30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Smartphones, Birthdays, and Laziness

I've struggled to memorize birthdays my entire life.  For the sake of this post, I sat down and listed as many as I could.  Eleven.  If I include myself... twelve.

Laziness is the problem.  It wouldn't take much effort on my part to create some flashcards and practice them a few minutes every day.  But that's not something I foresee taking place anytime soon.  I mean... why should I?  One of the biggest perks to owning a smartphone is the built-in calendar that reminds me when important events are coming up.

1989 SI for Kids #33

However there's a thirteenth birthday I need to memorize... and that's Tony Gwynn.  The bottom line is the idea of adding birthdays of anyone outside of friends and family to my phone is silly.  That being said... Gwynn isn't just anyone.  He's my favorite athlete of all-time.  That has to be worth something.  So May 9th has been officially been entered into my memory bank.

1975-1976 Topps #180

1989-90 Topps #83

1981 Chu-Bops #4 Glass Houses
1981 Chu-Bops #52 Songs in the Attic

I guess this means I have officially memorized Calvin Murphy, Steve Yzerman, and Billy Joel's birthdays too.  That doesn't mean I'll remember to post something on their birthday every year.  But if you ask me for Gwynn's birthday, I'll be able to tell you the date.


By the way, I used Gwynn 1989 SI for Kids card, because it's one of two Gwynn cards from my beginning of the year COMC shipment.  I'm saving the other one for an end of the school year post.

Anyways, 1989 was the inaugural year for SI for Kids and this Gwynn was part of issue #4.  That year he played the St. Louis Cardinals on his birthday.  He led off the 4th inning with a single off of Ken Hill and eventually scored the Padres first run of the game.  Unfortunately, the Cardinals won the game.

Happy belated birthday Mr. Padre!  Sorry I forgot your birthday this year.  Now that I've memorized your special day, hopefully I won't need another blogger to inspire me to write a birthday post for you ever again.

What about you?

Do you rely on the help of smartphones when it comes to birthdays?

Do you have any athlete's birthdays memorized?

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Flea Market Finds #151: Some Rare Air and Something for Mom

Two years and four months or eight hundred fifty-four days.  That's how long it's been since I last purchased something at the De Anza Flea Market.  Well... at least according to my records.

For over a decade, De Anza has been my favorite monthly flea market, but they were shut down since March 6th, 2020 due to Covid.  This past weekend, they reopened.  It wasn't exactly back to normal in regards to number of vendors.  However there seemed to be lots of customers eager to walk around and spend money.  As for sports memorabilia, there were the same vendors that normally set up.


Purchase #1Michael Jordan Pre Rookie Magazine  $2

Sports Illustrated 11/28/83

My first purchase was my best purchase in regards to value.  This copy of Sports Illustrated was Jordan's first cover and it's an issue I've been seeking for a long time.  I actually owned a copy when I was a kid.

This particular copy isn't in mint condition.  The mailing label has been ripped off and there's some wear along the top of the back:


However, there was no way I could pass this up for two bucks.  I've seen copies of this magazine sell for $50 to $150 on eBay.


Purchase #2Comic Books $1

A few minutes after purchasing the Sports Illustrated, I came across a guy selling cheap comics.  I don't really collect them, but I figured for the price (50¢) I'd ask to see if he had any Star Wars, Robotech, Star Blazers, or Usagi Yojimbo comics.  He had this lone issue of Robotech:

2002 Wildstorm Comics Robotech #0

He didn't have any change, so he told me I could have it for free.  But I decided to look for one more comic book to make it an even buck.  I found this:

2019 Dynamite Bob's Burgers (Free Comic Book Day)

I've really enjoyed watching this show on Hulu over the years.  I'll put on in the background while sorting cards.  Lately I haven't had time for either, but when I do get some free time I hope to read this comic.


Purchase #3Topps Basketball Cards $20

In the very last row, there was a guy with a small display case of cards.  I've actually purchased some stuff from him before.  Anyone remember the Lil' Bow Wow autographed card that turned out to be a promoIf so, this purchase was made from the same vendor.

He had a bunch of cheap basketball that I would have been all over two years ago.  Due to current budget restrictions, I just focused on some affordable Topps base cards:

1997-98 Topps #123
1997-98 Topps #171

Even though I don't really watch basketball anymore, I still enjoy collecting MJ and Kobe... especially when they're cheap.  The two Kobe cards are from his second year.  The guy also had this second year Lebron:

2004-05 Topps #23

I'll never be able to afford Lebron's rookie card, so I'll settle for his sophomore card instead.  This was pretty much the main card in the purchase, but the next card was the hidden treasure in the lot:

1997-98 Topps Minted in Springfield #123

When I added this MJ to the stack, I thought it was just another copy of his base card.  But when I got home, I noticed that this one had a bronze stamp in the lower right corner.  After a little digging, I discovered this is a parallel inserted into Series 1 packs.

This card easily covers the twenty bucks I spent with the vendor, which means this insert is just a bonus:

1996-97 Topps Pro Files #PF-3

This is one of those over produced, easy-to-pull mid 90's inserts.  However since Jordan is featured... it's transformed into $5 to $10 insert.  I actually thought this card was rarer, because of the vendor's asking price.  This card and the Lebron were $8 each... while the Jordan parallel, the other Jordan, and two Kobe base cards were each a dollar.


