30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Best Way to Kick Off Summer

Like almost anything in life... teaching summer school has its pro's and con's.  On one hand, it puts a little extra cash in my pocket, and it keeps me busy.  It also means that I'm less likely to spend money since I'm not looking for things to do like shop online or traveling.  However... the downside is that I have to go back to work in a few days.

With that being said... I wanted to make the most of my four day weekend and one of the things I was looking forward to was busting open a huge care package sent to me from SumoMenkoMan... also known as... Ryan over at Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards and Menko.

I've been the recipient of several generous care packages in recent years and they are always filled with awesome goodies that range from vintage sumo cards to German chocolate to packs of oddball non-sports cards.

Now I can't speak for all collectors out there... but all of these things are right up my alley.  So for the past three weeks, the level of excitement would increase with each passing day.

Yesterday... I finally sat down in my office, laid the box in front of me, and slowly opened up this medium size flat rate box with the giddiness of a little kid on Christmas morning.  And the contents of the box was nothing short of amazing.

See for yourself...

Item #1:  10 Packs of 1988 Topps UK American Baseball

I know I've stumbled across singles from this set over the years, but I don't think I've had the pleasure of opening up any packs.  Until now.

Item #2:  2011 BBM Our Friends Factory Set

Oh man.  My face lit up when I saw this familiar box.  I opened up one of these factory sets a few years ago.  If you're wondering if I actually want two of these sets.  The answer is "heck yeah"!  I kept the first set together as a complete set.  I'll be breaking this one up and putting it into my Japanese PC binders.

Plus... each of these factory sets comes with one on-card mascot autograph.  I can't wait to find out which mascot's signature is sitting in this box.

Item #3:  1989 Topps All-Stars DoubleHeaders Box

Ryan knew that I busted a box of this product before, but he sent me another one anyways.  And I'm glad he did.  I've been stockpiling older wax boxes for a rainy day and there's nothing quite like adding a 80's oddball box to the stack.

Item #4:  13 Packs of 1985/1986 Topps 3D

Speaking of 80's oddballs... there were a bunch of these Topps 3D packs from the mid 80's.  I've opened a few of these over the years and I'm looking forward to busting these 13 packs the next time get that wax pack itch.

Item #5:  6 Sake Flavored Kit Kats

In Japan, you can find a variety of Kit Kat flavors.  I've tried the matcha (green tea) and sakura (cherry blossom) before.  I'm looking forward to testing out these sake flavored ones.

Item #6:  3 Packs of 2003 Topps Shoebox Collection

In 2003 Topps produced a product called Shoebox Collection.  Each box contained four original Topps cards and four packs, which represented four different decades: 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's.  I've been tempted to buy one of these boxes in the past, but never pulled the trigger.  Now I won't have to.

Stay tuned.  I'll be busting these and reviewing them on A Pack To Be Named Later sometime this summer.

Item #7:  Samoas Girl Scouts Cookies

These are my third favorite Girl Scouts cookies... right behind Tagalongs and Do-si-dos.  These won't last the weekend.

Item #8:  2003 Flair Sweet Swatch Jersey Jumbo of Hideo Nomo

This is a HUGE addition to my Nomo PC... and I mean that literally.  This card is approximately 7.75" x 5" in size.

Item #9:  Vintage Sumo Cards/Photos

I honestly have no idea what these are... but they were my favorite items in the box.  The majority of these look like vintage photographs of sumo wrestlers that have a small stamp on the back.  Here's a closer look at one of them:

Hey Ryan... thank you for this awesome care package.  I still owe you for the package you sent earlier in the year.  Not sure there are enough Brandon Laird cards out there to repay you for your kindness, but I'll try my best.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Obviously Not Junk

The term "Junk Wax Era" gets thrown around a lot among collectors and for good reason.  There were so many sports cards produced from the late 80's to the early 90's that 99.7% are practically worthless.

Nevertheless... buried among some of those junk wax products are gems that have maintained collectors' interest and have surprisingly held their value over the years.

1991 Donruss Elite #7

The 1991 Donruss Elite inserts are one of those sets.  They were one of the first mainstream, serial numbered cards inserted into packs.

I was working at my local card shop when 1991 Donruss was released and was blown away by how much money people were willing to spend on singles from this set.

Here's a peek into the September 1991 Beckett:

Let's zoom in on what they had these inserts listed for:

These days there are several different high end products released each year, so it's not that uncommon to see cards worth triple digits pulled from packs.

But back in 1991, there weren't too many current issue cards that commanded that kind of cash right out of the gates.

Why the hype?

Well... they were really, really, really tough to pull.

One look at my Rickey Henderson numbered to 10,000 might have you scratching your head, since that's a figure that seems astronomical by today's standards.  He wasn't alone.  Donruss produced seven other guys who had cards numbered to 10k.  Plus Nolan Ryan had a special Legends card numbered to 7,500.  And there was an autographed Ryne Sandberg card numbered to 5,000.

That's 92,500 insert cards produced in total!  However... you've gotta remember that this was the Junk Wax Era.

One blogger did the math a few years ago and estimated that Donruss produced almost 7,000,000 wax boxes (Series One and Two combined) of baseball.  He based his numbers on an estimation published on BaseballCardPedia that stated that collectors pulled these inserts at a rate of around 1:75 boxes.

If either of these numbers are even remotely true, then you can't deny just how difficult these were to pull.

