30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Saturday Night Five: Beating the Odds

Busting blaster boxes has never been my favorite way to add new cards to my collection.  I enjoy purchasing specific cards off of eBay, at card shows, or on COMC, because in the long run I get more value for my dollar.

However every now and then, I get the urge to rip open packs.  Luckily my local Targets never have any Topps baseball blasters sitting on their shelves.

Well earlier in the month, I went up to Portland and found Stadium Club and Allen & Ginter blasters at my friend's local Target, so I grabbed two of each.  Then the following week, I discovered Topps Chrome blasters in Las Vegas.  I purchased three of them and when I got back to the Bay Area, I had myself a little blaster box busting session.

I didn't really have any expectations, but was hoping to pull some of the key rookies from this year's crop.  And maybe... just maybe... I'd be lucky enough to walk away with an autograph or relic card.

Well folks... I beat the odds and ended up pulling three autographs, a memorabilia card, plus a few decent rookies, and a ton of inserts and parallels.

In an effort to save time, I've decided to narrow things down to my five favorite cards and a pair of honorable mentions from the break...

Honorable Mention #1

2018 Stadium Club #131

This is my obligatory Oakland Athletics card and it's a beauty.  I actually don't mind that Topps cropped off Chapman's right arm.

Honorable Mention #2

2018 Allen & Ginter Indigenous Heroes Mini #MIH-21

Kudos to whoever came up with the idea for this set over at Topps.  I've seen a few of these inserts on other blogs and have enjoyed every one of them.  I kicked off my blaster box bonanza with Ginter and this was in the first pack I opened.

Okay, here's the cream of the crop...

Favorite Pull #5

2018 Allen & Ginter Framed Relic #MFR-BS

I don't make a habit of cheering for the San Francisco Giants, but there are a few guys I enjoy watching play.  Buster Posey is one of them.  This relic card completes my Sports Card Trifecta of him.

Favorite Pull #4

2018 Allen & Ginter World Talent #WT-26

From the moment I laid eyes on this insert set, I knew that I'd one day need to go out and buy the Ichiro for my collection.  Now I don't have to.  I totally beat the odds when I pulled this card.

Favorite Pulls #3

2018 Topps Chrome #150
2018 Allen & Ginter #100

Didn't pull a Stadium Club Ohtani, but I managed to pull one out of each of the other products.  I can live with that.

Favorite Pull #2

2018 Topps Chrome Refractor #193

I was secretly hoping to pull an Ohtani refractor, but I'm not going to complain about this Acuna.  I'm pretty sure this is my first card of him... and it's definitely a keeper.

Favorite Pull #1

2018 Stadium Club Autograph #SCA-GT

August has not been kind to Torres or the Yankees, but there's no way this card isn't #1 on my list.  It's hands down the most valuable card I've ever pulled from a blaster.  And as much as I'd like to see this card rise in value... I'm totally okay with seeing the New York Yankees struggle a little longer.

By the way, here are the other two hits I pulled:

2018 Topps Chrome Refractor Autograph #RAJD
2018 Topps Chrome Autograph #RABV

Seven boxes.  Four hits.  Maybe I should go to Portland and Vegas more often.  

Anyways... I won't be keeping either of these autographs.  The Davis is headed to Christopher (The Raz Card Blog) and the Valera will be going to my buddy Brady (St. Louis Cardinals' Cardboard).

I've also found a home for a lot of the inserts I pulled out of these blasters.  I've spent the last week or so putting together care packages for fellow bloggers, which should go out on either Tuesday or Wednesday.  Until then...

What's the coolest card you've pulled from a 2018 pack?

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Flea Market Finds #132: Expired Pasta Primavera

Ever since I wrapped up my 56 Day Walking Challenge in mid-July, I've taken a break all of my local flea markets.

However this morning I decided to celebrate my last day of summer before I return to the classroom by hitting up the Capitol Flea Market.  This flea market hasn't been providing many finds the past year or so.  It's literally filled with people's garbage.