Purchase #4Star Wars Prequel DVD's   $3

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Episode 2:  Attack of the Clones
Star Wars Episode 3:  Revenge of the Sith

We're currently in the middle of state testing and last Thursday our 8th graders took their science test.  Unfortunately that left a 3 hour window where 7th grade teachers literally had to kill the entire time with their home room studentsMy solution?  Show one of the Star Wars movies in celebration of May the 4thThe problem?  I must have lent out my set of classroom DVD's, because when I looked for them... they were gone.

Anyways... there are always plenty of DVD guys at our local flea markets.  This particular vendor had his for a buck a piece.  I'm pretty picky about purchasing used DVDs, but upon closer inspection there wasn't a single scratch to be found on any of these.


Purchase #5Orchids  $10


Every year I buy my mom a new orchid for Mother's Day.  One of my mom's favorite hobbies was gardening.  Sadly, I did not inherit her green thumb.  Every year the goal is the same.  Keep the orchid alive an entire year in her honor.  So far that hasn't happened.

Hope you enjoyed my latest flea market finds.  If things go smoothly, now that spring has arrived and the De Anza Flea Market is back on the calendar... I'm hoping to start going to at least two flea markets a month.  There's actually a third flea market option that could be explored, but that's sitting on the back-burner until things settle down around here.

Happy Wednessday and sayonara!

Monday, May 9, 2022

Being Extra Selective

Two weeks ago, I made my sixth eBay sports card purchase of the year.  Now I realize that we're all different when it comes to hobby budgets and trading card purchases.  That's what make each us unique as collectors.

Personally... it usually only takes me a few days... or maybe a few weeks to buy six sports card related items on eBay.  In an effort to give you some perspective, here's a look at the number of days it took me to make my sixth sports card related purchase in the five previous years:

2017: 22 Days
2018: 14 Days
2019: 3 Days
2020: 4 Days
2021: 23 Days
2022: 117 Days

What's the difference this year?  Cutbacks.  I'm still buying sports cards.  I'm just being more selective in my purchases and the bulk of those purchases have been on COMC or at card shows.

Honestly... for me to pull the trigger and buy a card on eBay... it has to be a pretty good deal.  And as many of us are aware, the hobby boom has impacted the number of "good deals" to be had.  That being said... this card recently popped up on one of my saved eBay searches:

1995-96 Seattle Thunderbirds Team Issue #15

If this card looks familiar, it's because I've written about it before.  Well... not this exact card, but one just like it.  It's Patrick Marleau's first trading card.  You'd think that being a mid 90's trading card, there'd be plenty available.  But they don't show up very often.  There are a few copies on eBay right now, but they're way more than the $1.99 (+ $1.18 shipping & tax) BIN price tag that popped up two weeks ago.


There's a press conference being held by the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday where Marleau will discuss his future hockey plans.  At 42 years of age and an NHL record 1,779 games behind him, it's expected that he'll retire.  However weirder things have been known to occur. 

Since hockey posts are a rare occurrence on this blog, I figured I'd show off some other recent additions to my San Jose Sharks PC.  First up is this shiny insert of Martin Jones:

2020-21 Metal Universe Intimidation Nation #IN-13

I purchased this card on COMC back in January for 33¢.  My memory is a little hazy, but I'm pretty sure this card was shown on someone's blog, so I decided to grab one for myself.  I've always been a fan of the Pinnacle Mask inserts from the 90's and this particular card gives off that vibe.

The rest of the cards in this post were generously sent to me by Reader X.  Back in April, he commented on a post requesting a reaction on the stack of Sharks he sent my way since hockey cards are very underrepresented in the blogosphere.

Well here ya go Xavier...

2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Rainbow Foil #282

Marleau is one of the greatest players in franchise history... and one of my personal favorites.  I had hoped that he'd spend his entire career in San Jose, but he left and signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs the season after this O-Pee-Chee parallel was produced.

2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Black Rainbow Foil #80 (#'d 38/100)

Joel Ward was a fan favorite during his three seasons in San Jose.  I only have a handful of his cards and this is by far the coolest.  The black borders and rainbow shine really brings life to this piece of cardboard.

2019-20 UD Ultimate Collection #156 (#'d 038/299)

I'm not exactly sure what the San Jose Sharks are currently doing, but I'm guessing "rebuild" has something to do with it.  Noah Gregor is one of the younger Sharks who received a significant amount of ice time this past season.  However he only scored 8 goals in 63 games.  Not exactly sure if he'll be back in San Jose next season

2020-21 UD Allure Red Rainbow #102

I can't remember the last time I opened up a pack of hockey cards.  But the next time I do, I sure hope to pull something like this bright and shiny red parallel.  This card is gorgeous.  Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with Letunov and it looks like he's no longer with the Sharks.

And rounding out the stack of Sharks sent by Xavier is my current favorite player:

2020-21 UD Allure Diagnostics #D-1

Burnzie and his beard just wrapped up his 11th season in San Jose.  During that time, he's been one of the most popular players... if not the most popular.  I'm hoping he'll have an opportunity to reach the postseason again as a Shark, but at 36 years of age... time is running out.

And since I'm not sure when I'll write another hockey card post, here are two more cards featuring former San Jose Shark captain... Joe Pavelski:

2020-21 UD Artifacts Blue Sapphire #63 (#'d 058/499)
2019-20 UD Allure White Rainbow #27

I'm not rooting for Dallas in the playoffs... but I'll always root for Little Joe.  He's currently leading the team in goals during the postseason.

Thanks Xavier for these latest additions to the San Jose Sharks PC and for inspiring a rare hockey card post on this blog.

Happy Monday and sayonara!