30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Cleaning, Organizing, and Sorting

On a recent trip to Costco, I purchased some heavy duty Bankers Boxes which led to some early spring cleaning in my office.  When I was finished, I had cataloged most of my larger card sets which is something I've been meaning to do for years.  Most of the large boxes have been sorted and put away, but this major cleaning/organization project will probably continue until mid-March when spring actually arrives.

In the meantime... I'm also organizing parts of my card collection as well.  Back in December, I received a large flat rate box from Woody over on Sports Card Forum and inside were hundreds of Japanese MLB cards.  It took an entire afternoon to sort through his stuff and integrate it into my binders.

Here are the highlights from his care package.  Let's start with the Ohtani's since he's arguably the hottest player in the hobby:

2018 Topps Opening Day #200
2018 Topps Archives #50
2018 Topps Update #US285

It's not often anyone sends me an Ohtani rookie card... let alone three.  Once upon a time I owned a PSA graded copy of that Opening Day card, but I sold it during the pandemic.  The other were completely brand new to me.

In fact out of the thirteen Ohtani cards he sent my way, I needed twelve of them.  Here's a look at the other nine:

This influx of Shohei cards motivated me to give him his very own binder.  Up until now, his 9-pocket pages were crammed between Tomokazu Ohka and Hideki Okajima pages.   He joins Kurt SuzukiIchiro Suzuki, and Hideo Nomo as the only Japanese baseball players with their very own binders.

Speaking of Ichiro and Nomo, here are their new additions from Woody.  Let's start with Ichiro:

2021 Topps Platinum Players Die-Cuts #PDC-15
2022 Topps Archives #185

2021 is the least represented year in my Ichiro PC.  That die-cut insert is only the second card of him in my binder.  Maybe Topps didn't add him to a lot of checklists that year.

Next up are the new Nomos:

1995 Stadium Club #556
1998 Bowman International #289

I thought I owned most of Nomo's rookie cards, but was surprised to see I needed his Stadium Club card.  This Bowman parallel (which didn't scan well) is really cool as it shows off his birthplace.

2000 Pacific Invincible #56
2003 Playoff Portraits #17

Both of these cards are proof that card companies are capable of making high quality base cards.  The Nomo on the left combines cardboard and acetate... but what makes this card especially cool is that it features him with the Detroit Tigers.

The Playoff Portraits card is thick and textured to give off the feeling that you're holding a card that was actually hand painted.  If you've never owned one of these cards, it might be worth tracking down a copy.

Wrapping up today's post is a Masahiro Tanaka relic card:

2017 Topps Museum Collection
Meaningful Material #MM-MTA (#'d 18/35)

I'm not exactly sure why Topps chose to call these Meaningful Material relics... since according to the back of the card the swatch isn't from any specific game, event, or season.  But when you consider that there are only 35 copies of this card out there and Woody was kind enough to send me one of them... that's pretty cool (and meaningful).

Thank you Woody!  I have at least one more post planned that will show off some other cards that were part of this care package.

There were literally hundreds of duplicates in Woody's care package that when combined with my extras ended up filling close to two full rows in a 5,000ct. box.  In the midst of the office organization, I sorted them by player.

Anyone interested in starting a Japanese baseball player collection?  If so, shoot me an email and I'll gladly help you out.  Unfortunately I don't have many Ohtani or Ichiro duplicates, but I've got plenty of other guys like Nomo, Matsuzaka, and Okajima.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Flea Market Finds #160: One Man's Junk

Mother Nature was looking out for me this weekend.  It's been raining off and on the past week or so.  Most of the time I enjoy this kind of weather, but I was looking forward to walking around the De Anza Flea Market on Saturday.  As luck would have it... no rain was forecasted that morning.

My expectations weren't high.  Both vendor and visitor attendance drops during the winter... and there were scattered showers on Friday.  But when I drove up, I was pleasantly surprised.

Purchase #11993 Upper Deck Series 2 Baseball Box  $40

Not all Junk Wax is junk.  About ten minutes into my walk, I stumbled across a guy who had a bunch of Junk Wax Era boxes on his table.  Three stood out.  One was an early 90's Action Packed football.  Another was a 1990 Upper Deck baseball.  Then there's the one I bought.

Does it contain a Derek Jeter rookie?  I won't find out anytime soon.  This is going into my unopened wax box collection.  Yup.  I'm one of those guys who collects those.

Purchase #21990 Comic Ball Promo Set  $5

A few vendors down, I found a binder with some comic cards.  The guy wanted $20 for the entire binder, which I'm sure was a fair price.  Unfortunately, I didn't really want anything other than this set of promo cards.

Another Junk Wax Era product I like.  I already own a complete set of the regular set and the holograms.  Now I have the promo card set too.

Purchase #32023 Hot Wheels Premium Fast & Furious $15

I'm a sucker for Toyota Supra MK5 die-cast.  Saw this two-pack back in December, but the vendor wanted $20.  Found this at a different vendor's booth and he told me $15 is what Target sells them for (if you can find them on the pegs).