Don't believe me?  Check out this vendor's goodies:

That's non-refrigerated pasta primavera and chicken piccata polenta that expired three days ago.  Yum.  Yum.  I sure hope that whoever buys this stuff has a cast iron stomach.

I grew up in a household that treasured leftovers.  My father was a kid during the Great Depression and his family was very poor, so they never let any food go to waste.  But I'm pretty sure that even he wouldn't buy these meals.

Personally... I'm pretty picky about what I put in my body.  Whenever I cook something, I try to eat all of it within three days.  After that, I can't do it.  I get mentally grossed out.

Purchase #1:  Chili Lemon Pistachios $5

About half way through the flea market, I ran into my regular "pistachio" guy and picked up this 8oz. bag.  Normally I pick up the tequila flavored ones, but I decided to live on the wild side and take the chili lemon.

Don't worry.  These babies won't last more than two days.

Purchase #2:  1989 Bowman Baseball Factory Set $3

One of the reasons, I don't feel the need to go out to the flea market every weekend is because I'm tired of buying stuff I don't really need.  This is a prime example of that.  I already own this set, but I figured for $3... I just couldn't pass it up.

I know that a lot of collectors are turned off by this set, because of their size.  I'm not one of them.  I actually really love this set and plan on throwing this into a binder for easy viewing.

1989 Bowman #220

Well that's it for today.  Tomorrow I'll be participating in some leadership training.  Wish I could say that I'm excited, but that's just not the case.  At least they're providing lunch.  It just better not be pasta primavera and chicken piccata polenta.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Blown Away By Beauty

Before we get into this post, I want to preface things by stating that this blog isn't turning into a non-sports blog.  I realize that I've had several non-sports related posts recently, but I assure you that 98% of my posts will feature sports cards.

With that being said, today I wanted to share a few more of non-sports COMC purchases.  If you read my Apology to Oregon and Nevada post yesterday, then you know that I've lived my entire life in The Golden State and even though we have our faults (there are literally 500+ active faults in California), I'm still proud to be a Californian.

I could easily list reasons I want to spend the rest of my life here, but that would take up too much of our time.  So I'll get straight to the nitty gritty:

#1:  The Weather

Obviously, I can't speak for anyone other than myself.  We each have our own personal preferences, but I do not enjoy extreme cold or extreme heat.  The perfect temperature for me is between 58ºF and 68ºF, so I can wear shorts, flip flops, and a hoodie.

Here in San Jose, I'm able to live that lifestyle 60% of the time.  Sure there are a handful of days when it's too cold to wear flip flops and there are three to four months where wearing a hoodie would be considered ridiculous.  But overall, San Jose's climate is pretty moderate.

#2:  The Sight Seeing

I honestly don't get out and about as often as I'd like to.  However it's not because I lack options.

2017 Goodwin Champions World Traveler Map Relics #WT16

I could hop into my car right now and drive across the historic and beautiful Golden Gate Bridge that connects San Francisco to Marin County in approximately 90 minutes.  I've only walked across it a handful of times, but every time I have... I was blown away by its beauty.

2017 Goodwin Champions World Traveler Map Relics #WT6

If I drove in the opposite direction, I could head south along the California coast for about two hours and could cross the Bixby Creek Bridge, which is on the way to Big Sur.  This is where the Santa Lucia mountain range meets the Pacific Ocean.  It's a great place to go for a hike during the middle of the week when everyone else is at work. 

2017 Goodwin Champions World Traveler Map Relics #WT23

Lake Tahoe is about four hours east of me.  Even though it's much farther than The Golden Gate Bridge and Big Sur, I've actually been to Tahoe way more times than the other two places combined.

When I was a kid, my family would go up to Tahoe at least two or three times a year to go skiing.  In high school and college, my buddies and I would go much more frequently.  It's one of my favorite places in the world and its the setting of some of my fondest memories.

