30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sports Card Bust #26: David Carr

Okay... I know I'm going to get some flak for calling this guy a bust. Fuji... how can you call a guy who passed for over 14,000 yards in his career a bust? Did you know that he has thrown 65 touchdowns during his NFL career? He's started almost 80 games in his career and even had the highest completion percentage in 2006. No way man... no way can you call David Carr a bust.

Well people... my blog... my call. I'll be honest... if this guy was the #5 pick in his draft class, I might let him off the hook. But he wasn't. In 2002, the Houston Texans drafted Mr. Carr with the #1 pick in the NFL draft ahead of these Pro Bowlers: Dwight Freeney, Ed Reed, Julius Peppers, and Roy Williams. Sure... these guys are all defensive players... there were a few decent offensive players in the draft. Brian Westbrook and Clinton Portis were both drafted in 2002 with Carr. Unfortunately, the only quarterback in this draft to make it to Honolulu is David Garrard, who has led the Jaguars into a first place tie with the Colts.

But... back to Carr. He has stuggled since he entered the league to win games. In 79 games as a starter... he's won 23 of them... and lost 56. In fact, he's never had a winning season. Sure... the Texans stunk... but part of their stink was on the QB's shoulders.

This year, the 49ers picked him up to back up Alex Smith (a guy you may see in a future post... sooner than later... if I can find a cheap autograph of him)... and when Smith got hurt against the Panthers in week 7... Carr struggled. In week 8, Troy Smith was the starter and Carr hasn't thrown the ball in a game since.

Last week... I picked up this 2004 Fleer Showcase "Sweet Sigs" autograph of Carr (#'d 15/100) for $2 (shipped). Back in September 2004, this card booked for $40 in Beckett. How screwed up is Beckett's pricing? My most recent price guide still has him listed at $40. Yep... I picked him up at 5% of book value.

A week earlier, I wasn't so lucky. I picked up his 2002 Finest "Rookie Auto" for $1.50 (+ $3.99 shipping) off of eBay. Yep... $5.49 for a rookie autograph of this Sports Card Bust and at the time, I was happy to grab it. I just noticed that it books for $12.... that's a little over 45% of Beckett. Back in 2003, this beauty booked for $100. At least Beckett is a little more accurate with this card.

Don't get me wrong... if Carr gets another shot... and turns his career around... I'll go back and update this post. I don't hate the guy. In fact... I love that he's the newest member of my Sports Card Bust PC.

So... what do you think...

Will David Carr ever lead a team to the playoffs?
Will Carr ever go to the Pro Bowl?
Will he ever play again in the NFL?

Happy Tuesday everyone... only three more days until the weekend. Sayanara!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cheap Cool Cards #7: Shannon Brown autographs

Twenty-five years ago... Shannon Brown was brought into this world by his mother. Little did she know... she was going to deliver a small gift to basketball fans who appreciate the art of dunking.

Mr. Brown is one of the most entertaining dunkers in the game. It is truly amazing how high he gets his 6-4 body off the ground. In fact... it's straight nasty. He may not be the most creative. And he might dunk well under pressure (just watch last year's dunk contest). But... if it's in the middle of a game... and you need someone take flight... I'm not sure there are many who can out hop Shannon. His vertical leap is truly breathtaking. Check it out yourself:

The sweet thing about collecting Mr. Brown is that he's affordable. Just last month, I picked up this Shannon Brown autograph for $1. Sure it's a sticker auto... but it's an autograph nonetheless.

Card: 07/08 Upper Deck "Star Signings" #SB
Beckett Value: $10
eBay Price: BIN $5.99 (+ $1.95 shipping)
COMC Price: $8.99

I picked the other autograph up a few months earlier during the summer for $2.

Card: 07/08 Ultra "autoGraphics" #AU-SB
Beckett Value: $8
eBay Price: BIN $5.00 (+ $1.75 shipping)
COMC Price: NA

His prices have gone up a little... due to his popularity with LA fans. His 09/10 UD "Signature Collection" autograph goes for around $20... but that's because he's pictured as a Laker. My suggestion is to search the forums for people who are selling singles. I picked up both of these off of a guy who has a shop on Sports Card Forum.

