 Wacky Packages #161


Oh wait.  Here's one more card that he sent me that was weird and interesting:

1996 Leaf Signatures Series Bronze #NNO

If you're familiar with this set, you'll notice that it's missing Ernie's signature.  Not sure if this was originally inserted into a pack or if it slipped out the back door at Donruss with an employee in the 90's.  Regardless... this is a very cool addition to my A's collection.

Thank you John for this wacky card and for these two Wacky Packages starter sets.  And most importantly... thank you for inspiring these three wacky set builds.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, August 1, 2022

Feeling Pretty Good

Fernando Tatis Jr. says he's feeling pretty good... which hopefully means his return is just around the corner.  Not trying to jinx it or anything, but I wanted to share some cards of his that I added to my collection over the summer.

First up is this manufactured relic that Chris The Collector sent to me back in June:

2022 Topps Jersey Number Medallion #JNM-FT

Although I'm not a fan of these taking the place of actual "hits", I think some of them are pretty cool.  This is one of them.  I like the simplicity of the design and if I had more room in my office... it would make a nice display piece.

Chris also tossed in these two blue Padres parallels:


Next up is a six pack of Tatis that was included in Woody's care package:


I met Woody back when I was still hanging out on the forums looking for trades.  He's sent thousands of cards for my collection over the years and has even donated cards to my students as well.

All six of these Tatis cards were brand new to my collection.  That's not surprising though, since I don't open up new product very often.

The final round of Tatis cards were sent to me by Reader X.  Like Woody, he's sent me and my students thousands of cards over the past few years.

I'll start off with this thick, high-end card:

2022 Topps Tribute #11

Wow.  This card is gorgeous.  And it's thick enough to do some damage if you wanted to use it as a weapon.  Boxes of 2022 Tribute run around $500... so this product is a little out of my budget.  That's why I'm lucky to be the recipient of this copy.

Xavier tossed in a few other Tatis cards as well:


And this four pack of 2015 Topps Gold parallels:


Thank you Chris, Woody, and Xavier for these Tatis collection contributions.  Normally the Monday I head back into my classroom at the end of summer is a bummer.  But I gotta admit... these cards have me feeling pretty good.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

No Card Show, No Cry

Today marks the 4th day at the National Sports Collectors Convention and according to Google, I'm approximately 3,000 miles and 44 hours away from the event.  In other words, even if I hopped into my car right now, I'd have zero chance of making it to the show before they close their doors tomorrow evening.

I'm okay with that.  As much as I enjoy attending card shows, attending the National isn't something I have to do in my lifetime.  Do I want to attend one?  Of course.  The problem resides in the show's location and my personal finances.

The National hasn't been held on the West Coast since 2006 and based on what I've heard... it's probably not coming back here any time soon.  That means a trip to the show involves hotel and travel expenses on top of any spending money for food, entertainment, and of course... cards.

Maybe I'll attend one day (after I retire), but it will definitely be part of a planned vacation that involves much more than a card show.  Until then, I'll stick to local card shows and/or virtual ones like the Blogger National... which is a current Blog Bat-Around started by Cards Over Coffee that involves bloggers sharing one of two things in a blog post:

#1:  Show off cool or favorite cards that you consider show worthy.

#2:  Share a recent mail day featuring dazzling cards that would attract people to your table.

I figured I'd pull from both of these categories for my BBA contribution.

Back at the start of summer, Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders sent me a padded envelope filled with several cool cards for a few different collections.

Let's start off with a card that I was actively looking for at the last card show I attended:

2021 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autographs #FFA-GT

I've wanted this autograph of Gene Tenace since I heard Topps included him on their Fan Favorites checklist.

He also included this dual memorabilia card of one of those guys you probably don't appreciate unless you're an A's fan:

2005 Diamond Kings Silver Materials #380 (#'d 94/100)

Eric Chavez was the Brooks Robinson of the East Bay before Matt Chapman arrived.  When you consider Chavez won six straight Gold Glove Awards compared to Chapman's three (in a span of four years), I personally think Chavez has earned the right to hold onto that title (that nobody uses except me).

Next up are a stack of cards for my Japanese Athlete PC.  Let's start with a pair of minor league cards of Tomo Ohka:

2000 Dunkin' Donuts Pawtucket Red Sox #NNO
2001 Dunkin' Donuts Pawtucket Red Sox #NNO

Who doesn't love minor league cards sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts?  When I turned both of these cards over, I thought they were signed by Ohka, but after looking them up on COMC, I discovered they are facsimile signatures.  That's why it's good to take a closer look at your cards.

Here's another example.  At first... I thought this card was your run-of-the-mill base card from the 90's...

1998 Score Team Collection #3

But when I flipped it over, I discovered it was from one of those team sets that were distributed in specially marked boxes that contained one specific team.  Gotta love the 90's.

Dennis also hooked me up with three new memorabilia cards for this collection:

2002 Fleer Focus Jersey Edition International Diamond Company #NNO
2002 UD Authentics Retro Star Rookies Jersey #SR-KS
2017 Panini Chronicles Swatches #CS-HM (#'d011/499)

If you know me, I'm always looking for memorabilia cards at card shows.  I'll even buy manufactured "hits" if they're cheap enough:

2019 Topps Update 150th Anniversary Patch #AMP-YM

I wouldn't exactly describe this card as dazzling.  But this one sure is:

2021 Topps Update Rainbow Foil #US143

Sorry... my scanner doesn't do this card justice.  However... when the sunlight hits it just right... this card definitely dazzles.

I might not be able to show off a National haul anytime soon, but thankfully there are care packages like the one to entertain me so I don't feel withdrawalsThank you so much Dennis!  Sorry it took me so long to open it up and share it on my blog.

Crap.  I almost forgot this card:

1988-89 Fleer #64

Not gonna lie... I probably wouldn't buy this at a card show unless it was in a dime box.  Nor would I go out of my way to trade for it.  That being said... this card is an awesome addition to my Damaged Card Hall of Fame.  I mean it's off-centered, it has a huge dinged corner, and it features a nasty brown stain on the backI love it!

Thanks again DennisThank you Matt for kicking of this Blog Bat-Around.  And thank you all for taking the time to read this post.

By the way... I'm sure most of you have already seen Night Owl's contribution to this BBA.  If not, click here.

And while I'm plugging other blogs, Jon over at A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts and My Kind of Nonsense recently shared four new card blogs with his readers.  I'm sure most of us with blogs would agree, it's not easy attracting new readers.  That's why I think it's really important to support each other.  Here are links to their blogs:





I hope you'll check them out and add them to your reading list.

Thanks Jon!  Not only for sharing these blogs with us... but for also taking the time to read and comment on so many of our posts.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!