Purchase #450¢ Cards  $3

There are always a handful of vendors who deal with storage locker purchases.  I'm 90% positive this guy was one of them.  He had a bunch of 5,000ct. boxes filled with sports cards.  The majority were from the last decade or so, but there was some vintage sprinkled in here and there. When I walked up there were a couple of other guys flipping through them.

I spent about thirty minutes going through the boxes.  Here's what I pulled out...

2010 Topps A&G #130

I found this card in the first stack I picked up and it totally lured me in.  I've mentioned it before that back in the 60's, my father worked on the SR-71 in Area 51.  This card goes into my Papa Fuji PC.

There were hundreds of Allen & Ginter cards from a variety of years sitting in these boxes.  I would have bought a lot more had they been a dime each.  50¢ is a different story.   I only picked up two.  Here's the other one:

2015 Topps A&G #56

This was one of those weird purchases where I had just thought about this card the night before.  On Friday, I saw on ESPN that Carl Weathers passed away and immediately wondered if I owned any Rocky cards featuring him.  When I checked COMC, this card popped up.  Not sure if I have one sitting in a box somewhere.

Anyways... I figured I'd grab this copy just in case.

Next up were these three Jordans:

2009 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary Retrospective #1009, #1126, & #1131

There were hundreds of these Retrospective inserts and I like the A&G singles.... I would have loved to have a bunch of them.  But 50¢ each adds up quickly.

I seem to have accidentally deleted the sixth card I purchased... which was a Shaquille O'neal Hoops rookie cardBut do you really need to see anymore Junk Wax Era cards today?

Well that wraps up my latest trip to the flea market.  Not sure when I'll be heading back.  Guess it all depends on the weather.

In the meantime... I do have a few posts I'm working on in between staying busy at work and organizing stuff at home.

Until then...

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Multiple Meanings

As many of you know... 2023 was filled with a lot of ups and downs.  It will forever be marred by the loss of my father and my friend Mike in a span of a month.  But it wasn't all bad... these two tragic events brought me closer to my siblings and strengthened the bond between close friends.

The hobby also helped me get through that rough patch by serving as a healthy distraction.  One of the most therapeutic things for me outside of building Lego sets is sorting cards and building sets.  Walking around flea markets and card shows also helped.

Back on Saturday, December 16th... I was able to do both.  Today's post covers a pair of purchases... one from each.  Both of these purchases were BIG... but in different ways.

Let's start with my most expensive hobby purchase of 2023 and a BIG addition to my Ichiro PC:

2023 Finest Flashbacks Auto #183

I was hanging out at the Silicon Valley Card & Collectibles Show at my buddy's table.  And within minutes... my eyes were drawn to this gorgeous card that took me back to the 90's when autographs were on-card and rare.  I wanted it.

Right next to the Ichiro was the other 2001 Rookie of the Year Award winner:

2023 Finest Flashbacks Auto #179

I wanted this card too.  The only problem is my hobby budget doesn't allow for BIG purchases like these.

After watching two other collectors show an interest in the Ichiro, I decided to pull them out of the case and have him hold them for me.

When things settled down... he offered me the pair for $450.  Yeah... that's BIG money (to me).  But a month has passed and there has been zero buyer's remorse.

He tossed in this cool refractor to sweeten the deal:

2000 Topps Chrome Combos Refractor #TC5

I know this particular insert set is polarizing among collectors.  You either love it... or hate it.

I obviously love it!  In 2000, Nomar, Alex, and Derek were the BIG 3 among American League shortstops and although we crossed into the aughts, refractors were still reasonably tough pulls.  These inserts were seeded into 1:80 packs.

The other BIG purchase I made that day took place earlier in the morning at the Branham Flea Market.  I stumbled across a guy with a binder containing a bunch of oversized cards.  He wanted $10 for the binder, but was focused on the quality of the binder itself and not the cards.

So I asked him if he'd take $5 for the pages and cards without the binder.  He accepted.  I had taken a photo of all of the stuff, but accidentally deleted it.  However I did scan the highlights of the purchase which were these BIG inserts and parallels from the 90's before putting them all away.

Since most of you are baseball fans, here's the only baseball card of note:

1995 Score Rules Jumbo #SR25 (#'d 2,489/3000)

This is a BIG (7.5" x 10.5") parallel to the pack inserted counterparts.  Back in 1995, Score produced Baseball Collector Kits that contained twenty-six assorted packs of Score Series 1 and Series 2 baseball, a binder, ten collector pages, and one of these oversized parallels.

Based on how many are available on eBay, they aren't very common... even though 3,000 copies of each card was produced.

The next card was the key to the purchase:

1997 Donruss Studio Stained Glass Stars #15 (#'d 0318/1000)

This BIG acetate insert is gorgeous!   Once I saw this card, I knew I wanted the entire lot.

There were two BIG names featured in the lot:

1997 Donruss Studio 8x10 Gold Portrait Proof #29 (#'d 0115/1000)

1997 Donruss Studio Red Zone Masterpiece #20 (#'d 0853/3500)

The Elway is a BIG addition to my Stanford PC... while the Moon is a BIG Seahawks pickup.

Well that wraps up my two BIG purchases from back in December.  Gotta love multiple meanings... and overpriced and oversized card purchases.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!