It might just be worth your time... to pick up an autograph of one of the sweetest dunkers in the game.

Happy Birthday Mr. Brown!

Monday's question of the day:

Who's your favorite dunker of all-time?

No doubt... mine is Spud Webb... but I'll save that story for another post. Have a great week!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blog Trade #4: Lifetime Topps Project

The 1984 Topps baseball set is a prime example of cards that I loved to collect as a kid. I remember running down to Long's to buy packs of this stuff looking for Ozzie Smith, Rickey Henderson, Rollie Fingers, and other childhood favorites.

It's my second favorite Topps' set from the 80's (1983 Topps is my favorite). I just love the dual picture design on the front, along with how the team name runs down the left side of the card. It also includes rookie cards of Don Mattingly and Darryl Strawberry... two hitters who made a huge impact on the hobby. There are also 2nd year cards of three hall of famers... Tony Gwynn (my favorite player), Ryne Sandberg, and Wade Boggs.

So... when I stumbled across a rack pack box of this stuff a few months back at the flea market, I swooped it up. I was able to pull the three most expensive cards from the box, so I decided to go ahead and build it.

#490 Cal Ripken Jr.
#182 Darryl Strawberry
#8 Don Mattingly

Then last Sunday, I came across this post over at Lifetime Topps Project. A few messages to each other and voila... I'm 21 steps closer to completing my set. Here are a couple of the highlights from the trade:

#259 Sparky Anderson
#391 Dale Murphy

In addition to the Topps cards, he threw in these three Tony Gwynn cards:

2009 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary #1305
2000 SP Authentic "Supremacy" #S5
2000 SP Authentic "Midsummer Classic" #MC8

Twenty-one cards down... seventeen cards to go. Thanks for the great trade Charles... I'm glad we were able to help each other out.

If you happen to have any 1984 Topps baseball singles, please email me. I'm still looking for the following cards:

123, 271, 300 (Pete Rose), 450, 521, 632, 710, 725, 748

Today's question of the day:

What's your favorite Topps' baseball card set from the 80's?

Darn... my last day off, before I head back to the classroom. I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Set Showcase #5: 1993 UD Denny's "Grand Slam" Set

Where were you in 1993? What were you doing? What were your interests? Well, I was in my early 20's living at home with my parents going to SJSU... and studying Piaget's theory of cognitive development and Erikson's stages of development... in hopes of becoming a teacher one day.

Just like most college students... I balanced my work, my family, and of course my friends & school. At the time, most of the people I hung out with were all going to school with me... so we often ate, slept (don't be dirty), partied, traveled, and of course studied together.

We studied everywhere... each other's houses, on park benches, at the library, and of course Denny's. It wasn't uncommon for us to eat there three or four times a week... no joke. I loved Denny's. And of course... I loved the baseball cards they gave out with each Grand Slam meal you purchased. In order to be in the set, you had to be a player who hit a grand slam in your MLB career. On the back of the card, Upper Deck did a little write up about the player and their grand slams... along with the # of grand slams they hit during their career.

Unfortunately, I don't think I have any of these cards left from my college years. There may be a few sitting in boxes at my parent's house... but most likely, they were sold off with the rest of my collection around 10 years ago.

Then... I came across some of these while on one of my flea market hunts and knew I wanted to grab a set. So... of course I headed over to eBay. It's the fastest and easiest way to pick up a set. I know it's not the most fun... but for the price I had to buy it.

Without further adieu... I introduce to you... the 1993 UD Denny's "Grand Slam" set:

Set: 28 cards (1:1 pack)

Hall of Famers: 21% (Rickey Henderson, Robin Yount, Ryne Sandberg, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr., and Kirby Puckett)

Future Hall of Famers: (Gary Sheffield?)