Now before you get the wrong idea... I'm not trying to compare California to anywhere else.  There are thousands of beautiful places scattered across the world.  I'm just explaining why I love living in the Bay Area while showing off some really cool map relics produced by Upper Deck last year.

I discovered this set while searching for Golden Gate Bridge cards and thought that Upper Deck was pretty creative with it.  There are 50 cards in the set, which happens to be broken down into eight tiers.  Although they're pretty tough to pull in regards to pack odds, you can find them on COMC for a few bucks each.  For a brief moment, I considered building this set.  Then I noticed that there are three cards that fall into the 1:10,436 packs tier.  These command a decent dime.

Luckily none of the ones I really wanted are super rare or expensive.  I spent $11.90 on the three relics above and another $4.75 for this card:

2017 Goodwin Champions World Traveler Map Relics #WT27

I've never actually been to Japan before, but I hope that one day I'll make it over there.

Well that's it for today.  It's your turn to share...

What are some of your favorite places to travel to within your state or country?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Californians Ruin Everything

Rumor has it that some Oregonians can't stand Californians because they:

1.  Move to Oregon and drive up housing prices.
2.  Can't drive.
3.  Are selfish.
4.  Aren't eco-friendly.
5.  Complain too much.
6.  Compare everything to California.

Well... I've lived my entire life in California and absolutely love it.  But I'm not going to lie... I can totally see how some of us fit the stereotype painted above.

Two weeks ago I tried to represent California in the most positive light possible when I hung out with my friends in Portland.

During my stay... I didn't buy any houses.  I didn't cut anyone off.  I was met with excellent customer service at every place we went to... and whenever I paid... I left generous tips to show my appreciation.  I recycled my SmartWater bottles and picked up my trash wherever we went.  I had only positive things to say about the beautiful city, the friendly people, and the delicious food.  And I made zero comparisons to California.

Unfortunately... I couldn't take six steps forward without taking one huge step back.  The amazing people of Oregon can officially add one more complaint to the list:

7.  Californians snatch up blaster boxes on their vacations.

I've been watching people show off their Stadium Club and Allen & Ginter breaks throughout the blogosphere... and I haven't seen a single blaster sitting on the Target shelves in my area.  So when my friend had to purchase a few items at her local Target, I immediately made a beeline towards the card section.  To my delight, I found four A&G blasters and a bunch of Stadium Club blasters just waiting to be purchased.

I thought about snatching up more Stadium Club, but decided against it to conserve luggage space and my hobby budget.  Plus I didn't want to come off as being too greedy.  The last thing I want to do is annoy Oregon card collectors, since I'll be traveling there at least once or twice a year from this point going forward.

While I'm confessing my sins to Oregon collectors, I might as well as keep it real with the good people of Nevada too.

After spending a week in Oregon, I went down to Las Vegas to see my parents and purchased these 2018 Topps Chrome blaster boxes.  The Target down the street from Red Rock Casino had at least ten of these sitting on their shelves.  I grabbed the first three and left the rest for local collectors.

In hindsight... spending $140+ on seven blasters is kind of ridiculous.  I could have picked up a few more key cards for my collection instead.

However... it's fun to bust open some packs every now and then, plus it never hurts to be able to throw in some newer product into care packages.

This post is already starting to drag out, so I'll go ahead and show off the highlights from these boxes in a future post.  There were a handful of cards I was pretty excited to pull.  Here's one of them:

2018 Allen & Ginter Framed Relic #FMR-BP

Another one was an autographed rookie card that's currently fetching just under $100 on eBay, but I'll save that one for later. 

To all of my readers living in Oregon and Nevada, I apologize for coming into your states and buying up your beloved blasters.  Feel free to come down to the Bay Area and visit.  I'll give you first dibs at the local card shows and flea markets as payback.

Happy Monday and sayonara!