30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Keep It Simple

I love my life, but it's not perfect.  I love my job, but it's not perfect.  I love this hobby, but it's not perfect.

When I was building my Sports Card Trifecta of Jose Altuve, I struggled to determine his rookie card.  Should I have bought his 2011 Topps Update, because it has the official rookie card logo?  Or should I have purchased his 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects card, because it's his earliest card featuring him in an Astros jersey?

2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP137

I decided to go with the latter, because when I was a kid I was taught that a player's first pack pulled, nationally distributed card produced by one of the major card manufacturers was his rookie card.

I realize that based on the current eBay sales between the two cards, I'm in the minority.  At least he doesn't have any Team USA cards featuring him as a 15 year old.  Or worse... he could have had four different rookie card logo cards in Update like Cody Bellinger has in this year's set.

Don't worry.  I'm not going to be a disgruntled collector or blogger who goes on an epic rant.  I just wish card companies would go back to the days when collectors could open a pack of cards and easily identify an athlete's rookie card.

For example... if someone gave you a pack of 1980 Topps baseball cards and you pulled this:

1980 Topps #482

You'd instantly know that you hit the jackpot and pulled Rickey Henderson's lone rookie card.

If you tore into a pack of 1983 Fleer baseball and discovered this:

1983 Fleer #360

You'd know that you pulled a Tony Gwynn rookie card.

And if you tore into a pack of 1989 Upper Deck baseball and saw this:

1989 Upper Deck #1

You'd know immediately that you were holding a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card.

1981 Topps #302
1981 Topps Traded #850

Even when Donruss Rookies, Fleer Update, and Topps Traded box sets added a layer of confusion to the mix, collectors were still able to decipher a player's true rookie card from his really cool Traded set card.

C'mon COMC... don't collectors already have enough on their plate with current rookie cards?  Stop the shenanigans and drop the RC tag.  80's rookie cards are suppose to be simpler to define.  Back then it felt like most of us were at least on the same page when it came to defining what a rookie card was.

These days... I'm not so sure.  Maybe you can help me.  

Do you have a simple way to define a rookie card?

I feel like things would be so much better if we (collectors, card manufactures, grading companies, card shop owners, price guide websites, and everyone else involved in our hobby) could stand on common ground.

At the very least... it'd be less annoying.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Friday, November 17, 2017

I'm Free

I've had Kenny Loggins' I'm Free in the back of my mind since yesterday afternoon when I read Collecting Cutch's comment on my Kevin Bacon post earlier in the week.  He mentioned one of his favorite Bacon movies was Footloose, which made me immediately think of the song.

Not familiar with it?  Here ya go...

Lol.  Sorry.  The Kids Incorporated version was the only one I could find that would work on my blog.  Anyways... from the moment I arrived at work this morning, I began counting down the minutes until 2:00 when I'd be free to...

1.  Binge watch Stranger Things.

2.  Sleep in.

3.  Cruise.

4.  Scan, sort, and sleeve some sports cards.

5.  Build my Lego Star Wars Droid Escape Pod.

6.  Open up a few blogger packages

7.  Golf at least once... maybe twice.

8.  Head over the hill at least once.

9.  Keep up with your blog posts.

10.  And hopefully write at least three or four blog posts during my nine days off.

What about you?

Anyone have any cool plans for their Thanksgiving break?

Whatever you guys and gals do, I hope you stay safe, eat well, hang with your loved ones, and spend at least a little bit of time enjoying the hobby.

Happy Friday and sayonara!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Refreshing My Memory

Being a product of the 70's, I never had the opportunity to watch guys like Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, or Stan Musial.  But I had heard and read stories about them even before I started collecting baseball cards in the early 80's.  These guys were baseball legends.

Bobby Doerr is a baseball legend too.  But since he wasn't a first ballot hall of famer, or baseball's Ironman, or the all-time wins leader... I wasn't familiar with his accomplishments until a few years later.  It didn't help that I grew up 3,000 miles away from Fenway.

My best guess is I started learning about him around the same time he was inducted into Cooperstown by the Veterans Committee back in 1986.

Every now and then, card companies would include him in a set which was a nice way of paying tribute to the "silent captain of the Boston Red Sox".

Then towards the end of last year, I read somewhere that he had become the oldest living former MLBer, which I thought was interesting.  It also gave me an opportunity to refresh my memory of his career achievements.

Not long after that, his 2007 UD Masterpieces Box Topper Signature card popped up on eBay.  This is one of my favorite autograph sets and it was like a sign or something.  So I entered a last second bid and was stoked to add an on-card autograph of Red Sox legend to my collection.