#1 Chili Davis (2 career grand slams)
#2 Eric Anthony (2 career grand slams)
#3 Rickey Henderson (1 career grand slam)
#4 Joe Carter (6 career grand slams)
#5 Terry Pendelton (3 career grand slams)
#6 Robin Yount (3 career grand slams)
#7 Ray Lankford (1 career grand slam)
#8 Ryne Sandberg (3 career grand slams)

#9 Darryl Strawberry (5 career grand slams)
#10 Marquis Grissom (1 career grand slam)
#11 Will Clark (4 career grand slams)
#12 Albert Belle (2 career grand slams)
#13 Edgar Martinez (1 career grand slam)
#14 Benito Santiago (3 career grand slams)
#15 Eddie Murray (17 career grand slams)
#16 Cal Ripken Jr. (2 career grand slams)

#17 Gary Sheffield (2 career grand slams)
#18 Dave Hollins (2 career grand slams)
#19 Andy Van Slyke (1 career grand slam)
#20 Juan Gonzalez (1 career grand slam)
#21 John Valentin (1 career grand slam)
#22 Joe Oliver (1 career grand slam)
#23 Dante Bichette (1 career grand slam)
#24 Wally Joyner (3 career grand slams)

#25 Cecil Fielder (5 career grand slams)
#26 Kirby Puckett (3 career grand slams)
#27 Robin Ventura (2 career grand slams)
#28 Danny Tartabull (9 career grand slams)

Can you believe that Eddie Murray had 19 career grand slams? He currently holds the 4th most in the history of MLB baseball. Lou Gehrig (23), Manny Ramirez (21), and Alex Rodriguez (21) are the only players who've hit more. Of course... some of these totals are outdated.

Rickey Henderson, John Valentin, & Dave Hollins finished their careers with 3 a piece... Grissom 4... Oliver, Pendleton, Clark & Sandberg each hit 5... Lankford & Joyner each sent 6 over the fence... Puckett smacked 7... Strawberrry, Santiago, Davis, Gonzalez & Ripken Jr each had 8... and Bichette, Martinez, had 9

Now for the big dogs... players in this set who finished with 10 or more career grand slams:

Joe Carter - 10 career grand slams
Cecil Fielder - 11 career grand slams
Danny Tartabull - 11 career grand slams
Albert Belle - 13 career grand slams
Gary Sheffield - 13 career grand slams

and the one that shocked me the most... Robin Ventura, who hit an amazing 18 career grand slams. Which means that between 1993 and 2004, when he retired... he hit 16 grand slams. That's insane! Another cool fact I learned about Mr. Ventura was that he became the first player to ever hit a grand slam during each end of a double hitter.

There are of course a couple of people who never added onto their totals. Eric Anthony and Robin Yount never hit another grand slam during their careers. I couldn't find anymore information on Andy Van Slyke, but it looks like he never hit another grand slam either (however, I could be wrong).

If you're interested in finding more cool statistics, I encourage you to head over to Baseball Almanac. That's where I found the career grand slam totals for all of these players.

Today's question is...

Do you think Manny and Alex will pass Lou during their careers? If so... who will do it? How many will the finish with?

Personally, I hope neither of them do. I admire Mr. Gehrig's legacy... and don't care much for Mr. Ramirez or Mr. Rodriguez. However... my guess is that Mr. Rodriguez will finish with finish with 24, while Manny will only hit one more to finish with 22.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hidden Treasures #3: Matt Barnes

When I usually think of a hidden treasure... I'm thinking of a semi-valuable card. Well the featured card in today's post is far from valuable. According to Beckett it has a book value of $10.

So you might be wondering, what makes this a treasure. Well... it's not... unless you're a Matt Barnes fan or a Lakers fan. In my case, I'm a Laker fan... and have witnessed Barnes, along with Steve Blake and Shannon Brown transform a mediocre bench last season into something special this year.