Today the Rickey no longer commands $200.  But it isn't a $2 insert either.  After a small bidding war, I ended up paying $27 (+ $2.99 shipping) about a month ago on eBay.  I've seen a few go for less, but I paid a premium to finally cross this card off of my wantlist.

You have no idea how good it feels to finally scratch a twenty-seven year itch.

And assuming this post is published on schedule, it'll feel a little bit better knowing that the regular school year ended a few hours ago and my four day weekend (until summer school session) has begun.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Flea Market Finds #130: The Holy Grail of '86

As I've mentioned in previous posts... life has been pretty hectic the past month or so.  Allergy season hasn't helped.  The good news is that it's also flea market season... which has allowed me a few hours each weekend to take my mind off of things and if I'm lucky... add some collectibles to my collection.

Two weekends ago, I walked around the De Anza Flea Market and came home with a variety of items.  There weren't any big ticket items, but it was my largest flea market haul in quite some time.

Let's see what I found...

Purchase #1:  Michael Jordan Kenner SLU's  $20

These days, I typically won't spend more than a buck or two on Kenner Starting Lineups.  However... I'm a sucker for Michael Jordan pieces.  Anyone else remember the era when these three figures sold in the $80 to $100 range?

Purchase #2:  Highland Mint John Elway  $5

Highland Mint rookie card replicas are another 90's item I enjoy picking up from time to time when they're reasonably priced.  Each bronze card came housed in this thick screw down holder.  Since I don't have the storage space, I took mine out.  Here's a better look at the card and full color COA:

The lady who sold me this also had a pretty nice copy of his rookie card too, but she was asking $25, which seemed a little steep.

Purchase #3:  Jose Canseco Rookie Card  $2

1986 Donruss #39

There was a guy out there who looked like he was selling off his sports memorabilia collection.  He had tons of old baseball programs, sports posters, newspapers, sports figurines, and a variety of sports cards.

The only thing I was semi-interested in was an incomplete 1985 Topps baseball card set.  However... the guy was pretty firm with his $25 price tag.

As I was digging through the last few boxes, I found this Canseco rookie card sitting inside one of an older A's program.  I set it aside and asked him about it when I was finished.  He told me to make him an offer, so I replied $2.  He accepted.  Gotta wonder if he would have taken a buck.

Purchase #4:  1998 Fleer Ultra Series One Box $10

I normally don't have a lot of interest in 90's football boxes, but 1998 is an exception.  This box might contain a gem mint Peyton Manning, Randy Moss, or Charles Woodson rookie card.  Only time will tell.

Well that's it for now.  Two days left of the regular school year.  It's hard to believe that I'm wrapping up my 20th year in the district.  In fact... Peyton Manning and I were rookies the same year.  Too bad he gets to relax and make Papa John's commercials, while I've got another 15 to 20 years in the classroom.

What about you?

What were you up to 20 years ago?  Collecting?  Working?  In diapers?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Saturday Night Five: The Brown Box

What's the best way to take your mind off of work?  Well the past few weeks, it's been getting my daily steps in, then rewatching the first season of The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu.

When I came home today, I switched things up and opened up a package I received from P-town Tom over at Waiting 'til Next Year.  He had recently sorted two 5,000ct. boxes and offered to send fellow bloggers cards of their favorite team.

Two weeks later, this brown box showed up in my mailbox:

That's a 400ct. BCW box filled with lots of late 80's/early 90's Oakland Athletics cardboard.  Since I'm running a little short on time, I've decided to utilize my Saturday Night Five format to help keep the scanning to a minimum.

However before I show off my five favorite cards from the package, here's a look at the contents of the entire box:

As you can see... Tom hooked me up with a bunch of 1990 Donruss, 1990 Fleer, 1990 Score, 1991 Donruss, 1992 Topps, and a bunch of other colorful cardboard mixed in.

Always... without further adieu... let's check out the Saturday Night Five...

#1:  1993 Upper Deck #49

1993 Upper Deck is one of my favorite sets from the 90's and this card is one of the coolest in the set.  It depicts McGwire with his new Bash Brother... Ruben Sierra who was acquired in the trade that sent his former Bash Brother to the Texas Rangers.

#2:  1982 Donruss #19

Mike Norris will go down as being the first Oakland Athletic to be featured on a Donruss Diamond King card.  Not Rickey Henderson.  Mike Norris.  With that being said... I was a pretty big fan of Norris back in the early 80's.

#3:  1985 Woolworth's All-Time Record Holders #17

Speaking of Rickey... there's no way he wasn't going to make an appearance on this list.  I may or may not already have this card, but I do know that I've been trying to add this 44-card box set to my collection since I was a teenager.

#4:  2011 Topps #04

Tom sent a few different Kurt Suzuki cards... but this was my favorite.  

#5:  1992 Score #500

I've never been a fan of 1992 Score until tonight.  I think I've always just lumped it in with a bunch of other early, sub-par Score designs.  But after taking a few seconds to look over this card, I realize I probably need to take a closer look at this set.

I'll go ahead and wrap up this post with an interesting Cooperstown fact that was on the back of Tom's note:

Thank you Tom for this generous box of Oakland Athletics baseball cards.  I recently purchased a large collection of sports cards.  I've sifted through it once and pulled out the keepers.  The next step will be to copy you and sort the rest by teams.  As soon as I've accomplished this, I'll be sending you the Cubs.

Until then...

Happy Saturday and sayonara!