Fast forward to last night when I read the news of his passing over on Baseball Card Breakdown.   My sincere condolences go out to his family, friends, and Red Sox and baseball fans around the world.  I never had the opportunity to watch him play, but thanks to sites like Baseball Reference and the numerous tributes I've read since last night, his legacy will live on forever.

Rest in peace Mr. Doerr.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Blog Bat Around: Super Awesome Bacon!

2010 Archie McPhee #37

Seriously.  If I had to list my favorite things to eat, bacon would be right up there with rib-eye, fried rice, watermelon, saimin, and twice baked potatoes.

But my Archie McPhee bacon rookie card was purely used as clickbait.  Today's post is obviously in response to the current Blog Bat Around inspired by Collecting Cutch, which is to connect one of our favorite players to Kevin Bacon.

Laziness delayed my response, but last night I read Night Owl's submission which got me wondering if Rickey Henderson ever made a cameo in a movie.  I couldn't find his name listed in any movies on IMDB, but I saw his name listed in a music video.

And so the journey begins...

1st Degree: Rickey Henderson

2014 Topps Gypsy Queen Autographs #GQA-RH

Rickey Henderson made a cameo in MC Hammer's music video 2 Legit 2 Quit with David Faustino.  I really could not stand this song back in the day, so it doesn't surprise me that I didn't know Rickey was in this video.

I did however watch it last night in its entirety... and was kinda impressed with all of the different athletes who made cameos in it.  Due to copyright issues, I wasn't able to embed the video, but here are screenshots of Rickey and David:

2nd Degree:  David Faustino

COMC Image

Faustino was in 12 Bucks (1998) with Ming-Na Wen.

I've never heard of this movie.  But seeing a younger Wen might be worth checking out.  Sadly, I couldn't find this movie online anywhere and I'm not curious enough to dish out $14.85 on Amazon.

3rd Degree:  Ming-Na Wen

 2015 Rittenhouse Agents of Shield Season 2 Costumes #CC3

Wen was in The Darkness (2016) with Kevin Bacon.

This is another movie I had never heard of, but I did manage to find it on HBO.  I watched the trailer, but couldn't get into it and ended up watching part of The Lego Batman Movie instead.  Maybe I'll give Bacon and Wen a chance over Thanksgiving break, but it's more likely I'll go back and watch Mystic River (2003) or Apollo 13 (1995).  These are my two favorite Kevin Bacon movies.  I also enjoyed watching him in The Following (2013-2015), which was a television series I saw on Netflix.  All three are worth re-watching again at some point.

Well that's it for now.  Until my next post...

What's your favorite Kevin Bacon movie or television show?

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday Night Five: World War II Veterans

I've always had a deep admiration and have been fascinated by athletes who set their careers to the side and risked their lives to help protect our country during times of war.  The take the word "sacrifice" to a completely different level.

Tonight, I thought I'd share five pieces of sports memorabilia from my collection of baseball hall of famers who happened to fight for our freedom during World War II.

#1:  Warren Spahn

1999 Century Legends Epic Signatures #WS

Spahn was involved in the Battle of the Bulge, where they were surrounded by Germans in the middle of one of the coldest winters on record.

#2:  Jerry Coleman 

Jerry Coleman Autographed Ball
(Tristar Authenticated)

Coleman flew 57 combat missions in a Douglas SBD Dauntless as part of the VMTB-341 (Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 341) against the Japanese in the South Pacific.

#3:  Yogi Berra

1999 Century Legends Epic Signatures #YB

Berra was on a boat 300 yards off the coast of Omaha Beach on June 6th, 1944.  D-Day.  Their task was to protect the troops landing on the beach with machine guns and rockets against the Germans.

#4:  Bob Feller

Bob Feller Autographed Ball

Feller served on the USS Alabama as a Chief Petty Officer from 1943 to 1945.  The USS Alabama was involved in a handful of battles in the Pacific Theater of Operations.

#5:  Ted Williams 

1987 Perez Steel Great Moments
(PSA/DNA Authenticated)

Technically Williams didn't see any active combat during World War II.  However he did spend three years during the war learning how to fly while setting several combat training records.  After the war, he returned to baseball.  In 1952 he was recalled to active duty and served in the Korean War where he flew 39 combat missions.

I'd like to thank all of these guys and the millions of other brave men and women who have served or who are currently serving in our country's armed forces to protect and keep our country safe.  Words cannot truly express how grateful I am for the sacrifices made for me, my family, my friends, my students, and all of the other people who live in this great country.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!