Barnes is playing out of his mind... averaging 21.8 minutes per game, 9.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, and 2.5 apg. In addition to these stats he's brought a much needed "toughness" to the Lakers bench.

It was just this past March where Barnes and Kobe were going at it, while Barnes was a member of the Magic. It's one of my favorite clips, because Barnes tries to fake an inbound pass to Kobe's face, and the Black Mamba doesn't even flinch. At the time, I hated the guy... but now that's he's on the Laker's roster... it's hard not to love him.

Just last week against Minnesota, Barnes went off. He was a perfect 7 for 7 from the floor. Five of those seven shots were three pointers. He was also perfect from the free throw line going 5 for 5. And if that wasn't enough... he added 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals in a little under 24 minutes of play. Sit back and check this out...

I've had the week off and on Wednesday, I spent a few hours going through my autograph tradelists... I finally put all of my autographs in alphabetical order (except hockey). Well sitting there in my basketball binder was this Matt Barnes:

Like I said, it's nothing special to 99.9% of the collectors out there... however to me... it's a hidden treasure. I have this autograph for years and nobody ever bothered to take it off my hands. In fact, I think it was destined to be in my PC. So... as of Wednesday, I've taken it off my tradelist and added to my Laker's PC.

What make this card special is that Barnes doesn't have many certified autographed cards out there. He signed for three products and all of them were draft pick products in 2002: Press Pass, Sage, and Sage Hit.

Today's question of the day is...

Have you ever had a player you disliked, join your favorite team? If so, did you let go of your grudge against him?

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. I appreciated all of the kind words in yesterday's comments. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving thanks...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Like a lot of other blogs and people celebrating Thanksgiving around the country... I'd like to make sure I give thanks before I head out for some good old fashion feasting. It's more convenient if I break things down into my three worlds:

Family & Friends, Work, & Hobby.

First up, I want to thank...

My Mom & Dad... for raising me to have character and honor... for guiding me when I needed it... and for allowing me to make mistakes, so I could learn from them. I know it sounds a bit cliche... but I truly mean it. You two are the best.

The love of my life... for constantly putting a smile on my face... for your humor, generosity and understanding... and for encouraging me to embrace my culture... I love you Aiko.

The rest of my family and friends for all of your support and love.

Next, I'd like to thank everyone at my work... and I mean everyone... from the secretaries to the administrators to my colleagues to my students... thank you for making me feel like I have the best job in the world.

Last, but not least I'm thankful for this wonderful hobby. It's brought a smile to my face for the better part of 30 years. I've always been a pack rat and a little bit obsessive-compulsive... in the sense that I love to organize and categorize things. Sports cards allows me to do this... and in short makes me happy.

So here are a list of things I'm thankful for in terms of my favorite hobby. I want to give thanks to...

Sports Card Forum, Card Collector's World, and Sports Card Radio. All three of these sites have allowed me to meet hundreds of traders over the past 2 years. In addition they all provide a forum where collectors can come together and discuss the hobby.

Flea Markets and Card Shows... Thanks for combining three things I really enjoy in life... shopping, walking, and cards.

Check Out My Cards & eBay... Thanks to both of these companies for providing me the opportunity to add cards to my PC at a reasonable price and delivered to my doorstep. Without you, I'd be forced to go to the local card shops and pay close to full book on singles.

YouTube... Thanks for allowing me to watch other people's box breaks. You have no idea how much money you have saved me over the years. Every time I think about busting a product of something, I head over to your site to see what other's have pulled. 95% of the time... I have a change of heart and put my wallet away.

Fellow Sports Card Blogs... this is the one area where I spend at least 30 minutes to an hour reading people's posts. It gives me an opportunity to hear people's opinions and see people's box breaks and personal collections. When it comes to family and friends, I don't have anyone who really shares this interested (except for one of my nephews, but he's more into sports than sports cards)... so blogs have provided me an opportunity to meet people who share a common interest.

So to all of my readers and friends... enjoy your day with your family & loved ones... most importantly... stay safe.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!